CommentariesPrabhandam & Slokas

Raghuveera Gadhyam – 23

GS: 52: prathisayana bhumikA bhooshitha payOdhi puLina! Jaya! Jaya!

Hail to Thee O Raghuveera, who beautified the assembly of sands of the beach (at ThirupullANi) through your lying down on them in a bed of sacred grass in observance of Your PraayOpvesam! Hail to Thee!

(Background): Facing the ocean that separated him from the kingdom of RavaNA, Sri Ramachandra contemplated on the method to cross the Ocean and reach LankhA. VibhishaNa,who had been blessed with SaraNAgathi at the Lord’s feet suggested that Sri Rama can achieve his objective, if he sought refuge in Samudra Raajan (Samudram RaagavO RaajA saraNam ganthumarhathi). LakshmaNA and Sugreeva concurred with VibhishaNA’s counsel. Rama accepted their counsels.

He spread blades of sacred grass on the sands of the beach and joined his palms as a mark of respect to the Sea-God and laid down on that bed of Dharbham (Dharbha Sayanam) facing eastward. He used his mighty arm as a pillow for his head. The description of the beauty of that powerful arm of Raghuveeran supporting his head is enjoyed by Valmiki in many verses of the 21st sargam of Srimadh RAmAyaNam.

Swami Desikan refers to these slokAs of Valmiki (slokas 3-8, Sargam 21), when he salutes Dharbha sayana Raman’s beautiful arms and the heroic poisture adopted by him during his praayOpavesam (To lie on a grass-bed with control over one’s body, speech and mind until one achieves the kaarya siddhi). Swami calls this act of the Lord as PrathisayanaBhoomikA or the play acting of PraayOpavesam that was making the whole sea shore beautiful. As the Lord of the Universe, Rama did not need to ask for the help or shelter of the Sea-God. Yet he acted as though he was asking in the proper way, since he wanted to be consistent with his avathAram as a human being, the son of Dasaratha.

Thirumangai AzhwAr is overcome with the beauty of the Raghuveeran in his Darbha Sayanam pose and assumes the role of ParakAla Nayaki and in moving paasurams pours forth his sorrow over separation from her Nayakan. These ThirupullANi paasurams are drenched with the mood of Vipralambha SringAram.

The name ThirupullANi is derived from Thiru + Pul + aNai/ThirupullANi (Dharbha Sayanam). Thiruppul and Thoopul are one and the same name for Dharbham. Swami Desikan hailing from the village of Thuppul has a natural affection for the beautyof the Lord resting on Dharbhasayanam at the beach of Aadhi Jagannatha Kshethram and salutes that beauty of the Lord adorning the sea shore.

I will conclude this posting with the Periya Thirumozhi 9.4.9 verse ofThirumangai saluting the Dharbha sayana Raaman at ThiruppullANi:

vedamum veLviyum viNNumirusudarum,
aadhiyumAnAnaruL tanthavaa namakku,
podhalarum punnai soozh pullANi kai thozhutEn,
Odhamum naanum urangaathirunthEnE

The play act performed by the Lord as though he was a powerless human being–veda vedhyE parE pumsi jaathE DasarathAthmajE–was saluted by Swami Desikan as Prathisayana BhoomikA. Swami had Thirumangai’s reminder in mind about that person (Rama) who declared himself as a mere Maanusha, “the helpless human being”, pretending as the one needing the help of the Sea-God. Parakaala Nayaki let out the secret about the true identity of that play actor resting on the beach.

The above Paasuram of Parakaala Nayaki decribes and salutes thataadhi purushan as the aadhAra Purushan, who created the Vedaas, who performs the YaagAs, who generated the pleasure-giving bhulokam, who caused the birth of the Sun and the Moon and stays as the primordial God of all Gods saluted by Purusha Sooktham. Nayaki goes on to say that she stood before Him with anjali mudra seeking His dayaa and He did not respond. She describes her condition as a state of sleeplessness as a result of the sorrow over the separation from her Lord. She compares her sleeplessnes to that of the eteranlly vigilant waves, which also can not take any rest. They heave and break without rest like her sorrowful heart. Both do not sleep. Such is the sowndharyam of Darbha Sayana Raaman that Parakaala Nayaki and Swami Desikan saluted.

Jaya jaya Raghuraama Sri mukAmbhoja BHaanO
jaya Jaya Raghuveera SrimadhambhOja netra |

Jaya Jaya RaghunAtha Sri KarAbhyarchitAngrE
Jaya Jaya Raghuvarya Sreesa KaaruNya SindhO ||

Jaya Jaya Vara sankha Srigadhaa chakra dhArin
Jaya Jaya nija daasa prArthithArtha PradhAyin |

Tribhuvanamaya Sarva PrANi bhavajna VishNO
SaraNam upagathOham tvAm saraNyam VarENyam ||

Sri Dharbha Sayana Ramachandra ParabrahmaNE nama:

Sri VaishNava Daasan,

Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan

To be continued…

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