we pay obeisance to Sri Ramanuja, the Vaishnavate celebrity of
immaculate fame and inimitable humanism, who lived in 12th century.
Credit goes to him for making, once a small shrine into a unique
Vaishnava temple with traditions new and prayer services reformed.
The story goes that Yadavaraja, the local king invited him to settle
a dispute between the Saivites and Vaishnavites about the nature of
icon-para-siva or para-vishnu. Although celebrated scholars argued
for days, ii; remained a hard nut, and the decision inconclusive,
but both the parties agreed to abide by Ramanuja's arbitration, and
to his proposition of leaving the choice to the Lord of selecting
from among the weapons placed before the Lord, if He selects disc
and conch, He is Vishnu, and the temple goes to Vaishnavates for
administration, and if He chooses trident and dhamaru, He is Siva
and the administration must be entrusted to Saivates. Surprisingly
enough, on the next day the Lord was found adorning with disc and
conch. So the Vaishnavates won the case.
Ramanuja soon undertook the Herculean task of introducing gigantic
sweeping changes right from the form and decoration of archamurthi
-Srinivasa to the minutest ritual to be observed in and out of
Garbhagriha. He regularised and fixed norms in the conduct of
nithyanaimithika services to the Lord according to Ananda Samhita
Vaikhanasa Agama. He left nothing untouched, and everything with his
Midas touch started shining brighter than brightness, and divinity
overflowed from every object held dear to the Lord. Frankly
speaking, but for him the glory of the Lord could not spread all
over the globe, nor the unending influx of pilgrims visited round
the year, nor the unaccountable wealth overflowing the underground
vaults, as it is observed today. He is an incarnation of Adisesha-the
Lord's couch in Vaikunta. And hence deserves a separate, special,
stately shrine, occupying a significant place in the Lord's sannidhi
itself. After due prayers to that immortal architect of Lord's of
ethereal glory, we enter the main shrine through the Southern gate.
We are now in the sixteen pillared Mantapa called Tirumani Mantap
containing a big bell and hundi to our left and. right sides. Near
the golden gate are installed the huge statues of Jaya-Vijaya, the
sentinels of the Lord, the craftsmanship of each is impressive and
venerable. Crossing the portal we find ourselves in Sayana Mantap.
Adjacent to this lie Ramar Mandap and Sayana Mantap. Beyond this
lies the august Garbhagriha enshrining the six-foot-high-image of