To search this blog

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Big "No" to a Cricket Stadium in the foothills of Holy Thirumala....

Ours is a Cricket crazy country…… we adore all players from Sachin, Dhoni, Kohli to everybody else……… a Cricketer is a star in his ownright…. People spend huge amounts of money to buy tickets and waste their time to see matches… I am also a fan of the game…………

For a Srivaishnavaite – thinking of Him, praising Him all the time, going to temples of His, doing services to His bhakthas and associating oneself in any form with various kainkaryams to the  Bhagwan Shri Maha Vishnu are the only real things.  That Sri Vaishnavaites would relish doing such things naturally come to them. For Srivaishnavaites,  visiting Divyadesams and having darshan of Emperumans in these places are of utmost importance.   To us – “Kovil – Thirumalai – Perumal Kovil” reverberates sweetly and flows honey all the time.   The word Kovil, Thirumalai, Perumal Kovil would refer to “Sri Rangam, Thirumala Tirupathi and Kanchipuram” respectively. 

Thirumala Thirupathi Temple – the  sacred and most reverred temple of Sri Venkateswara is located on the seventh peak – Venkatachala hill of Tirumala.  The Lord stands tall as bestower of all boons and lakhs of people reach here to have a glimpse – a few seconds darshan of the Lord.  This beautiful temple in its present form owes a lot to the works of the greatest Vaishnava Acharya – Sri Ramanujar.

Thirumala Thirupathi, the name itself is divine. Thiruvengadam, the abode of Lord Balaji would ever remain as the ‘Thilakam’ the shining glory of the whole Earth.  All that we need to do is to pray towards the Greatest Lord of Universe from wherever we are, think of HIM always and do good to humanity in Thy Name

Not all would have noticed the newsitem of Andhra Pradesh CM N Kirankumar Reddy laying a foundation stone of …………. ‘International cricket stadium’ ….. coming up at the foot of holy  Tirumala Hills ~ it has  raised eyebrows on both ecological and security angles.

Touted as a major facility for sports enthusiasts of Rayalaseema region,  newspaper reports of The Hindu stated that a 30-acre site of Sri Venkateswara University has been identified for the stadium on which the Andhra Cricket Association will construct the stadium. The stadium is coming on a site where there are around 4 lakh fully-grown trees, including the precious and endemic red sanders. The region is a rich catchment area for water flowing down the hills and is adjacent to the zoo. Forest officials, on condition of anonymity, admit that it is home to several endangered and herbivorous animals, which frequently stray on to the Alipiri-Cherlopalle bypass road. Even leopards have strayed on to the road in the past, indicating the growing man-animal conflict.

 “It is ecologically disastrous to disturb the forest. Tirupati definitely needs an international stadium, but not at the cost of its rich biodiversity conservation. Instead, waste and barren lands available in the Renigunta belt can be used,” says K. Srinivasa Reddy, president of Intellectual Forum and himself a soil scientist.

Alipiri already bustles with one lakh pilgrims everyday and this stadium adds 30,000 more people, causing strain on infrastructure. It may be recalled that the TTD declined alienation of its land to its employees here, indicating that it should be used to facilitate ‘natural expansion’ in future. “The establishment of a stadium in the little-known Gachibowli area in Hyderabad spurred development,” Dr. Reddy recalled. At a time when Tirumala already faces security threat, the cricket stadium allows people to move much closer to the base of the Tirumala hills, which is increasingly becoming porous with the construction of such structures at the base.

Only recently there was news of an Islamic University being promoted at Tirupathi and now comes this stadium ……. Is there any sinister design to upset and create trouble in the holy city, one wonders.  While this has caused deep sense of anguish and great concern, there is some solace in the news that taking suo motu cognisance of  the  news report published in The Hindu , the National Green Tribunal, Southern Bench, here on Thursday restrained the authorities from taking any further steps in establishing an international cricket stadium at the foot of Tirumala Hills. The Bench comprising judicial member Justice M. Chockalingam and expert member Prof. R. Nagendran said, “The Tribunal feels that the proposed plan is likely to affect the ecology and environment and also spoil the greenery of the region.

This should be stopped immediately by way of an order of interim injunction restraining the authorities from taking further steps in this regard.” They also pointed out that it would be quite clear that the initial steps for executing the plan for the stadium was commenced by laying the foundation stone on Wednesday. The Bench also said, “If 4,00,000 fully grown trees including precious red sanders are cut, the region which is the catchment area for water flowing down from the hills will be affected. It will endanger the wildlife and degrade the environment.”

The Tribunal directed the authorities including the Secretary, Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and Chief Secretary, Andhra Pradesh to appear in the next hearing with their explanations. Posting the matter for further hearing on December 10, the Tribunal also directed the Member Secretary of Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board to produce video shots of the area.

It is not the Tribunal alone, all should be protesting….. Cricket can be developed elsewhere,……… if the aim is to promote Sports in Rayalaseema, there are hundreds of thousands of acres in the length and breadth of the State and the Nation… let not people play with the holy town and footstep of Holy Thirumala

It is not Cricket for sure.

With concern – S. Sampathkumar

22nd Nov. 2013.

News report courtesy : The Hindu

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thirukarthigai Deepa Uthsavam at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam

Today (18th Nov 2013) is Karthigai Nakshathiram in the month of Karthigai and grandly celebrated as “Thirukarthigai Deepa Uthsavam” at Thiruvallikkeni Divyadesam and all other Srivaishnavaite temples.    This year there are two Karthigai Nakshathirams in this month.  Usually, Thirukarthigai Deepa Uthsavam will coincide with Thirumangai Mannan Sarrumurai ~ rarely it would be Thirup Panar sarrumurai too [Karthigaiyil Rohini naal]. This year the sarrumurai uthsavam of Kaliyan [Thirumangai Azhwar] is to be held on 15th of December, the next day after Kaisika Dwadasi.

On Thirukarthigai day  and in all days of the month, we light oil lamps in earthernware with gingelly oil. The lamps will be kept in all rooms, open spaces, front entrance and other places in the evenings. 

Today at 8 pm, Sri Parthasarathi had purappadu on the occasion of Deepa Uthsavam after lamps were lit all over the temple and in all sannadhis.  The highlight of the day is the lighting of ‘chokka panai’ – a structure made of palmirah trunk and leaves stuffed with rice bran etc., ….. people put fireworks also into this bonfire.  This symbolizes burning of bad behavior and unwanted elements ~ the lamps symbolize blossoming knowledge.

Here are some photos taken during the purappadu.  From midnight of today, there will be thailakappu for Moolavar and there will be no darshan of moolavar in Sri Parthasarathi temple.  This period is known as ‘Anadhyayanam’ ~ a period whence Divyaprabandham and Veda will not be recited in Temples and at homes.  This tradition is followed in all Divyadesams.   At Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam,  from tomorrow during Nithyapadi [daily rituals] only Upadesa Rathinamalai will be recited and in addition, Thiruvaimozhi Noothandhadhi of Swami Manavala Mamuni will be  recited on the Thiruvadhirai and Moolam days.  From the Danur masam [margazhi] Thiruppavai will of course be recited. 

The Adhyayana Uthsavam i.e, Pagal Pathu and Irapathu Uthsavam start on 1st Jan 2014, which happens to be Thirumoolam on Margazhi and Amavasyai too.  On the 6th day of Pagal Pathu falling on 6th Jan 2014, Thirumangai Azhwar’s Thirumozhi will be recited and at the time of rendering of Sthala pasuram ‘Virperu Vizhavum Kanjanum Mallum’ – screens will be off and from then on devotees will have full darshan of Sri Venkata Krishnan, the moolavar and other moolavar idols.  

For the 4 days till Vaikunda Ekadasi, falling on 11th Jan 2014, devotees can have darshan of Sri Venkada Krishnan without His trademark moustache………….

Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Uthsavam at Sri Nampillai sannadhi, Triplicane

Sri Nampillai, in the Acharya paramparai is known for his scholastic excellence. He was the disciple of Sri Nanjeeyar and acharyar of Vadakku Thiruveethipillai. His commentary on Thiruvoimozhi known as Muppathu Aarayira(m)ppadi -  is considered as the best amongst the vyakyanams; considered equivalent to Thiruvoimozhi itself and  is celebrated as “Eedu” 

Swami was born as “Varadhacharyar” in the year Prabhva, 4249 kaliyugadi, in Krithikai Month in Krithikai Nakshatra. He lived a life of 105 years in this world. His period is 1147 AD – 1252AD.    His life time was during the era of Chola dynasty and he was a witness to its glory, disintegration, defeat and annexation to Pandya kingdom. His Eedu also chronicles some part of the history of his time, as they are related to the temple of Srirangam. The Chola King Sundara Pandyan reportedly did the golden cover to the temple tower.

Nampillai discoursed the lectures of Parasara Bhattar to his disciples Periavachaan Pillai and Vadakku Thiruveedi Pillai. who in turn employed them in their respective commentaries. “Muppathu aarayirappadi” of Vadakku thiruveethipillai based on the discourses of Swami Nampillai is considered the best.

The Oranvazhi acharya paramparai mantle passed on from Parasara Bhattar to Namjeeyar and Nampillai. Namjeeyar appreciated Varadhacharyar on his writings on Thiruvoimozhi and called him “Nampillai” Swami Manavalamamunigal has hailed Nampillai in “Upadesa Rathinamalai”.

Nampillai of this fame has a sannadhi at Triplicane, situate at the front of Sri Bhandaram Committee place commonly known as “Komutti bungalow”. Around 100 years earlier, there was a great person by name Yogi Parthasarathi Iyengar and his wife was Yogi Singamma. Sri Yogi Parthasarathi Iyengar in his wisdom created a press for re-publishing on paper edition,  the great granthams of our Vaishnavaite mahans and in this venture established a press and persons to take care known as -  “Saraswathi Bhandram Committee” – saraswathi bhandaram meaning ‘library / treasure house’ of the works of Goddess of Learning Saraswathi. He spent his fortune towards establishing this and on this place built a temple for Sri Nampillai as the rightful person to own this treasure house. The idol of Namperumal was also installed alongside. He ensured that there would be festivities at least once a year.

This Nampillai sannadhi was renovated and re-built decoratively recently by the Committee, spearheaded by Sri MA Venkata Krishnan Swami.  The yearly celebrations and rendering of Thiruvaimozhi is presently on and here are some photos taken at sannithi today.

Adiyen – Srinivasa dhasan.

17th Nov. 2013.

 Nampillai with Sri Namperumal
Num Perumal and pinnazhagu sevai

Acharyar Nampillai

Thirukarthigai Masapravesam purappadu Thiruvallikkeni 2013

Thiru Karthigai Masa pirappu 2013

Sunday 17th Nov. 2013 (today) is the day 1 of Tamil month of Karthigai and there was Masa Pravesam purappadu of Sri Parthasarathi Swami at Thiruvallikkeni today.

Here are some photos taken during the purappadu.  Tomorrow 18.11.13 is Thiru Karthigai Deepa Uthsavam and there will be periya mada veethi purappadu after chokka panai …. From midnight of tomorrow One cannot have darshan of Moolavar as there will be thailakappu (anointing with specially made oil).  

Moolavar darshan will only be from 6th Jan 2o14 – which is day 6 of Pagal Pathu Uthsavan whence the Sthala pasuram “Virperu Vizhavum” will be rendered.

Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan.

Thiruputkuzhi Divyadesam - Aippaisi Thirumoolam - Thirumanjanam 2013

திருப்புட்குழி   திவ்யதேசம் :  'மரதகத்தை புட்குழியெம் போரேற்றை'

             The Divyadesam known as “Thiruputkuzhi” is situated on the Chennai Bangalore High Road – around 90 km off Chennai.  As you pass through Sriperumpudur, on way to Vellore, you would pass the bridge known as ‘Vellai gate’ which would take you to Kanchi.  Around 10 kms after this, is Baluchetty Chathiram.  Hardly half a kilometer from the main road, is the temple sung by Thirumangai Azhwar in Periya Thirumozhi and Periya Thirumadal. 

