This stotram celebrates the auspicious Quality (Kalyana Guna ) of Mercy (Dhayaa) of the Lord of Thiruvenkatam. Of All the Kalyana Gunaas of Venkataadhri Sekhara Vibhu , His Dhayaa is the most important one for the uplift of the Chetanaas.The concept of Prapatti and Thiruvenkatamudayaan.s Dhayaa to realize the fruits of that Prapatti is the subject of Venkatanatha Kavi in this "Satakam".
The structure of this stotram containing 108 slokas ( one for each of the Divya Desa Archaa Murthys of Sriman Narayana perhaps ) is extraordinarily impressive even by Swami Desikan"s standards of poetic excellence .Our Acharya has used ten plus different meters to compose the ten groups of slokas , each of which house " ten" slokas. The numbers of slokas and their poetic meters are as follows:
1. Slokaas 1-10 : Anushtup meter
2. Slokaas 11-20 : Aryaa meter
3. Slokaas 21-30 : Oupacchandhasikam
4. Slokaas 31-40 : Maalini
5. Slokaas 41-50 : Mandhaakraanthaa
6. Slokaas 51-60 : Nathkutakam
7. Slokaas 61-70 : SikariNi
8. Slokaas 71-80 : HariNi
9. Slokaas 81-90 : Pruthvee
10. Slokaas 91-104 : Vasantha Tilakaa
11. Slokaas 105& 106 : Maalini again
12. Slokaas 107& 108 : Sardhoola Vikriditham
In the tradition of my Maanaseeka Acharya , each set of the ten slokaas have the essence of the ten Patthus of Thiruvaimozhi of Nammazhwaar. According to this tradition , every set of ten reveals a particular meaning, which together covers the Ananatha KalyaaNa GuNaas of the Lord of Thiruvenkatam. The ten meanings associated with the ten sets of ten slokas have been summarized by my Manaseeka Acharya , Srirama Desikaacchaar Swamy this way:
1.The Lord of Thiruvenkatam is the one , who can give Mokshaanugraham .
2.He comprehends everything and He is capable of carrying out whatever He chooses to do.
3.He destroys the enemies of those, who surrender unto Him and thereby seek His help.
4.He is the means for attaining ALL worthwhile goals.
5.He is the fruit of ALL worthwhile endeavours.
6.He can be reached easily thru the glorious means of Prapatti.
7.He will rush to the help of the lowest and the highest with same speed, when they appeal to Him sincerely for help.
8.He is the Supreme principle standing on top of Thiruvenkatam.
9.He is the one, who took the incarnations of Rama and Krishna.
10.He is the one, who can offer the happiness associated with Moksha right here on this earth.
Swami Desikan goes on to describe in detail the Anantha Kalyana Gunaas of Sriman Narayana in his Taatparya RatnaavaLi and Dramidopanishad Saaram . He is thus paying his tribute to Nammazhwaar's Thiruvaimozhi in all of these three works .We will illustrate the ten essential meanings of Daya Satakam in the subsequent sections as revealed by Srirama Desikaacchaar Swamy in the tradition of his Achaarya, Navaneetham Krishnamaacchaar Swamy of Oppiliappan Koil.
In the very first sloka ,Swami Desikan states precisely his goal in composing this Grantham and describes the object of his salutations this way:
YANMOORTHYAA SARKARAAYITAM II
Here he compares the Lord's Dhayaa as the sweet flowing river of Cane sugar juice, which has solidified to become the mountain of Thiruvenkatam. Swami States that he offers his prapatti to that mountain , which has become the embodiment of the Lord's Dhayaa .
The FIRST theme covered by the first ten slokas revolves around the fact that the Lord of Thiruvenkatam (SravaNa Venkatesan )is eminently suitable for worship and adoration. The reason is that He is an ocean of Mercy (Dhayaa). He serves as the treasure for those , who have no riches to speak of . He is the field out of which grows the four fruits of human life (Purushaarthams). That concept of blemish-free mercy makes Him the supreme object of contemplation and worship as described below:
SOOTHIMAPAVARGHA TRIVARGAYOH :
ANJANAADHRI ISWARA ABHISHTOWMI NIRANJANAAM
The above sloka is the last of the first group of ten. In earlier verses, Swami Desikan offers his salutations to Guru Paramparaa and Azhwaars. In the beautiful second verse , he says:
seethaLAm guru Santathim I
Srinivasa Dhayaambhodhi pareevaha paramparaam II
The key words are: SeethaLAm Guru santathim
Srinivasa Dhayaambhodhi Pareevaha Paramparaam Vigaahe . He says that he immerses in the cool waters of the flowing stream of Guru Parampara that originated from the ocean of Mercy known as Srinivasa.
The SECOND essential theme of Dhayaa sathakam is that Sri Venkateswara is eminently enjoyable in terms of Bhagavat Anubhavam .This theme is met in Sloka 19 :
PAADEH MUKA KANTHI PATRALACCHAAYAA
KARUNEH SUKAYASI VINATAAN
KATAKSHA VITAPAI: KARAAPACHEYA PALAI:
Here, Swami desikan says that Dhayaa Devi is standing tall in Thirumalai representing the merciful aspect of Sri Venkateswara. She grows at the feet of the Lord of Venkatam and serves as His kalpaka tree that fulfills the wishes of those who pray to Him. His cool glances at the sight of His devotees cause the tree of Dhayaa Devi to send out tender shoots and ripe tasty fruits. Those, who worship at the sannidhi of Sri Venkateswara become beneficiaries of His Dhaya and enjoy the fruits of that Kalpaka tree. Hence, Swami Desikan says that the Karunaa Katakshams of the Lord of Thiruvenkatam yield indescribable riches to the devotees.His Dhaya makes Him eminently enjoyable.
