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On the title - periyAzhwAr

From: Dr. S.R.Marur (
Date: Tue Jun 29 1999 - 03:27:36 PDT

Dear Members,

As srI. Madhavakkannan mentioned in his post,

a) NammAzhwAr decalres that he wouldn't let the Lord leave him

b) PeriyAzhwAr prays for a relationship without any gap in his second
verse itself with the Lord and

c) pEyAzhwAr describes his dharshan without any fear of possible
from Sriman Narayanan.

If "...pEyAzhwAr did not have fear of losing Him, nor was he worried
about and started with his kshEthraadnam with other two AzhwArs ..",
then, it can be argued that, it indicates his supreme confidence in the
*eternal* nature of his relationship with the Lord. It can then be
observed that compared to the other two Azhwars who were concerned about

the continuity of their relationship, the quite confident pEyAzhwAr had
had an edge for the title - Periya Azhwar.

If the reasoning for the title to Bhattar pirAn is that in his
second verse itself he had expressed his longing for an everlasting
relationship with Lord while NammAzhwAr had to wait for 1000 pAsurams
- ie lesser the number, greater the chances for the title - then here
also, the title should have been conferred on pEyAzhwAr : He had no
pAsurams at the time of his vision of Lord and more importantly he had
the confidence of eternal continuation of his association with Him.

But, it didn't happen. It can then be concluded, a posteriori, that the
longing for an eternal relationship with lord 'at an earlier point of
time' alone could not have been the basis for the award of this title.
It transpires that the important factor that could have clinched the
title clearly in favour of VishNu chitthar could be this:

As soon as he was blessed with the vision of the Lord on Garuda,
instead of either enjoying His divine beauty or attempting to seek for
any (spiritual/temporal) favours, this AzhwAr became quite concerned
about the possible ill-effects of 'dhrishti/nazar' on the Lord.
came out the pAsuram - 'pallAndu pallAndu".

Here, his reaction is exactly the same as that of a mother who sees
her beautiful but scantly clad child coming out of the house to the
street crowded by her neighbours. Her foremost thought and reaction
would be to pick up and get the child into the house and most
importantly to do the 'dhrishtip parikAram' *at once*. VishNu chitthar
did the same to the Lord.

The mother like behaviour towards the 'mother and father less'
(ammai-appan-illA) Sriman Narayana *alone* might have earned the
title 'Periya-AzhwAr' to Bhattar PirAn.