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Experiencing Swamy Desika -- #82

Shrimate Shri Lakshmi Nrusimha Parabrahmane Namaha:
Shrimate Shri Seetha Ramachandra Parabrahmane Namaha:
Shrimate Shri Ramanujaya Namaha:
Shrimate Nigamantha Maha Desikaya Namaha:
Shrimate Shrivan Satagopa Shri Narayana Yateendra Mahadesikaya Namaha:

"SrimAn VenaktanAthArya: kavithArkika kEsarI!
VedAnthAchArya varyO mE sannidhatthAM sadhA hrudhi"!!

The greatness of Paadukas knows no bounds! The paaduka
(Satari) placed on the heads of all devotees in our Koil
is Nammalvar himself.

Swami felt that his works on Paaduka Devi attributes to
accomplishment of his Janma. Here, Swami refers Paaduka to
Shri Nammalvar and has written 1000 paasurams on
Shri Nammalvar.

Swami states that Nammalvar wanted all Jivas to serve our
Lord. Alvar tried to achieve this by blessing us with his
Thiruvaymozhi. But there are Jivas who are not aware of
Thiruvaymozhi. Being concerned about such Jivas, Nammalvar
out of his own free will became Lord's paaduka in order
to help us. "Satari" or the paaduka is thus the link between
our Lord and us in the form of an Acharya! Nammalvar exhibits
his sowlabyam in this form and grants contact with himself to
all who come to the temple!!

Paaduka also bears the name sadagopa! Swami acknowledges it by
stating that paaduka herself was instrumental in generating
Swami's paaduka sahasram. These thousand verses can be equated
in many respects to Nammalvars Thiruvaymozhi!

After equating the paaduka to Nammalvar, Swami goes ahead to
explain a unique quality of the paaduka. Swami says that paaduka
constitutes the entire universe. Though it is "one" Paaduka, it
is all pervasive. It is under the Lotus feet of Ranganatha, in the
mind of Rishis, in the Upanishads, and in the speech of good poets.
Swami hence concludes that paaduka is everywhere!

Being prevalent everywhere at all times the paaduka serves for
Lord Ranganatha's sport.

In addition paaduka helps us in so many ways. Swami summarises
it thus:

paaduka brings our sense organs into control like a chain binding
the elephants;

paaduka prevents us from entering into hell by functioning as the
bolt-rod for the door of the hell!

paaduka being our Acharya, serves as a ladder for us to ascend to
Srivaikundam! The heads of chetanas are below the paaduka and the
feet of our Lord is over the paaduka. Hence swami confirms that
we can recognise paaduka as the shortest route to Moksha!

Paaduka plays a vital role in Ramayana. Gurus and learned devotees
cling to her. She shines like the sun. She is worshipped by eminent
Brahmins. She stays in the Lords feet permanently. Paadukas confer
permanent benefits on us!

We saw Nammalvars concern towards us. This concern is not restricted
to us, Nammalvar in the form of paaduka extends his concern even to
the Lord!

Due to the great consideration of the highly sensitive and delicate
feet of the Lord, Swami says that Paadukas did not want the Lords
feet to be placed on the surface, which was rough because of gems.
So, the paaduka spreads a lotus layer on herself before the Lord
places his feet!

The concern of paaduka towards our Lord and the anubhavam of Swami
Desika are both extraordinary. They compete with each other leaving
us at a loss of words to express our feeling!

Since the Paadukas care so much for the protection of Lords feet,
Swami Desika says that the Lords feet are the protecting authority for
all people. But those feet are themselves protected by the Paadukas.
So, the Paadukas alone need no protection by another! Thus they are
the ultimate force for protection!!

Swami states that many devotees think that they have to worship
the Lord or the Paadukas but we strongly believe that worshipping
the Paadukas itself is sufficient!!

This clearly explains that we have to worship our Acharyas on the
line of Madhurakavi Alvar. This makes us eligible for our Lords mercy!!

"Kavi Taarkika Simhaaya Kalyaana guna SaalinE!
SrimatE VenkateshAya VedAnta Gurave nama !!"

...To be continued!

dEsikan tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam

Praveena nAmni Ramanuja dasi