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Swami Desikan had reverential offered prapatthi to Sri VaradarAjA of
Hasthigiri in Tamil, which crystallized as eleven verses including the
pala sruthi verse of ADAIKKALAP PATTHU housed in Desika Prabhandham. These
verses are equally sacred in purport.
Swami Desikan's ArAdhana Murthy was VaradarAjan .Time and again, he has
offered his profound salutations to Atthigiri AruLALan through his
sthOthrams such as Sri VaradarAja panchAsath, meyviratha Maanmiyam,
ThirucchinnamAali and Sri Hasthigiri MahAthmyam.
Swami Desikan was born in Thuppul not far from the temple of VaradarAjan,
which is known as PerumAL Koil. It is revered as one of the seven mukthi
KshEthrams .The Lord stands on top of a small hill here saluted as
Atthigiri in Tamil and Hasthi Giri in Sanskrit. Here, he responds most
affirmatively to all auspicious vrathams of devotees and hence this
kshEthram is known as Sathya Vratha KshEthram. The Lord's greatness is
saluted as Meyviratha mAnmiyam.
The Lord of Hasthigiri is saluted from time immemorial as Varadhan,
DevarAjan, Devap PerumAL , AruLALan and PeraruLALan . He is saluted as
KaaruNya Raasi (the embodiment of Mercy and DayA) by Swami Desikan .He is
recognized as avyAja Vatsalan (One Whose natural disposition is affection
for His devotees). He is recognized as Varadhan or the boon giver par
excellence. The beauty of His divya MangaLa vigraham has been enjoyed by
Swami Desikan without any satiety.
Swami Desikan has described Sri Varadan as a matchless vessel to cross the
tumultuous ocean of SamsArA ( SamsAra vAridhi nidhi santhraNaika pOtham )
.He is saluted as the end statement of ALL words ( Sarva VachasAm avasAna
seema : ) .In a most majestic salutation , Swami Desikan has recognized
Him as " Nithyam param Sarva Gatham SusUkshmam nishpandha-nandhathu mayam
Bhavatha: svarUpam ) . Swami Desikan untypically is at a loss for words
and tries to describe the Lord's form as " eternal, superior to every
thing, all pervasive,unobstructed in its power and an embodiment of
unalloyed Joy ) .Swami recovers from his state of being overwhelmed and
comes back to his fluent self and salutes the Lord as " Visva AdhisAyee
Sukha rUpan " ( the unmatched embodiment of beauty in all the three worlds
Swami Desikan's salutaion of Atthigiri AruLALan as the tree with its
eastern branch as VaasudEvA , Western branch as PradhyumnA , Southern
Branch as SankarshaNA and the Northern Branch as AniruddhA and Himself at
the very centre of the Chathur VyUhams is a moving tribute (
Satthvavantha: ----tava Chathurshvapi sthAnEshu api sAkA vibhAga chathurE
chAthurAthmeyE jaagrathi ) . Here Swami says that the pious ones deeply
concentrate in the enjoyment of Him as the Chathur vyUha Moorthy. Swami
goes on to adore Him as the emerald resting in the casket made up of all
Upanishads as their SaarArtham (nikhila Upanishad maneeshA manjUsjikA
In the VaradarAjA panchAsath, Swami salutes Him as dasAvathAra SvarUpan,
as the antharyAmi as well as ArchAvathAran. Swami Desikan reminds the Lord
that his own anjali is the shield against the Lord's shafts of anger over
his sins. Our AchAryA melts the heart of Varadhan by describing HIm as the
faultless dam over the ocean of SamsAram (tvAm yEva abhangura: sEthu asi).
He invites the rejuvenating glances of VaradarAjan to bring him back to
life after experiencing the scorching rays of the summer sun of samsAram .
Swami reminds the Lord that it is not a big effort for Him to take care of
him during the remaining few years on His earth ( sEshathva lEsa nayanE
ka: iva athibhAra: ? ) .
Frightened over his accumulated sins and their effect on him, Swami
Desikan cries out and begs for the Lord's cool and merciful glances to
fall on him (madhurA: DhayALO: tE katAkshA: mayi pathanthu) .He calls Him
as KarisailadhAman (One who has Hasthigiri as His place of residence) and
begs Him to bless him to travel by archirAdhi maargam at the end of his
days. Swami wants from VaradarAjan the boon of anthima smrithi about HIm
(AlOhitha amsukam tvAm anusmarEyam) .He confides to Varadhan that the
enjoyment of His beauty in ArchAvatharam at Kanchi makes him conclude that
the stay in Sri VaikunTam is not so tempting. Swami concludes his
salutation to VaradarAjan with a prayer for unceasing rememberance (Dhruva
smruthi) of Him as a resident of his heart cave.
In the divya prabhandham, Hasthigiri MaahAthmyam, Swami Desikan rightfully
concludes that Kanchi has become the KshEthram that totally cuts asunder
all the sins of devotees because of its sanctity arising from the
association with Sri VaradarAjan (atthigiri bhatthar vinai tottaRa aRukkum
aNi AtthigiriyE). The Lord appeared in the uttara vEdhi of BrahmA's
yAgasAlA under the PuNyakOti vimAnam as the effulgent radiance. Swami
states that the nithya sUris raised the mangaLa naadham from their
Thirucchinnams during that auspicious occasion (kAhaLi nAdhEna
karNEshvamruthasEchanam). Swami Desikan is immersed in the sweet memories
of the Lord appearing before BrahmA as a golden mountain in the middle of
the fire of the yajnam. Wave after wave of memories about the Lord's
glories wash over Swami Desikan and he declares with elation his
nectar-like experience over those thoughts:
atthigiri aruLALap perumAL vandhAr
-- karutha varam tharum Dhaivap perumAL vandhAr
--umbhar thozhum kazhaludayAr vandhAr
--vAnEra vazhi tanthAr vandhAr thAmE
Swami Desikan celebrated thus .the trilOka mahaneeyam Sathyavratha
mahAthmyam .in his prabhandham in a glorious manner. The auspicious sound
raised by the NithyasUris from the Lord's Thirucchinnam reminded him of
the comforting sound of mUla Manthram. The praNava sabdham reminded him
once again of the rakshakathvam of Lord VaradarAjA . The accompanying
UkAra, MakAra sabdhams and that of the fourth case as well as the nama:
and the NaarAyaNa sabdham with its own chathur vibhakthi engulfed our
AchAryA into an ocean of bliss. He performed his prapatthi immediately to
the Lord of Hasthigiri in grateful appreciation of that extraordinary
experience and out poured the ten verses of Adaikkalap patthu.
Swami Desikan was moved to perform SaraNAgathi after the unmatched
nectar-like experience of tasting the subhAsrayam and the anantha kalyANa
guNams of Lord VaradarAjA presiding over Hasthigiri. He used the Tamil
metre of KocchahakkalippA to direct the flow of his emotion, which rushed
forth as the gushing water from a dam that collapsed.
Prabhandham 1: Bhakti mudalAmavaRRil ---
I surrender my soul at the sacred feet of PeraruLALan, who resides at the
most important of the seven cities that bless their residents with
Moksham. I have come to the realization that I am powerless to attain
moksham through the difficult-to-practise Bhakthi yOgam as upAyam. I have
hence chosen Prapatthi at the lotus feet of Varadhan as the saving grace
for me and am performing saraNAgathi. This act of mine (performance of
SaraNAgathi at the Lord's feet as the helpless one with no other recourse)
is like the deed of the evil-minded KaakAsuran, who committed grave
apachArams to the Lord's consort and was yet saved by the Lord, when he
fell at the feet of the Lord as a saraNAgathan without any other recourse.
Prabhandham 2: sadaimudiyAN --
Here again ananya gathithvam is celebrated in another way.
I am offering my prapatthi at the sacred feet of PeraruLALan while fully
cognizant of the fact that the power and wealth of even BrahmA and SivA
are evanascent and transitory and fully dictated by their karma visEshams.
Once their accumulated puNyams are over, their status as powerful
demi-gods disappear. Knowing their alpa sukhams fully well, I am not
enamoured of such status and power. I seek therefore the lasting bliss of
moksham and nithya kaimkaryam in the Lord's Sri Vaikuntam through my
Prabhandham 3: TanthirangaL--
Here, Swami Desikan points out that all are eligible to perform Prapatthi
at the lotus feet of the Lord of Kaanchi and receive the boon of Moksham
from that act of self-surrendeer.
I meditate on the glorious attribute of VaradarAjAn, who blesses all
without discrimination, when they perform prapatthi unto Him. These are
the virtuous ones, who understand the difficulties of practising Bhakthi
yOgam and understand well the equal qualifications of all to perform
prapatthi to gain the boon of Moksham. They do not seek any other means
than prapatthi and observe their varNAsrama dharmams without slipping.
