Jai Sriman Narayana !!
Sri Ramanujacharya/Udaiyavar/Ilayaperumal/Bashyakara/ Ilayazhvan/Emperumanar/Thiruppavai Jeeyar/ Ethirajan was born to Asuri Sri Kesava Somayaji and Kanthimathi Ammal , a pious couple in the tamil month Chaithra with the birth star Arudra in the year 1017 A.D, in the village of Perambadur, Chennai/Madras. Asuri Sri Kesava Somayaji and his chaste wife Kanthimathi was ardent follower of Thirukacchi Nambi. At the divine instruction of Thirukacchi Nambi a fire sacrifice was performed to please Lord Parthasarathy of Thiruvallikkeni. In due course of time, Kanthimathi Ammal gave birth to a stunning male child named Ramanuja. Periya Thirumalai Nambi, maternal uncle of the child instantly realized the auspicious signs of the new born.
Ramanuja mastered in Vedas at the age of 16 and then proceeded to Kanchipuram to pursue the study of Veda and Advaita philosophies under the guidance of Sri Yadavaprakasha. The interpretations of Veda/Vedantha by Yadavaprakash often made studious Ramanuja unsatisfied, thus it raised differences of opinion between the two. Ramanuja expressed his justifications with poise about the sacred texts were highly appreciated and accepted by the pupil gathered; it created immense hatred in Sri Yadavaprakasha towards Ramanuja. Eventually, the enmity towards Ramanuja forced Yadavaprakasha to ploy against him; he deputed Ramanuja and his cousin Govinda Bhatt, fellow student and favorite of Yadavaprakasha to Varanasi. Govinda Bhatt was already known Yadavaprakasha’s treacherous plan against Ramanuja, eventually he was saved by the divine grace of Lord Varadaraja. Ramanuja was married to Thanjammal, it was lasted only for few years. Ramanuja accepted Sanyasashrama and served Lord Varadaraja, Mudaliandan and Kurathalwar were the initial disciples of him; shortly Yadhava Prakasha regretted at his folly and returned to Ramanuja, realized his greatness and became his disciple. Thirukacchinambi honored Ramanuja with the title ‘Ethiraja’ at the command of Lord Varadaraja. Periayanambi sang ‘Divya Prabandham’ praising the glories of Lord Varadaraja and attained a boon; he obtained the permission from Lord Varadaraja to take Ramanuja to Srirangam. Kanchipuram was in grief at the departure of Ramanuja and Srirangam was in ecstasy to receive the great seer, Lord Ranganatha honored him with the title ‘ Udaiyavar’.
Ramanujacharya relentlessly served Lord Varadaraja of Kanchipuram. In the meantime, Yamunacharya was pleased at the teachings & principles of Ramanujacharya and desired to appoint him as his successor, consequently Mahapurna, one of the disciples of Yamunacharya was assigned to bring Ramanujacharya to Sri Rangam, but Yamanucharya attained the lotus feet of Lord before the arrival of Ramanujacharya to Sri Rangam. Yamunacharya’s mortal coil was observed and found that three fingers on the right hand were firmly folded to palm. Ramanujacharya realized that his Master had three unfulfilled desires and those were the command to teach the doctrines of Vaishnavism for enriching humanity and the ways to surrender to supreme Lord, conservation of Vedas and the composition of commentaries on Vedanta/Sutra for the welfare of the humanity, lastly enlighten the souls about the knowledge of supreme Lord and the relation to the souls and the path of liberation. Instantly, the three fingers of Yamunacharya’s mortal coil remained wide open. Shortly, Ramanujacharya was initiated to Vaishnavism by Mahapurna according to the Pancha Sansakara rite. Goshti Purna, one of the disciples of Sri Yamanucharya was introduced the most sacred Ashtakshari hymn ‘Om Namo Narayana’ to Ramanuja, a most powerful hymn which provides Salvation that was instantly announced to the public against the will of Goshtipurna/Thirukottiyur Nambi by standing on the temple tower of Thirukkotiyur, this incident added admiration to Ramanujacharya and honored with a title ‘Emperumanar’.
Ramanujacharya had many followers and travelled extensively to the sacred places of Varanasi, Kashmir, Badrinath, Puri, Thirupathi etc.. and returned to Sri Rangam. Later, Ramanuja was returned to the Kingdom of Hoysalas, King Bhatti Deva was an ardent follower of Ramanujacharya. At the divine instruction of Ramanuja, a magnificent temple was built at Melkote. Before leaving Melkote to Sri Rangam, Ramanujacharya sanctified an image of him for the worship due to the pleadings of his disciples at Melkote. During his stay at Sri Rangam, Ramanjuacharya wrote commentaries on Vedanta/Sutra and various compositions like Gadhya/prose based on Vedantha, Vedantha Sangraham, Sri Bashyam, Vedantha Deepa, Vedantha Sara, Saranagathi Gadhya, Sriranga Gadhya, Vaikunta Gadhya, Gita Bashyam and Nithyagrantham. At the age of 120 years Sri Ramanujacharya attained salvation at the lotus feet of Lord Narayana. Sri Ramanujacharya’s sanctified image can be seen as ‘Than Ukandha Thirumeni’ at Sri Perambadur, ‘Thamar Ukandha Thirumeni’ at Thirunarayanapuram/Melkote and ‘Thaman Thirumeni’ at Sri Rangam respectively.
Abhimana Kshethram !! Sri Perambadur Sri Adikesava Perumal Temple:
108 Divya Deasam !! Thiruvarangam/Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple:
Jai Sriman Narayana !!