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Monday, July 22, 2013

Gajendra Moksham ~ Alavandhar [Yamunacharyar] Sarrumurai

Today 22nd July 2013, is a very important day for Sri Vaishanavites. Today being Uthirada Nakshathiram in the month of Aadi, marks the birth of a great Acharyar – Aalavandar.  Known as Yamuna Muni, Yamunaithuraivar, Alavandar was the grandson of Sri Nathamunigal and son of Ishwara Munigal and Sri Ranganayaki. 

Every summer gives trouble not only of sweltering heat but of the water shortage to the residents of Chennai.  Though there are four reservoirs of Poondi, Cholavaram, Redhills and Chembarakkam as lifelines for drinking water needs of Chennaites, there is another important water source that supplements daily water supply to the city and that is more than two hundreds of kilo meters away…… it is the Veeranam lake in Cuddalore from which water is brought in by 230 km long pipeline.  The lake of veeranam lake mentioned in ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ is located 14 km SSW of Chidambaram and 1 km off Sethiyathope.  The lake built by Chola kings provides water to the metropolis.

The Veeranam lake derived its name from the nearby place ‘Veera Narayana puram’ which is of great significance to Srivaishnavaites.  It is here that our Acharyars Nathamunigal and later Sri Alavanthar were born. Alavanthar was born at Viranarayanapuram (present day Kattu Mannargudi) in Tamil Nadu. Yamunacharya was a genius – a child prodigy known for his prowess  of eka-santha – graha (remembering forever by learning only once). He was known for his sparkling intelligence, didactic logic and exceptional devotion to Sriman Narayanan.  His defeating a much learned Akkiyalvan is very famous.  After the debate, the Queen hailed Yamunar as 'Alavandar'-' one who came to rule /  save me'.
Sri Alavandhar at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam

It was due to the ceaseless efforts of Sri Rama Mishra (Acharyar Manakkal nambi), the desciple of Uyyakkondar that Yamunacharyar was initiated back to the spiritual life. Sri Rama mishra initiated Yamuna into the ultimate truths and passed to him the spiritual treasures bequeathed to him by Sri Nathamuni. After the initiation, Yamuna became the leader of Visistadvaita Vedantins and settled at the holy place of Thiruvarangam. He gave our Sampradhayam, priceless treasure-trove of 8 works of which most important are the : Chatusloki on Pirattiyar; Sthothra Rathinam extolling Emperuman; Sri Geethartha Sangraham, which formed the basis for Udayavar’s Gita Bashyam. He identified and gave us the Greatest of Acharyas – ‘Sri Ramanujar’ as he spontaneously called Udayavar ‘He is the First of all [aa muthalvan ivan]’

Today is also ‘Gajendra Moksham’ – the day when Lord atop Garuda rushed to save His devotee – the pious elephant stricken by a crocodile.  This episode was enacted in the ‘Kairavini pushkarini’ – the beautiful lotus pond of Sri Parthasarathi. Sri Parthasarathi Perumal had purappadu in Garuda vahanam ~ Thirumangai mannan says 'aanaiyin thuyaram theera aazhi thotta perumal" - the Lord touched His Chakra for alleviating the tears of elephant Gajendra.....

இன்று (22.07.2013) ஆடி  மாத உத்திராட நக்ஷத்திரம். பௌர்ணமி கூடிய சுப நாள்.  ஸ்ரீவைஷ்ணவர்களுக்கு சீரிய நாள். ஆச்சார்யன் ஆளவந்தார் சாற்றுமுறை - கூடவே கஜேந்திர மோக்ஷம்.

ஸ்ரீ வைஷ்ணவ ஸம்ப்ரதாயத்தின், அடிப்படையே குருபரம்பரை தான். நம் ஒவ்வொரு செயலும் மங்களம் பெறச் செய்வது, ஆசார்ய ஸம்பந்தம் மட்டுமே.  ஸ்ரீ வைஷ்ணவ ஆசார்ய பரம்பரை ஸ்ரீமந்நாராயணனிடமிருந்து தொடங்குகிறது. பிராட்டியார், சேனை முதலியார், ஸ்வாமி நம்மாழ்வார் என்னும் வரிசையில் நாதமுனிகள். ஸ்ரீமன் நாதமுனிகளுக்கு பிறகு - உய்யக்கொண்டார், மணக்கால் நம்பி, அடுத்ததாக யாமுனாசார்யர் என்கிற ஆளவந்தார். நம்முடைய தர்சனத்தில், ஆளவந்தார் வித்வத் சார்வபௌமர்.  பூர்வ ஆசார்யர்களுள் யமுனைத்துறைவரும் (ஆளவந்தார்), ஸ்ரீ பராசர பட்டரும் மிகச் சிறு வயதில் பெரிய அறிஞர்களை வாதத்தில் வென்று தம் புலமையை வெளிப்படுத்தியவர்களாவர். 

நாலாயிர திவ்ய பிரபந்தம் தொகுத்த நமக்கு அளித்த நாதமுனிகளின் புதல்வர் ஸ்ரீஈஸ்வர முனிகள். அவரது குழந்தைதான் ஆளவந்தாரான யமுனைத்துறைவர் எனப்படும் யாமுனாசாரியர்.  திருவரங்கத்து அமுதனார் தமது 'இராமானுச நூற்றந்தாதியில்'  யமுனைதுறைவனின் திருவடி சம்பந்தத்தால், நம் உடையவருக்கே சிறப்பு என அருளிச் செய்துள்ளார். 

நிதியைப் பொழியும் முகில்என்று*  நீசர்தம் வாசல்பற்றித்
துதிகற் றுலகில் துவள்கின்றிலேன், இனித்* தூய்நெறிசேர்
எதிகட்கிறைவன் யமுனைத் துறைவன் இணையடியாம்
கதிபெற் றுடைய*  இராமானுசனென்னைக் காத்தனனே.

-  மிக உயர்ந்த முனிவர்களுக்கு எல்லாம் தலைவரான ஆளவந்தாருடைய  திருவடிகளை உபாயமாகப் பெற்று, இவ்வுலகத்துக்கே தலைவரான எம்பெருமானார் நம்மை காத்து அருள்வார். 

நாதமுனிகளும், யாமுனாச்சார்யராகிய ஆளவந்தாரும் பிறந்த திருத்தலம், ‘காட்டு மன்னனார் கோவில்’. வீரநாராயணபுரம் என சோழர்கள் காலத்திலும் தற்கால வீராணம் ஏரி உள்ள இடத்தில்  உள்ள கோவில் ஆளவந்தாரின் அவதார  திருத்தலம். இளம்வயதிலேயே வித்வஜ்ஜன கோலாகலர் என்றும் அக்கியாழ்வான் என்றும் புகழ்பெற்ற அறிஞரை வாதத்தில் வென்றார். தனது பன்னிரண்டாம் வயதிலேயே இச்சிறப்பு பெற்றதால் ஆளவந்தார் என புகழ் பெற்றார். மணக்கால் நம்பிகள் ஆளவந்தாரை ஸ்ரீரங்கத்துக்கு அழைத்து சென்று ரங்கநாதரைக் காட்டி குலதனம் என்று நம்பிகள் ஒப்படைத்தார். ஆளவந்தாரும் தம் போக வாழ்க்கையை அக்கணமே துறந்து துறவியாகி ஆன்மீகப்பேரரசரானார். ஆளவந்தார் ஒரு சமயம் திருக்கச்சியிலே இளையாழ்வான் ஆன ராமானுஜரை கண்டு     'ஆ முதல்வனிவன்' 
என  ஸ்லாகித்து பின்பு பெரிய நம்பியிடம் ராமானுஜரைப் பற்றி கூறினாராம். 

ஆளவந்தார்  அருளிச் செய்த நூல்கள் "  எட்டு ""   -   இவற்றுள் ஸ்தோத்ரரத்னம், சதுஸ்லோகி, சித்தித்ரயம், ஸ்ரீ கீதார்த்த ஸங்க்ரஹம், ஆகமப்ராமாண்யம், மகாபுருஷ நிர்ணயம் இவை முக்கியமானவை.

Here are some photos taken during today’s purappadu at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan

22nd July 2013.






At T.P. Kovil St., it rained and hence Perumal is seen in porvai here.....

Ardhnareeswarar stolen from Vridhachalam.... and authorities blissfully unaware ! ? !

I had recently posted about ‘Lord Nataraja exhibited at Canberra Gallery’ and the injustice that we do to our Gods.....  We believe in worship, we regularly go to temples, prostate before Him and seek His blessings in all that we do and pray for our continued well being and for that of the Society that we live in. The land and other properties of many heritage temples are misused and the money that is due to Him is channelized out by unscrupulous elements….the guardians fail in their duty and we fail in not taking any care to ensure that things are proper.   We are so oblivious to facts…… but can there be anything more sad than if there were to be an instance where an idol of Supreme God is stolen and we are worshipping at the same temple, not even knowing that such a thing occurred ……….. how negligent we are !!!  

The National Gallery of Australia in Canberra established in 1967   is the national art museum of Australia as well as the largest art museum in Australia, holding more than 166,000 works of art.  My earlier post on this was  because of a 1000 year old Nataraja of Chola dynasty.  The idol which should have been inside the Temple and being worshipped by all stands desolate in an arts gallery … was this the purpose of the sculptors and King who ensured that the ornate idol stood decorated in magnificent temples……….  Sad …. [for that earlier post – click here :Nataraja at Canberra ]

From Chennai Egmore around 213 kms in the Trichy line lies Vridhachalam [Virudachalam], a municipality and Taluk headquarters in Cuddalore district.  It was anciently known as Thirumudhukundram.  I was pained and anguished to read in The Hindu that people are not aware that its prized Ardhanarisvara is now ensconced in Sydney museum; more so that the authorities claim ignorance about any theft. They are also unaware that the idol currently under worship in the temple could be a fake one. Startling to say the least… here is the newsitem that appeared in The Hindu : [http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/temple-idol-from-tamil-nadu-surfaces-in-australia/article4935770.ece?homepage=true]
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Vriddhachalam temple is unaware that its prized Ardhanarisvara is now ensconced in Sydney museum. A thousand-year-old stone sculpture of Ardhanarisvara from the historically important and popular Virddhagesevarar temple in Vriddhachalam in Tamil Nadu has surfaced in the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney. It is the second museum in Australia now to be involved with the purchase of possibly smuggled Indian artefacts. Intriguingly, the temple authorities in Vriddhachalam, a town about 200 km south of Chennai, claim ignorance about any theft. They are also unaware that the idol currently under worship in the temple could be a fake one. The Chola-period Ardhanarisvara is datable to 10th century CE.

With this revelation, that came during ongoing investigations involving Subhash Chandra Kapoor, a United States-based antiquities dealer arrested and jailed for his alleged involvement in an idol theft case, it has become apparent that the looting of Indian temple treasures is far more rampant than what was hitherto assumed or known. And, it would seem that even big and well-known temples have not been spared. The National Gallery of Australia in Canberra is already the focus of investigation with regard to another idol from Tamil Nadu that has been linked to Kapoor’s operations.

The fact that the Ardhanarisvara – an androgynous from of Siva and Parvati – was missing was not noticed in Vriddhachalam so far because a relatively new idol, though vastly different in terms of details and craftsmanship, replaced the original one. The new idol, which is located in the koshta or niche near the sanctum, is in worship now. The credit for spotting the missing sculpture goes to Vijay Kumar, a Singapore-based blogger who extensively writes about art and architecture of South India. Following public pressure that followed the arrest of Kapoor, museums across the world barring a few have had a relook at artefacts procured from him. To its credit, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is probably the only one to release the provenance documents (pointing to the history of ownership) and list the objects it had bought from Kapoor.
the idol and the one in Sydney 

Examining photos and documents, Mr. Kumar noticed that the Ardhanarisvara in Australia was strikingly similar to the one that was in Vriddhachalam. He compared it with photographs of the sculpture published by Douglas Barrett, a scholar of Chola sculptures, in one of his books in 1974 and confirmed the match. He alerted The Hindu by email and published his finding on the blog site Poetry in Stone. Following this, The Hindu, collaborating with Mr. Kumar and two investigative journalists based in the U.S. and Australia (Jason Felch of the Los Angeles Times and Michaela Boland of The Australian), unearthed further details. The French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP), which has been studying South Indian temples for decades, had documented the Ardhanarisvara sculpture in Vriddhachalam in 1958, 1967 and 1974. All the three images obtained by The Hindu from the IFP visually match the Ardhanarisvara in Australia.

This has raised serious doubts about the genuineness of the provenance documents, which Kapoor provided to the Art Galley of New South Wales. One of the documents shows that Uttam Singh and Sons, a handicrafts firm in Delhi, sold the Ardhanarisvara to a diplomat in April 1970. This seems unlikely since the sculpture was in Vriddhachalam until 1974.

When The Hindu traced out the shop, which still exists in Old Delhi, and spoke to one of the sons of Uttam Singh over the phone, he said he was not aware of such a sale. He also clarified that his deceased father Uttam Singh signed only in Urdu. The receipt produced by the Australian gallery bears no signature. In an email, the gallery officials said they were looking into this issue and promised to reply in a week.

The authorities in Vriddhagisvarar temple seemed blissfully unaware of the lost sculpture and insisted that Ardhanarisvara was still there, pointing to the idol which is in worship. But this idol has no resemblance to the one photographed by Barrett and IFP. The authorities claimed that there were no records of either theft or replacement of the sculpture.

When The Hindu took up the matter with the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Board in Chennai, the Tamil Nadu government department that administers most of the temples in the State, P. Dhanapal, Commissioner, acknowledged that it was a serious issue. He immediately referred the matter to the Idol Wing of the Tamil Nadu police for investigation.

(With inputs from A.V. Ragunathan in Vriddhachalam)

Many thanks to the Hindu for bringing this out….

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st July 2013

PS : photos and the article highlighted in blue – reproduced as it is from The Hindu newspaper.

Monday, July 15, 2013

ThirukKurungudi Jeeyar Swami Mangalasasanam and purappadu at Thiruvallikkeni



சங்கினோடும் நேமியோடும் தாமரைக் கண்களொடும்;
செங்கனி வாயொன்றினொடும் செல்கின்ற தென்நெஞ்சமே.

Swami Nammalwar describes this Divyadesa Emperuman thus – that upon seeing His most beautiful thirumeni,  Azhwar’s thoughts are with the Emperuman and he cannot think of anything else…..  it is the divyadesam hailed as most proximate to Lord Mahavishnu’s abode of Sri Vaikundam [~calling distance from here~] – the most sacred place located around 40 kms from Thirunelveli…… 11 km from the seat for Thennacharya Sampradhayam “Nankuneri aka Vanamamalai – Thirusirivaramangai” and on the other side lying closer is another divyadesam called ‘ThiruvanParisaram [Thirupathisaram]’.

It is “ThirukKurungudi” located on the  foot of the Mahendra Hill on the Western Ghat. From Chennai, one can take the Kanyakumari/Ananthapuri Express to Valliyur. From here, one can reach Thirukkurungkudi (10 km) in 20 minutes by boarding the Papanasam bound bus.   Here is the most majestic temple of Azhagiya Nambirayar Temple ~ sung by Periyazhwar,  Thirumazhisaippiran, Thirumangai Azhwar and Swami Nammazhwar.   The famous ‘Kaisika puranam’ is associated with this temple and is read on ‘shukla paksha’ dwadasi of the month of Karthigai, known as ‘Kaisika Dwadasi.   

When Thirumangai Azhwar, who built the huge walls of Srirangam and contributed in no small measure to the temple there, sought moksham, Lord Ranganatha directed him to visit his ‘Southern Home.’ Accordingly, Thirumangai mannan  went to the Vamana Kshetram of Thiru Kurungudiand performed services invoking the blessings of Lord Azhagiya Nambi and composed the last of his sacred verses (Paasurams) on the Lord before attaining moksha at Thirukkurungudi. Hence, it is believed that ‘Vaikuntam’ (the ultimate destination for Vaishnavites) is in ‘calling distance’ from the Lord’s Southern Home, at Thirukkurungudi. Thirumangai Azhwar’s thiruvarasu is in this town only. 

The moolavar is ‘Azhagiya Nambi’ ~ infact there are five Nambis here Ninra Nambi (Standing posture), Irundha [Veerru iruntha]  Nambi (Sitting posture), Kidandha Nambi (Sleeping posture), Thiruparkadal Nambi and Thirumalai Nambi.   The word “Nambi” can be described to mean personification of all virtuous and righteous qualities blended with beauty and grace.  Legend has it that at Thiruvattaparai, the supreme Lord himself acted as a Sishya to our Acharyar Ramanujar posing as ‘vadugar’.   Divyadesa Thayar is Kurungudi Valli.

Sri Vaishnavam  dates back to centuries handed over to us through many generations by our Acharyars which include Sri Ramanujar and Sri Manavalamanunigal.   Thirukkurungudi  is  reachable from  Tirunelveli also known as Nellai, an ancient city with rich cultural heritage.  This place is located on the western side of Tamirabarani river and is known for its Tamil literature.   Tamirabarani is known as “van poru nal” in divya prabandham. 

There is the Jeeyar Mutt preserving our Sampradhayam in the lineage of Sri Vaishnava Acharyars.  The pontiff of the Mutt – “Thirukurungudi Srimath Sri Sri Paramahamsethyathi Perarulan Ramanuja Jeeyar” Swami is presently at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam.   Jeeyar Swami’s ‘pattina pravesam’ [entering the place] occurred on 12th July 2013 and today in the evening after Kodai Uthsava purappadu of Sri Parthasarathi Swami, there was the grand purappadu of Jeeyar Swami in an open palanquin.

Here are some photos taken during the purappadu.

Adiyen – Srinivasa dhasan.
14th July 2013.




Azhwar Emperumanar Jeeyar Thiruvadigale Saranam

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Thiruvallikkeni Kodai Uthsavam - Day 7 (Sarrumurai) - Sri Parthasarathi

Today [14th July 2013] is the 7th and concluding day of Kodai Uthsavam for Sri Parthasarathi Swami at  Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam.


During Kodai Uthsavam, Sri Parthasarathi and Ubaya Nachimar have purappadu in separate kedayams… and today it was exceptionally grand… in every sense –  He adorned a predominantly ornate white dress ~ the floral alankaram was exceptional… first it was the most fragrant ‘magizham poo’ [Spanish chery; medlar / bullet wood] – then one made of mullai buds [jasmine];  then a beautiful garland made of – jasmine, yellow rose; read rose; and thavanam ~ in the posterior, He had Sevvarali [red arali – oleander]

As the Emperor, He had a wonderful Crown called ‘sigathadai’ – tightly woven around with reams of fresh  jasmine flowers with white robe and a kingly ornament atop that.  The parasols  [umbrellas] that accompanied were big magnificent ones [20 jon kudais]

There was the big contingent of Divya Prabandha goshti, today headed by  Thirukurungudi Srimath Sri Sri Paramahamsethyathi Perarulan Ramanuja Jeeyar who is visiting Thiruvallikkeni from Thirukurunkudi divyadesam.

Here are some photos taken by me  during the evening periya mada veethi purappadu.


Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan. 








Friday, July 12, 2013

Thiruvallikkeni Sri Parthasarathi Swami 'Kodai Uthsavam' :Day 5

14th July 2013 is the 5th day of Kodai Uthsavam at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam..  Some photos taken during today’s purappadu are here :  


Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan.






Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Holy darshan of Sri Nam Perumal at Thiruvarangam Periya Kovil

  
In life there are moments, when you feel extremely elated ~ one explicable moment is when you have darshan at Thiruvarangam of Nam Perumal … the very thought of Sri Rangam and touching the soil of Thiruvarangam would sure give us great joy….  as one travels with the purpose of worshipping at Booloka Vaikuntham [the heavenly abode of Lord Maha Vishnu on this earth] – one’s heart jumps with joy….. as you get closer in physical proximity, you start thinking and looking for the view of Raja Gopuram….. for some the expectations start even as the train traverses Ariyalur, Lalgudi etc., ~ had the pleasure of worshipping Lord Ranganathar and Ranganayaki Thayar recently…..  In the words of Thondaradipodi Azhwar

கங்கையில் புனித மாய காவிரி நடுவு பாட்டு *
பொங்குநீர் பரந்து பாயும் பூம்பொழிலரங்கந்தன்னுள்
எங்கள் மாலிறைவனீசன் கிடந்ததோர் கிடக்கை கண்டும்
எங்ஙனம் மறந்து வாழ்கேன் ஏழையேனேழையேனே.

-           This place lies surrounded by river Kaveri which is considered more sacred than the most sacred Ganges; the place that flourishes with the new waters of Kaveri has beautiful orchards and abundance of greenery.  In this Arangam is situated the greatest Temple for the Lord in reclining posture; the one who is most benevolent and most affectionate to his Bakthas – Lord Ranganatha; a mere glimpse of His Lord would ensure that the devotee would never would want to be away from this holy land. 

It is a city by itself …. The glorious Thiruvarangam… 21 Gopurams – 7 prakarams …. ~reverred as ‘The Kovil’ by all Sri Vaishnavaites – it is  ‘Thiruvarangam (Srirangam)’ an island created by Coleroon [kollidam] and Kaveri.  The Sanctity of a Temple is accorded on the basis of its threefold popularity of the Presiding Deity, the quality of the holy waters and its religiously significant  past. So many acharyas have lived here dedicating themselves in the service of the Lord. A temple sung by 11 Azhwars [mangalasasanam], this temple occupies an area of 156 acres making it the largest temple in India.  Lush green mango groves, banana gardens, Coconut groves, tall fortified walls – all add color to the island.

Besides the main sannathi of Lord Ranganatha; Sri Ranganayaki Thayar; there are important sannathis of  biggest Garudar; Sri Ramanujar ; Sri Sudarsanar; Swami Nammalwar; many many Acharyars including Swami Desikan and Swami Manavala Mamunigal; Danvanthiri ….. and more….. the entire temple complex is full of architectural marvel.

The temple of Sri Ranganathaswami at Srirangam boasts an historic past of great kingdom and a civilization thousands of years old. It has flourished through various dynasties though the invasion of Malikapur was a dark era.  At that time,  Pillai Lokacharyar [Pillai Ulagaryar] who was already 60+ by historical accounts along with his disciples Kura Kulothama dhasar and other committed devotees, traversed miles carrying Arangan to safety as many thousands sacrificed their lives fighting for the divinity………….  When compared to the historical past of the temple, the Rajagopuram is of much recent origin, having been completed and renovated in 1985 with great efforts of many Seers.  The Rajagopuram is 236 feet height with its 13 tiers with gopuram's base measuring  166 feet by 97 feet ~ a great engineering marvel of recent times.   The massive Rajagopuram can be seen and worshipped from every nook and corner of Thiruvarangam and beyond.  


There are many ponds nearer the  temple ponds too – of which Chandra Pushkarini and Surya pushkarini are important.  The Surya pushkarini is situated nearer Garuda mandapam – is about 500 sq. ft. in area. Over the years, it got dilapidated and the thick growth of vegetation including a tree, weakened the structure… it was a happy sight to note that renovation work is underway now.

The great Sri Vaishnava Acharya Sri Ramanujar [Emperumanar, Udayavar, Yathirajar] lived here-  resuscitating and reinvigorating Sri Vaishnavism; streamlining the administration and doing many kainkaryams to the Perumal.  It is also the place of many of our Acharyars including – Sri Parasara Battar, Nanjeeyar, Nampillai, Vadakku Thiruveethi pillai, Swami Desikar,  Pillai Ulagariyar [Pillai Logacharyar]; Kura Kulothama dhasar, Swami Varavara Muni [Sri Manavala Mamunigal] and more………. It is place which links us to the past and still maintains most of the traditional and heritage values.

Some photos taken during this trip as also a photo of Num Perumal [Lord Ranganathar – uthsavar] taken on an earlier occasion by a good friend of mine are posted here.

Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan.
10th July 2013..
another view of Rajagopuram and
intricate pillars near 1000 kaal mandapam


 Emperumanar sannathi and Lord Ranganatha [below]

vellai gopuram [white tower] 
and pond Surya pushkarini - below 
 maada veethi  -- see its vast expanse and row cocount trees

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sri Parthasarathi Kodai Uthsavam at Thiruvallikkeni 2013

Today,  8th July 2013, is day 1 of Kodai Uthsavam at Thiruvallikkeni and Sri Parthasarathi had purappadu.


Here are some photos taken today..  Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan







Thursday, July 4, 2013

Sri Parthasarathi Ekadasi Purappadu at Thiruvallikkeni - July 2013

Thiruvallikkeni Sri Parthasarathi Ekadasi Purappadu – July 2013

Today, 4th July 2013 is Ekadasi -  At Thiruvallikkeni Divyadesam Sri Parthasarathi had periya maada veethi purappadu.  Here are some photos taken during the grand purappadu


Adiyen  ~ Srinivasan Sampathkumar.







Indian villages ~ Naming pattern ~ how much you know your village ?

Dusi, Sevilimedu,  Nemili, Seevaram, Vada Mavanthal, Suruttal, Vadakalpakkam, Vazhavandal, Thiruvadirayapuram, Kizhnelli, Karanthi, Sumangali, Perumanthangal, Thandappanthangal, Vadamanapakkam, Thalarapadi, Pulundai, Pullavakkam, Booderi, Arathrivelur, Hasanampettai, Thenkazhani, Kaganam………………….. wonder what these are  ?

India, Maha Barath, Bharatha kandam now has a total geo-graphical area of 3,287,240 sq.km. This includes 120,849 sq. km. of area under the illegal occupation of Pakistan and China. The largest state in India in terms of geographical area is Rajasthan with an area of 342,239 sq.km.  Backbone of the Nation is villages and Tamil Nadu alone has more than 16000 villages. 

The 15th Indian census was conducted in two phases, house listing and population enumeration. House listing phase began in April 2010 and involved collection of information about all buildings. The second population enumeration phase was conducted in February 2011. Census has been conducted in India since 1872 and 2011 marks the first time biometric information was collected. According to the provisional reports released on 31 March 2011, the Indian population increased to 1.21 billion with a decadal growth of 17.64%. Adult literacy rate increased to 74.04% with a decadal growth of 9.21%. The motto of census 2011 was 'Our Census, Our future'.

Spread across 28 states and 7 union territories, the Census covered 640 districts, 5767 tehsils, 7742 towns and more than 6 lac villages.  There can be various usage from the analysis of details made available based on the coding pattern recommended by Metadata and Data Standards (MDDS).  The Location Code Directory  provides unique codes on All India basis which can be used for various e-Governance purposes. The coding convention used is as described below:

1. The State code of 2 digits within India has been used similar to the one used in earlier census.
2. The District code of 3 digits continuous code within India has been given.
3. The Sub-district code of 5 digits continuous code within India has been used.
4. The Village code of 6 digits has been used continuous code within India. Range of 000001 – 799999 has been kept for Villages.

How much do you know of your ancestral village and when was your last visit to your village ? Does any of your relative live there ? Do you have any agricultural land over there ? Do you know any of the persons still living in your village ? Did you contribute at least a small amount to the presiding deity in your village ?  ~ most of these Qs would be answered in the negative by modern day office goers living comfortably in modern cities with all amenities……

Here is an interesting newsarticle read in ‘The Indian Express’ of date:  “3,626 villages named after Ram, 3,309 after Krishna

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What's in a name, or two, or 6,77,459? In the case of India's villages, that list tells us they love Gods, Goddesses, nation builders and mythologies above all else, and that, when they migrate, they often take the name of their place of origin with them. The Indian Express went through the names of all 6,77,459, inhabited and uninhabited, villages in India, as listed in Census 2011 — data for which was released recently.

Lord Ram ranks way up there, with 3,626 villages named after him, in almost all parts of the country except Kerala, while Lord Krishna is a close second at 3,309.

There are 92 villages in the country whose names start with Bengal/ Bangal and all of them are located outside West Bengal, including Maharashtra, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. There are 33 villages named Kerala outside the state, mainly in the northern parts. There are 17 villages in the name of Prayag (the old name of Allahabad) and 41 named Kashi (the old name of Varanasi). There are 28 Agras outside Uttar Pradesh (most of them in Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam), while 189 village names start with Bihar, of which 171 are outside Bihar. There are 28 villages named Dhaka (the capital of Bangladesh) and 40 in the name of Nepal. Besides, there are 47 villages whose names start with Badri and 75 which feature Kedar — invoking the religious sites which were among the worst hit in the Uttarakhand floods. Most of these villages are located in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.

Other Ramayana characters too figure among the names, Bharat (187 villages) is marginally ahead of Lakshman (160). Hanuman has 367 villages in his name, while Sita has 75. While at least six villages in the country exist in the name of Ravana, and three in the name of his father Ahiravan (all in Bihar), no village is named after Ravana's brother Vibheeshana who crossed over to Ram's side. Some villages in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are named Ayodhya.

When it comes to Mahabharata, Krishna remains the popular choice by far. While there is no Kurukshetra (except Haryana's original Kurukshetra) village in the country, only two villages are named after Yudhisthira, the symbol of truth. There are 385 named after Bhim, and 259 in the name of the other popular Pandava brother, archer Arjun. Only one village bears the name of the patriarch Bhishma and that is in Orissa's Ganjam district.

Not surprisingly, in a country where fealty comes easy, 'Raja' (king), 'Rani' (queen), emperors and sultans dot the list. Leaders of modern India too are a popular choice. Jawaharlal Nehru figures in 72 village names, and there are 117 in the name of Mahatma Gandhi. While there is no village in the name of former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri, 13 are in the name of B R Ambedkar, 36 are named after Indira Gandhi and 19 after Rajiv. Among the Mughal emperors, Akbar tops the list at 234 villages. His grandfather Babur has 62 villages in his name while father Humayun has only 30.

Interestingly, while 51 villages are named after Shahjahan, only eight are in the name of Aurangzeb (all in Bijnore district of UP). Moving on, if Sholay's infamous dacoit-affected village Ramgarh has 163 namesakes, there are as many as 27 villages named 'Pipli', same as the village in the Aamir Khan production Pipli Live.

While the study of names in general and place names in particular sheds some light on the history, culture and migration trends of any country, there is a lack of expertise in India on the subject. The study of names is called Onomastics and the specific study of place names is called Toponymy. An IAS officer of Orissa cadre, R Balakrishnan, is involved in place name studies for 25 years and has published many research papers and delivered lectures in different universities on the subject. A systematic study of names can throw light on many obscure pages of Indian prehistory and history, he says.

"Place names are the fossilised representation of an immemorial past. They provide reliable markers for reconstructing the source and trajectories of past migrations, as immigrants in the past have invariably carried the place names of their origins and re-used those names in their new-found homelands. Hence, a comparative study of identical name clusters can offer valid clues to the movement of people from one region to another," Balakrishnan says.

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Those at the start are some of the villages nearer my village Mamandur [Dusi Mamandur for reference] in Cheyyar, Tiruvannamalai district and a photo of Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal kovil  and Perumal at my native village -  at a time when crowds gathered to witness the Samprokshanam on 5th Sept 2010. [photos taken by me]

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

4th July 2013.