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LEARNING THE SCIENCE OF DHARMA
After completing his study of the Sathari'sukta, Ramanuja next wanted to learn about dharma from SrT Vararahga, the son of Yamunacarya. Every day Vararahga would go before Lord Rahganatha and sing bhajans in a most beautiful voice. Sometimes he would dance in ecstasy, and, when he became fatigued, Ramanuja would bring him relief by massaging his legs and rubbing turmeric powder on his body. Every evening he would prepare condensed milk for Vararahga and bring it to him like a menial servant.For six months this continued, and then Vararahga said to Ramanuja, "I know of your desire to learn from me about dharma and because I am very pleased by the service that you have rendered to me, I will fully instruct you as far as my intelligence allows. Everything about dharma is fully understood by one who has realized the meaning of this verse:
gurur eva par am brahma
gurur eva param'dhanam
gurur eva par ah kamo
gurur eva pardyanam
"That person who sees his spiritual master as the personification of the Lord Himself and who serves his guru perfectly with no other desire, just as you have served me, he is the greatest knower of dharma. This is the limit of my understanding.Ramanuja was very pleased to receive this instruction from his teacher and offered prostrated obeisances at his feet. Sri Vararahga had no children, but he had a younger brother named Chotanambi who was very dear to him. Now he brought this young man forward to become the disciple of Ramanuja.In this way Ramanuja was instructed byYamunacarya's five most intimate disciples: KahcTpuma, Mahapurna, Gosthipurna, Maladhara, and Vararahga each of whom embodied a different aspect of the great acarya. Now it appeared that Alabandara was present again on earth in the form of the pure devotee, Sri Ramanujacarya. When Yatiraja spoke, explaining the Vaisnava philosophy, everyone became struck with wonder to hear such beautiful descriptions. When he spoke about the glories of the Lord, the unhappiness and material desires of all those who heard him immediately went to a distant place.