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RANGASWAMY_at_plh.af.mil
Date: Sun Sep 22 1996 - 10:23:26 PDT

Srimathe NigamAnta Maha DesikAya Namaha,

Dear Members of the Prapatti Group,

Kanya MAsam Tiruvonam, is doubly blessed for Sri Vaishnavas for it is 
the Tirunakshatram of Lord Srinivasar as well as the Tirunakshatram of 
Swami Vedanta Desikan. This day falls on Sept 23, 1996. 
Much has been said very eloquently about Swami Desikan by 
Sri Anbil Ramaswamy in his series on Azhwars and Acharayas. Sri Sadagopan
has posted an excellent series of articles summarizing the Raghuveera 
Gadyam which is a masterpiece by Swami Desikan. I shall dwell on a 
few aspects related to Lord Srinivasa in this post. 

The Kshetram of Tirupati (abode of Lord Srinivasa) is considered to grant
Mukti to anyone who visits this place. This is seen from Lord Narayana's 
Upadesham to Garuda (Srirangam Venkatadrischa Srimushnam Totaparvatam.....).
A number of Azhwars have paid homage to Lord Srinivasar, the presiding 
deity of Tirupati. Among these, the most notable are the Pasurams of 
Sri Kulashekara Azhwar in Perumal Tirumozhi. The Azhwar wishes to be of 
service to the Lord of seven hills in many forms (Kurugu bird, Fish in the 
Pushkarani and the flower used in the worship of the Lord). Lord Srinivasa 
is saluted as ChaturvedatmakAya Namaha in his Ashtotara Shata Divya Namavali. 
Elsehwere it has been stated that "Venkatesha Samo Deva Na BhutO Na 
Bhavishyati". A few years ago, Sri Vempati Chinnasatyam produced an 
excellent dance-drama presenting the salient features of the Venkateshwara 
Avataram. 

The timing of the Avataram of Lord Srinivasar. 
has been placed after the Varaha Avataram. More precisely, 
references to Lord Narasimha's blessings to Lord 
Srinivasa (just before the Lord's marriage to Padmavati Thayar) and the 
Shrine in the Lower Ahobilam symbolizing this aspect of Lord Narasimha 
("Cult of Narasimha Worship in Andhra Pradesh," by Madabhooshi Narasimhacharya
is a valuable reference in this regard)
seem to suggest that Lord Srinivasa incarnated after Lord Narasimha. During the 
Krishna Avataram, Yashoda was distressed that she could not see her darling 
son's wedding. Therefore, Lord Krishna promised her that he would 
incarnate again as Srinivasar and fulfill Yashoda's wish. Furthermore, 
Bakula (who was Lord Srinivasar's mother) was considered to be 
Yashoda's reincarnation. The above facts, and the popular association 
of Kali Yuga Vara Prasadi with Lord Srinivasar, can be used to infer that
Srinivasa Avataram was post-Krishna Avataram. 

Bhrigu Maharishi once visited Lord Narayana while he 
was resting with his consort (Maha Lakshmi). Since the Lord was resting, he 
did not pay attention to the Maharishi's arrival. This slighted the Maharishi
and provoked him to kick the Lord in the chest. At that moment the Lord 
arose and touched the Rishi's feet and begged forgiveness. The Lord 
specifically apologized for his hard chest causing pain to the Rishi's 
tender foot. Mollified at his action and overcome with shame by the Lord's 
concern for him (despite kicking the Lord), Bhrigu Maharishi became a 
chastened man. Mahalaskhmi Thayar was aghast that the Lord should show 
such respect for one who has insulted him. This feeling was reinforced by the 
arrival of Narada who pointed out to Thayar that not only the Lord 
but also her residence (the Lord's heart) had been insulted. This infuriated 
Mahalakshmi Thayar further and she resolved to leave Vaikuntam. The Lord 
was pained by her departure and incarnated as Lord Srinivasar to bring 
back his consort to Vaikuntam. The details of the Srinivasa Kalyanam are 
beautifully captured in the dance drama by Vempati Chinnasatyam. 

The arrival of Lord Srinivasar at Tirupati was greeted with great joy by 
all the Devas. Brahma washed the Lord's blessed feet while 
chanting the Purusha Suktam. This occassion was beautifully depicted on a 
special Doordarshan Program in August 1989 (I had the good fortune of 
seeing this program while I was visiting India). The Lord's Tiruvadi 
was a glorious sight to behold. A reference to this incident can be seen 
in Tallapakka Annamacharya's Kriti "Brahma Kadigina Padamu". A brilliant 
rendition of this Kriti by Balamuralikrishna is available in an LP record. 
Sri Ramanujacharya has also paid homage to the Lord of seven hills. The 
legend has it that the Lord wore the Namam on his forehead heeding to
the request of Ramanujacharya.

During his visit to Tirupati, Tyagaraja could not get a Darshan of the Lord 
readily. Therefore, he went into a soulful outpouring in the Gowlipanthu 
Kriti "Teratiyaka Radha". Pleased with his devotion, Lord Srinivasa ensured 
that Thyagaraja received an excellent Darshan. Pleased at the sight of the 
Lord, Thyagaraja offers his tribute to Lord Srinivasar in his Madhyamavati 
kriti "Venkatesha Ninnu". Muthuswami Dikshitar pays homage to Lord Srinivasa 
in his Kalyana Vasantam Kriti "Sri Venkatesham Bhajami Satatam" and the 
Varali Kriti "Sheshachala Nayakam Bhajami". Purandara 
Dasa begs for the Lord to come to him in the song "VenkataramaNane 
BArO Sheshachala VAsane BArO". In the Kriti "Ksheerabdhi Kannike 
Sri Mahalakshmi", Purandara Dasa asks of Mahalakshmi Thayar 
who she would wed (Yarige Vadhuvaguve Neenu?). Lord Srinivasa is 
mentioned in the concluding part of the Kriti (Sharanagata Rakshaka 
SarangapanigO Varagala Needuva Srinivasago). Sri Annamacharya praises 
Alamelu Manga Thayar in his Kriti "Neepada Kamalamu Ninne Vacchina Talli". 
Sri Annamcharya refers to Alamelu Manga as the blessed consort of Lord 
Srinivasa in the line "Yedu Kondalapati Venkateshwarulaku". In this 
Kriti, Annamacharya approaches the Lord through his consort Padmavati 
Thayar. He confesses all of his shortcomings to Thayar and begs for 
forgiveness for sins committed knowingly and unknowlingly.
I have heard a 
rendition of this Kriti in the ragam Revati. Revati is most appropriate 
because, it is always used in conjunction with Vedic speech. Revati has 
been alluded to in the Rg, Yajur and Sama Veda. The Parama Purusha is 
glorified
in Raivata Saman. Revati is sacred also because it is the Tirunakshatram of 
Lord Ranganatha. Sri Sadagopan posted an extremely informative article 
about Revati earlier this year. Sri Annamacharya 
composed several other moving kritis on Lord Srinivasa. Some of them have 
been rendered by Smt. M.S. Subbulakshmi in the Balaji Pancharatna Mala.

Any account on Lord Srinivasa is incomplete without a reference to 
Swami Desikan's homage to the Lord in his Daya Shatakam. The uniqueness of
Swami Desikan's tribute is the description of Daya (mercy) as an important 
Kalyana GuNam of Lord Srinivasa. Swami Desikan pays glowing tribute to 
Lord Srinivasa and salutes his Guruparampara in the cool waters of 
Lord Srinivasa's mercy (Srinivasa DayAmbodhi Parivaha PramparA). Swami 
Desikan then refers to himself as the emperor of all Aparadhams 
(Aparadha Chakravarthi). Such thoughts arose when Swami Desikan 
was moved by the experience of the Lord and was critically evaluating himself 
against the background of the Lord's Kalyana GuNams. Since he had aready 
experienced the Lord, Swami Desikan was above the Tri-Gunas. 
Therefore, his confession was intended to take upon himself all the 
faults of humanity and plead with the Lord for mercy on their behalf. 
Swami Desikan adds that (DevadEnAm....) a benevolent glance of Lord 
Srinivasa is sufficient to absolve any individual from the three kinds 
of debt (Rishi, Pitru and Deva RuNams). Lord Srinivasa is glorified as 
Vrishagiri Sarvabhouma (Vrishagiri Sarvabhouma Dayite). Finally, Swami 
Desikan states that 
although he has been conferred the title of Vedanta Desika, it 
is not in any way attributable to him or his efforts and that it is entirely 
due to the grace of Lord Srinivasar that he was blessed thus. The Satvika 
Tyagam in verse 104 of the Daya Shatakam reflecting the above is 
brilliant. The rendition of the Daya Shatakam by Smt. Mani Krishnaswami 
is soulful and touching indeed. There are 32 Brahma Sutras (different ways of 
reaching Lord Narayana) and Swami Desikan was adept at all of them. 
Therefore, it is fitting that the 108 Shlokams of the Daya Shatakam are 
rendered in 32 different ragams by Smt. Mani Krishnaswami. 

The glorification of the Lord in the Venkateshwara Suprabatham by 
Sri Prativadibhayankaram Anna is brilliant. The three aspects, i.e. 
Nama Sankeertanam, Prapatti and Mangalam, have been brought out with 
consummate effect in the Suprabatham. The relatively less known 
Venkateshwara Gadyam is a marvellous prose-poem eulogy on the Lord  
Srinivasar. The Gadyam describes the seven hills of Tirupati leading to 
the Lord (Sheshachala, Garudachala, Vrishabachala, 
Simhachala, Narayanachala, Anjanachala and Venkatachala are explicitly 
mentioned in the Gadyam), the 
various Alankarams for the Lord, Abharanams of the Lord
(Chakra Dharai, Shankha Dharai, Nagabharanam, etc), the 
compassionate nature of the Lord, the fact that he is the abode of 
all auspiciousness and the Gayaka Priya aspect of the Lord. Several 
ragams of carnatic music are mentioned in the Gadyam.

The name Venkateshwara is derived from a combination of three words
Vem+Kata+Ishwara. In sanskrit, Vem is sin, Kata is to destroy and 
hence Venkateshwara is one who presides over the destruction of sins. 
Therefore, uttering Lord Venkateshwara's name immediately destroys all our 
sins. In conclusion, I must point out that Lord Srinivasar is Vara Prasadi. 
Contemplating on him brings instant relief from all sufferings and 
bestows the individual with untold prosperity. On this blessed day, I 
would like to salute the Lord with the following personal SharaNagati
composed from his various Namams.

Namaste Venkatadrisha Sriman Ambuja Lochana
Srinivasa Daya SindhO Pahi Pahi Jagat Prabho
Shankha Chakra Dharam Devam Sarvalankruta Bhooshitam
Srinivasa Daya SindhO Pahi Pahi Jagat Prabho
Chaturvedatmane SheshasAyinam ShuddhaSatvam PadmavatiVallabha
Srinivasa Daya SindhO Pahi Pahi Jagat Prabho
Venkatesha Gurum Vande PraNatArthihara Achyuta 
Srinivasa Daya SindhO Pahi Pahi Jagat Prabho
SheshadripriyO Deva RakshamAm Sharanagatam
Srinivasa Daya SindhO Pahi Pahi Jagat Prabho

Everything correctly stated in the above post is entirely due to the 
blessings of my Acharyan. All errors are mine. If the Bhagavatas liked 
this article, they could consider contributing to the cause of Srimad 
Ahobila Matham. Their tax exempt contributions can be mailed to 

Sri Ahobila Muth
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Sri Padmavati Sametha Sri Srinivasa Swami Parabrahmane Namaha,

Muralidhar Rangaswamy