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Inputs for CD ROM : PeriyAzhwAr--> Part VI.1

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Mon Jan 29 2001 - 19:11:48 PST

Life and Sri Sookthis of PeriyAzhwAr
Vishnuchitthar was a pious Brahmin belonging to a 
devout Munkudumi Chozhiar family ( poorva SikhA Brahmins) 
at Srivilliputthur. He was born in the Tamil month of
Aani ,when the SvAthi Constellation was in ascendance.
He is an amsam of Veda Moorthy , Garudan , the Lord's flag 
and transport . 

Vishnu Chitthar was engaged in performing MaalA kaimkaryam 
to the PerumaL of Srivillipputthur  dhivya dEsam 
( Vatapathra Saayee) .He  had a lovely garden full of TuLasi  
and Flowering plants. He found one day a baby girl in 
his TuLasi garden and named the baby , Godhai ,and 
raised Her as his own daughter.Godhai is the incarnation of
Bhumi Devi and has blessed us with ThiruppAvai and NaacchiyAr 
Thirumozhi;She married Lord RanganAthA at Srirangam and
made Her foster father acquire later the name of PeriyAzhwAr
as a result of his becoming the father-in-law to Lord
RanganAthan Himself. 

Vishnu Chitthar was not versed in VedAs and other traditonal 
forms of scholarship.He presented daily TuLasi Maalais adorned by
His daughter to Vadapathra Sayee as commanded by Him .He led 
a life full of VairAgyam ( Dispassion ), anushtAnam , Bhakthi
and Bhagavath Kaimkaryam .Lord Vatapathra Sayee decided one day
to bring out the glory of Vishnu Chitthar . There was a royal
competition going on at the southern city of Mathurai convened 
by King Sri Vallabha Devan to establish who is the Supreme God
based on vedic pramANams . Many vidhvAns of the day and great
Vedic scholars participated in that assembly (sathas)to win 
the sumptous purse set aside for the winner in that competition .
Lord Vadapathra Sayee appeared in Vishnu Chitthar's dream and 
commanded him to appear in the sathas and win the prize money.
Vishnu Chitthar protested and pointed out to the Lord that he
was illiterate in the VedAs and had no formal tutelage in them.
The Lord responded that He is responsible for the outcome of
the debate on establishing His Parathvam as Sriman NaarAyaNan
and insisted that Vishnu Chitthar attend the royal sathas.
The obedient servant of the Lord arrived at the sathas and
was able to deliver a brilliant and convincing discourse on 
the unquestioned supermacy (parathvam ) of Sriman NaarAyaNan
with ample pramANams ( proofs ) from VedAs and VedAntham .
This he did through the anugraham of PerumAL since he
did not learn VedAs and VedAntham through the traditional route.
The judges of the competition declared VishNu Chitthar as
the winner and the King let him cut down the bag of gold
tied up on a lofty pole.When VishNu Chitthar approached 
the flag stand , the pole bent down to his level and 
the prize money was collected and Sriman NaarayaNa Parathvam 
was established in an uncontestable manner. 

The King fell at the feet of VishNu Chitthar and placed him
on the back of the royal elephant for a procession around 
the main streets of Tenn Mathurai . Sriman NaarAyaNan with 
His Devis wanted to witness the honors accorded to His dear
devotee and appeared in the sky on the back of Garudan .
When Vishunu Chitthar saw the Lord , he was overwhelmed 
with the beauty , youth and laavaNyam of the Lord and
broke out spontaneously with his mangaLAsAsanam (eulogy) of 
the Lord using the bells on the neck of the elephant as taaLam.
VishNu Chitthar was anxious that no harm came the way of
his Lord , while He appeared before the people of the world 
in His from as Sri VaikuntanAthan  worshipped by the nithya sooris.
Thus arose the famous ThiruppallANDu Dhivya Prabhandham ,
wherein he wished the Lord hundreds of thousands of years
of well being ( PallANDu). Out of his Vaathsalyam and 
concern for the Lord's "well being " , VishNuchitthar
performed the MangaLAsAsanam and came to be known as
PeriyAzhwAr.ThiruppallANDu is recogognized as PraNavam
for the Tamil Vedams .In ThiruppallANDu , the noble codes
of behavior and the tatthvams of Sri VaishNavam are 
enshrined beautifully. 

PeriyAzhwAr returned to Srivilliputthur and used the royal
purse to build a new temple for Vatapathra Saayee that we 
see today. 

Since PeriyAzhwAr had acquired all encompassing Jn~Anam ,
he came to be called "Bhattar PirAn Or Bhatta Naathan". 
ANDAL , his daughter came to be known as " Bhatta Naatha Sri"
or the wealth of Bhatta Naathan.PeriyAzhwAr created 
four hundred plus paasurams describing the Baala leelais of
KrishNan and assumed the role of YashOdhA pirAtti to
enjoy them . These paasurams are KarNAmruthams. Many deep
doctrines of Sri VaishNavam are also explained to us
in a moving manner by this AzhwAr in his PeriyAzhwAr 

The NINTEEN Dhivya Desams sung by PeriyAzhwAr
These 19 Dhivya Desams stretch from AyOddhi in
the North to Srirangam in the South . These kshEthrams
are :
(1) AyOddhi (2) Srirangam (3)Thiru AaypAdi (4)THirukkaNDamkudi/
Deva PrayAg (5)ThirukkaNNapuram (6)Thirukkudanthai
(7)Thirukkurumkudi (8)ThirukkOttiUr (9)Thiru SaaLgrAmam
(10)Thiru DhvArakai (11)Thiru Parama Padham (12)Thiru
PaaRRkkadal (13)ThiruppErnagar (14)ThirumAlirumchOlai
(15)Thiru Vadamathurai (16)Thiru BadarikAsramam
(17)Srivilliputthur (18)ThiruveLLaRai and (19) Thiruvenkatam.

(To be Continued)

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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