|Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha
Sri DayabAla munayE namaha
ThathAchArya GuravE namaha
During the period of Sri Ramanujar, there lived a great
"Advaitha" proponent named 'Yagya murthy' near a place called "Vinjimoor" in the plains of Tirumala hills. He was an extremely
erudite scholar who won over many battles over his peers in "Tarkha Vaadham" or "Tarkham". Tarkham refers to the art of debating,
making counter points to disprove an already established theory or practice. A lot of analytical skills are needed to do tarkha
vaadam. Yagya murthy, the great intellect, was highly successful in tarkha vaadam as a result of which he made his oppoents
embrace "Advaitha" philosophy. In those days, when an opponent accepts defeat in an argument, he should embrace the philosophy
of the winner at once.
As days progressed, his victories grew by leaps and bounds. Yagya Murthy started to go to different
places near and far to win over his contemporaries and bolster the roots of "Advaitha". But how far could he go and how could
he? Just because he went on converting loads of folks to Advaitha, would it mean that "advaitha" is the right way of interpreting
Vedas? The answer is definitely a "NO". Universal and eternal truth is one and that is the one which stands the test of time.
So we do recognize that he should and he will be corrected at some point of time. But during those times, who could have dared
to face Yagya murthy in tarkha vaadam? Who can put an end to this invincible scholar? The simplest answer to the toughest
task was obviously our great Jagadaacharyan, Sri Ramanuja who did the task deftly.
Lord Sriman Naarayanan planned for
their meet at Srirangam as a part of his leela. As usual, the rules of the debate were laid clearly before it began. Swami
Ramanuja was certainly very confident about our Sri Vaishnava Sampradhayam, but is now going to undergo a stern test in the
form of Yagya Murthy. The debate started and both these great philosphers started to argue in their stand. Attacks, counter
attacks and defenses ensued from both parties. At one point it looked that the battle would never end. Yagya muthy challenged
Swami Ramanuja on a key point for which Swami could not retaliate immediately. The day's battle was regarded as "Over" and
was set to continue the following morning. Swami was very worried about how to win and establish Vishitadvaita. He closed
his eyes and prayed to his "Aaradhana Perumal –Varadarajan" (AruLaLa perumal at Thirukachi also known as Kaanchipuram).
He pleaded to him, "If the great Vishitadvaita sampradhayam which was nurtured and propelled by the likes of Swami Nammazhwar,
Naadhamunigal and Sri Aalavandhar would have to come to an end because of an ignorant person like him (Swami Raamanuja) then
what a disgrace he had caused to Vishitadvaita philosophy". He felt very bad for himself and believed that his "perAruLaLan
would always come to his rescue. And sure HE did. The same night, AruLaLa perumal came in Swami Ramanujar's dream and pointed
out some of the arguments he could use for winning over Yagya murthy.Specifically, HE suggested to take excerpts from "Maayavaandha
Kandanam" chapter from Swami Alavandar's Sidhithrayam.
Next day Swami Ramanujar looked gleeful right from the beginning.
As usual, he finished his bath and had 12 urdhva pundrams. He was resplendent with "Tejas"and proceeded to the debate with
so much confidence that upon just seeing him, Yagya murthy realized that Ramanujar has got some solid arguments prepared to
win. To everyone's delight, Ramanujar won the debate and was happy that Vishitadvaita sampradhayam will flourish no matter
what the size and nature of obstacles that come in its way. Yagya Murthy accepted defeat and became an ardent disciple of
Ramanujar from then on.
When Peyazhwar conquered Thirumazhisai azhwar who wandered across various philosophies, the latter
puts it, "Sakhiyam katrom samanam katrom sangaranaar aaki vaitha aagama nool aaraaindhom paakiyathaaal sengat kariyaanai cherndhom".
Translated loosely it means that Thirumazhisai azhwar was into various religions and philosophies like Jainism, shaivisim,
etc but all those did not answer the one basic question. The basic question is "What is the One Thing that if we catch hold
of will get the answers to everything?. Is there a one Supreme being that is the causeless cause by Itself and IT is the cause
for all other things? Thirumazhisai azhwar was given the answer in Sriman Naarayanan by Peyazhwar.
felt exactly like how Thirumazhisai azhwar felt when he was corrected. Since Swami Ramanujar had won this debate with the
help of Arulala Perumal, he gave Yagya murthy the name 'Arulala Perumal Emberumanar', (by combining Perumal's and his own
name). From that day on, Yagya murthy was known by 'AruLaLa Perumal Emberumanar'.
Ramanujar also established a separate
mutt for AruLaLa Perumal Emberumanar.
Once there were some strangers in Srirangam who wanted to visit Swami Ramanujar's
madam. Since they were new to the place, they asked one of the locals "Where is Emberunaar's mutt?". Immediately, the local
person replied them, "which Emberumaanar mutt are you guys talking about? Is it the one of Swami Ramanujar who is also known
as Emberumanar/Ethirajar/Udayavar/Godhagrajan OR Swami "AruLaLa Perumal Emberumanar's mutt"? While this conversation was going
along, Swami AruLaLa Perumal Emberumanar accidentally happened to listen to it. He wept terribly hearing that his mutt had
caused confusion in the minds of people to an extent that they may believe there is another Swami. In Srivaishanvic parlance,
when we say "Swami", it can refer to only one person. He is none other than Swami Ramaujar himself. Just like when we say
"kovil" it refers to Srirangam, when we say "Swami", it is our Ramanujar only. But Swami AruLaLa Perumal Emberumanar now was
very upset that he went ahead and tore down his mutt and came to live in Swami Ramanujar's mutt itself from then. Such was
Swami Emberumaanar gave various kainkaryams to his disciples. Swami Mudaliaandan and Swami Koorathaawan's
main duties were to take care ofthe literary works like SriBashyam by disseminating its substance to the masses. Another task
was for them to go and take care of "vaadham" with scholars from other philosophies. Likewise, Kidambi Achan was given the
task of "thaligai kainkaryam". A small story why he was given this task.
Thirukotiyoor Nambi, was one of the acharyas
of Swami Ramanujar He lived in Thirukoshtiyur divyadesam and he was the one who gave Swami Ramanujar the Thirumanthraartham.
Once, a group of people had decided to kill Swami Ramanujar, by poisoning his food. Hearing this, Thirukotiyoor Nambi immediately
rushed to Srirangam to protect Swami Ramanujar. Swami Ramanujar along with his sishyas, met his acharayan Thirukotiyoor Nambi
on the banks of River Cauvery, on a hot afternoon. On seeing his Acharyan, Swami Ramanujar immediately prostrated before him
right on the burning hot banks of the river. Thirukotiyoor Nambi wanted to test something there. He did not ask Swami Ramanujar
to get up. He was keeping mum and this continued for sometime. Due to heat,Swami Ramanujar's body turned red in color. Swami
Ramanuja being an emodiment of Acharya anushtaanam, did not get up and lay there till Thirukotiyoor Nambi asked him to get
up. But Thirukotiyoor Nambi continued staying silent. Along with Swami Ramanuja, there were a few sishyas. One sishya by name
"Swami Kidaambi Achaan" was mad at Thirukotiyoor Nambi and went lifted up Swamy Ramanuja and question Tirukkotiyoor Nambi
saying “What is it you are doing? Don’t you see that our acharyan's thirumeni has turned red!!? What do you gain
from making my guru like this? Thirukotiyoor Nambi was all smiles now and he said "I am happy now. I was searching for a person
like you who could take care of Swami Ramanujar. Since you were the sishya who could not tolerate any wrong happening to your
acharyan's body, I want you to take care of Swami Ramanujar's "thaligai". So from that day on, Swami Kidambi achan was given
the kainkaryam of doing "thaligai" to Swami. Anandhaazwan was given the kainkaryam of making Thiruvengadam a nice place to
worship by cleansing the area near temple. We all know about "Pillai Urangaa Villi Daasar" story. Swami Ramanuja made Lord
Ranganathar to show "Pillai Urangaa Villi Daasar" HIS divine eyes. Earlier, Pillai Urangaa Villi Daasar" was very much fond
of his wife's eyes. But from that point when he saw Lord Rangantha through
Emberumaanar, he denounced everything and
became a ramanuja dasan. For
him, the kainkaryam that was given was to take care of the procession
Namperumal goes for Veedi purappadu.
Likewise, there was a task assigned to each of his sishya. For Arulala
Emberumanar the kainkaryam given was special. We saw that he
had a debate with Swami Ramanujar and at the end of it
victorious. Arulala Perumal Emberumanar became a Srivaishnava.
Initially, he was living in his mutt,
but later he destroyed and
joined Swami Ramanujar's. Swami Ramanujar gave him a very special
kainkaryam of doing
'Thiruvaaraadhana" to his pEraRuLaalan. Arulala
Perumal was very delighted and followed his Acharyan’s orders
to his utmost satisfactionT.
When Anandhaazwhan and some other persons caught the lotus feet of
for the first time, the latter asked him to go to Swami
Arulala Perumal Emberumanar and seek refuge under him. Swami
Perumal Emberumanar could not say no since it was his acharyan's order
again. But he told them that
"I am doing this because my Swami had
asked to do so. Even though you surrender to me, there will be only
acharyan to you, to me and to the whole world. He is Swami
Ramanujar. So, He will take care of you just like he takes
AruLaLa Perumal Emberumanar has written two wonderful Tamil granthams called "Gnyana Saaram" and
"Prameya Saaram".Sri Manavala MamunigaL has written vyakhyanam for these granthams.
From his granthams it is clear
that he was a strong believer that perumal thayar are fond of us like how a cow would be towards its calf; that Perumal Thayar
would love us even with our many apachaarams like how a cow would clean its new-born calf with its tongue without anything
else in mind. These granthams are so great, that great acharyas like Nampillai and Periyavachan Pillai also followed these
The great AruLaLa Perumal Emberumanar's thirunakshathiram is Karthigai Bharani, that is on Dec
10 2008, tomorrow.
