This stotram celebrates the auspicious quality (Kalyana Guna) of Mercy (Dayaa) of the Lord of Thiruvenkatam. Of All the Kalyana Gunaas of Venkataadhri Sekhara Vibhu, His Dayaa is the most important one for the uplift of the Chetanaas. The concept of Prapatthi and Thiruvenkatamudayaan’s Dayaa to realize the fruits of that Prapatthi is the subject of Sri Venkatanatha Kavi in this “Satakam”.

The structure of this stotram containing 108 slokas (one for each of the Divya Desa Archaa Murthys of Sriman Narayana perhaps) is extraordinarily impressive even by Swami Desikan’s standards of poetic excellence. Our Acharya has used ten plus different meters to compose the ten groups of slokas, each of which houses “ ten” slokas. The numbers of slokas and their poetic meters are as follows:

1. Slokaas 1-10: Anushtup meter
2. Slokaas 11-20: Aryaa meter
3. Slokaas 21-30: Oupacchandhasikam
4. Slokaas 31-40: Maalini
5. Slokaas 41-50: Mandhaakraanthaa
6. Slokaas 51-60: Nathkutakam
7. Slokaas 61-70: SikariNi
8. Slokaas 71-80: HariNi
9. Slokaas 81-90: Pruthvee
10. Slokaas 91-104: Vasantha Tilakaa
11. Slokaas 105& 106: Maalini again
12. Slokaas 107& 108: Sardhoola Vikriditham

In the tradition of Sri Sriraama DesikAcchAr Swamy, each set of the ten slokas have the essence of the ten Patthus of Thiruvaimozhi of Nammazhwaar.

According to this tradition, every set of ten reveals a particular meaning, which together covers the Ananatha KalyaaNa GuNams of the Lord of Thiruvenkatam. The ten meanings associated with the ten sets of ten slokas have been summarized by Srirama Desikaacchaar Swamy this way:

1. The Lord of Thiruvenkatam is the one, who can give Mokshaanugraham.
2. He comprehends everything and He is capable of carrying out whatever He chooses to do.
3. He destroys the enemies of those, who surrender unto Him and thereby seek His help.
4. He is the means for attaining ALL worthwhile goals.
5. He is the fruit of ALL worthwhile endeavours.
6. He can be reached easily thru the glorious means of Prapatthi.
7. He will rush to the help of the lowest and the highest with same speed, when they appeal to Him sincerely for help.
8. He is the Supreme Principle standing on top of Thiruvenkatam.
9. He is the one, who took the incarnations of Rama and Krishna.
10. He is the one, who can offer the happiness associated with Moksha right here on this earth.

Swami Desikan goes on to describe in detail the Anantha Kalyana Gunaas of Sriman Narayana in his Taatparya RatnaavaLi and Dramidopanishad Saaram. He is thus paying his tribute to Nammazhwaar’s Thiruvaimozhi in all of these three works. We will illustrate the ten essential meanings of Daya Satakam in the subsequent sections as revealed by Srirama Desikaacchaar Swamy in the tradition of his Achaarya, Navaneetham Krishnamaacchaar Swamy of Oppiliappan Koil.


Slokam 72

vR^iShagiri pater.h hR^idhyaa vishvaavataara sahaayinI
xapita nikhilaavadhyaa devi xamaadi niShevitaa.
bhuvana jananI puMsaaM bhogaapavarga vidhaayinI
vitamasi pade vyaktiM nityaaM bibharShi daye svayam.h..72


Oh Dayaa DEvi! There are a lot of similarities between Yourself and Periya PirAtti (MahA Lakshmi). Periya PirAtti resides on Your Lord’s chest and You reside in the mind of Your Lord. Periya PirAtti accompanies Your Lord in every incarnation of His and helps Him. You also stay with Your Lord in all His incarnations and assist Him. If there is no Dayaa (KaruNaa), there could not be any avathArams. PirAtti removes the sins of ChEthanams. The Paapams of ChEthanams run away from places, where You are present. PirAtti is worshipped in Her role as the Empress of the Lord by Kshamaa (BhUmi DEvi) and others. BhUmi DEvi (Kshamaa) stays under Your suzerainty and follows Your niyamanams. PirAtti is the Mother of the Universe. Oh Dayaa Devi! You serve as the Mother of the Universe also since You are responsible for the creation of the Universe. Periya Piratti confers MangaLams in this world and blesses us with Moksha anugraham in the other world. Oh DayA Devi! You play a similar role in this matter since the chEthanams gain MangaLams in this and the other world with Your power. Periya Piratti stays in Sri Vaikuntam with Her eternal auspicious ThirumEni. Her permanent abode of Srivaikuntam is totally devoid of TamO guNam. Oh Dayaa Devi! You volunteer to reside permanently in the hearts of righteous ones (Saadhus), which are completely free from TamO guNam. Thus there are many similarities between Yourself (Dayaa DEvi) and Periya PirAtti. adiyEn is inclined therefore to think that both of You have the same roopam and are one and the same Devi of the Lord at Sri Vaikuntam.

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