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Arulala Perumal Emperumanar Vaibhavam - by Sri T V Srinivas

Posted by: "TCA Venkatesan" vtca

Date: Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:31 pm ((PST))

Srimathe Ramanujaya Nama:

Today is Karththigai Bharani - the thirunakshatram of Arulala Perumal


kArthikE baraNI jAtham yatIndrAsritamAsrayE |

JNyAnapramEya sAraBivaktAram vardam munim ||

dayApAlana dEvAya JNyAnasAra pradAyaca |

pramEyasAram tatatE namOstu prEma sAlinE ||

rAmAnuja padAmbOja samsrtam guNavArithim |

dayApAla munim vandE vEdAnta pariniStitam ||

JNyAnaBaktyArta vairAgyam rAmAnuja padAsritam |

PancamOpAya sampannam samyamIndram namAmyaham ||

rAmAnujArya sacchiShyam vEdaSAstrArta sampadam |

chaturtAsrama sampannam dEvarAjamunim bajE ||

yatirAja dayApAtram yatipankti viBUSaNam |

dayApAla munim vandE desikAgrE saram saDA ||

Sri Arulala Perumal emperumAnAr, also called dayApAlamuni or dEvarAjamuni,

was one of the very important siShyAs of swAmi emperumAnAr. He was an
advaita sanyAsi, who surrendered at the holy feet of swAmi emperumAnAr, and
showed us the qualities of a Sri Vaishnava, and the Guru-siShya lakShaNam.
He also gave us two works called JNyAna sAram and pramEya sAram, which
are considered as authentic teachings of swAmi emperumAnAr, giving us the
essence of the entire vedAnta.

A thousand years back, when swami emperumAnAr was ruling the leelA
vibhuti, as the chief of our Sri Vaishnava SampradhAyam, there lived a
vidhwan called "yaJNyamUrthy". He was a great scholar in vEdAnta, and
a sanyAsi following the advaita sampradhAyam. He heard about swAmi
emperumAnArs vaiBhavam, and decided to have a debate with swAmi
(hereafter swAmi will always refer to swAmi emperumAnAr, in the rest
of the document) and defeat him. Having decided thus, he wrote lot of
shAstrAs, based on the doctrine of advaitha, and carried them all with
him, to Srirangam. On reaching Srirangam, he expressed his wish to
debate with swAmi, which was gladly accepted by swAmi too. Both of
them put forth their conditions as follows : yaJNyamUrthy promised that,
if defeated, he will carry the holy sandals of swAmi, change his name
to that of swAmi, and also become a Sri Vaishnava. SwAmi too
promised that, if defeated, swAmi will take up grantha sanyAsam.

With this the debate started and continued for 18 days. Till the end of the
16th day, neither of them could defeat the other. But on the 17th day, the
arguments and ideas of yaJNyamUrthy grew stronger and swAmi could
not think of anything else to refute it. That day yaJNyamUrthy returned
home in an ecstatic mood, while swAmi was greatly dejected at the turn
of events. He then offered prasadam to his thiruvArADhana perumAL,
pEraruLALan, and silently started pouring his heart out to him. "Starting
with AzhwArs, and carried on by Sri AlavandAr, should this great
sampradAyam come to an end with the birth of a person like me. If this
is what is your desire, be it so." Thinking thus, and with extreme grief,
swAmi went to bed without having any prasAdam.

That night pEraruLALan appeared in his dream and spoke thus : "Oh!
IlayAzhwAr, why do you worry? I have given you a siShyA who is
equivalent to you in all aspects. Use the arguments of your
paramAchAryAr, Sri AlavandArs? mAyAvAdha Khandanam, and
defeat him."

SwAmi woke up suddenly and realized that it was a dream and was
overjoyed. He happily completed his nithya karmAnuShTAnam, and
after worshipping his thiruvArADhana perumAL and went to the debate
hall with all the majestic look. YaJNyamUrthy, on seeing swAmi was
awe struck, by his majestic appearance and happiness in his face,
that he thought: "Is this the same emperumAnAr, who returned
dejected yesterday. Now that he is entering the debate hall with a
majestic look of an elephant." On seeing all these, yaJNyamUrthy,
being a JNyAni, understood the divine power of swAmi, and decided
that it is not possible for a normal being to return with such energy,
after being badly defeated the previous day, and fell at the feet of
swAmi, and conceded defeat. As per the promises, he then requested
swAmi to forgive him by placing swamis holy feet on his head. This
act of yaJNyamUrthy completely surprised swAmi, who asked him
if he is not willing to continue with the debate. For this
yaJNyamUrthy replied, "When periya perumAL showed himself to
you, there is no difference between periya perumAL and swAmi, and
he (yaJNyamUrthy) does not have any capacity to speak a word in
front of such a great AcharyA." On hearing this swAmi was extremely
pleased, but still to bring the debate to a formal conclusion, he
explained yaJNyamUrthy, the flaws in the mAyAvAdha siDhAntham.

Then swAmi embraced yaJNyamUrthy, and accepted him as his

siShyA. He then requested yaJNyamUrthy to do prAyaschittA for
forsaking the yaJNyopavItham, and kAshAya vasthram, when he
earlier became an advaita sanyAsi. Then swAmi performed pancha
samskAram to yaJNyamUrthy and named him as "aruLALa perumAl
emperumAnAr" as he considered yaJNyamUrthy a divine son given
to him by pEraruLALan, and established a maTam for him as he
was a sanyAsi. SwAmi then taught nAlAyira divya praBhanDham,
to Arulala Perumal EmperumAnAr.

Daily swAmi used to conduct his viDhwath goShTi with kUraThAzhwAn,

mudaliyAndAn, and Arulala Perumal emperumAnAr. There were many
bhagavathas who surrendered at the holy feet of swAmi. When
ananthAzhwAn, echAn, thondanUr nimbi, and marudUr nimbi
surrendered at the feet of swAmi, swAmi asked them to surrender to
Arulala Perumal emperumAnAr, and accept him as their AcharyA. On
hearing this Arulala Perumal emperumAnAr fearfully told them : "Its
like tying a fruit of the palm tree, to the neck of a sparrow." and
advised them to surrender only to swAmi. This particular episode
shows us the some of the qualities of a Sri Vaishnava, and
guru-siShya lakShaNam. A guru should never consider his siShyAs
to be his siShyAs, but should consider them as siShyAs of his own

Another event which clearly showed the Acharya niShTai, of Arulala

Perumal emperumAnAr, and his love for swAmi. Once two
Sri Vaishnavas came to Srirangam, to get the blessings of swAmi,
and asked the local people gathered there, the way to emperumAnArs
maTam. For which, the local people put a counter question, asking
"which emperumAnAr". On hearing this the Sri Vaishnavas were
surprised and enquired back, "Why do you ask which emperumAnAr?
Do we have two emperumAnars in our darShanam". The local people
replied "Yes, we also have Sri aruLALa perumAL emperumAnAr
with us in Srirangam, that why we asked like that." The S
ri Vaishnavas replied that they were not aware of Arulala Perumal
emperumAnAr, and they asked only about Udayavars maTam, and
left the place after getting the directions. Arulala Perumal
emperumAnAr happened to hear this conversation and was
shocked to hear that he has been treated on par with his swAmi,
and was grief sticken. He thought, "Just because I live away from
the holy feet of my swAmi, I am being compared on par with him.
What a sinner am I, to be separated from my swAmi." Thinking
thus, he immediately demolished his maTam, and asked
ananThAzhwAn, echAn, and other siShyAs to go back to
swAmi emperumAnAr, and himself fell at the feet of swAmi and
requested swAmi to take him back. SwAmi too, after hearing
all that had happened was extremely pleased at the Acharya
niShTai of Arulala Perumal emperumAnAr, and never got
separated from him thereafter. From then on, Arulala Perumal
emperumAnAr spent all this life under the feet of swAmi, doing
kainkaryam for his Acharyan, and learnt all the raHasyAs from

Arulala Perumal emperumAnAr then out of his kripai, for the

well being of all, wrote two poems in tamizh, called JNyAna
sAram and pramEya sAram, which are considered the
essence of the entire vedAnta. SwAmi emperumAnAr, did not
write any granthas in tamizh, but all his teachings were given
to us by his siShyAs, who wrote a lot of poems and granthAs
based on the teachings of swAmi. Based on this, JNyAna
sAram and pramEya sAram can be considered as the
authentic teachings imparted by swAmi rAmAnuja, to his

The thirunakShathram of Sri AP emperumAnAr, also called

dayApAlamuni or dEvarAjamuni, is being celebrated in the
month of kArthigai, in BharaNi nakShathram. In fact, the
month of kArthigai is considered very important because of
the thirunakShathrams of AP emperumAnAr, thirumangai
AzhwAr, and thiruppANAzhwAr, falling on BharaNi, krthiga,
rohiNi nakShathrams days, respectively.
Written in the "venpa" style of poetry, and revealing parama
raHasyArthAs, are the two important works called "JNyAna
sAram" and "pramEya sAram", by Sri aruLALa perumAL
emperumAnAr. These two works are said to be the first,
among the tamizh poetries, composed by our pUrvAchAryAs.
Even thiruvarangaThamudanArs rAmAnusa nUtrandAdi, was
written only after these two works.

SwAmi MaNavALa mAmunigal has written beautiful

commentaries for these two works.

Azhvar Emberumanar Jeeyar Thiruvadigale Sharanam