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H.H Srimad PaRavaakOttai Andavan's prayer of Abheethi Sthavam

From: Madhavakkannan V (srivaishnavan_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Wed Sep 19 2001 - 19:21:20 PDT

SrI:
SrImathE Gopaladesika Mahadesikaya namah:

Dearest Vaishnavas,

The terrorist attacks and the tragedy that struck was described by adiyEn's 
father to asmadhAchAryan His Holiness Srimad PaRavaakkOttai Andavan Sri 
Gopaladesika Mahadesikan Swamy. Sri C Seshadri Swamin
of Chennai also visited Srirangam and was narrating the gory attacks.

Sri  Ve Anantha Narasimhachariar Swamin and asmadhAcharyan Srimad 
PaRavaakkOttai Andavan Swamy immediately were shocked and were concerned 
about the situation of innocent victims and more particularly
of us, who are residing overseas (especially in USA).

Swamy out of His compassion, with motherly affection spontaneously said, "I 
will recite daily in the morning and the evening, Swamy Desikan's abheethi 
sthavam and Dasaavathaara sthOthram for the safety of Srivaishnavas in US 
and pray to Divya Dampathi Sri RanganAyaki SamEtha Sri Rangantahan and 
Acharya Saarvabhouman Sri Vedatha Desikan to shower Their benevolent dayA on 
us, dispelling the fear (uneasy tensions) from our minds.

Sri ANC Swamin also pledged to do the same. Swamy also has asked and 
instructed Srivaishnavas all over the globe to recite Abhiti Stavam and 
Dasaavathara sthOthram of Swamy Desikan everyday for the safety and welfare 
of every one of us.

(From Srivaishnava Home Page by Sri Mani Varadarajan- 
http://www.ramanuja.org ), This stotram Abheethi sthavam has a historical 
background. The great centre of Sri Vaishnavism Srirangam had fallen into 
the hands of the Muslim invaders led by Malik Kafur in the 14th Century A.D. 
Before that, the shrine of Lord Ranganatha had been closed after secretly 
sealing the sanctum sanctorum, and the utsava-murti removed to places of 
safety by the pious people of the place. Several great acharyas lost their 
lives, and several others, Vedanta Desika among them, ran away from the 
place in fear and panic. Desika stayed at Satyamangalam near Kollegal now in 
Mysore State. It is from there he sang this stotra in praise of Lord 
Ranganatha, praying to Him to banish the fear of his devotees and return to 
His abode.
Sloka 20 voices the prayer to banish fear in Srirangam and restore it to its 
former glory, and sloka 22 prays to the Lord to wield His weapons and remove 
their fear caused by the turushkas and the Yavanas. The Stotra refers to the 
Lord's five weapons (panchayudhas), which He always holds in His hands for 
our protection, in four places 11, 21, 22 and 23. Fear and/or freedom from 
fear figure in nearly half the total number of slokas of this stotram. Sloka 
19 refers by name to eight staunch devotees of the Lord who obtained 
complete freedom from fear by
taking refuge at the Lord's feet and prays for a similar benefit and 
blessing for all of us.

A paaraayanam of this stotram has been prescribed by elders for securing 
freedom from fear of any sort.

Let us contemplate the rich meaning (so apt for us now in the present 
context) of Slokam 22 - This slokam tells us about the attack on Arangam by 
turushkAs and yavanAs:

kalipraNidhi lakshaNai: kalitashAkyalOkAyatai:
turushka-yavanAdibhirjagati jrmbhamANam bhayam |
prakrshta-nijashaktibhi: prasabhamAyudhai: panchabhi:
kshiti tridasharakshakai: kshapaya RanganAtha kshaNAt ||

May the spread of fear in this world due to anya mathams like boudhdha,
chArvAka (with kali purusha gooDhachAra lakshaNam) and also due to the
attack of turushkAs and yavanAs, be completely eliminated with the use of 
your divya Ayudhams in a second.

A SRIVAISHNAVAN IS ONE-
who feels the pain of and empathizes with the suffering.
who says, aiyO" and cries when he sees someone suffering.
who rushes to rescue and help the suffering.

It is not just enough to watch the CNN and feel bad about the attacks and 
weep for the victims. Let us pray and recite Abhethi Sthavam and 
Dasaavathaara sthOthram as instructed by asmadhAcharyan and help
us to help each other. The most compassionate Acharyan has also started 
sicne 15th and has been reciting daily for our safety and welfare. adiyEn 
has already started reciting at Singapore.

Let us be true vaishnavas and feel for the suffering.

This also reminds me of  Narsi Mehta ( A gujarathi poet)'s "VaishNav 
JanatO"poem. Given below is the text and Translation
(from bhakti archives)

Vaishnav jan to tene kahiye je
        [One who is a vaishnav]
        PeeD paraayi jaaNe re
        [Knows the pain of others]
        Par-dukhkhe upkaar kare toye
        [Does good to others, esp. to those ones who are in misery]
        Man abhimaan na aaNe re
        [Does not let pride enter his mind]
        Vaishnav...

        SakaL lok maan sahune vande
        [A Vaishnav, Tolerates and praises the the entire world]
        Nindaa na kare keni re
        [Does not say bad things about anyone]
        Vaach kaachh man nishchaL raakhe
        [Keeps his/her words, actions and thoughts pure]
        Dhan-dhan janani teni re
        [O Vaishnav, your mother is blessed (dhanya-dhanya)]

        Vaishnav...

        Sam-drishti ne trishna tyaagi
        [A Vaishnav sees everything equally, rejects greed & avarice]
        Par-stree jene maat re
        [Considers some one else's wife/daughter as his mother]
        Jivha thaki asatya na bole
        [The toungue may get tired, but will never speak lies]
        Par-dhan nav jhaalee haath re
        [Does not even touch someone else's property]
        Vaishnav...

        Moh-maaya vyaape nahi jene
        [A Vaishnav does not succumb to worldly attachments]
        DriDh vairaagya jena man maan re
        [Who has devoted himself to stauch detachment to worldly  pleasures]
        Ram naam shoon taaLi laagi
        [Who has been edicted to the elixir coming by the name of Ram]
        SakaL tirath tena tan maan re
        [For whom all the religious sites are in the mind]
        Vaishnav...

        VaN-lobhi ne kapaT-rahit chhe
        [Who has no greed and deciet]
        Kaam-krodh nivaarya re
        [Who has renounced lust of all types and anger]
        BhaNe Narsaiyyo tenun darshan karta
        [The poet Narsi will like to see such a person]
        KuL ekoter taarya re
        [By who's virtue, the entire family gets salvation]
        Vaishnav...

Bonus:
Sri C Seshadri Swamin of Chennai has also come out with a BONUS Plan of 
performing Archana to the Lord of Srirangam on behalf of us (those who pray 
and recite Abheethi sthavam). Those interested, may please send an email to: 
padhukasavagan@rediffmail.com with your name, star and Gothram. He will 
perform Archana and send you the archana ticket details by email back. IT IS 
FREE OF CHARGE.

Acharyan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Regards
Narayana Narayana
NarayaNa dAsan madhavakkannan


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