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Thursday, August 5, 2021

Aadi Thiruvathirai 2021 - Ramanuja muni vezham

For Srivaishnavaites, life is blissful – today 5th August is day 4 in Thiruvadipura uthsavam and being Thiruvathirai, is the masa thirunakshathiram of our great Acaryar Swami Ramanujar

Four years ago,  we are fully engrossed in the Sahasrabdi Thiruvavathara mahothsavam of the greatest Saint Swami.  29th Apr 2017 was day 8 of the Uthsavam – in general Emperumanar would have purappadu in Silver yanai vahanam at Thiruvallikkeni but that being part of a grand mahothsavam – it was big Golden Yanai vahana purappadu for Udayavar.

Elephants are the largest land mammals on earth and have distinctly massive bodies, large ears, and long trunks.   Elephant tusks serve many purposes. These extended teeth can be used to protect the elephant's trunk, lift and move objects, gather food, and strip bark from trees. They can also be used for defense. During times of drought, elephants even use their tusks to dig holes to find water underground. The African elephant is the largest of all elephant species and weighs up to eight tons.  Asian elephants differ in several ways from their African relatives, with more than 10 distinct physical differences between them.  

Nearer home in Coimbatore , in a surprise development, elephant ‘Rivaldo’, which was freed in the core forest area, retreated back to Masinagudi by trekking a long way. The elephant was radio collared and set free from its kraal at Chikkala forest area.  The animal had moved to Sigur area and further to Masinagudi. En-route Rivaldo joined two more elephants and was foraging along with them. But later it got separated from them.  

Miles away, the herd of 15 wild Asian elephants covered a 500km stretch on a journey that began over a year ago when they left their designated elephant protection zone in Xishuangbanna, near China’s border with Myanmar. They  headed northwest, though the reason behind this migration is unknown. The group took a break  during which they were captured sleeping together in a patch of forest on the outskirts of southwest China’s Kunming.  Now comes the news that China's roaming elephants are finally on the way home after wandering for more than 16 months across the country.

It's been slow going for Chinese authorities trying to usher the 14 pachyderms back to their home reserve near China's border with Thailand. The whole operation is run by almost 40 forestry firefighters, who keep tabs on the herd with drones as the jumbo travelers trundle through thick forests and villages, reported AFP. When the elephants enter populated areas, the task force cuts the power to prevent the giants from electrocuting themselves or starting fires. They send everyone indoors, then deposit bananas and other foods on the other side of town to persuade the elephants to cross, per AFP. Global media started paying attention to the roving herd about a year ago, as the beasts started wreaking havoc through Yunnan's farmlands on a seemingly aimless migration northeast. Chinese media set up livestreams to track their journey, and millions  tuned in to see the animals' traveling antics, which include raiding farms, visiting a car dealership, and napping in fields. Now that they're headed home, the firefighters painstakingly track the elephants while they sleep, snack, and pilfer their way back southwest. Most nights, the Chinese team sleeps in their vehicles or out in the open air, headquartering in villages sometimes. 

The wandering behemoths have been on the move for nearly 16 months, and will take at least several more months to get home — elephants typically walk up to 18 miles a day, and this herd has hundreds of miles to go before arriving at the reserve. Experts are still stumped as to why this particular herd left its home in the first place. The group originally consisted of 16 elephants, but two went home, and another was brought to Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve after striking out on his own. Two babies were also born on the journey, officials told AFP.

Further still in US, the giant white elephants at tourist magnet Hollywood & Highland are being quietly removed as new owners update the famous shopping center where the annual Academy Awards are held and shed references to the movie industry’s past — features that revive memories of racism and sexual exploitation. Crews recently  began dismantling two giant white fiberglass elephants, which are part of the complex’s tribute to the Babylon set of D.W. Griffith’s 1916 movie “Intolerance.” All of the faux Mesopotamian elements will be taken out or altered in favor of a design developers hope will be more timeless as part of a $100-million makeover of the mall announced last year that is set for completion next summer.

To Srivaishanavaites, Swami Ramanuja Muni is vezham [elephant] and generally has purappadu in velli yanai (silver) – but in 2017 it was Thanga yanai (Golden elephant) 

In the Srivaishna sampradhayam, Bhagwad Ramanuja with his aesthetic beautiful interpretations occupies the central place  - that was Akshaya Tritiya day too.  The greatest reformer Sri  Ramanuja gave us many vedantic treatises:  Sri Bashyam, Vedartasangraha, Vedanta deepa, Vedanta sara, the three Gadyams and more. Our darsana Sthapakar, Sri Ramanujar is rightly reverred as ‘YathiRajar’ ~ the king among yathis [hermits and sages],  it is our Acharyan who showed us the right direction to follow.  

யோநித்யம் அச்யுத பதாம்புஜ யுக்மருக்ம

வ்யாமோஹதஸ் ததிதராணி த்ருணாய மேநே **

அஸ்மத் குரோர் பகவதோsஸ்ய தயைகஸிந்தோ: * 

ராமாநுஜஸ்ய  சரணௌ ரணம் ப்ரபத்யே !! 

அழிவற்ற கலக்கமே இல்லாத அச்சுதன் எனும் எம்பெருமானிடத்தில் அளவிட முடியாத பிரேமை கொண்ட  ஸ்ரீராமாநுஜர் உலகத்திலுள்ள பொருட்களையும் ஆசைகளையும் ஒரு புல்லுக்கு சமானமாகவே கருதினார். கல்யாண குணங்களை கொண்டவரும்எல்லையில்லா தயையின் கடலுமான அவரே நமக்கெல்லாம் குரு.  ஆச்சார்யர் உடையவரது  திருவடிகளே நமக்கு சரண். [எம்பெருமானார் தனியன் கூரத்தாழ்வான் அருளிச்செய்தது].. .. ..   

Blessed are the people, who regularly recite the 108 songs rendered by his disciple Thiruvarangathu Amuthanar known as “Ramanuja Noorranthathi”.  Here are some photos of the grand purappadu at Thiruvallikkeni on 29.4.2017

adiyen Srinivasa dhasan,
Mamandur Veeravalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar
5th   Aug 2021.   

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