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Part 1 -Experiencing Bhagavat Ramanuja Yatiraja's Divine Works

From: M.S.HARI (Madabhushi Sarangarajan Hari) (mshari_at_usa.net)
Date: Sun Jun 18 2000 - 22:46:24 PDT

Dear Shree Vaishnavas,

Adiyen wanted to post as series, articles titled "Experiencing 
Bhagavat Ramanuja Yatiraja's Divine Works" as per the request
of few Shree Vaishnavas. As a result of this, please find the
first part of the series as given below. The aim of presenting
the articles in series to explain the contents in very simple
manner (of-course only portions from the works of Bhagavat Ramanuja) 
is to bring out the greatness of our Aacharya's works and to enjoy
them.

Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. 

Thanks & Regards
M.S.HARI Ramanuja Dasan.
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Experiencing Bhagavat Ramanuja Yatiraja's Divine Works
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PART 1
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"The sacred thread "Upveetam" glitters in this chest. The twelve "Urdhva
pundrams" marks representing the divine foot of Lord Vishnu add more divinity
to his divine body. The "Tridandam" three sticks tied together as per the
scriptures is in his hand symbolizing the goodness for all worlds. With the
"Sikha" bunch of hair in head tied, "Kamandalam" a vessel for carrying holy
water, wearing the "Kashayam" saffron robes, Bhagavat Ramanuja shines as the
Yatiraja - king among "Sanyasis" with his unparalleled and unsurpassed
knowledge, wisdom and his renouncement from material desires. He advocated
Visistadvaita Shree Vaishnava philosophy and practice, which is "Parama
Vaidika Matam". 

A philosophy which when proved to be rational and in strict accordance to a
flawless domain gives answer to all questions which are not answered by
science. Amongst manifold philosophies, the philosophy of Veda prevailing in
India from very ancient time once lost its hold due to the advent of anti-veda
movements and misinterprets of Veda. It was then nearly 1000 years ago Adi
Sesha incarnated as Bhagavat Ramanuja and reestablished the parama vaidika
matham - Visistadvaita Shree Vaishnava philosophy and practice, which is the
only purport of Veda. From that point onwards, the matham got the name
"Bhagavat Ramanuja Darsanam" only to signify the importance of this greatest
preceptor. 

This preceptor has produced nine works, which are like inestimable divine nine
gems. Shreeman Nigamanta Maha Desika in his work "Sankalpa Sooryodayam" says
"Trimsadvaaram Sraavita Saareeraka Saastraha" about himself meaning, "Swamy
Desika has taught the Shree Bhaashya of Bhagavat Ramanuja thirty times". Even
after this, Swamy Desika in this work "Yatiraja Saptathi" says "Parichita
Gahana Samyameendrasya Sooktaha:" meaning, the works like Shree Bhashya are
tough and are deep in knowledge-contents, even when they are learnt again and
again. A disciple of Bhagavat Ramanuja and an extraordinary scholar named
"Nadadur Ammal" who is Vatsa Varadaacharyar says "Ikva pathi vidushaam eshaa
prowdi sriya: prabhunaa sape" menaing, "who else other than the Vidhvaans
(scholars) of Ramanuja Sampradayam (philosophical system) can understand the
glory and depth of Shree Bhasya of Bhagavat Ramanuja? This I swear on Lord
Vishnu!" These statements of these great scholars clearly indicate the
greatness of Bhagavat Ramanuja's divine works. This article "Experiencing
Bhagavat Ramanuja Yatiraja's Divine Works" is going to be presented in the
email networks as a series, in portions. The aim of the article is to make an
attempt to outline the greatness of Bhagavat Ramanuja's divine works. 

Bhagavat Ramanuja was born at Shreeperumbhothur that is in South India before
1000 years (approx.) in an orthodox family. By the divine grace of Bhagavat
Yamunacharya (an eminent Shree Vaishnava preceptor of that time), Bhagavat
Ramanuja reached Shree Rangam to meet Bhagavat Yamunacharya but was
disappointed to see only the mortal remains of Bhagavat Yamunacharya. By God's
grace, Bhagavat Ramanuja came to know the final wishes of Bhagavat
Yamunacharya. He full filled the three wishes of Bhagavat Yamunacharya.
Bhagavat Ramanuja wrote commentary on Brahma Sutra, Gita and established the
Visistadvaita Shree Vaishnava philosophy and practice. He made his disciple
Tiru Kurugai Piran Pillan to write a commentary "Tiru Aaraayira Padi"
(Bhagavat Vishayam) on Shree Satakopa Namalwar's Tiru Vaai Mozhi. He named the
sons of Shree Kooratalwar as "Parasara" and "Vyasa" and through them made the
names of Bhagavat Parasara and Bhagavat Vyasa to shine in the world with their
original glory. He lived a very long life and dedicated his entire life for
reestablishing and spreading the Visistadvaita Shree Vaishnava philosophy and
practice. He is called "Udayavar", "Emberumaanaar", "Lakshmana Muni",
"Yatiraja" and "Shree Bhaashyakaara" each name denoting his excellence.

The divinity, sweetness, and the nature of imparting knowledge are
extraordinarily present in the works of Bhagavat Ramanuja. Swamy Desikan told
"Yati pravara bhaarathi rasabharena neetham vaya:" meaning "Swamy Desika spent
his entire life by learning and enjoying the divine sweetness and knowledge
enshrined in the works of Bhagavat Ramanuja. Through this article series, I
try to make the readers to enjoy them by presenting a drop from the works of
Bhagavat Ramanuja which are like a ocean.

Bhagavat Ramanuja is recognized as "Shree Vaishnava Siddhaanta Nirdhaarana
Saarvabhowman" meaning the monarch who established Visistadvaita Shree
Vaishnava philosophy and practice. The nine divine works of Bhagavat Ramanuja
are
1. Vedartha Sangraha - The essence of Veda
2. Shree Bhasyam - Elaborate commentary on Brahma Sutras
3. Vedanta Deepam - Commentary on Brahma Sutra in a condensed form
4. Vedanta Saara - Commentary on Brahma Sutra in a very condensed form
5. Shree Geetha Bhasyam - Commentary on Shree Bhagavat Geetha.
6. Shree Saranaagathi Gadya - Deals with surrendering to Lord Shreeman
Narayanan for moksha.
7. Shree Ranga Gadya - Deals with the divine mercy of Shree Ranganatha of
Shree Rangam
8. Shree Vaikunta Gadya - Deals with Shree Vaikunta Paramapada
9. Nitya Granta - Deals with daily/special practices prescribed for Shree
Vaishnava

The Visistadvaita Shree Vaishanava philosophy and practice are clearly
established in these nine extraordinary works. We take up portions from one by
one to enjoy them through this series.


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