Vaishnavite Saints who had totally surrendered unto the Holy feet of Sriman Narayana.

The below mentioned song is the benedictory verse of Manavala Mamunigal in his work Upadesa rathina malai..
AzhwArgal vAzhi aruLichcheyal vAzhi
thAzhvAdhumil kuravar thAm vAzhi – yEzhpArum
uyya avargaL uraiththavaigaL thAm vAzhi
seyyamaRai thannudanE sErndhu
Meaning :
May the divine azhwars live long!
May their works, the divya prabandhams, live long!
May the spotless poorvacharyas live long!
May their accurate commentaries, which were generously offered so that people of the seven worlds can benefit from them; live long along with the sanskrit vedas!


Azhwars are divine poets absorbed in Bhakti towards Sriman Narayana. Since they are always immersed (Azhndhu, tamil word for "in depth") in kalyana gunas (the most auspicious attributes) of Sriman Narayana, they are called Azhwars.
Azhwars are known as Nityasuris or Divyasuris; those who reside permanently with the
Lord in His Heavenly abode. They had incarnated as Vasihnavite Saints to propagate Bhakthi Marga - devotion towards Lord Vishnu in the 4th-9th centuries A.D.
There are 12 Azhwars, who are the main authors of Naalayira Divya Prabandham - 4000 poetic hymns sung in praise of Sriman Narayana, at various sacred shrines known as "Divya Desams" (108 in total).
Divya Prabandham, in its present form was compiled by Nathamunigal during the 9th – 10th centuries. They are an incredible synthesis of poetic beauty, rhythmic magnificence, literary brilliance, spiritual loveliness and philosophical wisdom appealing to the head and heart of the masses.
The Twelve Azhwars are :
1. PoigaiAzhwar
2. BoothathAzhwar
3. PeyAzhwar
4. ThirumazhisaiAzhwar
5. NammAzhwar
6. MadhurakaviAzhwar
7. KulasekharAzhwar
8. PeriyAzhwar
9. Andal
10. ThondaradipodiAzhwar
11. ThiruppanAzhwar
12. ThirumangaiAzhwar

AZHWARs - 1/12 - Poigai Azhwar

Poigai Azhwar is one of the three principal azhwars, with the other two being Bhoothathazhwar and Peyazhwar, collectively called Muthalamazhwargal.
As per the legend, Poigai Azhwar was found in a small pond near the Yadhothakaari temple at Tiruvekkaa, Kanchipuram. In Tamil, small pond is called poigai, and since he was found in a pond, he was named Poigai.
Poigai Azhwar composed hundred verses on Sriman Narayana, that are classified as Muthal Tiruvandadhi and his composition is set in the Andhadhi style in which the ending syllable is the starting one for the next verse.
Message from his Prabandham : Atman is subservient to Paramatma. We should serve Him and His devotees with utmost devotion till our last breath.
Other Names: Saro yogi, Kaasara yogi, Poigai piran, Padma muni, Kavinyaporeyer
Birth Year/Month: Sidharthi / Aippisi
Birth Star: Thiruvonam
Amsam: Panchajanya (Conch)

AZHWARs - 2/12 - Boothath Azhwar

Boothath Azhwar is one of the three principal azhwars, with the other two being Poigaiazhwar and Peyazhwar, collectively called Muthalamazhwargal.
Bhoothath Azhwar composed hundred verses that are classified as Irandam Tiruvandadhi and his composition is set in the Andhadhi style in which the ending syllable is the starting one for the next verse.
As per legend, Bhoothath Azhwar appeared in a flower called kurukkathi in a garden at Tirukadalmallai (Mahabalipuram). In Tamil, Bhootham refers to one who is possessed and since the saint was madly attracted to Sriman Narayana, he got the name.
Message from his prabandham:
Sriman Narayana’s compassion is the only means for reaching Sri Vaikuntam.
Sri Velukkudi Krishnan Swami explains this very well :
We build water tanks for storing water when it rains. But, it is not going to rain, since we have built the tanks. We have to wait for the clouds to shower the rain. But, if we don’t have a tank, we won’t be able to store the water when it rains. Likewise, after we do Saranagathi/surrender, we have to make Bhagawan reside in our mind all the time and wait for Bhagawan to shower His blessings.
Birth Place: Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram)
Birth Year/Month: Sidharthi / Aippasi
Birth Star: Avittam
Amsam: Kaumodakee (Mace)

AZHWARs - 3/12 - Pey Azhwar

Pey Azhwar is one of the three principal azhwars, with the other two being Poigaiazhwar and Bhoothathazhwar, collectively called Muthalamazhwargal.
Pey Azhwar composed hundred verses that are classified as Moondram Tiruvandadhi and his composition is set in the Andhadhi style in which the ending syllable is the starting one for the next verse.
As per legend, he appeared in sevvalli flower (lily) in a well in Adikesava Perumal koil at Mylapore (historically called Manikaivaram), in Chennai. In Tamil, Pey refers to one who is possessed and since the saint was madly attracted to Sriman Narayana, he got the name.
Message from his prabandham:
Considering the essential nature of the atman and paramatman, Saranagathi (surrender) is natural and simple. Abstain from strenuous austerities. If we have understood that Paramatma, Sriman Narayana is ever willing to protect us and have accepted that we are totally dependent on Him, it is quite natural that He needs to protect us. For example, it is natural for our parents to protect us, give us food, good education and a good life. Likewise, Sriman Narayana is the Supreme Father for all the jeevatmas. So, He will protect us naturally.
Other Names: Kairava Muni, Mahadahvaya and Mylapuradadipadhi
Birth Year/Month: Sidharthi /Aippasi
Birth Star: Sadayam
Amsam: Nandhagam (Sword)

AZHWARs - 4/12 - Thirumazhisai Azhwar

The name of the Azhwar comes from his birthplace, Thirumazhisai, a suburb in Chennai. He was born to Bhargava maharishi and Kanakangi, the foetus came out as just a lifeless lump of flesh with no arms and legs. The couple were depressed and left it under a bamboo bush and proceeded with their spiritual journey. Lord Vishnu blessed the "flesh" and it turned into a lively human being.
He was later picked up by a tribal couple Thiruvalan and Pankajavalli, who took good care of this god's gift. The boy grew up to become Thirumazhisai azhwar. He also had an eye on his right leg.
He sang 216 verses - Tiruchanda virutham and Nanmugan Tiruvandhadhi.
He had taken up Vaishnavism as per Pey Azhwar's advise, Thirumazhisai Alwar says in his own words..
sAkkiyam katrOm, SamaNam katrOm, SankaranAr aakkiya Aagamanool
aarAindhOM; BhaggiyathAl venkaTkariyAnai SerndOm
We had learned SAkkiyam (Buddhism) SamaNam (Jainism) and the Agamic Scriptures made by Lord Shankara (Shiva); Due to sheer grace, we landed at the feet of Tiruvengadathaan.
In one of the incidence in Pallava king's court, the king asks Thirumazhisai Azhwar's disciple to leave the kingdom. Azhwar also decides to leave and asks the Lord Yatotkari of Kanchipuram to leave the temple and come along with him. The Lord obeyed his devotee hence his name is "Sonna vannam seidha Perumal"..
KanikaNNan Poginraan Kaamaru poong Kachi
ManivaNNaa! Nee Kidakka Vendaa
Sennaap Pulavanum Poginren Neeyum Unran
Pai Naagappaayai Suruttik KoLL
KanikaNNan is going out of kAnchi Oh! Manivanna!, You don't have to lie here anymore. Since, as the fluent poet that I am also leaving with him, you also roll your serpent bed and follow me"And, accordingly all of them left KAnchipuram..
When they left, Kanchi became desolate. The king realized his folly and requested Thirumazhisai Azhwar and his disciple to forgive and return. Azhwar prayed to the Lord that in view of the King's repentance, they might return. He sang again-
KanikaNNan Pokkozhindaan Kamarupoong Kachi ManivaNNa ! Nee Kidakka
Sennap Pulavanum Pokkozhinden- Neeyum Unran
Sennap Pain NAgap Paayil Paduthuk KoLL
Meaning -
Kanikannan has changed his mind and rescinded his decision to leave Since, as I, the fluent poet am also returning with him, You may also return and lie down on your serpent bed as before "All of them returned accordingly and Kanchipuram regained its lost glory.
Message from his prabandham:
Bhagawan is so intimate and dear that He resides in us forever waiting for an opportunity to help us.
He is inside every jeevatma whether it is a non-living thing or an animal or a human being. His favourite abode is our mind. We should reciprocate this by showing our love to Him and surrender unto Him.
Other Names : Bhakthi-saarar, Bhaargavar, Magisaaraapuriswarar, Mazhisai-piraan
Year/ Month: Sidharthi / Thai
Birth Star: Maham
Amsam: Sudarsanam (Discus)

AZHWARs - 5/12 - Namma Azhwar

Nammazhwar was born to Kaari and Udayanangai in Azhwar Thirunagari (ThiruKurugoor). The child was extraordinary, for several days he lived with eyes closed without speaking, in perfect health, without food (neither breast fed milk nor any other). Distressed at this, the parents placed the child at the shrine of Lord Aadinathar, the deity of ThiruKurugoor temple, surrendering unto Him the entire burden of upbringing the child.
The child crawled into a hole in a tamarind tree, sat in padmasan and began to meditate. It is believed that he was in this state for as long as sixteen years when a Tamil poet and scholar who had gone on a pilgrimage to North India, Madhurakavi Azhwar saw a bright light shining to the south, and followed it until he reached the tree where the boy was sitting.
With great difficulty, Madhurakavi succeeded in drawing out Nammazhwar from his deep samadhi. He learnt from Nammazhwar the secrets of all the shastras by becoming his disciple.
The works of Nammazhwar were compiled by Madhurakavi as four different works, the Tiruvayumoli (1102 verses), Thiruviruttam (100 verses), Thiruvaasiriam (or Thiru Aasiriyam - 7 verses) and Periya Thiruvanthadi (87 verses). The works of Nammazhwar contributed to the philosophical and theological ideas of Vaishnavism.
Though Nammazhwar did not visit any of the 108 divyadesam temples of Vaishnavites, it appears from his works he must have had the vision of all the deities in the temples which he had glorified in his hymns.
In South Indian Vaishnava temples, Nammazhwar is given a status equal to that of Lord Vishnu. The *Garudasevai * festival in Nava Tirupathi, the nine Vishnu temples in Thoothukudi region and the Araiyar Sevai during the *Vaikunta Ekadesi * festival in Srirangam temple are dedicated to him. The verses of Nammazhwar and other azhwars are recited as a part of daily prayers and during festive occasions in most Vishnu temples in South India.
It is believed that in kali yuga, the doors of Vaikundam (the supreme abode) was opened first time for Nammazhwar by Sriman Narayanan himself and it is believed that the followers of Sri Nammazhwar have the most easy access to the supreme abode.
Message from his prabandham:
Bhagawan treats everyone equally. Lord Varaha, who saved Bhoomi Devi submerged in the ocean, is the only savior to all the atmans in this world.
Saranagathi can be performed by anyone. Example, in Yuddha Kanda, Vibeeshana performed saranagathi to Rama and Rama accepted him immediately even though he was a demon by birth and was Ravana’s brother. Rama gave moksham to Jatayu (a bird), Sabhari (a hunter woman) when they did Saranagathi. He never discriminates between people based on birth, education or wealth.
Other Names: Satakopan, Vakulaa Bharana. Vakula Bhooshana, Parankusa, Kaari Sooran, Maran, Kurugaiyar Kone and Prapanna Janakootastha.
Birth Year/Month: Pramaadhi/Vaikasi
Birth Star: Visakham
Amsam: Viswaksenar (Commander of Army)

AZHWARs - 6/12 - Madhurakavi Azhwar

Madhurakavi azhwar was born before Nammazhwar, in a Brahmin family, in Thirukkolur near Azhwar Thirunagari.
Madhurakavi azhwar is believed to have learnt the Vedas and considered well-versed in both Tamil and Sanskrit. He used to compose poems in praise of Lord Vishnu. At one stage in his life, he decided to abandon all the worldly things and strive towards moksha. In this pursuit he undertook a pilgrimage to the divya desam located in Northern India like Ayodhya and Mathura.
While in the pilgrimage, Madhurakavi azhwar saw a bright light shining to the south, and followed it until he reached the tree where Nammazhwar was sitting in deep penance.
With great difficulty, Madhurakavi azhwar succeeded in drawing out Nammazhwar from his samadhi. He learnt from Nammazhwar the secrets of all the shastras by becoming his disciple.
The works of Nammazhwar were compiled by Madhurakavi azhwar as four different works, the Tiruvayumoli (1102 verses), Thiruviruttam (100 verses), Thiruvaasiriam (or Thiru Aasiriyam - 7 verses) and Periya Thiruvanthadi (87 verses).
Madhurakavi azhwar sang Kanninun SiruthAmbu - 11 pasurams on his Guru Nammazhwar, as Guru is equivalent to Sriman Narayana for him.
Message from his prabandham:
Preceptors who introduce Bhagawan to us are our Acharyas. So, we should show ultimate respect to our Acharyas. Nammazhwar was God to Madura kavi Azhwar. He spent his life singing Nammazhwar’s Tiruvaimozhi.
Other Names: Inkaviyaar, Azhwaarukku Adiyaan
Birth Year/Month: Eeswara / Chittirai
Birth Star: Chittirai
Amsam: Vainatheya (Garuda)

AZHWARs - 7/12 - Kulasekhara Azhwar

Kulasekhara Azhwar was born in Periyar, Kerala, to Chera King Dhidavrathan and his queen Nandhanayaki.
As per legend, Kulashekhara Azhwar learnt Sastras, Arts, Tamil, Sanskrit and Martial Arts. He became the king and won several wars. He ruled Kolli (modern-day Uraiyur), Koodal (modern day Madurai) and Kongu, to the satisfaction of his subjects for quite a few years.
One day, he had a dream in which Lord Venkateshwara appeared and from then on he diverted his attention towards devotion and religion. Once in his court, a religious scholar was giving discourse on Ramayana and the predicament that Sri Rama faced in fighting Ravana. Kulasekhara Azhwar got perturbed and started gathering his army to help Sri Rama. He had to be consoled later by the scholar that all was well with Sri Rama and that he prevailed in the war.
Eventually Kulasekhara Azhwar renounced his kingdom, anointed his son on the throne and went on pilgrimage visiting temples. Being a scholar in Tamil, he wrote 105 pasurams called "Perumal Thirumozhi" in praise of the deities at Srirangam, Thirumalai (Thirupathi), Thiruviththuvakkodu, Thirukannapuram, Thiruccitrakudam, Ayodhya and also on Sri Rama and Sri Krishna.
His longing to serve Lord Venkateshwara made him sing in his pasurams what he should to be born as :
=-A bird in the pond on the Thiruvenkata hill
=-A fish in the pond since the bird may fly away
-Some one who will hold the golden utensil which is used in Lord's service, since the fish may swim away
=-A flower on A tree, since holding the golden utensil may create ego in my mind and that will drive me away
=-A river on Thiruvenkata hill, since the useless tree will be removed Some day once the flower is used up
=-the stairs leading up to the sannidhi, since the river may dry up Some day
=-the stepping stone in front of the sannidhi, since by being the stairs, route may be changed Some day.
To this day the stepping stone that leads to sanctum sanctorum of Vaishnava temples is known as *Kulashekharan Thiruppadi ( Kulashekara's sacred step) * in recognition of his intense desire to be born as the step, serving the Lord at all times.
He had also sung, on the experiences of Devaki matha missing the childhood pranks of Sri Krishna, a lullaby for Sri Rama thinking himself to be Yasodha matha. As he was well versed in Sanskrit, he sang 53 shlokas in praise of Sri Krishna titled "Mukunda Mala" (Garland for Krishna).
Message from his prabandham:
Do not blame Bhagawan for our sufferings. Work for permanent relief from this world.
A patient pays a huge sum of money to a surgeon who does his surgery and is ever thankful to him for saving his life, even though the surgeon has cut open his parts of the body to perform the surgery. Similarly, when Bhagawan gives us some obstacles in life, we should not blame Him; we have to accept the challenge as they will become stepping stone to attain permanent happiness.
Other Names: Kollikkaavalan, Koodal Naayagan, Koyikone, Villavar Kone, Cheyralar Kone
Birth Year/Month: Prabhava/Maasi
Birth Star: Punar Poosam
Amsam: Kaustubham (Gem Necklace)

AZHWARs - 8/12 - Periya Azhwar

Periyazhwar was born in Srivilliputhur, in a Brahmin family to Mukunda Bhattar and Padmavalli. He was named Vishnuchittar by his parents.
Periyazhwar was very devoted to Sriman Narayana, he dedicated himself in the Nandavanam (flower garden), plucking flowers and weaving an excellent garland, enjoying the Lord wearing the garlands. He used to get immense satisfaction and happiness from singing songs in praise of the Lord.
Vallabhadevan a great Vishnubhakta was the ruler of Madurai, he wanted to know the inner meaning of vedas and supreme truth. He invited scholars and pundits from his kingdom to explain the truth and announced that the right one will be rewarded.
One night the Lord appeared in Periyazhwar’s dream and asked him to go to the king and explain the ultimate truth. Periyazhwar said O lord! I do not know anything, I have used my hands for cultivating the flower garden, not studied the vedas.The Lord told him not to worry and that he would assist him in his endeavour.
On the appointed day Periyazhwar reached Madurai amongst well known vedic scholars and pundits. A bag of gold coins was hung on the top of the king’s durbar and it was announced that the bag would fall before the one who clearly explains the supreme truth.
Periyazhwar came and stood before the king closed his eyes and prayed to the Lord who came and sat on his tongue, out flowed a glorious presentation of the supreme truth. He concluded by saying that Sriman Narayana is the Supreme being. The bag of gold coins fell before him. There was joy all around, he was well rewarded and called "Bhattar piraan". Periyazhwar was taken along the streets of Madurai on an elephant as a special honour. As he was going along, the Lord appeared in the sky on the garuda vahanam with Goddess Mahalakshmi to bless Periyazhwar. On seeing this divine appearance of the Lord, Periyazhwar composed the Thirupallaandu.
The first paasuram goes like this..
Pallaandu Pallaandu Pallaayiratthaandu Palakodi Nooraayiram (Long live for many years, Long live for many years for Hundreds of thousands of years!) He is giving Asirvaadhams to the Lord! for living eternally and forever!. He is called PERIYA AZHWAR, the eldest Azhwar - because he greeted and blessed the Lord himself!
Periazhwar gets worried whether he will lose this Bhagya of having the Lord as He was present in front of Azhwar. Immediately, he sings(“*adiyOdum ninnOdum PirivinRi aayiram pallaandu*..”) Long live Your relationship with me…(Your eternal servant) without any gap/separation.
After being conferred "Bhattar piraan", Periyazhwar continued on his Maalai kainkaryam (garland making), while he enjoyed singing paasurams on the Lord. He sang as if he became the Lord's mother, Yasodhama. He bathed Him, fed Him, dressed Him; played with Him; and enjoyed and imagined all experiences which she had undergone. The child's mischiefs, leelas, beauty were all sung by Periyazhwar.
On the Adi pooram day when he was plucking flowers in his beautiful nandhavanam, he heard a faint cry of a baby, which appeared as an incarnation of Bhoomaadevi. He was pleasantly surprised and picked up the female child, his wife Vrajai was also overwhelmed with joy and they both named her "Kothai". They took care of the baby girl, who later on became the Lord's consort Andaal.
Periazhwar is the only Azhwar who is blessed with the privilege of becoming the Lord's father-in-law. He had composed 473 paasurams called as Periyazhwar Tirumozhi of that the first 12 are Thirupallaandu.
Message from his prabandham:
Be confident and wait eagerly that once you have surrendered to Bhagawan, He would grant liberation for sure.
He talks about Acharya samasrayanam in his hymns to convey that we are wedded to Bhagawan. His prabandham confirms the relationship between Bhagawan Sriman Narayana and a jeevatma. We do not have to worry about out liberation after we get our samasrayanam done. He will grant us liberation one day for sure.
Other Names: Vishnu Chittar, Patta Naadan, Bhattar Piraan, Sri Villiputthooraar, Sriranganaatha Svasoorar
Birth Year/Month: Krodhana/Aani
Birth Star: Swathi
Amsam: Garuda (Chariot/Vehicle)

AZHWARs - 9/12 - Andal

An incarnation of Sri Bhoomi Devi, a divine girl child appeared under the Tulasi plant in Vishnuchithar's (Periyazhwar’s) garden on the Aadi Pooram day. He was pleasantly surprised and picked up the divine child, his wife Vrajai was also overwhelmed with joy and they both named her "Kothai".
Periyazhwar brought her up in simple and godly surroundings natural to a pious, vedic Brahmin family. The child prodigy thus fostered lovingly grew into a beautiful maiden and became an embodiment of love for Sri Krishna.
Being a devotee of "Sri Vadabhatrasayee", the presiding deity of Srivilliputhur, Vishnuchithar would weave a garland of flowers and tulasi leaves daily and keep it sacredly rolled in a flower basket so that he may, after attending to his normal chores, take the garland later to the temple for offering to the Lord.
The child “Kothai” in her profound innocence would take out the garland daily without her father's knowledge, adorn herself and look into the mirror to satisfy herself whether she was suitable bride to the Lord and then would remove the garland and replace it in the basket in its original form. This was going on for days and without actually knowing that her daughter had adorned the garland around herself, Vishnuchithar would offer this to the deity who wore it beatifically.
One day to his surprise, Vishnucithar saw the child wearing the garland before he could take it to the temple. He was shocked for he considered this as a great defilement. He remonstrated her for this act. He fasted that day and did not offer the garland and was all repentant.
But lo! What a surprise? At night, the Lord appearing in his dreams asked, why you did not offer me the tulasi garland today? I am ever eager to have the things touched by my devotee. Think not Andal Kothai to be a mere mortal.”
To his wonder Vishnuchithar found that tulasi garland on the previous day worn by Andal had not faded. But, was fresher than a freshly made garland. Thereafter, he offered the garland to the deity after being worn by Andal. The Lord continued to give his blissful and ineffable “darshan”. (Even today, this practice is being observed at the temple of Srivilliputhur.)
She got the name "Andal" since she had won over the heart of the Lord (Andu in Tamil means win over). When Andal attained her marriageable age, her father Vishnuchithar was worried to find a suitable match for her. But, the divine child would not marry anyone except Lord Krishna.
Therefore, Vishnuchithar narrated all the KALYANA GUNAS of all the Archa-Murthis of the one hundred and eight Sri Vaishnava Kshetras, so that she may for herself choose the deity. When she heard of the Soundarya of Lord Sri Ranganathar, tears of joy came over her and her heart prayed to HIM to come and accept her in wedlock.
At this, Vishnuchithar, knowing not what to do, meditated. Sri Ranganathar spoke to him in his dream: "Do not hesitate to offer your daughter to Me, for she is Bhudevi herself." Simultaneously the Lord bade the sthanikas(officials in charge) of Srirangam to go to Srivilliputhur and bring Andal in a palanquin in all royalty.
King Vallabhadeva along with his retinue joined the procession from Srivilliputhur to Srirangam with Sri Andal in a palanquin.
As Sri Andal entered the inner shrine of Sri Ranganathar, the magnetic beauty of the Lord instantly attracted her. She boldly mounted up His serpent couch and joined the eternal lustrous light of Sri Ranganatha in the presence of the gathering.
Sri Andal gave two gems as masterpieces:
TIRUPPAVAI (30 verses) - Sung in all the Vaishnava temples during Margazhi month (Dec/Jan).
Message from her prabandham:
All of us are spiritually related. Let us join together and realize that human end is Bhagawan and enjoy His divine attributes.
We are all servants of the same Lord Narayana and enjoy His divine qualities as “Sakkarai Pongal (sweet rice)”.
Other Names: Soodi Kodutha Naachiyaar, Kothai, Kothai Piraatti
Birth Year/Month: Nala/Aadi
Birth Star: Pooram
Amsam: Bhoodevi

AZHWARs-10/12 - Thondaradipodi Azhwar

Thondaradipodi Azhwar was born to Vedavisarathar in a Brahmin family in Thirumandangudi. His childhood name was "Vipra Narayanan”. He was well trained by his father in Vedas, Upanishads, Sanskrit and Tamil.
He remained detached from worldly life and and was wedded to his service to the Lord and to his devotees. He came to be called as “Thondaradippodi” (Dust at the feet of Lord's devotees) referring to his humility and his devotion to bhagavathas.
Once, he left Mandangudi on a pilgrimage and headed towards Srirangam, the foremost among divya deshas. He refers to it as Periya Kovil. Sri Ranganatha captivated his mind in the very first darshan and the Azhwar who came on a tour remained there in a grove near the temple permanently.
The Azhwar created a beautiful garden full of fragrant flowers and Tulasi. He used to spend all his time in his garden tending it and making beautiful garlands that glimmered with love and care. He lived in a small hut within the garden, visiting the temple thrice everyday to have darshan.
While the Azhwar was thus immersed in his divine consciousness, the Lord decided to enact a LEELA to bring out to the world His commitment to His devotees. Around this time, there lived in Srirangam two glamorous, bewitching court dancers named Devi and Devadevi. They were extremely proud of their beauty and proficiency in fine arts and they enjoyed royal patronage.
Once they came to the temple to dance before the Lord during Utsava and were drawn into the Azhwar's garden, which captivated them. There they met the Azhwar engrossed in his work, his mind constantly meditating on the Lord. Devadevi fell in love with him and was upset to note that he paid no attention to her. Her sister warned her about getting infatuated with a man who was above the influence of worldly desires.
Devadevi, enraged by this advice, swore to turn the attention of this saint towards her charms within a month. She left with her sister to return to the garden dressed in simple clothes and approached the Azhwar. She fell at his feet and begged him to accept her as his disciple seeking to perform service to him and to the Lord. The Azhwar, a simple soul, accepted her at face value and was pleased to watch the commitment with which she served him. Slowly the Lord's Maya diverted the Azhwar's attention to the girl and the girl herself got involved more than what she bargained for.
After sometime, she expressed a desire to go back to her house to see her mother and sister. The Azhwar, unable to tolerate separation, left with her and settled down in her place. Soon he was deprived of all his wealth by the girl's mother who kept demanding more money all the time. Finally when the Azhwar had nothing to give, the mother turned him out. He returned in deep sorrow to his garden while Devadevi mourned his sorry state and her helplessness.
Sri Ranganatha interfered to help the Azhwar. He went to Devadevi's mother calling himself as the Azhwar's servant and handed over a big gold vessel from the temple to her. The lady rejoiced over the very valuable gift and reluctant to lose the Azhwar, sent Sri Ranganatha back to invite the Azhwar. The Lord went to his devotee carrying the message and the Azhwar rushed back to his beloved.
The very next morning, the temple priest noticed the valuable vessel missing and reported the loss to the king. The king ordered a massive search and the vessel was found in the dancer's house. Devadevi's mother pleaded that the vessel was brought by the Azhwar's servant while the Azhwar swore he had no servant nor had he any valuable wealth.
The king refused to believe him and locked him up in a cell where the Azhwar spent a sleepless night pleading to the Lord.
That night Sri Ranganatha appeared in the king's dream and explained that he had chosen to go on the Azhwar's behalf to help him. The Lord made it clear that He was a devoted servant of his bhaktas and chose to humble himself in any way for them. The king woke up in the morning realising that he had committed a grave sin of ill-treating a great devotee.
The king released Azhwar and took him in a bedecked palanquin to the temple and watched him rush to the sanctum sanctorum to have a darshan of the Lord who came to his service in all his mercy. From that day the Azhwar went back to his sadhana and service to the Lord and bhaktas.
Thondaradipodi Azhwar enjoys, mercy of Lord Rama, charm of Sri Krishna and special grace towards bhaktas like Gajendra, in his work “Thiru Maalai” (45 verses). He had sung "Thirupalliyezhuchi " (10 verses) to awaken the Lord which is recited in daily aradhana.
Message from his prabandham:
Namasankeertanam is medicine as well as elixir for this Kali yuga. Chanting His holy names is the only way for liberation.
Other Names: Vipra Narayanar, Thiru Mandangudiyaar, Bhakthangirirenu, Palliunartthiya Piraan
Birth Year/Month: Prabhava/Margazhi
Birth Star: Kettai
Amsam: Vanamaalai (Lord's favourite ornament/garland)

AZHWARs - 11/12 - Thiruppaan Azhwar

Thiruppaanazhwar was born in a small village of Alagapuri near Srirangam in the Paanars community, who are musicians and traditional song makers, capable of moving their audiences to states of ecstasy and bliss. The Paanar community were considered as outcastes.
Right from childhood, irrespective of the treatment met out to his community, Azhwar was completely immersed in divine love and had his mind fixed on Lord Sri Ranganatha, presiding deity of Srirangam temple. Having a Veena in his hand, he was always seen to be singing the glories of Lord Vishnu.
One of the strictures on outcastes was that they were not allowed to use some shores of Kaveri river flowing near Srirangam temple, considered sacred and pure by the people of that region. Following this stricture, Azhwar did not come near the Kaveri river, but mostly stood alongside its banks facing the Srirangam temple and sang in praise of Lord Ranganatha.
One day Loka Saaranga, the priest of Srirangam temple came to Kaveri river for drawing water for the temple. Azhwar was in deep devotion and was unaware of his surroundings that he missed the voice of Saaranga asking him to leave way. After a while, Saaranga threw a small stone in Azhwar's direction to get his attention, but the stone accidentally hit the forehead of Azhwar. He started to bleed and realised the happening but quietly retired.
Unaware of the injury caused to Azhwar, Saaranga returned to the temple. He was taken aback on seeing blood oozing out from the forehead of Sri Ranganatha swamy. He was totally disturbed and worried not knowing the reason for the blood. That night, the Lord appeared in his dream and told him that He had merged with Azhwar during his prayers and the stone thrown at Azhwar literally hit Him. Saaranga was told to fetch Azhwar, the next morning to the temple in his shoulders.
Accordingly the next day, Saaranga approached and requested Azhwar to come to the temple. But he referring to his lower caste, declined to enter the holy place. When he was told that it was Lord Vishnu's divine instruction, he obliged and Loka Saaranga took him in his shoulder across the river into the temple.
The devotee who had been waiting for this moment all his life, experienced the most sublime divine ecstasy which was immortalized in the form of Amalan aadipiraan (pasurams describing the beauty from head to foot of Lord Vishnu in ten verses). Thiru Paanaazhwar merged himself completely with the Lord Sri Ranganatha swamy in His sanctum similar to Sri Andal.
Message from his prabandham:
To control our senses and employ them in the right path, rest the sensual organs and mind in the divine body of Bhagawan.
Bhagawan’s body is made of pure quality of serenity (suddha sathvam). If we look at Bhagawan, we will gain jnana and it will transcend us to eternal abode. Looking at Him promotes wisdom and joy.
Other Names: Paanar, Muni vaahanar, Yogi vaahanar, Kaveeswarar
Birth Year/Month: Dhurmathi/Karthigai
Birth Star: Rohini
Amsam: Srivatsam (Divine mark in the Lord's chest.

AZHWARs - 12/12 - Thirumangai Azhwar

Thirumangaiazhwar was born in Thirukuraiyalur, a small village near Sirkazhi in Tamil Nadu, in Mutharaiyar family (warrior community). Azhwar's father was Nilam Mutharaiyar, a general under the Chola empire.
Azhwar was skilled in archery and worked as a military commander himself for the Chola king. In recognition of his valour, he was rewarded a small terrority called Ali Nadu to govern, it's capital being Thirumangai. He earned the title Thirumangai Mannan or King of Thirumangai.
His call to spiritual journey and superior bhakti came when he married the divine and most beautiful Kumudavalli Naachiyaar. She set two conditions for him before she would marry him. One was for him to embrace Sri Vaishnavism by taking proper initiation from an acharya and the second was to serve 1008 bhagavataas (devotees) with a grand meal daily for one year.
Azhwar's ardent desire to keep his promise to his wife made him spend beyond his means. He had difficulties meeting the required collections of taxes for the chola king. The latter made him a captive by force. He was vexed and upset with the Lord for not showing him the way. Due to Lord's love for Azhwar, He revealed the location of a hidden treasure in Kanchipuram in his dreams, with which the Azhwar could compensate the King and continue feeding the bhagavataas.
The Azhwar followed the lead and retrieved the treasure which made him meet his obligations for a while. Eventually however the funds ran out. He then with a few of his friends, decided to rob the rich to keep up the feeding of the bhagavataas.
The Lord's direct grace came to Azhwar during one of those occasions when he waited to waylay some rich couple travelling through the woods in the night. The Lord Himself along with Sri Maha Lakshmi came in the form of a newly wed rich couple.
Azhwar, being excited at the opportunity of getting a big bounty, surrounds the wedding party and robs them of everything. Finally Azhwar bites off the toe ring from Lord's Lotus feet and the Lord being greatly amazed at Azhwar's valour proclaims "Nam Kaliyano" meaning "Are you my Kaliyan?".
Azhwar got the bridegroom to bundle up all the jewels and part with them by mere show of his sword. But the bundle was too heavy for Azhwar to carry. He felt that the bridegroom had put some kind of a “mantric” spell on him. He forced Him to reveal the “mantra”. Following this, the Lord imparted the Ashta akshara mantra to Azhwar. This immediately transformed Azhwar completely.
The Lord revealed Himself to the Azhwar and told him to visit all His 108 Divya deshas or Holy shrines. Thus all the divya deshas sung by the various Azhwars, came to take on a special meaning for the discerning devotees. Azhwar visited almost all the Divya deshams and his work includes-
Periya Thirumozhi-1084 verses; Thiru Vezhukootru irukkai-1 verse; Thiru Kurun Thandagam-20 verses; Thiru Nedun Thandagam-30 verses; Siriya Thirumadal-40 verses; Periya Thirumadal-78 verses.
Message from his prabandham:
Spend your time till liberation by worshipping the deities in Divya Desams and serving Perumal and His devotees. Archa form (Deities in the Divya Desams) are easily accessible. He is visible to us. So, go prostrate before the deities and serve Him.
Other Names: Kaliyan, Aalinaadan, Naalu Kavi perumal, Parakaalan, Mangaiyarkone
Birth Year/ Month: Nala/ Karthigai
Birth Star: Krithigai
Amsam: Saranga (Bow)
🙏Proud to be a Hindu🙏⁠⁠⁠⁠