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Sri Manavala Mamunighal, the best loved acharya of Sri Vaishnavam

From: Narasimhan, Arvind (CTS) (
Date: Tue Nov 09 1999 - 15:48:16 PST

srimate ramanujaya namah

Dear devotees,

In view of the ongoing Manavalamamunighal's thirunatshatinam
celebrations, we would like to share some gems on the glory of
the achariyan's thaniyan shared by  Sri U.Ve.Kanchi Maha vidwan
Sri PB Anangracharya swami in his writings,  quoted  by Sri
U.Ve. Velukkudi V Krishnan swami  in his recent discourse.
Manavalamamunighal and Azhagia manavalan.

It is well known that Swami Manavalamamunighal thaniyan was spontaneously
presented by Alagia manavalan the presiding deity of Sri Rangam.
Our poorvachariyars are known to  relish every iota of
Emperuman's kalayana gunams as revealed by Him to the 12 Azhwars
and other rishis, and this taniyan is no exepcetion.

That Emperuman whose lotus feet is sought after by great
maharishis, had this particular desire to embrace the lotus feet
of an acharyan by becoming a Sisyan !. When Emperuman desires
something, he had to Himself descend as the desired to have
complete joy in that rasa.

Sriman Narayanan wanted to enjoy the role of acharyan, he himself
got incarnated  as an excellent disciple - Naran at

When our Perumal wanted to enjoy thiruvaradhanam, he needed
himself as Charavarthi Thirumagan to worship his archai, Alagia

Though our Emperuman was always the best sishayan, he  hardly had
the best archariyan. Visvamitrar and Sandipani muni in Rama and
Krishna avatharam did not meet His expectations.

As usual to have complete joy of being a  sishya,  it so
appeared to Emperuman that  only he should descend as a perfect
achariyan. We will see this thaniyan of His Holiness   Sri
Manavalamamunigal  in  this context

SrisailESa dayApatram dhIbhaktyAdi gunArnavam
yatIndra pravanam vandE ramyajAmAtaram munim

1. SAILESA DAYAPATHRAM :- This can be taken as Chakravarti
Thirumagan becoming a servant of Sugrivan. Saila = mountain = riSyamUka 
parvatam. sailEsa = owner of this mountain = matangar . dayApatram = 
matangamunivar's kripa = on sugriva. Sugriva escaped death only due to this 
parvata. So saiEsa dayapatram = sugriva. Rama first said sailEsa dayapatram 
vande. (lOkanatha: purA bhUtva sugrIvam nathanmichati)

However Sugrivan forgot to keep up his promise to assist Ramar
and Laksmanar to find mother Sita as soon as he became the king
of Kishkinda. Thus Ramar, who is known for keeping up his word
found difficulty to owe this kalyana gunam to his abimana
natha Sugrivan. He was not happy with saluting sugriva.

Now with  SRI +  SAILESA DAYAPATHRAM, (MM = bestowed with the grace of 
tiruvoimozi pillai) He celebrated MM as his
achariyan and  glorifies him as one who is the faultless
recipient of SriSailesar causeless mercy.

2. dhIbhatyAdi gunArnavam

Emperuman next celebrates that his achariyan  is the abode of a
countless auspicious kalayana gunams.

Again Chakravathi Thirumagan sought the favour of
samudrarajan( who rules the ocean), who is the abode of opulent
wealths like pearls,. Pavazham, and other precious gems and did
saranagathi to him - arnavam vande - However Ramar who promises to protect 
any one who even surrenders to him once could never owe this kalyana gunam 
to his then natha Samudhrarajan who never even heeded
to Emperuman's request, inspite of Ramar waiting for 3 days at
the seashore. Again Rama was not happy by having samudra raja (arnavam ) as 
his natha.

Our Lord rejoices that his achariyan MM is the abode of Bhakthi,
Jnanam, Vairaghyam and other countless kalyana gunams. Thus
Emperuman takes refuge of MM' who is the source of  gem like
kalyana gunams leaving Samudrajan whose gems -  pearls and
diamonds have little value thence.


Now Alagiamanavalan sought Sri Ramanujar as  his achariyan when
Emperumanar stamped  him with shanku. and chakram at
thirupathi( Ramanujar defended that   Lord  of Tirumala Hills Sri
Thiruvengadamudayan was Sriman  Narayana Himself  against  the
claims of the Saivaites who falsely  proclaimed Tirumala Hills to
be the abode of Siva, by doing panchasamskaram to the deity )
Srinivasa = ranganatha.

Again he had a  problem !!. As Emperuman, He always reveals Himself the best

  only to   those who are devoted  to his devotees, (adiyarkku  adiyar) 
rather than to his own direct devotees. Emperuman showed Himself more to 
Nammazhwar's blessed disciple Madhurakavi alwar than to even NammAzhwar.

"tirithandakilum teva piranudai kariakola tiruuru kanpan naan." Madhukavikal

who was bent upon not looking at polinda ninra piran now says that he saw 
him. Why ? Nammalwar is crying and longing to have a glimpse of the Lord but

the Lord never came before him. Now he is wanted giving darsan to 
Madhurakavikal who does not want to see him. "madbhakta bhakteshu prIti: 
abhyadhiko bhavet.' arul peruvar adiyar tam adiyanerku azhiyan arul taruvan 
is the verse of nammalwar.

Now Yatirajar was Emperuman's direct devotee, much like Swami
Nammazhwar. Finally Nammperumal celebrates MM as "YATHINDRA
PRAVANAM" - whose Thirumeni is nothing but the limitless mercy of
Swami Ramanujar in visible form.

To conclude, Emperuman justified that HIS achariyan   Manavala
mamunighal was the abode of all perfections,   in as much as :

1. Manavala mamununighal is the faithful disciple of SriSailesar
who comes in the venerable Srivaishnava acharya paramparai.
Sishyar alagia manavalan would receive all praises sung on Him
with grace since He is now associated with this unparalleled  Sri
vaishnava sampradayam through Manavalamunighal

2. Manavala mamunighal is the abode of countless nitya kalyana
gunams. If somebody praises the nitya kalyana gunams of Alagia
manavalan,  he can rejoice that all his good qualities are due to
the mercy of his acharyan Manavala mamunighal alone.

3.  Most importantly Manavala manunighal is the embodiment  of
"RAMANUJA BAKTHI" and Bhagavath Ramanujar being the special
favourite of Sri Ranganathar.

JIYAR tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam!!
JIYAR  tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam !!