Yagnyamurthy’ was a great scholar who lived near a place called “Vinjimoor” near to Tirumala hills. The scholar he was , highly successful in tarkha vaadam which forced the opponent to accepts defeat in an argument and accept the philosophy of the winner at once.
He had many victories during his encounters amongst learned men . As days progressed, his victories grew by leaps and bounds. Overjoyed , the great scholar decides to proceed to different parts of the country to win over his contemporaries and propagate Advaitam . Thus he moves towards Kasi and on the banks of river Ganges defeats many vidwAns in argument and as per the agreement converts them into advaitans .For his authorative knowledge he was almost being worshipped as one of Advaitin icon.
There were few devotees who somehow wished the learned scholar is corrected soon . They were just praying the Lord to correct the scholar who was a genius in tarka vadham .
Days passed and the count of his followers were increasing . Lord had a divine plan for uplifting this great scholar . It so happened few devotees from Srirangam and Kanchi had come for a pilgrimage to North .
They were glorifying Swamy Ramanuja’s commendable knowledge on shastras and his devotion to Lord propagating Vishishtadvaita . Yagyamurthy’s came to know about Swamy Ramanuja’s greatness through his disciples .Puffed with ego he decided to leave to South to confront on the scholars living there .Enroute , he was imagining the great knowledge he possessed which could nullify even the intellectuals .
After reaching Kancheepuram he invited Swamy Ramanuja for a debate on sasthras and Vedanta . Swamy Ramanuja with a smile told him , Swamy ! Adiyen accepts you are a genius and have no questions for raising a debate to avoid any unpleasant confrontations.
Yaghnamurthi was pleased at Swamy Ramanuja’s reply but took the opportunity to declare in that case you accept my philosophy instead of propagating Vishishtadvaita .
Swamy Ramanuja replied .. your philosophy kept people in a confused state. Hence , adiyen can neither accept it nor follow it. The scholar , took this as a nice opportunity to bow down Ramanuja and overtake him by forcing him for a debate.And it was destined that the debate was to happen . Swamy Ramanuja accepted for the same .
Finally the big debate was about to begin with the authoritative scholars of the era . Advaitam …Visishistadvaitam…at the famous divyadesam Pandavathootha perumal temple at Kancheepuram.
As usual, the rules of the debate were laid clearly before it began . The one who looses shall accept the others faith . The debate started and both the great philosophers put their revered points before . Attacks, counter attacks ensued from both the sides . At some point it looked that the battle would never end. The debate entered the seventeenth day .
The scholar challenged Swami Ramanuja on a key point for which Swami could not retaliate immediately. The day’s battle was regarded as “Over” and was set to continue the next morning .
Swami Ramanuja went back to his Ashrama and offered humble prayers to his “Aaradhana Perumal –Varadarajan” (AruLaLa perumal) .
Putting his request before the Lord he said Oh Lord ! The great Vishitadvaita sampradhayam nurtured and propelled by the revered Acharyas and Azhwars would have to come to an end for the only reason that an ignorant person like me is countering this vedantin .
It will be a disgrace to the entire followers of our sampradaya for a defeat . He was confident that Lord “PerAruLaLan” would always come to his rescue as done throughout his life .
And sure HE did. The same night, AruLaLa perumal came in Swami Ramanujar’s dream and pointed out some of the arguments he could use for winning over Yagyamurthy.
Specifically, HE suggested to take excerpts from “Maayavaandha Kandanam” chapter from Swami Alavandar’s Sidhithrayam. He told Ramanuja not to lose heart and instead said he was going to give him a nice disciple which was HIS plan only .
It was the final day .Almost 17 days of debate was about to end . Swami Ramanujar offered his prayers and cheerfully marched towards the debate hall .He was looking with divine tejas Swamy’s face looked like a freshly bloomed lotus. The scholar was shocked to see Swamy Ramanujar divine tejas . There was a divine aura around him that could neutralise the surroundings .He repeatedly kept watching Swamy’s Tejas . He just did not have any words .. He felt that Swamy Ramanuja was no ordinary human being .He knew he has possessed divine qualities and great wisdom.
He felt belittle and ashamed to think that he was a scholar and that false ego which puffed over his wisdom all these days which he did not realize . The debate was about to start .
Even before Ramanuja could put his points of contention , the scholar prostrated before the great Acharyar saying the debate is closed . He pleaded Swamy ! Adiyen am left with no words . Please forgive me for the foolishness to enter into this debate with an advanced seer and how foolish I was to argue on issues which are unworthy .
Swamy Ramanuja was surprised with his behaviour .He asked him with love , Oh Seer what was so sudden that made you submit ? Yaghnamurthi humbly replied , Swamin I was a fool blinded with ego thinking that I was the most learned man in the world . But looking at your simplicity ,humility and abundant wisdom my ego has been shattered .Swamin !! Please accept my obeisance’s and Kindly accept me as your disciple .Please enlighten me with wisdom .
Just one day back the scene was totally different Swamy Ramanuja felt that the sea-change in Yaghyamurthi’s behaviour was due to the benevolence of Lord PeraruLaLa PerumaL only. He accepted Yaghyamurthi as his disciple . He rechristened him as “ AruLaLaperumanar Emberumanar .” thanking Lord for his grace on him . Yaghyamurthi was now called by the name AruLaLaperumanar . He settled in a mutt near to Swamy Ramanuja’s ashrama and serving his Acharya with utmost devotion .
He became a Tridandee sanyasi from Ekadandi sanyasi . Swamy Ramanuja used to direct few srivaishnavas as his disciples. When Ananthazwhan seeked the lotus feet of Swamy Ramanujar for the first time, they were directed to surrender to Swami Arulala Perumal Emberumanar and seek refuge under him. Swami Arulala Perumal Emberumanar was taken back and he could not deny too since it was his Acharyan’s order again. He politely told them that even though you all surrender to me, there will be only one acharyan to you and me and to the whole world.
He is our Jagath Acharyar Swami Ramanujar.
He will take care of you just like he takes care of me”.
Ramanujar also established a separate mutt for Arulala Perumal Emberumanar. Once few strangers had come to have darshan of Swamy Ramanuja at his mutt Since they were new to the place, they asked one of the locals “Where is Emberumanar’s mutt?”.
The local person politely replied ,Swamin please let me know “which Emberumanar mutt are you talking about?
Is it our Swami Ramanujar who is also called as Emberumanar, Ethirajar,Udayavar, Godhagrajan
Swami “Arulala Perumal Emberumanar’s mutt”?
While this conversation was going along, Swami Arulala Perumal Emberumanar accidentally happened to listen . He was shocked with the local’s reply . He wept terribly hearing that his mutt had caused confusion in the minds of people to an extent that they started believing that there is another Swamy who can be compared to his own Acharyar . Swami Arulala Perumal Emberumanar was very upset . He immediately went ahead and pulled down his mutt then and there .
He took the strangers along with him to Acharyar and seeked his blessings to serve them .He decided to serve Swamy Ramanujar in his mutt itself from then on . In Srivaishnava parlance, when we say “Swami”, it can refer to only one person. He is none other than Swami Ramaujar himself. Just like when we say “kovil” it refers to Srirangam, when we say “Swami”, it is our Ramanujar only.