Acharya Vaibhavam (45th Jeeyar)


'Chozha Naadu Sorudaithu, Pandiya Naadu Muthudaithu, Chera Naadu Vezham udaithu and Thondai Naadu Saandror udaithu' is a famous Tamil saying. It means, Chozha desam (areas surrounding Trichy/Tanjore) is known for its abundance in Food Grains; Pandiya desam (areas surrounding Madurai) is known for its abundance in Pearls; Chera desam (Kerala) is known for its abundance in Elephants and Thondai desam (areas surrounding Kanchipuram/Vellore) is known for its abundance in learned scholars and Acharyas.

The saying has been true since time immemorial. Thondai naadu has the privilege and prestige of producing greatest numbers of scholars in vaideekam and our sampradayam including Mudal Azhwars, Thirumazhisai Azhwar, Bhagavadh Ramanuja, Sri Koorathazhwan, our dearest Swamy Desikan and countless other Acharyas. In keeping with its tradition and reputation 'mother Thondai Naadu' decided to gift another great scholar to Bharatha Desam and Vaideeka Astikas spread all over the world. This scholar would proceed to decorate the Malola peetam as its 45th Acharya under whose leadership the Shri Matam expanded and flourished much to the delight of Malolan.



Birth and Early Life

The 45th Acharya was born in Thirumalai Nallan Chakravarthy Vamsam in Villivalam Agraharam (North Arcot District) in the Uttaratadhi Nakshatram, Karthikai month of Akshaya Varusham (December 12, 1926). He was the sixth son of Shri Pazhaveri Chakravarthy Narasimhachari and Shrimati Ranganayaki ammal. His parents named him Krishnamachari. He showed extraordinary scholarship even as a young boy. Sensing the young boy's potential, his father home tutored him and laid a solid foundation. Swamy learnt Kaavya Natakams from his father. He followed it with thorough abhyasam of Tarka Shaastram from his elder brother.

Swamy's elder brother: Shri 'Vedantha Vavadhooka' Narayanachariar

Any account of our Acharya's life history will be incomplete without mention of the profound impact his elder brother had on him. Swamy himself had on several occasions (both pre and post sanyasam) expressed his utmost reverence and 'Kruthagnathai' to his elder brother without whose care and attention, swamy's achievements would have not been possible. Swamy lost his father when he was very young. It was his elder brother (older by 10 years), Shri 'Vedantha Vavadhooka' Narayanachariar, who took him under his care and since then for the next several decades occupied a father like figure in his life. He performed upanayanam for the young Krishnamachari, trained him in the basics of our sampradayam and later in advanced studies in Tarka Shaastram. Sensing the young boy's thirst for advanced sampradayic knowledge, he admitted him in the Madurantaka Patashala.

Narayanchariar who was the second son of his parents was born on August 15, 1916. He had all the inbuilt qualities of an Acharya in his own right. It was widely expected that he was to be coronated as the 45th Azhagiya Singar but Malolan sought his kainkaryam in 'HIS' abode. His unexpected loss was deeply felt by vaideekas and astikas and shook our swamy deeply. Swamy's devotion to his elder brother often drew 'Bharatha-Rama' parallels from those who observed their mutual bond and affection from personal quarters.

Academic Accomplishments

Swamy furthered his Vedanthic education in Madurantakam Patashala and passed Nyaya Siromani exam conducted by University of Madras in 1949. He received first prize for general proficiency. He learnt Meemasa Shastra under the feet of 42nd and 43rd Azhagiyasingars. He underwent Vedantha Kalakshepams under the feet of 42nd Azhagiya Singar. A few interesting incidents demonstrate his scholarship (source: http://www.saranagathi.org/articles/45jeer.htm - Sri Anbil Ramaswamy swamin)

  1. While at a junior level, he answered queries set by Tirukoshtiyur Swami for senior level on "Yathartha Gnaanam" as per Deepikai and Prakaasikai.
  2. During an inspection, Devanarvilagam Swami was surprised at the precocious way he answered questions on "Chaturdasa Lakshana" in Nyaya Grantham.
  3. He earned the appreciation of Uttaradi Mutt Swami when he explained a difficult topic on "Pancha Lakshanee".
  4. Devanarvilagam Swami hailed his essay of just 10 pages on Sribashyam as a masterpiece. In the "Malola Vidwat Sadas" at Tiruvallur, he explained Jignanasa Adhikaranana Laghu Siddhantam.


