Devotees pay homage to a Great Saint

Ragavan Rengachariar

Ranga Ramanuja Mahadesikan, popularly known as ‘Srimushnam Srimad Andavan’ (the first name denoting his place of birth), passed away on March 19, 2018.

As well as renowned as ‘Master of All Crafts,’ he was revered for his benevolence, sportive spirit, soulful singing, medicinal knowledge, artistry in sculpture and intense knowledge of astrology. He was also an authority on Vaishnavism.

Pious Evening

Devotees of Ranga Ramanuja Mahadesikan, paid homage to the departed Religious Leader at a special ‘Iyal Goshti’ recital on March 21, 2018, led by Pandurangan Swamy of Hamilton Balaji Temple at Mt. Roskill, Auckland – This Iyal Goshti recital comprised recital of verses from famous Tamil classics and religious hymns including ‘Thirupallandu,’ ‘Thiruppaavai,’ ‘Kovil Thiruvaaimozhi,’ ‘Pillai Andhadhi’ and ‘Prabandha Saram.’  After the recitals, Pandurangan Swamy talked on Mahadesikan, revered as ‘Srimad Andavan,’ and his association with the late religious head.

The devotees also recited verses from famous Tamil classics and religious hymns including ‘Thirupallandu,’ ‘Thiruppaavai,’ ‘Kovil Thiruvaaimozhi,’ ‘Pillai Andhadhi’ and ‘Prabandha Saram.’

About Srimad Andavan

Prakrutham Srimad Andavan was born on June 3, 1935 in Srimushnam, a village situated in South Arcot District in Tamilnadu to U Ve Srinivasachariar and Kumudavalli, who belonged to the illustrious lineage of ‘Swayam Acharya Purushas.’

He was named ‘Varaahan,’ and was qualified in Veda and Divya ‘Prabhandha Adhyayanams’ at a young age. His uncle U Ve Srimushnam Puranam Narayanachariar taught him Kaavy and ‘Nataka Alankara Granthas.’

‘Andavan’ went to Kakumaani Charity Patasala in Chennai for his initial education in Sastras and then to Sriperumbudur Sanskrit College where he learnt the Nyaya and Tharka Sastras.

Observing his remarkable knowledge and brilliance, many learned men predicted that he would become a Maha Vidwan and a Sampradaya Pravarthaka.

He exhausted reading all Tamil literature and extensively quoted famous Tamil men of lore such as Thiruvalluvar, Kamban, Ilango and Bharathi in his discourses.

He underwent Grantha Chathushtya Kalakshepams under Srimad Thirukkudanthai Andavan at whose holy command, he accepted Sanyasa and took ascetic order on June 1, 1989 as Sri Ranga Ramanuja Mahadesikan.

Apart from Sanskrit and Tamil, he was well-versed in Telugu and Kannada.

Remarkable Accomplishments

Among the highlights of his achievements are (a) Establishment of Srimad Andavan Arts and Science College in 1996 and managed by Sri Ranganatha Paduka Vidyalaya trust (b) Establishment of Corpus Fund for Ashram maintenance including salary and life insurance  for the sevakas of the Ashram and their family (c) Construction of Sakshath Swami Mani Mandapam at Vaduvur and a Veda Patasala, a 3600 sq ft building in Thiruvaheendrapuram (near Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu) for conducting classes on Prabhandhams and Vedas (d)  Sri Balaji Mandir in Dombivili, Mumbai (e) Construction of a Sannidhi for Gopalacharya Mahadesikan on his 301st Birthday at Royampettai, his birthplace and (f) A Wedding Hall and Ashram in Kanchipuram.

Lord Krishna says (Geetha 7-17) “I am extremely dear to the wise man and he is extremely dear to Me.”

Srimad Andavan was dear to the Lord. Praising the Acharya’s glory, retaining his teachings in mind and spreading his greatness are very small compared to what an Acharya has done to his disciples and devotees.

Veliyanallur Narayanachariar is new Andavan Swamy for Srirangam Mutt, the great grandson of well known ‘Chinnandavan’, a previous Head of the Mutt.

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Photo Caption:

  1. Devotees at the Auckland meeting on March 21, 2018
  2. The Late Ranga Ramanuja Mahadesikan

(Pictures Supplied)

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