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Tirunakshatram of H.H. Srimad Paundarikapuram Andavan Swami

From: muralidhar rangaswamy (rangaswamy_m_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Tue Mar 31 1998 - 14:40:11 PST

SrivAsa Ranga ParakAla MunitrayAbdha
LakshmAtma RakshaNa Yatitva YugAgamAntam
Acharya Bhakti ParipUtamanarGha Sheelam
Gopala Desika Munim GurumAshrayAma:

Dear Friends,

We have in the past couple of days been blessed with a shower of 
Amrutham about the Lord of Srirangam by Sriman Sadagopan's outstanding 
posts. In this note I wish to remember one of the
greatest Yativaras who adorns the Peetam of Andavan Swami of 
Srimad Paundarikapuram Asramam-Paravakotai Sri Gopala Mahadesikan 
Swami-a great doyen of our Sampradayam, who is immersed in service 
of our Lord in the sacred city of Srirangam. His Tirunakshatram, Panguni 
Rohini, is on April 1 this year.  

Since its inception in 1886, Srimad Paundarikapuram Asramam has been 
blessed with a stellar array of distinguished scholars as the 
head of the Asramam, none more so than the present Swami, who is 
an epitome of JnAna, Bhakti and Vairagya. Although, he upholds 
the traditions and dictates of our SampradAyam in the strictest 
manner (in letter and spirit), he is extremely, compassionate, 
understanding and sensitive to issues faced by LoukikAs. As a result, he 
is able to offer clear, thoughtful, and practical advice to overcome 
problems encountered in our day-to-day lives. It is a 
delight to hear him expound on esoteric aspects of our Sampradayam-a 
case in point is the recently released Yatiraja Sapthathi tape series. 
In it he very affectionately presents details 
on the life and works of NammAzhwar, Sri Ramanujacharya, Sri Kidambi 
ApuLLar and Swami Desikan. One of the tapes in this series contains a 
very eloquent explanation on the taboo of Anya Devata worship in 
our Sampradayam.   

Several Sishyas of the Asramam including Sri Anbil Swamin and 
Adiyen requested Srimad Andavan Swami to have a telephone connection 
installed at the Asramam. However, the great Acharya politely but firmly 
refused by pointing out that it would detract from the simplicity of 
life in the Asramam. Several granthams containing 
pearls of wisdom and brilliant flashes of insight on intricate 
aspects of our Sampradayam have been published by the Asramam under 
Swami's supervision. 

Adiyen was fortunate to receive audience twice with this great Yativara 
during a recent visit to India. Bhagavan Lakshmi-Hayagriva 
is the Aradhana Murthy at the Desikar Sannidhi of the Asramam. The 
idol has its origins to Sri Ramanujacharya, who offered his tribute 
to the Lord of Seven Hills and was blessed with this Vigraham by 
Goddess Saraswati. All aspects of the Dhyana Shlokam from the 
Hayagriva Stotram are embodied by this Vigraham. Adiyen was fortunate 
to have a wonderful Darshanam of this idol from less than two feet 
away. The Shuba Tanu of Thayar is a rare blessing. 

At the Asramam, Srimad Andavan Swami performs Nitya Aradhanam for 
54 Salagramams to the accompaniment of Veda Parayanam, Prabandam 
recitation and Desika Mangalam. Swamigal explained the significance 
of the 54 Salagramams by pointing out that a place which houses 
that many Salagramams is equivalent to a Kshetram sanctified by Azhwar's 
MangalA Sasanams. The feeling of ecstasy at taking part 
in any Kaimkaryam at such a Kshetram is inescapable-more so being 
privy to the Dwadasi morning Aradhanam performed by Swami. Adiyen 
was full of envy for the Kaimkaryaparas who constantly attend to the 
needs of Swami and his Shishyas and work ceaselessly and tirelessly for 
His pleasure and at His pleasure. The greatest form of Bhagavad and 
Bhagavata Seva is rendered by performing Acharya Kaimkaryam.  
These folk are a living example of Sri Ramanujacharya's desire of Nitya 
Kaimkaryam for the Divya Dampatis of Srirangam. As Shishyas 
of the Asramam (particularly those outside India) who are far 
removed, it is incumbent on us to help the Kaimkaryaparas in any manner 
possible. 

During the recent visit to India, Adiyen was blessed with the source 
material for Sri Stuthi and Subhashita Nivi by Swami. 
He sees forums like Bhakti, SDDS and SharaNagati journal as a 
powerful medium for disseminating information about our wonderful 
Sampradayam. Swami recommends Nitya Parayanam of VishNu Sahasranamam
as the panacea for all ills afflicting us.

Acharyan TiruvadigalE SharaNam,

Namo Narayana,

Muralidhar Rangaswamy                



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