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MEETING WITH KANCIPQRNA
As Ramanuja grew, the brilliance of his intellect soon became apparent. When he began to attend school, he could easily remember anything he was taught, even after hearing it only once. All the teachers in the school loved the boy, not only because he was a brilliant scholar, but also because of his gentle, courteous nature.At that time there was a famous devotee of the Lord named Kahcipurna, who lived in the nearby city of KahcTpuram. He was a disciple of Yamunacarya, and, although he was born in a sudra family, his intense devotion to the Lord was so apparent that even strict brdhmanas would offer him all respect. Every day he would travel from the city of Kahci to the village of Poonamalle to worship the Deity there. As Bhutapuri was midway between the two places, he would daily pass by Ramanuja's house.One evening as Ramanuja was returning home from school, he met Kahcipurna face to face and was immediately attracted by the demeanor of this holy man. With great humility Ramanuja invited Kahcipurna to come to his house for a meal, and the great devotee readily agreed, being very much attracted to this gentle brdhmana boy.After his guest had finished his meal, Ramanuja began to massage his feet. At this Kahcipurna protested, "I am nothing but a lowborn sudra and am thus your servant. It is not proper for a brdhmana like you to deal with me in such a way."Ramanuja replied, "If my position as a brdhmana prevents me from worshipping a great soul such as yourself, then I consider my birth to be the most inauspicious. Is it just the wearing of a cheap thread that makes one a brdhmana? Only that person who is fu/ly devoted to Lord Visnu is a real brdhmana, no one else."Kahcipurna was filled with wonder and delight to hear the boy's firm faith in devotional service. Long 'nto the night the two of them sat up discussing top'cs about the Lord and the ways of devotion. That night Kahcipurna stayed at Ramanuja's house and proceeded on his journey the next morning. From that day forth both of these great devotees were bound together by the love that each bore for the other.