Salai Keenaru Theertha Kainkaryam
Days rolled by, and the Lord’s Will began to work wonders in rAmAnujA’s life. Soon he met TirukkacchiNambi and apprised him of his adventures. Impelled by the commander-from-within (antaryAmin), He implored Nambi to accept him as a disciple and further his education. Nambi refused and assured him that PaeraruLALan would send a teacher his way, when the time was ripe. ElaiAzhwar was not to be deterred so easily, and he sought to enter the service of the Lord of kAnchi.
TirukkacchiNambi, who was a confidante of the Lord of Hastigiri, advised rAmAnujA to wait for a reply from the Lord himself. Then the ageing VaishNava proceeded to ascertain the Lord’s wishes on the subject of rAmAnujA’s desire to perform ‘kaimkaryam’ (which is the spiritual Summum Bonum, according to the SriVaishNava SampradAyam).
Later that night, while TirukkacchiNambi was engaged in performing the fanning service (TiruAalavattam Kainkaryam) to Perarulalan, he conveyed rAmAnujA’s request to the LORD. The LORD gracefully parted his lotus-like lips and ordered TirukKachi Nambi to commission ElaiAzhwar to bring a pot of water from the “SAlai KiNaru” near Kanchi for HIS ThiruvArAdhanam and Tirumanjanam, every day. He also added that Perundevi ThAyAr would be more than pleased with this service, and bless rAmAnujA unreservedly. It is an important fact to be noted, that the grace and protection of the Divine Mother are all important to anyone who wishes to achieve anything in life. Without Her kind glance, even the all-merciful Lord will not support a Jivatma in her endeavors. Such is the greatness of ThAyAr.
The next day had hardly begun, and the rays of the sun had hardly kissed the morning clouds, when Nambi heard someone knocking on his door. Upon seeing that it was none other than rAmAnujA, Nambi was overcome with joy and amazement. He was happy to see the sincerity of the young Hari-bhakthA, and amazed at his dedication to duty.
ElaiAzhwar agreed to do as advised, with a faint trepidation in his heart, which was ever anxious to serve the Lotus-eyed One. He then discussed his adventures with Nambi. Nambi confirmed his hunch that the hunter and his wife, who had saved him from the dangers of the jungle, were none other than THE DIVINE COUPLE of Kanchi.
rAmAnujA began fetching water for the Lord’s worship from that day onwards.
Even today, one can find this well in a place that is about 7 kms away from Kanchi en route to Sevilimedu. Even today the Lord of kAnchi is worshipped exclusively, using water from this well. Interestingly, each year once the Thiruvadhyayana Utsavam is consummated, the LORD of Kanchi and RAmAnujA visit this Salai Keenaru (well). First Tirumanjanam (Holy Bath) is performed for rAmAnujA using water from this well. After his servant’s Tirumanjanam (SeSA) is done, PaeraruLALan’s is done with much fanfare, as rAmAnujA looks on, with devotion and love.