Thiruvisaloor village is situated on the banks of the cauvery river in the fertile Chola Nadu. Three hundred years ago, Shahaji, the then ruler of Tanjore established an agraharam (a street exclusively for housing brahmins) in that village. Brahmins well versed in vedas and who practised the vedic rituals were settled there. Of these, there was one brahmin by name Sridhara Venkateswara Sastrigal also known as Sridhara Iyaval. He was well versed in the sastras and was a staunch believer in the greatness of Bhagavan Nama. Seeing God every where, loving all creatures, these were the traits of this great devotee of the Lord. Three preceptors are considered as the principal guides of the Bajana sampradaya. Next to that of Sri Bodendra Swamigal of Govindapuram, the songs on Sri Iyaval used to be rendered in the traditional Bhajan. The life history of this Mahan (great-man) was handed over to us by narration from one generation to another.
Thiruvisanallur Krishnamurthy Ganapadigal and Viswanatha Sastrigal were well known to the Bakthas in Bhajana circle. Both had studied well the vedas and observed the vedic rituals.
They were purohits engaged in guiding the performance of funeral rites. Generally, those engaged in religious rites had no faith in the Bhajana Marga. This was belied by these two, who, like Narada and Thumburu, attended Bhajans. They were adepts in the Bhajana Marga also. They had an attractive voice, knew all the kritis by heart and used to render bhajan songs in tune with sruti and laya with knowledge of the meaning of the songs.
Radha Kalyanam was efficiently conducted by them. Bhagavathas cannot forget these two.
Sri Krishnamurthy Ganapadigal had recorded the life history of Sri Iyaval, which was handed over to him from generation to generation (Kama Parampara) Verses from Sri Iyaval's works are also included therein. Some years back, when we had been to Thiruvisaloor Iyaval Mutt, the manuscript of this work was handed over to us. This was published serially in our magazine 'Bhagavatha Dharma'. As this is required by all now, we have permitted Sri Ekambaram of Bhagawan Nama Publications to bring out a new edition of the work.
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