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Copy of: Sri Gopala Vimsathi of Swami Desikan: Part 1

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Sat Sep 07 1996 - 05:00:15 PDT

Dear Members of the Prapatthi group:
Thanks to Sri Mani , we are once again 
connected . I am forwarding a translation and 
commentary on Swami Desikan's 
Gopala Vimsathi in connection with the 
celebration of Sri Jayanthi/Janmashtami
( September 5). Sri M.Rangaswamy 's 
excellent posting stimulated me to undertake this 
plesant task. 

The first three parts of the translation were 
prepared before the Bhakthi list was reactivated.
The mailing list here was generated from the 
addresses that I had.Some of you would get
duplicate copies now. Please do not mind this .

Swami Desikan's birthday falls on Sep 23.
I am planning to translate his master piece ,
Raghu Veera Gadhyam for the occasion .

May the Divine Couple's blessings be
with every member of this group as we 
start our efforts after a brief interval.

---------- Forwarded Message ----------

From:	V. Sadagopan, 75041,3037
DATE:	9/5/96 10:20 PM

RE:	Copy of: Sri Gopala Vimsathi of Swami Desikan: Part 1

Dear Memebrs of the Prapatti Group :

Today is the birthday of our Lord Krishna 
(Sri Jayanthi ). On this Simha SraavaNa month
(AavaNi ), when Ashtami of Krishna Paksham 
is united with the constellation RohiNi , our Lord 
was born . Swami Desikan composed 20 verses 
in praise of him and prayed that he should be blessed with
thoughts exclusively  about HIM during his final moments (Anthima 
Smrithi ) on this earth. Swami composed these twenty 
verses  , when he was overcome by the beauty of the 
Archa Murthy of Sri Rajagopalan in the Divya Desam 
at Thiruvahindrapuram . The Sanskrit name for twenty is 
Vimsathi and hence these twenty verses in praise of
Sri Gopala is celebrated as Sri Gopala Vimsathi. For 
more than 700 years, these verses have been sung 
prior to  Sri Vaishnava TadhiyAraadhanams ( Group 
partaking of food presented to the Lord earlier ) to 
seek the Lord's blessings and during the occasion of 
marriages to confer the blessings of the Lord on the 
bride and the bridegroom .  

Swami Desikan paints a word picture of the incomparable 
beauty of Sri Gopalan , describes the structure of His 
mantram and affectionately recalls the many mischievous deeds
performed by Bala Gopalan in Gokulam and BrindhAvanam  
to the utter delight of the humans and the celestial beings. 

Sri Gopala Vimsathi must have been very dear to Swami 
Desikan as indicated by  his inclusion of the twelfth verse 
of this stotram in his  esoteric master piece known as 
Sankalpa Suryodhayam. There, he depicts Narada descending 
from heaven singing joyously the above verse during  his journey
to meet Purushan and initiate him into the Maha Mantram of the Lord . 

On this Krishna Jayanthi day, the Archa Murthy of Rajagopalan
is taken in procession around the streets of Thiruvahindrapuram and 
Sri Gopala Vimsathi slokams of our Acharya is recited . May our thoughts 
be blessed with the delectable experience of Swami Desikan ! I salute 
Sri Vedantha Desikan prior to attempting to provide an English 
translation to these bhakthi-laden verses dedicated to Sri Rukmii
Satyabhama Sametha Raja Venugopalan . 

Verse 1:

Vandeh Brindhaavanacharam Vallavee Janavallabham I
Jayanthisambhavam DhAma Vaijayanthee VibhushaNam II

I salute that divine effulgence named Gopala , who was born 
on this Sri Jayanthi day and  roamed in the forests of Brindhaavanam
wearing the unfading  garland made of wild flowers of the forest 
known as Vaijayanthi MaalA . This garland was his charactrestric decoration.
He enchanted the Gopis of Brindhavanam . I salute this illustrious 
Jyothi .

Verse 2 :

Vaacham NujAnkarasikAm PrasameekshaMaaNa:
VakthrAravidha Vinivesitha Paanchajanya : I
VarNatrikoNaruchireh Vara PuNdareekeh
Bhaddhaasano Jayathi Vallava Chakravarthee II

The Lord of the cowherds, Sri Gopala is  seated on 
a Yantra in the shape of a  eight-petalled lotus . 
Inside that Yantra is yet another yantra in the shape of 
a triangle.Gopala Upasakas seat him at the center of this
inner triangle and enjoy His illustrious beauty . On His lap ,
they find Saraswathi ,  the Goddess of learning. He blesses Her 
with His auspicious glances .

He  has on His lotus lips the conch known as Panchajanyam , 
whose sound is that of the holy Pranavam symbolizing the essence 
of the Vedas.( His devotees meditate on Him in this manner 
and recieve His blessings ).