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The Lord & The Acharya

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An article contributed by Geetha Vasudevan

On the occassion of  Swamy Ramanuja's  Thirunakshatra utsavams  this article  attempts  to  recollect the similarities  about the intimacy between the Lord Sriman Narayana and  Swamy Ramanuja. Sriman Narayana is the supreme  Lord of the Universe, who came  into this earth as Lord Ranganatha in Sri Rangam  which is known as "Bhooloka Vaikuntam". Swamy Ramanuja is the acharya who's thiruavataram in this world was  for our spiritual upliftment through the doctrine of sharanagathi leading us into the path of Mukthi

1) The Lord of Sri Rangam is "Rangarajan" and our Swamy is "Yathirajan" both are kings respectively

2)The term "Perumal" stands only for "Periya Perumal", similarly the term "Swamy" stands for "Ramanuja" alone

3)While the lord is "Emperumaan", Our swamy Is "Emperumanaar"

4)According to Sri Ranga Mahatmiyam, the glittering Sri Ranga Vimanam and the Lord in it sprang as a result of tapas of Bramha from  the depths of Milky ocean, similarly Swamy Ramanuja was also born as result of thapas  done by his father Sri Kesava Somayaji at Thiruvallakeni

5)This Sri Ranga Vimanan with the Lord Rangantha, was gifted to Ishvaku to Ayodhya, and then gifted by lord Rama to Vibeeshana, who placed it on the banks of Chandrapushkarini (Kaveri),Thus the Lord came and settled in Sri Rangam Similarly, Swamy Ramanuja was born in Bhoothapuri, brought up in Kanchi  came and settled in Sri Rangam.

6)As the Lord Ranganatha reclines between two rivers Kaveri and Kollidam/ubhaya Kaveris, and is worshipped by both rivers,  similarly Swamy Ramanuja was always  worshipped  & accompanied by his two sishyas  Swamy Mudaliandan,and Koorthalwan who were considered as his Thandam & Pavitram


7)Lord Ranganatha is  the supreme lord of Leela Vibuthi & Nithya Vibuthi, and the only supreme who has the power to grant moksha to any soul, and  he passed/granted on this "power" only to Swamy Ramanauja giving him the title "Udayavar" meaning one who  owns the possession of both these vibuthis and greatness of this Swamy is such that, any one who surrenders to this  acharyan's lotus feet,is sure to be cleansed of their sins and will be granted moksha.

(It may be noted that Kanchi Deva Perumal has reinforced this authority by advising Thirukkachi Nambigal, that moksham for nambigal is due to Ramanuja sammandham)

8)Again Andal Naachiyar is related to both, Andal who is none other than Bhoomi Piratti, from being the only women saint rose to become the consort of the Lord Ranganatha  through  her devotion and songs, and Andal is also the dear younger sister of our Swamy Ramanuja, even today  in Vaazhi Thirunamam of Andal we recite "Perumboodhur Mamunikku Pin aanal Vaazhiye"
.
9)Due to Muslim invasions, Namperumal had to leave  and live away Sri Rangam for more than 4 decades, similarly, due to the autocracies of Kirumi Kanda chozan, Swamy Ramanuja even had to leave & live out of Srirangam  for specific number of years.

10)Lord Ranganatha much loved  our beloved "Maaran" & his sri sookthis  that he called him "Nammalwar" and even today "Thiruvaimozhi Thirunaal"  & Nammalwar moksha vaibhava utsavam is celebrated in Sri Rangam and emperumaan's divya padukas are  called "satagopan" and similarly Swamy Ramanuja had much devotion on Nammalwar and his Thiruvaimozhi, that Swamy Ramanuja is considered as the  divya padhukas of Nammalwar  as he is Maaranadi Panidhu Uyindhavan (it is significant to note, that the lines of this verses from Ramanuja Nootriandhi is to be chanted without a pause) & foster mother of Thiruvaimozhi. Bhattar's thaniyan on Thiruvaimozhi declares it so

vAn thigazhum sOlai madhil arangar vAn pugazh mEl |
Aanra thamizh maraigal Ayiraum- EenRa |
mudhal thAi sadagOpan moymbAl vaLarttha |
Edhat thAi ErAmAnujan |

Meaning

”ThiruvAimozhi’ 1000 verses are the vedas which declare the auspicious qualities of Sri Ranganatha. The natural mother is sadagopan(nammAlwar) and the foster mother is Sri Ramanuja, since he based his entire kalakshEpams on ThiruvAimozhi"



11)The Aadhi Bramhotsavam which is celebrated  grandly in Sri Rangam starts on Panguni Rohini (Perumal thirunakshatram) and ends on Panguni Utthiram (Thayar thirunakshatram)
It is so special because

*Periya Perattiyar Thirunakshatram
*Perumal and Thayar Serthi Sevai
*Sita Rama Kalyanam

Above all considering this as appropriate occassion Swamy Ramanuja surrendered before Divya Dampathis in serthi and submitted his famous Gadyatrayam (comprising Saranagathi Gadyam,Sri Ranga Gadyam, & Sri Vaikunta Gadyam) - Here we must note Saranagathi Gadyam was delivered - The prapatthi was done for the  sake of our deliverance.

Please also note Panguni Utthiram's significance is also for

*Nanjeeyar Thirunakshatram
*Kambanattu Alwar is said to have inaugurated his famous Kamba Ramayanam on this day @ Mettu Azhagiya Singar sannadhi in Sri Rangam temple

Thus Panguni Utthiram attaches special importance to both Namperumal and Swamy Ramanuja.

12)"Prapatye Pranavakaram Bashyam Rangam Iva Aparam
Parasaya Brahmanoo Yatra Seshitvam Sputam Ishyathey"

this sloka from Sri Bashyakara Sthuthi Slokam of Swamy Sudarsana Suri  equates Sri Bashyam of Swamy Ramanuja to the Pranavakara Vimanam of Sri Rangam, Just like the Lord displays himself in Sri Rangam, similarly he reveals himself in Sri Bashyam with all his attributes. Thus this signifies the equality of Sri Bashyam to the Vimanam of Sri Rangam.

13) The verses of Swamy Parasara Bhattar from Sri Ramanuja Stuthi Pathyani

"Pura Suthrair vyasa: sruthi sadha siraha: artham prathithavan
Virve tham sravyam vakultharthamethya sa puna:
Upavedho grandho dhatayethumalam yukthipirasow
Narjanye Ramavraja Ithi sa Brahmamukura:"

Meaning:

Vedavyasar made Vedanthas as Bramhasootras, he incarnated as Nammalwar  to give Tamil Vedas, again he re-incarnated as Swamy Ramanuja, to coordinate the both.

From this we learn Veda Vyasa had reincarnated as Swamy Ramanuja. Vishnu Sahasranamam states "Vyasaya Vishnu Roopaya Vyasa Roopaya Vishnave". The Lord himself is said to have taken the form of Veda Vyasa, relating both we can arrive that the Lord himself  & his divya ayudhams took thiruavatharm as Swamy Ramanuja.
"Adyar Kamalatthu Alarmagal Kelvan..........................."

Even though Emperumaan incarnated as human in Rama & Krishnava (vibhava) avtharams, walked the way of  dharma, showed to us the right path and did Geethopadesam, the people of this world, could not identify him  as the Supreme, but once Kare Karunai Ramanuja took thiruavatharam, in this world all the people, gained gynam(Knowledge) and recognized the Lord  Sriman Narayana as "Parathvam"

"Man mIsay yonigal dhorum............................................."
says Amudhanar


As the above states the similarities between Emperumaan and Emperumanaar.   Sri Mamunigal in his Aarthi Prabandham goes a step ahead and brings out to establish  the grace of Swamy Ramanuja is more than that of the Lord in the foll verses

"Adhigaaram undel arangarirangaroo
adhigaaram illadharkandro -- Ethiraja!
nee erangavenduvathu neeyum adhigarigalukkey
erangil enseivom yaam"

Meaning

People practicing Karma,Bakthi yoga etc get qualified to get the grace of the Lord, People who have no such attributes are dependent only on your grace Oh Ramanuja! If you too behave like Lord where else we can go?

In this verse, it is stated, that the Emperumaan discriminates by giving Moksha to selected few who are qualified, for the same, But Emperumanaar, has no such discrimination, his grace is universal and flows out to all the needy, such is his compassion,
unmindful of eligibility  & even though we are unqualified & underserving,  Swami Emperumanaar out of his extreme compassion redeems us, Thus stands at  higher level than the Emperumaan,(when it comes to compassion/grace)

Further  in another sloka from the same prabandham
states

"Nandha nargathhu aazhundhamai vendidal naaneelatheer
en thathaiyaan ethirajanai nannum endrum ava
andhadhi thannai anusandhiyum  avan thondrarudan
chindakulam keda cherntheedum muthee pin siddhikkume"

Meaning

"Oh people of this earth! If you want to get relieved from this narakam/hell of samsara.  You should take refugee in thiruvadi of my father Ethirajan, Chant (his)Ramanuja Nootriandadhi (which is gayathri for prapannas) in which each pasruam contains his nama which forms a  favorable/cordial factor for our destination & always  remain in the satsangh of his adiyars, through all this moksham is easily accessible & confirmed

All these come out from the mouth of our "Poi Illadha Manavala Mamuni"

Let us  pray to  Swamy Ramanuja's thiruvadi and take pride in identifying ourselves as "Ramanuja Dasas"

Vazhi Ethirajan! Vazhi Ethirajan!

Request to pardon all mistakes caused due to ignorance

 

Last Updated on 11 May 2011