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Divya nakha pankti

From: sadagopan iyengar (sadagopaniyengar_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Sun Feb 18 2001 - 03:10:48 PST

                   Srimate SrivanSatakopa Sri Vedanta
Desika yatindra Mahadesikaya nama:  

                                             Divya
Nakha Pankthi
            
                           Every part of EmperumAn’s
thirumEni has its own beauty , being aprAkritA (not
madeup of worldly matter). Azhwars and Acharyas have
vied with  one another in describing vividly the
overwhelming soundarya of Sria:pati.  The beauty of 
each part of His divine form  is so captivating that
it does not permit the beholder to take his eyes off
and proceed further to enjoy the other parts of His
divya mangala vigrahA. “ThOL kandAr thOLE kandAr “says
KambanAttazhwAn.          In this piece, adiyen would
like to highlight the divya sookthis of Azhwars and
Acharyas, dealing with Emperuman’s divya
nakhAs{nails}.One might wonder as to what could 
possibly be said about nails, which are perhaps the
most insignificant part of the body –but please do
read on.

                   We start our journey with  Swami
Desikan’s Sri DevanAyaka Panchasat.  Referring to the
diamond-like splendour of  the nails on Sri
DevanathA’s charanAravindA, Swami Desikan says that
the diya nakha ratna pankthi,( to which the holy
Garuda nadhi owes its origins), by its glittering
waves of light, cleanses the darkest of sins ,which
ensnare us like mud. Further, all the dEvAs pay
obeisance to Sri Devanatha by sAshtAnga pranAmA,and
when their heads touch the lotus feet of  Adiyavarkku
Meyyan, the glow of their crowns is enhanced by the
brilliance of His nails.
                      PankAni asou mama nihanti
mahastarangai:
                      GangAdhikAm vidadhatee garuda
sravantheem.
                      NakoukasAm mani kireeta ganai :
upAsyA
                      Natha tvadeeya padayor nakha
ratna pankti : 
Of course, the maximum references to His nails occur
with relation to the NrsimhAvatAram, where the Lord,
to honour the boon obtained by Hiranyakasipu that he
should not be killed by any AyudhAs, used His nails
for slaying the asurA. Sri ParakAlA is so struck by
the nakhAs that in the Periya Thirumozhi patthu on Sri
Ahobilam , he refers time and again to the terrible
nails that Emperuman sported during this instantaneous
avatAram-“avunan Agam vaLLugirAl  pozhntha
punithan”,”avunan kolaikkayAlan nejidantha
koorugirAlan”, etc.   Again, in the patthu dedicated
to ThirunAngoor Vaikunta Vinnagaram, Sri Kaliyan makes
a similar reference to “Iraniyanai naNNi avan
mArvagalatthu ugir maduttha nAthan”.    

                          The most graphic description
of nails occurs in Sri KamAsikAshtakam, where Swami
Desikan says that Sri NrsimhA’s nails assumed a
viswaroopa of their own and, powerful as the
VajrAyudhA, tore open Hiranyakasipu’s chest. The blood
which gushed out made the Lord’s hands appear red as
the twilight skies.
              “vikaswara nakha swarukshatha hiranya
vakshastthalee
               nirargala vinirgalath rudhira sindhu
sandhyAyitA.
               Avantu mada nAsikA manuja pancha
vaktrasya mAm
               Aham pratamika mita : prakatita aahavA
bAhava : « 
Incidentally, one of the most beautiful slokas on
EmperumAn’s rakshakatvam follows the aforesaid sloka-
             “tvayi rakshati rakshakai:imanyai:
              twayicha arakshati rakshakai:kimanyai:”
Supplying the rationale for the virtue of
ananyagatitvam, Sri NigamAntha Guru says that if the
Lord decides to save somebody,there is no need to look
to other lesser gods for protection; similarly, once
He makes up his mind not to protect someone, no other
person can save him( refer to the kAkAsura
episode).Hence in both cases, there is no point in
looking to others as saviours.
            Another poorvAchArya sookti, Sri
NrsimhAshtakam, also mentions His nails – “thunga
nakha pankti dalitAsura varAsrik
                                Panka nava kumkuma
vipankila mahOra:
                                Pandita nidhAna
kamalAlaya namstE
                                Pankaja nishanna
Narasimha Narasimha

And there is of course the famous DasAvatAra stotra
srisookthi
    “pratyadishta purAtana praharana grAma:kshanam
pAnijai:
     avyAt treeNi jaganti akunta mahimA vaikunta
kanteerava:
     yat prAdurbhavanAth avandya jatarA yadricchikat
vedhasAm
     yA kAchit sahasA mahAsura griha stooNa pithAmahi
abhooth”
During Sri NrismhAvatAram, the Lord forsook all his
divyAyudhas for his nails-He was supremely confident
that the nails could ably substitute the various
weapons he constantly sports for sAdhu paritrAnam (
pAtu pranata rakshAyAm vilambam asahanniva-sadA
panchAyudhee bibhrat sa na:Sri Ranga nAyaka:).

                        The reddish brilliance of the
nails on Sri TrivikramA’s  upraised lotus feet(during 
VamanAvataram) casts its glow afar in the heavens,
making it appear as though He has created a
new,well-lit path through the skies for the Mudal
AzhwArs to ascend to Sri VaikuntA.This is portrayed in
the following Sri Dehaleesa Stuti slokA:
                 “kreedaparENa bhavatA vihitOparodhan
                  ArAdhakAn anuparOdham
udanchayishyan.
                  TAmrENa pAda nakharENa tadA
andamadhyE
                  GhantApadam kamapi noonam
avartayastvam.”
               
But it is the PadukA Sahasram that takes the pride of
place for its copious references to the Lord’s nails.
Just a few for a sample-
In sanchAra paddhati, Swam Desikan points out to the
substitution of nails for ayudhAs in Sri NrsimhAvatAra
and says that similar substitution is not possible in
the case of the PadukA,when Bhagwan leaves on
sanchAram.  That is to say, while even the divyAudhAs
can be dispensed with, the PadukA is indispensable.
            “pAdAvani kvachana vikramaNE bhujAnAm
             panchAyudhee kararuhai : bhajatE
vikalpam.
             Nityam tvamEva niyatA padayOr MurArE :
             TEnAsi noonam avikalpa samAdhi yOgyA” 
Similarly in Bahuratna padhati, while enjoying the
beauty of Sri RanganAtha at AstAnam after sanchAram,
Tooppul Pillai describes the admixture of brilliance
from the various ratnAs adorning the pAdukA, with the
natural brilliance of the nails in NamperumAl’s
hastham-
            “janayasi padAvani tvam muktAsoNa mani
sakraneela ruchA.
             Nakha ruchi santati ruchirAm nandaka
nistrimsa sampadam sourE:”
              The pleasingly white nails in Sri
RanganAtA’s tiruvadi are compared to the Moon and the
pearls adorning the pAdukA, to the stars come to pay
their respects to their pati , ChandrA. This slOka is
from the MuktA paddhati-
              Tava ranga chandra tapaneeya pAdukE
              VimalA samudvahati mouktikAvali :
              CharanAravinda nakha chandramandala
               PranayOpayAta nava tAraka ruchim «
          The ShAstrarttha that nectar flows from the
nails of  EmperumAn’s left  tiruvadi and it is this
nectar that is responsible for destroying the endless
sins of the bhaktAs, is highlighted in the following
slokam,again from the MuktA paddhati-
            “vaikunta pAda nakha vAsanayEva nityam
             pAdAvani prasuvatE tava mouktikAni.
             Acchinna tApa samanAya samAsritAnAm
             AlOka mandalamishAt amruta pravAham »
         There are several other beautiful slOkAs in
the Bimba pratibimba paddhati,indraneela
paddhati,maradaga paddhati,etc, with brilliantly 
poetic descriptions of the nails in relation to the
pAdukA,in Kavi Simham’s inimitable style.
          With apologies for this inordinately long
posting,                     dasan, sadagopan.
 Srimate Srivan Satakopa Sree lakshminrsimha divya
paduka sevaka 
Sri Narayana Yateendra maha esikaya nama:         

                                






 
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