Paduka Sahasram Part 79

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25.SannivEsa Paddhathi

Introduction: The 25 th Paddhathi of SrI RanganAtha PaadhukA Sahasram has tweny verses dealing with the intimate physical connections tha tthe PaadhukAs have with the Lord’s holy feet during His many incarnations. The changes in shapes and forms during those occasions are covered in this section known as SannivEsa Paddhathi.

Sloka #781

781. aNOraNIyasIm viShNOrmahathOpi mahIyasIm
prapadhyE pAdhukAm nithyam thathpadhEnaIva sammithAm

Meaning (translated by Sri. U.Ve. V.N. Vedanta Desikan)

I cling to the Paaduka-as my only shelter-which Paaduka adapts a form to suit the Lord’s Feet, whether he is in a mini-particle size as an atom or in a mammoth-sized form-this the Paaduka does as the Lord himself does.

Special Notes from Sri. U.Ve. V. Sadagopan

1) UtthamUr Swamy’s anubhavam: I bow always before the PaadhukAs, which exactly fit the feet of the small sized VishNu (Vaamana) or the feet of the giant sized VishNu ( Thrivikrama) equally well.

2) SrImath Andavan’s anubhavam: The SannivEsam (Uruvam, the form) of the Paadhukais are described here. It is customary for the Paadhukais to be neither larger or smaller than one’s feet. It should be of the appropraite size (SannivEsam) to fit the feet of the one , who wears it. In the case of the Lord, the Paadhukais match the Lord’s feet exactly, whether His feet are small as in the case of VaamanAvathAram or huge as at the time of ThrivikramAvathAram.

3) Swamy DEsikan offers his Prapatthi to the miraculous Paadhukais here (VishNO: PaadhukAm prapadhyE). They have the matching dimension with the Lord’s holy feet always( nithyam tath-padhEnaiva sammithAm PaadhukAm prapadhyE). Those PaadhukAs are smaller than the small Thriuvadi during the VaamanAvathAram (aNO: aNIyAn) and larger than the large feet of the Lord during ThrivikramAvathAram (mahathOapi maheeyaseem). The shape and size changes befitting the occasion to serve the Lord.

The MahA NaarAyaNOpanishad manthram is recalled by Swamy Desikan here:

” aNO: aNeeyAn mahathO maheeyAn AathmA guhAyAm nihithOsya JanthO:
Tamakrathum pasyati veethasOkO dhAthu: prasAdhAn mahimAnam Isam ”

Here the Supreme Self, the indweller of the ChEthanam is recognized as subtler than the subtle and greater than the great . That ParamAthmA is seated in the heart lotus of the chEthanam. The Upanishad manthram goes on to describe the aathma saakshAthkAram of the ParamAthmA in the hrudhya puNDareekam by the JeevAthmA and the gaining of freedom from all griefs as a rsult of the anugraham of the ParamAthmA.

Sloka #782

782. prathithiShTathi pAdhasammithAyAm thvayi nithyam maNipAdhukE! mukundha:
itharE thu paricChadhAstha EthE viBhavavyanjanahEthavO Bhavanthi

Meaning (translated by Sri. U.Ve. V.N. Vedanta Desikan)

Oh Manipaaduka! The Lord stands on You, solidly placed, at all times, You almost becoming part of Him. His other external paraphernalia (like the umbrella, the chamara etc.) are merely the symbols and evidences of His great Lordship with affluence of every kind.

Special Notes from Sri. U.Ve. V. Sadagopan

1) UthtamUr Swamy’s anubhavam: Oh Mani PaadhukE! Lord is consecrated in You, who is equal in holiness to His feet. His status becomes preeminent through the union of His holy feet with You. He wears You at all times independent of whether He is walking or not. Rest of His accoutrements like the umbrella, fan, aabharaNams and ress do not have the same intimate relationship that You have with Your Lord. They are only useful to announce His wealth and soverignity.

2) SrImath Andavan’s anubhavam: Whether the Lord is standing or sitting or moving around, The PaadhukAs are the Ones that serve His body always. The rest of the Lord’s possessions like umbrella , aabharaNams are merely for the glorification of His Isvaryam as SarvEswaran.

3) Oh Mukundha MaNi PaadhukE ! Both of You fit exactly the dimensions of Your Lord’s Thiruvadis and support / serve the Lord’s ThirumEni. Your Lord is always with You ( Paadha SammithAyAm Thvayi Mukundha: nithyam prathithistathi).All the other isvaryams of the Lord like the white umbrella signifying His soverignity over all universes (tE yEthE itharE paricchadhaa: ) are only symbols to remind one of the glories of His mahimA (tE yEthE itharaa: vibhava-vyanjana hEthava: bhavanti).The key words here are “Mukundha: Thvayi nithyam prathishtathi”.All the others have occasional uses and are solely for the revelations of His Isvaryam (Vibhava vyanjana hEthurEva bhavanthi ) …. (V.S).

Sloka #783

783. thava ranganarEndhrapAdharakshE!
prakruthi: sannapi BhakthipArathanthryAth
BhavathIm vahathIva pannagEndhra:
praThithasvasthikalakshaNaI: shirOBhi:

Meaning (translated by Sri. U.Ve. V.N. Vedanta Desikan)

Oh Paaduka! Adisesha is Your original model so to say, ince he has taken Your form (as other forms too). Nevertheless, by dint of intense devotion to You, he bears on his thousand hoods, the shape of Paaduka, as the Swastika (or thuthi) symbol-paying homage to you that way!

Special Notes from Sri. U.Ve. V. Sadagopan

1) UtthamUr Swamy’s anubhavam: Oh Ranganatha PadhukE! AdhisEshahas taken Your form because of his great regard and devotion for you .He wears yet on the back of his thousand hoods as a foot print or mark of auspiciousness. AdisEsha wears the symbol known as Swathi on his hoods , which is made up of two linked PaadhukAs. Even if AdisEsha has taken Your form already, he still wears the Swasthi mark on his thousand hoods out of the great respect he has for You.

2) SrImath Andavan’s anubhavam: The sannivEsam ( appearance ) of Paadhukai is like PerumAL’s ThiruvadikaL.There is also a mark on the hood of AdhisEsha, which is like PerumAl’s Thiruvadi.When one looks at this insignia, it appears as though AdisEshan, who has taken the avathAram of Paadhukai still wishes to carry on His head the Paadhukai out of reverence for the Paadhukai. The inner meaning is that AchAryAs are eternally liberated souls (nitya sooris) and even when they incarnate as AchAryAs , they celebrate the AchAryAs.

3) Oh PaadhukE! Although AdhisEshan is the source of Your avathAram (PannagEndhra: Tava Prakruthi: sannapi) , He carries You in the form of Svasthika on His hoods (PraTitha Svasthika: lakshaNai: sirObhi: vahathi). This he does because of his great reverence for You and is bound by his devotion to You ( Bhakthi paaratantryAth bhavatheem vahathi)…(V.S).

Sloka #784

784. parasya pumsa: padhasannivEshAn
prayunjathE BhavithapancharAthrA:
aGhaprathIpAnapadhishya puNdrAn
angEShu rangEshayapAdhukE! thvAm

Meaning (translated by Sri. U.Ve. V.N. Vedanta Desikan)

Oh Paaduka! Those who follow the Pancharatra (or Vaikhanasa) agama for paying homage to the Lord (in Aradhana), have the habit of adorning their limbs (forehead, neck, chest, belly and shoulders) with the mark of the Lord’s Foot; the Foot herein is only a pretext, so described; actually, they are of Your shape only! (Paaduka only)

Special Notes from Sri. U.Ve. V. Sadagopan

1) UtthamUr Swamy’s anubhavam: Oh RanganAtha PadhukE! SrI VaishNavaas conversant with PaancharAthra aagamAs wear You on their forehead and other parts of the body. Those twelve marks on their upper torso are for reminding themselves about You, who carry the Lord’s holy feet. Those marks representing You remove all their sins by their presence (on the bodies of SrI VaishNavAs).

2) SrImath Andavan’s anubhavam: Oh PaadhukE! Those who are conversant with PaancharAthram adorn their upper torso with the twelve ThirumaNNs. The name is only sacred clay ( Thiru MaNN ) but it is really Paadhukais, which are adorned by the SrI VaishNavAs on their body.

3) Oh RangEsaya PadhukE! PaancharAthrA practioners (BhAvitha PaancharAthrA:) adorn the ThirumaNNs, which are in the form of the Lord’s sacred feet on their body for elimination of sins ( aga pratheepAn Parasya Pumsa: padha sannivEsAn prayunjathE). Actually those ThirumaNNs (PuNDrAn) are insignia for You alone (PuNDrAn Upadisya ThvAm angEshu prayunjathE)…(V.S).

Sloka #785

785. vimrushya rangEndhrapathimvarAYA:
shruthE: sThithAm mUrDhani pAdhukE! thvAm
baDhnanthi vruDdhA: samayE vaDhUnAm
thvanmudhrithAnyABharaNAni moULoU

Meaning (translated by Sri. U.Ve. V.N. Vedanta Desikan)

Oh Paaduka! Knowledgeable persons prescribe placing You (in the Shape of Thiruman engraved on the Thirumangalya) on the head of the bride at the marriage ceremony. Because it is auspicious. Even the Veda damsel bears You, she bearing the Lord on her head-this is because the Veda, accepts the Lord Narayana only, as its subject of praise and this means she bears the Lord with the Paaduka on her head for auspiciousness.

Special Notes from Sri. U.Ve. V. Sadagopan

1) UtthamUr SWamy’s anubhavam: In the previous slOkam , Swamy Desikan revealed that the twelve insignias that SrI VaishNavAs wear on thier bodies are the representations of the PaadhukAs protecting the Lord’s holy feet. Here, he states that PaadhukAs are present in the symbolic form in the auspicious jewelery worn by married women around their necks. Swamy Desikan says: ” Sri RanganAyaki wears You on Her head (between the brows) . Knowing this , the wise ones make the new brides wear jewelery containing Your form from the time of their marriages”. Swamy Desikan refers here to the ceremony before tying of the auspicious thread around the neck of the bride by the bridegroom during the wedding ceremony. A piece of jewelery containing the representation of the PaadhukA is placed along with a yoke on the head of the bride. This symbolic act follows the tradition set by SrI DEvi.

2) Srimath Andavan’s anubhavam: During the marriage celebrations, an yoke is palced on the head of the bride along with the ThirumAngalyam jewelery. ThirumAngalyam has the sign of ThirumaNN. One may ask why such a procedure is practised. It is because VedAs have the PaadhukAs on their heads. As a result of having the PaadhukAs on their heads, the Veda Sthrees become nithya sumangalis.Similarly it is hoped that the placement of Paadhukai’s insignia on the heads of brides would make them also nithya sumangalees.

3) During the marriage celebrations, elders place on the heads of brides an aabharaNam containing the insignia of PaadhukAs (VruddhA: kalyANa samayE VadhUnAm mouLou Thvan-mudhrithAni aabharaNAni Bhadhnanthi). This is because the enlightened ones recognize that PaadhukAs rest on the top of the head of Veda Sthrees, who are the consorts of Lord RanganAthaa . This presence on Veda Siras ( Upanishads) provide nithya soumAngalyam to the brides (ThvAm RangEndhra pathim varAyA: sruthE: moordhani sTithAm ). Thinking of this symbolism (vimrusya) , the elders place the ThirumAngalyam on the Yoke and place it on top of the heads of the new brides for the conferral of nithya soumAngalyam….(V.S).


Sloka #786

786. vahanthi rangEshvarapAdharakshE! dhIrGhAyuShAm dharShithaBhakthibanDhA:
AshADhipAnAmavarODhanAryasthvanmudhrikAm mangaLahEmasUthraI:

Meaning (translated by Sri. U.Ve. V.N. Vedanta Desikan)

Oh Paaduka! The Eight Direction-guardians enjoy such a longevity only because their damsels wear, in their gold-chain-hung Thirumangalya, Your image. They become thus blessed.

Special Notes from Sri. U.Ve. V. Sadagopan

1) UtthamUr SWamy’s anubhavam: In the earlier slOkams, Swamy Desikan stated that the new brides wear jewelery containing the representation of PaadhukAs on their head. At the high moment of maangalya dhAraNam, the bridegroom ties the auspicious thread around the neck of the bride that contains the PaadhukAs as the center piece. Swamy Desikan points out that the wearing of the MangaLa soothram is not confined to human beings alone but is also observed by the wives of the DevAs , who wish to have long lives for their husbands. Swamy says in this context: ” Oh RanganAtha PaadhukE! The wives of the long lived Masters of the eight directions demonstrate their devotion to their husbands by wearing the auspicious golden chain around their necks containing the medallion bearing Your representation”.

2) SrImath Andavan’s anubhavam : Oh PaadhukE! Every one of the eight directions have their own Master.Their wives wear in their sacred necklaces (ThirumAngalyam) an insignia of Yours and thereby achieve dheerga Sumangalithvam (Long life as married women).

