Thirupanazhwar appeared during the month of Karthikai in the Rohini thirunakshatram at Uraiyur near Srirangam.
Azhwar was a ardent devotee of Lord Ranganatha and he 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 sing songs playing 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 to bring water for ( abhishekam ) thirumanjanam of Lord. As he found ThirupaNazwar obstructing his path, he told him to leave the place .
ThirupaNazwar 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. It struck ThirupaNa’s forehead and thus he suddenly came out of his trance. He pleaded with 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 blood oozing out from the Lord’s forehead and 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 ThirupaN with devotees . He found him at the bank of Kaveri singing in deep devotion. He fell at his feet and told him 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 darshan?”
Lokasarngar replied …
“You do not have to set foot, but swamin …. 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.
When Lokasarangar carried Thirupan on his shoulders surrounded by vedic pundits , the people of Srirangam watched with astonishment. All reached the temple and Lokasarangar took him to the sanctum sanctorum.
ThirupaN was in total bliss to see the Lord’s Sayana Thirukolam. He was so bewitched to see the Lord’s beauty that he immediately started singing describing the Lord’s beauty from ( Lotus feet to his blossoming divine face )Thiruvadi to Thirumudi in ten 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.
In Amalanaathipiraan ThirupaNazwar describes Lord’s beauty from His Kamala Thiruptham to His thirumudi part by part and also sangu, chakram and all. The Lord has proved that caste, colour or creed is no bar for a true devotee to attain mukthi. Lord’s Grace and benevolence is showered on his true bhakthas without any discrimination. Azhwars Appearance day is celebrated in all Srivaishnava temples during November – December in grand scale.
Photos Courtesy : Vakulabaran and sri madhavan srirangam
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan