Tuesday, October 2, 2012

NyAsa Dasakam

~Ravichandran Sowrirajan 

Swami Sri Desikan has blessed us with many granthams on the doctrines of NyAsam or Prapatthi . One of the most substantive and short sthuthi on the subject of NyAsam consists of ten verses and is known as NyAsa Dasakam . Because of the importance of this work as the distilled essence of the principles of NyAsam and the method of performance of NyAsam , Sri VaishNavAs recite NyAsa Dasakam at their homes during their daily aarAdhanam for Sriman NaarAyaNan . 

 Sri NyAsa Dasakam is associated with the Prapatthi that Swami Sri Desikan performed at the sacred feet of Kanchi VaradarAjan .

The topics covered are :
(1) The method of performing nyAsam or Bhara SamarpaNam
(2) the five limbs of nyAsam
(3) the method of enacting sAthvika thyAgam
(4) his prayer to the Lord for moksham at the end of his life on His earth
(5) his prayer for the blessings of service to the Lord during his life on His earth
(6) his appeal for the Lord's grace for tolerating any sins committed during his days as a prapannA .

Swami Sri Desikan elaborated further the glories of the doctrines of nyAsam in his other granthams such as Sri nyAsa vimsathi , Sri nyAsa tilakam , SaraNAgathi deepikai , Adaikkala patthu , mummaNik kovai , Anjali vaibhavam , Abhaya pradhana sAram , Rahasya sikhAmaNi and in his magnum opus , Srimadh Rahasya Traya Saaram . The significance of nyAsa dasakam however is due to the clarity and brevity with which our AchAryan summarized in just ten slokAs , the essence of nyAsam or bhara samarpaNam .

 SlOkam 1 

aham madhrakshaNabharO madhrakshaNa palam tathA | 
na mama SripathErevEthyAthmAnam nikshipEth bhudha: || 

 A viveki ( one with disrininating intellect ) should surrender at the Lord's feet his AthmA (svarUpa samarpaNam ) , the responsibilities for his protection ( Bhara samarpaNam ) and the fruits of that protection (pala samarpaNam). He should performbhara nyAsam in this manner and understand that his AthmA,protection and the fruits of such protection does not belong tohim , but only to Sriman NaarAyaNan.

 SlOkam 2 

 nyasyAmakinchana: Sriman anukUlOanyavarjitha: | 
viswasa prArthanApUrvam AthmarakshAbharam thvayi || 

 Oh my Master ! Sriman-NaarAyanA ! I surrender at Your lotus feet the total responsibilities for my protection . I have no other means . I will perform only the duties that please You ( AnukUlya sankalpam ). I will not transgress the codes of conduct prescribed by You in Your sAstrAs ( PrAthikUlya varjanam ) . I am totally unfit for pursuit of any paths of deliverance ; hence I stand before You with utter humility about my helplessness ( kArpaNyam ) . I have total and enduring faith in Your coming to my protection ( MahA visvAsam ) and I entrust my protection entirely to you with this prayerful appeal ( Gopthruva VaraNam ) . Here Swami Sri Desikan performs prapatthi with its five limbs . 

 [The basis for the hoary tradition of SaraNAgathi as the easy -to-practise and as a quick yielder of the fruit of Moksham is in the Lakshmi Tantram belonging to the PaancharAthrA texts. NammAzhwAr , Naathamuni, AalavandhAr , RaamAnujA and Swami Desikan followed this tradition . Lakshmi Tanthram says in this context : " upAyaccha chathurthasthE prOktha: seegra paltara: pUrvE traya upAyAsthE bhavEyu ramanOharA : , chathurthamAccharyan yEvam upAyam saraNAsrayam " . Lakshmi enlists the three yOgams --karma , J~nana and Bhakthi yOgams --first and discards them in favor of Prapatthi yOgam as seegra pala pradham ( quick to yield results ) . GeethAchAryan followed the same line of thought and described the three yOgams first and then in the very last chapter revealed prapatthi at his lotus feet as the fourth and most effective upAyam for one and all . The five limbs of prapatthi and the two visEsha adhikArams (Aakinchanyam and ananyagathithvam ) were elaborated upon by our pUrvAchAryAs in general and Swami Desikan in particular . This is the greatness of the second slOkam of NyAsa dasakam since it focuses on the five angAs and the two adhikArams of SaraNAgathi. Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan] 

 SlOkam 3 

 SwAmI svasEsham svavasam svabharathvEna nirbharam | 
svadhattha svadhiyA svArtham svasmin nyasyathi mAm svayam || 

 Srima NaarAyaNan is the supreme Lord of all . As His bonded servant , I am completely under His control . He blessed me with the knowledge about Himself out of His own accord. He has accepted me as His responsibility for protection. He has thus removed all my worries about my protection with that gift of knowledge. The fruits of my protection belong entirely to Him . He frees me from any connection to the fruits resulting from His protection out of His own free will and accepts me . In this slOkam , Swami Sri Desikan refers to his performance of Saathvika thyAgam constituted by its three parts: (1) Karthruva thyAgam (2) mamathA thyAgam (3) pala thyAgam . 

 SlOkam 4 

 Sriman abheeshta Varada tvAmasmi saraNam gatha: | 
yEdhaddEhAvasAnE mAm tvadh paadham prApaya svayam || 

 Oh my Lord who is always with Your consort ! Oh Master who is hailed as Varadhan because of Your disposition to grant all the boons that Your devotees ask for ! I have now performed bhara nyAsam at Your sacred feet . Please grant me the boon of reaching Sri Vaikuntam at the end of my stay on this earth and perform nithya kaimkaryam there for You . 

 SlOkam 5 

 tvacchsEshathvE sthiradhiyam tvath prApthyEka prayOjanam | 
nishiddha kAmyarahitham kuru mAm nithya kinkaram || 

 Oh VaradarAjA ! I am a prapannan at Your holy feet. I am firm of thought about my status as Your servant. That thought will never leave me. My mind is not seeking any fruits other than the enjoyment of Your limitless auspicious attributes. Please bless me not to engage in any acts forbidden by Your sAsthrAs . Please grant me the boon of uninterrupted service to you , while on Your earth . All of this will not happen without Your dayA . Please bless me. 

 SlOkam 6 

 dEvi bhUshaNa hEthyAdhi jushtasya bhagavamsthava |
 nithyam niraparAdhEshu kaimkaryEshu niyunkshva mAm || 

 Oh my Lord ! You are served endearingly by Your beloved consorts. Your AbharaNams and Ayudhams serve You by association with Your auspicious body . I am deeply desirous of performing eternal service to You , who is accompanied by Your dEvis , weapons and AbharaNams . Please therefore bless me with the duties that are dear to Your heart and accept them .

 SlOkam 7 

 mAm madheeyam cha nikilam chEthanAchEthanAthmakam | 
svakaimkaryOpakaraNam Varadha sveekuru svayam || 

Oh Lord VaradarAjA ! Please accept out of the fullness of Your heart myself , all that is mine and my kaimkaryam . Please make me an instrument of Your kaimkaryam and have the services to You done by Yourself through me. In this effort , please use all that is " mine" ( my wife , my children , my house , my garden and all other property) . I have nothing left to do , nor even the power to place any thing at Your disposal since they - my Self , my worldly properties-- are already Yours .

SlOkam 8 

 tvadEka rakshyasya mama tvamEva KaruNAkara | 
na pravarthaya pApAni pravrutthAni nivarthaya || 

 Oh Lord VaradhA , the ocean of Mercy ! There is no one except You to protect me. Please grant me the boon not to commit anymore sins . Please also destroy out of Your limitless compassion all the sins that I have accumulated so far .

 SlOkam 9 

 akruthyAnAm cha karaNam kruthyAnAm varjanam cha mE | 
kshamasva nikhilam dEva PraNathArthihara prabhO || 

 Oh VaradarAjA known for destroying the samsAric sufferings of Your dear devotees! Your power has no limits. You are capable of executing whatever You desire. I have transgressed the injunctions of Your sAsthrAs; I have abandoned the karmAs prescribed by You in those sAsthrAs . Please forgive all of these trespasses of mine and protect me . The power of Your pardon alone can destroy my sins . 

SlOkam 10 

 SrimAn niyatha panchAngam madhrakshaNa bharArpaNam | 
acheekarath svayam svasmin athOhamiha nirbhara : || 

Oh Lord VaradarAjA always in the company of PerundEvi ThAyAr ! YOU have YOURSELF executed the bhara nyAsam for me at Your sacred feet . You have completed my prapatthi in its entirety with its five limbs. You have accepted now the responsibilities for my protection . I am therefore freed of any worries about my protection and lead my life as a prapannA with peace and tranquility . 

With this slOkam , Swami Sri Desikan brought to a conclusion , the sAthvika thyAgam that he commenced in the third slOkam of nyAsa dasakam

 Subhamasthu kavithArkika simhAya kalyANa guNasAlinE | 
SrimathE VenkatEsAya vEdhAntha guravE nama: || 

 Dr. VNV cites the following two paasurams of NammAzhwAr as context for the text of Swami Desikan:

 1. ThiruvAimozhi 2.3.4: yenathAvi yaar? yaanAr? thantha nee kondAkkinayE !

 Here NammAzhwAr engages in a dialog with SaraNyan. He says: O Lord! You have pervaded my soul (aathmA) and preside there. This is an ancient happening! My aathmA has been Yours from time immemorial. What a tragedy that I had mixed up things and had the deluded thinking that this aathmA, a property of Yours is mine. When I say now that I am surrendering MY aathmA at Your feet , I am committing aathmApahAram ( stealing of the object that is Yours and pretend that I am giving to You what is mine ) . Oh, My Lord! You indeed are the owner of this aathmA. You are the Lord of me and the aathmA. I am now cleared of my mix up about the ownership of the aathmA. How can I repay You for helping me out of my confusion? 

 Earlier in this pasuram, AzhwAr points out to the Lord in a mood of utter submission that he will surrender his aathmA to the Lord and Lord alone and asserts that the aathmA belongs to the Lord totally and he has no claims whatsoever on it. He says: "YenathAvi tanthu ozhindhEn ". He makes a statement thereafter," "ini meeLvathu yenpathu uNdO? ". AzhwAr states here that he has no thought whatsoever on reclaiming what he has just surrendered to the Lord as His property. This is SvarUpa samarpaNam at its best. 

 ThiruvAimozhi 8.1.10

 Second Paaaadham: Yennyuirai aRavilai seythanan sOthi ! --- tamiyanEn PeriyavappanE !

 Here the AzhwAr is supremely elated after svarUpa samarpaNam. In that mood of blissful joy , he says : You have granted Thy feet exclusively for my enjoyment . How can I repay You for Your mahOpakAram ? There is however one thing . My cherished possession is my aathmA . I now make a clean , unconditional sale of it to You . It is my gesture of gratitude for Your paramOpakAram . Oh Lord ! what is happening to You now that You have accepted my aathmA , which has always been Your property . You seem to have attained a special effulgence ( jyOthi ) as a result of accepting my svarUpa samarpaNam . Oh Great benefactor ! You have paid very little in this commercial transaction of mine . I sold you my aathmA ( svarUpam ) . The price paid by You is the enjoyment of Your lofty lotus feet . You are now beaming with joy over this transaction , where You have gained an upper hand .You have got back your property and you seem to be recalling with great happiness your statement in the GithA , J~nAni thu aathmA yeva matham " .You are considering me as Your aathmA . What a great fortune that befell me thru this SvarUpa samarpaNam ? Thus pours out our Kulapathi his sense of joy over the act of SvarUpa SamarpaNam .

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