The life of Thirumazhisai Azhwar is symbolic of the quest of the ultimate truth, which he realises in his inner being without any doubt, said Sri Aravamudhachariar in a discourse.
It is believed that he was a contemporary of the first three Azhwars and that he was the son of sage Bharghava. He studied different schools of religion and philosophy as a child. Initially he professed Saivism, and was later initiated into the truth of Narayana by Pei Azhwar. He affirms the supremacy of Narayana and the assurance of His grace to all beings and aspects of creation. The Lord is also the Maya that keeps everyone deluded. He believed there existed a strong bond between him
and the Lord by which he cannot be without the Lord. Equally, the Lord cannot be without him. The Lord who resides in his heart is also present in the hearts of the devout. His hymns reveal the rapport between him and the archa form of the Lord.
It is said that once Narada, though he was fully knowledgeable about the various arts and branches of learning, felt he lacked the awareness of the highest truth Atma Vidya. He approached Sage Sanatkumara and sought his opinion. Sanatkumara said the ultimate knowledge leaves one with the richest experience when one realises that there is nothing further to be seen, heard or known. This is the highest knowledge. From the experience of realised souls, it is seen that it is revealed in one’s inner self through divine grace.
It is said that once when Azhwar and his disciple Kanikannan stayed in Kanchipuram, the king was angry over some issue and expressing his unhappiness with Azhwar's disciple Kannikannan, asked him to leave the city. The Azhwar decided to accompany the disciple and asked the deity at Tiruvekka in Kanchipuram too to come along. The three, followed by a group of devotees, reached the outskirts of the city and stayed on the banks of Palar River for the night. The king realised that without the
deity and the devotees, the city had no sheen and revoked the punishment of Kanikannan.
When Azhwar and Kanikannan returned, the deity also came with them with his serpent bed. The deity is known as Yathokthakari — one who does as bidden.