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GowLai pancharathnam : CharaNams 8,9& 10--Conclusion

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_CompuServe.COM)
Date: Sun Nov 16 1997 - 15:22:07 PST

Dear Members of the Bhakthi Group :

In this concluding posting , I will cover the three
remaining charaNams of the GowLai Pancharathnam 
of Sadhguru ThyagarAja SwamigaL .

Eighth CharaNam 

chakkani mukha kamalamphunu sadhA naa madhilO 
smaraNa lEkanE dhurmadhAndha janalu kOri 
partithApamulachE dagili nOgili dhurvishaya 
dhurAsalanu rOyalEkhE sathathamaparAdhinai 
chapala chitthuDaina ( DuDuku Gala NannE ) 

This charaNam starts with panchama yeduppu . 
In this long charaNam , we hear again the echo of
Swami Desikan's nirvEdham : asprusha chinthaa
padham AbhirUpyam . Here Swami Desikan states that 
the Lord's paripUrNa soundharyam is beyond access
by the mind for  full grasp . Saint ThyagarAjA says 
in this vein : " O RamachandrA ! I failed to meditate 
on the lotus like , beautiful face of yours and joined
the bad company of " kOkka saasthra vidhula Nara
( experts in kAma sAsthrA ) and abandoned the company
of " bhakthi sAsthra vidhula nara " ( experts in bhakthi 
sAsthram ) . I have thus lost the sathsangham of BhagavathAs
of Yours . I did not understand the pain arising from  
attachment to to young and beautiful women ( kaadhal seythu 
iLayavar kalavi tharum vEdanai vinyathu veruvuthalAm 
as Thirumangai pointed out in his Oppiliappan paasuram ) 
and fell at their feet for favors . I did not pay attention
to You and therefore ended up in garbha vAsam and other
dukkhams as the AzhwAr described earlier 
( iRandhEnetthanaiyum athanAl idumpai kuzhiyil 
piRanthEtthEyeyyatthozhinthEn ) . I am debilitatd  from all 
these dhurvishayAnuchAram and am dejected over my 
terrible lot . Which dorai mahan is going to extend his
strong hand to rescue me ? Here , Saint ThyagarAjA expressed 
his temptations for the enjoyment of the forbidden fruits
and his proclivity to committ multitudes of apachArams .
He crowned himself as an aparAdha chakravarthi 
with a fickle mind bent down by the thought over
these apachArams . He asked another Chakravarhti's son 
for rescue . He hinted that only Sri RamachandrA , the son
of Dasaratha Chakravarthi alone could rescue him from 
the whirlpool of loka sukhams that is about to take him under .
He described his sordid state of seeking the company
of adhamAs and his practise of begging for favors from them
with a petty mind and demeaning himself . One of the passages
with similar melancholic thoughts from Swami Desikan's 
conversations with the Lord is : " karmamaya dharma taptham
sukha mrugha trushNAbhi: kAbhiraNyanArdhram " . Elsewhere ,
Swami Desikan described his state as " NirAkarma nithya 
upataptham " ( scorched always by the  fruits of performing
asAsthraic deeds ) . Sadhguru SwamigaL in a similar vein
poited out that he is being scorched by  the heat of high summer
and that he was longing to take a dip into the cool waters 
of the sacred pond of Lord's feet . 

Saitn ThyagarAjA's suffering and the poignant describtion of
his helpless state is similar to the conversation that NammAzhwAr
had with the Lord :

thazhuval pakkam nOkki nANI kavizhndurippan
tozhuvanEnai yunathALL sErum vahayE soozh kandAi 

Here NammAzhwAr describes his durdasai . O Lord ,
I stand before You with a bent head because of the shame 
that has encircled me from acquiring the bundles of sins from
durAchAra anushtaanams . I am weighted down by them  . 
You are the PurushOtthaman and I am the lowest of the lowly
(adhamaadhaman ) . I stand before you with a supreme 
yearning to attain the sowbhaghyam of merging with Your
lotus feet . Please bless me , the meek and helpless one 
and grant me this boon ! In a similar spirit of AthmagarhaNam 
and naichyAnusandhAnam , Saint ThyagarAjA cried out to 
Sri RamachandrA on the banks of river Cauveri .

