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kaRRavar kaamuRu seelan

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (MFPD_at_UTCVM.UTC.EDU)
Date: Tue Apr 23 1996 - 06:33:14 PDT

Sri Raamaanujar Thirunakshathram:
Month of Chiththirai - Thiru Athirai (April 23, 96)

The most celebrated Acharyaa of our sampradaayam was
born almost 1,000 years ago today.  His position in our
sampradaya is equal to that of Namaazhvaar.  Parasara
Bhattar says, "thamizh maRaigaL aayiramum InRa
mudhal thaay satakOpan, moympaal vaLarththa
idhaththaay iraamaanusan".  (SatakOpan is the birth
mother of Thiruvaaymozhi;  Ramanuja is verily the
second mother who nursed the glory of this

Sri Ramanuja shares with Namaazhvaar the honor of a
prabhandham dedicated to him among the Naalaayira
Dhivya Prabhandham [*].  KaNNinuN siRuththaambu by
Madhurakavi is entirely devoted to the glory of
Nammaazhvaar.  Iraamaanusa nooRRandhaathi, also
known as Prabhandha Gayathri, by Thiruvarangaththu
Amudhanaar is entirely devoted to Sri Ramanuja.  Both of
these prabhandhams are in andhaathi style.  Let me
highlight a couple of paasurams from Iraamanusa
nooRRandhaathi on this sacred day.

A couple of weeks back we had a discussion on the four
purushaarthaas, dharmam, artham, kaamam, and
mOksham.  In siRiya and periya Thiru madal,
Thirumangai aazhvaar confidently declared that kaamam
for our Lord Narayana is the only worthy purushaartham.
How is this possible for a sanyaasi like Sri Ramanuja?
What did Sri Ramanuja think?  Let us see what
Amudhanaar has to say about this in verse 40.

sEman^al veedum poruLum dharumamum seeriyan^aR
kaamamum enRivai naan_genpar; naan_ginum kaNNanukkE
aamathu kaamam aRamporuL veetuthaR kenRuraiththaan
vaamanan seelan iraamaanusanintha maNmisaiyE.

"Moksham, Dharmam, artham, and kaamam, are the four
goals of life; so they say, but
Yathiraajaa, a celebate like Vaamanan, says
Kaamam for union with Kannan is the only worthy goal;
The other three are just to support this divine passion."

However, for Amudhanaar there is nothing more
pleasurable than immersing in the overflowing kalyaaNa
gunaas of emperumaanaar.  Verse 84:

kaNdukoN dEnem iraamaa NnusanRannai kaaNdalumE
thoNdukoN dEn_avan thodtar_poR RaaLil_en thollai ven^n^Oy
viNdukoN dEn_avan seerveLLa vaariyai vaaymaduththin
RuNdukoN dEn,innam uRRana Othil ulappillaiyE.

"Now I have seen my Ramanuja; what a sight it is indeed,
it makes me seek to serve the golden feet of his devotees;
Now I take just a sip from this ocean of auspicious
qualities and all my past karmaas are destroyed,
No, there is no end if I start to say more."

The paasurams of Iraamanusa nooRRandhaathi overflow
with Amudhanaar's devotion for Sri Ramanuja.  A quick
look at a small list of epithets Amudhanaar uses about Sri
Ramanuja brings this out.

enakkuRRa selvam      :   my bestowed wealth
pazhiyai kadaththum   :   remover of all blemishes
thamizh thalaivan     :   worships the golden feet of
ponnadi pORRum            pEyaazhvaar
meyyan                :   truth incarnate
vaLLal                :   benevolent
kaaREy karuNai        :   benevolent like dark cloud
bhakthi veLLam kudi   :   temple of devotion
koNda kOyil
thooyavan, theethil   :   pure, devoid of blemishes
kaRRavar kaamuru      :   the love of the learned

The most endearing of the many wonderful episodes of
our great Acharya's life deals with the his utmost humility.
On one occasion Sri Ramanuja fell flat at the feet of
Aththuzzay, daughter of his Acharya Sri Periya Nambi.
The little girl ran inside the house terrified.  Watching all
this her father got a glimpse of his pupil's devotion for
AndaaL.  Sri Ramanuja was on his daily route for
bhikshai reciting Thiruppavai.  As he sang "pandhaar
virali" (the one playing with a ball) Aththuzhaay came out
of her house with a ball in her hand causing all this

While on a trip to Thiruvaali/Thirunagari, Sri Ramanuja
and his entourage came across an "untouchable" lady.
Sri Ramanuja requested her to move away (odhungu)
from the way so that he and his companions can pass.
The lady replied, "ulagam muzhudhum ulagaLandhaan
sannithiyaaga irukka, engE odhunguvadhu?" (all the
world is Thiru Vikraman's shrine, where can I move
away?)   Sri Ramanuja immediately apologized to the
lady and offered the Vaishnava insignias to her saying,
"These should be yours, I am undeserving of them."

Let me end this note with three of the most important
dictates he offered to his grieving disciples when he was
about to depart from this earthly abode.

1)   For mOksham there is no other upayam than the
     good wishes of Acharya,
2)   Nothing stands in the way of mOksham than
     bhagavatha apachaaram, and
3)   There is no greater purushaartham than service to
     the Lord and His devotees.

Thiruvarangaththu amudhanaar thiruvadigaLE saraNam
Emperumaanaar thiruvadigaLE saraNam

-- dhaasan parthasarati dileepan

[*]  iraamaanusa nooRRandhaathi is counted as part of
     the naalaayira dhivya prabhandham only by some.
     However, it is dear to all Sri Vaishnavas.