Experiencing Swamy Desika -- #107
Shrimate Shri Lakshmi Nrusimha Parabrahmane Namaha:
Shrimate Shri Seetha Ramachandra Parabrahmane Namaha:
Shrimate Shri Ramanujaya Namaha:
Shrimate Nigamantha Maha Desikaya Namaha:
Shrimate Shrivan Satagopa Shri Narayana Yateendra Mahadesikaya Namaha:
"SrimAn VenaktanAthArya: kavithArkika kEsarI!
VedAnthAchArya varyO mE sannidhatthAM sadhA hrudhi"!!
Swami Desika's paramapadasOpAnam made us get the feel of being in
Srivaikundam. ParamapadasOpAnam is almost like a summary of Swami's
magnus opus => RahasyatrayasAram.
Swami Desika has written thirty two Rahasya granthas in Manipravala
style which contain the teachings of the Upanishads about the tattva,
Hita and Purusharta. Of these the RahasyatrayasAram is of great
importance. Swami elaborates the treatment of the three Rahasyas
viz., Moola mantra, Dvaya and Charama Sloka in the RahasyatrayasAram.
KalakshEbam of RahasyatrayasAram from a sadAchArya will make a
person gain knowledge to lead a religious life. It will also make
one understand the realities and choose the correct path which
leads to eternal bliss.
In the concluding verse of Rahasyatrayasara Swami reveals his
"Rahasyathraya sArOyam vEnkatEsa vipascitA
saraNya dampati vidAm sammath samagrahyatA "
Swami states that he is an incarnation of Shri Venkateshvara and
explains the essence of the three secret mantras => AshtAkshara,
Dvaya and charama sloka. Swami states that this work has the
approval and admiration of great seers like Parasara and vyasa
and the ancient sages and the revered Alvars who have realised
the great truth that the creators and protector of all are the
Divya Dampati's => Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Narayana.
Swami has blessed us with many other unique works like
abhayapradanasara, Rahasya shikhamani, Anjali vaibhavam, Upakara
sangraham, Virodhapariharam and Paramapada sOpAnam.
Swami has written numerous works covering various subjects. In
the field of philosophy his chief works are TattvamuktAkalApa,
sarvartha siddhi, Nyaya parisuddhi, nyaya siddhanjana,
sesvara mimamsa, mimansa pAdukA and satadusani.
Swami has himself written commentary for TattvamuktAkalApa
=> Sarvarthasiddhi. Swami has written this in the form of a
verse, containing five hundred stanzas in five chapters.
This gives an exposition to the nature of Jada, Jiva, Isvara,
Buddhi and adravya.
The 32nd Rahasya namely the Paramata Bhangam is a magnificient
work. Here, the doctrines of the different schools of thought
with their arguments are given first. Then it is stated how
they are against the teachings of Vedas and other scriptual texts
there by explaining why they cannot be taken as authoritative.
At the end the final view according to our sampradayas is given.
Swami thus makes a critical examination of the different systems
of philosophies and demolishes their positions.
Swami critisises advaita very forcefully. In satadusani one hundred
philosophical issues have been chosen for systematic criticisms
directed against the school of advaita. Satadusani goes hand in
hand with Paramatabhangam. At present 66 arguments are available
in this work. Swami Desika has exposed the weak position of advaitam.
Not just Sanskrit and manipravala, Swami Desika has also composed
nineteen works in Tamil. They are Prabandhas popularly known as
Desika has marvelously summarised the essence of each verse of
Shri Nammalvar's Thiruvaimozhi in his work Dramidopanishad Tatparya
Swami Desikar considers Shri Nammalvar's Thiruvai Mozhi
as "Dramida Upanishad". In the introduction to the works on
"Dramidopanishat Tatparya Ratnavali"
our Swami states that the Alvars are Seers and their works are
Upanishads. Since the Alvar's works spells out the Bhagavad Gunas,
Swami says they are Upanishads!!!
Swami Desika held dramida Veda in equal esteem with Vedas and
propagated it. Swami's Adhikara Saravali is a master piece where
he summarises the teachings of several adhikaranas of the
Brahma Sutras along with clarifications and explanations
where ever necessary.
Swami's Desika's contribution to our sampradAyam is so vast that
adiyal is not even able to make a mention all his works. What to
speak of Swami's greatness!!!
This write up is based on "Advaita and VishtAdvaita" by Shri S.M.S Chari,
the "Life and works of Nigamanta maha Desika by Shri A. Srinivasa Raghavan
and from an article "Vedanta Desika's contribution to VisistAdvaita"
by Dr. N.S. Anantha Raangachariyar in "Sri Vedanta Desika - a special
which was published by Shri Vedantha Desika research center.
"Kavi Taarkika Simhaaya Kalyaana guna SaalinE!
SrimatE VenkateshAya VedAnta Gurave nama !!"
...To be continued!
dEsikan tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam
Praveena nAmni Ramanuja dasi