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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Ramanujacharya > The Life Of Ramanujacarya > Chapter Four > THE DEBATE WITH YAJNAMURTI



At that time there lived a great scholar and pan dita named Yajnamurti, who by dint of his learning and keen intelligence had become unconquerable in debate. Although born in south India, he had travelled throughout the northern  regions of the country without finding anyone who could rival his abilities in argument. On returning to south India he heard of the fame of Ramanujacarya, the renowned Vaisnava who was so expert at refuting impersonalist  philosophy. Therefore he hastened to Sri Rahgam, followed by a cart filled with the books he always took with him.Appearing before Ramanuja, Yajnamurti immediately challenged him to a debate. At this Yatiraja merely smiled,  saying, "0 Mahatma, what is the value of this mental wrangling? I will accept defeat at your hands, for you are a scholar without second. Victory follows you everywhere.If you acknowledge your defeat," rejoined Yajnamurti, "then  you must accept the flawless doctrine of monism and give up forever the false ideas of the Vaisnavas.Of course this was something that Ramanuja could never accept, and so he protested, "It is mdydvddis such as yourself who are  filled with illusion. According to such speculators all arguments and reasonings of the mind are simply aspects of mayd, so how is your own doctrine free from illusion?"Whatever exists in time and space is illusion," said  Yajnamurti, "and both of these must be transcended before one can reach the real truth. You accept a form of God as truth, but actually all forms are nothing but illusion.In this way the great debate began and for seventeen days it  continued, as neither of the two scholars seemed able to finally defeat the other. At the end of the seventeenth day, when Yatiraja still found it impossible to nullify all of his opponent's clever arguments and establish the supremacy  of Lord Visnu, he felt very disappointed at heart.Returning to the dsrama that evening, he went before the Deity and began to pray with folded hands, "0 Lord, the truth that is revealed in all the scriptures has become covered by the  cloud of mdydvdda arguments. By cleverly juggling words these impersonalists present arguments which are He went before the diety and began to pray with folded hands.bewildering even to great mahdtmds. 0 Supreme One, for  how long will You allow Your children to be thus kept from the shade of Your lotus feet?"When he had finished his prayer, Ramanuja began to shed tears. That night the Lord appeared to him in a dream and told him, "Do not be  anxious. Before long the full glory of devotional service will be revealed to the world through you."