Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sri Venkatesa stotram

There are eleven beautiful slOkams that are housed in Sri VenaktEsa sthOthram. They are a delight to recite and reflect upon . The endearing affection with which this bhakthan eulogizes the Lord and describes his aakinchanathvam have few parallels . The Taalam patterns (chantham) woven into slOkams 1-5 and 8 are remarkable. The MahA VisvAsam in the Lord of seven hills and the personal prayer for His grace captured in SlOkam 9-11 are one of the most moving appeals in the annals of SthOthrams.

(1) KamalA-kucha-chUchuka-kumkumathO
niyathAruNithaathula nIlatanO !
KamalAyatha-lochana !LOkapthE !
Vijayee bhava ! VenkatasailapathE !

Oh Lord of VenkatAchalam ! Oh Lord of the Universe ! Oh Lord with long eyes reaching almost to Your ears and reminding us of the softeness and beauty of lotus flower ! Oh Lord whose matchless dark hued body is renderd red always with the vermillion (Kumkumam) marks from the front portions of the breasts of MahA Lakshmi ! Victory be always to Thee!

(Comments): The Lord's dark bluish body has a lasting redness due to the sambhandham with Sri MahA Lakshmi's saffron and kumkumam paste worn on Her breasts as beauty marks .The Lord's body is thus visualized as " KamalA kucha chUchuka kumkaumathO niyatha aruNitha athula neela Tanu".
The anyOnyam of the divya dampathis is celebrated here . ThAyAr's intimate sambhandham is hinted as the reason why the Lord of the Venkatam hills will forgive our trspasses due to the intercession of our most benevolent Mother united with Him in an inseparable manner . AhalahillEn Paasuram of Swamy NammAzhwAr has to be remembered by us in this context.

(2) sachathurmukha shaNmukha panchamukha
pramukAkhila dhaivatha mouLimaNE !
SaraNAgathavathsala ! SaaranidhE !
ParipAlaya maam VrushasailapathE !

Oh Lord of Vrusha sailam ! Oh Crown Jewel of all DevAs and Gods like the four-faced BrahmA , the five-faced Sivan and the six-faced KumAra Swamy ! Oh Lord immensely attached by the bonds of love to those , who seek Your protection ! Please protct me !

(Comments): Oh Lord of VrushA hills ! You overlook the deficiencies of those , who perform SaraNAgathi at Your holy feet and look upon that SaraNAgahti as a vyAjam to come to their rescue and bless them fully. Just as poor people at times of grinding poverty access their savings , we come to You at times of great distress to save us . May You known for such vaibhavam as Saara Nidhi (matchless treasure )and SaraNAgatha Vatsalan protect me.

(3) athivElatayA thava dhurvishai-
ranuvEla kruthair-aparAdha sathai:
bharitham thvaritham VrushasailapathE
parayaa krupayaa paripaahi HarE !

Oh Lord of Vrusha Giri! May Thou befitting Your name as Hari extend to me Your immense dayA and protect me , who is guilty of committing limitless and unbearable sins without let .AdiyEn has now rushed to Your paadha kamalam with the full trust in Your matchless compassion to overlook my unforgivable trespasses and protect me .

(comments) Oh Hari! " ParayA krupayA maam Paahi" is the moving prayerful appeal to the Lord .He is Para Brahmam and hence His Krupai (grace )is also Para Krupai . It is a grace for which there are no equals or superiors. The SaraNAgathan is brimming (bharitham ) with AparAdha Sathams and is scared about what is going to happen to him .Therefore , he rushes (thvaritham) to the Lord's Thiruvadi and prays " HarE KrupayA paripAhi ".He does not say "Paahi" , but appeals one step higher with the request , "ParipAhi ".

(4) adhivEnkata sailam udhAramathEr
janathAbhi mataadhika dhAnarathAth
ParadEvathayA gadhithAn nigamai:
KamalaadayithAn na param kalayE

Oh Lord of Sri Devi ! Oh Lord who is saluted as the God of Gods by VedAs and Upanishads ! adiyEn does not recognize anyone as being superior to You ! Oh Lord residing in Venakata Giri ! Your generosity is unmatched and You always bless Your bhakthAs with more than what they desired .

(Comments): "Tvath param na KalayE" .There is none who is superior to You in the sense that the Lordn is " SamAdhika daridhran " . He is poor in the sense that there is no one , who is His equal or superior .Sri VenkatEsan is saluted here as " UdhAra mathi " and " janathA abhimatha adhika dhAnarathan" . His generosity is unparalleled and as a result , He always enjoys blessing people with more than they prayed for.

(5) kalavENu ravAvasa gOpavadhU
SathakODi vruthAth smarakODi samath
prathi vallavikAbhimathAth sukhadhAth
VasudEva suthAn na param kalayE

adiyEn does not recognize anyone other than Sri KrishNA ( Lord SrinivAsan as VenkatakrishNan) as a superior God. Sri VenkatEsan in His KrishNA -vathAram is the one ParamAthmA ,who is surrounded by hundreds of crores of Gopis , who have lost themselves totally in the charming music coming out of His divine flute.This son of VasudEvan is far more beautiful than the combined beauty of crores of ManmathAs and is desired by each and every Gopi maiden and He in turn blesses them with all pleasures that they desire individually including Moksha sukham.

(Comments): The power of KrishNA's VeNugAnam has been movingly described by both PeriyAzhwAr and Swamy Desikan (GopAla Vimsathi slOkams). This slOkam touches on that Vaibhavam . The leelAs of "Gopa kanyA Bhujangan" are hinted here as well .

(6) abhirAma guNAkara ! dhAsarathE!
jagdhEka dhanurdhara ! dheeramathE !
RaghunAyaka! Raama! RamEsa! VibhO !
varadhO Bhava ! Deva! dayA-jaladhE !

Oh the treasure house of all auspicious GuNAs revered by every one ! Oh the son of DhasarathA ! Oh matchless archer in all the Universe ! Oh Lord of firm sankalpam !Oh the chief of Raghu Kulam ! Oh SupremeLord! Oh effulgent One ! Oh Ocean of Mercy ! May Thou assume the role of the boon giver(Varadhan) and bless us !(Comments): Here the prayer is shifting to Sri VenkatarAman , who declared His SaraNAgathivratham as " DhadhAmyEthath Vratham mama ".

(7) avanI tanayA kamanIya karam
rajanIkara chAru mukhAmbhu ruham
rajanichara rAja tamO mihiram
mahanIyam aham RaghurAmam ayE

adiyEn performs SaraNAgathi to RaghurAman ,whose hands are held with affection by SitA PirAtti . He has the most beautifulm face reminding one of a well blossomed , lotus flower . He is the valorous One , who is like the Sun to the darkness of the unrighteous RaavaNan . adiyEn seeks refuge in Him .

(Comments):This passage reminds one of thirty fourth sargam of Sundara KaaNDam of Sri Vaalmiki RaamAyaNam , where HanumAn describes to SitA in AshOka Vanam the beauty ,valour and the other auspicious qualities of Lord Raamachandran : " roopavAn Subhaga: SrimAn Kandharpa iva MoorthimAn , VikramENa upapannasccha yaThA VishNurmahAyasA : ".

(8) sumukham suhrudham sulabham sughadham
svanujam cha sukAyam amOgha-saram
apahAya Raghudhvaham anyam aham
na kaThanchana kanchana jaathu bhajE

Oh VenkatEsA ! You are Sri RaamAvathAran .As RaamachandrA , the crest jewel of Raghu Kulam ,You have the most beautiful face and body , compassionate heart and are easily accessible .You are known
for Your unfailing arrows. You incarnated with Your brothers as the sons of DasarathA and have the power to grant the boon of Moksham to those who sought refuge in You.With all of Your aanatha kalyANa guNams in mind , adiyEn will never seek anyone other than You for my salvation.

(Comments): In the fifth slOkam, the composer of this sthOthram saluted ThiruvEnkatamudayAN as KrishNA and in the slOkams from 6-8 he visualized the Lord of Thirumalai as the Veera Raaghavan , Sundara Raaman and Jaanaki RamaNan . In the concluding three slOkams ( 9-11) , the composer reverts to
the adulation of the Lord of Thirumalai as Sri VenakatEsan .

(9) vinA VenkatEsam na NaathO na Naatha:
SadhA Venkatesam smarAmi smarAmi
HarE! VenkatEsa ! Praseedha Praseedha
Priyam Venkatesa ! Prayaccha Prayaccha !

Oh VenkatEsa! Even in my dreams , adiyEn does not consider any God superior to You . Therefore , adiyEn is always meditating on YOu and You alone. Oh Hari !Please grant me the boon of what adiyEn desires or better still , bless me with any auspicousness , which You deem appropriate for me.

(10) aham dhUratas thE padhAmbhOja yugma
prANama icchayaa Aagathya sEvAm karOmi
sakruthsEvayA nithya sEvA phalam thvam
prayaccha prayaccha PrabhO VenkatEsa

Oh Lord VenkatEsA ! adiyEn has come from afar with the longing to worship Your holy feet this one time .The fierce waves of paapam have tossed me about far and wide and kept adiyEn away from You . The benovolent waves of PuNyam have brought me to Your sannadhi today. adiyEn is saluting You heartily this one time. Please bless me with Mukthi SaamrAjyam , where adiyEn can delight in nithya Kaimkaryam to You .

(11) aj~nAninA mayA dOshAn
asEshAn vihithAn HarE !
Kshamasva Thvam Kshamasva thvam
Seshasaila SikhAmaNE

Oh Hari NaarAyana ! Oh Crest jewel of Sesha Sailam ! Please pardon adiyEn for all the sins committed by me . If You do not forgive my trespasses done out of ignorance , then Your Naamam as Hari will become meaningless; further, Your sankalpam to leave Parama Padham in favor of Thirumalai would become an act without any purpose. Therefore ,Oh VenaktEsA , Please forgive my apachArams and bless adiyEn .