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Ramanujar and 74

From: TCA Venkatesan (
Date: Thu Dec 20 2001 - 14:07:23 PST

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

reach the world.

That Sri Nathamuni would say this was related through
disciples to Sri Alavandar and then through his
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
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

TCA Venkatesan:
Srivaishnava Sampradhayam:
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