சக்தி விகடன் - 09 Feb, 2009
Posted Date : 06:00 (09/02/2009)
ராமானுஜரின் நிழலாக வாழ்ந்த எம்பார்!
Ramanuja and His Shadow Umbār

மகான் தரிசனம்
Seeing the Great man

Embār was the shadow of Rāmānuja earning the name Embār (Shortened name of Emperumāṉār-Rāmānujar). His tenets are praised as Embār Nirvāham. Guruparamparai says that Ramanuja shuffled his mortal coil with his head resting on the lap of Embār. How did he become the disciple of Rāmānuja?
The period was the time when Ramanuja was in Gurukula Vāsam run by Yādava Prakāśa. Ramanuja and Prakāśa had frequent arguments in interpreting Vedāṅgas. Ramanuja’s ideas took a hold among people and his fame increased.
Prakāśa was angry over his popularity. He planned to kill Rāmānuja. When Prakāśa planned on a pilgrimage with his disciples, he wanted to drown and kill him in Ganges River.
Disciple Govinda Bhattar the maternal nephew of Rāmānuja discovered the planned murder and told Ramanuja to escape somehow. Rāmānuja left the premises immediately. Bhattar went with Prakāśa on the pilgrimage, converted to Saivism and became the devotee of Śiva.

One day when Bhattar was bathing in the Ganges River, he discovered a Liñga and brought it to the riverside. Prakāśa noticing the Liñga was joyous and blessed Bhattar praising him that his Devotion to Siva was the reason for his discovery. He named him ULLaṅkai Koṇarntha Nāyaṉār (Palm-received Nāyaṉār).
Govindabhattar went to Ahōbhilam, Pūri…with prakāśa. He came back to his birth place, Maduramaṅglam, where he consecrated the Śiva Liṅgam. Since then, he made several trips to Kālahaṣthi and worshipped Srī Kāḷatthināthaṉ. Though he married young, he lived a platonic life.
Discovering Bhattar’s change into a Siva devotee, through the influence of his uncle Tirumalai Nambhi, Ramanuja converted him into a servitor to Tirumāl and kept him by his side.
Realizing the munificent Tirumal and the greatness of Ramanuja, he served them with Gurubhakthi. This made Ramanuja happy. Ramanuja took Bhattar as his disciple and initiated him into Sannyasa. Ramanuja shortened his own honorific name Emperumāṉār, blessed him and called him Embār, a name of endearment. Ramanuja initiated Bhattar’s wife into Sannyasa and named her Chiṉṉa Āṇḍāl.
Embār learning the greatness of Vaiṇavam wrote many treatises. He took the son of Kūratthāzvār (also named Bhattar) as his disciple and instructed him the Śāstras.
Since he was always with Ramanuja, he was called The Shadow of Ramanuja (= ராமானுஜ பதச்சாயா).
His auspicious birth date is Dhurmathi year, Thai month, Puṉarvasu Star (1021A.D). His birthplace was Madhuramaṅgalam in Kānchi district. The SrīVaikuṇtaVāsa Perumāl Temple here has a special shrine for Embār. Worshipping Embār alleviates eye problems. The devotees are of the belief that praying to him and participating in the festivals help obtain blessings from Guru and the Divine.