Yamunai Thuraivar was a child prodigy that he was able to by-heart all the Vedas, Upanishid and was able to mine the meaning of difficult phrases.
After his father’s demise, when he was 12, he got into the school of a scholar called MahaBashya Battar. During those days, a scholar ‘AakiAzhwan’ was gaining popularity in the Chola King’s court. He proclaimed himself to be the Best and won many scholars in debates. As a prize for his gift, he collected 1/10 of their earnings as levy to him from those defeated also from those who restrained from debates with him.
During such years, AakiAzhwan sent a notice to MahaBashya Battar for such levy. Yamanuai Thuraivar got ferocious and told that they were not scholars who live their livelihood from debates and prizes. He squashed that letter by stating that they would not pay such levies. He also announced that he was ready to debate with AakiAzhwan.
Taken aback by the courage of Yamunai Thuraivar, the King invited him to his court for the debating with AakiAzhwan. But Yamunai Thuraivar refused the invitation and demanded a royal invitation and treatment for making his debate in the court. Owing to the demand, the King made the same to Yamunai Thuraivar.
On seeing the 12 year old boy coming in the royal procession, the queen got impressed and told the king that she is confident that Yamunai Thuraivar will win AakiAzhwan. Hearing this, the King told that if Yamunai Thuraivar wins the debate, then Yamunai Thuraivar would be made as a king for half of the kingdom, if not the king would part away the queen for ever.
The Debate was started. Yamunai Thuraivar was asked to choose his choice of subject for the debate. But he replied that he was ready to answer from any subject. AakiAzhwan made many questions and all of them were well answered by Yamunai Thuraivar. The court was stunned. Finally to conclude, AakiAzhwan asked Yamunai Thuraivar to have “Debate to Negate”. (The debater would raise a question or sentence and the opponent should negate the same based on Sastras and Vedas.)
Yamunai Thuraivar went ahead and made the following three questions immediately and asked AakiAzhwan to negate and prove them based on Sastras.
Those 3 questions spelled by Yamunai Thuraivar were:
1. Un Thai Maladi Allal (Your Mother is not issueless)
2. Entha Raja Sarvabowman (This King is a ruler of the world)
3. Entha Arasi PathiViradhai (This Queen has no affairs outside)
Now AakiAzhwan need to Negate and prove with relevant base from Sastras as
1. His mother is issueless …. ie, does not have a Child.
2. The King is not a ruler of the world.
3. The Queen has affairs outside.
As AakiAzhwan was unable to negate them, he accepted his defeat. Now the King asked Yamunai Thuraivar whether he would be able to negate them as told.Yamunai Thuraivar told YES and started negating those 3 sentences with the proof from Sastras…
1. “Kaakaa Vanthya Kathali Vanthya”, says sastra. The meaning is that by way of yielding one egg and one bunch of fruits, the crow and the Plantain tree are called as Non Yielder only. i.e., in other words, a single tree can never form or called as a groove. Also sastras proclaims that “Eka Puthroghya Logha Vadhath”. This isbecause, the mother of a single child will always be in the grip of the grief as she is left with no other alternate son or options for taking care of her.
Given the above facts, AakiAzhwan’s mother is also childless.
2. “Sarvabowman” literally means the king who rules the entire world. But as the Chola king was ruling only a portion of the world, he cannot be called as ‘Sarvabowman’.
3. As per the Vedic sentences and Sastras, the bride is subjected to get married to the lords like Chandran, Gandharvan and Agni, who bless her with children, wealth and life. Hence any women who gets married through Vedic rituals, is not pure and cannot be called as solemate to her husband.
On hearing the above explanations, the court, the King and AakiAzhwan too accepted them. The Queen rose from her seat and embraced Yamunai Thuraivar saying “O Child, u came to rule me…!” (“Ennai Aalavandeerey”), by then he was called as “Aalavandar”. The King also gave him half of his kingdom as promised to the queen.
Aalavandar took over the kingdom parted to him. As years passed, he coupled his life with the lady “SriRanganachiyar” and was blessed with the following off springs ‘ThiruvarangaPerumal’, ‘DeiyvathirkarasuNambi’, ‘PillaiyarasuNambi’, and ‘Sottai Nambi’. Enjoying the richness and wealth, Aalavandar started forgetting his Vedic way of life which he was used in his childhood.
This took Manakkal Nambi into deep distress as he felt that Aalavandar, Nathamuni’s grandson, should be the lead light for Vaishnavism in the world.
He also was sleepless as he was not able to keep the word given to his Acharya UyyaKondar, for shaping Aalavandar as the chief pontiff lead for spreading and establishing the Vasihnavism and rooting its heritage and principles in the world.
His steps to meet Aalavandar went futile. He managed to port “Thoothuvalai”, (a variety of spinach) into the kitchen of Aalavandar and told the chef to include the spinach in the daily menu as it will help to enrich the knowledge power of the King, Aalavandar. The chef also did the same and Aalavandar took with much delight.
(Note: Even today, on the Thirunakstra day of Aalavandar, ie, on the Star of Uthiram in the Tamil month of Adi, Thoothuvalai (Spinach) and Athandai Vathal (dry spices) is offered to Aalavandar at Srirangam)
Six months passed. Manakkal Nambi was not able meet Aalavandar. He decided to use a tactics to meet him. He stopped porting the Spinach to the chef for three days. As the spinach was missing in the daily menu, Aalavandar enquired the same with the chef. Chef told that it was an old Brahmin man who gave the spinach daily and asked them to add to the daily menu, which was done. Also told him that they he was not seen for the past three days. As Aalavandar thought there must be some reason behind the act of the old Brahmin Man. He instructed the chef to bring that old man to him once he contacts the latter.
The next day, Manakkal Nambi came to deliver the spinach to the chef. As per the King, Aalavandar instructions, Manakkal Nambi was taken to meet him. On seeing Manakkal Nambi,
Aalavandar said,”Oh Brahmin! I was pleased with your daily spinach. Ask me anything you want, I will give”.
Manakkal Nambi replies, “O King! I came to give and not to take. There is one wealth which was given to me by your grandfather. I wish to hand over the same to you”.
Appreciating his honesty, Aalavandar said, “I am already possessing lot of wealth. Hence, let the said wealth be with you as I don’t require the same”. But Manakkal Nambi was unbending.
Aalavandar said,” Ok, then place the wealth and leave”.
Manakkal Nambi told, “It is an immovable property. I cannot bring the same. Hence request you to come along with me where I can show you”.
Taken aback by the determination of Manakkal Nambi, Aalavandar decided to go with Nambi and explore the wealth left by Nathamuni for him.
The Journey started. Manakkal Nambi neither took Aalavandar to Manakkal nor to his (Aalavandar’s) birth place. Rather took him along the banks of river Coleroon. On the way, Manakkal Nambi was chanting and explaining Aalavandar the meaning of Pursha Suktam, Smirthis, Sri Vishnu Purana and Sri Bagavad Gita. This helped to make a phenomenal change inside Aalavandar.
Aalavandar immediately surrendered himself to Manakkal Nambi and pleaded with tears to forgive him and accept him as his disciple. Manakkal Nambi, preached him the explanations of “Charama Solka” and accepted him as his disciple.
Manakkal Nambi then reached Srirangam along with Aalavandar and made him to see “Thayar” and took him through Santhanu Mandapam and Gayathri Mandapam. Finally they stood in front of the Lord Renganatha – Namperumal between the two legendary Pillars in the Sanctum Sanctorum.
Manakkal Nambi, showing the LORD, loudly said to Aalavandar “This is your ancestral property. The wealth left by your grandfather to you. Take it and preserve it for the sake of the world”
Aalavandar had no words to say. He was elated and was motionless. He cried infront of the LORD, pleading with tears asked him not to discard him for his ignorance but to accept him for the sake that he is the grandson of Nathamuni. Now the LORD accepted him with his usual grin. (Grandfather’s wealth was regained by the Grandson)
Aalavandar left his kingdom and palace. He took the form of a Pontiff. He learned all the Prabhandas and Rahasyas from Manakkal Nambi.
Now at this stage, Manakkal Nambi handed over the idol of Sri Ramanuja to Aalavandar which was gifted to Nathamuni by NamAzhwar.