Śrī Stuti of Swāmi Deśikan | Introduction
Introduction to Śrī Stuti
In the First Book - Śikṣā vallī section of Taittirīya Upanishad (chapter 4), there is a mantram passage known as “Lakśmyādhi Prārṭanā”:
आवहन्ती वितन्वाना ।
कुर्वाणाऽचीरमात्मनः । वासाँ सि मम गावश्च ।
अन्नपाने च सर्वदा । ततो मे श्रियमावह ।
लोमशां पशुभिः सह स्वाहा ।
āvahantī vitanvānā |
kurvāṇā'cīramātmanaḥ | vāsāɱ si mama gāvaśca |
annapāne ca sarvadā | tato me śriyamāvaha |
lomaśāṁ paśubhiḥ saha svāhā |
This is a prayer to Śrī Devi for the conferral of many kinds of auspiciousness and wealth. It says:
She brings and increases ever my clothes and cattle, food and drink, and does these quickly and for all time – therefore may Thou bring that Śrī, the goddess of fortune, to me along with the woolly (sheep) and cattle. Svāhā!
This is the prayer of Brahmachari engaged in the acquisition of knowledge Vedic wisdom) at the feet of a Sadāchāra and ready to enter Gṛihastha Āśrama.
In this prayer of “Śriyam āvaha” to Śrī Devi, the Brahmachari prays for the acquisition of the wealth in the form of the 3 Vedas. Śriyam (the wealth) is defined as “thrayī lakśaṇam”. This type of wealth in the form of the three Vedas is considered as “the immortal wealth of the virtuous.
One day a poor Brahmachari, who had completed Veda adhyayanaṁ arrived at Vedanta Āchāryas house at Thuppul. He prostrated before Swāmi Deśikan and explained his predicament in not being successful in gaining the hand of a suitable bride because of his poverty.
The most compassionate Vedānta Āchārya took the Brahmachari to the Sannidhi of Perumdevi ṭhāyār, the divine consort of Lord Varadarāja and composed a Stuti on this Arcā Mūrti of Śrī Devi to receive Her anugraha for the Brahmachari. The rest is history. At the conclusion of the recitation of this new Stuti for Śrī Devi rich in Vedāntic meanings and deep devotion for the anugraha mayī, a rain of gold coins poured in front of Swāmi Deśikan.
The Brahmachari collected the coins, offered his Vandanams to Swāmi Deśikan and Perumdevi ṭhāyār and found a suitable bride to enter Gṛihastha Āśrama.
The parama Āchārya, Swāmi Deśikan went home and continued with his practice.
It is a good opportunity here to reflect on another section of the Śikṣā Valli of Taittirīya Upanishad (Chapter 11), which starts with “vedamanūcyācāryontevāsinamanuśāsti” and ends with “mātṛdevo bhava | pitṛdevo bhava | ācāryadevo bhava | atithidevo bhava |”.
It represents the Vedic command and instruction of the Āchārya to His śiṣya this way:
Having taught the Vedas the teacher exhorts the disciple, -
“Speak the truth. Perform Dharma. Swerve not from the study of the Scriptures.
Having gathered for the Teacher the wealth he desires, (thou) should never cut the thread of progeny. Never swerve away from truth. Swerve not from Dharma. From the beneficial let thee not deviate; and deviate not from prosperity. Let thee not stray away also from the study and teaching of the Vedas. Never swerve from the rites due to the gods and to the manes.
Let thy Mother be to thee a God; let thy father be a God to thee; a God let thy teacher be unto thee, and, (so also) let thy guest be unto thee a God. ......”
This is the injunction. This is the advice. This is the secret of the Vedas. This is the commandment. This should be observed. And verily this should be observed (by thee). Thus alone should one meditate (...eṣa ādeśaḥ | eṣa upadeśaḥ | eṣā vedopaniṣat | etadanuśāsanam | evamupāsitavyam | evamu caitadupāsyam || 4 |).
There are many Stotras in praise of our Supreme Mother. Chatur-śloka of Swāmi Ālavandār, Śrī Stava of Swāmi Kureśa and Śrī Stuti of Swāmi Deśikan besides Śrī Lakshmi Sahasraṁ by Śrī Veṅkaṭādri Kavi, Lakshmi Ashtottara and Sahasranāma.
Śrī Stuti of Swāmi Deśikan has 25 beautiful and powerful Ślokas that on recitation confers Sarva MangaLams (Auspicious Blessings) to the reciter.
The Kāmya Siddhi from reciting Individual Ślokas of Śrī Stuti:
Each Of the 25 Ślokas have their own power to grant specific wishes. Scholars have summed up the power of these individual Ślokas this way in the Śrī Vaiṣṇavism Ahobhila Math Sampradāya:
1st Śloka: mānātīta --- For rise of all Auspiciousness.
2nd Śloka: Āvirbhāva: ---- For gaining control over divine speech
3rd Śloka: stotavyatvaṁ ---- For fulfilment of what one desires
4th Śloka: yat saṅkalpād ---- For the enrichment of one's Dhyāna
5th Śloka: niṣpratyūha --- For growth in Vedānta Vidyā
6th Śloka: uddeśyatvaṁ --- For enhancing happiness of the Mind
7th Śloka: paśyantīṣu --- For landing high positions
8th Śloka: asyeśānā ---For destruction of One's sins
9th Śloka: tvāmevāhuḥ --- For enhanced recognition of one's name/Fame
10th Śloka: āpannārti ----For destruction of one's sorrows and fears
11th Śloka: dhatte śobhaṁ --- For gaining Her Lord's anugraha
12th Śloka: āsaṁsāraṁ --- For the blessings of a distinguished Education
13th Śloka: agre bhartuḥ --- For the fulfilment of Subha Kāryam
14th Śloka: ālokya tvām --- For neutralization of Curses
15th Śloka: ārta trāṇa -- For gaining everlasting wealth
16th Śloka: yogārambha ---- For the growth of one's Bhakti
17th Śloka: śreyas kāmāḥ ---For attaining High Positions
18th Śloka: ūrīkartuṁ ---For conquering the vagaries of one's mind
19th Śloka: jātā kāṅkṣā --- For attachment to Dharma
20th Śloka: seve devi --- For gaining Moksha
21st Śloka: sānuprāsa --- For destruction of physical/mental illnesses
22nd Śloka: saṁpadhyante --- For removal of fears about Samsāra
23rd Śloka: mātā devi --- For gaining Kaiṁkaryas (Kainkarya Prāpti)
24th Śloka: kalyāṇānām --- For gaining all desired Phalam (Fruit of practise)
25th Śloka: upacita guru bhakte --- For growth in Āchārya Bhakti
The Sankalpa for each of the Ślokas for specific siddhi has to be followed by:
Śrīmān Venkatanāṭārya: Kavitārkika Kesaree
Vedānthācāryavaryo me sannidhatthām sadhā hridhi
the Śloka or the whole Stuti should be recited now.
The Japam should be completed with:
Kavitārkika Simhasya Kalyāṇaguṇasāline
Śrīmate Veṅkaṭeśāya Vedānta Gurave namaḥ