Desika's hymn

GOPALA VIMSATI — With Word Meaning, Sanskrit and Manipravala Commentaries, Tamil and English Explanations by V. N. Vedantadesikan: Pub. by Srimad Andavan Poundarikapuram Swamy Ashramam, 43-A/13, Ashram Salai, Srirangam-620006. Rs. 50.

THIS BOOK is one of the 29 hymns of Vedanta Desika, the greatest poet-philosopher of the Srivaishnava tradition. It is in praise of Lord Krishna in 21 beautiful verses. Desika in his own style has mixed the religious and philosophical ideas in his hymns which would be rather difficult to understand without a commentary.

There are several commentaries by many authors in various languages and in different scripts. Making all the commentaries available at one place with an English translation to a modern reader is the icing on the cake. V. N. Vedantadesikan has undertaken the task of compiling all the available commentaries on Vedanta Desika's Stotras with an English commentary.

The present work, Gopala Vimsati, is the second in this series, after Desika's Bhagavad Dhyanasopana. Parallels and comparisons are drawn from the Vedas and the Puranas in the commentary. For instance in the commentary on verse 13, the Bhagavata Purana is quoted and on the next, a verse from Desika's play "Sankalpa Suryodaya" is quoted.

The author has given the philosophical concepts in a lucid language so that it is easy for beginners to follow. For this he deserves praise. This will be an asset for connoisseurs of literature in general and also for traditional scholars.


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