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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
The divine boy majestically recited the thanian about Swamy Anathazhwan in the seven hills which vibrated
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 divine personality 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 up to the hills safely . They said that the boy went inside the temple citing some pending works.
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
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
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