Sometimes, in life, only in hindsight, do we realise how something good happened to us by a mere stroke of chance or luck. In our Sampradaya we say such things happen due to krupa of Acharyan and SriyaHpati. That is how we met Sriman Parthasarathy, a kainkarya Sriman, archaka of Swami Desikan Sannidhi of Sri Ahobila mutt, Thirukoshtiyur. We had been to Thirukoshtiyur to have a darshan of Sowmya Narayana Perumal and to fulfil a couple of prarthanas. We had an excellent darshan and someone said to us to visit Swami Desikan and Hayagreeva Perumal sannidhi situated outside the temple premises. It was already late and we were in a hurry to go back to Srirangam. ‘We will see next time’ – we said to ourselves and reached the Gopuram. Right inside the gopuram, an elderly Srivaishnava approached me and began to bless my young son, with pasurams from the Nalayira Divya Prabandham and Desika Srisooktis in his chaste Tamil with a nice tune. He was visibly very excited and happy to see us. I thought he was another Sevarthi and thanked him and came out.
Outside the temple, when we met the archaka swami who facilitated our darshan and told him that we were leaving and would visit the Desikan Sannidhi next time, he told us that the Desikan Sannidhi archaka was just entering the temple. My father, realising that the Srivaishnava whom we met was indeed the archaka, went in search of him to offer a sambhavana. After a hide and seek my father finally found him. Sriman Parthasarathy asked my father to come to the Sannidhi and offer it there and so we had to visit the Sannidhi.
We took Parthasarathy Swamin with us in our Vehicle and throughout the way he was in an ecstatic mood singing verses from the Divya Prabandham, lost in his anubhava. He was a very systematic person. He brought the keys from his house and meticulously went about his role as an archaka. He showed harathi and blessed the entire family with pasurams from the Divya Prabandha and Desika stotras. Through him we learnt the following – The Sannidhi is 300 years old. Some of the sthalathars had constructed a sannidhi for Swami Desika and installed an idol of Hayagreeva. But in due course of time continuous worship was affected due to some difficulties and in the previous century the Sannidhi was handed over to H.H.Devanarvilagam Azhagiyasingar of Sri Ahobila mutt for a better governance. H.H. 43rd Jeer arranged to install an archa murti of H.H.Adivan Sathakopa Yateendra Mahadesikan. With the anugraham of H.H.Villivalam Azhagiyasingar and the kainkaryam of Bhagavatottamas like Thirukoshtiyur Tiruppernagar Ramanujacharya Swami, the madaipalli and mandapam were constructed. The well has been renovated and since then facilities have been provided for the stay of Sevarthis. The Tirumaligai of Swami Desikan that stands opposite this sannidhi is a testimony of the arrival and stay of the great Acharya in this divyadesam.
It has been renovated with the support of many noble donors and the general public. Special Tirumanjanam, Sevalaka Satrumarai is being carried out every Tiruvonam in this Sannidhi. After nearly 50 years, the avatara utsava of Lakshmi Hayagreevar (Avani Shravanam), Swami Desika (Purattasi Tiruvonam) and H.H.Adivan Sathakopa Yateendra Mahadesikan (Purattasi Kettai) are all being conducted through the income generated from Trust created for this purpose. Contributions are welcome vide a cheque or a demand draft in the name of ‘Thirukhoshtiyur Shri Desighan Sannithi NAKS’ and sent to Sri Parthasarathy Bhattachar, Shri Desigan Sannithi, West Car Street, Thirukhoshtiyur 630210, Sivaganga District. His mobile number is 9941158635.
The interesting part about Sriman Parthasarathy follows from now on. A native of Thirukoshtiyur, he had to leave the place at the age of five due to poverty and lack of support from his father. After doing his primary education in Tirunelveli he underwent dharma upanayanam and was sent to Madurantakam Patashala where he completed OSLC (XI) in the year 1975 because free education was provided. He learnt the Divya Prabandham, Desika stotra and Paduka Sahasram during this period. Due to financial constraints he took a job in a transportation company in Amritsar. It was the sheer play of destiny that took him so far. He started from being a porter but could move up the ladder as he knew typing and shorthand. He moved in to sales roles with other transport companies. His sincerity and straightforwardness were rewarded with frequent transfers, threats from co-employees. He was even beaten black and blue once in a revenge for terminating some sales men who cheated upon their reports. His faith in dharma and bhakti in SriyaHpati saved him from all such difficulties. Finally, he took retirement and came to Chennai. During his frequent visits to Srirangam Srimad Andavan Ashram he got familiar with H.H.Srimushnam Andavan who directed him to take up an archaka role in some sannidhi in Srirangam. He was chosen for his svarupa and dedication. He just carried out the orders of the Acharya. After getting trained in the basics of agama the grace of Swami Desikan brought him back to his own native place, Thirukoshtiyur, only to serve his beloved acharyan – Swami Desikan. He teaches Divya Prbandham, Paduka Sahasram and Desika Stotras through Whatsapp to many people from different parts of the country. His only aim is to carry on his kainkaryam in an uninterrupted manner. He is working with utmost dedication and takes active role in fund generation towards upkeeping of Desikan Sannidhi and Desikan Tirumaligai. Though having travelled nearly the entire length and breath of the country (he has worked in Assam even) now he has chosen to live in Thirukoshtiyur for the service of Swami Desikan! He lives in a house nearby the Sannidhi with his wife and is very enthusiastically involved in the development and maintenance of the Sannidhi.