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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Swami Emperumanar Sarrumurai 2021 - 'नित्यं यतीन्द्र तव दिव्यवपुस्स्म्रुतौ मे '!

Sri   Ramanujar   Sarrumurai  (1004) ~ 2021


A great day today (18th Apr 2021)  – ‘Chithiraiyil seyya Thiruvathirai’ – the day of our Acarya Empermanaar thiruvavathara thinam.  


Our Acaryar Swami Manavala Mamunigal was so attached to the feet of Sri Ramanujar and here is a verse from his Yathiraja Vimsati – which according to our learned vidwans came in to being as a result of the request of Swami Manavala Maminigal’s acharyan to compose a sthOthra grantham on Sri Ramanujar, when Mamunigal was a  grahasthar and had the name of Azhagiya MaNavALa NaayanAr.   These twenty verses constitute one of the most beautiful appeals to RaamAnujA for conferring his anugraham.

नित्यं यतीन्द्र तव दिव्यवपुस्स्म्रुतौ मे सक्तम् मनो भवतु वाग्गुणकीर्तनेSसौ

क्रुत्यञ्च दास्यकरणं तु करद्वयस्य व्रुत्त्यन्तरेSस्तु विमुखं करणत्रयञ्च ॥ (4)

நித்யம் யதீந்த்ரதவ திவ்ய வபு:ஸ்ம்ருதௌமே!ஸக்தம் மநோபவது வாக்குணகீர்த்தநேSஸௌ |

க்ருத்யஞ்ச தாஸ்யகரணம் து கரத்வயஸ்ய வ்ருத்யந்தரேSஸ்து விமுகம் கரணத்ரயஞ்ச ||


O Emperor of Yathis ! Pray  my mind be blessed to meditate on your beautiful body (divya MangaLa vigraham) !  May my speech be engaged always in talking about your excellent attributes ! May my  two hands  be always engaged in serving you as your dAsA ! May my three karaNAs ( manas , Vaak and Kaayam ) be diverted from any other activities ! ~ and be directed in kainkaryam to YOU.

The NIlamata Purana,  (नीलमतपुराण)  an ancient text of Kashmir contains  information on its history, geography, religion, and folklore.. .. much has changed in Kashmir since.  National security was catapulted into being the primary issue for this general election for the first time with the car bombing in Pulwama in mid-February and its aftermath in an aerial confrontation between India and Pakistan in the Balakot-Naushera episode.   First Kashmir, is not what it has all along been  portrayed it to be ~  it has a glorious history .. ..  Utpala dynasty, a Kashmiri Hindu kingdom, ruled over the Kashmir region from 8th to 10th century CE.  The cities of Avantipur and Suyapur were founded during the reign and many Hindu temples dedicated to both Vishnu and Shiva.  Sadly the same Kashmir towards the end of last century became barren and devoid as Kashmiri pundits were driven out in pogrom.  5th Aug 2019 will remain a gold lettered day in the annals of Indian Nation, as the special status was revoked.


More than  a thousand year ago, our Acaryar Sri Ramanujar on a pilgrimmage visited Srinagar searching for manuscript of Bodhayana-vritti, a commentary  on the Brahmasutra by Bodhyana.  His ardent disciple Kuresar was able to memorise it in one glance; the commentary of Udayavar is known as Sri Bashyam ~ Goddess of learning Saraswathi approving Sri Bashyam conferred the title  ‘Bashyakara’ on Sri Ramanujar.  Thus was fulfilled the main desire of Alavandhar – writing of an authoritative and illuminating commentary on Brahma sutra.

It is astounding to learn, try to understand the path of Bhagawat Ramanuja – who thousand years ago, came to this earth for enlightening us all.    The ethical side of Vaishanavism emphasises absolute self-surrender to Sriman Narayana -  its mystical aspect presents God as the personification of love and bhakti, as longing for communion with Him.   Spirituauy awakened, athma  will be satisfied with nothing more and nothing less than communion. Separation becomes an intolerable burden and the futility of the body in a space-time setting.

Before Emperumanar, perhaps stress was exclusively on learning and wisdom, Udayavar emphasized that the  strength of a philosophy depended upon the following it commanded, that knowledge was auxiliary to action. He recognised karma as observance ,of' the moral law of Dharma.  The great preceptor ensured that the great movement spread by him would never languish once he left this earth – and in ensuring continuity, he created  the loving care of Seventy-four of his disciples. Parasara Pattar was his successor to the 'Srisukti throne. Pillan was in charge of the propagation of the Vishishtadvaitic commentaries.   Parasara’s disciple was Nanjeer who wrote the commentary for Timvaz'moli known as The Onbathinayirappadi. More was to come from his devotees .. .. 

Emperumanar Swami Ramanujar toured all over the Nation establishing the strength of Vishishtadvaitha and upon his return to Srirangam from Thirunarayanapuram, Acharya Ramanuja as a great administrator established 74 Simhasanadhipathis to grow the Darsanam.  He handed over Srikosam on Sri Bhaashyam to Thirukkuruhaippiran Pillan, Ndadur Azhwan, Kidampi Aacchan and Mudaliandan and asked them to continue with the pravachanam of Sri Bhaashyam and made them Sri Bhaashya Simhasanathipathis.  In addition to the above 74 Simhasanathipathis, there were 700 Jeeyars and 12,000 EkAnthis and thousands of Kainkarya-Parals, who sought the sacred feet of Ramanuja for refuge.  

Emperumanar 960 was grandly celebrated in 1977 – one may not have good memory of that;  in 2017  it was 1000 and this year 1004 – the modern day equipment & technology  ensure capture by way of photos and videos of the grand celebrations  at Thiruvarangam, Thirumala, Thirukachi, Sriperumpudur, Melukote Thiruvallikkeni and at many many more places.  So many places – Thiruvarangam, Thirumala, Thirukachi, Thiruvallikkeni, Sriperumpudur, Thirukurungudi, Melukote, Mathura, Pushkar, Kashmeeram, KOngunadu and more are associated with Him as he traversed the Nation by foot, propagating vishitadvaita concept.  

Life has changed for the Globe – 2020 has been far different & just when one thought things were returning to normalcy and we were about to celebrate Sree Rama Navami uthsavam and Udayavar sarrumurai together, 2021 has erupted with more no. of corona victims  – nothing prevents us in reminiscing and celebrating the Birth of Swami Ramanujar at home forgetting Covid and thinking of Acarya alone !  

இன்று நன்னாள் ~ எம்பெருமானார் அவதார திருநாள் ..இராமானுசர் 1004 இன்று. நமது பாரததேசம் புண்ணியபூமி.  ஸ்ரீவைஷ்ணவர்களான நமக்கு வேதமும், ஆசார்யர்களுமே பிரதானம். அநுதினமும் நாம் அநுஸந்திக்கும் தனியனில் எம்பெருமானையும், ஆழ்வார்களையும்,  எம்பெருமானாரையும், நமது ஓராண்வழி ஆசார்யர்களையும் தொழுது – ஸ்ரீமன் நாராயணனுக்கே அடிபணிபவர்கள் நாம்.  தீமனம் கெடுத்து, ஸ்ரீமன்நாராயணனை தொழும் மனமே தந்து, அறியாதன அறிவித்து, பரமபுருஷனைக் காட்டிக்கொடுக்கும் ஆச்சார்யர் மிக உயர்ந்தவர்.  அவர் நமக்கு உலாவும் பெருமான். ஆச்சார்ய ரத்னஹாரத்தில் நடுநாயகர் ஆன நம்சுவாமி எம்பெருமானார் சாற்றுமுறை!  சித்திரையில் செய்ய திருவாதிரை-  இன்று,  இந்த நல்லுலகமே எதிர்பார்த்துகாத்து இருந்த ~  சீரியநாள் – ஒப்புயர்வற்ற நம்மிராமாநுசமுனியின் ஆயிரத்து மூன்றாவது  பிறந்தநாள் சாற்றுமுறை.  அவரது சாற்றுமுறை புறப்பாட்டில் திருவல்லிக்கேணி வீதிதனிலே அத்யாபகர்கள்  'வாழிய ராமானுஜன்; அவரடித் தாளினை வாழி' என  விஜயீபவ ; விஜயீபவ ; விஜயீபவா எத்சரிகை' என 'வெள்ளைவிசிறி'  [தங்கள் உத்தரீவங்களை விசிறி]  ஆர்ப்பரிப்பர்.   

The fountain of knowledge, he was,  handed over to the generation his wealth of knowledge through his many works which include the Magnum Opus ‘Sri Bashyam – the Vishishtavaida commentary of Brahma sutram of Vyasa Bhagavan.; VedanthaDeepam, Vedanta Saram, Vedanta Sangraham, Gadyathrayam and many many more …. The  3 Gadyams – Saranagati Gadyam, Sriranga Gadyam and Vaikunda Gadyam are collectively known as ‘Gadyatraya’ ~ are in someways considered to be swan song of our Acharyar.  The Saranagati Gadyam is live exposition of the doctrine of ‘prapatti’ – the total saranagati.  Sri Ramanujar prays that thee Lord may be pleased to bless his sincere and true saranagati at the lotus feet of Srimannathan be accepted as truly and well-performed and lead to the desired end without any interruption.  Our Acharyar describes the unique qualities of NamPerumal  with words ‘Sathyakama, Sathyasankalpa’ which would mean the most loveable quality of resolve to protect His devotees and the will to be incarnated in any form to come to the succour of devotees – He is Creator, Protector and Sustainer.   

On his sarrumurai day,  after morning purappadu in which sthothra rathham & Yathiraja vimsathi would be rendered;  there would be mangalasasanam, rendering of Gadyatrayam ~ then Thirumanjnam, Thirumozhi sarrumurai .. and .... more celebrations in the form of periya mada veethi purappadu with Sri Parthasarathi Perumal.  .. .. ..  

Let us fall at the lotus feet of our Acharyar which only  will relieve us of all our sins and steer us towards good thinking, good deeds and towards salvation through service to Lord and His bakthas.   


அடியேன் – ஸ்ரீனிவாசதாசன் (மாமண்டூர் ஸ்ரீனிவாசன் சம்பத்குமார்)

**the first 2 photos are Emperumanar at Sriperumpudur; next 2 are of Melukore Thirunarayanapuram – rest are Udayar sarrumurai purapadu at Thiruvallikkeni on 9.5.2008 ! 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Martund Sun Temple and empire of Lalitaditya

My knowledge of Cinema can be written on the back of a postal stamp – to those well versed, can you recall or do you remember these lines !

ஓடுகின்ற மேகம் வந்து உனை தொட்டு பேசும்

ஓடை நீரில் மேடை போட்டு வாடை காற்று வீசும்

– the following lines for sure, most of you have heard many a times !!

சத்தியம் தான் நான் படித்த புத்தகமம்மா !

சமத்துவம் தான் நான் அறிந்த தத்துவமம்மா !!

-these are lines from a famous song in MGR movie ‘Idhaya Veenai’ released in 1972, directed by R. Krishnan and S. Panju, starring MG Ramachandran in the lead role, with Lakshmi, Manjula, MN Nambiar and others.  The film was a hit running for more than 100 days .. .. and in case you are still unable to recall, the above lines are part of the song : “Kashmir beautiful Kashmir - Kashmir wonderful Kashmir” – it is a paradise on earth ! 

Bernier,  the first European to enter Kashmir, wrote  in 1665  : " In truth, the kingdom surpasses in beauty all that my warmest imagination had anticipated."  .. this beautiful land has all along been portrayed far differently in our school books and when we grew up -   it has a glorious history .. ..  Utpala dynasty, a Kashmiri Hindu kingdom, ruled over the Kashmir region from 8th to 10th century CE. The kingdom was established by Avanti Varman, ending the rule of Karkota dynasty in 855 CE.  The cities of Avantipur and Suyapur were founded during the reign and many Hindu temples dedicated to both Vishnu and Shiva.  Sadly the same Kashmir towards the end of last century became barren and devoid as Kashmiri pundits were driven out in pogrom.

Oct 26 has all along been an important day  – ‘Accession Day ‘  commemorating the day when the last Dogra ruler of Jammu and Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession in 1947.   5th Aug 2019  is perhaps more important day that every other day. The historical day of Presidential promulgation which read : "All the provisions of the Constitution shall apply in relation to the state of Jammu and Kashmir." i.e., unification with the great Maha Bharat India.   After Kashmir's special status is gone, people from anywhere in India be able to buy property and permanently settle in the state.  

The valley of Kashmir is, generally, a verdant plain, ninety miles in length, and twenty-five and a half in its greatest width, which is at the southern end, between the cataract of Arabul and the ruins of the great temple of Martund : surrounded on every side by snowy mountains, into which there are numerous inlets forming straths on a level with the plain; but all having a lofty pass at their upper extremity.

At the village of Martund, or “ the Sun,” half an hour’s ride from Islamabad, is the most holy spring in Kashmir, called, par excellence, Bawun, or the spring. It is said that, after the valley was dried, small hills and caves appeared, and that Kashuf Rishi  walked about in the greatest delight; that he accidentally found an egg (the mundane egg of the Hindus) shining most brilliantly, which he picked up. It broke in his hand, and from it flowed the springs of Bawun or Maha-Martundf—sacred, of course, to Vishnu, who divided the mountains at Baramula.

Of all the cities built by the great Lalitaditya, Martund, Kakapur, and Paharispur, are the only three whose names I have been able to recognise. The modern account of Martund, as written for me by a native, is as follows ;—  “ They (that is, the temples and houses) were built on the top of Martundh, which appears to have been the name of the plain (of the sun), by Rajah Liltadith, or Lalataditya, who dwelt in the village of Litapur, in the province of Wuhu (perhaps Vehi). He reigned in the year of the Hejira 192. He was ruler of Kashmir for nearly thirty-six years, and con¬ quered the four quarters of the world. He built a new city, splendid in every respect, on the top of Martundh. Some of the houses were of copper, brass, stones, and bricks. He caused a river or canal to be cut from the great river Limnurdhi (hodie Lidur),

The facade of the building which stands in the interior is abreast of the gates of either colonnade, and one-third of the whole length of the quadrangle intervenes between it and the front gate, which faces to the west. A bank of stones and rubbish occupies the place where there was originally a flight of steps leading to the doorway. Though not a vestige of them remains, there can be no doubt of the fact, as many of the other old temples in the valley, and those in the Baramula Pass, are constructed more or less on the same plan as that of Martund, and have steps, or the remains of steps, in front of them.  

The Hindu worshippers of Siva in Kashmir exceed, I think, in number those of Vishnu, though I should say that the temples were generally dedicated to Vishnu. Abu Fuzl, in the Ayin Akheri, tells us that Kashmir is esteemed holy land, being dedicated to Mahadeo, the great god, or Siva, and some parts are considered peculiarly sacred. Such a remark, from such an authority, would help to raise a sus¬ picion, already noticed, that the Temple of Martund itself was dedicated to Siva, who also represents the Sun

~ wrote G.T, Vigne, Esq. F.G.S. (above in Green) extracted from his book ‘Travels in Kashmir’ Ladakh, Iskardo, the countries adjoining the mountain course of Indus and Himalayas – published in 1842.  

Sad, we were deprived of reading about the great ‘Lalitaditya @ Muktapida (724 CE – 760CE) a powerful ruler of Karkota dynasty of Kashmir region.  

The 12th century chronicler Kalhana characterizes Lalitaditya as a world conqueror, crediting him with extensive conquests and miraculous powers in his Rajatarangini. According to Kalhana, Lalitaditya defeated the central Indian king Yashovarman, and then marched to eastern and southern parts of India. He subjugated several more rulers on his way back to Kashmir, and then subdued several northern kings. Based on a reconstruction of Kalhana's account, art historian Hermann Goetz (1969) theorized that Lalitaditya managed to create a short-lived empire that included major parts of India as well as present-day Afghanistan and Central Asia.  Lalitaditya is accepted by historians  as the most powerful king of his dynasty. He commissioned a number of shrines in Kashmir, including the now-ruined Martand Sun Temple. He also established several towns, including a new capital at Parihasapura, although he also maintained the dynasty's traditional capital at Srinagara.

Emperor Lalitaditya Muktapida,  a name surprisingly not mentioned in the school books of India, was the fiercest and the most powerful ruler of the Karkota dynasty of Kashmir region. His name Lalit+Aditya means “beautiful Sun God”. His empire stretched from Kabul in the west to present day Kolkata in the east. A man of many interests, he has been lavishly eulogized by Kalhana, the contemporary poet and biographer in his historical account of Kashmiri kings “Rajatarangini”.   The Martand Sun Temple stood  as his most magnificent creation but sadly was ravaged by marauding invaders.

The Martand Sun Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Surya (the Sun God) and built during the 8th century CE. Martand is another Sanskrit synonym for Surya. Now in ruins due to Islamic Invasions of Sikandar Shah Miri. The temple is located five miles from Anantnag in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.  Buddhism was established in Kashmir in 300 BCE, but was eclipsed by the flourish of Hinduism in 800 CE. The region came under Muslim rule in 1400 CE. .. .. and those invasions sadly reduced the greatest of heritage temple to a mere film location ! remaining  forgotten and forlorn just outside a small village near Anantnag. The limestone pillars in Greek style hold the broken walls and high arches. Intricate carvings of gods and goddesses, musicians and dancers, flowers and creepers cover the outer walls. The overall design ensures that sunlight fell on the main idol throughout the day.

The Martand temple was built on top of a plateau from where one can view whole of the Kashmir Valley. From the ruins and related archaeological findings, it can be said it was an excellent specimen of Kashmiri architecture, which had blended the Gandharan, Gupta, Chinese, Roman, Syrian-Byzantine and Greek forms of architecture. The temple had a colonnaded courtyard, with its primary shrine in its center and surrounded by 84 smaller shrines, stretching to be 220 feet long and 142 feet broad total and incorporating a smaller temple that was previously built.  In accordance with Hindu temple architecture, the primary entrance to the temple was situated in the western side of the quadrangle and was of  the same width as the temple itself, creating grandeur.

Now after the plundering, the  Archaeological Survey of India has declared the Martand Sun Temple as a site of national importance in Jammu and Kashmir.  The temple appears in the list of centrally protected monuments as Kartanda (Sun Temple).  The Hindi film Man Ki Aankhen released in 1970  starring Dharmendra and Waheeda Rahman had Martand Temple as background for the Rafi-Lata song Chala Bhi Aa Aaja Rasiya. It also featured similarly in the Hindi film Aandhi starring Sanjeevkumar and Suchitra Sen. 

Sad heart-rending story.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Pics various sources of web and twitter. Copyright rests with respective owners. If pointed out any violation, would remove immediately.


                                        More photos - ruins of the once glorious temple  - some photos that makes one cry – shared by my friend Parthasarathy Ragavachari -  Travel Entreprenur : UnusualEscapes;  Soulful Travel





Ambalappuzha Vijayakrishnan is no more !

கண்ணபிரானது  பிரபலமான திருக்கோவில்கள் கேரளா மாநிலத்தில்  அமைந்துள்ளன.  குருவாயூர் போன்று மற்றோரு அற்புத ஸ்தலம் அம்பலப்புழா.

Do you know the political career of this former CM of Kerala.  Velikkakathu Sankaran Achuthanandan   was the Chief Minister of Kerala from 2006 to 2011. Achuthanandan was a member of the CPI(M) Politburo from 1985 until July 2009, when he was reverted to the Central Committee of the party owing to his ideological dispositions.  After serving as Chief Minister, he was Leader of the Opposition in Kerala from 2011 to 2016. He has been Chairman of the Kerala Administrative Reforms Commission from 2016 to 2021.

God’s own country has got some great Temples of Lord Krishna – Guruvayur, Ambalapuzha, Thiruvambady Sri Krishna Temple and more .. .. birth of Lord Sri Krishna is grandly  celebrated in all these places.  Ambalappuzha is a small town in the Alappuzha district of Kerala. 

Legend has it that, one day when Puradam Tirunal Tamburan and Vilvamangalam Swamiar were travelling in a canoe on the River Pampa, they could hear the murali ganam from the top of a banyan tree at the south-east side of the present day temple. They stopped and searched. Vilvamangalam perceived a blue light, amidst the branches, which transformed into an adorable boy (blue in colour) with peacock feather on the ‘jada’ with a mellifluous flute and sparkling vanamala. He was lost in ecstasy, when the form disappeared and he circumambulated the tree with overwhelming devotion. He told the local people to build a temple and install Gosala Krishna. A Balagopala idol was made, but while installing it, the tantri Puthumana Namboodiri said that it cannot be sanctified as the idol did not look perfect – with a small swelling on the left side.   Later, a Parthasarathi idol from Karinakulam temple at Kurichi was brought and consecrated at a house in Chambakulam. The king went there in a majestic boat, moving over Pamba like a swan. The stunning gosalakrishna vigraham was seen at Trivanvandoor. But, the melsanthi refused to give it. And further, he hid it in a pond and sacrificed his life to save the idol from being taken away. Many believe that the present vigraham is the same, but it was confirmed, in a devotee’s dream, that it is still hidden at the bottom of the pond.

Later, a special Parthasarathi idol was brought from Kurichi in Changanaserri. The king happily went in a palliodam (Lord’s regal canoe) accompanied by hundreds of people singing bhajans to greet the Mayamanusha idol with Panchajanyam in left hand and thong in the right. All the small canoes accompanied the idol kept in a chundan vallam. People from all walks of life sang vanchipattu and accompanied to the sound of Kathinavedis and Kuravais. Every house was decorated with tender coconut leaves, fruit bunches, Nirapara, Nilavilakku and asthamangalyam. To commemorate this occasion, every year in the month of Mithunam, a water festival ‘jalotsavam’ and a feast are held. Now it has become a contest. It is said that in Kerala, there are three swayambu Vishnu idols Guruvayoorappan, Purnatrayesan and Ambalapuzha Krishnan.

                    Ambalapuzha Sri Krishna temple is one of the seven greatest Vaishnava temples in Travancore. The inner walls of the chuttambalam of the temple are decorated with paintings. The idol is of Parthasarathi with a whip in the right hand and a sankhu in the left. The pratisha and dhyana slokam is that of Gosala Krishnan. It is believed that Guruvayoorappan visits this place daily during the naivedya time to taste the palpayasam. There is a legend regarding this. Krishna came in the guise of a sage to the king’s court to play chess. The prize chosen by the sage was a few grains of rice determined by placing one grain of rice in the first square, two in the second, four in the third square, eight in the fouth i.e., every square carries double the number of the previous square. The sage naturally won. The king realised the trap as he started to fill the rice grains in the chess board. By the 20 square, the number had reached one million grains and by the 40 it became more than that. The king realised that the granaries in his as well as the adjacent kingdoms will not be enough. By geometrical progression, 18,446, 744, 073, 700, 551,615 i.e., trillions of rice grains will only fill a 64 squared chess board. The Lord, in the form of the sage, took his true form and allowed the king to pay the debt over the years. Accordingly, palpayasam made of rice, will be freely served in the temple everyday, until the debt clears.

Ambalapuzha Palpayasam is a wonder of Kerala and it is believed that it doesn’t taste the same in other shrines. It is golden in colour.  Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple is a model of traditional Kerala architectural style. It has white-washed walls and a sloping copper-clad roof. The Sreekovil (Sanctum Sanctorum) has no windows and only the priests can enter. The Sreekovil is within the four walls of  the Nalambalam. The outer structure within the temple walls is known as Chuttuambalam. The priests use the well near the temple exclusively for pooja rituals.

Ambalappuzha State assembly constituency is one of the 140 state legislative assembly constituencies at the state Kerala in southern India. It is also one of the 7 state legislative assembly constituencies included in the Alappuzha Lok Sabha constituency.  The key candidates contesting in the 2021 Assembly elections from Ambalappuzha constituency are: H. Salam of CPI(M), M. Liju of Cong, Anoop Antony Joseph of BJP.  In the 3rd and 4th Assembly elections in 1967 & in 1970, VS Achuthanandan contested and won from here.   

Like Thrissur, Guruvayur, and many other temples, this temple too has a famous elephant.  Temple festivals in Kerala are perhaps incomplete without caparisoned elephants. The elephant Ambalapuzha Ramachandran was famous.  Inside the temple there is a mammoth life-size statue of this famous elephant.   .. .. after Ramachandran came ‘Ambalappuzha Vijayakrishnan’ who too was very famous. Sadly this majestic elephant  owned by the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), died  on 8.4.2021 at the Sree Krishna Swami temple premises recently. According to devaswom officials, the 51-year-old elephant had been suffering from various health issues for the past few days. Meanwhile, a group of elephant lovers have come out with the allegation that the much loved jumbo underwent severe torture at the hands of its mahouts for several months.  

The photos of tusker Ambalapuzha Vijaykrishnan are taken from the FB page of the elephant created by its fans. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Sree Ramar Garuda Sevai 2021 ~ தெலிய லேரு ராம பக்தி மார்கமுனு !!

“தெலிய லேரு ராம பக்தி மார்க்கமு!" 'இதுக்கென்ன அர்த்தம், "

ராமா! உன்னைப் பக்தி செய்யும் மார்க்கம் தெரியவில்லையே?


Very many centuries ago, descended on this earth, the Greatest Maryada Purush, the epitome of all virtues, who showed to all human beings on how to lead the life.  Today 15th Apr 2021 is day 7 of Swami Emperumanar Uthsavam and day 3 of Sree Rama Navami uthsavam.   Today would have been grand Garuda Seva of Sree Ramapiran at Thiruvallikkeni.  Lord Rama descended on earth for the purpose of upholding righteousness and rewarding virtue and this year (sadly like last year) due to Covid-19,  there is no Garuda Seva purappadu !!  

A day after Tamil New Year – it rained in many parts of Tamilnadu this morning but people are not exactly able to celebrate the much wanted summer rains ! Sadly, it appears the World is sinking under Covid pressure. The overall global Covid-19 caseload has topped 138 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 2.97 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

Today is the 387th day since India implemented a nationwide lockdown to help curb the novel coronavirus pandemic. India reported the highest single-day rise of 2,00,739 new coronavirus infections on April 15, pushing the total tally of cases to 1,40,74,564, while the active cases surpassed the 14-lakh mark. The death toll increased to 1,73,123 with  1,038 daily new fatalities, the highest since October 18, 2020, the data showed. Registering a steady increase for the 36th day in a row, the active cases increased to 14,71,877.   India's regulator has granted restricted emergency use approval for three vaccines -- Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V. All persons above the age of 45 are eligible to get vaccinated. 

It is becoming a mad run between the States – while Maharashtra is trembling, a small place like Delhi recorded 17,282 fresh cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the highest single-day surge in the national capital since the onset of the pandemic. The highest single-day spike in Delhi till the third wave of the pandemic -- 8,593 cases -- was reported on November 11 in 2020.  Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu recorded 7819 positive cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the state tally to 9,54,948. Among these, Chennai reported 2564 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 2,72,118. .. .. the second wave is impacting human lives – please, stay at home, do come out only for essential needs. Get vaccinated, stay home, stay safe ! 

ஓர் இல், ஒரு சொல், ஒரு வில் என வாழ்ந்து வழிகாட்டியவர் ஸ்ரீராமர். 'ராமன்' என்றாலே தானும் ஆனந்தமாக இருந்து மற்றவர்களுக்கும் ஆனந்தத்தைத் தருகிறவன் என்று அர்த்தம். எத்தனைவிதமான துக்கங்கள் வந்தபோதிலும் மனத்தைத் தளரவிடாமல், ஆனந்தமாக தர்மத்தையே அனுசரித்துவந்தவர்.  

மன்னுபுகழ் கௌசலைதன் மணிவயிறு வாய்த்த இராமச்சந்திர மூர்த்தியின் பேரை சொன்னாலே எல்லா வளமும் பெருகும். இராமர் மனிதனாக வாழ்ந்து காட்டியவர். அழகிய இடத்தையுடையதும், உயர்ந்த மதில்களினால் நாற்புறமும் சூழப்பட்டதுமான அயோத்யா எனும் அழகிய நகரத்திலே சூர்ய வம்சத்துக்கு சிறப்பு விளங்க அவதரித்தவர்,  அனைத்து கல்யாண குணங்களும் ஒரு சேரப் பெற்ற இராமபிரான், தசரதரின் மகனாக சித்திரை மாதம் சுக்ல பக்ஷ நவமியில் அவதரித்தார். 

In the land of Rama which obviously was the most exceptional paradise – Eldorado – Kambar describes it to be the place – where there was no philanthropy (as there was none seeking and receiving alms); not a place of valour (as there could be no invaders nor any war)…………yet its Lord’s life is not the story of happy living all the time….. in the prime of His youth, for 13 years, Lord Sri Rama accompanied by Sita and brother Lakshmana lived a life of pastoral peace in the forests.  

நற்பண்புகள் அனைத்துக்கும் சிகரம் ஸ்ரீராமபிரான்.  அற்புதமான நகரம் திரு அயோத்தி.  தியாகய்யர் இராமனை நெக்குருகி பாடும் ஒரு கீர்த்தனை இங்கே : 

 తెలియ లేరు రామ భక్తి మార్గమును 

అ. ఇలనంతట తిరుగుచును  -  కలువరించేరు కాని (తె) 

వేగ లేచి నీట మునిగి భూతి పూసి - వేళ్ళనెంచి వెలికి శ్లాఘనీయులై

బాగ పైకమార్జన లోలులైరే - కాని త్యాగరాజ వినుత (తె)  

தெலிய லேரு ராம பக்தி மார்கமுனு

இல(ன)ந்தட திருகுசுனு *  -  கலுவரிஞ்சேரு கானி (தெ)

வேக லேசி நீட முனிகி பூதி பூஸி - வேள்ள(னெ)ஞ்சி வெலிகி ஸ்லாக னீயுலை

பாக பைக(மா)ர்ஜன லோலு(லை)ரே - கானி த்யாகராஜ வினுத (தெ) 

தெரிந்திலரே, இராமா, பக்தி நெறியினை - புவியெங்கும் திரிந்துகொண்டு,

பிதற்றினரேயன்றி, தெரிந்திலரே, இராமா, பக்தி நெறியினை  !!  

விடியற்காலை யெழுந்து, நீரில் மூழ்கி (யெழுந்து), நீறு பூசி, விரல்களையெண்ணி, வெளிப் பார்வைக்கு, போற்றத் தக்கோராகி, நன்றாக பணம் ஈட்டும் ஆசைகொண்டவராகினரே அன்றி, தியாகராசனால் போற்றப் பெற்றோனே, தெரிந்திலரே, இராமா, பக்தி நெறியினை !!

 Oh Rama, - we do not know the path of devotion !  .. .. fie upon mankind, who in this World roam about with tension all over without ever being aware of the right path of bakthi and devotion.  People live an earthly life of getting up, attending to daily chores, wear emblems of creed and count the beads but busy with their avarice in search of money leaving away the path of righteousness.      

Listen to the rendition of this beautiful Thiyagaraja keerthana by Sri Srikrishna Mohan and Ramkumar Mohan, popularly known as Trichur brothers, hailing from a traditional family of Thrissur.   :

உன்னத பாரதம் உலகின் மணி மகுடமாக திகழ்ந்தது. நம் இதிஹாச புராணங்கள் அற்புத காவியங்கள். உலக நாடுகளில் கலாச்சாரம் தோன்றாமல்,  பல கண்டங்களில் மனிதர்கள்  காட்டுமிராண்டிகளாய் அலைந்துகொண்டிருந்த காலம்;  அமெரிக்கா கண்டுபிடிக்கப்படவே இல்லை, . அந்த நிலையில் இந்தியப் பண்பாடு இருந்த உயர்ந்த நிலை பிரமிக்க வைக்கிறது.  இராமபிரானது   கோசல நாட்டில் வணிகம் பெருகி நடப்பதால், செல்வமும் கணக்கின்றி குவிந்து கிடந்தன. அந்த நாட்டிலுள்ள நிலத்தடி சுரங்கங்களெல்லாம் பற்பல தாதுக்களையும், மணிகளையும் வாரி வாரி கொடுத்துக் கொண்டிருந்தன. விளை நிலங்களோ உற்பத்தியைக் கணக்கின்றி கொடுக்கின்றன; தானியங்கள் மலை மலையாய் குவிந்து கிடக்கின்றன. கோசல நாட்டு மக்கள் ஒருவர் போல அனைவரும் நல்லொழுக்கமும் நல்ல பண்பாடும் மிக்கவர்களாகத் திகழ்ந்தார்கள்.  அந்நாட்டை கம்ப நாட்டாழ்வான் வர்ணிக்கையில்:  

“அகில் இடும்புகை, அட்டில் இடும்புகை,

நகரின் ஆலை நறும்புகை நான்மறை

புகலும் வேள்வியின் பூம்புகையோடு அளாய்

முகிலின் விம்மி முயங்கின எங்கணும்”  

அகில்கட்டைகளிலிருந்து வரும் புகை, வீடுகளிலிருந்து உணவு தயாரிப்பால் எழும் சமையல் புகை, கரும்பாலைகளிலிருந்து வரும் புகை, நான்கு வேதங்களின் முறைப்படி செய்யப்படும் வேள்விகளிலிருந்து வரும் வேள்விப்புகை இவை அனைத்தும் சேர்ந்து மேகத்தைப்போன்று எங்கும் பரவியுள்ளன என சிறப்பிக்கிறார்.   

Renouncing  such a great kingdom, they  lived hermit’s life in dense forests,  collecting fruits and edible roots for food and not keeping anything for the future.  They did not wear any ornaments but were wearing the ones made of tree barks having forsaken enjoyment, casting away attachment from the material World – all following the order of His beloved father.  In those years,  it was deep silence of the forest, the vast panorama of nature around them, the green hillock, the grassy fields, the giant trees, gentle deer and other animals – all at a time when thousands were too willing to be by His side, serving all the time.  After fulfilling the vow, after killing the demon and returning to rule the life was great for the subjects.   

In that glorious Ramavathara, Lord Hanuman was closest to Him and carried HIM everywhere….the Greatest Carrier ordained to serve Lord Maha Vishnu - ‘Periya Thiruvadi [Garudan] gets a chance to carry Lord Rama on his shoulders  during this Sri Ramanavami Uthsavam and here are some photos of the fortune of Garuda – Sri Ramar Garuda Sevai at Thiruvallikkeni in the year 2010.  

adiyen Srinivasa dhasan
Mamandur Veeravalli Srinivasa Sampathkumar