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NainAchAryA's Thirunakshathram : August 27 , 1997

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Wed Aug 27 1997 - 18:33:33 PDT

Isvara Samvathsaram Simha SrAvaNa Month :
KrishNa Paksham  , Dasami thithi , Mrugaseersham

On this auspicious combination of Mrugaseersham and 
KrishNa paksha Dasami day after Sri Jayanthi celebration ,
a son was born to Swami Desikan at Thuppul . This was some 
700 years ago ! Like the lamp lit from a lamp , this blessed child
learnt all saasthrAs ( SalkalArtha GrahaNam ) and became 
the principal sishyA of Swami Desikan .The great ParamAchAryA
gave the name of his aarAdhana murhty , Sri Kanchi VaradarAjan 
to his only child . 

There is a tradition in Kanchipuram to call small children 
NayinA , NayinA . YasOdhA probably would have called 
her dear son , " NayinA " , if He were to be born in Kanchi .
Our ParamAchAryA , who blessed us with GopAla Vimsathi 
had a great affection for Sri KrishNA and hence it is no wonder ,
the child came to be called NayinA and then , when the child grew
up and took on the mantle of the father as an AcharyA in his own
right , he was called Sri NayinArAchAryar inspite of his given name
of Sri VardAchAryar .  The Lord of Kanchi blessed the child of His dear 
devotee with all SowbhAgyams and visEsha J~nAnam .

His reverence for his father poured out in the KattaLaikalitthurai 
verses known as " PiLLaiandhAthi " . There are 20 beautiful devotional 
verses in this AndhAthi composed by the dear son and sishyan 
of Swami Desikan .  Most of them are modelled after the verses
in RaamAnuja NoorandhAthi . Swami Desikan's reverence for 
Achaarya RamAnujA poured forth in the verses of YathirAja 
sapthathi . Sri NayinArAchAryAr 's devotional surrender to 
his AchAryA flowed in the 20 verses of PiLLaiandhAthi .
The adjectives and the allusions here are recognizable echos 
of Thiruvarangatthu AmudanAr's verses celebrating 
Achaarya RaamAnujA 's glory .

The essence of PILLaiandhAthi

1. We can not survive as Sri VaishNavAs unless we sing the glory of 
the compassion and genius of Swami Desikan .

2. The SiddhAntham ( Bhagavadh RaamAnuja SiddhAntham )
strengthened by him is the only one upAyam for our survival
as spiritual aspirants .

3 . Lord of the Seven Hills did indeed take birth as Swami Desikan .

4 . When we reflect upon the glory of Swami Desikan and the granthAs
with which he has blessed us and the way he showed us  to Moksham 
( Prapatthi maargam ) , all of our sins will fly far away .

5 . All auspiciousness will come about , when we take refuge at 
his sacred feet . There are no other means for our survival or 
spiritual advancement without his grace .

6 . Sri NayinArAchAryar goes on to pray to his AchAryA for 
the fruits of Moola Manthram and guile-free bhakthi and begs
for the residence of the subhAsrayam ( ThirumEni ) of Swami
Desikan in his mind always . 

7. Sri NayinArAchAryar then sings pallANdu to his AchAryA 
and concludes the prabhandham with the statement that 
those , who recite PiLLaiandhAthi with devotion would 
have the distinction of having Sawmi Desiakn's sacred feet 
on their heads as alankAram( bhooshaNam) and protection .

Taniyan saluting the author of PiLLaiandhAthi 

The pair of sacred feet  of Sri NainArAchAryAr are the refuge for us .
He is indeed the embodiment of all auspicious attributes .
He blessed the world with his PiLLai AndhAthi , a work in impeccably
pure Tamizh ( Sezhum Tamizh ) , which is the essence of the distillation 
of the truths of vEdhAs resulting from his deep study of the scriptures 
under the holy feet of his acharyA and parent , Sri Vedaantha Desikan .
I seek as refuge the redeeming feet of Sri VaradAchAryAr , who was 
affectionately called as NayinArAchAryar .

First Paasuram

NammAzhwAr had the sacred feet of the Lord on his head . 
MahA lakshmi resides without separation even for a moment 
on that Lord's chest ( ahalhillEn --) .The most merciful BhashyakArar , 
who had the well being of the jeevans of the world , sought the most blessed 
feet of NammAzhwAr as his means and fruit ( upAyama and palan )  .
Swami Desikan is the one , who praises whole heartedly the generosity
of that Sri RamAnujA , who blessed us with his Sri Sookthis such as
Sri Bahshyam , Gadhya trayams and other works . That Swami Desikan's
sacred feet are the decorations for my head .

This paasuram is based on the first paasuram of RaamAnuja 
Noorandhaathi ( poomannumaathu ) according to our purvAchhAryAs .

Second Paasuram 

O aasthikAs in the wide Universe ! Our heads should always 
be bent in worship of Swami Desikan . Our eyes should brim
always with happy tears over the joy of the sight of those sacred
feet of our AchAryA . If we are able to experience this anubhavam ,
then there is no doubt about us escaping from fierce hell and
enjoying the bliss of Moksha Sukham . 

In this verse , the pradhAna Sishya of Swami Desikan points out 
that the association ( sambhandham ) with the sacred feet of
Swami Desikan is the parama purushArtham for us .

Third Paasuram 
We do not have any other recourse except to eulogize the
limitless glory of Swami Desikan , who expressed his adoration
of Sri RamAnujA in many of his granthAs and saluted him clearly
for the instruction of parama hitham for the chetanAs from vedhams
and the derivative saasthrAs and pointed out the prapatthi maargam
as the most ennobling and unfailing mehtod for our deliverance 
from the horrors of SamsAric ills . 

Fourth Paasuram
This paasuram is an elaboration of the section of the invocation
of Swami Desikan (viz) , RaamAnuja DayApAthram . The krupA 
or the blessings and grace of RaamAnujA sustained Sawmi 
Desikan . He was the object of the limitless DayA of Sri RaamAnujA .
NainArAchAryar points out that his father and AchAryan is
" RaamAnusan aruL mEvi Vaazhum " vaLLal perumtahai . 
Both Sri RaamAnujA and Swami Desikan had Lord 
VaradarAjA as their  aaradhana mUrthy . 

( meaning of the Paasuram ) : Lord VaradarAjA arose out of 
the Yaaga vedhi of BrahmA at Kaanchi under puNyakOti 
vimAnam . Sri RaamAnujA had the distinction of worshipping 
that Varadhan . Swami Desikan had the distinction of being
the object of mercy of that AchArya RaamAnujan ; that dayA 
of RaamAnujan was the support and sustenance for Swami
Desikan . It is the blessed Sri Sookthis of the beneficiary of
Sri RaamAnujA's krupA and the intrepretations found therein 
provide us the means for our sustenance and survival . We can not
protect ourselves with anyother substitutes for our succor 
and rakshaNam .

Fifth Paasuram
SarvEsvaran ( Vatapathra Saayee ) was saddened by the chethanams,
which looked like insentients during mahA PraLayam and gave 
the jeevans a body and  J~nEndriyAs and created them . Afterwards , 
He gave them the SaasthrAs to serve as hand lamps to prevent them
from entering inauspicious paths . Even then He found that the chethanAs
did not develop true knowledge and therefore He took the archA 
form and stood on top of the ThiruvEnkatam hills , so that the samsAris
can see Him with their physical eyes and escape the cruelties of
samsAram . The recidivism of the samsAris interfered with 
their salvation and then He incarnated as VenkatanAthan at Thuppul
and instructed the world with his Sri Sookthis and pointed 
the sanmArgam with his upadEsams . Thereafter , the chEthanams 
of the world were blessed ,  travelled on the Godly path and 
were saved for once and for all througth he performance of
Prapatthi . 

This paasuram is related to the 41st paasuram ( MaNNmisai yOnigaL)
of RaamAnuja NoorandhAthi (RN) . 

Sixth Verse 
This verse is based on the 43rd paasuram of RN
( Surakkum Thiruvum ) . Here the glory of the sacred name of 
Sri NigamAntha MahA Desikan and its sanctity is referred to .

( meaning ) : Sri Desikan is skilled in every art and craft 
and hence is named Sarva Tantra Svathanthrar by the consort
of Sri RanganAthA . He is the master of the meanings of all
vEdhAs . He is the principal aachArya for the VedhAntha VidhyA 
known as Prapatthi . He was born out of the long penance of
ours at Thuppul agrahAram . He had the name of Sri VenkatanAthan . 
I reflect on the magnificient leonine roar that arose from his 
mouth that defeated all those , who questioned the authenticity
and accuracy of the Bhagavadh RaamAnuja SiddhAntham . Many
a wonderful vidhyA competed with one another to sit on the tip
of the tongue of this master and rushed out of there to defeat 
those  kudhrishtis , who   had vipareetha j~nAnam and  misintrepreted
the meanings of VedhAs . I meditated on these glorious attributes 
of this paramAchAryA and immediately all of my terrible sins ran
away , hid themselves somewhere  and never returned . Such is the glory
of my aachAryA , Swami Desikan ! 

Seventh Paasuram

O , My sins ! Swami Desikan , whose heart is filled with the auspicious
Sookthis of Sri RaamAnuja presides over my heart space . He resides there 
permanently . Therefore , please realize that you can  not harm me 
anymore as you used to before and find for yourself another place 
of residence away from my heart and move out quickly . 

This paasuram is the summary of the 30th verse of Periya ThiruvandhAthi
of NammAzhwAr ( Ingillai ) and PeriyAzhwAr's paasuram ( neykkudatthai ) 
according to commentators .

Eighth Paasuram
O Insignificant ones , who are deeply immersed in the evanescent
life of this terrible samsAra and miss out on the opportunity to
enjoy mokshAnandham ! You are getting lost in the labyrinth
of SamsAram and are moving quickly towards narakAnubhavam . 
Let me reveal you a upAyam to escape the roaring ocean of 
samsAram . Please listen carefully . The means to escape from 
the samsAric ills is to seek refuge at the feet of Swami Desikan 
and worship his sacred feet with bhakthi .

Ninth Paasuram 
This verse is related to the 32nd paasuram of RN .
The thiruvadi sambhandham of Swami Desikan 
is pointed out as a cure to the dhoshams of samsArA
and the means for the acquisition of auspicious attributes 
associated with the PrapannAs .

( Meaning ) : Those prapannAs , who sought refuge at the sacred 
feet of Swami Desikan , the Bhagavatha SrEshtA born in Thuppul
and known for his unfailing attachment to Sri RaamAnujA of
limitless kalyANa guNAs will be characterized by respect for 
bhagavathAs , modesty , sadhAchAram , sadhsangam ,
bhootha dayai . Dushta  sahavAsam , false knowledge , 
asoucham ( unclean status ) will stay far away from them .
Therefore , perform prapatthi to Swami Desikan and
become enlightened and lead the ideal life of a prapannA .

Paasuram 10

Until now , NaiynArAchArya praised the kalyANa guNAs 
of his aachArya , Swami Desikan . From this paasuram onwards ,
the author of PiLLai AndhAthi addresses his AchAryA directly and 
prays for his grace and  seeks specific boons .

(Meaning ) : O Thuppul Lord , who washes away the sins of those
who seek refuge at your holy  feet with your  rain of mercy ! O AchAryA ,
who corrects the unsaastraic conduct of those , who seek your
benovolence ! O Kalpaka tree for those , who understand your
limitless dayA and bless them with all the boons that they seek ! 
I am deeply immersed in the bottomless ocean of
samsArA and am roiled by it more and more . Please bless me
with the boon of your sevA , which will lead to the total destruction 
of my current sufferings . 

( To be continued ) 

Swami Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan