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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Ramanujacharya > The Life Of Ramanujacarya > Chapter Two > YAMUNACARYA'S ILLNESS



Ever since the day he had seen Ramanuja in KaficTpuram, the aged Yamunacarya had been thinking of him and praying to Lord Visnu for his deliverance. He longed for the day on which Ramanuja would give up the association  of Yadavaprakasa and take full shelter of the Vaisnavas. It was with this hope in mind that he composed his wonderful prayer known as the Stotra^ratna, which is adored by devotees even to this day.A few days after the composition  of the Stotraratna, Yamunacarya fell gravely ill and was unable to rise from his bed. However, even in this precarious position, hovering between life and death, he continued to preach the glories of the Lord. Fearing the imminent  departure of their guru, various disciples put questions before him. Tiruvaranga asked, "If Lord Narayana is beyond mind and speech, how is it possible to serve Him?Yamunacarya replied, "The best way to serve Lord Narayana is  to serve His pure devotees. In addition you should serve the Deity form of the Lord, even as the blessed Kanci'puma serves Lord Varadaraja. All problems are resolved by the statement of the Mahdbhdrata, mah&jano yena gatah  sapanthdh Just follow the example set by the great devotees'." Looking into the eyes of his dear disciple, Alabandara continued, "For myself, my only refuge now is the lotus feet of Tirumahgai, that noble mahdtmd who served  Lord Rahganatha so perfectly in ancient times.On hearing these words from his guru, Tiruvarahga's eyes filled with tears and he spoke again in a voice choked with grief, "Have you decided without doubt to leave this world now?"


Alabandara smiled slightly and replied softly, "How is it that such a wise man as yourself is to be seen lamenting for that which is inevitable? Do you not yet understand that everything happens only by the will of Lord Narayana. Our  position is to simply accept whatever mercy He bestows upon us, giving up the dualities of happiness and distress.At that moment two other disciples decided they would commit suicide as soon as Yamunacarya left this world.  These two were Mahapurna and Tirukkotiyurpurna.Another disciple came forward shedding tears and crying out, "Where will any of us go for shelter after your disappearance? Whose sweet words will inspire us to acts of greater  devotion?Yamunacarya placed his hand on the disciple's head, saying,My child, there is no need for anxiety, for Lord Rahganatha is there. He has given you shelter in the past, He is giving you shelter now and will continue to  protect you in the future. Always go and pray before Lord Rahganatha and sometimes go to see Vehkatesa at Tirupati and Varadaraja at Kanhci. In this way how will you be without shelter?When Tiruvarahga asked whether the  body should be buried or cremated, Alabandara gave no reply, for his mind was fixed on the lotus feet of Lord Narayana.