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Inputs for CD ROMs : Part VIII--> Thirumazhisai AzhwAr : Part I

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Fri Feb 02 2001 - 19:03:03 PST

Life and Prabhandhams of Thirumazhisai AzhwAr
Once upon a time, the saptha Rishis including BhArgava 
Rishi asked BrahmA  about the most sacred place on Earth
that was fit for the permanaent residence to do penance.
Brahma told them that Thirumazhisai KshEthram was the best 
and named it MahIsAra KshEthram . The Rishis stayed there.
While being there, the wife of BhArgava Rishi gave birth to 
their child on a Thai Maham ;on birth the new born chil did 
did not have any features  such as hand , face or leg.
It was of the form of a PiNdam (mass of flesh). The parents 
were sad and left this child without form by the side of a bush 
and moved on .This Pindam was Thirumazhisai AzhwAr ,who is 
the amsam of the Lord's Sudarsana chakram. Few days after
the parents left , the pindam developed a roopam and began
to cry out of hunger and thirst. PerumAL appeared and blessed
the child to be free of hunger and thirst . The satisfied child 
began again to cry. A local farmer by name ThiruvALan heard 
the sound coming from the side of the bush and rushed to see
the cause of that sound. There, they saw a child with
a radiant face . ThiruvALan and his wife took the child home
and raised it.The child did not take milk and was free of
bodily functions and yet grew day by day.

This wonder of a baby growing without partaking any
food attracted the attention of an older couple , who
had no children of their own.They brought warm milk every day 
for the child and presented it. After few days , the child  
asked the elderly couple to drink the left-over milk .
After drinking the milk , which was consumed partially by
the child , the elderly couple regained their youth and in 
due time  a child was born to them .They named it KaNikaNNan.

Meanwhile , The BhArgava Rishi puthran( Thirumazhisai 
AzhwAr ) controlled his Indhriyams and practised AshtAnga Yogam.
He studied all kinds of religions (Saaktham , Saivam et al) and
rejected them all in favor of VaishNavam and recognized that
Sriman NaarAyaNn is the Aadhara Moorthy and Jagath KaaraNa 
Vasthu (ParamAthmA). Azhwar stayed at Thiru AllikkENi worshipping
GeethAchAryan and met there with the Mudhal AzhwArs.Few years later,
Thirumazhisai AzhwAr settled at ThiruvehhA , where Poygai AzhwAr
was born. KaNikaNNan served Thirumazhisai as his disciple.

At ThiruvehhA , an old lady also performed kaimkaryam for
the AzhwAr . She sought the blessings of AzhwAr for regaining
her youth . AzhwAr blessed her and she transformed into 
a beautiful woman. When the local king heard of that miracle ,
he approached KaNikaNNan and asked him to intercede on his 
behalf for a similar anugraham. KaNikaNNan refused the king's
request and the king got angry and ordered KaNikaNNan to leave
his kingdom.KaNikaNNan informed the AzhwAr of his need to leave
and the AzhwAr addressed the PerumAL of ThiruvehhA and told 
Him to roll up His bed of AdhisEshan and leave the offending
king's kingdom with him and his sishyan .PerumAL , who always 
takes the side of His dear devotees did as told and acquired 
the name of YathOkthakAri or Sonna VaNNam seytha PerumAL. 

AzhwAr, KaNikaNNan and PerumAL with His bed travelled out of 
the city of ThiruvehhA and stayed overnight in a nearby village. 
After the departure of PerumAL and AzhwAr,ThiruvehhA became 
lusterless and inauspicousness set in. The king recognized 
quickly his mistake and fell at the feet of Thirumazhisai
AzhwAr and begged him to return .AzhwAr agreed and suggested to
the Lord to return with him and KaNikaNNan , spread His bed back
and resume His YoganidhrA at His temple .PerumAL once again 
followed the order of AzhwAr and auspiciousness returned 
to the land.AzhwAr came to be revered as BahkthisArar
from then on.

Few years later, AzhwAr wanted to have the darsanam of 
AarAvamudhan at Thirukkudanthai and left ThiruvehhA. 
On the way, AzhwAr was received with hostility by 
haughty Brahmins performing Yaj~nam and AzhwAr put 
them in their place by revealing the reclining PerumAL
on his chest region.The Brahmins recognized the greatness
of the AzhwAr , fell at his feet and sought AzhwAr's forgivance. 

AzhwAr arrived at Thirukkudanthai and was ecstatic about
the sevai of AarAvamudhan in the reclining position .
AzhwAr composed two Prabhandhams at Thirukkudanthai
known as Thirucchandha Viruttham and Naanmukhan ThiruvandhAthi.
One day , he placed his prabhandhams in the Cauvery water
and they did not sink ; instead , they floated agaist the stream
and arrived at his feet . AzhwAr took them in his hands and
brought them back to the temple and placed them at 
the Thiruvadi of AarAvamudhan and asked the Lord to get up
and talk to him about that mystery.The Lord obliged and began
to lift Himself . AzhwAr was so moved by the Soulabhyam 
of the Lord that he performed mangaLAsAsanam with 
the benediction " Vaazhi KesanE" and the Lord stayed 
in the half risen position to please His Bhaktha SikhAmaNi.
Even today , AarAvaudhan is giving His Seavi to us as UtthAna-
Saayee enjoying His UdhyOga Sayanam. AzhwAr stayed many years
thereafter worshipping AarAvamudhan and blessing the world prior
to returning to Sri Vaikuntam .

(To be continued).     

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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