Friday, February 2, 2007

Madura Kavi Azwar






Period 9th C. AD
Place Thirukollur
Other Names Inkaviyaar, Azhwaarukku Adiyaan
Month Chitthirai
Star (Natshatram) Chitthirai (Chithra)
Hamsam Vainatheya (Garuda)


In Paandiya Nadu, lots of temples are found. All the temples are rich in Spirituality and divine followers are seen. Inspite of lots of Vishnu temples are found, Thirukkoloor is one of special sthalam is seen. This sthalam is found two miles on the eastern side away from Azhwar Thirunagari.

Lots of Brahmins who spread the fame of Sriman Narayanan lived here. In one of those families, in Easwara year, Chittirai month, Sukla Chaturdasi Friday, Chittirai Natshatram (star) Madhurakavi Alwar was born. His birth is referred to as the rays of the sun, which comes out before the sun completely comes out. Here the rays are referred to "Nammalwar", since Madhurakavi born before Nammalwar.

He was taught with all Vedic books and was devoted to Sriman Narayanan by praising him with songs. He was also well - versed in writing poems and songs in Sanskrit also. He had talent of writing poems and bhakti songs that could focus the minds of all the persons who hear (or) read it. He lead a life of solitude not wanting to ming with those who were leading earthly life.

To facilitate attaining Moksha, he thought of going for a spritual travel towards the North Indian shetrams like Ayodhya, Madura, Kaasi, Dwaraka etc. He converted his thought into action and started towards the North Indian sthalams.

Reaching North India, he worshipped all the Vishnu sthalams and finally he went to Ayodhya temple and admired at the beauty of Sri Rama along with Sita Piratti, Lakshmana and Hanuman. He stayed in Ayodhya for a while.

At that time, he heard about a 16 year old child by name Nammalwar who was in unconscious stage, living without eating anything under a tamarind tree in Alwar Thirunagari.

One day, after finishing the daily pooja, he saw a bright star in the sky which made him to think whether any village (or) house had caught fire (or) some big fire is burning the forest. He could not definitely get any idea and he left it at that thinking it was some mystery.

Then he found that bright object was a star and that was travelling towards south. He decided to follow the star and following it he reached Alwar Thirunagari when the star disappeared.

He heard about the child Nammalwar who didn't open his eyes (or) ears for almost 16 years. Madhurakavi on seeing Nammalwar could not believe a 16-year-old child can live without eating (or) moving a little bit for many years. So, he wanted to test his qualities. He lifted a big stone, which is found near the tree and dropped it in the ground. On hearing, Nammalwar opened his eyes and smiled at Madhurakavi Alwar. After this, Madhurakavi was still confused whether he could speak (or) not. He wanted to test him and questioned him as:

"Senthin Vayitril Siriyadhu Pirandhal
Eatthai Thindru Engae Kidakkum?".

This means if anything that is born in a dead, the subtle thing that is born inside it, how does it leads his life on eating what and where does ir resides?

For this, Nammalwar answers him as:

"Atthai Thindru Angae Kidakkum".

This means that the small Jeevathma resides in the soul (the Paramathma) and enjoys the place which it lives. The answer also explains how all of our human souls are tied up with ordinary life by doing good and evil things to all the persons around them. If a person does these kinds of things, he will experience the same and could not attain the Moksha, the destiny.

On hearing this, Madhurakavi Alwar realised that the Nammalwar is not only either deaf nor dumb but is a person of erudite philosophical knowledge. He felt Nammalwar must be a Gyani at whose feet he can learn much. Straightaway he decided to take Nammalwar as his Spiritual Guru and fell at his feet.

Thus Madhurakavi Alwar was the student to learn the Veda from Nammalwar, which explains the link between Sriman Narayanan and ordinary human and how to attain his thiruvadi.

In return Madhurakavi Alwar wrote his Pasurams in praise of Sriman Narayanan and this is known as "Kanni Nunn Siruthambhu" containing 11 paasurams.

He made a statue of Nammalwar and placed in the temple and did daily poojas for him and led his life by praising and singing the greatness of his spiritual guru "Nammalwar".





Discourse about the greatness of shri Madurakavigal.


All of us know that in the whole of the Nalaayira Divya Prabhandam only the 11 paasurams of Madurakavigal doesn't praise the bhagavan. Instead it talks about
the magimai of sri Nammazhvar, aacharya of Madurakavigal.

Madurakavigal was a Brahmana by birth and he was far elder than Sri Nammazhvar and also well versed in Vedas and highly educated. But shri Madurakavigal smashed the pride of being a brahmana or elder by age or well educated and surrendered to the feet of Shri Nammazhvar who was supposed to be the incarnation of Shri Vishvaksenar.

Sri Manavala Mamunigal in his Upadesa Ratnamalai sings the praise of Madurakavigal as follows,

Arar Madurakavi evvulagil vandudiththa
Seerarum Chitiraiyil Chitirainal- paarulagil
Mattrulla aazhvargal vanduditha naalgalilum
Vuttradu endru nenje oor? (25)

Sri Mamunigal praises this day, chitiraiyil chitirai on which day shri Madurakavigal came to this earth to show us the right path which will lead us directly to moksham. He asks us to praise this day more than the Thirunakshatram days of the other alwars who has taken birth.

Oh my mind meditate on this day about the great Madurakavi Alwar. The other alwars showed the feet of emperuman which is very difficult for the jeevatmas filled with paavam to attain but shri Madurakavigal showed the feet of shri Nammazhvar
(aacharya) who is full of mercy and forgives our mistakes and leads us to the feet of the Emperuman.

In our sampradayam, we regard aacharyas more important than the bhagavan himself since our acharyas lead us to the bhagavan's feet whereas Emperuman stops with
saying Mam ekam charanam vraja. When we are confused, how to do saranagathi in the feet of Emperuman our aacharyas come to our help and like guiding a kid they
guide us to the Emperuman's feet .

In the next paasuram Shri Mamunigal continues to say about the divine work of Shri Madurakavigal(kanninun siruthambhu)

Vaaitha Thirumandiraththin madhimamam padam pol
seertha madurakavi seikalayai ? Aarthapugazh
Aariyargal thangal arulichchayal naduve
Saerviththar tharpariyum therindu?

Like the middle word in the Thirumandiram Shri madurakavigal's Kanninun Chiruthambhu has been added in between the arulichayal of the alwars due to the importance of the meaning in these paasurams.

Now that we have seen the magimai of shri Madurakavigal and his work from the words of Shri Mamunigal let us see some interesting explanations regarding Kanninun Chiruthambu.

In the 8th paasuram Madurakavigal says

"Arul kondadum adiyavar enbura arulinan avvarumarain porul arul kondu
Aayiram entamizh paadinan arul kandeer evvvuladinil mikkadhe"

Here there are 2 explanations given by our aacharyas. One is, in this paasuram there is reference only to Nammazhvar who by his krupai gave the meaning of the Vedas for the benefit of the adiyars in the form of sweet 1000 paasurams . But
then the second explanation shows Madurakavigal's Aacharya bhakthi to the maximum according to which the first arulinan avvarumarain porul refers to the Geethaacharyan who gave the essence of the Vedas in his Bhagavat Geetha and the second aayiram entamizh refers to Sri Nammazhvar's Thiruvaimozhi. Here Shri
Madurakavigal questions the readers whose arul is more the geethacharya's, who gave the geetha in Sanskrit which is tough for many people to understand or shri
Nammazhvar's, who gave the same in a simplified form in sentamizh understood by all?

Again in the following paasuram shri Madurakavigal says

"mikka vediyar vedathtin enporul nirka paadi
ennenjul niruthinan"

Here our aacharyas again show the greatness of Shri Nammazhvar as a teacher. Shri
Krishna taught the essence of the Vedas through his bhagavat geetha to Arjuna. After completing Krishna asked arjuna if he understood what all he has told
till now. Arjuna replied you have told a lot of things in very high standard but much of it didn't stay in my mind but now I am clear in one thing that what ever you say I am ready to follow. That was reply by the shisya(Arjuna) to his Aacharya(Krishna). But here the disciple of Nammazhvar Shri Madurakavigal says

"paadi ennenjul niruthinan"

my aacharya has sung all the veda arthas and put them into my minds. So thereby our aacharyas prove that Nammazhvar was a better teacher than the Geethacharyan himself since Nammazhvar is able to strongly put all his teachings in the minds of his disciple.

Though it is a very small work with only 11 paasurams the depth of meaning in it is extraordinary and that is why it is placed equal to the other alwar paasurams
and valued even more by our aacharyas.


Madurakavi Alwar thiruvadigale charanam
Alwar Emperumanar Jeeyer Thiruvadigale Charanam

Adiyen Ramanuja Dasyai
Sumithra Varadarajan



Madhura Kavi was born before Swamy NammAzhwAr , when Lord had
incarnated as KrishNaBhagavAn and He was ruling from DhvArakai.
This was at the end of dhvApara Yugam. Swamy NammazhwAr
was born on the 43rd day of Kali Yugam that follows dhvApara
yugam. While the Lord was in this world , Madhura Kavi did
not elect to seek Him out , but waited and sought refuge later
at Swamy NammAzhwAr's Thiruvadi deliberately.He sought all
the ten anugrahams normally granted by the Lord from
his AchAryan Swamy NammAzhwAr , since AchAryan was every
thing for Madhura Kavi and he restricted all his sambhandhams
to his AchAryan. The aasrayaNam of his AchAryan was the only
thing that mattered to Madhura Kavi.He performed upadesam
for us that without AchArya Sambhandham and AaasrayaNam ,
Bhakthi and Prapathti would not become fruitful. As a tathtva
Jn~Ani , Madhura Kavi practised the truism , " AchAryavatthayA
mukthou" (because of having a SadAchArya sambhandham alone ,
one gains mOksha Siddhi).

Of the two Tamil verses in his Guru Parampara Saaram of the Rahasya Traya Saaram
dedicated to Alwars, Swami Sri Vedanta Desika grouped together all other Alwars
(including Nammalwar!) in one verse and dedicated the whole of the 2nd verse
exclusively to Madhurakavi Alwar whom he calls as "Thunbatra Madhurakavi"
(Blemishless)

This obviously shows how he considered Acharya Bhakti to be of utmost
importance as exemplified by Madhura Kavi Alwar who composed paeans of praise of
the Prapanna Jana koodasthar, Nammalwar (who is known as "Vedam Tamizh Seitha
Maaran")

It is the "Sishta Aachaaram" of the devout Srivaishnavas customarily to study
this Prabandham first before commencing the study of Tiruvoimozhi, because it
was Madhurakavi Alwar, the first Sishya of Satakopan. who introduced us into
the great Tamizh Vedam of Nammalwar.

Swami Desika's Pasuram from adhikAra sangraham runs as follows:

"Inbathil - Irainjuthalil - Isaiyum Petril
Igazhaatha Palluravil - Iraagam maatril
Than Patril -Vinai Vilakkil - Thagavokkathil
Tattuvathai Unarthuthathil - Thanmaiyaakkil
Anbarke Avatharikkum Maayan Nirka
Arumaraigal Tamizh Seithaan Thaale Kondu
Thunbatra Madhuravi Thonrak Kaattum
Thol Vazhiye Nalvazhigal Thunivaarkatke"

(meaning)
' To those who venture to attain release from the bondage of Samsara, the
ancient path indicated to us by the spotless Madhurakavi by his own example is
the only safe path because while there is Sri Krishna, the great cowherd, who
incarnated solely for the sake of his devotees - to confer bliss on them, - to
be their refuge, - to be their final goal, - to stand in relation to them as
mother, father, brother and so on, - to change their desire for the pleasures
of the world - into a desire for Himself, - to remove all their sins, - to
show them infinite compassion, - to reveal the truth and so also - to bring
about in them a likeness to Himself---while there is Sri Krishna ever ready to
do all this, he sought only the feet of the Sage Satakopa (Nammalwar) who
rendered in Tamil the truths contained in the Vedas which are otherwise hard to
understand".
(Vide the English translation of Srimad Rahasya Traya Saaram by Sri
M.R.Rajagopala Ayyangar)

In fact, Madhurakavi Alwar makes only a passing reference to Sri Krishna in the
first line of his work saying "Kanninun Siruthaambinaal Kattunnap Panniya Peru
Maayan". This is just because his own Acharya was reputed to be the very
personification of the thirst for Sri Krishna (Krishna Thrishnaa Tattvamiva
Udhitham). Out of respect for his Acharya, he had to make at least this casual
reference to Sri Krishna. It will be seen that form the very next line, he
leaves aside Sri Krishna and switches over to describe the glories of
Nammalwar.

Let us see how the Swami Desika's verse relates to the various aspects enshrined
in "Kanninun Siru Thaambhu". Swami Desika's verse lists the following 10
benefits which Lord Krishna is said to confer but which were obtainable not
necessarily through Bhagavad Bhakti but through sheer Acharya Bhakti itself.

(1) INBATHIL - IN CONFERRING BLISS
kaNNi nuNsiRuth thaampinaal kattuNNap
paNNi yaperu maayan,en Nnappanil,
naNNith then_kuru koorn^ampi yenRakkaal,
aNNik kum_amu thooRum en naavukkE. (1)
(meaning)
The Lord wonderfully submitted himself to tied by means of the tiny knotted but
short and hurtful string. He may be my master but leave him alone; Come, Recite
the holy names of Nambi of the Southern Tirukkurugoor. The very utterance of his
names taste like the nectar to the tongue that utters them.
Kanni==Knots. Annikkum== Sweet Tasting

(2) IRAINJUTHALIL - IN BEING THE REFUGE
naavi Nnaaln^aviR Rinpa meythinEn,
mEvi NnEn avan ponnadi meymmaiyE,
thEvu maRRaRi yEn_kuru koorn^ampi,
paavi Nninnisai paadith thirivanE. (2)
(meaning)
"I enjoyed praising the Alwar by my tongue; Truly did I attain the proximate
contact with Alwar's golden feet; I do not know any God other than the Alwar; I
still spend my time singing the mellifluous songs of the Alwar". Here,
Madhurakavi explains how he has dedicated himself absolutely to Nammalwar in
thought, word and deed.

(3) ISAIYUM PETRIL - IN BEING THE FINAL GOAL
thirithan^ thaakilum thEva piraanudai,
kariya kOlath thiruvuruk kaaNpann^aan,
periya vaNkuru koorn^akar nampikkaaL
uriya Nnaay,adi yEn peRRa nanmaiyE. (3)
(meaning)
" I see only through the Alwar the divine azure blue form of the Lord of
Nityasuris. The greatest blessing of life I have achieved is the opportunity to
serve the great and merciful Alwar"

(4) IGAZHAATHA PALLURAVIL - STANDING AS MY SARVA VIDHA BANDHU
nanmai yaalmikka naanmaRai yaaLar_kaL,
punmai yaakak karuthuva raathalin,
annai yaayaththa Nnaayennai yaaNdidum
thanmai yaan,sada kOpanen nampiyE. (4)
(meaning)
"When I had been ignored as worthless by the great scholars renowned for their
knowledge of the Vedas and conduct - it was Satakopa who gave me refuge and
offered affectionate parental care as father and mother. Indeed, he is my
master"

(5) IRAAGAM MAATRIL - IN CHANGING MY DESIRES FOR EARTHLY PLEASURES
nampi NnEnpiRar nanporuL thannaiyum,
nampi NnEnmada vaaraiyum munnellaam,
sempon maadath thirukkuru koorn^ampik
kanpa Nnaay,adi yEnsathirth thEninRE. (5)
(meaning)
" Before the Alwar Chastened me, I used to desire whatever others possessed,
desired to enjoy their womenfolk. But, now, I am fortunate to get rid of all
these evil desires and be a Bhakta of the great master of Tirukkurugoor, the
city with numerous golden ramparts"
Nambinen == desired

(6) THAN PATRIL - IN MAKING ME DESIRE HIM ONLY
inRu thottum ezhumaiyum empiraan,
ninRu thanpuka zhEththa varuLinaan,
kunRa maadath thirukku koorn^ampi,
enRu mennai yikazhvilan kaaNminE. (6)
(meaning)
" My master, the Alwar has showed his grace on me so that from today onwards and
for the rest of my life, I shall resolutely praise the glorious qualities of the
Alwar. This Alwar who is the lord of the elevated mansions of Tirukkurugoor will
never forsake me. You can see it for yourself "
ezhumai == lifetime KaaNminE == See for yourself

(7) VINAI VILAKKIL - IN REMOVING ALL MY SINS
kaNdu koNdennaik kaarimaa Rappiraan,
paNdai valvinai paaRRi yaruLinaan,
eNdi saiyu maRiya iyampukEn,
oNda mizhchchada kOpa NnaruLaiyE. (7)
(meaning)
" The illustrious and merciful son of Porkaariyaar, Nammalwar has extinguished
by his graceful glance all my sins committed by me from beginningless time. I
will. Therefore, gratefully publicize his mercy to all those who live in all the
eight directions"

(8) THAGAVOKKATHIL - IN SHOWERING INFINITE COMPASSION
aruLkoN daadu madiyava rinpuRa,
aruLi Nnaanav varumaRai yinporuL,
aruLkoN daayira min_thamizh paadinaan,
aruLkaN deer iv vulakinil mikkathE. (8)
(meaning)
" There is only one wonderful thing in this world; the thousand and odd
Tiruvoimozhi in Tamil composed by the Alwar bringing out the esoteric meanings
contained in the Vedas - a work he published out of his infinite and
incomparable compassion for the pleasure and enjoyment of the true devotees of
the Lord"

(9) TATTUVATHAI UNARTHUTHATHIL - IN REVEALING THE ETERNAL TRUTHS
mikka vEthiyar vEthaththi NnutporuL
niRkap paadiy en nenchuL niRuththinaan,
thakka seerchchada kOpanen nampikku,aat
pukka kaatha ladimaip payananRE? (9)
(meaning)
" The Alwar firmly established in my heart the esoteric meaning of the Vedas
(recited by great orthodox Aasthikaas) through hi Tiruvoimozhi. The Alwar is the
seat of all auspicious qualities. My only desire is to serve at the holy feet of
the Alwar"

(10) THANMAIYAAKKIL - IN BRINGING ABOUT A LIKENESS OF HIMSELF
payanan Raakilum paankala raakilum
seyaln^an Raakath thiruththip paNikoLvaan,
kuyiln^in Raarpozhil soozhkuru koorn^ampi,
muyalkin REnunRan moykazhaR kanbaiyE. (10)
(meaning)
" Though he gains nothing by reforming others, though they are not fit enough to
be reformed, the Alwar who lives in a grove filled with the sweet music of the
cuckoos in Tirukkurugoor, endeavors to correct them in the service of the Lord.
Oh! Alwar! I am also trying my very best to be worthy of your holy feet"

(11) PHALA SRUTHI- THE FRUIT OF RECITING 'KANNI NUNN SIRUTHAAMBHU
anban thannai yadainthavar katkellaam
anban, then_kuru koorn^akar nampikku,
anba Nnaaymathu rakavi sonnasol
nambu vaarpathi, vaikundham kaaNminE. (11)
(meaning)
"Oh! You who seek refuge in this Prabandham of the sweet poet (Madhura ==Sweet;
Kavi == Poet) who is himself a devotee of Nammalwar, the one who invoked Bhakti
in the hearts of men for Bhagavaan and Bhaagavataas - You are assured a place in
Paramapadam"

Sri Sadagopan swami of New York adds:

Swamy Desikan thus summarized in his inimitable way the essence of Madhura
Kavi's ten paasurams and the noblest of paths advocated by him for our
ujjevanam.

The prabandha Taniyan on Madhura Kavi is as follows:

ThERiya maajn~Anamudan ThirukkOLUril
ChitthirayiR Chitthirai naaL Vanthu thOnRi
AaRiya NalanbhudanE KuruhUr Nampikku
anavaratham antharanga-adimai seythu
MaaRanai allAl yenRum maRanthum thEvu
maRRaRiyEn yenum Madhura kaviyE nee munn
kooRiya KaNNinuNN SiRutthAmpu athaniR paattuk-
kulavu pathinonRum yenakku uthavu neeyE

(Meaning): Oh Maadhura Kavi born on
Chitthirai maasa Chitthirai at ThirukkOLUr
with clear Jn~Anam and who performed antharanga
kaimkaryam for Swamy NammAzhwAr with intense
devotion and without let ! You declared that
You do not know of any gods other than Swamy
NammAzhwAr . Please bless me now with the Jn~Anam
about the eleven paasurams of Your aruLiccheyal
(blessed work) KaNNinuNN SirutthAmpu that you blessed
the world earlier.

(Comments):Even when KrishNa ParamAthmA was living at
DhvArakai during his (Madhura kavi's) lifetime , he did not
seek Bhagavan's feet for Prapatthi based on his conviction
that he has to approach the Lord through a sadAchAryan and
hence he waited for Swamy NammAzhwAr's avathAram to perform
Prapatthi at His sacred feet. He considered thereafter
that his AchAryan's sacred feet alone are his Taaraka-Poshaka
Bhagyam and performed uninterrupted kaimkrayam to
his AchAryan.Through this act , Madhura Kavi showed
the world the ancient , auspicious and safe route
(Tholl Vazhi)of AchArya Bhakthi even over Bhagavath
Bhakthi . Madhura Kavi thus pointed out that even with
the greatest bhakthi to Bhagavaan , those who do not
approach Him through a sadAchAryan will not be redeemed.
Madhura Kavi instructed us on this very important doctrine
for the first time (nee munn kooRiya) through his Prabhandham .

Thanks to Sri Anbil Ramaswamy Swamin and Sri Sadagopan swami for their wonderful
write ups.

Swamy says: Achaaryaadhiha dEvathAm samadhikaam anyaamna manyaamahE.. We
will never ever consider anyone as Superior to God than The Acharyan. (In
line with Madhurakavi's dhEvu maRRaRiyEn.. (I do not know any God other than
NammAzhwAr- my AchArya).

Swami Desikan has pointed out that it is impossible to pay back in any manner to
The AchAryA, who lights the lamp of knowledge in our minds and banishes the
nescience and vibhareetha JnAnam that occupied our mind before. The only service
that we can do is to praise His kalyANa guNAs and reflect on them and to spread
the message of the great help that he gave us ( Gurum prakAsayEth ):

yERRi manatthu yezhil jnAna viLakkai iruL anaitthum /
mARRinavarkku oru kaimmAru Maayanum kANahillAn /
pORRi uhapathum punthiyil koLvathum pongu puhazh /
sARRi vaLarpathum saRRallavO munnam peRRathaRkE

Swami Desikan states authoritatively that even the Lord can not find a proper
way to return the gratitude for the AchAryan who lit the JnAna deepam in our
minds and chased away the darkness of ajnAnam.

SrI Manavala maanuigaL also mentions about this way of worshipping Acharyan
equal to the Lord (if not more) in Artthi prabandham:

thennarangar seeraruLukku ilakkAga peRROm/
thiruvarangam thiruppathiyE iruppAgap peRROm
manniya seer maaRan pugazh uNavaagap peRROm

MADHURAKAVI SORPADIYE nilaiyaagap peRROm

Let us recite KaNNinunChiRutthambu today as many times as we can and pay our
obeisance to AzhwAr- Acharya- Prapanna jana santhAna kUtasthar SrI SaTakOpar-
NammAzhwAr.

Thanks to: Sri U.Ve. Anbil Ramaswamy Iyengar



MAAL UGANDHA AASIRIYAR- Madhurakavi AzhwAr
V. Madhavakkannan

SrI:
SrImathE Gopaladesika Mahadesikaya nama:
Continuing on our AzhwAr life history and works ?series, we now
enjoy Sri Madhurakavi AzhwAr's life and work.
AzhwAr Madhurakavi is the one who helped us by compiling the
outpourings of NammazhwAr;

Not just that, he also sang 11 beautiful "andhadhi" style pAsurams
starting with "kaNNinun siRutthAmbhu..." which do not have any
parallel to any other pAsuram/slOka for Acharya Bhakti. He sang
these pasurams only in praise of his Acharya "nammAzhwAr" and
claimed, in the end, that one can attain mOkshA certainly and
definitely after reciting just these 11 pAsurams. It is also told
that Nathamuni, who compiled 4000 pAsurams of AzhwArs, was blessed
with a darshan of nammAzhwAr and was given a set of all 12 AzhwArs'
pAsurams (by NammAzhwAr himself) after he recited Madhurakavi's 11
bhakti-laden pAsurams on nammAzhwAr 12000 times. (Brothers, that is
the dynamite packed power of Madhurakavi's pAsurams). Let us ber
blessed by the biography of this mahan.
Madhurakavi (meaning in sanskrit the sweet poet), a vainathEya
(divine bird) incarnate, was born in the year Easwara, chitrai month
and in chitrai nakshatram at ThirukkOLoor. He learnt Tamizh and
sanskrit and became a great scholar in both the languages. He was a
great BhaktA of Sriman Narayana and had an excellent conduct. He was
on visits to the North India and obtained divya Darshans of Ayodhya,
gaya, Badri, Dwaraka etc., and He chose to stay at Ayodhya as he
could not resist being attracted by the Holiness of Sri RAMA's birth
place. From there, he was dragged by an unconrolled desire to follow
the new Southern BRIGHT Star/Light appeared in the sky (as seen only
by his eyes at night) and found himself at the feet of the Greatest
AzhwAr "NammAzhwAr".

After a brief encounter (Please read the post on NammAzhwAr for
details), he prayed to NammAzhwAr requesting him to protect and
accept him as his disciple. From then on, he stayed with NammAzhwAr
and complied all pAsurams of NammAzhwAr. Madhurakavi was so much
devoted to NammAzhwAr, his Acharya, that he held him equal to
(higher than) Lord Sri Narayana (You will agree that the Lord asks
for that Bhagavatha Bhakti more than Bhagavadh Bhakti).
After NammAzhwAr departed from this earthly world, he was blessed
with a Golden vigraham of NammAzhwAr which he consecrated and
performed ThiruvarAdhanA and uthsavams in his honour. He was
impressed by nammAzhwAr's works so much that wanted to stage
NammAzhwAr's works in front of other scholars. the sangam poets
objected to such claims and praises NammazhwAr who had no connection
with Sangam ( a big deal!). Madhurakavi, it seems was saddened by
this protest and was weeping literally.

NammAzhwar, appeared as an old Brahmin and consoled him saying " Do
not woory about these petty issues, my child, You just place this
pasuram of "Kannan kazhaliNai..." on a boat (sangap palagai) and
watch the fun" and disappeared. Madhurakavi did the same and the
boat, it is told capsized throwing out all the jealous, haughty
poets while it retained only the leaf containing "Kannan
kazhaliNai.."

It is also told that each one of those poets struggled to reach the
shore and composed a verse dedicating to NammAzhwAr. And when they
were about to publish their verses, they were simply AMAZED to find
that each one wrote the same verse in same words; (What a marvel!
what a divine AzhwAr and Divine Disciple ! - simply made for each
other)

The sangam chief says " NammAzhwAr's works are superior and other
poets are like flies compared to Garudan (that is NammAzhwAr); fire
flies (minmini) in the presence of sun; dogs in front of the
ferrocious tiger; wolf before the Lord Narasimha, ugly clumsy dwarfs
dancing before the havenly beautiful Oorvasi- All their works are
not equal to even one utterance of nammAzhwAr."

Madhurakavi's eyes were full of tears for his (his Acharya's)
success; The eleven pAsurams are counted as part of 4000 verses
simply because the whole of 4000 pasurams is claimed to be Bhagavadh
vishayam while Madhurakavi's is on his Acharya which is the central
gem that sheds lustre on the other jems of the garland (so says
Manavala mamunigal). It is the work that holds the key to the
treasure of other pAsurams.

Needless to say, Nathamuni's thaniyans (Thaniyan means dedicated
verse) on this AzhwAr depict the glory of AzhwAr and it is necessary
for us to be blessed by such Great Bhaktals; Before we conclude
about this mahan who performed Acharya Nishtai and attained the feet
of mOksham, let us get benefitted by the rich two thaniyans of
Nathamuni (in sanskrit):

Aviditha Vishaya Antharas /
Sataarer Upanishadam Upagaana Matra Bogah /
Abhi Saguna Vasaath Tad Eka Seshee /
Madhura Kavir Hridhaye Mamaavirastu /

" Here is one who knew none other than Nammalwar; the one who made
it his mission in life to sing the Tamizh upanishadam of Nammalwar;
The one being overwhelmed by Nammalwar held him as his very God; Let
such Madhurakavi fill my heart" (our hearts, too)

VERonRum Naan aRiyEn Vedam Tamizh Seitha /
Maaran Sadakopan VaN Kurugur - YeRu EngaL /
Vaazhvaam EnRu Ethum Madhura Kaviyaar Emmai /
AaLwaar Avare SaraN /

Madhurakavi said -" I do not know anything other than Nammalwar also
known as Maaran(original name of NammAzhwAr) who rendered in Tamil
the essence of the Vedas and who is the head of Tirukkurugur. This
Madhurakavi is our master. He is the guardian of the group of
Prapannaas.

MadhurakaviAzhwAr thiruvadigaLE saraNam
Swami Nathamuni ThiruvadigaLe saraNam
Regards
Namo narayana
dasan



Madhura Kavi was born before Swamy NammAzhwAr , when Lord had
incarnated as KrishNaBhagavAn and He was ruling from DhvArakai.
This was at the end of dhvApara Yugam. Swamy NammazhwAr
was born on the 43rd day of Kali Yugam that follows dhvApara
yugam. While the Lord was in this world , Madhura Kavi did
not elect to seek Him out , but waited and sought refuge later
at Swamy NammAzhwAr's Thiruvadi deliberately.He sought all
the ten anugrahams normally granted by the Lord from
his AchAryan Swamy NammAzhwAr , since AchAryan was every
thing for Madhura Kavi and he restricted all his sambhandhams
to his AchAryan. The aasrayaNam of his AchAryan was the only
thing that mattered to Madhura Kavi.He performed upadesam
for us that without AchArya Sambhandham and AaasrayaNam ,
Bhakthi and Prapathti would not become fruitful. As a tathtva
Jn~Ani , Madhura Kavi practised the truism , " AchAryavatthayA
mukthou" (because of having a SadAchArya sambhandham alone ,
one gains mOksha Siddhi).

Of the two Tamil verses in his Guru Parampara Saaram of the Rahasya Traya
Saaram dedicated to Alwars, Swami Sri Vedanta Desika grouped together all other
Alwars (including Nammalwar!) in one verse and dedicated the whole of the 2nd
verse exclusively to Madhurakavi Alwar whom he calls as "Thunbatra Madhurakavi"
(Blemishless)

This obviously shows how he considered Acharya Bhakti to be of utmost
importance as exemplified by Madhura Kavi Alwar who composed paeans of praise
of the Prapanna Jana koodasthar, Nammalwar (who is known as "Vedam Tamizh
Seitha Maaran")

It is the "Sishta Aachaaram" of the devout Srivaishnavas customarily to study
this Prabandham first before commencing the study of Tiruvoimozhi, because it
was Madhurakavi Alwar, the first Sishya of Satakopan. who introduced us into
the great Tamizh Vedam of Nammalwar.

Swami Desika's Pasuram from adhikAra sangraham runs as follows:

"Inbathil - Irainjuthalil - Isaiyum Petril
Igazhaatha Palluravil - Iraagam maatril
Than Patril -Vinai Vilakkil - Thagavokkathil
Tattuvathai Unarthuthathil - Thanmaiyaakkil
Anbarke Avatharikkum Maayan Nirka
Arumaraigal Tamizh Seithaan Thaale Kondu
Thunbatra Madhuravi Thonrak Kaattum
Thol Vazhiye Nalvazhigal Thunivaarkatke"

(meaning)
' To those who venture to attain release from the bondage of Samsara, the
ancient path indicated to us by the spotless Madhurakavi by his own example is
the only safe path because while there is Sri Krishna, the great cowherd, who
incarnated solely for the sake of his devotees - to confer bliss on them, - to
be their refuge, - to be their final goal, - to stand in relation to them as
mother, father, brother and so on, - to change their desire for the pleasures
of the world - into a desire for Himself, - to remove all their sins, - to
show them infinite compassion, - to reveal the truth and so also - to bring
about in them a likeness to Himself---while there is Sri Krishna ever ready to
do all this, he sought only the feet of the Sage Satakopa (Nammalwar) who
rendered in Tamil the truths contained in the Vedas which are otherwise hard to
understand".
(Vide the English translation of Srimad Rahasya Traya Saaram by Sri
M.R.Rajagopala Ayyangar)

In fact, Madhurakavi Alwar makes only a passing reference to Sri Krishna in the
first line of his work saying "Kanninun Siruthaambinaal Kattunnap Panniya Peru
Maayan". This is just because his own Acharya was reputed to be the very
personification of the thirst for Sri Krishna (Krishna Thrishnaa Tattvamiva
Udhitham). Out of respect for his Acharya, he had to make at least this casual
reference to Sri Krishna. It will be seen that form the very next line, he
leaves aside Sri Krishna and switches over to describe the glories of
Nammalwar.

Let us see how the Swami Desika's verse relates to the various aspects
enshrined in "Kanninun Siru Thaambhu". Swami Desika's verse lists the
following 10 benefits which Lord Krishna is said to confer but which were
obtainable not necessarily through Bhagavad Bhakti but through sheer Acharya
Bhakti itself.

(1) INBATHIL - IN CONFERRING BLISS
kaNNi nuNsiRuth thaampinaal kattuNNap
paNNi yaperu maayan,en Nnappanil,
naNNith then_kuru koorn^ampi yenRakkaal,
aNNik kum_amu thooRum en naavukkE. (1)
(meaning)
The Lord wonderfully submitted himself to tied by means of the tiny knotted
but short and hurtful string. He may be my master but leave him alone; Come,
Recite the holy names of Nambi of the Southern Tirukkurugoor. The very
utterance of his names taste like the nectar to the tongue that utters them.
Kanni==Knots. Annikkum== Sweet Tasting

(2) IRAINJUTHALIL - IN BEING THE REFUGE
naavi Nnaaln^aviR Rinpa meythinEn,
mEvi NnEn avan ponnadi meymmaiyE,
thEvu maRRaRi yEn_kuru koorn^ampi,
paavi Nninnisai paadith thirivanE. (2)
(meaning)
"I enjoyed praising the Alwar by my tongue; Truly did I attain the proximate
contact with Alwar's golden feet; I do not know any God other than the Alwar; I
still spend my time singing the mellifluous songs of the Alwar". Here,
Madhurakavi explains how he has dedicated himself absolutely to Nammalwar in
thought, word and deed.

(3) ISAIYUM PETRIL - IN BEING THE FINAL GOAL
thirithan^ thaakilum thEva piraanudai,
kariya kOlath thiruvuruk kaaNpann^aan,
periya vaNkuru koorn^akar nampikkaaL
uriya Nnaay,adi yEn peRRa nanmaiyE. (3)
(meaning)
" I see only through the Alwar the divine azure blue form of the Lord of
Nityasuris. The greatest blessing of life I have achieved is the opportunity to
serve the great and merciful Alwar"

(4) IGAZHAATHA PALLURAVIL - STANDING AS MY SARVA VIDHA BANDHU
nanmai yaalmikka naanmaRai yaaLar_kaL,
punmai yaakak karuthuva raathalin,
annai yaayaththa Nnaayennai yaaNdidum
thanmai yaan,sada kOpanen nampiyE. (4)
(meaning)
"When I had been ignored as worthless by the great scholars renowned for their
knowledge of the Vedas and conduct - it was Satakopa who gave me refuge and
offered affectionate parental care as father and mother. Indeed, he is my
master"

(5) IRAAGAM MAATRIL - IN CHANGING MY DESIRES FOR EARTHLY PLEASURES
nampi NnEnpiRar nanporuL thannaiyum,
nampi NnEnmada vaaraiyum munnellaam,
sempon maadath thirukkuru koorn^ampik
kanpa Nnaay,adi yEnsathirth thEninRE. (5)
(meaning)
" Before the Alwar Chastened me, I used to desire whatever others possessed,
desired to enjoy their womenfolk. But, now, I am fortunate to get rid of all
these evil desires and be a Bhakta of the great master of Tirukkurugoor, the
city with numerous golden ramparts"
Nambinen == desired

(6) THAN PATRIL - IN MAKING ME DESIRE HIM ONLY
inRu thottum ezhumaiyum empiraan,
ninRu thanpuka zhEththa varuLinaan,
kunRa maadath thirukku koorn^ampi,
enRu mennai yikazhvilan kaaNminE. (6)
(meaning)
" My master, the Alwar has showed his grace on me so that from today onwards
and for the rest of my life, I shall resolutely praise the glorious qualities
of the Alwar. This Alwar who is the lord of the elevated mansions of
Tirukkurugoor will never forsake me. You can see it for yourself "
ezhumai == lifetime KaaNminE == See for yourself

(7) VINAI VILAKKIL - IN REMOVING ALL MY SINS
kaNdu koNdennaik kaarimaa Rappiraan,
paNdai valvinai paaRRi yaruLinaan,
eNdi saiyu maRiya iyampukEn,
oNda mizhchchada kOpa NnaruLaiyE. (7)
(meaning)
" The illustrious and merciful son of Porkaariyaar, Nammalwar has extinguished
by his graceful glance all my sins committed by me from beginningless time. I
will. Therefore, gratefully publicize his mercy to all those who live in all
the eight directions"

(8) THAGAVOKKATHIL - IN SHOWERING INFINITE COMPASSION
aruLkoN daadu madiyava rinpuRa,
aruLi Nnaanav varumaRai yinporuL,
aruLkoN daayira min_thamizh paadinaan,
aruLkaN deer iv vulakinil mikkathE. (8)
(meaning)
" There is only one wonderful thing in this world; the thousand and odd
Tiruvoimozhi in Tamil composed by the Alwar bringing out the esoteric meanings
contained in the Vedas - a work he published out of his infinite and
incomparable compassion for the pleasure and enjoyment of the true devotees of
the Lord"

(9) TATTUVATHAI UNARTHUTHATHIL - IN REVEALING THE ETERNAL TRUTHS
mikka vEthiyar vEthaththi NnutporuL
niRkap paadiy en nenchuL niRuththinaan,
thakka seerchchada kOpanen nampikku,aat
pukka kaatha ladimaip payananRE? (9)
(meaning)
" The Alwar firmly established in my heart the esoteric meaning of the Vedas
(recited by great orthodox Aasthikaas) through hi Tiruvoimozhi. The Alwar is
the seat of all auspicious qualities. My only desire is to serve at the holy
feet of the Alwar"

(10) THANMAIYAAKKIL - IN BRINGING ABOUT A LIKENESS OF HIMSELF
payanan Raakilum paankala raakilum
seyaln^an Raakath thiruththip paNikoLvaan,
kuyiln^in Raarpozhil soozhkuru koorn^ampi,
muyalkin REnunRan moykazhaR kanbaiyE. (10)
(meaning)
" Though he gains nothing by reforming others, though they are not fit enough
to be reformed, the Alwar who lives in a grove filled with the sweet music of
the cuckoos in Tirukkurugoor, endeavors to correct them in the service of the
Lord. Oh! Alwar! I am also trying my very best to be worthy of your holy feet"

(11) PHALA SRUTHI- THE FRUIT OF RECITING 'KANNI NUNN SIRUTHAAMBHU
anban thannai yadainthavar katkellaam
anban, then_kuru koorn^akar nampikku,
anba Nnaaymathu rakavi sonnasol
nambu vaarpathi, vaikundham kaaNminE. (11)
(meaning)
"Oh! You who seek refuge in this Prabandham of the sweet poet (Madhura ==Sweet;
Kavi == Poet) who is himself a devotee of Nammalwar, the one who invoked
Bhakti in the hearts of men for Bhagavaan and Bhaagavataas - You are assured a
place in Paramapadam"

Sri Sadagopan swami of New York adds:

Swamy Desikan thus summarized in his inimitable way the essence of Madhura
Kavi's ten paasurams and the noblest of paths advocated by him for our
ujjevanam.

The prabandha Taniyan on Madhura Kavi is as follows:

ThERiya maajn~Anamudan ThirukkOLUril
ChitthirayiR Chitthirai naaL Vanthu thOnRi
AaRiya NalanbhudanE KuruhUr Nampikku
anavaratham antharanga-adimai seythu
MaaRanai allAl yenRum maRanthum thEvu
maRRaRiyEn yenum Madhura kaviyE nee munn
kooRiya KaNNinuNN SiRutthAmpu athaniR paattuk-
kulavu pathinonRum yenakku uthavu neeyE

(Meaning): Oh Maadhura Kavi born on
Chitthirai maasa Chitthirai at ThirukkOLUr
with clear Jn~Anam and who performed antharanga
kaimkaryam for Swamy NammAzhwAr with intense
devotion and without let ! You declared that
You do not know of any gods other than Swamy
NammAzhwAr . Please bless me now with the Jn~Anam
about the eleven paasurams of Your aruLiccheyal
(blessed work) KaNNinuNN SirutthAmpu that you blessed
the world earlier.

(Comments):Even when KrishNa ParamAthmA was living at
DhvArakai during his (Madhura kavi's) lifetime , he did not
seek Bhagavan's feet for Prapatthi based on his conviction
that he has to approach the Lord through a sadAchAryan and
hence he waited for Swamy NammAzhwAr's avathAram to perform
Prapatthi at His sacred feet. He considered thereafter
that his AchAryan's sacred feet alone are his Taaraka-Poshaka
Bhagyam and performed uninterrupted kaimkrayam to
his AchAryan.Through this act , Madhura Kavi showed
the world the ancient , auspicious and safe route
(Tholl Vazhi)of AchArya Bhakthi even over Bhagavath
Bhakthi . Madhura Kavi thus pointed out that even with
the greatest bhakthi to Bhagavaan , those who do not
approach Him through a sadAchAryan will not be redeemed.
Madhura Kavi instructed us on this very important doctrine
for the first time (nee munn kooRiya) through his Prabhandham .

Thanks to Sri Anbil Ramaswamy Swamin and Sri Sadagopan swami for their
wonderful write ups.

Swamy says: Achaaryaadhiha dEvathAm samadhikaam anyaamna manyaamahE.. We
will never ever consider anyone as Superior to God than The Acharyan. (In
line with Madhurakavi's dhEvu maRRaRiyEn.. (I do not know any God other than
NammAzhwAr- my AchArya).

Swami Desikan has pointed out that it is impossible to pay back in any manner
to The AchAryA, who lights the lamp of knowledge in our minds and banishes the
nescience and vibhareetha JnAnam that occupied our mind before. The only
service that we can do is to praise His kalyANa guNAs and reflect on them and
to spread the message of the great help that he gave us ( Gurum prakAsayEth ):

yERRi manatthu yezhil jnAna viLakkai iruL anaitthum /
mARRinavarkku oru kaimmAru Maayanum kANahillAn /
pORRi uhapathum punthiyil koLvathum pongu puhazh /
sARRi vaLarpathum saRRallavO munnam peRRathaRkE

Swami Desikan states authoritatively that even the Lord can not find a proper
way to return the gratitude for the AchAryan who lit the JnAna deepam in our
minds and chased away the darkness of ajnAnam.

SrI Manavala maanuigaL also mentions about this way of worshipping Acharyan
equal to the Lord (if not more) in Artthi prabandham:

thennarangar seeraruLukku ilakkAga peRROm/
thiruvarangam thiruppathiyE iruppAgap peRROm
manniya seer maaRan pugazh uNavaagap peRROm




Today is Madurakavi Alwar's Thirunakshatram let us all
talk about the greatness of shri Madurakavigal. All
of us know that in the whole of the Nalaayira Divya
Prabhandam only the 11 paasurams of Madurakavigal
doesn?t praise the bhagavan instead it talks about
the magimai of sri Nammazhvar, aacharya of
Madurakavigal.
Madurakavigal was a Brahmana by birth and he was far
elder than Sri Nammazhvar and also well versed in
Vedas and highly educated. But shri Madurakavigal
smashed the pride of being a brahmana or elder by age
or well educated and surrendered to the feet of Shri
Nammazhvar who was supposed to be the incarnation of
Shri Vishvaksenar.
Sri Manavala Mamunigal in his Upadesa Ratnamalai sings
the praise of Madurakavigal as follows,

? Arar Madurakavi evvulagil vandudiththa
Seerarum Chitiraiyil Chitirainal- paarulagil
Mattrulla aazhvargal vanduditha naalgalilum
Vuttradu endru nenje oor? (25)

Sri Mamunigal praises this day, chitiraiyil chitirai
on which day shri Madurakavigal came to this earth to
show us the right path which will lead us directly to
moksham. So he says praise this day more than the
Thirunakshatram days of the other alwars who has taken
birth. Oh my mind meditate on this day about the
great Madurakavi Alwar. The other alwars showed the
feet of emperuman which is very difficult for the
jeevatmas filled with paavam to attain but shri
Madurakavigal showed the feet of shri Nammazhvar
(aacharya) who is full of mercy and forgives our
mistakes and leads us to the feet of the Emperuman.

In our sampradayam, we regard aacharyas more important
than the bhagavan himself since our acharyas lead us
to the bhagavan?s feet whereas Emperuman stops with
saying Mam ekam charanam vraja. When we are confused,
how to do saranagathi in the feet of Emperuman our
aacharyas come to our help and like guiding a kid they
guide us to the Emperuman?s feet .

In the next paasuram Shri Mamunigal continues to say
about the divine work of Shri Madurakavigal(kanninun
siruthambhu)

?Vaaitha Thirumandiraththin madhimamam padam pol
seertha madurakavi seikalayai ? Aarthapugazh
Aariyargal thangal arulichchayal naduve
Saerviththar tharpariyum therindu?

Like the middle word in the Thirumandiram Shri
madurakavigal?s Kanninun Chiruthambhu has been added
in between the arulichayal of the alwars due to the
importance of the meaning in these paasurams.

Now that we have seen the magimai of shri
Madurakavigal and his work from the words of Shri
Mamunigal let us see some interesting explanations
regarding Kanninun Chiruthambu.
In the 8th paasuram Madurakavigal says ?Arul kondadum
adiyavar enbura arulinan avvarumarain porul arul kondu
Aayiram entamizh paadinan arul kandeer evvvuladinil
mikkadhe? Here there are 2 explanations given by our
aacharyas. One is, in this paasuram there is
reference only to Nammazhvar who by his krupai gave
the meaning of the Vedas for the benefit of the
adiyars in the form of sweet 1000 paasurams . But
then the second explanation shows Madurakavigal?s
Aacharya bhakthi to the maximum according to which the
first arulinan avvarumarain porul refers to the
Geethaacharyan who gave the essence of the Vedas in
his Bhagavat Geetha and the second aayiram entamizh
refers to Sri Nammazhvar?s Thiruvaimozhi. Here Shri
Madurakavigal questions the readers whose arul is more
the geethacharya?s, who gave the geetha in Sanskrit
which is tough for many people to understand or shri
Nammazhvar?s, who gave the same in a simplified form
in sentamizh understood by all?

Again in the following paasuram shri Madurakavigal
says ?mikka vediyar vedathtin enporul nirka paadi
ennenjul niruthinan? Here our aacharyas again show
the greatness of Shri Nammazhvar as a teacher. Shri
Krishna taught the essence of the Vedas through his
bhagavat geetha to Arjuna. After completing Krishna
asked arjuna if he understood what all he has told
till now. Arjuna replied you have told a lot of
things in very high standard but much of it didn?t
stay in my mind but now I am clear in one thing that
what ever you say iam ready to follow. That was reply
by the shisya(Arjuna) to his Aacharya(Krishna). But
here the disciple of Nammazhvar Shri Madurakavigal
says ?paadi ennenjul niruthinan? my aacharya has sung
all the veda arthas and put them into my minds. So
thereby our aacharyas prove that Nammazhvar was a
better teacher than the Geethacharyan himself since
Nammazhvar is able to strongly put all his teachings
in the minds of his disciple.

Though it is a very small work with only 11 paasurams
the depth of meaning in it is extraordinary and that
is why it is placed equal to the other alwar paasurams
and valued even more by our aacharyas.

This was just adiyen?s small effort to talk about the
great Madurakavigal on his Thirunakshtram. Any errors
in this effort is due to my ignorance and lack of
knowledge. So may the learned scholars forgive my
mistakes and correct me too.
In connection with my previous postings let me inform
you all that Shri Parthasarathi Brahmotsavam starts
from today in Thiruvallikeni . And Shri Parthasarathi
would have started all his kolakalams by this time.

Madurakavi Alwar thiruvadigale charanam
Alwar Emperumanar Jeeyer Thiruvadigale Charanam

Adiyen Ramanuja Dasyai
Sumithra Varadarajan



Madhurakavi (Sweet poet), the incarnation of Vainatheya (the divine bird) was born in the year Easwara, Chitrai month, Sukla Paksha, Chaturdasi day (a Friday) in the constellation of Chitrai at Tirukkolur in the Pandya kingdom. He was well versed in Tamil and Sanskrit, was of excellent conduct and absolutely devoted to Lord Narayana.

Madhurakavi and Nammalwar:

During Madhurakavi's pilgrimage to North India while he was bathing in the River Saraya, he found a bright start in the sky. He was dragged uncontrollably by the light / star all the way South until he reached Thirunagari. He heard about the child Nammalwar who didn't open his eyes or ears for almost 16 years and couldn't believe that a child could be in deep meditation for so long. He drew his attention with the profound question

"Senthin Vayitril Siriyadhu Pirandhal Eatthai Thindru Engae Kidakkum?" - "If the small is born in a dead's body(or stomach), what will it eat and where will it stay?" meaning, if the subtle soul is embodied in the gross body, what are its actions and thoughts?

Nammalwar broke his lifelong silence and responded

"Atthai Thindru Angae Kidakkum" - "If the soul identifies with the body, it will be the body but if it merges with the divine, it will stay in vaikunta and eat (think) of God.

On hearing this, Madhurakavi realized that this was no ordinary boy and immediately accepted Nammalwar as his spiritual guru. Madhurakavi became the boy's student and helped compile the outpourings of Nammalwar and set them to music.

Kanninun Siruthambu

He sang 11 andhadhi style pasurams starting with 'Kanninun Siruthambu' which do not have any parallel to any other pasuram/sloka for Acharya Bhakti. He emphasizes that Acharya Bhakti is more important than even Bhakti towards the Lord and claims that one can attain moksha merely by reciting these 11 pasurams. It is also said that Nathamuni, who compiled 4000 pasurams of alwars, was blessed with a darshan of nammalwar and was given a set of all 12 alwars' pasurams (by Nammalwar himself) after he recited 'Kanninum Siruthambu' 12000 times.

It may be truly said that if there were no 'Kanninun Siruthambu', there would be no 4000 Divya Prabandhams at all. Thus, Madhurakavi was responsible for literally the rebirth and publicity of the Prabandhams. It is, therefore, customarily incumbent in 'Anusanthaanam' to first recite 'Kanninun Siruthambu' before beginning the other Pasurams, especially Nammalwar's Tiruvoimozhi.

A question arose as to how this work exclusively devoted to the Alwar could be counted as part of the 4000 Divya Prabandham- the whole of which is claimed to be dedicated to the Lord. Manavaala Maamunigal has answered this question as follows:

Vaitha Thiru Manthirathin Maddhimam Padham Pol /

Seertha Madhura Kavi Sei Kalaiyai- Aartha Pugazh /

Aariyarkal Thangal Aruli Cheyal Naduve /

Servithaar Taathparyam Therindhu /

The greatness of its contents raises it to be the central gem that sheds luster on the other gems of the garland. That is why it was counted in the midst of the 4000 Divya Prabandhams.

Of the two verses dedicated to Alwars, Swami Sri Vedanta Desikan has grouped together all other Alwars in his first verse and has dedicated the whole of his second verse exclusively to Madhurakavi Alwar in Guruparampara Saaram of his Rahasya Traya Saaram.

Divya Desams consecrated by Madhurakavi Alwar are the 'Punya Kshetras' of Ayodhya, Mathura, Gaya, Kasi, Kanchi, Avanti and Dwaraka.




Madhurakavi has composed only 11 verses called
?KaNNinuNchiRutthaam bhu? to describe to
us his AchArya?s greatness and his Bhakthi on his
AchAryA. These very eleven verses are the ones recited
about ~12000 times (many times!) by Sriman Nathamuni
(the Grandfather of YamunAchArya- Alavandhaar) and he
received the upadEsam and blessings straight from Sri
SatakOpar, who appeared in front of Sri Nathamuni and
gave all pAsurams of All AzhwArs (Not just that of
NammAzhwAr). That is the power and Greatness of these
ELEVEN VERSES of 4000.

Only this AzhwAr has sung no other PerumAL except his
AchAryan and his 11 pAsurams are the link to other
pAsurams sung on PerumAL (Moral: AchAryan is the only
link to PerumAL. He (Acharyan) is PerumAL Himself.
Just one small step to AchAryan (11 verses) will
facilitate Grandest boons from PerumAL (4000
pAsurams).

That?s why Sri Nathamuni has composed two dedicatory
verses (thaniyans) on Madhurakavi. One on Sanskrit;
the next one on Tamil.

Aviditha Vishaya Antharas /Sadaarer Upanishadam
Upagaana Matra Bogah /
Abhi Saguna Vasaath Tad Eka Seshee /Madhura Kavir
Hridaye Mamaavirastu /(in sanskrit)

" Here is one who knew none other than Nammalwar; the
one who made it his mission in life to sing the Tamizh
upanishadam of Nammalwar; The one being
overwhelmed by Nammalwar held him as his very God; May
such Madhurakavi fill my heart" (our hearts, too)

Veronrum Naan Ariyen Vedam Tamizh Seitha /Maaran
Sadakopan Vun Kurugur -
Yeru Engal /Vaazhvaam Enru Ethum Madhura Kaviyaar
Emmai /
Aalwaar Avare araNN /
(in Tamizh)
Madhurakavi said -" I do not know anything other than
Nammalwar also known as Maaran(original name of
NammAzhwAr) who rendered in Tamil the essence of
the Vedas and who is the head of Tirukkurugur. This
Madhurakavi is OUR master. He is THE guardian of the
group of Prapannaas.

1.kaNNinuN siRuththaampinaal kattuNNap / paNNiya
perumaayan,
enNnappanil,
naNNiththenkurugoor nambi enRakkaal, /aNNikkum
amuthooRum en naavukkE.

Madhurakavi describes that he has kept aside His
father, the Emperumaan KaNNan and has resorted to the
greatest AzhwAr (Sri SatakOpar) of Then-kurukur. He
mentions that his tongue used by him earlier in the
enjoyment of materialistic pleasures has become
purified through the utterances of his AcharyA?s name
and sweet nectar flows now as a result.

2.naavinaal naviRRu inbameythinEn, /mEvinEn avan
ponnadi meymmaiyE,
thEvumaRRaRiyEn kurugoor nambi, / paavin innisai
paadith thirivanE.

Madhurakavi declares he knows no OTHER LORD other than
his AchAryA, Sri SatakOpar of Kurugoor. He indicates
that he enjoys Graetest Anandham by
praising his AchAryan and singing the sweet pAsurams.
He declares that it is his aim to go and loiter around
singing everywhere his AchAryan?s
pAsurams.

3.thirithan thaakilum thEva piraanudai, /kariya
kOlath thiruvuruk kaaNpaN naan,
periyavaN kurugoor nagarnambikku aaL /uriyanaay* ,adi
yEn peRRa
nanmaiyE.

Here Madhurakavi explains that his reciting the
pAsurams has led him to obtaining "the Greatest beauty
of Emperumaan?s Thirumeni , with MahA
Lakshmi in his chest. This, he says, is his fortune
that has yielded from his servitude to Sri SatakOpar.

4.nanmai yaalmikka naanmaRai yaaLar_kaL, /punmai
yaakak karuthuva raathalin,
annai yaayaththa Nnaayennai yaaNdidum /thanmai
yaan,sada kOpanen
nampiyE.

Madhurakavi declares that Sri SatakOpar is his mother;
his father; his ruler; his master; He mentions that
the greatness of Sri SatakOpar will
alleviate all his errors /mistakes/paapams and will
save him.

5.nampi NnEnpiRar nanporuL thannaiyum,/ nampi NnEnmada
vaaraiyum munnellaam,
sempon maadath thirukkuru koorn^ampik /kanpa Nnaay,adi
yEnsathirth
thEninRE.

Here Madhurakavi indicates that his lowly life and
ways of life have all been vanished and he has been
changed by paying obeisance to Sri SatakOpar. He says
he has become Sri SatakOpar?s affectionate servant.

6.inRu thottu mezhumaiyu mempiraan, /ninRu thanpuka
zhEththa varuLinaan,
kunRa maadath thirukku koorn^ampi, /enRu mennai
yikazhvilan kaaNminE.

Madhurakavi indicates that Sri SatakOpar?s mercy and
dayA on him will remain for ever and ever. He also
states that Sri SatakOpar has blessed him to sing his
pAsurams and pay obeisance to him.

7.kaNdu koNdennaik kaarimaa Rappiraan, /paNdai
valvinai paaRRi yaruLinaan, eNdisaiyu maRiya
iyampukEn, /oNda mizhchchada kOpa NnaruLaiyE.

Madhurakavi mentions that Sri SatakOpar has seen him
and has accepted him as his sishya. Immediately, all
his sins have been removed. Hence, he says he will
forever sing Sri SatakOpar?s glories everywhere and in
all eight dhisai (directions) (so that others i.e. we
all- who listen to him will also receive the same
blessings from Sri SatakOpar)

8.aruLkoN daadu madiyava rinpuRa, /aruLi Nnaanav
varumaRai yinporuL,aruLkoN daayira min_thamizh
paadinaan, /aruLkaN deeriv vulakinil
mikkathE.

Madhura Kavi says that his AchAryA, in order to let
his bhakthAs be happy and be saved, he sang ~1000
pAsurams to explain the esoteric meanings of VedAs, in
people?s language (Tamil). He did that due to his
dayA on his bhakthAs (us) and his love for the
Emperumaan.

9.mikka vEthiyar vEthaththi NnutporuL /niRkap paadiyen
nenchuL niRuththinaan,
thakka seerchchada kOpanen nampikku,aat /pukka kaatha
ladimaip
payananRE?

Madhurakavi declares that Sri SatakOpar?s such
blessing him with Vedic principles through his
pAsurams has enabled him to retain them in his
heart. He adds that he is very much indebted to him
for his such Greatest help in uplifting Madhurakavi
and the only way for him (and for us also) to thank
Sri SatakOpar is to serve him totally for ever.

10.payanan Raakilum paankala raakilum /seyaln^an
Raakath thiruththip paNikoLvaan,
kuyiln^in Raarpozhil soozhkuru koorn^ampi,/ muyalkin
REnunRan moykazhaR
kanbaiyE.

Madhura Kavi says that his AchAryA, Sri SatakOpar,
NammAzhwAr corrects and trains us to make us become a
Lord?s BhakthA and thereby then become prapannan, (by
correcting us through his writing such Divine pAsurams
on par with Vedic meanings). Madhurakai indicates that
he attempts to have the greatest devotion to the holy
feet of Sri SatakOpar.

11.anban thannai yadainthavar katkellaam /anban,
then_kuru koorn^akar nampikku,
anba Nnaaymathu rakavi sonnasol /nambu vaarpathi,
vaikundham kaaNminE.

MadhurakaiAzhwAr explains that his AchAryan is
lovingly devoted to everyone, whomsoever he is, if the
person has sought refuge at Emperumaan?s Lotus Feet.
He gives his phala sruthi (in 11th verse) that
the songs by this Madhurakavi, (the sishya and devoted
disciple of Sri SatakOpar) will take the reciter
ultimately at the end of his life to
Sri Vaikuntam without fail, POSITIVELY

Write up by Shri Swamy Madhava Kannan

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