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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Purattasi Sanikkizhamai at Thiruvallikkeni - Sri Azhagiya Singar Purappadu

Purattasi Sanikkizhamai at Thiruvallikkeni -   sri Azhagiya Singar Purappadu

The tamil month of Purattasi has a pride of place.  Devotees throng  Vishnu temples, especially Tirupathi.  In this month, there will be the annual Brahmothsavam at Tirupathi.

Devotees in large numbers visit Thiruvallikkeni Divyadesam.  Every Saturday of the month of Purattasi, there will be Periya maada veethi purappadu of Lord Azhagiya Singar.  Today, 28th Sept. 2013,  being the  2nd  Saturday of Purattasi, the Purappadu was grand.

In the Purattasi month, on the ascending Prathamai day starts the 9 day Navarathri celebrations.   This year Navrathri starts on 19th day of Purattasi [5th Octobr 2013] During Navarathri, there will be purappadu of Vedavalli Thayar inside the temple.

Here are some photos taken during the Azhagiya Singar purappadu today.

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Thirumalai Ananthan Pillai Uthsavam at his Avathara Sthalam - (Siruputhoor / Kiranganoor) near Melkote

I have recently posted about ‘Garuda Sevai purappadu’ and our visit to the serene ThiruNarayanapuram kshetram.  We had the fortune of the benevolence of Lord Selva Naranan whence we there for another purpose.  

The name 'Pandavapura' means "Town of Pandavas". Legend has it that the Pandavas during their period of exile stayed here for sometime, and Kunti, mother of the Pandavas, liked the hillock so much that it became one of her favorite haunts. The town has historic relevance also as it was used as the camping ground by the French army, which came to help Tippu Sultan in his war against the British. It is believed that French named the small town as "French Rocks", as the town is in the vicinity of two rocky hills. Pandavapura having paddy and sugarcane fields is 130 km from Bangalore and 25 km from Mysore. There are many jaggery manufacturing units too adding sweetness to the town which has Cauvery water flowing through Visweswarayya Canal.

To us, devout Sri Vaishnavaites, this place – to be specific a small village known as Siruputhur ‘Kiranganoor’ [Hale Kiranguru] in Srirangapatna taluk is of significance as it is associated with one of our Acharyars. I have been writing about the mahothsavam at the Holiest Thirumala for Sri Thirumalai Ananthalwan, a great Acharyar who did floral service for Thiruvengadamudayan, about 1000 years ago.  Of the many divyadesams sung by Azhwaargal, Thirumala occupies a very prominent position.  Our Acharyan Emperumanaar (Udayavar, Ramanujar, Bashyakarar, Yathi Rajar, ……….) did many service to the Lord here and Udayavar was instrumental in many of the religious practices being established in Thirumala.  One of his disciples is ‘Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan’ who was very attached to Ramanujar. 

Sri Ananthazhwaan was born in year 1053 near Mysore in a village called ‘siruputhoor’ ~ now called Hale Kiranguru in Srirangapatna Taluk 571807 situate on Pandavapura Station High Road.   When Udayavar was rendering kalakshepam on Thiruvaimozhi, (the verse – sindhu poo magizhum Thiruvengadathu – meaning the place replete with flowers), Udayavar asked whether anybody would do the pushpa kainkaryam at Thirumala.  Remember, Tirupathi was a very dense jungle ridden with wild animals with adverse weather.  Ananthazhwaan readily came forward and said that he would go, if Udayavar so desires.  Udayavar was so elated that he praised Ananthazhwaan as the real man and till date, his descendents have the name ‘Thirumalai Ananthanpillai’ meaning manly.

Legend has it that Ananthazhwaan was organizing ‘a flower garden’ – he was constructing a lake for supply of water on the hills – an extremely arduous work.  Lord Balaji in one of His Thiruvilayadals, came to the place and tried helping him.  Wrongly assuming the person as hindering the work, Ananthazhwaan threw the crowbar at the Lord (without knowing Him); later realised his folly and got the Divine Blessings of Lord.  This is the crowbar now seen at the entrance of the Temple of Supreme Lord Thiruvengadam Uaiyaan.

Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan continued his floral and other services to Lord Srinivasar for many years. He was so devoted in his service ordained by Ramanujacharya that for him, it was service that was of primary importance, even when compared to God.     The Vigraham of Sri Ramanujar that we worship inside the Sri Vari Temple was installed by him. ‘Sri Venkatesa Ithihasa maala’ is considered the best amongst the many works of Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan

For the past few years, anniversary Uthsavam of Sri Ananthazhwaan is being celebrated at his place at Thirumala.  His descendants thought it fit to organize one at his birth place too and this year on 22nd Sept 2013, his 961st Thirunakshithira celebrations were grandly conducted at his avathara sthalam at  Kiranganoor. Understand that till a few years ago, other than a slab nothing existed here ~ now it is a beautifully constructed place having a water tank, a Sannadhi where Thiruvengadam Udaiyan, Sri Ramanujar and Sri Thirumalai Ananthan pillai are worshipped.

There was the ‘Thiruvaimozhi Sarrumurai’, Ramanuja Noorranthathi and Upadesa Rathinamalai sarrumurai by hundreds of Vaishnavaites comprising of Adhyapakars from Kovil, Thirumalai, Perumal Kovil, Thiruvallikkeni and other divyadesams and of course from Thiru Narayanapuram too.  The function was well organized thanks to the untiring efforts of Sri SeluvaNaranan swami, adhyapak Melkote and Principal of Melukote paatasaala; Sri MA Venkata Krishnan Swami,  Sri Kannamani swami, Sri Ananthachar swmai, Sri Srirangachar swami, Sri SrirangaPatnam Ananthachar Swami, and many others.  Sure I would have missed out the names of some because those Organisers remained at the background and a visitor like me could easily could have missed some who were the backbone.  My Pranams to those Organisers. 

Sri MAV Swami in his concluding speech thanked all who had travelled to the Avathara sthalam and those from Thirunarayanapuram who despite their old age had come with zeal.  He made the metaphor of Arunodhayam preluding Suryodham – that this event happening as a prelude to the much bigger celebrations that WE all should be doing on the Thousandth Thirunakshithira vaibhavam of Emperumanaar.   Sri PB Rajahamsam swami underlined that at this very place Sri Ananthaazwan embraced Sri Bhattar  terming him as ‘Engal Kudikku Arase’.   

Overall, the event exhibited the great coordination of Melkote Sri Vaishnavas and the hospitality of them and of Sri Ananthaazwaan Trust.  The garden created by Ananthazhwaan in Thirumala Tirupathi  is now known as ‘Puraisaivari Thottam’. Twice in a year,  Sri Malayappar visits this place and honours Ananthazhwaan now in the form of Magizha maram.  MAV Swami informed us that a branch of the same Magizha tree was taken, planted here and has grown in to sweet fragrance pervading tree here too.

Let us worship the feets of Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan who was renowned for his knowledge, devotion, steadfastness and more good qualities. Some photos taken during the celebrations are here.

Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Grand Garuda Sevai for Sri Thirunarayanar (Selva Pillai) at Melkote

Dear Srivaishnavaites,

To me 21st Sept 2013 would ever remain a day of ‘divine bliss’ ~ for I was at a Temple [almost the whole day] thanks to my guru Dr MA Venkata Krishnan.  On that day, a group of us were here from Chennai ~ this place has connections with Thiruvarangam and  far off Delhi too…. !  This certainly is a place of scholastic excellence  for Sri Vaishnavism – you get to see very many devout elderly Thennacharya Sri Vaishnavaites, with profound knowledge in our Sampradhaya scriptures and practices as also great knowledge in Sanskrit – the one common thread that unites them all in the land where our Great Acharyar Sri Ramanujar lived – is their attachment to the Presiding deity and their passion to take care [yes, they don’t serve the Lord but take care of the Lord] as if He is a child.  With His divine blessings, this place continues to be home to the Academy of Sanskrit Research, which has collected thousands of manuscripts. 

I have been visiting Divyadesams and most of my posts would contain a couple of photos of Perumal and a few lines describing the occasion or the place…….. well, for sure, this place cannot be so simple – I am going to post at least a few more on that single day’s stay at this divine place.  Sri Bhagawath Ramanujar ordained that one should live in a small hut at least in this place – our way of sort of realizing that was staying there in that place – standing near the Presiding deity, getting enraptured by the Royal Care accorded by the Priest and all other kainkaryabarars, having darshan of Thayar and the Great Acharyar Udayavar.  On that day there were to be two purappadus – the morning purappadu after Pavithrothsava Sarrumurai occurred at around 01.45 noon – it was Garuda Vahana purappadu and the other took place in midnight – or rather 01.00 am of 22nd Sept – ‘Pushpa Pallakku’. 

The Temple is ‘Sri SelvaNarayana Perumal Kovil’ at Melkote referred to by us as ThiruNarayanapuram, Abhimana sthalam of Udayavar, who lived here for 12 years, codified and ordained strict procedures for betterment of Sri Vaishnavism.  The sacred place of Melkote is in Pandavapura talcum of Mandya district  around 50 km from Mysore and around 133 km from Bangalore.  It is a hilly protected place, calmness, serenity and divinity pervading here.  It is on rocky hills known as Yadugiri, Yadavagiri and Yadushailadweepa, overlooking the Cauvery valley.  Sure you would have heard of the most famous Vaira Mudi Sevai – whence the Lord wears the throne made of Diamond.  Situate at an altitude of about 900 metres above the sea level. The place has a very long history, dating back to "Kritha" Yuga, when it was called "Vedadri". In "Thretha" Yuga it was called "Narayanadri"; in "Dwapara" Yuga was called "Yadavadri" and now Thirunarayanapuram. 

Besides the prime temple, there is the Kalyani Pushkarini, the temple of Yoga Narasimha on the hillock, Sri Manavala Mamunigal sannithi  and more including the birth place of Sri Vaishnava Acharyar – Sri Nanjeeyar. 

The moolavar here is Thiru Narayanar also known as Sampathkumarar and Selvapillai – the name of temple is ‘Cheluva Narayana Swamy Temple’.  The idol of Uthsavar was worshipped by Lord Rama, His Surya dynasty and later by Chandra dynasty and by Sri Balarama and Lord Krishna.   The Uthsavar’s connecton with Delhi and Ramanujar will form part of a separate post.

Here are a couple of photos of entrance of the Temple ~ the Uthsvar – Selva Pillai fondly known as ‘Rama Priyan’ and Uthsavar on Garuda vahanam. More will follow shortly

Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan.

23rd Sept. 2013.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Thiruvallikkeni Sri Parthasarathi Thiru Pavithothsavam - day 2 - 2013.

13th Sept. 2013  was the Angurarpanam of Thiru Pavithrothsavam and on Sunday, today – 15th Sept 13 – it was day 2 purappadu  of the  Thirupavithrothsvam at Thiruvallikkeni.

Pavithrotsavam is an annual ritual - the word itself is a derivative from the combination of two words - 'Pavithram (holy) and Uthsavam (Festivity).    This Uthsavam is penitential as also propitiatory  ~ for sure, there is nothing good or bad for the Ultimate Benefactor, the Lord who gracefully blesses in all our endeavours.   It is our own attempt to get rid of the evils that might have been caused by the omissions and commissions in the performance of various rituals throughout the year.  

Sriman Narayanan in Sri Vaishnavaite philosophy beholds the Best of everything and cannot in any manner be having anything in short. The festivals are only intended to be error correction [dosha nirvana] of the rituals that we, the humans conduct and fail in some manner.  Lord only accepts them with Divine Grace, blessing us all the time beyond what we deserve.  For a Srivaishnavaite, nothing needs to be done by self as Sriman Narayana with His abundant opulence will shower his blessings and guide us to do kainkaryam to Him.  

During this Thiru Pavithrothsavam, yaga salai is constructed and vedic chants made by Thirukovil Battars; alongside homam – there would be arulicheyal as also veda parayanam by Adyapaka goshti.  In the sacred maha Yagnam - aswaththa samith, cow ghee, bilvapatrams - vilva ilai, lotus are used.    The poornahuthi / the conclusion of Thirupavithrothsava Sarrumurai is take place on Friday,  20th Sept. 2013.  Let us all have darshan of Sri Parthasarathi, Thirupavithorthsava yagnam and have the Divine Blessings. 

Here are some photos taken during today’s  chinna maada veethi purappadu of Sri Parthasarathi Pavithrothsavam day 2.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

திருவல்லிக்கேணி திவ்யதேசத்தில்  நடை பெறும் பல்வேறு உத்சவங்களில் ஆவணி மாதம் நிகழும் பவித்ரோத்சவம் சிறப்பு வாய்ந்தது. பவித்ரம் என்ற சொல்லுக்கு 'சுத்தம் அதாவது பரிபூரணமான அப்பழுக்கு இல்லாத ஒன்று' என்று பொருள் கொள்ளலாம். 

திருப்பவித்ரோத்சவம் ஆவணி மாதம் ஏழு நாட்கள் நடை பெறுகிறது. இந்த திருப்பவித்ரோத்சவத்தில் திருக்கோவிலில் யாக சாலை அமைத்து ஸ்ரீ பார்த்தசாரதி பெருமாள் உத்சவர் திருமுன்பு திருக்கோவில் பட்டாச்சார்யர்களால் யாக யக்னங்களும், வேதவிற்பன்னர்களால் வேத பாரயணமும்;  அத்யாபகர்கள் மற்றும் திவ்யபிரபந்த கோஷ்டியினரால் அருளிச்செயல்- திருவாய்மொழி  சேவை சாற்றுமுறையும் நடைபெறுகிறது. ஏழு நாட்களும் திருவீதி புறப்பாடு நடக்கிறது. கோவிலில் எல்லா எம்பெருமானுக்கும் பட்டு நூலிலான பல வண்ணங்கள் உடைய திருப்பவித்ர மாலை சாற்றப்படுகிறது.

திருப்பவித்ரோத்சவம் மகிமை பற்றி வலையில் தேடியதில் படித்தது " எம்பெருமானிடம் உள்ள ஸாந்நித்யம் குறையாது இருப்பதற்கு ப்ராயச்சித்தமாக பல உத்ஸவங்கள் ஏற்படுத்தப்பட்டுள்ளன. அமுதுபடிகள் ஸமர்ப்பிப்பதில் ஏற்படும் லோபத்தை (குறைபாடுகளை) நீக்குதற்பொருட்டு ஜ்யேஷ்டாபிஷேகத்திற்கு அடுத்த நாள் “திருப்பாவாடை உத்சவம் ” கொண்டாடப் படுகிறது. , திருவாராதனம் ஸமர்ப்பிப்பதில் ஏற்படும் குறைபாடுகள் மற்றும் மந்திர லோபம் ஆகியவற்றை நீக்குவதற்காகப் “பவித்ரோத்ஸவம்” கொண்டாடப் படுகிறது. பெருமாள் திருமேனி முழுவதும் பவித்ரத்தை (புனிதத்தன்மையை) உண்டு பண்ணும் பவித்ரம் (முடிச்சுக்கள் கொண்ட தர்ப்பங்கள்) சாற்றப்படுகிறது. " (நன்றி : ஸ்ரீ வைஷ்ணவஸ்ரீ) 

முடிச்சோதியாய் ஒளி படைத்த கிரீடத்தை தரித்த எம்பெருமானின் திருமேனி ஸௌந்தர்யம் அளவிட முடியாதது.  ஸகல சேதன அசேதநப் பொருள்களென்ன எல்லாவற்றையும்  தன்னுள்ளே வைத்துள்ளதனாலேயே நாராயணனென்னுந் திருநாமம் படைத்தவ எம்பெருமான் பரிபூர்ணன்.  சௌலப்யம், சௌசீல்யம், ஆர்ஜவம், வாத்சல்யம், சுவாமித்வம் என எல்லா கல்யாண குணங்களையும்  தன்னகத்தே கொண்டவன்.  எம்பெருமானுக்கு குறை என்பதே இல்லை.  எம்பெருமானின் திருவடிகளையே சரணாய் கொண்டு கைங்கர்யம் செய்யும் அவனடியார்கள் இது போன்ற உத்சவங்களை சிறப்புற நடத்தி, ஆனந்தம் கொள்ளுகிறோம்.  
திருவல்லிக்கேணி திருப்பவித்ரோத்சவம் புறப்பாட்டின் போது எடுக்கப்பட்ட சில படங்கள் இங்கே :   

அடியேன் - ஸ்ரீனிவாச தாசன் – [ ஸ்ரீனிவாசன் சம்பத்குமார்]

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chenna Kesava Perumal Kovil.... Patnam Kovil ~ Town temple...

South India, especially Thondai Mandalam is famous for its temples ~ besides the Divyadesams, there are some puranic temples which are more than a few centuries of existence…… one such temple is Chenna Kesava Perumal Temple, better known as Pattanam Kovil.  This temple and the conjointed Chenna Mallesswarar temple have  a rich history and are now prominently placed in the bustling area of Flower Bazaar, lying closer to NSC Bose Road,  Rattan Bazaar, Sowcarpet, Broadway, High Court and more……. – being a prominent landmark by itself.

In the Thondaimandalam, an area between Pennar river of Nellore and Pennar river of Cuddalore, the capital was Kanchipuram…. Centuries later, the modern city of  Chennai,  also  known as "Madrasapatnam" arose from the British settlement of Fort St. George and its subsequent expansion through merging numerous native villages and European settlements around Fort St. George into the city of Madras. While most of the original city of Madras was built and settled by Europeans, the surrounding area which was later incorporated included the native temples of Thiruvanmiyur, Thiruvotriyur, Thiruvallikeni (Triplicane), Thirumayilai (Mylapore) which have existed for more than 1000 years.

The British started building a fort in 1640s and around the Fort St George development many tenements – the area of native Indians was called blacktown………………  it is stated that the present Patnam Kovil existed nearer the seashore ~ in the area where the Reserve Bank of India stands now…   it was razed by East India Co, which enraged the locals who agitated.  Later it was re-built in the present place, reportedly with the same building materials… !! 

The Town temple [Pattnam kovil]  perhaps was the first temple to be built in the town of Chennapatnam, just across from the northern walls of Madraspatnam… yet it would not have been a smooth affair.  Besides the grant of the Council, Manali Muthukrishna Mudaliyar contributed 5,202 pagodas, and subscriptions from the congregation amounted to 15,652 pagodas. With this the work on the Chennakesava Perumal temple began in 1767, was completed in 1780. 

According to famous historian V. Sriram, the twin temples of Chenna Kesava Perumal and Chenna Mallikeswarar Temples reportedly appear on the notification dating back to 1766;  besides grant of the land by the Council, Manali Muthukrishna Mudaliar is credited to have contributed 5202 pagodas and huge amount for constructing these temples. 

The temple is well maintained and attracts hundreds of devotees every day.  0n 9th Sept. 2013, it was Swathi thirunakshathiram and we had the divine blessing of worshipping Chenna Kesavap Perumal as also Periyazhwar.

Here are some photos of the temple taken by my friend Thirumazhisai Kannan.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

10th Sept.2013

Sri Periyazhwar above
and Chenna Kesava Perumal with Ubaya Nachimar. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thiruvallikkeni Sri Varadharajar Hastham purappadu

Today 7th Sept. 2013 is Hastha Nakshathiram – at Thiruvallikkeni Divyadesam, Sri Varadharajar had chinna mada veethi purappadu. For many of you who know Thiruvallikkeni so well and residing in this great Divyadesam, the following few words may not be news at all ~ still thought of sharing a few lines…..

It is unique to this Divyadesam that the presiding deity is Sri  Rukmini sametha Sri Venkata Krishnan with His family ~ the Uthsavar is Sri Parthasarathi.  There are two dwajasthambams – one for Sri Parthasarathi and the other on the western side for Sri Narasimhar. The moolavar is Yoga Narasimhar ~ the uthsavar being known as Sri Thelliya Singar.  There are two brahmothsavam – in Chithirai for Sri Parthasarathi and in aani for Sri Thelliya Singar.

Besides, there are 3 Divyadesa Emperumans – Sri Ranganathar, Sri Ramar and Sri Varadharajar.   Sri Devathirajar [Varadhar] is very unique in the sense that the moolavar is seen here on ‘Garuda vahanam’ – usually you get to see vahanam purappadus for Uthsavar – here Moolavar Himself is on Garuda vahanam as He presented Himself to sage Saptharoma. 

Thirumangai mannan in his Periya Thirumozhi describes of the incident of Lord rushing to save His devotees.... –  the elephant desirous of plucking fresh lotus flower for worshipping the Lord entered the fish-pond; the crocodile that was waiting caught his leg and its jaws pained the elephant – who in total surrender to the Lord made a tumultuous should calling out the Lord as the primordial Lord – to rid the elephant of the distress, Sri Varadhar descended swiftly on Garuda vahanam and through His Chakra provided relief.

மீனமர் பொய்கை நாண்மலர் கொய்வான் வேட்கையி னோடுசென் றிழிந்த*
கானமர் வேழம் கையெடுத்தலறக் கராவதன் காலினைக்கதுவ*
ஆனையின் துயரம் தீரப் புள்ளூர்ந்து சென்றுநின்றாழி தொட் டானை,*
தேனமர் சோலை மாடமாமயிலைத்   திருவல்லிக்கேணிக் கண் டேனே.*

Here are some photos taken during today’s  Hastham purappadu

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan.

108 feet tall Lord Aanjaneya - Hanuman mandir in Delhi near Jhandewalan

He is the epitome of virtues – known for his knowledge, steadfast faith on Lord, doing things even before ordained – Hanuman, Aanjaneyar, Maruthi is an incarnation of the divine, son of Vayu and most trusted aide of Lord Rama.  He is further known by names – Pavana putra, Anjaniputra, Bajrang Bali.  Hanuman is the God who is the embodiment of discipline, devotion to  His Master and one known for giving boons to all bakthas.

There are some marked difference in the way of worship between North and South. ~ Lord Hanuman is everywhere – on mountains, big temples, street corners and more …… and as you see a Hanuman anywhere, you sure stop to pay obeisance to Him.  This one I found in my Delhi trip was most interesting.  Long back, in a photo search for Delhi Metro, I saw a photo of Him, I did not think that I would get an opportunity to worship Him…… fortunately it did happen.

Karol Bagh, is a mixed residential-cum-commercial neighbourhood in Delhi, India, known for its shopping streets as also concentration of Tamilians and tamil hotels.  For long it was a constituency ~  Karol Bagh Lok Sabha constituency; from 2008 it is  part of another segment. Karol Bagh itself is part of Delhi Metro railway as also its neighbourhood station known as Jhandewalan ~ and one need to be nearer or travel by this…..

Nearer Jhandewalan Metro Station stands the tall majestic Hanuman – a statue which is 108 feet high overlooking the railway track.  It may not be the tallest but sure it is an iconic image. This is part of the temple under the aegis of ‘Sankat Mochan temple’, which reportedly is a century old, though this tall statue is of a decade +

The metro track runs so close to the temple.  If you are stand on the other side of the road, you can see the upper portion of Lord Hanuman and walking closer, you can have darshan of His feet too.  This Hanuman opens his heart, and inside one can see and have darshan of Lord Rama and Sita too……..  

There are some sannadhis inside the Temple.  Inside stands Lord Rama with Sita and Lakshman in beautiful exquisite white marble,  far different than the ones, we usually see in South Indian temples.

Here are some photos taken by me, during my Delhi trip in Aug 2012.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

See Lord Rama and Sita inside the heart of Hanuman

the most beautiful Sri Rama  Sita Lakshmana and Hanumar.