Adiyen Ramanuja Dasan

Dasavatharam; Kamal Hassan's latest flick that doesn't need an introduction anymore. I was particularly attracted to the fabulous first 10 minutes of the movie that brought us back in time to the 12th century.

Kamal Hassan as Rangaraja Nambi in the scene was forcibly tortured and dispatched into water to death by King Kulothungan Cholan for his refusal to disclose the whereabouts of his guru, Ramanuja Dasan and for his denial in giving up his faith to become a Shaivite. The King warns Nambi's referring to the fate of Kurattalvan who was blinded with a hot iron rod because did not reveal such information related to Ramanuja.

I have heard a little about Ramanuja Dasan before and while digging up a little deeper for the details of Ramanuja Dasan which left unanswered in the movie, I found some interesting facts attached to him. Ramanuja Dasan is a great religious philosopher of all time.

Once he was so eager to discover the meaning for a secret mantra which would lead to heaven after his death. So he approached his guru, Nambi, living in Thirukottiyur. The very moment he reached the doorsteps, he knocked on the door and cried, "Nan Ramanuja Dasan" (read = "I'm Ramanuja Dasan here"). But, Nambi refused to grant his request and replied back to him, "Nan setta piragu vaa" (read = "Come back after I die"). Ramanuja Dasan was confused with Nambi's response but wasn't in the mood to give up. So, he tried visiting him back the very next morning and he got back the same answer from Nambi saying, "Go back now and come back after I die."

This continued for not one or two but about 17 times. Ramanuja Dasan got fed up and started to think what was wrong with him for Nambi not to teach him the powerful manthra. Then he realised the meaning behind his guru's words. The word I" uttered by Nambi simply points to Ramanuja's ego and pride instead of guru himself. So, finally on his 18th attempt, Ramanuja was standing outside the same doorsteps and cried, "Adiyen Ramanuja Dasan" (Read = "Yours humbly, its me Ramanuja Dasan") - getting rid of the "I" (read=ego) in himself. Nambi obliged Ramanuja's request and started teaching him the meaning of the mantra.

Thank God that technology has evolved so advance that you don't have run up and down for 18 times. Nowadays, a single click would bring you up to heaven.

At the end of the teachings, Nambi extracted a promise from Ramanuja that he would not reveal the mantras to those unqualified to receive them. However, the following day, Ramanuja went to the nearby temple hall announced the sacred mantra to all those assembled there. When Nambi heard this, he demanded an explanation from Ramanuja for his direct disobedience. To this, Ramanuja, replied that if the act of his results in thousand souls reaching Vaikundam (read=heaven), he would be glad to be burned in hell which is the punishment for those who disobey their guru's commands. On hearing the explanation, Nambi was speechless and embraced him.

Two things to be learned here:

When we let go our ego and pride, we do see situations in a whole new light. We can open ourselves up to realms of possibility that we never before could have imagined. We can find knowledge, new powers, new creativity, new opportunities for growth, for love, for harmony, peace and joy in our lives that before our ego death we could not begin to conceive. I would love to quote Hugh Prather's words in The Little Book of Letting Go: "A mind (ego) that learns to let go gradually returns to its inherent wholeness, happiness, and simplicity."

Next, some people object to knowledge sharing as they feel that others will steal their ideas and reap the rewards rightly theirs. But, giving is always better than receiving. Share your knowledge with others genuinely. Sharing with others will result in powerful opportunities coming into your life that you never would’ve thought possible. Even money can buy you happiness only if you're spending it on someone else. You can call this whatever you want – helping others, going the extra mile, caring, but what it all boils down to is really serving others because you genuinely want to without expecting anything in return.


6 comments to "Adiyen Ramanuja Dasan"

  • wah.thanks for the kutty research. This is the character I like most in the movie :)

  • A detailed research indeed. Will watch the movie soon.

    Tks for the info

  • dude... this is great...

    it alwayz never ceases to amaze me that what people had to go through back in the old days to be able to learn something of true intrinsic value... they had to fully understand everything behind an act before even beginning to repeat it, as did Ramanuja.

  • @Novin:
    You are welcome talaivaa...

    @what a life:
    No prob. So, have you watched it now?

    Yeah.. Life is much easier for us now. But wonder if the younger ones are appreciating the hardship our ancestors had to go through to cater us a better living.

  • Hello,

    The name of the person is not Ramanuja Dasan, its just Ramanuja. Sri Vaishnavites, in resprect to the great acharya Sri Ramanuja, address themselves as "Adiyean Ramanuja Dasan", which means I am a servant of Ramanuja.

  • Dear,
    Nice explanation.
    the story you put in to as NAAN is from Nadathur ammal and engalazhwan story, but not Ramanuja with Thirukkoshtiyur nambi
    Thirukkoshtiyur Nambi wanted to ensure his importance and interest exhibited by Sri Ramanuja and so made him to walk for 18 times from srirangam to thirukkoshtiyur.
    Adiyen Ramanuja Dasan