Non-duality that is the central core of Advaita philosophy identifies the Supreme Self (that transcends everything) with the innermost Self (that is immanent in every being). If God or the Supreme Reality does not have a separate status other than our Selves, then who is to worship whom? Hence the concept of Bhakti, or Devotion, seems to contradict the Oneness inherent in Advaita. This apparent conflict is easily resolved by Sriman Narayaneeyam. Bhattattiri’s conception of Bhakti emphasizes the nirguNa aspect of the Ultimate in no uncertain terms, even while he expatiates on the worship of the visible form.
That the Ultimate is non-dual there is no question. But to be able to realise it as a fact of experience one has to go through the processes of Bhakti of God with form and content, with name and description, with qualities and adjuncts. Such a God is known by the technical name of saguNa brahman, in contrast to the nirguNa brahman which is the formless and nameless Absolute.
Bhattathri clearly brings out through his spiritual experience that The Absolute Being is not manifest to the senses or the intellect and is difficult to grasp or attain to. But when it is manifest as Guruvayur Krishna it is like the wavy surface of the Ocean of Blissful spirit, definite, clear and easy to grasp. Therefore one resorts to the worship of the Krishna form that is lovable and most captivating by its sweet beauty and other blessed attributes. Slokas in Dasakam 2 depict that beauty. Let us study them.
कारुण्याकुलनेत्रमार्द्रहसितोल्लासं सुनासापुटम् ।
त्वद्रूपं वनमाल्यहारपटलश्रीवत्सदीप्रं भजे ॥२.१॥
कारुण्य-आकुलनेत्रम् आर्द्र-हसित-उल्लासम् सुनासापुटम्
त्वत्-रूपम् वनमाल्य-हार-पटल-श्रीवत्सदीप्रम् भजे
Transliteration in English
kaaruNyaakulanetramaardra hasitOllaasaM sunaasaapuTam |
gaNDOdyanmakaraabha kuNDalayugaM kaNThOjvalatkaustubhaM
tvadruupaM vanamaalyahaarapaTala shriivatsadiipraM bhaje ||1
Transliteration in Tamil
த்வத்₃ரூபம் வநமால்யஹாரபடலஶ்ரீவத்ஸதீ₃ப்ரம் ப₄ஜே|| 1||
Meaning in Tamil
Meaning in English
I meditate upon this form of You, adorned with a crown which rivals the sun in its brilliance, whose forehead is made more resplendent by the upright mark (tilak of sandal paste), whose eyes are brimming with mercy, with a shapely nose, with shining cheeks reflecting the brilliance of a pair of fish shaped ear pendants, with the Kaustubh jewel shining on the neck, and bosom resplendent with garlands of flowers (and tulsi) necklaces ( of pearls and gems) and the mark of Srivatsa.
Meaning of the Sanskrit Words
• सूर्य-स्पर्धि-किरीटम्- with a crown which rivals the Sun (in brilliance)
• ऊर्ध्वतिलक-प्रोद्भासि-फालान्तरम् by the upright mark (tilak of sandal paste) whose forehead is made more resplendent,
• कारुण्य-आकुलनेत्रम्- whose eyes are brimming with mercy
• आर्द्र-हसित-उल्लासम् (whose face) is lit up with a benevolent smile புன்முறுவல் பூத்த திருமுகம்
• सुनासापुटम् with a shapely nose
• गण्डोद्यन्-मकर-आभ-कुण्डल-युगम् with cheeks shining due to the brilliance of a pair of fish shaped ear pendants –
• कण्ठोज्ज्वलत्-कौस्तुभम् with the Kaustubh jewel shining on the neck
• त्वत्-रूपम् Thy form
• वनमाल्य-हार-पटल-श्रीवत्सदीप्रम् (and Thy bosom) resplendent with garlands of flowers (and tulsi) necklaces ( of pearls and gems) and the mark of Srivatsa
• भजे I meditate upon