Achyuta Satakam of Swami Desikan

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July 1999

This stotram, like the one we covered last, Sri Devanayaka Panchasat, is on Devanayaka Perumal of Tiruvahindrapuram. The word “Satakam” in the title refers to the 100 sloka-s (actually there are 101 including the phala Sruti) in the stotram. The nâma acyuta means He who does not let His devotees slip: न च्यावयति इति अच्युतः.

Introduction

One special aspect of this stotram is that it is written in the Prakrit (/prâkṛta/) language by Swami Desikan. Prakrit can be considered colloquial samskṛt, which seems to have been used in day-to-day communication in the olden days by those who did not use grammatical samskṛt in their conversations. In course of time, grammatical rules evolved for Prakrit as well, and it evolved as a language in its own right. It became common for female characters to use Prakrit in works such as drama etc. It is characterized by the natural sweetness like the talk of a child when it is spoken. Swami Desikan’s anubhavam of the sweetness of this language is that it is the childhood language of goddess sarasvati (Slokam 2). Srirama Desikacharya Swami observes that தேவனாயகப்பெருமாள் has the unique distinction that He is the only arcâ mūrti who has been sung by Swami Desikan in three languages - samskṛt (Devanayaka pañcâsat), Prakrit (acyuta Satakam), and tamizh (மும்மணிக்கோவை).

Srirama Desikacharya Swami has included the samskṛt version of the Sloka-s along with the Prakrit version in his LIFCO publication “SrI Desika stotra mâlâ”. Wherever quotes have been included from acyuta Satakam in the current write-up, the samskṛt version has been used because of the greater ignorance of aḍiyēn with Prakrit. However, Srirama Desikacharya Swami has made the special point that those who chant the Slokam should use the Prakrit version. As has been done in the write-up for the previous stotra-s, instead of giving a literal translation of the Sloka-s, aḍiyēn has presented a summary of the thoughts that registered in aḍiyēn’s mind when going through the meanings of the Sloka-s.

1.  Concepts

1.1  âcârya is to be worshipped like bhagavân Himself

In nyâsa vimśati we saw that our âcâryan is to be worshipped like bhagavân Himself by us (Slokam 2). Swami Desikan reemphasizes this concept to us again in the current stotram. Bhagavân is imparting knowledge to us to realize Him through the words of our âcârya - He is seated in their tongue like being seated in a throne and instructing us through our âcârya (Slokam 5).

1.2  Swami Desikan’s Humility

Swami Desikan’s humility again reveals itself in this work as in all other works. In Slokam 3 he says that his work can be flawed standing by itself (मम भाषितं मलिनम् अपि ), but because it sings His praise it gets sanctified just as the street waters get sanctified when they mingle with the Ganges river. In Slokam 4 he refers to his work as बालिशा मम स्तुतिः - my stotram which is likes a child’s blabbering.

1.3  Need for Purity in Thought, Word and Deed

Swami Desikan emphasizes the need for purity of thought, word, and deed for one who is interested in realizing Him. Those who are not pure in their thought and action cannot succeed in realizing Him. Bhagavân won’t stay in a polluted mind even for a moment, just as a hamsa won’t go near muddied water even for a moment (Slokam 6). He keeps away from one who is not sincere in his/her devotion - दोलायमानान् दूरं मुञ्चसि (Slokam 7). Only those who are pure in thought, word and deed can successfully meditate on Him. He thus becomes easy to access for the women of âyarpâḍi who have staunch devotion to Him - श्रद्धित हृदय सुलभः(Slokam 7).

1.4  How Do We Know of the Existence of Bhagavân

The question of what is the evidence for the existence of bhagavân has been raised by many. The simple answer is provided in Slokam 7 - Agama mâtra pramâṇâh - Because the veda-s declare so. There is no other way to prove His existence. We can experience Him, but can’t prove His existence to others through any means other than Veda.

1.5  Why Should We Worship Him

We worship Him because He eliminates the feelings of desire, sins, false knowledge, etc. when we have Him in our thoughts - tṛshâ, mala, mohah kshapitah (Slokam 27). When we worship Him, we won’t ever have the darkness of the night called aj~nâna (teshâm moha triyâmâ na khalu - Slokam 46). Our mind will not be distracted away from Him by anything (vikâra jananairapi na vikriyamâṇâh), and we will become pure (pâvanâh) and will experience the anubhavam of moksham even in this world (jîvanmukta sadṛśah) (Slokam 47).

1.6  Attributes of a True Devotee of Bhagavân

A true devotee of bhagavân will lose interest in the pursuit of trivial and transient pleasures (vishaya rase viraktâh - Slokam 47, svapna sadṛkshâṇâm śrîṇâm na smarati - Slokam 48). For that matter the devotee of bhagavân will not even be interested in positions such as that of Brahma; he will realize that even these so-called high positions are impermanent like water bubbles and will come to end ultimately, and are constantly under the threat of the asura-s. These positions are beautiful to look at like water bubbles, but are also impermanent like the water bubbles, nice to look at like mushrooms but also tasteless like mushrooms, beautiful to look at like cloud formations but also transient like them. The position of these other gods is like the banana stem, which looks strong but which can’t support anything like a stone pillar can (i.e., they can’t even assure protection to those who seek their protection, except when bhagavân gives them that power) (Slokam 49).

Those who worship bhagavân with devotion and who acquire true j~nâna of Him will also acquire the qualities such as sausîlya like Him, and mix with even those who have not advanced to the knowledge level like themselves. They forgive other’s mistakes just as bhagavân forgives His devotees’ sins, and over a period of time they will help the other cetana-s towards the path of realizing Him (Slokam 50).

Those who are devoted to bhagavân will also not have any of the negative attributes that are acquired by those who do not have clear thinking and who think of this body as the âtmâ, or think that their soul is independent of the paramâtmâ (51). Negative qualities such as mâna madershyâ matsara dambhâ bhayâ amarsha lobha etc., which are explained later, will not touch them. All the undesirable traits leave the devotees of bhagavân, and they shine like stars in a well-lit sky on a clear cloud-free night (Slokam 54).

There is no question of yama lokam for His devotee - na khalu yama vishaye gatih (Slokam 55); even those who stray from the path of a prapanna after surrendering to Him get only minor punishment from Him as prâyaścitta. So there is no question of one who has done prapatti to Him going to naraka. His devotees desist from worldly desires and enjoyments and thus keep themselves away from yama’s wrath (Slokam 56). Even though they live in kali yuga, they feel like they are living in kṛta yuga (Slokam 52). They realize that everything - moving and non-moving - is part of bhagavân, and so they do not develop any kind of animosity or hatred towards anyone or anything. Their only goal in life is moksha, and they only observe sanâtana dharma which assists them in attaining that goal. They desist from any attachment to worldly pleasures since they have realized that these are transient and impermanent (59).

The worship offered by a paramaikântin (i.e., one who worships śrîman nârâyaṇa exclusively and who does not perform this worship for any benefit for himself) is accepted by bhagavân with a bowed head like one accepting a pariyaṭṭam, whereas the worship offered by the likes of brahma is only accepted at His feet (57).

1.7  The effects of not worshipping Him

Those who do not worship Him always find fault in bhâgavata-s (53), like faulting the Sun with having a hole in the centre; this kind is sowing the path for their self-destruction. Even if they live in kṛta yugam, they will feel miserable like those living in kali yugam (52). These who are immersed in worldly pleasures will not be able to realize Him even though He is very near them in His arcâ form, just as the sky is near us but is beyond our grasp (60).

These non-devotees who think that their body is the âtmâ or it belongs to them and not to paramâtmâ, develop many undesirable traits such as ahamkâram (mâna - the feeling that they arre superior to others), pride arising from their wealth, appearance, birth, etc. (mada), jealousy (îrshyâ), enmity (matsara), hot-headedness (dambha), finding fault with others (asūyâ), fear (bhaya), anger (amarsha), desire to cling to wealth (lobha), etc. (Slokam 51).

1.8  avatâra rahasyam

(Slokam 31): Why did bhagavân take so many incarnations among us? Swami Desikan reminds us of Lord kṛshṇa’s declaration in the gîtâ (4.8) - परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुश्क्र्ताम्, धर्म सम्स्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे - through his Slokam 31. vipaksha nikshapita - for the destruction of the enemies of His devotees, samsthâpia parama dharmâh - establishment of the best of dharma-s, and sâdhu paritrâṇa - for the protection of the good. Srirama Desikacharya Swami observes that while bhagavân could have done all this while being in SrI vaikuṇṭham itself, He really wanted to be with us in form, and show us how to be a good son, a good husband, a good friend, etc., and it is His sauśîlyam that made Him take all these incarnations - just for the sake of His devotees.

1.9  The Importance of worshipping the arcâ mūrti in Temples

The question can be asked - why should we worship the form of bhagavân in the temples - the arcâ mūrti? Swami Desikan gives a simple analogy. When a treasure is hidden underground, people walk on it without knowing its location. There are those who are called siddha-s, who can provide a dark collerium which can be applied in the eyes and which will then help identify the location of the treasures. Bhagavân’s true nature - His divya Atma svarūpam - is not realizable except through His own Grace, and is like the treasure hidden from our reach. But if we keep worshipping the dark arcâmūrti of bhagavân with devotion uninterruptedly, this will serve like the dark collerium that will help in ultimately realizing the divya Atma svarūpam of bhagavân over time. (Slokam 45).

The bhakta-s are so moved by having the sevâ of bhagavân’s tirumeni in temples that they shed tears of joy and their whole body experiences extreme excitement (kadamba goḷa nibha kaṇṭakâyamâna nijâgnân - with mayirk-kucci - hairs standing erect on the body like budding kadamba flowers (58).

1.10  Bhagavân’s tirumeni

Swami Desikan briefly describes devarâjap Perumal’s tirumeni through 10 Sloka-s (34 to 43) in this stotra. We have seen the similar anubhavam of Swami Desikan in a few of his stotra-s before e.g., through 11 Sloka-s in SrI bhagavad dhyâna sopânam and through 30 Sloka-s in SrI Devanayaka pañcâsat.

Bhagavân’s tiru mukham resembles the moon, His kirîṭam is like the Sun, and His beautiful dark hair resembles the darkness of the night. How is it possible for the Sun, the moon, and the darkness to co-exist simultaneously? Swami Desikan’s beautiful anubhavam - bhagavân is the aghaṭitaghaṭanâ Saktan - He is One who can make impossible things happen (Slokam 34).

Bhagavân’s beautiful face far exceeds the beauty of the full moon, and His eyes resemble the just-blossomed lotus flowers. Meditating on His divine face will remove even the sins committed knowingly, and serve as the prâyaścitta (remedy) for these sins (Slokam 35). The sight of His divine shoulders reminds Swami Desikan of the might of these shoulders under which the different gods including brahma (vidhi pramukha deva janah) have sought refuge (Slokam 37). Having the darśanam of bhagavân’s tiru udaram (belly) reminds Swami Desikan of His saving all the brahmâṇḍa-s in His stomach during the pralaya. His navel reminds him of the creation of brahma in a lotus flower from the nâbhîkamalam (Slokam 38).

Looking at bhagavân’s deep red pîtâmbaram, Swami Desikan meditates on bhagavân’s acts of crushing the asura-s madhu and kaiṭabha, and the resulting profuse stream of blood soaking into bhagavân’s pîtâmbaram and thus imparting this deep red color (Slokam 40). The mekhalâ (waist-band) kindles memories of the great chain that has been put around bhagavân, the manmathan like a chain around a mad elephant (the rasam here is that those who meditate on this mekhalâ of bhagavân will be relieved of the pursuit of trivial pleasures in this world - Srirama Desikacharya Swami).

In SrI Devanayaka pañcâsat Swami Desikan’s anubhavam of the darśanam of bhagavân’s Divine thighs was that they were the death-bed for the cruel asura-s such as hiraṇyakaśipu. In the current Slokam his anubhavam is that they are like the strong pillars that support the mansion where the three worlds are stored (reference to bhagavân’s stomach being the heavy mansion where all the worlds rest at the time of pralaya) (Slokam 41).

The darśanam of bhagavân’s Lotus Feet reminds Swami Desikan of the sacred gangâ flowing from His Feet during the time of His trivikrama incarnation and sanctifying all the three worlds, and their offering protection to anyone who surrenders to them (Slokam 43).

1.11  We Always Belong to Him and Are Never Independent

We have to realize that we are His possession and belonging and are not independent, and are always subservient to Him who is the Supreme Lord. We are like a wooden doll which has been tied by the ropes of the three guṇa-s, sattva, rajas, and tamas, and bhagavân alone can release us from this bondage (82). We came across this same concept in SrI Devanayaka pañcâsat earlier (Slokam 8 - sūtrânubaddha Sakuni kramatah).

1.12  The Life of a prapanna

The main purpose to which a prapanna should devote his life in this world is to do two things: a) to serve Him without any desire for benefit; and b) to help other cetana-s by guiding them towards realizing Him. In a sense, this second item is one way of serving Him, and He keeps the prapanna in this world without taking him right away to śrîvaikuṇṭham just so the prapanna can devote his time to this purpose in this world (61). This service of the prapanna serves as the bridge which the cetana-s can use to cross the ocean of samsâra (62).

The prapanna is assured of moksham at the end of his/her life. In the interim, the prapanna accepts the pains and pleasures in the rest of this life as an expiation of the accumulated karma-s. Because of this, the prapanna does not have any fear of death, and looks at death as a bosom-friend visiting his home and welcomes death when it arrives, whole-heartedly (63).

Seeing the aj~nâna or darkness in this world, the prapanna does service to the Lord and to this world by lighting the torch of brahmaj~nâna and passing it on to deserving Sishya-s. When this service is performed by the prapanna, bhagavân considers the prapanna’s life’s objective to have been accomplished, and takes the prapanna to His abode of śrîvaikuṇṭham (64). Here the prapanna joins the goshṭi of garuḍa, âdiśesha, and vishvaksena, and has uninterrupted bhagavad-anubhavam while having all the bhoga-s equivalent to bhagavân Himself (65).

1.13  The Greatness of prapatti and prapanna-s

Bhakti and prapatti are the two means to attain moksham. Of these, bhakti yoga requires the j~nâna and the Sakti to perform the j~nâna yoga and the karma yoga, practicing which alone one will get the maturity to undertake the bhakti yoga. Knowing the uncertainty and the delay associated with this means for attaining moksha, people who probably had the required j~nâna and Sakti to undertake bhakti mârgam, still discard this as their preferred means for seeking moksham, and instead perform prapatti at bhagavân’s Feet and attain moksham without delay and with certainty (66).

The veda-s declare that human life-form is subservient to the deva-s, and is meant to toil to please the deva-s. But while the human being who performs prapatti is assured of attaining moksham, the likes of indra who are superior to the human life-form by their position are still accumulating karma-phalam and are thus going to go through the cycle of birth and re-birth. These deva-s who had this human being as their servant, all of a sudden come and prostrate in front of this prapanna and worship him. The prapanna thus becomes the object of worship of the deva-s not only after they reach śrîvaikuṇṭham but in this world as well (67).

1.14  The a’nga-s of prapatti

These have been covered a few times before (śaraṇâgati dîpikâ Slokam 27; nyâsa vimśati 18; nyâsa daśakam 2, 10; etc.). The prapanna in Swami Desikan finds expression in Sloka-s 74 to 84. He submits to Lord Devanayaka that he is realizing that all the yâga-s and other kâmya karma-s that he has undertaken and continues to undertake are powerless to yield the ultimate benefit, and that His Mercy alone can retrieve him from the heaps of sins that he is committing all his life (74 to 80). He submits to the Lord the complete responsibility for his protection (81).

1.15  The Importance of practices such as nâma samkîrtanam

The most important first step for the darkness in our mind to disappear and for us to turn to Him for surrender, is bhagavân’s kaṭaksham and anugraham itself (68). Simple practices such as nâma samkîrtanam (chanting bhagavân’s name sincerely) will lead to deep-rooted devotion to Him over time. These practices will remove the darkness in our mind, will rejuvenate the soul so that we devote ourselves to His service, and with His kaṭaksham we will attain moksham. Thus the nâma samkîrtanam will serve as the strong root on which the tree of moksham will grow and rest. The nectar of nâma samkîrtanam has untold other benefits (69).

1.16  The Importance of karma (Actions) Done Without Desire For Fruits

Swami Desikan has emphasized the essence of karma yoga in Slokam 70, as described in śrîmad bhagavad gîtâ (2.40 and 6.40). Any work that is done with the ultimate benefit dedicated to Him and with no expectation of benefit from this action, will always lead to ultimate release from the bondage of samsâra. It is immaterial how small this effort is, or how incomplete it is. There is no sin or other negative effect even if this act is discontinued in the middle for any reason. This is conveyed to us by Lord kṛshṇa through Sloka 2.40 in the gîtâ -

नेहाभिक्रम नाशो’स्ति प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते |
स्वल्पमप्यस्य धर्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात् ||

and also in Slokam 6.40:

पार्थ नैवेह नामुत्र विनाशस्तस्य विद्यते |
न हि कल्याणकृत् कश्चित् दुर्गतिं तात गच्छति ||

1.17  Swami Desikan on anya-devatâ worship

Swami Desikan reiterates the simple reason why anya-devatâ worship is unnecessary for those who seek any benefit at all in life, and why it does not make sense for one who is interested in moksha and nothing else, in Sloka-s 71 and 72. All the other gods get their power to bestow their devotee’s wishes only by the Grace of śrîman nârâyaṇa, through the power that He bestows on them. They can smile on their devotees only if He smiles on them. Without His Will, they don’t have any power. And then at best they can bestow some small benefits compared to the ultimate benefit that He alone can give, viz. moksha. This being the case, one can worship bhagavân directly and get anything one desires, instead of worshiping all the itara-devatâ-s who are in between Him and us.

There is an even more important reason why one who is interested in moksha and nothing else should only worship śrîman nârâyaṇa and no one else. This has to do with a prapanna not even desiring any of the benefits that the anya-devatâ-s can bestow on them. So the anya-devatâ-s have nothing to give to the prapanna even if they are extremely pleased (itara tridaśâh prasannâh kim hitam karishyanti? - 72). Given that the only benefit that is sought by a prapanna is moksha and no other benefit, the only logical conclusion is that there is no other worship except that of śrîman nârâyaṇa that makes any sense.

There are two gems that we have come across before, where Swami Desikan has conveyed the same idea, viz. nothing moves without His Will, through beautiful rhyming poetry. These are: 1. in kâmâsikâshṭakam Slokam 8 - त्वयि रक्षति रक्षकैः किमन्यैः, त्वयि चारक्षति रक्षकैः किमन्यैः; and 2. त्वयि प्रवृत्ते मम किं प्रयासैः, त्वय्यप्रवृत्ते मं किं प्रयासैः. Similar rhythmic poetry is what we see in the current Slokam also - अप्रसादे अप्रसन्नाह्, तव प्रसादे दाससत्य प्रसन्नाः (71).

1.18  Bhagavân’s unlimited guṇa-s

A beautiful, simple, and high-level description of bhagavân’s infinite kalyâna-guṇa-s is given by Swami Desikan through a few Sloka-s in this stotram.

  • In the opening Slokam, Swami Desikan showers praise on bhagavân’s following guṇa-s - sthira jyotih, acyutam, dâsânâm satyam, tridaśânâm nâtham - The jyoti that never diminishes, He who will never forsake His devotees, He who always bestows His devotees’ wishes, and He who is the God of all gods.
  • Bhagavân is sarva-guṇa-sampannan. These guṇa-s are flawless (nirmala), countless (vigaṇitam na Saknuvanti), and cannot be found in any other god (ananya sulabhâni). He is also the limit of perfection for these guṇa-s (Slokam 27).
  • Hundreds of upanishad-s (upanishdâm śatâni) describe Him as kshapita sakala heyam - devoid of any negative attribute of any kind, satya j~nâna Anandam - He who is not subject to change or mutation, Omniscient, and Supreme Bliss, and ulla’ngita trividha antam - unlimited by the three constraints - space, Time, and shape. Thus He is not constrained by where He is at any given time and in what form He exists (Slokam 8).
  • Unsupported by anything else He creates everything while He Himself is not created by anything else. He supports everything while He is not supported by anything else. He also destroys everything at the time of pralaya while He cannot be destroyed by anything else - अनन्य क्रियः निधिलं करोषि, केनापि न क्रियसे; स्थापयसि न सम्स्थाप्स्यसे; हरसि न ह्रियसे (Slokam 9).
  • He is everywhere and also inside everything that exists, including the minutest atom. Even when He is in the tiniest of things, His Power is in no way diminished, and it is the same Absolute Power that controls and governs everything. This is the basis for the declaration in the veda-s that bhagavân is present in everything, completely and absolutely (Slokam 10).
  • He is the Creator of everything, He is the Supporter of everything, He is the Lord of everything, He is the âtmâ of everything, and everything is His Body. As the âtmâ of everything, He causes them to function, and since everything is His Body, He is the one who is really functioning also. The veda-s declare Him as sarvah - Everything (Slokam 11).
  • Because He is both the prakṛti and the jîva from which everything is created, He is the material cause of this Universe - upâdâna kâraṇa; because He is the Creator of everything, He is also the instrumental cause of everything - nimitta kâraṇa. He is like both the clay that is used to make the pot and the pot maker that makes the pot. Everything that exists e.g., the pot, has two such causes for their existence, and these two are never the same. Bhagavân is the only exception and wonder who happens to be both the upâdâna kâraṇam and nimitta kâraṇam simultaneoulsy for creating a given object or being (Slokam 12).
  • While Bhagavân is the common cause for the creation of everything, still everything that is created is unique and different from everything else. This is not because of any bias or partiality on His part. The beings are what they are because of the result of their karma - which in turn results in a different combination of râjasic, sâttvic, and tamo guṇa-s in each being, and this results in them being different from each other (Slokam 13).
  • Bhagavân is impartial to everyone, and bestows the karma phalam to everyone impartially. He never breaks His promise to anyone. But when it comes to a devotee who has unconditionally surrendered to Him, then He becomes the servant of this devotee, and will do whatever it takes to protect the interests and welfare of the devotee. This is how He willingly performed the duty of a chariot-driver to arjuna, and went as a messenger to the pâṇḍava-s (Slokam 21). This is also why He broke His own promise not to take to weapons in the war against the kaurava-s, viz. just to protect the promise of His devotee bhîshma, and appeared in the pillar in a very unnatural form of half-man and half-lion to keep the word of prahlâda.

1.19  The Ultimate Knowledge

There is only one thing that needs to be understood from the study of all the veda-s and SAstra-s - that there is nothing comparable to Him or better than Him, that He is the One who protects everything, and that He is the Only One to whom we have to surrender in order to attain relief from all sorrows (Slokam 15).

His Greatness is such that even brahma cannot disobey His Will (Slokam 16). The different gods for whom homa-s are prescribed in the veda-s are ultimately directed to Him as their antaryâmi. This is analogous to the offering in the śrâddha, where a brâhmaṇa is given the bhojanam, but it is meant for the pitṛ-s (Slokam 17).

Bhagavân is the siddha-upâya, or the means that exists already without any effort needed on our part, for attaining Him (Slokam 23). This is because He is sarva-Saktan, sarvaj~nan, and above all, He is the parama-kâruṇikan.

Except for Him, no one else can bestow moksham. Just as even a thousand suns which are drawn on paper cannot remove darkness, the thousands of gods together can’t bestow moksham, and only He, out of His own Mercy, can bestow this on His devotee (Slokam 25).

1.20  The Role of pirâṭṭi

The roles of pirâṭṭi and bhagavân in bestowing their karuṇâ on the devotee-s is nicely explained by Swami Desikan through a simple example. Lots of beautiful creepers have grown on the trunk of the kalpaka vṛksham and surround it tightly. While the kalpaka vṛksham bestows anything the devotee asks for, the creepers provide the cool and comforting shade for those that sit under it. Similarly, pirâṭṭi is seated on the vaksha-sthalam of bhagavân like the creeper surrounding the kalpaka vṛksham and provides the purushakâratvam to the devotee while bhagavân bestows all the wishes of the devotee (Slokam 19).

1.21  A prapanna jîva’s Ascent to śrîvaikuṇṭham

Swami Desikan gives his anubhavam of how a prapanna is taken from this world to śrîvaikuṇṭham at the end of his life in this world in Sloka-s 82 to 90. The prapanna is released from the effects of both his good deeds and bad deeds as a consequence of prapatti (83). Note that the good karma-s, when not performed with surrendering the benefit or phala to Him, are as binding of the jîva to this world as the bad karma-s are.

At the end of this life, the jîva undergoes severe stress as a result of the separation of jîva from the body (maraṇa vedanai in tamizh), and bhagavân who is the antaryâmi in the prapanna is there ready and waiting to embrace the jîva and comfort and relieve the strain of the jîva. There are 101 different worlds to which a jîva can be taken, depending on the karma-s that have accumulated. A prapanna’s jîva is not led in any of the 100 paths (nâdi’s) that lead to loka-s other than śrîvaikuṇṭham, but instead through the 101st nâḍi which is called the brahma nâḍi which leads the prapanna to śrîvaikuṇṭham. This path is beautifully lit by the Sun’s rays, and bhagavân is anticipating the arrival of this jîva like a parent looking at a child who is coming towards him (84). The prapanna is led in this path by the gods such as agni, vâyu, sūrya, candra etc. Each of these escort the jîva of the prapanna up to the borders or spheres of their influence (85). The jîvâtmâ then crosses the virajâ river, and is bestowed with a divine body that is of the nature of pure sattva guṇa, and no râjasic or tâmasic qualities. This divine body is then decorated with garllands, beautiful clothes, fragrances, etc. worthy of a servant of bhagavân in śrîvaikuṇṭham (86). Bhagavân welcomes and embraces the prapanna to His heart just as He holds periya pirâṭṭi dear to His heart (87). This jîvâtmâ then is engaged in nitya kaimkaryam to emperumân in śrîvaikuṇṭham just like the nitya sūri-s (89). There is no rebirth for this jîvâtmâ in the sense of the jîva-s bound by karma; they will appear in this world along with bhagavân whenever He takes an incarnation, just to serve Him while He is in here, and will return with Him back to śrîvaikuṇṭham (90).

2.  What We Can and Should Do

Our relief from the eternal bondage of samsâra occurs because of His samkalpam, and cannot happen without His samkalpam. What is left for us is to

  1. pray to Him for His samkalpam (91),
  2. seek His forgiveness for all the apacâram-s that we keep committing knowingly and unknowingly (92),
  3. desist from going after the pleasures of this world and instead seek His Grace for relief from the bondage of samsâra (93, 94, 96),
  4. practice the a’nga-s of prapatti such as desisting from association with those who are who are non-devotees (whose association is like the poison that pours out at sight from a venomous serpent) and associating ourselves with His devotees whose sight and talk are like a shower of nectar pouring forth at us (95),
  5. seek the protection of His Feet which alone will relieve us from all our sufferings (97), and
  6. seek the guidance of an âcârya and perform the Ultimate Surrender or prapatti to Him (99) with the full faith that He has taken a vow to protect those who have sought His protection (98) and with the full realization that we are His belonging and He seeks to accept us and protect us just as much as we seek His protection (100).

3.  Concluding Summary

Thus has this composition with the title of acyuta Satakam been composed by the kavi târkika kesari vedântâcârya ve’nkatanâtha Swami Desikan for our benefit (101). Needless to add that here is another gem of collections of the fundamentals of the great Visishtadvaita philosophy summarized in simple form by Swami Desikan for even the simplest of minds to grasp and understand. Every one of the stotra-s that we have gone through so far has been an independent exposition of the essentials of our great philosophy by Swami Desikan in simple terms. He has composed these and given them to us because of his infinite mercy towards us, and is aimed at our redemption from the bondage of samsâra, and for uniting us with Bhagavân. May we benefit by His Grace.

— dâsan kṛshṇamâcâryan