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Bhashyakara Thirunakshatram

Tatachar_at_aol.com
Date: Tue Apr 23 1996 - 20:55:03 PDT

Incidentally April 22 is Shankaracharya's thirunakshatram and April 23 is
Ramanuja's. Both these will be celebrated at our temple in Cincinnati on
April 28. All are cordially welcome.
(513-984-4179)

Now, on this great day of our Achariyar thirunakshatram, I like to share my
experience at the celebrations in the town of Ramanathapura (near Magge,
Saligrama and Konanoor) in Karnataka. I witnessed this some 30 years ago.

I am not from that part and was only there, because my father was an invited
speaker and he took me along. We spent 4-5 days there. One other speaker I
remember is Sri. N.T. Sreenivasa Iyengar, who still gives discourses. He
spoke about Ramanuja's Philosophy. One line I remember is - "Srimallakshana
yoginastu bhuvanam satyam" (this is how it sounded, any corrections welcome).
My father spoke about significance of Sandhyavandanam, besides other things. 

 All tadiyaradhanais (my favorite part) were held at the Pattabhiraman high
school. There is also a Shiva temple in this town in addition to Ramar
temple. Both temples  which were used for the festivities. This town also has
a good number of Sanketi brahmins (Shivites).

The interesting and unusual part was the street songs and dance at the
Deities procession, in which people of all ages jumped up and down until the
tar road or their sole's cracked  to their soul's satisfaction. They were all
singing with great vigor: Bhaja yati Rajam Bhaja Yati Rajam Bhaja yati Rajam
Bhava bheero(That's how it sounded, corrections welcome). 


An engineer by name Sri Narasimha Iyengar (Bangalore) was one of the major
sponsors of this celebration. 

Incidentally, Ramanujacharya fell ill here and spent several days in
Saligrama temple (Karnataka), at the service of Vadaga Nambi (came to be
called) and his family.  He may have visited the nearby Ramanathapura temple
as well. The sthala puranam, as recorded in Acharyara Patni short story by
Masti venkatesha Iyengar,  states that Ramanujacharya's wife briefly met him
here in disguise, and breathed her last breath here. It is said that she
briefly massaged Ramanujar's feet, while Ramanuja was bedridden with a high
fever. Following day, Ramanuja's health recovered to normalcy, while She fell
ill and passed away. Before her last breath, she confessed to Vadagalai Nambi
about her apacharams to Ramanujar. 

I request anyone from this part of Karnataka in our group to share more
information on these topics.

Now, I switch gears and address the Vaishnavite heritage of Ramanuja from the
maternal side.

Mr. Mani said:

>>>I wish to make a very important emendation to Sri Ramaswamy's
otherwise informative article. Sri Ramanuja, although born in a 
Vadama smaarta family, was in a vamsa that was piously
Vaishnavite. <<<<

In support of this , I like to stress the Strong Sri-Vaishnavite leaninings
on  the maternal side of Sri Ramanuja, as found in Shatamarshana Ajana Siddha
mahima, written by my father
(Sri. K.S. Krishnatatachar) in Kannada.

Nathamuni's (823 AD) grandson is Yamunacharya(Alavandar) 
(918-1038 AD). Alvandar's grand children are Ramanuja's mother(Kantimati),
her sister (Dyutimati-mother of Govinda, devout cousin of Ramanuja) and her
brother Srisaila Purna. It was Srisaila Purna (Periya Thirumalai Nambi), the
maternal uncle of Ramanuja, who named his two nephews as Ramanuja and Govinda
respectively.
Ramanuja studied Ramayana under Srisaila Purna in Thirumala.

The full name of Ramanuja's father is Srimad Asuri Sarvakratu Kesava
Dikshita-Somayaji. 

I found in Life of Sri Ramanuja by Swami Ramakrishnananda, it is stated that
Ramanuja's mother Kantimati was also known as Bhudevi and her sister
Dyutimati, also known as Sri devi.

Ramanujasya charanau sharanam prapadye

-K. Sreekrishna (tatachar)