Sri Sthavam – Introduction


SrivatsachihnamisrEbhyO nama ukthim adhImahE |
YaduktayastrayIkantE yaanthi MangaLa sutratAm ||


KooratthAzvAn’s Sri Sookthis (sacred utterances) have attained the state of ThirumAngalyam (auspicious thread worn by Sumangalis) around the neck of Veda MaathA. We recite the word of Nama: for the MahA PaNdithar, KurEsar with the same reverence as we recite the sacred Veda manthrams (nama ukthim adheemahE)

Swamy KurEsar (KuratthAzhwAn) is from the village of Kooram, which is not far from Lord VaradarAjan’s temple at Kaanchipuram. He was a wealthy person, who gave a lot to charity. His wife (ANDAL) was a great soul, who supported her husband’s philanthropy with zest as an ideal Saha-dharmachAriNi.

Swamy KurEsar is also known as SrivatsAnkamisra. He lived from 1010-1116 CE. He was a very important SishyA of AchArya RaamAnuja (1017-1137 C.E). KurEsar was thus 7years senior to AchArya RaamAnuja and ascended to Parama Padham some 21 years before his AchAryan. KurEsar assisted AchArya RaamAnuja in the writing of Sri BhAshyam. The Five devotional lyrics (AthimAnusha Sthavam, VaradarAja Sthavam, SrI Sthavam, SundarabAhu Sthavam and Sri Vaikunta Sthavam) were bequeathed to us by Swamy KurEsar. These Sthavams are the path breakers for exemplary devotional lyrics as well as rich resources for understanding of the esoteric Sri VaishNavite Tatthvams. Swamy ParAsara Bhattar, the precocious son of KurEsar and Swamy Desikan traveled on the road laid out by KurEsar in composition of the devotional lyrics (SthOtrams) and enriched Sri VaishNavite Literature further.


1. Sri Sthavam has 11 slOkams on the Parama Paavana, Dayaa Moorthy, SrI Sriranga NaacchiyAr. This sthavam is a moving eulogy of the divine consort of Lord RanganAtha.

2. Sri Vaikunta Sthavam has 100 slOkams. The old proverb is: The one who does not know Sri Vaikunta Sthavam is not a VaishNavan. This is the Saaram of Sri Bhaashyam and focuses on Parama Padha Naathan.

3. AthimAnusha Sthavam containing 61 slOkams. This deals with the AthimAnusha dhivya ChEsthithams of RaamA and KrishNa, who took the form of Manushyan (Human Being) in their Vibhava avathArams and moved among us and performed the extraordinary, divine deeds.

4. Sri Sundara Baahu Sthavam is about ThirumAlirum ChOlai KaLLazhagar (Sri Sundara Baahu PeumaL). This Sthvam has 132 slOkams. KurEsar’s family moved to the village of Kuram after generations of Kaimkaryam to Sundara Baahu PerumAL at ThirumAlirumchOlai dear to ANDAL and PeriyAzhwAr. That is why, Swamy KurEsar has a special attachment to Sri Sundara Baahu of ThirumAlirum ChOlai.

5. Sri VaradarAja Sthavam is about Kaanchi Varadhar. It has 102 slOkams and is very dear to Swamy Desikan, who was inspired to compose SrI VaradarAja PanchAsath. The VaradarAja Sthavam is the last of the Pancha Sthavams composed by Haareetha Kula Tilakam. Swamy KurEsar composed it in front of Lord VaradarAjan as commanded by his AchAryan to gain back the eyesight that he lost from the atrocity committed by the cruel ChOLA King. In this Sthavam, KurEsar prayed for the Moksham of NaalUrAn, the sishyan who became a drOhi to him (his own AchAryan). Such is the greatness of Swamy KurEsar.

There are 11 slOkams in Sri Sthavam of KurEsa. The first five are called Sthotropodhgaatam or introductory verses that express the author’s disqualifications to engage in praising the most auspicious Sri Devi. Here KurEsa states that he is acutely aware of his limitations as a poet to undertake such an impossible task. From verse 6, the actual stotram begins (Stotraarambham). The ninth and the tenth verses are in the form of his Prapatti at Her Lotus feet. The eleventh and the final verse of this Sthavam is a prayer to Her to cast Her benevolent glances on him and protect him and us as the prapannas seeking refuge in Her.

The Sthavam begins with a Svasthi Vacahanam and PrArTanai (prayer) for Sri Devi to confer auspiciousness to all the worlds and their beings: (asesha jagatAm Svasthi SrI: disathAdh) and KurEsa prays for her blessings of Vaak Samrutti and Bhakti Samrutti (Abundance of poetic skills and wealth of Bhakthi) during the composition of the sthavam on Her.




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