A thread on Ramanujacharya based on R. Parthasarathy’s 1969 biography of the Acharya’s life. The parts I have shared below have also been cross-referenced with the 1906 biography of Ramanujacharya written by Alkondaville Govindacharya, which is used by HH Chinna Jeeyar Swamy.
Ramanujacharya’s role in Tirupati:

Although accounts vary, it seems as though Ramanujacharya either turned Tirupati into a Vaishnavite site (which is doubtful given the Azhwars refer to Vishnu as the Lord of Venkatam) or restored the divine discuss and conch of Lord Govinda.
Ramanujacharya’s Reformist Zeal:

As Parthasarathy puts it, “Everywhere he introduced reforms in the rituals of worship and the mode of administration of the temples. His chief aim was to make religion reach the common man.”
One area where he introduced the most effective reforms was when it came to temple entry for Tirukulattars (meaning: people of noble descent), a term he used for Dalits. Ramanujacharya’s “heart was dead set against untouchability” as we see in many instances in His life.
Ramanujacharya was particularly moved by the fact that Tirukulattar (Dalit) individuals saved the sacred images of Perumal from being stolen in the Mysuru region. He immediately mandated temple entry for all in the Tirunarayana Temple, a major Vaishnavite shrine in Melukote.
Finally, on the topic of women, it’s interesting that Ramanujacharya not only had female disciples & students, these females also participated in metaphysical discussions and debates and were active members of Ramanujacharya’s Matham, including Tiruvattaru Ammai & Kongrupratti.
My sincerest of thanks to @RamanujaOrg for sharing this work with me. Extremely riveting to read, especially for all Sri Vaishnavas. 🙏

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More from @Vishnudasa_

27 Sep
Considered one of the finest examples of Vijayanagara architecture, the Chintalarayaswamy Temple is a site for the worship of Chintala Venkataramana Swamy, a form of Lord Vishnu. The temple was built by the Pemmasani Nayaks, specifically Pemmasani Timmanayudu II, in the 1500s. Image
Located in Tadipatri, Andhra Pradesh, the temple has a striking resemblance to the Vijaya Vitthala Temple in Hampi, including for the fact that there is a stone chariot in the temple complex, & is considered a Monument of National Importance by the Archaeological Survey of India. Image
The temple was constructed following a dream that Pemmasani Timmanayudu had where Lord Vishnu himself is said to have informed Timmanayudu of His incarnation at the site and that there should be a majestic temple constructed here so that devotees can worship Him (Lord Vishnu). Image
Read 7 tweets
25 Sep
అన్ని మంత్రములు నిందే ఆవహించెను
వెన్నతో నాకు గలిగె వేంకటేశు మంత్రము ‖

నారదుండు జపియించె నారాయణ మంత్రము
చేరె ప్రహ్లాదుడు నారసింహ మంత్రము |
కోరి విభీషణుండు చేకొనె రామ మంత్రము
వేరె నాకు గలిగె వేంకటేశు మంత్రము ‖

- - తాళ్ళపాక అన్నమయ్య [Tallapaka Annamacharya] Image

Anni mantramulu ninde āvahiñchenu
Vennato nāku galige veṅkaṭeśu mantramu ‖

Nāraduṇḍu japiyiñche nārāyaṇa mantramu
Chere prahlāduḍu nārasiṃha mantramu |
Kori vibhīśhaṇuṇḍu chekone rāma mantramu
Vere nāku galige veṅkaṭeśu mantramu ‖ Image

All mantrams originated from Him [Vishnu]. Like butter, I got Venkatesha's mantram from infancy.

Narada chanted Narayana mantram. The Narsimha mantram also reached Prahlada.

As wished, Vibhishana obtained Rama's mantram. To me, differently came Venkatesha's mantram. Image
Read 4 tweets
23 Sep
As a summary:

1. Pillai Lokacharya declares just asking the caste of any Sri Vaishnava/devotee of Lord Vishnu, let alone casteism, is the gravest of sins, even worse than thinking that the deities' vigrahams in the inner sanctums of temples are just earthly material.
2. Pillai Lokacharya asserts that taking birth in a marginalized jati is BETTER than taking birth in a privileged jati because humility comes natural to the former. Humility is a necessity for Saranagati to Vishnu - - - the only way to attain moksha for Thenkalai Sri Vaishnavas.
3. Pillai Lokacharya also recognizes here that varna is not solely based on birth. He cites varna flexibility by introducing numerous examples, including Vishvamitra, Dharmavyada, Vibhisana, which was done before for the same purpose by Periyavaccan Pillai, son of Yamunacharya.
Read 6 tweets
22 Sep
I'm reading the Srivachana Bhushanam, a commentary of Pillai Lokacharya, the 13th Century Sri Vaishnava & Viśiṣṭādvaita leader & philosopher who saved Namperumal of Lord Ranganatha when Srirangam was invaded by the Delhi Sultanate. His statements of interest below:

(Thread) Image
- Verses 194: "Offenses against Bhagavathas [Sri Vaishnavas] are of many kinds."

- Verse 195: "One of these is inquiry about their birth" (ie: jati, class, status, wealth, etc).

- Verse 196: "This indeed is more cruel than thinking about the material stuff of the arcavatara*."
*Arcavatara is the icon/Murthy in which the Lord resides in the temple.

Now we will hear the boldest statements:

- Verse 197: "It is said in the scriptures that (inquiry about the birth of a Bhagavatha) is like (a man) inspecting the reproductive organs of (his) mother."
Read 7 tweets
21 Sep

Ramanujacharya, just before his passing, left 72 ‘Golden Words’ - - effectively precepts/highly recommended suggestions - - for his followers. Here are some of my personal favorites among these:

[From: ‘Life & Teachings Of Ramanujacharya’ - C. R. Sreenivasa Ayyangar] Image
3. Continue not the bondsmen of senses.

5. Delight in the study of the writings that glorify the Lord and his work.

14. Never address any servant of the Lord in anything but respectful language. Image
21. When you hear a Vaishnava [initiation is open to all regardless of class, gender, jati, etc] coming towards you, fail not to advance welcome him. When he departs, accompany him a part of the way. A neglect of these rules of etiquette subjects one to grieve our sins. Image
Read 9 tweets
20 Sep
Going through through the 11th chapter in Canto 7 of the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, I came across this verse:

यस्य यल्लक्षणं प्रोक्तं पुंसो वर्णाभिव्यञ्जकम् ।
यदन्यत्रापि द‍ृश्येत तत्तेनैव विनिर्दिशेत् ॥ ३५ ॥
Translation Given:

If one shows the symptoms of being a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya or śūdra, as described above, even if he has appeared in a different class, he should be accepted/designated according to those symptoms of classification.
This was uttered by Narada Maharishi himself. Not to spark another debate on Varna, but it’s pretty clear to me that Varna determination, although does have influence from birth, is not decided solely by hereditary or birth, at least not scripturally.
Read 5 tweets

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