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Tirunakshatram of Poundarikapuram Andavan

From: Ram Anbil (ramanbil_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Wed Aug 05 1998 - 11:21:14 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas,
Today is the Tirunakshatram of Sri Srinivasa Maha Desikan, the founder 
of Poundarikapuram Andavan Ashramam, Srirangam. I humbly submit a brief 
write up on the life and times of this great Mahan.
Dasoham
Anbil Ramaswamy
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SRIMAD POUNDARIKAPURAM ASHRAMA ANDAVANS
(who were common to Poundarikapuram Asramam and Periyaasramam):
SRI SRINIVASA MAHA DESIKAN (Adi-Pooradam) (26-8- 1847 - 20-10- 1934 AD)
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(VED): "Among the famous Divya Kshetras is Tiruvinnagar whose presiding 
deity is Lord Srinivasa. His praise has been sung by Peyalwar, Nammalwar 
and Tirumangai Alwar. Nearby is situated Poundarika Puram, a fertile 
village set in sylvan atmosphere. It is inhabited by Sri Vaishnavas 
devoted to the Lord of Oppiliappan Koil. Among these pious souls were 
one Sri Perumal Iyengar and Senkamalth ammaal to whom was born as the 
7th son in the year Sowmya, Adi month 
and Poorada Nakshatramand named after Lord Srinivasa, the presiding 
deity of  Oppiliappan Koil. Later, he was given in adoption to his 
paternal uncle.

After Upanayana Samskara, he learnt Sanskrit under one SriRangachariar
Swami. Later, he studied Alankara, Vyakarana, logic and Mimamsa Sastras 
and Sri Bhashyam under many distinguished teachers (e.g.) Tarkam 
Narasimhachariar,  his father Rangachariar, Kurichi Ranganathachariar 
and Sogattur Vijayaraghavachariar. 

He became an accomplished scholar in all these Sastras. He received his 
Pancha Samskara from Gattam Sri Varadachariar Swami, one of his 
teachers. He  sat at the feet of Velianallur Andavan Sri Narayana Maha 
Desikan and specialized in Vedanta Sastras. Later, he went n a 
pilgrimage to all Divya Desas from Kanyakumari to Tirupati.

He married one Vadakarai Komala Ammaal and stayed at Poundarika Puram. 
Though born in a wealthy family, he led a simple austere life. After the 
passing away of his mother at a ripe old age, he arrived at Srirangam 
and settled with his family, practicing a strict code of conduct 
characteristic of a devout Srivaishnava. Many disciples from far and 
near flocked to him to study Sahitya, Alankara, Logic, Mimamsa Sastra, 
Sri Bhashya and other subjects.

Once, he felt a demanding inner urge to shake off his worldly 
attachments. He made adequate provision for his wife’s maintenance and 
also for expenses in connection with the feeding of Srivaishnava 
pilgrims at Oppiliappan Koil.

Then, he proceeded to Vennar Bank and prostrated himself at the feet of 
Sri Veliyanallur Anadavan. The Acharya acceded to his repeated 
entreaties and administered Prapatti Prayoga and admitted him into the 
holy order of ascetics.

He proceeded to Srirangam and stayed at Periyaasramam where he collected 
a good number of disciples around him. But, he felt greatly anguished 
when obstacles were put in his path of discharging his duties as an 
Acharya. He decided to leae Srirangam and go to another place which 
would be congenial to him. When the disciples came to know this, they 
prevailed upon him to continue his stay at Srirangam. Through their 
efforts, a separate Asrama was set up and it came to be known as the 
"POUNDARIKA PURAM ANDAVAN  ASRAMAM".

>From here, he continued his mission. The Asramam under Sri Srinivasa 
Maha Desikan was a center of religious activities and philosophical 
discussions.

The Acharya was an erudite scholar in Vedaanta Sastras; he possessed an 
extraordinary power of mind by which he could accurately recall any 
passage, sloka or Sutra with ease. 

Our Swami was well known for his Mantra Siddhi. When the present 
Sri Rangapriya Swami was a child, he was  deaf-mute. Once, when his 
parents went to offer  their respects to our Swami, the boy ran into the 
Acharya  who was delivering a Kalakshepam. The parents explained the 
plight of the boy.  Our Swami took the boy on his lap and recited Swami 
Desika Tanian " Sriman  Venkata Naathaarya" and Hayagriva Mantram 
‘Gnaanaananda Mayam Devam". 

To the astonishment of onlookers, the boy who was totally deafmute and 
could not  utter a word so far, suddenly started speaking and repeated 
the Mantrams.  Later, our Swami did his Akshrabhyasam. 

It is this boy who grew up to be celebrated as Sri Rangapriya Yathi who 
has  his Ashtanga Yoga Vignaana Mandiram at Bangalore.

Many learned scholars came to study Adhyatma Sastras under his feet. 
Among them was one ANBIL GOPALCHARIAR SWAMI, a renowned Sanskrit scholar 
who spent nearly 42 years at the feet of Srimad Andavan listening to his 
elucidation of Sri Bhashya and other Granthas. As a
tribute to the Acharya’s profound knowledge and understanding, Sri Anbil 
Gopalachariar instituted an endowment under a trust to conduct an Annual 
Vidwad Sadas known after Sri Srinivasa Maha Desikan. A scholar of great 
merit, Sri Anbil.V.Gopalachariar brought out  the publication of many 
Granthas based upon the knowledge and clarifications he received from 
Srimad Andavan.

Kozhiyalam Raghavachariar Swami came to Srirangam and sought Sannyasa 
Sweekaranam. Our Swami initiated him into Turiya Asramam in 1920- 
Roudri- Ani- Pournami.

The Aasthaana Vidwan of Tirumalai- Tirupati Devasthanam, Kapisthalam 
Desikacharya  submitted his Grantham- " Adhikarana Ratna Maalai" which 
our Swami approved.

A firm adherent of the "Satsampradaya" as enunciated by Swami Desikan, 
Srimad Poundarika Puram Andavan was an exemplar  of ethical excellence, 
ceremonial purity and righteousness. He attained the lotus feet of his 
Acharya in Chaturdasi in the year Bhava-month of Aippasi, that is on 
20th October 1934.

His Tanian reads as follows:
Sri Narayana Yogindra Varadaarya Kripaasrayam /
Rangesa Paada Vinatham Srinivaasa Munim Bhaje //
(meaning)
" I hail Srinivasa Muni who obtained the full grace of Sri Narayana 
Yogindra Varaaarya, who always bowed at the feet of Lord Ranganatha"

[Authority: VED: Veda Malar issued in connection with the Centenary 
Celebrations of Vennatrankarai Andavan and VMM: Vedanta Madukara Malar
 issued in connection with the 151st Tirunakshatram Celebrations of Sri 
Srinivasa  Maha Desikan, the founder of the Poundarikapuram Andavan 
Ashramam]
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