The Alwars (also spelled Azhwars) are a group of 12 ancient Vaishnava saints who lived in Tamil Nadu and are famous for their devotional poetry in praise of Vishnu. It is the beliefs and principles embodied in the Alwars' poems that ultimately gave rise to the Sri Vaishnava sect. Now the Alwars incarnated in a variety of different castes, in order to show the world that Sharanagati, complete surrender to Vishnu as a means of attaining Moksha, is open to all regardless of caste. In this connection I just found something interesting about one of the Alwars, Thirumangai Alwar.

This journal paper summarizes the biography of Thirumangai Alwar as it's described in different Sri Vaishnava works. In particular, it says this:

In the three hundred and ninety eighth year of Kali Yuga, on a Thursday, in the month of Kartika, under the Krttika asterism, on a Purnima, was born in Thiruvali-Thirunagari, to Nilan, a man of the fourth varna (Mgpp)/ mleccha varna (Agpp)/ sudra (DSC), an amsa of Sharnga, Vishu's bow.

Now the three abbreviations are for three different works by Sri Vaishnava Acharyas on the history of Sri Vaishnavism: Mgpp stands for the second Parakala Matham Jeeyar's 3000 Padi Guru Parampara Prabhavam, Agpp stands for Pinbazhagiya Perumal Jeeyar's 6000 Padi Guru Parampara Prabhavam, and DSC stands for Garudavahana Pandita's Divyasuri Charitram. In any case, apparently the 3000 Padi Guru Parampara Prabhavam and the Divyasuri Charitram agree that Thirumangai Alwar was from a fourth-caste family. But the 6000 Padi Guru Parampara Prabhavam, which is the one Thenkalais follow, says that Thirumangai Alwar was from a Mleccha family.

So my question is, which Mleccha race do Thenkalais believe Thirumangai Alwar was from? Do they think he was a Yavana or Greek, a Saka or Scythian, or what?

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