Pillai Lokacharya Swamy
Pillai Lokacharya Swamy was one of the greatest acharyas of Sri Vaishnava Sampradayam. Swamy was born in the Thula Masa Sravana Nakshatra. It was Swamy who gave us the Lord at Srirangam (Prameyam) and the 18 secret Granthas (Pramanam) that explain the evidence of Lord Supreme. Swamy is also considered as the incarnation of Sri Varadharaja Perumal at Kanchipuram.
Some facts about Pillai Lokacharya Swamy
Born in 1205 A.D at Srirangam (Trichy District, Tamil Nadu, India). Lived for 106 years and reached Paramapadam in 1311 A.D at Jyotiskudi (Madurai District, Tamil Nadu, India).
All his 18 works (the secret Granthas) are in Manipravalam (mix of Tamil and Sanskrit language) and has explained the 3 sacred manthras known as Rahasyatrayam.
Sacrificed his life in protecting Namperumal (the Lord at Srirangam) from the invasion of Mughals.
Born with the blessings of great Acharya “Nampillai” and celebrated as the Acharya for the whole world (loka) hence referred to as Lokacharya.
Pillai Lokacharya Swamy is considered as the incarnation of Kanchi Devaraja, Sri Varadharaja Perumal at Kanchipuram
The reason behind the great name "Pillai Lokacharya"
During the 11th and 12th centuries there were many great acharyas practising Sri Vaishnava Sampradyam. Nampillai was one such acharya. Lord Namperumal loved his pravachanams and his work on “Eedu Vyakhyanam”, a commentary on Nammazhwars called Thiruvaimozhi.
Nampillai has various disciples and one such disciple was Vadakku Thiruveedhi Pillai at Srirangam. Once Nampillai was inquiring Vadakku Thiruveethi Pillai's mother about her welfare and she expressed her sadness on account of her son's family not being furthered as he was away from his wife. Nampillai called on his disciple and instructed him to follow proper gruhastasrama dharmam. In due course Vadakku Thiruveethi Pillai and his wife were blessed with a son.
The child being born out of the blessings of Nampillai was given the name Lokacharya Pillai and later transposed to Pillai Lokacharya, meaning the guru for the entire world. The couple had a second son named Alagiya Manavala Perumal Naayanaar, at the blessing of Srirangam Perumal (Alagiya Manvalan) himself. Unfortunately, this acharya died at an early age, but not before producing a very deep treatise on the teachings of Nammazhvar called "Acharya Hrudayam"
Avathara Rahasyam (secret of the birth) of Pillai Lokacharya Swamy
Once upon a time Lord Kanchi Varadharaja Perumal out of his compassion, selected one SriVaishnavite Manarpakkam Nambi, and appeared in his dream and taught him sacred Manthra meanings (rahasya). And the lord also advised him to go live in the banks of kaveri (Srirangam); wait for him there to teach further meanings. Manarpakkam Nambi moved to Srirangam.
One day Pillai Lokacharya came to Kaatu Alagiya Singar Temple at Srirangam, with his close disciples and seeing the quiet nature of the place began teaching them the meanings of Sacred Manthra (rahasyas). Nambi listening from inside noted that these meanings were the same and continued at the exact place where Lord Varadaraja stopped in his dream. He then came out prostrated at Pillai Lokacharya's feet, asked him "Avaro neer?" - Are you the one (the same as Varadharaja)? Pillai Lokacharya replied "aam aavadhen?” Yes, and why do you ask?". Manarpakkam Nambi explained his dream to him. This is the avatara rahasyam of Pillai Lokacharya. This is in the foreword of Manvala Mamuni on the commentary of Sri Vachana Booshanam.
The acharya of Lord Sri Ranganatha in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu
Bhagavad Ramanujacharya reincarnate
We all know that Bhagavad Ramanujacharya is the incarnation of Adisesha. Bhagavad Ramanujacharya incarnated as Sri Varavara Muni (Manavala Mamunigal) in the 14th century A.D to re-establish the eternal Vedic practices that were lost during turmoil. His devotion towards Bhagavad Ramanujacharya and Sathakopa Muni (Nammazhwar) was unparalleled. His pravachans were so mesmerising that Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam stopped all the uthsavams for one full year and came in the form of a small boy (as a disciple) to listen to acharya Varavara Muni’s great pravachans (called Edu on Thiruvaimozhi of Sri Nammazhwar)
On the Thirunakshatram of this great acharya, who re-established the Sri Vaishnava Sampradayam single-handedly let us all recite Sri Manavala Mamunigal's Thaniyans
thula:ya:m athule: mu:le: pandye: kunti:puri:vare: |
sri:se:sha:mso:dbhavam vande: ramyaja:ma:tharam munim ||
sri:saile:sa daya:pa:thram dhi:bhakthya:di guna:rnavam |
yathi:ndra pravanam vande: ramyaja:ma:tharam munim ||
thulamulava thurnaya thosithakala suraya soumyajamathra muniya seshamsayastu mangalam