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From: Thirumalai Anandanpillai (
Date: Fri Jul 21 1995 - 13:06:20 PDT

Subject: Duties of one of the simhasanadhipathis - Ananthaazhvaar

> As for previlages, I do not know. Their duty was to carry the words of
> Ramanuja, I suppose.
I do not know what the duties of every simhasanadhipathi was, but I do
know what the duty of Ananthaazhvaan was. (no.15 on the list)

Ananthaazhvaar was given the duty of performing 'kainkaryam' at tirupathi. At that
 time, there was no temple at Tirupati. Ananthaazhvaar was given the duty of
building a small temple, and going there everyday and perform the necessary
kainkaryams. He had a 'thottam' near the temple where he grew flowers and
used that to make maalais for Him. 
At that time nobody was willing to volunteer to do this as the mountains and the jungle
(at that time) were considered to have lions, tigers etc. Ananthaazhvaar volunteered
and was assigned this work. They say that Ramanujar called him
'neer thaan anantha AaN pillayO', and that name stuck as Ananthaazhvaar.
People also started calling him Thirumalai Anandanpillai (which,
btw, is my last name as my family is supposed to have descended
from Ananthaazhvaar).I forgot his real name though.

An interesting Aside:
Do you know the reason for the 'pacchai kalpooram' in the chin of Srinivasar?
The reason is :
Ananthaazhvaar's daughter was AlarmElmangai (Lakshmi in 'earthly' form).
One day, while coming from the thottam early in the morning, Ananthaazhvaar
saw them together. He had  a 'maNvetti' in his hand. He did not know who the
person with AlarmElmangai was. When Srinivasar saw Ananthaazhvaan, he started to
go back to His temple. Ananthaazhvaar threw the manvetti on the Lord. 

Later, when Ananthaazhvaar went to the temple to perform his duties, he saw
blood oozing from the Lord's chin, which was where the maNvetti had hit.
He immediately realized what had happened, and applied 'pacchai kalpooram'
on His chin. That is the reason why it is still there.

Later, he gave his daughter AlarmElmangai in marriage to Him. 
The thottam is still there behind the temple, and every year during
Ananthaazhvaar's nakhshattiram, utsavar goes to the thottam, and does
some 'mariyaadhai' to a small stone installed there to represent 
Ananthaazhvaar's body (It was cremated there).

Ananthaazhvaar is considered to be an avataaram of Adisesha.