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Experiencing Swamy Desika -- #66

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:

"SrimAn VenaktanAthArya: kavithArkika kEsarI!
VedAnthAchArya varyO mE sannidhatthAM sadhA hrudhi"!!

We saw that Lord HayagrIva was pratyaksham to Swami Desika.
This was possible only because of Garuda. Shri Appular
initiated the vainateya mantra to Swami and advised him
to concentrate on the mantra and do dhyana on Lord Garuda
to acquire his grace.

Swami went to Aindai (Tiru-Ahindrapuram) to start the dhyanam.
Tiru-Ahindrapuram has the garuda nadhi and Oshadhadri hill. These
have been purified by the divine presence of garuda himself.
Swami meditated at the foot of Asvattha tree, on Garuda - the
deity who is Veda incarnate.

With in a short time, pleased with Swami, Garuda appeared and
initiated Lord Hayagriva mantra to him. Garuda having instructed
the mantra of Lord HayagrIva - the horse faced supreme god
presiding over all knowledge, advised Swami to propitiate to that
God by dhyana. So, Swami meditated as instructed by Garuda and thus
could have a dharshan of HayagrIva.

When we discussed the Kalyana gunas of Swami Desika, we discussed
that Swami was a 'krutagnya:'.One who does not forget the help
rendered is 'krutagnya:'. This being Swami's kalyAna guna, Swami
wanted to please Garuda who helped him to realise the Lord of learning.
Swami's indebtedness to Garuda has resulted in two stotras composed
by him garuda pancasat and garuda dandakam. Swami Desika's
garuda dandakam briefly describes the greatness of Garuda.
The name Garudadandakam was given by Swami Desika himself to this stotra.

Later Swami composed garuda Panchasat, the fifty on garuda
who is the vehicle of Bhagavan Narayana and also the king of all
birds. Here Garuda's greatness is dealt with, in greater detail
for the benefit of all.

>From the last Sloka of garuda Panchasat we learn that Swami Desika
composed this hymn carrying out the command of Lord Garuda.

In every one of the four quarters of the hymn Swami pays respects
and salutations to Lord Garuda. From this Swami's devotion to
Lord Garuda is evident.

Swami had the realisation of Guruda and Hayagriva in Thiruvahindra puram.
This made Swami Desika continue his stay. In the due course, Swami
worshipped the presiding deity of the shrine - Lord Devanatha.
And that was the birth of all the works on Lord Devanatha which
we saw in our earlier postings.

Swami's poetic talents is evident in every Slouch of both these hymns.
For instance in Garuda pancaasat, instead of repeating the word
'Garuda' in every Sloka, thirty-five synonyms are used!

In every Sloka Swami makes a prayer to Garuda for protection. Both
these stotras on Garuda is the result of the love and devotion of
Swami Desika to Garuda!!

"Kavi Taarkika Simhaaya Kalyaana guna SaalinE!
SrimatE VenkateshAya VedAnta Gurave nama !!"

...To be continued!

dEsikan tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam

Praveena nAmni Ramanuja dasi