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Acharya Vamsa Vruksham - 4 (May 15, 2009)

Lineage Tree of Preceptors
Anbil Ramaswamy, U.S.A.

6. UYYAKKONDAAR (Chiththirai-Kaarthikai)

UyyakKondaar, also known as Pundarikaaksha, was born as the Amsam of Jayathsena, one of the Nithyasuris in Paramapadam. He was born at Thiruvellarai. He was born in the month Chiththirai and in the constellation of Kaarthikai.

As ordered by his master Sri Natha Muni, he escorted AravindapPaavai, Sri Natha Muni's wife to her parent's home. There, the womenfolk known as Vangipurathu Aachis made him sit in an open space called ‘Mutram’ and eat stale remnants of food left over. Pundarikaaksha partook the same with relish as it was food offered to him by the Parijanas (those dear to) of his Acharya. On his return, he felt greatly elated when he narrated the incident to his Acharya. The Acharya was overwhelmed and exclaimed “Nammai Uyyak Kondeero?” – Oh! You came to redeem me?” From then on, he came to be known as UyyakKondaar.

His prime disciple was Manakkaal Nambi (aka) Rama Misra. His other Sishyas were: Thiruvallikkeni Paan Perumaal Araiyar, Setlur Sendu Alankaarar, Sri Pundarika Daasar and Ulaga Perumaal Nangai.

Swami Desika salutes him as follows:

நமஸ்யாம்யரவிந்தாக்ஷம் நாதபாவே வ்யவஸ்திதம் !
சுத்த ஸத்வமயம் சௌரே: அவதாரமிவாபரம் !!
(Yathiraja Sapthathi - 6)

“Lord Krishna was the ‘Sarva Loka Natha.’ His Thirumeni is of Suddha Sathva. His eyes are lotus-like. Uyyakkaondar fully understood the ‘Thiru Ullam’ of Sri Naatha Muni and lived up to it. This is possible only for one who is full of Sathva Guna, untainted by Rajo and Thamo Gunas. Also, the name Pundarikaaksha (Lotus- eyed) refers to Lord Krishna. He looked as if Lord Pundarikaaksha of Thiruvellarai himself was reborn as UyyakKondaar.”

He was a renowned dialectician. A passage from his work has been quoted by Swami Desika in his Sathadhushani.

7. MANAKKAAL NAMBI (Maasi-Magham)

Manakkaal Nambi, also known as Rama Misra, was born as the Amsam of Kumudhan, one of the Nithyasuris in Paramapadam. He was born in the Manakkaal Agraharam adjacent to the Divyadesam Thiru Anbil. He was born in the year Virodhi, month of Maasi in the constellation of Magham.

The credit for transforming Yamunai-Thuraivan into Yaamuna Muni goes to him. For 12 years, he rendered personal service to his Acharya, UyyakKondaar and after the demise of his Guru’s wife, he took over the culinary duties and cooked food for his Acharya.

Embar describes that Nammazhwar drank of the ocean of mercy of Lord Narayana and rained it through Natha Muni and that Pundarikaaksha was like the fountain spring that let the stream reach Aala Vandhaar. Pundarikaksha learned the holy collects and Yoga Rahasya from Natha Muni and passed them on to Aala Vandhaar.

Manakkaal Nambi’s devotion to his Guru was such that on an occasion when two daughters of UyyakKondaar had to cross the slush on their way back home after bath in the river, he laid himself down on the slush and asked them to walk over on his back. Since, the sands at the feet of the Guru's daughters were on his body, he came to be known as ‘Manal Kaal Nambi’. He took to Sanyaasa. He does not seem to have written any work. But, citations of his teachings are found in the works of other Acharyas. Swami Desika quotes his teachings in Nyaaya Parisuddhi.

Manakkaal Nambi’s prime disciple was Aala Vandhaar (aka) Yaamuna Muni. His other disciples were: Deivathukku Arasu Nambi, Gomatathu Thiruvinnagarappan, SirupPulloor Aavudaya-Pillai and Aachi.

Swami Desika praises Rama Misra as follows:

அநுஜ்ஜித க்ஷமாயோகம் அபுண்ய ஜநபாதகம் !
அஸ்ப்ருஷ்ட மத ராகம் தம் ராமம் துர்யம் உபாஸ்மஹே !!
(Yathiraja Sapthathi - 7)

“The one who learned all the Saastaraarthas from UyyakKondaar through Upadesam was Manakkaal Nambi. There were only three Ramas before. Here comes the fourth one. The defects(*) noticeable in the other three Ramas were totally absent in this fourth Rama. Let us prostrate before this blemishless fourth Rama.”

Special meaning:

(*) Anujjitha Kshamaa Yogam: Parasurama had no patience. Out of jealousy, he fought with ‘Chakravarthi Thirumagan’. With an uncontrollable rage, he embarked on destroying the entire Kshathriya race. But, Manakkaal Nambi never lost his composure and kept his senses under absolute control.

Apunya Jana Bhadhakam: Dasaratha Rama destroyed the Raakshasas, otherwise known as ‘Apunya Jana’. But, Manakkaal Nambi never harmed anyone but always did all the good he could to Saadhus who are also known as 'Punya Jana'.

Asprushta Madha Raagam: Balarama became reddish in color by excessive drinking. Manakkaal Nambi never exhibited any pride or prejudice or any excessive attachment to anything worldly.

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Next in series: On June 15, 2009.

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The author is President, Swami Desika Darsana Satsangam (SDDS) and Editor,
Sri Ranga Sri (SRS) Electronic Journal, U.S.A.

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www.svdd.com - © Sri Vedantha Desikar Devasthanam, Mylapore, Chennai.