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"Followup on Thiruvegha"

From: Lakshmi N Srinivasa (
Date: Mon Oct 28 1996 - 19:41:40 PST

Dear members of the net,
I would like to share with you the vaibhavam of thirumazhisai azhwar and
the lord. This is a long mail and i am sorry for any mistakes.

Thirumazhisai azhwar and Sonna vannam seida perumal:

History of nayanmars and azhwars describes the bhakthi or love to lord 
(shiva and narayana) in many ways. Lord narasimha came to the rescue of 
prahlada out of daya and compassion. At one extreme, the lord bursts his 
anger on hiranyakasipu in this avatar. On the other hand, the lord 
narayana is commanded by Thirumazhisai azhwar in this thiruvilaiyadal. 
Lord is extremely silent and he is in absolute faith of our thirumazhisai 
azhwar (his bhaktha). There are probably a few occasions where a great 
bhakthiman like thirumazhisai ahzwar is in complete control of the lord. 
I hope to provide a glimpse of thirumazhisai azhwar vaibhava with the 
lord of thiruvegha in this e-mail.

Thirumazhisai azhwar, a disciple of peyazhwar was residing in Mylapore for 
some time. He then shifted to Mahisarpuram (now known as thirumazhisai) 
and was performing his nitya karmas consistently. One fine morning, our 
great azhwar finds his thiruman to be lost somewhere. Lord Srinivasar 
appeared in the dream of our azhwar that night and asked him to go to 
Thiruvegha in Kanchipuram. Lord srinivasar also added that he will get 
thiruman from the bank of the tank in the temple (full of lotus flowers 
in it---It is sad to note that such a beautiful tank is completely in a 
neglected state now.). 

/* The following paragraph also has other versions */

Abiding by divine ordain, thirumazhisai azhwar went to thiruvegha and 
performed his daily pooja to Yadokthakari perumal. Kanikannan came to 
know of our azhwar's devotion and hence became a disciple of our azhwar. 
A devadasi was also in the temple and her job was to clean the temple, 
and to make a garland for the lord in the temple. She was very old. Once, 
thirumazhisai azhwar asked our devadasi about whether she desired to get 
anything in her life. She replied that she would like to be a very rich 
lady in the next janma (she can't become rich in this janma) and  use the 
money for the temple. Thirumazhisai azhwar then sprinkled holy water on 
her and she became unconsious. Azhwar asked kanikannan to lock her in a 
room. Kanikannan though baffled by azhwar's action, did as commanded by guru.

Azhwar now asked kanikannan about what he wanted to achieve in his life. 
Not knowing to answer this question, kanikannan told that thirumazhisai
azhwar should stay with kanikannan throughout his life. Thirumazhisai
azhwar granted this boon to him. Kanikannan was totally puzzled by
azhwar's question and his action. The next day, kanikannan heard someone
knocking the door from inside of the room where the devadasi was locked.
Opening the door, kanikannan was in for another surprise. He sees the same
devadasi but not the old one but a young 16 year old girl. Azhwar has
given the next janma to the devadasi in a day. This news increased the
fame of azhwar. 

The pallava king came to the temple and fell in love with the 16 
year old cupid. The king marries the girl. Now, our azhwar has made her 
rich. Before marrying the king, the girl asks for lot of money, jewels 
and land for our thiruvegha temple. The king grants a lot of money and 
land for our temple. The pallava king was old. "Asai yaarai than vittudu".
The pallava rajan had a desire of becoming young and asks the queen (our 
young girl) to fetch for Thirumazhisai azhwar. She says that 
thirumazhisai azhwar will not come and told him to call kanikannan. 

Kanikannan was immediately fetched by the king. The king asked kanikannan
to call thirumazhisai azhwar to the court. Kanikannan informed that azhwar
will not leave for any place. In the mean time, the king also heard that
kanikannan was a poet. This prompted him to ask kanikannan to sing a poem
in praise of the king. Kanikannan was overcome with anger and told him he
will only sing in praise of the lord. He would rather prefer to sing in
praise of a wood (marakattai) than the king.. The king thought that this
is the limit and ordered kanikannan to leave kanchi (nadu kadathal)
immediately. Kanikannan went and appraised the incident to his guru and
then told him that he is ready to leave kanchi.  Thirumazhisai azhwar
(remeber the boon to kanikannan) felt that he should not be in a city
where bhagavatha apacharam takes place. Thirumazhisai azhwar meditates on
yadokthakari perumal and commands the lord to come with him

"Kanikannan Pogindran Kamarupoongachi 
Manivanna Nee kidakka Venda -- Thunivudaiya
Senna Pulavanum Poginren Neeyum un than 
Painnagap pai surutikol"

Meaning: Kanikannan is leaving! OH! lord of Kachi filled with lovely flowers!
Do not lie: Courageous Poet is also going.Get ready to leave by winding 
up the snake bed.  (Please forgive me for my poor literal translation).

/* I am using the word "commanded by thirumazhisai". In this poem, it 
seems to me that azhwar does not request the lord and instead commands 
him NEe kidakka venda, pai surutikol*/

Prompted by thirumazhisai azhwar, the lord prepares to leave kanchi.
Now, kanikannan, thirumazhisai azhwar and his lord "Sonna vannam sida 
perumal" leaves kanchi. After walking for around 4 miles from Kanchi, 
Kanikannan and azhwar were tired. They reached a place (4 miles away 
from kanchi) and rested under a banyan tree. The lord also rested there 
with our azhwar and disciple. This place is called "Or iravu irukkai" as 
all the three rested under the tree for a night. (Or= one, Iravu = night,
Irukkai = bed). Now, the name of this place is degraded and called as 
"ORIKKAI".  In the mean time Kanchi lost its light and fell under a 
gloom. Wolves and dogs began to cry.  Kanchi seemed to be like a haunted 
town. The king immediately realized his mistake and went to orikkai and 
apologized to thirumazhisai azhwar. Azhwar asked him to ask the forgivance 
of kanikannan and so did the king. Kanikannan and thirumazisai azhwar 
were requested by the king to come back to kanchi. Hence, thirumazhisai 
azhwar and his retinue now went back to thiruvegha. Here azhwar 
beautifully commands the lord to rest in his place.

"Kanikannan pokozhindan kaamarupoongachi manivanna
Nee kidakkavendum -- Thunivudaya 
senna pulavanum pokozihnden neeyumun
painnagap pai virithukol"

Meaning: Kanikannan has dropped his idea of leaving. Oh lord of the 
kaamarupoongachi - rest in your place. Courageous senna poet is also not 
going anywhere. You also rest in your place by laying your snake bed.

/* I could not find a better substitute for "senna"*/

A beauty in these two poems are, thirumazhisai azhwar changes only some 
words to give the other meaning. For example, poginran and pokozhindan, 
Kidakka venda and kidakka vendum, Poginren and Pokozhinden, Surutikol and 
virithukol. All these are opposite meaning words with little change in 
their aplphabets. Moreover, azhwar addresses kanikannan and lord 
directly. Azhwar leaves his aham in this poem. He could have written 
"thunivudaya senna pulavan naanum poginren". This shows azhwar's 
surrendering of ego to lord. This lord is called "Sonna vannam seida 
perumal" because he did things as ordered by the azhwar.

I had the fortune to visit this temple and other azhwar padal petra
sthalams in kanchi. Each temple in Kanchi (both vaishnavite and saivite)
has its own history to tell.  The pallavas and krishnadevaraya have
patronized these temples. Vaikunta nathar is another divya desam in which
most of the sculptures have become worn out. Archealogical society of
India is supposed to preserve this temple.I humbly request the members to
uplift this temple as this temple is one of the most neglected temple in
Kanchi. I also make a request to the members of this net to go to all the
divya desams in kanchi.

----sonna vannam seida perumal thiruvadigale charanam---
----Thirumazhisai azhwar thiruvadigale charanam----

Lakshmi Narasimhan Srinivasa

Vanamali Gati Saarngee Changee chakreecha Nandaki
Sriman NarayanoVishnur Vasudevobi Rakshatu
------Parayana Sloka in Vishnu Sahasranama-----

Lakshmi N. Srinivasa,,