Paramparaa – The Tradition Continues…

‘Seva Swami’     

If one makes a list of all the important contributors to the Sri Vaishnava Sampradayam in the past 100 years, it would be incomplete without Sri N Srinivasa Raghavachariar Swami. Popularly known as ‘Seva Swami’ for his Kainkaryam to Desika Sampradayam and Desika bhaktas, Swami was a beacon of light guiding the Sampradayam in the last century. Hailing from the lineage of Kidambi Appullar (Swami Desikan ‘s Acharya and maternal uncle), Swami himself was known as an Apara Desika (i.e. Desika’s reincarnation) for his  literary prowess and knowledge of Desika Sampradayam, which can be seen from Swami’s commentaries on various works.

Born in the village of Nallur in 1923, he had his formal education in Venkateswara College, Tirupati. He also underwent grantha kalakshepas from stalwarts like Uttamur Veeraraghavachariar Swami, D.T Tatacharya Swami and Navalpakkam Narasimha Tatacharya Swami. Swami’s knowledge and his command on the Shastras can be seen in his original works such as ‘Venkatanatheeyam’ (1008 verses on Lord Srinivasa) and ‘Varadabidana Saram (1000 verses on Lord Varadaraja).

Being proficient in various languages such as Sanskrit, English, Telugu, Hindi and Tamil, Swami undertook the translation of various Sampradaya works into these languages in a style understandable to all. To spread the message of Swami Desikan’s works, he started a monthly journal ‘Desika Seva’ and also wrote commentaries on Desika Stotras, Yaadavabhyudayam etc. He also published an yearly almanac ‘Sri Desika Darsana’ Diary with all Srivaishnava occasions of importance.

One of his important contributions is the establishment of a ‘Mani Mandapam’ in Villivakkam, Chennai for the Aradhanam of Sri Hayagriva and Sri Vedanta Desika. His efforts to celebrate the seventh centenary celebrations of Swami Desikan by publishing a different Stotram everyday along with vyakhyanam is an unparalleled feat. Recognising his contributions, he was conferred with titles such as Sahitya Ratna, Desika Bhakta Ratnam etc along with the President’s award for contribution to Sanskrit literature in 1992.

To commemorate the centenary celebrations of such a great personality, Seva trust has undertaken a republishing of Seva Swami’s commentaries on the works of Swami Desikan. A few of the books have been released in Divya Desams such as Srirangam, Tirumala and  Kancheepuram.

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