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Sri DehaLIsa Sthuthi --Part 6 ( First slOKam --continued )

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sun Sep 14 1997 - 06:02:25 PDT

Dear Members of the Bhakthji Group :

Today is the holiest of holy days for Sri VaishNavAs.
Today is the day of SRAVANA DVAADASI , the day 
when fasting gives the fruit of fasting on 10,000
EkAdasi days . SravaNa DvAdasi day is also the day
on which Sriman NaarAyaNA incarnated as Vaamana
Murthy to bless MahA Bali , the grand son of PrahlAdA .

Today , we will continue with the first slokam and the profound
concept of Bhuman . The word Swami Desikan chose in
the first line of the first slOkam was " BhumnA " derived 
from Bhuman meaning plenty , abundance , great quantity
and Infinity . Swami Desikan salutes the glory or mahimA 
of Trivikraman with the statement : " Yena bhumnaa   jaganthi
vikramya vijithAni " . Sri RamAnujA's commentary in  Sri Bhashyam 
is very appropriate to understand the significance of the term 
" BhUmnA " chosen by Swami Desikan to celebrate the infinite
glory of the Lord of ThirukkOvalUr . 

The context of the BhumAdhikAram in the seventh chapter
of ChandhOgya Upanishad is relevant to cover as preface
on BhUmA and BhUmnA .Once NaradA approached SanatkumArA 
and lamented about his lack of knowledge of Atman 
inspite of his mastery over manthrAs .

The compassionate SanathkumArA instructed NaradA about 
BhUma VidyA and defined BhUman as the infinite , the immense .
He said that BhUman as the infinite is sukhA and sukhA itself
is identified with Satya . Earlier ChandhOgya Upanishad had 
defined Brahman as Kham or infinite joy ( parama Sukham ) .
Taittiriya Upanishad has also defined Brahman as Aanandam 
or bliss absolute . 

Sage SanatkumArA  offered the following  definition for BhUman :

" Yathra nAnyath pasyathi , nAnyath sriNOthi , nAnyath Vij~nAthi ,
sa BhUmA ; atha yathra anyath pasyathi , anyath sriNOthi ,
anyath vij~nAthi tadh alpam " ( Where one does not see another ,
hear another , and does not know another , that one is BhUman ; 
where one does see another , hear another , and know another ,
that is trivial ) . Sri RamAnujA explains " where " as " that in 
the experience of which " .   

It has  been pointed out that the nature of joy that flows from BhUman 
is limitless and infinite . Therefore , any one , who is in communion
wiht Brahman by the  way of comprehension , does not experience any 
sorrow , since Brahman is infinitely blissful by svabhAvam .

Sage SanathkumArA answers the next the question of his pupil , NaradA 
on what the BhUman is established in  . The teacher answers that it is 
established in ITS own glory or mahimA ( SVE MAHIMNI ) . This is a
case of SELF-DEPENDENCE . The sage hastens to correct any 
impression that BhUman is deriving anything from its glories . 
Sudarsana Suri , who wrote Srutha PrakAsikA ( Acharya RaamAnujA's
Bhashyam from his kalakshEpam under his feet ) points out in the context 
that " there is no denial of glory . but , there is a denial of His being 
established in the glory of the form of Lordship ( Iswarathvam ) 
over all things derived and  controlled .

Professor SampathkumAran has added his thoughts 
on the BhUman this way : " God's glories are gifts and 
not investments . The creative self-manifestaton of God is for 
imparting life out of His own abundance (bhUman ) and not for rectification

of His deficiencies . As this urge for self-impartation is an eternal
attribute , He mainfests Himself through eternity . He is the paramAthamn 
(supreme aathman ) described as the Bhuman of this nature and is all
pervading as Trivikrama VishNu . In this sense , he fits the description
of ChandhOgya Upanishad , " Sa eva idham sarvam " . This statement 
goes beyond the earlier statement of Saandilya VidhyA of the very 
same upanishad , which declared ,  " Sarvam kalu idham BrahmA " .

This paramAthman described as the BhUman of this nature is 
the transcendent absolute , which in its immanence of creative 
involvement with the world of finites is recognized as an 
irreducible fact ( AthmathA eva idam sarvam --Ch.U VII .26.1) .
" Only from the Supreme Self does everything come into being .
He who knows this goes beyond all afflictions and achieves
all-sided (full ) perfection ( Ch.U VII .26.2) " . Such is the comprehesion

and perfection that Swami Desikan was seeking , when he stood 
in front of GopapurIsan and stated " Yena BhUmnA Jaganthi 
vikramya vijithAni " . 

2. VISVASYA YAM PARAM KAARANAM AAMANNTHI 

This is the second paadham of the first slOkam .
Based on the above lengthy intrepretation of 
the word " BhUMnA " , Swami Desikan"s reference to 
the Lord as the first and fundamental cause ( parama
KaaraNam ) of this manifested world becomes transparent .

The references here are to Brahma sUtram II.1.14 
( TadhanyathvamArambhaNasabdhAdhibhya :) and 
a slokam in Srimadh Bhagavatham , which reveals : 
" At the end of the kalpA , the self-luminous Lord 
manifested ( abhivyanak ) this world , which was covered
with blinding darkness wrought by Time , through His
self-luminous power ( chithsakthi ) " . Thus He , the Jagadh-
prathama mangaLam becomes the parama-kAraNam of this visvam .
That is what the Upanishads and VedAs sing about . Swami
Desikan reminds us of this fundamental fact , while seeking
the protection of his  Creator .

3. VISRAANAYAN PRANAYINAAM PUMARTHAAN

This is the third paadham of the first slOkam that 
declares "He is the  giver  of many boons and blessings 
( PurushArthams ) to His devotees( praNayinAM ) .
He is the veritable VaradarAjan residing at Gopapuri ".

4. GOPTHAA SA ME BHAVATHU GOPAPURAADHIRAAJA :

In this fourth paadham of the first slOkam , Swami Desikan 
prays to the Lord of ThirukkOvalUr and requests the boon
of Him becoming his protector ( gOpthA ) . 

Swami Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
BhUmi Devi Sametha BhUMan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan