9. thoNdaradippodi Azhvaar

Birth maargazhi, kEttai
Place thirumaNangudi near KumbakONam
Other names vippranaaraayaNar
Prabhandam thiruppaLLiyezhicchi (10) , thirumaalai (45)
ThoNdaradippodi aazhvaar lived a life of devotion to Lord ranganaatha of thiruvarangam. A Devadaasi called dEva dEvi took on a challenge to seduce the aazhvaar and divert his attention away from the Lord. Dressed as a sri vaishnava devotee she started as a helpmate for the aazhvaar's godly duties. Over time she succeeded in seducing the aazhvaar. After that, dEva dEvi turned aazhvaar out of her home demanding money. Heart broken, aazhvaar went into deep depression. Lord ranganaathaa missed the daily prayers of the aazhvaar. To get the problem resolved the Lord took on human form and gave one of the golden vessels belonging to the temple to dEva dEvi and asked her to take the aazhvaar back. She did so. However, the temple officials noticed the missing vessel and accused the aazhvaar. Azhvaar was then jailed. That night the Lord appeared in the king's dream and revealed what actually had happened. The king immediately released the aazhvaar. However, Azhvaar was distraught for having turned away from his beloved Lord ranganaathaa. To make amends for his transgressions with dEva dEvi, aazhvaar consumed water from the feet of sri vaishnavaas. He also resolved to be called thoNdaradippodi.