During his short exile from Srirangam , Swamy Ramanujar was staying at Thondanur in Karnataka . Once , Swami Ramanuja found that there was no Thiruman ( Tilak) to apply . He was sad and thus submitted his prayers to Lord to show him the place where he could get the white clay ( Thiruman ) .
The Lord who always comes to the aid of His true devotee, appeared in his dream. LORD told him to go to Yadhavadri where there was a tank called Kalyani Pushkarani where he could locate the ThirumaN.
He also expressed that there was a Thulasi vanam nearby. Under the Thulasi plant he could find the Lordships buried underneath. LORD advises Swamy Ramanuja to bring the deity and after all the purification rites , construct a temple for Him. Swami Ramanuja was very happy and at once started walking towarsd the place to find LORD and Thiruman. With the able guidance and love for Swami Ramanuja , King Vishnuvardan sent his men to make a path for Swami Ramanuja as he had to travel through the forest. Swami Ramanuja reached Kalyani pushkarani.
To his surprise , He found lot of white clay near Kalyani pushkaraNi. On further trekking , He found the Lord’s Moola Murthi in Thulasi vanam under the mole. Lord was carefully taken out reciting vedic chants .The King was excited and immediately ordered that a temple for LORD has to be built .
Accordingly necessary consecration was conducted. The King and people were very happy and honored Swamy Ramanuja very much. Swami Ramanuja made all arrangements for Nithya puja according to agama sasthras. But being in a far location , the people had to come to the temple to have darshan of the Lord. But those who were old and sick could not have His darshan. This was a cause of concern as Utsavar deity of LORD was not there .
Once again the Lord appeared in his dream pleased with Swamy Ramanuja for building a temple and installing him, and declared the Uthsava murthi Sri Ramapriyar was at the custody of Badasha devotee daughter at Delhi .
Swami Ramanuja immediately left to Delhi with his disciples. He reached Delhi after nearly two months. He met the Delhi Badshah ( Emperor) in his palace. The Badshah was very much impressed with Swami Ramanuja’s knowledge and his thejas.
Swami informed him that he came to know that the king had the Idol of Sri Ramapriyar and he wanted to take him back to Yadavadri as per Lord’s command . The king requested Swamy Ramanuja to be escorted with his men to the museum where he had kept all his collections of deities and was free to take .
Sadly , Swami Ramanuja was not able to find Sri Ramapriyar diety in the museum . Swami was disappointed and worried. He returned to the place where he was staying. Again that night Swami Ramanuja prayed and beseeched the Lord to show him the place where He was being worshipped .
That night the Lord appeared in his dream and revealed that Badshah’s daughter was worshiping Him in her palace .
The next morning Swami Ramanuja informed the king that his daughter was having the deity of Sri Ramapriyar.The king was surprised to hear this. He said,” Oh! Is the Idol my daughter dotes on is your Ramapriyar? She is very fond of the idol and I do not think she would agree to part with it.
She does every thing with so much love to him .
But I am sure that she would vehemently oppose to part with it. But being a King , I do not want to go back on my words also. I’ll take you to the entrance of her room.
You call out your LORDs name and if he comes to you on His own then you can take Him.” They went to the Badsha’s daughter’s palace and the Badsha told his daughter about Swami Ramanuja’s wish. The princess was quite upset to hear it.
Swami closed his eyes and prayed, “My beloved Lord! All along you only showed me the place where you were staying and brought me this far. I came here to take you to the place where you belong. You have to come back to your place to give darshan to your devotees !
Kindly grace me with this dictum given by the King . Now , Swami Ramanuja with folded hands and bent head lovingly calls , “Oh! My Lord! My Chella piLLaay! Please come and sit on my lap!”
And Lo! to everybody’s surprise ,
The most spectacular scene was witnessed by people who were there………..
Lord got down from the Prince’s decorated bed and walked slowly while his anklets made sweet sound and his crown dazzled. He sat on Swami Ramanuja’s lap and with tears , Swami Ramanuja embraced and fondled the LORD as a father would dote on his child.
Filled with emotion he called him, “You are my Chella Pillai! You are my treasure (Sampath)”…..
The Delhi Badsha was spell bound to see the scene. He cried, “Achcha! Achcha! You are really the great guru! Even the Lord loves you and I can understand He came and sat on your lap when you called Him! It shows your greatness! Now who am I to stop you to take Him to His abode?”.
The King with great respect gave presents to the Lord and Sri Ramanuja . The King provided a palanquin to the Lord.
Swamy Ramanuja was very happy and started his return journey.
With the sudden developments , happening around the Kings daughter started crying and pleaded with him to go along with her lover Sriramapriyar . No amount of cajoling explaining that their religion is quite different and people would call her mad with her behaviour does appeal her . The princess remarks that she would die if she parted with her lover Ramapriyar. The King with no other option left makes arrangements to send her with escorts. Enroute , some robbers surround Swami Ramanuja and others and attempt to rob the gifts given by the King . But ,the local harijans give them a tough fight and send them away and escort Swami Ramanuja upto to Melkote. Swamy Ramanuja out of love to their devotion to LORD christened them as ‘Thirukulathar’ .
They were allowed inside the temple to have darisanam of Lord . The kings daughter in pangs of separation , enters the temple and merges with the Lord, like Andal and ThirupaNazwar.
Swami Ramanuja is stunned and impressed with her devotion he makes arrangement for an idol of the princess and installed it in the temple and she is affectionately called Bibi Nachiyar.
Religion and caste is no bar for a true devotee. The Lord accepts a true devotee without any inhibition. There is a separate sannadi for Bibi Nachiar in the Srirangam temple also.
Lord Ramapriyar loved Swami Ramanuja, his true devotee and revealed the places where he was staying. When Swamy Ramanuja called out to HIM , He came dancing and sat on his lap. He did not discard Bibi Nachiyar who also loved him dearly and followed as per his devotees choice .
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SwamyRamanujar ThiruvadikaLe SaraNam!
Sri Selva Pillai ThiruvadikaLe SaraNam!
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Picture Credits : Google images