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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

celebrating the birth of our great Acarya - Swami Ramanujar 1003

 Sri   Ramanujar   Sarrumurai  (1003) ~ 2020

A great day today – ‘Chithiraiyil seyya Thiruvathirai’ – the day of our Acarya Empermanaar thiruvavathara thinam.  Wonder what this is ?

Our Acaryar Swami Manavala Mamunigal was so attached at the feet of Sri Ramanujar and here is a verse from his Yathiraja Vimsati – which according to our learned vidwans came in to being as a result of the request of Swami Manavala Maminigal’s acharyan to compose a sthOthra grantham on Sri Ramanujar, when Mamunigal was a  grahasthar and had the name of Azhagiya MaNavALa NaayanAr.   These twenty verses constitute one of the most beautiful appeals to RaamAnujA for conferring his anugraham.

SrirangarAja charaNAmbhuja rAja hamsam
Srimadh ParAnkusa padhAmbhuja brungarAjam |
Sri BhattanAtha parakAla mukhAbhja Mitram
Srivatsa chi(h)nna CharaNam(SaraNam) YathirAjameedE ||

Mamunigal draws comparison to   King Swan at the feet of Sriranganatha,  great beetle settled to drink honey at the feet of  Nammalvar, Sun who makes the lotuses blossom – I fall at the feet of Sri Kuresa, who is the mark of Srivatsa, Yatiraja – I worship. Mamunigal eulogises  the emperor of SanyAsis , RamAnujA , who has chosen the lotus feet of Sri RangarAja as the seat of his permanent residence , just as a king swan would seek a beautiful lotus for its place of rest .

The NIlamata Purana,  (नीलमतपुराण)  an ancient text of Kashmir contains  information on its history, geography, religion, and folklore.. .. much has changed in Kashmir since.  National security was catapulted into being the primary issue for this general election for the first time with the car bombing in Pulwama in mid-February and its aftermath in an aerial confrontation between India and Pakistan in the Balakot-Naushera episode.   First Kashmir, is not what it has all along been  portrayed it to be ~  it has a glorious history .. ..  Utpala dynasty, a Kashmiri Hindu kingdom, ruled over the Kashmir region from 8th to 10th century CE.  The cities of Avantipur and Suyapur were founded during the reign and many Hindu temples dedicated to both Vishnu and Shiva.  Sadly the same Kashmir towards the end of last century became barren and devoid as Kashmiri pundits were driven out in pogrom.  5th Aug 2019 will remain a gold lettered day in the annals of Indian Nation, as the special status was revoked. 

Nearly a thousand year ago, our Acaryar Sri Ramanujar on a pilgrimmage visited Srinagar searching for manuscript of Bodhayana-vritti, a commentary  on the Brahmasutra by Bodhyana.  His ardent disciple Kuresar was able to memorise it in one glance; the commentary of Udayavar is known as Sri Bashyam ~ Goddess of learning Saraswathi approving Sri Bashyam conferred the title  ‘Bashyakara’ on Sri Ramanujar.  Thus was fulfilled the main desire of Alavandhar – writing of an authoritative and illuminating commentary on Brahma sutra.

Sri Ramanujar @ Sriperumpudur 

Today 28.4.2020 would have dawned so happily to us -  Emperumanar 960 was grandly celebrated in 1977 – one may not have good memory of that;  in 2017  it was 1000 and this year 1003 – the modern day equipment & technology  ensure capture by way of photos and videos of the grand celebrations  at Thiruvarangam, Thirumala, Thirukachi, Sriperumpudur, MelukoteThiruvallikkeni and at many many more places.  So many places – Thiruvarangam, Thirumala, Thirukachi, Thiruvallikkeni, Sriperumpudur, Thirukurungudi, Melukote, Mathura, Pushkar, Kashmeeram, KOngunadu and more are associated with Him as he traversed the Nation by foot, propagating vishitadvaita concept.

Life has changed for the Globe – 2020 has been far different – nothing prevents us in reminiscing and celebrating the Birth of Swami Ramanujar at home forgetting Covid and thinking of Acarya alone !

