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Re: No No !! Number One Divya dEsam - Srirangam

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_best.com)
Date: Fri Aug 21 1998 - 18:41:06 PDT

> If Swami 
> Desikan (an Avataram of Lord Srinivasa) had not safely transported the 
> idol of Ranganatha to Satyamangalam, there would be nothing left of our 
> Sampradayam in Srirangam to talk about. 

Dear Murali,

Is there a historical reference for this? Sri Vedanta Desika
is known to have left Srirangam during the Muslim invasion
with Sudarsana Suri's two sons and the manuscript of Suri's
"SrutaprakASika".  It was Pillai Lokacharya who fled with
namperumaaL, the Srirangam utsava mUrti.  With a small party
of kinkara-s, Sri Lokacharya traveled with namperumaaL until
a village called jyOtishkudi, where due to old age and 
exhaustion he died and permanently attained the Lord's feet.

>From here, namperumaaL was taken eventually to Tirumalai
and was installed in the "ranga maNTapa", which is on the left
side near the dhvaja-stambha as one proceeds for sEvai of
Lord Srinivasa.  namperumaaL's presence here is what 
transformed Tirumalai fully into an authentic Sri Vaishnava
kOyil -- only after He graced the malai was there regular
recitation of the Divya Prabandham and performance of
grand utsavams in the Pancaratra style.  Previously, the
priests of Tirumalai, who follow the Vaikhanasa Agama for
their temple rituals, did not encourage or engage in 
pArAyaNa of the Divya Prabandham.

Sri Desika traveled with the two sons of Sudarsana Suri
to satyamangaLam.  After spending some time here, it is
recorded that he went to tirunArAyaNapuram and was there
[please correct me if I am wrong] until he received news
that a Vijayanagara general had defeated the Muslims and
that Srirangam had been liberated.  This was at least 30 to
40 years later, and I am sure Desika traveled around in
the intervening years, visiting other Divya Desams. It is
said that he also visited North Indian kshetras.

Upon receiving word of Srirangam's liberation, Desika returned
to see his beloved Ranganatha restored to His rightful spot.
There is a sloka composed by Desikar that is inscribed on the
walls of the Srirangam temple commemorating the reconsecration
of Srirangam after its liberation.

So, Desika played a vital role in protecting the sampradAya
during these terrible times, and was present for Ranganatha's
return. But it was Sri Lokacharya, from what I have read, who
personally whisked away namperumaaL to safety.  Yet again a
wonderful division of labor by our ancient acharyas!

Mani