It was sheer grace of Acharyas that adiyen was commanded by H.H.Poundareekapuram Andavan (Paravakkottai Chinnandavan) to render an upanyasam on Amrtaasvaadini rahasyangal on Sri Nigamanta Mahadesikan on the 27th of April 2019. With the training and blessings of adiyen’s kalakshepa acharyan Dr.S.Padmanabhachariar (Srikaryam, Sri Ahobila mutt), the upanyasam went off well at the Ashram of H.H.Srimad Andavan which was followed by a splendid darshan of Rangarajan on Hamsa vahanam! Adiyen’s Mahabhagyam. The upanyasam gave adiyen an opportunity to learn something.
The link to the recorded audio of the upanyasam is as below
Smt.Uma Ganesh and Sri Ganesh were generous enough to offer their premises for a violin concert by students of Smt.Anusha Sreeram as part of Sri Rama navami celebrations on the evening of 13th April 2019. Chi.Pradyuth, their son, is a student of Smt.Anusha Sreeram and he was also part of the performing team.
Please find below an account of the event. The YouTube link is shared below the write up.
The following students of Sree Ramanuja Vidyalaya performed in the concert.
Pradyut G and
The programme began with the vasantha varnam – ‘Ninnukori’ composed by Sri Thachur Singrarachari in Aadhi Thaalam. This was followed by an invocation in Hamsathvani Ragam – ‘Vinayaka Ninnu’ composed by E.V.Ramakrishna Bhagavadhar in Aadhi Thaalam.
The next one was ‘Teleserama’ in Poorna chandrika Ragam – In this keertana Sri Sadguru Thyagaraja commands the Manas to chant the divine Rama Nama which is the only way to get rid of pains and vains.
A Thematic Presentation ”EKAIKA RAGA KRITIS FOR OUR EKA PATNI VRATAN” followed next. on some of the ekaika raga kritis composed by Thyagaraja on Rama.
First was the song Meluko Vaiyya , Bowli Raga where in, Rama is woken up by Tyagaraja to protect his creation.
Second was ‘Manasa etulorthune’ in Malayamarutham Raga in which Tyagaraja advises the Manas to chant the Taraka Nama to escape from the Dwigunas (Rajas, Tamas)
Third was ‘Manavyalakincharadhate’ in Nalinakanthi in which Thyagaraja emphasises that rather than drowning in the sorrow of Karma, he yet again commands his Manas to concentrate on the Divine Human Form, the Ramaavatara.
Fourth is the one in which, being fed up with the manas which is still naive, Thyagaraja in ‘Aada Modi GAlade’ in Charukesi raga expresses his displeasure as Rama doesn’t respond to his calls as he is no where near Hanuman, the true Rama Bhaktha
In the next song, ‘Bantu Reethi Golu’, in Hamsanaadham raga, Thyagaraja pleads Rama to accept him as his Sevaka.
‘MARUGELARA’ in Jayantha Sri Ragam, Deshadhi Thalam was the next. In this Thyagaraja pleads with Rama to come out of his hidden form. He stresses that he will never worship any other divine form other than Raghava.
The concert was concluded with mangalam in Sourashtra Ragam.
The primary aim of organising this concert is to let the students have a feel of performing before an audience. There are definitely many areas of improvement in the way these budding artistes have run their fingers and bows on one of the most challenging instruments of music. We welcome any kind of constructive feedback.
The karma of some of us is linked and that is why we are attracted to some people without a reason even. Otherwise how, myself, a reserved face to strangers would have been attracted to the 86 years old Sriman Meyyur Narasimhachari, the elderly Srivaishnava who goes about his daily visit to the Sri Vedanta Desika Devasthanam, Mylapore in a very quiet manner? The attraction was mutual, I should say. Once my Guru and mentor Dr.S.Padmanabhan introduced us to each other. From then on the hoarse or gravelly voiced would stop and enquire ‘Enna Sreeraman! Sowkyama irukkera?’. He would often handout a piece of paper that would contain some verses in Tamil neatly handwritten and photocopied. The verses would be on Lord Srinivasa or Swami Vedanta Desikan or other acharyas. I would wonder how many would even read them in full, forget about appreciating it. Ofcourse I would run through it quickly and pass on my acknowledgement and appreciation to the blessed poet – He began writing only after retirement with the grace of Lord Hayagreeva – in his own words.
The dampati, should have been married for atleast 65 years) are an excellent example of how a married couple should live, especially to the younger couples of modern times who find it a challenge to get along even quite early. Listen to the words of Smt. Vijayalakshmi at the end of the audio file (given at the end of this article) wherein she speaks proudly about her understanding husband! (Her voice is a bit feeble though)
When I was waiting in the hall of the typical agrahara house with a mittham etc the attention of my eyes was grabbed by this picture of Padmavathi Thayar. I assumed it was a photograph and moved on to the next object. Only when the Swami said that it was his painting that was done some 50 years ago I was amazed! Narayana! can this be a painting? I assumed it was a photograph! What a talent! He has painted Swami Desikan also! (see below)
Sometimes when Emberuman chooses to bestow his grace on someone he does not limit it at all. Please see the art work that he has done in soap pieces that we would use to only take bath! As typical of him he has gifted them all but these three – matsya, kurma and a bhanjika. He is so unassuming and casual about his talents! Once in his office days his piece of ingenuity won him the first place in an art exhibition! Alas! those were the days sans technology! Else we could have saved so many things for posterity!
This Swami has composed about 300 poems in Sanskrit in different vrttas, around 3500 verses in Tamil, about 120 songs in Tamil that can be set to music (some of them have been set to music and performed in the past). He has completed the grantha-chatushtaya kalakshepam (all after retirement).
Having so many compositions in his forte he is a gifted sishya who has been extolled by his Acharya, who is no ordinary scholar, but mahamahopadhyaya, mahavidvan Perukaranai Chakravarti Swami in his forewords to Swami’s books ‘Thirumayilaith Thirumal Shathakam’ (100 pasurams) and ‘Thiruvinnagar Pamalai’ (273 pasurams).
H.H.Poundareekapuram Anadavan has also rendered his srimukham to the latter book. He has published his carnatic compositions in two parts under the title ‘Gaanasudharnavam’. He has composed 3000 pasurams about various divyadesa perumals. He recited some of his pasurams with his childlike enthusiasm for the delight of the listeners.
‘khyatilaabhapoojaasu vimukho vaishnava janah’ – It would not be an exaggeration to praise this bhagavatottama with the above words! He has been writing so much without an eye on any recognition! He continues to write still, photocopy it and shares it with like minded bhagavatas! Adiyen could only express a wish that adiyen would arrange through someone to have all his compositions typed atleast to present them through a blog or website!! I wish someone takes up this contemporary poet’s compositions for some research work!
The audio link to the 50th part of the lecture by Adiyen on Sri Ramanuja’s bhashya on the Bhagavad Gita is as below – The meanings of the verses from 21st until the end of the 13th chapter are covered in this lecture. The next lecture will happen on the first Tuesday of June 2019.
Sometimes, in life, only in
hindsight, do we realise how something good happened to us by a mere stroke of
chance or luck. In our Sampradaya we say such things happen due to krupa of
Acharyan and SriyaHpati. That is how we met Sriman Parthasarathy, a kainkarya
Sriman, archaka of Swami Desikan Sannidhi of Sri Ahobila mutt, Thirukoshtiyur.
We had been to Thirukoshtiyur to have a darshan of Sowmya Narayana Perumal and to
fulfil a couple of prarthanas. We had an excellent darshan and someone said to
us to visit Swami Desikan and Hayagreeva Perumal sannidhi situated outside the
temple premises. It was already late and we were in a hurry to go back to
Srirangam. ‘We will see next time’ – we said to ourselves and reached the
Gopuram. Right inside the gopuram, an elderly Srivaishnava approached me and began
to bless my young son, with pasurams from the Nalayira Divya Prabandham and
Desika Srisooktis in his chaste Tamil with a nice tune. He was visibly very excited
and happy to see us. I thought he was another Sevarthi and thanked him and came
Outside the temple, when we met the
archaka swami who facilitated our darshan and told him that we were leaving and
would visit the Desikan Sannidhi next time, he told us that the Desikan Sannidhi
archaka was just entering the temple. My father, realising that the Srivaishnava
whom we met was indeed the archaka, went in search of him to offer a
sambhavana. After a hide and seek my father finally found him. Sriman Parthasarathy
asked my father to come to the Sannidhi and offer it there and so we had to visit the
Parthasarathy Swamin with us in our Vehicle and throughout the way he was in an
ecstatic mood singing verses from the Divya Prabandham, lost in his anubhava.
He was a very systematic person. He brought the keys from his house and
meticulously went about his role as an archaka. He showed harathi and blessed
the entire family with pasurams from the Divya Prabandha and Desika stotras. Through
him we learnt the following – The Sannidhi is 300 years old. Some of the sthalathars
had constructed a sannidhi for Swami Desika and installed an idol of Hayagreeva.
But in due course of time continuous worship was affected due to some difficulties
and in the previous century the Sannidhi was handed over to H.H.Devanarvilagam
Azhagiyasingar of Sri Ahobila mutt for a better governance. H.H. 43rd
Jeer arranged to install an archa murti of H.H.Adivan Sathakopa Yateendra Mahadesikan.
With the anugraham of H.H.Villivalam Azhagiyasingar and the kainkaryam of Bhagavatottamas
like Thirukoshtiyur Tiruppernagar Ramanujacharya Swami, the madaipalli and
mandapam were constructed. The well has been renovated and since then facilities
have been provided for the stay of Sevarthis. The Tirumaligai of Swami Desikan
that stands opposite this sannidhi is a testimony of the arrival and stay of
the great Acharya in this divyadesam.
It has been renovated with the support of many noble donors and the general public. Special Tirumanjanam, Sevalaka Satrumarai is being carried out every Tiruvonam in this Sannidhi. After nearly 50 years, the avatara utsava of Lakshmi Hayagreevar (Avani Shravanam), Swami Desika (Purattasi Tiruvonam) and H.H.Adivan Sathakopa Yateendra Mahadesikan (Purattasi Kettai) are all being conducted through the income generated from Trust created for this purpose. Contributions are welcome vide a cheque or a demand draft in the name of ‘Thirukhoshtiyur Shri Desighan Sannithi NAKS’ and sent to Sri Parthasarathy Bhattachar, Shri Desigan Sannithi, West Car Street, Thirukhoshtiyur 630210, Sivaganga District. His mobile number is 9941158635.
The interesting part about Sriman
Parthasarathy follows from now on. A native of Thirukoshtiyur, he had to leave
the place at the age of five due to poverty and lack of support from his
father. After doing his primary education in Tirunelveli he underwent dharma
upanayanam and was sent to Madurantakam Patashala where he completed OSLC (XI) in
the year 1975 because free education was provided. He learnt the Divya
Prabandham, Desika stotra and Paduka Sahasram during this period. Due to
financial constraints he took a job in a transportation company in Amritsar. It
was the sheer play of destiny that took him so far. He started from being a
porter but could move up the ladder as he knew typing and shorthand. He moved
in to sales roles with other transport companies. His sincerity and straightforwardness
were rewarded with frequent transfers, threats from co-employees. He was even
beaten black and blue once in a revenge for terminating some sales men who
cheated upon their reports. His faith in dharma and bhakti in SriyaHpati saved
him from all such difficulties. Finally, he took retirement and came to
Chennai. During his frequent visits to Srirangam Srimad Andavan Ashram he got
familiar with H.H.Srimushnam Andavan who directed him to take up an archaka
role in some sannidhi in Srirangam. He was chosen for his svarupa and dedication.
He just carried out the orders of the Acharya. After getting trained in the
basics of agama the grace of Swami Desikan brought him back to his own native
place, Thirukoshtiyur, only to serve his beloved acharyan – Swami Desikan. He
teaches Divya Prbandham, Paduka Sahasram and Desika Stotras through Whatsapp to
many people from different parts of the country. His only aim is to carry on his
kainkaryam in an uninterrupted manner. He is working with utmost dedication and
takes active role in fund generation towards upkeeping of Desikan Sannidhi and
Desikan Tirumaligai. Though having travelled nearly the entire length and
breath of the country (he has worked in Assam even) now he has chosen to live
in Thirukoshtiyur for the service of Swami Desikan! He lives in a house nearby
the Sannidhi with his wife and is very enthusiastically involved in the
development and maintenance of the Sannidhi.
The audio link to the 49th part of the lecture by Adiyen on Sri Ramanuja’s bhashya on the Bhagavad Gita is as below – The meanings of the 10 verses from the 11th to the 20th of the 13th chapter are covered in this lecture.