By Kulashekara Alwar
Translated by V. Sadagopan
Mukunda can be Translated as The Giver of Liberation Or Salvation. Mukunda Mala – is A Garland For Mukunda. The Two Words “muktim Dadaati ” have United to Form The Single Word “mukundah” It is The 518th Name of Sri Vishnu Sahasra Naamam. Sri Parasara Bhattar has Commented That Mukunda is The One, Who bestows The Boon of Salvation, When The Devotees Pray to Him with Supreme and Single-minded Devotion.
The other Intrepretation of the Mukunda Naamam is that He Blesses Each Appropriately According to Their Karmas. The Akshara Mu Stands For Mukthi (liberation) and Ku Stands For Bhoomi ( Material Comforts). Since The Lord Who Gives(dadahti ) Both Mu and Ku, He Gains The Name Mukunda.
The Tribute is Paid At The Very beginning to The Composer, King Kulashekara, A Great Devotee . That Celebrated Devotion of Kulasekhara For Sri Ranganatha (Lord Narayana) is The Theme of The Tribute.
GUSHYATE YASYA NAGREH, RANGAYAATRAA DINEHDINEH |
TAMAHAM SIRASAA VANDEH, RAAJANAM KULASEKHRAM ||
The Devotee Expressed his Intense Longing to Enjoy Fully The beauty of Sri Ranganatha (Bhagavan Narayana) In his Composition on Srirangam. The Author Salutes The Composer King Kulashekara, In Whose Kingdom Was The Echo of The Joyous Shouts of “Sriranga Yatraa” (longing to be with The Lord) Reverberated Every Day at All Nooks and Corners of That City.
This Great Work is A Celebration of Bhagavan Nama , A Sincere Prayer For Unceasing Remembrance of The Lord At All Times and Places.
Regarding The Celebration of The Names (naamaas) of The Lord, Vishnu Sahasra Naama Points Us The Secret behind The Names of The Lord. It Says “yasya Naamaani Gownaani “. It Reveals That His Names Are Gunas and His Divya Swaroopa.
The Lord , Who is The Abode of Infinite Attributes has Therefore Infinite Namas. By Celebrating These Names, One Grows In One’s Bhakti. That is The Greatness of The Bhagavan Nama, This is What is Celebrated By Kulasekhara In His Mukunda Maala .
SRIVALLABHETI VARADETHI DAYAPARETHI
BHAKTHAPRIYETHI BAVALUNDANAGOVIDEHTI |
NATHETI NAGASAYANETHI JAGANIVAASETHI
AALAPINAM PRATIPATAM KURU MAAM MUKUNDA ||
The Appeal Here is to Mukunda, Who Blesses One with The Boons of Enjoyment In This Earth and In Srivaikuntam. The Appeal is” Srivallabheti—-jaganivaasethi , Iti Pratipatam Aalipinam Maam Kuru.”
Kulasekhara Salutes The Lord as Srivallabha: Lakshmi Pathi. He Then Follows That Salutation and Appeal By Describing The Lord as Varada, Dayaapara, Bhaktha Priya, Bavalundanagovidha , Nagasayana and Jagannivasa. His Only Sincere Appeal to The Lord to Bless Him to Recite The Bhagavan’s Names Always . He Uses The Word ‘iti’ to Show That Just One of Above Names is Enough to Think & Meditate Upon All Day.
Bhagavan being The Granter of All Kinds of Boons, becomes Varada Or Sarvaabheeshta Varada. He bestows The Required Boons On Gods and Bhakthas and Gets Thus The Name of Varada .
The Third Name By Which Kulasekhara Recognizes The Lord is Dayaaparan, The All Merciful Lord , Who Runs to Rescue His Devotees In Trouble. Therefore, He Gets The Fourth Name, Which is Bhaktha Priya. The Fifth Name Selected By Kulasekhara In His Appeal is Bavaluntana Kovidhan, One Who can Help You Cross The Ocean of Samsara. Hence, The Lord is Saluted Here as The One, Who has The Power to Destroy The Afflictions of Samsara.
The Sixth Naama is Naathan . He is The Supreme Lord of The Universe and Therefore He is The Naathan. He is Also Nagasayanan. Resting In The Milky Ocean On Adhi Seshan, He is Engaged In Yoganidra.
When The Devas and Rishis Approach Him There For Help to Overcome Their Sufferings, He Incarnates Into The Appropriate Avathaaraas and Reestablishes Dharma. The Naga Sayanan is Also Jagannivaasa. He is Jagannivaasa For Two Reasons: (1) He Gives A Home For The Universes In His Stomach During The Mahaa Pralayam (2) He is Sarva Vyaapi and Therefore He is Saluted as “antar Bahisccha Tath Sarvam Vyapya Naraayana: Sthitha: ” Says The Upanishad.
Kulasekhara Salutes The Lord By The Above Eight Names and asks Him Not to Save Him From The Trap of Delusion & Makes Him Recite The Lord’s Names Always.
VERSE 2: HAIL TO THE LORD!
JAYATHU JAYATHU DEVOH DEVAKINANDANOYAM
JAYATHU JAYATHU KRISHNOH VRISHNIVAMSAPRADEEPA: |
JAYATHU JAYUTHU MEGASYAAMALA: KOMALAANGA:
JAYATHU JAYATHU PRITHVEE BHARANAASOH MUKUNDA: ||
This Verse is Like A Pallaandu. Kulasekhara Salutes The Lord as Deva:, Devaki Nandana:, Krishna:, Vrishni Vamsa Pradeepa :, Mega Syaamala:, Komalaanga: , Prithvi Bhara Nasa: and Mukunda: . There Are Again Eight Naamas Included In This Verse. Lord Krishna is Saluted as The Son of Devaki and as The Light of Vrishni Clan of Kings. His Dark Blue Complexion Reminding One of The Clouds of The Rainy Season, His beautiful Limbs and His Lightening of The Burden of The Earth Through Destruction of The Wicked During The Bharatha War Are Hailed Here.
Kulasekhara Like Periyazhwaar Says , Victory to Thee and May You Thrive Forever !
ERSE 3 : KULASEKHARA”S REQUEST FOR A SMALL AND SPECIFIC BOON.
MUKUNDA! MOORDHNAA PRANIPATYA YAACHEH
BHAVANTHAM EKAANTHAM IYANTHAM ARTHAM |
AVISMRUTHI: TAVA CHARANAARAVINDEH
BHAVEH BHAVEH MEH ASTU BHAVAT PRASAADAAT ||
O, Mukunda! I Prosrate before You and Only beg For This Small Boon. Please Bless Me to Remember Your Lotus Feet In Every One of My Births without fail.
VERSE 4: SUBLIME AND DISPASSIONATE DEVOTION
NAAHAM VANDEH TAVA CHARANAYOR DWANDVAM ADVANTVA HAYTOH:
KUMBEEPAAKAM KURUMAPI HARE ! NAARAKAM NAAPANETHUM I
RAMYAA RAAMAA MRUTHU TANULATHAA NANDANEH NAAPI RANTUM
BHAAVE BHAAVE HRUDAYA BHAVANEH BHAVAYEYAM BHAVANTHAM II
Here , Kulasekhara Spells Out to Mukunda as to What He is Not Praying For. I Am Worshipping Your Holy Feet Not to Gain Evanescent Joy Or to Shake off My Samsaric Sorrow; I Am Praying to You Not to Escape From The Terrifying Narakam Known as Kumbhipaakam. I Certainly Am Not offering My Salutations to Enjoy The Celestial Damsels with beautiful Limbs In The Pleasure Gardens of Indra. O Lord,who Chases Away The Sorrows of The Bhakthaas! Please Grant Me The Boon of Realizing You Through Meditation In Every One of My Births In The House of My Heart. That is All I Am Praying For and Not For Anything Else.
VERSE 5 : PRAYER FOR STHIRA BHAKTHI
NAASTHAA DHARMEH NA VASUNICHAYEH NEYVA KAAMOPABHOGEH
YADHYADHBHAVYAM BHAVATHU BHAGAVAN POORVAKARMAANURUPAM I
YETAT PRAARTHYAM MAMA BAHUMATHAM JANMAJANMAANTHAREPI
TVAT PAADHAMBORUHAYUGAGATAA NISCCHALAA BHAKTHIRASTU II
O Lord Filled with The Six Celebrated Qualities! I Am Not Interested In The Acquisition of Wealth Or In The Pleasures of The OTher Worldly Life. I Am Not Attracted By Sensory Pleasures At All. Whatever That Will Happen as A Result of Purva Karmaas,let It Happen! The Only Thing That I Pray For is The Steady and Undiminishing Devotion At Your Lotus Feet In Every One of My Births.
VERSE 6: PRAYER FOR REMEMBERANCE OF THE LORD”S FEET AT THE LAST
MOMENTS OF LIFE.
DIVIVAA BHUVIVAA MAMAASTHU VAASA:
NARAKEHVAAA NARAKAANTHAKA! PRAKAAMAM I
CHARANAUH TEH MARANEPI CHINTAYAANI II
Here The King of Kolli Naadu Prays For The Lotus Feet of The Lord as Antima Smurithi. Azhwaars and Aacharyals have begged The Lord to have Thoughts About Him During Their Anthima Prayaanam . One Example of Such Prayer is Found In The Twelfth Verse of Sri Gopala Vimsathi:
HARINEELA SILAA VIBHANGA NEELAA:
PRATIBHAA: SANTU MAMAANTHIMA PRAYAANEH I
( May The Images of The beautiful Blue Complexion of Your Body Resembling That of A Indra Neela Gem Appear before Me At The Time of My Departure From This Earth !) Kulasekhara States In This Verse That He is Indifferent to His Residence At Svargam Or Earth Or Narakam At The Time of His Anthima Prayaanam . The Only Thing That He Cares For is The Memory of The Lord”s Lotus Feet That Surpass The beauty of The Lotus of The Autumn Season.
VERSE 7: REQUEST FOR RESIDENCE INSIDE THE CAGE OF
THE LORD’S LOTUS FEET IMMEDIATELY
KRISHNA! TVADHEEYA PADAPANKAJA PANCHARAANTHA:
ADHYAIVA MEH VISATHU MAANASA RAJAHAMSA: I
PRAANA PRAYAANA SAMAYEH KAPAVADHA PITTAI :
KANTAAVARODHANAVIDHAU SMARANAM KUTASTEH II
Kulasekhara Prays Here For Safe Residence as of Now Inside The Cage of The Lord”s Holy Feet. He Compares His Mind to A King Swan That Wishes to Enter The Safe Cage of The Lord”s Lotus Feet. He Explains The Reason For This Urgent and Pressing Request.he Says That At The Time of His Departure Form This Earth, He May be totally Helples and Will be Overcome By Blockage of Throat From The Phlegm, Bile and Irregular Respiration. I May Not be Able to Think of You Under Those Circumstances. Therefore, Let Me Enter The Safe haven(cage ) of The Lotus Feet of Thine Now ! The Azhwaar”s Paasura
Vaakyams Such A S” AppothaikkippoTheh Solli VaiThen “, ” Vaayorupakkam Vaangi Valippa ,vaarnda Neerkkuzhikkankal Mizharra ” Are Reminiscent of The Terror Experienced By The Azhwaars and Their Seeking Insurance Form The Lord to Protect Them, When They Are Helples Sduring The Last Moments of Their Life. Varaha Sarama Slokam is The Answer That The Lord Gives to Kulasekhara . Those Sarama Slokam Words Are: ” Mriyamaananthu Kaashta Paashana Sannibham, Aham Smaraami Madh Bhaktham Nayami Paramangathim “. Lord Varaha assures The Bhakthas That He Will Think of Them At The Time of Their Death, When They Lie Incapacitated On Their Death bed as Stones Or A Piece of Wood and Lead Them to His Supreme Abode.
VERSE 8: UNCEASING MEDITATION ON LORD KRISHNA
CHINTAYAMI HARIMEVA SANTATAM
MANDA MANDA HASITA AANANAAMBHUJAM I
NANDAGOPA TANAYAM PARAATPARAM
NAARADHAATI MUNI BRINDHA VANDITHAM II
Here, Kulasekhara States That He Meditates Always On Hari, The Destroyer of All of Our Sins. That Hari Worshipped By Celebrated Saints Like Naaradhaa has A Radiant Smile Like A Blossoming Lotus. He is The Supreme Most Among The Gods and That Hari is None OTher Than Krishna, Who Came Down to This World as The Son of Nandagopa of Gokulam . Verse 9: Hari as A Cool Pond Removing The Heat of Samsaaram Here, Kulasekhara is Nourished By The Meditation On The beautiful Limbs of The Lord and Equates That Invigorating Experience to That of Taking A Deep Dip In A Cool Pond In The Middle of Scorching Summer. He Compares The Hands and Feet of The Lord to Lotuses Blooming In That Cool Pond. He Recognizes The Fish Swimming In The Pond as The Two Eyes of The Lord. The Waves of The Pond Remind Him of The Inviting Shoulders of The Lord. He is Reminded of The Deep Bhagavat Tatvam , When He Thinks About The Depth of The Pond . The Refreshing and Joyous Experience of Immersing In That Pond Known as Hari and Drinking Its Nourishing Waters Makes Him Think That, That Experience is Comparable to The State of A Traveller In The torrid and Dry Dessert Sighting A Cool Pond In The Middle of All of That Waste Land and Getting Relief From His Sufferings By Dipping Into That Inviting Waters. His Afflictions Are Gone.
The Afflictions Are The Sorrows of Samsaric Life Caused By The Taapa Thrayam . Dipping In The Hari Saras is The Sure Way to Quench Those Taapaas . Kulasekhara States That The Dip In The Cool Emerald Pond (hari Saras) has Cured Him of The Afflictions .
Poets have Used The Analogy of A Cool Emerald Pond In A Summer to Describe The Invigorating and Relief Giving Qualities of The Meditation On The Lord. Following This Tradition, Swami Desikan States In Devanayaka Panchaasat, ” Mama Dhee: Bhavantam Greeshmeh Tataakamiva Seetham Anupravishtaa” . He States That His Mind Attained Rest and Vigour Through Meditation On The Auspicious Attributes of The Lord of Thiruvahindrapuram, Just A Sone Gets Relief From The Scorching Summer Heat By The Act of Dipping In A Cool Pond. One Azhwaar has Described Rama as “dayarathan Perra Maragada Mani Thatam ( Rama, The Emerald Pond Born as The Son of Dasaratha ) “.
SRAMA-MUSHI BHUJA-VICHI-VYAKULE AGADHA-MARGE
HARI-SARASI VIGAHYAPIYA TEJO-JALAUGHAM
BHAVA-MARU-PARICHINNAH KLESAM ADYA TYAJAMI ||9||
Exhasted by the difficult path of life so far, I will drink the water from the pond of Hari, Where his hands and arms are the lotus flowers, And his shining eyes are the prettiest, And leave the pains and aches of this earth forever.
VERSE 10 : EXHORTATION TO THE MIND
SARASIJA NAYANEH SASANKA CHAKREH
MURABHIT MAA VIRAMA SVACCHITTAI RANTHUM
SUKATARAM APARAM NA JAATU JAANEH
HARI CHARANAAMRUTHENA TULYAM
In This beautiful Verse, Kulasekharaa Reveals That The Thought of The Holy Feet of The Lord is Similar to The Joyous Experience of Drinking Nectar.it is An Experience That is Not Surpassed In Its Sukham By Any OTher Experience . Therefore, He Appeals to His Mind to Dwell On The Lotus Eyed Lord bearing The Disc and The Conch , Who Destroyed The Evil Muraasura. He asserts That There is No Joy That can Match The Exhilarating Joy of Meditation of The Lord”s Lotus Feet.
VERSE 11: LORD IS OUR MASTER; DREAD NOT YAMA DANDANAI !
MAABHEER MANDAMANOH VICHINYTYA BHAUDHA YAMI CHIRAM YAATANAA
NAHMEE NA: PRABHAVANTI PAAPA RIPAVA: SWAMI NANU SREEDHARA:
AALASYAM VYAPANEEYA BHAKTI SULABHAM DHYAYASVA NAARAAYANAM
LOKASYA VYSANA APANODHANAKAROH DAASASYA KIM NA KSHAMA :
Here, Kulasekhara Appeals to His Mind and asks It Not to be Afraid of The torment of Yama Deva Due to Worry Over The Commitment of Many Sins Over A Long Time. He Says That These Sins Will Not Hold Lordship Over You, Since Our True Lord is Sridharan. O My Poor Mind! Please Shake off Your Procrastrination and Meditate On The Lord. He is The Remover of The Sorrows of The World. You Are His Servant . He Will Hence Come to Your Rescue and Save You From The Punishments of Yama Raja.
