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Life History of Nammazhvar: Page 1 of 3

In the year Pramadi in kaliyuga on the 43rd day of kali yuga on Friday, during the sukla paksh, Chathurdashi, in kataka lagna, in the month of Vrushabha −Vaikasi (May−June), in Vasantha ruthu, under the Visaka star , Nammazhvar was born at Thirukurugur on the banks of the river Tamiraparani in Pandya dynasty. He was born in Vellalar caste to a noble man of a royal family; Kariyar and his wife Udaya Nangai. The Lord of Thriukkurungudi had granted them a boon, promising them that He would be born of them. Nammazhvar is considered an incarnation of the Chieftain of Lord Vishnu’s army − Vishvaksenar. Some consider him a re−incarnation of the ‘Koustuba’ garland.

Rigth from his birth, he never cried or took in milk like the other mortal infants. But he was a Yogi, filled with wisdom. His parents left him in the hole of a tamarind tree at the temple in Tirukkurugur. The Lord Himself brought him up. The Child, on growing up, sat and without food or sleep, kept meditating on the Lord, for sixteen years. The Tree is regarded as a form of ‘Adiseshan’ and is termed ‘Thiruppuli Azhvar’. Throughout these 16 years, Azhvar was in complete meditation and the Lord, through Vishvaksena performed Panchsamskara to Azhvar, and taught him Vaishnava matras and other important discourses and principles.

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