Thuppul Pillai: 6 – None Else Would Be Considered Equal To Acharya

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Therazhundur Swami DesikanSrI:

SrImathE Nigamantha Mahadesikaya namah:

SrImAn venkatanAthAryaH kavitArkika kesarI |

vedAntAcArya-varyo me sannidhattAm sadA hRdi ||

 Who is Vedantha Desika?

[Sri Seva Swamy writes:]

Vedanthi among Vedanthins;

Vidwan among Vidwans;

Poet among poets;

Acharya among Acharyas

Devotee among devotees;

Rasika among Rasikas

Literary genius among writers

avathAra purusha among them;

A great Tamilian among Tamilians (who enjoyed every letter and spirit of Alwars? 4000)

Saviour among saviours Most detached among detached (Parama vairAghi and virakthar)

Equal to Rishis; Equal to even Alwars- in terms of their anubhavams (and the only Acharya to have had naayika bhAvam identical to Alwars]

Utthamar (most virtuous)

Sulabhar (easily accessible by one and all- even today in his archA avathar)

Saanthar

A MAHAAN..

How can we end this search for the answer for who is Desika?

To refer to books?

To meditate and ask ourselves and find out from our intellect and jnAnam.

To get flabbergasted from his enormous works and sit in front of awesome granthas.. To keep talking about Swamy and to listen from others about our Acharya saarvabhouman..

pEsuvaar?  those who talk- how long will they be able to sustain? Till their ability.. but one can never complete their quest for an answer as HE IS ineffable. pEsiRRE pEsalallaal perumai onRu uNaral aagaathu..

Swamy Desikan said.. [on his Tamil prabhandham]: aruLALarthaameninum thamakkovvaarE.. We can read as Desikarthaameninum thamakkovaarE..

Look at the way Swamy crystal clear mentions the following:

(i)        seyyathamizh maalaigaL theLiyavOdhi theLiyaadha maRainilangaL theLiginROmE.. [By reciting the wonderful Tamil   prabandhams of Alwars  the Tamil Vedas- we are able to get the [hidden- unclear] Vedic statements clarified crystal clear]

(ii)       maasil manantheLi munivar vagutthathellaam maalugantha Asiriyar vaartthaikku ovvaa [The clear minded- pure hearted Sages words can never be equal to those of [our Alwars and ] Acharyas blessed by the Lord Sriman Narayanan.  reason: Sages were also blessed by the Lord; but performed Bhakti yOgam- with individual efforts; Our Acharyas and Alwars realised the doctrine of Saranagathi and our best qualifications to perform the same with our inabililities (not the Acharyas) and hence compassionately for our sake- practised and preached the same- the Prapatti maarga]

(iii)      madhurakavi thOnRak kaattum tholvazhiyE nalvazhigaL thuNivaargatkE..[The path paid by Madhurakavi Alwar- being at the feet of Acharya and surrendering to the lotus feet of Acharya- with a steadfast unconditional unflinching faith on one’s acharya and his Lord’s lotus feet- declaring there is no Lord [that we know of] other than the Acharyan and performing Prapatti at his feet. Take to this correct path realizing its greatness ? the path laid out by Madhurakavi ]

(iv)      Thamizhpalaandisaiyudan paaduvamE.. [Once we take the path as in (iii) then, in Paramapadham Swamy Desikan says- we will sing ThiruppallaaNdu enjoying the Parippoorna Brahmaanubhavam in its entirety]

(v)       Ivainaalaayiramum aDiyOngaL vaazhvE.. {These 4000 of Alwars- are our life itself]

(vi)      nanRE varuvadhellAm namakku baram onRiladhE [after performance of Saranagthi, all sins accrued so far for ages are all burnt to ashes and we get the kaimkarya Sri  eternal servitude in this birth and thereafter at Srivaikuntam- no more burden of any kind]

(vii)     ALavandhar adiyOm padiyOm inialvazhakkE [having been blessed to be servants  disciples of Alavandhar- Bhagawath Yamunamuni- and being blessed with unamibiguous works of his, we will never ever read any other stuff [of other religions] any more]

(viii)    NaaraNanai naanmaRaiyaal thaan kaNdEnE.. [I have seen Lord Sriya: Pathi Sriman Narayanan- SarvEshwaran- the Supreme Lordship- only based on Vedas- and its affirmative declaration about His Parathvam and the way and the goal being his Lotus Feet. [based on saasthra yOnithvaath- sUthram..]]

(ix)      Thanthai ena ninRa thanith thirumaal thaaLil thalaivaitthOm SATAKOPAN aruLinaalE.. [We are blessed to have the jnAnam and performed our Saranagathi placing at our heads at the lotus feet of the ONE AND ONLY GOD Sriman Narayanan  and that jnAnam has come to us only due to the unparalleled grace and dayA of SRI NAMMAZHWAR- Sri SatakOpan and his unambiguous THIRUVAYMOZHI- the Dravida Veda Saagaram]

(x)        pORRi ugapaathum pundhiyil koLvadhum pongupugazh saaRRi vaLarppathu saRRallavO munnam peRRadhaRkE.. [praising him; enjoying and propagating his glories; keeping in mind his greatness and his grace on us; spreading his greatness to the whole world and glorifying his name- doing all that to one’s Acharya is meagre nothing compared to what HE HAS DONE TO US by initiating with the most esoteric mantras (Rahasya thrayam); and placing us at the lotus feet of the Lord..

Where else can one get such most clear, crisp statements as above? Who else can give us such wonderful unambiguous statements! It can be only Thooppul Kula maNi- Thoppul ThiruvEnkadamudaiyaan. Even one sloka (or one prabandham) of Thoopul Thiruvenkadamudaiyaan is enough for us to take us to the SrivaikuNtam- says PillailOkacharya.

The Lord’s sankalpam for protecting us- must have been completely fulfilled by this avatar of His in the name of Vedantha Desikan. jnAnam, bhalam, aishwaryam, veeryam, sakthi and thEjas are the six opulent qualities for the Lord- Bhagawaan. That asserts his Parathvam.

Swami desikan

Sarvagnathvam- omniscience- is known by Tattvamukthakalapam and thereby jnAnam; in one night and in one jaamam (three hours)- 1008 gems in the name of Padhuka sahasram- thereby Shakthi; bhalam by demolishing the other religious (non vedic and avaidhik) doctrines with SatadhUshaNi, Paramatha bhangam, etc.. ; veeryam in Vishesha vitparishadheshu natha Vidhaktha khoshti samaranganeshu JigheeshathO mE Kavitarkikendran… and thEjas in vEnkatESAhvayam maha: – Thus we enjoy the Bhagawathvam in Swamy Vedantha Desikan.

Swamy Desikan says: Achaarya should be worshipped as God if not better and none else should be considered equal to Acharyan.

 Adhyaaseethuranga vakthravilasath jihvaagrasimhaasanaath

Achaaryaamiva dhEvathAm samadhikaam anyaam na manyaamahE..

Why should we feel shy to call our Swamy Bhagawath Nigamantha Desikan. Our Acharya saarabhouman is the Lord Thiruvenkatamudaiyaan himself who appeared as the Thuppul Thiruvenkatanathan.. why should we not call him Bhagawadh Nigamantha Desikan. He is verily Bhagawaan’s avatar.

svAmi deSikan concludes the nyAsa vimsathi stotra with a gist of how he was led to prapatti, and how he lives his life as a prapanna after performing prapatti. This concluding Slokam is included as part of the nitya-anushandhAnam at the end of the nyAsa daSakam which is recited during the nitya bhagavad-ArAdhanam.

samSArAvarta vega praSamana Subha-dr*k deSika prekshito’ham

samtyakto’nyairupAyair-anucita cariteshvadya SAntAbhisabshih |

niS-Sankhah tatvat-dr*shtyA niravadhika dayam prArthya samrakshakam

tvAm nysya tat-pAda padme varada nija-bharam nir-bharo nir-bhayo’smi ||

“I chose a good AcArya who could instruct me on how to get out of the whirl of samsAra, and had his divya kaTAksha. Because of the AcArya’s teachings, I obtained the knowledge that could help me analyze and understand the difficulty of bhakti yoga and the realization that prapatti is the only recourse open to me, which I could perform easily, and attain the desired moksham by performing it once and only once. I learnt the facts about prapatti and so had no doubt whatsoever about its efficacy. I sought refuge of peraruLALan with pirATTi as the sole refuge who could protect me. I surrendered all responsibility for my protection at the feet of peraruLALan and performed prapatti at His feet. Since I am now living the life of a prapanna, I feel completely relieved of all responsibility for my self from that point. Since all my acts from that point on have been directed to only kaimkaryam for bhagavAn, there is nothing more to fear about any accumulation of karma. So I continue to lead a life of nishkAmya kaimkaryam to bhagavAn while spending the rest of my life in this world, and deriving infinite happiness from it”. [translation by Sri N Krishnamachari]

It may please be noted that though there are two sects (namely Vadakalai and thenkalai) in srivaishnavam, they are only different on very few subtle issues and both follow strictly AchArya YathirAjar- Bhagavath Ramanuja sampradayam in all respects with fullest sincerity. In fact, in as much as Sri Bhashyakarar is the common Acharya for both kalais, Swamy Desikan is the common Sri Bhashya Acharya for both kalais as well and he comes under Acharya linage under Sribhashya Guruparamparai.

It is our duty to talk in praise of and contemplate on the glories and greatness of our Acharya. Let us continue to do so every day and every minute.

Swamy Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam

kavi-tArkika-simhAya kalyANa-guNa-SAline |

Srimate venkateSAya vedAntagurave namaH ||

Salutations to Sri Venkatesa, in whom all perfections reside, who is the teacher of Vedanta and the lion among poets and debaters

Writeup by : Sri Madhavakannan

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