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Archiradhi - Part 7: ch2: Soul enters Paramapada

From: Venkatesh K. Elayavalli (vke_at_cypress.com)
Date: Sun Nov 28 1999 - 08:12:07 PST

Dear Members

We continue with the translation of Sri P. Lokacharya's archiradhi by Ms
M. S. Ramesh.

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Amanavas, Nithyas, Mukhtas welcome this soul.  The place is filled with
the sound of shanku, Thiruchinnam (a type of bugle) and Bheri. As he is
proceeding lost in enjoyment of these sights and scenes, 500 divya
apsaras with divya choorna, divya vastra, divya anjana come to meet this
soul.  They in turn beautify this soul in such a manner that Parabrahma
will enjoy the sight of their end product (Brahmalankaram). They
beautify this soul with the vastra (raiment), Mala, etc. worn earlier by
God. The beautifiers look at the beautified muktatma and enjoy along
with him, his good luck in having been blessed with a place in
paramapada.

Once all this beautification is over, Peria thiruvadi i.e. Garuda will
bring the divya vimana. This vimana is covered with evergreen creepers
and has as rows and rows of pearls hangings down from the top to the
sides. Its top is covered with Merkattis (vithanam) i.e. the piece of
cloth which is usually used as a roof over the head of the idol whenever
it is taken out in a procession. A number of damsels from Paramapada are
seated in the vimana. The muktatma then steps into the divya vimana.
Stothras are sung.  The vimana starts on its journey to Paramapada.
Enroute it passes through beautiful groves and thick vegetation. Apsara
sthrees welcome this vimana throughout its route.  They offer the divya
gandha, brahma gandha and other scented powders found only in
Paramapada.Even as they carry these sweet scented articles, they
themselves are said to radiate a sweet smell.  The vimana finally nears
the entrance of Paramapada.  The divya gopura is sighted. The Thiruvasal
Kappan i.e. the person standing guard at the entrance to Paramapada also
welcomes this soul. Thus, the soul reaches Paramapada also known as
Ayodhya and Aprajitha. It is known as Ayodhya as it is a place which
cannot be attained by anybody by fighting a war! that is to say one has
to earn through punya the right to enter Paramapada and not by mere
brute might. The word "Aparajitha" also similarly conveys the thought
that it is a place which cannot be conquered by anyone. Having reached
such a Paramapada where the Perumal is residing, this muktatma utters
the words "Sri Vaikunthaya Namaha" and offers obesience to the Vaikuntha
Vasal i.e. gateway.

As soon as the soul reaches Vaikuntha, the kainkaryaparas, the munis and
other great souls are happily surprised that this soul caught in the web
of samsara has atlast reached Vaikuntha, a task which is as difficult as
water in the ocean successfully climbingup the hill! This soul tossed
about in the ocean known as Samsara has achieved a great feat in
climbing up the Paramapada hill.  Garuda, Visvaksena and others take
this atma to their respective residences. They seat him on a high asana
while they themselves squat on the ground. Their wives (patnis) brought
water and washed the feet of this muktatma (Sree Pada theertha
offering).  They relate to their spouses the greatness of this muktatma
and render upachara to that soul.

to be continued ...