yathIndhra pravaNa prabhAvam – Part 18

SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImadh varavaramunayE nama:

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The glories of thiruvAimozhippiLLai

After piLLai lOkAchAryar attained paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam), thirumalai AzhwAr (thiruvAimozhip piLLai)’s mother, who had taken refuge under lOkAchAryar, could not bear his departure and left for the divine abode. thirumalai AzhwAr was taken under the protection of his maternal aunt. thirumalai AzhwAr was very conversant with laukika (worldly affairs) knowledge and was very proficient in thamizh too. After coming to know of his vaidhika (related to vEdhams) and laukika knowledge, the pANdiyan king took him as his minister and his purOhithar (spiritual adviser).

kUrakulOththama dhAsar, intending to correct thiruvAimozhippiLLai and bring him to the dharSanam, recited the first pAsuram from thiruviruththam (nammAzhwAr’s first prabandham) within earshot of thiruvAimozhippiLLai, one day, when he was being carried on a palanquin on regal duty. Being interested in its meaning, thiruvAimozhippiLLai, asked nAyan (kUrakulOththama dhAsar) about it. nAyan refused to divulge its meaning to him and told him so, bluntly. Since thiruvAimozhip piLLai had the distinguished grace of piLLai lOkAchAryar, he did not get angry with nAyan for his refusal. On reaching his house later, he told his aunt about it. She reminded him about his connection with piLLai lOkAchAryar’s divine feet, in his younger days. He was also very much interested in meeting nAyan again to take refuge under his divine feet.

singappirAn was called as “thirumaNaththUN nambi” those days. Due to their affection for him, many SrIvaishNavas told him many good words; he said “Since many of you are saying so many words, I am unable to understand anything. I request one who speaks well, to tell these clearly”. They then asked thirumalai AzhwAr, who was known to be very eloquent, to tell him. After listening to him, thirumNaththUN nambi was much impressed and wanted to make him as sampradhAyam pravarthakar (advancing the cause of traditional philosophy). He met kUrakulOththama dhAsar (who had gone to SrIrangam by then) and conveyed his desire to him. dhAsar said that he will bring thirumalai AzhwAr to the dharSanam and left for madhurai. One day when thiruvAimozhippiLLai was going on an elephant, dhAsar saw him and climbed on to a hillock so that he would be visible to piLLai. thiruvAimozhip piLLai, on seeing him, symbolised him as his AchAryar piLLai lOkAchAryar, got down from the elephant and prostrated before nAyan. nAyan took him in his arms, embraced him and praised him. AzhwAr then took nAyan to his place, welcoming and honouring him and asked him to say good things for him. nAyan recounted the last days of piLLai lOkAchAryar in a detailed way. thirumalai AzhwAr then asked dhAsa nAyanAr to mercifully stay in his place and to come in the morning when he would apply thirumaN kAppu (applying Urdhva puNdram) on his form. He then arranged for a thirumALigai (mutt) for nAyan for his comfortable stay.

Every day, kUrakulOththama dhAsar would visit thirumalai AzhwAr, early in the morning and teach him the meanings of rahasyams (esoteric texts) composed by piLLai lOkAchAryar. AzhwAr was learning these with utmost respect. One day, due to his preoccupation with regal work, he told nAyan to bear with him, without listening, when nAyan was giving him discourse on rahasyams. The next day, nAyan did not turn up. When on the day after that too nAyan did not turn up, thirumalai AzhwAr sent his guards to find out why he was not coming. The guards came back and told him that he did not say anything. thirumalai AzhwAr then went to nAyan’s thirumALigai and prostrated before him for a long time. nAyanAr then told him that he had forgiven him and since the discourse in his thirumALigai (to other disciples) was coming to an end, he asked thirumalai AzhwAr to stay back and partake of the prasAdham (food offered to emperumAn). As soon as thirumalai AzhwAr took the prasAdham, he became paramaviraktha (completely detached from everything) and kept repeating “kUrakulOththama dhAsa nAyan thiruvadigaLE SaraNam” (only the divine feet of kUrakulOththama dhAsa nAyanAr are the refuge). Even after he returned to his regal work, he kept repeating this. The court officials went and informed the queen that he was behaving strangely. She called for him and when she welcomed him, instead of returning the compliments, he said “kUrakulOththama dhAsa nAyan thiruvadigaLE SaraNam”.  She then told him with grief “We, my chidren and I, were depending on you till the children came of age and were able to manage the affairs of the kingdom on their own. But now, the situation has changed like this”. He consoled her, saying “Do not grieve. Your son has become mature enough. I have to keep worshipping the divine feet of nAyan. Do not prevent me. I will keep enquiring about the regal affairs and advise the prince, as and when required”. He stayed there for some time, learning from kUrakulOththama dhAsar and helping the kingdom in its affairs. Then he too moved to sikkili (now known as sikkil kidAram), a place near the divine abode thiruppullANi where kUrakulOththama dhAsar had taken residence and started carrying out gurukulavAsam (staying with the clan of the teacher and learning). Since kUrakulOththama dhAsar taught him all the rahasyams that he had learnt from piLLai lOkAchAryar, dhAsa nAyan was referred to as kUrakulOththamadhAsam udhAram (magnanimity of kUrakulOththama dhAsar).

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

archived in https://srivaishnavagranthams.wordpress.com/

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – https://guruparamparai.wordpress.com
SrIvaishNava Education/Kids Portal – http://pillai.koyil.org

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