Beginner’s guide – thirumangai AzhwAr

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thirumangai-adalmathirumangai AzhwAr on his AdalmA horse

ANdAL pAtti, parAsara and vyAsa are returning home from uRaiyUr.

ANdAL pAtti: parAsara and vyAsa, looks like you had a wonderful time at uRaiyUr.

parAsara and vyAsa: Yes, pAtti. It was so nice to see thiruppANAzhwAr there. We like going to dhivya dhEsams and worship the archAvathAra emperumAns there.

ANdAL pAtti: I will now tell you about thirumangai AzhwAr who is instrumental in revealing the glories of so many dhivya dhEsams. He was born on kArthikai mAsam kArthikai nakshathram at thirukkuraiyalUr near thirunAngUr dhivya dhEsam. He composed 6 dhivya prabandhams namely periya thirumozhi, thirukkuRunthANdgam, thiruvezhkURRirukkai, siRiya thirumadal, periya thirumadal and thirunedunthANdagam. His original name was nIlan (since he was bluish colored).

parAsara: How did he travel to the dhivya dhEsams those days pAtti?

ANdAL pAtti: He had a horse named AdalmA which was so powerful and he used to travel everywhere in that horse.

vyAsa: What are his specialities pAtti?

ANdAL pAtti: There are many unique aspects of thirumangai AzhwAr. Initially, he was a great fighter and was ruling over a small kingdom. At that time he meets kumudhavalli nAchiyAr and he wants to marry her. kumudhavalli nAchiyAr tells him that he will only marry a devotee of perumAL who also serves bhAgavathas with great care. AzhwAr agrees and becomes a devotee of perumAL and thus they marry each other. AzhwAr serves many srIvaishNavas by feeding them prasAdham. But eventually, he runs out of wealth to support that kainkaryam. So he starts robbing wealthy people who pass by the near by forest and uses that money in serving others.

parAsara: Oh! can we steal pAtti?

ANdAL pAtti: No! we should never do that. But since AzhwAr was so desperate to serve bhAgavathas, he started robbing wealthy people. Anyway, perumAL wanted to give full knowledge to him and reform him fully. So, he himself along with thAyAr, dresses like a newly married wealthy couple and travels in the same forest along with a grand family/relatives. AzhwAr sensing a good opportunity to earn some money, tries to rob them. But by perumAL‘s grace, he finally realizes that perumAL himself has arrived. perumAL blesses him fully and reforms him to be very pure. Since he tried to force perumAL himself to bless him, perumAL names him “kaliyan” which means very majestic/prideful. He is also known as parakAlan (one who is feared by supreme lord himself).

vyAsa: Wow! this is amazing pAtti. What did he do after that.

ANdAL pAtii: Being overwhelmed with great emotions, he fully surrendered to perumAL. After that, he travelled the length and breadth of bhAratha dhEsam visiting many dhivya dhEsams (over 80) and glorified the perumALs there. That too, he has exclusively sung about over 40 perumALs who were not sung by any other AzhwArs – thus revealing those dhivya dhEsams to us.

parAsara: Oh! It is our great fortune – because of him, we are worshipping these dhivya dhEsams now. We will always be thankful to him.

ANdAL pAtti: He also performed many kainkaryams in our srIrangam, building forts around the temple, etc. During his lifetime itself, perumAL orders AzhwAr‘s brother-in-law to make a vigraham of AzhwAr and worship the same. After some time, thirumangai AzhwAr goes to thirukkuRungudi dhivya dhEsam, spends some time there worshipping nambi emperumAn. Finally, meditating on emperumAn, he ascends to paramapadham to be engaged in kainkaryam to emperumAn eternally.

vyAsa: We have understood the importance of kainkaryam to archAvathAra perumAL and his devotees from AzhwAr‘s life pAtti.

ANdAL pAtti: Yes, that is the essence of our sampradhAyam. With this, you have heard about all the AzhwArs. I will tell you both about our AchAryas next time.

parAsara and vyAsa: OK pAtti! We are eagerly waiting for that.

Author: sArathy rAmanuja dAsan

4 thoughts on “Beginner’s guide – thirumangai AzhwAr”

  1. The presentation of Azhwar Vaibhavam in the form of question and answer session will draw attention of the present day youngsters.


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