Among the Azhvars, it is Thirumangai Azhvar who visited the maximum number of shrines, and he wrote verses about the shrines he visited. His verses read like travelogues, giving historical and other details. His love for the idol (archa) form of the Lord is evident in all his verses. Particularly appealing are the verses about the God of Thiruindalur, said Kidambi Narayanan, in a discourse.

In Thiruindalur, the deity is known as Parimala Rangan. One significance of the Thiruindalur verses is that on other occasions, Thirumangai Azhvar, imagining himself to be a lady pining for the Lord’s love, sang verses in nayaka-nayaki bhava. But in Thiruindalur, he remains Thirumangai Azhvar, and demands that the Lord talk to him!

Archa form

There are 10 verses that he sang about the Lord at Thiruindalur. In the first verse, he asks the Lord to walk a few steps. He says that if the Lord but takes a few steps, he and other devotees will be saved, by witnessing this. He asks the Lord why He has assumed the archa form, if not for the sake of His devotees? They cannot see Him in His heavenly abode. Nor have they been able to see Him when He took avataras such as Rama or Krishna. It is to enable them to see Him and enjoy His beauty that He is there on this earth in idol form. Why then does He not gladden their hearts?

Angry remark

Thirumangai Azhvar tells the Lord that if He does not heed his request, the Lord will be mocked and so will His devotee, for putting his trust in Him. He then says angrily: “Do as you wish.” This, according to the commentator Peria Vachan Pillai, is akin to sage Viswamitra’s anger when Dasaratha is hesitant to send Rama with the sage. Viswamitra says to Dasaratha, “Keep well, and be happy with your relatives.”

Thirumangai Azhvar, like true devotees of the Lord, can never have enough of the Lord. Hunger is satisfied when we have eaten well. But those who love the Lord will never say they have had enough of Him. The more they see Him, the more they will want to see Him; the more they think of Him, the more they will want to think of Him.

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