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Monday, December 21, 2009

ஸ்ரீ வைஷ்ணவர்களுக்கு சீரிய நாள் - வைகுண்ட ஏகாதசி திருநாள்

For Srivaishnavaties, this day is of very great significance – Vaikunda Ekadasi.

Ekadasi (eleven in Sanskrit) is the eleventh lunar day of the Shukla (bright) or Krishna (dark) fortnight of every month. The Hindu scriptures prescribe fasting on this holy day. Vaikunda Ekadasi is the ekadasi that occurs in the month of Marghazhi / Dhanur masam (corresponding to Dec – Jan of English calendar). This day marks the opening of vaikunta dwaram or the gate to Lord’s inner sanctum. This year Vaikunda Ekadasi falls on 28th Dec 2009.

""na Gaayathrya  para manthra: na Maathu para dhaivatham 
na Kaasya: paramam theertham na Ekadasya : samam vratham""

(Meaning ) : There is no manthram that is superior to  Gaayathri manthram ; there is no dhaivam superior to one's mother; there is no sanctifying theertham better than Kaasi and there is no vratham that is more sacred  than Ekadasi Vratham.

From puranic times, King Rukmangatha, Nampaduvan, our Acharyas have demonstrated the greatness and power of observance of ekadasi vratham. The exaltation of this great day is associated with :
1) the churning of the milky ocean for nectar on this day
2) the appearance of Goddess Mahalakshmi
3) Dhanvanthri bhagwan appearing with amrutha kalasam
4) Some scriptures do associate this day to be day on which Bhagwat Gita was rendered to Arjuna

It is believed that even those who are not able to comprehend the doctrines of Vedas, Upanishads or able to practice anushtanams can wake up in brahma muhurtham on the holy month, recite Thirupalliyezhuchi, Thiruppavai, participate in Thiruvadhyayana utsavam and on Sri Vaikunta Ekadasi day travel with the Lord through Paramapada vassal and get moksha sidhi.

In most of the famous vaishnavaite shrines, the gateway of salvation, ‘Paramapada vaasal’ will be opened in the morning – the most important being the one at Kovil “Sri Rangam” – the Bhooloka Vaikuntam.

In Divya desams – 10 days prior to Vaikunda Ekadasi is observed as ‘Pagal pathu’ or Thirumozhi thirunal wherein azhwar pasurams from the Mudalayiaram and Thirumozhi are recited. The ten days that follows the Vaikunta Ekadasi are known as “Raapathu” when Nammalwar’s Thiruvoimozhi is recited. In all these ten days, Perumal Purappadu through Paramapada vaasal occurs and all devotees would get benefit of passing through the golden gate. The next day is ‘Iyarpa Sartumurai’ when the moondravathu ayiram is recited in one stretch.

This structure is attributed to Acharyan Nathamuni who compiled the Divya prabandham.

Collated and placed before you all in all humbleness by this man with little or no knowledge. If there are any mistakes, request you to forbear

Adiyen Siriya gnanathan – S Sampathkumar.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Dear Srivaishnavaites -   

An humble attempt to sing the praise of a great Acharya whose 1000th year celebrations are  about to be celebrated now.

The ‘hastha’ nakshathiram in ‘thai’ is of great significance to all of us – for this was the day on which a great saint ‘Swamy koorathaazhwan’ was born. On 3rd Feb 2010 Swami completes 1000th year of his advent in this world. He would ever be remembered by generations of Sri Vaishnavaites with gratitude because of his noble deed and what he has passed on to future generations. We are fortunate to read something about this mahan Sri Srivathsa Chinna Misrar, who was a living example of Sri vaishnava lakshanam. This song by Thiruvarangathu Amuthanar in ‘Ramanuja Nootranthathi’ typifies his glory:

Amuthanar says that the egos which generally put down every person that of false pride of born in high caste(jananam), being blessed with good education (jnanam) and that of being a strict follower of vairagyam and anushtaanam were won by Azhwan. He was able to devoid of pride though he possessed all these qualities. After taking refuge at his feet, Amuthanar says, he is able to compose the greatness of Emperumanaar who will enable all his disciples to get over bondages and hence there would not be any grievance or regret.

Num Swami was born on Thai Hastham in Kooram village near Kanchipuram. He was the King of Kooram and every day he organized feeding bhakthas in a grandiose manner. After realization, he renunciated all his material wealth to the poor and set on foot to Srirangam. There he identified his noble Guru, the enlightened Sri Ramanujacharya, obeyed him and became the choicest and most celebrated disciple of him. A strange bond of kinship developed between master and student over the years. Kuresar was Ramanuja’s aide in scriptural study, disputations and exegesis acting as a faithful shadow.

At that time,  Mahan Ramanuja was generating a great religious movement and his philosophy ‘Visishtadvaita’ was attracting universal attention. He was institutionalizing his philosophy and set about writing down the principles later known as ‘Ramanuja darsanam’. In this he was assisted by the principal disciples – Kuresan, Dasarathi, Devarat and Embar. Then Ramanuja embarked to record his commentary on Brahma sutra of Vyasa and Kuresan began writing down every thing as dictated. In such a manner he completed stupendously the great standard works of Sri sampradayam handed them over to posterity – Sri Bhashya, Vedanta deepa, Vedantasra, Vedartha Sangraha and Gita Bhashya.

Ramanujacharya in order to lend irrefutable authority to his commentaries on the "brahma-sutras", needed to consult with ancient texts and treatises that could be actually shown to expressly affirm some of the the fundamental postulates and theses of VisishtAdvaita and wanted to access ‘boddhayana vrutti’ – a rate treatise on Vyasa brahma sutra. This was lying somewhere obscure in a Kashmiri state and at an advanced age Ramanujar undertook a digvijayam by foot in pursuit of the vrutti and propagating his message. Kuresan also accompanied him. To gain access to the library, Ramanuja put for his exposition of his philosophy and defeated the royal pundits in debate. Enraged, the pundits threw up a plot that they would not allow the vrutti to be taken out of the library precincts and that the Acharya would not be allowed to take down any notes from the vrutti.The royal pundits however were none too happy about the King's generosity and played malicious mischief to frustrate Ramanuja.  Thus there were disappointments at Kashmir and when back in Srirangam, Kuresan by sheer power of his prodigious memory was able to accurately recall vast passages from the vrutti word by word helping the great Acharya. The commentary of Acharya on Vyasa’s brahma sutra quickly progressed to its conclusion.

Ramanujar had the ambition of fulfilling his promises to his guru Yamunacharya one of which was to propagate devotional literature of Azhwars. At that point of time, Kuresan who was born as a king was earning his daily bread by unchavratti and was collecting noting more than sufficient to satisfy the basic needs. Thiruvarangar once directed Uthama Nambi to take his prasadam to Kuresan for he had not eaten anything on that day. Kuresan considered it a sin to ask for something from the Lord for such was his devotion that he was sure that Lord would shower everything on his benefaction and baktha should not think of asking. Legend has it that the food sent by Arangar was the reason for the birth of two great sons, who were named Vyasa Bhattar and Parashara Bhattar who in posterity became the natural heir to all the spiritual kingdom of Ramanuja.

Many of you would have seen the film Dasavatharam which had many factual mistakes especially about history and religion. The character of “Nambi” – the kallai mattum kandal – was portrayal (though not appropriately) of Kuresan. (see post script)

Sri Ramanuja and Kuresan were septugenarians when the Chola kingdom was ruled by tyrant Kulothungam who was to be known as kirimikanda chozhan. He was bent on rooting out Vaishnavism and trying to destroy Ramanuja issued summon to Acharya to appear in his court to punish him in some manner. Getting wind of the king’s evil designs, the disciples dissuaded Acharya from going to Gangaikondachozhapuram and Kuresan volunteered to go as His proxy. With great anguish  the Acharya left Srirangam to the land of Melkote and lived in exile for over 12 long years. In the court the king thrust a written declaration which read ‘nothing higher than Siva exists’ and commanded Kuresan and Perianambi to affix their signatures without any protest on declaration. Kuresan magnificently cited authoritative texts and sources from Vedas, Upanishads, and Puranas proving that Sriman Narayana is Supreme and none was higher than HE. To a Srivaishnavaite He is the only one fit for worship.
The incensed King thrust a writing quill into their hands and commanded to sign the declaration threatening to pull out the eyes. Swami Kuresan said that the eyes that have seen this sinner have no further use and plucked them out. The cruel King ordered his courtiers to harm Mahapurnar and blood streamed out the eyeless cavities giving poignant agony. Mahapurnar breathed his last on the lap of Kuresan. After this unsavoury incident, Kuresan blinded returned to Srirangam. After a few years he reached the town of Thirumalirum cholai (Kallalagar koil, Madurai)Swami gave us gift of

5 granthas called ‘panchasthavams’ viz.,

1. Sri Sthavam (10 SlOkas) on Sri Ranga NAchiyAr
2. Sri VaikunTa Sthavam (100 SlOkas) on ParamapadanAthan.
3. AthimAnusha Sthavam (61 SlOkas). - Tharkam (logic)
PramANam (authority) and Anubhvam (experience) how EmperumAn is THE SARVESHWARAN.
4. Sri Sundara bAhu Sthavam (132 SlOkas) on Azhagar of TirumAlirum SOlai
5. Sri VaradarAja Sthavam (102 SlOkas) on Hasthigiri Varadan.

Heard from knowledgeable sources that the sthavam on Azhagar though written at a stage when he was suffering with blindness, old age and being away from his Guru, he vowed to praise the Lord without any self-pity and everything is only positive in his writing.   Such was his will power and devotion to Almighty and Acharya.

History has it that the Chola king died of tumour in neck and hence came to be known as ‘kirimi kanda chozhan’. Sri Ramanujar at the ripe age of around 100 returned to Srirangam where a great gathering was awaiting. Kuresan also had returned and Ramanujar went to his house to meet Kuresan.

It is stated that Kuresan lamented that losing eyes was perhaps an atonement for some sin committed – perhaps some comments on urthvapundram on the forehead of a srivaishnava. Such was his selflessness and attitude of not complaining. Kuresan despite the great physical handicap continued all kainkaryam and remained eternally faithful shadow of Acharyar. Ramanujar took his dearest disciple to Lord Varadharaja and commanded Kuresan to pray for restoration of eye sight. Kuresar did not want the eye sight for seeing anyone else than his Acharyan; when Ramanujar commanded, he prayed that moksham be granted to himself and also to Nalooraan, a person who had sort of betrayed the Acharyar before the Chozha, wishing that all srivaishnavaites be blessed. Such was his benevolence even for those who had done harm.

Kuresar prayed to Ranganatha to release him from his mortal body and be merged at the Lotus feet and received the supreme blessing. This he did to go in advance and welcome his Master. Kuresan passed away peacefully. Here is one from ‘sundarabahu sthavam’

The Lord of ThirumAlirum ChOlai graces us all from His Divyadesam VanAdri. There one has the blessings of His Sevai with every limb of His sacred body resplendent with His youthful Soundharyam. The samudhaya (collective) soundharyam (Beauty) of the Lord here is without parallel justifying His ThirunAmam as Azhagar (the Beautiful One). The auspicious guNams that have sought refuge in this beautiful body of the Lord of this divya dEsam are: Souseelyam (moving with the lowly ones and blessing them), Aasrita vAtsalyam (the deep affection for those, who seek His protection through SaraNAgathy), Mrudutvam (Soft heart for His devotees),SouhArtam (good will towards all),Saamya nilai (state of being attained by one and all),aarjavam (Straightforwardness, rectitude),Dhairyam (Courage and unperturbed ness),sthairyam (steadfastness, resoluteness in the execution of Sankalpam),
Suveeryam (power to engage all enemies all alone against a multitude of enemies),Souryam (independent prowess that enables Him to meet the enemies at his own base and destroy them), KrutitA (joyous attitude after placing those who sought His protection by His side in Sri Vaikuntam),Gaambheeryam (Majesty), CAturyam (conductance with exemplary cleverness and diplomacy with all) His unparalleled beauty blends with these auspicious and limitless guNams at His divine abode of ThirumAlirumchOlai.

Let us fall at the feet of Kuresan and pray for all good things from him and from Ramanujar.

Swami Kuresar at Kooram

  Kuresar with Acharyar Ramanujar

  entrance to the temple at Kooram
Gopuram of Lord
 Kurathazhwan Sannathi.

Adiyen – Srinivasa Dhasan.

PS: the cinema ‘Dasavatharam’ might have been well taken, Kamal displaying all his talents but the dialogues and intense abhorrence for Hinduism and its values are apparent. Though there are many historical blunders and abject wrong portrayal – the character of Nambi does instill interest and some good depiction of the steadfastness and mental strength of a Srivaishnavaite. ‘Adieyn Ramanuja dhasan’ – enum vaarthai Srivaishnavargal parimarra chol.


Dear (s)

Another important day went almost unnoticed. Can you identify this place of great importance to the Nation.

Have a glimpse of this majestic building.

It is not simply a building.The Parliament of India (or Sansad) is the federal and supreme legislative body of India. It consists of two houses – the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. It is located in New Delhi at Sansad Marg. Any bill can become an act only after it is passed by both the houses of the Parliament and assented by the President. The Central Hall of the Parliament is used for combined sittings of the lower and upper houses and is of historical significance.

Many of us have only short memories. Eight years back, the whole nation trembled. The attack on India's Parliament stunned a nation that watched what was happening live on television.

Jus to recall the news, Terrorists on December 13, 2001 attacked the Parliament of India resulting in a 45-minute gun battle in which 9 policemen and a parliament staffer were killed. All the five terrorists were also killed by the security forces and were identified as Pakistani nationals. The attack took place around 11:40 am (IST), minutes after both Houses of Parliament had adjourned for the day. The suspected terrorists dressed in commando fatigues entered Parliament in a car through the VIP gate of the building. Displaying Parliament and Home Ministry security stickers, the vehicle entered the Parliament premises. The terrorists set off massive blasts and have used AK-47 rifles, explosives and grenades for the attack. Senior Ministers and over 200 Members of Parliament were inside the Central Hall of Parliament when the attack took place. Security personnel sealed the entire premises which saved many lives.

This is what the Prime Minister said : “The Parliament is the highest representative of democracy and they chose Parliament deliberately as their target. The attack was not on the Parliament but on the entire nation. We will see that the terrorists are unsuccessful in their attempts. We are fighting terrorism for the last two decades and the entire country is together in this crisis. We are with the families of the people who laid down their lives fighting against the terrorist attack on the Parliament.

Within days, India declared it had evidence linking the Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Tayiba to the attack. Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, who was then Pakistan's high commissioner to India, was summoned by the foreign secretary seeking 1) a ban on the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed; 2) to take their leadership, 'which is known to Pakistan' into custody; 3) to curb the financial assets of these groups and their access to these assets. The Govt. was serious and meant business. Pakistan declined, saying it had to have proof
Now , after eight years – how much the Nation remembers and what has been done ???

1) The Joint Parliamentary Committee took stock of the security arrangement and suggested - Unobtrusive body scanner, latest surveillance system and luggage scanners et al. to be imported from the West to upgrade the security system in Parliament.
2) Dozens of people and politicians yesterday paid homage to the martyrs of the December 13, 2001 terrorist attack on Parliament
3) In 2002 the Delhi High Court convicted seven people and among those convicted were the Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani, were Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his henchmen Gazi Baba and Imran, Mohammed Afzal, Shaukat Guru and his wife Navjot Sandhu alias Afsan Guru.
4) There have been no. of appeals / arguments in various forums since then
5) The Supreme Court had awarded capital punishment to Mohammad Afzal Guru for his involvement in the Parliament attack case. Afzal was sentenced to death on December 18, 2002 by a trial court. This was confirmed by the Delhi High Court and upheld by the Supreme Court in 2004.
6) This hanging was confirmed to on Oct 19 but was put off following a mercy petition filed by his wife.

Subsequently, our Former President A P J Abdul Kalam has answered critics over the delay in deciding on the mercy plea of Mohammed Afzal Guru, facing a death sentence for his role in the terror attack on Parliament, contending that he had not received any papers from the government.           This is a land of democracy and there are some who feel that hanging would have negative effects on the peace process in Kashmir. An eye for eye is a cruel barbarism though the Nation knows well that well the consequences of pardon. By letting go, the state often allows the criminal to linger in the popular imagination of a people as a hero to inspire far more dangerous acts of terror in future.

For the Q as to what happened : Well, a few hundreds (!) paid homages and few more read some news items without much passion or interest. Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Leader of Opposition LK Advani, Speaker Meira Kumar and others paid floral tributes to the matyrs at a solemn ceremony held at the Parliament House premises. For others they had more interesting things as the news headlines of a popular newspaper today read :

""Rift in Rosaiah Cabinet widens as Ministers stand firm
Stray violence in Anantapur
India will not compromise on key principles: Jairam
Mayawati bats for Poorvanchal
Karunanidhi rejects suggestion for bifurcation of Tamil Nadu
12 killed in Howrah road accident
Dhanush missile test fired successfully
Indian doctors did their best: Akram""
----------- and the headlines of yesterday’s paper were :
##Violence rocks Andhra, Rayalaseema
20 A.P. Ministers plan to quit
‘We are not for peaking year concept’ says Jairam
Protests expose double standards: TRS chief
Rosaiah: nothing has been finalised on Telangana
EC transfers South Zone IG
Birthday-boy Yuvraj’s heroics light up Mohali##

With regards - S Sampathkumar.

பார்லிமென்ட் வளாகத்தில் நடந்த தாக்குதலை மறந்து விட்டோம் என்ற எனது பதிப்பு மேலே. நல்ல பத்திரிகையாக தினமலர் மதுரை பதிப்பில் மட்டும் முதல் பக்கத்திலேயே படத்துடன் செய்தி வந்துள்ளது.

ஆனால் சென்னை பதிப்பில் அந்த இடத்தை சென்ட்ரல் பற்றிய செய்தி பிடித்துள்ளது !!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

திருப்பாணாழ்வர் வைபவம் - Thiruvallikkeni Perumal Purappadu

திருமால் அடியார்களுக்கு : 

Yesterday – 2nd Dec was the Birth Thirunakshathiram of Thiruppaan Azhwar. An Ayonijar (one not born to mortal human beings), his period is given as 750 – 780 AD.  Considered to be an amsam - Sri Vatsa of Sriman Narayana, he was born at Kozhiyur or Nisulapuri (present day Uriayur) close on the banks of sacred Cauvery. PANars were known for their sweet voice and singing in praise of Bhagawan Sriman Narayanan. He used to come to the banks of Cauvery and close his eyes and sing with deep anubhavam about the kalyana gunams of the Lord every morning.

In the divine Naalayira Divya prabandham, his contribution is Amalanadhipiraan – ten in number. His prabhandham is different from the rest in a way that it does not contain any upadesams or anything else but only hymns in praise of Lord Ranganatha alone. Those well versed in sampradhaya state that these are aanandha-lahari (limitless outpourings of the bliss of aanandham) at the anubhavam of the Soundharyam of Arangar. Thirupaan azhwar. Here is his immortal verse:

His thirunakshathiram is Rohini in Karthigai month and is the next day after Karthigaiyil karthigai that of Thirumangai Azhwar. In thondai mandalam, the moolavar will be anointed with ennai kappu from the thiru karthigai day and there will not be purappadu after. Hence generally, there will not be sathrumurai purappadu for Thiru Paan azhwar. This year, Karthikai was celebrated yesterday and there was Purappadu of the Azhwar with Sri Parthasarathi perumal.

Here are some photos
Sri Parthar above and Chokkapanai below

thiruppanar abvoe

Let us sing in praise of the holy feet of Sri ThiruppaanaAzhwar, who entered (the holy shrine of Lord Ranganatha) riding on the shoulders of the sage (Lokasaranga-Mahamuni) saw(the Lord in full) and sung (in praise) HIM

Adiyen – Sampathkumar.

Monday, November 30, 2009

கைசிக த்வாதசி - திருக்குறுங்குடி நம்பி - நம்பாடுவான் - புராணம் படித்தல் [Kaisika Dwadasi - Thirukurungudi Nambi perumai]

அன்பான ஸ்ரீ வைஷ்ணவர்களுக்கு

For Srivaishnavaites – Ekadadi worship is of utmost importance. Saturday (28/11/09) was a day of significance as it was the day of Kaisika Ekadasi. On the next day, in temples ‘kaisika puranam’ is recited and purappadu of Utsavar takes place.

For those of us, who do not know out sampradayam much, legend has it that on every Kaisika Ekadasi day, Nampaduvan, an ardent devotee of the Lord used to do Namasankeerthanam for Emperuman at Thirukurungudi. This Nampaduvan Charithram was narrated by Sri Varaha Perumal to Bhoomi Pirarttiyar in Varaha puranam. Nampaduvan, a great bhagavatha at Thirukurungudi used to observe ‘jakratha vratham’ without sleeping full night singing the glory of the Lord and thinking only about Him.

One year while on the way to Thirukurungudi, Nampaduvan was confronted by a Brahma Rakshas. This Rakshas told Nampaaduvaan that he would eat him. Nampaduvan humbly requested that he had the duty of nama sankeerthanam. Nampaduvan agreed with the rakshas that he would return back after his vratham and darshan of Kurungudi Nambi. The rakshas was not prepared to believe stating that none in this material would would come back as food and asked : is there any possibility that a deer could escape after it was caught up by a lion ?

Nampaduvan promised that he would indeed return and convinced the rakshas to release him for a while, went to Thirukurungudi temple rendered pasurams on Sri Vadivazhagiya Nambi; kaisikam is a kind of music composition (called pan in tamil); the last pasuram rendered was kaisika pan.

While returning Nampaduvan was interrupted by Sri Kurungudi Nambi Himself in the disguise of an old man advising him to take alternate route escaping the rakshas. Nampaduvan firmly kept his promise standing by his dharma of fulfilling and presented before the Brahma rakshas.

Awe struck the rakshas asked for the palan(fruit) of the pasurams Nampaduvan had rendered and in the series of discussions that went on rakshas wanted atleast the palan of the last kaisika pan. It was revealed that the Brahmarakshas was a vidwan by name Soma Sharma who was cursed by Devas arising out of his ahankaram. The palan of pan relieved him of the curse.

After hundreds of years on Kaisika Dwadasi day, Sri Parasara Bhattar chanted kaisika puranam before Lord Ranganatha and today the descendants of Bhattar chant the puranam on kaisika dwadasi day at Srirangam.

The purana is rendered in all Sri Vaishnavaite temples on Dwadasi day and in Triplicane, Sriman U Ve MA Venkatakrishnan Swami rendered the same in front of Lord Parthasarathi and Thirumangai Azhwar. Kaisika puranam is in manipravalam, a dialect which is mixture of Sanskrit and Tamil. In the evening there was periya mada veedhi purappadu with sthothra padam ghoshtiHere are some photos of the purappadu

Adiyen - S Sampathkumar

Saturday, November 28, 2009


From Chennapattinam to Kanpur the journey has been long. But before we go the connection, here is some insurance associated with Cricket.

The Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) has insured the one-day international cricket match, which will be played between India and Sri Lanka at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack December 21 for Rs 14 crore, learnt to be covered by Oriental Insurance Company. The insurance cover includes public liability insurance in case of a terrorist attack or a bomb blast. The primary cover is against natural disasters such as rain and storm and disability or loss of life caused to any spectator during the match. The premium is reported to be around 5 lakh.
Recently, the last ODI between India & Aussie to be played at DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai was abandoned without a ball being bowled. Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) had insured the game for Rs. 6 crore against natural perils such as cyclone, lightning as also against perils such as abandonment following death of political leader, riots, civil commotion etc., it is reported that this was also done by Oriental who had to pay the claim. Cricket match policies are called “one ball bowled” policies and lapse after even one ball is bowled in a match.

The city of Kanpur in the Uttar Pradesh, located on the bank of river Ganges has been happy hunting ground for the Indians. The Green Park stadium has hosted a number of test matches and one day internationals.

This is India’s sixth at Green park making it a very successful venue. This stadium hosted its first test in the January of 1952 and the first win came in Dec 1959 against the visiting Aussies. Offie Jasubhai Patel took 14 wickets in that match. In this ground Subhash Gupte once took nine WI wickets in an innings conceding 102 and could have had the remnant Lance Gibbs but for a dropped chance by WK Naren Tamhane. The dream spell could not ensure victory as it was overshadowed by fiery Wes Hall and later in 1983 Malcolm and Co. hurled everything short at Indians after the WC loss.

Sangakkara probably misread the pitch and went in with 3 spinners.

India compiled 642 with the top 3 notching centuries. On the opening day, India amassed runs at a frentic pace mainly due to swashbuckling Sehwag and Gaurav who has made it a habit to score back to back centuries.

Lankans were bowled out for 229 mainly by a spell by Sreesanth ending 19 month isolation with 5/75.

After that it was a matter of when and not whether. Lankans improved marginally in their second scoring 269 – the result was a win by an innings and 144 runs.
This clinching win in 4th day is our 100th win in Tests. To those not updated with statistics, our first Test victory had come in 1952 at Chennai. In total, we have played 432 matches till date.

There are six teams which have 100 test wins and amongst them India does not compare favourably finishing last. Our team has gained winning momentum of late and in the current decade have won 39 out of 102.

If you are still interested in some more statistics, our first win had come against England – Test no. 348 played in Feb 1952, captained by Vijay Hazare and played at Chepauk, our own Chennai. The visitors playing first made 266 with Vinoo Mankad finishing with 8 for 55. Aided by a brilliant century by Pankaj Roy and 50 by Phadkar, Indians declared at 457. in the second essay, visitors could muster only 183 with Ghulam Ahmed and Vinoo sharing the spills with 4 wickets each.

One more occasion to rejoice for the cricket fans

With regards
S Sampathkumar.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

விஜய தசமி பார்வேட்டை புறப்பாடு

Vijayadasami, the concluding day of Navarathri is considered very auspicious. During Navarathri, Sakthi is invoked in difference incarnations. At Vaishnavaite homes, special pooja to Saraswathi is done by placing all the books, education material and other items before the idol and Divine blessings are sought.

The books so kept before Goddess Saraswathi are taken after ‘punar pooja’ and this day is considered very auspicious to begin new ventures – be it business or education. Toddlers are taught their first alphabet and some are admitted to school on this day.

Vijayadasami has many significance going by legends and mythology. In many places, it is the beginning of harvest season and Mother Earth is revered. It is believed that in Treta Yuga, Rama killed Ravana on this day. This is the day of killing of demon by Mahisasura Marthini.

 In Sri Parthasarathi Swami temple and in many other temples, it is day of ‘Parvettai’ when the Lord is taken on procession doing ‘vettai’. The Lord would aim his arrows at vanni tree. I remember that in my young days, Lord Parthar on kuthirai vahanam would go to ‘Vasantha Bungalow’ where parvettai would be performed – then he would visit Bandala Venugopala St., TP Koil Second lane and come through TP Koil St on National Girls’ High school side.

Perhaps this purappadu signifies the Agnatha vasam in Maha baratham. In the Virata parva, Arjuna caches his weapons in a vanni tree and when the incognito duration is over, Vijaya retrieves his hidden arms from the tree and starts practicing which eventually helps in his success in the war.   Yesterday, Sri Parthar in his resplendent splendour was taken on kuthirai vahanam. As he no longer visits Vasantha Bungalow in Venkatrangam Street, the vanni mara parvettai was performed at the entrance of the temple. Then was the glorious oorgola purappadu with stothra padal ghosthi.

Here are some snaps of the Perumal taken on Vijayadasami.

Anbudan – S.  Sampathkumar.

Friday, September 25, 2009

மெரினா என்ற குறு நாவல்

சுஜாதாவின் இந்த குறு நாவல்  மிக   மிக விறுவிறுப்பானது.  ஒரு பணக்கார அப்பனின் தறுதலை பிள்ளை நடந்து கொள்ளும் விதம் பற்றிய கதை இது.

கதையின் பெரும் பகுதி ஒரு பின்னிரவில் மெரினா கடற்கரையில் நடக்கும் ஒரு நிகழ்ச்சி பற்றியது.  பணக்கார பசங்களின்  பொழுது போக்குகளை அழகாக விவரித்து கதை பின்னி இருந்தார்.

எல்லா கொலை கதைகளையும் போல கடைசியில் யார் கொலையாளி என்பதல்ல இக்கதையின் முடிச்சு.............

இறுதியில் கொலையே நடக்கவில்லை.  போலீஸ் தான் பணம் பிடுங்க கொலை ஜோடித்ததாக முடிச்சு  அவிழும்.  இந்த எதிர் பாராத திருப்பத்துடன் கதை முடிந்து விடாது. 

அந்த மகன் தான் பண்ணிய வேறொரு தவற்றிற்காக கைது செய்யப்படுவது ஆகே தனக்கே உரிய பாணியில் கதையை சொல்லி இருப்பது வேறு எவராலும் இயலாதது.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

பாரெல்லாம் புகழ்ந்திட்ட முண்டாசு கவியன் பாரதியார் - Sept 11 [Hailing Bharathiyar]

Sept. 11, the world over is remembered for different reason. In the minds of patriotic Indian, especially Tamil community, this is a day to remember the versatile revolutionary born as Subbaiah - as common a name any rustic village child would have. For the National activities, he was put in the list of list of anarchists, political suspects whose movements were shadowed closely, followed and arrested if they were to move into British territory. Though hailed as a genius, he lived in a single room and only a handful of people partook in his funeral procession.

In many countries, places significantly identified with great men are considered revered and are preserved. The house where this great man lived and breathed his last, was sold – exchanged hands and decades later, Govt. thought of converting it into a monument. For the past two years, public have been denied access in the garb of renovations and there are rumours that it might house some Govt. office as well.  It is unlikely that you remembered this Great Man today. If not, please read  on………………………..

The annals of history book has recorded it that he was struck by elephant of Sri Parthasarathi Swami temple but factually his health had badly been affected by very many confinements and punishments by the British. His failing health was perhaps primarily behind the tragic premature death of this genius on Sept 11,1921 – not even forty years of age. In this short span, he implanted his foot prints as an undying symbol of vibrant nationalism and unity of the Country. He was born in a small village called Ettayapuram in Tuticorin district. 

This great freedom fighter notably was a Great Poet, a prolific writer, philosopher, a great visionary of immense genius who in those days of repressive British rule ran few magazines. His national integration songs earned him the title “Desiya Kavi” (National Poet). His patriotic songs emphasized nationalism, unity of India, equality of men and the greatness of Tamil language. Though his life span was very short, he left an indelible impression in the National history and stoked the flames of independence in the minds of people. He waxed eloquence in the national scene as an inspirational patriotic poet. With a simple and yet fabulous technique of combining the rhythm of spoken language in a ceaseless flow of prose and poetry, Bharati captured the imagination of the Tamil people. Bharati introduced spiritual dimension to the freedom movement and deliberated on important aspects in a marvellous literary combination ofprose-poetry.

He was a linguist - fluent in many languages including Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit, and English and frequently translated works from other languages into Tamil. In April 1907, he became the editor of the Tamil weekly ‘India’; he also edited the English newspaper ‘Bala Bharatham’. He participated in the historic Surat Congress in 1907, which saw a sharpening of the divisions within the Indian National Congress between the militant wing led by Tilak and Aurobindo and the ‘moderates’. Subramanya Bharathi supported Tilak and Aurobindo together with V.O.C. In 1908, he gave evidence in the case which had been instituted by the British against ‘Kappal Otiya Thamizhan’, V.O.Chidambarampillai. In the same year, the proprietor of the ‘India’ was arrested in Madras. The British Govt imposed curbs on publication of his nationalistic and patriotic works, he was placed under surveillance by the government. To avoid arrest by the British which forced him to move to french territory of Pondy. This period proved to be the period of his prolific writings. During 1918 he was arrested and incarcerated in the Central prison in Cuddalore. Bharathi met Mahatma Gandhi in 1919 and in 1920, Bharathi resumed editorship of the Swadeshamitran in Madras. He breathed his last on Sept. 11, 1921.

Despite his literary genius, he lived in extreme poverty and died in chill penury. He was not merely content of being proud of the motherland but outlined his visions of a free India, not as wild dreams of some living in imaginary world but specifically outlined aspirations of a true patriot with clearly planned ideas on how different regions of the country can live happily, share the resources for their mutual benefits. 

Blessed are those, who have scented the soil where Mahakavi lived. The house where he lived should be a sacred place of pilgrimage for all those who love the Nation.

Today is certainly a day to remember the Mahakavi SUBRAHMANYA BHARATHIYAR who underwent untold sufferings for the cause of this Great Nation.

Desiya paniyil - S Sampathkumar.

கற்றதும் பெற்றதும் - எழுத்தாளர் சுஜாதா மறைந்த அன்றும் பாதிப்புடன் எழுதியது [What is learnt & begotten - sad day - death of Sujatha (Srirangam Rangarajan)]

28/02/2008   அன்று நான் பெரிதும் விரும்பிய சுஜாதாவின் 
மரண செய்தி கேட்டு எழுதியது இது.

There are days when something hurts you sentimentally. Today is onecsuch day, for it started in a very melancholic mood. Morning gave me the news of the passing away of a great genius, a man most reverred by me and one who was loved by vast multitude of tamils interested in reading – short stories, novels, fiction, question & answers, religion – to
capitulate whoever were interested in reading.

His great novel “Manal kayiru’ enamoured me to read more about him. It was first published in Kumudam on Aug 1968. I perhaps had not started reading tamil alphabets in that year and read it much later. One of his science fictions written in the early 70s “Sorga theevu” portrayed his understanding of computers and many of us even today do not understand
computer better. There were more fictions like " Moondru nimisham Ganehs, En Iniya Iyandira" and "Meendum Jeeno" which vividly captured my imagination in my formative years. His skillful mix of crime and science is unrivalled by any of the contemporary (or past) tamil writers. Sujatha wrote over 100 novels, 200 short stories, essays, stage plays, and popular articles on science. His fictional character of Gansh / VAsanth (lawyers) are extremely popular. Whilst Ganesh was the soft spoken, suave kind, Vasanth was more vibrant. Here is a sample of his style and science writing….

(Embedded image moved to file: pic13357.jpg)

Alas he is no more and today we have lost one of the most reverred writers. Sujatha (May 3, 1935 - Feb 27, 2008, Aged: 72) was the pseudonym of the Tamil writer S. Rangarajan who authored of over 100 novels, 250 short stories, ten books on science, ten stage plays, and a
slim volume of poems. He was a regular contributor to topical columns in Tamil periodicals such as Ananda Vikatan, Kumudam and Kalki. He had a very wide readership, served for a brief period as the editor of Kumudam, and has also written screenplays and dialogues for several Tamil movies. 

He was a great scholar in Sri vaishnavism, could quote at ease alwar pasurams and was in fact writing detailed commentary for one pasuram a week in a popular weekly. 

His schooling was in Srirangam. He attended St.Joseph's College, Trichy, where he was classmate with our Ex president APJ Abdul Kalam. Sujatha graduated in the 1954 class with a B.Sc in Physics (1952-54) and masters degree in Electronics from the Madras Institute of Technology. He worked first in Civil Aviation Department of Government of India and later for Bharat Electronics in Bangalore, India before his retirement to Chennai, India, where he lived till his last days. As an engineer, he was a forward thinker and enabled many engineers to think ahead of times. He enabled the development of advanced word processing before the
days of personal computers. He supervised the design and production of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) during his tenure in Bharat Electronics which is currently used in elections throughout India. 

Sujatha received an award from Govt of India's National Council for Science and Technology in 1993 for making Science accessible to the public through his books, magazine contributions and other media. 

Sujatha wrote a number of science fiction stories in Tamil and has sought to explain science in very simple terms to a layman. He routinely used to answer science questions in magazines like Junior Vikatan. His science FAQ has been released as separate books called En, Etharku, Eppadi and Athisaya Ulagam by Vikatan publications. With "Katradhum,
petrathum" in Anantha vikatan and "Sujatha Bathilgal" in Kungumam he sought to explain many complicate issues in a simple languid manner.

'Lateral thinking' was a hallmark techniques fluidly used by him. He had the uncanny knack of explaining some of the most difficult scientific concepts with amazing ease. . Here is an example:"you boil the lentils in the pressure cooker while cutting vegetables for the curry. that is parallel processing". 

Some people felt that his stories had an overdose of science. What Sujatha was trying to do was to kindle the scientific temparament and increase the awareness. Apart from being an author, he has also extended his writing skills and expertise on science to movies. the first of his were gayathiri and priya. In Priya his fictional charecter Ganesh comes to the screen done by superstar Rajinikanth but without vasanth (because the actor who was supposed to play vasanth did not get passport). Kamal Hassan's Vikram, which was written by him. He penned dialogues for the movie 'Roja' (directed by Maniratnam). In recent times, he has been associated with Mani Ratnam (for Iruvar, Kannathil Muthamittal, Aaitha Ezhuthu etc) and Shankar (Boys, Anniyan, Indian, Mudhalvan, Sivaji). He was also a co-producer for the banner MediaDreams which went on to produce critically acclaimed bio-pic, Bharathi, of the
great Tamil poet Bhaarathiyaar. He was working on Shankar's Robot before passing away on Feb 27, 2008. This is what he had written earlier about death :-

If there is something which I am avidly fond of more than cricket, it was Sujatha…….. 

With deep anguish  – S Sampathkumar.