Thirumangai Azwar had initiated lot of services to our LORD at Srirangam. The hundred pillar mandapam for the yearly festival adhyayana uthsavam was his contribution . He also built the north and south gopurams at Kulasekaran thiruveedhi ( streets ) the fourth compound wall ( Mathil suvar) which is called Maharlokam .
This compound wall’s inner praharam is called “Aalinaadan veethi” that was the name of the place ruled by Azwar. There is a big Garudazwar sannathi in this praharam. The entrance is called Karthikai Vaasal to remember the birth star of our Azwar .
The Thirunadai malikai that joins the Chandra Pushkarani and Velli Azakiyan vasal was also his contribution . On total he completed eight major construcion works in Srirangam.
” The big question to the devotees was where from he got this money for these construction work?”
It is told by elders that once Azhwar sent his disciples to find out where from they could get money for carrying out this huge work listed above in the temple . One of the disciples understood the task his master had for them . He politely came out and told Master I am told that there was a gold Buddha statue at Nagapattinam near Kanyakumari and if we could somehow possess it, we would get enough money for the construction work by selling the same .
On further discussing about the whereabouts , they came to know the statue was installed on top of the Vimanam and any disturbance of the statue would damage the Vimanam . Hence they had to find out a smarter way to lift it without damaging the vimanam.
To understand the exact shape of the statue they had to find out the sculptor who took that work and constructed it on the vimanam . Azhwar with positive note , sent his disciples to find out where the sculptor lived for more details and decided to take his team to the place where the sculptor lived . He went in person with his disciples and stayed exactly opposite to the sculptor’s residence to gain his attention . Casually speaking to the sculptor , He revealed he was on a piligrimage and was just waiting for the arrival of a ship to continue his yathra to Nagapattinam. Thus he was able to gain his audience .
One day he wanted to draw the attention of the sculptor . He raised his voice and said , Am shocked !!! How and really how could the golden Buddha statue be stolen with such carelessness when the sculptor did a wonderful job . There was a murmur in the room . The sculptor who heard this was perplexed . He believed the words he heard and started cursing the helper who worked with him during the construction of the vimanam as he knew the secret of the construction of the Statue.
Thirumangai Azwar read the sculptors mood . He asked the sculptor for his nervousness and pretended that he was concerned for his labour . He asked him to reveal the helper’s whereabouts so that he would go and search for him and punish him for his misdeed.
The sculptor innocently pleaded that that he did not know his where about but was scared to meet the soldiers . Gaining his attention further , Azhwar spoke to him pleasingly and requested him to tell him about the ( Vimana Makuta suthram) construction secret. He assured him that he would find the sculptor and recover the statue from him which was explained .
The same day a ship arrived . Azhwar boarded the ship along with his disciples. Azhwar went to the Buddha Vihar with one of his disciples and was waiting till night fall. As he had already taken vital clues from the sculptor he managed to remove the statue with ease . The statue was glittering in the moonlight and Azhwar was just thinking, Buddha who renounced his princely home and kingdom would never wish to see himself in this golden statue.
Azhwar decides that it will be better to travel alone upto srirangam with the golden statue . He advises his disciple to leave and would follow suit. Azhwar walks back to Srirangam. As he approaches the holy place Thirukkannangudi near Nagapattinam it gets dark. Feeling tired he takes rest under big tamarind tree. He finds a ploughed field around the tree . With no hesitation he buries the golden statue in the field and commands the tree, that even if he happens to fall asleep, the tree must be awake and take care of the gold that has been buried .
The next morning the tamarind tree obediently sheds it leaves upon him and wakes him up . Azhwar pleased with the tree blesses the tree as URangaa puLI. (It is believed that the leaves of the tree never closed after this incident.)
As the dawn broke the farmer arrives to plough the field . Azhwar a bit confused , stops the farmer by saying that the field belongs to him and he cannot plough the field . The farmer a bit amused explains that for generations the land belonged to his family and how Azhwar can claim the land belongs to him . There is a chaos . The farmer reports the issue to the elders of the village . The Elders demand the proof that the land belonged to Kaliyan . Azhwar informs that the document is at Srirangam and the same will be made available in a day for which the elders agree .
Azhwar just wanted to snatch an opportunity to leave the place with the treasure . It is said due to this incident , at this place the law suits keeps on dragging. Hence the name Thola Vazakku. (means never ending)
Azhwar quickly proceeded to Srirangam . Enroute he is very thirsty , looking at a woman drawing water from a well requests to share some water . The woman refuses to give water thinking that Azhwar would claim the well also as his property.
Azhwar , unhappy with her behaviour and leaves the place . His unhappiness indirectly cursed that the bore well would become dry and water would never flow from underneath. Thus the well was called UUraa KiNaRu and always remained dry since then.
Tired , Azhwar proceeds inside the temple of Thirukannangudi .As he is exhausted , he relaxes under a Makiza tree. The Lordships are very concerned .
Lord comes as as a traveller in disguise and gives him food and water.
Azhwar who is terribly tired accepts the prasadam in dazed condition . He gains some energy and looks around to see that person but disappointed .
He blesses the Makiza tree. Thus the name of the tree becomes Kaayaa maram, never to dry and always to remain green and since then the tree is green .Azhwar waits for the sun to set .
He leaves to the field and takes out the gold kept buried in the field and proceeds his journey to Srirangam. On his way the all compassionate Lord comes in disguise as a traveller . Azhwar impressed with his bewitching smile understands it was LORD himself . Lord graces Azhwar with his darshanam with His Sangu- Chakram as desired by him . He realises that the Prasad was given by LORD himself on the previous night
Thirumangai Azhwar spent his last days at Thirukurrungudi as per the command of Lord Sri Ranganatha and attained salvation .
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pics credits : Srikrishna akhilesh , google images