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asmadhAchArya paryanthAm vandhE guruparamparAm- 14

From: Madhavakkannan V (
Date: Fri Mar 16 2001 - 03:59:00 PST


SrImathE Gopaladesika mahadesikaya namah:

Dearest Sisters and Brothers,

Please accept adiyEn’s dhaNdavath praNAmams at your feet.

Let us continue to enjoy AchArya series. After Srimad Andavan Sri Ranganatha 
Mahadesikan (Sri Mannaargudi Andavan), Sri VeNNaaRRankarai Andavan took over 
(Panguni - Anusham) (19-3-1882 - 9-4-1980)

Let us first enjoy the life of this great AchArya (extracts from Sri Anbil 
mama’s write up and Sri Dr VN Vedantha Desikan’s article- Thanks to both of 
them for their permission to use their articles)

(Panguni - Anusham) (19-3-1882 - 9-4-1980)

Sri  Velaamur  Varada  Krishnamachariar Swami belonged to Kalyana Puram
near Tiruvaiyaaru. He married one Alarmel Mangai. Both the families were 
steeped in Vedic tradition.  The family enjoyed the patronage of Serfoji 
Raja of Thanjavur  on account of their deep dedication to Vedic tradition. 
They lived in a  house  adjacent to Singaperumal Koil at Vennatran Karai 
whose praise has been sung by Tirumangai Alwar.

The  couple  was  blessed  with  a son in the cyclic year  “Kara” in the 
month of Panguni  when  the  star  Anuradha  was in the ascendant.19th March 
1882. At his birth,  he  was  named Seshadri. He received Pancha Samskaram 
from his father as well as the first lessons in Sama Veda from his father.

He was sent to Tiruvaiyaru Vembu Sastrigal and  (*Nagaraja Sastrigal), noted 
Sanskrit  Pandits  to  specialize  in  Sama  Veda,  Kavya, and Nataka. 
Later, he studied and became proficient both in Yajur Veda and Divya 
Prabhandam. Qualified to  perform  yagnas,  he was an authority in Dharma 
Sastras and in the practical application  of  six  Sutras in daily life. He 
excelled in Goshti Parayana as he was  endowed  with  a  rich  mellifluous  
voice.  At  the  Sama Veda examination conducted  by  Pudukkottai 
Samasthanam, he was declared to have passed in second
class  owing  to  the  partiality  of the examiner but when the Swami 
refused to accept  the  award contending the verdict, the Raja ordered a 
re-examination and found  him  to have passed in Ist class, by which he won 
the acclaim of the Raja and other Sanskrit pundits. He  married Janaki, then 
only 7. (the  daughter of Kodavasal Ramabadrachariar and Ponnu kamalammmal) 
at the age  of  11. Sri Velaamur Srinivasachariar was greatly devoted to Sri 
Desika He was  chiefly instrumental in enabling Velliyanur Srimad Andavan to 
celebrate Sri Desika  Annual  festival  at  Neelamegha  Perumal  Koil. He 
gave to the temple a palanquin,  a  number  of  Vahanas  and  several  
jewels.  These  festivals were
conducted  by  him  with  great  devotion  out  of  the family funds.

Even after becoming  an Acharya, he continued to evince keen interest in the 
proper conduct of  these  festivals.  Today,  Srimad  Andavan's  relations 
in Purvasramam still continue to celebrate Swami Desika Utsava with unabated 
interest and devotion. (Once,  when  participating  in  a  Yaga,  the Ritvik 
in charge of Atharvyu was indisposed  and could not attend. Within one 
night, our Swami learned the entire Atharvyu  mantras  and  acted in  the 
place of the absentee Ritvik and completed
the  Yaga  successfully.  Such  was his capacity to absorb and retain with 
razor sharp memory and perform the role with consummate skill.)

Some  hostile  persons removed the idol of Swami Desika from the small 
shrine in Hara  Saapa  Vimochana  Perumal  Koil  at  Tiruk  Kandiyur. The 
father of Srimad Srinivasa  Maha  Desikan took the lead in  making a new 
idol and installed it in the  empty shrine. Srimad Andavan  in his 
Purvasrama used to lead the _Adhyapaka Goshti_ during the festival days.
Srimad  Srinivasa  Maha  Desikan  in his Purvasrama was quite well known for 
his philanthropy. He has helped pious Vaishnavas in times of dire need.

Although  born in a wealthy family, Sri Srinivasachariar’s mind and heart 
turned to  renunciation  and to severing Worldly attachments. He had already 
sought the feet  of  Gnana  Vairaghya  Anushtana  Sampanna   Poundarika  
Puram  Andavan and received  from  his  Grantha  Kalakshepam,  Bhara  
Samarpanam,  Prapatti Prayoga Upadesam,  Presha  Mantra  Upadesam  and  
Sannyaasa  Prayogam.  Considering  his
Poorvasrama  financial  resources as trash, he came to Poundarika Puram 
Andavan Asramam as his final retreat.

After becoming the Acharya, he devoted his full  attention to the 
administration of  the  Asramam  and to the celebration, in a grand manner 
the Tirunakshatra of the past Srimad Andavans.

(He helped Chaturveda Satakratu Navalpakkam Narasimha Tatachariar, 
Kozhiyalam Sri  Ranga  Ramanuja Maha Desikan and several others  and earned 
their gratitude and blessings)

The   daily  Aradhanas  were  performed  with  great  piety  and  devotion.  
The ”SaaRRumuRai”  congregation  was indeed an inspiring sight to the 
devout. On such occasions,  Srimad  Andavan  himself  led  the  Goshti  
giving it both grace and solemnity.  He would recite all by himself the 
Nighamana Adhikara of Sri Rahasya Traya Sara of Sri Vedanta Desika. His 
discourses on such occasions were listened to with rapt attention.

It is relevant to mention that Sri Vinnatrangarai Swami was accepted as same 
teacher by Sri Thenbarai Andavan (of Peria asramam), since the latter had a 
feeling of regret that he had not mastered his own Sakha, same veda!  Very 
interestingly, in the Sannyasa life too, Sri Vinnatrangarai Andavan 
exhibited great concern for the health (that was rapidly declining) of Sri 
Thenbarai Andavan (1960's).  Everyday he would walk to and fro.  What it 
means is that he should take bath every time on return!  Once indeed, a 
moving event occurred, Sri Vinnatrangarai Andavan walks to Peria Asramam, 
meets Sri Kannan Swami on the way, learnt that the latter was going to 
Madras on some urgent work since the Thenbarai Andavan's health would 
sustain life for some three days, but Sri Vinnatrangarai Andavan warns the 
latter that it was not so, takes him back to the Asramam and almost 
influences him to take to the saffron order.  Yes, it was urgently 
necessary.  Readers would realize the risk, the confusion, etc.  That often 
results on the successor not taking over immediately without a gap in time.

Indeed on later occasions, Sri Vinnatrangarai Andavan used to congratulate 
Sri Thirukkudanthai Andavan on the growth, expansion, increasing affluence, 
etc. of his Asramam, with a legitimate satisfaction that He himself had 
worked for it by forcing Sri Kannan Swami to accept Sannyasa at the right 

Srimad Andavan seemed to have a premonition of his impending death. He 
called to his side the then Srikaryam, Paravakkottai  Sri Rajagopalachariar 
Swami( who had come  to the Asramam to assist him in the conduct of 
Tirunakshatra celebrations) and  told  him in confidence that since his 
earthly life would not go beyond the next  Sravanam  day  which  fell on 5th 
April 1980, he should be interred by the side  of  his  Acharya  in the 
Brindavanam on the bank of Vada Kaveri. Strangely
enough,  Srimad Andavan entered his Jyoti at 2 pm on 9th April 1980,(* which 
was Siddharti  Panguni 27th, a Krishna Paksha Navami Tithi day)  so close to 
the last day which Srimad Andavan had himself fixed.


The  Iyal  Goshti of Venntran Karai Andavan was a magnificent sight, the 
like of which was never seen or heard of before. The grand procession led by 
the Ahobila Mutt elephant, with the idol of Sri Bhashyakaara at the head, 
passed through the streets   of  Srirangam  and  impressed  all  by  their  
colorful  variety-  the Poorvaasrama  son  of Acharya carrying the worn 
garlands of several Divya Desas, seven  or  eight  divisions of Veda 
Parayana Goshtis, their Vedic chant piercing
the  sky above all the surging sea of Srivaishnavas, devotees and disciples. 
The procession stood  at  the Dasavataaran Sannidhi and after 
Mangalaasaasana there reached   the   Asramam.   Ubhaya   Vedaanta   Vidwan  
Madhurantakam  Sri  Veera Ragahavachariar  Swami  paid  glowing  tributes  
to  Srimad Andavan's many sided virtues  in  verse  and  prose.  Another  
glorious chapter in the history of Sri Poundarika Puram Asramam came to a 

His Tanian reads as follows:

Naryanaakhya Yathiraja Paadaabja Bringa
Sri Vaasa Yogi Gurunaa Arpitha Bharam Eese/
Bhakthyaaddhi Poorna Varadaarya Kripaatha Sinham
Sri Srinivasa Munivaram Aham Prapadhye //

I take refuge at the holy feet of Srinivasa Maha Desikan who was like a 
honey bee at the lotus feet of the yathi- srEshtar , Sri NaarAyaNa MahA 
Desikan and performed his prapatthi  at  the  sacred  feet of 
Poundarikapuram SrinivAsa MahA Desikan after receiving  his  pancha 
samskAram rites from Sri VaradAchArya Swami known for his
Bhakthi-Jn~Ana -VairAghyam .

AchAryan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Narayana Narayana
adiyEn AchAryan Thiruvadi Narayana dAsan madhavakkannan

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