Thondaradippodi Alwar
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Thondaradippodi Alwar
Period 8th C. AD
Place Thirumandangudi
Other Names Vipra Narayanar, Thiru Mandangudiyaar, Bhakthangirirenu, Palliunartthiya Piraan
Month Maargazhi
Star (Natshatram) Kettai (Jyeshta)
Hamsam Vanamaalai (Garland)

Chozha Empire, which is said to be very special and rich in all of its production, was surrounded by the Cauvery River, made the chozha empire very beautiful and vegetative. Beautiful lakes, small rivers, which surrounds the green vegetative lands are found, which is one of the special vision to be seen. In this type of empire, a small village by name "Thiru mandaggudi", where Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana vedas are well explained by the andhanars who lived in this village. In that village, there was one community people called "Kudumi Sozhiyap Brahmanar" also called as "Vipra" people lived, whose routine work is to praise about Sri Vishnu.

One of the people of that community was an andhanan by name "Veda Visaradhar", who had a great bhakti towards the Emperumaan and dedicated his bhakti towards him by surrendering garlands to him. He did this as his daily work. By the grace of the Emperumaan, Sriman Narayanan, in Prabhava year, Maargazhi month, Krishna chaturthi, Tuesday in Kettai Natshatram (star), as the hamsam of Sri Vaijayanthi Vanamaalai, a beautiful male child was born to him.

On the 12th day after his birth, he was named as "Vipra Narayanar". He was properly taken care of and proper education along with the bhakti towards Sri Vishnu was teached to him. He grew up with all good characters and had a good structured body, too. Inspite of being good and beautiful and dedicated to Sri Vishnu bhakti, he treated all the aged persons and persons who are younger to him in the same way and gave proper respect to them.

One day, "Seenai Mudaliyaar", who was the leader of Sri Vishnu's troop came down to the earth and explained t "Vipranarayanar", why he was born in this mighty world and what are the things that he should follow to attain Mukthi.

On hearing the truth of his birth, he showed much love, affection and bhakti towards Sriman Narayanan. As an extension to it, he started thinking what should be the next step to be taken to explore his bhakti. He thought by travelling to all of the temples where the Emperumaan is travelling to all of the temples where the Emperumaan is giving his seva, should be worshipped. But, he had a question that from which sthalam he should start with. After a long thinking, he finally decided that he should start from the greatest of all of the Vishnu sthalams, the Sri Rangam, which is located on the banks of cauvery river should be the starting sthalam he should worship and started travelling towards it.

After reaching the temple, he went inside the moolavar sannadhi and was very happy to see the perumal on the Aadhiseshan (the snake) who is found in sleeping posture. After seeing the beauty of Sri Ranganathar, he doesnt want to see any of the things around and thought his bhaktiand the remaining life should be spent completely for Aranganathan. He thought in what way he can express his bhakti towards the emperumaan and finally he thought he can offer him with the Garland daily to the perumal.

Soon after this thought, he constructed a bigh Nandhavanam (flower park) in Sri Rangam, where various beautiful and fragrance flower plants are grown. He built a small hut in the midst of the park. Daily, in the morning, as a daily work, he dedicated the Garland to Sri Ranganathar and then only he do his routine jobs. Since, he thought, only Sri Aranganathar is the beautiest thing in this world, he didn't turn up towards any of the women around him. Because of this, all the people thought he doesn't have any feelings towards the people around him. On seeing these kinds of scenes from Sri Vaikundam, thirumagal, Sri Lakshmi questioned Sriman Narayanan that because of having the affection towards him (Sri Ranganathar) and inspite of being a male, he doesnt know how the love should be expressed towards a women and continued that which women can show her love towards a person like Vipra Narayanan? Knowing the future and what is going to happen, Sri Vishnu casually answered Sri Lakshmi that she is going to see what is going to happen for him.

In thirukkarambanoor, there lived two Daasis (Women who dances in front of the king to earn money) by named Devi, who is the elder sister and Devadevi, who is the younger sister. Both of them were very beautiful and can arrest the hearts of the people who are seeing them. They were good in dancing and singing. In that time of their life, having Uraiyoor as the capital, a Chozha king ruled with proper way and as the result of this, the entire empire enriched with wealthiness and all the people were very happy. The king gave the proper respect and prizes to all the Vedic people and people of musical Knowledge.

On hearing this, Devi and Devadevi thought of showing their skill and capacity towards the dance to the king and to get prize from him. They entered the king's palace in Uraiyoor and danced in front of the king and sang different songs with their beautiful voice.

On satisfied with their performance, the king gave them lots of very expensive prizes and precious diamonds and pearls. After getting the prizes from the king, they started from Uraiyoor. As a flash, Devadevi said that she wants to worship Sri Ranganathar and both of them went to Sri Rangam temple to worship Aranganathar.

When they were going to the temple, they had the chance to see the Nandhavanam, which belonged to Vipra Narayanar. The beauty and the silence of the Nandhavanam attracted all of them. Devadevi questioned her sister whether they are actually in the earth (or) in heaven and asked her who might a developed a beautiful, Nandhavanam like this?

The elder sister answered that this belongs to Vipranarayanar, who was a great Vishnu bhaktar and he daily dedicates the Garlands and for this only he has constructed this Nandhavanam.

After, hearing this, Devadevi wanted to see him and they both went to the small hut, where he lived Vipranarayanar was pouring water to the plants and on seeing him, his beauty admired both of them. Devadevi, on seeing him, was very much attracted towards him and started loving at the first sight. She expressed her love in words and continued with his work.

On the action of him, Devadevi said that he will change him towards her and said that she will stay there for a while. On getting the wishes to her sister, Devi left the place.

Devadevi gave all of her prizes got from the king and changed her dress into an ordinary saffron coloured clothes, what all the muni would wear.

Devadevi went towards Vipra Narayanar and said to him that so far she has lived in earth without being useful to others and she lived a life like in the Naragham (Hell) and she added that her rest of the life must be spent along with Vipra Narayanar in doing the seva towards the Emperumaan.

Vipra Narayanar on hearing this became so happy that one more person has joined him for doing the bhakta seva for the Emperumaan and since being kind - hearted, he agreed Devadevi to stay along with him and asked her to enter into the house.

Days passed and on one day, it rained heavily. Vipra Narayanar was inside the small hut, where Sri Ranganathar was done the daily pooja by him. But, Devadevi did not enter into the hut but instead she waited outside itself and got completely drowned in the rain. Since, he was doing the Pooja, he could not know what is happening outside, since he was completely immersed into the bhakti towards the almighty, Sriman Narayanan.

After finishing the pooja, he came out and saw Devadevi drouned in the rain. He asked her to get into the hut and gave his over cloth (Uthriyam - a small cloth which is used to cover the body) to Devadevi for wiping.

After getting the cloth, she asked him that since Vipra Narayanar is taking care of the Nandavanam and at the same time travelling lots of miles to get the food, his legs might become tired. So, she asked whether she could make his legs feel better by giving massage to his legs. Vipra Narayanar agreed for her to do so. Like this, she did some small things to convert him towards her side. She completely turned Vipra Narayanar towards her and they both started to live together.

One day, Devadevi said to Vipra Narayanar that she wanted to see her parents and her sister. Vipra Narayanar said that he would too come along with her, since he could not live without leaving her for a second and both of them went to Devadevi's house.

Vipra Narayanar gave all the things to Devadevi and her mother and one day, he doesn't have anything to give them. So her mother asked her to make him out of the house, but Devadevi could not do this, because she really loved him. But her mother did not want him to be in the house and asked Vipra Narayanar to get out of the house. Since, Vipra Narayanar is helpless, he came out of the house and entered a Nandavanam and being so tired, he slept for a while. On seeing this, the Emperumaan wanted him to get of the Maya and wanted him to get along with the right path, which leads to the Thiruvadi of him (Sri Vishnu).

He changed himself to an ordinary human and went straight to Devadevi's house and knocked the door. Her mother questioned who is he? He said that he is one of the sishyaas (Student) of Vipra Narayanar and gave him a big silver vessel given by his Guru to Devadevi.

On getting that her mother thanked him and asked his Guru, Vipra Narayanar to return back to her house, since Devadevi was feeling worse from the time he left the house. Sri Vishnu, who came as a student went towards Vipra Narayanar and woke him up and said that Devadevi's mother asked him to come back to the house. On hearing this, Vipra Naryanar walked fast to the house and hugged Devadevi.

The Next morning, the archakar (Who performs the daily pooja for the perumal) entered into the Sri Ranganathar sannadhi and found one Vattal (Vessel which is used to do the daily pooja) was missing and complained to the king about this. The king ordered his servants to go in search of the Vattal and they found that in Devadevi's house.

So, they caught hold of Devadevi's mother and Vipra Narayanar and took them to the palace. They both were made to stand in front of the King. The King questioned Devadevi's mother from where did she get the Vattal. She answered that it was given by one of the Sishyan of Vipra Narayanar. But, Vipra Narayanar opposed her words by saying that he doesnt have any student as such. After consulting with the great men in the palace, the king ordered Vipra Narayanar to be jailed for one night on the prison and Devadevi's mother was left free.

On that night, Vipra Narayanar cried and asked the Emperumaan why like this has happened to him and prayed towards him. On the same night, the Emperumaan arise in the dream of the king and explained him what had happened and asked him to free Vipra Narayanar.

The next day in the palace, Vipra Narayanar was given all the respect as what would be given to all the Vishnu bhaktas and gave him lots of precious things. The king also explained that this is a small thiru Vilayaadal (game) of Sri Emperumaan.

Knowing the real truth why he came to the world, he went to Sri Ranganathar temple and praised the Lord. Then, he worshipped all the bhaktas of Sri Vishnu and put the podi (Small tiny dust particles), which is found under the feet of them in his head and sang songs in praise of Sri Ranganathar.

From then, he was called as "Thondaradipodi Alwar". Finally he realised for what he came for to the earth and went to all the Vishnu temples to praise him.

athAto "brahma" zignAsA - Then thereafter be inquisitive to enquire about "the Absolute"