Srimad Vazhuthoor Swami accepted the ascetic order of sannyasa, and came to be known as Sri Vedanta Ramanuja Mahadesikan. When He was in Vazhuthoor for more than 30 years, he performed mangalasasanam prayers every day at the temple of Sri Jagathrakshaka Perumal. It is well known to many that when the curtain was drawn in front of the Deities of the temple, Vazhuthur Swami used to have a direct dialogue with the Deity.
Later he moved to live and teach in Srirangam and used to award the sacraments of samashrayanam and bharanyasam to thousands of disciples at the shrine of Sri Ranganayaki in the temple. At that time, he was also known as ‘Srirangam Swami’.
Once, Srimad Vedanta Ramanuja Mahadesikan Vazhuthoor Swami, went to meet his acharya Srimad Thirukudanthai Desikan to seek his blessings.
Remembering the causeless compassion and grace of his preceptor, and the unpayable debts to the acharya, Srirangam Swami offered his prostrations at the feet of Srimad Thirukudanthai Desikan and sang one of the verses of Nammalvar from the Thiruvaimozhi which had been written in praise of Sri Aravamudan.
The verse had the sentence: theera vinaigal theera ennai andaai – thirukudanthai oora (Oh, resident of Thirukudanthai, you rule over me – andaai – by removing all those faults which cannot be erased!). Srirangam Swami used this verse as a reference to Srimad Thiukudanthai Desikan and repeated this verse over and over again, with tears brimming from his eyes.
At that time, Srimad Thirukduanthai Desikan immediately picked up his worthy disciple and uttered the words: ‘Neere emmai andavan! Neere nam sampradayathai aala vantha Andavan!” (You are the person who rules over me. Indeed, you are the person who has come to rule and guard over our sampradayam).
Later, he returned to Srirangam and proceeded to the temple to serve the Lord. As soon as he arrived, the Deity of Lord Ranganatha Himself came to the flag-pillar or the dvija-stambha at the temple to receive Vazhuthoor Swami. Lord Ranganatha embraced him by calling out: “Emmai anadavane, varuga’, which translates as, “Welcome to He who rules over me as andavan’.
Vazhuthoor Swami’s acharya and the Divine Lord, had both addressed him with the title of ‘Andavan’. Since then the acharyas of the tradition are known as ‘Andavan’, which is considered to be a title directly awarded by the Supreme Lord Sri Ranganatha Himself.
Thus it is accepted that the Andavan Ashramam and the Munitraya Sampradayam to which it belongs, were divinely founded under the direct orders of Sri Ranganatha and Sri Aravamudan.