Varshika Thirunakshatram of U.Ve. Sri Veeraraghavarya Mahadesikan, most popularly known as Madurantakam Swamy was celebrated on Maasi-Avittam (Tuesday, February, 21). The celebrations, organised by Shri Navalpakkam Varadhachar Swami, had started on February 19 at Thinnanur (Thiru-Ninravur) On February 20, the Celebrations shifted to this Swami’s Thirumaligai at Madurandhagam.
The Poundarikapuram – Paravakkottai Swami – Srimath Andavan Ashramam also celebrated Sri Madurantakam Swamy’s Thirunakshatram for 5 days where Madurantakam Swamy was doing “Bikshai” kainkaryam to Paravakottai Swamy earlier.
Sri Ramanuja chose 74 of his disciples and appointed them as “SimhasanaAdhipatis”,messengers to continue the propagation of his philosophy. One of them was Ecchambadi Acchaan and the other was Ecchambai Jeeyar. To this distinguished and scholarly family belonged Sri U. Ve. Thirumalai Ecchambadi Veeraraghavarya Mahadesikan (Madhuranthakam Swamy).
Sri Veeraraghavacharya Swami was born on February 28, 1900, under the nakshatra ‘Avittam’. His father was Sri T.E. Krishnamachariar, the first Tirthakaarar of Sri Kodanda Rama Swami temple at Madurantakam.Swami had his education in Sanskrit at his native place and soon gained enviable proficiency in the Vedas. At the same time, he also mastered the 4000 verses of the Divya Prabandham . He then specialized in Nyaya Sastra (logic) at the renowned Rajah’s college under the eminent vidvan Sri U.Ve. Swacchandam Swamy. Subsequently, Swami learnt Sribhashyam, Gita Bhashyam, Srimad Rahasya Traya Saaram and Arayirappadi (Bhagavad Vishayam) under Sri Sri Paramahamsa Parivrajaka Garudapuram Swami. He also studied Tattva Mukta Kalaapam from Sri U. Ve. Goshtipuram Sowmya Narayanacharya Swami all his studies were over at the age of 20.
Fully trained by eminent vidvans in the shastras, Sri Madurantakam Swami took a position as professor of Nyaya in Rajah’s College. For nearly three decades, hundreds of students benefitted from his deep knowledge of Nyaya, ubhaya Vedanta, and Mimamsa. After his retirement in 1955, Sri Madurantakam Swami settled down in Srirangam, Always in demand for scholarly congregations, he was scintillating as a powerful debater popularly known as (PANCHAVADHAM VEEERARAGHAVACHAR). His expositions were clear and to the point. Blessed with a prodigious memory, he could effortlessly recall scriptural sources to convey the message of his arguments. Recognizing his accomplishment in all aspects of Ubhaya Vedanta including the tenets and texts of both subschools, Sri Madurantakam Swami became the President of the Srimad Ubhaya Vedanta Prachaara Sabha in Srirangam, founded by Sri Tridandi Sriman Narayana Ramanuja Jeeyar Swami in 1963.Swamy was the Adyakshar in many vidvath sadhas.
A prolific writer on the philosophy and literature of Sri Vaishnavism, Swami contributed regularly to journals such as Sri Vedanta Dipika, Sri Nrusimha Priya and Sri Ranganatha Paduka. Among his works are:
1. Tamil translation of Anumana Adhyaya (Chapter on Inference)
of Nyaya Parisuddhi of Vedanta Desika.
2. Tamil commentary on Desika’s Nyasa Tilakam.
3. Tamil rendering of Desika’s “Raksha” commentary on Alavandar’s
4. Sri Sampradaya Sudha.
5. Sanskrit rendering of Tirumangai Alvar’s Siriya Tirumadal.
6. Nikasha Sata Dushani.
7. Tamil commentary on Jitante Stotram.
8. Tamil Commentary on Desika’s Abhiti Stava and Sri Stuti.
Every year a Vidvath sadas is conducted at Srirangam presided over by HH Poundarikapuram Sri Gopala Desika Maha Desikan .
Sri Madhuranthakam Swamy was the Thiruvadi ( Sishya rathnam ) of the great Garudapuram Swamy (Sri Srinivasa Mahadesikan) belonging to the Ecchampadi Vamsam . Swamy was a “contemporary” of Uttamur Veeraraghavachariar swamigal, Villivalam NarayanAchAr Swamigal and other great mahAtmAs of that period.
Swamy’s “Thanian” reads as follows…..
SriLakshmi Dhuragasya Lasya Vibhava Isthaanaayi Thasyambhuja |
SriSrivasa Yateendhra Dhivya KarunaSadhveekshanai Kaspadham ||
Srimad Veeraragoothamam Ghuna Ganaihi: Sathvidhyayaapyunnadham|
Nithyam Isreyasi Deekshidham Nadhajane Bakthya Nadhoham Bajey||
HH Garudapuram Swamy hails from the lineage of Ecchampadi Aacchan , one of the seventy four simhasanadhipathis appointed by Acharya Raamanuja himself. Ecchampadi Acchan was known as Srinivasa Purohitha forthe construction of champaka praakaram and Hema Koopam (golden well)for Lord Srinivasan at Thirumalai and Purana , manthra Pushpa, Panchaanga patanam for Thirumalaiappan daily. Even today water is taken from this golden well for the daily thiruvaradhanam.
Acharya Ramanuja initiated Ecchampadi Acchan into Nrusimha Manthramand, Naarasimha Taapaneeyopanishad as well . Such is the glory of the lineage of Madhuranthakam Swamy’s Acharyan and his sishya paramparai coming from the Ecchampadi Vamsam.
Madurantakam is an Abhimana Sthalam and is also known as Vaghularanyam; It houses the famous Aeri Kaatha Ramar.
Courtesy: Sri Cattangulathur S. Raghavan Swami