Excited at the prospects of getting a vast treasure, Yamunacharya decided to go along with his entire army to fetch it. Manakkal Nambi discouraged Yamunacharya from going along with his army and said, “That island is very sacred and the treasure will be revealed only to those who deserve to see it. Therefore, it is appropriate for you to accompany me alone.”
Accordingly, Yamunacharya instructed his ministers to take care of the kingdom in his absence before discreetly leaving the palace along with Manakkal Nambi in disguise. After walking for some distance, Manakkal Nambi and Yamunacharya decided to rest for the day as night was approaching. After finishing his ablutions and having his supper along with Yamunacharya, Manakkal Nambi started to chant the verses of Bhagavad-gita. Yamunacharya was captivated by the melody of the verses and the profound philosophical thoughts enshrined in them. The message of Gita started to stir the heart and soul of Yamunacharya, who was lost in material pursuits despite being a highly learned scholar, due to his kingly duties, and rekindle his spiritual consciousness.
Yamunacharya started to request Manakkal Nambi not to stop his chanting and to explain the purport of the verses of Gita. Manakkal Nambi was happy to see his plan working and the inner transformation that was happening in Yamunacharya. He started to chant one chapter a day and explain its meaning to Yamunacharya who started to lament for having wasted his valuable human life in material pursuits due to his ignorance. At times, Yamunacharya used to curse himself for being attached to the material pleasures, wife, kingdom, children, etc, and regret for having wasted thirty five years of his life without meeting an enlightened person like Manakkal Nambi. They both, thus, reached the outskirts of Sri Rangam on the eighteenth evening and Manakkal Nambi had by then revealed the first seventeen chapters of the Bhagavad-gita.
On the eighteenth evening, Manakkal Nambi started chanting the verses from the eighteenth chapter of Bhagavad-gita and explaining their purports to Yamunacharya. Even before Manakkal Nambi could explain Charma Shloka (66th verse of the eighteenth chapter of Bhagavad-gita), Yamunacharya had lost all his material desires and was totally renounced. Manakkal Nambi started to explain the Charma Shloka, which reads, “Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.” Yamunacharya started to cry and requested Manakkal Nambi to accept him as a disciple and also expressed his determination to renounce everything to pursue his spiritual life.
Such was the impact of Bhagavad-gita on Yamunacharya. Just by listening to the chanting of Bhagavad-gita and discourses on it from an exalted devotee only once, Yamunacharya lost his hankering for material pleasure. He was willing to renounce everything including his kingdom, wife and four children and accept the renounced order of life to serve the Lord. Manakkal Nambi was very pleased to see Yamunacharya’s state and told him that they had come close to the island where the family treasure bequeathed to Yamunacharya by Natha Muni was hidden.
Manakkal Nambi also told Yamunacharya that he would show him the treasure the following day. Yamunacharya who was totally renounced by then told him that he did not need the treasure as he wanted to renounce everything and surrender to the Lord. However, Manakkal Nambi requested Yamunacharya to relieve him of the responsibility entrusted by Natha Muni by accepting the treasure and retired for the day. Yamunacharya could not sleep the entire night as he was contemplating on the message of Gita, particularly on the meaning of the Charma Shloka and spent the entire night crying.
Manakkal Nambi took Yamunacharya to the banks of Cauvery very early in the morning and both of them finished their ablutions. Manakkal Nambi showed the island formed by the waters of Cauvery in the south and its tributary Kollidam in the north and said, “That is the island in which the family treasure bequeathed by your grandfather is hidden. It lies within the seven walls of that temple of the Lord.” Both Yamunacharya and Manakkal Nambi crossed the river and reached the island and started to walk towards the temple.
Let us know about the treasure that was bequeathed by Natha Muni in the next post.