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Editor's Note - 78 (November 1, 2014)

May Guru Venkateswara Be Present in Our Heart Forever!

Dear Fellow-Bhagavathas,

‘Desika Mangalam’, a hymn in salutation of Swami Desika by his son-disciple Kumara Varadacharya, formed the subject matter of the previous Note. In an extension of the same, it is logical to have a look at a few Slokas which are traditionally recited along with the Mangalam.

These verses are an excerpt from another hymn which sings the praise of Swami Desika. Entitled ‘Sapthathi Rathna Maalika’ by the composer Prathivaadhi Bhayankaram Annan himself, the work is marked by deep devotion to the peerless Acharya.

Prathivaadhi Bhayankaram Annan was the principal disciple of Kumara Varadacharya, which makes Swami Desika his Praacharya (Guru’s Guru). It is a convention in our Sampradaya to salute not only one’s Acharya but also the Praacharya, much the same way as Aala Vandhaar and Nathamunigal, Sri Ramanuja and Aala Vandhaar, Thiruvarangath-Amudhanaar and Sri Ramanuja.

Prathivaadhi Bhayankaram Annan, as the name would imply, was a terror to the philosophers of other faiths. At the same time, he was subservient to Bhagavathas and because of this reason, his descendants prefix the title ‘Srivaishnava Dasa’ to their names.

‘Sapthathi Rathna Maalika’ comprises 73 Slokas of phraseological and contextual beauty in varied meters. It is a fitting tribute to the ‘Master-of-all-Arts’ on the lines of his own ‘Yathiraja Sapthathi’. That is the reason why the following select Slokas from the ‘Maalika’ are invariably recited as an addendum to Desika Mangalam.

Here go the Slokas:

பாத்ரபத மாஸகத விஷ்ணு விமலர்க்ஷே
வேங்கட மஹீத்ரபதி தீர்த்த திநபூதே!
ப்ராதுரபவத் ஜகதி தைத்யரிபு கண்டா
ஹந்த! கவிதார்க்கிக ம்ருகேந்த்ர குரு மூர்த்யா!!
(Sapthathi Rathna Maalika – 10)

The Bell of the Lord, who is the enemy of Asuras, incarnated in this world as one who is hailed as the ‘Lion amongst Poets and Logicians’, on the Theerthavaari day of the Lord of the Venkata Hills and the very Avathara day of Vishnu, in the month of Purattasi. What a wonder!

ஸசங்க சக்ரலாஞ்சந: ஸத் ஊர்த்வபுண்ட்ர மண்டித:
ஸ கண்டலக்ந ஸத்துளஸ்யநர்க பத்ம மாலிக:!
ஸிதாந்தரீய ஸூத்தரீய யஜ்ஞ ஸூத்ர சோபிதோ
மமாவிரஸ்து மாநஸே குரு: ஸ வேங்கடேச்வர:!!
(Sapthathi Rathna Maalika – 59)

May the Acharya known as Venkateswara whose shoulders are marked by the divine conch and discus, one who is adorned by Thiruman-Srichoornam, one who wears the invaluable garland of Thulasi and lotus beads, one who is adorned by the attire and sacred thread that are of pure white, be present in my heart forever!

அநந்தஸூரி ஸூநவேSபிநந்த்யமாந வைபவாத்
திகந்த வாதி ஹம்ஸ ஜைத்ர காளமேக தேசிகாத்!
உபாத்த ஸர்வ சாஸநாய ஹந்த! வர்ஷ விம்சதௌ
புந: புந: நமஸ்க்ரியாஸ்து வேங்கடேச ஸூரயே!!
(Sapthathi Rathna Maalika – 17)

My repeated salutations to the Nithyasoori Venkatanatha, the son of Anantha Soori, to the one whose glory is celebrated by one and all, to the one who mastered all the Saasthras within 20 years of age from his Acharya Apullar (Kidambi Ramanujacharya) hailed as ‘Vaadhi Hamsaambuvaahar’. What a wonder! (Referring to the feat mentioned last).

குரௌ வாதிஹம்ஸாம்புஜாசார்ய சிஷ்யே
ஜநா பக்திஹீநா: யதீந்த்ரா ப்ரியா: ஸ்யு:!
யதீந்த்ரா: ப்ரியா விஷ்ணு காருண்ய தூரா:
குதோ முக்தி வார்த்தாஹி தாத்ருக் விதாநாம்!!
(Sapthathi Rathna Maalika – 55)

Those people who are devoid of devotion towards the disciple (Swami Desika) of ‘Vaadhi Hamsaambuvaahar’ are not the objects of the blessings of the great Seer Bhagavath Ramanuja. Thus, they are at a distance from the Lord’s grace. So, can there ever be talk of Moksham to them? (No way).

கவிதார்க்கிக கலபவ்ரஜ கபலீக்ருத ஸிம்ஹம்
கமலாபதி கருணாரஸ பரிவர்த்தித போதம்!
யதிநாயக பதபங்கஜயுகலீ பரதந்த்ரம்
பஜமாநஸ! புஜவேங்கடபதி தேசிகம் அநிசம்!!
(Sapthathi Rathna Maalika – 65)

O heart! Always worship Desika, the best of wise men, who is like a lion in swallowing (taming) a parade of elephants that the rival poets and logicians are; the one who is a master of all the Saasthras by the grace of the Consort of the lotus dame; and the one who is subservient to the twin feet of Yathiraja.

And to cap it off, the following Sloka, submitted at the feet of the great preceptor by one Dindima Kavi, aptly summarises the objective of the incarnation of the Divine Bell of the Lord, that Swami Desika is. The poet was a challenger who got vanquished in a duel by Swami Desika.

வேதே ஸஞ்ஜாத கேதே முநிஜநவசநே ப்ராப்த நித்யாவமாநே
ஸங்கீர்ணே ஸர்வவர்ணே ஸதி ததநுகுணே நிஷ்ப்ரமாணே புராணே!
மாயாவாதே ஸமோதே கலிகலுஷவசாத் ஸூந்யவாதே அவிவாதே
தர்மத்ராயாணாய யோபூத் ஸஜயதி பகவாந் விஷ்ணு கண்டாவதார:!!
(A Sloka by Dindima Kavi)

He who incarnated as the Divine Bell of Lord Vishnu in order to save Dharma — when the Vedas suffered; when the great works of noble seers were degraded by philosophical pretenders; when the identities of the people of all the Varnas became non-existent; accordingly, when the Puranas lost their authenticity; when the philosophy of illusion was in a pleasant state; when the philosophy of nothingness thrived unopposed owing to the effects of Kali Yuga — is triumphant.

கவி தார்க்கிக ஸிம்ஹாய கல்யாண குணசாலிநே!
ஸ்ரீமதே வேங்கடேசாய வேதாந்த குரவே நம:!!

Meet you in the next Note.

எங்கள் தூப்புல் பிள்ளை பாதம் என் சென்னியதே!

Natteri P. Srihari (a) Lakshmi Narasimhacharyar

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