Lord Sri Venkateshwara’ awakes with Annamayya’s melukolupu, and follows the day’s rituals, ends with the great saint poetess Vengamamba’s Mutyala Harathi
Mutyala Harathi’, is the last ritual performed during ‘Ekantha Seva’ to Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala .
This seva is symbolic gesture of the Lord’s love for His devotees.
The ritual was started by saint-poetess Tarigonda Vengamamba and for almost the last three centuries is being performed on par with ‘Lalipata’, ( Lullaby) introduced by another great devotee Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya.
Performing both the rituals during ‘Ekantha Seva’ to the Lord is remembering these great devotees who had surrendered to Lord . The speciality of Ekantha seva is glorified as…..
‘Tallapaka vari Lali, Tarigondavari Harathi’ among the devotees.
The song goes like this ….
JAYA MANGALAM NITYA SHUBA MANGALAM..
JAYA MANGALAM ..NITYA SHUBHA MANGALAM……..
also called as Jaya Mangala Geetam .
The meaning of one verse of the song in English goes like this ..
To HIM who dwells on the Top of the Pannagadri Hills
To HIM who dispels the darkness of sin…
To that LORD and to our dear Alamelu Mangamma ( the goddess) who is ever present with HIM
To the LORD par excellence who grants boons to all those who seek refuge in HIM to Alamelu Mangamma who constantly reminds HIM to bless the devotees
The song has around 12 verses glorifying our Lordships to bestow his grace on devotees
Along with this mangala haarathi , the lullaby song composed by another great devotee Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya is sung which is relished by the LORD before he goes into Yoga Nidra ..
The great devotee Tarigonda Vengamamba appeared at a place near chittoor around the year 1750 and was serving Lord Tarigonda Narasimha Swamy .
Their parents admired her faith in Lord but had their own doubts about her future.Days rolled to months and months added to years. The parents had mixed feelings of joy and fear in such situations as her devotion was going in leaps and bounds .
Due to divine will Vengamamba became a child-widow. But with her strong upbringing and spiritual outlook , she considered Lord Venkateswara as her husband and refused to part with the customary beliefs of a married woman (Punya stree ).
With the blessings of Lord Narasimha of Tarigonda , she ascends the Tirumala Hills and starts serving the Lordships with utmost devotion .
She stabilised her stay at Tirumala and continued with her divine service to Lord in solitude in the evenings . As per temple legend, on the divine instructions of Goddess Padamavathi Devi, the then In-charge of Hathiramji Mutt, Mahant Sri Atmaramdasji offered a small thatched hut in the present Rambhageecha gardens to Vengamamba.
The Saint Poetess used to perform penance under a tamarind tree present opposite her hut.
During every Nrisimha Jayanthi (which usually falls in the month of May) she used to serve mahaprasad to scores of pilgrims who visited Tirumala during this period in the premises of her residence for ten days.
Seeing her charitable activity some devotees donated her “Dana Patras” (donations) between 1785 AD to 1812 AD with which she carried out her Annaprasada Vitarana till her last breath. Since then she became popular with the title “Matrusri” since she took care of the visiting pilgrims as a mother.
When she entered Tirumala she initially stayed at Gogarbha Teertham and meditated on Lord .
But as flow of people disturbed her spiritual practices , she shifted to Tumbura Teertham and continued her austerity. With constant attention on her devotional practices she moved to Tirumala.
She used to collect flowers and make them as a garland and present it to Lord venkateswara every day .
One day as she offered Tulasimala to the deity she was criticized for her offerings by the main priest there (as a widow is not allowed to worship the temple deity those days).
The Priest removes the garland away. But Vengamamba could have darshan of Lord appearing wearing her tulasimala .
With all humility she starts composing poems and literary essays on Lords divine leela .
Moved by her devotion, it is told that Lord allowed her to enter the temple after temple hours to listen to her poems and songs.
Vengamamba used to recite poems in presence of the LORD and offered ‘harati’ to the Lord each night along with pearls as a mark of devotion .
Observing the pearls in the sanctum sanctorum over a period of time, the temple priests were agitated . They politely informed that Vengamamba must not be allowed to enter the temple .
She was under exile in a cave at Tumburakona near Tirumala .
The legend reveals that LORD out of his love to his devotee created a secret pathway from the cave to the temple which was used by Vengamamba to continue her devotional service in private .
The practice of night harati continued for 6 years.
Eventually, the priests realized their folly and recognized Vengamamba’s devotion and dedication, and pleaded her to return and allowed to participate in Ekanta seva .
However , the divine services to LORD was generally offered by Mahants and Priests inside the temple . All of them felt that though she was a great devotee , a widow who was excommunicated by her community who doesn’t follow tenants of customs must not be allowed to continue such divine service along with them which is a serious offense .
They told her sternly about their unhappiness and polluting the temple .
Vengamamba accepted their decision and continued to serve the LORDSHIPS at her house located in the Mada streets beside Sri Tallapaka Annamacharyas descendant’s house .
The next day happened to be the day of the car festival .
In all the splendor and glory the temple car with the LORDSHIPS moved .
However as soon as it reached Vengamambas house it stopped suddenly and any effort to pull the cart was becoming difficult . It was getting delayed .
The Chief Priest understood the main motive of the Lord to ignore their plea . All of them rushed into Vengamambas house and begged repentance for their offence . They requested her to pray LORD for HIS approval .
Vengamamba rushed out with tears and all humility offered camphor harathi with devotion .
The temple car started moving slowly from then .
This camphor offering which was started by Vengamamba has come to be known as Tarigondavari Haarati OR Mutyaala Harathi which is continued even today .
A silver idol of Tarigonda Nrusimha Swami , fixed in a plate made out of an alloy of five metals is decorated with one of the ten incarnations of Mahavishnu with perals mixed with vermillon and rice powder .
A small vessel placed at the middle of the plate with camphor is lighted and offered to the LORD everyday which becomes the last ritual of the day .
Every Car festival the camphor waving would be offered duly that comes as a token of remembrance of the great devotee Tarigonda Vengamamba .
All Glories to Mother Vengamaba.
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
video credits : Shri Ramyagiri, Ravichander Iyer
Photos credits : Google images , Advanced devotee friends
May be our LORD wanted to see himself being protected by his devotees and glorify our respectful Acharyas who had done everything as HIS kainkaryam ..Who or How else can we explain the need to “save” our Lord!!! who is beyond every thing .
The month of ( March – April ) in tamil (Panguni ) is sacred as it is the appearance month of – Lord Ranganatha on Revathi star and Goddess Sri Ranganayaki Thayar on Uthiram star both occur during the same month. The most important and the oldest festival called as “Adi Brahmotsavam” is performed during this month for 10 days and culminates on the day of Panguni Uthiram . About 800 years ago an unusual incident occurred which has remained as one of the most cherished brave effort by our Acharyas for protecting and leaving us the legacy of our great srivaishnava sampradaya and our Lordships…
Almost 800 years ago , the festive mood was vibrating with splendor. At the banks of Kollidam river preparations were being made for Lord’s arrival with pomp and show . The stage was decorated with wonderful flowers and the best decorative lamps . A huge golden throne decked with diamonds and costly jewels, attracted the venue. …
The Taittiriya Upanishad forms the seventh, eighth and ninth chapters of the Taittiriya Aranyaka of the Krishna Yajur Veda.
The above verse is taken from Taitriya Upanishad .
Swamy Mudali Andaan ( SriDasarathy ) being an intimate disciple of Swamy Ramanuja and a keen interpreter of Vedanta , used to extract Vedanta in simple terms for a common man to understand mostly in roopa alankara style . Since what follows has a very subtle meaning it has to be patiently understood .
This verse links a jeevatma to the final stage of Liberation . And , Liberation does not mean the union of Jivatma and Paramatma . It is the co living or being together in great happiness like a couple / father / son .
Manarppakkathu Nambi was an ardent devotee of Lord Devaraja Perumal of Kancheepuram. Nambi was residing near the temple and was performing several divine services daily .
For his unstinted devotion and service , Lord of Kanchi Devaraja Perumal out of abundant mercy taught him few esoteric truths in his dream and commanded Nambi, My child !! “Now that you have absorbed esoteric subjects from me, please go to the holy land between two rivers and await for the rest ……
(iraNdAtthukku naDuvilE centru kEtkkalAm)”
you shall get the rest from there .
Manarpakkam Nambi was overjoyed with Lord’s abundant grace . He faithfully moved to Srirangam and with the locals support built a small temple for Lord Varadarajar . As done earlier he quietly lived there worshiping the LORD reflecting on the esoteric meanings revealed by Lord .
One day , Swamy Pillai Lokacharya the most respected Acharyar along with disciples visited the small temple for having darshan of LORD . Acharyar was very pleased to see the ambiance around . Offering his obeisance’s to LORD VARADARAJA he felt like spending some more time inside the temple .
Observing the quiet nature of the place he began teaching his disciples few meanings of esoteric truths . Nambi who was serving the Lordships inside the sanctum was listening to the discourse . He noticed Acharyas command in the subject and related the meanings quoted were almost the same as revealed by Lord Varadar in his dream .
Overjoyed , he rushed to the dais amongst the advanced devotees and bowing at Swamy Pillai Lokacharya’s lotus feet, offered obeisance’s and asked him…
avarO nIr?! avarO nIr?!
(are you him? Are you the one?)……………………
To that Swamy Pillai Lokacharyar replied smilingly
AAm. seyvathu En?
“Yes, my child !! and why do you ask?”. Manarpakkam Nambi submitted his dream to him. .
Pillai Lokacharya was glad to note about his unstinted devotion to Lord . He showered his blessings at the young devotee and took him as his disciple. Swamy advised him to join the assembled group of devotees and taught him the meanings in detail .
The entire summary of these esoteric truths turned out to become ” Sri Vachana Bhushanam ” the most important book for all the srivaishnavas .
“however lower in caste one is born doesn’t matter for me, if he is a bhAgavathOththaman, he is my swAmi”. Having these meanings in mind the divine outpourings are summed up …..
Pillai Lokacharya’s primary disciples were Koorakuloththama Dasa, Manarpakkam Nambi, Kollikavala Dasa , Kotturilanar and Vilanjsolai Pillai.
Pillai Lokacharya authored several works including the eighteen rahasya granthas known together as Ashtadasa Rahasya and Gadyatraya Vyakhyanam.
Pillai Lokacharya expresses in his works , that LORD sees this sorry state of affairs of jivatmas and thinks of simple ways and means of correcting them who have strayed in the wrong path. Lord’s abundant mercy blesses them to seek salvation by making them understand the real purpose of life . They seek a good teacher in understanding the esoteric truths and start serving LORD .The dangers of this life with its temporary pleasures but permanent derailment in taking repeated births makes them worried . They realize that life in this world is comparable to the life of a helpless frog caught in the mouth of a snake . A doe caught in a forest fire running hither and thither not knowing where safety lies. Realising their fate is none better than that of a helpless ant caught between the two ends of a burning stick and torn by the five senses seek refuge ..Swamy Pillai Lokacharya wrote 18 rahasyas books expounding the fundamental vaishnavite philosophy and shastras. The Archiradhi is one such rahasya .Swamy Pillai Lokacharya’s magnum opus “Sri Vachana Bhushanam” is an ornament of divine outpourings from our revered Poorvavacharyas. This great work consists of almost 465 aphorisms which all sri vaishnavas must strive to follow by Acharyars krupai and revelation .The master piece of the work discusses in detail about Lord , Goddess, bhakthi and Prappathi , service to Acharya and Acharyar as a means to obtain the goal , the greatness of the ones who follow the above path , the great ones who are scholars in the scriptures and their joy in attaining the desired goal.
Lokacharyar Sri Pillai Lokachariar was instrumental in saving our rich legacy of darisanam by taking the most privileged service of bringing Namperumal safely out of Srirangam during the tyrant Malik Kafur invasion during the year 1323.
Lokacharyar along with many disciples went through the rough terrains, forests, and so on, carrying our LORD safely .
When they reached Jyothiskudi, near to Madurai , Swamy Pillai Lokachariar realized that he cannot carry on any more, so he decided to stay in Jyothishkudi itself serving the LORD incognito . He advised his disciples to remain devoted to LORD always . Lokaacharyan was rightly glorified as ulagAriyan – ( teacher of the universe).
While Swamy was about to leave this world and reach Acharyan’s Lotus feet, he started touching the ants and other such insects near to him with compassion … ( as all such living beings will get to reach Sri Vaikunta if they have got that service done by a Sri Vaishnava).
Such was Sri Pillai Lokacharya’s Karunya towards the living beings.
Once , Thirumisai Azhwar came to have a darsanam of Lord Aaraamudha perumal near Kumbakonam at Tamilnadu. Azhwar was very much impressed by Lord’s beauty .
He instantaneously recited ..
Nadanda kalgal nondhavo nadunga gnala menamai
Idanthamei kulungavo vilangumaal varaichuram
Kadanda kaal parandha kavirikarai kudanthaiul
Kidanthava yezhundirundu pesu vazhi kesane
Meaning O lord ! your lotus feet must be feeling the pain walking the worlds covered with mountains, thorns etc .
Your lotus feet are very soft that even Mother Lakshmee feels her service may hurt LORD if she touches them.
AzhwAr then realizes that as LORD went to the pAtALa lOka to rescue Mother during varAha avatAra, perhaps due to this LORD should be relaxing in this pose .
While Azhwar was enquiring , Lord casually lifted up His head to get up and reply to AzhwAr as he said said ‘pESu’ in his divine verse ( speak my LORD ) ..
Azhwar did not want to disturb his yoganidra and hence prayed LORD to remain in the same posture so as to bless each devotee coming to HIM praying .
The Azhwar thus requested LORD to remain in the reclining position as this posture of LORD looked very attractive .
The divine pose of LORD Aara Amudhan is called as Uthra Sayanam and he is thus called as Uthanasai.
Lord Aramudhan like Sonnavanam saitha Perumaal of Thiruvekha Divya Desam at Kancheepuram has also received credit for obeying His dear devotee Thirumisai Azhwar.
Due to the above reason LORD is glorified as Aramudha Azhwan and the Azhwar as Thirumahizai Piran.
The word Piran means Lord.
As Thirumahizai Azhwar asked Perumaal to get up from His serpent bed, Azhwar was given the title of “Piran” by LORD .
Aramudhan took the title “Azhwan” to show us HIS love towards Azhwar. Lord’s sparkling darshanam of his cheeks (so chubby ) pulls our soul to just be there for ever .
Lord’s coral lips invites HIS devotee which has a half-smile (“Punmuruval”) indicating HIS mercy and pleasure seeing us. Lord’s broad forehead is adorned by a sparkling green gem, triangular in shape .
Lord’s long thighs and then legs, resembles the trunk of a magnificent tusker, encased in soft and supple silk, while the broad and beautiful chest sports several strands of gold and pearl necklaces , with goddess Mahalakshmi.
Mother Sri Devi and Bhoodevi grace us on either side of the Lord, in postures of devotion. As noticed in Thiruvellarai Divyadesam , similar feature of this beautiful temple is that the sanctum sanctorum has two entrances, each with nine steps-one used during Dakshinaayanam and the other during Uttaraaayanam.
None of the devotees will exclaim “I have had enough of this Lord”, the desire to see Him and be with Him increases with every darshan .
Among the Azhwars seven out of twelve have immersed there divine thoughts and glorified the boundless beauty of Lord Aaraavamudan and devoted around 51 nectarine verses in the DivyaPrabhandam .
This nectarine Lord is sweet not only to our external senses like the eye, ear and the nose, but provides an incomparably pleasurable sensation all over, inside and out and in the soul too-
“Aaraavamudaai adiyen aavi agame tittippaai”.
When we relish something very sweet we become sick eating the same recipe repeatedly . This is true for all material and worldly enjoyment all through in our lifestyle. But once we engage our senses towards the omnipotent LORD we find that we can relish HIM continuously without any hindrances and not getting bored.
Once we follow the Nava Vidhi Bhakthi as advised by Elders viz: Shravanam , Kirtanam Smaranam , Pada sevanam , Archanam , Vandanam Dasyam , Sakhyam and finally Atma Nivedhanam the purpose of our Life is realised . The more we start enjoying the nectar that is LORD HIMSELF , the more we want to continue enjoying this nectar as our desire for this nectar becomes insatiable .
Aaramudhan means “the pure nectar which can never produce satiety”. NammAzhwar glorifies LORD as “Ara Amude” and expresses Oh Lord !! ,
‘When I have your divine darshan ! my body melts in the love and the separation from your divineself means am washed out with a torrent force of a flood away .
Oh Lord! such overflowing emotions…….. grace me because of your abundant mercy you have for me.
Lord Aramuda Perumaal compassion on HIS devotees is unlimited . When all of us celebrate Diwali in our houses , LORD performed last rites for one of His ardent devotees.
The divine pastime goes like this .
There lived a devotee named ” Lakshmi Narayana ” in this holy place . Narayana spent his entire life doing services to Lord Aramudhan. He was the one who built the Rajagopuram which is app 44-m tall, 11-tiered tower by collecting small small donations from devotees and strived hard to finish the task .
He had surrendered all his wealth and everything in the noble service .Narayana swamy who became old ,passed away, on a Deepavali Amavasya day .The devotees were worried about performing his last rites as he had no progeny and neither he adopted any one . His entire life was serving the LORDSHIPS with total surrender .
When the Priest entered the sanctum sanctorium of Lord Aramudhan he noticed that Lord was wearing the yagnopavithram in the direction worn while performing last rites. The Priest thought that he had made a mistake while decorating LORD on the previous day.
Therefore he corrected the direction of the yagnopavithram but to his utter amazement found that the yagnopavithram switched direction again. The Priest realized that it was Lord’s way of saying that He was going to perform the last rite for his devotee Narayana .
And ever mindful of His duties, He continues to perform the annual shraaddham for this sincere devotee , to this day. Narayana’s sculpture with folded hands adorns one of the pillars in the pradikshina marga .
Lord performed the last rite for Jatayu during Rama Avataram and as Lord Aaramudhan performed the rites for his devotee Narayanaswamy.
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pics : Credits Google images ( Thanks to all the devotees who uploaded them )
A Brahman, whose profession was singing the glories of the Lord, was once reciting Srimad Bhagavatham in the house of a patron. A thief broke into the house where the recital was going on and hid himself in the deep corner .
