SrI SrIpAdarAja virachita Sri MadhwanAma
Translated by shrI Hunsur Sriprasad.
Special Thanks to Sri Harish D Rao
jaya jaya jagatrANa, jagadoLage sutrANa
akhila guNa sadhdhAma madhvanAma
May he grant us good fortune, the one who provides sustenance to the world, who is the most powerful amongst all jIvas, the abode of all (good) qualities, the one having the name of Madhwa. Alternatively, victory (or Hail) to the one who provides sustenance to the world, who is the most powerful amongst all jIvas, the abode of all (good) qualities, the one having the name of Madhwa.
"jaya" also means victory. The biggest victory that any jIva (sentient being) can hope for is mOksha or mukti (liberation from the cycle of birth and death). vAyu helps deserving souls reach this goal in a variety of ways - by providing correct jnyana (knowledge) about the Lord, inspiring correct thoughts and actions, and finally recommending the soul's case to the Lord. After Hari and lakShmI, vAyu (and brahmA) have the power to propel a soul towards liberation.
"jaya" also means supreme or the highest. This too is appropriate since vAyu is considered jIvOttama (the highest amongst all jIvas).
The shAstrAs tell us that vAyu keeps reciting the haMsa mantra "hamsaH sO&ham svAha" 21600 times every day in all souls, offering this to hamsanAmaka paramAtma (Hari). As long as vAyu is in the body, it is considered alive; once he departs, it is termed dead. That is why he is regarded as "jagatrANa" - the one who provides sustenance to the world.
trANa can also be interpreted as "to protect" or "to shelter". That is very appropriate as well, since he protects all worthy jIvas (and punishes bad ones). His power extends to even gods that others worship,
(mahabhArata tAtparya nirNaya Canto 2 Verse 162)
The strength of Indra is girIsha (rudra), rudra's strength is marut (vAyu). vAyu's strength is Hari Himself. Hari derives His strength from nobody. If vAyu is the source for rudrA's strength (and by inference for the rest of the gods too) then it is obvious that "jagatrANa" is a very apt epithet for him.
The shAstrAs tell us that the human body is made up of 24 tattvAs or elements. These elements are basically inert. In order to provide life to the body and make it active, the 24 tatvAbhimani dEvatAs (gods who are patrons of senses or organs) enter the body and provide its basic functions. The one who controls these dEvatAs is vAyu. Hari inspires vAyu, and vAyu inspires everybody else. Since, Hari and vAyu are thus responsible for the sustenance of the entire universe they are also called "sutrANa" (this epithet is primarily Hari's, but can be used for vAyu too).
akhiLa guNa sadhdhAma
There are 2 points to be considered. Hari is known as pUrNa guNa or akhiLa guNa, the embodiment of all good qualities. vAyu is His sadhdhAma or chief abode (or temple). Thus vAyu is akhiLa guNa sadhdhAma.
The ATharvaNOpanishat says
"sa vEdaitat paramam brahmadhAma".
In his commentary on the word "brahmadhAma" SrImadAchArya has said
It is intriguing why shrIpAdarAjaru has used the name "madhwa" instead of other equivalent terms. This is to draw our attention to the lines in baLitthAsUkta
"niryadIm budhnAnmahiShasya varpasa IshAnAsah
shavasA kranta sUrayah yadimanu pradivO madhwa AdhavE
guhA santam mAtarishwA mathAyati "
[it was from this omniscient vAyu, that rudra and other gods easily learnt about the qualities of the supreme lord Hari and obtained liberation from bondage. He (madhwa) churned the scriptures and showed us the supremacy of Hari, who resides in the hearts of everybody]
Ava kachchhapa rUpa dinda lanDOdakava
Ovi dharisida shEShamUrutiyanu
Avavana baLiviDidu hariya suraraiduvaro
A vAyu namma kula guru rAyanu
The one who took on the shape of a tortoise and supported Sesha, by staying
near whom lesser gods reach Hari, that vAyu is the chief amongst the gurus of our sect.
According to the shAstrAs, the lord is holding up the whole universe as vishnu kUrma. In the fluid that permeates brahmAnDa, vAyu is also present as vAyu kUrma, holding on to the tail of vishnu kUrma. sEsha is hanging to the tail of vAyu and is supporting the Earth on his hood.
sa ESha kUrmarUpENa vAyuranDOdakE sthitah
viShNunA kUrmarUpENa dhAritOanantadhArakah (iti prabhanjanE)
vAyOstu kUrmarUpasya pUrvatashyOdakE mukham
AgnEyaishAnigou bAhU pAdou nirruti vAyugou
(iti prakrushte bruhadAraNyakOpanishadbhAshya)
The four limbs of the vAyu kUrma (tortoise) rest on the four corners of brahmAnDa. The chest is pressing against the Earth, the stomach supports AkAsha (space) and the
back supports other worlds.
[Don't know if this is meant to be taken literally, or as poetry or if there is some symbolism that needs to be applied. In any case, here is some food for thought.
Everybody knows that all the planets in our solar system are held in their place by the sun's gravitational pull. Thus in a way, the entire system is held in place by some sort of attraction. And another name for sEsha is sankarshana (one who does Akarshana or attraction).]
Avavana baLiviDidu hariya suraraiduvaro
Posting on the opening verse quoted details of the baLitthAsUkta which outlines how
rudra and other gods easily learnt about the qualities of Hari and obtained liberation
In sumadhwavijaya, there is an interesting description of an incident of the gods turning up to hear srimadAchAryA's discourse on the shAstrAs.
In harikathAmrutasAra, sri jagannAtha dAsa provides details of the manner in which rudra learnt the shAstrAs from vAyu.
Looking at mahABhArata and rAmAyaNa; sugrIva and karNa were both amshAs of sun (a mild form of incarnation), yet they met with different treatments at the hands of the
Lord; sugrIva benefitted immensly from rAma, whereas karNa was punished. The answer to this seeming paradox is given by srimadAchArya
"sa mArutikrutE ravijam raraksha" (MBTN canto 5 verse 46)
child of sun (sugrIva) was protected (by rAma) only because he was with hanumanta.
"bhImArthamEva ravijam nihatya" (MBTN canto 5 verse 47)
It was because of (enimity with) bhIma that (another) offspring of the sun (karNa) was killed. A similar reversal is seen in the case of vAli and arjuna. Here again, the key was the relationship that vAli and arjuna had with hanumanta and bhIma respectively.
This illustrates the point that getting the grace of vAyu is a sure-shot way of getting the grace of Hari.
This feeling has been beautifully captured by purandara dasaru in his song,
"hanumana matavE Hariya matavu, Hariya matavE hanumana matavu".
A vAyu namma kula guru rAyanu
The scriptures say that Hari can independently grant liberation, whereas vAyu (and brahma) can recommend eligible jIvas for liberation. Sometimes, on Hari's authority, they can even grant liberation. The scriptures also say that brahma, vAyu, saraswati and bhArati are the only ones (apart from lakshmi and Hari) whose knowledge is always perfect and who are never subject to any form of defect or imperfection.
Thus is it any surprise that lesser gods flock to them to know more about Hari? This leads us to the conclusion that the word "kula" used by shrIpAdarAjaru should not be narrowly interpreted to mean just the mAdhwa community. It includes all gods, other celestial beings, saints, good and noble people. In fact it includes every jIva or sentient being who is eligible for mOksha (liberation). Thus vAyu is the chief guru of all sAtvika jIvAs.
This is why in the very first verse of vAyu stuti, trivikramapanDitAchArya calls him "trailOkAchArya".
If "staying near vAyu" can be interpreted as "staying on the path laid down by vAyu or
staying close to the principles dear to vAyu" then it follows that having faith in and following madhwa shAstra in letter and spirit is the right royal road to Hari, i.e., mOkSha or liberation!
Avavanu dEhadoLagiralu Hari tA nelesihanu
Avavanu tolage Hari tA tolaguva
Avavanu dEhadoLahorage niyAmakanu
A vAyu namma kula guru rAyanu
As long he resides in the body, Hari remains or resides in the body, as soon as he departs, Hari departs from the body. He is the controller or regulator inside and outside the body; he (Vayu) is the chief amongst the gurus of our sect.
Avavanu dEhadoLagiralu Hari tA nelesihanu Avavanu tolage Hari tA tolaguva
There is a shruti vAkya in this connection:
"kasmin vahamutkrAnta utkramishyAmi
kasminvaham sthite sthAsyAmi iti sa prANamasRujatra"
The Lord created vAyu with these words, "I will create such a devotee that his departure will bring about my departure, his presence will indicate my presence"
There are 2 aspects that need to be noted in the actual words used by shrIpAdarAjaru:
1. The unequivocal and forthright manner in which the statement has been made; there are no ifs and buts, and no room for any ambiguity whatsoever. There is no reference to other gods, dependencies, or other pre-conditions. The linkage between Hari and vAyu is direct and self-standing.
2. A double linkage has been used, i.e., presence of vAyu to presence of Hari, and departure (or absence) of vAyu to departure (or absence) of Hari. This is very similar to what is commonly used in scientific parlance as "necessary and sufficient condition"
Interpreting this linkage in the context of the physical body is straightforward and well documented in the scriptures. A more interesting possibility is revealed by extending this logic to the mind as well, i.e., consider that as long as vAyu is in the mind, Hari is there too, and once vAyu leaves the mind, Hari leaves too.
What exactly does "vAyu in the mind" mean?
- constantly meditating on vAyu, his glory and greatness
- believing with heart and soul the fact that he is jIvOttama (and his position in the hierarchy)
- following the principles enunciated by vAyu (madhwa) himself, i.e., following tattvavada / dvaita concepts in letter and spirit, in thought and action.
From the above it follows that tattvavada / dvaita is the correct and most practical approach to achieving Hari's grace, and more importantly, Hari abandons everybody who abandons vAyu.
Avavanu dEhadoLahorage niyAmakanu
Lest we come to the wrong conclusion that vAyu's lordship is limited to the body, shrIpAdarAjaru hastens to remind us of what is said in the paingu shruti.
"prANasmEtad vashE sarvam prANah paravashe sthitah na parah kinchidAshritya vartatE paramOyatah"
Everything (apart from natural exclusions like Hari, Lakshmi, Brahma) is in the control of prANA (another name for vAyu). In turn, prANa is under the control of Hari. Hari is under nobody's control, even to a small degree, and this has always been the case.
It is said that the pinDAnDa (or body) is a miniature of brahmAnDa (the universe). That is, the same gods who control different organs and senses of the body control other parts of the universe. Since they are all subject to the control of vAyu, it follows that vAyu's power and potency is intact all over brahmAnDa and pinDAnDa.
karaNAbhimAni suraru dEhava biDalu
kuruDa kivuDa mUkanendenisuva
parama mukhyaprANa tolagalA dehavanu
aritu peNanendu pELvaru budhajana
When gods who regulate the senses and organs depart from a person's body, that person becomes impaired in that sense or organ, and is accordingly called blind, deaf or dumb. However, when mukhyaprANa leaves the body, the wise call such a body a corpse.
shrIpAdarAjaru is drawing our attention to the aitarEya upanishad statement:
tA ahimsant ahamuktha masmaihamukthamasmIti tA abruvan hantAsmAchCharIrAdutkrAmAma tadyasmin na utkAnta idam sharIram patsyati taduktham bhaviShyatIti vAgudakrAmad avadannashnan pibannAstaiva chakshurudakrAmad apashyannashnan pibannAstaiva
Once the gods had a dispute amongst themselves as who was the greatest. They decided that the best way to judge the issue was to observe the impact on the body. The gods started entering a lifeless body one-by-one. None of them made an impact; the body remained as it was. As soon as vAyu entered the body, it came alive.
Now the whole thing was reversed, and the gods started leaving the body one-by-one. As each god left, the sense or organ he/she regulated failed. Yet the body was alive and continued to eat and drink. When vAyu left the body, it collapsed. This conclusively established the total dependence of the jiva on vAyu, and thereby his superiority vis-a-vis other gods, making his title of 'jIvOttama' appropriate.
Another related pramANa (supporting evidence) is also from the itarEya upanishad.
prANa udakrAmat tatprANa utkrAntEapadyata tad
AshIryata AshArItI tachCharIramabhavat
When prANa departed from the body, it collapsed, and started decaying.
We observe this in the world around us too. As long as a person is breathing, he or she is considered to be alive; death occurs only when he or she stops breathing. In fact, if a doctor is around when death happens, he or she tries CPR, or electrical shock, and anything else to get the body to breathe again.
It is said that when a person dies, the amshAs (residue) of gods regulating senses and organs go back to the original deity. However, this is not true in the case of vAyu. He carries jIva on his shoulders to the next body.
When this verse is read along with the previous verse (i.e., as long as vAyu resides in the body, Hari also resides, when vAyu leaves hari also leaves), it really shows the position of vAyu in the hierarchy of gods, and how much hari cares for him.
Like the previous verse, this too has symbolic significance; for the "spiritual" body to be alive, the presence of vAyu is very important. In other words, any mode of worship that does not accord primacy to vAyu (and of course, Hari, lakshmi, brahma) and the principles enunciated by him is irretrievably flawed and doomed to end in despair.
suraroLage nararoLage sarvabhUtagaLoLage
parataranenisi nEmadi nelesiha
hariyanallade bageyanu anyaranu lOkadoLu
gurukulatilaka mukhya pavamAnanu
Amongst gods, amongst humans, amongst all elements, he resides as the controller and regulator. He does not respect or defer to anybody other than Hari (and lakshmi, of course) in the world. He is mukhya pavamAna, the crown jewel amongst preceptors.
suraroLage nararoLage sarvabhUtagaLoLage parataranenisi nEmadi nelesiha
There are several supporting pramANAs for this, one of them being the paingu shruti quoted earlier:
"prANasmEtad vashE sarvam prANah paravashe sthitah na parah kinchidAshritya vartatE paramOyatah"
Everything (apart from natural exclusions like hari, lakshmi, brahma etc.) is in the control of prANA (another name for vAyu). In turn, prANa is under the control of hari. hari is under nobody's control, even to a small degree, and this has always been the case.
There is another way of looking at this. In the beginning, hari and lakshmi (as prakriti or nature) created the three primary constituents of brahmAnda - satva, rajas and tamo gunas (qualities). Using the three gunas, the Lord created mahat tattva as the primary building block; this in turn, gave rise to ahankAra tattva, and the rest of the tattvas. The abhimAni dEvatAs (patron gods) for mahattatva are brahma and vAyu (and their wives saraswati and bhArati), and for ahankAra tattva it is garuda, sEsha, rudra (and their wives souparaNi, vAruNi and pArvati). Since mahat tattva is one of the key elements in the chain of creation, it is appropriate that vAyu is designated as the primary representative of hari in the body. He presides over other gods and ensures that everything happens in accordance with hari's desires and directions.
hariyanallade bageyanu anyaranu lOkadoLu
It follows directly from the paingu shruti quoted above that vAyu does not have to answer to anybody else in the hierarchy other than hari (and lakshmi). shrIpAdarAjaru says this explicitly to make sure we get the point. The same has been stated by srimadAchArya too:
"nAnyadEva natAstEna vAsudEvAnna pUjitah" (mahabhArata tAtparya nirNaya, canto 18, verse 16)
Other than vAsudEva (hari), bhImasEna has never prayed to any other god, even once. (This would be true for all incarnations of vAyu).
How does one reconcile this with instances in rAmAyaNa and mahAbhArata where incarnations of vAyu respect or obey people other than hari and lakshmi (for example sugrIva, bhIshma, drONa, etc)?
There is an important concept behind this behavior. Since vAyu is jivOttama, he has to set examples of appropriate behavior for lesser jIvas to emulate. Thus he shows respect to his king/leader (sugrIva), his teacher (drOna) and his great-granduncle (bhIshma) etc. In the gIta too, krishna says that everybody looks upto Him as an example and that is why He too performs certain duties.
gurukulatilaka mukhya pavamAnanu
The first thing that strikes one about this is the fact that shrIpAdarAjaru has abandoned the word "namma kula" (our sect), in favor of "gurukula". This is to draw our attention to one key concept of tattvavAda i.e., tAratamya or hierarchy of creation. Interested readers may refer the dvaita home page for more information about this concept. The aspect of tAratamya relevant here is that each class in the hierarchy can and should act as teachers to the classes below it, i.e, members of a class can look upto members of the class above them for guidance and knowledge. So, symbolically speaking, there is a long hierarchy of gurus, extending all the way back to hari.
Hari is the Adi (first or primary) guru; he is the guru of all gurus, for all of creation, in the past, present and future. His immediate disciples are vAyu and brahma (and their spouses); in turn, these two are the gurus for garuda, sEsha, rudra (and their spouses), and so on. Thus, as stated in the previous verse, vAyu may be considered the primary guru for for all sAtvikas (good souls). shrIpAdarAjaru has put it poetically by calling him the he is the crown jewel of the line of preceptors (gurukula tilaka).
trEteyali raghupatiya sEve mADuvenendu
pOtabhAvadi taraNibimbake langhisida
ItageNe yAru mUrlOkadoLage
In trEta yuga, in order to serve Raghupathi, the son of Vayu became Hanumanta. Out of sheer childish exuberance he jumped at the sun. Who can match or exceed him in all the 3 worlds?
trEteyali raghupatiya sEve mADuvenendu
"niShEvaNAyOruguNasya | sa dEvatAnA prathamO guNAdhikO babhUva nAmnA hanuman prabhanjanah"
(MBTN - Canto 3, Verse 67)
To serve Hari, full of all auspicious attributes, vAyu, the first amongst gods and having auspicious attributes more than others, took birth as a monkey named Hanuman. This was true of all the other gods too; all of them incarnated on the earth in order to serve the Lord. This was not because He needed any help, but because He wanted to give them a chance to serve him.
There is an interesting aspect here - the use of "hanumanta" instead of other alternatives like 'AnjanEya", "mAruti", "vAyu-putra" etc. Look at the Hari vAyu stuti, and see how trivikramapanditAchArya addresses the first avatAra of vAyu for the first time - "vandeham tam hanumAniti ....". This is because of the meaning of the word "hanu".
"hanashabdO jnyAna vAchI hanumAn matishabditah" (bhAvavRutta)
"hanu" means jnyAna or knowledge, therefore "hanuman" means a very intelligent
person. This statement has been used by SrimadAchArya in several of his bAshyas. In another stotra
("manOjavam ...."), hanumanta is called "buddimatAm varishtam" the best or the highest amongst all intelligent beings.
pOtabhAvadi taraNibimbake langhisida
There is a popular story that the baby Hanumanta mistook the sun to be a fruit and jumped to grab it. Indra hit him with his vajrAyudha (missile) and that is how Hanumanta's cheeks became swollen. I am not sure how much of credibility to attach to this story. For example, mistaking the sun for a fruit is a sign of ignorance and that is something that no incarnation of vAyu ever has.
Secondly, why would indra hurl his missile at vAyu, somebody who is his parama-guru, his superior in tAratamya (hierarchy), and the most powerful jIva to boot? Even assuming that indra was capable of such a foolish act, how can the vajrAyudha make a dent in Hanumanta's body, something that even the most powerful asuras (demons) and missiles could not do?
So, either the story is just a myth, or it was all "acting" to deceive asuras. This becomes even more obvious when one looks at the very next line in the stotra.
ItageNe yAru mUrlOkadoLage
This is another way of stating that vAyu is jIvottama. SrIpAdarAjara's mind must have been on the Hari vAyustuti which praises hanumanta "mahita mahApouruShO
bAhushAli, ...". He is trying to tell us that when one tries to grasp all of hanuman's great attributes - his strength, intelligence, devotion, steadfastness, .... - one realizes that one lifetime is too small to get a full measure of his greatness, and one has to satisfy oneself with the thought that "there never was, is or will be anybody like him in all the three worlds".
The story is asura mohanartha.
vAsava kulishadi ghAsise jEvara shwAsa nirodhiside
A samayadi kamalAsana pELalu nE saluhide jagava
mukhya prANa deva nEnallade kAYvara kANe lokadoLage....
This dasara pada states that the story is true. Though there is no ignorance for vayudevaru. This also shows that with the stopping of hamsa mantra by vayu devaru, the whole world comes to a stand still..
taraNigabhimukhavAgi shabdashAstrava paThisi
uravaNisi hindumundAgi naDeda
parama pavamAna udayAsta shailagaLa
bharadi aidida eetagupameyunTE
Facing the sun, he walked backwards and learnt the shAstras from the sun god, moving from the rising hills to the setting hills. Is there any comparison to him?
taraNigabhimukhavAgi shabdashAstrava paThisi uravaNisi hindumundAgi naDeda
hanumanta approached the Sun to teach him grammar, logic and the shAstras. The Sun told him that he could not pause on his journey from East to West and so he could teach hanumanta only if he could keep pace with him. hanumanta agreed. Every day, at sunrise he would jump to the hills on the East where the Sun would rise, and walk backwards on the sky, always facing the Sun, until the Sun set in the west.
The first point to note is that the Sun is a jIva whereas hanumanta is jIvOttama. In other words, there is nothing that the Sun knows, which hanumanta doesn't. So there is no question of the Sun teaching hanumanta. Also, as stated by srimadAchArya there is no possibility of hanumanta worshipping anybody other than the Lord. So, the teacher that hanumanta faced was Lord hari inside the Sun.
Second, hanumanta is pUrnaprajnya (one whose knowledge and awareness is complete and perfect). It is said vAyu (and brahma) can get full knowledge about anything (or anyone) in the universe by just thinking about that person or object; the only exception is matters concerning hari and lakshmi.
So, there is no question of hanumanta learning something as mundane as grammar or logic. All of this is pretense, to teach the rest of thus that everybody, one matter how exalted, has to learn from a guru. This is the same reason why rAma and krishna needed a teacher, and bhIma needed drONa.
parama pavamAna udayAsta shailagaLa bharadi aidida eetagupameyunTE
The use of the phrase 'parama pavamAna". Here parama indicates primacy amongst jIvas (i.e.,hanumanta being jIvOttama). pavamAna indicates, among other things, purity or lack of blemishes or defects (like ignorance). So, by using this phrase, shrIpAdarAjaru is sort of telling us "remember that we are talking about jIvottama himself, so don’t get deluded into thinking that he learnt shAstras from the Sun".
Another aspect to be noted is that the pace set by the Sun is so hectic that he himself has no time to tarry anywhere. Yet, hanumanta was able to keep up with this pace, and do it walking backwards to boot! And remember, he was paying attention to what the Sun was supposedly teaching him! And without stopping for food, water or any other natural requirement!! So it is no exaggeration when shrIpAdarAjaru says categorically that there is nobody equal to hanumanta.
akhiLavEdagaLa sArava paThisidanu munnalli
nikhiLa vyAkaraNagaLa iva pELida
mukhadalli kinchidapashabda ivagillendu
He quickly learnt and recited the essence of all vEdAs and all aspects related to grammar and literature. "There is not a single apashabda (wrong pronunciation or usage) in his speech" thus RAma praised mukhyaprANa.
akhiLavEdagaLa sArava paThisidanu munnalli
It is also said that Lord Hari Himself taught the vEdas to brahma and vAyu at the beginning of creation. So, there was nothing new that Hanumanta needed to learn. That is why the word "paTisidanu" (reciting) is used rather than "kalitanu" (learning).
However, the vEdas sing the praises of Hari, and the activity of reading and reciting the vEdas is something that gives a great bhakta like Hanumanta a lot of pleasure. That is why he always has the meaning of the vEdas in his mind.
nikhiLa vyAkaraNagaLa iva pELida
Hanumanta is praised in the scriptures as a great 'vyAkaraNa panDita' (expert in grammar). This is not surprising considering who he is and his capabilities. It should be remembered that saraswati and bhArati are vidyAbhimAni dEvatas (patron gods for studies). The sumadhva vijaya talks of the gods gathering in the skies to listen to srimadAchArya's discourses. shrI jayatIrtharu (tIkArAyaru) says that by his grace (along with bhArati dEvi's grace) a dumb mute becomes a great orator ("mUkOpi vAgmi"), and a dull, retarded creature becomes a brilliant scholar (jadamatirapu jantu jAyate prAj~na mouli).
mukhadalli kinchidapashabda ivagillendu mukhyaprANananu rAmananukarisida
When sugrIva learnt that rAma and lakshmaNa were in the vicinity, he was not sure of their orientation towards him. He even suspected that they may be friends of vAli. To get a proper idea about them, he sent Hanumanta in disguise to interview them and find out the reason for their presence. Hanuman disguised himself as a brahmin and spoke with them for a while. rAma observed Hanumanta's diction, command over the language and made the following remarks to lakshmaNa:
nAnRugvEdavinItasya nAyajurvEda dAriNah
vA sAmavEda viduShah shakyamEvam prabhAShitum
(rAmAyaNa - Canto 2 Verse 28)
"It is not possible for somebody who has not learnt the RgvEda, yajurvEda and sAmavEda with meaning to speak like this."
nUnam vyAkaraNam kRutyamanEnana bahudhAshrutam
bahu vyAharatAnEna na kinchidapashadditam
(rAmAyaNa - Canto 2 Verse 29)
"Nor is it possible for somebody who has not learnt grammar (and other literary aspects) deeply and practised it extensively to speak like this. There is not a single mispronunciation or wrong usage in his speech."
It is said that only an experienced jeweller can gauge the true worth of a precious jewel. The only jewellers who can estimate the worth of this rare and divine jewel (Hanuman) are the Lord and His consort.
taraNisutananu kAyda sharadhiyanu neredATi
dharaNisuteyaLa kanDu danujaroDane
bharadi raNavanemADi gelidu divyAstragaLa
uruhi lankeya banda hanumantanu
(Hanumanta) protected the child of the sun god (Sugreeva), crossed the ocean from end-to-end, saw the daughter of the Earth (Seeta), fought with rakshAsas and demons ferociously, conquered (or rendered useless) several divyAstras (potent and divine missiles) and returned after burning lanka.
sugrIva was the incarnation of the sun, so he was also known as taraNisuta (child of sun). Hanumanta helped him in several ways. First, hanumamta brought about friendship between sugrIva and rAma, and got sugrIva crowned king of the monkeys by rAma. Next, when sugrIva forgot his promise to rAma, hanumanta cautioned him, "It is not correct to forget rAma. He is most venerable to us. Even if you forget your promise, I will force you to do what you promised". sugrIva immediately made amends for his lapse.
Thus, hanumanta saved sugrIva from the heinous sin of ingratitude (and from rAma's anger, which would have wiped out sugrIva). rAmA sided with sugrIva and not vAli, only because of hanumanta.
When jAmbuvanta and other monkeys saw the vastness of the ocean, they were convinced that they would never be able to jump across it. They approached hanumanta and praised him "tvamEka EvAtraparam samarthah kuruShva chaitatparipAhi vAnarAn"
(MBTN canto 6 Verse 58) "You alone are capable of performing this task and saving the lives of all monkeys (from rAmA's anger at their failure)"
Most of the vAnarAs were actually gods who had incarnated in order to serve the Lord; this incident actually shows the primacy of vAyu amongst all gods.
bharadi raNavanemADi gelidu divyAstragaLa
anEka hEtisankulam kapIndramAvRuNOdbalam
samAvRutasthAryudhaissa tADitashcha tairbhRusham
chakAr tAn samastashah talaprahAr chUrNitAn"
(MBTN canto 7 Verse 21)
In lanka, hanumanta was attacked by 80 crore (!) rAkshAsas (demons), lead by 80 fierce warlords. However, all their attacks and blows had the same effect as hitting an intoxicated elephant with flowers. Yet, hanumanta destroyed all of them with blows from his bare hands.
"sa sarvalOkasAkshiNahsutam sharairvavarShaha
shitairvarAstramantritaih na chainamabhaiva chAlayat"
(MBTN Canto 7, Verse 25)
All the potent and divine missiles that akshakumAra rained on hanumanta had absolutely no effect.
tataksha vAnarOttamam na chAshakadvichAlanE"
(MBTN Canto 7 Verse 30)
Indrajit swore that he would use very potent missiles and cut off hanumanta's limbs. But none of his missiles could make any impression.
There is a popular misconception that hanumanta was captured by the brahmAstra (one of the most potent weapons available to warriors) used by indrajit. hanumanta could have easily warded off that missile too; after all his level is almost the same as brahma in the hierarchy. However, he allowed himself to be captured because he did not want to deliberately slight brahmAstra, and also because he wanted to meet rAvaNa face-to-face and show him his power. There was also a military purpose to be served since he wanted to get a first-hand estimate of the strength of the enemy.
uruhi lankeya banda hanumantanu
rAvaNA's henchmen tried to enclose hanumanta's tail with clothes or rags; however, just as they would reach the tip, the tail would grow longer, frustrating their efforts. Finally, they gave up and set the tail on fire. However, the fire did not (could not) harm hanumanta. On the contrary it acted as a torch, facilitating the process of setting lanka on fire. srimadAchArya says
krutistu vishwakarmaNOpi avahyatAsytEjasA (MBTN Canto 7 Verse 45)
The handiwork of vishwakarma (Lanka) got burnt by the luster of hanumanta.
harige chUDAmaNiyanittu harigaLa kUDi
sharadhiyanu kaTTi bahu rakkasaranu
orisi raNadali dashashirana huDiguTTi tA
mereda hanumanta balavanta dhIra
He gave the chUdAmaNi to Hari (Rama), banded the monkeys together, built a bridge across the ocean, (and in the ensuing war) killed several demons and rakshAsas, and repeatedly pounded rAvaNa, this strong and fearless warrior called hanumanta
harige chUDAmaNiyanittu harigaLa kUDi
samprApya sarvakapivIravarai samEtah
chUDAmaNim pavanajah padayOrnidhAya
sarvAngakaih praNatimasya chakAra bhaktyA
(MBTN Canto 7 Verse 49)
“Hanumanta the son of pavana (vAyu), along with all the leading monkey warriors, met rAma, the king of all gods, filled with unbounded sadguNAs (good qualities). He submitted the chUdAmaNi (tiara) given by sIta dEvi at His feet and did a sAshtAnga namaskAra with complete devotion.”
Note: sAshtAnga namaskAra means prostration done as prescribed in the scriptures. They specify that certain parts of the body should be in contact with the ground, the eyes should be viewing the object of prostration, the mind should be filled with devotion, and the mouth should be chanting the praises (of the object of prostration)..
SrI jayatIrtha (tIkArAyaru) has given us a wonderful definition of true devotion. The devotee should have knowledge of the greatness of the object of worship (to the extent he/she is capable). The devotion should be in the form of a flow of affection and friendship that is unwavering and is much, much more than any affection that one may have towards any other object.
When rAma was near the ocean, planning the bridge, vibhIshaNa approached him and asked him for protection. This was opposed by all the monkey warriors except hanumanta. However, rAma accepted hanumanta's counsel and rejected that of everybody else. This is a very symbolic yet critical point to note, since ultimately if a jIva has to get salvation, vAyu has to recommend him/her as being eligible, and paramAtma goes by his advice.
rAma waited for three days for the ocean god to show up. When this did not happen, he feigned anger and aimed his bow at the ocean, threatening to scorch it completely. Ocean god varuNa immediately appeared before him, and begged his forgiveness. He granted rAma and his army permission to build a bridge across the ocean.
The question that comes to mind is: why did varuNa not show up for three days, even though he knew rAma was the Lord Himself? srimadAchArya says this was due to "asurAvesha" (demonic impulse or influence). All the gods below Saraswati and Bharati are subject to this. The influence is usually for a very short time and once that is past, the affected god gets back his/her normal sAtvik inclinations.
dashashirana huDiguTTi tA mereda hanumanta balavanta dhIra
Hanumanta's valor during the war is well documented in the vAyu stuti and sumadhva vijaya. Here are a few instances when hanumanta taught a lesson to rAvaNa: The first was when rAvaNa got the better of sugrIva.
athO hanUmAnurgEndra bhOgasamam svabAhum bhRushamunnamayya tatADa vakShasyadhipam tu, rakshasAm mukhaih sa raktam pravaman papAta sa labda sang.nah prashashamsa mArutim tvayA samO nAsti pumAn hi kashchit kah prApayEdanya imAm dashAm mAmitIritO mArutirAha tam punah atyalapamEtadyadupAtta jIvitah
(MBTN Canto 8 Verse 77, 78, and part of 79)
“Hanumanta hit rAvaNa on his chest, with his hands which were (are) as strong as the body of sEsha. hanumanta did not want to kill rAvaNa since that was rAma's privilege, so he did not use full force. However, even this was too much for rAvana. He vomitted blood from all his ten faces and fainted. On regaining consciousness he praised hanumanta saying "Without doubt you are matchless, nobody else could have caused me such pain". hanumanta replied "This is just a small blow and that is why you are still alive!"
The second was when lakshmaNa fainted because of rAvaNA's attacks.
prakarShatitvEva nishAcharEshwarE tathaiva rAmAvarajam tvarAnvitah samasta jIvAdhipatEh parA tanUh samutpapAtAsya purO hanuman sa mushtimAvRutya cha vajrakalpam jaghAna tEnaiva cha rAvaNam ruShA prasArya bAhUnakhilairmukhairvaman saraktamuShNam vyasuvatpapAta
(MBTN Canto 8, Verse 89, 90)
“rAvaNa, the king of rAkshAsas, tried to drag the unconscious body of lakshmaNa to lanka. hanumanta, who was the embodiment of vAyu, who is the leader of all jIvas, hurried to face rAvaNa. He hit him with his vajrAyuda-like fists (indra's thunderbolt missile). rAvaNa could not withstand this; he fell on the ground, vomiting blood from all his faces. hanumanta took lakshmaNa away to safety.
uragabandhake siluki kapivararu mai mareye
girisahita sanjIvanava kittu tanditta
harivarage sariyunTe Hanumantage
When the leading monkeys lost consciousness under the influence of the sarpAstra (Snake missile) initiated by Indrajit, Hanumanta heeded the command of the crown jewel of the Sun's lineage (Rama), and brought the sanjIvani plant along with the mountain. Is there any one equal to Hanumanta, the leader of monkeys?
SrimadAchArya describes in a beautiful manner what happened when Indrajit attacked the vAnara sEna.
(MBTN Canto 8 Verse 148-151)
All the leading monkeys and Lakshmana fainted because of Indrajit's missile. However, nothing happened to Hanumanta since no missile could pierce his hard body. VibhIshana, who had gone to Lanka, returned and saw the condition of the monkeys. He took Hanumanta to JAmbavanta and found that he too had fainted. After reviving him, VibhIshana asked him "Are you allright?". JAmbuvanta, who did not immediately see Hanumanta, asked VibhIshana, "Is Hanumanta alive? If he is alive, then we are okay. If he is not alive, then our being alive does not matter at all". Hanumanta then informed him that he was right there.
Later, on JAmbuvantA's instructions, Hanumanta flew in search of the sanjIvini herb. He reached the mountain in a very short time. When the herbs were not easily apparent, (just an excuse) Hanumanta pulled out the whole mountain.
(MBTN Canto 8 Verse 156-158)
Hanumanta the son of vAyu, the patron deity of strength, cradled the whole mountain, which was at least a hundred yojanas (miles?) wide, like a ball on his hand and travelled through the sky at a very high speed. His movement was similar to the way in which Hari, the chakradhAri, travelled through the skies as trivikRama. In the winking of an eyelid, he travelled to where the monkeys lay unconscious. The mere fragrance of the herbs revived the monkeys.
Rama praised Hanumanta's valor, strength and ability to perform impossible tasks. The gods sprinkled flowers on Hanumanta and the monkeys and Lakshmana sang his praises.
Bringing the mountain was a fantastic feat, but it pales in comparison to the way Hanumanta returned it back to its place! He just stood where he was and threw the mountain weighing tonnes of pounds across thousands of miles. And he did it so deftly that there was absolutely no trace of the mountain ever having moved from its place!!
The entire incident has been very beautifully described in the HarivAyu stuti too ("prAk panchAshat ......"). The author, Trivikrama PanditAchArya salutes the dexterity of Hanumanta's arms.
It is also said that Hanumanta brought the mountain on two separate occasions.
The whole incident can be viewed from two angles. One, it shows Hanumanta's swAmi-bhakti (loyalty towards his Lord). Two, it shows his love towards his followers and devotees. When the entire army of monkeys lay helpless and distraught, he moved mountains to save their lives and bring happiness back to them. Isn't this the hallmark of a great leader? Aren't you glad that this vAyu is our "kula guru rAyanu"?
One final point - Rama could have easily brought the mountain himself or ordered somebody else to bring it. His choice of vAyu for this task underscores a very important point - His grace comes to us only through vAyu. Very few are qualified to receive His grace directly; almost everybody has to go through vAyu.
This is adding essence and meaning to what we do everyday.
Thanks a lot for the descriptions in detail, Sir!
vijaya raghupati mechchi dharaNisuteyaLigeeye
bhajisi mauktikada hAravanu paDeda
ajapadaviyanu RAma koDuvenene Hanumanta
nijabhakutiyane bEDi varava paDeda || 11 ||
When the victorious king RAma gave sIta a pearl necklace Hanumanta prayed for and obtained it. When offered the post of Creator (Brahma) Hanumanta prayed for intense devotion, and got this as a boon from RAma.
The popular story (as portrayed in movies and dramas) is that when RAma gave a pearl necklace to sIta, Hanumanta asked her to give it to him. He then proceeded to break the string and examine each pearl. When the surprised SIta asked him what he was up to, he replied that he was looking for RAma and SIta in that string. When questioned further, he tore open his chest and exposed the icon of RAma and SIta that was enshrined there. You may have even seen pictures of this scene.
This is described slightly differently in shrI sumadhva vijaya.
rAjyAbhiShEkEavasitEeatra sItA prEShtAya nastAm bhajatAm dishEti
RAmasyA vANyA maNimanjumAlA vyAjEna dIrghAm karuNAm babamdha
(Sumadhwa vijaya Canto 1 Verse 22)
After his coronation was over, RAma asked SIta to give Her beautiful pearl necklace to the one who had served them the most. She used this as an opportunity to give the necklace to Hanumanta and shower him with Her benediction. After the coronation, RAma acknowledged the efforts of everyone who had helped him.
(Don't make the mistake of thinking that RAma needed their help and that he was grateful for the same. His gesture was to set an example of how a person who has received help should not forget to express his gratitude, at the moment of his triumph).
While acknowledging the efforts of Hanumanta, RAma says
atO hanUmAnpadamEtu dhAturmadAg.nayA sRuShtyavanAdi karma
mOkSham cha lOkasya sadaiva kurvanmuktashcha muktAnsukhayan pravartAm"
(MBTN Canto 8 Verse 240 - 242)
Let Hanumanta take Brahma's post (of lordship over satya lOka). From there, on my orders, let him perform the tasks of Creation, sustenance and destruction, and granting of mukti too. At his preordained time let him get liberated, and grant the happiness associated with liberation to other eligible souls.
You have to remember that this was not an impulsive gesture made by a grateful RAma, based on services rendered by Hanumanta in just one life. This was based on Hanumanta's sAdhana (accomplishment) over hundred kalpas, and because of his intrinsic worth.
bhOgAshcha yE yAni cha karma jAtAnyanAdyanantAni mamEha santi
madAg.nyayA tAnyakhilAni santi dhAtuhu padE tatsahabhOganAma
EtAdRusham mE sahabhOjanam tE mayA pradattam hanuman sadaiva
(MBTN Canto 8 Verse 240 - 242)
The enjoyments that I have, the actions that are there in this world, that are without creation and destruction, accrue to me alone. However, based on my orders, they are available to the one holding the post of Brahma also. That is why the Brahma post is called 'sahabhOga'. In other words, the essence of all good deeds done by pious souls is accepted by Hari, acting through Brahma. Since Brahma also gets a share of this essence, it is called sahabhOga.
When this was offered to Hanumanta, he replied as follows:
"pravardhatAm bhaktiralam kShaNE kShaNE tvayIsha mE hrAsavivrjitA sadA
anugrahastE mayI chaivamEva niroupadhou tou mama sarvakAmah"
(MBTN Canto 8 Verse 247)
Hanumanta prayed "O Lord RAma, let my devotion to you keep growing from instant to instant, let it be without any defect or imperfection. My devotion and your grace should both be both without any equal or superior".
The same spirit is beautifully captured by Sri PurandaradAsaru in his inimitable manner. He says, "Hanumanta, you could have asked for so many things - a happy marriage, kingdom, riches etc. For the Lord, none of this would have been difficult. Yet you chose to ask for even more devotion that is forever increasing, completely free from all blemishes and conditionalities".
Such is the selfless, untainted, pure devotion that Hanumanta has towards RAma.
ಆ ಮಾರುತನೆ ಭೀಮನೆನಿಸಿ ದ್ವಾಪರದಿ
ಸೋಮಕುಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಜನಿಸಿ ಪಾರ್ಥರೊಡನೆ
ಭೀಮವಿಕ್ರಮ ರಕ್ಕಸರ ಮುರಿದೊಟ್ಟಿದ
ಆ ಮಹಿಮ ನಮ್ಮ ಕುಲಗುರುರಾಯನು
A mArutane bhImanenisi dvAparadi
sOmakuladalli janisi pArtharoDane
bhImavikrama rakkasara muridoTTida
A mahima namma kulagururAyanu
The same mAruti was born in dvApara yuga in the lineage of the moon as bhIma, along with other pArthas (sons of Kunti). This valiant and fierce warrior decimated rAkshasAs. This great person is the preceptor of our line.
Bheema is the one in whom knowledge of the seven scriptures is full. The seven scriptures are the 4 vedas, moola rAmAyaNa, mahabhArata and pancharAtra. These describe the Lord and sing his praises.
Let us compare this with how the baLitthah sUkta describes the second avatar (incarnation) of vAyu:
"pRuShO vapuh pitumAnnitya AshayE dvitiyamA saptashivAsu mAtRuShu"
The second avatara (of vAyu) is (or will be) a destroyer of enemies, a partaker of large quantities of food, eternal (or somebody whose death will happen only at his desire) and totally immersed in the seven scriptures.
ShrImadAchArya defines 'sEna' as 'inEna sahita' i.e., as somebody who is always with his 'ina' (Lord and master).
A mArutane bhImanenisi dvAparadi
It is important to know how Kunti got the mantra that lead eventually to the birth of all pAnDavas. King shUrarAja had a daughter named pRuthu. His friend, King kuntibhOja was issueless. So, shUrarAja let his friend adopt his daughter. From then on, she became known as Kunti.
(Read M.B.T.N canto 11 verses 149 - 152)
dUrvAsa, a very short-tempered saint, and an incarnation of Rudra, came there (to kuntibhOjA's palace). He requested Kuntibhoja "let me stay in your house." Kuntibhoja countered, "You may do so, provided you promise to overlook any minor blemishes committed by the maiden that I will appoint for your service, somebody who will serve you to the best of her ability." dUrvAsa agreed to this condition and kuntibhOja then appointed Kunti for the service of the saint.
Kunti served the saint for 13 years, in a manner that others could not, with heart and soul. He was pleased by this and then taught her a mantra that could attract any god of her choice. Later, as desired by Bheeshma, she married King PAnDu. Since PAnDu was under a curse, Kunti had to use the mantra to invite different gods to bless her with children.
The pandavas were part of the lineage that originated from the moon. This lineage was blessed to have many pious kings like Kuru, VirUtha, Manyu, Hasti etc.
It is well known that the 5 pAnDavas were the incarnations of different gods - Yama (Yudhishtira), VAyu (BhIma), Indra (Arjuna), Ashwini devatas (Nakula and SahadEva). However, not many know that vAyu was present in all the 5 pAnDavas, albeit in different forms.
(Read M.B.T.N Canto 12 verses 129 -133)
vAyu was (also) present in (the other) 4 pAndavas. His peaceful form was present in yudhishtira, whereas it was the herioc form in arjuna. Since pAnDu wanted a beautiful son, vAyu showed his beautiful side in nakula. His suneeti form (representing justice and wisdom) entered sahadEva. He manifested himself in his true form, the one which pervades and controls the whole world, complete with all good qualities, as bhIma.
It is the way of the world that only somebody who has a tender and flexible body is considered handsome. Thus even though arjuna and bhIma were extremely good looking, they were not considered handsome because of their good physique and tough bodies.
That is why, pAnDu wanted a handsome son after bhIma and arjuna, and that is what he got with nakula. bhIma's form was perfect and had all the 32 signs prescribed for a perfect physique (something that only celestials could discern).
shrI vAdirAja tIrtha has described this very poetically as follows,
"The ferociousness shown by shrI hari while killing hiraNyakashipu is absent when he is with lakshmi. Similarly the steel body shown by bhIma while killing jarAsandha is absent when he is with draupadi. The same contrast in forms can be seen between bhIma and nakula".
ಕರದಿಂದ ಶಿಶುಭಾವನಾದ ಭೀಮನ ಬಿಡಲು
ಹರಿಗಳ ಹರಿಗಳಿಮ್ ಕರಿಗಳ ಕರಿಗಳಿಮ್
ಅರೆದ ವೀರನಿಗೆ ಸುರನರರು ಸರಿಯೆ
karadinda shishubhAvanAda BhImana biDalu
harigaLa harigaLim karigaLa karigaLim
areda vIranige sura nararu sariye
When the infant-like BhIma was dropped from his mother's hands, the mountain (on which his mother was present) broke into a hundred pieces. He pounded horses against horses and elephants against elephants, is there a human or god equal to this great warrior?
The word "shishubhAvanAda" means having the look of an infant. This term, rather than the more straightforward "shishu", has been used for a reason. Even though vAyu was "born" to Kunti, his birth was of a totally different nature. Normally a child goes through tribulations in its mother's womb (the shAstras compare this to stay in a dark prison). This was not the case with BhIma. Nor was he conceived out of a sexual interaction.
His physique had all the 32 marks associated with a perfect physique. Also, a human body goes through different states like childhood, adolescence, manhood, old-age etc, where the capabilities of the body in terms of strength, stamina etc. vary. This was not the case with BhIma. Only the appearance changed with time, there was no waxing or waning of strength and capabilities.
Incidentally, all of the above holds true in the case of the Lord too. Even though He appears to take birth, grow, sleep, bleed, die etc, none of this actually happens since His body is not made up of any "prAkRutika" (natural or material) elements; it consists of pure and unsullied bliss and knowledge. Attributing such human-like characteristics to the Lord is one of the forms of hatred towards him, and is a sure-fire way of landing in tamas (dark and eternal hell, replete with unimaginable suffering).
This is described as follows in the mahAbhArata tAtparyanirNaya.
"tajjanmamAtrENa dhAra vidAritA shArdUlabhItAjjananIkarAdyadA
papAta sanchUrNita Eva parvatastEnAkhilOasou shatashRunganAmA"
(M.B.T.N Canto 12 Verse 55)
Even at the time of his birth, the earth split. His mother dropped him out of fear when she heard a tiger roar. Due to this, the structure of the mountain named shatashRunga became very weak.
This clearly indicates that the name of the mountain was shatashRunga (hundred peaks) and not that it broke into a hundred fragments after BhIma fell on it. That is why srimadAchArya says that the mountain became fragile and shaky after BhIma fell on it.
This is described much more poetically in Sumadhwa Vijaya.
chichChEda pakshAn kshitidhAriNAm prAk
(SMV Canto 1, Verse 29)
"In the past, Indra's hands threw the indrAyudha (vajrAyudha) at the hills and cut off their wings. However, when BhIma slipped from his mother’s hands and fell, the mountain broke under the impact of his body. This is astonishing."
The idea expressed is that when Indra threw his powerful missile, using all his strength, he could only cut off the wings of the mountains; whereas, BhIma was able to break it into pieces just by the sheer impact of his infant body. The power of vAyu is truly astonishing and unimaginable.
harigaLa harigaLim karigaLa karigaLim areda vIranige
During the kurukshEtra war with kauravas, BhIma was the personification of destruction. He single-handedly destroyed more than half the kaurava army. Such was his strength that he could kill elephants with bare fists. Once he killed a massive and ferocious elephant that was causing havoc, swung it around and threw it on the enemy army killing thousands of soldiers, horses and elephants.
A more graphic and detailed descriptions of his heroic deeds are given in the later verses.
ಕುರುಪ ಗರಳವನಿಕ್ಕೆ ನೆರೆಯುಂಡು ತೇಗಿ
ಉರಗಗಳ ಮೇಲ್ಬಿಡಲು ಅದನೊರಸಿದ
ಅರಗಿನ ಮನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಉರಿಯನಿಕ್ಕಲು ಧೀರ
ಧರಿಸಿ ಜಾಹ್ನವೀಗೊಯ್ದ ತನ್ನನುಜರ
kurupa garaLavanikke nereyuMDu tEgi
uragagaLa mElbiDalu adanorasida
aragina maneyalli uriyanikkalu dhIra
dharisi jAhnavIgoyda tannanujara
When the King of Kurus (duryOdhana) administered poison to bhIma, he ate and digested it heartily. When snakes were set upon him, he finished them off easily. When the palace of wax (in which he, his mother and brothers were sleeping) was set on fire, he easily carried his entire family on his shoulders and brought them to the banks of the ganga.
kurupa garaLavanikke nereyunDu tEgi
After being cursed by a sage, King pAnDu handed over the reins of the kingdom to his brother dhRutarAShTra and went to the forest with his wives kunti and mAdri. Since dhRutarAShTra was blind, his eldest son duryOdhana was the king for all practical purposes. That is why the term "kurup" has been used.
(The description that follows is based on MBTN Canto 14 - Verses 62-78)
asuras (demons) and other evil people are destined for tamas (dark and eternal hell). Their progress towards this is determined solely by the hatred that they exhibit towards hari and vAyu (and other sAtvik souls). All of duryOdhana's siblings and associates were asuras, whereas hari and vAyu took birth as krishNa and bhIma respectively.
duryOdhana and his cohorts developed a hatred for bhIma even during their childhood, mainly out of jealousy towards his overpowering personality and superior strength. bhIma played a lot of pranks on them to ensure that the hatred blossomed. Some of his pranks were as follows:
When the children would climb a fruit-laden tree to pluck the fruits, bhIma would shake the entire tree and make the fruit drop (along with the children). He would grab a bunch of them and hold them under water, letting them go at the last minute. He dominated every kind of sport - running, wrestling, pulling, jumping etc. These acts brought about opposite results in his mates - children who were essentially divine in nature developed love and respect towards him, whereas all the asuras developed an overpowering hatred.
duryOdhana was determined to kill bhIma and arjuna and then grab the kingdom from the helpless yudhiShTira. Since bhIma was too strong to be killed in a straight-fight, duryOdhana decided to do so through deceit. To this end, he tried his level best in every possible manner. However, as a staunch and steadfast devotee of hari, subject to His full grace, bhIma had no difficulty in emerging successful every single time.
First, he was given poisoned food. This poison was a by-product of the churning of the ocean and had been given to rudra by hari. ShukrAchArya had obtained it from rudra through penance, and in turn, shakuni has obtained it from him. This powerful poison was mixed with food and given to bhIma. He ate it, digested it and shrugged it off. Next, they tied him in steel ropes and threw him in the ganga. bhIma had no difficulty in breaking the ropes and rising to the surface.
uragagaLa mElbiDalu adanorasida
Next, duryOdhana and his evil cohorts obtained 8 vicious and poisonous snakes and handed them over to their charioteer, who released them on the sleeping bhIma's chest. The snakes were so powerful that their mere sight or breath was potent enough to burn down cities. However, when the snakes tried to bite bhIma's hard body they broke their fangs! He then killed them and flung them afar, and killed their progeny, along with the evil charioteer. This caused a lot of sadness to the asuras.
aragina maneyalli uriyanikkalu dhIra dharisi jAhnavIgoyda tannanujara
(The description that follows is based on MBTN Canto 19 - Verses 37-41)
duryOdhana and his evil cohorts next arranged for a palace of wax to be built and requested kunti and her sons to stay there for a while. vidura, who guessed the reason for this wax palace, arranged for a mason to build a secret tunnel, leading from the palace to a safe place. duryOdhana sent his minister purOchana with the overt purpose of attending to the needs of kunti, but with the covert goal of burning down the wax palace at a suitable time. bhIma, who knew the whole plan, was biding his time.
purOchana had an evil sister who had performed rigorous penance for one year with the objective of making her 5 sons gods. rudra had granted her that boon with the rider that this would happen if she was not killed along with her sons. The sister visited purOchana along with her 5 sons. She cooked a meal for the pAnDavAs but laced it with a deadly poison. bhIma ate all the food thus preventing the others from eating it; he digested it without any side-effect.
In the night when everybody was sleeping, he woke up his mother and brothers, and carried them away to safety, setting the palace on fire. purOchana, his sister and her sons were all killed together, thus negating the boon that she had obtained. bhIma carried his entire family on his shoulders and reached the banks of the ganga.
ಅಲ್ಲಿದ್ದ ಬಕ ಹಿಡಿಂಬಕರೆಂಬ ರಕ್ಕಸರ
ಬಲ್ಲಿದಸುರರ ಗೆಲಿದು ದ್ರೌಪದಿ ಕರವಿಡಿದು
ಎಲ್ಲ ಸುಜನರಿಗೆ ಹರುಷವ ಬೀರಿದ
allidda baka hiDiMbakareMba rakkasara
ballidasurara gelidu droupadi karaviDidu
ella sujanarige haruShava bIrida
He eradicated demons baka and hidimbaka who were there and tormenting everybody. He vanquished knowledgeable gods, took draupadi's hand in marriage and brought forth a lot of happiness to good people.
The description that follows is based on MBTN
Canto 19 - Verses 48 - 56, 87 - 95 rearranged slightly)
allidda baka hiDimbakaremba rakkasara nilladorisida lOkakanTakaranu
bhIma reached the banks of ganga along with his mother and brothers. This place was inhabited by a demon named hiDimba and his sister hiDimbi. hiDimba had performed penance of rudra and obtained a boon of invincibility. hiDimbi was actually an apsara (heavenly damsel) named shRi who had been cursed by indrA's wife to take the life of a demoness. shRi had prayed to bhArati dEvi (vAyu's wife) for mitigation. Pleased with her penance, bhArati had granted her a boon that her curse would be lifted after she married bhIma. In order to make this happen, an element of bhArati incarnated along with hiDimbi.
hiDimbi was sent by her brother to obtain some food. She saw the exceptionally handsome bhIma and lost her heart to him. She took the form of a beautiful girl and asked him to marry her. He refused saying that his elder brother was as yet unwed. hiDimbi then told him that vEdavyAsa himself would come there in the immediate future and make him agree.
Annoyed by his sister's absence, hiDimba came there and saw her with bhIma. This angered him and he attacked bhIma with huge boulders and trees. bhIma brushed aside all his missiles and easily killed him with his bare hands, breaking the boon granted by rudra (this is possible since vAyu is much higher than rudra in the hierarchy of gods).
hiDimbi requested kunti and yudhiShTira to intercede on her behalf, which they did, but bhIma did not yield. Finally, vEdavyAsa himself came and asked bhIma to marry hiDimbi. bhIma immediately agreed (this is a good example of the verse that was stated earlier - 'hariyanallade bageyanu annyaranu lOkadoLu' - he does not yield to anybody other than Sri Hari).
After a year or so, they had a son named ghatOtkacha. bhIma then allowed hiDimba to go back to her heavenly abode with her son, after extracting a promise that they would both return whenever he needed them.
vEdavyAsa took kunti and her sons with Him to Ekachakra and introduced them as His disciples. He arranged for them to stay in a brahmin's house as guests. Ekachakra was tormented by a demon called baka, who had become invincible because of a boon granted by rudra. Unable to tolerate his random killings, the people of that city had arrived at an understanding with him that everyday he would be fed enormous amounts of food along with one human being. When the turn of the pAnDavas' host came, bhIma took his place and killed baka.
ballidasurara gelidu droupadi karaviDidu
pArvati, yama's wife shyAmala, indra's wife shachi, and the wives of ashwini dEvatas were once cursed by brahma to take human lives. Instead of taking 5 bodies, they approached bhArati dEvi and requested her to make it possible for them to share her body when she incarnated in dvAparayuga. bhArati agreed and that is how droupadi was born with one body and the spirit of 5 goddesses.
droupadi's father drupada organized her svayamvara and invited princes from afar. The contestants had to lift shivA's bow (which was given to drupada as a gift), and shoot at the eye of a wooden fish, only with the aid of its reflection. All the major princes of the land came and failed. Even though krishNa, balarAma and other yAdavas were there, they had been ordered by krishna not to make an attempt.
The panDavas came in the guise of brahmins and after obtaining krishNa's blessings, arjuna succeded in his attempt. When other contestants objected to brahmins participating in the contest and tried to prevent the marraige, bhIma held them at bay.
arjuna went home with his bride and announced that he had won a prize. kunti, who was inside the kitchen, ordered all of them to share it equally. This put the panDavas in a dilemma since they did not want to disobey their mother, but it was unheard of for five people to marry one girl. Fortunately, krishNa arrived there and set their minds at rest. Based on His advice they all decided to marry her.
The next day, after returning to drupada's palace, they revealed their identity to the delighted drupada. However, when he heard of their plan of all of them marrying draupadi he objected. vEdavyAsa came there and advised drupada to concur, after explaining her unique background.
When drupada still persisted in his objections, vEdavyAsa gave him divine powers and showed him the presence of the gods and goddesses present in the pAnDavas and droupadi. drupada realized his mistake and felt sorry for questioning vEdavyAsa's direct order. However, vEdavyAsa forgave him and the marriage of droupadi with each of the pAnDavas was performed with great pomp and glory.
ರಾಜಕುಲ ವಜ್ರನೆನಿಸಿದ ಮಾಗಧನ ಸೀಳಿ
ಆಜಿಯೊಳು ಕೌರವರ ಬಲವ ಸವರುವೆನೆಂದು
rAjakula vajranenisida mAgadhana seeLi
AjiyoLu kouravara balava savaruveneMdu
JarAsandha, the king of Magadha, was known as the thunderbolt of kings (i.e., he was so strong that nobody could hope to fight against him and survive), but Bheema tore his body into 2 halves. He took an oath heard in all the three worlds that he would eradicate the strength of the kauravAs.
rAjakula vajranenisida mAgadhana sILi
King PAnDu had been cursed by Indra to remain in Yama loka after his death, until his
sons performed rAjasUya yAga. sage nArada informed yudhiShTira that his father pAnDu was still in yamalOka and would remain there until his sons performed rAjasUya yAga. yudhiShTira felt sorry for his father and immediately sent for krishNa, to seek His advice in this matter.
jarAsandha had been brought up a demoness named jara. He had performed severe penance regarding rudra and brahma, and obtained boons of invincibility from them. He was so powerful that even balarAma could not kill him. He had an overpowering hatred towards krishNa, since he was an asura by nature. This hatred had blossomed with the killing of kamsa, who was his son-in-law. He had attacked mathura several times in vain.
krishNa had shifted his capital to dwAraka, a city ensconced in the ocean, out of pity for his people who had suffered a lot under jarAsandha's constant attacks. jarAsandha had imprisoned the relatives of krishna's wives and intended to offer them as human sacrifices for the shiva yajna that he was planning to perform. Their kith and kin sent an entreaty to krishNa, imploring him to free them. This arrived at the same time as yudhiShTira's emissary.
krishNa visited the pAndDavas and told them about indra's curse. He advised them to perform the yAga, but cautioned them against jarAsandha. On hearing this, yudhiShTira got scared and gave up the idea of the yAga, but bheema stood up and took an oath to kill jarAsandha with krishNa's blessings. krishNa had several reasons why He wanted the yAga performed - getting a good status to pAnDu, killing of jarAsandha, freeing of his relatives etc, but the most important was to ensure that the fruits of the yAga went to bheema.
It was finally decided that krishNa, bheema and arjuna would visit magadha without arms, in the guise of brahmins. krishNa promised yudhiShTira to protect bheema and arjuna from all harm. The three of them arrived at magadha and immediately announced their arrival through a series of attacks. They levelled a huge shivalinga-like hill that jarAsandha worshipped every day, they destroyed 3 massive drums that adorned the city and entered jarAsandha's palace the way a lion enters the jungle, fiercely announcing its arrival.
When questioned by jarAsandha they revealed their identity and asked him to select one of them for individual combat. He declined to fight with arjuna since he was no match physically, he declined krishNa since he was a cowherd (but the actual reason was that jarAsandha was scared that krishNa would easily kill him). He chose bheema since he seemed to be the most appropriate from all angles.
The fight started with verbal sparring. jarAsandha took the stand that shiva was supreme and tried to prove his point. However, bheema easily defeated him and proved that Hari was supreme. Next, they fought with maces and later with bare hands. The fight was extremely gruesome and drew even the gods as spectators. bheema played with jarAsandha for 15 days, out of respect for the boons granted by brahma and rudra. Finally, when the time was ripe, he took the blessings of krishNa, and killed jarAsandha by splitting his body into 2 halves. He treated jarAsandha as a yajna-pashu (sacrifice) and submitted this to krishNa, who is the acceptor of all yajnas.
krishNa embraced bheema and showed His happiness at the amazing feat performed by his favorite devotee. Thus bheema rid the world of an evil tormentor. Later the three of them returned to hastinApura and were greeted by everybody. In due course of time, under vEdavyAsa's directions, the rAjasUya yAga was performed.
In the shrI harivAyu stuti, shri trivikrama panDitAchArya states very poetically ("nirmRudnannatyayatnam ....rAjasUyashvamEdhE") that bheema's act of killing of jarAsandha like a yajna-pashu and offering this to krishna (who was witnessing this in person) gave krishna more pleasure than the rAjaSuya and ashvamEdha yAgas performed by yudhiShTira.
AjiyoLu kouravara balava savaruvenendu mUjagavariye kankaNakaTTida
This refers to the oath that bheema took at the time of draupadi vastrApaharaNa. During this episode Bheema swore that he would break duryOdhana's thighs and kill him, kill dushyAsana and [pretend to] drink his blood, single-handedly kill all dhRutharAShTrA's 100 sons. draupadi swore that she would leave her hair untied until bhIma drenched them with dushyAsana's blood. All of these oaths were made true in the kurukshEtra war.
ದಾನವರ ಸವರಬೇಕೆಂದು ಬ್ಯಾಗ
ಮಾನನಿಧಿ ದ್ರೌಪದಿಯ ಮನದಿಂಗಿತವನರಿತು
ಕಾನನವ ಪೊಕ್ಕು ಕಿಮ್ಮೀರಾದಿಗಳ ಮುರಿದು
ಮಾನಿನಿಗೆ ಸೌಗಂಧಿಕವನೆ ತಂದ
dAnavara savarabEkeMdu byAga
mAnanidhi droupadiya manadiMgitavanaritu
kAnanava pokku kimmeerAdigaLa muridu
mAninige sougaMdhikavane taMda
In order to eradicate evil people quickly, and to satisfy Draupadi's desire (for the saugandhikA flower), he entered the forest, killed demons kimmeera and others, and brought back saugandhikA for his wife.
kAnanava pokku kimmIrAdigaLa muridu
From Dritarashtra's place the Pandavas went to the forest directly. Here they were confronted by Kirmmeera, another ferocious demon who was harassing people. He was Baka's brother and was waiting to avenge his brother's death at Bheema's hands. A violent fight occurred between him and Bheema, and he died a painful death.
dAnavara savarabEkendu byAga mAnanidhi Draupadiya manadingitavanaritu
During their vanavAsa (stay in the forest), Pandavas visited Badari. Once, when Bheema and Draupadi walking were near the mountain, a rare and beautiful flower with a heavenly fragrance dropped in their midst. Draupadi loved the flower and asked Bheema to bring her a few more like them. She knew very well that this flower was saugandhika, available in Kubera's garden on the gandhamAdana mountain, gaurded by evil, fierce and arrogant demons. Since killing of such demons was one of the primary objectives of Bheema's incarnation, she expressed this desire and sent him on this task.
As Bheema was climbing the mountain several evil demons attacked him in the form of lions and tigers. He killed all of them and proceeded further, meeting Hanumanta on the way. The interaction between Bheema and Hanumanta was an interesting one. Even though both were forms of vAyu, and equal in strength and capabilities, Bheema acted as if Hanumanta was a stranger. He pretended to be unable to lift Hanumanta's tail, and requested Hanumanta to tell him about Rama's valor and greatness. All of this was pretense mainly for the beguiling of asuras, and also in keeping with accepted norms of behavior. This is explained very clearly in the harivAyu stuti too ("gachchan sougandhikArtham ......").
When Bheema reached the garden he was challenged by another set of demons. Initially they sparred with him verbally. Then they attacked him with weapons and missiles and met their end at Bheema’s hands.
Bheema went back to Draupadi with the flowers. YudhiShTira was anxious about Bheema's health; he was also worried about angering Kubera, and in turn Rudra. However, Kubera who knew the identity of Bheema was not angered by Bheema's action.
Yet another time Draupadi requested Bheema to bring some more saugandhikA flowers. Again, her objective was eradication of evil forces and enhancement of Bheema's name and fame. A similar set of events happened this time too, except that the demons were lead by a fierce leader called Manimanta. He had performed severe penance and obtained boons of invincibility from Rudra. He could not defeat Bheema in debate or battle and met his end at his hands. However, he swore undying enmity towards Bheema and promised to come back in Kaliyuga and cause him pain by misinterpreting scriptures.
[According to the Sumadhva vijaya, he was reborn as Sankara and spread his own interpretation of the scriptures. He even came as a snake and tried to bite Sri Madhwacharya, when the latter was a boy, but could not cause any harm.]
This time, due to influence of evil spirits, Kubera was angered by Bheema's action and wanted to go to war against him. Fortunately for him, saner counsels prevailed, and he apologized to Bheema and invited the Pandavas to stay with him.
ದುರುಳ ಕೀಚಕನು ದ್ರೌಪದಿಯ ಚೆಲುವಿಕೆಗೆ
ಮರುಳಾಗಿ ಕರಕರಿಯ ಮಾಡಲವನಾ
ಗರಡಿಮನೆಯೊಳು ಬರಸಿ ಒರಸಿ ಅವನನ್ವಯವ
ಕುರುಪನಟ್ಟಿದ ಮಲ್ಲಕುಲವ ಸವರಿದ
duruLa kIchakanu droupadiya cheluvikege
maruLAgi karakariya mADalavanA
garaDimaneyoLu barasi orasi avananvayava
kurupanaTTida mallakulava savarida
When the evil Keechaka, enamored by Droupadi's beauty, started harassing her, Bheema lured him to the dancing hall and killed him. He then proceeded to defeat the army of wrestlers sent by the King of Kurus (DuryOdhana).
duruLa kIchakanu droupadiya ........ orisi avananvayava
At the end of their twelve years stay in the forest, the pAnDavas were supposed to stay incognito for one year. The terms were such that if they were detected during this year they would have to spend another 12 years in the forest. The pAnDavas chose matsya kingdom for their secret stay. This was ruled by VirAta, a weak and ineffective king. The real power behind the throne was his brother-in-law Keechaka, his wife sudhEshNa's brother.
YudhiShTira became the king's advisor, Bheema a cook, Arjuna a eunuch teaching dance to the princess, Nakula and Sahadeva became cowherds, and Draupadi became a maid serving the queen.
Keechaka was a very powerful and evil warrior. His prowess as a wrestler was legendary. Once, when he was with his sister after returning from a successful tour of conquest, his lustful eyes fell on Droupadi. Ignoring his sister's pleas he made some unwelcome advances at Droupadi. Unable to tolerate this, Droupadi asked Bheema for help. Bheema asked her to invite him to the dancing hall that night. Keechaka gladly agreed. That night, Bheema took on the form of a beautiful damsel and completely bowled over Keechaka.
Finally, he pummeled Keechaka to death with his bare fists. Once again, he had rid the earth of a powerful and evil bully who had made a lot of people miserable.
kurupanaTTida mallakulava savarida
Keechaka's brothers attacked Droupadi to avenge Keechaka's death, but Bheema killed all of them and protected her.
When DuryOdhana heard of the death of Keechaka, he suspected the hand of Bheema since there was nobody else who could do it. He immediately sent a group of wrestlers to matsya, who challenged the king to find wrestlers who could fight with them. Since it was a question of the kingdom's pride, YudhiShTira asked Bheema to fight with them, which he did. DuryOdhana's wrestlers were soundly defeated.
After this, DuryOdhana attacked matsya in order to expose the pAnDavas. Arjuna became Prince uttara's charioteer and defeated the kourava army. At the end of the war, DuryOdhana identified the pAnDavas, but they argued that since 13 years had passed since their banishment there should be no penalty. However, DuryOdhana contested this saying that according to the solar calendar there were still 5 days left. Finally, Bheeshma and Vidura ruled in favor of the pAnDavas saying that according to the lunar calendar, which was prevalent then, 13 years had indeed passed, thus negating duryOdhana's claim.
The grateful VirAta rAja offered his daugther Uttara's hand in marraige to Arjuna, but he accepted her as his daughter-in-law, i.e, as his son Abhimanyu's bride. Having completed the terms of their banishment, the pAnDavas returned to claim their portion of the kingdom.
ಕೌರವರ ಬಲ ಸವರಿ ವೈರಿಗಳ ನೆಗ್ಗೊತ್ತಿ
ಓರಂತೆ ಕೌರವನ ಮುರಿದು ಮೆರೆದ
ವೈರಿ ದುಶ್ಯಾಸನನ ರಣದಲಿ ಎಡೆಗೆಡೆಹಿ (ತೊಡೆಯ ಲಡ್ಡಗೆಡಹಿ)
ವೀರನರಹರಿಯ ಲೀಲೆಯ ತೋರಿದ
kouravara bala savari vairigaLa neggotti
OraMte kouravana muridu mereda
vairi dushyAsanana raNadali eDegeDehi (toDeya laDDageDahi)
vIranarahariya leeleya tOrida
He reduced the strength of the kouravAs, decimated enemies and broke Duryodhana (i.e., his thighs). He humbled and then eradicated Dusshasana in the battle. He thus demonstrated the glory (or greatness) of Narahari (Krishna).
kouravara bala savari vairigaLa neggotti
During Draupadi's vastrApaharaNa Bheema had taken several oaths - to kill Dusshasana, Duryodhana and the rest of DritarAshtra's sons. During the kurukshEtra war, he single- handedly killed all of the kauravas. He destroyed close to 6 out of the 11 akOshiNis that the kauravas had assembled.
On the battlefield, he resembled the God of Death himself, displaying unmatched ferociousness and courage, striking terror in the hearts of the enemy. He chased major commanders of the enemy army and attacked them with an intensity that was unheard of. Most of them lost their lives, while some lucky ones escaped with just a few broken bones. Overall, he thoroughly demoralized the enemy and reduced it to a bunch of cowards in his presence.
vairi Dusshasanana raNadali eDegeDehi
While the war was going on, Bheema was constantly searching for Dusshasana in order to make him pay him for his vile deeds. But Dusshasana the coward was constantly eluding him.
Finally, when Bheema met him face-to-face, his joy knew no bounds. He jumped on him like a lion jumps on a deer, destroyed his chariot and threw him down on the ground. He then split Dusshasana's chest with his mace, sat on his stomach and made a big hole in his chest, creating a pool of blood. He then pretended to drink Dusshasana's blood and reminded him of every one of his misdeeds.
He challenged the rest of the kaurava army to rescue Dusshasana if they could, but the terrible sight curdled the blood of even hardened warriors and no one dared to come near him. The vile and foul Dusshasana thus got his just desserts, in the manner Bheema had promised.
veeranarahariya leeleya tOrida
A point to note is that Bheema did not actually drink the blood since the scriptures expressly forbid partaking of human blood. He ensured that the blood did not cross his clenched teeth, thus protecting his dharma. The whole thing was a big act, mainly to strike terror in the kaurava army and demoralize it thoroughly. And also to show the world what a terrible fate awaited people who insulted and humiliated Hari bhaktas.
Indeed this was the reason why Sri Hari incarnated as Narasimha and showed the world his fearsome form. In fact, the words "narahariya leeleya" have been used only to drive home the similarity between Bheema's act and that of Narasimha. And also to remind us that both the acts, through gruesome to behold, were steeped in dharma, without even a trace of adharma.
Another point to note is that as Bheema was killing Dusshasana, he "saw" or glimpsed manyu sUkta. That is why he is considered one of the "drashTAs" or "rishis" of manyu sUkta.
Orante kauravana muridu mereda
Towards the end of the war, when Duryodhana sensed defeat, he ran away and hid in a lake. He was reciting the mantra that had been taught to him by DhUrvAsa. These mantras were so potent that if Duryodhana were to recite them for a week, staying under water his dead army would have regained life, and become invincible.
KrishNa knew this, so he brought the pAnDavas to the lake and instructed YudhiShTira to insult Duryodhana by calling him a coward. When this was done, the arrogant Duryodhana came to the surface and challanged the pAnDavas. He was given the option of choosing one of the pAnDavas with a weapon of his choice; the understanding was that he succeeded in defeating his opponent, victory was his.
Duryodhana chose the mace as his weapon and Bheema as his opponent since the others were no match for him. Finally, Bheema broke his thighs and incapacitated him. When members of the kaurava army remonstrated saying that hitting an opponent on his thighs was against the rules of mace fighting, KrishNa defended Bheema's action saying that he had kept his oath of breaking Duryodhana's thighs. Also, Bheema had struck him on the waist and not below, thus avoiding violating the rules of combat. Thus Bheema killed the last of the kauravas and kept all of his oaths. He submitted his entire action as an offering at the feet of Sri KrishNa.
In fact, throughout his life, every single asura or demon killed by Bheema was offered as a 'bali-pashu' to KrishNa, the acceptor of all yajna offerings. The sole objective behind his acts was 'Hari-preeti' and not to serve as a display of his individual strength or greatness.
ಗುರುಸುತನು ಸಂಗರದಿ ನಾರಾಯಣಾಸ್ತ್ರವನು
ಉರವಣಿಸಿ ಬಿಡಲು ಶಸ್ತ್ರವ ಬಿಸುಟರು
ಹರಿಕೃಪೆಯ ಪಡೆದಿರ್ದ ಭೀಮ ಹುನ್ಕಾರದಲಿ
ಹರಿಯ ದಿವ್ಯಾಸ್ತ್ರವನು ನೆರೆ ಅಟ್ಟಿದ
gurusutanu saMgaradi nArAyaNAstravanu
uravaNisi biDalu shastrava bisuTaru
harikRupeya paDedirda bhIma hunkAradali
hariya divyAstravanu nere aTTida
In the kurukshEtra battle, AshwatthAma, the son of drONa, issued the nArAyaNAstra (a powerful and dreaded missile) on bheema in order to reduce him to ashes. On krishNa's orders, everybody else threw down their weapons (to save themselves). However, bheema, who had the complete blessings of Sri Hari (nArAyaNa) Himself, easily averted the missile with a snort.
drONa, the teacher of the kauravas and pAnDavas had a son called ashvatthAma. He is considered to be an amsha of rudra. As soon as he was born he neighed like a horse, and an astral voice asked drONa to name his son as ashvatthAma. He was brought up on horsegram juice, something that even adults cannot digest easily. He was a very great warrior, skilled in the use of all weapons. He is considered to be one of the immortals (chiranjIvis) and is believed to be alive even today.
After bheeshma's fall, drONa was appointed the commander-in-chief of the kauravas. When bheema was running amok, causing total demoralization in the enemy camp, ashvatthAma took the extreme step of using the nArAyaNAstra (a powerful and dreaded missile) on the pAnDava army.
krishNa knew that no other missile or weapon could match this missile and the only defense against this missile was total surrender. Accordingly, He ordered the entire pAnDava army to throw down their weapons and bow their heads in total submission. Everybody including Arjuna did this; the only exception was bheema. He refused saying that as a warrior he could not bend his head to save his life, as that would be an act of cowardice.
With complete and total devotion to Hari, he stood his ground and boldly faced the missile, with Hari enshrined in his heart. Such was his faith and steadfast devotion that when he snorted, the missile changed course and veered backwards.
With a little application, it is easy to discern the following points in this incident:
1. bheema did not abandon his dharma in the face of adversity and take the easy course out. He stood his ground with faith and devotion.
2. krishNa had already said that the pAnDavas were very dear to him and would never let any harm come to them. bheema was the only one who believed this with his heart and soul and was willing to risk his life to show that the Lord would protect His devotees under all circumstances.
3. krishNa let His devotee derail His own weapon. Just as he broke His own oath (not to take up arms) in order to help bheeshma keep his oath (that he would make krishNa take arms). He does these things to show that even though he is satya-sankalpa (one whose intentions always come true) and sarvOttama, He sometimes breaks His own rules out of love for His devotees.
Another way of looking at this is that no rule can tie Him down - even His own!
4. Like prahlaada, bheema showed the world that no weapon, missile or agency can hurt a true and steadfast devotee of the Lord, not even the nArAyaNAstra itself.
5. bheema knew very clearly that the power behind the nArAyaNAstra was nArAyaNA, and the power protecting him too was nArAyaNA. So, when the attacker is the same as the protector, where is the cause for fear? One just needs to do one's duty and leave the rest to Him.
Lucky is the one who has devotion to such a merciful Lord! Fortunate is the one who can point to such a great devotee and say "A vAyu namma kula guru rAyanu"
This matter is explained very well in the 26th chapter of the mahAbhArata-tAtparya-nirNaya.
A little background: during the war, when Dronacharya had been led to believe that his son Ashwatthama was dead, he lost interest in the battle and even in life, and was killed by Dhrishtadyumna as he sat to meditate on the battlefield. This almost led to Satyaki (who, though in the Pandava army, a devotee of Krishna and a confidante of Arjuna, had been a student of Drona and had some loyalty towards him) and Dhrishtadyumna coming to blows, but this was averted by the counsel of Krishna and Bhimasena. However, when Ashwatthama came to know of Drona's killing, he released the `nArAyaNAstra' in anger as a means to annihilate the Pandavas in one shot.
At this, on Krishna's urging, all the Pandava warriors except Bhimasena lay down their weapons and surrendered their lives to the mercy of the weapon. The reason Bhimasena continued to bear arms and confront the weapon was that he was completely established in the pure xatriya-dharma:
shuddhaxatriyadharmeshhu niratatvAd.h vR^ikodaraH |
vAhanAdavartIryAnyaiH praNate.api nirAyudhaiH |
sAyudhaH saratho.ayuddhyadavishhahyamapIshvaraiH || XXVI-294 ||
This, of course, was not the only instance where Bhimasena showed that his course of action was based upon the rules of righteous conduct. For instance, during the period when the Pandavas had to go incognito, he decided to become a cook, noting that it would not be appropriate for him, as a gR^ihastha and as a kshatriya, to eat the cooking of just anybody else:
parapAko gR^ihasthasya xatriyasya visheshhataH |
na yogya iti sUdasya babhre veshhaM vR^ikodaraH || XXIII-4 ||
He also did not seek to propitiate other deities to obtain their astra-s, as their worship, and desire-driven actions were alien to him:
na kAmyakarmakR^it.h tasmAnnAyAchad.h devamAnushhAn.h |
na harishchArthitastena kadAchit.h kAmalipsayA || XVIII-5 ||
However, as per Hari's will, he did use astra-s during the battle (XVIII-12, etc.), thus showing that their use was already available to him.
There was never an instance where Bhimasena and Krishna were not completely in synchronism; this however could not be said of others, who on occasion did find fault with Krishna; even though they also were `bhAgavata'-s, their conduct was inadequate in parts:
anye bhAgavatatve.api khinnadharmAH kvachit.hkvachit.h |
syamantakArthe rAmo.api kR^ishhNasya vimanA.abhavat.h || XVIII-18 ||
-- for instance, believing Krishna to have misappropriated the `syamantaka' gem, even Balarama felt animosity towards Him; similarly did Arjuna do during the episode of rescuing the brahmaNa's child:
avamene.arjunaH kR^ishhNaM viprasya shishuraxaNe |
pradyumna uddhavaH sAmbo.aniruddhAdyAshcha sarvashaH || XVIII-19 ||
-- and others "close to Krishna" such as Pradyumna, Uddhava, Samba, Aniruddha, etc., all were similarly guilty.
Therefore, although Narayana's weapon was worthy of salutation for being His representative, such salutation could not be performed out of a desire for life; regardless of the consequences to one's life, the righteous thing was to confront the weapon:
namaskAryamapi hyastraM na namyaM jIvanechchhayA |
samare shatruNA muktaM tasmAt.h tanna chakAra saH || XXVI-296 ||
In the Mahabharata, the description of this episode includes a mystifying allusion to the scene of Bhimasena vs. the nArAyaNAstra as "fire confronting fire" -- this is explained in the MBTN as:
astrAbhimAnI vAyurhi devatA.asya hariH svayam.h |
tasmAd.h bhImaM svarUpatvAnnAdahachchAgnimagnivat.h || XXVI-297 ||
-- to wit, that the activating deity of the nArAyaNAstra was verily Vayu, and its Lord was Hari Himself; therefore, as Bhimasena also was Vayu himself in undiminished form, he was not annihilated by his own power, just as fire is not burned by fire.
Even while maintaining his outward posture in accordance with his duty, Bhimasena took care to pay due respects to the Lord:
manasaivA.adaraM chakre bhImo.astre cha harau tadA |
xatradharmAnusAreNa na nAma cha bAhyataH || XXVI-298 ||
ಚಂಡವಿಕ್ರಮ ಗದೆಗೊಂಡು ರಣದೊಳಗೆ ಭೂ
ಹಿಂಡಿ ಬಿಸುಟಿದ ವೃಕೋದರನ ಪ್ರತಾಪವನು
ಕಂಡು ನಿಲ್ಲುವರಾರು ತ್ರಿಭುವನದೊಳು
chaMDavikrama gadegoMDu raNadoLage bhU
hiMDi bisuTida vRukOdarana pratApavanu
kaMDu nilluvarAru tribhuvanadoLu
When Bheema, a ferocious and undefeated warrior, roams the Warfield with his mace, decimating all the enemies confronting him, who in all the three worlds can stand up against his prowess?
Even though all the incarnations of vAyu are equally capable, in terms of bala (strength) and jnAna (knowledge), each incarnation has a special focus, based on the demands of the situation. The second incarnation as Bheema was known as a fearsome and unmatched warrior, who inscribed fear in the hearts of his enemies, and who never tasted defeat, even once.
In contrast, the other hero of the kurukshEtra (Arjuna), tasted defeat several times in his life (all of these were when Krishna was not around to save him). In strength, courage, steadfastness in the face of adversity, there was nobody who could match Bheema, let alone exceed.
As we all know, the focus of the third incarnation, madhvAchArya, was on jnAna. However, once in a while, he displayed flashes of his legendary strength and valor. When he was given a huge quantity of milk and bananas, by somebody who doubted the fact he was an incarnation of vAyu, he polished them off quite easily. He also lifted a huge boulder with ease, which scores of people could not have even moved. While visiting kurukshEtra, he showed his disciples the place where Bheema's mace was hidden.
This has 2 references; the more straightforward one is to Bheema's favorite weapon - the mace. He was unmatched when he strode the battlefield with his mace proudly resting on his shoulders. But then, he was unmatched even with his bare fists. So the reference to the mace is a pointer to something more subtle.
It is said that the 3 types of jeevas - sAtvikas, rAjasikas, tAmasikas - get rid of their linga-dEha (a type of covering that the jeeva gets at the time of creation, and which goes away only when the jeeva is ready for its final destination) in 3 different ways:
sAtvikas lose it when they take a bath in the virajA river along with brahma.
rAjasikas lose it through vAyu's snort.
tAmasikas lose it when vAyu hits them with his mace; thereafter they proceed to tamas (dark and unending hell).
