Thursday, December 4, 2008

PADUKA SAHASRA

ஸ்ரீ பாதுகா சஹஸ்ரத்துக்கு ஸ்ரீ கேசவ அய்யங்கார் எழுதியுள்ள முன்னுரை

PADUKA SAHASRA
        OR
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF SERVICE

   Paduka Sahasra by Vedanta Desika

     Sri  Padukasahasra is a poem in Sanskrit of one thousand and eight verses sung by the Poet-Philosopher Vedanta Desika in glorification of Lord Ranganatha’s Paduka. ‘Paduka’ means “Foot Guard”. It is the Sandal of the Lord and it is so called because it “guards” the Lord’s Foot. The very name of the author, Vedanta Desika (Teacher of Vedanta), is an inspiration, and ensures the value of the work. He is the Teacher of Vedanta, the ‘two-fold’ Vedanta (Ubhaya Vedanta) as it is called, the sanskrit and the Tamil. While the essence of both Vedantas is service to God and to His servants, the emphasis of the former is on service to ‘God’ and that of the latter is on service to God’s servants. The author stands for and is the very embodiment of that service. The teacher was what he taught. He was in himself the very two-fold vedanta which he taught, the very synthesis of service to God and to His servants. He reveals himself in that synthesis in the very approach to the subject. He approaches it with a humility which is matched only by the sublimity of the subject. The personality of the author is best revealed in the work. He was crowned with the Lord’s Paduka in His sanctuary and it was in glorification of the Paduka wiith which he was crowned that the poem was sung in the abundance of his abiding humility and gratitude. He  considered that the poem was inspired by Paduka, that it is the very voice of Paduka in his Persona (mask), and that he served the purpose of masking the Paduka which sang its supremacy as the crown of man’s head and as the guard of God’s foot. The work is the expression of that ecstatic realisation. Verily it is: – “ O Lord! open Thou my lips and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise”

                                        …To be continued.