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THIRUKOLUR PEN PILLAI RAGASIYAM - 60

Thirukolur peN piLLai began her next tale, “Like MAruthiyANDAn, did I bring the news from Srirangam to Ramanuja that the tyrant Chozha king is no more?”



Sriman Narayana as Sri Ranganatha in his sleeping posture (Shayana Thirukkolam) blesses Srirangam with His sheer presence. Our Swami Ramanuja had established an Ashram (Matham) in Srirangam and was managing it for a long time.


But in course of time, he unfortunately had to give up his kaavi (saffron robe), wear a white dhoti just like any other person and leave the place.

Separated from Arangan, He had to travel to Melnadu, not for one or two years but for 12 long years. Ramanujar’s presence blessed all of Melnadu. In Yadugiri hill, Sriman Narayana's Vigraham was discovered.


Ramanujar built and established a glorious temple in Thirunarayanapuram (Melakottai). He also longed for an Utsavar (Murthi which is taken on procession in the streets).


To fulfill his desire, the Lord appeared in his dream and guided him, " In Delhi there is an Utsava Murthi (Sri Ramapriyar) in possession of the Delhi Badshah. You may travel to Delhi and retrieve him." Sri Ramanuja starts immediately, and reaches his destination. He meets the badshah and explains him that "People at Melkottai are eagerly waiting for Sri Ramapriyar, please let me take Him."

The Badshah replied, "Sure, you may take it, if it comes to you."


The Badshah's daughter’s favorite doll was Sri Ramapriyar. Our Ramanuja called out to him " Aho Vaarum chellapillai (Please come, my beloved child!)" Our Perumal followed the call of Sri Ramanuja, walked towards him and hugged Ramanuja.


Sampath Kumara, i.e. Chella Pillai was carried in a beautiful palanquin to Thirunarayanapuram. Following all the samskaras properly, Ramanujar installed the Utsavar.

Twelve years had passed, and Ramanuja was yearning to see Thiru Arangan! But he was unaware of the situation there, so he asked his disciple, Sri ANDAn to go there along with Ammanga Ammal and figure out the situation. They arrived in Srirangam and met KoorathAzhvAn there. They both felt very sad upon seeing his condition as he was struggling, having lost both his eyes.


They both introduce themselves as Ramanuja’s sevakas and informed KoorathAzhvAn that Ramanujam wanted to know the situation of Srirangam.


Koorathazhvazhaar enquired about Sri Ramanuja’s well-being. They both asked Koorathazhvaan about his health and how he lost his eyes!


Koorathazhvan said "After Ramanuja’s departure, the king’s men came for him. I wore his Kaavi vastra and went to the king, posing as Ramanuja, along with Periya Nambi, who posed himself as me.


King asked me to place my signature agreeing that Siva is the Almighty Lord. We both disagreed, declaring that Sriman Narayana is the Supreme, so the kingsmen plucked out Periya Nambi's eyes! Upon seeing the horrific crime perpetrated on Periya Nambi, I felt that it would be sinful to continue to have eyesight. Before they came to me, I plucked out my eyes myself.

On the way home, Periya Nambi, unable to bear the pain due to his advanced years, attained Lord Ranganatha’s feet. I somehow reached home and am living my life, but amidst all this, hearing of Ramanuja's well-being is giving me immense happiness."


The sevakAs asked, "Can Ramanuja return to Srirangam?" KoorathAzhvAn replied, "Yes, the king got a worm infection on his neck. Unable to find any remedy, he passed away. The current king, his son, is fond of Vaishnavas and is providing them a good life."


On hearing this, the Sevakas happily returned to Melakottai. Ramanuja was just returning from his bath in the Pushkarini.



On seeing Sri ANDAn, he rushed to him. Sri ANDAn said, "avan ponAn (He is gone)!" When Ramanuja asked him to elaborate, Sri ANDAn clarified, "The king died of an illness on his neck and the new king is a good man. The danger has passed".


Ramanuja joyfully said, "Just like Maruti (Lord Hanuman) prevented Sita from killing herself and comforted Lord Rama himself by informing him about the safety of Sita, you have done the same for me. From now on, I will call you 'Maruti Sri ANDAn" and caressed his head.

Overwhelmed with gratitude, Ramanuja said, '"I don't have anything to give to you!" Ramanuja then blessed Sri ANDAn again with 'Dvaya Mantra'.


Sri ANDAn also informs Ramanuja about the plight of Periya Nambi and KoorathAzhvAn. Ramanujam felt very bad for them and longed to see KoorathAzhvAn and console him.


After narrating this, Thirukolur peN says "Just like Sri ANDAn, did I give Swami Ramanuja joyful tidings by saying 'avan ponAn' or did I do anything good for anyone? What qualifications do I have to live here?"


Ramanuja further explains, "Everyone should be happy and healthy, is what Vaishnavas pray for. No true Vaishnava finds happiness in one's death. 'avan ponAn' implies that Ramanuja can safely go back to Srirangam, which was the real reason why this was considered good news, not the demise of the king.” Thirukolur peN also understands the real reason.

Ramanujar then asked her, "Who are you going to tell us about next, O Child?"


"Avan vENDAm endrEno AzhwAnaip pOla", returned Thirukolur peN piLLai.


We shall hear about yet another great soul in the next narrative!