Home > Devotees > 63 Nayanmar Stories
thirun^Avukkarachu n^AyanAr - part I (Rise of the sage)
Who can explain perfectly the life full of limitless love and selfless
service of deep determination of the great, adorable sage who was called
"the king of the tongue" ( thirun^Avukkarachar ) by the Lord Himself
who gave the holy vEdas, and who is saluted by the child prodigy
thirunyAnachampan^dhar (1) as appar with great devotion.
With the flow of the river thenpeNNai the kingdom called
thirumunaippAdi , situated in the central part of thamizakam, was
fertile with lots of water and soil resources. Is there anymore words needed
to portray the greatness of this kingdom when the sage of service thiru
n^Avukkarachar and the superior slave of devotees sun^dharar
(2) were born in that kingdom ! Among the prosperous towns of that kingdom,
due to its spreading of the fragrance of shaivam the town called
thiruvAmUr , is outstanding. In that land covered by green paddy
clothing, there lived a couple of good hospitality pukazanAr and
his wife mAdhiniyAr in the profession of removing the world's
hunger - agriculture. That blessed couple gave birth to the wealth - a girl
by name thilakavathiyAr (3). After a few years they got a son - a
sun to drive away the ignorance from the hearts of people by his magic words
of complete love - and named him maruNIkkiyAr (remover of illusion).
He grew up with all the festivals like removing the hair of the kid done in
a nice way. He started learning the arts in the right age and grew up like
the growing moon without blackspots.
When thilakavathiyAr completed twelve, the colonel of the king by name
kalippakaiyAr who had a lot of love for the Lord who has umA
in His left part, wanted to get married to thilakavathiyAr. With the
both sides accepting happily to the marriage the procedures started. At that
time kalippakaiyAr had to go on the request of the king to the warfield to
fight against a king of north. So he went before getting married. Meanwhile
pukazanAr fell sick and reached heaven and mAdhiniyAr followed him unable to
bear the shock. By the time the children thilakavathiyAr and maruNIkkaiyAr
were consoled by the relatives they got the message that the valiant
kalippakaiyAr became martyr in the battlefield. thilakavathiyAr felt that
when her parents decided to get her married to him, then itself she had become
one for him. So she did not want to live without him.
maruNikkiyAr held the feet of his sister and cried that he was still
surviving after their parents' passing away only because he was able to
salute her and live, if she also decided to leave him alone in the world then
he would prefer to die first. That merciful soft-hearted lady made up her mind
for her loving brother. She lived an austerous life away from all the lures
of the world with pure love for all the lives. maruNikkiyAr trying to come out
of the gloom involved himself in doing charities, set up inns, water shelters
and hosted the hungered. He started thinking about the uncertainty in life
and analyzed the religions. For realizing the Truth above all one should have
His grace. For drinking water just thirst is not sufficient but there should
be water source as well. As the Lord did not show him the truth then, he was
attracted by the glitter of non-violence of Jainism while its philosophies
were incomplete and impractical.
He went to a place called pAtalIpuththiram (kadalUr) which
was famous for the Jain institutions. He learnt the scriptures of that religion
with the real spirit and was praised for his knowledge by the Jains over there.
He was given the title dharma sEnar by them. He won the Budhdhists
in the debates on philosophy. The entire Jain groups were happy to have such
a superior leader. During this period thilakavathiyAr stayed away from all the
relations with the relation of all the lives - the Lord shiva in the holy
place thiruvadhikai . She did all the services in all humbleness
to the Lord who burnt three cities of impurities like a piece of straw. That
woman of pure heart prayed to the God many times to rescue her younger from
the ignorance and show him His grace. She was more than a mother for
maruNIkkiyAr, she not only brought him up but also praying day and night for
him to realize the truth in life - she became her guide and philosopher too.
The Light of the Universe appeared in the dream of that sage and blessed her
not to worry, He would bring maruNIkkiyAr to the right path, who was doing
austerities in the previous births to reach Him, by giving the chUlai
(a terrible stomach pain).
Like the mother who beats the kid not to punish but to correct the
Lord gave the unbearable pain in his stomach. dharma sEnar rolled down and
screamed unable to tolerate the terrible pain. No medicine was useful to
mitigate it because it required a medicine called mahAdEva .
Appalled by the severity of the disease the Jains who torture themselves in the
name of attaining liberation, chanted all the mantras they knew and gave the
water thus obtained to him. Instead of alleviating the pain it amplified.
They touched throughout his body with the peacock feather. It did not stop him
from screaming. Frightened and confused the Jains gave up their efforts. With
raising pain and nobody to help, maruNIkkiyAr remembered his loving relation
- the adorable sister. He sent a person to convey his pain to thilakavathiyAr.
She though felt pity for her brother conveyed back to him out of her strong
determination for seeking his permanent betterment and not just the curing of
this illness that she would not come to the place of Jains.
There was the grace of God for maruNIkkiyAr to come to a decision that
he would leave the company of Jains and submit himself to his sister. He left
all the symbols of Jainism there itself and proceeded to thiruvadhikai. There
was darkness outside in that night, but it was going to meet a bright morning.
He clad himse'f in a white cloth and reached the hut of thilakavathiyAr.
Like a rooted out tree he fell on her feet with the pain pricking his stomach.
Praising the glory of Lord shiva she upraised him and told, "It is the grace
of that matted haired Lord. Surrender yourself to Him who smashes down the
painful bonds of His asylum seekers and serve Him". That
sage gave him the Holy ash chanting His Holy five letters, before taking him
to the abode in thiruvadhikai. Accepting humbly the Holy ash of the Lord who
owns all the wealth, he thought he got the real prosperity in life.
With both the darkness inside and outside getting wiped out, in that
blooming morning she took him to the temple with the service instruments for
the thirupaLLIezuchchi (first worship in the temple). Prostrating
to the Lord who never folds hands for worship, he got the feelings of singing
that Mercy like a spring whose eye is just opened. He finally came to Him who
is the king of all the medicines including for the illness of bonds and births.
He sang the thEvAram " kURRAyinavARu vilakkakilIr", that
should even melt a stone like heart. The God who is satisfied very easily when
there is devotion immediately removed his illness. Thrilled with happiness
he thanked the Lord who took him out of the ocean of suffering and darkness of
ignorance. By the grace of the Lord there rose a voice, "As you sang the
beautiful hymns enriched with nice words of excellent meaning, let your name
be praised in the worlds as n^Avukkarachu " (the king of the tongue).
All the creatures surrounded by pAcham (Bond) are subjected
to ignorance, illusion and the effects of the past deeds. There could be
hardly few exceptions to this. It is the quality of the great that once they
get a thread to come out of this situation they raise to the peaks of
knowledge and not only that they stand like the full moon that reflects the
light of the Sun - like that of the God, to the world that is in complete
darkness. In one song if the God says to him that he is the king of words,
what a great transformation in his mind would have achieved it. There needs
no explanation of the excellence of his love and humbleness for the Lord
for people who have read this peerless hymn "kURRAyinavARu". He is so great
and a huge mass of devotees would be always expressing their gratitude to him
for the unparalleled words of devotion he has expressed in his hymns. Great is
the Lord who gave us the Holy vEdas. Great is His devotee thirun^Avukkarachar
perumAn who brings Him to us once we sing his hymns with real feelings.
thirun^Avukkarachu n^AyanAr - part II (The ocean that floated on sea)
gurupUjai : chiththirai - chadhayam
Birth place of thirunAvukkarasu nAyanAr
1. thirunyAnachampan^dha n^AyanAr