So, one may conclude that shreepAdarAjaru is saying, in a poetic way, that not only does he dispatch demons from this world with his mace, but also sends them to their final destination with it.
In the HarivAyu stuti, shree Trivikrama panDitAchArya has beautifully described his inadequacy to describe Bheema's valor in the verse "kShvElAkShINATTahAsam ....". He finally concludes that only 2 people can do justice to this topic - vEdavyAsa and madhvAchArya himself - and offers his heartfelt salutations to them.
Another aspect to remember is that even though Bheema was the most powerful person of his times (with the exception of krishNa, of course), his power and strength were always used to eradicate loka kanTakaru (evil people who were a source of misery to society), and never for any personal gain.
As was stated in a previous posting, every single asura or demon killed by Bheema was offered as a 'bali-pashu' to krishNa, the acceptor of all yajna offerings. In the hearts of such evil people, his very name used to cause jitters.
There is a very popular misconception about the meaning of this name (vRukOdara). A direct translation means somebody who has a wolf-like stomach, i.e., voracious eater. Bheema's legendary ability to consume huge amounts of food lends credibility to this misconception. The real meaning and origin of this name is totally different.
Every jeeva has a jaThArAgni (flame) in its stomach. This is a form of the Lord, and helps the jeeva digest its food. vAyu's jaThArAgni is the most potent amongst all jeevas and the form of the Lord that permeates this flame is called "vruka". Hence the term "vrukOdara" really means one who carries "vruka" in his stomach. It is this which gives vAyu the ability to digest gigantic amounts of food.
One needs to understand that when Bheema ate food, he did so as a naivEdya to the Lord within him, and not because he was hungry or could not survive without food. vAyu is the life force that keeps 84,00,000 types of species alive and kicking; every act of every jeeva is performed under his supervision. So, associating human-like frailties such as hunger, thirst, etc - with him is very foolish and goes against what is said in the scriptures.
ನಾರಿರೋದನ ಕೇಳಿ ಮನಮರುಗಿ ಗುರುಸುತನ
ಹಾರ್ಹಿಡಿದು ಶಿರೋರತ್ನ ಕಿತ್ತಿ ತೆಗೆದ
ನೀರೊಳಡಗಿದ್ದ ದುರ್ಯೋಧನನ ಹೊರಗೆಡಹಿ
ಊರುಯುಗ ತನ್ನ ಗದೆಯಿಂದ ಮುರಿದ
nArirOdana kELi manamarugi gurusutana
hArhiDidu shirOratna kitti tegeda
nIroLaDagidda Duryodhanana horageDahi
Uruyuga tanna gadeyiMda murida
Upon hearing the sobbing of Draupadi, his heart melted with compassion. He then caught Ashwatthama, the son of his teacher (and also the perpetrator of the heinous crime) and stripped him of his birth-stone (the source of all his powers). He pulled out Duryodhana who was hiding in the water and broke his thigh with his mace.
At the end of the kurukshEtra war, Ashwatthama spent time with the fallen Duryodhana and asked him "What do you want me to do?" Duryodhana said "Get rid of the Pandavas". He then performed the abhisheka of Ashwatthama with dust and asked him to beget a son from Duryodhana's wife and continue the line of Kauravas further.
Ashwatthama agreed and went to the camp of the Pandavas in the middle of the night. He woke up the sleeping Drishtadyumna (Draupadi's brother) and killed him mercilessly, without giving him a chance to pick up weapons and fight. Finally, he set fire to the tent in which he thought the Pandavas were sleeping.
Unfortunately for him, it was not the Pandavas but their sons who were sleeping there. Ashwatthama then ran to Duryodhana and gave him the good news. Duryodhana died peacefully after this.
Draupadi lamented the death of her sons and asked the Pandavas to avenge this. Bheema, Krishna and the rest of the Pandavas went in pursuit of Ashwatthama. When Ashwatthama saw the fierce rage of Bheema he remembered what had happened to DushyAsana and panicked. In order to escape Bheema's onslaught he fired the BrahmAstra at him. Immediately Arjuna fired another BrahmAstra to counter that even though he knew fully well that Bheema was the abhimAni devata (patron diety) of the brahmAstra and was thus immune to its awesome power.
VedavyAsa came there and chided Arjuna and Ashwatthama for releasing such a powerful weapon without thinking of the impact it would have on the rest of creation. He asked them to withdraw the weapon immediately. Arjuna was able to do so, but Ashwatthama could not do so because he had lost his moral power by agreeing to beget a son from Duryodhana's wife.
Ashwatthama had a divine maNi (pearl) in his head from birth. This potent jewel had the power to a ward off death, disease, old-age, hunger, thirst, darkness, ignorance etc. It was one of the main sources of Ashwatthama's strength. VEdavyAsa then asked Ashwatthama to give his maNi to Bheema as atonement for firing brahmAstra at him and for his inability to withdraw it. Ashwatthama immediately complied with vEdavyAsa's order.
ದಾನವರು ಕಲಿಯುಗದೊಳವತರಿಸಿ ವಿಭುದರೊಳು
ಜ್ಞಾನಿ ತಾ ಪವಮಾನ ಭೂತಳದೊಳವತರಿಸಿ
dAnavaru kaliyugadoLavatarisi vibhudaroLu
j~jAni tA pavamAna bhUtaLadoLavatarisi
When evil people incarnated in kaliyuga and started spreading inferior and evil philosophy, pavamAna (vAyu) incarnated on earth and became famous as Madhwa.
Our purANas talk of an evil king called vEna who spread a vile and wicked doctrine; he forced his people to worship him as God and ruled that all religious activities like yajnas were to be submitted to him.
Finally, all the sages got together and punished him. Out of his body they magically extracted a baby, who was named as pRuthu, and who went on to become a very righteous and respected ruler (since Earth was ruled by him, it got the name prithvi).
Many asurAs and rAkshAsas (demons) were vanquished and killed by Hanumanta and Bheema during their incarnations. Unable to match vAyu in strength, they decided to take revenge by spreading false knowledge amongst humans. The idea was that if good people were led astray, then as jeevattoma and the leader / preceptor of good souls vAyu would be effectively humiliated.
With this end in mind they incarnated in kaliyuga and assuming the garb of ascetics, started spreading false philosophies. One of their leaders was a very vicious and powerful demon called maNimanta who had been killed by Bheema (for more details refer to posting 21 - this describes Bheema's acquisition of sougandhikA pushpa).
The wrong philosophies and doctrines propagated by asuras was based on a deliberate misinterpretation of our holy scriptures. The one propagated by maNimanta was based on the concept that everything is unreal, all jeevas are the same as parabrahma, who is totally attributeless and formless. The term "vEnana" has been used to indicate that this doctrine is conceptually similar to the one propagated by King vEna, and is equally worthy of condemnation.
j~jAni tA pavamAna bhUtaLadoLavatarisi
The state of affairs prior to the advent of vAyu is beautifully captured in the shri harivAyu stuti ("dEhAdutkrAmitAnA ....jivatAm chAdhikRutya) and in the sumadhava vijaya (Canto 2, Verse 1). As the sun of correct knowledge was setting due to the influence of Kali, the darkness created by the confluence of wrong interpretations blinded good souls and lead them away from the path of true knowledge.
The gods lead by Brahma were saddened by this and approached Mukunda (Lord viShNu) for succour. Since the Lord does not incarnate during kaliyuga, and because Brahma never incarnates, He directed vAyu to incarnate and show worthy and deserving souls the correct path to salvation. Accordingly vAyu took birth as the son of a pious couple in Udupi and the rest is history.
The way in which shrI madhvAchArya took his birth is beautifully described in the sumadhava vijaya (Canto 2, Verse 25). "sampUrNa lakshaNachaNam ........bhagvAn vivEsha" vAyu, the master of the three worlds, entered the body of the embryo that was present in his mother's womb, expelling the existing jeeva.
This body, endowed with 32 marks of excellence and 9 glowing exits, was like a temple, ready for his arrival. vAyu's action resembled that of a victorious king who expels an existing ruler and making his way through his lovely city, enters his resplendent palace, embellished with well decorated doors.
The baLittha sUkta very clearly identifies shrI madhvAcharya by name as the third incarnation of vAyu. The name "madhvA" literally means one who dispenses happiness; incidentally, this is the same as Ananda teertha, the ashramanAma (name taken after becoming an ascetic) of shrI madhvAcharya. Here happiness means true and everlasting happiness, viz., liberation. As the one who showed the correct path to liberation, and thus helped good souls realize their innate happiness, the name "madhvAcharya" is very appropriate.
ಅರ್ಭಕತನದೊಳ್ ಐದಿ ಬದರಿಯಲಿ ಮಧ್ವಮುನಿ
ನಿರ್ಭಯದಿ ಸಕಲ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಗಳ ಪಠಿಸಿದ
ಉರ್ವಿಯೊಳು ಮಾಯೆ ಬೀರಲು ತತ್ವಮಾರ್ಗವನು
ಓರ್ವ ಮಧ್ವಮುನಿ ತೋರ್ದ ಸುಜನರ್ಗೆ
arbhakatanadoL aidi Badariyali madhvamuni
nirbhayadi sakala shAstragaLa paThisida
urviyoLu mAye bIralu tatvamArgavanu
Orva madhvamuni tOrda sujanarge
At a very young age, he went to Badari without fear and learnt all the shAstrAs (in vEdavyAsa's presence). When a spurious philosophy started permeating the earth, only Madhwamuni showed the correct path to good people.
arbhakatanadoLydi Badariyali .... paThisida
Sri Madhvacharya went to Badari twice. This verse refers to the first visit. [The author of the reference book claims that Sri Madhvacharya visited Badari once in his boyhood, before taking up sanyAshrama. This is not explicitly supported by the Sumadhvavijaya or the HariVayu stuti, nor is it ruled out. It is claimed that the Teeka on harivAyu stuti by Sri vishvapati tIrtharu describes this event.]
As everybody knows, the trek to Badari is not an easy one; it is arduous and hazardous at every step. However, Sri Madhvacharya undertook this trip with absolutely no fear or reservations. The Sumadhvavijaya provides a nice description of the first visit.
The travel was very pleasant, with a symbolic cool breeze because Sri MadhvAchArya (Sri VAyu himself) was leading the entourage. He reached Badari and offered his salutations to Sri Narayana.
He sent his disciples away and presented his commentary on the geeta to God. He told God that he had created this commentary to the best of his capability. To this God replied, "Not really, you have more capability but have written only a little, you could do even more ". To this end, He asked Sri MadhvAchArya to substitute one word in the commentary, from 'shaktitah' (to the best of my ability) to 'leshatah' (lightly, or not at great depth).
Sri Madhvacharya learnt the essence of all shAstras from the Lord Himself. Even though he had been already blessed with this knowledge by the grace of Hari, he went through the learning process for a variety of reasons. Primarily because, the act of listening to his Lord and Master gave him a lot of pleasure. Also, to emphasize the fact that true knowledge has to be learnt from a guru. And finally because he wanted the world to know that his knowledge of scriptures had been imparted to him by the Lord Himself.
urviyoLu mAye bIralu tatvamArgavanu Orva madhvamuni tOrda sujanarge
Let us take a quick look at the state of affairs prior to the advent of Sri Madhvacharya.
The thirteenth century was a period of great turbulence in India's political and religious history. On the philosophical front, Buddhism and Jainism had taken birth and were spreading their roots. In addition, Shaivism was also on the rise in parts of Tamilnadu and Karnataka.
Among Vedantic philosophies, Sri Shankara's Advaita (monism) was the dominant one. Its central theme is mAyavada (Theory of illusion) which states that the whole world is unreal and there is only one real substance called Atman or Brahman. Brahman is supposed to be nirguNa (without any attributes).
Sri Ramanujacharya did give a theistic rebuttal to Advaita, but it was not complete. There were 21 commentaries on the brahmasUtras, and none of them exactly captured what the sUtrakAra (vEdayvyAsa) had in mind. This state of affairs is summarised beautifully in the shri harivAyu stuti Verse 29 ("dEhAdutkrAmitAnA ....jivatAm chAdhikRutya) and the sumadhava vijaya (Canto 2, Verse 1) as follows:
"vig.yAnabhAnumati ..........sharaNam prajagmuhu"
"As the sun of correct knowledge was setting due to the influence of kali, the darkness created by the confluence of wrong doctrines blinded good souls and lead them away from the path of true knowledge. The gods lead by Brahma were saddened by this and approached Mukunda (Lord viShNu) for succour."
Since the Lord does not incarnate during kaliyuga, and because Brahma never incarnates, He directed vAyu to incarnate and show worthy and deserving souls the correct path to salvation. Accordingly vAyu took birth as the son of a pious couple in Udupi and the rest is history.
ದುರ್ವಾದಿಗಳ ಮತವ ನೆರೆ ಖಂಡಿಸಿ
ಸರ್ವೇಶ ಹರಿ, ವಿಶ್ವ ಸತ್ಯವೆಂದರುಹಿದ
sarvEsha hara, vishwa ella tA pusiyeMba
durvAdigaLa matava nere khaMDisi
sarvEsha hari, vishwa satyaveMdaruhida
"Hara (shiva) is the supreme Lord, the entire universe is a myth or illusion"- the essence of this wrong or bad doctrine was refuted by shrI madhwAchArya who averred that "Hari is the supreme lord, and the universe is true" in accordance with our ancient and sacred scriptures.
sarvEsha hara, vishwa ella tA pusiyemba
Demons who hated Sri Hari and Vayu took birth during kaliyuga and propagated their false doctrines, masquerading as ascetics. They willfully misinterpreted the Vedas, wrote wrong and misleading commentaries on the brahmasUtras, and propagated their own doctrines, with the sole intention of misleading good souls.
Chief amongst these doctrines was (and continues to be) mAyAvAda. Its main tenets are "brahma satyam, jagan mithyam, aham brahmAsmi" i.e., only Parabrahma is true, everything else is an illusion, there is no difference between Parabrahma and other souls. In addition, they consider the Parabrahma to be devoid of all attributes ("nirguNa") and hold Shiva & Parvathi to be superior to Vishnu.
The sumadhva vijaya (Canto 1, verse 55) captures this very poetically "vishavam mithyA ..... nUnam tirOabhUt". It says that the asuras propagated their doctrine in all directions, stating that Brahman is without attributes, there is no difference between Parabrahman and ordinary jeevas. Alas, as a consequence, the supreme Lord Narayana who is full of knowledge and bliss, started fading from the minds of the virtuous.
durvAdigaLa matava nere khanDisi
The Lord is full of countless auspicious attributes, without any trace of a flaw. His power is infinite and unlimited; only an infinitesimal part of His nature and greatness can be grasped by humans, and that too only through good scriptures - the Vedas, MahAbhArata, BhAgavata, moola Ramayana and PancharAtra. Other purANAs that do not conflict with the basic tenets enunciated by the above - - may also be considered good scriptures.
Lord vEdaVyasa composed the brahmaSutras to help the virtuous grasp the import of the vEdas correctly and unambiguously. Consequently, they occupy a very high position in our religious hierarchy, and anybody who wishes to start a school of thought has to necessarily begin with a commentary of the brahmasUtras and show how they support his/her conclusions.
Before the advent of Sri Madhvacharya, there were 21 improper or misleading commentaries on the brahmaSutras. He critically evaluated each of them, and pointed out all their inconsistencies and flaws, in a precise and logical manner, using references from scriptures. No commentary was able to stand up to his incisive scrutiny.
sarvEsha Hari, vishwa satyavendaruhida sharvAdigIrvaNa santatiyali
Using references from scriptures and arguing cogently, Sri Madhvacharya showed that all scriptures, as well as the brahmasUtras enunciate the same basic tenets - supremacy of Lord viShNu, reality of the world, 5-fold differences, hierarchy of souls in sansAra and in mukti etc. The essence of his thinking is captured in the Prameya shloka by Sri Vyasa teertha.
There are 3 features that distinguish Sri Madhvacharya's approach - usage of supporting references, consistency in approach and themes, and resolution of contradictions. He rarely makes a statement without giving supporting references, underscoring the fact that the concepts put forth by him are eternal and timeless, not something that he discovered or invented like other philosophers before him.
When one goes through his works the thing that immediately stands out is the remarkable consistency of approach and clarity of thought. There is one central theme that runs through all of his works - the supremacy of Vishnu and the dependence of other entities on Him for sustenance. Everything else is woven around this theme and flows from it. One does not find this kind of consistent, coherent thinking in the works of any other vedanta philosopher.
He was the first one (and perhaps the only one) to resolve seeming contradictions within the scriptures themselves. Everybody else either ignored them or discarded one in favor of another.
When two Vedic texts appear to make opposite statements, they should be reconciled with each other by interpreting the one which is NiravakAsha (can only be interpreted in one manner) and then interpreting the other which is SAvakAsha (can be interpreted in more than one manner) according to the first text, to remove the conflict in meanings.
The underlying principle is just as cows should not be killed to remove conflict among them, Shruthi texts can not be discarded by calling some of them as AthathvAvedaka - not conveying absolute truth and accepting as valid only some of them, which may superficially appear to support a particular doctrine - as Advaitha does.
The Vedas being apaurushEya and free of all defects can not be treated in this manner - as there will always be the doubt as to which set of texts should be treated as valid (why not the other set? etc) and the very reasonable question that if some part of the infallible Vedas is saying untruths, why not all of them?. Even if it is assumed that some part of the Vedas do tell the absolute truth, it will be impossible to decide which part, unless we have some other pramana to judge their validity.
In the case of nonsensory objects like Dharma, God etc. it is apparent that there is no other such pramana, unless one chooses to accept somebody's statements - as in all Paurusheya texts. The only source which is known to be Apaurusheya and infallible is thus rendered totally useless, if the absolute validity of ALL Apaurusheya texts is not fully accepted without any reservations. It is very important to understand that Acharya Madhva alone has stressed the inescapable necessity of accepting ALL the Vedas as the fountainhead of valid tatvas and has been extremely rigorous in reconciling all of them to show that his Tatvavada is the essence of the Vedic religion, unlike other schools which while accepting Apaurusheyathva of the Vedas, also postulate the unreality or invalidity of some of them.
The question of discarding or relegating to a secondary level any statement like "aham brahmAsmi" on the plea that it appears to go against our doctrine JUST DOES NOT ARISE, in Madhva philosophy"
ಏಕವಿಂಶತಿ ಕುಭಾಷ್ಯಗಳ ಬೇರನು ತರಿದು
ಶ್ರೀಕರಾರ್ಚಿತನೊಲುಮೆ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರ ರಚಿಸಿ
ಲೋಕತ್ರಯದೊಳಿದ್ದ ಸುರರು ಆಲಿಸುವಂತೆ
ಆ ಕಮಲನಾಭಯತಿ ನಿಕರಗೊರೆದ
EkaviMshati kubhAShyagaLa bEranu taridu
shrIkarArchitanolume shAstra rachisi
lOkatrayadoLidda suraru AlisuvaMte
A kamalanAbhayati nikaragoreda
He completely uprooted the 21 bad commentaries (on the brahmasUtras) and composed a philosophy that pleased the Lord, who is served by Sri Devi (Lakshmi) with her own hands, viz., nArAyaNa. His discourses were heard with rapt attention by gods residing in the three worlds. Having done this, he went close to (or stayed) with Lord vEdavyAsa. [Or, another interpretation, he gathered a band of saints headed by Sri PadmanAbha teertha].
Ekavimshati kubhAshyagaLa bEranu taridu
There were 21 commentaries on the brahma sUtras before the advent of Sri MadhvAchArya. These were by: bhArati vijaya, sachchidAnanda, brahmaghOsha, shatAnanda, uddhRuta, vijaya, rudrabhatta, vAmana, yAdava prakAsha, mAdhava dAsa, bhaRtru prapancha, drAmida, brahmadatta, bhAskara, pishAcha, vRuttikAra, vijaya bhatta, viShNu krAnta, vAdIndra, shankara, ramAnuja.
Sri madhvAchArya critically evaluated each of them and pointed out the flaws, misconceptions and errors in them. His analysis was so thorough and logical that none of them could stand up to scrutiny again. That is why SripAdarAjaru uses the term 'bEranu taridu'.
SrikarArchitanolume shAstra rachisi
Sri madhvAchArya wrote 4 works on the brahmasUtras. These are BrahmasUtra bhAshya, AnUbhAshya, AnuvyAkhyAna, NyAyavivarana. These four works together are known as 'sUtra prasthAna'.
His works were appreciated by everybody who had an open-mind and the intellect to appreciate his superior thought process. When Sri vidyAraNya visited Sri jayatIrtha he had a look at Sri madhvAchArya's original text and said that it was bAlabAsha (the language of children). However, after seeing the commentary by jayatIrtha he realized the wealth of meaning hidden in those simple words.
lOkatrayadoLidda suraru Alisuvante
There are 2 aspects to this statement, one straightforward and one fairly involved. The former is that gods in the three worlds listened to his teachings with reverence; that is not very surprising since they knew who he was and the worth of his words.
To understand the involved aspect, ponder on the fact that he was no ordinary philosopher, trying to peddle his own brand of philosophy. As vAyu, the regulator and controller of all jivas, he could have easily converted every single person he came across, completely obiliterating every other religion and philosophy. Yet, he did not.
Why? Because that was not the Lord's will. Sri madhvAchArya's advent was only for the emancipation of worthy souls, and not everybody. When the gods lead by brahma approached Lord viShNu for succour, it was not so much because the scriptures had been misinterpreted but that truly worthy jIvAs were being lead astray by such misinterpretations.
That is why SripAdarAjaru used the terms "suraru Alisuvante", and not "ellaru Alisuvante". Here one needs to widen "suraru" to include "bhUsuraru" (gods on earth) i.e., truely worthy souls. That is why he focused on only truly enlightened people like shObhana bhatta (who later became Sri padmanAbha tIrtha), trivikramapanDitAchArya, narahari tIrtha etc ignoring the unworthy ones.
This fact will not be palatable to anybody who does not believe in his classification of souls.
A kamalanAbhayati nikaragoreda
This can be interpreted in 2 ways. The first one is that after completing the tasks that he had set out to achieve, he vanished from our midst (on madhva navami), and went to badari to stay in close proximity to vEdavyAsa (kamalanAbha yati).
The second interpretation is that having provided a solid foundation for his philosophy through his writings, he set up a group of faithful followers to propagate these concepts in all directions. This group was lead by Sri padmanAbha tIrtha (kamalanAbha yati).
ಬದರಿಕಾಶ್ರಮಕೆ ಪುನರಪಿಯೈದಿ ವ್ಯಾಸಮುನಿ
ಪದಕೆರಗಿ ಅಖಿಲ ವೇದಾರ್ಥಗಳನು
ಪದುಮನಾಭನ ಮುಖದಿ ತಿಳಿದು ಬ್ರಹ್ಮತ್ವವೈ
badarikAshramake punarapiyaidi vyAsamuni
padakeragi akhila vEdArthagaLanu
padumanAbhana mukhadi tiLidu brahmatvavai
I salute with deep respect to madhwamuni, the king of all saints, the one who went to badari again and prostrated at the feet of vyAsamuni, and learnt the meaning of all shAstras directly from the mouth of padmanAbha.
badarikAshramake punarapiyiedi vyAsamuni padakeragi
shrI madhvAchArya toured uttara bhArata twice. The reference in this verse is to the second one. Activities like crossing deep, overflowing rivers, bypassing hostile armies, climbing high mountains were performed with ease and he finally reached lower badari.
He left behind his disciples there and climbed the mountains to reach badarikAsharama of vEda vyAsa. He felt overjoyed on seeing vEda vyAsa, along with his disciples. Heart overflowing with joy and devotion, he prostrated at vEdavyAsa's feet. The Sumadhva vijaya describes this encounter between paramAtma and jIvAtma as follows:
Hari (vEdavyAsa), the son of satyavati, provides lustre to the three worlds. The sight of vEdayvyAsa sitting in the midst of other saints was seen by paripUrNapramati (the one whose knowledge is complete - an epithet used for shrI madhvAchArya) with a full heart Some of the highlights of the second trip to badari were:
- Meeting Lord BAdarayana at Badari, and receiving eight Saligramas from Him. Incidentally, these sAligrAmAs are called VyAsa Mushtis.
- Writing of shrIman MahAbhArata Tatparya Nirnaya, the great epitome of MahAbhArata.
- Conducting tapas (meditation) under a tree near GangA river for four months.
- Crossing the river GangA, defying physical and political limitations.
- Drawing attention of his disciples to some of the key incidents of the mahAbhArata war, including his exploits as bhImasEna
akhila vedArthagaLanu padumanAbhana mukhadi tiLidu brahmatvavyedida
The straightforward meaning is that shrI madhvAchArya, who is destined to become the next brahma, learnt the shAstras from Lord vEdavyAsa. However, there is a subtle meaning hidden in the words used.
At the beginning of creation, a golden lotus sprung out from the navel of the Lord. brahma took birth in this lotus. The Lord then proceeded to impart knowledge to brahma. That is why our scriptures regard the Lord as the 'Adi guru' (the first preceptor) and brahma as the 'Adi sishya' (the first disciple) and the guru for the rest of creation.
Incidentally, this is the origin of the terms 'hiraNya garbha' (golden womb), 'padmanAbha'. By using these terms, sripAdarAjaru is drawing our attention to this incident, and the fact that vAyu is 'bhAvi brahma' (future brahma).
The usage of the term "munirAya" is very meaningful. It has several interesting interpretations. Amongst all creatures, humans are supposed to be a very high form because of their ability to think. Amongst humans, saints are worthy of reverence because of they have rejected mundane life and focused their life around the almighty. A king amongst such saints must then be worthy of the highest form of reverence. It also follows that this person must be very high amongst all creation i.e. jIvOttama.
A king's word is supposed to be law (or at least it used to be!). Similarly, a saint's saying must be adhered to with reverence. Then it follows that the word of a king amongst saints must be treated with the highest degree of reverence. That is why the sumadhvavijaya says that when our shrImadAchArya conducted his discourses, gods would assemble in the sky and hear him with reverence. No wonder our haridAsas have compared the teachings of shrImadAchArya to smruti and purANa vAkyas.
That is why sripAdarAjaru uses the term 'abhivandipe' rather than a simple 'vandipe' - to denote the deep respect and reverence that he has for shrImadAchArya. Such being the case, aren't you glad that "A vAyu namma kula gururAyanu"?
ಜಯ ಜಯತು ದುರ್ವಾದಿಮತತಿಮಿರ ಮಾರ್ತಂಡ
ಜಯ ಜಯತು ವಾದಿಗಜಪಂಚಾನನ
ಜಯ ಜಯತು ಚಾರ್ವಾಕಗರ್ವಪರ್ವತ ಕುಲಿಶ
ಜಯ ಜಯತು ಜಗನ್ನಾಥ ಮಧ್ವನಾಥ
jaya jayatu durvAdimatatimira mArtaMDa
jaya jayatu vAdigajapaMchAnana
jaya jayatu chArvAkagarvaparvata kulisha
jaya jayatu jagannAtha madhwanAtha
May he, who is the sun that dispels the darkness brought about by bad doctrines, destroy our dark ignorance. May he, who is a ferocious lion to proud opponents (elephants), give us the courage and strength to oppose avidya, wherever we see them. May he, who demolishes the mountain-like pride of chArvAkas (pleasure-seekers) destroy our ego and ignorance. May jagannAtha and madhvanAtha bless us with devotion, knowledge and detachment (bhakti, jnyAna, vairAgya).
In this verse, shrIpAdarAjaru uses analogies from shrI sumadhva vijaya and shrI narasimha nakha-stuti to describe and salute the greatness of shri madhvAchArya.
This phrase has been used in each line of this verse. Normally "jayatu" means "Hail" or "Victory to". However, in this verse the target of the phrase is jIvOttama. He is an embodiment of devotion, purity and dedication to the Lord. He also personifies strength, knowledge and auspiciousness.
Unlike other lesser gods, kali has no effect on him. He does not suffer from ignorance or misconceptions, at any point in time. Nor, does he ever taste defeat or failure in anything he does.
So, interpreting "jayatu" as "Hail" would be superfluous and thus has to be considered as a secondary or unimportant meaning of the phrase. The primary interpretation must be to treat each usage as a prayer to vAyu to bless us with the specific attribute highlighted in that line.
This is a continuation of the metaphor used by the sumadhvavijaya. Prior to the advent of shrI madhvAchArya, the darkness created by the confluence of wrong doctrines and interpretations of the brahmasUtras blinded good souls and lead them away from the path of true knowledge.
Just as sunrise dispels all traces of darkness, the advent of shri madhvAcharya dispelled all spiritual darkness and lead all sAtvikas away from the path of gloom and despair.
May this sun of true knowledge dispel our ignorance and destroy our wrong knowledge.
jaya jayatu vAdigajapanchAnana
It was not enough to merely dispel the spiritual darkness through correct knowledge, efforts had to be made to ensure that they did not rear their head again. Since proponents of wrong philosophies were too strongly entrenched, it was necessary to engage them in
direct debate and defang them. This line uses a different metaphor to describe this.
Imagine a herd of wild elephants running riot. They leave behind a trail of destruction and despair. They brook no obstacle or opposition, trampling and ruining everything that comes in their way. So is the case with proponents of wrong doctrines.
They vitiate our holy scriptures, take phrases out of context, ignore anything that militates against the concepts that they espouse and use the brute force of their obstinacy to create paths where there are none. They leave good souls wringing their hands in frustration.
Into such an environment came a lion called shri madhvAcharya; a lion that fearlessly faced and decimated herd after herd of wild elephants without much ado.
May this lion among philosophers bless us with the courage and strength to stand upto our convictions, even in the face of adversity, and emerge victorious.
jaya jayatu chArvAkagarvaparvata kulisha
'chArvAka' is the name of a school of philosophy that propounded "the grossest form of atheism or materialism" (as defined by Apte).
shrI madhvAchArya refuted this philosophy, along with all the others that existed before his time. However, there is a reason why this particular term ('chArvAka') has been used.
This is also the name of a rAkshAsa who was a friend of duryOdhana and an enemy of the pAnDavas. In the mahAbhArata, there are several instances where he tries to mislead other good souls. Hence, in this verse, this term epitomizes every philosophy that misinterprets the scriptures and attempts to mislead sAtvikas.
Another metaphor has been used to describe this. indrA's vajrAyudha cut off the wings of arrogant mountains and decimated their ability to fly and cause havoc amongst people. Similarly, shri madhvAchArya's arguments were like vajrAyudhas (lightning bolts) that cut down the mountains called misleading doctrines.
(Once again, this very similar to the analogy used in the narasimha nakha stuti).
May the thunderbolts of his philosophy demolish destroy mountains of our sins and ego.
jaya jaya jagannAtha madvanAtha
In this verse, through a clever use of words, shrIpAdarAjaru salutes both shrI Hari and vAyu. JagannAtha is a well-known name of the Lord. He is also 'madhvanAtha', i.e, the nAtha or Lord of madhvA. 'jagannAtha' also means one who is accepted as the 'nAtha' or leader by all souls i.e., one who is the jIvOttama. 'madhvanAtha' is also the direct name of shrI madhvAchArya.
Thus shrIpAdarAjaru salutes jivOttama and parmAtma together and prays for true devotion, knowledge and detachment (bhakti, gyAna, vairAgya).
Verse 29 (Last verse)
ತುಂಗಕುಲಗುರುವರನ ಹೃತ್ಕಮಲದೊಳು ನೆಲೆಸಿ
ಭಂಗವಿಲ್ಲದ ಸುಖವ ಸುಜನಕೆಲ್ಲ
ಹಿಂಗದೆ ಕೊಡುವ ಗುರು ಮಧ್ವಾಂತರಾತ್ಮಕ
ರಂಗವಿಟ್ಠಲನೆಂದು ನೆರೆ ಸಾರಿರೈ
tuMgakulaguruvarana hRutkamaladoLu nelesi
bhaMgavillada sukhava sujanakella
hiMgade koDuva guru madhwAMtarAtmaka
raMgaviTThalaneMdu nere sArirai
Ranga ViTThala (nArAyaNa) resides in the heart of shrI madhwAchArya, the guru par excellence, in the line of superior jnyAnis. He gives happiness that is without blemish or break to good people, without any reduction. Propagate this fact everywhere.
The term 'tungakula' refers to the line of superior souls. These are the jIvas who are blessed with knowledge of the Lord. They are basically 'sAtvikas'. brahma and vAyu are the primary gurus for this line of sAtvikas. Our scriptures refer to brahma (vAyu) as the Adi jIva (first or primary soul).
Our religious works refer to the presence of a 'ashTa daLA kamala' (a lotus with 8 petals or parts) in the inner space of the heart of the jIva. The Lord resides in the middle of this lotus. He is the bimba-mUrti of the jIva.
At His feet and facing Him, stands vAyu with his hands folded in prayer. The jIva resides near the feet of vAyu. This is true of every jIva. However, in the case of vAyu and others equal or above him, there is nobody else other than the Lord.
'bhanga' means that which is interrupted or corrupted, something that is temporary in nature. Thus "bhangavillada sukha" means bliss which is eternal, free of blemishes and never reducing in intensity.
Obviously such a state of bliss is possible only in mukti or liberation, when the jIva experiences bliss that is intrinsic to its nature. All other happiness is temporary, subject to interruptions and diminishing over time.
'sujanaru' means people who are 'sAtvik' by nature. They are eligible for liberation. vAyu provides them with bhakti, jnyAna and vairAgya and ensures that they perform their sAdhana (penance) in accordance with the wishes of the Lord. Once they have accomplished their sAdhana they are eligible for liberation, which is granted at the Lord's pleasure. vAyu too has the power to recommend jIvas for mukti (this power has been given to him the Lord).
This has several interpretations. First, granting of happiness (liberation) to worthy souls in no way reduces or diminishes the happiness of the Lord, or anybody else. In other words, each soul experiences happiness that is intrinsic to itself and independent of what is experienced by other souls. This concept of liberation is unique to dvaita.
Second, once the jIva achieves liberation, its happiness never reduces over time. Nor is this happiness ever tinged with sorrow of any sort. Third, the Lord's power to grant liberation has never reduced and will never do so. In other words, God has been doing this from times immemorial and will continue to do so forever.
Another interpretation is that this power to grant liberation rests only with Lord hari (and anyone He delegates this power to).
As stated before, the Lord resides in the heart of every jIva. However, His sannidhAna (special presence) in vAyu is the highest and purest. That is why when we pray, the object of our worship is always 'bhArati ramaNa mukhyaprANAtargata' (the Lord who resides in mukhya prAna, the husband of bhArati dEvi).
rangaviTThalanendu nere sArirai
'rangaviTThala' is the ankita or literary signature used by shrIpAdarAjaru. There is an interesting story on how he got this ankita.
He once went to panDarApura and performed pAnDuranga's service with great fervour and devotion. That night, pAnDuranga appeared in a dream and asked him to get a certain spot on the banks of the bhIma river excavated.
When this was done, shrIpAdarAjaru found a golden box containing an idol of 'ranga viTThala', decorated with many precious jewels. He was overjoyed and with the idol on his head, danced with ecstasy. From that day onwards, this idol has been worshipped with great devotion by every saint who has headed the maTha of shrIpAdarAjaru.
He also started the tradition of composing dEvaranAmas (devotional songs) in the name of his favorite icon. This tradition was continued by other saints like shrI vyAsarAyaru, shrI vAdirAjaru etc.
Translated to English by: Sri Hunsur Sriprasad
All the verses written by Sri Sripadarajaru is complete.
Three more verses - Phala shruti - written by Sri Jagannatha dasaru is remaining.
Sri jagannAtha dAsa virachita phalashruti - Verse 1
ಸೋಮಸೂರ್ಯೋಪರಾಗದಿ ಗೋ ಸಹಸ್ರಗಳ
ಭೂಮಿದೇವರಿಗೆ ಸುರನದಿಯ ತಟದಿ
ಶ್ರೀ ಮುಕುಂದಾರ್ಪಣವೆನುತ ಕೊಟ್ಟ ಫಲಮಕ್ಕು
ಈ ಮಧ್ವನಾಮ ಬರೆದೋದಿದರ್ಗೆ
sOmasUryOparAgadi gO sahasragaLa
bhUmidEvarige suranadiya taTadi
shrI mukuMdArpaNavenuta koTTa phalamakku
ee madhwanAma baredOdidarge
Anybody who writes or reads this stOtra will get a benefit equal to offering a thousand cows to learned and worthy brahmins, during a solar or lunar eclipse, on the banks of the celestial river ganga, and dedicating that to Lord Mukunda (nArAyaNa).
In this verse shrI jagannAtha dAsaru gives us an idea of the greatness of this prayer by shrIpAdarAjaru through a beautiful analogy. To understand the beauty of the analogy, one needs to look at some of the background material.
Our elders tell us that the act of offering something to somebody should be judged with 7 questions - who, to whom, what, when, where, how and why. In other words one should look at the following issues:
- who is offering the object,
- who is it being offered to,
- what is being offered
- why is it being offered
- when is the offering being made
- where is it being offered
- how is it being offered (or what is the mindset of the person
making the offering)
The above questions need to be satisfactorily answered in order to judge an offering, and determine if it will meet with the Lord's approval.
Solar and Lunar eclipses are considered to be parva-kAla (very auspicious times). It is said that performing good acts during such times yield a lot more fruit than normal times. In olden times, kings and noblemen used to perform various acts of charity during clipses.
Amongst all animals, the cow is the most sacred. It is said that more than thirty million gods have a presence in this sacred animal. Consequently, a gift of cows is considered to very special. That is why while performing the death ceremony of a parent, children are asked to perform the symbolic gift of a cow, so that the fruit of such a meritorious act may accrue to the deceased parent.
Learned and worthy brahmins are considered to be bhUsuraru - gods who are present on earth and easily accessible. They epitomize all divine qualities like knowledge, devotion, detachment, kindness etc.
shrI hari is supposed to have a soft corner for cows and learned brahmins. In fact several of His stOtras address him as 'gO brAhmaNa hitAya" (one who takes care of the welfare of vEdas, cows and brahmins).
Our scriptures stipulate that alms and boons should be given only to 'satpAtraru' (people who are worthy and virtuous). A learned and worthy brahmin is the best possible recepient for alms.
As everybody knows, the Lord came as a young brahmachAri named vAmana and asked for 3 steps worth of land from bali. With 2 steps He covered earth and the sky. When His foot appeared in satyalOka, brahmadEva washed it with reverence. His toenail pierced brahmAnDa and caused the holy ganga to appear. shiva kept ganga on his head, displaying his reverence for hari-pAdOdaka (water obtained after feet are washed).
Devout hindus long to have at least one dip in her holy waters during their lifetime. In fact, orthodox families keep a casket of ganga water handy for use during the final hours of a family member. Such is the devotion and respect that the ganga has inspired over the ages.
During olden times, rishis used to prefer the banks of holy rivers to perform yagas, because the presence of the river would multiply the benefits obtained from such acts several fold. The ganga was the first choice for such yagas.
shrI mukundArpaNavenuta koTTa phalamakku
No matter how pious the act, there is no benefit unless one offers the fruits to the Lord, with the appropriate frame of mind. That is why the gIta says, "karmaNyEva adhikAraste" and our elders advise us to believe in the concept of "naham karta harih karta".
To summarize the above points, it may be said that to make an offering: - cows constitute one of the best objects that one can offer - the banks of the holy ganga is one of the best places to do so - a solar or lunar eclipse is one of the best times to do so - learned and worthy brahmins are the best possible recipients - dedicating the fruits to the Lord is the most appropriate ending to an action
With the above background, one can easily see the merits of offering a thousand cows to learned and worthy brahmins, during an eclipse, on the banks of the ganga, and dedicating that to Lord Mukunda!
Reading and/or writing this prayer (devotional kriti) will confer a similar benefit. This is not sycophantic statement made by an admiring follower; it is a balanced assessment made by an aparOksha jnyani.
shree jagannAtha dAsAra phala stuti - Verse 2
ಸರ್ವತ್ರದಲಿ ದಿಗ್ವಿಜಯವಹುದು ಸಕಲ
ಶತ್ರುಗಳು ಕೆಡುವರು ಅಪಮೃತ್ಯು ಬರಲಂಜುವುದು
ಸೂತ್ರನಾಮಕನ ಸಂಸ್ತುತಿ ಮಾತ್ರದಿ
sarvatradali digvijayavahudu sakala
shatrugaLu keDuvaru apamRutyu baralaMjuvudu
sUtranAmakana saMstuti mAtradi
Those without children will get good children; they will be victorious everywhere, all their enemies will perish, and untimely death will be scared to approach them. All these benefits will accrue by praying to sUtranAmaka (vAyu).
In the first verse shrI jagannAtha dAsaru gave us an idea of the enormous merits that accrue to a person reading and writing the madhvanAma. While this may be enough for gyAnis, there may be others who seek more tangible, material benefits.
To such people he replies:
"This is sUtranAmaka, that you are praying to. Once he is pleased there is no limit to what you can get. You want children? You will get children. You want name, fame, wealth, relief from enemies? You will get all that; you can even avoid untimely death!"
vAyu is also known as sUtra since he is the controller and regulator of all the celestial entities in the body (indriyAbhimani and tattvAbhimani devatas and daityas). Every single action performed by every jIva (subordinate to him), everywhere in creation is done under his explicit supervision.
samstuti refers to prayer that is tinged with devotion and correct knowledge. Once this sUtranAmaka is pleased, then the sky is the limit; all doors open, everything falls into place and there is nothing that is out of reach.
A simple translation is "Those without children will get good children". However to get the full meaning of the verse, one needs to go beyond the simple meaning. Nothing happens without a reason. Why are some people childless? There may be medical causes preventing childbirth, but these are mere manifestations rather than the actual cause. The root of the problem lies in the sins committed by the persons and their prArabda karma.
In olden days, kings and noblemen performed yajnas like "putrakAmEshTi" to wipe out their sins and obtain progeny. In this time and age, it needs potent prayers and the grace of celestials to overcome this problem. In the opinion of shrI jagannAthadAsaru, this prayer to vAyu is equal in potency to the "putrakAmEshTi" yAga in blessing supplicants with offspring.
sarvatradali digvijayavahudu sakala shatrugaLu keduvaru
The Bhagavadgeeta says that our authority ends with action; success or failure lies in the hands of the Lord, and is decided by Him based on the jIvA's inherent nature and his/her karma. As the gIta says "yatra yOgeshwarah kRishNo ..... tatra shrIvijayO bhUtirdruvA nitir matir mama". vAyu is His primary abode and agent. Needless to add, one who is subject to vAyu's grace will be victorious everywhere.
The question is: what kind of victory should one aspire for? There are different types of successes, but our scriptures attach a lot of importance to "indriya-jaya" - conquest of the senses. The sky is the limit for somebody who can do this.
This line also says "All enemies will fail". What kind of enemies are we talking about? We are very familiar with external enemies and would obviously like to win over them.
But the more potent enemies are the internal ones; our scriptures talk of 'arishadvarga'
- the six enemies of man - anger, lust, greed, delusion, arrogance, jealousy. These can cause much more harm than any external enemy and their effects can last several births.
The bhAgavata tells us about sage bharata who set out to contemplate on the Lord but lost his way and had to take several births because of attachment to a deer!. Obviously these are the enemies that one needs to conquer.
"Ayushya" is defined as the life span that is allocated to a being. Any death that happens before expiry of this period is untimely and is called "apamRutyu". Our shAstras say that once "Ayushya" is over death cannot be prevented, since that is Divine Will. However, "apamRutyu" is a different aspect altogether.
Life-histories of our saints and other great souls are replete with instances where they warded off untimely death in deserving cases. Our scriptures say that when a person dies, vAyu departs from the body along with jIvatma and paramAtma. Such being the case, is it necessary to add that a person enjoying the grace of vAyu will never die an untimely or untoward death?
ಶ್ರೀಪಾದರಾಜ ಪೇಳಿದ ಮಧ್ವನಾಮ
ಸಂತಾಪ ಕಳೆದು ಅಖಿಳಸೌಖ್ಯವನೀವುದು
ಶ್ರೀಪತಿ ಶ್ರೀ ಜಗನ್ನಾಥವಿಠಲನ ತೋರಿ ಭವ
shrIpAdarAja pELida madhwanAma
saMtApa kaLedu akhiLasaukhyavaneevudu
shrIpati shrI jagannAthaviThalana tOri bhava
This madhwanAma told by shrIpAdarAjaru will destroy all sorrows, provide all types of happiness and well-being, and in addition, will show you shrIpati jagannAthaviTThala and take you out of this well (or ocean) called samsAra.
All the benefits described in the previous verses of the phalastuti were basically material in nature - wealth, health, progeny, happiness, freedom from enemies etc. But all of these pale in comparison to the main benefit that this prayer can confer.
It offers what is ultimately the highest benefit that anybody can hope for - liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. shrI jagannAtha dAsaru saves this for the last because once one gets the desire for this benefit, then the other benefits pale in comparison and lose their attractiveness totally.
Numerology behind phalastuti
The first question to consider is why did shrI jagannAtha dAsaru compose a phala stuti with 3 verses? Why not 4 or 2? To answer this, look at the number of verses in the madhvanAma composed by shrIpadarAjaru. It is 29. By adding a phala stuti with 3 verses the total number of verses comes to 32.
There is a symbolism associated with this number 32. All of vAyu's incarnations are supposed to possess perfect physiques with 32 distinguishing marks. So it is in the fitness of things that the prayer to an entity with a perfect physique (having 32 distinguishing marks) should comprise of 32 verses.
shrIpAdarAja peLida madhwanAma
Just as shrI vEdavyAsa composed the purANas for the sake of those who are not eligible for reading the vEdas, shrIpAdarAjaru wrote the madhvanAma for the benefit of those who have no access to the harivAyu stuti. That is why he chose to use Kannada, the language of common people, as the medium.
This is in keeping with his stature as the pitAmaha of all dAsa sahitya (there is a school of thought that shrI narahari tIrtharu was the first one to compose dEvaranAmas in kannada and that shrIpAdarAjaru revived this glorious tradition).
Before dismissing this stOtra as another kannada dEvaranama, one needs to remember that shrIpAdarAjaru was an amsha of dhruva, an aparOksha jnAni, and the vidya guru of vyAsarAyaru. He has infused this stOtra with pristine bhakti and jnAna. So, in terms of spiritual content and value, it is worthy of adoration and worship.
The term "santApa" normally means sorrow or unhappiness. However, in this context, a better interpretation would be 'tApatraya' - the three kinds of miseries which human beings have to suffer in this world - 'adhyAtmika', 'Adhidaivika' and 'Adhiboutika'.
akhiLasoukhyava means every possible happiness or wellbeing. This should be understood to include all types of happiness - material as well as spiritual.
shrIpati shrI jagannAthaviTThalana tOri bhavakUpAradinda kaDehAyisuvudu
The word 'tOri' is a pointer to 2 concepts. The first is the initial sAkshAtkAra or meeting with the Lord, at which point the jIva becomes an aparOksha jnAni. All of his/her sanchita and AgAmi karmas get wiped out, and the jIva has to endure only his/her prArabda karma.
The second concept is that when the jIva goes for liberation, he meets with different bhagavad rUpas (forms of the Lord). The penultimate form is vAsudEva and the final form is nArAyaNa. This is very subtly captured in the prAtah sankalpa gadya by rAyaru.
The term 'shrIpati' should be understood in the context of what our AchArya has stated so beautifully in dvAdasha stOtra ("shrIryat katAksha balavatyajitam namAmi"). The essence of this is that every deity (brahma, rudra, garuDa, indra, sUrya, chandra etc) is able to function only because of Lakshmi's grace, and that She derives her power from Him. So, one should this have this 'anusandhAna' (understanding) when one utters this prayer.
Importance of praying to vAyu
There is a common misconception that only mAdhvas give primacy to vAyu, whereas others consider him as just one of several important deities. This is a very wrong perception that does grave injustice to our scriptures, which proclaim vAyu's primacy in an unambiguous manner. There are many reasons why it is necessary to pray to vAyu in order to get hari bhakti.
He is the foremost amongst all jIvas, and the primary guru for all creation.
He is the Lord's dearest devotee; so dear that when he departs from the body, the Lord too departs immediately.
He is acknowledged in all the three worlds as 'bhagavat kArya sAdhaka'.
He performs 21,600 hansa japas per day in each jIva and submits it to the Lord on our behalf.
Ignoring him, or not according to him the status that is his due, would tantamount to 'guru-droha' and is a sure way of incurring the Lord's displeasure and the wrath of every other deity.
Study our itihAsas (moola rAmAyaNa and mahAbhArata) and purANAs.
We will not find even one instance of somebody earning vAyu's grace and suffering misfortune. On the contrary, you will find several instances of people benefiting from his association. Look at how vibhIshana, sugrIva and arjuna benefitted from vAyu's grace, whereas karNa and vAli suffered because of enemity with him.
As purandaradAsaru says:
"hanumana matavE hariya matavu, hariya matavE hanumana matavu"
(there is total identity of views between hari and vAyu).
That is why in the sumadhva vijaya, shrI nArAyaNa panDitAchArya says that he wishes to get hari bhakti that originates from guru bhakti ("mukundabhaktyai gurubhaktijAyai ...").
So, even if one is not born a mAdhva, it is still essential to obtain Vayu's blessings in order to obtain correct viShNu bhakti and jnAna. Of course, if someone is a mAdhva by birth, then it is their privilege and duty to develop correct vAyu bhakti as a prelude to hari bhakti.
This posting concludes the series on madhvanAma.
It is my (and the translator Sri Hunsur Sriprasad's) hope that while going through these series of postings you experienced at least a small fraction of the devotion that this great saint shrI shrIpAdarajaru had for his 'kula guru rAya'. If that is indeed the case then this series has more than served its purpose.
na mAdhava samO devO, na cha madhva samO guruH
na tadvAkyam samaM shAstram, na cha tasya samaH pumAn.
shrI hari sarvOttama, shrI vAyu jeevOttama
~ bhAratI ramaNa mukhyaprANAMtargata shrI kRishNArpaNamastu ~
The translator Sri Hunsur Sriprasad acknowledges
Sri H S Srinivasamurthy for his book "Madhwa nama" published by
Sri Sripadaraja prakashana,
Sri Sripadaraja matha,
Sri Raghavendra colony
Chamarajapet, Bengaluru 560 018