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Ramanujar and 74

From: TCA Venkatesan (vtca_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Thu Dec 20 2001 - 14:07:23 PST

Sri:
Srimathe Ramanujaya Nama:
Srimathe Vara Vara Munaye Nama:
Srimathe Anantharya Mahagurave Nama:

Dear BhAgavatOttamas,

It is a well known fact that Sri Ramanujar established
74 simhAsanAdhipatis to propagate the Srivaishnava 
Visishtadvaitha Sampradhayam. It is no coincidence
that
he selected this number - in fact, there is a specific
reason behind the selection.

Sri Nathamuni when he was learning the 4000 verses of
Divyaprabandham from Swami Nammazhvar, was also
informed
of the coming of Swami Ramanujar by Azhvar. Sri
Nammazhvar
also told him to instruct and prepare Sri Ramanujar 
through his grandson Sri Alavandar. Occasionally
during 
his life Sri Nathamuni would refer to this by stating 
"Gathered under a hoof, sparrows would drink; gathered
in
the Veeranam Lake, the country would prosper". The
meaning
is that, rain water pooling in the ground under the
hoof
of an animal would be drunk by just a few sparrows.
The
same rain water when falling into the Veera
Narayanapuram
Lake (Veeranam Lake) would then be used to irrigate
large
tracts of land and therefore be useful to the whole 
country. Similarly, until the time of Sri Ramanujar
all 
acharyas would benefit only a few select disciples;
from 
Sri Ramanujar the true meanings of Srivaishnavam would

reach the world.

That Sri Nathamuni would say this was related through
his
disciples to Sri Alavandar and then through his
disciples 
to Sri Ramanujar. Noting that Sri Nathamuni thought of
him as the Veeranam Lake with its 74 outlets of water,
Sri Ramanuja decided to spread the Srivaishnava
message
through 74 simhAsanAdhipatis.

It is also of great interest to note that Sri Manavala
Mamunigal's Upadesarattinamalai, which brings meanings
of Srivaishnavam to us while teaching us about Azhvars
and Acharyas, is also made up of 74 verses.

Swami Emperumanar Tiruvadigale Saranam
Azhvar Emperumanar Jeeyar Tiruvadigale Saranam

adiyEn madhurakavi dAsan
TCA Venkatesan

=====
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