So am I. You see over there.. yes, that’s a big town. And there is a large well. Its water used to be very sweet. I know that. I have stayed in this town. Can you please some bring water for us?” Bringing water for them.. If they had asked for his life Ramanuja would have given it happily. “I would love to do it my Lord, sorry, Sir. But you see I don’t have any vessel with me.
Swami Ramanujacharya’s very first Guru was his own father swami Somayaji. The lessons started from a very young age. Unfortunately as his father passed away when he was just sixteen the lessons came to an abrupt end.
By that time Ramanuja had been married and the family along with his widowed mother had moved over to Kancheepuram. Ramanuja was in search of a good teacher. The only person available was Yadavaprakasa who was originally a part of the Advaita movement .
Later he broke away from the group and started teaching on his own. He openly declared that he was not happy with the Great Shankara’s commentary on Brahmasutra and was attempting to write his own commentary.
Yadavaprakasa could not tolerate any criticism. He was egotistic, eccentric and positively cantankerous. But he was well versed in Vedas and Shastras. He was an authority on magic, spells and evil spirits. There…
When one thinks of the holy place Pandharpur , mind races to have darshan of Lord Vittala and when the quest to know about his devotees begin , the biography of the great saint Santh Tukaram brings tears .
Santh Tukaram appeared during the year 1608 A.D in a small village Dehu in Poone district which is about 41 kms from Ahobila Mutt, Pune . and seven miles from another important place Alandi—the place honored by the Samadhi of another great saint Jnaneshwar.
Tukaram from his childhood worshiped Lord Vittala of Pandharpur.
His Elders constructed a small temple of their own and dedicated it to Lord Vittala . His family members, since many generations, had participated in the ‘Wari’ of Pandharpur, i.e., the annual pilgrimages to Pandharpur on the eleventh day of the month of Ashadh (June-July) and again on the eleventh day of the month of Kartik (October-November).
When Tukaram was about seventeen years, he lost his parents and about that time, his elder brother left the village and went to Varanasi seeking spiritual salvation.The next few years, were almost cyclonic in their effect for Tukaram.
Taking advantage of his state of mind, the debtors would not repay whatever was due to him and the creditors began to trouble him for the money due to them.
Tukaram tried his hand in several ventures of trade and came back either with empty hands or with a loss as he was a man of simplicity and humane to the core .
He was robbed of everything by confidence-tricksters who gave him gilt brass ornaments in exchange for all the money he had with him.
He was a simple person who could not see others unhappiness people .One occasion, returning home, he came across a poor man along with his family starving. He could not see their plight . He just gave away the profit as well as the principal which his wife had borrowed for some petty business.
Seeing his behaviour , Tukaram was not entrusted with anything valuable when he went far from home.
Tukaram’s wife Jijabai helped him again and again to set up a small shop in his own village, but she was always convinced by Tukaram that serving all the beings , no matter it was fellow human beings , animals , insects etc was his only goal . Tukaram used to sit in the shop doing kirtan and being very kind and honest to his customers. As usual due to his compassion to his fellow humans , he became bankrupt very soon as he never thought of himself and family .
Sant Tukaram saw Lord Panduranga in all creatures. Once he was asked to guard a corn field. He liked this job as it did not hinder with his habit of Namakirtan on Lord Panduranga. The birds would see human presence and fly away without touching the corns. But as Tukaram got immersed in his abhangs, the birds started to feed on the corns. Seeing Panduranga in all the birds, he, instead of scaring the birds away, fed the birds with more corns from the field that he was supposed to guard, thus gaining the wrath of the owner.
During the years 1629 and 1630, the country was facing severe famine. It was most difficult period The promissory notes dues for the family became dead letters of credit as nothing could be realised during the famine.
Tukaram lost his people and cattle .Very upset he went into the Bhamnath forest nearby. For fifteen days he stayed there meditating on the Supreme Lord without any basic needs .
He realised the true knowledge with his penance . The revelation made Tukaram more aware of the purpose of his life .He slowly withdrew his love for his household, wife and relations.
He gathered all the promissory notes and threw them into the Indrayani river, in spite of the protests of his relatives.
He reconstructed the temple which had fallen into disrepair and began to spend his entire time in Naama Kirtan. His mind was now steady fast with total surrender .
As a result of his whole-hearted devotion , Tukaram was rewarded with Guru Upadesh.
As elders say , SathGuru visited Tukaram in a dream. Tukaram describes this, as the greatest event of his life, thus
“The Sadguru came to me in a dream and was really very kind to me, though I had done nothing to deserve it. He met me when I was going to the river for a bath and placed his hand on my head and blessed me and advised me to do Japa …….of Jai jai Ramakrishna Hari. Tukaram’s joy knew no bounds.
Tukaram began to spend his life more and more in devotional practices, study of the works of great saints Jnanadev, Namdev and Ekanath thus getting inspired to pen Abhangs
Whenever Tukaram began to perform Kirtan, people began to flock in large numbers considering him as a realised saint and give him all the respect.
This was resented by a small number of people who sent a report against Tukaram to Rameshwar Shastri regarded as a learned Scholar during those times . Due to his standing in society , he forced Tukaram to stop all those activities which will pull crowds due to his kirtans .He instructed him to stop penning abhangs and, that he had already made, should be drowned in the nearby Indrayani river.
Tukaram held all elders in great reverence,. He was sad . He immediately brought out of his home all the works , bound them together, tied a big stone round the bundle, and threw it into the river in presence of the village elders .
Tukaram’s traducers, who were jealous of him, were greatly pleased. Tukaram did not mind their taunts. He thought , was it a big fault for merely, singing the praise of Lord in his abhangs as advised by Lord himself .
Dejected , Tukaram sat on the bank of the river Indrayani praying to Lord Panduranga to forgive him and show some way out as Naama sanKirtan was his breath . For thirteen long days he thus sat unmoved without water, food or sleep seeking Lords guidance .
On the fourteenth day, one of Tukaram’s followers, in a dream, saw Lord Panduranga advising him to fetch the Abhangs composed by Sant Tukaram floating on the surface which was intact.” .
Tukaram was moved by the mercy of Lord and thus in ecstasy he delivered Abhangs blaming himself for doubting the word of Lord and putting Him to so much trouble of having to preserve the poems in water for thirteen days.
By this divine incident, Tukaram’s name and fame spread far and wide. Materially he remained poorer but spiritually richer . He was always in Naama sanKirtan and he earned nothing.Whatever LORD arranged was his meal and wherever he moved he comforted himself under trees , ashrams , temples no matter where he was . It was Naama sankirtan always .
The great Maharashtra King Shivaji was a great admirer always supporting his devotional services .
Tukaram always advocated Saguna Bhakti in the form of repeating His Name and in the form of singing LORD’s praises. He said Bhakti was the higher form of devotion and service was even higher than Mukti.
Many wonderful events have occurred in Sant Tukaram’s life. His fame spread throughout the land, but he himself remained unaffected by all that. He knew the exact time when he would depart from this world. He grew weary of living and thought his time was being wasted in attending to the wants of the body when it should have been better utilised in Kirtan, Bhajan and praise of Vithoba.
He prayed to the Lord that he might be taken away soon to His lotus feet where he could remain worshiping Him continuously for ever and anon.
Once Tukaram’s told his friends that he would be going away to meet Vittala in a few days. No one believed his words .Finally that day arrived . He called all the villagers for a Akhanda sankirtan . The night was splendid . Many came to hear his kirtans and the last kirtan before was memorable in many respects as the subject was Harikatha.
Tuakaram continued ..my brothers and sisters …
“Harikatha is like the union of three holy rivers—Lord, the devotee and His holy Name.
By participating in this kirtan one’s sins are burnt and one is purified.
And my children ….
Even the pebbles lying around here become holy and fit to be worshiped.
“Though you all bear the responsibilities of family life, never ever forget our Lord Panduranga.
Never forget to worship Him and sing his praises.
Pandharpur is very near you.
It is the Vaikuntha on this earth.
Please Go and worship the Lord there. It is my experience that the Name of the Lord alone will save you at the time of death.
All of you have protected and maintained me in your midst for such a long time. I can never repay you and I am very grateful to you.
I shall ever pray to Vithoba to bless you all and take you all to heaven after this life. This is my goodbye to you all and this is my advice to you.
I prostrate before you and beseech you with tears never to forget the Name of the Lord. Always do Kirtan and Bhajan of Lord Narayana.
Do not be anxious about your material welfare.
The Lord will look to it.
This is all ephemeral. The Lord’s Name is eternal.
Depend on it only, live and sing the praises of the Lord.
Do Japa of Ramakrishna Hari and He will always save you.
This is my last request and advice to you.”
The Lord’s Name is eternal rest all is ephemeral
Thus passed away one of the great saints of Maharashtra with Lord’s Name of his lips, singing praises of Him.
Tukaram left this world during the year 1649the second day after the Holi festival . Every year the day of his disappearance popularly known as Bheej is remembered at the banks of the river dehu . Thousands of devotees assemble near to this holy place
This place is located inside Military area. We were fortunate to be here unexpectedly during our Pandharpur yatra few years back .
The vehicles had to be parked before one enters the military area . From the parking area, the temple is about 3-4 kilometres.
Most of the devotees join singing bhajans holding Tulasi pots on their hand, some playing tambura , kartaal etc.
It is usual practice of the devotees to fast on that day and have prasadam only after taking Sant Tukaram’s blessings.
Along with us, other devotees joined and within no time, the bus was jam packed. The bus was however parked at a distance of about one kilometer. The entire place was charged up in devotional fervor.
A devotee was singing Abhangs and was so glad to share the meanings and the essence of the various teachings of Santh Tukaram which am reproducing ….
Tukaram Maharaj prays to LORD to grant him a boon of being small as a small ant ……………gets a grain of sugar to eat.
A giant elephant is made to bear pricking of the weapon by its controller.
Tukaram Maharaj says, he who has a great ego undergoes great troubles.
He asks us to understand the benefit of not having an ego.
There is no happiness greater than the peace of mind.
Everything else causes sorrow.
Therefore make your mind peaceful to see the inner light.
One with a mind agitated by anger and lust has to suffer ensuing restlessness.
A peaceful mind is free from such sufferings.
One, who is able to control his sense-organs, is capable of forgiving others.
Such a person gains recognition and establishes his relation with Lord Vittala.
Even if a huge agricultural field has been inherited then that won’t give harvest unless it is cultivated.
Tukaram Maharaj says, one should understand this fact without burning one’s heart.
Pandavas were sent to exile in the woods but they held Lord Vittala in their hearts. Pralhada was tortured by his father but still he meditated on Narayana in his mind. Sudama, a brahmin, was afflicted by poverty but he did not forget Narayana. Tukaram Maharaj says,
O Lord Vittala we should not forget you even at the time of being under the mountain of miseries…
A donkey that is made to have bath in a sacred river does not become a horse. He, who does not have a pure mind, does not listen to any good advice.
Even if a sweet juice is fed to a snake, there won’t be any reduction in its poison.
There are many who proclaim themselves as saints. How can we accept unless we see their behaviour.
There appears a stream of water only for a while after it rains.
Later not a drop of water is seen.
A particle of snow appears like a diamond as long as it does not meet a hammer.
Dogs barking at an elephant develop pain in their mouths. The elephant is least affected by this. Monkeys mocking at tiger invite disaster for their lives. Tukaram Maharaj says, he who mocks at saints will lose his face.
A monkey puts its hand in a vessel containing peanuts. After taking peanuts in its hand it cannot take out its hand as the mouth of the vessel is not big enough.
The monkey for the sake of handful of peanuts does not go away and is caught.
A parrot sits on a string laid by the hunter. The string inverts its position and so is the parrot. Due to high voltage fear the parrot firmly grasps the string and forgets that it has two feathers to fly away.
The parrot is caught ultimately. Tukaram Maharaj says that it is not surprising if creatures without brains behave like this. It is surprising to see human beings forgoing their greatest interest for a pittance.
Earn money through an honest business.
Spend money for noble cause by maintaining equanimity of mind. Work for others’ welfare. Dont say harsh words for others. Consider others’ ladies like your mother and sisters.
Show kindness to all beings.
Rear cows and other cattle. Make possible arrangements for drinking water at remote places for quenching the thirst of people.
Dont harm others. He, who abides by the above teaching, spreads good name of his parents all around.
The virtue of renunciation that is required for realising Panduranga is also acquired through such actions..
A creeper of nectar will bear fruits of nectar. This will also result in continuous rise in the seeds of nectar. Like this association with good people results in all round increase of happiness. From a seed originates a tree.
From a tree countless seeds originate.
Who would like to be crucified on a cross of sandalwood? Similarly none would like to remain tied in the chain of gold. Similarly whatever knowledge one gains is a burden if that raises one’s ego.
A dead tiger filled with stuff appears like a tiger. Actually it is not a tiger. A coin with gold plating is not a coin of gold. This fact is clear if it is observed closely. A monkey dances as per the training of its master, it does not have any talents of its own.
Tukaram Maharaj says, he who keeps stock of absurd virtues has to suffer embarrassment.
The best worship of Lord Vittala can be performed by the mind. There is no need of instruments and implements for performing a puja.
The purpose of worship is to understand the mind, to understand the truth.
The final benefit or loss will be caused by the mind.
Mind is the seed that gives birth to the tree of action.
He, who has merged his identity with the Lord Vittala,
cannot see others suffering. Tukaram Maharaj says, making the mind calm is the true worship.
Tukaram Maharaj says, let us be equanimous in happiness and misery.
There is no discrimination for devotees in the eyes of the Almighty. He is waiting for those who have devotion in their minds.
He eats coarse grain offered by Vidura.
He protects Prahalada in the house of demons.
He helps Rohidas to dye clothes.
He helps Kabir to weave cloth.
He helps Sajan Butcher selling meat.
He helps Sawata Mali in petty agricultural operations.
He helps Narhari in performing chores of a goldsmith.
He helps Chokhamela for grazing cattle.
He drives the chariot of Arjuna.
He eats with great love dry food offered by Sudama.
In the homes of milkmen he does the task of maintaining cows
He acts as a doorkeeper for King Bali. He repays loan of Yekoba.
He takes birth as a human being for the sake of Rishi Amba.
He drinks a glass of poison for Meerabai.
He becomes a low breed person to pay off loan of Damaji.
He carries earth for Gora Kumbhar.
He repays loan of Narsi Mehta.
He is still standing on a brick for Pundalik.
Parents of Pundalik are great to have such a great son.
Thanking Supreme Lord for the wonderful company , we joined the ocean of ecstasy relished by great devotees of Lord Vittala …
Tukaram’s abhangs was being played everywhere through the sound systems. There is another arc with the beautiful words “ JNAN,BHAKTI,VAIRAGYA TUKARAM”. The crowd reminded us of Brahmotsava celebrations in Tirumala.
Amidst the sea of devotees more than a lakh of devotees ready to witness that miracle which happens every year at noon. A big cut-out of Lord Pandurangan from a distance attracted everyone’s attention.
On the way, we could have sparsham of Tukaram’s padhukas which were placed in a palanquin. Unmindful of the scorching heat and clasping each other’s hands we proceeded to Tukaram’s Samadhi mandir. On the left side, we have darshan of Indrani river which was witness to the various incidents in Tukaram’s life flowing peacefully.
Many pilgrims were purifying themselves in the water. This river which flows past Alandi, brings Jnanadev’s blessings too along with her to this place. Pilgrims who have a holy dip are benefited with Jnanadev and Tukaram Maharaj’s grace.
Sant Tukaram like Nammazhwar was the only person who left to SriVaikuntam with this mortal body. Elders reveal Lord arranged Garuda vahanam and singing the praises of the Lord , while everyone was watching, Sant Tukaram embarked on the Garuda vahanam and ascended to Srivaikuntam.
He promised his followers that on every disappearance day which falls on the second day after Holi ,popularly known as Bheej, he would come from Vaikuntam exactly at noon in the form of a gentle breeze to this place and bless the devotees. Because of the gentle breeze, the leaves of the tree which was a witness to the incident gently move and the leaves fall.
To enable the assembled devotees who stand far away from the tree, the temple authorities have tied a red flag as an indication. When the breeze gently blows, the red flag moves which can be witnessed by everyone. The assembled devotees continuously sing the abhangs and as noon approaches, the fervor and intensity of the bhajans increases. Words cannot describe the sight. One has to personally witness this incident. We were there … to receive Our Bhaktha Tukaram’s blessings …What a journey it was ..
Sadhu Satsangh ki Jai ..
Bhaktha Tukaram ki Jai
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pics/ Videos :
Credits to all Lord Vittala devotees who uploaded in social media /Google pics
The saints believed that God is within all living beings .An important spiritual practice followed by them was the chanting of Lord’s holy names . Remembering Lord and repeating his Holy Name was most important . Another ingredient for the spiritual life was kirtana or bhajans, the singing of hymns of praise of the Lord . All these spiritual practices helps in transforming the body, emotions, thoughts, and one’s very existence into expressions of the soul, our true identity and spiritual essence. This makes it easier to have enough peace of mind and enter the world of the supreme soul seeking bliss .
The great devotee of Lord Vittala , Namadeva used to go to a nearby village Gopalapur to pen his emotional filled divine abhangs on Lord without any disturbance.
One day , it was getting delayed and he did not turn home for lunch.
Namadev’s wife who was concerned for the delay , walked along with the lunch to Gopalapur. She requested her husband Namadeva that he should have his lunch as it was getting late . But Namadevar was in a different mood completely .His thoughts were filled with Lord Vittala .
He advised her to leave the lunch in the basket and carry on with her daily works
Rajayi his wife with respect kept Namadeva’s lunch in a bag near him and left the place . A dog quickly got hold of the chapathis in the lunch bag and ran away with…
It is mentioned in Sri Venkatesa Suprabhatam, the range of 7 hills are celebrated as Seshalam, Garudachalam, Venkatadri, Narayanadri, Vrishabhadri, Anjanadri, Neeladri and represents the great serpent bed As per Upanishads , in brief the Jeevatma passes through five stages in its spiritual evolution , namely, Annamayya kosa , Pranamaya kosa , Manomaya kosa Vignanamaya and Anandamaya kosams.
” TIRUMALA is most holy shrine and Lord Vaikuntanathan out of abundant mercy has appeared as Lord Venkateshwara in this yuga for our upliftment . The sacred TIRUMALA Hills consists of seven peaks considered to be seven-hooded Adhisesha
. Before seeking to have darsanam of LORD , the devotees are supposed to shed the inherent tamasic qualities and approach with sattva gunam for HIS darshanam .
Elders advise us to reach the foot of the Tirumala Hills and have a holy dip at Azhwar Theertham presently called as Kapila Theertham before ascending the Hills.
This divine place is located enroute to Tirumala . Out of the 1008 theerthams located in and around TIRUMALA HILLS , Azhwar Theertham ( Kapila Theertham) is the only natural spring located at the foot of the Hills.
On the shores of Alwar theertham is enshrined Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal gracing the devotees . Lord is gracing…
AT the behest of Pundalikan, Lord resides here and gives darshan to millions of devotees . As Lord stands on Vittu(brick) , HE is glorified as as Vittalan.
The place where the Lord stands is the present temple.
The Saints like Namdeo, Dnyaneshwar to Tukaram wove their life around Vitthala and saw in Vitthala their brother, father, friend and a compassionate Lord who could bless them with ultimate salvation.
“Vittala ” is our Compassionate Lord who mingled with all the devotees by taking various roles like a cobbler, barber, servant, potter, gardener thus assisting his devotees in household chores and helping them in their own spiritual up liftment and seek salvation
Pilgrimage to Pandharpur near Sholapur in Maharashtra and having darshan of Lord Vittal is incomplete without mentioning the great devotee Pundalikan.
Pundalaikan who hailed from southern part of India undertook a pilgrimage to kasi along with his parents and family . As his old parents couldn’t withstand the long journey they camped on the banks of Bhima river in the present Pandharpur.
As there was no improvement in their fitness and due to their old age , they decided to stay there forever serving LORD and his devotees .
Pundalikan was a caring and obedient son .
Always in the service of his parents chanting the holy name he continued to start a fresh life being at this new place.
The Divine Name of ‘ Jai Jai Ramakrishna Hari Jai Jai Vasudeva Hari’ ever reverberating in this holy town made him swoon into transcendental…
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 .
There are nine Dwarakas known as “Nava Dwarakas” out of which five (Pancha Dwaraka) are very famous holy dhams visited by all vaishnavas .
The “Nava Dwarakas” are listed below
1) Mukti Dwarka (Gomti Dwarka)-main temple located in Dwarka in Gujarat
2) Rukmini Dwarka (4 kms from Dwarka)
3) Bhet Dwarka ( in an island 8 kms from Dwarka)
4) Moola Dwaraka (Rajkot-Dwarka route)
5) Sudama Dwarka (Porbandhar)
6) Nathdwara (near Udaipur in Rajasthan)
7) Kankroli Dwarka (near Nathdwara)
8) Prabhasa Theertha (Veravel near Somnath)
9) Dakore Dwarka (near Ahmedabad)
Dwaraka is one of the four important dhams(holy places). The other three dhams are Puri, Badrinath and Rameswaram. Dwaraka is counted as one of the seven “MUKTHI THARUM KSHETRAMS” ( MOKSHA STHAL ). The other six are Mathura, Ayodhya, Kasi, Gaya, Kanchi, Ujjain.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sriman Narayana out of abundant compassion appeared as LORD Krishna to save the good and destroy the evil.
As per divine plan, Lord Mahavishnu appeared as the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudevar in Mathura, the holiest of all cities during midnight on krishna paksha Asthami thithi in the tamil month of Aavani (Sravanam) in the closed jail which was fully guarded on a rainy night. The Lord appeared as a child with chathurbhujam holding the divine weapons Sankhu, Chakram, Gada, Padmam to Devaki and Vasudevar to reaffirm that HE had fulfilled their early wish. Vasudeva out of vatsalyam prayed the Lord to assume the form of a child and immediately the Lord who is the controller of the Universe obeyed him as an dutiful son .
What can He do for us?
Can He kill the whale with a weapon ?
Can He save the ship?” retorted the captain.
A trace of a smile came over the old man’s face. He appeared so calm and composed at that moment of crisis.
“ Lord Jagannatha is my only resort.
Any danger is dispelled if one prays to Him,” the old man said passionately.
“He makes a human response.
His mystery is inscrutable, even to the demigods, what to speak of mere human beings. Yet when we call to Him, He comes and helps us instantly .”
Puranas reveal that out of many thousands of gopis, sixteen thousand are predominant and among them 108 gopis are very close , eight are still more prominent . Radharani and Candravalli are very prominent and Srimathi Radharani is the most prominent. Because Radharani possesses all the charm and sweetness to attract Lord Krishna .The Eight Gopis who are the foremost, dearest and most beloved friends of Shri Shri Radharani are glorified as Asta-sakhis Gopis .Their names are Lalita, Visakha, Chitralekha, Champakalata, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi and Sudevi. check the appended blog post for more details
Braj Bhumi is the most sacred dham spread over 168 miles- 42 miles on each direction with Mathura as the center. The holy place comprises of Mathura, Goverdhan, Gokulam Barsana ,Vrindavan and the surrounding 12 forests. The Supreme Lord manifested Himself as Lord Krishna along with HIS attendants and enacted various pastimes 5000 years ago in Dwapara yugam which attracts millions of devotees to have darshan of this holy dhaam repeatedly .
Lord Krishnavataaram is the POORNA AVATARAM of Lord Maha Vishnu. Every inch in this place is sacred because of its association with Lord Krishna’s lotus feet (as He walked over all these places).
Anyone who visits this sacred place is bestowed with divine love . This is one of the seven mukthi tharum kshetrams , the rest being Ayodhya, Avatnti, Kasi,Kanchi, Puri, Dwarka. Also, Mathura is very dear to Lord Vishnu as it has Lord’s association in all the…
Swamy 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 .
Millions of devotees throng the Tirumala Hills practically round the clock throughout the year for having darshanam of Lord Venkateshwara .
It is always the darshan what he gives us than what we seek .
Many will share their experiences having darshanam with moist eyes . However , Very few are aware that when we walk inside the temple , to the right side of the Main entrance we can see a crowbar tied to the wall which has a glorious past .
As we move towards the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Venkateswara , how many will remember that there was a time , just a thousand years back, when the Hills were deserted with not much of human habitation in sight .Swamy Ramanuja had visited the Hills thrice. His maternal uncle , Peria Thirumalai Nambi gave him discourses on Srimad Ramayana for several months at the Hills.