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Sri RanganAtha PaadhukhA Sahasram (RPS ) : Part 14. 17

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Wed Mar 26 1997 - 19:48:51 PST

Dear Members of the Prapatthi Group :

I will conclude the musings on the Naadaha Paddhathi
of RPS with  this posting  There are  18 more paddhathis 
to cover . Hopefully , we can cover them fairly quickly after
the deliberately slow pace so far  to enjoy each and  
every slokam of the Naadha Paddhathi (NP) . 

Verse 96 0f  NP/ Slokam 476 of RPS

sveshu sveshu padhEshu niyamayasyashtou disAmeesvrAn
    svairAlApakathA: pravarthayasi kim trayyA sahAseenayA I
RangEswarasya samastha loka  mahitham prApthA padhAmbhOruham 
     ma bhaisheerithi maamudheerayasi vaa manjusvanai: paadhukhE ! II

Swami Desikan describes some of the many things that 
the Divya MaNi paadhukhAs accomplish . He says : O PaadhukhE !
When I hear your sweet Naadham generated by the sanchAram of your 
Lord"s lotus feet , It sounds like you are commanding the Lords of 
the eight directions to go about their assigned duties . At times , 
it appears like an intimate conversation that you are having with 
the VedAs , which are sitting at the holy feet of your Lord . At other 
times , Your Naadham appears to be directed expressly at me 
to state that I should not be afraid of SamsAric afflictions. 

While asking the PaadhukhAs about the different types of
Naadham it creates , Swami Desikan pays his homage to 
the Lotus feet Of RanganAthA with the passage of the slokam :
Samastha Loka mahithAm RangEsasya PadhAmbhOruham .
He describes the Lotus feet of the Lord of Srirangam as 
the most celebrated charaNa Kamalam in all of the worlds .

Swami states that theNaadham of the PaadhukhAs appear
as though it says : Do not be afraid ( Maa Bhaishi ) in a gesture of 
Abhaya PradhAnam . This reference reminds one of 
the Sarama Slokam of the Lord stated in the battle field 
of Kurukshetram , where He asked Arjuna not to grieve ( Maa Sucha : ) . 
The PaadhukhAs according to Swami Desikan 
seem to be saying that those , who take refuge at the holy
feet of the Lord have nothing to fear based on His declaration: 
" Relinquishing all DharmAs , take refuge in Me alone ; I will
liberate thee from all sins ; grieve not " .Swami NammAzhwaar
declared in the Thiruvaimozhi Paasurams that there is naught 
else except Sriman NaarAyaNA to grant us moksham . 

Verse 97 of NP/ slokam 477 of RPS 

In the previous verse , Swami Desikan indicated that 
the PaadhukhA's Naadham assures him of freedom 
from fear. During this and the subsequent three verses ,
Swami explains about the type of fears that are removed by
the Naadham of the PaadhukhAs . 

He says : O Paadhukhas adorning the lotus feet 
of the Lord holding Sudarsanam in His hand ! 
May I hear your majestic sound of your naadham 
resembling the roaring ocean at the time , when the servants of
YamA argue loudly with me about my many sins ! O PaadhukhE !
Your Naadham will readily answer the arguments of Yama 
KinkarAs and point out that I have performed Prapatthi to Your Lord .
May Thou bless me to be in Srirangam at the time of shedding my
mortal coils , so that your Lord does not need to travel too far to 
reach me! ". Freedom from fear caused by the servants of YamA
is the first of the fears that Swami has in mind . Here , he seems to 
be alluding to the story of AjAmilA , who was threatened 
unsuccessfully by the Yama KinkarAs at the time of his death .

Verse  98 of NP / Slokam 478 of RPS

Here Swami Desikan goes on with the listing of the second
of his fears  that the PaadhukhA Naadham removes . He says :
" O Mother! O Madhava PaadhukhE ! Great scholars and eminently
righteous people experience the sweetness of your naadham , which
reminds them of the  sweetness of the juice of freshly pressed sugar cane.
Their minds get intoxicated with that experience of listening to 
your naadham . For my part , I attempt to describe you without
fear or humility and add words that dry up in my verse . I am 
afraid that the scholars may criticize the quality of my work . You 
ask me not to be afraid ( Maa Bhaishee ) because of the scholars
are so intoxicated over the tasting of your delectable naadham ,
which in turn will make them ineffective to notice any defects in my work " . 

Swami Desikan hints here that  his composition was not critically 
reviewed by him due to the pressure of time to compose one thousand 
and eight verses in the short  time frame of one Jaamam of the night . 

Verse 99 of NP / Slokam 479 of RPS 

In this slokam , Swami Desikan refers to a third  fear 
that the PaadhukhA Naadham removes for him . He says 
that it  removes the fear about the intemperate and jealous 
people criticizing his compositions about the Lord"s PaadhukhAs .

This slokam alludes to the incident that led to the creation of 
this MahA Kaavyam by Swami Desikan as a result of the challenge
raised by a jealous poet . Swami seems to refer to the unwanted 
competition to prove the superiority of one's poetic skills as 
an internal agitation among the Sri VaishNavA community 
of Sri Rangam . He comments that this commotion was like 
the cacophony of an occasion , when hundreds of Vedic passages
are recited at the same time . He commends this competiton 
inspite of the commotion , since the subject matter dealt with 
Sri RanganAthA , whose feet are adorned by the PaadhukhAs
(SatAri Suri ) as well as by the VedAs , which serve as an ankle 
jewelery ( Noopuram ) . Both serve the Lord in their own ways.

In many verses of the PaadhukhA sahasram , Swami Desikan has 
praised the superiority of the Lord's PaadhukhAs over the Lord"s 
lotus feet . This is consistent witht he Lord's own statement that His 
BhagavathAs are superior Him . VedAs also establish this principle ,
which is accepted by the Sri VaishNavA community  even today. 
It is no wonder that Swami Desikan"s PaadhukhA sahasram won over
the competing  Paadha Kamala sahasram from the point of view of the 
subject chosen for eulogy. The challenger of Swami Desikan could not 
complete however the 1,000 verses in the time set for the competition 
either .

Swami Desikan praises the Naadham of the PaadhukhAs in this verse 
as follows : " O PaadhukhE ! The gems embedded in you move , when 
you transport your Lord and raise a delightful naadham in praise of 
your Lord. They establish your glory and through their many notes 
emanating at the same time remind one of the different sections of 
the Vedas that appear to conflict with one another. Some sections
of the VedAs aver that BhagavAn's glory is superior to His BhakthAs .
Other sections insist that the BhagavathA's glory exceeds that of 
their Lord . O PaadhukhE ! your naadham reminds me of this 
dispute. You ( Swami NammAzhwAr)  have  stated in some places 
that the Lord has the supreme glory and elsewhere , You have 
suggested that the BhagavathA's glory exceeds that of your Lord. 
Your two statements  may appear contractictory. Actually ,  there is 
no conflict . BhagavathA's greatness is included in Your Lord"s
supermacy . Same reconciliation can be  made between the 
positions of Vedic passages that seem to contradict one another. 

My contestant chose to compose on your Lord's lotus feet . I 
elected to eulogize you adorning the Lord's holy feet . Both of us 
are of the same creed . It may appear that there is a dispute between 
us in the matter of  selecting the topic for the eulogy. In actuality ,
both of our efforts are  all about the glory of your Lord  ".

Verse 100 of NP / Slokam 480 of RPS

Swami Desikan chose the shorter AryA meter in his customary 
fashion to conclude this Paddhathi . The slokam describes the 
fourth type of fear that the PaadhukhAs chase away . The slokam is 
as follows :

Kshipathi MaNipaadha RakshE ! naadahirnoonam samAsrithathrANE I
Rangeswarasya Bhavathi RakshApEkshaNaviLampam II

Here , Swami Desikan describes the fourth fear as the delay on the part 
of RanganAthA to come to his protection . He says : " O Gem-decked
PaadhukhE ! Your Naadham prompts RanganAthA to come to my rescue.
You through your naadham standing in  the role of an AchAryA  
recommend my salvation to your Lord. You remove this way any 
delay on the part of your Lord to wait for me to request His protection 
through self-surrender(Prapatthi ) at His lotus feet .That fear is also
removed now by you ." 

The reference here is to the paasuram of Swami NammAzhwAr 
in the third decad of Thiruvaimozhi ( MaatAthEyaahilum ) , where 
he addresses the Lord and  states that He should out of his 
infinite mercy save the suffering samsAris ,since they do not know
how to go about asking for His help . The Lord wants to save them .
He knows about their sufferings and yet he wants them to make an 
effort . PaadhukhA "s naadham seems to suggest that the SamsAris 
do not know how to go about asking for the mercy waiting for them 
and begs the Lord not to wait for that askinfg and out of the greatness 
of His DayA to take the initative to save the suffering souls . One 
wonders as to whose mercy is greater , the AcharyA's or 
the Lord's . One is clear however that the Lord listens to
the pleading of the Acharyas to save us , when we perform 
Prapatthi . 

Swami NammAzhwAr ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Sri Ranganayaki Sametha Sri Ranganayaka SwaaminE Nama:
Sri Swami Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 

Naadha Paddhathi SampoorNam 

Oppilaippan KOil VaradAchAri Sadagopan