The Lord, however, attained greater fame and name by packing up His Adisesha couch and following Tirumazhisai Alvar at his behest and later re-spreading that Adisesha couch and lying on it once again (now pillowing His head on the left hand instead of on the right). For this fine gesture, inconsistent with the state of arca, this Lord is popularly known as Yathoktakari or, as Desika has put it, bhagavat-bhakti-mataam yathoktakari (5) -- one who acts as dictated to by His Devotees.
Slokas 2 to 4 and 7 refer to the Lord's puranic greatness as Vegasetu. Slokas 5 and 7 refer to both aspects. 6 and 8 deal with His subservience to His devotees.
vegaasetu stotram.h shriimaan.h veN^kaTa naathaaryaH kavitaarkika kesarii | vedaantaa chaarya varyome sannidhattaaM sadaahR^idi || ekam.h vegavatii madhye hastishaile cha dR^ishyate. upaaya phala bhaavena svayaM vyaktaM paraM mahaH..1 iiShTe gamayitum.h paarameSha seturabha~NguraH. yatra saarasvataM sroto vishraamyati vishR^i~Nkhalam.h..2 jayati jagadesetuH vegavatii madhya laxito devaH. prashamayati yaH prajaanaam.h prathitaan.h saMsaara jaladhi kallolaan.h..3 vibhaatu me chetasi viShNu setuH vegaapagaa vega vighaata hetuH. ambhoja yoneryadupaj~nam.h aasiit.h abha~Nga raxaa hayamedha diixaa..4 chaturaanana saptatantu goptaa saritaM vegavatiim.h asau nirundhan.h. paripuShyati ma~Ngalaani puMsaaM bhagavad.h bhaktimataaM yathoktakaarii..5 shriimaan.h pitaamaha vadhuu paricharyamaaNaH shete bhuja~Nga shayane sa mahaa bhuja~NgaH. pratyaadi shanti bhava sa~ncharaNaM prajaanaaM bhaktaanu ganturiha yasya gataagataani..6 prashamita hayamedha vyaapadaM padmayoneH shrita jana paratantraM sheSha bhoge shayaanam.h. sharaNamupagataaH smaH shaanta niH sheShe doSham.h shatamakha maNi setum.h shaashvataM vegavatyaaH..7 sharaNam.h upagataanaaM so.ayamaadesha kaarii shamayati paritaapaM saMmukhaH sarva jantoH. shataguNa pariNaamaH sannidhau yasya nityam.h vara vitaraNa bhuumaa vaaraNaadriish varasya..8 kaa~nchii bhaagyaM kamala nilayaa chetaso.abhiiShTa siddhiH kalyaaNaanaaM nidhira vikalaH ko.api kaaruNya raashiH. puNyaanaaM naH pariNatirasau bhuuShayan.h bhogishayyaaM vegaa setur.h jayati vipulo vishva raxaikahetuH..9 vegaasetor.h idam.h stotram.h ve~NkaTeshena nirmitam.h. ye paThanti janaasteShaaM yathoktaM kurute hariH..10
SRI VEGAA SETHU STOTRAM
OF SWAMI DESIKAN
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
KAVITHAARKIKA KESARI I
VEDHAANTHAACHARYA VARYOH MEH SAMNIDHATTHAAM SADHAA HRUDHI II
YEKAM VEGAVTHEE MADHYYEH
HASTHISAILEH CHA DHRUSYATEH I
UPAAYAPALA BHAVENA SVAYAM
VYAKTHAM PARAM MAHA: II
Swami Desikan chose Anushtub metre for this beginning verse. It is traditional to use the short metre of Anushtub for aphoristic statement of theological truth. Saardhoola vikriditham metre is generally used for elaboration of the theological truth.Inview of our Acharyaa's interest to celebrate the Puranic story here and the centrality of one of the Vaishnava principles -- Bhaktha DaakshiNyam of the Lord -- Swami elected not to use too many lengthy metres in this short stotram. He deliberately chose Anushtub for the first verse to point out the UPAAYA --PALA BHAAVAM -- of the Lord of Thiruvehhaa. This stotram has 10 verses set in 7 different poetic metresin accordance with the rules of Alamkaara saasthram. Swami Desikan uses anushtub metre for the second and tenth verse as well.
The other metres used by
Swami with specific purpose in mind are:
Aaryaa (verse 3), Upajaathi (verse 4) that is used for imparting Puraanic flavor, Oupacchandasikam (Verse 5), Vasanta Tilakam (Verse 6) for poetic fancy, Maalini (Verses 7 and 8) and Mandaakraanthaa (verse 9). Thus Swami Desikan used 7 metres in a stotram consisting of 10 verses. His skills as a poet are abundantly evident here.
In the first verse, he refers to the Svayam vyaktha svarupam of the Lord as " SVAYAM VYAKTHAM PARAM EKAM MAHA: " This mighty effulgence that manifested itself out of His own Sankalpam to neutralize the anger of His daughter in law is saluted here. He states that this Mahaa Tejas at Thiruvehhaa and the other illustrious Tejas that arose from Brahma's sacrificial fire on Hasthi giri have the complimentary relationship of means ( Upaayam ) and fruit ( Palan ). One is in the middle of river Vegavathi (Saraswathi ) and the other is on the top of the sacred hillock known as Hasthi Giri.
paaramesha sethurabhangura : I
yatra saarasvatham srothO visraamyathi visrungalam II
Here Swami Desikan describes the Lord, who took the form of a dam to obstruct the intent of Saraswathi to destroy her consort's Yajnam. Swami describes that indestructible and immovable dam (Sethu) as " Abhangura: Yesha Sethu " . He points out that dam has the power to serve as an unfailing bridge to get one across the dangerous and turbulent ocean of SamsArA to the other side recognized as Moksham or Parama Padam. Swami Desikan pays tribute to this Maha Tejas beyond describtion by humans as the dam where the power of human speech finds its halting place. "Saarasvatham Visrungalm Srotha :" refers to both the halting of the floods of Saraswathi as well as the the end to the flow of words that one uses in an attempt to praise the Lord through eulogies. "Yatho Vaachaa Nivartanteh, Apraapya manasaa saha:" is the mood of our Acharya here.
Jayathi jagadekha sethu :
VegavathimadhyalakshithO Deva : I
prasamayathi Ya: prajaanaam prathithaan samsArajaladhikallOlAn II
Here Swami Desikan recommends that we perform Prapatthi and cross the dangerous floods of SamsAram by travelling over the safe bridge of the Lord , who took the form of the Dam in the middle of the swift flowing river Vegavathi . He salutes the Lord of ThiruvehhA as "Jagadekha Sethu:" (The unmatchable , one and only Sethu). Swami Desikan salutes the Lord"s kalyana gunam of Jagath Rakshakthvam and supreme power by pointing out that He saves the people of the world from the dangers associated with the tall and ferocious waves of the ocean of SamsArA by subjugating them.
vibhAthu meh chatesai
vegaapagaa vega vigAtha hetu : I
Ambhoja YOnehr yadhujnamaaseeth
Abhanga Rakshaa hayamedha Dheekshaa II
The salutation here is to the Vishnu Sethu, which is Vishnu in the form of a dam (Sethu) in the middle of Vegavathi river (Vega Aapagaa) to serve as the means to arrest the fast flowing floods (Vega Vigaatha Hetu:). Swami wants that Vishnu Sethu to shine in his mind. In the second half of verse set in UpajAthi metre to hint at the Sthala PurANam, he salutes the special route that the Lord took to protect his lotus-born Son "s (Ambhoja YOneh:) Aswamedha Yaagam (Hayamedha DeekshA) to an uninterrupted conclusion through His protective intervention (Abhanga Rakshaa). There was hence no Bhangam (risk/danger) to that Yajnam. Swami salutes the means taken by the Lord as Yadh Upajnam to resonate with the word Yajnam.
Verse 5: Oupacchandasikam Metre
saritham Vegavatheemasou nirundhan I
Paripushayathi mangaLaani pumsAm
bhagavaan bhakthimataam Yathokthakaaree II
Here at this Divya desam , the Lord stood as a divine dam to arrest the furious flow of Saraswathi in the form of a river and saved the Yajnam of Brahma. When his Bhaktha (Thirumazhisai AzhwAr) commanded Him to roll up his bed of Adisesha and accompany him, He did so; afterwards, when the Azhwar requested Him to return to His divya Desam and spread his bed back again to rest there, he did obey the instructions of the Azhwaar and earned therefore the name " Sonna VaNNam Seytha PerumAL / YathoktakAri ". This Lord of ThiruvehhA blesses all those, who worship Him at His divya desam with devotion.
Verse 6: Vasantha Tilakaa metre
SrimAn pitAmaha vadhU
Setheh bhujanga sayaneh sa mahAbhujanga : I
pratyAdisanthi bhava samcharaNam prajAnAm
bhakthAnuganthuriha yasya gatAgatAni II
In this Divya Desam , the humbled Sraswathi Devi is seen at the foot of the resting Lord (Vishnu Sethu) with folded hands. She has a pose that suggests her readiness to serve her father-in-law in a chastened mood. Swami Desikan also uses a pun (sledai) on the word Bhujanga in this verse. The two meanings are: (1) the Lord resting on a snake (Adi Seshan) as Bhujanga Sayanan (2) One who has intense desire for those devoted to Him such as the Gopis of Brindavanam and Azhwaars like Thirumozhisai.
At this Divya desam, the Lord with His consort receives the Kaimkaryam of Saraswathi and protects His devotees in many ways. Those devotees, who meditate and reflect upon the comings and goings (gathaagathaani) of the Lord at the request of Thirumazhisai Azhwaar here would be blessed fully to be saved from the terrors of Samsaaraa. His attitude as he rests on his serpent bed seems to be like that of a intensely desirous one, who wants to associate with similar minded bhakthaas, who have intense desire for Him .
**** BHUJANGA AND OTHER SAYANAMS OF THE LORD
Incidentally, the Bhujanga Sayana Sevai at this Divya Desam is one of the 8 sayana poses that we have the Darsanam of the Lord in Archa form at the 27 divya Desams.
The Bhujanga Sayanam has been chosen by the Lord in the following 20 Divya Desams:
1. Thiruvehha 2. Thiruvananthapuram 3. Srirangam 4. Thiru Anbil 5. Thiru Aadhanoor 6. Thiru YeVuuL 7. Thirukkarambanur 8.Thiru Kabisthalam 9. Thirukkoshtiyur 10. ThirukkoLur 11. Thirucchirupuliyur 12. Thiru Terriambalam 13. Thiruppaarkadal (Apraakrutham) 14.Thiruppirithi (Jyoshi mutt) 15. ThiruppuLingudi 16. ThirupuLLam Bhoothamgudi 17. Thiruppernagar 18. Thiruvaataaru 19. ThiruveLLiIangudi
The other Sayana Kshetrams and the types of sayanam are:
1. Bhoga Sayanam/Tillai Thirucchitrakootam 2. Maanikka sayanam/Thiruneermalai 3. Vata Patra sayanam Srivilliputthur 4.Veera sayanam/Thiru IndaLUr 5. UdyOga sayanam/Thirukkudanthai 6. Darba Sayanam/ThirupullaaNi 7.Sthala Sayanm/Thirukkadanmallai .
Verse 7: Maalini metre
vyaapadam padma Yoneh:
sritha jana paratantram sesha bhogeh sayaanam I
saraNamupagathaa: sma: saantha: Nisseshadhosham
satamaNisethum saasvatham vegavatyaa: II
The Archa murthy at Thiruvehhaa is under the control of those, who approach Him and surrender unto Him. No Dhosham or imperfection can approach Him. He is blemishless. On the middle of the river Vegavathi, he rests on Adiseshaa like a dam constitued by blue gem stones with his beautiful bluish hue. Resting thus, He saved the yajnam of Brahma from the impending danger. May we approxach this Lord of many kalyANa gunams and offer our SaraNAgathi and be saved!
Verse 8: Maalini Metre
samayathi parithaapam sammukha : sarva janthO: I
sataguna pariNama: samnidhaou yasya nityam
vara vitaraNa bhumA VarAnAdhreesvarasya II
The Lord of Thiruvehha is the one, who follows the wishes of those doing prapatthi to Him. He banishes the sorrow of His devotees and all of those associated with them. He appears before them for that purpose. Only because of His appearance first to protect Brahma's Yajnam, Sri Varadaraja came out of the sacrificial fire and stayed on the top of Atthigiri to give boons to all who worship Him. He is indeed the cause of Varadan, the boon giver's appearance on this earth.
There are two ways in which BhagavAn protects the chetanAs. In one way, He removes the obstacles that they face; in the other way, He gives them the fruits of their penance through His boon-granting power. As YathokthakAri , He responds to those who offer Prapatthi to Him by the first way. Varadarajan responds in the complimentary, second way and concentrates on the boon-giving activity. Varadarajan"s work is made lighter thanks to YathokthakAri"s taking the load off Varadaraja by destroying the sufferings of the Prapannaas first. As a result of that special activity of YathokthakAri, Varadarajan becomes one hundred pervent more effectictive in His area of specialty (viz)., boon-giving to those , who perform SaraNAgathi to Him. Varadaraja's glory thus gets multiplied thanks to YathokthakAri.
Here Swami Desikan says that YatokthakAri is SARANAM UPAGATHAANAAM AADESAKAARI (I-E)., He follows the orders of those, who perform Saranagathi at His holy feet. He comes in front of them (SAAMUKHA:) AND DESTROYS THEIR SUFFERINGS (PARITHAAPAM SAMAYATHI). Because of YathokthakAri "s proximity , Varadaraja"s (VARANAADHRI ISWARASYA) glory as a boon -granting Lord (VARA VITARANA BHOOMA) MULTIPLIES A HUNDRED FOLD ALWAYS.
Verse 9: Mandaakranthaa metre
Kanchee Bhagyam kamala
nilayA chetasO abhishta siddhi:
kalyAnAnAm nidhiravikala: kopi kArunyarAsi : I
puNyAnAm na: pariNathirasou bhooshayan bhogisayAm
vegaasethurjayathi vipulO viswarakshaikahetu : II
The describtion of the Lord of ThiruvehhA as the embodiment of the fortune of the district of Kaanchipuram is given by Swami Desikan here. He states that the Lord took archaa form here to fulfill the wishes of His consort , who is concerned about the erring chetanAs and is keen on directing them to the right way to get the boon of Moksham from Her Lord. The Lord of Thiruvehha appears like the ripened fruit of the chetana's punyam . YatokthakAri is the house of all auspicious guNAs. He is the ocean of mercy intent on saving the suffering chetanAs. Such a magnanimous and merciful Lord rests on His bed of Adisesha at Thiruvehhaa and beautifies Adisesha through his assoication .
Verse 10: Anushtub Metre
Venkatesaena nirmitham I
yeh patanteh janAstheshAm yathoktham kuruteh Hari : II
This Vegaa Sethu stotram was composed by poet Venkatesa. Those , who recite it with devotion will get their wishes fulfilled by the Lord of ThiruvehhA . True to His words " I will protect the Prapannas, who seek refuge in me " as Rama and " I will relieve you of all sins " as KrishNa, the Lord of Thiruvehha will protect the Chetanas , who offer Prapatthi unto Him.
KLAYANA GUNA SAALINEH I
SRIMATEH VENKATESAAYA VEDANTHA GURAVEH NAMA: II
MAHAA DESIKAAYA NAMA: