On December 25, 2013, Sri Paadukasahasra Mahotsavam is scheduled to be celebrated at Sri Venugopala Krishna Swamy Temple, Malleswaram, Bangalore. Astikas in and around the area are invited to this special occasion and get the blessings of Swami Desikan and the Divya Dampathis.
A glimpse of previous Paduka Sahasra Mahotsavams
Paduka Sahasra Mahotsavam is an annual feature and is celebrated on 25th December every year. Over 3,50o bhagavadas witness the “Sri Paadukasahasra Mahotsavam”. This Utsavam has been conducted under the auspices of Sri U.Ve. Dr. M.V.Ananthapadmanabha Swamy, organised by his “Panchajanyam Trust” and his “Saran Sevaks”. The Mahotsavam is graced by eminent scholars and exponents of Sri Vaishnavite Philosophy. In the previous years, Sri.U.Ve.Villur Karunakaran Swamy, Sri U.Ve. Elaiyavalli Bhuvaraha Swamy, Sri U.Ve. Sridharachariar Swamy have graced the occasion, just to name a few.
Since 2009, several closed circuit TVs have been installed in the temple premises, so that everyone could witnesses SrimanNarayana with Ubhaya Nachimars along with Sri Nammazhwar seated at Perumal’s Thiruvadi receiving the Paduka Sahasra Vinnappam. The Utsavam begins with a purappadu for Sri Emberuman with Ubhaya Nachimar and Swami Nammazhwar. Emberuman sends in a “Niyamanam” to Swami Desikan to compose the “PAdukA Sahasram” through his Mala Mariyadai. Swami Desikan then arrives at the Sannidhi. He receives the “Ahvana tambulam” from Emberuman. and settles in front of the Emberuman and his PAdukA (Swami Nammazhwar). Sri Parivattam is then adorned to Swami Desikan.
Archaka Swamy then adorns the parivattam to all the Adhyapakas present at the event, and they invoke the recitation of “PAdukA Sahasram” as a “niyamanam” from the Almighty himself. Nearly 3000 people recite the entire PAdukA Sahasram on that day in a single tone. In 2009, during one Paddati, there was a power outage with microphones/ speakers were off for a few minutes – but the parayanam still continued and we could hear “PAduka Sahasra Ghosham” from all around the premises and what an experience it was!!
For each of 32 Paddatis in PAdukA Sahasram, the Archakar does 32 thiru arAdhanams. For every paddati, Emberuman’s archanai was done with a different flower. A different variety of fruit and a different kind of thiruppaniyaaram was offered to Emberuman for Nivedanam. Thirty two different varieties of fruits, some of them fetched from Mysore and Chennai because of non-availability in Bangalore – were cut before nivedanam in the past. Jack Fruit was offered dipped in honey. “Wood Apple” or “velAmbazham” was offered mixed with Jaggery – just as the way they are consumed. The colour of the pushpam for each paddati was carefully chosen according to the name of the paddati. 18 types of sweets and 14 types of “khara” thiruppaniyarams were offered for the 32 paddatis.
In one of the Slokams (Nirveda Paddati – 31, slokam 19, #969), Swami Desikan pleads Emberuman that he comes to be known as “Paaduka Sevaka”, by those who are engrossed in the nithya kainkaryam of the Sri Ranganatha. The Slokam is recited, and the title was conferred to Swami Desikan by a special Mala Mariyadai and Sri Satari from Emberuman amidst Mangala Vadyams.
The concluding Phalapaddati is recited when Swami Desika is in “Kaithala Sevai” (He is carried by Archakars on their hands) and taken around EmberumAn. In the previous year utsavam, after every slokam, Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy announced the arulappadu outlining life time events of Swami Desikan. (“Swami Hechcharikai, arulappAdu sarvathanthra swathantrarAna Thooppul nigamAntha mahA Desikan” and so on). During this Sevai, Swami Desikan is conferred with titles “KavithArkika simham” and “sarva thantra swathantran” before he attained the Thiruvadi. Thanks to the grace of the Archaka Goshti, Swami Desikan gives his darshanam to all sides while on the Kaithala Sevai. At the moment of the “Thiru adi Thozhal” there is “Pushpa Vrishti”, raining flowers of different colours. It is a great sight to witness the “pushpa vrishti”, and then the “Darshan” of Swami Desikan at the feet of Nammazhwar, who was at the feet of Emberuman amidst colourful flowers. It was both an emotional and the delightful moment for everyone present at the event. The entire event takes about 7 hours, and everyone present at the event can endorse that it was a different experience altogether.
The Utsavam concludes with thadeeyaradhanam, where all the participants got Bhagavath prasadam. The 32 “bhakshnams” divided into sweets and savouries, and the 32 types of cut fruits offered at the end of each paddati mixed together to be the “dvAthrimshAmrutham” were the highlights of the thadeeyaradhanam – apart from the temple arrangements to prepare enough prasadam for all the bhaktas. By Swami Desikan’s anugraham, the “Mahothsavam” concludes in a grand style.