This is the thaniyan about AruLaLa PerumaL Emperumanar which we could recite on Wednesday:
Barani Jaatham Yathindraashramaashraye
Gyana Premeya Saaraapihi Vakthaaram Varadham Munim"
Swami Arulala Perumal
Swami AruLaLa Perumal Emberumanar was one among the 74 Simhaasanaadhipadhis. established
by Sri Ramanujar. He had a son by name "Alankaara Venkatavar" who also caught hold of the lotus feet of Sri Ramanujar who
appointed him as one of 74 Simhaasanaadhipadhis. Alankaara Venkatavar's son was "Swami Thaathacharya" who was born in the
month of chithra, under the star of "Thiruvonam" – the very same star of Thiruvenkatamudayaan. Swami Thaathacharya's
maternal grandfather was "Periya Thirumalai Nambigal" who was one of the acharyas of Swami Ramanujar himself.
Periya Thirumalai Nambi lived in Thiruvenkatam doing kainkaryam to Thiruvenkatamudayan. He used to finish his daily kainkarya
duties for Thiruvenkatamudayaan and rush downhill near Thiruchaanoor where Swami Ramaujar stayed and conducted discourses
on Sri Ramayanam. We may wonder why would an acharyan would ever do this to a sishyan? The reasons is that Swami Alavadhar,
before he left this materialistic world had ordered his sishya "Swami Periya Thirumalai Nambi" to be one of acharyas for Swami
Ramanujar and impart the deep meanings impregnated in Sri Ramayanam. Inorder to fulfill his acharyan's order and to get the
sambandham of Swami Ramanujar and with the magnanimous thought that all the people in this world should be liberated by Swami
Ramanujar's grace, he happily imparted all the knowledge that he had accrued about Ramayanam to Swami Ramanujar. That is the
greatness of Swami Ramanujar. Even, his achayan had yearned for his sambandham. Periya Thirumalai Nambi would boast of his
connection with Swami Ramanujar. All that we should want is his sambandham (connection) and there is no thought about if it
is his acharya or sishya. As a side point, all the great acharyas before the time of Swami Ramanuja are regarded as his "Thirumudi"
sambandham and all others after him are his "thiruvadi" sambandham.
As years passed by, ""Periya Thirumalai
Nambi" grew old but he did not stop his service to his Thiruvenkatamudayan for a single day. Swami Thaathachaaryar (paternal
grandson of Aruulala Perumal Emberumaanar) learnt all shastras from his father "Swami Alankaara Venkatavar" and also from
his maternal grandfather "Periya Thirumalai Nambi". One fine day, when Periya Thirumalai Nambi was doing kainkaryam, he had
filled his vessel with water to offer the same for Perumal. While he was doing pooja, Thiruvenkatamudayan disguised himself
in the form of a small boy. He looked at the vessel from Thirumalai Nambi's behind and drank it fully without any trace. Periya
Thirumalai Nambi was astonished to see the vessel empty. When he turned himself, he saw that little boy was running rounds
by calling "thaatha, thaatha" and finally went inside the sanctum sanctorum and merged with Perumal. Periya Thirumalai Nambi
realized then that his grandson is none other than an avathaaram of Thiruvenkatamudayaan Himself. Since He had called "thaatha,
thaatha" (thatha means grandfather in thamizh), he gave the name of "Thaathaacharyan" as the thirunamaam to his grandson and
thus the latter was quite famous in the later days . All the descendants came to be known as "Arulaala Perumal Emberumaanar
Vamsam: or "Thirumalai Vinjimoor Vamsam" or "Swami Thaathacharyaar paramparai". Here is a vaazhi thirunaamam for Swami AruLaLa
Perumal Emberumanar. Vaazi Vaazhi Vaazhi!!!!
AruLaLa Perumal EmberumAnAr has sannidhis in Srivilliputtir and Pandavadoodhan shrine(near
Kanchipuram). For more information on the sannidhi at Srivilliputtur, you can visit the site: http://arulalaperumal.tripod.com/srivilliputtur/
AdiyEn feels very honored to be a part of this glorious paramparai, by having him
as our AchAryan.
Vaazhi Thirunaamam of Swami Arulaal Perumaal
Arulaala Maamunivan Adiyinaigal Vaazhi
amar sendhuvarudayiodu ani yundhi vaazhi
Arulaarum Angai odu mukkOlum vaazhi
Ani vadangal Purinoolodu aagamadhu vaazhi
sangamodu thiruthoLgaL vaazhi
Thirukananinnai Naamamadhu Serudhalum vaazhi
Porulaaru narkalaigal pugal naavum vaazhi
Thoomaalaipunai Porkunji vaazhi
Thiruvaazhun thennarangam Sirakavandhom vaazhiye
Thenarulaalar anbaal thirunthinAn
Tharuvaazhum Edhiraasan Thaazh adaindhon vaazhiye
Thamizh Gyana Premaya Saaram Thamarkuraipon vaazhiye
Madhurakavi Nilai Thelindhon Vaazhiye
Thesu poli madandhannai Sidhai thitaan vaazhiye
Arulaaala maamuniyaam aariyan
Arul Kaarthigai BaraniyOn Anaithoozhi vaazhiye