SrImathE Nigamantha Mahadesikaya namah:
SrImAn venkatanAthAryaH kavitArkika kesarI |
vedAntAcArya-varyo me sannidhattAm sadA hRdi ||
May the glorious Venkatanatha, the greatest of teachers of Vedanta, and the lion among poets and debaters, reside forever in my heart.
The century and a half- which passed after Sri Ramanuja produced many critics of his system, who brought to bear against it all the skill and learning of which they were capable. Then there descended in to this world, the great Acharya, Sri Vedantha Desika, [1268 CE] the greatest among the master intellects ever produced. The gifts of natural talent, memory and intelligence with which he was endowed with were of such highest order that, by the age of twenty, he attained mastery of all vidyas and thereby acquired intellectual equipment covering the entire range of literary, ethical and religious wisdom handed down from the past. Such was the superhuman pre-eminence to which he quickly rose among the scholars of his age and that, in every field of knowledge, poetic, dialectics, religions, logic and philosophy, that he was acclaimed and accepted as an Avatara purusha by almost all his contemporaries.
The dizzy eminence he reached in the domain of philosophy and dialectics is only matched by the brilliance of his intellectual energy exhibited in every one of his writings. [we will see and enjoy them all briefly] It is no exaggeration to say that the moral and intellectual forces that radiated from the long line of great poorvacharyas of the Visishtadvaita School were all more genuinely and actively embodied in him that in any other religious teacher known to history. The powerful influence that he exercised, as much during his life as after, is in no small measure due to the fascination of his great and attractive personality which was an embodiment of uprightness and nobility, simplicity and wisdom. No frame work in which we try in words to enclose this towering personality, can do justice to the varied powers of his intellect, the wide range of his knowledge, or the burning faith of his simple life. No wonder than eminent scholars even of divergent faiths and religious thoughts joined in paying their unstinting homage to his greatness as a thinker, writer and poet. He built a fortress for Ramanuja drasanam so that no other non vedic religious scholars can destroy the green fertile fields of Ramanuja siddhantham.
Among the renowned acharyas who have been born in the Great Bharatha varsha, the unquestioned and unquestionable pre-eminent place belongs to Acharyavarya, Swami Nigamantha Mahadesikan, the luminary among Acharyas.. If all other sthothras (verses) shine forth because of their literary merit, devotional involvement and mantric qualities, the sthothras by Swami Desika stand apart and distinct on a much higher pedestal. Swami Desika whose erudition, ease of flow of language, command in diction and inherent power to mix the Bheejaaksharams in them are unexcelled. In such circumstances, it is no wonder that the best religious literature in Sanakrit and Tamil pertaining to Vishsitdavita are those bestowed on us by Swami Desika. Let us glean the various incidents of Swami?s life in detail before looking at the sthothras.
Let us enjoy the life history from Next Series.
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