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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Sree Rama Navami Uthsavam (2014) - Hamsa vahanam

Today is day 7 of Sree Rama Navami Uthsavam and it should have been Hamsa vahana purappadu in the evening.  Fortunate to recover some Hamsa vahana photos of Sri Rama during 2014, which I had not posted earlier .. …

The World is shaken – some say China has challenged the globe in WW 3 without emitting a single bullet .. .. the  number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India saw their highest single-day surge on Monday as the tally went past 1,250 with 227 new cases being reported. Many of the victims are now zeroed to a religious meeting held in Delhi recently attended by its members all over India – and the Press is shy of mentioning the minority religion .. that is their secularism.

It is apprehended that besides the deaths, lockdown and other difficulties, the Wworld economy will go into recession this year with a  predicted loss of trillions of dollars of global incomedue to the coronavirus pandemic, spelling serious trouble .. In another newer perspective, it is reported that Business process management companies that handle critical functions for some of the world’s largest corporations are being forced to halt large chunks of their operations in India, as the country nears the second week of a nationwide lockdown to stem the tide of Covid-19 infections. Client protocol that disallows transfer to a work-from-home mode coupled with employees’ inability to commute to office is leading to large-scale stoppages, said company executives.  Rules are made for regulating people – rules shall not strangulate – the management experts might come to understand this at some point !!

For us life is simple – surrender to Sriman Narayana – lockdown and being at home presents ample opportunities to be with near and dears, do what one likes, read our religious scriptures and devote time for Emperuman.  In the city of Ayodhya, all celebrated when there 4 Princes born at the same time to King Dasaratha.  Among all of them, Rāma stood out with his supreme radiance and true valour. He endeared himself to everyone like a spotless moon. Being radiant like the Sun and endearing like the Moon is a rare combination.  Sage Valmiki says : -

तेषामपि महातेजा रामः सत्यपराक्रमः ॥ इष्टः सर्वस्य लोकस्य शशाङ्क इव निर्मलः ।
தேஷாமபி மஹாதேஜா ராம: ஸத்யபராக்ரம: ॥
இஷ்ட: ஸர்வஸ்ய லோகஸ்ய ஸஸாங்க இவ நிர்மல: ।

The Moon is so pleasing to everyone, in spite of spots and smears on his face. Imagine how nice and more pleasing the Moon would be, sans those spots and smears? That is what Rāma was, to beholders.

The grand Sree Navami Uthsavam gives us opportunity to recreate the celebrations of the birth of Maryadha Purush Sree Rama.  On Sunday, 6th Apr 2014, it was day 7 and Sri Rama had purappadu astride ‘Hamsa vahanam’.  

Sree Rama is often referred as ‘son of Kausalya’ .. signifying not only His mother Kousayla, but also the kingdom of Kosala and also would refer to his virtues.  Sri Rama is praised for His valour and expertise in archery …. and the bow has another mighty reference too……… Sage Vishwamitra takes to the Mithila Kingdom,  where he breaks the Siva dhanush for marrying Sita devi.   Atop Hamsa Vahanam, Sree Rama even when  holding armoury of  bow and arrow exhibited compassion and serenity for His devotees.

Here are some photos taken during the purappadu whence ‘siriya Thirumadal’ and ‘Periya thirumadal’ were  rendered.  It was thavana uthsavam too and hence Sri Ramar had mandagappadi at thavana uthsava bungalow.

adiyen Srinivasadhasan.
Photos of 6.4.2014 posted now on 31.3.2020.

worshipping at Holy Thiru Piruthi divyadesam - பிரிதி சென்றடைநெஞ்சே !

Having battled their deadly rivals the Romans in Spain, in 218BC the Carthaginian army made a move that no one expected. Their commander Hannibal marched his troops, including cavalry and African war elephants, across a high pass in the Alps to strike at Rome itself from the north of the Italian peninsula. It was one of the greatest military feats in history.  However history of Hannibals never enthuses me – to me so engrossed in elephants, the Q that often occurs is when we are visiting places in Himalayas, at higher elevations – could there be a chance encounter with the majestic elephant.  Have read that -  snow leopards, brown bears, lesser pandas, and Tibetan yaks have limited populations – but have not heard of Lions and elephants !!  .

Already struggling with the loss and fragmentation of its habitat, the endangered species of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) will be faced with further “heavy loss” in its habitat over the next few decades due to climate change, said a recent study, which predicts that with this situation, elephant range would likely shift towards higher elevations in the Himalayas.  The study emphasizes   that climate change will cause redistribution of species, directly through temperature and water availability and indirectly through further habitat modification. There are many elephants in the historical ranges of India and Nepal.   The fauna of the eastern Himalayas is similar to that of the southern Chinese and Southeast Asian region.  The animal life of the western Himalayas, however, has more affinities with that of the Mediterranean, Ethiopian, and Turkmenian regions.

This is no post on animals nor the mountain but on the beautiful divyadesam sung by Kaliyan immediately after knowing the purpose of life is to chant ‘Om Namo Narayanaya’.

திருமங்கை மன்னன் நலம் தரும் சொல்லை நான் கண்டு கொண்டேன் என அறிந்தவுடன் பாடிய முதல் ஸ்தலம் 'திருப்பிருதி' எனும் திவ்யதேசம் - அதிலும் அவர் பாடிய பெருமாள் இப்போது உத்சவம் கண்டருளும் "இலங்கை மாநகர்ப்பொடி செய்தவடிகள் தாம்" ... ஸ்ரீராமா !

The Katyuri kings were a medieval ruling clan of present-day Uttarakhand, India. They ruled over the region now known as Kumaon from 700 to 1200 CE. They called their state Kurmanchal, the land of Kurma, avatar of Sriman Narayana. The Katyuri dynasty was founded by Vashudev Katyuri  and the oldest stone temple in Uttarakhand - is attributed to him. Later the  Kingdom was then named Jyotiryana, and had its capital at Joshimath in the Alaknanda Valley.  Adi Shankara actively toured these places in his short span of life.

Of the many divyadesams – Thiruvathari and Salagrammam present difficulties primarily due to their locations. The object in life is to do kainkaryam, have darshan of our Emperuman at various divyadesam and as ordained by Thirumangaimannan – one should travel to Badrinath in their prime of youth, when they are healthy.  From Haridwar, one travels via Rishikesh, can have darshan at Devaprayag, then probably halt at Pipalkot – next day morning proceed to Badrinath via Joshimath.  One will pass through Pauri, Srinagar, Chamoli Gopeshwar.

On the way to ‘Jai bolo Badrinath’ is the beautiful Devaprayag.  A mystic place where the holy rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda meet, merge into one and take the name ‘Ganga’. Lord Rama  and his father Emperor  Dasharatha did penance here. The main temple of here is ‘Raghunath Temple’, dedicated to Lord Rama. (Purushothama).  Devaprayagai is divyadesam ‘Kandam enum Kadinagar’ and next is ‘Thirupiruthi – Thiru pireethi’ – aka Joshimut.  Joshimath, also known as Jyotirmath, is a city and a municipal board in Chamoli District in  the  state of Uttarakhand. Located at a height of 6150 feet (1875 m), it is a gateway to several Himalayan mountain climbing expeditions, trekking trails and the holy  pilgrim centre of Sri Badrinath. It is home to one of the four cardinal pīthas established by Adi Shankara.

Joshimath is nestled in the Himalayas at a height of 6150 feet above sea level, enroute to Badrinath from Rishikesh.  Joshimath is considered to be a center of great significance for pilgrims traveling in the Garhwal region of Uttarpradesh. There are temples to Narasimha and Vasudeva, built by Adi Sankaracharya here.  Joshimath, is the first mutt established by Shri Adi Sankara, and is located at a distance of 14 kms from Helang enroute to Badri 6150 feet above sea level. Adi Sankara authored Sri Sankara Bhashyam here .

The Srivaishnava divyadesam of Thirupiruthi is in fact a temple of Lord Narasimha – a beautifully ornate simple temple surrounded  on three sides by the snow clad Trishul (7250m) in the south, Badri Peaks (7100 m) in the NW, and Kamat (7750m) in the north. There are some views that this is not the original place sung by Azhwar which is not accessible now ! ~ and there are views that this is the divyadesam.  For us the believers, this happens to be the place of the temple of Sriman Narayana in the ice-clad Himalayas – more reverent as Sri Badrinath swami is taken here in the peak winter from Sri Badrinath and resides here .. .. ..

