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PadmarAgha Paddhathui : Chapter 17th of RPS

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Sun May 25 1997 - 16:53:11 PDT

Dear BhakthAs of NammAzhwAr : 

Swami Desikan focussed on the interplay between 
the different kinds of gems embedded on the Divya 
MaNi paadhukhais of Sri RanganAthA in the earlier 
paddhathi entitled " Bahurathna Paddhathi " . In the 
PadmarAgha paddhathi , he concentrates on the red 
gem stone of PadmarAgham(Ruby )  embedded on the 
sandals of the Lord at Srirangam . In  this and 
the subsequent three paddhathis, Swami Desikan 
focusses on the rubies , emeralds , pearls 
and sapphires decorating  the Lord's paadhukhAs . 

He devoted 30 slokams for the rubies in the padmarAgha
paddhathi , 50 for the pearls in MukthA paddhathi , 20 for 
emeralds in the Marataka paddhathi and 30 for sapphires 
in the Indraneela paddhathi . The above four gems adorning 
the Lord's paadhukhAs dominate as decorations for them .

Rubies have the red color resembling that of Mahaa Lakshmi . 
Hence , Swami Desikan chose rubies/PadmarAghA as the first 
gem stone for eulogy. PadmarAghA literally means the one having
the color of Lotus flower on which Mahaa Lakshmi sits in a lotus
forest . Both the PaadhukhAs and Mahaa Lakshmi have a strong
relationship to the lotus flower . The PaadhukhAs support the lotus
feet of the Lord . Mahaa Lakshmi chooses the lotus as her place of
residence . She also serves the Lord's lotus feet by pressing them 
gently , when He engages in Yoga NidrA . 

Slokam 1

prapadhyE Ranganathasya paadhukhAm padmarAgiNim I
padhaika niyathAm tasya padma vAsAmivAparAm II

O PaadhukhE ! I surrender unto You , who is is predominantly 
embedded with PadmarAghA stones , whose red color is close to 
that of the lotus flowers . O divya MaNI PaadhukhE ! You are exclusively 
associated with service to the Lord's lotus feet . In this matter , You 
are verily like the other lady residing on the lotus seat located on the Lord's
chest  and shares Your Lord's duties of offering salvation to the jeevans.

The inner meaning is that the AzhwAr considers himself as 
one of the Nayakis of the Lord such as  Mahaa Lakshmi . 

Slokam 5

padha pallava sangibhi: pradeepthai:
     adhikOllAsibhi: Ambha ! PadmarAghai : I
analE sayanam kvachin MurArE :
      avisamvAdhayaseeva PaadhukhE ! tvam II

O Mother PaadhukhE ! Your PadmarAgha gems are associated
with the tender feet of Your Lord. There , they shine with such a 
brilliance that His whole body seems to become invisible in that 
lustre. It seems that You lend credence to the Agamic statement 
that  the Lord lies amidst the red flames of fire. 

Swami Desikan refers to the PaancharAthra AgamA statement 
that Vishnu lies in the midst of fire to create RudrA . Swami also 
uses the double meaning of the word , " Adhikam " . It can either
mean excessive or above the head ( Adhi +Kam ) . By the latter 
meaning , he hints that the flame-like brilliance of the PadmarAghA 
stones reach out and obscure as it were the head of the Lord .

Slokam 13

nityam nijA lokapatham gathAnAm 
   SrEyO disantheem sritha padmarAgham I
maheeyaseem Madhava PaadharakshE !
    manyAmahE mangaLa devathAm tvAm II

O PaadhukhE ! We consider You as the equivalent to Sri Devi 
because of the many qualities that both of You share. Whenever 
and wherever both of Your glances  fall on anyone , that person 
receives every type of auspiciousness. Both of You have close 
association  with the lotus flower. Sri Devi prefers lotus as her 
place of residence. You stay next to the lotus feet of Your Lord. 
The glory of Sri Devi is large . Your glory is equally large since 
you are bigger than the Lord's feet so that You can accomodate 
His feet with comfort. Hence ,  I consider You as the equivalent 
of Mahaa Lakshmi . 

The inner meaning is that the AcharyALs are the incarnations 
of Mahaa Lakshmi . When one receives the blessings of a 
SadAchAryA , that person has no inauspiciousness that 
comes across them in this or the other world .

Slokam 15

prathayangmayasya havisha: praNavEna dEvi !
    prakshEpaNAya paramArthavidhAm muneenAm I
prAjyam Mukundha charaNAvani ! padmarAghai :
    paryAya paavaka sikhAm bhavatheem pratheema : II

O PaadhukhAs of the Lord , who blesses one with Moksham ! 
The lustre of the rays of your padmarAgha stones is like 
the flames of the Vedic fire used by the sages in yagAs .
They seem to offer as dravyam their souls to the accompaniment 
of PraNava mantra recitation in your agni jwAlA to attain freedom
from the cycles of births and deaths .

IN YagAs , ghee(dravyam )  is poured with appropriate mantrAs to 
the chosen devathAs ; Agni BhagavAn receives it and delivers that
aahoothi to the intended devathAs . Similarly , when the jeevan 
is offered to a sadAcharyan , it is delivered safe and sound to
Sriman NaarAyaNA and Mahaa Lakshmi . The glow of padmarAghA 
gems is compared to the Agni jwAlA . 

Slokam 18

sthAnE tavAchyutha padaavani ! padmarAghA :
   tejOmayaa: prasamayanthi tamO madheeyam I
chithram tadEtadhiha yajj janayanthi nityam
   rAgAthmakEna mahasA rajasO nivrutthim II

O Achyutha PaadhukhE ! Your rubies through your lustre remove 
the surrounding darkness . This is entirely  appropriate . But how do their
red lustre destroy my passionate nature (rajO guNam ) ? This is 
indeed difficult to understand . 

Swami Desikan plays here with the double meaning of the words,
" Tama  and Raaga : " . Tama can mean tamO guNA (base nature ) 
or darkness; similarly , RagA can mean red color or passion . Swami 
hints that the sacred nature of the effulgence from rubies destry one's 
passionate and dark nature amd transforms one to possess 
auspiciousness and qualities of purity ( sattva guNA ) . 

Slokam 20 

paadhAvani ! prasrumarasya kalEryugasya 
     prAyENa samprathi nivArayithum pravEsam I
Srirangaseemni tava soNa maNi prasootha :
     prAkAramagnimayam aarabathE prakAsa : II

O PaadhukhE ! The deep red lustre arising from your
padmarAghA stones surrounds the boundaries of 
Sri Rangam like the walls of fire and thereby prevent 
the entry of the age of kali inside that holy city , the home 
of your Lord . 

Slokam 30

aruNamaNayas tavaithE HaripadharAgENa labdhamahimAna : I
gamayanthi charaNarakshE ! dhyumaNigaNam jyOthirinkaNathAm II

O PaadhukhE ! Through your association with your Lord's 
lotus red feet , the lustre of your padmarAghA stones multiply 
manyfold in its redness. They thus become superior in their 
brilliance . Even hoards of Suns look like fireflies  in front of
You , when You are united with Your Lord's feet .

The inner meaning is that the knowledge (JnAnam ) 
obtained from the upadesams of a SadAchAryan is
far superior to the  knowledge of thousands 
of Saasthras obtained without the upadesam 
from a sadaachAryan .

Sri RanganAtha Divya maNi PaadhukhE ! Thubhyam Nama :
Swami Desikan , NammAzhwAr ThriuvadigalE SaraNam 

Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan