Madhavachariar swami’s upanyasam on Mukkur Srimad Azhaghiasingar, Swami began his talk by saying it is the swaroopam of a shishyan to celebrate his acharyan’s tirunakshatram . The acharya who shows us our sambandam(relationship) with Perumal is the greatest of gurus. Mukkur srimad Azhaghiasingar was partial to vidvans. Acharyas are none other than Narayana. Mukkur srimadh Azhaghiasingr’s outstanding quality was kaarunyam (mercy). After thadeearadhanai at Sri Ahobila Muth a vethilai-paku goshti takes place daily and the place gets scattered with mantrakshatai. Goats would come and eat them up but some late-comers would miss the feast. Azhaghiasingar would ask for the akstha tray and scatter it for them. Again at night the left-over prasadam would be fed to stray dogs and many a time he would be seen asking them if they had a stomach full. On seeing this a sanskrit scholar of repute questioned the propriety of feeding dogs. Srimad Azhaghiasingar quoted Krishna’s words in the Geetha wherein He says the soul of a dog, a dog eating individual and a learned scholar were alike.
He held audiences spell-bound by his upanyasams and during the upanyanam celebration of Kannan swami’s (Tirukudanthai Andavan) sons three days upanyasams were by Mukkur Rajagopalachariar swami. The topics were Rukmini-kalyanam, Bama kalyanam and SriBaashya saaram. On a certain occasion both swamis attended a wedding and were presented with a set of veshti and Rs.100 each. A poor brahmin approached them disappointed at not getting vastrams. Azhaghiasingar happily gave his set and money to the brahmin and also asked Andavan swami to give his. This is audharyam which makes a giver give happily and also instigates others to contribute.
Mukkur srimadh azhaghiasingar’s anger was well-known but most of the kainkaryaparas welcomed a scolding for sure enough that evening there would be a sambavanai(cash presentation ).Even scholars of repute were not spared nor politicians or ministers. When he was performing Malolaradhana he would not take any interferences ,even if a very large donation came his way. He was like swami Desikan in this matter His Malolaradhana was worth looking at.
Srimad Tirukudanthai Andavan used to distribute 108 sarees on Adi Pooram day. Azhaghiasingar noticed that about 50 women working in the muth did not get tokens for sarees. He spoke to Srimadh Andavan and asked for sarees to be given for them too and Andavan swami obliged. In the Avani issue of Srinrisimha priya srimad azhaghiasingar wrote a sanskrit verse which said two kannans have donated sarees, Krishna and Kannan swami. Krishna gave saree to Krishnaa(Draupadi) alone but kannan swami had clad 300 women. Seeing this Krishna felt embarassed.Srimadh Azhaghiasingar had the great quality of praising a person’s virtues not only in his presence but in his absence too.
During rajagopuram samprokshanam Srimadh Andavan swami was incharge of yaghyam so items like 10 sacks of camphor, 13 silver shombhus donated were passed on to Andavan swami. Such was Azhaghiasingar’s sense of fairness.
Though Srimadh Azhaghiasingar earned no degrees or certificates he had studied by observation, by interaction with experts in a particular field and by serving his acharyas. Such was his vidvath , vidvans of repute would get stumped by his questions and he had answers for them along with pramanam(proof). He had thorough knowledge of Vedas, sastras and total vinayam(humility).
He ruled Sri Ahobila Muth for 36 years and was called’gopura-jeer’. even before srirangam rajagopuram’ as he had constructed a rajagopuram in Ahobilam a forest inaccessible during those times.
Srimadh Azhaghiasingar did not worship Periya perumal because swami Desikan was not allowed purappadu when he came to Srirangam .The same night Ranganatha appeared in Azhaghiasingar’s dream along with Malolan and a tridandi sanyasi commanding him to construct the rajagopuram. Ahobila Muth made its presence felt in Srirangam after this. Sriranganatha temple generated enough funds to manage its functioning. Prior to this samayapuram temple financed it.
Many were the weddings he conducted in the premises of Dasavathara sannidhi for those who had no money to spare and wherever his kataksham fell prosperity followed. It will be an understatement to say that Ranganatha temple came to the limelight after the rajagopuram.
Writeup & Video : Vyjayanthi Sundararajan