As I discuss in this question, the Sri Vaishnava sect (of which I'm a member) is divided into two sub-sects, Thenkalai and Vadakalai. Both Thenkalais and Vadakalais have Mathams, similar to the Shankaracharya Mathams in Advaita. But a small number of Sri Vaishnavas, known as Swayamacharyas, do not belong to any of these Mathams. They're biological descendants of the 74 original disciples of Ramanujacharya, and for them a member of their own family functions as their Sri Vaishnava Acharya. For instance, my family is Swayamacharya family descended from Ramanujacharya’s nephew and disciple Mudhaliandan. But I think I may have found another descendant of Mudhaliandan. Let me explain.

One of the most popular Sri Vaishnava lecturers today is U. Ve. Velukkudi Krishnan Swami. I’ve long known he’s a Thenkalai, but I recently found out that his guru was the Sri Vaishnava Acharya Sholingur KKC Vedantachariar Swami: see this Wikipedia page and this tweet by Velukkudi Krishnan himself. Now Sholingur KKC Vedantachariar Swami was a descendant of Cholasimhapuram Doddacharya, a 17th century Sri Vaishnava Acharya descended from Mudhaliandan, most famous for getting Varadaraja Perumal, the Vishnu deity of Kanchipuram, to appear before him in Sholingur. (Cholasimhapuram is the original name for Sholingur.)

But my question is, does this mean that Velukkudi Krishnan is a Swayamacharya person descended from Mudhaliandan? Or did he merely decide to take a guru who happened to be a descendant of Mudhaliandan?

  • I think he is just a person who’s Guru happens to be a Swayamacharya (descendant of Swami Mudaliandan in this case).
    – user15963
    Aug 7, 2018 at 21:45
  • @HayagreevRam Here’s the thing. Velukkudi Krishnan’s Guru was an Acharya with very few shishyas. Out of all the Iyengars in the world, only a small percentage are Swayamacharyas. Out of the 74 Swayamacharya families, only one is descended from Mudhaliandan. Out of the six or seven branches of the Mudhaliandan family, only one is descended from Cholasimhapuram Doddacharya. And then the Doddacharya branch of the family itself has two sub-branches, the Periyappangar branch which is relatively popular and the Vedantachar branch which isn’t that popular. Aug 8, 2018 at 16:01
  • @HayagreevRam And Velukkudi Krishnan is a shishya of an Acharya of the less popular branch. Out of all the Thenkalai Acharyas in India, the probability of him choosing that particular Acharya with so few shishyas would be very small. So I think he most likely didn’t select that Acharya, rather he’s from that Swayamacharya family. In any case, if I could find Velukkudi Krishnan’s Gotram that would answer the question. Mudhaliandan belonged to Vadhula Gotram, so if Velukkudi Krishnan’s Gotram is different than he’s not a descendant of Mudhaliandan. Aug 8, 2018 at 16:07
  • Oh I understand.. So, can it be said that you and Sholingur KKC Vedantachariar Swami are very distant relatives, since both of you are descendants of Swmi Mudaliandan?
    – user15963
    Aug 8, 2018 at 18:55
  • @HayagreevRam Yes we are. Here is a family tree of the Mudhaliandan family: koilkandhadaiannan.com/images/MT_Full.jpg Sholingur KKC Vedantachariar Swami is descended from the Cholasimhapuram Doddacharya family, which is the third branch from the left. And I’m descended from the Koil Kandhadai Appan family, which is the branch to the right of the golden branch. Aug 9, 2018 at 15:00

1 Answer 1


Adiyen ramanuja dasan .🙏🙏i m dearly sorry to barge in but i (k.k.v.a.bhakthi sharan) varthamana sri mudhaliyandan swamy's(k.k.v.a.ramanujachariyar)son is the only family heritage of sri mudhaliyandan swamy thiru vamsam.currently receited at singaperumal koil.we are the only decendents of sri mudhaliyandan swamy thiruvamsham.

  • 1
    For more details visit mudaliandan.com Apr 15, 2019 at 22:13
  • Adiyen Ramanuja Dasan. There are seven branches of the Mudaliandan family, as you can in the family tree here: web.archive.org/web/20180413084611im_/http://thirumani.in/… The branches are the Thirumazhisaiyar family, the Kumara Venkatachariar family (which Mudhaliyandan Swami is from), the Cholasimhapuram Doddachariar family (which Velukkudi Swami's Acharya is from), the Koil Kandhadai Annan family, the Thirumani family, the Koil Kandhadai Appan family (which I am from), and the Koil Kandhadai Bhavanachariar family. Apr 16, 2019 at 0:32
  • In fact the Mudhaliandan site mentions Koil Kandhadai Annan, from whom the Koil Kandhadai Appan branch is descended from: "After kandhadai annan and his relatives become shishyas of mamunigaL, mamunigaL says ponnadikkal jiyar is his prana sukruth and he should get all the glories which mamunigaL himself has got of doing Samashrayanam Mudaliandan Lineage who are directly related to Swami Ramanujar. Looking at appachiaranna who approached mamunigaL to become his sishya, mAmunigaL called for ponnadikkAl jIyar, seated him in his own Asanam..." mudaliandan.com/appachiaranna.php Apr 16, 2019 at 0:44
  • If I have said anything wrong Kshamikka Prarthikiren. Shreemadh vadhoola kula vengatasoori pouthram vaaDHoola raamaanuja deshika puthra rathnam thath paadha yukma raNam thadhupaasithaaram sreebakthisaara guruvarya maham prapaDHye Apr 16, 2019 at 4:30

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