Thirukannapuram Divyadesam Sowriraja Perumal Temple is located 30 KM from Kumbakonam on the way to Thiruvarur, Tanjore District, Tamilnadu which is one among the Five Krishraranya Kshetrams.
The Main Deity is glorified as Thiru Neelamega perumal along with Sridevi and Bhoodevi Thayar . The Processional deity is worshipped as Lord Sowriraja perumal. Lord Sowriraja perumal is seen with prayoga chakkra in his hands. The place is considered as Bhoolokha vaikundam. This Vaishnava Divya desam temple is located on the Kumbakonam / Mayavaram-Nannilam-Nagapattinam route.
One has to get down at Thiru Pugalur and take auto (2kms). The temple can also be reached directly from Thiruvarur.
The temple has a 7-tier rajagopuram and a vast temple complex.
The Nithya pushkarini just in front of the Temple is so vast that it looks more like a large lake
As we go around the main sanctum we can have darshanam of Thirumangai Azhwar, Vibishanan, and Lord Sri Raman sanctum. sanctorium
There is a separate sanctum for Swamy Ramanujar to north side of Pushkarani.
There is an interesting pastime related to this wonderful Srivaishnava divyadesam related to the ‘savuri’ ( hair grown to the deity ).
It so happened , once the temple priest presented a garland that was offered to the Lordships to a women who had come there to have darshan of Lord .
( This was a regular practice of the temple ). The Chola king who was passing by unexpectedly visited the temple. The Priest was worried and somehow managed to get the garland given to the women for presenting the same to the King .
The king who received the garland , to his surprise noticed a strand of hair in the garland and became furious. To escape from his anger and further wrath, the priest humbly submitted to the king that the Lord had a tuft of hair and that strand of hair was from the tuft.
The King forced the priest to prove his innocence .
Terrified with the Kings roar , the priest rushed into the sanctum and prayed LORD to rescue him from the Kings temper and save his life .
To save the priest, the Lord out of abundant mercy , gave darshan with a black ‘savuri’ in to the king. From that day on, He has been known as ‘Sowriraja Perumal’.
As Tirupati is famous for ‘laddu’ prasad , Srirangam for ‘payasam’, Thirukannapuram is famous for ‘muniyodharan pongal’.
The origin of this prasad is also interesting which has the name Munayadarayan .
There was a chieftain, Munayadarayan by name, who was ruling this Nagapattinam region .
He used to honor his food only after praying to Lord Sowri Raja Perumal of Thirukannapuram and due to his devotion he spent all his wealth in the service of the Lord .
For defaulting tax payment to the king, he was arrested. The Lord appeared in the dream of the king and ordered him to release Munayadarayan immediately.
When the chieftain returned from the custody at night, his wife served him Pongal . As usual he offered it to the Lord at the temple .But the temple doors were closed .He became sad and so he offered the prasadam through his manasika pooja and then honored the prasadam.
Next day, when the priest opened the temple, they found to their surprise the pudding was seen on the lips of the Lord Sowri Raja Perumal. . The king also was surprised to see the Lord accepting the Pongal offered by the chieftain.
Since then , Pongal is offered to the Lord during the night puja and this is called Munayadarayan Pongal.
Once a year, on the occasion of Maasi Magam, the Lord is taken on a procession to the sea shore near Karaikal, about 20 kms from here.
This is the temple where the Lord graced Vibheeshana, brother of demon king Ravana, his walking beauty.
After seeing the sleeping beauty of Vishnu as Lord Ranganatha at Srirangam, Vibheeshna wanted to see the walking beauty of the Lord, upon which he was directed by the Lord to his “Keezh(akku) Veedu’ (Eastern Gateway of the Lord).
It is believed that Lord Vishnu displayed his ‘walking beauty’ to Vibheeshana here on the new moon day.
To mark this event, on every Amavasya day at 12noon, Lord SowriRajan is carried out of the Sanctum and walks to the Vibheeshna Sannidhi.
There is no ‘Swarga Vasal’ for this temple as they say that one can reach ‘Vaikunta’ if they just step on this soil and worship the LORD here .
It is believed that there is a ‘pulling power’ in the sanctum of this temple and even to this day, one can feel and experience this effect
One more legend speaks about the greatness of this holy dhaam. Once , Garuda was returning from the milky ocean carrying the nectar for his mother as promised With pride ,he flew with the nectar that was not available to all.
While flying over this place , he lost his power and fell in the nearby ocean. Realizing that he had committed a sin, he performed penance here and begged pardon of the Lord.
The Lord out of compassion graced him and took him as his vehicle. As the reminder of this event , every Feb- March ( tamil month ) Masi Magam, the lord goes to the seashore and blesses all his devotees there.
Hence the devotees greet the Lord calling him as Mappillai – son-in-law.
On the 7th day of ( April- May ) Vaikasi, Lord gives darshan in (TriMoorthy Swaroopam)- Maha Vishnu in the day, Brahmaa in the night at around 11pm and Lord Shiva early next morning..
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Photos : Google images
Videos : Thanks to Sri Muniswamy , Sri Rangapadmanabhan & Sri Ranganathan
The holy place where LORD NARSINGHA BHAGAVAN incarnated for Prahlada Maharaj ..
Please read the vaibhavams of the Nava Narasingh bhagavan .
The holy place is situated 25 Km from Arlagadda in Kurnool district can also be approached via Cuddapah district, Andhra Pradesh ,India.
The most sacred shrine of Lord Narasimhar at Ahobilam is located in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh in the hills of the eastern ghat.
The temple consists of nine shrines to Lord Narisimha located around a 5 KM circle.
The shtala Purana states that PakshiRajar Garuda prayed for a vision of Lord Narisimha . Garuda commended his penance near to Srisaila Kshetra .
MORE ABOUT NAVA NARASIMHA KSHETRAM ————————————————————————– There are 9 shrines dedicated to nine forms of Narasimhar
Out of this Prahalada varada Narasimhar is in Lower Ahobilam, Ugra Narasimhar, who is a swayambhu and is treated as the divya desa Perumal is seen in Upper Ahobilam. The other shrines are scattered all over the hills.
Apart from the nava Narasimha shrines, “Prahalada padi” where Prahalada studied and “Ugra Sthambam” from where Perumal emerged are usually visited by pilgrims.
There are number of Theerthas in this shrine.
A few like Lanjekonneru near Bhargava Narasimhar , Ramatheertha near Lower Ahobilam and Raktha Kundam near Jwala Narasimhar , Bhavanaasini near Ugra Narasimhar which flows through both the mountains are a few to name.
PRAHALADA VARADA NARASIMHA SWAMY
Situated at the foot of the hills known as Lower Ahobilam, this temple can be visited by one and all. Usually all homams and yagams are performed here.
Here Perumal is seen along with Thayar blessing Prahalada.
Hence, Perumal is known as “Prahalada Varadar”.The utsava vigrahams of all the Narasimhars except Malola Narasimhar areoffered nitya thiruvaadhanai here.
To the left of Perumal, utsava vigraham of Pavana Narasimhar can be seen majestically .
In front of the Lord, the utsava idols of Prahalada varada Narasimhar along with Sridevi and Bhoodevi grace us .
The processional deity of Jwala Narasimhar along with His consorts is also seen in the garbagriham . The deity is superbly carved and on request , the archakar removes the alankaranam and performs Aaarathi to the idol.
Lord has 10 arms and Hiranya vadham (killing) is beautifully depicted.
There is also a small deity of the first Ahobila Mutt Jeeyar facing south.
The temple is a huge one and many monkeys can be seen here.
The walls of the temple depict sthalasthala puranam briefly.
There is a Thayar Sannidhi to the right of the temple.
2) BHARGAVA NARASIMHA SWAMi:
This temple is situated two kilometres from Lower Ahobilam on a small hillock and can be approached by foot. As Bhargava(Parasurama) did penance here, the Lord is thus known. It is easily approachable.
3) YOGANANDA NARASIMHA SWAMI:
Situated at a distance of 3 kilometres from Lower Ahobilam, this can be approached by foot. It was here that Prahalada mastered the art of yoga from Perumal Himself.
The divya mangalaswaroopam of the Lord is eye captivating. Perumal is seen alone in Yogaasanam.
4) CHATRAVATA NARASIMHA SWAMI
This is situated at a distance of nearly 3kms from Ahobilam on a different route also reachable on foot . As Perumal is seated alone under a peepul tree which protects Perumal like an umbrella, He is known as Chatravata Narasimhar.
This Perumal is fond of music played by Gandharvas. It looks as if the Lord is deeply engrossed in music by clasping His hands. We were told that He is fond of Adi Thalam. Reptiles keep moving in this place but they don’t harm the devotees. One has to take care of these.
5) UGRA NARASIMHAR SANNIDHI:-
This is in Upper Ahobilam. There is a narrow bus route and it takes about 40 minutes to reach this place from Lower Ahobilam.
This is considered as the divya desa temple. Usually, pilgrims have bath in Bhavanaasini or Paavanaasini (a spring which flows from the top of the hill) and then have Perumal’s darsanam.
A dip in Paavanaasini absolves all the sins committed.
Though there are no proper bathing ghats, still we can see hundreds of devotees having holy dip unmindful of their surroundings. The sannidhi is located inside a cave .
Perumal along with Thayar is seen in Veetruirundha Thirukkolam .
Opposite to Perumal, there is an idol of Prahalada. There is a dark room on the other side of the cave which is believed to be the place where Chenchulakshmi resides .
Recently, under the supervision of Jeer, a bridge across Paavanasini river has been constructed which facilitates the pilgrims to go to Varahanarasimhar temple (Krodha Narasimhar)
One kilometer further from Upppper Ahobilam leads to the shrine of Krodha Narasimhar. He is also known as Varaha Narasimhar as His Thirumukam resembles a varaham (a boar).
