sthOthra rathnam – SlOkams 1 to 10 – Simple Explanation

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

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SlOkam 1 – In first SlOkam, ALavandhAr salutes nAthamunigaL‘s excellence in the real wealth of gyAnam and vairAgyam.

namO’chinthyAdhbhudhAklishtaklishta gyAna vairAgyarASayE |
nAthAya munayE’gAdhabhagavadh bhakthisindhavE ||

I offer my salutations to nAthamunigaL who is a collection of beyond-comprehension, amazing knowledge and detachment, which were easily attained (by the grace of bhagavAn), who meditates upon bhagavAn and is an ocean of deep devotion towards bhagavAn.

SlOkam 2 – In this SlOkam, the ultimate greatness of nAthamunigaL’s knowledge etc relating to bhagavAn’s avathArams is explained. Alternatively, it explains “his knowledge etc (explained in previous SlOkam) instead of being curtailed in him, is flooding down to me (ALavandhAr)”.

thasmai namO madhujidhangri sarOja thathva
gyAnAnurAga mahimAthiSayAnthasImnE |
nAthAya nAthamunayE’thra parathra chApi
nithyam yadhIya charaNau SaraNam madhIyam ||

My salutations to SrIman nAthamunigaL whose divine feet are always my refuge in this world and the other world as well, who is the pinnacle of greatness of true knowledge and devotion at the divine lotus feet of emperumAn, who killed madhu, and one who is [my] lord.

SlOkam 3 – Like a thirsty person’s thirst does not get quenched by drinking more and more water, ALavandhAr is saying “I am his servitor, again and again”.

bhUyO namO’parimithAchyutha bhakthi thathva
gyAnAmruthAbdhi parivAha Subair vachOpi: |
lOkE’vathIrNa paramArtha samagra bhakthi
yOgAya nAthamunayE yaminAm varAya ||

Again my salutations to nAthamunigaL who has incarnated in this world in the form of auspicious words overflowing from the ocean of unlimited devotion towards bhagavAn and true knowledge, who is the ultimate benefit, who is complete, who is having bhakthi yOga and is best among the yOgis.

SlOkam 4 – ALavandhAr salutes SrI parASara bhagavAn due to his contribution in the form of SrIvishNu purANam.

thathvEna yaSchidhachIdhISwara thath svabhAva
bhOgApavarga thadhupAyagathIrudhAra: |
sandharSayan niramimItha purANarathnam
thasmai namO munivarAya parASarAya ||

My salutations to that magnanimous parASara rishi who is the best among rishis, who mercifully gave SrIvishNu purANam, gem (best) among purANams which clearly explains the three entities namely chith (sentient entities), achith (insentient entities) and ISwara (God), their nature, the pleasures (of this material realm), mOksham (liberation), the means for pleasures in this material realm and liberation from this realm, and the goal reached by the jIvAthmAs, as they are (truthfully).

SlOkam 5 ALavandhAr is falling at the divine feet of nammAzhwAr and surrenders unto him.

mAthA pithA yuvathayas thanayA vibhUthi:
sarvam yadhEva niyamEna madhanvayAnAm |
Adhyasya na: kulapathEr vaguLAbhirAmam
SrImath thadhangriyugaLam praNamAmi mUrdhnA ||

nammAzhwAr‘s divine feet are always mother, father, woman [spouse], children, great wealth and everything else (that is not mentioned here) for [me and] my descendants. I worship and bow down with my head at the two divine feet of such AzhWAr, who is the leader and the head of our [vaishNava] clan, who is decorated with magizha flowers and is having SrIvaishNavaSrI (wealth of kainkaryam).

SlOkam 6 – As said in thiruvAimozhi 7.9.7 “vaigunthanAgap pugazha” (emperumAn making AzhwAr praise him as the lord of SrIvaikuNtam), since praises are dear to him (ISwara), and also praising emperumAn is dear to the AchAryas, with the intent to praise him, briefly explaining the upAyam (means) and upEyam (goal), starts praising bhagavAn.

yanmUrdhni mE SruthiSirassu cha bhAthi yasmin
asman manOrathapadhas sakalassamEthi |
sthOshyAmi na: kuladhanam kuladhaivatham thath
pAdhAravindham aravindhavilOchanasya ||

I am going to praise the divine lotus feet of puNdarIkAksha (lotus eyed lord) who is being the wealth of our clan and being the (dependable) deity of our clan, on whose divine feet all our overflowing love reaches beautifully, whose divine feet are seen on my head and also in vEdhAntham.

SlOkam 7 ALavandhAr withdraws from the effort as arjuna gave up fighting after setting out to fight as said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 1.47 “visrujya saSaram chApam” (dropped the bow along with the arrows).

thathvEna yasya mahimArNavaSIkarANu:
SakyO na mAthumapi SarvapithAmahAdhyai: |
karthum thadhIyamahimasthuthimudhyathAya
mahyam namO’sthu kavayE nirapathrapAya ||

It is impossible for Siva, brahmA et al to truly measure even a small atom in a droplet of the ocean of greatness of that emperumAn. I who have set out to do [sing] praises about such emperumAn’s greatness shamelessly claiming to be a poet, should salute myself [for this laughable effort].

SlOkam 8 – Like ISwara motivated arjuna who withdrew from the battle to say as in SrI bhagavath gIthA 18.73 “karishyE vachanam thava” (I will fight as you said), here, he motivates ALavandhAr saying “the mouth is present only to praise him; as said in SrIvishNu sahasranAmam ‘sthavya: sthavapriya:’ (he is praiseworthy and he likes to be praised), it is dear to me to be praised”. Hearing this, ALavandhAr becomes convinced [to praise emperumAn].

yadhvA SramAvadhi yathAmathi vApyaSaktha:
sthaumyEvamEva kalu thE’pi sadhA sthuvantha: |
vEdhASchathurmukha mukhAScha mahArNavAntha:
kO majjathOraNukulAchalayOrviSEsha: ||

Or, I who am incapable shall praise until becoming tired or as much as I know; in this manner only the vEdhams that always praise, the four-headed brahmA et al are praising; what is the difference between a (small) atom and a (big) mountain which are submerged inside a huge ocean?

SlOkam 9 – Now, ALavandhAr says that he is more qualified to bhagavAn praise than brahmA et al.

kinchaisha SakthyathiSayEna na thE’nukampya:
sthOthApi thu sthuthi kruthEna pariSramENa |
thathra Sramasthu sulabhO mama mandhabudhdhE:
ithyudhyamO’yamuchithO mama chApjanEthra ||

Further, I am not qualified to have you shower your mercy due to greatness of my abilities to praise you; but I am qualified to have you shower your mercy due to becoming tired in praising you; in this case, I will become fatigued easily due to having very little intelligence; thus, this effort [of praising you] is only apt for me [in comparison with brahmA et al].

SlOkam 10 – After stepping back from praising emperumAn and then having been convinced to praise, 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 kAraNa vAkyas (passages in SAsthram which speak about emperumAn being the origin).

nAvEkshasE yadhi thathO bhuvanAnyamUni
nAlam prabhO bhavithumEva kutha: pravruththi: |
Evam nisarga suhrudhi thvayi sarvajanthO:
svAmin na chithram idham ASritha vathsalathvam ||

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 affection towards your devotees, when you are the natural friend for all creatures.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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About Sarathy Thothathri

Disciple of SrImath paramahamsa ithyAdhi pattarpirAn vAnamAmalai jIyar (29th pattam of thOthAdhri mutt). Descendant of komANdUr iLaiyavilli AchchAn (bAladhanvi swamy, a cousin of SrI ramAnuja). Born in AzhwArthirungari, grew up in thiruvallikkENi (chennai), presently living under the shade of the lotus feet of jagathAchArya SrI rAmAnuja, SrIperumbUthUr. Learned sampradhAyam principles from (varthamAna) vAdhi kEsari azhagiyamaNavALa sampathkumAra jIyar swamy, vELukkudi krishNan swamy, gOmatam sampathkumArAchArya swamy and many others. Full time sEvaka/servitor of SrIvaishNava sampradhAyam. Engaged in translating our AzhwArs/AchAryas works in Simple thamizh and English, and coordinating the translation effort in many other languages. Also engaged in teaching dhivyaprabandham, sthOthrams, bhagavath gIthA etc and giving lectures on various SrIvaishNava sampradhAyam related topics in thamizh and English regularly. Taking care of koyil.org portal, which is a humble offering to our pUrvAchAryas. koyil.org is part of SrI varavaramuni sambandhi Trust (varavaramuni.com) initiatives.

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