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Tirumazhisi Alwar

From: M K Sudarshan (
Date: Wed Jan 08 1997 - 04:31:36 PST

Apropos Sri.Mani Varadarajan's note with which I am in general agreement.

I too did a quick bit of reference into my personal library and came up with
the following passage on Page 111 in "THE HOLY LIVES OF THE AZHVARS OR
DRAVIDA SAINTS" By Alkondavilli Govindacharya (Ananthacharya Indological
Research Institute, Bombay) which may be of interest to those amongst you
who are research-minded :

"... our Saint (Tirumazhisai Alwar) thought of presenting his homage to the
Lord Resident at Kumbhaghona -- the  Ara-v-amudan -- and there spending some
time absorbed in thoughts of the special graces and beauties of the Deity,
as there made manifest. As soon the will was made, it was put into act.
Rapidly the saint journeyed on to the shrine and on the way he rested
himself a little in the village called Perum-puliyur, on the pial of a
house. In that very house,it so happened, there were Brahmanas assembled and
were reciting the Holy Vedas. But on seeing a foreigner they broke off. When
they wished to take up the thread, their memory would not help them, do what
they will. The Saint divined their perplexity and taking a black paddy grain
under his finger-nails chucked it on the floor. This act immediately brought
to their memory the thread of their broken recitation, for the passage(they
had been reciting) ran to the effect that in performing the Raja-suya
Sacrifice, the master of the ceremony should take the grains of paddy which
the housewife should husk with her finger-nails, then cook and oblate to
fire ("... krishNanAm vrIhINAm" etc. in Yajus I.8.9).At this they were
wonderstruck, and exclaimed :"He may be a low-caste Sudra, but he is not
really one, being godly" (..."na shUdrAbhagavadhbhakthA
viprAbhAvathAsmrthA:" vide. Bharatha), and they all came in a body, fell at
his feet and atoned for their mistake."

If the above is true, Sri.Mani, then perhaps you may have judged those poor
'brahmins' rather too harshly !!