Sreemathey Ramanujaya Namaha
Sreemadh Varavara Munaye Namaha
Sree Venkata Gurave Namaha
Respected Bhagavatha Bandhus,
No 74 a two digit number, occupies a significant place in our sath sampradhayam, Mere words from human mouth cannot speak the significance of the number, but this neechan could list a few
1) Swamy Ramanuja had appointed 74 simhasanathipathis to propagate and safeguard Sri Vaishnava Darsanam. (Here it means Swami Ramanuja had appointed 74 acharyas for Darsana Nirvaham)
“Lakshmi Naathaakya sinthau sadaribu jalathahaa praapya kaarunya neeram!
Naathaa thraavap Kshinjan thathanu raguvaraam boja shaksur jalaabyaam!!
Gathvathaam yaamunaagyam saridamath yatheenthragya bathmaagaraenthraam!
Sampoorya praani sasyae pravahatha bahoothaa desikenthra pramegaihi.”!!
Goes a sloka from Guruparampara which means the following
Lakshmi Nathan is a huge ocean. Nammazhwar is a cloud.
This black cloud Aazhwar took the water (gnanam/knowledge) from the ocean showered it as the rain (paasurams) on the hills. Hill is referred to Swami Nathamunigal. The water comes down as two water falls, water falls is referred to Swami Uyyakkondaar and Swami Mannakkaal Nambi this water fall reached the big river called Sri Aalavandaar. Then the water got accumulated in a lake. This Lake is referred to Swami Ramanuja. From the lake the water is distributed through 74 channels.
These 74 channels referred to are referred to 74 Simhasanthipathis who were selected by Swami Ramanuja to spread Sri Vaishnava Sampradhaym. Thus Guruparampara signifies, that the mercy from the Lord reached all Chetanas through 74 Simhasanathipathis.
2)It is also significant to note that Veeranam Lake has 74 outlets. Our Poorvacharyas interpret that the 74 outlets of the lake, depict the 74 simhasnathipathis appointed by Swami Ramanuja (Veeranam lake is very close to Kattu Mannar Koil, the birth place of the great acharya Nada Muni & his grand son Aalavandhar, now hope we understand the link!!!)
3)Swamy Manavala Mamunigal who became acharya to the Lord himself, lived in this bhoolokam for a period of 74 years, Swamy’s birth was in the month of Iypassi Moolam in the year 1370 and avathara samapthi was in the month of Maasi Krishna Paksha Dwadasi in the year 1443.
4)Upadesa Ratinamala a work of Mamunigal which gives us all the details of Alwars Acharyas & their works is also of 74 stanzas (Here it is important to note, that Swamy Manavala Mamunigal composed only 73 stanzas giving respect to Swamy Ramanuja and not to create a work (numbering) equal to the number 74 (simhasnathipathis appointed by Swamy) so stopped by composing 73 stanzas, but his sishya and one of the ashtadiggajams Sri Erumbiappa composed the 74 th stanza & appealed to Lord Ranganatha and requested him to accept the same as a result of Lord’s command, the following stanza was included in Upadesa Ratinamala
"mannuyir_kAL ingE maNavALa mAmunivan * senkamalappOthukaLai * - unnis siraththAlE theeNdil amAnavanum nammai * karaththAlE theeNdal kadan "
Meaning :- "Oh Mumukshus (one who desire for Moksham taking Mamunigal's Lotus Feet on our head(that is taking refugee in the Lotus feet of Mamunigal) will definitely lead us to the touch/blessings of "Amanavan (which is a pre-requisite/ mandatory for entrance into Sri Vaikuntam" Here Vyakyanam is said that Amanavan considers himself blessed, to touch the adiyars,who had taken refugee in the thiruvadi of Manvala Mamunigal
5)Yathiraja Sapthathi is a work of 74 verses by Swamy Desikan on Swamy Ramanuja.
6)Swami Ramanuja @ the age of 74 became acharya to Thirukkurungudi Nambi/The Lord of Thirukkurungudi who came to known be as “Vaishnava Nambi” (since the lord considered him as “Sri Vaishnava” after taking Swamy Ramanuja as his acharya and at this age Swamy founded the Thirukkurungudi Jeeyar Mutt to look after the nithya kainkaryam of Sri Vaishnava Nambi.
(The following is the intresting episode how the Lord of Thirukurungudi came to known as Sri Vaishnava Nambi Swami Emperumanar came to Thirukkurungudi as a part of “Digvijaya” thereby spreading the Vishishtadvaita Siddhanta across the globe and to perform managalasasanam to the lord Sri Nambi. As Swami Ramanuja penetrated into the sanctorum of Lord Nambi, it was an amazing experience for everyone gathered at the place that the Lord Nambi breaking his archa Samadhi (Archa Samadhi -Not showing the eternal body to the human beings in the idol form) questioned swami Ramanuja, how it was possible to convert these ignorant human beings as Sri Vaishnava’s. Lord Nambi said that he took so many avatar’s previously but only a few reached his divine lotus feet. (Bhanumi Me vyatheetaani janma janmani tava ca arjuna – Lord Krishna said Arjuna in Bhagvad Gita that he took so much births). But the Lord Nambi was curious in knowing how could such innumerable beings surrendered under lotus feet if Swami Ramanuja. Inferring the thoughts of Lord Nambi, he said that “Lord!, if you appear in the required form I would say disclose the secrecy”. Lord Nambi commanded his devotees to offer a Ratna Simhasana (Honorable throne offered to great persons) to Swami Ramauja. Soon responding to Swami Ramanuja’s reply, he acquired a form of a disciple and stood near him. Swami Ramanuja meditated his acharya Periya Nambi and assumed him to be present at the place. Then Swami Ramanuja whispired the greatest mantra “Thirumantra” in the ears of Lord Nambi thereby he attained a honorable title “Srivaishnava Nambi” and exposed Swami Ramanuja as his acharya to the world. Also Lord Nambi conferred that he possess the relationship of Swami Ramanuja and said “Naamum nam Ramanusan udayom”. Till date the honorable throne (Ratna Simhasana ) is preserved at the sanctorum of Thirukkurungudi .)
Adiyen Ramanuja Dasan