In accordance with Lord Ranganatha’s advice, Mahapurna and others deputed Vararanga, a very good devotee and a great singer, to bring Ramanuja to Sri-Rangam. Vararanga reached Kanchipuram and with the blessings of Kanchipurna, started to serve Lord Varadaraja and sing the glories of the Lord melodiously with devotion whenever he got an opportunity to do so. Being pleased with Vararanga’s services, Lord Varadaraja offered him a boon through Kanchipurna. Vararanga became very happy as soon as Kanchipurna told him about Lord Varadaraja’s benediction. Vararanga immediately requested the Lord to send Ramanuja to Sri-Rangam to carry forward the legacy of Yamunacharya. As Lord Varadaraja was very fond of Ramanuja He was reluctant to send Ramanuja and started to repent for having offered boons without any foresight. Lord Varadaraja once again asked Vararanga if he would ask for anything other than sending Ramanuja to Sri-Rangam and Vararanga was not willing to ask for anything else. As Lord Varadaraja had already given His word He asked Kanchipurna to tell Ramanuja about whatever happened. As soon as Kanchipurna told everything to Ramanuja, he offered his obeisance to Lord Varadaraja and left for Sri-Rangam along with Vararanga.
Earlier, when Ramanuja had visited Sri-Rangam he did not have the darshan of Lord Ranganatha as he was angry with the Lord for taking Yamunacharya away from this planet. However, this time, Ramanuja first went to the temple after reaching Sri-Rangam and had the darshan of Lord Ranganatha before going to Yamunacharya’s monastery. Some of the senior disciples of Yamunacharya including Mahapurna, Thiruvaranga Perumal Ariyar and Dasharathi entrusted Ramanuja the responsibility of taking care of the Math.
During some festivities, the deities of Lord Varadaraja and His consort, Lakshmi, were receiving some services till very late in the night and all of a sudden a screeching sound was heard from a distance. Mother Lakshmi asked Lord Varadaraja about the sound. Kanchipurna, who was fanning the Lord, said, “This is the sound of Sri-Vatsanka Mishra’s house gates. Everyday his house gates close only after serving food to every poor man who visits his house at Kura village. That kind hearted man has been serving the poor in the region by providing them food, medicine and other things whenever necessary.”
Being pleased with Sri-Vatsanka Mishra, mother Lakshmi asked Kanchipurna to invite Mishra to the temple. Mishra is more popular as Kuresha as he was the head of Kura village. As directed by mother Lakshmi, Kanchipurna went to Kuresha’s house and Kuresha was overjoyed to see Kanchipurna at his doorsteps. Kuresha received Kanchipurna with great respect and did everything possible to make him comfortable. After narrating everything that had happened the previous night, Kanchipurna said, “Mother Lakshmi is pleased with you and She has asked me to invite you to the temple.”
Kuresha was shocked to know that the sound of his house gates attracted the divine couple’s attention. He got up from his seat, offered his obeisance to Kanchipurna and said, “Sir, mother Lakshmi is merciful by nature and, therefore, She has invited me to the temple, though I am not qualified to see Her. Being endowed with wealth, I have led the life of a sinner. My wealth has made me proud and egoistic. I have to cleanse myself even before I can think of going to mother Lakshmi’s presence. Please tell mother that I will come and see Her after having cleansed myself.”
Kuresha convinced Kanchipurna that he was not qualified to go to the presence of mother Lakshmi and sent Kanchipurna back to Kanchipuram. Immediately after Kanchipurna returned to Kanchipuram, Kuresha distributed all his wealth among the needy and decided to go to Sri-Rangam to become a disciple of Ramanuja as he had great respect for Ramanuja from the day he came to know about him. Kuresha’s dutiful wife, Andal, followed him without even uttering a word of protest when he started his journey to Sri-Rangam after having renounced an opulent living.
We will reveal more about Ramanuja and Kuresha in the next post..