Thursday, October 12, 2006




Sri. Bhattathiri was borne in Melpattur Illam-Kurumbathoor Village in Malappuram Dist, in Kerala. Borne in 1560 Sri. Melpattur Narayana Bhattathiri’s father was Mathru Dattan Namboodiri. His birth place is near famous Thirunavaya Temple. He had an elder brother by name Sri. Damodaran and a younger brother by name Sri. Mathru Dattan.

Bhattathiri learned VEDA and Sanskrit from Guru Sri. Madhavan Oothikkan. He learnt Tarka Sastra from his elder brother Sri. Damodaran. For Mimamsa , father was his Guru. In his younger days Bhattathiri has his formal education in every field. He later married the niece of one Thrikandiyur Sri. Achutha Pisharodi- from out side his community- as was the custom then. In olden days - Namboodiri family’s only the eldest son can marry within their community. Others would marry ladies from Royal families, Ambala Vaasis etc from outside their community. Probably this system was followed to preserve the family treasures /tradition and values.

Sri. Bhattathiri after marriage became very lazy and ignored even his Nithya Anushtana etc. It was really surprising to his wife’s uncle Sri. Pisharodi- who was a good Sanskrit / Vyakarana /Grammar teacher. Sri. Bhattathiri would be sleeping when Sri. Pisharodi’s classes were going on . One day Sri. Pisharodi out of compassion and sadness told Sri. Bhattathiri thus “ EVEN AFTER GETTING A GOOD MAASUSHA/BRAHMANA JANMA AND HAVING LEARNT VEDAS YOU ARE WAISTING YOUR TIME ONLY IN WORLDLY PLEASURES. WHY DON’T YOU REALISE THAT.” These words uttered by Sri. Pisharodi before his students had a telling effect on him. Then onwards he took Sri. Pisharodi as his Guru and learnt Vyakaranam/Grammar from him.

After passage of time Sri. Achuta Pisharodi was suffering from Vaatha Roga. Sri. Bhattathiri could not see his Guru’s suffering. He started praying to God fervently to cure his guru’s disease. Finding no relief from the disease, Sri. Narayana Bhattathiri consulted many learned people for cure. After learning about “ ‘KARMA VIPAKA DHANA’ by which the sins of one person is taken over and the donor is freed from his sufferings. He accepted the above Dhana praying for his Guru’s cure. As destined it happened. The Vaatha Roga was transferred from Guru to Sishya and Sri. Bhattathiri became sick and crippled by the same disease.

Later SRI TUNCHAT EZUTHACHAN one of the famous Malayalam Poets of Kerala, advised Sri. Bhattathiri to do Bhajanam and asked him to sing the glory of Lord Narayana starting from the “ Matsya Avatara”. Accepting his valuable suggestions, he decided to do Bhajanam at Guruvayur Temple for some period. He chose to write poetry eulogizing the Glory of the Lord Narayana. His Sankalpam was to write in brief the entire Vyasa’s Sri mad Bhagavatham which contained 18000 slokas. As he was a scholar in Rig Veda he chose to write his poetry with different chandas/swara / meters and with each block containing 10 slokas in general.

Though with enthusiasm he completed the first two dasakams, his crippling disease prevented him from continuing. It is reported that his young brother- Sri. Matru Dattan Namboodiri who was nursing him, helped him in writing/copying the slokas. From the third Dasakam onwards in each of the Dasakam Sri. Bhattathiri’s prayer to God to cure his disease can be seen. As per his sankalpam in first 36 dasakams he covered the first IXth chapters of the Srimad Bhagavatham. From 37 onwards up to 90 Dasakams he covered the Dasama Skandam ( Krishna Avatara Katha). From the 91 Dasakams he covered XIth Skandam of the epic which contain Uddava Tatwa Upadesa, Jnana/Bakthi/Karma Yogas/Vaishnava Mahatwam/ Brahmopasanam etc etc. In fact he has covered the entire XI th chapter so nicely, precisely in a condensed form without omitting any of the important explanations, this Chapter XI of Bhagavatham and the last 10 dasakams of the Narayaneeyam are worth reading and emulating in once life as far as possible.

Sri. Bhattathiri, completed condensed version of the Srimad Bhagavatham in 100 days in 1034 slokas. As soon as he completed this beautiful Sanskrit literary work with all the ingredients such as Sthoola/Sooshma meanings, Roopa, Bhava, different Chandas and Sabdha Silpams etc. and submitted to the Lord of Guruvayur -- Sri. Guruvayurappan- it is reported that Sri. Narayana Bhattathiri had a vision of the Lord. Seeing the Lord before him he chanted the last 10 slokas glorifying His each and every part of body which is called KESADI PAADA VARNANA. We understand that he got cured of his disease after completion of this Kavya. He named this as Naarayaneeyam as it was written by him and second as it is about the Lord Narayana. This Great Kavya of Naarayaneeyam was completed by him in 100 days at the age of 27, in the year 1587. That day was 27th day of Vruchikam month corresponding to ( Karthika Masa) . In rememberance of this great Scholar Guruvayur Devaswam has taken possession of 17 cents of his family land in Chandana Kavu,to construct a memorial. Each year on 27th of Vruchika Masa Guruvayur Devaswam is arranging for chanting of Sampoorna Naarayaneeya Parayanam at this place.

Sri. Bhattathiri was reported to be very learned man in Rig Veda, Vedantha, Saiva Agamas, Mantra Sastras, Vyakaranam etc. etc. He has thanked his acquired Vaatha Roga for his spiritual upliftment. Gratitude towards his guru Sri. Pisharodi for the turning point in his life is reflected in the Naarayaneeyam 93 dasakam’s last sloka.
Aaswalayana Soothra Kriya Kramam ( Rig Veda Mantra Prayoga) Sri Krishna Geethi for Dance Drama relating to Lord Krishna, Sripada Sapathathi, Prakriya Sarvaswam, Sooktha Slokas relating to Rig Vedas Vyakarana Grantha etc. etc are some of this great scholars creations and achievements.

During the period of Sri. Bhattathiri, there was another Guruvayurappa Bhaktha by name Sri. Poonthanam. He wrote a poetry in Malayalam depicting human values and philosophical out look in one’s life. The name of the poetry is Gnana paana. Though requested by Sri. Poonthanam Sri Bhattathiri refused to look into the contents of that poetry. Then after hearing the divine voice that “ I like Sri. Poonthanam's Bhakthi rather than your vibhakthi’ Sri. Bhattathiri took apology from Sri. Poonthanam. Thus Lord Guruvayurappan removed the Scholarly Ego from Sri. Bhattathiri.

Sri. Bhattathiri’s end came in the year 1646 at the age of 86. while praying at Mukkola Bagavathi Temple. Chanting of the hymn Naarayaneeyam regularly would surely give the devotee to attain ayu arogya souwkyam . Hence it recommended to practice chanting of Naarayaneeyam regularly by understanding the meaning of the slokas.

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

( Kali Santhrana Upanishad says that by chanting of the above Mantra regularly one can achieve Mukthi in Kaliyuga)

Subham Bhavathu.

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