You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : October 1997

Dehaleesa Sthuthi -- Part 8.1

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Sat Oct 18 1997 - 17:11:49 PDT

Dear Members of the Bhakthi group : 

>From the sloka 8 to 16 of Sri DehaLIsa 
sthuthi , Swami dEsikan focuses on the many 
beautiful aspects of the Lord's avathAram as 
Trivikraman. we will cover these eight slokAs 
as a set that   deals  with this theme of salutation 
to the many facets of this celebrated avathAram .
We will cover four  slokams ( 8 to 11 ) in this posting.

SlOkam 8 : 

vairOchanE sadasi vAmana  bhUmikAvAn 
   vikrAnthi tANdava rasEna vijrumbamANa : I
chakrE bhavAn makara kundala karNa pAsa :
   ssyAmaika megha bharithAmiva saptha lOkeem II

(Anvaya kramam ) : BhavAn  vairOchnE : sadasi Vaamana
bhUmikAvAn vikrAnthi tANdava rasEna vijrumbhamANa: 
makara kundala karNa pAsa: saptha lOkeem ssyama 
Eka megha bharithAm chakrE .

( Extended Meaning ) : O Lord of ThirukkOvalUr ! Once 
upon a time , you took on the role of a small dwarf 
and went to Bali chakravarthi"s yAga Saalai and got
as gift three steps of land . Immediately after receiving 
that dhAnam , you wished to occupy the entire universe
and you accomplshed this goal in a trice   through
your dancing feet of the rapidly growing TrivikramA form . Thus ,
You pervaded the seven worlds . At that time , you looked like 
a blue cloud (girdle ) encircling the seven worlds .The lustre
of your makra kundalams adorning your ears shone like  
flashes  of lighting originating from that blue cloud of Your
subha tanu ( auspicious body ) . You who expanded to
enfold the seven worlds as Trivikrama are now happy to be 
crushed in a little space of a dEhaLi by the three bhakthAs 
of Yours ! 

Swami dEsikan states that the Lord took on the role
of Vamana Brahmachari as an actor who dons a role on stage .
MahA Bali , the grandson of PrahlAdhAzhwAn  was a great 
bhakthan and  parama vaidhikan . His ego drove him however
to cause a lot of harm to the dEvAs. The Lord had to control
him and teach him a lesson .Hence he took on the role
of a kapata Vaamana brahmachAri and came to MahA Bali's
yAgam .Humbly , the Lord asked the emperor Bali to deed Him 
three steps of land measured by his tiny steps . MahA  Bali felt that 
the little dwarf was asking him such a trivial gift and encouraged 
the Vaamana BrahmachAri to ask for some thing commensurate
with his status as the emperor , who had vanquished the dEvAs.

Our Lord persisted in his request for three steps of land and 
the unsuspecting Bali was ready to pour water on the hands of 
the Vamana mUrthy to seal the deed . SukrAchArya , the guru 
of Bali chakravarthy figured out that the dwarf was none other than
Sriman NaarAyaNA standing in front as the kapata vAmanan 
to deprive his disciple of his empire and status. SukrAchArya
protested to Bali and asked him not to consummate the requested
dhAnam . The generous and proud Bali would not hear of going back
on his word and went ahead with the gift and poured water on 
the hand of VaamanA bhagavAn and completed the deeding .

The Lord , who got His way was elated with joy and began to
perform a dance , which consisted of one foot spreading over 
the earth as if it was measuring it ; the other foot shot upward 
to envelop the sky and beyond ( VikrAnthi ) . The word vikrAnthi
has yet anothe rmeaning beyond enveloping ; it also means 
heroic or valorous . This heroic vikrAnthi of a dance ended up
enveloping the seven worlds just as a cloud that forms a girdle
(mEkalai ) around the globe . The Vaamana murthi took on 
the Viswa rUpam and transformed Himself into Trivikraman .
His color (vaNNam ) is like the dark blue cloud of the rainy 
season ( Muhiluruvam ) . The Lord's makara kundalams 
( kundalams in the form of mythical makara ) adorning His
ears shone like the lightning breaking out of the blue cloud
of His subhAsrayam . His form expanding and growing 
by leaps and bounds without let is  saluted by 
Swami Desikan here as " vikrAnthi taaNdava rasEna 
vijrumbhamANa: " . 

Swami Desikan has been inspired by Thirumangai
Mannan's paasuram ( 8.1.3) on the Lord of ThirukkaNNapuram
when he refers to the Lord's Makara Kundalams 
shooting out their radiance as lighting shafts . AzhwAr's
words are : " minnu mAmaNi  MAKARA KUNDALANGAL 
VIL VEESUM  " . Swami dEsikan salutes in the spirit
of Thirumangai the jyOthi of those Makara kundalams
with the choice of words : " ChakrE bhavAn 

Slokam 9 :

In this verse , Swami dEesikan visualizes the sowlabhayam
of the Lord in permitting Himself to be circumscribed and
squeezed by the Mudhal AzhwArs in the space of a dEhaLi .

The slOkam is as follows :

chithram na tath thrishu mithAni padhEshu yath thE
                viswAnyamUni bhuvanAni visankatEshu I
bhakthai: samam kvachithasou bhavanaikadEsE 
                maathi sma mUrthiramithA tadhihadhbhudham na: II

( anvaya Kramam ) : ViswAni amUni bhuvanAni visankatEshU
thE thrishu padhEshu mithAni yath tath na chithram amithA
asou mUrthi: bhakthai: samam kavachidh bhavana EkadEsE
mAthisma , tath iha na: adhbhutham .

( Meaning ) : O Lord of ThirukkOvalUr ! It does not appear as 
a wonderous deed to us, when You transformed Yourself 
as TrivikramA and brought the entire universe under Your 
three steps ; but , what fills us with awe and wonder is 
what You did on a rainy night at the small space of a dEhaLi
in  ThirukkOvalUr . Then , You let Your gigantic body spanning 
the entire universe get squeezed in between the three AzhwArs,
who themselves were pressed against each other in 
the tight space of the dEhaLi of Mrugandu muni's aasramam . 

Steeped in adhbhutha rasam , Swami dEsikan reflects 
on the form of Trivikraman that grew to cosmic size compressing
itself to enter the tiny space occupied tightly by the three 
bhakthAs of His at the dEhaLi . In that mood of wonder
(adhbhutham ) , the erstwhile act of the Lord sweeping 
the sky and earth with two strides of His pales into 
insignificance in the mind of our AchAryA . 

SlOkam 10 :

bhakthapriya tvayi tathA parivardhamAnE 
   mukthA vithAna vithathis tava pUrvamAseeth I
hArAvaLi : paramathO rasanA kalApa: 
   tArA gaNas tadhanu mowkthika nUpura sree: II

Here , Swami dEsikan is till awe struck over the adhbhutham
that happened at the tiny dEhaLi at ThirukkOvalUr .
The thought of the Lord , who expanded in all
eight directions to pervade the universe shrinking  now to
a tiny form to squeeze Himself ,  fills the mind of
Swami Desikan and he once again reflects on that
viswa rUpam of the Lord as Trivikraman . He concludes 
that it is the bhaktha vaatsalyam of the Viswa rUpi that 
made Him take the tiny from to enter the crowded dEhaLi
to be near His dear ones . 

Swami addresses DehaLeesan and says : 

Bhaktha priya ! tvayi tathA parivartdhamAnE , 
tArA gaNa : pUrvam tava mukthA vithAna vithathi: aaseeth ;
param hAra  aavaLi : athO rasanA kalApa: (aaseeth );
tadhanu mowkthika: nUpara sree: ( aaseeth ) . 

( meaning ) : O Lord who loves Your devotees ! 
When You grew as Trivikrama to measure the worlds with
your expanding steps ,  different scenarios presented
themselves before the eyes of those , who were blessed 
to witness that wonderous scene . 

During the first stage , as Your head shot upward , 
the assembly of stars looked like a celestial canopy 
( VithAnam ) ; As you continued to grow and 
pierced that canopy , the assembly of stars appeared like a 
pearl necklace around Your beautiful  neck .

You went on growing . At the next stage , the cluster of stars 
decended down to the level of Your waist and there they 
took on the role of Your  waist band . Your TrivikramA form 
grew further and now the assembly of stars were at the level
of Your ankle . There they appeared as resplendent nUpurams 
( ankle ornaments ) . Such was Your viswa rUpam , where the 
sky hung at the level of your ankles . Is it n' t a miracle that You of 
such gigantic form shrank Yourself to a form that fitted in the
narrow space of a dEhaLi because of your affection for 
Your bhakthAs ? 

In his dasAvathAra sthOthram , Swami Desikan has saluted 
the gigantic strides of Lord Trivikraman as " Traivikrama:
vikrama: na avathu ) . Swami's mind starts with the Lord's
thirumudi (crown ) and ends at the sacred feet . He sees 
around those feet the  sky (canopy with bejewelled stars ) 
serving as the silambhus ( NUParams ) . Swami visualizes that 
limitless form of the Lord as TrivikramA  transforming itself to a
tiny from to fit the proportions of the dEhaLI to be close to
his parama bhakthAs . 

SlOkam 11:

bikshOchitham prakatayan prathamAsramam tvam
   krishNAjinam yavanikAm kruthavAn priyAyA : I
vyakthAkruthEstava sameekshya bhujAntharE thaam 
   thvAmEva Gopanagareesa janA vidhusthvAm II

( Meaning) : O Lord of Gopa Puri ! When You took on 
the role of prathama Asramam ( Celibiate ) that is 
required to seek bhikshA (alms ) , You created a curtain 
(yavanikA)  of krishNAjinam ( maan thOl or the skin of 
a black antelope worn by brahmachAris ) . You created 
that curtain to hide Your consort MahA Lakshmi  residing 
forever on Your chest . When You transformed into 
Trivikrama rUpam and revealed Your real self , then 
all the witnesses of the scene were blessed to have 
the darsanam of Your consort , who with Her svaym-
jyOthi makes Your chest region resplendent  ( MaanAtheetha
prathitha vibhavAm mangaLam mangaLAnAm ,
SVAKAANTHYAA ) . When the blessed ones saw Your 
splenderous form as TrivikramA with the SrEyOmUrthy ,
MahA Lakshmi on Your vakshasthalam , then they had
no doubt about your nature as Lakshmipathi and 
Sriman NaarAyaNan .    

Here , Swami dEsikan salutes MahA lakshmi , who 
is never without Him . NammAzhwAr's paasura line ,
" ahalahillEn yenru AlarmEl mangai urai mArbhA "
must have come to Swami's mind . He has pointed out
to us in one of his MummaNikkOvai verse that MahA Lakshmi
takes an appropriate form to accompany Her Lord in every one of 
His avathArams . The situation during His avathAram as a
Vaamana BrahmachAri is a ticklish one . He is a celibiate and 
is supposed to be unmaaried ; at the same time , He could 
not be without Sri Devi . He solved the problem by hiding Her
under the krishNAjinam ( deer skin ) attached to His sacred 
thread . As a kapata Vaamanan , he played this trick to " assert "
His " Brahmacharyam " . 

The Lord and His consort are an inseparable pair as Swami has
acknowledged in Sri Sthuthi : " nishprathyUha praNaya gatitham
Devi nithya anapAyam , VishNusthvam cha ithi anavadhi guNam 
DHVANDHVAM ANYONYA LAKSHYAM " . Here , Swami has revealed
that this extraordinary couple can be understood only through 
each other and are united by the immeasurable bond of love for each
other and therefore are inseparable even for a second from
each other . Hence there is no way for MahA Lakshmi to be
separated from Her Lord or for the Lord to be unaccompanied by Her
even if He has to take on the role as a BrahmachAri during 
VamanAvathAram . 

Swami explains in another slOkam of Sri Sthuthi 
that MahA Lakshmi takes on appropriate avathArams 
to accompany Her Lord and those different forms are like 
the waves driven by the wind of Her sankalpam arising from 
the ocean of bliss , which is Her Para Roopam in Sri Vaikuntam :

yasyAm gacchanthi udhaya vilayai : nithyam aanandha sindhou
icchA vegha ullasitha laharee vibramam VYAKTHAYASTHE 

 Vyakthathaya : refers to Her incarnations to accompany 
the Lord during His different avathArAs . 

( To be continued ) 

Swami Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan