Among the Acharyas of Sri Vaishnava sampradhyam, Swami Vedanta Desika has a special place. He had visited many Divya Desams and composed sthotrams on the Lord there. He had composed 28 sthotrams. Of those, Vairagya Panchakam [वैराग्य पंचकं வைராக்ய பஞ்சகம்] is one. In just Five slokas, he had expressed his contempt for worldly life, detachment to worldly properties and wealth and attachment only to the Lord's divine feet as his wealth. It praises the Lord of Kanchi, Sri Devaraja Perumal. He was living in this Kshetram and worshiping the Lord. He had a friend Swami Vidyaranya, who was quite wealthy; Vidyaranya through an emissary, told Swami Desika, that he need not suffer in poverty, and invited him to come to him when he would arrange enough wealth for a comfortable life. Swami Desika was least interested in worldly wealth and he said his property was atop Hasthigiri. Expressing this in a sloka, he composed Vairagya Panchakam. Swami Desika says that there is no property he had accumulated nor he had any hereditary wealth. He further says that it did not mean he had no wealth. His wealth was atop Hasthigiri. This wealth was stored by lord Brahma, when the Lord Sri Varadaraja appeared from the Yagna performed by lord Brahma. All other wealth might decay or be destroyed; but the Wealth atop Hashigiri would ever remain. A mother does not get disgusted at her child's excretions; but fondly cleanses the child. Swami Desika says that the Lord is in him [as in all others]; He is not getting disgusted to remain in our body, which has all sorts of disgustful waste matter. The Lord Sri Varanasaila Natha is inside. Swami Desika asks the Lord how he liked to remain in this disgusting surrounding? Especially, how He is able to leave Vaikuntam and Thirupparkadal [Milk Ocean] and reside in him? Swami Desika further says that considering the Lord's extreme care for him, he would also not like to be in Vaikuntam; but be serving the Lord of Kanchi. This is promise, he says. Thondaradipodi Alwar, Thiruppanalwar and Hanuman, have expressed their desire to remain here in the service of the Lord, rather than going to Vaikuntam. Visiting Hasthigiri and enjoying the splendour of processions of the Lord, is a gift. Today's [9th October 2008 and incidentally, Vijaya Dasami and Swami Desika's birthday] we can have a treat of the processions of the Lord.
The Lord descends the steps to bless us and there by lift us up to His place. The Lord graces with enormous ornaments and robes. Hasthigiri means the Lord worshiped by an elephant. In Kruta yug, lord Brahma worshiped. In Treta yug, elephant Gajendra worshiped. In Dwapara yug, Brahaspati worshiped the Lord on the banks of river Vegavati, to get his curse removed. In Kali yug, the Lord was worshiped by Anantha or Adisesha. We will see sloka 9. In the first Four slokas, Arjuna expressed his desire to see the Lord with all His auspicious qualities and boundless wealth. In the next Four slokas, ie. slokas 5,6,7 and 8, Sri Krishna agreed to grant Arjuna the rare vision of seeing Viswaroopam; and assured to grant divine eyes to see His magnificent image, which would be impossible to see by normal eyes. In the next Five slokas, from sloka 9 to sloka 13, Sanjaya tells King Dridarashtra. Sanjaya is explaining the happenings in the battlefield to the blind king at his palace. Sanjaya explains how the Lord showed His Viswaroopam, very precisely in Five slokas. From sloka 14, Arjuna views the Viswaroopam and praises the Lord. Arjuna mentions whatever he saw and praises the Lord. Now sloka 9:
evam uktva tato rajan
darsayam asa parthaya
paramam rupam aishvaram
Sanjaya said: O King, having spoken thus, the Supreme Lord of all mystic power, the Personality of Godhead, displayed His universal form to Arjuna.
Evamuktva = thus speaking. Sanjaya is telling the King that Sri Krishna spoke to Arjuna to show Himself, His auspicious qualities, after providing Arjuna with Divine eyes. Tata = after, rajan = [Sanjaya is addessing the King as] Oh! King, iswara = possessor, yoga = auspicious qualities, maha = incomparable. That is Parabrahamam possesses auspicious qualities not found in anyone else and were beyond comparison. Yogam also suggests integral. The Lord is integrated with Divine body, Divine image, Divine qualities, Divine actions and Divine places and persons. None else is like Him integrated with all thses Divine qualities. But Mahayogeswara is a common attribute. It, as such, does not specify Sriman Narayana. Hari = Sri Hari, capable of grabbing away our sins. Parthaya = to Arjuna, darsayam asa = showed, paramam = most supreme, rupam = image, aishvaram = with commands. Sri Krishna showed Arjuna His most supreme image, which had all the qualities for control and leadership. We are also grateful to the Lord for showing His magnificent image at Hasthigiri. Swami Koorathalwan asked the Lord as to which place He liked to reside - in the hearts of common people? Or, in Vedas? Or, in the heart of Nammalwar? Or, atop Hasthigiri? He himself answers this saying that the Lord liked being on top of Hasthigiri; because, being available in Hasthigiri, the Lord was seen by Alwar; was seen by people; Hasthigiri itself was Vedas. Normally, we experienc goosebumps [மயிர் கூச்செறிதல்], when we touch desired objects. Hasthigiri is liked by the Lord. His feet are like inverted lotus flower. As the Lord stands on Hasthigiri, place of His liking, the Lord experiences goosebumps; and they resemble the fibres on the stem of the Lotus flower! We will see more places related with Sri Devaraja and Swami Ramanuja, within Kanchi.