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Date: Thu Dec 28 1995 - 17:12:40 PST
K Srinivasan wonders if Thirumangai Azhwar and Murugan could be the same person. Devas are posts and are occupied by one or more person during the period of a Kalpa. All the Azhwars' permanent duties are as ornaments or weapons of Narayana. E.g Kulasekara Azhwar is the Kaustabha jewel. I do not have references here to detail who exactly Thirumangai Azhwar is. I vaguely remember Him being the Vanamala garland. They are therefore not in contact with Karma. If they descend into the leela vibhuti of the Lord (i.e. all the lokas controlled by this and other Brahmas), it is only to fulfil Narayana's purpose. Per Sri Vedanta Desikar all the Devatas right upto Shiva and Brahma, are in Karma and are subject to the sway of Triguna. It is therefore unlikely that Murugan and Thirumangai Azhwar could be the same person. But I have also heard that Narayana can select a surrendered soul to be a Brahma. In the Ramayana it is stated that Hanuman will be the next Brahma at the end of the lifetime of this Brahma. For this reason I will not on the basis of RTS alone be able to say unequivocally that they cannot be the same person. But because of what RTS says we will have to know from scripture that Thirumangai Azhwar or Perumal's vanamala or whatever His original position is, took birth as Murugan before that conclusion can be drawn. That will have to answered by someone who has read all the Puranas, Itihasas etc. Jaganath.