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SrI deSika stotram - 15. SrI paramArtha stutih.

From: Krishnamachari, N (Krish) (nkrish_at_lucent.com)
Date: Wed Nov 18 1998 - 17:49:45 PST

		SrI deSiks stotra-s - 15. SrI paramArtha stutih.

The meaning of the title is "Praise on the parama artha or the Ultimate
Goal".  The title is chosen by svAmi deSikan himself, and is included in the
tenth and concluding Slokam of the stotra.  SrI deSikan composed this in
praise of Lord rAma in the kshetra by name tirup-put-kuzhi near kA~nci.  puL
means bird, and kuzhi mean "pit".  This is the kshetra where Lord rAma laid
jaTAyu to rest in a pit and did the final cremation for jaTAyu, and this is
the basis for the name of the kshetra.  Because of the connection of this
kshetram with jaTAyu, the pushkariNi here is called gr*dhra-saras (The Eagle
Lake?).  As is the purpose of all the other stotra-s of svAmi deSikan, he
teaches us the SrI vaishNava precepts through the medium of SrI paramArtha
stuti, the topic of the current write-up. 

1. Perhaps the most important lesson we learn from the life of jaTAyu is
covered in Slokam 7 of this stotram.  When we do not seek the four kinds of
benefits in life - dharma, artha, kAma, and moksha, and instead dedicate our
life selflessly to the service of bhagavAn, He takes responsibility to
confer all benefits including moksha to such a jIvAtmA.  This is evidenced
by the life of jaTAyu.    

2. bhagavAn is like the pArijAta tree and bestows all that His devotees seek
from Him.  For Him there is no distinction between His devotees - high and
low - when it comes to bestowing fruits or phalam (tu~ngaih atu~ngaiSca
praNataih gr*hyate phalam - Slokam 1).  We all know that He is the only one
who can give the Ultimate Fruit viz. moksha, and this is guaranteed to
anyone who has surrendered to Him through prapatti.  SrI rAmadeSikAcArya
svAmi nicely points out that irrespective of whether the devotees are rich
or poor, high caste or low caste, "tall or short", they all have to
ultimately stoop down (surrender) in order to get the fruit from this Tree.
Thus there is no distinction between the different jIva-s when it comes to
getting the fruits from this Tree.  This also means that there is no
pre-requisite or pre-qualification for prapatti other than the sincere
commitment to prapatti.

3. Two great teachings are embedded in Slokam 2.  svAmi deSikan conveys
these through his own example.   In this Slokam, he expresses his deep
gratitude  to bhagavAn and says that it is because of His blessings alone
that svAmi deSikan has been blessed with guru-s who are themselves
constantly meditating on Him, and it is as a result of their teachings that
he is now able to be always immersed in the guNa-s of bhagavAn and then to
proceed to compose these stotra-s on bhagavAn.

The lesson for us is that our AcArya-s play a major role in our attaining
bhagavAn.   The second is that it is only by bhagavAn's Grace that we get
the right AcArya whose instructions turn our mind towards bhagavAn.  The
greatness of AcArya-s and the role they play in our attaining Him have been
covered by svAmi deSikan in detail in his nyAsa vimSatih.  There he points
out that the AcArya should be treated and worshipped like bhagavAn Himself
because of the great kindness and selfless dedication with which they steer
us in the path of prapatti. 

4. In Slokam 3 svAmi deSikan prays to the Lord to bless him with the state
of mind where he will constantly meditate on the tirumeni of bhagavAn with
His divya Ayudha-s, AbharaNa-s, etc.   The lesson to take for us that this
is one simple way to realize Him.  In SaraNAgati dIpikA Sloma 22, he points
out:

   - With a pure mind, if one meditates on bhagavAn's tirumeni, with His
lotus face and eyes, His divya Ayudha-s and AbharaNa-s, this is one way to
realize Him and derive unending peace of mind.  This is called sAlambana
yoga, and is simple to follow.  All sins are removed from such meditation.

5.  Meditating on bhagavAn's nAma results in overcoming the internal enemies
to dhyAna such as desire, anger, etc., and it also gets rid of external foes
to the devotees.  The first letter of praNavam represents protection which
is His function, and so He is in the forefront of protecting His devotees.
BhagavAn's being just seated in the front seat of the chariot of arjuna was
sufficient to ensure victory for arjuna and destruction of his enemies,
without the need for bhagavAn to do anything more (Slokam 4). 

6. BhagavAn's determination to protect His devotees is like His undertaking
a yAga.  svAmi deSikan nicely describes this guNa of bhagavAn in this
Slokam.  He is constantly accompanied by His dharma patni, periya pitATTi,
which is a requirement for performing any yAga.  For any yAga, there are
r*t-vik-s or the priest who officiate at the ceremony.  In this case,
bhagavAn's kalyANa guNa-s such as His Infinite dayA are the officiating
priests.   This is like the ahIna yaj~na (an unimpaired and long-lasting
yAga) that bhagavAn has undertaken to perform (Slokam 5).

7. The life of a prapanna, which has been described in detail by svAmi
deSikan in stotra-s such as nyAsa vimSatih, is summarized here in one Slokam
(Slokam 6).  The people with true knowledge who know the difficulty of
performing bhakti yoga resort to prapatti mArga and surrender to that Ocean
of Mercy.  They neither devote their mind to worship of other devatA-s, nor
do they expect any benefit from their worship other than moksha.   They
devote themselves fully to His kaimkaryam and derive the pleasure of SrI
vaikunTham even this world.

8. The SaraNAgata vatsalan that bhagavAn is (SaraNAgata rakshaNa vratI), is
brought out in Slokam 8.  Lord rAma declared during vibhIshaNa SAraNAgati
that even if the sinful rAvaNa came and sought surrender from bhagavAn, it
is His dharma to forgive the sinner and offer His protection.   So all we
have to do to get His dayA is just unconditionally surrender to Him and do
selfless kaimkaryam to Him.  It is this opportunity and anubhavam to do
selfless kaimkaryam to Him that nitya sUri-s such as tiru ananta AzhvAn and
periya tiruvaDi enjoy in SrI vaikunTham, and this same anubhavam and
enjoyment are
ours when we do prapatti to Him in this world and devote the rest of our
life to His selfless service (Slokam 9).

svAmi deSikan concludes the stotram by advising that this stotram in praise
of  the perumAL in tirupputkuzhi should be chanted with SraddhA by
prapanna-s on a daily basis.   He refers to this perumAL by the names raNa
pu~ngavan and Ahava pu~ngavan (He who excels in the art of warfare)
throughout the stotra (Sloka-s 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10).  PerumAL here is also
known as SrI vijaya rAghavap perumAL, anAma with the same meaning (The
Victorious Lord rAghavan).   It is easy to note that perumAL's soulabhya,
souSIlya, vAtsalya, vIrya, parAkrama, dayA, the ease and unfailing result of
prapatti, the importance of AcArya, etc. are all brought out in by svAmi
deSikan so vividly in such a short span of 10 Sloka-s.

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan  






   

  
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