sthOthra rathnam – 64

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

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Introduction

emperumAn asks “If I who am independent, uplift some persons [as special cases], can that be considered as my standard conduct?” and ALavAndhAr replies “At the seashore, when you vowed [to protect all who surrender unto you] in the assembly of your devotees, did that vow exclude me?”.

nanu prapannas sakrudhEva nAtha!
thavAhasmIthi cha yAchamAna: |
thavAnakampya: smaratha: prathigyAm
madhEkavarjam kimitham vratham thE ||

Word by word meaning

nAtha! – Oh my lord!
sakruth Eva prapanna: – saying “I have surrendered unto you once”
aham thava asmi ithi cha – and saying “I should exclusively serve you”
yAchamAna: (aham) – I who am praying
prathigyAm smaratha: thava – to you who are thinking about the vow (which you declared towards vibhIshaNa at the seashore [before the rAma – rAvaNa battle])
nanu anukampya: – deserve to receive your mercy;
thE itham vratham – this vow of your highness’
math Eka varjam kim – does it exclude just me?

Simple Translation

Oh my lord! I who am saying “I have surrendered unto you once” and “I should exclusively serve you” and praying to you, who are thinking about the vow (you declared to vibhIshaNa at the seashore [before the rAma – rAvaNa battle]), deserve to receive your mercy; does this vow of your highness’ exclude just me?

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

  • nanu prapanna:ALavAndhAr recollects SrI rAma‘s words as in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 18.33 “sakrudhEva prapannAya” (even if one surrenders once, I will never abandon him). kUraththAzhwAn explains sakrudhEva as sahasaiva (immediately, at once). embAr explains “This AthmA who is in samsAram since time immemorial, even if he mediates upon prapaththi (dhvaya mahA manthram), will that match [the greatness of emperumAn] saying “sakruth” (even once)?”. bhattar explains “If we look at the greatness of emperumAn, performing SaraNAgathi more than once is superfluous. [But] the prApya ruchi [i.e., taste in reciting dhvaya mahA manthram requesting for eternal kainkaryam] will go on until one reaches the final destination [of paramapadham]”.
  • nAtha – Surrendering just once is sufficient since emperumAn is the apt/natural lord. Just Abhimukhyam (friendly gesture) is required – [that is due to emperumAn having] eternal [motherly] relationship where he considers the loss/gain of AthmA as his own. In the case of a person who is not an apt refuge, even Artha prapaththi (desperate surrender) is doubtful in procuring the result. But in the case of emperumAn who is the apt refuge, even dhruptha prapaththi (surrender with patience to achieve the result) will lead to the ultimate result.
  • thavAsmIthi cha yAchamAna: – (aham thavAmsi) – AthmA is pleading with the thought that it should engage in minimal services to establish its own nature; praying for kainkaryam following the method in the latter half of dhvayam. Highlighting my empty-handedness I surrendered unto you saying “thvath pAdha mUlam SaraNam prapadhyE” (I firmly accept your divine lotus feet as the means). I also prayed for the goal saying “aikAnthika nithyakinkara: praharshayishyAmi” (when I will please you only as a confidential eternal servitor). Some explain that, with these two words [aham thavAsmi], the two types of qualified persons in bhakthi [bhakthi yOga] and prapaththi [SaraNAgathi] are spoken about.
  • prathigyAm smarathas thava anukampya: – I recollect your vow at the seashore as said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 18.33 “Ethath vratham mama” (This is my vow), remain a recipient of the mercy of your highness.
  • thE vratham idham madhEka varjam kim – Will this distinguished vow of your highness who is common to all, exclude me? Implies – it will not. I will only miss out if you specifically vowed “I will protect all except this one person”. Since your highness is a sathya sankalpa (one with fulfilled vows), you should mercifully protect me.

In the next article we will enjoy the concluding SlOkam of this wonderful prabandham.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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