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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cheluva Narananan "Vairamudi Kireetadhana Mahotsav"

The Temple  ‘Sri SelvaNarayana Perumal Kovil’ at Melkote referred to by us as ThiruNarayanapuram, is a Abhimana sthalam of Udayavar, who lived here for 12 years, codified and ordained strict procedures for betterment of Sri Vaishnavism.    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. The moolavar here is Thiru Narayanar.  The beautiful Uthsavar is ‘Sampathkumarar also known as Selvapillai’ – the name of temple is ‘Cheluva Narayana Swamy Temple’

The annual Uthsavms are being celebrated with grandiose.  The most capturing is the ‘Sri Vairamudi Kireetadharna Mahotsav ‘  part of the Brahmotsav.  Devotees throng Melkote and more than a lakh of people are expected to have darshan on the Special occasion.   The ‘kireetadharna mahotsav’ began on 30th Mar 2015, after the Mandya district administration handed  over the precious diamond-studded ‘Vairamudi’, ‘Rajamudi’ and other ornaments to the priests at the temple at the Mandya District treasury.

Sri Chelva Naranar [Sampathkumarar] adorns Vairamudi [the crown of diamond] and has purappadu on Garuda vahanam.  There is also the seva with another crown known as ‘Rajamudi’.  The Temple, the Kalyani pushkarini and major roads will be lit grandly for the purappadu.  Legend has it that this grand ‘Vaira kireedam’ was presented by Lord Krishna Himself.  The crown is never exposed to daylight and is kept in a special casket.   The serene town of Melukote comes to life with the grandeur and majesty of the procession. Rajamudi, is adorned on the Lord on the next day of the Brahmotsava.
Here is a photo of Sri Selva Naranar adorning ‘vairamudi’.

In the nearby Thirumylai Sri Madhava Perumal Temple, this occasion is being celebrated for many decades now.  The idol of  Sri Yathiraja Sampathkumarar, here too adorns the special ‘Vaira kireedam’ on Garuda vahanam.  Here are a couple of photos taken by me at Mylai on the occasion.

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan.

30th Mar 2015.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Thiru Ayodhya Sri Ramar Thirukovil ~ Ammaji Mandir

Thiru Ayodhya Sri Ramar Thirukovil ~ Ammaji Mandir

I have recently posted about the most auspicious day ‘Sree Rama Navami’ – the celebrations on theday in which Lord Sri Ramachandramurthy, the supreme avatar of Maryada Purush  was born in the blessed land of Ayodhya. While it is ‘Hanumantha vahanam’ in many divyadesam and abhimana sthalams, one thought wandered on the holy land of ‘Ayodhya’ too.

Thiru Ayodhya, also known as Saket is the ancient and holy city where Lord Sri Rama, the hero of Sri Ramayana was born.  Ayodhya  was the capital of the ancient Kosala Kingdom.  Ayodhya is on the  banks of the river Sarayu.  Valmiki is  believed to have begun writing the Ramayana in Ayodhya. Its opening chapters recount the magnificence of the city, the glories of its monarch and the virtues, wealth and loyalty of its people. Geographically it is in Uttar Pradesh closer to  Faizabad city. 

We know of the ‘Nampillai Sannathi’ at Thiruvallikkeni -  situate at the front of Sri Bhandaram Committee place commonly known as “Komutti bungalow”. Around 100 years earlier, there was a great person by name Yogi Parthasarathi Iyengar and his wife was Yogi Singamma. Sri Yogi Parthasarathi Iyengar in his wisdom created a press for re-publishing on paper edition,  the great granthams of our Vaishnavaite mahans and in this venture established a press and persons to take care known as -  “Saraswathi Bhandram Committee” – saraswathi bhandaram meaning ‘library / treasure house’ of the works of Goddess of Learning Saraswathi. He spent his fortune towards establishing this and on this place built a temple for Sri Nampillai as the rightful person to own this treasure house. The idol of Namperumal was also installed alongside. He ensured that there would be festivities at least once a year. This Nampillai sannadhi was renovated and re-built decoratively recently by the Committee, spearheaded by Sri MA Venkata Krishnan Swami. 

