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1585th Aradhanai of Sri Muka Sankarendra Saraswathi (Mooka Kavi)
August 21, 2021 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
MOOKA PANCHASATI PARAYANAM on the auspicious occasion of 1585th Aradhanai of
Sri Muka Sankarendra Saraswathi (Mooka Kavi)
His Holiness was born with the Purvashrama name of Sankara to the erudite astronomer mathematician of Kanchipuram, Aataviira and his Dharmapatni Vidyavathi. He was born congenitally speech and hearing impaired and dedicated his life performing various chores in the Kamakshi temple at Kanchipuram. On one such night, as the legend goes, Sankara was accidentally left locked in the temple. Goddess Kamakshi, who strolls around the temple, attending to the needs of her children every night, showers her compassionate gaze of knowledge on the scared Sankara. Spontaneously words erupt as immortal fountains from His blessed mouth. 500 verses of emotional outpouring on the divine mother called today as Mooka Panchasati (500 verses of the speechless).
Mooka Panchasati is divided into five shatakams (100 verses) with each shatakam remaining true to a specific theme: Arya shatakam on the divine mother’s greatness, Padaravindha shatakam on her lotus feet, Mandasmitha shatakam on her omniscient smile, Kataksha shatakam on her compassionate vision and finally a Stuthi shatakam culminating with mellifluous praises. Legend has it that after this lyrical outburst, Sankara prayed to the divine mother that these 500 verses should be the only sounds that ever emanated from him and remained absorbed in silence henceforth.
The power of these 500 verses from her special child moved the 19th pontiff of Sri Adi Sankara Paramparagatha Moolamnaya Sarvajna Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Jagadguru Sri Marthanda Vidyaghanendra Saraswathi. The Acharya anointed Sankara as the 20th jewel of the Peetam with an appellation of Jagadguru Sri Sankarendra Saraswathi.
The very first of his 500 verses refers to Jagadamba Kamakshi as काञ्चीपुरसीम्नि… काश्मीरस्तबककोमलाङ्गलता , resident of Kanchi who is as soft as the tender saffron (Kashmira) creeper. The Jagadguru outlined this common divine thread connecting Kashmirapuri and Kanchipuri not just by words. He travelled to Kashmir and advised the King Harsha Vikramaditya followed by his successor Pravarasena on Rajya Dharma. Matrigupta who was serving the Jagadguru in the Sri Matam was a renowned poet and believed in the superiority of his skills. The Jagadguru with his glance gave the caretaker of elephants and horses in the Sri Matam, Menthaka and Ramilla respectively, an ability to compose poetry. Realizing the futility of pride over such skills, Matrigupta decided to dedicate all his knowledge to the lotus feet of his Guru.
The works of these poets today serve as historical sources of information on Sri Mooka Sankarendra Saraswati Swamigal. Sri Mooka Sankarendra Saraswati swamigal, after completing his duties of the Sri Matam, returned to his divine mother Kamakshi on 3537 Dhatu Shravana Purnima (CE 0436-Jul-14). The place he attained siddhi is known to be along the banks of river Godavari.