Peyazhwar the senior most Azhwar was maintaining a garden and another devotee Parama Siva Vakyar used to walk that way. They both used to discuss about the religion they followed and wanted to establish about the religion followed was superior. One day Peyazhwar took a weak rope with knots and a pot with holes and drew water from the well and poured it to plants that he planted upside down. Siva Vakyar who came along saw this and laughed loudly. Peyazhwar asked him why he was laughing. He replied that he was behaving like a foolish person man as the plant , that was planted upside down and the pot that contained no water as it had holes , what purpose would it serve. In giving you the fruit ? Peyazhwar turned around and told him that he was the one who was being misguided .Peyazwar told him that the rope was the example for his Athma which is searching through different religions to find the Paramathma, but not succeeded in its search for the truth and still going on searching. He told him that our ancestors had explained in the following verse“ Thirumaal is like the root of the plant and the only ParamporuL. ( LORD ) From the root only leaves, branches, flowers and fruits appear . Similarly all the deities took forms only from the root and so they might wither away at some time or other. Hence it is foolishness to think that the other parts of the plant are superior to the root, meaning without the root the plant cannot survive. Peyazwar’s explanation put Siva Vakyar in deep thought.
He realized that he was still searching for the true knowledge , but couldn’t find it. He requested Peyazhwar to accept him as his disciple. And slowly understanding the greatness of the Vaishnava sampradaya became Thirumazisaiyazwar and started following sri vaishnavism and serving Peyazhwar .
Later he took leave of Peyazhwar and went on divya desa yathra. After visiting few divya desams he went to Kancheepuram and served LORD VARADARAJA there.
KaNiKaNNan a devotee , requested Thirumazisaiyazwar to accept him as his disciple. Azhwar accepted him as his disciple. At his ashram an old lady used to come and clean his place, and perform small service to him. One day she prayed him that being old she felt that she may not be able to serve him longer and regretted for joining this pious service after becoming old. Azhwar was touched with her devotion and sincerity and blessed her regain her youth .
One day the king who ruled over Kanchi happened to see this lady who was so beautiful after Azhwars blessings , and instantly fell in love with her. He married her and took her to his palace. As years rolled by the king was becoming old, but his wife was as young as she was when he got her married. He asked her what was the secret and she told him what had happened with her after serving Azhwar .She suggested the King to ask KaNaikaNNan to request Azhwar to the palace and pray for the same. . The king sent for KaNIkaNNan and told him to bring Azhwar and compose a verse in his praise and to change him young. KaNikaNNan told him that Azhwar would not compose verse praising mortals, but only in praise of Thirumaal. The king told KaNikaNNan, in that case being a true devotee of the Azhwar, he should compose a verse . But KaNIkaNNan refused his request and the king got very angry with him. He ordered him to leave the city immediately. KaNikaNNan went and told Azhwar all that had happened, and also told him that he was leaving the city as for the king’s order. Azhwar got very upset and told that when his disciple was not allowed to stay, he also would leave the city. He prayed to the Lord and requested Him also to join along with them folding His AravaNai. ( THE FOLDING MAT WHERE HE WAS RECLINING )
Lo presto! What a surprise! The Lord obeyed his true devotee’s order, He got up and followed his devotees out of the city, folding His snake-bed and sticking it under arm.
The next moment the whole city plunged into darkness and ill omens occurred. The king got frightened and called his ministers for quick remedy. They told him that he had committed a big blunder by expelling a true devotee of the Lord and so no other alternative, but to go and ask for his pardon and beseech him to come back. The king along with his courtiers reached the place where Azhwar and KaNikaNNan were staying for the night. He fell at their feet and begged them to return to the city. Azhwar again requested the Lord to return to his abode with His snake-bed and the Lord also was happy to return. From then onwards the Lord got the name Sonna VaNNAm Seytha Perumal and in Sanskrit Yathokthakari. The place they stayed for the night got the name Oriravu Irukkai and at present is known as Orikkai where a Mani Mandapam is erected.A special feature of Thirumazhisai Azhwar at the Jagannatha Perumal temple in Kancheepuram is that he is seen with a third eye. Thirumazhisai Azhwar’s contribution to the Nalayira Divya Prabhandham includes over 200 verses (Naanmugan Thiruvanthaathi and Thiruchandha Viruththam) of praise. Thirumazhisai Azhwar spent his final years at Thiru Kudanthai and attained moksham there.
Azhwar Thiruvadigale sharanam
Sonna VaNNam Seytha PerumaL ThiruvadikaLe SaraNam!