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YADAVAPRAKASA BECOMES A VAISNAVA
One day, when the elderly mother of Yadavaprakasa came to the temple to see Lord Varadaraja, she noticed Ramanuja instructing his disciples outside the dsrama. Being captivated by his gracefulness and scholarship, she considered that if her son were to become the disciple of such a wonder ful personality, then his life would be perfect. Ever since his mistreatment of Ramanuja, Yadavaprakasa had been very disturbed at heart, and his mother knew this. She considered that the best thing for her son would be to take shelter at the feet of this effulgent young sannydsi.When she returned home, she begged her son to go and become a disciple of Ramanuja, but Yadavaprakasa would not hear of surrendering to one who had previously been his own student. Still, however, his mind remained disturbed. Once he happened to meet with KancTpurna and he inquired from him, "Sir, I am very troubled at heart and can find no peace. As you are well known as the one through whom Lord Varadaraja gives instructions, please tell me what I must do."Go home now," replied KancTpurna. "Tonight I will pray to Lord Varadaraja. If you come to me tomorrow, I will tell you His instructions.When they met the following day, KancTpurna immediately began to describe the greatness of Ramanuja and the benefits one might derive from becoming his disciple. On hearing this, Yadavaprakasa decided he would go to visit Ramanuja at the dsrama and discuss the scriptures with him.That night Yadavaprakasa found it hard to sleep. He lay awake for several hours, considering the different points over and over again. Eventually he dozed into a light sleep, and while he slept, he had a wonderful dream. It seemed that an effulgent person appeared before him and began to give him instructions. Again and again he told Yadavaprakasa that he should become the disciple of Yatiraja.When Yadavaprakasa awoke, the effects of the dream were still with him, and he was struck with wonder. However, he was never a man to act solely on the basis of his emotions, and in his mind there still lingered doubts about Ramanuja's philosophy.That afternoon he went to the dsrama and, as soon as he saw Yatiraja, he was struck by the young dcdrya's purity and effulgence. Ramanuja received his former teacher with courtesy, offering him an elevated sitting place. After they had exchanged greetings, Yadavaprakasa began to express his doubts about the Vaisnava philosophy that Ramanuja was so expertly presenting. "My child," he said gently, "I am very pleased by your scholarship and humble behavior. I can see from the markings of tilaka and the emblems of the lotus and cakra on your body that you are a devotee of Lord Visnu and consider the path of bhakti alone to be proper.
But what evidence can be found in the scriptures to support such a point of view?"To this inquiry Yatiraja replied, "Here is Kuresa, who is most learned in all of the revealed scriptures. Place your question before him.Thereupon, as Yadavaprakasa looked towards Kuresa, the young disciple of Ramanuja began to speak. He cited numerous verses from many different scriptures—the Vedas, Upanisads, Purdnas, etc.—which confirmed that loving devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the perfection of spiritual life.On hearing this torrent of evidence from the scriptures, Yadavaprakasa was dumbfounded and fell silent. Different thoughts passed quickly through his mind his previous outrageous behavior, the words of his mother, and the advice that had been given to him by KancTpurna. Suddenly he threw himself down at the feet of his former disciple, crying out, "0 Ramanuja, blinded by pride, I could not see your true qualities. Please forgive all my offenses and become my guide to deliver me from the miseries of this material world. I take shelter of you alone.Yatiraja then raised Yadavaprakasa to his feet and embraced him with warm affection. With his mother's blessings, that same day Yadavaprakasa accepted sannydsa from Ramanuja and considered himself greatly fortunate. He was given the name Govinda dasa, and from that day on he was like a different person. He now fully embraced the Vaisnava philosophy and gave up all pride in his scholarship. Tears of humility now decorated his eyes as he engaged in acts of devotion to the Supreme Lord. On hearing of this extraordinary transformation, everyone praised the influence of Ramanuja, and his fame spread far and wide. Seeing the devotional sentiments in his former guru, Yatiraja once addressed him, saying, "Now your mind has become free from all contamination. To remove the sins of the past, you should write a book delineating the duties of a true Vai?nava. By rendering this service you will attain full perfection.Accordingly Yadavaprakasa wrote a wonderful book called Tatudharmasamuccaya, which he of¬fered at the feet of his guru. At this time Yadavaprakasa, or Govinda dasa as he was now known, was over eighty years old. A short time after the completion of the book, he passed from this world.