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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Maalaya Amavasai - Thiruvallikkeni Sri Parthasarathi purappadu 2014

Today 23rd Sept. 2014 is Amavasyai (Amavasai  /New Moon day) in the month of Purattasi which  is celebrated as ‘Mahalaya Amavasai’.  In the evening  Sri Parthasarathi Perumal had periya mada veethi purappadu.  

Here are photos of the occasion

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Thiruvallikkeni Sri Thelliya Singar - Purattasi Sanikkizhamai purappadu 2014

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, 20th  Sept. 2014,  being the 1st  Saturday of Purattasi, the Purappadu was grand.

In the Purattasi month, occurs the 9 day Navarathri celebrations.   This year Navrathri starts on 9th day of Purattasi [25th  Sept. 2014] 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

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lord Krishna Purappadu - Udupi Krishna Mandiram Triplicane - 2014

Lord Krishna purappadu - Udupi Krishna Mandiram, Thiruvallikkeni

Connoisseurs of Carnatic music for sure would love “Krishna Ni Begane Baro” -  a famous classical song in Kannada Language. It is composed in Raagam: Yamunaa KalyaaNi by Vyasatirtha. The beautiful song has the lines --- ..  jagadOddhAraka namma Udupi Sri Krishnaa’…..  – a song on Lord Krishna at Udupi composed by Vyasaraya Tirtha.  Vyasaraja Swamin is acclaimed as one of the three spiritual lights or munitrayam of dvaita Vedanta, i.e., Sri Madhvacharya, Sri Jayatirtha and Sri Vyasatirtha.  He is regarded as one of the foremost dialecticians in the history of Indian philosophy. He along with  Swami Jayatirtha, helped in systematizing Dvaita into an established school of Vedic thought.

Udupi lies in the south-west of Karnataka and is the headquarters of Udupi District. It is famous for the Krishna Mutt.  According to legend, there was a storm in the sea at Malpe. Shri Madhvacharya was on the shore at the time and saw a ship which was in trouble. He helped the ship reach the shore to safety. The sailors were very grateful to him and gave him deities of Lord Krishna and Lord Balarama. He installed the deity of Lord Balarama near Malpe. This temple is known as Vadapandeshwara. He brought the deity of Lord Krishna and  installed at Udupi, which is regarded as the present day Krishna Mutt. The Mutt reportedly  resembles a living ashram, a holy place for daily devotion and living. Surrounding the Sri Krishna Matha are several temples, the most ancient being made of basic wood and stone of 1,500 years origin.  Pejawar is a village located in the Mangalore taluk of Dakshina Kannada, formerly known as South Canara.  It houses one of the eight ashta Mutts established by  Sri Madhvacharya.    In Triplicane, there is a branch of the Udupi Krishna Mandiram situate at Sunkuvar street.

Everything about Lord Krishna is sweet and music to ears.  Have seen that the locals at Gokul near Mathura where Lord Krishna grew firmly believe that it was the place where Lord walked. They firmly believe the even the cows would give only sweet milk there as it is the land of Lord Krishna.  Similar is the total faith in Udupi and other places

The day of birth of  Lord  Krishna is celebrated all over, in a manner that  Lord Krishna is born in every house.   People celebrate at home by painitng the  footsteps of little Krishna in their houses, have the vigraha of Krishna adorn new clothes and offer choicest dishes and fruits to the Lord.  Similarly, the birth of Lord is celebrated as ‘Sri Jayanthi’ in very many temples.

The day after Gokulashtami Lord Krishna idol of the Udupi Mutt at Thiruvallikkeni was taken on a rath and here are some photos of that purappadu.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Tailpiece : Udupi cuisine emanating from Udupi  is a world-renowned cuisine of South India.  Udupi cuisine comprises dishes made primarily from grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. It adheres strictly to the Satvik tradition of Indian vegetarian cuisine, using no onions or garlic. Pumpkins and gourds are the main ingredients in sambar, a stew prepared with ground coconut and coconut oil as its base.

Udupi or Udipi restaurants and hotels serving Udupi cuisine can be found all over India and many parts of the world. In the past, these restaurants were run by cooks and priests trained at Krishna matha at Udupi. With rising popularity many hotels have sprung up in every nook and corner claiming to serve authentic Udupi cuisine and having the name Udupi on its nameboard. 

Reproducing the same text of last year – inter-twined with photos taken this year.

Sri Jayanthi .... Thiruvallikkeni Kalinga Narthana Kannan Purappadu 2014

Sri Jayanthi was celebrated at every home, in the manner of Lord Krishna being born at every home – every devotee was elated.  We painted the footsteps of little Krishna – exhibiting His walking inside our home,  did Thirumanjanam for the vigraha at home, made Him adorn new  clothes and offered choicest dishes made with love at home. We also offered Him variety of fruits.

Among the Avatars, Sri Rama and Sri Krishna are the heroes of ‘Ithihasa puranam’ …. Bhagwan Sri Krishna is the complete manifestation who mingled with ordinary people, showing them at every stage – how incomparable and how great His manifestation is, yet was part of all the happenings leading to Mahabaratha battle – ensured that howsoever mighty it could be, still  evil would be dissipated.  As he grew in Brindavan, those around were able to witness the Universe within His mouth – Sri Periyalwar says :
வாயுள் வையகம் கண்ட மடநல்லார்*  ஆயர் புத்திர னல்லன் அருந்தெய்வம்*
பாய சீருடைப் பண்புடைப் பாலகன் * மாய னென்று மகிழ்ந்தனர் மாதரே.

Those attending to Balakrishna were astonished to see the Universe inside his mouth, they exclaimed and gleefully told each other that He is no ordinary cowherd-child,  He is the Most Benevolent Lord Himself, endowed with completeness and all auspicious qualities. 

At Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam, after birth in the midnight ~ Sri Jayanthi on 16th Sept. 2014,  next day  morning was the purappadu of ‘little Krishna’ – the beautiful little Krishna in Sesha vahanam ~  dancing atop ‘Kalinga’. During this purappadu, devotees offer loads of fresh butter to Lord Krishna.  Here are some photos taken during the purappadu.

திருவல்லிக்கேணி திவ்யதேசத்தில் இன்று காலை [16.9.2014] ஸ்ரீ கிருஷ்ணர் சேஷவாஹனத்தில் புறப்பாடு கண்டு அருளினார்.  தள்ளித் தளர் நடையிட்டு இளம் பிள்ளையாய் மாயக்கண்ணன் புரிந்த லீலா விநோதங்களை நினைவு கூறும் விதமாக காளிங்க நர்த்தனம் புரியும் அழகான குட்டி கண்ணன் சேஷ வாஹனத்தில் பக்தர்களுக்கு அருள் செய்தார்.  பக்தர்களை உய்விப்பதற்க்காக இவ்வுலகத்தில் அவதரித்து,  வாழ்ந்து, நாம் அறிவு பெற நல்லமுதமாம் 'ஸ்ரீ பகவத் கீதையை' அருளிய கண்ணபிரானின் திருவடிகளை பற்றியவருக்கு, நிர்ஹேதுக  க்ருபை உடையவனான எம்பெருமான் எல்லா நலன்களையும் தானே அளித்து,  நம்மை பாதுகாப்பார். 

"வடமதுரைப் பிறந்த தாதுசேர்தோள் கண்ணனல்லால் இல்லை கண்டீர் சரணே."  :  வடமதுரையிலே அவதவதரித்த,   மாலையணிந்த தோள்களையுடைய கண்ணனைத் தவிர நமக்கு வேறொரு  புகலில்லை. அவன் தாள்களே சரணம்.

எம்பெருமான் திருவடிகளே சரணம்; ஜீயர் திருவடிகளே சரணம்; 
ஆச்சார்யன் திருவடிகளே சரணம் !!!

Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sri Jayanthi - Uriyadi Thiruvizha at Thiruvallikkeni 2014

Having celebrated the birth of Lord Krishna on 16th Sept. 2014, there is lot more to celebrate.  Lord Krishna was born in every house of His devotees; He adorned new clothes offered by us; took with grace – the offerings of various sweets made with affection and fruits offered by us piously. After birth in the midnight,  early morning on the next day occurred the purappadu of ‘little Krishna’ –dancing atop ‘Kalinga’. During this purappadu, devotees offer fresh butter to Lord Krishna. 

In the evening, there is the grand purappadu of Sri Parthasarathi, as ‘Krishna with flute’ in beautiful sitting posture on ‘Punnai tree’ [Pinnakilai vahanam].   On this occasion, ‘uriyadi’ – the game of hitting the hanging object [with hidden gifts inside],  with sticks  is played, specially by Yadavas, the cowherds, the clan of Lord Krishna Himself.  The game is very fierce as the clubbing with a stick is made most tough with  others fiercely throwing  water on the player.  The water twirled out of cone shaped pitchers would flow like a whip and can cause some pain too, when struck.  This is a traditional game. 

Triplicane has a fair sprinkling of Yadavas and there was grand uriyadi at Singarachari Street – Nagoji Rao Street intersection. Here are some photos of the purappadu.  One can have darshan of  Lord Krishna at the feet of Lord Parthasarathi, sitting on Punnai kilai vahanam. 

கிருஷ்ண ஜெயந்தி நன்னாளில் ஸ்ரீகிருஷ்ணபகவான் தன்னை அன்புடன் அழைத்த பக்தர்கள் இல்லங்களில் எல்லாம் பிறந்து, அவர்கள் அணிவித்த புத்தாடை உடுத்தி, நம் இல்லங்களிலே தள்ளித்தளர் நடையிட்டு, நாம் அவருக்கு சமர்ப்பித்த "செந்நெல் அரிசி சிறு பருப்புச் செய்த அக்காரம் நறுநெய் பால்"; “கன்னலிலட்டுவத்தோடு  சீடை காரெள்ளினுண்டை"; ”அப்பம் கலந்த சிற்றுண்டி அக்காரம்  பாலில் கலந்த சிற்றுண்டிகள்";  “நாவற்பழம்  முதலான எல்லாபழங்கள்'  ஆகிய  எல்லாவற்றையும்  ஏற்றுக்கொண்டார்.  நாமும் ஆனந்தித்தோம்.

இப்படியாக நள்ளிரவிலே பிறந்த கண்ணபிரான், மறுநாள் காலை – பாலகண்ணனாக  'காளிங்க நர்த்தனனாய்" திருக்கோலம் பூண்ட கண்ணன் தாள் பணிந்தோரை எல்லாம் தயவுடன் காப்பவன் - சேஷ வாஹனத்தில் புறப்பாடு கண்டு அருளினார். இப்புறப்பாட்டின் போது பக்தர்கள், கண்ணனுக்கு வெண்ணை சமர்ப்பிக்கின்றனர்.

மாலை ஸ்ரீபார்த்தசாரதி பெருமாள் புன்னை கிளைவாஹனத்தில் எழுந்து  அருளி  பக்தர்களுக்கு அருள் பாலித்தார்.  புல்லாங்குழல் ஊதும் மிக அழகிய திருக்கோலத்தில் 'ஆயர்பாடியில் ஆயர்களோடு குரவை கோத்த மாமாயன்' – புன்னை கிளை வாஹனத்தில், கூடவே பால கண்ணனும் எழுந்து அருள புறப்பாடு கண்டுஅருளினார். திருவல்லிக்கேணியில் உள்ள யாதவர்கள் இந்நாளில் உறியடி திருவிழாவினை சிறப்பாக கொண்டாடுவர்.  சில இடங்களில் 'உரியடி' என்று எழுதப்பட்டாலும் 'உறியடி' என்பதே சரி.  தமிழில், உரி என்கிற வினை சொல்லுக்கு, தோலை நீக்கு' அல்லது ஒரு முகத்தல் அலகு'  என்றே பொருள் படும்.  உறி என்றபெயர்ச்சொல் பண்டங்கள், தயிர்  போன்றவை வைக்கும் பொருட்டு தொங்க விடும் உறி - எனவே இது உறியடி. 

நாலாயிர திவ்ய பிரபந்தத்தில் பெரியாழ்வார் திருமொழியில் உறி பற்றி  -முதற்பத்து முதல்திருமொழி - வண்ணமாடங்கள் (பாடல் 4). “ உறியை முற்றத்து  உருட்டிநின்றாடுவார்*.  அடுத்த பாசுரத்தில்  " கொண்டதாளுறி கோலக்கொடுமழு" என்றும்வருகிறது.   இந்த உறியடி விளையாட்டில் உயரமான கம்புகள் இடையே கிணற்றில்இருக்கும் கப்பி போன்ற அமைப்பின் வழியாக தேங்காய்க்குள் பரிசு பொருள்கள் அடங்கிய உறி ஒன்று தொங்க விடப்படுகிறது. இளைஞர்கள் தங்கள் கையில் உள்ள கொம்பின் மூலம் அந்த உறியை அடித்து சாய்த்துவதுதான் போட்டி.  பெரிய ட்ரம்களில் தண்ணீர்வைத்து உருளிகள் மூலம் வாகாய் சுழற்றி  வேகமாய் உறியடி அடிக்க வருவோர் மீது பலர்அடிப்பார். இது சாட்டை அடி போன்று விழும்.

புறப்பாட்டின் போது எடுக்கப்பட்ட சில படங்கள் இங்கே :

அடியேன் ஸ்ரீனிவாச தாசன்.

ee the Kalinga Narthana Kannan at the Thiruvadi of Sri Parthasarathi
close-up above and full photo below 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Methavimani, Gambhira Vakvarshi Dr MA Venkatakrishnan Swami Sashtiapthapoorthi Celebrations

Sri Vaishnavism thrives in all Divyadesams ~ alongside Kovil, Thirumalai, Perumal Kovil – Thiruvallikkeni, the abode of Lord Parthasarathi is rich in heritage. At Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam, sashtiapthapoorthi celebrations of   Methavimani, Gambhira Vakvarshi, Dr Mandayam Ananthanpillai Venkatakrishnan Swami is being celebrated grandly.  Dr MAV is  a popular person to all Sri Vaishnavaites.  Swami has been a regular in the “Divya Prabandha goshti’ of Thiruvallikkeni, Kanchipuram and many other Divyadesams.  He has been active and has been managing the affairs of Thiruvallikkeni Sri Parthasarathi  Vedha Adhyapaka Goshti.  He is always seen having  ‘dwadasa Urthva Pundram and clad in attractive neat dress (pancha kacham – the traditional Vaishnavaite dress]

Dr M.A. Venkatakrishnan Swami (Popularly MAV) was born in 1954 in the lineage of   Mandayam Ananthanpillai,  a descendant of Anandalwan, disciple of Sri Ramanuja.  Purattasi Visakham falling on 28th Sept. 2014 would mark the 60th Abdapoorthi celebrations of our beloved Swami.  On the academic side, MAV holds : M.A. (Sanskrit), M.Phil., (Visishtadvaita), Ph.D. (Visishtadvaita),D.Litt. (Srivaishnavism). He is presently Professor and Head of Department of Vaishnavism, University of Madras, having shaped many students inculcating the finer aspects of bakthi and Srivaishnavism.

Swami has printed several unpublished palm-leaf manuscripts for the first time. At a very young age, he started the Sampradhaya monthly journal “Geethacharyan” which is popular for over 30 years now.  He has published many books including : Jijnasadhikarana of Sri Bhashya - A Study, Tattvasara of Vatsya Varadacharya (with English Translation), Thirupplallandu with the commentary of Periyavachan Pillai and easy Tamil rendering;   Vainava Acharyargalin Vazhvum Vakkum (Detailed exposition of Aithihyas & Nirvahas - 832 pages); Tattvaviveka (a Sanskrit work of Pillai Lokacharya publised for the first time from a Palm-leaf manuscript.); Thiruvaradhanakramam of Manavala Mamunigal (with easy Tamil rendering).

Dr. MAV has been delivering discourses on various topics of SriVaishnava philosophy and is now infact training some youngsters in this line too.  On the occasion - Seminar on Srivaishnavism, Sribasha Sadas, Music / dance programme by renowned artistes with specific tinge on Srivaishnavism, Cultural events, Upansayams- are being arranged. 

The first phase lined up great scholars performing kalakshepams at Nampillai sannathi at Thiruvallikkeni. 

Dr MAV; Sri Aravinda Lochanan Swami;
Sri Karunakacharyar Swami; Sri MS Venkatacharyar Swami

On day 1 : it was ‘the Three who sung about Thiruvallikkeni’ – Sri MS VEnkatacharya Swami discoursed on Peyalwar; Sri Aravindha Lochanan Swami on Thirumazhisai Azhwar and Sri U Ve Karunakacharyar Swami on Thirumangai Mannan’s 10 songs in Thirumozhi about Thiruvallikkeni. 

Dr MAV; Sri Thirumalai; Sri Kidambi Narayanan and Sri Veeragavachar

On day 2 – it was Sri P Thiruvenkata Char Swami (Pillailokam Thirumalai) on Madurakavi azhwar; Sri Kidambi Narayanan Swami on Kidambiyachan and Thirunagai Veeragavachar Swami on Vaduga Nambi.
Dr MAV; Sri Gomadam Mukunthan; Sri Damal Ramakrishnan & Sri Vadagarai Vijayaraghavachar

On day 3 -  it was on the three who even shunned the ultimate Parama Padam and were content in doing kainkaryams here. Sri Damal Ramakrishnan Swami on Thiruvadi (Hanumar); Sri Gomadam Mukunthachar Swami on Thondaradipodigal and Sri Vadakarai Vijayaraghavan Swami on Thiru Panazhwar. 
Sri U.Ve Anantha Padmanabachar; Sri nagai Mukunthan & Sri KKA Rangarajan swami

On day 4 it was on “Devimar moovar” – Sri Nagai Mukunthan Swami on Seetha Piratti; Sri U. Ve. KKA Rangarajan Swami on ‘Napinnai piratti’ and Sri U Ve Anandha Padmanabachar Swami on ‘Goda devi – Kothai Piratti’
Sri Gomadam Madhavan; Sri A Krishnamachar & Sri Thirukottiyur Madhavan

On day 5 it was on ‘what all Srivaishnavaites observe every day – Azhwar Emperumanar Jeeyar. Sri Gomadam Madhavan Swami on Azhwar; Thiruvarangam Sri A Krishnamachar Swami (Editor of Panchajanyam) on Emperumanar and Thirukottiyur Madhavan Swami on Jeeyar (Swami Manavala Mamunigal)

After the great knowledge flow from 15 Vidwans – now today at Thiruvallikkeni on Sri Jayanthi day, it is going to be mellifluous  ‘Sree Krishna Ganam’ by Padmabushan, Sangeetha Kalanidhi Vainika Gayaka Shiromani, Harikatha Choodamani – Madurai TN Seshagopalan, accompanied by Sri SD Sridhar on violin and Sri J Balaji  on Mridangam.... more events to follow...

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Hail the Birth of Lord Sri Krishna .... today is Sri Jayanthi

Today 16th  day of Sept  [31st  day of Avani] 2014  is a day of Great significance.  Today is  ‘Rohini’ Nakshathiram in the month of Avani,  the day of birth of Lord Krishna.  

People all over celebrate this day in a manner that Lord Krishna is born in every house.  They paint the footsteps of  little Krishna in their houses, have the vigraha of Krishna adorn new clothes and offer choicest dishes to the Lord, many of which are referred to in the Naalayira  Divyaprabandham also.  Sri Periyazhwaar has sung songs celebrating all aspects from the birth of Sri Krishna, to His crawling, His toddling, requesting him to adorn ear rings; offering Him various flowers; bathing Him and more… Lots of fruits are also offered to Krishna at every home. 

Bhagwan Krishna’s birth variously known as Gokulashtami, Krishna Jayanthi and more is often referred to in the South,  as Sri Jayanthi.  There is a notion that ‘Jayanthi’ refers to the birth date and thereby we have no. of Jayanthis !!! -  Heard from Dr MA Venkatakrishnan, Head of Dept of Vaishnavism, University of Madras; a renowned scholar in Sanskrit and Vaishnavism that ‘Jayanthi’ connotes ‘muhurtham’ – among the various muhurthams i.e., the classification of time – one occurring between ‘Ashtami closer to Navami’ and on Rohini is known as ‘Jayanthi’ and it was on this muhurtham Lord Krishna was born.  Because of the birth of Lord Krishna, this muhurtham also attained special significance. As Srivaishnavaites prefix ‘Sri’ with all auspicious things associated with Maha Vishnu, it became ‘Sri Jayanthi’ – hence there cannot be any other Jayanthis – the one and only Jayanthi is that of Lord Krishna.  Just as the birth of Lord Rama is ‘Sree Rama Navami’ – that of Lord Krishna is ‘Sree Jayanthi’.

இன்று  ஸ்ரீவைஷ்ணவர்கள் ஆன நமக்கு சீரிய நாள்.  மஹா விஷ்ணுவின் சிறந்த அவதாரமான பகவான் ஸ்ரீ கிருஷ்ணர் அவதரித்த நன்னாள் கிருஷ்ண ஜெயந்தி. தேய்பிறை எட்டாம் நாளில் ரோகிணி நட்சத்திர வேளையில் வசுதேவருக்கும்  தேவகிக்கும் பூரணச் சந்திரனைப் போல இப்பூமியில் அவதரித்தவர் கண்ணபிரான்.  கண்ணன் பிறந்த இந்நாளை எல்லா திருகோவில்களிலும், எல்லாரது இல்லங்களிலும் சிறப்புற கொண்டாடுகிறோம். யசோதை ஸ்ரீக்ருஷ்ணருடைய  திருப்பா தங்களில் ஒன்பது விரல்களுக்கு நவரத்ன வர்ணத்தையும் மற்றொரு விரலுக்குப் பொன்னிறத்தையும்  இட்டு கண்ணனை கொஞ்சி சீராட்டி வளர்த்தாக பெரியாழ்வார் பாடியுள்ளார்.  அந்த குழந்தை கண்ணன் நம் இல்லங்களுக்கு தவழ்ந்து தளர் நடையிட்டு வரும் அனுபத்தை ரசித்து, இல்லங்களில் கண்ணனின் திருப்பாதங்களை வரைந்து,  பூஜை அறையில், கண்ணபிரானை நீராட்டி, புது ஆடை உடுத்தி, அவருக்கு பலவித பழங்களையும் பக்ஷனங்களையும் படைத்தது நாம் கொண்டாடுகிறோம். 

offerings at home for Bhagwan Sri Krishna

பெரியாழ்வார் கண்ணன் பிறந்தது முதல் ஒவ்வொரு பருவத்தையும் கொண்டாடிமகிழ்கிறார். ஓரிடத்தில் "செந்நெல் அரிசி சிறு பருப்புச் செய்த அக்காரம் நறுநெய் பாலால்" என -  செந்நெல்லரிசியும், சிறு பயற்றம்பருப்பும்; காய்ச்சித் திரட்டி நன்றாகச் செய்த அக்காரம் என்கிற கருப்புக்கட்டியும்; மணம் மிக்க நெய்யும்; பாலும் ஆகிற இவற்றாலேயும் "கன்னலிலட்டுவத்தோடு சீடை காரெள்ளினுண்டை"  எனவும் அப்பம் கலந்த சிற்றுண்டி அக்காரம் பாலில் கலந்து என்பதாகவும் சிறந்த சிற்றுண்டிகளை பெருமாளுக்கு சமர்ப்பிக்கிறார்.  தவிர பெருமாளுக்கு சிறந்த பழங்கள் பல சமர்ப்பிக்கப்படுகின்றன. இவற்றுள் நாவற்பழமும் சிறப்பிடம் பெறுகிறது. 

Sri Krishna at Udupi

Mathura is the holy place where Lord Krishna was born…. ~ the centre of what is fondly referred as Braj bhoomi.  Remember Lord was born in a prison cell at Mathura, the capital of Surasena kingdom ruled by Kamsa, the maternal uncle of the Lord.  This is a very old place dating back to Ramayana days.  According to the Archeologists, the Ikshwaku prince Shatrughna slayed a demon called Lavanasura and claimed this  land.  By some accounts this place was a densely wooded Madhuvan.   This place was closely associated with history too. Centuries later,  Mathura was one of the capitals of Kushan dynasty. Megasthenes, writing in the early 3rd century BCE, mentions Mathura as a great city.

At the place where Lord Krishna was born now exists a Temple popularly known as ‘Janmasthan temple’  -  Kesava Deo Temple considered most sacred for all Hindus.  There is a huge complex comprising of a small temple, the Janmasthan, gallery, a huge temple later built by Dalmiyas – the prison cell – the exact place where Lord Krishna was born is under a doom – all heavily fortified and guarded these days.  At the Janmasthan is the most beautiful  Kehsav Dev(Krishna), the worshipped  deity of this temple. According to traditions the original deity was installed by the  great-grandson of Krishna.

This temple is considered a monument of Gupta period (320 to 550 CE)which was destroyed in 1661 CE by Aurangzeb. Vrindavan is the twin town of Mathura and there are other holy places of Gokulam and Govardhana giri – all in the vicinity.  It is recorded that this  great temple was rebuilt by Bir Singh Deo Bundela during Jahangir’s time at a cost of thirty-three lakhs of rupees. The Dehra of Keshava Rai was one of the most magnificent temples ever built in India and enjoyed veneration of the Hindus throughout the land. The Dehra of Keshava Rai was demolished by Aurangzeb.  In 1815, the East India Company auctioned the area of Katra Keshavadeva, which was purchased by the then Raja Patnimal of Banaras.  In 1944, Madan Mohan Malviya was distressed at plight of the site and arranged for purchase of land from Raja Krishna Das of Benaras; then  Jugal Kishore Birla of Birla group took  the leading role to fulfill the wishes of Malviyaji and formed a private trust in 1951 to which the rights of land were later transferred. Jaidayal Dalmia of Dalmia Group was another leading personality, who took untiring efforts and the temple was finally constructed over the site. The trust which runs the temple has a glorious list of Trustees besides Birla and Dalmia family members.   

Though this modern temple attracts pilgrims, the original place of birth lies within the complex -  a small room  of  a prison cell, where it is  fully believed that Lord Krishna was born.  There is a mosque overlooking this place.  On the day of Gokulashtami huge crowds would gather and sing paeans in praise of our Great Lord Krishna

Jai Sri Krishna

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan.

16th Sept. 2014.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Malai Nadu Divyadesam - Thiruvaranvilai (Aramula) Sree Parthasarathi Temple

Today’s the Hindu has a report on ‘Garuda-faced Thiruvona thoni’.  The famous boat with Garuda facade is carrying provisions and vegetables for the Onam feast at Aranmula Sree ParthaSarathy Temple  setting off for Aranmula from the Maha Vishnu Temple Ghats in the Pampa at Kaattoor near Kozhencherry.  In this grand festival witnessed by hundreds of devotees, a ceremonial lamp is kept in ‘Thiruvonathoni’ which will be escorted by row of palliyodams (snake boats).  

Aranmula celebrations begin with the arrival of Thiruvonathoni.  For the feast at Aramula, provisions come in this boat.   These are not the snake boats that are seen in races ... those at Thiru Aramula are known as ‘palliyodams’ – for they belong to the Lord -  are constructed so that the head and tail project out five and three feet, respectively, above the water. Each boat must have 64 seating compartments for 64 oarsmen, representing 64 art forms. The four oarsmen symbolize the four Vedas. In the middle of the boat is a platform for eight people to stand. They represent the Ashtadikpalakas (devas), who guard the eight directions.

Aranmula is a village in Kerala situated around 120 kms away from Trivandrum,  and almost the same distance from Cochin too ... this place is near Chenganoor.  Aramula is the place where the 'Thiruvabharanams’ (ornaments) Ayyappa Swami at Sabarimala, were originally kept and it still is a stop-over of the annual procession from Pandalam, and hence a famous palce for Aiyappa devotees. The temple here has golden flag staff (dwajasthambam) with four towers over its entrances on its outer wall. The huge beautiful eastern tower is accessed through a flight of 18 steps. Descending 57 steps through the northern tower, one can reach the Pampa river. This temple is a perfect example for Kerala Temple architecture.  

The temple dedicated to Lord Krishna is known as Sri Parthasarathy Perumal Koil (much different than the divyadesam of Thiruvallikkeni in Thondaimandalam aka Chennai) – this is  Thiruvaaranvilai ( Aranmula) believed to be built by Arjuna, who came here at the end of the Mahabaratha war.   Lord Parthasarathy is the owner of 39 villages in and around Aranmula and people in these villages consider Lord Parthasarathy as their protector. There are many legends associated with Lord Parthasarathy.  One of them is what you saw at the start of this post – the Thiruvonathoni. According to the legend here, the idol was installed at Nilackal by Arjuna which was brought here in a raft made of six pieces (Aranmula – six pieces of bamboo)... and the idol was installed in the temple on Uthrattathi day of Malayalam month Chingam(August-September) – to celebrate these events people of Aranmula started the famous snake boat race Uthrattathi Vallamkali.

For Sri Vaishnavaites, this place is of great significance – it is a Divyadesam situate in Malai Nadu – it is ‘Thiruvaranvilai” sung by Swami Nammalwar. (10 songs – 7aam Pathu – Patham Thiruvaimozhi).
சிந்தை மற்றொன்றின் திறத்ததல்லாத்தன்மை தேவபிரானறியும்,
சிந்தையினால் செய்வதானறியாதன மாயங்கள் ஒன்றுமில்லை,
சிந்தையினால் சொல்லினால் செய்கையால் நிலத்தேவர் குழுவணங்கும்,
சிந்தை மகிழ் திருவாறன் விளையுறை  தீர்த்தனுக் கற்றபின்னே.

The Divyadesam is appreciated as the Place of Lord to whom Swami Nammalwar resigns; the Lord at Thiruvaranvilai which is most pleasing to thoughts and the place at which fully immersed devotees pray through thoughts, words and deeds – and this Deva Piran knows the heart’s desire too well and there is No Other Lord other this Pure Immaculate Lord.

It is a very majestic temple with some steps to be ascended as it stands on a elevation.  Inside, in typical Kerala style is the big temple – with dwajasthambam dedicated to Lord Krishna known as Sri Parthasarathi situate on the banks of Pamba river.  This ancient temple is in a picturesque location with so much of water and vegetation.  Like most temples, Tulabharam is done here and a grand tulabharam hangs at the entrance of the temple here.  

Here are some photos of the Temple taken by me during a visit...  one may not know - ‘Abrus precatorius’ known under various names such as  jequirity, Crab's eye, rosary pea, Indian licorice, Jumbie bead -  a slender, perennial climber that twines around trees, shrubs, and hedges. It is a legume with long, pinnate-leafleted leaves.  The plant is best known for its seeds, which are used as beads and in percussion instruments; in olden days people used to play using them – commonly known as ‘gundu mani / kunri mani’ – it would look attractive.  In some Kerala divyadesams, it is offered and here too there is the practice of offering these pods at the dwajasthambam as could be seen in a photo below.  

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan.

8th Sept. 2014.