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Disease of Solaiyappar (Solaiyappaswamy)

Solaiyappar is one of the richest men in the village of ‘Eppodhum vendran’ in Tuticorin district. Solaiyappar affected by leprosy. He took many treatments and medicine, but there is no good result. Even though he has more money, he cannot heal his disease. He always worried about his unhealthy life. One day Solaiyappar get a dream. In that dream, he saw a woman and the woman said, “Periyaswamy is coming go and meet him”. Solaiyappar asked how he finds Periyaswamy. She said that a piece of cloth fly over his head to give him shadow. Suddenly, he wakes up and he confused whether it is a dream or not. Solaiyappar did not know that the woman is Annai Sri Meenachi.

One day Solaiyappar saw a man coming with the identity told by the woman in the dream. He walks towards the man and he totally forgets his disease. He ran near to that man and he realizes it is Periyaswamy. Suddenly, Solaiyappar fell down at Periyaswamy’s feet. Periyaswamy asked that who he is. Solaiyappar said his history and about the dream. Periyaswamy become sympathetic and feel for him. Now Periyaswamy think of the “eight letter mandhra” and asks Solaiyappar to take a bath in the near pond. Without any questions, Solaiyappar take a bath and came back. Periyaswamy ask him to see his body. Solaiyappar surprised on seeing his body without any mark of his disease. He became a new man without any disease. Then Periyaswamy wished him for his healthy life.

Become the Disciple of Periyaswamy

Solaiyappar now understand the divine power of Periyaswamy and Sri Meenachi Amman. Solaiyappar wished to be the disciple of Periyaswamy. Sri Periyaswamy accepted him as his disciple. Solaiyappar leaves all his wealth and decides to follow Periyaswamy. Both the Guru and Seedan stayed there for some days and do the full moon and new-moon day poja. After some days, both of them started their travel towards the south.

Travel of Guru and his Disciple

Periyaswamy and Solaiyappar reached “Kombankulam” in-between their travel. On that night, they must do the full-moon day poja. They need a goat to sacrifice for God. On that time, a goat came on that side. The Guru decided to sacrifice that goat for the poja. The owner of the goat came there. He understands that the sacrificed goat was his pet. He asked about the goat to Periyaswamy after the poja. The owner knows that his goat died. Then Periyaswamy called the sacrificed goat as “maa”, the same goat came alive by the grace of Sri Meenachi. The owner was shocked on seeing the goat. He gets blessings from Periyaswamy. Sri Periyaswamy blessed him and he gives sermon about the great Annai Meenachi. Then the relatives of that owner were became the followers of Periyaswamy.

Reached Chettiyapathu

Periyaswamy and his disciple Solaiyappar continued their pilgrimage. Periyaswamy spread the power of Annai Meenachi in every place he goes. He gathered followers without any discrimination and teach them the poja methods. He made a leader for each place followers and they called as “Annavi”. Then he went to “Kudankulam”, “Thamaraikulam”, and “Kanyakumari”. He came to Udangudi and stayed for some time. Finally, they came to Chettiyapathu.

Meeting with Thirupuzhi Azhwar

‘Thirunagari’ is considered as one of the nine Thirupathi. At Thirunagari, the vaishnavas are the dominators. They are very proud with their mantras and always dominate other peoples. Swamigal decided to teach lessons to the vaishnavas. He thinks the way to teach them a lesson and slept that night. In Swamigal’s dream, Annai Meenachi said to go Thirunagari and meet Thirupuzhi Azhwar. At the same time, in the dream of Thirupuzhi Azhwar, Annai Meenachi said ‘Periyaswamy is coming go and meet him’. On the next morning, Swamigal and solaiyappar started their travel to Thirunagari.

Both of them reached Thirunagari and meet Thirupuzhi Azhwar. He always sits in a cradle under a tamarind tree. The specialty of that cradle is, it also grow with him. Azhwar become happy to see Periyaswamy and welcome him. They talked for some time. Thirupuzhi Azhwar likes to go with Periyaswamy to Chettiyapathu. Swamigal said he would take him when he returns. Then Swamigal and Solaiyappar decided to stay at Thirunagari to teach lessons for the vaishnavas.

Lessons Taught by Swamigal

At first, Swamigal irritated Vaishnavas by some incidents. The guru and his disciple gathered the waste banana leaves and washed. They planned to sell these waste leaves to the Andhanars. They eagerly bought it. Day by day, they gained a lot. Then, Swamigal sells leaves without washing cleanly. The unwashed leaves irritated the Andhanars. After that, they stop buying leaves from them. Both the Guru and his disciple, teach lesson to vaishnavas like by the above incident.

Test by his Guru Periyaswamy

Sri Periyaswamy Swamigal becomes ill in Chettiyapathu. At the time, he likes to test his disciple solaiyappar. Swamigal vomited because of his sickness. Suddenly, solaiyappar bear up the vomit by his hands. Swamigal said to bury the vomit in the place where nothing buried before. solaiyappar thinks the word “nothing buried before” and drinks it. Swamigal surprised on seeing this. This is as Swami Vivekananda eats the saliva of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsar. Even the saliva of Guru would become precious to their disciple.

Days have passed. One day Swamigal asks solaiyappar to mash a betel leaf. solaiyappar searched for mortar to mash the leaf, but it is not there. Therefore, solaiyappar scrunch the leaves in his mouth and give to his Guru. Swamigal eat the betel leaf and he finds a new taste in it. Swamigal asks to bring the mortar that mashed the betel leaf. Suddenly, solaiyappar cut his head and give to his Guru. Swamigal misunderstand him that he doing because of his self-conceit. However, he wished to attach the head to his body. After solaiyappar get his head, Swamigal cursed him as “solaiyappar head will explode when he crossing the dry ground”. Swamigal misunderstand and curse solaiyappar. On hearing this curse, solaiyappar cursed his master in anger. He cursed Swamigal, as ‘he will die like an orphan.’

Solaiyappar’s travel towards North

Years passed, solaiyappar asks permission to go “North” from his master Periyaswamy. He permitted solaiyappar. He started his travel to “North” with some other disciples. On the way, one of the disciples died at the place, “Naalumavady”. Then he called as “Paadhai Karai Swamy” and worship by the people.

solaiyappar depressed by the death of his friend. Then, he continued his Pilgrimage. He saw dry lands in the place “Vandhan Vendran” and he remembered the curse of his master. According to the curse, solaiyappar’s head burst and he died. On hearing the death news of his disciple, Periyaswamy feels bad and cry a lot.