Thirukoshtiyur Nambikal one of the Guru of Swamy Ramanuja was very much pleased with Ramanuja and so he wanted to impart to him the meaning of Charama sloka from the eighteenth chapter of Bhagavat Gita. So he sent word to Ramanuja to come alone again. Swami Ramanuja went alone and Nambikal taught him the meaning of Charama sloka and told him not to reveal it to anyone. But Ramanuja beseeched with Nambikal that he should be allowed to teach it to Kurathazwar. Then Nambikal told him that Kurathazwar should be taught only after doing service to Swamy Ramanuja one full year. When Ramanuja returned to Srirangam, he told Kurathazwar about his Guru’s order. Kurathazwar was disappointed to hear this. He thought when it was not sure whether we would be alive for the next moment, how he could wait for a year to learn this secret meaning of the Charama Sloka. He remembered that it was depicted in Sastras, if a person observe upavasam for one month it was equal to serving for one year. So he observed fasting for one month in front of Ramanuja’s Thirumalikai ( Ashramam) Thus he got his wish fulfilled. Mudaliyandan another foremost disciple of Swamy Ramanuja came to know about this and he went and prostrated before Ramanuja and begged him to teach him also the Charama Sloka manthrartham. But Ramanuja told him that his Guru Nambikal gave him permission to give the upadesam only to Kurathazwar and he could go to Nambikal and get it directly from him. Though Mudaliyandan waited for six months, he did not get any positive signal from Nambikal. Hence one day he went and prostrated before Nambikal and begged him. Nambikal told him, “you were proud of your wealth, your learning and your high caste As you have not yet attained the paripakkuvam (controlling mamakaram.) Ramanuja had sent you here. But now you are fit to have the Upadesam. You go back and your guru and he would be pleased to teach you now.”Then the sincere disciple of Swamy Ramanuja , Mudaliyandan returned to Srirangam and narrated to Swamy Ramanuja all that had happened. At that time Swamy Ramanujas another Guru ,Periya Nambikal’s daughter Athuzaay also had come to see Ramanuja. She told that her mother in law had sent her home, telling her to bring a cook from her house and her father had told her that she should go to Ramanuja and he would do the needful. When Ramanuja heard this, he told Mudaliyandan to accompany Athuzaay. Mudaliyandan at once obeyed his guru and went along with Athuzaay. At that place , he was doing service to her mother in law for six months. One day he happened to hear a Srivaishnava explaining the meaning of a Sanskrit sloka wrongly. MudaliAndaan went into the gathering and explained the proper meaning of the sloka. The Brahmin got angry and told, “You are only a cook and Its beyond your capacity to understand the shastras He chided him to just go and simply cook what was ordered .” Yet Mudaliyandan did not get angry and spoke sweetly and also explained again. The Brahmin got ashamed and begged for pardon. MudaliAndaan told that he was the disciple of Swamy Ramanuja and he was sent by him to do service at Athuzaay’s house. Whatsover explanation was given now was the mercy of his Acharyar Swami Ramanuja . When Ramanuja came to know this, he went in person and brought him back with him. He was happy that Mudaliyandan now had attained the paripakkuvam to be taught the Charama sloka Rahasyartham. He taught him the same and also conferred him the title” Vaishnava Dasar.”
In Srirangam , the capital of Srivaishnavas , Once there lived an old lady with her grandson who was also named as Ranga. The old woman and her grandson were great devotees of Lord Ranganatha. As usual ,one day the grandson went to have a dip in the river Kaveri. However , the river took him away and left him on the banks near Amma Mandapam at Srirangam. The boy Rangan had Lord’s darshan there and He also prayed for his grandmother. In the meantime, the old women was searching for her grandson and Lord Ranganatha appeared before her in the form of her grandson. She took LORD home and fed Him with thayir sadham (curd rice) and vadu manga (tender mango pickle). The Lord ate happily and disappeared when her real grandson arrived. Now on conversation the old lady realized that it was not her grandson who arrived and that had food from her hands but the Lord Himself.
The old women felt sad that had she known that the Lord would come to eat, she would have made akkarai vadisal ( sweet pudding with dry fruits ) and fed the Lord . Out of abundant mercy , Lord appeared before her and told her that He always eats akkarai vadisal at His palace of Srirangam but was longing for the simple food that His devotees have been eating. To enact this incident , every year the Lord sets off to Jeeyarpuram and blesses His devotees there. The Lord accepts offerings on the way towards Jeeyarpuram and reaches Jeeyarpuram Astana Mamandapam around 11 AM the next day. This festival is enacted on the second day, NamPerumal starts on a procession around the Chithra streets at 7:30 AM and arrives at the Garuda Mandapam through Ranga Vilas. He remains at the Garuda Mandapam till the evening blessing all his devotees with His darshan. At 5:15 PM, NamPerumal starts His procession graciously marching towards JeeyaPuram, which is located west of Srirangam across the Vada Thiru Cauveri along the Melur Road. This day signifies His graciousness to go to His devotees who are unable to come to Him and provide His blessings to all. The main purpose of Him to go to Jeeyar Puram is to provide His blessings to his beloved devotees outside of Srirangam as well.
There was an ardent devotee from Dakore near Ahmedabad who used to visit Dwaraka every year on his bullock cart carrying pots of tulasi plants with him to offer the same to the Lord . He used to take 6 months to reach Dwaraka
He followed this practice even in his advanced age. Like Thirukacchinambigal, this devotee could converse with the Lord. During one such visit, he prayed to Dwarakadeesh that in future he may not be able to visit Dwarka as he was very old. The Lord replied that henceforth he preferred to stay with this pure devotee rather than being in Dwarka where people had turned materialistic and there was no pure bhakti..
The Lord ordered him to be ready with the cart in the night. The devotee accordingly obeyed and waited with the cart for the Lord. As promised, Lord left the temple, got into the cart and HE HIMSELF drove the cart. The Lord who acted as “PARTHASARATHY- (Charioteer to Arjuna in the Mahabharata war once again took the reins and drove the chariot).The Supreme Lord who by His mere glance, controls the entire Cosmic manifestation, made the devotee relax and Himself drove the cart for the sake of His devotee. Overnight they reached Dakore. ( A place near Ahmedabad ).
The devotee used to take 6 months to drive the cart but the Lord reached the place within 6 hours. From the following morning the devotee along with his wife started worship in their hut itself . Meantime, when the temple doors were opened, the priests were shocked to see the idol missing. They guessed that the old devotee who was in the temple for a very long time the previous night must be responsible for this .
All the residents of Dwarka set out for Dakore. When they saw the Lord in the devotees house, they started abusing the old devotee and tried to forcibly take the idol. They did not listen to the devotees pleas .However hard they tried to grab the deity , the deity did not even move an inch. At that time they heard an asareeri say that Lord would be with whoever gives offering equal to the Lord’s weight . Immediately, a balance was brought and the idol was placed on one side of the balance. The residents of Dwarka offered all their possessions which was kept on the other side of the balance. The balance remained as it is. They rushed back to Dwarka and brought back all they had but this also was of no match to the Lord’s weight. Having accepted defeat, they asked the Brahmin to try his turn. The devotees wife a very great devotee, prayed to Lord and placed her nose ring along with little Tulasi on the other side of the balance and immediately both the balances became EQUAL.
Thus demonstrated that He is bound by His devotees pure affection and love. To the dejected residents of Dwaraka, Lord informed that very soon a sculptor would approach them who would sculpt a similar vigraham which could be placed in the altar and would continue to bless the devotees by bestowing His powers on the idol. Hence, the original deity of the is present in DAKORE DWARAKA now.At Dwarka, as advised by the Lord , a sculptor approached the priests and offered to make an idol with the condition that no one should disturb him while he was performing his work. The residents agreed and the sculptor locked himself in a room. This went on for 18 days but when no sound was heard, the curious devotees broke open the door and to their astonishment, the sculptor had vanished and the Lord’s vigraham was near completion but for the eyes. As they went back on their words, they were crying pitifully realizing that the sculptor was none other than the Himself. An aakashvaani declared that henceforth, they could consider this vigraham as the Lord Himself and offer pooja to the and whatever happened was as per HIS divine WILL. To this day, this mangala moorthy is being worshipped at Dwaraka which is situated on the western coast near Arabian Sea.
THE DAY LORD GAVE THIRUMANTRA UPADESAM TO THIRUMANGAI AZHWAR
Near Seerkazhee there lived a patriotic Army General (ThaLapathi) ofChozhA king who earned the king’s goodwill and respect with his devoted work.He and his wife, vallitthiru were blessed with a beautiful male child, whomthey named neelan (due to his dark (neela mEga) colour. He was born in the
year nala during karthiigai mAsam, kritigai nakshathram, full moon day and wasan incarnation of the Lord’s SArngam (Divine bow). Neelan grew up as a shrewdsmart boy, learning Tamizh and Sanskrit and mastered them; became wellversed in sword fight(vAL payiRchi), vil viddhai with, Horse riding, elephant riding, etc. He grew up a young, intelligent, smart, healthy,strong, handsome lad (and yet simple and modest with a religious mind likehis parents) and not surprisingly, people liked him very much. When Neelan’s father got old, the chOzhA king, having heard about Neelan,appointed Neelan as the Army General(ThaLapathi). He was agile, dynamic,young and was good at battle fields; and hence captured the neighboringstates; The king was immensely pleased and presented him a small portion of his kingdom, a place called Thirumangai, as a tribute and made him a KING! (He was thereafter called “Thirumangai mannan”.)That was his first success. And that became the cause for his slipping from all bhakti, devotion, religion etc., etc., and the success of reaching the SimhAsanam at such a young age, (with no chance of becoming a king, otherwise) went to his head. He took to all vices; He was deeply caught in seeking sensual pleasures. The parents were helpless and could do nothingbut pray to the Lord to correct their son. All compassionate Lord Sriman nArAyaNA did listen to them. He had organised such a situation that made a dEvamAdhu by name sumangalai(who was performing the kainkaryam of fanning(sAmaram)the Lord) to appear as the most beautiful daughter of a local doctor in Tirumangai, in the name “kumudhavalli” (based on a “sApam” given by kapila muni for her laughing at an ugly face and coarse voice of his disciple). Being an incarnate of dEvamAdhu, she wasexquisitely pretty and could attract even a recluse.Our “new” king, Thirumangai mannan heard of her alluringly feminine beauty and wished to see her immediately. When he saw her, he was so much captivated by her darting glance at him, he fell head over heels for her and proposed to marry her. Kumudhavalli, through her father, stipulated two prerequisites for him to qualify for marrying her. They were one . Her husband should be a (or become a) Sri vaishNavA, wear ThirunaNkAppu on his forehead, and be a true bhaktA of Sriman NarayaNan. (Sriman Narayanan Himself spoke through her) and 2. Her husband should feed daily 1000 (ONE THOUSAND!) sri vaishNava bhakthALs with Prasadam Our mannan, being intoxicated by her looks, agreed after listening to her conditions immediately. They got married. So there he was. With a bright ThirumaNkAppu, thuLasi mAlai, he paid obeisance to LORD Sriman NarayaNa. He started the annadhAnam for 1000 Sri vaishNava bhaktALs. Slowly day by day, our mannan was transfering into a
true, sincere devotee of the Lord and was getting tremendous satisfaction from feeding Sri vaishNavas daily. The enjoyment of Bhakti and BhagavatOttamAL sEvai were really experienced by Thirumangai mannan. While this was going on, the entire treasury was spent on the AnnadhAnam kainkaryam. He could not even send the “tax” which he was supposed to send to the chOzhA king every year. So, chOzhA King sent a message to him asking him pay the taxes that was collected ; but since our mannan could not pay and sent back a reply saying that he will not be able to pay. ChOzhA king got wild and sent soldiers to bring him. Our hero sent them back effortlessly with his fighting skills. ChOzhA king himself came with a heavy army and attacked Thirumangai mannan. Even though Thirumangai mannan’s army was small, he fought and won the battle. His horse went near the chOzhA king and he got down from the horse. He said: “Oh pErarasE (Big king!), I did not send the tax- I don’t deny. But did I spend the money on trivial matters? It was spent for Sri VaishNavALs. How can I stop when your soldiers came to imprison me?”. Our chOzhA king was hurt due to his defeat and did not listen to all this. He said,”I made you a king. I gave you all these luxuries. Now you are not even grateful. and you fought with me, too”
Our mannan got hurt very badly by that “ungrateful” statement. He was very much grateful to chOzhA king for all that he had done. So Thirumangai mannan threw away his sword and bowed down before the king and said ”
Chozha mannA! Am I ungrateful? was not these kingdoms which I captured for you. Now I am standing in front of you as the same neelan . Go ahead and do what you wish to do with me”. The chOzhA king melted and was moved. He hugged thirumangaimannan and said “Don’t worry. I know you. But we should pay respects to pErarasar-chitRarsar relation and hence, you are to send your tax within 3
days. Till then, you will be imprisoned in the perumAL temple.” There wasno way he could get any money and hence, he begged the Lord to help him.The Lord appeared in his dream and suggested him to go to the banks ofriver vEdhavathi near kanchi where he could find a big treasure of Gold coins and jewels. He narrated the dream to the chOzhA king andthirumangaimannan and few ministers went to kanchi, vEdhavathi river banksand did find a BIG TREASURE. Having heard this news, chOzhA king got upfrom the throne and whole heartedly bowed down to Thirumangai mannan forhis bhakti and thee Lord’s mercy on him. He said” I have done a greatmistake of taxing a great bhakthA for a small tax issue and caused ahindrance to BhagavathALs’ anna dhAna kankaryam. Please take all thistreasure and let me send you back with full Royal honours. You need notinsult me by paying the tax any more!”. The mannan came back with morewealth and with great honours. The citizens of Thirumangai were greatly
thrilled by their king and kumudhavalli was proud of her husband. They revived their kainkaryam for 1000 Sri VaishNanvALs more aggressively and attained their happiness and satisfaction as usual. Again, they found themselves left with no wealth for the kainkaryam.
With a view to keeping the promise to his beloved wife, he had to resort to highway robbery from rich people. With the booty, he continued the kainkaryam. One day The Lord Sriya: patih Sriman NarayaNan and Vishnu pathni Sri MahAlakshmi appeared on the highway as a”just married” couple with lots and lots of jewels adorned them. Our mannan turned robber heard of a new rich young couple’s coming on
the Highway and immediately rushed with his adiyALs. He was very happy tosee Them with so many jewels and thanked God(!) for that. They also had abag containing more ornaments. Our Neelan demanded Them to surrender allthey had. They did precisely what was instructed to Them; all with TheirkatAksham on our hero. They put all their ornaments on a piece of cloth.When Thirumangai mannan tried to lift the bundle of ornaments he just couldnot even move it a bit! He was shocked and perplexed as to why it was so difficult to move it! He went near the bridegroom ,Lord Sri mahAvishNu and with a fierce look into His eyes, asked Him ” What is the manthram you have for lifting this bundle?. Tell me, else, I will kill you both.” He threatened Them with a sword. The Lord and the PirAtti smiled with a gentle mandhahAsam. He asked Thirumangai mannan to come near Him AND WHISPERED IN
HIS RIGHT EAR ” THE ASHTAAKSHARI “. Having heard those EIGHT SYALLABLES (AshtAksharam) right from none other than SRIYA: PATHI HIMSELF, his mind, his heart became PURE!. All his dirt had disappeared! He was simply electrified by the AshtAksharam. He got goose pimples all over his body; He got indescribable blissful happiness! He prostrated fully at Their Lotus feet with eyes full of tears at Their mercy to bless him despite his shortcomings and negative qualities. They blessed him with Their KARUNAI KATAAKSHAM.. He realised His ThiruviLaiyAdal and the purpose of his birth and poured out tamizh pAsurams on the Lordas if it comes from just opened dam (“madai thirandha veLLam pOl”). He looked at the sky and kept on crying ceaselessly for Their dayA on his lowly self. His hands and the legs were shivering with tremendous amount of Bhakti and love for the Lord.
He came back galloping on his horse named ADALMAA to narrate the ENTIRE EXCITING INCIDENT to the beloved kumudhavalli. Kumudhavalli, before he started even, asked him as to why his face looked so bright, serene, divine and beaming that day. He said “kumudhA, I have reached the purpose of my manushya janmam kumudhA. I have seen NARAYANA, kumudhA. (nAn kaNdu koNdEn NARAYANAnai). He was too excited to even complete his statements in a coherent manner. (After all, he has been initited by SarvEswaran Himself!). Kumudhavalli said, “Then, I have also reached the purpose of my deputation (by Lord
through kapila muni)” and she narrated her story. Our AzhwAr became all the more blissful and happier to know that The Lord Sriya: pathih sent Kumudhavalli only to set him right from his wrong path and corrected him. He could not control his tears and sobbed heavily at the Lord’s mercy on him repeatedly . His outburst of HIS BLISS was shared through HIS pasurams and visited almost about 86 temples . He also took efforts to construct Temple walls of Srirangam without affecting ThoNdaradippodiAzhwAr’s nandhavanam. (“pAdi pAdi paraparappAi thirinthAr”) His compositions were : 1. Periya thirumozhi 2. Periya thirumadal 3. SiRiya thirumadal 4. Thiru nedunthANdakam (TNT) 5. Thiru KurunthANdakam(TKT) 6. Thiru vezhuk kurrirukkai. His pAsurams are marvellous; excellent and have unsurpassed beauty in them. Swamy ParAsara Bhattar made use of his TNT to winover his counter part, a advaitin scholar in his arguments and later the advaitin became his disciple ‘nam jeeyar’. Sri RanganAtha himself heard and
was greatly pleased with that argument reenacted from Bhattar quoting from
Here is one of his periya thirumozhi pasurams:
vAdinEn vAdi varundhinEn manatthaal/
perun thuyaridum idumbaiyil piRanNdhu/
koodinEn koodi iLaiyavar thammOdu/
avar tharum kalaviyE karudhi/
OdinEn Odi uyvadhOr poruLaal/
uNarvenum perumpadhan therindhu/
naadinEn nAdi nadi nAn kaNdukoNdEn/
nArAyaNA vennum nAmam.
Being born into this body, a reservoir of profound sorrow, I am repenting,
melting and crying, I am filled with pathos and self-pity;I have let myself
run after beautiful women, seeking the sensual pleasures from their union;
Through the grace of our Lord I have now realized that there is a greater
goal and That will deliver me into eternal happiness; I have been searching
for this state and have now found it IN THE SWEET NAME NARAYANA. This pASsuram will bring tears to the eyes of any Vaishnava for AzhwAr’sBhakti and love and his heart longing for the lotus feet of our Lord Narayana.
The clip was taken 2 years back during adiyens piligrimage
All glories to the devotees who will be attending the Thiruvedipuri Utsavam today night .
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Today , Panguni uthiram is the most important day of srivaishnavas . Swamy Ramanuja’s prays to Lord Ranganathar and Peria pirattlar (Sriranga nachiar at Srirangam . Lord Namperumal (Sri Ranganathar) and Peria pirattlar (Sriranga nachiar) are seated together. Lord (naMperumAL) is standing majestically as usual and more beautiful and graceful today due to the compassionate looking pirAtti and is enjoying the beauty of Her Lord without taking Her eyes off Him even for a second This was the right opportunity for LokaAcharyar Swami Ramanuja to ask for favors from our DIVINE PARENTS. He submits to the LOTUS FEET through his divine outpourings Gadyatrayam. Swamy Ramanuja worshipping them, submits his deep fear of samsara (association with the body in a cycle of births) and begs the Lord to save him. Swamy Ramanuja surrendered his all to the Lord and begged Him to be his sole savior. In the Three Gadyaas, Swamy Ramanuja’s prayed swamies innermost feelings of deep devotion to the Lord break all restrictions and flow freely towards the Lord and His consort. These are prima facie a spontaneous outburst of devotional experience and not coldly labored compositions. The inner voice of the devotee addresses Sri and the Lord and they do reply clearly through the same inner voice. In the Saranagati gadya, Swamy Ramanuja first addresses Sri as the mother of the Universe, as his own mother, and as the loving consort of his Lord, and seeks her intercession on his behalf. This is itself a saranagati addressed to the mother. Happy at being addressed this, Sri replies ‘So be it’; “let your prapathi bear the proper fruit of being accepted as a devoted servant” The commentators have it that this assurance is not only for the Acharya but for all his spiritual progeny. The boon that Lord granted to Swamy Ramanuja applies to his spiritual heirs. It is worth noting that once he gets the assurance from Sri of her sure mediation, he addresses himself directly to the Lord seeking Him as the sole savior. The LokAcharya then addresses the Lord speaking of His incomparable glory, “His immense wealth, His power, His retinue, His divine weapons, His beautiful ornaments, His loving consorts, of His infinite compassion and other admirable qualities words which are a rhapsody of devout fervor which can come only from the very depth of a realized soul. Swamy Ramanuja holds out prapathi as the highest message he had for his followers.The Sriranga gadyam is a shorter piece and is essentially the same as the Saranagati gadyam. It is addressed directly to Sriranganatha. ” Sriranganatha! mama natha! namostu te” are the words of the acharya. To the seeker of salvation who has taken to the path of Prapathi, it is essential that he should spend his time in devoted service of the lord; in serving his devotees; by meditating on Him and singing His praise; by repeatedly uttering the Dvaya mantra (this is an enjoyable and sweet pastime). The acharya gives expression to all these, briefly, in confidence to the lord at Srirangam. His intention is that this short text may be repeated easily in the presence of the Lord by devotees intent on the fruit prayed for. Check this clip which takes to LORDS LOTUS FEET ..
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan