Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Mentions Sri Ramanuja Acarya as Follows

In an article entitled Circumambulation of Sri Brajamandal printed Nov 1931, Chaitanya-Era 445 in the Harmonist magazine, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta mentions Sri Ramanuja Acarya as follows:

Long before the Advent of the Supreme Lord, Sree Krishna Chaitanya, the North of India had been the scene of various non-theistic movements. The Elevationism and Idealism of the different philosophical schools professing allegiance to the Vedas and the atheistic cults of Jainism and Buddhism, especially the former, had brought about the almost total suppression of the Theistic tradition embodies in the worship of Vishnu the supremacy of which had been an admitted fact at least from as early as the age of composition of the oldest hymns of the Rig Veda. Mathura became, as the result of these later movements, the chief center of the non-theistic propaganda.

The revival of the Vishnuvite religion came from the South and was carried on by the schools founded by Sree Vishnuswami, Sree Nimbarka, Sree Ramanuja and Sree Madhva respectively. The Alvars, who had also preached pure Theism, appeared in the South from a period as early as the Christian era. Sree Vishnuswami belonged to the third century before Christ.

From the Atharva Veda, with the commentary of Srila Sacidananda Bhaktivinoda ThakuraSSri Caitanya-Caranamrta. The confidential truth is that the Lord has descended with His own abode, Goloka-Dhama, to the supremely sanctified land of Gauda, in the form of a devotee as Sri Krsna Caitanya Himself and desiring to deliver love of God, He has exposed the transcendental secret of madhura-rasa which enlivens all the devotees in the material world, headed by Sathakopa, Ramanuja, Visnuswami, Madhvacarya, Nimbarka, etc., for the purpose of quickly bestowing asuspiciousness unto the living beings in Kali-Yuga. Bhakti vedyah means that the living entities can know the Lord by the practice of devotional service and not by the practice of dry philosophical speculation. 

According to the evidence of Ramanuja, etc., by the mellow of servitorship, dasya-rasa, there is no direct path. The destination of those who practice dasya rasa etc. is limited to Vaikuntha. This is apparent in their books, etc. This is because Sri Caitanya is the source of the universe and the only teacher in the matter of instructing vraja-rasa. 

Sri Ramanuja, the incarnation of Anata, who took birth in the month of Caitra (April-May) under the sixth lunar mansion in the Tundirades, and who came upon this earth to establish the philosophy of Sri Vishnu."

Four major schools or sampradayas of Vaisnavism are considered authorized by Vaisnavas everywhere: the Brahma, Sri, Rudra, and Kumara Sampradayas. While Gaudiya Vaisnavas follow the disciplic line of Visnu worship originating with Brahma, Sripad Ramanujacarya is the founder-acarya of the Sri Sampradaya, the school of Vaisnavism or Visnu worship descending from the eternal consort of Visnu known as Laksmidevi or Sri. His commentaries on Vedanta rival those of Sankaracarya, especially in Tamil-speaking South India, where Sri Vaisnavism is prominent to this day. He propounded the Vedantic philosophy known as Visistadvaita-vada, or qualified monism. The most famous among his numerous writings are his commentary on Vedanta (Sri Bhasya), his commentary on Bhagavad-gita, his Vedanta-Sara, and the Vedartha-Sangraha.

According to Sri Vaisnavas, Sri Ramanuja was an incarnation of Laksman himself. Since Laksmana had been a great devotee of Rama the boy soon became known as Rama-anuja (follower of Rama).

According to Sri Vaisnava tradition, Sri Ramanuja was born on the fifth day of the full moon in the month of Caitra in 1017 AD Sri Ramanuja's family belonged to the caste of Vadama smarta-brahmanas, who were formal Vedic scholars. Sri Ramanuja's father Kesavacarya was very much attached to the performance of Vedic sacrifices or yajnas. For this reason he became famous as Sarvakratu or the performer of all kinds of sacrifices. When the boy came of age, Kesavacarya immersed him in Sanskrit education, teaching him grammar, logic, and the Vedas. Although Sri Ramanuja was well-schooled in brahminical learning, however, he had not yet been exposed to the deeply devotional Tamil hymns glorifying Sri Visnu. Still, his natural devotion had already been awakened by association with a non-brahmana disciple of Sri Yamunacarya named Kancipurna, and Sri Ramnuja demonstrated a saintly nature even from his early childhood. As time passed he underwent all the purificatory rites of a pious Hindu, including the sacred thread ceremony and was married, at the age of sixteen.

Only a month after the wedding, Sri Ramanuja's father became gravely ill and passed away. After the passing of his father, Sri Ramanuja moved along with his family to Kancipuram, where he entered the academy of Yadava Prakasa, a Vedantist of the impersonalist Sankarite School. According to some commentators, the decision to enroll Sri Ramanuja in the school of a non-Vaisnava is evidence that his family was not strictly devoted to Visnu but were merely caste brahmanas interested in insuring that their son would become a good scholar. Others are convinced that this was merely Sri Ramanuja's strategy to become well-versed in the arguments of Sankaracarya before thoroughly refuting them in his own commentaries.

Sri Ramanuja soon excelled among the students of Yadava Prakasa and become his teacher's favorite student. Yadava Prakasa preached the theory of nondualism, and stressed the illusion of all form, including the form of Sri Visnu. As Sri Ramanuja's devotion to Visnu blossomed, his disgust with this philosophy grew. Still, out of respect for his teacher he avoided conflict.

Soon, however, the day arrived when he could no longer tolerate the impersonalism of Yadava Prakasa. One day Sri Ramanuja was massaging his guru's back as Yadava Prakasa explained a verse from the Candogya Upanishad. The verse contained the words kapyasam pundarikam evam aksini. Following the interpretation of Sankaracarya, Yadava Prakasa explained that kapy means "monkey" and asanam means "ass." Sri Ramanuja was enraged at this blasphemy, and the hot tears flowed which from his eyes in anguish fell upon his guru's back. Yadava Prakasa could understand that his disciple was disturbed, and inquired as to what the problem was. When Sri Ramanuja took issue with his guru's interpretation, Yadava Prakasa was astonished. He demanded Sri Ramanuja's interpretation. Sri Ramanuja explained that kapyasam means, "that which sits upon the water and flourishes by drinking,"

Sripad Ramanujacarya maharaja goswami prabhupad was one hundred and twenty years old. During his life he had established seventy-four centers for the Sri Vaisnavas and had many thousands of followers, including several kings and many wealthy land-owners. Apart from the householders, he numbered amongst his followers 700 sannyas disciples, 12,000 brahmacari disciples, and 300 ladies who had taken vows of renunciation. Eventually, seeing that his mission on earth was now completed, he decided to give up his frail body and return to the abode of the Lord. At this time Sri Ramanuja's disciples cried very loud and felt very emotionally disturbed. 


On hearing their cries, Sri Ramanujacarya came out of his trance and said to his disciples, "My dear children, why do you cry out in lamentation like un-educated people? Do you think this body can endure forever? Am I not fixed in your hearts for all time? Therefore, give up this useless wailing and under-stand the will of the Lord."

To this the disciples all replied, "0 master, as al-ways your instructions are perfect. Nonetheless, it is impossible for us to bear the pain of separation, which must surely overwhelm us if you leave us now." 

Sri Ramanuja showed them mercy and stayed three more days giving discourses on each of the following subjects: 

1. Everyday worship all the Vaisnavas and joyfully associate with them as you worship your Guru and with firm faith and remain steady in their service.

2. Study the scriptures with devotion and teach others whom are sincerely Interested.

3. Always chant with devotion the holy name and relish the form and qualities of the supreme lord.


When Sri Ramanuja had finished speaking, Da-sarathi, Govinda, Andhrapurna, and some of the other leading disciples came forward and made this request. ''Your body, which is fore ever engaged in the service of the Lord, can never be a product of matter. Our bodies are certainly temporary, but you exist only on the platform of spiritual life-Therefore, our request is that we never be deprived of the sight of your spiritual form."

Taking pity upon them, Sripad Ramanujacarya accepted their request and ordered that expert sculptors be brought there to carve a stone deity in his likeness. After three days the work was complete. Then the deity was bathed with water from the Kaveri and installed upon a newly constructed altar. Yatiraja then came slowly up to the deity and filled it with his potency by breathing into the crown of the head. Turning to the disciples, he said, "This is my second self. When I have cast off this body, you may worship this form instead of me."

Then he lay down with his head on Govindas lap. His feet on the lap of Andhrapurna. In this position, with his eyes fixed on the wooden shoes of his own spiritual master, Sripad Ramanujacarya gave up his body and returned to the abode of Lord Visnu. It was noontime on the tenth day of the bright moon fortnight in the month of Magha in the year 1059 of the Saka era (1137 A.D.). A few days later, Govinda, Sri Ramanuja's cousin and lifelong companion, also departed from this world.

The other devotees remained under the leader-ship of Sri Parasara Bhatta, the son of Kuresa, always endeavoring to follow in their master's footsteps by constantly serving Lord Narayana. By se-rious practice of devotional service, they were able to feel Sri Ramanuja's presence within their hearts; thus their intense feelings of separation were mitigated. Parasara continued the mission of Sri Ramanujacarya by strongly preaching the doc-trines of Vaisnavism. In a great debate he over-came Vedantin Madhava dasa, the leader of the impersonalist scholars, and made him into a devo-tee. Years later, after the disappearance of Para-sara, this same Madhava dasa became the acarya of the Sri Vaisnavas.

This is only a drop in an ocean of unlimited transcendental pastimes in relationship to this Great Vaisnava Acarya

Submitted for the pleasure of all sincere Vaisnava devotees of the lord Arijit das