The first slOkam starts with Our Lord's efforts to create the Naama-Roopa Prapancham (the world of the form of names and forms) and Sri RanganAyakI's significant part in its creation:
"Sriyai samastha chidhachith vidhAna vyasanam HarE:
angIkAribhi: aalOkai: saarTanthyai KruthOnjali: "
(Meaning as per Dr.V.N.VedAntha Desikan/VNV) : " This anjali, the supplicant posture of the two palms (of the hands) is submitted to the great MahA LakshmI. It is Her majestic look of approval that adds a meaning and a sense of fruition to the task of governance of the Universe,creating it, protecting it, etc., that the Lord achieves, at some strain, (let us say so!), as if He does all this only to please Her! The great creator functions for the pleasure and approval of Sri RanganAyakI! To Her, my anjali !".
Dr.V.N.V has added brief comments in Tamil beyond translations of the slOkams about the specific tatthvams covered by ParAsara BhattAryar.They are housed in Nrusimha priyA issues. AdiyEn has benefited from them and will highlight them as the postings take shape. AdiyEn will also compile additional information points as elaborations for extended anubhavams of the words and phrases chosen by ParAsara BhattAryar.
Special Notes by V. SaTakOpan (V.S) :
ParAsara Bhattar starts with an Anjali to RanganAyakI PirAtti (Sriyai KruthOanjali: ) for the conferral of Her anugrahams at the start of his creation of an eulogy of Her anantha KalyANa GuNams. The power of anjali to the Lord or His Devi has the vaibhavam of melting their hearts into "watery material" (Jala paNDam =am+jalayathi ithi) .
Sri RanganAyaki is Sarva Loka SaraNyai (the object of refuge by all the denizens of the Universe) .ParAsara Bhattar offers his prArthanA- poorvaka prapatthi (Self surrender preceded by prayer) through his anjali to Her at the start of his creation of a sthuthi about Her limitless auspicious GuNAs (anantha kalyANa guNAs).
ParAsara Bhattar starts with the anjali- mudhrA as taught by his PoorvAchAryan, Swamy AlavandhAr (28th slOkam of his sthOthra Rathnam):
tvadhangrim-uddhisya kadhApi kEnachith yathA tathA vaapi sakruth KRUTHONJALI: tadhaiva mushNAthi asubhAnyasEshatha: SubhAni pushNAthi na jaathu heeyathE
Swamy ALavandhAr was performing anjali to the Lord of Srirangam in the above slOkam.
AchArya RaamAnujA followed his Predecessor AchAryan (PoorvAcharyan,AlavandhAr) when he saluted SriranganAyaki (MahA Lakshmi) on a panguni Uttharam day through his SaraNAgathi- Gadhyam:
"Bhagavan NaarAyaNa-abhimatha-anuroopa-Svaroopa- guNa-vibhava-iswarya- seelAdhi-anavadhika-athisaya- asankhyEya KalyANa guNA Padma vanAlayA ".
AchArya RaamAnujA prays to Sri RanganAyaki first befitting our SampradhAyam since the anjali performed for Her (KruthOnjali) first will have the same auspicious results as that done for Her Lord.
Late Sriman S. BhAshyam has translated the above SaraNAgathy gadhyam passage of AchArya RaamAnujA pertaining to SriranganAyaki (MahA LakshmI) as follows:
" Oh BhagavathI ! Oh Sriyam Devi ! Thyself, Thine form, its qualities, and the most wonderful, limitless innumerable collections of auspicious qualities of Thine, such as, Greatness, Rulership and high virtues are all to Your Lord's liking and worthy of the natural form and qualities of Your Lord, Bhagavan NaarAyaNan Himself ".
SrimAn BhAshyam points out that the words "anuroopa" and "abhimatha" are used in conjunction to indicate their unique co-existence in the case of the Dhivya Dampathis.Anuroopam means likeness, conformity; Abhimatham means agreeable or desired status. MahA Lakshmi's GuNa Rathnams are in conformity with those of the Lord and much desired by Him and vice-versa.
The phalan of the 28th slOkam of Alavandhar for BhagavaAn is identical in its effect to the Anjali performed (kruthOnjali) of ParAsara Bhattar in his first slOkam to Sri RanganAyaki. The meaning of the 28th SlOkam of Swamy AlavandhAr is:
" Oh Sriman NaarAyaNA! When One performs anjali at Your sacred feet, even once in any form, that anjali destroys all their sins without trace. It confers enormous auspicousness and makes them multiply. That anjali never fails to yield the above results".
Sri ParAsara Bhattar had this in mind perhaps, when he chose the very words of AlavandhAr (KruthOnjali: ) in his first slOkam of Sri GuNa Rathna Kosam addressed to his Mother, Sri RanganAyaki.
Observations on the MahA LakshmI Tatthvam
The Glory of the Name Sri Devi
We have to remember reverentially the inadequacies of ourselves, when we venture to eulogize MahA LakshmI (Sri Devi) . We have to be humble in approach in the spirit of AlavandhAr, who observed in his ChathusslOki SlOkam:
--SrIrithyEva cha Naama tE Bhagavathi BhrUma: katham thvAm vayam? ChathusslOki: First SlOkam,Fourth Quarter
(Extended Meaning) : Oh Jagan MohinI! Your husband is the PurushOtthaman, Sri RangarAjan. AdhisEshan is Your bed and seat. Veda SvarUpi Garudan is Your Vaahanam (transport) . The Moola prakruthi, which enchants the world is Your sacred curtain. The wives of BrahmA, RudrA, IndrA and other DevAs are Your daasa vargams (assembly of servants) . YOUR NAME IS KNOWN AS SRI DEVI. HOW CAN WE BEGIN TO DESCRIBE YOUR LIMITLESS AUSPICIOUS ATTRIBUTES? (As Your name is Sri Devi, is there anything to say beyond that?) .
Recognizing his own inadequacies in his attempt to eulogize Sri Devi,KurEsar devised a clever approach. He stated clearly to Sri Devi that he wanted to praise Her (hE SrirdEvi! samastha lOka JananIm thvAm sthOthum IhAmahE). He pleaded however with Her that She should help him in this impossible effort: "yukthAm BhAvaya BhArathIm" (Please bless me with the power of divine Speech that will fit this occasion).
After asking for dhivya-Vaak siddhi, KurEsar begged for the growth in affection-laden Buddhi to eulogize Her (PrEma pradhAnam dhiyam praguNaya).
He wanted then for the PrEma Dhyai to blossom into Bhakthi (Bhakthim Bhandhaya). He concluded this appeal for her blessings with a humble prayer: Please command this prapannan as Your servant and gladden adiyEn with the acceptance of this Kaimkaryam and cast Your dayA-laden glances on adiyEn (Imam Janam thAvakam DhAsam Nandhya! hE LakshmI! amee vayam cha tE KatAksha Veesi visruthE: Lakshyam shyAma: ).
KurEsar Performed his Anjali (prArthanA poorvaka Prapatthi) at Her lotus feet in preparation of his sthOthram on Sri Devi.He prayed for the ripening of his Bhakthi for Sri RanganAyaki into Para Bhakthi,Para Jn~Anam and PARAMA BHAKTHI. With the choice of the word "amee" (amee vayam), KurEsar indicated his unfortunate state of suffering (ThuvaLuthal like a worm in hot sand) due to the lack of the KaruNA KatAksham of Sri RanganAyaki.
ParAsara Bhattar followed his father's sampradhAyam and that of AlavandhAr and performed his anjali rites. As Sri RangEsa PurOhithar, he was well versed in the proper procedures to address the dhivya dampathis in the Saastraic manner. Hence He had the vijn~Apanam: " Sriyai: --SaarTyanthyai: KRUTHONJALI: "
We will now move on to the other key words and word groups chosen by Bhattar to eulogize Sri RanganAyaki beyond "SRIYAI: KRUTHONJALI: ".
Sri ParAsara Bhattar visualizes Our Lord, Hari-RanganAthan engaged in the creation of all sentients and insentients (samastha Chidhachith Srushti) in this first slOkam. He visualizes further Our ThAyAr at the side of the Lord as a witness to this scene (aalOkai:) .
Dr.V.N.VedAntha Desikan's Commentary:
Although the creation of this Universe is a play for the Lord, It is still an effort for the Lord according to Bhattar and he suggests that the Lord is some what distressed over the enormous effort of creating the sentients and the insentients. Bhattar refers to the Sramam (AayAsam) experienced by the Lord during the leelai of Jagath-Srushti.
Sri RanganAyaki is witnessing this srushti of the chEthanams and achEthanams by Her Lord and approves His splendid creations with an encouraging nod. Lord sees the anghikAram (approval) of His dEvi and feels fulfilled. He considers now that all His efforts were worth the while; He feels relieved from the reading of the signal from His PirAtti.
What signal did Sri RanganAyaki give to her Lord? She did not say anything through words. She just moved Her brows and eyes as a sign of Her AamOdhanam and angIkAram (encouraging approval). As an Empress of the World and MahA RaaNi including Sri Ranga RaajadhAni, She will only display Her sign of approval of the Lord's efforts with the modest and beautiful movement of Her brows without aayAsam (stress).
Sri RanganAthan is immensely pleased with this feedback from Sri RanganAyaki and feels fulfilled about His accomplishments. That made His day as it were! He considers His Srushti acts as saphalam (fruitful) and meaningful after reading that signal of approval from His dEvi.
KurEsar refers to this KatAksha-AngIkAram in of Sri Devi his Sri Sthava SlOkam:
"YasyA: Veekshya mukham tadhangitha-
parAdhInO vidhatth akhilam
krIDEyam kalu nAnyathAsya rasathA
syAth IykarasyAth DayA "
-- Second half of Sri Sthavam: First SlOkam
(Meaning): Our Lord follows the hints given by His dEvi's face to perform His Srushti, Sthithi, SamhAra Leelais as well as granting the PurushArthams according to their karmAs. If He did not heed those cues and goes about His own way, He would feel that He is deprived of the joys resulting from His Leelais. When the Lord grants the sentients their BhOgya ,BhOgOpakaraNa, BhOga SthAna PathArthams, He follows the unspoken cues (the movement of the brows) of His Devi and enjoys His leelAs out of a sense of Iykarasyam (Enjoyment in Unison with His dEvi) .
ParAsara Bhattar invokes the spirit of the above Sristhava SlOkam of His
Father and performs his anjali to Sri RanganAyaki so that his efforts to create
the sthuthi of Sri RanganAyaki (Sri GuNa Rathna Kosam) will be
(saarTam = saha+artham) .
Additional Comments by VS:
ParAsara Bhattar takes poetic liberty and suggests that the Lord experiences some distress (Vyasanam) during His efforts to create the sentients and the insentients (Chidhachith VidhAnam). This is for RasOkthi (statement for our enjoyment).
ParAsara Bhattar as Parama VedAnthin is fully aware of the Brahma Soothram: JanmAdhyasya yatha: (All Those which are seen in this Universe are Creations from Him, the Supreme Brahman). These are all VishNu VibhUthis created by the Lord like an effortless play (KrreeDA HarEritham Saravam: Saanthi parvam of MahA BhAratham). His leelais (chEshtithams) are compared to that of the child's play by VishNu PurANam: "kreeDathO BaalakasyEva chEshtaam Tasya-".
ParAsara Bhattar says in this slOkam that the Lord welcomes, nay waits for
the angIkAram from His dEvi regarding His Jagath Srushti leelais, since He is
LakshmI-SahAyan and feels fulfilled through Her sign of approval. His fatigue (vyasanam)
disappears at the sight of Her approving brow movement :
(HarE: VidhAna-Vyasanam, Sriyai: angIkAribhi: aalOkai: Saartham) .
His heart is filled with joy over His srushti accomplishments that have met with the approval of His dEvi.
In the context of the articles on Sri GuNa Rathna Kosam, adiyEn would like to share with You a small krithi adiyEn composed on Sri RanganAyaki ThAyAr, who is none other than MahA LakshmI presiding over Sri Ranga RaajadhAni.
