The key words of this slOkam are: “Bhagavatha: Maathsyam vapu: na: Paathu” (May the Lord’s sacred form that retrieved the VedAs as a Fish protect us!).
EXTENDED MEANING OF THE SLOKAM:
Once upon a time, an asuran stole the VedAs from Brahma Devan and ran off with them to the bottom of the ocean and hid there. Brahma could not carry out his assigned duties of creation without the VedAs. He lamented about his unfortunate lot and performed SaraNAgathy at the sacred feet of the Lord and sought His help to gain back the VedAs. Our Lord took on the form of a giant fish and entered the ocean in search of the VedAs. Wherever our Lord looked with His lotus eyes during that search, those places looked like assemblies of forests of Lotus as a result of the glances of the Lord falling there. This transformation under water resulted from Lord’s SarvEswarathvam. One of His key lakshaNam as SarvEswaran is His Beautiful PuNDareeka nayanam. He can not hide them under any circumstance. As the Lord moved about searching for the VedAs with His own eyes, the beauty of those roving lotus eyes had no match. They implanted themselves on all the places, where His glances fell.
MathsyAvathAran in his giant form was moving rapidly under the ocean water and His movements created many waves that rose and fell. The result was like riding a swing that was going up and down. MathsyAvathAra PerumAL enjoyed the rhythmic movement of the waves generated by His own movements as a most enjoyable DolOthsavam. Swamy Desikan prays to the Lord in the form of a gigantic Fish (Maathsyam Vapu:) to protect us all.
Swamy Desikan draws two lovely word pictures: (1) The creation of lotus forests under the waters of the Ocean from the glances of the Lord falling on the various areas of search for the VedAs (2) the ups and downs of the swing like movement originating from our Lord’s swift movement, while moving under water in search of the stolen VedAs. Normally BhakthAs perform dolothsavam for the Lord. Here, the Lord Himself orchestrates His Oonjal festival through His own swift movements under the water and is enjoying that. During the Lord’s dOlai at the temples, bhakthAs decorate Him with lotus garlands and enjoy His beauty as He swings towards them and goes away from them during the two stages of the Dolai. Our Lord’s own lotus eyes create the lotus flowers under water and Lord in the form of the fish wades through them, which makes Him look like One adorning the lotus flowers created by His glances, wherever His KatAkshams landed. The Lord taking the form of the fish was creating the lotus forests with His glances and wading through those forests.
Commentary by: Sri Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan
to be continued…