ponnadikkAl jIyar

srimathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srimadh varavaramunayE nama:
sri vAnAchala mahAmunayE nama:

In the previous article (https://acharyas.koyil.org/index.php/2012/09/23/azhagiya-manavala-mamunigal-english/) we discussed about azhagiya maNavALa mAmunigaL. Now we will continue on to ponnadikkAl jIyar who was prANa sukruth to his AchAryan maNavALa mAmunigaL.

ponnadikkal-jiyarponnadikkAl jIyar – vAnamAmalai

ponnadikkAl jIyar – thiruvallikkENi

Thirunakshathram: purattAsi, punarpUsam

avathAra sthalam: vAnamAmalai

AchAryan: azhagiya maNavALa mAmunigaL

Sishyas: chOlasimhapuram mahAryar (dhoddAchAryar), samarabhungavAchAryar, sudhdha saththvam aNNA, jnAnakkaNNAththAn, rAmAnujam piLLai, paLLakkAl sidhdhar, gOshti puraththaiyar and appAchiArANNA and many more.

Place where he attained paramapadham: vAnamAmalai

Works: thiruppAvai svAbhadhEsa vyAkyAnam, etc

Born as azhagiya varadhar, he became to be famously known as ponnadikkAl jIyar. He is also known as vAnamAmalai jIyar, vAnAdhri yOgI, rAmAnuja jIyar, rAmAnuja muni, etc. He was the first and the prime disciple of azhagiya maNavALa mAmunigaL.

azhagiya varadhar became the first disciple of azhagiya maNavALa mAumingaL when mAmunigaL was a gruhasthar. azhagiya varadhar immediately accepted sannyAsAshramam and stayed with mAmunigaL most of his life. ponnadikkAl means the one who laid the foundation of mAmunigaL’s sishya sampath. He established many thOthAdhri mutts all over the bhAratha dhEsam and propagated our sampradhAyam in many regions.

When mAmunigaL goes for thiumalai yAthrai for the first time, periya kELvi appan jIyar sees a dream, where a gruhasthar is lying down and a sannyAsi is at his lotus feet. jIyar asks the people who are there about these two personalities and they say one is “eettu perukkar” azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr and the other is ponnadikkAl jIyar as called by nAyanAr himself.

ponnadikkAl jIyar was always held as purushakAram by many AchAryas to approach mAmunigaL. In yathIndhra pravaNa prabhAvam it is seen that many srivaishnavas comes through ponnadikkAl jIyar and he gladly establishes the connection for them with mAmunigaL and helps them engage in kainkaryam.

After kandhAdai aNNan and his relatives become shishyas of mAmunigaL, mAmunigaL says ponnadikkAl jIyar is his prANa sukruth and he should get all the glories which mAmunigaL himself has. Looking at appAchiAraNNA who approached mAmunigaL to become his sishya, mAmunigaL called for ponnadikkAl jIyar, seated him in his own Asanam, gave him his own shankam and chakram and instructed ponnadikkAl jIyar to do samAshrayaNam for appAchiArANNA. ponnadikkAl jIyar, initially refuses out of humility, but seeing mAmunigaL’s determination, he accepts and performs samAshrayaNam to appAchiAraNNA and a few others at that time. mAmunigaL also appoints an ashta dig gajangaL (just like he had eight prime sishyas) to ponndikkAl jIyar as well namely – chOlasimharpuram mahAryar (dhoddAchAryar), samarabhungavAchAryar, sudhdha saththvam aNNA, jnAnakkaNNAththAn, rAmAnujam piLLai, paLLakkAl sidhdhar, gOshti puraththaiyar and appAchiArANNA.

When appAchiAraNNA was instructed to leave srirangam to go to kAnchipuram by mAmuingaL, he feels very much upset. At that time mAmunigaL asks appAchiAraNNA to accept his old rAmunujan (thIrtha sombu is usually called as rAmAnujan in our sampradhAyam) which was worshipped by ponnadikkAl jIyar for a long time and asks him to make two small archA thirumEnis of himself (mAmunigaL) and keep one for appAchiAraNNA and give the other to his AchAryan ponnadikkAl jIyar.

After some time dheivanAyakan emperumAn (vAnamAmalai) sends a srImukam (an instruction) through sEnai mudhaliAr to mAmunigaL that ponnadikkAl jIyar should be sent to vAnamAmalai dhivya dhEsam to look after the kainkaryam there. mAmunigaL instructs ponnadikkAl jIyar to accept that and go to vAnamAmalai. mAmunigaL then orders everyone to recite 4000 dhivya prabhandham in front of periya perumAL in 100 pAsurams per day kramam. During periya thirumozhi sARRumurai, when “aNiyAr pozhil sUzh aranganagarappA” is recited, emperumAn being very pleased, gives aranganagarappan (a lakshmi nArayaNan vigraham) from his sannidhi to ponnadikkAl jIyar to be carried along to vAnamAmalai. periya perumAL then gives special prasAdham and srI satagOpam to ponnadikkAl jIyar and gives him a nice send off. mAmunigaL also brings ponnadikkAl jIyar to his mutt, performs a grand thadhiArAdhanai and sends him off to vAnamAmalai.

