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Sri Ranga Gadyam - Importance

Sri Ranga Gadyam is the second among the three short prose works (gadya traya) of Acharya Ramanuja. It is a prayer to Lord Ranganatha to accept one as His eternal servant. The other two works of Ramanuja are Saranagati Gadyam and Vaikunta Gadyam.

The three short prose works are of great cultural importance. They were composed before the divine couple Lord Ranganatha and Ranganayaki (Mahalakshmi) at the Srirangam Temple. Ramanuja surrendered himself to them and felt a mystic experience.

Sri Ranga Gadyam is shorter than the others, a follow-up of the first. It consists of seven aphorisms.

The first aphorism deals with upeya (end to be attained), and the second describes upaya (means to that end). The first stipulates that service (kainkarya) unto the divine couple is the end (upeya) and the second affirms that the jivatma (individual self) should seek refuge at the feet of Narayana through the mediatrix, Mahalakshmi (upaya).

The aphorisms state that animate and inanimate beings owe their form and activity to God, who controls them. The Lord is free from all afflictions and is above the results of both good and bad actions. He is the foremost of the trinity. He is the Parabrahman, the all-pervasive Purushottama.

Such a Supreme Lord descended to this world and took his abode at Srirangam, so that all humanity could worship Him and do kainkarya (serving Him) at His lotus feet.

Ramanuja gives an account of how his self (atmaswarupa) shone in brilliance anew. He takes pride in becoming His eternal servant. He yearns to do all types of services for Him at all times and at all places.

History of Visishitaadvaita Literature (1979) – V K N S Raghavan – Delhi Ajanta Publications