EXCELLENT GLOSSES FROM #"SRI YAMUNACHARYA'S STOTRA RATNA" RENDERING IN ENGLISH BY DR. MS RAJAJEE#:
SHREE YAMUNACHARYA (ALAVANDAR), "STOTRA RATNAM", VERSE 15:
त्वां शीलरुपचरितैः परमप्रकृष्त सत्त्वेन सात्विकतया प्रबलैश्च शास्त्रै: ।
प्रख्यातदैवपरमार्थविदां मतैश्च नैवासुरप्रकृतयः प्रभवन्ति बोद्धुम् । । १५ । ।
tvAM shIlarupacharitaiH paramaprakRRiShta sattvena sAtvikatayA prabalaishcha shAstrai: |
prakhyAtadaivaparamArthavidAM mataishcha naivAsuraprakRRitayaH prabhavanti boddhum | | 15 | |
Translation: "You are greater than the greatest. This is known to all, except those of a demoniac nature by 1) Your benevolent disposition, 2) by the loveliness of Your Form, 3) by Your divine deeds, 4) by Your exalted Sattva nature, 5) by the accounts in the scriptures which are authoritative because they are Sattva in tenor and 6) by the precepts of the famous knowers of the Supreme Truth".
Explanation: "The Lord is the greatest. How is this to be known? The sloka enumeratessix reasons, as to how this is to be known. Is this known to all?
The sloka says that the Lord can be attained by all except those of an asuric nature.
Arrogance and Ravana.
The asuras do not recognise this, because of their arrogance. The examples of Ravana and Hiranyakasipu would suffice. Hanuman had crossed the ocean, conferred with Maithili, had allowed himself to be taken as a captive and had devastated Sri Lanka.
Ravana has a meeting with all his counsellors. Vibhishana gives wholesome advice to Ravana that he should sue for peace and return Maithili as Ramachandra is an exalted person. The advice is spurned and he is humiliated.
Later on, Malyavan gives similar advice and this is rejected. When Ravana lies dead on the battle field, Mandodari recalls the advice she had given to Ravana, the previous night that Sri Ramachandra should be made an ally and how Ravana had contemptuously rejected it, with the result Ravana lay dead on the battlefield, on the hard ground though he was accustomed to sleep on the softest of silken couches.
Hiranyakasipu and tortures.
In the same manner, Prahlada repeatedly tells Hiranyakasipu that Sri Hari is The Most Supreme Lord. Hiranyakasipu tortures Prahlada and finally challenges him to prove the presence of the Lord.
The Lord appears in a man-lion form and kills him.
Thus, the greatness of the Lord (Shree YamunAcharya calls it greater than the greatest) is known to all except those of an asuric nature (नैवासुरप्रकृतयः - naiva-asura-prakRRitayaH).
Those of us who are not of an asuric nature can ascertain the true nature of the Lord by following one of the enumerated methods.
The sloka first enumerates शीलरुपचरितैः (shIla-rupa-charitaiH) - the Supremacy of the Lord can be known through His benevolent disposition, an accessible disposition. The Lord is accessible to all, without any discrimination based on birth or riches or community.
The instances of Guha, Sabari, Gopikas and Kuchela may be recalled.
Lord Shree Rama, Shabari and Guha.
Guha is a Nishada or a tribal. Sri Ramachandra befriends him. Guha ferries him across a river. The Lord becomes fond of him and meets him on the return journey from Lanka.
In the Aranya Kanda of the Ramayana, Sri Ramachandra and Lakshmana come across Sabari, an austere woman and an ascetic, who had been waiting to meet the Lord.
The Lord makes enquiries of her and she replies: "My asceticism has become fruitful today and the highest heaven will fall to my lot, now that You, the foremost of the gods, have been worshipped by me, O Rama, the flower of humanity. Hallowed by Your gracious look, O gentle one, bestowing honour on others, I shall by Your grace ascend to realms knowing no decay."
Such is the accessibility of the Lord.
The Krishna-Avatara and Gopikas.
In the Krishna Avatara, He was easily accessible to all the gopis. They are aware that they are mere cowherdesses and yet the Lord showers His grace on all of them, without distinction, so much so each Gopika felt that the Lord was with her only.
It is not related to wealth. The episodes of Kubja and Kuchela highlight this.
Loveliness of Form.
The second point made is about the Loveliness of Form. In the Sundara Kanda, Hanuman approaches Sita with all humility.
Sita initially welcomes him and then has a doubt whether he is Ravana in another disguise. She asks Hanuman to describe Lord Rama.
Hanuman, in an elaborate description begins "...Rama has eyes resembling lotus petals. His countenance resembles the full moon. He is richly endowed with charm from his birth. He vies with the Sun in effulgence, with the earth in forbearance..."
Sri Vedanta Desika in the Varadaraja Panchasat says that the glory of the Lord on the Hastagiri Hill is so indescribable that he has no desire to go even to Vaikuntham.
In the same manner, Sri Parasara Bhatta who is so taken in by the beauty of the reclining Lord at Srirangam, says that he would return to Srirangam if he does not find the Lord in that Form in Vaikuntham.
That the Lord is greater than the greatest is known also from His Divine Deeds. Krishna, as an infant, had sucked out the life of Putana.
When Indra, in his arrogance, had hurled torrential rain, Krishna had lifted the Govadhana mountain and protected the residents for 7 days.
Hiranyakashipu had received a boon that he would be killed by no man or no animal. The Lord assumed the form of a man-lion so as to destroy the Asura.
Satva and 3 classes of Puranas.
The Puranas are full of such incidents which speak about the divine deeds of the Lord. This is what Shree YamunAcharya (Alavandar) refers to when he uses the word "charita".
He is greater than the greatest because he has an exalted "Satva" nature (परमप्रकृष्त सत्त्वेन सात्विकतया - paramaprakRRiShta sattvena sAtvikatayA).
The Lord had created Brahma to create the universe. The Lord had created Siva for the dissolution of the universe while He as Vishnu was responsible for the sustenance of the Universe.
Thus, Brahma represents the Rajasic qualities, while Siva represents the Tamasic qualities. It may be mentioned that the 18 Maha Puranas are also divided into Satva, Rajasic and Tamasic Puranas.
The Puranas which extol Sri MahaVishnu are all regarded as Satva Puranas.***
***Note by Vishnudut1926: "Shree Garuda-Purana" (Moksha-Kanda) enumerates 3 main Satvika-Puranas: 1. "Shree Vishnu-Purana" 2. "Shree Bhagavata-Purana" ("Shreemad-Bhagavatam") 3. "Shree Garuda-Puranam".
One can know the Greatness of the Lord by reading the scriptures, which are authoritative because they are Satva in tenor. The Greatness can be known also from the Precepts of the knowers of the Truth (प्रख्यातदैवपरमार्थविदां मतैश्च - prakhyAtadaivaparamArthavidAM mataishcha).
Vyasa, Parasara, Valmiki, Yajnavalkya and Sanaka, are all knowers of the Truth.
One’s attention is invited to sloka 17 of Mukunda Mala by Shree KulaShekhara Alwar.
Shree Kulasekhara Alwar says: "Hear my fellowmen, to this remedy for the illness of birth and death, given out by ascetics like Yajnavalkya, who are adepts in Yoga. Within you, there is a Supreme Light, the immortal and immeasurable Krishna. That is the supreme medicine. Take it always. That will confer on you absolute bliss".
It is to this Shree YamunAcharya (Alavandar) makes a reference (दैवपरमार्थविदां - daivaparamArthavidAM).
rendering in English by Dr. MS Rajajee
[Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams] ~2001~
OCR by Vishnudut1926, Moscow, January 2018