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SEVA SWAMI

From: Nachu Anbil (Nutech_at_ix.netcom.com)
Date: Thu Apr 16 1998 - 12:45:58 PDT

SEVA SWAMI
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I am forwarding an article which appeared in "The Hindu" on April
10.1998 on Seva Swami's 50 years of service to Desika Sampradaya
Dasoham
Anbil Ramaswamy
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The concept of the Absolute as the saririn (all-self) of all beings, who
is also immanent in His creation, thereby spiritualizing them, is the
most inspiring and enduring element of Visishtadvaita philosophy which
finds application in the spirit of service (Kainkarya). With its innate
genius in seeing God in all beings including the subhuman species,
spiritual kinship according to Vaishnavism encompasses all. 

It is indeed remarkable that Sri N. Srinivasa Raghavachariar imbibed the
very essence of this tradition in which he hails, from even in his youth
and made it the guiding principle of his life, which earned him the
sobriquet "Seva Swami".

Born in April 1923, at Nallur (Tiruvannamalai District) in the lineage
of Appullar, the maternal uncle of Vedanta Desika, he had his formal
education in Sri Venkateswara College, Tirupati and traditional
scriptural training under scholars like Uttamur Veeraraghavachariar,
D.T.Thathachariar and Navalpakkam Narasimha Thathayarya Mahadesikan. By
virtue of their orthodoxy and performance of  yagnas, Seva Swami's
immediate predecessors earned the prefix"Asthogadhwari" to their names.

He started his career as a Sanskrit teacher in 1946 but his heart was
set on what eventually became his life's mission- selfless service to
the cause of Srivaishnava Sampradaya especially that of Vedanta Desika.
The same year with the encouragement given by a scholar, he founded the
"Vaadhi Hamasambuda Maha Desika Sabha" and launched the monthly
religious journal "Sri Desika Seva" in 1948, devoted to popularizing
Srivaishnava philosophy and religion, of which he continues to be the
Editor.

Seva Swami's stint in the literary field started around the same time
and proficient as he is in five languages- Tamil, Sanskrit, English,
Telugu and Hindi- he took to writing seriously and has several works to
his credit, both original Kavyas, Stotras and commentaries on Desika's
compositions.

Another important work he undertook was the translation of the
Sampradaya literature into other languages.

Notable among his original works, which happen to be his masterpieces,
are his Sanskrit works "Vendetta Natheeyam" on Lord Venkateswara and 
"Varadabidana Sahasram" on Lord Varadaraja in 1008 and 1000 verses
respectively. Among the commentaries that on Desika's
"Yadhavaabhyudayam" is a marathon project running into several volumes.

His social commitment expressed  itself in several activities of which
the more important are his publication of the yearly almanac "Sri Desika
Darsana Diary", personal maintenance of the temple "Mani Mantapam" at
Villivakkam, Chennai, the nerve center of his various social and
religious activities which had been blessed by the visit of many Jeeyars
and eminent people and the founding of ""Sri Vedanta Desika Research
Center" for fostering spiritual values in the younger generation. 
Besides, he had been conducting classes in Sampradaya texts and Stotras
and also giving traditional discourses for the past 50 years under the
auspices of several institutions.

Honors an awards have come to him over the years from many institutions
all over the country notable among them being the conferment of the
titles of  Sahitya Ratna, Vidya Vinotha, Desika Rakshamamni, Daya
Sevaka, Desika Bhakta Ratnam, Samskrita Prachara Chatura, Tiruppavai
Thoomani etc., and the President's award for contribution to Sanskrit
literature in 1992.

Mention must be made about his singular contribution  of  publishing a
different Stotra of Desika  with meaning everyday during Desika's
seventh centenary celebrations and the commemoration volume brought out
on that occasion remains a testimony to his erudition and versatility.

Age has not withered Seva Swami's indomitable spirit to accomplish as
much as possible to further his cherished goal.

He is now engaged in translating Nammazhwar's "Tiruvoimozhi" in SANSKRIT
in 1000 VERSES and has promoted a unique campaign "Tirumaaligai Thorum
Desikan" to enable devotees to have the privilege of hosting the idol of
Desika in their residences to offer ceremonial worship, during the
course of this year.

His admirers have planned to celebrate his 76th Tirunakshatram, which
falls on April 12,1998. This happens to coincide with the completion of
50 years of his service to Desika Sampradaya.
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