Jagathacharyar Swami Ramanuja was explaining to his disciples about the glory of Tirumala . All of a sudden he remembered his dear disciple Ananthazhwan and felt like seeing him who was at Tirumala and have darshinam of Lord Venkatateshwara.Ananthazvan obediently followed Acharyars instructions and was successful in laying a garden with all kinds of beautiful and pleasant fragrant flowers which he offered as soon as it started blooming to ensure the fragnance remains with LORD daily . He also dug a small pond for gardening the plants .Swami Ramanuja was very glad to know about his disciple Ananthazvan dedication in serving the
LORDSHIPS .Swamy Ramanuja proceeded his journey towards Tirumala with few of his disciples from Srirangam . In those days Tirumalai was very hard to reach and there was dense forest on the way. The climate was also not suitable as it was too cold on the hill. Two of his disciples were staying near to Tirupathy . 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 had come all the way who gave him the message. They were not given proper attention .When Swamy Ramanuja came to know about this he felt sad and decided to avoid going to his house .Instead he preferred to visit his other disciple Varadachari. Varadachari was a poor man and was living with daily biksha as per gruhasta ashrama . His wife Lakshmi was at home when Swami Ramanuja along with his disciples went to their house. Varadacharis wife was very happy to have darisanam of their Acharayar and disciples. She requested them to have food at her house, but told them to take rest at the nearby temple tank garden until she finished cooking.
Sadly she had no groceries to cook for the guests and she was in a predicament. She prayed LORD for HIS mercy . As time was also moving fast , and her husband did not return an idea struck her. In the same village there was a merchant who used to show interest in her and wanted to have relationship with her . All along Lakshmi being a chaste woman, never yielded to his advances. As a difficult situation arose , she thought that she could submit to the merchant’s advances and get money to buy things for her Acharyar and the bhagavathas. After all it was a wonderful occassion to serve Acharyar who has come directly to their small hut .She prayed Acharyar from her heart and seeked his mercy to help her .
She went to the merchant’s shop and pleaded him to give her groceries for serving their Acharyar and the bhagavathas and was willing to submit to his advances in exchange . The merchant, though surprised to hear this, sent all the groceries that she wanted. Lakshmi went home and cooked food and after offering it to Lord, she served Acharyar and the bhagavathas . It was suprising for her husband Varadachari to suddenly see the bhagavathas and his Acharyar right in their small hut . He offered repeated obeisances to Acharyar .He thanked all of them for being so merciful.He silently praised his wife for the wonderful satsangh and ThadiAaradhanai she was carrying in no time .
Yet , he was confused how Lakshmee could manage the Prasadam to so many bhagavathas as he knew they had no stock in their home . He took her aside and asked her how she was able to manage . Lakshmee with tears told him all that had happened and expressed helplessness in taking that decision . Varadachari was as cool as as a cucumber . He praised her for her timely decision and submitted to the will of Acharyar .
He took her hand and went in front of Acharyar and both prostrated to Swami Ramanuja . With tears rolling both the disciples expressed whatever had happened .Swamy Ramanuja was wonderstruck to hear this. He advised them to have their prasad and take the remaining food to the merchant’s house.Varadachari and Lakshmi went to the merchant’s house together carrying Swamy Ramanuja’s sreepada tirtham (holy water) and the prasad that was honoured by Swamy Ramanuja . Varadachari requested the merchant to accept the prasad and the holy theertham ( Charanamruth) After honouring the prasadam that was leftovers from the Acharyar , the merchant behaviour changed . 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 Swamy Ramanuja and Swamy in turn offered it to his disciple Varadachari. But , Varadachari refused to accept it saying that his guru kataksham was his most cherished wealth.
Thus Swamy Ramanuja proved that guruvaruL would create miracles!
The merchant wept with joy saying — “you are not a human woman but a goddess you have sacrificed everything, you wanted to sacrifice your honour too . He immediately told Swamy 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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