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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Dunmukhi Varusha Panchangam release at Triplicane 2016 : Brahmin Welfare Association

Do you know  “Veeraraghava Mudali Street in Triplicane  … and about  Edward Harrison who was the President of Madras !

On 9th Apr 2016 – divine music outpoured at Gangai Kondan Mandapam at Thiruvallikkeni.  Music is heavenly when it is purely devotional – in our cult, it is Nama Sankeerthanam, more colloquially bhajans.   Before Panchanga release function, was the soul-stirring performance of singing, drama and highlighting of bakthi kirtans by Cuddalore Gopi Bagavathar, a veteran who has been uplifting this culture for close to 3 decades now. 

It was the prayer that initiated the evening programme. Mr KV Rangarajan, President of Brahmin Welfare Association, welcomed the gathering.  The distinguished Chief Guest was Mr P. Kothanda Raman, Retd. Dy Commissioner, HR&CE; Mr S Ranganathan, Sr Superintendent, Post Office;  Sri Pammal Ramakrishnan, State Genl Secy, TAMBRAS; Mr B Srinivasan @ MGR Vasan, Councillor representing ward no. 116, Mr TA Sampathkumar, President SYMA.  

The Panchangam was released by the Chief Guest, received by others on dias.  The function was utilised to thank the DC, Postal Authorities, Councillor, Brahmin Association [which voluntarily deposited a sum of Rs.1.78 lakhs towards rent advance deposit], individuals whose great efforts fructified, especially, Mr TJ Ramani, Friends Society and various other individuals ….  On stage, Kanchi Krishna was honoured for the panchangam work.    I compered the programme and here are some excerpts from the speech. 

There have been messages on social media including FB &WA that  20th Apr would ‘Green Moon’ ~ a rare astronomical phenomenon.  There is no truth in it,  as  Science and astronomy website EarthSky has dismissed the green moon claims as an urban legend. The  green moon is not even  listed among the 2016 skywatching events on or on any other reputable astronomy website.  However, Moon, Earth’s only natural satellite is always attractive. Our moon was formed 4.6 billion years ago around some 30–50 million years after the formation of the solar system. The Moon is in synchronous rotation with Earth meaning the same side is always facing the Earth.  It has diameter of 3,475 km, Orbital of 384,400 km that is covered in 27.3 days

An occultation occurs when a solar-system body passes in front of a more distant object (e.g. a star or another solar system body), partially or totally hiding the more distant object and momentarily blocking its light. Each occultation can be seen only at the right time and from a limited part of the Earth.  More prominent is the eclipse of Solar and Lunar. 

Our ancestors have had great knowledge, especially in the field of astronomy and have predicted and recorded  eclipses.  It is recorded that there was a lunar eclipse within a fortnight of solar eclipse visible at Kurukshetra, where the Mahabaratha war was fought, it was ominous.  This time, there would be no eclipse visible in India. 

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. Panchangam literally translates to having five parts [angas].  They are : 1. Tithi (Date); 2. Nakshatra (Group of stars); 3. Yoga (an auspicious moment); 4. Karana (Half of the part of Tithi); 5.  Vaaram (days of the week).  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 

Sarvajith, SArvadhari, virodhi, vikruthi, kara, nandana, vijaya, jaya, manmatha … names of the precedent years in Tamil and now comes ‘Dhunmukhi’ ..   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 5117 ~ Salivahana Saha  1938 ‘Year Durmugi ’ 27 th day in the tamil month of Panguni  - that is Saturday, 9th  Apr 2016 occurred  ‘Durmugi Varusha Panchanga release function’.

Moving away from Vedic Panchangam, once a mammoth Govt Dept employing most people next to Indian Railways, the Department of Posts has lost most of its pristine glory now.  It for sure has more than 1lakh 50 thousand offices, of which a high % is in rural areas.   The post man was once the most respected and known person in any village as people waited for his arrival expectantly everyday.. .. ..the highest post office in the world is in Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India at a height of 15,500 ft (4,700 m) (postal code 172114). Recall the last time, you walked into any Post Office for transacting any business ~ do you have a Postal SB Account or at least a PPF account now ??

History reveals that it was way back in 1712, Edward Harrison first started a Company Postal Service in Madras to carry mail to Bengal by dak runner. By 1736, a postal system of sorts was in place with a somewhat greater vision. In 1774, a system of charging postage on private letters began. Decades later the postal rules were in place  ~ Chennai General Post Office was initially opened in Fort St. George Square, just outside the Sea Gate, on 1 June 1786.   On his return to England, Harrison was elected Member of Parliament for Weymouth, and served as a Postmaster-General from 1725 till his death in 1732.

There was that old building in Veeraraghava Mudali St [popularly Big Street] nearer the Vegetable market – filling up a money order form was considered a knowledge. It housed that famous Sri Parthasarathi Koil Post Office.   Once that Big Street building was demolished – Sri Parthasarathy Koil PO suffered.  It functioned for sometime from the premises of Triplicane PO ~ for sometime it was in the near dilapidated structure at Hanumantharayan Street – for many years residents of Thiruvallikkeni had been waiting patiently, moving mountains in the fond hope that seemingly endless wait of Sri Parthasarathi Koil PO at Thiruvallikkeni would dawn into a reality !!!  ~ not all nursed the hope !

It was of sentimental importance too.  Any search on  Sulekha pages or elsewhere would reveal the names of Post Offices as [certainly not the exhaustive list]:  Adambakkam PO; Adyar PO; Alandur PO; Alwarthirunagar PO; Ambattur PO; Aminjikarai PO; Annanagar PO; Annasalai PO; Mylapore PO; Mandaveli PO; Sholinganallur PO; Sowcarpet PO; T Nagar South PO; Tambaram PO; Taramani PO; Triplicane PO; West Mambalam PO ……….. simply there could be hundreds of post offices but to those residents of Triplicane – the building that housed Thiruvallikkeni Thapal Nilayam is a monument and many would have green stories kindling nostalgia ~ and its name is unique for it is ‘Sri Parthasarathi Koil Post Office’  ….. only one of its genre named not after the locality but after our presiding deity Sri Parthasarathi.

Speaker after speaker thanked the DC / Postal authorities / Councillor and others for the valiant efforts in bringing back the PO.  On 16th Dec 2015, it dawned a reality as  the PO reopened at  North Tank Square Street, in a premises belonging to Sri Parthasarathi swami temple. 

The meeting ended with a Vote of thanks by TJ Ramani.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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