Thursday, August 16, 2018



  1. Ramanuja left Kanchipuram for Srirangam to meet Peria Nambi, because Lord Varadaraja of Kanchipuram had instructed him to seek instruction from Peria Nambi. 
  2. In the meanwhile, Peria Nambi himself had set forth for Kanchipuram from Srirangam. 
  3. The two met at Madurantakam, and Ramanuja asked Peria Nambi to teach him. 

Peria Nambi said they should go either to Kanchi or to Srirangam, before he would teach Ramanuja. But Ramanuja asked, “What if my worldly life were to end before we reach either of these two places? So teach me here.” Peria Nambi then taught Ramanuja in Madurantakam.

Monday, October 9, 2017


In the 12th century, the famous Srivaishnava saint Sri Ramanujacharya, who hailed from Tamil Nadu, stayed at Melukote for about 12 years.

Names in Different Yugas
  1. As the town was closely associated with Lord Narayana it was called   ‘Narayanadri’ in Krutha Yuga. 
  2. It was known as ‘Vedadri’ in Tretha Yuga as Lord Dattatreya preached the Vedas and other scriptures in these mountains to Medhaathithi 
  3. This place was called ‘Yadavadri’ in Dwapara Yuga, as Yadavas came down here to worship Lord Narayana. 
  4. Sri Ramanuja, propagator of Srivaishnavism, rebuilt the temple and revitalized this Kshetra in Kali Yuga and therefore it was named ‘Yatishaila’.
Saptha Kshetra (Seven Centers)

 1.Paridhanashila Kshetra: This is on the banks of Veda Pushkarini Thirtha. On the Southeast corner of the lake is an abode, in which you can see carvings of Dattatreya (an incarnation of Vishnu) with four students. There is stone located here, and it is called ‘Paridhanashila’. It is because; the Saffron robes were kept on this when Sri Ramanuja received them. It is imperative for a Sanyasin (Saint) to receive saffron robes from a senior Sanyasin, at the time renunciation. However here, there is provision to place the robes on the Paridhanashila and receive it himself, to become a Sanyasin. That is the significance of this Kshetra. 

2.Yoganarasimha Kshetra: Prahlada had the revelation of Yoganarasimha on the hill situated to the East of Kalyani Lake. Prahlada himself has installed the idol of Sri Narasimha here. 

When the ruler of Mysore Hyder Ali was passing here, few of his elephants used in war became sick. Some of his followers suggested that if he vows to Narasimha, the elephants will get well. Accordingly when he vowed to this deity, the elephants were cured. The happy Muslim King gifted a large drum (Nagari) to the God. To this day this drum is beaten everyday, during Pooja in the temple. Its resonating sound declares the Pooja time to everyone in the area. Yoganarasimha had the charm to make a Muslim King his devotee.
3. Gnanaashwatha Kshetra.
There is large Pepal tree on the west bank of Kalyani. There are three famous Pepal trees in Karnataka. They are ‘Brahma Ashwatha’ at T. Narasipur, ‘Vidura Ashwatha” at Vidura Ashwatha and ‘Gnana Ashwatha” in Melukote. Five intellectuals Shuka, Pundarika, Rukmangada, Ambarisha and Prahlada acquired their knowledge meditating for Narayana under this tree. Next to this tree is ‘Five Scholar Center’ (Pancha Bhagavatha Kshetra.), in memory of these people.

4. Taarkshya Kshetra.
At a short distance towards West, from the Pancha Bhagavatha Kshetra is ‘Taarkshya Kshetra’. According to the demand of Sri Vishnu, Garuda brought and placed white mud here (Shwetha Mrittike, Tirumann) from White Island (Shwetha Dweepa). It is still perpetually (Akshaya) available.

5. Nayana Kshetra.
Nayana Kshetra is located in the row of hills above Narayana Kshetra. ‘Nayathi ithi Nayanam’ – by complete surrender you can get salvation (Moksha). A Brahmin Vishnuchitta had performed penance here. One can attain his wishes by praying here with a Keshava idol. 

6. Varaha Kshetra
This is located on the East bank of Kalyani. You will achieve success with your vows, penance and meditation here. Adi Varaha preached Charama Sloka to Bhoodevi (mother earth) seating her on his lap.

7. Seetha Aranya Kshetra.
This is situated at the South entrance of Kalyani. Sri Rama stayed here in a hut (Parnakuti) built by Lakshmana. Therefore the name Seetha Aranya is apt. It is good to wear neck chains made of beads from Tulasi stems (Tulasi Mala) from here. 

Ashta Thirtha

1.  Veda Pushkarini:  Sri Maha Vishnu came to this world as Dattatreya, in one of his incarnations in Tretha Yuga. Assuming the Four Vedas to be his students, he taught the four Vedas to them, on the banks of this lake. The lake is therefore called Veda Pushkarini. This lake and Paridhanashila Kshetra are neighbors.       Dhanushkoti: Although this is not one of the Ashta Thirtha, this is a beautiful place to visit. On top of a hill, on a vertical rock there are tunnel like formations. This tunnel was formed when Sri Rama shot arrows to get water for Seetha to bathe. There are three tunnels, as he shot three times. This is a clear water pond in the rock. There are also carvings of Seetha, Rama and Lakshmana in the rock and this is a place worth sightseeing.
2.  Yadava Thirtha: River ‘Yadavi’ flows by the side of this lake. A king by name ‘Yadavendra’ performed Yaga on the bank of this lake and attained Moksha.

3.  Palasha Thirtha:  Palasha Thirtha is situated to the north of Darbha Thirtha. The name is because there a large number of Muttuga trees here. The sons of Vasishta Maharshi, who were cursed by Viswamitra Maharshi, were cured off the curse after bathing in this lake.

4.  Darbha Thirtha: Dattatreya used the Darbha grass grown on the banks of this lake for his daily Pooja needs. Therefore the name Darbha Thirtha is in vogue. It is said that, anyone dying holding this Darbha, will attain Moksha. Shandilya Maharshi recited the Pancharathra Shastras on the banks of this lake, needed for propitiating God (Bhagawan Aradhana).

5.  Padma Thirtha: This is located to the North of Palasha Thirtha. Sanathkumar used the lotus flowers grown in this lake for his daily Sri Narayana Pooja. One who wears the lotus beads from this lake will attain Moksha.

6.  Maitreya Thirtha: This is located to the North of Kalyani. Parashara Maharshi preached Vishnu Purana to Maitreya here. South Indians call this ‘Maitreya Thirtha’ after the student’s name and North Indians call this ‘Parashara Thirtha’ after teachers’ name.

7.  Narayana Thirtha: Narayana Thirtha is to the North of Maitreya Thirtha. Those who are cremated near this lake attain Moksha. Vishnuchitta a bachelor did penance on its bank. Sri Narayana appeared before him and blessed him with Moksha. ‘Nayana Kshetra’ is carved like a cave in the rock above Narayana Thirtha.

8.  Vaikunta Ganga: In Trivikrama incarnation of Vishnu, his feet touched Brahma Loka. Brahma washed Vishnu’s feet with the water from his jug (Kamandala) The flowing water became River Ganga. Others in heaven (Nityamuktas in Vaikunta) washed the feet with water from River Virija. A drop from that fell at the North of Narayana Giri and this is Vaikunta Ganga. Bhaktisara (Tirumazhishai Alwar) attained Moksha after doing penance on the banks of this river. This is a place of tourist attraction. A pond is formed by water flowing from the hillock and further flows and collects in cradle like pond. It further flows and falls down hill into another pool. This is therefore named Cradle Pond (Tottila Madu). The view of flowing river with surrounding hill range is a beautiful sight. There is a carving of Vishnu depicting Brahma and others washing his feet.Thus the Ashta Thirtha here has importance in attaining Moksha. 

A carnival is held at the time ‘Ashta Thirtha’, and it is called ‘Tottila Madu Jathre’. 

In Badarikashram in North India, Maharshi Vyasa and others were very happy to hear about the greatness of Yadavagiri, Saptha Kshetra and Ashta Thirtha from Narada. They later visited Yadavagiri personally and obtained the blessings of Sri Tirunarayana 


Ramanuja ran short of the white mud (Tirumann) required for applying on the forehead (Naamam). On that night Sri Tirunarayana appeared in his dream and informed him that he was buried in an anthill in Melukote and gave him the directions to reach there. 

Ramanuja immediately departed for Melukote, following the route flanked by Tulasi plants. On his arrival he bathed in Kalyani, marked his forehead with Tirumann Naamam and got ready to locate the anthill. 

With the help of the local people, he washed the anthill with milk and water from Kalyani. When the hill was totally dissolved, he saw the divine, spiritual, glittering sculpture of Tirunarayana. He reinstalled the idol in the temple, built the sanctum sanctorum and Shukanasi. Melukote, which had turned into a desolate town, was revitalized.

Sri Ramanuja arrived in Melukote on Makara Shukla, Punarvasu day, nearly nine hundred years ago. Even now that event is celebrated in Melukote as ‘Punarvasu Utsava’ in a magnificent manner.

The locals, who were all Harijans and tribal, helped Ramanuja Acharya in all his endeavors. Ramanuja removed caste barriers and honored them as upper caste people, calling them ‘Tirukulatthar’. They were permitted to enter the temple and offer prayers. Even now they have special convenience for offering Pooja, during Vyramudi and Chariot processions. Ramanuja was the pioneer to recognize the Harijans and tribal people and give them respectable recognition, in a move to eliminate untouchability.Ramanuja revitalized the town and made arrangement for everyone to pay obeisance in the temple irrespective of their caste or creed. People of all castes are employed in the temple. The bugle player during Utsava is a Harijan Chluvayya.

He made arrangements in the temple for performing daily Pooja with discipline and to set timetable. For this purpose he brought well-experienced Archakas from Pancharatra town near Srirangam and fifty two (Aimbattiruvar) people for other services. They were divided into four groups as 

  1. Tiruvananthapuradasar, 
  2. Maalaakaaradasar, 
  3. Tirukkurunkudidasar and 
  4. Yatirajadasar and allotted them work accordingly. 
He also established Yatirajamutt and nominated seventy-four Pitha Adipathis. 

Travel for Utsava Murthy  

Everything was well organized. Acharya now realized the absence of Utsava Murthy (Idol for procession) for Brahma Utsava celebrations and wondered how he can get one. 

He had a vision in his inner eye (Gnana Drushti) that a suitable idol was in Delhi. He went to Delhi, met the Badshah ruler there and asked him for the idol. He displayed a large number of idols lying in his museum. Acharya could not find the idol of Ramapriya among them. 

He learnt that the princess was playing with one of the idols, in her chambers. She kept it with her always, as it was very beautiful. She was not home when Acharya visited them. He asked the king to give him that particular idol. King asked him to take it if he can. 

Ramanuja called Ramapriya 

“ Yatiraja Sampathkumara, my dear Selvapillai come to me, come running”. 

As soon as Ramanuja called him with love and affection, the idol danced up to him, to the clinking sounds of his anklets. He walked and sat on Acharya’s lap. 

Then on he came to prominence as ‘Yathiraja Sampathkumara’. Sampath means wealth, for Yathiraja he is all the wealth. Ramanuja happily returned to Melukote, with the idol. Thus arrived Utsava Murthy Selvapillai in Melukote on Jeshta star in the month of Magha. Presently that day is celebrated as ‘Delhi Utsava’.

Merging of a Muslim princess - Bibi Nachiyar 

The princess in Delhi felt very sad, not finding her favorite toy. Learning of Ramanuja having taken it to South, she followed him to Melukote with her entourage. She was not allowed into the temple. Therefore she amalgamated with the Lord and now she sits at the feet of Cheluvaraya as ‘Varanandi’.  The princess came to be known as ‘Bibinachiyar’. She has important role in folklores. There is an abode for her in the hill. It is known as ‘Horagammana Gudi’ (Temple for outside lady). Once a year, villagers from around the villages, hold a grand carnival in her honor. Villagers sing many lilting folk songs in her praise. The merging of a Muslim princess with a Hindu god shows the emotional unity of the communities. 

Although the Acharya was a Sanyasin, he managed all these so meticulously that he came to be known as Yatiraja (King of saints).