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Re: PeriyAzhwAr Thirunakshathram- why is he called PeriyAzhwAr?

Ramanbil_at_aol.com
Date: Mon Jun 28 1999 - 18:35:25 PDT

Dear Sri Madhava Kannan
Thank you for a masterly write up on Periyalwar. I wonder if I may supplement 
your brilliant contribution with a pedestrian attempt I made on why 
Periyalwar is so called - from an article I wrote a few years ago. I give 
below excerpts from that article.
Dasoham
Anbil Ramaswamy
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Vishnuchitta was called " Periya Alwar" - the great Alwar  for very many 
reasons :

1. It is the greatness of his love for the Lord that made him pour out the 
Pallandu hymns.

2. Ordinarily. only elders would bless the young ones for a long life.
"Periya' means elder and therefore he was called Periyalwar. To the objection 
that such an attitude was 'unnatural' ( Swarupa Viruddham), Pillai Lokacharya 
has argued that as it was a 'Mangala Aasaasanam', it was quite in order and 
because IT WAS A STRANGE CASE OF KNOWLEDGE RIPENING INTO AN IGNORANCE OF 
SORTS DUE TO AN EXTRAORDINARY LOVE AND AFFECTION. 

3. King Janaka laid a challenge through the Siva Dhanus in Sri Sita's 
marriage; Kumbar, the Aayar Chief laid a challenge in the form of the 7 bulls 
in the marriage of Nappinnai; But, Vishnuchitta laid no challenges in the 
marriage of his daughter, Andal because of his obvious conviction that in due 
time, 'THE OWNER WOULD CLAIM WHAT HE OWNED.'

4. It is natural to honor anyone who brings relief from suffering. That is 
how Rishyasringa was honoured when rains came to the parched land of  
Angadesa as he set foot there. Vishnuchitta also performed a similar miracle. 
When a famine raged in the northern city of Kandam Kadinagar on the banks of 
Ganges, he was invited to the city to solve the crisis. As he set foot there, 
welcome rains showered and the place was relieved of the famine. His 
greatness was honored. Periyalwar himself is said to  refer to this incident 
thus "Venkali Naliyaa Vittuchittar"

5. Parasara who wrote Vishnu Purana known as Purana Ratna deals with the 
story of Sri Krishna only in the 5th Amsa of his work; Sukhabrahmam who wrote 
Srimad Bhaagavatam has dealt with the story of Krishna only in the 10 th 
Skaandam; But, Vishnuchitta fills his entire Tirumozhi with the story of Lord 
Krishna vividly portraying every detail of the Lord's childhood ' leelas ' in 
his own inimitable style.

6.Another esoteric aspect concerning Periyalwar that really makes him ' 
Periya' is the fact that he is the incarnation of Garuda. Garuda reincarnated 
himself as Ajuna's chariot and as such he witnessed the Lord delivering the 
Baghavad Gita - especially the Charama Sloka to Arjuna. Thus, apart from 
Arjuna, he was the one who was the direct recipient of the Lord's message.  
Andal refers to this when she says "Meymei Peru Vaarthai Vittu Chittar 
Kettiruppaar".' Vaarthai' is Moolamantram;' Peru Vaarthai is the Mantra Ratna 
of Dwayam and ' Meymei Peru Vaarthai ' is the Charama sloka.

7. He was great also in a different way. He became the father- in- law of 
Lord Vishnu when his daughter, Andal married the Lord. - - an honor none else 
could claim.
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