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Sri Alavandhar: How did Sri Yamunacharya get this name?
Date: Fri Mar 30 2001 - 10:14:23 PST

Sri Mattapally Nadham Pranathosmi Nithyam Namaha
When Sri Yamunacharya was  a small boy studying in a gurukulam , Akki 
Azhwan was the Asthana vidwan in Chola king's court. Akki 
was interested in establishing his supremacy by defeating
contemporary vidwans in debates. In the process of inviting vidwans 
for the debates, the servants came to the gurukulam. The guru was not 
around and Sri Yamunacharya attended to them. When he was told that 
the guru should perform vAdham with the Asthana vidwan, Sri 
Yamunacharya said "Why trouble the guru for this ? Let me come".
After  king's consent the servants took him in a palanquin. Enroute 
Sri Yamunacharya was reciting a slOkam which meant "we are not mere
poets; not book worms who merely memorize vyAkarana soothrAs; we are 
the simhams who can climb and dance on top of the opponent elephants".

As the palanquin was nearing the palace the king and queen looking at 
the young Sri Yamunacharya from the upparikai guesstimated  the 
outcome of the debate. The king felt that the boy will be defeated
and the queen felt otherwise. Each was so sure of their judgement that
the queen said "If the kid does not win I will relinquish the title 
and become a slave". The king said , "If the kid wins I will give him 
half the rAjyam".

The debate began and Akki Azhwan magnanimously (euph) gave a chance
to Sri Yamunacharya to test him. Sri Yamunacharya said "DevarEr
should negate whatever adiyEn says. Then you win; otherwise 
otherwise". And he gave the Azhwan 3 statements to negate:
1.DevarEr's mother is Not barren.
2.This king is a sArvabauvman.
3.This queen is  a pathivradhai.

Azhwan was in no way able to negate any of the above statements and
he conceded.Since some traces of mamadhai was still in him he said,
"I cannot answer these; I believe neither can you. If you can I will 
become your dAsan".

The young Sri Yamunacharya started negating each of the statements 
1.DevarEr's mother is Not barren. On Negation it becomes 'DevarEr's 
mother IS barren'.Crows and plantain tree reproduce only once.
SAstram classifies them as barren.You are the only son to your
mother. And so your mother can also be called a barren.

2.The king is a sArvabauvman. On Negation it becomes 'king is Not a 
sArvabauvman'a sArvabauvman should be ruling all the seven dweepams. 
The sun should never set in his land. This king is only ruling the 
Chola kingdom a small portion in this earth let alone the seven 
dweepams. How can he be called a sArvabauman.

3.The queen is a pathivradhai. On negation it becomes She is NOT a 
pathivradhai.As per sAstra, the Athma of the Stree born unto this 
earth is first with the Chandran. It later comes to the gantharvar
who later pass it on to Agni. One of the mantras recited during the 
wedding says "bhoolOgathilirukkira manidhanAna varanukku indha pennai 
(moonru paeridam irundhavalai) kodukiraen". That being the case is it 
not correct to say that the queen is Not a pathivradhai?

When Sri Yamunacharya defended thus, the queen rushed forward towards 
him with astonishment and said "emmai Ala vandhErO !" (You have come 
to rule me!). And thus Sri Yamunacharya came to be also known as Sri 

(excerpted from Sri Mukkur Swami's Kurai Onrum Illai Vol. 2)

Rajagopalan Srinivasan

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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