Yo Nityam Achuta-Padambuja yugma-rukma
vyamohatas taditarani tranaya mene|
Asmad guror bhagavatosya dayaika-sindho:
Ramanujasya caranau saranam prapadye||
I take refuge at the feet of our Guru Bhagavan Ramanuja, that ocean of Mercy who, infatuated with gold-like , lotus feet of the Lord, considered all else as mere blades of grass.
¤ Name given to Ramanujar by his father- ILAIYA ALWAR.
¤ Name given to Ramanujar by Kanchipuram Deiva Perumal- YADHIRAJA
(King of Monks).
¤ Mother’s name : Kanthimathi.
¤ Father’s name :
¤ Place of Birth :
East of Kanchipuram,
¤ Year of Birth :
Kaliyug, Sgapadham Pingala Year.
¤ Month : Chithirai, 13th.
¤ Paksh : Shukla Paksh. (Waxing Phase of the Moon.)
¤ Date (Thithi) :
¤ Star : Tiruvadhirai.
¤ Lagna : Katagha Laghna (Cancer).
¤ Kula : Vadamal.
¤ Gothra : Haritha Gothra.
¤ Vedh : Yajur Vedh.
¤ Suthram (Ancient Text on Dharma) :
¤ Vamsam (Dynasty) :
¤ Siblings : 1 Elder Sister,named
¤ Guru who taught Vedas : YadavaPrakash.
¤ Guru who gave him Good Updesh and inspired him to serve Lord Varadaraj Perumal in Kanchipuram : Thirukachchi Nambigal.
¤ Guru who performed SAMASRAYANA : Periya Nambigal.
¤ Nephew : Swami Embar.
¤ Name given to Ramanujar by Sriperumbudur Adikesava Perumal-
¤ Name given by Sri Venkatesa Perumal :
His FIVE Gurus:-
1) PERIYA NAMBIGAL,
who performed his SAMASRAYANA and named him "RAMANUJAN".
2) TIRUVARENGA PERUMAL ARAIYAR,
who taught him important chapters of
Nalayira Divya Prabandham like Periya Tirumozi,
Siruthambu Vyaganam (meaning) and gave the name "LAKSHMAN MUNI" to Ramanujar.
3) TIRUKOSHTIYUR NAMBI, who revealed the importance of the word "OM NAMO NARAYANA" and CHARAMA SLOKAM.
He gave the name "EMPERUMANAR" to Ramanujar.
who taught all the basics and explained
"Nalayira Divya Prabandham Pasurangals" and gave him the name
5) PERIYA TIRUMALAI NAMBI,
who translated RAMAYANA in detail and named him as "KOVIL ANNAN".
¤ Titles/Honours :
●Sri Bashyakarar ,(By Saraswathi Devi)
Literary Works :
1)Sri Bhasya. (A review and commentary on Brahma Sutras)
(Summary of Vedas Meaning)
7) Gita Bhasya.
(A review and commentary on Bhagvad Gita)
¤ His Prime Disciples :
● Mudhaliandaan Yembaar.
● Vaduga Nambi.
We will read more about his disciples in the upcoming chapters.
His Disciples with the Lord’s name are :
1)Tirumalai Tirupati Sri Venkatesa Perumal
2) Tirukarangudi Nambi Perumal.
Ramanuja travelled throughout the length and breadth of India to disseminate the path of devotion where,
700 Jeeyars and disciples, thousands of devotees accompanied him.
Periya Tirumalai Nambi, one of the disciples of Alavandhar, had two sisters. One named Sri BoomiDevi and other PeriyaDevi.
The elder being Sri BoomiDevi married Kesava Perumal who belonged to Asuri Dynasty in Sriperumbudur.
Periya Devi got married to Kamala Nayana Pattar who belonged to Vattamanikulam Dynasty in MalazaiManga near Kanchipuram.
In few months, Sri BoomiDevi got conceived and gave birth to a male child in the Year Pingala,
Month of Chithirai, (Chaitra)
Valarpirai ,(Crescent Moon)
the Fourth day being Thursday and Tiruvadhirai star with Cancer Lagna.
This child took birth in Kaliyug to reveal the truth to the universe about SriManNarayana and to save the devotees from atrocities.
When the Lord took an incarnation of Rama ,
Adiseshan took birth as his younger brother Lakshmana.
On his next incarnation as Krishna, Adiseshan took birth as his Elder Brother Balarama.
Rama took birth in Kausalya’s womb,
Krishna in Devaki’s.
So Adiseshan wanted to take birth from SriBoomi Devi’s womb.
On hearing the Delivery of BoomiDevi, Tirumalai Nambi’s happiness knew no bounds and he rushed to Sriperumbudur.
He was so elated and amazed to see the child and showered his blessings on the family. Such an energetic child it was.
He blessed the Child to be a Great Philosopher and to attain all the qualities of a Satvik.(Good Qualities)
So, he should be named as Ilaiya Perumal.
As per his advice, on the 12th day Name Ceremony was done in a grandeur manner. Each day the child started glowing.
In Mazalai Manga, BoomiDevi’s sister PeriyaDevi gave birth to a male baby, in the Year Krodhan,
Month of Thai, (Paushya)
Poornima Thithi ,(Full Moon)
The first day being Monday,
With Punarpoosam Star.
Tirumalai Nambi went there too, to bless the family and the newborn. He blessed the child abundantly that he would possess all the good qualities and be a great scholar in Vedas. And named him Govindan.
Ilaiya Alwar in Sriperumbudur and
Govindan in MalazaiManga had a good upbringing by their fathers.
[Point to be noted :]
The above chapters read so far by all of us is based on the facts given on the book "ARAYIRPADI GURU PARAMPARAI" by Swami Perumal Jeeyar. Ramanujar is called "ILAYA ALWAR"
till "Periya Nambigal" performed Samasarayana.
So till that chapter, we will also call him as Ilaya Alwar.
When Ilaya Alwar attained the age of 16,
his parents arranged his marriage. After that he began learning lessons in "Poorva Paksha Vedantha" from a Guru Yadava Prakasar in Tiruputtakuzi near Kanchipuram.
At the same time, in MazalaiMangalam where Govindan (Ilaiya Alwar’s Cousin) resided,got married.
Even though, Govindan had adequate knowledge in Vedas, he was keen to continue his further expansion of knowledge along with Ilaiya Alwar from Guru Yadavaprakasar.
Most of the time Guru used to teach the lessons wrongly.
Ilaiya Alwar argued and corrected his teacher’s mistakes.
One fine morning, Guru Yadavaprakasar wanted to take oil bath and so Ilaiya Alwar applied oil.
In the meantime, Guru was teaching a few lessons about Lord SriManNarayana.
There came a point describing the Lord’s eyes when Guru interpreted as -" Lord’s Eyes are as Red in colour as the lower part of a Monkey’s body".
On hearing this, tears rolled down Ilaiya Alwar’s cheeks and the Guru was startled to see this.
On questioning Ilaiya Alwar about his melancholic reaction, he clearly stated that it was due to his wrong explanation and defined it rightly.The Guru was annoyed and told that if he continued learning without complaining, then he may do so otherwise he will be forbidden. Ilaiya Alwar left the place in despair.
Yadavaprakasar developed his animosity towards Ilaiya Alwar and he was alarmed that " Advaita Vedanta" would come to an end.
So he called one of his favourite disciples and discussed on how to hinder the growth of Ilaiya Alwar.
Yadavaprakasar got jealous of Ilaiya Perumal’s great wisdom and superior interpretation. He was afraid that "Advaita Vedanta" would come to an end. To avoid such catastrophe, he made a plot with his disciples and conspired to murder him. The disciples suggested Guru to kill Ilaiya Alwar in the learning place itself but YadavaPrakasar thought of something different.
As Duryodhan cheated Yudishtrar in Mahabharat, likewise IlaiyaAlwar should be taken revenge and finally killed.
The disciples were eager to know how Ilaiya Alwar will be thrown off from the learning place.
Yadavaprakasar planned a pilgrimage tour where Ilaiya Alwar will be allowed to take bath in the whirlpool of River Ganges and so he will be drowned there. Guru considered this as one of the best ideas to remove Ilaiya Alwar from his path. The Guru ordered to call Ilaiya Alwar. Ilaiya Alwar came and the Guru flattered him and pacified him to continue his further education.
One day, Yadavaprakasar told Ilaiya Alwar about the arrangements of the pilgrimage tour and He immediately agreed to leave.
(Ilaiya Alwar’s cousin) came to know about the conspiracy. The disciples also knew this and prevented Govindan from meeting Ilaiya Alwar in all ways.
One morning, Govindan got an opportunity to talk to Ilaiya Alwar and so he revealed about the whole plan made to kill Ilaiya Alwar.He also pleaded him to escape from the place as soon as possible.
Ilaiya Alwar was totally confused and started moving in the other direction. He was naive about the place and worried about how to reach Kanchipuram.
He didn’t know what to do.
🌸 Ramanujar 🌸
After escaping from YadavaPrakasar,
Ilaiya Alwar had to cross thorny paths and that were full of sharp stones.
He thought of resting under a tree. The place was parched and he was very thirsty. He was trembling with fear.
On seeing his plight, Lord Varadaraja Perumal, the holy deity of Kanchipuram with his consort Perundevi Nayaki decided to help and protect Ilaiya Alwar.
They disguised as a normal couple and appeared before Ilaiya Alwar from nowhere.
The Lord who was the husband had a Sword and An Arrow.
Ilaiya Alwar was excited to see the couple in such a deserted place. They came to him and He asked them about their whereabouts. They called their place as "Sitthashram" in North India..
And added that they are heading towards Kanchipuram.
Ilaiya Alwar sought permission to travel to Kanchipuram along with them. The couple agreed to accompany him. And Ilaiya Alwar followed them.
They started their journey.They kept on travelling. Days and nights passed.
One dusky evening, they decided to take rest under the shade of a big tree.
In a short while, the wife felt thirsty and wanted to quench her thirst.
The husband knew that there was a Well nearby, but as it was very dark it would be difficult to fetch water so he asked her to adjust till next morning.
Ilaiya Alwar heard their whole conversation and felt very disappointed that he was unable to help the couple who helped him in his tough times.
As Ilaiya Alwar was shattered, he fell asleep.
It was a fine morning, the sun was rising and
Suddenly Ilaiya Alwar woke up and startled to see the couple missing. He started searching for them.
He was also amazed to see the place where they rested. Because it was a different one from the place where he fell asleep the previous night. There was a small beautiful Garden, A Well and it was surrounded with some people.
Ilaiya Alwar approached them and enquired about the place.
They answered ,"You look like a Brahmin !
Don’t you know about this famous place?
This holy place is Kanchipuram, the land blessed by Lord Varadaraja Perumal."
Ilaiya Alwar was astounded by the facts that how he reached here in an overnight, who brought him here etc.,
His mind encircled with many questions .
Is the one who saved me from trouble is the great Lord of Kanchipuram? He stood still.
🌸 Ramanujar 🌸
Chapter – 7 .
Ilaiya Alwar knew that he finally reached Kanchipuram and his happiness knew no bounds.
He kept on recalling the way he was saved by the Lord himself who disguised as normal people and shed tears of joy.
Now we will see how Ilaiya Alwar compares his joy of being saved by the Lord through various illustrations.
This is about Lord Vishnu in his incarnation of Krishna .
Yashoda tied Krishna to the mortar due to his mischief. Even though he’s the Supreme, he didn’t untie himself just because of the affection and love towards his mother.
Now Ilaiya Alwar feels the same bonding here between himself and the Lord of Kanchipuram
Who walked miles with him,
Who spent the whole night under a tree. He recalled this several times.
In Ramayana, when Ravana was defeated,
Sita was very happy.
When Sita was found by Hanuman in Lanka, he revealed this to Rama who felt relieved.
In the same way, here Ilaiya Alwar is happy on recalling the moment he spent with the Lord.
In Kishkinta, there was a beautiful forest called Madhuvana, a private garden of Sugriva.
After meeting Sita,
Hanuman flew back to Rama to share the news with Jambavan, Angad and other Vanarangal (his Monkey Clan.)
They landed Madhuvana. All of them had a great feast.
Hanuman and all the others were extremely happy to see such an Orchard to fill their hunger after a long time.
Similarly, Ilaiya Alwar was also very happy because when he wandered in a deserted place and felt totally lost, he was saved by the Lord.
Ilaiya Alwar expresses his joy in comparison with the Great Epic Mahabharata,where Lord Krishna came as a Charioteer and guided Arjuna, he came for Ilaiya Alwar and helped him in times of trouble.
Then he started moving towards the temple of Lord Varadaraja Perumal to seek blessings.
He was Amazed to see such a Marvellous temple and adored its huge tower. He worshipped Perumal Wholeheartedly. The deity (Varadaraja Perumal) is referred as Athigiri Perumal.
He started living in the temple and dedicated his service towards Perumal.
His prime duty was to fetch water from the same Well where he found himself awake by the Lord.
The water was used for all purposes in the temple.
Now Ilaiya Alwar was in Kanchipuram.
What happened to Govindan?
Did Yadavaprakasar enquire about Ilaiya Alwar?
Chapter – 8 .
Ilaiya Alwar dedicated himself in the service of Varadaraj Perumal and now let us see what happened to Govindan in the Pilgrimage tour.
Govindan and Ilaiya Alwar who got an opportunity to talk while bathing went missing for long.
YadavaPrakasar and his disciples were eagerly waiting for both of them. Then they saw Govindan coming alone.
Yadavaprakasar asked, "By God’s grace,
You are back. Where is Ilaiya Alwar? Why have you returned alone"?
Govindan replied, "I don’t know where my elder brother is. I didn’t meet him".
The Guru immediately ordered his disciples to look for Ilaiya Alwar.
They went on searching for him everywhere but they couldn’t find him at all. All were worried and thought of what would have happened to Ilaiya Alwar in the dense forest.
Then they reached the River Ganges, took bath and stayed there for a few days.
One day while taking bath in The Ganges,
Govindan dipped himself and came out with a Shiv Ling (Symbol of Lord Shiva also called Shiva Lingam) in his palm.
Govindan showed this Shiv Ling and enquired to his Guru who in turn was extremely happy and said that , " Govinda! You are immediately blessed for taking a holy dip in The Ganga. So Gangadharan (one of the names of Lord Shiva) has came to you by himself.
Then Yadavaprakasar considered Ilaiya Alwar as a Divine Birth and also he names him as "ULLANGAI KONARNTHA NAYANAR" which meant he came out with a Shiv Ling in his Palm. They completed their pilgrimage from North India and started back to Kanchipuram.
On their way they crossed places like Jagannath, Ahobila Matt.
Govindan expressed his desire of placing the Shiv Ling in an appropriate place to be worshipped and Yadavaprakasar permitted him to do so and sent him in the midst of their journey.
Then Yadavaprakasar reached Kanchipuram with his disciples.
One day, they all went to Varadaraja Perumal Temple, and Ilaiya Alwar came out of the Temple.
The one who tried to murder and
The one who escaped met directly with each other. Then…
Chapter – 9.
(This story is based on " Arayirpadi Guruparamparai " written by Perumal Jeeyar.)
Yadavaprakasar while entering Varadaraja Perumal Temple met Ilaiya Alwar coming out of the temple.
On seeing him, he was astonished as well as happy too.
Ilaiya Alwar ! Where have you been all these days ?
On our Pilgrimage, you were missing from the bathing place. We were worried but now pleased to see you ,
I lost my way and Varadaraja Perumal and His Consort Perundevi rescued me from trouble in the form of normal people ,
Explained Ilaiya Alwar.
Aftet hearing Ilaiya Alwar’s explanation ,
Yadavaprakasar was surprised to know whether such things are possible in this world. And he called Ilaiya Alwar to continue his learning and the learning continued.
Now let’s see what happened to Govindan.
On the midst of the journey, Govindan sought permission from Yadavaprakasar and reached MazalaiMangalam (his native).
He approached renowned Scholars, called all the people and showed the Shiv Ling and elaborated the whole incident. He placed the Shiv Ling there and started worshipping..
In a place called Kalahasti, the presiding deity being Lord Shiva, wanted Govindan to serve him and so the Lord appeared in Govindan’s dreams.
Not only this , Lord Shiva also appeared in the dreams of all those like The Priest of the temple , the trustees of the temple etc who rendered their services in Kalahasti.
All of them went to MazalaiMangalam as per ordered by Lord Shiva with great respect, with divine sounds of percussion instruments and gave him the Latchana Ring (ring given to the deserving person who holds all the qualities of a Satvik.)
Govindan was made the leader and he accepted the Honour and proved himself to be a great Shiv Devotee.
Elder brother Ilaiya Alwar lived and learned from his guru,
Yadavaprakasar, who was also a Shiv devotee.
Vaishnavists were desperately waiting for the moment when Ilaiya Alwar and Govindan will return back to Vaishnavism.
A period came when ….
Chapter – 10.
"AARAYIRAPADI GURUPARAMPARAI" is taken from Vaishnav traditions book written by "PINPAZAHIYA PERUMAL JEEYAR"
The Vaishnavas were desperately waiting for the moment when Ilaiya Alwar and Govindan would return back to Vaishnavism..
A period also came when God showered his blessings on Ilaiya Alwar by distracting him gradually.
Alavandar Jeeyar is amongst the most important Acharyas of Sri Vaishnava tradition in Sri Rangam. He rendered services for one and only Sri Man Narayana Perumal by preaching the various Vaishnava Traditions as per VISHISHTADVAITA and explained it aptly by giving out Upanyasams (story telling) on Alwars, Sri Ranga Perumal and
so the Vaishnavas who visited Sri Rangam, met Alavandar Swami without fail to seek his blessings.
One day, two Vaishnavas who came from Kanchipuram came to meet Alavandar Swami. He enquired about any special events in Kanchipuram, one of them clarified as :
A Vaishnav called Ilaiya Alwar has accepted Shaivite as his Guru and he learnt all the Vedas from him.
Yadavaprakasar, his Guru taught him all the Sastras based on Advaita Vedanta.
Ilaiya Alwar,on the other hand,always argued with his Guru and his statements proved to be correct.
They had a difference in opinion. On hearing this, Alavandar Swami was extremely delighted.
Till then he was worried about the successor of Vaishnavism. He was worried about who would preach the reality of God to people.Now all these worries came to an end. He wanted to meet Ilaiya alwar in person. With the blessings of Sri Ranganatha Perumal,
He started his journey towards Kanchipuram with his disciples.
On his way, he also visited Tirukovilur, worshipped the Perumal there and the 3 Alwars namely
BOOTHATH ALWAR and
Finally,He reached Kanchipuram.
Hearing the news of Alavandhar Swami’s arrival in Kanchipuram,
all the Vaishnavas gathered in the temple. Tirukatchi Nambigal (Alavandhar Swami’s disciple) and temple’s trustee Swami Varandhar Perumal Araiyar and all others welcomed.
Alavandhar Swami was honoured with the Jadari, Theertham (Holy water), Garland near Dwaja Stambam (Pillar stone).
[Usually the devotees who come to worship Perumal are given Jadari but renowned Acharyas are honoured near the Pillar Stone.]
Alavandar Swami accepted the honours and went inside to worship Varadaraj Perumal.
At the same time, Yadavaprakasar was on his way to the temple with Ilaiya Alwar and other disciples.
Now we shall see how will Alavandar Swami meet Ilaiya Alwar with his Saivite Guru Yadavaprakasar.
Chapter – 11.
"AARAYIRAPADI GURUPARAMPARAI" is taken from Vaishnav tradition book written by "PINPAZAHIYA PERUMAL JEEYAR."
Kanchipuram Varadaraj Perumal is referred as "PERARULULLA PERUMAL" in the GURUPARAMPARAI series. So, we will also call him by that name in the upcoming chapters.
"PERARULULLA" means "To shower countless blessings. "
Alavandar Swami was moving towards to worship Varadaraj Perumal along with his disciple Tirukatchchi Nambigal.
Alavandar Swami enquires about how the "TIRUVALVATTAM"
Service to the Perumal is carried in the temple.
Tirukatchchi Nambigal replies , Everything is going well by the grace of Perumal.
Tirukatchchi Nambigal’s other name is Gajendra Varadar.
Now let’s see what is Tiruvalvattam and who is Tirukatchchi Nambigal.
Because we need to know about them as they played a very significant role in Ilaiya Alwar’s biography.
Tirukatchchi Nambigal hailed from Poonamallee in Chennai who took birth in Vellalar Clan. Though he was Vellalar by birth, he had a great devotion towards SriManNarayana. He considered Sri Vaishnav traditions as his breath and due to his high dedication towards Vaishnavism he performed Samasrayana from Alavandar Swami and became his disciple. He carried out Tiruvalvattam for Perarululla Perumal.
Tiruvalvattam means "Vetiver" (fragrance bunch grass or Khus.) Known for its cooling properties. A big fan is made out of Vetiver and it is soaked in water.This Vetiver fan is used to bring out cool breeze for Perarululla Perumal also a service rendered by Tirukatchchi Nambigal everyday.
Perarululla Perumal pleased by his service use to talk to him at times. This service gained a very good name.
Now let’s get into the story.
Alavandar Swami entered Perumal’s residing place (sannidhi.) And had a beautiful Darshan of the wide face and a glowing smile of the Perumal.
Alavandar Swami was extremely jubilant and next he worshipped Sri Perundevi, Perumal’s consort and visited Pushkarini (sacred pond in the temple.) He also worshipped Chakkrath alwar nearby and to his east he also had darshan of Kariyamanickathalwar.
In the meantime, Yadavaprakasar circumambulated (pradakshinas) the temple with Ilaiya Alwar and his disciples after having darshan of Perumal.
He moved towards the direction where Alavandar Swami was standing. Alavandar Swami was eagerly waiting to see Ilaiya Alwar.
"AARAYIRAPADI GURUPARAMPARAI" is taken from Vaishnav traditions book written by "PINPAZAHIYA PERUMAL JEEYAR"
Alavandar Swami saw Yadavaprakasar with his disciples and asked Tirukatchchi Nambigal about Ilaiya Alwar.
The tall, fair ,well built man is Ilaiya Alwar, the one among the disciples, replied Tirukatchchi Nambigal.
Among the disciples, Ilaiya Alwar was shining like Full Moon in the midst of twinkling stars .Alavandar Swami was startled to see such a glowing face.
Alavandar Swami said to himself "He is the Apt Leader and Successor of Vaishnavism."
Since Ilaiya Alwar was moving with his Saivite Guru Yadavaprakasar , Alavandar Swami cannot approach him.
The purpose of his visit to Kanchipuram would go in vain thought Alavandar Swami as he couldn’t talk to Ilaiya Alwar.
Gradually Ilaiya Alwar disappeared from the temple with his Guru .
Then Alavandar Swami again came to get darshans of Perarululla Perumal whose temple is located in the Athigiri Hills.
He prayed to free Ilaiya Alwar , the Great Scholar, from Yadavaprakasar and start leading Vaishnavism and he rendered his prayers in Perumal’s feet with Garland , Theertham and Prasadham. He called Tirukatchchi Nambigal and told him to advise Ilaiya Alwar as he didn’t get an opportunity to do so.
And decided to return back to Sri Rangam.
He blessed all the people there and started his journey towards Sri Rangam.
Yadavaprakasar on the other hand continued teaching Vedanta through explanations.
The King of their region sent a representative to meet Yadavaprakasar to rescue the Princess from a Horrible Demon. The King wanted Yadavaprakasar to save his daughter by means of Vedic Mantras and come to the palace.
Yadavaprakasar conveys this through the minister to the Demon ,
"Yadavaprakasar told you to leave the princess at once".
The next minute it will run away said Yadavaprakasar.
Immediately the minister approaches the Demon and says as per Yadavaprakasar told him to do so.
The demon furiously says "First tell Yadavaprakasar to run away from this place"
The minister passes the same statement to Yadavaprakasar and on hearing this he gets very angry and immediately reached the palace with his disciples and Ilaiya Alwar.
The king gives a warm welcome and they are taken to the Princess’ room.
The Demon was also waiting for Yadavaprakasar’s arrival.
"AARAYIRPADI GURUPARAMPARAI" is taken from Vaishnav traditions book written by "PINPAZAHIYA PERUMAL JEEYAR. "
As soon as Yadavaprakasar entered into the princess’ room(who was caught by the demon)with his disciples, he started chanting the Vedic Mantras and lifted his hand to hit it..
The demon which was quiet and sat still, suddenly spoke out:
I also know what you are chanting. I am neither afraid of you nor of your Mantras.
And it recited the next half of the mantras.
Not only this, I also know about your and my previous birth."
Astonished Yadavaprakasar, You are so intellectual and you also know the details of our previous births and so tell them.
Now the demon started narrating their previous birth.
Yadavaprakasa, In your previous birth you were a Monitor Lizard
(Udumbu) that lived in the banks of Maduranthagam. One day, few Vaishnav devotees were on their way to Tirupathi from Sri Rangam to worship Tirumal. They took bath in the lake and had their meal. After they finished eating, the lizard ate the leftover.
As you ate their prasadam, it was considered a Spiritual Merit or Good Deed (Punyam) and so in this birth , you are a Renowned Scholar who has immense knowledge of Vedas.
The Demon was a great scholar in his previous birth.
One day while doing a spiritual Yagna (yagham), he recited the Vedas wrongly and that was like committing a sin.
And so took birth as a Demon.
After listening to his tale, Yadavaprakasar asked the demon the way to leave the princess’.
Demon answered, "A disciple of yours who has a Divine Quality, if he say, I will obey at once".
Yadavaprakasar pointed towards Ilaiya Alwar and the demon bowed its head with respect and nodded "Yes, I’ll leave if he says".
Yadavaprakasar asked Ilaiya Alwar to do so.
Ilaiya Alwar commanded the demon to leave the princess.
"Unless you Place your Holy feet on my head, I won’t leave" the demon added.
Ilaiya Alwar placed his feet on the demon’s (princess) head and it was extremely delighted and accepted to leave.
"How will I know that you have left? Show me an evidence." doubted Ilaiya Alwar.
There is a tree where I lived. Now I will break the tree while leaving and that would be my proof of going away, and the demon did as it said.
Yadavaprakasar who was witnessing all these appreciated and acknowledged Ilaiya Alwar. He returned back to his place with all his disciples.
🌸 Ramanujar 🌸
Chapter – 14.
"AARAYIRAPADI GURUPARAMPARAI" is taken from Vaishnav traditions book written by "PINPAZAHIYA PERUMAL JEEYAR".
After returning from the palace, Yadavaprakasar continued teaching and days rolled by.
Alavandar Swami continued teaching in Sri Rangam. One day he was explaining "TIRUVAYIMOZI" of Nalayira Divya Prabandam to his disciples.
Nalayira Divya Prabandam is a collection of 4000 hymns in praise of Sri Man Narayana written by 12 Alwars.
He also explained about the way Nammalwar praised Perumal of Tirukurkoor now called Alwartirunagiri.
He referred Perumal as "Polindhu Nindra Piran".
Nammalwar sang "Ilangithitta Puranathirum" which means all the people whether they are Saivas or Samanas or Sakkhiyas ,All are equal before Sri Man Narayana.
Alavandar Swami started worrying about who would preach Vaishnavism after him.
He was confused with the thought of who would teach people the importance of Vaishnavism. Immediately he got reminded of Ilaiya Alwar.
He was waiting for the day when Ilaiya Alwar would leave Yadavaprakasar completely and start preaching Vaishnavism.
He prayed sincerely to the Kanchipuram ‘Perarulaala Perumal’ with a strong devotion to change the mind of Ilaiya Alwar and step towards Vaishnavism.
Perarulaala Perumal showers all his blessing on his devotees. How could he not respond to Alavandar Swami who sacrificed all the material pleasures and devoted his whole life towards Sri Vaishnavism.
Yes! A day came when Alavandar Swami’s prayers were answered.
As usual one day Yadavaprakasar was teaching and explaining through Advaita Vedanta. Ilaiya Alwar interrupted and gave explanation through Vishishtadvaita.
He was stubborn that his explanations are correct.
Yadavaprakasar was very angry on hearing this and told him to leave at once and search for a good teacher. Ilaiya Alwar gladly left that place and narrated the whole incident to his mother.
His mother encouraged Ilaiya Alwar saying that, ‘Its enough what you learnt from Yadavaprakasar.
You visit Perarulaala Perumal temple and seek the holy blessings of Tirukatchchi Nambigal who is doing Tiruvalvattam Service and Glorifying the Perumal.
He is also an ardent admirer of Perumal’.
Ilaiya Alwar started his journey towards Kanchipuram in search of Tirukatchchi Nambigal.
"AARAYIRPADI GURUPARAMPARAI" is taken from Vaishnav tradition book written by "PINPAZHIYA PERUMAL JEEYAR".
After quitting Yadavaprakasar , Ilaiya Alwar reached Kanchipuram Perarulaala Temple and met Tirukatchchi Nambigal. He unfolded all that happened so far with Yadavaprakasar and also about his mother’s advice.
Ilaiya Alwar respectfully asked , "What should I do now"?
Ilaiya Alwar! Few months ago you use to fetch water from the nearby Well for "Tiruvaradhanam" [an important Ritual carried out in temples.] For daily poojas. Now I want you to do the same, said Tirukatchchi Nambigal humbly.
As per his advice Ilaiya Alwar started rendering this service without fail everyday.
< SRI RANGAM >
One day all of a sudden, Alavandar Swami took ill and two of his disciples from Kanchipuram hurried to Sri Rangam to see him.
While talking to them,
Alavandar Swami enquired about Ilaiya Alwar.
The disciples explained how Ilaiya Alwar came away from Yadavaprakasar and now rendering service in Kanchipuram Perarulaala Temple. On hearing this , Alavandar Swami felt very joyous.
He was so glad that he repeatedly shared his happiness with all the people around him and how his prayers got answered by Perarulaala Perumal.
He called his disciples and told them to call one of his foremost disciple "Periya Nambigal".
Periya Nambigal rushed to the place of his guru Alavandar Swami and
The Swami described all the changes that took place in Ilaiya Alwar’s life and he ordered to bring him to Sri Rangam.
In order to fulfill his Guru’s desire , Periya Nambigal decided to go to Kanchipuram.
In few days, Alavandar Swami’s health ran down again. He visited Sri Renganatha Temple and advised them to follow all the Services to Perumal accordingly and treat the Acharyas with high respect. He also bestowed if he had hurt anybody unknowingly. And returned to his Mutt (his residing place.)
All who were listening to him were shocked and confused too.
Alavandar Swami asked his disciples to sing "Tiruvayimozi" from ‘Nalayira Divya Prabandam’ especially the hymns sung by Nammalwar that describes the heavenly feeling of SriManNarayana’s Paramapadham (Divine Mercy.)
It describes the life after death who reach his Abode.
Alavandar Swami concentrated deeply on the hymns sung by his disciples by meditating his Acharya ‘Manakaala Nambi’, in ‘Padmasana’ posture
(Lotus position or Cross Legged sitting Asana in Yoga.)
He was slowly perishing.
All the disciples and trustees of Sri Rangam Temple were worried and looked Swami with fear.
Here, Periya Nambigal was on the way to Kanchipuram with a strong desire in his heart of meeting Ilaiya Alwar. He considered himself fortunate to have an opportunity of making Ilaiya Alwar meet Alavandar Swami.
But was he successful? Was Periya Nambigal able to make them meet?
🌸 Ramanujar 🌸
Chapter – 16
"AARAYIRPADI GURUPARAMPARAI" is written by "PINPAZAHIYA PERUMAL JEEYAR."
Periya Nambigal reached Kanchipuram and met Tirukatchchi Nambigal. He prayed Perarulaaala Perumal and stated the purpose of his visit to Kanchipuram.
Tirukatchchi Nambigal was very pleased to hear that his Guru Alavandar Swami wanted Ilaiya Alwar to come to Sri Rangam to meet him.
Periya numbigal! Now , Ilaiya Alwar has gone to fetch water from the nearby well. You go there and when you move closer to him, Chant any of the slokas from the "Stotra Ratnam" composed by Alavandar Swami .
After hearing this, Ilaiya Alwar will come to you and you can talk to him, instilled Tirukatchchi Nambigal.
He thanked Tirukatchchi Nambigal and walked towards the well.
As expected , Ilaiya Alwar was there and Periya Nambigal chanted the slokas from ‘Stotra Ratnam"’ composed by Alavandar Swami.
Ilaiya Alwar stood still.
The divinity of the slokas touched his heart and he asked Periya Nambigal about the composer and expressed his urge to meet the Great.
Periya Nambigal who has been waiting for such a moment, told about Alavandar Swami and also the purpose of his visit from Sri Rangam.
Ilaiya Alwar was extremely pleased by the invitation of Alavandar Swami,
Felt joyful because he was desirous to learn Vishishtadvaita and now he got the golden opportunity and he was elated to meet Alavandar Swami.
He reached the Perarulaala Perumal Sannidhi (residing place) and prayed him whole heartedly. He also expressed his willingness to Tirukatchchi Nambigal and progressed to Sri Rangam with Periya Nambigal.
As soon as they step to Kollidam Cauvery River, the outskirts of Sri Rangam, they saw a group of Vaishnavas, huddling towards Cauvery River.
Ilaiya Alwar and Periya Nambigal were astonished to see such a sight of flocking Vaishnavas and they enquired one among them. The one who was about to respond, whimpered.
He somehow controlled himself and began to answer..
What he would have answered?
Why this melancholy?
🌸 Ramanujar 🌸
Chapter – 17
This story is based on the facts taken from
"AARAYIRPADI GURUPARAMPARAI" is written by "PINPAZAHIYA PERUMAL JEEYAR"
Ilaiya Alwar and Periya Nambigal were worried after seeing the Vaishnava with tears in his eyes. The Vaishnava controlled himself and revealed that Alavandar Swami passed away to Tirunadu and they are going for funeral procession to Cauvery River.
[Tirunadu is the heavenly abode of SriManNarayana where the soul enters after death and renders services to God]
On hearing the news, Periya Nambigal shattered and started weeping.
Ilaiya Alwar felt very sad as he couldn’t meet Swami. Then, Periya Nambigal controlled himself and said to Ilaiya Alwar, "Death is unavoidable.
So, you control yourself."
He took Ilaiya Alwar with him and they saw "Vimal Saram Vigraham"(Lifeless body) of Alavandar Swami..
Ilaiya Alwar looked at Swami’s body and worshipped from his head to feet.
Ilaiya Alwar noticed Swami’s three fingers folded and enquired about this to his disciples.
They answered , his fingers are folded recently. Ilaiya Alwar enquired whether Swami used to talk about anything specific very often! Did he had any unfulfilled wishes?
Yes! They explained that Alavandar Swami had three unfulfilled wishes.
What are they?
Eagerly awaited Ilaiya Alwar.
The disciples started explaining.
What were the three wishes?
🌸 Ramanujar 🌸
This story is based on the facts taken from "AARAYIRPADI GURUPARAMPARAI" written by "PINPAZAHIYA PERUMAL JEEYAR."
The disciples of Alavandar Swami started explaining the three unfulfilled wishes to Ilaiya Alwar.
1] To perpetuate in memory of Vyasar and Prasar.
2] To propagate "Tiruvayimozi" of Nammalwar by elucidating them.
3] Write a commentary on Veda Vyasa’s Vishishtadvaita.
On hearing this, Ilaiya Alwar prayed for his good health and he wished to be blessed by Alavandar Swami and SriManNarayana to fulfill these wishes.
Immediately, Alavandar Swami’s fingers unfolded one by one automatically and stretched out to normal position.
All were surprised to see such a sight. Ilaiya Alwar was blessed by all that he would be directed by Alavandar Swami and protected by him as he is the only apt person to lead Sri Vaishnavism.
Ilaiya Alwar quietly gazed at Swami’s immortal body, cried and thought to himself, "Why did Sri Renga Perumal took away Alavandar Swami even before I could meet him"? He decided to return to Kanchipuram without even going into the temple at Sri Rangam.
Then he took bath in Cauvery River and sought blessings from Periya Nambigal.He didn’t worship Perumal of Sri Rangam as decided and started his journey to Kanchipuram.
After Ilaiya Alwar left, the disciples followed and completed ‘Tirupalli’ (Rituals related to Funeral.)
As per Sri Vaishnavism, a man who who becomes a Monk and dies, his body is buried and a tomb is built around it. Then the name of the person is called and engraved with "Tiruvarasu". Likewise, Alavandar Swami was also buried and Tiruvarasu is engraved with his name. Even today we can visit that place. Till then the place that was called ‘Tirukaramban’ later it is called as ‘Alavandar Padithurai’.
Then all the disciples and Vaishnavas took bath in Cauvery River and went back to their respective places.
After reaching Kanchipuram,Ilaiya Alwar met Tirukatchchi Nambigal and narrated all that happened in Sri Rangam. After hearing the sad news, Tirukatchchi Nambigal felt very disappointed.
Then he said to Ilaiya Alwar, Don’t worry!
Our Perarulaala Perumal is aware of everything and he is so merciful to guide you in fulfilling all the wishes you swore before Swami’s immortal body.
Being Alvandar Swami’s dedicated disciple,Tirukatchchi Nambigal paid the last ritual respects.
