srimathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srimadh varavaramunayE nama:
sri vAnAchala mahAmunayE nama:
eRumbi appA – kAnchIpuram appan swamy thirumALigai
thirunakshathram: ippasi, rEvathi
avathAra sthalam: eRumbi
AchAryan: azhagiya maNavALa mAmunigaL
sishyAs: periyavappA (his own son), sEnApathi AzhwAn
Works: pUrva dhinacharyai, uththara dhinacharyai, varavaramuni sathakam, vilakshaNa mOksha adhikAri nirNayam, last pAsuram of upadhEsa raththina mAlai (mannuyirgAL …)
eRumbiappA is one of the ashta-dik-gajangaL (eight primary disciples who were established to protect/develop our sampradAyam) of maNavALa mAmunigaL. His original name is dhEvarAjan.
While living and performing his dharmam at his village, eRumbiappA hears about maNavALa mAmunigaL and gets attracted towards him. This time period (of maNavALa mAmunigaL) is called NalladikkAlam (golden period) by our pUrvAchAryas. It is because of the fact that, during this period, srivaishnavas could uninterruptedly enjoy the kalyAna guNams (divine qualities) of emperumAn through our acharyas (mainly maNavALa mAmunigaL) without any disturbance from external forces. For example: During emperumAnAr’s time, he had to leave srirangam to go to thirunArAyaNapuram due to the disturbances from saiva king. During bhattar‘s time, he had to leave to thirukkOttiyur due to the disturbances from a disobedient king who was AzhwAn’s sishyan himself. During piLLai lOkAchAryar’s time, he had to leave srirangam to go to down south due to muslim invasion. But when maNavALa mAmunigaL arrived to sriranga he re-established the temple worship, revived the AchArya purushas and most importantly collected all the lost granthams and documented them properly. He was also constantly engaged in performing kAlakshEpams of aruLicheyal based on pUrvAchArya vyAkyAnams.
When eRumbiappA hears about maNavALa mAmunigaL‘s vaibhavam, he comes to srirangam to meet him. When he enters the mutt, mAmunigaL is explaining thiruvAimozhi 1st pAsuram – “uyarvara uyar nalam …”. eRumbiappA is mesmerized by the way mAmunigaL explains the great meanings of vEdham and vEdhAntham to explain emperumAn’s parathvam. After that mAmunigaL welcomes him and requests him to participate in the thadhiyArAdhanam. But eRumbiappA refuses to accept prasAdham at the mutt citing sAmAnya sAsthram which says one should not accept sannyAsi’s food, food from the plate of a sannyAsi and food that was sent by a sannyAsi – accepting this one has to do chAndhrAyaNa vratham. He did not realize the visEsha sAsthram like in thirumAlai 41st pAsuram – “tharuvarEl punidhamanRE” (if the great srivaishnavas mercifully give their prasAdham, it is very purifying and we should accept the same).
srI rAma parivAr – appA’s thiruvArAdhana perumAL (as seen in kAnchIpuram appan swamy thirumALigai)
When he returns to his home town, in the morning after completing his anushtAnams, he tries to open the kOvil AzhwAr (thiruvArAdhanam room) and his thiruvArAdhana perumAL chakkaravarthi thirumagan (sri rAman) does not let him open the doors. Out of sorrow and anxiety he does not take any food and goes to sleep. In his svapnam, chakkaravarthi thirumagan appears and instructs him to take shelter of maNavALa mAmunigaL. He says mAmunigaL is none other than AdhisEshan who took the avathAram of iLaya perumAL during rAmAvathAram. He says now mAmunigaL has appeared again to give benediction to the suffering samsAris. He instructs him to go and take shelter of mAmunigaL and develop proper thathva jnAnam. Hearing this eRumbiappA runs back to srirangam and with the purushakAram of kOil kandhAdai aNNan, he takes shelter of maNavALa mAmunigaL and eventually becomes one of the ashta-dik-gajangaL.
It is at this juncture (while taking shelter), he glorifies mAmunigaL’s daily activities through many slOkams which are compiled by him eventually as dhinacharyais.
eRumbiappA stays with mAmunigaL for some time, learns all the rahasya granthams and finally returns to his village and continues his kainkaryam there. He is constantly thinking about his AchAryan and compiles pUrva and uththara dhinacharyai (which summarizes mAmunigaL’s daily activities) and sends them to mAmunigaL through a srivaishnava. mAmunigaL is very pleased to see eRumbiappA’s nishtai and glorifies him. He also sends an invitation to eRumbiappA to come and visit him. eRumbiappA stays with his AchAryan for a while and participates in the bhagavath vishaya kAlakshEpam of mAmunigaL in front of namperumAL. He finally returns to his village again.
eRumbiappA hears the news about mAmunigaL reaching paramapadham and is filled with the sorrow of separation from his AchAryan. He glorifies the benedictions that was given to him by his AchAryan and prays to emperumAn to accept him also as soon as possible.
One of the most important contributions of eRumbiappA is “vilakshaNa mOksha adhikAri nirNayam”. This is a compilation of conversations between eRumbiappA and his sishyas like sEnApathi AzhwAn, etc. In this beautiful grantham eRumbiappA expertly clarifies many of the doubts that arises out of misunderstanding our AzhwAr/AchArya srisUkthis. The importance of developing vairAgyam in samsAram and attachment towards our pUrvAchArya’s jnAnam and anushtAnam and ourselves putting them into practice (without this being just theoretical knowledge) is greatly emphasized by him based on pUrvAchArya srisUkthis.
It is stated by our pUrvAchAryas that, one should not eat prasAdham without chanting pUrva and uththara dinacharyais (remembering the most exalted/uncomparable lifestyle of maNavALa mAmunigaL). It is such wonderful composition which makes even a stone melt after hearing these dinacharyais. The dinacharyais (text) can be downloaded in different languages from http://acharya.org/sloka/erumbiyappa/index.html.
Let us remember eRumbiappA who always remembers maNavALa mAmunigaL.
eRumbiappA’s thaniyan (pUrva/uththara dinacharayais thaniyan):
saumya jAmAthru yOgIndhra sharanAmbhuja shatpadham
dhEvarAja gurum vandhE dhivya jnAna pradham shubham
ஸௌம்ய ஜாமாத்ரு யோகீந்த்ர சரணாம்புஜ ஷட்பதம்
தேவராஜ குரும் வந்தே திவ்ய ஜ்ஞான ப்ரதம் சுபம்
adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan
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Sources: yathIndhra pravaNa prabhAvam, periya thirumudi adaivu, vilakshaNa mOksha adhikAri nirNayam