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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Sri Jayanthi 2017 ~ Celebrating birth of Lord Krishna on Rohini day

Today on 13th Sept 2017, Sri Jayanthi is being celebrated grandly  at Thiruvarangam, Thiruvallikkeni and many other divyadesams.. ..  at  every home -  in the manner of Lord Krishna being born there  – devotees are elated.  

beautiful Lord Krishna at Koviladi (Appakudathan divyadesam)

We, the followers of the lotus feet of Sri Krishna,  paint the footsteps of little Krishna – exhibiting His walking inside our home,  do Thirumanjanam for the vigraha at home, make Him adorn new  clothes; offer Him choicest dishes made with love at home. We also offer Him variety of fruits including blue jamuns. At Thiruvallikkeni, the presiding deity is Sri Partha Sarathi, Lord Krishna by volunteering to run the chariot for Arjuna attaining the name  and here is Sri Parthasarathi Vennaithazikkannan thirukolam photo



HE was born at Mathura, most sacred of all places, capital of Braj, the holy place,where the  ghats and temples are daily thronged by thousands of pilgrims. It is hailed that a single day spent at Mathura is more reverred than a lifetime spent at Benares.  The city has seen more pillage and plundering right from the days of the Lord Himself, when Jarasandha attacked it 17 times with enmity and was defeated as many times. 

இன்று 'ஸ்ரீ ஜெயந்திஎன்றும் சிறப்புற கொண்டாடப்படுகிறது.  இன்றைய கால கட்டத்தில், 'ஜெயந்திஎன்பது 'பிறந்த தினத்தை'  குறிப்பது என்பது போல – பல 'ஜெயந்திகள்மக்களால் கொண்டாடப்படுகின்றன !  ஆனால் 'ஸ்ரீ ஜெயந்திஎன்பது பகவான் ஸ்ரீ கிருஷ்ணர் பிறந்த தினத்தை மட்டுமே குறிக்க வல்லது.  "ஜெயந்தி" என்பது ஒரு முகூர்த்தம். அஷ்டமியும் நவமியும் சேரும்ரோஹிணி நக்ஷத்திரத்தில் [மிருகசீர்ஷம் வரும் சமயம்] உள்ள ஒரு சிறப்பான 'ஜெயந்திஎன்கிற முஹூர்த்ததில் ஸ்ரீகிருஷ்ணர் வடமதுரையில் அவதரித்தார்.  கண்ணன் பிறந்த நாள் என்பதால் அதற்கு சிறப்பு சேர்க்கும் விதமாக 'ஸ்ரீ ஜெயந்தி' ஆனது. எனவே எப்படி'ஸ்ரீராமநவமிஎன்பது ஸ்ரீராமர் அவதரித்த நந்நாள் என கொண்டாடுகிறோமோ அதே போல ஸ்ரீகிருஷ்ணர் பிறந்தநாள் 'கோகுலாஷ்டமிஸ்ரீ கிருஷ்ண ஜெயந்திஸ்ரீ ஜெயந்தி'.  மற்றைய பிறந்த நாள்களை 'ஜெயந்திஎன கொண்டாடுதல் தகா!   [முனைவர் ம அ வேங்கட கிருஷ்ணன் சுவாமி சொல்லக் கேட்டது] 


While some celebrate the coming of Lord Krishna to this Universe on Ashtami day as ‘Gokulashtami’ – in South India, it is more with the star of ‘Rohini’ and the birth day is being celebrated as : Sri Jayanthi.   

ஆறு எனக்கு  நின் பாதமே சரணாகத் தந்தொழிந்தாய்  :  தெய்நாயகப் பெருமானே!  அடியேனுக்கு உன் திருவடிகளே உபாயமாக அநுக்ரஹித்து விட்டாய் என சுவாமி நம்மாழ்வார் அருளிச்செய்தபடியே கண்ணன் கழலிணைகளையே  பற்றுவோமாக*

Lord Krishna at Janmasthan
Pic credit : wiki Commons : Raghvendra Sharma


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 by invaders and Muslim rulers at various points of time yet has recovered everytime.  During  the reign of Jahangir, Raja Veer Singh Deva Bundela of Orchha constructed another magnificent temple (about 250 feet high) on the sacred spot.  According to Tavernier, a French traveller who visited Mathura in about 1650 A.D., ”after Banaras, the most famous temple of India is situated at Mathura. It is octagonal in shape. Red sandstone has been used in it. All round the temple, the stone claddings have inscriptions of various kinds of animals. The Jagmohana is built upon one half of the temple’s vast courtyard. At the centre is the main Mandap. The temple has many windows and is so vast that it can be seen from a distance of 5 to 6 Kosas.” From the descriptions of the Italian traveller, Manuchi, it is clear that the gold canopied top of the temple could be seen even from Agra, which is at a distance of 18 Kosas (54 Kilometres). When lamps were lit on the Deepavali night, the light could be easily seen by the Emperor from Agra. Manuchi stayed in India for a long time and had the opportunity to see the temple several times.

Emperor Aurangzeb could not tolerate this sacred memorial, the fourth one at the birthplace of Lord Shri Krishna. So, in 1669 A.D., he had the Keshavadeva temple destroyed. Over a part of the raised plinth of the temple an ldgah was erected. Materials from the temple were utilised in the construction of the ldgah, which are still in existence. The visitors and devotees from India and abroad who came to see the temple’s plight, felt deeply hurt and always hoped the temple would be rebuilt and its past glory restored.

In 1803, the Mathura region came under British rule. In 1815, the East India Company auctioned the area of Katra Keshavadeva, which was purchased by the then Raja Patnimal of Banaras. It was the earnest desire of Raja Patnimal that the Lord Keshavadeva temple should be rebuilt on the site of His birth. His family heirs, however continued to have the ownership rights over Katra Keshavadeva.  Late Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya felt utterly distressed to see the miserable condition of this historical and sacred site. He started making plans for restoration of the shrine. With financial assistance from the Late Seth Jugal Kishoreji Birla, Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya acquired the entire land from Raj Krishna Das in 1944.  In order to fulfill the last wishes of the Late Malaviyaji, the Late Seth Jugal Kishorji Birla, in  1951, constituted a trust named ’Shri Krishna Janma Bhoomi Trust’ and acquired the ownership rights over Katra Keshavadeva.

Apart from inscriptions and other fragmentary archseological vestiges of its ancient glory, the first authentic contemporary record of Mathura that we find in existing literature is dated the year 1017 A.D., when it was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni in his ninth invasion of India. The original source of information recording Mahmud’s campaigns is the Tarikh Yamini of A1 Utbi, who was himself secretary to the Sultan, though he did not accompany him in his expeditions. The place supposed to be Maha-ban he calls the Fort of Kulchand,” a Raja, who (he writes) “ was, not without good reason, confident in his strength, for no one had fought against him and not been defeated. He had vast territories, enormous wealth, a numerous and brave army, huge elephants, and strong forts that no enemy had been able to reduce. When he saw that the Sultan advanced against him, he drew up his army and elephants  ready for action. But finding every attempt to repulse the invaders fail, the beleaguered infidels at last quitted the fort and tried to cross the broad river which flowed in its rear. When some 50,000 men had been killed or drowned, Kulchand took a dagger, with which he first slew his wife and then drove it into his own body.   In the neighbouring holy city, identified as Mathura, he saw a building of exquisite structure, which the inhabitants declared to be the handiwork not of men but of Genii.  The town wall was constructed of solid stone, and had opening on to the river two gates, raised on high and massive basements to protect them from the floods. On the two sides of the city were thousands of houses with idol temples attached, all of masonry and strengthened with bars of iron ; and opposite them were other buildings supported on stout wooden pillars. In the middle of the city was a temple, larger and finer than the rest, to which neither painting nor description.  The Sultan thus wrote respecting it:— If any one wished to construct a building equal to it, he would not be able to do so without expending a hundred million dinars, and the work would occupy two hundred years, even though the most able and experienced workmen were employed.’ Orders were given that all the temples should be burnt with naphtha and fire and levelled with the ground.” The city was given up to plunder for twenty days.

Among the spoils are said to have been five great idols of pure gold with eyes of rubies and adornments of other precious stones, together with a vast number  of smaller silver images, which, when broken up, formed a load for more than a hundred camels. The total value of the spoil has been estimated at three millions of rupees ; wliile the number of Hindus carried away into captivity exceeded 5,000.

Years later, after reign of Shahjahan,  Murshid Ali Khan, in the year 1636, made a commander of 2,000 horse, and appointed by the Emperor Governor of Mathura and Maha-ban, with express instructions to bo zealous in stamping out all rebellion and idolatry. The climax of wanton destruction was, however, attained by Aurangzeb, the Oliver Cromwell of India, who, not content with demolishing the most sacred of its shrines, thought also to destroy even the ancient name of the city by substituting for Islamabad. Mathura was casually connected important events in his life as  born here  in 1639, his eldest son, Muhammad Sultan, who expiated the sin of primogeniture in the Oriental fashion by ending his days in a dungeon, as one of the first acts of his father, on his accession to the throne, was to confine him in the fortress of Gwaliar  fortress of Gwaliar, where he died in 1665. .   [Excerpted from  Mathura ~ a District Memoir  “  by FS Growse & MA Oxon,   Magistrate and Collector of  Bulandshahr in 1883] 

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.  Here are some photos of Sri Janmasthan of Sri Krishna at Mathura ~ photos of the entrance only as the temple premises is heavily guarded and cameras are not allowed these days.  On the day of Gokulashtami huge crowds would gather and sing paeans in praise of our Great Lord Krishna

பெரியாழ்வார் கண்ணன் பிறந்தது முதல் ஒவ்வொரு பருவத்தையும் கொண்டாடி மகிழ்கிறார். ஓரிடத்தில் "செந்நெல் அரிசி சிறு பருப்புச் செய்த அக்காரம் நறுநெய் பாலால்" என -  செந்நெல்லரிசியும்சிறு பயற்றம் பருப்பும்காய்ச்சித் திரட்டி நன்றாகச் செய்த அக்காரம் என்கிற கருப்புக்கட்டியும்மணம் மிக்க நெய்யும்;  பால் ஆகிய 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. 

பக்தர்களை உய்விப்பதற்க்காக இவ்வுலகத்தில் அவதரித்து,  வாழ்ந்துநாம் அறிவுபெற நல்லமுதமாம் 'ஸ்ரீபகவத்கீதையைஅருளிய கண்ணபிரானின் திருவடிகளை பற்றியவருக்கு, நிர்ஹேதுக  க்ருபை  உடையவனான எம்பெருமான் எல்லா நலன்களையும் தானேஅளித்துநம்மை பாதுகாப்பார். 


Born in this land and following Lord Sri Krishna, we are blessed to have received His upadesams ~ the most sacred ‘Bhagavad Gita’ -  also known as Gitopanishad. It is the essence of Vedic knowledge.   It is handed over to mortals by Bhagwan Sri Krishna Himself. 

For a Srivaishnavaite, the simplest karma is to worship Lord Krishna, fall at His golden feet, follow Him truthfully, do service to Him and to His bhagavatas.

அடியேன் ஸ்ரீனிவாசதாசன்   [ஸ்ரீ சம்பத்குமார்] 
13th Sept. 2017



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