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
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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.
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.
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.
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.