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Friday, March 29, 2013

Allikkeni Azhagiya Singar Thavanothsavam 2013

Thiruvallikkeni is replete with Festivities and uniquely there are two Brahmothsavams ~ one for Sri Parthasarathi in the month of Chithirai and for Azhagiya Singar in the month of Aani.   After the Theppothsavam, comes the Thavana Uthsavam.  It would amaze one to understand the significance of each Uthsavam and the care with which our elders have designed them.  After the 5 day festivity for Sri Parthasarathi, now it is for Azhagiya Singar – 3 day Thavanothsavam starting from today ~ 29th Mar 2013.

I have recently posted about Thavana Uthsavam and the vast expanse at Thulasinga Perumal Koil Street, now known as ‘Thavana Uthsava Bungalow’ deriving  its name from the Thavana Uthsavam.  The significance of this Uthsavam is that with the onset of summer, Perumal takes rest under the roof made of dhavanam  (Tamil: தவனம்) [Artemisia pallens] – an aromatic herb.  Now a days, Perumal takes rest under the roof made of thavanam – an aromatic herb.

Sri Azhagiya Singar had purappadu in the morning reached the Bungalow, had  Thirumanjanam inside the premises, had purappadu inside the Bungalow in the evening and then had ‘periya maada veethi purappadu’. 

Here are some photos taken during today’s purappadu.  Today, Sri Azhagiya Singar had sarrupadi [decoration ~ alankaram] as ‘Kalinga Narthana Kannan ~ the Krishna who danced on the hood of Kalinga, the snake during Krishna Avathara’.  To make you appreciate the sarrupadi, a rare photo of Azhagiha Singar in His purest form, without even a garland is also posted.

Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan                                                                                                29th Mar 2013

purappadu inside bungalow
 under Thavana kooralam and Perumal pinnazhagu…

Azhagiya Singar ~ Kalinga Narthanam Thirukolam

Thiruvanthikappu before returning to the Temple

Thiruvallikkeni Azhagiya Singar ~ a rare photo.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pallava Uthsavam at Thiruvallikkeni - 2013

In Thiruvallikkeni, festivities in the temple never stops……. After the grand Theppothsavam [float festival]; it was Thavana Uthsavam and concurrently it was Pallava Uthsavam.  On Sunday 24th March 2013, it was 3rd day of Pallava Uthsvam and there was purappadu of Lord Ranganathar. 

Thiruvallikkeni is part of Thondaimandalam.. associated with Pallava dynasty.  The Pallava Kings ruled regions of northern Tamil Nadu and southern Andhra Pradesh between the 2nd and 9th centuries CE. The Pallavas gained prominence after the eclipse of the Satavahana dynasty.  Of the many Kings, Mahendravarman I  (600–630 CE) was very prominent and it was during regime, Pallavas fougth Chalukyas – Pulikesi – the Vengi wars.  Mahendravarman was succeeded to the throne by his more famous son Narasimhavarman I.    Narasimhavarman I fondly known as ‘maamallan’ fondly shared his father’s  love of art and completed the work started by Mahendravarman in Mahabalipuram. 

Now don’t get carried away – ‘Pallava Uthsavam’ is not associated with Pallavas or any other rulers for that matter.  

Pallavam is a period – it is the period when tender shoots spring up. During Pallava Uthsavam,  ‘Brindaranya Sthala mahimai’ is read before Sri Ranganathar  at Thiruvaimozhi mandapam inside Sri Parthasarathi Swami Temple.  After this there is periya maada veethi purappadu everyday.  On Panguni Uthiram day, Pallava Uthsavam concludes with Sri Ranganathar astride ‘kannadi Garudan’ and later there is Sri Vedavalli Thayar Srimannathar Thirukkalyanam.  

One odd reference to Pallavam is found in Kaliyan’s Thirumozhi : “பல்லவந்திகழ் பூங்கடம் பேறியக்காளியன் பணவரங்கில்,” which mentions of the tender leaves of Kadamba tree.

Here are some photos taken during the Pallava Uthsava Day 3 purappadu on 24th Mar 2013.  One can observe the just born foliage of Mango leaves in the lotus feet of Lord Ranganathar. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thiruvallikkeni Panguni Uthiram Garuda Sevai

Today [26th Mar 2013]  is Panguni Uthiram,  a very auspicious day.  The Pallava uthsavam concludes today.  During the Pallava uthsavam, ‘Brindharanya puranam’ is read in front of Sri Ranganathar.

In Srirangam, it is famous for ‘Serthi sevai’.  At Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam,  on the day of Panguni Uthiram, divine wedding of Sri Vedavalli Thayar and Sriman Ranganathar is performed.  

On this day, there is purappadu on Garuda vahanam. This extremely attractive ‘Garudan’ is  known as ‘kannadi Garudan’ – for the vahanam has glass pieces of art embedded on the structure.  Inside the Temple, Gadyathrayam of Sri Ramanuja is rendered.

Here are some photos taken during today's evening purappadu whence the Pournami moon provided the perfect backlight.

Adiyen – S. Sampathkumar.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Vijaya Varusha Panchangam release : Brahmin Welfare Association, Triplicane

Do you know …: Jaya, Manmatha, Thunmuki, He’ Vilambi, Vilambi, Vikari, Saarvari, Pilava, Suba Kruthu, Sobha kiruthu…………. It was a grand gathering at Gangai Kondan Mandapam in Thiruvallikkeni…….. reason… ‘Panchangam release of ‘Brahmins Welfare Association’, Triplicane and Yours Truly was on stage compering.

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 5113 ~ Salivahana Saha  1935 ‘Year Nanthana’ 11th day in the tamil month of Panguni  - on Dwadasi day with Maka Nakshathiram’………….that is Sunday, 24th Mar 2013” - was held the ‘Vijaya Varusha Panchanga release function’.

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. Panchāngams are published in India by many learned authors, societies, academies, and universities. Different publications differ only minutely, at least for a casual or un-trained reader. They forecast celestial phenomena such as solar eclipses, forecast weather (rain, dryspells) as well as more mundane occurrences. The study of Panchāngams involves understanding Rasi phalan, the impact of the signs of the zodiac on the individual. Astrologers consult the Panchāngam to set auspicious dates for weddings and the like. 

Panchangam literally translates to having five parts [angas].  They are :
•        Tithi - Ending Moment (EM) of elongation of the Moon, the lunar day, the angular relationship between Sun and Moon
•       Varam – the weekday ~ the seven days of the week
•        Nakshatra - the stellar mansion in which Moon is located for an observer at the center of the Earth. There are 27 Nakshatras.
•        Yoga - EM of the angular relationship between Sun and Moon
•        Karana - EM of half of a Tithi. One Karaa equals 6 degree difference between Moon and Sun.

At Thiruvallikkeni Gangai Kondan Mandapam, it all started with the group singing ‘Nama Sangeerthanam’  by Cuddalore Gopi Bagavathar and his troupe.  Kadalur Gopi bagavathar in his inimitable style kept the audience totally engrossed.

At 06.30 the function started with prayer ‘Vethathai Vethathin Suvaipayanai’ sung by Yours Truly and KV Srinivasan, Vice President.

On the podium were

The Chief Guest : Prachavana Thilakam Sri U. Ve. Damal S. Ramakrishnan

Other Special Guests :

Vedha Bashya Rathnam Mahamahimopadhyaaya Brahmashree Dr R Krishnamurthi Sastrigal, MA, P.hd., [Retd Principal, Madras Sanskrit College]

Sri U. Ve. Dr MA Venkata Krishnan, MA, M.Phil., Ph.D., D. Litt., [Prof & Head, Department of Vaishnavism, University of Madras]

Thiru Pammal Ramakrishnan, District Secretary, Tamilnadu Brahmins Association.

In the function, ‘Vijaya varusha Panchangam’ was released by the Chief Guest Sri Damal S Ramakrishnan and copies were received by Dr R Krishnamurthi Sastrigal, Dr MA Venkata Krishnan and Pammal Ramakrishnan.

It is not simply a vedic almanac, this Panchangam contains amongst other things : the important uthsava details of Sri Parthasarathi swami temple; important days of Sri Ahobila Mutt, Sri Utharathi Mutt, Azhwargal Acharyargal Thirunakshathirangal, dos and donts, Parayana slokas, Avani avittam sangalpam, tharpana sangalpams, host of significant details of hindu religious practices; telephone nos. of Thirumana mantaps at Thiruvallikkeni, contact details of Prahaspathigal and more…… no doubt a very useful book for every Brahmin – a must have at home. 

The Guests introduction was done by me and they were honoured on stage.  First Dr Krishnamurthi Sastrigal spoke at length.  He first spoke in Sanskrit for a couple of minutes and then spoke about the significance of Panchangam and various other details.  Dr MAV spoke about the significance of following the prescribed rituals, about Thiruvalluvar and his quotes on religion and practices and the ideal aspects of being a Brahmin; Mr Pammal Ramakrishnan spoke about the various activities of Brahmins Association and stressed on the need for being united under one banner and helping the cause of the community. 

The audience were enthralled with the flow of words in the description of ‘Krishna Vijayam’ pravachanam by Sri Damal Ramakrishnan who has been delivering such lectures from his childhood. 

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  … Kanchi Krishna, Secretary was honoured on the dias for preparing this panchangam. In all, it was a grand show organized by Brahmin Welfare Association of Triplicane.  Copies of Vijaya varusha panchangam were distributed to all those present at the mantap.  

The list in the starting para ‘Jaya… to .. Sobha kiruthu’ ~ are the names of the 10 years next to the present year ‘Vijaya’.  Here are some photos of the function taken by Thirumazhisai Kannan.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
25th Mar 2013.
Photos courtesy : Thirumazhisai Kannan.

 Cuddalore Gopi Bagavathar performing
 A view of the audience
 Me speaking
 On the dias : Pammal Ramakrishnan, Dr Krishnamurthi Sastrigal,
Damal Ramakrishnan and Dr MA Venkatakrishnan
Release of Panchangam

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Thiruvallikkeni Thavana Uthsavam – day 5- Eve

Thiruvallikkeni Thavana Uthsavam – day 5- Eve

Today 24th Mar 2013 is the 5th and concluding day of Thavana Uthsavam.  Sure you would read my earlier post on the ‘purappadu’ this morning from Thirukovil to the Bungalow. You could have observed the ‘most beautiful thirumeni’ of Sri Parthasarathi wearing a single garland and not many ornaments. 

In the evening, it was most grand ~ a grand red turban with Kingly ornaments on that’; many garlands and so many glittering ornaments getting adorned by Him.    Here are some photos of Sri Parthasarathi glittering in resplendent splendor,  taken this evening.

with regards – S. Sampathkumar. 

Thiruvallikkeni Thavana Uthsavam – day 5 ~ morning

Thiruvallikkeni Thavana Uthsavam – day 5 ~ morning

The  Thavana Uthsavam is now on at Thiruvallikkeni and today 24th Mar 2013 is the 5th day of Uthsavam.  Fortunate to have darshan of Sri Parthasarathi, this morning in the purappadu to Thavana Uthsava Bungalow.   Here are some photos taken this morning. :

திருவல்லிக்கேணியில் பக்தர்கள் குறைகள் எல்லாவற்றையும் தீர்க்கும் ஸ்ரீ பார்த்தசாரதி, பாரதப் போரில் பார்த்தனுக்கு சாரதியாய் தேரோட்டி, ஆயுதம் ஏந்தாதவன்.
திருமங்கை மன்னனின் மங்களாசாசனத்தில் "பற்றலர் வீய கோல் கையில் கொண்டு" என்கிறபடியேகுவலயாபீடமென்கிற யானையும் அதன் பாகனையும்  வீழ செற்றவன்..... அவரது திருக்கையில் உள்ளது கதாயுதம் அல்ல;  'கோல்' - சத்ருக்கள் மாளும்படியாக சாட்டையைத் திருக்கையிலே பற்றிக்கொண்டு சேவை சாதிக்கும் அதி அழகனான பெருமாள் - நம் ஸ்ரீ பார்த்தசாரதி பெருமாள்.
இன்று காலை தவன உத்சவம் கண்டருள எழுந்து அருளிய அவசரத்தில் எடுத்த இந்த புகைப்படங்களில் 'ஸ்ரீ பார்த்தசாரதி' அதீத மிடுக்குடன் கோல் கையில் கொண்ட பெருமாளை காட்சி தருவதை கண்டு களிக்கலாம்
அடியேன் ஸ்ரீனிவாச தாசன் 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Thiruvallikkeni Thavana Uthsavam – day 4 : Sri Parthasarathi

Thiruvallikkeni Thavana Uthsavam – day 4
I have recently posted about Thavana Uthsavam and the vast expanse at Thulasinga Perumal Koil Street, now known as ‘Thavana Uthsava Bungalow’ deriving  its name from the Thavana Uthsavam.  With the onset of summer, Perumal takes rest under the roof made of dhavanam  (Tamil: தவனம்) [Artemisia pallens] – an aromatic herb.  

One will have to see to believe the enthusiasm of people associating themselves with each of these Uthsavams.  In a material world, where people keep changing jobs and run seeking greener pastures, there are still some who do kainkaryams at Divyadesams, feeling themselves closer to God and being with the God at all times possible. They think of God not for seeking any favours or boons, but they strive to make the God [the Archai Idol] the centric point offering the God all earthly pleasures. One can see such devoted people in Divyasthalams like Thirukachi, Thiruvarangam, Vanamamalai, Thirukkurungudi and many other places, and of course, Thiruvallikkeni is unique.  Though in the heart of the city, there are many who are with the Lord at all times. 

The Dhavana Uthsava bungalow has undergone some structural changes over the years………. earlier it had two ‘goris’ [minars] ~ one can reach the top of the minars through the steps provided one is not afraid of bats.  Enthusiastic residents would draw water from the well, sprinkle on the sands that surround the raised structure, colourful kolams will be drawn adding to the religious atmosphere.  Now one of those gories had fallen, the enthusiasm is there – as could be seen in the kolams and the people. 
During this 5 day Uthsavam, daily morning Sri Parthasarathi visits the bungalow, has Thirumanjanam, has purappadu inside the bungalow, then after asthanam, has periya maada veethipurappadu.  Here are some photos taken today, during the day 4 of Thavana Uthsavam [22nd Mar 2013]

Today, Sri Parthasarathi had Pandian Kondai and Sengol as the Emperor of Emperors wearing ‘garland made of vrutchi flowers’…….

With regards – Srinivasan Sampathkumar.

kolam inside the premises

the structure as it stands today..

purappadu inside ~ see the structure

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thirumalai Ananthan Pillai Uthsavam at Thirumala 2013

திருமலையில் சிறப்பு வைபவம் 
திருமலை அனந்தான்பிள்ளை திருவவதார மகோத்சவம் :  
Thirumalai Ananthan Pillai Uthsavam at Thirumala 2013

Fortunate to attend the 959th Thiruvavathara Uthsvam of Thirumalai Ananthan Pillai held at Thirumala Tirupathi on 3rd March 2013.

Thirumalai Ananthalwan, a great Acharyar did great service for Thiruvengadamudayan, about 1000 years ago.  Sure you would have had darshan of Lord Venkateswarar – Tirupathi Balaji so many times – have you not noticed the ‘crowbar’ kept at the Main entrance to the temple and do you know its legend.  If not, do observe and bow obeisance the next time, you enter the Holy entrance at Thirumala.

Of the many divyadesams sung by Azhwaargal, Thirumala occupies a very prominent position.  Our Acharyan Emperumanaar (Udayavar, Ramanujar, Bashyakarar……….) did many service to the Lord here and Udayavar was instrumental in many of the religious practices being established in Thirumala.  One of his disciples is ‘Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan’ who was very attached to Ramanujar.  Ananthazhwaan was born in 1053 near Mysore in a village called ‘siruputhoor’.  When Udayavar was rendering kalakshepam on Thiruvaimozhi, (the verse – sindhu poo magizhum Thiruvengadathu – meaning the place replete with flowers), Udayavar asked whether anybody would do the pushpa kainkaryam at Thirumala.  Remember, Tirupathi was a very dense jungle ridden with wild animals with adverse weather.  Ananthazhwaan readily came forward and said that he would go, if Udayavar so desires.  Udayavar was so elated that he praised Ananthazhwaan as the real man and till date, his descendents have the name ‘Thirumalai Ananthanpillai’ meaning manly. 

Legend has it that Ananthazhwaan was organizing ‘a flower garden’ – he was constructing a lake for supply of water on the hills – an extremely arduous work.  Lord Balaji in one of His Thiruvilayadals, came to the place and tried helping him.  Wrongly assuming the person as hindering the work, Ananthazhwaan threw the crowbar at the Lord (without knowing Him); later realised his folly and got the Divine Blessings of Lord.  This is the crowbar now seen at the entrance of the Temple of Supreme Lord Thiruvengadam Uaiyaan.

Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan continued his floral and other services to Lord Srinivasar for many years. He was so devoted in his service ordained by Ramanujacharya that for him, it was service that was of primary importance, even when compared to God.     The Vigraham of Sri Ramanujar that we worship inside the Sri Vari Temple was installed by him. 

The garden created by Ananthazhwaan is now known as ‘Puraisaivari Thottam’.  It lies on the back side of the temple near Chinna Jeeyar Mutt and one can reach this place through the Thirumala Library also.    Now there is a beautiful brundavanam at this place maintained by the descendents of Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan.  The lake created by him now stands majestically as ‘Ramanuja lake” replete with water on the hill !!   Twice in a year,  Sri Malayappar visits this place and honours Ananthazhwaan now in the form of Magizha maram.  ‘Sri Venkatesa Ithihasa maala’ is considered the best amongst the many works of Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan

For the past few years, anniversary Uthsavam of Sri Ananthazhwaan is being celebrated at his place at Thirumala.   It is being organized by his descendents, well supported by Thirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam, through its ‘Alwar Divya Prabandha Project’.   Almost a decade back, when it was organized for the first time, the place wore not so great looks, but over the years has been improved and maintained so well that it is a fitting tribute to Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan who did yeoman service to Lord Srinivasar. 

This year it was 959th Birth day celebrations very well organized.  His Holiness Thirumalai Periya Kelviappan Sri Satakopa Ramanuja Periya Jeeyar Swami,  His Holiness Thirumalai Ilaiya Kelviappan Sri Govinda Ramanuja Chinna Jeeyar  Swami,  His Holiness Sriperumpudur Embaar Jeeyar Swami,  presided over the divyaprabandha goshti. There were hundreds of Kalakshepa Athigarigal,  Athyapakars from various divyadesams, Ubaya Vedantha periyavargal and many youngsters who participated in the ‘Thiruvaimozhi Goshti’. 

There were kalakshepams by renowned scholars starting with Dr MA Venkatakrishnan Swami,  Sri PB Rajahamsam Swami, Sri KB Devarajan Swami and many others.

Let us worship the feets of Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan who was renowned for his knowledge, devotion, steadfastness and more good qualities. Some photos taken during the celebrations are here  :

Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan. 

the magizha maram - Acharyar himself and his statue below

the story of Acharyar Ananthazhwan
Swami Udayavar Ananthazhwanai niyamithal
Ananthazhwar doing kainkaryam to Thiruvengadamudaiyan

Swami Emperumanar sannathi inside Thirumala Temple
Srinivasar purappadu to thiruvarasu of Ananthazhwar and mariyadhai

thiruvaimozhi goshti on the occasion

Sri Ramanujar pushkarini at purasaivari thottam