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Experiencing Swamy Desika -- #28

Shrimate Shri Lakshmi Nrusimha Parabrahmane Namaha:
Shrimate Shri Seetha Ramachandra Parabrahmane Namaha:
Shrimate Shri Ramanujaya Namaha:
Shrimate Nigamantha Maha Desikaya Namaha:
Shrimate Shrivan Satagopa Shri Narayana Yateendra Mahadesikaya Namaha:

In yesterday's posting we saw Swami Desika's Sloka
in Yathiraja Saptati dealing with Shri Krishna
and Shri Yamuna, thus:

Vigahe Yamunan teertham SAdhu brndavane sthitam
Nirasta-jihmagasparse yatra Krshnah Krtadarah!!

Now for an elaboration!

'Vigahe Yamunan teertham', Swami Desika has a pun
intended in the word 'teertham'. 'Teertham' refers
to both water and 'AchArya'.

Swami says, just as how a person who had been in
heat would immerse himself in the river yamuna and
enjoy, so also we can do Dhyana on all the auspicious
qualities of Shri Alavandar and immerse ourselves in
the Greatness of his qualities!

Swami Desika states that Lord Krishna
(i)   has protected the pandavas
(ii)  chased away kaliyan serpent from the Yamuna river,
(iii) along with Gopas and Gopikas sported in the Yamuna river.

But then our Alavandar has not done any of these deeds. Then
why is it that Swami Desika mentions these attributes of
Shri Krishna while speaking of Shri Alavandar?

Here it goes.,

(i)  Alavandar by his teachings to his disciples like
 Peria Nambi protected them just like how Lord Krishna
 protected the pandavas.

(ii) The river yamuna is useful for every body, but then
 the kaliyan serpent had occupied the river and exhaled
 poison. The water now could not be used. Lord Krishna
 chased away the serpent and made yamuna river useful
 for every body.

 Lord Krishna chased away Kaliyan, Alavandar chased
 away desires, KAma and krOda.

(iii) Lord Krishna played along with Gopas and
 Gopikas and sported in the Yamuna river.
 For all the above reasons, Lord Krishna had a
 liking towards the yamuna river.

 Shri Alavandar was an abode for the Preethi of Krishna.
 He ran down the theories of opponents and assured the
 protection of Bhaktas.

Shri Mannakkal Nambi after having taught Shri Alavandar
all the vedantaarthas, instructed him to learn the
Bhakti yoga of his grand father, Shri Nathamuni,
from Shri Kurugaikaavalappan.

Alavandar instantly went to visit him. Shri Kurugaikaavalappan
was in his Yoga. So, Alavandar did not want to disturb him and
so went silently and sat behind him. Shri Kurugaikaavalappan
after a short while completed his yoga and asked if there
was any body belonging to 'sottai kullam?'

Alavandar replied "Adiyen" and prostrated to
Shri Kurugaikaavalappan. Alavandar humbly enquired -
" How did DevarIr know about Adiyen's visit?"

Shri Kurugaikaavalappan replied that he was meditating
on Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna who was looking at him was
suddenly distracted and turned behind to look at some body
else. Shri Kurugaikaavalappan added, "Who else can it be, other
than a 'Sottai kullathan' capable of moving away Lord Krishna's
attention from me?"

Hence seeing the preeti of Lord Krishna towards Alavandar,
Swami Desika says "yatra Krshnah Krtadarah".
Swami Desika gets immersed in Shri Alavandar's great
qualities and offers salutations to him.

We have been seeing the inexplicable Greatness of
Shri Alavandar. With all these greatness, our Alavandar's
humility, just brings out tears in our eyes.

Shri Alavandar performs SaranAgathy at the lotus feet
of our Lord in the Stotra Ratna.

Na dharma nistosmi nacha atma vedhi
Na bhaktiman tvat charanaara-vindey: !
Akinchana, ananya-gathihi sharanyaha
Tvad paada moolam charanam prapadye !!

Shri Alavandar confesses to our Lord that he is
neither a Karma yogi, nor a Bhakti yogi, and adds that
he is bereft of all sAdhanas.

Shri Alavandar communicates to the Lord that he has
no other refuge [other than Sriya: pathi] and surrenders
absolutely at the lotus feet of our Lord.

In this Shri Alavandar confesses his Aakinchanyam and
Ananyagathitvam to our Lord and hence chooses
"Prapatti" marga.

Our Alavandar has performed Prapatti for our sake. So that,
we will follow our PoorvAcharyas foot steps.

Alavandar states that he is an akinchanan. It is not because
of the incapacity of this Great Aacharya, but then it is just
because our Acharya wanted us to follow his foot steps. He has
reflected our Aakinchanyam.

If our Aacharya himself claims Aakinchanyam, then where
are we? What can we do? We cannot even dream of choosing
Bhakti yogam because, we will end up no where. Let us
follow the foot steps of Shri Alavandar.

In Sloka 62 of Stotra Ratna,

"Amaryaadaha kshudrach chalamathi rasooyaprasavabhoo..."

We see Alavandar in absolute humility confess his weakness
on the following ten counts:

 1)  Dis-obedient ; Dis respectful
 2)  Easily attracted by petty sensuous attractions
 3)  Shaky mind
 4)  Full of jealousy
 5)  Ungrateful
 6)  Peevish
 7)  Ensnared by sensuous infatuations
 8)  Deceitful
 9)  Cruel
 10)  Sinful

Shri Alavandar prays to our Lord stating that Despite
his absolutely undeserving nature, he look's upon
Lord's grace ! Shri Alavandar communicates his urge
to near our Lords Lotus feet, cross this ocean of sorrow
and to do Kaimkaryam to our Lord.

Here we see the over pouring mercy of our Acharya to
point out our weakness by claiming it to be his and
there by enlightening us to be worthy of our Lords grace
- by performing Prapatti.

Shri Alavandar after having performed Prapatti, adds that
it is our Lords mercy that he accepts us who have committed
so many sins.

Swami Desika reestablishes this in his Saranagathi Deepika thus:

MuKhyam cha yatprapadhanam swayameva saadyam
dhatavyamIsha krupayA tadapi tvayaiva !
tanme bhavaccharaNasangavatImavasTham
pashyannupAyaphalayooruchitam viDeyA:!!

Swami states that for the performance of Prapatti
itself we need our Lords grace, and it does not
end there. Even after performance of Prapatti, It
is upto our Lord to accept us. It is again our Lords
grace that he accepts us.

How are we to show our gratitude to our Great poorvAchAryas
for ALL that they have done for us?

We are Akinchanas, we are totally indebted to them in this
life, after this life, ...


AlavandAr tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam

dEsikan tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam

Praveena nAmni Ramanuja dasi