Thiruvarangathu AmudhanAr’s ” PRAPANNA GAYATHRI “


Originally posted on kazhiyur varadan's web blog:

SREEE Swami  AmudhanAr was known as Peria Koil Nambee earlier .  Swami appeared at a place called ThirumUngirkkudi on ( March )  Panguni Hastham day near to Srirangam. He was one of the dear disciple of Swamy Ramanuja . However , before becoming a devotee of Swamy Ramanuja  , being the the Priest for Lord SriRanganAthA  Temple he was filled with rajO guNam and had ill feelings towards AchArya RaamAnujA for the boons granted to him by Lord RanganAthA. He used to get  upset  with Swamys popularity  and placed many obstacles in the way of Swamy  during the temple administration, This caused deep pain to Swami RaamAnujA. Swami RaamAnujA wanted to somehow relocate him in other service  which will help in continuing the service to LORD  and thus  achieve the smooth running of the affairs of the temple.

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Lord RanganAtha appeared in  Swami RaamAnujA’s dream and  commanded that the temple priest  Periya…

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Who is a srivaishnava …Total unconditional surrender …


Originally posted on kazhiyur varadan's web blog:

 Swamy  Parasara Bhattar, the famous acharya   in Srivaishnavam  Sampradaya was the eldest son of Swami  Koorathazhvan. .   Bhattar  was  the chief priest  at Srirangam temple and  appeared  out of the grace of the Lord of Srirangam.  Swami parASara bhaTTar  appeared  in this world through the divine aravanai prasadam (the prasadam that is offered to the Lord just before the nightly closing of the temple) of Namperumal, which was offered to Andal, the wife of swami Kurathazhvan. Not only by birth did swami bhattar, as he is addressed by all, show his greatness, but also by his  sharp intelligence, kind actions and  inspiring  spiritual  practices throughout his life.

Parasara Bhattar

An  hardcore enemy would adore bhattar on listening to him.  Bhattars  skill in answering a person’s question even before the questioner has finished asking the question is marvelous, and offers food for our thoughts   can be seen from the  below two divine pastimes

 

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NAVA DWARAKA DARSHAN .. A Piligrims diary


           A PILIGRIMS DIARY  TO  NAVA DWARAKAS

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The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sriman Narayana  out of abundant compassion   appeared as LORD   Krishna to save the good and destroy the evil.   As per divine plan,  Lord Mahavishnu appeared as the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudevar in Mathura, the holiest of all cities during midnight on krishna  paksha Asthami thithi in the tamil month of Aavani (Sravanam) in the closed  jail which was fully guarded on a rainy night.  The Lord appeared as a child with chathurbhujam holding the divine weapons Sankhu, Chakram, Gada, Padmam to Devaki and Vasudevar to reaffirm that HE had fulfilled their early wish.  Vasudeva  out of vatsalyam prayed the Lord to assume the form of a child and immediately the Lord who is the controller of the Universe obeyed him as an dutiful son .  Our poorvacharyars point out that Lord  Sri Rama obeyed HIS father’s words at the age of 12 whereas Lord Krishna obeyed as soon as HE appeared .  The Lord instructed Vasudevar to leave HIM at Gokula where a devotee couple, Mother Yasodha and Nandagopalan nurtured the desire to have Lord’s association. Due to Yogamaya’s power-the inner potency of the Lord, Vasudevar’s shackles fell down, he placed the divine child in a basket and unmindful of the obstacles and the weather simply obeyed the divine orders like Bharathazhwar.  The prison gates opened, the guards were fast asleep, Adisesha, the eternal servant of the Lord who takes the position of couch while the Lord rests, as Simhasanam when the Lord relaxes , as padhukas when the Lord walks , continued with his kainkaryam of serving the Lord.  The divine  serpent protected  the Lord by spreading its hoods over the Lord to protect HIM from pouring  rain ,River Yamuna which was in full spat paved way and utilized the opportunity to purify herself by touching the Lotus feet of the Lord and Vasudevar safely reached Gokulam where Mother Yasodha had just delivered Yogamaya and was in deep sleep and exchanged the child without anyone’s knowledge.  Andal glorifies this in Tiruppavai as “Oruthi Maganaai Pirandhu, Ore iravil oruthi maganaai valarndhu…”

