Daya Sataka is a stotra in 100+8 slokas on the mercy of Lord Srinivasa of Tirumala Tirupati. In this Stotra, Mercy, which is a quality is defined as the Supreme Goddess as being above Bhoomi, Neelaa and even Lakshmi the Chief Consort of Bhagavan Narayana, who is Svayam vyakta (Self-manifest) in Tirumala. It is stated that it is under her behest the Lord himself discharges His duties as the Creator, Protector and Liberator. The ever flowing streams of clear and pure water in Tirumala is a concrete example of the ever flowing beneficient Mercy of Lord Venkateswara.
In the opening Mangala sloka, Swami dEsika eulogises the Mount tirumala itself as the solidified form of the Lord’s Mercy and pay obeisance. “Prapadye tan Girim praya Srinivasa anukampayaa yanmoortya Ssrkaraayitam”). In the next nine slokas of the first of the ten decades in the centum he refers to the Acharyas, Alwars, and Ancient Sages. Vishvaksens, Lakshmi, Bhoomi, Neela and even Lord Venkateswara Himself as the forms of Daya-devi.
In the entire stotra, Daya is portrayed as superior to all things in the world here and hereafter because of Her qualities mentioned in the ten decades as follows.
- Daya is the bestower of all fruits including Moksha;
- She is the omniscient goddess;
- She removes the enemies of her devotees;
- she is the ever-successful and never failing means for all fruits;
- she is the unsurpasses goal of attainment;
- she is the refuge for all who seek protection;
- She is easily accessible to all;
- Daya is also the transcendent deity;
9. she manipulates the different incarnations of Bhagavan as Fish (Matsya) and Tortoise(Koorma), Boar (Varaha) and Man-lion (Narasimha) to come down and liberate the souls in bongage; it was under Her command that the Bridge(setu) for Lanka was constructed by Sri Rama , the very sight of which confers emancipation and Bhagavad Gita was taught by Sri
Krishna which are the permanent records for the work of Daya;
10. She bestows the bliss of moksha in this world itself on those who pray for it.
Daya-devi is the Empress seated on the chest of the Lord as on the throne. All the qualities are her attendants-Knowledge as the torch-bearer goes in front; power and vigour are followers. But for Daya all these qualities will not have a good name since they will get enlisted in the list of defects.
“Vrishagiri Griha Medhi Gunah
Yadi naama Daye Tvayaa vinaa- bhootaah”
Sri Vedanta Desika reveals that he was but an unlearned boy; the Merciful Lord proclaimed that the boy was really Vedanta Desika ( The Upanishadic Preceptor) and sung the sweet-sounding stotra through him as though playing upon Veenaa through Daya
“Vedanta-Desika-pade vinivesya baalam
Devo Daya-satakam etat avaadayat maam
Vaihaarikena vidhinaa samaye grheetam
Veenaa-viseshamiva Venkata sailanathah”
Sri Vedanta DEsika concludes by saying that the Lord of the Venkatesa Hill is pleased with the stotra and will silence the fault-finding critics since the lOrd himself has produced this welcome lyric(108).