Service to his Acharyas

Swamy had the benefit of being closely associated with the 42nd, 43rd and 44th Azhagiyasingars from his younger days. He had the benefit of performing 'Kaashaya Kainkaryam' to the 42nd Azhagiyasingar which helped him learn deep nuances of our sampradayam in private. He also had the privilege of performing 'aradhanam' to Sri Malolan for some years.

Personal and professional accomplishments in his 'Poorvashramam' (Pre Sanyasam)

He served as Tamil Pandit in the Ramakrishna Vidyalaya, Chenglepet for four years from 1956. He served as "Nyaya" Professor in the Sri Ahobila Mutt Sanskrit College, Madurantakam till 1965. He was appointed "Asthana Vidwan" of the Mutt by the 44th Azhagiyasingar in 1966. He was the Joint Editor of Sri Nrisimha Priya (Tamil) magazine from 1982.

Swamy was known for his simple and lucid style of upanyasam. He eventually moved to Chennai and for over 30 years performed several upanyasams, kalakshepams in Sreebhashyam, Rahasyatrayasaram, Ramayanam, Bhagavatham, Thiruppavai and Bhagavadh Geetha across India.

Ahnika Grantham - Magnum Opus
Swamy has several literary works to his credits. He contributed several scholarly articles in Sri Nrisimha Priya magazine which were keenly read and widely appreciated both by scholars and simpletons. Swamy wrote Sri Vaishnava Sadacharya Nirnayam which is an authoritative scholarly work on day to day practical anushtanams to be followed by every single Shri Matam Sishyas and Shri Vaishnavas/Vaideekas at large.

Personal Life
In keeping with Shaastric prescriptions, Swamy entered Grihastashramam in 1944 (18 years age). He married the daughter of Vidwan Kaniyambakkam Srinivasacharya and led a happy married life for 46 years. The couple were gifted with three sons. He had his Samashrayanam at the hands of Injimedu Azhagiyasinghar in 1940. He had his Bharanyasam at the feet of Devanarvilagam Azhagiyasinghar on a Dwadasi day of Panguni month in Pingala year (1978).

Sanyasam
Vaideeka establishments in post independence India have had to suffer innumerable obstacles in their functioning. Several third party vested interests compete and collude with an aim to destabilise vaideeka religious establishments in several different ways. Our Shri Matam faces such challenges even today as a matter of routine.

Successive Acharyas have worked tirelessly to make sure that the core of Shri Matam principles remains unblemished despite many external pressures and influences. The reigns of 42nd, 43rd and 44th Azhagiyasingars coincided with rapid rise of naastikam in Southern India. The sishyas were put to untold hardships; nevertheless they gained comfort under the feet of successive Acharyas.

Under these testing circumstances, the 44th Azhagiyasingar who sensed his imminent Sri Vaikunta Praapthi, summoned Shri Krishnamachari on October 12th 1991 and appealed to him to accept Sanyasam and eventually take over the Shri Matam as the 45th Acharya. On October 21st 1991, swamy performed Sanyasa sweekaranam in Srirangam at the hands of the 44th Azhagiyasingar. He was 65 years of age then. Swamy was blessed by Shri Paravakkottai Andavan. The 44th Azhagiyasingar attained Paramapadam on 24th August 1992. The 'Chinna Azhagiya Singar' as swamy was then affectionately called took the title of 'Shri Narayana Yateendra Maha Desikan' as a mark of respect, devotion and gratitude to his poorvaashrama elder brother.

Continued

 




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