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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Swami Ramanujacharya - Yuva Bharati - Vivekananda Kendra Publication May 2021

Today is Thiruvathirai in the month of Vaikasi – masa thirunakshathiram of our Swami Emperumanar Ramanujar.

Thiruvallikkenivasis know very well this imposing building standing next to Samarao School, in Singarachari Street, Triplicane, Chennai 5 – many of us would have attended some seminar or attended Yoga classes there. Yesterday had the fortune of meeting Sri VV Balasubramanian who has been associated with Triplicane unit of Kendra and instrumental in spreading good thoughts for decades.  He handed over copies of ‘Yuva Bharati’ vol 48 : issue 10 (Vaisakha Jyeshta 5123 May 2021) issue – here is the photo of the cover page of the magazine. 

Man-Making and Nation Building ~ as its twin objectives !

Vivekananda Kendra would require no introduction – it is a great social organisation   founded by the RSS functionary Eknath Ranade to commemorate the Swami Vivekananda rock at Kanyakumari where Vivekananda sat and meditated for three days in 1892.  With his visionary zeal,    Vivekananda Kendra - An Extraordinary Organisation with Ordinary Men came to existence. Mananeeya Eknathji Ranade, the Man behind the Memorial started Vivekananda Kendra a spiritually oriented service mission in 1972 as the living memorial to Swami Vivekananda comprising of a cadre of dedicated Jeevanaratis, Sevavratis, Vanprasthi and Thousands of Local Karyakarata as well as lakhs of patrons , well wishers.  Vivekananda Kendra is centered around the noble thought service to man is worship of God - and is guided by the national ideals RENUNCIATION and SERVICE.

For actualising vision of Swami Vivekananda , the Kendra has more than 850 branch and activity centres spread over India to work for all stratas(phases) of the society to rebuild the nation. To achieve this Vivekananda Kendra carry's out various service activities through Yoga, Swadhyay Varga(Study Circle), Samskar Varga, Rural Development, Education, Development of Natural Resources, Organising Youth and Women and Publications based on the life and message of Swami Vivekananda, Indian Culture, Vedic studies. The Kendra urges all to join this task of national regeneration.

Their magazine : YUVA BHARATI ! — The Voice of Youth is ever a voice of renewal, - a voice of renaissance, like the music of the onrushing stream, which cutting across the rocks that come in its way, ever sings — shall find a way or make it; and dances forward and onward to form a river, whose waters then meandering and flowing majestically and musically, fertilise the land and make it smile with beauty and laugh with plenty. Youth of the World shall reshape the New World to be, and the Youth of India shall build a new Bharat nearer to their heart's desire.  

Doubly happy as my post on Sri Ramanujacharya is featured in this issue ! ~ and it is reproduced below too .. ..

adiyen Srinivasa dhasan
Mamandur Veeravalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar
12th June 2021.



Our Nation, is a sacred land – the place that gave us supreme Ithihasa puranas. Blessed are We, the present generation –  we celebrated 1000 years of Swami Ramanuja on  1st May 2017 – going by His Thiruvavathara Nakshathiram ‘Thiruvathirai the month of Chithirai’.  This year the  10 day annual brahmothsavam of Swami Ramanujar started on 9.4.2021. ‘Ananthah sarasi dhere  Ramye  Bhoothapurivare’ – on the bank of Ananthasaras the temple pushkarini, is the temple of Sri Adhi Kesavar.   Boothapuri, better known now as Sri Perumpudur is the most divine place for us –  the place where our Greatest Acharyar  -  the reincarnation of Adi Sesha and Sri Lakshmanar was born. 

Of the three great exponents of Vedanta philosophy, Bhagwad Ramanuja 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.  Worshipping Sri Ramanujar at his Avathara sthalam (birthplace) Sriperumpudur  and elsewhere will cure us of all sins and rid all diseases, keeping away mental distress and strain.   

It is astounding to learn, try to understand the path of Bhagawat Ramanuja – who thousand years ago, came to this earth for enlightening us all.    The ethical side of Vaishanavism emphasises absolute self-surrender to Sriman Narayana -  its mystical aspect presents God as the personification of love and bhakti, as longing for communion with Him.   Spiritually awakened, athma  will be satisfied with nothing more and nothing less than communion. Separation becomes an intolerable burden and the futility of the body in a space-time setting. Before Sri8 Ramanujacharya , perhaps stress was exclusively on learning and wisdom, Ramanujar emphasized that the  strength of a philosophy depended upon the following it commanded, that knowledge was auxiliary to action. He recognised karma as observance of  the moral law of Dharma.  The great preceptor ensured that the great movement spread by him would never languish once he left this earth – and in ensuring continuity, he created  the loving care of Seventy-four of his disciples. 

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.   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.   

His birth occurred   in the year 1017  to Kesava Somayaji and Gandhimathi couples.   Ilayavalwar as he was known at birth, Ramanujar was born in the year of grace of Pingala corresponding to year 939 of Salivahana era  and lived for a period of 120 years.   He was named Illayazhwar [denoting Lakshmana] by his uncle Srisaila Purnar foreseeing his wisdom, infinity and eternity.

His birth is associated with the temple tank ‘Kairavini’ at Thiruvallikkeni for his father Kesava Somayaji conducted yagna seeking birth of a son – and the great Ramanujar was born. He paid his first visit to Thiruvarangam in his 25th year but could only pay homage to Acharyar Alavanthar.  He lived and taught undisturbed in Srirangam for some more decades before had to leave the place proceeding to Melukote Thirunarayanapuram.  Ramanujacharya travelled far and wide, the entire Bharath varsh by foot propagating our religion; the prominent places would include holy Kanchipuram, Srirangam, Tirupathi, Thiruvananthapuram, Thirukurungudi, Simhachalam, Puri, Delhi, Kashmir and more.  In all these places, thousands followed him, Srivaishnavaite tradition of care for humanity and spirituality flourished all through.

More than  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.

Ramanujacharya was a great social reformer.  He ensured proper maintenance of holy Thiruvarangam,Thirumala Tirupathi,  Melukote Thirunarayanapuram, and many other places by establishing customs and accountability for those in charge of various activities of the temple.  Associating people of every creed, he ensured that temples became the core of life of people.  He created flawless systems creating employment, ownership and more importantly oneness among people. He established 74 mutts as his following to spread and ensure propagation of Srivaishna philosophy which primarily ensured that  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.  

Sri Ramanujar at ripe old age of 82 went to Melukote, and returned to  Thiruvarangam at  94.  Ramanujacharya stayed in Melukote for 12 years, changing the life of the people around.   At nearby Thondanur,  farmers of surrounding areas requested him to help them overcome the drought situation.  He planned and executed construction of   a huge lake and named it Tirumalasagara. Even today, Thondanur lake water is used for drinking and agriculture.

A visionary par excellence who possessed all the virtues and characteristics of a yathi, he was hailed Yathirajan [King of Hermits].  Throughout his life, he exhibited compassion, and worked for upliftment and betterment of society as a whole.   A humanist to the core, he went beyond casteist hurdles and had immense love for the Supreme Lord and His devotees.  He with a deep vision evolved Ramanuja kootams providing the basic physiological needs – food, shelter and clothing for the masses.

In those golden days when Swami Emperumanar walked on the streets of Thiruvarangam and other Divyadesams – tens of thousands of his disciples and hundreds of Jeeyars followed him hailing “Ramanujo Vijayathe – Yathiraja Rajaha”  We fall at the feet of the Great preceptor Ramanujacharya, praying that whole humanity is protected from all evils including the dreaded Covid 19 and people live forever in peace and harmony.



1 comment:

  1. Very good that this post on Sri Ramanujacharya is featured in the issue of YUVA BHARATHY. NICE.