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EXILE FROM SRl RANGAM
At that time Sri Rahgam was a part of the dominions of the Chola king, Koluttuhga I, who had made his capital at KancTpuram. Although the Cholas had become devoted to Lord NarSyana in the time of Yamunacarya, Koluttuhga was a great devotee of Lord Siva and an avowed enemy of all Vaisnavas. It was his desire that all the devotees of the Lord give up their faith and surrender to Lord Siva alone. Lord Siva is the most powerful of the demigods, but still he is not on the level of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus all the Vaisnavas refused to abandon their worship of Lord Visnu, which satisfies the conclusion of all Vedic literature.Koluttuhga was well aware that Yatiraja was the greatest Vaisnava dcdrya in India, and he reasoned that if he could induce him to worship Siva, then the other devotees would also abandon their faith. Even if Ramanuja would not agree to give up his worship of Lord Narayana, the king felt that he would still be able to establish the supremacy of the worshippers of Lord Siva by putting him to death. Accordingly, he sent messengers to sriRahgam to invite Ramanuja, along with his guru, Mahapurna, to come to Kahcipuram for an audience with the king. Little suspecting Koluttuhga's evil intentions, Yatiraja agreed to go with them, and entered the dsrama to make his preparations for the journey.Kuresa, however, was considering the matter deeply, and after a while he said to Ramanuja, "I feel certain the king wants you to come to Kahcipuram simply to put an end to your life. Please do not go there. While you are living and preaching the true religion of devotion to the Lord, the entire earth is benefitting. For fallen souls like myself, who are scorched by the miseries of material exis¬tence, you are the only refuge. Let me go in your place. You take these white clothes of the gmastha dsrama, while I put on the dress of a sannydsiand go with the king's men. In this way you may still be able to escape from their clutches.Yatiraja considered Kuresa's words for a few moments and then agreed to the proposal. Dress¬ing himself in his disciple's clothes, he left the dsrama unseen and made his way quickly to the forest to the west of the city. Govinda and the other devotees also left the city one by one and joined Ramanuja in the forest.