PoigaiAzhwar, BhoothatthAzhwar & PeyAzhwar
PoigaiAzhwAr, BhoothatthAzhwAr and PEyAzhwAr are the three mudal (first) AzhwArs who were not only contemporary azhwArs; but were born on three consecutive days in SiddhArti year, Aiyppasi month on TiruvONam, Avittam and sadhayam nakshathrams respectively ;and the babies appeared on flowers of different kind (and not were born like us actually!- They are ayOnijars). Their period was estimated as 7th century A.D. (Though we are not attaching any significant importance to it, it is better to have a datum). poigaiAzhwAr, was born (made to appear by the Lord) in kancheepuram, while bhoodaththAr in mahabalipuram and pEyAzhwAr in thirumylai (present Mylapore).
1. PoigaiAr, an incarnation of MahAvishNu's paanchjanyam (Divine conch, sanghu in Tamil) is also called Adhi kavi. poigaiAr appeared on the lotus bud in a pond in tiruve:ka near kancheepuram.
2. BhoodhaththAr appeared in a flower called NElOdpalam in a garden at kadalmallai port of pallava kingdom in mahAbalipuram (south of madras). He was an incarnation of Divine mace (called kaumOdaki) of our Lord mahAvishNu.
3. PEyazhwAr, (called pEyar later by people due to being crazy, mad, piththan, pEyar after the Lord and even used to roll down with ecstasy and bhakti- He even says" others look crazy to him for their being crazy after material pursuits; and sensual pleasures), as an incarnation of the sword of mahAvishNu (called nandaki), appeared in Red lily flower in a well of AdhikEsava perumAL koil at mylapore (in madras).
(now, some of us may not be able to digest fully these births (or appearances) on flowers due to the Lord's grace; However, it may please be noticed that whatever you and I can understand and perceive is all transient and not permanent; The very fact that these creations of our Lord in such unique fashion and in such incarnations only goes to prove His ineffable qualities and attributes; They are BEYOND one's comprehension. Do not do research on why the sweet tasty mango is of this shape, this colour, and this contour, etc., Let us not waste time anymore and let us go right ahead and taste it for we are blessed with an accessibility to reach the mangoes)
All three azhwArs were blessed with knowledge and bhakti ; All of them, though were not known to each other, were singing the glories of sriman nArAyaNan, and were going from place to place visiting the Krishna temples to get blessed with Lord's Darshan. They had no other thoughts but for nArAyanan and lived like rishis (recluses); The Lord, may be, wanted them to get together and liked to listen to their discussion about Him and His GunavisheshA.
Hence, He brought them to Thirukkovilur separately (at the same time) and what happened there; how they met and recognised each other's bhakti; what all they talked. How ecstatic each one became, what were their outpourings?
So, they had come to Thirukkovilur and each of them had a separate Darshan of Trivikraman (the Lord who appeared as vAmanan, a small brahmachari boy, took viswaroopam and measured the entire universe in one step in vAmanAvatAram) called "TrivikramA" and obtained His katAksham.
Due to heavy rain, poigaiAr had to take shelter in a small narrow corridor of a house nearby, and being exerted himself so much due to walking, lied down in that place; After some time, BhoodhaththAr knocked the house and requested if he can be accommodated due to heavy rain outside.
Being a bhakta, (a) bhaktA does not see who asks for; (b) He offers help as long and as much as he can even if it amounts to more inconvenience to him- (a lesson we all have to learn) he welcomed bhoodhaththAr lovingly saying "Inside, there is place for one man to lie down; but two can sit; please come in. After formal introduction, it took little time to realise that they are birds of the same feather; and they talked and discussed about Krishna's leelA's and guNAs. There is yet another knock and there stands our pEyar asking for a favour to accommodate him due to heavy downpour. Not surprisingly, both bhaktAs said in chorus "Please come in; Inside, there is place for one to liedown, two to sit, but three can stand come! we ll stand together"
All three joined themselves in discussing Glorious attributes of Trivikraman Sriman nArAyaNan and were deeply excited to describe what each one of them felt and feel towards their (our) Lord. They felt happy exchanging information of various sthalam(temples) visited by them and were getting more and more excited to know from one another their great experiences.
While they were standing all the time (in a space that is just sufficient for only three people to stand) discussing lord's nityakalyANa guNas, suddenly they found themselves cramped; and they could not even move about; It was real squeezing against each other; They were perplexed as to why all of a sudden, there is less space as if there are more than three persons; They want to know who was that fourth person standing there... but in that rain they couldnt see... Sri Poikai alwar began singing the
glory of the Lord as manifested in the cosmos lighting a lamp with
the shining Sun as the flame, the Earth as the vessel and the
surrounding oceans as the oil and offered it as a garland of one
hundred verses.This helped to dispel the outer darkness.
Then the second of the three sages, Sri Bhudat Azhwar lighted a
lamp of knowledge with devotion as the
base, love as the oil, the sweet mind as the wick and the knowing
self as the shining flame offering all of them in the form of a
garland of 100 verses to the Lord again.This dispelled the inner darkness as well...
with the help of these lights now the third azhwar (pey alwar) see that fourth person its none other than NArAyaNA
Sri Pei Azhwar described the resulting Divine
vision with another garland of one hundred verses beginning with
the statement "I saw Sri, the divine Mother first with my ocean like Lord. Then I
saw His beautiful resplendent Form effulgent like the sun, with the
dazzling discus fierce in battle in one hand and the curved conch in
Thus those 3 hundred songs are the first songs in 4000 divine verses
these three only begin this wonderful aazhwar vamsam