Swami Thiru-kachchi Nambi occupies a very unique position, both as an Acharyar, and as an advanced devotee of Lord Varadaraja . Swamy Nambi is one of the very few devotees with whom the Lord Himself conversed regularly.
Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi appeared at a place called poo irunda valli (currently called poonamallee, near Chennai). He moved to kAnchIpuram, and started performing devotional service to LORD Varadaraja at Kancheepuram temple.
His 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 carrying out the service (called thiru-Ala-vatta Kainkaryam in tamil), Lord Varadaraja used to talk to Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi about the happenings of 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 rituals were completed in the temple , Swami thiru-k- kachchi nambi was 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 the Lord seemed to be resting.
Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi took leave from the Lord, and went outside the covered Mantapam. It was raining very heavily, and hence he could not go.
Nambi was concerned that if he is delayed, coming back to the temple for evening services would be a problem .He was restless as at no point the evening service can be delayed .
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 to his home with the umbrella, and bring him back. for the evening service .
Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi was very moved with his kindness. He thanked the Sri Vaishnava and the Lord for this trouble.
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 , 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 very much worried . Awaiting for swami thiru-k- kachchi nambi arrival to 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 accompanied by the SriVaishnava entered the temple .
The priests immediately went to him, and explained the situation, and asked him with great concern if he knew anything. Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi told them he had no idea about what might have happened, and immediately started sobbing .
After all, Lord Varadaraja was not just the Supreme Being to him but was also his closest friend.
After a few minutes, swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi wanted to go to the Lord’s usual place and see if he can get any clues from there.
He went and lo and behold, the Lord was there as usual 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 is the greatness of swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi…
Thirukachi Nambee swamy Thiruvadigale sharanam
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan