Thirukostiyur Nambhi Thirunakshatram

Today is the Thirunakshatram of Thirukostiyur Nambhi, one of the Acharyas of Sri Ramanuja. Thirukostiyur Nambhi lived in Thirukostiyur, 25kms North of present day Sivagangai. Thirukostiyur Nambi knew the meaning of the sacred ThiruMantram. Periya Nambhi, another acharya of Sri Ramanuja asked Ramanuja to know the meaning of the sacred Mantra from Thirukostiyur Nambhi. Here goes the interesting incident about how Sri Ramanuja got the meaning from Thirukostiyur Nambhi.

Ramanujar comes to ThiruKoshtiyur to meet Nambi and learn the ThiruMantram. On reaching here, he says “ I have come to meet you…” But Thirukostiyur Nambhi turns him back 17 times. On the 18th occasion, Ramanuja starts with “ Adiyen Daasan {your disciple} Ramanuja has come…” This time Nambi welcomes him saying “Your arrogance is gone. Now we can talk”.

Then Ramanuja requests him to tell the meaning of ThiruMantram. Thirukostiyur Nambhi accepts to teach it, but on one condition. As per the condition, Ramanuja should not tell this to anyone as this mantra will take a person who listens to it directly to Vaikuntam and if it is told out to others Ramanuja will go to hell. Ramanuja with great excitement and anxiety got the mantra and started going back to SriRangam. While he was walking thinking of what he heard, all of a sudden he had a feeling and wanted this mantra to be known to one and all in the world so that everyone can reach Vaikundam. So Ramanuja climbs to the vimanam of the Thirukostiyur temple, and called whomsoever is interested to learn the divine mantra. He then said the meaning of the ThiruMantram to all those who were interested, regardless of caste or creed. This incident clearly shows that caste & creed are nothing before the love of God. Anyone is eligible to love God and reach Him. 

Thirukottiyur Nambi came to know of this and became very angry. He rushed to Ramanuja and enquired why he told this against the promise he had given. Ramanuja replied that by telling this Divine Manthra only he will go to hell but the entire humanity will reach Vaikuntam. This is what he needed and he did not mind going to hell alone. Impressed with Ramanuja’s reply, Nambi tells him ‘ Nee Emperumaal Aanar’(you have become my Lord). Hence Ramanuja is called ‘Emberumaanar’. Thirukottiyur Nambi also made his son Sowmyanarayan as Ramanuja’s disciple.

Written with reference from &

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