Rama Misra was the disciple of Uyyakondar, who in turn was
a disciple of the great Vaishnavite preceptor Nathamuni.
There is an incident in the life of Rama Misra which shows
his devotion to his Acharya and also shows us the best gift
one can have, said Akkarakkani Srinidhi in a discourse.
Uyyakondar’s wife departed from this world at a young
age, leaving behind her two young daughters. On the last day of the funeral rites, the girls had to be taken to the river for a bath and escorted back home.
Rama Misra was put in charge of the girls. But the path to
the river was slushy and if the girls went back the way they
had come their legs and clothes would get dirty. So Rama
Misra came up with an idea.
He lay prone on the muddy track and asked the girls to
step on him and make it across to the dry ground. The little
girls did accordingly. Rama Misra then hurried to
Uyyakondar’s house with the girls. Because he had allowed
the little girls to walk on his back and because their feet had left sandy imprints on his back, he was given the name
Manakkal (sandy footprints) Nambi.
His Acharya was moved by his disciple’s devotion and
whispered the dvaya mantra in his ears. This is a great gift
from an Acharya to his disciple. Ramanujacharya has stated
that while kings chewed edible camphor to while away their
time, Sri Vaishnavas spent their time reciting the dvaya
Vedanta Desika has observed that nothing is superior to
the dvaya mantra. It ensures our welfare and that is why it is called mantra ratna — the gem among mantras. So Manakkal Nambi could not have been blessed with a greater gift than this by his Acharya.