thirunArAyaNapurathu Ay

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

ay-jananyacharyarthirunakshathram: ippasi, pUrAdam

avathAra sthalam: thirunArAyaNapuram

AchAryan: His own father lakshmaNAchAryar (pancha samskAram), nAlUrAchAn piLLai (grantha kAlakshEpam)

Place where he attained paramapadham: thirunArAyaNapuram

Works: thiruppAvai vyAkyAnams (2000padi and 4000padi) and svApadhEsam, thirumAlai vyAkyAnam, vyAkyAnams for AchArya hrudhayam and srIvachana bhUshaNam, thamizh pAsuram glorifying mAmunigaL, etc

When he was born, He was named dhEvarAjar by his parents. He is also known as dhEva perumAL, AsUri dhEvarAyar, thiruththAzhvarai dhAsar, srIsAnu dhAsar, mAthru guru, dhEvarAja munIndhrar and jananyAchAryar.

Ay means Mother. He was performing the kainkaryam of preparing and offering milk to thirunAraNan emperumAn. Once when he was late for his kainkaryam, emperumAn asked “Where is my Ay (mother)?” revering Ay’s motherly affection towards him. From that time onwards, he was famously called as Ay or jananyAchAryar. This is very similar to nadAthUr ammAL‘s relationship with dhEva perumAL.

He was a great scholar and an expert in both samskritha and dhrAvida vEdham/vEdhAntham.

Along with thiruvAimozhi piLLai and thiruvAimozhi AchAn (iLampiLichai piLLai), he heard nampiLLai‘s eedu vyAkyAnam from nAlUrAchAn piLLai (the full history of eedu can be read at He is also glorified as part of the AchArya hrudhaya paramparai (azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr – peRRAr (1) – peRRAr (2) – Ay jananyAchAryar – maNavALa mAmunigaL).

mAmunigaL starts writing a vyAkyAnam for AchArya hrudhayam. While writing the vyAkyAnam for 22nd chUrNikai, mAmunigaL wants to have some clarification. He decides to discuss the particular chUrNikai with Ay jananyAchAryar who is thiruvAimozhi piLLai‘s saha adhyAyi (classmate) since mAmunigaL considers Ay as his AchAryan as well. mAmunigaL requests permission from nammAzhwAr to go to thirunArAyaNapuram and leaves AzhwAr thirunagari. About the same time, hearing about mAmunigaL’s glories and great fame, Ay jananyAchAryar leaves thirunArAyaNapuram and approaches AzhwAr thirunagari. They both meet outside AzhwAr thirunagari and offer obeisances to each other and embrace each other with great joy. mAmunigaL‘s sishyas consider the meeting of these great souls as the same as the meeting of periya nambi and emperumAnAr and become ecstatic seeing the mutual reverence between each other. They both return to AzhwAr thirunagari and mAmunigaL hears AchArya hrudhayam kAlakshEpam from Ay fully once. At the end of the lecture series, mAmunigaL renders a beautiful thanian for Ay and submits the same to him. Ay, considering himself not qualified for that, in response, offers the following beautiful thamizh pAsuram glorifying mAmunigaL.

pUthUril vandhudhiththa puNNiyanO?
pUnGkamazhum thAthArumagizhmArbhan thAnivanO?
thUthUra vantha nedumAlO?
maNavALamAmunivan enthaiyivar mUvarilum yAr?

பூதூரில் வந்துதித்த புண்ணியனோ?
பூங்கமழும் தாதாருமகிழ்மார்பன் தானிவனோ?
தூதூர வந்த நெடுமாலோ?
மணவாளமாமுனிவன் எந்தையிவர் மூவரிலும் யார்?

Simple translation:
Is he emperumAnAr who appeared in srIperumbUthUr and is the most virtuous?
Is he nammAzhwAr who adorns the maghizham garland?
Is he kaNNan himself who went as a messenger for the sake of pANdavas – manifesting saulabhyam (easy accessibility)?
Who is mAmunigaL among the above three who show fatherly affection towards me?

Thus Ay spent some time in AzhwAr thirungari and finally returned to thirunArAyaNa puram. But in his absence, some people who were jealous of him, declared that he attained parampadham (since he did not return for a long time) and annexed all his wealth to the temple’s control. Seeing this, Ay becomes very happy and says “bhagavAn says that he takes away the wealth of ones who are dear to him, so this is a great blessing” and leads a simple life. He requests his thiruvArAdhana perumAL vigraham (gyAna pirAn) which was given to him by his AchAryan and continues his kainkaryam. Subsequently, he accepts sannyAsa Ashramam and finally he leaves to paramapadham to eternally serve emperumAn in parampadham.

Thus, we have seen some glimpses of the glorious life of thirunArAyaNapurathu Ay. He was a great scholar and was very dear to his AchAryan and maNavALa mAmunigaL. Let us pray at his lotus feet that we too get a little bit of such bhAgavatha nishtai.

thirunArAyaNapurathu Ay’s thaniyan:

AchArya hrudhayasyArththA: sakalA yEna dharsithA:
srIsAnudhAsam amalam dhEvarAjam thamAsrayE

ஆசார்ய ஹ்ருதயஸ்யார்த்தா: ஸகலா யேந தர்சிதா:
ஸ்ரீஸாநுதாஸம் அமலம் தேவராஜம் தமாச்ரயே

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

archived in, also visit

Sources: periya thirumudi adaivu, yathIndhra pravaNa prabhAvam