THIRUKOLUR PEN PILLAI RAGASIYAM -40


Below is the translation to Veda Paati's story, narrated in tamil, available in below platforms:

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Did I get the slippers of Ramanuja for worship like Kongil piratti



“Dear Swami, let me now tell you the story of the simple, but strongly devoted lady, Sumathi! She is one who was so devoted to her Guru, Swami RAmAnujA. Do listen on!”, said the child of Tirukolur, yet again forgetting that she was speaking to Swami RAmAnujA himself!


In the Kongu region of Western Tamil Nadu, there lived a lady called Sumathi. Sumathi was living happily with her husband and his family.


Once there was a serious drought in Kongu. Lack of food and water made the place inhabitable. To escape this, Sumathi and her husband moved to Srirangam to stay with Sumathi’s relatives.


In Srirangam just then, Swami Ramanuja had set up a Mutt. Swami preached and guided His Sishyas and visitors in the right spiritual path. Many devotees were attracted towards this Mutt and Swami Ramanuja, and had started contributing financially and physically, and thus the Mutt flourished.

Swami Ramanuja, being a saint, would only consume food that he obtains through alms from 7 houses. This puzzled Sumathi. “Why would Swami go to such lengths to get food while he can easily have it prepared in the Ashram itself?


The Ashram is flourishing, after all!”, she thought to herself. Unable to contain her curiosity, One day, she posed this question to EmperumAnAr himself. To that he replied, “One who is a saint, has many disciplines and rules to follow.


One of which is to only eat what is provided as alms from 7 homes.”. The pure hearted Sumathi posed another question, “Oh Swami, what then do you do for those of your followers who come to the Ashram? Those who prostrate at your feet and offer prasad?”.


“I offer them guidance in the Sampradaya and preach good values, this is my duty”, he answered. The enthusiastic Sumathi then asked “Swami, what then will you offer me?”. With that, Ramanuja taught Sumathi the divine Ashtakshara Mantra.

Soon after, in the Kongu region, rains fell again, and life was slowly moving back to normalcy. Sumathi and her husband got prepared to travel back home.


“Swami, I am returning home to Kongu. However, before I go, could you please teach me the AshtAkshara MantrA again? I seem to have forgotten!”.


The kindhearted Acharyan not only taught her the Mantra again, but also gave her His ThirupAdukAs (divine sandals). What a bhAgyam! Children, shall we call Sumathi, Kongu PirAtti from now, since she was blessed by RAmAnujAchAryA ?



As soon as Kongu PirAtti reached home, she started to do Puja for the ThirupAdukAs of her AchAryan. Her mother-in-law and sister-in-law were not very devout, and so she placed the ThirupAdukAs in the loft and did her PujAs there.


One day Kongu PirAtti’s in-laws got curious about her activities. They questioned her about it and she explained to them the entire story. Realizing the greatness of the pAdukAs and of AchAryan, they let her offer her respects in the home and place the ThirupAdukAs at home.


As time passed, Kongu PirAtti yearned to see AchAryan. At that time, the King who ruled Srirangam was a SozhA King. He was a devotee of Lord Shiva. He tried to convert all Vaishnavas into Shaivas, and those who did not convert were tortured. Worried about the safety of their AchAryan, the disciples of Swami Ramanuja urge Swami to disguise himself and escape with them. EmperumAnAr and His entourage walk for 7 long days through dense forests, before landing in Kongu.

In fact, they end up outside the home of our Kongu PirAtti! When she came out of her home, she asked her guests where they were from. When they said that they were from Srirangam, she immediately asked about her AchAryan and His wellbeing.


She conveyed to them the story of her short stay in Srirangam and the blessings that she received from AchAryan through his Thiruvadi and Mantra Upadesa! She then showed them His Thiruvadi.

The silent AchAryan, who was in disguise, gestured to His sishyAs confirming that those pAdukAs were indeed His!


One of the sishyAs then playfully asked, “Oh Mother! Can you tell who among us is RAmAnujAchAryA?”. Pirati brought a lamp with her, since it was dark and observed all her guests’ feet, and lo and behold! She found Her AchAryan. Her joy knew no bounds! She prepared prasadam for all her guests and her beloved Guru and paid respects to Him in the appropriate manner.


“Have I earned such bhAgyam to serve PrasAdam to my own guru like Kongu Pirati did?” bemoaned Thirukolur Pen Pillai! SwAmi RAmAnujA smiled to himself, fondly remembering his Sishya and this incident that took place in Kongu!


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