This Krithi could be sung in Raagam Vachaspathi
Pallavi: VandEham Maatharam MaaninIm MahA LakshmIm
Anupallavi: UmA VaaNi SamsEvitha CharaNAm Pankaja-Vana PriyAm Paapa NaasinIm (vandEham)
CharaNam: Maadhava ManOharIm MahA dEvIm nithya SaanthAm Soumya RoopAm Sri RangarAja MahishIm KamalAm Samudhra TanayAm HiraNya VarNAm (VandEham)
COMMENTS ON THE INDIVIDUAL SECTIONS OF THE KRITHI
Pallavi: "VandEham Maatharam,ManinIm MahA LakshmIm".
(Extended Meaning): Salutations to our Loka MaathA ,MahA LakshmI,who is the resolute Para Devathai, who is the object of the highest level of worship. She is resolute in saving Her children from the anger of Her Lord, who turns his face away at the trespasses committed by them. As "Maaninee", She is proud and resolute in not letting Her Children down in their times of distress.
Anupallavi: " UmA VaaNi SamsEvitha CharaNAM Pankaja-Vana PriyAm Paapa-NaasinIm "
As MahA Lakshmi, Her sacred feet are saluted by Her daasi Vargams (UmA and
Sarasvathi et al). She is the "SadguNa ArNonidhi" (the ocean of
auspicious divine attributes) and "GuNa Rathna KOsam " (treasure house
of gems of KalyANa GuNams). Hence, UMA and Sarasvathi join Her Daasi Vargam.
Limitless Isvaryams come their way due to LakshmI KatAksham. She is "
KurEsar has performed SaraNAgathi to Her with the Sri Sookthi:
" Saa BhArathI BhagavathI thu yadhiya DAASEE
Thaam Deva Deva MahishIm SRIYAM AAASRAYAAMA: ".
Here KurEsar goes one step further and states that Sarasvathi Devi is the servant of those who are adiyArs of MahA Lakshmi.
Sri Devi is fond of residing in the Lotus forests. Her affection for the red Lotus is referred to by Sri Sooktham passage:
"Padma-PriyE Padmini Padma-hasthE
Her power to destroy Sarva Paapams through Her Kataksham alone is well celebrated in Sruthis and Smruthis. She is the "sarva bhutha Hitha Prathai" (conferrer of hitham to all embodied ones). She is "Yashasvini" and "SarvOpadhrava-VaariNyai" as saluted by her AshtOttharam. Her Yashas (keerthi) in this matter and Her ability to destroy all upadravams are well understood. She is thus agha or Paapa Naasini of the highest order.
"Maadhava ManOharIm MahA DevIm nithya SaanthAm Soumya RoopAm Sri RangarAja MahishIm KamalAm Samudhra TanayAm HiraNya VarNAM (VandEham Maatharam -- MahA LakshmIm) "
She enchants Her Lord and He is under Her total spell as Maadhava ManOhari. She is the PerumdEvi (MahA Devi) of Achyutha Varadhan. She is never angry and is an embodiment of composure and tranquility (Nithya SaanthA). Her beauty is revealed in every one of Her limbs (SarvAnga Sundari and acme of perfection thru Her SaamudhrikA lakshanams) . Thus She is Soumya Roopa, Padhmini. She is the Patta Mahishi of Lord RanganAthan.She is revered as KamalA. She is the daughter of the Milky Ocean. She arose from there during the churning of nectar (Samudhra-tanayA). Her complexion is like the golden creeper and the bright golden flash of lightning (HiraNmaya varNam). Sri Sooktham salutes Her golden complexion majestically at the very beginning of its eulogy:
"HiraNya VarNAm HariNIm SuvarNa-RajathasrajAM ChandhrAm HiraNmayeem LakshmIm JaathavEdhO ma Aavaha"
We will move on to the second slOkam.
LakshmIm Ksheera-samudhra-rAja- tanayAm Sriranga-dhAmEsvarIm DaasibhUtha samastha-deva-vanithAm lOkaika-dheepAnkurAm --Sri LakshmI AshtOtthara Satha nAmam
Srimath Azhagiya Singar ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam,
Daasan, Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SatakOpan