The bringing together of the palms as a measure of showing devotion and respect is known as ‘anjali’. The significance of ‘anjali’ cannot be exaggerated, Sri Akkarakkani Srinidhi said in a discourse.

We have an infinite capacity for wrongdoing, and what can people like us do to reach God? The simplest of things is enough, namely ‘anjali’. We must first of all realise how unfit we are to receive His mercy.

That realisation will humble us and make us see the importance of devotion to Him in this birth. If we had been devoted to Him in our previous births, would we be here on this Earth now? Would we not have been liberated? If we had shown our devotion through an ‘anjali’ to the Supreme One would He not have granted us moksha?

All we have to do to make God melt is to offer anjali to Him. The very first letter ‘a’ in the word ‘anjali’ is itself auspicious because ‘a’ refers to Vishnu. It is for this reason that Ramanuja began his Sri Bhashyam with the word ‘akhila’.

The use of this word was to indicate that Vishnu is the Lord and Master of all. But if this were the intention, Ramanuja could as well have begun his Sri Bhashyam with the word ‘nikhila’ which would have conveyed the same meaning. But he preferred ‘akhila’ because of the significance of the letter ‘a.’

Thus, the Supreme One is indicated by the very first letter of the word ‘anjali’, and the very first letter in Ramanuja’s commentary is also ‘a.’

We have no refuge except His feet. Imagine a bird that has fallen asleep on a ship. When it wakes up, the ship has sailed several miles from the shore. The bird does not know in which direction its home lies. It makes a few tentative flights from the ship, but is afraid to venture too far, and comes back to the ship. In the same way, we are confused and unable to judge which is the way for liberation.

Our best bet is to keep close to His feet, just as the bird keeps close to the ship, for just as the ship will eventually take the bird back home so will the Lord eventually guide us to where we should be.