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by Sri N. Krishnamachari
We had just finished covering Saranagati Dipika as our previous stotra in this series. In the sequence in which Sri Rama Desikacarya Swami has organized the Desika stotras, several stotras on the divya kshetras in Kancipuram and other stotras are covered next, and a series of stotras on prapatti are covered as stotras 21, 22, and 23 (Nyasa Dasakam, Nyasa Vimsati, and Nyasa Tilakam) respectively. Because of their relation to the topic of Saranagati Dipika, I am covering the saranagati-related stotras next. The terms nyAsa, prapatti, bhara-samarpaNam, and SaraNAgati are synonyms all meaning self-surrender.
Nyasa Dasakam consists of 10 slokas on prapatti. It is common practice to chant these during the daily worship (tiruvArAdhanam) in houses. This stotram is the prapatti done by Swami Desikan at the feet of Lord Varadaraja of Kancipuram. Thus all the slokas are addressed by Swami Desikan from him to Bhagavan, and thus are in the form of "I surrender to you", "I pray to you", etc. However, the purpose for which our purvacharyas have preserved these words of Vedanta Desika and presented to us is for us to follow his example. Therefore, the meaning of the slokas is presented here in the form of what a prapanna should observe.
The underlying thought conveyed is that a prapanna chooses an acharya, learns the five angas (elements) of prapatti, surrenders the total responsibility for his protection to Bhagavan by following these, dedicates all he possesses to bhagavad-kainkaryam (Godly service), and enjoys the bliss of Sri Vaikuntham in this world through this kainkaryam. Because he has surrendered the total responsibility for his protection to Bhagavan, He ensures that the prapanna reaches moksham at the end of this life, and the prapanna is thus relieved of the cycle of re-birth, and unites with Bhagavan and continues the kainkaryam to Him in Sri Vaikuntham afterwards.
Sloka 1Prapatti consists of three steps.
Sloka 2Bhara samarpaNam involves surrendering the responsibility for our protection to the Lord by observing the following five angas of prapatti:
Sloka 3One who is doing prapatti should realize that Bhagavan is our Lord, and whatever knowledge we have, whatever we do, whatever effects they have, whatever benefits they result in, these are all His acts, and everything belongs to Him. This is called sAttvika tyAgam. This is a necessary and essential concept of any dharma towards the attainment of moksham.
This consists of three parts.
The prefix "sva" appears nine times in slokam 3 which conveys this idea, each time referring to Bhagavan being the owner of everything we do, including the actions and their benefits. (svAmin sva-SeshI sva-vaSam sva-bharatvena nirbharam sva-datta sva-dhiyA svArtham svasmin nyasyati mAm svayam).
Sloka 4A prapanna prays to Bhagavan with the full confidence that he will be granted moksham by Bhagavan at the time of the end of his body's life in this world.
Sloka 5The prapanna prays to Bhagavan that during his life in this world, Bhagavan should guide him so that he does not indulge in any acts that are counter to shstras, and spends his time in bhagavad-kainkaryam for the rest of his life. The prapanna prays for the firmness of mind in the service of the Lord (tvat Seshatve sthira dhiyam), attainment of Him as the only goal in life (tvat prAptyeka prayojanam), giving up those acts that are not befitting a prapanna and directed towards benefit for the self (nishiddha, kAmya rahitam), and performance of uniterrupted kainkaryam (nitya kinkaram) to Him during the life of the prapanna in this world (slokam 5).
Sloka 6A prapanna longs to do flawless kainkaryam that will be pleasing to Him who is associated with Sri Devi, Bhu Devi, and Nila Devi, and is decorated with the divine ornaments and the divine weapons.
Sloka 7The prapanna dedicates to the Lord's kainkaryam everything he possesses including his self (mAm), and all that he has any control on (madIyam) including living and non-living things that belong to him (cetana acetana Atmakam). This includes the relatives such as wife and children, house, garden, wealth, etc.
Sloka 8The prapanna entrusts to Bhagavan the responsibility for his protection, and prays that the Lord should ensure that the prapanna does not indulge in any sinful act, and forgiveness for any sins committed thus for.
Sloka 9The prapanna begs forgiveness from the Lord for all the sins that have been committed - by performing acts that have been forbidden by the shstras (akRtyAnAm ca karaNam), as well as by not performing those acts that have been prescribed in the shastras (kRtyAnAm varjanam ca).
Sloka 10Having thus been blessed by the Lord to do bhara-nyasam at His feet by following the five angas of prapatti, the prapanna has surrendered the responsibility for his protection completely to the Lord. The prapanna then devotes the rest of his life in the bliss of kainkaryam to Him and derives the joy of Sri Vaikuntham in this world itself. At the end of this life, it is Bhagavan who ensures that the prapanna who has thus surrendered himself to His care and protection, is indeed united with Him in Sri Vaikuntham, and is relieved of the cycle of samsara.
-- dAsan kRshNamAcAryan
Mani Varadarajan Last modified: Mon Mar 29 12:18:13 PST