Sri Hayagriva Stothram – 2


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Swami Desikan started the first slOkam on the Veda Murthy in the Vedic Anushtup Metre and concluded the sthOthram also in the same Vedic Anushtup metre. In between, he used four other metres: SikhariNI, Saalini, UpajAthi and MandhaakranthA. SlOkam 2 & 3 are set in SikhariNI metre, which Swamy Desikan used for the sixth decad of DayA Sathakam saluting another tEjO-maya DayA nidhi presiding over the hills of ThiruvEnkatam. Here is the 2nd slOkam of Sri HaygrIva sthOthram:


We sing the glories of that tEjOmayan (effulgent Vigraham), who incarnated as HayagrIvan to banish the samsAric afflictions of His bhakthAs. His dhivya mangaLa vigraham is like a hill made up of suddha spatikam (gem crystal). He spreads His nectarine lustre on the three worlds and renders them white. He generates the “Hala Hala” sound appropriate to His form as a Horse and through that neighing sound suggests that it contains the essence of all the Upanishads. He makes it easy for those, who are blessed to hear that SunAdham, to understand the true meaning of His VedAs.


The first word chosen by Swami Desikan is “Svathassiddham” to salute Lord HayagrIvan. We will use the rest of this posting to understand the Vedic significance of this word chosen by Swamy Desikan. This is indeed a powerful word with deep Vedic connotations. Here, Swamy Desikan instructs us that Lord HayagrIvan is self-manifested and ever existing.

Svatha: Siddham also means self-evident. It is self-evident that He is ajAyAmanan (One who was never born; He is AnAdhi Purushan). The Vedams recognize Him as Ucchishta Brahmam.

As the creation passes into primordial matter at the time of MahA PraLayam, this Supreme Self persists, since He is not subject to change, decay or death. The Atharva Vedam salutes this Svatha-Siddha, Uchcishta Brahmam as:

Rk Saama Yajurucchishta UdhgItha: prasthutham sthutham
hinKAra ucchishtE Svara: SaamnO mEdisccha tanmayi
— Atharva vedam: XI.7.5

The essence of Sri HayagrIvan is summarized in the above Atharva Manthram, which means: In the Ucchishta Brahman is sustained every thing, even the Rk, Yajuh, Saama, UdhgIthaa, HinkAra, Svara and Saaman rhythms and rhymes.

The front Portion of Sri HayagrIva Manthram (the first three words) is an echo of the first three words of the above Atharva Manthram. His UdhgItha SvarUpam saluted in the Sri HayagrIva Manthram is also echoed in the above Atharva Manthram (Rk Saama Yajurucchishta udhgItha:).

The subsequent manthrams of this Tenth Canto of Atharva vedam goes on to praise the glories of this Ucchishta Brahmam (Sri HayagrIvan) this way:

UchcishtA is the name of the great Brahman, since He is the undecaying self (Svatha: Siddham). In the Uchcishta form is sustained the entire creation consisting of name and form (ucchishtE naama rUpam chOcchishtE lOka aahitha: Atharva Vedam XI.7.1). Atharva veda manthrams (XI.7.24-27) are great tributes to this Ucchishta Brahmam that is Svatha: Siddham. These manthrams salute the Lord this way:

“Every thing is reborn from Him after the PraLayam, the disciplines of divine knowledge, the sense organs, the vital realm, the blissful realm and all categories of human beings (aanandhA mOdhA: pramudhOabhImOdhamuvascha).”

We will proceed with the Paadham by Paadham commentary on the second slOkam now.

The First Paadham is: “Svatha Siddhma Suddha Spatika MaNI bhUbruth prathipaDam”:

We discussed in detail the Vedic significance of the word, “Svathasiddham” above.

The remaining words of the first paadham are:

“Suddha Spatika maNI bhUbhruth PrathibhaDam”:

Swamy Desikan says here “Let us eulogize that blemishless spatika gem resembling that of a hill”. Prathi+bhaDam make the word “PrathibhDam”. Prathi as a separable proposition means towards or in the direction of some thing. Hence, PrathibhaDam means vying with or rivaling. BhUbhruth means mountain.

Therefore, “BhUbhruth PrathibhaDam” means resembling a mountain. What is this mountain? What does this Savthasiddham mountain made of and what does it resemble? The answer is: It is made of suddha sathva maya dhravyam, which has the hue of “suddha Spatika MaNI” or blemishles spatika (paLinkU) gem stone. The lustre of this Haya vadhana Parabrahmam is “a challenge to a hill of pure white crystal like gem”.

The Second Paadham: “SudhA sadhrIchibhi: dhyuthibhi: avadhAtha thribhuvanam”:

(ideeMahi) is the prayer. We eulogize the self-evident effulgence resembling a hill of pure crystal gem; “WHICH RENDERS THE THREE WORLDS TO A WHITE LUSTRE RESEMBLING NECTAR” is the meaning of the second paadham. In some paatams, “avadhAtha thribhuvanam” is replaced by “apathApa thribhuvanam” according to Sri D.Ramaswamy Iyengar. “avadhAtha thribhuvanam”means rendering all the three worlds white by its svayam jyothi (innate radiance). “ApatApa-thribhuvanam” means banishing the tApams (sufferings) of the three worlds. Sri HayagrIvan radiates white rays resembling nectar for bhUtha sanjeevanam and makes all the three worlds white. Thus, He showers His grace over all the three worlds.

The Third Paadham: “ananthai: thrayyanthai: anuvihitha hEshaa hala halam”:

VedAs and its branches are countless (ananthA vai VedA:). The innumerable Veda saakhais are saluted by Swami Desikan as “ananthai: thrayyanthai:”. One meaning of Ananthai: is endless, infinite, eternal, boundless and inexhaustible. The apourushEya Vedams, the breaths of Lord HayagrIvan are the endless triplets (Rg Yaju: Saamaani). “Thrayyanthai:” is derived from thrayi or triplet, the three VedAs taken together. “ThrayimayAya nama:” is the salutation for the Lord eulogized by the limitless three vedAs. “anu+vihitha hEshaa hala halam” idImahi is the rest of the third paadham. “anu” means after or along with; “vihitha” means done or performed anuvihitha here means that which is heard/performed continuously.

What is that which is heard continously as the auspicious sound? It is the “hEshA hala halam”. “hEshin” means a Horse. “hEsh” (hEshA) means neighing of a Horse. “hEshA hala halam” means the neighing sunAdham of the Horse-faced Sri HayagrIvan, which sounds like “hala hala” sabdham, which is echoed continuously by the eternal VedAs.

Fourth Paadham: “hatha asEsha avadhyam Hayavadhanam idImahi maha:’

What does that kanai kural (neighing sound) of Lord HayagrIvan do? What is its impact? Swamy Desikan states that Sri Hayavadhanan’s “hEshA Hala halam” destroys (hatha) without residue (asEsha) all the paapams and inauspiciousness (avadhyam). Swamy Desikan experiences Sri Hayagrivan as a JyOthirmaya SvarUpan (maha:) and asks us to pray to Him for removal of our aj~nams by having the good fortune to hear His auspicious neighing sound that is the rejuvenating nectarine oushadham for banishing our samsAric afflictions.

Thus, this “Svathassiddha SvarUpi, Sudha spatika maNi maya bhUbhruth prathibhaDa svarUpi, SudhAsadhrIchibhi: dhyuthibhi: avadhAtha thribhuvana SvarUpi” is invoked to bless us and remove our paapams (avadhyams=faults, defects, sins) through His “hEshA hala hala” nadhams. The invocation of the “Hala Hala” sabdham to invoke the neighing sound of a horse is a brilliant use of onomatopoeia (imitation of a sound effect through a choice of word or words) is a rhetoric masterpiece by Swami Desikan. Swami Desikan reverentially places this sabdhAlankAram at the sacred feet of Sri HayagrIva para Brahmam.


To be continued…

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