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, the literature was primarily available in Sanskrit. Those who did not understand Sanskrit did not know the true nature of God as unveiled in Vedic literature. It was Manavala Mahamuni, 13th century acharya who wrote several commentaries in regional languages for the benefit of common people. His discourses were loved by all. Lord Ranganatha was pleased by the work of Manavala Mahamuni. He instructed the temple priest to stop performing the annual services in His temple, so He can listen to the talks given by Manavala Mahamuni on thiruvayamuji! Such was the glory of the acharya’s knowledge!

It is customary to offer something in honour of an acharya at the end of a session. In this case, Lord Ranganatha was also listening to the series of sessions by Manavala Mahamuni (also called Varavara Muni)in Sri Rangam temple. These sessions lasted for a year. After the last session ended, 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 through what was written on the paper, they began following him! 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 Rangantha himself who paid his respects to the acharya in the form of a sloka!

The verse means that Lord Ranganatha salutes Sri Manavala Mahamuni who has the blessings of his acharya, Sri Saile:sa. Salutes to Sri Manavala Mahamuni who is an ocean of devotion!

Such was the beauty of the great soul, Manavala Mahamuni. Lord also offered him the aasana (his own the honourable seat, A:di se:sha) to Manavala Mahamuni. Today is the birth star of Manavala Mahamuni because of whom we are enjoying the nectar of knowledge in our local languages. Let’s all be grateful to him and take pride in the lineage of our acharyas!

– From the discourse of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji
– 1st Feb 2019, Divya Saketham