Any japam done here elevates one spirtually. Especially, Narayana Sadakshara Japam from Varaha Kanda bestows manifold benefits as told by Archakar Swamin..
KARANJA NARASIMHAR SHRINE :
This temple is situated between Upper Ahobilam and Lower Ahobilam..
As the divya mangala moorthi is installed under Karanja vruksham, the deity has been named so. Perumal is seen in Veetruirundha Kolam and is holding Sarngam (bow), dhanus (arrow) and chakram .
Adisesha acts as “Kudai”(refer Irundhal Kudaiyam…) and is protecting. The theertham here is known as Bhairava kundam. Hanumar who visited this place was a staunch Rama bhakta .
Lord Narasimhar appeared to Hanumar, who was a staunch Ramabhakta, with bow and arrow thus showing that He is Lord Rama Himself. This Lord is in Padmasaanam pose. One can have darshan of Hanumar also. We are reminded of Sholangur .
6) MALOLA NARASIMHAR:
This shrine is situated two kilometres away from Upper Ahobilam. Perumal came in search of Mahalakshmi Thayar who was doing penance here and placed Her on His lap. Hence, Perumal seen along with Thayar has a somya (graceful) form. Due to Thayar’s presence, Perumal graces even the worst sinner .
Azhwar refers to this Perumal in pasuram no. 1016 (Peria Thirumozhi) when he says that bhaktas are always protected by Perumal and only the wicked have to fear .
This Lord gives abhayam to His devotees and Thayar bestows Asthaaiswaryam and grants the wishes of the devotees.
There is a vigraham of Thirumangai Azhwar in the sanctum . Outside the temple, there is a small pillar with murthis. Those who are not able to go to Ugra sthambam can prostrate this pillar.
7) JWALA NARASIMHAR:-
This temple is located at a higher altitude may be around 2800 feet. And can be approached from Malola Narasimhar shrine.
It takes about 2 hours to reach this temple from Upper Ahobilam. The path is slippery and as mentioned care has to be taken.
It was here that Perumal killed Hiranyakasipu by tearing his stomach with his spear like nails.
The idol with 10 hands which is approximately 3 feet high and is scaring to look at. Beside this shrine, there is a small pond known as “Raktha Kundam” where the Lord is believed to have washed His blood-stained hands .
The water is reddish in colour and this was the explanation given by the guide to us. Recently, a temple has been constructed for this Lord and a archakar is appointed to perform Nitya Thiruvaaradhanai.
8) PAVANA NARASIMHAR:
It is situated six kilometres away from Upper Ahobilam towards north east on the banks of River Pavana. It is difficult to approach this temple as wild animals keep roaming. If one wishes to visit this temple, he must do so during daytime with the help of a guide. The path is too narrow, the trek amidst cluster of rocks is strenuous .
It takes about 45 minutes for trekking. One can view Malola Narasimhar shrine and few water falls on the way on the other side of the mountain.
Forest fire is very common in this place and this helps in one way to ward off wild animals. It is believed that devas offer worship to this Lord. The Lord is seen along with Thayar .
The local tribals usually observe fast on Saturdays and offer flowers, honey, fruits, rice, jaggery etc. to the Lord.
The general notion that “bali” (sacrifice) is done here was rebuked by the priest. He said that the sacrifice would be done elsewhere in the jungles .
He also added that wild animals do not roam near the temple and only during severe summer, they come to the river bank to quench their thirst.
They usually do not hurt any one. Besides the above shrines, other place of interest are Prahalada Padi or Prahalada Mettu (Mettu in Telugu and Padi in Tamil means “step”) and Ukku sthambam.
is the place where Prahalada had his vidyabhyaasam from Sukracharya’s sons. The way to Prahalada padi though tough is breathtakingly beautiful with river flowing on one side and with various water falls amidst a huge valley.
This reminds me of the route to Badrinath. The temple is in a small cave and one has to crawl to enter inside the cave. Only 4 persons can be accommodated inside at a time.
Mountain lizards and bats move freely here.
It was here that the child started propogating Lord’s qualities. Prahalada used to resort to this place for meditating upon the Lord. There is a vigraham of Narasimhar in centre . to its right, there is an idol of Chakaratazhwar and to the left , there is a vigraham of Lord Vishnu.
which is situated at a distance of 8 kms from Upper Ahobilam is the pillar from which the Lord emerged . The pillar which is situated at the edge the cliff is split into two as a proof that Lord appeared from this pillar.
Pilgrim usually give their offerings here. It is very difficult to reach this place which is at a highest altitude .Doing pradakshinam around this pillar is even more difficult as it is in the cliff. Near the ukku sthambham (iron pillar) as the Telugus call, there is Perumal’s Thiruvadi.
The climb is very difficult . Only with His grace can one visit this place. One has to have a sharp vision and a flexible body to bend, crawl etc.
This can be approached from Prahalada padi on the way to Jwala Narasimhar shrine. While describing this pillar, Sri Mukkur Swamy says that the entire world is still pregnant with Narasimhar inside except this because Perumal has come out of it.
The symbols of Vishnu, namely, Sankhu, Chakram, Naamam are carved on the face of the hill. One can have a bird’s eyeview of the entire Ahobilam from this place.
The atmosphere is calm and serene . Various waterfalls all around looking like thin streams makes us wonder and appreciate the nature and Lord’s creation.
It’s a best place to meditate the cliff is split into two as a proof that Lord appeared from this pillar. Lets glorify our LORD singing HIS praises…..
The most sacred shrine of Lord Narasimhar at Ahobilam is located in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh in the hills of the eastern ghat.
The temple consists of nine shrines to Lord Narisimha located around a 5 KM circle. The shtala Purana states that PakshiRajar Garuda prayed for a vision of Lord Narisimha . Garuda commended his penance near to Srisaila Kshetra .
After long years of penance Lord manifested Himself in the cave of a mountain.
Few miles to the north east of the holy mountains where Garuda was performing penance a vision of HIS manifestation was granted to Garuda………………..
who after obtaining as sign of location of the mountain cave gladly traveled to the holy spot and was blessed to be graced by Satswaroopa , Mahapurusha , Lord Jwala Narasimhar not easy accessible to common people those days
Garuda worshipped the Lord and glorified LORD as Ahobilam is Mahabhalam .
The Lord was worshiped with glorious verses by Garuda …..
The mountain on which Garuda performed tapas became famous as Garudachala . In the days of yore when truth and dharma prevailed , great heat was observable near the mountain cave of Ahobilam , according to legend when green grass was put in the cave , it would catch fire and smoke would be emitted .
There are nine Narasimha Kshetras ..
Paavana Nava Moorthayaha
The uniqueness of Narasimhaavatara has been extolled by many a devotee .
LORD appeared out of a Pillar neither man nor beast and yet both man and lion..
His very appearance bespeaks HIS supremacy and transcendence .
Among the distinguished disciples of Swamy Vedanta Desikar was brahmatantra Swantantra Jeeyar Swamy who had a illustrious disciple Ghatikastam Ammal .
He was grandson of the great Acharyar Swamy Nadaadooor Ammal the chief disciple and successor of Engal Azhwar . Sreenivasacharyar was his disciple and was studying under his holiness .
He was well versed in the ancient lore and was very knowledgeable in Swamy Ramanuja sampradaya right from his boyhood.
One day the Supreme Lord Narasimha dev appeared in his dream and beckoned him to Ahobilam located in the Nallamallai Hills .
Could this vision be true ? he kept asking himself again and again ..
He hurried to meet his Acharyar and told him about his dream .
The old Acharyar was pleased with the direction of Lord .He asked him to obey the mandate.
Sreenivasacharya proceeded to Ahobilam as per Lord’s command .
He had to climb the hills amidst dense forests. Recollecting the divine dream he passed on the deep jungles with ease …
He had a dip in the Bhavanasini river , and took up abode in that wilderness .
As LORD always takes care of HIS devotee , Mukundaraya, the local chieftain also reached the holy place to receive our Acharyar as per divine command.
On proceeding further he could see the tribals worshipping Lord Narasimha .
They believed LORD had married their foster daughter of a Chenchu Chief .
And since they became His votaries .
They called him Obelessuddu …
They used to celebrate Annual festival by presenting clothes , honey fruits and all the beautiful things .
Srinivasacharya along with few locals entered the forest . After he finished his many chores , a yati beckoned him and administered the Preshamantra after ordaining him into the ascetic order .
Lord addressed him as Sri Satakopa Yati and then revealed his real form of LORD NARASIMHA
He directed the yati to be the Chief Aaaradhaka thus going to villages ministering to the spiritual well being of all his disciples .
Be their Acharya …..
purify them …
with the emblems of Conch and Discuss instruct them into the mysteries of the creed…….
He was the first Jeeyar who received the charter from LORD himself.
This happened on the fifth lunar day of of bright fortnight in the year 1320 the appearance day of Lord srinivas ( Purattasi sravanam )
As Lord disappeared the deity of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha had landed into his hands .
Our dear Lord Malola Murthy wears a paduka indicating he is ever ready to proceed to shower HIS mercy on devotees.
A palanquin and other paraphernalia was offered to the Supreme LORD…..
And thus LORD has graced to accompany the Ahobilam Jeeyars past 700 years .
It was during this time the great King Prataapa Rudrudu was ruling Andhra pradesh. Once while returning from Srisailam after his worship to Paramasivan , Prataparudra stopped and camped at Ahobilam .
He used to worship Paramasiva daily . Everyday he used to mould a linga roopa in gold and worship .He used to offer the worshiped Linga to a brahmin before he partook food .It was a daily routine.
The next morning he was eagerly waiting for his goldsmith to bring the molded linga for worship. It was getting delayed and hence he himself approached the tent where the gold smith was molding the linga . To his surprise he could see the molded gold was taking shape of Lakshmi Narasimha instead of Linga roopa .
Suddenly he heard vedic mantras .
He looked around and was attracted to divine chants near by . He asked his ministers to find out the details . He approached the vaishnavas who were radiating with opulence and requested them to introduce themselves .
The King was led into the Ashram where our First Jeeyar Sri Sri Sri Adivan Satakopan was worshiping the great LORD .
The King was overjoyed to see the holy abode of Lord Narasimha .
He liked the pious atmosphere around with greenery everywhere .
His holiness Sri Adivan Satakopa Yatheendra Mahadesikar was radiating with divinity . The King fell at the lotus feet of the Jeeyar and offered repeated obeisances . He explained the miracle of the molded gold turning into Lord Lakshmi Narasimhar deity instead of Linga roopa .
The Jeeyar was pleased and blessed him .
The King offered the Suvarna Lakshmee Narasimhar to Jeeyar and asked for his benediction .He directed his ministers to provide all financial and labor support for Jeeyar in propagating the path the Supreme Lord had desired .
The King got converted to srivaishnavism and played a role in the Jeeyars journey of propagating the sampradaya.
Thus one would be very fortunate to have darshan of Jeeyar and the Lordships who accompany the Ahobilam Jeeyars .
The divine world Jeeyar accompanies all compassionate our Lord Maalola Narasimhar , Suvarna Narasimhar Mangalagiri Panaka Narasimhar who arrived and joined 42nd Jeeyar Lord Krishna who enjoys Dolotsavam . Lord Ranganathar reclining on Adhishesha with Goddess Mahalakshmi ,Lord Athagiri Varadar worshipped by the great Acharyar Nadathur Ammal . Lord Sreenivasar with Alamelumanga thaayar Sampath kumaran with Yadhugiri Nachiyar Parimalarangan with Goddess Sridevi and Bhudevi , Lakshmi varahan, Bhuvarahan , Adhikesavar with goddesses , Sudarshana Azhwar, Sri Seetha Rama , Lakshmana perumal Lord Aaravamudham , Hayagreevar Sri Andal ,Lord Rangamannar and Saaligrama Moorthies .
The divine world showers divinity all around .Great Acharyars Vishwaksenar Swamy Nammazhwar , Thirumangai Azhwar shower opulence on the lucky ones who have darshan …
Jai Jai Lakshmee Narasimha
All glories to His holiness Sri Sri Sri Adivan Satakopa Yatheendra Mahadesikar
All glories to Lord Narasinga devotees
All glories to Ahobilam Kshetra
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pics Credits : Google images and various social media shared by several advanced devotees
Swami Alavandar is universally considered to be the Acharyar of Sri Ramanujacharya, though he had never spoken once to Swami Ramanuja till he lived. Whatever he taught Ramanuja he did it only through his disciples. Alavandar’s disciples were priceless gems. Perianambi, Thirukoshtiyur Nambi, Thirumaalaiyaandan and Peria Thirumalai Nambi were the chief disciples.
Of these Perianambi personally taught swami Ramanuja and it was Thirukoshtiyur Nambi who made swamy Ramanuja walk to his place 18 times to learn the meaning of LORD’S name.
Alavandar had another disciple by name Maraneri Nambi. The other disciples were all high-caste Brahmans whereas Maraneri Nambi belonged to a caste which was in the lowest rung of the social ladder during those period.Alavandar did not discriminate between his disciples and he loved Maraneri Nambi more than the other disciples.
Peria Nambi and Maraneri Nambi were of the same age. They became close friends. They would discuss their teacher’s words and each friend would contribute to the other’s learning. Once Alavandar 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 for us even to imagine the kind of pain the disease inflicted on its victims.
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 alone knew.
One day Maraneri Nambi went to Alavandar’s house. He insisted that he should see his Guru. Alavandar was hesitant. But Maraneri was adamant. So he was let in. Alavandar tried to cover his pain and welcomed him with a smile.
He thought that Maraneri had come there to clear his doubts in his lessons. The best way out was to dispose Maraneri as early as possible without letting him find out his disease. Maraneri came into the room and prostrated at his Acharya’s feet.
“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.” “Gurudeva, 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.”
Maraneri ran out to fetch a silver vessel containing the holy water.
Alavandar was puzzled.
“Please Gurudeva show me your hands.”
“What 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.
“Please repeat whatever I am going to say..
“I, Yamunaithuraivar alias Alavandar, 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.”
“What the hell you are doing Nambee ? This is not a game.
This water is holy. And if I repeat whatever you said, then you will have the disease, you moron. 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?”
“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 who sleeps forever 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 give your disease 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.
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.
Swamy Alavandar was more than a hundred years old.
One day he passed away.
Maraneri Nambi and Perianambi, who were in their eighties, cried a lot over the death of their loving Guru.
Swamy Ramanujacharya then came to Srirangam and took over the reins of the Ashram. Maraneri Nambi was now in his death bed.
He called his friend Perianambi one day and insisted that he should be left alone with his dear friend.
“Perianambi, my dear friend, I have a fear.
When I leave this body they would give this body to my relatives.
I have quite a lot of them, no doubt.
But most of them are drunkards and cheats.
They would drink arrack, dance around my dead body and utter all profanities.
“I am Swamy Alavandar’s disciple and I have been thinking only of my Guru and God all these years.
“Giving my body to my relatives would be like giving the sacred ghee offered in the yagas to a street dog.
My body in which my Guru and my Lord reside should not be humiliated by those crooks.
”Perianambi held his friend’s hands and assured him.
“I will take care of that. Our Lord, our Guru and the new head, the loving Swamy Ramanuja will never let that happen.
Believe me, Maraneri. “
Maraneri Nambi was relieved.
He died peacefully in his sleep that very night.
When Perianambi heard of his friend’s death he came running to the Ashram. He supervised all the funeral arrangements himself.
And then he did the unthinkable.
Perianambi who was born in the highest caste of Brahmans did the last rites himself and lit the funeral pyre.
It was nothing short of a revolution in those days.
How could somebody born in the highest of castes, somebody like Perianambi, do the last rites for someone born in the lowest of castes?
It created a great furore.Many disciples of the mutt opposed Perianambi’s action.
Perianambi was banned from the temple. He was not allowed to mingle with the people.And somebody took up the matter with Swamy Ramanuja.
Now Perianambi was Ramanuja’s teacher.
Ramanuja knew all about Perianambi’s love. He also knew about Maraneri Nambi’s devotion.
After all Ramanuja was the man who stood on the top of the temple wall and revealed the most sacred secret to those born in the lowest of castes, in spite of his Guru’s warnings.
Yet he wanted the other disciples to know about Peria Nambi and Maraneri Nambi.
He summoned Perianambi to his presence and held a court martial.
“Oh Worshipful Acharya, you have been charged with a very grave offense.
That you did the last rites for a man born in the lowest of castes. You are a learned Brahman.
“You know it is forbidden by the sasthras. And the punishment prescribed for such an act is total ex-communication.
That is you can’t enter the temple, this mutt or any other Brahman’s house.
What’s your answer, Acharya?”
Perianambi knew his disciple like the palm of his hand.
He knew that the show was only for the gallery.
He saw the disciples jeering at him.
Normally a soft-spoken person that eighty year old man now roared like a lion, no like the lion-faced Lord Narasimha.
“Ramanuja, I have not done anything wrong.
Do I have to remind you that in the great epic Ramayana our Lord Rama did the last rites for a bird, Jadayu?
“Neither am I superior to Rama nor my dear friend Maraneri Nambi inferior to that bird.”
Not a single word wasted.
The arrow hit the bull’s eye.
The lion-faced Lord had killed the demon called bigotry.
Or at least that was what he thought……
Ramanuja clapped his hands like a child.
He then turned to the other disciples.
“Are you clear now?
Do you have any counter arguments?”
But very few understood.
Well, they exactly did not have an argument against Perianambi’s powerful example.
At the same time they were not large-hearted enough to condone Perianambi’s excesses. They started avoiding Perianambi.
If he went to the temple the priests would leave the place.
If any Brahman saw him on the road he would turn his face the other side and walk away…..
Swamy Ramanuja came to know of the ill-treatment meted out to Perianambi.
He was very sad.
After teaching love for years and years, these people still acted like fanatics.
‘What’s the big deal? Why should I waste my life teaching these bigots?’
Ramanuja ran to the temple. It was late in the night.
They were about to close the doors.
They were waiting for the Acharya to finish his darshan.
Ramanuja was sobbing before the sleeping Lord.
“I tried my best to make them understand Perianambi’s love.
I have failed in my mission.
Please, Lord, you will have to do something about it.
“Please don’t let Perianambi suffer for his greatest act of love.
Please my, Lord. Please…
”The Lord who is nothing but Love, the Lord who even while sleeping on the banks of Cauvery is constantly thinking about his devotees, the Lord who cannot tolerate any kind of bigotry, just smiled.
He had already made up his mind to teach a lesson to those fanatics.
It was festival time in Srirangam. The very next day was the famous car festival.
The huge Ther (car) of Srirangam was to pass through the house of Perianambi.
When the Lord’s Ther came into the street Perianambi was sitting in his pooja room with all the sadness in his face.
He had never missed the car festival in the past. Because he was a well-learned Brahman and one of Alavandar’s disciples, the car would stop at the gate of his house so that he could have dharshan.
But this time it was different. He was not allowed in the temple.
And nobody talked to him. He also knew that the Lord’s car would not stop in front of his house, this time.
His eyes were shedding tears of love…..
“My Lord, do you also think that what I did was wrong?
Maraneri Nambi is a much better person than I. And I am really proud that I had the blessing to light his funeral pyre.
“If you have also decided to let me down, Oh My, dear, dear Lord, so be it. If you let me down, I don’t want anybody else to save me.
Do whatever you wish, my Lord.” The Car had just approached the house of Perianambi.
When Azhagia Manavala Perumal seated in the car was right in front of Perianambi’s house-entrance the huge car suddenly came to a grinding halt.Actually the administrators had cunningly planned to make the car run at double the usual speed when they were crossing Perianambi’s house.
But those petty minds were but small pieces of cotton in that large fire of love whose name was AzhagiaManavala Perumal. He had his say.
And He always had his way.The gigantic Ther stopped before Perianambi’s house. It looked as if their roles had been reversed. For years and years Perianambi used to wait outside his house for the Lord.
Today the Lord was waiting for him. The administrators thought it was a mechanical problem and could be corrected only if they applied more oil on the axis. Pots of oil were poured on the humongous axis.
Yet the car would not move.They sent word to the nearby villages. Hundreds of people came to pull the car. The Lord did not even move a milli-metre.They sent word to the stable and six elephants were brought to pull the car. The Lord was adamant. They then went in search of mantrikas and astrologers.The Lord was waiting patiently at the gate of Perianambi’s house.
Four hours had passed. Perianambi was crying in the pooja room. Nothing moved.The best of mantrikas was summoned. He came there, closed his eyes and went into a state of trance.
After thirty minutes he woke up. “Idiots, you have hurt a good man, a noble soul. Unless you give Lord’s prasadam to him with due respects the Lord will not move an inch from this place. And fools, do remember this.
If he thinks ill of you even for a second you’ll all be burnt to ashes in no time. You can even play with this God. He won’t mind. But never try to play with his devotees.
You will be annihilated.Emboldened by their silence the mantrika delivered his punchline with aplomb.“You fools, if you have any sense still left in you, fall at Perianambi’s feet and beg his pardon.
Unless he forgives you even this loving Lord will not forgive you. Mind it.”He refused to accept any fees from them.
“I have a strong policy not to accept anything from sinners like you.” He ran away from the place. Then and only then they realized their mistake.
The Chief Priest went into Perianambi’s house and fell at his feet. “Perianambi, our Lord, Azhakia Manavalar is waiting to see you.
At your gate. Looks like He won’t move any further unless you come out and see him. ‘Please come with me and accept the Lord’s prasadam. And please forgive all of us. We are all petty-minded people.
“We now know for sure that you are on our Lord’s side. No, no, our Lord is on your side. Please come, Peria Nambi. The Lord has been waiting for you for the past four hours.” Perianambi ran out of the house.
It was a sight to see almost the entire town falling at his feet.He ignored them all and fell before the huge car.
The Chief Priest lifted him up and honoured him with the Lord’s cloth and his sadari. A garland was taken from the Lord and was placed on Perianambi’s neck.
Azhagia Manavala Perumal was affectionately smiling at his devotee. Perianambi was respected like a King amongst his peers.
For did not the Lord Himself stop at his place? Seeing the bewitching smile on Azhakia Manavalar’s most beautiful face Peria Nambi folded his hands.
He did not even attempt to control his sobs. “Any day your love is a million times better than mine, my Lord. Give me a billion births to be born as a worm to be crushed by the feet of your loving devotees. I can’t even repay a small fraction of your love.
Oh My Lord, you stopped at my place! You stopped at the house of this worm! You waited for me! My Lord! My Lord!”
The Chief Priest came near Perianambi and gently reminded him.“Please let the Lord go, Perianambi. It’s getting late, you see. Please..”
Perianambi moved away.
The Lord took leave of his devotee and resumed his onward journey. The huge car now moved as if its wheels were on air.
The gigantic Chariot started moving when less than fifty people gently pulled its ropes.
Credits : HG Shri Varalotti Rengasamy
All glories to Peria nambee All glories to Alavandar Srimathey Ramanujaya namah:
Pics : Thanks to Google images /and other websites shared by advance devotees
It was Namperumal’s divine plan to make Swamy Ramanujar leave Srirangam for a short time , and purify other places by placing his holy feet in Melnadu and retrieve Thirunarayanan who was worshipped by Sri Ramar and Sri Krishna during Tretha and Dwapara yugas .
Peria Perumal thus created a difficult situation by which Swamy Ramanujar had to leave Srirangam after taking Peria Perumal’s consent and thus proceeded towards north accompanied by Sri Mudaliandan Swamy.
The local people who were averse to Swamy Ramanujar conspired a plan to do away with him.
Swamy Ramanujar learning their evil intentions ordered Mudaliandan Swamy to place his feet in the drinking water pond in that area now called saligrama near Thondanur , which he politely obeyed.
At salagrama ,by partaking this Sripada theertham, the minds of the evildoers changed miraculously and they fell at Swamy Ramanujar lotus feet seeking forgiveness. Such was the greatness of Swamy Mudaliandan .
Ramanujar named this place as “Saligramam” which is near to Melkote.
Even today this pond is maintained by the archakar family .
There is a small temple opposite to this pond in which Swamy Ramanujar’s lotus feet are worshiped.
Swamy Ramanuja had a large number of disciples at Melnadu .
Vangipurathu Achi , Vangipurathu Nambi , Thondanur Nambi , Marudhur Nambi, Malur Nambi , Anathazhwan were some of them in the large group of disciples he had at Melnadu.
Thondanur Nambi was a great bhagavatha , a saint and most respected scholar as he was close to the Royal family .
Thondanur Nambi , during his pilgrimage to Srirangam was attracted to Swamy Ramanuja .
He loved his approach and the simple teachings which leads to self realisation that takes one to godhead. He was one among the 74 Simhadhipathees .
Thondanur was the summer capital of the Hoyasala kingdom ruled by King Vittala deva who was a staunch follower of Jainism .
It was a wonderful opportunity to grace the King and his people and induct them in the great srivaishnava sampradayam .
Swamy Ramanuja and Thondanur Nambi look for an auspicious time and leave to Thondanur to the Royal palace .
The Royal couple have the divya darshan of JagathAcharyar Swamy Ramanuja .
Both of them fall like uprooted trees looking at Swamy Ramanujas divine aura .
They welcome Swamy to their Royal chambers .
The whole Royal family pay their obeisance’s to Swamy Ramanuja .
The mad princess who was irritating the members few minutes back suddenly leaves into another room when Swamy enters the chambers . With some cajoling the princess who is shabbily dressed is brought before Swamy Ramanuja .
Looking at the pitiable state of the princess , Swamy gives the holy water that was offered to his Lordships and applies the holy turmeric paste offered to Lord on her forehead .
The moment she sips the holy water and makes an eye contact with the great Acharya the evil spirit vanishes and she almost faints before him .
The princess is slowly brought back to senses by sprinkling some water on her .
To everybody’s surprise she gets up , looks at herself feels shy and runs away to her chambers . She dresses herself elegantly and offers obeisances to Swamy Ramanuja amongst all the people .
The Royal couple are amazed with the sudden happenings . They accept that the great seer who is with them is a very pious soul who has incarnated to uplift them . Instantly they surrender to his lotus feet and beg to be taken into his fold .
Swamy Ramanuja asks them to offer prayers at Nambi Narayana Temple and meet him there .
At Swamy Nambi Narayana temple , Swamy Ramanuja conducts a discourse attended by many people . The King along with his Royal family too attend the discourse which speaks about the ultimate purpose of life as a srivaisnava .
. Attracted to his simple teachings the entire crowd adopt srivaishnavism . Amongst the citizens the King , Queen and all his family members are given Panchasamskara initiation .
The King is given a name a Vishnu vardhana after due initiation by Swamy Ramanuja himself . The celebration among st the citizens is multi fold .
All the citizens hail Swamy Ramanujas discourse and accept him as their Jagath Acharya .
Somewhere down the lane the Jain monks are upset with the happenings .
All of them march to the Royal Palace and argue with the king for taking such a foolish step
They convince the King that their proposed debate with Swamy Ramanuja will prove Jainism superiority and he must agree to their command .
The King knew very well that such thing can never happen .
However he along with the Jain monks in huge numbers walk up to the Yoga narasimhar temple located on a hillock as Swamy Ramanuja was staying there .
The Jain monks along with the King meet Swamy Ramanuja and invite him to a debate on the esoteric truths . All the Jain monks assemble and start posing questions .
The euphoria around makes Swamy Ramanuja to command his disciples to surround him with a curtain . Almost 1000 jain monks shoot questions on him without any break .
It is was ONE vs ONE THOUSAND
The divine incident of Swamy Ramanuja taking over one thousand Jain monks was relished by the disciples . Inside , Swamy Ramanujar was covered by a curtain and with his original form as Adisesha with 1000 hoods, he answers every question of the monk with patience and clarity .
Thus he defeats all the 1000 Jains at a time. One monk was inquisitive to find out why the curtain was put .He slowly managed to peep inside the curtain .
To his shock he could see JagathAcharyar’s viswaroopam and fainted . The Jain monks had no reply and were forced to accept defeat and adopt to srivaishnavism .This incident happened at Lord Narasimha swamy temple in Bhakta nagari (presently known as Thondanur).
Swamy MudaliAndaan who gave us the nectarian sloka DHAATI PANCHAKA in praise of Swamy Ramanujar at this place. This place is on the way to Melkote(about 16 kms) from Srirangapatinam.
The wonderful opportunity given by Swamy Ramanuja to Mudaliandaan is remembered even today . “Dhati Panchakam” speaks of the victory of Swamy Ramanuja over other philosophies – both those that accept Vedas and those that don’t – and his establishing the Visishtadvaita philosohpy that was built by Azhvars and Purvacharyas.
As the name suggests, it comprises of five slokas The word “DHATI” means “attacking” – as this work shows the attack that Ramanuja carried over the other philosophies that were widespread at that time, it is an appropriate name for it.