Ranganatha and Srinivasa

Published - December 23, 2018 09:45 pm IST

The 7th mantra in apratirathasukta of Taittiriya Samhita can be interpreted as referring to the Lords of Srirangam and Tirumala, said V.S. Karunakarachariar, in a discourse. The number seven itself has significance for these temples, for Srirangam has seven prAkAras and Tirumala has seven hills. There are other significant reasons too for concluding that the verse refers to Ranganatha and Srinivasa. Lord Narayana’s archa forms are like an army which saves us from the samsaric bond. Pillai Urangavilli Dasar, for instance, was obsessed with the beauty of his wife’s eyes. But when Ramanuja showed him the beauty of Lord Ranganatha’s eyes, he became devoted to the Lord. One of the names of the Lord in the Vishnu Sahasranama is sushENa. Parasara Bhatta explains that His divine body draws baddhas, muktas and nityas and makes them serve Him, and is therefore like His army. One of the meanings of the word ‘gotra’ is name. If we take this meaning, then the word gotra in the mantra can be a reference to the One who takes all names, and therefore a reference to Ranganatha. When an old woman called out to her grandson who was called Rangan, the Lord Himself heeded her call, and ate the greens she served! This incident is celebrated every year with the visit of Ranganatha to the village of Jeeyarpuram. The word adAyah, which means he who has no share, can be taken as a reference to Srinivasa. When war broke out between Tondaiman, who was His Consort Padmavati’s uncle, and Padmavati’s brother Viswaksena, the Lord helped resolve the problem. It was decided that Tondaiman and Viswaksena would each rule one half of the kingdom. The Lord then asked them what they would give to Padmavati. Since the Lord asked for a share, adAyah can be taken as referring to Lord Srinivasa.

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