The THIRD essential theme of Dhayaa Satakam is that He has the most beautiful Divya Mangala Vigraham and to feast on Him with our eyes is equivalent to tasting the divine nectar. The sloka corresponding to this theme is as follows:
KARUNEH SANMATHI MANTHA SAMSKRUTHAAYAA :
AMRUTAAMSA MAVAIMI DIVYA DEHAM
MRUTHA SANJEEVANAM ANJANAACHALA INDOH :
Here, Swami Desikan says that the churning of the Ocean of Dhaya of Sri Venkatesa yields the nectar, which is the divine and auspicious Vigraham of Srinivasan. That Vigraham made entirely of Suddha Satvam is standing on top of Thirumalai. This most beautiful Archaa Vigraham removes the fear of Yama to Prapannaas and gurantees them the fruits of Moksham. Such is the power of this auspicious and beautiful Archaa Murthy of the seven hills.
theme of Dhayaa satakam is that the Sri Venkatesa concept is the
delectable experience to enjoy among all delectable experiences that
human beings can hope to enjoy . His blue effulgence radiating from
top of Thirumala hills and its sacred associations provide the
item for the enjoyment of the chetanas . Here, the divya Mangala
is not the object of reference , but the holiness of the
Tattwam , which is the highest concept that Vedas can proclaim. The
corresponding to this theme is as follows:
NIGAMA VIPANI MADHYEH NITYA MUKTAANUSHAKTHAM
PRASADANAMANUKAMPEH PRAAPTAVATYAA BHAVATYAA
VRUSHAGIRI HARINEELAM VYANJITHAM NIRVASANTHI
The FIFTH central theme is about the blessings that one accrues form the Kataksham of Srinivasan of Thirumalai. Swami Desikan says that the auspiciousness of that glance can result in freedom from the three debts that human beings are subject to in this world. These three debts are to Devas, Rishis and one's ancestors (Pithrus). Normally, one gets rid of these debts with great difficulty. The debt to the Devas is normally discharged thru the performance of Yagaas and the offering of Havis. The debt to Rishis is discharged through Veda Adhyayanam.The debt to the Pithrus is discharged thru progeny. These three debts are instantaneously discharged by the mere glance of Sri Venkatesa resting for a moment on the Prapanna. The blessings arising form that merciful glance not only makes the Prapanna free from these three debts, but it also results in obtaining the boon of Moksham thru the Devayana path at the time of leaving this earth. Prior to that, the glances of Sri Venkatesa confer immense wealth in this universe. The sloka containing these thoughts is the forty ninth verse of Dhayaa Satakam :
SAMMATHAAM YA: SAKEEM TEH
SEETHODHAARAA MALAPADHA JANA:
SRINIVAASASYA dHRUSHTIM I
DEVAADHEENAA MAYA MANRUNUTHAAM
BHANDHAAN MUKTHO BALIBHIRANAGAI:
POORYATEH TATPRAYUKTHAI: II
The SIXTH central theme of the Satakam is that Lord Srinivasa is easy to approach thru Prapatti. Swami Desikan says through the following FIFTY NINTH sloka that the Bhakthi andJnana Yogam are difficult to practise as means of Moksham compared to Prapatti at the holy feet of Sri Srinivasa as taught by our Acharyas such as Ramanuja, Yamuna and others:
STHIRA CHARA SILPINAIVA PARIKALPITHA
YATIPAATHI YAAMUNA PRUBRIDHAYA:
JAGADHI HITAM NA NASTVAYI
BHARANYASANAAT ADHIKAM II
The SEVENTH central theme of Satakam states that His incomparable mercy removes any and every obstacle (Anishtam ) that a Prapanna faces on this earth. The slokam corresponding to this theme is as follows:
ANIRVAABHYAAM KSHIPRAM KSHAPAYITUM
KRUPEH TVAM TATTAATRUK PRATHIMA
VRUSHA PRITHVEEDHARA PATHI -
SVARUPA DWAIGUNYA DVIGUNA NIJABINDHU :
The EIGHT central theme refers to His Kalyana gunam by which He accommodates Himself to the wishes of the Prapannas. Although He knows that some of the desires of the Prapannas relate to the nonlasting ,perishable ,trivial things , Sri Venkatesa gives them what they want. Later, He gives them the knowledge and discriminative power to overcome the desire for perishable things and elevates their sight to the lasting concept such as Moksham. In other words,He goes along with the wishes of Prapanna first and then slowly helps them to set higher goals such as Nithya Kainkaryam and Kaivalyam. The sloka containing these thoughts is the seventy fifth Slokam of the Dhayaa satakam :
The NINTH central theme relates to his sincere friendship out of His compassion for the Prapannas. His friendship does not count on any returns from the Prapannas .It is the most natural of all friendships.
The TENTH central theme deals with Sri Venkateswara's grace in leading the Prapannas in the Devayaana path to Srivaikuntam.
In the 104th slokam
Swami Desikan acknowledges the glorious mercy of Sri Venkateswara in
crowning him as "Vedanthaacharya" at he end of reciting
Sathakam. He states that he was just an instrument in the hands of
Lord of Thiruvenkatam in composing Dhaya sathakam.
This slokam housing the Sattvika Thyagam is a gem:
DEVO DHAYASATAKAM YETAT AVADHAAYAT MAAM
VAIHAARIKENA VIDHINAA SAMYEH GRUHITAM
VEENA VISESHAMIVA VENKATA SAIL NAATHA :
srimateh Venkatesaaya Vedantha guraveh Nama:
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