Once Ramanujacharya was giving a discourse on the Ramayana, in Srirangam. He had just got to the point where Vibhishana approaches Rama, and says he has left everything behind in Sri Lanka, and has come to Rama. At that point, Ramanuja heard someone crying. He stopped the discourse, to find out who was crying, and why he was crying, elaborated Kidambi Narayanan, in a discourse.

Ramanujacharya discovered that it was his disciple Pillai Urangavilli Dasar, who was weeping. When Ramanujacharya asked him why he was crying, Pillai Urangavilli Dasar replied that Vibhishana had left behind his wealth and his family, and had come to Lord Rama, with nothing to call his own. And yet, even Vibhishana was kept waiting by the Lord, and was taken into the Lord’s camp only after much debate and discussion had taken place. The Lord had allowed such discussions, before putting forth his point of view that Vibhishana should be accepted. The Lord could have just taken the decision to accept Vibhishana, without making him wait, but the Lord had not done so. If the Lord made Vibhishana wait for so long, before he was accepted, what would He do in the case of people like Pillai Urangavilli Dasar? That was the question in Pillai Urangavilli Dasar’s mind.

Ramanuja assured Pillai Urangavilli Dasar that his position was different from Vibhishana’s. Ramanuja told Pillai Urangavilli Dasar that he was sure to be saved, and that he need have no doubts in this matter. Pillai Urangavilli Dasar, because of his connection with Ramanujacharya, would be saved. There was no reason for Pillai Urangavilli Dasar to doubt the lord’s acceptance of his surrender, for he had in Ramanuja, an Acharya, who himself came from an unbroken lineage, that started with Lord Mahavishnu Himself.

In his Nyasa Tilakam, Vedanta Desika gives an example to show how our connection with an Acharya benefits us. A king has a loyal minister. The king rewards the minister for his loyalty. The minister takes home the gifts the king gives him, for the minister wants his wife and children to enjoy the gifts. They know nothing about the king, but they get to enjoy the gifts of the king, because of their connection with the minister. Likewise, our having an Acharya is enough for the Lord to save us.

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