Religion

Millennia One for the records

yo nityam acyuta-padAmbuja-yugma-rukma

    vyAmohatas tad itarANi tRNAya mene |

asmad guror bhagavato 'sya dayaika-sindho:

 rAmAnujasya caraNau SaraNam prapadye ||

- by Kooratthaazhwaan

For over a year now, the bhuloka has been agog with activities and preparations in anticipation of the millennial celebrations of one of the leading lights of the SriVaishnava philosophy – Sri Ramanuja. Come the tiruavatharam day of Sri Ramanuja (chitirai thiruvathirai) and the celebrations reached the peak. These festivity reverberations caused a mild turbulence and Sage Narada – the divine reporter and triloka sanchari (always on the move – being a reporter) knew the cause for the turbulence and set on his tour to cover the millennial celebrations of Adiseshan’s amsam Sri Ramanuja. Being a divine reporter, Sage Narada had some special interest to cover the event.

The thought of Sri Ramanuja (being Adiseshan’s incarnation) brought in him some nostalgic memories of Sri Ramanuja’s days in the bhuloka. Reminiscing on Sri Ramanuja who was one of the leading lights of the SriVaishnavas, who was born in the 11th  century, and takes the pride of place as his deeds remain relevant even today in the bhuloka. Sri Ramanuja’s multi-faceted personality in life make many in the bhuloka wonder finding a way to crown him. Can he be crowned a fine tuned philosopher or a poet or a sociological thinker? Or can he be crowned a temple builder or a management expert? Or his concern for helping the common man over his blazing spirituality make him greater as a student or as a teacher? All said one thing remains clear. His virtue being compassion and his means integration, makes Sri Ramanuja and the path he laid out for the people of bhuloka to be relevant even today. The ordeals he underwent in his life in the temples, the rituals he set up, his philosophy and poetry, and his untiring efforts in integrating the society through compassion and by doing away with the manmade differences make him a perfect example to adorn more than one crown. He did this all with full involvement by setting himself as an example. He remained active throughout his life, and he became the progenitor silencing the so called torch bearers of modern Indian renaissance which cost him his family too. Setting himself as an example, he prepared himself for the onerous task of becoming a religious spiritual head by undergoing studies in all the relevant scriptures, the Vedanta and the hymns of Alwars.  

Coming out that brief moment of reminiscences on Sri Ramanuja, even though the entire bhuloka was agog with Sri Ramanuja’s millennial celebrations, it was one such celebration that drew Narada’s attention which he took particular note of. That celebration happened to be the celebrations in Atlanta, the Eastern part of the USA. So what was so special about these celebrations that drew Narada’s attention? Everywhere else the celebrations were connected to the local temple whereas this particular celebration was by the ardent devotees and sishyas of Sri Ahobila Mutt, USA. Even though this factor made this celebration stand out from others, the fact that this particular celebration caught Narada’s attention was the involvement of the participants who were all volunteers, its pomp and splendor and all without any compromise to the religious details.