Some years ago, after returning from his divya desa trip to North India, Vainkutavasi Sri. Puthur Krishnaswami Iyengar dedicated an article to explain the fact that Joshi Mutt was not the Thiruppirithi divya desam that received the mangalasasanams of Thirumangai Azhwar.
Joshi Mutt (also called Jyothirdham) exists to the south of Badrinath – another Srivaishnava divya desam. For years, Srivaishnavas have worshipped the Salagrama Narasimhar in the Sankara Mutt at Jyothirdham with the misconception that it was the deity glorified by Azhwar. In this context, Puthur swami set out on his research journey and concluded that Thiruppirithi divya desam exists to the north of Badrinath. We shall see the reasons swami has put forth in his defence below:
- Thirumangai Azhwar follows the kramam of doing mangalasasanams on divya desams located from the north to the south. Since Azhwar sings about Thiruppirithi first and Badrinath later, Thiruppirithi should be located to the North of Badri.
- In the vyakhyanam for Thiruppirithi padhigam of Periya Thirumozhi, Periya Vachan Pillai states that Azhwar does mangalasasanam from the border of what constituted the “Bharatha Desha” of that time. This evidence corroborates evidence 1, thereby allowing us to conclude that Thiruppirithi should have existed to the north of Badri.
- In the Thiruvengadam padhigam of Periya Thirumozhi, Azhwar refers to Thiruppirithi emperuman as “imayaththuLLAan” (PT 1-8-5). Similarly, in the Thirukannamangai padhigam, Azhwars sings “yERRinai imayaththuL yem eesanai” (PT 7-10-5), thereby alluding to the presence of the divya desam in the inner ranges of the Himalayas. This again rules out the possibility of Joshi Mutt being the same location.
- In the Thiruppirithi padhigam of Periya Thirumozhi (1-2), azhwar concludes every pasuram with the words “piridhi sendRadai nenjE”. Going by this trend, the words “imayathuLLAn” should have been present in the second line of every stanza. We can confirm this from the 1st, 4th and 7th pasurams of the same padhigam. This supports evidence 3.
- Just like Azhwar pointed out that the divya desam of Badri remains on the banks of the river Ganges (gangaiyin karaimEl), we don’t see such allusions in the padhigam for Thiruppirithi. Since Joshi Mutt remains on the banks of the Ganges, we may conclude that Joshi Mutt is not the same Thiruppirithi that Azhwar is referring to.
So then where is the original divya desam?
Note: Through this article, it was also adiyen’s purpose to demonstrate the knowledge our stalwarts had in not just the moolam and vyakhyanam but also in the grammar of prabhandams.