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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Thiruvallikkeni Theppam 7 ~ Sri Gajendra Varadhar

Thiruvallikkeni Theppothsavam day 7 : Sri Gajendra Varadhar :

There are elephants in Asia and more in Africa.  African elephants are in trouble. Each year, tens of thousands of the enormous beasts are killed for their tusks, and conservationists fear they are on the road to extinction.  At the turn of the 20th century, there were a few million African elephants and about 100,000 Asian elephants. Today, there are an estimated 450,000 - 700,000 African elephants and between 35,000 - 40,000 wild Asian elephants. Across Africa, poaching is on the rise.

Habitat loss is one of the key threats facing elephants. Many climate change projections indicate that key portions of elephants’ habitat will become significantly hotter and drier, resulting in poorer foraging conditions and threatening calf survival. Increasing conflict with human populations taking over more and more elephant habitat and poaching for ivory are additional threats that are placing the elephant’s future at risk.  One novel attempt in saving them is -  aerial drones, which first proved their value decades ago on military battlefields, are proving to be a key player in the ongoing battle against poachers.  ~  the first and the best saviour for elephants is Sriman Narayana aka Sri Gajendra Varadhar. 

For us, Sriman Narayana is the only savior ~ for human beings to get salvation and by His divine grace, He showers benevolence on every living thing as evidenced by this act of kindness on might elephant Gajendra.    Triplicane is abuzz with the festivities of Float [theppam] and today 12th Mar 2019, marked the concluding  of the annual float festival.  Today it was Sri Varadha Rajar.  In the sacred divyadesam of Thiruvallikkeni, moolavar of  Varadharajar  is on “Garuda vahanam” which is very unique.

Sure you know the puranic legend of ‘Gajendra moksham [salvation of elephant Gajendra]’ ~ when   Lord Sriman Narayana  Himself  came down to earth to protect Gajendra(elephant) from the death clutches of Makara (Crocodile). Gajendra the King of elephants, was attacked and caught by a crocodile and death seemed imminent.  Gajendra had been rendering service to the Lord by offering Lotus and when he appealed to God to protect him, Maha Vishnu appeared on Garuda vahanam and saved the elephant by killing the crocodile with his ‘Chakram’.   It also explains that one who falls under the divine feet of Lord seeking salvation will surely be taken care of.

The reenactment of Gajendra moksha takes place during the full moon in the month of Aadi.   The Sarrupadi [alankaram] for Lord Varadhar for theppam was ‘Gajendra moksha thirukolam’.   Lord Varadhar appearing in the form whence he saved  the devoted elephant from the savage attack of the mugger crocodile. It was the posture of Lord having released his chakra to save the elephant; One of the arms  in prayoga posture, having released the chakra – holding the azhi [the sangu / conch]  in the other, holding Gatha in one and abhaya hastham on the fourth thirukaram.  It was indeed a great darshan of the Lord. Appropriate to recall the Thirumozhi pasuram of Thirumangai Mannan on Lord Varadharajar.

கானமர் வேழம் கையெடுத் தலறக் கராவதன் காலினைக் கதுவ,*
ஆனையின் துயரம் தீரப்புள்ளூர்ந்து சென்று நின்றாழி தொட்டானை,*

Here are some photos depicting the Theppam, Thirukolam and one taken during the hastham purappadu earlier to make you experience the thirukolam better. 

 ~adiyen Srinivasadhasan
12th Mar 2019.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent coverage of Theppam Utsavam with fantastic photographs. Thank you.