Dushyanth Sridhar’s Discourse on Padhuka Sahasram

India is a soil where many great lives have had genesis.

India also is the soil which gave birth to great lives which started new religions be it Gautama Buddha or Arhan/Arihanta (Mahavira) or Guru Govind Singh.

In what we term as Sanathana Dharma, there have been many acharyas (gurus) who have incarnated in our country.

In India, Gaudapadha followed by Govindapadha and then by Adi Shankara paved way for the birth and journey of Advaitha Siddantha.

Madhwacharya who was celebrated as ‘Ananda Theerthar’ / ‘Poorna Pragyar’ paved way for Dwaitha Siddhantham was also born in India.

The acharya of Achinthya Bedha Bedham for Goudya Vaishnavas Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was also born in India.

Vallabhacharya / Nimbarkar / Sadsiva Brahmendral – All were born in India.

Kalidasa, Harshan, Magan, Bharathi all such poets were born in India

It is said, If you study Tamil, you will be singing in tamil when you reach Paramapadam.

Thiruvalluvar is part of Sanathana Dharma. When we go by bus, we see a person with a beard who is termed Thiruvalluvar. When he said ‘Aadi Bhagawan..’ Adhi is a sanskrit word like how Avvayar said ‘Annayum Pithavum…’ where Pitha is a sanskrit word meaning father is also a way of addressing.

 

Ilangovadigal (A Jain Saint) who later converted to Saivism and created monumental work of art called Silappadigaram which is celebrated across tamilnadu to the extent of creating a political debate about the position where the statue of Kannagi should be placed.  Silappadigaram states ‘ A tongue that does not utters Narayana is not a tongue (Literal translation)’ since Ilangovadigal also followed the Sanathana Dharma by becoming a Saivite.

Alwars were both attached to Vaishnavism and to Tamil. 12 Alwars genesis is provided a background. Swami Desika said that the lord was not happy taking the 10 Avatars as many people did not follow the sanatana dharma though provided with enough information. So he took the next set of abhinava avataras which are the 10.

Nammalvar followed by Nadamunigal who gave the 4000 Dhivya Prabhandas and then Yamuna Muni and then gurubankti hara ishtihi who is equivalent to a garland with a good pendant. The pendant is the part of a necklace which stands out. This Guru – Sribhashyakarar Ramanujar – Who gave just 9 Granthas but those are special. Kritu, Lagu and Sriranga gathyam were the key ones which are even recited today. But he also streamlined the way of granthas.   There was a Parashara Bhattar who was fed with milk by the Ranganayaki Thayar of Srirangam.

Nadamuni and Periya Vachan pillai fought for the establishments of 4000 Dhivya Prabhandam in Tamil. Nangiyer who belonged to Melakote was also famous. Nambillai is a great Guru as well. Nadurammal did kalakshepa goshti which was the most well known and difficult to attend in those years who was so talented.

Lord decided that after all this a star was supposed to be born. When a marriage happens during the main event of the bridegroom tying the knot around the bridge, there is a tradition to say ‘Getti Melam’ which actually means the ‘melam’ or the drums should be heard above all other forms of audio to avoid any negative words / vibrations and sound higher than those to suppress the effects of them

Vadyam as in the sound of a percussion instrument is considered positive energy. When Boo Varaha Swamy took the earth out of the waters, the waves danced in such a way that it sounded like a ‘Vadhyam’ or a percussion instrument being played. Ther are totally Ashta Dasha Vadhyam. During ‘Seetha Kalyanam’ which is a celebrated event even now a days, there is a ritual to pray to ‘choornika’ in the namasankirthana baddathi. 18 Vadhyams are played. Sarvadhyamayi Gantha means anything equivalent of all 18 Vadhyam. A single instrument which is equivalent of 18 instruments is the Ghantai Seeva.

The lord wanted to take an avatar with the weapon of Shastra. He was born in 1268 in Thuppil where Dharba Grass is in abundance as Swami Desika. He is from the clan of Thirumalai Nambi. Within 20 Years he learnt all Sastras. Sribhashyam starts as follows…’Akhila Bhuvana…’. What is the difference between Akhila, Sakhala and

Akhila – Not leaving anything

Sakhala – All

Swami Desika argues with a Biddhist in Pali. He knows Pali language. Thatvaratnakaram has provided 44 references which is used by a catholic in his references as well. Pancharathra Raksha has 49 references out of which remaining 12 are only available for reference. A life with memory beyond imagination which came from the amirtam (Hesha – How a Horse Neighs – Hala Hala – Hal  (Swaram) and Ahal) from Hayagreeva.

He stayed in 4 places in his life time out of which he stayed in Sriragam pre and post invasion. A big poet in Srirangam had a duel with Desikan Swami. Within 3 hours Swami Vedanta Desika has written 1008 names of the Lords footsoles. The poet was shocked.

As a country, we have produced the best of literature but very bad at marketing. Paduka Sahasram is such a great creation which is not yet well reached among the masses. The first person to show the importance of the Paduka was Bharatha. Thyagaraja explains this in his song about Paduka of Rama which is held in his head by Bharatha. Bharatha was born in Pushya Natchatra. Paduka Prabhavan is the medicine. In Pushya Natchatra, any medicine is to be administered to kids. This is as per Ayurveda. Bharatha who was born in Pushya Natchatra had brought us the medicine which is the essence / importance of Padhuka. Why Rama took Lakshmana to the forest was because Lakshmana gave a confirmation he will do all the chores of a family. Seeta was receptive to realize that this would be helpful and agreed to take Lakshmana along.

Bharatha however enjoyed the beauty of Rama from a distance. A moral from Ramayana is that we all do Hero worship and accept his faults as his merits. At one stage people started hating Bharatha to the extent of love for Rama had developed as a Hero. Bharatha visits Kekeya Provine. Sumantra who was the educated charioteer, Dhasaratha called him and stated Rama is becoming the king tomorrow. Sumantra said why the haste in making Rama the king soon. Dhasaratha said, we do not know which human mind changes when and so the haste.

Bharatha later says that Kaikeyi is a selfish Self Centered woman.  He wakes up one that Dhasaratha  is in trouble and Shatrugna says when Rama is there what can happen. Bharatha says when my mother is there anything can happen.

Bharatha comes back from Kekeya province and no public welcomes him. He sees Kaikeyi clad in white dress. He realises that his dad is dead. He goes to meet Kausalya who despises him.  Bharatha feels for it stating he should get all punishments for all 27 paap performed. Bharatha leaves to the forest and goes to meet Guha who thinks Bharatha is coming to kill Rama. But he realises that Bharatha comes to handover himself and the kingdom to Rama. Bharadwaja Muni comes up and despises Bharatha.

 

Lakshmana sees Bharatha on the way stating that Bharatha is coming stating that Bharatha is on the way to kill you. Rama asks Lakshmana to come down. Rama says if i ask Bharatha to handover the kingdom he will to you. Lakshmana says why will i take the kingdom. Rama says, Bharatha is like that so understand that he will cause no harm. When Bharatha asks Rama to come back to the kingdom by doing a Sharanagathi. But even that does not work, because Rama has already provided his word to his father Dasaratha to stay 14 years in exile. So he says after 14 years he will accept this Sharanagathi. Vasishta advices Bharatha to pick the footwear of Rama and run the kingdom. Lakshmana goes to get the Padhuka and gives it to Bharatha.

Swami Desika feels here that Valmiki wrote only one stanza for the Padhuka. Let us write a 1008 slokas about the Padhuka he decided which is nothing but the Padhuka Sahashram.

Swami Desika first thought will we be able to write about the Padhuka. He provides an abstract of it. What should one research about the Padhuka? What is the fame of the Padhuka? There was no paper and pen in those days to write. It used to be in the form of copper plates or in the form of leaves soaked in tamarind water to make it hard and then write on it using a sharp object. Writing was an arduous task in those days. At times 100 lines were in a single ‘Olai’ which is the papyrus for writing.

Swami Desika says the whole sky as my paper and make seven oceans as Ink. Even if Swami Adisheshan comes and says it also, the speciality of Padhuka is not possible to complete in this birth. Valmiki can hear the ringing bells of the Padhuka. Acharya’s Padhuka is still celebrated and kept for offering prayers even now a days. Thus is the speciality of Padhuka.

Bharatha takes the Padhuka in his head and Shatrugna holds the umbrella and they live in nandigramam and rule ayodhya. Koodal Manikkam Sangameshwara is deity for Bharatha. He is in the same attire as he was in nandigramam. He is served even to date with a dish called Ashadu made from Aubergine. A smile meal which Bharatha used to have throughout to portray the poor life which Rama lived in the forest.  The only queen in the vamsa (clan) was the Padhuka which was much celebrated.

Desika write about why Bharatha, Lakshmana and Chatrugna are made to give so much respect to the Padhuka. Once, when the lord had gone to visit, by mistake the Padhuka was kept on top of Adhiseshan and the Chakra, Shankam and Adisesha make fun of the padhuka which makes it feel bad. When the lord is back this is brough to his notice and he says to wait till Rama Avatar. Adishesha is born as Lakshmana and lifts the padhuka in his head, and smilalry Bharatha and Shatrugna (Chakra and Shanka) pay their respects to the Padhuka in the Rama avatar.

In Sanskrit the gender of the word is to be decided upfront. Words ending in ‘aa’ are termed strilinga, which is female gender. Padhuk’aa’ Devi name comes from this which qualifies the gender of feminine.

 

Rest to be continued…

 

 

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