Today, November 19th 2011, is the thirunakshatram of one of the foremost and illustrious acharyas of Srirangam Srimath Andavan PeriAsramam Srimath Chinnandavan – Sri PAdukA sEvaka rAmAnuja mahA dEsikan (Karthigai Magam).
Sriman natha muneendra yaamuna muni Srisamya mindraathmanaha
Sri Srivasa muneendra dEsika maNE: praapthaaga maanthath dvaya
Sri rangEsha padhE thadharpithaBHaram Sri paadukasevaka
Sri raamaanuja yoginam guruvaram vandhe dayaasaagaram
I Pay my obeisance to Sri PAduka sEvaka Sri RamAnuja muni, the greatest of Gurus and who is verily an ocean of compassion, the one who acquired knowledge of Ubhaya vedhantham from the great teacher, Sri Srinivasa Muni, (Peria Andavan) the incarnation of Nathamuni, Yamunamuni, Ramanuja muni , and who had BharasamarpaNam at the feet of Lord Sri RanganAtha. done by Peria Andavan
Srimath Chinnandavan’s Life History
This Mahan was born in the year sarvadhari (1828), in the month of Karthigai in a hamlet called Velliyanallur. His janma nakshatram is Magam. He belonged to satamarshana gothra. His father, Sri Krishna Thathacharya. named his son as Srinivasaraghavan. It is a great coincidence that two other Acharyas in this illustrious lineage who adorned the peetam were also named as Srinivasaraghavan in their poorvasramam namely Srimath Periandavan who was Srimath Chinnandavan’s direct predecessor and the other Acharya was none other than the famous Srimath Thirukkudanthai Andavan who was instrumental in spreading the Periasrama parampara to length and breadth of the country and made it reach dizzy heights of glory in our sampradaya.
Younger days of Srimath Chinnandavan
Sri Krishna Thathacharya performed upayanam and other vaithika samskarams to his son at the right age. SrinivasarAghavan swami also underwent veda adhyayanam and learnt kavya alankara grantham. He went to Mysore. And There He met SriRama Sastri who was the Asthana vidwan of the Mysore raja samsthanam. He learnt nyaya sastras and advaita philosophy under his tutelage and thus became an exponent With his radiant brilliance. he even cleared the doubts Sri sastri encountered on sastraic research and earned his awe and accolades. In particular, swami was extremely proficient in tharka sastras. He went to Srirangam in pursuit of the studying ampradhaya granthas and reached the holy hermitage of Srimath Periandavan who was the paragon of Gnana and vairaghya and prayed at His holy feet for the same. Observing Srinivasaraghavan Swami, Srimath Periandavan was very much pleased with His modesty and His sastraic knowledge and accepted Him as His sishya. He rendered Grantha chathustayam ( namely Srimath Rahasya thraya saram, Geetha Bhashyam, Sri Bhashyam and bhagavath vishayam) and satha dhooshani to Srinivasaraghavan. Srinivasaraghavan swami went back to vellianallur after completing the kalakshepam.
Taking up sanyasa
When swami was in vellianallur observing his panca kala anushtanams and leading a very regimented life of a true srivaishnava paramAikanthi, Srimath Periandavan due to His severe penance and austere life, became very weak.. For the sampradaya to continue to flourish and grow, Srimath Periandavan wanted to choose His successor .After makingseveral tests,Peria Andavan decided that Srinivasaraghavan swami was the right person to succeed Him as the acharya of the periasramam. In the meantime, Periandavan’s health deteriorated.
Srinivasaraghavan swami went back to Srirangam from vellianallur and prostated before srimath periandavan and prayed to him that he be granted sanyasa. With great modesty, he went through the explanation of qualification of oneself to take up sanyasa thereby indicating his readiness for the same. swAmi told srimath periandavan that he did “Sarvasanga parithyagam”, completely renouncing samsara bhandham and prayed to Srimath periandavan to grant Him sanyasa. Srimath periandavan was filled with extreme happiness to have chosen the right successor and granted Srinivasaraghavan swami, sanyasa on an auspicious day. He was given the title “Sri Paduka sevaka ramanuja maha desikan”.
Since both were Acharyas together at the same time, they were fondly called as periandavan and chinnandavan by the sishyas and admirers alike. This period lasted for a very short duration though with Srimath periandavan reaching parama padam within 4 months of Srimath Chinnandavan taking up sanyasa.
Srimath Chinnandavan was serving as guiding light of the sampradaya and authored rarest of several granthas when he was the Acharya of the periasramam- They are as follows:
1. Ahnikartha prakasikai 2.Sri Jayanthi nirnayam 3.ukthyacharya nishta vicharam 4.sathpadha rakshai 5. Janmashtami nirnayam ..6.thathkrathu nyaya vicharam.7.Acharya sambavanai kramam…8.Aasowcha sangam
Sishya parampara:- Several erudite scholars became the disciples of srimath chinnandavan, foremost being:- 1.Eyunni SriVaradhachar swamy(who later became Terazhundur Andavan) 2 Sri Villiputhur Ammalachar swami 3.Vidvan ukkur Srinivasaraghavachar.4.Akkur Srinivasaraghavachar. 5..Vidvan Tembarai Ramabadrachar
Srimath chinnandavan traveled to Sri kanchi from Srirangam and gave several sampradayic pravachanams(discourses) during His yathra and came back to Srirangam.
Srimath Chinnandavan attained Thirunadu at the age of 68 leaving behind grieving disciples in the year Vijaya (1895), on the sukla sapthami thithi in the tamil month of Thai. Swami was in thureeyasramam was 10 years observing that many chaturmasyams.