One thousand and two years have passed after the appearance of the great soul, Bhagavad Ra:ma:nuja. Through his conduct and teachings, Ra:ma:nuja inspired thousands of scholars, kings, heretics, women, children, tribes, to accept the teachings of the true meanings of the Ve:da and practice them in their life and continues to inspire even today. What were some of the most prominent instructions of this great soul? Let us all use this occasion to recollect the divine instruction of Ra:ma:nuja, popularly known by “Ra:ma:nuja:rya divya:jna”
sarva de:sa dasa: ka:le:shu avya:hatha para:krama: |
ra:ma:nuja:rya divya:jna: vardhatha:m abhivardhatha:m ||
ra:ma:nuja:rya divya:jna: prathiva:saram ujjwala: |
digantha vya:pini: bhu:ya:th sa: hi lo:ka hithaishini: ||
Sri:saila Pu:rna presented this dream in front of the scholars and ordinary men and requested the Lord to issue His sanction on Ra:ma:nuja’s divine instruction to the open public. The Lord then assumed one of the devotees there, and said, “Dear devotees, may you all hear this divine instruction. Just as I followed the divine instruction of sages like Vasishta and Viswamithra in my previous avatha:ras as Ra:ma and Krushna, I shall also honor the divine instruction of Ra:ma:nuja muni, who established My Supremacy through his extensive scholarship in the Ve:dic literature. All may understand that the divine instruction of Ra:manuja established herein is extremely dear to Me, and must be followed without fail by those who take shelter of Me.”
Hearing this, everyone present there became pleased. The chief priest then declared that understanding the Lord’s desire in relation to the reforms introduced by Ra:ma:nuja called the “Ra:ma:nuja:rya divya:jna”, everyone must follow them faithfully, and those who go against them are declared heretics.
Thus, there is not the slightest exaggeration in saying that Ra:ma:nuja:charya is one of the reasons why the culture of worshiping the Lord in a temple is still alive today.
Some also relate to “Ra:ma:nuja:rya divya:jna” as the six instructions that he gave toward the end of his life.
Upon arrival of the time of his departure from this mortal world, Ra:ma:nuja:cha:rya became fixed in a mood of intense devotion, and many of his disciples began to lament loudly. On hearing their cries, he came out of his trance and said that they should remain without showing any ill-will toward any bha:gavatha ever. He said further that there are three classes of men in this world: those favorable to God, called the bha:gavathas, those against God called the atheists, and those indifferent to God. The association of the first type is to be cherished and a meeting with them should manifest a joy like the joy of stumbling upon sweet fragrances in this world. One must stay away from the second class of people like one would stay away from a deadly disease, a venomous reptile, fire, or so forth which can destroy one upon their contact with them. If one comes across people of the third class called samsa:ris, one must not mind them as one remains indifferent to the stocks and stones that lie on one’s way. If, however, one discovers any willingness in them to approach God, one must teach them about God. Otherwise, one must take compassion upon them, and treat them with pity.
Out of pride and arrogance, one must never offend any Vaishnava, for, such an offense is nothing short of offense toward God Himself. Stooping down to such lower qualities as pride and arrogance from one’s own Vaishnava position is like the king’s wife wandering in the streets for begging. Similarly, if Vaishnavas allow themselves to be attracted to the material wealth and enjoyments of the samsa:ris, then all of their wisdom is considered to be in vain.
There are six ways in which one can usefully spend their time while in this world
1. Learn the Sri: Bha:shyam, and teach it to others.
2. If this is above one’s level, one must at least attempt to learn the Divya Prabandham, particularly, the Thiruvayimo:zhi of Namma:zhwa:r, and make others read it.
3. If that is also beyond one’s level, one must build a home in a holy land (Thiruna:ra:yanapuram) and reside there in the association of bha:gavathas.
4. If that is impracticable, one must try to regularly render some services in a temple.
5. If that is inconvenient, one must dwell always on the deeper meanings of the three sacred manthras that one receives from their a:cha:rya.
6. If that is also difficult, one must take shelter of a bha:gavatha, constantly serve him, and live such that they can obtain their grace.