|Sri Vedanta Desikan|
Swamy Sri Vedanta Desikan as in Kanchipuram with lions on two sides
Sri Thoopul (Thiruthanka) (present-day Kanchipuram District, Tamil Nadu, India) near by thiruthaNka one of the divyadesam among the 108.
|Titles/honours||sriranganachiyar confirmed as Sarvathanthra Swathanthrar, Kavitharkiga Simham,srirangam namperumal confirmed as Vedanthachariar|
|Guru||Sri Kidambi Appullar alias Sri Aathreya Ramanujachariar|
|Literary works||visishtadwaita texts 6. ubhayavedanta granthas 9.Sthothras 29,, Sri Paduka Sahasram,1008 verses on sri ranganathan paduka, Rahasya Granthams34., Sri Desika Prabandham,18 Kavyams 5.,play 1.vadagranthangal3. rakshagranthangal 5. anushtana granthangal 3.other granthas 3. totally 116 texts|
Srimathe Nigamantha Maha Desikaya Namah:(श्रीमते निगमान्त महादेशिकाय नमः)
|Part of a series on|
|Part of a series on|
Sri Vedanta Desika (Swami Desikan, Swami Vedanta Desikan, Thoopul Nigamaantha Desikan) (1268–1370) born to Sri Ananthasuri and Thotharamba on bhadrapada Shravanam star. He was a Sri Vaishnava guru and one of the most brilliant stalwarts of Sri Vaishnavism in the post-Ramanuja period. He was a poet, devotee, philosopher and master-teacher. He was the disciple of Kidambi Appullar, also known as Aathreya Ramanujachariar, who himself was of a master-disciple lineage that began with Ramanuja. Swami Vedanta Desika is considered to be avatar (incarnation) of the divine bell of Venkateswara of Tirumalai by the Vadakalai sect of Sri Vaishavites. उत्प्रेक्ष्यते बुधजनैरुपपत्तिभूम्ना घण्टा हरेस्समजनिष्ट यदात्मनेति," ghanta haresamajanishta yadatmanEthi" His avatar is said to be the bell of the Tirupati deity, Sri Venkateswara and he himself expressed this aspect in his Sanskrit drama “Sankalpa Suryodaya”. Sri Prathivaadi Bhayankaram Annan, who was disciple of Swamy Vedanta Desika praised Swami in his work SaptadhirathnamAlika प्रादुरभवत् जगति दैत्यरिपुघण्टा हन्त कवितार्किकमृगेन्द्रगुरुमूर्त्या "hantha kavithArkika mrugendragurumoorthya" - divine bell of seven hills Sri Venkateswara born as KavithAkika Simham.
A unique aspect regarding Vedanta Desika is that instead of propounding any new philosophy he embellished Sri Ramanuja’s Visishtadhvaita with superb logic. He converted philosophy into poetry and poetry into philosophy. His greatness stemmed from his devotion to the Prapati marga.
We have it from the words of Swami Desika himself that he completed his studies before he was 20 and that he had taught the Sri Bashyam (Sri Ramanuja’s commentary on the Brahmasutras) to disciples at large 30 times over. On completion of his studies, he made a pilgrimage to Thiruvaheendrapuram. By the upasana of Vainateya manthra (Garuda manthra) he obtained the blessings of Vishnu as Hayagriva.
When Desika was about to return to Kancheepuram, according to Sampradaya, Sri Devanatha of Thiruvaheendrapuram appeared in his dream and ordered him to propagate the philosophy of Ramanuja. This incident is confirmed by the Acharya’s words: “It has been my singular fortune to be ordered by Mukunta to safeguard and consolidate the ancient religion”.
Soon an opportunity arose at Srirangam for the Acharya to defeat rival philosophers and vanquish them effectively. On the basis of his arguments Sri Desika compiled the “Sathadooshani” pointing out the flaws in the philosophical works of his opponents. Sri Ranganatha gifted the Acharya with the title of “Vedanthacharya” and Goddess Ranganayaki gave him the title of “Sarva Tantra Swathantra” (One who is a master of all crafts)
It is also believed that Sri Devanatha of Thiruvaheendrapuram blessed Swami Desika with the title of “Kavithatkika Simham” (Lion of poets and logic).
Swami Desika was a prolific writer in tamil and Sanskrit expounding Prapati and Bhakti and about 116 works, big and small, are to his credit. To cite an instance in the “Adhikaranasaravali”, he has explained each “Sutra” of the 300 and more Brahmasutras. The entire gamut of the truths embodied in them are brought out in verse form in Sanskrit.
