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Sri Ramanuja & the Moola Manthram

From: Balaraman M Sriram (
Date: Wed Jun 24 1998 - 07:12:06 PDT

Dear Sri Vaishnavas,

I have been following the discussion on the Astaaksharam for some time 
and did notice comments like:

>Regarding the arguments for and against recitation of the Ashtakshara
>mantra by non-brahmin Vaisnavas.
>This says : stri sudras who are bhagavatas they should avoid pranava 
>say moola mantra.

While all this is informative, you guys are all missing the point some 

Let me narrate something from the Life of Sri Ramanujacharya.Please 
correct me If I am
wrong with the incident or my interpretation of it.

In his life time, there were 3 attempts on  the life of Sri Ramanuja for 
his unethical means
of spreading the glory of the Lord. He took it as his life's mission to 
spread the glory
of Sriman Narayana  among people of all castes.He is the one who called 
the Lower caste as
"thiru Kullathar " or Gods people (Hari jan if you want).

After Sri Ramanuja takes over the SriRangam matta, he introduces many 
reforms against which
the caste Bhramins are totally against. Particularly, the high priest of 
the Sri Rangam temple
planned to kill him by giving him poisoned food when he came for 

I personally wont even consider the high priest as a human being , what 
to talk of being a
Brahmin and all.He is completely in maya and in ignorance(tamasa guna).

When the lady of the house gives his food with her left hand, he takes 
the hint and throws the
food away. This incident brings great grief to our acarya  who goes into 
a fast , later to be
nursed back to health by kidambi aachaan.

News of this latest attempt on Sri Ramanuja's life spreads to 
thiruKOttiur and reaches 
thiruKOttiur Nambi.Who then teaches him the maha mantram, whispers in 
his years and warns
him that if he tells anybody , he will derive no benefit from it.

After , this koorathazwan and others want him to go back to SriRangam 
but our acarya instead
remembers the "thondar kuzhaam" (the low caste people) climbs on top of 
a Gopuram and addresses
all people outside:

"People! Hear me carefully! I am giving you the secret mantram which 
will get you salvation in 
this very birth, irrespective of your caste of at birth. Listen! Om namo 

He gives out the treasured secret of the Sri Vaishanavs to everyone male 
or female and people
of all castes, this was his birth's mission. Sri Ramanujacarya was none 
other than Adisesha,
he comes down to the calling of thiruKacchi Nambi to establish proper 
interpretation of vedas
and to vanquish the so called authority of the Brahamanas , who were 
exploiting the common people
on the name of God.

All along the histroy of Sri Vaishnavism , we seen great Alzwars being 
born in the low caste
and setting so many examples, yet we do not comprehend the real truth as 
posthulated in the
Srimad Bhagavad Gita ...irrespective of caste & creed anybody can attain 
him by bhakti.

So,where  is the question of some manthra not to be said by non-brahmin 
vaishnavas etc.
There is no such person as a non-Brahmin vaishanava, if a person 
qualifies as a Vaishanava
he is  very much higher  than a Brahamana. Please refer to the list of 
qualities required
for a Brahmana and those required for a Vaishanava as it is given by our 
own Sri Vaishnava

This attitude in the Sri Vaishnava community about hiding some great 
truth from the common man
is completely false and is baseless and is also not an issue to be 
avoided as suggested by some
but should be properly discussed and the truth established.

Please forgive me for any offenses, I might have committed in expressing 
my view points.

Humbly Yours,


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