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The divine child was brought up in Gokulam where right from HIS appearance, the Lord displayed HIS extraordinary qualities in killing the demons who were sent by Kamsa without using any weapon.  The Lord spent first 10 years of HIS childhood in Gokulam, Nandagaon, Vrindavan and left for Mathura along with  his elder brother Balaramji  at the age of 10, killed Kamsa and other demonic friends and restored peace in Mathura.  The Lord released HIS parents from prison, granted their wish to seeing their dead children, made HIS grandfather, Ugrasena  the king of Mathura, went to Sandipani rishi to study 64 arts in 64 days, gave life to  the dead son of the rishi as “Gurudakshina” and returned to Mathura.  Jarasandha, the father-in-law of Kamsa wanted to avenge Kamsa’s death and attacked Mathura many times even after repeated defeats.  Lord Krishna to protect the residents of Mathura from these attacks, summoned Viswakarma-the divine architect to construct a palace in the sea and transported all of  them overnight.

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This golden city is vividly described in Srimad Bhagavatam.  When Lord Krishna’s  childhood friend, Kuselan (Sudama) came to meet the Lord, he was bewildered to see the beautiful golden palace and was enquiring as to where the entrance is -“Dwaar Kahan” which later got corrupted as Dwarakaa.  There are nine Dwarakas known as “Nava Dwarakas” out of which five (Pancha Dwaraka) are very famous holy dhams visited by all vaishnavas .

The “Nava Dwarakas” are listed below

1) Mukti Dwarka (Gomti Dwarka)-main temple located in Dwarka in Gujarat

2) Rukmini Dwarka (4 kms from Dwarka)

3) Bhet Dwarka ( in an island 8 kms from Dwarka)

4) Moola Dwaraka (Rajkot-Dwarka route)

5) Sudama Dwarka (Porbandhar)

6) Nathdwara (near Udaipur in Rajasthan)

7) Kankroli Dwarka (near Nathdwara)

8) Prabhasa Theertha (Veravel near Somnath)

9) Dakore Dwarka (near Ahmedabad)

Dwaraka is one of the four important dhams(holy places). The other three dhams are Puri, Badrinath and Rameswaram. Dwaraka is counted as one of the seven “MUKTHI THARUM KSHETRAMS” ( MOKSHA STHAL ). The other six are Mathura, Ayodhya, Kasi, Gaya, Kanchi, Ujjain.

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Sri Adisankaracharyar established matts at 4 places- at Dwaraka, Puri, Sringeri and Joshimutt. As long as Lord Krishna was there, the sea could not exceed its limits. But soon after the departure of Lord Sri Krishna and due to Gandhari and Saptha rishis’ curse  (which was nothing but  LORD’s  divine play (Thiruvullam), the city got submerged into the sea and the whole Yadu vamsam perished. In the Srimad Bhagavatham it is mentioned that even as Arjuna (who had come to escort the women  who were alive to Hastinapura) was seeing, the sea entered the city and swayed the whole city. Within seconds, the beautiful palaces of  Lord Sri Krishna collapsed and got drowned in the sea.

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Before this incident could take place, Lord Sri Krishna summoned Vayu and Guru to carry away from Dwaraka the  deity which was worshipped by Lord Himself . This deity is our  famous GURUVAYOORAPPAN   in Kerala  as told by elders .

Guruvayurappan image

Latest excavations also have revealed about the city of Dwaraka. In fact, the Central Govt. has plans to construct a underwater Museum (the first of its kind and I believe this work has already been started.

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As part of our Sri Krishna Anu Yatirai  ( piligrimage )which we had undertaken , after having darshan of the important places in Mathura,Vrindavanam, we proceeded to Dwaraka for

                                              NAVA DWARAKA DARSHANAM .

This was our second visit to Dwaraka . Way back in 2000 during our pilgrimage to  Dwaraka, we visited only 4 Dwarakas -Gomti Dwaraka(the main temple), Bhet Dwaraka, Rukmini Dwaraka (all these are around Dwaraka) and Dakore Dwaraka near Ahmedabad.  This  pilgrimage was  very special to us as we were able to have darshan of all the important places which had association of LORD KRISHNA .

The experiences  at Mathura , Vrindavan and Nandagaon  ( gokulam ) shall  be posted separately as Sri Krishna Anubhava yatra )

                          After having darshan of LORD  at Mathura , Vrindavan , Barasana  and Nandagam we proceeded to Dwaraka dhaam . Our plan was to have darshan of both Nathdwara and Kankroli dwaraka  in Rajasthan and then proceed to Dwaraka in Gujarat . Accordingly , we boarded Mewar Express at Mathura  to reach Udaipur and got  down at MAVLI station itself as Nathdwara is only 30 kms from MAVLI and 65 kms from Udaipur.  Most of the temples at Rajasthan  would be open for darshan only for short intervals, say 10 to 15 minutes at the time of aarthi and the curtains would be drawn.  In case we miss to have darshan at that time, we have to wait till the next darshan.) We arranged a car after negotiating to visit the above places.

                                                                NATHDWARA 

Nathdwara is a small town in Mavli-Udiapur route.  Situated in the heart of the town, SHRINATHJI  temple is the main attraction with thousands  of  devotees  thronging to the temple daily. This  is the second richest temple in India, first being Tirumala temple.  Opposite to the temple is the  information centre who guide the pilgrims for prashad, timings etc.  Near the entrance of the temple, we can find  many vendors selling varieties of vegetables and fruits.  .

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There is a unique practice followed in this temple.  Devotees can offer milk, varieties of fruits,vegetables , milk in the kitchen which would be used for Perumal’s bhog (neivedyam-food offering).  Milk is to be given at a different place and vegetables , fruits in another place. It is customary for the local devotees to pray to the  Lord for fulfilling their wish and when it gets fulfilled, people offer to change the flagin the Gopuram ( Temple top ) .

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The temple has 5  Elders  who are authorized to change the flag which is a hereditary right for them.  While the flag is being changed, the assembled devotees continuously sing in praise of the Lord . There is   a big photograph of Perumal “SHRI SHRINATHJI” hung  on a wall and pointed out to the nose ring worn by Perumal and a diamond stone studded on Perumal’s chin.  It was told that for taking this diamond  Aurangzeb invaded Mathura but his attempts became futile because  Lord disappeared from that place. In the garbagriham, Perumal gives darshan as  Krishna-Radharani together  and hence is known as “SHRI SHRINATHJI.

