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SrimatE Raamaanujaaya Namaha //
SrimatE Nigamaanta Mahaa Desikaaya Namaha //
SrIman! SrI Ranga Sriyam anupadravam anudhinam Samvardhaya/
SrIman! SrI Ranga Sriyam anupadravam anudhinam Samvardhaya//
KAvEri VardhathAm kAlE, kAlE varshathu vAsava: /
SrI RanganAthO jayathu Sri Ranga Sri cha VardhathAm//
SRI RANGA SRI VOL.04 / ISSUE # 21 dated 6th May 2003
Dear Bhagavatas:

Sri VaishNavam justifiably bears the stamp of our greatest Acharya, Bhagavad Ramanuja. It is known as ?Ramanuja Darsanam?. Today, We celebrate the Tirunakshatram of this Acharya who literally saved our souls (SOS), and saved our Sanaatana Dharma, which the faulty faiths then, were eating into its vitals, by re-establishing both Bhakti maarga and the Prapatti Saastra on firm and unshakeable footing.

What is said about the incomprehensibility of Bhagavaan ?
?yatO Vaachaa nivartantE apraapya manasaa saha?
applies with equal force to Bhagavad Ramanuja. Words fail us as we try to eulogize the pioneer of our Siddhantam. All we can do is to bow our head in all humility as a token of our obeisance to him and sincerely endeavor to live up to the ideals that he set forth and practiced in his glorious life of 120 years.

Thanks to you, and the write up in the various Religious Journals in India like Sri Ranganatha Paduka, Sri Hayagriva Priya, Desika Seva, Nrisimhapriya from Hyderabad and the Internet fraternity, the membership of ?Sri Ranga Sri? has risen to about 2600 with over 1800 Active and about 800 other members whose mails bounced due to lack of storage space in their mail boxes. We request each one of you to enroll as many members as possible and at least one member each for your journal.
Prof. Narasimhacharya, Retd. Professor, Madras University (now a visiting Professor in the Oxford University) EXCLUSIVELY for publication in ?Sri Ranga Sri?. The learned Professor delivered this ?The Sripad Endowment Lecture? on 5th February 2003.
(Text of the lecture received from Dr. Miss M.S.Ramesh, IAS)
A few lessons on diplomatic relations gleaned from ?Sundara KhaNDam? highlighted in a short speech on the occasion of PaTTa abhishEkam of Sri ?Sita-Rama? on the conclusion of ?Sapta Sarga ParayaNam?
We CONCLUDE this series with this posting
(Anbil Ramaswamy)
Based on Monograph of MahaamahOpaadhyaaya Sri Srivatsaankaachaar Swami, now Head of Dept. French Indolgical Research Institute, Pondicherry
And ?MaharishigaL Charitram? by Mimamsa SirOmaNi Mimamsa Vidvan Mimamsa Kovida, Ubhaya Mimamsa Saaragjna, Veda Vedanta ChooDaamaNi Sri N.S. Devanathachariar (referred by Sri Srivatsankachariar Swami)
YAKSHA PRASNAM? Part 23: Prasnams 66and 67
By Sri M.K. Ramaswamy Iyengar Swami, Senior Officer of Govt. of India
(Could not be accommodated in this issue due to space constraints)
104 Regular issues have been released, so far (besides several Special Issues) -
- 27 Issues of Vol. 1
- 15 Issues of Vol. 2
- 42 Issues of Vol. 3 &
- 20 Issues of Vol. 4
These issues have been archived for public view at -
Sri Diwakar Kannan who is archiving these in the files section is leaving for India. He is busy relocating. He is requested to update this as soon as he finds time.

We strongly urge you to kindly peruse the "Regular Issues" archived in the ?Files? Section and view the Contents at ?srsindex.html? (Not the individual postings allowed encouraging "Reader participation").

We are sure that you will be convinced of the quality of the contents.

IF you are satisfied with the quality and contents of
?Sri Ranga Sri?:
Tell your friends to join by sending an email to ?

IF not:
Tell us, as to how we may improve.
Anbil Ramaswamy
Editor & Publisher
?Sri Ranga Sri?
The ?Files? Section also contains
- The full text of ?Art of Living?? (a write up on the Life and works of Swami Desika) by Sri M.K.Sudarshan of Kuwait.
- Important days in the year Subhaanu, with text of Sankalpams for different occasions like Amavasya etc. by Sri K.P.Narasimhan Swami.
Kindly also peruse the following files at the sites indicated:
(Maintained by Sri Madhava Kannan from Singapore) ? for
-       Biography of Bhagavad Ramanuja ?
-       Biography of Swami Desika ?
-       Acharya Vamsa Vriksham ?
-       Srimad Rahasya Traya Saram
-       and other links.
(Maintained by Sri Venkatesh Elayavalli from California)
SDDS Volume 1 / Issues 1 to 33
SDDS Volume 2 / Issues 1 to 26
SDDS Volume 3 / Issue 1
SaraNAgati Vol. 1 / Issues 1 - 24
SaraNAgati Vol. 2 / Issues 1 - 04
For ?Hinduism Rediscovered?
and other links
(Maintained by Sri R.M. Venkat from Bahrain) for -
- Dasavatara Stotram meanings
-?Srimad Rahasya Traya Saaram? and other links
in the ?Philosophy? section
Prof. Narasimhacharya, Retd. Professor, Madras University (now a visiting Professor in the Oxford University) EXCLUSIVELY for publication in ?Sri Ranga Sri?. The learned Professor delivered this ?The Sripad Endowment Lecture? on 5th February 2003.
(Text of the lecture received from Dr. Miss M.S.Ramesh, IAS)
The ?Hamsa Sandesa? is modeled on the ?Megha Sandesa? of Kaalidaasa, which has created a separate genre of composition, called the ?Sandesa Kaavya? in Sanskrit literature. It may be pointed out in this context that so far, there are in Sanskrit alone (not to speak of the vernaculars), 55 Sandesa Kaavyas written on the model of Megha Sandesa. Very poet had the irresistible temptation to imitate Kaalidaasa and sometimes even excel him, although this later attempt has not met with success. Kaalidaasa is our National poet, who lived in the first century B.C. or according to some, in the fifth century A.D. Everyone should take legitimate pride in reading his works and if one can compose verses, write at least one work modeled on any of his work. That was considered a matter of prestige and pride, not just a case of slavish imitation. All the works of Kaalidaasa are finished products of the highest order and nobody dares change even a word of his.

As in the case of the model poem, Megha Sandesa, the Hamsa Sandesa also abounds in descriptions of temples and holy places. South India is chosen as the scene of the poem and it may therefore be described as the complement of the Megha Sandesa, which describes North India. In the Megha Sandesa, the hero is semi-divine being, a Yaksha. He is a Dheeralalita-type of hero (i.e) one who is given to carefree life of enjoyment, deeply interested in fine arts like dance and music (cf: nischintO dheeralaliah, kalaasaktah, Sukhaikabhuh). In the Hamsa Sandesa, the hero is Sri Rama, an ideal hero, called DheerOdhatta.
Cf mahaasattvOatighambheerah krupaavaan avikattanah /
SthirO nighooDaahamkaarO DheerOdhaatta DriDavratah //

That is to say, one who is of immense strength, very deep in his mind, compassionate, steadfast, given to irrevocable determination etc.

Yaksha was only a servant of KubEra. He was cursed by his master for dereliction of his duty to be away from his beloved wife for one year. Rama was Lord Vishnu incarnate, separated from his wife Sita who was abducted by the ten-headed dragon called RavaNa, king of Lanka.

It will be worthwhile to note the parallels between the Megha Sandesa and the Hamsa Sandesa. Sri Vedanta Desika, a Mahakavi in his own right, has used the same meter, Mandakranta employed by Kaalidaasa. This meter according to Kshemendra, the author of Suvrutta Tilaka (CH 3 called Vritta ViniyOga) is ideal to describe the pangs of separation between lovers (Vipralamha Sringara). It is a long meter, moving slowly like the python (cf, mandam aakramati). This meter is quite suitable to describe the love-lorn condition of Yaksha who had no interesting life and was dragging on a wretched existence (Chant the verse- ?kaschit kanta viraha gurunaa).

Our poet Desika has also depicted in the Hamsa Sandesa, love in separation (Vipralambha Sringara). He follows the original even in the division of the poem into two Aasvaasas or Cantos. Even the number of verses in the Hamsa Sandesas total of 110 (60+ 50), which comes closer to the model poem, which has a total of 115 verses (63 + 52).

It will not be out of place to refer in this connection to a totally uncalled for controversy kicked up by some self-styled Desika Rasikas that Desika is head and shoulder above Kaalidaasa himself. They with their misplaced enthusiasm try to compare each and every verse of the two Sandesa Kaavyas and point out how Kaalidaasa pales into insignificance before Desika. They go to the extent of saying that Desika wrote the Yadhavaabhyudaya in reply to the Raghuvamsa of Kaalidaasa, as if there is a thematic controversy between the two works. Desika is no doubt a Mahaakavi, whose fame lasts as long as Sanskrit language and literature last. The world is yet to see a multi-faceted genius like Desika. Why should there be comparison at all between the two Mahaakavis of whom the earlier one acquired celebrity all over the world by his original creations? The plan of the poem, the choice of the meter, the delineation of the first details and their fitting into an original and harmonious whole ? are the indisputable claims of Kaalidaasa. Such a claim cannot, in the very nature of things, be laid by even the greatest of his imitators. Such critics are only doing a greater harm and incalculable disservice to the great name and spirit of Sri Desika himself, who lived a life of disarming simplicity and extraordinary humility. The humility of Desika could be illustrated by the following instance. In response to a challenge thrown by a contemporary poet, Desika wrote the masterpiece, Sri Padukaa Sahasra glorifying the sandals of Lord Ranganatha, in the course of a single night: The rival poet could only write three hundred verses on the lotus feet of the Lord (Paadukaamaala Trisati). In all fairness, he admitted that he was no match to Sri Desika in the art of composing such a beautiful poem at such a fantastic speed. With his characteristic humility the unassuming Desika put his rival in a still more unenviable position by extemporizing the following verse:
SootE Sukara yuvatih, Sutasatam ati durbhagam jhaTiti /
KariNi chiraaya SootE sakala-maheepala-lalitam kalabham//
A sow, i.e a she pig gives birth to a hundred, ugly young ones in a trice whereas a cow i.e. female elephant gives birth to a stately baby over a long period, which is fondled by the rulers of the land.
What a poet! What humility!
- To Continue ?
?amayA ivai ennum AsaiyinAl aru moondru ulagil
sumayAna kalvigaL soozha vandAlum togai ivai endru
imayA imayavar Etthiya ettirandu eNNiya nam
samaya Asiriyar sadirkkum tani nilai tandanarE?

We saw that the eighteen vidyAstthAnAs or systems of knowledge are, at best, wisdom of a lower order, inviting the sobriquet, ?SumayAna kalvigaL?. Swami Desikan tells us that the degrees and diplomas we acquire insatiably in our quest for knowledge and profit therefrom (?amayA ivai ennum AsaiyinAl?) would at best add a few letters after our names, but would not help in attaining the ultimate object of Moksha. These are just incapable of bestowing the priceless treasure of liberation.

Having discarded the recognized modes of wisdom as inadequate, what should we aspire for, to reach the desired goal? And is there wide acceptance for the proposed alternate path? And if indeed there be such a path, by its very nature, wouldn?t it be a closely guarded secret, beyond the contemplation of ordinary mortals like us? If so, who would impart to us the wonderful wisdom, which would free us forever from these mundane shackles?

The beauty of Swami Desikan?s works is that (unlike some learned authors who only destroy existing foundations without proposing alternate structures) identified alternatives are displayed along with the scriptural authority for their acceptance and also the precedents therefor. None of the concepts emerging from Thooppul Pillai?s works is unsubstantiated by pramANAs or Acharya sreesooktis. All the questions posed above are answered in the pasuram.

What is the vidyA that bestows liberation? ?EttiraNdu? replies Swami Desikan. ?ettu? refers to the eight-lettered ashtAksharam and ?iraNdu? to the Dvaya Mantra consisting of two sentences. The reference to the Dvayam includes the Charamasloka by inference. ?irandu? may also be taken to mean the other two components of the Rahasyatrayam, namely the Dvayam and the Charamaslokam. The AshtAksharam, the Dvaya Mantram and the Charamaslokam together represent a wealth of knowledge relating to the nature of the Lord and the self, the relationship persisting between them, the upAya the self has to adopt to regain its lost glory and true splendor of the eternal life that awaits the self, if it succeeds in getting over the hurdles to adoption of appropriate strategy.

Thus these three mantras, though short in form, are colossal in stature, capable of bringing before us the Lord Himself.
We are convinced about the genuineness of an article only when we know that the same has been used by people considered superior to us and has been proved effective- hence our blind acceptance of anything ?foreign?. Swami Desikan therefore tells us that these two mantras are constantly on the lips of no less than the permanent residents of Sri Vaikunatam, establishing their credentials-?imayA imayavar Etthiya?. The nitya sUrIs of Paramapadam not only stare unblinkingly at the glorious form of the Lord (?sadA pasyanti sooraya:?), apprehensive of blinking, lest it cause a moment?s loss of the immeasurably blissful experience, their lips too are in constant motion, engaged in the pleasure of reciting the ashtAksharam and Dvayam. The Lord?s constant servitors recite these formulations, not as a matter of ritualistic compulsion, but for the deep delight they afford, especially when recited with the majestic purport playing in the mind?s screen. That our Acharyas too are constantly engaged in arttha anusandhAnam of these esoteric formulations, is brought out by the words

?ettirandu eNNiya nam samayAsiriar?. This is not mere imagination, but based on Sri Rangaraja?s dictum to Sri Ramanuja, ?Dvayam arttha anusandAnEna saha sadA Evam vaktA yAvat sareera pAtam atraiva SrirangE sukhamAsva?.

The Lord tells Sri Bhashyakara to reside at Srirangam till release from mortal coils, engaged constantly in reciting and contemplating the pleasurable purport of the Dvaya mantra. Such recitation and contemplation has thus been an heirloom to us prapannAs, bequeathed by no less a person than the Bhashyakara himself. This is narrated to bring out the acceptance of the mantras by the best of Acharyas- ?nam samaya Asiriyar?, bestowing the mantras with the important qualification of ?sishta parigraham?. The magnificence of the Ramanuja Darsanam, as handed down by Sri Nadadur Azhwan, Sri Kidambi AcchAn, Sri Nadadur Ammal, Sri Atreya Ramanuja, etc., is portrayed in the proud words ?nam samayam?. The glory of the ?Bhashyakara panthA? is forever in Swami Desikan?s thoughts and finds frequent expression in his works, wherever the context permits.

?nam samayAsiriyar sadirkkum tani nilai tandanarE?- Our merciful Acharyas have, through their upadEsam, made us competent to recognise and espouse the two magnificent mantras, putting us on a lofty pedestal vis-à-vis the vast majority of humanity still laboring under the crushing weight of the inconsequential schools of thought, described earlier as ?sumayAna kalvi?.

Swami Desikan winds up the SAra nishkarsha adhikAram with the following kArikA in Sanskrit-
?ShAkhAnAm upari stthitEna manunA moolEna labdha Atmaka:
sattA hEtu sakrit japEna sakalam kAlam dvayEna kshipan
VEdOttamsa vihAra sArathitayA gumbhEna visrambhita:
SAragyO yadi kaschit asti bhuvanE nAtha: sa yoothyasya na:?
This sloka expands the respective roles of the three mantras, their impeccable origins and the immeasurable glory of one who masters their purport.

The Moola Mantra or the ashtAksharam is to be found in the Atharva ShikOpanishad and endows us with SEshatva gnAnam (reminding us of our true credentials as eternal servitors of the Lord). This wisdom makes us ?Born Again? VaishnavAs, aware of our true stature and role. Sri Tirumazhisai Piran says that one is really born only when one understands and appreciates the true purport of the ashtAsksharam- ?andru nAn pirandilEn, pirandapin marandilEn?.

The Dvaya Mantra, having its origin in the Upanishad of the Katha ShAkha, is to be uttered, with full appreciation of the purport, just once during the performance of Prapatti. Thereafter, it is to be recited constantly to ensure that the significant truths gained through the imbibing of these mantras stays with us constantly, preventing any slip back to the bad old days, when we as good as didn?t exist-?asannEva sa bhavati?. This mantra and meditation on its purport should form our way of spending time-?kAlam dvayEna kshipan?. This is in tune with the Lord?s dictum to Sri Ramanuja in the Saranagati Gadyam, mentioned above.

The third Rahasyam, the Charama SlOkam, is enunciated by the Lord Himself and incorporates the entire wisdom of the Vedanta Shastra, which forms the favourite place of residence for the Lord who displayed His souseelyam by accepting the lowly position of a charioteer for Arjuna. The Charama Sloka imparts the cast-iron assurance of the Lord to protect all those who surrender to Him, wiping off the tears of devotees with one hand, simultaneously extending them an uplifting hand to raise them from the mundane morass and onto the terra firma of Paramapadam. Though, coming from the Lord?s mouth, the Charama sloka should be gospel truth for us, the Lord assures us that what He has said is indeed the truth and not some insincere promise-?anritam na uktam poorvam mE, na cha vakshyE kadAchana?.

The glory of a person who masters the true purport of the three esoteric mantras indicated above is indeed beyond measure and he is counted as the Master of the entire clan of PrapannAs.
------------------------------------------------------------------------- To Continue ?
A few lessons on diplomatic relations gleaned from ?Sundara KhaaNDam? highlighted in a short speech on the occasion of PaTTa abhishEkam of Sri ?Sita-Rama? on the conclusion of ?Sapta Sarga ParayaNam?
We CONCLUDE this series with this posting

Hanuman had overcome all the obstacles in jumping over the ocean and reaching Lanka. He waited outside long till dusk before entering Lanka city at night. He did not enter through the main gate but through a location that could well be considered a ?No entry? zone (like a ?No fly? zone?).
AdvaarENa mahaabaahoo praakaaram abhipupluvE /
Nisi lankaammahaasathvO vivEsa kapikunjara: // (Sargam 4.2)

This is one of the strategies to be adopted by warriors seeking victory over their enemies. They are supposed to make a ?backdoor? entry, at an hour when none from the enemy camp could notice anything out of the way. Also, it is said that Anjaneya took a tiny form to outwit the enemy camp. Perhaps it was a case of saying ?Honey! I shrunk myself?)!

We see a similar scene in Mahaabhaarata:
When KrishNa, Bheema and Arjuna entered the city of Jaraasanda, they disguised themselves as Brahmins. They entered the palace of the king by jumping over the wall. They did not enter through the gateway. Jarsanda welcomed them and told them

?You seem to be Snaatakas. But, your apparel belies it. You are using flowers and perfumes, which no Sanaataka is allowed to use. You have entered my palace in a novel manner. Friends enter through the gateway. Only enemies make this kind of entrance? The story goes that KrishNa revealed the truth when so confronted and the rest is history.
(Mahaabhaarata Sabha Parva)

The point is that for one desirous of victory, entry into the enemy fortress should be under cover of darkness of night, in full disguise and by jumping over a protective wall avoiding the regular gateway.


After demolishing the Pramadaavana, destroying the mansions of Raakshasas and wreaking havoc on the powerful armies of Kinkaras ? feats that cannot be imagined even by the mightiest, Hanuman tells the Raakshasa who cane to fight with him that among the foot soldiers in the army of Sugrive, he was the weakest link!
Maadrusaanaam sahasraaNi visrushTaani mahaatmanaam //20
balinaam vaanarEndraaNaam Sugreeva vasa vartinaam /
aTanti vasudaam kritsnaam vayam anyE cha Vaanaraa: //21
dasa naaga balaa: kEcchit kEchit dasa guNOttharaa: /
kEchit naaga sahasrasya babhoovu: tulya vikramaa: //22
santi chougha balaa: kEchit Kechid Vaayu balOpamaa:/
apramEya balaas cha anyE tatra aasan hari yootapaa: //23
eedruk vidais tu haribhir vritO danta nakha aayudhai: /
satai: sata sahasrais cha kOTibhi: ayutairapi //24
aagamishyati Sugreeva: sarvEshaam vO nishoodana: /
na iyam asti puree lankaa na yooyam na cha RaavaNa: //25
yasmaat Ikshvaaku naatEna baddham vairam mahaatmanaa //
(Sargam 43. Slokas 20 to 25)
?Our Majesty Sugriva has dispatched myriads of monkey warriors all over the world to bring him back, news of the whereabouts of the lady. Sita.
Unlike my humble self, they are matchless of strength and courage; they never fail in any mission that they are sent upon. Some are endowed with strength of ten elephants, some of a hundred, some of a thousand, some of a thousand, some of an ogha (a huge figure). Some compare proudly with my lord Vaayu in strength and speed; while as to others, no description is possible. You are marked out as doomed to destruction by his Majesty Sugriva, the ruler of the lives and destinies of myriads of monkey-hosts whose weapons are but their teeth and nails. You have brought down upon yourself the wrath of Raghuvira; you have invited his enmity; and do you dare hope that Lanka will survive? And you too but precede it by a bit. And, your lord and ruler RavaNa but leads you on as ever?? (Tr. By C.R.srinivasa Iyengar)

This is not mere bravado. At best, it might mean a little bit of hyperbole because Hanuman?s strength and courage is unmatched as attested by Jambhavaan when he prompted him to undertake this stupendous task. The duty of a diplomat in a war is to instill fear in the hearts of the enemies. If one who calls himself as ?the weakest link? in the colossal army of Sugreeva could wreak so much havoc, the enemies were led to ponder over what might happen if more powerful hordes were to descend on them. This is strategy of all generals in war.

As we saw in the recent wars, the technique has been perfected to include not only hyperbole but also blatant lies and misinformation!


We turn to the Court scene in RavaNa?s Durbar. AnjanEya stands before all the Courtiers in the Sabha of RavaNa and dares to advise RavaNa to return Sri Sita to Sri Rama.
? You delude yourself with the hope that this Sita who is now in your custody is a mere ordinary woman. But, take it from me that she is the dreaded power known as ?KaaLaraatri? that has come to turn this Lanka to ashes, in its wrath.
Yaam SeetE iti abhijaanaasi yEyam tishTati tE vase /
KaaLa raatri iti taam viddhi: sarva lankaa vinaasineem//
(Sargam 51 ? 34 & 35)
?Neither the four faced Brahma, the creator, nor the destroyer of Tripura, Rudra, nor the Chief of the celestials Indra, either alone or combined, can ever save a soul destined to death at the hands of Sri Rama?
Don?t become an object of Rama?s wrath?
Brahmaa svayambhoos chaturaananO va
Rudras trinEtra tripuraantakO vaa //
indrO mahEndrO sura naayakO vaa /
Traatum na saktaa yudhi Raama vadhyam //
(Sargam 51 ? 45)

RavaNa is not moved by this caution but gets mad and orders instant execution of AnjanEya, the emissary, and the Raakshasa get ready to execute the orders. VibheeshaNa, the virtuous brother of RavaNa counsels his brother again:

?Killing of an emissary is prohibited in the Saastras as well as in practice of Statecraft and is condemned by the wise. May be he had caused harm but there are other ways to punish any misdeeds, other than putting a messenger to death?

He says:
dootaan avadhyaan samrEshu Raajan sarvEshu sarvatra vadanti santa: /
Na doota vadham pravadanti santO, dootasya drushTaa bhavO hi daNDaa: //
(Sargam 52 ? 13 and 14)

This was in TrEtayuga. We find toady incarceration, torture, maiming and death of not only POWs but of messengers, ambassadors, envoys and even poor and innocent civilians who have nothing to do with the politics of the powers that be, in blatant violation ?Human Rights?!
What kind of civilization we are upholding?
Let us and especially our political bosses learn from the great epic and turn a new leaf in civilized behavior.

(Anbil Ramaswamy)
Based on Monograph of MahaamahOpaadhyaaya Sri Srivatsaankaachaar Swami, now Head of Dept. French Indolgical Research Institute, Pondicherry
And ?MaharishigaL Charitram? by Mimamsa SirOmaNi Mimamsa Vidvan Mimamsa Kovida, Ubhaya Mimamsa Saaragjna, Veda Vedanta ChooDaamaNi Sri N.S. Devanathachariar (referred by Sri Srivatsankachariar Swami)
The Chief Pravartaka of this Gotram is the Sage Kutsa. In our daily prayers, when we recite the names of the Rishis, he is mentioned third after Atri and Brighu, even though he is a descendent of the Vamsam of Sage Aangirasa who is mentioned as the last of the seven Rishis. So, we will consider his glory in this posting. The Haritas, Mudgalas, KaNvas Sankritis and others belong to this lineage.

?Kutsa? is indeed a very strange name. The word ?Kutsa? means in Sanskrit ?fault-finding? ?One who engages in scolding or belittling others?. How could such a name attach to one who was a great Mantra DrishTaa in his own right besides being in the lineage of the renowned Maharishi Aangirasa?

It might mean that perhaps he was very exasperated with the vagaries of the world and was vocally expressing his displeasure to the annoyance of those who were annoyed with him for his stentorian disciplining. And, therefore, this name got stuck to him.

It is, however, seen that even this great Rishi who was so strict in his own observances, once made a mistake in pronouncing a Veda mantram and, therefore, was cursed to become a ?frog in the well?. When he atoned for his lapse, Veda Purusha told him that even while being a frog, he would remember his previous birth and will be relieved of the curse if he did penance in a PushkaraNi (Holy waters) and prayed to Soundararaja PerumaaL in Vaalmiki kshEtram for 48 days. This he did and was cured of his curse and regained his former self.

This Valmiki kshetram is none other than my native place, ANBIL, the birthplace of Sage Vaalmiki and one of the 108 Divya DEsams consecrated by Tirumazhisai Azhwar. The PushkaraNI is known as ?Mandooka PushkaraNi?.
(Authority: ?Tiruvarangam TirukkOyil? (pages 73-74) of the official publication of Sri Ranganatha Swami Devastaanam, Srirangam)

(Incidentally, this is one of the many glories of ANBIL,
ANBIL is situated 5 miles east of Lalgudi, in Tiruchy District, Tamil Nadu)

Nevertheless it does not detract from his glory due to his extreme and punctilious adherence to probity and rectitude, fame, greatness, severity of penance, knowledge, strict observance of codes of conduct as laid down in the Saastras, attitude of absolute benevolence, that earned him the respect and regard from even his critics.

We are familiar with the PrOkshaNa mantram, ?Om Bhoo: Bhuva: and Suvaha?. The Mantra drishTa of the fourth Vyaahriti ?Suvah?. Is none other than this ?Kutsa? Rishi. The Veda Vakhya in Taittriya Samhita 2.6.5 attests this fact thus:
?BrahmavaadinO vadantyatbhir haveemshi proukshee: kenaapa iti brahmaNEti brooyaat adbirhyEva haveemshi prOkshati brahmaNaapa:? This occurs in the Yaaga prakaraNam in the Vedas as an answer to the question:
?With what do you purify the offerings (havis)??
? By sprinkling water?
?With what do you purify water to be able to impart purity to the havis??
? With mantra?
?What is that mantra??
?Boo: Bhuva: Suvaha: mantra?

The mantra drishTas of this triad were Atri, Brighu and Kutsa. It is this mantra that is the foundation for all lowkeeka and Vaideeka karmas tirelessly referred to throughout the Vedas and Upanishads. This forms an integral part in all Nitya and Naimittika karmas, in Yaagas, in offering prayers to Bhagavaan, in all expiatory homas ?Sarva Praayas chitta hOmam, in the Gaayatri japam, in Arghyam and in PraaNaayaamam. Sage Kutsa is one of the three Rishis who discovered this mantra.

That the name of Kutsa is found mentioned in the Vedas in about 40 to 50 contexts shows how the greatness of this Rishi is recognized in the Vedas.Rik Veda 4.16.10 mentions a conversation between Sage VaamadEva and Indra which illustrates how Kutsa and Indra were not only bosom friends but also were ?look-alikes? so much that at one stage IndraNi herself could not differentiate between them. She had to ascertain from the ?horse?s mouth? of Indra himself!

It would appear that at the request of Kutsa who was the son of one Rajarishi called ?Ruru?, Indra helped in decimating Ruru?s enemies and invited Kutsa to Indraloka to celebrate the victory. It was then that the above incident happened.

There is a Sooktam in Rik Veda 1.106.6 that consists of 7 mantras. Though Kutsa discovered this Sooktam, he took pride in calling it in conjunction with his Achaarya, Aaangirasa as ?Kutsa: Aangeerasa:

Once, Kutsa fell into a deep well. Indra came running and saved his friend. This is mentioned in Rik Vedam 10.40.6.

Kaalidaasa commences the 5th Sargam of his ?Raghuvamsa? with an invocation to Kutsa. ?Koutsa: prapEdE Varatantu sishya:? This Koutsa was the Sishya of Sage Varadantu who was himself the Sishya of Kutsa Maharishi. In those days, it was a matter of pride for the Sishyas to call themselves after the names of their Praachaartyas. Thus, the name of ?Koutsa? was fashioned out of the name of ?Kutsa?.

This ?Koutsa? learned all the scriptures at the feet of Sage Varadantu. On completion of studies, he requested his Guru what he wanted as ?GurudakshiNa?. Varadantu did not desire anything. But, when Koutsa insisted, the Guru got wild and asked for 14 crores of sovereigns. Like Brahmin Brahmacharis were wont to, Koutsa was eking out existence by begging for alms ?Unchavritti?. Where would he go for such a huge amount? He approached Raghu Mahaaraja for help. Raghu was so munificent that he offered Koutsa a huge treasure that far exceeded the funds asked for. Koutsa agreed to take only what he had requested (14 crores of sovereigns) and not anything more. Raghu was insistent that he should take the entire offer. Finally, Raghu bought camels and horses with the excess amount and mounted the treasures on them and sent them to the Acharya. All were happy and satisfied.

That was Krita Yuga. None would chase after wealth more than what was absolutely needed and considered it a great sin to amass anything more. We in the Kali Yuga, chasing after mammon, cannot comprehend this virtue that the people of yore practiced!

While taking leave of Raghu, Koutsa blessed him to beget an equally virtuous son. In due course, Raghu Maharaja got an illustrious son called ?Ajan?. This ?Aja Maharaja? was the father of Dasaratha, the father of Sri Rama. Thus, it was due to the blessings of Sage Koutsa that fame of Raghu Vamsa was firmly established.
- To Continue ?
YAKSHA PRASNAM? Part 23: Prasnams 66and 67
By Sri M.K. Ramaswamy Iyengar Swami, Senior Officer of Govt. of India
Could not be accommodated in this issue due to space constraints

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