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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Ramanujacharya > The Life Of Ramanujacarya > CHAPTER ONE > YAMUNACARYA'S CONVERSION



However, Alabandara could not understand the real meaning of Rama Misra's words, and, being anxious to acquire the treasure, he said, "I am ready to go there immediately along with four divisions of my army. Please be our  guide."It is better if we go alone," replied Rama Misra, "for it is not advisable for many people to assemble there.The king accepted this proposal, and, having made arrangements for the management of the kingdom in his absence,  he prepared to set out with the sddhu. Leaving the city of Madurai behind them, they travelled in a northerly direction. At noon, while they were resting from the heat of the sun, Rama Misra began to chant the verses of the  Bhagavad'gitd.It was many years since Yamunacarya had read and studied this great scripture, and while he had ruled as a king the sublime teachings of the Gitd had been far from his heart. But now, as he listened to Rama  Misra's sweet voice bringing forth the words of Sri krishna, he began to realize the illusory nature of his position as a king and to see how he was neglecting the real goal of life. When Rama Misra had finished chanting all the  eighteen chapters, Yamunacarya fell down at his feet and begged, "Please accept me as your servant, so that I may be able to continually relish the sweet nectar of Sri krishna's words. Now, as I hear from you, all the pleasures of my  worldly life seem pale and insignificant.At this Rama MiSra smiled and said, "If you have the time to spare, then why not stay here for a few days and study the Gxtd with me.Now that a taste of the real value of life had begun to  reawaken in the heart of the king, his concern over material affairs was diminished. "Whatever duties I may have in this world," he replied,certainly the most important duty for every man is to understand the true meaning of the  Bhagavad'gltd.Thus, the two of them remained in that solitary place for almost a week, and every day Rama Misra spoke on the sublime teachings of the Gxtd, while Yamunacarya listened with rapt attention. With every word that the  sadhu spoke, the king's attachment for his material opulence was diminished. This is natural, for once one becomes truly aware of the glory and sweetness of the Supreme Lord,

Sri krishna, the pleasures of this world seem worthless in comparison. When Rama Misra reached the eighth verse of the twelfth chapter, he sang in a voice choked with tears,


mayy eva mana adhatsva

mayi buddhim nivesaya

nivasisyasi mayy eva

ata urahvam na samsayah


Just fix your mind upon Me, the Personality of Godhead, and engage all of your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always without a doubt.When he heard this wonderful verse, Yamunacarya was filled with remorse and  cried out, "Alas! Alas! All these years I have wasted my life, with my mind and intelligence absorbed only in thoughts of lust and wealth. When will that day come when I will be able to remove such useless things from my heart and  fix my mind completely on the lotus feet of SrT krishna?"Hearing this pure sentiment, Rama Misra consoled the king, saying, "Your majesty, your pure mind rests always on the lotus feet of the Lord. Just for a short time it has been  captivated by worldly desires, as a small cloud obscures the sun's rays for a short time. Now that cloud has almost gone, and the sun will shine again and dispel the darkness from youmeart.At this point Alabandara decided that he  wanted no more to do with material life, and so he told Rama Misra, "Now, all I desire is to become your disciple, and so I have no need of the wealth left by my grandfather."But I gave my word to SrT Nathamuni," replied Rama  Misra, "and so I must deliver the treasure to you to keep my vow intact. Now let us continue our journey together.After walking for four days, they reached the banks of the Kaveri River and the next day crossed over to the island on  which stands the sacred temple of Sri Rahganatha. Rama Misra led Yamunacarya through the six Quter gates, until they stood before the doors of the temple room itself. Then Rama Misra said, "In front of us lying on the bed of  AnantaSesa is the treasure that was your grandfather's only property—Sri Rahganatha, the Lord of Laksmi devi, the most beautiful of all personalities."Hearing these words, Yamunacarya ran forward and fell unconscious at the  feet of the Deity. From that day he had no desire to resume his royal posiŽtion. He took initiation from Rama Misra and spent the rest of his days totally absorbed in service to SrT Rahganatha. Part of his kingdom was returned to the  Pandya kings, and a part of it he gave for the service of Lord Rahganatha. He received from his guru the mantra of eight syllables—om namo ndrayanaya—and by chanting this mantra he attained the topmost platform of loving  devotion to the Lord. On the order of Rama Misra he learned the art of mystic yoga and meditation from SrT Kurakanatha, who had been instructed in that science by Nathamuni himself.


After the disappearance of his guru, Alabandara was accepted as the head of the Vaisnava commuŽnity. Whilst he was the acarya at SrT Rahgam, he wrote four books of Vaisnava philosophy, as well as many prayers in glorification  of the Supreme Lord. In particular he was devoted to the writings of his ancestor Nammalvara, which he recited constantly and taught to all of his disciples. Eventually the king of the Cholas and his queen were also conŽverted, and  they dedicated themselves to the worŽship of Lord Visnu. All the devotees in south India adored Yamunacarya for his renunciation, learnŽing, humility, and steadfast devotion.