The greatness of a person depends on the direction of his thoughts!
Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swami answered this question speaking to the audience on the 3rd day of International Seminar at JIVA celebrating the continued millennium birth year of Ramanujacharya
Why did many Kings, Jains, Dalits, Scholars, Women and many other groups of the society get inspired by Ramanujacharya? Why did 700 Jeeyars, 12,000 scholars, thousands of men and women follow him wherever he went? Why did Swami Vivekananda praise Ramanujacharya as one who has greater heart than anyone else? Why did our honourable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi ji speak greatly of Ramanujacharya on Red Fort?
Is it his intellect? Is it his manas? Is it the way he led his life? Is it the way he helped everyone around? Is it because he gave away the mantra rajam (king of all mantras) to all those interested with no descrimination? Is it because of his perseverance in approaching a guru 18 times to understand the essence of charama sloka despite being a very renowned scholar and Jeeyar himself?
Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swami answered this question speaking to the audience on the 3rd day of International Seminar at JIVA celebrating the continued millennium birth year of Ramanujacharya. Swamiji said, ‘It is only the power of his pure and pious personality, and his dedication to the lineage of a right guru that made Ramanujacharya an icon to be remembered for thousands of years.’ Let’s examine the two qualities so that we can also embrace the person who reformed the lives of many generations of people in the right perspective.
Pure and pious personality – What does this mean? It means to have your conduct match with what you speak, and what you speak match with your thoughts. If you can keep your thoughts, words and action in sync, then you are a pure and pious personality. This sounds simple, but not very easy to put in practice. Another critical element is the direction of your thoughts! If your thoughts are not flowing in right direction, then your words and actions will also end up traversing the wrong path. This is when the second part of his personality comes into picture.
Dedication to the lineage of a right guru – In Swamiji’s words, ‘Gurukrama:gatha gnanam’. The knowledge that Ramnaujacharya preached and practised did not take birth in his mind. It took birth in the heart of God himself, Srimannarayana! Ramanujacharya sought the guidance from gurus in the lineage that began with God himself. The Guru Parampara (the prayer that glorifies the lineage of gurus) refers to God as Lakshmi natha, i.e.
Srimannarayana! Now that your thoughts are all directed in accordance with the knowledge sought from the right guru, and your actions and words match those right thoughts, then you are automatically doing the right thing. Thus, you are admired by everyone around. That is why Ramanujacharya’s conduct attracted several beings and solved many challenges of that day. He was able to not only see the bare truth, vasthava gnanam, of any object, situation, or hardship but also analyse it and provide solutions at the root level of the issue.
Thus, it is the power of this pious personality which earned Ramanujacharya the praise and the honour. It was neither magical nor any supernatural power bestowed in him! Not only all sects of people, but also God approved him. His deity in Tirupati temple and His divine body in Sri Rangam temple show how God not only accepted but also authorized his conduct, and his philosophy! His philosophy shows the right interpretation of all Vedic texts and therefore it is a loka hitaishi, one that is good for every being in the entire existence at all times! That is why all 108 divya desams revere his name in every prayer, every day – Ramanujarya divyagna vardhatham abhi vardhatham…. saahi loka hithaishini…!
The purpose of any scripture or any discourse is to lead you towards right knowledge, which is of five-fold: Who am I? What is my goal? How can I reach my goal? What are the obstacles in reaching the goal? Who can help me in reaching the goal? Will leave you to ponder upon these for now! If you seek right guru to obtain this knowledge, then the direction of your thoughts will be set in the right path!
-Chinna Jeeyar Swamy