Swamy Nampillai submitted him, Acharya ! Tell us something which I should ever remember as the sole refuge”. NanJeeyar replied …..
Do not think that the Lord is for the sake of the soul but think that the soul is for the sake of the Lord…..
“Srivaikunta Virakthaaya Swami Pushkarini Thatey
Ramaya Rama maanaya Venkatesaya mangalam”
The above famous Mangala sloka recited in every temple and household glorifies the Lord of Seven Hills (Tirumala) Lord Venkateshwara as “ the Lord who out of deep love for his devotees vacated Sri Vaikuntam along with Goddess and choose to reside on the banks of Swami Pushkarini in Tirumala ” the sacred hills which is also glorified as Adivaraha kshetram.. (cluster of seven Hills )
Various puranas describe about the appearance of the Lord in the Seven Hills. Adiseshan with seven hoods is believed to have assumed the form of the Nallamalai hills for Lord’s ascent .
Tirumala is considered to be the head of Adhisesha while Ahobilam is considered as the middle part and Srisailam as the tail of the adiseshan. An aerial view of the hills authenticate the shape of the hills in the form of a divine snake.
Those were the days when the famous king Thondaman Chakravarthy was ruling the southern Kingdom .
The King a great devotee of the LORD VENKATESHWARA ,he used to worship the LORD by reaching the Hills and engage himself in deep meditation at the inner sanctum of Tirumala temple . Most of the time he used to engage himself in hearing about Lord’s divine pastimes from his advisors. It is believed that there was a secret tunnel for the King to reach the holy abode during some emergencies for seeking solace .
It was the auspicious month of Purattasi .The King decided to spend the entire month at Tirumala conducting the Brahmotsavam festival for the Lord as per Agamas with personnel supervision and directions . The atmosphere was filled with devotional aura with the King himself supervising the grand festival . The King used to enter the temple inner sanctum and engage in deep meditation with the Lordships after the days festival .He used to speak to the Lord for his guidance in conducting the festival in a grander manner .
Hearing about the King’s absence, the neighboring state kings decided to invade the Kingdom with the support of a mighty asura simhanada . As the King was far away from the capital , they decided it was the right time to plunder the kingdom . In the absence of the King , the armies fought a pitched battle but could not vanquish the enemies .
Meanwhile an army general rushed to Tirumala to inform the King about the devastation . On knowing about the actual scenario and the efforts taken by the army , the King Thondaman Chakravarthy ran up to the temple inner sanctum and surrendered to Lord for his intervention . Firmly holding Lord’s lotus feet he cried for his help as the enemies who besieged the kingdom seemed mightier than his own army .
Lord pleased with his devotion and unconditional surrender replied to his earnest prayer ..
My child … Thondaman !
Dont panic .. …….. ……………….
.he ordered the divine weapons Shankhu and Chakra to take control of the situation . Always ready to obey Lord’s command , the divine weapons rushed to the battle spot and finished the task of eliminating the dreaded asuras and the enemies in fraction of few seconds . This happened even before the Army generals reached the battle field .
Once task was accomplished the weapons once again returned back to the Lord with utmost submission .
Now the Kingdom remained with no enemies .
Thondaiman Chakaravarthy amazed with the ( divine weapons ) lightening happenings bowed down and looking at Lord submitted ..
Oh Lord of Lords ! Am blessed to be graced by you with so much mercy on me .
Lord …I have a small prayer to be fulfilled.
I beg your Highness not to show those divine weapons in your hand to the people of this world. I wish that the coming generations in this kaliyuga know that your highness had sent them to protect me and my kingdom. This episode will inspire several devotees to surrender to your lotus feet in the coming years thus making the world know how fortunate I was with your constant friendship.
The Lord smiled and said . ……
If that was your wish ……..Let that be so …..
and continued …
My child !! In this Kali age ..the devotees would offer a shrine and other paraphernalia soon … and for your sake I would definitely accept the Shanku and Chakra them thus fulfilling your desire too .
Thus the famous emperor Thondaman whose birth had been prophesied in the Puranas lived in the beginning of Tirumala history . after the great King Vikramaditya I .Thus to make the people in the world know this divine incident and make people in this world know he was ready to help his devotees ,Lord graced all of the devotees by giving darshan without his divine weapons ( Not able to see the weapons with the mortal eyes )
According to Brahmanda Purana the Lord’s appearance was known to the humans somewhere during the First Century. It was SriRanganatha Yadavaraya after facing the troublesome period of Malik Kafur and Tuglaq invasion restored this grand holy place .
Those were the troubled times . The cruel Kali age held sway and thus people became indifferent to the duties cast on them befitting their dharma and sadly the Kings too were prone to sinful acts .People became hostile towards the sacred teachings of vedas . Few were aghast with true knowledge and with poor understanding started destroying temples targeting HARI . Modern self proclaimed religions with self glorification of individuals flourished which led to degeneration.
Lord HARI out of abundant compassion to his children called his most confidential Assistant who served LORD as a seat a bed..
Lord spoke ……..
My dear Anantha
We are concerned for the happenings there in the other world
Azhwars have appeared and attempted to establish vedic dharma among st them but what I see is slow degeneration in the human kind…
I wish you take this opportunity to appear amongst them and establish vedic dharma so that my children realize their purpose of life .
Anantha ….. Please go and protect the dharma , vanquish those who are hostile to the vedas and the ones who misinterpret them . Go !! protect the dharma and restore the agamic methods of worship as of yore in our temples and establish the kingdom and the command of us for the benefit of man kind …
And as per LORD’s command 4118 years from the advent of Kaliyuga Adishesha appeared at Sriperambadhoor as Ramanuja . He grew up into a great devotee of LORD and mastered Sanskrit and Tamil vedas . By the mercy of LORD he vanquished all the opposition and restored purity in the worship by traveling all over and preaching the essence of Vedic dharma .
Those days Tirumala was being ruled by a Yadava king . The vaikhanasa priests serving the Lord were very few . Due to unforeseen conditions , they left Tirumala . The temple worship was now left to the available priests living around Tirumala .
During the same period the great Saiva saints Thirugyana sambandhar , Appar and Sundarar had glorified Paramasivan in their sweet compositions at Thirupparankunram, Thiruvanmiyur , Kalahasthi and other nearby holy places around Chitoor but omitted the reference to Tirumala…..( thus emphasising Tirumala was a SriVaishnava shrine) .
The Saiva Priests were asked to take over the worshiping the Lord. The King knowing about the sudden disappearance of the Vaikhanasa priests appointed the new priests to officiate the worship uninterruptedly .
Slowly over a period of time the saivites impressed the King about the sacred Hills and claimed that the Lord worshipped is Skanda .They further emphasized that even the Pushkarini ( temple tank ) also carries the name Swamy Pushkarini . To make their stance clear , they provided the Vamana Purana quotes . The King was requested to permit them to carry out the temple worship as per Saiva Agamas instead of Vaikanasa Agamas .
The King was confused . As he had seen all his predecesor kings had continuously worshipped Tirumala Lordships as per vaikanasa agamas , it was news for him to hear about a different worship. He called for a discussion amongst the elite scholars..
Thirumalai nambi the grandson of Yamunacharyar and the maternal uncle and preceptor of Swamy Ramanujar and Anantazhwan-the famous disciple of Swamy Ramanujar who were highly knowledgeable could have refuted but realizing that Lord Srinivasar had a divine plan waited for Swamy Ramanujar’s arrival. Lord Srinivasar too wanted to have Ramanuja sambhandham and thus created this situation!!!!
The elite scholars were also very confused .Not being very competent to to establish their case in the royal court , the news was conveyed to Jagath Acharyar Swamy Ramanujar who was on a sojourn towards Northern India for bringing the Bodhayana Vritti .
En route he took the road towards Varanaasi , Purushottama Kshetra , Srikurmam and reached Tirumala after coming to know about the worshipping practices . Moreover, on the authority of the previous worship and practices the King was influenced to mark the place as a Saiva shrine .
Swamy Ramanujar immediately took leave and reached Tirupathy. He met the Yadava King and blessed him . The King was wonder stuck with the emitting radiance from Swamy Ramanuja .
Swamy Ramanuja spoke ..My dear King !! I have come from Srirangam to remove the doubts and ignorance about the great great LORD here in Tirumala
Let all those men who created confusion assemble here in your presence . We shall establish the divine truth and remove all the doubts creeping them.
The King was enlightened .He was thankful to Acharyar for his kind words and intervention. The King announced about the Acharyars arrival and asked all the priests to assemble for detailed discussions .
The Priests came in huge numbers . Swamy Ramanujar along with few of his disciples were seated besides the King’s throne .
The Priests were wonder stuck seeing Swamy Ramanuja’s radiance and the benevolent smile . Swamy Ramanujar looked at the King and said . My dear King ! Let the doubts expressed by these men be put forth .
The King continued , My dear Priests ! We have among us most revered Acharyar who has specially arrived to clear the doubts and establish vedic dharma in our temple .Please submit your points for broader views about worshipping the LORD as per saiva Agamas instead of the existing Vaikanasa agamas.
The royal court was packed with elite scholars and priests .
One Priest arose and humbly submitted .
Oh ! King !! We have authentic proofs that Tirumala is a Saiva Kshetram and the Lord here is “Kumara swamy” . The Vamana Purana quotes that It was as per Paramasivan’s command Subramanya swamy meditated at the banks of Pushkarini on the highest truth . He was engaged in deep penance standing and appeared with a matted hair without wearing his weapons and hence we strongly admit the Lord here is Subramanya swamy himself and as the deity is without shankhu and Chakra he cannot be Mahavishnu .
Also , the Lord wears a serpent band and worshiped with bilva leaves .Everything here proves this place to be a Saiva sthalam.
Another Priest got up and said , Oh King ! Also .. In the 4000 divya prabhandam Pey Azhwar glorifies Lord here as below…..
oN mazhuvum ….. chakkaramum …..
sUzh aravum ….. pon nANum……
Azhwar means LORD is having a jadai ( matted lock of hairs ) associated with Paramasivan , and the mazhu ( a weapon Paramasivan carries ) the ornaments Nagabharanam and then the golden waist thread . Thus this description addresses Lord in the form of Paramasivan .
All of us in one voice proclaim this is a saiva kshetra ..Please allow us to worship the Lord as per Saiva agamas .
Swamy Ramanuja smiled at his speech and patiently listened to all of them speak in full. The King was patiently was awaiting for Swamy Ramanuja to reply .
After all of them raised several doubts and claimed their stance…..
Swamy Ramanuja replied … My dear children ! We shall take the same Vamana Purana, for reference …. In 2nd chapter , Skanda asks Paramasivan , Father !! which is holiest place where the sacred waters flow that would wash away the brahmahatti dosha gained by me due to killing of Tarakasura.
Also in the same chapter, Paramasivan replies to Skanda that the holiest place on earth is Thiruvenkatam ( Tirumala) as Siddhars and Rishis constantly do penance and this the Holiest place where Lord Narayana resides as Adhivaraha. My son ! Lord reveals himself along with Goddess Mahalakshmi in this holy abode . And thus this place is glorifies as Varaha Kshetra . And my son , the holiest mantra is Sri Vishnu Rama taraka mantra .
Swamy Ramanuja continued …
Swamy Pushkarini means the holy tank which is Lord of all the tanks indicating its superiority . Skanda performed penance near this holy tank
Kon is LORD and eri is tank
In Varaha Purana Lord Varaha states Bhumadevi that Swami Pushkarini is the chief among all the theerthas .
( it is said that Saraswati devi the chief of all the holy rivers once requested Lord that all the three and half crores of holy waters pray her for their purification to get rid of the acquired sins caused due to the people taking a bath . Lord advised her that let all the waters come here to Adhi Varaha Kshetra for their purification …
She continued ..Oh Lord ! In that case ….Please permit me to advise them to do the same at the holy waters in Tirumala to cleanse themselves and those waters which approach you at dawn on Shukla Paksha dwadasi during the month of Margazhee ( Dec – Jan ) may become yours always . They will anoint and crown you as their chief
My children ……This tank had appeared from Sri Vaikuntam . There are so many holy streams Kapila , Jabali , Kumara and many more around the sacred hills .
The Azhwar’s divine verse emphasizes something very transcendental
Azhwar describes LORD having a jadai ( matted lock of hairs ) usually associated with Paramasivan , and says Neela mudi ( associated to Lord Sri Hari ) and the long crown a clear indication of Lord Hari and then the mazhu ( a weapon Paramasivan carries ) and then Chakaram the discuss and the ornaments Nagabharanam and then the golden waist thread .
Thus this description addresses Lord in both the forms of Sankara and Sriman Narayana . Elders perspective on this poetic verse is Azhwar’s a special art in combining that which is different and cannot be joined .The opposites are made to look as one .. ….
Dear King …!!! In the Supreme LORD’s body , a place is assigned to Paramasivan in the same manner as his naval is assigned to Chaturmukha Brahma and the bosom is assigned to Goddess Maha lakshmee.
Dear King !!! the Lord here glows with chaturbhuja and there are several Lord Vishnu Temples where the the deity Lord Vishnu does not exhibit Sanku and Chakra…(Udupi, Poori, Dwaraka etc) and hence he is not skanda as the same Vamana Purana cities mentions that Skanda as per Paramasivas instructions left to Tirumala carrying his weapons for meditation .
My dear King !! Before the Lord of Lord’s arrived here, this great Varaha Kshetra was most opted by all devas who did severe penance to realise LORD as initially Brahma Siva Indira Vayu . Rishis Gandharvas Yakshas did severe penance to the LORD . Vamana Purana clearly states the appearance of Lord Varaha .
Swamy Ramanujar continued ..
My dear King !! the ultimate authority is vedas which is eternal / faultless not authored by any person and not subjected to the limitations of the author , declare that this VENKATACHALA is the abode of Mahavishnu alone ..
Swamy Ramanuja continued . Varaha Purana chapter 15 part 1 states Brahma feasted his eyes with Lord Sreenivasar’s darshan with chaturbhuja.
Chapter 10 of Padma Purana mentions ” Lord arrived with chaturbhujaas two holding the divine discus and the conch , with varada hastha another pointing to his lotus feet ready to grant boons . It is also mentioned about the srivatsa mark on Lord’s chest , kausthuba , vanamala and Vyjayanthee
Chapter 63 of Garuda Purana states that the most fortunate Arundhathee worshipped LORD herein this sacred hills
In the Brahmanada purana chapter 9 , the chozha King Chakravarthy describes LORD as dark cloud and has a nestling place for Sri with the mole Srivatsa shining like a jewel on HIS chest holding two hands aloft carrying the divine weapons .
And as for Skanda the great devotee of LORD , he is ever resident in the region of the kumara dhara in this sacred hills and he visits the banks frequently and worships the LORD……
And dear King
the Bilva leaves are dear to Lakshmee .. the sloka
adityavarney tapasotijato vanaspatistava vrikshota bilvaha ..
Oh Sree with a crimson brilliance like the sun by your wish the bilva tree great among trees became very auspicious . For this reason one of the 108 names of Mahalakshmi is Bilvanilaya and it is stated the Archana with bilva nd tulasi leaves is done during Margaseersha month in the early hours .
Swamy Ramanujar elucidated his stance further by quoting various pasurams from Naalayira divyaprabhandham glorified by Azhwars who appeared during 2 nd century to 6 th century who visualized the Lord as Vishnu holding Sankhu and Chakram. Among 12 azhwars, 10 azhwars have glorified this Lord in 202 pasurams.
He referred to Kulasekara Azhwar ‘s pasuram in Peria Thirumozhi where Azhwar dedicated 10 pasurams to Lord Thiruvengadamudaiyan. In the fourth set of ten pasurams (pasuram 677) , he refers to the Lord as the one who is holding Sankhu in HIS left hand “kooneru sangam idathaan….”
Andal refers to the Lord of Tirumala as the one holding Sankhu in HIS left hand in the very first pasuram of Naachiyar Thirumozhi
“Thaiyoru thingkaLum tharai viLakkith *
thaN maNdalamittu mAsi munnAL *
aiya nuNmaNaR koNdu theruvaNindhu *
azhaginukku alangkariththu anangka dhEvA!
** uyyavumAngkolO enRu solli *
unnaiyum umbiyaiyum thozhudhEn *
veyyadhOr thazhal umizh chakkarak kai * vEngkadavaRku
ennai vidhikkiRRiyE “
She has dedicated the first pasuram to the Lord of Thiruvengadam(vengadavarku ennai….) as the
Lord who is holding Sankhu and Chakram . Nammazhwar has referred to this Lord in all his prabhandams. In Thiruvaimozhi, third decad (3-2)
“Ozhivil kaalam ellam….”,
In “Kundram Endhi kulir mazhi kaathavan… pasuram”,
Azhwar refers to the incident where the Lord who uplifted the goverdhana mountain to protect the folks from torrential rains,the one who measured the whole world with HIS steps , has now come to Thiruvengadam
In pasuram 3326 , Nammazhwar in sixth decad of Thiruvaimozhi addresses the Lord as the one who has Sridevi on His chest who is inseparable from HIM”Agalagilene Iraiyum Endru….” clearly emphasizing that it is Lord Vishnu who gives darshan in Thiruvengadam and who is the sole refuge for us to get liberation. In these set of 10 pasurams, Azhwar surrenders to the lotus feet of the Lord to attain salvation.
Pey Azhwar visualized the Lord as siva- Vishnu swaroopam in Moondram Thiruvandhaadhi
“Thaazh sadaiyum, pOn mavuzhum…..”
as ParamaShivan is also part of Vishwaroopam .
Thirumazhisai Azhwar has clearly mentioned in one verse
Naangam Thiruvandhaadhi” Narayanan Naanmuganai padaithaan……
He says that Lord Narayanan created the four faced Brahma who in turn created Siva, Indra and other demigods…
So, this clearly proves that Lord Maha Vishnu is the Lord of the Universe.
The Lord is known as “Eswaran” in a broader sense as the Lord of the Universe and does not mean Siva here . As HE wipes out all the accumulated sins(Vem), HE is addressed as Venkateswaran. The Viswaroopam of the Lord shown to Arjuna during Mahabharatam was also taken as a reference wherein the Lord proved that Shiva and other demigods were part of HIM.
Thus by quoting various references from Brahmanda puranam, Paadma puranam and azhwars pasurams, Swamy Ramanujar clearly established the fact that this Lord is Vishnu swaroopam. The king was convinced and submitted himself to Swamy Ramanujar.
However, the ignorant priests expressed Swamy Ramanujar has thrown a spell on them and thus they could not debate with him.
Swamy Ramanuja concluded the debate with this sloka
Araayee kaaney Vikatery girim gachha sadanvey
Sirim bitasya satvabhi thebhishtwa chaathayaamasee
This is a Rig Veda mantra .. which says this is a vedic mountain
A jeevatma desirous of various fruits like dharma , artha kama and moksha is taught of the means to attain the desired fruit ..
Oh Jeeva ..twayee aaraaye sati ..
If you are devoid of wealth of this or other worlds
twayi kaane ..sati..
If you are devoid of insight or physical sight ,
twayi sadanve sati ...
If you are prevented by obstacles hindering your realisations Srimibitasya gireem gacha reach the holy mountains of Lord Venkatesa and in order to be freed from the above mentioned ills
twa tebhih sirimbitam chatayamasi ..
meaning amongst the devotees worship the divine LORD
The purport …
When you suffer from the difficulties outlines , seek the company of Lord’s devotees reach the Hills and then pray for deliverance as per veda Since the vedic formula explicitly asks people to go to the sacred hills of Lord Sreenivasa and approach Lord and in his company of devotees .
Thus the darkness was dispelled by the aura of swamy Ramanuja ..
Oh King !! These criteria irrefutably establishes that Lord of Lords ..Sriman Narayana is showering his grace at this place
The King was wonder stuck at the cogent arguments presented by Swamy Ramanuja which the learned pundits could not digest . However much more had to happen as per the divine plan .
The King profusely submitted……
Oh Respected sage .. You have refuted the opponents and established your views with vedic proofs soundly . The devil of doubts accumulated due to these pundits made me confused .
I am fully convinced .However I beg to pray your holiness if you could kindly agree to prove by some means to the satisfaction of the common man as well as the several generations hereafter Lord here is Venkateshwara himself..
Please accept my request to refute the statements of all these learned men ..
Hearing the King’s plea .. Swamy Ramanuja smiled and said this was Lords divine plan may be…………
as stated in the Brahmanda Purana Chapter 11 , Lord who had vowed to accept his weapons designed on earth was keen to fulfill the wish of his devotee and there would be no reason for Lord to deny now ..
Lord is fond of his devotees and he would definitely concede our request always
Swamy Ramanuja said ……Oh King !! Please listen ..As per your desire ….
Let us place the unique weapons of Lord the divine discus and the conch .
Let the pundits place the unique weapons pasam and ankusam and allow
LORD himself to decide .
The King was extremely happy and agreed immediately to the Acharyar’s plan.
Amongst the august audience
Acharyar Ramanuja submitted to the Glorious Lord …….
…”Hail Lord Venkatakrishna, We understand very well that you are the Krishna here… even though not exhibiting your Divya-Ayudhas Sanku and Chakra.
Contrarily Oh Lord ! here at Tirumala you have to grace us with your darshan
…we want to recite prayers as well as worship accordingly, with your guidance .
So …Oh Lord !!!! please let us know… whether you want us to pray as Sankara-Narayarana or Viswaroopa-Krishna as you showed yourselves to Arjuna as the Unified form of all Vedic Gods within one Vishnu the Supreme Lord….
If You are Sankara Narayana… please adore the Trishula and damaruka .By this we will hand over this temple to Saivites…and …similar to all the other Sankara-Narayana temples in the Saivites domain, the worship shall be followed
And Lord !!!!
if you grace us in the Viswaroopa Krishna darshan … then please accept the Sanku and Chakra…
…and show to your devotees as the constant and eternal proof of authenticity… giving the least room for even a trace of doubt nor complication ever in future.
So we all your devotees of both the sects as Saivites and Vaishnavites are placing before you… both these pairs of options… leaving to your discretion.
Please shower your mercy by showing openly to all the devotees… not only the present… but also the posterity….
Thus JagathAcharyar Swamy Ramanuja impartially spoke out… in the presence of the Saivites as well as the Thondai-mandala Raja, the King …and left out the Sannidhi.
The divine weapons were placed in the sanctum and locked .
The next day , all the devotees assembled . While the Sannidhi door was opened in the presence of the King and the Pontiffs and both the Saivites and Vaishnavites…
All of them sang ..
How wonderful !! How wonderful !! How majestic …
Our Lord who is on the sacred Hills which is bathed by the great mountain streams surrounding the holy place on all sides shower his graceful looks along with the divine abharanams shankhu .chakraa …
..they all were convinced that it is Lord Venkata-Krishna… since he had chosen to adore Shanka and Chakra…
Swamy Ramanuja’s joy knew no bounds .His eyes streaming with tears of delight at the miraculous event thanking Lord for his mercy fell flat like an uprooted tree …
Swamy Ramanujacharya submitted to Lord Venkateswara to clarify openly to all… as to what does it indicate.
Then by Asareeri voice… Lord Venkateswara declared openly
“Oh ……Ramanuja, my Acharya I am your Student now …
You are my Acharya because you have taught and enlightened me as to what is the best form undisputable exposition during Kaliyuga…
Besides, for one more reason too, I honour you as my Acharyar .
.. You are my Acharya because you have performed Samashrayanam to me by giving me Shanka and Chakra…
The King was overjoyed .He rushed towards Swamy Ramanuja and obediently bowed his head and pleaded the Acharyar to take over the temple administration . Swamy Ramanuja remained in Tirumala and supervised the Mahasamprokshanam ceremonies as per Sri Vaikhanasa agamas and arranged uninteruptted daily worship to the Lord .
Swamy Ramanujar was thus instrumental in offering Sankhu and Chakram to the Lord. To avoid such incidents in future, Swamy Ramanujar instructed his dearest disciple Swamy Ananathazhwan to make a kavacham for the sankhu and chakram submitted by Ramanujar. The original sankhu chakram offered by Swamy Ramanujar was later on covered by another kavacham by Swamy Anantazhwan form an integral part of the Lordships and are never removed.
Swamy Ramanujar reinstated the various practices as per Vaiganasa Agamam and all rituals is performed as per Vaikhanasa agama. He was instrumental in renovating the temple. It is stated in Varaha Puranam 7 th canto, that Vyuha lakshmi- Mahalakshmi seated on lotus in Padmasanam with two hands on Perumal’s chest is very dear to the Lord. So, Swamy Ramanujar arranged for a Lakshmi haaram and adorned the same to Perumal on Shukla Paksha Dwadasi on a Friday in the month of Panguni when it coincided with Thayar’s thirunakshatiram-Uttaram.
During Abhishekam to Lordships on Fridays, when the Lakshmi haaram had to be removed for giving separate Abhishekam to Goddess (Thayar) , he ordered recitation of Naachiyar Thirumozhi which emphasizes Thayar’s craving for reunion with the Lord to be recited .
Namperumal, Varadarajar, Srinivasar, Thirukurungudi Nambi , Andal have all expressed their association with Swamy Ramanujar.
Namperumal made Swamy Ramanujar as the incharge of ubhaya vibhuthis- nitya vibhuti(Vaikuntam) and Leela vibhuti(material world) and conferred the right to grant moksham to mortal beings .
Lord Varadarajar declared to Thirukachi nambigal that all those who had Ramanuja sambhandam would be granted moksha
Andal came out of the moolasthanam at her srivalliputhoor and greeted Ramanujar as “Anna”.
Saraswati-the goddess of learning pleased with the commentary given by Ramanujar inSribhasyam for Brahmasutras addressed him as “Bhashyakaarar”.
Swamy Ramanujar is glorified by this name in Tirumala ( Thiruvengadam).
Lord Thirukurungudi nambi chose to be Swamy Ramanujar’s disciple by getting mantropadesam and Urdhva pundra dhaaranam by Swamy Ramanujar (the two samskarams which are done during samasrayanam)
Lord Srinivasar chose to get sankhu and chakram from Swamy Ramanujar and thus enacted this beautiful leela.
Lord Venkatesa adorned the sankhu and chakram by Swamy Ramanujar and thus established Ramanuja sambhandham. Lord Srinivasa also bestowed the special privilege of having sannidhi for his acharyar, Ramanujar in the temple precincts. It may be observed that there is no Azhwar or Acharyar sannidhi within Tirumala temple except Swamy Ramanujar. Also, it may be noted that Ramanujar sannidhi is in an elevated position as he is the acharyar for our Gitacharyar “Lord Srinivasar”.
The practice of worship LORD at Tirumala starts at Swamy Ramanujar’s sannidhee. The Guruparampara account reveals that the shrine for Swamy Ramanuja at Tirumala opposite to the present Hundi was constructed by Pillai Thirumala Nambi worshipped as Bhashyakarar Sanithee.
It is believed the worship of the great Lord is done with the guidance of Swamy Ramanuja even today . This can be observed during Saatrumarai seva. Also, Lord conceded Anantazhwan’s request to give special status to glorification of Swamy Ramanuja in the pasurams ” Ramanuja Nootrandhadhi-” the wonderful composition comprising of 108 pasurams on Jagath Acharyar Swamy Ramanujar composed by Thiruvarangathu Amudanar .
During adhyayana utsavam performed during Maargazhi month(Dec-Jan), the Lord listens exclusively to Ramanuja Nootrandhadhi on the last day.
Hail to Swamy Ramanujar !!
This incident is reflected in Ramanuja Gattiyam which is usually recited during Thirumanjanam for our dear Jagadacharyar
“APPANUKU SANKHU AAZHI ALITHAAN VAAZHIYE”….
The great saint poet Annamaya of Tirumala in one of his sweet composition sings about the glory of LORD VENKATESHWARA which is truly divine …..
Oh Lord! Your devotees visualize You in many ways. They want to see You in different forms and ways. However, the deeper one’s heart envisions You, the more shallower is Your grace felt!
Vaishnavites assume and believe You profoundly to be Lord Vishnu;
Vedantis envisage You as the ‘Supreme Lord’ or ‘Parambrahma’;
ShAivites and some others deem You as Lord Shiva;
Kaumalikas pray and revere You as Adi Bhairava;
Shaaktheyas presume You to be the incarnation of Shakthi;
You bless all of them in the form they desire You to be in !!
In this way, Your devotees revere and prostrate before You, giving you the form and shape they wish to see You in.
To those devotees who see You in the tiniest form, You are the tiniest to them;
Likewise, those who revere you with high esteem, You are the greatest and all-in-all for them.
There is no dearth of anything in this world if only YOU are beside me!
Just as a lotus plant creeps all over the span of water (in a pond/lake/river or wherever it is) leaving no space for anything else,
Just as the wells around the great Bhagirathi river never dry up (because the wells are always fed with water from this river beside)
( I pray to You, Oh Lord! Please be beside me! )
If YOU are the Lord incarnated on the Venkatadri mount, YOU are bound to be by my side!
It is You, Oh Lord, who have made me to become Your devotee;
It is You, Oh Lord, who have knocked my doors ~ only to grant me the Protective asylum under Your Lotus Feet;
You are the ONE who enlightened me;
This is the eternal bliss for me!
This is the Para-Tattvam for me!
This is my moksha-marga (and salvation)!
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pics credits : Google images
The experts taken from Sri Venketeshwara Ithihasa mala by Swamy Anantharaya.
Once , Swamy Ramanuja proceeds along with his disciples to Azhwar Tirunagari near Thirunelvelli , the appearance place of Swamy Nammazhwar and offers his obeisances to Lord Aadi deva perumal . Further he proceeds towards Thirukkolur with the object of having darshan of Lord Vaithamanidhi Perumal . Divyakavi Pillai Iyengar in 108 Tirupati Andhadhi reveals that it is of no use enjoying luxurious life and eating good food if the tongue does not utter the word “Thirukurugoor” atleast once in a lifetime. Blessed are those who utter this sacred word Thirukurugoor and attain “moksha”
Being the appearance place of Madhurakavi Azhwar it had special significance and is believed that one who reaches this place and has darshan of the Lord here seldom wishes to leave the place due to the incomparable divine beauty of the LORD at this place .
This is the place where Nammazhwar imagined himself as a beautiful maiden and sings the wonderful pasuram ..
Unnum sorum.. pasuram ……..
Recollecting the below sweet verses Swamy Ramanuja walking along with his disciples to have Lord’s darshan . En route , all people from the nearby villages had arrived to seek Jagathacharyar blessings .Among them a lady humbly prostrated and offered obeisances . Swamy Ramanuja pleased with her devotion asked her as to where was she coming from.
The lady replied that she was leaving Thirukkolur once for all . Swamy Ramanuja smiled and quoted a line from Nammazhwar’s paasuram
and said my child !!
how is that when all women are waiting here to go to Thirukkolur whereas you have decided to leave the divine place
My child !! You know ….Thirukkolur is a holy place and most sought by the devotees who rush to be among the wonderful people there worshiping the Lordships .
The lady who was glowing with effulgence replied eloquently in a free flowing and unimpeded manner a set of eighty rhetorical questions, which referred to various divine incidents in the lives of sages, saints and the Lordships on her eligibility to stay at Thirukolur .
In each of the questions she compares the depth of devotion displayed by the immortal characters and thus submits her ineligibility to worship the Lordships and had no right to expect that Lord would treat her in a special way.
This great work is called ” Thirukkolur Pen Pillai Rahasyam” written by the great Acharyar Swamy Thiruvaimozhi Pillai provides deep insights for a aspiring devotee to spiritually progress in a material world.
The 81 questions referred have been briefly reflected below along with english translations .
( The inner meanings and reflections shared by advance devotees in their discourses shall be shared separately in the coming posts )
The Thirukkolur Pen Pillai Ammals questions …….
Holy sire !!! What is my eligibity in staying at this holy place …??
Did I go on a holy mission like the great devotee Akrura ?
Azhaiththu varugiren endreno akroorarai pOle…
Did I entertain Vidhura in my home ?
Agamozhiththu vitteno vithurarai pole…
Did I cast off my body like the Rishi’s wife ?
Dhegaththai vitteno rishi paththiniyai pole…
Did I cause a demon Ravana to be killed like Sita
Dhasamuganai setrenO piraattiyai pOle…
Did I raise like the dead like Tondaman Chakravarthy
PiNam ezhuppi vittenO thoNdaimaanai pOle…
Did I offer a corpse like Ghantakarana
PiNavirundhittenO gantaakarNanai pOle…
Did I adorn Goddess Sita like Anusuya
ThaaikkOlam seydhenO anasooyaiyai pOle…
Did I seek a father like Dhruva
Thandhai engE endREnO Dhruvanai pOle…
Did I repeat the 3 lettered name like Kshatrabandhu
Moondrezhuththu sonneno kshathra bandhuvai pOle…
Did I get trodden like Ahalya
Mudhaladiyai petREnO agaligaiyai pOle…
Did I ripen while yet raw like Andal
Pinjaai pazhuththEnO aaNdaaLai pOle…
Did I glorify Lord Narayana like Peria Azhwar
Did I ransack religions like Thirumisai Azhwar ?
Aaraaindhu vittEnO thirumazhisaiyaar pOle
Did I realise LORDSHIPS as the subtlest like Nammazhwar
Avan (Naan) siriyan endREnO aazhwaarai pOle
Did I say anything like Kulasekhara Azhwar
Edhenum endreno kulasekararai pOle…
Did I say ! I pledge my word like little krishna
Yaan saththiyam endreno krishnanai pOle…
Did I give clues to Lord Rama like Kabandha
Adaiyaalam sonneno kabandhanai pOle…
Did I reveal secrets like Trijatha
Andharangam sonnenO thirijadaiyai pOle…
Did I recognize LORD like Mandodari
Avan dheivam endREnO mandodhariyai pOle…
Did I say know thee like sage Vishwamitra
Aham vEdhmi endREnO vishwaamiththirarai pOle…
Did I say I know “No god” like Madhurakavi Azhwar
ThEvu matRaRiyEnO madhurakaviyaarai pOle…
Did I give birth like Devaki
Dheivaththai petREnO dhEvakiyai pOle…
Did i say conceal thy discuss like vasudeva
Aazhi marai endREnO vasudhevarai pOle…
Did I bring up the cowherd like Yasoda
Aayanaai (Aayanai) valarthEno yasodhayai pOle…
Did I do a mite of service like the squirrels..
Anuyaathirai seydheno anilangalai pOle…
Did I take beaten rice like Kuchela
Aval poriyai eendhEnO kuchelarai pOle…
Did I bestow weapons like Agastaya
Aayudhangal eendheno agasthiyarai pOle…
Could I enter the war mentally like sanjaya
Andharangam pukkeno sanjayanai pOle…
Could I by works obtain bliss like Janaka
Karmaththaal petREnO janakarai pOle…
Did I bite the toe and see HIM like Kaliyan ( Thirumangai Azhwar )
Kadiththu avanai kandeno thirumangaiyaarai pOle
Did I become an Umbrella like Adhisheshan
Kudai mudhalaanadhu aaneeno ananthaazhwaanai pOle…
Did I carry HIM like Garuda
Kondu thirindhEno thiruvadiyai pOle…
Did I keep up the promise like Nampaduvan
Ilaippu vidaai theertheno nampaaduvaanai pOle…
Did I behold HIM in a nook like the foremost Azhwars
Idai kazhiyil kandEnO mudhalaazhwaargalai pOle…
Did I guard the two princess like sage valmiki
Iru mannarai petREnO vaalmeekarai pOle…
Did I offer the two garlands like Tondaradipodi Azhwar
Iru maalai eendhEno thondaradipodi Aazhwaar pOle…
Did I obtain truths like Thirukachi Nambee
Avan uraikka petREnO thirukkachchiyaarai pOle…
Was I absorbed into God like Tiruppan Azhwar
Avan mEni aanEno thiruppaanarai pOle…
Did I say send them like vashista
Anuppi vaiyum endREnO vasishtarai pOle……….
Did I worship sandals like Kongil Piratee
Adi vaanginEno kongil piraattiyai pOle…
Did I offer clay flowers like Kuruva Nambi
Mann poovai ittEno kurava nambiyai pOle…
Did I exclaim Oh ! The originator like Gajendra
Moolam endru azhaithEno gajaraajanai pOle
Poosa koduthEno kooniyai pOle…
Did I offer wreaths like Malakara
Did I keep my assigned place like Bharata….
Vaiththa idaththu irundhEno bharathanai pOle…
Did I serve on the way like lakshmana
Vazhiyadimai seydhEno lakshmananai pOle…
Did I land on the other shore like Guha
Akkaraikke vittEno guhaperumaaLai pOle…
Did I fight with the demon Jatayu ?
Arakkanudan porudhEno periyavudaiyaarai pOle…
Did I land on this shore like Vibhishina
Ikkaraikke sendrEno vibheeshananai pOle…
Did I offer sweet fruits like Sabari
Iniyadhendru vaiththEno sabariyai pOle
Did I say Here he is like Prahalada
Ingum undu endrEno prahlaadhanai pOle…
Did I hide Little Krishna like Dhadhibandha the cowherd
Ingillai endrEno Dhadhipaandanai pOle…
Did I go to the forest like Lord Rama’s followers
Kaattukku pOnEno perumaalai pOle…….
Did I proclaim discovery of Mother Sita like Hanumanjee
Kandu vandhEn endrEno thiruvadiyai pOle…
Did I relinquish both hands like Draupadi
Iru kaiyyum vittEnO Dhraupadhiyai pOle…
Did I say the excuse Milk boils over like Vaduga nambee
Ingu paal pongum endrEno vaduga nambiyai pOle…
Did I hold my throat like Selva pilai
Iru midaru pidiththEno Selva pillaiyai pOle…
Did I deserve the command STOP HERE as Idaiyaitrukkudi nambi
Nillena petrEno idaiyaatroor nambiyai pOle…
Did I carry the message He is dead like Marutiyandan
Avan pOnAn endrEnO maaruthi AndAnai pOle…
Did I go in pursuit like Nathamiunigal
Nedundhooram pOnEno naatha munigalai pOle…
Did I say I want HIM not like kuresa
Anukoolam sonnEno maalyavaanai pOle………
Did I refute Advaita like swamy Ramanuja
adadhwaitham vendrEnO emperumAnArai pOle…
Ananthapuram pukkEno aaLavandhaarai pOle…
Did I go to Anantapuram like Alavandar
Did I feel separation like Teyvavariyanden
Aariyanai pirindhEno dheivaari aandaanai pOle…
Did I compose Andhadee like Malyavan
Andhaadhi sonnEno amudhanaarai pOle…
Did I opine mere ocean roar like Mahapurna
SooLuravu kondEno thirukkottiyooraarai pOle…
Did I exact promise like Goshtipurna
yaan siriyan endrEnO Thirumalai nambiyai pOle…
Did I obtain mercy like a dumb person
Uyiraaya petrEno Oomaiayai pOle…
Did I give up my body like Tirunariyurariyar
Udambai veruththEno thirunaraiyooraararai pOle…
Did I profuse insignificantly like srisailapurna
Sutri kidandhEno thirumaalaiyaandaanai pOle…
Did I force my finger into snakes mouth like Embar
Vaayil kaiyittEno embaarai pOle…
Did I vanquish a pundit by showing marks on arm like Bhattaraya
ThoL kaatti vandhEno battarai pOle
Did I seek secluded spot like Villiputhur bhagavathar
Turai veru seydhEno bagavarai pOle…
Did I jump into water like kannapurattammal
On hearing these questions and her deep understanding , Swamy Ramanuja was thunderstruck. Swamy Ramanuja delivered a sweet discourse that made her reconsider her hasty decision in leaving the holy place .
The lady very respectfully offered obeisance’s to Swamy Ramanuja and requested Swamy to initiate a system to be adopted at the temple where the Lord is offered traditional poojas daily , fortnightly ,monthly and annual festivals with pomp and show . This would increase the glory of the holy place and force the people to stay there forever .
Swamy Ramanuja ,Ammai along with the disciples entered the holy place Thirukolur The pious lady invited Swamy Ramanuja to her house and offered prasada to be honoured by Jagathacharya . Swamy gladly accepted the same . Later all of them went to the temple at Thirukoloor and offered prayers to the Lordships.
Thus the glory of Thirukolur spread and the great spiritual treasure……
Thirukolur Penpillai rahasyam (Thirukkolur Ammal Varththaigal ) became a legendary guideline for ardent devotees seeking Lords lotus feet .
He blessed her and saw to that the due performance of all festivals connected with LORDSHIPS and Madhurakavi Azhwar are celebrated grandly as emphasised by shastras .
( The inner meanings and reflections shared by advance devotees in their discourses shall be shared separately in the coming posts in detail very soon by Acharyar’ s abundant mercy )
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Photos credits : Google images
Video credits : Thanks to “Sharp videos” / Thirukoshtiyar Vembu/ 4000 divyaprabhandam