ThirumangaiAzhwAr after realizing the  glory and greatness of Thirumanthram and Narayana naamam, enters to enjoy its greatness and presence in Sri Vaishnava Divya dEsams. He starts to enjoy Thiruppirithi Divya Desam in Himalayas. Thirupriti (Joshimut is closer to Badrinath (less than 50 km but could take 2 hours or more) – the route is very picturesque with ridges and Ganges flowing .. .. it could be scary too as the roads will not be broad, at places vehicles will have to wait till those coming in the  other direction pass by and .. .. there can be rockfalls ! – which can impede the journey – army personnel would arrive, remove the rocks to make pathway for movement.  We should be so grateful to those serving the Nation at every remote place !

This  sacred divyadesam in the heart of Himalayas ‘Thiru Piruti’ is the abode of Paramapurush Sriman Narayana who gives us darshan mercifully, giving us change to utter His (thousand) names; contemplate His greatness and pay obeisance to Him.  It is amazing to think that our Thirumangai AzhwAr did mangalasasanam to so many divyadesam far and wide, travelling on foot (or on his Adalma)  but we finding them so difficult in the modern day amenities.

கலியனின் திருமொழியில் முதல் பத்து - இரண்டாம் திருமொழி - வாலி மாவலத்து என தொடங்கும் பத்து  பாசுரங்களும் மற்றும் இரண்டு என - பன்னிரண்டு பாசுரங்கள் இத்திவ்யதேசத்தைப்பற்றி.

கலங்கமாக் கடலரிகுலம் பணிசெய்ய அருவரையணைகட்டி,
இலங்கை மாநகர்ப்பொடி செய்தவடிகள்தாம் இருந்தநல்லிமயத்து,
விலங்கல்போல்வன விறலிருஞ்சினத்தன வேழங்கள் துயர்க்கூர,
பிலங்கொள்வாளெயிற்றரியவை  திரிதரு பிரிதி  சென்றடைநெஞ்சே.

மஹா ஸமுத்தரமானது கலங்கும்படி -  ஹனுமான், அங்கதன், நளன், நீலன், என பல்லாயிரக்கணக்கான வானரர்கள்   கைங்கரியம் பண்ண, அசைக்க முடியாத பெரிய மலைகளையம் மரங்களையும்  கொண்டு 'சேது' எனும் பாலம் அமைத்து  பெரிய லங்காபுரியை பொடிபடுத்திய நம் சிறப்பு வாய்ந்த ஸ்ரீ ராமபிரான்  - அற்புத பனிமலையாம் ஹிமவான் எனும் இமயமலையிலே  எழுந்தருளியிருக்கப்பெற்ற ஸ்தலம் இது.   மலை போன்றவையாய் மிக்க கோபத்தையுடையவையான பெரிய யானைகள்,  வாள் போன்ற பற்களையுடைய சிங்கங்களானவை என கொடிய மிருகங்களும் திரியுமிடமாகிய  திருப்பிரிதியை சென்று சேர்ந்திடு.- என நமக்கு அருள்கிறார் கலியன்.

பிருதியெம்பெருமானை,  அரிய இன்னிசை பாடு நல்லடியவர்க்கு
அருவினை அடையாவே !

திருப்பிரிதியில் சயனித்துள்ள எம்பெருமானைச் சேவித்தவர்கட்கும் அந்தப்பெருமானைப் பற்றி என்னால் பாடப்பட்ட பாக்களை இசையோடு பாடவல்லார்க்கும் தீயவினைகள் சேராது என்று திருமங்கையாழ்வாரால்  மங்களாசாசனம் செய்யப்பட்டது இத்தலம்.  திருமங்கை ஆழ்வாரின் பாசுரப்படி இங்கு எழுந்தருளியிருக்கும் பெருமாள் கிடந்த திருக்கோலத்தில்.  கோவிலுக்கு வெளியில் உள்ள தகவல் பலகையிலும் பெருமாளின் பெயர் பரமபுருஷன் என்றும், அவர் புஜங்க சயனைக்  கோலத்தில் இருப்பதாகவும் குறிப்பிடப்பட்டிருக்கிறது.  இந்த அழகான  கோவிலில் எழுந்தருளியிருப்பவர் இருந்த கோலத்தில் சேவை சாதிக்கும் நரசிம்மர். இந்தக் கோவில் நரசிங் மந்திர் என்றே அழைக்கப்படுகிறது. குளிர்காலத்தில் பத்ரிநாத் ஆலயம் ஆறு மாதங்கள் (நவம்பர் முதல் ஏப்ரல் வரை) மூடப்பட்டிருக்கும்போது, பத்ரிநாத் பெருமாள் இந்தக் கோவிலில்தான் எழுந்தருளியிருப்பார். விக்ரஹ மூர்த்திகள் கொள்ளை அழகு. இந்த சன்னதியின் பின்னே ஸ்ரீவாசுதேவப்பெருமாள் சன்னதி உள்ளது.  இந்த வாசுதேவர் மிக தொன்மையானவர் - அருகில் காளி சன்னதியும் உள்ளது. விமானம் - கோவர்த்தன விமானம் தீர்த்தம் - மாநஸரஸ் புஷ்காரனி, கோவர்த்தன தீர்த்தம், இந்திரா தீர்த்தம். 

On 4.10.2019, on way to Sri Badrinath, we had the fortune of worshipping at this holy place – with rendering of Thirupallandu, Thiruppavai,  and Periya  thirumozhi pasurams on the divyadesam.  This temple is locally known as Narasingh Mandir and has beautiful archai murthis of Lord Narasimha worshipped in their style.  Behind the main sannathi is the sannathi of Vausdeva and this Vasudevar is believed to be antiquity 

~adiyen Srinivasa dhasan [Mamandur Veeravalli Srinivasa Sampathkumar]

Badri Yatra : The tour was well organized by Thirumayilai Seshadri @ 9677126311; Thiru Karnataka BR Raghavan Vadhyar Swami @ 9840562920; Govindarajan Mamandur @ 9042963544

Monday, March 30, 2020

Velli Yanai Vahanam - Sree Rama Navami 2014

Covid-19 has enforced us to be at home – no movement – but loads of time – empty mind.  This gives us opportunity to pray our Emperuman, chant divyaprabandha, talk to your family and do all the good things that you wanted to do.  Today 30.3.2020 is Sri Ramanavami day 6 – and there would have been grand purappadu of Lord Sri Rama in silver yanai vahanam. 

Gleaning my archives found that this particular one readied in Apr 2014, has remained in draft and was not posted – sharing with pleasure some photos of Sree Rama Navami uthsavam of 2014 as made at that time. 


For us the supreme sacred are the Vedas and Ithihasa puranas …. Sri Ramayana is about the greatest Maryadha Purush – Sri Rama, mere chanting of the name would provide everything to us all - ~ he is the greatest benefactor ~ the  perfect Man of Valour  ~ the greatest epitome of all virtues-  Lord Sree Rama.  

Today, 5th April 2014 -  is the 6th day of  Sri Rama Navam9i Uthsavam  and at Thiruvallikkeni, the majestic Rama had purappadu astride the shining silver elephant (Yanai vahanam)

The Great Emperor grew up as four brothers – Sri Rama, Lakshmana, Baratha, Sathrugnan – learning all the princely arts. Even as the ocean smiled upon by the silvery orb of the moon swells in joyous strength, the divine  children grow in grace and beauty, strength and learning. Rama and Lakshmana excelled in archery and all the arts of war. The fame of Rama attracted  sage Vishvamitra who prayed Dasharatha to send Rama with him to guard his sacrificial  fire from pollution by the evil Rakshasas.

The lion-chested, thick-shouldered Princess even in His early days is described as possessing knee-length arms and His long bow being subjugator of enemies.  Sri Rama is the the champion of his own self-righteousness and also champions for adherent's welfare in the same righteousness; He is a great scholar at the same time an expert in dhanur Veda, the Art of Archery.

At Thiruvallikkeni atop the silver elephant, it was Sree Rama’s radiance that dazzled and Rama possessing the bow and arrow with serene smile offered great darshan to devotees.  Here are some photos taken during the purappadu whence ‘Periya Thiruvanthathi’ was rendered.