VERSE 12: VISHNU AS THE DIVINE BOAT TO CROSS THE SAMSAARIC OCEAN
BHAVA JALADHI GATAANAAM DWANDHVA VAATA AAHATAANAAM
SUTA DUHITRU KALATRA TRAANA BHARA ARTHINAAM
VISHAMA VISHAYA TOYEH MAJJITHAANAAM APLAVAANAAM
BHAVATU CHARANAMEKOH VISHNU POTOH NARAANAAM
Here, Kulasekhara Describes The State of Chetanas. He Says That A Majority of Them have Fallen Into The Deep and Dangerous Ocean of Samsaaraa. They Are Buffeted By The Wild Winds of Shallow Pleasures and Great Sorrows. They Are Sinking Under The Load of Responsibility to Protect Their Children ,wife and Relatives .They Do Not See The Shores During This Struggle For Survival. Kulasekhara Points Out That For Those Desperate Chetanas, The Boat Known as Vishnu is The Sole Hope For Escape Form The torments of The Ocean of Samsaaraa and to Reach The Kingdom of The Lord.
Bhagavat Bhakthi as The Sure Means to Escape Samsaaric Terrors Here, Kulasekhara Comforts His Mind and assures It That There is No Need to Fret and Fear Over The Ways of Crossing The Deep and Dangerous Ocean of Samsaaraa Through Its Own Feeble Efforts. He Says That The Deep Devotion For The Lotus-eyed Lord , Who Destroyed Narakaasuran Would Surely Transport It Over The Dangerous Waters of The Sea of Samsaaraa. Aandaal’s Nacchiyaar Thirumozhi Verse, ” Tunba Kadal Pukku Vaikundhan Enpathor tohni Peraathu Uzhalhinrehn “, is An Example of Similar Feeling-state. Here , Aandaal Says That She is Struggling Hard In The Ocean of Sorrow For The Want of The Safe Boat to Known as Vaikuntanathan to Ferry Her Across.
DARAVARTE TANAYA-SAHAJA-GRAHA-SANGHAKULE CA |
SAMSARAKHYE MAHATI JALADHAU MAJJATAM NAS TRI-DHAMAN !
PADAMBHOJE VARADA BHAVATO BHAKTI-NAVAM PRAYACCHA || 14
In This Verse, The Alwar Describes The Terrors That Abound In The Ocean of Samsara. He Prays to Lord Ranganaatha to Bless Him with The Boat of Bhakti to Ferry Across The Troubled Waters of The Ocean of Samsara. He Compares The Whirlpools and Crocodiles of The Ocean to The Joys and Sorrows Caused By Worldly Attachments to Wives, Children and Relatives. The Alwar Addresses Sri Ranganaatha as “tri-dhaman” and “varada” In This Slokam. He Calls The Great Boon Giver (varadan) as “tri-dhaman” to Remind Us That He Resides In The Three Abodes – Sri-vaikuntham, Milky Ocean, and Atop The Tiru-venkatam Hills On The Earth. He Bases His Choice of The Name, “tri-dhaman” On The Vedic Passage, “ambasya-pare Bhuvanasya-madhye Nakasya-prshte” . He Again Reminds Us That Sincere Bhakti Focussed On The Lord Will Serve as The Mighty Ship to Cross The Terrifying Ocean, Populated By Sea Monsters, Full of Powerful Waves of Moha, Churned Up By The Wind of Manmata: “uddhuta Moha Urmi-male Samsarakhye Mahati Jaladhau Majjatam Na: Bhavata: Padambhoje Bhakti Navam Prayaccha” .
MA DRAKSHAM KSHINA-PUNYAN KSHANAMAPI BHAVATO BHAKTI-HINAN PADABJE
MA SRAUSHAM SRAVYA-BANDHAM TAVA CARITAM-APASYANYAD-AKHYANA-JATAM |
MA SMARSHAM MADHAVA TVAMAPI BHUVANA-PATE CETASAPAHNUVANAN
MA BHUVAM TVAT-SAPARYA-VYATIKARA-RAHITO JANMA-JANMANTARE’PI || 15
In This Verse, Sri Kulasekhara asserts His Devotion to Sri Ranganaatha and Declares Aloud His Disinterest In Those Who Lead Wasted Lives By Discarding The Lord From Their Thoughts. Alwar has No Use For Such Detestable Souls Who Do Not have Bhakti For Ranganaatha. He Just cannot Imagine Such Empty Lives ! He Says He cannot Live without Performing Nityaradhanam to Sri Ranganaatha In Every One of His Lives On This Earth. He Reminds Us Here of The Two Principles For Which Bhagavata-s Are Well-known, Viz., “atma-dasya Hare: Svamyam”. Here He Reminds Us That The Only Way to Attain Salvation is to Remember Constantly That One is The Servant of The Lord and The Lord is The Supreme Master For All of Us. Any belief to The Contrary Will Lead One astray and Such Thoughts Are totally Unacceptable to Sri Kulasekhara. I Will Translate Word-for-word to Enjoy The Sentiments Expressed By Sri Kulasekhara Alwar: “he Bhuvana-pate ! Bhavata: Padabje Bhakti-hinan Kshina Punyan Kshanam Api Ma Draksham” O Lord of The Universe! I Will Not Look Even For A Second At The Unfortunate Who Do Not offer Bhakti At Your Lotus Feet. “sravya-bandham Tava Caritam Apasya Anyat Akhyana-jatam Ma Srausham” O Ranganaatha! I Will Not Hear Any Prabandham OTher Than Those of Your’s Which Are The Most Delectable For The Ears. I Will Not Pay Even Momentary Attention to Delightful Songs OTher Than Those Related to You. “he Madhava Tvam Apahnuvanan Cetasa Ma Smarsha” O Madhava! I Will Not Think Even For A Moment About Those Unfortunate Who Reject You From Their Lives. “janma Janmantare Api Tvat Saparya Vyatikara Rahita: Ma Bhuvam” In This and OTher Lives I Will Not be Passing My Time without Performing Your Daily Aradhanam. Please Bless Me with This Boon. In Fact, Alwar Prays to Sri Ranganaatha to Bless Him to be Free From All The Mishaps He Summarized In This Verse. Sri Kulasekhara Alwar’s Thoughts About Rejecting The Godless Reminds Us of AnoTher Alwar : “kannamangai Nagaralan Kazhal Sudi Avanai Ullattennada Manidattai Ennada Podellam Iniyavare” Here The OTher Alwar Echoes Kulasekhara’s Thought: Sweet Indeed Are The Times When I Do Not Think of Those Who Eject The Lord of Tirukkannamangai From Their Minds.
JIHVE KIRTAYA KESAVAM MURA-RIPUM CETO BHAJA SRI-DHARAM
PANI-DVANDVA SAMARCAYACYUTA-KATHA: SROTRA-DVAYA TVAM SRNU
KRSHNAM LOKAYA LOCANA-DVAYA HARER GACCHANGHRI-YUGMALAYAM
JIGHRA GHRANA MUKUNDA-PADA-TULASIM MURDHAN NAMADHOKSHAJAM || 16 ||
In This Verse, Kulasekharar Entreats All His Senses – tongue, Ears, Eyes, Legs, Nose, Head and Mind to Engage In The Service to Lord Sri Ranganaatha. The First Appeal Goes to Sri Kulasekharar’s tongue – He asks It to Praise Lord Kesavan. The Name Kesava has Three Meanings Covering Dushtha-nigraham, Svamitvam and Saundaryam of Sri Ranganaatha. In The aspect of Destruction of The Unrighteous (dushtha-nigraham) He Refers to The Lord Slaying An asura By Name “kesi” – Therefore The Name Kesava. In The aspect of Svamitvam, Kesava Stands For Sri Ranganaatha being The Master of Brahma and Rudra. In The aspect of Saundaryam, Kesavan Means One with beautiful Hair. Through The Invocation of The Name Kesava, Sri Kulasekhara Implies That The Kalyana Guna-s of The Lord Are Countless and His tongue Will Not Run Out of Kirtana-s to Sing About Him. The Second Appeal of Sri Kulasekhara – He “ceta: Mura-ripum Bhaja!” – Goes to His Mind. He asks His Mind to Meditate On The Lord Who is The Destroyer of An asura By Name “muran”. By This Meditation One Will See Him Clearly Inside Oneself, Says The Alwar. He Probably has The Following Verse From Brahma-bindu-upanishad In Mind: “ghutamiva Payasi Nigudham Bhute Ca Vasati Vigyanam | Satatam Manthayitavyam Manasa Manthanabhutena || ” The Upanishad Verse Says That Lord Sriman-narayana is Hidden In All Cetana’s Hearts Like Ghee In Milk. Just as One Churns The Milk with A Wooden Instrument (ie Mattu, In Tamizh) to Release The Butter, So Should One Use One’s Mind to Witness Sriman-narayana In One’s Heart. Then The Alwar asks His Two Hands to Do Arcana with Tulasi Leaves and Flower Petals. He Wants His Hands to Do Arcana to Sri-dharan with Perfection Appealing – “pani-dvandva Sri-dharam Samarcaya (samyak Arcaya)”. He Wants His Hands to Do Arcana Not Only to Narayana But Also to Sri-devi By Choosing The Name, Sri-dhara. The Divya-dampati-s Are Inseparable. Sri Svami Desikan Later Followed The Alwar’s Thought When He Bowed to The Divya-dampati’s Eka-seshitva-yogam In His Sri-stuti and Declared: “yuvam Dampati Daivatam Na:” (ie Dampati Yuvam Na: Daivatam) Sri Desikan Amplified The Thought behind Sridhara: By Stating That Both Mahalakshmi and Narayana, Shining as Matchless Couple, Serve as Supreme and Unified God In One Inseparable Form. After The Appeal to His Hands, Sri Kulasekhara Turns His Attention to His Ears. He asks Them to Hear (srotradvaya Tvam Acyuta Katha: Srnu !) Stories About Acyutan. The Name Acyutan Symbolizes His total Resolve to Come to Prapannas’ Rescue without Fail. By Invoking Acyuta, Sri Kulasekhara Reminds His Ears About Saranagati-vratam and Abhaya-pradhana-gunam of Sriman-narayana Reclining On Adi-sesha At Sri-ranga Kshetram. Alwar Says to His Ears That Hearing of The Katha-s of Acyutan Such as Vibhishana-saranagati, Kakasura-saranagati, Draupati-manasamrakshanam, Gajendra-moksham, Ambarisha-caritram Etc. can Only assure One of The Secure and Delectable Experience of Tasting The Nectar-like Saranagata-rakshana Anubhavam. Satvata-samhita Echoes Alwar’s Thought as Follows: “sankalpadeva Bhagavan Tattvato Bhavitatmanam | Vrtantamakhilam Kalam Secayatmrtena Tu || ” The Samhitai Verse States That Sri Acyutan Blesses Those Who Worship Him with The Nectar-like Experience of association with Him Throughout Their Earthly Lives and Gives Them The Refuge of His Cool Feet By Driving Away Afflictions. Sri Kulasekharar Next Calls On His Pair of Eyes to Enjoy The beauty of Sri Ranganaatha In His Avatara as Sri Krshna. His Appeal is “krshnam Lokaya Locana-dvaya:” to Witness and Enjoy The beauty of Sri Krshna Bhagavan, He asks His Legs to Go to Temples Where His Arca-mutis Are Enshrined. The Alwar Advises His Legs as Follows : “anghriyugma Hare: Alayam Gaccha”. Alwar Then asks His Nose to Smell The Sweet Perfume of Tulasi Leaves That Adorned The Holy Feet of Sri Krshna – “he Krshna, Mukunda-pada-tulasim Jighra”. Finally, He asks His Head to bend and offer Its Namaskaram-s to Lord Ranganaatha – “he Mudhan Adhokshajam Nama”.
HEY LOKA:-SRNUTA PRASUTI-MARANA-VYADHES CIKITSAM IMAM YOGA-GYAS SAMUDAHARANTI MUNAYO YAM YAGYAVALKYADAYA: | ANTAR-JYOTIR AMEYAM EKAM AMRTAM KRSHNAKHYAM APIYATAM TAT PITAM PARAMAUSHADAM VITANUTE NIRVANAM ATYANTIKAM || 17 ||
In This Verse, Sri Kulasekharar Talks to People of The World At Large. He asks Them to Listen to The Cure Recommended By Great Yogi-s and Sages Like Yagyavalkya Against The Cycles of Birth and Death That Cetana-s Are Subject to as Samsarin-s. Alwar Points Out That The Medicine Recommended By The Revered Sages is A Nectar-like Drink Known as Sri-krshna. That Shining Nectar Which is Immeasurable In Its Qualities Will Cure One’s Samsaric Illnesses Permanently. Alwar Equates Sri Krshna to The Powerful Medicine Which Will Cure The Disease of Recurring Cycles of Birth and Death. He Says The Medicine has been Time-tested By Great Sages and It is The Panacea For The Disease of Samsara.
HE MARTYA: PARAMAM HITAM SRNUTA VO VAKSHYAMI SANKSHEPATA:
SAMSARARNAVAM APAD-URMI BAHULAM SAMYAK PRAVISYA STHITA: |
NANA-GYANAM APASYA CETASI NAMO NARAYANAYETY AMUM
MANTRAM SA-PRANAVAM PRANAMA-SAHITAM PRAVARTAYADHVAM MUHU: || 18||
In This Verse, Alwar Addresses Humanity Out of Compassion For Their Suffering. He Points Out to Them That Chanting of Sriman-narayana’s ashtakshara Mantram Will Easily Deliver Them From Their Sorrows and Worries. He Addresses The Samsari-s Who Are About to Drown In The Ocean of Samsara and Gives Them A Roadmap to Overcome Their Desperate Situation. Alwar Reveals That Recitation of “namo Narayanaya” togeTher with Pranavam Would Remove Their Ignorance and Set Them On The Right Path Leading to Moksham. Sri Alwar Addresses Humans as “apad Urmi Bahulam Samsara Arnavam Pravisya Sthita: He Martya:” Alwar Sizes Them Up as Those Who Are Deeply Immersed In The Ocean of Samsara with Its Dangerous Waves. “va: Param Hitam Samkshepata: Vakshyami” Let Me Share with You What is Very Good For You, In A Condensed Fashion. Please Hear (srnuta!) This Brief Statement. My Message to You For Your Deliverance is to Recite The ashtakshara-mantram with Rich Intonation of Pranavam, In A Clear State of Mind Free From Delusions and with Reverence.
PRTHVI RENURANU: PAYAMSI KANIKA: PHALGUSPHU LINGO LAGHU:
TEJO NI:SVASANAM MARUT TANU-TARAM RANDHRAM SU-SUKSHMAM NABHA: |
KSHUDRA RUDRA-PITAMAHA-PRABHRTAYA: KITAS SAMASTAS SURA:
DRSHTE YATRA SA TAVAKO VIJAYATE SRI-PADA-DHULI-KANAH || 19
In This Verse Sri Kulasekhara Talks About The Splendor and Glory of The God behind The ashtakshara-mantram. This Verse is The Essence of The Maha-narayana Upanishad. Where Sriman-narayana is Described as The Eldest Among Gods (yo Devanam Devebhyo Jata:) and as The benevolent Leader of The Gods. `(yo Devanam Purohita:) The Fourth and The Fifth Verses of Maha-narayana Upanishad Provide The Basis of Sri Kulasekhara’s Celebration of Sriman-narayana as The Most Supreme Principle and The Highest Among The Gods.
Along The Upanishadic Lines, Sri Kulasekhara’s Extols The Supreme Greatness and The Masjesty of Sriman-narayana Among All Objects In The Creation and Among All Gods. Sri Kulasekhara Compares The “ananta-rupam Puranam Mahato Mahantam Paratparam” Referred to By The Upanishad, with The Panca-bhutam-s Like Fire, Warer, Earth, ETher and Air. He Also Compares The Paratparam with The OTher Gods Such as Brahma, Rudra Etc. and Concludes That None of Them Approach The Scale, Dimension, Majesty, Power and Greatness of Sriman-narayana. The Alwar Says That, Next to Him, The Vast Earth Resembles A Speck of Dust, The Oceans Resemble A Drop of Water, The Mighty Agni Resembles A Spark, The Great Winds Resemble A Feeble Breath, and The Vast Sky Resembles A Little Hole. Alwar Concludes His Statement On The Greatness and Supremacy of Sriman-narayana with Awe and Abject Wonder In The Following Manner: “sa: Avadhuta Avadhi: Tavaka: Bhuma Vijayate” Such is Sriman-narayana’s Limitless, Immeasurable Glory That Shines Forth, Says Sri Kulasekhara.
BADDHENANJALINA NATENA SIRASA GATRAIS SA-ROMODGAMAI:
KANTHENA SVARA-GADGADENA NAYANENODGIRNA BASHPAMBUNA |
NITYAM TVAC-CARANARAVINDAYUGALA DHYANAMRTASVADINAM
ASMAKAM SARASIRUHAKSHA SATATAM SAMPADYATAM JIVITAM || 20
After Meditating On and Describing The Visva-rupam of The Lord In The Previous Verse, Sri Kulasekharar is Awe-struck and His Voice Falters. Tear Swell Up In His Eyes; He has Horripilation. with Anjali hastham and bent Head, The Azvar begs Lord Sri Ranganatha For His Blessings to have Continued Memory of His Nectar-like Feet. In Utter Humility, The Alwar Says, “o Lord, Remembering You is The Most Blessed Experience, Like Drinking Nectar. Let This Bliss Continue Forever For Us (asmakam Jivitam Satatam Sampadyatam) with Your Blessings.”
HE GOPALAKA ! HE KRPA-JALA-NIDHE ! HE SINDHU-KANYA-PATE !
HE KAMSANTAKA ! HE GAJENDRA-KARUNA-PARINA ! HE MADHAVA ! |
HE RAMANUJA ! HE JAGAD-TRAYA-GURO ! HE PUNDARIKAKSHA! MAM
HE GOPI-JANA-NATHA ! PALAYA PARAM JANAMI NA TVAM VINA || 21
After The Humble Prayer Seeking The Lord’s Blessings For Constant Memory of His Nectar-like Feet, Sri Kulasekharar Surrenders to Him In Abject Humility and Confesses That There is No OTher Saviour For Him Except The Lord Reclining On Adi-seshan Ar Sri-rangam. He Requests The Lord to Protect Him. He Cries Out The Many Names of The Lord and begs For Protection and Concedes That He has No One to Turn to. (mam Palaya Tvam Vina Param Na Janami) When Seeking Protection, Alwar’s First Thoughts Turn to Gopalan Who Protected The Cows and Calves On The Plains of Gokulam. He Thinks of That Ocean of Mercy (krpa-jala-nidhi) Who took Care of The Cows as A Cowherd and Seeks The Same Type of Protection From Him. While Thinking of The Ocean of Mercy, Alwar’s Thoughts Focus On The Daughter of The Milky Ocean Whom The Lord Married. (sindu-kanya-pati:) The Alwar’s Vast Knowledge of Purana-s Form The Basis of His Next Namarcanam-s Like Kamsantaka and Gajendra-karuna-parina. He Reflects On The Celebrated Deeds Such as The Destruction of Kamsa and The Rescue of The King of Elephants From The Mouth of The Crocodile At A Lotus Pond. Alwar Pays His Respects to Sri Krshna Avtaram By Exclaiming The Lord as Ramanuja ( Younger BroTher of Bala-rama), as Gopi-jana-natha and as The Teacher of The Three Worlds (jagat-traya-guru) because of His Blessings Through The Teachings Enshrined In The Bhagavad-gita.
BHAKTAPAYA BHUJANGA-GARUDA-MANIS TRAILOKYA-RAKSHA-MANI:
GOPI-LOCANA-CATAKAMBUDA-MANIS SAUNDARYA-MUDRA-MANI: |
YA: KANTA-MANI RUKMINI-GHANA-KUCA-DVANDVAIKA-BHUSHA-MANI:
SREYO DEVA-SIKHA-MANIR DISATU NO GOPALA-CUDA-MANI: || 22
The Thought of Sri Krshna In The Previous Verse Stirs The Krshna-bhakti of Sri Kulasekharar and In This Verse The Alwar FurTher Celebrates The Descent of Sri Ranganatha as Sri Krshna. Alwar Describes and Celebrates The Splendid Gem of Sri Krshna Bhagavan. Alwar States That He is Like Garuda-mani Which Removes The Dangers Arising From Poisonous Snakes. He Recognizes Sri Krshna as The Supremely Brilliant Gem Which Protects The Three Universes. (trai-lokya-raksha-mani:) Alwar Also Describes Him as Gopi-locana-cataka-ambuda Ie He is The Gem In The Form of Rainy Clouds For The Cataka Birds Which Represent The Eyes of The Cowherdesses of Gokulam. Sri Kulasekharar is Overcome By The beauty of Sri Krshna and Describes Him as The Combined Essence of All The beauty In This World, Shining as An Invaluable Gem. (saundarya-mudra-mani:) This beautiful Gem of Krshna is Visualized as Resting His Head between The Breasts of Sri Rukmini Devi. Hence The Alwar Describes Him as The Blue Sapphire That Adorns The Chest Region of Sri Rukmini. (kanta-manir-rukmini- Ghana-kuca-dvandvaika-bhusha-mani:) Our Alwar Also Appreciates Sri Krshna as The Crown Jewel of Gopas (gopala-cuda-mani:) and Crown Jewel of Deva-s (deva-sikha-mani:) Alwar Prays to That Illustrious Blue Gem (sa: Na: Sreyo Disatu) and Prays For His benevolent Blessings.
SAMSAROTTARA-MANTRAM SAMUPACITA-TAMAS-SANGHA-NIRYANA-MANTRAM |
JIHVE SRI-KRSHNA-MANTRAM JAPA JAPA SATATAM JANMA-SAPHALYA-MANTRAM || 23
After Praising The Incomparable beauty of Sri Krshna, Kulasekharalwar Now Turns to The Holy Sri-krshna-mantram. He Explains The Significance of The Mantram and The Many Blessings It Confers On Those Who Chant It Repeatedly. “sri-krshna-mantram Janma-saphalya-mantram Satatam Japa” is The Alwar’s Recommendation. He asks Us to Recite The Krshna-mantram Which Gives Meaning and Fruit to One’s Life. He Explains The Reasons For His Recommendation Since He Knows From His Experience That The Mantram can offer All The Following benefits:
SATRU CHEDA EKA MANTRAM
It is The One Mantram Which Will Destroy One’s Enemies.
UPANISHAD VAKHYA SAMPUJYA MANTRAM
It is The Mantram Which has been Identified as The Most Sacred By The Upanishad Vakhyams.
SAMSARA UTTARA MANTRAM
It is The Mantram Which Gets Us Across The Ocean of Samsara. . Samupacita Tama: Sangha Niryana Mantram It is The Mantram Which can Banish The Deep and Dark Clouds of Ignorance and Despair.
SARVA AISVARYA EKA MANTRAM
It is The One Mantram For Attaining All Kinds of Wealth.
VYASANA BHUJAGA SANDASHTA SANTRANA MANTRAM
It is The Mantram Which Acts as A Sure Cure For The Poisonous Bites
of Serpents Known as Worldly Afflictions.
JANMA SAPHALYA MANTRAM
The One Mantram, Recitation of Which Makes One’s Life Worth Living and Fruitful. Sri Kulasekharar Therefore asks Us to Recite Constantly The Holy Mantram Known as Sri-krshna-mantram For Realizing All of The Above benefits.
DAITYENDRARTI-KARAUSHADHAM TRI-JAGATAM SANJIVANAIKAUSHADHAM |
SREYA: PRAPTI-KARAUSHADHAM PIBA MANAS SRI-KRSHNA-DIVYAUSHADHAM || 24
Kulasekharar Describes The Sri-krshna Principle as The Medicine For Curing All The Ills of The World and For Destroying All The Evil Forces. He asks Us to Drink That beneficial Medicine and to Get Well. with Us In Mind, The Alwar is Talking to His Own Mind and Tells It to Drink The Divine Medicine Known as Sri Krshna. Its benefits Are as Follows:
VYAMOHA PRASAMA AUSHADHAM
It is A Medicine That Removes The Delusions Caused By Chasing Material and Non-spiritual Things.
MUNI MANA: VRTTI PRAVRTTI AUSHADHAM
It is A Medicine That has The Power to Turn The Minds of The Sages towards Sri Krshna Ie. It can Make Them Fall In Love with Sri Krshna.
DAITYA INDRA ARTI KARA AUSHADHAM
It is A Medicine That can Cause Endless Headache and Panic to The Chieftains of asura-s Like Kalanemi.
TRI-JAGATAM SANJIVANA EKA AUSHADHAM
It is A Medicine Essential For Rejuvenating The Inhabitants of All The Three Worlds.
BHAKTA: ATYANTA HITA AUSHADHAM
It is A Medicine That Performs Wonders and Confers benedictions to The Devotees of The Lord.
BHAVA BHAYA PRADHVAMSANA EKA AUSHADHAM
It is A Medicine That Banishes The Fears of Samsara
SREYA: PRAPTI KARA AUSHADHAM
It is A Key Medicine That Confers Auspiciousness and Happiness For Its Partakers. Such A Divine Medicine is Nothing OTher Than The Sri-krshna-mantram and Kulasekharar Tell His Mind (and Ours) It Should Drink The Sri-krshna-mantram.
AMNAYABHYASANANY ARANYA-RUDITAM VEDA-VRATANY ANV-AHAM
MEDAS-CHEDA-PHALANI PURTA-VIDHAYA: SARVE HUTAM BHASMANI |
TIRTHANAM AVAGAHANANI CA GAJA-SNANAM VINA YAT-PADA-
DVANDVAMBHORUHA-SAMSMRTIR VIJAYATE DEVAS SA NARAYANA: || 25
In This Verse, The Alwar Explains The Futility of All Holy Deeds If One Does Not Recite The Sri-krshna-mantram Or Drink The Medicine Known as Sri Krshna Or Think About Him.
Alwar Describes The Futility of Vedic Recitation, Rituals Like Ekadasi Fasting, Giving Money to Charities, Pilgrimage to Sacred Places Or Bathing In Ganga River If One Does Not Meditate On The Holy Feet of Sri Krshna. This is because of The Paling of All OTher So Called Sacred Acts Compared to The Supreme Glory of Sri Krshna Who is The Incarnation of Sriman-narayana. with That Conviction Born Out of His Own Experience, Sri Kulasekharar Declares The Supremacy of Sriman-narayana, with The Statement
“SA DEVA: NARAYANA: VIJAYATE “
Sri Kulasekhara-raja Gives Three Examples of Inefficacious “sacred” Deeds If Performed without Meditation On The Holy Feet of Sri Krshna. The First Example is The Recitation of The Veda-s. ” Amnaya Abhyasanani Aranya Ruditam Veda ” The Alwar Says That Such Recitations without Recollection of The Lord’s Lotus Feet Are Like Screams and Lamentations In The Forest, Where No One can Come to Help.
The Second Example is The Daily Practice of Rituals Sanctioned By The Veda-s. Such Practices without The Thought of The Lord can Only Dry Up One’s Muscles and cannot Yield Any benefits to Help Bring The Practitioners Close to The Lord. Alwar Describes These Fruitless Rituals as,
” ANU-AHAM VEDA VRATANI MEDA: CHEDA PHALANI IVA “.
The Third Example of Futile Rituals Resulting From The Pursuit of Charitable Deeds without Faith In The Lord, Are Described as Homam-s (ie Pouring of The Sacrificial Ghee) Performed On ashes. Our Alwar Says:
” SARVE PURTA-VIDHAYA: BHASMANI HUTAM IVA”.
Charitable Deeds Like Digging Ponds and Building Public Facilities Etc., Devoid of Krshna-bhakti Are Like Pouring Oblations Unto ashes, According to Sri Kulasekhara.
Even Ganga-snanam without Meditation On Sri Krshna is Like “elephant’s Bath” and Hence Unsatisfactory. The Alwar Wants Us to Remember The Holy Feet of Lord In All Our Deeds In Order to Get His Full Blessings.
SRIMAN-NAMA PROCYA NARAYANAKHYAM
KE NA PRAPUR VANCHITAM PAPINO’PI |
HA NA: PURVAM VAK-PRAVRTTA NA TASMIN
TENA PRAPTAM GARBHA-VASADI-DU:KHAM || 26
Sri Kulasekhara Alwar Says That There is No Sinner Who has Not been Redeemed By Reciting The Name of Narayana. Similarly, Those Who Did Not Shout The Name of Narayana Ended Tasting The Ill Fruits of Samsara with Its Endless Cycles of Bith and Death.
Sri Kulasekharar Says :
“narayana-akhyam Sriman-nama Procya Ke Papina: Apai Va~nchitam Na Prapu: ?”
The Alwar Queries as to Which Sinner has Not been Blessed By Reciting The Name of Sriman-narayana. His Answer is A Resouding “none”. The Alwar Implies That Regardless of The Magnitude of The Sins, The Sinner is Blessed and Saved By The Lord Once He Hears The Sinner Invoke His Name Celebrated as Narayana.
The Alwar Also Describes The Plight of Those Who Blabber About Everything Except Reciting The Name, Narayana. He Says That Those People End Up In Endless Cycles of Samsara and Suffer.
MAJ-JANMANA: PHALAMIDAM MADHU-KAITABHARE
MAT-PRARTHANIYA-MAD-ANUGRAHA ESHA EVA |
BHRTYASYA BHRTYA ITI MAM SMARA LOKA-NATHA || 27
After Highlighting The Virtues of Reciting The Name of Sriman-narayana, Sri Kulasekhara Retreats Into A Humble Prayer asking For The Boon For becoming A Servant of The Servant Who Serves The Servant of The Servant Attendant of The Servant of Sriman-narayana. “granting of This Boon Would Fulfil My Life’s Purpose” Says Sri Kulasekhara.
Here, In One of The Moving Prayers Full of Humility, The Alwar asks The Lord to Accept Him as The Lowliest Servant In His Hierarchy of Servants.
NATHE NA: PURUSHOTTAME TRI-JAGATAM EKADHIPE CETASA
SEVYE SVASYA PADASYA DATARI SURE NARAYANE TISHTHATI |
YAM KANCIT PURUSHADHAMAM KATIPAYA-GRAMESAM ALPARTHA-DAM
SEVAYAI MRGHAYAMAHE NARAMAHO MUKA VARAKA VAYAM || 28
In This Verse, Sri Kulasekharar Wonders About The Helplessness and Inertia of Human beings Who Do Not Take The Initiative to Seek Sriman-narayana’s Blessings, Which is There Just For The asking. When He Looms before Us as The Emperor of All The Universes, Kulasekhara cannot Understand Why Humans Chase After and Worship Insignificant Entities Strutting About In The Shadow of The All Powerful Lord.
” Are We Human beings Dumb (muka:) and Useless (varaka:) Ones ? cannot We Tell The Difference between An Emperor and A Little Landlord Possessing A Few Square Feet of Land ? “, Cries Out Our Acarya. ” How can We Explain The Obeisance By Human beings to Little Chieftains, While The Most Merciful, All Powerful Lord of The Universe towers Above Them ? ” This is The Wonder and Dismay of Sri Kulasekhara. The Lord is The One Who can Give The Boon of Residing beside Him In Sri-vaikuntham. (svasya Padasya Datari) He is The Purushottaman and is The Supreme God of All The Three Universes. (tri-jagatam Eka Adhipa:) “narayane Sure Na: NaThe Tishthati” – While Our Lord Stands In That towering Manner, How Come We Search For A Human being Who is A Lowly Possessor of Insignificant Wealth, to Pay Our Respects ? When The Alwar Thinks of The Little Human, Praised By OTher Humans, Sri Kulasekhara’s Disgust Overflows. The Alwar Describes Him as “katipaya-gramesam”, “alpa-arthidam”, and “purusha Adhamam”. The Alwar Concludes By Stating, ” Yam Ka~ncit Purusha Adhamam Naram Sevayai Mrgayamahe! Aho Vayam Muka: Varaka:” “it is A Wonder That We Forsake The Lord and Choose A Lowly Human being as Our Object of Adoration and Service ! We Must Indeed be Dumb and Stupid”, Says Sri Kulasekhara.
MADANA! PARIHARA STHITIM MADIYE
MANASI MUKUNDA-PADARAVINDA-DHAMNI |
HARA-NAYANA KRSANUNA KRSO’SI
SMARASI NA CAKRA-PARAKRAMAM MURARE: || 29
In This Verse Kulasekharalwar Addresses Manmatan and asks Him Not to Engage In Mischief with The Alwar. Alwar asks Manmata to Stay Away From His Mind Which is Already Housing The Lotus Feet of Sri Krshna Bhagavan. Alwar Reminds Manmata of The Terrible Consequences He Suffered When He Tried His Mischief On Lord Sivan. Alwar Reminds Manmata of The Fact That He Got Reduced to ashes When The Angry Sivan Opened His Third Eye. So Alwar Tells Manmatan That The Latter Should Even More Wary of Attempting Any Mischief with Him, For Manmatan Would become The Object of Wrath of The Mighty Sudarsanam In The The Lord’s Hand.
“manmata, You Already Are Known as Ananga Ie. One without A Body because of Siva’s Anger. Do You Still Want to Incur The Wrath of The Powerful Sudarsana Alwar In My Lord’s Hand ? “. Kulasekharalwar Thus Challenges Manmatan.
TATTVAM BRUVANANI PARAM PARASMAT
MADHU KSHARANTIVA SATAM PHALANI |
PRAVARTAYA PRANJALIRASMI JIHVE
NAMANI NARAYANA-GOCARANI || 30
Following The Challenge to Manmata, Sri Kulasekhara is Still Worried About Any Sneaky Approach By Him. to Ward off Any Such Adversity, Sri Kulasekhara Appeals to His tongue to Repeat The Names of Sriman-narayana and His Glories For Protection. He Explains to His Mind The benefits of Reciting The Names and Stories of Sriman-narayana. He Appeals to His Mind with Folded Hands to Recite The Auspicious Names of Sriman-narayana.
The Alwar Says to His tongue That Sriman-narayana’s Names Describe The Supreme beyond The Supreme Principle. (parastat Param Tattvam Bruvanani) and The Lord’s Names Are Like The Honey Generating Fruit For The Sages. (satam Madhu Ksharanti Phalani Iva)
Such Are The Wonderful Traits of The Names associated with Sriman-narayana’s Deeds. (sriman Narayana Gocarani Namani)
IDAM SARIRAM PARINAMA-PESALAM
PATATYAVASYAM SLATHA-SANDHI-JARJARAM |
KIM AUSHADHAI: KLISYASI MUDHA DURMATE
NIRAMAYAM KRSHNA-RASAYANAM PIBA || 31
In This Verse, Sri Kulasekhara asks Ill People Why They Chase After All Kinds of Medication Instead of Just Drinking The Supreme Medicine Named “krshna” Which can Easily Cure The Cruel Disease of Samsara. Alwar Also Reminds The Anxiety-ridden Men That All of Our Bodies Will Surely Degenerate and Decompose. So Knowing That Inevitable Fate, Why Do You Chase Drugs with Limited Potence While There is The Miracle Known as Sri Krshna ?
DARA VAR-AKARA-VARA-SUTA TE TANUJO VIRINCI:
STOTA VEDAS TAVA SURA-GANO BHRTYA-VARGA: PRASADA: |
MUKTIR MAYA JAGAD AVIKALAM TAVAKI DEVAKI TE
MATA MITRAM VALA-RIPU-SUTAS TVAYYATO’NYANNA JANE || 32
Here Sri Kulasekharar Answers Sriman-narayana’s Question as to What He Knows About His Glories. The Alwar Replies, “your Wife is The Daughter of The Milky Ocean. Your Son is Catur-mukha-brahma; Your Bards Are The Veda-s; Your Servants Are The Deva-s; Your Blessings Yield Moksham; All The Worlds Arise From Your Prakriti; Your MoTher is Devaki; Your Friend is Indra’s Son, Arjuna; Thus I Do Not Know Anyone OTher Than You. “, (“ata: Anyat Tvayi Na Jane “)
KRSHNO RAKSHATU NO JAGATRAYA-GURU: KRSHNAM NAMASYAMYAHAM
KRSHNENA AMARASATRAVO VINIHITA: KRSHNAYA TUBHYAM NAMA: |
KRSHNAD EVA SAMUTTHITAM JAGADIDAM KRSHNASYA DASO’SMYAHAM
KRSHNE TISHTHATI SARVAMETADAKHILAM HE KRSHNA RAKSHASVA MAM || 33
Sri Kulasekhara offers His Salutations to Sri Krshna Using All The Eight
Noun-cases (vibhakti-s) of The Sanskrt Language.
KRSHNA: RAKSHATU NA: JAGAT-GURU:
Through The Nominative Case (subject of A Verb, Prathama-vibhakti:), The Alwar Prays, “may Sri Krshna, The Supreme Lord of The Three Universes, Protect Us”
AHAM KRSHNAM NAMASYAMI
Through The Accusative Case (dvitiya-vibhakti:, Denotes Object of A Verb) The Alwar Says, “i Salute Krshna”.
KRSHNENA AMARA-SATRAVA: VINIHITA:
Using The Instrumental Case (tritiya-vibhakti: Denotes Agent of An Action; ‘by’, ‘with’), Kulasekharalwar Referes to The Dushta-nigraha Quality of Sri Krshna: “_by Krshna_ Enemies Were Killed.” . Tasmai Krshnaya Nama: Using The Dative Case (caturthi-vibhakti: Denotes Destination of An Action = ‘to’. Denotes Purpose of An Action = ‘for’), Kulasekharalwar Says, “_for That_ (dushta-nigraha Quality) I offer My Worship In Words _to Krshna_ “.
KRSHNAT EVA SAMUTTHITAM IDAM JAGAT
Using The Ablative Case (pancami-vibhakti:; Expresses The Relation ‘from’;) The Alwar Refers to The Celebrated Fact That The Universes Originated _from Krshna_ Only. . Aham Krshnasya Dasa: asmi Using The Possessive/gentive Case ( Shashthi-vibhakti:; Denotes Possession – ‘of’) Sri Kulasekhara Says, “i Am A Servant _of Krshna_”.
ETAT SARVAM AKHILAM KRSHNE TISHTHATI
Using The Locative Case (saptami-vibhati; Denotes Location-‘in’,’at’..) Sri Kulasekhara States That This Whole Universe is Deeply Rooted _in Krshna_.
HE KRSHNA! MAM SAMRAKSHA
Finally Overcome By The Blissful Thoughts On Sri Krshna, (using The Denominative Case Or Sambodhanam) The Alwar begs Humbly For The Protection of The Lord. This Verse is Not Only A Testimony to The Poetic Skills of Sri Kulasekharar, But Also An Illustrious Example of His Supreme Krshna-bhakti.
SA TVAM PRASIDA BHAGAVAN KURU MAYYANATHE
VISHNO KRPAM PARAMA-KARUNIKA: KILA TVAM |
SAMSARA-SAGARA-NIMAGNAM ANANTA ! DINAM
UDDHARTUM ARHASI HARE ! PURUSHOTTAMO’SI || 34
After Praying For Sri Krshna’s Protection In The Previous Verse (he Krshna Mam Raksha), Sri Kulasekhara is Slightly Worried Sri Krshna May Not have been Listening to Him. So He Amplifies His Appeal For Protection In This Verse. The Alwar Addresses Sri Krshna with These Endearing Names,
“HE BHAGAVAN, HE HARE, HE VISHNO, HE ANANTA”.
By The Name, “ananta” He Implies That is is Impossible to Determine The Svarupa-lakshanam, Location and His Origin. He is beyond Space and Time. Alwar asks The Visva-vyapi (vishnu) to Take Pity On Him and Protect Him. He Says, “vishno Sa Tvam AnaThe Mayi Krpam Kuru”. Ie “o Sarva-antaryami, Who is Celebrated In The Veda-s! I Am An Orphan. Please have Mercy On Me Who has No OTher Recourse.”
“he Bhagavan Mayi Prasida!” is The Next Appeal By The Alwar. “o Lord, Who is Full of Kalyana-guna-s Like Balam, Viryam, Tejas Etc., Please Show Me Your Compassionate Face and Bless Me. You Are The One Who Removes All The Sorrows of Your Devotees.”
“tvam Param Karunika: Kila ?” – “aren’t You The One Who Gives All Boons, Out of Your Big Heart ? “. “dinam Mam Uddhartum Arhasi, Tvam Purushottama: asi, Sa Tvam Prasida “, Prays The Alwar. “i Am A Feeble Weakling Struggling In The Sea of Samsara. You Are The Supreme being. Therefore Please Ferry Me Across The Fierce Ocean of Samsara. You have All These Attributes (sa: Tvam). So Please Help Me without Hesitation.”, Prays The Alwar Here.
KAROMI NARAYANA-PUJANAM SADA |
VADAMI NARAYANA-NAMA NIRMALAM
SMARAMI NARAYANA-TATTVAM AVYAYAM || 35
Sri Kulasekhara Says That He is Engaged In The Three-fold Worship of Sriman-narayana – Through Manas, Vak, and Kayam. (mind, Speech and Body) The Alwar Says That He Worships The Lotus Feet of Sriman-narayana; He is Performing Tiruv-aradhanam For Him without Any Interruption; He is Reciting His Blemishless Names and is Constantly Thinking About His Eternal Glories.
VERSES 36, 37
SRI-NATHA NARAYANA VASUDEVA SRI-KRSHNA
BHAKTA-PRIYA CAKRA-PANE |
SRI-RAMA PADMAKSHA HARE MURARE || 36||
ANANTA VAIKUNTHA MUKUNDA KRSHNA
GOVINDA DAMODARA MADHAVETI |
VAKTUM SAMARTHO’PI NA VAKTI KASCIT
AHO JANANAM VYASANABHIMUKHYAM || 37||
While The Alwar is Reciting The Nama-nirmalam of Sriman-narayana, He is bemused By The Unfortunate Who Do Not Engage In Calling The Many Names of Sriman-narayana Such as Sri-natha (husband of Lakshmi), Vasudeva, Krshna, Bhakti-priya, Cakra-pani, Padma-nabha, Acyuta, Kaitabhari, Rama, Padmaksha (The Lotus-eyed), Hari, Murari, Ananta (The One Who is Not Limited By Time), Vaikuntha, Mukunda, Govinda, Damodara, Madhava. The Alwar Points Out That Human beings, Although Capable of Reciting The Wonderful Names of Sriman-narayana, Do Not Make An Effort to Do So; because, Their Minds Are Filled with Pursuit of Perishable Pleasures of The World, Which Eventually Result In Sorrow Only.
DHYAYANTI YE VISHNUM ANANTAM AVYAYAM
HRT-PADMA-MADHYE SATATAM VYAVASTHITAM |
TE YANTI SIDDHIM PARAMANCA VAISHNAVIM || 38
Sri Kulasekhara Describes The Status of The Minority Who Meditate On Sriman-narayana. He Says That Yogi-s Who Meditate On Sriman-narayana with Deep Devotion Attain The Eternal Place of Vishnu, Viz., Sri Vaikuntham. The Alwar Points Out That Those Recite The Narayana-gayatri,
” NARAYANAYA VIDMAHE VASUDEVAYA DHIMAHI |
TANNO VISHNU: PRACODAYAT || “
Are Maha-yogi-s. Though The Vishnu-gayati-mantra-japam Which Means, “may We Know Narayanaya !, For That, May We Meditate On Vasudeva! May Vishnu Impel Us towards That Knowledge “, Maha-yogi-s have The Good Fortune of Seeing Him In Their Heart Lotuses. There They Find Him Seated with Sri-devi, In Abhaya-mudra. Through Such A Fruitful Meditation They Reach The Abode (parama-padam) of Sriman-narayana, According to Sri Kulasekhara.
”SARA-TARAKITA CARU-MURTAYE |
MADHAVAYA MADHU-VIDVISHE NAMA: || 39||
Here The Alwar Visualizes The Parama-pada-nathan At His OTher Abode – The Milky Ocean, as Kshirabdi-nathan. This association of Vaikuntha-nathan Resting On Adi-seshan Comes to Alwar’s Mind as He is Standing before Sri Ranga-natha At The Bhu-loka-vaikuntha-kshetram. He offers His Pranamam to That Mangala-murti Reclining On His Serpent bed In The Following Way:
“MADHUVIDVISHE MADHAVAYA NAMA:”
He offers His Salutation to The Slayer-of-The-madhu Demon, Who is None OTher Than Madhavan – The Lord of Sri-devi. Alwar Visualizes Madhavan At Sri-ranga-kshetram as The One Who is Resting On Adi-seshan. While He is Resting On Adi-seshan In The Milky Ocean, Sprinkles off Milky Waves Fall On His Body and Glisten Up Little Stars! The Sight of His beautiful Blue-hued Body with Drops of Milk Resembling Brilliant White Star-specks Thrills The Alwar and He Cries Out In Ecstasy Over That beautiful Vision.
YASYA-PRIYAU SRUTI-DHARAU KAVI-LOKA-VIRAU
MITRE DVIJANMA VARAPADMASARAVABHUTAM |
RAGYA KRTA KRTIRIYAM KULASEKHARENA || 40||
In This Final and Fortieth Verse of Mukunda-mala, Sri Kulasekharar Puts The Stamp of His Authorship and Acknowledges His Friendship to Two Brahmin Poets – Padman and Saran. This Reference to His Friends has Cast Doubts as to Sri Kulasekharalwar’s Authorship of Mukunda-mala. There is A School of Thought Which believes That Mukunda-mala May be The Work of AnoTher King By The Same Name Kulasekhara Who Lived Many Years After The Alwar. Many Interpretations have been Given For This Part of The Verse:
“MITRE DVIJANMA VARAPADMASARAVABHUTAM”.
Some have Interpreted It as “dvijanmavarasca Padmavarasca” meaning as two noble Brahmana-s (dvijanmavara) Whose Names Were “padman” and “saran”.
Returning to The Rest of The Verse, Sri Kulasekharalwar Describes Himself as A bee (shatpadam) That Drinks The Nectar of The Lotus Feet of Sri Ranganatha and It Was He, Known as Kulasekhara-raja Who Composed The Mukunda-mala. Sri Kulasekhara is One of The Greatest Proponents of Nama-siddhanta and Nama-bhajana Approach For Reaching The Abode of The Lord.
” In Verse 37, Sri Kulasekhara Echoes The Above Vishnu-puranam Text :
” GOVINDA DAMODARA MADHAVETI VAKTUM SAMARTHO’PI NA VAKTI KASCIT
AHO JANANAM VYASANABHIMUKHYAM “
The Futility of All “noble” Activities without The Nama-japam of Sri Krshna is Also Described By Sri Kulasekhara In Mukunda-mala Verse 25:
” AMNAYABHYASANANY ARANYA-RUDITAM VEDA-VRATANY ANV-AHAM … “
Though The beautiful and Moving Verses of Mukunda-mala, Sri Kulasekhara Instills Bhagavad-bhakti In us and Reminds us about The Nine Forms of Bhakti Described In The Prahlada-caritra Section In The Srimad Bhagavata-puranam. When Hiranya-kasipu asks Prahlada as to What is The best Lesson He Learned In School, Sri Prahlada Replies:
” SRAVANAM KIRTANAM VISHNO: SMARANAM PADA-SEVANAM |
ARCANAM VANDANAM DASYAM SAKYAM ATMA-NIVEDANAM ||
ITI PUMSARPITA VISHNAU BHAKTISCEN-NAVA-LAKSHANA |
KRIYATE BHAGAVATYADDHA TANMANYE’DHITAMUTTAMAM || “
Meaning: Sri Prahlada Says:
” I Consider as The best Lesson, Worthy of Learning, is The Nine Characteristic Forms A Man Practises His Devotion to Lord Vishnu :
1. Listening ( Sravanam) to The Songs and Kalyana-guna-s of The Lord.
2. Singing ( Kirtanam) About The Lord.
3. Meditation ( Smaranam) On The Lord.
4. Worshipping His Lotus Feet. (Pada-sevanam)
5. Saluting Him. (Vandanam)
6. Performing Aradhanam with Flowers and Tulasi Leaves. (Arcanam)
7. offering Services Unto Him. (Dasyam)
8. associating with Him as A Friend. (Sakhyam) and,
9. Surrendering to Him totally. (Atma-Nivedanam) “
Sri Kulasekhara’s Mukunda-mala Verses Are Illustrations of The Nava-lakshana-bhakti Described By Sri Prahlada In Srimad Bhagavata-puranam. Verses Like “jihve Kirtaya Kesavam…” Are Instructions By Sri Kulasekhara to His Limbs to Follow The Nava-lakshana-bhakti. In AnoTher Section, Srimad Bhagavatam Says, “yatastadvishayamapi” Meaning When One Keeps Repeating The Name of A Thing, One Develops Affection For That Name. For The Very Same Reason, Sri Kulasekhara asks That We Repeat The ashtakshara-mantram without Interruption:
” …NAMO NARAYANAYETY AMUM MANTRAM SA-PRANAVAM PRANAMA-SAHITAM
PRAVARTAYADHVAM MUHU: ” [VERSE 18]
Sri Kulasekhara’s Requests to Sri Ranganatha For Unfailing Memory (smaranam) of His Lotus Feet (pada-sevanam) In All Janma-s Are OTher Examples of Practising Nava-lakshana-bhakti. Also, Sri Kulasekhara’s Shows His Dasya-bhakti In The Famous Verse:
BHRTYASYA BHRTYA ITI MAM SMARA LOKA-NATHA || ” VERSE 27
The Alwar Indicates The Kirtanam aspect of His Bhakti In The Following Passage:
“… PRAVARTAYA PRANJALIRASMI JIHVE NAMANI NARAYANA-GOCARANI ||” [VERSE 30]
Thus, In The Exquisitely Moving Verses of Sri Kulasekharar, We Witness His Testimony to The Nava-lakshana-bhakti Celebrated In Srimad Bhagavata-puranam. Sri Kulasekharar Thus Set The Example For Us By Practising The Nine Different Kinds of Bhakti So We can Get Closer to The Holy Feet of Sriman Narayana.
*****SARVAM SRI KRSHNARPANAMASTU*****