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.
hata mahaishvaRyAdyakhiLa sadguNagaNaMbOdhi
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.