Thirumangai Azhwar at Nagapattinam …………… A divine pastime…

Azhwar  proceeded to Thiruvali his native place .Overjoyed to see the wonderful lushy green fields and the magnetic aroma of divinity sang several verses on the Lordships of Thirunangoor. He proceeded to Thiruvindaloor . Lord mischievously disaaperaed after appearing for few seconds sending Azhwar  into grief . He recited the nectarine pasuram …. Vasi vallir Indaloor Vazhude pom Nire … and Lords heart melted .He reappeared and gave a graceful darshan relishing the nectarine pasuram. Proceeding further worshipping the Lordships he finally reached Srirangam. With the deep gratitude for the Supreme Lord Azhwar recited several glorification verses . The Supreme  Lord was pleased and appeared . Lord with abundant mercy spoke , My dear son  you have glorified us by going all along the borders and we bless you and the  verses with effulgence in awakening pure love towards us . It is too tiring too for you travelling so long . We  advise you to stay with us and take part in strengthening our temple by providing means for the bhagavathas to   be taken care with ramparts corridors, splendid towers aisles and other structures for the benefit of the devotees and recesses to our holy premises
Azhwar was overjoyed for the kainkaryam ( services ) Lord bestowed on him . He invited all his friends to discuss the means to achieve this gigantic task in re modeling the temple . One relative who was his own brother in law  Yatirasan  suggested for visiting Nagapatnam for he heard that there was a priceless golden idol of Buddha . The information was welcomed with absolute joy and all accepted in one tone to proceed to Nagapatinam . Arriving at Nagapatinam Azhwar set about to enquire about the place . Fortunately a goodly woman made him understand it was a secret and she was told by her moher in law the whereabouts of the place  but it had such secret passages and mechanical contrivances which was difficult for strangers to reach. However the architect lived out in the sea in a small island . Azhwar along with his men took a boat and proceeded to the shores of the  island and discovered the Architects residence . Azhwar planned something different to extract more about that dwelling . Azhwar along with his men would loiter near his house as if way farers met and exchanged intelligence of other countries and ensured the architect was listening .  They would wait for him to dine and stroll for a walk . Looking at him , they started …Oh my friends !! what  afate has has fallen on Nagapatinam. What a fall of gloom over the temple… You know the temple has been reduced to dust by the invading mighty Turks. And that golden Buddha has been stolen by those ruffians . How sad …. And am afraid what is more to come ..
This information was heard by the Archiect . The Archiect was shell shocked .He never expected this calamity . He shed tears and came running and said ..It cannot be possible ..Is it that easy to move that whirling wheel at the main entrance … and that secret chain hanging from that top of the tower and invisible where a pin is hidden under the stone pavement under which that Go mukhee waters drop ? Impossible ..It was my design …How can that be possible to enter the temple which has zig zaw entrances bringing the person to confusion except for the one who takes the path which is circular and has a underground entrance seeming to look like a pavement ..and he went On… even If he enters how will he walk into those invisible stairs looking like a painting …he lamented …. The Azhwars detectives learnt all the clues looking at each other secretly and laughing in their sleeves as their project was opening up with more information .  They thanked internally for his lamentation and approached him . Take heart Oh good soul they consoled him ..Why must you cry over the spoilt milk .. Be cool ..Go home and relax .. We bid good bye to you ..Thank you and take care said the detectives of Azhwar ….
Azhwar was briefed and they chalked a strategy . They arrived at the sea shore and saw a huge ship laden with areca nuts about to be displaced to Nagapatinam . A merchant was busy weighing the loads .  Dressed as mendicants they approached him , blessed him and asked to give them a passage without any fare . He gladly accepted . En route  on their travelling , Azhwar who was seated near the loads of Areca nut . Azhwar took a full nut , cut into two halves and dropping one half said to the merchant who was watching .. Sir .. Will you let me have my half the nut on arrival of destination ?  Certainly said the Merchant .Azhwar smiled and said .. Please give me a written chit what you said .  The chit HALF the nut is yours … was handed over to Azhwar .
On arrivingat the harbor at Nagapatinam , Azhwar claimed half the load of areca nuts. The merchant remonstrated but Azhwar  challenged .An appeal was put .But the elders seeing the chit as promised by the merchant to Azhwar favoured Azhwar was right . Very puzzled the merchant had to give half the ship load to Azhwar as agreed on the paper . The merchant presumed it was some pre natal debt with them . He consoled himself and proceeded .  Azhwar blessed the merchant and entered Nagapatinam ,
They all hid themselves inside the temple enclosure .  At midnight they slowly came out for conducting the plan . The heavy pavement stone was located .Slowly they lifted and found the secret pin and walked towards the zig zag raods and reached that invisible steps . They slowly looked down and released the chain . As they mounted over the tower the cap of which to which the chain was fastened was now freee . Slowly they opened and looking down could see  the dazzling gold idol of Buddha almost shining like the sun .. Azhwar seeing the idol exclaimed .. Will Buddha who renunciated everything will be happy to be made in Gold ? Foolish fellows … saying he watched closely . There was a teethed whirling  wheel which was preventing in approaching the golden idol
Foolish fellows … saying he watched closely . There was a teethed whirling  wheel which was preventing in approaching the golden idol.They brought a number of plantain trunks and cast one after another at the wheel. The bark sticking to the teeth of the wheel got tangled and stopped the movement . Azhwar  was looking for a person who can dare to go in and complete the formalities but must be quick .  His brotherin law volunteered to get in . Yatiraja got down and when he put his hands on the idol it escaped and  ran in circular motion . Yatirasan was sweating and he some how managed to drop his sweat on the idol thus polluting the idols mantra siddhee. The mantra power that gave the idol this motion vanished with Yatirajan throwing his sweat over the idol.
He clutched the idol and hoisted it up in the aperture for Azhwar to pick it up easily from the gopuram tower. Azhar lifted the idol and next pulled up Yathirajan ..But low… he couldn’t pass through that hole as it was too small . But in the process , put his head and the rest part of the body was hooked into the aperture  as the hole was too small.

Azhwar was confused . Oh Rangaaaaaa

He said.. my dear what Am I supposed to do know …you are stuck inthis hole ..Though mission is accomplished cant leave you like his … And how will I go without you?

But I must go and must serve Lord Ranga as per HIS command … but at what cost?

Rangaaa.. What is this litmus test ??
Yatiraja saw his brother in law. And said. Please don’t forget the divine command …Have you forgotten your mission on earth And is not our life in earth for lightining duration  Is not the divine service our only purpose of life … Is not this body perishable , subject to hunger disease and a series of calamities ? Is it not but a stinking mixture of flesh and nerve and blood and bones. My time has come to pass out of this dismal prison of urine and feces and pass in with a spiritual body to serve the eternal .. Please don’t worry ..My savior over there will take care . Please don’t  feel pity . Please make me  HIS victim in this mission . Am I not worth HIS service .. Please  ..In this norrow pass please cut this head of mine once for all and let the mission be accomplished and escape the discovery of this event .

Azhwar with heavy heart says ..Oh Yathiraja …What will I tell my sister …This is a big test for me …

Holy saint …Please extend your vision beyong matter and all temporal interests … Please cut my head off once for all ..It is dawning already ..We may be noticed … Let me be off to HIS eternal world …
Ehirajan began to cry with a sense of love to Saint ….The  litmus test was being watched by all the great souls …and that moment was nearing …. Repeatedly praying Lord Ranganatha to forgive him … took superhuman courage and with tears said … Oh My yathiraajaa if any one deserves heaven Its You and you only  and Invoking Rangaa…with his humble heart to come out of this divine ordeal …he said …Oh Rangaa in thy name I do this ….he flashed his sword and in one stroke took Yathiraajas head off..
Merciful heaven …This scenean unparalled martyrdom for the cause of LORD…. All the above was being watched by the gods of blue celestium .  Azhwar quickly came down with yathirajans head and the golden budha. The party now laid yathirajans head on stretcher covered it as a corpse and ranging themselves into funeral procession  with a fire pot  wood and sobblings sliiped into he Nagapatinam town as if nothing was noticed . Going far away beyond human sight they deposited yathirajans head safely in a thicket and carrying the gold idol proceeded their journey
Our Divine mother mercy Incarnate who stands as light to sun and scent to flower ..                                   Our Sri Ranganayakee the mercy unlimited was embittered in her heart that one of her brave son should meet such a horrible death .. She marched to the chamber of Lord Ranganatha and expostulated with concern… Swamy How can you be so cruel watching silently such things happening ? Have your omniscience and omnipotence taken leave of you ?  Swamy Should I remind your valour bringing back all the vanaras of Sugriva camp after they were dead in the war due to Indrajits high handedness

And did you not bring back your Guru Sandipanis sons from the ocean? Like our Gajendra and Vibhishina my Yathirajan had no selfish motto except your glory and hence sacrificed his life . Strange indeed are your ways ..Am heartbroken seeing all this …And I cannot accept this and I can accept my child Andal to be made a widow …. I plead I pray grant his life Oh Lord …

The Lord became affected on hearing the pleadings of his tender hearted consort and summoning Garuda bid him to go to the tower of Budhas temple at once and rescue the trunk of Yathirajans body join it with his head and breathe life into it and review their journey .
Garuda was overjoyed to take up the service as he was going to see a martyr for LORDS cause . He atonce flew to the tower reverently lifted the trunk lying there and carrying it to where the head lay ..united them and breathed life …

Yathirajaa opened his eyes out of a shock and seing the feathered GarudaAzhwar promptly fell at his feet and learning from him all the events which led to his rebirth …

With tears filed eyes … He said what a sinful creature I am … I have been denied heaven now …. Sobbing uncontrollable he thanked LORD for his abundant mercy … Gardaazhwar simply lifted him and took him near Azhwar and safely dropped him and returned to Srirangam to give a full account to the Supreme Lord

Azhwars joy knew no bounds seing his brother in law . He and his men embraced him . They kissed him , wept with tears of joy and danced with him …
Our Azhwar said …. What is celestial joy  after all joy of serving the Supreme Lord right here in this land of darkness … Our Royalty is here ..Our life is for HIM and HIM only ..No force can sop us from our service to HIM …Maddened with outflush of divine enthusiasm they minded for the night and rose for the next day chanting  Rangaaaaa…..

To be continued....

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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