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Sri Vegaa Sethu Stotram -- Part 2

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sun Oct 27 1996 - 05:57:07 PST

SRI VEGAA SETHU STOTRAM OF SWAMI DESIKAN
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SRIMAN VENKATANAATHARYA: KAVITHAARKIKA KESARI I
VEDHAANTHAACHARYA VARYOH MEH SAMNIDHATTHAAM SADHAA HRUDHI II

YEKAM VEGAVTHEE MADHYYEH 
HASTHISAILEH CHA DHRUSYATEH I
UPAAYAPALA BHAVENA SVAYAM
VYAKTHAM PARAM MAHA : II

Swami Desikan chose Anushtub metre for this beginning 
verse . It is traditional to use the short metre of Anushtub 
for aphoristic statement of theological truth .Saardhoola 
vikriditham metre is generally used for elaboration of the 
theological truth.Inview of our Acharyaa's  interest to celebrate the Puranic
story here and the centrality of one of the Vaishnava  principles
-- Bhaktha DaakshiNyam of the Lord  -- Swami  elected not to use 
too many lengthy metres in this short stotram . He deliberately 
chose Anushtub  for the first verse  to point out 
the UPAAYA --PALA BHAAVAM -- of the Lord of Thiruvehhaa.
 This stotram has 10 verses set in 7 different poetic  metres
in accordance with the rules of Alamkaara saasthram .. 
Swami Desikan uses anushtub metre for the second and tenth verse
as well .

The other metres used by Swami with specific purpose in mind are :
Aaryaa ( verse 3) , Upajaathi ( verse 4 ) that is used for imparting 
Puraanic flavor , Oupacchandasikam ( Verse 5) , Vasanta Tilakam 
(Verse 6 ) for poetic fancy , Maalini (Verses 7 and 8 ) and  Mandaakraanthaa
( verse 9 ).   Thus Swami Desikan used 7 metres in a stotram consisting
of 10 verses . His skills as  a poet are abundantly evident here . 

In the first verse , he refers to the Svayam vyaktha svarupam of the Lord
as " SVAYAM VYAKTHAM PARAM EKAM MAHA : " This mighty effulgence 
that manifested itself out of His own Sankalpam to neutralize the anger of 
His daughter in law is saluted here. He states that this Mahaa Tejas at 
Thiruvehhaa and the other illustrious Tejas  that arose from Brahma's 
sacrificial fire on Hasthi giri have the complimentary relationship of 
means ( Upaayam ) and fruit ( Palan ) . One is in the middle of 
river Vegavathi (Saraswathi )  and the other is on the top of the 
sacred hillock known as Hasthi Giri . 

VERSE 2 : 

yeeshteh gamayithum paaramesha sethurabhangura : I
yatra saarasvatham srothO visraamyathi visrungalam II

Here Swami Desikan describes the Lord , who took the form of 
a dam to obstruct the intent of Saraswathi to destroy her consort's
Yajnam . Swami describes that indestructible and immovable 
dam (Sethu ) as" Abhangura: Yesha Sethu " . He points out that 
dam has the power to serve as an unfailing bridge to get one
across the dangerous and turbulent  ocean of SamsArA to the other side 
recognized as Moksham or Parama Padam . Swami Desikan 
pays tribute to this Maha Tejas beyond describtion by humans as
the dam where the power of human speech finds its halting place.
"Saarasvatham Visrungalm Srotha :" refers to both the halting of 
the floods of Saraswathi as well as the the end to the flow of words 
that one uses in an attempt to praise the Lord through eulogies.
 " Yatho Vaachaa Nivartanteh , Apraapya manasaa saha: " 
is the mood of our Acharya here .

VERSE 3 : 

Jayathi jagadekha sethu : VegavathimadhyalakshithO Deva : I
prasamayathi Ya: prajaanaam prathithaan samsArajaladhikallOlAn II

Here Swami Desikan recommends that we perform Prapatthi 
and cross the dangerous floods of SamsAram by travelling over
the safe bridge of the Lord , who took the form of the Dam in the 
middle of the swift flowing river Vegavathi . He salutes the Lord of 
ThiruvehhA as " Jagadekha Sethu : "( The unmatchable , one and only 
Sethu ) . Swami Desikan salutes the Lord"s kalyana gunam of 
Jagath Rakshakthvam and supreme power  by pointing out that 
He saves the people of the world from the dangers associated with 
the tall and ferocious waves of the ocean of SamsArA  by subjugating 
them . 

VERSE 4 : 

vibhAthu meh chatesai Vishnusethu:
vegaapagaa vega vigAtha hetu : I
Ambhoja YOnehr yadhujnamaaseeth
Abhanga Rakshaa hayamedha Dheekshaa II

The salutation here is to the Vishnu Sethu , 
which is Vishnu in  the form of a dam ( Sethu) in 
the middle of Vegavathi river ( Vega Aapagaa) to
serve as the means to arrest the fast flowing floods
( Vega Vigaatha Hetu: ) . Swami wants that Vishnu Sethu to 
shine in his mind . In the second half of verse set in UpajAthi
metre to hint at the Sthala PurANam , he salutes the special route 
that the Lord took to protect his lotus-born Son "s (Ambhoja YOneh : )
 Aswamedha Yaagam ( Hayamedha DeekshA)
to an uninterrupted conclusion trhough His protective intervention 
(Abhanga Rakshaa). There  was hence  no Bhangam ( risk/danger  ) 
to that Yajnam . Swami salutes the means taken by 
the Lord as Yadh Upajnam  to resonate with the 
word Yajnam .

V.Sadagopan