Vedic scholar of great merit
The sathabishekam of Sri Srinivasa Desikachariar was celebrated recently.
REWARDING MOMENT Srinivasa Desikachariar receiving the certificate of honour from President K.R.Narayanan in 2002.
Disciples and well-wishers organised the sathabishekam of Veda Baashyam Sri Srinivasa Desikachariar Swami at Vaduvur on October 22. The swami, a Sanskrit scholar par excellence, was born in Vaduvur on November 4, 1928 (Vibhava Varusham Aippasi Maasam Pushya Nakshatram), to Srimathi Kanakavalli and Sri Veeraraghavachariar. Five generations of his ancestors were trained in Veda Adhyayis and were rendering service to the Asramam without compensation.
His father passed away when Sri Desikachariar was 12. His uncle, Ganapati Sri Narasimhachariar, was one of the great Veda teachers of those days. In fact, he introduced the weekly tests in Veda Patasalas in Tamil Nadu modelled after the Kerala pattern. That Swami was teaching in the famous Veda Patasala in Mannargudi founded by Sri Anna Swami Iyengar (continued by his son, the late A Srinivasa Iyengar Swami).
The young Desikan was enrolled in that Patasala and started training in Divya Prabandham and Veda Adhyayanam. Simultaneously, he completed Veda Adhyayanam (up to Kramantham) in seven years’ time. He continued the Adhyayanam and completed the Ganantham and Salakshanam (equivalent to Ph.D) in just one more year. He was examined at the Sankara Mutt and cleared these in First Class.
While Desikan was 13 and training in Prabandha Parayanam, the Paramacharya was visiting Mannargudi. The great Sage had tremendous respect for the Mannargudi family. Srinivasa Iyengar introduced the young scholar to the Paramacharya, who asked the boy to recite the ‘Koondhal Malar mangaikkum man madanthaikkum’ . Young Desikan recited this Pasuram in a resounding manner and was blessed by the Paramacharya.
In 1951-52, the Swami passed the Veda and Smartha exams conducted by the Government of Mysore covering Poorva Apara Prayogam, Baashyam, etc. As directed by the Paramacharya, he entered the Veda Baashyam course (equivalent to DSc) and passed the exams too. The Swami then became the teacher in the Patasala and trained countless Adhyayis over the next several decades.
Over the years, the Swami had passed several exams held by several institutions, mutts etc., with distinction to become one of the greatest Vedic Scholars of our times.
The Paramacharya desired that Swami should publish some authoritative works on Dharma Saastra. Swami then located the Telugu edition of ‘Pithru Medha Saram’ originally done by Vaideeka Sarvabhouma Thozhappar, got this done in Devanagari with all Pramanams and a Tamizh vyakyanam.
Sri Desikachariar had his Prapatthi performed at a very tender age by Srimad Therazhundur Andavan Swami and Samasrayanam under Akkur Andavan Swami. Thus, he along with Sri Thenbirai Lakshmi Raghavachariar remains one of the few living sishyas with links to six Acharya Sreshtas of the Andavan Parampara.
In 2001, the Swami was honoured by the President as a Sanskrit Scholar, one of the highest awards given by the Indian State. Srimad Andavan honoured him along with 34 others as the Asthana Vidwan of the Asramam.
Swami Desikachariar built a mani mandapam for Srimad Sakshat Swami at Vaduvur in 2001 and the building now houses the Vaduvur Veda Patasala with almost 50 Vidyarthis.
The Swami helped to renovate the Vaduvur Sri Raman Sannidhi and conduct samprokshanam in 1996 and in 2007; he conducted the Teppotsavam in 2007. Most important, the Swami took tremendous efforts to renovate Sri Kailasanathar Temple in Vaduvur and conduct the kumbabishekam .
Srimad Andavan appointed the Swami as the Srikaryam of Srirangam Srimad Andavan Asramam in October 2007 after the passing away of Sri Narasimha Raghavachariar. The Swami completed 80 years of age on October 22. His students and well wishers conducted his sathabhishekam in a simple manner at Vaduvur.
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