LORD VENKATESHWARA BECOMES DISCIPLE OF SWAMY ANATHAZHWAN

It may be mentioned here that TIRUMALAi is Kaliyuga Vaikuntam and Sri Vaikuntanathan has manifested Himself as Lord Srinivasar.

The sacred TIRUMALA Hills consisting of seven peaks is considered to be seven-hooded. Blessed are the devotees who are fortunate to have his darshan .

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There are countless devotees who have served the LORD since ages .

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One such great devotee was Swamy Ananthazhwan an ardent disciple of Swamy Ramanuja . As per Swamy Ramanuja’s directives he served the LORD few hundred years ago .

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There are several pastimes of Swamy Anathazhwan with Lord Srinivasa . One divine pastime is memorable as Lord himself accepts to become Swamy Anathazhwans disciple .

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Knowing about the initiatives taken by Swamy Anathazhwan in organising the temple rituals with religious fervor few devotees decided to trek the hills and have darshanam of Lord and seek the blessings of his dear devotee too . The  Srivaishnavites were walking from Srirangam and it was a very long journey .

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While  ascending the Hills, coming fromthey were feeling tired and had to take some rest . Completely exhausted  they were perplexed how could they complete their pilgrimage. All of a sudden a young lad  appeared before them .

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The boy was appearing with divine tejas . With  srivaishna Urdhva pundram he was almost looking like vamana avatara  brahmachari .

 He offered his humble obeisances   and  said .Oh swamins ! Adiyen has brought some temple prasada for all of you .

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Kindly honor the same and please feel comfortable .

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The srivaishnavites  being orthodox  were  initially impressed with the divine boy .However one Elder person among the group  wanted him to introduce his  lineage and his Acharyar whom he was initiated .  

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The divine lad  he was , smiled at  the simple question .

 He proudly replied that his name was Madhurakavidasa and his Acharyar was Swamy Anathazhwan who is serving Lord in all ways .

It was his Acharyars instructions , he had walked down the sacred hills to handover the prasada  coming to know about their visit .

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He further expressed that the Prasada was coming directly from the temple which was handed over to him by Swamy Anathazhwan  to  be given to them .

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A bit surprised  , the elders said ..

Oh swamin  

Its nice to know about your association to Swamy Anathazhwan . But we wish to hear from you about his glories .

Can we hear your swamys Thanian ? as this a custom for the srivaishnavas to recite their Acharyars glories in the form of Thanians .

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The divine boy majestically recited the thanian about Swamy Anathazhwan  in the seven hills which vibrated 

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Akhilatmagunavasam ajnanatimirpaham

Asritanam susaranam vande Anantharyadesikam”

 

(I bow to Acharya Ananthazhvan, who is the repository of knowledge, mercy and wisdom, the one  Acharyar  who removes ignorance and is eminently  eligible for surrender by disciples)

 

 They liked the divine lads confident answer . However the Srivaishnavas then questioned the  youngster how his taniyan made no reference to Ananthazhvan’s  relation  to  Swamy Ramanuja.

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The divine boy smiled and  replied Swamins ! Actually there are  two Thaniyans in praise of  adiyens Acharyar Swamy Ananthazhvan, one referring to the glory of his  divine  personality and another referring  to his connection with  Swamy Ramanuja.

 And please listen to the second verse of the Thanian  

 

‘Srimath Ramanujacharya Sripadamboruhadvayam 

 Sathutha manga sandaryam Anantharyamaham Bhaje..

 

( I prostrate before  adiyens Acharyar  Swamy Ananthalvan who is the lotus feet of Swamy  Ramanuja and who is worshipped by Srivaishnavas all  over the earth )

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The Srivaishnavas were convinced that the  divine boy  was a true disciple of Swamy Ananthalvan  . They honoured the prasada  with relish .

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The  divine boy took leave of them and   ascended   the Hills welcoming them to join him . Slowly, the Srivaishnavas ascended the Hills and walked into Swamy Anathazhwans ashram . 

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Swamy Anathazhwan was overjoyed to recive the guests from Srirangam . They offered their obeisances and thanked him for the kind courtesy in sending the maha prasada down to the Hills They appreciated the young boy for his kindness and hospitality .

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They praised the boys intellect and kindness  and expressed  their gratefulness  to   Swamy Ananthazhvan for having sent prasada through one of his bright young disciples.

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Swamy Ananthalvan was bewildered.  Amazed to note the divine  leela , he  was in total dark .  He realised that it was his LORD who took the pains to walk down with the mahaprasada to his devotees . With tears , he wished to know about the divine lad .The Srivaishnavas explained  about the divine glow the boy exhibited . His majestic recitation of the Thanians was memorable  ..

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The boy was so down to earth serving the prasada They  informed that the boy introduced himself as Madhurakavidasa  and had recited two slokas in his praise and  as they were  just trekking behind him up to the hills safely . They said that the boy went inside the temple citing some pending works.

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Swamy Anathazhwan pleaded them to recite the verses the boy had sung ..

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They recited the two verses before  Swamy Ananthazhvan.The entire assembly was wonder struck. Swamy Anathazhwan was in tears  .

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They realised that the Lord had declared himself as Ananthalvan’s disciple and  had chosen the name Madhurakavidasa .

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Even though there were so many other Acharyas  the second verse showed that it was Ananthazhvan who could be fittingly considered equal to the Lotus feet of Swamy Ramanuja.

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Since then  the paduka (sathari) at the shrine of  Swamy Ramanuja sanctorium  up the Hills came to be known  as Ananthazhvan since then the two verses became famous as the Thaniyans in praise of Swamy  Ananthazhvan….

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ananthazhwan-thirumalai

jai jai

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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Pics : Credit Google pics,

videos credits  : SVBC channel and other social media

 

THE WRESTLER AND THE MOST BEAUTIFUL EYES

 Pillai Uranga Villidasan was a powerful wrestler. Not just any ordinary wrestler but one of very high standing. Almost all the wrestlers in the Chola Kingdom used to pay him a ‘protection fee’.

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A Famous Wrestler was majestic in his looks and a terror to his rivals naturally There was a beautiful lady in the village Ponnachi. (Pon in Tamil means gold.) Every one who saw her swore that she richly deserved her name.
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Her complexion, came closest to the yellow metal. Her dance-like walk, her height and her dimpled cheeks made her the much-acclaimed beauty in her village. But the most prominent feature of her face was her eyes , very large, round and from which you cannot take your eyes off.

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Ponnachi’s beauty was at least as well known as Villi’dasan s prowess. Villidasan was a very good man and had never abused his strength or position. And yes, he was the most eligible, most sought after bachelor in his town. As it would happen in love stories, he heard of Ponnachi’s beauty and set out to see her, more out of curiousity than anything else.

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Once he saw her eyes, he could not think of anything else. As if possessed he sought her hand in marriage, something which Ponnachi was only too eager to give. Villidasan was virtually consumed by his love for the damsel.

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He  was  just thinking of nothing else other than his lady love. Villidasan and Ponnachi got married on an auspicious day. Their married life was most blissful  in karmic world , which never ended. They had been married for years.

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Still to Villidasan Ponnachi was the most beautiful woman in the world with the most beautiful eyes.


It was spring time. Festival time at Capital town of Srivaishnavisim , Srirangam. ( Vasanthotsavam).

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Ponnachi wanted to see the festival. To Villidasan her slightest whim was a Royal Command.

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He made elaborate arrangements to ensure a comfortable travel for Ponnachi. She was borne in a palanquin till the main street of Srirangam where she had to get down and walk. Ponnachi got down from the palanquin.

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Villidasan who was standing nearby was stunned by her beauty. She was dressed up in an exquisite silk saree. What captivated his attention even after years of marriage was her eyes.

Villidasan could not take his eyes away from hers.

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As she started to walk towards the temple, Villidasan did the unthinkable. He was walking backwards facing her, unable to see anything else but her large eyes.

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Those who saw this amusing sight giggled. Some even laughed out aloud. Villidasan gave a damn to what others thought.  Ponnachi was half consumed by shyness and half by pride. She too loved her husband so much that she did not have the mind to object to his act, though she knew that it made people laugh behind their backs.

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This strange procession – Ponnachi walking forward, Villidasan walking backwards, and the palanquin bearers and the retinue following Ponnachi – was nearing the temple gate. On the other side of the street, a very great saint was walking away from the temple followed by 1000 of his disciples.

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The name of the great saint was Swamy Ramanujacharya.

Swamy Ramanujacharya was amused by the strange sight – Ponnachi walking towards the temple followed by her retinue and Villidasan walking backwards unable to take off his eyes from those of his beautiful wife! The great saint was moved on seeing this wonderful sight.

He inquired about the couple and then sent word to Villidasan asking him to come and meet him in his Ashram alone.

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Swamy Ramanuja had decided to do something about that. Now why should Swamy Ramanuja do something about Villi’dasans love? As a spiritual Master of people he instinctively knew that Villi’s love was quite unique.

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If only Swamy  Ramanujacharya could make people love something as intensely as Villidasan did, yes, he would have made a difference in their lives.At the same time if he showed Villi’s love as an example to be followed,then ignorant people might mistakenly think that they also should love Ponnachi. In other words at the present level Villidasan’s love is not a copyable, replicable model.

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So Swamy Ramanuja wanted to first shift Villi’dasans love to something else and then make people understand the greatness of love.


And in order to make so many people understand the meaning of love, there is no harm in shifting one person’s object of love.

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So Villidasan was excited .He came running to see Acharya  in his Ashram as soon as he got his call.It was late in the night. The Srirangam temple would be closed for the day in another half an hour. Swamy  Ramanuja wanted to accomplish his mission within that time.

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He asked Villidasan in a sarcastic tone,“Aren’t you  shy  , Villidasan !  to be seeing your wife’s eyes, when Lord’s festival is on?” Villidasans ’s reply was a correct blend of humility and the force of truth.

Acharya … But ……“Is there anything more beautiful than my wife’s eyes?”  Swamy Ramanujacharya was waiting for this question.

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“What …..will you do if I show something more beautiful than that?”

Now Villi knew for sure that there was nothing like that and so his words came with confidence.

Then …… “Then I will fall in love with those eyes.

Ponnachi and I will be your slaves for the rest of our lives.”

Deal. Come with me.

Swamy Ramanujar took Villidasan to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.

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The Lord of Love,  Sri Ranganathar, Thiruvarangan, was sleeping in his comfortable snake-bed .

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Then the great Acharya  took hold of Villidasan’s hands. The Acharya’s touch sent waves of electric shock in his body. Swamy  Ramanujar closed his eyes and prayed to the Lord.

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“Oh, Lord, here’s is an example of perfect love. And the whole world is steeped in misery unaware of this kind of love.

I want the people to know that there is something like this love and that every one of us is capable of it. For that you need to give these two people to me.

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“I know that these two people are as precious to you as your Devis and are holier than the holiest scriptures ever written on you.

I promise you my Lord, I’ll give them the reverence they deserve.

Now please, LORD Ranganatha show the beauty of your eyes to this man of love.”

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A selfless prayer!

Two loving souls standing before Him! 

Lord Ranganathar was helpless!

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He had to grant the Acharya’s wish. And the great Lord, whose eyes are not to be seen even by the highest of Devas and the wisest of Rishis, whose Feet cannot even be touched by Vedas and all the knowledge in the world, opened his most beautiful eyes for Villidasan to see.

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Villidasan was awe-struck; no he was love-struck. The sight lasted for a fraction of a second.

Villidasan instantly fell in love with those large, beautiful eyes, for which nothing in the world is even a pale comparison. Villi prostrated at Sri Ramanujar’s feet proclaiming his slavery to the saint. 

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Swamy Ramanuja lifted him as a loving father would lift his loving son.

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 Swamy Ramanujar’s eyes were so full with tears, his heart so full with love that for a few seconds he could not talk.

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Villidasan continued to be in a state of ecstasy. If God decides to show His eyes even for a nanosecond, the effect will last for centuries, extending into millions of life –times, for ever, for eternity and even thereafter. When he went back to Ponnachi that night and told about his experience, she was also transformed.

She did not whine that her husband had found out another object of love.

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She was ecstatic because she was the loving wife of a man to whom even the Great God had shown His eyes. The next morning Pillai Uranga Villidasan gives awayall his possessions, erects a small hut near Swamy Ramanuja’s Ashram and starts living there along with Ponnachi serving Swamy Ramanuja the entire life ….

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 .Let us seek our Acharyar to bestow devotion to Lord always ..

Another divine pastime is appended in the below link ..

https://kazhiyurvaradanblog.in/2015/05/14/caste-verses-virtue-swamy-ramanujas-lesson-to-disciples/

Sri.Pillai Uranga Villidasar thiruvadigale sharanam.
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pictures   :  Courtesy Google Images shared by several devotees

Thanks to  Shri  V. Rengasamy  for the inspiration given from the book Oh My God ..