Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mudhal Alwargal

Poigai Alwar, BhoothatthAlwar and Pey Alwar are the three mudal (first) Alwars who were not only contemporary Alwars; but were born on three consecutive days in SiddhArti year, Aiyppasi month on TiruvONam, Avittam and sadhayam nakshathrams respectively ;and the babies appeared on flowers of different kind (and not were born like us actually!- They are ayOnijars). Their period was estimated as 7th century A.D. (Though we are not attaching any significant importance to it, it is better to have a datum). Poigai Alwar was born (made to appear by the Lord) in Kancheepuram, while Bhoodath Alwar in Mahabalipuram and Pey Alwar in Thirumylai (present Mylapore).

1. Poigai Alwar, an incarnation of Maha Vishnu’s Panchajanyam (Divine conch, sanghu in Tamil) is also called Adhi kavi. Poigai Alwar appeared on the Thamarai mottu (lotus bud) in a pond in tiruveka near Kancheepuram.

Period: 7th C. AD
Place: Kancheepuram
Other Names: Saro-yogi, Kaasaara-yogi, Poigai-piraan, Padmamuni, Kavinyarporeyeru
Month: Aiyppasi
Star: Thiruvonam (Sravana)
Hamsam: Panchajanyam (conch)

2. Bhoodath Alwar appeared in a flower called “kurukkaththi”(?) in a garden at kadalmallai port of pallava rajyam (kingdom) in Mahabalipuram (south of madras). He was an incarnation of Divine mace (called Kaumodhaki) of our Lord mahAvishNu.

Period: 7th C. AD
Place: Mahabalipuram
Month: Aiyppasi
Star: Avittam (Dhanishta)
Hamsam: Kaumodhaki (Mace)

3. Pey Alwar, (called pEyar later by people due to being crazy, mad, pith than, pEyar after the Lord and even used to roll down with ecstasy and bakthi- He even says” others look crazy to him for their being crazy after material pursuits; and sensual pleasures), as an incarnation of the sword of mahAvishNu (called Nandaki), appeared in sevvalli (Red alli-lily) flower in a well of AdhikEsava perumal Koil at Mylapore (in madras).

Period: 7th C. AD
Place: Mylapore
Month: Aiyppasi
Star: Sadhayam (Satabishak)
Hamsam: Nandhagam (Sword)

Now, some of us may not be able to digest fully these births (or appearances) on flowers due to the Lord’s grace; However, it may please be noticed that whatever you and I can understand and perceive is all transient and not permanent; The very fact that these creations of our Lord in such unique fashion and in such incarnations only goes to prove His ineffable qualities and attributes; They are BEYOND one’s comprehension. Do not do research on why the sweet tasty mango is of this shape, this colour, and this contour, etc., Let us not waste time anymore and let us go right ahead and taste it for we are blessed with an accessibility to reach the mangoes)

Nammalwar, (our Alwar), the greatest alwar about whom we will see later, has addressed these three Alwars as “innkavi pAdum parama kavigaL” meaning the greatest poets who sang the loveliest songs or the sweetest songs; All three Alwars were blessed with tamizh gnAnam (knowledge) and bakthi uLLam; All of them, though were not known to each other, were singing the glories of Shriman Narayana, and were going from place to place visiting the Perumal temples to get blessed with Lord’s Dharshan. They had no other thoughts but for Narayana and lived like sanyAsis (recluses); The Lord, may be, wanted them to get together (like what He has done now through mani) and liked to listen to their discussion about Him and His kalyANa guNAs. Hence, He brought them to Thirukkovilur separately (at the same time) and what happened there; how they met and recognized each other’s bakthi; what all they talked. How ecstatic each one became, what were their outpourings?

So, they had come to Thirukkovilur and each of them had a separate Dharshan of Trivikraman (the Lord who appeared as vAmanan, a small brahmachari boy, took viswaroopam and measured the entire universe in one step in vAmanAvatAram) called “UlagaLandha perumal” and obtained His katAksham.

Due to heavy rain, Poigaiar had to take shelter in a small narrow koodam (hall/veranda) of a house nearby, and being exerted himself so much due to walking, lied down in that place; after some time, BhoodhaththAr knocked the house and requested if he can be accommodated due to heavy rain outside.

Being a bhakta, (a) bhakta does not see who asks for; (b) He offers help as long and as much as he can even if it amounts to more inconvenience to him- (a lesson we all have to learn) he welcomed BhoodhaththAr lovingly saying “Inside, there is place for one man to lie down; but two can sit; please come in “(oruvar padukkalAm; iruvar amaralAm). After formal introduction, it took little time to realize that they are birds of the same feather; and they talked and discussed about emberumAn’s leelA’s and guNAs. There is yet another knock and there stands our pEyar asking for a favour to accommodate him due to heavy downpour. Not surprisingly, both bhaktas said in chorus “Please come in; we can stand and accommodate you also” (oruvar padukkalAm; iruvar amaralAm; moover niRkalAm). It is in Giving that we receive;

All three joined themselves in discussing Glorious attributes of Trivikraman Shriman Narayana and were deeply excited to describe what each one of them felt and feel towards their (our) Lord. They felt happy exchanging information of various sthalam (temples) visited by them and were getting more and more excited to know from one another their great anubhavangaL.

While they were standing all the time (in a space that is just sufficient for only three people to stand) discussing namperumAls’ nityakalyANa guNAs, suddenly they found themselves cramped; and they could not even move about; It was real squeezing against each other; They were perplexed as to why all of a sudden, there is less space as if there are more than three persons; And there appeared (with the help of their Divine vision blessed by the Lord Shriman Narayana), Saks hath Shriman Narayana (chathur bhujam, Chandra roopam, sanghu, chakram, Bright ThirumaN and srichoorNam on His beautiful forehead; pattu peethAmbharam, karpoora vasam, etc….. )

Three Alwars were literally crying, tears rolling down their cheeks, Goose pimples all over their bodies; Chests expanded as if they are going to burst with full of happiness; Their palms were glued to each other; and they were feeling highly elated;

Each one of them (one by one) sang 100 poems (Paasurams) flowing from their mouths as if they are clear “neerOdai“, stream of river; BhagavAn listened to them with His full concentration and satisfaction all their Paasurams and after blessing them, disappeared.

They always went together to other temples, and on their way, the three Alwars also were blessed with

1. A dharshan of sitapiratti, lakshmana, bharatha, sathrukna, hanumathsametha Sri Ramachandra at Ayodhdhi,

2. A dharshan of Lord ThiruvEnkadamudaiyAn down the hill (not at tirumala, but at tirupathi), when they hesitated to step on the Hill and turned back; such a place is called “Alwar theertham” even today.

3. Offering a charkAyudhA to Vishnuvarthanan, a king at Kancheepuram for winning a battle. And

4. Later, joining with another Alwar, by name Thirumazhisai Alwar (on their way)

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