Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chapter 6 - EmperumAnAr Part 3

YAdavaprakAsar back in KAnchI

YAdavaprakAsar finished his pilgrimage and came back to his matam in KAnchIpuram. He was very surprised at seeing RAmAnujar in the PerumAl temple there one day. He approached him and said "We thought that you had fallen prey to one of the wild animals in the jungle. Very happy to see you back alive and safe. How did thi happen? What transpired in the forest after you got separated from us?". RAmAnujar kept the true story from him and instead said "After I got lost in the forest, I kept thinking of the Lord as I didn't know what else to do. A hunter and his wife approached me and offered to guide me back safely to Satyavada KshEtram. What took us so many days to travel, we covered all that back in a single night and I was back. That is what happened". YAdavaprakAsar listened to all this carefully and concluded that not only was RAmAnujar a genius, but he also had the Lord's graces shining upon him in many ways. He told him to come back to the matam and stay with him as before and RAmAnujar agreed to do so.

KAnchI VaishnavAs in ShrI Ranagam

Once 2 ShrI Vaishnavaites came to ShrI Rangam to pray to Lord RanganAtar. They also sought the blessings of AalavandAr along the way. AalavandAr was curious about their origins - where they came from, whether there was anything special there and so he asked them about it. (From here, we know the story that happened as was discussed in the Chapter on AalavandAr.)

Possession by a BhrahmarAkshas

At that time, the nation's King's son (some say daughter) became possessed and tormented by a Bhrahma RAkshas."TaddEsa BhUpasya SudE PisAsa KrastE". The learned men on the kingdom, suggested that YAdavaprakAsar's assistance be sought in fighting it. Accordingly, the King's team approached him and sought his help. YAdavaprakAsar haughtily told the King's men "Tell the monster that I asked him to leave and never return". So the King's men came back to it and repeated the same words. The RAkshas became very angry and retorted "You tell YAdavaprakAsar to leave". When YAdavaprakAsar heard about this, he was enraged. He came face to face with the monster and commanded it to leave. The moster said "Do you know who you were in your past birth and who I was? Do you think I would leave just because you commanded me to? How dare you?". At this, YAdavaprakAsar's curiosity was piqued. He asked the Bhrahma RAkshas to explain what he meant. The monster gladly agreed and said "You were a mere monitor lizard living in the MadurAntagam lake in your previous birth. One day, some esteemed VaishnavAs who were undertaking a pilgrimage to Tirupati, came by the MaturAntagam lake and after performing their rituals, sat down to have a meal. When they left, you ate the remains of their blessed meal. Because of the holiness of those leftovers and your luck in consuming it, you were blessed to be born as a leaned BhAhmaN in this birth. Myself, on the other hand - I was an esteemed BhrAhmaN and had extensive knowledge of all the 4 VEdAs. By making some mistakes in one of my penances, because of an error on my part, I was cursed to be born like this in my present birth. Given that I am superior to you in this way, I will not leave just because you asked me to. I will only go if someone worthy commands me to. RAmAnujar, who is in your group is one such esteemed man. I will leave if he sake me to; I won't go for your sake."  So saying he prostrated before RAmAnujar. He said that he would be granted a good way if RAmAnujar blessed him. The King requested RAmAnujar's help. RAmAnujar obliged and said "Hey Bhahma RAkshas; if what you say is indeed true, I wish you the very best in your endeavors. Please leave us alone and leave. As an indication that you've left, plea uproot this tree so we'll know that you have really gone". So saying. he pointed to a tree nearby. Sure enough, the RAkshas left as promised only after uprooting said tree. Everyone witnessing this realized how truly great RAmAnujar was; and paid obeisance to him. YAdavaprakAsar returned to KAnjIpuram with his disciples.

Religious difference of opinion, again

YAdavaprakAsar continued his teachings on a daily basis to his disciples. Once he was explaining the meaning of the following words "Sarvam Kalu Idam Bhrahmma". He explained it in the light of the Advaita philosophy. RAmAnujar silly could not agree that his explanation was correct. He explained the same line from a VishitAdvaita point of view, correctly. As usual, the Guru was enraged. "IlayAzhvar, please find a place more suitable for you to stay. I do not wish that you be here with us anymore." RAmAnujar came back to his house and told his mother everything that had transpired between him and his Guru. His mother was unnerved. She said "You start serving PErarulAlan once again like you used to. Enough of you studies with that Guru."  RAmAnujar started serving the Lord like before by bring water from SAlak Kinar like before and continued his duties at the temple.

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