Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Attempt to poison Sri Ramanujacharya

After having learnt all the branches of the spiritual sciences that Yamunacharya had to teach his disciples – Thiruvaranga Perumal Ariyar, Vararanga, Ghostipurna, Maladhara and Srishailapurna – and being blessed by a great devotee like Kanchipurna and having overcome all the dualities of this material world through sadhana, Ramanuja became the undisputed leader of the Vaishnava empire. He was now regarded as the personification of Yamunacharya. Ramanuja’s radiating childlike countenance used to attract even the ardent atheists towards him. 

Ramanuja’s righteous conduct and wonderful discourses on the glories of the Lord and the scriptures made him popular in and around Sri-Rangam. Hundreds of disciples gathered around Ramanuja and his monastery was always crowded. Though he had many rich disciples who were willing to do anything for him, Ramanuja never tried to exploit them or amass wealth. Like a true sannyasi, he used to beg in accordance with the scriptural injunctions for his living.

Once when Ramanuja went out on his daily rounds of begging, a group of boys who were playfully worshiping Sri-Ranganatha by drawing His image in the sand showed the image to Ramanuja and asked him to worship the Lord. Ramanuja kept his begging bowl aside and offered his obeisance to the image and worshiped the image as he would worship Lord Ranganatha everyday. The onlookers were stunned at Ramanuja’s attitude and started to compare him to Prahlada, who could see Lord Narayana everywhere and in everything.

On another occasion some boys playfully offered some sand to Lord Ranganatha’s image and started to distribute the same amongst themselves as prasadam. One of the boys gave the same to Ramanuja who devotedly put it into his mouth to the astonishment of those who were present. These two incidents highlight the intensity of Ramanuja’s devotion to the Lord and that he was accessible even to the small kids despite being a great scholar.

Some of the priests, who were controlling Lord Ranganatha’s temple, could not digest Ramanuja’s popularity. As most of the people, including those who used to come to Lord Ranganatha’s temple, were going to Ramanuja’s monastery and were gradually becoming his ardent disciples, the priests feared that their income would be affected and they might very soon become insignificant in the town. One of the chief priests of Lord Ranganatha’s temple conspired with others and decided to eliminate Ramanuja by poisoning him. 

The chief priest convinced Ramanuja to come to his house for alms one day. The priest went to his house with some deadly poison and gave it to his wife and said, “Listen, Ramanuja is coming to our house for alms today. Prepare some good food and poison the food that would be offered to him as alms. If he continues to live, we will have to beg for a living. With his sweet and crafty words he has tricked the people of Sri-Rangam into believing him to be an incarnation of Lakshmana. Very soon we might lose our importance in this town if we allow him to continue like this.”

In accordance with her husband’s instructions, the chief priest’s wife prepared different varieties of food and mixed some poison in them. Ramanuja came to the priest’s house for alms. The priest’s wife washed his feet and made him sit. Being an obedient wife, the priest’s wife had decided to offer the poisoned food to Ramanuja, but after seeing his captivating appearance and radiating childlike countenance the lady was moved. Despite her best efforts, she could not offer the poisoned food and tears started rolling down her cheeks as she was overwhelmed with affection towards Ramanuja. The priest’s wife said, “Son, take your alms elsewhere today. This food is poisoned.”

Saying so, the priest’s wife threw away the food. Ramanuja was stunned as he did not understand why people were trying to poison him when he did not harbor ill will against anyone and was working for the welfare of the society. With a heavy heart, Ramanuja silently walked out of the priest’s house.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.