Nama Article 2nd December 2013
Sri Shridhara Ayyaval, very compassionate, requested the priests to participate in the ceremony. The arrogant priests refused the invitation bluntly. Sri Shridhara Ayyaval pleaded with them to accept his invitation and said that he would carry out any atonement that they prescribed for the sin incurred. The priests then said, "Take a dip in the Holy Ganga. That is the only atonement for the terrible sin incurred." Sri Shridhara Ayyaval replied, "The Holy Ganga is up in north and I am already old. I do not think I can travel that far. Instead, I shall bring the Holy Ganga to me in the well here my backyard." Hearing this, the priests said, "How preposterous of you to speak so! Of course, there are some verses in the scriptures which exalt the Holy Name of Ganga by saying that if one takes a dip in any water chanting the name of Ganga, he would gain the merit of having taken a dip the Holy River Ganga. But these are nothing but exaggerations! Just as you exaggerate the glory of Divine Names!" and laughed out. "Don't even imagine that you can trick us and become one among us again!" Sri Shridhara Ayyaval humbly replied, "I do not intend to cheat anybody. I shall bring the Holy Ganga right here." Saying this, he prayed to Holy Ganga through eight verses of Gangashtakam composed by him then. And lo! The Holy River Ganga gushed out of the well in the backyard of Sri Shridhara Ayyaval's home! The priests were terrified to witness this miracle. Now they were alarmed to see the river gush out to the roads! They ran and fell at Sri Shridhara Ayyaval's feet and begged his pardon. They requested Sri Shridhara Ayyaval to send the river back! Sri Shridhara Ayyaval invited all of them to take a dip in the river. The panicked mass insisted he send it back and refused to take a dip. Sri Shridhara Ayyaval then prayed to Mother Ganga to stay in his well in the backyard of his home for ever. The Holy River Ganga paid heed to his prayer and subsided into the well. This incident occurred on the new moon day in the month of 'Karthika'. Till this day, many pilgrims travel to Tiruvisainallur to take a dip in this well every year on the new moon day of the Karthika month.
Sri Shridhara Ayyaval was an embodiment of humility. For the sake of uplifting man he composed many works. Bhagavan Nama Bhooshanam, Aakya Shashti, Dayashatakam, Stuti Paddhathi, Shiva Bhakti Kalpalatha, Shiva Bhakta Lakshanam, Achyutaashtakam, Dola Navaratna Malika etc. are a few to name. Though titled differently, all these works were primarily about the greatness and glory of the Divine Names of the Lord.
Please check these: Excerpts from a discourse by our Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji
The path blazed by Jeyadeva was followed by Krishna Chaitanya, Tukaram, Meera Bai, and others in North India. Correspondingly there lived in South India, Purandaradasa, Bhodendra, Ayyaval, Sadguru Swami and others.