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SrimatE Raamaanujaaya Namaha //
SrimatE Nigamaanta Mahaa Desikaaya Namaha //
SrIman! SrI Ranga Sriyam anupadravam anudhinam Samvardhaya/
SrIman! SrI Ranga Sriyam anupadravam anudhinam Samvardhaya//
KAvEri VardhathAm kAlE, kAlE varshathu vAsava: /
SrI RanganAthO jayathu Sri Ranga Sri cha VardhathAm//
SRI RANGA SRI VOL.05 / ISSUE # 07 dated 7th December 2003
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The Azhwaar who is an incarnation of Saarangam (the divine bow) of Lord 
Vishnu was born as 'Neelan' in the fourth caste to Ali Nadu Udaiyar and 
Vallitiru at Tiruk kuraiyalur in the year Nala, Kartigai month, full moon 
day (a Thursday) in the constellation of Krittigai. The Chola king presented 
him Ali Nadu, a tributary with capital at Tirumangai and so, he was called 
'Tiru Mangai Mannan'. He was also conferred the title of  'Parakaalan' 
meaning ' death to his enemies'. He rode a horse called Aadal Maa'. He had 
several ministers of repute.

Parakala desired to marry Kumudavalli, the beautiful daughter of a native 
doctor in Travancore. But, Kumudavalli laid a condition that she would marry 
only a person initiated into Vaishnavism. This Parakaala did but then she 
laid another condition that he should agree to feed at least a 1000 
Vaishnavites daily for one year before they could consummate the marriage. 
Parakaala agreed. This proved an expensive exercise sapping the entire 
treasury of Parakaala. By then, he had not been through even half way to the 
target he had agreed to.

He could not remit the fief to the king and after a fight with the royal 
forces he was captured and taken before the king who put him in jail. The 
Lord appeared to Parakaala and told him about a secret place where he could 
find a treasure at Kanchipuram. Parakaala went there with the permission of 
the king and under heavy guard. He found the treasure and offered his 
tribute to the king. The king was amazed at the way he got the treasure and 
permitted Parakala to retain it.

In due course, even this had been spent and Parakaala returned to square 
one. With a view to keeping up his promise to his beloved wife, he resorted 
to highway robbery and with the booty he continued to feed the guests.

One day, the Lord accompanied by his consort Sri Maha Lakshmi took the form 
of a ' just married' couple, bedecked with all the costly ornaments and were 
passing through the hiding place of Parakaala. Parakaala was mighty happy on 
sensing the windfall and immediately pounced on the couple and demanded them 
to surrender all they had. This they did. Parakaala could not lift the 
bundle containing the booty and with his sword unsheathed threatened the 
couple what Mantra they had uttered for disabling him in lifting the loot.

The Lord dragged him near and whispered the Tirumantra in his ear. 
Electrified as he was on receiving the initiation from the Lord himself, 
Parakaala realized the purpose of his birth in this world and started 
pouring out devotional hymns of unsurpassed beauty in praise of the Lord.
His outpourings include ?
(1)     Periya Tirumozhi
(2)     Tirukkurun Taandakam
(3)     Tiru NedumTaandakam
(4)     Tiru vezhuk kurrirukkai
(5)     Siriya Tiru Madal and
(6)     Periya Tiru Madal

He employed four styles called Aasu, Maduram, Chitram and Vittaram in his 
compositions and hence he was called ?Nalu Kavi Perumal?

When he was triumphantly returning, some of the disciples of the Saivaite 
saint, 'Tiru Gnaana Sambandar' intervened and objected to his honorific. He 
argued with Sambandar and finally poured out a hymn commencing with the 
words 'Oru Kural Yiru Nilam'. On listening to the esoteric meaning of this, 
Sambandar acknowledged that Parakaala deserved the honorific and let him go 
on his triumphant march. Later, Tirumangai Azhwaar built the ramparts of 
Srirangam temple without affecting the portion occupied by the flower garden 
of Tondar Adip Podi Azhwaar.

1.      Composed by Tirukkoshtiyur Nambi
Kalayaami kalidvamsam kavim lOka diwaakaram/
Yasya kopi prakaasaabih aavidhyam nihatam tamah //
?I meditate on the great poet (Tirumangai Azhwaar) who dispels the evils of 
kaliyuga like the Sun whose rays dispel darkness?

2.      Composed y Emperumaanaar
Vaazhi Parakaalan Vaazhi kalikanri
Vaazhi kuraiyalur vaazh Vendan ? VaazhiyarO
MaayOnai vaaL valiyaal mantiram koLL MangaiyarkOne
ThooyOn sudarmaana vEL
?Long live Parakaalan1 Long live the one who dispels the evils of Kali1 Long 
live the resident of Kuraiyalur! Long live the one who secured the great 
Mantra from the Lord Himself at the point of his sword! Long live the 
brilliant spear in his hand?

3.      Composed by Koorathaazhwaan
Nenjukku iruL kaDi deepam aDangaa neDum piravi
Nanjukku nall amudam tamizh nannool turaigaL
Anjukku ilakkiyam aaraNa saaram para samaya
Panchuk kanalin pori parakaalan panuvalgaLE
?This work of the Azhwaar destroys my ignorance like beacon light. It acts 
as the very nemesis of the opponents. They are verily the anti-dote for the 
irrepressible and chronic venom of Samsaara. It is decorated with all the 
five basics of the Tamil language called ?Ezhuthu, Soll, PoruL, yaappu and 
aNI. It is the essence of the Vedas. It acts as the spark of fire to the 
cotton bales of other faiths?

4.      Composed by Embaar
YengaL gatiyE! Iraamaanusa muniyE!
Sankai keDuthu aaNDa tava Raasaa! Pongu pugazh
mangaiyarkOne eenda marai aayiram anaithum
tangu manam nee Enakkut thaa
?You are our refuge. Oh! Sage Ramaanuja! You shine as the very Emperor among 
those who are known for their power of penance. Please grant me the 
knowledge of the essence of the 1000 psalms of your work?

5.      Ibid
maalai taniyE vazhi parikka vENum enru
kOLip padivirunda kotravanE! ? vElai
aNaitharuLum kaiyil aDiyEn vinaiyait
thunithu aruLa vENum thunindu
?You deliberately hid yourself and successfully robbed Sriman Narayana 
Himself who cam in the garb of ?just married? couple and secured the 
invaluable mantra from Him. With the hands that wield the spear, please rid 
me of the miseries caused by my own evil deeds?
En nilamai ellaam arivithaal emperumaan
TannaruLum aagamum taaraanEl ? pinnaip pOi
ONDurai neer vElai ulagariya oorvan naan
VaNDarai poom peNNai madal
? If even after hearing my pathetic pleadings, if the Lord does not bless me 
with His grace, I will expose Him resorting to the practice of publishing 
through Palmyra palm leaf, His default to the entire world?

Seearaar tiruvezhuk kootrirukkai ennum santamizhaal
Aaraavamudan kuDantaipiraan tan aDiyiNaik keezh
Eraar maraip poruL ellaam eDuthu iv vulagu uyyavE
SOraamar sonna aruLmaari paadam tuNai namakkE
?Like giving the documents and also all the wealth, the Lord gave to 
Tirumangai Aahwaar not only the great mantra but also showed Himself in 
archaa roopa. The Azhwaar went to holy shrines all over the country and 
composed this work at the feet of Lord Araavamudan of TirukkuDantai, for the 
benefit of the entire world?

Composed by Pillai Tirunaraiyur Araiyar
MuLLi sezhu malarO taaraan muLai madiyam
KoLLkkenn uLLam kodiyaamE ? vaLLal
TiruvaaLan seerk Kaliyan Kaark kaliyai veTTi
MaruvaaLan tandaan maDal
?Tirumangai Azhwwaar did not give me the garland made of thorny flowers but 
out of generosity, he gave the one representing the auspicious qualities of 
the Lord. With sword in hand, he cut asunder the mischief of Kali. Lest I 
should boil over with disappointment in not getting the grace of the Lord, 
he gave this weapon of his poetic composition?

