Paduka Sahasram, Swami Desikan’s amazing eulogy on Sri Ranganatha’s Padhuka’s, had avatharam in Srirangam. One evening when Swami Desikan was doing Sandhyavandanam on the banks of Kollidam (Vada Thirukaveri), a vidwan put up the challenge of composing 1000 verses about Lord Ranganatha within the span of one night. Swami the embodiment of Vinayam (humility) took the challenge as SriRanganatha aghya (command) and accepted the challenge. Swami Desikan completed the Magnificient Masterpiece in one yamam of the night. The vidwan decided to compose verses on Perumal’s Tiruvadi (feet), Swami Desikan an epitome of dasathvam chose something below namely the two padhukas adorning His Tiruvadi (feet). The vidwan created 300 slokams on SriRanganatha’s feet and this work is titled “Padha Kamala Sahasram.”. Swami’s “Sri Paduka Sahasram”comprising 1008 verses were offered at the feet of SriRanganatha and Periya Perumal blessed His devotee. All vidwans and scholars hailed Swami Desikan winner and we are the beneficieries.
Usually a Grantham begins with a mangala slokam for the ishta devatha, it could be a namaskaram, aashirvaadam or vasthu nirdesham (introduction of the subject). But Sri Paduka Sahasram begins with Santha Sri which celebrates the residents of Srirangam who have the Saubhaghyam of Ranganayaki and Ranganatha darsanam and Paduka darsanam. Only Sri Ranganathan dons the Padukas and Swami Desikan says that if the sky were to be the paper, the seven seas the ink and the speaker the 1000 headed Adhiseshan, may be part of Paduka prabhavam can be talked about. When Swami Desikan speaks thus where do we stand in analysing Paduka Sahasram. The idea is to create an interest in the grantham and attempt to learn it and understand it through a guru.
On December 6th 2015, Paduka Sahasram Parayanam started at Ul Desikan Sannidhi Srirangam. After Harathi offering to Laksmi Nrisimhar, Lakshmi Hayagrivar and Swami Desikan, the chanting started sonorously. The men chanted the first two lines and the women did the next two. The synchronisation was magical and whenever Mani Padhuke was said we felt that She was there blessing us. What fortune to be chanting Swami Desikan’s verses at Srirangam at His Sannidhi bang opposite Sri Ranganayaki Thayar sannidhi.
The following are the photos taken during the Utsavam:
Courtesy: Sri Srinivasan