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Year end Observations # 3

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Fri Dec 29 1995 - 19:23:53 PST

 Hello, This fortnight  has been very blessed indeed. My 
sister, a Vidhushi and  a disciple of  Sangeetha 
Kalanidhi K.V.Narayanaswamy as well as a devoted 
student of  Swami Desikan's works sent me a rare
manuscript known as Subhasita Neevi.Her name is 
Mrs. Padma Veeraraghavan. 

 My sister has set many of Swami Desikan's work to musicbefore
 and has taught them to many students. The Teacher and
 the students sing at Devotee's houses and collect money  
for one or other Kainkarya.

She has now humbly presented two Mutthu Kondais to
Srivilliputtur Aandal from such kainkaryam. .She is in the middle of 
a project to completethe construction of a Rathnaangi for Sri Oppiliappan of 
Thiruvinnagar, our birth place. A committee  of people under her
leadership collected close to 6 Lakhs of Rupees for  this Kainkaryam.
They hope to have it ready for presentation to the Lord during 
the Sarva Ekadsi/Sravanam day (March 15 ?). My earlier reference to
March 18 was incorrect as Sravanam day.She is also planning to
place at  the feet of Sri Bhooma Devi and Oppiliappan the monograph 
on 72 Kritis on their glories set in 72 Melakartha Ragas on that sacred day.

Coming back to Subhasita Neevi, this is what is known as  a  Neethi 
Nool or a Monograph on the rightful conduct in one's life. Swami Desikan
out of his compassion for the community created this  work in response to
a request  from  a king known as Singa Bhoopaalan. The king wanted Sadupadesam
or Instructions on the right and  wrong. Swami Desikan wrote this monograph
and  sent it to him. This work has 146 Slokas and is split into 12  sections.
 He devoted 5 of the 12 chapters to describe the state and behavior of the 
unrighteous. He focusses on the behavior of the Righteous in the rest of
the 7 chapters.

One of the great Bhaktas of Swami Desika by  the name Seva Swami of 
Villivakkam has translated the Subhasita Neevi and has  distributed 3,000
copies to Aasthikas at no cost.. He has his own printing press at Villivakkam.He
translated so many of Swami"s Kavyams, Stotrams before. He is  a great Sanskrit 
scholar and a poet. He is around 72 years in age and has built a temple for 
Sri Lakshmi Hayagreeva in Villivakkam. Some of you might know him. If you
do not know him already, please plan to meet him. He is such an inspiration to
talk to.
His address is :
Desika Bhakta Ratnam Sri Seva Srinivasa Raghavaacchaar
Sri Vedantha Desikan Research Center
2. Lakshmi Puram , Second Street
Villivakkam, Madras 600 049
Telephone: 626 8481.
His mottos in life are:
1. Translation of Swami Desikan"s Works in many Indian languages
2.Introduction of graded  self study courses  in Sri Vaishnavite culture
and tradition
3.Establish a  library of works on Alwars and Acharyas
4.Conduct/encourage research on Swami Desikan"s works
5.Conduct seminars, lectures to propagate the message of Swami Desikan.

He has  accomplished many of these goals already.Here is a Mahan
of the old fashioned type, who is worth prostrating for his scholarship and
life with admirable principles. 

Now coming back to Subhasita Neevi, the title of the chapters are:

A. Conduct of the Unrighteous
1.Anipuna Paddhati or the  state of the Asamartha ( simpleton)
2.Trupta Paddati or the state of the egotist
3.Kala paddhati or the state of the wicked
4.Durvrutta Paddati or the conduct of the one , who has gone  astray
5.Asevya Paddhati or the description of the one from  whom one should  
stay  away

B.Conduct of the righteous
6.Maha Purusha Paddhati or the state of the Mahaans
7.Samachitta Paddhati or the conduct of the Even-minded(Equanimity) 
8.Sadaasrita Paddhati or the conduct of those , who seek the righteous
9.Neetimat Paddhati or the conduct of one, who never
 transgresses the codes of conduct established by the righteous 
10.Vadhaanya Paddhati or the nature of the Generous(VaLLlgal )
11.Sukavi  Paddhati or the grammar of the good poet
12.Parikshita Paddhati or the conduct of one , whose 
mettle has been tested in the trials of life.

This brilliant work of Swami Desikan astutely sums up 
the codes of conduct for leading a righteous life marked by
harmony and nonviolence in  speech, thought or deed.
In many ways, this work  reminds one of his Vairaghya Panchakam,
where he turned down the offer of his class mate 
VidhyAranya, who wanted to save Swami Desiakn from poverty.
The irony of it is that Vidhyaranya took sanyasam later and became
 one of the most celebrated Peetathipathi of Sringeri Mutt .

Great Acharyas like Sri Ramanuja and  Swami Desikan not only
left scholarly works in defense of our Sampradhayam, but also 
gave us the codes of conduct for a harmonious Saatvic life to
follow the rich traditions of Sri Vaishnava religion.

I will attempt to translate selected verses of Subhashita Neevi 
from the Tamil  work of Sri Seva Swamigal in the new Year. Here is
 a sample from the Chapter on Maha Purusha Paddhati.


Among the righteous , the true Vaishnavan occupies the top rank.
They have the conduct of the liberated (Muktas). As in Sri Vaikuntam, 
here on earth also, they perform their duties for the pleasure of the Lord
and his Consort.They have practised Prapatti or Bhakthi and have gotten rid of
Samsaric bonds and shine thru their good conduct.Their minds are  clean and 
free  of rancor.They protect those, who seek refuge.They recite Pranavam or they
do pranava Japam always.The minds of these Maha Purushas are always
 rooted in thoughts about the Divya Dampathis.

Rest in the 1996!