Beginner’s guide – piLLai lOkAchAryar’s sishyas

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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parASara, vyAsa, vEdhavalli and aththuzhAy enter ANdAL pAtti’s home with full curiosity as they are going to learn about the Sishya’s of piLLai lOkAchAryar.

pAtti: Welcome children, How are you all? I could see excitement in all your faces.

vyAsa: Hello pAtti, we are doing good! How are you patti? Yes pAtti you are correct we been eagerly waiting to hear about the sishyas of piLLai lOkAchAryar.

pAtti: Yes kids, even I was waiting to share with you all. Hope you all remember our last discussion. Can any one tell me his sishyas’ names?

aththuzhAy: pAtti! I do remember the names. kUra kulOththama dhAsar, viLAnchOlaip piLLai, thirumalai AzhwAr (thiruvAimozhip piLLai), maNapAkkaththu nambi, kOttUr aNNar, thirupputkuzhi jIyar, thirukkaNNangudip piLLai, kolli kAvala dhAsar.

pAtti: Very nice aththuzhAy, glad that you kids remember. Now let us discuss in detail. First, I will tell you all about kUra kulOththama dhAsar.

All children: Sure pAtti!

pAtti: kUra kulOththama dhAsar was born in SrIrangam. His role was very important in bringing thirumalai AzhwAr (thiruvAimozhip piLLai) back to our sampradhAyam. He was close associate of piLLai lOkAchAryar and he travelled with piLLai lOkAchAryar during thiruvarangan ula (when namperumAL travelled to various places during muslim invasion). mAmunigaL glorifies kUra kulOththama dhAsar as “kUra kulOththama dhAsam udhAram” (one who is very merciful and generous) because of his unlimited krupai of taking many efforts to reform thirumalai Azhwar. Eventually, thirumalai AzhwAr became so grateful and surrendered to kUra kulOththama dhAsar that he always lived with dhAsar serving him and left to AzhwArthirunagari only after dhAsar’s ascending to parampadham. In SrI vachana bhushaNam, it is said that for a Sishya “AchArya abhimAname uththAragam“. This absolutely suites kUra kulOththama dhAsar and thirumalai Azhwar. So let us all remember kUra kulOththama dhAsar who always remembers the feet of  piLLai lOkAchAryar.

vEdhavalli: pAtti, we are all happy to hear about kUra kulOththama dhAsar. We all learned how a Sishya should respect Acharyan.

pAtti: Yes vEdhavalli everyone should remember “AchArya abhimAname uththAragam”. Now  we will learn another important Sishya named viLAnchOlaip piLLai.

vyAsa: pAtti, I already know why he is called viLAnchOlai piLLai. He used to climb “ViLam” trees to get dharSan of the gOpuram of the thiruvananthapuram,  padhmanAbha swAmi temple.

viLAnchOlai piLLai

pAtti: Very good vyAsa,you are right. Being born in eezhava kulam, he was not allowed inside the temple. So to have dharSan of perumAL, he will climb “viLam” tree and perform mangaLASAsanam. Due to piLLai lOkAchAryar’s grace, he learned eedu, SrI bhAshyam, thathva thrayam and other rahasya granthams from azhagiya maNavALap perumAL nAyanAr, who is the younger brother of piLLai lOkAchAryar.

viLAnchOlai piLLai learned SrI vachana bhUshaNam from his Acharyan piLLai lOkAchAryar. He become an expert in the meaning of  SrI vachana bhUshaNam. He wrote “saptha gAthai” which is the essence of his AchArya’s SrI vachana bhUshaNam.

parASara: We are greatly surprised seeing  viLAnchOlai piLLai”s attachment towards his AchAryan.

pAtti: Yes, parASara! One of the biggest kainkarayams he did was to follow his AchAryan’s instructions in reforming thirumalai AzhwAr. piLLai lOkAchAryar wanted viLanchOlai piLLai to teach the meanings of SrI vachana bhUshaNam to thirumalai Azhwar. Children! Now, I would like to share one important incident happened in the life of viLAnchOlaip piLLai.

aththuzhAy: pAtti, please tell us about the incident.

pAtti: I know you all be curious to listen to it and my duty is to share sathvishyam with you all, so listen carefully,

One day nambUdaris were doing thiruvArAdhanam to padhmanAbha swAmi. viLAnchOlai piLLai entered in to the temple. As we all know, the sanctum has three doors to facilitate our dharSan of perumAL. viLAnchOlai piLLai stood near the door that gives dharSan of perumAL’s lotus feet. Seeing all this, nambUdaris became shocked, as he was not allowed inside the temple premises those days. nambUdaris closed the door of the sannidhi, started to move out of the temple.

At the same time, some local Sishyas of viLAnchOlai piLLai approached the temple and announced that their Acharyan viLanchOlai piLLai has left his body and reached the lotus feet of his Acharayan piLLai lOkAchAryar. They wanted “thirupariyattam” (emperumAn’s vasthram as prasAdham) and emperumAn’s garlands for the charama thirumEni (final sacred body) of viLAnchOlai piLLai.

Hearing this nambUdharis became shocked and understood the greatness of viLAnchOlaip piLLai. He then offered perumAL’s thiruppariyattam and garlands.

vEdhavalli: pAtti, I had goose bumps hearing about viLAnchOlai piLLai final moments.

vyAsa: Yes pAtti, I am also getting happy tears from my eyes. This truly explains how a person from “eezhava kulam” is glorified in our sampradhAyam.

pAtti: Alright kids, I had a nice time with you all. Hope you all will remember what we discussed today. Next time, I will tell you in detail about thiruvAimozhip piLLai, see you all soon.

All the kids left Andal patti’s home with full energy and happiness thinking about the discussions.

adiyEn janani rAmAnuja dAsi

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