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Nyasa Tilakam--Part 2

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Sat Sep 28 1996 - 19:19:15 PDT

The Name

The name of Nyasa Tilakam was chosen by Swami Desikan inview of
his conviction that this stotra grantham is the crest jewel 
among the various works that he composed on Nyasam or
SaraNagathi. Tilakam is the Pottu or auspicious dot worn
by women to bring out the beauty of their  faces. Nyasa Tilakam 
is the Tilakam for the Nyasa Vidya as indicated by Swami 
Desikan's choice of the title for this grantham. 

Source Literature
We will provide highlights from the commentaries of 
Acharya Kumara Vardarya(Nainacharya ) , Sri D.R .Iyengar
and Oppiliappan Koil Vidwan Srirama Desikachar .  

Structure/Organization/Metres of  Nyasa Tilakam

First Slokam( Anushtub Metre) deals with salutations to 
the Guru Parampara. The Second slokam (Anushtub metre)
is an important one explaining  the significance of the Abhaya 
mudra (gesture) seen on  the right hand of  Sri Ranganatha.

The third Slokam set in SikariNi metre contains Swami Desikan's
traditional SaranAgathi to the consort of the Lord. The fourth slokam 
set again in SikariNi metre explains the tattvam of Maha Lakshmi
(Sri Ranganayaki ) serving both  as Upaayam (means ) and mediatrix
(PurushakAram ). 

The  fifth and the sixth slokams continue in SikariNi metre
and focus on Sri Ranganatha. The fourth slokam houses 
Swami Desikan's Saranaagathi to the Lord of Srirangam. 
The fifth slokam reveals that  the Lord rests on his bed 
of Adisesha at Srirangam for the  express purpose of 
guiding people to follow the way sanctioned by the Sastraas
and the Vedas to reach Him . 

The metre chosen for the seventh slokam is Saardhoola 
Vikrititham ( the gait of a tiger). Here Swami explains in
unambigous terms that the Divya Dampathis of Srirangam
are the ultimate Seshis , who are the object of our Prapatthi.

In the eighth slokam , Swami shifts his attention to the 
Nathkutakam metre and prays for the blessings of the 
compassionate glances of the Lord . In the ninth and the
tenth slokams, Swam's mind races like a tiger in the Sardhoola 
Vikrititham metre in  a manner consistent with the subject .
The ninth slokam deals with the Mahopakaaram rendered by
Sri Ranganatha to Swami . The tenth slokam proudly recounts the 
glories of Prapatthi . 

The eleventh slokam set in Mandaakraanthaa metre covers a 
prayer of Swami to the Lord to make his mind seek out and 
enjoy the company and the works of Prapannas , who have
already  been blessed by the Lord . 

The twelfth slokam describes the state of Prapanna in
the post-Prapatthi period. The metre shifts here to 
Sragdharaa. The thirteenth slokam shares the same Sragdharaa 
metre and points out that the Prapannas in the post-Prapatthi 
period never trespass the injunctions of Saastraas established 
by the Lord. 

The fourteenth slokam reveals the reason why the Prapannas 
in their post-Prapatthi period come across  some sufferings 
(Dukkam/Sokham ) . 

The fifteenth slokam set once again in Sragdharaa metre 
emphasizes that Bhakthi and Prapatthi are two different 
upaayams(means )for securing the blessings of MOksham.

The sixteenth slokam set in majestic sardhoola Vikrititham lists the 
the different words in vogue to refer to Prapatthi and points out that 
all of them refer to the same act of Prapatthi .

The seventeenth slokam is housed in Sragdhara metre
and deals with the points of difference between the two 
upaayaas (VIZ),  Prapatthi and Bhakthi to attain the blessings 
of MOksham .

The eighteenth slokam is  set in the beautiful Maalini
metre and states that Prapatthi performed at the Lord's feet 
confers all the fruits (Sarva Hetu: )  . The NInteenth slokam 
reverts to Sardhoola Vikrititham metre and deals with 
the pancha Sankaas (Five doubts ) that assail the minds of 
Prapannas and explains how these doubts  can be cleared .

The twentieth Nyasa Tilakam  slokam set in the Vasantha Tilakam
metre celebrates the blessings of the comforting glances 
of the Acharya (Kataaksham of the Acharya ) in the context of successful 
Prapatthi .. Swami Desika hints that these blessings 
remind one of the experience of spring(Vasantham )
after the winter of distress (life during the Pre-Prapatthi period ). 
The twenty first Slokam deals with one of the methods of Prapatthi
known as Acharya Nishtai . This slokam flows leisurely 
in the Mandhaakraantha metre. 

In the twenty second slokam set once again in the 
Vasantha Tilakam metre , the thought of the joy of
spring and hope  is invoked , when Swami recalls the truths
revealed by Sri Ranganatha to Sri Ramanuja at the time of 
latter's SaranAgathi on  a Panguni Uttaram day at the south-western
praakaaram of Srirangam . 

The twenty third and the twenty fourth slokams are set in the 
Maalini and the Mandhaakranthaa metres . In the twenty third verse, 
Swami expresses his  regrets over earlier engagement 
in the enjoyment of fleeting worldly pleasures. In the Twenty fourth 
verse, he consoles his mind over the past mistakes and  assures it 
that there is no more reason to worry at the stage of Post-Prapatthi.

>From Slokams 25 to 30 , we experience the firm Vairagyam 
of Swami Desikan , where he states that he will not approach
any mortal for favors , while Sri Ranganatha looms large as the 
ultimate succor and support. He also declares that he will not
seek any other Gods either for favors , since it is Sri Ranganatha
alone , who has the power the blessings of Moksham . He declares
his unwavering intent to serve the divya Dampathis alone during the 
rest of his life on earth. The six slokams are set in Maalini(25) , Saardhoola
Vikrititham(26-28), .Nathkutakam 29 ) and Sardhoola Vikrititham(30) metres

In the thirty first verse, Swami prays for eternal service in Sri Vaikuntam
to the Divya Dampathis in Sragdharaa metre. The thirty second and the 
final verse is  set in sikariNi metre and explains the fruits of reciting
Nyasa Tilakam . Swami reveals that the reciter will be blessed 
with the boon of serving the Divine couple in both the Vibuthis 
(Leela and Nitya Vibuthis) . They will be blessed with the double
pleasure of serving the Divya Dampathis on this earth as well as in 
Parama Padham as Nitya Suris.

Swami Desikan Thiruvadigaleh SaraNam,

Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan