Chapter 18. SaranAgathiyin Balam
(Strength of Total Surrender)
YAdavA tried his best to make rAmAnujA feel uncomfortable on some days, and the young student bore with his teacher’s conduct with much patience. One day, the teacher took to explaining the Upanishadic statement ‘Sarvam khalvidam Brahma’ and asserted that this verse supported the view ‘jivo brahmaiva nA para:’
ElaiAzhwar was unable to put up with such a misinterpretation and voiced his views politely. He went ahead and proved his point on the basis of the principles of the as-yet-unnamed philosophy of Visishtaadvaita. This was indeed a turning point in his life as YAdavaprakAsA expelled him from the school on that very day.
ElaiAzhwar was disappointed. But Tirukachi Nambi consoled him and asked him to continue the Theertha Kaimkaryam as before. ElaiAzhwar pleaded Tirukkacchi Nambi to be his guru. But the latter refused and told that the LORD of Kancheepuram would surely bless him at the right time.
As days passed, ElaiAzhwar’s mother KAntimati attained eternal bliss. ElaiAzhwar was once again consoled by Tirukachi Nambi and he immersed himself in the service of PERUNDEVI and PERARULALAN.
At SriRangam, AlavandAr had been afflicted with a terrible illness, and Maranaer Nambi had taken the disease upon himself to relieve his guru of the same, by the grace of NamperumAL. Periya Nambi did his best to nurse Maaraneri Nambi. Sri AlavandAr spent his time worrying about the future of the SriVAishNavA empire. Fully aware of rAmAnujA’s deep and insightful understanding of the VedAnta and also of his commitment to VaishNavA theism, he decided to entrust the SriVaishNavA world to the young man.’
As he was making arrangements to act on this decision, some pilgrims from Kanchi told him that rAmAnujA had been expelled from school for disputing the claims of his teacher. They also informed him that the young scholar was engaged in performing the Theertha Kaimkaryam for the LORD of Kanchi.
SriyAmunamuni immediately sent Periya Nambi to Kancheepuram with clear instruction to bring ElaiAzhwar to SriRangam, the capital of the SriVaishNavA empire.