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SrI deSika stotra-s.

From: Krishnamachari, N (Krish) (nkrish_at_lucent.com)
Date: Thu Oct 22 1998 - 10:30:01 PDT

I read SrImAn Sadagopan's response to my note on SrI deSika's stotra-s, and
was overjoyed to find so many new things on SrI ashTabhujap perumAL and the
kshetram that I was not aware of.  I know SrImAn Sadagopan is very busy with
many kaimkaryams, but my humble request to him is that he should continue to
add his comments on all the future articles as I present my brief summary.
I also found out that he has already written detailed commentaries on all
the deSika stotra-s long back but has not published them.  I have requested
him before to publish them or give me the copy, and would like to take the
opportunity through this mail once more to request him to arrange to share
his writings through this or other forum as soon as he can find the time.

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan  

>
Dear Sri Krishnamachari :


Whenever Swami Desikan travelled to Sri VaradarAjA's 
temple for his mangaLAsAsanam from his home in Thuppul ,
he had to pass via the Ashtabhujan and YathOkthakAri temples.
The Lord of Ashtabujam made sure that He received 
from His bhakthan a sthOthram .Thus arose Srimadh 
AshtabhujAshtakam that you have commented upon so well.

During this trip of mine to Kanchi divya desams , 
I missed offering my salutations to the Lord
of Ashtabhujam , since I was waylaid by the beauty
of YahtOkthakAri . 

SevA Swamy suggests that Swami Desikan followed the path
of Thirumangai Mannan , who wondered about the Lord 
here and His dvarai to meet him with 8 hands instead of
the normal four hands . In each of the 8 hands , he holds
a different weapon or flower ( Disc, Conch , Kamalam ,
Sword , Kedayam , Bow , Arrow and Gadai ). He is ready to
battle and chase away the virOdhis that stand in the way of 
His bhakthAs wishing to perform prapatthi to Him .Swami Desikan 
suggests that the Lord was anxious and hence doubled His 
set of hands to grant protection to SaraNAgathA quickly .
Here the name of the pushkaraNi is Gajendra PushkaraNi 
and He is prathyaksham to Gajendran and is thus Gajendra
Varadan . Hence , Swami Desikan salutes Ashtabhuja PerumAL
as " GajEndra RakshA tvaritham Bhavantham " and as 
"SathAm Aaptham ". 

As in the case of the Lord , who rushed from 
Sri Vaikuntam in a great hurry to the side of 
the lotus pond , where His BhakthA (GajendrA )
was screaming aloud "AdhimUlamE ! Rakshasva" ,
ParakAla Naayaki feels that the Adhi Kesava PerumAL
of Ashta Bhujam rushed to her side with double 
set of four hands in great haste for protection .

In his beautiful paasurams , Kaliyan as ParakAla 
Naayaki states that she did not fully comprehend
the identity of the One , who rushed to her side 
and that the Lord then replied that He is the One 
who blesses the prapannAs with His Eight arms 
( Ashta BhujAn KarOthi )and came for union with 
Parakaala Nayaki ,who pined for Him .Kaliyan 
describes this wonderful conversation to his 
mother and friends thru ten beautiful paasurams . 
Swami Desikan follows the path shown by Parakaala Naayaki.

Kaliyan wonders " Ivar aar kol ? " ( Who could
this One be? ) and the Lord repiled " atta bhuya
karatthEn yenRar " ( I am the Lord of the divya desam 
of Ashta Bhujam ).

Kaliyan wonders aloud eight times :

1. ari uru aam ivar aar kol ? ( Narasimha rUpi)
2. anthaNar ponRivar aar kol ? (Vaamana rUpi)
3. ambhutham ponRu ivar aar kol? 
  ( with the Hue of a dark cloud )
4. anchudar ponRivar aar kol ? (ancient jyOthi )
5. alaikkadal ponRivar aar kol ? 
  ( with the bluish hue of the Ocean)
6. azhagiyathaam ivarAr kol ? 
  ( the One with Sarvaanga soundharyam )
7. meham --ponRivarAr kol ? 
  ( Once again the bluish hue of a cloud)
8. Yen aavi oppAr ivar aar kol? 
   ( One who is the soul of my soul )

The Lord answers , " It is me , the Lord of 
Ashta Bhujam that has rushed to your side" and 
delights ParakAla Naayaki with that revelation .
The Lord says " I  am the AttabhuyakaratthEn ".
Swami Desikan used the Naamam chosen by 
the Lord Himself in His dialog with ParakAla
Naayaki to give the name of "Srimadh Ashtabhuja 
Sthuthi" to this eulogy .

There are ten slOkams in this sthOthram . One for
each of the eight arms .The rest are pala sruthi .
In the very first slOkam , Swami Desikan performs
SaraNAgathi with the prayer: "Ashtabhujam PrapadhyE ".
Swmi concludes in one of the two pala sruthi slOkams
that this SthOthram on the Lord of Ashtabhujam is
" Prapanna Jana paathEyam , prapithsUnAm RasAyanam,
srEyasE jagathAmEthath SRIMADH ASHTA BHUJAASHTAKAM " 

The Srimadh aspect of KamalAsahAyan is brought out here 
and is described as the tasty food for one on the Jivan's
journey via archirAdhi maargam and the powerful medicine
for those , who desire to perform prapatthi .This sthuthi
is considered as the most auspicious ( Srimadh ) 
to the world of PrapannAs .

Daasan ,
Oppiliappan Koil VaradachAri Sadagopan