sharaNu sharaNu sharaNu bhUvarAha muruti sharaNu sharaNu dhanvantri
sharaNu bhAratiramaNavaMdyane sharaNu nrihare kripAnidhe
Shree Prasanna Shreenivasa Dasaru has written some mantras which are just right for contemplation. We have seen one such mantra previously. This is also a mantra to cure physical,mental and spiritual ills.It is a beautiful prayer to the Lord recounting three of His forms where He has shown His auspicious attributes as a leela. As Varaha , He has rescued Bhu and its presiding dieties from the abyss where the cruel asura Hiranyaaksha had heartlessly shoved it . This is also the from of the Lord who traverses the 72 thousand nadis in the human body enabling the soul to perform sadhana as He wills. Then as Dhanvantri He manifested with the pot of amrutha showing that He is the master doctor with the cure for all kinds of ills. Finally when the soul’s prarabdha karma takes over, the physical body becomes weak and is susceptible to Time. Even at such a time, when one beseeches Him as Narahari He rescues the embodied soul from an untimely death and enables one to complete the sadhana for that lifetime.
The jiva in the human form is suceptable to various types of difficulties and troubles. Ancients classified them as three main types and hence the word “taapatraya”. They are Adiboutika, Adidaivika and Adyaatmika taapas – those which assail one from the external world made of the five elements, those that are caused by the action of the devathas,those through one’s own mental status. It is possible to vary this classification in different ways .All the three forms are detrimental to one’s progress along the spiritual path. If the body is diseased or the mind is distressed then there is no question of recalling the knowledge obtained or putting it into practise. So Dasaru entreats Paramatma to protect and uplift. He beeseches the Lord singing the glory of the three forms namely Varaha, Nrihari and Dhanvantri . Dasaru also asserts that the Lord whom he is referring to here is the one who is worshipped by “bhaarati ramana” . This points out that the Lord is flawless and completely full of auspicious attributes in all His forms and is the Supreme personality which is the main tennet of Acharya Madhwa’s philosophy.
The word “varahaa” means “shreshTa”. He is the most eminent one. When one splits this word into syllables – va- ra-ha. The syllable “va” is vam jnaanam , ra- ram- ananda . In sanskrit syllables can be taken as abbreviation for words. Taking ‘ha’ as the abbreviation for “hamsa” we get the meaning as one who is capable of being in pure existence of knowledge and bliss, while completely devoid of any defects. Here ha-devoid of defects”and “sa- who is essence of everything”.
vAridiyiMda krUra asuranna
uddariso enna kripAnidhe
Dasaru speaks to Varaha ,” You have dived deep into the oceans and destroyed the wicked asura, saving the earth. I entreat You to uplift me from this huge ocean of terrible diseases.”
The human body is a mass of cells of various kinds sustained by energy and gas diffusion . The energy moves through the entire body in unbroken pathways which twist, turn and intersect. These energy paths ways form knots and chakras. There are innumerable such pathways, of which the ancients claim ,72000 are prominent and play an important role in the well being of the individual. If the nadis are un-inhibited they ensure good health for the person. The ancients advised, Asana, Pranayama etc and chanting of the Vishnu Sahasranama to maintain the nadis in optimal health. Whatsoever of these one may engage in , it is finally the will of Hari that determines the health and vitality of a human being. Dasaru seeks out Varaha ,” You have done it by uplifting and upholding the entire earth, this is quite effortless for You. It is Your will, to keep one alive in that body that makes the nadis supply the energy to complete all the internal processes which keeps one alive and vital. Please do grace me, so that I may be uplifted.”
One should note that Dasaru does not ask for a long life, or to live until a certain age, etc. He only says ,” Uplift me, even as You uplifted the earth The demons in the form of diseases can be demolished only by You.These diseases are not just for the body but also for the mind and soul. The soul which is in bondage suffers from the biggest disease of all -the Bhava roga So please show Your compassion on me.”
Varaha means the most subtlest, finest, best ,prettiest, purest….. There is nothing more pure or subtle that knowledge and You are the embodiment of such knowledge. “Oh Varaha! Grant me the knowledge that can uplift me from the impurity collected due to ignorance,birth after birth.Knowledge is the only purifier.” Krishna has said in the Bhagavad Gita,”na hi jnAnena sadrisham pavitram iha vidyate”.
surara poreyalu amruta taMde
parama purusha beshaja
shiraurAdi sarva aMgadi
suridu amritava pore enna
“You brought forth the nectar of life to grace the suras, O parama purusha Beshaja! Please soak my entire body from the head , to the waist and all the other parts in the nectar and protect me.” Beshaja means the one who cures the disease in other words- vaidya. The Lord is not just the one who cures the disease,but who knows the cause for it and can design circumstances so that we gain knowledge by such experiences. Unless we gain knowledge as a result of experience, we will have to face it again and again. So we entreat the Lord to cure and lead us to prevent such bitter experiences by giving us the right attitude in times of tribulation. He cannot be questioned, whatsoever our circumstance as He is the all knower. The eternal bliss can be enjoyed only if there is firm knowledge of His compassion as the “Protector of the good”, no questions asked about the method of protection which may not appear to be so due to our shortsightedness.
He is the Supreme , all knower,one who is the cause of design,creation, sustanence and dissolution of the universe. There is no one who can interrupt His will. It reaches perfect completion always and that too effortlessly. So If he decides then it can happen.Dasaru recollects the incident when he decided to protect the suras and appeared with the pot of divine nectar. Even then , when the asuras tried to plunder it away from the suras, it was their attitude that their saviour the Supreme Lord will never let them down, that drew the compassion of Paramatma . He saw to it that the asuras were not successful in their plans by assuming another form-Mohini.
Dasaru is beseeching the Lord to grace one with His will of protection. Then he seeks protection for all the organs and parts of the body and the inner layers of the body which contain subtle parts like the antahkarana etc.
mrityu ,mrityuve enna
apamrityu taridu poreyo
nityasukha maya siri
As the disease progresses the chance of succumbing to it looms large. Then Dasaru contemplates on the Lord as the overall controller of death. Yama is the controlled or embodied souls and is the one who causes their bodies to die, this Yama is inturn controlled by Shiva who swallows Yama during the process of pralaya. But Shiva is also swallowed by Paramatma along with the entire universe. Thus we see see that He is the final controller and it is He who can protect one from untimely death of the body or the end of the sadhana path of the soul .
Shri Jagannatha dasaru has said, ” sadguNava kaddavana aghava kadivanu anaghanendenisi” “One who contemplates on the auspicious attributes of the Lord, is releived of the corresponding negative attributes in oneself , as per one’s own innate essence and the type and depth of contemplation. This is what is followed by the ancients . Always life has to lead one to shed the negative attributes in the antahkarana collected over many births and to that end the upasana or contempation is led. After beseeching Him to relieve one of untimely death, Dasaru also pleads for protection. In this world which is known as “martya loka”, how can one plead for “amritatva”? So it is definitely a foolish thing to think that Dasaru is asking for a long life without a diseased body.An incident from the KAtopanishad is significant . When Yama tells Nachiketa to ask for three boons and Nachiketa asks him to teach him how to reach the deathless state of complete bliss and the knowledge of such a God who is Himself complete and full of bliss and sustains others all the time without any loss or defect to His nature. Yama tells Nachiketa to ask for long life, healthy life, wealth, property etc. But Nachiketa says ,” Enjoying the pleasures of the world with the indriyas only makes them loose their sharpness and brightness and dulls them to an extent that the soul forgets about any such thing as a thirst to know about …”Supreme Lord” and gets immersed in ignorance and so hurtles through samsaara -the cycle of life and death, birth after birth. I do not want any of those things you mentioned and I am quite definite about it. Grant me knowledge of the Supreme so I may be released from bondage.”
Here Dasaru’s prayer is for the relief from fear and bondage . Freedom comes from knowledge and contemplating on this mantra repeatedly released one from distress and fear.Then it leads to another guna of the Lord which is ” Timeless, Boundless,Limitless bliss”. The sadhaka obtains the Lord’s grace to reach such bliss which is permenent and complete as per one’s ability.
We observe that the Lord is the eternal saviour and protector all through. This is a prayer for curing a sickness to the body. The same is also a indepth upasana to cure the bhava roga too, which engulfs each soul and only with the grace of Varaha can the soul be afloat in this samsaara without drowing in the oceans of vishaya bhoga and arishadvargas. In the second charanam, the word “amrutha” refers to Paramatma himself. Every cell and every part of our body, mind and soul needs to be soaked in the knowledge of the Supreme and that can happen only if He wills it. Dasaru beseeches His grace for this victory over the indriyas because they can lead us astray and submerge us in the world of sensory pleasures. Then , Dasaru says that it is His forte to empower the jiva to perform the sadhana relentlessly with the indriyas so purified and finally obtain final beatitude by His grace. Dasaru submits the chintana to his upaasya murthi and inner controller – Shree Prasanna Shreeivasa.