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abhinava dESika- Sri UttamUr Swamy Divya Charitham- 20

From: Madhavakkannan V (srivaishnavan_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Fri Jan 25 2002 - 00:12:07 PST

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

SrImAn venkatanAthAryaH kavitArkika kesarI |
vedAntAcArya-varyome sannidhattAm sadA hRdi ||

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

adbhutam yasya vikrAntam vEda vIthI ViSOdhanE |
aparam nigamAntAryam prapadyE vIrarAghavam ||

[Article in Tamil by SrI PayyampADi VEnkatavaradAchArya SwAmi; English write 
up (based on Tamil) 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]

SASHTIABDAPOORTI CELEBRATIONS:

Arrangements were going on to celebrate the Sashtiabdapoorti of Our
Swami in a grand scale by Sri.K.Bhashyam, Sri Achyuta Gopalachar
Swami, Sri Pulavanur Parthasarathy Iyengar Swami and others.  In the
meanwhile Our Swami had to refuse an invitation from Tarkika
Pandita, Narayana Iyengar for a series of Upanyasas as it was
interfering with the celebrations at Madras. Our Swami was at that
time living in Motilal Street, T.Nagar, and in the middle of the Sri
Bhashya Kalakshepa.  The celebrations were arranged to be held at a
specially erected pandal at Rameshwaram Road.  For five days prior to
that, Vedaparayana was conducted at Our Swami’s residence.  On the
Sashtiabdapoorti day Our Swami was taken in a procession to the Pandal 
headed by the photo of his Revered Acharya and the celebrations were 
conducted there, which was followed by Tadiyaradhana etc.

In the evening, meeting was held at Mylapore Sri Srinivasa temple, under the 
Presidentship of Sri Bhandarke Yatiswara, Madhva Sidhanta Stapanacharya and 
head of the Udipi mutt.  The eminent men like Sir
S.Varadacharya Swami, Sri D.R.Swami, Sri.Bhashyam, Sri.V.T.R.Swami,
Sri.G.Rangaswamy Iyengar Swami, Tirukudantai Chinnamu Saili Patrachar
Swami, Sri Madurantakam, Ichambadi Viraraghavacharya Swami and others
spoke in praise of the various granthas of Our Swami.  Sri Bhandarke
Swami also spoke in Sanskrit, recalling his early associations with
Our Swami.  Then, a purse was presented and all wished that, quite
soon, Our Swami would own a house in Madras.  Some of the old students of 
Our Swami at Tirupati, comprising of Madhva, Sankara and
Bhashyakara Sidhantas also took part and presented Sambhavanas to Our
Swami.

ABHINAVA DESIKA TITLE - (and other titles)

During the celebrations at Mylapore, Sri Desika-Srinivasa Temple, some 
Astikas from Tirupati came to Madras and took part in the
celebrations.  They expressed their disappointment, that they, in
Tirupati, could not get the opportunity to celebrate at Tirupati; but
were gratified to find that the Madras Astikas were doing it in a
grand manner and as they were also participating in it they felt that
the celebrations were theirs also.  After praising Our Swami for his
great service to the cause of Sanskrit as a Professor in the college
and for the Sampradaya at Tirupati, the Astikas in Tirupati felt that
the Title of ABHINAVA DESIKA should be conferred to Our Swami and they all 
felt that it was the will of Lord Tiruvengadamudaiyan also as they had taken 
the blessings and permission of the Lord before coming to Madras, in 
recognition of his service to the cause of Sri Desika Sampradaya.  They also 
said that the people of Tirupati had not heard, that a better Acharya had 
ever lived in Tirupati for the past so many generations, after Sri Desika 
himself, who had served the cause of Srivaishnava Sampradaya as Our Swami 
without expecting anything in return.

They all knew that Our Swami was having “Venkatesa Smaranam” all the
24 hours and would still be having, even though his body was in
Madras.  They were really very sorry that he decided to settle in
Madras as they were expecting him to devote his entire time to the
cause of Srivaishnava Sampradaya in and around Tirupati, especially
after retirement; but at the same time were also very happy that he
was doing much bigger and much wider service in Madras and the Astikas in 
Madras had recognized his greatness which he fully deserved. As they were 
bringing the title straight from the feet of Lord Tiruvengadamudaiyan whose 
GHANTA alone took the avatar of both Sri Desika and Our Swami, they are 
convinced that the Sadas would be happy to confer the title on him.  The 
scholars present said that all the people in the Sadas and everywhere had 
already started calling him Abhinava Desika and more than all that his own 
Revered Acharya Srimad Rangaramanuja Maha Desikan had already conferred this 
title on Our Swami when he blessed the TANIAN of Our Swami and called him 
“APARAM NIGAMANTARYAM”.  Now that they found that Lord of the Seven Hills 
had blessed the title they were doubly happy to confer the title.  It looked 
as if, Sri Desika himself wanted to confer the title in the presence of Lord 
Srinivasa, and so the official and public confirmation had been delayed so 
long till the Sadas met at the temple of Sri Desika at Mylapore.

It would be interesting to note that at many Kshetras where Sri Desika was 
enshrined but only in Mylapore temple Sri Desika
got a preference over Lord Srinivasa.  Only at Mylapore the temple was 
called “Desikan Sannidhi” and not Srinivasan Sannidhi.
We all known that in our Sampradaya Lord Almighty would be more
pleased if his devotee was worshipped in a fitting manner.  He may
even pardon a person if he had neglected to worship HIM, but not when
his Bhakta was neglected. Did not Madhurakavi Alwar get a place amongst 
Alwars when he declared that he would worship only his Acharya, Nammalwar?

One need not wonder at the intention of Lord Tiruvengadamudaiyan to
honour his Bhakta, Our Swami. The stalapurana contains the incident
of the Lord, refusing to accept the rich offering by the much loved
Mahant, with whom He used to talk every day, accepted the offering of
flowers of a lame potter at the foot of the Hills, flowers made of
clay as on the particular day, unusually the Mahant felt a little
proud about the richness of his daily offering.  Similarly, when Our
Swami retired, he never had a rupee save and he had only his VIDYA to
depend upon.  Naturally he could not offer anything else except his
Vidya in the form of a grantha, VEDANTA PUSHPANJALI, both as a
gratification for having had the opportunity to serve The Lord as a
Professor in HIS college but as a request to grant HIS blessings for
the successful completion of his life’s mission of Grantha Nirmana.
We could easily guess now how well the Lord had blessed him.  Our
Swami was very much pleased at the great honour done to him considered that 
only the blessings of his Revered Acharya got him all these.

Then, a purse was presented to him and the title of “ABHINAVA DESIKA”
officially conferred.  Our Swami felt that though the purse would be
very useful to him to hasten up his Grantha Nirmana work, the title
conferred on him was much more valuable.  Titles started pouring in
even before and after this, even though neither he sought after them
nor cared very much for them.  It may not be possible and necessary to 
enlist here all of them but a few titles would be worth mentioning.

During the Sashtiabdapoorti celebrations of his Revered Acharya, He
Himself conferred the title of “Ubhaya Mimamsa Vallabha”. Sri Desika Sabha 
at Tirupati gave him the title of Poorvottara Mimamsa Pradeepa”. Ayodhya 
Parishad honoured him with the title “Tarkarnava” in appreciation of Our 
Swami’s effort in writing a book for them.
Sanskrit Sahitya Parishad (North India) gave the title “Pandita
Ratna”.

Sri Abhinava Ranganatha Parakala Yatindra Maha Desikan, Head of the
Mysore Parakala Mutt, who used to admire Our Swami’s Vidwat, honoured
him with the title “Pandita Martanda” and gave him a gold medal
containing the image of Lord Lakshmi Hayagriva, the presiding Deity of 
Parakala Mutt, along with Sambhavanas.

At Kanchi Kshetra, during the festival in connection with the birth of 
“Ramanuja Daya Patram” which was graced by pandits like Ubhaya Vedanta 
Vidvan Navalpakkam Sri U. Ve. Narasimhacharya Swami, Goshtipuram 
Sri.U.V.Soumya Narayanacharya Swami etc. etc., the scholars present 
appreciated Our Swami’s efforts in spreading Sri vaishnava Sampradaya by 
training young scholoars and in recognition of his capacity to scrutinize 
the granthas with a critical and analytical mind utilizing such knowledge 
for publishing unending list of publications on Our Sampradaya with the sole 
intention of spreading Sri Desika Sampradaya, conferred the title, “Desika 
Darsana Dhurandhara”.

At Trivandrum the then Maharaja of Travancore, a patron of scholors,
invited Our Swami and honoured him with Ponnadai (shawl) and Sambhavanas, He 
himself was present at the function, and after the meeting, he was talking 
to Our Swami for a long time, as he himself was a scholar. At Triplicane, 
Sri Madhva Swamiji, Head of the Mantralaya Ragahavendra Mutt, invited and 
honoured Our Swami in a Sadas, presented Ponnadai (shawl) and purse and also 
conferred the title “PANDITA BHOOSHANA”.

Once again, the request from Karur was renewed, asking Our Swami to
accept a series of Upanyasas and this time it was accepted.  In the
middle of the Upanyasa Series, one day, Sri (Karur Pandit) Narayana
Iyengar  Swami arranged for a meeting of local Srivaishnavas and said
that the main purpose of bringing Our Swami there, was for requesting
him to accept writing a Khandana grantha for the book Sata Booshani.
As he had gone through the teaching Tarka Shastra to the local popular 
doctor, Sri Rama Sarma, using the book Kusumanjali with Our Swami’s 
commentary, he came to the conclusion that only Our Swami was fully 
qualified to undertake the work.  He immediately gave Rs.800/- to be treated 
as the first installment from him and his fried, Vakil,
Krishnaswamy Iyengar.  He requested that the book should be published
early, as he was very old and that he was eager to see the book
completed before his death.  After that, Sri Rama Sarma came, and
mentioned about his appreciation of Our Swami a copy of the book, a
commentary on Bhamati, written by his father, who was an Abhimana
Sishya of Sri Kanchi Sankaracharya Swami. After the end of the
Upanyasa at Karur and on return to Madras, one more offer came from
Sri A.V.Gopalachar Swami to write a khandana for the same book.

Then, Our Swami thought, that it was the wish of Sri Desika himself that he 
should undertake the work.  The book was started and in order to avoid delay 
in publishing, writing and printing were done simultaneously.


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