34)shri bhartre namah! Who accepts the praise of His devotees

o bhakta krita stutigaLa sweekarisi ittukoMba

bhartA namO, dayadi nee oppi ittukO I stOtra

bhakta vatsala jnAna sukha pushTi pradAtanu shrI

sItAramaNa shrI krishNa vEdavyAsa shrinivAsa

This nama of the Lord praises Him as the one who is kind enough to accept the praise of His devotee.  The point to note is that even Lakshmi herself cannot claim to know Him fully. Even her praises fall short of describing His infinite glory. Shri Jagannatha Dasaru has said, “Even during pralaya when there is no kriya and everything lies in stupor as per His wish, Lakshmi visualises gunas,kriyas which are not documented in any of the texts of Vedanta and inspite of such continuous contemplation she always sees newer and newer aspects of His gunas constantly.”

His glory is unfathomable, yet every song which even just scratches that surface is accepted by Him who is the only entity who knows Himself fully. He has no need for the praise. Paramatma  is complete in Himself and seeks no external affirmations for it. Yet, it is His benevolence which is the reason for Him to accept such praise as is showered by a loving devotee.

shrutitatigaLibhimAni lakumI

stutigaLige gOcharisadaprati

hata mahaishvaRyAdyakhiLa sadguNagaNaMbOdhi

pratidivasa tannaMghrisEvA

rata mahAtmakaru mAdutiha saM

stutige vashanAguvanivana kArunyakEneMbe …HKS 2.3

 Prasanna Shrinivasa dasaru entreats bharta ,” O bhartA I bow down to you and beseech you to accept this stotra. You are the beloved of Your devotees, You are the special bestower of  jnAna ,sukha.You ensure that the jiva is inspired to progress. He says ,” O rAma,krishNa,Vedavyasa and Shrinivasa.” It is quite clear that the jiva who praises is enriched with jnAna and sukha to the extent that the praise is sung with involvement and devotion knowing His greatness as per one’s ability. The benefit of singing His praise is entirely the jiva’s. Shri Hari allows for the jiva to engage in it and bestows the related required benefits specific to the time and progress of each and every jiva in a unique way.

Prasanna Shrinivasa dasaru ‘s choice of names to describe “bharta” brings to the mind His acceptance of the offering of devotees in the avatara roopas and also the foremost of the devotees PrAna deva who served and sang Hari’s praise as Hanumantha, Bheema and Madhva. Finally he concludes that this very same Lord Hari is inside him as Shrinivasa and is the energiser and implementer for this stuti too.

As Seetharamana, He accepted the entreaties of Vishwamitra and travelled to the forest. He accepted the fruits offered by Shabari, by Guha etc. He accepted the seva offered by   Lakshmana, by the kapis ,by Hanumatha and bestowed the state of “sahabhOgA” in mukthi to him. Always the proportion of His blessing matches with the abilities and essential innate stature of the devotee.

As Krishna He accepted the manasa puja of Bheema, and the worship of the all the Pandavas. He accepted the praise of Drapadi as her only saviour and came to her aid instantaneously. He accepted Arjuna’s entreaties and drove his chariot in the Mahabharatha. When Arjuna surrendered to Him seeking knowledge, He laid out the truth to Arjuna and enabled him to clear his ignorance and acquire wisdom.He accepted the stutis which were showered by Bhishma ,lying on the bed of arrows. The Vishnu Sahasranama and Bheeshma stavaraja are exemplary stotras which when chanted in praise of Vishnu are sure to bring rich rewards of grace on the devotee. Imagine, what compassion, long after it was first chanted, its benefits continue to be truly realised by those who really seek to praise Him because of His greatness, because of His benevolence and not just for the sake of obtaining some meager fruits.

As Vedavyasa, He accepted the offering of the Geetha bhaashya at Badri from Madhwa. He accepted all the works of Madhwa and enabled the suitable beings to study and sing His praise.

That very same Bhagavantha is our antaryAmi too and controls our every aspect. The thought’s we think, the things we say, the food we eat every single thing is all His wish.This understanding of the grace of Bharta who is our inner controller who is completely flawless,complete in all auspicious attributes,pervades everywhere as the controller and is full of bliss is laid out by Prasanna Shrinivasa dasaru by completing the praise using the name ,”Shrinivasa” hinting that it is his bimba who is all this and more.

There is occasion for a little more contemplation on the order of the names Dasaru has chosen to describe “bharta”.

Firstly ,our conception of praise and its effects on the object of praise is defective. We need to change our perspective and consider it from the point of Hari, the flawless entity!

For Bharta, the praise using the name raama – talks of His infinite bliss. Unimaginable right? Infinite can only mean that He is the only entity who is self sufficient in bliss. He needs no external agent to make Him feel happy and the more He bestows it on others, it never wanes and remains boundless always. This infinite boundless blob of bliss resides right inside us as our bimba. How do we access Him? The Upanishads answer ,You have to be the chosen One to access knowledge about His presence. “na yam Atma pravachanEna labhyah, na bahuda shrutEna…. yamevEsha vrunute tEna labhyah!” That’s where this choice of name “Krishna” comes. “karshati iti krishna”… He chooses and attracts us towards Him. Then what?VedavyAsa – He bestows the required knowledge through the guru and bestows “Shri” on the devotee by residing there as Shrinivasa. Here “Shri” is the sampattu in the form of jnAna,bhakthi and vairAgya.

I bow down to this great Dasaru who reveals “bharta” to be contemplated as per one’s own abilities . I humbly seek to praise Lord Vishnu through these words of Dasaru ,which is an outflow of His own wish and entreat Him to accept it.

 

33)shri bhAvanAya namah!Supreme Controller of wisdom

jNAna niyamana mAlpa bhAvana namO vishaya

sannikarshadi manava pariNamisi nI alli

jNAna prakaTisi odaguvi abhiprAyagalannu

ninage namO saMkarshaNa, vAsudeva pradyumna

O bhAvana, I bow down to You O controller of jnAna.You are compassionate and relieve the mind from its forays into the world of sensual pleasures, You then introduce it to the higher concepts of truth . I bow down to You again and again who is of the forms Sankarshana, Vasudeva and Pradyumna.

vidye tAneMdenisikoMbani

ruddha dEvanu saRvajIvara

buddhiyOL nelesiddu kR^itipati  buddhiyenisuvanu

siddhi yenisuva saMkaruShaNa pra

siddha nAmaka vAsudEvana

vadyarUpa chatuShTayagaLaritavanE paMditanu…………..… HKAS_03-06

It is not for nothing that the ancients have said

“mana eva kAraNam bandha mOkshyOh” for if the mind swings towards the world and the objects of the world then it is next to impossible to obtain jaana- The mind then becomes the instrument to bind. How so? The world of the sense pleasures is a trap and once the pleasure is wished for is experienced it hankers for more and more and more. There is no term called “enough” in the dictionary of the human being who is addicted to sense pleasures. The possibility of extricating oneself out of this quagmire is not possible for many reasons. Firstly once inside that world, the knowledge of the very awareness of the existence of the Supreme, the need to  bow down humbly before Him and the need to seek knowledge about His glories is non-existent.Secondly the constant onslaught of desires on the mind makes it fragile,ridden with fear and anxiety and totally incompetent to undertake deep contemplation on any elevated thoughts.

Ah! But the moment Hari decides to extricate such a jiva then it is possible. The mind is made to associate with the glory of Hari and his devotees. More such association withdraws the mind from the objects of the senses. It is for this reason that it becomes the cause for “mOksha- freedom” .

The happenings are all Hari’s leelas ,He plays them out as per the anadi karma of the jiva, its innate nature and efforts. Even the efforts of the jiva are due to His will based on the capability of the soul.

Most of us in samsaara are attracted to one or the other pleasures of senses and find it extremely difficult to focus on the ancient texts,study them  and internalise the knowledge through practical experience and inference. The Lord as  “bhAvana” is our saviour at this juncture. One has to do the upAsana of this nirdosha infinite guna of Paramatma as per one’s ability. The upAsana directed for us humans is “satchitanandaatma” . Here He is of the swaroopa of jnAna as seen by the word -“chit” and He is of such swaroopa without any dosha-sat. The same holds true for ananda and atma. As Atma He resides as the antaryAmi and also pervades everywhere at all times and spaces and in all the guNas too.

So the word”sat” is applicable to all the rest and it translates to completeness in all aspects without any defects whatsoever. He is “bA + ava”” “na”meaning “jnAna” +”protection” and “remover of grief,ignorance etc”. What else is required?

Dasaru says

“…………………………….vishaya

sannikarshadi manava pariNamisi nI alli

jNAna prakaTisi odaguvi abhiprAyagalannu”

I bow down to You O bhAvana, You steer the mind away from the mesh of sense pleasures and transform the goings-on in the mind to think deeply about existence, about  truth, and about the Supreme who controls both. These contemplations are undertaken becuase You provide the knowledge about its necessity,the method to go about seeking knowledge and many more aspects which are favourable to the acquisition of wisdom.

The order of events is described by listing the names of Vishnu in that order. By decoding a few meanings of the names  Sankarshana , Vasudeva and Pradyumna one can see the way they explain the chain of events before the objective of obtaining knowledge is reached.

bha= Sankarshana, ava= Vasudeva and na=pradyumna

bha has many meanings of which we take saameepya and light of knowledge.He brings the need for knowledge close to our heart and attracts us towards Him . He is the closest of all to the Lord. avijnyAta sakha residing right in our hearts. He shines light on this aspect and graces us with knowledge.

ava = is the protector. In the entire world Vasudeva resides inside each every object and is the cause for their existence. vasati is to exist. Things exist because of Him. We rely on many things and people for our existence and it Vasudeva who resides in them and bestows protection on us by fulfilling our needs and providing security. Acharya Madhwa’s experience of this presence of Vasudeva is seen in his charitre when he bows down before every mundane thing in his house at a time before he goes out and when questioned by his father, the reason for that, he answered,” I am bowing down to the Supreme Vasudeva who resides in everything and is the cause for their existence.”

nashcha nivritti vAchakah . He removes or takes away our ignorance by filling our mind with light, he takes aways our grief by bestowing the wealth of health and prosperity -Pradyumna.

The order of the roopas is discussed in another way too.

pradyumna – prakrishtavaada beLaku – brilliance and radiance which surpass all others. The brilliance of a certain thing is experienced only when the mind is aware of its existence.For example: If are fast asleep, then we are not aware of any light which may be switched on in that room, however brilliant it may be. And to that end, the Lord makes His presence felt in the objects as their sole energiser thereby making that experience also His worship and working towards the release from the web of karma. “beLaku” also means knowledge. He shines excellent knowledge which will move the jiva to seek for the higher truth of life.

Once the jiva starts the search, it needs to continue without loosing heart as there are sure to be pitfalls at every step of the ardous journey. The souls needs to continue its pursuit and there “sankarashaNa” graces the soul with the attraction towards knowledge which is  strong and pulls at the heart to go in that direction. Staying on the track is the grace of “Sankarshana” – samyak AkarshaNa

 Then “vAsudeVa” comes to lead us on. “vasa”-Achadane.  He covers Himself at first and later when the jiVa becomes vasudEva, He reveals Himself. How does the jiva become “vAsudEva” . It means the jiva becomes pure of heart and soul  through the grace of Pradyumna and Sankarshana. Finally it is good to remember that all these are possible only when we have this human form which enables us to interact with world, to use our mind and brain and think and meditate. These are all the grace of “anirudhdA” .”That form of the Lord which removes the hindrance for the soul to experience the external world/ which removes the obstacle to wisdom through contemplating on expereince. The soul obtains the suitable state only if it has the gross body and this is bestowed on us by Anirudhdha.

Indeed, I remain dumfounded at the portrayal of this nAma by Shree Prasanna Shrinivasa dasaru. What a perfect way to offer a prayer and what an efficacious prayer. The glory of the Lord is meditated on as one calls out to “bhAvana” residing right inside the inner recceses of our heart.

My repeated obeisances to this guru-Shri Prasanna Shrinvasa Dasaru for this exquisite poetic commentary on the Vishnu Sahasrama.

I also bend down in humility to my gurugalu Shri Bannanje Govindacharyaru who taught me how to contemplate ,correlate,apply logic and understand.