Periya Alwar & Vadakku Thiruveedhi Pillai Thirunakshatram

Today is the Thirunakshatram of Periya Alwar & Vadakku Thiruveedhi Pillai.

Periya Alwar is one amongst the 12 Alwars and also the father of Sri Andal. Periya Alwar was born to Mukunda Bhattar and his wife Padmavalli as Vishnu Chitta {One whose mind is rivetted to Lord Vishnu} in Sri Villiputhur, a small town near Madurai. Periya Alwar was an incarnation of Garuda.

Periya Alwar bought a small piece of land, converted it into a flower garden and spent his time in making flower garlands for the Lord of Vada Perumal koil in his place. It was in this garden that he later found Sri Andal as a baby [This Garden exists to this day in Sri Villiputur Andal temple].

At that time, there was a king called ‘Vallabhadeva’ who was just and impartial. Once, he asked his Purohit ‘ Selvanambhi’ as to who was the Supeme deity. Selvanambhi suggested that he call all the learned pundits of the times in an assembly to debate the issue and arrive at a conclusion. The king announced a wager in which a wallet containing golden coins {Porkizhi} was to be tied to the top of a pole. This would bend towards the person who is able to establish with absolute certainty the correct answer to this poser. Great pundits from all over the country belonging to several sects gathered in the hall to thrash out the issue. But, the wallet would not come down.

The Lord appeared in the dream of Vishnu chitta and asked him to participate in the debate. Accordingly, he proceeded to the court and commenced expounding how Lord Narayana was the Supreme deity. The pole bent to his side on its own and Vishnu chitta was declared the winner and offered the prize. He was honoured by being taken in a procession mounted on a tall richly decorated elephant. As the procession emerged out, there appeared on the sapphire skies Lord Vishnu clad in his proverbial pink attire accompanied by his consort Mahalakshmi and the entire retinue of divine beings to bless Vishnuchitta. In extreme ecstasy, Vishnu chitta sang his famous “Pallandu” in 12 stanzas praying for the long life of Bhagavan.

Periya Alwar was also called Bhattarpiran, Srivilliputtur Kone, Puduvai Kone, and Kizhi Arutthan.

Vadakku Thiruveedhi Pillai was the father of Pillai Lokacharya author of the Eedu Vyaakhyaanam, the famed commentary on Nammaazhvaar’s Thiruvaaymozhi written at the dictation of his teacher, Nampillai (Lokacharya). Vadakku Thiruveedhi Pillai was not interested in conjugal relationships with his wife. His mother was upset and said her worry to Vadakku Thiruveedhi Pillai’s acharya, Nambillai. Nambillai later advised Vadakku Thiruveedhi Pillai and only after that he became a normal husband. As his wife gave birth to a son through the blessings of Nambillai {Lokacharya}, the baby was named Lokacharya Pillai, later transposed to Pillai Lokacharya. A second son, Azhagiya MaNavaaLa PerumaaL Naayanaar, was born to the couple at the blessing of Azhagiya MaNavaaLan, Sri Ranganaatha PerumaaL Himself.

Vadakku Thiruveedhi Pillai attained Parampadham at an early age, but not before producing a rich book on the teachings of Nammaazhvaar, the Achaarya Hridayam.

With reference from
Periya Alwar Vaibhavam – http://www.ramanuja.org/sv/bhakti/archives/may96/0059.html
Vadakku Thiruveedhi Pillai – http://www.ramanuja.org/sv/bhakti/archives/oct95/0211.html
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