Then , Ilaiya Alwar continued rendering his services by fetching water from the nearby well for Perumal.
As time passed by, the next incident that changed Ilaiya Alwar’s life was…..
🌸 Ramanujar 🌸
Chapter – 21.
This story is based on the facts taken from "AARIYIRPADI GURUPARAMPARAI"
written by "PINPAZAHIYA PERUMAL JEEYAR."
One day Ilaiya Alwar went to temple as usual and met Tirukachi Nambigal.
He told him that his mind is confused with many doubts. And he requested to Tirukachi Nambigal to resolve by asking Perarulaala Perumal.
I will ask him while conversing at night, replied Nambigal.
It was a night time with bliss.
(Everyone working in the temple left , Perarulaala Perumal and Tirukachi Nambigal alone were present. So its called as Bliss.)
At this time, Perumal converses with Tirukachi Nambigal. A voice comes out of the idol of Perumal and Tirukachi Nambigal responds for that. Like this,They both talk to each other everyday.
That night Tirukachi Nambigal was doing Tiruvalvattam service for Perumal. He hesitated to put forth what Ilaiya Alwar asked him. Perumal started the conversation.
Nambi! Do you want to talk to me about something ? What is it? Tell me without hesitation, enquired Perumal.
Tirukachi Nambigal replied, Ilaiya Alwar has some doubts in his mind and he wanted me to ask you.
Perumal explained, In my incarnation of Krishna, I learnt from Sandipani being his disciple. Likewise, on knowing everything Ilaiya Alwar is asking me.
Go and tell him these "Six Words" said Perarulaala Perumal.
Those Six Words are:-
1. Ahameva Paramtatvam.
2. Darishanam Bedayevacha.
3. Upayeshu Prapathischaath.
4. Antimastriti Varjanam.
5. Dehavasane Muktisyaath.
6. Poornacharya Samashraya.
After obtaining these Six Words , Tirukachi Nambigal returned back to home and waited for next morning.
(Before dawn, let’s see the explanation of these six words.)
1) Ahameva Paramtatvam -As explained in Vedas and Upanishads, by great scholars like Manu, Vyasar etc.,
Sriman Narayana is the supreme most self of all; unparalleled and unsurpassed – This suggests that Sriman Narayana is the supreme godhead and is infinitely superior than other deities or demi-gods.
The Lord stresses that it is Him (Lakshmi-Narayana) alone and none else.
He is the highest ever.
Hence, we can understand that Lord indeed declares that He is the one who is the supreme most self, who has to be realized and there are none else equal or greater than LakshmiNarayana. There is not a higher realization than this to the entire mankind.
Sriman Naraya says, “I am the only Supreme God”.
This means that Perarulaala Perumal is the Supreme Devatha.
No Devatha is above Him.
Therefore in the first sentence ,Perarulaala Perumal asserts that SrimanNarayana is the supreme God.
🌸 Ramanujar 🌸
The story is based on the facts taken from "AARAYIRPADI GURUPARAMPARAI" written by "PILLAI PERUMAL JEEYAR."
It was a midnight time.
Ilaiya Alwar was continously yearning for the moment of how Perarulaala Perumal would have responded to Tirukachi Nambigal.
Tirukachi Nambigal was eagerly waiting for the moment when he will disclose those Six Words that Perarulaala Perumal uttered for Ilaiya Alwar.
Their longing will come to an end when sun will rise.
Before the daybreak we will see the explanations of the remaining five words.
1)Ahameva Paramtatvam –
The Lord said that He is the Ultimate God or the Supreme.
2.Darishanam Bedayevacha –
The Supreme SriManNarayana is different. The rest is different. All devathas from Lakshmi to all others are below him.
Vishishtadvaita stresses the difference between The Supreme and the others. This Vishishtadvaita should be followed by Ilaiya Alwar is the meaning of the second word.
3.Upayeshu Prapathischaath –
Means to reach the Lord was Ultimate surrender or Saranagati.
4.Antimasmriti Varjanam –
Such persons who have surrendered to Him, need not remember the Lord at the last moments in the death bed, to get Moksham. While living he should constantly chant and meditate SriManNarayana and by doing that he will attain Salvation in his death bed.
5.Dehavasane Muktisyaath –
Moksham will be granted when the body with which he surrendered, is cast off after death, in this birth itself; he need not have to wait for all sins to be expended.
6.Poornacahrya Samashraya –
Ilaiya Alwar should seek Swami Periya Nambi as his Acharya.
It was Dawn.
Ilaiya Alwar hurried to meet Tirukachi Nambigal and revealed all the "Six Golden Words" and asked him, Did you wanted to ask this to Perumal,
Yes, answered Ilaiya Alwar ,and knelt on the feet of Tirukachi Nambigal and expressed his gratitude by lamenting.
Tirukachi Nambigal was surprised to see the coincidence between Perarulaala Perumal’s sayings and Ilaiya Alwar’s thinking.
Among the Six Words ,
The first five were Advice and the sixth one was to show him the right path to whom to attain as his Acharya.
Then he sought the blessings of Perumal and Tirukachi Nambigal to leave to Sri Rangam to meet Periya Nambigal.
To perform Samasrayana from Periya Nambigal,while
Ilaiya Alwar was travelling to Sri Rangam, he stopped in Maduranthagam to pay obeisance to Lord Rama.
Ilaiya Alwar was unaware that Periya Nambigal, himself was in the temple in Maduranthagam and entered into the temple.