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SrI deSika stotra-s - 14. SrI kAmAsikAshTakam.

From: Krishnamachari, N (Krish) (
Date: Mon Nov 02 1998 - 11:55:52 PST


Dear bhAgavata-s:

I thought I had sent this earlier, but I found the copy stored in the
"Drafts" section in my PC.  So I assume it was not sent earlier.  I hope it
is not a repetition.


		SrI deSkia stotra-s - 14.  SrI kAmAsikAshTakam.

This stotram is about SrI nar*simha mUrti in the divya kshetram in kA~nci by
name vELukkai or veL irukkai.  vEL in tamizh means "by One's own will";
irukkai means to be seated or to be located.  Since perumAL made this His
place by His own will, the place is called tiru vEL irukkai.  The samskr*t
name of this stotram echoes the same meaning - kAma - by His own will, AsikA
- being seated, ashTakam - consisting of 8 Sloka-s.  PerumAL's name here is
kAmAsikA narasimhan.   svAmi deSikan refers to this emperumAn as kAmAsikA
harih and kAmAsikA kesarih in this stotram.
In tiruvELukkai, bhagavAn is in the yoga narasimha form and is seated in the
yogic posture of parya~nka bandha.  He has three eyes in His narasimha form
in this kshetra.   svAmi deSikan points out that His being seated in the
yogic posture of parya~nka bandham suggests that He is seated with the
determination to help all His devotees (Slokam 4), and 
this posture in order to give live instruction to all of us on how to
perform yoga in order to attain Him (Slokam 5 - prAyeNa praNipedushAm
prabhurasau yogam nijam Sikshayan).

Even though the point should have been obvious, it is worth pointing out
that the AcArya's stotra-s, in addition to praising bhagavAn and giving us
an easy way of chanting His guNa-s, seem to have as one of their objectives
the propagation of the basic tenets of SrIvaishNavism by repeatedly
re-emphasizing and re-stating them in storam after stotram.  Thus we see in
this storam also svAmi deSikan bring out out several basic aspects of his
and our pUrvAcAryas' teachings.  These are:

1. He is the object of the uttara bhAga (final part) of the veda-s, viz. the
upanishad-s (Slokam 1). 

2. bhagavAn is the only one who can remove our tApa-traya-s.  These tApa-s
are referred to by svAmi deSikan in SaraNAgati dIpikA Slokam 23 - tApatryeNa
vihatim na bhajanti santah etc.  In the current  Slokam, svAmi deSikan prays
to kAmAsikA harih, the perumAL of this keshetram, to burn the three tApas-s
that result from samsAra with  his three eyes (the sun, the moon, and agni).
The tApa-s are: a) AdhyAtmikam - belonging to to the individual, such as
headache, cold, anger, desire, fear, etc. b) Adhi bhaudikam --those
resulting from other bhUta-s such as the birds, animals, other people etc.,
and c) Adhi daivikam - those resulting from devatA-s such as from the wind,
sun, rain, etc.

3. He appears in His arcA mUrti form in many of these divya-kshetra-s out of
His sheer Mercy towards us, just so that He is easily accessible to us.  It
is as if bhagavAn gave up the great regard for SrI viakuNTha vAsam (vimukta
vaikunTha bahumatim) so that He can be a nitya vAsi in this beautiful
kshetram and be accessible to all of us (Slokam 3).

His vibhava incarnations are for the purpose of destroying His enemies and
protecting His devotees. Thus, in His narasimha incarnation, He came to
protect prhalAda and other devotees from hiraNyakaSipu.  This is one of the
rahasya-s of His incarnations.  This is explained by svAmi deSikan in
SaraNAgati dIpikA Slokam 17 (AtmIya rakshaNa, vipaksha vinASanArthaih).  In
the current stotram, he praises this aspect of bhagavAn and seeks His
protection.  He has the anubhavam of kAmAsikA narasimhan's hands fighting
with each other in their desire to perform this function (aham prathamikA
mithah prakaTita AhavAh bAhavah - Slokam 6).

4. bhagavAn is the only true relative we all have (bandhum akhilasya
jantoh).  All the other relatives such as father, mother, etc. are only
transient relatives, and are related this way purely because of our mutual
karma-s (Slokam 4). 

5. bhagavAn is the one who assigns functions to, and controls, all the other
devatA-s so that they perform their assigned duties without violation
(sva-sthAneshu marud-gaNAn niyamayan - Slokam 5).  This has been referred by
svAmi deSikan in abhIti stavam Slokam 4 also (marut taraNi pAvaka tridaSa
nAtha kAlAdayah svakr*tyam adhikurvate tadaparAdhato bibhyatah).  

bhagavAn is also the One who controls all our indriya-s (svAdhIna
sarvendriyah).  His nAma of hr*shIkeSa signifies this.

6. bhavAn's anger knows no limits when anyone commits apacAram towards His
devotee.  The narasimha incarnation is a typical example of this.  svAmi
deSikan describes through almost identical Sloka-s in dayA Satakam Slokam 84
and Slokam 7 in the current stotra, His making His appearance reflect His
intense anger towards His devotee's enemy.  

However, the wonder of bhagavAn's leelA is that at the same time His
appearance reflects intense anger towards hiraNyakaSipu, He makes His
appearance to prahlAda one of intense Mercy and kindness reflecting that of
a mother feeding her young child (datta sthanA saroja sadr*SA dr*SA samudita
Akr*tir-dr*Syate - dayA Satakam, datta sthanA saroja sadr*SA dr*SA
vyatibhishajya te vyajyate in the current stotram).  Such is the nature of
His kr*pA or dayA to His devotees.

7. bhagavAn is the only one who can protect us.  If He does not protect us
no one else can protect us, and if He decides to protect us, we don't need
anyone else's protection.  This concept is conveyed in Slokam 8 - tvayi
rakshati rakshakaih kim ananyaih, tvayi ca arakshati rakshakaih kim
ananyaih.  The same idea was conveyed in SrI ashTabhujAshTakam Sloka-s 5 and
6:  bhayam kutah syAt tvayi sAnukampe, rakshA kutah syAt tvayi jAtaroshe
(Slokam 5), and tvayi pravr*tte mama kim prayAsaih, tvayyapravr*tte mama kim
prayAsaih (Slokam 6).  This is the basis of goptr*tva varaNam (the
deliberate choice of bhagavAn as the Sole Protector) which is one of the
a~nga-s of prapatti.   

8. In the ninth and final Slokam of SrI kAmAsikAshTakam svAmi deSikan
reminds us that if one chants this stotram even once with faith and with
devotion, bhagavAn will forgive their sins even if they be huge like
elephants, and will bestow any benefits that the devotee seeks. It appears
svAmi deSikan intentionally chose to compare our sins to huge 'elephants',
since it is the kAmAsikA kesari (lion) who is going to eliminate the sins.

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan