All credits, for exposing Swami Ramanuja to the outside world and making him a great Acharya, go to the Lord of Kanchi, Sri Varadaraja. Today's [10th October 2008] lecture is from the house, where Swami Ramanuja lived when he was in Kanchipuram. It is called Udayavar Thirumaligai [உடையவர் திரு மாளிகை]. It is the first house, situated in the sannidhi street facing East Gopuram. Here he lived with his wife. Two important incidents took place when he was here. We have seen earlier that, from Swami Thirukacchi Nambi, he got the Six sentences. Swami Ramanuja wanted to eat the remnant portion of the food served to Thirukacchi Nambi. Thondaradipodi Alwar says that by taking the remnant food served to Acharyas and great devotees, our sins are cleared. In Sanskrit it is called ucchishtam [उचिछषटम ]. Since Swami Thirukacchi Nambi was very close to the Lord, it is no wonder that Swami Ramanuja desired to have the food served to him. He requested Swami Thirykacchi Nambi, did not easily agree to that. Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi was not a Brahmin; perhaps, he thought that Swami Ramanuja should not eat the food served to him. Finally, one day Swami Thirukacchi Nambi agreed. Swami Ramanuja instructed his wife to prepare food for Swami Thirukacchi Nambi. On that day, Swami Thirukacchi Nambi did not come in time. After waiting for him, Swami Ramanuja told his wife that he would go and search for Swami Thirukacchi Nambi and set out. When he was away, Swami Thirukacchi Nambi appeared at Swami Ramanuja's house. Swami Ramanuja's wife arranged for a separate place for him to eat and served food, while Swami Ramanuja was still away. After eating, Swami Thirukacchi Nambi threw out the leaf in which he ate and after washing, left the place. Before Swami Ramnuja returned, his wife had cleaned the entire place and cleared all the remnants also. On return Swami Ramanuja enquired as to what happened. She told that Swami Thirukacchi Nambi came, ate and went away. Hearing this Swami Ramanuja got angry. He admonished his wife for having spoiled his long time desire. Another incident is connected with Swami Periya Nambi, who was Swami Ramanuja's Acharya. Swami Ramanuja and Swami Periya nambi lived in adjacent houses here. Swami Periya Nambi was teaching Swami Ramanuja. There was a common well for both the houses. Even now we can see that well. The wives of both Acharyas used to gather water from the same well. Because of a small dispute while drawing water from the well, Swami Periya Nambi decided to leave with his wife so that they were no longer a burden on Swami Ramnuja. This incident also made Swami Ramanuja to be angry with his wife. All these incidents forced Swami Ramanuja to adopt Sanyasam or ascetic life. In this house we can worship an idol of Swami Ramanuja made in white marble. Normally we see black idols, but here, like in North India, white marble idol can be seen. Perhaps, since Swami Ramanuja is an incarnation of Adisesha, who is white serpent, the idol also is white here! It is our privilege to be here. Lord Sri Devadiraja also arrives at this house twice in an year. Once on Sankaranthi [pongal] day in Thai [தை] month. Here He arrives in the evening and then for Kanu [கனு ] on next day the Lord leaves for Pazhaya Seevaram to celebrate Pari vettai [பாரி வேட்டை].
In the month of Margazhi, Adyayanotsavam [அத்யயன உத்சவம்] takes place with Pagal pathu [பகல் பத்து] for 10 days, Irapathau [இராப் பத்து] for ten days and Iyarpa [இயற்ப்பா] for one day [total 21 days]. On the 22nd day, called Anushtanakula [அனுஷ்ட்டான குலம்] utsavam, the Lord arrives at this place. Both Swami Ramanuja and the Lord celebrate jointly that day. It is a festival not to be missed.
We should make it a must to visit Udayavar Thirumaligai at Kanchi. We will now see sloka 10 of Chapter 11. Slokas 9,10,11,12 and 13 are spoken by Sanjaya to Dridarashtra. Sanjaya is giving a running commentary of the happenings in the battlefield. Now sloka 10:
"Arjuna saw in that universal form unlimited mouths, unlimited eyes, unlimited wonderful visions. The form was decorated with many celestial ornaments and bore many divine upraised weapons
Divine appearance of the Lord. Sanjaya explains his wonder. Aneka = countless, vaktra = faces, nayanam = eyes. Sanjaya sees infinite number of Faces and Eyes of the Lord. Aneka = countless, adbhuta = wonderful, darshanam = scene. Infinite number of astonishing scenes. Aneka = countless, divya = Divine, abharanam = ornaments. Divya = Divine or Celestial, aneka = countless, udyat = lifted up, ayudham = weapons. Sanjaya expresses his astonishment in seeing the Viswaroopam of the Lord, with infinite faces, eyes, ornaments and weapons. Though vaktram means mouth, here it means face. Faces as well as mouths are countless. The Lord appeared with the face of Fish, Tortoise, Boar, Lion, Horse, Swan, Human, etc. It is reminding us of Purushasooktam -sahasraseersha purusha, sahasra aksha sahasra pad.. The Eyes of the Lord are enchanting, even when we see only Two eyes. What a wonderful sight it would be if these eyes were in thousands! Swami Koorathalwan admires at the eyes of Lord Sri Varadaraja. Like the flood of a river, His eyes want to breach the bounds. The Lord wants to grace everyone. But his angle of vision is restricted by other organs like the ears on the sides, nose down below and eye brows up. They are like bounds or dams resricting the flow. What a beautiful sight, admires Sanjaya. Garuda sevai is very important in this Kshetram. In every Garuda sevai in the Vaikasi Brahmotsavam, one incident takes place. Swami Doddayacharya [தொட்டையாசார்யா] lived in Cholasimhapuram [Sholingur சோளிங்கர் ]. He would never miss the Garuda seva in Kanchi. He lived in the 16th Century. Once he could not go to Kanchi as he fell ill. On the Garuda seva day, he was in Sholingur and imagined how the festival at Kanchi would have been celebrated. When the Lord came out of the West Gopuram, mounted on Garuda, He noticed the absence of Swami Doddayacharya among the countless devotees, and decided to bless the devotee, who was yearning at Sholingur. Therefore, the Lord along with Garuda, disappeared for a couple of minutes from Kanchi, and graced Swami Doddayacharya. This incident is remembered even today as Swami Doddayacharya seva, when the Lord is hidden from our view by lowering the umbrellas for a couple of minutes. This shows the care the Lord has for His devotees. The Lord has countless ornaments. As an example, even the Crowns, the Lord Sri Varadaraja adores are plenty. Weapons are many. Swami Thiruvarangathu Amudhanar [திருவரங்கத்து அமுதனார் ] says in his Ramanuja nootrandadi [இராமுனுச nootrandhaadhi ], that the Lord's Divine weapons took the incarnations of the brothers of Sri Rama.