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A manifestation of Adisesha

CHENNAI NOV. 8. The biographies of some of the torch-bearers of our religion, whose appearance in this world was only to propagate the Divine message, reveal an astonishing fact that God had spoken to them (often indirectly through a medium) and given advice and orders as to how to carry out their assignment. Such a rare privilege was conferred on a spiritual guide when Lord Ranganatha (in idol form) in Srirangam, asked him to expound before Him the hymn Thiruvoimozhi, which speaks about His glory, for one year. At the conclusion of the discourses, the Lord, appearing as a boy, composed a benedictory verse in his honour (familiarly known as "Thaniyan"). The same luminary (when leading a family life) was earlier chosen as a teacher by an ascetic and the head of an institution (Vanamamalai Math) to explain the nuances of Srivaishnavite philosophy because of his erudition (normally the disciples go to such Jeeeyar Swamis). This eminent spiritual guide was Sri Manavala Mamunigal (whose birthday falls today).

The Lord once decided to depute Adisesha (His serpent couch) to the world on a mission to reform men and women and remain there for 200 years. Having spent 120 years as Ramanuja, for the rest of the determined period (80 years) he was reborn as Manavala Mamunigal. That he was a manifestation of Adisesha was proved in an incident when some jealous people set fire to his house but he slipped away to safety under certain compelling circumstances and to continue his task uninterrupted he took to ascetic order. Among his prominent disciples known as "Ashta Dikgajangal" was Prathivadhi Bayankaram Anna, who is credited with composing the popular Venkatesa Suprabatham on the Lord of the Seven Hills.

In a discourse Sri K.B. Devarajan said the Acharya visited Kancheepuram and rendered exposition on Sri Bashyam in the Yadoktakari Temple. His fingers in the idol there will be seen spreading knowledge while at other places he will be seen seated on a serpent, another privilege that was granted to him only by the Lord. One of his works contains a code of conduct with details about morals and how a Srivaishnavite should serve as a model for others displaying utter humility. His works and commentaries are known for clarity and are free from any offensive remarks. He was emphatic that Ramanuja alone could grant salvation.

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