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Anjali is the mudhrA or the gesture of folding one's hands (palms)
in reverence to another. Vaibhavam means the glory. Hence Anjali
Vaibhavam means that it is about the glory of Anjali mudhrA.

Swamy Desikan had written a bhAshyam for Swami ALavandhAr's
SthOthra Rathnam. When Swami Desikan refelected on the deep
meanings of slOkam 28 of SthOthra Rathnam dealing with the power
of Anjali to cause infinite auspiciousness, he was moved to write
an elaborate commentary on this 28th slOkam. Thus originated the
Chillarai Rahasya Grantham, which Swami Desikan named as "Anjali



Sri Anjali Vaibhavam - Part 1 - VangIpuram Navaneetham Sri U.Ve
Sri Rama DesikAchAr (Sri VaikuNda vAsi) - translated by
Oppiliappan kOil Sri VaradAchAri satakOpan

Introduction by V.Sadagopan

The Origin of this Grantham

Anjali is the mudhrA or the gesture of folding one's hands (palms)
in reverence to another. Vaibhavam means the glory. Hence Anjali
Vaibhavam means that it is about the glory of Anjali mudhrA.

Swamy Desikan had written a bhAshyam for Swami ALavandhAr's
SthOthra Rathnam. When Swami Desikan refelected on the deep
meanings of slOkam 28 of SthOthra Rathnam dealing with the power
of Anjali to cause infinite auspiciousness, he was moved to write
an elaborate commentary on this 28th slOkam. Thus originated the
Chillarai Rahasya Grantham, which Swami Desikan named as "Anjali

Swamy AlawandhAr's 28th slOkam

The slOkam dealing with the power of Anjali is as follows:

thvadhangrim uddhisya kadhApi kEnachith
yathaa tathaa vaapi kruthOnjali:
tathaiva mushNAthi asubhAnyasEshatha:
subhAni pushNAthi na jaathu heeyathE

(meaning):Oh Lord! When any one thinks of Your sacred feet as
upAyam and phalan and folds his hands in anjali mudhrA even once
at any time, his ancient and sorrow-giving karmAs are destroyed
and he enjoys paripUrna BrahmAnubhavam in Your supreme abode of
Sri Vaikuntam. That anjali will never fail to yield such a result
and will be the cause of all auspiciousness.

The slOkam preceding the 28th slOkam quoted above praised the
matchless glory of the sacred feet of the Lord, which was the
object of the anjali mudhrA of the bhakthan and Periya MudaliyAr
(ALavandhAr) says in this context here :

tavAmrutha syandhini paadha pankajE
nivEsithAThmA kaTham anyadhicchathi ?
sthithE aravindhE makarandha nirbharE
madhuvrathO nEkshurakam hi veekshathE

(Meaning): Oh Lord ! How can anyone who attached his mind to Your
sacred feet- capable of giving MokshAnugraham- wish for anything
else ? When the honey-laden lotus flower is there, why would a
honey bee dependent on honey for its life sustenance pay any
attention to the water-thorn flower ?

While the 27th SlOkam of Swami AlavandhAr celebrates the matchless
delectable experience (BhOgyAthAdhisayam) of the Lord's lotus feet
(Bhagavath CharaNAravindham), the 28th slOkam describes the power
of a single anjali aimed at those charaNAravindhams of the Lord
(Tvadhangrim uddhisya sakruth krutha anjali:). That anjali
recognized the sacred feet of the Lord as upAyam (means) and
PrApyam (fruit or Phalan) and earned the reward of Moksham.

Swami Desikan was immensely moved with the messages contained in
these two slOkams of Swami AlavandhAr's SthOthra Rathnam and
created the chillarai rahasyam revered as "Anjali Vaibhavam".

Anjali Vaibhavam - Part 2 - VangIpuram Navaneetham Sri U.Ve
Sri Rama DesikAchAr (Sri VaikuNda vAsi)

The Taniyan for Anjali Vaibhavam

" hithAya sarva jagathAm vyaktham yO anjali vaibhavam
prAchIkasath tamm vandhEaham VedAntha Yuga Desikam "

The taniyan salutes Swamy Desikan for illuminating and elaborating
on the glories of Anjali Vaibhavam clearly for the well being of
the whole world .

Swami Desikan's reason for creating Anjali Vaibhavam

At the end of this Sri Sookthi , Swami Desikan explains his
reasons for composing this grantham. He says:

"KaNNan kazhal thozhak koopiya kaiyin perumai tanai
yeNNam kadakka yemunait thuRayavar iyampuvathAL
tiNNamithu-venru thERit theLintha-pinn sinmathiyOr
paNNum paNithikaL paaRRip pazham-thozhil paRRinamE"

Periya Mudaliaar (Swamy ALavandhAr) indicated in one of the
slOkams of his sthOthra rathnam (28th SlOkam ) that glories of
anjali -- aimed at the sacred feet of the Lord -- are limitless.
AdiyEn (Swamy Desikan) understood that upadEsam clearly and
recognized it as one of the cardinal doctrines of our siddhAnthams
. AdiyEn performed the anjali to the Lord's holy feet by
condemning the incorrectly held views of opponents on this matter
taught to us clearly by Swamy AlavandhAr on the matchless
vaibhavam of Anjali MudhrA.

Swamy Desikan explains the reson behind his efforts to create this
grantham through another slOkam :

"SrI VenakatanAtha: Sridhara padha padma-saktha chitthAnAm
anjali Vaibhavam akaTayath anusmrutham YaamunAchAryai:"

(Meaning) : Sri VenaktanAthan as an AchAryan (Desikan) elaborated
on the glories of anjali vaibhavam as instructed by Swamy
AlavandhAr for the benefit of BhagavathAs involved deeply in the
meditation of the lotus feet of the dhivya dampathis.

Why the Name Anjali?

The folding of hands in display of reverence to the Lord's holy
feet is known as anjali . This act makes the Lord's heart melt
with dayA for the Bhakthan . Anjali has therefore been defined as
" am + jalayathi " or that which makes the Lord's solid heart melt
into a watery state. The joy of the Lord in response to this
anjali mudhrA by His bhakthan is beyond any description. He is
overjoyed at seeing the Bhakthan with folded palms .

The other intrepretation of the word , " anjali" is linked to the
gesture of a prapannan to the Lord to describe his state of not
doing anything again to protect himself . Karthruthva thyAgam is
indicated by the anjali mudhrA by this definition.

The power of Anjali MudhrA

Swamy Desikan has quoted one of his own slOkams (30th slOkam )
from Sri VaradarAja PanchAsath to indicate the power of the anjali
mudhrA over the anger of the Lord , when he sees those , who
transgress His commands.The meaning of that slOkam is:

Oh Lord of Hasthigiri ! The kings of the world shoot poison-coated
arrows at their enemies to destroy them. Similarly , You as the
King of Kings and DevAs consider us, who have committed so many
aparAdhams to You as Your enemies. You are therefore ready to
dispatch us to hell (narakam ) with Your arrow known as nigraha
sankalpam.That arrow gives us enormous pains .That however is Your
dhivya sankalpam.No one can arrest or stop Your sankalpam. That
sankalpam will reach any one or any thing without interruption
from the mighty BrahmA to the lowly worm. If that is so, what can
we , who have committed limitless apachArams through transgrssion
of Your divine commands do? How can we escape from Your mighty
arrow of nigraha sankalpam ? We do however have one weapon at our
control to deflect Your wrath .This is an answering arrow from our
quiver. That effective countermeasure to Your anger (SeeRRam ) is
Our hands folded with Bhakthi that perform anjali mudhrA to Your
lotus feet. When we stand before You with this anjali mudhrA ,
Your anger subsides and You bless us with every auspiciousness ,
all the way upto Moksha siddhi .

The topics covered by Swami Desikan

In his rahasya grantham of Anjali Vaibhavam , Swami Desikan covers
the following topics:

(1) The Supermacy of Sriman NaarAyaNan and the relative status of
other Gods
(2) Lack of Time restriction for performing anjali
(3) The simplicity and universality of anjali
(4) The superiority of anjali over all dharmams
(5) Anjali's destroyal of all KarmAs
(6) The benefits conferred by anjali
(7) Answer to the question: What grants Moksham? Is it anjali or
prapatthi ?
(8) ChEthanan's gesture is anjali and BhagavAn's gesture is abhaya
(9) Anjali gesture embeds in itself BharanyAsam
(10)The Lord's anger subsides with Bhakthi or Prapatthi
(11)The Uniquenes of prapatthi
(12)The special affection of the Lord for the Prapannan
(13) Anjali's effect to yield gradual and direct Moksham
(14) Other's differences of opinions on the power of anjalai and
Swamy Desikan's answers to them
(15) Anjali yielding all kinds of fruits
(16) The glory of anjali as revealed by Swamy AlavandhAr
(17) The four attributes that the Prapannan must have
(18) The signs for recognition of these four attributes

We will now cover in the remaining postings the above eighteen
sub-topics .We will cover six sub-topics at a time.

Anjali Vaibhavam - Part 3 - VangIpuram Navaneetham Sri U.Ve.
Sri Rama DesikAchAr (Sri VaikuNda vAsi) - translated by Oppiliappan
kOil Sri VaradAchAri satakOpan

(1) The Supermacy of Sriman NaarAyaNan
Oh Lord of Sri ! Your lotus feet have the power of protecting all
the worlds and their beings. Those holy feet are sweeter than the
sweetest things known to men, when it comes to enjoyment. The
ones blessed with a high sense of vivEkam consider with out doubt
that those lotus feet of Yours are the means (upAyam) for and the
fruit (phalan) of direct mOksham.

Both BrahmA and Sivan have limited abilities and can not therefore
grant mOksham directly. Therefore , the ones with discriminating
intellect (VivEkis) do not worship them to attain mOksha phalan.
BrahmA was born from You, when You were in a joyous mood; Sivan
was born, when You were in an angry mood. Both of them follow the
path shown by You and attend to their duties of creation (BrahmA)
and destruction (Sivan). Sine they are controlled and directed by
You, they have no intrinsic power to grant the boon of liberation
from the cycles of births and deaths (mOksham). Indra also belongs
to the group of Gods with restricted powers. They do not have Your
incomparable glory resulting from Your union with Sri Devi.
Therefore VivEkis reject them (BrahmA, Sivan et al) as appropriate
Gods to approach for attaining Moksham. Only Your sacred feet can
grant the highest of the fruits (viz)., mOksham. Rest of the Gods
can only grant fruits that do not last. Therefore, the VivEkis
stay away from approaching any God other than Yourself to secure
the highest purushArtham (most coveted boon).

(2) Lack of Time restriction for performing anjali
In this world , there are many dharmams. All of them have time
restrictions. Some have to be performed at a specific time-defined
entity such as yugam , year , paksham ,day of the week, night time,
day time, yAmam , rAsi and muhUrtham. There is an obligation to
perform these rites (dharmAs) under specific time-defined
periods. Otherwise, the fruits of observing these dharmAs are not
realized. This is an obligatory issue for these rites. For the
rite of performing anjali however , there are no time restrictions
whatsoever. It can be done at any one of the yugams, years,
months, fortnights, day of the week, night or day. Anjali is not
time-circumscribed. Whenever there is a desire to perform anjali
to the sacred feet of the Lord with Bhakthi, that time itself is
the appropriate time to engage in this redeeming act.

(3) Simplicity and the Universality of anjali
The rite of anjali is available to every one independent of their
caste, varNam, guNam, Asramam or status. It is the easiest of the
acts to perform. There are no restrictions on the adhikAri
(Qualifications of the person ). Any one is thus qualified to
perform anjali to the Lord's holy feet with a heart filled with
devotion and receive the Lord's unrestricted blessings
(paripUrNAnugraham). Anjali like speaking the truth is a dharmam
that is common to all. Therefore, from BrahmA to the dog-flesh
eating man of lower caste can perform anjali and receive the
Lord's anugraham (grace). Anjali can be performed even by those,
who have no clear understanding of either the supreme principles
of Sriman NaarAyaNan, or the lower principles of sentients and the
insentients or the upAyam (means) of Prapatthi or the phalan
(fruit) of Moksham. This anjali mudhrA can be of the form of
folded palms over the head or folded palms at the level of chest
to bear the highest of fruits. When one is unable to even fold
even his palms to perform anjali, he can do it with speech or
with the mind. Anjali yields the desired fruit independent of the
way in which it is performed (ManO-Vaak-Kaayam). It is sufficient
to do this anjali with deep bhakthi for the redeeming feet of the
Lord Just Once.

(4) The Superiority of anjali over the other dharmAs
MahA Bharatham reveals to us that of all the dharmAs, those
dharmAs performed for the Lord are the superior ones. Those
dharmAs relating to the Lord are: Cleaning His temple with broom
and/or with water, construction of flower and ThuLasi garlands,
presentation of dheepam (lamps lighting), circumambulation
(pradakshiNam), prostration before Him, recital of sthuthis on Him,
singing of His divine names, manthra japam et al. Most superior
to all of the above dharmams aimed to please the Lord is the
anjali dharmam. Its size is limited to that of folding One's palms
with Bhakthi. The other dharmAs have a latency period, when it
comes to yielding their fruits. This anjali has the unique
ability to gladden the heart of the Lord and gaining His mercy
(DayA) and anugraham rightaway.

(5) Anjali's destruction of all KarmAs
What are the other benefits that anjali can confer on the
practioner? Even for those, who have sought refuge in the Lord,
the effect of residual vaasanAs will stay with them . As a result,
paapams (sins) and PuNyams (meritorious deeds) will restrain them
as though they are bound with iron or golden chains. They may not
have an intense desire to break these chains to gain mOksham. Even
if these appear like beneficial to them, they will continue to tie
him down to the afflictions of SamsAric life. This anjali by
its sheer power has the ability to let its practioner go on his
way and then correct him for redemption. How is that possible? It
is like curing the disease of children, who resist taking
medicine by hiding that medicine inside a cube of jaggery that is
welcome to them and letting them swallow it and thereby get
cured. In this manner, anjali will let the one with residual
vaasanAs experience some pains and pleasures and at the end break
the golden and the iron chains of puNyam and paapams. It will thus
destroy the obstacles that stand in the way of a prapannan to
realize mOksham and grant him paripUrNa BrahmAnubhavam in Sri
Vaikuntam. For those who had not performed prapatthi, anjali will
destroy the obstacles that stood in the way of performing
prapatthi and stimulate him to seek a sadAchAryan and perform
prapatthi. Thus, it helps the prapannAs as well as those who have
not performed prapatthis. The various vrathams (exculpatory rites)
like Krucchram, SaanthrAyaNam et al sanctioned by the saasthrams
can only eliminate few inauspiciousness and thus have limited
powers. Anjali vratham on the other hand has the power to destroy
all virOdhis (enemies or obstacles) to mOksha phalan.

(6) The benefits conferred by anjali
Anjali eliminates not only all the obstacles that one encounters
but also blesses one with many more boons. These boons and
blessings are: (1) Anjali paves the way for paripUrNa Bhagavath
anubhavam in Sri Vaikuntam. (2) Anjali points to Prapatthi as the
means for the enjoyment of that BrahmAnandham. (3) Anjali
facilitates the facile observance of the different angAs of
Prapatthi. (4) Anjali makes one fit for performing prapatthi if he
has not observed it already. (5)It helps the prapannan to continue
to perform bhagavath-BhAgavatha Kaimkaryam until he sheds his
mortal coils and ascends to parama padham. Anjali removes the
obstacles in the performance of such kaimkaryams. (6) Anjali does
not rest only with giving the fruits to the one, who folds his
palms with Bhakthi to the Lord, but it blesses seven generations
of people associated with him. (7)Asthira (nonenduring) phalans
like svargam do not last beyond the earned piNyams. The nithya
kaimkaryam at Sri Vaikuntam blessed through the power of anjali
however lasts forever. Thus, the anjali done in this world leads
to the extent of prapatthi here and when the prapnnan reaches Sri
Vaikuntam, anjali blesses him with nithya kaimkarya bhAgyam.

119) The Glory (Vaibhavam ) of Anjali to the Lord
Swamy Alavanthaar has instructed us in one of the SthOthra
Rathna slOkam that the power of  Anjali to the Lord
( mudhrA of Palms joined together in front of the Lord  )
has limitless power and glory . Such an anjali gesture
offering salutations to the Lord's sacred feet melts
the heart of the Lord (amm+ jalayathi) like a sugar
cube dipped in water. The Lord's joy on seeing this
anjali mudhrai  from the chEthanam is boundless.
Our Lord recognizes this anjali mudhrai as the symbol
of cessation of action on the part of the Prapannan indicating
that he is not going to engage in any action to protect himself
anymore and that he has entrusted all that burden to the Lord
in his helpless state. Swamy  Desikan says he is of the firm
opinion that the anjali-based sidhdAntham(Prapatthi)
is the most fruitful one to gain MOksham.Therefore , he says
that he defeated the incorrect disputations of all , who were
against Prapathti mArgam and is displaying his anjali mudhrA
before the Lord.

The 28th SthOthra Rathna SlOkam that stimualted
Swamy  Desikan to create the sacred text of
Anjali Vaibhavam is :

Thvadhangrim uddhisya kadhApi kEnachith
yaTA taTA vaa-api sakruth kruthOnjali:
tadhaiva mushNAthi asubhAnyasEshata :
SubhAni pushNAthi na jAthu heeyathE

We have to remember Swamy  NammAzwAr's upadEsam
for us about the anjali to the Lord :

" dEsamAna aNikalam yenn kai koopu seyhayE"

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