Swami Thiru-kachchi Nambi occupies a very unique position, both as an Acharyar, and as an advanced devotee in srivaishnava guru parampara . Swamy Nambi is one of the very few devotees with whom the Lord Himself conversed regularly.
Swami Thirukkachchi nambi appeared in a place called poo irunda valli (currently called poonamallee, near Chennai) happens to be today Maasi Mrigasira Nakshatra.
Swamy moved to kAnchIpuram, and started performing devotional service to LORD Varadaraja at Kancheepuram temple. His unique service was to fan the Lord of Kanchi, Swami Varadaraja, everyday in the late morning-early afternoon, and in the night before Lord takes rest .
While doing the service (called thiru-Ala-vatta Kainkaryam in tamil), Lord Varadaraja used to converse with Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi about the happenings around the world. The topics used to be anything from how the temple was being run, to the happenings in the city of Kanchipuram and esoteric topics about philosophy. The Lord considered swami thiru-k- kachchi nambi as His closest friend, and talked to him just like any friend would.
All this was due to the great qualities of swami thiru-k- kachchi nambi – his supreme devotion to Lord Varadaraja, his being devoid of any ego, and his being a true servant of the Lord, wanting no other thing but service to the Lord. One incident in his life is used to show how much Lord cared for him.
One morning, after the morning rituals were completed in the temple, everyone left as usual. Lord Varadaraja and Swami thiru-k- kachchi nambi were relaxing in the usual position, with Swami thiru-k-kachhci nambi performing the usual Kainkaryam of fanning the Lord. They were immersed on some interesting topic, and time passed without both of them noticing. Suddenly , It began to rain very heavily.
The time for thiru-k- kachchi nambi to go home for his afternoon prasadam arrived, and Lord seemed to be resting. So, swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi took leave from Lord, and went outside the covered Mantapam. It was raining very heavily, and hence he could not move out . He was getting concerned that if he is delayed now, then he will be delayed coming back to the temple for evening services.
Suddenly, an aged Sri Vaishnava person appeared with an umbrella, and told swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi that Lord Varadaraja had instructed him to accompany swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi to his home with the umbrella, and bring him back.
Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi was very moved with this kindness, and thanked the Sri Vaishnava and the Lord for the great help Evening came, and swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi was delayed a little bit in starting for the temple.
The Sri Vaishnava who accompanied him to his house was still there, waiting for him, so that he could accompany him back to the temple. Meanwhile, in the temple, the priests arrived to start performing the evening rituals. When they entered the sanctum sanctorum, they were shocked and taken aback.
The Lord was not there in the temple! They looked everywhere, and the Lord was not there! They were much worried, and were waiting for swami thiru-k- kachchi nambi to come back so that they can ask him if he knew where the Lord went, or if the Lord was upset with some mistake that might have happened.After sometime, Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi came with the SriVaishnava.
The priests immediately went to him, and explained the situation, and asked him with great concern if he knew anything. Swamithiru-k-kachchi nambi told them he had no idea about what might have happened, and immediately started crying.
After all, Lord Varadaraja was not just the Supreme Being to him; He was also his closest friend.
After a few minutes, swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi wanted to go to theLord’s usual place and see if he can get any clues from there. He went to the usual place of the Lord, and lo and behold, the Lord was there,smiling and with a very satisfied look on His lotus face! Immediately, swami thiru-k-kachci nambi ran to the priests and conveyed the happy news.
Everyone wanted to celebrate, and looked for the Sri Vaishnava who had accompanied swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi so that they could invite him to join the celebrations too.
They could not find him. He had vanished. When the priests went near the Lord to start performing the services ,they saw water droplets on Him! Everyone now realized what had happened. The Lord Himself, unable to bear the thought of swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi getting wet by the rain, had accompanied him to his home. Not only that, He waited there so that He could accompany swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi back to the temple!
Such was the greatness of the revered Acharyar Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi…
Later during his last days , once Swamy Thirukachi nambhigal while continuing his fanning service to Lord Sri Varadaraja Perumal his aalavattam (fan) slipped and fell on Lord.Very disturbed he realises the body was not supporting his kainkaryam ….
Thirukachi Nambhigal immediately realized that the time for him to leave this materialistic world had come.
Nambhigal submits to LORD and requests Perumal to grant him liberation .
Lord Varadaraja Perumal smiles and replies
My dear Nambee !!… granting Moksham needs “Bhaagavatha Sambhandham”.
Your fanning made me speak to you ..
“Neer Veesiner, Naan Pessinen”.
Thirukachi Nambhigal now decides to “earn” some Bhaagavatha Abhimaanam.
He takes permission from Lord Varadaraja and then proceeds to the home of the great Acharya Thirukostiyur Nambhi. He realises 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 small 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.( An oppurtunity to have some service to devotees )
Thirukachi Nambhigal is relieved and happy that he has had got 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 disciples are not keen to go in the heavy rains and blowing winds.
Thirukostiyur Nambhi decides to look for the cows by himself. He calls for Thirukachi Nambhigal for help. Thirukachi Nambhigal very eager to serve Acharyar , instantly replies “Adiyen” your servant is awaiting for your instructions ….
Thirukostiyur Nambhi is surprised and looks in the direction of the voice.
To his wonder, Thirukachi Nambhigal had already brought the cows home and covered them with his own clothes .
Thirukoshtiyur Nambhi is instantly pleased at Thirukachi nambhigal’s devotion . He calls his wife and advises her to honour the disciple with prasad….
Since his Master had called him as Nam Mattukaran, which signifies a relationship and hence Bhagavatha Sambandham Nambhi is overjoyed ….
The next day Nambhi changes to his original attire as when fanning Lord Varadaraja Perumal .He reveals his identity and narrates the sequence of incidents that led him to coming as Gajandra dasan to Thirukostiyur Nambhigal.
Finally being blessed with Bhaagavatha 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. The emotional outpour “Devaraja Ashtakam”, glorifying the Lord’s boundless love for His Bakthas is revealed ……and the pains of this materialistic world!
Swamy Nambhigal attains moksham to serve Sriman Narayana in Sri Vaikuntam permanently .
Today 6-3-2017 ..being Swamy Thirukachi Nambi appearance lets pray for steadfast devotion from revered Acharyar …
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pics : Courtesy Google images and several advanced devotees
Videos : Sri Devanathan & Sri Padmanabhan