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Sri Desika Prabhandham Tapes : A vote of Thanks !

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Fri Jan 30 1998 - 16:35:04 PST

Dear Members of the Bhakthi Group : 

Few days back , I had the good fortune of receiving 
the set of three tapes on Sawmi Desikan's Tamil 
Prabhandhams recited by Sri SevilimEdu SrinivasachAr
Swamy and Ghoshti with lucid and scholarly introduction 
by Sri NadAthUr Madhavan of Virginia . I understand that
Sri Dileepan of Tennessee was instrumental in recording 
the original tapes in India and that Sri Madhavan linked 
the Prabhandhams with his brilliant introductions  and 
used the most modern equipment to assemble  these tapes .
I want to express my sincere thanks for the invaluable 
contributions of Srimans Dileepan and Madhavan in making
these rare treasures available to us with the help of 
of one of the rarest and most competent groups 
reciting the NINTEEN Prabhandhams in the most
sampradhAyic manner . It is a thrilling experience 
to listen to these tapes and celebrate the sarva Tantra
Svathanthra aspect of Swami Desikan . The range and scope of 
the topics covered by Swami Desikan , his upadEsams to us 
and his moving salutations to the Divya Dampathis are 
captured very well by the introductions of Sri Madhavan 
as a compliment to the sonorous renderings by the Sevilimedu
Swami and Ghoshti . The availability of the original text 
of the Sri Desika Prabhandham  for down loading at
the web site maintained by Sri Dileepan (
dileepan/ahobilam.html ) is a great resource . We are 
grateful to him for spearheading this Kaimkaryam 
and enlisting Sri Madhavan to join in the acquisition 
of Sri VaishNava kaimkarya Sri . 

In the first tape , Taniyan , ThirupaalAndu and the Thiru avathAram
of Swami Desikan are covered . The 19 prabhandhams follow .
At the end of the third tape , Swami NainArAchArya's ( Sri Kumara 
Varada Desikan , the son of Swami Desikan"s ) tribute to 
his father and AchArya , PiLLai AndhAthi and Sattumurai are included .
This set of three tapes are a rare assembly of one of our Kula dhanams .
They have been priced at 25$ for the set , which is a thoughtful
gesture on the part of Srimans Dileepan and Madhavan .

For the benefit of those , who may not be familiar with 
the text of the Desika Prabhandhams , I will include a 
very brief description of the 19 prabhandhams covered by 
these tapes .For additional information ,I would like to refer
you to the excellent introductions to the individual prabhandhams
by Sri Madhavan . 

1. Adaikkala Patthu ( 11 paasurams ) : Swami Desikan"s 
prapatthi at the sacred feet of Sri VaradarAja PerumAL of Kanchi.
I had the good fortune to write about these paasurams recently . 

2. Maivirada MahAthmyam ( 29 Paasurams ) : Salutation to 
Sri VaradarAjA of Kaanchi and the greatness of satyavratha 
KshEthram ( Kaanchipuram ) .

3. MummaNik kOvai ( 10 Paasurams ) : Salutations to Lord
DevanAthA of Thiruvaheendrapuram . The doctrines of 
Sri Vaishnavism is embedded in the text .

4. NavamaNi Maalai ( 10 Paasurams ) : Salutations to
Lord DevanAthA of Thiruvaheendrapuram , where Swami 
Desikan spent many years of his life .

5. Prabhandha Saaram ( 18 Paasurams ) : Particulars about 
the 12 AzhwArs , thier birth stars and the month of births , 
their prabhandhams and salutations to Thiruvarangatthu AmudanAr ,
the author of Sri RaamAnuja NoorandhAthi are included . 

6 . AdhikAra sangraham ( 56 paasurams ) : In these 56 stanzas ,
the contents of the 32 chapters of Swami Desikan's magnum opus
is summarized. For great AchAryAs following Swami Desikan ,
the recitation of these verses is an important part of their 
daily life . Vangipuram Navaneetham KrishNamAchArya 
Swami used to recite them even , when he was incapacitated by 
a cruel stroke . Sri Srirama DesikAchAr swamy wa sthe gifted son
Of Sri KrishNamAchArya Swamy of Oppiliappan Koil
and wrote the commentary for the Desika Prabhandhams .

7. GeethArtha sangraham ( 21 paasurams ) : A metrical summary 
of the 18 chapters of GitA following the path shown by AlavandAr
in his pioneering commentary on GitA . Few months back , I had
the good fortune of posting number of articles on this Prabhandham 
of Swami Desikan . 

8 . Tirucchinamaalai ( 11Pasurams ) : Tribute to the divine
sound of Thirucchinnam , a musical instrument , used to
announce the approach of Lord VaradarAjA during 
the uthavams on the streets of Kanchi .

9. Amrutha Ranjani ( 39 Paasurams ) : It deals with the important
principles of Sri VaishNavA doctrine covered by Swami Desikan
in the 17 minor ( Sillarai ) Rahasya works such as Saara DeepA 
and SampradhAya parisuddhi .

10 . Amrutha SvAdhini ( 37 Paasurams ) : This deals with 11
minor rahasya works of Swami Desikan such as Saara Saara
and Madhurakavi Hrudhayam . 

11. Thirumanthira Surukku ( 10 Paasurams ) : The meaning of 
the sacred AshtAksharam .

12. Dvaya Surukku ( 12 Paasurams ) : This prabhandham deals 
with the purport of the Dvaya Manthram , sacred to Sri VaishNavAs. 

13. Charama SlOka Surukku ( 11 Paasurams ) : Deals with the 
essence of Prapatthi thru description of the Charama slOkam
of Srimadh Bhagavadh GitA .

14. Paramatha Bhangam ( 54 Paasurams ) : A refutation of 
the doctrines of sixteen rival Darsanams and the establishment 
of Sri VaishNavism as the soundest one among them 
for attaining Moksham .

15. Param padha sOpanam ( 21 paasurams ) : The nine steps in 
the ladder of ascent of the Mumukshu to parama Padham . 
I am covering the 8th and the ninth steps in SaraNAgathi Journal now .

16. Artha Panchakam ( 11 Paasurams ) : A coverage of the five
principles important to Sri VaishNavism : Nature of Isvara ,
Nature of the Soul , the means to reach the Lord , the fruit of 
our efforts to reach Him and the obstacles encountered 
in such an effort . 

17. PannirunAmam ( 13 Paasurams ) : This prabhandham covers  
the importance of wearing 12 Urdhva PundrAs in the daily life of
Sri VaishnavAs and their links to the twelve EmperumAns from  
KesavA to DamOdharA .

18 . VaiNava Dinasari ( 10 Paasurams ) : This prabhandham 
provides the details on the daily observances of a Sri VaishNavA . 

19 . Ahaara niyamam ( Commentary Only ) : These 21 verses 
deal with the prescribed diet of a Sri VaishNavA to maintain 
a saatvik life conducive to the pursuit of spiritual advancement .

In summary , this set of three tapes containing the authentic 
rendition of Swami Desikan's Tamil Prabhandhams with 
a scholarly introduction by Sri NadAthUr Maadhavan is a 
must for every AsthikA's home . The genuis of Swami Desikan in 
mastering the metrics of Tamil Poetry , His skills in constructing 
chandams with tALams , and most of all his extraordinary gift 
in summarizing and elaborating the esoteric doctrines of our
siddhAntham in easy -to-understand Tamil is abundantly clear .
These are some of the most valuable of our Kuladhanams .

May the divya Dampathis confer their choicest blessings on
Srimans Dileepan and Madhavan for their extraordinary 
contributions to make these tapes available to all of us .
May Swami Desikan crown the ongoing effort to have 
authentic renditions of His sthOthrams with success 
and bring it to a successful conclusion ! 

Swami Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan