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Monday, October 26, 2015

Sri Krishna Temple at Pavazhakkaran Street, Muthialpet, George Town [Madras]

I remember worshipping at this Temple a couple of decades ago, when a young U.Ve.  MA Venkatakrishnan Swami delivered a kalakshepam.  Understand that Sri Velukkudi Varadachar Swami [father of Sri Velukkudi Krishnan Swami] lived nearer and regularly delivered many kalakshepams here.

The history of Chennai, is far older than British settlements, yet British have a big place in its history.  The black town area came to be known as George Town from 1911 in honour of  King George V when he was crowned,  the Emperor of India.  The Western part of George Town is the Muthialpet area, traversed by couple of  roads running from Madras High Court to Clive Battery, nearer Royapuram Railway.   On the Thambu Chetty Street stands a 375 year old Sri Kalikambal Temple.  This post is on Sri Venugopala Temple [ Sri Krishna Temple ] at Pavalakkaran Street.

It was once the place where diamond and coral trade flourished.  The Jews imported corals, both in the form of beads and in rough. The place in Muthialpet where they lived was known as Pagadalpet [Coral-town] dating back to 1700s.   A book titled – ‘The English Gentleman Merchant at Work: Madras and the City of London 1660-1740’by Soren Mentz, mentions that the financial crisis affecting the English market even ruined some of the private merchants in Madras, through respondentias, as they suffered financial losses when the Captains were declared bankrupt.  After a voyage to Madras in 1721, Captain Martin was declared bankrupt and private merchants like John Adams lost their investment.

Here is an interesting mention found  in ‘Vestiges of Old Madras’ by HD Love – the Jews were chiefly engaged in diamond trade – they operated partly on their own and partly in conjunction with Hebrew traders of London, who exported Coral and in Madras, a street came to be known as Coral Merchant Street.  A single ship called Lynn carried out £ 4000 worth of silver and  £ 2000 worth of coral consigned by 5 firms.  

In the Pavazhakkaran Street [Coral Merchant Street], Muthialpet, Chennai – is an old temple [some claim it to be more than 8 centuries old] dedicated to Lord Krishna.  This beautiful temple follows Thennacharya sampradhayam.  The moolavar is  Sri Venugopala Kannan, standing beautifully with flute in hand, with legs crossed in typical posture alongwith consorts Rukmini and Sathyabhama.   There are also sannadhis for Sri Rama and Sri Andal. 

 Informed elders state that centuries ago, Thirumazhisai Azhwar stayed here [was it the idol of Thirumazhisaippiran taken away from his sthalam during invasion !] – and even today during Sarrumurai – vazhi thirunamam of Sri Bakthisarar is recited daily. 

Had the fortune of worshipping at this holy temple on Sunday, 25th Oct 2015.  In the evening there was ‘Thiru Pavithrothsavam ‘ being performed.  There was recitation of Thiruvaimozhi 8m pathu and "nedumarkadimai seiveyen pol" sarrumurai.   Here are some photos of the Temple and of Perumal [Uthsavar]

Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Sri Parthasarathi Ekadasi purappadu at Thiruvallikkeni

Today (24.10.2015) is Ekadasi and at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam, Sri Parthasarathi Perumal had periya mada veethi purappadu.

Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan

Sri Peyazhwar Sarrumurai 2015 - ஐப்பசி ‘சதயம்’ திருநட்சத்திரம் ** பேயாழ்வார் **

Mylapore has been a shoppers’ paradise ~ with Navarathri golu – there are so many shops selling beautifully made dolls.  The historical place has two MRTS railway stations : Thirumayilai and Sri Mundakakanni amman temple.  In between runs Kutchery road, linking Beach Road with Luz Junction and you would have travelled many a times on this – do you know that one of the bylanes leads to a famous landmark with divine connection !  - the Arundale Street.

ஐப்பசி மாதம் ‘சதயம்’ திருநட்சத்திரத்தில் பேயாழ்வார் திருமயிலையில் அவதரித்தார்.  ஒரு காலத்தில் திருவல்லிக்கேணி பிருந்தாரண்யம் என துளசிகாடாக இருந்ததைப் போலவே, திருமயிலை புதர்கள் மண்டி, மரங்கள் அடர்ந்து காடாக இருந்திருக்கிறது.  சிறப்பு வாய்ந்த இந்தத்தலத்தில் திருமாதவப் பெருமாள் திருக்கோயில் அருகில் உள்ள ஒரு குளத்தில் (கிணற்றில்)அதிசயமான செவ்வல்லி மலரிலே மஹாவிஷ்ணுவின் ஐம்படைகளில் ஒன்றாகிய நாந்தகம் எனும் வாளின் அம்சமாக பேயாழ்வார் அவதரித்தார்.  இவர்  அயோநிஜர்.  இந்த அவதாரஸ்தலம் - இன்று அருண்டேல் தெரு என அழைக்கப்படும் வீதியில் மிக சாதரணமாகஉள்ளது.

