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RaamAshta and other krithis of Dikshithar on Sri Ramachandra --Part 2

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Wed Oct 16 1996 - 15:34:23 PDT

Navarathri Fifth day ( October 17 , 1996 )

The compositions in the eight Vibakthis (cases )
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The significance of choosing different vibakthis 
to salute the Lord can be understood by a study of 
the slokam attributed to the grantha Karthaa of 
Srimad NaarayaNeeyam , Sri NarayaNa Bhattadhiri of Kerala .

That composiiton of Sri NarayaNa Bhattadhiri, 
constructed his the composition in the 8 vibakthis of Sanskrit ( Dative,
etc , which are deflections of a noun) . Let us refer to that verse 
of  Bhattadhiri , who included in one verse all the case terminations,
while addressing Lord Krishna :

KrishNO rakshathu maam charAchara guru :
KrishNam namasEh sadhA 
KrishNEnaiva surakshitOhamasakruth 
KrishNAya dhattam mana:
KrishNAdhEva samuthbhavO mama vibhO:
KrishNasya dAsOsmyaham
KrishNeh bhakthirasanchalAsthu Bhagavan
Hey KrishNa tubhyam Nama: 

Sri Narayana Bhattadhiri salutes the Lord of GuruvAyur 
in eight different ways :

May Lord KrishNa the Guru of the universe protect me!
I offer my salutations to  KrishNa always.
I have  been saved by KrishNA countless number of  times .
My heart has been  surrendered only to Him .
I am born out of Him (i-e) He is my father.
I stay as the servant of KrishNa .
May I be blessed with unwavering devotion to Him!
O Lord KrishNa ! My salutations are to You .

In this elegant and moving Prapatthi verse , Bhattadhiri 
skillfully uses the 8 Vibakthis of Sanskrit one after
the other . There is a reason for using the individual 
Vibakthis to address the Lord . Each is associated with
an aspect of Bhakthi that a devotee offers to the Lord as 
revealed by the Narada Bhakthi Sutras and NarayaNa Bhattadhiri  . 

The moods of Bhaktha covered by the different Vibakthis  are :

Nishkaamya Karmam( service without expectation of rewards ) ,
 Daasyam ( servitude )  , Akinchanathvam
(state of Utter helplessness) , Bhagavad  Gunaanubhavam,
Ishta Daivata Ananya Bhakthi ( Exclusive devotion to the chosen
form of deity ) , Dainyokthi ( Plaintive pleading ) ,
Maha Viswasam ( Utter trust in being saved by the Deity ), 
Vandanam , Aathma Nivedanam (absolute Surrender ) ,
Vaatsalyam ( expression of  Devotion/affection  just as a child
has for its mother ) , Kanthaa sakthi ( Madhura Bhavam )  ,
Tanmaya Sakthi ( feeling of oneness with the Lord just as 
ANdAL stated about her relationship to the Lord that can not 
be cut asunder in all births ) and finally PallaNdu wishing 
auspiciousness to the Lord in a state of deep caring .Although 
the Lord does not need any protection , the Bhaktha prays that 
no harm comes the Lord's way and sings for long life of the Lord 
just as Periyaazhwaar in his pallandu did and Saint Thyagraja 
sang through his Bhiravi Krithi , Raksha Bettare Dhoraku ,
Vakshasthalamuna velayu lakshmi Ramananuki Jaya 
( Let us protect our Lord in whose chest shines Lakshmi ). 

These are the moods or Sanchari Bhaavaas that  we come across
in the Rammashtaka and other Krithis on Rama composed by 
the Nadhopaasaka Sri Dikshitar in exquisite and chaste Sanskrit.

I will start with The Rama Kali raga krithi of Dikshithar first.
This ragam is a janyam of MAyA MaaLa GowlA in one tradition and 
is considered a derivative of Kaasi RamakriyA ( KamaVardhini ). 
Even the name of the ragam and its parentage is full of Symbolism
as hinted by Dikshitar's choice of this ragam for worshipping 
Sri Rama in kali age and his prayer for the enhancement of his
desire ( kama ) for His lotus feet . The composition is a Kriyaa
towards attaing that vardhini aspect of Kama to the destroyer 
of Kali dhoshams. 

The Sahitya Vakhyams are as Follows :





Dikshitar uses choice words to describe Sri Rama's 
KalyANa guNaas here as they relate to Kali Yugam .

He says :  O Ramaa who destroys effortlessly the amangaLams
that are natural to the age of Kali, when the cow of Dharma stands on 
one leg only ! O Lord who is the first among all the kings ! O dear 
consort of Sita Devi ! O the house/seat  of all Kalyaana Gunaas ! 
O Lord with unsurpassed and ever increasing beauty (abhinava 
Soundharyam ) ! O Supreme Being worshipped by Siva, 
Guha , Indran and countless sages !
Please protect me ! 

Let us now understand the carefully selected words full of 
meaning and alliteration in the different sections of the Saahityam . 

" Rama , Kali Kalusha Viraama" portion of the krithi contains 
the raga mudra . Kali Kalushas are the ills of Kali yugam. 
He is the Viraaman or destroyer of those ills . Taara Bhruth refers to 
His being the supreme king ( emperor / chakravarthi  ) of the kings 
of the earth .

Lalaama means sreshtan or Uttaman . He is the uttama adhikhaari
among the kings of this earth. Mahijaa denotes the daughter of Bhumi 
Devi (i-e), Sita Devi . The salutations to Jaanaki RamaNan is " Sri Mahijaa
Kaama Suguna Dhaama ". Sudhraama is a title of Indraa . Dikshitar 
celebrates the Naama Mahaatmyam of Sri Ramaa as that of 
being hailed by the king of Devas, Indra and other Jnaanis . 

Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan