Acharya Ramanuja learnt the Ramayana from Peria Thirumalai Nambi for a year. At the end of the period, Ramanaujacharya asked Peria Thirumalai Nambi, if he could take back Embar with him. Embar was a disciple of Peria Thirumalai Nambi and served him with devotion. When he spread the bed for Peria Thirumalai Nambi, he would roll on the mattress to make sure it was comfortable and not lumpy! He took great care to ensure his comfort. But when his Acharya instructed him to accompany Ramanuja, he did so, for he always obeyed his preceptor’s words.
But as the days went by, Ramanuja noticed that Embar had lost a lot of weight and become very weak. He realised that this was because of his separation from his Acharya. Just as a child pines for the mother in her absence, so had Embar been pining for his Acharya. Realising this, Ramanuja told him that he was to go back to him. Embar was overjoyed and regained strength. This is a pre-eminent quality of the Lord’s devotees. They are attached to their Acharyas as well and cannot brook separation from them, said Gomatam Sampathkumarachariar.
There used to be a devotee of Ramanuja called Pillai Urangavilli Dasar. One day, when Pillai Urangavilli Dasar’s wife Pon Nachiar was asleep, some Vaishnavites came to the house and pulled off her ear-ring. The lady realised that she was being robbed, but noticing that the thieves were Sri Vaishnavas, she pretended to be asleep. But they had removed the ear-ring only from one ear, for she was sleeping on her side and the other ear was resting on the ground. She turned over so that the thieves could take the other ear-ring too! But the thieves thought that the lady was waking up and that she would hand them over to the authorities. So they fled. When Pillai Urangavilli Dasar came home and was told what had happened, he chided her. If she had not rolled over, but had been like a log of wood, the thieves would have somehow removed the other ear-ring too. By turning over, she had prevented them from taking it. Thus the Lord’s devotees want their wealth to be of use to other devotees.