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DehaLIsa Sthuthi --Part 9( SlOkA 6 )

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Sat Sep 20 1997 - 18:42:05 PDT

( Dear Memebrs of the Bhakthi group :

In the sixth slOkam , Swami Desikan
describes how the three AzhwArs managed
to see the Lord in the dEhaLi of Sage Mrigandu's
aasramam with the help of the  special lamps 
( deepams ) that they lit . Swami Desikan 
elaborates on the power of the special deepams 
that they lit .    

SlOkam 6 

deepEna kEnachidhaseetha ruchA niseethE 
      snehOpapanna parisuddha guNArpithEna I
dahrAvakAsa nipiTam dadrushur bahvantham 
       svAdhyAya yOga nayanA : suchaya: kaveendhrA : II

(Anvaya Kramam ) : SvAdhyAya: yOga nayanA : suchaya :
kavi IndrA : , niseeThE aseetha ruchA kEnachidh snEha 
upapanna : parisuddha guNa arpithEna deepEna , 
dahra avakAsa nipiTam bhavantham dadhdrusu :

(Meaning ) : Those holy men were princes among poets . 
With VedAs and yOgA(dhyAnam ) as their two eyes , they 
saw You , while you were actively squeezing them in 
the small space of the dEhaLi at ThirukkOvalUr during 
that celebrated midnight  known for its darkness due to 
the absence of the lustre of the cool moon .  They saw You 
with the help of a special kind of lamp , which had snEhA 
( ghee, bhakthi ) as the fuel and  sathva guNA as the wick . 
With this special lamp , they found You pressing 
them in the small space of their heart caves . 

( comments ) :This slOkam celebrates the auspicious event 
for which ThirukkOvalUr is famous (viz)., the accidental assembly 
of the three great yOgis at the dEhaLi of Mrugandu maharishi 
on a dark night and the deliberate squeezing of them by 
the  Lord of this divya dEsam that resulted in the advent of 
the divya prabhandhams from these princes among poets .  

It is normal for the moon to illumine objects duirng dark nights.
On that special night , there was no moon to assist these Yogis 
to find out , who was squeezing them at the dEhaLi . Hence ,
they lit an extraordinary lamp with the help of their deep devotion 
and sattva guNAs to have the bhAgyam of  His darsanam . 

It is also common practise for people to take an earthern or
metallic vessel , fill it with ghee or oil , set a wick in that vessel 
and light the wick and use it to see objects around in dark nights . 
What these yOgis did was quite contrary to this common 
practise . Poygai made the world as the lamp vessel , the seas as
the ghee and used Suryan as the wick to illumine the dark dEhaLi . 
PutattAr used his deep affection for the Lord  as the vessel , 
his intense longing to see You as the ghee and made his
reflections on His auspicious guNAs ( dhyAna -janitha chinthanA )
as the wick and  created the light to see Him . Pey aazhwAr saw that 
the darkness was banished by the two lamps lit by his peers 
and hence with out any effort other than his own pristine bhakthi 
saw the Lord and His  consort amidst them . The divine speech that 
flowed from took the form of  the celestial songs constituting 
the first three prabhandhams . 

These three great princes among poets have been saluted 
as " kaveendhrA : "  by Swami Desikan here following their own
abhivAdhanam of themselves and the eulogies of them by other 
AchAryAs . Putattar introduced himself for instance as 
" perum Tamizhan ( great Tamizhan ) " and as " JnAna
Tamizh purindha naan " ( as the one , who composed 
divine poetry ) . Thiruvarangatthu AmudanAr has saluted
PeyAzhwAr as " Tamizh Talaivan " ( Chief among Tamizh 
poets ) . Poygai has been eulogized as " Kavij~nar pOrEru "
( the most powerful bull/vrushabham  among poets ) in 
the  taniyan for Mudal thiruvandhAthi . Swami Desikan 
has saluted their poetic skills collectively as " Paattukkuriya
pazhayavar moovar "( the ancient and the hoary threesome ) 
in Srimadh Rahasya traya saaram . 

Swami Desikan described that the three parama yOgis 
saw the Lord with the choice of the word , " dadhrusu : " .
The Lord can not be seen according to the VedAs
and Bhagavadh GithA . The Lord declares in Srimadh Bahgavdh 
GithA : " But thou can not see Me with these eyes of thine ; I will
give thee supersensous sight ; behold my yoga power-supreme 
with those divya chakshus " . He says : na thu sakyasE dhrashtum
anEnaiva svachakshush , divyam dadhAmi tE chakshu : pasya mE
yOgamaisvaram " . The three saw what had not been seen until then
by a special kind of lamp ( kEnachidh deepam ) . Their special 
deepam was the power of their yOga siddhi  , sattva guNAs 
and their supreme devotion to the Lord . With these accessories , 
the first AzhwAr lit his lamp with the Sun as the  wick and 
removed the external darkness . The second AzhwAr lit his own 
lamp with his" pining mind " as the wick  and banished 
the internal darkness. These two lamps have no equal .

Swami Desikan has saluted the jyothi arising from these 
unique lamps and their assistance to the people of the world 
this way : " nAttukku iruL seha , naanmaRai anthi nadai viLanga ,
veetukkidaikkazhikkE veLi kaatum immey vilakkE " ( thus arose 
the true light of the lamp -- the three prabhandhams--  which 
resulted in  the banishment of the darkness of false knowledge   
prevalent in the world and illumined the land with the jyOthi of 
the distilled essence of the vEdAs and revealed for our upliftment , 
the two upAyAs : Bhakthi and Prapatthi). This is the mey viLakku that 
Swami Desikan alludes to as"kenachidh deepam" , which shed light 
over the  ancient and glorious path carved  out by the vEdAs and
upanishads . 

Swami Desikan born under the light of the Deepa PrakAsan's
agrahAram in ThirutaNNkA ( Thuppul ) had a great fascination
for the deepams , which to him are synonms for supreme
tattvAs . In this sixth verse , he refers to " deepEna
kEnachidh " , the eternal deepams lit by the AzhwArs at 
ThirukkOvalUr .  

Sri D.Ramaswamy Iyengar has pointed out that 
Swami Desikan saluted AchArya RaamAnujA himself as the
eternal lamp known as" yathikshamAbruth deepam " ( verse 56 ) .
That deepam is " nirupadhi para snEha bharitha yathikshamAbhruddh 
deepam " ( natural and pristinely  pure lamp filled with the oil
of supreme devotion to Sriman NaarAyaNA known as 
the BhaashyakAra Deepam ) . Sri D . Ramaswamy Iyengar has 
further suggested that Swami Desikan out of his modesty named 
this work relating to the dispelling of the aj~nAnam of chEthanAs
as " deepikA " instead of deepam . Sri D.R . Iyengar invites hence 
our special attention to the last skOkam of this DeepikA dealing 
with SaraNAgathi tatvam  :

snEhOpapanna vishaya sva dasA visEshAth 
     bhUyas tamisra samaneem bhuvi VenkatEsa : I
divyAm sthuthim niramimeetha sathAm niyOgAth 
     DeepaprakAsa SaraNAgathi deepikAkyAm II

( Meaning ) : The VedAnthAchAryan known as Sri VenkatEsan 
created this profound euology  known as SaraNAgathi DeepiakA 
on VilakkoLi PerumAL ( Deepa PrakAsan ) . In this work , 
he elaborated on the svarUpam and svabhAvam of the Lord ,
who is full of DayA and affection for the chEthanAs .  Therefore ,
this sthOthram will banish the aj~nAnam and drive away the 
dark clouds of viparitha Jn~nam . 

Swami Desikan took a clue from the prabhandhams of 
the three AzhwArs and named his sthuthi on DeepaprakAsan
as DeepikA or Deepam . He uses the uthprEkshA ( pun ) again 
for the words in this slOkam : snEha -dasA -tamisra samanee-
prakAsa . " Sneha upapanna " in the above verse  can mean 
either full of affection or full of oil ; " sva dasA visEshAth "
can mean either the special approaches used in the sthuthi or 
the rest of the wick ; " tamisra samaneem " can mean either 
capable of removing false knowledge or external darkness . 

Thus Swami Desikan equated  SaraNAgathi DeepikA 
to a lamp . Its oil , wick , darkness-removing quality , 
lustre were compared to snEha , dasA , tamisra samnee 
and prakAsam of this deepikA . It is no accident that 
Sawmi Desikan used the words " SnEhOpapanna "
in both the DehaLIsa sthuthi ( verse 6 ) and SaraNAgathi
DeepikA ( verse 59 ) . In DehaLIsa sthuthi , it refers to 
the bhakthi-laden mind set of the AzhwArs, while they 
lit their special lamps ; in the SaranAgathi DeepikA , 
it refers to  the affection-laden frame of mind of 
Swami Desikan as he lit his own lamp before  
the VilakkoLi perumAL , while elaborating on 
SaraNAgathi tattvam of the Lord for our benefit . 

Sri D.Ramaswamy Iyengar comments in this context :
" The AzhwArs showed by the lamps lit by them
the SUPREME TATTVA . Swami Desikan has shown

Swami Desikan ThuiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan