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Life History of Sriman Nathamuni

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Bhagavad Ramanuja Vaibhavam- 1.35- Our Kula nAThan- Sriman nAthamuni... after Nammazhwar

SrImathE Gopaladesika Mahadesikaya namah:

We have enjoyed Sri SatakOpar's glories so far. After that next in acharya lineage is Sriman nATha muni...

The Acharya paramparai of Srivaihsnavm is:
Sriya: Pathi Sriman Narayanan
Sri Mahalakshmi
Sri Vishvaksenar (Senai mudali)
Sri SaTakOpar (Sri NammAzhwAr)
Sri Nathamuni
Sri Pundarikakshar (Sri UyyakkoNdaar)
Sri Ramamisrar (maNakkaal nambhi)
Sri Yamuncharyar (Alavandhar)
Sri MahapoorNar (Periya Nambhi)
Sri Ramanujar

LakshmI nAtha samArambhaam nAtha yAmuna madhyamAm..

Swamy Vedantha Desikan pays his obeisance to Sriman Nathamuni thus:

nAthEna muni nAthEna bhavEyam nathavan ahamam |
yasya naigamikam tatvam hastAmalakatam gatam ||

Sriman Nathamuni is the most benign master (Acharya ) for me. Sriman
Nathamuni indeed availed the good opportunity to perceive the true and
purport of Vedas, like a tiny amla fruit on one’s palm (uLLankai nellikani). Let me pay my humble obeisance to Sri Nathamuni by the folding of my palms.

Sriman NathamunigaL was born in 824 A.D in Aani anusham star, in
Kaattumannargudi, at Veeranarayanapuram near GangaikoNda chaozhapuram.
AzhwAr's paasurams (poems) called naalaayira divyap prabhandam composed by
twelve AzhwArs.

It was by divine grace of Sriman Narayanan that Sriman
Naathamuni came to know of the Tamil poems praising Lord Vishnu. It is
believed that Sriman Naathamuni heard some devotees visiting his home town
singing a few (11) Tamil songs starting with "aaraa amudhE adiyEn udalam" and ending with "... kuruhoor sadagOpan kuzhalil maliyach sonna Or AyiratthuL ippatthum, mazhalai theera vallaar
kaamar maanEy nOkkiyarkE."

(NammAzhwAr's Thiruvaaymozhi 5.8.1 - 5.8.11)

Sriman Nathamuni was greatly excited and enchanted with the exquisite
beauty of the poems. He approached the devotees and enquired about its
origin. The ending of the 11 poems, "aayiratthuL ippatthu,"(means this ten
of the thousand) suggested that there are many more such poems (may be

Unfortunately, the devotees were unaware of any other poems besides the
eleven they had just finished reciting. However, they suggested to Sriman
Nathamuni that he may try enquiring in the town of thiruk kuruhoor, present day AzhwAr thiru nagari near thirunelvEli. So he set out to travel from kaattumannarkudi to thiruk kurugoor, where he found one paraangusa daasar.

From him, Sriman Nathamuni learnt 11 more paasurams called kaNNinuN
sirutthaambu. These were composed by Madhurakavi AzhwAr and all 11 paasurams are in praise of kurugoor SatakOpan(NammAzhwAr).

Paraangusa daasar suggested that he repeatedly recite this great kaNNinuN
sirutthaambu (sung in praise of Sri Sadagopan- NammAzhwAr) in the hope of
pleasing the Lord. Sriman Naathamuni took his advice sincerely and recited
it about 12,000 times! It is said that NammAzhwAr was impressed with Sriman Nathamuni's persistence and appeared before him.

NammAzhwAr was so impressed that he revealed to Sriman Nathamuni not just
the 1102 paasurams of his own "thiruvaay mozhi", but also all the rest of
the paasurams composed by the other eleven AzhwArs.

Sriman nathamuni set these 4000 to tune and music and taught to Melai
agatthAzhwAn and Keezhai agatthAzhwAn (his nephews) and propagated the 4000 in various Divya Desams. Nathamuni re arranged 4000 into four parts and introduced the same as part of recitation in Divya Desams, as part of
worship. Following the teaching of NammAzhwar, Sri Nathamuni seems to have
advocated the adoption of prapatti (self- surrender) as the means of
salvation in [place of rigorous bhakti yogam

We should remember Sri Nathamuni with gratitude not merely for his recovering the lost treasure of the Divya Prabandas, but also for setting them to music. Swami Desikan acknowledges this by paying him this tribute-

"TALam vazhangi Tamizh marai innisai tanda vaLLal". Further, in Sri Prabanda Saram, Swami Desikan repeatedly refers to the divya prabandas by the term "pAttu", signifying that these were set to music and sung, during his times.

NathamunigaL is “the vaLLal” who gave us the 4000 the insatiable nectar, set to music..

Sri Nathmuni wrote two works: Nyaya tatvam and Yoga rahasyam.

Both are not extant’ But Swamy Desikan and Ramanuja have referred to nyAya tatvam in their works. Sri Alavandhar in his “Athmasiddhi” says, nyAyatatvam is the most wonderful composition..

Sri NathamunigaL has unalloyed devotion to Sri Ranganthan. Once, Chozha
Rajan (king chola), who is also a sishya of Nathmuni, came to pay his
obeisance to Acharyan. He came in his chariot along with his few devis

When Raja got down with his wives, in such great ornaments, crown, and silk cloth, Sri Nathamuni for a moment lost himself and thought Sri Krishna with His devis have come from Dwarakai. He fell at the feet of the king to prostrate. The king was shocked and immediately sprung to lift Sri Nathamuni from the ground. Later he came to know of the mind of Sri Nathamuni, and why he fell at the feet.

Also, when on another occasion, the same king had completed discussing with Sriman Nathamuni and he took Acharya’s permission to leave. He started walking towards the chariot. When he was about to board, (as usual, the king used to call the chariot driver on whose shoulder he sets his foot to jump into the chariot), the driver was there for the king to jump in. After he jumped in, he saw below and it was Sriman Nathamuni’s shoulder. The king was stunned and got down to apologize to acharyan. “What have I done! Stepped on your shoulders! I have committed apacharam!”. Sriman Nathamuni then only came to this world. He had thought it is Sri Rama who had come by the chariot along with Sumanthrar. Hence, he offered his shoulders for Rama to step into the chariot.

That was Sriman Nathamuni’s unalloyed devotion. No acting.. No show.. No exhibitionism..

Sri NathamunigaL ThiruvadigaLE saraNam

namo narayana

Navalpakkam Krishna
I would like o know in detail about Nathamuni's contribution

Sriman Nathamuni is the earliest SV acharya who can be continuously traced from the present day. His Acharya is supposed to be Swami Nammazhvar and that is only manaseeka Acharya as they lived several centuries apart.

The main contribution of Sriman Nathamunigal is the compilation of 4000 Dhivya Prabhandham and establishing its formal recitation in temples in what is called Ariyar Sevai. This recitation includes abhinayam as well.

I would like to know why in Naalayira Divyaprabandam 108 paasurams has been added as Raamanuja noothandadi at the last to make it complete? thanking you


The answer to your question lies in the way SVs count the prabhandhams, the vadakalais and thenkalais.

There are three places where the counting differs, (i) Periyazhvar Thirumozi, (ii) Periya and Siriya Thirumadal of Thirumangai Azhvar, and (iii) iraamanusa nootrandati by Thiruvarangatthu amuthanaar who is not one of the 12 azhvars. However, both sects finally arrive at a nice round number of 24 prabhandhams adding up to an even 4000 pasurams.

The counts for Vadakalai and Thenkalai SVs are the same for 20 prabhandhams, leaving out four prabhandhams, Periyazhvar Thirumozhi, Siriya and Periya Thirumadal and Iramanusa nootrandati.

While their count of number of pasurmas of Periya and Sirirya Thirumadal are different, both kalais count them as two separate prabhandhams, adding up to 22 prabhandhams in total.

Vadakalais count all of Periyazhvar Pasurmas as one prabhandham and then they add Ramanuja Nootrandhati by Thiruvaranagaththu Amuthanaar as the 24th Prabhandham. Then, they break up Periya and Siriya Thirumadal, which are actually two long poems, into artificially separate pasurmas so that the pasuram count adds up to an even 4000. The authority for this way of counting for Vadakalais is Prabhandha Saram by Swami Sri Desikan.

The thenkalais, on the other hand, don't count Ramanuja Nootrandhati as part of the 4000 proper, though they revere it just as much as the Vadakalais. Instead, they count Periyazhavr pasurmas as two separate prabhandhams, the first 12 as Thiruppallandu and the balance as Periyazhvar Thirumozi, ending up with the same number of Prabhandhams as Vadakalai, namely 24. Then they parse Siriya and Periya Thirumadal in a different way such that they also end up with the same total pasuram count of 4000.

BTW, Siriya and Periya Thirumadal are probably the most exquisitely sensuous poems of all 4000 and is indeed a treat of all times. Traditional rendering of these two poems is sure to melt the heart of even the most jaded of us all, yours truly.

Hope this answers your question ....
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Thank you for the information for my previous question.When we chant the taniyaen at first as Raamanuja daya paatram....& Sreeshilesha daya patram.... whose contibution is this?First one is Aatrya raamanuja I think.............?.really it is amazing how Sriman Nathamunigal got inspiration from mudal alwars who were supposed to be in Dwaparyuga....?
....When we chant the taniyaen at first as Raamanuja daya paatram....& Sreeshilesha daya patram.... whose contibution is this?First one is Aatrya raamanuja I think.............?.really it is amazing how Sriman Nathamunigal got inspiration from mudal alwars who were supposed to be in Dwaparyuga....?

Vadakalais start the recitation of 4000 with Ramanuja Daya paathram (Ahobila Matam starts with kesavaarya kripaa patram for Athivan Satakopan, the founder of the matam, and then recite Ramanuja Daya Pathram).

The "Ramanuja" in this Ramanuja Daya Patram may refer to Swami Sri Desikan's immediate acharya, his own uncle Appulaar, or to his manaseeka acharya Bhagavat Ramanauja -- Swami Sri Desikan depicts himself as a revering disciple of Bhagavat Ramanuja in the play he wrote called Sankalpa Sooryodayam which was a rebuttal to another play called Prabodha Chandrodayam by an advaitee. So it can be taken either way. This thaniyan was composed by one of his foremost sihsyas who later established the earliest SV Matam that is still functioning, Parakala Matam, called Brahmma tantra swathanthra swami.

Thenkalais start recital of 4000 with Sri Sailesha daya patram thaniyan. Here, the Sri Sailesha refers to Swami Manavala Maamuni's immediate acharya "Sri Sailesha". Thenkalais believe Lord Ranganatha himself came as a small boy and rendered this Thaniyan in praise of Swami Manavala Maamunigal. So, the composer of this thaniyan, according to Thenkalai SVs is, Lord Rangatha himself.

A small correction, Sriman Nathamuni was initially inspired by just 10 verses of Thiruvaymozhi of Nammazhvar that is in praise of Kumbakonam Aramudan. That led him to a life long quest to gather Azhvar verses with the help of the descendants of Madhurakavi Azhvar. Sriman Nathamuni also established a formal style for the recital of 4000 with music and abinayam that is followed even today.

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