||7th C. AD|
||Bhakthi-saarar, Bhaargavar, Magisaaraapuriswarar,
was an incarnation of Sudarsana Chakra ( the divine discus of Lord Vishnu). He was born to Bargava Muni and Kanakangi
at Tirumazhisai near Kanchipuram. Even though the foetus was in the mother's womb for an unusual 12 months, when delivered
was without arms, legs etc. The parents left it at the foot of a bush of cane shrubs in the forest. Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi
appeared and blessed the child which then became fully developed into a lovely baby.
tribal couple called Tiruvaalan and Pankaya Chelvi engaged in cutting canes found the child and took it home. The child would
not eat or drink anything nor did it show any signs of expelling waste material
from its body. When an old agriculturist couple offered milk in a bowl, the child drank it with relish. One day, the couple drank of the milk left over by the child. They regained youth and in due course
had a son born to them whom they named as 'Kanikannan'.
decided to learn about all other religions. So, he studied Buddhist, Jain and other literature. He became a staunch devotee
of Siva assuming the name of Siva Vakya. One day, he saw an old man planting a plant upside down and then trying to water it with a broken pot using a tattered rope to lift water from a waterless well. Sivavakyar asked him why he was attempting such a foolish act. The
old man was none other than Pey Alwar who replied that what he was doing was only less foolish than Sivavakya's allegiance
to Saivism , knowing full well that the Vedas and Smritis proclaim Sri Narayana as the Supreme deity.
As a result
of an argument with Pey Alwar, finally he got initiated into Vaishnavism by Pey
Alwar assuming the name of Bhaktisarar. After visiting several temples, he reached Tiruvekka, the birthplace of Budat Alwar.
by the service rendered by an old spinster, he restored her youth with unsurpassed beauty as desired by her. She married the
Pallava king who learned of the secret of her youth. He wanted to regain youth himself. She told him that he approach Kanikannan
for the purpose. When Kanikannan was summoned to court, he refused to come; when asked to compose a verse on the king, he
refused to compose one on a mere mortal; when told that the king was an aspect of the Lord, he composed a verse on the Lord
and not on the king.
the king who banished him from his kingdom.
this, Bhaktisarar requested the Lord in his puja to leave the place. He sang:
Poginraan Kaamaru poong Kachi /
Nee Kidakka Vendaaa/
Pulavanum Poginren Neeyum Unran /
Suruttik Koll /
is going out of Kanchi O! Manivanna, You don't have to lie here
Since, as the fluent poet that I am also leaving with him, you also roll your serpent bed and follow me"
all of them left Kanchipuram.
When they left, Kanchi became desolate. The king realized his folly and requested Bhaktisarar and Kanikannan to forgive and return. Bhaktisarar prayed to the Lord that
in view of the King's repentence, they might return. He sang again :
Pokkozhindaan Kamarupoong Kachi /
! Nee Kidakka Vendum - Thunivudaiya /
Pokkozhinden- Neeyum Unran / Kanchi regained Pain Nagap Paai
has changed his mind and rescinde his decision to leave Kanchi. Since, as the fluent poet that I am also returning with him,
You may also return and lie down on your serpent bed as before"
All of them
returned accordingly and Kanchipuram regained its lost glory.
Since the Lord did as he was told by the Alwar, he came to be called
and 'Sonna vannam Seitha Perumal'-meaning 'the Lord who acted as told'
when on his way to Tirukkudantai, he stopped for a while for rest and he sat on a pial of a house in Perumpuliyur. A few brahmins
were reciting Vedas. On seeing him, they stopped their recitation since Veda was not to be recited in the presence of a person
belonging to the fourth caste. The Alwar understood and was about to leave when the Brahmins started their recitation. They
did not remember at what point they had left the recitation. The Alwar broke open a paddy seed with his fingernail to indicate
the exact context which had a reference to the paddy seed. The brahmins realized the greatness of the Alwar and begged to
Archaka ( priest) of the local temple wanted to honour him, some objected and spoke ill of the Alwar. Tha Alwar prayed to the Lord to show himself to these people. He sang :
Akkarangal Enrum Aavadhu En Kolo /
Neekki Ennai Eesanaakkka Vallaiyel /
Koll Kaiyane Sadankar Vai Adangida /
Vanname Puram Posindhu Kaattide /
" What is
the use of your having those resplendent hands if you cannot remove the idiosynchrosy of these ignorant folk and make me powerful
midst? O1 Lord with the divine discus in your hand ! Teach these fools a lesson by showing yourself appearing in my very body"
showed himself off in the body of Alwar and the onlookers were
and begged forgiveness .
Tirukkudantai ( Kumbakonam), he let the birchbark leaf containing his writings in the waters of river Kaveri. The leaf floated
back to him holding his works viz.,'Tiruchanda Viruttam' ( a poem of beautiful
verses)in which he sang the following beautiful verse:
Enthai Ooragathu Irundathu Enthai Paadagathu /
Kidandhathu Ennilaatha Munnelaam /
Pirandilen Pirandapin Marandilen /
Irundhathum Kidandhathum En Nenjule /
I was born, He wasstanding in Ooragam, was sitting in Paadagam and was lying down in Tiruvekka.At that time I was not born
with wisdom; When once I was born with this wisdom, I never forgot. Therefore, the Lord left all those places and has taken
permanent abode in my heart". The idea is that the great Gnanis never considered themselves as born at all until they realized
this ' Artha gnaanam'. And, once they realized this, they had no other avocation than being immersed in the thought of the
Lord.This is how Mumukshup padi explains this sentiment.
The other work of the Alwar is ' Naanmugan
Tiruvantadhi'- an Antadhi
with the words 'Naanmugan' - a reference to the four faced Brahma.
them for the benefit of posterity.
stanza of the Antadhi categorically states
Naraayanan Padaithaan- Naan Muganum /
Sankaranaithaan Padaithaan /
Anthaadhi Melittu Arivithen - Aazh Porulai
Konmin Neer Therndhu
faced Brahma was born to Narayana and to this Brahma was born
I am declaring this truth in this Antadhi. Resort to this without any doubt,
if you desire to wipe out the pangs of birth" 1
He was so
fearless , outspoken and frank to a fault in establishing his
devotion to Narayana that he was known as ' the sword that was never sheathed in the cause of Vaishnavism'.
on Tirumazhisai Alwar
Viruttam by Tiruk Kachi Nambigal
Pozhil Thazhuvu Dhaaraniyin Thuyar Theera/
Viruttam Sei Tirumazhisai Paran Varum Oor /
Kaar Akhilum Kamazh Kongu Mana Naarum /
Maruvu Tirumazhisai Valam Pathiye
of birth of Alwars are considered to be as sacred as the Alwars themselves. Hence, the Thanians praise the their birthplaces.
" This place
is filled with the divine Kalpa tree, Sandalwood tree and other groves of fragrant flowers. Tirumazhisai is the holy place
where was born the great Tirumazhisai Alwar who came to this world to relieve the populace of their misery. Mahalakshmi resides
happily in this beautiful place."
on Naanmukhan Tiruvantaadhi
Padaithaan Naanmuganai- Naan muganukku /
Pirandhaan Ennum Sol - /
Seppi Vaazhalaam Nenjame ! Moi Poo /
Piraan Adiye Vaazhthu ?
created Brahma and to this Brahma was born Siva who is known as the ' Mei Tavathone'- real penitant. If we read and understand
this great psalm, we can redeem ourselves. The one who gave us this rare psalm is the great Tirumazhisai Alwar who was born
in the flower - garden city of Mazhisai"