lakshmI nAtha samArambhAm nAthayAmuna madhyamAm …..


Kazhiyur Varadan:

As Lord Narayana came here as ‘Mannan’ to take the hand of Mahalakshmi and later asked Nathamuni to share the Divya Prabandham and the Vaishnava Sampradayam to the world at large, he was referred to as ‘ Kattum’ ‘Mannan- Aanaar’ (the Lord who came as a king and later presented the entire prabandham through Nathamuni). In course of time, Kattum Mannan-Aanaar became Kattu Mannar.

Originally posted on kazhiyur varadan's web blog:

lakshmI nAtha samArambhAm nAthayAmuna madhyamAm |…..

The above sloka …. reverberates in all srivaishnava temples and homes glorifying the rich sampradaya we have inherited from our poorvacharyas who have given us .

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Sriman Nathamunigal and Sri Alavandar, the two great acharyas who have been pillars to Srivaishnava sampradayam, took their avatara at Kattumannar koil, which is 25 kms from Chidambaram in Cuddalore district of Tamil nadu, South India. Kattumannarkoil (situated on the banks of the vast Veeranam Lake) hallowed by the birth of these Acharyas is the only place with magnificent temples dedicated to Sriman Nathamunigal and Sri Alavandar. Sriman Nathamunigal and Sri Alavandar were the pioneering and foremost Acharyas of Srivaishnavism.

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Nathamuni, who mastered himself in Vedas at a young age, was very attached to Veera Narayana Perumal and spent most of his time performing daily poojas for the Lord here. One day, during his pilgrimage to Thirukudanthai (…

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A Unique school of learning


A    man inspired with Azhwars Divya Prabhandam  wanted to learn Nammazhwars Tiruvaimozhi .He proceeded to Swamy Nanjeeyars Ashram and was waiting for swamy’s audience . He was fortunate to be called immediately . Nanjeeyar was pleased with the man’s interest . Nanjeeyar  without any  thought , directed him to his disciple Nampillai.

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The man was a bit  hesitant as he had come seeking spiritual instructions from  Nanjeeyar only,  as he was told by his friends about Nanjeeyar scholarship  and  had great regard for him . Though  elderly , he was ready to fall at  Nanjeeyar’s  feet and learn from him rather than  to fall at his disciple  Nampillai’s feet.

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Nanjeeyar calmed the seeker and told him  at no point of time  he has to  fall at Nampillai’s feet.  Nanjeeyar  called  Nampillai his foremost disciple and said ,Child , You need to teach this gentlemen Nammazhwars Thirumozhi .Please see that he is comfortable both in mind and action when you teach him .

 Nanjeeyar also told Nampillai that this class shall be a bit different as you shall be seated  on the floor and teach this gentlemen who will be seated on a chair . The great disciple he was , obeyed Acharyars command with cheerful smile . Nampillai welcomed the new student with respects to the class .

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The lessons began, and as instructed by Nanjeeyar, Nampillai  obediently sat on the floor, while the student sat on a chair.  The classes was conducted with lot of respect to the student . As the classes progressed, the student felt very bad about being seated on a chair, while his  young teacher sat on the floor.  One day , he got up with tears  and fell at Swamy Nampillais lotus feet like an uprooted tree with tears for his foolish behaviour .He pleaded Swamy to be seated on chair .

Surprisingly  for him , Swamy Nampillai said he would no longer teach him. The reason given by Nampillai was that he had been asked by Nanjeeyar to sit on the floor and instruct the student. Now if he were asked to sit on a chair, he could not teach, because that was not what his acharya had expected from him . Thus Nampillai not only was humble enough to sit on the floor and teach he was also always obedient to his preceptor. Later , the student approached Nanjeeyar with tears apologising for his foolish act .He pleaded Nanjeeyar to be allowed to attend Swamy Nampillai’s class along with other students as a true disciple .Nanjeeyar agreed and once again the student happily attended the classes sitting on the floor .

 A similar incident happened in the  days of Swamy Ramanuja . There was a learned scholar who wanted to know few esoteric truths from Kooratazhvan. He was a most influential person in the Kingdom . Almost an advisor to the Royal family .

Knowing about Koorathazhwans humility and great knowledge , he approached him for clearing his doubts . He said , the whole kingdom knows that I am a  scholar and advisor to the Royal family but I do not want anyone to know about my doubts .

Both of them decided the classes would begin from the next day near the shores of the river . Kooratazhvar humbly suggested that the man sit on a chair  and Koorathazhwan sat on the floor as If he was learning from the scholar .  The moment they heard someone approach, the man could hand the book over to Kooratazhvar, and the visitor would think Kooratazhvar was the student, which was why he was seated on the floor!

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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Characteristics of a srivaishnava as told by Swamy Nanjeeyar


Swamy  Nampillai was the fourteenth Acharya in  the  prestigious Guruparampara lineage  of Srivaishnava sampradaya .

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One day Swamy Nampillai asked his Acharya Nan Jeeyar the most relevant question of present day.  He submitted  to his  Acharyar  humbly  and asked Swamin !! How can  one confirm that  he  has  the  qualities  of  a srivaishnava ? Nanjeeyar was a  chosen disciple of Swamy Parasra Bhattar  and naturally possessed all the divine knowledge from his Acharyar  .

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Nanjeeyar replied ! My child  If a person  undoubtedly  believes that  Lord Sriman Narayana in his Archa form gracing us in the temples and house  does possess all  supreme powers as in Srivaikunta Loka, He can count to be  one among   a Srivaishnava  . Our  Azhwars  were  possessing that  divine quality  which made  them glorify  the Lordships  in all the vaishnava  divyadesams  and Abhimana  sthalas .No  doubt  the Lord  in the  Divyadesam   also  replied  to their  devotion . Thirumangai Azhwar  had innumerable experiences in this kainkaryam

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And , it is generally seen a man loves his  son  very dearly . If the same person loves a srivaishnva as dear as his son he can consider to be in the list of srivaishnavas   and in case he has been  abused by a Srivaishnava and  does not  react , and accepts  his pungent  words with cheerful obedience  as positive development for his durguna  he is a Srivaishnava.

 Finally , the Acharya summed up the answer  in few words

Archaavatara  abhimanam  ,  Bhagavatha Prema  and Bhagavatha Katinokthi Bhogyatha buddhi are essential characteristics of a srivaishnava .

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If  at all  any one  has these  three virtues, he can conclude within himself that he is a Srivaishnava.

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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The soul is for the sake of the Lord ….


 During the last days  of his illustrious sainthood ,  Nanjeeyar   was  bedridden. One new  disciple  came to him and pleaded Acharyar “May I now request you Swamin,  to chant the  “Dwaya Mantra”?

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Nanjeeyar looked at him and said  Child ! “Why do you recommend the chanting to me? Do you not want it?” Is the holy mantra  be chanted only by a bedridden man and not by a wandering soul?” The disciple on hearing this became dumb founded and felt ashamed of himself. Nanjeeyar continued

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“Dwayam Mantra”  must  be chanted by all times irrespective of  any condition of the body . As  body  needs oxygen to survive , soul needs Dwayam to progress ..

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Another disciple of  Nanjeeyar  was  hearing the conversation .He thought that there was some  unfulfilled  wish  of  Acharyar .   He humbly  approached his Acharyar   and asked respectfully Swamin ! Kindly give us the opportunity to fulfil  your desire .. what  was  longing

NanJeeyar replied,  My Child   I need the entire wealth of this world .. The disciple was confused … The Acharyar smiled and said  …My dear ……“I have a strong desire to behold Sri Namperumal’s Archavatara body in my mind  forever . This is what I think that He can give me and it is equal to the wealth of the entire world.

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The disciple immediately  rushed to the  main temple and conveyed  Acharyars  wish to the chief priest . The priest   reported this wish with utmost devotion  to Lord Namperumal.  All compassionate Lord Namperumal  agreed through asuri voice . All arrangements were made . Lord accordingly set out of his Sanctorum with  pomp and grandeur and arrived in front of his favourite disciple  Sri Nanjeeyar’s  Mutt .

 The arrival of Lord to Nanjeeyars mutt was very special . Lord Namperumal  had just come directly to see his devotee as per his request . Nanjeeyar was overexcited  . With copulent tears he was looking at Lord   who  graced him with  very exhilarating divine darshana  that was “Sarvasvam”(the wealth of entire world)  . It was a one to one seva .  NanJeeyar  was overjoyed and was having uncontrollable tears all through .  He turned round and looking at Swamy  Nampillai  and other disciples  addressed them.  My dear children ..  Our “Namperumal has fulfilled my wish by  his cool grace  which is the world wealth for me.

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Dear Children …… Now I am prepared to do reveal  whatever knowledge I came to possess by the blessing of my learned Acharya Sri Bhattar.  Those who have thirst for knowledge can quench their thirst

 Swamy  Nampillai  submitted  him,  Acharya ! Tell us something which I should ever remember as the sole refuge”. NanJeeyar  replied …..

Do not think that the Lord is for the sake of the soul but think that the soul is for the sake of the Lord…..

Further  Swamy NamPillai  submitted  another question humbly ,Acharyaa    “What should be the  behavior of Srivaishnavas when they get separated from the company a Srivaishnava by his departure to Sri Vaikunta Loka from this mortal world?”

 My dear Nampillai , answered the great Acharyar  .. Adiyens Acharyar  Sri Parasara Bhattar   advised me with few  essential  esoteric truths  relating to the welfare of my soul  which I shall reveal  exactly  as said by adiyen  Acharyar  ,

Do listen carefully ….

 “Do not be popped up with pride for the following reasons

I am by name Vedanti (one who has learnt vedantas to its core).

I have for my Acharya, Sri Parasara Bhattar

I have given by way of Guru Dakshina   plenty of wealth to Acharyar .

The I ‘ness …. dissolution is a must for the souls progress …..

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Therefore think always that Swamy  Ramanuja’s lotus  feet are the sole means of salvation and take refuge unto him. I tell you now in a similar fashion – you also take refuge under  Swamy Ramanuja  .  Do not be elated that you got the fame of Lokacharya and you are capable of bringing out the esoteric meanings of 4000 hymns of Azhwars and the propagator of Sri Bhashya        (Beware of these pitfalls)”.

He advised few more essential truths to all his disciples . Nanjeeyar humbly spoke Dear Children ….. I  beg your pardon  for any fault if committed unknowingly, as it is very difficult for a soul with this body to be free from any fault . Blessing all of them ,  having “Sri Pada Thirtha” (the holy water after washing their holy feet) of Srivaishnavashe hosted (Tadiyaradhana) dinner for all the disciples ..

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 Subsequently,  He showered his blessings on all the disciples ..Keeping his  head on the lap of Sri Senapathi Jeeyar and his holy feet on the lap of Sri Pinbazhagiya Jeeyar facing towards the temple inside his mutt  meditating on  his Acharyar  lotus feet of Swamy  Parashara Bhattar, he  began his journey to Sri SriVaikuntam

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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Wise practices of our wise elders are our best authority…


During the days of Swamy Parasarabhattar , a  vedantin  came to have darshan of Lord Ranganatha . He was very learned in sastras .

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While  having darshan he noticed Swamy Parasara bhattar advising a group of devotees .The Vedantin walked near to Swamy  and asked him to explain how a vaishnava is distinquished from a smarta . Swamy Parasara bhattar did not care to enter into an elaborate controversy with the adversary on this query , delicate in as much as it is a bone of contention between the two divisions the advaitins and visishitadvaitins.

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He just smiled and called his attention to the signs of chakra and shankha inscribed in both his arms  a sacrament enjoyed by sastras on all vaishnavas .

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The vedantin said ..Oh I see !! but what authorities can you quote from the shastras justifying you to set this type of custom ?  of wearing Urdhva pundra and the sacraments.

Swamy Parasara bhattar replied .. I shall not trouble you with all that , for when I shall quote one authority , to which we commonly agree . The first sutra of Apastamba Dharma which says Wise practices of our wise elders are our best authority .  Only after this comes Vedas .. Adiyens father Kooresa observed the sacrament in question and therefore ,  Adiyen does it  .. Hope you to follow your Elders footsteps without doubt ..

The vedantin was silenced ..Though he was elder to Swamy Parasara bhattar , he offered obeisances and moved away quickly…..

Swamy Parasara bhattar Thiru adigale sharanam

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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THE DEVOTED SRIVAISHNAVA ACHARYAS AT SRIRANGAM


The month of  ( March – April )   in tamil (Panguni )  is sacred  as it is the appearance month of –  Lord Ranganatha  on Revathi  star and Goddess  Sri Ranganayaki Thayar on Uthiram star  both occur during the same  month. The most important and the oldest festival called as “Adi Brahmotsavam” is performed during this month for 10 days and culminates on the  day of Panguni Uthiram .  About 800 years ago an unusual incident occurred which has remained as one of the most cherished brave effort by our Acharyas for protecting and leaving us the  legacy  of our great srivaishnava sampradaya and our Lordships.

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  Almost 800 years ago , the festive mood was vibrating with splendor. At the banks of Kollidam river preparations were being made for  Lord’s arrival with pomp and show . The stage was decorated with wonderful flowers and   the best decorative lamps . A huge golden throne decked with diamonds and costly jewels, attracted the venue.  The devotees were discussing.. Who else except Lord of the Lords is going to preside now. Devotees from far off arrived in large numbers to attend the great festival .It was a darshanam  not to be missed .

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It was customary for the Lord to alight and have Abhishekam done amongst the huge gathering of  devotees .  The entire stage was decorated.  Milk ,  Curd , Honey, Coconut water , Rose water , sandal oil , various types of perfumes , flowers , holy basil leaves garlands was set in order for the  Lords ceremonial bath .The feast for the eyes was about to  begin …

Finally the time arrived …amongst the mangala Nadaswaram and the priests chanting Azhwars prabhandams Lord of Lords arrived in majestic style .   The great Acharya   Swamy Desikan ,  Swamy Sudarshana suri  along with several disciples accompanied the  Lordships and  were  guiding the priests  in conducting the rituals .  Mangala haarathee was offered amongst the huge crowd .All the devotees  in one voice chanted loudly clasping their hands on their heads …..

G O V I N D A ….. G O V I N D A     G O V I N D A ….G O V I N D A……RANGA

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Among the most revered  Acharyas , Priests  and devotees ,  a distinguished  very  old  devotee   aging around   85  years  or more  ,was contemplating on the various divine pastimes of the  great  devotees  who had served Lord in all aspects , even sacrificing their lives for the Lordships . Silently glorifying the great Jatayu who served Lord Rama , and  Lord  Rama performing funeral rites for Jatayu   , Lord Krishna preferring to dine with Sri Vidura even though he had the option of dining with exalted elders such as Drona or Bheeshma. the episode of ThiruppAN azhvar,  LOkasAranga Munithe  the great kulasekhara azhwar  attachment to Lord ,   Sri Periya Nambi and his attachment to Sri MaranEri Nambi, Swami Ramanuja and his deep devotion to Sri Thirukachchi Nambi   he was silently cherishing … His  thoughts were with pure devotion overflowing ….What have I done for the Lord ???  for his mercy in being among this august gathering .   His face exuded serenity and was in   total peace.  Caught up in these  devotional thoughts and having darshanam of Lord Ranganatha he was lost in a different world full of  bliss .He had slowly  forgotten the world around him.   That  great personality was  none other than  our Jagath Acharyar Swami Pillai Lokacharya  .

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The proceedings were being conducted smoothly .All of a sudden  among the august gathering  a person rushed to the  old  Acharyar . He was sweating  . He took courage and said … Acharya , I was washing clothes on the banks of  Cauvery river  when my donkeys  ran away suddenly hearing  some unusual noise . I attempted to find what was the reason . Slowly I climbed a small hillock to see what was that frightening my donkeys .  Much to my surprise  I noticed  a large battalion of  men on horses with ammunition marching towards our direction .With their attire I guess they should be the moslem invaders . I  am told by my relatives that  many temples  around    us were being looted and desecrated by  these  invaders.  Acharya , I am scared .. What would happen to  our temple and our Lord Ranganatha  . I am afraid for  our families .Please do something .. Swamy Lokacharya was taken aback .  He closed his eyes and said ..Don’t worry ..Our Lord will take care .. He  got up majestically and walked towards  the deities .  Prostrating to Lord seeking his grace He looked at that man and said … Just go and continue with your routine work .  But ! Just keep watching the invaders movements and inform as soon as possible

 444Swamy Desikar , Swamy Sudarshana suri and other Acharyas assembled and met Swamy Pillai Lokacharyar and concluded it was  Ulugh Khan  the army commander sent by Tuglak . They had to take a quick decision  . All of them informed the priests for staying beside the deities at all cost , and gave some important  tasks to be completed without any delay .  They briefed them about the unexpected calamity that may take place any time and hence instructed the priests to secretly carry the Lordships to the temple without the regular Abhisheka . The devotees who had assembled were  slowly coming to know about the sudden change in the programme  as the news spread like fire . All the assembled devotees silently marched back to their respective homes cursing the enemies who created this unholy trouble. The Lordships were silently taken back inside the temple . Swamy  Lokacharyar called the Chieftain and the Elders  of the temple and  advised them what could be the steps  that  may have to take facing the invader.

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The   objective was not to confront the enemy but to focus their efforts to ensure that the moola virat  was not desecrated. All of them decided that they shall form three groups . One group shall be headed by  the eldest  Swamy Pillai Lokachariya,   who shall carry the deities of Lord Ranganatha and His concerts in a covered palanquin and proceed southward with few disciples . Swamy Sudarshana suri took up the task of erecting a stone wall in front of the  main sanctorum to  misguide the invaders . A stone wall was constructed with support of many disciples in a short time   The third team was to provide cover for the team lead by Swamy Pillai Lokachariya [the team with the deities  of our lord and his consorts so that swami had enough time to maintain safe distance from the enemy.

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Swami Desika who was the youngest among the Acharyas was requested  by Shri Sudarsana suri to go with the third party and somehow save himself so that he at least might be left to propound Sri Vaishnavism and the teachings of Jagatha Acharya Shri Ramanuja.  Shrutaprakashika  was the work that was made out of generations of learning’s from Acharyas  and  an elaborate commentary on  JagathaAcharyar Swamy Ramanuja’s Sri Bhasyam . Sudharsana Suri entrusted his two  young  sons and manuscript “SrutaprakaasikA” to  Swami Desika   Swami Desika had an earnest desire that  this great work  must at any cost  be saved . Swami  as instructed immediately took up the directions from Sudharsana Suri and was about to leave  towards northward with the little boys . At the temple town , all of them decided in one voice that  they will not oppose the army  , but behave as if nothing is so serious ..   There was a regular update about the Invaders  who were approaching . The people  were in two moods  whether they should remain in town or flee.  Who was to decide and advise them? The people  were utterly confused .They decided to take counsel from Lord Ranganatha himself then decided to appeal to the LORD  Himself  . They all dropped chits (Tiru Ulla seettu) expressing their opinion and  with  devotion they drew up one chit which said that all could remain at Srirangam  itself. They decided in was the Lord’s order and remained facing the situation bravely.

The same evening, the  invaders marched inside the  Srirangam town from Samayavaram  . Thousands of the town’s  citizens were  harassed and injured .The terror in which  the enemy looted the prosperous town   speaks about the bravery of the srivaishnavas there  .It was a very sad plight and the  bloodbath that followed who resisted will make one cry  for our great forefathers who sacrificed their lives . This had been recorded in the History of Srirangam Temple known as Koil-Ozhugu . The great bloodshed of 12,000 Sri Vaishnavas at  Sri Varahaswamy Sannidhi makes it the worst day in the temple town . Inside the Hall , Swamy saw heaps of corpses lying around . He somehow braved the boys to lie down unnoticed to give an impression that no one survived . The little boys stretched underneath  along with some of them and our dear Swami also lay down next to them along with the holy book. Swamy Desikar thus concealed the two boys and himself amidst a heap of corpses and passed the night with caution . The enemy troops assumed that they were corpses and did not bother to probe. Observing the enemy troops moving away , Swamy slowly took the frightened boys before dawn unnoticed in North-Westerly direction towards Satyamangalam . He was completely exhausted and was worried with LORD and the other revered Acharyas .

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At the other side of the temple , while  the enemy was  invading  the town,  the old Acharyar dutifully carried the Lord’s deity with a small group of disciples with utmost caution braving the worst scenarios of terror with  fear .  Leaving Srirangam, he had to suffer many hardships during the journey.  He had to be wary of the enemy attack while he also had to protect himself and his party from robbers.

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He  was constantly praying LORD for his mercy and keeping his disciples motivated with LORD’s divya charitam . All of them decided  that whatever sufferings may befall them, Lord  Ranganatha’s should not face any danger or desecration.  After an arduous trek, they reached Jyothishkudi near Madurai.  Lokacharya was a man strictly adhering to religious modes of conduct  and manners.  He was  finding  itdifficult to secure accommodation and catering facilities on the way.   These troubles were common to people in those days but the Acharya had to face more severe hardships as he had to carry  Lord Ranganatha without any hardships to the Lord . All through the journey, they had to pass through possible attacks from invaders and thieves.  They had to trek hundreds of miles on foot.  In spite of all kinds of hardships, the Acharya carefully kept the  Lord Ranganatha in his
personal possession.

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He was particular that the traditional daily worship of Lord  Ranganatha should not be missed and therefore carried the deity  himself with greatest care and devotion and proceeded towards the south. Trekking several miles with constant fear of the enemy  lack of food and rest had adversely affected  the Acharya’s health.  Also  enroute  , he had to face the enemies wrath  some occasions  injuring him too  .Swamy Pillai Lokacharyar accepted all the sufferings for our LORD .He was mentally distressed about the future .   His mind refused to continue living on this earth seeing the tragic state in which Ranganatha had to be kept often hiding here and there . He wept several times with the unexpected turn of events  . It was like Jatayu the great devotee of Lord Rama  injured by Ravana while the latter was carrying away    mother Sita, he wept  helplessly.

 He proceeded to a village called jyothishkudi, which was surrounded by the Anamalai
mountains adjoining thick, dense forests. They found a dilapidated mandapam (ceremonial hall), and decided to retire for the night.
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He was exhausted and  came to know  it was time for him to leave his body. He was surrounded by his great disciples . Looking at LORD sweating  , he said to his disciples , Please fan the Lord as he is also tired coming along with us .  The disciples were sad to see their Acharyar completely exhausted and had tears watching the scene when he was fanning the Lord with those injuries in his body ..There was a pin drop silence  ..With tears He meditated on his Acharyar  and father, Swami vadakku thiruveedhip piLLai , pleaded them to forgive him as He could not able to protect Lord Ranganatha .

He could see numerous ants in the  small place .  He touched all of them, for the reason they also would be in srivaikuntam along with him .  as it is believed that any living being touched by the hands of a Sri vaishnavA is assured mOksha . He was always pining, ‘Let this body and soul of mine be sacrificed for Lords sake!’ and had his wish fulfilled.   He sought nothing for himself, amassed no earthly riches, and laid down his life for a Noble cause and became Lokacharyar .  

He once again justified his name as the universal guru, for he delivered even ants and insects until his last moment!! The most amazing incident was when we  can observe  millions of ants in that region even this day who could be the descendants of the ants that Swami  delivered by his touch.

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Lokacharya was one of our esteemed teachers and philosophers who preached equality of men irrespective of caste, place of residence, etc.  After the disappearance  of Pillailokacharya the disciples  performed the last  rites  and continued their journey along with  Lord  Ranganatha towards south passing through   a very long route covering Thirukoshtiyur ,Jyotishkudi .Srivalliputhur ,Calicut , Gundulpet , Chittoor   Melkote ,  Sathyamangalam and finally  Tirumala in the present Sriranganatha Mandapam where LORD stayed for 60 years .

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 The great Iyppasi sravana  ( October –November )  festival is celebrated  as a mark of respect for  Acharyar Pillailokacharya’s sacrifice  even today .

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He attained the lotus feet of his Acharyar  in the tamil month of Adi, on the dwAdasi day.  On reading this wonderful divine pastime we  need to believe that

May be our LORD wanted to see himself being protected by his devotees and glorify our respectful Acharyas who had done everything  as  HIS  kainkaryam ..

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Who or How else can we explain the need to “save” our Lord!!! who is beyond every thing .

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All glories to Swamy Pillai LokaAcharyar

All  glories to Swamy Sudarshan suri

All glories to Swamy Desikar…………

“shrImAn venkaTa-nAthAryaH kavitArkika-kesari |
vedAntAcharya-varyo me sannidhattAm sadA hridi |
kavithArkika simhAya kalyANa guNa Saline
Srimathe vEnkateSAya vEdhAntha guravE namaha

lOkAchAryAya guravE krushNapAdaSya SUnavE |

SamSArabhOgiSandashta jIvajIvAtavE nama: ||

aththigiri aruLALar anumathiyOn vAzhiyE
aippasiyil thiruvONaththavathariththAn vAzhiyE
muththi neRi maRaith thamizhAl mozhintharuLvOn vAzhiyE
niththiyam nampiLLai patham nenjchil vaippOn vAzhiyE
nIL vachana bUdaNaththil niyamiththAn vAzhiyE
uththamamAm mudumbai nagar uthiththa vaLLal vAzhiyE
ulagAriyan pathangkaL UzhithoRum vAzhiyE

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics : Courtesy  Google images

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THE DISCIPLE WHO TOOK THE PAIN OF HIS ACHARYAR (Maran Err Nambi Vaibhavam )


 

There was a devotee called  Nambi who lived near srirangam . One day,  Swamy  Yamunacharya was on the way to a  village . To his surprise he saw  Nambi  who was working in the field was drinking the mud water in the field by his two hands. Yamunacharya was amazed to see this action of  Nambi. He sent one of his disciples to  enquire about his  strange act with Nambi .

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Nambee answered  Swamin !!  philosophically  this body  goes into this mud-earth after  our death and  anyway this body is made up  of Panchabhootas and has to rest at the place it originated and hence my taking mud water should  not amuse you . 

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Swamy Yamunachary was hearing his statement with interest .  He understood that  Nambi was almost like  Satakopa, who  had eradicated with anger, the Sata vayu before it enters into his body  and became Satakopa  our  Nammalvar only .

He understood this great personality is non other than our Nammazhwar . Hence  he called him, Maran Err Nambi.  Swamy Yamunachary  pleased with his answer , invited  Nambi to join  his ashram . Nambi said Oh Acharyaa !!   , being born in panchama caste;  my qualification doesnt suit to be amongst learned disciples .

Maraneri Nambi

Swamy Yamunacharya  replied , Nambee there  is  no caste-bar for  a  Brahmajnani and he  must  join him without any obstacle. He accompanied him to Srirangam and arranged his residence near his  Ashram . Nambi was overjoyed and served his Acharyar with unstinted devotion . He was attending classes regularly and relishing the esoteric truths  .It was a great privilege to be amongst the great disciples of Swamy Yamunacharya.   Nambi’s joy knew no  bounds. He made a small idol, a  replica of his Acharya in clay and  started  worshipping with deep devotion . He  was always in the mood of serving his Acharyar  and was immersed in the discourses .

 Looking at the small hall where the discourses were conducted , Acharyar decided to enlarge  the  Hall . He fixed an auspicious muhurtha for inaugurating the Hall and conduct the discourse . Nambi who  came to know about the New Hall  was keen to visit and do some service there .He managed to reach the New Hall and was amazed to see the large hall well ventilated . He walked inside the Hall with prestige for being a student of the great school .

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Yamunacharya came to know through his disciples about Nambi visiting the Hall .  Pleased with the happening , Yamunacharya cancelled the  inaugural ceremony and informed that there is no  need for any  ceremony now , as Nambi’s foot sanctified the hall .  He decided  conduct the discourse immediately on the same day   Maran Err Nambi earned that much of affection from his Acharya.

Once  Swamy Yamunacharya  was suffering from a painful disease called the carbuncle. Carbuncle, known as the King of Boils, Rajapilavai, in Tamil, is caused due to inflammation of tissues in the back and neck. The shooting pain emanating from the fast-spreading boil would be unbearable. Antibiotics and painkillers were unknown in those days and it is difficult for us even to imagine the kind of pain the disease inflicted on its victims. Swamy Alavandar was suffering silently. He did not even let his disciples know about the disease lest they should be worried. Perianambi and Thirukoshtiyur Nambi  the seniormost disciples  alone knew.

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One day Maraneri Nambi went to  Acharyars ashram . He insisted that he should see his Acharyar  who was hesitant. But Maraneri was adamant. So he was let in. Acharyar  tried to cover his pain and welcomed him with a smile. He thought that Maraneri had come there to clear his doubts in his lessons. The best way out was to dispose Maraneri as early as possible without letting him find out his disease. Maraneri came into the room and prostrated at his Acharya’s feet. “May you be blessed, Maraneri Nambi. Please get up. You see I have a lot of things to do today. Please tell me your doubts fast. We don’t have much time.” “ Acharya , I have been your disciple for decades. Have I asked anything from you?”

“No.”
“Today I have come to you with a desire. I have set my mind on that object. And I can’t live without that. You have that with you. Can you give that to me?”
“It’s yours Maraneri. Whatever it is.”
“Thanks,  Acharya .”
Maraneri ran out to fetch a silver vessel containing the holy water.  Yamunacharya  was puzzled.
“Please Gurudeva my Gurudeva  show me your hands.”
“What for, Maraneri?”
“When you gift a piece of land you need to solemnize the gift with the holy water, right?”
“Yes, you are right. You want the mutt’s land near the river kaveri .Well, it’s yours. Take it.” “No, Acharya.”“Then..’ “Please repeat whatever I am going to say.

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“I, Yamunaithuraivar alias Alavandar, do hereby gift to my disciple Maraneri Nambi, the Rajapilavai disease which I have now, along with the pain, the suffering and all the after-effects.”“What the hell you are doing, you idiot? This is not a game. This water is holy. And if I repeat whatever you said, then you will have the disease, you moron. Don’t ever say the words again.”“You are one of the greatest Acharyas, the world has ever seen. You have promised to give whatever I want. How can you go back on your word, Gurudeva?”“But that’s ridiculous, Nambi.”“What is ridiculous, Acharya? You are our Guru. You have a hundred disciples. A thousand people come to you every day to listen to your words. Even the Lord who sleeps forever in the temple is looking forward to see you every day.“How can you afford to be confined to your bed? And by your kind, wise words you are removing our pains. Pains which have been following us for millions of births. How can you suffer in pain, Acharya?

I am a low-born worm, Gurudeva.

By accepting me as your disciple you made a gift to me which is worth more than the whole universe.

“Now, Gurudeva, please.. I beg of you.. please allow me to do my part. If you refuse to give your disease then I will have no option than to die at your feet. It’s your call.” Alavandar melted. He poured the water on his hand and chanted the appropriate mantra.
“Please bear with me, Gurudeva. I have one more request.”
Alavandar looked at his disciple through a screen of tears.
“Let this transaction be not known to anybody else in the world.”
Alavandar was happy and sad at the same time. Happy that he had such a loving disciple and sad because he was forced to give so much of pain and suffering to such a nice man.
Maraneri Nambi went out as a happy man.

Peria Nambi met him outside the room.
“Why are you so happy, my friend?”

“After many decades of discipleship it was only today that our Guru was kind enough to give me a precious prasadam. And that too only after I compelled him to do so.”

Perianambi did not understand a word of what his friend said.

AALAVANDAAR

Alavandar’s recovery was quite dramatic after that day. A week later Maraneri Nambi was down with carbuncle. It is said that he suffered for three months from shooting pain. Whenever he was in pain he would only chant the name of his Gurudeva.

Because his Guru’s blessings were fully on him and because the Lord was moved by his selfless love Maraneri Nambi recovered from the disease sooner than the usual time..

Swamy Mareneri Nambi ThiruAdigale sharanam

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

 

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CASTE VERSUS VIRTUE …. Swamy Ramanuja’s lesson to disciples


Pillai Uranga Villidasan  was  a favourite disciple to Swamy Ramanuja .He became very close to his Master so rare that was his piety  though belonged to a lower caste he had privileges conferred upon him . Very often Swamy Ramanuja was seen returning from Kaveri leaning on the shoulders of Swamy MudaliAndaan and Villidasan  . A brahmana is unclean before bath and clean after a bath and the disciples watching were curious with their Masters way why they had not changed places while accompanying Swamy Ramanuja .

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They took courage to question their Master for an explanation. Swamy condescended to them saying  , my children  ! Have you not heard that learning , riches and high birth swell a fool with pride , but adorn the wiseman ?  This  man our villidasan  is utterly destitute of this three fold vice but we are not .Hence he is fit enough to be touched by me  .On hearing the golden words the disciples bent their head in shame and dared make any further  protest , but all the same malice kindled their minds against the favourite disciple Villidasan who was  a sudra and  more close to their master  than a Brahmin disciple could be  . They could not digest a sudra should stand so high to their masters estimation , as their own prestige as Brahmins was being jeopardised.

Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Kovil

Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Kovil

Swamy  Ramanuja was aware of the disciples  grudge towards the advanced devotee who was a gem among  all of them .  As a true Master  he wanted to  convince the error  which is making them spiritually fatal . He devised a plan  and hence called a close disciple in private  and ordered him to secrete  all the clothes of the  disciples  in the night  when they were fast asleep. ( these were the clothes which are washed  and hanged high to be dried up ) . The task was accomplished . The next day all the disciples were aghast with the missing of their daily wear . Each one was accusing the other and the entire scene turned into chaos.  They were calling names  against each other .Swamy Ramanuja walked into the chambers hearing the unusual noise . All the disciples vented their anguish about the missing clothes .Swamy Ramanuja  calmed them and advised them to accept the same as Lords providence . Alternate arrangements were made .

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Days passed , Villidasan who was living near to the Ashram  was serving Acharyar with utmost devotion . One day it got delayed  as Villidasar  was entrusted some jobs for some festival . Swamy Ramanuja walked into the disciples chamber and told them that they all must go to Villidasars house located few  metres away and make an attempt to rob the precious jewellery and other ornaments from Ponnachee his wife  when she is asleep.  . All of them knew Villidasar was a rich person and had gifted many golden jewellary to his wife Ponnachee  in the past on several occasions and she was always bedecked with the ornaments .  It was decided that they need to rob the jewels when Villidasar was serving Swamy Ramanuja  in the ashram .

The disciples were very happy . All of them marched hurriedly to Villidasars house .They could see Ponnachee fast asleep .Ponnachi was sleeping on the floor of the hut using her hand as a pillow.  She was bedecked with wonderful gold jewelry The moment one of the disciples bent down to unhook her ear-ring, she woke up.  .  Without any inhibitions they waited  , collected all the jewellery from the chest  and attempted to  remove the jewellery worn by her during her sleep  once again . But , Ponnachee  recognised the disciples and did not want to startle him.  She thought ,when  Swamy Ramanuja’s disciple committed such an act of theft it must have a divine sanction . She then laid still and allowed them remove the ear-rings, bangles and the nose-ring she was wearing on the left side of her body.   She felt they were taking away their own property  for whatever effects she owned in this world were not really hers but entrusted to her for their sake . This is how Property is to be spiritually viewed . She gently rolled over for them to strip the other side of the jewellery she was wearing .  She was anxious that the vaishnavas should complete their work and not go away with half work done . But her  movement however created a fright  and put the disciples  on their toes to leave the place .

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The vaishnavas returned to the ashrama  .Pillai dasar after completing all the works assigned  to him submits his humble  prayers to Acharya and takes leave .   Meanwhile , the disciples  entered the ashram  and explain the happenings at Villidasars house in detail to Acharyar. Swamy Ramanujar  orders  them to follow Villidasar immediately  up to his house and watch all that might take place in the house . The disciples quickly left the jewellery  in Ashram and followed him in the dark .

In the house Ponnachee was eagerly waiting for her husband  as done daily.When she heard the footsteps  of Villidasar , she hurriedly went to the entrance and  welcomed him  .She washed his feet with all affection  .Villidasar  looked at her very strangely as she had decked jewellery one sided only.  He said , What is this lady ??  taken aback with her strange dress sense .  Nothing My Lord she replied  soothingly  .I shall explain you in detail .Please honour the prasada quickly as it is already too late  . She continued   about the incident  that happened few minutes back .  She pleasingly said that the  vaishnavas who are our gurus had come to our house just now   my dear …..while I was lying asleep.   May be they were in need of their jewels .I could hear them whisper that I was asleep and It was the right time to  take the jewellery . Lying down hearing their whisper , I pretended to be fast asleep so that they could complete their task .  They  laid hands on me and took all the jewels from my right side as the left  side was visible .

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Our effects are theirs  as you know  , so to let them have all , I quietly turned around my right  side  with all my care doing so  to make them believe that I was really fast asleep, but my bad luck it some how gave them a alarm and to my utter regret  they left without completing the job they had come for .  . On hearing this Pillai urangi got upset and was angry with her . He said ..Hey Foolish woman !!!    you have spoiled the great opportunity to serve the vaishnavas . You must have laid motionless till their work is completed …. ……If the jewels were theirs Its their wish to take them as they like . I am really very upset with your behaviour…… He said half the jewels  have been best invested , the remaining are vanity  .

 The vaishnavas were observing the conversation behind the doors . They hurriedly left back to Ashrama  and gave a full report of the conversation . Swamy Ramanuja the Acharyar  now spoke to his disciples and  asked them to remain awake. He then instructed them to wake up all the other disciples. All of them should clean themselves and assemble before the Acharya for an important lesson. Eager to hear new lessons from the Acharya, they all gathered around him in no time.

Suddenly from no where  Villidasan ran into the mutt with his wife . He fell down at the Acharya’s feet like an uprooted tree. He and his wife  Ponnachee were with tears  .  The other disciples were stunned at the unusual sight. They had never seen Villidasan crying so much.

“We have committed a grace sin  Acharya. We have together  sinned. We are no longer fit to be your disciples. Condemn us to the worst of hells; even then the retribution will not be
adequate.” cried Villidasan

“What happened, my child? Why are you crying? Why is your wife crying?”
Swamy Ramanuja  asked the devotee disciple ..

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Acharya   “Some of your learned disciples had come into our hut today to take my wife’s
jewels. She was sleeping. Your disciples took the trouble of removing the jewels
from her person themselves. Ponnachi did not want to startle them by waking
up all of a sudden. When she turned the other side so that they can remove
those jewels also, they just ran away.  “Acharya, I am not even fit to be a dust in the feet of those learned disciples. Aren’t you called the Udaiyavar? Doesn’t that mean that all of us,all our belongings, properties and everything belong to you? When you sent your men to take your things, Ponnachi should have welcomed them and should have given them whatever she had. She has sinned, My Lord. “And I have sinned too. Please  curse us  a punishment . My wife has decided not to wear jewels on the one side of her body for the rest of her life.” for the grave sin committed ….

You  showed LORD  to me. And I could not even give some worthless piece of yellow metal to you, when you needed it! What a sinner I am! There is no hope for me, there is no salvation for me!”he was uncontrollable ….

Swamy Ramanuja turned to his other disciples.

Please tell me whose wisdom is  better , great yours or his ?

Please know that caste is of no importance..

It is the virtue that is most important and prized .

This is why I say ….  Even River Cauvery cannot clean me completely. But this man’s touch can purify me. That’s why I lean on him when I return from the river.

Villi,  my child ….. please teach these people how to love.”

Pillai-Uranga-Villi-Dasar

The disciple who first complained to Ramanuja about Villidasan  prostrated  to him  and Ponnachi’s feet begging their pardon.

Swamy Ramanuja then returned the jewels to Ponnachi and commanded her to wear them then and there. And also ordered that she should never be without those jewels. The silence that reigned  in the Ashram was pregnant with many lessons, many teachings
and many learnings.

It is told that Villidasan was called as Mahamati  (  a human wiser than wisdom ) the wisdom blinded by love for Lord .He was love blind as to fear any danger for one who is above all dangers . Mahamati  used to walk   with his sword drawn in front of the Lord so that he may stop anyone who dared to do any act in the least offensive to the Lord of Lords….

True !!!   Bhaagavatha apachAram is worse than BhagavathapachAram

Sri.Pillai Uranga Villidasar thiru adigale sharanam.

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

hey kr

 More details about this great disciple can be read in this post linked below :

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/the-wrestler-who-surrendered-to-the-most-beautiful-eyes/

Pics  Courtesy : Google images , anudinam

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BHAKTA ARAVI PERUMAL ( The LORD who is the very life of His dear devotees)


Kazhiyur Varadan:

BHAKTA ARAVI PERUMAL
( The LORD who is the very life of His dear devotees

Originally posted on kazhiyur varadan's web blog:

THIRININRAVOOR  is  located 30 kms from Chennai on Arakonam route – and 5 kms from Thinnanoor station is this  Sri Vaishnava divya desam .As Goddess Maha Lakshmi  arrived from SriVaikuntam and stayed here, this place came to be known as “THIRU” “NINDRA” “OOR”   (THIRU= LAKSHMI,    NINDRA= STANDING, OOR=PLACE).

bhaktaravi perumal

Lord  MahaVishnu and Samudrarajan,  Goddess mahalakshmi’s  father reached Bhoolokam in search of Thayar as without Her presence, Sri Vaikuntam wore a dull lifeless look.   Samudra rajan ,in the course of his search reached this place. He was overwhelmed to see his glorious daughter Mahalakshmi and addressed Her as “ENNAI PETRA THAI” (mother who gave birth to me emphasizing the fact that Mahalakshmi Thayar is the Divine Mother for the entire world). Varuna, the God of rain, who came in search of Samudrarajan as he had to quench the sea water for forming clouds saw Samudrarajan at this place. Hence, Samudrarajan…

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LORD VENKATESHWARA BECOMES DISCIPLE OF SWAMY ANATHAZHWAN


It may be mentioned here that TIRUMALAi is Kaliyuga Vaikuntam and Sri Vaikuntanathan has manifested Himself as Lord Srinivasar. The sacred TIRUMALA Hills consisting of seven peaks is considered to be seven-hooded. Blessed are the devotees who are fortunate to have his darshan .There are countless devotees who have served the LORD since ages .

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One such great devotee was Swamy Ananthazhwan an ardent disciple of Swamy Ramanuja . As per Swamy Ramanuja’s directives he served the LORD few hundred years ago .There are several pastimes of Swamy Anathazhwan with Lord Srinivasa . One divine pastime is memorable as Lord himself accepts to become Swamy Anathazhwans disciple .

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Knowing about the initiatives taken by Swamy Anathazhwan in organising the temple rituals with religious fervor few devotees decided to trek the hills and have darshanam of Lord and seek the blessings of his dear devotee too . The  Srivaishnavites were walking from Srirangam and it was a very long journey .

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While  ascending the Hills, coming fromthey were feeling tired and had to take some rest . Completely exhausted  they were perplexed how could they complete their pilgrimage. All of a sudden a young lad  appeared before them .

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The boy was appearing with divine tejas . With  srivaishna Urdhva pundram he was almost looking like vamana avatara  brahmachari .  He offered his humble obeisances   and  said .Oh swamins ! Adiyen has brought some temple prasada for all of you .Kindly honour the same and please feel comfortable .

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The srivaishnavites  being orthodox  were  initially impressed with the divine boy .However one Elder person among the group  wanted him to introduce his  lineage and his Acharyar whom he was initiated .  The divine lad  he was , smiled at  the simple question .  He proudly replied that his name was Madhurakavidasa and his Acharyar was Swamy Anathazhwan who is serving Lord in all ways . It was his Acharyars instructions , he had walked down the sacred hills to handover the prasada  coming to know about their visit .

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He further expressed that the Prasada was coming directly from the temple which was handed over to him by Swamy Anathazhwan  to  be given to them .

A bit surprised  , the elders said .. Oh swamin Its nice to know about your association to Swamy Anathazhwan . But we wish to hear from you about his glories . Can we hear your swamys Thanian ? as this a custom for the srivaishnavas to recite their Acharyars glories in the form of Thanians .

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The divine boy majestically recited the thanian about Swamy Anathazhwan  in the seven hills which vibrated 

Akhilatmagunavasam ajnanatimirpaham

Asritanam susaranam vande Anantharyadesikam”

(I bow to Acharya Ananthazhvan, who is the repository of knowledge, mercy and wisdom, the one  Acharyar  who removes ignorance and is eminently  eligible for surrender by disciples)

 They liked the divine lads confident answer . However the Srivaishnavas then questioned the  youngster how his taniyan made no reference to Ananthazhvan’s  relation  to  Swamy Ramanuja.

The divine boy smiled and  replied Swamins ! Actually there are  two Thaniyans in praise of  adiyens Acharyar Swamy Ananthazhvan, one referring to the glory of his character and another referring  to his connection with  Swamy Ramanuja.

 And please listen to the second verse of the Thanian  

‘Srimath Ramanujacharya Sripadamboruhadvayam 

 Sathutha manga sandaryam Anantharyamaham Bhaje..

( I prostrate before  adiyens Acharyar  Swamy Ananthalvan who is the lotus feet of Swamy  Ramanuja and who is worshipped by Srivaishnavas all  over the earth )

The Srivaishnavas were convinced that the  divine boy  was a true disciple of Swamy Ananthalvan  . They honoured the prasada  with relish . They thanked the boy for his affection and love and blessed him .

The  divine boy took leave of them and   ascended   the Hills welcoming them to join him . Slowly, the Srivaishnavas ascended the Hills and walked into Swamy Anathazhwans ashram . Swamy Anathazhwan was overjoyed to recive the guests from Srirangam . They offered their obeisances and thanked him for the kind courtesy in sending the maha prasada down to the Hills They appreciated the young boy for his kindness and hospitality . They praised the boys intellect and kindness  and expressed  their gratefulness  to   Swamy Ananthazhvan for having sent prasada through one of his bright young disciples.

Swamy Ananthalvan was bewildered.  Amazed to note the divine  leela , he  was in total dark .  He realised that it was his LORD who took the pains to walk down with the mahaprasada to his devotees . With tears , he wished to know about the divine lad .The Srivaishnavas explained  about the divine glow the boy exhibited . His majestic recitation of the Thanians was memorable  The boy was so down to earth serving the prasada They  informed that the boy introduced himself as Madhurakavidasa  and had recited two slokas in his praise and  as they were  just trekking behind him upto the hills safely . They said that the boy went inside the temple citing some pending works.

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Swamy Anathazhwan pleaded them to recite the verses the boy had sung ..

They recited the two verses before  Swamy Ananthazhvan.The entire assembly was wonder struck. Swamy Anathazhwan was in tears  . They realised that the Lord had declared himself as Ananthalvan’s disciple and  had chosen the name Madhurakavidasa .Even though there were so many other Acharyas  the second verse showed that it was Ananthazhvan who could be fittingly considered equal to the Lotus feet of Swamy Ramanuja.

Since then  the paduka (sathari) at the shrine of  Swamy Ramanuja sanctorium  up the Hills came to be known  as Ananthazhvan since then the two verses became famous as the Thaniyans in praise of Swamy  Ananthazhvan

ananthazhwan-thirumalai

 jai jai

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics : Credit Google pics

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