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Periyalwar's Pallandu - Sri Ramanin Padhayil

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In this place, I would like to share the important practice followed in Vaishnava sampradaya (tradition). Periyalwar or Periazhwar (3055 BC) is one of the twelve azhwar saints of South India, who are known for their affiliation to Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism. Since he is considered the oldest among azhwars, he is called Periazhwar. Periyalwar composed a couplet called "Pallandu" (also called Thiru-Pallandu out of respect) translating to "Long live for many years, Long live for many years for Hundreds of thousands of years!" to God. This is a very important prayer in Srivaishnava liturgy today.

Pallandu Pallandu Pallayiratthandu Palakodi Noorayiram
Mallanda Thindol Mani Vanna Unn Sevadi Sevvi Thirukkappu

Meaning: Oh Lord, who has the powerful shoulders (bhuja Balam) to subjugate the mighty wrestlers in Kamsan's court! Oh Lord with the lustre of a brilliant blue gem! May there be undiminished protection for many crores of years for the divinity (dhivya tamam) and beauty (soundharyam) of Your lotus-red sacred feet (sevadi)!.

Periyalwar was wishing Perumal "Pallandu" with the fear that he should not fall prey to the evil eyes (nazar).

Verses from Nachiyar Thirumozhi (Vaaranamaayiram Song):

Kaithalam Patra Kana Kanden Thozhi Naan
Kaappu Naan Katta Kana Kanden Thozhi Naan
Ammi Midhikka Kana Kanden Thozhi Naan
Theevalam Seiyya Kana Kanden Thozhi Naan
Pori Mugam Thatta Kana Kanden Thozhi Naan

Andal was so special to Lord Ranganatha that people gave her the name ‘Andal,’ the one who ruled over the Lord of Bhooloka Vaikundam or Srirangam. Her story is a fine example of bridal mysticism. She was found by Periyalwar, a temple priest, under a basil bush and named Godha (Given by the earth). In her dream, Andal begins with her Lord arriving in style along with 1,000 elephants – ‘Vaaranamaayiram.’

On seeing Lord Sri Rama holding the hands of Sri Sita Devi in the marriage ceremony, King Janaka he himself thought "Nambha kanne pattudum pola irukke." and he said "bhadram te" (all blessings and good fortune unto you). This type of procedure is followed from Periyalwar.

Periyalwar, Srivilliputhur
The Avathara sthalam of Periyalwar is Srivilliputhur. He was born to Mukunda bhattar and Paduma valli, who belong to veyar family. He was born in Aani month - Swathi nakshathram - krothana year - Ekadesi Thithi - Sunday as the hamsam of Garudalwar. His parents kept him the name as "Vishnu Siththar".

Singing Pallandu is for blessing some one. Normally a younger one will be blessed by an elderly person. Or more learned person will bless less learned person. But if you see Periyalwar has sung Pallandu for Maha vishnu. In what way Periyalwar is elder than Maha Vishnu who has no origin, no birth? Or in what way he is wiser than the omniscient Sriman Narayana? But his sheer love on Lord, qualified him to sing Pallandu.

When Periyalwar sings his ‘Pallandu,’ he repeats the word ‘Pallandu’ to keep evil eyes from harming Lord Narayana. He could just as well have said the Lord should not come to harm from evil eyes, and stopped with that. Why the repetition? Periazhvar, upon witnessing Lord Narayana appear before him on the Garuda, is so overwhelmed with emotion, that he repeats his desire that no harm should befall the Lord. The repetition shows the intensity of his emotion. If a man is thirsty, he doesn’t stop with saying he is thirsty once, but repeats himself, because of the intensity of his need for water. Periyalwar’s anxiety for the Lord’s well being is so acute, that he repeats the sentiment that the Lord should stay protected from harm, said Kidambi Narayanan.

Periyalwar speaks of the Lord’s shoulders and His beauty, and prays these should come to no harm. The Lord wonders why Periazhvar should worry over Him, even after seeing His shoulders, which display His strength. Were these not the shoulders that vanquished many? Will anyone arrange a security guard to guard the entrance to a tiger’s den, when the tiger inside is ferocious and will strike terror in the hearts of anyone who approaches it with mischievous intent? In the same way, will anyone worry about protecting the Lord?

Periyalwar’s anxiety is like that of a mother, whose child has a gentle beauty, but who, because of his strength and courage, is always the first one to be called upon to settle disputes. The mother worries that her child might come to harm, precisely because of his being strong and courageous. The Lord is the first to rush to the rescue of the devas, whenever they are in trouble, and this is what causes Periyalwar so much anxiety. Periyalwar uses the word ‘Manivannan’ to describe the Lord’s beauty. The Lord is like a precious gem. For this reason too, He is referred to as Manivannan. He is like a gem that is invaluable, but which can be tied up in a small piece of cloth. The Lord is happy to be bound to His bhaktas through their bhakti.

Periyalwar hopes for many years of glory to the Lord. He wishes that there will be no limit to the number of years for which His glory shines resplendent.

Periyalwar, Srivilliputhur
During the fifth day of Thiruvaadipoora Utsavam held at Srivilliputtur, Mangalasasanam is offered to five lords in the morning and in the night Pancha Garuda Sevai is done. In this seva, one by one each Perumal comes and Periyalwar sings "Pallandu" with thalam for each one of them. This utsavam will take place in a grand manner with thousands of devotees witnessing the beauty of Thayar on Anna Vahanam and five Perumals (Vadapatrasayee Periya Perumal, Sundararaja Perumal, Srinivasa Perumal, Rangamannar and Thiru Thangal Appan) each mounted on Garuda Vahanam.

11 Garuda sevai
11 Garuda sevai a spectacular event in which festival images idols from the 11 Thirunaangur Divyadesam shrines in the area are brought on Garuda mounts to Thirunangur. An idol of Thirumangai Alvar is also brought here on a Hamsa Vahanam (palanquin) and his Pasurams (verses) dedicated to each of these 11 temples are recited. The Utsavar (festival deity) of Thirumangai Alvar and his consort Sri Kumudavalli Naachiyar are taken in a palanquin to each of the 11 temples, through the paddy fields in the area. The Pasurams (poems) dedicated to each of the 11 Divyadesams are chanted in the respective shrines. This is the most important of the festivals in this area, and it draws thousands of visitors.

Vaikasi Visakam Utsavam
Similarly in the event of Vaikasi Visakam Utsavam held at Sri Nammalwar Avathara Sthalam - Azhwar Thirunagari, Nava Tirupathi Divya Desam Lords come together at Azhwar Thirunagari to celebrate Nammalwar’s greatness. In the Garuda Seva day, when the Perumals of Nava Thirupathi Divyadesams are welcomed by Swami Nammalwar and the araiyar swami sings Nammalwar's Pasuram for each of the Perumal from Nava thirupathi. We can also see Perumal with a "drishti pottu" on His left cheek, to ward off the evil eye.

The concept in all these is that, When Azhwar visualizes lord Vishnu with his consort Lakshmi, ascended on the Garuda, he didn't think that lord should have come down to bless the devotees. But he had a different view. A view of a mother. He thought the lord is so handsome and when he ascends on the Garuda, the beauty knew no bounds. He should be protected from the evil eyes. So Azhwar sings Pallandu thinking that it will protect the lord from the evil. Such an affection Periyalwar had on Vishnu. Even in his other Pasurams he use to think him as lord Krishna's mother and when he danced on the serpent Kalinga, he was very much worried that the poison emitted from the snake should not harm his child lord Krishna!

In the verse from Tiruvaimozhi (Tiruvaimoli), Alwar has praised all the three Kshetrams:

Pulingkutikkitandhu Varagunamangaiyirundhu* Vaikundhaththul Ninru*
Thelindha_En_Chindhai Akangaziyaathe* Ennaiyaalvaay Enakkaruli*
Nalindhacheerulakam Moonrutanviyappa* Naangalkooththaadi Nninraarppa*
Palingunneer Mukilinpavalampol* Kanivaaychivappannee Kaanavaaraaye

Meaning: Bhagawaane! At Thiruppulingudi, You are blessing us with your reclining Beauty! At Varagunamangai Thirupathi, You are sitting so gracefully! and at Sri Vaikuntam, You are showing Yourself in standing posture, so beautifully. You are in my (clear) mind in all these three postures and are blessing me (without any gap and uninterruptedly). You should shower Your mercy on us and show Yourself just by a mere thought of You by Your bhakthas and cool our hearts. You should surprise them by showing Your most auspicious qualities and Kalyana Gunas and come straight. We should be excited and highly elated to be blessed to see the most Beautiful Red mouth which is like the most beautiful lightning and the Coral lipped creeper as seen in the midst of dark, rain laden black clouds on the sky. In my front, for us to see Your exquisite lovely beauty, You should bless us with Your presence right here, PHYSICALLY.

Likewise Alwars, we are in Ayodhya and let us all also sing "Pallandu Pallandu" on seeing the beauty of our Lord Rama and Sita.

We all had a leisure time in the evening at Ayodhya, since we planned to start the next day. During this leisure time we all exchanged our point of views on the places visited in Ayodhya and we all stayed like a family.


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