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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Ramanujacharya > The Life Of Ramanujacarya > CHAPTER ONE > RAMA M1SRAS SCHEME



Meanwhile, Nathamuni, Yamunacarya's grand ather, passed from this world to return to the lotus eet of the Lord. He had always loved Yamuna arya very dearly, and he was filled with sorrow to hear how his grandson had  abandoned the path of evotion for the sake of enjoying sensual pleaures. Therefore, when he was on his deathbed, he ailed for his chief disciple, Rama Misra, and made last request of him: "My dear grandson, Yamuna arya, who is  known as Alabandara, has forgotten he greatness and glory of Lord Visnu, being atracted by the temporary pleasures of this material orld. Now I am preparing to give up my life, and I can do nothing more to deliver him. Therefore  my last request to you is that you save my grandson from the darkness of nescience in which he is now sunk. I leave him to your care.Rama Misra, being a dutiful disciple, never forgot this last instruction of his gurwmaharaja.  Therefore, several years later when Yamunacarya was thirtyfive years old, he went to his palace seeking an interview. However, when he arrived there, he saw that the gateway to the palace was crowded with the chariots and  soldiers of different kings. Even powerful noblemen had to wait for a long time before they were able to gain an audience with the mighty Alabandara. As a poor sannydsi beggar, Rama Misra realized that there was little chance of  his ever getting to see Yamunacarya and that he would have to think of a plan by which to accomplish his mission.


As well as being a great devotee and preacher, Rama Misra was also learned in the science of Ayurveda. There is a certain type of spinach, known as tuduvalai, that grows in south India. This tuduvalai is famous for developing the  qualities of goodness in a man, making his mind peaceful and serene. Rama Misra found some of these plants growing near the palace. Collecting the green leaves, he brought them to the chief cook in the royal kitchen.When the  cook came to see him, Rama Misra addressed him as follows, "May Lord Narayana bless you. I beg you to please serve these tuduvalai leaves to the king every day, for it is well known that he is a pious man. By eating this herb he  will be able to develop his qualities of goodness and also increase the duration of his life. Every day I will bring some here to you." As it happened the cook was a pious man who knew the value of the tuduvalai plant and he happily  agreed to Rama Misra's proposal.Thus, every day for two months Rama Misra brought the green leaves of the tuduvalai plant to the royal kitchen, and every day they were served to Yamunacarya, who very much appreciated them.  When Rama Misra heard this, he deliberately stayed away one day; when the king found that the tuduvalai preparation was absent from his plate, he called for the cook. "Why did you not cook that spinach preparation for me today?"  he asked.Your majesty," the cook replied, "the sadhu who usually brings the spinach did not come today.Who is this sadhu and what price does he ask for his service?" asked Yamunacarya.My Lord," replied the cook, "I do not know  the name or dwelling place of that sadhu. He will accept no payment at all for his service and renders it only out of love and regard for your majesty.On hearing this Alabandara told the cook, "If this man comes again, show him due  respect and bring him tome.The next day Rama Misra again brought tuduvalai leaves to the kitchen door, and the cook at once brought him to Yamunacarya. Seeing that pious brahmana before him, the king was delighted and  said, "Holy sage, I am your servant. Please accept my obeisances at your feet. I have heard that every day you gather and bring tuduvalai for me and will accept no payment for this service. Is there anything that I can do for you?


Hearing this Rama Misra said, "I have something very important to tell you, but it must be in private." When the cook had been dismissed, he went on. "Some years back your grandfather, the renowned Nathamuni, left this world  and returned to Vaikuntha. Before he departed, however, he left in my care a great treasure to be given to you at the right time. Now I am asking you to accept this treasure.Yamunacarya was very pleased to hear these words, for at  that time he was preparing a campaign against a rebellious king and was in great need of money. Knowing what a wonderful person his grandfather had been, he readily believed the sddhus words. In great delight he said to  Rama Misra, "Sir, you are certainly a most saintly person, being so renounced that you have not kept this treasure for yourself. Now please tell me where it is to be found."Rama Misra answered, "If you follow me I will take you there.  It is kept within seven walls, between two rivers, guarded by a great serpent. Every twelve years a demon from the south goes to inspect the treasure, which is guarded by mantra. Through the power of mantra the treasure will be  revealed to you."In fact the treasure that Rama Misra was describing was the beauty of Lord Rahganatha, the Deity who resides within a sevenwalled temple on an island in the Kaveri River. The serpent is the bed of AnantaSesa,  on whom the Lord is reclining. It is said that this Deity was first installed by VibhTsana, the brother of Ravana, and that every twelve years he goes to Rahgaksetra to worship the Lord. The powerful mantra is the holy name of the  Lord, for by chanting the holy name one is able to gain the transcendental vision by which one can appreciate that the Deity is nondifferent from the Lord Himself.