Four Vaisnava Sampradayas – notes 3

posted in: English 0


When RN returned, he saw the house was empty and his wife’s nervousness. RK
tried to explain by beginning, “That woman is too proud.” When he understood
what had happened he just ran out of the house trying to find MP and wife.
Failing that, he came back and just said, “You’ve had your third chance.” She
started weeping and pleaded, “Please forgive me. I am a foolish woman. It is
so difficult to overcome my nature. You must protect me, otherwise how will I
live? If you leave me, I’ll jump in the well!” He said, “Don’t contaminate
our well. I am going to the temple now. Just compose yourself – we’ll talk
about this another time.”

RN went to the temple and arranged for one brahmin to go to his house and take
prasadam. That brahmin felt very reluctant, because he knew well RK’s
reputation as a shrew. Standing outside the door, he announced himself as a
brahmin and told RK that he’d come only on RN’s order. But she said, “Oh, I
am too confused right now to cook anything. Can you not please go somewhere
else?” Relieved, the brahmin left, but because he didn’t want to be further
entangled in Ramanuja’s household troubles, he loitered in a stinky land where
poop was passed.

When that brahmin didn’t return, RN could guess what had happened. He went
searching for him and found him in the stinky lane. This time he sent the
brahmin back with a new sari, bangles, fruits and flowers. His story was, “I
forgot to tell you last time that I have come from your home town. Your
father has sent me here to tell you your brother is getting married. These
things are for you. Just take them and I will go.” “No, no!” she said,
suddenly brightening. “I will cook for you. You please come in!” After
serving him nicely, she said, “Please go to the temple and inform my husband
that I have fed you. Ask him to send me home so that I can attend my
brother’s marriage.” RN returned home, showing happiness at his wife’s
behavior. He sent her to her father’s home, telling her he’d also come after
a few days. After she was gone, he took sannyasa from Vadiraja, Who said, “I
am known as Varadaraja (king of benedictors). Now you will be known as
Yatiraja.” Varadaraja told KP to put RN up in an old monastery.

After 3 days, 600 Vaisnavas had moved into that monastery. RN sent a note to
Sailapurna that he should help RN’s cousin-brother Govinda (now a known as
Shivacharya). YP’s mother saw RN one day and told YP to go surrender to him.
“Advaitism is useless”, she said. “You were always confused.” YP said, “Only
in time will I do that.” That night Varadaraja came to him in a dream, or so
YP thought until VR showed him the whole universe. “I am brahman”, VR
declared. “Why are you doing all this?” asked YP. “Because you won’t follow
your mother. You just go ahead and do it. I will help you from within your

Next morning, YP had a kind of nervous attack. “I’m a lizard!” He cried
aloud, and ran to RN in a disheveled state. RN fell at his feet. YP began
putting questions to him: “Why do you put on this tilaka? Why do you worship
shilas? Why did Varadaraja show His universal form to me? Where is all this
in sastra?”

RN called KP and asked him to explain the Vaisnava-siddhanta to YP. YP cried,
“I am an offender! Where can I take shelter?” He went back to his mother and
said, “I touched his feet. Now I shall circumambulate the earth to be
relieved of my offenses.” His mother said, “You are still confused – you just
circumambulate RN.” So YP went back to RN and did that, and RN gave him
initiation as Govinda dasa Swami; he told him to write a book on tridandi

Through his chief priest, Sri Ranganatha called Mahapurna and told him that
somehow or other RN must come to SR. Ranganatha told his temple dancer, Sri
Ranga Purna, to go to Kanchi and please Vadiraja. “I can go without
entertainment for a few days, but I cannot go on without RN. Ask Varadaraja
to release RN from His service and allow him to come to Sri Rangam.”

SRP went to Kanchi and danced for VR for 3 days straight. The Deity asked him
why he was doing this. “If You want me to stop, You’ve got to give me what I
want.” “What? You can’t force Me.” “No, how can I force? I’ll just go on
dancing.” “Alright, I’ll give you anything except Laxmi.” But when he asked
for RN the Lord adamantly refused. SRP returned, and Lord Ranganatha
commented, “This Varadaraja is too proud.”

Back in Kanchi, KP, who had been teaching RN, thought he should go to MP and
learn more. KP asked VR, who replied “How can you ask Me for this?” KP said,
“You just give RN two forms that he can stay and yet go.” And KP told RN
afterwards, “Yes, now you may go and stay.” When RN walked into the Sri
Rangam temple, Ranganatha took 4 steps in his direction.

RN called the Lord Ranganatha, and Ranganatha called him Mannatha (“My lord.”)

RN took instructions from MP. MP told him to get a mantra from Gosthipurna.
GP put RN off 18 times. Finally RN got initiation into the secret mantra.
Immediately afterwards he climbed up to the top of the Nrsingha temple and
shouted “Om Namo Narayanaya”, asking everyone to chant it. Some of GP’s
disciples stopped him and said, “Your are going to hell, but before that, you
should see GP.” GP was MAD! But then he was pleased, because he actually
understood RN’s real purpose. He then gave him Charanaopaya initiation (B.g.
18.66 initiation).

Ramanuja’s Gurus

Vartmapradarsaka-guru: Kanchipurna
Diksa- and siksa-guru: Mahapurna
Mantra-diksa-guru: Gosthipurna
Divyaprabandha-siksa-guru: Maladhara
Siksa-guru for confidential truths: Sri Rangapurna
Ramayana-siksa-guru: Sailapurna (RN’s uncle)

Sri Rangam was flooded with devotees. RN sent some devotees to Kalahasti to
correct his brother Govinda. G now had matted locks, wore ashes, and was
daily engaged in gathering flowers for puja of Siva. Sailapurna stopped
Govinda while he was bringing water for puja and asked him, “What’s the use of
pouring cold water on a hot head?” SP also wrote some verses and dropped them
at a place where Govinda walked. G picked up the leaf and a conversation
ensued between them, spoken in cryptic terms, over the proper object of
worship. After that, SP used to give class near the tree where G would pick
his flowers for worship. SP would deliberately preach KC very loudly; one
day, just before G climbed the tree, he asked SP, “Are you so sure that no-one
else is worshippable?” SP answered, “Natra samsaya” thrice. Hearing the class
up in the tree, he cried aloud, “I’ve wasted my life!” when SP said that one
wastes his life by not serving Visnu. G fell out of the tree. On the spot,
SP initiated him.

The Saivites came running up as G was going with SP back to Sri Rangam. “Where
are you going? You’re our acarya!” G said, “Look, just forget about me now.”
They turned to SP: “What did you do to him?” Then to G: “Did they hex you,
these Vaisnavas?” G: “Go ask Lord Siva.” So for 3 days they fasted. Siva
appeared in their dreams and said, “He’s not my servant, he’s a servant of the
Supreme Lord Visnu, and so am I.” Siva then quoted sastra to support Visnu’s
supremacy, but concluded, “You can’t understand. RN is the amsa of Sesa, and
G is the amsa of Garuda. Let him go and leave him be. I’ll take care of you.
You are confused, as are all my devotees. I only wanted his association, but
now RN is calling him away. It’s alright, don’t worry.”

When Maladhara was teaching RN the Divyaprabandhas, RN would interrupt to
correct his explanations. So MD stopped the class. When Gosthipurna heard
that, he asked MD why he’d stopped teaching RN, and MD said, “Oh, he has his
own meanings for the Divyaprabandhas.” GP asked, “Tell me these explanations
of his.” When he heard them, he was in ecstasy. “Only YA himself knows these
meanings!” he exclaimed. When class thereafter resumed, MD forgot some
explanations; RN spoke at length on them for 3 days.

RN went to Rangapurna’s house to get secret instructions. RN made milk for
RP, like a servant in the kitchen. When he tasted it, RP exclaimed “Only YA
can make milk like this!” RN would massage, clean, wash and do all menial
services for RP. One day RP called RN a robber: “You’ve come to steal!” RN
said, “I am serving, not asking for anything.” In this way he went on for 30
days. On 31st day RP said, “I am so pleased with you I must give you this
secret knowledge of the 5th process of devotional service, called upadya –
taking shelter of the guru.” RP lectured for 7 days on upadya, establishing
it as the most important process of devotional service.

When RN returned from RP’s place, he called for a big meeting and proclaimed a
strict schedule for Deity worship. In the course of 24 hours each day, 1000
classes on sastra were held at the temple. 12000 disciples were fed daily; a
canal of ghee flowed to the kitchen. Nobody came to Sri Rangam without
wearing tilaka.

One Yajnamurti from Kasi collected religionists opposed to Vaisnavism and
arrived at Rangaksetra with 68 disciples and 1000 bullock carts of books. RN
gave him nice accommodation. On stage before everyone they argued. RN asked
in the beginning, what will you do if I defeat you – I’ll take your feet on my
head and wear tilaka. But what will YOU do if I defeat you? RN said, “You
won’t defeat me. But if you do, I’ll stop writing.” The debate raged for 17
days, and RN was almost defeated. That night he went to Lord Ranganatha and
complained – is this what you want? Lord said – don’t worry, he’ll surrender.
The next morning RN came to the debate stage brimming with confidence. This
rattled YM so much he capitulated. He became Devaraja Muni and was also known
as Mannatha. RN would send people to him to become disciples. But though he
was put in a big matha building by RN himself, he finally broke that building
to dust. He wrote two important literatures: Jnana-sara (essence of knowledge
about Krsna) and Prameya-sara (taking shelter of lotus feet of spiritual

RN went to Tirupati and lived by the Alwar Tank, but he didn’t want to go up
to the top of the mountain. Sailapurna told him not to stay longer than 3
days unless he had service; otherwise he should go back to preach. SP
instructed RN for 1 year; at the end, SP gave RN Govinda (SP’s disciple). But
just outside Rangaksetra Govinda got sick from separation from his spiritual
master and ran back to Tirupati; however, SP told him, “We don’t feed cows
that have been sold.” Govinda used to make SP’s bed and lay in it to test it;
when RN expressed surprise at this, G said, “Yes, let me go to hell, but it
must be good for my spiritual master.”

RN went up to Kasmir and acquired an old text of Vedanta-sutra; though someone
stole it, his disciple Kuresa had memorized it.

A priest bribed a brahmin to put poison in RN’s bhiksa (RN went to 7 different
houses daily for begging alms). But when the wife gave it over, she was
looking at the ground, and so RN looked and saw “visha” was written there. He
stopped begging and thus stopped eating. Gosthipurna came to see him; in the
hot sands of the Kaveri riverback, RN paid obeisances, but since KP didn’t say
anything, RN didn’t get up for one hour. After that one disciple jumped under
RN to protect him from the sand. GP said, “This man will be your cook, for he
puts your well-being before his own.” Later that priest put poison in
caranamrta for RN; RN could tell because the priest’s hand was shaking when he
spooned it out. RN said, “Oh so first you put poison in my food, now you’re
trying my drink. But this time I’ll take it, for it is the Lord’s footwash.
And watch – I won’t die. I am a snake – you can’t kill a snake by giving him
poison.” He drank and split.

He cruised around India to establish pancharatra. But Lord Jagannatha said,
“Not here.” RN said, “It’s gotta be.” He called in the pandits and defeated
them; told them I’m sending for Sri Vaisnava brahmins to show you how to do
puja. Balaram threw him to Kurmaksetra. But inbetween time he was sent to
Mayapur where he saw Lord Caitanya.

Saivites argued that Srinivasa of Tirupati is actually Siva; RN came and
defeated them. They said, “Show practically.” The king was p.o.’d but RN
said, bring weapons to offer; the next morning, they saw Lord had accepted
conch and disc. The Saivites accused, “He’s a yogi”, but the king said,
“Look, if you had any power, you could done that too, if it was true. And even
if it is true, it just means RN is better than you.” He told them not to live
within 3000 miles around his kingdom, and prevented the establishment of any
other Deity for 14 miles around Tirupati.

Dhanurdasa and wife story.

While taking bath, he used to put his arm around Dhanurdasa; but they
criticized. RN tore up their kaupins; stealers came through tiles of roof.

Chola King Chidambaram, a Saivite, ruled that all scholars had to sign “Nobody
is above Siva.” One of his ministers was a blooped disciple of Kuresa, and he
said “Just get RN and K to sign, then everybody will sign.” When soldiers
came to Sri Rangam to fetch RN, K disguised himself as sannyasi and said, “I
am RN”, MP said “I’m his guru”, K’s daughter said, “I’m his sister.” Kuresa
wrote “The Krosadi is above Siva.” Meanwhile, to bewilder the Chola king, the
Brahmanas sent a prostitute who did the hunchy-punchy with him for 3 days;
they could take off with the Govinda Devaraja Deity.

RN had to run away. On a mountain, they saw hunters dancing around a fire. A
boy was sent to check them out – “Hey, these are Vaisnava bro’s!” A disciple
of Kanchipurna had preached to them.

After that they met a woman named Shailaachala-ambha in a remote village; she
had taken initiation 10 yrs earlier in Sri Rangam. After meeting RN she went
on a fast demanding that her Buddhist husband should surrender to RN. 10,000
Buddhists came to debate with him; from behind a curtain he answered all their
questions in a Sesa form. One disciple looked behind the curtain and was
blinded for 10 days.

Thus the local king became RN’s disciple: Vitthalanath. RN here excavated the
Sampat Kumar Deity.

On the way back to Sri Rangam, Mahapurna (who had been blinded with Kuresa)
died. Kuresa was stopped from returning to Sri Rangam by Chola king’s
soldiers who didn’t want RN’s disciples at that temple; the local brahmanas
were working with the soldiers for this goal. Hearing all this, RN prayed to
Narasimha – “Kill that demon!” The Chola king was preparing to raze RN’s
matha when his throat got infested with worms; krimikantha. RN told Kuresa
to pray to Varadaraja for the return of his sight; K prayed that his
ex-disciple goes where he goes. So RN prayed to VR, “Give him sight”, and it
happened. Back in SR, K asked Sri Ranganatha to go to Vaikuntha; Lord said
yes and all those related to you and those related to them. RN was in ecstasy
because he is related also as guru.

RN gave disciples final instructions. Take shelter of my disciple Parasara
Bhatta for siddhanta; everything is in my books.

In Caitanya-lila he returned as Ananta Brahmana; did pancharatric
worship to Laxmi Narayana; was friend of Vallabha-misra. He attended the
marriage of LC with Laxmipriya; he remembered everything of his identity and
the Lord’s; he went mad, breaking up marriage ceremony by chanting Gaura
Gaura. The marriage celebrants took him back to his house and kept him
inside; there he jumped, and his hands came throughout the grass roof.
In that ecstasy, he went back home, back to Godhead.

Visistadvaita philosophy compared to Acintya-bheda-abheda:

Visistadvaita: Abbt:

Supreme truth is Visnu, Krsna avatara Krsna is ST, Visnu form of that

Vaikuntha is supreme, Goloka part Goloka supreme, Vaikuntha part

Bhokta, bhogyam, Prerita are different Bhokta, Bhogya energies of Prerita

Brahman (vastu) has Visesa, which are Bheda-abheda is acintya
cit and acit: RN refuted bhedabheda as

Cit-acit form body of Lord, who is the Internal, External, Marginal
Supreme Soul (objection: how is something
happening that is not in accordance with
Lord’s Own desire; their answer – lila)

Jnana and Karma are processes by which Don’t touch Jnana, Karma for anything
we take favors of Lord; by Prappati we
give service.

Brahman does not transform into living Lord’s energies transform, but Lord
entity or material energy is always the same (touchstone)

Post view 37 times from March 2020

Subscribe Notify
0 Adds or Replies
Inline Feedbacks
View all Add or Reply