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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Thirukudai kainkaryam ~ Sri Padmavathi ammavaru Garudi vahanam at Bairagi Mutt

How good is your observation !  - the first photo was taken at Bairagi Mutt this evening and the next  2 photos are of grand purappadu at Thiruvallikkeni on Aippaisi Thirumoolam – Swami Manavala Mamunigal sarrumurai day !! 

 Lord Srinivasa [Elumalaivasa,, Govindha, Venkata ramana, Venkatesa, Thirumalesa,  Seshadri,  Bhaktavatsala, Bhagavatapriya, Nityanirmala,  Neelameghasyama,  Nandanandana,  Navaneeta Chora, Papavimochana, Durita Nivarana….. Sri Balaji]  is likened to the  exceptionally shining divine lamp – He is primordial;  He is the fullest nectar gotten from  all the divine Vedas; He is be blemishless Lord of Thiruvengadam – Thiruvengadam Udaiyaan Srinivasar, Balaji – and His consort Padmavathi ammavaru [Goddess Padmavathi – Sri Alarmelvalli thayar] resides at Thiruchanur.

For a Srivaishnavaite, visiting Temples, having darshan of Sriman Narayana at various Divyadesams, Abhimana sthalams and doing kainkaryam to Him is the desired way of life.       The place which historically was known as blacktown came to be known as George Town thereafter.  From NSC Bose Road, Flower bazaar PS to Elephant gate area, there are so many narrow lanes and bylanes in what is known as Sowcarpet, a sprawling neighbourhood, far different than the other parts of North Madras, primarily because of  sizable North Indian community living here.   

It is stated that more than  a couple centuries ago, here lived a devotee sanyasi by name Laldas, from some distant part of Northern India (some unsubstantiated reference in web to Lahore !)  who medidated on Tirupathi Balaji everyday.  With divine interference, he installed the idol of Lord Venkateswara in standing posture and this temple of Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal in General Muthiah Street is popularly known as   ‘Bairagi Mutt Balaji Mandir’.  The Mutt of Laldas reportedly more than 400 years old was a choultry with accommodation for yatris. Decades later, idols of Thiruvenkadavan with Sridevi & Bhodevi were found in the garden and they too were installed in the sanctum sanctorum.  

Now is the time for Thirukarthigai Brahmothsavam for Sri Padmavathi thayar ammavaru at holy Thiruchanoor and at various places including the Bairagi Mutt at Sowcarpet.  Today it was Garudi vahanam [feminine form of Periya thiruvadi Garudazhwar] – would post an article separately with more photos.  Being a purappadu inside the temple premises there was a single thirukudai.  

In every purappadu – there are so many attractions – Emperuman – arulicheyal goshti, sripadhamthangigal, Archakas (battacharyas) and many many kainkaryabarargal – one among them doing a tough kainkaryam are the bearers of Thirukudai (the white decorative parasol – umbrellas) for Emperuman.  Ever wondered how difficult it is ? .. ………… please ponder.   

சென்றால் குடையாம் இருந்தால் சிங்காசனமாம்,

நின்றால் மரவடியாம் நீள்கடலுள்,   

When Sriman Narayana  is moving, Thiruvananthazhwaan hoods him like a parasol,  when God sits, Seshan is  settee – the seat of comfort;  when Lord stands,  the snake serves Him as footwear ; in the Thiruparkadal where Lord reclines to take rest, he becomes the silken bed – he gleams with light and provides handrest too.   The serpentine Ananthazhwaan is ever at the service of the Lord in every possible manner.  

Life in a divyadesam is always exciting ! ~ it provides ample opportunities to be with Emperuman and do kainkaryam .. .. the primary challenge is one of involvement and being with Lord for long hours -  one can involve oneself in so many forms of Kainkaryams – there is the glorious Archaga kainkaryam, arulicheyal kainkaryam, sripadham kainkaryam, kainkaryam to bagavathas and those involved in service to Emperuman,  financial kainkaryam for specified projects, offering beautiful jewels, vasthrams,  doing service, providing floral garlands, providing fruits and offerings, cleaning, regulating, painting, and so many more avenues ~ some are physical and requires extraordinary commitment .. .. I have never tried this but have  always observed from close quarters wondering how difficult it is – ‘thirukudai kainkaryam’ – lifting the thirukudai is a massive effort – the weight is at the top as one controls and manages its weight (more so with wind blowing ferociously) as one walks closer to Emperuman covering Him !!  

There is more to thirukudai kainkaryam – during purappadu, they carry the thirukudai on madi (the thick cloth tightly worn around the waist) – and in vahana purappadu – thirukudaigal are placed on the sideboard of the vahanam and is held by Battacharyas.  Holding them is an art and is challenging too – it is tough but graciously done by Thirukovil Battacharyargal.  Now if you have not still visualized this – understand the kudai on the land (standing on the lengthy stem) is lifted first to waist height – then from one to another, dexterously lifted chin-high or more, over the shoulders  – almost over the head.  It would appear impossible to lift an object so elaborate and weighty at the top by holding the stem at the bottom and holding aloft of a few moments – then with subtle balance, gently place it on the pattarai (side board of the vahanam).  

Today was awe-struck to see so many divine images etched beautifully in the thirukudai  (at Thiruvallikkeni and in most other divyadesams, they are pure and simple white without any artwork on its body) and just as I was photographing them, a Sripadhamthangi (Sri Logesh ji) explained to me the significance – the same thirukudai had served Lord of Seven Hills Thirupathi Balaji in Brahmothsavam in 2014 & 2015 and has subsequently come here.  So fortunate to have darshan of this thirukudai [ Umbrella]  too as also Sri Padmavathi thayar in Garudi sevai at Bairagi mutt this evening. 

In our daily routine we fail to appreciate many things – and when Perumal comes on our Streets to give darshan – people still rush in their daily chores without realizing the effort and the kainkaryam of so many people around.  We bow obeisance to all those selfless souls engaged in the kainkaryam to our Emperuman.  

With reverence  to all the kainkaryabarars – appreciating your great committed kainkaryam.  Special thanks to Sripadhamthangi Sri Logesh for sharing Thirumala brahmothsava photos of 2014.  

~adiyen Srinivasa dhasan [Mamandur Veervalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar]
5th Dec 2021. 

1 comment:

  1. Very nice. Nice sharing of thirumala-thiruppadhi photos and especially.. Thus matter.........just as I was photographing them, a Sripadhamthangi (Sri Logesh ji) explained to me the significance – the same thirukudai had served Lord of Seven Hills Thirupathi Balaji in Brahmothsavam in 2014 & 2015 and has subsequently come here. So fortunate to have darshan of this thirukudai [ Umbrella] too as also Sri Padmavathi thayar in Garudi sevai at Bairagi mutt this evening.