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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Swami Manavala Mamunigal day 3 : Grand Deepavali purappadu 2017

Swami Manavala Mamunigal day 3 : Grand Deepavali purappadu 2017

Deepavali ‘the festival of lights’ is always enchanting – an occasion to wear new clothes, eat sweets, burst crackers, be with friends and relatives – a festivity which brings enjoyment…. – the festival was grandly celebrated all over the country on 18th Oct 2017.   In the recent years, there has been some attempt to wean away people as some keep saying that ‘enthusiasm towards fireworks is going down; spiralling prices have forced people to buy less of firecrackers;  the pollution awareness is swaying public away from crackers and the like……….’.  

In today’s context, at some places, people get glued to the cinemas and other special programmes the multitudes of TV channels present….nothing to speak about reluctance to call it Hindu festival, still encashing by showing movies and cine-related programmes calling it ‘holiday – special’ ~ this year, it was Deepa Oli Thirunaal… !!!

Now I have to say I haven’t read all 24,000 verses in the epic poem about Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya. But I do know the story of his homecoming from the many Diwali celebrations I have attended in my own constituency over the years.  Values of good conduct – ‘dharma’ – taking the right path and ensuring that good triumphs over evil. Values of hope, optimism, of forgiveness – of the new beginnings and clean slates represented by the Hindu New Year as people wear new clothes and say prayers for the year ahead.

Not any ordinary politician here ~ the words of a Prime Minister of a big nation that of UK PM Ms  Theresa May at  a reception to celebrate Diwali  last year. His Excellency Dinesh Patnaik, Acting Indian High Commissioner and Jitendra Patel, Trustee of Neasden Temple were joined by the Prime Minister in the traditional lamp lighting ceremony. The Prime Minister was also joined by the Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel, Secretary of State for Local Government and Communities, Sajid Javid, Lord Gadhia and Foreign Office Minister Alok Sharma. In neighbouring Srilanka, National Deepavali Festival was held last year  under the patronage of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.   Down under,    Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wished happy “Deepavali” to the Indian community living in Australia, saying the festival is a powerful reminder that our society is greatly enriched by its diversity. Stating that Diwali is one of the most important events of the Hindu calender, observed since ancient time, Turnbull said the occassion was “deeply embedded in traditional culture, when families and friends gather together to light diyas, share gifts, and celebrate the triumph of light over darkness.”

Thiruvallikkeni, the abode of Lord Venkata Krishnan is different – it boasts of the Temple sung by 3 Azhwars ~ innumerable days of festivals; crowds thronging to have darshan of Lord Parthasarathi inside the Temple, and more gathering to have His darshan during the ‘thiruveethi purappadus’.   Each year, Deepavali coincides with the 10 day uthsavam of Swami Manavalamamunigal, the Great Acharyar of Srivaishnavism; our beloved  Acharyar propogated Thennacharya Sampradhayam.  Generally it would be 4th or 5th day of the Uthsavam and this year it was today 18th Oct 2017  – 3rd day  of  Sri Manavala Mamunigal Uthsavam and hence it was Sri Peyalwar’s Moonram Thiruvanthathi during the purappadu that lasted over 3 hours. 

             On this Deepavali day, Triplicanites eagerly look forward to the evening purappadu of Num Acharyar with Sri Parthasarathi.  In Chennai and in all parts of Tamil Nadu, it is not unusual to have rains during this season.  This year there were to be no rains ! ~ the  grand purappadu of Swami Manavalamunigal with  Sri Parthasarathi Swami beaming His resplendent splendour started around 19.15 hrs and concluded around 22.2o hrs– it was unbridled enthusiasm displaying  the lighting provided by the fireworks of various hues.  There were ‘scores  of 10000 wallahs, the sky lit with latest fireworks’  - with hundreds walking along having His darshan and enjoying the fireworks.  Here are some photos taken during the purappadu.  Blessed are we to be part of all these living in divyadesams.

Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan

19th Oct 2017 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sri Manavala Mamunigal Thiruvavathara Uthsavam : 2017 : day 2

ஸ்ரீ வைஷ்ணவத்தின் சொர்க்க பூமியான  பூலோக வைகுண்டத்தில் நிகழ்ந்த முகம்மதியர் படையெடுப்பால் பல்லாயிரக்கணக்கானோர் கோயிலையும், நம்பெருமாளையும் பாதுகாக்கும் பணியில் ஈடுபட்டு இன்னுயிர் ஈந்தனர்.   வெள்ளநீர் பரந்து பாயும் விரிபொழிலரங்கம் எனும் புகழ்ச்சி பெற்ற திருவரங்கத்து மதில்களும் வீதிகளும் அங்கு வாழ்ந்த ஸ்ரீவைஷ்ணவர்கள் துயரங்களை கண் நோக்கிய  - பதினான்காம் நூற்றாண்டின் ஆரம்பம் மிக மோசமாக தொடங்கியது.

டெல்லியை ஆண்டு வந்த சுல்தான்கள்பெரும் செல்வசெழிப்போடு வாழ்ந்து வந்த தமிழகத்தை சூறையாடி,  செல்வங்களையும் கொள்ளை கொண்டு .. பலரை கொன்ற துக்க காலம். திருவரங்கன் தனது உறைவிடத்தில் இருந்து  எழுந்து அருளப்பட்ட கொடிய காலமும் கூட.  சுமார் அறுபது ஆண்டுகளுக்கு மேலாக கோயிலும்கோயில் நிர்வாகமும் ஸ்தம்பித்த வரலாறும் ஸ்ரீ வைஷ்ணவத்தின் ஏடுகளில் ஓர் இருண்ட காலமாகும்.  இதனால் பாழ்பட்டு இருந்த இக்காலத்தில் ,பழைய பெருமைகளை மீண்டும் ஒளிரஸ்ரீ வைஷ்ணவம் என்னும் ஆலமரம் தழைக்க ராமானுஜரின் மறு அவதாரமாக தோன்றினார் ஸ்ரீ மணவாள மாமுனிகள்

Today (17th Oct 2017 ) is day 2  in the Thiruvavathara Uthsavam of Swami Manavala Manunigal.  Born in 1370 AD, our Acharyar lived for 73 years on this earth performing many Kainkaryams  at  Thiruvarangam  and undertook many pilgrimages to many  Sri Vaishnava Divyadesams. 

Periya  Jeeyar  established our Thennacharya Sampradhaya,  believed and practised the tenet of following the words of early Acharyars as they are [munnor mozhintha murai thappamal kettu]. Mamunigal’s commentaries are characterised by great clearness and completeness of exposition.  He had 8 famous disciples known as Ashtadig Gajas who were to take over the mantle and spread Sampradhayam for posterity. 

Today [Deepavali eve] being Thula Sankaramana Punyakalam,  Mamunigal had purappadu with Sri Parthasarathi perumal.  Here are some photos of today’s purappadu.

adiyen Srinivasadhasan

Monday, October 16, 2017

Acharyar Swami Manavala Mamunigal Uthsavam 2017 # at Kizh Thirupathi.

Srimathe Raamanujaya Namaha:
Srimath Varavara Munaye Namaha:

The 10 day long Uthsavam of our Greatest Acharyar ‘Swami Manavala Maamunigal” starts today (16th Oct 2017) at Thiruvallikkeni (also in other Divyadesams).  25th 0ct 2017 (Wednes)  8th day in the tamil month of Aippasi) would be a great day for all Thennacharya Sri Vaishnavaites – for this day “Aippaisi Thirumoolam’ marks the birth anniversary of Acharyar Sri Manavala Mamunigal.

Acharyar Sri  Manavala Mamunigal, the reincarnation of Adisesha,  born in  Kidaram in Tamilnadu, in the year 1370 AD.  His parents named him Azhagiya manavalan, after the Lord Himself. Today it rained in Triplicane and adiyen could not have darshan of our Acharyar in purappadu and here are some photos of Sri Manavala Mamunigal at  Holy Tirupathi (famously Kizh Thirupathi at the foothills of Holy Thirumala)

ஸ்ரீ: ஸ்ரீமதே ராமானுஜாய நமஹா ; ஸ்ரீமத் வரவர முனயே நமஹா :

இன்று 16.10.2017  - திருவல்லிக்கேணி மற்றும் அனைத்து திவ்யதேசங்களிலும்  ஸ்ரீ  மணவாள  மாமுனிகளின்  உத்சவம் ஆரம்பித்துள்ளது.  இந்த மாதம் 25.10.2017   அன்று - - ஐப்பசி திருமூலம் - ஆசார்யர் சாற்றுமுறை சீரிய நாள். 

ஸ்ரீ வரவரமுனி என்று கொண்டாடப்படும் நம் ஆசார்யர்  பாழ்பட்டு கிடந்த  ஸ்ரீரங்கம்   கோயில் நிர்வாகத்தை ஏற்று  ராமானுஜர்  காலம்  போன்ற நிர்வாகத்தை ஏற்படுத்தியவர். தன்  ஆச்சாரியர் திருவாய் மொழி பிள்ளை  ஆணையின்  பேரில் ஆழ்வார் திருநகரியில் ஸ்ரீராமானுஜர் விக்ரகத்தை  நிறுவி ராமானுஜர் பற்றிய இருபது பாக்கள் கொண்ட யதிராஜ விம்சதி இயற்றியதனால் யதீந்த்ர ப்ரவணர் என போற்றப்பட்டவர். 

**  Mamunigal at Thirupathi **

நம் ஆசார்யர் அருளிச்செய்த நூல்களிலே 'ஆர்த்தி ப்ரபந்தம்' பெருமை பெற்றது.  பெரியாழ்வார் பல்லாண்டு, பல்லாண்டு, பல்லாயிரத்தாண்டு என ஸ்ரீமன் நாராயணனை புகழ்ந்தது போல - இராமனுசனிடத்திலே மிக மிக ஈடுபாடு பெற்ற நம் பெரிய ஜீயர் ஸ்ரீ மணவாள மாமுனிகள்  தமது முதல் பாசுரத்திலேயே

'வாழி யதிராசன், வாழி யதிராசன்,
வாழி யதிராசனென வாழ்த்துவார்* வாழியென
வாழ்த்துவார்  வாழியென வாழ்த்துவார்* தாளிணையில்
தாழ்த்துவார் விண்ணோர் தலை **

தொழுது எழு என் மனனே என நம் சிறப்பு வாய்ந்த யதிகட்கெல்லாம் தலைவனான ஸ்ரீராமானுஜரை வாழி, வாழி, வாழி என வாழ்த்துபவர்களின் திருவடிகளில் விண்ணகத்து நித்யஸூரிகளும் தலை பணிவார்களாம் ~ அவ்வளவு சிறப்பு எம்பெருமானாரை பின்பற்றும் ஸ்ரீவைணவர்களுக்கு உண்டு என்கிறார் நம் சுவாமி மணவாள மாமுனிகள்.

கீழ் திருப்பதி எனப்படும் ஸ்ரீ கோவிந்தராஜபெருமாள்  உறையும் திவ்யதேசத்திலே எழுந்தருளி இருக்கும் நம் ஆசார்யர் தமது சில புகைப்படங்கள் இங்கே.

அடியேன் ஸ்ரீனிவாச தாசன்
16th Oct 2017.

**** This pic credit Sri APV Vijay

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sri Venkatesa Perumal Thirukovil - Palani Amman Koil - Triplicane 2017

ஜெய் ஸ்ரீமன் நாராயணா !

எம்பெருமானிடத்திலே அடிமை செய்து இருத்தலும் ~ அவனது திருப்பாத கமலங்களிலே கைங்கர்யம் செய்வதுமே நமக்கு உகந்தது.  நம்போல் ஒன்றுமே அறியாதவரும் எளிதில் தொழுவது 'நாம சங்கீர்த்தனத்தாலே *'..  ஸ்ரீமன் நாராயணின் பல்லாயிர நாமங்களிலே நாம் உகப்பவற்றை அணியாக சேர்த்து, கூவி கொண்டாடுவதே இது.

ஓம் நமோ வெங்கடேசாய என்ற ஒரு நல்ல தெலுங்கு திரைப்படத்தில் ஒரு பாடலில் இருந்து சில வரிகள் இங்கே :

கோவிந்தா ஹரி கோவிந்தா ! : கோகுல நந்தன கோவிந்தா *
ப்ருகு முனி பூஜித்த கோவிந்தா ! :பூமி யக்ன பல கோவிந்தா *
சுப்ரபாத ரஸா கோவிந்தா ! : விஸ்வரூப விபு கோவிந்தா *
கல்யாணப்பிரிய கோவிந்தா !! : கலியுக ரசமய கோவிந்தா *

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. 

I have posted about the purappadu of Sri Thelliya Singar on the occasion of Purattasi.    Nearer the landmark of Presidency College and Thiruvallikkeni MRTS Railway station lies some small streets locally known as Nadu/ Mattan  Kuppam housing traditional fishermen colony.  The Buckingham canal (once a fresh water canal) runs parallel to the coramandel coast and at Triplicane it is no longer a stream.  On both sides of this canal are small lanes and by lanes.

One such lane is Palani Amman Koil Street (Palandi Amman Koil Street) named after the Amman temple here.  There is a century old Sri Venkatesa Perumal Kovil dedicated to Lord Balaji at Palani Amman Koil 3rd Street, Triplicane, Chennai 600005.   On 14.10.2017,  Sri Venkatesa Perumal of this temple had grand procession in the streets of Venkatrangam Pillai Street and by lanes adjacent to that, accompanied by many instruments. At every corner and before most houses, people came out – offered coconut, flowers, banana and other fruits and had darshan of Lord Srinivasa

Here are some photos of the purappadu of Sri Venkatesa Perumal. 

Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan

Thursday, October 12, 2017

600 year old Panchaloha idol of Sundarar stolen ~ culprits arrested !!

The Great Living Chola Temples are three temples in Tamil Nadu built during the 11th and 12th century, when the Chola dynasty ruled south India, that are now recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under this name.   Here is a photo of Thanjai Periya Kovil ~ the Brihadeeswarar Temple. 

In fact, every King worth his name was keen on building big and dedicated Temple for Lord Shiva or Lord Sriman Narayana .. .. .. what ails Tamil Nadu now ?  ~ there are huge crowds – baktha offer crores for the Temple which are administered by the Govt and the donations given by devout for the Temple goes to Govt to be used for every other use; at many places Temples are administered by non-believers; mismanagement ensures that from vast acres of land, no  or very little revenue gets generated ~ and ,  and … ‘Temple idols’ are stolen (or they are moved to chests and other temples for protection !) – and a higher Police official of the Idol wing  himself is implicated in the idol theft;  sordid affairs !!

Palavakkam on the outskirts of the city was once the central theme of comedy drama ‘Crazy thieves in Palavakkam’.  Perungudi and DB Jain college a few decades were considered out of bounds and away from the city … not any longer, it is almost the entry point of the IT Corridor ever busy OMR [Old Mahabalipuram Road] ~ and in this busy area, Six panchaloha idols have been stolen from the Srinivasa Perumal temple in Perungudi. The theft occured on Friday and a priest noticed the missing idol when he came to offer prayers on Saturday morning, reports ToI.

The temple's trustee then reportedly instructed the priest to lodge a complaint with the Thoraipakkam police station. A case has been registered and police are trying to use CCTV footage and fingerprints found at the site to identify the culprits. The temple had no security guard and the thieves had broke opened the lock to make away with the valuables. According to reports, idols stolen include those of Anjaneyar, the main deity Srinivasa Perumal, Narasimhar and Padmavathi Thayar.

At the beginning of this month, police had arrested three persons in Thanjavur district, when they attempted to steal a two-foot Amman idol, from a Mariamman temple. A four-member gang had planned to steal what they presumed was a panchaloha idol, but their plan was foiled as the villagers caught hold of one of the culprits when they tried to escape. Over the last year alone, multiple cases of theft in connection to these idols have emerged in Tamil Nadu. In the past idols have been smuggled to dealers in Mumbai and New Delhi before being shipped off to art galleries abroad. 

It is reported that a business stand-off between a buyer who offered Rs 1.5 crore and smugglers who wanted Rs 2.35 crore for the idol, seems to have led to the leak of information to the idol wing cops, who carried out the midnight operation !

Sundaramurthi Nayanar,  also known affectionately as Tampiran Tōan (Comrade of the Master, meaning Shiva) lived in 8th century or so and was a poet who sung on Lord Siva. He was a contemporary of Cheraman Perumal and Kotpuli Nayanar who also figure in the 63 Nayanmars. The songs of praise are called Thiruthondathogai and is the original nucleus around which the Periyapuranam is based.  The hymns of seventh volume of the Tirumurai, the twelve-volume compendium of the poetry of Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta, were composed by him. Naturally he is hailed and worshipped in Saivaite temples.

Sleuths of the state idol wing CID on Tuesday night arrested four people, including an engineer employed at a thermal power plant, for stealing a 600-year old panchaloha idol from a temple at Uthiramerur near Kancheepuram. The suspects planned to sell the idol to an agent in Malaysia, police said. Police, who believe the idol of Sundaramurthy Nayanar is worth around `2.35 crore in the international market, added that Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials had, after verification, confirmed that it dated to around 1,400AD.

During inquiries, Mahendran, 41, of Mangal village in Tiruvannamalai, Sekar, 28, of Uthiramerur, and Dakshinamurthy , 29, and Karthik, 25, both residents of Olukarai village, admitted that they had stolen the idol from a dilapidated temple near Uthira merur, around 30km from Kancheepuram town, said an idol wing CID official. Strangely, none of the po lice stations in and around Uthiramerur had registered any case of an antique idol stolen from any of the ancient temples in the area, he added. The arrested men were on Wednesday produced before the Additional Principal Sessions Court in Kumbakonam, designated to try idol theft cases among others, and were later lodged in the Central Prison at Trichy .

It was based on specific information provided from Malaysia that a team of the idol wing CID zeroed in on the four men at a hideout near Balu Chetty Chathiram in Kancheepuram district. The informer in Malaysia had told police that four men were trying to strike a business transaction with an agent in the Southeast Asian country . The special team led by inspector general of police A G Pon Manickavel and deputy superintendents of police Ramesh, Raghupathi and Shivasankar seized a Maruthi van from the four men. Deputy inspector general Thenmozhi and superintendent of police Santhosh Haidmeni were also involved in the operation.

Of the four men, a police officer said, Dakshinamurthy was an engineer who worked on a temporary basis at a thermal power plant in Ennore, while Karthik, a diploma holder, was employed as a sales manager in a private company. Deputy superintendent of police, idol wing CID, Shivasankar, was later tasked with following the case to its logical end.

But the idol is yet to be linked to any Temple ~ perhaps the Temple from where it was stolen is yet to realize the missing idol !! ~ what an administration ? – then there is the Police story … that of a DSP involved in the theft of idols and arrested .. !!

It is reported in the media that suspended deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Kader Batcha, who was in the custody of idol wing CID police for five days, didn't cooperate with the investigating officers.  The inspector-general of police of the idol wing CID A G Pon Manickavel told reporters in the court premises in Kumbakonam after witnessing the court proceedings that his team of investigation officers grilled Batcha with 62 questions vital to the investigation. 

Two additional superintendents of police Jose Thangaiah and Kumar have been assigned to probe Batcha. As Batcha's custody ended on Friday, the idol wing CID officials produced him before the special court to try exclusively the idol wing cases in the state in Kumbakonam. The judge ordered the police to detain Batcha in judicial custody until October 6. Police took him to the Trichy central prison and he was remanded there.

Police personnel arrested Batcha from a hideout in Kumbakonam and he was later remanded in judicial custody after being produced before the court on September 13. The idol theft case took momentum on June 27 after Madras high court judge Justice Mahadevan came down hard on the idol wing CID officials for not initiating any action against officials involved in the case. Subsequently, a police team arrested sub inspector Subburaj, 54, who served in Koyambedu police station and was serving as police head constable in 2008 when he and Batcha are believed to have obtained antique idols from ta farmer and later sold them to the idol smuggler G Deenadayalan, who is currently facing many cases, for Rs 2 crore.

Sordid is the state of affairs ! ~ for many there are important avocations  and bakthas too remain unconcerned !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
12th Oct 2017.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Ekadina Naalayira Vaag Yagnam at Thiruvallikkeni ~ Sri Thennacharya Sripadham Thangi Sabhai

Another special day today 22nd day of Purattasi ~ 8th Oct 2017 – though no purappadu or other special at Thiruvallikkeni Sri Parthasarathi swami temple.

When we do kainkaryam to Lord (to Him at Thiruvenkadam), we must do service by being with HIM throughout our life and do as a slave would serve his master.    ஒழிவில் காலமெல்லாம் உடனாய் மன்னி, வழுவிலா  அடிமை செய்ய வேண்டும் நாம்,” –

Life in a divyadesam is always exhilarating – you get to mingle with so many persons whose life is entwined in service to Emperuman Sriman Narayana.  Of the many kainkaryams, Sripadham thangi is physically associated too and can be very demanding.  At Thiruvallikkeni there are many dedicated youngsters who are extremely committed to the kainkaryam of carrying the Lord on their shoulders and do all the associated activities.  Their involvement actually commences hours before every purappadu and ends an hour or so later.

A couple of decades ago, they got more organized and formed Sri Thennacharya Sri Vaishnava Sripadham Thangigal Kainkarya Sabhai ~ now a registered association too. They are rendering great service – of their many activities, every year they organize chanting of ‘Nalayira divyaprabantham’ in a single day.

Today, the Kainkarya sabha has organized this vaak yagnam [divine chanting] ~ Ekadina Nalayira divyaprabandha Vagnagnam at Sri Yadugiri Yathiraja Mutt  – which incidentally is 20th year in succession.  This morning  His Holiness Sri Perumpudur Appan Parakala Ramanuja Embar Jeeyar Swami blessed and partook in the rendering. His Holiness Embar jeeyar  Swami is a renowned scholar, known for his exceptional clarity and style of writing and deliverance of kalakshepams. Swami at 93+ is very active and Triplicanities are fortunate today as he visited Thiruvallikkeni.

Here are some photos taken this morning.

Adiyen dhasan
8th Oct 2017.

PS : contains couple of photos taken on an earlier occasion showing some active members of the Kainkarya sabhai too.