Friday, November 2, 2007

Ramanuja Vaibhavam Chapter - 007

Education at Kancheepuram

Years rolled by. ElaiAzhwar’s father Kesava Somayagi attained the abode of eternal bliss (beautifully referred to as Meelaa Thirunaadu in chaste Thamizh). For a period of time, ElaiAzhwar and his mother Kanthimathi were deeply disconsolate over his demise. However, they found some consolation in the wise words of Tirukachi Nambi and Periya Tirumalai Nambi. Acting on their counsel, RAmAnujA’s family moved to, Kancheepuram, the city non-pareil.

The philosophical canvas in India was heavily coloured by advaitin views during the centuries following AdiSamkara. RAmAnujA was destined to change this state of affairs. In accordance with this divine ordination, destiny made him enroll as a student in the class of one ‘YAdavaPrakAsA’ who taught a version of Bhedaabheda that was to a large extent influenced by Kevalaadvaita. This scholar held his vedanta classes and discourses at Tiruputkuzhi, a place where LORD RAmA is said to have performed the final rituals for JatAyu.

Tiruputkuzhi is somewhat far away from Kancheepuram, and is home to SriVijayaRaghavaPerumAl. ElaiAzhwar obtained permission and blessings from his mother and trekked daily from Kancheepuram to Tiruputkuzhi for attending YAdavaPrakAsA.’s classes. He was accompanied by his cousin Govindan. Both were good students and gained entry into the teacher’s good books. However, all this was set to change, as Sriman Narayana pulled the strings for RAmAnujA’s first clash with his teacher.

Even though Yadava Prakasa was a great scholar, he was a filled with ego and rudeness. He was also stubborn and adamant in his preaching on Advaitha principles. He used to preach unacceptable meanings for the Vedanta’s and would try to justify the same with his ability in reading between the lines from the Sastras. ElaiAzhwar was deeply hurt by his Acharya’s behaviour. But was silent. The day came…..!!

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