sthOthra rathnam – 10

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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Mahavishnu-universes

Introduction

After having raised the objection to praise and been convinced , ALavandhAr explains emperumAn‘s parathvam (supremacy) which makes him the refuge, in the subsequent five SlOkams. In this first SlOkam (among the five), ALavandhAr mercifully explains emperumAn’s supremacy through “gathi sAmAnya” nyAya (method where the goal is the same but path is different) where in the common words such as sath, brahma etc., nArAyaNan is explained as the jagath kAraNam (cause of the universe) in the form of kAraNa vAkya (words/phrases that rest on the cause/root). Also explained as – ALavandhAr is wondering about emperumAn’s compassion by comparing the two aspects:

  • when he started praising, emperumAn gave his merciful glance which was triggered by his vAthsalyam (motherly affection);
  • during total deluge, with a compassionate heart, you [emperumAn] created chEthanas [gave them bodies] by showering his special mercy, and manifested your friendly nature to propel their friendliness towards you who is the benefactor, to have them engage in [righteous] actions and withdraw from [sinful] actions.

nAvEkshasE yadhi thathO bhuvanAnyamUni
nAlam prabhO bhavithumEva kutha: pravruththi: |
Evam nisargasuhrudhi thvayi sarvajanthO:
svAmin na chithramidhamASrithavathsalathvam ||

Word by word meaning

prabhO – Oh my lord!
na avEkshasE yadhi – if (you) had not bestowed your merciful glance
thatha: – after the total deluge
amUni bhuvanAni – these worlds
bhavithumEva na alam – would not have been created;
pravruththi: kutha: – it is obvious that no actions would have occurred [if the worlds were not created to start with]
svAmin – Oh lord!
Evam – in this manner
sarva janthO: – for all creatures
nisarga suhrudhi – being a natural friend
thvayai – in you
ASritha vathsalathvam idham – this quality of manifesting motherly affections towards your devotees
na chithram – not strange

Simple Translation

Oh my lord! if (you) had not bestowed your merciful glance after the total deluge, these worlds would not have been created;  it is obvious that no actions would have occurred [if the worlds were not created to start with]; Oh lord! in this manner, it is not strange to see this quality of manifesting motherly affections towards your devotees, when you are the natural friend for all creatures.

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

  • nAvEkshasE yadhi – As said in chAndhOgya upanishath 6.2.3 “thadhaikshatha bahu syAm prajAyEyEthi” (That parabrahmam, vowed to become many), if he did not mercifully glance at the chEthanas who were as good as asath (insentient) [before creation, all souls are in a subtle state without any form or name, and acquire form and name as part of creation]. Instead of looking at the sins committed by the chEthanas since time immemorial, emperumAn, out of his compassion, mercifully glanced at them looking at their miserable state; [if not for his compassion] there is none who will question him “Why did you not show your mercy at them?”.
  • thatha: – Explaining the [non-existing] gap between emperumAn vowing “bahu syAm” (let me become many) and the creation occurring [i.e., it happens instantaneously].
  • amUni bhuvanAni bhavithumEva nAlam – [Without the mercy of emperumAn] the 14 layered words which are the abodes from where one can pursue worldly pleasure and liberation, will not even be created. Speaking in negation is to establish the principle firmly. thaiththirIya upanishath Anandhavalli 7 “kO hyEnvAnyAn ka: prANyAth” (Who in this world can attain worldly pleasure or liberation if not for bhagavAn‘s presence?), SrI bhagavath gIthA 10.39 “na thadhasthi vinA yath syAnmayA bhUtham charAcharam” (there is no movable/immovable object that exists without me).
  • kutha: pravruththi: – When they don’t even come into existence without your vow, how can they engage in action [without you]? All of creation, action and inaction are based on your mercy only.
  • prabhO – Highlighting his aiSwarya (wealth/control) in the context of jagath kAraNathva (being the cause for the universe).
  • sarva janthO: Evam nisarga suhrudhi – You were feeling alone as said in mahOpanishath “sa EkAkI na ramEtha” (nArAyaNa who was alone during deluge was not joyful) even though nithya vibhUthi (spiritual realm – SrIvaikuNtam) is [always] present, gave bodies and senses to jIvAthmAs [in the material realm] to make them brahmA, rudhra et al up to animals and plants, and became relieved of your own sorrow; towards you who is such unconditional well-wisher of all.
  • svAmin – Due to your relationship [being the lord], you have to consider the creation of these worlds as your own benefit. bhattar (denoted by the word “abhyuktha” (revered)) too said in SrI rangarAja sthavam uththara Sathakam 88 “… svamudhdhiSya … upAdhaththE …” (Oh SrIranganAtha! upanishath declares “SrIman nArAyaNan accepts chEthanas (sentient entities) and achEthanas (insentient entities) as his own through srushti (creation), sthithi (sustenance), niyamanam (control) etc”. Thus you being the means and goal is natural for you and nothing artificial. Thus I too acquired you as the unconditional means). Oh one who has exclusive lordship over all chEthana and achEthana!
  • idham ASritha vathsalathvam na chithram – Is the vAthsalyam in you towards me to make me qualified to praise you who is beyond the comprehension of everyone’s words and mind, surprising? SrI rAmAyaNam 18.36 “kimathra chithram …” (Oh knower of dharma! lord of all! bestower of joy! What is surprising in saying that you who is filled with sathva guNam (goodness) and who remains in virtuous path, spoke beautiful words?).

By jagath kAraNathvathvam (being the cause of the universe), his being greater than everyone is established; By atharva SikhA “kAraNam thu dhyEya:” (meditate upon that which is the cause), his being refuge for everyone is established; since it is said in thaiththirIya upanishath Anandhavalli 7 “Esha hyEvAnandhayAthi” (He only gives pleasure to jIvAthmA), his prApyathvam (his being the goal) is established; since he performs srushti, etc as his own benefit, his sarva svAmithvam (being the lord of all) is established; since he motivated ALavandhAr to engage in praising him by manifesting his friendly nature, his ASritha vAthsalyam (motherly affection towards his devotees) is established.

In the next article we will enjoy the next SlOkam.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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