They utter thereafter the prapatthi manthram (svanishtai) or follow the
utterances of their AchAryAs (AchArya Nishtai) and perform their prapatthi
to the Lord, who accepts it with joy and rewards them with the boon of
Prabhandham 4: kaahamirAkkathan ----
Here the reference is to Maha Viswasam that leads to the fruition of one's
I offer my prapatthi at the holy feet of VaradarAjan inspired by the
thought that He granted the boons of samsAra bhOgam and Moksham as desired
by them to the offending crow , VibhishAnAN , Drowpathi ,Kshathrabhandhu ,
GajEndran , KaaLiyan , Sivan , BrahmA and all the dEvAs .
Prabhandham 5: uhakkumavai--
Here, Swami Desikan reveals that he has performed the prapatthi at the
Lord's feet in the proper manner with the five angAs of Prapatthi .The
words of the prabhandham connected to the five angams are:
uhakkumavai uhanthu -- AanukUlya Sankalpam
mihat thuNivu peRavuNarndhu-- mahA visvAsam
kAvalena varitthu-- gopthruva VaraNam
puhalillAt tavamaRiyEn -- kArpaNyam
With these words, Swami Desikan points out that he has performed aathma
samarpaNam with its five limbs.
Prabhandham 6: aLavudayAr --
Here, Swami Deikan refers to the four kinds of Prapatthi:Svanishtai ,
Ukthi nishtai, AchArya nishtai and BhAgavatha nishtai . Swami says that he
has performed prapatthi at the lotus feet of Varadhan, who grants the boon
of Moksham to one, who has performed any one of the four kinds of
Prabhandham 7: umathu adigaL adaihinREn---
The meaning of the Abhaya MudrA of Varadhan is ceelbrated here.
The Lord is resplendent at the sight of the prapannA and blesses him to
enjoy all of His Isvaryam and looks at the prapannA with great compassion
and reveals through the gesture of Abhaya MudrA that his one-time
praaptthi alone is sufficient to enjoy all of that bliss. I surrender my
aathmA to that glorious and merciful Lord, who grants such matchless
Prabhandham 8: thiNmai kurayAmaikkum -----
Here, the conductance of one's life in the post-prapatthi period is
described by our ParamAchAryA.
I repeatedly reflect on the meaning of the Lord's sarama slOkam and the
assurances given by Him there to the one, who has performed prapatthi. I
remind myself that as a prapannan, I must have unshakable faith in the
assured fruits of my prapatthi.
I pray for the further enhancement of my bhakthi and Jnaanam. I shall
never forget my utter servititude to You and You alone. I shall stay in a
happy and tranquil mood with the knowledge of the essence of the
rahasyArthAs .I will bear my days on the earth without agitation over the
delay in realizing moksham. I will forget the sorrows of SamsAram that is
inevitable during the days on earth after performing my prapatthi at Your
Sacred Feet. This way, I will spend my post-prapatthi life.
Prabhandham 9: Suruthi ninaivu ---
As a prapannA, I worship always the Lotus feet of PeraruLALan with a
tranquil mind calmed by the clear understanding of the meanings of
Sruthis, Smruthis, AzhwAr's Sri Sookthis , AchAryA's Sri Sookthis that
deal with the sookshmArthams of VedAnthams .
Prabhandham 10: ThirumahaLum Thiruvadivum ---
I have joined without fail the majestic and glorious feet of the Lord, who
is never separated from His beloved consort. He has the most bewitching
beauty. He is an ocean of mercy. His dayA for His devotees is unmatched.
He is omniscient. He is easy of access to His devotees .He has the
chEthanAs and achEthanmas as His body. He is the supreme Lord of all this
universe .He is the one, who creates, protects and destroys all of this
world and its beings. These auspicious attributes will never part company
with the Lord. I have now joined with this PeraruLALan of such anantha
kalyANa guNa vaibhavam.
Pala sruthi Prabhandham --11: aaRu payan vERillA ---
These ten verses dealing with my SaraNAgathi at the sacred feet of the
Lord of Kanchi will shine without any faults forever. BhagavathAs seek the
Lord as upAyam and palan. They observe prapatthi once at His feet. The
fruits of the one time prapatthi , however lasts forever and is most
enjoyable. Understanding the above truths and the significance of such a
prapatthi , I have performed my own prapatthi and sung about them in a
manner matching their blemishless aathma samarpaNams .
Sri PerumdEvi ThAyAr Sametha Sri Varadaraaja ParabrahmaNE Nama:
Swami Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam