prathivAdhi bhayankaram aNNan

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

pb-annan-kanchithirunakshathram: Adi pUsam

avathAra sthalam:  kAnchIpuram (near thirutthaNkA dhIpa prakAsar sannidhi)

AchAryan: maNavALa mAmunigaL

sishyas: His own sons aNNanappA, ananthAchAryar, azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr


Born as hasthigirinAthar in the lineage of mudumbai nambi thiruvamsam, he was also known as aNNA and becomes to be popularly known as paravAdhi bhayankarar.

Similar to kUrathAzhwAn who appeared before emperumAnAr but became a dear sishya of emperumAnAr subsequently, aNNA appeared before mAmunigaL but became a dear sishya of mAmunigaL. He is also one of the ashta dhig gajas (eight main sishyas of mAmunigaL).

In the early part of his life, he lived in kAnchIpuram and was blessed by vEdhAnthAchAryar. He studied under the guidance of kumAra nayanAchAryar (the son of vEdhAnthAchAryar). He becomes a great scholar and wins over many scholars of other sampradhAyams by his expertise in debating. He becomes to be known as prathivAdhi bhayankaram aNNA, highlighting his ability to bring terror in the minds of the opponents by his ability to debate clearly and establish the sidhAntham.

After entering gruhasthAsramam, aNNA goes to thirumalai (thiruvEnkatam) to serve thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn. His wife who is equally knowledgable in sAsthram and comparable to kUrathAzhwAn‘s dharma pathni (wife) ANdAL in knowledge/vairAgyam (AzhwAn’s wife was very knowlegable in the essential principles of sAsthram and is seen as an ideal example for how a woman should live her life in total dedication to bhagavAn/bhAgavathas), gives birth to 3 sons who also grow up to be great scholars. aNNA, who develops great detachment in sensual pleasures, goes to thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn and requests emperumAn to engage him in blemishless service (like AzhwAr prayed in ozhivil kAlamellAm padhigam – thiruvAimozhi 3.3). Accepting his request, thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn instructs aNNA through thOzhappar (a srIvaishNava AchArya in thirumalai) to engage in the kainkaryam of bringing water for thirumanjanam (holy bathing) and thiruvArAdhanam (pUja). thOzhappar says to aNNA that emperumAn is most easily pleased and fetching water for his daily routines will itself be most-pleasing for emperumAn. thOzhappar hands over a silver pot to aNNA and instructs him to bring water from AkAsa gangai and add fragrances (cardamom, clove, etc) to the water before submitting the same to the archaka (priest) for thiruvArAdhanam. aNNA happily obliges and starts doing that kainkaryam since then with great love thus manifesting his servitorship towards bhagavAn.

One day, a srIvaishNava from srIrangam arrives at thirumalai. aNNA brings him to emperumAn and arranges for his dharshan. After that aNNA hears from the srIvaishNava about the glorious activities in srIrangam for srI ranganAthan, srI ranganAchiyAr, AzhwArs and AchAryas. He also hears about the glories of maNavALa mAmunigaL, his divine activities at srIrangam and becomes very attracted towards his compassion, scholarship, etc. Subsequently a few days later, aNNA brings the srIvaishNava to AkAsa gangai for his kainkaryam. Both on the way and during the return, he fully drenches himself in mAmunigaL’s anubhavam through the srIvaishNava. He realizes he did not add the fragrances in the water and prepares to do that – but an EkAngi (dedicated servitor of bhagavAn) grabs the pot of water since it was getting late for the thiruvArAdhanam. aNNA tries to inform him that the fragrances have not been added but the EkAngi does not hear it. With anxiety, aNNA runs to the sannidhi and observes that the thiruvArAdhanam is already started and he presents the fragrances to the archaka. The archakar says “Today, I see that the fragrances are most pleasing than ever”. aNNA realises that it was due to his hearing of mAmunigaL‘s glories which lead to emperumAn’s pleasure and by grace the grace of emperumAn, the water acquired fragrance automatically. He thanks the srIvaishNava for sharing such beautiful matters and informs him that he wants to have the dharshan of mAmunigaL soon.  After a few days he takes permission from thiuvEnkatamudaiyAn and leaves to srIrangam along with his family to take shelter of maNavALa mAmunigaL.

After reaching srIrangam, he goes to worship periya perumAL in proper order (ANdAL, emperumAnAr, sEnai mudhaliyAr, etc leading up to periya perumAL and periya pirAtti). But before having dharshan of periya perumAL, he observes mAmunigaL giving a divine discourse on nammAzhwAr‘s thiruvAimozhi 4.10 padhigam – onRum dhEvum. AzhwAr establishes bhagavAn’s supremacy in archAvathAram specifically in Athi nAthan emperumAn of AzhwAr thirunagari. aNNA prostrates in front of the gOshti and mAmunigaL joyfully embraces aNNA and enquires about the well-being of him. mAmunigaL reveals that he is very happy to meet aNNA. mAmunigaL lectures the first 3 pAsurams of the padhigam and stops at that. A visually ecstatic aNNA being amazed at mAmunigaL‘s expertise in ubhaya vEdhAntham (samskritha vEdhAntham and dhrAvida vEdhAntham) says that unless he becomes a sishya of mAmunigaL he cannot get the full mercy of mAmunigaL and understand these most important principle of “supremacy in archAvathAram” clearly. mAmunigaL stops the lecture and brings him over to periya perumAL. periya perumAL blesses aNNA with thIrtham, srI satagOpan, garlands, etc., and speaks to aNNA through the archaka. He says “Oh prathivAdhi bhayankarAchAryar! Remember, once you brought water from AkAsa gangai in thirumalai, you heard the glories of mAmunigaL and automatially the water became pure with divine fragrance. You have come here to perform an act that will give pleasure to me – you will now have the unique and divine relationship with mAmunigaL” and points him towards mAmunigaL. periya jIyar then leaves to his mutt after that.

aNNA being very pleased goes to kanthAdai aNNan’s residence and both aNNA and kanthAdai aNNAn pay mutual obeisances as  it is the normal practice. “vaishNavO vaishNavam dhrustvA dhandavath praNamEdh bhuvi” says sAsthram – when a vaishNava meets another vaishNava mutual prostration must happen. They enquire about the spiritual well-being of each other and enter the residence of aNNan. Incidentally, ponnadikkAl (vAnamAmalai) jIyar was also there at that time. aNNA glorifies ponnadikkAl jIyar as “aruL koNdAdum adiyavar” (kaNNinuN chiruthAmbu – 7) – one who is constantly engaged in enjoying/glorifying the mercy of mAmunigaL and offers his obeisances unto him. ponnadikkAl jIyar embraces aNNA and discuss the divine glories of yathi punaravathAram (mAmunigaL – the second coming of yathirAja). aNNA (along with his wife and children) then goes to periya jIyar mutt with the guidance of ponnadikkAl jIyar and kanthAdai aNNan. They all reach out to jIyar and accept him as the only refuge by undergoing pancha samskAram from him. He then accepts the srIpAdha thIrtham and prasAdham of mAmunigaL. mAmunigaL asks aNNA “You are prathivAdhi bhayankarAchAryar. How can you accept me as your AchArya?” and aNNA replies with great humility that “He is prathivAdhi bhayankarAchAryar for the ones who oppose the srIvaishNava sidhAntham but a pure servant at the lotus feet of srIvaishNavas”. mAmunigaL is very pleased to hear this and also identifies aNNA as “srIvaishNava dhAsan”. Being situated fully in AchArya nishtai, he spends his life glorifying mAmunigaL. Just like kUrathAzhwAn assisted emperumAnAr in establishing the sidhAntham, aNNA assisted mAmunigaL throughout his time in establishing the sath sampradhAya sidhAntham.

mAmunigaL goes on a yAthrai to thirumalai via kAnchIpuram, chOLasimhapuram, eRumbi, etc. aNNA also accompanies him in the yAthrai. Observing the lack of suprabAtham for thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn in thirumalai, mAmunigaL instructs aNNA to submit one for emperumAn. aNNA, meditating on his AchAryan with gratitude, compiles srI vEnkatEsa suprabhAtham, sthOthram, prapathi and mangaLA slOkams. mAmunigaL is greatly pleased with aNNA’s work and instructs that these are recited every day in thirumalai for the pleasure of thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn.

After returning to srIrangam, once, mAmunigaL invites aNNA and instructs him to teach srI bhAshyam to kanthAdai aNNan, pOrERRu nAyanAr, anantthayyanappai, emperumAnAr jIyar nAyanAr, kanthAdai nAyan and all. mAmunigaL then blesses aNNA with the title “srIbhAshyAchAryar” and anoints him as the leader of srIbhAshya simhAsanam.

aNNA compiles many literary works in glorification of mAmunigaL. “cheyya thAmarai thAzhiNai vAzhiyE….” is his divine narration of mAmunigaLs beautiful form and his unlimited mercy. There are many such works which are so beautiful and brings out mAmunigaL’s glory fully. Let us see a couple of such glorification:

malayappan-mamunigal-pbannanthirupathisrInivAsan with ubhaya nAchiyAras, mAmunigaL, aNNA (thirupathi)

srI vEnkatEsa prapathi (slOkam 15)
sathvOttharais sathatha sEvya padhAmbujEna
samsAra thAraka dhayArdhra dhruganchalEna
saumyO payanthru muninA mama dharshithau thE
srIvEnkatEsa charaNau sharaNam prapadhyE

ஸத்வோத்தரைஸ் ஸதத ஸேவ்ய பதாம்புஜேந
ஸம்ஸார தாரக தயார்த்ர த்ருகஞ்சலேந
ஸௌம்யோ பயந்த்ரு முநிநா மம தர்ஷிதௌ தே
ஸ்ரீவேங்கடேச சரணௌ சரணம் ப்ரபத்யே

I surrender unto the lotus feet of srIvEnktatEsan which is shown to me by maNavALa mAmunigaL out of great compassion. mAmunigaL is worshipped and served by parama sAthvikas with pure heart. Such mAmunigaL showed me that it is the divine lotus feet of emperumAn which uplifts us from this samsAram and places us in paramapadham.

srIvEnkatEsa mangaLam (slOkam 13)
srImath sundharajAmAthrumuni mAnasa vAsinE
sarvalOkanivAsAya srInivAsAya mangaLam

ஸ்ரீமத் ஸுந்தரஜாமாத்ருமுநி மாநஸ வாஸிநே
ஸர்வலோகநிவாஸாய ஸ்ரீநிவாஸாய மங்களம்

Let all auspiciousness prevail on thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn who is omni present, whose chest is the residence of srImahAlakshmi and he is the one who eternally lives in the heart of azhagiya maNavALa mAmunigaL.

All the sthOthrams of prathivAdhi bhayankaram aNNan on thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn are available in different languages at

Thus, we have seen some glimpses of the glorious life of prathivAdhi bhayankaram aNNan. He was a great scholar in ubhaya vEdhAntham, fully situated in AchArya nishtai and was very dear to mAmunigaL. Let us pray at his lotus feet that we too get a little bit of such bhAgavatha nishtai.

prathivAdhi bhayankaram aNNan’s thaniyan:

vEdhAntha dhEsika katAksha vivrudhdhabhOdham
kAnthOpayanthru yamina: karuNaika pAthram
vathsAnvavAyamanavadhya guNairupEtham
bhakthyA bhajAmi paravAthi bhayankarAryam

வேதாந்த தேசிக கடாக்ஷ விவ்ருத்தபோதம்
காந்தோபயந்த்ரு யமிந: கருணைக பாத்ரம்
வத்ஸாந்வவாயமநவத்ய குணைருபேதம்
பக்த்யா பஜாமி பரவாதி பயங்கரார்யம்

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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Sources: periya thirumudi adaivu, yathIndhra pravaNa prabhAvam

21 thoughts on “prathivAdhi bhayankaram aNNan”

  1. Sri:
    SrimathE rAmAnujAya namaha
    Srimadh varavaramunayE namaha

    Thanks for the very interesting article about Sri prathivAdhi bhayankaram aNNan. The links for Sri vEnkatEs’a suprabhAtham, sthOthram, prapatthi and mangaLAs’Asanam in the original Devanagari lipi are very useful for proper pronunciation.

    Sri prathivAdhi bhayankaram aNNan thiruvadigaLE s’araNam
    AzhwAr emberumanAr jIyar thiruvadigaLE s’araNam

  2. Jai Srimannarayana

    Wonderful. Thank you so much swami. Seeing all these wonderful acharyas; we learn how to surrender to a guru and have faith in them and what we can achieve if we have faith in spiritual master.

    acharya thiruvadigale saranam


  3. Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha :

    I have a doubt. Did Prativadi Bhayankaram Anna had pancha Samskaram twice ? First time under Swami Kumara Varadachar and then Swami Manavala Maamunigal ?

    acharya thiruvadigale saranam


    • It appears so. And he was not the only one to have done that. Many AchArya purushas like kOil aNNan, eRumbi appA, etc took shelter of mAmunigaL and became his sishyas. From their life history, it is clear that there are incidents such as them performing thiruvArAdhanam, etc where it is required that they have undergone samAsrayaNam already.

      There is also the principle of doing pushpa samAsrayaNam (doing thApa samskAram without agni/fire) on the day of nAma karaNam after a child was born. pushpa samAsrayaNam is done even today in some families. After a certain age or after marriage, they would subsequently undergo full pancha samskAram under an AchArya.

      In either case, there have been cases of multiple AchAryas for the same sishya. So, when a great AchAryA appears, people take shelter of him (even if they already had AchArya sambandham). Obviously mAmunigaL being the greatest AchArya (as periya perumAL himself accepted him as AchAryan) a lot others took shelter of him.

  4. Ramanujaya Namaha: One can become a disciple of another acharyan, even if one has got the samarayanam by another acharyan. Example is our Emberumanaar himself. Ramanujar had samasrayanam by Mahapurnar but is considered disciple of Gostipurnar, Kanchipurnar etc. Ramanujar, didn’t undergo samasrayanam again under other acharyas to become their disciple. So, Adiyen thinks swami P B Annan , may or may not have undergone samasrayanam by Swami Mannala Mamunigal. Also, PB, title was conferred by his Acharyan, Kumara Varadachariar.

    • very good point certainly. There have been many AchAryas who under-went panchasamskAram under one AchArya and still served other AchAryas.

      But in the case of prathivAdhi bhayankaram aNNan and many other sishyas of mAmunigaL, its clearly stated in yathIndhra pravaNa prabhAvam that they went through pancha samskAram under the lotus feet of mAmunigaL again.

      adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

  5. My small opinion: Since PB Anna belongs to Mudumbai Vamsam (one among the 74 Shimasanathipathis- Achariya Prusha). So first Shamarshayanam through his father or his family elders. Sri P B anna was first identify or shown to Sri Kumara Varadhachar as a Janaputhra by Sri Vedhanthachar. Janachariyan (may not did shamarsayanam) by Sri Kumarara Varadhacahriya, then Again re-shamarshayanam through Sri Manavalamaamunigal as per the request of Sri PB Anna.

    Adiyen Srivaishnava dasan
    PB balaji

      • Dhanyosmi!!

        Apart from that When Sri PB Anna was a Sath Sisya of Sri Kumaravadhachari that time no other sector. So our purvargal are like a Vandu… always looking out for honey from lotus feets of achariyas and they never go alone .. go with their entire family and dear and nears. So Sri PB anna also did the same… That is the reason he got dasiya namam “Srivaishava dasargal” If opinion is wrong pls. apologies me.

        Adiyen Srivaishanava Dasan
        PB Balaji

        • Yes swamy – there was no distinction at that time. The specific reference we get is from his thaniyan where he has the sambandham of both vEdhAnthAchArya and mAmunigaL (in sequence). And we understand clearly from yathIndhra pravaNa prabhAvam that he accepted samAsrayaNam from mAmunigaL.
          adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

  6. Vedantha Desika Kataksha Vivruthabotham
    Kantho Payanthru Yamuna Karunaikapathram |
    Vathsaanvaaya Anavadhya Gunairupedham
    Bhakthya Bhajami Paravadhi Bayangararyam ||

    Prasiddha: Paraghoshteeshu Paravadhi Bayankara: |
    Sri Vaishnavanam Goshteeshu Thath Dhasa Ithi Visrutha: ||

    Adiyen Srivaishnava Dasan
    P B Rangarajan

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