Today, Chithirai – Thiruvadhirai Nannal – Swamy Sri Emberumanar Thirunakshathram. (27th April 2012). Its grandly celebrated across many Divya desams, abhimana stalams and at each and every Srivaishnava home today.
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 !
Works of Ramanujacharya (Nava rathnangaL- Nine Gems)
- – A treatise presenting the tenets of Visistadwaita, a reconciliation of different conflicting srutis.
2. Sri Bhasya
- – A detailed commentary on the Vedanta Sutras .
Sri Bhaashyam : Magnum Opus of Our Acharya : This is a voluminous work critiquing the interpretations on the BrahmasUtras of Sage Badaraayana ( Vyasa ) by Adhi Sankara’s advaitha , Bhaskara’s BhedAbhEdhA and other schools of Vedantha .The lengthy commentary on the first sUtrA lays the foundation for the Sri VisishtAdvaitha darsanam firmly and clearly.
– A detailed commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita.
Sri GitA BhAshyam : This is a Substantive commentary on the Bhagavad Gita based on the shorter grantham ( GithArtha Sangraham ) by his Acharya’s Acharya ( ALavanthar/Yaamuna Muni). Bhakthi Archives has postings on ALavanthar’s work.
- – A brief commentary on the Vedanta Sutras.
VedAntha DeepA : A brief commentary on the purport of each of the Brahma sUtrAs . It is shorter than Sri Bhasyam because it does not include the criticisms of the rival systems.
- – Another brief commentary on the Vedanta Sutras and meant for beginners.
VedAntha SaarA : This grantham is for those , who might find Sri Bhaashyam and VedAntha DeepA too terse and tough . It brings out the essence of Brahma sUtrAs and the AdhikaraNAs . Our AchAryA did not want to frighten away those , who might have difficulty scaling the intellectual heights of Sri BhAshyam .
SaraNAgathi Gadhyam : This deals with the most important SaraNAgathi ( Prapatthi )doctrine , which is cardinal to Sri VisishtAdvaitham.
7. Sri Ranga-Gadyam
Sriranga Gadhyam : This grantham is in the form of a soul-stirring prayer to Sri RanganAthA.
8. Sri Vaikuntha-Gadyam
- – Describtion of Sri VaikuntAdhi Divya lOkam and the position of the liberated souls.
Sri Vaikunta Gadhyam : A glowing description of the celestial abode ( Sri Vaikuntam ) of Sriman NaarAyaNA and the supreme bliss ( MokshAnubhavam ) of the Muktha and Nitya Jeevans.
- – A short manual intended to guide the Sri Vaishnava devotees for Nitya karmaas.
Nithya Grantham or Bhagavdh AarAdhana PrayOgA :Following the instructions given by GeethAchAryA in the twelfth chapter of GitA , AchArya RaamAnuja insists on the need for a VishNu BhakthA to engage in the religious observances enjoined in the VedAs , Smrithis and PurANAs . Through these nine granthAs in Sanskrit , AchArya RaamAnuja built on the foundations laid by his predecessors ( natha Muni and ALavanthAr ) and built the citadel of Sri VaishNavam . His successors (74 SimhaasanAdhipathis) interpreted the above nine granthams and created the Vast Sri VaishNavite literature that we are blessed to possess as our Kula Dhanams today.