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The Three Charama Slokas

Rama, Krishna and Varaha Avatarams

ll Hari Om ll
Om Namo NaraayaNaaya
The three slokas discussed briefly here are considered to be the very
essence of the teachings of Bhagavan in three of His innumerable
incarnations (avatarams) and are at the very core of the doctrine of surrender
(prapatti, sharanagati) as practiced by SriVaishNavites of South India.

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Sarva dharmaan parityajya maam ekam sharaNam vraja l
Aham tvaam sarva paapebhyo mokshayishyaami maa shucahaa ll

Sakrud eva prapannaaya tavaasmeeti ca yaacate l
Abhayam sarva bhootebhyo dadaamyetad vratam ma-ma ll

Sthite manasi susvasthe shareere sati yo narahaa l
Dhaatu-saamye sthite smartaa Vishwaroopam ca Maamajam ll

Tatas-tam mriyamaaNam tu kaashtta paashaaNa sannibham l

Aham smaraami madbhaktam nayaami paramaam gatim ll



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Shree Krishna said:
Sarva dharmaan parityajya maam ekam sharaNam vraja l
Aham tvaam sarva paapebhyo mokshayishyaami maa shucahaa ll

Give up all (the other) dharmas and seek Me alone and My refuge.
I will absolve you of all sins and liberate you. Do not despair.

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Shree Rama said:
Sakrud eva prapannaaya tavaasmeeti ca yaacate l
Abhayam sarva bhootebhyo dadaamyetad vratam ma-ma ll

To all those beings that fully seek My shelter and plead for My
mercy, and say I am yours, I shall certainly offer My protection to
all of them. This is My vow.

Bharata receives Ramapadukas after failing to convince Rama to return to Ayodhya

from His exile.

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Shree Varahaswamy said:



SrI BhUvarAha PerumAL

Sthite manasi susvasthe shareere sati yo narahaa l

Dhaatu-saamye sthite smartaa Vishwaroopam ca Maamajam ll

Tatas-tam mriyamaaNam tu kaashtta paashaaNa sannibham l

Aham smaraami madbhaktam nayaami paramaam gatim ll

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Lord Varaha addresses Mother Earth or Bhoodevi (who expresses
concern for the well being of all Her children):

If anyone thinks of Me, when the mind is sound (sthite manasi),

with the body in good health (suswasthe shareere), and with all
mental and physical faculties working perfectly and intact (dhaatu
saamye sthite) - thinks that I am indeed the very cause of this
universe (or the form of this universe, vishwaroopam), that I am
without birth (ajam) - then I assure (You, Devi) that I will
remember this devotee of Mine when he/she is on his/her death
bed, lying (helplessly) like a stone or a log of wood, and
personally take him/her to the Supreme Abode.


The meaning of charama

The word charama, originally derived from the Sanskrit, is also used in other
Indian languages such as Hindi. It means ultimate, extreme, the limit, etc. and
can also be interpreted as suggesting a climax or the most important and
significant. Some examples of the usage from Hindi are given below, each
suggesting some kind of a limit, or ultimate factor:

चरम /
1) चरम मच इ

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- चरम ।
2) चरम र र इ

- ब चरम ।
3) चरम म र
- चरम ।

The same applies now to the use of the adjective charama to describe the
slokas just noted which are believed to reflect the most important message to
be derived from each of these incarnations of Bhagavan.

To Ramanujacarya, for example, the Shree Krishna charama sloka was, for
all practical purposes, the very last sloka of The Bhagavad Gita. In the slokas
that follow Krishna is telling us more about the benefits to be derived from a
study of the Gita (what is known of Phalashurthi). Likewise, the Shree Rama
charama sloka embodies the message of protecting all beings that have
surrendered to the Lord, although it appears in the Yuddha Kandam of
Valmiki Ramayanam, long before the slaying of Ravana. The Varaha
charama slokas, from the Varaha puranam, also embody a very stirring
message, in response to the plea by the Lord‟s consort.

The following is a brief discussion of these slokas, extracted from the various
email exchanges in our Gita groups in the Metro Detroit area.

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Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 11:01:17 +0000
Subject: [detroit_gita] Tavaasmi Not Brahmaasmi RE: Ten verses on surrender:
Adaikkalappattu - 1

Dear All:

In the earlier email on this topic, I called attention to the sloka from
Ramayana, dealing with Vibhishana sharanagati.

Sakurdeva prapannaaya tavaasmiti yaacate l

Abhayam Sarva bhootebhyo dadaamyetat vratam ma-ma ll

Vibhishana surrenders to Lord Rama

When Vibhishana decides to abandon RavaNa and comes to seek Lord

Rama's refuge, everyone is suspicious, except Hanuman, who knew
Vibhishana well. Hanuman had met the latter in Ravana‟s court after the flight
across the ocean to Lanka. It was VibhishaNa who interceded when Ravana
ordered Hanuman to be killed, following the destruction of the Ashoka vana,
where Sita was held captive. Hanuman was captured and brought to the

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court before RavaNa. Then followed the decision to set fire to Hanuman‟s tail,
as a punishment imposed by RavaNa, which led to the burning of the whole
city of Lanka. Hanuman freed himself and set the whole city ablaze in a fitting
lesson to the Rakshasaas. Everyone in Rama‟s camp was thinking that
Vibhishana might be a spy acting on Ravana's behalf.

Can he be trusted?

Lord Rama then speaks to Sugreeva, His ally in the war, and other elders.
They discuss the course of action to be taken and He seeks their inputs.
Rama listens to all of them patiently and then makes His pronouncement. He
mentions how King Shibhi gave refuge to the pigeon that was being chased
by a vulture. The pigeon was his prey. It was running scared and sought the
shelter of King Shibi. The vulture demanded justice and its food. The pigeon's
mate begged for compassion from Shibi and protection for the pigeon. The
vulture said it was none of the king's business interfering in its right to hunt for
its food. When the king said he must protect anyone in his kingdom who has
sought his refuge, the vulture retorted that it was his subject too and
deserved justice as well and demanded its food and nothing less. The king
agreed to offer his own flesh, in equal measure, to the vulture and started
cutting the flesh from his mighty arms!

With the pigeon on one side of a balance, he started placing his flesh on the
other side of the balance. Still it was of no avail. The balance was tipped on
the side of the pigeon. King Shibi had to keep on cutting more and more of
his own body. Finally, he offered his whole body and climbed on to the
balance. You can look up the rest of the story.

King Shibi was being put to a test of Raja dharma (king's duties). Lord Rama
recalls this story and tells Sugreeva that He too must follow the example of
this illustrious king of an earlier yuga - the Satya yuga.

Rama cites some more examples and then concludes with the above verse.
He says it is His vow (vratam ma-ma). He will offer (dadami) protection to all
beings (sarva bhootebhyo). All beings are equal. A crow, a pigeon, a human,
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even a Rakshasa. Especially when they have totally, completely, (sakrudeva,
in the best possible way) surrendered (prapannaaya) to Him. Especially when
they beg Him and plead with Him (yaacate) and say we belong to You (tava
asmi = tavaasmi).

Surrender is complete when the Jeevatma realizes that it belongs to

Paramatma. There is no existence for the Jeevatma without the Paramatma -
tava asmi. I am nothing. I am nobody. I am yours. I belong to you. That is
prapannaaya. That is yaacate. That is prapatti. That is also the meaning of
maam ekam sharanam vraja - surrender (sharanam vraja) to Me (maam),
surrender to Me alone (maam ekam).

Rama meets Sugreeva

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Tava means yours and asmi means am, or I am. Tava+asmi becomes
Tavaasmi with sandhi. Thus, tava asmi = I am yours.

Tava asmi not Brahma asmi (I am the Supreme Brahman), which is the
famous aphorism of Adi Sankara, and one of the Mahavakyas of Advaita
philosophy. Here the sage Valmiki, through the words of Lord Rama, teaches
us to think in terms of Tava asmi. This is what all Jeevatmas realize when
they truly surrender.

Ko Aham? Who am I?

This question was asked by Brahma himself at the beginning of kalpa (a day
in the life of Brahma). He found himself seated atop the lotus that emanated
from Bhagavan's navel and was surrounded all over by the waters of pralaya.
He had forgotten how to create. Then he started wondering.

Bharata receiving Rama padukas

Who am I? Ko Aham?
Aham Tava asmi, or Tavaasmi.
Not Brahma asmi, or Brahmaasmi.
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Prapanna means one who has surrendered, or one who has performed the
act of prapatti. Arjuna says, "Shishyas teham shaadhi maam tvaam
prapannam" at the end of his lamentation (Bhagavad Gita chapter 2, verse 7).
Uddhava says, "Narayanam Narasakham sharanam prapadye" when he
wants to receive supreme knowledge from Krishna when He was ready to
return to His abode at the end of His stay on this earth.

The verb prapadye describes the active act of surrendering. Everyday, when
we recite the Venkatesa Suprabhatam, we say, "Shree Venkatesa charanau
sharanam prapadye". If you can feel in your heart that you have surrendered
when you recite these verses, He will hear you. Tavaasmi, sharanam
prapadye. He will surely offer His protection (abhayam).

When the Jeevaatma realizes "Tavaasmi" surrender is complete. There is no

separate existence for Jeevaatma apart from Paramaatma. This is the core
teaching of the doctrine of Prapatti practiced by SriVaishnavites of South

Very sincerely

V. Laxmanan

Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 13:53:25 -0500
Subject: RE: [detroit_gita] Tavaasmi Not Brahmaasmi RE: Ten verses on surrender:
Adaikkalappattu - 1

Dear Laxmanji,

Excellent quotes from Ramayanam, Bhagavad Gita and Swami Desikan.

As you know adiyen is a great fan and devotee of Swami Desikan --- the
preceptor extraordinaire.

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Swami Desikan was a great devotee, scholar, traditionalist ,ocean of
compassion and humility personified. He was the greatest architect of the
manipravala style --- combining Sanskrit & Tamil.

It is said that even the advaithis, dvaithis, buddhists etc. can get an indepth
knowledge about their religion/philosophy by studying the works of Swami
Desikan. Swami Desikan himself says that his works are not intended to
offend any religion but to heal and embrace everyone by making them
understand the greatness of prappati marga or surrender.

Sri Vaishnavas quote three famous saranagathi slokas from the smrithis. You
have quoted two of them already.

1. Lord Rama's assurance of protecting those who surrender to him.

( Swami Desikan describes this very beautifully in his Dasa avathara
stotram - the one who is personification of dharma and who has taken
the infallible vow of protecting the ones who surrender onto him)
2. The Bhagavad Gita verse- 18 chapter, sloka 66.
3. The third one is from Varaha puranam called as Varaha charama sloka.
(You could probably elaborate this later.)

Thanks again for all the sacred information.



From:V Laxmanan (
Sent: Mon 5/23/11 5:10 AM

Dear All:

In His avataram as Krishna, He gave us Sarva dharmaan parityajya, where

He assures us that He will liberate us (mokshayishyaami) from all of our sins
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(sarva paapebhyo). In His avataram, as Rama, He promises that He will
always provide protection to all beings (make them fearless) who have
surrendered to Him (abhayam sarva bhootebhyo dadaami).

In the avataram as Varahaswamy, He assures that He will give us memory of

Him at the time of our death, as long as we surrender to Him at some point in
our life, when we are still physically healthy with all our mental faculties intact.

The two slokas, revealed as a conversation with Bhoodevi (Mother Earth) are
given below. The purpose of Varaha avataram was to rescue the Earth from
the waters of pralaya and provide a place where Svayambhu Manu and his
wife Shataroopa (the Hindu Adam and Eve) could live.

Discussions of these slokas may be found if you scroll down.


Subject: RE: [detroit_gita] Tavaasmi Not Brahmaasmi RE: Ten verses on surrender:
Adaikkalappattu - 1
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 21:25:32 +0000

Thanks Jambunathan for your wonderful comments.

My knowledge of Swami Desikan's work is miniscule. However, I was

impressed by the introductory verse of Adaikkalappattu when I read it recently.
In addition to its poetic flavor, in this verse Swamin reveals himself as a true
bhakta who wants to surrender. The elongated "a" sound in each verb ending in
each verse is a really call for all of us to pay attention.

Regarding Lord Rama's assurance of abhyam to all those who surrender to

Him, I urge all to commit that sloka to memory just like the large majority of us
have committed Krishna's assurance to memory.

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Shree Rama said:

Sakurdeva prapannaaya tavaasmeeti yaacate l

Abhayam Sarva bhootebhyo dadaamyetat vratam ma-ma ll

Shree Krishna said:

Sarva dharman parityajya maam ekam sharanam vraja l

Aham tvaam sarva paapebhyo mokshayishyaami maa shucahaa ll 18.66 ll

However, the essence of Sharanagati or Prapatti is "Tavaasmi", found in the

sloka from Ramayana. It hit me more than at any other time when I read it again
a couple of days ago.

Very sincerely

V. Laxmanan



Subject: RE: [detroit_gita] Tavaasmi Not Brahmaasmi RE: Ten verses on

surrender: Adaikkalappattu - 1
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 09:03:04 +0000
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Dear All:

In his comments to my email on Tavaasmi, not Brahmaasmi, Dr.

Jambunathan mentioned the Varaha charama sloka. I have pasted that
below. The deeper significance of this sloka has been discussed by many
other Vaishnavite scholars; see for example

Very briefly, in this sloka, we find Bhagavan telling Bhoomadevi (Mother earth
who was resuced from the waters of pralaya in this avatara) Aham
smaraami madbhaktam. Such is the mercy of the Lord.

In the Venkatesa Suprabhatam, for example, we say, "Sadha Venkatesham

smaraami smaraami". Here it is the devotee who says that he/she is trying to
remember the Lord. Sadhaa means always. We want to remember the Lord
always. Is it possible?

In Chapter 8, verse 14, Krishna says, "Yo maam smarati nityshahaa", i.e., He
who remembers me each day, (nityashahaa). He also says, "Ananya ceta
satatam", i.e., we must give up attachments to all other deities and remember
Him always (satatam), at all times. Is this possible?

Before He gets to verse 14, He tells in verse 8, Yam Yam vaapi smaran
bhaavam tyajatyante kalevaram, tam tamevaiti Kaunteya.." In the end (ante),
when he gives up his body (tyajati kalevaram) whatever (yam yam vaapi) he
remembers (smaran) that is what he will attain (tam tamevaiti) and nothing
else." The addition of eva (only) eti (comes to) here means that it is very
important to remember Him at the time the soul leaves the body. Is this
possible? Will we even have the physical and mental capacity to do so?

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However, as we see in the Varaha charam sloka, now the Lord assures us
that He will remember His devotee. Gone are all the caveats imposed in
chapter 8 of the Bhagavad Gita, or even in "sarva dharaman parityajya maam
ekam sharanam vraja". When he lies like a log of wood (kashtha) or a stone
(paashaana), as he is dying (mriyamaanam), the Lord assures that He will
remember His devotee.
What does the devotee have to do? He only wants the devotee to remember
Him when he is hale and hearty and in good health (su-swasthe shareere),
when his mind is not distracted with any other thoughts (sthite manasi), when
all mental and physical faculties are working perfectly. (Dhaatu refers to the
five gross elements of which the body is made, and indeed all material nature
is made up of. Saamye means equilibrium, no disturbance or agitation).

Can we do this? Yes, it is possible.

Are you doing this now? Yes, you probably are. Have you perished all other
thoughts as you read this email? You probably have. Can you now say, "Om
namo Narayanaaya"? Yes you can. Yes you are. Now banish all other
thoughts and contemplate on Him.

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That is all the Lord wants us to do according to this charama sloka. If any one
(naraha) does this (sati yo naraha, sati means if, were to, etc.), the Lord says,
He will remember (aham smaraami) this bhakta when he is lying helplessly
like a log of wood or a stone and is dying.

Om Namo Narayanaya. Hari Bol !

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare l

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare ll

Join the Vishnu Sahastranama parayanam whenever you can. Join the
Akanda Gita Parayanam (recital of all 18 chapters) whenever you can, when
you are hail and hearty and when all your faculties are functioning fully (dhatu
saamye). We have one such event scheduled for March 26, 2011, in a
devotee's home in Troy, MI. Wherever you are, you can schedule such an
event and spend a few hours in such a yajnya. Even if your thoughts are NOT
fully engaged during the whole parayanam, there will be at least a few
moments when you will be able to remember Him in the ananya-ceta mode
and even in the sarva-dharman-parityajya mode.

Realize that you are His, not tat tvam asi, not aham Brahmaasmi, but
Tavaasmi. The Jeevatma has no existence without the Paramatma. Realize
this at least for a moment. Then you have surrendered. Then He assures you
that He will remember you when you cannot.


Discussion of first Varaha charama slokam

Sri Varahaswamy's grace! # 1

Message #5357 of 5429 < Prev < Prev | Next > Next >

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Jai Srimannarayana!
Sri: Varaaha charama slokam:

Sri Sri Sri Chinnajeeyar Swamiji in his chathurmasyam discourses in New

Jersey Jeeyar Asramam is enlightening on the quintessence of the
charamaslokams blessed by Lord in his various incarnations. Here is a
modest try with the limited capacity to present what HH has blessed us.

In his Sri Rama incarnation the Lord said He would surely deliver those who
would surrender at His Lotus Feet. In His Varaaha avathara He went a step
further and assured us thus:

Let us see how it is ….

1. Sthithe: manasi suswasthe: s‟ari:re: sathi yo: naraha |

Dha:thu sa:mye: sthithe: smartha: viswaru:pam cha ma:majam ||

2. Thathastham mriya ma:n‟anthu ka:shtta – pa:sha:n‟a sannibham |

Aham smara:mi madbhaktham naya:mi parama:m gathim ||

Sasthras state that during one‟s last moments - just before leaving this body -
whatever the person wishes would definitely get realized. That is „anthya
kaala smrithi‟. Bhagavad Githa very clearly states this. We know the story of
Jada Bharatha who took birth as a deer as he left his body worrying about the
deer he was taking care of. But we know the body loses all its capabilities in
its last moments. Phlegm blocks one‟s throat. One‟s mind gets withdrawn into
depths. His intellect abstains. His strength sinks. His limbs stop working. His
senses fail him. Even if he be able to know some things, his body and mind
fail to react. When that is the case how can one rely on one‟s „anthima
smaran‟a‟? Is it ever possible?

Rishis and scriptures advise:- practice on – „IT‟ – from the moment you know
of it. Do practice it all your life when you have your senses and organs under

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your control. Then this (meditating on Lord – the essential Cause of this
universe) becomes mechanical. Even the subconscious mind starts
pondering and meditating on this habituated thing without much of your
persuasion. Then „anthima smarana‟ may come to you automatically.

Sri Varahaswamy comes to our rescue and assures us thus –

'You can remember and contemplate on the „mulakaarana thathva‟ now itself
when everything is under your control. The purpose of his assurance is to
persuade us not to be scared of our inabilities in the last moments.

Manasi suswasthe: sathi = when your mind, senses are under your control
Sari:re: suswasthe: sathi = when your body is under your control
Yo: naraha = any of those people (anybody, need not be learned or

Even if the mind is active and is in condition, it so happens that the body goes
out of control with disease. Then the dhathus in the body won‟t cooperate
with imbalanace.

Dha:thu samye: sthithe: sathi = when there are no imbalances in the

dhathus of the body
Put responsibility on ME. Ma:m = Me

Varahaswamy relieves all beings unconditionally. Why does he do it? Is it

because we asked him? No. He saves us since we are „HIS‟ – we are His
possessions. So He cannot ignore us and wants to help us out. For that
reason, the Lord takes birth, the one who has no birth takes birth for our
sake. He is not scared of coming to this mundane world taking birth. He is –
Ajayuvu. (Has no birth)

How does he come?

Viswaru:pancha ma:m ajam = He (who) is the all permeating and all

pervading thathva. He is all powerful. Second to none. He is the Supreme

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Soul. He need not fear any one. He has no birth. Still he never uses pressure.
It is His nature – He never wants to impose things on us.

Think and Meditate on HIM feeling this attribute of HIM – Viswarupam.

Smartha: - if you can think of Him like this, it‟s enough.

Whoever thinks like that …… then what benefit do we get?

For that HE gave us the second sloka. We will know about it in the next

Jeeyar Thiruvadigale Saranam!

Jai Srimannarayana!
Ramanujamma Mudumbai

Discussion of sloka 2 above.

Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha!

Srimathe narayanaya namaha!!

thathastham mriyama:Nam thu ka:shtta pa:sha:Na sannibham |

aham smara:mi madbhaktham naya:mi parama:m gathim ||

Lord Varahaswamy says:

Thathastham = If we think of his magnificence in showering his compassion

on us.

Tham mriyama:n‟amthu = during the last moments

Kaashta paashaan‟a sannibham = when the body becomes like a log or a

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Madbhaktham = (the Lord considers him so) his devotee since he thought of
him one day. Lord says -

Aham smarami – (The Lord) I would think (smarana) on my devotee‟s behalf.

Lord tells us - to think of him when all our senses and organs, the mind and
intellect cooperate us. He did not impose any conditions regarding when a
person should think of him. He takes into consideration whenever a person
remembers him. When all the faculties incapacitate that person to utter the
divine name or meditate on Him, Lord does the „smarana‟ THEN and AT
THAT TIME on his behalf since he surrendered to him.

Nayaami parama:m gathim = I myself will take him to the supreme state
(ya:mi means „I will take him‟ (not send him, take him). naya:mi stresses -- I
do take him, I will go only with him, without taking him I will not go.)

That is the compassion of Lord as revealed in the Varaha charamaslokam.

Bhagavad Ramanuja was very much moved at the grace of Lord as revealed
in this slokam.

Jai Srimannarayana!
Ramanujamma Mudumbai


Bhoodevi and Andal: Varaha charama sloka

Andal, of Thiruppavai fame, is none other than Bhoodevi incarnate. Bhoodevi,

the consort of Lord Narayana, took avatara as Andal to specifically reveal the
laghu upayam (simple and unfailing means) of salvation called the Varaha
charama sloka, see links below. She gave the essence of the three charama

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slokas in the beautiful verses of Tiruppavai and Nachiyar thirumozhi in Tamil
for our immense benefit.

See point # 15 in the above discussion by Sriman Anbil Ramaswamy where

we also find cited the following sloka from Valmiki Ramayanam. After
RavaNa was killed, Shree Rama asked Hanuman to inform Sita about this
triumphant event. When Hanuman enters Ashoka vana again, he wants to
know how the Rakshaasees who had been tormenting Sita devi (incarnation
of Bhoodevi) should be punished. Sitadevi‟s reply is touching.

Paapaanaam vaa Subhaanaam vaa vadhaarhaaNaam PLavangama l

Kaaryam KaruNam aaryEna na kaschit na apraadhyati ll

(Valmiki Ramayanam 6.116.44)

Sita tells Hanuman that Her Lord should exercise compassion (kaaryam
karuNam) towards all – those who have sinned (paapaanaam), those who
performed meritorious deeds (shubhaanaam) and those who are deemed fit
to be killed or punished (vadhaarhaaNaam). And then She adds, in Her
infinite compassion, “No one indeed has committed any offenses – na kaschit
apraadhyati.” If we include the second negative here, “Na kaschit na
apraadhyati, the same turns into a question, hasn‟t anyone ever sinned or
committed offenses?”

The same Bhoodevi, who was Sita, was also incarnated as Andal, and gave
us the divine Tamil compositions known as the Thiruppavai, where she
reveals the secrets to attaining moksha, salvation; see the discussion at link
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See also the discussion on pages 21 to 27 of above link regarding Varaha
charama slokam.

From:Veryytterium (
Sent: Tue 3/08/11 3:36 PM

Sri LakshmiNrusimha Parabhramane Namah
I would like to add a few lines more about Sri Rama's assurance (Sri Rama
Charama shloka) to us about His protection. Sriman Narayana in His vibhava
avatharams has declared in three occasions, His vratham of saving His
devotees under ANY and ALL cricumstances, they are stated in the following.

Sri Krishna Charama Shloka (BG 18.66)

sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja

aham tvam sarva-papebhyo mokshayisyami ma sucah

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver
you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.

Sri Rama Charama Shloka

Sakrudeva Prapannaya Tavaasmeeti cha Yachate

Abhayam Sarva Bhutebhyo Dadaami Etat Vratam Mama.

"If a person once surrenders and takes refuge in me saying, I am yours

(thavaasmi), I will protect him from all others. This is my vow."

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Bharata meets Rama in exile

Sri Varaha Charama Shlokam

sthithE manasi susvasthE sarIrE sathi yO nara:

dhAthusAmyE sthithE smarthA visvarUpam cha maamajam (1)

tathastham mriyamANam thu kAshtA paashaNa sannibham

aham smarAmi madh bhaktham nayAmi paramAm gathim (2)

Oh Bhumi Devi ! The entire universe is my body (sarIram). I do not have

births or deaths. When my bhakthAs with mahA visvAsam surrender to me,
while they are still in a state of tranquil mind and healthy body, and reflect
about Me as as SarvAdharan ( root cause of all), NiyanthA (one who
commands from within) sarva sEshi (the ultimate), aasrayaNeeyan (one
who is fit to be worshipped), Sarva VyApthan (all pervasive ) and Nithya
sannihithan (One who is always near), THEN I will think of them at their last
moments, when they are totally unconscious like a log or a stone
and lead them by archirAdhi maargam to My parama padham and bless them
to have nithya kaimkarya bhAgyam to Me there . (By Sri U. Ve. Dr. V.

http://www.ahobilav varaha_puranam. pdf

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The Sri Krishna Charam shlokam is perhaps the most famous and Sri Varaha
Charama shlokam the least known, but in my opinion it is the most reassuring
statement of our Lord's vatsalyam. It is declared by Sri Varahaswamy after
rescuing Bhumi devi from Hiranyakshan, giving Her His assurance (due to
Her pleading to save His children from this endless samsara) to save all His
devotees, if they sincerely surrender to His feet during their life time.

According to this shlokam, we need not wait till we get old and are on our
death bed to call out and surrender to God to attain moksham. We neither
know if we will be able to do that in our final moments as life/death are highly
unpredictable. So in His vast compassion, the Lord says that even when we
are young, healthy and full of life, if we sincerely surrender to Him and try to

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live like a Sharanagathaa, He will definitely rescue us at the end of our lives.
(Now what more assurance do we need from God??)

These shlokams are very important in the Sharanagathi margam for all
Vaishnavas. The sharanagathi margam as opposed to the Bhakti margam,
directly puts the burden of us attaining Bhagavan on Bhagavan Himself, thus
making it the most easiest, pratical way for all the badhha jivas trapped in this
Kali Yugam where the rigors of Bhakti margam cannot be performed by all.

It is a wonderful to recite all these three charam shlokas in the morning daily
before the Lord, to always assure us that He is waiting for us at Sri
Vaikuntham, all He requires is that we sincerely let of our ego, pride and
perform sharanagathi to Him.




Some additional points are covered in the discussion that may be found in the
above link. The Varaha charama slokam talks about:

1. The time of sharanagati - Sharanagati must be done when one is young

and able bodied.
2. Who can do sharanagati - Any body (nara) can do saranagathi.
3. Way to do sharanagati - Just thinking (smarthaa) is sufficient, do not
have to physically strain onself.
4. What to contemplate on - Contemplate on Him as the Universe itself
(vishwaroopam) and beyond birth (ajam)

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The Story of Varaha Avataram
Why does the earth have a smell?


Subject: Varahavataram RE: [detroit_gita] Tavaasmi Not Brahmaasmi RE: Ten verses on surrender:
Adaikkalappattu - 1
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 10:21:19 +0000

Dear All:

In the context of the discussion here about Varaha charama slokam and
Varahavataram, it is interesting to recall a sloka from Srimad Bhagavatm,
from Canto 3, Chapter 13, which provides a description of Varahavataram
and the slaying of the demon Hiranyaksha, the twin brother of

Both the brothers were formerly the doorkeepers, Jaya and Vijaya, at
Vaikunta. Because of the offense they committed against Sanatkumaras
(who were stopped from entering Vaikunta by these overzealous
doorkeepers), they took three janmas as asuras and were slain by the Lord
Himself. The first janma was that of Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashyapu. The
Lord appeared as Varahaswamy to kill Hiranyaksha and lift Mother Earth
from the waters of pralaya. He appeared as Narasimha to kill
Hiranyakashyapu and rescue His devotee Prahlada.

The earth has an important property called gandha (smell) or ghrana. It is

listed as one of the five tanmatras. Shabda, Sparsha, Roopa, Rasa and
Gandha are the five tanmatras associated with each of the five gross
elements Kham (sky, or ether), Vayu (air), Anala or Agni (or tejas, fire or
light), Aapa (water) and Bhoomi (earth). Prithvi or Bhoomi is associated with
gandha and so on.

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Varaha holding Prthvi, Mahabalipuram relief.

Gandha means smell. The earth has a pleasant smell. Many things that are
produced from the earth (fruits, flowers, vegetables, herbs, grain and even
minerals) have a very pleasant smell. You can experience this raw smell of
the earth, especially if you are in an area with grass or just the mud. It can
indeed be intoxicating. That is also the reason why we desire ownership of
land, or property, real estate. Such ownership gives us great joy and makes
us feel good. Why?

Even the Lord Himself enjoyed the smell of His consort Bhoodevi (Mother
earth) as Varahaswamy when He tried to lift Her out of the waters of pralaya.
This is described by the sage Maithreya when he narrates the Varahaavatara
story. (Readers can enjoy the readily available English translation by Srila
Prabhupada for more details.)

Ghraanena prithvyaah padaveem vijighran

Krodhaapadeshaha Swayamadhvaraangahaa l
Karaala-damshtropi akaraladrigbhyaam
udveekshya vipraan graNatovishat kam ll 3.13.28 ll SB

Bhagavan is Swayam adhvaraanga (the very embodiment of all adhvaraas,

i.e., yajnyas). He is also called Yajnyapurusha or Yajnyamoorthy. But now He
was in the form (apadesha) of a boar (krodha). So, with His nose (snout),

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Varaha Avatar

In Hindu mythology, the 3rd incarnation (avatar) of Lord Vishnu was the Varaha avatar. Lord
Vishnu appeared in the form of a boar to defeat Hiranyakashyapu. I attended a lecture on Temple
architecture by Chitra Madhavan today. Interesting perspectives of viewing temples. I follow up the
enthusiasm with a photo I took at Rani ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat.


ghraaNena, He tried to smell (vijighran) the fragrance of the earth (prithvyaah

padaveem) again and again. It appeared like He was trying to find out where

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She is from Her smell. He appeared to be very fierce with fearsome jaws
(karala damshtraha) yet His glance and His eyes (drukbhyaam) were
anything but fearful (akarala). The usage of drukbhyam here also means He
had only two eyes. If He had more than two eyes it would be drukbhihi not
drukbhyam. (Doribhih karnam which became Toppikarnam refers to having
more than two arms. That's a different story.) He looked (udveekshya) at the
rishis (vipraan, i.e., rishis like Mareechi and others who were witness to this
avatara) who were extolling Him and entered the water (avishat kam) of
pralaya. The word "ka" here means water. Kam means into the water, or in
water. Varahaswamy also looks at His devotees very lovingly, read more!

As an aside, there is an interesting sloka which uses a double entendre on

the word Keshava which is to be split as Ke + shava, where Ke means in the
water and shava means corpse. Keshavam patitam drushtvaa Pandavaa
harsha nirbharaah - the Pandavas rejoiced when they saw the fallen Keshava
- one has to understand the play on words here - Pandavas here refers to
white colored birds, like the sea or water gulls and ke is in the water and
shava is corpse. The birds delighted to see a corpse, their food, in the water!.
Keshava, the Lord, did not fall and Pandavas, His devotees, did not rejoice in
that. Anyway, I digress to explain kam, which means into the water.

The description of how Bhagavan lifted the earth out of the waters of pralaya
continues in 5 more slokas that follow. Bhagavan, it seems, fell in love with
Bhoodevi and was enjoying Her. Now, if you did not know already, this is also
the reason why men fall in love with women!

This interpretation of the Varahavatara story is consistent with another

important and parallel reason for the appearance of Lord Varaha. Bhagavan
first created Brahma who found himself seated on the top of the lotus that
sprung out the nabhi (navel) of Bhagavan. Hence, Bhagavan is called
Padmanabhi. He entrusted Brahma with the task of creation. At the beginning
of our kalpa (the day of Brahma), it is said that Brahma forgot how to create
and started meditating once again and again Bhagavan came to his rescue.
(We are now in the first day of the 51st year of the 100 year lifetime of
Brahma.) It was even more difficult at the beginning of the very first kalpa
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when Brahma himself was born. He did not know how to create and first
created the four Sanatkumaras out of his mind (manas). Hence the four
Sanatkumaras are known as manasa-putras of Brahma. You will soon see
why. Brahma told his sons then to procreate. But they were self-realized
souls and did not want to fall in the trap of samsara and refused to oblige
their father. (So, don't worry if you are a parent. Kids have been defying
parents for a very very long time!)

A frustrated and angered Brahma (3.12.6, SB), then created Rudra. When
this child was born, he was crying - rodati iti rudraha - and so got his name -
yadarodeeh Surashreshtha... namna Rudra iti prajaahaa, 3.12.10, SB. And
so, to this day, children cry when they first come out of their mother's womb.
Brahma asked Rudra to start creating and he gladly agreed.

But his creations were extremely fierce (roudra, because of the tamasic
nature of rudra) and Brahma asked Rudra to stop (3.12.16,17 SB) -
RudraaNaam Rudrashrushtaanaam... alam prajaabhih srushtaabhih
eedrusheebhih Surottama. He gladly did and started meditating and is a very
great yogi to this day. Rudra, or Lord Shiva, as we know is always meditating.

This is the Srimad Bhagavatam's version of the creation of Lord Shiva. It also
tells us that the state of mind of the parents, at the time of conception of the
children, is very important and affects the innate character of their offsprings.
Brahma was angry and frustrated (3.12.7, SB) and this is reflected in Rudra's
character - sadyojaayata tanmanyuhu kumaro nilalohitaha, 3.12.7, SB and
also in what he did to create (fearsome creations). Rudra became Shiva after
he began meditating.

Anyway, Brahma was entrusted with the task of creation and two attempts
had already failed. There was a third attempt and that too failed. He created
the absolutely beautiful Saraswati and got himself in BIG trouble. We will not
get into that now. Finally, when Brahma was meditating and seeking
Bhagavan's help so that he could fulfill Bhagavan's wish, suddenly from his
body sprang two other bodies - one a male and the other a female. This is
described in verse 52, chapter 12 of canto 3. The word kaayaa for the body is
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derived from "Ka" which means Brahma. (When "Ka" is used as a masculine
noun, it means Brahma and when it is used in the neuter gender it means
water.) The two male and female forms then started the creative process, as
we now know, via what is known as Mithuna-dharma.

Kasya roopam abhood dvedhaa yat kaayam abhichakshate l

Taabhyaam roopa vibhaaghaabhyaam
mithunam samapadyata ll 3.12.52 ll

Tadaa Mithuna dharmena prajaa hyedhaamba-bhoovire l

Sa caapi Shataroopaayaam Pancaapatyaan yajeejanat ll 3.12.54 ll

The male produced from Brahma was known as Swayambhoo and the
female, who became his wife, was Shataroopa and together they produced
five children. Swayambhoo and Shataroopa agreed to fulfill Brahma's
command that they should engage in Mithuna dharma and procreate to
populate the whole Universe, for that was Bhagavan's wish. Finally, Brahma
had succeeded with a viable plan for creation. But, before they could start
creating, Swayambhu reverentially asked his father, where he and his
children should live. They needed a place.

Yadokah sarvasatvaanam Mahee magna mahaambhasi l

Asyaa uddharane yatno Dev Devya vidheeyataam ll 3.13.15 ll

Swayambhoo Manu pointed out to his father that Mahee, the earth, is fully
submerged (magna) in the waters of pralaya (maha ambhasi). Bhoodevi
(devyaa) has to be rescued and we need to put some effort into it (asyaa
devyaa uddharane yatno). Swayambhoo wanted Brahma to take over the job
of rescuing Bhoodevi from the waters of Pralaya so that he could start family
life and fulfill his father's wishes. (Just see how kids behave - they want
everything handed to them on a silver plate!)

Brahma stood baffled. He did not know what to do. How am I to lift the earth
out of the waters of pralaya? Kathmenaam samunneshya iti dadhyau
dhiyaa ciram (3.13.16, SB).
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So, Brahma, the dutiful son of Bhagavan, went back to a long meditation. Let
Him, the Lord, from Whose heart I have been produced, now fulfill this task.
(Yasyaaham hrudayaat aasam sa Esho vidadhaatu may 3.13.17, SB).

And so Bhagavan appeared as Varaha to answer Brahma's call for help

(tapas) and lift Bhoodevi out the waters of pralaya. When He first appeared in
the form of a boar from the water (varahotako), He was very small - no bigger
than the size of a thumb.

Varaahatoko niragaat angushtha parimaanakaha ll 3.13.18 ll

Tasyaabhi-pashyataha Khasthahaa kshanena kila Bharat l
Gajamatrah pravrudhay tad adbhutam abhoon-mahat ll 3.13.19 ll

But, "O Bharat (descendant of the Bharata clan)," says the sage Maithreya as
he describes the story to Vidura, the tiny Varaha form, within a small fraction
of a moment (kshanena kila), started growing and became as big as an
elephant (gajamaatrahaa) and grew to fill the whole sky. Oh, it was such a
wonderful sight" says the sage.

The loving relation between Bhoodevi and Varahaswamy described above is

therefore consistent with the need for kama for procreation via mithuna
dharma. The Varaha charama slokam, where The Lord fulfills the desire of
Bhoodevi to take all of Her children back to His abode, is also an expression
of the same Divine Love of the Divyadampati and also the loving relationship
of all Jeevatmas with Paramatma. Tava asmi never meant anything less.

Happy Valentine's Day. Don't forget your familial duties and offer the flowers
to Varahaswamy. Even if your valentine does not remember you, He will
remember you on your last day, per Varaha charama slokam.

Very sincerely

V. Laxmanan

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Sri Venkatesa and Varahaswamy

Sri VenkatEsA has asked permission of Aadhi Varaha to share the Aadhi
Varha KshEthram, in Kali Yuga, when He took the ArchA form to reside on
the top of the Tirumala (Venkatam) hills.

The following is from the Tirupati-Tirumala devasthanam website.

Sri Varahaswami Temple at Tirumala

Sri Varahaswami Temple in Tirumala is to the north of the Sri Venkateswara

Temple, on the banks of Swami Pushkarini. According to legend, Tirumala was
originally Adi Varaha Kshetra (the home of Sri Adi Varaha Swami), and it was
with his permission that Lord Sri Venkateswara took up residence here.

According to the Brahma Purana, pilgrims should first offer naivedyam to Sri Adi
Varaha Swami, before visiting the Sri Venkateswara

According to Atri Samhita (Samurtarchanadhikara), the

Varaha avatara is worshipped in three forms:

 Adi Varaha
 Pralaya Varaha
 Yajna Varaha

The vigraham of Sri Varahaswami in Tirumala is that of

Adi Varaha, as it resembles the description of the Adi
Varaha murti in Vaikhanasa Agama texts.

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Sarva dharmaan parityajya
The assurance given to Arjuna by Krishna is, perhaps, the most well known
of all the three charama slokas and there are innumerable discussion
available. The present author is hardly qualified to discuss such a profound
statement by Krishna, who is Bhagavan Himself – Krishanas tu Bhagavan
swayam, says the Bhagavatam. Hence, only brief thoughts are given below.

Krishna says, “Aham tvaam” in the second line. Aham means I and tvaam
means you.

Grammatically tvaam is the objective (or accusative) case of tvam = you. In

English, there is no change in the nominate case (when you is subject) and
the objective, or accusative, case when you is the object. In the sentence,
“You are the best”, it is the subject but in the sentence, “I love you”, the same
word is the object. In Sanskrit the objective case of tvam (subject) becomes
tvaam. Krishna says “I will liberate you, aham tvaam mokshayishyaami”.
When the devotee says, “Tvam eva sharaNam ma-ma tasmaat kaaruNya
bhaavena raksha raksha Mahaprabho”, the subjective, or nominative case is
used. You are my only refuge/shelter. You, the subject, is tvam in Sanskrit.

Some versions say “tva” (I would spell it as “tvaa”, using my spelling scheme)
instead of “tvaam”. Both are correct and both indicate the objective case of
“tvam”. Students of Sanskrit, when they learn the declension of the pronoun
“tvam”, learn this as “tvaam, tvaa” for the accusative case, singular.

It is also important to note that the tense of the verb used is future tense. This
means moksha will be granted, not now but in the future. This sends an
important message to Arjuna.

Today, Arjuna is supposed to get up and start fighting. That is his duty.
Forget about all other dharmas (sarva dharmaan parityajya) and yogas.
Abandon them. If you think fighting the war and killing all the near and dear

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ones is wrong and sinful, forget it. Surrender to me and do what I ask you to
do. There is no need to fear about any sinful reaction(s).

Arjuna was already told this in chapter 2, verses 32 and 33. He was told to
adhere to his swadharma – to do his duty as a kshatriya. The doors of
heaven lie wide open before him and for all the other kshatriyas assembled
on the battlefield. There is no sin.

The same message is being repeated in chapter 18 – the misgivings about

dharma, ahimsa versus killing etc., or the confused perceptions of right and
wrong (i.e., all other dharmas), what to do and what not to do, must all be
given up. Once Arjuna understands this, he would fight. There is nothing to
fear. There is nothing to despair (ma shuchahaa). There is no need to grieve
about anything.

So, the verb used is in the future tense. Understand My will and do it. I take
responsibility for any sin, even if there is any. I will liberate you. All sins (sarva
paapas) will be absolved. Today, do your duty and fight.

If only we could all be so clear as to what our duty is, when we are all faced
with conflicts in life!

The reader is referred to other discussions available of this very important

sloka. Indeed many acaryas and VaishNavite scholars have discussed at
length the implications of each and every word in this divine sloka. Some
links are given below.

Extracted from above, remarks by leading VaishNavite scholar of our times,

Sriman Anbil Ramaswamy.

Lord Krishna says "Having renounced all Dharmas, take refuge in me alone. I shall
absolve you from all sins. Do not grieve" Sarva dharmaan parithyajya maam ekam
saranam vraja Aham tva sarva papebhyo mokshayishyami maa sucha"
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This does not mean that one should give up one's dharmas and then surrender to him,
as some would have us believe. It only means that because you have found other
means like Bhakti yoga difficult to practice you are unable to take recourse to them,
the only course open to you being surrendering yourself to me. Do that surrender
right here and now. Once you do this I shall protect you and grant Moksha. And, he
asks you not to grieve and plights his promise to protect.


The author is grateful to various authors and Bhagavatas and the Internet sources
consulted to compile these charama slokas, especially Shri Jambunathan and
Kamlesh for permission to use their email exchanges with our Gita groups. Also,
several illustrations used here from various sources are gratefully acknowledged.

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