Monday, 24 October 2011

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paramapada sopanam

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paramapada sopanam


3. Parama Padha sOpAnanam of Swami Desikan - Part - 1
V .Sadagopan
This is one of the rahasya granthAs given to us by our AchAryA , Swami Desikan . At this time, when Sri Vaikunta EkAdasi is approaching , it is an appropriate grantham to meditate upon in conjunction with Sri Vaikunta Gadhyam of our ParamAchAryA , Sri RaamAnujA .
The organization of this Grantham
The nine steps in the ladder to reach Parama Padham , the divine abode of Sriman NaarAyaNA ( Sri Vaikuntam ) , is covered here through nine chapters :
1.VivEka Parvam
2.NirvEdha Parvam
3.Virakthi Parvam
4.Bheethi parvam
5.prasAdhana Parvam
6.UthkramaNa parvam
7. ArchirAdhi Parvam
8. Divya Desa PrApthi parvam
9. ParApthi parvam
Swami Desikan states at the outset that these nine steps have been designed by SaraNyan Himself for leading one to His divine abode in a step-wise manner :
    sEyam sOpAna padhavee SrimathA vihithA svayam | suddha sathva mayam bhruthyAn svasoudham nEthumicchathA ||
( Meaning ) : Our Lord desirous of inviting His adiyArs to His upper chambers ( Sri Vaikuntam ), constituted entirely of Suddha Satthvam has constructed out of His own sankalpam , the nine-stepped path to get His adiyArs there . These steps have to be ascended one by one ( kramENa ) and there is no way to jump over them in a nonsequential manner . The order among the nine steps leading to the side of Sri VaikuntanAthan is summarized in another slOkam :
    vivEka nirvEdha virakthi bheethaya: prasAdhahEthUthkramaNaarchirAdhaya : | prakruthyathikrAntha padhAdhirOhaNam parApthirithyathra thu parvaNAm krama : ||
The first step is VivEkam is the discriminatory knowledge that one has to attain regarding Chith ( Sentients) , Achith (insentients) and Isvaran ( the supreme Lord ) . The second step is NirvEdham , one develops a sense of self-depreciation due to the awareness of having lost so much time chasing sensory pleasures and performing activities that are svarUpa Viruddham ( activiites at variance with the natural disposition of the Jeevan )
The third step is virakthi , where one develops VairAghyam. One turns away from the chasing of svarUpa Viruddha BhOgams .
The fourth step is Bheethi or fear , nay terror over the thought that this samsAra anubhavam may recur .
The fifth step is PrasAdha Hethu : , where the chEthanA practises one or the other UpAyams ( Prapatthi or Bhakthi )
The sixth step is uthkramaNam , where the Jeevan leaves the bodily cage through he special naadi ( nerve center in the head )
The seventh step is ArchirAdhi maarga prayANam , where the journeying jeevan is greeted and sped on its way by the different adhikAris lining the way to Sri Vaikuntam
The Eighth step is the Prakruthi-athikrAntha -padha -adhirOhaNam . Here , the Jeevan arrives at the end station of Sri Vaikuntam , which is beyond the prakruthi mandalam .
The ninth and concluding step is ParApthi , where the Jeevan that has been transformed to Suddha Satthva Mayam meets the Supreme Brahman , Sriman NaarAyaNan , converses with Him and enjoys Him as the sarvalOka SaraNyan


Taniyans for Parama Padha SopAnam
There are two Sanskrit Taniyans and one Tamil Taniyan
for this Desika Prabhandham . Let us study them .

The first Sanskrit Taniyan
vyAjikruthya vimukthi-soudha-padahvaI - sOpAna-sadhvarNanam
  SarIrArNava-rathnajAtham-iha ya: prAchIkasath sarvasa:
Tasmin thishtathi VenkatEswara-kavou SrIbhAshyakArOpamE
  yamm kanchith purusham hyAupAsithumayE mAgA mana: svasthi tE

(Meaning ): Oh My Mind ! When the great poet and logician ,
SrI VenkatEsa Kavi resembling SrI BhAshyakArar shines with
all his glories , why would you need to worship simple souls of
inconsequentail achievements ? Please do not go anywehre else .
May all auspiciousness come your way ! Swamy  Desikan used as
an excuse , the  description of  the nine steps to ascend Parama
Padham , to bless us on this earth with the entire assembly of gems
from the ocean of VedAntha Saaram .Oh My Mind !  SeerAr ThUppul
ThiruvEngadamudayAn ThiruvadakalE SaraNam yena ninai .

Comments on the Taniyan
Swamy  Desikan's creation of this Prabhandham is saluted as
Sadh-varNanam ( the Description of the auspicious subject ) of
the steps to climb to reach SrI Vaikuntam . The author of the Taniyan states
that Swamy Desikan used that Sadh-varNanam as an excuse ( VyAjeekruthya)
to shed the light  on the splendour of the assembly of gems collected from
the ocean-like , vast VedAntha Saasthrams  for the benefit of
the residents of BhUlOkam ( iha SareerArNava-rathna-jAtham
sarvasa: prAchIkasath ). The author salutes Swamy  Desikan as
equivalent to SrI BhAshyakArar in his MahOpakAram
to chEthanams (Tasmin BhAshyakArOpamE VenkatEsa Kavou ).
While this MahA Desikan is available , Oh my  mind , do not seek
any insubstantial people for adoration ( VenkatEsa Kavou thishtathi ,
yamm kanchith purusham hi upAsithum maa gaa: ). If you were to follow
this suggestion  , all auspiciousness will come your way ( tE Svasthi: ).

The Second Sanskrit Taniyan
Tasmai NamOastu GuravE thAdhrusa-vibhavAya VenkatEsAya
prAvarthayath janAnAm Bhoomou Paramapadha-harmya-sOpAnam

(meaning): May our salutations be to SrI VenkatEsa Guru of such
well known Vaibhavam ! He is the compassionate one , who revealed
the nine steps to ascend to the upper lokam of SrI Viakuntam to enjoy
ParipoorNa BrahmAnandham there by us .

The Tamil Taniyan
tEn yERu thAmaRayAL ThirumArbhan-tann
 thiNN aruLAl Avan adiyil vivEham peRRu
inghu oonERu bhavakkuzhiyai veRuthathaR-pin
 oor viratthiyudan vinayin thiraLukku anjik-
koon yERu piRai iRayOn sApam theertthAn
 kurai kazhalE saraN adainthu kurambai vittu
vAnERum vazhip-padikaL adaivE kaNda
 VaNN pukazh ThUppul VaLLal aruL peRROmE

(meaning ): Due to the never failing and powerful  grace of the Lord
with the lotus-abode divine Consort , MahA Lakshmi in His
VakshasTalam  , we attained the discriminating intellect (vivEkam )
about the auspicousness of His Sacred feet . We gained true Jn~Anam
and VairAgyam to empower us to reject the deep and dangerous
ditch of SamsAram. After that , we trembled with fear about the limitless
bundles of sins that were weighing us down and sought the protective
Thiruvadi of  our  Lord , who removed the curse attached to His grand son
with crescent Moon on His Jatai, Lord Sivan .  Next we became
the object of mercy  of SrI VenkatEsa Kavi of illustrious fame and
boundless generosity , born in ThUppul agrahAram , who revealed to
us the nine steps climbed by a Jeevan step by step to reach our Lord's
Supreme abode and to eternally serve Him there as Muktha Jeevan .

Comments on the Tamil Taniyan
The choice of words and assembly of those chosen words
by the author of this Taniyan in to beautiful passages are
resonant with deep tatthvArTams covered in Swamy  Desikan's
Prabhandham . Here are some examples of the skills of the poet ,
who composed this Taniyan to pay his tribute to Swamy Desikan's
Prabhandham :

(1) Mahaa Lakshmi is saluted here as " tEn yERu ThAmarayAL "
( the auspicious lady with AakAra Thrayam having the beautiful
lotus flower as Her chosen abode . That lotus flower is
dripping with honey and sampath due to Her association
(Sambhandham). Wherever She looks, the assemblies of
wealth compete with each other to take their positions
according to Swamy  Desikan 's SrI Sthuthi slOkam .
The Veda Manthram of SrI Sooktam also echoes in our mind
with this visualizationof the Lotus Lady as "ThAmarayAL " :

" Padhma-PriyE Padhmini Padhma HasthE
  PADHMAALAYE  Padhma-dhaLAyathAkshi
  VisvapriyE VishNumanOanukoolE Thvath
  Paadha Padhamam mayi sannidhathsva "

(2) The next salutation is to the Lord as SrInivAsan :
" ThAmarayAL Thiru-mArbhan " . SrInivAsa
Tathvam  of the  Lord with MahA Lakshmi residing
on His vast chest  reminds us of the Salutation of
AchArya RaamAnuja to SrInivAsan at the beginning of
His SrI BhAshyam. His rakshA dheekshai (vow to protect
us ) is made possible by Her proximate presence on His chest :

" akhila bhuvana janma-sTEma-bhangAdhileelE
  vinatha-vividha-bhUtha-vrAtha-rakshiaka dheekshE
  bhavathu mama parasmin sEmushi bhakthiroopA "

In offering their salutations to Lord SrInivAsan , the ArchakAs at
Thirumalai recite the VakshasTala Lakshmi SthOthram to remind us
about the Lord's lakshaNam as SrInivAsan . The author of this Taniyan
follows this traditon here and addresses the Lord as "ThAmarayAL

3) "ThAmarayAL tann tiNN aruLAl Avan adiyil vivEkam peRROm "
says the author of the Taniyan in the first two lines. The powerful and
firm (Unwavering ) KrupA of the Lord is recognized here as the primary
cause for the birth of VivEkam (discriminative intellect about sAram
and asAram ) to develop bhakthi at the SarvalOka SaraNyan's
sacred feet .

4) That Jn~Anam about the redemptive power of those sacred feet of
the Lord led to our rejection of samsAric attachments that increases
our fondness for the perishable sarIram  and thereby throws us in to
the deep pit of SamsAram and keeps us there in a hopeless, helpless
state. These thoughts are housed in the third line of the Paasuram :
" Avan adiyil vivEkam peRRu inghu oon yERu bhavak-kuzhiyai veRutthu"
All that VivEkam arose only because of the Krupai of the Lord .

5) The question arises as to what happened after developing this distaste
for staying in the SamsAric pit . The composer of the Taniyan answers
this question in the next line of the Paasuram: " Verutthathan pinn oor
viratthiyudan vinayin tiraLukku anjinEn ". After developing disinterest in
SamsAric "padhu kuzhi " , vairAgyam spread and fear about the power of
the bundles of accumulated sins also grew .

6) That fear about the effect of the sins drove me (the jeevan) to
the sacred feet of the Hara SApa VimOchana Moorthy , SrIman
NaarAyaNan . In a fit of anger, Sivan plucked the fifth head of His father,
BrahmA. The skull from that fifth head of BrahmA got stuck in the palm of
Haran (Sivan) and  SrIman NaarAyaNa blessed Sivan to be rid of
the Saapam given by Brahma DEvan , when Sivan performed
SaraNAgathy to Him  . Sivan is described here as " koon yERu
piRai iRayOn " , the One adorning the crescent Moon on his matted
locks (Chandra Sekharan) .  Our Lord , the anugraha Moorthy is saluted
as " Koon yERu piRai iRayOn sApam theerthavan". The author of
the Taniyan says that he performed SaraNAgathy at the sacred feet of
the Lord , who came to the rescue of Sivan ( iRayOn sApam theertthAn
kurai kazhalE saraNam adainthu ) ." Kurai kazhal " of the Lord is
the Thiruvadi, which generates the delectable nAdham from
the ankle ornaments .The author of the Taniyan says that he
performed SaraNAgathy at those auspicous feet.

7) Next followed the help of the Lord to exit the Jeevan
via the Brahma nAdi at the end of the earthly existence
and the ascent to Parama Padham by archirAdhi mArgam
(kurambai vittu vAnn yErum ).

8) The nine steps to ascend Parama Padham were revealed by
the most compassionate and generous AchAryan , Swamy  Desikan
to us all. The author of this beautiful taniyan acknowledges the krupai
of Swamy  Desikan in revealing this upward journey through climbing
the nine steps : " vann yERum vazhip-padikaL adaivE kaNDa vaNN
Puhazh ThUppul vaLLal aruL peRROm ". That Swamy  Desikan
saw and described the nine steps sequentially is referred to as
" Vazhip-padikaL adaivE kaNDa ". Swamy  Desikan is thanked
for His mahOpakAram in revealing these flight of steps for our
upliftment as " VaNN puhazh ThUppul VaLLal " . The Taniyan
concludes in  a grateful mode : " ThUppul VaLLal aruL peRROm ".
We became objects for the grace of the most generous AchAryan ,
who incarnated in ThUppul agrahAram .

In today's posting, adiyEn will cover the Pothu ( general )
Paasuram extolling the path followed by our Sath SampradhAyam
as well as the first two Paasurams of Parama Padha sOpAnam
dealing with the first step of the ladder : VivEka Parvam.

Pothu Paasuram : The path taken by our Sath SampradhAyam
adal puLL arasinum anthaNar mAttinum inn amuthak-
  kadaRpaLL i tanninum Kaviri uLLam uhantha pirAn
idaip-piLLayAhi uraithathathu uraikkum YethivaranAr
  MadaippaLLi vantha MaNam YengaL vArtthayuL manniyathE

(Meaning ): SarvEswaran has GarudAzhwAn as His transport
and seat . He is the indweller of the Vedams , which are the eternal
wealth of the Brahmins. He lives always in the Milky Ocean, where
His Divine Consort arose from . Inspite of all these famous places of
residence , He prefers to live in choen dhivya dEsams like SrIrangam
and  delights His bhakthAs there . He blessed us with Bhagavath GitA,
whose inner meanings were revealed to us by YathirAjar. ThirumadaipaLLI
AcchAn (Kadambi AacchAn)  performed personal kaimkaryam to
YathirAjar and was initiated in to the esoteric meanings of our
SampradhAya granthams by YathirAjar Himself . These essential meanings
have come to us from MadaipaLLI AcchAn and their fragrance distinguishes
our (Swamy  Desikan's ) SrI Sookthis.

Additional Notes
Our Lord's Five Roopams extolled in PaancharAthram
( Para , VyUha , Vibhava, ArchA and AntharyAmi Roopams)
are referred to in this Paasuram . " PuLLarasilum " refers to
the Para Ropam in Vaikuntam ; " anthaNar mAttilum " connects to
antharyAmi roopam ; " KadaRpaLLi tannilum " links to VyUha roopam ;
"Kaaviri uLLUm " is connected to the archA roopam and "idaippiLLayAhi"
links to Vibhava avathAram (of KrishNa) . Thus all the five roopams
of SrIman NaarAyaNa  are saluted in this Paasuram .

AchArya RaamAnujA gave upadEsams to Kadaambi AacchAn
on Veda-VedAntha rahasyArTams and through Kadambi AacchAn ,
thsoe esoteric meanings were released to the world. Since KadAmbi
AacchAn performed MadaipaLLi kaimkaryam ( Kitchen Kaimakryam
for AchArya RaamAnujA ), he came to be referred with revenrence
as MadaipaLLi AacchAn in our Guru Parampara .His UpadEsams
are described as "MadaippaLLI vantha MaNam " , the fragrance
that originated from the MadaipaLLi of AchArya RaamAnujA.

134) VivEkam: The First step of the Ladder to Moksham
KaLLa manatthudan kaNDu muyanra kadu-vinayAl
   naLL iruL aazhiyil iynthu nall suvai yena naadiya ohr
aLLalil  nALum vizhunthu azhiyA vahai AaraNa nool
  VaLLal vazhangiya vAnn padiyAna vazhi ithuvE

(Meaning): Until now , we possessed  the distorted meanings of
the Tathvams (viparItha Jn~Anam of the three Tatthvams )
and their Svaroopams ; we continued to engage in profoundly
sinful acts and as a result were immersed in the darkness of
nescience ; we got stuck in the mud and mire of insignificant
material pleasures associated with the five senseory faculties
( roopam , rasam , sparsam , gandham and sabdham ).
On us, who were hopelessly lost , Veda-VedAnthams
took pity  and instructed us on VivEkam to uplift ourselves
from the quagmire  of SamsAram. We (Swamy Desikan )
explained the first of the nine steps of the ladder to our Lord's
Parama Padham ( Supreme abode ).

The key passage of this Paasuram is : " eiynthu nall suvai
yena naadiya ohr aLavil naaLum vizhunthu azhiyA vahai
AaraNa nool vazhangiya vAnn padiyAna vazhi ithuvE " .
We thought that the the experience derived from the five
senses is parama bhOgyam and sought more and more of
their ruchi and as a result got stuck in the mud of samsAram
deeper and  deeper ; we were about to be destroyed . It is
at this time that the most merciful Veda-VedAnthams came to
our rescue and instructed us on the first step to Parama Padham
as VivEkam and lifted us out of the mire of SamsAram .

135) The paramount importance of knowing about EmperumAn
aru  uru aanavai anaitthum aRivArEnum
   arum kalaikaL kaRRu uraikka vallArEnum
dharuma vazhi azhiyAmal kAppArEnum
   tani maRayin tARRpariyam taruvArEnum
iru vinayin ozhukkatthAl yEval ohrAthu
   inghE nAmm siRayiruntha yeenam theerkkum
ThirumahaLAr piriyAtha DEvan tiNNam
   tERAthAr tiNN padiyil yERAthArE

(Meaning) : Among the people of this world  , some might be conversant
with the knowledge about the svaroopam of chEthanams and achEthanams ;
there may be others , who might know about the fine points on the 64 kalais
and could have the competence  to instruct others on them; some might be
capable to practise prescribed dharmAs and initiate others in following
such observances ; some of them might be qualified  to  teach others about
the essence of the meanings of the VedAs. Even with all these multiple
skills and achievements , what is the use ? If they do not have the vivEkam
about the Svaroopam and the SvabhAvam of Sriman NaarAyaNan , who alone
can lift the chEthanams out of the terrors  of SamsAram , they can not hope
to step on the ladder to Moksham .

Today , adiyEn will cover the two Pasurams associated with
the second step of the sOpAnam , NirvEda paravam .

136) Sorrow over the wasted time chasing worldly pleasures
maRut-taar Thiruvudan mArbhil daritthavan vAchakatthai
   maRutthAr mayakkamum maRRu athanaal vantha maa naraku
niRutthAr bhavatthil nedunALL uzhanRamai kaNDu athanAl
   veRutthu aaraNa neRiyE veLhiyODa  viraivarhaLE

(Meaning ): Our Lord adorns on His divine chest 
the mole known as SrIvatsam , the Forest flower 
garland known as Vyjayanthi and MahA Lakshmi
as His LakshaNams . Those who violate His Saasthraic
commands due to their own ajn~Anam end up in fearful
narakams and suffer there. VivEkis think deeply about these 
consequences of breaking the injunctions of the Lord .They
feel ashamed about the time wasted that far in SamsAric life 
chasing nonlasting and deceptively sweet sukhams and 
will rush to follow the UpAyam ( SaraNAgathy or Bhakthi
yOgam) prescribed by the VedAs .

The Key passage  in this Paasuram is : " Bhavatthil uzhanRamai
KaNDU , athanAl veRutthu , veLhi , aaraNa neRiyE OhDa 
viraivarkaL". ( Developing  disgust over life spent in chasing
impermanent SamsAric pleasures until then  will rush to practise
the upAyam prescribed by the Lord's SaasthrAs ).
137) The insignificance and triviality of SamsAra Sukham
vaann patta mann iruLil mayankumARum
   maRitthu oru kAl yenai oozhi senRAl anRU
oonn patta udal aazhi vinai ozhukkil
  oru karayum kaaNAthE ozhuhumArum 
tEn patta vidam pOlat-titthikkinRa
  siRu payanE uRu payan yenRu arunthumARum
taann patta padi innEr taanE kaNDu 
  taLarnthidumEl vaLarnthiDumE takkavARE 

(Meaning): The second step in the ladder to Moksham is 
NirvEdham or contrition over his status as a Jeevan suffering 
in SamsAram and rushing to the perform the chosen UpAyam 
like SaraNAgathy .

The Jeevan will reflect on Four topics that lead him to 
great sorrow over the things that happened to him form 
anAdhi kaalam:

1) The Jeevan who gained VivEkam will now think about 
the time , when he lost his sarIram and Indhriyams and 
stayed united with the deep darkness (MahA Tamas ) 
in  a formless, nameles state  .

2) The Jevan will think about the myriad births that he took
due to his karmAs from time immemorial in all yOnis and
his being tossed about in the fierce flood of samsAram and 
not finding the shore to rest .

(3) The Jeevan will reflect on the alpa sukhams of 
samSAram that he is enjoying , which are indeed like poison 
laced with honey to give the misleading impression of sweetness.

(4) The Jeevan will sorrow over all the other pains that he is
experiencing due to his karmAs in this prakruthi maNDalam.

As a direct result of these reflections, the Jeevan will now feel 
dejected and rush to save himself through the anushtAnam
(observance ) of the redeeming upAyam of SaraNAgathy .

This feeling of dejection(nirvEdham )  is thus the second step on 
the ladder to Moksham .

Today , adiyEn will cover the Four Pasurams associated with
the Third step of the sOpAnam ,  Virakthi paravam and
the Fourth step in the ladder to Parama Padham , Bheethi
Parvam .

138) SamsAra Virakthi ( detatchment & disinterest in SamsAram )
ulahatthil uyarnthavar onRum payanil uRum thuyaRum
   alahil padAtha abbhOgam kavarnthu yzezhum ambhuyatthOn
kalahat-thozhil Madhu KaiDabarAl padum kattam yeNNil
   pala kaRRa meyyadiyAr padiyAr ikkaDum bahavatthE

(Meaning): On this karma bhUmi, the pleasures enjoyed
by those  , whom we think highly off , are never of the unalloyed
sukham. The sorrow is at the middle of these so called Sukhams.
We think that Brahma Devan in his Sathya lOkam is the enjoyer of
limitless bliss. The pain and anxiety that Brahma Devan experienced
from the attack of the two asurAs , Madhu and KaiDabhan intent
always in engaging in Yuddham , is immeasurable. When the VivEkis
reflect on these alpa and asTira Sukhams tinged always with
inauspicopusness ,  they do not develop any attachment to SamsAram
and reject it as a manifestation of their virakthi .

The Key passage of this Paasuram is : "  Pala kaRRa meyyadiAr
ikkaDum bhavatthu padiyAr " ( True  BhAgavathAs conversant
with the SaasthrAs of the Lord will not opt for the terrible SamsAric
way of life ).

139) Svargam becoming like Narakam for VivEkis
tanthirangaL aLavilarAi dhanatthAl mikka
   taarvEnthar thozha vyaam aaNDAr mANDAr
chandiranum sooriyanum veeyum kaalam
   tArahayin vaDamum aRRu tani vann aaLum
Indiranum yERu uyarttha Isan thAnum
   yeer iraNDu muhatthAnum illaa annannAL
namm ThirumAlaik-kaNDAr naaham yellAm
  narahu yenRu naRRpadhamE nAduvArE

(Meaning ): Where are those mighty emperors (Manu,
MaandhAthA et al) surrounded by many  kings who ruled
the universe with their vast armies today ?  All of them are
dead and gone. Similarly , there will be  a time , when there
will be no Moon, Sun, Stars, Indhran , Sivan , Brahma DEvan
and others . That time is known as MahA PraLayam. At that
time , the only abode that stays without demise is the Supreme
abode of SrIman NaarAyaNan. When knowledgable and
insightful scholars analyze these facts, they will equate the sukhams
of Svargam to the sufferings in hell (narakam ) and will utterly reject
SamsAra  Sukhams. This feeling state is recognized as the third
step in the ladder to Parama Padham (MOksham ).

The key passage in this Paasuram is : " Namm ThirumAl nilai
kaNDAr naakam yellAm narahu yenRu , nall padhamE nAduvAr ".

140) Fear about the fruits of KarmAs
thuRavaRamE thuNivAr thuNukku aRRa iLam thuNivOr
   uRavu ilar aathalinAm uyarnthArudan onRi ninROm
maRa vazhi mARRi yemm mayyalai theertthavar mann aruLAl
  kaRavai uhantha PirAn kazhal soodum karutthinamE

(Meaning ): The superior dharmams associated with gaining
freedom from SamsAric shackles areknown as Nivrutthi dharmams.
Those who adopt them will not mix with the ignoramus , who do not
fear the terrors of SamsAram . Therefore , we minglerd only with
those , who desire Moksham ( MUmukshus). We gained the firmness
of purpose to serve the Lord , who engages joyously to graze
the cattles even in SrI Vaikuntam as KaNNan . This was made
possible through the glances (KadAksham ) of our AchAryAs  ,
who pull us away from travelling in the pathof sin and banish our
ajn~Anam .

The key section of this Paasuram is: " MaRa vazhi mARRi
yemm myyalai theertthavar mann aruLAl kaRavai uhantha PirAn
kazhal soodum karutthinam " ( Our Most  Merciful SadAchAryas
removed our ajn~Anam and pulled us out of engaging in sinful acts
by casting their auspicious glances on us . Their anugraham led to
our determination to perform  nithya Kaimkaryam to GopAlan
in His Supreme abode .

141) UpAya anushtAnam driven by the fear about the KarmAs
vanthana pOlvaruvanavum ananthamAhi
  mALAtha thyur taru valvinai neruppukku
intanamAi yeNNirantha kAlamellAm
  innamum ibbhavak-kuzhikkE izhiyA vaNNam
venthathu oru kuzhaviyai naRRk-kumaraNAkkum
  veRit-tuLava VittakanAr vithiyE koNDAr
pandhanamAm avai anaitthum pARuhaikkup-
  pazha maRayin parama neRi payiluvArE

(Meaning ):  There has been no limit to the sorrows
experienced by the SamsAris. There is also no limit
to what they are going to experience in the future.
This immense fire of karmAs (vinaikaL) burns the jeevans
by treatign them as firewood. The SamsAris keep on
churning in this deep pit of SamsAram undergoing all
these sufferings . The people with sharp intellect reinforced
by their viEkam and virakthi develop a fear fro these samsAric
sorrows that would hold them under their control. They follow
the command of the Lord to practise Bhakthi or Prapatthi yOgam
to chase away all their karmAs and place the burden of their
protection at the Lord's sacred feet .

The key passage of this Paasuram is : " PandhanamAm avai
anaitthum piNikkum paaRukaikku pazha maRayin Parama
neRi payiluvAr " ( The wise ones  break the handcuffs  that tie
them to SamsAram  by performing the supremely auspicious
act of Prapathti recommended in the VedAs ).

The power of the Lord to intervene and transform
the embryo in the womb of Uttarai , which was turned in to
a piece of charcoal by the apANDavAsthram used by
AsvatthAma , the son of DhrONAchArya during the mighty
battle at KurukshEthram . Our Lord with the fragrant TuLasi
Maalai transformed that totally burnt child existing as a piece
of charcoal in to a handsome prince known as ParIkshith through
His matchless anugraha sakthi . BhagavAn is saluted as
the powerful one performing mysterious deeds of anugraham
for His dear ones ( venthathu oru kuzhaviyai  naRRk-KuamranAkkum
veRit-tuLava VitthahanAr ).

The third and the fourth steps of the ladder to Moksham  (Parama Padha
sOpAanam )
are covered throught hese four Paasurams . Next , we will study the
PrasAdhana parvam
dealing with the UpAya anushtAnam by the Jeevan ( The Fifth Step in the
Ladder ).

Today , adiyEn will cover the Four Pasurams associated with
the two sOpAnams of  PrasAdhana and uthkrAnthi Parvam.
These are the fifth and the sixth steps in the ladder to MOksham.

The two Paasurams of  PrasAdhana Parvam (DEsika Prabhandham
142 and 143) deal with the observance of the UpAyam of
SaraNAgathy with its five limbs (angams) . After SaraNAgathy
and  at the end of one's earthly existence , our Lord helps
the Prapanna Jeevan to exit from the body and start its journey to
His Parama  Padham with all maryAdhais . The details of the exit of
the Jeevan from the SarIram are covered by the two Paasurams of
UthkrAnthi Parvam( Desika Prabhandham 144 and 145 ).

142) Performance of the AnushtAnam/observance of  Prapatthi
karumAlayil  varum kattam kazhikkum karutthudayAr
   oru maal peruhum uyOgil muyanRum athu anRiyum
ThirumAl adiyiNai tiNN saraN aahum yena varitthum
  taru Maal iniyivai tAnE yena t-tahavu yeNNuvarE

(Meaning ) : The BhaagavathAs longing to destroy samsAric
miseries like garbha vAsam ( stay in the wombs and rebirths in this world )
would practise Bhakthi yOgam ; their Bhagavath-anubhava-rasam
( enjoyement  of the bliss of meditating on Bhagavaan) would also
be enhanced . Those who are unable to undertake the ardous
Bhakthi yOgam would choose Prapatthi at the Lord's sacred feet .
After practising one or the other of the above two upAyams ,
they will place their entire trust in the Lord's grace and protective
power and will await His mercy to grant them the delectable
bliss of Moksha Sukham .

Two unfailing  means are suggested for those , who do not
want to be born again in this samsAra manDalam full of sorrows .
One is the demanding Bhathi yOgam , where the observant's
Bhakthi for the Lord flows without cessation . For those , who do not
have the capabilities to observe Bhakthi yOgam  as the UpAyam for
Moksham , the option is the performance of the rites of SaraNAgathy
at the powerful , protective feet of SrIman NaarAyaNa. After practising
Bhakthi or Prapatthi yOgam , the practioners -- the bhAgavathAs--
will believe that the Lord will perform His avowed duties of RakshaNam ,
grant them their stay at His Supreme Abode and will await
His Mercy .They will have absolute faith in the infallibility of
the Lord's scared feet to grant them nithya Kaimkaryam at
SrI Vaikuntam and will cling on to them .

143) All sins leaving because of Prapatthi
munn seytha vinait-thiraLin muLaitthathu anRi
  muRRuLLa muthal arinthu muLaittha kooRRil
tann seyya ThiruvaruLAl isaivu pArtthu
  tazhal sErntha thoolam yenat-tAnE theertthup-
pinn seytha vinayl ninaivu onRAthu onRum
  pizhai poRutthu vERuLathu virahAl mARRum
yenn seyya tAmaraikaNN PerumAn yeNNam
  yeNNAthAr yettu iraNdum yeNNAthArE

(Meaning ): The karmAs (VinaikaL ) of the Jeevan are
grouped under : (1) Sanchitham and (2) PrArabhdham .
Sanchitham is the one , which are the huge heaps  of sins that
are waiting to give its phalans at a future date . Those karmAs,
which are beginning to yield their fruits (phalans) already are
the PrArabdha karmAs.

Bhakthi yOgam can eliminate only the Sanchitha karmAs.
Prapatthi will not only banish all the sanchitha karmAs
but will also destroy PrArabdha karmAs except those
we have to experience till the end of our earthly lives.
Prapatthi burns the sins quickly like the fate of the bale of
cotton that is thrown in to the fire.The act of Prapatthi also
prevents the sins committed unknowingly by the Prapanna Jeevan
from attaching to them  . PrAyascchittha Prapatthi destroys
even those sins , which were accumulated consciously due to
Kaala , dEsa viparIthams and emergencies . The aparAdha
parihArAdhikAram of AdhikAra Sangraham ( Desika Prabahndham:
64th Paasuram ) describes the ways in which all these sins get
removed from the back of the Prapannan.If the Prapannan
committs sins deliberately after Prapatthi and yet does not perform
PrAyascchittha Prapatthi, then he recieves a light punishment
from the Lord during his stay on earth and that way destroys
this type of sin as well .

For those PrapannAs , who can not brook the delay in ascent
to SrI Vaikuntam (AarTa PrapannAs) , the Lord responds to
them and grants their wish to join him without delay.

Great indeed is the glory of Prapatthi !

Our Lord destroys every kind of sin of the Prapannan
one way or the other and makes sure that the Prapannan never
returns to this earth and instead stays close to Him at His
Supreme Abode. Those who do not understand the most
generous and merciful ThiruvuLLam (wish) of the Lord are indeed
totally ignorant of the meanings of the Rahasya Thrayams.

The key passage here is : " EmperumAn yeNNam yeNNAthAr
yettu iraNDum yeNNAthAr " ( Those who do not comprehend
the merciful mental disposition of my Master do not know
anything about the deep meanings of AshtAksharam , Dhvayam
and Charama slOkam , the three rahasyams  ).

The corresponding Sanskrit slOkam that summarizes
the ways in which different kinds of sins of the Prapannan
are destroyed is:

prArabhdhEtara poorva paapam akhilam prAmAdhikam chOttharam
  nyAsEna kshpayannanabhupagatha prArabdha khaNDam cha na:
dheerpoorvOtthara pApmAnam ajn~athEapi tannishkruthE:
 kouDilyE sathi sikshayAapyanagayan  krODeekarOthi Prabhu:

144) The Exit of the Jeevan from the Body
uRayitta vALL yena oonuL uRayum uyOgiyarai
naRai mattu ozhivaRRa nall tuLavu yEnthia Naayakan
niRai mattu ilAtha nedum payan kAtta ninainthu
udalacchiRai vetti vittu vazhippadutthum vahai seythidumE

(Meaning ): The analogy of the sword in its sheath is given
usually to the jeevan residing in its karma sarIram. The sword
housed inside the sheath of the body will have diminished
lustre and will be powerless to perform its act. Similarly ,
the Jeevan inside the karma sarIram would find its inherent
Jn~Anam shrunk and recognize that it does not have the power to
perform Bhagavath Kiamkaryam to the full measure (ParipoorNa
Bhagavath Kaimkaryam). Thus the jeevan under the total
influence of KarmAs is granted Moksham , when that jeevan
adopts the upAyam of Bhakthi or Prapatthi yOgam. Our Lord
stands by with this noble intention to exit that jeevan  from its
bodily prison and lead it to His Supreme Abode.

145) The Process by which the Jeevan is released from the Body
munn karuvi yeeraindhu manatthir-kootti
  mukkiyamAm marutthil avai sErtthathellA
nanku uNarum uyirinil sErtthu iym bhUthatthai
  naNNuvitthu tAnRanpAl vaikkum NaaTan
onpathudan vAsal iRaNdu udaiytthAuLLE
  oru kODi thuyar viLaykkum udampAi onRum
vann siRayin talai vAsal tiRanthu nammai
  vAnERa vazhippaduttha manamuRRAnE

The Sanskrit equivalent of this Paasuram is :

mansi karaNa-grAmam prANE mana: PurushE cha tamm
   jaDithi gaDayan bhthEshvEnam parE cha tamAthmani
svavidhavidhushOritthiTam saadharaNE saraNErmukhair-
  nayathi parathO nADibhEdhair-yaTOchitham Iswara:

( Combined meaning of both ): At the time of death , our Lord
unites the JnAna Indhriyams (Ear , facuty of speech , eyes , nose
and body ) as well as the Karma Indhriyams ( Mouth , hands ,
legs, mala dhvAram and Jala dhvAram)  of the Prapanna Jeevan
with the mind; thereafter , our Lord unites the Mind with PrANa
Vaayu (described as Mukhya PrANan by the Upanishads since it
is the cause for the stable existence of the body and indhriyams).
Next , the PrANa Vaayu is united with the JeevAthmA. This jeevan
combined with Mukhya PrANan gets united with the pancha bhUthams.
At this stage , our most merciful Lord removes the fatigue experienced
by the Jeevan from all these exertions by embracing it closely. Finally ,
Lord exits the Jeevan from its bodily cage with eleven holes ( two Eye
holes , two ear orifices , two nostrils , mouth , mala dhvAram ,
Jala dhvAram ,  nAbhi dhvAram and Ucchi dhvAram or Brahma
Randhram ). Our most compassionate Lord exits the Prapanna
Jeevan through the primary door of Brahma Randhram or
Brahma Naadi dhvAram , which is the first stage of travel
via archirAdhi Maargam (the path of Light ).

The Exit from the body to enter ArchirAdhi Maargam is
the sixth step in the ladder to Moksham.

Today , adiyEn will cover the Four Prabhandha Pasurams (146-149)
associated with the two sOpAnams of  ArchirAdhi and Dhivya dEsa
PrApthi Parvams .These are the seventh and the eight  steps in the ladder
to MOksham.

The two Paasurams of  ArchirAdhi Parvam (Desika Prabhandham
146 and 147) deal with the  travel by the Jeevan on the path
of light (archirAdhi mArgam).  At the end of this travel via
the archirAdhi mArgam , the liberated Jeevan arrives at
SrI Vaikunta dhivya dEsam. That  arrival is covered by
the two paasurams ( Desika Prabhandham 148 and 149)
of the dhivya dEsa PrApthi parvam .

146) ArchirAdhi Maargam
teruLAr biramapuratthu iRai sErnthu idar theernthavar thAmm
arulAr biramapuracchiRai theerntha pinn vanthethir koNDu
aruLAl amarar nadattha immAyayai kadanathatharp-pinn
suruLAr bhava narahac-chuzhal aaRRin suzharcchiyilE

This paasuram set in KattaLai KalitthuRai  metre is
an exceedingly beautiful one with bewitching imagery and
dhvani. The message of hope and assurance from Swamy
Desikan housed in this Paasuram alone is sufficent to
chase away our SamsAric Bheethis and make us hasten to
perform SaraNAgathy at our Dhivya Dampathi's ThiruvadikaL,
if we have not already done so .

We have to keep repeating the key message of this Paasuram:
" theruLAr biramapuratthu iRai sErnthavar , bahva naraha chuzhal
aaRRin SuzharcchiyilE  suruaLAr "

Special Comments of SrI SrIrAma DesikAcchAr  Swamy  :
The Prapaana Jeevans are saluted here as " Therul aar " ,
as those filled with Jn~Anam . They have  now gotten
rid of their sorrows and are resting joyously ( idar theernthavar
thAmm) since they are united with the Lord of the SarIram ,
the antharyAmi Brahman/ indweller ( "biramapuratthu iRai" ) .

Now that they are freed from the  prison of SarIram
("biramapurac-chiRai theerntha pinn) , they will cross
the prakruthi maNdalam( immAyai kadantha pinn)
with the grace of the Lord and assisted by the  Lord's AadhivAhikAs  ,
who come forward sequentially and welcome them to the path of
light (archirAdhi mArgam )  to SrI Vaikuntam ( " chiRai theerntha
pinn , aruLAl , amarar yethir koNDu vanthu nadattha) .

It is the Lord's grace (aruL ) that makes this amarar-assisted
travel to His Supreme Abode happen . After crossing the Maayai with
the Lord's anugraham , the Jeevan will never ever get tossed about
in the whirlpools of the firece river of SamsAram ( maayai kadantha
pinn , bhava naraha suzhal AaRRin suzharcchiyilE suruLAr ).

"amararhaL" are AadhivAhikAs described in the 67th Paasuram of
Desika Prabahndham (Gathi visEshAdhikAram Paasuram of
AdhikAra Sangraham ). The AadhivAhikAs like Agni greet
the muktha jeevan at the boundary of their domains and
take them to the other boundary of the subsequent domain 
ruled by the next  aadhivAhika.

The sarIram is called Braham Puram ( biramapuram) since
the Jeevan is inside the sarIram and the Lord  (Brahmman )
is dwelling inside that Jeevan as antharyAmi .

The SarIram of the Jeevan is made up of five bhUthams
(Pancha BhUthams). In the physical body , there are three
stout bones at the top of the back portion of the body (Mudhuhu).
They are known as ThristhUNam . At the time of death , our Lord
churns these three bones to squeeze out the subtle essence of
Pancha bhUthams and unites that essence with the ready-to-depart
Jeevan . This kind act of our Lord is known as " ThristhONa KshOpam ".
The Jeevan will now experience pain as the Lord churns these bones .
Our merciful Lord holds the Jeevan tight to overcome the pain . This
churning is common to all jeevans at the time of departure from
this world. After the churning  , the muktha jeevan enters Brahama 
naadi with the Lord's help and leaves the body to travel in archirAdhi 
maargam . The bound jeevans exit the body via other nAdis to be born 
again in this samsAra MaNDalam. The exit routes are thus different 
for the Prapanna Jeevan and the baddha Jeevan bound to SamsAram .

147) Delight of the Jeevan on finding the path to Moksham
vizhi allAl vEl illai viNNin mAthar
  mEni allAl villillai meenavaRkku
mozhi allAl amuthilai yenRu munnAL
  mutthi vazhi munintadaintha mOham theernthOm
kazhi allAl kadal illai yenbAr pOlak-
  kAriyamE kAraNam yenRu uraippAr kAttum
vazhi allA vazhi yellAm kadanthOm maRRum
  vAnERum vazhi kaNDom mahinzhthittOmE

(Meaning ): Until now , due to our evil  karmAs , we did not
pay attention to the path of Moksham . Manmathan made us
fall under the influence of SiRRinbham by using the eyes of
the apsaras as the spear to hold us and their bodies as the bows
and we thought that the sweet speech of the apsaras as nectar
and were deluded by the thought that the life in Svarga lOkam
is the greatest thing to happen to us. Now , thanks to the KatAksham
of our SadAchAryan , we overcame this delusion . We escaped form
the other mathams (darsanams) which extoll the universe instead of
offering their allegiance to the cause of this universe and escaped from
the nets of   such misleading darsanams. The position of these confused
mathams is like some one who mixes up the backwaters  of the ocean 
with the cause of them , the Ocean itself (kazhi allaal kadal illai yenpAr 
pOlE) and conclude that there is no ocean except the backwaters 
(kazhi neer ) . Kazhi neer  are the backwaters extending from the ocean
( uppam Kazhi )  . The foolish position taken by some mathams
is that there is no ocean and there is only the the backwaters . 
They mix up the effect (Kaaryam ) with the kaaraNam (cause ) . 
We have now been blessed to be connected with the path of 
light leading to Parama Padham . We are now blessed to enjoy 
the pleasures of welcome offered by aadhivAhikAs in contrast to 
the pains that we suffered in SamsAra MaNDalam.We have
arrived at the seventh step of the ladder leading to SrI Vaikuntam , 
which is now very much in sight .

148) Reaching Parama Padham
van paRRudan mayal pooNDu maRRu ohr gathiyAl ina
   naaL  peRRathu yenn? peRum dhAnamum yetthanai pOthu uLathAm ?
thunpu aRRa tann thuNivAl thuyar theerkkum ThuzhAi MudiyAn
   inpuRRa nall vazhiyAl yERRum nal padham yeNNUvamE

(Meaning ): What indeed are the fruits (phalans ) that we gained
by engaging in the enjoyment of alpa sukhams of the world , while
we travelled on  improper routes during our journey on this earth ? 
None. Even if we had gained the status of Brahma Devan  due to our
puNyams , how long would that distinction have lasted? Very little time. 
Therefore , let us aim for MOksham through the enactment of the rites
(Bhakthi or Prapatthi yOgam ) prescribed for us by the Lord to enjoy 
the eternal and incomparable pleasures of  His SrI Vaikuntam.

Attaining SrI Vaikuntam is the eighth step in the ladder of
Parama Padha sOpAnam . 

149) The Description of the Lord at SrI Vaikuntam
paNdai iru vinaiaaRil padinthu paaram
   kANAthE ozhuhiya nAmm bhakkiyatthAl
vanDu amarum malar mAthar minnAy manna
  vaisayanthi maNi viLLai viLanga vaann sEr 
koNdal aruL mazhai pozhiya vanthathu oppAm
  kuLirnthu  teLinthu amudhAya virasai aaRRaik-
kaNDaNuhik-karutthAlE kadanthu meeLAk-
  karai kaNDOr kathi yellAm katitthittOmE 

(Meaning ): From time immemorial , we as bound Jeevans 
have been under the influence of PuNya as well as Paapa karmAs 
and suffered in this samsAram . We were blessed to practise one
of the UpAyams (SaraNAgathy) and became Prapanna Jeevans .
We travelled by archirAdhi mArgam and at the end of that
joyous journey , we arrived at the banks of VirajA river and 
crossed it with our sankalpam and reached the other shore of 
SamsAram , SrI Vaikuntam.We are truly blessed to have this 
visEsha bhAgyam.

The poetic skills of Swamy  Desikan are extraordinarily displayed here
 according to SrI SrIrAma DesikAcchAryaar :

In this paasuram , the Lord is compared to the dark cloud of the rainy 
season in the sky of Parama Padham pouring out as the rain of mercy 
( vaan sEr koNDal mazhai pozhiya vanthathu oppAm ).

Periya PirAtti (SrI Vaikunta Naayaki) is compared to the lightning
(minnal ) in that rainy  season cloud ( vaNdu amarum malar mAthar 
minnAy manna ).

The Vaijayanthi garland with its many colored flowers is compared to
the multi-splendored rain bow in that cloud ( Vaisayanthi maNi villAy 

VirajA river marking the boundary between pruthvee maNdalam 
and SrI Vaikuntam is saluted as the cool nectarine river with clear 
waters ( kuLinrthu teLinthu amudhAya Virasai).

The Paasuram ends on an exalted note : " MeeLAk-Karai kaNDOr 
gathi yellAm bhAkkiyatthAl kathitthittOm " ( We reached the other shore
of Viraja river (viz)., SrI Vaikuntam from where no one returns to SamsAra
MaNDalam (Karma BhUmi) ; through our bhAgya visEsham , we are
going to enjoy our life there serving the dhivya dampathis.  

Today , adiyEn will cover the Four Prabhandha Pasurams (150-153)
associated with the ninth an final  sOpAnams of  PrApthi Parvam.
The eighth parvam was Dhivya dEsa prApthi parvam and the today's
posting is about the enjoyemnt of ParipoorNa BrahmAnubhavam
( Prapthi paravam ) , which deals with the happenings at the SrI Vaikunta
dhivya dEsam for the Muktha Jeevan after arrival there.

150) ParipoorNa BrahmAnubhavam
Poo vaLarum ThirumAthu puNarntha namm PuNNuyanAr
  ThAvaLamAna Tanit-thivam sErnthu TamarudanE
naa vaLarum peru nAnn maRai Odhiya geetham yelAm
  paa vaLarum Tamizh pallANDu isayudan paaduvamE

(Meaning ): May we join with the nithya sooris and other muktha
jeevans serving the Lord and recite the sweet music of Saama
ghAnam and AzhwAr's dhivya Prabhandhams  at the dhivya
sTAnam of SrI Vaikuntam , where the Lord resides always
with His PirAtti . May we enjoy the dhivya Dampathis and
serve them without interruption always at Thier Parama Padham !

151) The six comparisons for the Muktha Jeevan
adal urakam uNDu umizhntha arukkan pOla
  azhukkuadaintha kazhuviya nal taraLam pOla
kadal ozhuhik-karai sErntha kalamE pOlak-
  kAtthut-theekku alanthu ozhindha kaLirE pOla
madal kavarum mayal kazhintha mAthar pOla
  vann siRai pOy mannar padham peRRAr pOla
udal mudalA uyir maRaikkum mAyai neengi
  uyarntha padham yEri uNarnthu onRinOm

(Meaning): The six comparisons help us understand
the  immense joy and the great glory enjoyed by
the muktha jevan after the baddha jeevan is released
from its samsAric sorrows. It shines with enormous
radiance after arriving at the Supreme abode of the Lord.

The six comparions of the enhancement of the radiance and
joy of the Muktha Jevan are :

(1) It would be like the enhanced radiance of the Sun after
it is swallowed by the serpent Raahu and then released  .
Sun is described as having higher lustre after the grahaNams .

(2) It It would be like the increased brilliance of  the high class
pearl after it is cleaned from its impure state and is restored
to its original state of lustre .

(3) The Muktha Jevean's joy is like that of that of the travellers
of a boat lost in the sea due to tempest  , who finally reach
the shore safely .

(4) The joy of the Muktha Jeevan would be similar to the elephant
that escapes  from a forest fire after the fire subsides due to  divine

(5) It would be like the joy of a Naayaki , who performs
the ceremony of Madal Oorthal to regain successfully
her Naayakan , who spurned her  .

(6) The joy of the muktha jeevan would be like the joy of
a king , who is released from the Jail after being falsely
accused of  misbehavior and is reinstated as the king .

Swamy  Desikan uses six comparisons to describe the infinite
joy of the liberated Jeevan at SrI Vaikuntam as a result of its
transformation from that of its erstwhile status (before
Prapatthi ) as a Baddha Jeevan  to the current status as
a Muktha Jeevan. The association with prakruthi that hid its
true svaroopam is gone now and in the newly gained Mukthi
state, the Jeevan experiences immense bliss in serving the Lord
at SrI Vaikuntam and is radiant .This is the ninth and final
step in the ladder to Moksham .

152) The Summary of all the Nine Steps in one Paasuram
maNNulahil mayal theernthu manam tathumbi
   mannAtha payan ihanthu MaalE anRik-
kaNN ilathu yenRu anji Avan KazhalE pooNDu
   kadum siRai pOyk-karai yERum gathiyE senRu
ViNNulahil viyappu yellAm viLangak-kaNDu
  ViNNavar tamm kuzhAngaLadun vEdam paadip-
PaNUlahir-pdiyAtha isayAl pAdum
  PallANDE PallANDum PaaduvOmE

(Meaning) : May we enjoy the many blessings of performing
the Nithya Kaimkaryam to the dhivya dampathis in SrI Vaikuntam
and enjoying ParipoorNa BrahmAnandham there after climbing
the following nine steps of the ladder to Moksham :

(1) Gaining VivEkam in this Karma BhUmi through
the SadAchArya KatAksham

(2) Developing  remorse over the time wasted in chasing
the worldly pleasures and worthless pursuits

(3) Developing distaste for samsAra Sukhams

(4) Fearing the ensuing Naraka anubhavam linked to
the bundles of sins accumulated

(5) Performing the Upaayam of Prapatthi or Bhakthi
yOgam to gain MOksham

(6) Exiting from the SarIram with the help of the Lord
via Brahma Randhram.

(7) Travelling via ArchirAdhi Maargam to SrI Vaikuntam

(8) Arriving at Parama Padham of the Lord after crossing
the VirajA river

(9) Joining the Nithya and Muktha Jeevans to sing Saama
GhAnam and Dhivya Prabhandha Paasurams of AzhwArs
as divine ghAnam .

153) Why are we here in Karma BhUmi after our Prapatthi?
mALAtha vinai anaitthum maaLa nAmm pOy 
   vAnERi malar mahaLAr anbhu pooNum 
thOLAtha mAmaNikkut-thoNDu pooNDu
  Thozhuthu uhanthu tOtthirangaL paadi aadik-
kELAtha pazha maRayin geetham kEttuk-
  kidayAtha pErinbham peruha nALum
meeLAtha pEradimaikku anbu peRROm 
  Medhiniyil irukkinRom VithiyinAlE 

(Meaning ): We have now performed the UpAyam
of SaraNAgathy and gotten rid of the ancient karamAs
that clung to us as a result of the power of the UpAyam
adopted. We have recieved the anugraham of the Lord
to perform nithya kaimakryam to Him and His Divine
consort at SrI Vaikuntam and to sing with joy the Vedams
and Prabahndhams there. Inspite of these blessings , we 
are still here and are unable to enjoy those immense pleasures
waiting in store for us. Why is it that we are not able to enjoy
those divine pleasures right now ? The reasons for us to prolong
for our stay in this Karma BhUmi after Prapatthi are:

(1) SarvEswaran's sankalpam to inspire other chEthanams 
with our prescribed conduct during the Post-Prapatthi period.

(2) the conferral of BhAgyam to enjoy the Lord in His ArchA
state at the dhivya dEsams .

(3) Sukrutha VisEsham to enjoy the beauty of the SrI Sookthis of
AzhwArs (Dhivya Prabahndhams) and AchAryAs (SrI BhAshyam).

These are the reasons for stay here for a  while before 
enjoying our destiny of serving the Lord and His Divine
Consort at their Supreme Abode and experiencing 
ParipoorNa BrahmAnandham there with Nithya and
Muktha Jeevans.



3. Parama Padha sOpAnam -- part 2 : Divya dEsa PrApthi parvam
V. Sadagopan
We will focus on the eighth and the ninth steps in these postings , which will be the steps that is the desired end result of our ardous and long journey under the tutelage of our SadhAchAryAs to enter through the Vaikunta Vaasal (gates )and reach the sacred feet of our saraNya Dampathis .
The Divys dEsa PrApthi parvam is the eighth of the nine chapters(steps ) of parama padha sOpAnam . After crossing the VirajA river during the journey on the archirAdhi margam , the jeevan undergoes the following experiences :
8.1: " VirajAm vimunchathi tanum sookshmAm " :
The Muktha jeevan crosses the amrutha nadhi , Virajai , by its own sankalpam . This nectarine river flows at the boundary of Sri Vaikuntam . It is also considered as the boundary of thriguNam and Suddha sathvam . The thriguNams ( Sathvam-Rajas-Tamas ) represent the desert of prakruthi and forms one side of the river VirajA . On the other bank is Sri Vaikuntam , which is suddha sattva mayam . The jeevan crosses this boundary and enters the land of Suddha sattvam and leaves its sookshma sareeram . That is the cleansing power of the " vimala -madhura-surabhi-seethaLa " ( Blemishless, fragrant , cool and sweet ) VirajA river . After that purification by VirajA , the AmAnavan ( the appointed divine 0ne ) touches the Jeevan devoid of sookshma sareeram and removes all the traces of vasanAs ( Karma vAsanais ) .
The sthUla sareeram is left behind , when the Jeevan gets out of the cage of its body via mUrdhanya naadi ; it travels with sookshma sareeram during its journey on the archirAdhi path. After crossing the Viraja river , it shakes off its sookshma sareeram and when it is touched by the amAnavan , it looses all karma vasanAs . The shedding of the sookshma rUpam is covered by Brahma sUtram 4.2.9 :
Sookshmam pramANathsccha tathOpalabdhE :
The jeevan attains its atomic svarUpa AvirbhAvam and shines once again with its natural guNas ( apahatha pApmathvAdi sathya sankalpathva paryantha guNashtakam -- sinlessness , lasting and changeless youth , immortality , freedom from sorrow, hunger , thirst , sathya kaamathvam and sathya sankalpathvam ) . This is indicated by the Brahma sUtram " AthmA prakaraNAth " ( 4.4.3) . The Muktha Jeevan now enjoys the sAdharmyam with the ParamAthmA . It does not get created at the time of Srushti; it does not suffer at the time of mahA praLayam as indicated by BhagavAn's words in GeethA :
    idham jn~Anma upAsrithya mama sAdharmyamAgathA : | sarkEpi nOpajAyanthE praLayE na vyathanthi cha || ( GitA --14.2 )
After crosisng the VirajA river and being touched by the AmAnavan , this muktha Jeevan is never sent back to the cruel world of samsAram again as indicated by the last of the Brahma sUtram :
    anAvrutthi sabdhAdh anAvrutthi sabdhAdh -- Br.Sutram 4.4.21
From here on , the enjoyment of the Muktha jeevan is described as it entered the Divya dEsam of Sri Vaikuntam . 8.2 : Divya dEsa prApthi:
The blessed muktha jeevan shares the world of the Lord ( salOkan ) ; It enters the kingdom of Sri Vaikuntam , which is " nithya niravadhya niradhisaya BhOgyam " ( eternal , blemishless and with limitless bhOgams ) . It is the divine kingdom which has the jyOthi of " AnyanirapEksha PrakAsam " ( an effulgence , which is not dependent on any other sources such as Sun or stars , svayam prakAsam ) . It is beyond the reach of even great yOgis by mind or speech as indicated by AchArya RaamAnujA in his SaraNAgathi gadhyam ( Parama yOgi vaangh manasA aparicchEdhyam ) . The muktha jeevan now enters this supremely divine kingdom of the Lord .
8.3 : Darsanam of the oceans of nectar and the pond of Iyrammadheeyam:
The jeevan now travels further towards the center of the kingdom. It sees on its way the two oceans , " Aram " and " Nyam " . These are amrutha maya samudhrams as described by ChAndhOgya Upanishad . After that , the jeevan encounters the blissful pond of Iyrammadheeyam . This also has nectar for its contents .
8.4: Approaching the pupil tree known as Somasavanam:
Now , the jeevan reaches the asvattha tree , Somasavanam , which is worshipped by the dEvAs . The wonder-struck jeevan now enters the rajadhAni o fthe Lord known as " AparAjitham " and arrives at the Mantapam named " prabhuvimitham " .
8.5 : the welcome by Apsaras and BrahmAlankAram:
At this mantapam , 500 apsaras ladies grouped in assemblies of one hundred welcome the muktha jeevan with garlands, fragrant incenses , sandal paste , dheepams and the sunAdhams raised by their musical instruments and celebrate the arrival of the Jeevan in Sri Vaikuntam . NammaazhwAr describes this beautiful scene of welcome in his Thiruvaimozhi ( 10.9.6 ) . The apsaras ladies adorn the jeevan with the peethAmbharam worn by the Lord and present him with the food partaken by the Lord and perform mangaLAsAsanam .
8.6 : Further progress to the interior of the Lord's garbha graham:
The jeevan now travels past the forest of Thilya trees , the AsthAna mantapam known as Saalajyam and is pervaded by the divya rasa, gandha , tejas of Sri VaikuntanAthan and becomes filled with ullasitha vigraha guNams ( with shining and radiant body ) . It now reaches the interior of the kingdom of Sri Vaikuntam , which is far superior to the worlds of AmOdham , PramOdham and SammOdham( the three VishNu lOkams in prakruthi mandalam ) .
8.7: Welcome by Indran and PrajApathi:
IN ThiruvAimozhi ( 10.9.8) , NammAzhwAr describes the welcome he received befitting that of a muktha jeevan from the nithya sUris . There the eight gaNaathipathis ( Kumudhan , KumadhAkshan , Pundareekan , Vaamanan , SankukarNan , Sarva nEthran , Sumukhan and Suprahtishtan ) , the eight dwAra PaalakAs ( Chandan , Prachandan , Bhadran , Subhadran , Jayan , Vijayan , DhAthA , VidhAthA ) welcome the jeevan with great affection and regard and open the golden door of the inner chambers of their Lord .
8.8 Welcome by Sri , BhU and neeLA dEvis
The NithyasUris washed the feet of the jeevan in grateful recognition of the arrival of that Sri VaishNavan at the chambers of their Lord ( ThiruvAimozhi : 10.9.10 ) . The consorts of the Lord with their beautiful moon-like splendorous faces offered the jeevan Sri SatakOpam , Sri ChUrNam and welcomed the jeevan with pUrNa kumbhams and dheepams .
8.9 Approach to the divya vimAnam and the bejewelled mantapam
As the jeevan approached the ThirumAmaNi mantapam under the golden VimAnam , Brahma Yasas pervaded it . It had reached the ghOshti of Sri Vaikunta nAthan and stood in front of the 1000 pillared mantapam , which is the embodiment of Anandham as described by ParAsara Bhattar in his Sri RangarAja sthavam ( 1.38 ) .
8.10 : Salutation to Garudan, Periya Thiruvadi
At this point, the Veda svarUpan , Garudan , who stands in front of the Lord , who is like a mirror to the Lord is saluted by the Jeevan .
8.11: Joining of the Ghoshti of Nithya sUris & wishing to perform kaimkaryam like them :
In that sabhA full of Nithya sUris going about doing the kaimkaryam to the Lord as assigned by VishvaksEnA , the jeevan longs to do similar service ( Thiruvaimozhi 1.6.4) . Then , The jeevan approached the Lord's throne .
8.12, 13 &8.14 : Saluting the PurvAchAryAs near the Lord's Throne
The jeevan sees the assembly of purvAchAryAs infront of the simhAsanam of Sri Vaikunta nAthan . They are beaming with joy over the Lord's efforts bearing fruit . The jeevan offers its salutations to them and comes closer to the Lord's throne. There , the muktha jeevan witnesses that the foot (support ) of the legs of the throne are the Past , the future , Isvaryam and amrutham as stated in Kousheedhaki Upanishad . The legs themselves are constitued by the four attributes of Dharmam, VairAgyam , Jn~anam and Isvaryam. The four planks on top of them are adharmam , Ajn~Anam , AvairAgyam and Anaisvaryam . These are the abhimAni dEvathaa viseshams of the throne of the Lord.
8.15: The Ladies offering Fan service to the Lord
On top of the throne , the jeevan sees an eight petalled lotus flower , whose effulgence is like the dawn of 1000 Suns . On the eight petals pointing to the eight directions are the eight divine damsels ( VimalA , UthkarshaNee , Jn~AnA , KriyA , yOgA , PrahvA , SadhyA and IsAnA ) . In front of the fruit of the lotus inside are the ladies looking like the rays of the Moon performing fan service ( ChAmara Kaimkaryam ) . The jeevan wants to perform this type of kaimkaryam to the Lord.
8.16 and 8.17 : AdisEshan resting on top of the Lotus Center
The Jeevan sees the 1000 hooded AdisEshan resting on top of the fruit of the 8 petalled lotus . The jeevan recalls the 53rd Pasuram of Mudhal ThiruvandhAthi and salutes AdhisEshan as the umbrella for the travelling Lord ( senRAl kudaiAm --) , the throne , when He is seated, the paadhukhAs, when He stands and the bed , when He sleeps . He serves also the pillow and the mangaLa dheepam with the jewels on his hoods. He receives the blessings and permission of AdisEshan to climb over him and approach the Lord seated on him . The Jeevan becomes the object of attention of the two thousand eyes of AdisEshan . which shower nectar on him and thereafter reaches the proximate space next to the Lord .
3. Parama padha sOpAnam : Ninth parvam - Part 3
V. Sadagopan
This parvam is known as ParApthi parvam .
This concluding ninth chapter has the following Nine subdivisions:
9.1: The Jeevan's Divya Darsanam of the SaraNya dampathis seated on Adhi sEshan at the center of their ThirumAmaNi mantapam
9.2: The Jeevan's performance of MangaLAsAsanam on the beauty and KalyANa guNams of the Lord and His consort . The Muktha Jeevan is overwhelmed by the unmatchable beauty of the limbs of the Lord and focuses on the different aspects of the soundharyam one limb at a time . KesAdhi paadhAntha varNanai of the Lord's soundharyam is undertaken by the Jeevan and it performs mangaLAsAsanam of the AparyApthAmurtha Parabrahmam. There are 22 subsections in this eulogy . Swami Desikan recalls the beautiful and tender AnandhAnubhavams of NammAzhwAr , PeriyAzhwAr , ANDAL and ThiruppANAzhwAr and includes them in this portion saluting the SarvAnga -- Soundharyam of the Lord . The individual sections are as follows :
2.1 : the AnandhAnubhavam of the crown & tEjas of the Lord
2.2 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His curly, black tresses
2.3 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His lofty Forehead
2.4 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His beautiful brows
2.5 : the AnamdhAnubhavam of His most merciful eyes
2.6 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His aquiline nose
2.7 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His KapOlams ( the region of the face between the eyes and the ears )
2.8 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His bewitching coral lips
2.9 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His inviting smile
2.10 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His ears with kundalams
2.11 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His entire face
2.12 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His slender neck
2.13 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His strong shoulders
2.14 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His broad chest
2.15 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His stomach region
2.16 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His peethAmbharam
2.17 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His anklets
2.18 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His holy feet
2.19 : the AnandhAnubhavam of the Lotus below His sacred feet
2.20 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His Sarvaanga Soundharyam
2.21 : the AnandhAnubhavam of the jewels that adorn Him
2.22 : the AnandhAnubhavam of His Abhaya Hastham
9.3 : The MangaLAsAsanam of His KalyANa guNAs
9.4 : Prayer for the boon and bliss of the Lord's sacred feet
9.5: The Lord's response by placing His holy feet on the Jeevan's head
9.6: The Jeevan's ascent of the divya paryankam of the Lord and sitting on the lap of the Lord
9.7: The Lord's query on the identity of the Jeevan and the Jeevan's response
9.8 : The obtainment of the complete blessings of the SaraNya Dampathis by the Muktha Jeevan
9.9 : The Muktha Jeevan's thorough and full BrahmAnubhavam as a permanent rsident of Sri Vaikuntam
In the subsequent postings , I will attempt to summarize the highlights of the individual sections and sub-sections of the ninth chapter of the illustrious grantham of Swami Desikan revered as Parama Padha sOpAnam .
3. Parama Padha sOpAnam
Part 4 Individual Subsections
V. Sadagopan
9.1 : Jeevan having the Darsanam of the Lord with His consorts on His Adhi sEshAsanam.
Beauty of the Lord on Adhi sEshan.
The beauty of Adhi sEshan with his radiant white hue is captivating . He is like a mountain made up of dazzling silver . On that soft and beautiful seat , the Lord is resting like an emerald mountain . From there , our Lord , the YajamAnan of all nithya sUris , rules all the universes . Swami Desikan describes the Lord as Marathaga Giri ( emerald mountain ) seated on the rajatha giri ( silver mountain ) of Adhi sEshan , which is His bhOga Paryankam ( enjoyable throne /bed ) .
The jeevan according to Swami Desikan begins to enjoy the indescribable soundharyam of the Lord without satiety . He is the " kumAra -yuvA " ( iLam - kumaran as NammAzhwAr saluted Him at ThiruviNNagar ) . He is between youuvanam and KaumAram ( between the stages of a KumAran of 16 years or less and YuvA of 16 to 20 years ) . The jeevan experiences Him as being seated as Param jyOthi in the middle of an ocean of effulgence ( "sOthi veLLatthinuLLE yezhuvathOr uru " as NammAzhwAr saw Thirukkurungudi nampi in his Thiruvaimozhi 5.5.10 paasuram ) . His lustre is resembling that of the assembly of hundred -thousand Suns ( Adhitya satha sahasra samudhAyam ) and at the same time , it is a cooling presence like thousands of full moons .
The beauty of His Consorts seated next to Him
On both sides of the Lord are seated His three consorts . Periya PirAtti ( Sri dEvi ) , the embodiment of the Lord's DayA is seated on His right side . On the left side are BhU dEvi , the embodiment of the Lord's KshamA ( forbearance and patience ) and NeeLA dEvi , the personification of the Lord's oudhAryam ( kodai or limitless generosity ) .
Sri dEvi
Periya PirAtti has a special place in the Lord's chest and heart . She has the "svaabhimatha nithya niravdhya anurUpa svarUpam " ( She has a beautiful form most desired by the Lord , which is changeless and without any blemish and matching the Lord in evey way regarding soundharyam , kalyANa guNams and Isvaryam ) as saluted by AchArya RaamAnujA in his SaraNAgathi gadhyam . AchArya RaamAnujA was inspired by the vision of his paramAchAryA , ALavandhAr in his chathuslOki verse , " SaanthAnandha mahA vibhUthi paramam " .
She is the PeNNamudhu as pointed out by Thirumangai in his paasurams on Oppiliappan ( Periya Thirumozhi 6.1.2) . She is the essence of the nectar churned by the Lord from the milky ocean . The dEvAs ate the husk of nectar . The Lord partook the essnce of the nectar , the femenine sArAmsam (amudhil varum PeNNamudhu ) that resulted from His efforts .
She is the one , who is seated on the forever fragrant lotus flower and destroys our Paapams ( vEri mARAtha pU mEl irundhu vinai theerkumavaLAi -- Thiruvaimozhi 4.5.11 ) .
She is the dEva dEva divya Mahishi ( the consort of the Lord of the dEvAs ) and with her mere glances ( katAksha lEsam ) , confers on Her bhakthAs unmeasurable wealth . She is the boundary of DayA and Her eyes are drenched with drops of tears out of Her compassion for Us . Her unmatchable affection for us , Her children , makes Her face bend downward as described by one of the Lakshmi Sahasra Naamams ( karuNAsthra aanatha mukhi ) .
She is the limit of Daya ( DaakshiNya seemA ) and through Her intercession with her Lord protects us from His anger , when we trespass His sAstraic injunctions . She shines at the right side of Her Lord like a golden lightning that has embraced the dark-blue cloud laden with rain .
She is forever attached to Her Lord and through Her Eka seshithvam as SaraNYa dampathi . The Lord becomes sarva sEshi , BHOgyan and the acceptor of Kaimkaryam through His union with Her . Without Her involvement , He does not enjoy the Kaimkaryams offered to Him . She delegates the akhila parijanams ( the nithya sUris and muktha Jeevans ) with appropriate kaimkaryams befitting the occasions and serves as the YajamAni of the Lord's household in Sri Vaikuntam .
BhUmi and NeeLA dEvis on the Left side of the Lord
BhUmi piratti is like another embodiment ( rUpAntharam ) of Sri dEVi . She is the object of unceasing reverence of all at Sri Vaikuntam ( anavaratha bahumAna vishayai ) . She has the most beautiful green hue like a mountain in spring ( pacchai maamalai pOl mEni ) .
NeeLA dEvi has a complexion like a dark blue lotus ( karu neythal flower ) . She is the NeelOthpala shyAmaLai. She exceeds the enchanting power of Sri Devi , when it comes to overpowering Her Lord through Her charm and bhOga sakthi . The Lord , who is forever awake ( nithya bhOdhan ) gives up that ever-vigilant state in Her presence and relaxes and falls asleep amidst Her lofty breasts ( NeeLA thunga sthana giri tati suptham ) .
All the three consorts stay in their wonted positions on the sides of the Lord to permit the Nithya sUris and muktha jeevans to offer their kaimkaryams to their Lord and enjoy the bustling scene .
9.2 : the eulogy to the Lord"s sarvAnga Soundharyam
The Jeevan now enjoys the Lord in the company of His pirAttis and nithya sUris in the spirit of NammAzhwAr , who described the Joy that encircled him ( avAvaRa soozhndhAi -- thiruvaimozhi 10.10.10 ) at Sri Vaikuntam , when the Lord gave him the darsanam as Parama padha nAthan accompanied by His consorts ( udanamar kAdal mahaLir ThirumahaL MaNNmahaL Aayar-- madamahaL yenrivar moovar , Thiruvaimozhi 1.9.4) .
The bliss ( aanandham /rasam ) enjoyed by the Jeevan is equal to that described by the TaittirIya upanishad passage ( 2.7) : " rasO vai sa: I rasam heyvAyam labdhvA Anandhee bhavathi II " . The upanishad points out that the Lord is both upAdhAna and Nimittha kAraNam for the universe besides being the rasam and bhOgyam . Those , who meditate on Him this way are filled with bliss form that effort . The experience of the Jeevan is full of such rasam , which makes it Anandha pUrNan .
The jeevan enjoys the darsanam of the valorous Lord , whose beauty is like insatiable nectar ( aparyApthAmrutham ) and salutes the amudhan in the spirit of NammAzhwAr's anubhavam of thirukkudanthai AparyApthAmruthan ( ThiruvAimozhi 5.8.7) :
ariyErE ! yennam poRsudarE ! senkaNN karumuhilE ! yeriyE ! pavaLakkunrE ! NAALTHOL YENTHAAI ! unatharuLE piriyA adimai kondAi ! ---
( O Lord independent like the Lord of the jungle ! O Lord who has a golden effulgence like the melted gold ! O Master with the lotus red eyes and the hue of the rainy season cloud ! O Lord shining like Agni jwAlai ! O Lord who is enjoyable to look at like a coral mountain ! O master, who has enslaved me with the nectar-like sweetness of Your four shoulders ! --- ) .
The jeevan standing before the Lord is totally immersed in the enjoyment of the avayava sObhai ( the beauty of each limbs ) and the AabharaNa alankArams ( the jewelery that adorns the Lord's limbs ) and notices that the mumukshus are in a similar state of trance and have become bhagavadh-- anubhava rasa paravasars . It starts to eulogize the Lord in the Saama Veda manthram starting with " Vipanyva : " :
tadhviprAsO vipanyavO jAgruvAmsassamindhathE -- ( Saama Veda PrapAtakam )
Meaning : The Brahmins , who ceaselessly meditate on the limitless auspicious attributes of the Lord and attain minds filled with Bhagavadh guNam and become like Nithya sUris engaged in service to the Lord without let and out of their deep involvement with the Lord's kaimkaryams become alert to any untoward event happening to the Lord and offer rakshai through pallAndu and managaLAsAsanams.
The Jeevan now attains this state of mind and begins to offer its eulogies to the Lord's beauty ( kesAdhi paadAntham ) and His aabharaNams and Aayudhams . This comprehensive salutation takes the form of 22 subchapters under the heading of section 9.2 . We will enjoy the KesAdhi paadhAntha sthuthi in the next posting .
Swami dEsiakn ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan
4. Parama Padha sOpAnam : Part 5 :
V. Sadagopan
Enjoyment of the Beauty of Lord's limbs
In the ninth sOpanam , the Jeevan stands in front of Parama Padha Naathan and eulogizes the Sarvaanga Soundharyam of the Lord . The salutation takes the form of kEsadhi PaadhAntha namaskaraNam .
9.2.1: The enjoyment of the Kireetam of the Lord
The Lord's kireetam is resplendent in its brightness like the thousand rayed Sun befitting His status as Jagadheesvaran . PeriyAzhwAr has alluded to this Jyothi of the Kireetam as " kathirAyiram Ravi kalanthu yeritthAlottha neeLL Mudi " (PeriyAzhwAr Thirumozhi 4.1.1 ) .
NammAzhwAr has also inquired the Lord about the mystery of this adhi-adhbhutha Jyothi of the kireetam , " Mudic chOthiyAi unathu muhac chOthi malarnthathuvO ? -- ThirumAlE KatturayE " (Thiruvaimozhi 3.1.1 ) . Here , NammAzhwar asks His Master and Lord to explain , if He can , about the unmatched radiance of His kireetam . He wonders whether it is the kAnthi of His radiant face that has blossomed forth as the JyOthi of His kireetam .
Swami Desikan's anubhavam combines that the radiance of the dark , curly forelocks ( Kaaka Paksham /alakalalla aadi gaganE --) dangling on the Lord's forehead have mysteriously combined with the jyOthi of the kireetam through the Lord's unique power to reconcile elements that normally are unrecocilable (agaDitha GaDanA sakthi ) . The opposite pairs are united by the Lord of ThiruviNNagar thru such a sakthi as revealed by NammAzhwAr's exquisite paasurams on Oppilaa-appan . In the case of Parama padha nAthan , the dark tresses are like the darkness of the night and that darkness is united with the jyOthi of the thousand -rayed Sun ( Kireetam ) . The union and co-existence of the darkness of the night ( kaaka paksham ) with the brightness of the jyOthi of the kireetam is made possible only because of the agaDitha GaDanA Sakthi of the Lord ( " -- karumai veLumayamAi -- ThiruviNNagar sErntha PirAn seytha kaavu kandeer -- NammAzhwAr : Thiruvaimozhi 6.3. 5) .
Swami Desikan's anubhavam of the Kireetam of BhUlOka VaikuNta naathan at Sri Rangam in the ninth verse of Sri Bhagavadh DhyAna sOpAnam is an elaboration of his anubhavam in Parama Padha sOpAnam :
maalyairantha: sthira parimaLai : vallabhA sparsa mAnyai: kupyath chOLee vachana kutilai: kunthaLai: slishta mUlE I rathnApeeta sapalithE Rangabharthu: kireetE Raajanvathya: sthithimathigathA vrutthaya: chEthasO mE II
( Meaning ) : The Lord of Sri Rangam is adorning His radiant kireetam on His black tresses. Those tresses are already encircled by the fragrant flower garlands . Hence , the tresses are filled with the most captivating fragrance that extends to the kireetam . Those dark tresses under the kireetam have the auspicious contact of the hands of His Consorts , who comb those locks of hair and decorate them with the flower garlands prior to placing the tall , navarathna kireetam on those curly tresses , which resemble in their curliness the vakra vachanams (non-straight , crooked speech ) of the women of ChOLa desam , when they get angry . The base of the kireetam is pressed tightly against those curly tresses and the lustre of the nava rathnams spreads over those dark kesabhaarams .
My mind is deeply attached to that beautiful kireetam of my Lord . My mind , which until now was roaming all over and now it is locked in the enjoyment of the Lord's most beautiful kireetam and hence my mind is under control like the blessed pathivrathai , whose total devotion is to her Lord .
Such is the anubhavam of the Jeevan , when it enjoys the jyOthi of the tall Kireetam of the ThiruviNNagarAn ( parama Padha Naathan ) .
9.2.2 : The Enjoyment of the black kEsa bhArams of the Lord
Swami Desikan is the Jeevan that is enjoying the bewitching beauty of the Lord . After taking in the soundharyam of the kireetam , our AcharyA's gaze concentrates on the dark forelocks dangling on the Lord's forehead . He considers them as the hungry dark bees dipping down to enjoy the honey of the lotus of the Lord's face (VadanAravinda makarantha rasa aasvAdhanam ) .Those locks are moving gently , when the Lord's glances shift to bless the nithya sUris and the Muktha Jeevans . That movement reminds Swami Desikan of the movements of the bumble bee .
This anubhavam reminds Swami Desikan of NammAzhwAr's celebration of the beauty of those kuzhal of the MaayAvi : " koLhira kOLiruLaic chuharnthitta kozhumsuruLin uLL konda neela nannUl tazhai kuzhal ? anRu Maayan kuzhal " ( Thiruvai- Mozhi : 7.7.9 ) . Here nammAzhwAr explains the unique beauty of the dark tresses ( karum kuzhal ) of the Lord and asks his mother to understand the hold that beauty has on her as ParAnkusa Nayaki . NammAzhwAr attaining Nayaki Bhavam says here :
" O my Mother ! Please do not be angry with me ! You do not understand how much I am under the spell of the beauty arising from the combination of those Tulasi-fragrance laden dark tresses . The dark hue of those locks of the hair of my Lord appear as though they are the distilled essence of the darkness of the night of mahA praLayam . Actually , the beauty of my Lord's dark tresses exceed even that of the integrated essence of the dark hue of that famous night . That beauty has stolen my aathmA and I am helpless ." ( ThirvAimozhi 7.7.9) .
9.2.3: The Enjoyment of the soundharyam of the Forehead of the Lord
The combined presence of the dark forelocks with the bright forehead of the Lord reminds Swami Desikan of the AshtamiChandran shining in the dark night . Swami Desikan's mind is still thinking over the ThiruvAimozhi paasurams of 7.7 .7 , where ParAnkusa Naayaki enjoys the beauty of the Lord's forehead ( thiru nuthal ) and compares it to the blemishless , radiant Moon : " nALL mannu veNN ThingaL kol ? nayanthArkatkku nicchilai kol ? " Parankusa Naayaki wonders here whether the radiant forehead is perhaps the blemishless ( white ) Moon . He recognizes that the radiant object bewitching his mind is indeed the forehead of Her Lord . ParAnkusa Naayaki points out that the beautifully radiant forehead of the Lord removes the desire of those , who desire to enjoy it by blessing them with its auspicious darsanam .
ThiruviNNagarappan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan

3. parama path sopAnam - part 6
V. Sadagopan
9.2.4 : The enjoyment of the eye brows of ThiruviNNagarAn
The Jeevan now focuses on the beautiful eye brows of Sri Vaikuntanathan . Swami Desikan is reminded of the anubhavam of ParAnkusa Nayaki , where she explains the effect of the soundharyam of the Lord's eye brows on her :
innuirkku yezhayar mEl vaLayum iNai neela viRk kol ? manniya seer madhanan karuppuc chilaik kol? madhanan tannyuir thAthai KaNNa perumAn purvamavayE yennyuir mElanavAi aduhinranavenRu ninRE
  • ThiruvaiMozhi 7.7.4
( Meaning ) : These beautiful brows are aimed at my jeevan and are intent on making me suffer . Whose are these curved brows bent like a bow that is about to release the arrows ? Do they belong to my KaNNan , whose brows were aimed at the poor , infatuated Gopis , who desired to have Him as their lover ? What a power they have over me as well ? Are they instead the bow of ManmathA of enduring soundharyam ? No , they really belong to the Lord , who gave life to ManmathA . It is His brows that are torturing me with their unsurpassed beauty. 9.2.5: Enjoyment of the Lord's sacred eyes
The Jeevan now shifts its gaze downwards and gets locked in the beauty of the eyes that reminds it of the statement of the Lord in Bhagavadh GitA , " IsvarOham Aham BhOgi siddhOham balavAn sukhi " . Those eyes immediately shook up the Jeevan and made it remember that it was the Jagdheesvaran that it was being blessed to look at . Overpowered by the welcoming and generous nature of those eyes ( SvAgathOdhAra nEthram ) , the jeevan fell down at the feet of the Lord with the prayer :
jitham thE PundareekAksha namsthE VisvabhAvana I namasthE asthu HrusheekEsa MahApurusha Poorvaja II
----JithanthE SthOthram 1.1
( Meaning ) ; O Lord of Lotus soft eyes ! This jeevan has now been conquered ( reclaimed ) by You . This is not my property . It is Yours . You have reclaimed Your property . O Lord , who created the entire Universe ! O Lord , who is the foremost among boon-givers ! Please bless me to place your property ( this jeevan ) at your feet as its rightful owner .
Swami is reminded of the paasurams of ThiruppANAzhwAr and NammAzhwAr , when he thinks about the anubhavam of the jeevan , when it is overpowered by the merciful eyes of Sri VaikuntanAthan .
In his eighth paasurm of AmalanAdhi PirAn , AzhwAr describes those beautiful , resplendent , broad , dark eyes of the Lord set in a white background and with red lines criss-crossing the white areas this way :
" kariyavAhi pudai paranthu miLirnthu sevvariyOdi neenda apperiyavAya kaNNgaL "
NammAzhwAr reaches the state of ParAnkusa Naayaki and describes the tortures that she underwent from those bewitching eyes of the Lord :
Yezhayar aavi uNNUm iNaik kUrramkolO ? aRiyEN aazhiyamkaNNapirAn ThirukkaNNkaL kolO? aRiyEn soozhavum tAmarai nANNmalar pOl vanthu thOnRum kandeer ThozhiyarkAL! annaimeer ! yen seyhEn? turAttiyEnE
------------Thiruvaimozhi : 7.7.1
( Meaning ) : Are these pair of eyes the twin Lords of Death ( Yamans ) intent on taking the lives of the girls , who fall in love with the Lord ? Are they the big and beautiful eyes of the most merciful Lord ? I do not seem to know their identity . They surround me like the freshly blossomed lotuses . O Friends ! O Mothers ! Do not you all see these eyes ? What can I do , who has been born to experience the sufferings caused by them ?
Swami Desikan's salutation of the sacred eyes of the Lord are many and most moving . I will quote a few to enjoy our Guru Saarvabhouman's aanandhAnubhavam :
aalakshya satthvam = fully covered with satthva guNam & redeeming mercy
athivEla dhayA uttharangam = boundless ocean with the never ceasing waves of mercy
abhyarthinAm abhimatha prathipAdhana arham = Capable of granting to the seekers all that they desire
snigdham = beautiful because of their friendliness
aayatham = long , extended
prathimasAli thE vilOchanam = Your broad and sacred eyes
dhugdha ambhudhE : anukarOthi = resembles the milky ocean .
The above are the salutations housed in the 24th slOkam of Sri Deva Naayaka PanchAsath .
In the next slOkam , Swami describes further the power of those unique eyes :
visva abhirakshaNa vihAra krutha kshaNai : = They are intent on engaging in the sport of protecting the universe
viDampitha muktha padmai : = resembling the freshly blossomed lotus flowers
aamOdha vAhibihi : = full of Joy
anamAya vAkhya garbhai: = of the nature of inquiring about our well being ( KshEmam )
amrutha varsha nibhai: = like the rain of rejuvenating nectar Such is the power and greatness of the Lord's karuNA katAkshams
9.2.6: The enjoyment of the beautiful nose of the Lord
The jeevan contemplates on the nose of the Lord next , This nose draws in and out the wind ( breathing ) of the vedAs ( Sruthi surabhi nisvAsam , yasya nisvasitham vEdA: ) . The jeevan thinks of it as a divine bamboo ( divya NaasA vamsam ) and thinks of the power of the nose as experienced by nammAzhwAr in Thiruvaimozhi paasuram 7.7.2 :
aatiyum thURRiyum niRu annaimeer! yennai neer nalinthu yenn? mAttyur karpatthin valliyO? kozhundhO? aRiyEn yeetiya veNNai undAn thiru mooku , yenathAviyuLLE mAttiya valviLakkin sudarAi niRkum vAliyathE
( Meaning ) : Are they the kalpaka creeper flourishing in between His eyes ? Or are they the tender shoots of that kalpakA creeper ? I do not seem to know. That nose which took in the fragrance of the assembled veNNai at AyarpAdi shines inside me as an intense steady flame . It is making my inside very hot . I can not bear its intensity . O My Mothers ! What is the use of You moving me from here and there , blaming me and belittling me ? This nose of the Lord is causing me all that suffering .
Swami Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan
3. parama padha sopAnam - part 7
V. Sadagopan
9.2.7:The anubhavam of the beauty of the Cheeks
The shining cheeks of the Lord are like the mirror set among the gems ( maNI darpaNam )for His consorts and the jeevan finds their beauty beyond its descriptive power .
9.2.8 : The enjoyment of the beauty of the Lovely lips
The fully ripe red lips of the Lord reminds the jeevan of the integrated essence of the hue of the red coral branches . Swami Desikan refers to the anubhavams of ParAnkusa Naayaki who was haunted by the beauty of those red lips and ANDAL who so very much wanted to know how they tasted and queried the divine conch , Paanchajanyam , which enjoys the taste of those sweet lips (KaRpuRam nARumO --) . ParAnkusa Naayaki wonders whether those haunting red lips are a piece of red coral or BimbhA fruit ( kOvai pazham ) . She complains that those enchanting lips of the Lord surround her aathmA in every direction and that there is no escape from them .
9.2.9: Eulogizing the bewitching smile of the Lord
In Thiruvaimozhi 5.3.8 pasuram , ParAnkusa Naayaki appeals to her mother to save her from the power of the Lord's smile . She refers to the combined effect of the white rows of teeth of the Lord and the beautiful red lips , which together destroy her by making her long for the union with her Lord . She wonders whether that radiance arising from the two rows of white teeth are the bright , blinding bolt of lightning or the jyOthi of the row of white pearls intent on driving her mad through their beauty .She complains to her mother that she does not know of any place to escape from the power of the Lord's intoxicating smile .Swami Desikan describes the Jeevan's anubhavam of the Lord's inviting smile in the context of ParAnkusa Naayaki's anubhavam .
9.2.10 : The enjoyemnt of the beauty of the Lord's Ears
The Jeevan shifts its glance away from the lips housing the smile of the Lord and focuses on the two ears of the Lord , which remind it of the swings meant for sport ( LeelA Dolai) .ParAnkusa Naayaki describes the disturbance that those beautiful ears caused to her psyche in Thiruvaimozhi 7.7.6 paasuram . She views them as creepers taking the shape of a pair of beautiful fish (Makaram tazhaikkum taLir kol ? )
9.2.11: The enjoyment of the Thirumuka Mandalam of the Lord
The Jeevan is reminded of PeriyAzhwAr's anubhavam of that radiant , round face , which is like the full moon ( SuRRum oLivattam sUzhndhu sOthi parantha ) . The integrated beauty of the organs in the face of the Lord reminds the jeevan of ParAnkusa Naayaki's anubhavam of the incomparable beauty of the face of the Lord (Thiruvaimozhi 7.7.8) . Naayaki is very much affected by the power of the beauty of the Lord's face .According to her , the eyes have the radiant lustre of a full blown lotus flower ; The nose is like an exquisitely tender creeper ; the lips are like coral stems ; the eye brows are like a bent bow ; the rows of teeth are like the two rows of dazzlingly white pearls; the two ears are like two more tender creepers ; the forehead has the shape and beauty of ashtami chandran . The beauty of the face of the Lord is multiplied by the individual beauty of each of the contributing parts . Naayaki cries out loud that the integrated beauty of the Lord's face is driving her mad . Jeevan feels the same way ,when it experiences the beauty of the face of Sri Parama Padha Naathan .
9.2.12: The beauty of the neck of Sri Parama Padha Naathan
The conch-like slender and beautiful neck of the Lord attracts the attention of the Jeevan as its gaze shifts downward from the Face of the Lord . It tries to escape from the power of the eyes housed in the face of the Lord . The jeevan is reminded of the anubhavam of ThiruppANAzhwar at Srirangam , the BhUlOka VaikunTam : " muRRum unda Kantam kandeer adiyEani uyyakkondathE " . Here AzhwAr refers to the Lord's neck that swallowed during PraLayam , the aNdams , anDAvaraNams , MahA prithvee , and the seven kula parvathams in one gulp .
9.2.13: The anubhavam of the Lord's shoulders
From the neck region , the jeevan's focus shifts now to the sundaratthOLgaL Like Kamban , It feels : "ThOL KandAr ThOLE KandAr " . Swami Desikan is reminded of the aanandAnubhavam of HanumAn , when the thankful RamachandrA embraced with His hands and powerful shouders His messenger ( Raama dhUthan ) for bringing the auspicious news of finding His piratti in the city of LankhA . Sri RaamA acknowledged that the embrace of His is all the wealth that he had to confer on HanumAn for his unmatched service : " yEsha SarvasvabhUthO mE parishvanghO HanUmatha:" .The coolness of that embrace associated with the powerful shoulders and the comfort that the nAyaki ( ParAnkusa Naayaki ) derived from those shoulders holding her tight is described by her as being under the cool shade of the fragrant KaRpakA tree ( Thiruvaimozhi 6.6.6) .
9.2.14: The enjoyment of the Beauty of the chest of the Lord
From the enjoyment of the powerful and lovely shoulders of the Lord , the jeevan reluctantly moves its gaze to the region between the shoulders (viz)., the chest region . What does it see there? The jeevan has the sEvA bhAgyam of Periya Piratti there along with the pearl necklace , Srivathsam , Kousthubam gem and the vana maalai ( Mouktika - Srivathsa -Kousthubha -VanamAlA -virAjitham ) . There it finds Mahaa Lakshmi residing in a state of Athyantha BhOgyam and is thrilled .
9.2.15:The enjoyment of the Lord's stomach region
The jeevan shifts its gaze downwards from the chest to the stomach region now. It remembers the service done by the Lord's stomach of holding all the prapancham ( Seven oceans , seven mountains , seven clouds et al ) and protecting them in that stomach , which still had room for more things. NammmAzhwAr salutes that capacious and protective stomach this way :
"KaarEzh malai yEzh ulahamundum
aarAvayirrAnai adangap piditthEnE " . ( TVM: 10.8.2)
The occasion is the mangaLAsAsanam for ThiruppEr Nampi . AzhwAr is about to leave for Sri Vaikuntam by the archirAdhi maargam soon. Here , he acknowledges that he has held that Lord , who still has room in His stomach after that prodigious feat. AzhwAr says that he held the Great Lord tightly to the satisfaction of the Lord.
9.2.16: The enjoyment of the PeethAmbharam in the waist
The Lord's thirumEni is like an emerald mountain . The golden yellow silk garment adorning His waist is like the cloud of mAnnickkam . The jeevan sighs and takes in the beauty in the spirit of NammAzhwAr , who described his feelings of joy this way :
paticchOthi aadaiodum palkalanAi ninn paimponn katic chOthi kalanthathuvO ?
AzhwAr wonders whether the lustre of the Lord's waist has transformed itself into the radiance of the peethAmparam and the jewels found around the waist region .
9.2.17: The enjoyment of the ankles of the Lord
Those finely chiseled-ankles remind the jeevan of the trbutes paid by PeriyAzhwAr , when his gaze fell on the beautiful jangAs (ankles) of Bala KrishNa in his role as the doting mother , YasOdhA piratti . Here , AzhwAr taking the role of YasOdhA invites her friends to enjoy the beauty of those ankles adorned by the silver ankle jewelery :
iNaikkAlil veLLitthaLai ninRilangum
kaNaikkAlil irundavaa kANeerE karihayeer ! vanthu kaaNeerE .
Swami Desikan describes the well shaped ankles as " kandharpa-kAhALa-kaLAchi-thUNeera maathrukai " ( ManmathA's musical instrument, YekkALam , the vessel known as KaaLAnchi with a wider top and narrow bottom , the arrow cage /ampaRAtthUNi ) .
9.2.18 : Salutation to the glorious feet of the Lord
The Jeevan's sevai of the Lord arrives now at His lotus feet and find them standing on the top of the siras of the Vedams . It is reminded of the anubhavam of PeriyAzhwAr , where the AzhwAr saw the power of the Lord as an emperor as revealed by the insignias of conch , disc on His inner feet that imprinted themselves on the bhUmi , when he moved around .
9.2.19 : The Lotus below the Lord's paadha Kamalam
There is an AdhAra Padhmam under the Lord's sacred feet . NammAzhwAr has wondered about the origin of that lotus below the Lord's holy feet this way : " adic chOthi nee ninra thAmaraiyai alarnthathuvO " ( Meaning ) : Did the kaanthi of Your Thiruvadi blossom forth into the aadhAra Padhmam on which You are standing ?
9.2.20 : Enjoyment of the beauy of all the limbs
Now , the jeevan has enjoyed from the holy head to the sacred foot the beauty of the Lord of Sri Vaikuntam . This is reminiscent of NammAzhwAr's anubhavam of the SarvAnga Soundharyam of the Lord :
karumANiccka malai pOl maNit tadam thAmaraik kaadugaL pOL ThirumArvu vaai kaNN kai undhi kAludai aadaigaL seyyap pirAn
Here , NammazhwAr , who has enjoyed the samslEsham with " her " Lord as ParAnkusa Naayaki describes to her thOzhi about the beauty of the Lord : He is like a mountain of sapphire and His chest , lips , eyes , hands , navel , feet and the silk garment on His waist blossomed and shone like the freshly blossomed lotuses in a cool pond . Similar is the anubhavam of the jeevan of the total captivating beauty of the Lord of Sri Vaikuntam .
Elsewhere, NammAzhwAr describes the beauty of the Lord shining thru every limb of His this way :
    senthAmarait tadankaNN sengani vaai senkamalam senthAmaraiadikkaL semponn thriuvudambE
9.2.21: The enjoyment of the AabharaNangal of the Lord
Here NammaazhwAr visualizes how the Lord appeared before him as SarvAbharaNa bhUshithan and in a state of joy and beauty .Azhwar states that the Lord came to his side with the same solicitude that He shows to Nithya Sooris in parama padham and had the flower garland wrapped around His crown and adorned Sankham , Chakram , sacred thread and His pearl necklace. Azhwar remembers that the eyes of the Lord then were like just blossomed red lotuses and His red lips resembled the color of the petals of Red lotus and His sacred feet were red like lotus and His entire body was like molten red gold ( Thiruvaimozhi 2.5.1) . 9.2.22: The salutation to the Chakram and Sankham
The Lord was like a dark mountain ( anjana giri ) in hue and the fiery disc and the cool conch in His two hands with paraspara-paribhAgam ( equal attributes ) were like the Sun and the Moon hugging that anjana giri .The jeevan like NammAzhwAr (Thiruvai- Mozhi 7.2.1) salutes those two divya Aayudhams ( Sankhu chakkarangaLenru kaikUppum --IvaL ).
After the enjoyemnt of the beauty of every one of the limbs of Parama padha nAthan , the jeevan starts to enjoy the anantha kalyANa guNams of the Lord .
Swami Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Oppiliappan Sannidhi VaradAchAri SadagOpan 3. Parama patha sOpAnam - part 7 V. Sadagopan
9.3: The Muktha Jeevan enjoys the kalyANa guNAs of the Lord
The Jeevan now stands in awe contemplating the Parathva- Soulabhya guNams of the Lord of Sri Vaikuntam and His divya- Athma svarUpam. The jeevan reminds itself of the two paasurams of NammAzhwAr (TVM:1.1.1 and 8.1.8). The jeevan thinks of that Lord, whose kalyANa guNAs are unsurpassaable, who is the Lord of the Nithya sUris, who out of His own immeasurable mercy grants the jeevan knowledge and devotion about Him and who has the natural jyOthi of the sacered feet that dispell the samsaric sorrows.
The jeevan longs for nithya sevai at those holy feet of Sri VaikuntanAthan. The Jeevan then thinks about the words of NammaazhwAr :"VaNangumARu aRiyEn manamum vAchagamum, seykaiyum yaanum nee thAnE" (Oh Lord of Sri Vaikuntam! Myself, my mind, my speech and this body of mine which is the cause of my deeds are all under Your control. Therefore, Please bless me with the insight to worship You).
9.4: Prayer for the placement of the Lord's Feet on its head
The Jeevan now approaches close to the foot rest of the Lord, where SatakOpan stands and looks at the Lord's eyes, which convey the leanings of the Lord clearly . These are the same eyes described by Swami Desikan In Bhagavadh DhyAna sOpAnam: "SaabhiprAya smitha vikasitham". Those smiling eyes have artha pushti and abhiprAyam. It asks the Lord like NammAzhwAr, who stands nearby: "vAnurinbam manni veeRiRinthAi, arulu ninn taalkaLai yenakkE"(Thiruvaimozhi 8.1.9). Oh Lord, who is seated in Your Parama Padham in a state of everlasting and supreme bliss! Please bless me with the placement of Your feet on my head!
9.5: Lord's granting of that boon & Consequent Kaimkarya SaamrAjyam
Sri Vaikuntanaathan, the parama DayALu readily responded to the Jeevan's earnest request and placed His fragrant lotus feet, which enhances the fragrance of even the soft and beautiful hands of Sri Devi (Vaasam sey pUnkuzhaLAL) and BhUmi Devi (Gandhavathi). This Sarvagandhan placed His golden lotus feet on the bent head of the Jeevan and gave the jeevan Nithya, Niravadhya Kaimkarya SaamrAjyam.The ecstatic jeevan offered its salutations and joined the ghOshti of parama padha vaasis blessed before to join the Lord's court at Sri Vaikuntam.
9.6: Climbing of the Divya Paryangam & Reaching the Lord
The Jeevan climbs the divya aasanam on which the Lord was seated and recited the ThiruvAimozhi (3.2.4), "Soozhcchi J~nAna sudar oLi aahi". This paasuram recognizes the Lord as the pervasive AntharyAmi Brahman, sarva vyAptha VishNu and as the one radiant and self-effulgent jyOthi, which has the ability to remove all samsaric distractions and blesses the muktha jeevans to enjoy His sacred feet.
The jeevan's deep desire is now fulfilled. It pinches itself as it were to digest the great blessing that has come its way due to the benevolence of Sri VaikuntanAthan,the avyAja karuNa mUrthy. The jeevan thinks about the series of upakArams (upakAra Paramparais) that the Lord has blessed it to realize in the spirit of Thirumangai"s ThirunedumthAndakam paasuram," MinnuruvAi munnuruvil Vedam NaankAi". The Lord of this Paasuram is the One, who blesed us with the Four Vedams. He stays inside them as the UpadEsa J~Nanam. He is the One, who is shining as the flashing, evanescent lightning in achEthanams, which undergo changes. He is the One, who guides one gradually through the successive steps of SravaNam, Mananam, DhyAnam and ultimately SamAdhi. He is the One, who stands as the 25th Tattuvam and the controller of the Jeevan . He is the One with the RamaNeeya ParamAthma SvarUpam. He is the lustre behind all that shines in His worlds. With the power of His supermacy, He is like unapproachable Agni. He is of the PanchOpanishad form of the five aprAkrutha BhUthams.
The blessed jeevan decalres in the spirit of another paasuram of NammAzhwAr (Thiruvaimozhi 4.9.9) that it has now experienced the bliss of the paadha dheekshai of the Lord's sacred feet and is carrying them and wandering everywhere with those sacred feet on its head (Unn ThiruvadiyE sumanthuzhala kootariya ThiruvadigaL kootinai naan kandEn).
The blessed jeevan thinks of the Paasuram of PeriyAzhwAr (Periya Thirumozhi 5.4.7): "Oh Lord who placed Your sacred feet on my head and made me Your Sesha bhUthan ! What an incomparable blessing!I have the symbol of incomparable Isvaryam, Your tender, red lotus feet on my head and have become a qualified member of the group of the other BhaagyasAlis, the Nithya Sooris and the other muktha jeevans, offering nithya kaimkaryam to You! (Thiruppolintha sEvati yenn senniyin mEl poRitthAi)".
In this mood of celebration of the unique blessings that came its way, the muktha Jeevan climbs the seat of the Lord and arrives right next to Him. All along, it says to itself: "Who am I, the lowly self compared to the mighty Lord holding Sudarsanam in His hand? What a wonder! Even for MahA Paapis, the parama Kaaruneekan's grace is granted once they perform anjali to Him and express their longing for Him. I am indeed blessed to become the object of His parama Krupai (Thiruvaimozhi 5.1.7). He kindled my svarUpa aavirbhAvam with His act of grace ".
9.7: The Lord's query and the response of the Jeevan
The Lord with His cool (Aarthi nivarthakam)and beautiful lotus like eyes looks with affection at the jeevan that has climbed His Paryankam (bed/Seat) and queries the Jeevan as to "Who it is ?" He asks "Who are You?".
The Joyous jeevan responded with the answer: "Oh, My Supreme Master! For time immemorial, I have been sunk deep in the turbulent and fearsome Ocean of SamsAram. Now, I am blessed to be immersed in the ocean of nectar, which is Your Divya SvarUpam . I have been blessed to see You and to come in contact with Your redeeming lotus feet.
You are Ubhaya VibhUthi Visishtan . I am enjoying you as the tasting of nectar and thus I have become BhOkthA . You are enjoying me, Your property. In this context, I have become bhOgyam to You.
I have become the Daasa bhUthan as indicated by the MakAram of Your PraNavam. I have attained Soori Tulya SvAta*ntryam (the freedom equal to that of the Nithya sUris). All the obstacles that stood in the way of SvarUpa prAptha Kaimkaryam have melted away. Attaining my natural status as sEsha bhUthan of You, the Sarva Seshi, I am blessed to engage in Your eternal service.
Thou art the Lord of NithyAs and MukthAs (VaanuLAr PerumAn: Thiruvaimozhi-2.3.1). I have united with You as the union of the rasams of Honey, Ghee, Milk, Sugar and Nectar (TEnum paalum neyyum kannalum amuhtamum pOl kalanthu: Thiruvaimozhi - 2.3.1) and have become both BhOkthA and BhOgyam. There is none, who is equal to me now!
I am the one, who is standing in front of You after climbing Your paryankam requesting the boon of no return to samsAra Mandalam again and stay forever at Your side performing uninterrupted kaimkaryam to You. This is my prayerful VINNAPPAM.
9.8 :The Jeevan receives the Divya Dampathi's anugraham
THe Lord of MahA Lakshmi (Sriya: pathi) is overjoyed to hear the explanation of the Jeevan about its nature and identity . He feels elated like the endearing mother, who hears Her child's first words. The Lord of Sri Vaikuntam turned His radiant face towards His divine Consort, since He is guided by Her unspoken signals arising from the movement of Her brows (YasyA VeekshyA mukahm tadhingitha parAdhEnO VidatthE akhilam kreetEyam kalu: Sristhavam -Verse 1).
Our Akhila Jagan MaathA concurred with Her Lord's wish to grant BhramAnandham to the Jeevan and with united hearts (yeka Hrudhayam), they said"asthu thE"as they said to Sri RaamAnujA at Srirangam, when the great AchAryA peformed SaraNAgathi on a Panguni Uttaram day infront of Them seated on Their YekAsanam.
9.9 : Jeevan enjoying ParipUrNa BhrammAnandham
The Bhramma SaakshAthkAram makes the muktha Jeevan united with Para Bhakthi, Para J~nAanm and Parama Bhakthi, the three stages of spiritual ascent experienced by the Mudal AzhwArs at ThirukkOiyulUr. The Muktha Jeevan in this sate found no upper limit to its Anandham resulting from Bhagavadh Anubhavam.
Just lie NammAzhwAr (Thiruvaimozhi 3.3.1: ozhivil kAlamellAm udanAi manni vazhuvilA adimayai--), the Muktha Jeevan performs Sarva desa-Sarva Kaala - SarvAvastha-Sarva vitha Kaimkaryams to the Lord and His divine consort staying at their side without any distraction.The Jeevan is immersed in anavadika aananda mahArNavam (Limitless ocean of nectarine bliss). It becomes rid of prakruthi guNAs and takes on Bhagavdh guNAs. It enjoys equality of enjoyment with its Lord (Brahma sUthram :4.4.21 - bhOgamAthra saamya lingaasccha) and is assured by the anavrutthi sabdham (Brahma sUthram: 4.4.22 - There is no return to the prakruthi mandalam for the muktha jeevans). The muktha jeevan experiences the Lord in this worry and fear-free state and remembers the word of GeethAchAryan (Gita:8.15-16):
"Having attained Me, these great souls are never again subject to rebirth in the abode of sorrow and transcience, for they have found the highest perfection . All the worlds, and even the realm of BrahmA, are subject to return, Oh ArjunA, but reaching me, there is no rebirth".
Thus ends the parama Padha sOpAnam with its nine steps of :
(1) VivEka parvam (MaNNUlahil mayal theernthu)
(2) NirvEda Parvam (Manam tathumpi)
(3) Virakthi parvam (Mannaatha payan ihanthu)
(4) MaalE anRi kaNN ilathu anji (Bheethi parvam)
(5) PrasAdhana Parvam (avan kazhalE poondu :Bhakthi or Prapatthi)
(6) Kadum siRai pOy (UthkaramaNa parvam)
(7) Karai yERum gadhiyE seRu (archirAdhi maargam)
(8) ViNNulahil Viyappu yellAm viLangak kandu (Divya Desa prApthi parvam)
(9) ViNNavar tamm kuzhAmkaLudan Vedam paadi, paNN ulahil padiyAtha
isayAl paadum pallAndE pall aandum paaduvOm (PrApthi parvam).
After last sOpAnam (step of the ladder), the muktha jeevan joins the nithya sUris and other muktha jeevans and recites the Veda manthrams and sings the divine songs of AzhwArs in a manner not experienced by the ordinary sangeetham and hails the Lord with its pallAndu.
Thus concludes the powerful vision and description of Swami Sri Desikan about the journey of the Jeevan up the ladder towards its ultimate goal, Parama Padham.
Pala sruthi
sri VenkatanAthA: trayyantha guru : svbhAva chithramidham |
(Meaning) : Sri VenkatanAthan, who was awarded by the Lord, the title of VedAnthAchAryan, composed this grantham inspired by the image written in his heart by the Lord, which defines the nine steps to be climbed by the jeevan to reach the auspicious, upper world of Parama Padham, where Sri Vaikunta Naathan presides with His divine consort surrounded by the Nithya- Sooris and Muktha Jeevans performing eternal kaimkaryam to Them.
KavithArkika SimhAya KalyANa guNasaalinE |
SrimathE VenkatEsAya VedAntha GuravE nama: ||
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan

Further Reading: External Links


Parama Pada sopana Patamu
Most of us playing Parama pada sopana patam or Paam Patam or snakes and ladders as kids; some still enjoy the game and indulge in it as frequently as possible with their kids, nieces, nephews, friend’s kids etc. For all of you that enjoy the game, here is some cool stuff related to it.

Snakes and Ladders originated in India as a game based on morality called Vaikuntapaali or Paramapada Sopanam (the ladder to salvation) or Moksha Patamu; the earliest known Jain version Gyanbazi dating back to 16th century. The game and reflected the Hinduism consciousness around everyday life. Impressed by the ideals behind the game, a newer version was introduced in Victorian England in 1892, possibly by John Jacques of London. It was eventually introduced in the United States of America by game pioneer Milton Bradley in 1943

The game was played widely in ancient India by the name of Moksha Patamu. Moksha Patamu was perhaps invented by Hindu spiritual teachers to teach children about the effects of good deeds as opposed to bad deeds. In this game every time a snake swallows a player he reaches the tail, which is death. He replays and goes up a ladder — this is life again.

The game board has 132 squares arranged in a serial order from the left bottom. There are different pictures on each block. They denote a living creature — animals, birds and men and they stand as a symbol. For example, the picture of a rishi (hermit) in block No 30 stands for nishta (concentration). Some squares have human qualities like Ego (Square No. 75), infatuation (Moham No. 97).

The ladders began from squares that represented virtues, such generosity, faith, humility, etc., and the snakes began from squares that represented vices such as lust, anger, murder, theft, etc. The squares of virtue on the original game are Faith (12), Reliability (51), Generosity (57), Knowledge (76), Asceticism (78); the squares of evil are Disobedience (41), Vanity (44), Vulgarity (49), Theft (52), Lying (58), Drunkenness (62), Debt (69), Rage (84), Greed (92), Pride (95), Murder (73) and Lust (99).

The moral of the game was that a person can attain salvation (Moksha) through performing good deeds whereas by doing evil one takes rebirth in lower forms of life (Patamu). The number of ladders was less than the number of snakes as a reminder that treading the path of good is very difficult compared to committing sins.

Once the victor reaches the 132nd square (the last), the right number has to fall to "reach God." Until he does so, he would be limping from one dwarapalak to another. Once he gets the right number to reach the Virat swaroopa, he wins the game!

Please click on the above link. To get more info about this "paramapada_sopanam"

to get board:
Next time you play snakes and ladders…
…don’t forget to tell the young ones about its origins! This post has been pending for a very long time in my drafts folder. It was prompted by a statement I read by chance many months ago about the origins of this favourite children’s game. That statement prompted some digging which ended up as this post. To start with this brief extract, courtesy Wikipedia about the origins of this game (emphasis added throughout):
    Snakes and Ladders originated in India as a game based on morality called Vaikuntapaali (stairs to Vaikuntha) or Paramapada Sopanam (the ladder to salvation).  This game made its way to England, and was eventually introduced in the United States of America by game pioneer Milton Bradley in 1943.
    …The game was played widely in ancient India by the name of Moksha Patamu, the earliest known Jain version Gyanbazi dating back to 16th century. The game was called “Leela” – and reflected the Hinduism consciousness around everyday life. Impressed by the ideals behind the game, a newer version was introduced in Victorian England in 1892, possibly by John Jacques of Jacques of London.
    Moksha Patamu was perhaps invented by Hindu spiritual teachers to teach children about the effects of good deeds as opposed to bad deeds. The ladders represented virtues such as generosity, faith, humility, etc., and the snakes represented vices such as lust, anger, murder, theft, etc. The moral of the game was that a person can attain salvation (Moksha) through performing good deeds whereas by doing evil one takes rebirth in lower forms of life (Patamu). The number of ladders was less than the number of snakes as a reminder that treading the path of good is very difficult compared to committing sins. Presumably the number “100″ represented Moksha (Salvation). In Andhra Pradesh, snakes and ladders is played in the name of Vaikuntapali.. This book by Harish Johari titled “The Yoga of Snakes and Arrows“ tell us more about the moral and spiritual aspects of the “game”:
    Four things are necessary for one or more to play Leela: the Leela book and game board, a die (of karma) and a significant object that belongs to the player, such as a ring, to serve as the player’s symbol during the game. Each of the seventy-two squares on the board of Leela represents a virtue or vice, an aspect of human consciousness or a plane of being. The players’ progress is dictated by the fall of a die corresponding to the forces of karma. The seven planes through which the player must pass before he reaches the eighth plane – the plane beyond all planes – are the seven chakras. Leela is not merely an entertainment but a serious method of understanding the phenomenal world of Maya  (Illusion), and the spiritual nature of our individual self that leads us to the journey towards liberation.
    The saints who invented this game used the game-board to recognize the present state of their own being. By playing the game time and again they consciously observed which snake brought them down and which arrows took them up. Observing their own inner self, they could tell whether they had understood what it is to be not involved. The uniqueness of Leela – the game of self-knowledge – is that it is a study of scriptures and discovery of the self at the same time.
This website informs us that:
    The origins of this game appear to be found in 2nd century BC documents from India. Some historians point out that the game may be a variation of the ancient game of dasapada played on a 10×10 grid
In his brief blog post about the “game”, Abhilash mentions some of the original squares and what they stood for:
    The ladders represented virtues and snakes vices. In the original game square 12 was faith, 51 was Reliability, 57 was Generosity, 76 was Knowledge, and 78 was Asceticism. These were the squares were the ladder was found.
    Square 41 was for Disobedience, 44 for Arrogance, 49 for Vulgarity, 52 for Theft, 58 for Lying, 62 for Drunkenness, 69 for Debt, 84 for Anger, 92 for Greed, 95 for Pride, 73 for Murder and 99 for Lust. These were the squares were the snake was found.
    The Square 100 represented Nirvana or Moksha.



  1. Its my humble Request to all spiritual seekers,

    Can anybody analyze this in the "జన్మరాహిత్యం" Point of View?

    Hope we will get a great Analysis soon


  2. Parama Pada Sopanam is a traditional version of the popular board game Snakes and Ladders. Kreeda Games, which is involved in creating traditional Indian Games, is making this ancient game available in their stores. You can also buy it online.

    Parama Pada Sopanam means Steps to the Highest Place (where Parama Pada means highest place and Sopanam means steps). The game was believed to be symbolic of a man's attempt to reach God. The ladders represent virtues and the snakes represent vices. The snakes carry names linking them to stories from our epics.

    Kreeda has slightly modified the traditional game to appeal to today's children. Done on a 2 feet by 2 1/2 feet canvas the game is attractively designed and appealing. All the snakes in the games have names such as Bakasura, Kumbakarna etc. which are representative of certain vices. A booklet has been given with a short story of these characters to make it more appealing to children and parents who may not know the tales. collected from:


    Please copy & paste the above link. To get more info about this "paramapada_sopanam"



    Parama Pada sopana Patamu
    Most of us playing Parama pada sopana patam or Paam Patam or snakes and ladders as kids; some still enjoy the game and indulge in it as frequently as possible with their kids, nieces, nephews, friend’s kids etc. For all of you that enjoy the game, here is some cool stuff related to it.

    Snakes and Ladders originated in India as a game based on morality called Vaikuntapaali or Paramapada Sopanam (the ladder to salvation) or Moksha Patamu; the earliest known Jain version Gyanbazi dating back to 16th century. The game and reflected the Hinduism consciousness around everyday life. Impressed by the ideals behind the game, a newer version was introduced in Victorian England in 1892, possibly by John Jacques of London. It was eventually introduced in the United States of America by game pioneer Milton Bradley in 1943

    The game was played widely in ancient India by the name of Moksha Patamu. Moksha Patamu was perhaps invented by Hindu spiritual teachers to teach children about the effects of good deeds as opposed to bad deeds. In this game every time a snake swallows a player he reaches the tail, which is death. He replays and goes up a ladder — this is life again.

    The game board has 132 squares arranged in a serial order from the left bottom. There are different pictures on each block. They denote a living creature — animals, birds and men and they stand as a symbol. For example, the picture of a rishi (hermit) in block No 30 stands for nishta (concentration). Some squares have human qualities like Ego (Square No. 75), infatuation (Moham No. 97).

    The ladders began from squares that represented virtues, such generosity, faith, humility, etc., and the snakes began from squares that represented vices such as lust, anger, murder, theft, etc. The squares of virtue on the original game are Faith (12), Reliability (51), Generosity (57), Knowledge (76), Asceticism (78); the squares of evil are Disobedience (41), Vanity (44), Vulgarity (49), Theft (52), Lying (58), Drunkenness (62), Debt (69), Rage (84), Greed (92), Pride (95), Murder (73) and Lust (99).

    The moral of the game was that a person can attain salvation (Moksha) through performing good deeds whereas by doing evil one takes rebirth in lower forms of life (Patamu). The number of ladders was less than the number of snakes as a reminder that treading the path of good is very difficult compared to committing sins.

    Once the victor reaches the 132nd square (the last), the right number has to fall to "reach God." Until he does so, he would be limping from one dwarapalak to another. Once he gets the right number to reach the Virat swaroopa, he wins the game!

  5. srimathE lakshmi-nrsumha parabrahmaNe namaha
    sri vedanta desika guravE namaha

    Dear 'bhAgavatOttamA-s',

    We have climbed uphill, thanks to the Grace of our 'AchAryan', Sri
    NigamAntha Maha Desikan, 5 great steps or 'pariankai-s' on his
    'paramapada-sOpAnam' viZ. 'vivEkam', 'nirvEdam', 'virakthi', 'bheethi' and


  6. Snakes and Ladders is a children's game that is played by two or more on a square board with 100 numbered squares that ascend in rows and often contain pictures. On some squares, there are ladders that connect a square on a higher row on the board; other squares contain snakes that similarly connect squares on different rows. It is a game that requires few skills other than the ability to count, making it an ideal game for very young children.
    Snakes and Ladders originated in 2nd century B.C. India as Paramapada Sopanam--"the ladder to salvation." It was invented by Hindu spiritual leaders to teach children about the rewards of good deeds and the negative consequences of bad ones. The snakes represent vices and poor decisions, and the ladders represent virtues and sound morality. The game first made its way to England in 1892, and was commercially sold in the United States in 1943 by Milton Bradley under the name Chutes and Ladders. It often has been assumed that Square 100 represents the Hindu idea of nirvana, however, there is no hard evidence to bear that out.
    Game Play
    All players begin the game in Square 1, and roll a single die. After moving the appropriate number of squares, one more space is moved, either up or down, depending on whether the initial roll placed you on a ladder or a snake. A ladder, or good deed, benefits you by allowing you to move to the top of the ladder. A snake, or bad deed, penalizes you by forcing you slide back down to the tail of the snake. If a six is rolled, a free roll is given to that player immediately. The first player to reach Square 100 wins the game.
    There are numerous variations of Snakes and Ladders, though the basic concept remains the same for all of them. The current U.S. version, Chutes and Ladders, is played with a spinner instead of a die, and the pictures on the board are generally a little lighter in nature. An example of this includes a child mowing a lawn as a good deed, and being rewarded with candy. In recent years, editions of the games have been released with cartoon graphics from popular children's television shows such as "SpongeBob Square Pants" and "Dora The Explorer."
    Alternate Names
    Snakes and Ladders is known by many different names around the world. Some of these include: Ups and Downs (Canada), Jungle Run (U.S.), Walt Disney's Steps 'n' Chutes (U.K.), and Up and Down! The New Ladder Game (U.S.). Since the original concept dates to ancient India, many different companies are able to market the game because of an absence of any copyrights or patents.
    Online and Printable Versions
    As the Internet and computer industries continue to grow, more and more games are available to play online, and Snakes and Ladders is no exception. Printable versions are available as well, allowing players to download and print purchased or free versions of the game board.
    Discover A Personalized Job Search. Make Your Next Career Move Today.
    Read more: The History of Snakes and Ladders |

  7. Default parama pada sopanam / vaikunthapali

    Traced the snakes and ladders and made some items. People outside India do not get to play the actual game on vaikunta ekadasi. Unzip and play


    132 steps to Vaikuntha
    Parama Pada Sopanam means “Steps [Sopanam] to the Highest Place [Parama Pada]“. The traditional version of the popular and contemporary game Snakes and Ladders, Parama Pada Sopanam is believed to be symbolic of our attempt to reach God with the ladders representing the virtues, and the snakes representing the vices.

    With such an interesting introduction to the game, I needed no further encouragement to buy one for myself.
    The cloth game board is large and divided into 132 squares. Each snake or vice has been named after a demon or rakshasa from Hindu mythology. The snakes (vices) are—Ravana (lust), Hiranyaksha (power), Narakasura (cruelness), Bakasura (greed), Duryodhana (ambition), Kumbhakarna(laziness), Karkodaga (jealousy), Sishupala (over-confidence), Dhakshaka (anger), Mahabali (pride), Surapadman(vengefulness), Hiranyakashipu (arrogance), and Mahisasura (wickedness). Strictly speaking, Duryodhana and Sishupala are not demons, but their vices have earned them the dubious distinction of being one, at least for this game. I was quite surprised to find that Ravana, arguably the best known “villain” from Hindu mythology, was just a teeny-weeny snake here in the game—in fact, he is the smallest snake. And Karkodaga, who ranks pretty low down on my “demon-meter” was the largest/longest snake here.
    Unlike the snakes, the ladders do not have names. Instead, they have attributes representing honesty, concentration, hard work, courtesy, helpfulness, determination, dedication, compassion, wisdom and contentment. Wisdom and determination are the longest ladders.

    The dies or the dhayakattai are fascinating. About 2 inches long and made of metal, they make a lovely tinkling sound when rolled and thrown to play a move. One side of each die is blank and represents ”0″, but put together they have a value of “12″.

    The game can only be started when a player throws the die with a value of “1″. The game ends when the a player reaches the 132nd square first.

    The sheer sensory experience of the game made it a big hit with both of the niece and me. For the niece, there was the added bonus of getting to hear the stories about the “characters” in Parama Pada Sopanam, which is believed to have originated in India.

    Traditionally, Parama Pada Sopanam is played on the night of Vaikuntha Ekadashi (the 11th day after the new moon in the Tamil month of Margazhi). Many Hindus believe that the door to Vaikuntha, the abode of Lord Vishnu, will be wide open to welcome the devout and the faithful. Hindus also believe that dying on Vaikuntha Ekadashi will take them directly to the abode of Vishnu, liberating them from the cycle of rebirth. On this day, the devout stay up all night fasting and praying and playing the game helps them pass the time till dawn, when the fast is broken.

    You don’t have to pray and fast and stay awake all night to play Parama Pada Sopanam. You just have to believe in the joy of playing the game. As far as I am aware, Kreeda is the only organisation which makes this game (and many more traditional Indian games) and retails it through various shops all over the country (details on where these can be obtained are given here).

    It is Vaikuntha Ekadashi the day after tomorrow. Will you be climbing up the 132 steps to Vaikuntha? :-)


    In Moksha-Patamu, the squares of virtue are faith (12), reliability (51), generosity (57), knowledge (76), asceticism (78), while the squares of evil are disobedience (41), vanity (44), vulgarity (49), theft (52), lying (58), drunkenness (62), debt (69), murder (73), rage (84), greed (92), pride (95) and lust (99). The last square (100) represents Nirvana.

    A report in The Hindu newspaper talks of yet another version of the game called Vaikuntapaali or Paramapada Sopanam. Again, both rebirth and morality have a role to play in the game. The snakes represent death, while the ladders represent life.

    The game has 132 squares, with a different picture on each square. They denote either a living creature or a human quality. Once the player reaches the second last square, he has to have the patience to wait for the right number to fall so that he can finally reach home.

    It's a game almost all of us have played.

    Yet, as we navigated our path across the snake-and-ladder strewn board, rejoicing with every boost the ladder gave us, and groaning each time we landed on the snake to slither down many hard earned spots, barely a handful of us must have spared a thought for the game's origins.

    Yep, Snakes and Ladders is an original Indian game.

    The Government of India site credits the invention of the game to the 13th century saint, Gyandev. The game, they say, was originally called Mokshpat; with the ladders representing virtues and the snakes representing vices. Through its several modifications over the decades, however, the meaning of the game has remained the same -- that good deeds will take people to heaven while evil deeds will lead to a cycle of rebirths.

    According to The Online Guide To Traditional Games, which also credits the game to India, the original game was called Moksha-Patamu. The concept of morality remains the same, with a ladder representing good deeds and the snakes representing evil.

    India@60: A year-long celebration

    In Moksha-Patamu, the squares of virtue are faith (12), reliability (51), generosity (57), knowledge (76), asceticism (78), while the squares of evil are disobedience (41), vanity (44), vulgarity (49), theft (52), lying (58), drunkenness (62), debt (69), murder (73), rage (84), greed (92), pride (95) and lust (99). The last square (100) represents Nirvana.

    A report in The Hindu newspaper talks of yet another version of the game called Vaikuntapaali or Paramapada Sopanam. Again, both rebirth and morality have a role to play in the game. The snakes represent death, while the ladders represent life.

    The game has 132 squares, with a different picture on each square. They denote either a living creature or a human quality. Once the player reaches the second last square, he has to have the patience to wait for the right number to fall so that he can finally reach home.

    Information courtesy,, The Hindu


    Ladder of life


    Did you know that India has its own form of snakes and ladders? And that it is very ancient ....


    Long before Snakes and Ladders was invented, India had a similar board game called Vaikuntapaali or Paramapada Sopanam (the ladder to salvation). The game has an unwritten message — that life is full of ups (ladders) and downs (snakes), pleasure and pain. And that every human being has to go through success and failure, youth and old age and finally die only to be born again.

    In this game every time a snake swallows a player he reaches the tail, which is death. He replays and goes up a ladder — this is life again. The play also has a moral — life is temporary just like happiness and sorrow. It passes away, therefore concentrate on the permanent — that is on God who lives in your own soul. The game board has132 squares arranged in a serial order from the bottom on your left. There are different pictures on each block. They denote a living creature — animals, birds and men and they stand as a symbol. For example, the picture of a rishi (hermit) in block No 30 stands for nishta (concentration). Some squares have human qualities like Ego (Square No. 75), infatuation (Moham No. 97). Once the victor reaches the 132nd square (the last), the right number has to fall to "reach God." Until he does so, he would be limping from one dwarapalak to another. Once he gets the right number to reach the Virat swaroopa, he wins the game!

    in the olden days ( Say some 40 years back) almost in every house thee USED to be a VAIKUNTA PAALI CHART. The same that Snakes and ladders chart.

    But the one NOW we see in the market is not the OLD ONE THAT WE PLAYED IN CHILD HOOD.

    it was called '' PA RA MA PA DA SO PAA NA PA THA MU '' 11 LETTERS.













  12. It is game of life for any one to get Enlightenment. Here one should move from all, reliving all his characters and Desires, when travelling to higher frequencies, we will get benefits of powers and what it called sidhis , which will hamper our on ward journey to higher frequencies, when they utilized for any purpose there progress will be hampered . so they have shown ladder and snakes and higher stages deity etc to over come all this, to reach omnipresent.GOD.....

    Hindus: What do Vaikuntapaali?
    What do you think about, Vaikuntapaali? Its a Snakes and Ladders game!! Just spiritually..

  13. shadhanaa kramam:

    వైకుంఠపాళి లేదా దశపద ప్రాచీన భారతీయ ఆట. క్రీ.పూ 2వ శతాబ్దములో నుండి ఈ ఆట భారతదేశములో ఉన్నదని చారిత్రీకులు భావిస్తున్నారు. సాధారణంగా ఇద్దరు మనుషులు ఆడే ఈ ఆట ఒక నలు చదరము పై ఆడతారు. ఈ చదరములో సాధారణంగా 10 అడ్డవరుసలు, 10 నిలువువరుసలతో మొత్తం 100 గడులుంటాయి. అయితే కొన్ని రూపాంతరాలలో 8 అడ్డ నిలువు వరసలు, 12 అడ్డ నిలువు వరుసల చదరాలు కూడా ఉంటాయి. చదరంపై చిత్రించబడి ఉన్న పాములు మరియు నిచ్చెనల(సోపానాలు) అమరిక చదరాన్నిచదరాన్ని బట్టి మారుతుంటుంది. పాములు, సోపానాలు నిర్ధిష్టమైన గడులలో ఉండనవసరం లేదు. చదరంలో యొక్క పరిమాణము, చదరంలో పాములు మరియు సోపానాల అమరికపై ఆట యొక్క నిడివి ఆధారపడిఉంటుంది.

    వైకుంఠపాళీ తెలుగు వారికి ప్రత్యేకమయిన ఆట. వైకుంఠపాళీ పటాన్ని పరమపదసోపానమటమని కూడా వ్యవహరిస్తారు. వైకుంఠపాళీ పటంలో 132 గళ్ళు ఉంటాయి. ఈ గళ్ళు రకరకాలయిన బొమ్మలతో అంకెలు వేసి ఉంటాయి. ఈ గళ్ళకు దిగువన పాములు, ఏనుగులు ఉంటాయి. అది పాతాళమనీ, ఆ ఏనుగులు అష్టదిగ్గజాలనీ పైనున్న భూమి (అంకెలు ఉన్న గళ్ళ)ని ఆ ఎనిమిది ఏనుగులూ మోస్తున్నాయనీ హిందువుల విశ్వాసం.

    ఆట ప్రారంభించే ముందు ఆటగాళ్ళు తమ తమ ఆటకాయలను పాతాళంలో ఉంచి పందెం వేస్తూ పందాన్ని బట్టి ఆటకాయలను నడుపుతూ ఉంటారు. ఆరు గవ్వలుగాని లేదా పాచికలుగాని పందెం వేస్తూ ఆడుతారు. ఈ ఆటను ఎందరైనా ఆడవచ్చు. అయితే ఆడే వాళ్ళు మాత్రం ఒక్కొక్కరు ఒక్కొక్కరకం ఆటకాయలను ముందుగా ముందే నిర్ణయించుకోవాలి.

    వైకుంఠపాళీ పటంలో 16, 19, 30, 41, 52, 63, 74, 79, 87 సంఖ్యలు గల గళ్ళల్లో నిచ్చెనలు ఉన్నాయి. ఏ పందానికైనా ఆటకాయ ఆయా గళ్ళలోనికి వచ్చినప్పుడు అక్కడ ఉన్న నిచ్చెన సాయంతో పై గడికి చేరుకోవచ్చు. ఉదాహరణకు 16 (సుగుణం) గడిలో ఉన్న నిచ్చెన దగ్గరకు ఆటకాయ వచ్చినప్పుడు ఆ నిచ్చెన సాయంతో 28 (సాలోక్యం) గడిని చేరుకుంటుంది. అలా చేరుకోవడాన్ని 'నిచ్చెన ఎక్కడం' అంటారు. పుణ్యం చేసిన వారికి పుణ్యం దక్కి నిచ్చెనెక్కడమవుతుందని చెబుతారు. అప్పుడు పై పందెం వేసుకునే అవకాశం ఇస్తారు. పై పందెంవల్ల మళ్ళీ నిచ్చెన ఎక్కినత్లయితే మళ్ళీ మరో పై పందెం- ఇలా ఆట కొనసాగుతూ ఉంటుంది.

    ఈ పటంలో నిచ్చెనలు ఉన్నట్లుగానే అక్కడక్కడ పాములు కూడా ఉన్నాయి. ఆటకాయ నిచ్చెన పాదం దగ్గరికి వచ్చినప్పుడు పైకి వెళ్ళినట్లే పాము తల దగ్గరికి ఆటకాయ వచ్చినప్పుడు పాము కరిచి/మింగి ఆటకాయ పాము తోక చివరివరకూ కిందికి దిగిపోతుంది. కాగా 26 (ద్వేషం) గడిలో ఉన్నది పాము కరచినప్పుడు దాని తోక ఉన్న 3వ గడికి వచ్చి అక్కడ ఉన్న చిన్న పాము మూలంగా ఆటకాయ పాతాళం చేరుకుంటుంది. ఇట్లు పాముతోక దగ్గరకు రావ్డాన్ని 'పాము మింగడం' అంటారు. ఇక 106వ గదిలో ఉన్న పెద్ద పాము మింగిందంటే ఆటకాయ ఒకేసారి 1వ గడిని చేరుకుంటుంది. చివరకు 121 గడిలో ఉన్న పామును తప్పించుకుని 122వ గడికి ఆటకాయ చేరుకున్నట్లయితే పుణ్యపథంలో పడ్డట్టే. అలా, ఆ తరువాతనున్న 132వ గడిని దాటి పైనున్న స్వర్గధామన్ని ఆటకాయ చేరుకుంటుంది. అక్కడినుండి చివరివరకూ వెళ్ళి తిరుగుముఖం పట్టి మధ్యనున్న విరాట్ స్వరూపాన్ని చేరుకోవాలి. తిరుగు ముఖం పట్టి, వచ్చేటప్పుడు ఏ పందెంలో సరిగ్గా విరాట్ స్వరూపాన్ని చేరుతుందో ఆ పందెం పడినప్పుడే ఆటకాయ పండినట్లు చెప్పవచ్చును. అంతవరకూ ఆ వరుసలో ముందరికీ వెనుకకూ ఆటకాయను నడుపుతూ ఉండాలి. విరాట్ రూపానికి ఆ వైపూ ఈ వైపూ ఉన్న బొమ్మల్ని ద్వారపాలకులనీ, వారు విరాట్ దర్శనం కాకుండా అడ్డగిస్తూ ఉంటారనీ, అందువల్ల వాళ్ళ చుట్టూ తిరిగిన తర్వాతనే ఆఖరికి విరాట్ దర్శనం అవుతుందని జనశ్రుతి.

    వైకుంటపాళి యొక్క సరళత మరియు పోటీలోని చంచల ఉథ్థాన పతన స్వభావాలు చిన్నపిల్లలను ఎంతో ఆకట్టుకుంటాయి. అయితే ఆడటానికి ప్రత్యేక ఒడుపు అవసరం లేకపోవడం చేత పెద్ద పిల్లలకు, పెద్దవారికి ఈ ఆట అంతగా నచ్చదు.

    ఈ ఆటను పాశ్చాత్య ప్రపంచానికి లండన్ కు చెందిన జాన్ జాక్వెస్ పరిచయం చేశాడని భావిస్తారు

  14. Can Any one explain each character in the game represents to what? please mail if you have any details about this game according to ancient methodology. my mail id is:

  15. పరమపద సోపాన పఠము
    1. కోతి
    2. యేరు
    3. పాము
    4. చేప
    5. బాణములు
    6. కుక్క
    7. రామ చిలుక
    8. కప్ప
    9. కొంగ
    10. పంది
    11. బాణం పట్టుకున్న బాలుడు
    12. బాణములు
    13. కొబ్బరి చెట్లు
    14. గడులు
    15. పచ్చరంగు కమలము
    16. సుగుణము
    17. రావణుడు (పాము)
    18. సింహము
    19. సత్ప్రవర్తనము (నిచ్చెన)
    20. కొబ్బరి చెట్లు
    21. పిల్లి
    22. ఆకులు, పువ్వు
    23. పక్షుల జంట
    24. వృశ్చికము (తేలు)
    25. కోడి
    26. హిరణ్యాక్షుడు
    27. కొమ్మ, ఆకులు
    28. సాలోక్యము
    29. రాజు
    30. నిష్ఠ (తపస్వి) (నిచ్చెన)
    31. తొండము కలిగిన ఏనుగు కాని విచిత్రజంతువు
    32. ఎలుక
    33. తేనెటీగ (సీతాకోకచిలుక)
    34. పక్షి (రాబందు లాంటిది)
    35. కుందేలు
    36. మొక్కలు
    37. ఒంటె
    38. ఆకులు
    39. గోలోకము
    40. మీసాల ఆసామి (భూస్వామి)
    41. యాగము
    42. చేప
    43. నరకాసురుడు (పాము)
    44. ఒంటి కాలితో చేపను ముక్కున కరచుకున్న కొంగ
    45. వృక్షము
    46. రాళ్ళు రప్పలు
    47. బకాసురుడు
    48. పుష్పము
    49. కొమ్మలు, రెమ్మలు
    50. తపోలోకము
    51. గుర్రము
    52. యోగి (నిచ్చెన)
    53. జింక
    54. తోడేలు
    55. ధుర్యోధనుడు (పాము)
    56. గాడిద
    57. అర్థపుష్పము
    58. తాబేలు
    59. తనరథుడు (పాము)
    60. పుష్పము
    61. స్వర్గలోకము
    62. మహారాజు
    63. భక్తి (నిచ్చెన)
    64. స్త్రీ (శీలవతి)
    65. చిత్తశుద్ధి (నిచ్చెన)
    66. కొమ్మ, ఆకులు, పువ్వులు
    67. ఖాళీ
    68. ఖాళీ
    69. జంతు ముఖము కలిగిన నరుడు
    70. పసుపు రంగు పువ్వు
    71. ఎరుపు రంగు పువ్వు
    72. సాధుష్యము
    73. గుంటనక్క
    74. గురుబోధ
    75. కర్కోటకుడు (పాము)
    76. నెమలి
    77. చిరుత
    78. సూర్యుడు (గ్రహణం పట్టిన మాదిరి)
    79. జ్ఞానము (నిచ్చెన)
    80. సీతాకోక చిలుక
    81. గ్రద్ద వంటి పక్షి
    82. పైన ఎగురుతున్న పక్షి, క్రింద నుల్చున్న పక్షి
    83. బ్రహ్మలోకము
    84. నక్క
    85. పూలు, ఆకులు
    86. ముగ్గు
    87. వైరాగ్యము (నిచ్చెన)
    88. సూర్యుడు (దేదీప్యమానంగా ప్రకాశం)
    89. పులి
    90. ఇరువురి మధ్యన యుద్ధము
    91. కొబ్బరి చెట్లు
    92. నీటి యందలి వికసించని కమలములు
    93. జంట పక్షులు
    94. దేవ ఆలయ గోపురము
    95. గుడ్ల గూబ
    96. వృశ్చికము (తేలు)
    97. మాత్సర్యము (పాము)
    98. సీతాకోక చిలుక
    99. రాక్షసుడు
    100. పక్షుల జంట
    101. నర్తకి
    102. గుడ్లు
    103. ఎడమొఖం పెడమొఖం వలె వున్న పక్షుల జంట
    104. మొసలి
    105. మహాలోకము
    106. అరుకాషుడు
    107. పొద (ఆకులు, అలమలు)
    108. నెమలి
    109. దున్నపోతు
    110. కొమ్మ ఆకులు పువ్వులు
    111. వాసుదేవుడు (పాము)
    112. దేవాలయము
    113. అంబరీషుడు (పాము)
    114. ఆలయ గోపురాలు
    115. వైకుంఠము
    116. ఆలయ శిఖరము
    117. కైలాసము
    118. ఆలయము
    119. శత కంఠ రావణుడు
    120. ఆలయము
    121. అహంకారయు
    122. ము
    123. ఠ (జన్మరాహిత్యము)
    124. ప
    125. న
    126. పా (ఈశ్వరత్వము)
    127. సో
    128. ద
    129. ప (మాయాశక్తి)
    130. మ
    131. ర
    132. ప (పరాశక్తి)

    3. పాము 3 ->3 పాము
    17. రావణుడు -> 6. కుక్క
    26. హిరణ్యాక్షుడు -> 3. పాము
    43. నరకాసురుడు -> 21. పిల్లి
    47. బకాసురుడు -> 25. కోడి
    55. ధుర్యోధనుడు -> 33. తేనెటీగ
    59. తనరథుడు -> 8. కప్ప
    75. కర్కోటకుడు -> 10. పంది
    97. మాత్సర్యము -> 73. గుంట నక్క
    106. అరుకాషుడు (పెద్దపాము) -> 1. కోతి
    111. వాసుదేవుడు -> 89. పులి
    113. అంబరీషుడు -> 109. దున్నపోతు
    119. శత కంఠ రావణుడు -> 95. గుడ్ల గూబ
    121. అహంకారము -> 99. రాక్షసుడు

    16. సుగుణము -> 28. సాలోక్యము
    19. సత్ప్రవర్తనము -> 39. గోలోకము
    30. నిష్ఠ -> 50. తపోలోకము
    41. యాగము -> 61. స్వర్గలోకము
    52. యోగి -> 72. సాధుష్యము
    63. భక్తి -> 83. బ్రహ్మలోకము
    65. చిత్తశుద్ధి -> 105. మహాలోకము
    74. గురుబోధ -> 94. ఆలయ శిఖరం
    79. జ్ఞానము -> 117. కైలాసము
    87. వైరాగ్యము -> 115. వైకుంఠము

    1. Thanks, Can you please explain each character? What does it means? what is moral of this

  16. can anyone tell what each character tells about? what it is means?

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  19. Can you please explain who played vykuntapali in history mythology

  20. I heard from some pravachnams that from 55 it would go to 12 not to 33.

  21. I heard from some pravachnams that from 55 it would go to 12 not to 33.

    Don't know many others are wrong in this chart and its the same one that is revolving around the internet.

  22. Where I can get the same chart.