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Swami Desikan's PadhukhA Sahasram --Part 2

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_CompuServe.COM)
Date: Sun Jan 19 1997 - 19:40:41 PST


Dear Members of the Prapatthi Group :

In this posting , I will start with a salutation to THE ILLUSTRIOUS 
GLORY OF SRIRANGAM , the abode of Sriranganatha and His inseparable
consort , Sri RanganAyaki . For illustrating the incomparable glory
of the abode of the Lord , we can take Swami Desikan's own citation
in Sanchara Paddhathi of RPS . In this paddhathi , Swami Desikan
enjoys the uthsavams of  Sri Ranganatha from viswarupa darsanam
to paryankAsanam (i.e )., from suprabhAtham ( ThiruppaLLIyezucchi)
to the Lord being to sung to sleep at night . The particular slokam of 
Sanchara Paddhathi extolling the glories of Srirangam is the 312th slokam 
of RPS :

satyAlokAth sakalamahithAth sthanathO vaa RaghUNAm 
     sankhE maatha: ! samadhikaguNam saikatham sahyajAyA : I
poorvam poorvm chiraparichitham paadhukE ! yath tyajanthyA 
     neethO naathastadhithamitharanneeyathE na tvayAasou II

(Meaning ) : O PaadhukE ! You brought BhagavAn first from 
Sri VaikunTam to Satya Lokam , the world of BrahmA Devan .
Then You brought Him over to the house of Raghus at AyodhyA .
Thereafter , You carried Him to Srirangam . He has  not ventured out 
anywhere else  since arriving at Srirangam on Your back . Therefore ,
I conclude correctly that there is no place superior to Srirangam .


Srirangam is indeed the Divya Desam celebrated by 11 AzhwArs 
through 247 pAsurams of the NaalAyira Divya Prabhandham . 
This is where AndAL , Kulasekhara AzhwAr , Tondardipodi ,
ThiruppAnAzhwAr , YatirAjar joined the Lord . AndAL and ThiruppANAzhwAr 
merged with the Lord in person; the rest ascended to Sri VaikunTam 
at this Divya Desam . Periya Nambi , ParAsara Bhattar , Vadakku 
Thiruveedhi PiLLai , Pillai LokAcchAr , his brother and author of 
Acharya Hrudhayam and many other AcharyAs were born here .
AcharyAs like Natha Muni , AalavandhAr , Swami Desikan , 
MaNavAla MaamunigaL and other Acharya PurushAs lived here 
and offered their worship to Sri RanganathA and His PaadhukhAs .


In our tradition , the Lord's Paadhukais are considered  identical to Acharyan 
and particularly , NammAzhwAr , who  is revered as SatAri Suri .
The PadhukhAs are HENCE known as "Satakopam " and is placed on
our heads at the sannidhis of BhagavAn to remind us of the Acharya 
Sambhandham . It is our deep belief that a Jeevan can attain 
sathgathi only through the strength and power of one's Acharya . 
The definition of an Acharyan is accepted by us as follows :

" Nalla sangathikaLai arindhu , anthappadi nadanthu , 
appadiyE pirarukkum therivitthu , nadatthi vaikkiravan "
( One who understands the right messages form his acharyAs , practises them ,
intreprets and passes them on to his own disciples ). The practise of AchAram , 
AnushtAnam and helping others to understand them through personal 
example and uniting us with the Lord through the power of their own  Tapas 
are the hall marks of a sadhAcharyan. Swami Desikan has covered 
the extraordinary and unique role of AcharyAs in his 32nd (final )
chapter of his Rahasya traya Saaram to emphasize these doctrines .


It is well known that it is very difficult to obtain a SadhAcharyan. 
The SEQUENCE OF STEPS   leading to Bhagavadh Anugraham are 
recognised to be : SadhAcharya KatAksham , SadhAchArya 
anugraham (PrasAdham ) , Bhagavadh Anugraham , Moksham .

Swami Desikan emphasised like the SadAchAryas before and after
him that the attainment of Sadhgathi by the Jeevans is due to the strength
and power of the AchAryAs and sambhandham with those AchAryAs.
At he very end of his Magnum opus , Rahasya Traya Saaram , Swami
Desikan concluded therfore " manyE Balam ". We have to 
understand and revere the Guru paramparA (Acharya VamsO
j~nEya : ) fo that reason .

The first Acharyan in our tradition is SRIMAN NARAYANAN , 
THE SARVESWARAN . He lights the eternally shining lamp 
of sampradhAyam and illumines the mind of the next Acharyan . 
Through a line of succesion, NammAzhwAr or Thirukkuruhoor 
Satakopan occupies a key place in our Acharya paramparai .
He is celebrated as the Prapanna Jana kutasthar and our
Kula pathi (founder-seer ) . He himself has stated in his 
Periya ThiruvandhAdhi ( paasuram 31 ) that " By becoming 
servants of the Lord , we have verily become as it were HIS
sacred sandals (paadhukhAs )  ". THAT IS OUR KEY REVELATION
OF THE  LORD AT SRIRANGAM .  Swami Desikan elected therefore 
to celebrate the  Padhukais of the Lord of Srirangam instead of 
the Lord's  Lotus feet  themselves . 

In the subsequen postings , the summaries of the 32 chapters 
of RPS of Swami Desikan will be given and illustrative verses 
from each of the Paddhathis will be included .

Sri Ranganayaki sametha  Sri RanganAtha ParabrahmaNE Nama: 

Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan