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SrIman! SrI Ranga Sriyam anubadravam anudhinamsamvardhaya/
SrIman! SrI Ranga Sriyam anubadravam anudhinamsamvardhaya//
KAvEri VardhathAm kAlE, kAlE varshathu vAsava:/
SrI RanganAthO jayathu SrI Ranga SrIs cha VardhathAm//
 RANGA SRI VOL 03 / ISSUE 04 DATED 5th December 2001
I hereby heartily thank every one of you who conveyed your best 
wishes to me personally, by email, by post and by telephone on my 
turning 77 years of age today (5th December 2001- Kartikai - 
This may kindly be taken as individual acknowledgement and thanks. 
I reciprocate your sentiments and wish all the best for you, your 
family and your friends.
Anbil Ramaswamy
Excerpts from the talk delivered by Anbil Ramaswamy at the "Ahobila 
Matam Acharya Vaibhavam Conference" held at "Rajadhani Mandir", 
Chantilly, Virginia 20151 on 1st and 2nd September 2001.
In Vol.03/ Issue 03 dated 28th November 2001 we posed the following 
questions by way of "Poorvapaksham": 

"It is clear from the above that a Srivaishnava is one who understands his / 
her status as a servitor to the Divine couple. This is the hallmark of a "SRI- 

After all the above compelling Pramaanams accepted by all nem. con, 
about the in-separable-ness of "Sri" from her "Pathi" ? How come, 
Ahobila Matam alone claims to be "Sri Sannidhi" as if "Sri" is its 
monopoly and as if the other Matams, Ashramams and other votaries of 
Bhagavad Ramanuja - Swami Desika Darsanam have dispensed with "Sri" 
in their dispensation? Is it an apparent attempt at over- reaching? 
Or, is it an attempt to pose a "holier than thou" stance? Please 
think it over". 

In this issue, We proceed to answer these questions to the best of 
our knowledge and understanding. May be there are other reasons as 
well. We invite knowledgeable Scholars to share their views for our 

>From "Sri Ranga Vijayam" by Purisai Sri Krishnamachariar Swami, 
Editor, "Nrisimhapriya" (translation in English: Anbil Ramaswamy)

Sampradaya lessons for kids for GRADE 2
(written in Tamil by Desika Bhakta Ratnam, U. Ve. Seva Srinivasa 
Raghava chariar Swami under his "Jayamangala Paada Thittam" and 
translated in English by Sri M.K.Srinivasan Swami of Vedanta Desika 
Research Center)

IF you are satisfied with the form and content of the Journal, please 
spread the word among those interested. You may invite their 
attention to our Web site where all the issues have been archived for 
public view at: encourage them to join 
by sending an email to :
SriRangaSri-Subscribe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Alternatively, You may suggest 
us the email addresses of friends who may be REALLY interested so 
that we can directly add them to our mailing list.
Anbil Ramaswamy, 
Editor & Publisher, 
"Sri Ranga Sri"
Excerpts from the talk delivered by Anbil Ramaswamy at the "Ahobila 
Matam Acharya Vaibhavam Conference" held at "Rajadhani Mandir", 
Chantilly, Virginia 20151 on 1st and 2nd September 2001.
Please see the queries posed in the last issue at the "Contents" 
For answering this question, we need to start from the basics.
What is the basic tenet of our Siddhantam? 
"SaraNAgathi" (Surrendering our Souls) 
To whom should we surrender our souls? 
To the Divya Dhampathis (The Divine Couple)

Of the three Rahasyas of Ashtaaksharam, Dvayam and Charamaslokam, the 
one that most explicitly states that this Divya Dhampathis are Thayar 
and Perumal, is contained in the Dvaya Mantram that reads as follows: 
"Sriman Narayana Charanam Saranam prapadhyE/
SrimatE Narayanaya nama://"

It will be seen that here, primacy is given to Thayar as in both the 
lines the word "Sri" comes first only to be followed by the 
word "Narayana". 
The first line conveys that Thayar is the Upaaya (means) along with 
Perumal; The second line conveys that Thayar is the upEya (Ultimate 
objective) along with Perumal.

Let us see the Dhyana Slokam of this Dvaya Mantram:
"KsheeraambhO nidhi Ratna manDapa Souvarna simhaasanE
VaamaangE sthithaayaam prasanna vadhanaam "Srikaanthyaa aalingitham"
DhOr danDaankita sanka pankaja gadhaa chakrair udhaara Sriyam
Tvam nityam kalayaami janma vimukhO lakshmee cha Narayanam//"

This is primarily an obeisance to Thayar and is followed by that to 
Perumal (cha Narayanam) The key words, in this context, are contained 
in the 2nd line, meaning that Perumal is in the embrace of Thayar. 
Dvayam is said to represent the Vyuha state of Ksheerabdi. 

In the Vibhava Avataras, the in-separable-ness of the Divya 
Dhampathis is only *latent* in most of the Vibhava Avataras e.g. 
In Matsya Avatara, no mention is made.
In Koorma Avatara, the Lord arranged for the churning of the milky 
ocean to secure for Himself the nectarine lady "amudinum iniya peNN 
In Varaaha Avatara, the Lord saved Bhoo devi and so was known as Bhoo 
In Vaamana Avatara, as a Brahmachari, He had to hide Lakshmi under 
His fawn leather piece (Krishnaajinam)!
Parasurama was an Aavesa Avatara and Balarama Avatara was that of 
Adhisesha. There was no scope for showcasing Lakshmi in either case.
Only in Sri Rama and Sri Krishna Avataras that are considered Poorna 
Avataras, Lakshmi had a significant role to play as Sri Sita and Sri 

In Srimad Ramayana, Aaranya KhaanDam Sargam 30 refers to Sri Sita 
embracing Sri Rama after he decimates single-handedly the Rakshasas 
namely, Khara and Dhooshana ? "tham drishtvaa Satru hanthaaram 
maharsheenaam sukhaavaham, Babhoova hrishtaa Vaidehi barthaaram 
Parishasvaje". But, this is only a casual mention. 

In Krishna Avatara, there may be references but I am not sure. I may 
have missed other references too. Knowledgeable scholars may like to 

This concept is nowhere more *patently* brought out than in Nrisimha 

What is so special about Nrisimha Avatara in this regard?
Nrisimha Avatara is unique in several respects. But, we limit 
ourselves to just one aspect relevant to the present context 
of "Lakshmi Nrisimha".

Tirumangai Azhwaar answers in Periya Tirumozhi 1.7.9:
" Nallai nenjE! Naam thozhudum nammuDai Empiraan
Alli maathar pulga ninra aayiram thOLaniDam...."
meaning that Lord Nrisimha was so elated on being embraced by Thayar 
(alli maathar pulga ninra) that He appeared as if He had 1000 arms!

Coming to Archaa, it is said that there are 77 forms of Nrisimha 
scattered over Nrisimha kshetras like - Sholangipuram, Simhaachalam, 
the Pancha Narasimha kshetras of Mattapalli, Vedaadri, Vadapally, 
Vethapuram and Mangalagiri, Maadapalli, Singaperumal koil, 
Nanganallur, Mohammadabad-Bidar, Srirangam, Kanchi, Tirupathi, 
Tirumalirum Cholai, Azhwaar Tirunagari and other shrines. 
Even within Ahobilam, there are 9 Narasimhars, called Ahobila, 
Jwaala, KarOda, Kaaranja, Bhaargava, yOgaananda, ChatravaTa, Paavana 
and Maalola. We are told that only in the case of Maalola Nrisimhan, 
could we come across the pose (Tirukkolam) mentioned by Tirumangai 
Azhwaar in which Lakshmi is found seated on His lap, embracing the 
Lord and seems to pacify the Lord and bless the devotees.

The story of the founder of Ahobila Matam, Sri Aadhivann Satakopar 
also gives a plausible clue as to why Ahobila Matam is called "Sri 
Sannidhi". The following is extracted from Souvenir issued on the 
occasion of the 600th Anniverasry of Ahobila Matam:

" The Lord commanded him (Aadhivann Satakopar) to take any one of the 
Utsava moorthis and said the Jeeyar's task henceforth would be to "go 
from door to door taking me with you and minister to the well being 
of the disciples. Be their Guru, purify them with my (Vishnu's) 
emblems of the conch and the discus and instruct them in 
Ashtaaksharam, Dvayam and Charama slokam". The Jeeyar though anxious 
to start on his mission right earnestly, could not decide on 
the `Utsava' moorthi he could take with him. He, therefore, went into 
a meditation and prayed that the most suitable moorthi should come 
and bless him. Immediately, the `Utsava' moorthi of Maalola Nrisimha 
came flying from the temple and seated Himself on the outstretched 
hands of the Jeeyar"

"Maa" means Mahalakshmi and "Lola" means desirous, eager, loving. 
Hence, "Malolan" means "one who is beloved of Mahalakshmi" which Her 
embracing Him reveals.

You will remember my tributes to Prakritam Azhagiyasinghar during the 
600th Anniversary of Ahobila Matam as follows:
"KAVACHAMS FOR PRAHLADA VARADAN: One of the many Kainkaryams our 
Swami did is the Samarpanam of golden Kavachams for the Abhaya 
Hastam, Sanku, Chakram, Gadhai and Tiruvadigal for Prahlada Varadan 
at Ahobilam. Mahamahopadhyaaya Sri Setlur Srivatsankachar humorously 
comments that Sri Narasimhan should be feeling regret why he 
displayed only 4 hands. "If as Kaliyan sang "Alli Maathar Pulga Ninra 
Aayiram Tholudaiyaan", I had displayed 1000 hands and 1000 feet 
(Sahasrapaad), our Swami would have adorned all of them with golden 

It is said that while Lakshmi Narayana, and Lakshmi Hayagriva (as 
seen in the Ahobila Matam temple at Chembur, Mumbai) embraces 
Lakshmi, in the case of Lakshmi Nrisimha, it is the Thayar who 
embraces the Lord "Laksmiyaa aalingitha Vaamaanga"

Adhi Sankara Bhagavadpaada in Stanza 14 of his "Lakshmi Nrisimha 
Karaavalamba Stotram" describes Nrisimha as being embraced by Lakshmi 
(Sindhu thanayaa) 
"Ekena chakram aparena karena sankam anyena "sindhu thanaya avalmbya 
tishtan"/Vaametarena varadaabhaya padma chinham Lakshmi Nrisimha! 
mama dehi karaavalmbam//"

In "Srihari Bhakti SudhOdaya", Prahlada is seen praying to the Lord 
in his "Nrisimha Sthuthi" calling Him "Sraddhaa baddha VidhEhi" 
meaning "one who is bound by Lakshmi. "Sraddhaa" is another name for 
Lakshmi (vide: "Sraddhaam vibhutim Surabim namaami paramaatmikaam" in 
Lakshmi Ashtottara Satha nama Stotram)

Arasaanipaalai Venkataadwari Swami in his "Lakshmi Sahasram" wonders 
and asks Mahalakshmi how she literally played on the Sareeram of this 
fierce lion without any fear. 
"Saa Divya Simhasya HiranyabhEth thu 
nis sankham angE ramasE katham tvam?"

Stanza 2 of "Runa Vimochana Stotram" very specifically mentions the 
Lord being embraced by Lakshmi thus:
"Lakshmyaa aalingitha vaamaangam Bhakthaanaam vara daayakam
Sri Nrisimham Mahaa Veeram namaami Runa mukthayE"

Athippattu Azhagiya Singhar in his "Sri Lakshmi Nrisimha 
Adaikkalappathu" refers to how he bows to Nrisimha on whose lap sits 
(MaDi uDaiyaan) Mahaalakshmi (maa malaraaL) with supreme happiness 
(manni urai) 
"Maa malaraaL manni urai maDi uDaiyaan...
Maa mathi sEr Narasingan malar aDiyai manninanE"

In "Lakshmi Nrisimha Dhyaana Sopaanam" Srivann Satakopa Sri Lakhmi 
Nrisimha Satakopa yatheendra Mahaa Desika has referred to this aspect 
repeatedly thus:
Slokam 7:"NrisimhaaslEsha SanthushTAm Vaamaangaasthaam "Sriyam BhajE"
Slokam 8:"Samaaalingitha Vaamaanga samaaseenaa "abdhi kanyakam" 
(Daughter of the Ocean)
Slokam 12: " Vaamaangaayaam priyaam laksmeem pasyantham Vaama 

It is probably due to these reasons that Ahobila Matam is known 
as "Sri Sannidhi". Knowledgeable Scholars may like to add their 
>From "Sri Ranga Vijayam" by Purisai Sri Krishnamachariar Swami, 
Editor, "Nrisimhapriya" (translation in English: Anbil Ramaswamy)
We are now at "Naanmugan Kottaivaasal" from which we proceed to the 
5th Enclosure also known as "Akalangan Street". Dharmaadhyaksha and 
Niyanthaa guard this. In front of us stands a 4 pillared mantap which 
the Lord visits during Utsavams and receives "KuDa Dheepam". 

After the "Tiruvandikaappu" ritual, the mounts of the Lord are taken 
to the special mantap meant for keeping them. Opposite this mantap is 
the Sannidhi of Sriman NaathamunigaL, the prime mover of 
Visishtadvaita Siddhantam. His grandson, Sri Aalavandaar's Sannidhi 
is also in the same place. The figure of Poet Kambar with folded 
hands can be found on one of the stone pillars, commemorating 
his "arangetram" of his "Kamba Ramayanam"

Nearby is the "Elephant mantap" (Yaanai mandapam) at an elevation. 
The Lord comes to this mantap only on the occasion of mounting 
on "Yaanai Vaahanam". There are quite a few architectural depictions 
here relating to Islam. It is said that these were inscribed in honor 
of the daughter of Delhi Sultan who loved PerumaL and followed Him 
all the way from Delhi to Srirangam and got merged with PerumaL. Even 
to this day, we see the Lord being offered Bread, Butter, Dhall along 
with Pongal every morning. During "Pagal pathu" utsavam, the Lord 
gives Darsan to "Thulukka Naachiyaar"

Next, we see the Sannidhi of Sri Rama in a grove and, therefore, this 
Rama is called "Thoppu Raman" and Andal whose Sannidhi is next to 
this, is known as "uLL ANDAL". On the 6th day of the Utsavam, the 
Lord comes to this Sannidhi and has the exchange of garlands (as we 
see in marriages) with Andal. 

Proceeding further, we come across Venugopalan Sannidhi, and this is 
considered to be very old. Exquisite pictures are engraved here e.g. 
"a damsel looking into the mirror" and "a damsel playing Veena" etc. 
Onlookers cannot avoid admiring these pictures.

Next to this is the "Vaahana Mantapam", where all the mounts used in 
Utsavams are kept. There is a Sannidhi here for Garuda holding the 
pot of nectar (Amrutha Kalasam). On our right, we have a large mantap 
called "Ranga Vilaasam" where sculptures created by Kings of 
Vijayanagar empire and Madurai Naickers can be seen.

Towards the north is the "Bali Peetam" (sacrificial altar) and a 
small Sannidhi for Anjaneyar. It is here that the annual Deepotsavam 
(Sokkappaanai) takes place. Through this, the Lord proceeds to 
the "Vasantha Mantap" for the Spring festival (Vasantha Utsavam)

On the left side is the Sannidhi of the famous Chakrathaazhwaar. 
(Sudarsanar). He is a great "Varaprasaadi" (One who grants boons). 
Numerous cases of cures from diseases and relief from fear have been 
chronicled and are experienced to this day. As we circumambulate this 
Sannidhi, we can have the darsan of "Tiruvarangathu Amudanaar" who 
sang "Ramanuja Nootrantaadhi".

Nearby is a beautiful grove where the lord enjoys 
His "Vasanthotsavam" (spring festival) during the month of Vaikaasi. 
A moat is provided around this mantap and water is filled from 
the "Tank of the moon" (Chandra Pushkarani)

We now go to have Darsan of Thayar (in the next issue)
Sampradaya lessons for kids for GRADE 2
(written in Tamil by Desika Bhakta Ratnam, U. Ve. Seva Srinivasa 
Raghava chariar Swami under his "Jayamangala Paada Thittam" and 
translated in English by Sri M.K.Srinivasan Swami of Vedanta Desika 
Research Center)
The Sanskrit word "Stotram" is derived from the root "stu" which 
means "to praise, extol, laud, eulogize, glorify, celebrate, commend, 
worship" etc.

We praise people with virtue, with good behavior, with kind heart, 
with high intelligence and other such qualities. Those who are 
praised become well disposed to those who praise and start feeling 
kindly towards them. A bond is thus created between the one who is 
praised and the one who praises.

Commending a person for qualities he does not have or exaggerating 
his traits, wrongly interpreting them or putting gloss over them do 
not come under the term "praise'. We do it selfishly to gain our own 
ends. Such an expression is called "flattery". It is contrary to 
truth and hence unacceptable morally.

On the other hand, when we praise a deserving person, we should not 
understate his qualities. We should use proper expressions, be aware 
of what we are doing.

So, a little care is essential in determining whom we praise, whether 
he is capable, whether he deserves such praise, whether he is below us 
or above us, how to praise, when to praise ? 
are all questions which arise in our minds.

Praising the Lord, the Supreme Being is beyond question the highest 
of praises. By worshipping or praising Him, we worship the whole 
world. We achieve several things, sometimes apparently impossible 
results, by praising or singing of Him. There is no question as to 
when He should be praised. All times are good times to eulogize Him. 
The purer we are, the better will be our praise, the faster and more 
complete will be the results. Prayer uttered in sanctified places 
like temples are stated to yield hundred fold results.

There are several hymns or songs praising the Lord. Right from Gods, 
Divine beings, Angels, Alwars, Preceptors, Sages to ordinary 
devotees, there are countless examples of how they have been 
benefited by eulogizing the Supreme One.

Our Sages, Preceptors and Alwars have thus shown us the way to sing 
hymns in His praise. These utterances are called "Stotras" which 
contain not only expressions of praise but also essential truths 
about the nature of God, the Soul, the world and all other realities 
which need to be known by everyone. 

In the Vishnu Sahasranamam (73) Sri Bhishma describes Him variously 
as:"Stavyah, Sthava-priyah, Stotram, Sthothah, Stothaa" meaning thereby, 
He is worthy of praise, 
He relishes praise, 
He is the praise Himself, 
He who is praised, 
He praises those who praise Him". 
What more arguments do we need to praise Him?

Vedas are also songs of praise indeed! The songs composed by Acharyas 
contain the root of the Mantras (See Lesson 6). Whereas for chanting 
Mantras, some discipline is necessary and only some people can chant 
them, in the case of Stotras, no such restriction is prescribed. 
Anyone can sing or repeat the Stotras and derive the same benefit as 
by chanting Mantras. Does this not show the compassion of our 
preceptors towards common people like us who are unable to undergo 
the disciplines of uttering the Mantras?

Swami Desika has rendered several Stotras in praise of the Lord, 
Goddess Lakshmi and others (See Lesson 15) which are exemplary, 
suited to all times, which can be recited at all places, by all of us 
and which contain all knowable truths and essence of devotion and 
surrender, the hall marks of VisishTa Advaita faith, besides being 
melodious, poetic, dignified and pleasing to all. As mentioned 
earlier, there is no fear of wrong pronunciation, wrong emphasis, 
right of recital etc., in his hymns of praise. It is now for us to 
start reading and memorizing his Stotras as a first step towards 
leading better lives and assuring ourselves of a place in Heaven.
1. What are Stotras?
2. How do Stotras benefit us?
3. Who should be praised?
4. Who should praise?
5. Are there any limitations in reciting Stotras?
6. What words do not count as praises?
7. How do Stotras differ from Mantras?
8. What do Swami Desika's Stotras contain and how will they benefit 

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