The guru-sishya parampara is a powerful link to keep the
generations of posterity connected to the spiritual
tradition. The sishya tries to imbibe the teachings of the
acharya by assiduous study and dedicated striving.
But it is seen that inexplicable are the ways in which
devotion, yearning to get initiated, and transmission of
jnana, etc, take root in the consciousness of disciples,
pointed out Sri M. V. Anantapadmanabhachariar in a
discourse. Though Alavandar and Ramanuja did not meet,
the Visishtadvaita philosophy that Alavandar had
consolidated found in Ramanuja a most capable sishya
who could establish it firmly on a strong footing.
Likewise, though separated from Ramanuja by a gap of
250 years, Vedanta Desika is steeped in Ramanuja bhakti
and he attributes all his knowledge and devotion to this
acharya. His reverence and admiration for Ramanuja,
whom he often refers to as Yatiraja, finds excellent
expression in his work Yatiraja Saptati. It is the tribute of a
disciple to his acharya, by whom he was inspired and
initiated into the vast ocean of Vaishnava tradition. As if to
make up for not having the privilege of direct discipleship
with Ramanuja, he creates a situation in his play Sankalpa
Suryodhaya, in which he takes up the role of a disciple to
the illustrious Ramanuja.
In the hymn Gopala Vimsati, he sings in ecstasy about
the efulgent form of Krishna. He seems to wonder how
this captivating form of the Lord got indelibly etched in his
heart. He attributes this undying love for the Lord as the
grace of the Ramanuja’s upadesa, which has not only
inculcated sastra jnana but also bhakti which gives mukti.
Sastra knowledge fails in its purpose if it does not generate
true devotion and God experience