May Guru Venkateswara Be Present in Our Heart Forever!
‘Desika Mangalam’, a hymn in salutation of Swami Desika by his son-disciple Kumara Varadacharya, formed the subject matter of the previous Note. In an extension of the same, it is logical to have a look at a few Slokas which are traditionally recited along with the Mangalam.
These verses are an excerpt from another hymn which sings the praise of Swami Desika. Entitled ‘Sapthathi Rathna Maalika’ by the composer Prathivaadhi Bhayankaram Annan himself, the work is marked by deep devotion to the peerless Acharya.
Prathivaadhi Bhayankaram Annan was the principal disciple of Kumara Varadacharya, which makes Swami Desika his Praacharya (Guru’s Guru). It is a convention in our Sampradaya to salute not only one’s Acharya but also the Praacharya, much the same way as Aala Vandhaar and Nathamunigal, Sri Ramanuja and Aala Vandhaar, Thiruvarangath-Amudhanaar and Sri Ramanuja.
Prathivaadhi Bhayankaram Annan, as the name would imply, was a terror to the philosophers of other faiths. At the same time, he was subservient to Bhagavathas and because of this reason, his descendants prefix the title ‘Srivaishnava Dasa’ to their names.
‘Sapthathi Rathna Maalika’ comprises 73 Slokas of phraseological and contextual beauty in varied meters. It is a fitting tribute to the ‘Master-of-all-Arts’ on the lines of his own ‘Yathiraja Sapthathi’. That is the reason why the following select Slokas from the ‘Maalika’ are invariably recited as an addendum to Desika Mangalam.
Here go the Slokas:
And to cap it off, the following Sloka, submitted at the feet of the great preceptor by one Dindima Kavi, aptly summarises the objective of the incarnation of the Divine Bell of the Lord, that Swami Desika is. The poet was a challenger who got vanquished in a duel by Swami Desika.