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Experiencing Swamy Desika -- #74

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"!!

In the SrI stuti, the auspicious quality of Goddess Lakshmi is
mentioned in the very first Sloka. "SrI" has been referred to as
"mangalam mangalAnAm" ie., She is auspiciousness to auspicious"!

It is interesting to note that Goddess Lakshmi is mentioned in the
first Sloka of SaranAgathy Deepika also. Here, Goddess Lakshmi is
addressed as PadmA, denoting her auspicious quality.

PadmApati is Sriman nArAyaNA. Swami repeatedly establishes that
SrI and nArAyaNA form the ultimate truth - paratattva. Swami Desika
stresses and emphasises the inseparable nature of the union.

Swami Desika is "tanja paragatiyai tandarulvOn". Swami established
the doctrine of Prapatti for us. In Srimad Rahasyatraya Sara, Swami
deals elaborately with the doctrine of Prapatti. SaranAgathy Deepika
is a brief in verse of Rahasyatraya Sara.

SaranAgathy Deepika is conceived in praise of Divya Dampati.
Lord Deepa prakAsa presiding over Thirutanga in kAncheepuram is
celebrated in the stotra. Swami gives the connotation of
Deepa prakAsa in the following Sloka:

"deepastvamEva jagatAm dayitA rucistE
dIrgham tama: pratinivartyamidam yuvAbyAm ! ...."

Swami explains that our Lords is the Lamp and consort Lakshmi is
the luster of the lamp. Together they drive out the darkness of
ignorance which has been there for a long time. Ignorance in this
world can be of three kinds viz. utter inability to know anything,
understanding in a wrong way and viparItha jnanam. All these are
dispelled by the lustrous lamp!

Swami boldly states that mere nArAyaNA is like an unlighted lamp
and only when He is in association with Goddess Lakshmi, Lord nArAyaNA
is a lustrous lamp. Hence our Lord is a light in its full sense
(Deepa prakAsa) only when He is inseparably associated with pirAtti.

In the 54th Sloka of SaranAgathy Deepika "rakshyatvayA tava...", Swami
imagines a situation where our Lord refuses to overlook our sins and
denies protection to us. Swami's explanation consoles us -

Our Lords grace was instrumental in us approaching and surrendering
to Him. We have never uttered the words of surrender to our Lord in
any of our previous janmAs. We have been in the cycle of births and
rebirths from time immemorial but have not surrendered to our Lord.
Elders say that even the number of sand in a sea shore can be counted
but it is impossible to count the number of births taken by us!!! It
is a pity that we have not surrendered to our Lord in all our previous
births. Had we surrendered we would now be in Srivaikundam enjoying
nithyakainkaryam. So, it is very clear that it is primarily our Lords
grace that makes us perform Prapatti. Even now, the words of surrender
may not be completely from our heart, it might be just from our lips.
It is because of our Lords sankalpam that these words pass atleast
through our lips.

Now, Swami Desika says that our Lord has done so much for us. After
taking so much of effort if our Lord does not accept us as saranAgathas
(for the reason that we are sinners), all the efforts of our Lord
would become a waste. Not just that, our Lord cannot permit our sins
to over power his Superior qualities. So, Swami makes a request to our
Lord to complete His task since He has put in so much of efforts towards
it. Swami tells the Lord that the task which lies ahead is not much
compared to what has been achieved!

Swami Desika now reminds the Lord that the Prapatti as per dwaya mantra
takes in both the Lord and Goddess Lakshmi. Swami threatens the Lord as to
what will happen to the Good impressions that Goddess Lakshmi has for Him
if the Lord allows His great qualities to be defeated by our sins?

Goddess Lakshmi is a dayAroopi. Swami Desika states that even if the Lord
for some reason fails, Goddess Lakshmi will come to our rescue. She will
Protect us and even grant us Moksha !!!

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

...To be continued!

dEsikan tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam

Praveena nAmni Ramanuja dasi