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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ugadi Subhakankshalu ~ Amavasyai purappadu at Thiruvallikkeni

“Ugadi Subhakankshalu” in advance…. Tomorrow is Ugadi and from tomorrow starts the 9 day Sree Rama Navami Uthsavam at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam. `

Azadirachta indica, also known as Neem, is a tree in the mahogany family Meliaceae. It is one of two species in the genus Azadirachta, and is native to India, and parts of Asia, growing in tropical and semi-tropical regions. Neem tree is the official tree of the Sindh Province and is very common in all cities of Sindh.  The neem tree is noted for its drought resistance.

Yugādi, is the New Year's Day for the people of the Deccan region of India. The name Yugadi or Ugadi is derived from the Sanskrit words yuga (age) and ādi (beginning): "the beginning of a new age". In Temples on the occasion of Ugadi ‘panchangam’ will be read.  This year, it is  triple happiness this Monday (31st Mar 2014)  as Gudi Padwa, Ugadi and Cheti Chand will be celebrated.  Gudi Padwa is celebrated by Marathi speaking people; Ugadi is celebrated in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh; . Cheti Chand is the festival of the Sindhi community.  In Maharashtra, Gudi Padwa has the legend that it on this day Lord Rama returned victorious to Ayodhya.  

In Andhra, Ugadi pachhadi is a delicacy made on the occasion and shared with all. It  is a specific mixture of six tastes – with neem buds; jiggery; green chilli/pepper; salt; tamarind; unripened mango being its ingredients. 

From tomorrow on, it will be 9 days Sree Ramanavami Uthsavam.  மன்னு புகழ்  கௌசலை  தன் மணி  வயிறு  வாய்த்த  சக்கரவர்த்தி திருமகனாம் ஸ்ரீ ராமபிரானின்  திருவவதார மகோத்சவம்  ஸ்ரீராம நவமி.   The Thiruvavathara Mahothsvam of Lord Rama is Sree Ramanavami.

Today, 30th Mar 2014 is Amavasyai and Sri Parthasarathi had periya maada veethi purappadu.  Here are some photos taken by me on the occasion…. Besides the beautiful mix of flowers getting glorified for embellishing the Lord, today there was this special ornament ‘Neelamekham’  (having Sapphire ‘blue stone’)

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sri Thelliya Singar thavana Uthsavam day 3 purappadu

Thelliya Singar Thavana Uthsavam concluded on 22nd Mar 2014.  There are 3 bungalows (meaning palatial buildings) – Vasantha Uthsava Bungalow is no longer there; Komutti bungalow in Peyalwar koil street is ‘an agraharam’ – this Thavana Uthsava bungalow is at Thulainga Perumal Kovil Street.  It derives its name from the Thavana Uthsavam.  With the onset of summer, Perumal takes rest under the roof made of dhavanam  (Tamil: தவனம்) [Artemisia pallens] – an aromatic herb in genus of small herbs or shrubs, xerophytic in nature.  

This herb pervades great aroma and provides coolness.  In the recent years a kooralam [roof] made of Dhavanam is set up over the resting place of the Lord.

This Bungalow as I could recall from my younger days, had a big well with steps inside,  trees of rose Nerium Oleander [Arali] and a differently looking structure having two ‘goris’ [minars] ~ one can reach the top of the minars through the steps provided one is not afraid of bats.  Enthusiastic residents would draw water from the well, sprinkle on the sands that surround the raised structure, colourful kolams will be drawn adding to the religious atmosphere. Its raised decks provided great place for the residents to rest and sleep too.  Over the years its condition dilapidated ~ since has been reconstructed and the Uthsavam is held in a grand manner these days. 

One of the goris [minars] is missing – the other one still stands – have not seen a similar structure in the vicinity other than Venkateswara Hostel…. Perhaps the old lighthouse at Madras High Court premises has somewhat similar appearance.

On day 2 – Sri Thelliya Singar had excellent sarruppadi at Murali Kannan – wielding the flute in a standing posture – today (22nd Mar 2014)  it was similar Venugopalan having a flute but in a sitting posture. A real treat to watch – here is some captured for our darshan

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sri Thelliya Singar Thavanothsavam day 3 morning

The recorded history of Chennai city [Chennapattinam aka Madras]  began in the colonial times, specifically with the arrival of British East India Company and the establishment of Fort St. George in 1644.  Centuries before that existed this great temple at Thiruvallikkeni, sung by Azhwars;  there is enough epigraphic evidence confirming the existence of this temple on the banks of Bay of Bengal, from the time of Pallava kingdom and much before.

