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Articles on Sri Parakala Matham Vaibhavam - II

From: Rajeev Karamchedu (
Date: Thu Oct 04 2001 - 11:07:02 PDT

Sri Laxmi Hayavadana Parabrahmane Nama:
Sri Vakula Bhushana Maha Desikaya Nama:
Srimate Ramanujaya Nama:
Srimate Nigamantha Maha Desikaya Nama:
Srimate Brahmatantra Swatantra Parakala Maha Desikaya Nama:
Srimate Brahmatantra Swatantra Parakala Guru Paramparaayai Nama:

Sri Hayagriva Avataram

It is popularly known that Supreme Lord has taken ten avataras for the
cause of righteousness and Dharma. Besides these there have been many
more. One of them is the avataram of Sri Hayagriva, the presiding
deity of learning and all vidyas have their origin in and emanate from
Him. The avataram of Sri Hayagriva is the foremost of all the other
avatarams of Lord Sriman Narayana. It is an avataram with great
significance. Brahma, Rudra, Rishis and Devathais meditate upon this
Lord for gaining knowledge. Bhagavan Vyasa, who has extoled Him
as “vidyaasahaayavaan” (one who guides all forms of study) has
described the greatness of this avataram in Mahabharata shantiparvam
moksha dharma narayaniyam, 375 sargam. Sarasvathi herself is said to
worship this form of Vishnu Hayagriva.

Lord Sriman Narayana after waking up from his yoga nidra created
Chaturmukha Brahma, the representation of satva gunam and ordained
him with the duties of creation. Two rakshasas Madhu, who was the very
representation of tamo gunam and Kaitabha, who was the representation
of rajo gunam saw Brahma singing the four vedas in a nectarous tune
with his four faces. They then plundered with the four vedas and went
into the patala lokam (nether worlds).

Brahma, helpless and having lost the radiance of his knowledge, prayed
to Lord Sriman Narayana with all devotion. Pleased with his devotion,
the Lord with the power of His Yoga, incarnated as a beautiful horse
faced individual. The reason for a horse face is because it is said in
the Vedas that in order to subdue rajo guna and tamo guna the best form
of build is that of Hayashira or Hayagriva. And so the Lord incarnated
as a resplendent spotless white Hayagriva with four hands (chaturbhujam). 
The head depicted the dwelling of the four Vedas
showing the forms of the stellar world. His mane
shone like the rays of Sun. His two ears beamed like Akasha and Patala,
forehead like the Earth and eyebrows like the rivers Ganga and
Sarasvathi. His two eyes looked like the Sun and the Moon with oceans
inside. His nose looked like dusk (sandhya) and His utterance was
Omkara. His tongue looked like a lightening streak and His lips looked
like the bhulokam and pitrulokam. His neck looked like a deep dark
night. The Lord after having attained this divine form that was the
substructure for all other forms of His, then went after the two
rakshasas into the Patala lokam. Having killed the asuras and redeemed
the Vedas back to their pristine glory, He then taught Brahma the
entire Veda, Vedanta along with the Pancharatra and other shastras.
It is for this reason that Lord Hayagriva is considered the first
acharya in the lineage of preceptors and also the treasure house of the
Vedas and the essence of all knowledge and vidya.

This avataram is full of Vedantic truths and realizations. The Lord in
Ramavataram preached the truths of Sharanagati and Varnashrama dharma,
in Krishnavataram preached the Geeta, along with vishwaroopa darshana
and the destruction of the evil. In all the other avatarams of the
Lord it can be seen that the Lord preaches some important truth, but
it is only in Hayagriva avataram that one can have a complete
realization of all the truths of Vedanta. The reason for this is that
this avataram teaches about the presence of the Lord’s four vyuhas, the
creation of Brahma before the creation of the worlds, the theft of the
Vedas and their restoration, bhagavat shastras and others.

Sri Hayagrivar is considered as the principal deity of all knowledge
and enlightenment. It is said that one becomes wise and erudite,
worshipping and contemplating on Sri Hayagriva.

During Krishnavataram, the Lord preached Geetha by holding on to the
horses of His chariot. He upheld the fact that He is the supreme being.
The Lord LakshmiHayagriva who is the “Yajnapurusha” and one who bestows
moksha also preached the Shukla Yajurveda to Yajnavalkya.

Lakshmi Hayagrivar at the Sri Matham

Sri Ramanuja got an image of Sri Lakshmi Hayagrivar from Sri Sarasvathi
in recognition of the expounding of the Vishishtadvaitha system of
philosophy “The Sri Bhashya” before the assemblage of pandits of
Kashmir at “Sarasvathi Peetam” about the beginning of the twelfth (12th)
century, during his visit to that country. Bhashyakara worshipped this
murthy during his lifetime and then handed it over along with the
spiritual succession to Thirukkurukaippiraan Pillan.

Pillan and his successive generations, Pundarikaksha, Shathakopa Deshikan 
and Pundarikaksha Deshikan continued to worship this veda murthy. 
Pundarikakshar, who also had become the Rajaguru of the
Vijayanagar rulers, was the son-in-law of Sri Appullar. Upon the
request of Sri Appullar, Pundarikaakshar handed over this murthy to
Swamy Deshikan with all attendant Imperial paraphernalia.

Swamy Desikan worshipped this murthy for over 80 years. Towards
the later part of His life here on Earth, Swamy Desikan realized that
unless a new order of Acharya Paramapara was not established,
the world would have no way of emerging from the darkness that is
caused due to the outside influences and internal struggles.
Enabled with His Diving Foresight, Swamy Desikan caused his dearest
disciple to take to asceticism, and established him as the first of
a new series of Acharyas. He then named Him as Brahma Tantra
Swatantra Jeeyar. This happenned in the year 1338 (bahudhaanya naama
samvatsaram). Swamy Desika himself continued to give directions
till 1370, when Swamy Desika attained the Holy Feet of the Lord.

There is a very beautiful and very old painting in Sri Matham at
Mysore that depicts the Acharya Paramapara of Sri Parakala Matham.
This painting shows the origins of Sri Matham acharya parampara.
At the very top of the painting, one can have the darshanam
of Lord Laxmi Hayagriva. Immediately below, Bhagavan Ramanuja,
Sri Ranganaatha Muni and Sri Yamunamuni are present. Below
them are the paintings of Swamy Sri Vedanta Desikan flanked
by Sri Brahmatantra Swatantra Jeer and Sri Kumara Varadacharya
on his sides. At the bottom of the painting is the swaroopam of
Sri Brahmatantra Swatantra Periya Parakala Yateendra Maha Desikan,
the 21st Jeer of the Matham. Due the efforts of the Sri Matham
volunteers and Shishyas, an <A 
href="">soft copy of this 
painting is now
available for viewing</a> at the Parakala Matham website.

Thus was started what is now known as Brahma Tantra Swatantra Parakala
Mutt, and 36 eminent scholars and sages have adorned its Holy Seat, the
present Pontiff <a 
href="">Sri Sri Srimad 
Abhinava Vageesha Brahma Tantra Swatantra
Parakala Maha Desikan Swamy</a> being the 36th, who was coronated in

In the next posting, we will cover some of the article on
the first few acharyas of the Matham.

Sri Laxmi Hayagriva Parabrahmane Nama:



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