Srirangam karishailam anjanagirim tharkshyat simhachalau srikoormam purushottamam badarinarayanam naimisam srimad dwaravati prayag mathura ayodhya gaya pushkaram salagramagirim nishevya ramate ramanujoyam muni:
This sloka indicates the visit of Swami Ramanuja, through out our country of Bharat, and his efforts to spread Bhakti, and lists the places he visited. He treaded the length and breadth of this country. Having born in Sriperumbudur and educated in Kanchipuram, he settled in Srirangam and travelled all over. One would be astonished to see the festivals celebrated for him in Sriperumbudur. To learn more about him, lakhs of people throng here and participate in the many festivals. All these are based on his birth place. Today's [20th January 2009] lecture is from the garden behind his avatara mandapam, which we had seen earlier. It is a beautiful garden and so one can imagine how much more beautiful it would have been in the time of Swami Ramanuja! We can see a mandapam in the center of the garden. In this Kodai utsavam [கோடை உத்சவம் summer festival ] is celebrated. During that time a spectacular thirumanjanam will be performed. It is world famous. During that time we can see the beauty of the idol with all ornaments and robes removed. Swami Ramanuja had a very handsome body. There are many slokas and pasurams describing his beauty. The idol was got to us by Swami Kandadai Aandan [கந்தாடை ஆண்டான்]. Swami Ramanuja's prominent disciple was Swami Mudalyandan [முதலியாண்டான்] aka Swami Dasarathi. His son was Swami Kandadai Aandan. He got the idol of Swami Ramanuja in Sriperumbudur. This idol is called Thanuganda Thirumeni [தானுகந்த திருமேனி]. The idol in Melkote is Thamaruganda thirumeni [தமருகந்த திருமேனி]. That was made and installed by Swami Ramanuja's disciples. The idol in Srirangam is Thanana thirumeni [தானான திருமேனி]. Swami Ramanuja is there. Many disciples were worried as to how they could live after Swami Ramanuja's death. So they desired to have an idol made during his lifetime, and this was made. Swami Ramanuja embraced that idol and passed all his powers onto that idol. While Swami Ramanuja was in Srirangam, this idol was installed in Sriperumbudur. That day is celebrated even now as Guru Pushya utsavam [குரு புஷ்ய உத்சவம்] and celebrated for Three days. It is held in the month of Thai, on Pushyam day. Festival starts on Thiruvadirai and concludes on Pushyam, for three days. On the day his idol was installed, it appears Swami Ramanuja, in Srirangam, felt his limbs and body trembling. He appeared to have remarked to his disciples that Swami Kandadai Aandan was, perhaps, installing his idol! During Thirumanjanam his beauty is praised, by Swami Embar Jeer. We will now see sloka 10, where again Three qualities, we should develop, are told by the Lord. For acquiring atma gyana, all these three are necessary:
"constant and unalloyed devotion to Me; aspiring to live in a solitary place; detachment from the general mass of people;"
The Three qualities are:
16. Mayi ca = in Me [Sri Krishna] and, ananya = not in others, yogena = mind, bhakti = devotion, avyabhicarini = unalloyed. Pure devotion only to Sri Krishna and to none else. Is it possible? Yes, if we can see the Lord in everyone we encounter. It does not mean that we should never even look at our own kith and kin. We should develop the mind to see the Lord in everyone. Slowly this will make us to realize the Lord in them and their familiar faces will fade. This is what Prahalada, whose love for the Lord was so deep, did. He told his father Hiranyakasipu that there were no separate leader for him and his father; he had neither friends nor enemies. He saw the Lord in everyone and so he could not see some as enemies and some as friends. When he was tortured also, he had this feeling only. When he was pushed into fire, he saw the hue of the Lord. When he was pushed into ocean, he saw the color of the Lord. When he was administered poison, he saw the bluish color the Lord, etc. Thus we have to see in all our relatives and in other gods, the Lord as Antaratma.
17. Vivikta- desa = solitary place, sevitvam = desired. This would avoid distraction.
18. Jana -samsadi = crowd of people, arati = not liked. Dies not like to be amidst crowds.
Opposite the garden where we are, is the Embar Jeer Mutt. The present Jeer tells that Dr,S. Radhakrishnan, past President of our country, it was not beyond the capabilities of anybody's understanding that Sri Ramanuja, was daring in his love, while doing reforms.