Sri Ramanujar was a great worshipper of the Lord Mahavishnu. There was a unique love and affection between them. He talks about ‘saranagathi’ meaning total surrender to the Lord Vishnu. Vishnu as per Hindu traditions is the sustainer of this universe. His consort is Mahalaksmi, the goddess for wealth. Sri Ramanujar had expressed his mind first to the goddess Mahalakshmi before proceeding to Sri Narayana. It is like a child making his mother to recommend to his father to fulfill his desires. Mahalakshmi is considered as the supreme mother. When you want to surrender to the God, you have to first make a request to Him. But Sri Ramanujar was of the opinion that before making an application to the Lord, first he had to ensure that he had the requisite qualities for surrender. To get these requisite qualities, we had to pray to only to Narayana. Narayana is known for His compassion, but at the same He would not tolerate any sins or any acts done contrary to the Vedas.
Lord Himself says this in Gita “Those who are envious and mischievous, who are the lowest among men, I perpetually cast into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life” (Ch.XVI.19). Lord has made it very clear that sinners will never be spared. The Lord also says that He would never forgive anyone who does any harm to His devotees. These are the basic requirements for total surrender to the Lord. Sri Ramanujar, being such a great saint, was not sure whether he had committed sins. When a great sage like Sri Ramanujar felt like this, where we stand is the question we have to ponder. Sri Ramanujar also thought, if he committed sins, not only he would lose an opportunity to surrender to the Lord, but also could invite His wrath. Therefore Sri Ramanujar had decided to make an initial submission to the supreme Mother goddess Lakshmi seeking Her blessings to get the requisite qualities for surrender to Narayana.
Sri Ramanjuar addressed the Mother ‘You are the mother of whole world. You are the consort of the Supreme God Narayana, who does not have any blemishes. He has only auspicious qualities. Oh! Mother! I want to be at the lotus feet of Narayana and want to do service to Him forever.’ Goddess Lakshmi blessed Sri Ramanuja that his desire to reach the lotus feet of the Lord be fulfilled. Then Sri Ramanujar directly addresses Sriman Narayanan. At this stage we should understand the meanings of the following. 1. Parabhakthi – Desire to have darshan of the Lord. 2. Paragnanam – the actual vision of the Lord and 3. Paramabhakthi – the intent to surrender consequent upon getting His darshan, which leads to attainment of parama patham (the supreme feet of the Lord). The feet of Lord Vishnu are considered to be very sacred and often compared to the lotus flowers for its sheer beauty and complexion. Sri Ramanujar’s address to Narayana is coming up in the next posting.