Sri Ramanujacharya appearance day

Sri Ramanujacharya appearance day
13 April 2024
All glories to the appearance day of Ramanujacharya. You understand what Avirbava means (appearance) and so Ramanujacharya’s appearance day is today. His appearance is not today but the appearance day anniversary is today. He appeared in the year 1017. This means he appeared 1017 ago in a place called Perumbudur which was previously known as Madras and is now Chennai and this place is somewhat twenty five miles away from here.

He was a great Acharya and there are a very few Acharya’s like Sri Ramanuja. When we speak of Acharya’s, there is an understanding that there are four main Acharya’s who are Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Nimbarkacharya and Visnuswami. These are the four Acharya’s and they are the foremost Acharya’s of four different authorised disciplic successions of the Vaishnava school of thought.

Of these four Acharya’s, the first to be born was Ramanujacharya and after him was Madhavachrya after whom followed Visnuswami. Ramanujacharya is also known by the name Ramanuja and this is why he was so great and such an important figure. This is because the Anuja (younger brother of Lord Rama is Lakshman. Also there are Bharata and Sharmtrugana.

You can say Anuja or Anuga, which means one who meditates on Sri Rama, again this is Lakshman, who we are interested in at the moment. So Lakshman appears again in a partial form of Ramanujacharya, who is the partial manifestation of Lakshman.

Lakshman is Guru Tattva, the foremost truth in understanding the spiritual master. He is Lord Balaram and Nityananda Prabhu and so Lakshman came partially in the form of Ramanujacharya and he played a great role in becoming a great preacher, Acharya. Lord Buddha also appeared.. I have to make you understand and I can only do this by short description. I do not know of any other way of how I can explain this to you in detail and also we are short on time.

I must make you understand what that time was like when a Ramanujacharya appeared, what the situation was like then. The Lord caused him to appear or we can say that the Lord appeared himself in the form of Ramanujacharya for what reason? Dharma samsthapanarthaya
sambhayami yuge yuge.

paritranaya sadhunam
vinasaya ca duskrtam
sambhayami yuge yuge
(Bhagavad gita 4.8)
To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium
This work is not done only by the Lord himself, but the Lord’s devotes also come to reestablish the principles of religion.
The time had come to again reestablish the principles of religion
yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham
(Bhagavad Gita 4.7)
Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion-at that time I descend Myself
Yada, whenever there is decline in religious practice, tada, the lord descends. Yada, tada, whenever and then. The same situation cane about again one thousand years ago when there was a decline in religious practice. Those persons who had destroyed religious practice and who were behaving in a irreligious manner, have been told by the lord who says in the Gita ‘sarva dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja.’
sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
(Bhagavad Gita 18.66)
Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear

Then Lord Buddha appeared one and a half thousand years ago, and at that time there was a lot a Karma Kanda going on, sacrifice for material gain

karma kanda jnan kanda kevala visera bhanda
(Narottama das thakur)
For a Vaishnava’, the karma kanda and jnana kanda sections of the Vedas are unnecessary. Indeed, a real Vaishnava’m takes these sections as a poison pot.

We are speaking something else today, so really this is not relevant, but yes, there were many sacrifices for material gain going on at that time amongst the Hindus. For this reason, many animals were being killed also for animal sacrifices. The situation was so bad that only the supreme Lord himself could come and stop this from happening. This is why the Lord appeared at that time in the form of Lord Buddha and he preached non-violence as the most important duty, ‘Ahimsa Paramo Dharma,’ non violence is the greatest duty.’
But Karma Kanda is an authorised process and are rituals allowed by the Vedas and bina fide scriptures. To reject this proposal the Lord said, ‘no, we don’t care, forget the Vedas!’ If you are killing these animals in excuse of what the Vedas may say, then forget the injunctions of scripture, forget the Vedas.’ The people then forgot the religious scriptures, the Vedas, and they kept far away from the books.

Of course they were not believing the authority of the scriptures because Lord Buda had already preached for them to reject the scriptures for the reason of stopping animal sacrifices for the cycle material gain. But how can one live a proper life without religious scriptures? Of course I want to speak about Ramanujacharya and so he himself became Lord Buddha in a different form.

One who does not believe in the scriptures is known as an atheist and therefore the path given by Lord Buddha is also atheist. So to defeat the Buddhists and Jains, Lord Siva became Shankaracharya and he again bought the Vedas back on the scene. He again preached according to the Vedas and he also wrote commentaries upon the Vedas and Upanisads.

All these commentaries were Mayavada commentaries of impersonalism. He preached this impersonation or in one sense we can say that he destroyed the supreme Lord. He preached that the Lord’s name, form and speech is all impersonal without any qualities and he spoke ‘Aham Brahmasami’ and ‘Tat Tvam Asi. We are one with the supreme Brahman and we are the same as he.’

Lord Buddha had already said that the goal of life is to attain the place of supreme peace and happiness by giving up our individuality and becoming nothing. Then Shankaracharya preached that because we exist, this very existence is the root of all our suffering and therefore when we cease to exist, we will be eternally happy by becoming nothing. So let’s end our existence by becoming void.

This is the goal, to become void, and this was said by Shankaracharya but although Lord Buddha had said ‘no,no more Vedas, the difference is that Shankaracharya gave a lot of importance to the religious scriptures, but he did so by twisting the meaning of them. He didn’t say anything on the Bhagavad Gita or Srimad Bhagavatam, which at that point was not there anyway.

Actually, the Bhagavatam was there but, he only wrote commentaries on the Upanisads. He was emphasising that the Lord is without qualities and that he is without any personal body or form, and that I am Brahman, the same as the supreme Brahman, the Supreme Lord. And what is the goal of our existence? To become one with the supreme Brahman. Brahman does not have any form or qualities and he therefore does not have any past times.’

Of course, if somebody is formless and without any qualities, how can he have any pastimes or manifest them? ‘And if he does not have a form then what does he need place is residence for?’ No Vaikuntha, no Dwaraka, no Vrindavan, no Goloka or Ayodhya dam? The Mayavadi’s, Advaitavadi’s, Mayakar, Nirgunavadi’s tattva, truth is what? Brahman is the truth and their goal is this.

They want to merge into Brahman, the effulgence of the Lord, and whatever is separate from this Brahman is Maya, false. We understand their thinking, that it is full of thinking, Maya, to understand oneself as being different from the supreme Brahman. When will we become free from this illusion, from this Maya? When we merge into the Brahman, we will be liberated from this Maya.’

So these two different practices manifested before the appearance of Ramanujacharya, one was Brahamavada, impersonalism, to understand everything is false and to want to merge into Brahman, and the other Sunyavada, to make everything void.

namas te sarasvate deve gaura vani pracarine
nirvisesha sunyavadi pascatya desa tarine
(Srila Prabhupada Pranam)
Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Chaitanyadeva and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism
Nirvisesh means- well they do not have any knowledge in reference to the supreme Lord, they have nothing so special about the Lord, it is all the same, which is called Nirvisheshavada or Nirgunavada, no qualities or Advaitavada, becoming one with the supreme. There are so many names, and out of the two main paths, Lord Buddha preached Sunyavada and Mayavada or Advaitavada or Nirakaar, Nirgunvada was preached by Shanakarachrya.

They are called the two kinds of school of thoughts and to save the whole world, the Lord is about to make another arrangement by bringing Ramanujacharya into the world. At the time of his birth about one thousand years ago, there were tamil Vaishnavas called Alwar and there were twelve in number. They had reached Jagannath Puri and we have the main Jagannath temple and the other is the Alarnath temple.

These Alwar’s also used to serve the deities in the Jagannatha temple. Jagannatha is the lord of the universe and the other was the Natha (Lord) of the Alwar’s, Alarnath. These Alwar’s would preach devotional service through songs and Bhajans of devotion. At that time Sri Ramanujacharya takes his birth in this world. Sri Ramanujacharya ki Jai!

A personality can only be accepted as an Acharya when they have written a commentary on the Vedanta Sutras. For this reason Ramanujacharya wrote a commentary on the Vedanta Sutra and also Madhvacharya did the same, he also wrote a commentary as did Nimbarka and Visnuswami. All four Acharya’s wrote their own commentaries and for this reason they were accepted in their positions as Acharyas.

Of the four Acharya’s, Ramanujacharya first had his disciplic succession, although all four of these personalities had their own disciplic succession. Then there was the creation of the fifth disciplic succession and that was the Gaudiya Vaishnava disciplic succession. Our Acharya Baladeva Bhusana also wrote a commentary which was called Achintya Bheda Abheda Bhasya, or you can say Achintya Bheda Abheda Tattva.

