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There are numerous other examples of unconventional devotion but none can be better than that of Azhwars. Many of them imagined themselves as brides and cast Him in the mould of a hero. However one of them gave free reign to maternal feelings and re-lived His manifestations from childhood onwards, re-experiencing all that had gone before. Born in Srivilliputtur as Vishnuchithar, this Azhwar, inspired by the life of the flower seller, created a garden and devoted himself to the service of the Lord by offering flowers and by singing paeans of His glory. His daughter Andal wore these garlands before they were offered to the Lord, who indeed was pleased with such devotion.
Conventional rites are an ocean whose depths have been plumbed by seers and ordinary devotees can accept their recommendations without any hesitation. Vishnuchithar was happy with his devotional path but God raised him to greater heights. When a Pandya king called for a public debate on who is the Supreme God the Lord commanded Vishnuchithar to participate in it and settle the issue.
When the Azhwar voiced self-doubts, the Lord replied, "Everything that you do including the offering of flowers to Me is done by Me," and thus encouraged, he attended the assembly. So scintillating was his exposition that the bundle of gold coins fell in his hand and the victorious Azhwar was taken in a grand procession in a caparisoned elephant. Pleased with his performance the Lord appeared along with His Consorts in the sky, but the saint, worried about evil eyes, sang the "Thiruppallandu" which is a benediction invoking universal goodwill for all, said Sri V. Krishnan in a discourse.
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