Manakkal Nambi Thirunakshatram

Today is the thirunakshatram of Sri Manakkal Nambi, a sishya of Sri Uyyakondar. Manakkal Nambi was immensely devoted to his guru. An incident in his life shows his devotion to his guru, Uyyakondar.

One day Uyyakondaar’s two daughters went to bath in Cauvery and when returning they had to cross a small stream of wet sand. Since they were small children and also they didn’t want to dirty their feet, they were reluctant to cross it. Manakkal Nambi at once laid down on the ground, on the muddy water and asked the children to croos the stream using his back as bridge. this is why he is known as Manakkal Nambi (Manal – kaal – Nambi).

He also gave Sri Vaishnavam its great Acharya, Sri Alavandar. Sri Alavandar was a king and lead a normal kingly life. Sri Manakkal Nambi wanted to change him and tried to meet him many times in vain. In order to get his attention, Sri Manakkal Nambi started giving Sri Alavandar, a type of sattvic food (a kind of spinach) by befriending a cook in the palace kitchens.  One day, he stopped the feeding the spinach and Sri Alavandar called the cook to find out the reason and hence Sri Manakkal Nambi got a chance to meet the king.  Sri Alavandar asked what Sri Manakkal Nambi wanted in return for the spinach, to which the latter replied that he has a wealth (from Sri Alavandar’s elders) that he wants to give to Sri Alavandar.  Sri Manakkal Nambi  took Alavandar to the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Ranganatha Temple at Trichy and announced that Sri Ranganatha is that wealth. Sri Alavandar fell at his feet and became a great Sri Vaishnava Acharyan.

Written with reference from and

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