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



In the south of India many great devotees have appeared to spread the glories of the Lord. Of all these devotees, pemaps the most famous is Sri Ramanujacarya, whose life is the subject of this book. However, just before  Ramanuja there lived another great Vaisnava whose life and teachings had a tremendous influence on Ramanuja, although in fact the two of them never met. This was Sri Yamunacarya, also known as Alabandara "The  Conqueror." It is appropriate in considering the life of Ramanujacarya that we should first look briefly at this great soul, the illustrious writer of the famous Stotra'ratna.Yamunacarya was born around AD 918 in the city of Madurai in  south India, which was then the capital of the mighty Pandya kings. His grandfather was a wellknown scholar and devotee known as Nathamuni, who was also famous for his mystic abilities and expertise in the practice of astdnga  yoga. It was Nathamuni who first compiled the songs of Nammalvara, a famous south Indian devotee, and had them set to music.Nathamuni's son was a handsome, intelligent young man named Isvaramuni, who married a  beautiful young wife. Shortly after the wedding, Isvaramuni travelled with his wife and parents to visit the holy places of pilgrimage in northern India, including Vrndavana, the birthplace of Lord Krsna. Just a few months after their  return from this pilgrimage, Tsvaramuni's wife gave birth to a baby boy, and, in memory of the sacred river which flows through Vrndavana, Nathamuni named him Yamuna.However, the joy of the young couple was but shortjived,  for just a few years after the birth of the child Isvaramuni passed from this world, leaving his young wife a widow.Nathamuni was so distressed by the untimely death of his son that he decided to have no more to do with the affairs of  this world. He left his wife and relatives to take up the life of a renounced sannyasi, totally dedicating himself to the worship of Lord Visnu. Thus at a very young age Yamunacarya was left to be brought up by his mother and aged  grandmother, living a life of great poverty.