Nama Article 24th Feb 2017
After leaving the city of Mysore, Sri Shridhara Ayyaval passed through many cities and villages. He had taken to 'Unchchavriti' way of life wherein one goes on the streets singing the Divine Names of the Lord, accepting things offered as alms and partaking of the same after offering it to the Lord.
He would stop for a day or two in each village and teach the mass the essence of the scriptures. He would chant the Divine Names of the Lord and speak of its glory and ease of chanting it. After winning the hearts of the people there and hearing them chant with devotion, he would continue his journey.
Thus, moving about, Sri Shridhara Ayyaval reached the town of Tirichirapalli in Tamil Nadu, South India. He continued spreading his message of Nama Kirtan by discoursing in a simple language which helped people comprehend the profound truth with ease. His discourses emphasized devotion towards both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva without bias. Every evening he visited the temple of Lord Shiva and spent the afternoons in chanting divine names and reading scripture.
The king of Tirichirapalli was a devout Vaishnavaite (devotee of Lord Vishnu). A few people, who had heard the discourses of Sri Shridhara Ayyaval felt that he had more leaning towards Lord Shiva than Lord Vishnu. They voiced their opinion to the king and wanted him to test the devotion of Sri Shridhara Ayyaval towards Lord Vishnu. The king, who was a great devotee himself, did not like the idea of testing a saint and also feared that it might bring downfall to him and his kingdom. However, the desire to know the heart of this saint sprouted in him and hence he decided to test Sri Shridhara Ayyaval without malice and hit upon a plan. He ordered the priests to dress up Sri Mathrubhuteshwara, Lord Shiva in Tirichirapalli as Lord Krishna and take Him in procession. He thought that Sri Sridhara Ayyaval's reaction would indicate his bias, should he have any. When the procession passed through the home of Sri Shridhara Ayyaval, he was meditating on Lord Shiva. Once out of his trance, he came out of his home hurriedly and finding Lord Krishna there spontaneously prayed to Lord Krishna "Oh! Lord Krishna! When will I spend every moment of my life in meditating on your Lotus Feet by reminding myself of the transitory nature of this world, being humble, knowing my deficiencies, turning blind to other's faults, being compassionate towards all living beings, being a servant of the devotees of the Lord and eyeing both joy and sorrow alike?"
He thus composed 12 verses known as 'Krishna Dwadasa Manjari'. In a few verses in this, he did not hesitate to sing that Lord Krishna's vision was not easy for Lord Shiva Himself! Hearing this, the king was relieved and the people who had induced him to test fell at Sri Shridhara Ayyaval's feet and apologized for their ignorance and arrogance. Knowing Sri Shridhara Ayyaval to be a great saint of uncommon devotion and glory, the king wanted him to stay in his city forever.
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.