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Experiencing Swamy Desika -- #108

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"!!

What we may not be able to achieve by ourselves can be easily achieved
by the grace of our Acharyas. Swami himself explains this in the 21st
Sloka of Nyasa Tilakam "andhOnandhagrahaNavashagO yAti rangEsha

Three common illustrations given in the Sloka are noteworthy and
significant. Swami says

"Like the man with a good vision leading a blind man;
Like the ferryman who rows across a lame man struck amidst a cross stream;
Like the child of a King's Valet, which, enjoys the best pleasures in life"

We too can obtain redemption by the Acharya's grace, even though we
lack Gjnana or Shakthi or both.

Let us look at the above examples of Swami and see how we Jivas are
benefited by Acharyas:

The man, unfortunate to be blind, does not have the capacity to see
things and thereby cannot reach the destination. While the person
with a good vision, has the ability and capacity to lead the blind
person to reach the destination. The same way, we Jivas are in the dark
in not knowing the grace and facts about Parathvam and the means to
reach Sriya:Pathi. It is the Acharya who has the vision of knowledge
who leads us to reach the abode of the Lord. In this example,
Swami makes it amply clear that we lack Gjnana.

In the second example, Swami says just as an unfortunate lame person
cannot reach the shore we Jivas, impaired with material pursuits, will
not have the energy to cross the samsAra saagara. Hence the Acharya
plays the role of the ferryman to row us into the safe hands of our
Supreme Lord. In this example Swami cites that we do not have

In the third example, Swami shows that when a King is immensely
happy with his Valet, he is going to shower him with the best of
presents. The Valet takes the gift home and shares it with his family.
While the family enjoys the pleasure out of the gifts, they actually
may not know who gave the gifts. Swami uses this example to
show that we Jivas have neither Gjnana Or Shakthi.

If we Jivas realize we will know that we will fall in one of the
Categories, if not more.

Our SadAcharyas have both Gjnana & Shakthi in abundance and
more importantly have immense mercy and compassion towards
Jivas, thereby make us reach the lotus feet of Sriya:Pathi.

In short, Swami emphasizes that Jivas SHOULD entrust oneself
to a SadAcharya.

Speaking on the role of Acharya, the role of a sishya becomes all the
more important. The life study on Shri Madhurakavi Alvar will give
us Jivas the all important learning of bAgavata Seshatvam. Shri
Madhurakavi Alvar has clearly demonstrated that AchArya Seshatvam
is more important than Bhagavad Seshatvam.

Swami speaks on this in "Madhurakavi Hrudayam", where Swami
emphasizes the importance of AchArya Seshatvam and has expressed
in adikAra sangraham [2] that appears in Srimad Rahasiya Trya Saram

"thunbattra madhurakavi kAttum thol vazhiyE nalvazhi" ....

Azhagiya singar in his upanyAsam explained that Madhurakavi Alvar did
bAgavatha bhakti and so did not have any troubles!!!

A statement like this from HH Srimad Azhagiya singar is not
to undermine Bhagavad Seshatvam but to share the fact that
we get immersed into Bhagavad anubhavam and tend to miss
bAgavata Seshatvam. HH Srimad Azhagiya singar also said, seshi
usually undergoes trouble while the seshan is free from trouble.
True, we Jivas simply surrender through the Acharya and the Acharya
goes through all the trouble to ensure that the Jivas reach the abode
of Sriman Narayana.

Our Alvars and PoorvAcharyars were greatness personified and lived a
Principled life and left a legacy for us to learn and follow, besides
giving us the gems of Paasurams and Sthothrams. Swami Desikan inherited
this great legacy and it was Swami's genius to bring together the gems of
wisdom strewn around on the four-fold firmaments of Karma, Gjnana,
Bhakti and Prapatti. Swami brought these four fold firmaments into a
Single strand and presented this as a garland of precious stones
with all purity.

Swami had great strengths of character. The presiding deities of all
the sixty four branches of knowledge appeared before Swami on his successful
completion of meditation on Lord Hayagriva. Given an opportunity to choose,
Swami chose power of knowledge over others. This was when Swami was in his
twenties. What a clarity of thought!!!

Swami Desika is an example of an ideal Acharya. We should never prostrate
to our Acharyas with an intention that we are doing something in return to
what our Acharyas have done, because that is impossible. What ever we do
is nothing before the help our Acharyas have to done to us.

Swami Desika in adikAra Sangraha states

(*)"yEtri manattezhil gjnana vilakkai yirulanaittum
mArrinavarkku voru kaimAru mAyanum kANakillAn
pOtri yugappadum pandhiyil kolvadhum pongupugazh
sAtri valarpadum satrallavO munnam petradarkE."

-- adikAra Sangraha(38)

Our Acharya demolishes the vibaritha gjnana we Jivas tend
to possess and clear the darkness in our minds by lighting us
up with knowledge. Swami states that even our Lord, who is
everything and who has everything, may find it difficult to
Compensate the efforts and role of Acharyas.

(*) Adiyal has mentioned in the 95th posting.

In light of this, the role for us Sishyas become simple and
focused. We need to keep thanking our Acharya for showing
the right path; keep singing the Acharya's praise and glory.
Even if we keep doing this full time till we reach paramapadam,
this will just be equal to a drop when compared to the ocean
of help rendered by our Acharya to us.

We are always a runavAn in front of our Acharyas. We are ever
indebted to them!!!

Speaking on gratitude to our SadAcharyas and PoorvAcharyars, Swami
Desika obviously takes a special and important place. Swami is none
other than Lord Venkateswara. The Lord came in as Swami:

To show us the right path
To give us a treasure of works to read and immerse ourselves
To give us Acharya Anubhavam.

Swami who made it clear that SARANAGATHY is the ONLY means (for us) to
reach the abode of Sriman Narayana is the greatest boon that we Jivas
can get.

" vAzhi yarulAnan vazhi nagar attigiri vAzhi yatirAjan vAsagattOn
vAzhi saranAgathy ennum thAr udamba tonnai varanAha kollAdhAr anru"

"NAnilam thAn vAzha nAn maraigal tAm vaazha
 mAnagarin mAran maraivAzha- jnAniyargal
 senniyani ser toopul vEdantha dEsikanE!
 innumoru nooRRaandirum (for saving the JivAThmAs like us)...

Swami Desikan is Divine - Swami is our Lord.
ThiruVenkatamudayanE ThiruVenkata Nathan.

Other points:

1. Adiyal, with the blessings of Sriya:Pathi, PoorvAcharyars,
 Swami Desikan, HH Srimad Azhagia Singar and Bhagavataas like
 You, is completing 108th posting on our Swami Desikan today.

2. Swami's efforts and contribution is so vast that Adiyal could
 hardly touch a tip of the great iceberg. Adiyal believes that even
 if 108 Bhagavataas jointly write continuously for 108 days we may
 still end up writing only a small portion on Swami's greatness!!!

3. On this day, Sep 21' 99, Swami Desikan's Thiru Nakshatram,
 Adiyal has a vinnappam. Let us all pray to Sriya:Pathi, Swami's
 Lord Shri Lakshmi Hayagreevan and Swami Desikan himself to
 use us as tools to popularize Swami's works, teachings thereby
 enabling every Jiva possible to realize Parathvam and perform
 Saranagathy. Adiyal believes that this could be the bare minimum
 we can do towards sharing the Acharya Anubhavam.

 Bhagavataas have poured their praise for Adiyal's effort. This shows
 your karunai to praise even this effort. It is Adiyal's bAgyam that
 Adiyal was used by our Swami to share the anubhavam.

 Adiyal is too young, by age and by learning and hence has
 only sincere pranaams to offer.

 All the credits please be placed in the Lotus feet of HH Srimad Azhagia
 All the mistakes be attributed to Adiyal - please excuse Adiyal for
 inadvertent errors.

 Please join Adiyal in reciting the thirunAL pAttu on this
 Thirunatchatram of Swami, let Adiyal complete this posting
 offering my salutations to our dearest Toopul Pillai.

 "vAdAsanavara rivarena varumA pAdiyum vagaiperunAl
 vagulAbaraNap perumAl tamizil vAsi yarindidunAl.
 bEdA bEdam biramenavagai biraman telivittidunAl
 pEcchondrukku satadhushaniyai pEsiya dEsikanAl
 teedAgiya pala mAya kaliyai sikkena vendridunAl
 tikkettum pugazh SribAshiyathai teliya vuraithidunAl
 vOdhAdOdum vEdanttAriya nudhayan seididunAl
 uttamamAna purattAsi thiruvONa menunAlE."

Vishnu ghantAvadAramAi em nanmaikkAga oLithuk kOnde irum....

Sarvam Sri Krishnarpanamastu

"Kavi Taarkika Simhaaya Kalyaana guna SaalinE!
SrimatE VenkateshAya VedAnta Gurave nama !!"

dEsikan tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam

Praveena nAmni Ramanuja dasi
21st Sep 1999