Sri VenkatEsa sthOthram & Prapatthi
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.
niyathAruNithaathula nIlatanO !
KamalAyatha-lochana !LOkapthE !
Vijayee bhava ! VenkatasailapathE !
of VenkatAchalam ! Oh Lord of the Universe ! Oh Lord with
eyes reaching almost to Your ears and reminding us of the softeness
beauty of lotus flower ! Oh Lord whose matchless dark hued body
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.
sachathurmukha shaNmukha panchamukha
pramukAkhila dhaivatha mouLimaNE !
SaraNAgathavathsala ! SaaranidhE !
ParipAlaya maam VrushasailapathE !
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
athivElatayA thava dhurvishai-
ranuvEla kruthair-aparAdha sathai:
bharitham thvaritham VrushasailapathE
parayaa krupayaa paripaahi HarE !
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
(comments) Oh Hari!
" ParayA krupayA maam Paahi" is the moving prayerful
appeal to the Lord .He is Para Brahmam and hence His Krupai (grace
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 ".
adhivEnkata sailam udhAramathEr
janathAbhi mataadhika dhAnarathAth
ParadEvathayA gadhithAn nigamai:
KamalaadayithAn na param kalayE
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 .
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
kalavENu ravAvasa gOpavadhU
SathakODi vruthAth smarakODi samath
prathi vallavikAbhimathAth sukhadhAth
VasudEva suthAn na param kalayE
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
abhirAma guNAkara ! dhAsarathE!
jagdhEka dhanurdhara ! dheeramathE !
RaghunAyaka! Raama! RamEsa! VibhO !
varadhO Bhava ! Deva! dayA-jaladhE !
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
avanI tanayA kamanIya karam
rajanIkara chAru mukhAmbhu ruham
rajanichara rAja tamO mihiram
mahanIyam aham RaghurAmam ayE
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 .
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
sumukham suhrudham sulabham sughadham
svanujam cha sukAyam amOgha-saram
apahAya Raghudhvaham anyam aham
na kaThanchana kanchana jaathu bhajE
! You are Sri RaamAvathAran .As RaamachandrA ,
crest jewel of Raghu Kulam ,You have the most beautiful face
, compassionate heart and are easily accessible .You are known
Your unfailing arrows. You incarnated with Your brothers as the
and have the power to grant the boon of Moksham to those
sought refuge in You.With all of Your aanatha kalyANa guNams
in mind , adiyEn will never seek anyone other than You for my
(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 .
vinA VenkatEsam na NaathO na Naatha:
SadhA Venkatesam smarAmi smarAmi
HarE! VenkatEsa ! Praseedha Praseedha
Priyam Venkatesa ! Prayaccha Prayaccha !
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
aham dhUratas thE padhAmbhOja yugma
prANama icchayaa Aagathya sEvAm karOmi
sakruthsEvayA nithya sEvA phalam thvam
prayaccha prayaccha PrabhO VenkatEsa
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 .
aj~nAninA mayA dOshAn
asEshAn vihithAn HarE !
Kshamasva Thvam Kshamasva thvam
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
The general meanings
of these sixteen slOkams are given below
along with the text
of these slOkams :
IsAnAm jagathOsya Venkatapather- VishNO: parAm PrEyasIm
Tadh vakshalsthala nithyavaasa rasikAm- tathkshAnthi samvardhinIm
PadhmAlankrutha paaNi pallava yugAM-PadmAsanasthAm Sriyam
VaathsalyAdhi-guNojvalAm BhagavathIm-VandhE Jaganmaatharam II
AlamelumangA is the Mother of all the universes and
beings . She resides always on the chest of Sri VenkatEsA and
dearest consort.Through Her proximity to Her Lord with Her eternal
on His chest , She enhances the compassion for us , the errring
-jeevans. Our Mother , Sri Alamelumanga is seated on a lotus
lotus flowers on Her tender lotus-stalk like hands. She is reputed
Her benovolent qualities such as affection and compassion for
children .After bowing to Her and obtaining Her blessings ,adiyEn
approaches my Father, Lord SrinivAsA without any fear to perform
sacred feet .
Srimann KrupaajalanidhE krutha SarvalOka
Sarvag~na Saktha Nathavathsala sarvasEshin I
Swaminn Suseela SulabhAsritha Paarijatha
Sri VenkatEsa CharaNou SaraNam prapadhyE
of MahA Lakshmi ! Oh Ocean of Mercy !
You are the witness to all happenings in
and as such You are aware of every thing. You are omnipotent
treasure those , who seek Your holy feet .You are the ultimate
entity of every thing. You are indeed
undisputed Supreme Lord.
come to the rescue of those , who call out to You in their states
of utter helplessness. You serve as
cool boon-granting PaarijAthA tree to those ,
surrender themselves at Your sacred feet
. Therfore , adiyEn also
the SaraNAgathi at Your divine feet .
aanUpurArpitha sujAtha sugandhi pushpa-
sourabhya sourabhakarou samasannivEsou I
soumyou sadhAnbhavanEapi navaanubhAvaou
Sri VenkatEsa ChaaraNou SaraNam PrapadhyE II
of Venkatam hills! Devotees place at Your
feet fragrant flowers during their worship. That assembly of
reach up to Your ankles and cover the ornaments adorning
ankles . As a result of their association with Your holy feet
fragrance of these flowers get multiplied manyfold. Although
worships Your tender flower-covered feet everyday ,
adiyEn's enjoyment of Your sacred feet increases day by day.
is never satiated by the thought of Your divine feet; on the
, the glory of Your sacred feet enhances adiyEn's desire to
them even more every day. Those paadha kamalams are a
to adiyEn's eyes and mind. AdiyEn offers now my Prapatthi
at those sacred feet of Yours.
sadhyO vikAsi samudhithvara saandhrarAga-
sourabhya nirbhara sarOruha saamyavArthAm I
samyakshu saahasapadhEshu vilEkhayanthou
Sri VenkatEsa CharaNou SaraNam prapadhyE II
VenaktEsA ! Lotus flowers might be the best
all the flowers because of their tenderness , fragrance and
is not however correct to equate the beauty of Your feet
. It would indeed be a gross exaggeration to compare the lotus
to the benevolent attributes of Your holy feet . Such attempted
comparisons are indeed the foolish efforts of ignorant poets
, who do
understand the magnitude of greatness of Your divine Paadha
Indeed , there is nothing in the world that can come near
unique auspicousness of Your sacred feet. AdiyEn performs my
at those matchless feet of Yours.
RekhAmaya dhvaja sudhA kalasaatapatra
vajraankusaambhuruha kalpaka sankha chakrai: I
bhavairalankrutha talou paratathvachihnai:
Sri Venkatsa charanou SaraNam prapadhyE II
of Venkata Giri ! The secret that You are the
ruler of all the universes is clearly revealed by the
seen on the soles of Your holy feet.
There , we see
the shapes of umbrella , nectar pot , flag , vajrA
goad , lotus flower , conch , disc
Your feet offer unmistakable proof that
are the God of
Gods . AdiyEn offers my Prapatthi at these divine feet.
thAmrOdhara dhyuthi parAjitha Padma Raagou
baahyair mahObirabhibhUtha mahEndra neelou I
udhyan nakhAmsubhi rudhastha sasAnga bhAsou
Sri VenkatEsa charanou SaraNam prapadhyE
of Sapthagiri ! The soles of Your feet have a reddish
darker than that of the best PadmarAgA stones .Your outer
have a hue that in their bluishness defeat the best of
nails of Your feet outshine the Moon in
cool,white lustre.All of these hues assoicated with Your holy
reveal that You are none other than the Lord of all Universes .
, adiyEn performs my SaraNAgathi at those divine Paadha Kamalams.
saprEmabheethi Kamala kara pallavAbhyAm
samvAhanEapi sapadhi klamamaadhanou I
kaaanthAvavaangmanasa gOchara soukumAryou
Sri VenaktEsa charaNou SaraNam prapadhyE II
Emperor resident at the Venkatam hills ! During Your
as ThrivikramA , Your feet measured the universes .
Your incarnation as Sri RaamA, Your feet travelled over
forest and mountain paths . These very same feet are so
that they bruise from the gentle pressure generated by
soft hands of MahA Lakshmi, when She squeezes them. It is
a paradox that Your matchless feet are harder than the
of forest paths and yet more tender than Your consort's
soft hands. AdiyEn offers my Prapatthi to those mysterious
greatness is not easy to comprehend .
LakshmI mahI tadhanurUpa nijAnubhAva-
NeeLAdhi dhivya mahishI kara pallavAnAm I
aaruNya samkraNamatha: kila saandhrarAgou
Sri VenaktEsa charaNou SaraNm prapadhyE II
SrinivAsA ! MahA lakshmi , BhUmi Devi , NeeLA Devi
other consorts of Yours offer their kaimkaryams to You
of squeezing Your feet , when You are resting
Your feet appear to have incorporated the
hue of their lotus-red
hands with Your feet during the
of their kaimkaryam to
You . AdiyEn surrenders unto
sacred feet, which have the hue of the red PadmarAgA gem .
Vidhi SivAdhi KirIDa kODi
prathyuptha deeptha navarathnamaha: parOhai: I
Sri VenkatEsa charnou SaraNam prapadhyE II
Jewel of Venkatam Hills ! Brahmaa and MahEswaran
constant worship at Your divine feet through their prostrations
time , the lustre from the nine kinds of gems adorning their
on Yourfeet and appear to give the impression of deepa-aarAdhanam
to Your holy feet . AdiyEn surrenders unto those feet .which
serve as the
of worship even for BrahmA and MahEswaran .
VishNO: padhE parama ithyudhitha prasamsou
yauv madhva uthsa ithi bhOgyatayAapi upAtthou I
bhUayasThaThEthi tava paaNitala prathishtou
Sri VenkatEsa CharaNou SaraNam prapadhyE II
Oh Lord VenkatEsA ! The majesty of Your feet have
praised by the VedAs through passagessuch as " VishNO:
paramE", and "madhva utsa" .The residents of Vaikuntam
offer their praise to Your holy feet through the recitation of
such Vedic and Upanishadic passages.Your feet indeed are
ones that bless those who are fortunate to serve them and shower
innumerable gifts on them , both in this and the other world
. You also
with Your right hand through the varadha mudhrA that Your feet
indeed the sure means for attaining salvation.Therefore , adiyEn
my SaraNAgathi at Your sacred feet.
PaarthAya tathsadrusa sAraThinA thvayayaiva
yau darsithou svacharaNou saraNam vrajEthi I
bhUyOpi mahyamiha thE karadarsithou thau
Sri VenkatEsa charaNou saraNam prapadhyE II
Oh Lord SrinivAsA ! In Your incarnation as Sri KrishNA ,
revealed the secret of Your holy feet as the indispensable means
salvation through the statement " maamEkam SaraNam vraja"
On the top of ThiruvEnkatam hills , You gesture to Your feet
hand and give us the same message that You gave to ArjunA as
charioteer in KurushEthrA battle field.
manmUrdhni KaaLiyaphaNE vikaDADavIshu
Sri VenkaDAdhri sikharE sirasi sruthinAm I
chitthEpyananya manasAmsamamAhithou thE
Sri VenkatEsa charaNou SaraNam prapadhyE II
): Oh VenkatEsa! Your holy feet danced on
the hoods of the serpent KaaLiyA during Your incarnation
as Sri KrishNA ; they also roamed in the forest such as
DanDakA and BrindhAvanam in Your two different incarnations.
Now, they rest on the
top of ThiruvEnkatam hills as well as on the heads
of the VedAs and sanctify
both of them. Your holy feet rest also on the heart
lotuses of Your devotees and on my head. AdiyEn considers those
feet as my refuge to
overcome the ills of SamsArA. Hence , adiyEn offers my
SaraNAgathi to Your holy feet .
amlAna hrushya dhavaneetala keerNa pushpou
Sri VenkaDAdhri sikharaabharaNaayamAnou I
aanandhidaakhila manO nayanou tavaithou
SrivEnkatEsa charaNou saraNam prapadhyE II
): The dEvAs and Your devotees from this earth shower Your feet
innumerable fragrant flowers during their daily archanAs. These
piles of flowers reach up toYour ankles and then spill over and
form a flower bed
around Your feet .Because of their association with Your divine
feet, these flowers never lose their fragrance or fade. They
shine brilliantly forever and
as decorations around Your divine feet. Your devotees witness
this miracle and understand the transforming power of Your holy
feet. AdiyEn surrenders unto those wish-fulfilling holy feet
prAya: prapanna janathA prathamAvagAhyou
maathu: sthanAnAniva sisO; amruthAyamanou
prApthou paraspara thulA mathulAntharou thE
Sri VenkatEsa charanou SaraNam prapadhyE
Oh Sri VenkatEsA ! Your holy feet serve as a deep ocean of
to the swarm of devotees ,who have offered Prapatthi to You.
acceptance of their Prapatthi is similar to the nectar of milk
offered by the caring Mother from her breasts to her hungry child.
feet are matchless in their power
to drive away the sorrows of
world and offer refuge in the other world. AdiyEn prostrates
and offer my SaraNAgathi unto them .
satthvOttharais satata sEvya paadhAmbhujEna
samsAra taaraka dayArdhra dhruganjalEna
soumyOpayanthru muninA mama darsithou thE
Sri VenkatEsa charaNou SaraNam prapadhyE
Sri MaNavALa MaamunigaL is worshipped by people of pure
He is a great ocean of compassion .He pointed out Your holy feet
and revealed to me that they are the sole means for attaining
in this world and to gain eternal residence in Sri VaikunTam.AdiyEn
has followed the path shown by my illustrious AchAryA and as
a result , adiyEn performs my SaraNAgathi at Your holy feet.
Srisa SriyA gatikayA thvadhupAyabhAvE
prApyE thvayi svayamupEyatayA spuranthyA
nithyAsrithAya niravdhyaguNAya thubhyam
kinkarO vrushagirIsa na jaathu mahyam
Lord of ThiruvEnkatam hills ! Oh Consort of MahA
You are indeed the integrated essence of all auspicious
.Your consort makes us worthy of
the object of Your mercy.
we obtain Your blessings through Her intercession , She also
Herself with You as the inseparable ,divine couple ; at that
of You become the object of our adorations.We will serve both
with pure hearts. We shall never be detatched from You even for
in thought or deed.We will never consider ourself as svatantra
.We are indeed blessed to receive the benefits of SaraNAgathi
performed according to the way taught by our AchAryAs to secure
AdiyEn , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan