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From: B. Narasimhan (naaranan_at_md3.vsnl.net.in)
Date: Sun May 30 1999 - 20:39:05 PDT
Sri Mathe Ramanujaya Namah Alaghia Manavala Mamunighal(Part 7) (article by Sri V.V.Ramanujam, published in Sri Panchajanya magazine) Out of the vast concourse of his disciples, he appointed eight as the Ashta Diggaja Acharya - the mighty elephants guarding the eight directions - each to protect and propagate an aspect of Sri Ramanujas teaching - one for Sri Bhasyam, another for Bhagavath Vishayam and so on, He reformed and systematised the worship in temples according to the original scheme of Ramanuja. 'Ramanujarya Divyagnya vardhatam abhivardhatam' is the formula he gave and struck to. The rituals & worship had become highly disorganised due to disturbed conditions following the Muslim invasion and the massacre of the pious devotees and sacrilege committed by the invaders. Adimist all his greatness the Jeeyar was the very pesonification of humility and modesty. He did not allow his disciples to deify him. It was only by persistent effort that they got permission - grudgingly given by the master - for casting his likeness in metal and worship. He stipulated that two idols should be made from some old copper vessals he had been using, so that the idols would be quite small. The idols at Alwar Thirunagari - his birth place and at SriRangam where he toiled are midgets. His great humility find eloquent expressions in his Yathiraja Vimsathi and Arthiprabandham.