Once at Srirangam , Swami Ramanuja was explaining to his disciples all that he had learned from his gurus . As he was talking about Tirumalai that was compared to Bhuloka Vaikuntham in those days. Suddenly he felt like seeing his disciple Swami Ananthazhwan who was at Tirumala and have darshinam of Sri Venkatachalapathy . There at Tirumala as per his guru’s aghya (order) Ananthazvan went to Tirumalai and after having darshan of Lord Venkatachalapathi, with deep devotion he started his work. He was successful in laying a garden with all kinds of beautiful and pleasant smelling flowers which were offered to the Lord daily . He also built a small pond for gardening . The garden is also there now and Lord Venkatachalapathi visits the garden and stays there for some time on the appearance day of Ananthazvan and also on Thiruvadipooram day. Swami Ramanuja was very glad to know that Ananthazvan had fulfilled his wish. . Swamy Ramanuja started his journey to Tirumalai with some of his disciples.The first day he stayed at a place called Idaikazi. The second day he was supposed to reach a place called Ashtasahasram. Two of his Vaishnava disciples were staying there. He sent word through two of his disciples to one Yaghyesar who was a rich man to make arrangements for his stay. Yaghyesar was thrilled to hear the news and started making elaborate arrangements, but failed to look after the disciples who gave him the message. When Ramanuja came to know this he felt sad and he decided to stay in the house of his other disciple Varadachari. He was a poor man and every day he used to go for biksha . His wife Lakshmi only was at home when Swami Ramanuja went to his house. Lakshmi was very happy to see her Acharayar and his disciples and requested them to have food at her house, but told them to take rest at the nearby tank side until she finished cooking. There was nothing at home to cook and she was in a predicament. But suddenly an idea struck her. There was a merchant who had shown interest in her and wanted to have relationship with her . All along Lakshmi being a chaste woman, never yielded to his advances. Now she thought that she could fulfill the merchant’s desire and get money to buy things for the renowned and honored her Acharyar and the bhagavathas. She felt that her body would serve a useful purpose. She went to the merchant’s house and told him that she had come to fulfill his wish, but before that she wanted to serve Acharyar . The merchant, though surprised to hear this, sent her all that she wanted. Lakshmi went home and cooked food and after offering it to Lord, she served the bhagavathas . Her husband Varadachari came home and he was delighted to see Swami Ramanuja and disciples .He was overjoyed and silently praised his wife for the wonderful satsangh and ThadiAaradhanai . When he came to know that they had taken prasadam at his house, his happiness knew no bounds. Yet he was bewildered how his wife had managed as there was nothing at home. He took her aside and asked her. She told him all that had happened. Varadachari did not get angry with his wife, but he praised her for her decision. He took her hand and went in front of Acharyar and both prostrated to Swami Ramanuja . Varadachari had told Swami Ramanuja all that had happened. Ramanuja was wonderstruck to hear this. He told them to have their food and take the remaining food to the merchant’s house. Varadachari and Lakshmi went to the merchant’s house together carrying Ramanuja’s sreepada tirtham (holy water) and prasadam. Varada requested that he accept the same and then do as he wished with his wife Lakshmi went inside and served food to the merchant. After eating the food the merchant there was a sea change in the merchant’s behaviour.. The merchant was overcome by feelings of disgust with himself. He walked around the couple and prostrated on the ground in front of them, saying — “you are like my parents — please forgive my ignorance and stupidity and take me to your guru so that I may take refuge in him” They all went back to their house and Swami Ramanuja’s grace made all three of them to progress further in the spiritual bliss . Swamy Ramanuja accepted the merchant as his disciple. The merchant had offered all his wealth to Ramanuja and Ramanuja offered it to Varadachari. But Varadachari refused to accept it saying that his guru kataksham was his most cherished wealth. Thus Ramanuja proved that guruvaruLwould create miracles! He wept with joy saying — “you are not a human woman but a goddess you have sacrificed everything, even your honour for your guru!”. He immediately told Ramanuja who was overwhelmed by their devotion to him and blessed them again and again.
All glories to our JagataAcharyar
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
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