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The Sri Vaishnava sect has two sub-sects, Thenkalai and Vadakalai. Vadakalais follow the teachings of Vedanta Desikan, whereas Thenkalais follow the teachings of Pillai Lokacharya and Manavala Mamunigal. My question is about Manavala Mamunigal. He was a 14th century Acharya considered by Thenkalais to be an incarnation of Vishnu's serpent Adiseshan and a rebirth of Ramanujacharya. Here is how this webpage describes him:

Picture of Manavala Mamunigal

After some time periya perumAL orders AdhisEshan to re-appear in this samsAram to bring many jIvAthmAs to paramapadham. thiruvananthAzhwAn accepts his swamy’s orders and takes birth as azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr (who eventually becomes azhagiya maNavALa mAmunigaL) as the son of thigazha kidanthAn thirunAvIrudaya pirAn (coming in the lineage of gOmadathAzhwAn who was one of the 74 simhAsanAdhipathis established by emperumAnAr [Ramanujacharya]) and sriranga nAchiAr on ippasi thirumUlam in AzhwAr thirunagari.

I'm interested in the part in bold. My question is, what is the story of Ramanujacharya's shishya Gomadathalwan, ancestor of Manavala Mamunigal?

Here is all this list of Ramanujacharya's shishya says:

GOMATHAARYA ( GOMATATHU AAZHWAAN) bore the bowl and slippers of his master.

But what is Gomadathalwan's background, how did he become Ramanujacharya's shishya, and how did he get the rare opportunity to Ramanujacharya's bowl and slippers?

  • How come rAmAnuja be reborn if he already attained mukti ? – Rakesh Joshi Apr 2 '18 at 13:05
  • @RakeshJoshi Ramanujacharya was not a Baddha Jiva in need of Moksha, he was an incarnation who came to Earth out of compassion, and thus was perfectly capable of coming back to Earth. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 2 '18 at 15:55
  • no incarnation was of adi shesha. You can say adi shehsa incarnated again and not rAmAnuja incarnated cos he already atrained kaivalyam ? – Rakesh Joshi Apr 2 '18 at 16:11
  • @RakeshJoshi Yes, Ramanujacharya was an incarnation of Adiseshan (who is himself Vishnu's Vyuha form Sankarshana). So the idea is that Adiseshan came to the Earth as Ramanujacharya and then came back to the Earth as Manavala Mamunigal. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 2 '18 at 17:49
  • yes so it maybe correct to say adi shesh came as ramanuja and again as xyz rather than saying rAmAnuja born again. It would mean that he didn't attain merge with god. – Rakesh Joshi Apr 2 '18 at 17:50

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