Swami Thiru-kachchi Nambi occupies a very unique position, both as an Acharyar, and as an advanced devotee. Swamy Nambi is one of the very few devotees with whom the Lord Himself conversed regularly.
Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi appeared in a place called poo irunda valli (currently called poonamallee, near Chennai). He moved to kAnchIpuram, and started performing devotional service to LORD Varadaraja at Kancheepuram temple. His service was to fan the Lord of Kanchi, Swami Varadaraja, everyday in the late morning-early afternoon, and in the night before Lord takes rest .
While doing the service (called thiru-Ala-vatta Kainkaryam in tamil), Lord Varadaraja used to talk to Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi about the happenings of the world. The topics used to be anything from how the temple was being run, to the happenings in the city of Kanchipuram and esoteric topics about philosophy. The Lord considered swami thiru-k- kachchi nambi as His closest friend, and talked to him just like any friend would.
All this was due to the great qualities of swami thiru-k- kachchi nambi – his supreme devotion to Lord Varadaraja, his being devoid of any ego, and his being a true servant of the Lord, wanting no other thing but service to the Lord. One incident in his life is used to show how much Lord cared for him.
One morning, after the morning rituals were completed in the temple, everyone left as usual. Lord Varadaraja and Swami thiru-k- kachchi nambi were sitting in the usual position, with Swami thiru-k-kachhci nambi performing the usual Kainkaryam of fanning the Lord. They were immersed on some interesting topic, and time passed without both of them noticing. Suddenly , It began to rain very heavily.
The time for thiru-k- kachchi nambi to go home for his afternoon prasadam arrived, and the Lord seemed to be resting. So, swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi left the Lord, and went outside the covered Mantapam. It was raining very heavily, and hence he could not go. He was getting concerned that if he is delayed now, then he will be delayed coming back to the temple for evening services.
Suddenly, an aged Sri Vaishnava person appeared with an umbrella, and told swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi that Lord Varadaraja had instructed him to accompany swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi to his home with the umbrella, and bring him back. Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi was very moved with this kindness, and thanked the Sri Vaishnava and the Lord for this trouble. Evening came, and swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi was delayed a little bit in starting for the temple.
The Sri Vaishnava who accompanied him to his house was still there, waiting for him, so that he could accompany him back to the temple. Meanwhile, in the temple, the priests arrived to start performing the evening rituals. When they entered the sanctum sanctorum, they were shocked and taken aback.
The Lord was not there in the temple! They looked everywhere, and the Lord was not there! They were much worried, and were waiting for swami thiru-k- kachchi nambi to come back so that they can ask him if he knew where the Lord went, or if the Lord was upset with some mistake that might have happened.After sometime, Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi came with the SriVaishnava.
The priests immediately went to him, and explained the situation, and asked him with great concern if he knew anything. Swamithiru-k-kachchi nambi told them he had no idea about what might have happened, and immediately started crying. After all, Lord Varadaraja was not just the Supreme Being to him; He was also his closest friend.
After a few minutes, swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi wanted to go to theLord’s usual place and see if he can get any clues from there. He went to the usual place of the Lord, and lo and behold, the Lord was there,smiling and with a very satisfied look on His lotus face! Immediately, swami thiru-k-kachci nambi ran to the priests and conveyed the happy news. Everyone wanted to celebrate, and looked for the Sri Vaishnava who had accompanied swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi so that they could invite him to join the celebrations too.
They could not find him. He had vanished. When the priests went near the Lord to start performing the services ,they saw water droplets on Him! Everyone now realized what had happened. The Lord Himself, unable to bear the thought of swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi getting wet by the rain, had accompanied him to his home. Not only that, He waited there so that He could accompany swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi back to the temple!
Such is the greatness of swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi…
Thirukachi Nambee swamy Thiruvadigale sharanam
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan