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Abhinava Desika- Sri UtaamUr Swamy's Divya Charitham- 3

From: Madhavakkannan V (srivaishnavan_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Mon Dec 31 2001 - 01:46:46 PST

SrI:
Sri Padmavathi Sametha Srinivasa Parabrahmane Namaha.
Sri Perundhevi Sametha Devadhiraja Parabrahmane Namaha.
Sri Bhagavad Ramanujaya Namaha.
Srimate Rangaramanuja Maha Desikaya Namaha.
Srimate  Abhinava Desika Vatsya Satchakravarti Uttamur SRI
VIRARAGHAVARYA MAHA DESIKAYA NAMAHA

Thanian (Invocatory verse on Sri UttamUr swamy written by
Swamy's AchAryan Sri Kozhiyalam Swamy himself)

adbhutham-yasya-vikrAntham vEda-vIthi-viSOdanE |
aparam-nigamAnthAryam prapadyE vIrarAghavam ||

Let us continue with the divya charitham of Sri UttamUr
Swamy.

Article in Tamil by SrI PayyampADi VEnkatavaradAchArya SwAmi ; English 
Translation by SrI R.VenkatAchAri (SohattUr- Vankipuram -Oppiliappan 
Sannidhi), a disciple of SrI UtthamUr SwAmi. Appeared in the souvenir 
released during the SatAbhishEkam (80th birth anniversary) of SrI UtthamUr 
swAmi on 10th Feb, 1977

BIRTH: (Avatara of Abhinava Desika):

The parents of Our Swami, though had female children, were
not blessed with a male child, to perpetuate the Vamsa Parampara.  Just in 
the same way as Lord Tiruvengadamudaiyan appeared in the dream
of the parents of Nigamanta Guru, Sri Anantasuri and Totarambha and
asked them to come to Tirumalai for worship and finally blessed
them with a male child, our Nigamanta Guru, the parents of Our Swami had
the command of Lord Viraraghava Perumal and Kanakavalli Thayar,
enshrined at Tiruvellore, in a similar dream, asking them to come to
Tiruvellore for worship.  Our Swami's parents, went at once to
Tiruvellore and worshipped the deities and prayed for the birth of a son to 
them.  It is quite evident from the subsequent happenings in Our
Swami's Life that Lord Viraraghava Perumal should have blessed the
couple, as follows: "An illustrious son will be born to you, who will
not only propagate Sri Ramanuja Sidhanta and Sri Desika'w works but
also will strengthen the Srivaishnava Sampradaya by his profound
Knowledge, Achara and Anushtana; who will in no way inferior to Sri
Desika himself in his enthusiasm and vigour in the task of Grantha
Nirmana; who will be equal to, if not better, to Sri Desika, in
Vairaghya and Virakti; who will be hailed as the undisputed "Guiding Star" 
of our Sampradaya; who will be acclaimed as the authority in all
the Four Shastras; and in short, the birth of Sri Desika himself as
an Abhinava Avatara."  The couple, after worship, came back to Uttamur
village and in due course, gave birth to a male child, (Our Swami), in
the year Durmukhi, in the month of Makara and in Swati Nakshatra.  As
the son was born with the blessings of Lord Viraraghava Perumal of
Tiruvellore, the parents named him VIRARAGHAVAN; in the same
way as Sri Desika's parents named their son as Venkatanatha.

VIDYABHYASAM:

The  parents of Our Swami, in proper time, did the ANNAPRASANA,
CHOWLA, AKSHARABHYASA etc. with all care and interest. Without
sending the child to a regular village school, the father himself taught his 
son the Gadya-Padya Kavyas and also Arithmetic, English and Tamil.  At the 
Eighth year BRAHMOPADESAM was done.  Our Swami was very
keen and interested in performing all the rituals like Sandhyavandanam
and learnt at the feet of his father all that is necessary for a
Brahmachari.  At the age itself the illustrious father found the
extraordinary talent of the boy, his son, in Sahityas and also found
his keen intellect and sharpness in learning.  At the age of Thirteen,
Sri Swami's marriage was performed by the parents, the Bride,
Sowbhagyavathy Lakshmi, being the daughter of Ongoor, Velamur, Samagar,
Sri.U.Ve.Govindacharya.  After the marriage of Our Swami, his parents
decided to settle in Madurantakam town for the dual purpose of
worshipping Sri Raman enshrined at Madurantakam temple and also to
admit his son in the Sanskrit patasala there.

Incidentally, Madhurantakam, as we all know, is hailed as the "Dwayam
vilainda tirupathi" (Place where Dwaya Mantra was instructed by
Perianambigal to Sri Bhashyakara.).  Here Sri Perianambigal is enshrined
(inside the temple for Sri Raman) along with "Sri Bhashyakara-as a
Grihasta". This timely decision of Our Swami's parents, provided his
son, by the time a Budding Prodigy, chances to come into contact with
eminent pandits and scholars who adorned the Sanskrit Patasala at
Madurantakam.   At the time, the Sanskrit Patasala at Madurantakam had
the privilege of having as an instructor in Tarka Shastra,
SRI SWACHANDAM  TARKA BHASKARA, SRINIVASACHARYA SWAMI.  Our
Swami came into contact with the great Tarka-Shastra genius and it took
no time for him to detect the hidden genius in the boy.  He readily
took him as his disciple and Our Swami endeared himself to his master
very soon that the boy was treated more or less like a member of the
household.

Our Swami spent most of his time in Sri Swacchandam Swami's
presence like "an iron bit attracted to a magnet".

PANCHA SAMSKARAM:

By about this time Sri U.Ve.Paramahamsa Parivrajaka, Sri
Vedaantaramanuja Maha Desikan, popularly known as TIRUPATHI
SWAMI, during his Sanchara, came to Madurantakam.  Our Swami's
father approached him, fell at his feet and prayed to perform the
"Pancha Samskaram" for his son.  Sri Tirupathi Swamy, though felt
very glad, still instructed Our Swami's father himself to do the Pancha
Samskara to his son.  But Our Swami's father desired that he wanted
his son to come into the fold of Sri Tirupathi Swami, so that, his
son's Acharya Parampara for Brahmavidya Adhyayana also could be achieved
simultaneously.  Sri Tirupathi Swami then tested Our Swami
in Kavyas like Lakshmi Sahasra etc. and found out the hidden genius.
He then performed the "Samasrayana" and instructed Sri Swachandam
Swami to start lessons in Tarka Shastra without wasting even a
minute. Immediately an auspicious day was chosen and the budding
boy-prodigy was initiated into the mysteries of TARKA SHASTRA, by the
Tarka Shastra authority, Sri Swami had not wasted even a minute in
his stay at Madurantakam and had already studied CHAMPU NATAKA
GRANTHAS under Sri Garudapuram Swami, Srinivasa Maha Desikan, who in his
Poorvasramam was staying in the same town.  Side by side, Our Swami
studied VYAKARANA SIDHANTA KAUMUDI under Sri Tiruvengadacharya
Swami.  Our Swami did not neglect the VEDA ADHYAYANAM also.  He joined
other students and learnt UPAUKTA VEDAMSAM, ACHIDRAM, ASWAMEDHAM
and a few Kandas in SAMHITA.  But Sri.Swachandam Swami did not
encourage Our Swami in Vedadhyayanam as he felt that his study of Tarka
Shastra will be hampered and delayed and also felt that the boy's genius
will be better utilised in learning Shastras.

At that time, Sri Kothimangalam Tirumalai Nallan Chakravarti Gopalacharya 
Maha Desikan who specially was invited to Madurantakam for this purpose.  In 
spite of that, Sri Swachandam Swami devoted enough time to give instructions 
in Tarka to our Swami.  Sri Swachandam Swamy himself studied Tarka Shastra 
under the famous MYSORE DHARMADHIKARI RAJAVALLABHA TARKA VEDANTA SHASTRA 
SUPRASIDHA Sri.U.Ve.KASTURI RANGACHAR SWAMI.  While the Tarka lessons were 
going on, Sri Swachadam Swami had a request and offer from MAHAMAHOPADHYAYA 
KUPPUSWAMI SASTRIGAL, to join the Sanskrit college at Tiruvaiyyaru as the 
Professor in Tarka.  With a little persuasion, Our Swami's father, in the 
beginning hesitated to send his only son away from him, he being a scholar 
himself, knew that ("Aarambhasya antagamanam, Dvitiyam Budhilakshanam.") job 
once started should be completed at any cost and finally agreed to send his 
son to Tiruvaiyaru.

Let us read further in the next part :-)
AchAryan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Regards
Namo Narayana
aDiyEn dAsan

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