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Re: Pitamahasyapi Pitamahaya...

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Tue Sep 17 1996 - 15:35:20 PDT

A few more notes on Srisaila Purna, more commonly known
as Periya Thirumalai Nambi, disciple of Yamunacharya and
the acharya who taught Ramanuja Sri Ramayanam.

Periya Thirumalai Nambi was one of the few people who
lived on top of Thirumalai itself in the vicinity of 
the Venkatesvara temple.  In those days, the Thirumalai temple
complex was a far cry from the busy, populated town it is now.
Aside from the Vaikhanasa priests and their families, very
few others lived on Thirumalai -- the conditions just did
not permit it.

Periya Thirumalai Nambi performed the kainkaryam of tending
the flower garden (nandavanam) for Srinivasa PerumaaL.  To
maintain the garden properly, he also constructed a tank 
which was fed from naturally occurring groundwater.  These
can still be seen today, according to books on Thirupathi. 

As mentioned by others, Periya Thirumalai Nambi would come
down daily to teach Sri Ramayanam to Ramanuja, who lived at
the base of Thirumalai.  He would have to leave well before
sundown so he could make the trek back up the hill to perform
his evening kainkaryams.  The site where he and Ramanuja
would discuss  the Ramayanam is apparently still preserved
to this day.  I forget the name of it -- aazhvaar mantapam
or nammaazvhaar mantapam, something like that -- but it is
not on the path up Thirumalai that most people travel these

This acharya also engaged himself in various other kainkaryams
for ThiruvEngada PerumaaL.  This is why one of the biggest
sannidhis (outside of PerumaaL and Thaayaar, of course) in
keezh thirupathi (lower thirupathi -- Govindaraja PerumaaL temple,
established by Ramanuja) is dedicated to him.