As per the divine order of JagathAcharyar Swamy Ramanuja his disciple Swamy Anathazhwan served LORD VENKATESHWARA at Tirumala hills . He maintained a garden and was offering fragrant flowers to LORD daily .The beautiful garden was planted with flower bearing plants such as vakula , patala , punnaga , shenbaga and other fragrant trees . The bunches of freshly grown flowers hanging from the branches were grand to look . The ears of pilgrims walking around the garden had strains of music poured forth by bees and all kinds of plumage birds , humming bees , cuckoos and the chirping of birds made the garden a perfect place for divinity . Nammazhwar’s hymns referring to the Lord as residing in flower bedecked ThiruVenkata Hills ( Sindhupoo maghizhum Thiruvengadam) was aptly reverberating .
One day , on routine checks Azhwan became upset .He found that the garden had been defiled.
The flower plants were somehow looking tramped by a foreigner . The fruits were plucked and strewn hither and thither. He guessed someone had visited the garden and were running around freely . Nobody around could tell him how this had happened. The gateman was clueless. Ananthazhvan with his disciples kept a watch for intruders.
It was the beautiful Spring season ( Vasantha ruthuvu). Ananthazhvan was hiding underneath a bush in a garden . At dead end of the night, he could see a divine princely couple with opulence tejas wearing wonderful ornaments moving inside the garden. For a moment he was overjoyed with the divinity in their appearance , however he was also overtaken by their play that caused withering of the plants and the fragrant flowers .
He decided to arrest them and thus made attempts by slowly following the couple. He was surprised to see both of them smiling and allowing themselves to be under his control . Azhwan decided to tie them to a tree and wait for the next day to arrive for handing over them to the security .
However the charming prince who was very handsome escaped from Anathazhwan’s clutches. The princess however could not escape as she was moved by our Azhwans pure bhakthi. Azhwan out of sheer love to “LORD” questioned the divine lady underneath a Champaka tree .
What made you come here and Why were you two inside this garden that was exclusively being maintained for serving LORD VENKATESHWARA . How can one commit such offense of meddling with the garden flowers that were being grown only for the service of LORD .
Azhwan asked about their living and what way they were connected to the Holy hills not knowing she was JAGANMATHA herself .
The divine lady answered,
Swamin “I am like your daughter. I did no wrong.
I and my Lord who just left me out of fearing you ( smilingly ) are the rulers of these Hills.
My Lord wanders all over the Hills as he pleases. He must have entered your garden and enjoyed the beauty and was moved with your bhakthi to LORD .
I am not responsible for whatever has happened. Please allow me to leave . Being proficient in shastras you must accept as a wife I cannot mention the name of my Lord ….
…………….Please leave me free…………………
Azhvan out of respect and moved by the divine lady’s words replied
.. Amma … You look like Mahalakshmi. Verily, you are like a daughter to me. Your LORD is sure to come searching for you. Let him come in the morning. I will take a ransom from him for the damage and then release you. Till then, I am sorry you will have to be under this Champaka tree ,” and thus our Ananthazhvan was holding vigil whole night to meet the Supreme LORD …..little did he realize that LORD was enacting a divine leela to be cherished by all of us .
The next morning the Archakas opened the temple gate and went into the sanctum sanctorum for the morning rituals. They were surprised to note that the golden locket covering Alarmelmangai on the chest of the Lord was missing.
The temple officials of the temple grew suspicious. At this point of time, an aasurees voice was heard by one of the Archakas pointing out that none of them are guilty and that when the Lord and Alarmelmanga were strolling in the Swamy Ramanuja garden maintained by the devotee Ananthzhvan, out of abundant mercy Goddess Mahalakshmee has submitted to Azhwan .
She was under the Champaka tree under the watchful eye of Azhvan. The Lord commanded the Archakas of the temple to go to the garden and honor the azhvan and with respects invite Azhwan to the temple. Promptly, the Archakas went to the garden with the temple honours and were bewildered to see Alarmelmanga who was in the disguise of princess and Azhwan under the Champaka tree.
In the Dvaparayuga, the Lord was tied to the mortar by Yasoda. The same way, in this Kaliyuga, Alarmelmanga was tieddown to the Champaka tree by Anathazhwan. They conveyed to him the Lord’s command. Ananthazhvan with full remorse begged pardon and was crest-fallen that he has done bhagavath apachara. With all humility he seeked forgivance for the unexpected error . He immediately released Alarmelmanga and prostrated before her repeatedly praying for forgiveness. Alarmelmanga smilingly advised that Anathazhwan that he should consider her as his daughter as agreed . Immediately, she transformed herself into a princess . Anathazhwan finishing his morning oblations took his daughter with flowers and garlands in procession to the temple.
He bowed before the Lord repeatedly and humbly praying for his mercy said LORD please forgive me for the foolish act .Here Adiyen has come with the Jaganmatha .Please forgive me and accept heras she was so kind to bless me in being her father .
The divine princess immediately transformed herself and adorned the chest of Lord Srinivasa. This was the origin of the tradition considering Alarmelmanga as the daughter of Anathazhwan and the Lord of the Seven Hills as Anathazhwan’s son in-law. In the Tamil month of Purattasi, during the Rathotsavam, on the eigth day of Srivari Brahmotsava, it is customary even today to adorn the Lord with Pitamabara and silken cloth as Sambhavana of Anathazhwan,the father-in-law.
There is a benediction to Anathazhwan
Malaiyil vengadavarkku mamanar vazhiye
Alarmelmangai tiruvukku appanar vazhiye
(Glory to Ananthazhvan who is the father-in-law of Lord Srinivasa!
Glory to Ananthazhvan who is the father of Alarmenmangai!)
Swamy Ananthalwan joined eternity with Lord Venkateshwara on the sacred Thiru Adi Pooram day ( July- August) . Even today , Lord Venkateswara visits this garden and bestows honours on the Magizha Tree. The satari at the main sanctum sanctorum is glorified as Sadagopa in remembrance of Nammazhwar.
The Satari in the Swamy Ramanuja shrine is glorified as Ananthalwan.
Few more divine pastimes of Azhwar and LORD are shared in below posts
Please click on the below links…….
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pics credits : Google images
Video credits : Ramyagiri