Sunday, September 16, 2007


Swami Ramanuja is intimately connected with the sannidhi of Sri Andal in Srivilliputhur. He is considered as the elder brother of Sri Andal by Herself. Today [17th September,2007] we are at the Irappathu [Ten nights] mandapam. During this festival, Sri Vatapathra Sayi along with His Consorts, Sri Andal and Sri Rangamannar and all the Alwars assemble to listen to the Arayar's rendering of Thiruvaimozhi. These festivals were all started by Swami Ramanuja and other Acharyas. In Srirangam Swami Ramanuja was studying Nalayira Divya Prabhandam. While on Nachiar Thirumozhi in the verse Narumalar solai malirumsolai.. Sri Andal imagines offering the Sri Sundararaja Perumal of Thirumalirum Solai near Madurai, 100 thada of butter and 100 thada of Akkara adisil. Thada is a huge vessel. Akkara adisil is a sweet dish prepared with cooked rice, milk and jaggery[candy]. Swami Ramanuja felt that Sri Andal when composed this song might have been a very small girl and could not have offered these in reality. So he thought it was his duty to offer these in the same quantity to the Lord, and satisfy Her wish. He went to the Thirumalirum Solai temple and offered these items. After this Swami Ramanuja returned to Srivilliputhur and worshiped Sri Andal. She was so pleased that She addressed him as 'My elder Brother'. In the tradition he is considered as the elder brother of Sri Andal and Swami Ramanuja was deeply in love with Her Thiruppavai. So he was also known as Thiruppavai Jeer. Since he also made commentary on the Gita we can conclusively infer that Gita Bhashyam would be based on Thiruppavai. In the 4th sloka Arjuna raised a question. Sri Krishna said He preached Karma yoga 28 chatur yug ago and now also to Arjuna. This is unbelievable. Then also He must have had a body as now, since He says He preached. Does it mean He was and is born, just as Arjuna was born? Let us go in detail the question. Swami Ramanuja says the Lord is the repository of all good qualities. There is not an iota of blemish. He has countless good qualities. Sri Andal says kuraionrumillda Govinda. So the questions arise are 1) If He were without any blemish why should He also be born like us who have all defects?2) He is Sarveshwaran, which means He is leader and commander of everyone. Then why should He be born like us who are commanded? 3) He is sarvagya, which means He knows all at all times, including past and future. Why then He is born like us with extremely limited knowledge? 4) He is considered as satya sankalpa, that is He knows what is right and wrong or full rational knowledge. Is He born by mistake in this world? 5) We are born to fulfill our karma. Is He also born to fulfill anything? But He is avapta samasta kaman, which means that He has no desire to be fulfilled as He has the happiness of all desires and more.
Swami Desika says some more questions arise in Arjuna's mind. a)Is His avatar or birth real or false? b)Is He born with all His powers or without them? Just as a jewel's radiance is hidden by the dust, does His power get diminished, born in this samsaram or earth? c) Our bodies are made by the five elements. Is His body also similar or different? d) Is He born like us bound by past karma? e) Who determines the time of His birth? In our case our karmas decide the timing of our births. f) We are born to expend our karma. To expend what is He born? or, what is the purpose of His birth?
Sri Krishna replies Arjuna in the next four slokas. In another 5th sloka He says that one who clearly understood His secret of avatar will get salvation.

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