Saranagati Gadyam

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Sharanagati Gadyam is a Sanskrit prayer written by the Srivaishnavism philosopher Ramanuja towards the end of the 11th century. It is one of the first bhakti prayers in this school of thought and is the basis for many prayers, like Raghuveera gadyam of this style. It is recited in the 108 divya desam temples including Srirangam.

Context[edit]

Ramanuja and his disciples visited the Ranganatha temple in Shrirangam on panguni uttiram, a day in the tamil calendar month of panguni (in spring) on the day of the ascension of the star called Uttiram. In Tamil mythology, Uttiram was in ascent when the goddess of the temple, Sri Ranganayaki Tayar, Lakshmi, was born and also the day she wed the god, Ranganatha. Ramanuja was inspired by the festivities of the day and composed Sriranga Gadyam and Sharanagati Gadyam and Vaikuntha Gadyam.

Content[edit]

Sharanagati Gadyam, unlike the commentaries of Ramanuja on Vedanta, does not have detailed philosophical debates. Instead, it is a pure expression of bhakti and describes an imaginary conversation between Ramanuja and Narayana with Sri also known as Lakshmi. He first describes the limitless kindness of Sri and asks that she recommend him to Narayana. Then, after her approval, he approaches Narayana and describes Him like in the Sriranga Gadyam. He explains that he has committed many sins and is ignorant of philosophy and asks that he be accepted into the list of devotees of Narayana. He only asks that he be blessed so he becomes a supreme devotee, never forgetting to serve Narayana. Pleased by his humility and his total surrender, Shri and Narayana bless him that his single act of surrender wiped his Karma and give him Moksha.

Style[edit]

Prose, alternate long and short sentences with many adjectival phrases.