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SrI deSika stotra-s - 18. SrI mahA vIra vaibhavam - Part 2.

From: Narasimhan Krishnamachari (champakam_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Wed Sep 29 1999 - 21:09:15 PDT

        SrI mahAvIra vaibhavam - Part 2.

vIra! (50):  vIra refers to One who is heroic, brave,
mighty, powerful.  The word vIra is derived from aja -
to drive, to lead.  BhagavAn is a vIra since He
destroys at once those who are a source of suffering
to the pious.

An aspect of bhagavAn's heroism is the incident where
He found rAvaNa to be very tired and incapable of
fighting at the end of a day of intense fighting.  At
that time, it would have been very easy for Lord rAma
to finish off rAvaNa.  But the real quality of a true
hero was displayed by rAma at that time - He asked
rAvaNa to go home and take rest and recoup his
strength and come back and fight the next day -
viSravas tanaya viSrama viSrANana vikhyAta vikrama -
58.  This is the quality of the mahA vIra whose
vaibhavam svAmi deSikan is describing here.

satya vratan (51):  The most well-known example of
this guNa of bhagavAn is His vratam to protect those
who have unconditionally surrendered to Him, even if
they are the likes of rAvaNa.  But in His rAma
incarnation as a human, He illustrates how the satya
vratam should be practiced by us in our day-to-day
lives by setting Himself as an example and fulfilling
His father's wishes.  He goes through the ordeal of
life in the forest for 14 years by discarding the
comforts of the kingdom even though sages like
vasishTha, and bharata himself pleaded with Him not to
go on vana vAsam (pratij~nA avaj~nAta yauvarAjya -
21).

 BhagavAn's Fame is such that even those who have
reason to not praise Him end up praising His Glory. 
svAmi deSikan refers to the example of rAvaNa's wife
mandodari's words when she finds that He has slain
rAvaNa.  svAmi deSikan points out that even though she
was crying and grieving over the demise of her
husband, her words were those that bore the
description of His svarUpam, His tirumeni, His guNa-s,
etc. just as the veda-s describe - vilapa vacana
nigama samavishaya  . (65).   This was because she
was able to perceive that no ordinary human could have
killed her great and mighty husband who shook the
kailAsa mountain itself.   So also was the case with
vAli's wife when vAli had been killed by Lord rAma
earlier.

He who fulfills His commitment:  Perhaps the one short
line "nishpanna kRtya" (71) summarizes the purpose of
the rAma incarnation, and also His most Supreme guNa -
He who fulfilled His duty.  He had promised the deva-s
that He will remove their fear from rAvaNa, and this
is the purpose for which He took this incarnation.  He
fulfilled that.  He had promised the sages that He
will protect them from the rAkshasa-s, and He
fulfilled that vow.  He had promised vibhIshNa and
sugrIva when they surrendered to Him that He will make
them the kings of their respective kingdom, and He
fulfilled that.  He fulfilled every commitment that He
made, and thus fulfilled the purpose of His
incarnation.   In fact, after making vibhIshaNa the
king, Lord rAma was extremely happy because He had
fulfilled His promise.

sanAtana dharma (90):  BhagavAn is the embodiment of
dharma.  A detailed discussion of this attribute of
BhagavAn can be found in the SrI vishNu sahasranAma
vyAkhyAnam for nAma 404 in Slokam 43 which I had
submitted to the list as part of that series.  The
term sanAtana means firm, permanent, ever-lasting,
ancient, etc.  The act of dharma itself is over as
soon as we do the karma, and so it cannot give
benefits by itself.  It is bhagavAn who is pleased by
the act of dharma that we perform, and He is the One
who gives the benefits without fail.   Thus He is the
Embodiment of dharma which is never-failing, eternal,
permanent, sanAtana dharma.

4. The Greatness of bhAgavata kaimkaryam:  The elderly
Sabari performed kaimkaryam to the many sages in the
ASramam where she volunteered to work to keep the
place clean etc.  This devotion to the kaimkaryam of
the sages resulted in Lord rAma coming to the ASramam
to give her moksham right in front of Him.  Such is
the power of the bhAgavata kaimkaryam, considered even
more important in our sampradAyam than bhagavat
kaimkaryam - SabarI moksha SAkshibhUta (41).

5. The Importance of observing varNa ASrama dharma-s:

svAmi deSikan describes BhagavAn in His Lord rAma
incarnation  as "nirvartita nija varNASrama dharman"
(88) - He who has fulfilled well the dharma consistent
with His varNa (jAti) and ASrama.   This was done by
Him just to set an example to the rest of mankind that
the dharma of one's varNam and ASramam must be
observed at all costs.  In gItA, bhagavAn SrI kRshNa
explicitly points out that He observes all the karma-s
associated with His varNASrama, because if He Himself
did not observe them, people will use that as an
excuse for their not observing their dharma (gItA 3.23
- yadi hyayam na varteyam jAtu karmaNyatandritah   | 
mama vartmAnuvartante manushyAh pArtha sarvaSah   ||).

6. Three kinds of debt:

There are three kinds of debt that each of us have
during our life in this world: deva RNa, muni RNa, and
pitR RNa.  The debt to the sages is fulfilled by
learning veda-s; the debt to the deva-s is fulfilled
by performing yaj~na; and the debt to the pitR-s is
fulfilled by begetting sons who will observe the
naimittika-karma-s.  When bhagavAn was born as the son
of daSaratha, he helped daSaratha fulfil the last of
these debts (daSaratha carama RNa vimocana).

7. The position of anya devatA-s compared to bhagavAn:

We have seen this topic addressed in several previous
stotra-s.  Here we see one more example of bhagavAn's
Might relative to the anya devatA-s through the
incidence involving kAkAsura.  When kAkAsura tried to
run away from Lord rAma's brahmAstra and sought refuge
with brahma, Siva, indra, etc., they were unable to
offer protection to kAkAsura for fear of Him - druhiNa
hara valamathana durAraksha Saralaksha! (27).  One is
reminded of the Sruti - bhIshAsmAt vAtah pavate;
bhIshodeti sUryah; etc.

He is also the Only one who is worshipped through the
prayers that are offered to any other devatA-s - sarva
karma samArAdhya (89).   Whatever karma or whatever
yAga etc. is undertaken by us towards the
anya-devatA-s, ultimately reaches Him because He is
the antaryAmi of these anya devatA-s.  "AkASAt patitam
toyam yathA gacchati sAgaram   | sarva devanamaskArah
kesavam pratigacchati   ||".

Brahma, Siva, etc. are all the "family" of this
emperumAn.  brahma originated from the navel
(nAbhI-kamalam) of emperumAn and thus is the son of
emperumAn.  Siva was created by brahma and is thus the
grandson of emperumAn.  vinAyaka, muruga etc. are the
great grandsons of emperumAn.  This is the penultimate
Slokam in SrI mahAvIra vaibhavam - caturmkheSvara
mukhaih putra pautrAdiSAline.  We also find in
nAcciyAr tirumozhi 6.3 that durgA is the sister of
emperumAn - andari SUTTak kanAk kaNDEn tOzhI nAn
(recall that Lord kRshNa was born to devaki and durgA
was born to yasodA).  While we read quite a bit about
the clear position of our sampradAyam that a SrI
vaishNava should only worship nArAyaNa, what is less
well-known that dUshaNA of anya-devatA-s is strictly
forbidden in our sampradAyam as well.  My recollection
is that topic was addressed in an issue of SrI nRsimha
priyA a few years back, but I am unable to locate the
copy now.      

8. saha-dharmiNi:  Just as Lord rAma showed us the
example of how a true son should be, lakshmaNa and
bharata showed us how a true younger brother should
behave towards his elder brother, etc., sItA devi
shows in rAmAyaNam how a true wife should behave. 
After the victory over rAvaNa, when sItA appeared
before rAma, first rAma asks her to enter the fire to
prove her chastity while in captivity.  sItA pirATTi
complies without any hesitation, reluctance or
objection.  Granted that this is bhagavAn and pirATTi
playing their leelA together as it pleases them, still
in her human form sItA pirATTi demonstrates to us the
accepted role of a wife in the days of SrImad
rAmAyaNa.  She is alternately separated from Him and
united with Him, all because this was His samkalpam,
and She complies with whatever His wish is  -
vighaTita sughaTita  sahRdaya sahadharma cAriNIka
(69).

9. phala Sruti - svAmi deSikan concludes this
composition by pointing out that the chanting of the
glory of perumAL with an understanding of the deep
meaning behind these stotra-s will serve as the
medicine that will relieve us from the fear of samsAra
- the cycle of birth and death.  In fact, he considers
those who are capable of realizing this simple truth
as the "learned ones",  those that are gifted with
good intellect (sudhiyah) - bhava bhaya bheshajam etat
paThata mahAvIra vaibhavam sudhiyah.  Let us benefit
by reading the great stotra on Lord rAma and His
Glory.

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan





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