( A Son of the Soil)
There are only few in the Acharya (Guru) Paramapara, who were titled by Sri Ramanuja himself and were also deemed as close associates of Sri Ramanuja. One among is Engalazhvaan.
He was born in Tiruvellarai in the year of Keelaga -1069 A.D, in the month of Chitarai, in the star of Rohini to the divine couples named as Munkudumbi Choli Anthana Kula thambathiyinar
His parents named him Sri Vishnu Chittar. He joined with Sri Ramanuja and Sri Thirukurugaipiran pillan as his Acharyas. He staged the discourses on Sri Bhashyam and Bhagavad Vishayam.
He bagged these titles too……
Amanachariyar (Nadathoor Ammal Aacharyar)
He is a celebrated as the brand of a Nitya sUri named Sri Vijayar
The Guruprampara holds this Legendry Scholar as follows:
A Son of the Soil
Turning the pages of history, one will be stunned to see Engalazhvaan’s scholarly annotations and explanations during the incidences occurred in his life time. We sum up some of them for your views…..
NadAthur Ammallkku ‘Naan’ Uraithathu:
NadAthur Ammal of Kanchi was sent to Tiruvellarai by his Grand Father NadAthur Azhvaan to learn Sri Bhashya Rahasyaarthams as taught by Sri Ramanuja from Engalazhvaan. When Ammal knocked Aazhvaan’s door, Aazhvaan asked from inside, “Who is there?”. Ammal replied, it is “I “. Aazhvaan replied from inside the house that “Naan Ponnapin Varum !” (ie, “Come after the death of “I”). A confused Ammal returned to Kanchi and told his grandfather on the incidence.
NadAthur Azhvaan explained that Engalazhvaan was a genius that he asked you to get rid of your Ego and come. He advised NadAthur Ammal to go back to Thiruvellarai and introduce himself as “Adiyen”. NadAthur Ammal then did as advised and gained the Acharya Abhimanam.
To befit this incidence, Engalazhvaan was also as called Ammal Acharyar and even today the descendants of this great Acharya are known as Ammal Acharyas.
His Literary Works:
He was a scholar of and his literary works are notable which are:
• Sri Vishnu Chithiyam
• Piramaeya Sangraham
• Kathya Vyaganam
• Sthartha Sathutayam
Among the above Sri Vishnu Chithiyam is a Wisdom Blower for Sri Vishnu Puranam, which is a Purana Ratna.
Ellarum Kondaiya Engalazhvan:
• He is one of the most prominent disciples of Sri Ramanuja Muni.
• He is one among the 74 Simhasanapathi’s.
• Nadathoor Azhwan praised his Sri Bhasya Vyagnam
• Nampillai praised him in his ‘Aarayirapadi Guruparamparai’ as ‘Expert in all Sastras’.
• Sri Ramanuja paralleled his knowledge as that of Kuresar (Kurathazhwar); he affectionately called him as “Engal Azhvaan”, hence then he was named so.
Aaayar Devu Ugantha (Engal) Azghvaan
Once Nanjeeyar’s household deity, who was called as “Aayar Devu” appeared in Engalazhvaan’s dream and asked him for Butter and Naval Fruit. Next day Nanjeeyar was surprised about this incidence and praised Azghvaan that “Aaayar Devu ugandavar Neerae!” (ie. You are the one who is close to the Lord in my house).
This incidence thrills us that Lord Himself thought Engalazhvaan as HIS closet.
He attained the feet of the Lord at a place called Kollakkonda near Srivilliputtur.
His period of life was 100 years from 1069-1169 A.D
-Compiled by Sri S.Rajadesikan, Chennai