Guru Gunasthavana- First three slokas explained

Guru Gunasthavana- First three slokas explained

|| Hari Sarvothama Vayu Jivothama ||

Guru Gunasthavana
Namaskara to all Haribhaktaas.

In this article all of you are going to enjoy the Parimala gandha (fragrance) of the works of Sri Guru Saarvabhaumaru from this issue onwards in the form of the Guru Gunasthavan. As the very name implies it is an outstanding work which epitomises the greatness of Sri Rayaru. It is work that His Holiness had given His whole-hearted assent and how it happened is an enthralling experience which is as narrated below.

During the last days of Sri Raghavendra swami, Diwan Venkanna had carved out a Brindavana for His Holiness but the Master replied in the negative and reserved this for a great saint who was to come after him fifth in succession and was to take place next to His Holy premises at Mantralaya. This great saint was none other than Sri Vaadindra Teertharu, the author of this great work. When Sri Vaaadindra Teertharu read out the work before Sri Rayaru the whole Brindavana shook and flowers were strewn over all the devotees present there to witness this wonderful event. How blessed they were indeed? Till today after this incident the  Brindavan is slightly tilted (if one observes clearly) after blessing Sri Vadindraru.

This great work betrays the scholarliness of the saint who intersperses various metres and alamkaras to embellish this unrivalled Kavya. Throughout the work the Sragdha metre which is quite difficult to compose finds most of the place. This kavya highlights  he greatness of Sri Harih Vaayu Gurugalu and covers the greatness of Sri Vyasarayaru, Sri Vijayeendraru, Sri Sudeendraru and of course the hero of this poem Sri Raghavendra Saarvabhaumaru. Saints Dhirendraru and Vasudendraru who later adorned the  eetha have also written about this great work. I prostrate before them all before proceeding to say something about the work  with my fearfully inadequate knowledge of Madhwa shastra.

1st shloka:
unmeelanneelaneeroruha nivahamahah pushtimushtindhayisrih
sri bhoodurgaadrubantaprachaya parichayo daarakirmeera bhaavaha |
paathu sriineturasmaan sapadibuda janatraana dakshah kataakshaha ||

The enchanting beauty of the cluster of the just blossomed dark blue lotuses that too viewing it continuously like drinking water from a jar without discontinuity is negated by a side glance of the exquisite side glance of Sri Bhoo Durga (Goddess Lakshmi) and this special colour of just her glance also obliterates the arrogance of the sheen of the moon which has risen from the milky  ocean. This beautiful glance reaches the eyes of the Lord Pundarikaaksha and enhances it whose power is capable of protecting the suras (devas) and bhoosuras (virtuous men) may also protect us with the utmost promptitude.

The above shloka is as usual the bendictory verse to Lakshmi Narayana but the alankaras and the metre involved is really incomparable. We are reminded of the seventh chapter of the Dwadasha stotra where similar opinions are voiced by Srimadaacharyaru. (Sriyat kattaaksha balavatyajitham namami…) In this poem we find the unique Prateepa alankara where the Upamana (Lakshmi) is given prominence when compared to the Upameyam (Moon, Lotus, etc.).

Also, the author does not merely stop to say that the loving glance of the Lord (as said in the Dadi Vamana Stotra – Chandrakoti Susheetalam) protect the Devas and the Bhoosuras (virtuous) people but also without wasting any time protect us also. This is  called Parikara alankaara.The above passage has one more meaning that we may also be elevated to the level of at least the Bhoosuras by the benign grace of Sri Harih.

2nd Sloka:
maathashtvaaamupakalpitaakhila jagatjsargejagabhargedite
chetenaprajahaatu jaatuchititaha svargepavargepinah |
kaarunyamkurumaakritaamayi punardurgevisargematim ||

The second shloka also eulogises Sri and in this one shloka also highlights the greatness of Her qualities as Goddess Durga also by the saint. Oh! Godess Lakshmi you are Lakshmi and Durga , the mother of this whole Universe and you are the creater of Brahmaadi Devaas (under the aegis of Lord Narayana) and your extraordinary effulgence nullifies the beauty of the divine group of women. Wherever we are, in this earth or in heaven please ensure that we do not live a life of oblivion about you and be kind enough to grant our deserving wishes (according to the svaroopa of the soul) and when we are in poverty (materialistic and spiritual) kindly do not foresake us. In short let us be blessed to be thinking about your feet always.Here in this shloka Sri Vadindraru has effectively made use of the Adisayokti alankara (which stimulates us to wonder).

3rd sloka:

Srimadraamaabhiraamaamita mahima padaprouda paathoruhaalih |
krishnaanishtaamitakshma parivrudapatalee paatanaika praveenahah ||
vedavyaasopadeshaadhika samadhigataananata vedaanta bhaavo |
bhooyaat keechaavaneeshaa vratitanuranilah sreyase bhooyase nahah || -3-

The saint poet Sri Vadindra Teertharu then renders a mangala shloka in the praise of the three avataras of Sri Mukhyapraanaa. May Mukhyapraanaa who is very dear to the Lord is hovering like a bee in the vicinity of the lovely lotus feet of Sri Ramachandra, in the incarnation of Sri Bheemasena had the wonderful capacity of destroying single handedly innumerable emperors (Jarasanda, Duryodana and the like) who were enemies of Sri Krishna (both Sri Yadava Krishna and also to Draupadi who is also called by that name) and in the last avataara as Sri Madhaachaaryaru learnt the purport of the Vedas, Upanishads and other shastras under the feet of Sri Vedavyaasaa and rendered the meaning of the same in the form of the Brahma Sutra Bhasya, bless us
bountifully with all the Purushaarthaas including Moksha saamraajyaa.

In this shloka the poet refers Vaayu Jeevothama as a bee because the bee is not satisfied by drawing out nectar from one particular flower and goes on sucking honey from various flowers so also the Haribhaktas and Daasaaas are not exhausted by the nectarine delight of the names of the Lord and endlessly drink the elixir of various divine names. The verse starts with “sri mad raamaabiraamaa” which is a case of “vritta anupraasa alankaraa” as the name of raama is used twice for the purpose of getting the correct metre.(similar to that of rain rain go away, twinkle twinkle little start etc.). “tadroopaa ubhaya roopaaalankaaraa” is used when Sri Hanumantha is described as a bee at the feet of Sri Ramachandra prabhu.

—— to be continued

Dr. B. Basker

Sri Raaghavendraantargatah Sri Seetha patih priyattam
Sri Krishnaarpanamasthu.

| Hari Sarvothama Vayu Jivothama |

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  1. varalakshmi rao

    its nice, but can get fragrance if it is in kannada & we can enjoy.

  2. S.Vittal

    can i get map of locations of brindhavanas of madhwa yatigalu in karnataka

  3. vijay vittal

    Hare Srinivasa!!!
    Nice one..

  4. Poorna

    Hare Srinivasa,,,
    Could pls send me the commentary (in Kannada/Sanskrit) of Guru Guna sthavana.
    my email id
    It would be great seva if u send it to me.
    I am looking forward any one of u pls send to me.
    Kind regards,
    poorna pragna

  5. Venkatraj

    thanks Basker. Nice to know that there are folks like you who understand depths of Sanskrit poetry. Cheers!

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