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Monday, May 16, 2022

Sri Varadharajar Sesha vahana purappadu 2022

Sri Devathi Rajar Brahmothsavam is grandly being conducted at Perumal Kovil (Thirukachi aka Kanchipuram).  Today   day 4 of the uthsavam – Sesha vahanam.  

Kanchipuram, is Saptapuri, one of the  seven holiest cities, - mokshapuri, the city of  salvation. One of the country’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, Kanchipuram was called the city of a thousand temples, and it has more than a hundred even today. While it will take an eternity to explore all of Kanchi’s temples we would immediately tend to associate the city with Pallava kings.  

The Pallava dynasty existed from 275 CE to 897 CE, ruling a significant portion of southern India also known as Tondaimandalam. They gained prominence after the downfall of the Satavahana dynasty.   Most of the history that we read in schools was about   the reign of Mahendravarman I (600–630 CE) and Narasimhavarman I (630–668 CE).  During their reign, they remained in constant conflict with both the Chalukyas of Badami in the north, and the Tamil kingdoms of Chola and Pandyas in the south. The Pallavas were finally defeated by the Chola ruler Aditya I in the 9th century CE. 

The Pallavas are famous for  their patronage of architecture, the finest example being the Shore Temple, and grand architectural masterpieces at Mamallapuram.   Kancheepuram served as the capital of the Pallava kingdom. The dynasty left behind magnificent sculptures and temples, and are recognised to have established the foundations of medieval South Indian architecture. They developed the Pallava script, from which Grantha ultimately took form. This script eventually gave rise to several other Southeast Asian scripts such Khmer. The Chinese traveller Xuanzang visited Kanchipuram during Pallava rule and extolled their  rule.  

Of the many temples of Kanchi, the  majestic Vaikunta Perumal Temple dedicated to  Sriman Narayana, is believed to have been built by the Pallava king Nandivarman II. What’s unusual about this temple is that there are three sanctums one on top of the other. Lord Vishnu is depicted in seated, reclining and standing postures in the lowest, middle and upper levels respectively.  The central shrine is surrounded by a passage whose walls are covered with incredible relief panels and inscriptions about the Pallava dynasty until the ascent of Nandivarman II to the throne, including the empire’s ongoing conflict with their rivals, the Chalukyas.  

Moving away from the History that was read in school books, here is something extracted from the book “Pallavas “ by G Jouveau – Dubreuil, Doctor of Univ of Paris,  Professor, College, Pondicherry, published in 1917 priced at Rs.2/-  .. .. … 

                      The record found at Mayidavou is written in Prakrit.  There are also 2 other records of same kind – but the other Pallava records are in Sanskrit.  One of these two records that of Hirahadagalli is dated in the 8th year of tehr eign of Sivaskanda varman, King of Kanchi, who is of the Pallava dynasty and Bharadvaja gotra and who by this document confirms a gift made by his father Bappa-deva.  

The Penugonda plates (GO no. 920, 4.8.1914) mention two Pallava kings Simhavarman and Skandavarman, but the age of these plates is not known.  Then there is the authentic Vayalur inscription which is engraved on a cubical pillar of the Pallava style and runs round it in the form of a helix.  It begins with the well known series of names : Brahma, Angiras, Brihaspati, Samyu, Bharadwaja, Drona, Asvathaman, Pallava, Asoka, Harigupta, Aryavarman and then two or 3 names hardly legible and then Kalinda, Byamalla, Ekamalla .. .. after this last name begins a series of 36 names.  

The last few names are too well known to us : Nandivarman, Simhavarman, Mahendravarman, Narasimha varman, Parameswara varman. The existence of a King called Virakurcha is proved by the plate discovered at Darsi.  The existence of a king by name Skandasishya is established by the Tirukkalukkunram inscription.  

Dr Fleet has assigned the date of about 500A.D to the Penugonda plates, which is the date we give to (26) Skandavarman, son of (25) Simhavarman who crowned King Madhava II alias Simhavarman.  The name Simhavarman given to a king of the Western Ganga dynasty shows that Aryavarman, who had been crowned by the Pallava king had married his daughter and his son Madhava II received the name of his grandfather, the pallava king Simhavarman.    The Vayalar inscription enables us to believe that Penugonda plates belong to 500 A.D.  

The Velurpalaiyam plates say of Simhavishnu – he quickly seized the country of Cholas embellishd by the daughter of Kavira [ie., the river Kaveri] whose ornaments are the forests of paddy (fields) and where (are found) brilliant groves of areca (palms).  From this it would appear that the Chola country did not belong to the Pallavas before Simhavishnu and it was he who conquered it.  

Moving away from the heavy dose of history, Sri Varadharajar uthsavam is on at Thiruvallikkeni too following Thirukachi and today is day 4 – there was Sesha vahana purappadu in the evening in which it was Nanmukhan thiruvanthathi of Thirumazhisai azhwar.  

எம்பெருமான் ஸ்ரீமன் நாரணனது பரத்துவத்தை அறுதியிட்டு உரைப்பவர் பக்திசாரர்.  இதோ இங்கே திருமழிசைப்பிரானின் நான்முகன் திருவந்தாதி பாசுரம் :  

தமராவார்  யாவருக்கும் தாமரை  மேலாற்கும்

அமரர்க்கும் ஆடரவர்த்தாற்கும் - அமரர்கள்

தாள்  தாமரை  மலர்களிட்டிறைஞ்சி, மால்வண்ணன்

தாள்தாமரை   அடைவோமென்று. 

எம்பெருமான் ஸ்ரீமன் நாரணனே மிகவும் உயர்ந்தவன்.  அந்த கரியமேனியனான எம்பெருமானுடைய திருவடித் தாமரைகளில்  பல்வேறு மணம் கமழும் புஷ்பங்களை ஸமர்ப்பித்து வணங்கி  அத்திருவடித்தாமரைகளையே  அடைவோமென்று பக்தராயிருக்குமவர்கள் -  திருநாபிக் கமலத்திற் பிறந்த பிரமனுக்கும்,  ஆடுகின்ற ஸர்ப்பங்களை (ஆபரணமாக உடம்பிலே) கட்டிக் கொண்டிருக்கும் சிவனுக்கும், நித்யஸூரிகளுக்கும் மற்றுமெல்லார்க்கும்  மேற்பட்டவராவர். அத்தகைய எம்பெருமானை அனுதினமும் வணங்குவோர்க்கு எல்லா நலன்களும் தானே அமையும். 

Here are some photos of Sri Varadharajar Sesha vahana  purappadu  on day 4 of Devathirajar uthsavam at Thiruvallikkeni this day.

adiyen Srinivasa dhasan
Mamandur Veeravalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar

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