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Acharya Vamsa Vruksham - 9 (October 15, 2009)

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

11. KIDAAMBI AACHAAN (Chiththirai-Hastham)

Pranathaarthi Hara is his given name and he is known as Kidaambi Aachaan. Born in Aathreya Gothram, he is also known as Madappalli Aachaan, since he took over the charge of culinary duties for Sri Ramanuja after ThirukKottiyur Nambi declared him as the one to take personal care of Ramanuja.

He was nominated as one of the Simhaasana Adhipathis of Rahasya Sampradaya Parampara. He studied Vedantha at least 12 times at the feet of Bhagavathe Ramanuja.


He is the son of Kidaambi Aachaan. He was one who strictly adhered to Aacharam and is adorned with auspicious personal qualities. Nothing more is available about this Acharya.

13. KIDAAMBI RANGARAJAR (Panguni-Rohini)

He was also known as Kidaambi Padmanabhacharya. He was the son of Ramanujap Pillaan and Grandson of Kidaambi Aachaan. He was born in the month Panguni and in the constellation of Rohini. He had a pleasing personality and like his father, was full of Aathmaguna, and was totally blemishless.

14. KIDAAMBI APPULLAAR (Chiththirai-Thiruvadhirai)

He was the maternal uncle of Swami Desika. He learned all the Saasthras and Siddhantha from his father Sri Rangarajar so well that elders wondered if he was the reincarnation of Periya Thiruvadi (Garuda, the Vedaatma) and asked “Ivar Ap Pullaaro?” ‘Pull’ means bird, especially Garuda in our Sampradaya. Hence, his name Appullaar became very widely known in the entire Srivaishnava community. His sister was Thothaaramba, mother of the great Swami Desika.

The above four Acharyas belong to the same familial lineage. The following were outside this but were very well-known Acharyas in their own right.

15. NANJEEYAR (Panguni-Uththiram)

He was the disciple of Parasara Bhattar who won him over in an argument on Thirunedum Thaandakam. Later, he argued with the opponents of our faith and vanquished them and made them embrace Visishtaadvaita Siddhantha. Pleased with his achievements, Bhattar called him “Nam Jeeyar”. Thus he entered Sannyas under the name of ‘Nanjeeyar’.

Nanjeeyar wrote the famous 9,000 Padi commentary of Thiruvoimozhi. Once, he entrusted the manuscripts of his work to one Nambur Varadarajar. But, when Varadarajar was crossing Kaveri, a big wave arose in which he lost the manuscripts. He was so sad but he remembered every word of what was contained in the manuscripts and was able to resurrect and reconstruct the work.

While doing so, however, he had added his own commentaries here and there. When he submitted this to Nanjeeyar, he was impressed with his additions and inquired what had happened. Varadarajar narrated the incident and an elated Nanjeeyar hugged Varadarajar calling him “Thiruk-Kali Kanri Daasar” and taught him all the Vedantha Arthas.

Nanjeeyar’s other works include the 2,000 Padi commentary of ThirupPaavai, Thiruvanthaadis, Kanni-nun Siruthaambu, ThirupPallaandu, 108 explanations of Rahasya Thraya, commentary on Saranagathi Gadhyam, Sri Suktha Bhashyam, etc. It was he who looked after the administration of Srirangam temple after Parasara Bhattar and Veda Vyasa Bhattar

16. NAMPILLAI (Kaarthigai-Kaarthigai)

He is none other than Kali Kanri Daaasar mentioned above. Kanthaadai Thozhappar, who was earlier envious about Nampillai later on realised his folly and called him “Lokaachaarya” — the Universal preceptor. Nampillai dictated to one Vadakku Thiruveethip Pillai his commentaries on Thiruvoimozhi, hailed as ‘Eedu’ and ‘36,000 Padi’, considered to be the best commentary on the ‘thousand’.

It was during the period of Nampillai that a king called Sadavarma Sundara Pandian undertook the construction of golden dome of Sri Ranga Vimaanam over the Sanctum Sanctorum of Lord Ranganatha.

Another disciple of Nampillai was the famous Periyavaachaan Pillai who wrote extensive commentary on the Divya Prabandham and was renowned as the “Vyaakhyaana Chakravarthi”, meaning “Emperor among Commentators”. With the blessings of Nampillai, he also wrote the 24,000 Padi commentary on Thiruvoimozhi.

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Next in series: On November 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.