An ardent devotee

A brief study of the life and works of this great scholar devotee would be in order.
Born in the latter half of the sixteenth century in Kerala to a scholar father well versed in  the Vedas and related branches of learning, Narayana Bhattatiri was a prodigy, who quickly mastered all that was taught to him by the age of sixteen. His devotion and respect for his grammarian scholar teacher Achyuta Pisharody saw him serving his master when the latter was laid down by a crippling ailment and as legend has it, he took upon himself his preceptor's ailment.

Seeking the Lord's divine intervention, he had himself carried to the great temple of Guruvayur, where he could uninterruptedly pray to his supreme deity for succour. It was here that he started to compose his magnum opus, the 'Narayaneeyam' and completed it exactly on the one hundredth day after commencing the work and was blessed with a vision of the Lord, upon which he was cured of his disease. He was twenty seven years old at the time.

The Narayaneeyam is a magnificent poem, devotional lyric and a literary masterpiece all at once. It is a condensed version of the 'Bhagavata', wherein Bhattatiri in 1036 verses deals with the Lord's incarnations, his manifold creative activities and his supremacy in all aspects. Throughout the work, the thread of intense, unflinching devotion is interwoven with lustrous gems of grammar and literary flourishes, exuding the fragrance of a philosophy that combines in itself the highest principles of Vedanta with down to earth practicality.

The purpose of the work is to show mankind the path to salvation through the sentiment of Bhakti or devotion. Every verse is directly addressed to the Lord as a fervent prayer.
Bhattatiri lucidly explains that true Bhakti is essentially a recognition of the fact of the oneness of all beings and their oneness with the creator.

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