You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : November 1997

Copy of: SarvArtha Siddhi of Swami Desikan

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Wed Nov 19 1997 - 19:14:12 PST

Dear Members of the Bhakthi group :
This article might be of some interest 
to you . Hence I am copying you on this
article .
---------- Forwarded Message ----------

From:   V. Sadagopan, 75041,3037
TO:     AR,
CC:     SR,
DATE:   11/15/97 7:08 PM

RE:     Copy of: SarvArtha Siddhi of Swami Desikan 

During August 1996 , Sri V.N.Venaktanathan , 
the grandson of the illustrious AchArya ,
Oppiliappan Koil Navaneetham Swamy 
( Vangipuram Navaneetham Sri KrishnamAchArya
Swamy ) and I met at Madras . Our families have 
been neighbors for many decades going back to
his grandfather and my grandfather at Oppilaippan
Koil Sannidhi Street .  

The occasion was a farewell meeting in Madras 
at my sister's house prior to my return to USA after 
the conclusion of a major festival relating to 
a Bhagavadh Kaimkaryam at Oppilaippan Sannidhi . 

Both Sri V.N.Venkatanathan and I were members of 
the Oppiliappan Kaimkarya SabhA in 1995-96 time period 
and we had the privelege of working together on 
the samarpaNam of RathnAngi for Uthsavar 
( Ponnappan ) and Mutthangi for Moolavar 
( ThiruviNNagarappan ) . Thanks to the 
participation by many aasthikAs from USA 
( Bhakthi Group members ) and India ,
this Kaimkaryam was a resounding success due to
the blessings of SaraNyan . We were elated that 
the kaimkaryam was accepted by  Sri Oppiliappan 
and as I was taking leave of Sri V.N . Venakatanathan ,
he presented me with copies of two monographs and
asked me to introduce them to the Sri VaishNavA 
community in USA . I agreed and then I looked at 
what he had charged me  with .

The first monograph was the brilliant scholarly 
commentary on NammAzhwAr's Thiruvaimozhi 
by his elder brother , Dr.V.N.VedAntha Desikan ,
a retired professor of Chemistry at  Madurai College 
and the scion of the illustrious paramparai of 
Sri Navaneetham Swamy of Oppiliappan Koil .
The title of that monograph is " AzhwAr ThiruvuLLam ".
This  scholarly monograph is a book that every 
Sri VaishNavA home MUST have and is the distilled
essence of all the purvAchAryA's commentary (eedu 
granthAs ) on Thiruvaimozhi . Sri VisishtAdvaitha 
Research Center Of Madras has released these two
volumes of " AzhwAr ThiruvuLLam " and can be acquired
from the Research Center in Madras or from 
The AhObila Mutt of North America headquarterd 
in Hixson , Tennessee . 

The second monograph is the subject of this posting.
It  is the Doctoral thesis of his illustrious father , 
late Professor V.N. SeshAdri AchAryA on SarvArtha Siddhi , 
Swami Desikan's own commentary on his own  supremely 
brilliant work known as TattvamukthAkalApa , which has been
saluted as a " Marvellous production of a mature genius " 
intent on establishing the supermacy of Sri VisishTadvaitham
over other sysyems of philosophy . SarvArtha Siddhi is an 
exposition/commentary  of the 500 slOkAs 
of TattvamukthAkalaapa . 

SarvArtha Siddhi and Satha DhUshaNI go together .
These two works of " the polymath poet-logician ,
VenkatanAthan otherwise known as Swami Vedantha-
Desikan " are great pillars supporting the citadel of
Sri VaishNavism in the sampradhaayam built
brick by brick  by Naatha Muni , ALavandhAr 
and  RaamAnuja . 

The TattvamukthAkalApa with its assoicated 
commentary , SarvArtha Siddhi serves Swami 
Desikan's purpose for them to serve as an armor
to defend against the criticisms that may be levelled 
against it by rival darsnams ( karsanam darsanam na : ) .

The SathadhUshaNi has served as a powerful 
criticism of the deficiencies of Advaitha VedAntham . 
Thus together , these two  brilliant works emanating from
the supreme genius , Swami Desikan establish 
clearly the supermacy of VisishtAdvaitham as 
developed by AchArya RaamAnujA and his prAchAryAs . 

Swami Desikan has used these two brilliant works 
to give " a constructive and critical-acritical account 
of rival darsanAs " and has presented lucidly 
the doctrines of such darsanAs to establish 
the supermacy of the VisishtAdvaithA philosophy 
over all of  them in an unambiguous manner . 

In his concluding remarks of SarvArtha Siddhi ,
Swami Desikan has summarized the salient 
features of VisishtAdvaithA and has compared 
the unique aspects of Bhakthi yOgam and
Prapatthi yOgamas the two sAstraic ways 
to seek and attain Moksham . 

So, this was the book that I was blessed to
receive from Sri V.N. Venkatanathan , who carries 
the name of Swami Desikan . It is my great 
pleasure and privelege to introduce these two
monographs to those , who may not be familiar 
with them and request you to acquire them for your 
own libraries on Sri VaishNavism . These monographs 
are in English and should make it easy for those not
conversant with Tami or Sanskrit to read and derive 
benefits of access to these two source granthAs . 
AzhwAr ThiuvuLLam has the pasurams and 
comments in Tamil to go along with the English text .

As quick summary of the content and scope of 
SarvArtha Siddhi , one can refer to the folowing list 
that covers the principal topics of the Doctoral 
thesis of Sri V.N. SeshAdri AchAryA , as summarized
by him in the book released by Sri VisishtAdvaitha
Research cente rin the year 1993  :

A . Buddhism 
1. Budhist view of momentariness of all things 
and the theory that the substratum is no more than 
an aggregation of Qualities .

2. SautrAntikA's representation : things being imperceptible
are inferred by their forms imprinted in the cognitions .

3. The YogAchAryA's theory of the phenomenality of the world .

4. MaadhyamikA's sUnya VaadhA .

B. Saankhyam 

5 . SathkArya VaadhA of SaankhyA and of the VisishtAdvaithA .

6 . SankhyA's reliance upon inference .

7 . The SankhyA conception of evolution of the universe 
from prakrithi .

C. NyAya-VaisEshikA 

8 . The NyAya-VaisEshikA theory of evolution of 
the universe from atoms .

9 . The NyAyA -VaisEshikA conception of the whole
and parts as different entities .

10 . The NyAya-VaisEshikA view of the soul 
and its liberation .

D  Advaitham 

11. The AdvaithA doctrine of non-dualism

12 . principles of Apacchedha , Upakrama or
uthsargaapavAdha as applicable in the context of 
SaguNa -Sruthi and NirguNa -sruthi .

13 . Appearance of indefinable object during the illusions .

14 . PrabhAkarA's and VisishtAdvaithA's explanation
of illusion .

15 . Advaitin's view on indeterminate cognition .

E . VisishtAdvaitham 

16. VisishtAdvaitin's conception of TatthvA , HithA 
and purushArthA .

17 . Brahman as being both the material and the 
efficient cause of the universe .

18 . The Relation between Brahman and the Universe 
is similar to the body-soul relation .

19 . The two means of liberation : Bhakthi& SaraNAgathi

20 . The state of liberation ( Moksham ) .

This Monograph of Sri V.N. Seshadhri AchArya is
a treasure house for understanding the doctrines 
of the different darsanams and the scholarship of 
our Sarvathanthra Svathanthra , KavithArkika Simham
to establish VisishtAdvaitham as the supremely satisfying
system among the various darsanams in the manner 
revealed by AchArya RaamAnujA through his Sri Bhaashyam .
In Sri Bhaashyam , Achaarya RaamAnujA performed 
the supreme kaimkaryam of reconciling the abhEdha - , 
bhEdha -and ghatakha  sruthis the Sareera- Sareeri bhava
realtion between the world of Jeevans and Brahman .

It is my  hope that my short introduction to these
works by the two great scholars of the kulam of
Navaneetham Swami would be helpful for you 
to acquire these two most important monographs 
on Sri VaishNavism .   

Swami Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan