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Sri Manavala Mamunigal

Oct 21st 2020 marks the 650th Thirunakshatram (birth anniversary) of one of the greatest acharyas of Sri Vaishnava Sampradayam. Born in the Aswayuja Masa Moola Nakshatra, Sri Manavala Mamunigal is believed to be the reincarnation of Lord Adisesha and Bhagavad Ramanujayacharya. Sri Manavala Mamunigal is also considered to be the acharya of Lord Ranganatha and is referred to by various names such as "Varavara Muni", "Sowmyajamataram" or "Ramjyajamataram”

Some facts about Sri Manavala Mamunigal

1.

Born in 1370 A.D in Azhwarthirunagiri village (near Tirunelveli). Lived for 73 years and reached paramapadam in 1443 A.D.

3.

Sri Rangnatha Perumal of Sri Rangam considered Manavala Mamuni as his own acharya, and gifted him Adi Sesha (the divine serpent) to his guru.  

5.

Lord Ranganatha, pleased with Manavala Mamuni, instructed the temple priest to stop performing the annual services so He can listen to the talks given by Manavala Mahamuni on Thiruvayamuji!

2.

Learned the entire 4000 Divya Prabandham, Veda Shastras, Rahasya Arthas at a very young age from his father & teacher Sri Thadharannar and composed various commentaries in regional languages

4.

In Sri Vaishnava Sampradayam, the Guru Parampara dhyanam starts with praise of Sri Manavala Mamuni. "Srisailesa dayapatram…” is presented by Lord Sri Ranganatha himself in honor of Sri Manavala mamuni.

Sri Manavala Mamunigal Sannidhi in Tirunarayanapuram, Melkote in Karnataka

The acharya of Lord Sri Ranganatha in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu

Some poets express beauty of visible nature in their verses. Some poets express the greatness of the source of that beauty in their verses. God also became a poet once. He wrote in the praise of an acharya. In the time of Ramanujacharya, literatures were available only in Sanskrit. Those who did not understand Sanskrit did not know the true nature of God as unveiled by the Vedas. It was Sri Manavala Mamunigal, in the 13th century, who wrote several commentaries in regional languages for the benefit of common people and his discourses were loved by all. Lord Ranganatha was so pleased by the works of Sri Manavala Mamunigal that He instructed the temple priest to stop performing the annual services in the temple, so He can listen to the talks given by Sri Manavala Mamunigal on Thiruvayamuji! Such was the glory of the acharya’s knowledge!


At Srirangam temple, Lord Ranganatha used to spend a lot of time listening to the series of sessions by Sri Manavala Mamunigal. It is customary to offer something in honour of an acharya at the end of a session. Thus all the disciples offered what they could as a small token of gratitude towards the acharya. A 4-year-old boy came forward and handed over a piece of paper with a sloka and began walking to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. After reading the paper, they began following the boy! But, once he entered the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, the body disappeared. It was an unforgettable experience for all those present. That 4-year-old boy was none other than Lord Ranganatha himself who paid his respects to the acharya in the form of a sloka!

sri:saile:sa daya:pa:thram dhi:bhakthya:di guna:rnavam |

yathi:ndra pravanam vande: ramyaja:ma:tharam munim ||

This verse means that Lord Ranganatha salutes Sri Manavala Mumunigal, who has the blessings of his acharya, Sri Sailesa. Salutations to Sri Manavala Mumunigal who is an ocean of devotion! Such was the beauty of the great acharya, Sri Manavala Mumunigal. The Lord also offered him the asana (his own the honourable seat, Adisesha).

Bhagavad Ramanujacharya reincarnate

We all know that Bhagavad Ramanujacharya is the incarnation of Adisesha. Bhagavad Ramanujacharya incarnated as Sri Varavara Muni (Manavala Mamunigal) in the 14th century A.D to re-establish the eternal Vedic practices that were lost during turmoil. His devotion towards Bhagavad Ramanujacharya and Sathakopa Muni (Nammazhwar) was unparalleled. His pravachans were so mesmerising that Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam stopped all the uthsavams for one full year and came in the form of a small boy (as a disciple) to listen to acharya Varavara Muni’s great pravachans (called Edu on Thiruvaimozhi of Sri Nammazhwar)


On the Thirunakshatram of this great acharya, who re-established the Sri Vaishnava Sampradayam single-handedly let us all recite Sri Manavala Mamunigal's Thaniyans

Thirunakshatram Thaniyan

thula:ya:m athule: mu:le: pandye: kunti:puri:vare: |

sri:se:sha:mso:dbhavam vande: ramyaja:ma:tharam munim ||

Nithya Thaniyan

sri:saile:sa daya:pa:thram dhi:bhakthya:di guna:rnavam |

yathi:ndra pravanam vande: ramyaja:ma:tharam munim ||

Mangalasasanam

thulamulava thurnaya thosithakala suraya soumyajamathra muniya seshamsayastu mangalam

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