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svAmi maNavALa mAmuni vaibhavam - part 1
Date: Sat Oct 13 2001 - 09:52:59 PDT

srImathE SatakOpAya namah
srImathE rAmAnujAya namah
srImathE anantArya mahAguravE namah
srImathE vara vara munayE namah

dear bhAgavathAs,

the following is the first posting from 
yatIndrap pravaNa prabhAvam. In this
post, I have paraphrased bits and pieces
relating to svAmi maNavALa mAmunigaL's
avatAram, and the avatAra rahasyam.

The earliest known mention of the avatAra
rahasyam of svAmi maNavALa mAmunigaL happened
during svAmi nampiLLai's time. This incident
happened when srI vadakkuth thiruveedhip
piLLai had finished transcribing the commentary
on thiruvAymozhi of svAmi nampiLLai (known as
eedu 3600ppadi), and svAmi nampiLLai came
to know about the transcription.

svAmi nampiLLai at first was unhappy about
the transcription since it was written without
his command, but later on listening to the
reason for the transcription (for svAmi
VTP to remember the commentary and its
intricacies without forgetting), and seeing 
that the commentary was a word by word
transcription of his own words, he was
very pleased that the thiruvAymozhi
commentary (that waes entirely based on
svAmi nanjIyars earlier work, and thena
added to by svAmi nampiLLai) was available
for everyone.

svAmi nampiLLai then gave the commentary to
his shishya known as eeyuNNi mAdhavap perumAL
for safekeeping, and propagation. eeyuNNi
mAdhavap perumAL was hesitant, thinking that
he was not qualified to do that job, but
svAmi nampiLLai had confidence in his 
abilities, and mentioned the following -

"Listen - Lord varadarAja has appeared in
srI kandAdai thOzhappar's dream (kandAdai
thOzhappar was a shishya of svAmi nampiLLai),
and told the following to him -

jagad rakshaaparO ananthO janishyadhyaparOmuni:
thatharasyaas sadhaachaaraa saathvikaa: thathva

anantAzhvAn, who has a great interest in the 
saving of the universe will take avatAram as
another saint. Those who will be shishyAs of
that saint will be filled with sathvaguNA
and will have the thattvagnyAnA.

Ananta will take another avatAram per the
words of Lord varadarAjA Himself, and he will
spread the holy thiruvAymozhi and this
commentary to the world. So, pass this 
along your shishyavarga so that it may be
available for him."

During the life of svAmi maNavALa mAmuni,
there were multiple instances in which he
had made known His original form to various
people. The following is one of them that 
has been recorded in yatIndrap pravANap
prabhAvam -

svAmi maNAvALa mAmunigaL's original name
was azhagiya maNAvALap perumAL nAyanAr.
In his earlier stages of life, svAmi
undertook to visit many holy places,
and srIperumbUdUr and kAnchipuram were
among the first few that he visited. In
srIperumbUdUr, where nAyanAr was spending
some time, enjoying and worshipping srI
ramAnujA, rAmAnuja commanded him to 
proceed to kAnchipuram. In that command,
in the form of a dream, rAmAnujA said
" Go and meet kidAmbi nAyanAr
and learn from him. After you learn 
srIbhAsya, per my and thiruvAymozhip
piLLai's wish, please spread the word
of the AzhvArs primarily".

svAmi went to kAnchipuram and started
learning srIbhAsya under srI. kidAmbi
nAyanAr, a descendant of srI. kidAmbi AccAn.
ALong with kidAmbi nAyanAr, two other
AchAryAs, selvanAyanR and aigaL appa
taught him srIbhAsya. (The three were
always together and were great friends).

One day, when kidAmbi nAyanAr was teaching
srIbhAshya to AM nAyanAr, aigaL appa
mentioned "The complexity with which
srIbhAsya is being taught is not corresponding 
to the brilliance of AM nAyanAr". At that
time, kidAmbi nAyanAr asked aigaL appa
himself to start teaching AM nAyanAr.
AM nAyanAr started learning srIbhAsya and
also simultaneously started teaching
it to others. Seeing the scholarship,
and the additional deep meanings being
taught by srI AM nAyanAr, aigaL appa
was very happy. kidAmbi nAyanAr too
heard about this, and he came to
the place where AM nAyanAr was giving
the discourse. Upon request of his
shisyAs, svAmi AM nAyanAr gave great
discourse on tarka, mImAmsa and it was
a source of wonder for everyone concerned,
since they were unaware of svAmi's

kidAmbi nAyanAr then requested AM nAyanAr
to give discourses on AzhvAr's works,
and simultaneously, he taught AM nAyanAr
srIbhAshya. kidAmbi nAyanAr was 
continuosly amazed by the scholarship
and ability of AM nAyanAr while he was
teaching the thiruvAymozhi commentary.

One day, when he and AM nAyanAr were
alone, he asked AM nAyanAr about his
true form, telling him "I know certainly
that you have an avatAra visEsha, please
do not hide that from me, please show
me as it is". AM nAyanAr then said
"You are my AchArya, and I will not
hide my true form to you, please do
not let anyone else know about this
rahasya that is due to the Lord's command",
and asked him not to be afraid, and
showed his true form as AdisEshA.

kidAmbi nAyanAr, with some fear,
requested AM nAyanAr to return to his
human form, which he did. After this,
svAmi kidAmbi nAyanAr started bringing
warm milk everyday to svAmi AM nAyanAr,
given that milk is the natural food
for AdisEsha. 

even to this day, for svAmi maNavALa
mAmunigaL, this tradition of offering
warm milk is continued. In the temple of
srI yathOkthakAri svAmi, the icon of
svAmi maNavALa mAmunigAL is depicted
with the "vyAkhyAna mudra", or the
teaching form, the only place where he
is depicted such. This is where svAmi
gave his discourses on srIbhAsya.

I will continue with other aspects of
svAmi's vaibhavam in the next few

AzvAr emperumAnAr jIyar thiruvadigaLE saraNam,
adiyEn madhurakavi dAsan,

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