You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : February 2001

SriVaishnava Yati Sammelanam

From: sadagopan iyengar (sadagopaniyengar_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Mon Feb 12 2001 - 09:17:04 PST

vSrimathe srivanSatakopa Sri Vedantha yatindra maha
desikaya namaha.

Sri Vaishnava Yati Sammelanam

Sunday,11th feb was a red-letter day in the annals of
Srivaishnavism. The day witnessed a congregation of
ten illustrious Sri Vaishnava Yatis, to signify the
end of various internecine disputes that have plagued
the sampradaya so far. The meet also heralded the
birth of a new era of unity and hope.A brain child of
HH sri Vadikesari Azhagia Manavala Jeer of kanchi,the
coming together of the Yateeswaras belonging to the
various denominations of our sampradaya was the
culmination of His Holiness’ untiring toils in this
direction. Some of the other moving spirits behind
this marathon endeavour  were Sri Ramaswamy{advocate},
Sri SVS Raghavan,Sri MA.Venkatakrishnan, sri Velukkudi
Krishnan,Sri Rajagopalan,and others.

    The venue was the Vanimahal auditorium in
T.Nagar,Chennai and long before the proceedings began,
all the seats were filled and people were standing at
vantage points to catch a glimpse of the yatis as they
arrived. There was a devotionally surcharged
atmosphere and wherever one looked, one could spot a
thirumankappu. Nearly 3000 Srivaishnavas belonging to
both the kalais thronged the venue.The dais was
tastefully decorated and adorned with the photos of
the emperumans of the 108 divyadesas, and below
them,that of Sri Ramanuja, flanked by SriVedantha
Desika and Sri Manavala Mamunigal.
    
   The venerated Yatis who participated in the
Sammelanam were _Their Holinesses-Srimad Azhagiasingar
of Sri Ahobila Mutt, Srimad Andavan Srin Rangaramanuja
maha desikan, Sri Rangapriya desikan of bangalore,Sri
Vadikesari Azhagia manavala Jeer of Kanchi,Sri Varada
Etiraja Jeer of Sriperumbudur, Sri Embar Jeer of
Sriperumbudur, Sri Siriya Kelvi Appan Jeer of
Tirupati, the Azhwar Tirunagari Jeer,Sri Yadugiri
Yatiraja Jeer of Tirnarayanapuram, and Sri
RangaNarayana Jeer of Srirangam.All the Yateeswaras
had taken time off from their divine duties to
participate in the first ever such  holy
congregation.You could well imagine what a treat it
was to have a dharshan of all the Yati Sarvabhoumas on
the same stage. One was tempted to burst into song and
exclaim with Sri Nammazhwar-“Kandom kandom
kannukkiniana kandom, thondeer elleerum vareer
thouzhuthu thozhuthu nindru aartthum”.

              Priot to the arrival of the Yatis, to
engage the audience, divyaprabanda ganam was provided
by Sri Venkata varadan swami and party. Appropriate to
the occasion, the proceedings began with the majestic
chanting of ghanam and Aswamedha maha mantras by
Mukkur Sri Lakshminrsimhachar swami. Sri MA
Venkatakrishnan and Sri Velukkudi Krishnan , who acted
as comperes, gave introductory speeches ,succinctly
outlining the purpose of the conference. One notable
feature  was that all the speakers, including the
Yateeswaras, quoting Sri Nanjeer, dwelt on the need
for Sri Vaishnavas to adhere to the swaroopa niroopaka
dharma of empathy with all beings and para dukkha
dukkhitvam.The recent calamity in Gujarat found its
echo  at the meet and all the speakers urged for 
liberal donations to mitigate the hardship of those
who had lost their property and dear ones. A
two-minute silence was observed in memory of the
departed and, in more practical terms, a donation of
Rs.10000{as the first instalment} was announced for
the cause.
     The host Jeer( so to say) ,HH sri Vadikesari
Jeer, welcomed the other Sanyasins and the devotees
and gave a clarion call, in Tamil and English, for Sri
Vaishanavite unity.The audience ‘s response to this
call was a ringing and prolonged appalause, signifying
their  collective agreement with the Jeer’s noble
thoughts. This was followed by another rousing speech
by Sri Etiraja Jeer of Sriperumbudur ,which displayed
his multilingual felicity. Sri Sriranganarayana Jeer
,Sri Azhwar Tirunagari Jeer Sri Embar Jeer and Sri
Tirupati Chinna Jeer individually appealed to Sri
Vaishanavas to eschew all differences and stay united,
so that our great Sampradaya, fostered by Acharyas
like Sri Ramanuja, Sri Vedantha Desika and Sri
Manavala Mamunigal, could survive in the present-day
hostile atmosphere and flourish too. Then followed an
inspiring speech by the 93 year-young Sri Yatiraja
Jeer of Melkote, who, despite his advanced
thirunakshatram, took an active and inspiring part in
the proceedings and stayed from commencement to end.
Sri Rangapriya Maha Desikan, in his address,emphasized
the universality of the Narayana namam and its
acceptability to even the dvaitins and advaitins.His
far-reaching vision conceptualized the entire world as
one big Sri vaishnaivite family(Vasidaiva Kutumbakam).

         Srimad Azhagiasingar of Sri Ahobila Mutt, in
his anugraha bhashanam,outlined the crippling problems
confronting Sri Vaishnava Yatis today. He dwelt at
lengthover thedwindling revenue and mounting
expenses,making it difficult to maintain and manage
temples and mutts which had only land as their primary
source of revenue.He put forward  the suggestion that
the Government should take over unremunerative temple
lands and provide reasonable compensation therefor,
which would help in easing the liquidity position of
mutts and temples, and provide them with a steady 
interest income.HH emphasized that what was required
was Governmental assistance and not Governmental
interference.He also spoke of the difficulty in
finding fit persons both for administering temples and
for archaka kainkaryam.
        The concluding speech was delivered by HH
Srimad Andavan, who began with the vedic invocation
“Bhadram karnebhi:” and his inimitable ringing tones,
declared that the time had come for every Sri
Vaishnava to introspect, shed all inhibitions and past
baggage of disagreements and to focus on unity. A very
brief exposition of the Seer’s musical talent left the
listeners longing for more. Urging people to shed kala
bhedas, He attributed attempts by  some elements to
criticize Sri Desikan or Sri Mamunigal ,as misguided
and lacking in sampradayic gnana.

  The proceedings which began at about 11 am came to
an end around 3 pm, with the recitation of the
mangalam composed by Sri Manavala Mamunigal by Sri MA
Venkatakrishnan . Resolutions were passed with the
unanimous approval of the Yatisarvabhoumas,  setting
up a committee consisting of the representatives of
the Jeers , to discuss and decide on issues of common
interest and to liaise with the Government on matters
requiring their assistance.
As the sponsors emphasized, the Yati Sammelanam was
just the first step on the long road to Srivaishnavite
unity and there was an indeed ambitious programme on
the agenda. 
  One must say that even if it was a first step, it
was a giant step, having, as it did, the wholehearted
blessings of all the principal Yativaras of Sri
Bhasyakara Sampradaya.                      Dasan,
Sadagopan.


__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only $35 
a year!  http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/

--------------------------------------------------------------
           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
To Post a message, send it to:   bhakti-list@yahoogroups.com