Sanskrit Letter by Swathi Thirunal

Two letters addressed to Sri Mahadevananda Saraswathi, one of the Acharyas of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetha (and who later became the pontiff from 1851 to 1891 AD) by Swathi Thirunal are given below. Verses 1 to 8 are laudatory on Adi Sankaracharya. These letters are from a publication titled, “Select Epistles of the sovereigns of Travancore addressed to the Acharyas of the Kamakoti Peetha”, edited by Vaidyavisarada K. G. Natesa Sasthri and published by G S Sarma Eliyurkar, at the Kalyanasrama, Mylapore, Madras, in 1928 A D.

The first letter written by Sri Swathi Thirunal Maharaja to Sri Mahadevendra Saraswathi, who was one of the Acharyas of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetha. The “Paramacharya” during the period was Sri. Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi who was pontiff from 1813 to 1856 A.D. The second letter is also written by Swathi Thirunal to the same Acharya. Only the last verse is changed. Both these letters are in Sanskrit and are sweet in its language, choice expressions, depth of learning and devotion.

Translation of Letter 1

Line -1. Hail!

Line – 17. Salutations, by thousands, are being offered at the lotus feet,
Line –11 which turn away from (discard) the assemblage of kings whose hearts are filled with the taint of the intoxicant of wealth.

Line –11 –12. Which swarm with clusters of bees of virtuous men attracted by the desire of the delicious taste of the flower – juice (honey) of water used in their (of the lotus feet) ablutions.

Line –12 –13. Which are adorned with brilliant filaments of nails, which have spring, form the fragment atom of supreme beatitude (super elegance)

Line -......13. and adorations offered to which serve as collyrium to perceive clearly the hidden treasures of the fundamentals of the Vedic religion,

Line – 8-10. Sri Mahadevendrasaraswathi Sripada the foremost of the devout disciples of Sri Chandrasekharendrasaraswathi the lord of the ascetics and who was installed on the throne (lion-seat), at the institution of Srimad Sankara Bhagavadapadacharya who was the greatest among the preceptors of the holy order of Paramahamsa Parivrajakas.

Line – 1 –2. who was the majestic (king of ) swan that graced the lotus of Sarada Math which most elegantly adorn the lotus lake of the holy Kanchi

Line –2 who was the ocean of the milk for the nectar of Advaita Vidya, which is closely associated with (encircled or surrounded) by nymphs of all the sciences (vidyas).

Line – 2 – 4 who was the gem light that illuminated the path o Bliss which was shrouded in (swallowed by) the utter darkness of all false religions that reigned in the beginning of the night of Kali Yuga.

Line - .......4 Who, by the prowess of his presence, widely known through all the world, enslaved all the super-natural powers (as anima, mahima etc.),

Line -.......5 who, by the awakened eye of meditation, realized the happenings of all times (past, present and future) of the universe.

Line – 5..6 who, by the uninterrupted realization of the bliss of (which is) Brahman exposed the utter worthlessness of the relish of all worldly pleasures,

Line – 6...7 who, by the inherent abundance of composition, took delight in bringing salvation to the world, and

Line – 7..8 who enraptured the assemblage of all Maharshis, by his speeches (compositions) filled with whirling torrents of honey of the multitude

Line – 16 –17 Vanchi Bala Rama Kulasekhara Varmathee servant (devotee) of Sree Padmanabha
Line – 16...- born of the race of the kings of Vanchi

Line – 14.... - and living in the city of Syanandura (Thiruvananthapuram)

Line – 14 –15 who has been cured of the disease of all enemies by the medicine (antidote) of your remembrance of Narayana

Line – 15 –16 and the tender sprout of the corn of whose prosperity has been richly nourished by the constant flow of water of your fervent compassion.

Line – 17 – 19 (verse I) your desire to see the Lord of Ananthasayana, even though you have realized (seen face to face) the (Absolute) Brahman by the inward eye (of meditation) is the result of the good fortunate of my country and I believe the time of its maturity is drawing very near.

Line – 19 –21 (verse II) Engage this person in the act of sowing the seed of the kalpaka tree or meritorious deed which bears the fruit of the grace of Chandramauliswara (the Lord who wears the Moon on His head) who is extolled in wonderful tales; by doing so, your words will surely become the staff of support on which rests the creeper of our spreading excellence.

Line – 25 –26 (verse III) may the god be pleased by this much of offering; thus the servant of Sri Padmanabha longs to remain in natural health.

Line – 22 – 24 (Verse IV) This country is intersected with hundreds of rivers and at present the rainy season is likely to make the roads untractable Hence I am waiting for the coming of the season which is fragrant with the flowers of saptacchada (Alstonia Scholaris), to dispatch from here the young elephant.


In the IInd Letter
Lines 1 to 25 are the same as in letter 1.

Line –25 –26 May that God be pleased by this much offering; thus by the Servant of Sri Padmanabha this young elephant is being offered.

Line – 26 – 28 This small thing is being dispatched from here as an offering to Lord Chandramauleeswara. As the result of this meritorious deed may we prosper (reign supreme) by further similar meritorious deeds.

Sanskrit Letter
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