11) shree paramAtmane namah!

bhaktarugaLali preeta anugraha mADuvava

bhaktEshTapriya vishaya paramAtmane namaste

nadaiva keshavAt paramam shreeshane sarvOttamanu

geetOktiyu mattah paratara nAnyat kinchidasti ||

Shree Prasanna Shreenivasa Dasaru describes  Paramatma as the most benevolent Lord who bestows grace on those devotees with whom He is pleased. Who are those devotees and what is their exclusive qualification? They consider Him as their beloved and desire nothing but to contemplate on Him . They thrive while engaged in His service and He inturn indulges his every wish.  I bow down to Him in complete adoration for His compassionate acceptance of the lisping tones of His devotees ,being  aware of their heart’s yearning to please Him.  The first two lines are the explanation of this nama as interpreted by Dasaru from the Brihati Sahasra mantra.

The shrutis declare that there is no God greater than Keshava, such a master of Shree, who is the most Superior entity is clearly declared to be the greatest of the great in the Bhagavad geetha verse, a part of which is quoted here ,”mattah paratara nAnyat kinchidasti ” O Dhananjaya, there is none Superior to me, even for any inkling of time or space and I supercede everyone in the auspicious attributes being the sole independent being who exists without the need for anyone else’s grace.” All others need the support of Paramatma, even to exist .

He is the most wonderful and cherished personality for contemplation by His bhaktas. They do not desire anything more that singing and dancing completely immersed in thoughts of His great glory.

raMga ninna koMDADuva maMgalAtmara

saMgha sukhavittu kAyo karuNasAgara…. Shree Jagannatha dasaru

Such a spontaneous flow of devotion would be possible only with a clear  cognition of the Lord’s compassion on the souls, His immense abilities of creation, sustainence etc , the bhakta’s non-entitlement for any of the benefits that one is conferred on and the knowledge that there is none else who can match His Supreme magnificence. The Brihati Sahasra clearly defines Him as the bestower of grace on his devotees pleased with the abiding adoration of the bhatkas. The true bhakta does not seek anything from the Lord but His loving grace. We can recollect Prahlada’s words to Lord Narasimha when He offers to grant him a boon. Prahlada says,” My devotion is not a business. I wish to propitiate You and that is my only desire. Upon the Lord’s insistence Prahalada says ,”I wish not to seek anything from anyone at anytime.” So it is easy to see why the ancients called Him as Paramaatma in this context.

The word atma has many meanings. Here if we take the meaning of a sentient being the “Paramatma” would mean that He is the most Superior such being.The shrutis declare that there is no Lord greater than Keshava/Shreesha, who Himself has limitless power and is Sarvothama.  Why so?

Shree is the abhimani of the Avyakta tatva from which the entire Shrishti/creation unfolds. It is at the behest of Shree that Brahma creates. Shree Hari is the master of Shree and Shree performs all actions by His grace . She is no doubt very elevated, being next to Hari, yet she depends on Him for everything.

The invocatory verse of the Ishavaasya bhaashya of Shri Madhwacharya ….

yasmAdbrahmendrarudradevatAnAM shriyo.api cha |
j~nAnasphUrtissadA tasmai haraye gurave namaH || 2||
I bow down in humble submission to that Hari, that Guru, by whose benevolence and grace devatas like Brahma , Rudra, Indra etc  and its not just the devatas ,even Shree also brims with knowledge and energy. “

She is the controller of the formless energy where the Lord exists as the Supreme controller, Keshava , whatsoever forms we see in the world all owe their existence to the formless energy – Avyakta abhimani Shree and Shreepati-Keshava the  form of the Lord in the avyakta tatva.

manadoLiha gOviMda,mAdhava dhanapasakhatatvadali, nArA-

yaNa mahatatvadali, avyaktadali kEshavanu – HKS 6.19

When every other entity owes its energy to this magnificient Lord, He must  be the most Supreme. Otherwise there is no way He could offer such sustainence to one and all of the infinite beings , both seen and unseen.  The natural corollary of this is that He is the most elevated being -sarvOthama. He requires no such assistance in sustanence , yet provides for the existence and  sustainence of all others.

Lord Krishna clearly declares His supremacy in the Geetha which is quoted here by Dasaru.

mattah paratarah nAnyat kiMchitasti dhanaMjaya

mayi sarvamidam prOtam sUtre maNigaNa iva… BG 7.7

“Just as the string of pearls are held together by the string passing through the beads  , and there would be no question of any necklace of pearls without this string which holds the pearls together, so also the Lord holds everything and sustains them to exist as they are designed to by Him. O dhananjaya, Know that there is no entity who is even a little superior to me at anytime or place. I am always the most Supreme.”

Author: Parimala R

I am a student of Madhwa's philosophy and a listener of the expositions of Shri Madhwa's works through my gurugalu Shri Bannanje Govindacharya .This blog is an attempt to express the jewels contained in those along with the verses of a Haridasaru, Shri Prasanna Shreenivasa dasaru . I speak on the verses of the Harikathamruthasaara to students at my place and in the nearby Turahalli Rayar mutt and also on skype. I am also into studying the Bhagavad gita closely with a small group, since the past year, the source of study being the expositions of Shri Bannanje .

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