Perforce, he had to listen to Srimad Bhagavatham. The singer was now describing the ornaments worn by little Krishna which was adorned by Yashoda . He described the various ornaments Yasodha decorated on little Krishna before sending Him out with the cows. The thief was excited and thought that he should meet that lad and rob all the ornaments at one stroke instead of struggling every day with petty stealing. He waited till the entire chapter of Srimadbhagavatam was recited and left the place. The thief wanted to know where this boy was. He, therefore, followed the Brahmin and waylaid him. The Brahmin was frightened and feared…
The Lord Himself, unable to bear the thought of swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi getting wet by the rain, had accompanied him to his home. Not only that, He waited there so that He could accompany swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi back to the temple!
Swami Thiru-kachchi Nambi occupies a very unique position, both as an Acharyar, and as an advanced devotee. Swamy Nambi is one of the very few devotees with whom the Lord Himself conversed regularly.
Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi appeared in a place called poo irunda valli (currently called poonamallee, near Chennai). He moved to kAnchIpuram, and started performing devotional service to LORD Varadaraja at Kancheepuram temple. His service was to fan the Lord of Kanchi, Swami Varadaraja, everyday in the late morning-early afternoon, and in the night before Lord takes rest . While doing the service (called thiru-Ala-vatta Kainkaryam in tamil), Lord Varadaraja used to talk to Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi about the happenings of the world. The topics used to be anything from how the temple was being run, to the happenings in the city of Kanchipuram and esoteric topics about philosophy. The Lord considered swami thiru-k- kachchi nambi as His closest…
Swamy Ramanuja went to meet Acharyar Peria Nambi .
With all humility he prostrated himself and apologized for any offense he had committed in falling short of having the darshan of “His Holiness Acharyar Swamy Yamunacharyar”.
Swamy Ramanuja expressed his misfortune in not being able to serve the legendary Acharyar Swamy Yamunacharyar and missing his elderly counsel in a whisper .
Gurudeva ! said Ramanuja I need that knowledge !!
With great delight the Acharyar replied
My child ,
The essence of our Holy faith is embedded in the Dwayam Mantra !!
The power and the purifying meritorious essence is absolute healing ..
My dear child ! Remember !!
There is but One God and He is All merciful and is therefore is our only way .
He is all knowing and All mighty and is there for our sake .
The souls destination and aim is therefore uplifting ourselves in the living service at his lotus feet forever .
My child ,
I wish you personally meet the great Acharyar Thirugoshtiyur Nambee for knowing the eternal meaning of the Dwayam mantram along with the significance of the great Eight syllabled Thirumantra .
May all auspiciousness be with you .
Ramanuja was overwhelmed with his Acharya’s advise .
He decided to immediately leave to Thirugoshtiyur to have Acharyar Tirukkottiyur Nambi’s lessons .
Thirukoshtiyur can be reached from Srirangam about two hours by a vehicle . But in those days one had to walk about 150 miles distance to reach the holy place. Thirukoshtiyur is worshipped as the srivaishnava divya desam of Lord Sowmya Narayana Perumal .
The place name is derived from its nativity Thiru-kotiyur. (Repeatedly attacked by the demon Hiranyakashipu during Kritha yuga the devatas , Saptharishis along with Brahma and Paramashivan met at one place to discuss about the future and submitting to Lord SrimanNarayana .
All unanimously chose Thirukotiyur as the meeting place ) As all of them met at this place name came to be glorified as Thirukoshtiyur, koshti means in group or as a team. Since this was the place where the Lord decided to appear ,
Peria Azhwar sings in his very first pasuram of 4000 Divyaprabhandam that this was the holy place of Lord Krishna appeared …… and hence becomes the very first Srivaishnava Divyadesam as Azhwar begins glorifying the Lord from Thirukoshtiyur Divya desam.
The magnificent temple revered as the southern Badrinath has a Lord Santhana Krishnan deity in the main sanctum ..
The deities can be worshipped in all three postures -standing, sitting and relaxing . In Ground floor Lord Krishna graces us in dancing posture –depicting Bhoolokam.
In the next level LORD is in Sayana Thirukolam a posture resting on Adhisesha – depicting Devalogam. Directly above this the Lord is in Iruntha Kolam – depicting Indralogam.
And top most level in standing posture as Sri Sowmya Narayana Perumal – depicting Sri Vaikuntam”. Swamy Thirukoshtiyur Nambi lived at this holy place serving Lord Sowmya Narayana Perumal.
Ramanuja reached Thirukoshtiyur. The village was vibrating with a serene atmosphere with peace everywhere . He offered his obesiances to the temple gopuram………
and finding few passer-by’s around he asked them ,
I am Ramanuja from Srirangam ,
please guide me to the place where the revered Acharyar Thirukoshtiyur Nambee lives .
The villagers were surprised to hear this name . They knew there was vedic chanting regularly being heard from the street besides the temple …
They said ,
Acharyar Thirukoshtiyur Nambee !..
for some time they were pondering .
Suddenly one said ! Oh yeah the learned one where we hear the vedic chants
Oh yes !.
There that Swamin lives in that small hut.
Swamy Ramanuja immediately falls like an uprooted tree looking at the hut offering his obesiances .
It is told by our elders , swamy ramanuja did not walk , instead prostrated offering obesiances ( dandaavats) until he reached the acharyans residence .
The villagers were surprised to note that they were living amongst a great personality and never knew his opulence for his mere simplicity .
Eager to meet the Acharyar , Swamy Ramanuja waits for His permission at the entrance of the hut .
There is silence .
Ramanuja calls , Acharya !! Acharya !!
Swamy Mahapurnar sent me here ….
Acharyar Nambi walks to find out who the person was as he had referred Swamy Mahapurnars name…
He gets a reply ……
who is that ???
Ramanuja offers obesiances and replies
Acharya ! I am Ramanuja .
My Acharyar Mahapurnar has sent me to learn the esoteric truths of Dwayam and Thirumantram .
Acharyar Nambi looks at Ramanuja and in order to test the strength of Ramanuja’s steadfastness tells him in a different tone..
What I have to tell and to whom ? and thus gave no countenance .
Ramanuja never spoke another word either way .
He just prostrated Acharyar and returned to Srirangam .
Few days later , Thirukoshtiyur Nambi had to attend the temple festival at Srirangam .
He came to Srirangam and paid obeisance’s to the Lord and was honored by the temple priests .
Lord Ranganathar commanded through the officiating priest …
Acharya Nambee ..
” Do reveal all the divine knowledge to Ramanuja who seeks it in all the occult love of faith …..
. Thirukoshtiyur Nambi with all humility submits
Oh Lord ! It is your divine instructions to share the transcendental knowledge only to the deserving and am just carrying your instructions ….
I am just waiting to test Ramanuja for his dedication and absolute surrender to your lotus feet .
Not so in his case my dear Nambi ,
commanded Lord Ranganatha as he is fully qualified according to the requirement of the text by body and mind .
Looking at Ramanuja who was serving the Lordships ,
Acharyar spoke ..
Come to my place soon Ramanuja …. and thus he left Srirangam with due honours .
Ramanuja thanking the Lordships once again leaves to Tirukoshtiyur … .
……………..But ………he is for a surprise ……
No !! Not this time Ramanuja,
Can you go and come again my child .
Thirukoshtiyur Nambi replies ……………….
Ramanuja never ever imagined of a protest or felt irritated but simply reflected on the truth and calmly went back .
This happened for almost 18 visits.
Thirukoshtiyur Nambi was testing Ramanuja’s faith and the zeal in a ordeal of probation to see if his spirit was strong and capable of overcoming the turbulent mind .
Thirukoshtiyur Nambi felt that the occult truths are for the deserving and not for the ones who are waylaid by the material instincts .
Ramanuja returned for the 18th time now.
He had tears at the futility of his repeated efforts and was found deeply revolving in his mind as what was stopping Acharyar to reveal the knowledge .
He was inside the temple in the mood of surrender for Lord to somehow grace him in seeking the revered Acharyars Thirukoshtiyur Nambi’s blessings .
All of a sudden he found a disciple of Thirukoshtiyur Nambi had come to Srirangam to attend the temple festival .
Ramanuja enquired about Acharyara Thirukoshtiyur Nambis welfare and requested the disciple to reveal the eligibility to seek Acharyar’s good will and audience .
The disciple was calm . He prayed Lord for Ramanuja’s prayer to be answered as he saw in close quarters Ramanujas sincerity .
The disciple left to Tirokoshtiyur and explained Acharyar about Ramanuja’s steadfastness to seek the esoteric truths .
Thirukoshtiyur Nambi was pleased .
He said …
Oh !! Has he such keen appetite !!
Then I must feed him immediately .
He instructed his disciple to immediately leave to Srirangam and inform Ramanuja to appear along with his staff and pennant .
Ramanuja was delighted .
He along with Dasarathi and Kooresa swiftly left to Thirukoshtiyur .
All the three fell at the lotus feet of Thirukoshtiyur Nambi ..
Nambi was surprised to see Dasarathi and Kooresa along with Ramanuja.
Ramanuja understood .
He said ! Holy Sire !
Am just following your commands .
“Staff and Penant was your order” .
Dasarathi ( MudaliAndaan ) is my staff and Kooresa is my pennant .
I am never without them.
Thirukoshtiyur Nambi was pleased with Ramanuja’s exemplary conduct .
The Acharya said , the one who has the direct blessings of Lord Ranga himself revealed in his dream is bound to be given the sacred truths now .
He took Ramanuja to a secret chamber of his hut and revealed the truths of the Thirumantra .
He said …. Ramanuja !!
This mantra is the granter of every boon , promoter of devotion and dispassion .This is the mantra all sages and saints constantly recite and bestower of eternal bliss .
He then gave him the inner meanings of Dwayam Mantra in detail .
Ramanuja was reverently receiving the divine teaching for which he had made 18 visits .
Ramanuja could not contain the truths to himself though it was imparted under the pledge of secrecy .
He pondered Why these truths are so secret and guarded ?
If LORD is not for sinners ! who will uplift them ?
and how can they be uplifted without knowing the method .
He was concerned about his fellow jivas .
How and when will all of them reach the Supreme Personality of Godhead .
Compassion and love for them burned in his heart . He was under a fix . What If this transcendental knowledge is shared to so many jivas .
Will all of them not be uplifted ?
Will LORD not be pleased to see so many jivas uplifted ..
There were also few doubts ! what will Acharyar feel ?
Will I not be punished for overlooking the secrecy .
He recollected Azhwar’s soothing verse
” Kulam Tharum Selvam Thanthidum
Adiyar Padu Thuyar Ayinavellam
Nilam taram seyyum Neel Visumbhu arulum
Arulodu Perunilam alikkum
Valam Tharum Marrum Thanthidum
Petra Thayinum Ayina Seyyum
Nalam Tharum Sollai Naan Kandukondein
NARAYANA ennum Namam“
Ramanuja finally decided he will go with his heart .
The next day he entered a big hall and invited all the interested people to assemble near the temple . Glad to see the people his heart flowed to them in turbulence revealing the transcendental nectar for their souls to nourish which was soothing .
He discussed the truths for the spirit to get uplifted following the guided procedures tuning the mind , body for the souls emancipation .
The celebration of revealing and uplifting them made Ramanuja in bliss praying all the Acharyas and Lordships to uplift every jiva in this material world .
The news reached Thirukoshtiyur Nambi’s chamber .
Upset , he commanded Ramanuja to immediately report to him and asked in tone of anger Why did he overstep his instructions in revealing the noble truths of religion to the undeserved .
Ramanuja obediently replied……………….
Holy Sire ! I confess I am guilty of disobedience !
I revealed the truths to glorify your authority and the transcendental teachings
Thirukoshtiyur Nambi was not satisfied .
He angrily said …….
Do you know the punishment for disobedience ?
Ramanuja replied Disobedience surely deserves me Hell .
I must be sent ,
No doubt at all………..
But Master !! May I submit that it is a little sacrifice for one sinner to make in as much as it brings salvation to many .
It was compassion for the mankind that made me blind ! I seek forgiveness !
Please do whatever you wish I deserve .
Am here just before with remorse …..
I surrender to your lotus feet now …
Thirukoshtiyur Nambi was dumbstruck .
His heart moved looking at Ramanuja’s concern for the humankind .
His face said it all .
This thought never came to my crippled heart he thought .
He could now understand why Ramanuja was the favorite child of Lord .
My heart never thought of this he said .
I never felt that all love is for mankind.
Thus vehemently forth new and strange emotions he rushed towards Ramanuja and embraced him .
You are EMBERUMANAR !! truly my Yatiraja !!!! my child !!!!
He had tears watching his magnanimity for the love for the fellow beings .
My child !!
Henceforth these teachings will be glorified as ” Emberumanar teachings” .
Ramanuja replied , Master! I am not to lay down low of you ..
Had I in the least thought that there were yet other secrets , I would have restrained but somehow the compassion for the human mankind gave me into this pious act .
I hold my peace .
It is for your holiness to decide what more I deserve to be taught .
Thirukoshtiyur Nambi continued with emotion filled heart …..
My child let that be deferred now !!
Come again Sure !! But Mind it !!
Come alone ……
Ramanuja fell at Nambis feet like an uprooted tree seeking forgivance and mercy repeatedly and proceeded to Srirangam .
Some time later Ramanuja came back to meet Thirukoshtiyur Nambi and humbled himself before the holy sire .
Nambi clasping Ramanuja’s hands lovingly took him to a sequestered spot and adopting every precaution that no one may disturb them said ….
My dear Arjuna !! the secret of secrets I say it is good for you and as my dear friend and devotee It is the last word of the spiritual science
Give up entirely all other ways
Choose ME alone as the way
Thee from all sins I will absolve
No more than shalt thou mourn
My child !! Reveal not these holy truths to the undeserving , un serving , haters of Lord .Nambi continued,
Ramanuja If you value these truths then let not atheists and heretics hear them .
Guard them against such .
These noble truths are to be shared only with the qualified and the deserving .
Thirukoshtiyur Nambi summed up the full meaning of the eight syllable mantra and the other noble truths hidden in the other Rahasya mantras .
The short meaningful sentences offered by Nambi are very useful commandments for all srivaishnavas.
The gist of the teachings are the pre requisites to be qualified to be eligible for the Thirumantra and Dwayam teachings .
A true Vaishnava is one who develops detachment being amongst the family . Its similar to a worm which lives in the dirty filth but not attached to the surroundings .
Wisdom engulfs the realized who knows this .
Over indulgence and developing attachment to the body and people related through this body defeats the purpose of self awakening .
Feeling depressed when others are seen happy takes us to a futile decision .
Surrender all the evil qualities ..
Dont develop Ego , Attachment , Craving , Arrogance , Pride etc the qualities which will shatter your purpose of life .
Avoid sensual pleasures that ruins your self.
Kill that I in you .
The Iwhich identifies the world around you by calling I , Mine etc .. pulls you to bottomless pit of miseries slowly and invisibly .
My name , My caste , My wealth My love all goes on well till your body exists . Realise always , you are not this body but the self .
The name remains only with the body . We are a component of the divine spark always remaining in bliss . There are No likes or dislikes ….
Taking birth as a brahmin doesn’t qualify one’s birthright to become srivaishnava .
One needs to aspire to become a Srivaishnava who sees LORD in all the beings .
A Srivaishnava is not identified with his appearance with his Tilak ( Thiruman) nor the tulasimala .
He just lives for helping others .
Sri Vaishnavam is not a caste, a group or association, with which one has to associate to reach HIM. It is open to one and all independent of caste, creed, gender and scholarship of the individual.
Our Sri Vaishnava siddhantam is as old as Veda itself. All the vedas, upanishads, ithihasa puraanas and the Pancharatra and Vaikanasa Vaishnava agamas undoubtedly establish the supremacy of Lord Sriman Narayana, who is worshipped through the Ashtakshari Mantra .
The moment you identify that you are a srivaishnava you get satvaguna by default . Azhwars have always preached the glory of Namasankeertana and seva.
Once you are in this mood , You reach the satwic state both by words and actions .
Slowly out of respect to Poorvacharyas and Azhwars you become humble , follow dharma and become a srivaishnava in all aspects .
You will slowly have attraction to the Holy name and turn to devotion by absolute surrender.
You will slowly realise being a devotee means you must follow the dharmic principles , and due to that you start loving the devotees .
You will seek them , love them and be amongst them always .
The only job will be to discuss , recite and celebrate Lords glories and remain in this blissfull state always .
Nothing becomes important except HIS service and HIS devotees service .
Once you start developing these spiritual means in your daily life , Lord descends to be with you .
Lord out of his causeless mercy lives with you in every moment As the devotee has attained this blissful state , he prays LORD that this state remains forever .
Thus he is always in the devotees association . With this , the devotee decides to remain a servant to the LORD in all aspects just serving HIM with sheer love and depend on HIM for even the breath he inhales ..
The devotee slowly identifies his purpose of life and gradually lives seeking it by total surrender .
Once you reach this state, the esoteric truths learnt will become clear and the mantra works in your favour and then the emancipation happens automatically .
Ramanuja felt to himself that as Lord Krishna preached eighteen chapters to Arjuna before revealing the final word , in order to test Arjuna’s mind the eighteen trips imposed upon me by Acharyar was to condition my spirit in seeking the nectar of instructions .
Swamy Ramanuja’s is glorified at various holy places by the following names….
SriRangam Koil Udayavar
ThiruAllikeni Lakshmana Muni
Melkote Pesum Yathirajar
Madhurantakam Thiruppavai Jeeyar
Sriperambadoor Bhuthapuri Elayaazhwar
Thirukostiyoor Goshtipuram Emperumanar
Thiruvaali Thirunagari Godagrajar
Srivalliputhur Koil Annan
Azhwar Thirunagari Bhavishyad Acharyar
Thondanoor ( Karnataka) Sri Ramanujar Sheshavataram
Video credits : The Healthy 2010, Hariprasad , RamyaGiri , Ammaskrishna
Pictures : Google images uploaded by several advanced devotees /
Thanks to Sri Varavara muni/Geethacharyan
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Quenching Soul’s hunger to infinity
The divine blog crosses over five lakh views and igniting several soulsSeptember 22nd, 2018
Over 5,0000 divine views ...... igniting souls all over the world in realizing the Supreme Lord divya leela divya desams and divya anubhutee