“DASAAVATAARA STOTRAM OF SWAMI DESIKA “SRI RAMA AVATARAM” (RAMA WITH THE BOW) (The Prince charming-the personification of righte
by Mantra & shlokas on Friday, March 11, 2011 at 3:13pm
paaraavaara payO visOshaNa paareeNa kalaanala –
jwaalaajaala vihaara haari visika vyaapaara gOra kramah /
sarvaavastha sakruth prapanna janathaa samrakshaNaika vrathee
dharmO vigrahavaan adharma virtheem dhanvee sa thanveetha na: //
“ He can, with His bow and arrows wreak havoc on everything and dry up the vast bodiess of waters of great oceans like the fierce fire-force of deluge.
His valor is incomparable and unsurpassed. Yet, His compassion is so great that if one were to surrender at His feet for once, He has vowed to afford protection as a matter of principle and policy, whatever the circumstances, even at the risk of His own life! Let that Lord Rama, the wielder of the mighty bow, the Greatest of heroes and who is Dharma personified, save us”
As most of our readers would be aware of the story of Ramayana, we do not propose to retell the story except to highlight some little known aspects in the well-known story.
1. It may be noted that there is no mention of Ravana in this Sloka.
2. In the first 2 lines, the valor of Rama is spoken of to show His “Paratvam” with reference to the power of His bow (Dhanvee). Since this word pairs with “Thanveetha” (Protect), Swami Desika seems to suggest that He could protect because of the prowess of his Dhanus (bow)
3. In the next 2 lines, His compassion gets mentioned to show His “Soulabhyam” in protecting anyone who surrenders to Him. That is why, SD calls Him (personification of Dharma)“ Vigrahavaan Dharma:” and “adharma virathi” (destroyer of evil) the twin objectives of Avatara Rahasyam.
4. There is a misconception about Rama worshipping Siva in Rameswaram. This is NOT mentioned in Srimad Vaalmiki Ramayanam nor in Kamba Ramayanam. It is Tulasidas who imaginatively introduced this in his “Rama Charita Manas”
5. Another instance of an incorrect interpretation which people make relates to the pious lady SABARI. The popular notion is that she bit the fruits and saved the good ones bearing her spittle for offering to Sri Rama. This is not correct. All she did was to taste a sample of fruit from each tree in her garden and throw away the bitten one but left the other fruits to remain on the same tree, provided the one she had tasted, tasted good. This is because Sabari knew that it would amount to defilement to offer to the Lord the remains of anything that she had partaken earlier
6. The incident in which Sri Rama is said to surrender to the Ocean King that went futile shows that only surrender by a weaker person to a capable person will be fruitful and the reverse will be in vain. Rama had both
Sakti, Veeryam etc unlike the Ocean king.
7. Sakruth Prapanna Janathaa = indicates that Prapatti is the ONLY sure means for Moksha- a cardinal concept in our Sampradayam.
8. RAVANA was the brother of KUBERA. He became so powerful that he even made the nine planets to be the steps leading to his throne. Because he attempted to rape RAMBHA, the wife of NALAKUBARA (son of Kubera), she cursed that Ravana's head would be smashed into smithereens if he attempted to rape any woman. Incidentally, that is why he did not force Sri Sita when he abducted her.
9. The most important aspect of Ramayana is the vow of Sri Rama to protect those who surrender unto him. Sri Swami Desikan has aptly described this `Quality of mercy' of the Lord referring to Rama as "KARUNA KAKUTSTHA". He
is “Compassion incarnate”. No other event in the entire Ramayanam t brings out this aspect more than the “Kaakaasura” incident in which Indra’s son took the form of a crow and tormented Sri Sita. When King Raghu went to help Indra in a war against Asuras, he did so on condition that he would ride on the hump of a bull and Indra was to act as the bull. “Kakuth” means hump of a bull. Remembering that some ancestor of the Crow (Indra) helped some ancestor of his own; Rama took compassion on the crow and spared its life, taking away only one its eyes.
10. In the hermitage of SUDEEKSHANA, Rama says to Sita that he would not mind laying down his life or deserting both her and Lakshmana but he would never give up his vow to protect those who surrender to him even if it be
his arch enemy, RAVANA.
11. He vowed also that He would treat anyone who created trouble for the Satvic Rishis as His own enemies. So, it is for this reason that He killed the Asuras even though they did no harm to Him personally
12. Nammazhwar asks, "Will any one who desires to learn, learn anything other than Rama?” "KARPAR RAMPIRANAI ALLAL MARRUM KARPARO". Why? Because, Rama is fills the minds of anyone who thinks of Him.
13. ANDAL who commenced eulogizing Lord Krishna in her Tiruppavai calls Lord Rama as “manathukku iniyaan”. This is because she reminds Krishna how as Rama the Lord took so much pains to build a bridge, take a whole battalion of vaanaraas, fight fiercely and destroy Ravana and his army. All for the sake of one woman, Sri Sita!She seems to have a dig at Krishna whether he would not take a leaf of lesson from this incident, in the case of the multitude of Gopis who were pining only for His love and affection!
14. The very word Rama is derived from the statement “ramayathi ithi Raamah
15. Swami Desika has written in the Gadya style a great work entitled "MAHAVEERA VAIBAVAM" otherwise known as `RAGHUVEERA GADYAM' in lucid style bringing out the glory of Ramayana.
16. This is a PURNA AVATAR (Complete incarnation) of Mahavishnu himself, Lakshmana that of Adhisesha (couch) Satrugna the aspect of Panchajanya (conch) and Bharatha the aspect of Sudarsana (Chakra).
17. Compassion is also an aspect of the Lord’s leela.