alzhvars-8-nammaSri Nammazhwar

Place: Azhwar Thirunagari
Year: Pramadhi
Month: Vaikasi
Star: Visakam
Paksha: Sukla Paksham
Tithi: Chaturti
Amsam (incarnation of): Vishwaksenar (commander-in-chief of Supreme Lord)
Compilation: Tiryvrittam, Thiruvasiriyam, Thiruvoymozhi, Periya Thiruvandadi
Also known as: Maran, Sadagopan, Paraankusan, Vakulaabaranan, Kurugaiyar Kone, Sathari

 

Thaniyan

(Invocatory verse of glorification to an Acharya which is usually composed by a disciple)

mAthA pithA yuvathayas thanayA vibhUthi:
sarvam ya dhEva niyamEna madh anvayAnAm
Adhyasyana: kulapathEr vakuLAbhirAmam
srImath thadhangri yugaLam praNamAmi mUrdhnA

I bow my head down at the lotus feet of Nammazhwar who is our (srivaishnavas / prapannas) leader and the head of our clan, who is decoared with maghizham flowers and whose lotus feet are filled with srivaishnava sri (divine wealth). For my descendants, he is everything – mother, father, consort, children, great wealth and everything else.

Azhwar’s history

A highly devoted couple, Kari and his wife Udaya Nangai prayed for 40 days to Lord Narayana at Thirukkurungudi and Thirupattisaram for granting them a child. Lord spoke through the priest to them about granting them the boon. The couple went back to their hometown Azhwar Thirunagari and in due course a son was born to them who was named Maran.

Maran did not show any activities of a child like crying, drinking milk or eating. The worried parents took Maran to Adi Nathan temple at Azhwar Thirunagari and performed a pooja. After the pooja, Maran crawled and sat down under a tamarind tree in the temple complex. This tree considered to be an incarnation of Lakshmana or Adisesha does not fold its leaves at night. Once can still witness this tree even today. The child, Maran went into transcendental meditation for sixteen years in the hole of this tree.

At the end of this time Madhurakavi Azhwar reached Namma Azhwar and saw him in deep meditation. Wanting to check if he speaks, Madhurakavi Azhwar threw a small stone on Namma Azhwar. On this Namma Azhwar opened his eyes on which Madhurakavi Azhwar asked him “cheththaththin vayiRRil chiRiyathu piRaNthAl eththaiththinRu enGgE kidakkum” meaning if a chEthanan (jIvAthmA – sentient) enters an achEthanam (Material body – insentient), what will he enjoy and where will he stay. AzhwAr replies “aththaiththinRu anGgE kidakkum” meaning “He will keep enjoying the materialistic joy and sorrows and will stay permanently there”

Hearing the reply, Madhurakavi Azhwar prostrated multiple times at the holy feet of Namma Azhwar and pleaded Namma Azhwar to be his spiritual master. He started recording all the poetic compositions (pasurams) that Namma Azhwar used to sing. These pasurams are in the praise of the Supreme Lord present in the 108 divya desams.

But Namma Azhwar during his lifetime never moved from the tamarind tree. The Lord from all these 108 temples appeared before Namma Azhwar who just by this vision praised the Lord which are recorded as collections. Tiryvrittam consists of 100 collections is the essence of Rig veda. Thiruvasiriyam consists of 7 collections is the essence of Yajur veda. Thiruvoymozhi consists of 1102 collections is the essence of Sama veda. Periya Thiruvandadi consists of 87 collections is the essence of Atharvana veda. The works of Namma Azhwar mainly cover the following topics:

  • The nature of Super Soul (Paramatma, God)
  • The nature of the soul (Jivatma, everyone apart from God)
  • The means for Jivatma to attain Paramatma
  • The obstacles in the way of Jivatma to attain Paramatma

Namma Azhwar went back to Lord’s abode at a young age of 32. Before he left, he asked Madhurakavi Azhwar to goto Tambarpani river where Madhurakavi Azhwar would find his deity form to offer his prayers. To this day one can find this deity of Namma Azhwar being worshipped in the temple of Azhwar Thirunagari.

These are just a few of the glorious pastimes of Sri Namma Azhwar