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Srimathe Ramanujaya Namah:
Srimathe Nighamantha Mahadesikaya Namah

Sri Yathiraaja Vandhanam
(by Sri V. Sadagopan, USA)

Some 982 years ago , Sriman's Naaraayanaa's pancha aayudhams formed an integrated essence and incarnated at Sri Perumbhudhur on a Chitthirai-Thiruvaadhirai day and took on the name of Raamaanujaa .That divine incarnation considered by some as Visvaksena avathaaram and by others as Adhiseshaavathaaram grew up to become a great Sri Vaishnavite Achaaryan and blessed the people of this world by his presence amongst them for 120 years prior to rejoining his parents at Parama Padham.His divine Sri Sookthis live on forever.

We will celebrate and salute here this Achaaryan's Sri Sookthis that adorn the Upanishads and highlight his cardinal contributions to the glorious Sri Visishtaadvaitha Siddhaantham during the occasion of the Raamaanuja Jayanthi celebrations

The greatness of Ramanuja's Sri Sookthis

Swami Desikan in his Yathiraaja Sapthathi summed up the uniqueness and significance of the Yathi Saarvabhoumaa's Sri Sooktis as the river of life-sustaining nectar flowing in our ears ( srothra kuhare sudhaa-saaram nishinjanthi ). He elaborated further about the ultimate effect of that nectar this way : the Sri Sookthis of Yathiraajar serve as a cloud pouring down the copious rain of eternal moksham (Yathi Purandarasya ukthaya: aksharam amrutham ksharanthi). These Sri Sookthis serve us further as the means of tastimg the delectable nectar of Bhagavdh anubhavam that chases away any potential narakaanubhavam ( Lakshmana ukthi: naraka-mathana sevaa aasvaadha naadimdhamaa na: ).

Our Yathiraajaa's Sri Sookthis are rooted in the four Vedaas and in Upanishads that serve as the crown of the Vedaas ( Sruthi Sirasi vidheeptha kireetam ).In one of his Yathiraaja Sapthathi slokams , Swami Sri Desikan explains the roles played by our Paramaachaaryan's Sri Sookthis : they act as the essence of the ancient Rg vedam ; they serve as the meanings of the Saama vedam ; they serve as a brilliant commentary for the Yajur vedam ; they stand as the saaraarthams of the Atharva veda manthrams and finally they serve as the radiant lamp that illuminates the tattva thrayams ( Isvaran, Chethanam and Achethanam )and their integral relationship . Our Achaaryan's Sri Sookthis celebrate the Supreme reality revealed in the Upanishads ( Aupanishada Parama Purushan ) through Sri Bhaashyam , Vedaantha Dheepam , Vedaantha Saaraa and Vedaartha Sangraham and establish that the Upanishads proclaim a coherent doctrine of Brahman . In these four Sri Sookthis , Acharya Raamaanuja lists the different source texts from Upanishads and Brahma Soothraas constituting the essence of Upanishads , comments clearly on their meanings ,gives due significance to them and demonstrates the underlying unity of doctrine among these upanishads ;through such a rigorous analysis , our Acharyan established unambiguously that the Brahman of the Upanishads is the Para Tattvam ,Para Hitham and Parama Purushaartham (the supreme reality ,the supreme way to salvation and the supreme goal and fruit) for all of us . He established further that this Brahman holds all things in itself and abides in all things as sarva Vyaapi . Acharya Raamanujaa's greatest conclusion based on the reconciliation of the different texts of the Upanishads through Sri Bhaashyam is that these Upanishads stand summed up in the grandest concept known as Sriman NaarAyanaa .

In his other five Sri Sookthis-Bhagavadh Gitaa Bhaashyam , three moving Gadhyams-Saranaagathi , Sriranga and Sri Vaikunta gadhyams-and the Nithya grantham , Achaarya Raamaanujaa elaborated for us Bhakthi and Prapatthi yogams ,wherein Sriman Naaraayanaa is both the means (upaayam ) and the supreme object of attainment ( upeyam ) and the fruit (phalan ) of our efforts . In the three gadhyams , he performed Saranaagathi at he lotus feet of the divya dampathis of Srirangam and gave us also a divine view of Parama Padham , the eternal ,celestial abode of the Saranya Dampahtis and prayed for the boon of nithya kaimkaryam there .In the Nithya grantham , our most merciful Achaaryan showed us the way of performing Aaraadhanam here on their Leelaa Vibhuthi to the Divya Dampahtis , prior to reaching their Nithya Vibhuthi, Sri Vaikuntam from where one never returns. Magnificent indeed are the blessings of Sri Raamaanujaa and his Sri Sookthis !

Achaarya Raamaanujaa's stay at Thirunaarayanpuram

Exactly 900 years ago , at the age of 82 , our Achaarya arrived at Thirunaarayanapuram to be close to the mangala moorthy in archaa form carrying the name of Sriman Naaraayanan ( Thiru Naaraayanan ).He stayed there for 12 long years , the longest period that he has resided outside Srirangam and Kaanchipuram .He had already completed his magnum opus , Sri Bhaashyam and related works on the elucidation of Brahama soothraas to establish that the Brahman of the Upanishads is the supreme reality , who is by nature , free of all inauspiciousness and is possessed of innumerable(anantha) kalyaana gunaas .

Our Tribute to Achaarya Raamaanuja in the new media With the blessings of H.H. Sri Vann Satakopa Sri Naarayana Yathindhra Mahaa Desikan , a pioneering project on the glorious life and magnificent Sri Sookthis of Achaarya Raamaanuja is nearing completion. This project plans to release the first ever CD ROM dealing at length with the vaibhavam of Achaarya Raamaanuja . This CD ROM is being sponsored by the Sri Matam and is awaiting release on April 21 , Achaarya Raamaanuja's birthday. Some of the topics covered in this CD ROM are :Bhagavadh Aaraadhana prayogam , the nine Sri Sookthis of the Achaarya , his Thirumanjanam at Thirunaaraayanapuram (video) , images of number of archaa moorthys worshipped by our Achaaryaa and his digh vijayam across the length and breadth of India to spread the uplifting message of Sri Vaishnavam as the most ancient Vedic religion deriving its authority from Upanishads , Aagamaas , the two epics , Puraanaas and the divya prabhnadhams of the twelve Azhwaars .

Sri Ramanujar ThiruvadiagaLE SaraNam