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Experiencing Swamy Desika -- #85

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"!!

None can comprehend Swami's poetic talents! Dindimakavi
did not accept Swami's talents initially. But when Swami
brought out yAdhavAdbudhayam as a sequel to Dindimakavi's
rAmAdbhyudaya, he realised his folly and whole heartedly
praised Swami!!

YadavAdbudayam is a mahA kAvyam and contains explanations of
a city, sea, mountains, time, description of sun rise, moon,
garden, water sports, gambling, boozing, recreation, separation,
marriage, discussions, vehicles, birth etc.

Swami Desika wrote seven works in Sanskrit of which YadavAdbudayam,
is the first work. YadavaAbhyudaya is a mahAkavya in twenty four
cantos on the life and achievement of Lord Krishna. This contains
two thousand six hundred and forty one Slokas.

Shri Krishna was an incarnation of our Lord! Our Lord captivated
the whole world through his leelas which exhibited his Greatness
on one hand and sowlabyam on the other. Lord Krishna killed the
evil doers, relieved the earth of the troubles, lived with his devi's
in Dwaraka and Protected Dharma. yAdhavAdbudayam explains these
in detail. Shri Krishna leela is explained in the fourth canto.

There are a lot of conditions laid down by ancient rhetoricians
for a work to be qualified as a mahA kAvyam. YadavAdbudayam
fulfills all these conditions and is hence a MahAkavyam!

All Swami's work has the central theme of Prapatti. YadavAdbudayam
is no exception. Devotion, Self surrender and the tattvatraya
are handled here.

Swami has himself explained the qualities of a poet in the first
five cantos. Swami has lived as an example even in this.
YadavAdbudayam reflects swami's unique style and the use of
choicest words in addition to the qualities of a poet as mention
by Swami himself!

In our Sampradayam "Ratnatrayam" is important for us.
The three ratnas are:

purAna ratnam - SrI vishnu purAnam
mantra ratnam - Thiru mantram
stotra ratnam - Alavandar's stotra ratnam.

Our Swami added yet another ratna to the Sri Vaishnava world =>
yAdhavAdbhudaya mahAkavyam.

Though we know the highest worth of yAdhavAdbhudayam mahAkavyam,
it would be great to know the commentary of Appayya dIkshitar, an
Advaitin and a critic. On reading Swami's yAdhavAdbhudayam
and immersing in its charm and Swami's reasoning, Appayya dIkshitar
calls yAdavAdbhutayam as "vutkrushtam kAvyam" i.e a very superior
kAvyam! He means the senses or purports, which are to be neglected
upon in this way are found in each word in the poems of kavitarkikasimha,
including the simple and lovely poems. While commenting on canto I,
AppayadIkshita observes that the title, Kavitarkikasimha,
Sarvatantrasvatantra and Vedantacharya are meaningful in their
application to the Acharya. He explains each word of the these titles.
Appayya dIkshitar acknowledges that the eminence of Swami Desika
cannot be easily assessed.

The ninth Sloka of yAdhavAdbudayam needs a special mention.

"krEdAtoolikayAsvasmin krupArushidayAsvayam
yEkOvishvamidam chitram vipu: shrImAnajIjanat "

Having been soaked in the ink of karuna, Goddess Lakshmi's Pathi who
has the capacity to create this astonishing world, picturises Himself
by His own leela!!

dIkshitar explains this to be in sync with Purushasuktam.
He adds that the Phrase "Svayam svasmai yEka:" explains the
concepts of VisistAdvaita siddAntha - nimitta kArana,
upAdana kArana and the sahakAri kArana (with reference to our Lord).

Abinava dEsikar Uttamoor Swami has referred to this Sloka as
"anavamam navamam", hence it has been crowned as the incomparable
ninth Sloka!

We saw Swami's talents of repeating a single word/ alphabet to
complete a Sloka. This is seen in the sixth canto of yAdhavAdbudayam

" nayA nayA nayA nayA nayA nayA nayA nayA !
  nayA nayA nayA nayA nayA nayA nayA nayA !! "

This Sloka is such that it forms a picture of a lotus with
sixteen petals => ShOdasa-tala-padma-pandam!

This Sloka has a unique feature, even if the word is reversed
the Sloka will still communicate a meaning! If the word "nayA"
is reversed it becomes "yAna". If "yAna" is repeated instead of
"nayA" also, the Sloka will be meaningful. This feature is called
pratiloopam (reversal).

"yAna yAna yAna yAna yAna yAna yAna yAna !
 yAna yAna yAna yAna yAna yAna yAna yAna !!"

When it is read this way, this Sloka forms a picture of a chakra with
sixteen aranga's => ShOdasa-tala-padma-pandam!

To top all this, as we have seen in PAdukAsahasram, Swami has given
Slokas with single alphabets also.

"nAnA nAnA nAnA nAnA nAnA nAnA nAnA nAnA !
 nAnA nAnA nAnA nAnA nAnA nAnA nAnA nAnA !!"

This posting has been based on the write up of Vaduvur
Shri R. Veeraraghavan and from the book The Life and works of
Shri Nigamanta Maha Desikan by Prof A. Srinivasaraghavan.

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

...To be continued!

dEsikan tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam

Praveena nAmni Ramanuja dasi