||7th C. AD|
||Saro-yogi, Kaasaara-yogi, Poigai-piraan, Padma-muni, Kavinyarporeyeru|
Budat Alwar and Pey Alwar
are the first three Alwars ( Mudal Alwars)
They were contemporaries
who were born in the same Siddharti year and in the same Aippasi month of Aippasi in
the same Suklapaksha on successive Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, in the constellations of Tiruvonam, Avittam and Sadhayam,
on the Ashtami, Navami respectively.
Poigai Alwar , an incarnation
of Panchajanyam, the divine conch of Lord
Vishnu appeared on the
lotus bud in a pond in Tiruvekka near Kanchipuram.
Budat Alwar , an incarnation
of Kaumodhaki, the divine mace of Lord Vishnu appeared in a Kurukkatti flower in Mahabalipuram, also near Kanchipuram where
the Lord instead of reclining on his divine couch of Adisesha, reclines onthe floor and hence is called ' Stala Sayana Perumal'..
Pey Alwar, an incarnation of Nandaki, the divine sword of Lord Vishnu appeared
in a red lily in the well of the temple of Adhikesava Perumal at Mylapore, Madras.
Nammalwar calls them '
In Kavi Paadum Parama Kavigal'- the greatest poets who sang the sweetest songs'. Tirumangai Alwar hails them as ' Senthamizh Paaduvaar'- ' Those who sang in chaste Tamizh'. Periyavaachan Pillai known as the 'Vyaakhyaana
Chakravarti'- Emperor among commentators says Poigai Alwar established the '
Paratvam' of Lord Narayana and thus has declared the 'Tattva Gnana ' and represented ' Para Gnana' '; Budat Alwar explains
how this ' Gnana' blosssoms into 'Para Bhakti' and Pey Alwar demonstrated how
these lead to the ultimate ' Parama Bhakti' or
' Saakshaat kaaram'- the very realization of the Supreme Lord. Thus they represented the three stages of spiritual
unfoldment. Therefore, the works of all the three Alwars are considered together as a single
' Prabandha' known as 'Iyar Paa'.
All the three were so
much devoted to the Lord that they had no other
thoughts and lived as
recluses in the forests. They were constantly
meditating and moving
from place to place like mendicants offering obeisance at various temples consecrated to Lord Narayana but they had not known
each other nor had ever met with each other and hence were ' perfect strangers'.
Once, they chanced to
meet at 'Tirukkoyilur' accidentally. Feeling sleepy at nightfall, Poigai Alwar found a small pial at the entrance of a house
just enough for a single person to lie down and sleep. After a while, there came Budat Alwar who requested permission to stay with him. Poigai Alwar permitted him saying that the pial was sufficient for
two people to just sit down and spend the night. No sooner had they seated themselves, than came there Pey Alwar also seeking
a place to rest. It had by then started to rain.
The two earlier occupants
accommodated the newcomer saying that the
threesome could stand for the space was just enough for that and spend the night. And, indeed 'three was company'
As they started to share
their experiences in their itineraries, they found that an invisible fourth person was
trying to turn the company into a crowd by pressing them hard together in an obvious attempt to accommodate himself
in the already cramped space. The three Alwars found out in their divine vision that the fourth person was none other than
Lord Vishnu, who had brought them together.
Poigai Alwar composed
the first 100 verses starting with the words ' Vaiyam Tagaliya, Varkadale Neyyaaga' ( the universe being the lamp and the
oceans being the lubricant).
Vaiyam Thagaliyaa Vaar
Kadale Neyyaaga / Veyyak Kadirone Vilakkaaaga / Sudar Aazhiyaan Adikke Soottinen Son Malai / Idar Aaazhi Neengukave Enru /
" Lord Narayana is the
cause of this wonderful universe and the seas; He holds the divine discus; As a means to cross the miserable ocean of
'Samsara', I am dedicating
this garland of verses. I had His vision in the light of the lamp of earth, the lubricant ghee being the waters of the ocean.
Sun is the one that sheds light on this."
Universe, VaarKadal : The sea surrounding it, Thagazhi : Lamp,
Veyyak Kadirone : The hot Sun, Seyya : Beautiful, Sudar Aazhi : Lustrous discus, SonMalai : Garland of words (verses),
Idar Aazhi : ocean of misery (Samsara)
Thanian on Poigai Alwar is as follows:
Kaidai Ser Poompozhil Soozh Kachi Nagar Vanduditha / Poigai
Piraan Kavignar Per eru- / Vaiyathu Adiyaarkal Vaazha Arum Tamizh Nootrantaadhi / Paadi Vilanga seidhan Parindu/
"The foremost among poets- Poigai Alwar was born in the
Garden city of
Kanchipuram. With utmost compassion to redeem the devotees
on the earth and take them to the feet of the Lord, he composed the rare composition of 100 psalms
in the Antaaadhi style" Por Eru : Like a great bull, Padi Vilanga : To redeem the earth(ly beings), Parindu : Being compassionate
The Divya Desams consecrated by tPoigai Alwar : ( 7) Tiruvarangam, Tiruvinnagar, Tirukkovilur, Tiruvekka,
Tiuvenkadam, Tirupparkadal and Paramapadam