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Generations walk miles to carry water for Lord Vishnu

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praveen

Life is a dream
Staff member
Lakshmi Narasimman of Vishnu Kanchi in the temple city of Kancheepuram is widely known as senior administrative officer in the state legal services authority. But very few know that this 57-year-old walks seven kms every morning to fetch water from a well to perform pooja for Lord Vishnu and his consort Perundevi Thayar at the Vardaraja Perumal temple here. He is only following the tradition set by Saint Ramanuja over 900 years ago, he says.

The popular lore, according to him, goes like this.

When Ramanuja was walking through forest, Lord Vishnu and Thayar followed him disguised as a hunter couple. After sometime, they complained of thirst and asked for water.

Ramanuja was helpless as there was no sight of water anywhere. The hunter then told him he would fire an arrow and water would spring at the spot where the arrow hit the earth.

Realising that the hunter was the Lord himself, Ramanuja rushed to fetch the water but on return, was crestfallen as the hunter couple disappeared by then.

A voice from the sky then comforted him saying the Lord would have his daily pooja only after a bath from that spring water Ramanuja fetched. The tradition continued even after Ramanuja, without break.

“I have been fetching the water the last four years. I could have missed not more than 100 days due to some personal problems or heavy rains. At such times, I would go to the temple in the evening and meditate until my agony calmed down”, said Narasimman, who also spends about 10 hours daily to reach his office at Thiruvannamalai, nearly 120 km away.

The ‘water tradition’, according to him, is known even among the youngsters of Kancheepuram. His son Sri Ram, 15, wants to specialize in computer applications but insists, “I am waiting to carry on this tradition”.

-as published in deccan chronicle, chennai edition. Feb 10, 2012
 

Nara

Well-known member
....A voice from the sky then comforted him saying the Lord would have his daily pooja only after a bath from that spring water Ramanuja fetched. The tradition continued even after Ramanuja, without break.
Dear Praveen,
Some more details based on the earliest written account of this...

The 6000 ppadi Guru Parampara Prabhavam narrates these events in detail. It says Ramanuja was forewarned of a plot to bump him off by his guru Yadavapprakaha (who later becomes Ramanuja's sishya), midway leaves Y's retinue en route to Kashi. Stranded in the woods, he gets help from a hunter couple. One night the hunter's wife wishes some water that Ramanuja somehow fetches at crack of morning, but finds the couple gone. Then he realizes he has reached the outskirts of Kanchi. This text says nothing about asareeri, but it does claim the hunter couple was Sri and Sriman Narayana.

Then, Ramanuja inexplicably goes back to Yadavaprakasha's gurukulam, after his return from Kashi, and continues his studies. During this time he gets into more trouble with Y and eventually gets thrown out of the gurukulam. He returns to Kanchi and wishes to study under Thirukkacchi Nambi, a NB. As per the norms of the day, Thirukacchi Nambi knew Ramanuja will be taken seriously only if he has a Brahmin as Acharya. So he refuses to accept him as his sishya. Instead, he asks Ramanuja to fetch water for Peruarulan, which Ramanuja does with enthusiasm.

This is a really moving story. This episode shows that Ramanuja is clearly not into the Brahmin thing. He was bold enough to contradict his Brahmin guru, Yadavaprakasha, but ready and eager to seek what he considered "true" knowledge from the best source possible, irrespective of varna consideration, namely Thirukkacchi Nambi.

But, Thirukacchi Nambi knew Ramanuja will never realize his full potential in the Brahmin dominated environment if he, an NB, is the acharya to Ramanuja. So, he refuses to be his acharya and instead directs him to do this "theertha kaingaryam". Ultimately Periya Nambi, a brahmin, becomes his acharya.

There is more in the beautiful relationship between Thirukacchi Nambi and Bhagavat Ramanuja, it is one of the most intriguing one and one that made me take to SV with the gusto with which I did. I wish theism is true just so I can be a Ramanuja Dasan again. Well, I still view myself as Ramanuja dasan with respect to dispelling varna theory, but not on theism.

Cheers!

Caveat: In the final analysis Ramanuja did not repudiate varna system like Basavanna did, However, he did more than any of the other Brahmins of his time to break down the varna wall. He tried his best to bring in people of all varnas into a congregation of mutually respectful society of Sri Vaishnavas, but history shows he utterly failed.


Every opinion based on scientific criticism I welcome. As to prejudices .. to which I have never made concessions ... “Segui il tuo corso, e lascia dir le genti.” -- Karl Marx
 

sarang

Well-known member
All acharyas, madathipathis, azhwars and nayanmars (and in modern times mahatma gandhi) have not disputed the varna system. Even the post independent government has, in a sense, enshrined it in the constitution - existence and perpetuation of castes.

"Alleged" privileges claimed and enjoyed by varnas no longer exist; so there is no logic in demanding abolition of varnas (it is unconstitutional too, denial of fundamental rights).

varnas, a basic concept of sanatana dharma will survive and flourish; its main strength is - it does not want to destroy any other system or adherents of a different system, unlike some who want to destroy whatever they disagree with.

Even modern management systems talk of 'rights and privileges'.
 

ozone

Active member
:focus:
Varna system has been discussed else where. This topic is different and has no varna system in it.
 

Nara

Well-known member
... unlike some who want to destroy whatever they disagree with.
My dear brother sarang, the flip side of this, some want to perpetuate whatever they agree with. Let us not make a side-swipe type of remark.

Yes, I am against varna/jAti system and I would be happy if it is gone from the face of the earth. Not all systems are worthy of preserving just because it exists. For example, the system of slavery was widely practiced and was enshrined in law as well, in the nation that prides itself as a shining city of liberty on a hill, yet that was a system not worthy of preserving and deserving to be destroyed.


This topic is different and has no varna system in it.
This shows you are unfamilar with the topic, which is "theetha kainkaryam" at Kanchi Periya Kovil. Ramanuja took up this kainkaryam at the urging of Thirukkacchi Nambi who refused to take Ramanuja as his pupil because of Varna system. So, this topic is closely related to varna system.

Cheers!

Every opinion based on scientific criticism I welcome. As to prejudices .. to which I have never made concessions ... “Segui il tuo corso, e lascia dir le genti.” -- Karl Marx
 

ozone

Active member
This shows you are unfamilar with the topic, which is "theetha kainkaryam" at Kanchi Periya Kovil. Ramanuja took up this kainkaryam at the urging of Thirukkacchi Nambi who refused to take Ramanuja as his pupil because of Varna system. So, this topic is closely related to varna system.

Cheers!
From what I can make out, this incident of meeting the hunter couple happened much much before the meeting with Thirukacchi Nambi. So, I dont understand why this twist but only to just to butt in the topic.
 

sarang

Well-known member
Comparing varna system to slavery is nothing but ignorance.

We have a political system which has the power to pass laws not conflicting with the constitution,. So those who want to abolish varna system must form their own party, include it in the election manifesto, get two third majority and then act. Even the communist party will not do this. In kerala, stalin and lenin shared the same banner with christ. Justification - christ was a social reformer and abolished slavery.
Sitting in a distant corner mouthing improbables can give mental, hallucinational bliss but not no physical result. Perhaps a generous cash donation to groups which are sympathetic to the cause will feed some mouths and line the pockets of many.
 

Nara

Well-known member
From what I can make out, this incident of meeting the hunter couple happened much much before the meeting with Thirukacchi Nambi. So, I dont understand why this twist but only to just to butt in the topic.
ozone, let me try one more time, when Ramanuja was thrown out by Yadavaprakasha he went to Thirukkacchi Nambi and asked him to be his acharya. TN refused citing Varna rules -- for a Brahmin only another Brahmin can be acharya, an NB is not permitted -- and directed Ramanuja to do theertha kaingakryam.

If there is any twisting and butting in, it is not from my side.

over and out ...
Every opinion based on scientific criticism I welcome. As to prejudices .. to which I have never made concessions ... “Segui il tuo corso, e lascia dir le genti.” -- Karl Marx
 

ozone

Active member
ozone, let me try one more time, when Ramanuja was thrown out by Yadavaprakasha he went to Thirukkacchi Nambi and asked him to be his acharya. TN refused citing Varna rules -- for a Brahmin only another Brahmin can be acharya, an NB is not permitted -- and directed Ramanuja to do theertha kaingakryam.

If there is any twisting and butting in, it is not from my side.

The original post says:
A voice from the sky then comforted him saying the Lord would have his daily pooja only after a bath from that spring water Ramanuja fetched. The tradition continued even after Ramanuja, without break.
So on the face of it, it appears that this advice if at all was only additional and redundant.
Secondly, if the advice was only to get another Guru, the practice would have been discontinued.
over and out ...
cool... I hope the readers will draw their own conclusions
 

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Sri Ozone Ji,

Professor Nara Ji, did not 'butt in'. By the way, even if he did, it is up to the thread owner to gently re-direct.

If you do not like the direction of a thread, how about not getting involved in it? Every member here has equal right to add to a thread's information. Thanks.

Regards,
KRS
 

Nara

Well-known member
Comparing varna system to slavery is nothing but ignorance.
My dear brother sarang, I will readily concede I am ignorant of many things, including how it feels to be a low-order Shudra or Dalit, I have no personal experience. But, with whatever little worldly experience I have managed to accumulate over all these donkey's years, I can say with more than a little confidence that to a low-caste Shudra or Dalit, who is made to think his life is meant to serve others, life is no different from that of a slave. It is rather convenient for an upper caste Brahmin to say comparing varna system to slavery is nothing but ignorance. It is more important and pertinent to ask a low-caste Shudra or dalits about it, and the answer would be a resounding repudiation of the incidious varna system as a glorified system of slavery.

But, dear sarang, I was only trying to illustrate that a system does not deserve to survive just because it exists, that was my point, I was not trying to equate varna system to slavery, even though I do think they are. To me, the varna system is more insidious than slavery, because, slavery is so plainly and immediately seen as an evil, no ifs or buts, and nobody in their right mind will dare defend it. On the other hand, the varna system has its defenders, like yourself for instance. The evil of varna system is obscured by the hoary religious origins that many want to defend, as though it is their own immediate father and mother they are defending. If slavery is like cancer, an overt killer, varna system is like blood pressure, a silent killer.

Cheers!

Every opinion based on scientific criticism I welcome. As to prejudices .. to which I have never made concessions ... “Segui il tuo corso, e lascia dir le genti.” -- Karl Marx
 

ozone

Active member
Dear Sri Ozone Ji,

Professor Nara Ji, did not 'butt in'. By the way, even if he did, it is up to the thread owner to gently re-direct.

If you do not like the direction of a thread, how about not getting involved in it? Every member here has equal right to add to a thread's information. Thanks.

Regards,
KRS

Dear Sri KRSji,
I have already provided my thoughts and observations. If beyond this you still feel otherwise, I have nothing more to say. If you feel that saving a thread from taking a path that has already been treaded and deviates from the crux of the original thread is only the prerogative of the owner, I stand informed and educated and will desist from such attempts in the future.
 

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Ozone Ji,

Thank you for youe response. Normally someone starts a thread, the owner has every right to say something like, (as in a recent case, I think Sri Prasad1 Ji stipulated), "please respond only if you believe in Karma theory" or some such. If the owner does not post it, then it is open skies. It is up to the owner (not other members) and in some cases the Moderators to dictate the flow of the thread. This is to just avoid unnecessary commotion - that's all.

Thank you for taking my comments in the right way.

Regards,
KRS
 
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