Biographical Sketches of Dekkan Poets/Ramanujachari


Was born in the 11th century of Salivahana, during the reign of Batta Vardhana, king of Dora Samudra, he was born at Sri Parubutune, a place situated twenty-four miles, west of Madras, on the road to Kanchi or Conjiveram. At eight years of age, he was invested with the sacerdotal thread, and began to read the Vedes and study the sciences. He made a tour of through different countries, and visited Melakota, when he prevailed on the bramins by his exhortations and example to attend to the worship of the deity. Thence be proceeded to Dora Samudra, through Tonnure, and he gained the good will of the sovereign of the country, by exercising an evil spirit, and casting it out of his daughter, for this act he was magnificently rewarded by the king, whom he converted to the Vystnava religion. After this, the poet visited different holy places in the Peninsula, instructing at all times the Vystnava bramins in a pure form of rituals. He took Yamunachari as his disciple, and made a tour through Terupati, Jagarnath, Kasi, and Joyapore, and established firmly the Vystnava religion in those places and founded several mutts. The king of Joypore, was very much pleased with his discourses on the Vystnava religion, and excited by zeal, destroyed several Jainas in oil mills. He established a Vystnava mutt in this place, and afterwards at Badari Narayana, where he paid his homage to that deity, and finally returned to the Peninsula, where he composed a commentary, entitled Sri Ramanija Bhashya, on the Sustra of Vyasa, comprising one hundred expositions of the phllosophy of Vyasa, he composed also several other works such as Chandamarute respecting the Vysnava Sect, and a commentary on the Bhagavat Gita, after this, he displayed extraordinary skill in framing a pure code of rituals for the Vystnavas. At the age of fifty he entirely renounced all secular concerns, and became a Synassi, devoting the whole of his time to the contemplation of the divinity, and reading books of philosophy and theology. Ramanujachari died at Sriparumutture, his native town. Many individuals of the Vystnava faith believed him to have been an incaroatiou of Sesha the Serpent, on which Vishnu reclines, and they raised a metallic image as a representation of Ramanujachari, and denominated him one of the twelve chief Alwers.