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Reply to Adishesha-Ramanuja-Lakshmana

sreekrishna_at_mmd.com
Date: Wed Jul 19 1995 - 08:42:20 PDT

Sub:   Re: Adisesha /LakshnaNa /Ramanuja


Badri wrote:
>It seems to me that rather than understanding and following
>Sri Ramanuja's principles, his "followers" are more
>interested in making him an incarnation of x or y, make a
>statue out of him and pour milk and honey on that statue.

Here is an anecdote about Ramanuja which I gathered from
Life of Sri Ramanuja by Swami Ramakrishnanada, which
may address Badri's comments about making a statue and
pouring milk and honey on the statue. 

When Ramanuja was about to leave for Srirangam, the Bhaktas
in Yadavadri (Thirunarayana Puram or Melkote, near Mysore) 
were sorely afflicted by the thought of the separation which was 
to follow. At this, Ramanuja got a stone image of himself made,
 and after transmitting his own powers into it, handed it over to the
devotees of the place and said, My dearest ones, know this image 
of this mine to be my very self.  When you feel the desire to see
me, you will get peace of mind by looking at this image.
With these words, he took leave of His Devotees.

A short time after this, the Bhaktas of Sriperumbudur, Ramanuja's 
birth-place, made an image of Ramanuja and having invoked life in 
it according to the Vedic rites, installed the Mangala Vigraham inside 
a huge temple. While this event was going on in Sriperumbudur, Ramanuja 
was seated in his Ashram at Srirangam in the middle of a discourse
to his Shishyas.  All on a sudden, he became silent and indrawn, his entire
body was still, like an inert thing. And two drops of blood trickled
down  the corners of his eyes.  After a time when he regained his

consciousness, being questioned by the astonished disciples,
 Ramanuja said: Today the people of Sriperumbudur have made me a
captive of their love.  After infusing LIFE into the stone image, they
have now finished the rite of opening the eyes of the image.

Hearing this, the Shishyas, who had their beloved Guru in person
 with them, deemed themselves more fortunate than others.

THE CLICH'E HERE IS INFUSING LIFE INTO THE STONE IMAGE. If we
don't feel that way, then the act of worship is exactly what Badri has
commented.
-K. Sreekrishna