On the Tamil Prabhandams about 405 stanzas are available at present. Some 50 to 80 stanzas pertaining to Thiruvaheendrapuram are said to have been lost. But even the existing ones are wonderful examples of classical Tamil poetry, at times resembling that of the Alwars in diction and style.
Once, poet Vidyaranya had requested Swami Desika to adorn the court of Vijayanagara, but it was turned down and Swami Desika’s reply to him is known as “Vairagya Panchakam”. His love for Ramanuja and his Siddhanta, was sustained throughout his life. During the troubled period of Muslim invasion at Srirangam, Sri Desika was saddled with the responsibility of safeguarding two small boys entrusted to him by Sudarsanachariar (Sruta-Prakasikachar) along with the grand work of “Srutaprakasika” (a text dealing with the Sri Bhashyam of Sri Ramanuja). He took them to Melkote during his time and propagated to his able “Sishyas” the “Sruta Prakasika”. For this he is praised by his own son in Desika Mangalam as follows: “One who originally saved “Sruta Prakasika” and entrusted the propagation of it to his disciples, may he bring mangalam to us.”
Sri Desika was duly present at Srirangam when the glory of the Lord was revived after the defeat of the Muslims, by Gopparaya of Gingee, That this event took place is inscribed in two stanzas at Srirangam on the eastern wall (below the big bell, and parallel to the west wall of the Vishwakshena shrine). His bhakthi to Lord Devanatha was so intense that in the Nayaka Nayaki bhava, he structured his work “Achyutha Sathaka”.
The idol cast by him of himself (when challenged) is being worshipped at Thiruvaheendrapuram even to this day. The Hayagreeva idols worshipped by him are two in number. One is worshipped at Thiruvaheendrapuram and the other at “Parakala Mutt” in Mysore. During a rival contest between Vidyaranya and Akshoba, Sri Desika acted as an umpire and gave judgement in favour of Akshoba. This is engraved in a stone at a hill site near Mulbagal in Karnataka. His “Paduka Sahasra”, dwelling on the glory of Sri Ranganatha’s sandals, is a masterpiece.
It was at Thiruvaheendrapuram again that all rivals were jointly defeated and “Para Matha Bangam” was written in the basis of this.
In Sri Vaishnavism, a Thanian is a laudatory dedication in verse composed about an acharya by another acharya who is the subject's pupil and someone whom the subject greatly admired. The Thanians of Swami Desika are:
Swami Vedanta Desika's son, Kumara Varadacharya, composed a Thanian on Swami. This is recited before reading the Sri Bhasya of Ramanuja and any Sanskrit stotra of Swami Desika by all
Sriman venkatanAtharya: kavithArkika kesaree vedAnthAcharya varyome sannidhattAm sada hrudi
Following thaniyan is recited at the end of every Desika Stotram.
kavitHArkika simhaya kalyAnaguNasAline srimathe venkatesAya vedAnthagurave nama:
apart from thaniyans, Kumara Varadacharya (son of Swami Vedanta Desika) composed many texts on Him, like:
"rAmAnuja-dayA-pAtraM j~nAna-vairAgya-bhUShaNaM |
shrImad-venkaTa-nAthAryaM vande vedAntadeshikaM ||"
This Thanian was composed by brahmatantraswatantra jeeyar of Parakala Mutt on the day of star of Hastham, the star of Varadharaja Perumal of Kanchipuram in the Tamil month of Avani. It is recited before starting Divya Prabandham — the works of Alwars by Vadakalayars. It translates as "I salute the great Venkata Natha also called Vedanta Acharya and Lion among poets and logicians and who was well adorned by both Knowledge and discretion and who well deserved the grace of Athreya Ramanujar who also had the same name."
Sri Pillailokacharya, who was elder than Swamy Desikan, composed a Thanian on Swami. This is recited before reading Sri Desikaprabandham,(collection of tamil works)
seeronru thooppul thiruvenkatamudaiyan paronracchonna pazhamozhiuL Oronrutane amaiyadO taraniyil vazhwarku vanerapomalavum vazhvu
The meaning of this verse composed is, "For a person who desires to ascend up to the Heavens, even a single statement of the great Acharya, Tooppul Tiuvenkadamudaiyan (Vedanta Desika) uttered by him for the benefit of humanity would be sufficient to lift him up to his desired goal".
Cholasimhapuram sri doddayacharya composed sri vedantadesika vaibhavaprakasika, which was recently published by Sri V P T V kainkarya trust. "uttaravedi" behind srirama temple.pushpagiri agraharam.Thrissur,kerala.680002.9447573942
Vazhi Thirunamam is a set of salutary verses chanted in temples to mark the closure of the day's Divya Prabandha chanting. They are intended to ensure that these temples and the practices as established by the acharyas and Ramanuja will be followed for ever.