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan.
PS : prepared earlier and now posted on 30.3.2020

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Thiruvallikkeni Theppothsavam 2020 - Masi Amavayai

Thiruvallikkeni Theppothsavam 2020 - Masi Amavayai

A ship or a boat is a contraption  that can float and move on the ocean, a river, or any waterbody, either through its own power or using power from the elements (wind, waves, or Sun). Plain steel would sink in water immediately, as would a wrecked steel ship !  The reason that a ship floats is that it displaces a lot of water. The displaced water keeps pushing  the ship upwards – this force is called the buoyancy force. The more water that is displaced, the stronger the buoyancy force is which pushes the object up. Any object dipped  into water experiences two forces: the gravity force which pulls it down due to its weight, and the buoyancy force which pushes it up. If these forces are equal, then the object floats. This is about the divine float – the Theppam for Lord Sriman Narayana

ஸ்ரீராமனின் காதை  "இராமாயணம்" ஒரு அற்புத காவியம்.  கம்ப நாட்டாழ்வான் - கங்கைகாண் படலத்திலே - ஸ்ரீராமனுக்காக, குகன் கொணர்ந்த நாவாய்களின் அழகை இவ்வாறு விவரிக்கிறார்.

நங்கையர் நடையின் அன்னம் நாண் உறு செலவின் நாவாய்,
கங்கையும் இடம் இலாமை மிடைந்தன-கலந்த எங்கும்,-
அங்கொடு, இங்கு, இழித்தி ஏற்றும் அமைதியின், அமரர் வையத்து
இங்கொடு அங்கு இழித்தி ஏற்றும் இருவினை என்னல் ஆன.. .....
பெண்கள் நடைபோன்ற நடையையும்;  அன்னப் பறவைகள்  நாணப்படும்படியான நீரிற் செல்லுதலும் உடைய, நாவாய்;  அக்கரையில் உள்ளாரை   இக்கரையில்  ஏற்றி இறக்கும்தன்மையினால்; தேவருலகமாகிய அவ்வுலகத்தோடு;   இவ்வுலகில் உள்ளாரை ஏற்றிச்செல்லும் புண்ணியம் பெற்றவையாக, பெருங்கடல் போன்ற புண்ணிய கங்கை நதியிலும் கூட இடமில்லையோ எனும்படி எல்லா இடங்களிலும் நிறைந்து இருந்தனவாம். 

              In the divyadesam of Thiruvallikkeni, the tamil month of Masi has special significance.  On the Full moon [Pournami day and Magam Nakshathiram] Sri Parthasarathi Swami visits the shores of Marina, famously known as Masi Magam.   Perhaps this is the time that signifies the onset of summer and it is time for cooling the Lord.  On Masi New moon [Amavasyai] starts the float festival at Thiruvallikkeni.   The tank of Sri Parthasarathi Swami is famous ~ it is  ‘Kairavini Pushkarini’… the pond of Lily – ‘allikkeni’ from which the place itself derives its name (~ and my blog is titled Kairavini Karaiyinile  literally meaning on the banks of holy Kairavini, the temple  tank).  The tank has added significance attributed to the birth of “Yathi Rajar” – Swami Ramanujar due to the penance undertaken by Kesava Somayaji and Kanthimathi ammal. Pushkarinis were developed closely associated with temples. The water from the tank was once used daily for thirumanjanam and all other religious functions of the Lord. The conclusion of Brahmotsavam would be by ‘theerthavaari’ the sacred bath at the tank.

Every year there is the ‘theppam’ – the float festival. A floating structure gets spruced up, made of drums, timber and ornated beautifully. Perumal comes  to the temple tank in purappadu and is placed majestically inside the float. The beautifully lit theppam is dragged around in water. Devotees in hundreds converge, sit everywhere on the steps of the temple tank to have darshan of the Lord on theppam. In olden days, the shops springing up for the occasion were of added attraction.

The annual float festival of the Sri Parthasarathy Swamy temple starts every year on Masi Ammavasai day and is a 7 day affair.  In my young days, the tank was much bigger and would brim with water – so the size of the float also used to be much bigger. Now a days,  the float  is much smaller in size, the grandeur of the festival has only increased though.   Now a days it is only 5 rounds around the temple tank in the float.

This year the Theppa Utsavam began on Sunday, 23th Feb 2020  and here are some photos of the Theppam.  

adiyen Srinivasadhasan. [S. Sampathkumar]
·         PS: using the same template (I wrote) of last year and posting  with this year photos
·         - delayed posting !