It was during the period 1795 to 1799 a British officer called Colonel Lionel Blazehe was Collector of Chengalpattu District . Colonel Lionel  on his routine survey had witnessed two cracks to the huge tank in Madurantakam taluk.


The enormity of the problem can be appreciated only when we know of the massive size of the tank. Having an area of 13 square miles and a depth of 21 feet, the breaching of the tank following torrential downpour was any official’s nightmare. Wanting to take preemptive action in the year 1798 the Collector camped at Madurantakam.


During his sojourn the Collector was exploring ways and means to undertake urgent repairs of the breaches if and when they happened. During the course of his inspections, he happened to see a large collection of granite and other stones in the precincts of the  LOrd Sri Rama temple near to the tank .

ramaaThe Collector mentioned to his subordinates that these granite stones  could be put to use in restoration of the bunds. Hearing this the temple priests submitted that the stones were meant for constructing a separate shrine for  Mother Janakavalli Thayar and since there was paucity of funds,  the construction could not commence.


Noticing this the Collector is said to have remarked that where was the need for a separate shrine when more urgent work like repairing the bunds were crying for resources and asked the priests jestingly as to why the Lord was not able to save the tank each year? The priests replied saying that the Lord was always known to answer a sincere prayer from the heart.


Meanwhile ,  during his stay , the rains came and it poured and in a few days the tank was full to the brim and a rupture seemed imminent. That night a worried Collector camped near the tank hoping against hope that the bunds would hold. The water level had risen alarmingly .In another hour or so of the rain and the lake would breach submerging the whole villages and since rain was still coming down in sheets accompanied by a storms , there seemed little hope of averting the inevitable.


He imagined whether it was the will of the Jesus that he should die in a heathen land,forsaking his beautiful wife and affectionate children in distant England? The moment these thoughts occurred to him, he banished them with guilt-he was the District Collector, responsible for the lives and safety of thousands. They looked up to him with child-like faith, hoping against hope that the fair-skinned “Durai” would somehow work a miracle and save them all from certain death.


But what could he do in the face of Nature’s unrelenting fury? The swirling waters of the lake were looking more menacing by the minute, and the wind had snatched away the umbrella held over his head by a lackey, apparently angered at the Collector’s efforts at protecting his head while thousands innocent villagers were drenched to the skin stretched tightly over their skeletal bodies. He was desperate and could think of no way to prevent the waters rushing out on their terrible mission of destruction.


The  pious old priest of the temple, who had spoken of the temple deities reached the Collector’s side and, picking up courage, told the Official that only Lord Rama could save them now, as the situation seemed beyond human intervention. He explained to the skeptical Englishman the immense power of the Lord and His matchless beauty.


In the drenching downpour, despite the shivering , swallowing away many of his words, his broken English, he gave the foreigner an account of the exploits of Lord Sri Rama and of His bridging the vast ocean with the aid of mere monkeys. He narrated about Lord Rama who from a royal family had spent fourteen hard years in the jungle, just to obey an unjust command supposedly from His father and conveyed to Him by a step-mother who was intent on making her own son the heir to the throne.The old Priest said , when we are drowning, we tend to clutch at straws in desperation, especially when nothing else is available to hold on to. The British man was in a similar situation.


Though his strict Christian upbringing and military training prompted only disbelief at the Priest tales, still an image began to form in his mind of a tall, handsome Prince, with a long bow held aloft in His powerful hands, the personification of mercy and righteous conduct, the symbol of sacrifice.


His lotus-like eyes brimming with mercy for all mortals, and accompanied by an equally impressive figure, obviously a younger brother and ever ready to rush to the rescue of those in distress, at a mere call for safety, be it from whichever quarter. And once the image of the bewitching Lord entered his mind, the britisher found it was difficult to shake it off and experienced an extremely pleasurable sensation, even amidst the desperate situation he found himself trapped in.

Still , his mind reluctantly he posed round to the possibility of appealing to this mythological hero for aid, which seemed the only thing left, especially since all other efforts had failed. And once his mind accepted what was hitherto unthinkable for him, he felt unreasonably accepted and prayed in his heart of hearts to Lord Sri Rama to somehow, somehow, lead him and thousands of villagers out of this apparently inescapable end.


“Oh Sri Rama!” prayed the Britisher ,” Please do this, if not for my sake, then for the sake of the thousands who believe in You with all their spiritual might and conviction. I was listening to the stories of Your impossible feats with only half an ear.


However, if it was possible for You to conquer that vast body of waters (lying between You and Lanka) with the mere threat of retribution, it should be no difficult task for You to control the menacing waters of this MadhurAntakam lake and to keep them confined to the inner bunds.


I know understand well that these are the words of an ignorant fool who lacks absolute faith in You.He inwardly prayed LORD SREE RAMA .


Do this for me and for the sake of the hundreds of men, women and children who are in danger , and I shall surely build a temple for Your Consort, whom You appear to love dearly. Lord, please do help me!” The Britisher saw a miraculous sight. He saw two warriors bearing bow and quiver guarding the bunds.



He went on his knees and prayed, for he knew it was none other than Lord Rama and his divine brother Lakshmana in his heart inwardly . It was indeed strange that nobody else who was a part of the Collector’s team saw the Lord. The awe-struck foreigner, overjoyed by the unbelievable fainted and fell on the sandy silty tank bund with a thud, slipping into unconsciousness, obviously incapable of absorbing the full delight of the divine spectacle.


When he emerged from his trance, Colonel found himself in his comfortable bed in his own quarters . The impossible situation in which he had fainted, the Collector sat up with a jerk and demanded from his subordinates the latest position on the flooding threat, and felt immense relief wash over him when told that the rains had stopped with miraculous suddenness during the night and the lake waters too, poised on the brink, had receded to fairly safe levels.




Through a planned opening of the sluices, the water level was brought back to near normal and the threat had blown-over. After a while the vision evanesced the rain stopped.


The Transcendental image of the Lord and His infinite mercy in answering the insincere prayers of an unbelieving foreigner continued to occupy the Britisher thoughts forever, and he used to recount the tale with devotion to skeptical audiences even after his return to England.


The grateful Collector undertook the building of the shrine for  Mother Janakavalli thayar and the Sri Rama in the temple came to be known as the Erikatha Ramar (Rama who saved the tank). The edict with the Collector’s name citing him as a benefactor can be seen even today in the Madurantakam temple.


The temple of Madurantakam is situated 50 km from Chennai on the Grand Southern Trunk road leading to Trichy. There is a separate shrine for Sri Periya Nambigal and Sri Ramanujar here in this temple. This is said to be the only temple where Swamy Ramanujar is seen as a Grahastha (married person) and is seen with white clothing instead of saffron, as seen in other temples.The great event of Swamy Ramanujars Panchasamaskara Vybhavam  is  celebrated  during August  month .

All glories to LORD SREE RAMA
All glories to the Britisher who surrendered to LORD
Jai Jai Sree Rama
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pics : Courtesy Google

video credits : chkrman


About Kazhiyur Varadan

Am seeker of true knowledge , aspiring to serve and share the divine pastimes of Lord and HIS devotees . Interested in meeting devotees and love traveling to all holy places . Major interest is to interact with devotees and be of some use to the world in spreading Lord's divine play . This blog is an attempt of knotting a garland of priceless pearls from Sri vaishnava Divya desam . .....Divya leelai .. .......and .Divyaanubhuthee shared by zillions of hari bhaktaas . Though Adiyen is neither competent or qualified in sharing this elixir of spiritual world , out of abundant mercy from asmath Acharyar His Holiness Sri Sri MudaliAnddan swamigal ,adiyen is attempting to reproduce the same which is done purely by the grace of AchAryar and the Lordships by hearing from various advanced devotees . Am like a bee collecting the nectar from sacred flowers and posting the same in this honey comb blog .. There can be few photographs which would have been uploaded from google images to practically have the feel of the holy place and be of some service to the devotees . In case the owner of the pictures /images, videos has any objections for this adiyen shall remove the same . If any of the images presented here violates copyright issues or infringes anyone copyright or are not under "Fair use" the same shall be removed ASAP . Anything erroneous in adiyens post is completely my fault/ignorance and anything noteworthy goes to the spiritual masters . Any faults are solely due to my poor understanding and seek pardon for my poor expression . All the divine pastimes shared are from the lectures and the ones shared by several advance devotees .All the compliments and praise belong to the great Spiritual masters for their mercy on adiyen ( your servant ) to share and re share in this blog to remain that bliss always ...... Seeking your blessings in this small service of sharing the divine posts .. Adiyen Ramanuja dasan Jai Sriman Narayana IMPORTANT 1) Spiritual Material posted in this blog are just for information purpose and for spreading awareness. Few divine pastimes which was shared in discourses and the holy place is being re shared which are subject to mistakes or discrepancies with time . So, kindly , don't be offensive and don't post any aggressive or illegitimate comments on the blogs due to the differences in opinions. 2) This blog may contain links to other sites through advertisement, user comments, articles. While Adiyen tries to link only to sites that are safe and secure, Adiyen am not responsible for the content or the privacy practices employed by other sites., since the linked site is not under the control of me, am not responsible for the contents of any linked site or contents of the links mentioned in the links site. Adiyen am providing this link just for informational and academic purposes only. 3) This blog may contain inaccurate, incorrect and clerical errors. Adiyen do not warrant nor assure the accuracy/correctness/completeness of the materials/articles or the reliability of any advice, opinion, comment or other information displayed or distributed through this blog . 4) We are in the service of spreading the divine pastimes of LORD and HIS devotees .Please correct adiyen in any shortcomings .
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  1. Srivats says:

    Nice writeup. One more reason Rama is called as Eri Katha Ramar because he saved Ramanuja(lake) for the sampradaya by doing Panchasamskaram

    LakshminAdhAkya sindhow sadaribulatha:
    PrAbya kAruNyanIram
    NAthAdhrAvabyashingcath thadhanu
    RaghuvarAmbOjacakshurjarAbyAm /
    Gathva thAm yAmunakyAm sariDhamatha
    Sampurya praNisasyE pravahathi
    BahuthA desikEndhrabramowkai //

    Liked by 1 person

  2. SATYA GOPALAN says:

    Hari Om! Britisher’s words,”I am ignorant fool – Appear for those who have FAITH in you” – Taste of our Alwar”s. BELIEF secretes the Endorphines required for faith – this is Science. An Inspiring song on Ram Ram… rings ever for ever.
    Adiyen- Ramanuja Dasan Jai Sriman Narayana!


  3. Kollegal Srinivasan says:

    Thank you very much for this very pious information. Jai ramji ke. JAI SREE RAM.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kazhiyur Varadan says:

    Reblogged this on kazhiyur varadan's web blog and commented:

    “Oh Lord Sri Rama!” prayed the Britisher ,” Please do this, if not for my sake, then for the sake of the thousands who believe in You with all their spiritual might and conviction…. shall remain your slave


  5. manogarie says:

    Jai Shri Ram .Amazing thank u for this story I enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jai Rama. Your glories are unlimited and enchanting… Anyone who hears them surely will be bound in the splendor of Your beauty. What to speak of a mere Englishman. O Lord please bless me with Your devotional service life after life.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. shanthi says:

    Super writing and description about our native place Maduranthakam and enjoyed reading about the karunai of Karunakaran.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. All Glory to Lord Sri Rama and to His devotees ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Indira sabari says:

    Enjoyed reading About the compassionate Lord Rama


  10. I thoroughly follow your blog this is my first response adiyen ramanuja dasan
    Thanks alot for this divine blog

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dwarkanath says:

    Excellent narration, strengthens the inner self
    Shreerãma Rãma Rãméthi Ramé Rãme Manoramé
    Sahasra Nãma Thattulyam Rãma Nãma Varanané
    Shree Rãma Nama Varãnana Om Nama Ithi

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ravi Kumaar says:

    Jai SreeRama


  13. All we need to do is to take one small step, even hesitatingly. God runs in to us to save us, rushes to our rescue. Language, birth, origin, nothing counts. He does not even wait for us to pray. He comes to protect when He is needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Keshavaram says:

    Really GREAT

    Liked by 1 person



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