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என்னுயிர்  தந்தளித்தவரைச்  சரணம்புக்கு
     யானடைவே  அவர்  குருக்கள்  நிறை  வணங்கி
பின்னருளால்  பெரும்பூதுர்  வந்த  வள்ளல்
     பெரிய  நம்பி  ஆளவந்தார்  மணக்கால்  நம்பி
நன்  நெறியை  அவர்க்குரைத்த  உய்யக்கொண்டார்
     நாதமுனி  சடகோபன்  சேனைநாதன்
இன்னமுதத்  திருமகளென்று  இவரை  முன்னிட்டு
     எம்பெருமான்  திருவடிகள்  அடைகின்றேனே
- அதிகார ஸங்க்ரஹம்

The philosophy of “Vishishtaadvaitha” was first taught by Lord Sriman Narayana to Goddess Maha Lakshmi. Thereupon, it traversed a descending hierarchy in the form of Sri Senai Nathan, Sri Satakopan (Nammazhwar), Sri Nathamuni, Sri Uyyakkondar, Manakkal Nambi, Sri Alavandhar, Sri Periya Nambi, Sri Ramanuja ... Swami Desika ... till the stage of reaching every single Sri Vaishnavite. Thus, a tradition (Sampradhaya) was set in motion by the Lord Himself - to continue for ever - and He is the Prathama Aacharyan to all of us in the lineage.

Swami Desika, in the above pasuram, seeks refuge at the feet of the Lord by taking recourse to the hierarchy in the ascending order and thus establishes the elite lineage.

பரித்ராணாய  ஸாதூநாம்  விநாசாய  ச  துஷ்க்ருதாம் |
தர்ம  ஸம்ஸ்தாபநார்த்தாய  ஸம்பவாமி  யுகே  யுகே ||
- Sri Bhagavad Gita

“When Dharma loses ground to Adharma, Maha Vishnu assures that he would surface to re-establish Dharma. Likewise, when Vishishtaadvaitha, the philosophy of qualified non-dualism founded by Sri Ramanuja, faced a crisis, it was Swami Desika, the incarnation of the Divine Bell (Ghanta Avatharam) who came to the rescue.

. . . நானிலமும்  தான்  வாழ  நான்மறைகள்தாம்  வாழ
மாநகரின்  மாறன்மறை  வாழ . . .

Swami Desika, one of the most important Acharyas of the Sri Vaishnava tradition was born to the devout couple Sri Ananthasuri and Smt. Thotharamba. Instructed by the Thiru Venkatamudayan, the couple went on a pilgrimage to Thirumalai. The Lord appeared in the couple's dream as a Sri Vaishnava youth and handed over a golden bell which Totaramba swallowed. The following morning, they were astonished to find that both of them had dreamt the same sequence of events.

When the Archaka opened the doors of the Sanctum Sanctorum, he found the bell missing. During an investigation ordered into the loss of the bell, the Lord appeared by Avesa (spiritual trance) on Tirumalai Nambi and told that He had himself presented the bell to the Ananthasuri couple and thereafter, the small hand-bell need not be used in the Tiruvaradhana in the temple. Hence, Swami Desika is considered as the incarnation of the Divine Bell.

Azhwars and Aacharayas travelled through out the country extolling the beauty and grace of Sriman Narayana. However, in the case of Mylapore, the Supreme Lord and the Aacharyan switched roles. The Divya Dampathis (Lord Srinivasa and Alarmel Manga Thayar) willed to grace the abode of the Aacharyan (Swami Desikan) and relish his company.

The temple with Swami Desika’s shrine had been there for more than a couple of centuries when Lord Srinivasa executed His Divine Will through Sri Kasturi Iyengar who, in 1924, built shrines for Perumal and Thayar.

The pujas and rituals of the temple comply with Sri Pancharathra Aagamas, that is, the practice of Kumbham, Mandalam, Bimbham and Yaagam. Pancha Murthy form of idol worship is followed; the murthys being Dhruva Bera (Moolavar), Kaustubha Bera, Uthsava Bera, Yaaga Bera and Sayana Bera.

Sri Vedantha Desikar Devasthanam (SVDD) is situated at Mylapore, which gained prominence consequent to the avataram of Sri Peyazhwar (one among the Mudhal Azhwars). Hence there is a separate shrine for Peyazhwar in this temple. A 10-day uthsavam for Peyazhwar is conducted every year, concluding with a grand Satrumurai on Ippasi Sathayam, the Azhwar’s Avatara Dinam.

The sannidhi of Sri Rama was constructed with the aid of Sri V.D. Ramaswamy. Silver idols of Sri Rama (Pattabhiseka Thirukkolam), Lakshmana, Sita along with Bharatha and Shatrugna offer the devotees a vivid darshan. Sri Rama Navami uthsavam is celebrated every year (10 days) in a grand fashion.

Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar has a separate sannidhi here. There is a popular belief that Sri Lakshmi Narasimha blesses those who perform Panaka Aaradhanam on Pradosham and/or Thirumanjanam on Swathi.

The God of knowledge and Swami Desika’s Upasana Devatha, Sri Lakshmi Hayagriva shares a shrine with our Acharya here. Devotees who worship Sri Lakshmi Hayagriva on Thursdays by adorning Him with cardamom garland would be blessed with exceptional knowledge. The "Hayagriva Aradhanam" festival celebrated in a grand manner on the seventh day of Desikan Uthsavam is very special. Devotees witnessing this uthsavam would be blessed both by the Acharyan and Sri Lakshmi Hayagriva simultaneously.

Besides, Swami Desikan has the grace of Sri Bashayakarar in this temple. Sri Ramanuja has a separate sannidhi. Sri Bashyakarar uthsavam is celebrated annually for 10 days in the month of Chithirai, culminating in the Satrumurai on Thiruvaadhirai.

Sri Sudharsanar or Sri Chakkarathazhwar, the premier weapon amongst the Panchayuthams of Sriman Narayana bestows his grace on devotees at this temple. As is customary, on the other side of Sri Sudharsanar is Yoga Narasimhar in the same Bimbam.

Ghaddham Swami helped in constructing the Aandal shrine. Thiru Aadi Pooram Uthsavam and Neeratta Uthsavam (10 days) are the prominent festivals dedicated to Sri Aandal.

Senai Nathan, Azhwars, Aacharyas are located in a separate sannidhi. Uthsavams commemorating the Thiru Nakshathrams of Azhwars and Aacharyas are conducted in the traditional manner.

There is neither the need nor the words to emphasise the radiance and glory (thejas) of the presiding deity of this temple and His shakthi. However, it may not be out of place to recollect an incident in which He revealed His powers for even the common man to see. In 1997, The Divine Jewels from the collection offered by the devotees over a period of time were stolen, leaving one and all shocked and anguished. But, the thief was arrested within a week.

It is said that the Lord may not mind offences thrown at Him (பகவதபசாரம்). But He cannot tolerate even the slightest misconduct towards His devotees (பாகவதபசாரம்). It would appear while that the Lord did not mind the burglaries that took place at temples in Sri Rangam, Maduranthakam and ThiruKudanthai, He could not bear with the same happening in the sannidhi of our beloved Aacharya and to the collection of jewels built by the devotees. The fact that the jewels stolen in the above temples were also recovered gladdens the hearts of the devotees.

Thus He established beyond doubt what Nammazhwar has said.

எங்கும்  உளன்  கண்ணன்  என்ற  மகனைக்  காய்ந்து
இங்கில்லையாலென்று  இரணியன்  தூண்  புடைப்ப
அங்கு  அப்பொழுதே  அவன்  வீயத்தோன்றிய,  என்
சிங்கப்பிரான்  பெருமை  ஆராயும்  சீர்மைத்தே
- நம்மாழ்வார்

The temple has had two Maha Samprokshanams in the year 1975 & 1995. Every year numerous festivals are celebrated. Of these, Brahmothsavams, Desikar Uthsavam, Navarathri, Pavithra Uthsavam are among the prominent ones.

It is believed that devotion of the people who worship the Lord, chanting of The Vedas, reciting of Divya Prabandhams etc. augment His aura and glory and accentuate the sanctity of the temple. Not too many temples are blessed with this privilege. It is a matter of pride and gratitude that SVDD is a shining example among such special temples.

By the grace of the Almighty this should continue to eternity.
- Trustees

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