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Experiencing Swamy Desika -- #69

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"!!

Today is Tiru-Aadi-pooram, GodA piratti's janma dinam.
GodA is an avatAra of BhU Devi. Our Lord Sriya:Pathi has
established that he has a special place for those devotees
who offer him flowers chanting his divine names. BhU Devi took
the incarnation of GodA Piratti to prove to the world that
poo mAlai and paa mAlai are the important offerings to
Sriman Narayana.

Just as the lord accepted the poo malAi's that were offered by
GodA [after she worn it], the Lord also accepts the paamAlai
offered by her. Lord's affection towards GodA Piratti is immense
as he is pleased by her unflinched devotion. Our Lord listens to
GodA's recommendations to liberate jivas of this loga.

GodA Piratti is fondly called by various names - Andal [one who
rules or redeems], Choodikodutha nAchiyAr [the consort who offered
garlands after sporting on one-self].

GodA piratti's Paasurams give the complete essence of the Vedas.
GodA Piratti composed 30 soul-stirring Paasurams called the
Thiruppavai. In this Piratti puts herself amongst the gopis of
Brindavana and pleads with the lord for awakening and salvation.
Thiruppavai emphasises and advocates the doctrine of Prapatti and
Nithya Kaimkaryam to Sriya:Pathi.

Needless to say that our great Acharyas are 'conquered' in full,
by GodA piratti's Paasurams. Bhagavad Ramanuja used to recite
Thiruppavai verses on his unchavrithi and he came to be known as
"Thiruppavai Jiyar". Shri Kurattalvan composed a thanian that is
recited before singing Thiruppavai.

Piratti's other 143 verses, called the NAchiyAr Tirumozhi, consists
of 14 decads of lively verses. These verses reflect her appeal to our
Lord for Lord's love and care towards GodA Piratti and mankind.

Swami Desika's anubhavam of GodA Piratti's works are exemplary. Swami
was so moved by the Paasurams and could visualise the divine couple -
Sri Andal and Shri Ranganathan. On this, Swami brought a fluent and
lovely stuti - GodA Stuti. Swami adds in the Stuti's last Sloka as:

"UtthitAm VenkateshAt bahu guNa-ramaNIyAm GodA stutim"

where, he mentions that by reciting the Goda Stuti the Jivas will get
the divine grace of Lord Shri Ranganatha.

Swami Desika's GodA stuti consists of 29 verses containing rare gems
of thought based on her birth, life and ultimately merging with her Lord.
Goda stuti mentions certain aspects for which Goda has a special capacity.

Interestingly, GodA stuti comprises of 29 verses one short of
30 Paasurams of tiruppAvai sung by GodA herself. Scholars aver
that Swami Desika out of immense regard and respect for GodA completed
his hymn in 29 verses. However, significantly conveyed the contents of the
29th paasuram of tiruppAvai ["Sitram sirukAlE...] in his 29th verse of the

in TiruppAvai, GodA sings

"...vandu unnaiccEvithu un pottrAmarai adiyE pOrrum porul kElai"

meaning, Prostrating before you, and seeking the service of worshipping
your lotus feet

While Swami Desika concludes the stuti by singing

"carana kamalaseva SAsvatim abhyupaiSyan"

meaning, attaining the Lord's lotus feet to perform Nithya Kaimkaryam."

In our Philosophy, besides the 24 principles - 5 gross elements
like ether etc ., 5 tanmantras like sound etc., 5 sense organs like
ear etc., 5 organs of action like arms etc, and manas, ahankArA, mahat and
prakriti (primordial matter), We have the other two realities Jiva and
Ishvara. Thus making the total of 26. Adding to this total, the three
of the Lord, SrI, BhU and nIlA make the number to 29, which is the number of
verses in GodA stuti! Some devoted commentators hold this view!

In the GodA stuti Swami Desika says that GodA Devi's numerous and superior
aspects of glory are far ahead of Vedas! The Upanishads portray and
the KalyAna gunas of our Lord thereby adding a flavour. However, GodA
choodi kodutha maalai increases the fragrance to our Lord itself!

In the 21st Sloka, Swami enjoys the distinguished guests anubhavam of
Lord & Goda Piratti's Thiruk kalyanam and their praise and awe fills the
three worlds. The guests wonder as to who is higher - the Lord or Piratti -
and they even wonder if they were equal.

Swami goes beyond enjoying the Lord and GodA Piratti and he has used
the phrase "PraNayAnubandhAtanyOnya mAlya parivruttim" [meaning "exchange of
garlands to express mutual love"] where Swami adores the love between
GodA Piratti and the Lord.

In the 23rd Sloka of GodA stuti Swami says, "nAtham tvayA kamalayA ca"
mentioning GodA first and then Goddess Kamala (Sri:) which echo's the words
in the purushasuktam in which HrI and BhU Devi are mentioned before SrI: !!!

Lord's sowlabhyam is also put into test, sometimes, says Swami. Swami finds
that our Lord moves away from Jivas in distaste, though, the Loka Maata
Goddess ramA pleads to the Lord to forgive the Jiva's sins. Lord is moved,
but decides to move his gaze at the other side, and there, GodA Piratti
is pleading to the Lord, for the same. But for GodA's pleading we Jivas
would still be loitering around in this loga. Swami makes it clear that
we are indebted to GodA Piratti. Swami establishes the importance of
GodA Piratti's help to Jivas - in 2 Slokas - Sloka 24 & 25.

In temples we see the sannidhi's for Goddess Lakshmi and Andal on
either side of the Lord apparently with this back-ground. Not just
GodA pirantha oor is Govindan vaazhum oor, GodA pEr sollum oor is
also Govindan vaazhum oor.

AndAl tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam

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

...To be continued!

dEsikan tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam

Praveena nAmni Ramanuja dasi