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Monday, April 6, 2020

Panguni Uthiram ~ Sri Ranganathar 2020

Panguni Uthiram ~ Sri Ranganathar 2020
Life has been thrown out of gear – today 6th Apr 2020 is Uthram nakshathiram in the month of Panguni and is the concluding day of Pallava Uthsavam, celebrated as Panguni Uthiram – ‘Sri Ranganathar – Sri Vedavalli thayar’ thirukkalyanam at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam and serthi at various divyadesams.  Sad, we could not have darshan of Srimannathar in Kannadi Garudan and serthi.. .. ..
Divya dhampathigal serthi at Thiruvarangam

Sri Andal Rangamannar at Sri Villiputhur

Since the start of this century, two disease outbreaks have been caused by new coronaviruses that made the leap from animal hosts to people, mutating in the process to latch onto human cells.  Covid-19  is the third. Medical science is fighting back with the tools it has and building new defences.  Experts say that is a result of massive deforestation and expansion of farmland to supply food and other commodities to a human population that has more than doubled to 7.7 billion from 3 billion in the 1960s.  

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the WHO had called the 21st century “a long history of scourges”, pointing to the re-emergence of the plague, which killed 200 people in Madagascar in 2017, and the outbreak of new viral diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars).

It is not all about the disease, deaths and news alone.  It would be the financial crippling that could hit Nations more.  Latest data reveals that the economic fallout from the pandemic has already started affecting the countries across the globe including the origin - with nearly half a million Chinese factories closing permanently in the first quarter. Exporters, already reeling under the disruption of global supply chains, are eyeing the space they believe China might concede in global trade.   While most billionaires have seen their fortunes shrink drastically amid a stock market rout brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and containment measures launched by governments, a handful have seen their wealth rise – significantly. According to research by Hurun Report calculating the pandemic’s impact on billionaires’ fortunes, Eric Yuan, the US-based founder and chief executive of Zoom, the video conferencing software company, saw his net worth skyrocket by US$3.5 billion – or 77 per cent – to US$8 billion. This makes him the fast riser of the past two months. Zoom has become ubiquitous as executives at companies around the world try to stay in touch while working from home.

While the World practices social distancing, Microsoft is advertising its platform – Microsoft Teams as a potential solution. There are some local shops which are thriving and extracting more from its regular customers – selling the same product at inflated rates.  It is hard for many as their livelihood is threatened while some try to thrive !

Moving away from all negativity -   Panguni Uthiram is a special day ... at Thiruvallikkeni, it marks Thirukkalyanam of Sri Vedavalli Thayar with Sri Mannathar (Sri Ranganathar); at Thiruvarangam, there is the Serthi of Divya thampathigal.......... and at Sri Villiputhur, occurs the famous Thirukalyanam of Sri Andal with Sri Ranga Mannar.  It was on this day, our Emperumanar (Udayavar) recited ‘Gadhya thrayam’ before the divya dhampathigal.

screen grab from ‘Goda Kalyanam’ a telugu TV  serial

பங்குனி உத்திரத்தில் முடியுமாறு ஐந்து நாட்கள் பல்லவ உத்சவம் நடக்கிறது. ஐந்தாம் நாள் - பங்குனி உத்திரத்தன்று ஸ்ரீரங்கநாதர் கருட சேவை. மிக அழகான கண்ணாடி கருடன் என்று அழைக்கப்பெறும் கருட வாஹனத்தில் ஸ்ரீரங்கநாதர் புறப்பாடு கண்டருளி, பெருமாள் உள்ளே எழுந்து அருளிய உடன்,  ஸ்ரீரங்கநாதர் வேதவல்லித்தாயார்   திருக்கல்யாணம்  நடைபெறுகிறது. திருக்கல்யாணம் முடிந்த பிறகு, 'கத்ரத்யம்' சேவிக்கப் பெறுகிறது.

இம்மைக்கு  ஏழேழ் பிறவிக்கும்  பற்றாவான் *
நம்மையுடையவன்  நாராயணன் நம்பி*
செம்மையுடைய திருக்கையால் தாள்பற்றி*
அம்மி மிதிக்கக் கனாக்கண்டேன்  தோழீ நான்*

In Nachiyar Thiromozhi, Andal elaborates Her dream marriage with the Paramapurusha, describing the rituals associated with the marriages.  She speaks of that Great Sriman Narayana, the One who owns us all, the One complete with all Kalyana Gunams; the One to whom we all should get attached not in this life but in all our births; Andal dreams of Her Divine Marriage with the Lord. ~ and that comes true on Panguni Uthiram day.

Here are some photos of Kannadi Garudan  purappadu at Thiruvallikkeni taken in yesteryears.

adiyen Srinivasadhasan. (S Sampathkumar)                                                                              6th apr 2020

PS :  In earlier days, puranic and religious stories were being filmed.  Andal Thirukkalyanam was a Tamil film released in  1937 by Saradha Films, directed by R Prakash.  ‘Goda Kalyanam’ is a famous telugu TV serial.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Thiruvallikkeni - Iraapathu Uthsavam 6 : 2020 - திருவேங்கடமுடையான் - கோவிந்தா

திருவேங்கடமுடையான் - வேங்கடம் ஆளும் கோவிந்தா ! ~ திருமலை வாசா கோவிந்தா !!
Thiruvallikkeni - Iraapathu Uthsavam 6 : 2020  
திருவல்லிக்கேணி இராப்பத்து  உத்சவம் 6  ~  திருவேங்கடத்தெம்பெருமானே!

The grand irapathu purappadu – day 6 occurred on 11.1.2020 – few months have passed – at that time, none in the World ever imagined the difficulties that the World would have to endure – the outage of Corona virus, people getting affected globally and Nations resorting to lockdown.   It disturbs one to see news channels and social media spreading negativity – while people should factually know and deal with containment scientifically – many resort to spreading wrong information.  FB / WA and free usage does contribute in this as people have the tendency of forwarding whatever they get [perhaps people do not even read but are busy forwarding from one group to another !] – one such video was that purporting that the glorious temple atop the holy Seven Hills has been closed. It is a pure rumour – devotees are denied darshan but temple rituals are regularly happening – understand that today too, Vasanthothsavam for Peruma was conducted.

At the time of posting this (this day 5.4.2020 @ 8.30 pm) the Nation is all set to join in Prime Minister Narendra Modiji's call to switch off lights at 9 PM for 9 minutes and light up diyas, to display India's collective spirit to defeat Coronavirus. Earlier, in the day, Mr. Modi reminded people of the exercise, tweeting #9pm9minute.  On Friday, in a video message, the Prime Minister said, India will experience the power of light, clearly illuminating the common purpose the country is fighting for. He said, amidst the darkness spread by the Corona pandemic, the country must continuously progress towards light and hope. Mr. Modi added that no one is alone during this lockdown. Mr Modi said, the collective strength of 130 crore Indians is with each person.

Never fear what disease or anything else can do to a Srivaishnavaite – believe in Him and surrender to Him totally – Our Saviour Lord of Seven Hills will ward off all difficulties and save us.

செடிபோலே செழித்த பாபங்களைத் தீர்க்கும் மருந்தானவன்: திருவேங்கடவன்.
 బ్రహ్మ   కడిగిన   పాదము|        **  బ్రహ్మము తానెని   పాదము||
Brahma Kadigina Padamu, Brahmamu tane ni Padamu
Tiruvenkatagiri Tiramani chuupina paramapadamu ni padamu

Annamayya singing on the glory of the  divine feet of the Lord of Seven Hills. This is the foot that was washed by Brahma, the creator of the world; it the same foot of Sriman Narayana who measured the earth and the sky with this foot. Mahabali was pressed into ‘Patala’ and Indra was offered protection by this foot. It cleansed Ahalya of her sin and tamed Kalinga, the snake. This foot reveals to us  that Tirumala alone is eternal. 

                         அத்யயன உத்சவம் அனைத்து ஸ்ரீ வைஷ்ணவ திருக்கோவில்களிலும் சிறப்புற நடந்து வருகிறது. 11.1.2020 அன்று திருவல்லிக்கேணி திவ்யதேசத்தில் இராப்பத்து உத்சவத்தில் ஆறாம் நாள். ஸ்ரீபார்த்தசாரதி, நம்மாழ்வாருடன் புறப்பாடு  கண்டு அருளினார்.   ஸ்ரீபார்த்தசாரதி, சங்குசக்ரதாரியாய் திருவேங்கடமுடையான்  திருக்கோலத்தில்   அதி அற்புதமாக சேவை சாதித்தார்

11.1.2020 was day 6 of Irapathu uthsavam at Thiruvallikkeni.   Sri Parthasarathi Swami blessed devotees  in  ‘Thiru Venkadam Udaiyan” Thirukkolam.  Even to those who are used to having darshan of Lord Parthasarathi,  He appeared more of the Lord of Seven Hills in tune with the sarrumurai pasuram of Thiruvaimozhi 6th canto ‘Ulagam Unda Thiruvaaya’ pasuram. Swami Nammalwar graced ‘muthu kondai’ – it was only chinna mada veethi purappadu .. ..

வண்ணமருள்கொள் அணிமேக வண்ணா! மாய அம்மானே!
எண்ணம் புகுந்து தித்திக்கும் அமுதே இமையோர் அதிபதியே!
தெண்ணல் அருவி மணிபொன்  முத்தலைக்கும்   திருவேங்கடத்தானே!
அண்ணலே!    உன் அடிசேர   அடியேற்கு   ஆவாவென்னாயே.

அருளே வடிவெடுத்த வண்ணமாய், அழகிய மேகம்போன்ற நிறத்தையுடையவனே!, ஆச்சரிய குணங்களையுடைய ஸ்வாமியே!  நெஞ்சுக்குள்ளே புகுந்து ரஸிக்கும் அமிருதமானவனே!;   இமையவர் அதிபதியான தேவாதிதேவனே!  தெளிந்தழகிய அருவிகள்  மணிகளையும் பொன்களையும் முத்துக்களையும் கொழிக்குமிடமான  திருவேங்கடத்துறை எம்பெருமானே, அண்ணலே  உன் திருவடி தாமரைகளில் வந்து சேரும்படியான ஞாலத்தை அளித்து,  என்பாள் ஐயோ வென்றிரங்கியருள வேணும் என திருமலையில் நின்றிருக்கும் திருப்பதி பெருமாளை நம்மாழ்வார் வேண்டுகிறார்.

The Lord of Celestials resting at Thiruvengadam (Sri Venkatachala Hill of Thirumala) most beautiful cloud-hued natural grace, the sweet nectar wonder Lord; the Saviour at Thirumala where rivulets wash gems, pearls and Gold ~ to that Lord, Nammalwar seeks refuge and requests His lotus feet as the eternal worship.   Blessed are we to have this wonderful darshan of Sri Parthasarathi, the charioteer as the Lord of Seven Hills ~ everything is so natural to Him and here are some photos of today’s purappadu  of Perumal with Nammalwar.

சேலேய் கண்ணார் பலர்சூழ விரும்பும் திருவேங்கடத்தானே,
மாலாய் மயக்கி  அடியேன்பால் வந்தாய் போலே வாராயே.

இந்த தேசமே கதிகலங்கி இருக்கும் இக்கொடிய காலத்தில், வேங்கடவனே உன்னையல்லால் எங்களுக்கு கதி ஏது !  -  ஸ்வாமி நம்மாழ்வார் உன்னை விளித்தது போலே - எங்கள் கண்ணா பிரானே - அன்று கோகுலத்தில் - வஸுதேவாதிகளையும், பாண்டவர்களையும் ஏனைய பக்தர்களையும், கண்ணபிரானாய் பிறந்து பக்கலில் இருந்து குடை பிடித்து   உன் குண சேஷ்டிதங்களாலே காப்பாற்றினார்போல் - இப்பூவுலகத்தோர் அனைவரையும்  எங்களையும் ரக்ஷித்து அருள வேணுமாய் பிரார்த்திக்கிறோம்.

adiyen  Srinivasa dhasan [Mamandur veeravalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar]
5th Apr 2020.

Credits : ஸ்ரீ காஞ்சி பிரதிவாதி பயங்கரம் அண்ணங்கராசாரியார் எழுதிய விளக்க உரை (Courtesy :

lighting lamps ~ holy aarthi at Sri Pasupathnath Temple, Kathmandu

Do you play Computer games ? – have you tried - Commandos 2: Men of Courage,  a real-time tactics video game. It is a sequel to Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines and the second installment of the Commandos series, and is the only strategy game of the series to be designed not only for Microsoft Windows, but also for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The game sees players taking control of a squad of commandos, along with various allied units, as they sneak behind enemy lines to accomplish various missions in World War II, between 1941 and 1944, that will help them to thwart the war efforts of the Germans and the Japanese

In the Holy Ramanaya, in Bala Kandam, Sri  Rāma, along with Lakshmaa, led by Viwāmitra  travelled in the northeasterly direction and reached the place of (Janaka's) Yajña (in Mithilā).  The  Kingdom of the Videhas (also known as Mithila and Tirabhuki) was an ancient kingdom in Vedic India which rose to prominence under King Janaka. The ancient kingdom's territory is presently located in Mithila region of Northern and eastern Bihar of India and the eastern Terai of Nepal.  The native language in Mithila is Maithili, and its speakers are referred to as Maithils.

Nepal, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located mainly in the Himalayas, but also includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Nepal has a diverse geography, including fertile plains, subalpine forested hills, and eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city. Nepal is a multiethnic country with Nepali as the official language.  The Hindu kingdom has lot of Hindu temples – mainly Mukthinath and Pashupathinath.  Those pursuing to have darshan at the holy divyadesam ‘Salagramam’ – (mukthinath) at Nepal, mostly would land at its capital Kathmandu ..

Rivers are holy and on the banks of rivers many civilizations prospered.  The Bagmati River runs through the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal and separates Kathmandu from Patan. It is considered holy by both Hindus and Buddhists. A number of Hindu temples are located on its banks.

According to Gopalraj Aalok Vamsavali, the oldest ever chronicle in Nepal, this temple was built by Prachanda Deva, a Licchavi King, who according to the stone inscription erected by Jayadeva 11 in the courtyard of Pashupatinath in 753 AD, happened to be the ruler 39 generations before Manadeva (464-505 AD). The Pashupatinath Temple  is a famous and sacred Hindu temple complex that is located on the banks of the Bagmati River, approximately 5 km north-east of Kathmandu in the eastern part of Kathmandu Valley, the capital of Nepal. The temple serves as the seat of Pashupatinath.  This "extensive Hindu temple precinct" is a "sprawling collection of temples, ashrams, images and inscriptions raised over the centuries along the banks of the sacred Bagmati river" and is included as one of the seven monument groups in UNESCO's designation of Kathmandu Valley as visit here. The temple is one of the 275 Tamil Paadal Petra Sthalams (Holy Abodes of Shiva) on the continent. Kotirudra Samhita, Chapter 11 on the Shivalingas of the North, in Shiva Purana mentions this Shivalinga as the bestower of all wishes.

The area of Pashupatinath encompasses 0.64 hectares of land including 518 temples and monuments.  Main pagoda style temple is located in the fortified courtyard within the complex guarded by Semi-Military Nepal Police and Military Force Nepal Army and has a police outpost along with living quarter within. In front of the western door, there is a huge statue Nandi bull, in bronze. Along with many temples and shrines of both Vaishnav and saiva tradition. The temple courtyard has 4 entrances in the cardinal directions.

The earliest evidence of the temple’s existence dates back to 400 A.D. The current main temple of Pashupatinath complex was built in the end of the 17th century to replace the previous one, destroyed by termites. There are numerous legends, connected with the construction of the temple.  Pashupatinah is a place where century-old Hindu rituals are practiced in their astonishing initial form, giving a chance to the visitors to feel the unique spirit of Hindu traditions of life, death and reincarnation.

Would post more details on this temple in another post – as many of us would have witnessed, on the banks of holy Ganga mata at Haridwar and many other places at dusk – ‘famous ganga aarthi’ takes place.  During our visit to Nepal, we were lucky to have darshan of the elaborate ‘aarthi’ on the banks of the river adjacent to Sri Pasupathinath temple.

The buildings and street layout of the temple were  used in the video game Commandos 2: Men of Courage in one stage of the game, "Target: Burma". Although the game was set in Burma, there were references to Gurkhas, soldiers of Nepali nationality. Here are some photos of the aarthi and the lights lit in unison.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
5th Apr 2020.