3) The directions have their Lords like Indhra for the East. They have wives (avarOdhanArya: ). The wives wish long lives totheir husbands (dheergAyus). Therefore, they (the wives) adorn with reverence (darsitha bhakthi bandhA:) Your insignia /representation on their golden necklaces (mangala hEma soothrai: Thvan-mudhrikAm vahanthi).. (V.S)

Sloka #787

787. vyUhakramENa praThithAramagrE sandharshayanthI maNipAdhukE! thvAm
pAthum thrilOkIm padhapadhmaBhAjam soUdharshanIm shakthimavaImi shoUrE:

Meaning (translated by Sri. U.Ve. V.N. Vedanta Desikan)

Oh Manipaaduka! The Vyooha evolution as Vasudeva etc., is present in Sudarsana. The Paadukas show the Lord; so does the Sudarsana yantra; it has Paaduka in the axis (hollow centre). Like You, the Sudarsana Moorti also protects all the worlds. Thus, You have the potency of Sudarsana. Your having the Sudarsana streak confirms this.

Special Notes from Sri. U.Ve. V. Sadagopan

1) UtthamUr Swamy’s anubhavam: Oh MaNi PaadhukE! The Sudarsana-yanthram (Symbolic, Geometrical representation of Sudarsana manthram) has incorporated Yourself and the lotus marks in itself . This yanthram is made up of two intersecting triangles, lotus petals and tongues of flames. At its epi-center, this yanthram houses Your representation in a six fold form. That power of Sudarsanam is indeed Yours, which has descended from the Lord to protect the world and to reveal Himself through You. The Sudarsana yanthram has come closer to Your Lord by having the insignia of PaadhukAs and lotus petals in the geometric form (It is indeed well known that the Lord’s holy feet contain Chakra/Disc, and Padma /lotus, Rekha/ lines indicating the closeness of PaadhukAs to Sudarsanam).

2) SrImath Andavan’s anubhavam: Oh PaadhukE ! You demonstrate VyUha Moorthys (VaasudEvan, SankarshaNan, Pradhyumnan and Aniruddhan) to all by staying as their Paadhukais.They adorn You for jagath rakshaNa vyApArams and related sanchArams.You are thus associated with Your Lord’s sacred feet for protecting the three worlds. When we look at You, we are reminded of Sudarsana yanthram.

3) PerumAl is known for the hierarchy of VyUha Moorthys such as VaasudEvan, SankarshaNan, Aniruddhan and others (agrE vyUha kramENa praTitAram RanganATam). You reveal that VYUha Krama Para VaasudEvan to us (VyUha kramENa praTithAram SANDHARSAYANTHEEM). We consider You as the power that has reached the Lord’s holy feet to protect all the three worlds ( ThrilOkeem paathum SourE: padha-padhmabhAjam) in the form of Sudrsana yanthram (Soudarsaneem sakthim avaimi)..(V.S)

Sloka #788

788. baDdhAsikA kanakapankajakarNikAyAm
maDhyE krushA muraripOrmaNipAdhukE! thvam
sandhrushyasE sarasijAsanayA gruhItham
rUpAntharam kimapi rangavihArayOgyam

Meaning (translated by Sri. U.Ve. V.N. Vedanta Desikan)

Oh Manipaaduka! As You are seated on the sataari in the shrine, it looks as though You are seated in the seed at the centre of a lotus; like Mahalakshmi, again, You have a thin waist. You too relish the strolls in Srirangam. I can well say, You are a dancer-like Lakshmi, in the stage, that the holy city is.

Special Notes from Sri. U.Ve. V. Sadagopan

1) UtthamUr Swamy’s anubhavam: Here, Swamy Desikan compares Paadhukais with Sri Devi in three aspects. He notes that SrI Devi and Paadhukais have the following three features in comon: (1) Being narrow at their mid-portions of their bodies (i-e) slender waistedness (2) Being seated on a golden lotus (3) Enjoying the company of RanganAtha. Swamy Desikan says: ” Oh Madhusoodhana PaadhukE! You resemble the slender-waisted SrI Devi sitting on the golden lotus enjoying the intimate company of RanganAtha. Therefore, I think You are another form of SrI Devi because of Your resemblence to Her in number of aspects.

2) SrImath Andavan’s anubhavam: Oh PaadhukE ! When I look at You, It appears as though MahA Lakshmi has taken another form to move around in SrIrangam.

3) Oh PaadhukE ! You are in the fruit of the golden lotus (Kanaka Pankaja karNikAyAm bhaddha AasikA). You are slender in the middle portion (Thvam madhyE krusA). You appear further to have the indescribable form taken by MahA Lakshmi for sanchAram in SrIrangam ( Thvam SarasijAsanAya gruhItham Ranga vihAra yOgyam kimapi roopAntharam samdhrusyasE )…(V.S).

Sloka #789

789. mAnOchithasya madhaDhInajanasya nithyam
mA BhUdhatha: krupaNathEthi vichinthayanthyA
bandhIkrutham DhruvamavaImi valagnadhEshE
kArshyam thvayA kamalalOchanapAdharakshE!

Meaning (translated by Sri. U.Ve. V.N. Vedanta Desikan)

Oh Paaduka! You are thin in the middle! It is because You have perhaps decided to take away the thinness from those who are respectable because of having surrendered to You, out of consideration for them that they should not be famished and lean on grounds of wealth, fame, learning, devotion etc.

Special Notes from Sri. U.Ve. V. Sadagopan

1) UtthamUr Swamy’s anubhavam: Oh Paadhukais of the lotus-eyed Lord! You remove the fatigue of Your devotees and absorb/imprison their fatigue and despair inside You. They (devotees) thus become free from fatigue and despair. They overcome poverty and become famous for their scholarship and righteousness. Your compassion for them and intervention is remarkable indeed!

2) SrImath Andavan’s anubhavam: To spare Your devotees from becoming lean and depressed, You have taken on the slender/lean form. You have caught hold of that fatigue of Your devotees and kept it within Yourself to save them from any unhappiness.

3) Oh Lotus-eyed Lord’s PaadhukE! (KamalA lOchana PadharakshE) ! You have decided that those who take refuge(madhadhIna Janasya) in You should should always be respected (mOnOchithasya Janasya) and that they should not suffer from poverty of spirit and fatigue (krupaNathA maa bhUth). Thinking in this manner (ithi vichinthyathA ThvayA), You have imprisoned that helplessness/slenderness in Your mid region (ThvayA kaarsyam valagradEsE bhandhIkrutham). This is for sure (dhruvam)…(V.S)

Sloka #790

790. maDhyE krushAmuBhayatha: prathipannavruDdhim
manyE samIkshya BhavathIm maNipAdharakshE!
nithyam mukundhapadhasanghamaviprayOgoU
nischinvathE kruthaDhiya: suKhadhuKhakAShTAm

Meaning (translated by Sri. U.Ve. V.N. Vedanta Desikan)

Oh Paaduka! You are narrow in the middle, but wider on either side i.e. front and rear. This is attributed by knowledgable scholars, to the impressive contact with the Lord’s Foot on either sides but lack of such contact in the middle. As has been said, well-being is defined God-contact and suffering, the loss of contact with God.

Special Notes from Sri. U.Ve. V. Sadagopan

1) UthamUr Swamy’s anubhavam: Oh MaNi PaadhukE! adiyEn concludes that the learned scholars intrepret correctly that Your mid-portion is slender and the front and back portions are ample. They connect that slendereness to sorrow in not having the intimate connection with Your Lord’s feet; likewise,they relate the ample dimensions of Your front and back to the strong imprint of Your Lord’s feet in those regions.

The seperation and association with the Lord’s feet at the diffferent sections of the PaadhukAs are connected to the leanness born out of sorrow and the healthy ampleness arising from the joy of intimate contact. Lord’s feet has the shape of the shell of tortoise according to the texts of beauty.  Therefore , the mid-portion of His feet are elevated and do not come in to contact with the waist region of the PaadhukAs. On the other hand, the weight of the Lord’s body is distributed throughout the front and hind portions of His feet, which in turn come in to intimate contact with the upper and lower portions of th PaadhukAs.

2) SrImath Andavan’s anubhavam:Oh PaadhukE! Scholars have concluded that the happiness of intimate contact of Your Lord’s feet in the front and back regions of Your form has created ampleness. The mid region however is slender as though it is an outcome of sorrow from lack of intimate contact there with Your Lord’s feet.

3) VidhvAns( kruthadhiya:) analyze that Your robust form in the front as well as back (ubhayatha: prathipanna vruddhim) and the slender form in Your mid region (madhyE krusAm) is due to the happy and sorrowful moods experienced by these respective regions from the ample contact or otherwise with the Lord’s feet. Ampleness comes form the intimate union with the Lord’s feet (Padha sangam). Slenderness arises from the lack of such intimate contact (Vipra yOgam). This heights in happiness and sorrow indicated by ampleness and slenderness are linked by VidhvAns to intimate contact in the front and back and lack of it in the middle region of Your body (Sukha Dukkha kAshDAm niscchinvathE)…(V.S)

English Source Text: sundarasimham.com

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