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Sri YathirAja Vimsathi, An Introduction

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Sun Oct 31 1999 - 17:34:00 PST

Dear BhakthAs: 
A New Overview posting on Sri MaNavALa Maamuni's (MM)
YathirAja Vimsathi (YV)is presented here .YV is
one of the two famous sthOthrams of MM .The other is
the DevarAja MangaLam . 
>        ************************
>INTRODUCTION : In Sanskrit literature , the poems 
>are organized in numbers of 4,8,10,20,50 ,70 and 100 .
>The examples are ; ChathuslOki of Alavandhar (4 verses);
>Sri DevarAjAshtakam of Thirukkacchi Nampi and 
>Sri SudarsanAshtakam of Swami Desikan (8 verses);
>NyAsa dasakam of Swami Desikan ( 10 verses );
>NyAsa Vimsathi of Swami Desikan(20 Verses );
>Sri VaradarAjA panchAsath of Swami Desikan (50 Verses);
>Sri YathirAja Sapthathi of Swami Desikan ( 70 Verses);
>Daya Sathakam and Sri Achyutha sathakam of Swami Desikan 
>(100 Verses ). Sri YathirAja Vimsathi(YV) of Sri maNavALa
>MaamunigaL (MM) belongs to the category of Vimsathi ,
>since this salutations to AchArya RaamAnujA has 20 verses.
>MM's YV is  a moving sthOthram , which came in to being as 
>a result of the request of MM's Acharyan to MM to compode 
>a sthOthra grantham on AchArya RaamAnujA .At that time, 
>MM was a grahasthar and had the name of Azhagiya MaNavALa 
>NaayanAr. He was the trustee and administrator for the special
>temple built by his AchAryan , ThiruvAimozhip PiLLai. NayanAr's
>devotion to RaamAnujA was so transparent that his AchAryan
>requested his sishyan to compose an eulogy in Sanskrit 
>for RaamAnujA , whose nine Sri Sookthis are in Sanskrit.
>NaayanAr composed a deeply moving sthuthi on RaamAnujA's
>glories and his own naicchiyams . NaayanAr begged for 
>RaamAnjA's grace in  a heart rending manner . NaayanAr's
>AchAryan was so moved by the reverence of his sishyan
>for RaamAnujA displayed in the YV that he began to 
>address his dear disciple from then on as YathIndhra
>PravaNar or one who is an authority on the glories 
>of AchArya RaamAnujA .
>Those who heard the slOkams of YV were profoundly
>moved by the depth of reverence of NaayanAr .One of 
>them composed a Taniyan in Tamizh for YV :
>(meaning ):remembering the greatness of NammAzhwAr ,
>who is worshipped by all AasthikAs , MaNavALa NaayanAr 
>paid his heartfelt tribute to RaamAnujA so that all
>of his own disciples could prosper .NaayanAr gave birth to
>YathirAja Vimsathi and presented it to us as his special
>gift. Oh My Mind ! Please pay homage to the sacred feet
>of NaayanAr, which ar elike a pair of fully blossomed 
>lotus flowers .
>Another sishyar of MM has described the sweetness 
>of YV putting to shame the taste of grape juice and
>excelling the delectable taste of honey ; he has compared 
>the slOkams of YV as a veritable , cool cascade of nectar .
>The official Taniyan in Sanskrit for YV is :
>(meaning): AdiyEn slautes the Sowmya vara Muni (MM),
>who composed the YV to delight the heart of RaamAnujA.
>MM is the nectar of moon'srays(food) for the PrapannAs 
>taking the form of saathakA birds ( it is believed that
>the SaathakA birds exist on moon's rays alone as their
>food and reject everything else).
>This taniyan equates the PrapannAs to the SaathakA birds
>insofar a sthe PrapannAs live only by the grace of 
>Sri RaamAnujA . It is implied that the PrapannAs 
>do not need to go anywhere else their succor and
>survival an dthat Sri RaamAnujA's sacred feet are
>their upAyam and upEyam for slavation .
>These twenty verses constitute one of the most
>beautiful appeal to RaamAnujA for conferring 
>his anugraham on MM . The Sanskrit Text and
>the extended meanings of the twenty slOkams
>are covered in the home pages of Sri VaishNavaa 
>Universe with the URL :
>The choice of words for the MangaLAsAsanam
>for AchArya RaamAnujA are exquisite . The depth
>of NaicchAnusandhAnam of MM has very few comparisons.
>One hears the echos of Swami AalvandhAr's SthOthra
>rathna SlOkams and Swami Desikan's YathirAja Sapthathi
>slOkmas as well as the RaamAnuja NooRRanthAdhi Paasurams
>of Thiruvarangatthu AmudanAr .We refer readers to 
>the above home pages and will cover here two
>slOkams to illustrate the glory of this sthuthi . 
>(1) The second slOkam of YV is an example of
>the exquisite skills of MM in the choice of words 
>for the saluttion to AchArya RaamAnujA :
>SrirangarAja CharaNAmbhuja Raajahamsam
>  Srimath ParAnkusa PadhAmbhja BhrungarAjam
>Sri BhattanAtha ParakAla MukhAbhja Mithram
>  Srivathsa Chihna saraNam YathirAjam EedE 
>(Comments): There are four tatthvams about RaamAnujA
>that are being revealed to us by MM here in terms of
>his AchArya and Sishya paramaparai . Each of the four
>paadhams of the above slOkam elaborate on these specifics :
>First ,RaamAnjA is saluted as "SrirangarAja CharaNAmbhuja
>Raaja Hamsam ". MM points out that RaamAnujA is like the king 
>Swan that is resting at the lotus feet of Lord RanganAthan .
>Second , RaamAnujA is eulogized as " Srimath ParAnkusa
>padhAmbhuja Brunga Raajam ". Here , RaamAnujA is visualized
>as the King Bee sititng on the lotus feet of NammAzhwAr .
>This type of salutation is known as GuNa Prayuktha Daasyam .
>MM indicates here that ThiruvAimozhi was nectar for RaamAnujA.
>Third, MM describes RaamAnjA as : "Sri BhattanAtha ParakAla 
>Mukha abhja mithram ". RaamAnujA is described here as the Sun ,
>which makes the Lotus faces of PeriyAzhwAr and Thirumnagai bloom.
>The allusion here is to the deep involvement of Para Tatthva
>NirNayam by RaamAnujA , just as PeriyAzhwAr in the court of
>the PaandyA king . RaamAnujA was also involved in many temple
>Kaimkaryams , just as Thirumangai (ParakAlan ) was involved
>in building the saptha prakArams of the Lord at Srirangam
>and the building of the DasaavathAra Sannidhi there.
>Fourth , MM moves on to the sishya paramparai of RaamAnujA
>after focusing on his AchArya paramparai. Here MM pays specail
>tribute to KooratthAzhwAn , the dear sishyan of RaamAnujA :
>"Srivatsachihna charaNam YathirAjameedEh ".MM points out
>that RaamAnujA was the object of KooratthAzhwAn's saraNAgathi  
>or latter was the Thiruvadi of RaamAnujA , who had a very 
>special relationship with Lord RanganAthA (NamperumAl ),
>NammAzhwAr , periyAzhwAr and Thirumangai AzhwAr .
>(2)The fifteenth slOkam of YV is a moving one , where MM
>invites RaamAnujA's attention to his insufficiencies and
>begs for the dayA and anugraham of the great AchAryan :
>Suddha aathma yaamuna GurUtthama KppranAtha
>  Bhattaakhya Desika Vara Uktha SAAMSTHA NAICHYAM
>adhya asthi asankuchitham yEva mayi iha lOkE
>  tasmAth YATHEENDHRA! KaruNA yEva thu math gathi: thE 
>(Comments): In this verse , MM appeals to yathirAjA this way:
>KaruNaiva thu math Gathi: /thE karuN yEva math Gathi:
>( Oh AchArya RaamAnujA ! ( Your linitless Mercy is my only 
> refuge and cause for rescue from SamSaric afflictions ).
>He goes on to say that the Naichiyams (Statements on one's
>deficiencies and inadequacies ) of AlavandhAr , ParAsara 
>Bhattar, KurEsar and other PoorvAchAryAs have found their
>home in him .Therefore , MMpleads that eh should be 
>the deserving and the most appropriate object of
>the compassion of AchArya RaamAnujA .
>The Naicchiyam statements (NaicchyAnusandhAnams) that
>MM refers to are cited below.
>(a)AlavandhAr: " na nindhitham karma tadhasthi lOkE "
>( sthothra rathnam : Verse 23), " amaryAtha: Kshudhra:--"
>(SthOthra rathnam : Verse 62)
>(b)KuratthAzhwAn's: " Taapa thryamayee dhavAnala dhahyamAnam .."
>(c) ParAsara Bhattar"s :" Garbha Janma JarAmruthi ",
>asannikrushtasya nikrushta JanthO:--" 
>(d) Sawmi Desikan"s : The twenty slOkAs of NirvEdha
>Paddhathi of Sri ranganAtha PaadhukhA Sahasram .
>(3) We will conclude this overview of MM's YV with
>the appeal made by him to YathirAjan :
>Vijn~Apanam yathidham adhya thu maamkInam 
>  ankikurushva YathirAja DhayAmbhrAsE 
>aj~na aathma guNa lEsa vivarjithasccha
>  tasmaath ananya SaraNO Bhavathi ithi mathvA 
>This slOkam reltes to the ChUrNikai of AchArya Hrudhayam : 
>" ThAiykkum mahanukkum Tampikkum Ivarkkum  Ivaradi 
>PaNinthavarkkumE Ivai uLLathiu" . 
>In this concluding Twentieth slOkam of the YV ,
>MM hails RaamAnujA as "DhayAmbhurAsE " or the Ocean
>of Mercy . He pleads with RaamAnujA to accept his
>appeal (tath angikurushva). He cites a sreasons for 
>such a plea his lack of knowledge about Sri VaishNavite
>doctrines ( Tattva- Hitha-PurushArtham )as well as
>nonposeesion of Aathma GuNAs . In his state of utter 
>helplessness, MM begs the most compassionate RaamAnujA
>to take into account all his enormous deficiencies and
>accept his appeal to come to his (MM's ) rescue.
>Thus concludes one of the most moving Sri Sookthis 
>of Sri MaNavALa MaamunigaL in Sanskrit . 
>Namo NaarAyaNAya ,
>AzhwAr EmperumAnmAr jeeyar ThiruvadigaLE saraNam ,
>Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan