Birth Period : 7th C. AD
Birth Place : Thirumazhisai
Other Names : Bhakthi-saarar, Bhaargavar, Magisaaraapuriswarar, Mazhisai-piraan
Month : Thai
Star (Natshatram) : Magam (Magha)
Hamsam : Sudarshanam (Discus)
This Alwar was an incarnation of Sudarsana Chakra ( the divine discus of Lord Vishnu). He was born to Bargava Muni and Kanakangi at Tirumazhisai near Kanchipuram. Even though the foetus was in the mother's womb for an unusual 12 months, when delivered was without arms, legs etc. The parents left it at the foot of a bush of cane shrubs in the forest. Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi appeared and blessed the child which then became fully developed into a lovely baby.
A childless tribal couple called Tiruvaalan and Pankaya Chelvi engaged in cutting canes found the child and took it home. The child would not eat or drink anything nor did it show any signs of expelling waste material from its body. When an old agriculturist couple offered milk in a bowl, the child drank it with relish. One day, the couple drank of the milk left over by the child. They regained youth and in due course had a son born to them whom they named as 'Kanikannan'.
Thirumazhisai decided to learn about all other religions. So, he studied Buddhist, Jain and other literature. He became a staunch devotee of Siva assuming the name of Siva Vakya. One day, he saw an old man planting a plant upside down and then trying to water it with a broken pot using a tattered rope to lift water from a waterless well. Sivavakyar asked him why he was attempting such a foolish act. The old man was none other than Pey Alwar who replied that what he was doing was only less foolish than Sivavakya's allegiance to Saivism , knowing full well that the Vedas and Smritis proclaim Sri Narayana as the Supreme deity.
As a result of an argument with Pey Alwar, finally he got initiated into Vaishnavism by Pey Alwar assuming the name of Bhaktisarar. After visiting several temples, he reached Tiruvekka, the birthplace of Budat Alwar.
Impressed by the service rendered by an old spinster, he restored her youth with unsurpassed beauty as desired by her. She married the Pallava king who learned of the secret of her youth. He wanted to regain youth himself. She told him that he approach Kanikannan for the purpose. When Kanikannan was summoned to court, he refused to come; when asked to compose a verse on the king, he refused to compose one on a mere mortal; when told that the king was an aspect of the Lord, he composed a verse on the Lord and not on the king.
This enraged the king who banished him from his kingdom. On hearing this, Bhaktisarar requested the Lord in his puja to leave the place. He sang: