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DISAPPEARANCE OF RAMANUjACARYA
When Ramanuja had finished speaking, Dasarathi, Govinda, Andhrapurna, and some of the other leading disciples came forward and made this presentation to him. "Your body, which is ever engaged in the service of the Lord, can never be material. Our bodies are certainly temporary, but you exist only on the platform of spiritual life. Therefore, our request is that we never be deprived of the sight of your transcedental form.Taking pity upon them, Ramanuja accepted his disciples' request and ordered that expert sculptors be brought there to carve a stone deity in his likeness. After three days the work was complete. Then the deity was bathed with water from the KaverT and installed upon a newly constructed altar. Yatiraja then came slowly up to the deity and filled it with his potency by breathing into the crown of the head.Turning to the disciples, he said, "This is my second self. When I have cast off this body, you may worship this form instead of me.Then he lay down with his head on Govinda's lap and his feet on the lap of Andhrapurna. In this position, with his eyes fixed on the wooden shoes of his own spiritual master, amanujacarya gave up his body and returned to the abode of Lord Visnu. It was noontime on the tenth day of the bright moon fortnight in the month of Magna in the year 1059 of the Saka era (1137 A.D.). A few days later, Govinda, Ramanuja's cousin and lifelong companion, also departed from this world.The other devotees remained under the leadership of sri ParaSara Bhatta, the son of Kuresa, always endeavoring to follow in their master's footsteps by constantly serving Lord Narayana. By serious practice of devotional service, they were able to feel Ramanuja's presence within their hearts; thus their intense feelings of separation were mitigated. Parasara continued the mission of Ramanujacarya by strongly preaching the doctrines of Vai$navism. In a great debate he overcame Vedantin Madhava dasa, the leader of the impersonalist scholars, and madehim into a devotee. Years later, after the disappearance of Parasara, this same Madhava dasa became the dcdrya of the sri Vaisnavas.