You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : May 2001

Sri Ramanuja Soundaryam

From: sadagopan iyengar (sadagopaniyengar_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Tue May 01 2001 - 00:26:42 PDT

   Srimate SrivanSatakopa Sri Vedanta Desika Yatindra
Maha Desikaya Nama:
                           Sri Ramanuja Soundaryam

  Sri Ramanuja's physical beauty  is best described
through the words of one of his most ardent  sishyAs,
Sri Andhra PoorNA (Sri Vaduga nambi). The latter was a
living exposition of the concept of BhAgavata nishttA,
and believed more in worshipping his living God (Sri
Ramanuja) than an Emperuman bound by archA samAdhi. In
short, this sishyA was to Sri Bhashyakara, what Sri
Madurakavi was to Sri NammAzhwAr, right down to the
tenet of "thEvu mattru ariyEn".
 
Once, due to his Acharya's compulsion, Sri Vaduganambi
accompanied Sri Ramanuja for a mangalAsAsanam of  Sri
Ranganatha. When Sri Yatiraja, captivated by the
beautiful eyes of Periaperumal, turned to his side, he
found Sri Vaduganambi gazing at him( Sri Ramanuja) in
rapt attention. When exhorted by Sri LakshmanaMuni to
concentrate on the enchanting eyes of Sri Ranganatha,
Sri Vaduganambi replied that he found the divya nEtrAs
of  his own deity (Sri Ramanuja) more captivating than
those of Periaperumal. 
 We are used   to the sight of Udayavar with anjali
baddha ( with palms together in supplication).There is
however another beautiful pose with the right palm in
the gnAna mudra or upadEsa mudra. Sri Desikan avers
that this gnAna mudra, resembling a lotus in full
bloom, looks as if Sri Ramanuja , after delving into
the esoteric depths of the Upanishads, has extracted
their essence and is holding it in his palm, for
dissemination to the devout. Here is the beautiful
sloka from Sri Etiraja saptati-
 "udgrihNateem upanishatsu nigoodam arttham
  chitthE nivEsayitum alpa dhiyAm svayam na:
  pasyEma LakshmaNa munE:pratipanna hastAm
  unnidra padma subhagAm upadEsa mudrAm".

While "upamA kAlidAsasya" is the old saying,( denoting
KalidAsA's felicity with the perfect simile), after
Tooppul Pillai's avataram, it should have been
modified to "upamA Vedanta Desikasya", for such is the
depth and variety of Swami's comparisons, be it in his
stotras, rahasyas or vyakyana grantas. In the 24th
sloka of Sri Etiraja saptati, there is another
beautiful upamAnam, this time comparing Sri Ramanuja's
gnAna mudrA with a painter's brush. 
 "nAtha: sa Esha yaminAm nakha rasmi jAlai:
  antar nileenam apaneeya tamO madeeyam
  vignAna chitram anagham likhateeva chittE
  vyAkyAna kELi rasikEna karAmbujEna"
The King of sanyAsis appears before us with his right
palm in a gnAna mudrA, ready to impart tatva gnAnA. As
the Sun removes darkness from nook and corner, the
dazzling light from   the nails on Sri Yatiraja's palm
cleanses even the unreachable corners of our soul of
ignorance, making it a clean canvas for Sri
Bhashyakara to paint a picture of divine truths. It is
customary for artistes to clean the surface before
proceeding with the painting: similarly, Sri Ramanuja
makes us pure and free from sin, before imparting true
knowledge. Sri Etiraja Saptati abounds with such
similes, comparing  the Acharya to the Sun, the
Moon,the swan,a mountain,Sri Krishna, a magician etc.,
etc.

 That Sri Ramanuja was a person of stunning
handsomeness and charisma, is also borne out by the
words of Sri Tirukkacchi nambi. Sri Alavandar, while
on a visit to Kanchi , having heard reports of Sri
Ramanuja's intelligence, spiritual prowess and tEjas,
expresses a desire to see him. Sri Ramanuja, then a
part of Yadavaprakasa's entourage,  is pointed out by
Sri Tirukkacchinambi with the words, "that is Sri
Ramanuja, the tall, fair and handsome person with arms
reaching down to his knees (AjAnubAhu)".
   The glorious sight of Yatiraja at Sriperumboodur
makes us wonder-if the arcchA vigraham, which is at
best a replica, could be so breath-takingly
captivating, of what indescribable beauty must the
original tirumEni of Sri Bhashyakara have been ?

"udippana utthamar sindayuL-onnalar nenjam anji 
 kodittida mAri nadappana-koLLai van kuttramellAm
 padittha en punkavi pAvinam poondana-pAvu tol seer
Edittalai nathan IrAmAnusan tan iNai adiyE"


Srimate SriLakshmiNrsimha diva paduka sevaka
SrivanSatakopa Sri Narayana Yatindra Mahadesikaya
Nama:
                                 -dasan, sadagopan.  



__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Auctions - buy the things you want at great prices
http://auctions.yahoo.com/

--------------------------------------------------------------
           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
To Post a message, send it to:   bhakti-list@yahoogroups.com
Archives: http://ramanuja.org/sv/bhakti/archives/
 

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/ 





>