Sri Andal Jeeyar Mutt Srivilliputtur

Sri Manavala Mamunigal Jeeyar Mutt is a religious centre in the temple town of Srivilliputtur. The Mutt follows the Thenkalai tradition of Sri Vaishnava culture. The Mutt has Sri Manavala Mamunigal as the torch bearer of the tradition of Vishistadvaita and Emberumanar Darsanam which is known to be the way as propagated by one of the greatest sants SriRamanuja. The mutt houses seers who have the title of Sri Satagopa Ramanuja Jeeyar. The Present pontiff of the mutt is 23rd peetam Paramahamsethyathi Sri Sri Sri Satagopa Ramanuja Jeeyar Swami. The mutt has an unbroken lineage from its founder Sri Manavala Mamunigal himself.

Sri Manavala Mamunigal visited Srivilliputtur, which is the birthplace of Sri Andal and Sri Periyalwar the greatest Vaishnavaitic Sants during the Pandya Kingdom period. Legends say that Sri Mamunigal who was the then seer of Sri Rangam visited this place for having the darshan of Thayar Sri Andal during her most celebrated Maargali Ennaikaapu Festival which is the yearly festival celebrated in Dec-Jan every month. Sri Mamunigal visited the temple only on the next day of completion of the said festival. So Sri Andal appeared in the dreams of the Archakas- the temple priests and Athyapakas – the people of the town and ordered to extend the festival for one more day so that Sri Manavala Mamunigal would have a chance to watch and enjoy divinely. As per the orders of the presiding deity of the temple Sri Andal, arrangements were made for Sri Manavala Mamunigal to witness the festival for one more day. After which Sri Andal appeared before Sri Mamunigal and asked him whether he was having any more grievances. He, after observing Sri Andal from Her crown to lotus Feet told that She looked very gracefully and offered Her a ‘kunjam’ – an ornament used by women to decorate their hair plaits. Legends also say that the said ornament of kunjam was offered by a great Tamil poet Kamban when he visited Srivilliputtur. Hence, the ‘kunjam’ is known as ‘Kamban Kunjam’. Even today on Maharasankarathi day (The first day of Tamil month ‘Thai’, usually Jan 14th or 15th ) Sri Andal blesses on the special occasion of the day blessed for the sake of Sri Manavala Mamunigal and after taking bath in the temple pond ‘Thirumukkulam – Sri Sudharsana Chakkra Theertham’, She arrives at the entrance of this Mutt and Sri Manavala Mamunigal processional deity is brought near Her to observe Her motherly divine beauty.

This Mutt is an independent mutt and is the only mutt established by Sri Manavala Mamunigal on the request of Srivilliputtur people to give them discourses on philosophical values and Sri Vaishnava tradition. Later to continue this divine duties, Sri Manavala Mamunigal established the said aacharya peetam and appointed seers to succeed him. So this mutt holds a continuous history with the Seers known as Jeeyars for past 600 years. Though there were some breaks due to the invasions, the mutt holds records of grants given by various rulers such as the King of Mysore. 23rd peetam Sri Sri Sri Satakopa Ramanuja Jeeyar Swamy was the pontiff of this mutt as of 2014 and executed various religious rites and duties.

The divinity deemed to be in the mutt is the processional deity of Sri Thiruvalmarbhan – which means „The Lord Who has His chest as a divine residence of His Consort Sri Lakshmi Devi known as Thayar“. The deity of Sri Thiruvalmarbhan available in this mutt holds a very special history. Actually, the Lord was among the ‚Pancha Berars‘ (- the important 5 forms of Lord residing in every temple that follows an aagama way of worship) of the Divya Desam of Thiruvalla which is available in Kerala known as Malainadu. A Magician who was very interested in taking away this Lord’s idol came to Thiruvalla and stole the idol and was travelling towards his native via the foot hills of Western Ghats. So at some point of time, the magician hid the idol in a small cave near Srivilliputtur and went for executing some tantric practises. That was the time when Sri Manavala Mamunigal was staying in Srivilliputtur. The Lord appeared in the dreams of Sri Manavala Maamunigal and ordered to cary Him away from the cave. Sri Mamunigal went and executed the orders of the Lord. The deity was brought to the Mutt and was desired by the Lord to stay in the town of Sri Andal – which is Srivilliputtur. So even today the processional deity of the Divya Desam of Thiruvalla is very much available in Srivilliputtur Sri Manavala Mamunigal Jeeyar Mutt and it is seated at the immediate left to Sri Manavala Mamunigal’s processional deity.