Varadaraja Panchasat of Sri Vedanta Desika

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Summary

This is a stotra of 51 slokas (inclusive of the phalasruti) sung in praise of Lord Varadaraja of Kanchipuram. As in Dehaleesa Stuti, after the first sloka, which is invocatory, every sloka is addressed to the Lord till the penultimate sloka. The essential doctrines of Visishtadvaita Siddhanta are very crisply condensed into 7 slokas (9 to 15) which enjoy Lord Varadaraja with reference to the several characteristics of Parabrahma, the Absolute of the Vedanta, such as jagadvyaapaara (universal creation), sarva-sareeritvam (having everything as his body), sarvasabda-vaacyatvam (being the import of all words), sarvaphala pradatvam (the giver of all fruits), etc. The five forms of the Lord, as postulated by the Agamas and enjoyed by the Alvars, are dealt with seriatum:

  1. para rupa (16 to 18)
  2. vyuha (19)
  3. antaryami (20 and 21)
  4. vibhava incarnation [only some] (22 to 26)
  5. arca (27 to 29).

Sloka 30 contains the prapatti that Desika performs at the Feet of this Lord who appears to have been his personal God. Slokas up to 41 deal with the mentality of a prapanna in the post-prapatti period. Slokas 41 and 42 refer to anishta nivritti (wiping out undesirable fruits) and ishta praapti (securing the desired goal), moksha, Thus far it is the pursuit of the path prescribed by Vedanta. Slokas 43 to 49 are modelled on the enjoyment of the Alvars who craved for fulfilment of their God-love in this very life. In sloka 43 Desika refers to four conditions which if they are fulfilled will render man a mukta here itself. In sloka 49 Desika swears that if he is able to enjoy unceasingly the beauty of Lord Varadaraja which is beyond thought (aspṛshṭa cintâpadamâbhirūpyam) he will have no desire for life in Vaikuntha. That is the extent to which Desika’s soul was ravished by Lord Varadaraja’s beauty and the glory of His festivals.

Analysis