vairagya pancakam

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vairagya pancakam


At some point, Desika returned to Kanchipuram to continue his teaching and writing. He regularly visited the many Divya Desams of this town, composing poems on nearly all of them. One of them, the Vairagya Panchakam or "Five Verses on Dispassion", gives us a rare autobiographical insight into his personality. Nominally addressed to Lord Varadaraja, the Vairagya Panchakam is held to be a reply to a friend, who, upon seeing Desika's abject poverty, invited him to join the court of the king where he could lead a more comfortable life. Desika's verses here display a stern independence of spirit and utter disregard for material wealth, particularly when it distracts from the greater wealth of the company of God. Tradition remembers Desika and his wife as having led an "unccha-vRtti" life, where he would daily go about begging for alms. This is evidenced by his declaration at the conclusion of the Vairagya Panchakam that neither he nor his father had any wealth worth speaking of, save the continuous presence of the Lord of the Elephant Hill, i.e., Lord Varadaraja. (from



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