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Experiencing Swamy Desika -- #93


SrI:
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"!!

Swami Desika systematised the Doctrine of nyAsa and gave
it the rightful place among the Brahma Vidyas.

"swatassiddashSrImAnamitaguNabhOmA karunayA
vidhAya brahmAdIn vitarati nijAdEshmapi ya: !
prapatyA sAshAdvA bhajanashirasAvApi sulabham
mumukshurdEvEsham tamahamadhigacchAmi sharaNam !!"

-- nyaasa tilakam (5)

"Swami says that he is desirous of attaining Moksham and
approaches (resorts to) that Lord of Devas as his refuge,
that Lord who is self evident, who is SrImAn (ever
associated with Lakshmi) and who shines with abundant and
immeasurable (auspicious) attributes, who out of His grace
created Brahma and others and gave the Vedas which are His
commands, and who is easy to approach only through Prapatti,
either as such or as an adjunct to Bhakti yoga."

The above Sloka is an upanishadic mantra, which Swami has
rendered in the form of a poetry. The first part of the
Sloka communicates -

The self evident nature of our Lord;

Lord's eternal union with Goddess SrI;

Lord as an abode of all KalyAna guna's;

Lord's grace as evident during the act of creation => Our Lord
creates Brahma in the first instance and through him the entire
cosmos.

In addition to all this our Lord discloses the Vedas to us.

Swami assertively states that Prapatti is the only means for
Moksha. Though Bhakthi yoga is also referred to as an Upaya,
even this has to depend on Prapatti in order to get over
several hurdles in its course.

Swami's nyAsa Vimsati gives briefly all information one needs
to know about Prapatti. The unique distinction of nyAsa Vimsati
is that this is the only stotra for which Swami has himself
provided excellent commentary quoting PramAnas from the Vedas,
samhitas and Puranas!

In the following stotra Swami Desika himself performs Prapatti(*)
at the Lotus feet of Lord Varadaraja of Kanchi. Swami has been
a living example for us to follow. This Sloka is recited at
the end as part of the Nyasa Dasakam.

(*)There are three modes by which one can do Prapatti:

1. Svanistha: Applicable to Alvars, Acharyas and others
who have full knowledge of the requirements.

2. Uktinistha: Applicable to others and is done through
Acharya to the Lord. The Acharya recites sentences, in
the presence of the Archamoorthy conveying full surrender,
which are repeated by the aspirants.

3. Acharyanistha: In this case, the individual surrenders
to the Acharya himself. The Acharya out of compassion
prays to the Archamoorthy to look after the protection
of the individual.

"samsArAvarta vEga prashamana shubhadrugdEsika prEshitOham
santyaktOnyairopAyairanuchita caritEshvadya shAntAbhisanthi: !
ni:shangastatvadrushtayA niravadikadayam prarthya samrakshakam tvAm
nyasya tvatpAdapadmE varada nijabharam nirbharO nirbhayOsmi !!"

-- Nyaasa Vimsati (22)


"Lord Varadaraja! Having been the recipient of the benignant
glances of (my) Acharya which have the power to quell the speed
and power of the whirlpool of samsara, having been given up
(abandoned) by all other means, having now quelled my tendency
to pursue prohibited paths, having dispelled all doubts by
virtue of true knowledge, having prayed to Thee, - possessing
boundless grace-to be my protector, I have placed the burden
of protecting me at thy lotus feet, I have become burdenless
and fearless."

Swami emphasises on the importance of Acharya katAksham which
is a prerequisite to taking up Nyasa. The power of Acharya
katAksham is so great that it can relieve us from the repeated
cycles of births and rebirths.

Based on our sukrudams our Lord Himself secures us Acharya
sambandham. Srimad Azhagiya Singar, in his cassette "dEsikarum
avar sooktikalum" has stated that just as a true well wisher
would try to save a drowning person (a true well wisher would
anxiously wait to somehow save the person and the moment the
person comes closer to the shore would pull him out), so also
the Lord based on our Karmas tries to save us by giving Acharya
sambandham. The UpakAra rendered to us by the Lord is mentioned
in Verse 30 of Amritaaswadani which refers to "pazhiyAda
nalvinaiyil padindAr tAlil paNivittu pAshangaladaya nIki"
- Our Lord makes us prostrate to our Acharyas there by
relieving us of all sins!!!

Swami has also referred to several angas of Prapatti. Swami
states that after Performing Prapatti Swami feels relieved
of His burden and his fears. He adds that he is now safe
and secure!!!

The translations mentioned above are by
Shri R.Ramaswamy Aiyangar.

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

...To be continued!

dEsikan tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam

Praveena nAmni Ramanuja dasi