You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : December 1998

Kaarthikai Kritthikai : Birthday of three great AchAryAs: Part 1

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Wed Dec 02 1998 - 19:24:35 PST

Dear BhakthAs :
Thirumangai AzhwAr , NampiLLai and the 5th Azhagiya Singar share
this day as their birthdays . Sri MadhavakaNNan has already paid 
a wonderful tribute in his inimitable fashion to Thirumnagai. 
Let us come back to Thirumangai AzhwAr and his Vaibhavam after 
paying our tributes to the other two AchAryAs first .

1. SrivaNN SatakOpa Sri Sarva Tantra Sri SatakOpa YathIndra MahA Desikan
Approximately 505 years ago , a  miracle happened . The fourth Azhagiya 
Singar was realizing that Sri Lakshmi Nrusimhan was about to invite him 
to join His lotus feet .H.H the 4th pattam Jeeyar was concerned about 
picking his successor so that ArAdhanam for MaalOlan can continue without 
interruption . He fell asleep at his sanchAra KshEthram , Singarkoil 
with that worry in his mind.Parama KrupA Moorthy , MaalOlan appeared 
in Jeeyar's dream and asked the Jeeyar not to worry , since his successor was 
on his way to Singarkoil . 

During the same night , a great scholar at KandalUr agrahArm
had a dream in which MaalOlan appeared and invited him to come to SingarkOil
and take charge of His AasthAnam . This great scholar woke up with alacrity
just as 
the First Jeeyar woke up after his svapnam at Kanchi ,where the Lord
commanded him 
to come to Ahobilam .The KandalUr scholar consulted his friends and understood 
that it was BhagavAn Nrusimhan's command and proceeded immediately to 
Singar Koil ,where the H.H , the 4th Jeeyar was ailing . Latter was so
happy to meet his successor , the great scholar , who was an authority
on all SaasthrAs . The fouth Jeeyar gave the pattabhishEka name of
Sarva Tanthra Svathanthrar to the fifth Jeeyar and joined thereafter 
the lotus feet of his ArAdhana mUrthy , Sri Lakshmi Nrusimhan .The fifth 
Jeeyar ascended the throne of Ahobila Matam AasthAnam in April 1493 and 
adorned the Peetam for five years and nine months . He was succeded
by one of the most famous Azhagiyasingars , SrivaNN SatakOpa Sri Shashta 
ParAnkusa Yathindra Maha desikan from KaraLapAkkam agrahAram .It has 
been recorded that there was no Kalai based differentiations
among Sri VaishNavAs upto the 5th Jeeyar's time at the Peetam . He joined 
MaalOlan's scred feet during January , 1999 . It woill be exactly 500
years during the coming January .

His taniyan is : 

Sri Nrusimha DayApAthram ParavAdhi GajAnkusam
Sarvatanthra Svathanthram SatakOpa munim BhajE 

That he was the subject of Sri Lakshmi Nrusimhan's great dayaa
is evident from the direct selection by the Lord . With his
Saasthra Jn~Anam , he was like a goad to the elephants of
Para Matha Vaadhins .He was gifted with prcious knowledge in so many
fields like Swami Sri Desikan ; that led to his birudhu ,
Sarva Tantra Svathanthrar. The ParvAdhi GajAnkusar was succeded by 
the ParAnkusa YathIndra MahA Desikan .It is a very appropriate 
succession between the deft wielders of ankusam against kudhrushtis
and para matha Vaadhins.

2. NampiLLai : Namjeeyar's dear sishyan
This great authority on ThiruvAimozhi and the divya prabhandhams 
is the blessed AchAryA of many great AchAryAs-to-be like 
the VyAkhyAna Chakravarthi (PeriyavAcchAn PiLlai ), Vadakku Thiuveethi
PiLLai , Pinbhazhigiya PerumAL Jeeyar , EeyuNNI Madhavap PerumAL et al.
NampiLLai is revered as the other incarnation of 
Thirumangai AzhwAr ( aparAvathAram ). Namjeeyar gave him
thus the telling name of Kalivairi Daasan .Thirumangai's devotion
to NammAzhwAr's Sri Sookthis is legendary and is immortalized
in the celebration of the AdhyanOthsavam even today at Srirangam .

NampiLLai is the affectionate name given by Namjeeyar to 
this gruhasthA from NampUr in ChOla desam . His given name at
birth was VaradAchAr .His other names are LokAchAryar, Kalivairi Daasar 
( Thirk KalikanRi Daasar). 

It is instructive to dwell upon the reasons why NampiLLai
acquired the name of LokAchAr . A repentant scholar of his time
by name Thozhappar recognized the greatness of NampiLLai after
insulting latter publicly in front of Sri RanganAthA during a 
jealous fit and gave NamiLLai the name of LokAchAryar .KanthAdai
Thozappar belonged to MudaliANdAn vamsam and was upset that every one
flocked to NampiLLai's feet a sishyAs , while his scholarship was 
not recognized well . Thus arose the flames of jealousy that
almost consumed Thozhappar .This incident leading upto the conferral
of the name of LokAchAryar by the chastised ThOzappar is celebrated
by Sri MaNavALa Maamuni in the 51st UpadEsa rathna maalai verse :

thunnu pukazh KanthADai ThOzhappar tamm uhappAl
Yenna UlahAriyanO YenRuraikka --pinnai
UlahAriyan yennum pEr NampiLLaikku Ongi
vilahAmal ninRathu yenRum mEl

ThirunArAyaNapuram Araiyar , Ammangi AmmAL, YenkaLAzhwan
of ThiruveLlaRai , Thiruveethi PiLLai Bhattar 
( KuRatthAzhwAn's grandson ) were contemproaries.Latter
had something in common with Vadakku Thiruveethi PiLLai
in that he wrote without AchAryA's niyamanam an anthology
of NampiLLai's Thiruvaimozhi KalakshEpam . NampiLLai did
not accept that grantham runing into one lakh paDis and 
gave it as food to white ants without even looking at it .

The importance of AchArya Niyamanam was pointed out by NampiLLai
to the grandson of his ParamAchAryan through the allusion of 
AchArya RaamAnujA's niymanam to Thirukkuruhai Piraan PiLLAn 
to write the 6000 PaDi Yeedu grantham on NammAzhwAr's ThiruvAimozhi. 

NampiLLai gave his niyamanam to periyavAcchAn PiLLai to write 
to ThiruvAimozhi . This  commentary is known today as 
the 24,000 PaDi grantham .The Overzealous 
and Jealouds Vadakku Thiruveethi PiLLai , the other Sishyan of 
NampiLLai wrote another unauthorized version and received the 
disapproavl of his AchAryan . Later Sri RanganaathA intervened and 
saved that commentary (Yeedu 36,000 PaDi) from oblivion through
YeeuNNI Maadhavar. 

Vadakku Thiruveethi PiLLai belonged to the Mudumpai Vamsam .
Mudumpai Nampi is one of the 74 Sri Bhaashya SimhAsanAdhipathis . 
Vadakku Thiruveethi PiLLai's mother's name was Ammi AmmAL and 
his father's name was Devap PerumAL . Ammi AmmAL was very sad
that there was no santhathi for her son due to a dhOsham 
that made the wife of Vadakku Thiruveethi PiLLai appear
like a snake at night in their conjugal bed. PiLlai ran
out of the room and refused to be near his wife at night time.
Ammi AmmAL fell at the feet of NampiLLai and requested the
AchAryan to bless her son to have progeny . NampiLLai
prayed to Sri RanganAthA and sprinkled consecrated water 
on the face and the stomach of the wife of Vadakku Thiruveethi(V.T)
PiLLai . The Sarpa DhOsham was removed by the divine power of 
NampiLLai and ten months later a child was born to V.T.PiLLai.
Since the child came into being due to the grace of LokAcchAr
( NampiLLai ) , it was named PiLLai LokAcchAr . A brother
was born due to the grace of Sri RanganAthA few months later to V.T.PiLLai
and was named Azhagiya MaNavALa PerumAL NaayanAr. Both the brothers 
are giants of our SampradhAyam in their own right and gave us 
illustrious granthams like Sri Vachana BhUshaNam , AchArya Hrudhayam et al .
Both the brothers were Naishtika brahmachAris . Both the brothers
were contemproaries of Swami Sri Desikan . The Taniyan of
PiLLai LOkAchAr on the Sri Sookthis of Swami Desikan 
is a famous one . 

We will conclude this section of our tribute to NampiLLai
with the invocation of His Taniyan :

vEdAntha vEdhyAmrutha vAri rAsE : vEdAntha SaarAmrutha pUramgruyam 
AadhAya Varshantham aham prapadhyE KaaruNya pUrNam KALIVAIRI DAASAM     

AchAryAL ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Oppiliapan Koil varadAchAri SadagOpan