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Azhwars Nitya suris or baddha jivatmas

From: Bharadwaj, Jaganath (
Date: Wed Nov 12 1997 - 08:17:49 PST

When I was in India, I put the question to Sri Srivatsarangachariar, the
prime disciple of Uththamoor Veer Raghavachariar as to whether the
Azhwars are Nitya Suris or baddha jivatmas, simply by their being on

He told me that in the Vadagalai tradition, Swami Desikan made it very
clear that the Azhwars are incarnations of the Shankhu etc and are Nitya
Suris.  He also mentioned that in the Tengalai tradition the Azhwars are
considered baddha jivatmas who got moksham at the end of that life.  I
guess as far as we are concerned, Sri Bhuvarahacharya Swami has stuck
faithfully to his tradition.  Vadagalais do not have to accept this part
of his message, but can take the message of remembering the Azhwars and
their works as an instruction from Sriman Narayana.  What I gathered
from my discussions with and various Upanyasams I have heard from Sri
Srivatsarangachariar, is that Nitya Suris and mukta jivatmas can and do
take avatarams to serve Sriman Narayana in the leela vibhuti.