Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chapter 6 - EmperumAnAr Part 11

He wondered what was the reason for RAmAnujar's sudden effervescence. He had seen him walk off with a certain feel of defeat the previous day, but was exuding confidence presently. He immediately sensed that it must have been some sort of a divine intervention that must have caused this change. As soon as RAmAnujar took his place on the podium, YagnamUrti fell before him and prostrated him. He conceded defaeat and accepted RAmAnujar's footwear on his head. He asked RAmAnujar to accept him as his disciple and teach him the correct ways of life.

RAmAnujar was surprised on seeing this change. He asked YagnamUrti why he was not up for a debate. YagnamUrti replied that he had sensed divine intervention and hence felt the need to back away and do what was right. RAmAnujar then went on to explain his position on VisishtAdvaitam and postulated all important points: accepting that he had no answers for some questions, YagnamUrti broke his Ekadandam and begged RAmAnujar to give him his saffron robes. RAmAnujar did all the needful to initiate him into VisishtAdvaitam formally. He named his "AruLALa PerumAL EmperumAnAr" because it was by the grace of AruLALan (Varadan) that he got him as a disciple and also because one of the elements of the challenge was that YagnamUrti would take on RAmAnujar's name.He then took him to SrI Rangam to get the blessings of RanganAtar after which he took him to his matam and showed him to AruLALar too. He started teaching him all the prabandams beginning from TiruppallAndu.

YatirAjar continued t educate his disciples in SrIRangam s usual, when 2 SrI VaishnavAs came from out of town to visit Him. They approached the locals and asked them where EmperumAnAr's matam was. The locals asked them which EmperumAnAr they wished to visit since there were 2 in town. The out-of-towners asked if they were being ridiculed in any manner since they knew of only one. The locals then explained how there were 2 EmerumAnArs. On finding out that the intent was to visit Udayavar, they directed them accordingly. AruLALa PerumAL EmperumAnAr chanced to overhear this entire conversation and felt very bad for the confusion 2 matams were causing. On that day, he left his matam and moved in with YatirAjar and lived there.

Granting the SrI BhAshyam among other texts

As per his promise to AaLavandAr, RAmAnujar wished to write the commentary for SrI BhAshyam. He appointed KUraththAzhvAn to assist him and said, "Start by writing what I tell you. If you are discontent with any of my views, then you don't have to write it." Accordingly, once as AazhvAn was writing down the commentary, RAmAnujar indicated that the AatmA did not have Bagavath SEshastvam. AazhvAn did not write that down. RAmAnujar commanded him to. When he still did not do so, RAmAnujar got angry and told him that he could finish up all the writing himself. All others watching this, asked AazhvAn if it was right on his part to disappoint the AachAryan like this. Aazhvan was apologetic and agreed to go and ask for forgiveness the next day. Meanwhile Udayavar also thought about AazhvAn's take on the view and concurred that he was right. He called to him the next day and accepted his error. He said that AazhvAn could write it the way he desired and he did so. Thus RAmAnujar fulfilled 1 of 3 of AalavandAr's wishes. He also went on to write VEdAnta SAram, VEdAnta DIpam, VEdArta Sankraham and GItA BhAshyam. Later, he also wrote a text called Nityam for daily anushtAnams. On Panguni Utram, when RanganAtar and TAyAr were in Tirumanjana KOlam together, he came up with SaraNAgati Gatyam, SrIranga Gatyam and SrIVaikunta Gatyam. Thus he gifted us with 9 texts.


According to the wishes of KUrathAzhvAn, NadAthUrAzhvAn and PiLLAn, YatirAjar undertook a tour of divyadEsams while attempting also to convince people of other religions that VisishtAdvaitam was the correct philosophy. He sought the blessings of RanganAtar and first went to Tirukudandai to seek the darshan of AarAvamudAzhvAn. Then he went to PAndyA lands such as TirumAlirunjOlai and TiruppuLLANi. He bathed at Tiruvanai and enjoyed his time there for a while before moving on to AAzhVartirunagari and Tirukkurungudi.

SrI VaishNava Nambi

EmperumAnar was performing his daily anushTAnams with thousands of his disciples one day when the Lord of Tirukkurungudi Divya DEsam Tirukkurungudi Nambi appeared before him as a Vaishnavaite. He asked that RAmAnujar expound to him such a mantram that sought and corrected people who could not be corrected even after the Lord appeared to them in RAma/Krishna avatArams. Udayavar performed samAsrayaNam for him and applied tirumaN KAppu too after naming him SrI VaishNava Nambi. As soon as he received RAmAnujar's graces, the Vaishnavaite disappeared. EmperumAnAr was stunned. He went on to the temple and was astonished to find that the tirumaN KAppu was on the Lord's forehead. he narrated the saraNAgati Gatyam happily before the Lord, sought his blessings and went on to MalinAttu Tirupathis from there.

Getting the name of SrI BhAshyakArar

GOkulam, BrindAvanam, AyOdhyA, Naimi SAraNyam and Badri were the next places on his route. He visited Sarasvati VidhyA PItam. Goddess Sarasvati herself appeared before Him there and blessed him that his sacred text be called SrI BhAshyam, and he the autor be called SrI BHAshyakArar on account of writing it. She placed his SrI BhAshyam on her very head and gave it along with an idol of Lakshmi HayagrIvar that she prayed to. RAmAnujar accepted it happily.

On hearing this incident, the King of the land embraced RAmAnujar and his ways and conferred greatness upon Him. This caused jealousy among some members of the court and they planned to get rid of Him. Accordingly, they performed a AbichAra YAgam, but that became detrimental to them in that they all became insane and started beating one another. Upon heeding to the King's request, YatirAjar cured them and they embraced Him as their teacher. From there, He went to Vada Madurai, bathed in the Ganges, then went to PurushOttamam, SrI KUrmam, SimmAchalam, AhObilam and finally arrived at Tiru VEnkatam.

SrInivAsA accepting sangu chakram

The Shaivaites in Tirumala argued that SrinivAsar was actually SivA and fought with Tirumalai Nambi about it. He showed them in many ways that the Aazhvars had established that he was SrIman NArAyaNA and debated with them. They tried to establish a common ground saying that since he had markings of neither and some common markings, he should be regarded as a God common to both factions. RAmAnujar wanted to settle this right away and suggested "Let us keep a trident and damaru, which is the symbol of ShivA and the sangu chakram which is the symbol of Vishnu at the Lord's altar and lock them in overnight. In the morning, we will see what the Lord has chosen." Both sides agreed to this and after placing the symbols in the altar and ensuring no one else was inside, they meticulously guarded the locked altar overnight. The next morning, after sunrise they went inside to see what had happened, and behold, the Lord stood with his sangu and chakram. The trident and damaru were broken and cast aside. RAmAnujar was filled with ecstasy and he sang numerous praises of the Lord with all emotion. He arranged for all rituals to continue as before. Periya Tirumalai Nambi was very happy too. After finishing up his pigrimage, RAmAnujar came back to SrI Rangam. After swimming in the Lord's darshan from head to toe, he headed back to his matam to grace his disciples and continue imparting knowledge to them.