MAHACHARYAR

swAmi dhoddAchAryar also referred to as sri srInivAsa mahAguru, and mahAchAriar, is a srIvaishnava achAryar who lived in this world in 16th/17th century.

Swami dhoddAchAryar’s avathAram was in the year of shubhakruthu, mAsi kumbam, krishna paksham, trayOdasi, uthirAda (uthirashAdA) star, in mIna lagnam, on a Thursday (guru vAr), as thiruvEngadamudaiyAn amsam. His original name was srinivAsar.

His avathAra thaniyan is as follows.

sarva sidHi thrayOdhasyAm lagnE vEdha pradhAhvayE
jAtham kumbhA utHarAshAdE mahAgurum bHajE

ஸர்வஸித்தி த்ரயோதஸ்யாம் லக்னே வேதப்ரதாஹ்வயே
ஜாதம் கும்போத்தராஷாடே மஹாகுரும் பஜே

dhodda means big or mahA. He is mahachariar.

Rewinding to the time of srI maNavALa mAmunigal, one of swami’s prime sishyAs is pOnnadikkAl jIyar. appAichiAr aNNa a relative of aNNan swami, became sishyar of pOnnadikkAl jIyar by symbolic indication from mAmunigaL; upon witnessing this, dhOddaiappaiyangAr, brother of appAchiAr aNNa also became sishya of pOnnadikkAl jIyar.

This dhOddaiappaiyangAr later went to GadikAchalam which had two temples in two mountains – of yOga narasimhar, and anchanEyar. During those times srivaishnavAs lived in Erumbi – cholasimhapuram was not established at that time.

Sri dhOddaiappaiyangAr is mudhaliyANdAn swami’s descendent; mudhaliyANdAn swami’s descendents are called as kandhAdai vamsam.
One of earlier descendents is dhEivangaL perumAL thOzhappar, and his kumArar pOrEtru nAyan lived in Cholasimhapuram (gaDikAchAlam) and carried on rAmAnuja dharisanam.

In this sequence, cousin brothers periyappan and siriyappan both decorated 11th pattam in vAdhUla kulam of mudhaliyANdAn.
siriyappan swami’s thiru kumArar is our swAmi dhOddachAryar who decorated the 12th pattam.

He learned all shastras from Periyappan swAmi in choLasimhapuram, starting from a very young age itself. He also learned from scholars at thiruvEngadam.

All acharyas of this vamsam have special relationship with srI srInivasan of thiruvEngadam.

Swami rAmAnujar himself wanted to establish the greatness of swAmi dhoddachAr !   A sishyar of pEriyappan swami named aiyappaiyangAr came to periyappan swami one day and explained what happened in his dream the previous night. He explained that in his dream a person with sanyAsi vasthram came to periyappan while he was doing kAlakshepa upanyAsam, and gave him a big black book and asked that it be passed on  to his son swAmi dhOddAchAr. He also recited a thaniyan on Swami Dhoddachar in the dream!

vAdhUla srInivAsArya thanayam vinayAdhikam

pragya nidHim prapadhyEkam srInivAs mahA kurum

Upon hearing this, periyappan swami was ecstatic that irAmanusan himself gave anugraham to his

dhOddAchAr.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

kAnchi pEraruLALan’s anugraham.

One time, Azhagiya maNavALa jIyar swami from thiruvarangam wanted to dedicate many jewels for kAnchi dhEvaperumAL the one with beautiful shoulders and who provides majestic darshan with his wonderful holding of changu and chakram.

This jIyar swami invited periappan and siriyappan to visit kAnchi and give their blessing to the new jewels.  Both the swamis declined saying that they would visit some other time.

Then swAmi dhOddAchAr had a dream in which a king came in a horse and woke up swAmi and asked him to wake up the two swamis to come meet him outside. dhOddAchAr declined as he did not wish to wake up the elders. The king recited a lot of shlOkAs to explain about him and since that did not yield any results, the king became angry and gave a lashing on dhOddAchar’s shoulder saying “can’t those two swAmis come to the vaikAsi (mAdhava month) uthsavam and get my darshan? Ask them to come to the uthsavam”. Then he vanished in the dream. Feeling the lashing on his shoulder dhOddAchar woke up with a start, and went in and explained the dream to periappan and siriappan. They understood that it was kAnchi pEraruLALan who came in the dream. They with affection caressed the shoulder of child dhOddAchariar saying that he got the sparsam of emperumAn varadharAjan through lashings.

Kanchipuram garuda sEvai incident is very famous. One time swamy could not go to kAnchipuram  for garuda sEvai, due to his ill health. He was extremely saddened by this.  Back in Kanchipuram when garuda sEvai purappadu started, perumAn quickly vanished from there and gave full darshan to dhoddachar on the banks of thakkAn kuLam (pushkariNi) at Sholingar!  After all, the main reason for perumal to do purappadu is to give darshan to his beloved bhakthas.

dhoddachar_painting_garudaseval_2003070401230601We can see this breath-taking sEvai at varadharAjar temple near thakkAn kuLam at Sholingar.

To this date, just before perumAn starts his purappAdu, he would be hidden by the wonderful umbrellas when it is understood as dhoddAchAr sEvai of pEraruLALan.

kanchi_kudai_dhoddachar_sevai_2013

We can also see painting of Dhoddachar sEvai at srIrangam, in one of the walls in udaiyavar sannidhi.

SwAmi dhOddachAriar did maha  kainkaryam on the banks of Charanamukhi, near Tirumala for Twelve years, and wished to establish a temple for thakkAn bhakthOsithan near gaDikAchalam.

From Tirumala he returned to Sholingapuram. That time Thondai mandalam was ruled by King Achyutha Mahadeva Raya. Swami dhOddAchAryar desired to renovate the temple of thakkAn bhakthOsithan with assistance from the King. It so happened that when dhoddachar was returning in a palanquin, the King was coming on a horse, near Erumbi [எறும்பி], a village about two miles from here. At a specific spot suddenly one of the horses fell down and fainted. The King thought it was a bad omen. At that time, Swami Doddayacharya, by his krupai, got the horse back to life by spraying holy water on it. Seeing this, the King decided to help Swami Doddayacharya in establishment of temple at the east of Erumbi village, and to create 8 veedhis around the temple. So this temple and the sholingur town was given to us by mahAchariAr swAmi dhOddAchariar.  This temple was established by mahAchariar In around 1588 A.D. From Panguni shukla panchami, Sri Bhaktochithan started gracing from here.

To this date, this place is decorated by the descendent achAryas of swAmi dhOddachariar.

Swami Vedanta Desikar authored Satha dhUshanI [ஶத தூ3ஷணீ] – Swami Doddayacharyar wrote a commentary on it called chaNdamArutham [சண்டமாருதம்] and so this Acharya got the title Chandamarutam Swami Doddayacharyar. To this date his descendents are referred to with the title of Chandamarutham.

For example, one of the current Acharyars in this vamsam is srI kOil kandhAdai chanda mArutham vEdhAthAchariAr swami at chOla simha puram (sholingur).
Once swAmi dhoddachariar was carried in a palanquin by servants near Brahma theertham. Servants were feeling very hungry. Seeing their plight, Swami Doddayacharya ordered them to eat the bitter fruits of a poisonous tree [etti maram எட்டி மரம்] after touching it. The servants with fear ate, and found the fruits were sweet. To mark this incident, even now, when Sri Bhaktochita arrives on top of the hill, He is offered a sweet dish [appam அப்பம்], prepared with the fruits of that tree.
There are more interesting details about Swami dhOddAchAryar including giving golden hairs from his beard to a man who does kshavaram for him who was very poor and was in need of money.

Thillai gOvindharAjan’s sannidhi was in closed condition in those days. swAmi dhOddachar reached that temple and based on his recitation the wall broke into pieces and out came govindharAjan! Thus our swAmi dhoddachariar has the vaibhavam getting us back srI gOvindharajan!
mahAchAriar has authored pancha mahAvijayam, chaNda mArutham among others.

swami dhOddAchar lived in srI mushNam in his last in this earth, and was doing kainkaryam to sri varAha peruman. swAmi dhOddAchar’s thiruvarasu is present now for us in srI mushNam. It is near the temple tank next to thIrthavAri maNdapam.

vAzhi thirunAmam of chanDamArutham swami dhOddachar:

mAsi uthirAdathil vandhudhithAn vAzhiyE
mAsil pugazh pEriyappan magizhndha maindhan vAzhiyE
dhEsamengum paravathisayam padaithAn vAzhiyE
dharisanathai udharithuth theLivithAn vAzhiyE
AsilethirAsar nigarAna guru vAzhiyE
aindhu visayangaLum aruLinAn vAzhiyE
thUsil vAthUla kulam thulanga vandhOn vAzhiyE
thUya maha dhEsikanAr thuNaippadhangaL vAzhiyE

மாசி உத்திராடத்தில் வந்துதித்தான் வாழியே
மாசில் புகழ் பெரியப்பன் மகிழ்ந்த மைந்தன் வாழியே
தேசமெங்கும் பரவாதிசயம் படைத்தான் வாழியே
தரிசனத்தை உத்தரித்துத் தெளிவித்தான் வாழியே
ஆசிலெதிராசர் நிகரான குரு வாழியே
ஐந்து விசயங்களு மருளினான் வாழியே
தூசில் வாதூல குலம் துலங்க வந்தோன் வாழியே
தூய மகாதேசிகனார் துணைப் பதங்கள் வாழியே.

Sources:
1. http://www.pbase.com/svami/tirukkadigai
2. srI vELukkudi krishNan swami’s upanyasam on swAmi dhOddachAr
3. http://saranathantg.blogspot.in/2009/03/bg-144.html (photo and text) – taken on March Masi uthirAdam 2013
4. Current day kAnchi garuda sevai dhoddachar sevai photo courtesy Sri Kesava Bhashyam swami.

viLAnchOlai piLLai

AzhvAr EmperumAnAr jIyar thiruvadigaLE charaNam

 


sri viLAnchOlai piLLai is one of the sishyAs of sri piLLai lOkAchAriar.

His dAshya nAmam is ‘nalam thigazh nArAyANa dhAsar’.

His place of birth is the village of ‘ARanUr’ near thiruvanandhapuram.

This is in the shores of a river called ‘karaimanai’.

His thirunakshathiram falls on aippasi uthirattAdhi (Saturday October 27 in 2012, Nandhana).

He was born in EEzhava kulam. Due to his kulam he was not able to go inside the temple, so he used to climb ‘viLam’ trees in his village to get darshan of the gOpuram of thiruvanandhapuram anantha padmanABhan temple, and do mangaLasAsanam.


Thaniyans

thulA..hirbuDhnya samBhootham srIlOkArya padhAshritham |

sapthagAThA pravakthAram nArAyaNa maham BhajE ||


srI lOkArya padhAravindhamakilam SruthyarthTha kOSAmsthaThA

gOshTInjchApi thadhEka lIna manasA sanjithayantham mudhA |

srI nArAyaNa dhAsamAryamamalam sEvE sathAm SEvDhim

srI vAgBhUshaNa gUDaBhAva vivruthim yas sapthagAThAm vyaDhath ||


துலாSஹிர்பு3த்4ந்யஸம்பூ4தம் ஸ்ரீலோகார்ய பதா3ஸ்ரிதம் |

ஸப்தகா3தா2 ப்ரவக்தாரம் நாராயணமஹம் ப4ஜே ||


ஸ்ரீலோகார்ய பதா3ரவிந்த3மகி2லம் ஸ்ருத்யர்த்த2 கோஸாம்ஸ்ததா2

கோ3ஷ்டீ2ஞ்சாபி ததே3கலீநமநஸா ஸஞ்சிதயந்தம் முதா3 |

ஸ்ரீநாராயண தா3ஸமார்யமமலம் ஸேவே ஸதாம் ஸேவதி4ம்

ஸ்ரீவாக்3பூ4ஷண கூ34பா4வவிவ்ருதிம் யஸ்ஸப்தகா3தா2ம் வ்யதா4த் ||


More about viLAnchOlai piLLai

viLanchOlai piLLai learned EEdu, sri bhAshyam, etc., thathvathrayam and other rahasya granthams, etc., from sri azhagiya maNavALa pErumAL nAyanArAcharyar, who is the younger brother of sri piLLai lOkachariar.

