SrImathE Nigamantha Mahadesikaya namah:
SrImAn venkatanAthAryaH kavitArkika kesarI |
vedAntAcArya-varyo me sannidhattAm sadA hRdi ||
The HamsasandhEsam is a devotional lyric of Swamy Desikan. It is rather a Khandakaavya. It contains 110 slokas divided into two parts called Asvasa. Hanuman arrived at Malyavan, bringing to Rama, the news, “kaNdEn Seethaiayai..”- that Sita was kept a prisoner in the Asokavanam at LankA by Ravana. He also handed over to Rama the ChoodA maNi of Sita that she had asked him to give to Rama. Rama looking at the beautiful ornament of Sita, feels and longs for SItA, her plight and her condition at lankA. In order to assure her that he would release her from captivity, Rama chooses to send her a message of this assurance thorugh a swan (Hamsa). The swan is given the direction for its journey. The sacred places Thirumalai, Kanchi, ThiruveLLaRai, Srirangam and ThirumaalirunchOlai are all described (by Swamy Desikan in HamsasandhEsam) to the swan to visit them. The forests and the ocean and other regions lying around them are also beautifully described. With this the first part comes to a close.
The second part gives begins with a description of LankA. This is followed by the description of the Asoka vanam (grove), of SItA PiraaTTi and the delivery of Rama’s message.
Swamy Desikan writes two slokas at the end, the first of which mentions Rama’s killing of Ravana and his return to AyOdhyA with SitA PiraTTi and his PattAbhishEkam there. In the last sloka, Acharya asks the diligent persons to study this best gem of HamsandhEsam dealing with life of Sita and Rama. This poem was sharpened many a times in teh whetstone of deep reflection. This work shall be the means to get all happiness.
There is parity between the Hamsa sandhEsam and KaaLidAsa’s mEghasandhEsam. In Kaalidasa’s work, love lorn Yaksha sends a cloud as a messenger to his beloved in Alaka (not Alaska:-) ) in the Himalayas. The route is described in the first part. The city of Alaka, his house, his beloved’s condition and the message are given in the second part. Here the Yaksha is in a reverie owing to his love sickness. He does not realize that an inanimate cloud can neither follow the route nor deliver a message.
Acharyan Swamy Desikan employs the motive of Kalidasa’s poem for a higher purpose. The Swan is a LIVING being and could communicate a message. Kalidasa’s influence is noticed all thorugh this poem. Like Kalidasa who describes Ujjain alone in 12 slokas, Swamy Desikan describes vey beautifully Kaanchi alone in 11 slokas. The two slokas (21 and 22 in 1st chapter) which are devoted to the description of Thirumala are simply grand and superb and of unique excellence. SitA’s contemplative mood (sloka 22 in 2nd chapter) is described vividly and is unparalleled in execution. (after all thUppul Pillai ThUppul PiLLaithaan!) (extract from the book of SrI Srinivasaraghavachariar Swamy)
Swamy Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
kavi-tArkika-simhAya kalyANa-guNa-SAline |
Srimate venkateSAya vedAntagurave namaH ||
Writeup by : Sri Madhavakannan