Dear SrI Raama BhakthAs:
The First of the ten chapters of Abhaya PradhAna Saaram (ABS)
is " Prabhandha AvathAram " or the birth of the Prabhandham
dedicated to instruct us on the Saaram (essence)Abhaya PradhAnam
( Granting of Freedom from Fear ). Bhayam or Bheethi is the fear
and Abhayam is the freedom from that fear . What is this Bhayam ?
Swamy Desikan has dealt in detail what this Bhayam is and who
is the One that chases away this fear and grants freedom from
these fears . Let us reflect on these passages from SrI Abheethi
Sthavam, where the prayer is to the Uthsava Moorthy of
SrI RanganAthan , who in our tradition is none other than
Lord Raamachandran .
Abhaya PradhAna Saaram is all about that Lord Raamabhadran
and His vratham to protect those , who seek His rakshaNam
through the act of SaraNAgathy .
AbhIthi Sthavam passages
The first slOkam of SrI Abheethi sthavam defines three
items right away and pays tribute to that MahA Purushan ,
ParandhAman , PurushOtthaman (RamaasakhamKimapi Maha:
The one who destroys all fears on seeking His protection
in this world is saluted as " Iha yajjushAm abheethi: ).
The one who is filled with fear on abandonment by
the Lord is saluted as " iha yadh-avadheerithAnAm
The Lord under whose command are those , who generate
fear and freedom from fear are referred to as " Jagadhi
Bhaya-abhaya vidhAyina: yannidEsE stiTA:). He is
the controller and ruler of all these forces
and the empowerer . They are all enabled by Him .
That Lord is the One , who uttered on the sea side
the famous abhya PradhAna vaakyam , which Swamy Desikan
paraphrases in the second slOkam of ABS :
" Sakruth praNatha RakshaNa praTitha Samvidha:"
Even those who sought His protection ONCE
( Sakruth praNatha ) , He protects without fail .
He has declared this as His vow publicly on
the sea side ( RakshaNa praTitha samvidha:)
so that no one has any confusion about His
This vow to protect those , who sought His protection
are of many kinds as they sink in the deep ocean
of SamsAram : Some are "mitha Buddhis" engaged in
the enjoyment of alpa sukham ( siRRinbham) of the world.
Some are deeply stuck in the mud of Ajn~Anam ( false
knowledge about Tatthva Thrayam). These are
" bahuLamOhabhAjA:". They do not think about
the fruits of auspicious and inauspicious karmAs
and ( atarkika hitha-ahitha krama visEsha vrutthi: ).
They do not realize directly or through SadAchArya
Upadesam that SaraNAgathy to You will free them from
fear from all quarters and at all times ( Tasya kadAchana
kudascchana kvachana Bhayam na syAth). Such a bhAgyasAli,
who has performed SaraNAgathy at Your Sacred Feet does not
end up in narakam or become exposed to the influence of
the servants of Yama Dharaman , who is Your servant
( na tasya yama vasyathA narakapaatha bheethi: kutha: )
Oh Lord Raamachandra! For those , who wish to cross
the ocean of SamsAram ( thriguNa langhana udhyOgina:)
there are fearful times in which they slip from their
chosen path of seeking Moksham ( skhalath samaya kaatharee
anubhavantha:). At those times , You as the forever-alert
Lord about their protection (kaatharee haraNa jaagarUkan)
give Your hand as the One , who has vowed to rescue
them (kara-grahaNa DhIkshithan) from such calmities
and protect them without fail. For You , the rescuing of
those , who seek Your protection (praNatha rakshaNam) is
like the effort to protect Your own Self (SvarakshaNam
Swamy reminds the Lord of His vow that He broadcast
over the noise of the waves of Raama Sethu in ABS
"sakruth prapadhana sprusAm ABHAYA DHAANA NITHYA VRATHEE"
One who has declared during RaamAvathAram that it is His
eternal vow to protect those , who sought His refuge
through the act of Prapatthi.
Swamy also reminds the Lord that He is afraid to reject
the SaraNAgathan independent of the magnitude of trespasses
the jeevan might have committed and salutes the Lord in this context
as " SaraNAgatha praNaya bhanga bheethan ". On seeking the refuge
of the Lord's sacred feet , they are freed from the three kinds
of FEARS and attain Moksham ( Bhavath padha SamAsrithA:
bhaya vimukthim aapu:). Abhayam is described as Bhaya Vimukthi
here. He gives the Abhaya PradhAnam and those object of His
infinite DayA , get Bhaya Vimukthi. The SaraNAgathan says :
" ayam bhara: Thvath paadhamoolE samarpitham" ( The responsibility of
my protection is placed at Your sacred feet) and the Lord,
who has been waiting to hear this plea takes over immediately
the act of protection that is sought. The Lord is the abode of
all auspicious attributes( Prakrushta guNakan) and with
His inviolable power burns away all the fears of the suffering
SamsAri once and for all. The object of such abundant mercy
(the PrapannAs) join the assembly of those , who perform
pallANDu for Him ( jitham tE Vaadhina:).They join the list of
PrapannAs like PrahlAdhan, Dhroupathi, GajEndhran ,
VibhIshaNan , the GopAs and the Gopis , AmbharIshan and
a host of others , who have recieved already abhaya PradhAnam
from our Lord .
This then is the message of Abhaya PradhAna Saaram ,
which we will study together during this puNya kaalam
of SrI Raama Navami season .
In the next posting , we will study the introductory
Sanskrit and Tamil slOkams placed at the very beginning
of this Prabhandham of Abhaya pradhAna Saaram.
SrI Raamachandra ParabrahmaNE Nama:
Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan