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SrI UttamUr SwAmi as "ulagam pOtRum uttamar" by SrI V.N.SrIrAmadESikAchArya

From: Anand Karalapakkam (
Date: Thu May 11 2000 - 09:49:29 PDT

SrI PadmAvati SamEta SrInivAsa Para BrahmaNE namaha

SrImad abhinava dESika UttamUr VAtsya VeerarAghavArya -
mahAdESIkAya namaha

SrI Lakshminrusimha divya pAdukA sEvaka SrIvaN SatakOpa
SrI nArAyaNa yateendra mahAdESIkAya namaha

 Dear devotees,
 namO nArAyaNa.

 The following is the translation of an article in tamil by
 the late (SrI VaikuNThavAsi) great "SrI U.Ve. VangIpuram
 Navaneetam SrIrAmadESIkAcArya of Oppiliappan sannidhi" which
 appeared in the souvenir released during the SatAbhishEkam
 (80th birth anniversary) of SrI UttamUr swAmi on 10th Feb,
 1977. adiyEn has translated the article alongwith some notes
 to enjoy certain words and phrases used by the author. Hope
 that, by the grace of SrIman nArAyaNa, the translation
 preserves the charm of the original article, to a reasonable

  A Brief Note about the author :
  SrI SrIrAmadESikAchArya (1901-1981) was a great AchArya, well
  known for his utter dedication of his life for the SrI VaishNava 
  Sat sampradAyam. He was a disciple and son of the illustrious
  SrI U.Ve. Navaneetam KrishnamAchArya of great fame, popularly
  known as Navaneetam swAmi.

  SrI SrIrAmadESikAchArya followed the footsteps of his father
  and wrote good commentries for all the Sanskrit stotras and
  tamil prabandhams of SwAmi DESikan. With great efforts,
  referring to old manuscripts, he published all the chillarai
  rahasyAs of SwAmi DESikan, alongwith his excellent footnotes
  and explanations nicely bringing out the import of difficult
  words etc. At those times, there were many mis-readings of
  these texts in an earlier publication and thus, the great
  task was taken by SrI SrIrAmadESikAchArya to come up with
  proper readings and he consulted many great vidvAns for the
  various questions he had. Now, we are greatly benifited
  by the immense pains taken by that mahAn for publishing the
  correct readings and that too in an error free manner. Before
  publishing his commentry on DESika Prabandham alongwith the
  correct readings, he told the mahAns that he would be liable
  to be beaten twelve times by a whip  (ie.jAttai in tamil, used 
  for beating horses) for each of the mistake he commits in not
  recognizing the correct readings. So great was his sincere
  dedication. The other great contribution by this swAmi is the
  publication of SwAmi DESikan's SrImad Rahasya Traya SAram with
  excellent notes, explaining the import of difficult words, the
  import of the verses quoted etc. He obtained the President Award
  for contribution/scholarship in Sanskrit (*) during 1975. This
  swAmi also followed the footsteps of his illustrious AchArya and
  father SrI Navaneetam swAmi in especially serving Lord Oppiliappan.

 (*) : The first person to obtain this award was SrI UttamUr
       SwAmi, wayback in 1960.

  SrI U.Ve. Navaneetam SrIrAmadESikAchArya on SrI UttamUr SwAmi :


       There is none in the world of aastikas (Believer in
 God ; Believer in a sacred tradition) who doesn't know
 SrImad UttamUr swAmi. This mahAn has all the qualities
 for being cited as an example of how a SrI VaishNava should
 be. Our swAmi (ie. UttamUr SwAmi) appeared in the lineage of
 great vaidikas (follower of vEdas) known for their jn~yAna
 (knowledge) and excellence in aachAra (*) for several generations.
 This swAmi is an example of the proverb "Small Physique, Greater
 Fame". Those who know the glories of this swAmi can infer the
 worthness of fortune of the parents who have obtained this
 mahA-purusha as their son. Only those fortunate ones who
 obtained glories by utilizing swAmi's unparalleled knowledge
 in sAmAnya SAstras (**) and Ubhaya-vEdAnta (***) can know
 the greatness of this swAmi as it is.

 (*)  aachAra : Conduct ie. Observance of SAstras, esp. the
      performannce of rites of nitya and naimittika karmas
      in accordance with VarNAshrama dharma, and following
      related dharmaSastras pertaining to one's varNa and aashrama.

 (**) sAmAnya SAstrAs : NyAya (Logic), <pUrva> mImAmsa (Enquiry
                       into karma khAnda) and VyAkaraNa (Sanskrit

 (***) Ubhaya VEdAnta : Twin VEdAnta comprising the knowledge
                        of Upanishads and the Prabandhams
                        (literary works) of AzhwArs.

      Our UttamUr swAmi shines as the best amongst the
 gems of mahA-vidvAns (great, well accomplished scholars)
 glorifying the Sanskrit college at TirivaiyAr, in an unique
 manner, due to their deep knowledge in the SAstras like tarka
 (ie. nyAya), vyAkaraNa and mImAmsa. While only being a student
 at that college, swAmi was helping his colleagues by clarifying
 their doubts and explaining difficult issues and thus we can
 say that his discourses have started as being a student
 itself. We have heard that even the teachers of sAmAnya
 SAstrAs to  swAmi were amazed by his shining brilliance
 as a student. The excellent training in nyAya, mImAmsa etc
 was very helpful for swAmi to immerse and cross the ocean
 of vEdAnta later. The authorities of the TiruvaiyAr
 college did not want to suddenly loose the presence of
 swAmi, who was shining as a great intellectual after
 having topped their batch, and thus they appointed him as
 a research scholar in SAstras. They became happy by getting
 swAmi's (intellectual) contributions during his stay for
 some years with them.

     SwAmi took refuge at the feet of SrImad KOzhiyAlam
 swAmi, who was shining as (i) an example of the conduct
 required for sannyAsAshramam, (ii) a treasurehouse of
 jn~Ana, vairAgya and anushThAna, (iii) one with
 unparalleled glories in delivering discourses and
 writing books. SwAmi received the divine glances of
 SrI KOzhiyAlam swAmi as "aamudalvan ivan" (*) and attained
 the excessive research oriented knowledge in vEdAnta
 SAstra also and became foremost amongst the propagators
 of the darSana (System of Philosophy; here referring to the
 darSana of Bhagavad RAmAnuja). Our UttamUr swAmi was in the
 frontline of vidvAns who were the "jn~yAna putrAs"(**)
 of SrI KOzhiyAlam swAmi and followed suit his aachArya, in
 being a good aachArya and activities related to it.

 (*) :  aam mudalvan ivan : See the note at the end of the article.

 (**) : jn~yAna putras : Very dear disciples; Disciples are
        also sons of an AchArya ; AchArya is also a father
        for a disciple.

    Pushkaram, a mahApuNya tIrta (sacred water tank) kshEtram
 of North India also wanted to witness the greatness of UttamUr
 swAmi and derive happiness. Thus, it invited swAmi and
 due to his discourses, produced many vidvAns with
 exceptional knowledge in vEdAnta SAstra. Hence, it stands
 with great pride. SwAmi dESikan's son (SrI KumAra VaradAchArya)
 himself has said that SwAmi dESIkan, whose avatAram was due to
 the divine will of Lord ThiruvEngadamudayAn, was having tirumala
 as the sporting place of his youth. When that Lord (SrInivAsa)
 Himself later came to be known as "abhinAva dESika", our swAmi
 was made to live under the shadows of His holy feet for many
 years and by seeing the power of deliverence of discourses
 obtained by His grace, He got pleased and blessed swAmi
 as being the "Best AchArya".

      The city of Chennai got a rare oppurtunity. The city
 earned a great name because of swAmi's decision to settle
 there permanently. The stroke of fortune came the way of
 many aastikas at chennai. Many aastikAs were fascinated
 by swAmi's jn~Ana, anushThAna and the ability to teach.
 They learnt the sampradAya granthams through the
 traditional kAlakshEbam and has limitless bhakti towards

      The AchArya parampara of SrI aaNDikkADu swAmi (AchArya
 of SrI kEtANDipaTTi swAmi), though got an end to the
 sannyAshramam after SrImad Garudapuram swAmi and SrImad
 KOzhiyAlam swAmi, our swAmi is the important among those
 gruhastas (*) who have taken up the responsibility to
 continue the parampara through their qualities of being
 an AchArya. We see very well the  aastikas with vivEkam
 (discriminatory knowledge) who didn't want to depart from
 the aachArya parampara coming from time immemorial, taking
 refuge under our swAmi and getting done the things
 related to aatma (ie.SamASrayanam and Bhara-nyAsam
 alias Prapatti).

 (*) : SrI SrIrAmadESikAchArya is one among the gruhasta
       AchAryas of this parampara. adiyEn will give a small
       chart on this parampara in the next posting.

      Elders have decisively stated that eventhough one may
 possess complete jn~yAnam, anushThAnam and the like, if
 aatma guNas are absent, those jn~yAnam etc are not actually
 complete. Our swAmi is a mahAn filled with the aatma guNas
 like mercy, patience, calmness etc in large excess and we
 can perceive him as a small-mountain of aatma guNas. SwAmi
 is so much an embodiment of simplicity that nothing more
 great can be told than swAmi's sowlabhyam. SwAmi completely
 forgets his greatness while speaking even with small children,
 with a very smiling face and sweet words, thereby making
 others also feel happy.

      In these days, when the doctrines of sampradAyam are
 being told in a public gathering through upanyAsam, we
 see that one is able to get the appreciation and praises
 from the public, only when colloqial dialogues, commedies,
 explanation on the srungAra rasa ( dealing with the love
 between man and women), current politics etc are a part
 of the upanyAsam. But, our swAmi's thiru-uLLam (holy mind/
 heart) is never for performing such an upanyAsam. SwAmi
 has inclination only in performing the "upadEsam", rather
 than such upanyAsam. This gives a great gain for the
 listeners also.

 What is the wonder in UttamUr swAmi being glorified by one
 and all, as an unique personality in the world of scholars,
 when swAmi exists as a mahA-vidvAn, possesing limitless
 brilliance and the ability to manoeuvre through any SAstra
 in any manner, according to his own desire (ie. at the
 pleasure of his mind), all obtained due to the special
 glance of the mercy of Lord HayagrIva (God of Knowledge) ?

     Can one measure and tell the service rendered by
 UttamUr swAmi to the world of vaidikas / VaishNavas ?
 The ability to perform upadEsam directly in one's
 presence (ie.ability to give discourses in traditional
 manner) and the ability to write books are different.
 Only a few possess both of these abilities. The possesion
 of these two abilities in our swAmi is a result of the
 combined blessings of both the SaraNyan (SrIman nArAyaNa,
 the refuge of all) and AchArya. Only UttamUr swAmi is
 comparable to himself, in making those undergoing kAlakshEbam,
 well understand the doctrines of the sampradAya and make it
 sink into their hearts through his lucid style, however
 difficult the concept may be. The ability of the swAmi to
 write books is also a boon from emperumAn . We can clearly
 understand swAmi's ability to create books in a commentry-style
 for samAnya SAstras also, through  his commentries for older
 texts of nyAya like vaisEshika darSanam (**), kusumAnjali etc.
 SwAmi's blessings through the special publication of
 SrIbhAshya alongwith SrutaprakASika, with the addition of
 innumerous neccessary and extraordinary details by him, will
 equal that of river Ganga being brought to earth by
 BhagIratha (***). In this way, many texts of SiddhAnta, esp.
 the detailed commentries, notes, special notes, tippaNi etc
 for the works of SwAmi dESIkan are taking avatAra from the
 sacred hands of UttamUr SwAmi. This is the most blossomed
 state of special fortune for the followers of SrI VaishNava

 (*) : emperumAn : Literally, "My Lord", referring to SrIman
       nArAyaNa ; Used a lot by AzhwArs and SrI VaishNava
       AchAryas since this indicates the intimate bond between
       oneself and the Lord.

 (**): VaiSEshika darSana : The sUtras of KaNAda delineates this 
       philosophy. Later, it got fused into the nyAya system 
       (NyAya sUtras were framed by Gautama). This system of
       philosophy is thus referred to as "NyAya-VaiSEshika".
       Today, many use the terminology "NyAya" to refer to this
 (***) : In SrImad RAmAyanam, Sage ViSwAmitra says the story to
         Lord RAma and Lord Lakshmana about the arrival of river
         ganga to the earth. The sons of King Sagara (IshwAku
         race) were burnt into ashes by Sage Kapila, due to
         their disrespect and pride shown unto the great Sage
         Kapila. King Sagara's grandson amsumAn got informed
         that only the arrival of river ganga (which was in the
         upper worlds of dEvas) can purify all the ashes of his
         grandfather and make them attain swarga. Himself and
         his son Dileepan couldn't perform such austerities
         towards Lord Brahma and obtain the boon. It was
         BhagIrath, the son of Dileepan who finally did severe
         penance for thousands of years and obtained the boon
         from Lord Brahma to make ganga flow on earth. Thus,
         any extraordinary perseverence, patience and austerities
         undergone by an individual is stated as "BhagIrata's
         tapas". Also, the outcome of the tapas is the arrival
         of the very holy Ganga. Thus, the author says that
         SrI UttamUr SwAmi did great penance of going through
         the manuscripts for obtaining the right readings etc
         and writing his own excellent notes and introductions
         for obtaining the very holy SrutaprakASika, with clean
         and right readings, and publishing without errors. The
         SrutaprakASika which was almost in the extinct state due
         to its non-availibility was made to appear again by SrI
         UttamUr SwAmi, for the benifit of everyone. All vidvAns
         say that, without the monumental SrutaprakASika, its
         impossible to understand the intricasies of SrI BhAshyam.

 ..........SrI  UttamUr swAmi's wonderful commentry to the
 aruLicchayal, using the knowledge given by emperumAn (Lord)
 in SiddhAntam and SampradAyam, and giving it to the whole
 world is a great help rendered by swAmi (to SrI Vaishnavas
 / whole world). This great kainkaryam of making everyone
 enjoy the aruLicchayal, filled with "anubhavam" (mysticism)
 got fully completed in a short span.

       Several title of honours / awards are always
 coming to swAmi, glorifying his multitude special
 characteristics. If adiyEn enters to describe them,
 pages will increase. After attaining SwAmi, the value
 of the awards only increase. AdiyEn does not think that
 swAmi remembers all the awards that has come to him
 (ie. conferred upon him). It is necessary to mention one
 (award). Many years back, there was a resolution in
 India (as an independent country) to get rid of all the
 awards that were being conferred during its
 Pre-Independence era under the British rule and introduce
 new awards. It was that time (1959) that the Indian
 government came forward to give an award with yearly
 honours for lifetime, for scholarship in Sanskrit.
 Government, by its search, chose our UttamUr swAmi as
 the appropriate person in TamilnAdu (South India) to
 receive the award for the very first time. The pride,
 in inviting swAmi to the capital of India (Delhi) and
 honouring him the award (along with a certificate) from
 the hands of the President of India for the very first
 time (in history), belongs only to (UttamUr) swAmi.

     If it has to be written about the service rendered
 by our UttamUr swAmi to (Bhagavad rAmAnuja) darSanam,
 it will be a bhAratam (ie. as lengthy as the epic
 MahAbhArata). But, it has to be told importantly about
 one wonderful rare work. It is swAmi's wonderful
 creation called ParamArtha BhUshanam. One mahAn has
 praised that SarvArtha Siddhi and SatadUshaNi of SwAmi
 DESikan are the shield and weapon for one entering into
 the war of debate. Such SatadUshaNi is a treasure,
 which can't be refuted by anyone. But, many years back
 (1956), a scholar wrote a refuttal to even SatadUshaNi
 and named it as SatabhUshaNi. EmperumAn (Lord) made
 the sankalpam that only abhinava dESika is apt for
 writting a refuttal and shut the mouth of the critizer,
 and also to establish the greatness of SwAmi's
 DESikan's work. The command of many AchAryas and
 requests from many aastikas made our swAmi to get
 involved in the great kainkaryam of writting a refuttal
 work. A divine work named ParamArtha BhUshanam, running
 more than thousand pages, took avatAra from abhinava
 dESika. The greatness of SatadUshaNi was restored.
 Mouth will talk anything. Mind will think anything.
 Hand will write anything. It is a scholar's good
 characteristic  to use these three instruments in the
 right path. Poets convey thanks to manthAra and KaikEyi,
 for they were only helpful in making Lord RAma live in
 forest and protect those performing SaraNagati unto Him
 by also eradicating those who are enimical to SaraNAgatas.
 In this way, we glorify SatabhUshaNi with thanks, since
 it was the reason for the outcome of a divine work
 "ParamArtha BhUshaNam" from the holy hands of abhinava
 dESika, to establish the greatness of SwAmi dESikan's
 SatadhUshaNi. (Long) Live SatadUshaNi ; (Long) Live
 ParamArtha BhUshaNam. SwAmi's introduction prior to the
 work itself shows with quite a good amount of clarity
 on the defects of the PUrvapaksha grantha (SatabhUshani)
 and the clear import of the siddhAnta grantha (SatadhUshaNi).

    One can go on writting much more about the greatness
 of our UttamUr swAmi. Even small minded adiyEn can
 proceed writing more and more. The emotions regarding
 SrI (UttamUr) swAmi are arising in excess and are ever
 overflowing. But, the Souvenir Committee has stipulated
 restrictions on the length of an article. adiyEn fears
 that even this small article has exceeded the limits. As an
 outlet for the pratibhakti and joy in adiyEn's heart, this
 small service is done by adiyEn and thereby attaining mental

  Then, SrIrAmadESIkAchArya swAmi writes about the SatAbhishEkam
  celebration and praises the committee for having arranged
  various things for a grand celebration, that would befit the
  greatness of UttamUr swAmi. The he prays towards the
  Divyadampati viz. Bhoomi nAcchiar and SrI Oppiliappan, for
  showering auspicious things unto UttamUr swAmi and the
  continuation of UttamUr SwAmi's service through writing
  books, giving discourses etc and more grandly celebrate the
  centenary celebrations even twenty years hence.

 (*) : aam mudalvan ivan : In TiruvAimozhi(7.9.3), nammAzhwAr
       uses this phrase. SrI PeriavAcchAn PiLLai interprets
       that "PerumAL is thinking that nammAzhwAr (ivan) is the
       foremost (mudalvan) of those who can obtain His Grace
       to sing pAsurams .....<ivan mudalvan aam>". This phrase
       is used to signify the special glance of mercy by an
       AchArya to his most chosen disciple who would then take
       over his position for the next generation. In yeedu,
       NampiLLai says that ALavandAr (YAmunAchArya) issued the
       most merciful glances towards udayavar (Bhagavad RAmAnuja)
       as "aam mudalvan ivan" <when ALavandAr first saw udayavar
       alongwith yAdavaprakASa and others, at kAnchi varadarAjan
       sannidhi>. This implies that Bhagavad RAmAnuja is going
       to be the establisher of (ViSishtAdvaita) darSanam. SrI
       UttamUr swAmi adds that, this can also mean as though
       ALavandAr feels "Yes <aam>! He <ivan> is the original
       cause of everything <mudalvan>" ie. udayavar Himself as
       being considered as SrIman nArAyaNa (in His avatAram).
       There is also another interpretation accepted by
       pUrvAchAryAs to this phrase in accordance with the context
       of the pAsuram viz. mudalvan is the one who is jagatkAraNa
       ie. SrIman nArAyaNa.

  This article has again brought out the unparalleled glories
  of SrI UttamUr SwAmi. If even a great AchArya of the past
  has so much of appreciation and reverence for SrI UttamUr
  swAmi, it goes without saying about the way we have to
  perceive the greatness of "abhinava dESika".

  Please go through this quite lengthy posting again to get hold
  of important points. It will also be very helpful to enrich
  the understanding and anubhavam of the future postings. Thanks
  once again for your patient reading.

  adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan,

Remember four years of good friends, bad clothes, explosive chemistry

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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