Emperuman Enreno Bhattar Piranai Pole
Below is the translation to Veda Paati's story, narrated in tamil, available in below platforms:
THIRUKOLUR PEN PILLAI RAGASIYAM - 12
Did I call the Lord my own like Bhattarpiran?
“Swami, why do I deserve to remain in this Divya Desam? I do not possess the faith of Akroora, innocence of Vidhura, the love of Rishi’s wife, determination of Sita Piratti, the divine friendship of King Thondaiman, simple devotion of Ghantakarna, motherly love of Anusuyai, steadfastness of Dhruva, ability to change like Kshatrabandu, patience of Ahalya, nor do I have the maturity of Andal! Also, did I call the Lord my own like Pattarbhiran?”, lamented the sweet child of Thirukolur. “Dear child, tell me about Bhattarpiran”, coaxed Ramanuja.
In the DivyaDesam of Srivilliputhur, lived the great devotee Vishnu Chithar. Vishnu Chithar was none other than the human form of the Lord’s vehicle, the grand eagle, Garuda. The Lord of Srivilliputhur, Vadabadrasaayi enjoyed the lovely service of Vishnu Chithar. Vishnu Chithar had a beautiful garden with many flowers of different colours and varieties. He would pick them every morning, make them into a beautiful garland and adorn it on Vadabadrasaayi. He enjoyed doing this and would admire the beauty of the Lord, composing songs and poems at the altar. He often imagined himself as the mother of baby Krishna and compose songs on making the baby sleep, bathing the child, feeding the child, playing with the child and so on.
Srivilliputhur belonged to the Pandya Kingdom. The emperor Vallabadevan ruled Pandya Kingdom, having Madurai as his capital city. It was a practice those days for the Kings to go in disguise of a common man and mingle among people. It was a way for them to find out what the people of the kingdom thought about the King. On one such occasion where Vallabadevan was in disguise one night, he met a man sleeping on the veranda of a house. Vallabadevan woke him up and enquired his whereabouts. The man claimed that he did not belong to Madurai and he was on his way back home after a pilgrimage to the North, visiting many temples and purifying himself in the river Ganga. The impressed Vallabadevan requested the traveller for some good advice.
“What you would need in the rainy season, may you receive in the Summers. What you would need for the night, may you receive in the day. What you would need for old age, may you receive during your youth. May you receive what you need in your next life, in this life”, blessed the traveller mysteriously. The words of the traveller kept replaying in the King’s mind even after he returned to his palace. “What did he mean when he said, what you need in the next life, we should prepare for in this life?”, he wondered. He consulted his minister who advised him to seek the answer to his question from an expert in the subject matter. The next day the King announced that a bag of gold coins would be given to any expert who is able to give a satisfactory answer to his questions. Experts from all over flocked to the King’s palace to attempt answering this question.
Meanwhile, the Lord had chosen the winner of the competition! He appeared in the dream of Vishnu Chithar and instructed him to head to the palace to answer the question and promised him to guide him in answering the question in the right manner. The humble Vishnu Chithar was surprised at Perumal’s request as he considered himself a mere gardener, however did exactly as instructed by the Lord. At the King’s palace, Vishnu Chithar meditated upon his Vadabadrasaayi before beginning his dialogue. He later answered the question making a point that in order to have a good next life, we need to seek the eternal Father, Lord Sriman Narayana in this birth. He made a strong argument referring to the Upanishads, Ithihaasams and Puraanams – everyone in the palace was in awe. What happened next astounded everyone!
As Vishnu Chithar completed his answer, the bag of golden coins, the prize that was hanging from the ceiling fell down on its own as thought the Lord Himself had chosen the winner. The King understood that what Vishnu Chithar had said was the ultimate answer and appreciated and thanked him. He also crowned him the title “Bhattar Piran” meaning the leader of all the wise scholars. He requested Bhattar Piran to make a trip around Madurai on an elephant procession.
During this procession, the delighted divine parents of Vishnu Chithar rushed to earth to see this beautiful and proud moment when their son was honoured by a great King! Vishnu Chithar caught sight of Sriman Narayana with Bhudevi and Sridevi by his side in the sky witnessing his procession. The motherly Vishnu Chithar was at once worried that the common people of Madurai seeing the beauty of the Lord with his consorts may cast an evil eye. An outpouring was composed by Vishnu Chithar on the spot, “Pallaandu Pallaandu Pallaayirathaandu, Pala kodi nooraayiram”, meaning may you live for thousands and thousands of years, blessing the Lord as thought He were his own child. He refers to the Lord as “Empiraan” meaning “my own Lord” in this heart moving poem.
Swami Ramanuja was so stirred by this beautiful story of Bhattar Piran. “What a lovely story my child. Please go on, who are you going to tell about next?”