sthOthra rathnam – SlOkams 21 to 30 – Simple Explanation

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SlOkam 21 ALavandhAr meditates upon the greatness of bhagavAn who is the refuge. Also explained as – Having previously explained the nature of the goal, here the nature of the person who pursues that goal is explained. Another explanation – Having previously explained the nature of bhagavAn, the refuge, here he highlights the nature of SaraNAgathi (the process of surrender) which is going to be explained subsequently.

namO namO vAngmanasAthibhUmayE
namO namO vAngmanasaikabhUmayE |
namO namO’nanthamahAvibhUthayE
namO namO’nanthadhayaikaSindhavaE ||

My namaskAram, namaskAram (salutations! salutations!) to you who are beyond the reach of the speech and mind (of those who try to know you by their own efforts); my namaskAram to you who are within the reach of the speech and mind (of those who have known you, by your grace); my namaskAram to you who have boundless great wealth; my namaskAram to you who are an ocean of mercy.

slOkam 22 – ALavandhAr declaring his qualification, engages in prapaththi (surrender) which came about [in previous pAsuram]. This SlOkam can also be explained as practicing the means which is apt for the goal which was explained previously.

na dharmanishtO’smi na chAthmavEdhI
na bhakthimAmsthvachcharaNAravindhE |
akinchanO’nanyagathiS SaraNya!
thvathpAdhamUlam SaraNam prapadhyE ||

Oh my lord who is apt to be surrendered to! I am not firm on karma yOgam: I do not have the knowledge about the self; I do not have bhakthi (devotion) at your divine lotus feet; I who am having having no other means and no other refuge, firmly accept your divine lotus feet as the means.

slOkam 23 – When bhagavAn opines “Don’t worry that you don’t have anything favourable towards me; as long as you don’t have prohibited practices which will destroy the qualifications you may have earned, I will create virtues in you and will bestow the goal too”, ALavandhAr says “I am complete with unfavourable aspects”.

na nindhitham karma thadhasthi lOkE
sahasraSO yanna mayA vyadhAyi |
sO’ham vipAkAvasarE mukundha!
krandhAmi samprathyagathis thavAgrE ||

Oh lord who bestows liberation! Those prohibited actions which were not performed by me thousands of times, are not present even in SAsthram [world indicates SAsthram which conducts the world]; right now, when [such actions] culminate into results, I am crying in front of your highness, due to having no other refuge.

SlOkam 24 – ALavandhAr calls out to emperumAn saying “your grace is the only refuge for me”; ALavandhAr says “Like it is a great fortune for me to attain you, for your grace too, I am an apt gain”.

nimajjathO’nanthabhavArNavAntha:
chirAya mE kUlamivASi labdha: |
thvayApi labdham bhavagavannidhAnIm
anuththamam pAthramidham dhayAyA: ||

Oh my lord who is not limited (by place, time and entities)! You came like a shore to me who is submerged for a very long time in the ocean of samsAram; oh bhagavAn! Now, to your grace too, I am attained as an apt recipient.

SlOkam 25 emperumAn asks “When you have fully placed your responsibilities on me, your nature should be as said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 9.30 “… thath thasya sadhruSam bhavEth“ (SrI rAma himself destroying lankA and rescuing me is that which will fit his nature – so I will wait for his arrival); this being the case, why are you insisting upon me to help you now?” ALavandhAr replies “I am not asking  you to remove my tragedy; when your devotees suffer in this world, it is a blemish for the glory of your highness; so, I request you to remove that”.

abhUthapUrvam mama bhAvi kim vA
sarvam sahE mE sahajam hi dhu:kham |
kinthu thvadhagrE SaraNAgathAnAm
parAbhavO nAtha! na thE’nurUpa: ||

Oh my lord! What new grief is going to occur to me which has not occurred previously? I am tolerating all these sorrows; sorrows are born along with me; but for those who are surrendered unto you, an insult in the presence of your highness, does not fit your stature.

slOkam 26 ALavandhAr says “Even when you abandon me disregarding the adverse impact on your own greatness, I will not give up on you” and manifests his mahA viSvAsam (unshakeable faith) which is a result of his agathithva (lack of any other refuge).

nirAsakasyApi na thAvadhuthsahE
mahESa! hAthum thava pAdhapankajam |
rushA nirasthO’pi Sisu: sthanandhayO
na jAthu mAthuScharaNau jihAsathi ||

Oh sarvESvara (lord of all)! Even (if you) pushed (me) aside, I will not dare to let go of your divine lotus feet; [just like, even] if a nursing baby was pushed away (by the mother) out of anger, [the baby] would never like to leave the mother’s feet.

SlOkam 27 ALavandhAr says “Is it only my ananya gathithva (lack of any other refuge) which makes me never leave you? My mind which is drowned in your enjoyable nature, will not seek anything else”.

thavAmruthasyandhini pAdhapankajE
nivESidhAthmA gathamanyadhichchathi? |
sthith’ravindhE makarandhanirbharE
madhuvrathO nEkshurakam hi vIkshathE ||

How will my mind which is placed (by your grace) at your divine lotus foot generating abundance of nectar, desire for anything else? When reddish lotus flower filled with honey is present, will a bee even see a grass flower?

SlOkam 28 – ALavandhAr asks ”Is an anjali (joining the palms and praying) not sufficient for you to help me?”.

thvadhanghrimudhdhiSya kadhA’pi kEnachith
yathA thathA vA’pi sakruthkruthO’njali |
thadhaiva mushNAthyaSubhAnyaSEshatha:
SubhAni pushNAthi na jAthu hIyathE ||

If an anjali (joining the palms [indicating physical surrender]) is performed by any one at any time in any manner, immediately that removes the sins without a trace; nurtures auspicious aspects;  [such auspiciousness] never diminishes.

SlOkam 29 – This SlOkam indicates mAnasIka prapaththi (mental surrender). Alternatively – it can also be said that parabhakthi which is the result of the surrender is explained in SlOkam 28 “thvadhangrimudhdhisya” and SlOkam 29 “udhIrNa“.

udhIrNasamsAradhavASuSukhsaNim
kshaNEna nirvApya parAm cha nirvruthim |
prayachchathi thvachcharNAmbuja
dhvayAnurAgAmruthasindhuSIkara: ||

A droplet in the ocean of love for your two reddish divine lotus feet extinguishes the fiercely burning forest fire of samsAram (material bondage) within a moment and gives superior bliss too.

SlOkam 30 – As ALavandhAr has accepted sidhdhOpAyam (established means, i.e., bhagavAn) which bestows the result without any delay, unable to wait for the attainment of the result, being  incited by the thvarA (urge), ALavandhAr says as in thiruvAimozhi 6.9.9 “kUvik koLLum kAlam innam kuRugAdhO” (Will the day of reaching you not be soon?). Also explained as – Due to parabhakthi which is the result of prapaththi (surrender), ALavandhAr is asking as to when he will see [the divine feet of emperumAn] as said in thiruvAimozhi 6.3.10 “kanaikazhal kANbadhenRukol kaNgaL” (when will my eyes see the divine feet of emperumAn?) and in thiruvAimozhi 9.5.1″kANak karudhum en kaNNE” (my eye desires to see).

vilAsavikrAnthaparAvarAlayam
namasyadhArthikshapaNE kruthakshaNam |
dhanam madhIyam thava pAdhapankajam
kadhA nu sAkshAthkaravANi chakshushA ||

When will I see with my eyes your divine lotus foot which is my wealth and which spends its time owning the abodes of the celestial/superior dhEvas and the inferior humans, who were sportingly measured and – in the matter of eliminating the sorrows of those who worshipped it?

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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