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There is a saying that there is a woman behind a successful man. How great this inspiring lady by name thilakavathiyAr (she is really thilaka for the womankind!!) should have been to make not just a successful man but a great sage, thinking of even whose name would induce an ocean of love for that dancing Lord in oneself - that great thirun^Avukkarachar perumAn . (1)

There was a small kingdom called thirumunaippAdi in the chOza empire region. There was this small town of great people called thiruvAMUr . In the family that cultivates the plants in the fields and that cultivates superior discipline in action lived the couple pukazanAr , mAdhiniyAr . Like the goddess of wealth who comes out from the blooming lotus, as a boon for the devotees thilakavathiyAr was born to them. A few years later there was born the seer of untiring service thirun^Avukkarachar . That twice blessed couple brought up those two children as the two eyes.

When thilakavathiyAr became thirteen kalippakaiyAr who was born in a family of similar respect, having lots of respect for the Lord with matted hair, highly generous and decorated by his good qualities and valiance, the colonel of the king proposed through elderly people to get married to her. pukazanAr agreed for the marriage and the festivities started. In that period there came a war with the a king from north for which kalippakaiyAr went to lead the army before getting married. Meanwhile proving the transienceof the life her father fell sick and went to heaven. In that shock his chaste wife mAdhiniyAr also left her mortal body to join her husband. With loss of both the parents thilakavathiyAr and her brother maruNIkkiyAr (thirun^Avukkarachar) were drowning in the ocean of sadness. By the time their relatives consoled them they got the information that kalippakaiyAr became martyr in the battlefield.

She thought that her loving mother and father wanted her to get married to kalippakaiyAr, so she wanted to join his soul. Shocked by her decision maruNIkkiyAR fell in her feet to say that already he had lost the parents but would not be able to bear it if she also decides to leave him alone. For the sake of the survival of her brother she decided to stay alive renouncing all the pleasures with the heart that has love for all the lives. maruNikkiyAr did lot of good services to come out of his sorrows.

When maruNikkiyAr was exploring the concepts of instability in human lives he was illusioned by the Jain philosaphies and joined the group where nonviolance was apparent but not. While this was the case for maruNIkkiyAr thilakvathiyAr spent more of her attention in the Almighty taken abode in the place thirivadhikai , where He burnt the three impurities. Wearing the holy symbols of Lord shiva she did holy services like brooming the temple and then washing the floor with the purifying cow dung, making garlands for the God. She was worshipping the God with a heavy heart to rescue her brother from falling into the sins who had fell in the trap of an incomplete religion. The prayers that are done with love and truthfulness though may take time will surely fetch good results. The graceful Lord decided to answer her prayer. He gave a heavily painful stomach-ache to maruNIkkiyAr.

The Jain groups tried their best to cure his pain but in vain. When they washed their hands off maruNIkkiyAr sent a person to his sister. That mother like sister who was strong in her determination conveyed clearly that she would not leave the abode of the Lord to come to the place of Jains. Her love for the brother was quite high, because of which she wanted not only his rescue from the serious stomach-ache but also wanted his rescue from his ignorance of not praying Lord shiva. As the Lord intended to bless maruNIkkiyAr, he decided to leave the company of Jains and reach the feet of thilakavathiyAr. To the crying brother who fell at her feet she told you who dwelled in unclear philosaphies get up and serve the Lord who liberates.

She took him to the abode of the Lord in thiruvadhikai and gave the wealth of Holy ash saying the beautiful five letters of the Lord. He humbly wore the Holy ash that removes the ignorance and praised the Lord with the padhikam(song) kURRAyinavARu vilakkakilIr that brings the tears of love, with his great love for Him raising over the peaks to illuminate the entire world to wipe away ignorance. The King of all medicines, that Lord sha.nkara relieved him from his pain, made him thirun^Avukkarachar and put him to the bliss. That marvelous female saint to whom the devotees would be thankful continued her service to sit in the bliss with the Lord. Let the great deed of thilakavathiyAr which gave a peerless saint called appar perumAn stay in the mind.

                                                              thavamenRu pAyidukkith thalaipaRiththu n^inRuNNum 
     avamonRu n^eRivIzvAn vIzAmE aruLumenach 
     chivamonRu n^eRin^inRa thilakavathi yArparava 
     bavamonRum vinaithIrppAr thiruvuLLam paRRuvAr

See also :

1. திலகவதியார் - PDF
2. Thirunavukkarachar 
3. Back to Great Women of Shaivism



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