Mukunda Maala Sloka 16




 Meaning :

In this verse, KulaSEkharar entreats all his senses – tongue, ears, eyes, legs, nose, head and mind to engage in the service to Lord SrI Ranganaatha.

The first appeal goes to SrI KulaSEkharar’s tongue – He asks it to praise Lord

KeSavan. The name kESava has three meanings covering:

  • 1.  dushTha-nigraham,
  • 2.  svAmitvam and
  • 3.  soundaryam of SrI Ranganaatha.

In the aspect of destruction of the unrighteous (dushTha-nigraham) he refers to the Lord slaying an asura by name “kESi” – therefore the name kESava.

In the aspect of svAmitvam, kESava stands for SrI Ranganaatha being the master of brahma and rudra.

In the aspect of soundaryam, kESavan means one with beautiful hair. Through the invocation of the name kESava, SrI KulaSEkhara implies that the kalyANa guNa-s of the Lord are countless and his tongue will not run out of kIrtana-s to sing about Him.

The second appeal of SrI KulaSEkhara -” hE cEta: mura-ripum bhaja!” – goes to his mind. He asks his mind to meditate on the Lord who is the destroyer of an asura by name “Muran”. By this meditation one will see Him clearly inside oneself, says the AzhvAr. He probably has the following verse from brahma- bindu-upanishad in mind:

“ghutamiva payasi nigUDham bhUtE ca vasati viGYAnam |

satatam manthayitavyam manasA manthAnabhUtEna || “

The upanishad verse says that Lord SrIman-nArAyaNa is hidden in all cEtana’s hearts like ghee in milk. Just as one churns the milk with a wooden instrument (ie mattu, in tamizh) to release the butter, so should one use one’s mind to witness SrIman-nArAyaNa in one’s heart?

Then the AzhvAr asks his two hands to do arcana with tulasi leaves and flower petals.  He  wants  his  hands  to  do  arcana  to  SrI-dharan  with  perfection appealing – “pANi-dvandva SrI-dharam samarcaya (samyak arcaya)”. He wants his hands to do arcana not only to nArAyaNa but also to SrI-dEvI by choosing the name, SrI-dhara. The divya-dampatis  are inseparable.

SrI svAmi dESikan later followed the AzhvAr’s thought when he bowed to the divya-dampati’s Eka-SEshitva-yOgam in his SrI-stuti and declared: “yuvAm dampatI daivatam na:” (ie dampatI yuvAm na: daivatam) SrI dESikan amplified the thought behind SrIdhara: by stating that both MahAlakshmI and nArAyaNa, shining as matchless couple, serve as Supreme and unified God in one inseparable form.

After the appeal to his hands, SrI KulaSEkhara turns his attention to his ears. He asks them to hear (SrOtradvaya tvam acyuta kathA: SrNu!) stories about acyutan. The name acyutan symbolizes His total resolve to come to prapannas’ rescue without fail. By invoking acyuta, SrI kulaSEkhara reminds his ears about SaraNAgati-vratam and abhaya-pradhAna-guNam of SrIman-nArAyaNa reclining on Adi-SEsha at SrI-ranga kshEtram.

AzhvAr says to his ears that hearing of the kathA-s of Acyutan such as :

  • 1.  vibhIshaNa-SaraNAgati,
  • 2.  kAkAsura-SaraNAgati,
  • 3.  draupatI-mAnasamrakshaNam,
  • 4.  gajEndra-mOksham,
  • 5.  AmbarIsha-caritram etc.

can only assure one of the secure and delectable experiences of tasting the nectar-like SaraNAgata-rakshaNa anubhavam. sAtvata-samhitA echoes AzhvAr’s thought as follows:

“sankalpAdEva bhagavan tattvatO bhAvitAtmAnAm |

vrtAntamakhilam kAlam sEcayatmRtEna tu || “

The samhitai verse states that SrI Acyutan blesses those who worship Him with the nectar-like experience of association with Him throughout their earthly lives and gives them the refuge of His cool feet by driving away afflictions.

SrI KulaSEkharar next calls on his pair of eyes to enjoy the beauty of SrI Ranganaatha in His avatAra as SrI kRshNa. His appeal is:

“kRshNam lOkaya lOcana-dvaya:”

To witness and enjoy the beauty of SrI kRshNa bhagavAn, he asks his legs to go to temples where His arca-mUtIs are enshrined. The AzhvAr advises his legs as follows : “anghriyugma harE: Alayam gaccha”.

AzhvAr then asks his nose to smell the sweet perfume of tulasi leaves that adorned the holy feet of SrI kRshNa – “hE kRshNa, mukunda-pAda-tulasIm jighra”.

Finally, he asks his head to bend and offer its namaskAram-s to Lord Ranganaatha – “hE mUdhan adhOkshajam nama”.

Commentary by: Sri Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan

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