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Date: Mon Jul 24 1995 - 08:11:12 PDT
Is this uthsavar called "chellapiLLai". i have a heard an anecdote which goes like this: raamaanusar goes to north india in search this uthsavar and talks to that muslim king. he tells that he has a lot of vigrahams which his daughter plays with. then raamaanusar calls "vaaray chellappiLLaay" and i am not sure what exactly happened after that. something like that particular vigraham came forward..... could anyone recall this.. Thus wrote Viji Yes, I recall that story. Ramanuja approached the Sultan for the Vigraham of Cheluvanarayana(Kannada version of chelvapillai Sampatkumara). The Sultan was impressed by the charisma and Tejas of Ramanuja and thus agreed to let him have the vigraha saying "call your god if he comes take him." Ramanuja looked in the prison where the sultan had imprisoned various idols stolen from different temples. Ramanuja could not find the idol he was looking for there. However, he did find the vigraham in sultan's daughter's room. She was not there at that time. He addressed the vigraham as Viji has said above. The Vigraham walked upto Ramanuja. Sultan kept his promise and Ramanuja carried back the Vigraham. He also realized that Sultan loved his daughter and she loved this idol very much. He anticipated that sultan's soldiers will follow him to take the vigraham back. Thus, Ramanuja did not stop anywhere and on his way, he was helped by numerous tribal people (untouchables) in transporting this idol. Ramanuja had guessed it right. Sultan's daughter and a batallion of soldiers along with another muslim prince who loved sultans daughter Lachimar very much set on forth to rescue the idol. Ramanuja made it back to his destination Tirunarayanapuram before the soldiers could find him. The soldiers gave up. Lachimar loved this idol so much that she did not give up. She was a prapanne in her own way. The prince who loved her (a prapanna in his own right) also did not give up. They both made it to Thirunarayanapuram and stayed there. In due course, she died and the Srivaishnavas were so deeply impressed by her love to that vigraham, they made a small statue of her and placed it at the foot of the idol. This statue is called Bibi Nachhiar. She was also duplicated in numerous other temples, which we commonly see (I have heard) in many a temples of South India. The prince who followed her, after her death, turned deeply towards God and took refuge at the feet of Sri Ranganatha in Srirangam. He was not permitted to enter the Srirangam temple, he stayed outside and took refuge at the blessed feet of Seshasayi with undivided devotion. Once, while absorbed in deep meditation, he heard a voice saying, "o' the best among the Yavanas! I am here to grant liberation to Vaishnavas who take refuge in me:and Lord Jaganatha is there to grant liberation unto fallen ones" Having heard that, the prince moved to Puri-Jaganatha kshetra. The name of this prince is Kubera. It is said that when he was in Puri, a dog came and made away with the bread he was baking. He shouted to the dog, Oh Narayana! wait a little, let me smear ghee on the bread so that you may relish it better. To recognize the role of Chandalas in helping Ramanuja to carry idol from North India, even during those rigid days, Chandalas were allowed into the Temple at Thirunarayana Puram, three days in a year. I had heard this story numerous times, in parts. This version I found in the Book on life of Ramanuja by Swami Ramakrishnananda which I praised in one of my earlier postings. -K. Sreekrishna.