Faith

Divya Prabandham details

Vedanta Desika’s contribution to Visishtadvaita is immeasurable. His works set forth the tenets of Visishtadvaita clearly. His Tamil works have a special place, and among these, Prabandha Saaram, which deals with the pasurams of the Azhvars is particularly important, said Koothapakkam Chakravarthi Ranganathachariar, in a discourse.

Divya Prabandham, as the collection of the pasurams of the Azhvars is called, gives us the essence of the Vedas. So the Divya Prabandham puts within our reach philosophical concepts which we would not have otherwise understood. Prabandha Saaram is a celebration of the Azhvars, whose works made such comprehension by us possible. Vedanta Desika always followed in the footsteps of great sages and Acharyas. And in the Prabandha Saaram, he gives details about the Azhvars — the stars under which they were born and the number of verses in the works of each. In giving such details, Desika was doing what Sage Saunaka had done for the Rg Veda. Saunaka in his Rg Veda anukramaanika gave the total number of mantras in the Rg Veda, the number of chapters and so on. In short, like the contents given at the beginning of a work, Saunaka gave the contents of the Rg Veda. Desika does for the Divya Prabandham what Saunaka did for the Rg Veda. In verses 15 and 16 of Prabandha Saaram, Desika tells us how many pasurams each Azhvar has to his credit.

Pasurams of the first three Azhvars add up to 300 (100 each); Thirumazhisai Azhvar 216; Nammazhvar 1,296; Madhurakavi 11; Kulasekara Azhvar 105; Periyazhvar 473; Andal 173; Thondaradippodi Azhvar 55; Thirupaan Azhvar 10; Thirumangai Azhvar 1,253; Thiruvarangathamudanar’s verses in praise of Ramanujacharya - 108. All of these add up to 4000, the collection known as Nalayira Divya Prabandham.


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Printable version | May 8, 2022 6:37:39 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/divya-prabandham-details/article65394240.ece