anthimOpAya nishtai - 9 - nampiLLai vaibhavam 2

srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:
srI vAnAchala mahAmunayE nama:

In the previous article (, we observed the most wonderful incident in the lives of our pUrvAchAryas, i.e., srIranganAthan accepting mAmunigaL as his AchAryan and submitting srIsailEsa dhayApAthram thaniyan for him and propagating the same to all dhivyadhEsams. We will continue to observe the divine glories of nampiLLai in this article.

nampiLLai with pinbhazhagiya perumAL jIyar at his lotus feet - srIrangam

One day, after nampiLLai completes bhagavath vishaya kAlakshEpam and every one leaves, pinbhazhagiya perumAL jIyar bows in front of nampiLLai and asks him "Please explain to me the true nature of me (jIvAthmA), the means and the ultimate goal". nampiLLai replies "emperumAn's/emperumAnAr's desire to uplift the jIvAthmA is that which sustains the jIvAthmA, their mercy is the means and the blissful service to them is the ultimate goal". jIyar responds "I dont think like that". nampiLLai says "Do you have a separate route? Please reveal your mind". jIyar says "My nature is to be surrendered to the srIvaishNavas who are surrendered unto your lotus feet, their mercy is my means and the happiness in their divine face is my ultimate goal". nampiLLai becomes very pleased with jIyar's words.

During nampiLLai's days, mudhaliyANdAn's grand son kanthAdai thOzhappar was jealous seeing nampiLLai's glories. Once when thOzhappar was in the temple worshipping periya perumAL, nampiLLai arrives there at the same time with many of his disciples. Without any reason and purely out of his jealousy, thOzhappar shouts at nampiLLai and insults him. Hearing that nampiLLai becomes afraid of the consequences, quickly worships periya perumAL and returns to his thirumALigai (residence). Hearing this incident, thOzhappar's wife who is very knowledgable, becomes very worried about her husband's offenses towards nampiLLai and stops all her kainkaryams at home and waits for her husband. When thOzhappar arrives and observes that his wife does not welcome him and serve him as she does usually when returning home from outside, he asks her "Since the day I married you, you considered me as your AchAryan and served me well. But today you are ignoring me completely. What is the reason?" and she responds "dear swamy! You have insulted nampiLLai who is re-incarnation of thirumangai AzhwAr himself and who is most dear to periya perumAL in front of periya perumAL himself. You are not even feeling sorry for your actions. I have no relationship with you anymore. If you hate me and want to punish me, you can continue to punish my body which was given to you by my parents. I have already been uplifted when I took shelter of my AchAryan. Thus, I will have no relationship with you who have committed the greatest offense even after knowing bhagavAn's own words 'Even after many crores of births I wont forgive the ones who commit bhAgavatha apachAram'. So, I will lead my life on my own". Hearing this, thOzhappar becomes astonished for a while. But after contemplating her words, he realises his mistake since he was a great scholar and also being born in the great vamsam of mudhaliyANdAn. He says "Whatever you have said is correct. I have committed a big blunder. What can I do now?". She says "Dont search for something in the pond, when you lost it in the river". He asks "What do you mean?" and she responds "Since you have committed the offense against nampiLLai, go and fall at the lotus feet of the most merciful nampiLLai and ask for forgiveness from him. He will certainly forgive you and you will be relieved of your miseries".  He then says "Since I have committed the greatest offense of insulting him right in front of periya perumAL, I feel so ashamed to go in front of him. Please accompany me and lead me to ask for forgiveness". She accepts and they both start leaving their place.

In the mean time, nampiLLai who left the temple, reached his thirumALigai, sent all his disciples home and observes a fast until the sun-set. After sun-set, he covers his head with a cloth and alone walks towards thOzhappar's residence and waits in the veranda. At that time, thOzhappar and his wife, opens the door with the lamp to go to nampiLLai's residence. They notice some one lying down there covered with a cloth and ask who that is. nampiLLai identifies himself as thirukkalikanRi dhAsar. thOzhappar was shocked to see nampiLLai there and asks him (out of his ego again) "You did not shout back at me and insult me in front of periya perumAL because I am quite famous here. So, you must now have come to insult me privately". nampiLLai responds "No, I have not come here for that". thOzhappar being surprised, asks him "So, why have you come here?" and nampiLLai responds "I am such a great sinner that I behaved in a manner that angered mudhaliyANdAn's grandson in front of periya perumAL. I have come here to ask for forgiveness and hope you will forgive me". Hearing this, thOzhappar becomes totally purified and embraces nampiLLai. He then says "All along, I have thought that you are the AchAryan for a few disciples. But now I have understood that you are qualified to be the AchAryan for the entire world. So, from this days onwards, you will be called 'lOkAchAryar'". He then invites nampiLLai into his residence, serves him greatly along with his wife and pleases nampiLLai very much. He learns all the divine meanings at the lotus feet of nampiLLai. This incident is explained by our jIyar in upadhEsa rathina mAlai 51st pAsuram as follows:

thunnu pugazhk kandhAdaith thOzhappar tham ugappAl 
enna ulagAriyanO enRuraikka 
pinnai ulagAriyan ennum pEr nampiLLaikku Ongi 
vilagAmal ninRadhenRum mEl

துன்னு புகழ்க் கந்தாடைத் தோழப்பர் தம் உகப்பால்
என்ன உலகாரியனோ என்றுரைக்க
பின்னை உலகாரியன் என்னும் பேர் நம்பிள்ளைக்கு ஓங்கி
விலகாமல் நின்றதென்றும் மேல்

Simple translation: kandhAdai thOzhappar who was very famous in srIrangam, out of great affection declared nampiLLai as lOkAchAryan. Since then, nampiLLai becomes famously known as lOkAchAryar and that name and fame stayed forever.

nampiLLai's glories are boundless and can be understood from the following pAsuram and slOkams.

Part of iyal sARRuRai - rendered by piLLai azhagiya maNavALa dhAsar

nenjaththirunthu nirantharamAga nirayaththuykkum
vanjakkuRumbin vagaiyaRuththEn
mAyavAdhiyar thAm anjappiranthavan chImAdhavanadikkanbucheyyum
thanjaththoruvan charaNAmbuyam en thalaikkaNinthE

நெஞ்சத்திருந்து நிரந்தரமாக நிரயத்துய்க்கும்
வஞ்சக்குறும்பின் வகையறுத்தேன்
மாயவாதியர் தாம் அஞ்சப்பிறந்தவன் சீமாதவனடிக்கன்புசெய்யும்
தஞ்சத்தொருவன் சரணாம்புயம் என் தலைக்கணின்தே

Simple translation: By surrendering unto the lotus feet of nampiLLai who is the dear sishya of nanjIyar (who was feared by the mAyAvAdhis), I removed all the defects of my mind which will push me eternally into the hellish regions.

namAmi thau mAdhava sishya pAdhau yath sannidhim sUkthimayIm pravishtA:
thathraiva nithyam sthithimAdhriyanthE vaikuNta samsAra viraktha chiththA:

நமாமி தௌ மாதவ சிஷ்ய பாதௌ யத் ஸந்நிதிம் ஸூக்திமயீம் ப்ரவிஷ்டா:
தத்ரைவ நித்யம் ஸ்திதிமாத்ரியந்தே வைகுண்ட ஸம்ஸார விரக்த சித்தா:

Simple translation: I worship nanjIyar's sishya - nampiLLai's lotus feet . After hearing his glorious words, we will be purely situated in this glorious bhagavath anubhavam and will develop detachment towards both samsAram and srIvaikuNtam. 

sruthvApi vArththAncha yadhIyagOshtyAm gOshtyantharANAm prathamA bhavanthi
srImathkalidhvamsana dhAsa nAmnE thasmai namas sUkthimahArNavAya

ஸ்ருத்வாபி வார்த்தாஞ்ச யதீயகோஷ்ட்யாம் கோஷ்ட்யந்தராணாம் ப்ரதமா பவந்தி
ஸ்ரீமத்கலித்வம்ஸந தாஸ நாம்நே தஸ்மை நமஸ் ஸூக்திமஹார்ணவாய

Simple Translation: I worship sUkthi mahArNava (great ocean of divine words - nampiLLai) who is known as srImath kalidhvamsana dhAsar. After hearing his words in his lectures, we will consider his assembly is the best over any other assembly.

vadakku thiruvIdhi piLLai and his wife (both of them are sishyas and close confidantes of nampiLLai)  were totally detached from materialistic life and were serving nampiLLai everywhere, at all times and in all possible ways. One such day, nampiLLai visits vadakku thiruvIdhi piLLai's thirumALigai (residence) and everyone bows down at his lotus feet. At that time, vadakku thiruvIdhi piLLai's wife offers obeisances to nampiLLai, wearing a wet saree. nampiLLai asks the other ladies why she is wearing a wet saree. They reply that she has just purified herself after going through the menstrual cycle and accepting his blessings after such state. Being very pleased, nampiLLai invites her close, touches her stomach with his divine hands and blesses her "You will beget a son who is as glorious as myself". Seeing this, vadakku thiruvIdhi piLLai understands that begetting a child will be pleasing to his AchAryan and acts accordingly with his wife. Subsequently, she becomes pregnant and in a year she gives birth to a divine child. vadakku thiruvIdhi piLLai names him with nampiLLai's divine name "lOkAchAryar" (who becomes to be famously known as piLLai lOkAchAryar) and shows his gratitude towards his AchAryan.

 nampiLLai, vadakku thiruvIdhi piLLai, piLLai lOkAchAryar, azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr

Thus, vadakku thiruvIdhi piLLai's son piLLai lOkAchAryar was born out of the divine blessings of nampiLLai. piLLai lOkAchArayar, out of his divine and causeless mercy, to uplift the jIvAthmAs, wrote many divine granthams such as thathva thrayam (, rahasya thrayam (mumukshuppadi, etc), srIvachana bhUshaNam, etc., and taught the most confidential messages in a very simple manner. A year after piLLai lOkAchAryar's birth, vadakku thiruvIdhi piLLai's wife begets another beautiful child (by the divine mercy of srIranganAthan himself) and is named azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr (in memory of srIranganAthan). He blessed us with a divine grantham named AchArya hrudhayam (which reveals the divine heart of nammAzhwAr).

Thus, lOkAchAryar (nampiLLai) who was a special incarnation (of thirumangai AzhwAr)  lived a glorious life. My AchAryan (mAmunigaL) said that his father thigazhakkidanthAn thirunAvIRudaiyapirAn thAtharaNNar became the sishya of nampiLLai when he was 5 years old under the guidance of his elders.

Translator's note: Thus, we have seen the divine glories of nampiLLai and enjoyed the same thoroughly. It is imperative from these incidents that AchArya's mercy will ensure safe passage to paramapadham and while being here in the samsAram, sishya can be engaged in the most apt kainkaryam that is fitting his/her true identity as well.

To be continued...

Full series can be viewed at:

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

archived in, also visit