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Gadyatrayam of Sri Ramanuja

Gadyatrayam is the name of three hymns in Sanskrit prose composed by Sri Ramanujacharya (1017-1137 AD). The text is the narration of a conversation said to have been taken place one night between a saint and the presiding deities of the Srirangam Temple. The presiding deities of Srirangam Temple are Sri Ranganatha (Narayana) and his consort Ranganayaki (Sri or Lakshmi). God is identified as Narayana in Ramanuja’s non-dualistic philosophy.

The three hymns are:
  1. Saranagati Gadyam
  2. Sriranga Gadyam
  3. Vaikunta Gadyam
Gadyatrayam is recited daily by Srivaishnavas (followers of Ramanuja).

In Saranagati Gadyam (hymn of surrender to God), Sri Ramanuja first invokes the grace of Sri to make him fit for surrender. Then he seeks from Narayana his elevation to the state of a superior devotee. The Lord gives assurance of beatitude, as he is resolved to redeem anyone who surrenders unto him. According to a commentator, this hymn is an explanation of the saranagati mantra (sacred formula of surrender).

In Sriranga Gadyam, Ramanuja surrenders to Ranganatha, seeking his acceptance as his eternal servant.

Vaikunta Gadyam is a description of Vaikuntha, the abode of Narayana. One is expected to meditate on this after the act of surrender.

In Gadyatrayam, Ramanuja emphasizes:
  • The transcendental majesty of God, who is both the object and the means, of man’s salvation
  • The necessity of acknowledging man’s utter subservience to and total dependence on God
  • God’s abundant and unconditional grace.
Some of the important commentaries of Gadyatrayam were written by
  • Periyavachan Pillai (12th century AD)
  • Vedanta Desika (1288 – 1389 AD)
  • Sudarshana Suri (14th Century AD).
Source - Notes taken from Encyclopedia Of Hinduism Volume IV published by IHRF