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NyAsa Dasakam of Swami Desikan --Part 2 : Second SlOkam

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Thu Oct 16 1997 - 17:55:03 PDT

Dear Members of the SaraNAgathi  and Bhakthi Groups :

In the second slokam of NyAsa Dasakam , 
Swami Desikan addresses Sri VaradarAjan
of Kancheepuram as" Sriman " as in Dvayam
and salutes PerundEvi ThAyAr as well this way 
and performs his SaraNAgathi . He states 
unambigouously , " Sriman ! aathma rakshA bharam 
tvayi nyasyAmi " . Swami Desikan reminds 
the Lord that he has laid the total responsibility of 
his protection at the feet of the Sarva Loka SaraNyan . 
The full slOkam is as follows :

nyasyAmyakinchana : Sriman aanukUlOnyavarjitha: I
visvAsa prArthanA pUrvam aathmarakshAbharam tvayi II

( Anvaya kramam ) : Sriman ! anukUla: anya varjitha: 
akinchana: visvAsa prArthanA pUrvam aathma rakshA
bharam tvayi nyasyAmi .

Swami Desikan brilliantly weaves in the five angAs of
Bhara SamarpaNam in this slOkam first and then 
performs SaraNAgathi at the holy feet of PEraruLALan .
This is the Saastraic way to perform SaraNAgathi with 
its five angAs . These five angAs are :

(1) aanukUlya Sankalpam (2) PrAthikUlya varjanam 
(3) KaarpaNyam (4) MahA VisvAsam and 
(5) gOpthruva VaraNam .

1)AanukUlya sankalpam is covered by the word " anukUla: "
in this slOkam .This refers to his vow to perform always 
deeds that please the Lord . 

2)PrAthkUlya Varjanam is  covered by the word " Anya Varjitha: " 
in the verse . PrAthikUlya varjanam relates to the vow of 
one performing Prapatthi that he will not engage in acts that 
cause displeasure to the Lord .

3)KaarpaNyam is connected to the word " akinchana: " in 
this verse. KaarpaNyam is a state of meekness and 
humility arising from the clear recognition that one has no 
skills or power  to practise any upAyams to reach the Lord 
such as Bhakthi yOgam et al . This state is invoked by
ALavandhAr in his famous sthothra rathna slOkam :

" na dharmanishtOsmi nachAthmavEdhi na bhakthimAn 
tvadh SaraNAravindhO !  
akinchanO ananyagathissaraNya tvadh paadha mUlam
saraNam prapadhyE " .  

4)MahA VisvAsam is hinted by the words " VisvAsa "
in this slOkam . Maha visvAsam is the total and
unshakable faith in the thought that the Lord will protect 
the saraNAgathan without fail .

5)gOpthruva VaraNam is the request of the rakshaNam
of one with a humble prayer . The words , " prArthanA
pUrvam " connect to the fifth limb (angA ) of SaraNAgathi 
in this slOkam .

After observing SaraNAgathi with the above five angAs ,
Swami performs saraNAgathi with the statement ,
" Aathma rakshA bharam tvayi nyasyAmi " . Thus 
the pancha anga bharanyAsam is practised by
Swami Desikan througth this verse . 

Swami addresses thus  the kAruNya Raasi ( the embodiment
of mercy and compassion ) presiding over VaaraNa sailam 
( Hasthi Giri ) and performs his SaraNAgathi . Lord VaradarAjan
was very dear to our AchAryan . He has saluted His SvarUpam 
elsewhere as " nithyam param sarvagatham susUkshmam
nishpandhanandhathu mayam bhavatha: SvarUpam " .

With  the above  moving salutation , Swami Desikan recognizes 
the Bhagavath SvarUpam of Lord VaradarAjan as eternal ( nithyam ) ,
superior to all tattvams (param )  , omnipresent (sarvagatham ) 
and capable of penetrating everywhere ( susUkshmam ) 
and of the form of  unaltered bliss ( nishpandhanandhuathu mayam ) . 

Before this Lord of anantha kalyANa guNams , Swami 
Desikan feels acutely his aakinchanyam and ananyagathithvam 
referred to by AlavandhAr earlier . The above two are  
the visEsha adhikArams of Prapatthi . After that 
acknowlwdgement of his deficiency , Swami  performs 
his SaraNAgathi  .

Aakinchanyathvanm refers to  the lack of skills to follow 
the upAyams such as Bhakthi  yOgam ;  ananyagathithvam 
relates to the seeking of Moksham alone as the fruit of
one's efforts and seeking Sriman NaarAyaNA alone as 
the one capable of granting  that boon of Moksham . 

The first two paasurams of adaikkala patthu of Swami Desikan ,
which are echoes  in Tamil of the ten slOkams of NyAsa dasakam 
in Sanskrit deal with akinchanathvam and ananyagathithvam
respectively . 

Swami Desikan's whole life was devoted to advancing 
the key doctrine of Prapatthi housed in Bhagavadh 
RaamAnujA's SaraNAgathi Gadhyam and AlavandhAr's 
sthOthra rathnam . In the above cited 22nd slokam 
of SthOthra rathnam , AlavandhAr ( YaamunAcchaaryA ) 
describes himself as one bereft of dharma nishtai , 
aathma j~nAnam and Bhakthi at the Lord's lotus feet .
He explains the reason for his saraNAgathi at the Lord's
sacred feet as a direct consequence of these deficiencies .

AlavandhAr in turn took his cues from NammAzhwAr 
( thruvaimozhi VaanamAmalai paasuram 5.7.1)and
Thondardippodi's 25th Thrirumaalai paasuram 
( nORRa nOnbilEn nuNNaRivilEn of NammAzhwar and 
ninlaNum batthanallEn of Thpondaradipodi AzhwAr ) ..

NammAzhwAr addresses ThOthAdhrinaathan of 
VaanamAmalai in his paasuram and cries out  :
 " O Lord ! I have not gained any distinction through pracise 
of karmaa or J~nAnA yOgA , which are precursors to 
the development of Bhakthi in one . I do indeed have 
Bhakthi for You , but it is far from the kind that results from 
the practise of Bhakthi yOgA . My bhakthi for You is of a restless 
and intensely passionate kind . This is not  a kind of 
Bhakthi resulting from Bhakthi yOgA that leads to Moksham . 
That is why I have this dvarai or urgency . Oh my Lord 
seated on your mighty serpent aasanam at Srivaramangala 
Nagar , rich with lotuses growing in fertile paddy fields , 
take me into your  fold  as one who needs protection . 

NammAzhwAr states here that of all the four yOgAs leading to
Moksham , he is not qualified or he is unable to succeed in
the practise of Karma , J~nana or Bhakthi yOgams . He is left
with only Prapatthi yOgam to reach his goal of Moksham . He 
has no other succor . Therefore he confesses , " Puhal onru
illA adiyEn unnadikkeezh amarnthu puhundhEnE " . 

The basis for the hoary tradition of SaraNAgathi as the easy -to-
practise and as a quick yielder of the fruit of Moksham is 
in the Lakshmi Tantram belonging to the PaancharAthrA texts. 
NammAzhwAr , Naathamuni, AalavandhAr , RaamAnujA and 
Swami Desikan followed this tradition . Lakshmi Tanthram 
says in this context :

" upAyaccha chathurthasthE prOktha: seegra paltara: pUrvE 
traya upAyAsthE bhavEyu ramanOharA : , chathurthamAccharyan
yEvam upAyam saraNAsrayam " .  

Lakshmi enlists the three yOgams --karma , J~nana and Bhakthi
yOgams --first and discards them in favor of Prapatthi yOgam 
as seegra pala pradham ( quick to yield results ) . GeethAchAryan
followed the same line of thought and described the three yOgams
first and then in the very last chapter revealed prapatthi at his lotus
feet as the fourth and most effective upAyam for one and all . 
The five limbs of prapatthi and the two visEsha adhikArams 
( Aakinchanyam and ananyagathithvam ) were elaborated upon 
by our pUrvAchAryAs in general and Swami Desikan in particular .

This is the greatness of the second slOkam of NyAsa dasakam 
since it focuses on the five angAs and the two adhikArams of
SaraNAgathi .

Swami Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan