Govinda overheard Yadava Prakasha and his disciples discussing their plans to kill Ramanuja. Govinda liked Ramanuja more than anybody else and wanted to save him at any cost. Govinda stealthily accompanied Ramanuja when he was going to wash his hands and told him about Yadava Prakasha’s evil intentions. Govinda also asked Ramanuja to escape from there as Yadava Prakasha and his trusted disciples were getting ready to kill him and went back to join Yadava Prakasha to avoid any suspicion. Ramanuja was shocked to know about Yadava Prakasha’s intentions and did not know what to do. He was confused and shocked. As Govinda had already left he did not have anybody to help or guide him out of the forest. After pondering on various possibilities, he finally decided to follow Govinda’s advice and escaped into the thick jungle.
As Ramanuja was missing, Yadava Prakasha and his disciples started to search for him in the vicinity. As they could not find Ramanuja, they thought that some wild animal might have killed him and saved them from incurring the sin of killing a Brahmana. They also thought that Ramanuja might not find his way back even if he had lost the way as the fierce animals that lived in the forest would kill him. Though they were very happy at the disappearance of Ramanuja, Yadava Prakasha and his disciples acted as if they were overcome by sorrow to fool Govinda and continued their journey.
As Ramanuja was a stranger to the forests he got lost very soon. He did not know where to go and what to do. In his efforts to escape from Yadava Prakasha he had run and walked briskly for a very long time. He was exhausted and his legs started aching. As the sun was setting, he decided to rest under a tree for sometime and to explore the possibilities of finding his way back to Kanchipuram. Ramanuja was terrified when he heard fierce howls and other sounds of animals and birds. However, his fear vanished when he started thinking of the Supreme Lord who is present everywhere and decided to surrender everything to Him. His exhaustion overpowered him and made him sleep very soon and all his fears vanished. Ramanuja’s body was aching all over when he woke up the next morning and he was feeling very hungry. He neither knew how to gather food in the forest nor the way to go back. He was totally confused.
All of a sudden, Ramanuja saw a fowler coming along with His wife towards him from a distance. Seeing the dark complexion and fearful mien of the fowler, Ramanuja became nervous. He could not move from there due to his body pain. The fowler’s wife came closer to Ramanuja and said, “You seem to come from a family of worshipful Brahmins. What are you doing here, have you lost your way? Not many people come here even during day time as this place is swarming with wild animals.”
Ramanuja’s nervousness vanished after listening to the kind words spoken by the fowler’s wife. Ramanuja said, “I am from a very distant town called Kanchipuram. We were going on a pilgrimage to the Ganges and I lost my way. I want to go back to Kanchipuram and I don’t know the way.”
The fowler’s wife told Ramanuja that they were going on a pilgrimage to Rameshwaram through Kanchipuram to wash away the sins committed by them and asked Ramanuja to join them till Kanchipuram. Ramanuja became very happy and started thanking the Lord for sending him help in the form of the fowler and his wife. Seeing Ramanuja’s state, the fowler brought him some fruits and water. Ramanuja accompanied the fowler couple after satisfying his hunger with fruits.
We will reveal how Ramanuja reached Kanchipuram in the next post.