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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Navarathna Ther for Manthralaya Mahan ~ Golden Chariot of Sri Raghavendra

Triplicane the place of Lord Parthasarathi is replete with  religious activities ~ this morning the Gangai Kondan Mandapam [primarily meant to be the resting place of Sri Parthasarathi Swami during vahana purappadu], is abuzz with devotees thronging place to have a glimpse.  In the centre is the Chariot, exquisitely made ~ of more than 1 kg of Gold, embellished with precious stones.  It is the ‘Navarathan Ratha’ to be dedicated to Sri Raghavendra at Manthralayam. 

Hinduism is unique and more than 1000 years ago, existed three Acharyars who profounded Vedanta philosophy.  For us, their philosophies are the founding principles.  There is the ‘Advaita philosophy’ of Sri Sankaracharya; the ‘Vishishtadvaita’ philosophy of Sri Ramanujacharya and the ‘Dvaita’ philosophy of Sri Madhvaacharya.

There is fair sprinkling population of Madhwas in Triplicane – i.e., those who follow the ideals propagated by Sri Madhvacharya. Understand that the writings of Sri Madhvacharya comprises of thirty-seven works, collectively called Sarva-moola Grantha. As we have Guru parampara Acharyas in Sri Vaishnavism, the hierarchy in Madhvas starts with Sri Maha Vishnu himself, Pirattiyar Lakshmi Devi, and then has Brahma, Saraswati, Garuda, Anjaneya… heard from a friend that they have Karmaja Devatas which includes Sri Prahladarajar. Prahlada as we know is famed for his blemishless devotion to Sri Maha Vishnu, despite attempts by his father Hiranyakashipu, to turn him to the contrary. He is accorded special importance as being the reason for the Narasimha avatâr. The puranic instance of Sri Prahlada makes us understand that God is everywhere.

Miles away, is the town of  Mantralayam in Kurnool district.  It lies on the banks of the Tungabhadra river and is known for the holy Vrindavana of Sri Raghavendra Swami.  Sri Raghavendra Swami is reverred to have lived on this earth between 1595 – 1671.  His knowledge, the way of life and the numerous miracles performed have led him being  worshipped specially.   After Sri Prahlada and Sri Vyasaraya, Madhwas rever Sri Raghavendrar in holy esteem.  

Sri Venkata Natha as he was known, learnt and acquired mastery over Vedas, Sastra, puranas and was totally religiously inclined in service of God. Upon taking Sanyasa, he came to be known as ‘Raghavendra Swami’; on a very auspicious day, the saint  Sri Raghavendra Thirtha, entered the samadhi in the Brindavan, alive. The event was marked by great festivity. Understand that as ordered by the Swami, 700 saligrams  were kept in the Brindavanam and todate are being worshipped alongside the image of Sri Anjaneya. 

The Navrathna Ratha, stationed in Thiruvallikkeni, is to be dedicated to Sri Raghavendrar at Manthralaya and it is indeed a  great fortune for all of us living in Triplicane to have darshan of the ‘Navrathan Ratha’ made specially for Sri Raghavendra Swamy Moola Brindhavana Sannidhana, Manthralayam.  This exquisite chariot is on display at Gangaikondan Mandapam, Triplicane, Chennai and hundreds of devotees have been having  darshan of the chariot.  This Chariot  will be at Triplicane tomorrow also and on 11.3.13, will be at Manthralaya where it will be submitted to the Mutt through Hanumanthapuram Pallaki Seva Trust. 

Hanumanthapuram is a village near Kollidam river – in between Chidambaram and Sirkazhi.  The presiding deity here is Sri Lakshmi Narayanar, the idol of which was worshipped by HH Sri Madhvacharya.  Understand that every year veteran musicians visit this place for 3 day Aradhana festival during Aug / Sept.  A group of devotees of Gururaja have formed the trust ‘Hanumanthapuram Pallaki Seva Trust’ and under the aegis of this Trust, have done this great kainkaryam to Manthralaya Mahan.

Blessed are We, when we associate ourselves with persons doing noble things……….. all of us can join in some way – do visit Triplicane, today and tomorrow, have darshan of Navrathna Ratha and partake in the kainkaryam in whatever manner possible.  Donations can be made to – Hanumanthapuram Pallaki Seva Trust, ‘Guru Karuna’, 7 Ponnusamy St., Mookambigai Nagar Extn., Ramapuram, Chennai 600 089.  Contact : 9283173771 / 9444464605 / 9952990304; E mail :

Here are some photos of the Navrathna Ratha taken by me this morning. The exquisite chariot costs more than 1.2 crores. You can have darshan of Lord Srinivasa of Sri Raghavendra Mutt, Triplicane  blessing the devotees seated on the glittering  Chariot.

With regards – Srinivasan Sampathkumar.
9th March 2013.

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