Legend has it that Lord Rama did moksha kainkaryam to ‘Jadayu’ – the bird who fought valiantly against Ravana when he was abducting Sita and lost his life.  There is a sannathi for Jadayu before the temple tank.  ‘Pul” is bird and this sthalam is known as “Thiru-pul-kuzhi – thiruputkuzhi’.  Unusually, the dwajasthambam (the flag post) is situated outside the Temple and the main Gopuram lies after the the dwajasthambam.

My friend Sri VN Kesava Bashyam has been doing great kainkaryam by taking photos of many divyadesams (more particularly those in and around Kanchipuram).  Recently, he had sent some from Thiruputkuzhi divyadesam on the occasion of sarrumurai and Thirumanjanam of our Acharyar – Sri Manavala Mamunigal and could not resist sharing them with my group and hence posting them here – courtesy Sri Kesava Bashyam Swami.  Here are some photos of this temple façade,  Lord Vijayaraghavar (Uthsavar) with his consorts and Swami Manavala Mamunigal. 

திருப்புட்குழி திவ்யதேசம் சென்னையில் இருந்து சுமார் 90 கி மீ தொலைவில் உள்ளது.

ஸ்ரீபெரும்பூதுரை  கடந்து வேலூர் பெங்களூர் செல்லும் பாதையில் பயணித்தால், பிரதான சாலையில், கச்சி செல்லும் வெள்ளை கேட் தாண்டியவுடன் வரும் மேம்பாலத்தை தாண்டி சுமார் 10 கி மீ பயணித்தால் பாலுசெட்டி சத்திரம் வரும்.  இங்கே பிரதான சாலையில் இருந்து இடது புறம் திரும்பி சுமார் அரை கி மீ தூரத்திலேயே திருக்கோவில் அமைந்துள்ளது.   திருக்கோவில் வாசலிலே உள்ள குளம் 'ஜடாயு தீர்த்தம்' என வழங்கப் படுகிறது. வித்யாசமாக த்வஜஸ்தம்பம் குளக்கரை அருகே கோவிலுக்கு வெளியே அமைந்துள்ளது. கொடிமரத்துக்கு பின்னல் பிரதான கோபுரம் உள்ளது. 

இங்கு பெருமாள் ஜடாயுவுக்கு (புள்)  மோக்ஷம் கொடுத்த திருத்தலம் ஆனதால் திருப்புட்குழி !   குளக்கரையில் ஜடாயுவுக்கு சன்னதி உள்ளது.   உள்ளே மூலவர் விஜயராகவப் பெருமாள்  பரமபதத்தில் இருக்கும் நிலையில் வீற்றிருந்த திருகோலத்தில் சேவை சாதிக்கிறார்.  மூலவர் ஜடாயு சம்ஸ்காரம் செய்யும் தாபத்தை தாங்க முடியாமல் ஸ்ரீதேவியும் பூதேவியும் இடம் வலமாக மாறி எழுந்து உள்ளனர்.   தாயார் : மரகத வல்லி தாயார்.

திருமங்கை மன்னன் தனது பெரிய திருமொழியில் {இரண்டாம் பத்து - ஏழாம் திருமொழி} -  "அலங்கெழுதடக்கை  ஆயன் வாயாம்பற்கு  அழியுமால் என்னுள்ளம் என்னும் * புலங்கெழு பொருநீர் புட்குழி பாடும்"   -  எனவும் "பெரிய திருமடலில்" - " மரதகத்தை  புட்குழியெம் போரேற்றை" எனவும்   மங்களாசாசனம் செய்துள்ளார் .  

அடியேன் ஸ்ரீனிவாச தாசன். 

திருக்கோவிலின் முகப்பு

 உத்சவர் விஜயராகவர்

 திருமஞ்சனம் கண்டு அருளும் அவசரம்

Swami Manavala Mamunigal and purappadu with Perumal above