вторник, 9 января 2018 г.

Garuda and the shining scars of compassion...

Shree YamunAcharya, "Stotra-Ratnam", Verse 41:

दासः सखा वाहनमासनं ध्वजः यस्ते वितानं व्यजनं त्रयीमयः । 
उपस्थितं तेन पुरो गरुत्मता त्वदङ्घ्रिसंमर्दकिणाङ्कशोभिना । । ४१ । । 
dAsaH sakhA vAhanamAsanaM dhvajaH yaste vitAnaM vyajanaM trayImayaH | 
upasthitaM tena puro garutmatA tvada~NghrisaMmardakiNA~NkashobhinA | | 41 | | 

Translation: "You having Garuda as Your servant, Your friend, Your vehicle, Your seat, Your banner, Your canopy to protect You from the rain and the sun, who is shining as a result of the scars received from the contact with Your feet, whose form is made up of the Vedas (when will I be able to serve You and be blessed?)".

Explanation: Just as in the previous sloka, AdiShesha
was described, Garuda Alwar is described in this sloka. 

The sloka begins with the words "daasah" and "sakhaa". They refer to a dependent person and to a friend. Garuda is both a dependent person and a friend. 

He is a dependent person because it is the Lord who saved him and subsequently accepted him as a mount (vahana). 

He is also a friend. In the Rama avatara, Ramachandra is felled by the Nagaastra. It is Garuda who comes there and frees Ramachandra from the nooselike bonds of the serpents. Ramachandra required to be freed, because he had adopted a human form in this Avatara.

Adisesha renders service to the Lord, when the Lord is in Vaikuntham. As stated in the previous sloka, he is the seat, the throne and the canopy. 

In the same manner, Garuda is the seat, the vehicle and the banner when the Lord is on the move. The Lord has to move here and there in response to the appeals of the devotees. 

He has to rush to their rescue. Since both render serv­ice and provide a seat, the words "daasa" and "asana" have been used in respect of both Adisesha and Garuda.

When the Lord is coursing through the skies, He should not be exposed to the sun and rain and He should also feel comfort­able. That is why Garuda provides a canopy ("vitanam") and also provides a fan ("vyajanam") in the form of the flapping wings.

The Vedas, TrayiMayah and scars.

Garuda is addressed as "trayimayah". He symbolizes the Vedas. The Yajurveda has a sloka to this effect.

Garuda has some shining scars. This is because, the Lord rushes to the rescue of those who beseech Him, as in the case of Gajendra. 

Though Garuda is taking the Lord with great speed (to which we will make a reference a little later), the Lord, out of compassion for the supplicants who are beseeching him, wants Garuda to fly faster still and nudges him with his feet. 

These leave some scars ("tvadt anghri sammarda - त्वदङ्घ्रिसंमर्दकिणाङ्कशोभिना"). These scars are themselves shining.

Sri Vedanta Desika, "Sri Garuda Dandaka" and "Sri Garuda Panchasat". 

What Yamuna has succinctly put in one sloka has been elaborated by Sri Vedanta Desika into several slokas in his two stotras "Sri Garuda Dandaka" and "Sri Garuda Panchasat". 

In sloka 1 of Sri Garuda Dandaka, Desika eulogizes Garuda as "I praise Garuda who is seated in the nest of the Vedas, whose shoulders have become the seat for the powerful Lord Vishnu...." 

While in sloka (2) he refers to Garuda (among other things) by saying "your greatness is established by ascending the victorious banner of the enemy of the demons (that is the banner of Lord Vishnu)..."

Yamuna had said that Garuda symbolizes the Vedas. Says Desika in Sloka (2) of Sri Garuda Panchasat: "May that Mantra of Garuda in which Garuda (embodying the Veda) manifests himself within and without along with his import (ie., Lord Vishnu) protect us..." 
In sloka (3) he says that the Vedas proclaim that the eye of Garuda is the Gayatri-sama, his name the Yajurmantras, his limbs are the metres etc. 
Yamuna had said that Garuda fans the Lord. Says Desika in Sloka 14 (ibid) that the wind produced by the flapping of the wings was capable of throwing the stars around like cubes of ice and divide the ocean into two halves (Sloka 33) so as to enable Garuda to dive into the nether world. 

Yamuna has described Garuda as the friend and banner. Says Desika (Ibid, Sloka 46) that Garuda is Lord Vishnu's speedy canopy, the befitting fan, the victorious flag, the friend who decimates enemies and an indispensable servant. 

While Yamuna says that while Garuda was moving fast, the Lord nudges him with the feet to make him move faster still, Desika puts it differently. 

Says Desika (Sloka 47, Ibid) "May the magnanimous Lord of Birds, who went ahead of the mind of Lord Vishnu, who was worried at the thought of the elephant in the grip of the crocodile, destroy our predicament of felling into hell..."
Cited from 
rendering in English by Dr. MS Rajajee 
[Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams] ~2001~

OCR by Vishnudut1926, Moscow, January 2018