(SriRAmAnujA’s Advent on Earth)
Vaikuntapathi, (LORD of the SriVaikuntam, which is also known as NityaVibhuthi) appeared on earth in various forms, several times to act out His Jagan Natakam, and to impart true knowledge to all Jivatmas, so that they could break free of the hold of prakiti, which is also known as MAyA. Under the direction of His unfailing will, His divine weapons manifested themselves as the Aazhwaars. All these incarnations were in vain.
(It must be noted here, that when such things are said, they are not meant to criticize earlier manifestations but rather to praise the subsequent one. SriRAmAnujA uses this argument in his response to the advaitin objection to PAncharAtra. Likewise we need to understand that, SriRAmAnujA’s glory is being praised here, and it cannot be construed that the Lord’s incarnations or those of His eternal servants’ were ever in vain).
Sriman Narayana wanted to remedy this, and He decided to send his sacred royal subordinate “Aadiseshan” (Personified as the Thousand-Hooded Serpent Lord, on whom the ever-smiling Vasudeva reclines luxuriously) as a world teacher on a mission of compassion and service to the Divine.
The LORD Himself came to SriPerumpudur well in advance of SriAdiseshA’s birth as Sri Ramanuja and waited for his advent.
In the SriPerumpudur of those times,, there lived a Vedic Scholar and pundit named ‘Kesava Somayaji’ in SriPerumbudur. He was a legatee of Asuri Vamsa and came under the HarithA Gothram. He was respected greatly by the people in and around SriPerumbudur. Impressed with his conduct and the respectability of his family, Periya Tirumalai Nambi fixed arranged to have Kesava Somayaji and Kanthimathi alias Bhoomi Piratti (Periya Tirumalai Nambi’s first younger sister) united in wedlock..His second younger sister ‘Thiyuthamathi’ alias Periya Piratti was married to ‘KamalaNayana Bhattar’ of PurushaMangalam.
The couple, though peaceful and blissfully married, were deeply upset over the fact that they had been issueless since their union in sacred wedlock. Tirukkacchi nambi of Poonamallee (whose devotion to the Lord of Hasthigiri was touched upon in the previous chapter), who was a friend of Kesava Somayaji advised the latter to perform the celebrated PutraKameshti (sacrifice performed by those desirous of begetting a son)yagam to beget a child. Seeing much merit in the suggestion, Kesava Somayaji and Kanthimathi performed ‘PutraKameshti Yagam’ at Thiruvallikeni seeking the blessings of SRI PARTHASARATHY, the LORD of Thiruvallikeni. The lovely LORD of Tiruvallikeni appeared in their dream and gave them the assurance that He Himself would be born as their son. (This incident resonates in spirit with the incarnation of SriNammAzhwAr. It is to be remembered that Tirukarungudi Nambi Himself took birth as NammAzhwAr).
On the twelfth day of the bright fortnight shuklapaksham) of the Tamizh month of Chittirai, under the asterism of ThiruvAdhirai (ArdrA) was born the greatest Acharya of SriVaishnavism – SriRAmAnujA. According to Western chronology, the date would have been the 4th of April in the year 1017 A.D – according to Indian chronology, it was the 4119th year of the Kaliyuga(and the Thamzih year Pingala). The lagnam (or ascendant) was Kataka and the time of birth midday.
Despite being unaware of the fact that his child was destined to conquer the religious world and establish the philosophy of Visishtaadvaita, Kesava Somayaji brimmed with happiness and sent a message conveying the good news to Periya Tirumalai Nambi, the maternal uncle of the child.
Periya Tirumalai Nambi came and saw the child with full joy and named him as ‘IlayAzhwan (Lakshmanan)’. He bestowed his benedictions upon the baby and prophesied that IlayAzhwan was desinted to become a great personage who would be remembered forever for his tremendous service to knowledge and humanity.
He was claimed and celebrated to be, the manifestation of
- ‘Adiseshan’ as know to the common man and particularly by Vaduga Nambi in his ‘Sri Venkatesa IthihasaMala’
- ‘5 Divine Weapons’ by ThiruvarangatthamudhanAr
- ‘Sriman Narayana’ by Achan Pillai
- ‘Vishvaksena’ and ‘Dattathraeya’ by Swami Vedantha Desikan
- ‘Victory Flag of Sri Renganatha’ by KooratthAzhwAn
- ‘LORD Krishna’ by Tirukoshtiyur Nambi because
- Krishna was the brother of Bala’Rama’ – Ramanuja was also named as Lakshmana (Ilakkumanan)(brother of Rama) (this is the story behind the RAmAnujaThraya in the SriSampradayaam – Lakshmana, SriKrishna and Udaiyavar).
- Krishna was the 8th son – Ramanuja was the 8th Man in the GuruParamparao Krishna was born to kill Kamsa – Ramanuja was born to kill Kaliyuga
- Krishna was born and brought up in disguise – Ramanuja was a born Vaishnava who briefly appeared to the outside world as an advaitin.
- Krishna glorified Yadava cult – Ramanuja glorified Yadava Prakasaro Krishna bequeathed upon us the blessed Bhagavad-Gita – Ramanuja churned the ocean of the Gita for its nectar – meaning the essence of its immortal truths.
As per the hagiographic accounts available,, SriRAmAnujA’s idol is considered to be older than that of SriNammAzhwAr’s idol. When Sri Madurakavi was in the process of recovering NamAzhwar’s idol for worship, from the Taamirabharani river, he first got Sri RAmAnujA’s idol. This was kept buried under the Tamarind tree where NamAzhwar was in meditation. When TiruVaimozhipillai was involved in the planning of Azhwar Thirunagari Town, he was instructed in a dream about Sri RAmAnujA’s idol under the tree. He immediately unearthed Sri RAmAnujA’s idol and constructed a temple and four streets around it, and named the town as ‘ChaturVedi Mangalam’,. This city is in close proximity to Azhwar Thirunagari. (It must be mentioned that, enraptured by this idol of Sri Ramanuja, Sri Manavala Mamunigal, sang the ‘YathiAja Vimshathi’)