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Ahobhila Matam Jeeyars
|Sri Ahobila Matam is headed by a monastic holding the title of Srimad Azhagiya Singar. The present Srimad Azhagiya Singar is the 45th Azhagiya Singar of Sri Ahobila Matam. All the Azhagiya Singars also hold the title of Srivan and Satakopa at the beginning of their names, and Yathindra Mahadesikan at the end. "Srivan" roughly translates to "majestic". "Satakopa" simply refers to Nammazhvar, the presiding saint for Sri Ahobila Matam. "Yathindra Mahadesikan" roughly translates to "king among monastic, the great teacher". Each Azhagiya Singar adopts a monastic name at the time of entering monasticism. Thus, the divine name starts with the tile "Srivan Satakopa" at the beginning, the adopted name in the middle, and "Yathindra Mahadesikan" at the end. For example, the present Azhagiya Singar's adopted name is "Narayana". Further, some Azhjagiya Singars also include the phrase "Sri Lakshminrisimha Divya Paduka Sevaka" (Servant of the paadukais of Sri Lakshminrisimha. The present Srimad Azhagiya Singar chose this phrase as a prefix. Therefore, "Sri Lakshminrisimha Divya Paduka Sevaka Srivan Satakopa Sri Narayana Yathindra Mahadesikan" is our present Azhagiya Singar's full divine title. However, devotees affectionately say just, Azhagiya Singar. In the following biographies of all the forty five Azhagiya Singars are given. Some biographies are very detailed and others are sketchy. The First Azhagiya Singar|
Unlike all other Azhagiya Singars, the first part of the title for the first Azhagiya Singar was Athivan Satakopa. This title was conferred by Nammazhvar himself on the occasion of the first Azhagiya Singar retrieving the lost Archa moorthy (idol) of Nammazhvar from the river. The first Azhagiya Singar's reign lasted for sixty years from 1398 C.E. to 1458 C.E. 2nd to 7th Azhagiya Singars
These six Azhagiya Singars reigned for a period of 64 years (1458 C.E. to 1522 C.E.). Among them the sixth Azhagiya Singar was the most prominent. In his final days this Azhagiya Singar entered a cave in Ahobilam and never came back out. 8th to 24th Azhagiya Singars
These sixteen Azhagiya Singars reigned for a period of 254 years (1522 C.E. to 1776 C.E.). It is in this period during the reign of the 18th Azhagiya Singar the Dasavatharan Sannithi in Sri Rangam came under the control of Sri Ahobila Matam. 25th to 36th Azhagiya Singars
These ten Azhagiya Singars reigned for a period of 122 years (1766 C.E. to 1898 C.E.). Sri Ahobila Matam added significant amount of land to its property during this period under the reign of the 25th Azhagiya Singar. 37th to 41st Azhagiya Singars
These four Azhagiya Singars reigned for a period of 43 years (1898 C>E. to 1941 C.E.) The 37th Azhagiya Singar passed away rather suddenly without naming a successor. Therefore, there was no Azhagiya Singar for a period of about five and a half years immediately following the 37th Azhaviya Singar. However, the daily worship of Sri Malolan continued without interruption. There was difference of opinion among the disciples about who must take over as Azhagiya Singar. An election was held and the winner took over as the 38th Azhagiya Singar. 42nd Azhagiya Singar
The 42nd Azhagiya Singar called Injimedu Azhagiya Singar was among the bright stars of Acharyas who decorated Sri Vaishnavam. All of todays Sri Vaishnava Vidwans owe their shcolarship in one way or another to the Patashala Srimad Injimedu Azhagiya Singar started. Today, this institution has grown as an Educational Center including Vedas, Tamil Prabhandham, Agama studies, Sanskrit College, and a high school with regular curriculum. Further, this Azhagiya Singar is the one who started the publication of Sri Nrisimha Priya which is now read by all Sri Vaishnavas from all sampradayas. Further, it is this Azhagiya Singar who started the tradition of regular Vidvad Sadas where Vidvans gather and have scholarly discussions. Injimedu Azhagiya Singar's greatness will live in the memory of all Sri Vaishnava Panditas in the future. 43rd Azhagiya Singar
This Azhagiya Singar is called Devanarvilaham Azhagiya Singar. His reign lasted for about 6 years from 1951 to 1957 C.E. He ascended to Sri Vaikuntam from Naimisaranyam. After that the Thirumangai Azhvar's poem on the Lord of Naimisaranyam, "Vanila muruval", became part of the daily recital. 44th Azhagiya Singar
This Azhagiya Singar is called Mukkur Azhagiya Singar. His reign was one of the longest for 35 years from 1957 to 1992 C.E. Among His greatest achievements is the Sri Rangam Raja Gopuram built under His leadership. The present Azhagiya Singar
The present Azhagiya Singar took over the reigns of Sri Ahobila Matam on Aug 24th 1992. He has already traveled the length and breadth of India several times. He has brought a sense of rejuvenation among the sishyas of Sri Sannithi.
Thaniyan is a free standing verse composed in praise of an Acharya or a hymn by Azhvar or Acharya. Each Azhagiya Singar being an Acharyas for Sri Ahobila Matam, have Thaniyan composed in their honor. This is usually done at the time the Azhagiya Singar takes up Sanyasam (monasticism) and becomes the head. The Thaniyan of one's Acharya must be recited at the start of any spiritual activity.
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