SRI TYAGARAJA-26, Prayer and Petition-2 (Post No.8110)

WRITTEN BY R. NANJAPPA                        

Post No. 8110

Date uploaded in London – – – 5  June 2020   

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 SRI TYAGARAJA-26,       Prayer and Petition-2  

 Three important aspects are covered in the portions of Srimad Bhagavatam we saw in the last post.

1. The undesirability of seeking boons, in fact our inability to know what to seek! We do not know whether what we seek is in our interest.

2. The way to cultivate real devotion.

3. The way for a real devotee to conduct himself in the world, understanding the mysteries of karma.

On the first point, Bhagavatam gives original insights. On the second point too, it is almost entirely original, though something is shared with the Gita. On the third point, this is almost a total echo of the Gita! In the concluding portion, Bhagavan has given some very vital clues for spiritual life: how to get rid of the results of karma, how not to accumulate further results (good or bad, for both cause rebirth). Both enjoyment and suffering are due to past karma and get exhausted by experiencing them.This body is due to prarabda but in working it out,we incur further karma and have to face its consequences, leading to future births! Bhagavan gives here the secret of avoiding it: that karma has to be performed without desire and the fruits dedicated to Bhagavan- the message he explained to Arjuna! This is of momentous importance to practical spiritual life- this indeed is the ‘skill’ spoken of in the Gita as Yoga: “Yoga karmasu kausalam”.

 We have seen in previous posts how Tyagaraja has dealt with the last two points. We will now see what he has to say on the matter of boons. We will notice how faithful he is to the ideal of devotion as laid down in the bhakti scriptures. 

 Tyagaraja says briefly ” Varaa laduga jaalara”- I cannot ask for boons-  in the kriti ‘Eduta nilichite’; but has two remarkable kritis on the subject.

To ask for boon is tricky!
Varalandukommani naayandu
Vanchana seyuda nyaayama

Surasuravinuta Rama naamana-
subhaktine koriyundaka nanu….Varalandu

O Rama! Venerated by both devas and asuras!
When my mind is intent on bhakti alone, is it fair for you
to tempt and deceive me , asking me to seek boons?

Manasuna nijamuga namminavaari
manasu koncha phalamasinchaga
raadanuchu ghanuni jesina nee biruduku
Kanakakasipu sutudu saakshi gaadaa

You honour those devotees who sincerely depend on you in their heart, without hankering after petty benefits. Such is your glory for which Prahlada, the son of Hiranyakasipu stands as witness. Does he not?

Avivekamuto delisi teliyakanu
bhavasukhamula kaasinchina gaani
dhruvamaina phalamosangu nee saktiki
Druvudu saaksi gaagaa Rama nanu

Even when, due to ignorance or otherwise, one seeks worldly pleasures, you confer on him an exalted and eternal status.Such is your magnanimity. Dhruva stands witness to this. Does he not?

Charaacharaatmaka surapujita
ikaparaakulekanu satatamu nee
daya raavalenanuchu  korina Sri
Tyagarajunipai krupaleka nanu…varaalandu

O the One who   contains the whole universe within! O the one worshipped by the devas! This Tyagaraja is always longing for your mercy. Is it fair for you to ingore him, and tempt him with the offer of boons and thus trick him? 

Well, friends! Is it possible to appreciate this kriti unless we know the full details of the Dhruva and Prahlada episodes? How deep is Tyagaraja’s fidelity to the scripture ! How strong is his adherence to the ideal of  true devotion-ananya bhakti!

What boon to seek?

Ae vara madugudura Sri Rama nin
Paavanamagu nee paada bhajanamu seyutakaina
Dova lebaramainadi  devara indu ne….ae vara

O Rama! What boon can I ask from you?
 It seems I have lost even the chance to serve your holy Feet!

Sri Raghuveera! sakalaadhara nee manasuna
Gorina panulanu pada saarasamula naa 
manasaaraga vidavanane saaratara vairagyamu

saareki satatagati  kumaaruni paalainadi

Raghuveera! Foundation of everything!
To fulfil all your wishes (even unexpressed), and never to leave your lotus Feet- this has become the privilege of vayuputra Hanuman! 
(I can’t ask for it.)

Neelaghanaabha sadakaalamu nibhaktula
Jaalamulanu kani paripaalanajeyuchu nee
volikagaa jooche melu nagala saukhyamu
baaludagu ribhugnuni paalai yundaga nin

O the One of the shade of the dark clouds!
To ceaselessly attend on the crowds of your devotees and to have the pleasure of caring for them and thus be the subject of  the bliss of your graceful sight- this has become the privilege of that youngster, Satrughna! 

Nee mahimala vinagaa naamamunu dalachaga
Bhuminibadarekhala nemarakanu kanaga
taamarasanayana gunadhaama manasu karage

premarasamu Bharataswami paalai yundaga

O the one with eyes like the red lotus!
O the repository of all good qualities!
To listen to your glories, to meditate on your blessed Name, to have darshan of your Padukas and have intense devotion for them- this has been appropriated by Bharataswami!

Vaaramu needu manasu daarina nusarincchuchu
neramulekanu yaahara sushuptulanu
nivaranamu jeyu paricharaka bhagya malang-
kaariyagu sumitrakumaruni  paalainadi

The opportunity to serve you every day, knowing the ways of your mind, without making  a mistake, giving up food and sleep,- this has become the great fortune of Sumitra’s son Lakshmana.

Srihari! bharitasarasamooha sada ninu hrud-
gehamunanukani duradaahamulanu rosi vi-
vaahanudu neevanu mohambunanu marachi
sohamanu  sukamu Vaidehi paalai yundaga

Sri Hari! The one with mighty arrows!
To always have your darshan in the heart, to destroy all the serious taapaas, to forget in love that you are the great Mahavishnu riding on the Garuda, to feel oneness with you-(So aham)- this privilege has become the property of Sita!

Ee jagatini  galasukha raaajini mari nirjara
rajapadambunu eejanmamuna naduganu
rajavadana SriTyagarajuni madikeppudu 
rajapatha mulaite jayamau gaani

O one with moon-like face! In this birth, I will not seek from you the worldly pleasures, not even the position of Devendra. The royal path of bhakti alone will ever confer victory on the heart of Tyagaraja. So, what boon can I seek from you ?

Sri Tyagaraja fees so humble even among the devotees. When we think of the galaxy of devotees recorded in our scriptures, which of us can feel fit even to utter their names? Here Tyagaraja shows the ways in which his brothers , Sita and Hanuman serve Rama. This is a theme he covers in other kritis too. But here the focus is, that in view of the intensity of their devotion, these people have obtained such privileges no one else  can even seek as a boon, even in the matter of service! This should make us all so humble, even among the devotees!

In the Tamil scripture “Periyapuranam”, dealing with the lives of the 63 great Saiva Saints, author Sekkizhar says on the nature of devotion of these saints:

கேடு மாக்கமுங் கெட்ட திருவினார்
ஓடுஞ் செம்பொனும் ஒக்கவே நோக்குவார்
கூடும் அன்பினில் கும்பிட லேயன்றி
வீடும் வேண்டா விறலின் விளங்கினார் .

They have  contentment as the supreme wealth- so they are not bothered by loss or possession.
They regard broken pot shred and gold in the same manner.
Their love seeks nothing else, other than the chance to pay pure devotional obeisance..
They do not even seek Liberation. Such is their nobility and greatness.

So our great devotees across space and time have been of the same attitude: devotion is an end in itself, and is not a means to  any other end. This is the highest standard which Indian scriptures hold up as the ideal of Bhakti.
Sri Tyagaraja lived that ideal.


We do not know what is in our  true interest. We have many wishes and seek their fulfilment through many means, in the name of religion and devotion. Often, the results are not what we expected.We regret what we  prayed for- and got! Shyama Sastri therefore asks of the Divine Mother:

Birana vara lichi brovu, ninu nera nammiti!

O Mother, grant me all boons, but please also protect me ( that I do not suffer from getting them!) I depend on you.

To be continued……………………..


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