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svAmi maNavALa mAmuni's vaibhavam - part 3

tavaradhan_at_yahoo.com
Date: Thu Oct 18 2001 - 10:58:38 PDT

srImathE saTakOpAya namah
srImathE rAmAnujAya namah
srImathE anantArya mahAguravE namah
srImathE vara vara munayE namah

dear bhAgavathAs,

I will continue with the paraphrasing of some parts of
yatIndra pravaNap prabhAvam. This post contains
portions of our AchAryA's life when he first moved to
srIrangam,his pilgrimage to thirupathi/ kanchipuram/
sriperumbudur, his return to srirangam and his taking 
sanyasashramam.

The previous email ended with srI. AM nAyanAr reaching
srIrangam after having performed maNgaLasAsanams at
srIvillipuththUr and thirumAlirunchOlai.

When srI. AM nAyanAr reached srIrangam with his
sishyAs,
he went straight to the house of an acharya called
kOttUril aNNar. This acharya took srI. AM nAyanAr to
the then adhipathi of the temple, srI thirumaalai
thandha perumaal bhattar, who took srI. AM nAyanAr to
the temple escorted by scores of srivaishnavas to
perform mangalasasanams to Lord ranganatha. After
performing mangalasasanams to the Lord, nayanar went
to the houses where the previous acharyas
(emperumanar,
embar, bhattar, nanjiyar, nampillai etc..) lived and
performed obeisances at each place. After that
sri nayanar stayed at srirangam, listening from the
elders about the previous acharyas. One day, when sri.
nayanar went to  the temple to perform mangalasasanams
to perumal, the Lord commanded him as follows - 
"You stay here just as our ramanuja did, taking care
of my work, and spreading the rahasya granthas till 
the time you leave your body", which sri. nayanar
took as a great gift and accepted the command readily.

after taking permission from Lord ranganatha, for
a short period, srI. nayanar undertook a pilgrimage
of thirupathi, sriperumbudur, kanchipuram and enroute,
went to sholingur and thirukkovalur.

in thirumalai, the following is quoted by our elders
as a proof of svami's greatness - it was the first
day of the 10 day annual (purattasi) brahmotsavam
in thirumalai. The elder jIyar at thirumalai (this
maTam was established by ramanuja when he visited
thirumalai, with the duty of the jiyar of that maTam
being to oversee the affairs of the temple - the 
name of this pIta in tamizh is "periya kELvi appan
rAmAnuja jIyar" - i.e. the jIyar who oversees/
questions the affairs of the temple) had a dream
where he saw a glorious, beautiful, resplendent
with tEjas srivaishNava in the lying down posture,
with his head on the west, legs on the east and
facing south. This srivaishnava was the length of
the entire mountain and at his feet was a glowing
sanyasi. In the dream, further, periya keLvi jIyar
asked the people around him as to who those two were,
to which they replied that the glorious one who
was lying down was sri. azhagia manavala nayanar and
the sanyasi at his feet was ramanuja jiyar (
ponnadikkal jiyar, 1st jiyar of vanamamalai mutt).

periya kELvi appan jiyar narrated this dream to
thozappangar (descendant of periya thirumalai nambi,
one of the heriditary caretakers of the thirupathi
temple) just before the nalayira divya prabhandam
goshti was about to begin for the day. many other
srivaishnavas in the goshti, on listening to this
were very pleased and everyone was eagerly hoping
that this glorious srivaishnava would come to
thirupathi for the utsavam.

sri nayanar then reached thirupathi/thirumalai, and
all the srivaishnavas there received him with full
respect and took him to all the sannadhis where
he performed mangalasasanams. A mention is
made of the ramanuja sannadhi inside the temple
(along with other sanandhis - varadarajar,
azhagiyasingar..), the only sannadhi for someone
other than perumAL on the hill. This sannadhi was 
established by srI. anantAzhvAr immediately after
ramanuja left this world, and our elders have 
consciously avoided building sannadhis for any other 
azhvar/acharya on the hill, since the belief of our
acharyas is that the hills themselves are very
holy (peria thirumalai nambi used to crawl on
the hills to go to the temple, not wanting his
feet to touch the holy hills).

After that, sri nayanar went to kanchipuram where
he performed mangalasasanams to Lord varadaraja,
and the Lord at the other divya desams in 
kanchipuram, then he went to sriperumbudur where
ramanuja commanded him to go to kanchipuram
and learn/preach sribhasya. The first post in
the series contained the details about svAmi's
greatness with respect to learning/expounding
on sribhasya. 

After leaving kanchipuram, sri nayanar went back
to srirangam, where he felt that the grhastashrama
life was an impediment to perform unimpeded
kainkarya to the Lord. So, he took permission 
from Lord ranganatha and took sanyasashramam
from srI. satakOpa jIyar, a contemporary of
him and a great jiyar of the ramanuja sampradaya 
who was residing in srirangam then. the Lord
had commanded both sri. nayanar as well as
sri. satakOpa jiyar about His wish to have
sri. nayanar take sanyasashramam.

After receiving sanyasashramam, he went to 
the sannadhi of the Lord. The Lord gave him
His own name - "azhagiya maNavALa mAmuni", and
gifted him what used to be the pallavarayan
maNtapam. This maNtapam was originally used
during ramanuja's time by srI. aatkoNdavilli
jIyar as his maTam and his aradhana moorthy
was called "ennai theemanam keduththar"
{the one who removed my ignorance - this is
a very rough paraphrasing of the phrase, I
will get a better version from elders here
in the next few days - Varadhan}. After him
for various reasons, it was in a state of
disuse and was used later as a ramanuja 
kUtam by a srivaishnava called pallavaraya,
and then was not used after his time.

The Lord gifted this maTam and commanded the
archakas and srivaishnavas to lead srI.
maNavALa mAmuni to the maTam, and presented
him with all prasadams appropriate for
a great sanyAsi. srI. maNavALa mAmuni then
repaired this maNtapam with the help of
his shisyas, built a discourse room called
"thirumalai azhvar" named after thirvaymozhi
piLLai. It is further mentioned in the book
that srI. maNavALa mAmunigaL made it a point
to bring the sand and material from where
srI. piLLai lOkAchAriAr used to live and
built this maTam with that material - i.e.
srI. MM treated this maTam as srI. PL's
house and his stay there as gurukulavasam.
In the thirumalai AzhvAr maNtapam, svAmi
MM performed upanyasams of sastras, the
nAlAyira divya prabhandham and rahasya
granthas. {To this day, one can see this
mutt, and the thirumalai azhvar mantapam
in srirangam - in the east corner of
south uttara street - this sannadhi and 
the mutt is maintained by the descendants
of srI. MM}

I will continue in the next post.

AzvhAr emperumAnar jIyar thiruvadigaLE saraNam,
adiyEn madhurakavi dAsan,
varadhan


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