Faith

In praise of Ramanuja

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Ramanujacharya was known as Thiruppavai Jeer. In a lecture on the Thiruppavai, G. Satyabhama spoke on Prativadhi Bhayankaram Annangarachar swami’s interpretations of Thiruppavai as referring to Ramanuja.

If we take the Nayakanai pasuram, Ramanuja can be seen as the one referred to as nayakan, for he is the vital link between his followers and the Supreme One. In the Sri Vaishnava tradition, Lord Narayana, along with His Consort, heads the Acharya lineage, and then come all the other Acharyas who preceded Ramanuja. Ramanuja served all the Acharyas before him. In turn, he was served by his followers. Thus, those who follow Ramanuja’s sampradaya get a connection to the Supreme One through their association with Ramanuja.

Koyil Kaappaane can be interpreted as a reference to Ramanuja. (koyil — temple; kaappaan — one who guards). Ramanuja introduced many reforms in Srirangam and other temples, and so he is Koyil Kaappaan. Kodi thondrum thorana, says Andal. Kodi means flag and thorana means festoon. The entrance to Sri Vaikuntha has a flag and a festoon, and the one who opens this gate for us is Ramanuja. Andal talks of a mani kadavam — a gem studded door. Ramanuja wrote nine works, which are nine gems, and these guide us. Andal says to Krishna that the Ayar sirumiyom are there at His gate, and that He should open the doors of His abode to them. Sirumiyom indicates the innocence of the Gopikas and we are are caught in samsara like them. And only an Acharya like Ramanuja can lead us to Him. Nennale vai nerndaan shows how the sacred works predicted Ramanuja’s birth Open the doors, sings Andal. That can be our prayer to Ramanuja, to reveal the meaning of rahasyas.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 6:28:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/in-praise-of-ramanuja/article28761717.ece

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