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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Sri Azhagiya Singar - Dharmathi Peedam 2020

In our younger days, we grew up hearing stories especially during our dinner and bed times – most stories of past experiences, of the past, villages, struggles and more – there was never the Q on their authenticity .. .. modern day youngsters may never know that once ‘hold-all’ was ubiquitous. 

I have heard this often – there are no natives of Madras but most of those who live here are migrants ! – those who shifted from their native villages in search of greener pastures and the city would accommodate everyone for their capacity, for their knowledge, willingness to work and more – and they stayed making their future generations too flourish here.  A few decades ago, people would come to the Capital Madras for a specific work, complete and return back. In case, the work was not over they would stay in choultries or just in front of big mansions (sleeping on the bedsheet carried in the holdall)

Now cities are places in slumber - coronavirus is now an inescapable part of everyday life. Last January we were taken aback by the bizarre lockdown in China ~ just a few months on, every part of the World is seemingly under lockdown though to various extents.   With nearly 20,000 fresh infections reported in the past 24 hours, India now has over 5.28 lakh COVID cases.  Chennai and Tamil Nadu too are reporting higher no. of cases daily.   Asserting that the coronavirus pandemic cannot continue forever, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday urged people to take all precautions to keep the virus away as the country lifts the nationwide lockdown. In a Facebook post, he appealed to the citizens of India to stay calm and have a firm belief that “no storm can continue forever.”

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh announced extension of the coronavirus-induced lockdown in his state for another 15 days, that is, from July 1 to July 15. He may not be alone and for Tamil Nadu, we do not see any other let out or option but perhaps continuation of another lockdown version.   For Europe, the misery set in back in mid-February when the north of Italy was suddenly confronted with a huge surge in COVID-19 infections. In the weeks that followed, the virus spread to every corner of the continent via Lombardy and later Austria and Switzerland. Governments were presented with a ‘devil’s dilemma’: what should be done?    For weeks, the media coverage across Europe was dominated by articles about unilateral border closures, export bans on medical equipment, and the bitter dispute over “coronabonds”. It is thus unsurprising that many citizens were massively disappointed by the crisis management at the European level.

Corona is prevalent in all parts and people slowly are preparing to live with it – for us it is a huge pain and disappointment.  We are not moving outside our homes (most of us – the law abiding citizens) and lament for those missing Uthsavams at Temple.  We have not had darshan of Sri Parthasarathi Emperuman as Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam went out of bounds for devotees from Mar 20, 2020.  Now the anguish is there would be no Aani brahmothsavam for Sri Azhagiya Singar too.

But for Corona, 28.6.2020 would have been Ankurarpanam and purappadu of SenaiMuthaliyar.   The morning of 29.6.2020 would have dawned with greater hopes and pomp – Brahmothsavam of Thelliya Singar starting with dwajarohanam. It is firmly believed that during the Uthsavam lakhs of Devas visit the divyadesam where the celerbations are taking place,  and every day both in the morning and in the evening – there will be bali (ritualistic offering taking care of such guests).  There would be purappadu of Nithyasurigal – Ananthan, Garudan, Vishwaksenar and Chakrathazhwar in pallakku for ‘bali’ in eight peedams in 8  directions.   Triplicanites would feel happy in having His darshan in the morning and in the evening in different Vahanams. 

On day 1 morning it would be Dharmathi peedam purappadu.   By some accounts, this beautiful vahanam  was rendered in 1906 and hence more than a century old.   Being day 1 ~ it  would be  Muthal thiruvanthathi of Sri Poigai alwar. The Muthalazhwargal (Pogaippiran   Boothathalwar and Peyalwar) met at Thirukovalur.... Poigai azhwar started singing the greatness of the Lord by lighting the Earth itself as the light and Ocean as the ghee......   

எம்பெருமானை தங்கள் மனசார அனுபவித்து ஆசையாய் தங்கள் வார்த்தைகள் உரைத்தவர்கள் ஆழ்வார்கள்.

ஒன்றும் மறந்தறியேன் ஓதநீர் வண்ணனை நான்,
இன்று மறப்பனோ ஏழைகாள் அன்று*
கருவரங்கத்துட்கிடந்து கைதொழுதேன் கண்டேன்*
திருவரங்கமேயான் திசை.

பொய்கையார் ~  ஸ்ரீமன் நாராயணனிடத்தில் பக்தி குறைந்தவர்களை  ஏழைகாள் என விளித்து கூறுகிறார் : அறியா காலத்திலேயே,  வெள்ளம் பரந்தது போன்ற வடிவழகுள்ள பெருமானை மறந்தறிய மாட்டேன்வளர்ந்து ஞானம் பெற்ற பிறகு,   காவிரி பாயும் திருவரங்கத்திலே பள்ளி கொண்டுள்ள  பெரிய பெருமாளுடைய திசைஎந்நாளும் மறக்க வல்லேன்.

Poigaipiraan, calls those who are less inclined in bakthi towards Sriman Naryaana as poor and says  - that even in those days lying in the womb i.e., when he had no knowledge, he was fully inclined towards the Lord of the Ocean, now after acquiring some knowledge, he cannot but fold his hands and pray towards South  to the Lord reclining on Adisesha at the beautiful Thiruvarangam, enclosed by flowing ThirukKaveri.

                      We miss His  darshan.  Just to reminisce here are some photos of Sri Azhagiya Singar  in dharmathi peedam taken a decade ago in 2010.  Pray our Emperuman that all these become a thing of the past and We have live darshan of Emperuman daily.

~ adiyen  Srinivasadhasan.
Mamandur Veeravalli  Srinivasan Sampathkumar

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