He learned srI vachana bhUshaNam from his AchAryan sri piLLai lOkAchariar, and was considered an expert in its meanings (adhikAri).

sri viLAnchOlai piLLai wrote ‘saptha gAThai’, which gives us the essence of his Acharyan’s sri vachana bhUshaNam.

Note: mUlam for saptha gAThai is available in Sanskrit, English, and Thamizh at:
http://acharya.org/sloka/vspillai/index.html

One of the biggest kainkaryams he did to his AchAryan is to follow his AchAryan’s instructions which was given during his Acharyan’s charama dhasai –  sri piLLai lOkAchAriar wanted his sishyAs to reach out to thiruvoimOzhi piLLai (then thirumalai AzhvAr) and prepare him to be the next AchAryar in this golden lineage; Sri piLLailOkAchAriar instructed viLAnchOlai piLLai to teach thirumalai AzhvAn (Sri thiruvoimOzhi piLLai), the meaning of srI vachana bhUshaNam.


viLanchOlai piLLai and thiruvAimOzhi piLLai

When thiruvAimOzhi piLLai reached thiruvananthapuram, he was welcomed by the namboodhiries, and did mangaLasAsanam to ananthapadhmanAbhan through the three windows, and then looked for srI viLAnchOlai piLLai.

When he found his place and reached there he was in for a big surprise!  viLanchOlai piLLai was in yOga meditating on his AchAryan piLLai lOkAchAriar’s thirumEni, and about the greatness of all his sishyAs and their whole presence in thiruvarangam during those days.

viLAnchOlai piLLai’s thirumEni (divine body) was covered in spider webs.

thiruvAimOzhi piLLai fell on his feet and stood silently in front of him. viLanchOlai piLLai immediately opened his eyes and his grace fell on thiruvAimOzhi piLLAi. He was happy to see the sishyA that he has been waiting for.

He gave the deep meanings of srI vachana BhUshaNam to thiruvAimOzhi piLLai.  In addition he wrote 7 pasurams that is saptha gAThai which gives the essence of srI vachana bhUshaNam, and explained about saptha gAthai too to thiruvAimOzhi piLLai.

This was a prime example for ‘kodumin koNmin’ as said by thONdaradi podi AzhVar – viLanchOlai piLLai of EEzha kulam gave, and thiruvAimOzhi piLLai of brahmin kulam received, the essence of sri vaishNavam.

After some time, thiruvAimOzhi piLLai took leave from viLAnchOlai piLLai, and went on to become a dharsana pravarthakar of srI rAmAnuja dharisanam.


viLanchOlai piLLai’s charamam

One day namboodhris were doing thiruvArAdhanam to anantha padmanAbhan, and viLanchOlai piLLai entered the temple through east entrance; cross the dhwaja sthambham; went past narasimhar, and entered through the north entrance of sanctum sanctOrum (garbha gruham), climbed the stairs near ‘ORRai kal maNdapam’, and out of the three windows that give sEvai to peruman, he stood near the window that gives dharshan to His lotus feet.

When namboodhiris saw this, according to the custom of the time, did not want to be in the sanctum sanctorum due to the cast of viLanchOlai piLLai and so they closed the doors of the sannidhi, and started to go out of the temple.

At the same time, some of the local sishyas of viLanchOlai piLLai approached the temple and announced that their AchAryan viLAnchOlai piLLAi has reached the thiruvadi of his AchAryar piLLai lOkachariar!! And they wanted ‘thiru pariyattam, and flower garlands’ from perumAn, for the charama thirumEni of viLAnchOlai piLLai!! They stood near the temple entrance and were reciting irAmanusa nUtrandhAdhi iyal etc.

When namboodhris saw this, they were surprized about the happenings earlier near the sanctum sanctOrum and informed about this to every one!

Like how thiruppANAzhvAr reached the thiruvadi of pEriya pErumAL in pEriya kOil, here viLAnchOlai piLLai had reached the thiruvadi of anantha padmanAbhan!

thiruvAimOzhi piLLai after hearing this news, did all charama kainkaryams that sishyas would do for their AchAryan, and did thiruvadhyayanam too in a complete manner.  Reminds us of pEriya nambi’s kainkaryam to mAranEri nambi.

His thirunakshathiram of aippasi uthirattAdi, and it falls on Saturday, October 27, in nandhana year, 2012.




Following was given by the sishyas who celebrated the greatness of thiruvAimozhi piLLAi having sishya bhAvam towards viLAnchOlai piLLai.

patRAdha engaL maNavALa yOgi padham paNindhOn
naRREvarAsa-nalanthigazh nArNa thAdharudan
kaRRArenkUrakulOthama thAdhan kazhal paNivOn
maRRArum ovvA thiruvAimozhip piLLai vAzhiyavE

பற்றாதவெங்கள் மணவாளயோகி பதம்பணிந்தோன்
நற்றேவராசனலந்திகழ் நாரணதா தருடன்
கற்றாரெங்கூரகுலோத்தமதாதன் கழல் பணிவோன்
மற்றாருமொவ்வாத் திருவாய்மொழிப் பிள்ளை வாழியவே.



Following vAzhi was given by thiruvAimozhi piLLAi on viLanchOlai piLLai.

vAzhi nalam thikazh nAraNathAdhan aruL
vAzhi avan amudha vAymozhigaL – vAzhiyave
ERu thiruvudaiyAn enthai ulagAriyan sol
thERu thiruvudaiyAn sIr


வாழி நலம் திகழ் நாரணதாதன் அருள்
வாழி அவன் அமுத வாய்மொழிகள் – வாழியவே
ஏறு திருவுடையான் எந்தை உலகாரியன் சொல்
தேறு திருவுடையான் சீர்.

Sources:


1. “mannu pugazh maNavALa mAmunivan”, irA. arangarAjan, 2011.

2. “nithAyAnusandhAnam” from srI vaishnava srI; srI sudharsanar trust.

3. yathIndrapravaNa prabhAvam by srI piLLailOkam jIyar, published by Sri. U.Ve. Dr. V.V. Ramanujan, 1992, 2000, 2006.

4. mUlam of saptha gAThai found at http://acharya.org/sloka/vspillai/index.html taken on Oct 27, 2012.

5. ‘srI Ramanuja E-Journal’ edition found at http://www.docstoc.com/docs/2437367/Sri-Ramanuja-E-Journal – taken on Oct 27, 2012.

6. Picture courtesy through Sri Sarathy Thothadri swami.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

SrivLogosrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: srimadh varavara munayE nama: Sri srinivAsa mahA kuravE nama:

Sri vEdAnthAchAriar Vaibhavam

vedanthachariarThiruvallikeni

srimAn vEnkatanAthArya: kavithArkkika kEsaree |

vEdhAnthAchAryavaryO mE sannidhhaththAm sadhA hrudhi ||

[One who is like a lion to any opposing pundits and debaters, one who possesses wonderful wealth (of gyAnam, bHakthi, vairAgyam, and more), and whose thiru nAmam is ‘vEnkatanathan’, such Sri vEdhAnthAchAryar shall always live in my heart.]

Thiru avathAram

Name at birth vEnkatanAthan
Year of birth kali yuga year of 4370 (1268 AD)
Month & thirunakshathram purattasi, thiruvONam (same as that of thiruvEngadamUdaiyAn )
Place of birth Kancheepuram, thiruththanka
gOthram vishvAmithra gOthram
Incarnation Holy bell of thiruvEnkadamudaiyAn (as he also mentions this in his grantham ‘sankalpa sUryOdhaya’
Parents anantha sUri and thOthArambai
Age when leaving this vibhUthi About a hundred years.
He left this vibhUthi in about the Kali yuga year of 4470 (1368 AD) from Srirangam.

He got the name ‘vEdhAnthAchAriar’ from Sri ranganAthan, and the name ‘kavithArkika kEsari’ and ‘sarvathanthra swathanthrar’ by Sri ranga nAchiar.

He had a son named ‘varadhAchariar’. Sri varadhAchariar and a jIyar named ‘brahmathanthra swathanthrar jIyar’ were his sishyas.

KidAmbi AchAn’s grandson kidAmbi appuLLAr is one of the sishyas of Sri NadAdhUr ammAL.

“appUL” as mentioned in Thiruviruththam 3 refers to Garuda. The term ‘appuLLAr’ in his name is based on him being likened to Garuda in qualities. Another name given to him is ‘vAdhi hamsAmbuvAhar” – like a cloud that defeats hamsas, he defeats the opposing debaters. His given name was ‘RAmAnujar’.

Sri kidAmbi appuLAr’s nephew and sishyar is the world famous Sri VedhAnthachAriar.

When vEdAnthAchAriar was young he went with his maternal uncle (Sri kidAmbi appuLAr) to attend Sri nadAdhUr ammAL’s kAlakshEpa goshti. vEdAnthAchAriar refers to this and says that Sri nadAdhUr ammAL had blessed him at that time that he will establish well and clear all the oppositions of vishishtAdhvaitha Srivaishnava sidhAntham.

Granthams

As blessed by nadAdhUr ammAL, Sri vEdhAnthachAriar wrote innumerable granthams, won many philosophers and debaters who are against vishishtAdhvaitham.

Sri vEdhandhachAriar has written more than a hundred granthams, and they are in Sanskrit, Tamil, and maNipravALam (mixture of Sanskrit and Tamil).

Following are some of the most important of his granthams.

o   thAthparya chandhrikai which is a gIta bhAshya vyakyAnam

o   thathvateekai, vyakyAnam for a part of Sri Bhashyam

o   nyAya sidhdHanjanam, which analyses the philosophy our sampradhAyam

o   sadha dhUshani which argues against adhvaitha philosophy

o   adHikarNa sArAvaLi related to groupings in Sri Bhashya

o   thathva mukthAkalApam that explains our thathvam; its vyAkyAnam named ‘sarvArtHa sidhdHi

o   bhAshyams in Sanskrit for sthOthra chatuslOki and gadhya thrayam

o   sankalpa sUryOdhayam which is in the form of drAmA

o   dhayA sathakam, pAdhukA sahasram, yAdhavabhyudhayam, hamsasandhEsam;

o   rahasyathraya sAram, sampradhAya parisudhdhi, abhayapradhAna sAram, para matha bhangam

o   munivAhana bhOgam which is a vyAkyAnam on amalanAdhipirAn

o   AhAra niyamam, a tamil text on recommended food habits

o   sthothras like dasAvathAra sthothram, godha sthuthi, srI sthuthi, yathiraja sapthathi

o   dhramidOpanishad thAthparya rathnAvaLi, dhramidOpanishad sAram, that provide meanings on thiruvoimozhi, and so on and more.

The content so far in this article is mostly based on a malar published by Puthur Swami.

SriVedanthachariar_Kachi_IMG_0065

kAnchi Sri Thoopul vEdAnthAchAriar during avathAra uthsavam

vEdAnthachariar and other Acharyars

0   vEdAnthAchAriar has a written a wonderful prabhandham named lOkAchArya panchAsath glorifying piLLai lOkAchAryar. vEdhAnthAchAryar was atleast 50 years younger to piLLai lOkAchAryar and had great admiration for piLLai lOkAchAryar which can be easily understood from this grantham; this grantham is recited regularly in thirunArAyaNapuram (Melkote, Karnataka) even today. A simple English translation to lOkAchArya panchAsath written by Shri U.Ve T. C. A. Venkatesan swamy based on Shri U.Ve V. V. Ramanujam swamy can be downloaded from http://acharya.org/books/eBooks/vyakhyanam/LokacharyaPanchasatVyakhyanaSaram-English.pdf.

0   vAdhikEsari azhagiya maNavaLa jIyar in his grantham ‘Tatvadeepa’ and others, has referred to vEdAnthAchAriar’s granthams2.

0   Sri maNavALa mAmunigaL in his vyakyanam for thathvathrayam and mumukshupadi (which were written by Sri piLLai lOkAchAriar), refers to the words of vEdanthAchariAr; and maNavALa mAmunigaL fondly refers to vEdhAnthAchAriar as ‘abhiyukthar3.

0   Sri ErumbiappA, one of the ashta dikgajangaL of maNavALa mAmunigaL, in his ‘vilakshaNamOkshAdhikAri nirNayam’ references vEdhAnthAchariar’s ‘nyAyavimsathi’, and provides summary of its meaning as well3.

0   Swami Dhoddachariar of Cholasimhapuram (Sholingur) wrote a commentary on vedAntha dEsika’s ‘SatadhooshaNi’, called ‘ChandamArutham’. Hence he was referred to as ‘ChandamArutham Dhoddachar’, and his descendent AcharyAs are also referred so to this date.

0   The devotion of PrativAthi bhayankaram aNNa and his sishyas and descendents for vEdAnthAchAriar is well known. The descendents living in ThiruvindhaLUr and other southern centres even bear the name of vEdanthAchAriar’s son referred to as ‘nAyinAchAriar’, thus extending their devotion down to his son.

0   Many other AchAryAs and vidwAns have written commentaries on or referenced vEdAnthAchAriar’s granthams.  

 . . . . . narasimharAjAcharya swami who is Sri dhoddAchAriar’s disciple has written commentaries on ‘nyAya parisuddhi’;

. . . . . Mysore (maNdayam) ananthAzhvAn who lived in the early part of nineteenth century has made several references to vEdAnthAchAriar’s granthams in his writings;

. . . . . KunrappAkkam swami who lived in Kancheepuram in latter part of nineteenth century has in his work ‘Tatwa-RatnAvaLi’ has fondly referred to vEdAnthAchAriar as ‘Jayati Bhagavan Vedantarayas sa tharkika-kesari’.

()   Sri vEdanthAchAriar too, had a deep love and regard to purvAchAryas and contemporary achAryAs, as evidenced in his ‘abhithistavam’, “Kvachana rangamukyE vibhO! paraspara-hithaishiNAm parisarEshu mAm varthaya” , (O Lord!, let me reside in Srirangam at the feet of the great ones who are mutual well-wishers)2.

()  “In the last verse of his ‘bhagavad-dhyAna sOpanam’, Sri vEdAnthAchAriar pays a glowing tribute to the erudite scholars and art-lovers of Srirangam, who imparted clarity in his thoughts and enabled him to develop a facile and pleasing style”.2

()  Sri vEdAnthAchAriar’s devotion to Sri rAmanujar is very well known; in his ‘nyAsa tilakA’ in the verse starting ‘ukthya dhananjaya…’ he pacifies perumAL for having indirectly told him that mOksham need not be granted by Him, as it had already been guaranteed to him by his connection with Sri rAmAnujar.

These go to show that vEdanthAchAriar and other scholars held mutual respect, love, and reverence for each other, and paved ways for harmonious discussions on our srivaishnava sampradhAyam.

AchArya-champu

Sri. S. Satyamurthi Iyengar, Gwalior (also referred to as ‘Gwalior swami’), mentions in his 1967 book “A critical appreciation of Sri Vedanta Desika Vis-à-vis the Srivaishnavite World”, about other sources of information to learn about Sri vedhAnthachAriar. Most of the following text is attributed to the mentioned book.

He refers to a work called ‘VedAntAcharya Vijaya’ also known as ‘AchArya-champu’, written in Sanskrit in the form of prose and verse, by a great scholar and poet named ‘Kousika KavitArkikasimha VedanthAchariAr’, who lived around 1717 AD. This work is considered the oldest historic record of VEdAnthAchAriar’s life history and most authentic.

This work starts in first Stabaka (Chapter, or Section) with a benediction, then speaks about author’s family, about the city of Kancheepuram, and about Sri Pundarika Yajwa, grandfather of VEdAnthAchAriar.

The second Stabaka deals with the birth and marriage of Ananta-Suri (Sri Desika’s father) and the entry of divine Bell into his wife’s womb.

The third Stabaka describes the birth of VEdAnthAchAriar, his childhood, his accompanying his maternal uncle to Sri Vatsya Varadacharya’s school, and securing the latter’s blessings, getting the sacred thread, initiation to the study of literature, vedhas, and more; marriage, winning the grace of Lord HayagrIva, composition of various works including ‘nyAya sidhdhAnjana’, and gaining the title of Kavitarkikasimha.

The fourth Stabaka describes the Uthsavam at Kanchi, the composition of ‘VaradarAja panchAsat’ by VEdAnthAchAriar, his encounter with Advaitha scholar named Vidyaranya and winning him; and pilgrimage to vEnkatAdri.

The fifth Stabaka provides details of the pilgrimage, his composing ‘dayAsatakA’, and his ‘Vairagya-panchaka’ as a scoring-of-the-riches reply to an invitation to royal court by Vidyaranya; pilgrimage to kshethras in the north; return to Kancheepuram; delivering judgment in the debate between Vidyaranya and Akshobhya muni a Dwaita scholar); pilgrimage to shrines in the south; his living in ThiruvEndhipuram for some time; his bringing out several works; pilgrimage to sri mushnam; and getting invitation to visit Srirangam.

The final and sixth Stabaka of ‘AchArya-champu’ describes vEdAnthAchAriar’s journey to Srirangam, his having darsan of Sri Ranganathan; composing of ‘Bhagavad dhyana sopana’ etc.; winning an advaithi named Krishnamisra after a long debate of 18 days and earning the title of ‘vEdAnthAchAryA’ , ‘Sarvatantra-Swatantra’, etc.; composing ‘pAduka sahasram’ when challenged by a vain Poet; the sack of Srirangam by Muslims, VEdAnthAchAriar’s stay in the western part of the country, composing Abhitistava; his visit to other kshetrams; composing ‘GaruadAndaka’ to meet the challenge of a snake-charmer, birth of a son to VEdAnthAchAriar; and composing of ‘RahasyatrayasAra’.

This book ‘AchArya-champu’ commanded wide popularity, eagerly studied by Sanskrit scholars of yore; there is not much attempt to bring out a reprint of this valuable book.

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Sources:

1. Puthur Swami’s pOn vizhA malar

2. Sri. S. Satyamurthi Iyengar, Gwalior; “A critical appreciation of Sri Vedanta Desika Vis-à-vis the Srivaishnavite World”; c 1967.

3. ‘Thamizhar thozhu vedhanthavAsiriyan’ (Tamil) by Sri P.B.Annangarachariar swami.

4. English translation to ‘lOkAchArya panchAsath’ written by Shri U.Ve T. C. A. Venkatesan swamy based on Shri U.Ve V. V. Ramanujam swamy’s work in Tamil http://acharya.org/books/eBooks/vyakhyanam/LokacharyaPanchasatVyakhyanaSaram-English.pdf taken on Sep 25, 2012.

5. Photo courtesy an informative email from Koil Aaththan Kasthurirangan swami, ThiruvallikENi.

6. Logo courtesy from blog of Sarathy Thothathri swami, ThiruvallikENi: http://guruparamparai.wordpress.com – taken on Sep 25, 2012.

7. Additional photos courtesy https://picasaweb.google.com/113539681523551495306/  – taken on Sep 25, 2012.

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