Sublime devotion of Desikan

Published - June 12, 2024 05:09 am IST

Paduka Sahasram, a unique, lyrical, spiritual epic is deep and rich in meaning with complex implications for the discerning, said Thirukkudanthai Dr. Venkatesh in a discourse.

Composed by Swami Vedantha Desikan and comprising 1,008 slokas, each sloka refers to both the Paduka and Nammazhwar, the Vaishnavaite guru held to be the embodiment of the Paduka. Desikan initially felt that the task was beyond him. “Even using all the clouds as writing material and all the water from the oceans as ink, it is beyond one’s scope to capture the greatness of Padukas and Nammazhwar. Someone should dictate the content and none other than the God can do it.” With His blessings, Desikan composed the work.

Interestingly, it takes six to seven hours to recite it once, but he wrote it in three hours, in appreciation of which, God Himself bestowed upon him the title, Kavitarkika Simhaya, meaning a lion in both composition and logical argument.

In the 108th verse, Swami Desikan says, “Paduka devi you are more important than Rama himself.” When Bharata asked Rama to return to Ayodhya, Rama said, “I cannot come, you take my Paduka instead as an assurance that I will return in 14 years.” When someone applies for a loan, a security, greater in value, has to be furnished. In the same manner, the Paduka, as the surety, is greater than Him. In the same vein, Nammazhwar asks God, Who is greater, You or I. God says, “As protector of the entire Universe, obviously I am the greater.” Nammazhwar demurs and says, “I carry you in my heart, Oh Lord. Therefore, am I not the greater one?” Such is the logic of Swami Desikan who saw God in every aspect of life.

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