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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Varadarajastava of Appayyadikshita-1

श्री अप्पय्यदीक्षितरचित


Varadarajastava is a beautiful hymn to the deity Varadaraja of Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu composed by the erudite scholar and poet Appayyadikshita who lived in late 16th and early 17th centuries.
Appayyadikshita who is famous for his work Kuvalayananda, a treatise on poetics (Alankarashastra) was a staunch follower  of monism  (Advaita) yet displayed a liberal attitude towards great persons and great works who did not necessarily support Monism. He wrote a commentary on the epic Yadavabhyudayam of Vedantadesika , who was one of the foremost proponents of Qualified Monism (Vishishtadvaita). Although he was a Shaivite (worshipper of Shiva)  he has composed this hymn on Varadaraja, a deity representing Vishnu  which demonstrates his catholicity. Actually, in those days, inter-marriages between worshippers of Shiva and worshippers of Vishnu were not uncommon and it is said that  Appayyadikshita’s father’s mother came from a Srivaishnavite family.
In addition to writing classic treatises on Poetics, Appayadikshita has written several profound works on Advaita, Vishishtadvaita and Dvaita (dualism). He has also enriched devotional literature by composing several hymns on deities.  
The author has provided his own commentary on this hymn, which helps in understanding the verses as intended by the author.

॥ वरदराजस्तवः ॥
उद्घाट्य योगकलया हृदयाब्जकोशं
धन्यैश्चिरादपि यथारुचि गृह्यमाणः ।
यः प्रस्फुरत्यविरतं परिपूर्णरूपः
श्रेयः स मे दिशतु शाश्वतिकं मुकुन्दः ॥ १ ॥
अन्वयः : धन्यैः योगकलया हृदय-अब्ज-कोशम् उद्घाट्य चिरात् यथारुचि गृह्यमाणः अपि यः अविरतं परिपूर्णरूपः प्रस्फुरति सः मुकुन्दः शाश्वतिकं श्रेयःमे दिशतु ।

May Mukunda endow me with permanent bliss. Although the blessed savour him as per their taste by opening the bud of lotus-like heart through the art of Yoga, He shines in full splendour uninterruptedly. Notes: 1. The Almighty is said to reside thumb-sized in the heart of a person. Those who have mastered techniques of Yoga are able to access Him and savour Him. Although Yogins have been savouring Him according to their own tastes all the time, He remains undiminished all the time. 2. Mukunda also refers to one of the treasures of Kubera. Use of words कोश (which also means a  treasury) and धन्य ( which can be interpreted to mean a wealthy person) suggests that Mukunda is an inexhaustible treasure although regularly accessed by wealthy persons namely Yogins. 3. The obvious simile is to savouring of the nectar of lotus flower by prying it open.
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