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THE TWELVE AZHWARS ( MYSTICAL SRIVAISHNAVA SAINTS) OF SOUTH INDIA. (PART 3 OF 5)
9. GODAI THAYAR/ ANDAL AMMA:
She is none other than Bhudevi amma, divine consort of our lord Sri Govinda, sent by him on our dearest mother earth to spread the message of love and affection. She is divinity incarnation for right from her birth she loved Lord Sri Krishna to the zenith. When her foster father our greatest of great Peria Azhwar, weaved the beautiful garland she used to adorn it first. Peria azhwar never knew of this and hence the practice of the child continuing to adorn the garland meant for our lord Sri Krishna went unnoticed by him. One fine day, one strand of hair was found in the garland and Vishnuchittar came to know that it was already worn by Andal amma , he felt very sad that for so many days this has been continuing and all the wonderful garlands were actually worn by andal amma before offering our lord which is a wrong practice, the other way it is possible our lords vastram, garlands can be worn by us after he adorns it. Vishnuchittar was clueless as to what to do but our dearest lord as usual simplifies matters , he appeared in our Azhwar’s dream and conveyed to him that he would adorn the beautiful garlands only if andal amma wore it first. Such is the love of our dearest of dear Parmatman, he never hesitates to bow down to any level when he is convinced of true love for him. In the meanwhile andal amma wanted to marry Lord Sri Krishna just as other women saints such as Mira amma. In the auspicious month of Marzhai (corresponding between December 15 to January 14 till Makar sankranti) she along with her friends observe Kathyani Vrath for 30 days which is very tough and lofty. She with her friends used to get up very early in the morning that is Brahma muhurtam, have a holy bath , they abstained from all sorts of sweets, savouries, milk and other products and begged Lord Sri Krishna to marry her. Her innumerous plea before the lord can melt the toughest of tough , then the softest of soft, softer than a rose petal , our most beloved Lord Govinda how could he not relent. Her holiest of holy verses Tirupavai totaling to 30, each for a day is read till date in all the Srivaishnava temples with the greatest reverence . Lord Govinda ultimately marries her with the greatest happiness, once again, a live testimony of an individual jivatma merging with the one and only parmatma. Andal ammas simple message of love towards the one and only Sriman Narayana and to all the mortals of the world is to attain the divine lotus feet of Lord Sri Keshava. As all other azhwars , who spread the same message to each one of us is that the ultimate truth is the one and only PARMATMAN , our dearest Sriman Narayana and our most beloved mother Lakshmi amma, nothing or no one in the entire cosmos matters more than them, having attained their lotus feet and abode there is no return back to this ephemeral world which is only a permanent residence of sorrow, misery and maya (illusion). Countless prostration to our dearest Andal amma who stands as a brightest torch bearer of Srivaishnavism and above all an intermediate between Sriman Narayana and us, if she wills to take us to him none can stop us, this is the surest of sure assertion.
10.Thondar adi podi Azhwar:
Thondar adi podi Azhwar is popularly known as Vipra Narayana . Vipras are those people whose main routine is to praise Sriman Narayana. He was a very staunch devotee of Lord Sri Ranganathar of Srirangam. He tended to the most wonderful gardens of Srirangam temple. As all other Azhwar’s he was very humble and loved our lord dearly and treated everyone with due respect and courtesy and hence was loved by all. Podi means tiny particles of dust , whenever he encountered any devotee of our dearest Lord Sri Govinda , the dust from their feet, he sprinkled on his head and hence he is called Thondar adi podi Azhwar. He wrote some of the most beautiful verses to wake Lord Sri Ranganathar of Srirangam temple who is none other than Lord Sri Krishna. Till date , Lord Sri Ranganathar visits the garden so lovingly tended by Thondar adi podi Azhwar during the spring season and enjoys the cool breeze, the highest token of appreciation from PARMATMAN to a jeevatman in praise of his most loving efforts. Needless to say, our dearest of dear Azhwar who was humbleness personified , occupies the top position in Srirangam temple as also other Srivaishnava temples for his pure devotion not only to our lord but also to the devotees of our lord. Countless prostration to our dearest Thondar adi podi azhwar. May his glory touch the three worlds.
11. Tiruppan azhwar
12. Thirumangai Azhwar:
Temporary Conclusion: To call the works of azhwars a conclusion or to put a full stop would be a grossly misplaced action for it is just a beginning but can rephrase it to temporary comma( , ) and not a full stop for anything even tons and tons of praises for all our beloved azhwars would be totally insufficient for they are Nitya suris who are compassion, love and purity personified. They have paved us a way of life of divinity with a holiest of holy message, from their own lives, that irrespective of caste, creed, gender, status which are the most transient element in this mortal world, the single most important thing “ PUREST OF PURE LOVE ONLY AND NOTHING ELSE CAN DIRECTLY ENSURE EACH OF THE JIVATMA A PERMANENT PLACE AT THE LOTUS FEET OF SRIMAN NARAYANA AND OUR MOST BELOVED LAKSHMI AMMA, ALL IT TAKES FOR OUR LORD TO CARRY US THROUGH THIS MIRAGE IS OUR SELFLESS PRAPATTI FILLED WITH DEVOTION , FAITH AND UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER. NOTHING ELSE EVER MATTERS. SATYAM SATYAM PUNAR SATYAM OUR BELOVED KESHAVA NEEDS ONLY OUR MOST DIVINE LOVE AND NOTHING ELSE CAN WE GIVE HIM. OUR RECIPROCATION TOWARDS HIM IS ONLY THROUGH OUR UNALLYOED BHAKTHI FILLED WITH THE HIGHEST TRUST IN HIM AT ALL TIMES WHICH EACH ONE OF US HAS TO START IMPLEMENTING FROM JUST NOW FOR TIME IS FLYING ,FLEETING AND IS AT A PREMIUM, WE NEED TO WORK AT A LIGHTENING SPEED TO ENSURE OUR LORD CARRIES US TO HIS ABODE , A PERMANENT RESIDENCE OF JOY UNTOUCHED BY ANY MATERIAL CONTAMINATION, SATCHITANAND……