Following is a summary of some thoughts that registered in my mind as I was going through the Hayagriva Stotra of Sri Vedanta Desika. These thoughts are based on the translation and explanations provided by Sri Vangipuram Rama Desikacharya Svami in his book titled “Sri deśika stotramâlâ” published by the LIFCO Publishers.

I am aware that many of Sri Vedanta Desika’s stotrams have already been presented in our forum by others, with translations, etc. The material I am presenting here provides a different perspective to those which have already been presented in the earlier writings.

It is believed that Sri Hayagriva stotram was the first of the many stotra-s that were composed by Sri Desika. Sri Desika had worshipped Lord Hayagriva as part of his nitya aradhana (daily worship). Sri Rama Desikacharya points out that for this reason, wherever Sri Desika’s vigraham has been installed, Lord Hayagriva’s idol is also installed alongside.

Among the points that I noticed as I went through the 33 sloka-s in this stotra are:

  1. The sphaṭika (crystalline) hue of Bhagavan Hayagriva
  2. The Vedas and Bhagavan Hayagriva
  3. Sri Desika’s prayer for the defense of the sampradayam (tradition)
  4. Swami Desikan’s simplicity and humility.

In the following sections, the above topics are elaborated with quotes from Swami Desikan’s Hayagriva Stotram. The sphatika hue of Bhagavan Hayagriva Sri Desika points out in several places that Lord Hayagriva’s form is pure white like a flawless sphatika maṇi.

  1. nirmala sphaṭikâkṛtim — One with a pure white form, in sloka 1
  2. Suddha sphaṭika maṇi in sloka 2
  3. mugdha-indu-nishyanda, dugdha-sindhōh udârâm, tava mūrtim — Your appearance is pure white like the molten form of the rising moon or the great product from the Milk Ocean (Sloka 13)
  4. viśadaih mayūkhaih âplâvayantam tvâm ye kshaṇardham api kalayanti… — Those who meditate even for a fraction of a second on your form which radiates pure white rays… (sloka 15)
  5. viśadaih mayūkhaih tamâmsi bhittvâ Sarad-ghane candramiva nava-puṇdarîke sphurantam — You remove the darkness of ignorance in your devotees through the pure white rays emanating from you, and appear like the beautiful milk-white moon seated on the new white lotus (sloka 26)
  6. amṛta viśadaih amśubhih mâm plâvayan mânase âvirbhūyât — O Lord Hayagriva! Please shower me with Your white radiant rays which are like nectar, and dwell in my mind always.

In his Rahasya Traya Sara, he also says the following (in Tamil) :

வெள்ளைப் பரிமுகர் தேசிகரை விரகால் அடியோம்
உள்ளத்தெழுதியது ஓலையில் இத்தனம் யாம் இதர்க்கென்

Lord Hayagriva with the face of a white horse appeared as the acharya and wrote this grantham in my mind, and all I have done is reproduced it. So there is no fault in this work.

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