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 73

svaya mudayinaH sidhdaadhyaa viShkR^itaascha shubhaalayaaH
vividha vibhava vyuuhaa vaasaaH paraM cha padaM vibhoH.
vR^iShagiri mukheSh.h veteSh.h vichchhaavadhi pratilabdhaye
dR^iTa vinihitaa nishreNistvaM daye nija parvabhiH..73


Oh Dayaa DEvi! Your Lord is resplendent in five forms: (1) as ArchaavathAran at variousDhivya dEsams; Among some of them, He shines in a self-manifested form (Svayam VyakthaKshEthrams such as ThiruvEnkadam); In other dhivya dEsams, He manifests Himself in response to the power of the penance of DevAs or Rishis (Kaanchipuram, Thiruvaheendhrapuram and ThiruviNNagar et al; these KshEthrams are known as Saiddham), Dhaivam and Aarsham. (2) He also appears in Vibhava avathArams such as Matsya-Koorma- Nrusimha-Raama-KrishNAdhi avathArams (3) He also appears in VyUhaavathArams as VaasudEvan-SankarshaNan-Pradhyumnan and Aniruddhan (4) He resides as AntharyAmi Brahman in the heart cavities of the ChEthanams (5) Finally, He stays as Para VaasudEvan in Sri Vaikuntam.Dayaa Devi! All these five manifestations are a direct result of Your anugraham. You serve as the well bound steps of a ladder named Dayaa for Your Lord to descend from His Supreme abode of Sri Vaikuntam and the chEthanams to climb the same ladder to reach Your Lord, the boon granting Kalpaka tree and pick the desired fruits from that divine tree. You are that ladder which facilitates this two way traffic.Your Lord descends through You to manifest Himself in His PanchAvathArams to bless the ChEthanams and be accessible to them. Some blessed chEthanams perform Prapatthi and climb up the ladder of Dayaa to ascend to Parama Padham.

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