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Sri Ranganatha Paadhukha Sahasram(RPS ) : Part 15

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Sun Apr 06 1997 - 15:42:35 PDT

Dear Sri RanganAtha BhakthAs :

I will resume writing on the remaining chapters of RPS .
May Sri Ranganayaki Samedha Sri RanganAtha"s blessings
be with us in this journey to celebrate the glory of His sacred 
PaadhukhAs . Sri Rangaswami reminded me this morning that 
day after tomorrow is the day , when Sri RanganathA's 
constellation (Revathi ) is in ascendance . That is another reason
for restarting the postings on RPS Of Swami Desikan now . 


In the previous chapter (Naadha Paddhathi ) , Swami Desikan 
celebrated the Naadham generated by the Divya MaNi PaadhukhAs
of Sri RanganAtha through  100 slokams . In this chapter , Swami 
focuses on the lustre of the gems that decorate the outter frame of
the MaNi PaadhukhAs ( Bahir MaNi)  . THIS SECTION KNOWN  AS

First Slokam of Rathna SaamAnya Paddhathi / slokam 481 of RPS : 

udarchishastEh Rangendrapaadhaavani ! BahirmaNeen I
AntharmaNiravam sruthvA manyE romAnchithaakrutheen II

(Meaning ) : O Divine PaadhukhAs that protect the sacred
feet of Sri RanganAthA ! The lustre emanating from the 
gems adorning your exterior seem to rise up in strands of 
rays . That makes me think that they are experiencing a state
of horripulation ( hair standing on end from the experience of 
some thing wonderful ) . They seem to have reached that state 
from the incomparably sweet experience of listening to the delectable
music raised by the gems positioned inside the Kumizhis( Toe Holds ) 
of the Lord's paadhukhaas .

(Observations ) : Swami Desikan is still not ready to leave the anubhavam 
of the Naadham associated with the PaadhukhAs . He slowly bridges 
from sound to light here . Swami's PaadhukhA sahasram is a veritable
" Sound and Light " experience . The word Udarchisha : in this slokam 
is made up of Uth and Archisha : . The prefix " Uth " suggests elongation .
Archisha : means the lustre . Together , The word "Udharchisha : "
suggests the elongated , needle like clusters of the rays , which 
stand end to end in clusters simulating the experience of one's 
hair standing on end as a result of  wonder over the hearing of 
the sweet Naadham generated by gems inside the toe hold  .

According to Sri Andavan Asramam Sampradhaayam ,
The connections between the Satari, its gems and their 
lustres are intrepreted in the following manner : Satari
or PaadhukhA is NammAzhwAr , His Thiruvaimozhi paasurams
are the gems and their  lustre is their taatparyam (meanings ) . 

Verse 2 of this paddathi / Slokam 482 of RPS

Here ,Swami's thoughts once again focus on his last moments
on this earth and he is looking for the PaadhukhA's blessings 
to chase away the Yama KinkarAs . He says : " O MaNi PaadhukhE !
Duirng my last moments , Yama KinkarAs will approach me to tie me
up with their paasam (noose ) and take me to their Lord's lokam . 
At that time , please chase them away by waving your brilliant rays,
as if they are the creeper- like canes at them (servants of Yama Dharman) .
With that help , I will be saved from them . 

Swami Desikan continues with the vision of the extended beams of 
light emanating out of the gems decorating the Lord"s PaadhukhAs .
He compares them now to a chastising cane (VetralathA) . He suggests that 
the Yama kinkarAs will take flight , when they see the canes swing 
towards them . Swami Desikan really wants the Acharya and PerumAL
to be at his  side , when he leaves this world . If PaadhukhAs are going 
to be there , then the owner of the PaadhukhAs will always be there .

In our SampradhAyam , Acharya paramparai starts with PerumAL 
and continues with periya Piraatti and proceeds further with Vishvaksenar,
who is like the chef-de-cabinet for the PerumAL .NammAzhwAr 
is the Next Achaaryaa . The distinguishing mark  of Vishvaksenar 
is the cane (Vetram ) that he carries on his hand as 
a symbol of authority  to create order among the clamoring 
DevAs assembled in the DarbhAr of the Lord , elbowing each other to 
have the darsanam of PerumAL and ThAyAr . When Swami Desikan uses 
the word , Vetralathaa VisheshAn ( Special creeper -like cane ) in 
this slokam , he seems to have the third Acharyan of the Paramparai
(Vishvaksenar ) in mind . Once again , Swami Desikan is asking for the boon 
of Sevai of Acharyaas and PerumAL during his last moments.

Verse 3 of Rathna SaamAnya Paddhathi/Slokam 483 of RPS

In this verse , Swami Desikan connects to ArchirAdhi margam ,
the pathway of the Mumukshus to Sri Vaikuntam . Sri Bhashyam 
and the Upanishads describe the ascent of the Jeevan by the path
of Light . Swami Desikan says : " O Mukundha PaadhukhE ! 
The brilliant and long rays of light emanating out of your gems 
help the liberated souls (Muktha Jeevans ) at the start of their journey
to Parama Padham "  . The soul reaches the top of the head of its 
corporeal body and then ascends to Sri Vaikuntam by transporting itself 
on the brilliant rays of your gems. The Upanishads state that the Muktha 
jeevans ascend with the help of the rays of the Sun. Swami Desikan hints
that the rays of the Sun can only trasport the Jeevans over part of 
the distance to Sri Vaikuntam . The rays emanating from the sacred 
PaadhukhAs take care of the rest of the journey and deliver 
the Jeevans at the Lotus feet of Sri Vaikunta Naathan at Parama padham .

Swami uses the word " Rasmi " in this slokam . Rasmi has  a double
meaning . It can mean either a cluster of rays or a cluster of ropes .
Jeevan in this analogy can either travel on the rays or it can hold onto
the ropes and travel towards Sri Vaikuntam in the manner of a traveller
crossing over the chasm by holding on to the supporting ropes 
of a rope bridge.

The inner meaning of this Slokam is that those , who have faith in 
the Paasurams of NammAzhwar will safely reach Sri Vaikuntam . 

Swami Desikan adresses the PadhukhAs as Mukhundha
PaadhAvani in this slokam . Mukhundhan is the name for 
the Lord , who grants Moksham . Hence , Swami's choice of word ,
Mukhundapaadhavani is very appropriate in the context of the Moksha 
YaathrA of the jeevans .

Verse 4 / Slokam 484 of RPS

Here , Swami Desikan points out that the lustre of PaadhukhAs 
remove the darkness that could not be removed by the Sun . He salutes 
the PaadhukhAs as the personification of DayA GuNam of the Lord . 
He says : " O PaadhukhE ! You cut asunder the envelope of  darkness 
that the rays of Sun could not remove . Your lustre immediately removes 
the darkness of SamsArA and in this unfailing service of yours , you become
the personification of our Lord's DayA gunam . By your mere sight , 
the darkness of the worldly afflictions disappears instantly " . 

Swami describes the vrutthi ( vyaapAram ) of the PaadhukhAs 
as dispensation of DayA . In this context , Swami Swami describes
the PaadhukhAs as " Muradhvisha : Moorthimathi DayA tvam Asi ". 
He describes them as the embodiment of the DayA guNam 
of the Lord , who is the enemy of MurAsuran . 

The inner meaning of this slokam is that the AzhwArs and
AachAryAs are the personified forms of the Lord's DayA GuNam .
When we think of them with affection and regard , then all 
of our aj~nanam and viparitha J~nanam disappear at that instant.

Verse 5 /Slokam 485 of RPS

Here Swami Desikan compares the rays of the Gems of
the PaadhukhAs to a supporting staff ( Kozhu Kombhu ) 
for the creepers like bean stalk , Pudalankaai and Betel
leaf plants . The creepers  here are the Vedams and 
the Supporting staffs are the beams of rays adorning 
the Lord's PaadhukhAs .

Swami Says : " O Ranganaatha PaadhukhE ! The brilliant 
and long beams of rays arising from the gems decorating 
you serve as the supporting sticks for the creepers of Vedas ,
which yield the fruits of the four life objectives (PurushArthAs ) :
ArthA , Kaama, DharmA and Moksham . "

Infinite branches of the VedAs appear like plants supported 
in their position by the rays of the PaadhukhAs so that they
can grow and produce the four fruits desired by the human beings .

The inner meaning of this slokam is that the Thiruvamozhi 
of AzhwAr helps us understand the myriad meanings of the Vedas .

Swami Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 

Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan