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Gowlai pancha Rathnam : Part 4 --Fourth CharaNam

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Fri Nov 14 1997 - 12:05:54 PST

Dear BhakthAs Of Sri RamachandrA :

In the spirit of NammAzhwAr 's naicchAnusnadhAnam 
expressed in his Thiruvaimozhi ( nORRa nOnbilEn ,
nuNNaRivilEn ) , saint Thyagaraja depreceated himself
in the third charaNam . He also referred to wasting his 
time with vithandA vivAthams and not spending his time 
in  naama japam and sankeerthanam .

In the fourth charaNam , he states that he has been 
avaracious about accumulating wealth and running 
after other people's riches . He condemns himself  for 
insulting others through hot words in the struggle to get
other people's wealth and hurting their feelings in 
the process . He concludes that no one except the dorai
mahan , Sri Ramachandra as DasarathAthmajan , could
come to his rescue and save him from his calamities 

The CharaNa vaakhyams are as follows : 

para dhanamula  koraku nOrula madhini 
karaka baliki kaDupu nimpa dhirighi natti 
( DuDuku gala ) 

Elsewhere in hi Ahiri raaga krithi , " Yetula 
kaapAtuthuvO " , Our Sadhguru has explained
how he had lowered himself before others by
praising the lowly for the sole purpose of gaining
access to their wealth and debasing himself 
this way :

anu dhinamu taara tanaya varghAdhulu paalanamu sEyuda
koRaku dhanamula kalikina manujula pokaDi yaarjinjina
paikamula joosi dhanaku sarilEdhini bhiguvuna 
thirigana nannE ( Yetula kApAtuthuvO ) 

Here , the Saint states that he was engaged in praising
the welathy for the sake of supporting his wife and children 
and running around thinking that there is no one equal
to him in smartness and hurting other's feelings with his
aggressive manners . He says that he saw the futility of
his ways finally and performed SaraNAgathi at the Lord's feet
( nimnE charaNu jOcchithigAni ) and requested protection .
In the same spirit of regret over lowering himself by serving
the wealthy for his livelihood and wasting his life's days 
by not engaging in Iswara BhajanAmrutha paanam , 
he asks for forgivance and begs for protection .

This prayer and longing for the rescue by the Lord has 
been expressed many times by our Saint with all of us in
mind , because , he did not have all these defects . 
In the punnagavarALi uthsava sampradhAya krithi ,
he addresses KalyANa Sundara Raaman in a similar 
spirit : " dina dinamu taaramu korakai Raama dhanikula
kaasithi nee varagu, paahi KalyANa Sundara Raama 
maam " . In this saraNAgathi also , he refers to his 
running hither and thither chasing the wealthy to earn
his livelihood daily and debasing himself by praising 
them falsely for excellence that  they did not have , all
for the sake of acquisition of material comforts . 

This sentiment is just the opposite of the mood he was 
in , when he questioned about the comfort guaranteed 
by material wealth in comparison to the great aanandham
acquired by offering selfless service to the Lord . In that 
KalyANi krithi , he asked , " Nidhi chAla sukhamA ?
Ramuni sannidhi sEva sukhamA ? " . He rejected the 
wealth offered by the maharAjA of Tanjore with parama
vairAghyam followig the lead established by Swami Desikan ,
when he rejected the offer of the minister of Vijaya Nagaram
king .

He addressed the Lord , who showered him the wealth of 
Bhagavadh anubhavam as " Srikara " in his ranjani krithi 
and declared that the Lord is his entire wealth , crops 
and sarva sampath ( Dhana dhAnya Dhaivamu neevaiuntaka).
He expressed this way his artha kaama karshaNa chinhtanA ,
just as Swami Desikan stated earlier that all of his wealth
is standing on top of the Hasthigiri and that he needed 
nothing beyond that wealth .

In his yamunA kalyANi krithi starting with the pallavi,
" NaarAyaNa Hari NaarAyaNa Hari " , he records his
ananya bhakthi for Sri RaamA and his vairAghyam
once again this way  :

nasvaramulaina dhanAsvamulanu nE 
visvasincha bhUthEsvara Hari Hari 
kOti sulagani saadi lEni balku
pOti osaki mummadiki vEtanu 
( NaarayaNa Hari ) 

Here , he firmly announces to Sri RaamA that he has
discarded the perishable wealth and other accoutrements 
of  power such as vaahanams ( horses , elephants , carriages )
as useless for paragathi and has also vowed not to use his 
speech for praising the kOteesvarAs for gaining wealth .

Thus , our Saint ThyagarAjA , who discarded the material
wealth and service to the rich as useless things , spoke 
in the spirit of the fourth charaNam of Gowlai krithi at
many krithis . This , he did with the thought of us , who 
are engaged in adapting ourselves to the undeserving 
ones and choosing that path over the devotion to 
the SarvEsvaran and chasing after wealth in a 
vainglorious manner . 

Fifth CharaNam 

dhanamadhini bhuvini sowkhyamu jeevanamE yanuchu
sahdA dhinamulu gaDipE ( DuDuku Gala ) 

Saint ThyagarAjA started the first three charaNams of
this Gowlai pancharathnam with the Rishabha svara
yeduppu . In the fourth charaNam , he shifted to Panchama
yeduppu . In this fifth charaNam , He gave prominence 
to the NishAdha svara yeduppu . Nishadham of Gowlai
is uniquely endowed to convey the mood of helplessness
and plea  for help by the helpless ( aakinchanyam & KaarpaNyam ) .
This fifth charaNam starts off with the svara combination ,
" Ni pa Ma pa ni " . 

His plea for help in a state of hopelessness is very similar 
to AzhwAr's cry to the Lord to rescue him quickly :

aavi dihaikka iyvar kumaikkum siRRinbham
paaviyEnaippala nee kAtti paduppAyO ?
thAvi  vaiyamm konda tatanthAmaraikatkE
koovikkoLLum kaalam innam kuruhAthO ? 

NammAzhwar asks here : " O my Master ! You created
a predisposition in me towards the perishable sukhams and 
made me immersed in the alpa sukham of enjoying 
those evanascent sukhams . You made me confused 
by making me wonder whether these perishable sukhams
might be the lasting ones afterall ! You have turned my
head away with this delusion and made it difficult for me 
to be engaged in your naama sankeerthanam , aarAdahnai
and kaimkaryam . O Lord , who pervades the universe to
illustrate Your soverignity ! Please remove this delusion
that You have caused and let me perform SaraNAgathi at
Your sacred feet and shorten the time on this earth so that
I can reach those paadhAravindhams without any further delay .

In this spirit , Saint ThyagarAjA states in 
the fifth charaNam that he spent his time
under the delusion that the sensory pleasures are 
the lasting ones and wasting the days of his life away .
He states in the spirit of Swami Desikan ( nimnE 
vimOha jaladhou nipathAmi bhUya : ) that he mixes up the 
alpa sukhams associated with sensory pleasures with
those which are lasting ( nithya kaimkaryam to the Lord )
and has fallen into the bottomless waters of nescience .
Saint ThyagarAja begs the Lord to take pity on him and 
come to his rescue promptly . 

AzhwAr AchAryAL ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Sri Ramachandra ParabrahmanE Nama:
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan