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Sri Ranganatha PaadhukhA Sahasram : Part 6

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Thu Jan 30 1997 - 17:45:57 PST

Dear Members of the prapatthi group :

I will cover in this posting the fifth and the sixth Paddhathis
known as PrathiprasthAna and AdhikhAra Parigraha Paddhathis.


There are twenty slokAs in this chapter that deal with the return 
of the PadhukhA to AyodhyA and the reasons for its  return . Swami
Desikan is moved by the noble gesture of the PadhukhA in leaving 
its Lord and returning to AyodhyA and he salutes them in the first 
verse of this Paddhathi :

prasasthE RamapAdhAbhyAm paadhukhE paryupAsmahE I
aanrusamsyam yAyOrAseedh aasrithEshu anavagraham II

(meaning ) : We meditate on the Rama PaadhukhAs , whose 
protection of those that seek refuge in them is absolute and 
unquestioned. They never fail to bless their devotees . In this regard ,
they are slightly superior to the Lord's feet themselves. BharathA got 
the blessings of the Lord's lotus feet only after fourteen years , whereas 
the PadhukhAs provided their protection unceasingly. 

Swami Desikan points out that the grace and compassion 
of the PaadhukhAs is unobstructed ( tangu tadangal illaathathu ) 
to those , who seek refuge in them . The inner meaning is that 
the compassion of the AchAryAs is more than that of the Lord , 
since the Lord can become angry at times at the jeevans , 
who time and again break His sastraic injunctions. 
The compassionate and ever forgiving AchAryA never gets angry 
at our foibles and fickle behavior and comes to our rescue. 

In the second slokam , Swami Desikan gave one of the reasons
for the return of the PadhukhAs with Bharathan to AyOdhyA . 
He says: " I desire those PaadhukhAs , which once returned 
to AyodhyA since it was unable to reject the sorrowful prayers
of BahrathA . RamA's feet however rejected those prayers and 
proceeded towards the forest . Rama paadhukhAs could not 
however do that out of its compassion for BahrathA and the sorrowing 
citizens of AyodhyA . They bade farewell  therefore to RamA's feet 
and returned to the city. Swami Desikan is slightly upset with the 
harsh rejection of BharathA's appeal by Rama at Chitrakootam .
Again Swami Desikan suggests that the AcharyAs are more 
compassionate than the Lord Himself regarding the trespasses 
made by us and come to our rescue . 

In the seventh slokam of this paddhathi , Swami again points
out the extraordinary sufferings that the AchAryAs undergo to
make the Jevans secure the boon of Moksham . He refers to
the special sufferings of the PaadhukhAs in this context . Swami
Desikan states that both SitA Devi and the paadhukhAs had to
be separated form their  Lord for the sake of RamA fulfilling 
the purpose of His avathAram (incarnation as the son of king
DasarathA ). SitA Devi was heart broken with sorrow and waited
it out at Asokha Vanam. The paadhukhAs conducted the affairs 
of the state at AyodhyA with greater sorrow. Swami Desikan suggests
that the sorrow of the PadhukhAs was greater than that of Sita Devi 
since the PadhukhAs had to conduct the affairs of the state, look
after the welfare of the people and participate in many of the auspicious 
functions of the state and put on a happy face for the sake of the people,
while it greived over the separation from the Lord's feet. It is generally 
agreed that the requirement to conduct an unavoidable auspicious 
event in the middle of personal calamity is the worst that could 
happen to anyone. 

In the thirteenth sloka , Swami Desikan visualizes the return of 
Rama PaadhukhAs on the back of the court elephant to the 
accompanimnt of the Saamara (fan ) kaimkaryam of respectful
BharathA and the shower of parched rice from the ladies of AyodhyA .
The ladies were showering parched rice on the PadhukhAs from
vantage points as a sign of auspicious welcome to the ruby-inlaid
PadhukhAs of RamA travelling on a seat of honor on the back of
the court elephant , Sathrunjayam . Swami Desikan says that the scene
was like the occasion of the Laaja homam (Offering of parched rice
in the sacred fire ) during a Vedic marriage ceremony . BharathA 
is visualized here as the bride groom and the paadhukhAs as the bride 
with the name of Keerthi . The white rain  of parched rice on the red 
rubies of PaadhukhAs reminded Swami Desikan of the parched rice
descending on the VaidheekAgni of the marriage during the Laaja homam 
section of the marriage . 

Swami Desikan concludes this paddhathi with a beautiful analogy .
He says that the PaadhukhAs returned to AyohyA just as a cow
returns with great aathuram (longing ) to its calf at the end of the
day ( Vathsam dhEnuriva abhajatha ) . He says: " O PadhukhE ! 
Just as a cow will think of its calf at sunset and rush from the forest 
to feed it , You  thought of the citizens of AyOdhyA and rushed 
back home with BahrathA to nourish and nurture the suffering citizens
of AyOdhyA . You  returned to AyOdhyA out of your own spontaneous 
and  matchless spirit of compassion . " 


This paddhathi has fourty slokAs and celebrates 
the acceptance of the responsibilities to rule the land
by the PaadhukhAs as the deputy of Lord RamachandrA .

Swami Desikan celebrates the Vaibhavam of the PadhukhAs 
sitting on the throne of KosalA kings . Befitting his title as 
KavithArkika Simham , Swami Desikan uses the rule of logic
known as Anvayam and Vyathirekham to prove the greatness 
of PaadhukhAs in this paddhathi .  Anvyam is positve assertion
(eg) wherever there is smoke , there is fire  .Vyathirekham is 
the negative assertion , (eg) wherever there is no smoke , 
there is no fire(Dhooma: and Vahni ) . Approaches based on 
agreement and contrariety are used as logical steps to arrive 
at the universal proposition (VyApthi ) about the greatness 
of Rama PaadhukhAs. Infernce is made through this approach
of anvayavyathirekham . Mill's treatise on Logic uses 
the terms " agreement and difference" to denote anvayam 
and Vyathirekham .

In the first slokam , Swami Desikan refers to this agreement and 
difference highlighting technique to win his arguments to prove 
the greatness of Rama PaadhukhAs . He says that the very same
PaadhukhAs , whose glory (vaibhavam ) was inferred by 
the citizens of AyOdhyA through the use of Anvaya and 
VyathirekhA techniques , are also his  supreme Goddess .  

The central theme of this paddhathi is that the Vaibhavam 
of the PadhukhAs is intrinsic to it . For instance, when thePaadhukhAs went 
to the forest with their Lord , the citizens of AyOdhyA were grief stricken.
When they returned with BahrathA to the capital , the same citizens
were joyous and celebrated  that return as a MahOthsavam . 

There are many instances of celebration of the Vaibhavam of AcharyAs 
in this paddhathi in the guise of  homage to the PadhukhAs . In the fourth
slokam , Swami Desikan points out that BharathA's aarAdhanam 
of the paadhukhAs without seeking any specific fruits gave him 
the blessings of governing the state as its deputy . Similarly , 
the aasrayaNam (refuge ) at the feet of a sadhAchAryan without 
anticipation of any fruits would result in the accumulation of
the most noble purushArthams.  

In the tenth slokam , Swami Desikan asks a question .
He addresses the Rama PaadhukhAs and asks as to who
would have protected the land of Kosala at thesorrowful  time of 
DasarathA's passing away and RamA"s exile , if You 
had not accepted the responsibilities of governing by 
stepping into the void . Here again , Swami Desikan hints
that there will be no auspiciousness and comfort in this 
world , if there are no sadhAchAryAs to guide  the suffering
jeevans . 

In the final slokam of this paddhathi , Swami Desikan states
that the PaadhukhAs accepted the responsibilities of 
rulership of Kosala Desam during the time of Sri RamA's
exile to the forest . As a result , the great sorrow of the 
citizens of AyOdhyA over the separation from their 
beloved RamA was banished just as the Sun's rays banish 
the  darkness of the night . Swami Desikan hints that the 
darsanam of a SadhAchAryan banishes the sorrows and 
the sufferings of the Jeevan caught in the snares of SamsArA . 

Sri Ranganatha DivyaMaNi PaadhukhE ! Thubhyam Nama: 
Swami Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam .
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan