You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : Rituals: April 2002

[sv-rituals] ACHARYA UTSAVAM IN THIRUVALLIKENI

From: sumithra varadarajan (sumivaradan_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Wed Apr 17 2002 - 12:46:05 PDT

Sri Parthasarathi thunai
Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha

Pranams,

As per Lord Parthasarathi’s wish I now conclude my
anubhavams about Sri Parthasarathi Brahmotsavam.  Let
us now enjoy the excellent Utsavam of one of the
incarnation of Sri Parthasarathi himself “Sri Acharya
Ramanuja”.  It is right time now, tomorrow being the
Thirunakshatram of the great Acharya to talk and
remember his excellence.

Before going to the subject of the Acharya Utsavam let
us bring to memory some important facts about the
acharya which make him our pradamacharya.  Our Acharya
parampara actually starts with Sriman Narayana, then
comes the Piratti followed by Vishvakshenar  and
Nammazhvar.  After Sri Sadagopan, Nadamunigal leads
the acharya list.  Then why do we regard Sri Ramanuja
to be our pradamacharya?  It is the wish of the
Bhagavan. There is one I-thihyam in the guru parampara
that when Madurakavi Azhvar tried to make the vigraham
of Nammazhvar using the Tamaraparani  river water he
found that the vigraham which came out was not of his
acharya but someone else.  When he asked his
acharya(sri nammazhvar) about it,  Nammazhvar told him
that it was the vigraham of the
Bhavishyadhacharyan(Sri Ramanujan) about whom he has
said in his ‘Poliga Poliga’ Pasuram.  This vigraham
passed on through the guru parampara and today we can
have darshan of the same in Alwar Thirunagari. 
Nammazhvar visits this sannadhi once during the
Vaikasi Utsavam and has Thirumanjanam with the
Bhavishyadhacharyan.  So it is accepted fact that even
Sri Sadagopan  accepted Sri Ramanuja as a great
Acharya who has taken birth to remove the sins of the
kali yuga as he says ‘Kaliyum kedum kandu konmin’.

There is one saying in our sampradhayam that all the
acharyas before Sri Ramanuja attained Emperuman’s feet
by the head of the acharya and those after him by his
feet.  In our guru parampara all acharyas before Sri
Ethirajar are called as ‘Anuvritti prasannacharyas’. 
That is they gave the excellent meanings in our
sampradhayam to the shisyas only after checking if the
sishya is really capable.  Even Acharya Ramanuja had
to go 18 times from Srirangam to Thirukottiyur to get
the great Rahasya Arthas from Sri Thirukottiyur Nambi.
 And he instructed Sri Ramanuja not to let out the
meanings to anyone.

But Sri Ramanuja due to his krupai, Stood on top of
the Thirukottiyur Gopuram and let out the Thirumantram
to all who were interested. That is why Sri Manavala
Mamunigal in his UpadesaRatnamalai says “Asai
Vudayorkku Ellam Ariyarkal Koorumendru Pesi
Varambaruthan Pin”(Sri Ramanuja broke the earlier
restrictions for a disciple and gave the meanings to
who were all interested in it).  And so all the
acharyas who came after Sri Ramanuja  are called
“Krupa Mathra Prasannacharyas”.  They don’t expect our
eligibility to give the divine meanings.  So in
Ramanuja Sampradhayam ‘interest in Bhagavat Vishayam’
is only the eligibility for an disciple to get the
meanings from his acharya.  When we say Ramanuja
Sampradayam it doesn’t mean that  Vishistadvaitam was
invented or created by Sri Ramanuja.  It is actually a
Vaidika Madam,  which Sri Ramanuja brought to light.

Sri Ramanuja was a born intellect.  He gave Arthas to
the vedic verses even when he was a student.  You may
ask me then why did he learn things from a guru or
from 5 gurus.  This can be explained by the verses of 
Sri Periya Nambi/Sri Thirukottiyur Nambi to Sri
Thirumalai Andan.  He says don’t think Ramanuja to be
your disciple but think him like Sri Ramar to
Vashister and Sri Krishnar to Sandeepini.  Though Sri
Ramar and Sri krishnar where the god himself they did
do their gurukulavasam under the respective gurus. 
Similarly Sri  Ramanuja learnt the sastras and
sampradhaya grantas from 5 disciples of Sri Alavandar.

There is one more interesting story which highlights
the fame of Acharya.  When Sri Ramanuja went to have
the darshan of the Thirukurungudi Nambi, Nambi asked
him, how he has so my disciples for his credit and how
he is able to change the samsaris to Bhagavatals so
easily when he himself couldn’t succeed inspite of
taking so many avataras and also giving the Bhagavat
Geetha.  Acharya then replied that it was a great
secret and if Nambi really wanted to know he has to
give Sri Ramanuja the Acharya padavi and Nambi has to
become his disciple.  So the lord Sri Thirukkurungudi
Nambi sat under the Acharya Sri Ramanuja and 
requested him to give the secret and Acharya told the
Thirumandram in the ears of Nambi and declared that
only by the greatness of this Mantra, he was able to
change the people to Bhagavatals.  It is usual that no
one accepts the greatness of a person if he talks
about him himself,  but if someone else says that he
is great then the others also believe him to be great.
 The Bhagavan showed himself and said ‘Mam Ekam
Charanam Vraja’  but the Acharya showed the divine
feet of the Emperuman and said fall in his feet and
the people seeing the greatness of Acharya believed
his words and fell under the feet of Sriman Narayana. 
Tha Acharya sannadhi in Thirukkurungudi where he
became the acharya of Nambi himself is really superb. 
We feel asif the acharya is live in front of us when
we see the beautiful moolavar there.  Though the
sannadhi is little away from the main temple,  it is a
sannadhi which any Ramanuja Dasan should visit.

Till now I just recollected a few things to remind us
the greatness of our Acharya. There are a lot more
instances which I have left out.  As you all know our
Acharya was born in Sri Perumbudur.  Let  me first
tell you his avatara Rahasyam .  He is supposed to be
an adishesha avatara who came to earth to lift us all
to the divine feet of the Emperuman.  There is one
more thing said in the life history of Sri Ramanuja. 
When I tell you that, you all will understand the
importance of Ramanuja Utsavam in Thiruvallikeni. 
Acharyan's parents Sri Kesava somayajulu and Sri
Gandhimati Ammal didn’t have a child for long.  So
they did a yagam in Thiruvallikeni after taking bath
in the Kairavini Pushkarini.  That night Sri
Parthasarathi came in the dreams of Sri Keshava Sharma
and told him that he himself will be born as a child
to them.  The couples were very happy.  As per the
word of Bhagavan Sri Ramanuja was born to the couples.
 He was named Elaiyazhvar.  So Sri Ramanujar is
considered as an incarnation of Thiruvallikeni Sri
Parthasarathi Perumal.  So  in Thiruvallikeni Acharya
Utsavam is celebrated in a grand manner for 10 days. 
Usually in Thiruvallikeni no alwar or acharya has a
separate veedhi Purppadu.  They go in front of Perumal
facing the Perumal with folded hands.  But since
Ramanuja is considered as the incarnation of Sri
Parthasarathi he has a separate purappadu.  Sri
Ramanuja never goes in front of Parthasarathi perumal
but instead he goes side by side with him.  These are
the specialities found only in Thiruvallikeni.

All the ten days Acharya goes round the temple and
does Mangalasasanams to all the deities in various
sannadhis.  When the acharya starts from his sannadhi
the ghosti starts reciting the ‘Dhadee Panchakam’
(sloka about the acharya composed by Sri Koorathazhvan
and others), then they continue with first few
strotras in Sri Alavandar’s Strotra Ratnam and then
finally Sri manavala Mamunigal’s Yathiraja Vimsati and
complete it in front of the Thayar Sannadhi.  It is
really great to enjoy the acharya amidst the sound of
Yathiraja Vimsathi lingering in the air.  He marches
forward hearing the strotra of his disciple Sri
Manavala Mamunigal(Considered to be rebirth of Sri
Ramanuja).  The Acharya starts his Mangalasasanam from
the Vedavalli thayar sannadhi,  he gets the blessings
of the thayar and then proceed to the Varadhar
Sannadhi(We should remember here that in Gadya Trayam
also the Acharya starts only with his salutations to
the Thayar and he did Theertha Kainkaryam to Kanchi
Varadhar for many years before he went to Srirangam). 


Then the Acharya proceeds to the Thirumazhisai Alwar
sannadhi and gets the blessings of the Alwar.  Then he
goes to the Azhagiya singar sannadhi and then to meet
his beloved sister Sri Andal who regarded Ramanuja as
her brother and called him as ‘Nam Koil Annan’.  From
there Sri Ramanuja gets the Blessings of his
pradamacharya Sri Alavandar( Ramanuja considered
himself as Ekalavya for Sri Alavandar).  Then
finishing his mangalasasanam to Sri Parthasarathi he
goes to get the blessings of Sri Nammazhvar.  We all
know that the padugai of Nammazhvar is called as
‘Ramanujan’ except in Alwar Thirunagari where it is
called as ‘Madura Kavi’ (in rememberence of Sri
MaduraKavi Alwar, the great disciple of Sri
Nammazhvar). 

Thiruvarangathu Amudhanar in his Ramanuja
Nootrandhadhi says,
 “Poomannu maadhu porindhiya maarbhan
Pogazh malinda paamannu maaran  adipaninduidhavan     
                 
 Palgalaiyor tham manna vandha eramanujan nam manni
vazha 
Nenje solluvom avan Namaggale”
Here Amudhanar explains that Sri Nammazhvar has
glorified the fame of Sriman Narayana and Sri Ramanuja
followed the footsteps of Nammazhvar and for us to
live, oh my mind! let us tell the names of Sri
Ramanuja.

After getting the blessings from Nammazhvar acharya
gets into the vahanam and gets ready for the Veedhi
Purappadu.

Every afternoon Thirumanjanam to Acharya is done and
the kattiyam delivered before the Thirumanjanam is
again excellent.  Nalayira ghosti is there these ten
days and on the tenth day satrumarai is done.  On the
Thirunakshatram of Acharya special thirumanjanam is
done for him along with Sri Parthasarathi Emperuman,
and in the evening acharya rides in the small
chariot(Chinna ThEr) and after returning back
Satrumarai is done.

After the ten day Acharya Utsavam  Vidhayarthi is done
for 3 days.  On the final day of the Vidhayarthi
Acharya comes in Veedhi purappadu.  This year the
Vidhayarthi Utsavam ends on the day of Rama Navami so
Acharya will be accompanied by Sri Ramar.  Lucky once
are those who are going to have the darshan of Sri
Ramar and Sri Ramanujar in the Thiru veedhis of
Thiruvallikeni.

Adiyen Ramanuja Dasyai
 Sumithra Varadarajan 


__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Tax Center - online filing with TurboTax
http://taxes.yahoo.com/


------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor ---------------------~-->
Buy Stock for $4
and no minimums.
FREE Money 2002.
http://us.click.yahoo.com/k6cvND/n97DAA/ySSFAA/XUWolB/TM
---------------------------------------------------------------------~->

-- SrImatE rAmAnujAya namaH --

 

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