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Acharya Vaibhavam (8th - 24th Jeeyars)

The succession of the Ahobila Mutt Jeeyars as above was quite a smooth one in each case as they were all erudite scholars and were chosen by merit and by divine grace. They followed the tradition of the earlier Acharyas prior to them in the hierarchy and built up the Mutt and its glory in a manner that attracted numerous disciples to whom the inner meanings of the Vedhantha and Prapatthi path were diligently taught, as was practised by Ramanuja and Desika. Every one of them toured different parts of the country and had contributed spiritual works for posterity. The details of their period etc., are given in the Guruparampara separately.

However, particulars of some Jeeyars are available with regard to their achievements. For instance, the llth Jeeyar was one among those whose period as head of the Mutt lasted for about 40 years. The twelfth Jeeyar had the distinction of discoursing on the Sreebhashya of Ramanuja twelve times at Thirunarayanapuram (Melkote). The 13th Jeeyar Srivan Satakopa Sri Veeraraghava Satakopa Yatheendra Mahadesikan was another scholar who explained Sreebhashya to the disciples for one full year at Azhwar Thirunagari. Next to the 1st Jeeyar (Sri Adivan Satakopa), this Jeeyar led the Mutt for a full 44 years. The 14th Jeeyar had prepared a Guruparampara known as Acharya Gunadarsana as also Bhashya for the Upanishaths- Esavasya and Mandookya. A great pandit by name Thirunarayanapuram Devarajacharya, sought the 16th Peetadhipathi of Ahobila Mutt and learned the esoteric meaning of great many works of the earlier Acharyas like Ramanuja and Vedhantha Desika, and later took Sanyasaramam at the feet of this Jeeyar with the name Kesava Satakopa Swami. Under his command, he also wrote a text called Ennayirappadi on Bhaghawad Vishaya. Another well-known scholar of those days, Arasanipalai Kidambi Venkatacharya also became a disciple of the 6th Jeeyar. The 17th Jeeyar Srivan Satakopa Sri Veeraraghava Vedantha Yatheendra Mahadesikan was yet another erudite person known for his command of the language (Sanskrit) as well as the art of giving lectures. Large number of disciples sought his feet to whom he explained Sreebhashya twelve times, Bhagawad Vishayam 10 times, Rahasyatrayasara 15 times.

His successor, the 18th Jeeyar Srivan Satakopa Srimannarayana Yatheendra Mahadesikan was noted for his knowledge and wisdom and at his feet, the famous Koil Kandhadai Annangar Swami learnt the scriptures. It is presumed that while this Jeeyar was staying at Dasavatharam Sannidhi at Srirangam, Koil Kandhadai Swami or his wards gave the Jeeyar a gold image of Ranganatha which is worshipped in the Mutt even today. The 21 st Jeeyar Srivan Satakopa Sri Parankusa Yatheendra Mahadesikan's composition "Adaikkala Patthu" is recited in the Mutt during Pooja even today. His other compositions include Mangala Slokas on Nrisimha and Kannan and a history of the Mutt named Sathasarnpradaya Saaram. The 22nd Jeeyar Srivan Satakopa Srimah Narayana Yatheendra Mahadesikan's period was the shortest duration - just seven months.

The 23rd in Jeeyars was one who had extensively toured the country and was staying in Srirangapattinam in Karnataka where he had a vision of two Sreevaishnavas requesting him to come to the shrine of Ramanuja and lo! he was called to heaven there! His Brindavan is laid in Srirangapattinam. The 24th Jeeyar - Sri Parankusa Ramanuja Yatheendra Mahadesikan - needs a special mention in that he commenced his Yathra from Srirangapattanam and went to Srirangam and from there to Ahobilam. While at Ahobilam, Raja Somabhoopala of Gadwal Samasthan received him with full paraphernalia and invited the Jeeyar to set his lotus feet in his Samasthan. Overwhelmed by the devotion of this King, the Jeeyar went to Gadwal where Somabhoopala and his family had Samasrayanam from this 24th Jeeyar. It was here that the decorated Mandapa for Lakshmeenrasimha was given by the King along with several villages, cash and ornaments as gift. The glory of Gadwal began from this period and the successive kings felt indebted to the Mutt whose Acharyas they always held in high reverence. The entourage of the Mutt consisting of elephants, camels and horses were presented by the Gadwal Raja as a token of his gratitude. From then on every Jeeyar visited Gadwal. From here this Jeeyar proceeded to Thirupathi to worship Lord Srinivasa and from there to 'Melkote where he stayed for sometime giving discourses on Sreebhasya and Rahasyatrayasara. His religious compositions include Sreeprapatthi, Sri Nrisimha Mangalaasasanam and 'Yathsarikai'.

Source: Sri Nrusimha Priya, 66 Rangachari Road, Mylapore, Madras 600 018.