You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : Rituals: April 2002

[sv-rituals] Shri MaduraKavi Alwar

From: sumithra varadarajan (
Date: Fri Apr 26 2002 - 07:31:21 PDT

Sri Parthasarathi thunai,
Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha


Today is Madurakavi Alwar's Thirunakshatram let us all
talk about the greatness of shri Madurakavigal.  All
of us know that in the whole of the Nalaayira Divya
Prabhandam only the 11 paasurams of Madurakavigal
doesn’t  praise the bhagavan instead it talks about
the magimai of sri Nammazhvar, aacharya of
 Madurakavigal was a Brahmana by birth and he was far
elder than Sri Nammazhvar and also well versed in
Vedas and highly educated.  But shri Madurakavigal 
smashed the pride of being a brahmana or elder by age
or well educated and surrendered to the feet of Shri
Nammazhvar who was supposed to be the incarnation of
Shri Vishvaksenar.
Sri Manavala Mamunigal in his Upadesa Ratnamalai sings
the praise of Madurakavigal as follows,

“ Arar Madurakavi evvulagil vandudiththa
Seerarum Chitiraiyil Chitirainal- paarulagil
Mattrulla aazhvargal vanduditha naalgalilum
Vuttradu endru nenje oor”           (25)
Sri Mamunigal praises this day, chitiraiyil chitirai
on which day shri Madurakavigal came to this earth to
show us the right path which will lead us directly to
moksham.  So he says praise this day more than the
Thirunakshatram days of the other alwars who has taken
birth.  Oh my mind meditate on this day about the
great Madurakavi Alwar.  The other alwars showed the
feet of emperuman which is very difficult for the
jeevatmas filled with paavam to attain but shri
Madurakavigal showed the feet of shri Nammazhvar
(aacharya) who is full of mercy and forgives our
mistakes and leads us to the feet of the Emperuman.
In our sampradayam, we regard aacharyas more important
than the bhagavan himself since our acharyas lead us
to the bhagavan’s feet whereas Emperuman stops with
saying Mam ekam charanam vraja.  When we are confused,
how to do saranagathi in the feet of Emperuman our
aacharyas come to our help and like guiding a kid they
guide us to the Emperuman’s feet .  

In the next paasuram Shri Mamunigal continues to say
about the divine work of Shri Madurakavigal(kanninun

“Vaaitha Thirumandiraththin madhimamam padam pol
seertha madurakavi seikalayai – Aarthapugazh
Aariyargal thangal arulichchayal naduve
Saerviththar tharpariyum therindu”

Like the middle word in the Thirumandiram Shri
madurakavigal’s Kanninun Chiruthambhu has been added
in between the arulichayal of the alwars due to the
importance of the meaning in these paasurams.

Now that we have seen the magimai of shri
Madurakavigal and his work from the words of Shri
Mamunigal let us see some interesting explanations
regarding Kanninun Chiruthambu.
In the 8th paasuram Madurakavigal says ‘Arul kondadum
adiyavar enbura arulinan avvarumarain porul arul kondu
Aayiram entamizh paadinan arul kandeer evvvuladinil
mikkadhe’  Here there are 2 explanations given by our
aacharyas.  One is, in this paasuram there is
reference only to Nammazhvar who by his krupai gave
the meaning of the Vedas for the benefit of the
adiyars in the form of sweet 1000 paasurams .  But
then the second explanation shows Madurakavigal’s
Aacharya bhakthi to the maximum according to which the
first arulinan avvarumarain porul refers to the
Geethaacharyan who gave the essence of the Vedas in
his Bhagavat Geetha and the second aayiram entamizh
refers to Sri Nammazhvar’s Thiruvaimozhi.  Here Shri
Madurakavigal questions the readers whose arul is more
the geethacharya’s, who gave the geetha in Sanskrit
which is tough for many people to understand or shri
Nammazhvar’s, who gave the same in a simplified form
in sentamizh understood by all?

Again in the following paasuram shri Madurakavigal
says ‘mikka vediyar vedathtin enporul nirka paadi
ennenjul niruthinan’  Here our aacharyas again show
the greatness of Shri Nammazhvar as a teacher.  Shri
Krishna taught the essence of the Vedas through his
bhagavat geetha to Arjuna.  After completing Krishna
asked arjuna if he understood what all he has told
till now.  Arjuna replied you have told a lot of
things in very high standard but much of it didn’t
stay in my mind but now I am clear in one thing that
what ever you say iam ready to follow.  That was reply
by the shisya(Arjuna) to his Aacharya(Krishna). But
here the disciple of Nammazhvar Shri Madurakavigal
says ‘paadi ennenjul niruthinan’ my aacharya has sung
all the veda arthas and put them into my minds.  So
thereby our aacharyas prove that Nammazhvar was a
better teacher than the Geethacharyan himself since
Nammazhvar is able to strongly put all his teachings
in the minds of his disciple.

Though it is a very small work with only 11 paasurams
the depth of meaning in it is extraordinary and that
is why it is placed equal to the other alwar paasurams
and valued even more by our aacharyas.

This was just adiyen’s small effort to talk about the
great Madurakavigal on his Thirunakshtram.  Any errors
in this effort is due to my ignorance and lack of
knowledge.  So may the learned scholars forgive my
mistakes and correct me too.
In connection with my previous postings let me inform
you all that Shri Parthasarathi Brahmotsavam starts
from today in Thiruvallikeni .  And Shri Parthasarathi
would have started all his kolakalams by this time.

Madurakavi Alwar thiruvadigale charanam
Alwar Emperumanar Jeeyer Thiruvadigale Charanam

Adiyen Ramanuja Dasyai
Sumithra Varadarajan

Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Games - play chess, backgammon, pool and more

------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor ---------------------~-->
Buy Stock for $4
and no minimums.
FREE Money 2002.

-- SrImatE rAmAnujAya namaH --


Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to