Faith

Advent of Alavandar

It was indicated through divine will to Nathamuni that his grandson would preserve and propagate the Vaishnava tradition that was entrusted in his custody. At the time of his death, Nathamuni asked disciples to bequeath this inheritance to his grandson and name him Yamunai Thuraivar. The term ‘Alavandar’ means ‘One who has come to reign,’ and his advent is seen as a landmark event in Vaishnava tradition, pointed out Asuri Sri Madhavachariar in a discourse.

Born as a precocious child, he gained extraordinary proficiency in the sastras at a young age. An event in his early life proved his ability to engage in intellectual debates with felicity. Once Akki Azhwan, the court scholar, presuming himself to be the greatest scholar, insisted that all other scholars should pay him tribute in the form of dues. When this demand was sent to Alavandar’s preceptor Maha Bashya Bhatta, the disciple asked his preceptor to ignore it. Learning that a young boy had dared to defy the royal scholar, the king was curious to meet him. So he invited him to the court.

Much impressed by his effulgence and demeanour, the king promised him a share in the kingdom if he won in the debate with Akki Azhwan. The queen was sure that the boy would win. Alavandar humbled the conceited scholar by posing three statements and challenged him to negate these. ‘Your mother is not a barren woman, the king is paramount and the queen is a good wife.’ Akki Azhwan had to accept defeat. The queen greeted the boy thus, ‘you who have come to rule us all in spiritual matters.’ and the king gifted him a small country to rule. Alavandar, owing to the efforts of Nathamuni’s disciples, soon took charge of the legacy of the rich tradition that would instil intense faith and devotion to God in people’s heart and soul.


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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 10:08:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/advent-of-alavandar/article35267347.ece

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