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RECOVERY OF SRl RAMAPRIYA
It is the custom in south India for two Deities to be worshipped in each temple. One Deity is wor¬shipped daily by the temple priests, while the other, generally smaller in size, is carried out of the temple for processions on festival days. This form of the Lord is known as the Utsava'vigraha or the Vijayci'vigraha.One night, a short time after the completion of the new temple, SrT Yadavadripati appeared to Ramanuja in a dream, saying, "Ramanuja, I am very pleased with your service, but as My Vijayd' vigraha is not present here I am unable to leave the temple to bestow my blessings upon'all of My dev¬otees. Therefore, please endeavor to install this Deity, known as Ramapriya, who is at present kept by the Emperor of Delhi, having been carried to the north by the Muslim raiders.Accepting the order of the Lord as his life and soul, Yatiraja departed for Delhi the very next day,accompanied only by a few of his disciples. After travelling northwards for two months, they finally arrived in that famous city.As Ramanuja's reputation had by this time spread all over India, he was admitted into the presence of the Emperor, who was very pleased by his purity and scholarship and asked him the pur¬pose of his arduous journey. When Ramanuja in¬formed him of his desire to return SrT Ramapriya to south India, the Emperor agreed to his request. The Vaisnavas were then conducted into a large half where many different Deities were kept, all of them having been seized by the Muslims on their various raids across India. However, even after a thorough search, Ramanuja saw that Ramapriya was not to be found in that place and returned to the Emperor disappointed.The Emperor then told them that there was one more Deity in his possession, the most beautiful of all. This form of the Lord was so attractive that the Emperor's daughter was keeping Him in her own apartment. When Yatiraja was shown the Deity he recognized Him at once as SrT Ramapriya and fell down to offer his prostrate obeisances. With the permission of the Emperor, the devotees took pos¬session of the Lord and set off at once for south In¬dia. They walked day and night, for Ramanuja was well aware that, if the princess wanted the Deity restored to her, the affectionate father might easily change his mind.