Thirumangai Azhwar another name was Kaliyan who was the valiant army chief of the then Chola King . The king gifted him with a small territory to rule over. Hence, he was known as Thirumangai Mannan . He was attracted to an apsara Kumudavalli , daughter of a physician and expressed his desire to marry her. Kumudavalli who appeared on this earth to transform this valiant king to a bhakta, laid the condition that he should feed 1000 Srivaishnavas every day for one year . Thirumangai Mannan fulfilled her condition and continued to do so even after his marriage as he got habituated in this wonderful kainkaryam of feeding Srivaishnavas. In due course, his wealth diminished and as Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita, when HE decides to bless HIS devotee, HE takes away wealth and enacted a divya leela. Due to his love for vaishnavas , our Azhwar resorted to stealing and plundering wealth from the rich and the egoistic and used the wealth for feeding Vaishnavas and renovating temples. Tirumangai Mannan comes to know through his friends that a newly wedded couple bedecked with costly jewellery are passing through a forest in a palanquin and if they could plunder their wealth, they could continue with their cause of serving Srivaishnavas forever. So, Thirumangai Mannan along with his four friends leaves his place in the midnight , rides fast on his horse,who he calls as Aadalmaa, waylays the divine couple who are resting in a mandapam at “Thirumanankollai” and plunders their wealth and ties them in a cloth. Not being satisfied with the loot, he tries to remove the Thirumetti of Thayar with all his might and is unsuccessful. By coming in contact with Thayar’s thiruvadi, realisation dawns on him. When he tries to lift the loot, he is unable to do so and suspecting the bridegroom for having put some charm , he threatens Perumal who is disguised as the bridegroom with a sword to disclose the secret.that does not allow him to carry the loot Perumal advises him to purify himself and return so that he can impart the secret to him. Thirumangai mannan returns and Perumal gives him the most sacred mantram,Thirumantram . The moment Perumal whispers the sacred Ashtakshari Thirumantram , wisdom dawns on Kaliyan and he surrenders at the Lotus feet of the Divya Dampadhigal. He repents for all his earlier deeds and outbursts his pourings starting with “Vaadinene Vaadi….” and decides to glorify Perumal by visiting holy places in India.. He is transformed as Thirumangai Azhwar and riding on his Aadalma horse glorified Perumal in about 86 divya desams. Every year, this incident in recollected on Panguni-Makham (Mar-april) at thirunangoor as Thiruvedupari utsavam and this year the incident is enacted on 2nd midnight April 2015 . The pics were taken during our last visit . We participated in the Thirukalyanam of Perumal with Nachiyar the previous afternoon . Later , in the night after saatrumarai, the newly wed Perumal and Thayar bedecked fully with jewellery set out on a decorated palanquin. WE were told that they would halt in a mandapam at Thirumanankollai. We drove to Thiruvali-Thirunagari temple to have darsanam of Thirumangai Azhwar also known as Kaliyan/Neelan/Thirumangai Mannan and were among the crowd awaiting the temple doors to open….Now the most beautiful THIRUVEDUPARI UTSAVAM begins ..
At midnight almost 2 AM , a group of people who were playing the role of Kaliyan’s friends entered the temple to inform Kaliyan about the newly wed couple. Within minutes, the temple doors were wide open. The beautifully dressed Thirumangai mannan in blue velvette dress wearing innumerable intrinsic jewellery holding gem studded sword , precious gems studded dagger and all other weapons required by a king galloped on his favourite horse”Aadalma”, rushed outside the temple and set forth on his journey to loot the wealth .The night is pitch dark . The sevarthees bearing torches literally run along with Kaliyan. It is a sight never to be missed. The zeal with which Kaliyan rides on the horse is inexplicable. One has to be physically present to witness this . The neophyte devotees who gather for this function usually engage autos/cars to keep pace with Azhwar and we followed suit. Kaliyan swifts through the narrow muddy roads to reach the place while we took another route to reach the mandapam. Perumal and Thayar in Kalyana Thirukolam were giving darshan to the assembled devotees. Adiyongal also had darshanam from close quarters.
Thousands of devotees had gathered at that place and a village mela was going on. The whole place was vibrant with devotional music and few Vaishnavas were singing Peria Thirumozhi in a small mantapam . Some locals were dressed up like Thirumangai Mannan. As if to compete with the beauty of Full Moon in the sky, many others were bursting crackers which were decorating the sky. The entire place was in a festive joyous mood awaiting Kaliyan’s arrival. Kaliyan reached the place along with his attendants and circumbulated the mandapam thrice swiftly amidst chores and went inside the mandapam. The act of Thirumangai Mannan looting the wealth is enacted inside the closed curtain. Later, the thirumeni of Thirumangai Mannan is taken to a nearby mandapam where he rests for more than an hour. We were told that during Azhwar’s days, there was a small stream flowing by in which Azhwar as per the instructions of Perumal had holy bath. Today, the stream is dried and so we could walk across to the mandapam where Thirumangai Mannan was resting. All the devotees are allowed to have darshan of Azhwar from very close quarters. We recollected Manavala Maamunigal ‘s beautiful description about Thirumangai Mannan’s vadivazhagu. Later, Thirumangai Mannan alights out from the mandapam amidst fanfare and circumbalate around the Dhivya Dampadhigal who were now giving darsanam on Garuda Vaahanam. WE were told that Perumal gives Mantropadesam to Thirumangai Mannan. Wisdom dawns on Thirumangai Mannan and he seeks forgiveness and repents for his acts . The first ten songs from Peria Thirumozhi starting with “Vaadinene Vaadi” was recited by all the assembled bhagavathaas and then neivedyam was offered to Perumal. The divya dampadhigal honoured Thirumangai Azhwar with parivattam, prasadam,garland, theertha prasadam and sataari. Karpoora aarthi was given to both Perumal and Azhwar. The entire procession started towards Thiruvaali temple reciting the remaining pasurams from Peria thirumozhi. The transformed Azhwar was now seen moving slowly as he had submitted his valour, strength ,speed , ego at the Lotus feet of Perumal and as a pure devotee he was now contemplating on the divine qualities of Perumal.
Please do plan to have this darshinam at Thiruvali Thirunagari on 02 of April 2015 , have darshanam and plan to have one more darshan at Srirangam to have the memorable darshanam of Peria Perumal.
Thirumangai Azhwar Thiru adigale sharanam
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan