The Vaishnava Sampradaya tells us that the teachers who spread devotion to God are as important as the Lord. That is why Sri Ramanuja is worshipped as the very image of the Lord. The Acharya lived for a span of one hundred and twenty years. He faced innumerable difficulties in his life. However, as he was totally involved in God-consciousness, he was able to overcome them all with ease. All Indians who follow Vaishnava Sampradaya meditate upon this Teacher along with the Lord.
Who is the deity of Tirumala? Is it Vishnu or Shiva? Such a doubt infected the mind of the devotees. The credit for proving the deity to be Keshava goes entirely to Sri Ramanuja. The rituals for worship established at that time are being followed even today. This itself proves what a great visionary was our Acharya.
On this auspicious occasion when we enter the thousandth year of Sri Romania’s manifestation, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam has laid out a yearlong celebration of festivals in his name. These celebrations include pilgrimages to Divya Desas (holy temples which have been celebrated by the Alwars), lectures on sacred topics, book publications and the like. The many-faceted brilliance of Sri Ramanuja will be projected in these festivities.
In all these plans, the most important is the publication of books which reveal the greatness of Sri Ramanuja. On this occasion, we are publishing the well-known scholar, Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. Samudrala Lakshmanaiah's brief book, Sri Bhagavad Ramanujulu. In a very simple style, the book narrates the important events in the Acharya's life. Hoping that the book will gain wide popularity, I offer my heartfelt thanks to the author.
"My Lord! Why are you not granting me your grace? Did Garuda refuse to follow your order? Or, did he say the distance between the sky and the earth is impossibly long?"
Such was his devotion laden imagination at work. Sri Ramanuja spent every moment, every bit of his life, on this quest. He proved on countless occasions in his life as also in his writings, of the distance that lies between the Lord and His devotee. The Lord is ever close to the devotee, a friend, a dear relation, mother, father, God, and all these put together. Such is his gift to the world.
The Lord is always compassion incarnate. The golden treasury for His worshipper, the Lord is the priceless pearl for those who salute Him. If we open the doors of our heart, chase out bad thoughts and surrender at His Feet, it becomes the Lord's duty to save you. The Acharya called this Saranagati.
The Acharya's magnum opus is Sri Bhashya. The Book contains his commentary on the Brahma Sutras. The auspicious sloka that opens the work says:
Oh! Srinivasa who has taken the vow to guard all living beings that hold their palms together in salutation and perform surrender at Your Feet - This is the meaning of the verse.
Throughout his life, Sri Ramanuja sought to remove the difficulties that cropped up between the Lord and his devotees and made the Lord a close friend of the devotee. He successfully created many institutions for the good of the world and the benefit of humanity and put them into effective force. On Sri Ranganatha's command, he reached Paramapada.
The great scholar Sriman Samudrala Lakshmanaiah has written this superb life of Sri Ramanuja in beautiful and simple language so that one can read the entire book at one goes. There are no obscurities or difficult words in the narration. In a very simple manner, he shows the life of Sri Ramanuja to the common man like showing a great mountain in a mirror.
Lord Srinivasa, the very image of Brahman, never rejects those who surrender to him, removes their difficulties, and guides them to the last. Praying for His grace.....
Always in the service of Srinivasa.....
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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