Beginner’s guide – uyakkoNdAr and maNakkAl nambi

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vyAsa and parAsara enter ANdAL pAtti’s home along with their friend vEdhavalli. ANdAL pAtti welcomes them with prasAdham in her hands.

ANdAL pAtti : Here take this prasAdham and tell me who your new friend is.

vyAsa : pAtti, this is vEdhavalli who has come from kAnchIpuram for holidays. We brought her along with us so that she can listen to your stories on glories of AchAryas.

parAsara : pAtti are we celebrating any festival today?

ANdAL pAtti : Today is thirunakshathram of uyyakkoNdAr who is also known as puNdarIkAkshar and padhmAkshar.


VyAsa: pAtti, can you tell us about this AchArya?

ANdAL pAtti: He was born in thiruveLLaRai dhivya dhEsam during the month of chithirai in kArthigai star. He was given the name after the emperumAn of thiruveLLaRai. He was the prime disciple of nAthamunigaL along with kurugai kAvalappan. nAthamunigaL was blessed with ashtAnga yOgam by nammAzhwAr.

parAsara: What is this yOgam pAtti?

ANdAL pAtti: It is a type of yOga through which one can experience bhagavAn non-stop without having to think about any bodily activities. nAthamunigaL taught ashtAnga yOgam to kurugai kAvalappan and asked uyyakkoNdAr if he wanted to learn it, uyyakkoNdAr said “piNam kidakka maNam puNaralAmO?

parAsara: pAtti, Does he say that one cannot enjoy when someone has died? Who has died?

ANdAL pAtti: Brilliant parAsara! He said that when so many people are suffering in this world, how can he think about enjoying bhagavAn individually. Hearing this, nAthamunigaL was extremely pleased and appreciated uyyakkoNdAr’s magnanimity. He instructed both uyyakkoNdAr and kurugai kAvalappan to teach ashtAnga yOgam and dhivya prabandham with meanings to Ishvara muni’s son (nAthamunigaL’s own grandson) who is soon to appear.

VyAsa: pAtti did uyyakkoNdAr have any sishya?

pAtti : maNakkaAl nambi was his prime sishya. At the time of leaving to paramapadham, maNakkAl nambi asks him about the successor and uyyakkoNdAr instructs maNakkAl nambi himself to take care of the sampradhAyam. He also instructs maNakkAl nambi to prepare yAmunaiththuRaivar (Iswara muni’s son) to be the next AchArya in line.

parAsara : pAtti can you tell us about maNakkAl nambi?

pAtti : His original name was rAma misrAr. He was born in maNakkAl during the month of mAsi in the star of magam. Like madhurakavi AzhwAr who was very devoted to nammAzhwAr, maNakkaAl nambi was very devoted to uyyakkoNdAr. After the demise of uyyakkoNdAr’s wife, he assumed the cooking kainkaryam and attended to every personal need of his AchArya. Once uyyakkoNdAr’s daughters were returning back after bathing in the river and had to cross the slush. When they were hesitant to walk on the muddy waters, rAma misrAr laid himself down on the slush and allowed the girls to walk on his back. Hearing this uyyakkoNdAr became very pleased on the dedication of nambi.

Children in chorus : pAtti, next time when we meet can you tell us the story of yAmunaiththuRaivar?

pAtti gladly says “I will be very happy to do that when we meet next time” and the children leave to their respective homes.

Author: sowmyA rAmAnuja dhAsi

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