Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Origin of Kidambi family and lineage of Ramanuja Athreya gothram.

Swami Vedantha Desikan

Origin of Kidambi family and lineage of Ramanuja Athreya gothram.
The originator of the gothra, Atri Rishi (1800 BCE)
With the passage of time, and due to migrations, a group of Vaidika Brahmanas (Vedic Brahmins), settled down around the Yathotakaari temple near Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu.
The sthala purana (history of the temple), alludes to a group of Brahmans, who performed services of carrying water (ambu – in ancient Tamil) in ghatams (pitchers) from the Vegavathi River to the temple regularly. This group earned the titled Ghatambi (Ghatam + Ambi), i.e. water suppliers. Ghatambi had slowly morphed into Kidambi.

Kidambi Appullar, which Sri Vaishnava chronicles, place around 1221 CE – 1290 CE, is acknowledged in the Vadakalai Saatrumarai, of belonging to the vamsam of Atreya Ramanuja and Atreya Padmanabha. The Saatrumarai, which concentrates on the magnificence of Vedanta Desika, is rich in tribute to the vamsa (family), especially to the Kidambis.

In this posting, we shall enjoy the avathaara vaibhavam of Srimath Appullar, the acharya as well as the maternal uncle of Swamy Deshika. The descriptions are totally based on the accounts enshrined in the "3000 padi guruparampara prabhavam" of Paramahamsetyaadi Srimath Tritiya Brahmatantra Swatantra Parakala Yatindra Maha Deshikan, the 3rd acharya of Parakala Matam.

Familial Lineage
Appullar hailed from the lineage of Kidambi Aachchan, who was a direct disciple of Ramanuja. Of all the tributaries that arise from Srimath Ramanuja, the lineage of Kidambi Aachchan forms the rahasya paramparai (the lineage of esoterics).
It may be traced as follows:
Bhagavad Ramanuja
Kidambi Aachchan
Kidambi Ramanuja Pillaan
Kidambi Rangarajacharya
Kidambi Appullar (Note - This lineage further continues with Swamy Deshikan)
Appullar celebrated as the amsham of Supratishta, was born in the kali year 4322, vikrama varsham, month of chittirai in the constellation of Thiruvadirai to Sri Kidambi Rangarajacharya. Rangarajacharya named his son as Ramanuja, in memory of his acharya and father, Sri Ramanuja pillaan.
Right from his childhood days, Athreya Ramanuja was very sharp in intellect and he grew up to be profound in all the samanya shastras like shabda, tarka, mimamsa. People began to admire him and compare him to Pillan and would call him as "Appillaan". This name indeed stayed and he came to be popularly known as "Appillar".
He was initiated into the esoterics of the tri-corollaries by Sri Rangarajacharya, who later left to the heavenly abode. He later sought refuge at the feet of Sri Nadadur Ammal and studied SriBhashya, Gitabhashya, Aaraayirappadi and other works of Sri sampradayam.
His colleagues included the likes of Sri Sudarshanacharya (of Shrutaprakashika fame), Sri Vadakku Thiruveedhippillai et al. These kalakshepams would be conducted along the eastern corridor of Kachchivaaythaan mantapam at Perumal Koil Kanchipuram. (Reminiscences of this may be seen even to this day)
Appullar as a King maker
Upon the request of Perumal Koil Pundarikaksha Yajvaa, Appullar gave his sister Totaramma in marriage to Ananthasuri, the son of Pundarikaksha Yajvaa. To this couple was born the great Venkatanatha (Swamy Deshikan), one of the greatest acharyas of Ramanuja siddhantam.
When the child was around five years old, Appullar took him to the kalakshepa goshti of ammal. It was here that the young child Venkatanatha received munificent katakshams of Ammal, which paved the way for him (Venkatanatha) to become one of the brightest star of Ramanuja siddhantham.
Ammal later instructed Appillar to instruct and initiate the child into all the treatises of Srisampradayam. As per the wish of his master Appillar, took young Venkatanatha into his fold. He instructed the young child into all the samanya shastras first and later into the likes of Sribhashyam, Bhagavad Vishayam, the esoterics of the tri-corollaries et al.
Appillar later got him married to one Thirumangai Kanakavalli, who was equal to Swamy Deshika in noble qualities and inherent virtuousness. Having seen the prowess of Venkatanatha, Appillar initiated him into the sacred "Vainateya mantram" or "Garuda manthram", that would help him in refuting the other fallacious systems of philosophies and thereby to establish the supreme parama vaidika Ramanuja darshanam.
Towards the end of his sojourn, Appillar called on Venkatanatha and said "Dear child, It is the prophecy of my master Ammal that the darshanam of Ramanuja shall be firmly established by you. It is therefore my wish that you take these padukas of Ramanuja and the chakram and shankham (used for samashrayanam) that has come down to us from him (Ramanuja)".
Venkatanatha received them on his head with utmost respect and enshrined them along with his sacristy. Venkatanatha then held the thiruvadi of Appillar on his head and received the munificent anugrahams of Appillar. Appillar later partook the Sripaada teerthams of his acharya and left to the heavenly bliss. Appillar was succeeded by his son Kidambi Athreya Padmanabhacharya.
Appillar's intellect and power of erudition knew no bounds. He had won the title "Vaadihamsaambuvaahar". Appillar's works include his treatise on Nyaya shastra known as "Nyaya kulisha".
His taniyans:
chaitrArdrAsambhavaM kAnchyAM rangarAjagurossutam | supratishTAMshamAthreyaM rAmAnuja guruM bhaje ||
Works on Appullar
Swamy Deshikan makes innumerable mentions about Swamy Athreya Ramanuja in his works. Srimath Thirukkudanthai Gopalarya Maha Deshikan, who came in the lineage of Appillar as his 14th descendent has composed a stotram in praise of Appillar. The same is known as "Vaadihamsaabuvaahaarya stotram". This series will be continued with Vaadihamsambuvaaha stotram. vAzhi vyAkhyAmuddirak kai !!! vedAnthasUri charaNau sharaNam prapadye !!!
Source compiled from many webapges
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