Yogi Singamma, a century ago, built a temple of Sri Rama at the historic Ayodhya, a typical South Indian type temple, which is popularly known as ‘Ammaji Mandir’.  This temple is being maintained by ‘Saraswathi Bhandaram Committee’ – being taken care of by Dr MA Venkatakrishnan Swami.  Here  are some photos  of Lord Sri Rama of Ammaji mandir  – Thirumanjana Thirukolam, shared by MA Madhusudhanan. Thanks to him and to Sri VN Kesavabashyam Swami too.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

30th Mar 2015.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

[Dhoosi] Mamandur Sri Sundaravalli sametha SRi Lakshmi Narayana Perumal Thirukovil

From ancient times, our lives are intrinsically mingled with temples which are the torch bearers of our glorious heritage – the hindu way of life. Obeisance to God, Acharyas and those involved in temple work is our primordial duty.  Kanchipuram has been the repository of many magnificent temples. There are several big temples and for Vaishnavaites “Perumal Kovil” would mean the temple of Lord Devarajar – Athigiri Arulalar.  Temples in kanchipuram are torchbearers of the glorious heritage of the Kanchipuram District and are repositories of the magnificient art forms that evolved over several centuries.

Nearer the city famous for silk sarees [which itself is called as "City of 1000 Temples"] – there are many more Temples of dating back to Pallava and other ancient era.   This area is also known as thondai mandalam in tune with Thondaimans who ruled this land and have had constructed many temples of yore.

There are many important places in and around Kanchipuram and as you travel from Kanchi to Vandavasi / Cheyyar, you would cross the Salai Kinaru (from where thirumanjana theertham for Devarajar was brought), Iyengar kulam, Palar bridge, Dhoosi, you would come to the hamlet ‘Mamandur’ – known as Dhoosi Mamandur due to its proximity to Dusi. This village has a big reservoir and is about 3 km away from Palar and about 8-9 km away from Kanchipuram. Legend has it that Lord Varadharaja Perumal used to visit this place on every Chitra Pournami day.  Though not much of water could be found in Palar these days, it is a river which rises in Kolar and flows through Andhra and enters Tamilnadu before confluencing into Bay of Bengal at Vayalur. One of its main tributaries is Cheyyar river.

In the Mamandur village stands the majestic grandeur Lord Arulmigu Sundaravalli Thayar sametha Lakshmi Narayana Perumal. This temple is many centuries old and has rich history with many vidhwans hailing from this place. Many Sampradhaya periyavars have told that many of the Nalayira Divyaprabandha adhikaris hailed from this hamlet of Dhusi Manandur.  The temple houses Lord Lakshmi Narayanar who is in sitting posture with Lakshmi devi on his lap. The Thayar thirunamam is ‘Sundara valli Thayar’ and has an individual sannadhi. There are beautiful idols of Sadagopar (Nammalwar), Kaliyan (Thirumangai Azhwar), Udayavar (Ramanujar) and Varavaramuni (Swami Manavala mamunigal). It is learnt that ‘samprokshanam’ was conducted way back in 1950  and recently on 5th Sept 2010 ‘Samprokshanam” was conducted with the initiative of many people hailing from this village.   Hundreds of people with lineage of this village descended on that day at the Temple and witnessed, the Samprokshanam  being conducted in the presence of the Two great Saints – Sreemath Paramahamsa Appan Parakala Ramanuja Embaar Jeeyar Swami and Sree Govinda Yathiraja Jeeyar Swami, both hailing from Sriperumpudur. 

Today [29th Mar 2015] had the fortune of visiting our ancestral village and worshipping at this Temple.  Here are some photos of the Temple and Perumal.

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan.

 Temple front view then and now …

Temple Vimanam then and now

Sri Lakshmi Narayanar Uthsavar

Sri Sundaravalli thayar Uthsavar

Sri Krishna, Sri Chakarathazhwar, Jai Hanuman

Sri Nammalwar – Sri Thirumangaimannan

Sri Udayavar Sri Manavalamamunigal

Temple viewed from the road.

Sri Rama Navami - Hanumantha vahana purappadu at Mylai Sri Madhava Perumal Temple

On the  holy day of Sree Rama Navami [28th Mar 2015]  – the day on which Lord Sri Ramachandramurthy, the supreme avatar of Maryada Purush  was born in the blessed land of Ayodhya, having darhsan of Lord Sri Rama, gives us bountiful happiness and pleasure.  Lord Rama descended on earth for the purpose of upholding righteousness and rewarding virtue.  Chanting the name of ‘Sri Rama’; praising His valour; hearing Sri Ramanayanam, visiting His temples – all will do us good.  In Temples, Kulasekara Alwar’s “Perumal Thirumozhi” is recited.

***  அங்கணெடு மதிள்புடைசூழ் அயோத்தி யென்னும் அணிநகரத் து உலகு அனைத்தும் விளக்கும் சோதி*; வெங்கதிரோன் குலத்துக்கோர் விளக்காய்த் தோன்றி விண்முழுதும்  உயக் கொண்ட வீரன்றன்னை* செங்கணெடுங் கருமுகிலை இராமன் தன்னை…………. ***
In the 10th decad, Azwar sees the one at Thillai Nagar Chithirakoodam [modernday Chidambaram] as the  mighty warrior born in Ayodhya **

The most valorous, mightily powerful,  man of great  wisdom, who could organize a group of roaming ones, who can jump hundreds of miles, yet who remained at the feet of his Master, totally committed thinking of their welfare alone – unassuming - Aanjaneya, ‘thiruvadi’ – is the  bearer of Lord Rama –  and on  this day of Sri Rama Navami, there is  purappadu of Sri Rama in Hanumantha vahanam.  Here are some photos of   Lord Sri Rama Hanumantha vahana purappadu at Mylai Madhava Perumal temple.

Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Holy Thirumala purappadu 2015 : தீதில் சீர்த்திருவேங்கடத்தானையே

Thirumala Tirupathi, uttering or even hearing the divine name would bring benefits to all.  Thiruvengadam, [Sapthagiri, Elumalai; Seven Hills]  the abode of Lord Balaji would ever remain as the ‘Thilakam’ the shining glory of the whole Earth.  All that we need to do is to pray towards the Greatest Lord of Universe from wherever we are, think of HIM always and do good to humanity in Thy Name.

Thirumala has existed for Centuries and Lord Venkateshwara is always the most benevolent, provider of  all riches, all wealth and all goodness to all His believers. Lakhs of devotees of all ages, from all over the Country and from other parts of the World throng to the hills, by walk, by vehicles of various hues and wait in the queue for hours to have a glimpse of the Lord.  The sacred and most reverred temple of Sri Venkateswara is located on the seventh peak – Venkatachala hill of Tirumala.  The Lord stands tall as bestower of all boons.   This beautiful temple in its present form owes a lot to the works of the greatest Vaishnava Acharya – Sri Ramanujar.  

In the words of Swami Nammalwar in his Thiruvaimozhi :
சோதியாகி  எல்லா உலகும் தொழும், ஆதி மூர்த்தி  என்றால்  அளவு ஆகுமோ;
வேதியர்  முழுவேதத்து அமுதத்தை; தீதில் சீர்த்திருவேங்கடத்தானையே.

The  Lord who is likened to the  exceptionally shining divine lamp – is primordial; is the fullest nectar gotten from  all the divine Vedas; He is be blemishless Lord of Thiruvengadam – Thiruvengadam Udaiyaan Srinivasar. 

Now a days, you have all the facilities, the roads are well laid,  transportation is at its best as there are buses at almost every 5 minutes from the foothill to the top – private vehicles are allowed to be driven to the top – you can go in a two wheeler, car, van, jeep, bus and more.  In olden days, people used to climb the hill afoot which was arduous; yet they kept frequenting the Temple singing the  names of Lord again and again.  A few seconds of His darshan and chanting His name ‘Govinda, Govindha’ – makes us feel elated.  

Fortunate to attend the 961st  Thiruvavathara Uthsvam of Thirumalai Ananthan Pillai held at Thirumala Tirupathi on Sunday 22nd Feb 2015.  Here are some photos taken during the purappadu of Lord Srinivasa at Thirumala.

Adiyen – Srinivasa dhasan.

Manmatha Varusha Panchangam release : Brahmin Welfare Association, Triplicane

Manmatha  Varusha Panchangam release :
Brahmin Welfare Association, Triplicane

14th Apr 2015 would mark the starting of Tamil new year ‘ Manmatha Varusham’ – which promises to be bountiful...  Do you know …: “Parthiva, Vyya, Sarvajithu, Sarvadhari, Virodhi, Vikruthi, Kara, Nanthana, Vijaya, Jaya  …………. On Sunday, 22nd Mar 2015, it was a grand gathering at Gangai Kondan Mandapam in Thiruvallikkeni…….. reason… ‘Panchangam release of ‘Brahmins Welfare Association’, Triplicane and Yours Truly was on stage compering.

In the ‘Vaivasvatha Manvantharam, after passage of 27 Maha Yugas ~ now in the 28th Mahayuga – after passage of 3 Yugas ~ in the Kali Yuga – after passage of 4 lakh 28 thousands of years – in the year 5116~ Salivahana Saha  1937…… should go the lengthy introduction exactly describing the day on which the Jaya Varusha Panchanga release function was held’.

A panchāngam (பஞ்சாங்கம்) is a Hindu calendar and almanac, which follows traditional units of Indian timekeeping, and presents important dates and their calculations in a tabulated form. Panchāngams are published in India by many learned authors, societies, academies, and universities. Different publications differ only minutely, at least for a casual or un-trained reader. They forecast celestial phenomena such as solar eclipses, forecast weather (rain, dryspells) as well as more mundane occurrences. The study of Panchāngams involves understanding Rasi phalan, the impact of the signs of the zodiac on the individual. Astrologers consult the Panchāngam to set auspicious dates for weddings and the like. 

Panchangam literally translates to having five parts [angas].  They are :
•        Tithi - Ending Moment (EM) of elongation of the Moon, the lunar day, the angular relationship between Sun and Moon
•        Varam – the weekday ~ the seven days of the week
•        Nakshatra - the stellar mansion in which Moon is located for an observer at the center of the Earth. There are 27 Nakshatras.
•        Yoga - EM of the angular relationship between Sun and Moon
•         Karana - EM of half of a Tithi. One Karaa equals 6 degree difference between Moon and Sun.

At Thiruvallikkeni Gangai Kondan Mandapam, it all started with the group singing by Nama Sankeerthanam Krishnapuram Ramasubramaniam and his troupe.  Kadalur Gopi bagavathartoo joined them ~ the performance rendered, kept the audience totally immersed in singing the names of Lord Sriman Narayana.

At 06.00 the function started with prayer ‘Vethathai Vethathin Suvaipayanai’ sung by Yours Truly, accompanied by Sri VB Mukundan [Kanchi Krishna] . On the podium were

The Chief Guest :
His Holiness Pujyasri Sri Sri Vidhyatheesha Theertha Swamiji, Head Pontiff, Sri Palimar Mutt, Udupi and
His Holiness Pujyasri Sri Sri Eeshapriya Theertha Swamiji, Incumbent Pontiff Sri Adamaru Mutt, Udupi

Other Special Guest :

Dr V V Subramanian [popularly Va Ve Su], former Principal of Vivekananda College. 

In the function, ‘Manmatha varusha Panchangam’ was released by the Chief Guest .  It is not simply a vedic almanac, this Panchangam contains amongst other things : the important uthsava details of Sri Parthasarathi swami temple; important days of Sri Ahobila Mutt, Sri Utharathi Mutt, Azhwargal Acharyargal Thirunakshathirangal, dos and donts, Parayana slokas, Avani avittam sangalpam, tharpana sangalpams, host of significant details of hindu religious practices; telephone nos. of Thirumana mantaps at Thiruvallikkeni, contact details of Prahaspathigal and more…… no doubt a very useful book for every Brahmin – a must have at home. 

The Saints were honoured with ‘Kovil mariyadhai’ from Sri Parthasarathi Swami Thirukovil brought by Sri Sesha Battar and Sri Rangaswamy battar.  The Panchangam was released and the ‘anugraha sandesham’ of  HH  Sri Vidhyatheesha Theertha Swami, followed. Swami blessed all those present at the venue.  Swami’s speech was translated by Sri AP Vijayendran a practising CA and a Sanskrit scholar who has 13 degrees.  It was indeed a great occasion to be there at a place where the great Matapathis were present and blessing..

Udupi, on the western coast is  known for the Krishna Mutt (Temple of Lord Krishna) and as the native place of the saint Shri Madhvacharya, who founded the [dvaita] sect of vaishnava hinduism and the Udupi Krishna Mutt (in the 13th century).  The Tulu Ashta Mathas of Udupi are a group of eight mathas or Hindu monasteries established by Madhvacharya. For each of the eight mathas, Madhvacharya also appointed one of his direct disciples to be the first Swami, head of the matha.

His Holiness Pujyasri Sri Sri Vidhyatheesha Theertha Swamiji, is the Head Pontiff of Sri Palimar Mutt.  Read that the idol of Kodanda Rama with Lakshmana and Sita  was gifted by the Acharya Madhva to the first pontiff.  The idols of Rama and Lakshmana have bows and arrows in hands whereas that of Sita has lotus in hand.

His Holiness Pujyasri Sri Sri Eeshapriya Theertha Swamiji, is the Pontiff of Sri Adamar Mutt that worships the idol of Kalingamardana Krishna gifted by the Madhvacharya.  This  Krishna  has  four arms -  one leg on the serpent; other lifted up in a dancing pose. One hand is bent in a dancing pose and the other is holding the tail of the serpent. The other two hands are decorated with conch and the chakra.

Sri Va Ve Su, former Principal of Vivekananda college is no stranger to Triplicane.  He is the Director of Phyco Spectrum Consultants and is a great scholar.  A popular public speaker in  Tamil and English, he participates regularly in many Academic, literary and cultural programs.  He has delivered  talks on religious and spiritual subjects.  As President of Vanavil,  he has been propagating the ideals of Mahakavi Subramaniya Barathiyar and conducting 3-Day Annual festival Of Bharathi at Bharathiyar Illam.  He has written poetries, dance dramas, and has been a motivational speaker.  He has been conferred– Kavimamani(1987),Thirupugazh Mamani (1999 )Bharathi Award by DAWN ( 2001) and more.  He spoke at length on following those ordained for Brahmins and in leading life that will be sacred and useful to others.  His speech left a deep impact on all those present.

While it is Day : 24 hours : 60 Minutes : 60 seconds ….. the calculations are much more minutely accurate in Vedic and computation of Panchangam ~ it is 48 minutes = 1 muhurtham; 24 minutes = 1 nazhigai; 60 nazhigai = 1 day; 2 ½ nazhigai = 1 hour…….. 15 days is = 1 paksham; 2 months = 1 ruthu;….and minutely …. 1 Paramaanu = 0.0002 seconds  … Kanchi Krishna, Secretary was honoured on the dias for preparing this panchangam. Sri Anand, who helped in the presence of the Peethapathis was honoured on stage.   In all, it was a grand show organized by Brahmin Welfare Association of Triplicane.  Copies of the  panchangam were distributed to all those present at the mantap.  

The list in the starting para gives  the names of the 10 years that preceded ‘Manmatha varusham’  Here are some photos of the function.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Thiruvallikkeni Sri Parthasarathi Theppothsavam 2013 – Day 1.


As written in my earlier post, the annual Float Festival [Theppothsavam] is on at Thiruvallikkeni Divyadesam.  

On day 1, it was Sri Parthasarathi theppam.  Lord Parthasarathi in his great splendour ascended the Float which was pulled in circumference of the Kairavini pushkarini, much to the delights of hundreds of devotees who had come to have darshan of Perumal on Theppam.  

On 1st day of Theppam on 11th March 2013, Sri Parthasarathi came to the Neeratta Mandapam opposite to Thiruther. Thereafter, it was Ther purappadu [small chariot]

Here are some photos of Lord Parthasarathi at Neeratta Mandapam and on Thiruther.

Adiyen Srinivasa Dhasan