Sri Yamunacharyas Chatusloki – PART 1
We, the dAsabhUthars (servants) of Sriman Narayanan should always behave, act in manners that please Him. For that alone, He has blessed us with the instruments of mind, speech and action. Out of those three, it is not simple and easy to think of Him and meditate on Him controlling the mind which runs faster than the wind.
Also, the mind, body that perform are fruitful only the doer (or the thinker); while the action of speech does help a lot to the listeners as well. That’s why the praises openly, loudly, publicly in these forms of verses are greatly beneficial to mankind… They are available for us for ages and hence these are to be saved for future generations to get benefited… These translations of the wonderful commentaries would thus enable us understand the ruchi (taste) richness of the commentaries in original as well as the sthOthras and would tempt the reader to recite them and read the commentaries. One may say just naama japam (or repetition of names) would be adequate and why all
these verses… the response is: [To the dynamic human intellect, any repetition is boring and tedious, even if it is of the Lord's haloed name. It is much easier to recite a stotram than to repeat a mere tirunAmam.
Moreover, a name could possibly convey only certain limited aspects of His greatness, whereas a Stotram could do much greater justice to the Lord and His auspicious attributes. Thus reciting a stotram affords the devotee much more enjoyment than mere recitation of His names. Stotras generally conform to a specific metre (chhandas), often lilting and pleasurable, adding to the enjoyment of the subject. [Sri Sadagopan Iyengar wrote under “Praise the Lord”]]
If we write the Vedantha saasthrAs in prose form, very few only would be able to follow and understand. Also they would not address the Lord straight. Also Bhagawan is called sthavya: sthavapriya: meaning: One who likes being praised… Vedas can be recited only by those eligible therefore, and uttering some mantras too is subject to qualifications. Stotras do not impose any such restrictions on anybody, and are open to all universally.
Thus, the first such sthOthras [verses] of Srivaishnavam in Sankrit language blessed by our Poorvacharyas are these ChathuslOkI and SthOthra Rathnam. ChauthslOki is on the divine Consort of Sriman Narayanan – SrI Mahalakshmi.
To be continued ..
Article by: Sri Madhava Kannan Swami, Singapore