Aaraindhu Vitteno Thirumazhisaiyaarai POle
Below is the translation to Veda Paati's story, narrated in tamil, available in below platforms:
THIRUKOLUR PEN PILLAI RAGASIYAM - 13
Did I analyse our Sampradaya like Thirumazhisai Azhwar?
Emperumanaar Ramanuja was elated on hearing the story of his beloved sister, Andal and Her divine father Bhattarpiraan. He asked in much excitement and anticipation, “Who are you going to speak about next, my child?”. “Oh Swami, let me tell you about Thirumazhisai Azhwar. Do then tell me if I deserve to remain in this holy town!”, and with that Thirukolur Pen Pillai brings us to the beautiful town of Thirumazhisai!
In Thirumazhisai lived a couple, Bhargava Rishi and Kanakangi. In the tamil month Thai, and on the Magam Nakshatram, the couple was blessed with a boy child. Alas, the child was born without any limbs. The parents were devastated and not knowing how they would raise this child, helplessly left him near the bushes of cane shrubs in a forest. Who takes care of the destitute, my little friends? Why, none other than our Sriman Narayana and His consort Lakshmi Thayar.
The divine couple blessed the orphaned child with limbs. The child started kicking his legs and flailing his arms and crying loudly in hunger. The ever-compassionate Perumal and Thayar Themselves fed the crying child with milk and appeased his hunger.
A tribal man, Thiruvaalan who made a living cutting canes, was walking by the bushes when he saw the abandoned little child. He felt sorry for the child and decided to bring him home to his wife Pankaya Selvi. Thiruvaalan and Pankaya Selvi were loving parents to the child, whom they named Thirumazhisai, and brought him up with affection.
In due course, the couple had a son born to them as well and named him Kanikannan. Kanikannan and Thirumazhisai grew up together as brothers and were very affectionate towards each other! From a young age, Thirumazhisai was very analytical. He would always think deeply about even small and insignificant events before understanding and absorbing them. He was extremely well read and even became an expert in the Shaastraas. However, he wanted to desperately understand the “Paramporul”, supreme being.
Thirumazhisai joined various religious groups such as Saakhyam, Samanam, Saivam and read various books and scriptures in those schools, however, he did not get any satisfaction in these. His search continued. One of the 12 Azhwars, Peyazhwar learned about Thirumazhisai’s quest on finding the Paramporul and out of compassion, decided to enlighten him.
When Peyaazhwar once met Thirumazhisai, he showed him something comical. He dug a few holes in the ground. He took a few young plants and planted them with shoots facing downwards, dug into the holes. The roots were above the ground facing the sky. He then watered these plants. Thirumazhisai could not contain his laughter. “Swami, what are you doing? How will these plants grow if you grow them and water them upside down? Should the roots not be in the ground and shoots above the ground?”, said Thirumazhisai. Peyaazhwar smiled at Thirumazhisai and said, “Oh, Thirumazhisai. You, looking for the Paramporul in these various religions, is such. It is like planting the plants upside down and expecting it to grow. Watering the plants roots instead of shoots is like expecting to get Moksha in these various schools. It is possible to feel and even see the Paramporul. Let me explain.”. With this, Peyaazhwar passed on to him much knowledge and then finally bid him to go to Srirangam to see the Paramporul Himself.
The rest is history! Thirumazhisai grew so much love for Perumal and eventually came to be known as one of the 12 Azhwars! Once, when Thirumazhisai Azhwar was in a place called Thiruvetka, there was a girl who would clean the temple grounds everyday. She did her job sincerely. Eventually she became old and was not able to do work as well as she was able to. Thirumazhisai Azhwar who was moved by her sincerity, composed a Shloka, blessed her and transformed her into a young and beautiful girl again.
The King of the town was attracted to this beautiful and young girl and married her. Over time, the King grew old but his wife remained youthful and beautiful. The baffled King questioned his wife and asked her how this was possible? This was when she related the miracle that happened to her when Thirumazhisai Azhwar composed the Shloka when she had grown old and frail! The King immediately summoned Kanikannan who was Thirumazhisai Azhwar’s disciple. The King demanded Kanikannan for a shloka on him that would make him young again, just as it had happened with his wife. Kanikannan explained to the King that his guru would not compose songs on humans and only on the Lord, and that the King’s request cannot be fulfilled. The angered King ordered Kanikannan to leave his town.
Hearing this, Thirumazhisai Azhwar refused to remain in town when his sishya was asked to leave. He also asked the Thiruvetka Perumal to get His Adhisesha and pack up and leave with him! On that request from his devotee, Perumal folded his snake bed and readily left town! The whole Kanchipuram was immersed in darkness with Perumal, his devotee and sishya left town. Everyone was devastated and the King regretted his mistake. He ran to Thirumazhisai and fell at his feet begging for forgiveness and for all of them to return to Thiruvetka.
Thirumazhisai Azhwar forgave the King, and the trio, Thirumazhisai Azhwar, Kanikannan and Perumal with his folded snake bed returned to town. However, when positioning Himself in the temple, Perumal lay down the opposite way. Where His Feet was earlier, His Head was now and where His Head was earlier, His Feet were now. Children, if you were to go to the temple at Thiruvetka even now, you would be able to see Perumal lying down the opposite way!
Thirukolur Pen Pillai said, “Swami, did I analyze and understand Perumal the way Thirumazhisai Azhwar did? Why then should I remain in this town?”. Ramanujar was in awe of the child and her stories and eagerly waited for her next story!