Dear Rama Bhakthaas:
After revealing his Sarveswarathvam through the decalaration of his position that he cannot refuse anyone, who sought his refuge, Rama commands Sugreeva to bring VibhishaNaa before him. The words of Ramaa to Sugreevaa before commanding him are great ones to reflect upon. Swami Desikan was so moved by them that he saluted Raghuveeran three times for his courage and firmness in his sworn duty to protect SaraNaagathas without fail. He saluted Rama as “Sakruth Prapanna jana SamrakshaNa Deekshitha! Jaya Jaya (GS 49), Veera! Jaya, Jaya! (GS 50),and Sathya Vratha! Jaya! Jaya! (GS 51).These great words of Rama spoken for the benefit of Sugreevaa that elated Swami Desikan deserve serious study by all of us:
“Be he malevolent or otherwise, this VibhishaNaa is incapable of doing even the subtles of mischief to me in any manner. I can, if I wish, destroy with my finger tip all the ogres, dhanavaasnadYakshaas on earth…. In the name of humanity, one should not strike even an enemy arrived at one’s door and seeks piteously protection with joined palms… An enemy seeking protection against his enemies, be he distressed or (even) proud, should be protected (even) at the cost of one’s life by one, who has controlled his mind… If from fear or folly, or even from desire (of some gain), a man does not protect a refugee according to his capacity, the sin incurred by him is despised in the world… (nay) if a refugee (who sought protection) persihes before the eyes of the man, who is capable to protect him, the former (refugee) takes away all his (the would-be protector’s) merrit (puNyam)… Such a failure shuts out heaven, brings infamy and puts an end to one’s strength and virility…. I therefore vouch safe security all living beings to him who comes to me only once and seeks protection from me, declaring ‘I am Yours, Please protect me’. That is my vow.”
The key passage in Raamaa’s discussion with SugreevA is as follows:
“SakruthEva prapannaaya tavaasmeethi cha YachatE I
abhayam sarvabhoothEbhyO dadhaamyEthadh vratham mama”
These words of SaraNaagatha Rakshaka, Sri Ramaa spoken at the sea side to Sugreevaa and VibhishaNaa and HanumAn and the other monkey counsellors should serve as a beacon for us in our deha Yaatraa on this earth.
Swami Desikan was rightfully moved therefore by these uplifting declaration of Sri Ramaa and saluted him as Veera, Satya Vratha and Sakruth Prapanna SamrakshaNa Deekshitha!
Ramaa has such prowess that he will not let any Prapanna have fear after performing SaraNaagathi to him. There is no one who matches the Lord in that display of power and quickness to rush to the rescue of the Prapanna in distress. That unique vow to protect the prapannaas moved Swami Desikan to salute Ramaa as Veeraa. Actually, Swami chose the name of Mahaa Veera Vaibhavam for this Gadhyam with this fact in mind.
Swami also saluted Ramaa as “Sathya Vratha ” in this series of salutations. For many years, Swami lived at Thiruvahindrapuram. The name of the archaa murthy there is Achyuthan, Natha Satyan.Achyuthan refers to the Lord’s vow not to abandon anyone, who has sought his refuge. Achyutha is the 101st Sahasra Naamam of VishNu. Paraasara Bhattar comments on this name Achyuthaa this way: “tEbhya: PrapannEbhya: na apagatha: Achyutha: “.(He is never away from those, who sought refuge in him “. That is his Deekshaa (Sworn vow) as Satya Vrathaa. The sruthis declare his Svarupam as Brahman this way: ” Satyam Jnaanamanantham Brahmaa”. In Dasaavathara sthotram, Swami follows this line of thought and describes Ramaa as the embodiment of Dharmam (DharmO VigrahavAn) and goes on to focus on His central kalyANa guNam as ” Sarvaavastha sakruth Prapanna JanaSamrakshaNaika vrathee “. These are the thoughts that echo in his 49th Gadhya salutation: ” Sakruth prapanna jana SamrakshaNa Deekshitha! Jaya! Jaya! ” He just does not provide RakshaNam, but he offers SamrakshaNam. He protects the Prapannas very well indeed! He placed VibhishaNaa not only on the throne of Lankhaa, but he gave him also Sri Ranganatha, the Ishvaaku Kula Daivam to worship. Even today during every Amaavaasyaa day, he offers his darsanam and shows his beautiful/majestic gait to VibhishaNaa at the Divya Desam (Ashtaakshari Ksethram) revered as ThirukkaNNapuram.
Such is his Dayaa for the PrapannAs and His Deekshaa to protect them.
Raama Raama Dayaa sindhO RavaNaarE JagathpatE |
Tvath paada kamalaasakthi: BahvE janmani janmani ||
Sri VaishNava Daasan,
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan
To be continued…