இவர் அருளிச் செய்த பிரபந்தம் : மூன்றாம் திருவந்தாதிமுதல் ஆழ்வார்கள் மூவரும் ஒரு நல்ல மழைநாளில் திருக்கோவலுரில் ஒரு இடைகழியில் சந்தித்தனர். முதலில் பொய்கை ஆழ்வார் அங்கே இருந்தார்; பூதத்தாழ்வார் அவ்விடம் வந்தபோது, 'ஒருவர் படுக்கலாம்,இருவர் இருக்கலாம்' என இடமளித்தார். பிறகு பேயாழ்வாரும் அங்கே வரவே "ஒருவர் படுக்கலாம், இருவர் இருக்கலாம், மூவர் நிற்கலாம்' என அவரை இருவரும் வரவேற்றனர். ஸ்ரீமன்நாராயணன் அவர்களை சோதிக்க எண்ணி தானும் உட்புகுந்தபோது, முதலில் பொய்கைஆழ்வார் "வையம் தகளியா, வார்கடலே நெய்யாகக் கொண்டு  (உலகத்தையே விளக்காகவும் பெரியகடலை நெய்யாகவும்) நூறு பாடல்கள் பாடினார்.  பிறகு, பூதத்தாழ்வார், 'அன்பேதகளியா ஆர்வமே நெய்யாக'க் கொண்டு (அன்பை விளக்காகவும் ஆர்வமான எண்ணங்களை நெய்யாகவும்) நூறு பாடல்கள் பாடினார்.

பொய்கை ஆழ்வார், பூதத்தாழ்வார் இவர்களது அருளால் இவ்வாறான விளக்குகளில் ரத்னாகரமான கடலை கண்டது போல எம்பெருமானுடைய நிர்ஹேதுககடாக்ஷம் பெற்று,பேயாழ்வார்,  திருமகள் கேள்வனான எம்பெருமானை முழுவதுமாக அனுபவித்து

 "திருக்கண்டேன், பொன்மேனி கண்டேன், *திகழும்
 அருக்கன் அணி நிறமும் கண்டேன்;* செருக்கிளரும்
 பொன்னாழி கண்டேன், புரிசங்கம் கைக்கண்டேன்,*
 என்னாழி வண்ணன் பால் இன்று"  - என "மூன்றாம்திருவந்தாதி"  நூறு பாடல்கள் அருளிச் செய்தார்.

பேயாழ்வாரின் பக்தி சுரக்கும் வார்த்தைகளில் இங்கே இன்னொரு பாசுரம் :
பொலிந்திருண்ட கார்வானில் மின்னேபோல் தோன்றி,*
மலிந்து திருவிருந்த மார்வன், - பொலிந்த*
கருடன்மேல் கொண்ட கரியான் கழலே, *
தெருடன்மேல் கண்டாய் தெளி.*

Azhwar likens the lightning appearing clear on dark rain cloud – with the appearance of Sriman Narayana with Sri Lakshmi on His chest, seated resplendently on Garuda as mount.  Having seen the lotus feet through knowledge Alwar directs our hearts to fall and follow those divine feet, which alone can lead us to salvation. 

Among the 12 Azhwaars of Srivaishanva Tradition, Poigai Azhwar, Boothath Azhwar and Peyazhwar – were the ones to have descended on this Earth earlier.  They were contemporaries and are praised as “Muthal Azhwars (the first among the Azhwars).  They were born in the month of “Aippasi: in the thirunakshathirams of ‘Thiruvonam, Avittam, Sathayam’ respectively. This divine trio met on a rainy day at Thirukkovalur – when they sang 100 verses each which now form part of Moonravathu Ayiram (Iyarpa) in Naalayira Divyaprabandham. 

Sri Peyalwar was born in a well in Mylapore (thence known as Mylai Thiruvallikkeni).  His birthplace is in the present day Arundel Street [described in the first para of this post]  in Mylapore closer to Mylai Sri Madhaava Perumal Kovil.  At Thiruvallikkeni, the road adjacent to Sri Parthasarathi Kovil houses a separate sannathi (temple by itself) for Sri Peyalwar and this street is named after the Azhwar and is known as ‘Peyazhwar kovil Street’.

Today 23rd Oct 2015 is doubly important.  Besides Vijayadasami, today is  ‘Sadhayam in the month of Aippasi’ ~ the sarrumurai of Sri Peyalwar.  In the morning – Alwar proceeded to the temple and from there,  Sri Parthasarathi swami had purappadu to Peyalwar sannathi.   Perumal adorned spectacular rose garland and a simple jasmine strand.  Peyalwar was wearing the same rose garland that was adorned by Perumal in the morning.  At Peyazhwar thirukkovil, there will be thirumanjanam and in the evening there will be Vijayadasami purappadu – in the concluding part, Azhwar will join Perumal to have mada veethi purappadu.

Some photos taken during the morning purappadu are here.

Azhwar Emperumanar Jeeyar Thiruvadigale Saranam !!

Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan.
23rd Oct 2015.

Sri Peyalwar purappadu to Temple

Sri Peyalwar

Sri Parthasarathi … have darshan of the wonderful garland

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

முதல் ஆழ்வார்கள் ~ Poigai Azhwar Sarrumurai - Sri Ranganathar purappadu 2015

வாய் அவனை  அல்லது வாழ்த்தாது கையுலகம்*
தாயவனை அல்லது  தாந்தொழா - பேய்முலை
நஞ்சூணாகவுண்டான் உருவோடு பேரல்லால்*
காணாகண் கேளா செவி.

~ astounding words of faith in Muthal Thiruvanthathi.  Poigai Azhwar speaks of Lord Krishna who strolled on Earth as a child, drank poison with relish from the breasts of ogress… Alwar proclaims that his hands will salute none other than Him; lips shall not extol anybody else; eyes will not see – other than His form ~ and ears would not hear anything other than the name(s) of Sriman Narayana.

We live – we pray – we go to temples….. in Sri Vaishnavism, in the various forms of God – the one which is easiest and the form in which the Supreme God makes Himself available to us daily is ‘Idol worship’ in Divyadesams and other temples – this is known as ‘Archai’ ~ Archavatharam, where the Supreme Lord Maha Vishnu manifests Himself in various idol forms and comes near us to shower his munificence to us ………..

Our great saints – “Azhwars”  have given us  beautiful verses on Sriman Narayana in sweet Tamil, collectively known as “Sri Nalayira Divya Prabandham’…… one must ponder over the greatness of the ‘mayarvara mathinalam arulap perra Azhwargal’ ~ those Azhwars were supreme in their wisdom and were showered specially by God Himself with abundance of knowledge and devotion to thyself…….. to the Azhwars, the transcendental reality was not merely an abstract principle ~ the life was not illusion… to them their very purpose of birth and living and their confinement on earth was for service to Lord Sriman Narayana – serving Him in the most servile manner with all glorious, flawless and auspicious attributes which included floral worship and lyrical – those of verses on Supreme Lord.  They realized that the entire cosmos of all sentinent and  insentinent entities were alive with the underlying divinity of Emperuman being the inner controller or the soul; they realized the need for not just feeding this earthly body but more of the ‘soul – the athma’ inside.

Among the 12 Azhwaars of Srivaishanva Tradition, Poigai Azhwar, Boothath Azhwar and Peyazhwar – were the ones to have descended on this Earth earlier.  They were contemporaries and are praised as “Muthal Azhwars (the first among the Azhwars).  They were born in the month of “Aippasi: in the thirunakshathirams of ‘Thiruvonam, Avittam, Sathayam’ respectively. This divine trio met on a rainy day at Thirukkovalur – when they sang 100 verses each which now form part of Moonravathu Ayiram (Iyarpa) in Naalayira Divyaprabandham. 

ஐப்பசியில் ஓணம் அவிட்டம் சதயம் இவை - ஒப்பிலவா நாள்கள் உலகத்தீர் – என ஸ்ரீமணவாள மாமுனிகள் தமது  'உபதேசரத்தினமாலையில்' எடுத்து உரைத்தார்.  இவை எப்புவியும் பேசு புகழ் "பொய்கையார், பூதத்தார், பேயாழ்வார்' – இவ்வுலகில்  வந்துதித்த நாள்கள்.  பன்னிரு ஆழ்வார்களில்  முதலில் வந்துதித்ததனால் முதல் ஆழ்வார்கள் எனபெருமை பெற்றவர்கள் இவர்கள்.  

In the Thondai Naadu,  the land of radiance  and nature's beauty,  is  Thiru Vehkka, nearer the Thiru Kachi Sri Devathirajar temple, also called as "Yadothakaari Sannadhi"  [sonna vannam seitha perumal ~ the God who did as ordained by His devotee].  Nearer to the Yadothakari temple, is a Poigai (small pond),  full of beautiful, fresh lotus flowers. In this Pond was born Sri Poigai Azhwar in the month of Aippasi and on Thiruvonam nakshathiram being the amsam of Panchajanyam – the weapon of Lord.   Alwar was extremely devoted and led his life in service to God only, going to several Divyasthalams and doing service to Lord and His followers

The muthalazhwargal vaibhavam is a very interesting one… the trio came together for the first time at Thirukkovalur on a rainy day when there was lightning accompanied by thunders – in the front passage [idai kazhi] of a house referred as ‘dehali or rezhi’……….. the place being very small – it was good enough for Poigai Azhwar to lie down; when Boothathazhwar joined him, they were able to sit ~ and then came Peyalwar who was invited to their fold saying that ‘one can lie; two can sit while there is sufficient place for all the three to stand’……. They were sharing their peregrinations in their divine journeys, they felt strange pressure in total darkness as there was some one more amidst……  being great sages with total dedication to Lord they lit light ~ how great and mighty in their bakthi they were….  Poigai Azhwar made the Great Earth  as the lamp; Ocean as the oil; the Sun as the light – all to be placed at the Lotus Feet of the Supreme Lord  and he sang 100 verses ~ Muthal Thiruvanthathi.  Sri Boothathalwar followed – making ‘love as the lamp; eagerness as the oil – the endearing thoughts as the wick to the lamp and the lit the lamp of wisdom’ – Sri Peyalwar having had the benefit of these lights rendered his ‘Moondram Thiruvanthathi’.

Today 21st Oct 2015  being ‘Aippasiyil Thiruvonam’ marks the birth of first among them – Sri Poigai Azhwar. Today assumed added  significance for being  birthday of a great Acharyar – Pillai Logachariyar ~ a person of great wisdom who underwent untold sufferings in ensuring that the primordial Lord Thiruvaranganar is safe [more on this on a later post…].

At Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam on all sarrumurai days of Azhwar / Acharyargal – there will be purappadu with Sri Parthasarathi.  This day coming during Navarathri celebrations – it was Srimannathar [Sri Ranganathar] purappadu with Poigaialwar and Ulagariyar.  Here are some photos of the purappadu at Thiruvallikkeni

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan.

21st Oct 2o15.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Thiru Kurugoor @ Azhwar Thirunagari Divyadesam - Aathinathar Azhwar Thirukovil

Of the Nava Thirupathi divyadesams, ThirukKurugoor is hailed as “AzhwarThirunagari”-  as this is the Avatharasthalam of  Swami Nammalwar.   Madura Kavigal saw the leading light from Thiru Ayodhya, travelled all the way to Kurugoor, identified  Nammazhwar in the Puliyamaram [tamarind tree].  Mathurakavigal was so attached to Nammazhwaar that he sang only in praise of Nammazhwaar and considered his duty to spend life devoted to Nammazhwaar.  [More on the tree and Swami Nammalwar in another post.]

As we travel from Thirunelveli towards Tiruchendur – approx. 25 km away – on the banks of Tamirabarani, is this beautiful divyadesam.  The temple is ‘AathinadharAzhwar Thirukovil’. It was one of the largest towns of Pandya dynasty.  The presiding deity is Aathippiran and Utsavar is PolinthuNinraPiran.  Thayar is Aathinaayaki and ThirukurugurNayaki. 

Swami Nammalwar in Thiruvaimozhi hails the presiding deity as :

பரந்ததெய்வமும் பல்லுலகும் படைத்து அன்றுடனே விழுங்கி*
கரந்துமிழ்ந்து கடந்திடந்தது கண்டும் தெளியகில்லீர்,*
சிரங்களால் அமரர் வணங்கும் திருக்குருகூரதனுள்,*
பரன் திறமன்றிப்பல்லுலகீர் தெய்வம் மற்றில்லை பேசுமினே ! .

Azhwar says :  It is HE who created all the Gods and all the Universe and at the time of pralayam [deluge], He in a trice – swallowed all; hid, issued, traversed and shifted all ~ mortals of this World, should they not understand easily and why nurse any apprehension after knowing this – it is Only HE at this holy ThiruKurgur – who deserves to be worshipped – none, the other !!!

ஆழ்வார்திருநகரி எனப்படும் திருக்குருகூர் – நவதிருப்பதிகளில் ஒன்றான அழகான திவ்யதேசம்.   நம்மாழ்வார் இத்திருத்தலத்தை 11 பாசுரங்களால் 'ஸ்ரீமன் நாராயணனையே பற்றுதல்பற்றிஅறுதியிட்டு மங்களாசாசனம் செய்து உள்ளார்.

திருவாய்மொழி தனியனில்:- “ திருவழுதிநாடென்றும் தென்குருகூரென்றும், மருவினிய வண்பொருநல் என்றும்,”  -  என பாண்டியநாட்டு தாமிரபரணிநதியின் பெருமையும் குருகூர்திவ்யதேசத்தின் பெருமையும் விளக்கப்படுகிறது.   இத்தலம் நம்மாழ்வார் அவதரித்த தலமானதால்“ஆழ்வார்திருநகரி” என்றழைக்கப்படுகிறது.

ஸ்ரீமதுரகவிஆழ்வார் அயோத்தியில் இருந்து தென்திசை நோக்கி பேரொளியைக் கண்டு ஸ்ரீஆதிநாதர்ஆழ்வார் கோயிலில் உள்ள "உறங்கா' புளியமரத்தில் சடகோபரைக் கண்டதையும், சுவாமி நம்மாழ்வாரின் பெருமையையும் மற்றொரு பதிவில் எழுத உள்ளேன்.

On 18th Sept 2015, had the fortune of darshan at this divyadesam.  The day being Visakha thirunakshathiram [that of Nammalwar] – Swami Nammalwar was placed near the PolinthuNinraPiran and around 06.30 pm there was purappadu of Perumal with Azhwar.  There are two elephants in the Temple [again Temple elephants being my attraction !], one of which is named as Aathinayaki, after the Thayar at this sthalam.  Here are some photos of the divyadesam and of the purappadu. 

அடியேன் : ஸ்ரீனிவாசதாசன்.
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Mada veethi of divyadesam
entrance and vimanam of Azhwar Thirunagari

Polinthu Nindra Piran kandeer

Elephants at the divyadesam


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sri Madhurakavi Vanamamalai Jeeyar Thiruvallikkeni patna pravesam today

Sri Vaishnavam  dates back to centuries – following glorious principles  handed over to us through many generations by our Acharyars which include Sri Ramanujar and Sri Manavalamanunigal.   Of the Divyadesams, the one near Thirunelveli,  called ‘Vanamamalai’  [Sri Varamangai]  is of great significance –  It is  the seat,  where the Mutt of Thennacharyar  Sampradhayam is located following our Greatest Acharyar – Sri Varavara Muni ‘Swami Manavala Maamunigal’.

Nanguneri is a  town in Tirunelveli district  about  30kms South of Tirunelveli, off the Nagercoil Highway and about 10kms from Thiru Kurungudi Divya Desam having Sri Vaanamamalai Thothadri Nathan  Thirukovil.  In centuries gone by, this place was identified as being 1 yojana South of Tamaraibarani.   The Moolavar at this Divyadesam is Totadrinathan, in  seated posture; Thayar is  Sireevaramangaittaayaar.

VanamAmalai mutt, the seat of our sampradhayam was  established by Sri PonnadikkAl  Jeeyar  after Sri Manavala Mamunigal.   Our Mutts are places of spiritual centres where ancient knowledge  thrives  and blossoms through regular discourses and education by learned scholars.  This dates back to 1400s and from Ponnadikkal Jeeyar, the lineage has passed on through 30 Jeeyars ~  Sri Madhurakavi Vanamamalai Jeeyar is the present pontiff.  He is a great scholar in our Sampradhayam and has been serving the mutt for decades.

Today was great occasion for Thiruvallikkenivasigal as  Varthamana swami did mangalasasanam at Sri Parthasarathi Swami  Kovil this morning  and in the evening there was the grand thiruveedhi purappadu  celebrating  Jeeyar Swamy’s ‘pattina pravesam’.   Sri Thennacharya Sripadham thangi sabhai members excelled by their devoted service as Jiyar was carried in beautifully decorated palanquin.  Here are some photos taken during evening purapadu, a that concluded around an hour ago.

Adiyen – Srinivasa dhasan.

11th Oct 2015. @ 22.51 hrs.

 Jeeyar Thiruvadigale saranam - Thiruvadi & Sthothra padal goshti

 Purna kumba mariyathai at Ahobila Mutt, Triplicane
 Sripadham thangigal Oyyali

 Jiyar pallakku lifted by uplifted hands !