One of the great propounders of the Nama Sankeertana ideology was Sri Narayana Tirtha (1675-1745). Like other proponents of Nama-Siddhanta, Narayana Tirtha was also a staunch Advaitic who took to sanyasa.
Sri Narayana Tirtha was born at Kaza in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh but was `drawn' to Bhupatirajapuram near Thanjavur, in Tamil Nadu, by a boar, on divine command. The boar that led him vanished into a temple of Lord Srinivasa and Tirtha settled down there obeying the directions he received in his dream. The place came to be known as "Varahur" (after `Varaha,' the boar). Here, Sri Tirtha was cured of his chronic illness and wrote ``Sri Krishna Leela Tharangini," in which he narrated the story of Sri Krishna from birth up to his marriage with Rukmini. It is a literary masterpiece, composed in Yakshagana style with 12 Tarangams, consisting of 145 kirtans, 267 verses, 30 gadyams (prose passages) and 30 darus (narrative songs). Tribute is paid to this remarkable saint-composer in Varahur every year by organising a 10-day festival, where the Tarangams are sung and a "Uriyadi" event enacted, to depict Sri Krishna stealing butter. Though he lived in Varahur, Sri Narayana Tirtha attained Siddhi in 1745 at a nearby village called Tirupoonthuruti under a huge mango tree, on the banks of river Kudamurutti, on the Masi Sukla Ashtami, Guruvaram, Krithika Nakshatram day. It is said that he attained `Jeeva Samadhi' (even while alive). A small shrine has been constructed on this hallowed spot, under the sprawling mango tree.
For over 300 years, landlords and local devotees of Thirupoonthuruti including R. Viswanatha Baghavathar have been organising music festivals at the Samadhi shrine at Tirupoonthuruti on Masi Sukla Ashtami Day.