The presiding deity is Lord Venkata Krishnar – complete with his family of elder brother Balaramar;   consort Rukmini Pirattiyar; Sathyaki; son Prathyumnan and grandson Anirudhan….. … the Uthsavar [processional deity] is the one – who volunteered to be the charioteer of Arjuna in the Mahabarath war and hence – Sri Parthasarathi…

In this divyadesam – there are separate sannathies for Sri Ranganathar, Sri Ramar, Sri Varadharajar and Sri Azhagiya Singar.  In this divyadesam, there are two dwajasthambams – one for Sri Parthasarathi and the other Sri Thelliya Singar,whose moolavar is in yogic posture and known as ‘Yoga Narasimhar’ … Sri Azhagiya Singar has 10 day long brahmothsavam in the month of Aani  (Aani Thiruvonam) … as I have been writing,  3 day thavanothsavam for Sri Azhagiya singar is now on and today (22nd Mar 2014) is the concluding day.

This morning Sri Azhagiya Singar had purappadu to Thavana Uthsava Bungalow and had thirumanjanam there.  There will be periya mada veethi purappadu in the evening.    Here are some photos taken this morning ~ also a view of the gopurams from the Azhagiya singar entrance and some impressions of Lord Narasimha on the gopuram

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan

Friday, March 21, 2014

Allikkeni Azhagiya Singar Thavanothsavam day 2 - 2014

I have been posting about the serene Thavana Uthsavam that is underway at Thiruvallikkeni Divyadesam. On all the 3 days of Thavanothsavam, Sri Azhagiya Singar has different sarruppadi [Thirukolams] – today 21st Mar 2014 is day 2 of the Uthsavam and Sri Azhagiya Singar blessed us as ‘Murali Kannan’ – the flautist.

Lord Narasimha manifests anger – the righteous anger of killing Hiranyakasipu for the same of His devotee Prahalada and for saving humanity……. Lord is graceful and extremely caring for His devotees… even after slaying the demon, great sages meditated to HIM and at Ghatikachalam,  He gives us all the pleasant Yogic posture … so also at Thiruvallikkeni – where the Moolavar is Yoga Narasimhar.

The Uthsavar is blemishless, most beautiful Thelliya Singar ~ Azhagiya Singar – a mere darshan will cure us of all our sins and will provide us all goodthings aplenty.   The beauty of Lord Narasimha is aptly described by Thirumazhisai Piran in ‘Naanmukhan Thiruvanthathi’ :

அழகியான் தானே அரியுருவன் தானே*
பழகியான் தாளே பணிமின் -*குழவியாய்த்
தானேழுலகுக்கும் தன்மைக்கும் தன்மையனே*
மீனாயுயிரளிக்கும் வித்து.

Here Azhwar describes His various forms – from Mathsya [the fish] to Lion headed Narasimha ~ the same Lord is the one who is matchless in beauty, the pure substance of every thing and protector of all souls… falling at His feet will provide us everything and He would take care of us.

Here are some photos taken during today’s purappadu 

and a photo (above)  taken during  Sri Azhagiya Singar brahmothsavam to enable your appreciating the sarruppadi

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan

forest fire at Thirumala now contained !!!

For Srivaishnavaites, the word ‘Thirumalai’ refers to Thirumala Tirupathi, the abode of Lord Srinivasa, at the holy Seven Hills.  The raging forest fire was a matter of concern.

This morning read from Firstpost and India Today that the fire is now contained.  Reports state that a  joint operation by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Army Thursday managed to control a huge fire in Seshachalam forest near Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh. The IAF helicopters sprayed water on the fire raging for three days around Tirumala Hills, which houses the famous Balaji temple. Two MI-17 V5 helicopters with 'Bambi buckets' with a capacity of 4,000 litres of water each made four sorties and extinguished the fires around the Tirumala Hills. The helicopter operations, conducted from Renigunta Airport near here, are likely to continue Friday, said a defence statement.

The Defence Crisis Management Group, an apex level body of defence forces for managing disaster situations, chaired by the chief of Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), Wednesday swung into action after receiving information from the state government. An AN-32 aircraft surveyed the area in the evening to provide full overview of the problem. Another light helicopter also flew over the forest. Late Wednesday night, a C-130 aircraft with its sophisticated gadgetry, surveyed the affected areas. The two MI-17 V5 helicopters reached Renigunta Airport Thursday morning and commenced the fire fighting. Two Army columns (comprising about 125 soldiers each), moved from Chennai, have been deployed to assist the state administration in dealing with the crisis. The headquarters of the IDS is in touch with the authorities of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) and is continuously monitoring the armed forces response. The fire destroyed flora and fauna over 5,000 hectares.  

Reports suggest that forest fires are an annual phenomenon, but little has been done to spot fires or to develop means to douse them quickly and efficiently. The TTD spends crores as part of its afforestation drive including planting of medicinal plants, sandalwood trees and endangered flora but little has been done to augment fire fighting measures.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
21.3.14 @ 06.50 am.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sri Azhagiya Singar Thavanothsavam 2014 - Kalinga Narthanam

For us Vedas, and Ithihasapuranams are the most reverred scriptures – Of the two, Mahabaratham is replete with rich moral stories and life instances.  It extols  the living of Lord Krishna at every stage of his life – right from his birth in prison cell, to moving across river Yamuna during the heavy downpour; to his growth of every stage at Gokulam, his plays at Vrindavan to the Great battle at Gurukshetra and more……….

Kulasekhara Azhwar in his Perumal Thirumozhi lists out some of the deeds of Bala Krishna, described as Devaki missing out His deeds -
குன்றினால் குடை கவித்ததும் கோலக்குரவை கோத்ததும் குட மாட்டும்
கன்றினால் விளவெறிந்ததும் காலால்  காளியன் தலை மிதித்தது முதலா**

Some of them are : “the lifting and holding the Govardhana Giri to protect the stony rain;  His bathing exploits with Gopikas; throwing away the Asura who came in the form of a calf and with that making wood apples fall; dancing on the hood of the deadly Kalinga and more”…….. !!

Periyazhwar in his ‘Periyazhwar Thirumozhi’ sings:
காளியன் பொய்கை கலங்கப் பாய்ந்திட்டு * அவன்
நீள்முடியைந்திலும் நின்று நடம்செய்து*

the story of most dreaded Kaliya and the exploit of Lord Krishna who jumped into the pond, danced on the hood of deadly snake, thereby turning the lake turbid  - and when Kaliya surrendered, He benevolently favoured him too…. 

Elsewhere  in Periyazhwar Thirumozhi (முதற்பத்து-ஐந்தாம் திருமொழி) Azhwar fondly says…  காயமலர் நிறவா! கருமுகில் போலுருவா!; கானக மாமடுவில் காளியனுச்சியிலே*”  likens the colour of Lord Krishna to the indigo of plants and refers to that dance on the hood of Kalinga.

Kaliya  also known as Kalingan was a poisonous Naga living in the Yamuna River, in Vrindavan.  Over the years, the water had turned totally poisonous, thereby causing trouble to  fish, cattle, birds and all living things.  Legend had it that Kaliya had chosen that place as Garuda was prevented from entering there.  Lord Krishna was playing with cowherd colleagues, when the ball fell into the water source.  Krishna playfully jumped into it.  Kāliya with his anger,  rose up emitting  poison and wrapped himself around Krishna's body.  The folk around and all others were mortally afraid and started praying.  Lord  Krishna subdued him,  sprang into Kāliya's head and danced on its head.  The serpent king’s wives came and prayed to Lord Krishna with folded hands.  Kāliya, too,  recognizing the greatness of Krishna, surrendered, promising he would not harass anybody.  Lord Krishna pardoned him and showed him the divine path, once he vowed to eschew violence and fell at His Lotus Feets.  The chastising of the Naga King is described in great detail.  Lord Krishna whose birth was to subdue envious demons, climbed atop a Kadamba tree and finally changed the very nature of Kalinga.

At Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam, after the 5 day Thavanothsavam for Sri Parthasarathi and a day for Sri Devathi Rajar, now it is 3 day Thavanothsavam for Sri Thelliya Singar from today i.e., 20th Mar 2014.  Today it was significant sarruppadi [decoration ~ alankaram] of Lord Azhagiya Singar  as ‘Kalinga Narthana Kannan ~ the Krishna who danced on the hood of Kalinga, the snake.   To make you appreciate the sarrupadi, a photo of Azhagiha Singar taken earlier is also posted here.

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan 

Perumal pinnazhagu and photo taken earlier... below ....

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thiruvallikkeni Sri Varadha Rajar Thavanothsavam 2014

Today, 18th Mar 2014 is Thavana Uthsavam for Sri Varadharajar.  

I had posted earlier about the 5 day Thavanothsvam whence Sri Parthasarathi had purappadu to Thavana Uthsava bungalow and had rest under the roof made of dhavanam  (தவனம்) [Artemisia pallens] – an aromatic herb.   

Today it was Sri Varadharaja Perumal.  Here is a photo taken by my friend during the morning purappadu and some more taken during evening purappadu by me…   The black garland that adorns Devathi Rajar is a root called ‘Kuruvi ver’ - 

Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan.

 Sri Varadhar (above) morning purappadu 

Sri Varadhar under thavana kooralam [last year's photo - taken by me]

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pournami purappadu at Thiruvallikkeni Divyadesam

Today, 16th Mar 2014 is Pournami [Full moon day].  

At Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam, Sri Parthasarathi Swami had chinna mada veethi purappadu.  Here are some photos taken during the purappadu – 

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Panguni Masa pirappu purappadu @ Thiruvallikkeni 2014

At Thiruvallikkeni Divyadesams – there are festivities throughout the year….apart from the important annual Uthsavams, there are regular purappadu in signified days of the month  … 

Today 15th March 2014 marks the birth of Panguni Masam.  On the occasion of Masa Pravesam Sri Parthasarathi Perumal had chinna mada veethi purappadu adorning a beautiful crown.

Here are some photos of the occasion                                                         Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sri Parthasarathi Thavana Uthsavam - day 5 - Sigathadai

12th Mar 2014 marked the concluding day of the 5 day Thavana Uthsavam at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam whence Sri Parthasarathi had purappadu to Thavana Uthsava bungalow and had rest under the roof made of dhavanam  (தவனம்) [Artemisia pallens] – an aromatic herb. 

On Every day of the Uthsavam, it is different alankaram [sarrupadi] and today Sri Parthasarathi dazzled adorning  a kireedam called ‘Sigathadai’.  It is a wonderful Crown where  reams of jasmine flower are tightly rolled and draped with an ornate red silk.   Sri Parthasarathi wearing such Kireedam bestowed darshan as the Emperor. 

Here are some photos taken during today’s purappadu – Adiyen Srinivasadhasan.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Masi Punarpoosam - Sri Kulasekara Azhwar Sarrumurai

Chēra dynasty is one of the most ancient dynasties ~ their kingdom is otherwise known as ‘Malai Naadu’ – the present day Kerala where there are many divyadesams.  In the land where elephants galore as cows are opulent elsewhere – ruled a King who with his utmost commitment towards Sriman Narayana, became Kulasekara Azhwar.
Today, 11th Mar 2014 - is ‘Punarvasu (punarpoosam) nakshathiram’ in the month of ‘Maasi’ – the Thiruavathara thirunaal of Kulasekhara Azhwaar.  He was the amsam of ‘kausthubam’ – the jewel adorning Maha Vishnu.  He was born at Thiruvanjikulam as son of King Thiruviradhan and ruled the Chera Empire.  He was greatly devoted to Rama and ‘Ramayana’ and reverred Sri Vaishnavaites with devotion.

His contribution in ‘Sri Naalayira Divya Prabandham’  is 105 songs titled ‘Perumal Thirumozhi’.  In the 4th chapter – he sings about his various wishes of the forms that he would like to take for doing service to the Lord Balaji at Thirumala.  In one of these songs, he says ‘he would eternally  be waiting as the step before the Lord, as he could continuously have darshan of Lord Thiruvengadavan’ all the time.  After these beautiful words, the padi (doorstep) at Thirumalai is known as ‘Kulasekara Padi’.

Azhwar in another hymn adopts a beautiful meataphor …. Compares his commitment to the Lord at Thiru Vithuvakkodu saying that ‘ a patient would always be attached to the Doctor, though he might give him temporary pain by cutting and treating him with heated instruments – still the love would last’ …. Similarly Azhwar has nothing but boundless affection towards the Lord. 

Today is the 4th day of Thavana Uthsavam at Thiruvallikkeni Divyadesam -  there was veedhi purappadu of Kulasekhara Azhwaar alongwith Sri Parthasarathi who shone like an Emperor holding the scepter, wearing Pandiyan Kondai ~ the crown of an Emperor.  Some photos taken during the  purappadu  are posted here. 

இன்று 'மாசி புனர்வசு' - கௌஸ்துபம் அம்சமாய் தோன்றிய சேரலர் கோன் 'குலசேகராழ்வார்' அவதரித்த  நந்நாள்.  குலசேகரர் சேர நாட்டில் திருவஞ்சிக்குளத்தில் - திருவிரதன் என்ற மன்னனுக்கு மகனாய் அவதரித்தார்.  வைணவர்கள் மீது இவருக்கு இருந்த அபிமானம் விவரிக்க முடியாதது. ஒரு சமயம் அவரது அரண்மனையில் தங்க ஆரம் ஒன்று தொலைந்து போயின போது - மற்றவர்கள் குற்றம் சொல்ல - திருமாலடியார்கள் ஒரு போதும் இழிச்செயல் செய்யார்  என, நச்சு பாம்புகள் நிறைந்த குடத்தில் கையிட்டு நிலை நாட்டினவர்  இவர்.

இவர் அருளிச்செய்தது 'பெருமாள் திருமொழி" எனும் அற்புத  பிரபந்தம் -  (105)  பாடல்கள் கொண்ட அற்புதமான களஞ்சியம்.  "ஊனேறு செல்வத்து உடற் பிறவி யான் வேண்டேன்' என தொடங்கும் பதிகத்தில், 'திருமலை திருப்பதியில்' என்னென்னவாக எல்லாம் இருந்து திருவேங்கடவனுக்கு கைங்கர்யங்கள் செய்து வேங்கடவனையே தரிசிக்கும் பேறு பெற தமக்கு உள்ள எண்ணங்களை அழகாக 'செம்பவள வாயான் திருவேங்கடமென்னும், எம்பெருமான் பொன்மலை மேல் ஏதேனும் ஆவேனே !" - என்கிறார்.

வாளாலறுத்துச்  சுடினும்  மருத்துவன்பால்*
மாளாதகாதல்  நோயாளன்போல்*  மாயத்தால்
மீளாத்துயர்தரினும்  விற்றுவக்கோட்டம்மா* நீ
ஆளாவுனதருளே பார்ப்பனடியேனே. ~ 
எனும் பாசுரத்தில்  - விற்றுவக்கோட்டில் எழுந்து அருளியிருக்கும் எம்பெருமானிடம் தமக்கு உள்ள பற்றை, மருத்துவன் கத்தியினால் அறுத்து சூடிட்டு துன்புறுத்தினாலும் நோயாளிக்கு அவனிடத்தில் பெருகும் ஈடுபாட்டோடு ஒப்பிடுகிறார்.

திருவல்லிக்கேணி திவ்யதேசத்தில்  இன்று தவன உத்சவம் நான்காம் நாள் - ஸ்ரீ பார்த்தசாரதி பெருமாள் மாமன்னனாக செங்கோல் பாண்டியன் கொண்டையுடன் சேவை சாதிக்க, உடன் குலசேகர ஆழ்வாரும் புறப்பாடு கண்டு அருளினார். மாலை சாற்றுமுறை புறப்பாடு - இராமானுஜ நூற்றந்தாதி கோஷ்டி ஆனது.

மாசி புனர்பூசம் காண்மின் இன்று மண் உலகீர் - கொல்லி நகர் கோன் குலசேகரன் பிறப்பால், நல்லவர்கள் கொண்டாடிய சீரிய நந்நாள், இந்நாள் !! குலசேகர ஆழ்வார் வாய் மொழியான சீரார்ந்த தமிழ் மாலை வல்லவர், தீ நெறிக்கண் செல்லார் என்பது திண்ணம்.  சேரலர் கோன் செங்கமலத் திருவடிகள் வாழியே  !! 

அடியேன் ஸ்ரீனிவாச தாசன்