Once the revered Acharyar Nadathoor Azhwan was on the way to a nearby temple . He met a learned srivaishnava friend who had come to accompany Azhwan upto the temple . En route they were discussing the divine experiences of Azhwars and Poorvacharyas .
Suddenly they came across another srivaishnava with Tilak but was belonging to a lower caste . As was the custom those days on seing the two revered Acharyas he moved to another side of the road and waited obediently for them to leave .
The learned vaishnava friend who was accompanying Azhwan looked at the passerby and started shouting at him for trespassing …….. and was too harsh on him …..
Nadadoor Azhwan who heard his shouts , fell down in a swoon . He was brought back to consciousness . The learned Vaishnava asked Azhwan If his health was fine and why did he swoon ?
Azhwan who was already in a deep shock explained ..
My dear scholar .. Do you know , who was that srivaishnava whom you misbehaved with ? ……………….
————-The learned vaishnava put a blank face .
Azhwan continued…. That great soul belonged to the family of Thiruppan Azhwar who with his just 10 verses of Nectarine Amalanadhipiran pasurams merged in Lord’s lotus feet and got liberated .
My dear Swamin !! It has been repeatedly said and proved that If one indulges in a transgression involving a devotee ( Bhagavatha Apachara ) even the brahmavidya will be rendered ineffective in combating the effects of the karma.
Among the different types of transgressions for a devotee the first arise out of disrespectful reference to another’s birth .It is a severe offence to brand a person for his low caste as all vaishnavas , without reference to caste are worthy of worship .
This vaishnava is also a great devotee who has qualities of abundant mercy and compassion and that was the reason he respected you and just moved away . Do you know , He can recite all the 4000 Divya Prabhandams pasurams . He is so fortunate to be born between the two cauveries . You have misbehaved with a great soul just because of his appearance and caste …..
Am I not a low caste person when I claim I am Independent .. Azhwan listed out several pastimes from Poorvacharya’s works to drive his point and takes a verse from anthimOpAya nishtai………..
madh bhaktham svapachamvApi nindhAm kurvanthi yE narA: padhmakOti sathEnApi na kshamAmi kathAchana
Those men who insult my devotees, even a chandala , are never excused by me even after the passage of millions of years.
yA prIthirmayi samvruththA madhbhakthEshu sadhAsthu thE ………. avamAnakriyA thEshAm samharathi akilam jagath
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan …
Pics credits : Google images