Ekadandee to Tridandee – “ Arulala Perumal Emberumanar vaibhavam “


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 .

arulala perumal jeeyar

 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

All glories to JagathAcharyar  Swamy Ramanuja

Swami Arulala Perumal Emberumanar  thiru adigale sharanam

   Adiyen Ramanuja dasan


Acharya Devo Bhava ……………….

Swamy Nampillai was the disciple of Sri Nanjeeyar and the acharya of Sri Vadakku Thiruveethipillai and Sri Periyavaccan Pillai. Once , Swamy Nampillai  went to Thiruvellarai for Lord Pundarikakshan darshanam  .


Swamy along with his disciples were returning  to  Srirangam .

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It was raining heavily past few days . Once they reached  river Kaveri , they were shocked to see the flow of the river.  The  uprooted  trees  and  the fury of the floods created confusion  in the disciples mind .


To cross the river they had to board into  a strong boat but  were worried about the  dangerous water flow .   It was getting darker and the disciples were perplexed  .  They managed to get a small boat   quickly for crossing the small stretch of the river .


Swamy Nampillai  also joined the disciples  and was contemplating on Lord’s  kalyana gunas mentally . They boarded the small boat and the moment they came at the middle of the river ,the scene changed .  Suddenly there were dark clouds all of  all over .They were confused which direction the boat should be navigated.


. The small boat due to the torrent breeze was shaking terribly .Due to the excess weight of the crew  the boat was about to sink.  The boat man  with the sudden turn of events , screamed loudly  , holy sires !!  the boat would  sink  due to its weight.


..Please .. can some of you jump out from the boat   so that our revered seer Swami Nampillai can be safely taken to srirangam  .

No one took a chance to speak due to the fear of drowning .  A  religious old woman  also a disciple of Swamy Nampillai got up and submitted ,

my dear son… …………………………………


Please ensure our  Acharyar  Swami nampillai  our very life of humanity reaches srirangam safely ,saying this she jumps into the river ..

.Due to this act the boats weight reduces and  manages to reach  the shore .


Swamy Nampillai became very distressed for the sudden happenings . The sacrifice of the old woman touched him deeply and he was at loss of words for her . He was lamenting  and moaning  internally about her loss . All of a sudden he heard the old woman’s voice..


  Oh ! My respected Acharyaa , I am alive and  safe very near to the bank .Please do not lament about my act .


Swamy Nampillai  immediately advised the boatman to go and fetch  his disciple who was  waiting on a sandy mold very near to the shore .She returned back in the boat and prostrated at the lotus feet of Swamy Nampillai .  As she was not aware of any other protector  except her Acharyar  Swamy Nampillai  , she  submitted …………..


Oh swamy….  I suppose that you have appeared  there in the river bed as a huge sandy mound in order to save me from the grave danger . 

Swamy Nampillai replied ,If that is your strong faith I have nothing to say .

.Let it be so ….

If a man wishes sincerely to save his Acharyar by sacrificing his body , wealth and life , he will be saved by LORD SRIMANNARAYANA himself ……………………..

Acharya Devo Bhava ………….

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics courtesy : Google images