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 84

saTaa paTala bhiiShaNe sarabhasaaTTa haasodbhaTe
spurat.h kR^idhi parisphuTad.h bhR^ikuTike.api vaktre kR^ite.
daye vR^iShagiriishitur.h danuja Dimbha dattastanaa
saroja sadR^ishaa dR^ishaa samuditaakR^itir dR^ishyase..84


This slOkam salutes Sri NrusimhAvathAram and the role played by Dayaa Devi in this avathAram. During this avathAram, Sri Narasimha BhagavAn jumped out of the pillar in HiraNyan’s sabhaa so that His devotees’ statement will not become false. The Lord’s leonine face looked fearsome with the manes / facial hair assembly (VakthrE saDApaDalabheeshaNE); the ear splitting laughter was fearsome and majestic (sarabhasa attahAsaudhbhaDE); the eye brows were moving violently displaying rage (parisphDath bhrUkuDikEsphurath kruthi). The anger was at the apachArams committed by HiraNya Kasipu towards His BhAgavathaa son. Amidst all this display of anger,the soft lotus like glances of DayA Devi was falling on the child BhAgavathan PrahlAdhan and She was nursing him with Her breast milk and looked joyous. AgaDitha GaDanam (Union of polaropposites) was taking place there. The Lord was filled with rage and was ready to tear HiraNyan apart while Dayaa Devi was showing tender compassion towards Bhaktha PrahlAdhan at the same time. DayA Devi assumed the role of the caring Mother to that child in distress. DayA Devi stayed in the two eyes of Her Lord and displayed anger with one eye and tenderness with the other

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