ponnadikkAl jIyar then stays at vAnamAmalai, performs many kainkaryams in vAnamAmalai and the nearby dhivyadhEsams like nava thiruppathi, thirukkurungudi, etc and also in places like bhadharikAsramam during his yAthrais. He also gets many disciples and gives them kAlakshEpams and instructions for them to conduct their kainkaryam.

ponnadikkAl jIyar then goes on a lengthy yAthrai to all northern dhivyadhEsams. In the mean time mAmunigaL finishes his leelai in samsAram and leaves to paramapadham. While returning from his yAthrai, after reaching thirumalai he hears about the mAmunigaL’s decision to go to paramapadham and out of great sorrow stays some time in thirumalai. He brings all the wealth accumulated during his yAthrai to srirangam, meets with jIyar nAyanAr (grand son of mAmunigaL in his pUrvAshramam) and all the other srivaishnavas and share the grief of his separation from his AchAryan. At that time, according to the orders of mAmunigaL, mAmunigaL’s upadhaNdam (extra dhaNdam), ring (thirvAzhi mOdhiram) and pAdhukAs are given to ponnadikkAl jIyar. Even today this upadhaNdam is tied to the vAnamAmalai jIyars’ thridhaNdam. Also, even today vAnamAmalai jIyars wear mAmunigaL’s ring on special occasions. He then returns to vAnamAmalai and continues his kainkaryam there.

At that time, there was no uthsava vigraham for srivaramangai nAchiAr in vAnamAmalai. Once in ponnadikkAl jIyar’s svapnam dheivanAyakan appears and instructs him to bring the nAchiAr vigraham (thirumEni) from thirumalai. So, he travels to thirumalai to fulfill the orders of emperumAn. In his dream, nAchiar appears and says “dear father, please take me to vAnamAmalai and perform my marriage with dheivanAyakan”. She also appears in the dream of the thirumalai jIyar swamys and instruct them to hand over the vigraham to ponnadikkAl jIyar. The jIyars accepted her order and arranged nAchiAr to be sent along with ponnadikkAl jIyar. ponnadikkAl jIyar having brought her over to vAnamAmalai, arranged for a grand wedding and he himself performs kannikAdhAnam. dheivanAyakan also claims that “like periyAzhwAr, ponnadikkAl jIyar is also his father-in-law” and even today this custom is respected and followed in vAnamAmalai dhivyakshEthram.

After living for many years giving valuable instructions to every one, ponnadikkAl jIyar gives up his charama thirumEni meditating on his Acharyan azhagiya maNavALa mAmunigaL and attains paramapadham. He appoints the next jIyar of the vAnamAmalai mutt and this AchArya paramparai is continuing even today without any break.

Let us pray at the lotus feet of ponnadikkAl jIyar that we also develop such attachment towards emperumAnAr and our AchAryan.

ponndaikkAl jIyar’s thanian (submitted by dhoddAchAryar)

ramya jAmAthru yOghIndhra pAdharEkhA mayam sadhA
thathA yaththAthma saththAdhim rAmAnuja munim bhajE

ரம்ய ஜாமாத்ரு யோகீந்த்ர பாதரேகா மயம் ஸதா
ததா யத்தாத்ம ஸத்தாதிம் ராமானுஜ முநிம் பஜே

Let us see a couple of great samskritham works on ponnadikkAl jIyar by dhoddAchAryar. These two works bring out the greatness of ponnadikkAl jIyar in a wonderful way. The original verses by dhoddAchAryar and a simple translation of these works in Thamizh by sri U.Ve. thenthiruppErai aravindhalOchanan swamy are archived in (http://www.kaarimaaran.com/downloads/PrapathiMangalasasanam.pdf).

vAnamAmalai jIyar mangaLAsAsanam

  1. I worship vAnamAmalai jIyar, who is the holder of mAmunigaL’s grace, who is an ocean of mercy himself, pure in heart, full of good qualities right from his birth and was originally known as azhagiya varadhar.
  2. My worships always belong to our rAmAnuja jIyar who is the leader of the the jIyar swamys and our kulam and is full of all great qualities that were blessed by mAmunigaL.
  3. I worship rAmAnuja jIyar who he is like a honey-bee in the lotus feet of mAmunigaL and is pleasing to my heart like the full moon.
  4. I worship rAmAnuja jIyar who is an ocean of good qualities like vAthsalyam, seelam, jnAnam and one who is considered by mAmunigaL as his life breath.
  5. I worship vAnamAmalai jIyar who directly went from brahmacharyam to sannyAsam, there by making other two Ashramams (gruhasthAshramam and vAnaprastham) look embarassed.
  6. I worship vAnamAmalai jIyar who was the first to be blessed by mAmunigaL and who can remove our dhOshams (defects) like kAmam (lust), etc.
  7. I worship vAnamAmalai jIyar who is holder of all good qualities and who is free of likes and dislikes in material things and who has lotus like beautiful eyes.
  8. vairAgam first manifested in hanumAn. Then it grew well in bhIshma pithAmahar. Finally it glows in vAnamAmalai jIyar now. We will enjoy looking at such glorious vAnamAmalai jIyar.
  9. I worship vAnamAmalai jIyar whose explanations to ubhaya vEdhAntham attracts great vidhwAns, whose anushtAnam is hailed and followed by all sannyAsis, who is blemishless and full of knowledge and other good qualities, and one who surrendered to the lotus feet of mAmunigaL.
  10. I worship vAnamAmalai jIyar, where even birds near his kAlakshEpa gOshti proclaims that “only sriman nArAyaNan is supreme, eternal truth, etc and all the dhEvathAs are his servants”.
  11. I worship vAnamAmalai jIyar, whose katAksham is powerful enough to give artha panchaka jnAnam easily and who is like kalpa vruksham for his sishyas and who have done many kainkaryams in vAnamAmalai.
  12. I worship vAnamAmalai jIyar, who reformed me (who was interested in material things only and was not showing any interest in srivaishnavas) out of his pure mercy and who is the wealth of vAnamAmalai dhivya kshEthram.
  13. I worship vAnamAmalai jIyar, who is full of knowledge, where vairAgyam is resting peacefully and is like a box containing expensive jewels and is fully determined to take care of the AchArya pItam that was established by emperumAnAr himself.
  14. I worship vAnamAmalai jIyar, who is the place holder of mAmunigaL’s mercy, who is an ocean of all good qualities like jnAnam, etc and has great attachment for sri dheivanAyakan emperumAn.

vAnamAmalai jIyar prapaththi

  1. I surrender at the lotus feet of vAnamAmalai jIyar who is as beautiful as freshly bloomed lotus flower, one who gives happiness to the ones who look at him and one who can help us this samsAram which is a ocean of miseries.
  2. I surrender at the lotus feet of vAnamAmalai jIyar who gained glories by the blessings of mAmunigaL, who is capable of destroying our defects, who is an ocean of good qualities and who is like kalpa vruksham for his sishyas.
  3. I surrender at the lotus feet of vAnamAmalai jIyar who surrendered to mAmunigaL and did not entangle himself in married life thinking that it will bind him in this jail of samsAram more and more.
  4. I surrender at the lotus feet of vAnamAmalai jIyar – first the creeper of virakthi started from hanuman but now it has spread on vAnamAmalai jIyar fully and manifests nicely.
  5. I surrender at the lotus feet of vAnamAmalai jIyar who built many mandapams, etc in vAnamAmalai like AdhisEshan (who works to please emperumAn always) to please his AchAryan mAmunigaL.
  6. I surrender at the lotus feet of vAnamAmalai jIyar who explained excellently the deep vEdhAntha meanings that are given by nammAzhwAr.
  7. I surrender at the lotus feet of vAnamAmalai jIyar whose name is powerful enough to remove the poison of the snake called samsAram and will raise the jIvAthmAs to the level of emperumAn himself.
  8. I surrender at the lotus feet of vAnamAmalai jIyar which will relieve us from the sins that were accumulated due to time immemorial existence in samsAram, and that which are worshipped by all sAdhus and that which are very pure.
  9. I surrender at the lotus feet of vAnamAmalai jIyar whose sripAdha thItham will purify any one and will destroy the fire called thApa thrayam immediately.
  10. I surrender at the lotus feet of vAnamAmalai jIyar who was surrendered fully by appAchiAraNNA who was very pure and an ocean of good qualities.
  11. I surrender at the lotus feet of vAnamAmalai jIyar who was surrendered by samarabhungavAchAryar who worshipped vAnamAmalai jIyar and who was the peak of all good qualities and who was worshipped by sAdhus.
  12. There is no one equal to vAnamAmalai jIyar since his vairAgyam is greater than that of hanuman, bhIshmar, etc. His bhakthi is in line with the oRAN vazhi AchAryas starting with nammAzhwAr. His jnAnam is the same as nAthamuni, yAmuna muni, etc. So, who can be considered greater than vAnamAmalai jIyar based on these facts?
  13. He served sri dheivanAyakan emperumAn like Adhi sEshan. He glorified emperumAn’s bhakthas as kulasEkara AzhwAr did. He worshipped his AchAryan mAmunigaL like mathurakavi AzhwAr worshipped nammAzhwAr. He was following the footsteps of our pUrvAchAryas and was the place holder for all good qualities.
  14. Long ago, emperumAn took the avathAram of nArAyaNan and naran. Now the same emperumAn has appeared like mAmunigaL and ponnadikkAl jIyar. Such is the glory of vAnamAmalai jIyar.

We will continue to go back to our guru paramparai and discuss the AchAryas who are not discussed yet.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

archived in https://acharyas.koyil.org/index.php/, also visit http://ponnadi.blogspot.in/

Sources: yathIndhra pravaNa prabhAvam, periya thirumudi adaivu, gaganagiri guru paramparA prabhAvam