Last year, with much fanfare, we celebrated the 1000th birth anniversary of Shri Ramanuja, who strived for the upliftment of mankind by spreading the teachings of Vaishnavism. This year, we are all set to celebrate the 750th birth anniversary of his ardent follower and disciple, Shri Vedanta Desigar. Also known as Shri Ramanuja Dayapatram, Shri Desigar is considered as the reincarnation of Shri Ramanuja himself.
As part of the year-long celebrations, More than 300 devotees and scholars celebrated the 750th anniversary, Upanyasams, Rendering Desika‟s works in musicthe Ramanuja Daya Committee conduct two events at Thoopul Shri Vedanta Desigar Sannidhi in Kancheepuram, on August 5, 2018.
The Sandhamigu Tamizmarai Mandram was held at the Holy Shri Vedantadesigar shrine on the occasion of the 750th Birth Anniversary of Shri Vedanta Desigar. An ardent follower of the Vaishnavite saints like the Azhwars and Shri Ramanujar, and their service towards the cause of enriching the Tamil language, Shri Vedanta Desigar played a significant role in preserving these compositions and popularizing them. Such was his love for these literary works that he used to introduce himself as ‘Sandhamigu Tamizmaraiyon’ (person belonging to the lineage of literary Tamil). His life was based on the Tamil Paasurams.
Following are some of his contribution to the Tamil language:
- After conquering multiple hurdles, he etablished the singing of Tamil Paasurams at the Shrirangam and Kancheepuram temples.
- More than 700 years ago, he declared, Tamil as ‘a language that is independent of other languages’
- Along the lines of the 24 Divya Prabandhams created by the Aalwars, he too composed 24 Prabandhams in Tamil.
- He wrote excellent interpretations for some of the works of the Aalwars.
- He called Tamil a language blessed in abundance with excellent works of literature, music and theatre, and wrote books in Tamil.
- He composed ‘Thooyathenmarai Vallavar Vaazhave…’ (Long live the gifted expert in the pure and holy language that is Tamil)
- He explained the intricacies and mysteries of Vaishnavism in Tamil
The learned speakers discussed all these contributions of his, and more, at the symposium. The meeting was chaired by Shri Ahobila Mutt’s Shrimad Azhagiya Singar Swamigal.
Earlier, during the morning session, a Tamil Prabandham and Stotram recitation competition was held for the students. Prizes were given to the participants as part of the efforts to popularise these Prabandhams among the younger generation. The event was conducted by an organization named Ramanuja Daya.