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Saturday, May 2, 2020

worshipping Emperuman in 'sayana thirukolam' ~ Jal Narayan at Kathmandu

In life there are moments, when you feel extremely elated ~ one explicable moment is when you have darshan at Thiruvarangam of Nam Perumal … the very thought of Sri Rangam and touching the soil of Thiruvarangam would sure give us great joy….  as one travels with the purpose of worshipping at Booloka Vaikuntham [the heavenly abode of Lord Maha Vishnu on this earth] – one’s heart jumps with joy….. as you get closer in physical proximity, you start thinking and looking for the view of Raja Gopuram….. for some the expectations start even as the train traverses Ariyalur, Lalgudi etc.,  - the most gracious Sri Ranganathar in sayana thirukolam. 

In the Holy Ramanaya, in Bala Kandam, Sri  Rāma, along with Lakshmaa, led by Viwāmitra  travelled in the northeasterly direction and reached the place of (Janaka's) Yajña (in Mithilā).  The  Kingdom of the Videhas (also known as Mithila and Tirabhuki) was an ancient kingdom in Vedic India which rose to prominence under King Janaka. The ancient kingdom's territory is presently located in Mithila region of Northern and eastern Bihar of India and the eastern Terai of Nepal.  The native language in Mithila is Maithili, and its speakers are referred to as Maithils.

Nepal, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located mainly in the Himalayas, but also includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Nepal has a diverse geography, including fertile plains, subalpine forested hills, and eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city. Nepal is a multiethnic country with Nepali as the official language.  The Hindu kingdom has lot of Hindu temples – mainly Mukthinath and Pashupathinath.  Those pursuing to have darshan at the holy divyadesam ‘Salagramam’ – (mukthinath) at Nepal, mostly would land at its capital Kathmandu ..

Since Nepal initially opened its doors to outsiders in the 1950's, this small mountain country has had an overwhelming appeal for explorers. Visitors are attracted to the Himalayas' generally notable trekking trails in Nepal as well as its interesting and diverse culture.  Nepal is indeed a Himalayan haven. The country along the southern slopes of the Himalayan mountain range is host to eight of the 10 highest peaks in the world, including Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga (on the border to Sikkim).

So far Nepal, with its naturally isolated location in the Himalayas, has been spared the worst of the global health crisis caused by COVID-19. Only a handful of cases, have been confirmed.  With that said, Nepal has yet to scale up its testing capabilities and to date less than 0.1 percent of the population has been tested for COVID-19. The main focus in other countries currently combating an outbreak of the virus is to flatten the curve of the infection’s exponential growth; many calculations predict that such an exponential growth rate has still to hit Nepal. In line with over 100 other countries, Nepal has implemented a full nationwide lockdown in an attempt to stem the spread of COVID-19.

This is no post on Covid or Himalayan trekking .. .. at Booloka Vaikuntham, Lord Ranganatha is in reclining posture (sayana thirukolam).  Like holy Thirumala, one gets few seconds to have darshan and many a times one feels one has not had darshan of Ranganatha from this thiruvadi to thirumudi.  At Thiruvananthapuram one has darshan through 3 entrances. So also at Thiruvattar.  Even at Thiruvallikkeni, it is not possible to have complete unhindered darshan of sayana thirukolam.  Many divyadesa Emperumans including Thiruppullani, Thiru Inthalur, Thiruchithirakoodam (Chidambaram), Thirupathi (Kizh thirupathi), Thiruvallur, Appakkoduthan (Koviladi), Thiruvananthapuram, Thiru vattaru, Kabisthalam –and some more including Srirangapatna, Perumal is in kidantha thirukolam – and it is natural that we yearn to have a complete (360◦ darshan of Emperuman in sayana thirukolam) – and this possible at one place, though not a divyadesam.

திருவரங்கம் ஒரு அற்புத திவ்யதேசம்.  ஸ்ரீரங்கநாதன் மிக அழகாக சயன திருக்கோலத்தில் சேவை சாதிக்கிறார்.  திருவரங்கத்திற்கு அருகே கோவிலடி எனும் அப்பக்குடத்தானில் அப்பால ரங்கநாதரும் சயன திருக்கோலம்தான்.  இன்னமும் சற்று பயணித்தால், தஞ்சை மாவட்டம் திருவையாறு- கும்பகோணம் சாலையில் காவிரி ஆற்றின் வடகரையில்  கபிஸ்தலம் எனப்படும் கஜேந்திர வரதராஜ பெருமாள் கோவில்.  இத்தலத்தில் மூலவர் கஜேந்திர வரத ராஜ பெருமாள் கிழக்கு நோக்கியபடி புஜங்க சயனராக ஆனைக்கருளியவராக பாம்பணையில் பள்ளி கொண்ட படி காட்சி தருகிறார். திருமழிசை ஆழ்வார்  “ஆற்றங்கரை கிடக்குங்கண்ணன்“ என்று திருக்காவேரியின் கரையிலுள்ள கபிஸ்தலம் பெருமாளையே  மங்களாசாஸனம்  செய்வதாகப் பூர்வாசாரியர்கள் அருளிச்செய்வர்.
கூற்றமும் சாரா கொடுவினையும் சாரா*,  தீ
மாற்றமும் சாரா வகையறிந்தேன், - ஆற்றங்
கரைக்கிடக்கும் கண்ணன் கடல்கிடக்கும், மாயன்
உரைக்கிடக்கும்   உள்ளத்து   எனக்கு.

திருப்பாற்கடலிலே, சாயனத்திருக்கோலத்திலே பிரமன், நித்யஸூரிகள், தேவர்கள் முதலிய மற்றையோரும் வணங்குமாறு  திருக்கண்வளர்ந்தருள்கிற எம்பெருமான் கண்ணன்,  திருக்காவேரிக்கரையான கபிஸ்தலத்திலே கிடந்த திருக்கோலத்தில் சேவை சாதிக்கிறான். அந்த எம்பெருமானுடைய ஸ்ரீஸூக்தியாகிய சரமச்லோகம் எனது மனத்தே  பதிந்திருக்கின்றது.  என்கண்ணனை  திருவுள்ளத்தில் கொண்டது முதல்,  மிருத்யுபயம், கொடிய பாவங்கள்,  கெட்ட விஷயங்கள்  ஆகிய எவை ஒன்றும் என்னை அணுகாமலுமிருக்கத் தக்க உபாயத்தை அறிந்தவனானேன் என்கிறார் ஆழ்வார். 

Basalt  is a mafic extrusive igneous rock formed from the rapid cooling of magnesium-rich and iron-rich lava  exposed at or very near the surface of a terrestrial planet or a moon. More than 90% of all volcanic rock on Earth is basalt.

Budhanilkantha is a municipality in Kathmandu District in the Bagmati Province of Nepal that was established in  2014 by merging the former Village development committees Hattigauda, Khadka Bhadrakali, Chapali Bhadrakali, Mahankal, Bishnu, Chunikhel and Kapan.  The city is situated at the foot of Shivapuri hill, just 10 kms away from Kathmandu – and it has this beautiful temple dedicated to Sriman Narayana.

Budhanilkantha Temple, is an  open air temple dedicated to Sriman Narayana. The main moorthy here is  Budhanilkantha, considered the largest stone carving in Nepal.  Budhanilakantha is a Sanskrit word that means ‘Old Blue Throat’, a title of Lord Shiva that was given by gods after the Lord drank poison to save the world but here it is Sriman Narayana in reclining posture in water.   The main statue is a black stone structure carved from a single block of black basalt. The statue stands 5 meters tall (around 16.4 feet) and is positioned in the middle of a recessed pool of water, which is 13 meters (42.65 feet) long. It depicts Emperuman  reclining on the coils of the cosmic serpent Adi Shesha. He holds the Sudarshana Chakra, Club, a Conch Shell and a gem in his four hands. He is well adorned with a crown engraved with multiple Kirtimukha images which can often be seen being overlapped by a silver crown. This temple is regarded as a sacred place for Hindus and well  venerated by Buddhists too, who throng in large numbers. 

Called the Sleeping Vishnu, or Jalakshayan Narayan, the statue depicts the deity reclining on the twisting coils of the cosmic serpent Adi Sesha. Vishnu’s legs are crossed and the eleven heads of Shesha cradle his head. Sriman Narayana provides great darshan to devotees here.

Here are some photos taken during our visit on 4th May 2018.

adiyen Srinivasa dhasan
Mamandur Veeravalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar

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