Composed by Pillai Tirunaraiyur Araiyar
Ponnulagil vaanavarum poo magaLum pOtri seyyum
Nannudaleer! Nambi naraiyooraar ? mannulagil
Enn nilamai kaNDum irangaarE yaamaagil
Mannu maDal oorvan vandu
?Oh! Damsels with broad foreheads! If the Lord of SrivaikunTam who is 
accompanied by Nityasooris and Periya PiraaTTi and who has taken His 
permanent abode in Tirunaraiyur does not show mercy on me, I will resort to 
the practice of publicizing His apathy to the world through my composition?

Paedai Nenjae Indrai perumai arindhilayoo
Yedhu Perumai indraikku en ennill ? Oodhugindraen
Vaaitha pugazh mangayar koon maanilatthil
Vandhudhittha Kaarthigayil Kaarthigai naal KaaN.
?Oh! My ignorant mind! Do you know the importance of this day? I will tell 
you the greatness of this day. This is the sacred day when the famous 
Azhwaar called ?MangaiyarkOne? was born into this world?

(9) Maaran panitha thmizh maraikku mangayar koan
Aarngam koora avatharitha ? veerudaya
Kaarthigayil Kaarthigai Naal yendrendru kaadalippaar
Vaaitha malar thaalgal nenjae vaazhthu.
?Oh! My mind! Place your head as a flower at the feet of those who praise 
this day as the one in which the great Tirumangai Azhwaar was born into this 
world to compose his 6 works representing the 6 Angas of the 4 Vedas, the 
essence of which the great Namm Aazhwaar presented to us in his 4 works in 
Parakala visited and consecrated (MangaLaasaasanam) of as many as 86 out of 
the 108 Divya Desams. It is easier to list those that he had not visited 
than listing what Divya Desams he had visited.

We, in the 21st century, find it difficult to visit even a few of them in 
spite of modern facilities and convenience for boarding and lodging and 
comforts and luxuries of travel by car, train, plane and even chopper.

It is amazing how the Azhwaars managed to traverse (mostly on foot) 
sometimes by narrow footpaths through dense forests and steep mountains 
infested with wild animals and insects, fording swelling waters of rivers 
and braving blistering gales in an era when even creature comforts were a 
luxury. This is better imagined than described to understand the depth of 
their Bhakti.
Tirumangai Alwar Tiruvadigale Saranam

Tirup PaaN Azhwaar was an incarnation of Srivatsa, (the divine mole on the 
chest of Lord Vishnu). He was born in Uraiyur (near Srirangam), the Capital 
of Chola kingdom in the year Dunmati, Kartikai month, Krishna Paksha, 
Dwiteeyai (a Wednesday) in the constellation of RohiNi.  He was brought up 
by an outcaste belonging to PaaNar community who specialized in making 
string lute from bamboo reeds. He had mastered the art not only of making 
lutes but also playing on them with a touching melody so that he was called 

He used to stand on the southern banks of the river Kaveri and sing the 
praise of Lord Ranganatha for hours on end losing himself in the ecstasy. 
One day, a devout Brahmin in the service of the temple, by name Loka 
Saaranga came to the river for taking water for use in the temple. He 
motioned to Paanar to move away. But, PaaNar was so engrossed in the 
rhapsody of his music that he did not hear this. Lokasaranga threw a small 
stone in his direction to shake him up. But, the stone accidentally fell on 
the forehead of PaaNar and it started to bleed. PaaNar quietly retired.

Unaware of the hurt, Loka Saaranga returned to the temple. He was taken 
aback on seeing blood oozing out from the forehead of the image of Lord 
Ranganatha. But, none could connect the two incidents. That very night, the 
Lord appeared in the dream of Loka Saaranga and commanded him to fetch 
Paanar to the temple the next morning. Accordingly, Lokasaranga requested 
PaaNar to come to the temple. But, PaaNar referring to his low birth 
declined even to set foot on the holy earth of Srirangam lest he should 
pollute the holy place. When he was told of the commandment of the Lord, 
PaaNar could not even imagine such a situation and was lost in thought. Loka 
Saaranga said that if that were his objection PaaNar could get on his 
shoulders and he offered to carry PaaNar to the temple. Loka Saaranga 
carried Paanar who was in a state of trance.

When they reached the Sanctum Sanctorum, PaaNar enjoyed the charming image 
of Ranganatha and immediately sang 'Amalan Adhipiraan' a poem describing the 
beauty of each limb from head to foot of the Lord in 10 verses and laid his 
life at the feet of the Lord. The poem is considered to be sweeter than even 
the 'sound of music' of Veena.

The first 3 verses start with the letters A, U and M and thus are deemed to 
represent the 'Omkaram' and is considered to represent a treatise on 'Veda 
Saara' elucidating the 'PraNavam'. The verses 5 to 7 are deemed to represent 
the  'Prameya'. The intervening 4th verse is said to link,' Pramana ' and ' 
Prameya.' VanDu here is said to refer to Nityasuirs.

Unlike other Azhwaars who mentioned the names of their native places and / 
or the number of verses contained in their songs, he did not mention them in 
his signature hymn. When the Alwar got to the end of this verse, the Lord 
sucked the Azhwaar into His own body  ' like a red-hot iron sucking a drop 
of water sprinkled on it.

Another esoteric significance is that though all the Azhwaars have 
inculcated Bhakti each in a different way, the credit for doing it in 
simple, short and straight manner goes to Tirup PaaN Azhwaar. The aim and 
objective of all Jeevatmas is to seek integration with the Paramatma, in 
other words, to hitch the wagon of Jeevatma to its rightful place in the 
Paramaatma. The Azhwaar is considered to be the Amsam of Srivatsa (the mole 
on the chest of Lord Himself). This mole is said to represent Jeeva Tattva 
(Vide Swami Desika?s Paasuram ?Purdan MaNivaram aaga etc). He has 
demonstrated dramatically and picturesquely how the Jeevatma could and 
should get integrated with the Paramaatma, by himself getting merged in the 
image of Lord Ranganatha. No other Azhwaar had done this feat (except of 
course, Andal, who is the divine consort of the Lord). The Azhwaar has 
indicated this in the last verse by saying ?kOvalanaai, VeNnai uNda vaayan? 
(the cowherd boy who devoured butter) immediately followed by the words 
??Enn uLLam Kavarntaanai? (the one who devoured me) suggesting that the Lord 
the ?Para Tattvam? devoured him as easily as he would gulp butter. ?Ullam? 
here means not only ?mind? but also ?Soul?- the ?Jeeva Tattvam?.

Also, of all the Archa Moorthis, the moorthi of Lord Ranganatha provides 
insatiable nectar "Aaraa Amudhu" to the Azhwaar who is immersed in it to the 
exclusion of the Para, Vyuha, Vibhava, Antaryaami and even other Archaa 
moorthis of the Lord. Swami Desikan calls this "Aakarshanam" (attraction) 
vide Uttara Kritya Adhikara and calls the Azhwaar
"nam paaNa naatha" Vide Guru Parampara Saaram of SRTS.

1.Composed by Periya Nambigal
aapaatha soodaman^upooya HarimSayaan^am
maththyEkavEra thuHithurmuthithaantharaathmaa
athrasht_ruthaam nayan^ayOr vishayaantharaaNaam
" Let me always think of TiruppaaN Azhwaar who enjoyed the beauty of the 
Lord of Srirangam from head to foot and who swore he would not see anything 
else and who rode on the vehicle in the form of Loka Saaranga muni "
2. Composed by Tirumalai Nambigal
kaattavE kaNda paatha kamalamn^al laadai yunthi,
thEttaru muthara pantham thirumaar_pu kaNdam sevvaay,
vaattamil kaNkaL mEni muniyERith thanipu kunthu,
paattinaal kaNdu vaazhum paaNar_thaaL paravi NnOmE.
" We bow at the feet of PaaNar who showed us the foot, the garment, the 
Waistband, the chest, the throat, the rosy lips, the tireless eyes of the 
Lord and the one who rode on the Muni right into the figure of the Lord '

1. Tiruvarangam   2. TiruvenkaTam and 3. Paramapadam.

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