Master of Sastras

Vedanta Desika is an avatara of Lord Venkatanatha of Tirumala. For every avatara there is a purpose. Lord Srinivasa is Himself an avatara. What then is the need for Him to further incarnate as Vedanta Desika? The Vedas say that in each avatara, His glory increases. That being the case, how did it increase by Srinivasa incarnating as Desika?

There are similarities between Srinivasa and Desika, said Navalpakkam V. Kannan in a discourse. Both are called Venkatanatha. The Vedanta Sastras — vedAntavihAriNam — constitute Srinivasa’s playground, and these also happen to be Desika’s playground. Lord Srinivasa is Lord of the Seven hills. But He wanted to be much more, and so He incarnated as Desika. Arasanipalai Venkatadhvari, in his Acharya Panachasat, says that he bows to both Srinivasa, the Lord of Seshagiri and aSeshagiridhuryam (Desika). Desika was so described because he was master in many languages. Desika has been lauded by many poets, each of whom gives a reason for reading Desika’s works.

An acquaintance with Desika’s works confers wisdom. Such wisdom can be acquired through study of other works, but this will take time. Desika’s works are also studied in order to cleanse the mind. One can bathe in the Ganges to purify oneself. But Desika’s works are an Akasa Ganga. Immersion in his works grants instant purity. Cholasimhapuram Doddayacharya’s aim was to become a good poet. Desika’s works are sweeter than a tasty banana, he says. Even Sukracharya cannot match Desika’s ability to write. Doddayacharya says we must first take his blessings. Then we will be blessed with pleasing poetic skills. Bukkapatnam Annayacharya said he studied Desika’s works for his welfare. Studying Desika’s works brings auspiciousness.

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