Ramanujacharya was the originator of Vedanta. He wrote his new philosophy, Vishisht Advaita Vedanta, based on Vedanta philosophy. He made the basis of his ideas on the devotional philosophy of the mystic and Bhaktimargi Alvar saints of the seventh-tenth century and the Pancharatra tradition of the South. Swami Ramtirtha: The Master Of Vedanta
About 28 km from Madras, there is a village named Sripekambudur, also known as Mahabhutapuri. Devotee and learned Brahmin Keshavacharya lived in this village. His wife Kantimati was very pious and religious. On praying to God, he received a son Ratna in 1017 AD. This child was later known as Ramanujacharya.
Ramanujacharya was intelligent since childhood. His memory power was very fast. He was also very interested in religion as his mother and father were religious. Ramanuja liked the company of sadhus, saints, and scholars since childhood. He often went to the temples and listened to his sermons. He was very kind and never considered caste and religion as high and low. A devotee named Kanchipurna used to pass in front of Ramanuja’s house regularly.
Ramanuja was kind-hearted man
One day Ramanuja invited him to his house and got him good food. After having his meal, Ramanuja expressed his desire to press his feet. Then Kanchipuram hesitated and said – I am of low caste, and you are the best brahmin of high lineage, so you should not press my feet. But Ramanuja said that one who is a true devotee of God is the greatest. One does not become a Brahmin just by taking birth in a high family or wearing a janeu. One should see God in every living being.
Over time, Ramanujacharya was married to a beautiful girl named Rakshamba. After some time, Ramanuja’s father died. After his father’s death, he started living with his wife after constructing a house in Kanchipuram. In Kanchipuram, there lived a Vedanti guru named Yadav Prakash, who ran a school. Ramanuja started studying in his school. Yadav Prakash vehemently opposed idol worship.
Ramanuja was intelligent. He used to acquire knowledge very quickly in school. He used to fascinate everyone with his loving speech. Ramanuja used to preach devotion to his friends there. Everyone listened attentively to his sermon. Slowly his knowledge and talent started being discussed in the whole school. Due to this, his guru Yadav Prakash started getting irritated with Ramanuj.
Ramanuja’s tough time.
Seeing this growing influence of the disciple, Yadav Prakash thought that -I should kill Ramanuja. Otherwise, he would grow up to be my opponent. For this, Yadav Prakash made a plan. He took his disciples to visit Kashi. There, he planned that wherever he saw Ramanuja alone, he would kill him. This thing somehow became known to Ramanuja’s cousin Govind. Taking a chance, somehow alone on the way, Govind told everything to Ramanuja. Ramanujacharya got the opportunity and fled from there.
After escaping from there, Ramanuja started wandering in the dense forests. One day when he was tired and resting under a tree, a fowler passed by with his wife. He woke up Ramanuja while sleeping and asked him for his introduction. Ramanuja introduced himself by asking for his introduction. Fowler told that he is going on a journey to Rameshwar with his wife. Ramanujacharya also accompanied him on his journey to Rameshwar.
At one place, Ramanuja felt thirsty on the way. He went to the river to get water. When Ramanuja came back with water, he saw Fowler and his wife had left. On asking a passerby, it came to know that fowler and his wife had reached Rameshwar. Ramanuja surprised. He took it as a sign of God.
Ramanujacharya got the secrets mantra
Ramanuja came from there to his maternal uncle Shailpurna and asked him to get the secret mantra. His maternal uncle told him, you go to Goshtipurna, the main disciple of Guru Yamunaacharya. He will explain to you the secrets of the mantra. Ramanuja went to the seminary. But he refused to give the mantra to Ramanuja. Ramanuja’s ideas were very revolutionary and public welfare. He again went to the Gosthipurna, but he refused Ramanuja at that time. Ramanuja was not one to give up.
In this way, on going to him eighteen times, he gave a mantra to Ramanuja. But he put a condition that he would not tell this mantra to anyone. When Ramanujacharya became aware of the secret mantra, he broke the condition of the guru and started telling this liberating mantra to everyone. When this news reached the seminary, he was very angry.
He said to Ramanuja in anger- I have committed a great sin by telling this mantra to a person like you. You will be in hell for this work of yours. Ramanuja said calmly that if so many people get salvation from my being in hell, I would like to go to hell. On hearing this kind of talk of Ramanuja, the seminary was very impressed, and all his anger was appeased by hearing Ramanuj. He apologized to Ramanuja and immediately ordered his son to become a disciple of Ramanuja.
Thought of Ramanujacharya
Ramanuja had many disciples and devotees. Relationship Between Teachers And Students They belonged to all castes, religions, and sects. Ramanuja never considered anyone big or small, and he used to have the most heartfelt affection. He said, “don’t be indulgent. Worship God. Don’t be an addict or an abuser. Avoid criticizing others. Pray to God regularly with a sincere heart. Never disrespect anyone. Whoever is the devotee of God loves him, respect him”.
Ramanuja traveled all over India to propagate Vaishnavism. Swami Ramanujacharya, who preached the best, said that after taking a bath in Kaveri one day, my work is complete today. Now I want to rest. Having said this, he placed his disciple Govind’s head in his lap and left the body. In 1137 AD, Ramanujacharya attained the age of 120 years and became Brahman. According to Ramanujacharya, Bhakti does not mean worship or kirtan-bhajan but meditation or prayer to God. From the social perspective, he has considered Bhakti separate from caste and class and possible for all.
Ramanujacharya had composed many texts in his life, but the two original texts he wrote became the most popular – Sribhashyam and Vedanta Sangamam.