Swami Desikan’s Ashtabhujashtakam:Sloka-3


06 November 2021, Plava varusha, Aippasi-20, Saturday;

Sri Desikan praises Bhagavan’s guna of soulabhyam or His greatness in mixing with
even the lowliest of beings with ease. We all can recall His greeting Kuchela with all
the intimacy that one can imagine, doing paada-pujA for him with Mahalakshmi
holding the pot of water, and then sprinkling the water from the paada-puja on His
head and that of Mahalakshmi. If Bhagavan reveals His divine divya mangala vigraha
or form to us right at the beginning, it just will prevent us from approaching Him in
sheer awe of the greatness of this form.
Recall the reaction of Arjuna, one who lived with Bhagavan as a close friend
throughout his life, when the viraat-svarupa was revealed to Him for a brief moment.
In order to make it easy on us to approach Him, He presents Himself to us in forms
where we can approach Him at our level, and hides His greatness from us for our
benefit in the beginning. His archa-rupa, iconic form, in temples — in this stotram the
Ashtabhuja Perumaal — is an example of this. Then as we get used to Him, He
reveals His true form to us.

Oh Lord! You have both Aathma and sareeram like us. Your Aathma is connected to
Your dhivyAthma svaroopam. Your sacred body (ThirumEni) is saluted as Dhivya

MangaLa vigraham. The aabharaNams, the weapons that You adorn on Your body
can not be seen on any other god. Every one of these AabharaNams and Aayudhams
will attest to Your being the SarvEswaran. Therefore, it is hard to forget the fact that
You are the Lord of all (Parama Purushan). Because of these overpowering
anubhavams, it is not easy for Your adiyArs to approach You. They recognize their
unfitness and try to stay away from You out of their sense of awe and inadequacy.
That is not acceptable by You. Hence, You play a trick on the frightened chEtanams.
You hide Your superior guNams and start mingling with simple folks like they are
Your equals. This permits the shy adiyArs to feel comfortable in approaching You
slowly and they get used to mingling with You and performing Kaimkaryams for you
without any inhibitions. That is how You enchant them by hiding Your lofty
The key words here are: “PumsAm bhOgE mrudhu upakramathAm abheepsan,
Thvayi dhurnivAram parathva chinthAm SeelAdhibhi: vaarayasi”.

Courtesy: Sri. Oppiliappan Koil SRi. V. Sadagopachariar

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