The commentary he wrote was called Sri Bhasya and you have probably heard this name. Sri means Lakshmi and the worship-able personality of this succession is the goddess of fortune, Lakshmi herself. Lord Brahma also has his worshipable lord also. This Sri Bhasya was preached and the commentary Sri Bhasya was also given a name, Vishishta Advaita.

Again, one may say that the commentary has the word Advaita in it but although this is so, the focus has been made of the Lords personal perspective in that the lord is very special. How commentary is written with this point of view in mind. Lord Buddha had preached Sunyavada, everything is zero, and then Shankaracharya came and said, ‘no no, everything is not zero but in fact, it is all one and the same, we are all one.’

He went to the extent of saying that we are also the same as the supreme Lord himself and that we are exactly the same as him which means that we are ourselves the supreme Lord. He also preached that we can make ourselves the supreme Lord if we wanted. ‘You are God or we will make you God.’ To preserve the actual theory of God Srila Prabhupada said ‘I am not God, you are not God but we are all eternal servants of God.’

ekale isvara krsna, ara saba bhrtya
yare yaiche nacaya, se taiche kare nṛtya
(Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi 5.142)
Lord Krsna alone is the supreme controller, and all others are His servants. They dance as He makes them do so
So these Vaishnava Acharya’s beginning with Ramanujacharya are the ones who will declare that there are two paths. The theory of Lord Buddha of voidism and then Shankarachrya came and said, ‘no no, one. Everything is not zero but is one.’ Then Ramanujacharya appeared and taught that it isnt zero and it is t one, rather it is two and Madhavacharya emphasised on this so much.

It’s two, two, two! Whenever we see most photographs of Madhavacharya, what are these photos like? He puts his fingers like a V for victory and he destroyed the Sunyavada, the theory of voidism and Advaitavada, the theory of impersonalism. This is a victory so thats why the picture shows Madhavachrya putting his two fingers up in such a way. One can also say that his message is that there is the one Lord and we are the spirit souls

These both exist simultaneously and in duality, and devotional service can only be possible when there are two personalities. There is the devotee who is the performer of devotional service, the spirit soul, then there is the supreme lord unto whom this devotional service is performed and thirdly, the practice of devotional service itself. This devotional services what establishes the relationship of the individual soul with the supreme soul.

There is no question of this happening in Sunyavada, voidism because there is no devotee to perform devotional service and neither is there the Supreme Lord and to whom it is performed, so forget Bhakti. In Brahmavada and Nirakara the living entity thinks ‘I am the supreme Lord.’ Who can then serve in this mood where the living entity thinks ‘i am the supreme lord so let me merge into the Brahman.’

There is a no question of devotional service in this mood because then there is no individuality, the two have become one, but these thoughts have all come about and against the actual principles of religion and of devotional service. The truth had to again be reestablished and this was started by Ramanujacharya. When he became the age of twelve years old, his marriage was arranged and he got married.

In those days, marriage was done somewhat quickly and his mother and father soon passed away and therefore Ramanujacharya went to Kanchipura. Here he studies further and becomes initiated and there are many great Vaishnava’s who are affiliated with him. There is Kanchipurna, Shailapurna and Mahapurna to name a few, whom he took instruction from.

There was also a teacher called Yadavaprakash from whom he was taking instruction but one day he found out that this person is Mayavadi as there is an incident that occurred one day in the life of Ramanujacharya. One day Ramanujacharya rejected his spiritual master and because of this Yadavaprakash isnt just upset but he is wanting to take revenge against Sri Ramanujacharya by killing him. This was the plan that Yadavaprakash tried to execute but

Rakhe Krsna Mare Ke Mare Krsna Rake Ke.
He whom Krsna protects, no one can kill, but if Krsna wants to kill someone, no one can give him protection

This Yadavaprakash was not able to kill Ramanujacharya but rather he became reformed and he came on the right path and in time to come, this person who was once Ramanujacharya’s spiritual master, he becomes the disciple of Ramanujacharya. Yamunacharya is also another great soul who is thought of as a great Acharya in the eyes of Ramanujacharya and he thinks of Yamunacharya as one of his instructing spiritual masters.

Yamunacharya then becomes the initiating spiritual master of Ramanujacharya but he never has association with his spiritual master Yamunacharya who was ready to leave his body. Then one day the sad news reaches everywhere that Yamunacharya is no more and at that time Ramanujacharya runs and reaches the place Sri Rangam Dham which is on the banks of the river Kaveri. This Sri Rangam is the headquarters of the Sri Sampradaya and when Ramanujacharya reaches there, he takes darshan of his spiritual master who has by now, left his body.

As he takes darshan of his spiritual master, he becomes very emotional and he starts to cry because he is thinking that he never got the chance to meet such a great soul and have talks with his spiritual master about the supreme Lord. There is one Vaishnava bhajan sung by Narottama Das Thakur where he laments heno prabhu kotha gela acarya-thakur? He brought the treasure of divine love and who was filled with compassion and mercy.

There was one thing that Ramanujacharya had noted when he took darshan of the body and all the limbs of his spiritual master. When his eyes went on to the left hand of Yamunacharya he saw that three fingers were still straight up and stretched. Well everyone there could see the three fingers outstretched , Srila Prabhupada ki Jai! They were all thinking why are these three fingers still up?

But Ramanujacharya understood that ‘my spiritual master had three desires which had not been fulfilled. Three unfulfilled desires, and Ramanujacharya would also say what each of these desires that his spiritual master had were. He knew these desires, he understood them and then he also spoke upon what these three desires of Yamunacharya were. ‘I will destroy this impersonalism, non dualism and voidism!’ this was the first desire of Yamunacharya which had remained unfulfilled.

When Ramanujacharya spoke like this, it was seen by others although Ramanujacharya did not notice that when he said this, one of the three fingers of Yamunacharya which were erect went down. Yamunachrya was then thinking, ‘you will fulfil this desire of mine, so I can take this one finger down, thank you.’ But there were still two fingers standing up. ‘I will write a commentary on the Vedanta Sutra and i will in this way bring the true knowledge which is not like these other false commentaries.

I will preach true knowledge and bring them to the light of people’s minds.’ This is very important because he is to become the foremost of all four Acharya’s, he is the first one. That is why he must write the commentary and as he said he would write this commentary, one more finger of Yamunacharya went down. Then there was one finger remaining up, one final desire to be fulfilled.

There is Parasara Muni who has preached the true knowledge of the Vedas to the world by writing many scriptures. ‘In order to show respect to the sage Parasara, I shall name one of my own disciples after him.’ Ramanujacharya spoke this final statement and this was heard by all those present there and also his spiritual master, who was then peaceful in mind. With this the last of Yamunacharya’s fingers relaxed and became closed.

This is also the great character of Ramanujacharya, that he had fully understood his spiritual master and he was ready to do anything to fulfil the last of his desires, no matter how difficult. These desires were shown by Yamunacharya’s heart and his body and this spiritual knowledge somehow reached the heart of Sri Ramanujacharya.

Therefore Sri Ramanujacharya is indeed great. Once an instructing spiritual master of Sri Ramanujacharya gave him a Mantra to chant, and with this, he had also given an instruction. He had told him, ‘this Mantra is top-secret. It is also the greatest of all Mantras, Man means mind and trayate means that which cleanses. So in this way, the word Mantra means the words which cleanses and purifies the mind.

Whoever hears the Mantra becomes liberated and he becomes a devotee.’ In this way, his spiritual master had told him about the glories of the Mantra that he was about to give him. But Sri Ramanujacharya had been strictly instructed not to give this top-secret Mantra to anybody else who was not worthy to hear it.

He recalled what he was told by his spiritual master, ‘whoever hears the Mantra will become liberated and he becomes a devotee.’ Sri Ramanujacharya started to think, ‘what could be better than this? I would also like to see how all of these people become liberated and devoted to the supreme Lord by chanting this Mantra. I have this desire and I also want that they become liberated and devotees of the supreme Lord.

So why dont I share this Mantra? But he had also had a warning from his spiritual master who had told him ‘you will go to hell if you do such a thing. I do not care and if all these people can be liberated by my sharing this Mantra, then even if I alone go to hell, then what does matter in exchange for what they are getting.’ Thinking like this, Ramanujacharya climbed on the roof of the temple because he wanted to address many people from a high place where he could catch their attention and they would listen to him.

Sometimes merchants stand in a chair and they address people, ‘come on, please come.’
Sraddhaban jana he sraddhaban jana he patiyache nama-hatta jibera karana
(Sri Nagar Sankirtana Bhaktivinode Thakur)
In Nadiya’s Godruma the great soul Lord Nityananda has opened a marketplace to sell the holy name to the conditioned souls. Oh faithful people, O faithful people,) O my brothers, by the Lord’s command I ask this charity of you
Bhaktivinode Thakur has written one bhajan nadiya godrume nityananda mahajana patiyache nama-hatta jibera karana. So Bhaktivinode Thakur wants to announce this to one and all, ‘come, come, please come. A Nama-hatta has opened here and the holy name can be bought here. Who will come to make purchase? Sraddhavan, those who have faith, and therefore he is saying, ‘you have faith, then come.’

In the same way, Ramanujacharya is doing and the instruction here is exactly the same. ‘If you want to become liberates then you must have faith in the holy names and in the Maha Mantra. If you have this then come here immediately.’ Ramanujacharya is known as the spiritual master who gave the Mantra, and in his own lineage he is known as the Mantra Uddharak Guru which means the same thing, to give the holy name.

All the Guru’s who come in the same lineage as Ramanujacharya in the future will have the same goal in trying to send their devotees and disciples to the lotus feet of Ramanujacharya. Then he will be the one who liberates them and take them back to godhead, that is the understanding in his succession. After this Sri Ramanujacharya continued to stay in Sri Rangam and he then became the leading Acharya after Yamunacharya.

He also made Sri Rangam his headquarters, and he worshipped of Lakshmi Narayana ki Jai! He also taught his disciples and the devotees how to worship Lakshmi Narayana in deity worship. He mostly preached in Sri Rangam but alongside this, he went through the whole of India to preach far and wide. As a Parivrajakacharya he widely travelled.
Just as Shankaracharya had travelled all over India to preach impersonalism, Ramanujacharya did the same to destroy this Mayavada philosophy as far as possible and bring about Vaishnava philosophy. Just as Shankaracharya
preached for two hundred years, Ramanujacharya preached and he was assisted by his seven hundred Sanyasi disciples.
How many? He had seven hundred disciples who were all preachers and he also had twelve thousand Brahmachari disciples. How many do we have here now? Not so many, and let’s not forget he of course had other disciples and followers, thousands of Grihastha, householders who were congregation members. Out of these many great kings and other rich personalities and so you can imagine that he had a big following.
so one thousand years ago, Ramanujacharya was a leading preacher in the whole of India he was famous and he had the support of many Sannyasi’s, Brahmacharis and Grihasthas. They would all come together and do what? Dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami, to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself. And here Sri Lakshman himself had appeared in the form of Ramanujacharya and he established the principles of religion.
So these are the four paths of religion or rather of the Vaishnava school, they are fully bona fide and accepted by the supreme Lord himself who has arranged for these religious Samoradaya’s. Spiritual knowledge can only be taken from a bona fide disciplic succession and these four successions were established by the arrangement of the supreme Lord himself. The Gaudiya Vaishnava disciplic succession was established by Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu himself.
sampradaya vihina ye mantras te nisphala matah
(Padma Purana)
There are four sampradayas, or disciplic successions, namely the Brahma sampradaya, the Rudra sampradaya, the Sri sampradaya and the Kumara sampradaya
Sampradaya vihina means that any preaching done outside these four disciplic successions of the Vaishnava school is Viphala, it cannot bear fruit and so it is useless. So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared after the creation, establishment and preaching of these four Sampradaya’s just five hundred and thirty eight years ago.
The Lord appeared, but in the meantime, these foursome Sampradaya’s had become established and the leaders became known as great Vaishnava Acharyas. Actually it is the fact that Acharya has to be a Vaishnava and because he is a spiritual master, he therefore has to act in an exemplary way and that is called Acharya.
Avaishnava guru na syat, this is a theory of the Vaishnava Samoradaya, a non- Vaishnava cannot become a spiritual master, a Guru. A Vaishnava is he who accepts Lord Vishnu and who surrenders
unto Lord Vishnu.
janmanam ante
jnanavan mam prapadyate
vasudevah sarvam iti
sa mahatma su-durlabha
(Bhagavad Gita 7.19)
After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare
One must accept this fact that Vasudeva is all in all and that the Vaishnava, devotee of the lord is the topmost and that the Lord has his qualities, abode and his pastimes which are all transcendental. They must know that there is Vaikuntha Dham or Vrindavan Dham where he must go to eventually take shelter there and start to live there eternally after reaching there, all these concerns and beliefs are of the Vaishnava’s.
We have just seen, where will the Buddhists go? They will not go anywhere because they say that everything will be finished. Where will the Mayavadi’s go? They also are not going anywhere because they are just going to merge into the light of Brahman, finished. Srila Prabhupada used to say that this is also committing suicide, it is a form of suicide because one wants to finish the existence of their own self by merging it into the Brahman.
Then there are the living entities who worship the demigods and perform Karma Kanda, fruitive activities which will take you up to the heavenly planets. This is stated in the Bhagavad Gita that those who worship the demigod will go to the demigod in the heavenly planets. And what do some people do? Yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr vratah, they worship ancestors and they go back to the ancestors.
There are others who worship the ghosts and thus they become ghosts, bhutani yanti bhutejya
yanti deva-vrata devan
pitrn yanti pitr-vratah
bhutani yanti bhutejya
yanti mad-yajino ‘pi mam
(Bhagavad Gita 9.25)
Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship me will live with me
These are all the different paths and they are very much followed by the people of this material world and those who do so I’ve called Avaishnava’s, those who are against the process of devotional service and hence they are not Vaishnava’s. Therefore the Buddhists, nor Mayavadi’s also are not Vaishnava’s, devotees of the Lord. Those who perform fruitive acts, karma kanda kevala visera bhanda, they are also not Vaishnava’s.
On and on and on. They are called Gurus, but they are not Gurus. They are not spiritual masters, but instead they are called Goru’s. (In Bengali Goru means cows). Avaishnava gurur na sa syat, he can never become a spiritual master. I wanted to also say a little about Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who appeared after the appearance of all four Vaishnava successions.
When the Lord appeared, he took from each succession two good qualities each Sampradaya, Sri Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Visnusvami and Nimbarka and bought it to his own Sampradaya. From Ramanujacharya Sampradaya, Lord Chaitanya bought the principal of Ananya Bhakti. Ananya, unto whom should devotional service be performed? An-anya, not to others who are Anya, but whose?
Vasudeva sarvam. Devotional service must be performed to Vasudeva, Vishnu. So does that not include devotional service to Krishna or Rama? Of course it does, it is worship of Vishnu Tattva because he is worshipable and he is anadi ananta rupam. The Lord has unlimited forms but all of these many forms are actually only one form of Lord Vishnu or Vasudeva.
Actually the most important name is that of Lord Krishna and so unto him we must perform Ananya Bhakti, one pointed devotion to Lord Vishnu or Krishna only. Kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah
prapadyante ’nya-devatah, it is written in Gita that those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods.
What do these lusty people do? Prapadyante, they surrender unto the demigods, anya devatah. They do take shelter but who shelter do they take? Here it is said that they take shelter of the other demigods and they reach those demigods through their worship of them. But Ananya Bhakti means no more of anybody else, it is one pointed devotion to the supreme Lord.
Vasudeva is everything, Vishnu, Vasudeva and Krishna, Rama and Nrsimha, these are all one and one must worship them. So the Ramanujacharya Sampradaya and Ramanujacharyahimself was foremost in this one pointed devotion to Vishnu and nobody else. Do you understand? Ananya, Anupama means nobody Anya means else, therefore nobody else can be worshipped apart from Vasudeva.
No other person or no second third or fourth person can be worshipped. There are thirty three million demigods, this one or that one. And if no one else then there is always Sai Baba, so there is all this nonsense and therefore Ananya Bhakti, fixed devotion is a great merit. That is why this principle was specifically adapted from the Ramanujacharya and bought into Gaudiya Vaishnavism by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
The second principal the Lord excepted from the Ramanujacharya Sampradaya was Vaishnava Seva, service to the Vaishnava’s. This has been taken from the Sri Sampradaya, from Ramanujacharya, there must be no offence, especially to the Vaishnava’s. The Vaishnava’s must be served and one must certainly not commit offence to the Vaishnava’s or think of them as a source of pleasure for oneself.
One must also not give up association of a Vaishnava and one must always serve the Vaishnava’s. I know this personally that in Sri Rangam there is great welcome for Vaishnava’s. I have gone many times and it is possible that when Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went for his tour of South India, he may have stayed in some places for just one night or even half a night but Sri Rangam was the only place in South India where the Lord stayed for a whole four months.
It was also the time of the rainy season which last four months, and therefore Chaitanya Mahaprabhu stayed there at the home at a leading Brahmana’s home. The Brahmana’s name was Venkatta Bhatta and the Lord had accepted the hospitality of the Brahmana and he accepted the Vaishnava Seva that the Brahmana performed towards the Lord’s assistants. The whole family was awarded the association of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by the Lord himself and also for four months.
Every day the Lord would go to the river Kaveri to take his bath and the Lord would also perform Kirtan every day. And the Lord would go every day to take Darshan of Lord Ranganath, and whilst doing so he would give his Darshan to the people who were at the Temple. He would himself perform Kirtan and he would make others perform Kirtan also and the family members of Venkatta Bhatt inspired greatly by the association of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
They were so much impressed and inspired by the Lord, that Venkatta Bhatta’s brother, I dont know the name, but he became a follower of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and he became Prabhodhananda Saraswati Thakur.
And Venkatta Bhatta’s son became a devotee of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and he was known as Gopala Bhatta Goswami. He is one of the six Goswami’s of Vrindavan and the deity of Sri Radha Ramana in Vrindavan was worshipped by Gopala Bhatta Goswami. Hari Hari. So these two residents of Sri Rangam gave up the place of Sri Rangam and went to Vrindavan. Vrindavan Dham ki Jai.
They started for Vrindavan, who
Did? Prabodhananda Saraswati Thakur and Gopala Bhatta Goswami and Prabodhananda Saraswati Thakur had become so inspired that at one time he started saying
vancito ‘smi vancito ‘smi, vancito ‘smi na samsayah
visvam gaura rase magnam, sparso ‘pi mama nabhavat
Deceived, deceived, no doubt, deceived I am! The whole universe became flooded with love of Sri Gauranga, but alas, my fate was not to get even the slightest touch of it.” (Srila Prabodhananda Saraswati)
‘I was deceived very badly,’ he is saying and actually the word he used is cheated. He continued to say that the Gaudiya Vaishnava’s are diving so deep into the nectar of Gaura Rasa, the mellows of Gauranga Mahaprabhu and they are diving into the nectar of devotion, but I had never even come into contact with a drop of this nectar, that is why he says that he was cheated very badly.
So the life that the people led in those days was not that bad for the followers of the Sri Sampradaya because the Acharya’s were there to guide them, but what happened was compare what there was with others. So whatever they had was not enough and also Lakshmi Narayana worship and Radha Krishna worship are two different things in accordance to the feelings of the worshippers.
In Radha Krishna worship one must chant the Mantra with love
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
This is the topmost and that it why Prabodhananda Saraswati Thakur is saying vancito ‘smi vancito ‘smi, I have been cheated.’ Who can understand what these Acharya’s have given us? If Ramanujacharya had not appeared on this day, if the Lord had not sent him here then who would have protected that Dharma? Whatever preaching is done in accordance to Dharma, religious principles, that very Dharma is what protects us.
Ramanujacharya was the protector of religious principles, Dharma Rakshak. Ramanujacharya ki Jai! Ramanujacharya lived for one hundred and twenty years. He was born in the year 1017 and this year is the 1037th year of his birth. He was in Sri Rangam when he passed away but what is important is that he went into Samadhi when he passed away, but usually when a great Acharya passes away, the body is buried beneath the ground, but this is not happened to Sri Ramanujacharya.
His transcendental body was kept on the Asana, his elevated sitting place and he is still sitting there till this day on the Asana. In Sri Rangam temple there is a temple dedicated to Sri Ramanujacharya, and his deity there is sitting there. I have taken conditions many times, have you done this? I have taken Darshan many times, have you done so? If not, then what have you done in life?
They have kept him like this very carefully, which is not an easy task, he is Ramanuja which means a part of Lord Rama himself. Okay, Nitai Gaura Prem Anande Hari Haribol. All glories to the festival of Ramanujacharya’s disappearance day. Srila Prabhupada ki Jai. Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Ki Jai.
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