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Sri Ranganatha PaadhukhA Sahasram ( RPS ): Naadha Paddhathi --Part 14

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Sun Feb 09 1997 - 06:23:22 PST

Dear Members of the Prapatthi Group :

We are now at the FOURTEENTH CHAPTER of the RPS 
eulogising the Vaibhavam of the PaadhukhAs of the Lord of the
Fourteen worlds (Chathur Dasa Bhuvneswaran ) . In the previous 
paddhathi (ParAga Paddhathi ) , Swami Desikan celebrated the 
sacredness of the specks of dust associated with the RanganAtha 
Divya MaNi PaadhukhAs . Here , he shifts his attention to the holy
and the most delectable Naadham created by the PaadhukhAs as they 
transport the Lord from place to place . Just as the dust is made of many 
individual specks , Naadham  ( the  enjoyable musical sound )produced by
the paadhukhAs is constitued by many notes and moods . Overpowered by
the enormity and majesty of the many notes and moods of this Naadham , 
Swami engaged in NaadhOpAsanA and blessed us with 
one hundred verses in celebration of the uniqueness of 
the sacred NaadhAm created by the MaNi PaadhukhAs . 
This Naadha Paddhathi is therefore one of the longest of 
all the 32 Paddhathis of RPS . Thus almost one tenth of RPS 
reverberates with the Naadham associatd with the divine paadhukhAs .
Swami"s poetic imagination and devout Bhakthi for the Lord of
Srirangam and NammAzhwAr find a fertile ground in this Paddhathi .
In view of its significance , I will translate this  entire Paddhathi over
a few postings to gain an appreciation of the greatness of 
Sri VedAntha Desikan , NammAzhwAr and Lord RanganAtha 
and our ancient sampradhAyam . 

Verse 1 :

srutheenAm bhooshaNAnAm thE sankhE RangEndra PaadhukhE I
mitha: sangarsha sanjAtham raja: kimapi sinjhitham II

(Meaning ) : O RanganAtha PaadhukhE ! When I hear your melodious 
sound , I conclude that it is generated by the vigorous rubbing together 
of the VedAs , which serve as your jewelery. During their eforts to compete
with one another to praise You , they seem to generate the notes that 
form the melody associated with your movement . 

(Note ) : RanganAthA's PadhukhAs have many gems and jewels 
as decorative objects embedded in them . Swami equates them to 
the different branches (SaakhAs ) of the VedAs. The word SinjithAm
here refers to the toe hold ( Kumizhi ) on the PaddhukhAs . When 
the Lord's feet come in to contact with the gem-inlaid toe holds 
(SakhAs of the VedAs ) , the contact process seems to produce 
speck of dusts (notes of music or Veda Rks ) that are most enjoyable
to listen to . 

The inner meaning is that the ThiruvAimozhi composed by 
SaTakOpa Suri is the distillation of the essence of the four
VedAs and was blessed by the Lord. This is the SaarArtham .

Verse 2 : Here Swami is in a reflective mood and makes an 
observation about the composition of RPS and the foul-mouthed 
critics , who might not fully understand the depth of his devotion
to the PadhukhAs (NammAzhwAr and Thiruvaimozhi ) of the Lord.
He says : " O MaNi PaadhukhE ! when ill-wishing critics with their 
foul mouths decry this compostion of mine on your glories , it
appears that you reject their foolish talk with your sweet sounds .
You seem to indicate through your sacred Naadham that you
reject them as well " .

Swami says here " dhurjanAnAm achamathkAra vachAmsi 
manju nAdhai: avadheerayasi " . The words " achamathkAra 
VachAmsi " suggests naive criticism of vicious minded , who do 
not understand the true purport of the slokams of  RPS . Swami
suggests that the deficiencies of the critics arise from their
lack of upadesam from the SadAchAryAs on Artha Panchakam 
dealing with Iswara Svarupam , Jeeva Svarupam et al. He 
hints that there so many HithOpadesams in the many verses
of ThiruvAimozhi .

Verse 3 : Here Swami touches on the protocol of relationship
between younger and older people . He says : " O PaadhukhE !
Your sounds(Naadham )  appear to me as your responses to 
the VedAs performing their AbhivAdhanAs to you . The reciprocating
musical notes raised by the movement of the alankhArams(gems )
on you suggest that they are your pratyabhivAdhanam . "

AbhivAdhanam is the respectful salutation by a junior person to an
elder . PratyabhivAdhanam is the response of the older person 
wishing hte younger person long life. During the uthsavams of 
RanganAthaA , VedAs are recited. NaadhAm is generated by the 
movement of the Lord as His PadhukhAs respond to that movement . 
Swami Desikan compares here the Vedic recitations to AbhivAdhanams 
( AbhivAdhayE Bhargava Veethahavya thryaa Rishaya :
PravarAnvitha Vaathoola gothra: Aapasthambha soothra: 
Yajus saakAdhyAee Srinivaasaraghava sarmA asmi bhO: )
to the PadhukhAs, the Naadham of the PaadhukhAs reciprocate with
the  PratyabhivAdhanams ( aayushmAn Bhava Somya Srinivasaraghava
Sarman et al ) .

Verse 4 : In this verse Swami Desikan refers to the Kaimkaryam 
of the PadhukhAs in the Lord's LeelA vibhothi (Srirangam ) and 
His Nitya Vibhoothi ( Sri VaikunTam) . He says : " O PadhukhE ! 
The Nadham arising from you seem to query us about our opinion 
on our enjoyment of RanganAthA in union with you . Your sweet sounds  
seem to ask us whether we prefer the enjoyment of RanganAthA 
in union with you here at Srirangam or in His supreme abode 
at Sri VaikunTam . This is the intrepretation of Sri Uttamur SwamigaL .

The Andavans of Srirangam intrepret the query of the PadhukhAs 
in a different way . That intrepretation is as follows :
" O PadhukhE ! When we the listeners react to your Naadham , 
it appears as though you are asking the question : What appeals to you 
rasikAs ? is it the appearance of the Lord in His Ranga VimAnam 
at Srirangam or his presence on me or His darsanam at Sri VaikunTam ? ". 

Verse Five : In this verse , Swami Desikan focuses on the naadham 
originating from the inner chambers of the Lord of Srirangam . He says :
" O MaNi PaadhukhE ! When RanganAthA  travels on you to the inner chambers 
of His abode , the melodious sounds raised by the coming together 
of the gems adorning you appear  to be conversing with the sweet Naadham
generated by the bells attached to the ankle ornaments of Sri RanganAyaki ,
as She moves towards Her Lord to welcome Him. The mingling of these
two naadhAs --Yours and that of the anklet bells of Sri RanganAyaki --
resemble an ongoing conversation between them . 

Sri RanganAtha Divya MaNi PaadhukhE ! Thubhyam NamO nama :
Sri Swami DEsikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan