Among the Alwars, Thirumazhisai Alwar is Fourth and is considered as the incarnation of Sudarshana, the discus of the Lord and appeared in the Kshetram Thirumazhisai [ near Chennai] in the Tamil month Thai [தை ] in the star Makha. He had visited many Divya desam. He composed many works, but we have only two with us now: Thirucchandha viruttham and Nanmugan Thiruvandhadhi. Today's [6th june 2008] lecture is from his sannidhi in Kumbakonam. It is outside the Sri Sarngapani temple and is managed privately. Here, many thousand years back Thirumazhisai Alwar was in yoga. It is reporeted that this Alwar lived in this world for 4,700 years. He spent his last 700 years in Thirukkudanthai and he departed this world while in yoga from this place. We can find the connection between the Alwar and the conclusion of 8th Chapter and the introduction of Chapter 9. While all Alwars are addressed as Alwar, only this Alwar is addressed as Thirumazhisai Piran [திருமழிசைப் பிரான்]. Similarly, while the Lord is addressed as Piran in every temple, only Sri Aravamudhan is addressed as Sri Aravamudha Azhvar [ஸ்ரீ ஆராவமுத ஆழ்வார்]. There appears to be exchange of the names between the Lord and the devotee, we may wonder. But there is a reason. This Alwar and the Lord here have been very intimate and exchanging their clothes and food were quite common. Once Alwar came to this temple and in worshiping the Lord, Alwar went around the sannidhi [pradhikshanam]. Eager to see His great devotee, the Lord's head turned to Alwar as he went around the sannidhi, like a flower turning to the movement of Sun. This caused great surprise to other devotees and temple servants. He is called Bhaktisaran, meaning he is the essence of devotees or he showed the devotion in its essence. After going round the sannidhi, the Alwar entered the sannidhi. Some devotees felt Alwar was to be given the prime honours; while many others opposed it. A great devotee Perumpuliyur Adigal, wanted the Alwar to be given proper honours but it was rejected. Seeing this the Alwar requested the Lord to come out of his heart to show who he was. The Lord did accordingly, to the surprise of all. Then the Alwar went near the Lord in the garbhagruha. Alwar thought the Lord would get up and converse with him. Alwar thought the Lord must be tireed very much and this he expressed in his poems - nadandha kaalgal nondhavo.....At the end of the pasuram the Alwar said ezhundirundhu pesu vazhi kesane [எழுந்திருந்து பேசு வாழி கேசனே!]. Accepting the command of the devotee, the Lord also tried to get up from His bed. We can notice that Sri Aravamudhan is not lying flatly but His head is slightly raised. Repenting for his request, the Alwar immediately requested the Lord not to get up. This demonstrates the power of unwavering and concentrated devotion [bhakti]; and this is the essence of Chapter 9 we are to see in the coming days. In this temple the Moolavar is Sri Varantharum Perumal and the Uthsavar is Sri Bhaktisaara Varadan. Thayar is Sri Padmasani. We can also see Nammalwar, Swami Nathamuni, Swami Ramanuja and Swami Manavala Mamunigal.
We will see the greatness of Chapter 8 as told to Parvati by lord Paramasiva. Bhava sarma was a brahmin, living with all bad habits. He never did any of his prescribed duties. In the death bed he remembered the palm trees which yielded liquor and so after death he was born as a palm tree [ as mentioned in the Chapter 8, one attains the same thoughts in the last moments]. Under this tree there lived a brahmarakshas couple Kusubalan and Sumati. Before death, the wife out of greed forced her husband to beg in chairities indiscriminately, resulting in getting this brahmarakshas appearance after death. One day she asked her husband the means to get rid of the brahmarakshas form. The husband, who was well learned, explained that they should realize Brahman. She inadvarently, repeated the 1st sloka of Chapter 8, where the Lord is explained as Sri Purushottama. Instantly, listening to this, the palm tree with a blast broke up and Bhava sarma appeared. The brahmarakshas couple also regained their earlier forms. Such is the greatness of one, the first, sloka of Chapter 8. All the three, later on, after refining their lives attained better worlds.