Sri Vadiraja Tiirtha
Lakshmi Shobhane Song

When we look into the composition and Haridasa literature of Sri Vadiraja Tiirtha he has always given ancient and historic touch to worldly or mundane practices. This work is one such effort where Sri Lakshmi Devi wedding takes place with Sri Hari and it is called Sri Lakshmi Shabhana Song (auspicious wedding song). In Southern India singing a Shobhana song on the occassion of wedding ceremony is very common and it is the practice of ancient folklore. Even to-day any initiative towards marriage or wedding starts with Shobhana song and continues till the end.

As the name stands the theme of this work is Sri Lakshmi Devi's swayamvara ie elelction of husband. The story starts with Sri Lakshmi Devi who appeared in Milky ocean (kshirasagaradi Lakshmi uddarisidalu..). The other explanations goes like this: one who has conch-shpaed (kambu kanta) neck with shining Mangalasutra (marriage badge worn around the neck by wife), making sound from kalungura (ring worn on the second toe) stepped in to the Swaymvara mantapa (stage). Sri Vadiraja also says that Sri Lakshmi Devi is not born and she has only incarnated (lakshmige idu janmavalla; avatara mathra). For Lakshmi except Sri Hari all others are like her children.

In this composition Sri Vadiraja explains the incidences of wedding of Sri Hari with Sri Lakshmi. Few of the incidences goes like this Sri Lakshmi Devi herself doing 'uruTane' ie a play of newly married couple where in the bride will rub the sandal powder to the body of her husband. (lakshmiramananige madidalu uruTAne), Krishna being tied up to the door by Bhama (bhurinigamava kadda chorana daitana gedda) and complete dashavatara is explained in arathi ie ceremony of waving coloured water or burning lamp.

Sri Vadiraja Tiirtha also explains very nicely when Sri Lakshmi walks through the rows of Devataas who were sitting for the wedding reception. When she puts forward each step and sees devataas sitting and she recollects one is son and another is grand son (obnavana maga mattobnanva momma obbana vanige shanAha obbanva horuva..) like this all Brahma, Vayu, Rudra, Shesha Garuda hierarchy which is being narrated according Madva's taratamya and finally she remembers Sri Hari (ku.ndellsttillada mUku.ndane tatage.ndu In.dere pathiya nEnEdalu..). She selected Sri Lakshmi Narayana's incarnation because of his omini good attributes attached to him and Sarvottamatatva (avana.ngusttava toleda devi pAvanalEnisi mErEyale jivana sErida pApava kalEyolu yI vAsudEvage yeNeyu.nte).

Sri Swamiji explains that on putting the flower necklace to Sri Hari, Sri Lakshmi Devi became Sri Hari's bride. Then Veda Manthra's (hymns) and auspicious sound were made through the instruments like bells, Jagate, Drums etc. are made in this occassion. All devataas are feeling happy and showing their pleasure by getting the tears in their eyes. Sri Narada with his tambura gave his concert and near 'hase' (place where bride and bride groom were made to sit) and for arathi all muthaide's (woman whose husband is alive) were running around.

All auspicious womens (muthaide) brought Sri Hari to the place of wedding called 'hasemane' (wooden plaque) by singing and prasing Sri Hari as Sheshashai (one who is sleeping on the top of Shesha), doshararahita (one who doesnot have any flaws) etc. Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswathi, Bhagirathi were waving the pearl (muttu) arathi by telling davala (conch) song.

In the normal circumstances all newly weds will bow to elders and teachers but in Sri Lakshmi's wedding all devataas who have come to the occassion were bowing to Sri Hari and Sri Lakshmi and taking their blessing by giving presents. Sindhu Raja who is the father-in-law of Sri Hari and Sri Lakshmi's father has arranged auspicious lunch with Amrutha for all devataas and invitees. At this time Sri Krishna who has incarnated as Sri Hari expecting trouble from Asuras/daitayas has shown his Mohini incarnation to them. This is very rare and humourous moments (because beautiful women marrying another beautiful women) which Sri Vadiraja has narrated very well and Sri Lakshmi Devi was surprised and astonished to see Sri Hari's Mohini's character (tanna sU.ndaryadi.dunna.tha mayavada lA avnYandi mereva nijapathiya hennu rOpava ka.ndu kanyE mahalakshmi yiva ganyrYake.ndu beragadalu..).

On completing the marriage all devataas and invitees started proceeding to their destination and Sindhu raja has given all of them respective presents for coming and attending the wedding. He has given his own palace to his son-in-law ie Sri Hari and asked him to stay as for ever as house hold son-in-law.

Though Sri Vadiraja ends the explanation of Sri Lakshmi Devi's wedding in 107th stanza he continues another 5 songs explaining about the composers name, benefits out of hearing and singing this song etc.

In each and every aspect of the song Sri Vadiraja has explained and narrated Sri Krishna's divine nature, Sri Hari's Sarvottama nature, Sri Hari's lilas/plays in all incarnations etc. He also gives the explanations of Madhva Tattva within the framework of Sri Lakshmi Devi's wedding which can be understood by a commoner or layman. Sri Vadiraja has also shown his devotion in explaining Sri Lakshmi's high view about Sri Hari and Muthaide's blessing Sri Hari while waving arathi.

In Madhva community this song is very auspicious on all wedding occassions. If any body sings this song on Shravana Masa especially on Fridays it is considered to be very sacred.

There is story behind this composition by Sri Vadiraja. Arasappa Naika is devotee of Sri Vadiraja and his son-in-law was died on the wedding day in the marraige hall. To bless his devotee Sri Vadiraja has composed this song and sung on this occassion. After that devotee son-in-law was alive and his daughter attained valebhagya (jewel which is weared by the ladies in ears) and managalyya bhagya. Based on these assumption also all Madhvas sung this song before and during the wedding time. It is also assumed that all bride and bride grooms are in the form of Lakshmi and Narayana to bless them, to wish them and to protect them this song is sung. There were words like rakshisale namma vadhuvarara, salahali nammma vadhuvarara, palisale namma vadhuvarara.

It is also presumed that by singing this song on the occassion of wedding bride and bride grooms life will increase and they will live happily and peacefully. This composition of Sri Vadiraja has become very popular because of the above reasons and also stands high as for as the conveying the message and understanding the things in a better way.


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