                                                                         Sri Ramanujar @  Thiruvallikkeni

இன்று நன்னாள் ~ எம்பெருமானார் அவதார திருநாள் ..இராமானுசர் 1003  இன்று. நமது பாரததேசம் புண்ணியபூமி.  ஸ்ரீவைஷ்ணவர்களான நமக்கு வேதமும், ஆசார்யர்களுமே பிரதானம். அநுதினமும் நாம் அநுஸந்திக்கும் தனியனில் எம்பெருமானையும், ஆழ்வார்களையும்,  எம்பெருமானாரையும், நமது ஓராண்வழி ஆசார்யர்களையும் தொழுது ஸ்ரீமன் நாராயணனுக்கே அடிபணிபவர்கள் நாம்.  தீமனம் கெடுத்து, ஸ்ரீமன்நாராயணனை தொழும் மனமே தந்து, அறியாதன அறிவித்து, பரமபுருஷனைக் காட்டிக்கொடுக்கும் ஆச்சார்யர் மிக உயர்ந்தவர்.  அவர் நமக்கு உலாவும் பெருமான். ஆச்சார்ய ரத்னஹாரத்தில் நடுநாயகர் ஆன நம்சுவாமி எம்பெருமானார் சாற்றுமுறை!  சித்திரையில் செய்ய திருவாதிரை-  இன்று,  இந்த நல்லுலகமே எதிர்பார்த்துகாத்து இருந்த ~  சீரியநாள் ஒப்புயர்வற்ற நம்மிராமாநுசமுனியின் ஆயிரத்து மூன்றாவது  பிறந்தநாள் சாற்றுமுறை.  அவரது சாற்றுமுறை புறப்பாட்டில் திருவல்லிக்கேணி வீதிதனிலே அத்யாபகர்கள்  'வாழிய ராமானுஜன்; அவரடித் தாளினை வாழி' என  விஜயீபவ ; விஜயீபவ ; விஜயீபவா எத்சரிகை' என 'வெள்ளைவிசிறி'  [தங்கள் உத்தரீவங்களை விசிறி]  ஆர்ப்பரிப்பர்.  (that is the photo at the start, adhyapaks hailing the birth of Ramanusa by throwing up their uthareevams)

art work by Gopulu

Of the three great exponents of Vedanta philosophy, BhagwadRamanuja with his aesthetic beautiful interpretations occupies the central place.  Sri Ramanujar has the pride of place in the list of our Acharyars; he is hailed as Udayavar, Emperumanar, Bashyakarar, Ilayazhwaar, Yathirajar, ThiruppavaiJeeyar, NumKovilannan, amongst other names was born in the year 1017 at Sri Perumpudur on ‘Thiruvathirai’ thirunakshathiram in the month of Chithirai.  

Our darsana Sthapakar, Sri Ramanujar  rightly reverred as ‘YathiRajar’ ~ the king among yathis [hermits and sages], the  greatest reformer he was, Ramanuja gave us many vedantic treatises - toured the entire Country, making the Srivaishnavatie tradition flourish in all his path.  He was a great administrator too. Our Acharyar formulated a faith in which none were devoid of Divine Grace.  The great social reformer, had the vision of introducing most acceptable way of life for every baktha inculcating respect and love among fellow human beings.  Today we talk of codes and SOPs – thousand years ago, this Great Acharyar  gave us Niyamanappadi ~ the manual for the services to be performed in the Temple, all supported by endowements in his blue book.  When Sri Ramanujar went to Melukote, he was 82 and he returned to Thiruvarangam at ripe age of 94. – and more was to happen in Srirangam, guided by his indomitable spirit of service to Lord. He created flawless systems, corrected the administration of Sri Rangam ensuring the proper maintenance of the wealth of Lord Ranganatha and creating teams to properly continue all kainkaryams to the Lord.

Sri Ramanujar @  Melukote Thirunarayanapuram  

                      The fountain of knowledge, he was,  handed over to the generation his wealth of knowledge through his many works which include the Magnum Opus ‘Sri Bashyam – the Vishishtavaida commentary of Brahma sutram of Vyasa Bhagavan.; VedanthaDeepam, Vedanta Saram, Vedanta Sangraham, Gadyathrayam and many many more …. The  3 Gadyams – Saranagati Gadyam, Sriranga Gadyam and Vaikunda Gadyam are collectively known as ‘Gadyatraya’ ~ are in someways considered to be swan song of our Acharyar.  The Saranagati Gadyam is live exposition of the doctrine of ‘prapatti’ – the total saranagati.  Sri Ramanujar prays that thee Lord may be pleased to bless his sincere and true saranagati at the lotus feet of Srimannathan be accepted as truly and well-performed and lead to the desired end without any interruption.  Our Acharyar describes the unique qualities of NamPerumal  with words ‘Sathyakama, Sathyasankalpa’ which would mean the most loveable quality of resolve to protect His devotees and the will to be incarnated in any form to come to the succour of devotees – He is Creator, Protector and Sustainer. 

On his sarrumurai day,  after morning purappadu there would be mangalasasanam, rendering of Gadyatrayam ~ then Thirumanjnam, Thirumozhi sarrumurai .. and .... more celebrations in the form of periya mada veethi purappadu with Sri Parthasarathi Perumal.

Let us fall at the lotus feet of our Acharyar which only  will relieve us of all our sins and steer us towards good thinking, good deeds and towards salvation through service to Lord and His bakthas.   

அடியேன் ஸ்ரீனிவாசதாசன் (மாமண்டூர் ஸ்ரீனிவாசன் சம்பத்குமார்)

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