You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : October 1998

mukunda-mAlA - Part 9

From: For V. Sadagopan (
Date: Wed Oct 07 1998 - 21:05:02 PDT

SrI V. saDagOpan's writings on the mukunda-mAlA stOtram :



SrIman-nAma prOcya nArAyaNAkhyam 
 kE na prApur vAnchitam pApinO'pi |
hA na: pUrvam vAk-pravRttA na tasmin
 tEna prAptam garbha-vAsAdi-du:kham || 26

   In this verse King kulaSEkhara praises the benefits of reciting 
SrIman-nArAyaNa's ashTAkshara-mantram and the ills that befall one who does
not recite it.  The AzhvAr reminds us of the many passages from tiru-vAi-mozhi
where a number of other AzhvArs have reminded us about the good fortunes that 
come the way of those who recite the ashTAkshara-mantram in devotion.

Some of these passages from tiru-vAi-mozhi extolling the blessings of
ashTAkshara-mantra-japam are as follows: 

   " kulan-taru~n-celvan-tandiDum-aDiyAr paDu-tuyar-Ayinav-ellAm,
     nilantara~n ceyyum nIL visumb-aruLum aruLoDu peru-nilam-aLikkum,
     valan-tarum maRRun-tandiDum peRRa-tAyinum-Ayina ceyyum,
     nalan-taru~n-collai nAn kaNDu-koNDEn nArAyaNA-vennum nAmam "
                  -- tiru-mangai AzhvAr

     " vaidu ninnai vallavA pazhittavarkum,
       mARil pOr seydu ninna ceRRat-tIyil-vendavarkkum,
       vandu unai-yeydalAgum-enbar"     
                   -- tirumozhisai AzhvAr

     " moytta-valvinaiyuL ninRu-mUnRezhutt-uDaiya pErAl,
       kattirapandum-anRE parA'ngati kaNDu-koNDAn"
                   -- tonDar-aDi-poDi AzhvAr

Anticipating the above statements by the three AzhvAr-s who appeared after him,
SrI kulaSEkhara AzhvAr says that there is no sinner who has not been redeemed 
by reciting the name of nArAyaNa. Similarly, those who did not shout the name
of nArAyaNa ended tasting the ill fruits of samsAra with its endless cycles of
bith and death. 

SrI kulaSEkharar says : 
    "nArAyaNa-Akhyam SrIman-nAma prOcya kE pApina: apai vA~nchitam na prApu: ?"
The AzhvAr queries as to which sinner has not been blessed by reciting the name
of SrIman-nArAyaNa. His answer is a resouding "none".
The AzhvAr implies that regardless of the magnitude of the sins, the sinner
is blessed and saved by the Lord once HE hears the sinner invoke HIS name
celebrated as nArAyaNa.

The AzhvAr also describes the plight of those who blabber about everything
except reciting the name, nArAyaNa. He says that those people end up in endless
cycles of samsAra and suffer. The portion of the verse containing this thought
in anvaya-kramam is as follows:
   "pUrvam tasmin na pravRttA tEna garbha-vAsAdi du:kham hA! prAptam ".



maj-janmana: phalamidam madhu-kaiTabhArE 
 mat-prArthanIya-mad-anugraha  Esha Eva |
 bhRtyasya bhRtya iti mAm smara lOka-nAtha || 27

   After highlighting the virtues of reciting the name of SrIman-nArAyaNa,
SrI kulaSEkhara retreats into a humble prayer asking for the boon for becoming
a servant of the servant who serves the servant of the servant attendant of
the servant of SrIman-nArAyaNa.  "Granting of this boon would fulfil my life's
purpose" says SrI kulaSEkhara.

Here, in one of the moving prayers full of humility, the AzhvAr asks the Lord
to accept himas the lowliest servant in HIS hierarchy of servants. This type
of service is known as caramAvati-dAsyam. and SrI kulaSEkharAzhvAr follows
his predecessor, SrI nammAzhvAr who asked for such a boon in his tiruvAi-mozhi
verse as follows:

     " aDiyAr-aDiyAr tamm-aDiyAr-aDiyAr-tamakku aDiyAr-aDiyAr 
       tam aDiyAr-aDiyO'ngaLE ".



nAthE na: purushOttamE tri-jagatAm EkAdhipE cEtasA
 sEvyE svasya padasya dAtari surE nArAyaNE tishThati |
yam kancit purushAdhamam katipaya-grAmESam alpArtha-dam
 sEvAyai mRghayAmahE naramahO mUkA varAkA vayam || 28

   In this verse, SrI kulaSEkharar wonders about the helplessness and inertia
of human beings who do not take the initiative to seek SrIman-nArAyaNa's 
blessings, which is there just for the asking. When HE looms before us as the
emperor of all the universes, kulaSEkhara cannot understand why humans chase
after and worship insignificant entities strutting about in the shadow of the
all powerful Lord.

" Are we human beings dumb (mUkA:) and useless (varAkA:) ones ?  
  Cannot we tell the difference between an emperor and a little landlord
  possessing a few square feet of land ? ", cries out our AcArya.

" How can we explain the obeisance by human beings to little chieftains, while
  the most merciful, all powerful Lord of the universe towers above them ? "
This is the wonder and dismay of SrI kulaSEkhara.

The Lord is the One Who can give the boon of residing beside Him in 
SrI-vaikuNTham. (svasya padasya dAtari)

He is the purushOttaman and is the Supreme God of all the 
three universes. (tri-jagatAm Eka adhipa:)

"nArAyaNE surE na: nAthE tishThati" - While our Lord stands in that towering 
manner,  how come we search for a human being who is a lowly possessor
of insignificant wealth, to pay our respects ?
When the AzhvAr thinks of the little human, praised by other humans,
SrI kulaSEkhara's disgust overflows. 
The AzhvAr describes him as "katipaya-grAmESam", "alpa-arthidam", and
"purusha adhamam". 

The AzhvAr concludes by stating, 
    " yam ka~ncit purusha adhamam naram sEvAyai mRgayAmahE! 
      ahO vayam mUkA: varAkA:"
"It is a wonder that we forsake the Lord and choose a lowly human being as our
 object of adoration and service ! We must indeed be dumb and stupid", 
says SrI kulaSEkhara.