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Sri Ranganatha PadhukhA Sahasram(RPS ): Part 12-- Pushpa paddhathi

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Fri Feb 07 1997 - 20:04:34 PST

Dear Members of the prapatthi Group :

In this posting , I will cover the twelfth of the thirty two 
Paddhathis of RPS by Swami Desikan . This twelfth Paddhathi 
has thirty verses. It covers the flower worship performed by 
BrahmA , Maheswaran , IndrA and the Devas as well as by 
Humnas to the PadhukhAs of the Lord and the fruits attained 
by them through the performance of such a flower AarAdhanam .

(meaning and comments ) : Swami says : " I seek refuge in the sacred 
PadhukhAs of RanganAthA on which fall the shower of flowers 
(Pushpa Vrushti ) aimed at the Lord Himself during 
the occasions of His travel ".

The DevAs and the humans shower flowers on RanganAthA 
as a mark of their homage to Him. After touching the upper limbs
of the Lord , these flowers come to rest at His holy feet , where 
the PaadukhAs are . It appears therefore that  the shower of flowers 
were indeed for the PadhukhAs themselves. The end stage of the worship
of BhagavAn has been identified as the worship of 
the BahgavathAs (AcharyAs) in Bhagavadh GithA . Swami Desikan 
suggests here that the padhukhA archanA is same as
Bhagavatha ArchanA .This slokam containing these thoughts  
is as follows :

SowrE: sanchAra Kaaleshu pushpavrishti : divaschyuthA I
paryavasyathi yatraiva prapadhyE thaam padhAvaneem II

In the thirtieth and final slokam of this paddhathi , Swami Desikan
visualizes a scene , where Maheswaran performs ChurNAbhishekham
and GangA Jala Abhishekham of the padhukhAs . This slokam is as 
follows : 

chooDAragvadharajasA choorNa snapanam vidhAya thE purvam I
Rangesa PaadhukE ! tvAm abhishinchathi mowli gangayA Sambhu : II

Here Swami Desikan connects the traditional choorNAbhishkham 
( Thirumanjanam with scented powders ) performed for RanganAthA 
prior to His bathing  with holy waters with the Thirumanjanam  
performed by Maheswaran (Sambhu ) for the PadhukhAs . Swami 
Desikan Says : " O RanganAthA paadhukhE ! Sambhu performs 
the choorNabhishekham with the pollens of the yellow Konrai flowers
( Cassis acacia ) adorning His head , when He prostrates before You .
Next , He bathes You with the waters of GangA resident in His matted
locks . Thus You receive both choorNAbhishekham as well as 
GangAbhishekham from your devotee , Sambhu .

During the rest of this posting , I will comment on a few of the 
remaining slokams . 

In the second verse , Swmi Desikan points out that the PadhukhAs
are doubly blessed because of its association with the Lord's lotus
feet as well as the lotus hands of Maha Lakshmi . The Lord's consort
takes daily the PadhukhAs in Her lotus hands and presents them to Her
Lord to wear them . PadhukhAs are worn by Him and therefore PadhukhAs
have his Thiruvadi Sambhandham . Therefore , Swami Desikan states 
that the PadhukhAs are doubly honored both by the hands of Sri DEvi
and the Holy feet of the Lord as well during His gathAgathAni 
(Coming and goings ) . 

In the third verse , Swami describes the scene , when Sambhu 
prostrates before the PadhukhAs of RanganAthA . Sambhu has 
pirai chandran (Digit of the Moon ) and Ganga waters in His 
matted locks. When Sambhu prostrates before the padhukhAs ,
Swami says that it looked like He was offering Arkyam with the waters
of Ganga and placing the KetakA (Thazhai ) flowers at the altar of the 
padhukhAs . That is the pushpArchanam performed by MahEswarA 
to the holy  PadhukhAs . 

In the fourth verse , Swami Desiakn establishes the fragrance 
(Surabhitvam ) of the SatAri Suri and the padhukhAs as one and the 
same. He points out that the fragrance of the Vakula flower
( Mimusops Elengi )  garland and the  fragrance of 
the pushpams resting on the PadhukhAs as a result of the 
PushpAnjali of devotees are ever lasting . It is well known that the 
VakulA flowers have the property of maintaining their fragrance 
for a long time without any change in the intensity of that fragrance . 

In the fifth verse , Swami Desikan equates the four PushpArchanAs 
performed at Sri VaikunTam , Satya Lokam ( BrahmA's world ) ,
AyodhyA and Srirangam with the four sthAna ArchanAs done during 
the daily AarAdhanam : Kumbham (Pot ) , Agni (fire ) , Sthandilam 
( prepared ground rice for sacrifice ) and bimbham (Image reflected
in the mirror ) . 

In the sixth verse , Swami describes the five apsaras ladies 
( RambhA, Urvasi , TilotthamA et al ) performing PushpArchana 
to the padhukhAs with flowers from five different celestial trees
( paarijAtham , Harichnadhanam,MandAram  et al ) .Swami points out that 
the five celestial nymphs perform this PushpArchanA to the PadhukhAs
to obtain its beauty and elegance so that they can continue to be
youthful and attractive forever . 

In the eigth verse , Sawmi Desikan points out that those who are
fortunate to worship the PadhukhAs of RanganAthA even with one 
or two leaves of Tulasi or flower petals attain material wealth way
beyond what they even dreamed off ! After they end their earthly lives , 
these fortunate souls play with the celestial nymphs in Indra"s 
nandavanam in svargam . 

In the tenth verse , Vedantha Desikan refers to the benefits of 
Maanasa pushpa archanA of the sandals of Hayagriva-RanganAthA.
Maanasa Flowers have been identified as eight ( Nonvilence et al )
in number. Our AchaaryA states those who offer this type of archanA
are worshipped by the Devas with bent heads decorated by MandAra
flowers . 

In the next series of slokams , Swami Desiakn decribes the benefits 
attained by ArchanA of the PadhukhAs with dhruvA grass (panic grass),
Lotus flowers , Jaathi , Mullai , Mallikai and other flowers.

In the twenty ninth verse , Swami Desikan points out the difference between
the boon-giving kamadhenU and the PadhukhAs of the Lord . He says :
" O padhukhE of the Moksham-giving Lord of Srirangam ! There are
people , who feel uncomfortable that they are unable to bring flowers from 
ParijAtha tree or earthly flowers or TuLasi leves or even blades of Panic
grass. They  pine over their inabilities to collect any one of the above
for worship and are very unhappy about their lot . You however bless them 
with every thing out of the fullness of your merciful heart. In this regard , 
You are even better than KamadhEnu . She needs atleast  a handful of
fresh grass to be brought to her as a mark of rspect , before she can 
grant the wishes of people , who beseech her blessings. You on 
the otherhand do not expect anything from those , who approach
You . The small act of wearing you on their heads(SatAri ) for a moment 
is sufficient for you to give them more than what they hoped for .
Let KamadhEnu stand where she is ! We do not need her, when You
are with us. Let KamadhEnu stand at her customary place 
(i.e )., entrance of Sage VasishTA's hermitage and help him .
You give us everything even if we are unable to bring you 
anyhting because of your unmatchable compassion and 
generous disposition . 

Sri RanganAtha Divya MaNi PadhukhE ! Thubhyam Nama : 
Swami Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam .
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan