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Sri Bhagavad Dhyana Sobhaanam

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Fri Oct 11 1996 - 20:09:18 PDT

Dear members of the Prapatthi Group :

In the series dealing with the one sloka that 
is etched in my memory among  the different  works of Swami Desikan , 
I must confess that the  sloka that I am going to describe here 
is the one that attracts my attention in a never failing manner .

The slokam is the eigth one in Sri Bhagavad Dhyana Sobhaanam , 
which is modelled  after Amalanadhi Piran of ThiruppaNazhwar .
In this context , I  must mention that Munivahana Bhogam that 
Sri Mani Varadarajan was seeking is covered in the third Sillarai
Rahasyam book released by Poundarikapuram ANdavan Asramam 
with the help of funds raised by Sri MuraLi Rangaswami. Getting back to
the eight slokam .  It is as follows :

SAABIPRAAYA SMITHA VIKASITHAM CHARU BIMBHAADHAROSHTAM
DUKKAAPAAYA PRANAYINI JANEH DHURA DHATTAABHIMUKYAM I
KAANTHAM VAKTHRAM KANAKA TILAKAALANKRUTHAM RANGABHARTHU:
SVAANTEH GJAATAM MAMA VILAGATHI SWAGATHODHAARA NETRAM II

Here Swami Desikan is overpowered by the beauty, compassion and 
welcoming and meaningful smile of the Lord Of Srirangam , just as Thiruppaaanar
was 
overcome .  He recognizes the well meaning , caring smile which adorns the 
face of the Lord . He sees that this special smile lights up the entire 
countenance of Sri Ranganatha .He is radiant at the thought that 
the Prapanna has finally coming towards Him .  His lower and upper lips are
beautiful 
with a red hue reminiscent of the ripe  Bimbhaa (Kovai ) fruit . Swami Desikan
senses that the Lord of Rangam turns his benovolent face towards the 
chetana , who is rushing towards Him in quest of the remedy for his 
samsaaric ills . Sri Ranganatha recognizes those aartha prapannas 
from an enormous distance, wherever they are and casts his auspicious 
glances on them . The Prapannas are exhilirated by the darsanam of the 
most beautiful golden tilakam decorating the Lord's forehead . That draws 
them like a beacon towards Him . Next , they come into contact with 
those majestic and welcoming eyes full of Dayaa and concern for the well being
of 
the Prapanna. Swami Desikan prays in this slokam that his mind 
be etched forever with the picture of that unforgettable countenance 
of Sri Ranganatha .. 

The key words that defy traslation in this slokam  are 
(1 ) Saabhipraaya smitha vikasitham
(2) Dukkhaapaya Pranayini Janeh Dhoora Dhattabhi mukyam
and (3 ) SvaagathOdhaara Netram . 

Swami Desikan suggests that the smile of the Lord has 
Artha Pushti (saabhipraaya: ). That smile understands the earlier zigs 
and zags of the Prapanna and does not reveal the depth of awareness
of the  limitations of the Prapanna and his previous apachaaraas . 
He is Sarvaantharyaami. He is Sarva Saakshiand Yet  He welcomes 
the Prapanna with Ruchi , who is propelled towards Him through
His own grace as though  by an undercurrent of devotion and a sense 
of absolute surrender . He recognizes that the Prapanna is benefitting from
Ajnaatha Sukrutham ( Punyam acquired through nondeliberate effort )
 and  Aanushankikam ( PuNyam acquired through the power of circumstance 
of being in front of Him ) . Therefore His smile is  full of meaning and 
depth of understanding . That smile lights up his face like a fully 
blossomed lotus(smitha Vikasitham ) 

In the second set of words , Swami states  that Sri Ranganatha's auspicious
glances 
fall on and  comfort the Prapannas , who pray to Him for the redress of their
Samsaaric 
ills even  from a tremendous distance . Swami Desikan states that the
penetrating
and compassion-drenched glances of the Lord fall on that  Prapanna ,however  far
he or she is . The very thought of Sri Ranganatha by the suffering Prapanna 
results in the immediate blessing of the Darsana Sowbhagyam of the Lord's 
benovolent eyes regardles of the physical distance that separates the Prapanna
from Srirangam . 

In the description of the eyes of the Lord , Swami Desikan chooses 
the words "SvaagathOdhaara Netram ". Those beautiful and captivating eyes
appear to be full of majesty and compassion in welcoming the prodigal 
son home . 

All of us should think of those eyes as our Uphaayam, Upeyam ,
Praapyam and Purushaartham in the manner revealed by our
Acharya , who was one of the greatest Rasikaas of the Anga 
Sowndharyam of Sri Ranganatha .

In his Parama Padha Sobhaanam, Swami Desikan discusses the four kinds of 
Sukrutham (PuN yam ) as Yaadhrucchikam , Ajnaatham, Aanushnakikam and
Praasankikam. All of these confer their blessings even without any 
intended effort . Sri Ranganatha accepts  these as excuses to cast 
his Dhaya-laden glances on us and blesses us as though we have done a
great act of penance . That is His compassionate nature to move like 
a lightning towards us , when we take one step towards Him.

All of these thoughts race through my mind , when I recite this slokam .

Sri Ranganayaki Sametha Sri Rangaraja Para Brahmaneh Nama :

V . Sadagopan