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Nammalvar Story – Life Story of Nammalvar

Nammalvar is one twelve Alwars in Vaishnavism and is renowned for his beautiful hymns dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The life story of Nammalvar is full of miracles and is a classic example of what unwavering devotion can give a devotee.

Nammalwar’s parents were Udayanangai and Kaari. They named him Maran which means ‘Manmadha’, the God of Love. He has many titles such as Maran, Sathari, Satarupa, Sathakopi, Paramkusa Muni and Yatheendra.

Young Nammalwar Left To Die in Adinatha Swamy Temple

While hearing the name of Srihari Vishnu, the boy Nammalwar went into a state of Samadhi immediately after his birth. Neither did he cry nor did he drink his mother’s milk.

He remained calm without any physical movement. His parents took the child to the temple of Lord Adinath Swami. They prayed to him and finally they left him to his fate. They put him in a cradle tied to a branch of a tamarind tree and left him without food and water.

Srihari Vishnu Became The Mother Of Nammalwar

Maran began to grow well naturally even without food and water. Pretty quickly, eight years elapsed. Devotees who came of the darshan in the temple were enamored by the divine looking boy in the temple who looked like young Krishna. The devotees lovingly decorated his head with the garland made of Pogada flowers already offered to Lord Adinath Swami. By wearing the unfading garland always, the boy came to be known as ‘Vakulabharanam’.

Even God himself addressed the boy as (Nammalwar) ‘our Alwar’. In Tamil ‘Namma’ means ‘our’. Alwar means one among the group of devotees.

With Lord’s graceful blessings, Nammalwar attained manhood. He sincerely believed in the Lord as his mother. Lord looked after him and nourished him well with His nectar-like blessings even without the need of food and water.

Nammalvar and Saranagati

The Bhagavata Dharma remained as ‘saranagati dharma’ and became Sri Vaishnava tradition only through Nammalwar’s way of surrender which is called ‘Saranagathi’.
His works namely Tiruviruttam consisting one hundred pasurams, Thiruvasagam consisting seven pasurams, Periya Thiruvanthadi Prabhandam consisting eighty seven pasurams.

Thiruvirutham and Periyatiruvandadi Prabandha are chanted in the Hanumantha Vahana and Gaja Vahana Sevas during the Brahmotsavams of Lord Venkateswara. His Tiruviruttam is also chanted during Mohini Avataram and Garuda Vahana Seva.

Sitting under the tamarind tree and contemplating on God forever, Nammalwar remained in deep penance for a period of sixteen long years without water and food. 

Archamurthies of divine countries appeared before him as they were in praise of his natural Jnana, Thapa, Vairagya and devotional attitudes. Residing under the tamarind tree, Nammalwar described the divine nations (abodes of Vishnu) and the divine deities in his natural and divine poetry in Tamil. These descriptions of his Bhagavatha Darshan Anubhava is found in “Tiruvaymoli.”

Nammalwar reached his divine abode at the age of thirty six. His mission of his life is to serve the Lord, love Him, praise Him and surrender to Him. 



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