You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : March 1996

Yatiraja Vimsati of MnaavLa Maamunigal

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Fri Mar 08 1996 - 18:34:53 PST

Sri Ramanuja is the key Acharya , who followed 
the tradition established by AaLavandaar and his grand father
Natha Munigal and established  ,what we know today as 
Sri Bhagavat Raamaanuja Siddhaantham. Great Acharyas
folowed him and enriched that Tradition .

1.Thiruvarangatthu AmudAnAr"s tribute to RaamAnujA

Many of the AchAryAs acknowledged their debt of gratitude
to Sri RamAnujA and offered their heart felt tributes to him.
Thiruvarangatthu AmudanAr, a contemproary of Sri RAmanujA
composed the RaamAnuja NooRRanthadhi , a work ,
which is part of the NaalAyira Divya Prabhandham. 
He became  a disciple of KooratthAzhwAn  at 
the suggestion of Sri RAmAnuja.  

2. Sri NigamAntha MahA Desikan"s tribute to Lakshmana Muni

Swami Desikan blessed us with "Yati Raaja Sapthathi , a work
consisting of 70 verses. There he celebrated the ancient nature 
of Sri Bhagavat RaamAnuja SiddhAntham. He pointed out the special
significance of LakshmaNAryA's(Raamaanuja"s) upadesam as 
enshrined in his Sri Sookthis. Like Thiruvarangatthu AmudaanAr,
Swami Desikan also asserted that RAmAnuja"s holy feet are more
important than that of the Lord Himself.He explained his reason for this
strong Aacharya Bhakti for Yati Raaja. In the fifteenth verse of Yati Raaja 
Sapthathi , he stated:

AMUNAA TAPANAATHISAAYEE BHOOMNAA
YATIRAAJENA NIBHADDHA NAAYAKA SREE : I
MAHATI GURU PANKTHI HAARA YASHTI:
VIBHUDHAANAAM HRUDHYANGAMAA VIBHADHI II

Here, Swami Desikan compares Sri RAmAnujA to the 
beautiful center piece of a necklace made up of brilliant
gems. Each of the gem is a PoorvAcharya. The splendor of the 
Center piece according to Swami outshines the radiance of the Sun.
That Naayaka Mani (Center piece) unlike the Sun removes the 
inner darkness as opposed to the Sun, which removes only the 
external darkness. Swami Desikan says that the entire Achaarya
Parampara is uplifted by the Nayaka Mani, Sri RaamAnuja. Such was 
the reverence of Swami Desikan for  Sri RAmAnuja. 

3. ManavALa Maamuni's tribute to Yati Raaja

The focus of this posting will be the Yati Raja Vimsati 
of Sri ManavALa Maamuni . In twenty beautiful verses, he
distilled the essence of his Bhakthi for Sri RaamAujA .

Maamuni was born in Azhwaar Thirunagari a year after 
Swami Desikan ascended to Sri Vaikuntam. The Year was 
1370 AD. He lived for 73 Years on this earth and rendered
great service by blessing us with commentaries on 
Sri Pillai Lokaacharyar"s Rahasya Granthams .He  was a
disciple of ThiruvaiMOzhi Pillai, who himself was a disciple
of Sri PiLLai Lokaacchaar . Maamuni"s Acharya sked him to 
focus on Thirvaimozhi and give minimum attention to Sanskrit
sources and Sri Bhashyam. After his Guru"s death in 1410AD,
Maamuni spent some time at Kanchi and learnt Sri Bhashyam from 
a disciple of Brahma Tantra Svatantra Jeeyar, a direct disciple of 
Swami Desikan. Maamuni had high regard for Swami Desikan and 
called Swami Desikan as Abhiyuktar or the Revered one.

 After his return from Kanchi, he elected Sanyasa Asrama and was
 known as Yatinra PravaNar, or the leader among Sanyasis. His reverence
for RamAnujA and Nammazhwar had no limits. He intrepreted Thiruvaimozhi
as per his Guru"s wish and wrote brilliant commentaries for the 
Rahasya Granthas left to us by Sri Pillai Lokaacchaar. His first
work was his tribute to Rammanuja in twenty verses known as 
Yatiraja Vimsathi. He blessed us with the commentaries on 
Srivachana Bhooshanam, Tattvatrayaa, Mumkshuppati of  Sri 
Lokaacchaar.

He wrote a commentary for the RamAnuja Nooranthadhi .
He also wrote a commentary for AruLaLa PermuAL EmperumAnAr"s 
Jnana Saara and Prameya Saara. He composed Thiruvaimozhi Nooranthadhi
to celebrate Nammazhwaar"s thousand verses . The other works by him
are Upadesa Ratna Maala, a summary of the Guruparampara  and Alwaar"s
teachings, Thiruvaaradhanakramaa, in the spirit of Sri Ramanuja"s 
Nitya Grantham. 

Towards the end of his life, he created a beautiful 
commentary on Acharya Hrudhayam, a work by the brother of Pillai Lokaacchaar.
He came to know that the white ants had damaged partly   the Commentary of
Periyavaacchaan PLLai on Periyaazhwaar"s pasurams. He replaced
 the missing four decades with his own commentary and filled the gap.
 
When he became too ill , he began to pray to Ramanuja to bless him with 
entry to Sri Vaikuntam with great ardour and anguish (Aarthi). He dictated one
verse
a day. the collection of those moving verses came to be known as
Aarthi Prabhandham, which was his  final work. He begged forgivenness of any 
apacharams committed to his sishyaas and gave away all his books 
and Araadhana Moorthis to Lord Ranganatha and entered Parama Padam.
His famous disciples were  the eight elephants of the quarters(Dik Gajaams)
(VIZ) VanamAmalai Jeeyar, Bhattar Piraan Jeeyar, Thiruvenkata Jeeyar,
Koyil Kanthaadai Jeeyar ,  Prativadhi Bhayankaram ANNan, AppiLLan, 
Erumbi Appa, and AppiLLai . They carried on the tradition established by
their illustrious Acharya.

In the next posting , I will summarize the highlights of the 20 Verses of 
Yatiraja Vimsathi of MaNavALa Maamunigal.

Azhwaar , AchaaryaaL Thiruvadigaleh Saranam

Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan