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Para Matha Bhangam

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Tue Jun 06 2000 - 13:30:38 PDT

Dear BhakthAs :

The hilarious typo relating to "Para Matha Bhangam "
generated a query about what is " Para Matha Bhangam ".
The word "Madham " should also be replaced by "Matham ".
madham means intoxicated , where as Matham means 
creed or religious belief. 

Here are some background Notes on "Para Matha Nhagam ":

*** Para Matha Bhangam (PMB) is a rahasya grantham 
composed by Swamy Desikan on the fifth day of Thai moonth,
when he accompanied Uthsavar of Lord DevanAthan to 
an Uthsavam in a village on the banks of PeNNai river.
Many Tamil Scholars belonging to the Jain faith 
were in this and other neighboring villages ;they they were
jealous of the scholarship of Swamy Desikan .These 
jealous souls joined together with members of other mathams , 
(Para Mathams) which were intolerant of VisishtAdvaitham  
and invited Swamy Desikan to debate with them about 
the supermacy of VisisshtAdvaitham over their own faiths. 

Swamy Desikan debated the scholars of other faiths 
and defeated them resoundingly by pointing out 
the indisputable dhOshams (defects , fallacies ) 
in the other mathams and their philososophical 
assumptions. This debate took place in front of 
Lord DhaivanAyakan. The rahasya grantham of 
Para Matha Bhangam is the summary of that debate in 
MaNipravALam .There are 54 Paasurams in this grantham.

At the outset, Swamy Desikan salutes Sudarshana Bhagavaan 
to bless Him with His anugraham to engage in this 
debate and succeed . At the end , Swamy Desikan 
thanks Sudarashana BhagavAn as the embodiment of 
the JyOthi of Sri RanganAtha and recognizes the 16 hands of 
Sudarshanan as providing Abhaya PradhAnam to BhakthAs
seeking His refuge.

In the body of the Para Matha Bhangam , Swamy Desikan 
criticizes the defects of the four kinds of Buddhism ,
Advaitham , Jainism , BhAskara-Yaadhava Matham ,
VyAkarana matham , KaNAtha Matham, Gouthama Matham , 
MeemAmsaka Matham , Saankya matham , Yoga matham 
and Paasupatha Matham . He upholds the glories of
PaancharAthra Saasthram and SaraNAgathi Dhramam and 
its svarUpam as well as Phalan. He sums up his 
arguments with the statement that the ancient way
shown by our poorvAchAryAs is the best way .

The ever so modest Swami Desikan explains in the tenth
Paasuram as to why he as an AchAryan has the duty to 
criticize the deficiencies of other mathams as follows:

Our PoorvAchAryAs have the clearest understanding of 
the SvarUpam and the SvabhAvams of the Lord , who wears 
the fragrant ThuLasi garland (Sriman NaarAyaNan ).They
are not inclined to accuse any one of even the smallest 
offense. Inspite of their well known humility ,they 
had an obligation to critique Veda baahya Mathams 
( the mathams that do not accept Vedic doctrines)
and those which wrongly intrepret the very same
Vedic doctrines . The reason for their criticism 
was to save the ones , who may not be familiar with
our siddhAntham (SaadhAraNa adhikArigaL) , from 
falling into the nets of the other mathams with
dhOshams.It is verily their mercy towards those
SaadhAraNa adhikArigaLs ,who may be easily deluded 
due to their own insufficient knowledge of 
about our siddhAntham vis a vis with the Para Mathams .

In this Sri Sookthi , Swamy Desikan identifies 
the sukham (comfort)and soukaryam (ease) of performing
Prapathti at the feet of Sriman NaarAyaNan with 
the help of a SadAchAryan . 

Swamy Desikan's defence of VisishtAdvaithA doctrines 
vis a vis with other diverse systems of philosophy 
has been elaborated further by him in his monumental work,
TattvamukthakalApA and it commentary , SarvAtha Siddhi.
These are later elaborations of the debate that he
won on the banks of PeNNai River on the fifth day of
Thai Maasam in front of Lord DhiavanAyakan.

Swamy Desikan ThiruvadigaLE saraNam ,
Daasan, Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan       



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