ThirupAan azhwar appeared during the month of Karthikai in the Rohini thirunakshatram at Uraiyur near Srirangam
Azhwar was a ardent devotee of Lord Ranganatha and used to sing songs in praise of the Lord with the accompaniment of his veenai . Azhwar used to walk from Uraiyur to Srirangam which was almost 20 miles , but did not attempt to go inside the temple due to the practices followed by the temple those days .
He used to stand at the southern bank of river Kaveri facing the temple and used to glorify the Supreme Lord singing on his veenai . This was going on for a long time.
One day early in the morning hours , he was singing song in praise of the Lord with deep devotion and was in a absolute trance.
LokaSarangar, the chief priest of Lord Ranganatha’s temple came to river Kaveri as a routine , to collect kaveri water for ( abhishekam ) thirumanjanam to the Lordships . As he found ThirupaNazwar who was in a trance , obstructing his path, he told him to leave the place .
ThirupaNazwar who was in a different mood , did not hear anything as he was totally immersed in Lord Ranganatha’s glory and oblivious to his surroundings.
Lokasarangar got very angry . He picked up a stone and threw it at ThirupaNan to disurb him from the mood.
It struck ThirupaNa’s forehead and thus he suddenly came out of his trance.
A true devotee , he pleaded with the Priest Lokasarangar to forgive him for his mistake and left the place hurriedly .
Lokasarangar reached the temple with the kaveri water . He was panicked to find Lord was unhappy with his arrogance and was worried.
That night Lord Ranganatha appeared in his dream and told him that by hurting His true devotee he had committed a grave mistake. He ordered him to bring ThirupaN to the temple, carrying him on his shoulders.
Next morning Lokasarangar went in search of he great devotee ThirupaN with other devotees . He located the devotee at the bank of Kaveri singing in deep devotion . Running towards him , he fell at his feet and pleaded him to forgive him for the act . He requested Azhwar, that the Lord had ordered him to bring him to the temple.
ThirupaN was aghast and told Lokasrangar,
“Swami, I come from a low caste and I am not allowed even to set foot in Srirangam.
How can I go into the temple and have Lord’s darshan?”
The Priest Lokasarngar replied …
Swamin !!! “You do not have to set foot, but
…. Please allow me to carry you on my shoulders as per the Lord’s order.”
As ThirupaN was still hesitating, Lokasarangar had to convince him to accede to his request as it was from Supreme Lord ……
When Lokasarangar carried Thirupan on his shoulders surrounded by vedic pundits , the people of Srirangam watched with astonishment.
It was a celebration … The devotee was being carried by the Chief Priest . The group reached the temple and Lokasarangar took him to the sanctum .
ThirupaN was in total bliss to get darshan of the Lord’s Sayana Thirukolam.
He was so bewitched to see the Lord’s beauty. He immediately started singing describing the Lord’s beauty from ( Lotus feet to his blossoming divine face )Thiruvadi to Thirumudi in ten wonderful pasurams.
This outpouring during his very first darshanam of LORD glorified as “Amalan Aathipiraan.” which is among the 4000 Divya prabhanda pasurams .
As ThirupaNazwar finished singing he merged with Lord Ranganatha while the onlookers were looking dumb-founded. Thus he was also blessed like Andal to merge with the Lord.
* koNdal vaNNanaik *
kOvalanAy veNNey uNda vAyan *
en uLLam kavarndhAnai **
aNdar kOn aNi arangkan *
en amudhinaik kaNda kaNgaL *
Having seen the One whose color dark like rain clouds
and the one with the mouth that swallowed the butter of cowherds,
He is the Lord of the devas,
He is Lord Ranganatha,
He is my nectar, my life !
My eyes that have seen my Supreme Lord and will not see anything else!
In Amalanaathipiraan ThirupaN Azwar describes Lord’s beauty from His Kamala Thiruptham to His thirumudi part by part and also sangu, chakram .
The Lord once again reconfirms that caste, colour or creed is no bar for a true devotee to reach his lotus feet . Lord’s grace and benevolence is showered on his true bhakthas without any discrimination.
Azhwars Appearance day is celebrated in all Srivaishnava temples today in grand scale.
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Photos Courtesy : Google images uploaded by advance devotees