Ramanuja wants to make the whole world intoGauranga-bhaktas by chanting His Name
Post Author: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-01-14 16:27:11
Title: Ramanuja wants to make the whole world intoGauranga-bhaktas by chanting His Name User: Damodara Svarupa dasa Date: 2005-02-24 17:00:35
Ramanuja wants to make the whole world intoGauranga-bhaktas by chanting His Name -- By Swami Gaurangapada
There is one more confidential story. Ramanujacharya once came to Puri and pleased the Lord with many prayers. Jagannatha appeared before him and said, `Go and see Navadvipa-dhama, for I will soon appear there in the house of Jagannatha Misra. The entire spiritual sky is situated within one corner of Navadvipa, My very dear abode. As My eternal servant and leading devotee, you should see Navadvipa. Let your students, who are absorbed in dasya-rasa, stay here while you go. Any living being who does not see Navadvipa has been born uselessly. Just one portion of Navadvipa contains Ranga-ksetra, Shri Venkata (Tirupati), and Yadava Acala. O son of Kesava, go to Navadvipa and see the form of Gauranga. You have come to the earth to preach bhakti, so let your birth be successful with the mercy of Gauranga. From Navadvipa, go to Kurma-sthana and join again with your disciples.'
"With folded hands, Ramanuja submitted to Jagannatha, `In Your narration You have mentioned Gauranga, but exactly who He is, I do not know.'
"The Lord mercifully replied to Ramanuja, `Everyone knows Krishna, the Lord of Goloka. That Krishna, whose vilasa-murti is Narayana, is the Supreme Truth, and He resides in Vrndavana. That Krishna is fully manifest in the form of Gauranga, and that Vrndavana is fully manifest in the form of Navadvipa-dhama. I eternally reside as Lord Gauranga in Navadvipa, the topmost abode in the universe. By My mercy that dhama has come within Bhu-mandala, yet it remains without a scent of maya. This is the verdict of scripture. If you say that Navadvipa is part of the material world, then your devotion will dwindle day by day. I have placed this spiritual abode within the material world by My desire and inconceivable energy. Simply by reading scriptures one will not get the highest truth, for the highest truth surpasses all reasoning power. Only the devotees can understand by My mercy.'
"Hearing this, the sober-minded Ramanuja was agitated with love for Gauranga. He said, `Lord, Your pastimes are truly astounding. The scriptures cannot know Your opulences. Why isn't Gauranga-nama-lila clearly described in the scriptures? When I closely examine the sruti and Puranas, now I can see the verses about the Gauranga-tattva. After hearing Your instructions, my doubts are gone and the sweet mellows of Gauranga's pastimes have arisen in my heart. If You order me, after going to Navadvipa I will preach Gauranga-nama-lila throughout the three worlds. I will give people evidence from the hidden scriptures and establish devotional service to Gauranga throughout the universe and make all the three worlds into Gauranga- bhaktas and make them chant Gauranga's Name. Please instruct me.'
"Seeing Ramanuja's eagerness, Jagannatha said, `Ramanuja, do not broadcast like this. Keep the confidential name, pastimes and abode of Gauranga secret. Only after Gauranga has finished His pastimes will the general public receive them. For now, preach dasya-rasa, while in your heart worship and chant the name of Gauranga constantly.'
"Taking the Lord's advice, Ramanuja secretly cultured his attraction for Navadvipa. So that Gauranga's pastimes were not revealed prematurely, Lord Narayana then led Ramanuja here to Vaikunthapura and mercifully showed Ramanuja His transcendental form served by Shri, Bhu, and Nila. Ramanuja considered himself fortunate to obtain darsana of his worshipable Lord, when suddenly he saw the Lord assume the enchanting form of Gauranga, the son of Jagannatha Misra. Ramanuja swooned at the brilliance of the form. Then Gauranga put His lotus feet on the head of Ramanuja, who was thus divinely inspired and recited prayers of praise. `I must see Gauranga's actual lila on earth. I can never leave Navadvipa!'
Lord Gauranga said, `O son of Kesava, your desire will be fulfilled. When the Nadia (Navadvipa) pastimes will be revealed in the future, you will take birth here again.'
Lord Gauranga disappeared and Ramanuja, contented, resumed his journey. After some days he arrived at Kurma-sthana and saw the place with his disciples. During his life he preached dasya-rasa throughout South India, while internally he was absorbed in Gauranga-nama-lila. By Gauranga's mercy, he took birth in Navadvipa as the devotee Shri Ananta Acharya. He went to Vallabhacarya's house and saw the marriage of Laksmipriya and Gauranga.
From Shrila Saccidananda Thakura Bhaktivinoda's supreme classic book Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Chp 15.
Last Instructions of Shri Ramanujacharya
On his death bed Shri Ramanuja is said to have articulated some statements to his disciples. It is not an exaggeration to present these statements as the essence of Shri Vaishnavam. I give below excerpts of these, translated from "Shri Ramaanujar," pi. shri, sudhEsamitthiran, pp. 250 - 259, aagaStu 1964 . I apologise for the lack of lucidity of my translation. (written by Shri Parthasarathy Dileepan).
1. Serve God and God's devotees. Serve all devotees without regard to their status.
2. Have faith in the teachings of AchAryAs.
3. Do not succumb to sensual pleasures.
4 & 5. Do not put your conviction on trivial saasthraas, have conviction on the saasthraas that deal with God.
6 - 8. Protect yourself from the five senses.
9 & 10. Praise the name of the Lord and AchAryAs.
11. All the knowledge you may have will not protect you if you choose sensual pleasures.
12 & 13. It is not enough to control your sensual desires, you must surrender to the Lord.
14 - 17. Do not be disrespectful of shri vaishnavaas for any reason, including age, caste, etc. You must show respect to them all.
18. When you rise from your bed meditate upon your ancestral line of AchAryAs.
19. In front of the sanctum of our Lord, amongst shri vaishnavaas utter the words of dvayam. (mentally' Do not utter loudly, as they are rahaysyams)
20. Praise the auspicious qualities of our Lord and AchAryAs.
21 and 22. Welcome shri vaishnavas with open arms and praise. Do not praise ordinary people for the sake of material gain.
23. Pay respect when you see the gOpuram of a temple.
24 - 25. Have undying faith in Lord Vishnu.
26. Do not find fault with praise of the Lord or devotees.
27 - 29. Pay at most respect to shri vaishnavaas.
30 & 31. Among shri vaishnavaas do not discriminate between poor and rich.
32. Ignore the faults and praise the virtues of shri vasihnavaas.
33 - 35. Consume Shri paadha theertham with respect.
36. Do not consider yourself as equal to other devotees. Think of yourself as their servant.
37 - 39. To purify your sins consume the shri paada theertham of great saints. For this, do not consider the caste of those saints.
40 & 41. Duties of families. (Not described in the text)
42 - 44. Visiting temples and securing prasaadam is important.
45. Do not boast about your virtues.
46. Do not scorn a devotee.
47. Do not ignore serving devotees.
48. Praise the auspicious qualities of the Lord daily.
49. Recite prabhandams like thiruvaaymozhi daily.
50 - 58. Do not associate with the ones who only pretend to be shri vaihnvaas. Do not associate with the ones who find faults with others. Do not even look upon those who belittle devotees. Associate with those who wish to surrender to the Lord.
59 & 60. Ignore the harsh words of other shri vaishnvaas. Always do good to them.
(From this point onwards I am unable to give numerical listing as the original text does not give the numerical ordering.)
Do not think of the deities of the Lord as just stone or wood. (my note: In as much as we give respect to the cloth (the flag of a nation) as the nation itself, we need to consider the Divya mangaLa vigraham as the transcendental form of Emperumaan Shriya:pathih Shriman Narayanan Himself.)
Do not think of your guru (AchArya) as just an ordinary person. Even simply saying out loud the caste of a shrivasihnavaas is a sin.
Do not consider anything related to our Lord as ordinary. There is nothing greater than making our Lord and his devotees happy. Insulting a devotee is a greater sin than not praying to the Lord. Your duty is to surrender to our Lord. Try to live in Thiru naaraayanapuram (mElkOte) at least for some time. If you are unable to, where ever you are, live with dvayam in your tongue. If you are unable to do even this, serve other shrivaishnavaas.