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Swamy Desikan Thirunakshthram : PurattAsi SravaNam --Part 1

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Wed Sep 30 1998 - 16:55:58 PDT

SrimathE NigamAntha MahA desikAya nama:

Dear BhakthAs :On this auspicious occasion of the 730th
birth anniversary of Swamy Desikan's birth day , I join 
with Sri MadhavakkaNNan and Sriman Anbil Ramaswamy to
pay my tributes to this great AchArya of Sri VisishtAdvaitham . 

I thought one way to remember the substanitve and voluminous works 
of this AchArya extraordinaire would be to take a phrase or passage 
from as many of his works in Sanskrit and Tamil as possible and
highlight them and enjoy their fragrance across centuries .Before I 
engage in this effort , let me summarize the two most 
important  contributions of our revered AchAryA . 

The blessings of Vatsya Varada Guru ( NadathUr ammAL ) for
this five year old child , Venkatanaathan was fully realized .
AmmAL was so fascinated by the Brahma tEjas of the small
child stopping by at his KalakshEpa Ghoshti with his uncle
at the Kanchi PeraruLALan Temple , that he burst forth
with this blessing : " May you establish the VedanthA on a 
firm basis , vanquishing the theories of the rival schools 
of thought ( prathikshApita Vedaanatha: , prathikshipta 
Bhair Matha: ). may you become the respected among  
the orthodox vedanthins and become the abode of abundant 
auspiciousness ( bhUya: traividhyA maanyasthvam 
bhUri kalyANa bhAjanam )." 

Vaatsya VaradaachArya was recognized verily by Kanchi 
VaradarAja PerumAL as His own mother for the solicitaiton
with which Vaatsya VaradAchAr served Him hot milk at the right
temperature as a part of his kaimkaryam at Bhagavaan"s
sannidhi . Thus , the blessings of " the mother of
Kanchi PeraruLALan "( ammAL) came true because of 
" the son"s krupA " ( Lord VaradrAjan's krupaa). 

Thanks to those blessings of the NadAthUr AchaaryA ,
the author of Prapanna Paarijaatham , Sri Venkatanaathan
fulfiled two important missions in his blessed life of
101 years : (1) The establishment of VisishtAdvaitham as
a sound and irrefutable system of philosophy (2) The larger
task of producing a coherent and detailed exposition of
the fundamental doctrines of VishitAdvaithA for demonstrating 
their soundness against other systems of philosophy .

In this context arose , the dialectical gem, Satha DhUshaNi
as a response to the mayA vaadA of Aadhi Sankara , the elaborate
text known as Tatva Muktha Kalaapa and the commentary on 
latter known as SarvArtha Siddhi , Rahasya traya Saaram 
and numerous philosophical treatises , rahasya granthAs
and most enjoyable sthOthra granthams .Almost 130 works 
arose from the blessings of his AchAryA and  Sri LakshmI 
HayagrIvan . In these texts are covered the full gamut of 
"the epistemological , ontological , cosmological and 
eschatological doctrines of VisishtAdvaithA " in all their
splendour as indicated by Dr.S.M.S.Chari in his many
brilliant monographs on Sri VisishtAdvaitham .

Now let us get on with the pleasant task of quoting 
and reflecting on selected works that Swami Desikan 
has bequeathed to us as our Kula dhanams :

1.Sri HayagrIva sthOthram :

Visuddha Vij~yAna ghana svarUpam 
vij~yana visrANa Bhaddha DhIksham 
DayAnidhim dEhabruthAm SaraNyam 
Devam HayagrIvamaham prapathyE ( Slokam 5)

(MEANING ) : Lord HayagrIvA's divyAthma svarUpam
is the embodiment of the purest Jn~Anam . Since , He
is an ocean of Mercy , He engages in the task of 
turning the chEthanAs towards the auspicious path 
leading to Him .He commits Himself to bless these 
bhaagyasAlis  with aathma svarUpa Jn~Anam and Moksham.
He stands firmly as the succor and support to these
prapannAs .I ( Swami Desikan ) seek refuge at 
the lotus feet of this Lord of true knowledge .

2.DasaavathAra sthOthram 

dEvO na: subham aathanOthu dasadhA nirvarthayan bhUmikAm
RangE dhAmani labdha nirbhara rasai: adhyakshithO bhAvukai:
( purva bhAgam of the First slOkam )
 
(Meaning of this section ): May Sri Ranganathan , who 
has taken the ten kinds of vEsahms(attires) at Srirangam 
and who is enjoyed with great aanandham by His rasikAs there 
bless us with all subha mangaLams ! 

3. Sri Bhagavadh DhyAna SOpAnam 

Subject :The enjoyment of the beautiful face of Sri RanganAthan:

saabhiprAya smitha vikasitham charu bimbhAdharOshtam
dukkApaya praNayini janE dhura dhatthAbhimukhyam 
kaantham vakthram kanaka thilakAlankrutham Rangabharthu:
svAnthE gADam mama vilagathi svagathOdhAra nEthram (SlOkam 8)

In Lord RanganaathA's face flourishes a beautiful
smile indicating His affection for His adiyArs .
His face is lit with a joy arising out of that 
meaningful smile. His lips are red like a ripe bhimbhA 
fruit . He casts His glances at His bhakthAs even if 
they are at quite at some distance and turns His face towards
them to remove their distresses . The beautiful golden tilakam
on His forehead shines splendidly on this occasion and 
beautifies His face . When we look at the majestic looks
of His eyes , those eyes seem to welcome us near Him with
great affection . Such a beautiful face of Lord 
RanganaathA is deeply etched in my(Swami Desikan"s) heart .

4.Sri Abhithi Sthavam

Ramaa dayitha RangabhUramaNa KrishNa VishNO HarE 
Trivikrama JanArdhana Thriyuga Naatha NaarAyaNa 
itheeva subhadhAni ya: patathi naamadhEyAni tE
na tasya yamavasyathA naraka paatha bheethi: kutha:?
(SlOkam 7)

(Meaning ) : O RanganAthA ! Where is the fear of falling under 
the sway of Yama devan and fear of falling in narakam for those ,
who read aloud Your divya naamAs (viz)., Oh Lord of RanganAyaki !,
Oh Lord who has elected Srirangam as Your cherished abode ! ,
Oh KrishNA !, Oh all pervasive VishNu ! , Oh Sin-removing Hari !
Oh globe measuring Trivikrama ! Oh the Lord , who banishes rebirth 
in this samsAram as per Your name Janaardhana ! Oh Lord of six guNAs 
( ShAdgunya Vigraha) , Oh NaathA , the master of ALL , 
Oh NaarAyaNA et al .

5.DayA sathakam 

kamapya anavadhim vandhE karuNA varuNAlayam
Vrusha saila taDasthAnAm svayam vyakthimupAgatham
(SlOkam 9)

I salute that immense ocean , which is  a perrenial source of
enjoyment for those , who live near that ocean of bliss . 
The water of that ocean are the form of DayA . This ocean
is the sea of anukampaa (mercy ) known as ThiruvEnkatamudayAn . 
This ocean can not be measured correctly by place , Time and 
material( Idam , Kaalam and Vasthu) . 

6.Sri VaradarAja PanchAsath

-- Hastheesa sarva vachasAm avasAna seemAm 
tvAm sarva kaaraNam usanthi anapAya vaachA :
(Uttara Bhaagam of SlOkam 12)  

(Meaning ) : Oh Lord of Hasthigiri ! the eternal 
and unfailing Veda vAkhyams longingly describe 
You as the reason for all existence (chith and Achith )
and as the limitless end of all vaaks .You are sarva 
KaaraNan and the boundary of all words and meanings 
represented by the speech . 

(To be continued ) 

Swami Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Oppilaippan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan