Introduction to ‘Thirukolur Penn Pillai Ragasiyam

Thirukolur is the 85th of the 108 divya desam-s. It is located at about 2 kilometers from Aazhwaar Thirunagiri. Thirukolur is among the Nava Thirupathi-s (9 Thirupathi-s) and is located on the banks of the sacred river Tamirabarani. Lord Vishnu is present here as Nikshepavitthan (Vaithamaanidhi Perumal in Tamil). The consort of the Lord is known as Kumudhavali (Kolurvalli). Usually, people who offer their prayers to Nikshepavitthan would be in a position wanting to recover their lost wealth.

Our great Vaishnavaite Aacharya-s (Mentors) have been kind enough to tell us that the greatest wealth is nothing but devotion to Lord Narayana and right action. The Grantha, ‘Thirukolur Penn Pillai Ragasiyam,’ shows us the path to attain right knowledge and wisdom. The words of Thirukolur Penn Pillai contain the essence of the Sri Vaishnavaite tradition. The tradition needs to be discovered and experienced through the text and it has to be done under the guidance of an aacharya. This piece of sacred literature has been included in the list of texts which fall under the local countryside literature.

Thirukolur is the land of Madhurakavi Aazhwaar and the thoughtful Thirukolur Penn Pillai was domiciled here. Saint Ramanuja had once decided to offer his prayers to Lord Nikshepavittha and Madhurakavi Aazhwaar at Thirukolur. The great saint was internally reciting a verse composed by Nammaazhwaar. While moving towards Thirukolur. He saw a devout Vaishnavaite lady leaving the place along with her baggage. The surprised saint enquired as to why she was leaving Thirukolur at the time of his entry. The lady stated that it does not matter for an unwise person like her to stay there. She further added by stating that rabbit-waste can be of no use whether it is within the field or outside. What glory could presents bring to Thirukolur?, was her other contention.

The surprised Ramanuja wanted to know how a person living in the birthplace of Madhurakavi Aazhwaar could be wisdom deficient. The 81 statements made by Thirukolur Penn Pillai amazed saint Ramanuja. The lady had rendered it in an implicit form and stated that she was not fortunate to lead a life as per those tenets prescribed in the Sri Vaishnavaite tradition. He states that nonetheless rabbit-waste is manure when found inside the field. Thirukolur Penn Pillai became a true bhagavata in his eyes for she was completely aware of wisdom and devotion. Ramanuja was immensely pleased by this lady and told her that she had the complete grace of Lord Vaithamaanidhi Peruman. The saint entered Thirukolur along with Thirukolur Penn Pillai and offered his prayers to Madhurakavi Aazhwar and Lord Vaithamaanidhi Peruman.

The great preceptor visited the residence of Thirukolur Penn Pillai and sanctified her residence by partaking a meal served by her. He blessed her with theertham and offered his mangalasaasana. The story of ‘Thirukolur Penn Pillai Ragasiyam’ is an important literary text which contains the quintessence of Tamil Literature and devotion. It contains the experiences of bhagavata-s expressed by Thirukolur Penn Pillai in a simple language.

The stories connected with this text are a veritable treasure. Righteous parents and teachers must compulsorily share the essence of the wonderful ‘Thirukolur Penn Pillai Ragasiyam’ with their kids for this will help them to choose the path with strewn with righteousness and devotion to Lord Vishnu.

(Click here to know the Thirukolur Penn Pillai Ragasiyam with meanings in simple English)

Mr. Rajesh Govindarajulu is one of the founding members of the Verandah Club Pvt. Ltd. He is a leading columnist, historian, jeweler, entrepreneur, and a heritage enthusiast who is earnestly working to revive the past in the light of the present. Experiential learning about the history of Coimbatore is his main course of interest and he is also a panel member of many colleges in the city.

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