BOOK REVIEW

Commentaries on Desika's hymn

V.K.S.N. Raghavan

SRI HAYAGRIVA-STOTRAM — Edited with two Sanskrit and Manipravala (Sanskrit-Tamil) commentaries, along with detailed Tamil gloss and English explanation by V. N. Vedanta Desikan: Pub. by Srimad Andavan Poundarikapuram Swami Ashramam, 43-A/13, Ashramam Salai, Srirangam-620006. Rs. 50.

In continuation of the six Stotra (devotional hymns) publications of Sri Desika Stotra Vyakhyana Mala (Bhagavad dhyana sopanam, Gopala vimsati, Dasavatara stotram, Abhiti stavam, Goda stuti, and Sri Stuti) V. N. Vedanta Desikan has brought out Vedanta Desika's Hayagriva stotra with two commentaries each in Sanskrit and in Manipravala.

This edition is very much valuable as the English explanation and the other commentaries are exhaustive and in many places revelatory of the significant role of Lord Narayana's incarnation as Lakshmi Hayavadana.

Nammazhvar in one of his verses of Tiruvoimozhi says, "Lord Hayagriva forms both the content and purport of all speech forms found throughout the world."

While explaining verse 13, Velamoor Srinivasacharya quotes the Bhagavad Gita (Ch.9 v.22) in his Sanskrit commentary, for Desika says, "Great learned people meditate on Your (Hayagriva's) glorious divine form in their heart (to gain the ultimate goal of liberation)."

Commenting on the first verse `Jnananandamayam', Vasudevacharya says, `Ananda' may be `Jada' or inert bliss, whereas Hayagriva's divine image is an embodiment of self-luminous bliss.

On the 7th verse, the editor exhorts the devotees of Lord Vishnu not to get overwhelmed by the other deities; "You can seek good benefits from the Divine couple; the hundreds of works of savants like Vedanta Desika's are not to go as a cry in the wilderness."

Explaining the supremacy of Hayagriva, the translator adds, `Vishnu maya' would baffle even the gods, "Imagine the fantasy He created at the time of the distribution of nectar."

Explaining verse 23, the editor comments, "How lovely is the right hand of Lord Hayavadana! How potent it is to awaken our vision, our realisation of supreme knowledge! I deeply deliberate on this charming hand, without any interruption and thereby, derive the benefit of this meditation."

The inclusion of many attractive colour photographs of Lord Hayagriva and Vedanta Desika add to the grandeur of this splendid volume.

A welcome addition to Sanskrit and Srivaishnava stotra literature.

Recommended for you