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Sonna Vannam Seiydha Perumal

This Sunday we have a story form Deivathin Kural(Voice of God) about Sonna Vannam Seiydha Perumal(சொன்ன வண்ணம் செய்த பெருமாள்).

There is a temple called Sonna Vannam Seiydha Perumal(சொன்ன வண்ணம் செய்த பெருமாள்) in Kanchipuram. In Sanskrit, he is called as Yadoktakaari(யதோக்தகாரி). 'Yada Ukta' means 'As said' and 'Kaari' means 'Doer'. But whose words did Lord Vishnu obey? Let us see the story now.

One of the 12 Azhvars(ஆழ்வார்) was Thirumazhisai Azhvar. He was born in the place called Thirumazhisai but lived in Kanchipuram. He was very devoted to Lord Vishnu and did many services to the Lord. He had a disciple named Kanikannan(கணிகண்ணன்). Kanikannan was born with the blessings of his Guru, Thirumazhisai Azhvar. His parents didn't have a child for long time. They would give milk to the Azhvar everyday. The Azhvar would meditate everyday and when he opens his eyes he would just drink the milk they give and the part that is left would be given back to them. Soon, a son was born to them.

One day, Kanikannan went to the temple. There, he saw an old woman with a hump in her back. With the hump in her back, the old woman was doing many services like sweeping and cleaning the temple ignoring the pain. Kanikannan, on seeing her sufferring, wanted to help. As he had a thought of affection, he received the blessings of his Guru automatically. So, he then rubbed her back and to her surprise, it became erect. Not only the erection of her back, but also she became a healthy young woman

As Lord Krishna in Northern -India in the city of Mathura transformed Kubjai(கூனி) into a young woman by making her back erect, Kanikannan in southern-India in the city of Kanchipuram transformed this old lady into a young beautiful woman. Kanchipuram is the only city in South-India to be in the list of 7 Mokshapuris(மோக்ஷபுரி). Mokshapuri are the places in which people living there would attain Salvation or Moksha. The woman thought of doing services to the temple all the time as she became very healthy.

If an old woman transformed into a young woman, the common people would all the time talk about this. This news reached till the king of Kanchipuram who belonged to the Pallava dynasty. So, the king with great hope called Kanikannan to change him too into a youth. Kanikannan started laughing as a reply to the the king's eagerness. Kanikannan, who always thinks of his Guru, didn't think the king as a great person. So, without scare in his mind, he spoke up "Did I myself transform the old woman into a youth? How did I get that power? It was my Guru's power that came into me at that time. The king replied "Then bring your Guru with you".

Kanikannan replied "Don't you know about my Guru? People who think of the Lord all the time would help people doing services to the Lord. He just used me as a tool to help the woman. But you wanted to enjoy the life. For these types of thoughts, my Guru won't help. Whoever you maybe, death would come definitely. If you die, someone else would become the king. My Guru won't accept and help you".

The king became very angry on hearing the words of Kanikannan. "Kanikanna, I prohibit you from entering my city". Kanikannan then went to his Guru and told him the news and left.

Even though Thirumazhisai Azhvar was a true devotee and Yogi, he had affection towards 2 people. The first one was Kanikannan and the second was Lord Vishnu. So, the Azhvar started following Kanikannan. Kanikannan didn't call his Guru because he didn't want to trouble him. But due to affection, the Azhvar followed Kanikannan. Azhvar thought Lord Vishnu would follow his footsteps, but to his surprise Lord was lying peacefully on the snake bed . The Azhvar ordered the Lord to follow them.

கணிகண்ணன் போகின்றான், காமரு பூங்கச்சி மணிவண்ணா ! நீ கிடக்க வேண்டா ! – துணிவொன்றிச் செந்நாப் புலவோன்யான் செல்கின்றேன், நீயுமுன்றன் பைந்நாகப் பாய் சுருட்டிக் கொள்
Kanikannan Poginran, Kaamaru Poongachi Manivannana ! Ni Kidakka Vendaa ! - Thunivonri Senna Pulavonyaan Selginraen Neeyumunran Painnaga Paai Surutti Koll

Azhvar didn't say that he himself is going. He instead says, "Kanikannan is going. You don't lie on your bed. I am also going. How can you lie on your bed comfortably. You fold your snake bed and start with me". Lord Vishnu didn't want to disappoint his devotee. So, he folded his snake bed and started with Azhvar.

The 3 people started walking and before they could walk 4 to 5 miles, it became dark. They decided not to walk further and stay there till the sun rises. Meanwhile, the very moment the Lord left the temple, came Alakshmi(அலக்ஷ்மி). Kanchipuram became very dark surrounded by sadness.

All the people went to the king for help. The king decided to fall on the Lord's feet. Meanwhile, the sun rose. The king came to the place where the 3 people were staying. On seeing the Lord, he fell on his feet and pleaded to come back to the temple. But the Lord said "I didn't come on my own, I just followed the orders of Azhvar" and so the king fell at Azhvar's feet. He also replied like Lord Vishnu and told the king to ask Kanikannan. Without any choice, the king fell at Kanikannan's feet. Kanikannan agreed to the king's plea. So, the 3 people along with the king returned to Kanchipuram. The place where the 3 people stayed at that night is called Or Iravu Irukkai(ஓர் இரவு இருக்கை) or Orikkai(ஓரிக்கை). After they reached Kanchipuram, everything became normal. The Azhvar again sang with a few changes to his earlier command.

கணிகண்ணன் போக்கொழிந்தான், காமரு பூங்கச்சி மணிவண்ணா ! நீ கிடக்க வேண்டும் !- துணிவொன்றிச் செந்நாப் புலவோன் யான் செலவொழிந்தேன், நீயுமுன்றன் பைந்நாகப் பாய் விரித்துக்கொள்.
Kanikannan Pokkozhinthan, Kamaru Poongachi Manivanna ! Ni Kidakka Vendum !- Thunivonri Senna Pulavon Yaan Selavozhinthen Neeyum Unran Painnaga Paai Viritthukoll

Azhvar said, "Kanikannan has stopped going. Manivanna you can unfold your snake bed and lie on it peacefully". Thus the lord obeyed the words of the Azhvar and got the name, Sonna Vannam Seiydha Perumal(சொன்ன வண்ணம் செய்த பெருமாள்).



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