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Updated: January 23, 2014 17:10 IST

Ode to a guru

M. Varadarajan
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Ramanuja Noorththandadhi: Amudhu Virundu

Tamil Commentary by Azhwar Tirungari Ramakrishna Iyengar

Re-published by N.S. Krishnan Iyengar. Available at F-3, Rajvilla Apartments, 8/17, Ganapathi Mudali Street, Triplicane, Chennai 600005. Price: Rs. 250

Amudhu Virundu is an extensive commentary on Amudhanar's Ramanusa Noorththandadhi, written by well known scholar, the late Ramakrishna Iyengar in 1982. Amudhanar rendered 108 soul-stirring hymns in praise of Sri Ramanuja when Ramanuja was alive. This elaborates the necessity of a guru in one's life.

The author with his deep knowledge of Sanskrit and Tamil wrote this commentary that is supported with abundant passages from several ancient texts. The author projected Ramanuja’s devotion to Nammazhwar in the first hymn itself, following that to Tirumangai Azhwar with resplendent justification.

In Hymn 19, the reason behind the order of mention of Azhwars and the insight of Sri Ramanuja is elucidated authoritatively and coherently. In Hymn 22, the author establishes Ramanuja's stature on a par with Lord Krishna who destroys evil and protects the good. What stands out is the author’s lofty description in simple Tamil of Hymn 58, of the establishment of Visishtadvaita by Ramanuja in his work, ‘Sri Bhashya.’ The importance of many contemporary disciples who bonded through their devotion towards Ramanuja, is related beautifully at various instances in the book. Ramanuja’s humanism and penchant for integration are vividly described.

The second edition is a great effort made by Krishna Iyengar. Another small hymnal called ‘Mudaliyandan Andadhi’ composed by the author is also appended. This speaks of the glory of Mudaliyandan, an ardent disciple of Ramanuja. This book makes a very interesting analytical read for one and all.

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