Swamy Thirukachi nambhigal while continuing his fanning service to Lord Sri Varadaraja Perumal his aalavattam (fan) slipped and fell on Lord.
Thirukachi Nambhigal immediately realized that the time for him to leave this materialistic world had come.
Nambhigal requests Perumal to grant him Moksham. Lord Varadaraja Perumal says that granting Moksham to Thirukachi Nambhigal is not possible as he doesn’t yet have “Bhaagavatha Sambhandham”. Thirukachi Nambhigal then replies that he had been under the tutelage of Sri Alavandaar Himslef, to which Lord says that He was the one who had sent Nambhigal to Alavandar and that would not be counted as “Bagavatha Sambandam”. And interestingly Perumal adds “Neer Veesiner, Naan Pessinen”. This incident highlights the regard Perumal has for Bhagavathas and also shows how we should respect our fellow Bhagavathas.
Thirukachi Nambhigal now decides to “earn” some Bhaagavatha Abhimaanam. He takes leave from Lord Varadaraja and then proceeds to the home of the great Acharya Thirukostiyur Nambhi. He was well aware that Thirukostiyur Nambhi (Swami Ramanuja’s acharya) would not accept as a domestic help someone whom Lord Varadaraja himself had conversed with. So Thirukachi Nambhigal under the guise of a common peasant introduces himself as Gajendra Dasan (his Birth name) and requests for some work from Thirukostiyur Nambhigal. Unaware that it was Thirukachi Nambhigal himself seeking work, Thirukostiyur Nambhigal asks him to take care of his cows and bullock cart.
Thirukachi Nambhigal too is relieved and happy that he has had an opportunity to serve a great acharya. One rainy day Thirukostiyur Nambhigal finds his cows missing and asks his shishyas to find the cows. But the shishyas are reluctant to go in the heavy rains & winds. So Thirukostiyur Nambhi decides to look for the cows by himslef and calls for Thirukachi Nambhigal for help. Thirukachi Nambhigal instantly replies “Adiyen” and Thirukostiyur Nambhi looks in the direction of the voice.
To his wonder, Thirukachi Nambhigal had bought the cows home and also covered them with his own cloths too. Nambhi is instantly pleased at Thirukachi nambhigal’s devotion and then instantly calls his wife and says “Give food to our man”. Since Nambhi had called him as Nam Mattukaran, which signifies a relationship and hence Bhagavatha Sambandham. The next day Nambhi changes to his original attire as when fanning The Lord Varadaraja Perumal and reveals his identity and narrates the sequence of incidents that led him to coming as Gajandra dasan to Thirukostiyur Nambhigal.
Finally, after being blessed with Baagavatha Sambandham, Nambhigal returns to Lord Varadaraja Perumal’s sanctum sancatorium. Like an eager mother expecting her child back, Lord Varadaraja with open arms welcomes Nambhigal right at the steps and praises Thirukachi Nambhigal’s steadfast devotion and affection. At this moment Thirukachi Nambhigal sings the mesmerising “Devaraja Ashtakam”, glorifying the Lord’s boundless love for His Bakthas and the pains of this materialistic world!
And then, Nambhigal attains moksham to serve Sriman Narayana in Sri Vaikuntam permanently .
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Photographs : Courtesy .. Google