(Last Updated on : 23-01-2009)
Sri Tirukkacchi Nambi Temple is one of the significant temples of Kanchipuram in South India. The temple is considered as an historical temple and a number of legendary stories are associated with it. Tirukkacchi Nambi was contemporary of Sri Ramanuja. He is venerated as the latter's teacher (guru). Tirukkacchi Nambi was a very great devotee of Lord Varadarajasvami of Kanchipuram. He is respected as one of the early Vaishnava preceptors or Acharyas. The famous work of Guruparampara Prabhavam mentions that Nambi's birthplace was Poondamallee near Chennai. The legendary story in this connection is of considerable importance. According to that he is believed to have taken flowers to Kanchi everyday to worship Varadaraja Perumal. He is also said to have composed the work Devarajashtakam in praise of this deity.
Tirukkacchi Nambi has also achieved popularity for performing the 'aalavatta kainkarya' or fanning service to Lord Varadaraja. He won the unique reputation as the only person who could converse with Varadarajasvami and was held in great respect by the people of Kanchi. Thus the legendary story associated with Sri Tirukkacchi Nambi Temple of Kanchipuram is considered of considerable importance.
The legendary story in this connection has several other segments. A thorough consideration of those segments would lead to reveal the entire history behind the construction of the temple.
As the legendary evidences depicts, Tirukkacchi Nambi was the teacher of Ramanuja. The story states that when Ramanuja requested Tirukkacchi Nambi to accept him as his disciple, the latter rejected the request and told Ramanuja that he was not well-versed in the Shastras and had no formal education, but Ramanuja insisted on becoming his student on account of his great devotion to Vishnu. It was at Nambi's request that Ramanuja brought a jar full of water everyday from a well about two miles away from Kanchi for worship at the Varadarajasvami temple.
According to Vaishnava lore, Varadarajasvami chose Tirukkacchi Nambi as his medium to convey to Ramanuja, the six famous tenets of Visishtadvaita which served as the guideline for Ramanuja's teachings.