sampradaya parisuddhi

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sampradaya parisuddhi


We are starting with Amrutha Ranjani RahasyangaL .
The first among them is SampradhAya Parisuddhi .
Our Blemishless SampradhAyam ( SrI SampradhAyam ) 
is known otherwise as SadAchArya SampradhAyam . 
It commences with our Lord , Sriman NaarAyaNan and 
continues onto today's AchAryAs( prakrutham AchAryAs). 
It is totally free of any blemish and this ChillaRai 
Rahasyam deals with the blemishles nature of this Parama
Vaidhika SampradhAyam. 

As always at the beginning of His Rahasya Granthams,
Swamy Desikan has a prefatory verse in Tamil or 
Sanskrit and concludes the granthams with a concluding
verse in Tamil or Sanskrit. They serve as "book ends"
as it were. 

The beginning verse in Tamil for Sri SampradhAya 
Parisuddhi is a beautiful one stressing the importance
of performing Prapatthi :

Tamm Bharam yenRu irangit-taLarA manam tanthu aruLAl
umbhar Thozhum ThirumAl uhanthu yERkum upAyam onRAl
namm piRavit-thuyar mARRiya Jn~Anap-perum tahavOr
sampiradhAyam onRi sathirkkum neRi saarnthanamE

(Word by Word Meaning): 

Tamm Bharam yenRu irangi = recognizing that it is His
(our Lord's) responsibility to protect us by showing 
Daya for us

aruLAl taLarA manam thanthu = giving us unagitated mind 
(freedom from worries about our rakshaNam) through 
the display of His DayA GuNam 

Umpar Thozhum ThirumAl = our Lord , Sriman NaarAyaNan 
worshipped and eulogized by the nithya Sooris(eternally free)

uhanthu yERkum upAyam onRAl = grants us freedom from fear
through the sole means(upAyam) of SaraNAgathi at His Thiruvadi 
that He relishes to accept as a vyAjam for saving us 

namm piRavit-thuyar maaRRiya = those AchAryAs of His , who 
destroy the sorrow of SamsAraic afflictions by showing us
His (our Lord's) Thiruvadi as the one and only UpAyam (means) 
and UpEyam (goal)

JnAnap-perum tahavOr = those great AchAryA's with unbroken links
to our Lord and with Jn~Anam and unparalleled mercy 

sampiradhAyam onRi = we have taken refuge in these great AchAryA's
Sath SampradhAyam 

sathirkkum neRi saarnthanamE = and have achieved the lofty
status of gaining great rewards (phalan) through a small upAyam
by belonging to this ancient tradition. 

At the end of this Rahasyam , Swamy Desikan acknowledges 
with gratitude the MahOpakAram of the Lord's AchAryAs :

kadal amudhatthai kadainthu sErttha 
ThirumAladi kaattiya namm
Desikar tamm nilai paRRic-chArnthOmE

( Word by Word Meaning): 

Kadal kadainthu amudhatthai sErttha = Churning the milky ocean
and collecting amrutham for distribution to the dEvAs

ThirumAl adi kaattiya namm Desikar = showing the sacred feet
of this Lord as the means for our upliftment (Moksham), our
SadAchAryAs (have performed a great upakAram)

tamm nilai paRRic-chErnthOmE = and we have joined the sampradhAyam
of the SadAchAryAs and accepted it as the most sacred and lofty one.

Swamy Desikan identifies himself as belonging to this blemishless
SampradhAyam originating from the Lord and propagated in the purest
form from generation to generation by His SadAchAryAs.. 

DaasOham , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SaThakOpan



Chillarai Rahasyam - Part 1 - What is SampradAya parisuddhi ? -
Sri Oppiliappan kOil varadAchAri Sadagopan

Dear BhakthAs:

SamprahdAya Parisuddhi is the first of the ChillaRai Rahasyams
bequeathed to us by Swamy Desikan.

Scope: Our SampradhAyam starting from our Lord and flourishing
until today through the grace of our AchAryAs is a blemishless one
and is free of any defect whatsoever.


It is absolutely essential for us to prostrate before a
SadAchAryan to learn the clear meanings of the Saasthrams to gain
VedAntha Jn~Anam. Hence, search for a SadAchAryan, who has
received upadEsam through his AchArya paramparai is essential for
us to be blessed with the true and traditional meanings of
Saasthrams. This upadEsam has to come from a lineage of qualified
AchAryAs (SadAchArya paramparai).

Mere study of SaasthrAs would not be helpful even for a great
genius to comprehend the true meanings of VedAntha Saasthrams. The
knowledge obtained by self-study, as opposed to learning in the
traditional AchArya UpadEsam route, will NOT be useful for one's
clarity of mind leading to ujjeevanam. This is the Sadh

Swamy Desikan Quotes the following slOkam to emphasize the hazards
of self-learning without the sampradhAyic upadesam from AchAryAs :

saasthra-Jn~Anam bahu-klEsam BuddhEscchalana KaaraNam
UpadEsAth Harim BhudhvA viramEth sarva Karmasu

(Meaning): People with their wavering minds will experience
immense difficulties in learning Saasthrams. They should seek
upadEsam from a sadAchAryan and learn about important Tattvams
such as Isvaran and desist from learning SaasthrAs on their own.
In this context , a recent informative article on "Why Study
SaastrAs by Sri K.G. Ananathapadmanabhan is highly recommended as
reference material to study.

*** What is to be learnt via Sadh SampradhAyam ?

There are many vishayams (tatthvams) that can not be grasped
though our senses. These vishayams can only be understood through
the sadh SampradhAyam rooted in Saasthrams given to us by the Lord
in His role as Saasthra PaaNi and preserved and propagated in
their pristine form by the lineage of our SadAchAryAs. The artha
VisEsha nirNayam of adhyAthma Saasthrams (the true comprehension
of the inner meanings of the VedAntha Saasthrams) can only be
realized through SadAchArya sampradhAyam.

These Vishayams (Tatthvams) comprehendable solely through Sadh
SampradhAyam embracing the Saasthrams are: BhagavAn, Moksham and
the means (upAyam) for securing Moksham. These can not be seen by
the eyes. These can only be experienced to gain siddhi through
Sadh sampradhAyam propagated through the lineage of SadAchAryAs
starting from our Lord as the Prathama- AchAryan and continuing
with one's own AchAryan.

Chillarai Rahasyam - Part 2 - Oppiliappan kOil Sri Varadachari

2.What is to be learned from Sath SamprAdhAyam (Continued)
Sath SampradhAyam has arisen from the foundation of Saasthrams.
One should not pay attention to the sampradhAyam that is in
conflict with the SaasthrAs and reject latter.

Further,one should not follow sampradhAyams that our poorvALs have
conclusively established on the basis of PramANams. Those
sampradhAyams in conflict with BhagavAn's SaasthrAs or those who
are not supported by PramAnams should be rejected since they might
have been established by those, who might have misunderstood the
true purport of Saastraic injunctions; further, these viparItha
SampradhAyams might have been the product of imagination of those,
who might have the intent to mislead one from Sath SampradhAyam.
Therefore such sampradhAyams that do not accept the authority of
Vedams like ChArvAka Matham should not be trusted and cast aside
in favor of the time honored Sath SampradhAyam.

Swamy Desikan sums it up this way: "Saasthra-moolathva-
samprathipatthi uNDAna sampradhAyamE upajeevyam". Here, Swamy
Desikan points out that the sampradhAyam built upon the foundation
of BhagavAn's Saasthrams alone can be accepted as protective ones.
One has to learn about these Saasthrams and practise
Saasthram-based SampradhAyam through learning at the holy feet of
many Jn~Anis with reverence, service and seeking clarification
through humble questioning (Tadhviddhi praNIpAthEna pariprasnEna
sEvayA). This is the only way to grasp and master "vEdhya
upAdEyankaL (that which must be learnt and that which has to be
put into practise).

3.What is to be accepted as Sath SampradhAyam?
adiyEn will quote Swamy Desikan's MaNipravALam text first on this
sub-topic and translate it next. Swamy Desikan observes :
"athyantha-athIndhriya vishayitthil (in the matters that are far
beyond the ken of Indhriyams/senses), Saasthra-moolam illAtha
SampradhAyamum (the sampradhAyam without the gurantee of Veda
pramANams) and the Samprathipanna-Saasthra ViruddhamAna
sampradhAyamum (the sampradhAyam that is in conflict with Veda
PramANams), Bhrama-vipralambha-SambhAvanai uNDAhayAl (since it
would misintrepret saasthrAs or lead us astray by deception)
bhAhya thulyamAhayAlE (since they do not accept Vedam as PramANam)
avisvaneeyam (they can not be trusted).

Our Sath SampradhAyam is indeed SadAchArya SampradhAyam. Instead
of engaging in the ardous task of teaching oneself and getting
into trouble, a true practioner of Sath SampradhAyam should
approach a SadAchAryan and recieve UpadEsams from him and be
blessed with a clear understanding about Isvara Tatthvam and
related matters like hitham and purushArtham (upadEsAth Harim
BhuddhvA viramEth Sarva Karmasu) and stay away from learning
SaasthrAs on one's own efforts. Those upadesams of a sadAchAryan
will not only show the path of Sath sampradhAyam but also will
help to gain a clear understanding of the true meanings of
VedAnthic texts (apEkshitha arTa nirNAyakam). "Sath-sampradhAya
RahithamAna saasthratthAl arTa nirNayam dhushkaram; sukaram
thAnAhilum upayukthamAhAthu" (the comprehension of the true
meanings are not possible through the pursuit of saasthrAs that
are divorced from Sath-SampradhAyam; even if such an approach is
easy to engage, the fruits are not acceptable as having the
blessings of Sath SampradhAyam).

4.Comments on Sadhasyam and Rahasyam
There are two categories in the study of adhyAthma Saasthrams. One
is known as Sadhasyam, which is openly mentioned in sadas (public
assembly). The other is Rahasyam, which is limited to upadEsams
performed by an AchAryan in privacy to a sishyan.

5. There is no conflict between sadhasyam and Rahasyam
There are some confusions about what is sadhasyam and what is
rahasyam. For instance, GithAchAryan's Charama SlOkam (sarva
dharmAn parithyjya MaaMekam SaraNam vraja--). SaasthrAs say that
people of all the four varnams can hear Bhaaratham and RaamAyaNam.
The Charama SlOkam is housed in BhAratham. People may then ask how
the Charama SlOkam, which belongs to the category of sadhasyam is
treated as a rahasyam. Is it inconsistent? Swamy Desikan says that
there is no need to give an answer to this question. He says that
the very expression of Charama SlOkam as sadhasyam removes the
concerns of that being a rahasyam. Similarly, the categorization
of Charama SlOkam as a rahasyam takes it off from the realm of

He says that the true answer is along the following lines:
PramANam points out that Charama SlOkam is sadhasyam and
sampradhAyam says that Charama slOkam is a rahasyam (The Third
Rahasyam). The apparent inconsistency between these two views is
reconciled by the understanding that the recitation of Charama
SlOkam without thought about its (deep) meanings makes it
Sadhasyam. When One recieves upadEsam on its meanings from an
AchAryan, then the Charama SlOkam becomes a Rahasyam. Hence there
is no inconsistency in the Charama SlOkam being both a Sadhasyam
and a Rahasyam depending on the context.

6.There are no inconsistencies between PramANams (Upanishads)
Although we agree that there are no conflicts in viewing the
Charama SlOkam as Sadhasyam as well as Rahasyam based on the
context, there are those, who raise the objection that the
PramANams like Upanishads appear to have inconsistencies. They
ask: "Is it n't that even a greater conflict?".

It has been said that the head of asurans, VirOchanan and the head
of DevAs, Indhran came to Brahma seeking upadEsm on the nature of
AathmA. Brahma knew that VirOchanan is the enemy of the dEvAs and
wanted to steer VirOchanan to the incorrect way. Hence, Brahma
instructed VirOchanan that Aathma is the body (SarIram) and the
deluded VirOchanan was satisfied with that updEsam, did not ask
any further questions and went on his happy way. This is known as
aasura upanishad. Indhran was also there. Aftr VirOchanan left,
Indhran was dissatisfied with the instruction that AathmA, which
is eternal can be equal to the perishable body. The pleased
Brahman revealed then the true nature of AathmA as being eternal
and being totally different from the body that it takes. Indhran
was satisfied. Hence, the message is that each has to be
instructed according to their level of interest in a graded
fashion leading all the way upto the clear tatthvam. Therefore,
there are no inconsistencies in the Upanishads, when looked across
the entire perspective.

7.Additional examples: Upanishads have no conflicts
Upanishads say that UpakOsala Vidhyai and VaisvAnara Vidhyai are
two of the Brahma Vidhyais (the rahasyams relating to gaining
Moksham). In the UpakOsala Vidhyai,UpakOsalan is instructed by the
three Agnis. They instruct him on three different aspects of one
Brahma Vidhyai and reveal that the three steps have their own
phalans. Next, AchArya JaapAlar arrives thereafter and instructs
UpakOsalan on the Brahma Vidhyai fully and UpakOsalan is pleased.
Is there not a Conflict here ? No! Same situation exists with
VaisvAnara Vidhyai.

In actuality, there is no conflict. For some, it is enough to have
a portion of the whole.Rest has to be blessed by a sadaachAryan
like Sage Jaapalar. Then the instruction is completed. Upanishad
says clearly that there is no substitute for PoorNa UpAsanam of
Brahman and one should not stop with incomplete upAsanam
independent of the fact that the portions have partial glimpses at
the whole truth.

From these two examples from Upanishads, it is clear that portions
of the Vidhyai can be recieved from different sources but the
poorNa Upadesam with all its components (amsams) have to be
received from a Qualified AchAryan (SadAchAryan).

8. The importance of learning from many Jn~Anis
Even after recieving poorNa upadEsam from a SadAchAryan, it is
important to learn from other qualified AchAryans so that the true
meanings received earlier can be firmly laid in place in one's
mind. As an example, Our Lord performed GithOpadEsam to His
disciple, Arjunan. He knew that man (Arjunan) with rajO and TamO
guNams will not be able to grasp what he instructed
completely. Hence, our Lord instructed ArjunA to fall at the feet
of many Jn~Anis and seek additional clarifications and thus gain a
firm understanding of His HithOpadEsam.

9. There are no inconsistencies among Tathtvams in our SampradhAyam
Any inconsistencies among Tatthvams are not real. Only when one
looks at them from a superficial perspective, they may appear to
be inconsistent. For instance, the VyUhAvathAram has been
described as four in number (VaasudEvan, SankarshaNan, Pradhyumnan
and Aniruddhan) at some places and three elsewhere based on the
inclusion of the VaasudEvan with the Para VaasudEva Roopam of the
Lord in Sri Vaikuntam. Then, the VyUhAvathArams becomes three in
number. The GuNams of VaasudEvan and Para VaasudEvan are one and
the same and hence, it is consistent to view the VyUhAvathArams as
three or Four. There are thus no inconsistencies.

10. Explanation of "inconsitencies" in anushtAnam
Let us take two examples:

(1) aathmAvalOkanam thru practise of Karma and Jn~Ana Yogams

(2) Bhakthi and Prapatthi Yogams as routes to Moksham.

There is suggested an anushtAnam to visualize one's aathmA thru
Karma Yogam without completing Jn~Ana Yogam. It is suggested that
one can achieve purity of mind thru karma yogam to qualify one for
the blessings of Kaivalyam (aathmAvalOkanam). How could that be
possible without the power of Jn~Ana Yogam to remove all blemishes
of the mind ? Does it n't look inconsistent?

The answer focuses on the fitness of the individual to practise
just karma Yogam or both Karma and Jn~Ana Yogams. Those who are
comfortable with Karma Yogam keep on practising it until they
visualize AathmA. Others, who are capable to practise both Karma
and Jn~Ana Yogam follow the successive steps of two yogams and
accomplish their goal of aathmAvalOkanam.

Even in the anushtAnam of karma Yogam, there are subdivisions like
dEvathArAdhanam, performance of penance, pilgrimage to KshEthrams
and sacred rivers, giving of dhAnam et al. There is no limit to
performance of only one of the above. One can do the rite that is
dear to them. Therefore, there is no inconsistency in practise of
one over the other.

In another instance, there are two upAyams (means) for Moksha
Siddhi: Bhakthi Yogam and Prapatthi Yogam. Those who have the
capacity to Bahkthi Yogam can perform that difficult to practise
Yogam. Those who are not capable to do Bhakthi yogam should choose
the less strenous Prapatthi Yogam, which is KashaNa karthavyam and
is open to all. There is no difference in the phalan to be gained
by the practise of either. The differentiation in the route to be
chosen is based on one's capacities and limitations. That is all!

Chillarai Rahasyam - Part 3 - Oppiliappan kOil Sri Varadachari

11. The Path travelled by our SampradhAyam during the YugAs:

Our Lord is the most merciful.He is the Parama DayALu. Out of His
benovolence towards us,the suffering chEthanams, He revealed the
VEdAntha Saasthra SampradhAyam to His dear Consort, MahA Lakshmi
First. She performed upadesam for VishvaksEnar next. VishvaksEnar
in turn instructed Swamy NammAzhwAr in that sishya paramparai.
This is the AchArya paramparai starting from our most
compassionate Lord.From Swamy NammAzhwAr onwards, the UpadEsam on
Sath SampradhAyam through succession of AchAryAs in an unbroken

12.Propagation of VedAntha sampradhAyam in earlier Yugams

In previous yugams, VyAsa BhagavAn, BhOdaayanar performed
upadEsams about the true tatthvams relating to our SampradhAyam to
their SishyAs,who recieved those upadEsams with humility and
served their AchAryAs with gratitude. After sage VyAsa and
BhOdhayanar, Dhangar, Dhramidar, Guha Devar took on the task of
maintaining the UpadEsa paramparai and propagated the SampradhAyam
without any blemish.

13. In Kali Yugam, Swamy NammAzhwAr is the key Pravarthakar

After the above AchAryAs, Kali Yugam commenced. In this Yugam,
Swamy NammAzhwAr became the first of the AchAryAs in Kali to
maintain the UpadEsa paramaparai on VedAntha sAsthrams. Madhura
Kavi took refuge at the sacred feet of Swamy NammAzhwAr and became
blessed. Madhura Kavi lived in the final days of DhvApara Yugam,
when Lord was still on this earth in His Vibhavaa form as
KrishNan/GeethAcAryan.Madhura Kavi was convinced that the UpadEsam
through an AchAryan was preferable to upadEsam from the Lord
Himself and therefore chose Swamy NammAzhwAr as His AchAryan.
Madhura Kavi waited hence from the final days of DhvApara Yugam to
the beginning days of Kali Yugam. Swamy NammazhwAr incarnated
during the first two months of Kali Yugam and Madhura Kavi --after
suitable testing-- recognized the supermacy of Swamy NammAzhwAr as
His AchAryan and performed SaraNAgathi at His Thiruvadi. Madhura
kavi convincingly declared that there is no God for him other than
His AchAryan as the redeemer (ThEvu MaRRaRiyEN).

14. Appropriateness of Swamy NammAzhwAr's role as AchAryan

Madhura Kavi was born in the Brahmin caste.Swamy NammazhwAr was
born in the Sudra Vamsam.Questions may arise as to the
appropriateness of Swamy NammAzhwAr serving as an AchArya to
Madhura Kavi of higher caste.The answer is that one should recieve
VedAnthArthams treasured by VaidhikAs from the lower caste person,
if the higher caste person is not available. This is PramANam.
Swamy NammAzhwAr did not teach Sanskritic Vedams and Upanishads
that He was not eligible to teach due to the need to respect for
VarNAsrama dharmams, but through His TamiL aruLiccheyalkaLs(TamiL
MaRai) instructed soundly the meanings of the Sanskritic Vedams
and Upanishads to Madhura Kavi AzhwAr.

15.The glory of TamiL language in explaining VedAntha arthams

Question arises about those born in BrahmaNa vamsam accepting
languages other than sanskrit and Madhura Kavi accepting the tamiL
aruLiccheylkaLs of Swamy NammAzhwAr.The answer is: Whatever the
language, it can be accepted as long as it talks about our Lord.
If sanskrit language speaks about lowly matters, then it has to be
rejected. Swamy NammAzhwAr's aruLiccheyalkaL in Tamil dealt only
with the parama rahasya arthams of VedAntha Saasthram. Therefore
members of any caste can accept them.

16. Vidhurar's position and the meaning behind it

Vidhurar was born in the Sudra vamsam. Yet, it is said that he
instructed Dharmaputhrar of KshathriyA caste (higher caste) about
many special and subtle dharmams. How could this be reconciled ?
The samaadhAnam for this objection is: Vidhurar did not perform
upadEsam on Brahma Vidhyai that is connected with the means for
Moksham.Vidhurar did not perform manthrOpadEsam for Dharmaputhrar.
Vidhurar performed upadEsam on general dharmams and disqualified
himself from upadesams on brahma Vidhyai and manthrams.

17. Swamy NammazhwAr is AchAryan to Naatha Muni in two ways

Swamy NammazhwAr is both a direct AchAryan as well as an indirect
AchAryan for Naatha Muni. Latter received upadesam on KaNNinuNN
SiRutthAmpu from ParAnkusa Daasar, who belonged to the sishya
paramparai of Madhura Kavi. Through intense recitation of that
blessed aruLiccheyal of Madhura Kavi, Naatha Muni had the BhAgyam
of the saakshAthkAram of Swamy NammAzhwAr and the MahA BhAgyam of
direct upadEsam from Him. Thus, Naatha Muni has the double
distinction of belonging to the illusrious Sishya paramparai of
Swamy NammAzhwAr as well as having the honor of being His direct

18. Swami NammAzhwAr is the one & only Prapanna SanthAna Kootasthar

Although Prapatthi and Bhakthi yOgams have been recognized as the
two means for gaining Moksham before Swamy NammAzhwAr's avathAram,
it is only after His time that Prapatthi's supreme and unfailing
role for the blessings of Moksha Siddhi was established without
doubt. Through His Sri Sookthis and anushtAnam, Swamy NammAzhwAr
established the greatness of Prapatthi Yogam for the chEthnams to
follow. He showed how Prapatthi can be performed by one and all
and how easy it is compared to the difficult route of Bhakthi
Yogam. Hence, AzhwAr becomes the Moola Purushar for all, who
performed Prapatthi or would perform Prapatthi.Naatha Muni blessed
by AzhwAr's dhivya katAksham propagated the message about the ease
and efficacy of Prapatthi for chEthanams to break the cycles of
births and deaths and to serve Sriman NaarAyaNan at His Supreme
abode of Sri Vaikuntam. After Naatha Muni, His grandson, Swamy
AaLavanthAr grew the sath sampradhAyam further.

19.Why did n't Naatha Muni perform direct upadEsam to AaLavanthAr?

Why did MaNakkAL Nampi perform Upadesam for AaLavanthAr instead of
Naatha Muni Himself ? MaNakkAL Nampi was the sishyar of
UyyakkoNDAr, who in turn was the direct sishyar of Naatha Muni.

There are three reasons for Naatha Muni not being a direct
AchAryan for His grandson: (1) There is a tradition that a sishyan
receiving upadEsam from an AchAryan should perform upadEsam for
his AchAryan's son or grandson. This sampradhAyam was observed.
(2) Those who are born in the Jn~Ana Santhathi (line of descent)
should pay obesiance to the sishyar of his parent or grandparent
since it is a mark of respect for that sishyan, who precedes him
in that Jn~Ana santhathi (Naatha Muni--> UyyakkoNDAr--> ManakkAl
Nampi--> AalavanthAr). Naatha Muni wanted to invite the attention
of the world to this sampradhAyam. (3)Sath sampradhAyam insists
that upadesam should not be performed to one, when latter does not
have driving desire to recieve such upadEsam on VedAnthArthams.

When upadEsam takes place from an AchAryan to a sishyan under
these circumstances, then the upadesam will not bear fruit for the
sishyan. Hence, Naatha Muni instructed his sishyas to wait until
AaLavanthAr developed such an intense desire to recieve Upadesam.
AaLavanthAr was distracted by the duties as a king when his
gradfather (Naatha Muni) ascended to parama Padham.

Naatha Muni's sishyar (UyyakkoNDAR) was ready to perform upadesam
as per his AchAryan's command, but AaLavanthAr was still chasing
other pleasures of a tansient kind. Hence UyyakkoNDAr could not
accept AaLavanthAr as his direct sishyan prior to his ascent to
Srivaikuntam. Hence, UyyakkoNDAr instructed his own sishyar
(MaNakkAL Nampi) to complete the assignment given by his AchAryan.
That happened finally. ManakkAl Nampi persisted in his efforts and
won over AaLavanthAr's indifference and kindled intense desire in
the mind of AaLavanthAr to recieve upadEsam on the treasures left
behind by his grandfather.MaNakkAl Nampi thus became the AchAryan
for Naatha Muni's grandson, who became an illustrious SampradhAya

20. Was it correct for MaNakkAl Nampi to strive so hard ?

MaNakkAl Nampi had persisted unitl AaLavanthAr gave up his
indifference to recieve Sath sampradhAya UpadEsam. ManakkAl Nampi
had to come up with a clever ruse of serving AalavanthAr daily
with a special kind of spinach that AaLavanthAr relished and
finally attracted his attention and then turned him away from the
enjoyment of the trivia of Raaja BhOgam and to travel on the lofty
road of VedAntha VichAram and Saasthra Jn~Anam. Question may be
asked : AaLavanthAr was not ready, but MaNakkAL Nampi persisted in
his efforts to gain AaLavanthAr as his sishyan. Should n't it be
other way round? Should n't AaLavanthar have chased Nampi and
fallen at his Thiruvadi for upadesam ?

The answer is: (1) MaNakkAl Nampi wanted to perform a kaimkaryam
for his prAchAryan(AchAryan's AchAryan). He was worried that time
was slipping by and AaLavanthAr was not ready due to the
distractions caused by his kingly duties. Therefore, he decided to
be proactive.(2) In Kali Yugam, it is not easy for an AchAryan to
engage in long efforts to test the qualifications of a sishyan to
perform upadesam. Hence, a sadAchAryan has to engage the sishyan
first in a persistent manner and then slowly but surely raise
their ruchi for upadEsam. MaNakkAl Nampi had these two points in
mind and went ahead with a deliberate pursuit of AaLavanthAr to
pass on the treasures that he had recieved through his AchArya

Why did AaLavanthAr salute Naatha Muni instead of MaNakkAL Nampi?

In his illustrious Sri Sookthi (SthOthra rathnam ), AaLavanthar
paid his obesiance to Naatha Muni instead of to his own AchAryan.
That appears unusual. Why is that? The answer is: (1) AaLavanthAr
considered that his direct AchAryan (Nampi) and his AchAryan
(UyyakkoNDAr ) will be very pleased with the salutations to their
AchAryan and PrAchAryan. A sishyan should perform acts that would
please his AchArya paramparai.(2) Jn~Ana sampath and Moksha
SaamrAjyam came AaLavanthAr's way because of the instructions of
Naatha Muni to UyyakkoNDAr to wait with the upadEsam until
AaLavanthAr got tired of the raaja bhOgams that he was immersed
in. When UyyakkoNDAr could not execute his AchAryan's wish due to
his own ascent to Sri Vaikuntam, he asked his own sishyan
(ManakkAl nampi) to complete that task. Hence, AaLavanthAr felt
grateful to his grand father and paid obesiance to his insightful
wisdom. (3) SaashtrAs and sath sampradhAyam point out that a
sishyan has to be grateful and worship the prAchArya and AchAryA
of his AchArya Paramparai. Propelled by the sense of his utter
gratitude, AaLavanthAr saluted directly Naatha Muni instead of his
immediate AchAryan(Nampi) or UyyakkoNDAr. This is Saasthra
Sammadham.(4) It is accepted practise that those who construct
granthams can choose one in his AchArya paramparai for special
obesiance for their visesha UpakAram. In those cases, it does not
mean that the sishyan is impudent by forgetting to his immediate
AchAryan. It does not signify that the sishyan has no devotion for
his own AchAryan.The sishyan salutes the entire AchArya paramparai
through the recitation of their taniyans and does not leave anyone

We will continue with the AchArya Paramparai beyond AaLavanthAr in
the next posting with particular emphasis on AchArya RaamAnujA.

Srimate Sri Laksminrisimha Divya Paduka Sevaka Srivan Satakopa Sri
Narayana Yatindra Mahadesikaya Nama:
Daasan, Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SaThakOpan

Chillarai Rahasyam - Part 4 - Oppiliappan kOil Sri Varadachari

22. AchArya paramparai beyond AlvanthAr

adiyEn will start with the original text of Swamy Desikan and then
follow up with the commentary of SrIrAma DesikAcchAr Swamy :

"ALavanthArudaya niyOgatthAle, SrI BhAshyakArarai angIkarittha
PoorNarAna Periya Nampi, avarai tamakku saabrahmachArikaLAna
ThirukkOttiyUr Nampi pakkalilE arTa-sikshai paNNavum, ThirumAlai
ANDAn pakkalilE ThiruvAimozhi kEtkkavum,AzhwAr ThiruvarangaperumAL
Arayar pakkalilE nalvArtthai kEtkkavum niyOgitthathum, Bahubhya:
srOthavyam BahudhA srOthavyam, JnAnavruddhAmayArAjan Bahava:
paryupAsithA: ithyAdhikalayum SukhAdhi

vrutthAthangalayum paartthu, sishyabhUtharai bahumukhamAha
thirttha vENDumekira abhisandhiyAlE upapannatamam.

ippadi aacharya-abhimatha vishayatthil, aacharya anuj~nayAlE
apEkshitha-Jn~Ana-upjeevanam paNNuvathu saasthrArTamennimidam
anthima dasAvadhiyAha athyantha avahitharAhakkoNDu, sadAchAra
anupAlanam paNNina SrI BhaashyakArarudaya anushtAnatthAlE

The highly compressed style of writing here (ChillaRai Rahasyams)
using MaNipravALam (Mixutre of Sanskrit and Tamil) will require"
unzipping" with the help of great scholars like SrIraama
DesikAcchAr Swamy of Oppiliappan Koil. adiyEn's contribution in
this series will focus on this aspect. This is the value-add from
adiyEn's perspective. The MahOpakAram of Swamy SrIraamadEsikAcchar
is worthy of reverence.

22. Commentary on the above section :

This terse passage of Swamy Desikan breaks up into 12 categories of

(1) Periya Nampi is the chief (PradhAna) Achaaryan for SrI
BhAshyakArar. Although ALavanthAr himself wanted to be the
pradhAna AchAryan for RaamAnujA, his quick ascent to paramapadham
interfered with his wish. He instructed through a sishyan that his
other sishyan, Periya Nampi should serve in his place as the
pradhAna AachAryan for RaamAnuja. Periya Nampi obeyed his
AchAryan's command and instructed RaamAnujA on all SaasthrArthams

(2) BhaashyakArar had four more AcchAryas besides his
PrathamAchAryan, Periya Nampi. Latter instructed RaamAnujA to
receive upadesams from four other fellow sishyAs, who had studied
with him under ALavanthAr. They are :(a) ThirukkOttiyUr Nampi for
rahasyArTams (b)ThirumAlai ANDAn for the meanings of ThiruvAimozhi
Paasurams (c)Thiruvaranga PerumAl arayar ( ALavanthAr AzhwAr) for
the Moolam of ThiruvAimozhi and the sthothrams of ALavanthar as
Sadhupadesam (d)Sri Saila Poornar ( Thirumalai Nampi) for
instructions on the meanings of Sriamdh RaamAyanam.

(3) The reasons for seeking auxillary AchAryans besides one's
pradhAna AchAryan and how it is allowed by SaasthrAs : There may
arise a question on why Periya Nampi, the Chief AchAryan of
RaamAnujA asked him to receive additional instructions from his
fellow students, who were also sishyAs of his AchAryan,
ALavanthAr. It is because SaasthrAs approve elaborate
comprehension of the meanings of upadesams from many other
AchAryAs for firming them up in a sishyan's mind. That was the
saasthraic guidance that Periya Nampi followed. Sage VyAsa in a
similar vein had instructed his son, Sukha Brahmam as principal
AchAryan and then instructed his son to receive additional
upadEsams from the Brahma Rishi, Janaka MaharAjA of MiTilai.

(4) This practise of having more than one AchArya is supported by
Upanishads: BhaashyakArA's practise here --recieving sakalArTams
from his mukhyAchAryan and then learning from auxillary AchAryAs
at the direction of his principal AchAryan-- is approved by the
Upanishads. In ChAndhOgya Upanishad, a similar practise is
recorded. UpakOsalan learns from the Agnis the svaroopam of
Brahmam and its angi, Agni Vidhyai. He learnt about the rest of
the vidhyai (archirAdhigathi et al) form another AchAryan.

(5) It is possible that some sishyAs do not need more than one
AchAryan : There is no prssure to seek auxillary AchAryAs other
than one's principal AchAryan. This is the case with MaithrEyar,
who had Sage ParAsarA as his sole Acharyan; same with sage VyAsa ;
Naata Muni had also one AchAryan (viz)., Swamy NammAzhwAr.

(6) All who perform upadesam should be treated with reverence as
AchAryAs: A sishyan learns about Tatthva- Hitha-PurushArTams from
one AchAryan. He approaches other AchAryAs to firm up in his mind
what he has learned from his principal AchAryan. It is that
sishyan's duty to revere the auxillary AchAryAs as well, whether
they performed minor or major upadesams.

It should however be clear that the prathamAchAryan is one, who
instructs the sishyan on the two upAyams for Moksham (Bhakthi and
prapatthi yOgams) and interprets the deep meanings of the three
rahasyams that are fundamental to the comprehension of the
Bhagavath svaroopam and the fruit arising from such a knowledge
(viz) Moksha anugraham.

(7) The responsibility of the auxillary (thuNai) AchaaryAs: These
auxillary AchAryAs assist the sishyan with pradhAna Achaaryan at
times, when the sishyan's firm understanding of the recieved
upadesams lose focus. There may be times, when the pradhAna
achAryan can not be accessed. During those times, it is acceptable
to approach the other AchAryAs favored by the PradhAna AchAryan.
These auxillary AchAryAs are known as assisting AchAryAs. They do
not however belong to the lineage of PradhAna AchAryan.

(8) The need for salutation of those, who helped one to acquire a
SadAchAryan : prior to one attaining the link (sambhandham) to a
pradhAna AchAryan, some saathvika mahAns would have helped one
with dayA to steer the sishyan to a sadAchAryan. Such helping
mahAns should be respected and recalled with gratitude.

(9) The need for saluting those who created granthams on
sadh-sampradhAyam, which open our eyes : There may be great ones,
who do not belong to one's AchArya Paramparai and yet they help us
through their commentaries on the works of PoorvAchAryAs. Examples
of such MahAns are SrI Sudarsana Soori, who elaborated on the
seminal SrI BhAshyam through his adhbhutha grantham of Srutha
PrakAsikai and ThoddayyAchAr, who elaborated on Swamy Desikan's
SrI Satha DhUshaNi through his ChanDamArutham. In recent times, it
would be the equivalents of Oppiliappan Koil SrIrama DesikAcchAr
Swamy and MukkUr SrI Lakshmi NrusimhAcchAr Swamy.

9.1: SarvEswaran is the AchAryan Par excellence: Among all the
mukhya AchAryAs, SarvEswaran is the most ancient of all AchAryans.
He enters inside the MahAns, who serve as AchAryAs and commands
them to help their sishya paramparais. In the AchArya Pankthi
(row), SarvEswaran is the primordial AchAryan and the lofteiest

(10) There is no fundamental difference in the siddhAntham of the
different branches of AchAryAs, who follow after AchArya RaamAnujA
and yet there may be some differences among them in intrepretation
of the commonly accepted siddhAntham. After RaamAnujA, the
sampradhAyam branches out. For some (Vada kalai) the branching
starts after Vadakku Thiruveethi PiLLai. For others (TennAchArya
sampradhAyam), the branch commences with Sri PiLLai LokAcchAr
Swamy, who was a senior contemproary of Swamy Desikan. On
important matters of Bhagavath RaamAnuja SiddhAntham, there are no
differences among the two branches. There are differences however
in providing the meaning of the padhams and anvayams of the three
rahasyams. Based on these differences, one can not conclude that
there are differences on fundamental points that are common to

(11) Saasthram permits variations in the codes of conduct
(anushtAnam) among aasthikAs belonging to AchArya RaamAnuja
paramparai : Desam, Kaalam and the environment might necessitate
some variations in anushtAnam.These are acceptable by Saasthrams.

(12) It is not correct for the successors of RaamAnuja to twist
the doctrines established by RaamAnujA and attribute these changes
(which collide with Saasthrams) as being acceptable to RaamAnujA.
The sishya paramparai of RaamAnujA are wrong in creating new
doctrines, which are inconsistent with the SaasthrAs and
advocating them as being acceptable to Bhagavath RaamAnuja
SiddhAmntham. These promulgators of approaches divergent with
SaasthrAs do not know well the SrI Sookthis or the anushtAnam of
RaamAnujA. By positing their new fangled doctrines and practises
to RaamAnujA for legitimacy, they do not diminish the glory of
RaamAnujA. These perpetrators of false doctrines alone will
acquire mahA paapams.

In the next posting, adiyEn will cover the different upadesams
given to us by Swamy Desikan on the meanings of the three
rahasyams. adiyEn will attempt to summarize the upadEsams without
getting into elaborations on the esoteric aspects of the
rahasyArthams, which can only be learned under the Thiruvadi of a

Chillarai Rahasyam - Part 5 - SamprAdhAya Parisuddhi -
Oppiliappan kOil Sri Varadachari Sadagopan

23)Comments on the meanings of Thirumanthiram :

Swamy Desikan points out that there is no inconsistency between
the different meanings of Moola mathram
(Thirumanthiram/AshtAksharam) obtained from the meanings generated
by the different padhams and vaakyams made up of individual
padhams. These different meanings are tied with each other and
hence do not have any conflicts. Niruktham is the base for the
many different and interconnected meanings that are in vogue. With
the power of niruktham and the help from Vedam, SmruthikaL, SrI
PaancharAthram, IthihAsam and PurANam the varieties of consistent
meanings have been developed.

24)Three kinds of arTa panchakam in Moola Manthram:

This Thirumanthram is made up of three padhams. There are three
approaches to experience arTa panchakam in Thirumanthram:

a) by combining the three padhams (b) by elaboration of the
meaning of PraNavam (c) by revealing arTa panchakam in the first
letter of praNavam :"A" (akAram). Even if there are three ways to
describe arTa panchakam in Moola Manthram, there is no dissonance
among them. Some reveal arTa panchakam form the padhams
effortlessly. Some are the meanings arising out of the individual
padhams. Others are brief descriptions. In the final analysis,
there is no inconsistency among the different approaches to cull
out/identify arTa panchakam from the padhams or padha vaakyams.

25)What is this arTa panchakam?

This pentad of arTa panchakam includes:

(1) The Brahman/Isvaran to be attained (b) The Jeevan that attains
Isvaran (c) the means (upAyam) for such an attainment of the
Brahman by the Jeevan (d) The fruits (phalan) of such attainment
(e) the items that stand in the way of such an attainment (Mosha

26) PirAtti in PraNavam:

In Thirumanthram, the letter that explicitly refers to the Lord is
"A". This letter "A" also indicates PirAtti as well. The second
letter of PraNavam "U" explicitly refers to PirAtti. Thus, there
is no inconsistency in repeating the meaning of a letter like "A"

AakAram certainly denotes only the Sarva Rakshaka SrIman
NaarAyNan. The pramANams point out that this Sarva Rakshakan is
the Lord with His PirAtti. SrI BhaashyakArar has instructed us
that all words linked with the Lord exclusively are conjointly
referring to PirAtti as well. ParAsara Bhattar is of the view that
Vedam has not specially sung about PirAtti since She is always
with Him.

The second letter "U" has the meaning of avatharaNam. What does
avatharaNam mean? avatharaNam means that one which is total
ownership by one (oruvanukkE urimai). avatharaNam means one with
the jeevan, which is the leige of dhivya dampathis. avatharaNam
also means severing the ties (sambhnadham) with the others. The
meaning that arises out of this definition (viz)., the jeevan will
not become leige to anyone except the divine couple (Dhivya
Dampathis). Instead of the indirect way, there is a direct
intrepretation of the second letter of PraNavam "U" to mean
PirAtti. Vedam itself provides proof for the understanding that
UkAram is PirAtti.

(27)Jeevan is the leige of Dhivya Dampathis alone:

Jeevan is the bonded servant/leige/seshan of the divine couple
alone. By this statement, it is clear that the Jeevan is not the
servant (adiyan) of anyone else. JeevAthmA is sEsham to Them
always and under all conditions. Jeevan becomes the sarIram for
the Lord and the Lord stands as the aathmA for that jeevan. This
is the SarIrAthma Bhaavam.

28)The way in which the term Jeevans can also refer to a Jeevan

The letter "M" in PraNavam refers to the assembly of Jeevans in
general. If that were to be so, how can a jeevan disassociate
itself as a single unit and say that it is the sEshan for the
dhivya dampathis? The answer is: The chEthanan comprehends his
svarUpam from Thirumanthram, wishes to attain purushArTam and
practises the upAyam of prapatthi or bhakthi yOgam. The chethanan
out of this necessity has to know about his svarUpam first.
Therefore, knowing fully well that "M" stands for jeeeva raasis as
sesha vasthus for the dhivya dampathis, the individual Jeevan
refers to itself as the individual entity of that group
represented by"M" and identifies itself as the adiyan of Them.

Alternatively, one can understand that the letter "M" of PraNavam
directly stands for the individual Jeevan as well. The word
"asmath" (my) can be split into as+M+ath; when we remove the "as"
and "ith", what is left in the middle is"M" indicating the
individual jeevan. The jeevan can therefore declare itself as the
individual jeevan that is the servant of the dhivya dampathis. All
the limitless individual jeevans can declare uniquely that they
are the sEshans of the dhivya dampathis without any discord
between the letter "M" of praNavam standing in for the totality of

29)The boundary of seshathvam is BhAgavathAs

It is the duty of the jeevan to know that the declaration that it
is the seshan of the Lord includes that it is the servant of the
Lord's bhAgavathAs as well. The duties of being the leige of the
Lord and His PirAtti is fulfilled, when it comprehends the nature
of the special relationship and declares that it is the sEshan of
Them. The ultimate boundary of the Bhagavath sEshathvam is
BhAgavatha sEshathvam.

30)The obtainment of BhAgavatha sEshathvam in PraNavam

It is more appropriate to link BhAgavatha sEshathvam with the
middle padham of "Nama: " in Thirumanthiram than elsewhere.
PraNavam reveals only that "Jeevan is the leige of the Lord and
the Lord is his SwAmi/Master". A Master is entitled to use His
servant according to His wish and make him (jeevan) fruitful for
his purpose. If we examine the ThiruvuLLam of the Master
(BhagavAn), it becomes apparent that it is the cherished wish of
the Lord for the jeevan to become the servant of His BhAgavathAs,
who are very, very dear to Him.

31)BhAgavatha sEshathvam in the "Nama:" Sabdham

"Nama:" can be split into "na+mama". The implication of this split
is that the jeevan has no independence of its own. It is entirely
subject to the wishes and commandments of its Master, the Lord.
Jeevan is paratantran and in that well defined state, it
recognizes the Lord's dearest wishes such as being seshan to His
BhAgavathAs and obeys that wish. Jeevan understands from praNavam
that Lord is its Master and from "nama:" sabdham that the Lord is
Svatantran and it is subservient to Him. In this context, there is
no obstruction to the jeevan being made to respect the wish of its
Lord to be subservient to the BhAgavathAs, who are the dearest to

Chillarai Rahasyam - Part 6 - SamprAdhAya Parisuddhi -
Oppiliappan kOil Sri Varadachari Sadagopan

(32) Fourth Cases(Chathruthi vibhakthi):

Here, Swamy Desikan compresses in one sentence profound doctrines
on the meanings of the two Chathurthys in the Moola Manthram
(compatible and unique meanings). His original text is:

"yEkArTathva-bhinnArtathvangaLum pramANa-anuguNa-
vAkyArTa-vivakshA- bhEdatthAlE sonnavai".

There are two chathurthis in Moola manthram recognized as praTama
(first) and the dhvithIya (second) Chathurthy. Swamy instructs us
that the single meaning and multiple meanings for them
(yEkArTathva-bhinnArTathvam) arise from the approaches to give the
meanings of Moola Manthram based on the use of one, two or three
vAkyams. Swamy states further that there is no discord among
meanings for the Chathurthys derived in this manner. They are
consistent with PramAnams.

In Sanskrit, the fourth vibhakthi (case) is "Aaya"(eg)
NaarAyaNAya. That means "aaha" or "poruttu" (intended for) in
Tamil. The first letter of PraNavam is akAram (A). Therefore that
"A" has to be considered as "A+aaya"= adiyEn (Jeevan) is Seshan
to the Lord. This is the meaning of the First chathurthi.

The second chathurthi has the Aaya suffix incorporated explicitly
(NaarAyaNAya). Thus the "aaya" (chathurthy) is hidden in the
First letter of PraNavam (latent) in the first chathurthy and
explicitly present (patent) in the NaarAyaNa sabdham containing
the second chathurthy.

The meanings of the Moola Manthram is explained in terms of using
the first vaakyam or two vaakyams or three vaakyams. The meanings
for the chathurthis depend on that. When the one vaakyam approach
is taken, then the Moola Manthram has to be interpreted as "adiyEn
is the sEshan(leige) for Lord NaarAyaNan, who is represented by
the AkAram". In that context, the first chathurthy has no specific
meaning beyond the above.

When the Moola Manthram is interpreted in terms of three vaakyams,
the first vaakyam (PraNavam) deals with the svaroopam of the
Jeevan; the second vAkyam "nama:" deals with the upAyam (Prapathi)
and the third vaakyam, "NaarAyaNAya" represents the fruit of that
upAyam (Phalan). Since the first chathurthy has already indicated
that Jeevan is the sEshan for NaarAyaNan, the second chathurthy
has to be interpreted differently instead of being interpreted
once again to convey the same meaning. In the three vaakyam
interpretation of this kind, PraNavam deals with the svaroopam of
the jeevan and the "nama:" sabdham, the upAyam to attain that
phalan; therefore the third vaakyam is interpreted to mean the
kaimkarya prApthi arising from that seshathvam (being the liege of
the Lord). There is thus no inconsistency in these different
interoperations of the two chathurthis based on PramANams.


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