SWAMY RAMANUJAR’S MERCY ON A POOR DISCIPLE “COUPLE”


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Jagathacharyar Swami Ramanuja was explaining to his disciples about the glory of Tirumala . All of a sudden he remembered his dear disciple Ananthazhwan  and  felt like seeing him  who was at Tirumala and have darshinam of Lord  Venkatateshwara.

 

Ananthazvan  obediently followed Acharyars instructions  and was successful in laying a garden with all kinds of beautiful and pleasant  fragrant  flowers which  he offered  as soon as it started blooming  to ensure the fragrance remains with LORD  daily .

 

He also  dug  a small pond for gardening the plants  .Swami Ramanuja was very glad to know  about  his disciple  Ananthazvan dedication in serving the LORDSHIPS .

000099Swamy Ramanuja   proceeded his journey towards  Tirumala with  few  of his disciples from Srirangam  . In those days Tirumalai was very  hard to reach and there was dense forest on the way. The climate was also not suitable as it was too cold on the hill.  Two of his  disciples were staying  near to Tirupathy .

 

He sent word through two of his disciples to one Yaghyesar who was a rich man to make arrangements for his stay. Yaghyesar was thrilled to hear the news and started making elaborate arrangements, but failed to look after the disciples who  had come all the way  who gave him the message.

 

 They were  not given proper attention .When  Swamy Ramanuja came to know  about this he felt sad and decided to  avoid going to his  house .Instead he preferred to visit  his other disciple Varadachari. Varadachari  was a poor man and  was living with daily  biksha as per gruhasta ashrama  .

 

His wife Lakshmi was at home when Swami Ramanuja  along with his disciples went to their  house.  Varadacharis wife was  very happy to  have darisanam of their  Acharayar and  disciples. She  requested them to have food at her house, but told them to take rest at the nearby temple  tank  garden  until she finished cooking.

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Sadly  she had no groceries to cook for the guests  and she was in a predicament.  She prayed LORD for HIS mercy .  As time was also moving fast , and her husband did not return  an idea struck her.  In the same village there was a merchant who  used to  show  interest in her and wanted to have relationship with her .

 

All along Lakshmi being a chaste woman, never yielded to his advances. As a difficult situation arose ,  she thought that she could  submit to  the merchant’s  advances and get money to buy things for  her Acharyar and the bhagavathas. After all it was a wonderful occassion to serve Acharyar who has come directly to their small hut .She prayed Acharyar from her heart and seeked his mercy to help her

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She went to the merchant’s  shop and pleaded  him  to give her groceries for serving their Acharyar and the bhagavathas and was willing to submit to his advances in exchange .

The merchant, though surprised to hear this, sent all  the groceries that she wanted. Lakshmi went home and cooked food and after offering it to Lord, she served  Acharyar  and the bhagavathas . 

 

 It was  suprising for  her  husband Varadachari to suddenly see the bhagavathas and  his Acharyar right in their small hut  .  He offered repeated obeisances to Acharyar .He thanked all  of them for being so merciful.He  silently praised his wife for the wonderful satsangh and ThadiAaradhanai she was carrying in no time  .

 

 Yet , he was confused how Lakshmee could manage the Prasadam to so many bhagavathas  as he knew they had no stock in their home . He took her aside and asked her how she was able to manage .

 

Lakshmee with tears told him all that had happened and expressed helplessness in taking that decision . Varadachari  was as cool as as a cucumber . He praised her for her  timely decision and submitted to the will of Acharyar .

llkk   He took her hand and went in front of Acharyar and both prostrated to Swami Ramanuja .  With tears rolling both the disciples expressed whatever had happened  .

 

Swamy Ramanuja was wonderstruck to hear this. He  advised  them to have their  prasad  and take the remaining food to the merchant’s house.Varadachari and Lakshmi went to the merchant’s house together carrying  Swamy Ramanuja’s sreepada tirtham (holy water) and the  prasad that was honoured by Swamy Ramanuja . Varadachari  requested  the merchant  to accept the  prasad and the holy theertham ( Charanamruth) ..

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After  honouring the prasadam that was leftovers from the Acharyar , the merchant behaviour  changed . The merchant was overcome by feelings of disgust with himself.

 

He walked around the couple and prostrated on the ground in front of them, saying —  “you are like my parents —

please forgive my ignorance and stupidity and take me to your guru so that I may take refuge in him”…..

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They all went back to their house and Swami Ramanuja’s grace made all three of them to progress further in the spiritual bliss .

vv22 Swamy Ramanuja accepted the merchant as his disciple. The merchant had offered all his wealth to   Swamy Ramanuja and  Swamy  in turn  offered it to  his disciple Varadachari. But ,  Varadachari refused to accept it saying that his guru kataksham was his most cherished wealth.

 

Thus  Swamy Ramanuja proved that guruvaruL would create miracles!

The merchant  wept with joy saying —

“you are not a human woman but a goddess you have sacrificed everything, you wanted to sacrifice  your honour too .

 He immediately told  Swamy Ramanuja who was overwhelmed by their devotion to him and blessed them again and again. 

All glories to our JagataAcharyar

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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Photos and videos  : Courtesy Google and SVBC channel

Glory to Ananthazhvan who is the father-in-law of Lord Srinivasa


 

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As per the order of JagathAcharyar Swamy Ramanuja  Anathazhwan served LORD VENKATESHWARA at Tirumala hills . He maintained a garden and was offering fragrant flowers to LORD .The garden  was planted with vakula , patala , punnaga , shenbaga and other flower bearing fragrant trees , the bunches of flowers hanging from the branches , entertaining the ears of pilgrims with strains of music poured forth by bees and all kinds of plumaged birds ,  humming bees , cuckoos and the chirping of birds made the garden a  perfect place for divinity .

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Nammazwar’s hymns referring to the Lord as residing in flower bedecked  ThiruVenkata Hills( Sindhupoo maghizhum Thiruvengadam) was   aptly reverberating .

One day , on routine checks Azhwan  became upset .He found that the  garden had been defiled.

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The flower plants were somehow looking  tramped  by a foreigner . The fruits were plucked and strewn hither and thither. He guessed someone had visited the garden and were running around  freely .  Nobody around could tell him how this had happened. The gate man was clueless. Ananthazhvan  with his disciples kept  a watch for intruders. It was the  beautiful  Spring season ( Vasantha ruthuvu).

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Ananthazhvan was hiding underneath a bush. At dead end of the night, he could see a  divine princely couple with wonderful ornaments moving  inside  the garden. For a moment he was overjoyed with the divinity in their  appearance , however   he was also overtaken by  their play that caused withering of the plants and the fragrant flowers .

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He decided to catch them and hence made attempt by slowly following  the couple. He was surprised to see both of them smiling and allowing themselves to be under his control . Azhwan decided to tie them to a tree and wait for the next day to arrive for handing over them to the security .

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However the charming prince who was very handsome  escaped from Anathazhwan’s clutches. The princess  however could not escape as she was  moved  by  our Azhwans pure  bhakthi.  Azhwan  out of sheer love to LORD   questioned the divine lady   underneath a Champaka tree .

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Why were you two  inside this  garden that was exclusively being maintained for serving LORD VENKATESHWARA .  How can one commit such offence of  meddling with the  garden flowers that were being grown only for the service of LORD . Azhwan asked about their living and what way they were connected to the Holy hills not knowing she was JAGANMATHA herself .

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The divine  lady answered,  Swamin “I am like your daughter. I did no wrong.  I  and my husband  who just left me out of your fear ( smilingly )  are the rulers of these Hills. My Lord wanders all  over the Hills as he pleases. He must have entered your  garden and enjoyed the beauty  and was moved with the bhakthi of yours to LORD . I am not responsible for  whatever  has happened. Please allow me to leave .  Being proficient in   sastras you must accept as a wife I cannot mention the name of my Lord  ….Please leave me free. Azhvan  out of  respect and moved by the divine lady’s words  replies .. Amma … You look like Mahalakshmi. Verily, you are like  a daughter to me.   Your husband is sure to come searching for you. Let him  come in the morning. I will take a ransom from him and then release you. Till  then,  I am sorry  you will have to be under this Champaka  tree ,”  and our Ananthazhvan was holding vigil  the whole night to meet the Supreme LORD …..little did he realize that LORD was enacting a divine leela to be cherished by all of us .

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The next morning the Archakas opened  the temple gate and went into the sanctum sanctorum for the morning rituals. They were surprised   to note that the golden locket covering Alarmelmangai on the chest of the Lord was missing. The temple officials of the temple grew suspicious.

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At this point of time,  an aasurees  voice was heard by one of the Archakas  pointing out that none of  them  are  guilty   and that when the Lord and  Alarmelmanga were strolling  in the Swamy Ramanuja garden  maintained by  the devotee Ananthzhvan,  out of abundant mercy Goddess Mahalakshmee  has submitted  to Azhwan .  She was under the Champaka tree under the watchful eye of Azhvan. The Lord commanded the  Archakas of the temple to go to the garden and  honor  the azhvan  and with respects invite Azhwan to the temple.

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Promptly, the  Archakas went to the garden  with the temple honours and were bewildered to see Alarmelmanga who was in the disguise of princess and Azhwan under the Champaka tree. In the Dvaparayuga, the Lord was tied to the mortar by Yasoda. The same way, in this Kaliyuga, Alarmelmanga was tieddown to the Champaka tree  by Anathazhwan.

moonThey conveyed to him the Lord’s command. Ananthazhvan with full remorse  begged pardon and was  crest-fallen that he has done  bhagavath apachara. With all humility he seeked forgivance for the unexpected error . He immediately  released Alarmelmanga and prostrated  before her  repeatedly praying for forgiveness. 

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Alarmelmanga  smilingly advised that  Anathazhwan that he should consider her as his daughter as agreed . Immediately, she transformed herself into a  princess . Anathazhwan finishing his morning oblations took his   daughter with flowers and garlands in procession to the temple. He bowed before the Lord  repeatedly and humbly praying for  his mercy said LORD please forgive me for the foolish act .

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Here Adiyen has come with the Jaganmatha .Please forgive me and accept heras she was so kind to bless me in being her father . The  divine princess  immediately transformed herself and adorned the chest of Lord Srinivasa.

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This was the origin of the tradition considering Alarmelmanga as the daughter of Anathazhwan and the Lord of the Seven Hills as Anathazhwan’s son in-law. In the Tamil month of Purattasi, during the Rathotsavam, on the eigth day of  Srivari Brahmotsava, it is customary even today to adorn the Lord with Pitamabara and silken cloth as Sambhavana of Anathazhwan,the father-in-law.  There is a benediction to Anathazhwan…

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Malaiyil vengadavarkku mamanar valiye

Alarmelmangai tiruvukku appanar valiye

(Glory to Ananthazhvan who is the father-in-law of Lord Srinivasa!

 Glory to Ananthazhvan who is the  father of Alarmenmangai!)

 Swamy Ananthalwan joined eternity with  Lord  Venkateshwara on the sacred Thiru Adi Pooram day ( July- August) .

Even today , Lord Venkateswara visits this  garden and bestows honours on the Magizha Tree.  

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The satari at the main sanctum sanctorum is glorified as  Sadagopa in remembrance of Nammazhwar.

The  Satari  in the Swamy Ramanuja shrine is  glorified as Ananthalwan.

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The Vaishnava community always held religious beliefs as filling too vital a function in sustaining individual morality and morale and social order and control.

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan