kAraikkAl ,the cradle of ocean, is the town in the east
coast of thamizakam (thamizn^Adu). It being one of the important ports
those days it was florishing with the international traders bringing in lots
of wealth. thanathaththanAr the leader in the trade at kAraikkAl,
got a girl child - a boon out of his austerities. punithavathiyAr ,
that goddess of wealth like beautiful child, learnt to do slavery to the Lord
even when she started learning to walk. She started talking opening her patel
like lips to talk all the time about the dance of the Lord who transcedes
the reach of words. Like the bud that blossoms she grew up. She was as
beautiful as the flowers at the feet of the flawless God.
A famous trader of n^AgappattiNam by name n^idhipathi
had a son called parama dhaththan . His relatives came to
thanathaththan to propose paramadhaththan for punithavathiyAr. Both the
sides agreed with pleasure for the marriage and decided an auspicious date.
The wedding happened in the ritual way to the pride of both families.
thanathaththan didn't want to live away from his only daughter who was his
life. So he with consent and support from n^idhipathi set up a house in
kAraikkAl itself for the couple and provided them with a lot of wealth.
paramadhaththan with his efficiency multiplied that money with the chaste,
loving, devotional wife taking care of the family. She did the duty of family
life - to support sages who are independant, providing those devotees food
and material with the overwhelming love for the Form of Love.
One day some people who came to paramadhaththan gave him two mango
fruits. He asked his men to send it to his house. His wonderful wife received
and kept them in the house. At that time a servant of the Lord wearing serpant
came to the house with heavy hunger. To remove the hunger of the devotee
she served him the food after welcoming. To compensate the absence of the
side dish, she served one of the mangoes out of the two her husband had given to
keep as she felt that serving the devotees could be the greatest boon. Blessing
her for her service the devotee who had a nice food and mango to remove the
fatigue because of his old age and peak hunger, went off. After some time in
the noon her loving husband came for home. After taking bath he sat for lunch.
She served him with her love the nice food she had prepared along with the
remaining mango. The exotic taste of the fruit made him ask her to bring the
other one also. She went away from that place as if she was getting the other
She was anxious. What could she do ? She prayed to the Lord who helps
His slaves whenever wherever they plead to Him. By His grace there appeared
a mango marvelous in taste, in her hand. She brought it to her husband.
Surprised by the taste of the mango that was delicious than the nector,
he asked her where she got that mango from which was unthinkable to get in
the world. She couldn't tell because the grace of God is not explainable
to understand, but felt it was not good to stand without answering husband's
words. Finally determined to tell the truth, she praying the pleasing feet
of God in her heart told him evrything. Unable to accept that it was Almighty's
grace he asked her to prove it by getting one more fruit from the Lord.
Pleading to the Lord who ponders in the cemetries that if He didn't give again
her words would be considered false. Immidiately a mango came to her hands.
When the shivering paramadhaththan received it in his hands it disappeared.
With fear and respect mixed in the emotions he didn't touch her then on.
He planned and left with the fellow traders saying that he wanted to earn
a lot. He earned a lot in his voyage and settled in the pANdiya
kingdom marrying a girl of the local merchant. With his thoughts always
remembering with respect punithavathiyAr, he lived there without anybody else
knowing about it. He considered her as the worshippable goddess and gave the
kid whom he got with his new wife, her adorable name.
While he was living there, in kAraikkAl his chaste wife expecting his
return continued the adorables deeds of serving the devotees. Then she came to
know that her husband was living in pANdiya kingdom after making a lot of
money. The relatives decided to take her to him. They went to the town where
he lived and informed him in advance about their arrival. With the fear of
reverance he along with his wife and kid rushed forward to salute her. They
three prostrated at the feet of the young deer like punithavathiyAr and he
told that the life he was living was her blessing and his kid had her praisable
name. punithavathiyAr was shocked and moved away. To the relatives who were
shocked by his deed he told that she was not an ordinary human being, she was
adorable, worshippable, that is why he named his child after her, that is
why he saluted her and asked all of them to worship her as well. While the
relatives were petrified at his words, the beautiful young lady of excellent
love prayed to the God who got a blue throat saving the universe from the
poison that this being his decision, let thy grace give me the form of the
ghost that praises you always changing my beauty of flesh.
With the mercy of the mR^ityu.njaya she lost her pretty
body and got a skeletal body that is worshipped by the world and Heaven.
The relatives who were present were frightened; they prostrated to
kAraikkAl ammaiyAr and left. With the spring of knowledge that unifies
the soul with shiva raising up she composed then the aRpudhath
thiruvan^dhAthi , sang that she became one in the gaNas that
praise the lotus patal like feet of the Lord. She sang the irattai
maNi mAlai an^dhAdhi (100 songs with alternate songs being same type of
poem) later. With the enthusiasm to enter the range of mount kailAsh where
the Lord who endangered the three forts of pAcham reside, she proceeded.
While the people scared looking at her skeletal form ran away, that great
devotee said that if the Lord of lords blesses me why to bother what
the people in the darkness of ignorance thin' of this form. She reached at
the surroundings of the holy peak. Unwilling to put her feet on that abode
of the Almighty she climbed with her head.
The shakti, the mother of the Universe the devotee who never leaves
the side of the Lord, saw with surprise and love her devotional deed and told
to the great Lord of great slaves, "What a love it is, of that skeletal body
that climbs the holy hill with its head!!" The Lord said, "She who comes
is like the mother in taking care of Me. She worshipped and got this form
of fame.", came to the devotee and said with the lips that originated the
holy vEdas, "ammaiyE !" (a word meaning mother, this word is used to refer to
women folk in general) for the entire world to get blessed. kAraikkAl ammaiyAr
fell down on His blooming feet praising, "Oh Lord ! my Father!!" The Lord
asked her what she wanted. She asked for the immortal blissful love for Him,
that is ultimate for the devotees. She further asked, "liberate from
taking birth again. Even if there is a birth bless me with never forgetting
Thee. Also I want to stay under your holy feet when you dance my Lord!"
The Lord gave her the boon she asked and asked her to stay in the bliss
by singing Him when He dances in the south town thiruvAlaN^kAdu .
Taking His order ammaiyAr came to thiruvAlaN^kAdu walking with her head.
When she saw the dance of the Lord transceding the Universe, she sang in bliss
the mUththa n^aRpadhikam starting, koN^gai thiraN^gi .
The dance of shiva with the matted hair that is wet with the honey of fresh
flowers put her in eternal happiness under His holy feet, she sang another thiruppadhikam etti
ilavammIkai and resided in that most safe and superior place forever.
Let the immortal blissful love of kAraikkAl ammaiyAr stay in the mind.
(This highly respected mother, lived before saint thirunyAnachamban^dhar. It is this lady who first sang in the construct called padhikam and put the signatural mark at the last hymn of the padhikam. This has been followed by many later. Hence the padhikams given by this devotee are called mUththa thiruppadhikam (elder thiruppadhikam).