The holy place Alwar Thirunagari is located in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu. Those were the days when our most respected Azhwar , Swami Nammazhwar was meditating near the southern banks of the holy Tambaraparani river .
There was a yogi who was staying near the northern bank of the same river along with his dog . The dog used to daily leave the northern bank of the river and reach southern bank .It would eat the remnants of the food honored by the srivaishnavas near the temple . It would return daily by sun set back to wait near the tree along with the Yogi .This became a routine for the dog .
One day as usual the dog left in the morning but did not return as per the expected time . There was a change in weather and the weather was too cloudy for a heavy downpour . The yogi was feeling lonely without his company .
He went in search of his companion in the pouring rain . He could see the dog which was swimming against the current and somehow he was not able to succeed . In the struggle the dog had to leave his body . The Yogi was amazed to see another event . The head burst out from the dog and a shining light emanated that was going upwards to the heavens .
This made the Yogi wonder about the holy place .He observed that when a dog who just took the remnants of the pious sri vaishnavas could get salvation what can be told about this holy place where our Nammazhwar had graced this place with his divine darshan .
The great Sri Kamban azhwan had quoted this incident of the dog attaining moksha in his works Satagopar Anthadhee..
This incident of the dog attaining moksha is also sculpted in a stone on the banks of Tambaraparani river near Azhwar Theerthavari mandapam …
Blessed are those devotees who will be attending Swami Nammazhwars Apperance day at Thirukurugoor .
As Lord Narayana came here as ‘Mannan’ to take the hand of Mahalakshmi and later asked Nathamuni to share the Divya Prabandham and the Vaishnava Sampradayam to the world at large, he was referred to as ‘ Kattum’ ‘Mannan- Aanaar’ (the Lord who came as a king and later presented the entire prabandham through Nathamuni). In course of time, Kattum Mannan-Aanaar became Kattu Mannar.
A man inspired with Azhwars Divya Prabhandam wanted to learn Nammazhwars Tiruvaimozhi .He proceeded to Swamy Nanjeeyars Ashram and was waiting for swamy’s audience . He was fortunate to be called immediately . Nanjeeyar was pleased with the man’s interest . Nanjeeyar without any thought , directed him to his disciple Nampillai.
The man was a bit hesitant as he had come seeking spiritual instructions from Nanjeeyar only, as he was told by his friends about Nanjeeyar scholarship and had great regard for him . Though elderly , he was ready to fall at Nanjeeyar’s feet and learn from him rather than to fall at his disciple Nampillai’s feet.
Nanjeeyar calmed the seeker and told him at no point of time he has to fall at Nampillai’s feet. Nanjeeyar called Nampillai his foremost disciple and said ,Child , You need to teach this gentlemen Nammazhwars Thirumozhi .Please see that he is comfortable both in mind and action when you teach him .
Nanjeeyar also told Nampillai that this class shall be a bit different as you shall be seated on the floor and teach this gentlemen who will be seated on a chair . The great disciple he was , obeyed Acharyars command with cheerful smile . Nampillai welcomed the new student with respects to the class .
The lessons began, and as instructed by Nanjeeyar, Nampillai obediently sat on the floor, while the student sat on a chair. The classes was conducted with lot of respect to the student . As the classes progressed, the student felt very bad about being seated on a chair, while his young teacher sat on the floor. One day , he got up with tears and fell at Swamy Nampillais lotus feet like an uprooted tree with tears for his foolish behaviour .He pleaded Swamy to be seated on chair .
Surprisingly for him , Swamy Nampillai said he would no longer teach him. The reason given by Nampillai was that he had been asked by Nanjeeyar to sit on the floor and instruct the student. Now if he were asked to sit on a chair, he could not teach, because that was not what his acharya had expected from him . Thus Nampillai not only was humble enough to sit on the floor and teach he was also always obedient to his preceptor. Later , the student approached Nanjeeyar with tears apologising for his foolish act .
He pleaded Nanjeeyar to be allowed to attend Swamy Nampillai’s class along with other students as a true disciple .Nanjeeyar agreed and once again the student happily attended the classes sitting on the floor .
A similar incident happened in the days of Swamy Ramanuja . There was a learned scholar who wanted to know few esoteric truths from Kooratazhvan. He was a most influential person in the Kingdom . Almost an advisor to the Royal family .
Knowing about Koorathazhwans humility and great knowledge , he approached him for clearing his doubts . He said , the whole kingdom knows that I am a scholar and advisor to the Royal family but I do not want anyone to know about my doubts .
Both of them decided the classes would begin from the next day near the shores of the river . Kooratazhvar humbly suggested that the man sit on a chair and Koorathazhwan sat on the floor as If he was learning from the scholar . The moment they heard someone approach, the man could hand the book over to Kooratazhvar, and the visitor would think Kooratazhvar was the student, which was why he was seated on the floor!
Swamy Nampillai was the fourteenth Acharya in the prestigious Guruparampara lineage of Srivaishnava sampradaya .
One day Swamy Nampillai asked his Acharya Nan Jeeyar the most relevant question of present day. He submitted to his Acharyar humbly and asked Swamin !!
How can one confirm that he has the qualities of a srivaishnava ?
Nanjeeyar was a chosen disciple of Swamy Parasra Bhattar and naturally possessed all the divine knowledge from his Acharyar .
Nanjeeyar replied !
My child If a person undoubtedly believes that Lord Sriman Narayana in his Archa form gracing us in the temples and house does possess all supreme powers as in Srivaikunta Loka, He can count to be one among a Srivaishnava .
Our Azhwars were possessing that divine quality which made them glorify the Lordships in all the vaishnava divyadesams and Abhimana sthalas .
No doubt the Lord in the Divyadesam also replied to their devotion .
Thirumangai Azhwar had innumerable experiences in this kainkaryam
And , it is generally seen a man loves his son very dearly .
If the same person loves a srivaishnva as dear as his son he can consider to be in the list of srivaishnavas and in case he has been abused by a Srivaishnava and does not react , and accepts his pungent words with cheerful obedience as positive development for his durguna he is a Srivaishnava.
Finally , the Acharya summed up the answer in few words
Archaavatara abhimanam , Bhagavatha Prema and Bhagavatha Katinokthi Bhogyatha buddhi are essential characteristics of a srivaishnava .
If at all any one has these three virtues, he can conclude within himself that he is a Srivaishnava.
During the last days of his illustrious sainthood , Swamy Nanjeeyar the great disciple of the legendary Swamy Parasara bhattar was bedridden.
Swamy Nanjeer was one of the foremost pillar of Sri Vaishnavism after the period of our JagathaAcharyar Swamy Ramanuja . Before our beloved Jagath Acharyar Swamy Ramanujar left for heavenly abode he expressed his wish to his disciple Parasar Bhattar about bringing this Vedanthi into srivaishnava fold.(Namjeeyars original name was Madhvachariyar ,and swamin was expert in veda shastra and hence was addressed as Vedanthi).
As instructed by Acharyar , Bhattar travelled to Melkote metthe Vedanthi ( Namjeeyar) and for almost nine consecutive days a debate took place on vedantam . On the tenth day Vedanthi understood the proficiency in Bhattars knowledge and surrendered to the True Knowledge and submitted himself at the feet of Swamy Parasara Bhattar. Bhattar out of utmost compassion performed Pancha Samaskaram to Vedantin and returned to Srirangam.
One new disciple came to him and pleaded Acharyar “May I now request you Swamin, to chant the “Dwaya Mantra”?
Nanjeeyar looked at him and said Child ! “Why do you recommend the chanting to me? Do you not want it?” Is the holy mantra be chanted only by a bedridden man and not by a wandering soul?” The disciple on hearing this became dumb founded and felt ashamed of himself. Nanjeeyar continued
“Dwayam Mantra” must be chanted by all times irrespective of any condition of the body . As body needs oxygen to survive , soul needs Dwayam to progress ..
Another disciple of Nanjeeyar was hearing the conversation .He thought that there was some unfulfilled wish of Acharyar . He humbly approached his Acharyar and asked respectfully Swamin ! Kindly give us the opportunity to fulfill your desire .. what was longing….
NanJeeyar replied, My Child I need the entire wealth of this world .. The disciple was confused … The Acharyar smiled and said …My dear ……“I have a strong desire to behold Sri Namperumal’s Archavatara body in my mind forever . This is what I think that He can give me and it is equal to the wealth of the entire world.
The disciple immediately rushed to the main temple and conveyed Acharyars wish to the chief priest . The priest reported this wish with utmost devotion to Lord Namperumal. All compassionate Lord Namperumal agreed through asuri voice . All arrangements were made . Lord accordingly set out of his Sanctorum with pomp and grandeur and arrived in front of his favourite disciple Sri Nanjeeyar’s Mutt .
The arrival of Lord to Nanjeeyars mutt was very special . Lord Namperumal had just come directly to see his devotee as per his request . Nanjeeyar was overexcited . With copulent tears he was looking at Lord who graced him with very exhilarating divine darshana that was “Sarvasvam”(the wealth of entire world) . It was a one to one seva . NanJeeyar was overjoyed and was having uncontrollable tears all through . He turned round and looking at Swamy Nampillai and other disciples addressed them.
My dear children .. …
Our “Namperumal has fulfilled my wish by his cool grace which is the world wealth for me.
Dear Children ……
Now I am prepared to do reveal whatever knowledge I came to possess by the blessing of my learned Acharya Sri Bhattar. Those who have thirst for knowledge can quench their thirst….
Swamy Nampillai submitted him, Acharya ! Tell us something which I should ever remember as the sole refuge”. NanJeeyar replied …..
Do not think that the Lord is for the sake of the soul but think that the soul is for the sake of the Lord…..
Further Swamy NamPillai submitted another question humbly ,Acharyaa “What should be the behavior of Srivaishnavas when they get separated from the company a Srivaishnava by his departure to Sri Vaikunta Loka from this mortal world?”
My dear Nampillai , answered the great Acharyar .. Adiyens Acharyar Sri Parasara Bhattar advised me with few essential esoteric truths relating to the welfare of my soul which I shall reveal exactly as said by adiyen Acharyar ,
Do listen carefully ….
“Do not be popped up with pride for the following reasons
I am by name Vedanti (one who has learnt vedantas to its core).
I have for my Acharya, Sri Parasara Bhattar
I have given by way of Guru Dakshina plenty of wealth to Acharyar .
The I ‘ness …. dissolution is a must for the souls progress …..
Therefore think always that Swamy Ramanuja’s lotus feet are the sole means of salvation and take refuge unto him. I tell you now in a similar fashion – you also take refuge under Swamy Ramanuja . Do not be elated that you got the fame of Lokacharya and you are capable of bringing out the esoteric meanings of 4000 hymns of Azhwars and the propagator of Sri Bhashya (Beware of these pitfalls)”.
He advised few more essential truths to all his disciples . Nanjeeyar humbly spoke Dear Children ….. I beg your pardon for any fault if committed unknowingly, as it is very difficult for a soul with this body to be free from any fault . Blessing all of them , having “Sri Pada Thirtha” (the holy water after washing their holy feet) of Srivaishnavashe hosted (Tadiyaradhana) dinner for all the disciples ..
Subsequently, He showered his blessings on all the disciples ..Keeping his head on the lap of Sri Senapathi Jeeyar and his holy feet on the lap of Sri Pinbazhagiya Jeeyar facing towards the temple inside his mutt meditating on his Acharyar lotus feet of Swamy Parashara Bhattar, he began his journey to Sri SriVaikuntam
During the days of Swamy Parasarabhattar , a vedantin came to have darshan of Lord Ranganatha . He was very learned in sastras .
While having darshan he noticed Swamy Parasara bhattar advising a group of devotees .The Vedantin walked near to Swamy and asked him to explain how a vaishnava is distinquished from a smarta . Swamy Parasara bhattar did not care to enter into an elaborate controversy with the adversary on this query , delicate in as much as it is a bone of contention between the two divisions the advaitins and visishitadvaitins.
He just smiled and called his attention to the signs of chakra and shankha inscribed in both his arms a sacrament enjoyed by sastras on all vaishnavas .
The vedantin said ..Oh I see !! but what authorities can you quote from the shastras justifying you to set this type of custom ? of wearing Urdhva pundra and the sacraments.
Swamy Parasara bhattar replied .. I shall not trouble you with all that , for when I shall quote one authority , to which we commonly agree . The first sutra of Apastamba Dharma which says Wise practices of our wise elders are our best authority . Only after this comes Vedas .. Adiyens father Kooresa observed the sacrament in question and therefore , Adiyen does it .. Hope you to follow your Elders footsteps without doubt ..
The vedantin was silenced ..Though he was elder to Swamy Parasara bhattar , he offered obeisances and moved away quickly…..
The month of ( March – April ) in tamil (Panguni ) is sacred as it is the appearance month of – Lord Ranganatha on Revathi star and Goddess Sri Ranganayaki Thayar on Uthiram star both occur during the same month.
The most important and the oldest festival called as “Adi Brahmotsavam” is performed during this month for 10 days and culminates on the day of Panguni Uthiram .
About 800 years ago ……………………………………………
an unusual incident occurred which has remained as one of the most cherished brave effort by our Acharyas for protecting and leaving us the legacy of our great srivaishnava sampradaya and our Lordships…
Almost 800 years ago , the festive mood was vibrating with splendor. At the banks of Kollidam river preparations were being made for Lord’s arrival with pomp and show . The stage was decorated with wonderful flowers and the best decorative lamps .
A huge golden throne decked with diamonds and costly jewels, attracted the venue. The devotees were discussing.. Who else except Lord of the Lords is going to preside now.
Devotees from far off arrived in large numbers to attend the great festival .It was a darshanam not to be missed .
It was customary for the Lord to alight and have Abhishekam done amongst the huge gathering of devotees
. The entire stage was decorated. Milk , Curd , Honey, Coconut water , Rose water , sandal oil , various types of perfumes , flowers , holy basil leaves garlands was set in order for the Lords ceremonial bath .The feast for the eyes was about to begin …
Finally the time arrived …amongst the mangala Nadaswaram and the priests chanting Azhwars prabhandams Lord of Lords arrived in majestic style .
The great Acharya Swamy Desikan , Swamy Sudarshana suri along with several disciples accompanied the Lordships and were guiding the priests in conducting the rituals . Mangala haarathee was offered amongst the huge crowd .
All the devotees in one voice chanted loudly clasping their hands on their heads …..
G O V I N D A ….. G O V I N D A G O V I N D A ….G O V I N D A…… RANGA
Among the most revered Acharyas , Priests and devotees , a distinguished very old devotee aging around 85 years or more ,was contemplating on the various divine pastimes of the great devotees who had served Lord in all aspects , even sacrificing their lives for the Lordships .
Silently glorifying the great Jatayu who served Lord Rama , and Lord Rama performing funeral rites for Jatayu , Lord Krishna preferring to dine with Sri Vidura even though he had the option of dining with exalted elders such as Drona or Bheeshma the episode of ThiruppAN azhvar, LOkasAranga Munithe the great kulasekhara azhwar attachment to Lord , Sri Periya Nambi and his attachment to Sri MaranEri Nambi, Swami Ramanuja and his deep devotion to Sri Thirukachchi Nambi he was silently cherishing …
His thoughts were with pure devotion overflowing ….
What have I done for the Lord ??? for his mercy in being among this august gathering . His face exuded serenity and was in total peace.
Caught up in these devotional thoughts and having darshanam of Lord Ranganatha he was lost in a different world full of bliss …
He had slowly forgotten the world around him.
That great personality was none other than our Jagath Acharyar Swami Pillai Lokacharya .
The proceedings were being conducted smoothly .All of a sudden among the august gathering a person rushed to the old Acharyar . He was sweating . He took courage and said … Acharya , I was washing clothes on the banks of Cauvery river when my donkeys ran away suddenly hearing some unusual noise .
I attempted to find what was the reason . Slowly I climbed a small hillock to see what was that frightening my donkeys . Much to my surprise I noticed a large battalion of men on horses with ammunition marching towards our direction .
With their attire I guess they should be the moslem invaders . I am told by my relatives that many temples around us were being looted and desecrated by these invaders. Acharya , I am scared .. What would happen to our temple and our Lord Ranganatha . I am afraid for our families .Please do something .
Swamy Lokacharya was taken aback . He closed his eyes and said ..Don’t worry ..Our Lord will take care .. He got up majestically and walked towards the deities . Prostrating to Lord seeking his grace He looked at that man and said … Just go and continue with your routine work . But ! Just keep watching the invaders movements and inform as soon as possible
Swamy Desikar , Swamy Sudarshana suri and other Acharyas assembled and met Swamy Pillai Lokacharyar and concluded it was Ulugh Khan the army commander sent by Tuglak. They had to take a quick decision .
All of them informed the priests for staying beside the deities at all cost , and gave some important tasks to be completed without any delay .
They briefed them about the unexpected calamity that may take place any time and hence instructed the priests to secretly carry the Lordships to the temple without the regular Abhisheka .
The devotees who had assembled were slowly coming to know about the sudden change in the programme as the news spread like fire . All the assembled devotees silently marched back to their respective homes cursing the enemies who created this unholy trouble. The Lordships were silently taken back inside the temple . Swamy Lokacharyar called the Chieftain and the Elders of the temple and advised them what could be the steps that may have to take facing the invader.
The objective was not to confront the enemy but to focus their efforts to ensure that the moola virat was not desecrated. All of them decided that they shall form three groups .
One group shall be headed by the eldest Swamy Pillai Lokachariya, who shall carry the deities of Lord Ranganatha and His concerts in a covered palanquin and proceed southward with few disciples .
Swamy Sudarshana suri took up the task of erecting a stone wall in front of the main sanctorum to misguide the invaders . A stone wall was constructed with support of many disciples in a short time ..
The third team was to provide cover for the team lead by Swamy Pillai Lokachariya [the team with the deities of our lord and his consorts so that swami had enough time to maintain safe distance from the enemy.
Swami Desika who was the youngest among the Acharyas was requested by Shri Sudarsana suri to go with the third party and somehow save himself so that he at least might be left to propound Sri Vaishnavism and the teachings of Jagatha Acharya Shri Ramanuja. Shrutaprakashika was the work that was made out of generations of learning’s from Acharyas and an elaborate commentary on JagathaAcharyar Swamy Ramanuja’s Sri Bhasyam .
Sudharsana Suri entrusted his two young sons and manuscript “SrutaprakaasikA” to Swami Desika Swami Desika had an earnest desire that this great work must at any cost be saved . Swami as instructed immediately took up the directions from Sudharsana Suri and was about to leave towards northward with the little boys .
At the temple town , all of them decided in one voice that they will not oppose the army , but behave as if nothing is so serious .. There was a regular update about the Invaders who were approaching . The people were in two moods whether they should remain in town or flee.
Who was to decide and advise them? The people were utterly confused .They decided to take counsel from Lord Ranganatha himself then decided to appeal to the LORD Himself .
They all dropped chits (Tiru Ulla seettu) expressing their opinion and with devotion they drew up one chit which said that all could remain at Srirangam itself. They decided in was the Lord’s order and remained facing the situation bravely.
The same evening, the invaders marched inside the Srirangam town from Samayavaram . Thousands of the town’s citizens were harassed and injured .The terror in which the enemy looted the prosperous town speaks about the bravery of the srivaishnavas there .It was a very sad plight and the bloodbath that followed who resisted will make one cry for our great forefathers who sacrificed their lives . This had been recorded in the History of Srirangam Temple known as Koil-Ozhugu .
The great bloodshed of 12,000 Sri Vaishnavas at Sri Varahaswamy Sannidhi makes it the worst day in the temple town .
Inside the Hall , Swamy saw heaps of corpses lying around . He somehow braved the boys to lie down unnoticed to give an impression that no one survived .
The little boys stretched underneath along with some of them and our dear Swami also lay down next to them along with the holy book. Swamy Desikar thus concealed the two boys and himself amidst a heap of corpses and passed the night with caution .
The enemy troops assumed that they were corpses and did not bother to probe. Observing the enemy troops moving away , Swamy slowly took the frightened boys before dawn unnoticed in North-Westerly direction towards Satyamangalam . He was completely exhausted and was worried with LORD and the other revered Acharyas .
At the other side of the temple , while the enemy was invading the town, the old Acharyar dutifully carried the Lord’s deity with a small group of disciples with utmost caution braving the worst scenarios of terror with fear . Leaving Srirangam, he had to suffer many hardships during the journey. He had to be wary of the enemy attack while he also had to protect himself and his party from robbers.
He was constantly praying LORD for his mercy and keeping his disciples motivated with LORD’s divya charitam . All of them decided that whatever sufferings may befall them, Lord Ranganatha’s should not face any danger or desecration. After an arduous trek, they reached Jyothishkudi near Madurai. Lokacharya was a man strictly adhering to religious modes of conduct and manners.
He was finding it difficult to secure accommodation and catering facilities on the way. These troubles were common to people in those days but the Acharya had to face more severe hardships as he had to carry Lord Ranganatha without any hardships to the Lord . All through the journey, they had to pass through possible attacks from invaders and thieves. They had to trek hundreds of miles on foot. In spite of all kinds of hardships, the Acharya carefully kept the Lord Ranganatha in his personal possession.
He was particular that the traditional daily worship of Lord Ranganatha should not be missed and therefore carried the deity himself with greatest care and devotion and proceeded towards the south. Trekking several miles with constant fear of the enemy lack of food and rest had adversely affected the Acharya’s health. Also enroute , he had to face the enemies wrath some occasions injuring him too .
Swamy Pillai Lokacharyar accepted all the sufferings for our LORD .He was mentally distressed about the future . His mind refused to continue living on this earth seeing the tragic state in which Ranganatha had to be kept often hiding here and there .
He wept several times with the unexpected turn of events . It was like Jatayu the great devotee of Lord Rama injured by Ravana while the latter was carrying away mother Sita, he wept helplessly.
He proceeded to a village called jyothishkudi, which was surrounded by the Anamalai mountains adjoining thick, dense forests. They found a dilapidated mandapam (ceremonial hall), and decided to retire for the night.
He was exhausted and came to know it was time for him to leave his body. He was surrounded by his great disciples . Looking at LORD sweating , he said to his disciples , Please fan the Lord as he is also tired coming along with us . The disciples were sad to see their Acharyar completely exhausted and had tears watching the scene when he was fanning the Lord with those injuries in his body ..
There was a pin drop silence ..With tears He meditated on his Acharyar and father, Swami vadakku thiruveedhip piLLai , pleaded them to forgive him as He could not able to protect Lord Ranganatha .
He could see numerous ants in the small place .
He touched all of them, for the reason they also would be in srivaikuntam along with him . as it is believed that any living being touched by the hands of a Sri vaishnavA is assured mOksha .
He was always pining, ‘Let this body and soul of mine be sacrificed for Lords sake!’ and had his wish fulfilled. He sought nothing for himself, amassed no earthly riches, and laid down his life for a Noble cause and became Lokacharyar .
He once again justified his name as the universal guru, for he delivered even ants and insects until his last moment!!
The most amazing incident was when we can observe millions of ants in that region even this day who could be the descendants of the ants that Swami delivered by his touch.
Lokacharya was one of our esteemed teachers and philosophers who preached equality of men irrespective of caste, place of residence, etc.
After the disappearance of Pillailokacharya the disciples performed the last rites and continued their journey along with Lord Ranganatha towards south passing through a very long route covering Thirukoshtiyur ,Jyotishkudi .Srivalliputhur ,Calicut , Gundulpet , Chittoor Melkote , Sathyamangalam and finally Tirumala in the present Sriranganatha Mandapam where LORD stayed for 60 years .
Click the appended blog post below for details of LORD meeting our Nammazhwar and the divine pastime of Swamy Srisailer with Azhwar and Lordships
Those were the glorious days when the most revered Acharyar Swamy Yamuna Acharyar was living . A great devotee Nambi also lived near srirangam . One day, Swamy Yamunacharya was on the way to a village .
To his surprise he saw Nambi who was working in the field was drinking the mud water in the field with his two hands. Yamunacharya was amazed to see this action of Nambi. He sent one of his disciples to inquire about his strange act with Nambi .
Nambi with all humility answered Swamin !! philosophically this body goes into this mud (earth) after our death and this body made up of Panchabhootas has to rest at the place it originated , hence my taking mud water should not amuse you .
Swamy Yamunachary was hearing his statement with interest . He understood that Nambi was almost like Satakopa, who had eradicated with anger, the Sata vayu before it enters into his body and became Satakopa our Nammalvar only . He understood this great personality was non other than our Swamy Nammazhwar .
Hence he called him Maran Err Nambi.
Swamy Yamunachary pleased with his answer , invited Nambi to join his ashram . Nambi was touched ….
He said Oh Acharyaa !! ,
being born in a panchama varna my qualification doesn’t suit to be amongs’t learned disciples .
Swamy Yamunacharya replied ,
My child … Nambee …..there is no caste-bar for a Brahmajnani and he must join him without any obstacle.
Thanking his Gurudeva for the mercy … , He accompanied him to Srirangam and arranged his residence near his Ashram . Nambi was overjoyed and served his Acharyar with unstinted devotion .
He started attending classes regularly and relishing the esoteric truths . It was a great privilege to be amongst the great disciples of Swamy Yamunacharya. Nambi’s joy knew no bounds. He made a small idol, a replica of his Acharya in clay and started worshiping with deep devotion . He was always in the mood of serving his Acharyar and was thus immersed in the discourses .
Once , looking at the small hall where the daily discourses were conducted , Acharyar decided to enlarge the Hall in a new place and thus initiated construction . He fixed an auspicious muhurtha for inaugurating the New Hall and conduct a class .
Nambi came to know about the New Hall . He was keen to visit and do some service there . He managed to reach the New Hall and was amazed to see the large hall well ventilated . He walked inside the Hall with prestige for being a student of the great school .
Yamunacharya came to know through his disciples about Nambi visiting the Hall . Pleased with the happening , Yamunacharya cancelled the inaugural ceremony and informed that there is no need for any ceremony now , as Nambi’s foot sanctified the hall . He decided conduct the discourse immediately on the same day
Thus ,Maran Err Nambi earned that much of affection from his Acharya.
Once Swamy Yamunacharya was suffering from a painful disease called the carbuncle. Carbuncle, known as the King of Boils, Rajapilavai, in Tamil, is caused due to inflammation of tissues in the back and neck.
The shooting pain emanating from the fast-spreading boil would be unbearable.
Antibiotics and painkillers were unknown in those days and it is difficult to imagine the kind of pain the disease inflicted . Swamy Alavandar was suffering silently. He did not even let his disciples know about the disease lest they should be worried. Perianambi and Thirukoshtiyur Nambi the senior most disciples alone knew.
One day Maraneri Nambi went to Acharyars ashram .
He insisted that he should see his Acharyar . The diciples resisted .
But Maraneri was adamant.
So he was let in.
Acharyar attempted to cover his pain and welcomed him with a smile.
He thought that Nambi must have come to clear his doubts in his lessons.
The best way out was to dispose Maraneri as early as possible without letting him find about his disease.
Maraneri came into the room and prostrated at his Acharya’s feet.
The Acharyar spoke
“May you be blessed, Maraneri Nambi.
Please get up.
You see I have a lot of things to do today.
Please tell me your doubts fast. We don’t have much time.
Nambi replied …
“ Acharya ,…
I have been your disciple for decades. Have I asked anything from you?”
“No” ……. “Today I have come to you with a desire. I have set my mind on that object. And I can’t live without that. You have that with you. Can you give that to me?
“It’s yours Maraneri. Whatever it is.”
“Thanks, Acharya .”
Maraneri ran out to fetch a silver vessel containing the holy water. Yamunacharya was puzzled.
“Please Gurudeva my Gurudeva show me your hands.”
“What is this for, Maraneri?”
“When you gift a piece of land you need to solemnize the gift with the holy water, right?”
“Yes, you are right.
You want the mutt’s land near the river kaveri .
Well, it’s yours. Take it.” “No, Acharya.”
“Then..’ “Please repeat whatever I am going to say.
“I, Yamunaithuraivar , do hereby gift to my disciple Maraneri Nambi, the Rajapilavai disease which I have now, along with the pain, the suffering and all the after-effects.”
The Acharyar was shocked .. He roared …
“What the hell you are doing, you idiot? This is not a game. This water is holy. And if I repeat whatever you said, then you will have the disease, you moron. The disciple innocently pleads……
…. Acharyaa Don’t ever say the words again.” “You are one of the greatest Acharyas, the world has ever seen. You have promised to give whatever I want.
How can you go back on your word, Gurudeva?”
The Acharyar replied My child … “But that’s ridiculous, Nambi.”“What is ridiculous, Acharya? You are our Guru. You have a hundred disciples. A thousand people come to you every day to listen to your words.
Even the Lord in the temple is looking forward to see you every day.
“How can you afford to be confined to your bed? And by your kind, wise words you are removing our pains. Pains which have been following us for millions of births. How can you suffer in pain, Acharya?
“I am a low-born worm, Gurudeva.
By accepting me as your disciple you made a gift to me which is worth more than the whole universe.
“Now, Gurudeva, please.. I beg of you.. please allow me to do my part. If you refuse to gift your disease to me , then I will have no option than to die at your feet. It’s your call.” Alavandar melted. He poured the water on his hand and chanted the appropriate mantra.
“Please bear with me, Gurudeva. I have one more request.”
Alavandar looked at his disciple through a screen of tears.
“Let this transaction be not known to anybody else in the world.”
Alavandar was happy and sad at the same time.
Happy that he had such a loving disciple and sad because he was forced to give so much of pain and suffering to such a nice man.
Maraneri Nambi went out as a happy man.
Peria Nambi met him outside the room.
“Why are you so happy, my friend?”
“After many decades of discipleship it was only today that our Guru was kind enough to give me a precious prasadam.
And that too only after I compelled him to do so.”
Perianambi did not understand a word of what his friend said.
Alavandar’s recovery was quite dramatic after that day.
A week later Maraneri Nambi was down with carbuncle.
It is said that he suffered for three months from shooting pain.
Whenever he was in pain he would only chant the name of his Gurudeva and the pain subsided ..
Because his Guru’s blessings were fully on him and because the Lord was moved by his selfless love Maraneri Nambi recovered from the disease sooner than the usual time..
Pillai Uranga Villidasan was a favourite disciple to Swamy Ramanuja .
He became very close to his Master so rare that was his piety though belonged to a lower caste he had privileges conferred upon him .
Very often Swamy Ramanuja was seen returning from Kaveri leaning on the shoulders of Swamy MudaliAndaan and Villidasan .
A brahmana is unclean before bath and clean after a bath and the disciples watching were curious with their Masters way why they had not changed places while accompanying Swamy Ramanuja .
They took courage to question their Master for an explanation.
Swamy condescended to them saying , my children ! Have you not heard that learning , riches and high birth swell a fool with pride , but adorn the wiseman ?
This man our villidasan is utterly destitute of this three fold vice but we are not .
Hence he is fit enough to be touched by me .On hearing the golden words the disciples bent their head in shame and dared make any further protest , but all the same malice kindled their minds against the favourite disciple Villidasan who was a sudra and more close to their master than a Brahmin disciple could be .
They could not digest a sudra should stand so high to their masters estimation , as their own prestige as Brahmins was being jeopardised.
Swamy Ramanuja was aware of the disciples grudge towards the advanced devotee who was a gem among all of them .
As a true Master he wanted to convince the error which is making them spiritually fatal .
He devised a plan and hence called a close disciple in private and ordered him to secrete all the clothes of the disciples in the night when they were fast asleep. ( these were the clothes which are washed and hanged high to be dried up ) .
The task was accomplished .
The next day all the disciples were aghast with the missing of their daily wear . Each one was accusing the other and the entire scene turned into chaos.
They were calling names against each other .
Swamy Ramanuja walked into the chambers hearing the unusual noise . All the disciples vented their anguish about the missing clothes .
Swamy Ramanuja calmed them and advised them to accept the same as Lords providence . Alternate arrangements were made .
Days passed , Villidasan who was living near to the Ashram was serving Acharyar with utmost devotion . One day it got delayed as Villidasar was entrusted some jobs for some festival .
Swamy Ramanuja walked into the disciples chamber and told them that they all must go to Villidasars house located few meters away and make an attempt to rob the precious jewellery and other ornaments from Ponnachee his wife when she is asleep.
All of them knew Villidasar was a rich person and had gifted many golden jewellary to his wife Ponnachee in the past on several occasions and she was always bedecked with the ornaments .
It was decided that they need to rob the jewels when Villidasar was serving Swamy Ramanuja in the ashram .
The disciples were very happy . All of them marched hurriedly to Villidasars house .They could see Ponnachee fast asleep .
Ponnachi was sleeping on the floor of the hut using her hand as a pillow. She was bedecked with wonderful gold jewelry The moment one of the disciples bent down to unhook her ear-ring, she woke up.
Without any inhibitions they waited , collected all the jewellery from the chest and attempted to remove the jewellery worn by her during her sleep once again . But , Ponnachee recognised the disciples and did not want to startle him.
She thought ,when Swamy Ramanuja’s disciple committed such an act of theft it must have a divine sanction .
She then laid still and allowed them remove the ear-rings, bangles and the nose-ring she was wearing on the left side of her body.
She felt they were taking away their own property for whatever effects she owned in this world were not really hers but entrusted to her for their sake .
This is how Property is to be spiritually viewed . She gently rolled over for them to strip the other side of the jewellery she was wearing .
She was anxious that the vaishnavas should complete their work and not go away with half work done . But her movement however created a fright and put the disciples on their toes to leave the place .
The vaishnavas returned to the ashrama .Pillai dasar after completing all the works assigned to him submits his humble prayers to Acharya and takes leave .
Meanwhile , the disciples entered the ashram and explain the happenings at Villidasars house in detail to Acharyar. Swamy Ramanujar orders them to follow Villidasar immediately up to his house and watch all that might take place in the house . The disciples quickly left the jewellery in Ashram and followed him in the dark .
In the house Ponnachee was eagerly waiting for her husband as done daily.
When she heard the footsteps of Villidasar , she hurriedly went to the entrance and welcomed him .She washed his feet with all affection .
Villidasar looked at her very strangely as she had decked jewellery one sided only.
He said , What is this lady ?? taken aback with her strange dress sense .
Nothing My Lord she replied soothingly .I shall explain you in detail .
Please honour the prasada quickly as it is already too late .
She continued about the incident that happened few minutes back .
She pleasingly said that the vaishnavas who are our gurus had come to our house just now my dear …..while I was lying asleep.
May be they were in need of their jewels .
I could hear them whisper that I was asleep and It was the right time to take the jewellery .
Lying down hearing their whisper , I pretended to be fast asleep so that they could complete their task .
They laid hands on me and took all the jewels from my right side as the left side was visible .
Our effects are theirs as you know , so to let them have all , I quietly turned around my right side with all my care doing so to make them believe that I was really fast asleep, but my bad luck it some how gave them a alarm and to my utter regret they left without completing the job they had come for .
On hearing this Pillai urangi got upset and was angry with her .
He said ..Hey Foolish woman !!! you have spoiled the great opportunity to serve the vaishnavas .
You must have laid motionless till their work is completed ….
……If the jewels were theirs Its their wish to take them as they like . I am really very upset with your behaviour……
He said half the jewels have been best invested , the remaining are vanity .
The vaishnavas were observing the conversation behind the doors . They hurriedly left back to Ashrama and gave a full report of the conversation .
Swamy Ramanuja the Acharyar now spoke to his disciples and asked them to remain awake. He then instructed them to wake up all the other disciples.
All of them should clean themselves and assemble before the Acharya for an important lesson. Eager to hear new lessons from the Acharya, they all gathered around him in no time.
Suddenly from no where Villidasan ran into the mutt with his wife .
He fell down at the Acharya’s feet like an uprooted tree.
He and his wife Ponnachee were with tears .
The other disciples were stunned at the unusual sight.
They had never seen Villidasan crying so much.
“We have committed a grace sin Acharya. We have together sinned. We are no longer fit to be your disciples. Condemn us to the worst of hells; even then the retribution will not be adequate.” cried Villidasan
“What happened, my child? Why are you crying? Why is your wife crying?” Swamy Ramanuja asked the devotee disciple ..
Acharya “Some of your learned disciples had come into our hut today to take my wife’s jewels.
She was sleeping.
Your disciples took the trouble of removing the jewels from her person themselves.
Ponnachi did not want to startle them by waking up all of a sudden.
When she turned the other side so that they can remove those jewels also, they just ran away.
“Acharya, I am not even fit to be a dust in the feet of those learned disciples. Aren’t you called the Udaiyavar?
Doesn’t that mean that all of us,all our belongings, properties and everything belong to you?
When you sent your men to take your things, Ponnachi should have welcomed them and should have given them whatever she had.
She has sinned, My Lord. “And I have sinned too.
Please curse us a punishment .
My wife has decided not to wear jewels on the one side of her body for the rest of her life.” for the grave sin committed ….
“You showed LORD to me. And I could not even give some worthless piece of yellow metal to you, when you needed it! What a sinner I am! There is no hope for me, there is no salvation for me!”he was uncontrollable ….
Swamy Ramanuja turned to his other disciples.
Please tell me whose wisdom is better , great yours or his ?
Please know that caste is of no importance..
It is the virtue that is most important and prized .
This is why I say ….
Even River Cauvery cannot clean me completely. But this man’s touch can purify me. That’s why I lean on him when I return from the river.
Villi, my child ….. please teach these people how to love.”
The disciple who first complained to Ramanuja about Villidasan prostrated to him and Ponnachi’s feet begging their pardon.
Swamy Ramanuja then returned the jewels to Ponnachi and commanded her to wear them then and there. And also ordered that she should never be without those jewels. The silence that reigned in the Ashram was pregnant with many lessons, many teachings and many leanings….
It is told that Villidasan was called as Mahamati ( a human wiser than wisdom ) the wisdom blinded by love for Lord .
He was love blind as to fear any danger for one who is above all dangers .
Mahamati used to walk with his sword drawn in front of the Lord so that he may stop anyone who dared to do any act in the least offensive to the Lord of Lords….
More details about this great disciple can be read in this post linked below :
It may be mentioned here that TIRUMALAi is Kaliyuga Vaikuntam and Sri Vaikuntanathan has manifested Himself as Lord Srinivasar.
The sacred TIRUMALA Hills consisting of seven peaks is considered to be seven-hooded. Blessed are the devotees who are fortunate to have his darshan .
There are countless devotees who have served the LORD since ages .
One such great devotee was Swamy Ananthazhwan an ardent disciple of Swamy Ramanuja . As per Swamy Ramanuja’s directives he served the LORD few hundred years ago .
There are several pastimes of Swamy Anathazhwan with Lord Srinivasa . One divine pastime is memorable as Lord himself accepts to become Swamy Anathazhwans disciple .
Knowing about the initiatives taken by Swamy Anathazhwan in organising the temple rituals with religious fervor few devotees decided to trek the hills and have darshanam of Lord and seek the blessings of his dear devotee too . The Srivaishnavites were walking from Srirangam and it was a very long journey .
While ascending the Hills, coming fromthey were feeling tired and had to take some rest . Completely exhausted they were perplexed how could they complete their pilgrimage. All of a sudden a young lad appeared before them .
The boy was appearing with divine tejas . With srivaishna Urdhva pundram he was almost looking like vamana avatara brahmachari .
He offered his humble obeisances and said .Oh swamins ! Adiyen has brought some temple prasada for all of you .
Kindly honor the same and please feel comfortable .
The srivaishnavites being orthodox were initially impressed with the divine boy .However one Elder person among the group wanted him to introduce his lineage and his Acharyar whom he was initiated .
The divine lad he was , smiled at the simple question .
He proudly replied that his name was Madhurakavidasa and his Acharyar was Swamy Anathazhwan who is serving Lord in all ways .
It was his Acharyars instructions , he had walked down the sacred hills to handover the prasada coming to know about their visit .
He further expressed that the Prasada was coming directly from the temple which was handed over to him by Swamy Anathazhwan to be given to them .
A bit surprised , the elders said ..
Its nice to know about your association to Swamy Anathazhwan . But we wish to hear from you about his glories .
Can we hear your swamys Thanian ? as this a custom for the srivaishnavas to recite their Acharyars glories in the form of Thanians .
The divine boy majestically recited the thanian about Swamy Anathazhwan in the seven hills which vibrated
Asritanam susaranam vande Anantharyadesikam”
(I bow to Acharya Ananthazhvan, who is the repository of knowledge, mercy and wisdom, the one Acharyar who removes ignorance and is eminently eligible for surrender by disciples)
They liked the divine lads confident answer . However the Srivaishnavas then questioned the youngster how his taniyan made no reference to Ananthazhvan’s relation to Swamy Ramanuja.
The divine boy smiled and replied Swamins ! Actually there are two Thaniyans in praise of adiyens Acharyar Swamy Ananthazhvan, one referring to the glory of his divine personality and another referring to his connection with Swamy Ramanuja.
And please listen to the second verse of the Thanian
‘Srimath Ramanujacharya Sripadamboruhadvayam
Sathutha manga sandaryam Anantharyamaham Bhaje..
( I prostrate before adiyens Acharyar Swamy Ananthalvan who is the lotus feet of Swamy Ramanuja and who is worshipped by Srivaishnavas all over the earth )
The Srivaishnavas were convinced that the divine boy was a true disciple of Swamy Ananthalvan . They honoured the prasada with relish .
They thanked the boy for his affection and love and blessed him .
The divine boy took leave of them and ascended the Hills welcoming them to join him . Slowly, the Srivaishnavas ascended the Hills and walked into Swamy Anathazhwans ashram .
Swamy Anathazhwan was overjoyed to recive the guests from Srirangam . They offered their obeisances and thanked him for the kind courtesy in sending the maha prasada down to the Hills They appreciated the young boy for his kindness and hospitality .
They praised the boys intellect and kindness and expressed their gratefulness to Swamy Ananthazhvan for having sent prasada through one of his bright young disciples.
Swamy Ananthalvan was bewildered. Amazed to note the divine leela , he was in total dark . He realised that it was his LORD who took the pains to walk down with the mahaprasada to his devotees . With tears , he wished to know about the divine lad .The Srivaishnavas explained about the divine glow the boy exhibited . His majestic recitation of the Thanians was memorable ..
The boy was so down to earth serving the prasada They informed that the boy introduced himself as Madhurakavidasa and had recited two slokas in his praise and as they were just trekking behind him up to the hills safely . They said that the boy went inside the temple citing some pending works.
Swamy Anathazhwan pleaded them to recite the verses the boy had sung ..
They recited the two verses before Swamy Ananthazhvan.The entire assembly was wonder struck. Swamy Anathazhwan was in tears .
They realised that the Lord had declared himself as Ananthalvan’s disciple and had chosen the name Madhurakavidasa .
Even though there were so many other Acharyas the second verse showed that it was Ananthazhvan who could be fittingly considered equal to the Lotus feet of Swamy Ramanuja.
Since then the paduka (sathari) at the shrine of Swamy Ramanuja sanctorium up the Hills came to be known as Ananthazhvan since then the two verses became famous as the Thaniyans in praise of Swamy Ananthazhvan….
Pillai Uranga Villidasan was a powerful wrestler. Not just any ordinary wrestler but one of very high standing. Almost all the wrestlers in the Chola Kingdom used to pay him a ‘protection fee’.
A Famous Wrestler was majestic in his looks and a terror to his rivals naturally There was a beautiful lady in the village Ponnachi. (Pon in Tamil means gold.) Every one who saw her swore that she richly deserved her name.
Her complexion, came closest to the yellow metal. Her dance-like walk, her height and her dimpled cheeks made her the much-acclaimed beauty in her village. But the most prominent feature of her face was her eyes , very large, round and from which you cannot take your eyes off.
Ponnachi’s beauty was at least as well known as Villi’dasan s prowess. Villidasan was a very good man and had never abused his strength or position. And yes, he was the most eligible, most sought after bachelor in his town. As it would happen in love stories, he heard of Ponnachi’s beauty and set out to see her, more out of curiousity than anything else.
Once he saw her eyes, he could not think of anything else. As if possessed he sought her hand in marriage, something which Ponnachi was only too eager to give. Villidasan was virtually consumed by his love for the damsel.
He was just thinking of nothing else other than his lady love. Villidasan and Ponnachi got married on an auspicious day. Their married life was most blissful in karmic world , which never ended. They had been married for years.
Still to Villidasan Ponnachi was the most beautiful woman in the world with the most beautiful eyes.
It was spring time. Festival time at Capital town of Srivaishnavisim , Srirangam. ( Vasanthotsavam).
Ponnachi wanted to see the festival. To Villidasan her slightest whim was a Royal Command.
He made elaborate arrangements to ensure a comfortable travel for Ponnachi. She was borne in a palanquin till the main street of Srirangam where she had to get down and walk. Ponnachi got down from the palanquin.
Villidasan who was standing nearby was stunned by her beauty. She was dressed up in an exquisite silk saree. What captivated his attention even after years of marriage was her eyes.
Villidasan could not take his eyes away from hers.
As she started to walk towards the temple, Villidasan did the unthinkable. He was walking backwards facing her, unable to see anything else but her large eyes.
Those who saw this amusing sight giggled. Some even laughed out aloud. Villidasan gave a damn to what others thought. Ponnachi was half consumed by shyness and half by pride. She too loved her husband so much that she did not have the mind to object to his act, though she knew that it made people laugh behind their backs.
This strange procession – Ponnachi walking forward, Villidasan walking backwards, and the palanquin bearers and the retinue following Ponnachi – was nearing the temple gate. On the other side of the street, a very great saint was walking away from the temple followed by 1000 of his disciples.
The name of the great saint was Swamy Ramanujacharya.
Swamy Ramanujacharya was amused by the strange sight – Ponnachi walking towards the temple followed by her retinue and Villidasan walking backwards unable to take off his eyes from those of his beautiful wife! The great saint was moved on seeing this wonderful sight.
He inquired about the couple and then sent word to Villidasan asking him to come and meet him in his Ashram alone.
Swamy Ramanuja had decided to do something about that. Now why should Swamy Ramanuja do something about Villi’dasans love? As a spiritual Master of people he instinctively knew that Villi’s love was quite unique.
If only Swamy Ramanujacharya could make people love something as intensely as Villidasan did, yes, he would have made a difference in their lives.At the same time if he showed Villi’s love as an example to be followed,then ignorant people might mistakenly think that they also should love Ponnachi. In other words at the present level Villidasan’s love is not a copyable, replicable model.
So Swamy Ramanuja wanted to first shift Villi’dasans love to something else and then make people understand the greatness of love.
And in order to make so many people understand the meaning of love, there is no harm in shifting one person’s object of love.
So Villidasan was excited .He came running to see Acharya in his Ashram as soon as he got his call.It was late in the night. The Srirangam temple would be closed for the day in another half an hour. Swamy Ramanuja wanted to accomplish his mission within that time.
He asked Villidasan in a sarcastic tone,“Aren’t you shy , Villidasan ! to be seeing your wife’s eyes, when Lord’s festival is on?” Villidasans ’s reply was a correct blend of humility and the force of truth.
Acharya … But ……“Is there anything more beautiful than my wife’s eyes?” Swamy Ramanujacharya was waiting for this question.
“What …..will you do if I show something more beautiful than that?”
Now Villi knew for sure that there was nothing like that and so his words came with confidence.
Then …… “Then I will fall in love with those eyes.
Ponnachi and I will be your slaves for the rest of our lives.”
“Deal. Come with me.”
Swamy Ramanujar took Villidasan to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
The Lord of Love, Sri Ranganathar, Thiruvarangan, was sleeping in his comfortable snake-bed .
Then the great Acharya took hold of Villidasan’s hands. The Acharya’s touch sent waves of electric shock in his body. Swamy Ramanujar closed his eyes and prayed to the Lord.
“Oh, Lord, here’s is an example of perfect love. And the whole world is steeped in misery unaware of this kind of love.
I want the people to know that there is something like this love and that every one of us is capable of it. For that you need to give these two people to me.
“I know that these two people are as precious to you as your Devis and are holier than the holiest scriptures ever written on you.
I promise you my Lord, I’ll give them the reverence they deserve.
Now please, LORD Ranganatha show the beauty of your eyes to this man of love.”
A selfless prayer!
Two loving souls standing before Him!
Lord Ranganathar was helpless!
He had to grant the Acharya’s wish. And the great Lord, whose eyes are not to be seen even by the highest of Devas and the wisest of Rishis, whose Feet cannot even be touched by Vedas and all the knowledge in the world, opened his most beautiful eyes for Villidasan to see.
Villidasan was awe-struck; no he was love-struck. The sight lasted for a fraction of a second.
Villidasan instantly fell in love with those large, beautiful eyes, for which nothing in the world is even a pale comparison. Villi prostrated at Sri Ramanujar’s feet proclaiming his slavery to the saint.
Swamy Ramanuja lifted him as a loving father would lift his loving son.
Swamy Ramanujar’s eyes were so full with tears, his heart so full with love that for a few seconds he could not talk.
Villidasan continued to be in a state of ecstasy. If God decides to show His eyes even for a nanosecond, the effect will last for centuries, extending into millions of life –times, for ever, for eternity and even thereafter. When he went back to Ponnachi that night and told about his experience, she was also transformed.
She did not whine that her husband had found out another object of love.
She was ecstatic because she was the loving wife of a man to whom even the Great God had shown His eyes. The next morning Pillai Uranga Villidasan gives awayall his possessions, erects a small hut near Swamy Ramanuja’s Ashram and starts living there along with Ponnachi serving Swamy Ramanuja the entire life ….
.Let us seek our Acharyar to bestow devotion to Lord always ..
Another divine pastime is appended in the below link ..
Sri Vathsa Chinha Mishrebhyo Namah Ukthi Adheemahi
Yathukthaya: Thraiyee Kante Yaanthi Mangala Soothrathaam
( Meaning )
“I salute the great mahaan Sri Srivathsa Chinha Misra (Swamy Koorathazhwan)
whose sri sookthis became the thirumangalyam of the mother Veda (The 4 Vedas also named as Thrayee as mentioned in the above thaniyan)”
This incident took place in Srirangam .Swamy Nampillai was sick and recovering .
A srivaishnava came to swamy’s ashram and said , Oh Acharaya your respectable body has become lean and weak much to our concern .
Swamy replied While one wanes the other one waxes .
This is the universal rule . It means while knowledge of Lord ,devotion to HIM and detachment to material things increase the body of the person generally leans out owing to his devotion and love to the LORD as he is always immersed in LORD’s divine attributes .
His heart melts and slowly looses interests in food and looses the taste appetite etc .This results in the welcome weakness of the body , whereas for a worldly man who identifies his body with his soul, eats well and maintains a healthy body . Thus the physical stature waxes and the soul naturally wanes .
Another disciple came in the evening knowing about his ill health .He also enquired about his health for which swamy chucked .. Are we going to wage a war swamin ?? No !! The required fitness to serve the LORD is plentily available .
There is nothing in wanting .
Its LORDs wish as we are just under his custody ……
A srivaishnava will always consider disease to the body as a welcome guest and will strive to serve the LORD even in worst crisis come what way .
The disciples learnt a nice lesson .
A srivaishnava will consider this body as a stumbling block for the enlightenment of soul .
Many years ago there was a severe drought in melnadu located near present coimbatore The drought continued for almost 12 long years . An old couple who were living there decided to leave to the banks of cauvery and reside near the holy Sri Ranga Kshetra .
They shifted their camp near to the Lord’s temple . Good or bad is Lords divine will .They surrendered to the Lordships and managed their daily lives .
One day they observed huge number of srivaishnavaites following Swamy Ramanuja to the banks of cauvery . Curious to know about the following , they followed Swamy Ramanuja and found the entire place were his followers . The elderly lady was charmed by the divine tejas of Swamy Ramanuja . She walked near the banks and asked the villagers ,Who the revered swami was and those followers .
The group replied that Swamy Ramanuja was the king of Ascetics and he moves along with 700 ascetics 74 Acharya Purushas , 1200 Ekangees and 300 kotti ammai .
Several kings and sattadars are his disciples . You are blessed to have his darshan remarked a old man .
She liked the place and the vibrations .She used to observe Swamy Ramanuja completing his temple duties and entering seven houses daily for alms . She tried her best to have an audience with the great seer but was unsuccessful .
One day as she waited she saw Swamy entering her house . She offered obeisance’s and with all humility spoke to him .
Oh Revered Swamin … please listen to my prayer …. You are a sanyasi who had given up everything in life and there are no possibility for having wealth , gold , jewels , mansions or any other worldly prosperity. You just have a saffron cloth , a Tridanda and Bikshu .When that is the case how was that so many people are following you all the time ? and landlords , kings fall at your lotus feet ,and whereas you are living on biksha only. what is that you can give to so many followers who are with you . What is the secret behind all these disciples as I don’t find any difference between a King and you . You are truly YathiRaja..
Swamy Ramanuja with abundant compassion told the old lady , Mother ! I don not have any wealth to share but I give them bits of information about Lordships and have a mantra that will cut the bonds of samsara which is full of worldly cares and that as a result of this they would get grace of the LORD which would confer eternal bliss in the form of their attaining to the presence of Lord Vaikuntanatha .
The lady was quick to request Acharyar for the mantra for her upliftment as she was in a pitiable condition . She fell at Swamys feet and shed copious tears , in great distress crying all the while that Swamy must grace her . Swamy Ramanuja looking at her supreme devotion informed the disciples to help her in her endeavor . They guided her to be at ashram for the initiation ceremony and succeeded in becoming Swamy Ramanujas disciple .With great mercy he asked her to repeat the Guruparampara verses and later initiated her with the sacred ashtakshari mantra .
Swamy Ramanuja performed Panchasanksaram, did Mantra Upadesam and the lady got a Dasya Name as “Kongil Periya Piraattiyaar”. The old lady was overjoyed and offered her obeisances to the revered saint with all humility .
After few months , the situation in Karnataka was better and the old day decided it was time to leave Srirangam . Kongil Piratti went to Swamy Ramanuja’s mutt and seeking Swamys blessings informed about her leaving Srirangam . She longed to have something special to remember her Acharyar forever and hence pleaded Swamy Ramanujar to bless her with Swamys Padukas . Swamy Ramanuja gave his pair of divine sandals (Padhukas) on the request of his disciple . With much relief and joy, she returned back to her native place.
Years rolled by, By divine will Swamy Ramanuja had to leave Srirangam for some time . After few days of trekking though the Nilagiri hills and the dense forests , Swamy along with his disciples saw few tribal people nearby . Looking at the srivaishnava marks and the aura they came near them and inquired about their well being .
On knowing they were from Srirangam , they inquired about Swamy Ramanuja well being . They could not identify Swamy Ramanuja among them due to the white dress worn by the Holy seer . The tribals lead them to the heart of Nilagiris with utmost caution as it was dark and the weather was too chilly . Trekking almost for many hours they reached the Chiefs house . The Chief had gone on hunting rounds .
They requested the chiefs wife to take care of the sri vaishnavas with due respects as they were disciples of Swamy Ramanuja and their Guru Nallan Chakravarthy had commanded them to accept Swamy Ramanuja as their Maha guru .Touched by the august presence of almost 50 disciples the Chief offered fruits and honey .
He knew the brahmanas will not eat at their place .He commanded his men to go to the neighboring village to the house of a brahmana by name Kattalai vari along with abundant provisions to honor the revered guests with food without any delay . The wife of Kattalai Vari was our KONGIL PIRATTI also called as Chelanchalamba .
Now , the disciples along with Swamy Ramanuja reached Kongil Pirattis hut . She was overjoyed to have darshan of so many sri vaishnavas in the remote forest . She offered her humble obeisance and prostrated them . She pleaded them to honor the food at her place . The disciples were keen to know her discipleship for entertaining her in cooking for them . She politely replied she was a disciple of Swamy Ramanuja and requested them to reveal their Acharyars name . When the disciples echoed it was Swamy Ramanuja she happily said that It was a great honor to cook for them and hence allow her to cook food for them .
Swamy Ramanuja who was in white dress was overhearing the discussion between the disciples and Kongil Piratti . He called one of the disciple and asked him to observe Kongil Piratti while cooking . Kongil Piratti in turn went to her hut , cleaned the entire place with cow dung and water . She had a bath , brought new pots and entered the kitchen chanting
Srimathey Ramanujaya namah :
Srimathey Ramanujaya namah :
All the time ,while she was cooking , the chanting of her Acharyar Thirunamam was going on . She also recited few Prabhandam pasurams . After completing her cooking , she took all the dishes in a clean basket into the chapel . She offered her obeisances to the sandals that was given by Swamy Ramanuja .
She offered the dishes to the Padukas and mentally chanted few slokas . Once done , she went to the srivaishnavas and asked them to honor the maha prasada. The diciple who was observing the scene went to Swamy Ramanuja and informed how exactly Kongil Pirattis was cooking in the kitchen . The disciple said as it was dark in the chapel and he couldn’t really see whom the dishes were being offered .
Though Swamy Ramanuja knew whose sandals they were , he called Kongil Piratti and said , my mother ! can we see the sandals whom you are worshipping . Kongil Piratti without any inhibition brought the sandals among the disciples . The disciples informed her Swamy Ramanuja was amongst them .Immediately she offered the sandals and when Swamy decorated himself with the sandals , her joy touched new heights .She was ecstatic and felt overjoyed . Offering obeisances and washing the lotus feet she apologized that she couldn’t recognize as Swamy Ramanujar was wearing white dress .
Out of abundant mercy Swamy Ramanuja said , Lord Krishna dined with Vidura , Lord Rama had fruits from Sabari and all of you shall honor the prasada served by our Kongil Piratti .
( Swamy Ramanuja did not partake the food as it was offered to his sandals)
Kongil Piratti humbly submitted , Acharya please have some fruits from us . Acharyar with compassion partook few fruits and blessed her . Kongil piratti served the prasada to all the disciples and took the remnants along with the Sripada water to her husband . She woke him up and said , My dear please have this nectar which we are so fortunate to have . The husband looking at her Acharyar bhakthee asked her why she was fasting ?
She replied , My Acharyar had just fruits and remember he is on a fast since one week .What is store for me .. But !!! Promise me you will surrender to asmath Acharyar for initiation tomorrow . The husband readily agreed .The next day Kongil Piratti humbly surrendered to Acharyar along with her husband . She requested Swamy to initiate him into Srivaishnava fold . Swamy Ramanujar initiated him with Panchasamskara and blessed him . After this, memorable incident , Swamy Ramanuja proceeded towards Melkote where he lived for about 20 years.
In SrimadRamayana, Bharatha got the divine sandals of Lord Rama and as a servant to Sri Rama’s Padhukas, he ruled Ayodhya for nearly 14 years. In the second instance, Kongu Piraatti got the Padukas of her Acharya Swamy Ramanuja, worshipped them and was performing Poojas daily .
Kongu Piraatti’s husband Sri Kongilachan was also one among the 74 Simhasanadhipathis who propagated Srivaishnavism.
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pics credits: Sri Koyil Kongilaachaan Thirumaaligai and google images .
Vaduga Nambi was a very close disciple of Swami Ramanuja.
He appeared in a place called Saligramam in Karnataka.
As Kulasekhara Azhvar, who had been known for his devotion to Lord Rama ,
. Vaduga Nambi, likewise, was known for his Acharya Ramanuja bhakti,. He worshipped the Tiruvadi Nilai (sandals) of Swami Ramanuja daily. There are many instances where he was concerned about his Acharyar more than the LORD himself.
Once after reaching Thirukurungudi a srivaishnava divyadesam , Swamy Ramanuja had just finished his bath and called out, for his disciple Vaduga Nambi to get ready with Urdhwa Pundram (Thiruman and Sreechoornam) (Tilak) as a daily practice .
However, Vaduga Nambi had not reached the place Kurungudi by then .
Something very rare happened .
On hearing Swamy Ramanuja repeatedly calling Vaduga …Vaduga …Vaduga…Vaduga….
.. LORD Thirukurungudi Nambi, the Perumal of Thirukurungudi Divya Desam, took the form of Vaduga Nambi, came before Swamy Ramanuja, prepared the paste of Thiruman and gave it to Swamy Ramanuja for application .
After applying the Thiruman Kaapu, Swamy Ramanuja left the remaining Thiruman and Sreechoornam, as usual, for Vaduga Nambi.
Later when Swamy Ramanuja went to the Koil ( temple) for Lords darshan….something rare was seen ..
To the surprise of all, on the forehead of Thirkurungudi Nambi was seen with freshly applied Thiruman Kaapu!
Swamy Ramanuja was emotionally overwhelmed with Lords abundant mercy . Later in the day, Vaduga Nambi came and apologized Swamy Ramanuja about his delay in reporting . From that day onward, Thirukurungudi Nambi came to be glorified as Sri Vaishnava Nambi.
Many instances are cited to show Vaduga Nambi’s single pointed devotion towards Swamy Ramanuja.
During another occasion, a devotee came to pay his respects to Swami Ramanuja. The visitor recited the Narayana mantra. Vaduga Nambi wondered why the man did so. After all, Lord was far away, and Swamy Ramanuja was close by. What was the use of praising a distant God, when a merciful Acharya was present close to him, Nambi wondered. To Vaduga Nambi, even Lord ranked next to his Acharya.
One more divine pastime speaks about Nambi’s Acharya bhakthi .
Nambi used to worship the padukas ( sandals ) of Swamy Ramanuja every day. Once while travelling to a nearby divya desam , he had to make arrangements in taking Swamy Ramanujars deities who were being worshipped by Acharyar Swamy Ramanuja .Vaduga nambi carried his worshippable sr padukas (sandals of Swamy Ramanujar in the same package.
Swamy Ramanujar was shocked to observe the same . He corrected vaduga nambi for his offence but vaduga nambi spontaneously replied “My worshipable deities are equally glorious to your deities, so there is nothing wrong in carrying them along with your deities .
At Srirangam , once the processional deity Lord Namperumal was being glorified by Srivaishnavas . Swamy Ramanuja sent for his disciple vaduga nambee . Vaduga nambi was warming milk for Swamy Ramanuja . Vaduga nambi hearing the disciple calling politely replies….
Swamin !! “If adiyen comes out to worship your Lordships , my Acharyar milk will get burnt. So I shall wait ” finish this service and then join ……
He has left for posterity, “Sri Yathiraja Vaibhavam”, a Sanskrit work in 114 verses, which gives the entire life history of Swamy Ramanuja.
His devotion for Swamy Ramanuja was boundless . Swamy spent his last days at Saligramam near Mysore , Karnataka ,where Lord Narasimha and swami Ramanuja’s holy feet are enshrined and worshiped even now.
Ananthazhvan the great devotee of LORD VENKATESHWARA was preparing to come down to the south in order to attend a festival in lower Tirumala along with his disciples there. He took leave of the Lord of the seven Hills. He was accompanied by many devotees .
Walking down the seven hills amidst the devotees was time consuming due to the forest terrains path those days .
Swamy could see his disciples were tired and feeling hungry . He looked for a rivulet en route for distributing and honouring the prasadam When the vessel was opened , much to the surprise of everyone ,. they found the prasad was swarming with ants.
Swamy Ananthazhwan recollected Sri Kulasekhara Azhwars pasuram on the sanctity of the Thiruvengadam hills . ( Azhwar pleads Lord to get association of the LORD in any animate or inanimate form in the Holy hills .
He begins with Oh Lord , amongst the devotees here in this sacred hills may adiyen be blessed to become a bird near to the pond , else a fish in the pond , else a golden vessel of the aradhana which is constantly serving you , else a flower at your lotus feet , a tree and finally a stepping stone near your sanctorum .
Swamy Ananthazhvan advised his disciples they should not deprive those ants of the enviable distinction they had of their being eternally on the seven Hills. Swamy said each of the animate and inanimate being in the sacred Tirumala hills were Nityasooris who are constantly in service of the LORD .
It will be an offence to disturb their satsangha . With due respects to the little ants all of them trekked back to Tirumala hills and left the ants .The next day they once gain came down to Tirupathi to attend the festival .
For the great devotee even ants were Nityasoorees serving the Lord .
Kuleshekara zhwars pasuram
chediyAyavalvinaigaLthIrkkumthirumAlE NediyAnE vEnGkatavA! Nin kOyilin vAchal adiyArum vAnavarum arambaiyarum kidaNthiyanGgum padiyAyk kidaNthu un pavaLa vAyk kAnNbEnE
Oh LORD SRI VENKATESHA!
You are the only one who can eradicate my karmAs. Adiyen want to be like the stepping stone at the entrance of your sannidhi where your great devotees, dhevas , gandharvas and humans long to seek your darshan. . Adiyen wish to lie as your door step where devotees,celestials and heavenly dancers wait in order to see your coral lips constantly……………………………..
Swamy Nampillai was the disciple of Sri Nanjeeyar and the acharya of Sri Vadakku Thiruveethipillai and Sri Periyavaccan Pillai. Once , Swamy Nampillai went to Thiruvellarai for Lord Pundarikakshan darshanam .
Swamy along with his disciples were returning to Srirangam .
It was raining heavily past few days . Once they reached river Kaveri , they were shocked to see the flow of the river. The uprooted trees and the fury of the floods created confusion in the disciples mind .
To cross the river they had to board into a strong boat but were worried about the dangerous water flow . It was getting darker and the disciples were perplexed . They managed to get a small boat quickly for crossing the small stretch of the river .
Swamy Nampillai also joined the disciples and was contemplating on Lord’s kalyana gunas mentally . They boarded the small boat and the moment they came at the middle of the river ,the scene changed . Suddenly there were dark clouds all of all over .They were confused which direction the boat should be navigated.
. The small boat due to the torrent breeze was shaking terribly .Due to the excess weight of the crew the boat was about to sink. The boat man with the sudden turn of events , screamed loudly , holy sires !! the boat would sink due to its weight.
…..Please .. can some of you jump out from the boat so that our revered seer Swami Nampillai can be safely taken to srirangam .
No one took a chance to speak due to the fear of drowning . A religious old woman also a disciple of Swamy Nampillai got up and submitted ,
my dear son… …………………………………
Please ensure our Acharyar Swami nampillai our very life of humanity reaches srirangam safely ,saying this she jumps into the river ..
.Due to this act the boats weight reduces and manages to reach the shore .
Swamy Nampillai became very distressed for the sudden happenings . The sacrifice of the old woman touched him deeply and he was at loss of words for her . He was lamenting and moaning internally about her loss . All of a sudden he heard the old woman’s voice..
Oh ! My respected Acharyaa , I am alive and safe very near to the bank .Please do not lament about my act .
Swamy Nampillai immediately advised the boatman to go and fetch his disciple who was waiting on a sandy mold very near to the shore .She returned back in the boat and prostrated at the lotus feet of Swamy Nampillai . As she was not aware of any other protector except her Acharyar Swamy Nampillai , she submitted …………..
Oh swamy…. I suppose that you have appeared there in the river bed as a huge sandy mound in order to save me from the grave danger .
Swamy Nampillai replied ,If that is your strong faith I have nothing to say .
.Let it be so ….
If a man wishes sincerely to save his Acharyar by sacrificing his body , wealth and life , he will be saved by LORD SRIMANNARAYANA himself ……………………..
At Tirumala, Ananthalvan, disciples were planning to return to their native place in view of rainy season as per gurukulam curriculum.
Swamy Anathazhwan blessed them and spoke to them about the need for Satsanga.
As their Acharya , he hinted them about satsangha .
He said , Evil company takes you away from Satsanga, as explained by the sruthi” sada pasyanti will produce the experience of Para Brahman.
Evil company will produce disaster .
One disciple was eager to know
How that would be possible ?
Ananthazhvan gave the disciples a small pep talk.
Swamy quoted the story of Saunaka and other sages.
Once , due to unexpected rains ,the ascetics who were on a pilgrimage had to spend a rainy night amidst a forest in a hunters hamlet.
The hunters were away from the place. A parrot who was on a branch , spoke to them harshly thus insulting the seven ascetics .
The Parrot questioned how they could dare to enter the hamlet when there was nobody in. The parrot admonished them and asked them to get out.
The repeated abuses made the saints leave the hamlet and due to rain they took shelter under a banyan tree.
The parrot followed them and again insulted them asking them to leave that place too .
It called them by name and abused them as thieves….
Unable to bear the insult, the seven mystics walked at dead of night in the rain and reached the hermitage of another Rishi. Here too , the hamlet was without any one inside .
The Rishis had gone out for a bath, since it was about to dawn.
Here they could hear another parrot with a pleasing voice .
The parrot spoke to them with kindness and inquired about their welfare. It directed them to have fruits, sacred water and place to rest comfortably,
It also received them with Vedic honours by chanting the Vedic hymns .
Amazed with the brought up of the Parrot by the saints , Saunaka told the parrot about their miserable experience at the hunter’s hamlet last night in comparison to the treatment given just now .
They wondered how two parrots belonging to the same kind, behaved in a totally diametrical fashion. The parrot told him that both were born to the same parents.
But some how , I grew among these revered saints and my brother preferred to stay with the hunters . The parrot brought up by the Rishis knew how to receive guests and was always listening to the Vedas and Upanisads and the debates about their inner meaning. The parrot in the hunter’s hamlet knew only about killing, dividing and eating.
It is the association that cultivates the good or bad qualities in the character.
Saunaka was supremely happy and blessed the Parrot. Ananthazhvan narrated the story from the Upanisads to know the need for Satsanga.
Association with elders, scholars and pious people will result in brahmanubhava.
It is Satsangha that we should aspire for in our life.
The disciples took his word as gospel and pledged to abide by his command.
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pictures : Courtesy Google images uploaded by several devotees in social media
An interesting episode took place during Swamy Ramanuja’s time at Srirangam . One day a kainkaryapara ( temple servant) was murmuring in front of the thirumadapalli (temple kitchen) of Srirangam temple in a strange way .
Amused by his speech many onlookers and devotees assembled there . Acharya Swamy Ramanujar was proceeding to temple from his Ashram .
Looking at the huge gathering near the kitchen , Swamy enquired what was the reason for this gathering . A disciple came forward and replied that a kainkaryapara ( servant ) was dejected for some reason and hence he was murmuring . Swamy Ramanuja instructed his disciple to call him .
Pleased with Acharyar’s invitation the kainkaryaparar introduced himself as a servant of the temple and offered his humble obeisances .
Swamy Ramanuja asked him why was he dejected ??
He submitted , Swamy !! adiyen was content with Lords prasadam which was taking care of him and his family past few years .
However , now that his family has increased in size the prasAdam was insufficient to feed his family members . This was due to addition of few relations who joined him forever . Unable to cater their needs adiyen was upset . It was my small request to enhance the prasadam share for my family too .
Swamy Ramanuja patiently heard his petition looked at him with compassion and asked him if he believed in Lord Namperumal. The servant politely replied , Swamin !!! Adiyen has trust in Acharyan Swamy Ramanuja more than Perumal ( Lord himself ) .
Swamy advised him to stay in his place as he was residing and continue with his work . He said that the prasad shall reach him for sure .
This was told by Acharyar very casually . After some days he met the same temple servant on the banks of river kAveri in front of a small hut. The temple servant rushed amongst the onlookers and offered humble obeisances to Swamy Ramanuja. Acharya recognised him when he offered obeisances .
Out of love he asked him
My child !!! how are you and your family members .
The temple servant pleased with Acharyar speaking to him directly was overjoyed . He replied with enthusiasm that It was Acharyars mercy he and his family members are very happy , and by the grace of the Acharyan and Lord he was content with the prasAdam being delivered daily by his disciple .
Swamy Ramanuja surprised to hear this , enquired with the disciples as he was not aware of appointing someone for the same .
With confidence the servant said Acharya !!
It is Rangan the smart boy who was prompt to serve us the prasadam daily and your disciple was kind to brave even the rain to serve us the Prasad many many times .
Swamy Ramanuja , after enquiring in detail realized that the person Rangan who was doing this job was none other than Lord ( Periya perumal) himself.
Lord had come to keep up the words of his devotee (as Swamy Ramanujar told the temple servant that he will get his prasAdam without fail directly at his residence )
This is how LORD also keeps up his words
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
credits : Google images and pictures posted by several advanced devotees in social media
Lord Krishna in Guruvayoor stands out and has enticed everyone the most. The beautiful stature of Lord Guruvayoor attracts the devotees to come in large numbers and imagine to hug the Lord.
Guruvayoor is located in Trichur district in Southern India.
Sri Narayana Bhattatri composed the beautiful Narayaneeyam, containing thousand slokas which is sung in most of the houses in India .
Guru and Vayu adorned the deity of Lord Krishna to Narayana Saras and ParamaShivan was residing in a temple. On seeing Lord Krishna, it is said that Shiva moved out of the temple and shifted to a place called Mammiyoor.
So ParamaShiva gave his own place to Lord Krishna and that is verily where Guru and Vayu consecrated Krishna. The little Krishna stands there as “Guruvayurappa” even today. ParamaShiva’s temple in Mammiyoor is about a kilometer away from the Guruvayur temple. It is believed that Shiva looks at Lord Krishna and is doing penance in Mammiyoor.
Poonthanam was a great devotee of Lord Guruvayurappan . (Kerala ) . He was an ordinary and simple man . He was not familiar with Sanskrit . He used to sing praises of the Lord in Malayalam which was his mother tongue.
Out of sheer love he wished to chant Sri Vishnusahsranamam .
He started reciting Vishnu Shahasarnamam .
Among the 1000 holy names at one particular place , instead of reciting the Holy name as “Amara Prabhuhu” he recited it as “Mara Prabhuhu”.
Amara connotes Devas and Amara Prabhuhu means the ‘Lord of all Devas’.
Another great devotee of Lord Krishna ( Guruvayurappan ) Bhattathiri a Sanskrit scholar the author of the epic Srimad Narayaneeyam , who was passing by , heard Poonthanam reciting the nama as Mara Prabhuhu.
The next day, Poonthanam again recited the name as Mara Prabhuhu. Bhattathiri who was passing by became upset hearing Poonthanam’s recital of Vishnu Shasarnamam He walked near to his place and roughed him not to chant Vishnu Shasarnamam since he had not learnt it properly. Poonthanam was sad for the offence .He pleaded LORD to forgive for his poor knowledge in Sanskrit.
That very night, the all compassionate Lord Krishna arrived in Bhattathiri’s dream and commanded him that he was pleased with Poonthanam’s devotion more than Bhattathiri’s scholarliness.
He also clarified that the holy name he chanted was correct and is indeed “Mara Prabhu” which connotes “Lord of all human beings, plants and animals”.
Coming to terms , Bhattadri realises the offence he had committed .
The very next day, Bhattathiri rushed to his house and prostrated unto Poonthanam and that “Amara Prabhuhu” and “Mara Prabhuhu” are indeed correct and requested him to continue chanting the nama verse as “Mara Prabhuhu”.
It was indeed a divine play of the Lord to show that he was indeed “Mara Prabhuhu”.
There was a follower of Poonthanam who would string garlands to Lord Guruvayurappan. She would offer the garland to the Lord every evening.
One day she was running a little late as she had some chores to complete. By the time she reached the temple, the Dolotsavam was over and the temple was closed.
There was no one else in the temple and she saw Poonthanam, who was the last person to come out of the temple. She offered her obeisances to Poonthanam and expressed her sadness that she was not able to get the garland Lord on time
Poonthanam took her near a tree before the temple and asked to offer the same .This tree called “Manjulal” is housed outside Lord Guruvayurappan temple.
One would first have the darshan of the holy tree before entering the temple.
Since the Lord was “Mara Prabhuhu” who is the Lord of trees [Mara], Poonthanam requested the girl to offer the garland to this tree. She implicitly obeyed Poonthanam and offered the garland to Manjulal.
The next morning, when the priest opened the temple to wake up the Lord, they saw the same garland around the Lord’s neck. Such was the Lord’s compassion on that little girl who verbatim obeyed a devotees words.
The palace of Dasaratha remained closed for a period of fourteen years after he died .
The place became abandoned as no one ever moved into it .
Lord Rama on his return from exile after a period of fourteen years , had to enter into the house after HIS coronation .
Since the palace was abandoned for almost fourteen long years , it was necessary to perform few purificatory ceremonies lie Udaka santhee , Punyaakavaacham and other homas etc .
There were enquiries from the Royal court to get the Royal priests to take up the same .
Lord Rama observing the arrangements being made , advised the devotees Sugriva, Hanuman and Vibhishina to visit the palace where his father resided .
They were quick to enter the abandoned palace as per Lords directives . After thoroughly inspecting the palace they came out informing the same .
The Lord immediately entered the palace . The Royal Priests were confused with Lords entry without any purificatory rites being conducted . Lord Rama addressed the gathering saying No purificatory ceremony was needed because the dust from the feet of the great devotees had already fallen inside the palace .
Lord confirms the supreme truth about the holiness attached to the dust of the feet of the devotees .
A similar incident took place in Swamy Alavandars life . Mareneri Nambee was a disciple of Swamy Alavandar . He was very obedient to his Acharyar . He used to worship his Acharyar for his abundant mercy in taking him a s a disciple . He used to serve his Acharyar in all the ashram requirements .
It so happened , that a muhurtha was to be fixed for Gruhapravesham to the new ashram Swamy Alavandar was to about to shift .
Overhearing the news , Mareneri Nambi thought being a non Brahmin , attending the Gruhapravesham among the elite Vedic seers is improper , so It was fine having a glimpse of the new ashram unnoticed . He managed to see the new ashram by entering the same . This was noticed by another disciple who informed Swamy Alavandar .
Swamy Alavandar was overjoyed and announced the gruhapravesham ceremony of the ashram is completed with his disciple entry . Now its time we all shift to the new ashram .
On inquiring Swamy Alavandar informed that as Mareneri Nambi an advanced devotee had entered the ashram there was no need for a better purification or an auspicious time to decide .