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Sway Desikan-7-Necklace of pearls of tattvas-Tattvamuktakalapa- thUppul maNdapa

From: Madhavakkannan V (
Date: Fri Aug 10 2001 - 05:43:22 PDT

SrImathe Ramanujaya namah:
SrImathe Nigamantha mahadesikaya namah:
SrImAn venkatanAthAryaH kavitArkika kesarI |
vedAntAcArya-varyome sannidhattAm sadA hRdi ||

May the glorious Venkatanatha, the greatest of teachers of Vedanta, and the 
lion among poets and debaters, reside forever in my heart.

Dearest Srivaishnavas,

I am continuing on my appeal and posts on Swamy Desikan and appeal for 
Thuppul mandapam kaimkaryam.

There has been an overwhelming response after my 6th post and there are many 
Bhagawathas pledging to contribute. Blessed are they with such generous 
hearts. May Acharya bless them, as He does always.

It is my humble request to please contribute your mite towards this 
kaimkaryam, as remembering Acharyan, and talking alone will not suffice.

Let us continue to enjoy Swamy’s GREAT works.

Swamy Desikan wrote 12 works in Sanskrit which can be grouped under three 

Under the first group, are included seven independent works, all on 
philosophy of VisistAdvaita. Among these, the Tattvamuktakalapa, with his 
own commentary Sarvaartthasiddhi, bears the impress of the original thinker 
and untiring indicator of the system of Sri Ramanujcharya. The text contains 
five hundred stanzas in five chapters called rightly sara (strand) as they 
from part of the necklace of tattvas.

Of the philosophical treatises of Vedantha Desika, this Tattvamuktakalapa 
stands out as the most important work. This work, consisting of saras 
(strands) of five major topics, namely dravya (substance), jIva (individual 
self), Iswara (Gold), Buddhi (knowledge), and adravya (non substance), is 
compared to pearl necklace with all these strands (saras) combined, 
beautifully and coherently. This is an ornament (kalapa) of pearls (mutthu- 
muktha) of tattvas (philosophy). What a name chosen by Desikan, so apt and 

According to tradition (writes Sri SMS Chari in his book on Fundamentals of 
Visishtadvaita Vedantha -a study based on vedantha Desikan’s Tattvamuktha 
kalapa), this work was written and dedicated by Vedantha Desikan to Lord 
Ranganathan in the same way as an ornament is offered to God in devotion. 
This book is therefore referred to and described as a special ornament 
(bhUshaNam), comprising pearls in the form of Tattvas or metaphysical 
doctrines of the VisishtAdvaita Vedantha.

In Vishnu purana, the different tattvas such as individual soul, Prakariti, 
mahat, buddhi, mind, indriyas, etc., are described as different ornaments of 
Iswara (God). It is therefore justified to treat this book 
(Tattvamuktakalapam) as a SPECIAL ornament of God – says Sri SMS Chari 
quoting from Introduction to Tattvamuktakalapam by Sri U Ve Uttamur 
Veeraraghabvchariar Swamy.

The main objective of Tattvamuktakalapa, as stated in one of the opening 
verses, is to establish the doctrines of Visistadvaita Vedantha on a sound 
basis through a critical evaluation of the corresponding doctrines advocated 
by rival schools of thought. It covers all the important philosophical, 
epistemological, cosmological and religious doctrines of the Visistadvaita 
Vedantha system. As Vedantha Desikan claims (says Sri SMS Chari in his book) 
there is no topic in philosophy which is not discussed in this work. What is 
not considered here can not be found elsewhere (yannaasmin kvapi naitat). 
This reflects the statement made by Sage Vyasa in Mahaabharatha: yad ihaasti 
tad anyatra; yan nehaasti na tat kvachit..

In the concluding potion of work, Swamy Desikan says: I have examined in 
this work, very carefully almost all topics relating to both pramaaNams and 
pramEyams at some place or the other. Until this day, the only source of 
authority for deciding any controversial philosophical and epistemological 
issue in Visistadvaita Vedantha is the views of Vedantha Desika as expressed 
in Tattvamukta kalapam and Sarvaartha siddhi. Truly Tattvamuktakalapam, is 
an important compendium of all topics in Visishtadvaita.

The schools of thought which come up for critical evaluation in 
tattvamuktakalapam are:
NyAya and VaishEshika, Saankhya and Yoga, Poorva mImAmsa of both Prabhaakara 
and Kumaarila, Vedantha as presented by Bhaskara, Yaadava and Sankara, 
Buddhism covering the four schools of Vaibhashika, Sautraantika, Yogaachaara 
and Maadhyamika, Jainism and Chaarvaakam.

Only such of the theories of these schools as stand opposed to those upheld 
by the Visishtadvaitn are taken up for critical examination. The main 
objective of the criticism is to expand the doctrines of Visishtadvaita and 
reaffirm their soundness by exposing the defective nature of the 
corresponding theories held by the rival school of thought. The theories are 
subjected to critical analysis in a very systematic manner and their 
soundness is evaluated with reference to three accepted pramaaNaas – 
perception, inference and revealed scripture. What is evident to perceptual 
experience is not rejected as invalid. In matters, which are outside the 
purview of perceptual experience, scriptural evidence is accorded greater 
importance than perception as well as logic while determining the validity 
of a theory.

As for inference, it is acknowledged that it has a limited role since logic 
cannot establish conclusively the supersensuous realities. However, logic is 
adopted to support the theories established by scripture.

NOWHERE in this work, does Vedantha Desikan adopt dialectical arguments to 
condemn a theory of the rival schools in a dogmatic manner, but rather he 
uses them to elucidate and establish the soundness of Sri Ramanuja Darsanam 
(the unparalleled VisishtAdvaita Vedantha) by pointing out the defects in 
the views of the opponents. (Readers are highly recommended to buy this book 
of Sri SMS Chari’s on Fundamentals of Visishtadvaita based on Swamy 
desikan’s Tattvamuktakalapa.- This is an excellent book and is lucidly 
written. )

Swamy Desikan Himself has written a commentary on Tattvamuktakalapam called 
‘Sarvaarthasiddhi’. As the title signifies, it contains all that is to be 
known by a student of philosophy. It is a very scholarly and comprehensive 
commentary, exhibiting author’s encyclopaedic knowledge of all systems of 
Indian philosophy. This is very much evident from the way he has stated 
succinctly the views of the other schools of thought by quoting the relevant 
statements from their original worksJ According to tradition, Swamy Desikan 
was conferred the title Sarvagnan- as one possessing comprehensive knowledge 
par excellence – on the basis of his masterly work, Tattvamuktakalapa and 

Please donate according to your shakthi. The money can be sent to "Thuppul 
Trust" and the address is:

Thuppul Trust
Old No.20, New No.24, Thiruvengadam Street
West Mambalam, Chennai-600033, India
Phone No: 91-44-4741559 / 91-44-3715771

Please contact Sri. V.K. Sudharshan at or Sri Lakshmi N 
Srinivasa (He can collect and send it as single amount 
in USA).

The address:

Lakshminarasimhan Srinivasa
3 Old Towne Road, #212
Ayer, MA-01432

For those in the South East Asia, please contact me at . Please pass on this kaimkaryam to as many people 
as possible in order to complete the same.

kavi-tArkika-simhAya kalyANa-guNa-SAline |
Srimate venkateSAya vedAntagurave namaH ||

Salutations to Sri Venkatesa, in whom all perfection resides, who is the 
teacher of Vedanta and the lion among poets and debaters!

Swamy Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Narayana Narayana
NarayaNa dAsan madhavakkannan

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