Today is the Thirunakshatram of Swami Periyavaachaan Pillai, the famous Vyakhana Chakaravathy of Sri Vaishnavism. Here is a little about Swamy, adopted from the book “Thirupallandu Vyakhanam”, published by Kinchitkaram Trust.
Sri Periyavaachaan Pillai, also known as SriKrsnapada was born at Sanganallur near Kumbakonam as the son of Yamuna Desika and Nachiyar Ammal. He is believed to have lived between 1167 – 1262 AD. He is an Amsa of Lord Krishna himself. For his lucid explanation of Divyaprabandha, he is known as “Dravidaveda Bhasyakara” and for his commentary on select verses of Ramayana, he is given the title “Abhayapradaraja”. Periyavaachaan Pillai was a disciple of Swami Nampillai. Vadikesari Azhagiya Manaval Jeeyar, who wrote the commentary 1200 padi on Thiruvaimozhi was a prominent disciple of Sri Periyavaachaan Pillai. Periyavaachaan Pillai wanted to take the meaning of Divyaprabandhas to even the most ordinary people, and hence earned the title “ParamaKaarunika” (One who is extremely compassionate).
Periyavaachaan Pillai was the celebrated author of 24000 padi. He has the unique reputation of having commented (vyakhyanams) on all the 4000 hymns of the Alwars. However his commentary on Periyalwar Thirumozhi is available only for the last 60 songs or so. His 24000 padi commentary became so famous that he is known as “Vyakhana Chakaravathy” (emeperor among commentators). Maanika Maalai, Sakala Pramaana Taatparaya and Abhayapradaana are some of his other works.
Sri Periyavaachaan Pillai always commented in a lucid & compact style, so that the maximum number of people can understand the Divyaprabandhas. Periyavaachan Pillai never commented without a valid source. To this day Periyavaachaan Pillai’s commentaries are considered authentic amongst many other commentaries.