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Swamy Desikan-3 (Tamil prabandhams)- Thoopul Mandapam kaimkaryam appeal

From: Madhavakkannan V (srivaishnavan_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Fri Jul 13 2001 - 05:57:38 PDT

SrI:
SrImathe Ramanujaya namah:
SrImathe Nigamantha mahadesikaya namah:

SrImAn venkatanAthAryaH kavitArkika kesarI |
vedAntAcArya-varyo me sannidhattAm sadA hRdi ||

May the glorious Venkatanatha, the greatest of teachers of Vedanta, and the 
lion among poets and debaters, reside forever in my heart.

Dearest Srivaishnavas,

I am continuing on my appeal and posts on Swamy Desikan.

Recently there was an appeal (sent by Sri VK Sudharshan) forwarded by Sri 
Diwakar Kannan on Thoopul MaNdapam kaimkaryam by Smt Shantha Kalyanarangan 
of Thoopul trust. Sri Lakshmi N. Srinivasa also has created a web site for 
this trust and also for this special kaimkaryam for Thoopul Pillai.

URL: http://www.geocities.com/lsriniva/thoopulappeal.html
It is my humble request to please contribute your mite towards this 
kaimkaryam, as remembering Acharyan, and talking alone will not suffice.

Sriman Nigamantha Mahadesikan composed 19 works in Tamil called Tamil 
prabandhams.

Amrutha Ranjani- 39 verses in tamil. All of them occur at the beginning and 
end of his 17 works written in maNipravALam (a blend of Sanskrit and Tamil). 
They are pleasing like amirtham (nectar) and hence the title.

Let us enjoy one sweet verse:
nin aruLaam gathiyinRi maRRonRillEn/ nedun~ kaalam pizhai seydha nilai 
kazhindhEn/
un aruLukku inidhaana nilai pugundhEn/ un saraNE saraN ennum thuNivu 
pooNdEn/
manniruLaay ninRa nilai enakku theertthu/ vaanavar magizcchi thara varitthEn 
unnai/
innaruLaay ini enakkOr bharamERRaamal en thirumaal adaikkalam koL ennai 
neeyE

There is no other recourse except Your Grace. I am able to get rid of the 
long accrued sins over the ages from time immemorial for so many births. I 
am blessed to be the recipient of Your Grace. (Due to Your limitless 
unbounded Grace) I have surrendered to take refuge at Your Feet. Much to the 
enjoyment of Nithyasooris and muktha JivAthmAs, I have placed you in my 
heart, and been able to dispel the darkness and ignorance. Please do not let 
me bear any more burden (of further births) and please enslave me (by 
accepting my SaraNAgathy).

A sweet Pasuram! (Please forgive me for my free translation!)

The second work is Adhikara sangraham, which contains 56 Tamil verses, all 
in the form of summaries of the 32 chapters (called adikaram) of Swamy 
Desikan’s magnum opus, Srimath Rahasyathraya saram.

The third work, AmrithaswAdhini, has 37 verses beginning with Saarasaara and 
munivaahana bhOgam that are written in maNipravaaLam.

Paramatha Bhangham (Refutation of other schools of thought)

In the Paramatha Bhangha Rahasya which is in twenty-four chapters Sri Desika 
has done a great service to the cause of VisishtAdvaita as propounded in the 
earlier scriptures by Sri Ramanuja and his AchAryAs.

In the first chapter of Paramatha Bhangam, the necessity to acquire correct 
knowledge of philosophy and religion is described, the next 3 chapters (2,3, 
4) describe the tatva, Hita, and Purushaartha (Reals, means and Goal). The 
next 15 chapters are devoted to an elaborate treatment of 15 systems of 
philosophy as follows:

Lokaayatrika
Madhyamika
Yogacaara
Sautranika
Vaibhashika
(all the above five under Buddhisam)
Prachanna Bouddha (Advaita)
Jaina
Bhaskara
Vaiyakarana
VaishEshika
Naiyayika
Nireeswara meemAmsa
Nireeswara Sankhya
Paasupatha

The doctrines of these systems are faithfully described as propounded by 
them, and then refuted on the basis of the authority of the scripture as 
taught by the earlier AchAryAs and accepted by Swamy Desika. The validity of 
Bhagawath Saasthra is established as taught by Baradarayana and other 
ancient sages. The next two chapters are devoted to the arguments in other 
schools of thought in favor of the means and the goal as accepted by them 
and then they are refuted. The last is conclusion.

In the respective chapters on each school of thought, their doctrine is 
given first. Then it is stated how they are against Vedas and other 
scriptural texts and so they can not be taken as authoritative. At the end 
of the final view according to VisishtAdaita is given.

PARAMAPADA SOPAANAM (article on this was written by Sri U Ve VS Karunakaran 
swamy for Sri Poundarikapuram Srimad Andavan151st Jayanthi malar )

Paramapada sopanam is one of Rahasya Granthas of Swamy Desikan. Rahasya 
granthas mean Secret texts, which are meant to be studied at the feet of a 
qualified preceptor by disciplined students with devotion. Swamy Desikan 
used maNipravALam medium here.

Title: According to Srutha prakAsika, the word Parama Pada mean:

i) Supreme Lord Sriman narayanan
ii) His eternal abode that can be inhabited only by the emancipated soul.

Sopanam in Sanskrit means stair case. So the title Paramapadha sopanam means 
Stair case to reach the Parama padham.

Sources of Inspiration:

Tradition has it that Sri Ramanuja once stated that a winding stair case 
could have been erected for all souls to climb to the eternal abode of the 
Lord if only he and his paramacharya Alavandhar had had the opportunity to 
live together for some time. There is another anecdote attributing Bhattar 
as having stated that only if he could live for some more time, he would 
have erected a winding stair case to the Parama padham. In Vajapeya 
sacrifice, it is prescribed that the sacrificer climbs the Yupasthamba with 
the help of a ladder and chants manthras with both hands up saying “I 
reached the heavenly abode”. Swamy Desikan might have blended the anecdotes 
with this act prescribed in Vajapeya sacrifice and built this concept of 
stair case to Parama Padham. One may incidentally note that the rahasya 
called archiraadhi of Pillai Lokacharya and Paramapadha sopanam of Swamy 
desika complement each other.

Structure of the text:

The text if made up of nine chapters. Chapters are called “parvas” meaning 
steps keeping in line with the name “stair case “ given for the work. The 
nine steps are:
1.vivkea (Discrimination)
2.Nirveda (disgust)
3.Virakti (dispassion)
4.Bheethi (Sensitization)
5.Prasadana (Pleasing or Propitiation)
6.Utkiramana (Departure)
7.Archiradhi (the route starting)
8.Reaching the divine region
9.Union with the Supreme

We will continue with this in next post

Please donate according to your shakthi. The money can be sent to "Thuppul 
Trust" and the address is:

Thuppul Trust
Old No.20, New No.24, Thiruvengadam Street
West Mambalam, Chennai-600033, India
Phone No: 91-44-4741559 / 91-44-3715771

Please contact Sri. V.K. Sudharshan at vksudarsh@vsnl.com or Sri Lakshmi N 
Srinivasa  lsriniva@hotmail.com (He can collect and send it as single amount 
in USA).

The address:

Lakshminarasimhan Srinivasa
3 Old Towne Road, #212
Ayer, MA-01432

For those in the South East Asia, please contact me at 
srivaishnavan@hotmail.com . Please pass on this kaimkaryam to as many people 
as possible in order to complete the same.
kavi-tArkika-simhAya kalyANa-guNa-SAline |
Srimate venkateSAya vedAntagurave namaH ||

Salutations to Sri Venkatesa, in whom all perfection resides, who is the 
teacher of Vedanta and the lion among poets and debaters!

Swamy Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Regards
Narayana Narayana
adiyEn Narayana dAsan madhavakkannan
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