(Meaning): Hail to Thee O lord of limitless and eternal glory who blessed the ENTIRE body of the chetanAs and achetanAs of your kingdom to attainn the higher world known as Saandhanikam.
(Background): After the tragedies of the departures of Sita and LakshmaNA, Rama decided to go back to Sri VaikunTam to be united with them. His avathara kaaryam was completed. He crowned Kusa and LavA as the kings of the Southern and Northern Kosala desam.
He decided to take his remaining two brothers as well as the monkeys and bears that fought with Him in LankhA. He advised VibhishaNA, HanumAn, JambhavAn, DwividA and MaindA to remain on earth. He gave His family’s aaradhana vigraham to VibishaNA and asked him to worship the presiding deity of IshvAku kulam (Aaraadhaya JagannAtham IshvAku Kula daivatham).
Next, RamA spoke to HanumAn and said: O Best among Monkeys! As long as the story of my deeds circulate on this earth, so long live happily on this earth keeping my words in your mind (MathkathA pracharishyanthi
yavallokE hareesvara, thaavadh ramasva supreethO madh vaakyam anupAlayan). HanumAn was very moved by the blessings of Sri Ramachandra and replied: “As long as Your divine story will circulate on this earth, so long shall I stay on this earth carrying out Your orders”.
Rama then ascended to Sri VaikunTam. Acharya VasishTA peformed all the rites connected with the final departure as enjoined by the sAstrAs. All of Rama”s weapons went in human forms with Him. The VedAs in the form of BrahmaNAs, Gayathi, the OmkArA and the VashatkArA followed RamA. All the subjects, birds, animals followed Rama to heaven by merely seeing Him during this occasion. All sthavarA (Stationary forms) who saw the scion of Raghu, wishing the best of Him followed Him into heaven known as Saanthaanikam ruled by BrahmA. Rama entered the divine lustre of Sriman NArAyaNA in Sri VaikunTam and was reunited with his Consort and AdiseshA (LakshmaNA) there.
NammAzhwAr celebrates the glory of RamA’s mercy in giving Sadhgathi to all of the sthavara and Jangama of AyodhyA in a moving verse of ThiruvAimozhi:
karpAriramapirAnai allAl maRRum kaRparO
naRpaalayOddhil vazhum charAcharam muRRavum
naRpaalukkyutthanan naanmuhanAr peRRa nAttuLE
— Thiruvaimozhi 7.5.1
NammAzhwAr wonders about the DayA of RamA in blessing all the sentient and insentients of AyodhyA to reach the heaven known as Saanthaanikam at the time of His own departure from His kingdom. AzhwAr is moved by the compassion of the Lord and also the significance of Bhagavadh Sambandham. He asks in this mood a rhetorical question: Is there any thing else to study and to learn except the Rama Tatvam in this world ? He hints that there is nothing superior than the study and enjoyment of Sri Rama’s deeds on this earth as the son of king DasarathA.
GS 92: bhava tapana taapitha bhaktha jana bhadrArama! Jaya! Jaya!
(Meaning): Hail to Thee O Lord, who serves as an auspicious and shady grove of flowering trees to the devotees of Yours, who are scorched by the hot rays of the sun of SamsArA!
(Comments): The human beings exposed to the scorching rays of the sun in summer get relief from taking rest in the cool shade of the trees in a dense grove. Similarly, the devotees of the Lord afflicted by the hot rays of the afflictions associated with their SamsAric life think of the cool shade of the sacred feet of the Lord as a cool nandavanam and are freed from their sufferings. The comparison of the thought of the Lord for Samsaris to a shady grove or a cool pond in summer is frequently used by AzhwArs and AcharyAs.
indeevaradhaLa syAma: pundarikanibhEkshaNa: |
dhrutha kodhanDatooNeerO Rama yeva gathirmama ||
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan
To be continued…