Monday, September 27, 2010

Azhwars : Nammazhwar

Nammazhwar (நம்மாழ்வார்)

Before the birth of Nammazhwar, as per instructions from Mahavishnu, Adhiseshan took the form of a tamarind tree in the temple of Thirukurugoor.

A couple in Thirukurugoor, Porkaariyar and Udaya nangai prayed to the Perumal in Thirukurungudi and were blessed with a son – Nammazhwar.
Nammazhwar was born on Visakam star, Friday, pournami thithi, twelfth day of Vaikasi. He is Senai Muthalyar amsam of Mahavishnu.
As a baby, Nammazhwar did not show any activity - no appetite, no cries and even his eyes were closed, but he was growing normally day by day. As soon as he was born, Perumal had fed him with Gnanam and this is why, the baby was not interested in food. Not aware of this, the couple were worried about the baby and took him to the temple and put the baby in front of the Lord in Thirukurugoor, named him Maaran and prayed for his welfare.
Adhiseshan had taken the form of tamarind tree only to give upadesam to Nammazhwar and once Nammazhwar reached the temple, he settled there in yogam for 16 years.

At that time, Madurakaviyaar, another azhwar was on pilgrimage to Mathura, Dwaraka, Kasi and Ayodya. When he was in Ayodya, he could see a bright light from south and was curious about it. This light was visible only in the night and disappeared in day time. Madurakaviyaar travelled towards south in search of the light’s source and reached Thirukurugoor. Once he entered the temple there, the light disappeared totally. He enquired in the town if there is anything special there and came to know about Nammazhwar. Madurakaviyaar stood in front of Nammazhwar and clapped his hands to wake him from his yogam and asked him “ செத்ததின் வயிற்றில் சிறியது பிறந்தால் எத்தை தின்று எங்கே கிடக்கும்?” meaning “When the soul enters a body (which is lifeless without a soul), what will it experience as happiness?” Nammazhwar promptly replied     “அத்தை தின்று அங்கே கிடக்கும்” meaning, “Due to the connection with the body which has all the five elements - sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch, the soul will experience all the joys and sorrows and be there”
Hearing this, Madurakaviyaar felt at the feet of Nammazhwar and requested him to accept him as disciple. Madurakaviyaar stayed with Nammazhwar as his disciple and his paasurams are not on the Lord, but on Nammazhwar.

Nammazhwar continued his yogam underneath the tamarind tree for 31 years. Though he was named Maaran initially, he had many names, but he was called Nammazhwar as everybody considered him as his own and called him Nammazhwar with love.

His slokam which I have studied in school is :

உயர்வற உயர்நல முடையவன் யவனவன்
மயர்வற மதிநலம் அருளினான் யவனவன்
அயர்வறும் அமரர்கள் அதிபதி யவனவன்
துயரறு சுடரடி தொழுதெழன் மனமே  

“My mind, fall at the feet of the Lord, the Supreme, one who gives you intelligence, Lord for the Devas and this will solve all your sorrows”

Nammazhwar has sung hymns on the following temples:

*Srirangam * Thirupernagar * Kumbakonam * Thiruvinnagar *Thirukkannapuram
*Thirumaliruncholai *Thirumogur *Thirukurugoor * Azhwar thirunagari
* Srivaramangai * Thirupulingudi *Thirupperai *Srivaikundam * Varagunamangai
* Perunkulam * Thirukurungudi * Thirukoviloor * Thiruvananthapuram
* Thiruvanparisaaram * Thirukaatkarai * Thirumoozhikalam * Thirupuliyur
* Thirusengundroor * Thirunaavai * Thiruvallavaazh * Thiruvanvandoor
*Thiruvaataaru * Thirukadithaanam * Thiruvaaranvilai * Tirupathi
* Ayodya * Dwaraka * Mathura * Thiruppaarkadal * Paramapadham


  1. நம்மாழ்வார் பெருமாளை வர்ணிக்க முயல்கிறார் இந்த பாசுரத்தால்.
    ஆணல்லன் பெண்ணல்லன் அல்லா அலியுமல்லன்
    காணலும் ஆகான் உளனல்லன் இல்லையல்லன்
    பேணுங்கார் பேணும் உருவாகும் அல்லனுமாம்
    கோனை பெரிதுடைத்து எம் பெம்மானை கூறுதலே
    எவ்வளவு கஷ்டம் பாருங்கள்
    லக்ஷ்மி மிகவும் நேர்த்தியாகவும் சுருக்கமாகவும் சொல்லி உள்ளீர்கள். என் வாழ்த்துக்கள்

  2. Hey
    I have read the poem at school too. But only reading it on your blog could I recollect it. Nostalgia. Good post. Thank you for all the info. :)

  3. Excellent Lakshmi,as usual you have given the biography of Nmmazhvar with a little poetry of his as i requested you to,thanks.I really appreciate the comments given by Sri.K.Parthasarathy who seems to follow your blog for a while like me.Love.

  4. Can anyone explain the poems word to word? I would be very grateful to them.