Ninth CharaNam 

maanava thanu dhurlabhamanuchu nEmchi 
parmAnandha mOdhalEka madha matsara 
kaama lObha mOhamulaku dAsudai 
mOsabhOthigAka modhaDi kulajaDaguchu 
bhuvani Kshudhrula panalu salpuchunu 
yumDinagAka , narAdhamulu gOrisAraheena 
mathamulanu sAdhimpa dhArumAru ( DuDuku gala)

This long charaNam reminds us of two famous 
slOkams of AchArya ALavandhAr's sthOthra rathnam ,
where he condemns himself for his sinful conduct and his 
performance of SaraNAgathi at the feet 
of the Sarva Loka saraNyan .

The first slOkam is the one which starts with the paadham,
" JanithvAham vamsE mahathi ---" ; the second slOkam 
starts with the first paadham , " AmaryAdha: Kshudhra:
chalamathi : asUyA parsava bhU : " . 

The anvaya kramam for the first slOkam is as follows : 

SaraNatha! aham jagadhi khyAtha yasasAm sucheenAm
yukthAnAm guNa purusha tatva sthithi vidhAm nisargAth
yEva , tvath charaNa kamala yEkAntha manasAm mahathi 
vamsE janithvA , PaapAthmA tamasi adha : adha: nimajjAmi 

( meaning ) : O Lord , who always shows the righteous path !
I am born of the renowned vamsam of sottai kulam of
Natha Muni , who is the peak of sadAchaaram and rectitude. 
My predecessors are true comprehendors of tatthva trayam 
( their svarUpams and sbvabhAvams ) and by natural 
disposition rooted in Your Lotus feet . Even with all this 
marking me as a branch of this sacred AchArya vamsa 
Vruksham , I am remaining steadfastly as a PaapAthmA 
and am floundering in the darkness surrounding me 
and sinking in the bottomless ocean of SamsAram . 

Our Saint ThyagarAjA identifies himself like AlavandhAr 
in this charaNam as born in a renowned vamsam 
( mothadi kula juDakusu ) . This is the echo of " janithvAham  
vamsE mahathi jagadhi khyAtha yasasAm  ." Even after hailing
from such a uttama kulam , saint ThyagarAjA condemns himself
for having wasted his days by not conquering arrogance , 
jealousy , desire , miserly trait , and infatuation with worldly things .
He says that he has wasted the life as a human being that is
so rare to be born in . He says : " I  did not take great joy over 
the good fortune of being born as a human being with opportunity 
to engage in Bhagavadh ArAdhanam and Naama sankeerthanam . 
Instead , I  became the servant of despicable traits such as 
arrogance et al ( Manava tanu dhurlabhamanusu nemchi 
paramAnandha mondalakE  )" . He admits that he engaged 
in the activities normally chosen by wicked men and ended
up begging for his livelihood at he doorsteps of the proud and 
rich . He also confesses that he went after many meaningless 
religions and the anushtAnams recommended by them and 
accumulated bundles of sins . He asks wiht great sense of 
agitation as to which dorai mahan is going to save him from 
his pitiable state .

This soul cry of Saint ThyagarAjA is a direct echo of another 
of  AlavandhAr's slokams housed in  SthOthra Rathnam :

amaryAdha: Kshudra: chalamadhi: asUyAprasavabhU:
kruthagnO dhurmAni smara paravasO vanchanapara: I
nrusamsa: pApishta: kathamahamithO dukkajaladhE :
apArAth uttheerNa: tava paricharEyam charanayO : II

AlavandhAr describes himself as the one who has crossed 
the bounds of established rules (amaryAdha: ) , Kshudran
( proclivity to engage in trivial pursuits ) , chalamadhi:
( unsteady , fickle  mind ) , asUyA: prasava bhU : ( the birth 
place of jealousy ) , kruthagana: ( Ungrateful one , who forgets
the help rendered by others ) , dhurmAnee ( one with ill feelings
towards fellow human beings ) , smara paravasa : ( one who
has fallen in the net of desire and impulses) , vanchanapara: 
( skilled at cheating others ) , nrusamsa: ( engaged in violent
acts ) and paapishta: ( mahA paapi ) . Saint ThyagarAja describes
himself in this spirit with his statement , " kshudrulapanulu
salpachuunuyumDinigaka narAdhamlanu kOri sAraheena 
madhamlanusAdhimpa tArumaaru " . He says : " I followed 
paashandi mathams with no substance (saara heenam ), 
associated with the lowliest people not known for their 
spiritual acheivements and wasted my days . 
O Dasaratha RaamA ! O Dorai mahan! 
You must rescue me from my lowly lot " . 

Tenth charaNam

sathulakai konnALLsthikai sathlakai konnALLu 
dhanathatulakai dhirigithi nayya , ThyagarAjAptha
yituvamDi ( DuDuku gala nannE ) 

This charaNam starts with panchama yeduppu 
( pa pa pamA ga ma ri sa ) . 

Here our Saint asks as to which dorai mahan is going
to save him , who spent part of his life for the women ,
part of his life for accumulating wealth and running hither and
thither for that purpose single mindedly and wasting the noble
purpose of life . Then he hints that Sri Ramachandran alone can
rescue from his miserable lot in this wastedlife of his .

O Lord ! Did you not declare in one of your incarnations :
" na mE bhaktha: praNasyathi " . VaraguNa RaajAthi Raaja 
Raama ! Great AchAryAs have described You as 
" sritha jana samrakshakan " ( one who unfailingly
rescues those , who seek refuge in You ) and as 
" bheemam nithyam bhavajala nidhou majjathAm 
mAnavAnAm pOthapAthri bhavithri " ( the boat for those 
to save themselves , when they are about to sink in 
the deep and stormy waters of samsAram ) . 

They have also described You assuringly as " SarANAgatha
praNaya bhanga bheethO bhavaan " ( one who is afraid 
to turn down the plea of one who seks your refuge ) .
Further , they describe You as " vimuktha EkadhwAram 
vikatitha kavAtam praNayinAm " ( the entrance gate that is 
open at the temple of Moksham ) . I am emboldened 
to approach You , the KaruNA  Saarvabhouman inspite of 
my lowly status as aparAtha chakravarthi . 

I am offering my saraNAgathi in the spirit of Achaaryaa
AlavandhAr  :

na dharmanishtOsmi nchAthma vEdhee
na bhakthimAn tvaccharaNAravindhE !
akinchanaOnyagathi : SaraNya ! 
tvadh paadhamUlam SaraNam prapadhyE II

O SarvarakshakA ! I have no accomplishments 
to speak of in terms of AchAram or anushtAnam 
or scholarship ! I do not practise bhakthi yOgam 
at Your lotus feet ! I am without any capital . I have no
other recourse to speak of .Hence , I have concluded 
that You and You alone are my sarvam and am seeking
refuge at the cool shade of Your sacred feet . I am reminding
myself about the vAkhyams of AzhwAr : " EmperumAn 
adiallAl SaraN ninaipilum pirithu illai yenakkE " .
pOdalar nedumudi puNNiyanE ! RaamA ! Please establish
me in the path of performing kaimkaryam for You alone
and thus save me from the miserable life as a samsAri .
Please bless me with Your darsanam and engage me 
to be Your servant . I am helpless. Please come to my rescue .

Thus , Saint ThyagarAja addressed the son of emperor 
DasarathA as abhirAma GuNAkara Daasarathi and 
performed SaraNAgathi in the paddathi of GOpthruva 
VaraNam in his Gowlai Pancha Rathnam , while steeped 
in the mood of athma GarhaNam and NirvEdham .

Sumukham suhrudham sulabham sugadham 
svajanam cha sukAyam amOgasaram I
apahAya RaghUdhvaham anyamaham
na kathanchana kanchana jAthu bhajE II

Sadhguru ThayagarAja SwamigaL ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
AzhwAr AchAryAL ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan