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Date: Fri Sep 29 1995 - 06:17:15 PDT

   Sri Ranganayaki Sametha Sri Ranganatha Swami Para Brahmane Namaha

Hello all,

I just thought I would start a discussion on the Sri Ranga Gadhyam composed
Sri Ramanujacharya. In particular, I would like to share with all of you a 
of things about the Ranga Gadhyam that I learnt from my Guru. Please feel 
free to provide your comments.

The Sri Ranga Gadhyam was composed by Sri Ramanujacharya during his visit to 
Srirangam after an extensive tour of several holy places. First off, I must
mention that Gadhyam form of praising the Lord is unique to the Sri Vaishnava
tradition. The Sri Ranga Gadhyam exemplifies the aspect of Dasya (servant of 
the Lord) and Sharanagati
(surrender) to the Lord.

The composition is motivated by Sri Ramanujacharya standing in front of the 
Sanctum Sanctorium of Sri Rangam, viewing the Lord (Sri Ranganatha) in all
his majesty. Sri Ramanujacharya is moved by this glorious sight and starts
his description of the Lord with 

"Swaadheena Trivida Chetana Chetana Swaroopa Stithi Pravruthi Bhedam
 Klesha Karmaadhya Shesha Dosha Samsprushtam. 
Swabhavika NavadhikaThishaya Gyana. Bhalaishvarya Veerya ............."

where the acharya describes all the noble qualities and great attributes of
the Lord (who Ramanuja refers to as his master "Asmat Swaminam") and desires
to always perform service to the Lord ("Nitya Kinkaro Bhavami").

In the next stanza the acharya expresses all his shortcomings. In doing so,
he is speaking on behalf of mankind and bringing to the forefront all
the bad qualities in human beings and makes a confession of having all 
the bad qualities.

"Swaathma Nithya Niyaamya. Nithya Dasyaikarasathma swabhavanu sandhana poorvaka.
Bhagavanda navadika thishaya swamyaarthyakila guna gananubhavajanitha 
navadhikathishaya preethikarithaaseshaavasthochitha sesha shesha kaikarathi 
samasthatma Guna Viheenaha"

Ramanujacharya goes on to say that despite all his (and that of the rest of
mankind) shortcomings he has no
other person to turn to except Lord Ranganatha and prays that he forever 
be engaged in service to the Lord (Nitya Kinkarathaam Praarthayae).

After praising the Lord in the first stanza and then candidly describing 
his own shortcomings in the next stanza, the acharya then asks what next?
In the concluding part of the Gadhyam, the acharya goes into ecstacy and 
states that although the Lord is aware of his shortcomings and bad qualities,
the Lord never hesitates to give him refuge when he (the acharya) surrenders to 
the Lord
"Anaalochita Visheshaa Shesha 
Loka Sharanya" and that the Lord is like a cow giving milk to a calf in 
this respect "Ashrita Vaatsalyaika Mahodadae". 


Muralidhar Rangaswamy