Forty seven years into the kali yuga in the month of Ani in the Star of Swathi on the Sukhklapaksha Ekadeshi, Sri Mukunda Bhattar had a divine fifth son was born. Sri Mukunda named him Vishnuchitta-the one who had his mind fixed only on Sri Vishnu.
Mother Padmavalli and Mukunda Bhattar were now parents of Garuda, the vahanam of Perumal Narayana who had come to bless us all. He would not only give us the divine nectar of ThiruPallandu but also give us our guide and mother Sri Andal, thus he is aptly called as the PERIYA AZHWAR.. true to his name he was and is “Periya” and stands out with his devotion.
From his early days the azhwar was devoted to the Lord and ised to contemplate on the lord (so true to his name!). He grew up and brought a small place and converted it to nandavanam, he cultivated it with great effort and it sprouted flowers which he developed from the lord himself. He took up the kainkaryam of plucking flowers in the morning and weaving an excellent garland for Sri Vathapathrasayee. His joy in seeing the lord with the garland and singing his glory.
It is so true, that the lord never leaves his sincere devotee unrecognised, he always pulls him up and flaunts his devotee of the smallest kainkaryam as gems of his heart and here was a diamond of the gem box, how would the lord not bring his greatness out to the world and thus he did..with the Vallabhadeva episode.
Vallabhadevan a great Vishnubhakta was the ruler of Madurai during Periyazhwar’s time He wanted to know the inner meaning of Vedas and supreme truth. His minister suggested that he could invite Vedic scholars from various places and the king could ask questions and receive clarifications and also reward those who came out with the most satisfactory replies.
Thus an official notice was sent all around the kingdom, Inviting all scholar’s to make a presentation to the king about the Supreme Being and the Supreme Truth. One night the lord appeared in Periyazhwar’s dream and asked him to make a presentation to the king. Periyazhwar said O lord! I do not know anything; I have used my hands for cultivating the flower garden, not studying the Vedas. The lord told him not to worry and that he would assist him totally during the presentation. So when the appointed day came Periyazhwar left for Madurai. Well known Vedic scholar’s and pundit’s came to Madurai, some in showy palanquins. A bag of gold coins was hung on the top of the king’s durbar and it was announced that the bag of gold coins would fall before the presenter whose presentation represented the truth. Periyazhwar came, and stood before the king closed his eyes and began his presentation. The lord came and sat on his tongue, and out flowed a glorious presentation-the statement of the supreme truth. He concluded by saying that Sriman Narayana was the Supreme Being. The bag of gold coins fell before periyazhwar. There was joy all around. Sri Periyazwar was taken along the streets of Madurai on an elephant as a special honour. As he was going along the lord appeared in the sky on the Garuda Vahanam with Sri Mahalakshmi to bless periyazwar. Fearing for the safety of the lord Sri Periyazwar composed the THIRUPALLANDU.
The lord accepted it with love and compassion and in his ever flowing decided to bless his devotee more…he had decided that he would make Sri Vishnu Chittar…the humble devotee of the lord..Periya Azhwar..
to be continued…