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daya and its synonyms

From: M K Sudarshan (
Date: Fri Nov 08 1996 - 23:04:23 PST

srimathe sri lakshmi-nrsumha parabrahmanE namaha
sri vedanta desika guravE namaha

Dear BhagavatOttamas,

At the outset here's wishing you all a very happy deepavali! May the Grace
of Lord Krishna protect and nourish us all through many more Deepavalis as
in the years gone by!

"divya-pAngam dishasi karunE yeshu saddEsikAtma kshipram
prAptA vrishagiripatim kshatrabandhva dayaste I
vishwAchAryA vidhisivamukhA svAdhikarOpa ruddha manye
mAthA jada iva sute vatsalA mAdrissE tvam II"

The above lilting verse 50 of Swami Desikan's Daya Satakam has haunted me
(and all of you too, consequently, I fear) the past few weeks. Amazingly it
has taken us/me through a little journey in the past few weeks that I have
not ventured before. To recollect, it all started with:

a) building a frequency-distribution table of 'daya' and its synonyms as
appearing in the 'daya satakam'
b) comparing the respective degrees of superlativeness of each of the
synonyms with the other
c) digging into the 'vishnu sahasranamam' for equivalent synonyms
d) comparing the 'sahasranamam' synonyms with ones in the 'daya satakam' and
picking out the verses which are most illustrative or illuminative of them
e) picking out verse 50 above to illuminate the 'sahasranamam' synonym
viz."sundaha"(melting tenderness) equivalent to "anukampa"
f) attempting to establish that "sundaha" and "anukampa" find the most
exquisite expression as a mother's love for an imbecile-offspring -- "jada"
-- in this verse 50
g) exploring why the Lord must be obliged or compelled to bestow His "daya"
on "jada"(insentient matter)--- this we did by briefly speculating on the
cardinal philosophical underpinnings of Sri VisishtAdvaita : "sarira-sariri"
and "na mama".
h) taking a little detour to SriRangam and visiting Sri.Parashara Bhattar
for a while and watching him demonstrate practically to his disciples the
way the concept (of "jada" enjoying the Lord's "anukampa") applies to even
daily life in Sri Rangam as seen in the episode relating to the "kovil
madapalli jadam"(kitchen-idiot). 

When I look at the ground I have covered above I cannot help thanking the
Lord for taking me along with Him in the past few weeks on a little
excursion and showing me the pleasant sights and scenery of the great
landscapes that dot the empire of Swami Desikan. Now I realize in a very
vague and infinitesmal way how the great "mahAns" of the past, the Alwars,
the bhaktas and bhagavatas, were all known to have lost themselves utterly
in their experience of the Lord's
"kalyana-gunAs" !!

I should believe that some of you too may have enjoyed it since some of you
sent me messages to that effect. To you I send my wishes that you too should
be enabled by the Lord to carry on with the experience (or is it
experiment!) in your own time and pace. It is quite easy to do if you
beseech the Lord.

As for me, I would like to conclude this series of my attempts to essay a
few thoughts on the Daya Satakam. I would have loved to go the distance by
trying to critically examine "vedaha" and "suvrataha" from the Sahasranamam
and associate them with "daya" as portrayed in some gems in the Daya Satakam
verses. I have to deny myself the pleasure due to lack of time at the
moment. With the Grace of the Lord, perhaps, I would be able to do it on
some future occasion.

In my next posting which will conclude this series, I shall complete my
commitment (self-imposed) of essaying a few thoughts on how Swami Desikan's
poetic ideas (of "jada" qualifying for the Lord's "daya") have been
illustrated in an episode from Srimad Bhagavatam in the chapters relating to
Lord krishna's "leela-s" (the "pranks" of the Lord as a "child" in His
foster-parent's house and which have great esoteric significance for
Sri.Vaishnavas).Here again I owe everything to my "guru"

srimathE srivan satagopa sri narayana yathIndra mahadesikaya namaha


srimathE lakshmi-nrsumha parabrahmaNE namaha
sri vedanta desika guravE namaha