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RE: Swamy Desikan Thirunakshathram

From: Srinath Chakravarty (
Date: Fri Sep 28 2001 - 12:48:11 PDT

What a masterpiece of an article by Sri Muralidhar Rangaswamy,
describing the SrIsooktis of our AchArya sArvabhouman, Swami
vedAnta deSikan!!  Truly the genius of sarvatantra svatantrar
is unsurpassed by any AchAryan in rAmAnuja sampradAyam. adiyEn
appeals to the entire community of bhaktas to kindly take a
few moments to go through this article below, even if you have
already read it once!  It is sad though, that despite being
the very fountain of knowledge and having earned the padhavi
of sarvatantra svatantra from periya pirAtti herself, swAmi
deSikan in his own lifetime experienced several attempts at
harrasement and defamation by those jealous of his intellectual
prowess.  This continues even today, in many places where swAmi
dwells in archAvatAram.  Let us all try to take an academic
approach to examining the genuine merit of Vishnu ghaNtAvatAra
swAmi deSikan, putting aside petty differences so that the true
light of our sampradAyam may shine forth, brightly and forever.

Let us all pray, on this occasion immediately following the
sacred purattAsi thiruvONam day, that all SriVaishnavas may
soon realize the monumental contributions of swAmi deSikan to
our sampradAyam, and honor him accordingly without prejudice.

adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan
-Srinath C.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent: Friday, September 28, 2001 2:01 PM
> To:
> Dear Sriman Madhavakkannan Swamin and Sadagopan Swamin,
> Thank you very much for your delightful postings on Swami
> Desikan, verily the Kavitarkika Simham-the like of one that
> has never been seen before nor after. Adiyen wishes to add
> that Swami Desikan places a premium on PramANas in all of
> his works. A unique characteristic of all of his works is
> a verbatim reproduction of important Vedic. For example the
> Hayagriva Stotram commences with jnAnAnanda Mayam Devam, 
> which mirrors the upanishadic description of Brahman as
> jnAna mayam and Ananda mayam. So too the Sri Stuthi
> salutation "asyEshana tvamasi jagata: samshrayanthI Mukundam..
> .. VishNu pathnIndirEthi", reflects the NeeLa Sooktham
> salutation "pruthivyA asyEshAna jagathO vishNu pathni",
> while the Padhuka Sahasram salutation "ahamannAdha ithIva 
> gayasi thvam" echoes the Taittriya upanishad vakyam
> "AhamannAdhO..." 
> The number of verses too employed by Our Paramacharyan in
> his Stotrams are significant. Specifically, the Hayagriva
> Stotram has 32 verses, denoting the overlordship of Bhagavan
> Hayagriva over the Brahmavidyas. Similarly the Yatiraja
> Sapthathi contains 74 verses in keeping with the fact that
> Sri Ramanujacharya blessed us with our wonderful Kula Dhanam
> (Bhagavad Ramanuja Darshanam) through the 74 SimhAsanAdhipatis.
> The Sri Stuthi contains 25 verses due to the fact that Ma, the
> EkAksharam for Piratti is the 25th letter of the Sanskrit
> Alphabet. Also due to His eternal association with Sri, the
> Lord begets the name Madhavan. Furthermore, the Dvaya Mantram,
> which advocates unconditional total Surrender to the Feet of
> Lord Narayana, who is never separated from Sri, contains 25
> aksharams. Since all these aspects are alluded to in the Sri
> Stuthi, 25 delectable verses are employed. Finally, the
> AshtabhujAshtakam is set in 8 verses due to its overwhelming
> connections to the AshtAkshara Mantram. 
> It is also important to note Swami Desikan's exemplary humility
> in that He composed only one Stothram in praise of Lord Srinivasa.
> This is due to the fact that Swami Desikan was an avataram of
> Lord Srinivasa. The salutation "VenkatEshAvatArOyam tath GhantAm
> SothavABhavEth" from the Desika Mangalam provides eloquent
> testimony to this fact. Therefore, Swami Desikan chose not to
> sing about himself but instead extensively glorify Lord 
> Varadaraja, Lord Devanayaka, and Lord Ranganatha.
> Speicifically, it is important to note Swami Desikan's Sattvika
> tyagam in verse 104 of the Daya Shatakam where he notes that
> "vedAnta Desika padhE vinivEshya bAlam dEvO dayA shatakamEthadha
>  vAdha yanmAm vaIhArikENa vidhinA samayE gruHithvam vINA
>  vishEshamiva vEnkata shaIlantha:"
> Meaning:
> "Although I have been accorded the title of Vedanta Desika, I
> deserve no credit for it. This is entirely due to Your grace.
> I am merely a stringed instrument in Your hands, which you have
> used to produce the verses of the Daya Shatakam"
> Another unique facet of Swami Desikan's work is that his Stothrams 
> embed the essence of the Mantrams of the respective deties that
> are glorified therein. For example, verses 11-15 of the Hayagriva
> Stothram contain the essence of the Hayagriva Mantram, while the
> Sri Sthuthi embeds the Lakshmi Mantram. Similarly, verse 2 of the
> Gopala vimshati has in succinct form the Gopala Mantram and the
> Devanayaka Panchasath carries the most powerful Mantram for Lord
> Devanayaka. The Garuda Panchasath too contains in cryptic form
> the Garuda Mantram in verse 2. It is important to note that while
> the mantrams have restrictions in terms of time, place, and
> persons for their prayogam, Swami Desikan's works have no such
> requirements. They are meant for all, regardless of caste, creed,
> sex, or affiliation.
> May our Paramacharyan's works continue to enrich our lives and
> bless us with more Bhagavad, Bhagavata and Acharya Kaimkaryam.

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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