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Pleadings-Posting - 1 (2.1 to 2.2)
Date: Fri Oct 01 1999 - 06:22:38 PDT

SwAmi VEdAnta DEsika's "NaichyAnusanthAnam" and "SAtvika ThyAgam "
(As gleaned from his StOtras.) - Part 2- Swami pleads
Pleadings-Posting - 1 (2.1 to 2.2)
Dear Bhagavatas
Hope you empathized with the mood of anguish of SwAmi Desika posted so far. 
We now, pass on to see how our SwAmi pours his heart out pleading to the Lord 
and how we should feel one with him in our own cases.
Come. Let us join our SwAmi in pleading through his words.
Anbil Ramaswamy
[As already mentioned in the Introduction, the NaichyAnusanthAnam is 
applicable to us only and NOT to Swami Desika, we have to substitute 
ourselves wherever Swami Desika extrapolates these to himself] 
 nAnAvidhAnAm agathih kalAnAm 
na chApi theerthEshu krithAvathArah /
 dhruvam thava anAtha parigrahAyAh am 
navam pAtram aham dayAyAh //
 (Hayagriva Stotram- SlOkam 30)

"I am not proficient in arts nor have I learned anything. You are known to 
shelter the destitute. So, you must consider me as one deserving your 

In this and following slOkas, Swami pleads to the Lord to save him citing 
various reasons. In this one, he characterizes the Lord as a huge "Helpage 
Home" for the destitute.

SwAmi implies that His mercy can have any meaning only in the case of the 
destitute that have no qualifications. It is no big deal if mercy saves those 
who have some qualification. 

In fact, paradoxically, it is the lack of any qualification (to adopt other 
means) is *the only* qualification to deserve Lord's mercy.

ManavALa MAmunigal in his Arthi Prabandham (14) echoes the same sentiment 
when he says:
"adhikAram unDEl arangar iranguvArO?
adhikAram illAthavarkkanrO - ethirAja!
nee iranga vENDuvathu? neeyum adhikArikaLukkE
irangil en seyvOm yAm?
 yad adhya mitha buddhinAbahuLa mOhabhAjA mayA
 guna grathitha kAya vAAng manasa vrittivaichitriyatah /
 atharkitha hithAhitha krama visEsham AarabhyathE
 thadapi uchitham archanam parigrihANa rangEswara //
 (Abheethi Sthavam SlOkam 3)

"Oh!  Rangeswara!
My knowledge is nil; My illusion is worse; my ignorance is abysmal; My mind, 
word and deed are bound by the three gunas of Satva, Rajo and Tamas which 
drag my mind, speech and deed in different directions into the clutches of 
kAma, krOdha, lObha, mOha, madha , mAtsarya etc. I am afraid even this 
attempt of mine to celebrate your glory is part of these forces only because 
I am not doing this with any clarity of thought that only singing your praise 
is good (hitam) and all else is bad. You have to accept even this as the 
proper act of worship (uchitham archanam)"

The Abheethi Sthavam proper starts with this SlOkam since the first two dealt 
with the six auspicious qualities of the Lord. Here he refers to the six 
disqualifications he suffers from due to the mischief played by the trigunas. 
He is afraid that even this attempt is impelled by the temporary display of 
sathvam in the mixture of the Trigunas. As Periyazhwar puts it in his 
Tirumozhi 5-1-3 "nanmai theemaigal onrum ariyEn" he says that it is by chance 
that he started praising the Lord. AlavandAr in SlOka 59 at the end of 
StOtraratna expresses similar sentiments saying that the hymns came not from 
his heart but were tainted by rajas and tamas and beseeched the Lord to 
accept his words though worthless out of sheer compassion.
 vishAdabahulAd aham vishaya vargatO durjayAth
 bibEmi vrijinOttaras tvad anubhoothi vcichedatah/
 mayA niyatha nAthavAn Ayam ithi tvam arthapayan
 dayAdhana jagadpathE dayitha ranga samraksh mAm //
 (Abheethi Sthavam SlOkam 17)
 'Oh! Ranga! I am constantly committing countless sins. The so-called worldly 
pleasures are in reality only painful. I am afraid that I cannot overcome 
these impediments to reach you. Only you have to show mercy and protect me. 
Nobody can object if you do this because you can always explain saying 'Since 
he has surrendered to me, it is my duty to protect him'"

Swami reflects the fear and helplessness which all of us feel at some time or 
other. It is a cry of distressed heart (vishAdam) like what is commented upon 
Nammazhwar as "aartha dwaniyAlE koopidugirAr". (kanDu kETTuutru mOndhu uNDu 
uzhalum aingkaruvi kaNDA inbam" etc)
 api nikhila lOka sucharitha mushTindhaya duritha moorchanAjushTam /
 sanjeevayathu dayE mAm anjana giri nAtha ranjanee bhavathi //
 (DayA Sathakam-SlOkam 12)

"Oh! DayA DEvi!
Let me tell you the magnitude of sins committed by me. The amount of my sins 
would far outweigh the totality of both Punya and Papa of all the rest in the 
world. My Papam is so powerful as to gobble up in one gulp all this totality 
in a trice. Like a mother who would use soothing medicinal herbs to heal the 
ailments of her suckling baby, you who are living in TiruvEnkaTa hills full 
of emollient herbs should administer them and remove my sins and make this 
baby of yours worthy of your consort, Lord Srinivasa, the supreme 
incomparable doctor.

In this and the next two instances, Swami likens himself to a suckling baby 
and pleads for the mother's protection.

(To Continue)