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The cart which carried the Lord is preserved in a separate room and  this event is celebrated every year.  In the adjacent room, there are  2 mortars- one  made of gold and the other made of silver.  Once in eight days, chandan(sandal paste ) for the   LORD is ground using these mortars. A 40 minutes drive took us to Nathdwara from Mauvli .  We refreshed ourselves in a nearby  rest house  Lakshmi Lodge,  one of the hotels opposite car parking(a big open ground) on the way to  temple. For one hour, we paid  nominal amount of Rs.100/- for the same.  It was 10 A.M. by the time we finished  and proceeded to the temple  .  A five minute walk along the narrow streets led to the temple.  This reminded us of Pandirpur Divya Kshetram in Maharashtra  .  As the next darshan was at 11.30 A.M. , we decided to wait in the temple premises. Usually we find vendors selling coconuts,tulasi and flowers in front of the temple. But here vendors sell varieties of fruits,vegetables , milk in the kitchen which would be used for  Lords (Perumal’s) bhog (neivedyam-food offering).  We purchased 11 varieties of fruits and 11 varieties of vegetables and 2 pots of milk and handed over the same in the kitchen godown.   ( we  wished  we  could have brought some rice , cereals, sugar , jaggery, dry fruits  for the offering.)  Milk has to be given at a different place and vegetables , fruits in another place.  Cows move about freely outside the temple.  It was a typical Gokulam scene –serene atmosphere with vendors doing their business as god’s seva without any competition and cows moving around freely inside and outside the temple. It was almost like Gokulam .  Similar like in Puri dhaam , the pandas have hereditary right for their share in temple prashad daily and they in turn sell it to the devotees .  Another similarity is like in Jagannath Puri, here many varieties of food are offered to the Lord .  Many devotees keep  waiting to have darshan. There is a separate queue for ladies and gents. As we were waiting near the entrance, an elderly person came forward and offered to guide us .  We could feel the elderly person care and thanked LORD for the love .He gave us information about the temple which we could not get any where . He took us to the first floor of the temple where kirtan was going on  while the temple flag was being changed.  He informed that it was customary for the local devotees to pray to the  Lord for fulfilling their wish and when it was fulfilled, people offer to change the flag.  The temple has 5 persons who are authorized to change the flag.  This is hereditary right for them.  While the flag is being changed, the assembled devotees continuously sing in praise of the Lord  . He then took us to a room where  a big photograph of Perumal “SHRI SHRINATHJI” was hung  and pointed out to the nose ring worn by Perumal and a diamond stone studded on Perumal’s chin.  It was for taking this diamond that Aurangzeb invaded Mathura but HIS attempts became futile because  disappeared from that place.   He said that in the garbagriham, Perumal gives darshan as  Krishna-Radha rani together  and hence is known as “SHRI SHRINATHJI”.   While circumbulating the temple, he took us to a small room containing a cart.  He informed that it was in this cart that Perumal reached this place.  The cart is well preserved .  Even today, this event is celebrated every year.  A new cart is made and  is rested on the cart. In the adjacent room, there are  2 mortars- one  made of gold and the other made of silver. Once in eight days, chandan(sandal paste ) for the  LORD  is ground using these mortars.  We offered  our obeisances and reached the entrance of the main sannidhi. In front of the sannidhi, the guide showed us a place where sets of  5 coconuts were tied to a string and hung.    It is a common practice in North India to have darshan of the Lord when the doors are opened and aarthi is given .  Hence the rooms in front of the sannidhi are constructed in such a way so as to accommodate few hundreds of devotees at a time.  All the devotees can have darshan of the  during aarthi and the devotees themselves can offer prasadam- sweets/ dry fruits to the .  The darshan would be given only for 15 minutes after aarthi and  the devotees leave along the walls of the temple without disturbing the LORD , in the sense at any point the devotee s face is visible to LORD .  We started reciting Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam and   when we completed , the doors sprang open and devotees rushed inside to have glimpse of the  LORD .  Unusual  thing noticed was the devotees enter horizontally paying darshan and don’t show their back .You have galleries and all move in horizontal lines . The  LORD  is dressed like a small cowherd  boy of 7 years . The aarthi had just begun and shodasa upacharams (16 types of upacharam) were offered to the Lord while chanting slokas and singing songs.   Lord   was dressed in “Parrot green coloured “cloth round HIS waist like a typical cowherd boy and was adorned with varieties of flowers.  Adiyen recollected Periazwar’s pasurams describing the Lord’s return to HIS home after gazing the cows.  Amidst loudly uttering  “KANNAIYA LAL KI JAI” and singing of aarthi songs, we could experience the unalloyed vatsalya bhaavam of the devotees present.  Like the gopis of Vrindavan , the devotees were not aware of their surroundings and their whole concentration was on the LORD   alone.   The enchanting divya mangala swaroopam of the LORD  cannot be described in words.  The  LORD  is very very attractive with HIS left hand raised up with HIS little finger lifted up and HIS right hand closed in a fist and placed on  HIS waist.  A small stick is placed in front of Him which is used while gazing cows.  We were being squeezed out in the rush but were unmindful of the pushing .  Everyone was eager to take darshan standing in the front.  Fortunately, we had darshan to our heart’s content. We just couldn’t take our eyes off from the Lords  Thirumeni.  Every part is so attractive that we felt that one darshan is not enough.   As they say, it is NOT THE DARSHAN WHAT WE SEEK, IT IS THE DARSHAN WHAT HE GIVES”.  After darshan, we had to come out through another door in front of which there is a small sannidhi where charanamruth (theertham/ holy water)  is distributed.  Beside this, there is a counter from which the devotees can purchase sweets, laddus etc by paying money. This counter also would be open only for limited time. As instructed by the panda who offered us prashad, we were sitting in front of the main door recollecting Perumal’s divya mangala swaroopam.  After some time, my wife went in search of the Panda, and brought the prashad which was carried by panda’s attendant..  As having prashad in the temple premises is strictly prohibited, the attendant showed us a dharmashaala  where we could have the prashad.   Hence, it is suggested to take prashad from 2 or 3 different pandas so that varieties of prashad can be tasted.    After having prashad, we proceeded to  another Dwaraka   glorified as  Kankroli Dwarka which is about 12 kms from Nathdwara.

                                                           KANKROLI DWARAKA

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is  one of the 9 Dwarakas located  in  Kankroli .  It is the leading exporter of marbles and just   12 kms away from Nathdwara  on Mavli-Udaipur route- 30 kms from Mavli and 65 kms from Udaipur. One can also have  a peep of Rajsamund Lake     near Kankroli- famous for its dam and architecture Chathur Bhuj temple of Maha Vishnu and Ekaling temple  ( A huge lingam made from a single rock) All the above places can be visited within a day.  We can straight away drive to Nathdwara, check in in any hotel or ashram  for refreshing  and finish visiting the above places and go back to Udaipur  for boarding train/ flight.  Udaipur is well connected to major cities and hence it is advisable to go back to Udaipur. Nathdwara is considered to be one of the Nava dwarakas and the presiding diety here is  SHRI SHRINATHJI .

KANKROLI DWARAKA INNER SANCTUM

Here he gives darshan  in blackish form with HIS left hand raised upwards with little finger pointing upwards, HIS right hand closed in a fist rests on HIS hip.  HIS eyes glance downward affectionately at HIS devotees. Shrinathji is very special and beautiful diety. There is a diamond on the chin of the Lord.  This  deity  is swayambhu (self manifested and not carved by anyone).  As the Lord is the combined form of Radharani and Gopala, HE is known as “SHRI SHRINATHJI”.( “SHRI” indicates Thayar ). The  Lord is also known as “Banke Bhihari”.  The LORD was earlier in Vrindavan near Goverdhana giri and is related to one of  Sri  Krishna’s pastimes in Vrindavan lifting Goverdhana hill.  To briefly recapitulate, Nanda Maharaja after consulting the other elderly gopas, decided to do pooja and give offerings to Indra, the king of devas , as they thought that Indra was responsible for timely rains  and  good yield of their crops.  When the discussion was thus going on, child Sri Krishna , who was only 7 years old , intervened saying that Indra was not responsible for the cattle prosperity and it was Goverdhana giri which was responsible for the same as it provides the necessary grass to cattle, and crops to the gopas.

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Krishna suggested that they should therefore give their offerings to Goverdhana giri and all the gopas including Nanda Maharaj accepted to this proposal.    An auspicious day was selected and all the gopas assembled in front of Goverdhana giri with heaps of offerings.    Krishna advised them to close their eyes and everyone obeyed.  Then   Krishna assumed a huge form  and with wide opened mouth, He consumed the entire offering.  When it was finished,   Krishna resumed HIS original child form and joined the gopis.  The gopis were pleased to see that their offerings were accepted and happily returned home.   Indra was naturally upset that no offering was made and decided to punish the gopis by sending torrential rains accompanied by thunder storms.  Not knowing what to do, all the vraj vasis( gopis) approached Sri  Krishna for help with their cattle and children.

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The child  Krishna assured them and to their astonishment, lifted the Goverdhana giri with HIS left hand little finger and all the residents of Vrindavan along with their cattle  took shelter  under the hill . (recollected Nammazhwar’s pasuram”KUNDRAM ENDHI KULIR MAZHAI KAATHAVAN”)     LORD Krishna thus stood in this form for 7 days.  Indra thus humbled realized HIS folly and surrendered at  Krishna’s feet for forgiveness. Repenting for not realizing who  Krishna was, he prayed to  Krishna for forgiveness which is known as Govinda Stuthi.   Krishna came to be known as “GOVINDA”- the protector of cows.  Indra  did Govinda abhishekam to   Krishna with Kamadhenu , the divine cow and left the place. To mark this incident, Vajranabha constructed  a temple at the foot of the hill.  Due to passage of time, this   deity disappeared and the whereabouts remained unknown for many years.  After many years,  LORD  appeared as Gopala in Madhavendra Puri’s dream, informed him about HIS whereabouts and a temple was constructed .  When Aurangzeb  invaded Mathura and  Vrindavan, the  deity disappeared into the hill and could not be traced out. After many years, LORD  appeared to  the great saint Sri Vallabhacharyar in his dream and informed HIS whereabouts.  When Sri Vallabacharyar reached Goverdhanagiri, the idol emerged out by itself and was glorified by Vallabhacharyar.  Perumal advised Vallabhacharyar, who was a very great devotee to carry Him to Mewar in Rajasthan.  Vallabacharyar arranged a cart for Perumal and left for Mewar. Rana Raja Singh of Mewar helped Vallabhacharyar .

RAJSAMUNDAR LAKE AT KANKROLI DWARAKA

   After 2 months, the cart reached the present Nathdwara enroute to Mewar in the 17th century. But on the way to Mewar, the cart stopped suddenly at this place and did not move an inch.  Vallabacharyar heard a divine voice say that Perumal wished to stay in this place itself as it was the place where HIS dear devotee, Meera bhai stayed. ( The story of Meera bhai is well known to all of us. To briefly recapitulate, Mira bhai was fondly attached to  Krishna’s idol given by her father.  As a child, she always used to play with the , dress Him up and sing songs in praise of the  and considered Krishna to be her spouse.  She exhibited bhakti like the gopis of Vrindavan.  The king of Mewar impressed with her bhakti married her despite having many queens. Though she  was the queen of Mewar, she was totally disinterested in material comforts and always used to be in service of the Lord.  In fact with every passing day, her bhakti enhanced and was totally immersed in  Krishna Bhakti.  She was unmindful of all the hardships and tortures implicated on her by the annoyed  king and her co-sisters. They tried to kill her in many ways by even giving her poisoned milk.  Mira offered the milk to her Lord and drank it.    Krishna’s Thirumeni turned blue as HE consumed the poison but nothing happened to her.  The king realized HIS folly and begged for forgiveness .  Mira felt that it was not fit for her to remain there  and left the palace and stayed in this place.  )  Swamy   Vallabhacharyar with the help of Mewar king constructed a beautiful temple for the Lord . Right from his childhood  Swamy   developed great bhakti for the Lord.  He had a dream in which   LORD appeared and ordered him to go to Goverdhana giri and bring back the hidden idol.. Vallabhacharyar promptly  obeyed  LORD and to everyone’s bewilderment, when he reached Goverdhana giri,  the deity emerged  out suddenly.   (This reminds me the  incident connected to Melkote Perumal.  Melkote is a small village near Mysore on the banks of Kalyani Pushkarini .  When Swamy  Ramanujar arrived here, there was no temple.  Perumal appeared in his dream and informed the whereabouts about the moolavar and utsavar. With the help of the local king, the pathway to the hill which was filled with bushes and throns were cleared and a temple was constructed in which the  moolavar Thirunarayanan was placed in the sanctum sanctorum according to vedic rituals.  As there was no utsavar, Udayavar prayed to Perumal for disclosing HIS whereabouts.  Acharyar learnt from the  local residents that the  utsavar was with Delhi Sultan . The utsava murthi named Sampathkumaran,  appeared in Sri Ramanujar’s dream. Sri Ramanujar  went to Delhi and  requested the king to return the idol.As there were many such idols which the king brought by looting various temples, he asked our acharyar to locate the idol. Ramanujar was taken to a storeroom where many idols were kept.  But as none matched with his divine vision of the Lord, acharyar was disheartened.  Then he heard that there was an idol with the princess with whom she played with. With the king’s permission, Ramanujar went to the palace to see the vigraham and LO , the vigraham jumped up from the place and suddenly moved towards  Sri Ramanujar and sat on his lap. Hence the Lord  is known a “CHELLA PILLAI”. As the princess was obsessed with the idol, she secretely followed our acharyar and finally Lord accepted her at HIS thiruvadi.  At melkote, the utsava vigraham of  Sri Ramanujar has Chella Pillai on his shoulders with the princess near the Lord’s thiruvadi )   As mentioned earlier, Perumal instructed him to take Him away to Mewar  and the later developments have already been mentioned above.  Vallabhacharyar used to please the Lord with his kirtans which was later followed by his disciples.  In east  of the temple, the photographs of Sri Vallabhacharyar along with his descendants are displayed.  Bhog is offered to Perumal on behalf of Sri Vallabhacharyar. 6 sevas are performed daily.      A flight of steps led us to the main shrine.  We participated in the the afternoon aarthi known as “Uthappana seva” .Perumal’s thirunaamam is Dwarakadeesh.  Lordships are with full of compassion and  is very attractive.  Perumal is seen with chathurbhuj(4 hands) holding the divya ayudhangal. (weapons). Two pujaris were offering 16 types of upacharams to the Lord .  We had darshan to our heart’s content.  Offered the dry fruits which we had brought with us as neivedyam to the Lord.  On the left side of the main sannidhi, there is a separate sannidhi where child  Krishna is placed on a cradle and the pujaris were performing jhoola seva. In a small vessel filled with water, varieties of scented flowers were kept. Varieties of flowers and fruits were placed in front of the Lord.

                  We reached  Udaipur  from Kankroli  at 9.00 P.M and boarded Udaipur-Gwalior express .  The schedule departure of the train was at 2220 hours but the train started at 0000 hours.    Though it was the starting point, as no clearance was given, the train was delayed which is very common in the northern region .  Thanking profusely LORD for HIS darshan we proceeded to the remaining Dwarakas in Gujarat state .

                                                                        MOOL DWARKA

It is well known that Jarasandha, the father-in-law of the wicked Kamsa wanted to avenge his son-in-law’s death in the hands of Sri  Krishna . To pacify his 2 widowed daughters, he marched with his army on Mathura many times where  Krishna was residing with his parents.   Every time Jarasandha attacked Mathura, Krishna and Balarama used to defeat his army but let him go without killing as Krishna wanted to reduce the earth’s burden by killing wicked people and Jarasandha was destined to be killed later by Bhima .On one such occasion,  Krishna escaped from the battlefield with Balarama and started running away.  Jarasandha chased them but could not catch hold of them as they climbed on a mountain top and disappeared from his sight.

jarasandha

Jarasandha presumed that they had  died and returned to his kingdom.  In order to protect His citizens from the frequent enemy attacks,   Krishna arrived at this place and summoned Viswakarma, the deva-loka architect to construct a palace in the sea.  The sea –God offered land to  Krishna for construction of city.  Thus Dwaraka was constructed overnight and all the yadavas were transported safely to this place.  With   His divine powers,  ensured that the sea never crossed its limits and Dwarka was well protected  thus ensuring that His people were safe whenever He went for battle.  As this was the place where  put His foot first, this is known as

                                                                          “MOOLA DWARAKA”. 

When  arrived here, ParamaShivan, Brahma and other devas offered prayers to the LORD  here.  There is a very old well near  to the temple where Lord  Krishna had His holy bath.  Even during severe drought, this well doesn’t get dried up.

moola dwaraka mandir 2

  We reached the temple at 7.00 P.M.-20 minutes before evening aarthi.   We recited Vishnu Sahasranamam  thanking LORD .  The temple is maintained hereditarily by priests  who reside with their families near the temple.

Moola+dwaraka++Entry

This place was very calm and serene and best  place  for meditation.  The main diety is Dwarakadeesh and there are small sannidhis for  Sri Radha- Krishna,   Sri Sita-Rama , Lakshmi-Narayan and  few more  small temples of   Saraswathi,Gayatri, Ganapathi, Subramanya Swami, Dakshinamurthy, Shiva-Parvathi.  We participated in the aarthi,  offered the prasadam which we took with us .   The car driver whom we affectionately called  Kaka took us to a nearby well saying that   Krishna had His holy bath here.  A board is displayed describing this incident.  A steep flight of steps leads us to the well.  As it was dark, we did not get down the steps.  There was another sannidhi for Shiva’s family. Cows keep moving about freely.   After praying to the Lord, we left the place.  As per our plan, we decided to stay one day in Veraval and reach Dwaraka the next day .  But as finished visiting all the places in and around Veravel and were near Dwarka, we decided to reach Dwaraka on  same day itself.  We tried to contact  ISKCON , Dwarka about our preponement but could not do so as there was no response when we called them over phone.  We later learnt that their phone was out of order.   Kaka said that it would take 90 mintues for us to reach Dwarka.  So,  relaxing  in the car , we started our evening bhajans and kaka also joined us.  On the way, he took us to a temple dedicated to Bhavani (Harsiddhi maatha) and narrated the incidents connected with King  Krishnadevaraya.  As the king’s name is famous for “Vikram-Bhetal stories”(how he used to carry ghost on his back, ghost narrating a story, asking him to reply and used to leave him once he gave the correct answer…… -the stories which we used to read in our childhood days) , out of inquisitiveness, decided to visit this temple.  Near the entrance, there are sannidhis for  Bhaktha Hanuman and Ganapathi.  Few steps led us to the main shrine.    Beside the main sannidhi, on the left, there is a jhoola with the diety’ s photo.  Kaka said that King  Krishnadevaraya meditated at this place on Ambal for 12 years and when Goddess appeared before him and conferred a boon, he asked her to accompany him to Ujjain .  Goddess consented to his request and left the place.  A replica of the goddess was kept here.  Kaka told us that every evening when aarthi is given to the goddess at Ujjain, this jhoola would automatically move to and fro  and after this movement stops, aarthi is given to this goddess.  Such is the power of this diety.  He showed us the place where  King Krishnadevaraya did penance.   The roads were dark with no street lights but somehow managed to reach Dwaraka at 10.30 P.M. Locating ISKCON was easy.  Luckily, the  prabhus  were awake and a room was allotted in the first floor.

                                  DWARAKADEESH    STHALAPURANAM:-

  • In order to protect His people from the frequent enemy attacks, Krishna summoned Viswakarma and ordered him to construct Dwarka in the Arabian Sea.  The Sea God was instructed to give land in the middle of the sea which was always protected by  Krishna’s divine power.    This is known as Gomti Dwaraka as it is on the banks of River Gomti.

Gomti DwarakaDue to divine will, the city was constructed overnight and all the Yadavas were transported from Mathura to Dwarka and lived happily. The palaces were made of gold.  It was the wealthiest city as the Goddess of Fortune Herself resided here.

 As mentioned earlier, the place where   LORD first placed His foot is Moola Dwaraka. Lord  Krishna with His 16,108 consorts lived here like a typical Gruhasta and in many occasions showed how a Gruhasta should  live . Perumal ruled over the Universe from this place.  Lord Krishna married Rukmini, Satyabhama, Nappinai, Jambavathi, and so on and  all  of them  are glorified  as Astha Mahishis. By killing Narakasura, Krishna rescued 16,000 captivated girls at whose request HE married  all of them. He took 16000 forms and married all the girls at the same time.When Draupadi surrendered to Krishna for protection, she addressed  Krishna as “Dwarakanilai achyuta”-one who resides in Dwaraka.When Sage Narada was curious to know how Krishna managed with so many consorts, he was astonished to see the Lord with each of His consort performing various activities at the same time.   Everyday, all the forms of  Krishna used to leave the respective palaces but while entering the court, all the forms used to get merged with Him.It was in Dwarka that the exhibited his fondness to Sudama  ( Kuchelan ) It was here that Lord exhibited that the gopis attachment to the  LORD  was much superior than even His consorts’ devotion.

Thus there are innumerable incidents connected with  Sri  Krishna’s life here.   Dwarka was to be submerged into the sea within 7 days of Krishna’s departure .  Before leaving for Prayag,   Krishna ordered the sea to leave 12 yojnas of land from drowning.The original temple was constructed by  Krishna’s great grandson, Vajranabha (son of Aniruddha) with the help of Viswakarma as per Vaastu Shastra . The structure of the temple is like that of Sri Chakram. The height of the temple known as “Jagat Mandir” is 150 feet.There are 2 entrances to the temple-Swarg Dwar and Mukti Dwar. The flag on the spire of the temple declares that Dwarkadeesh is the ruler.The flag measures 40 feet -52 gaj (a unit of measurement) .The number 52 signifes the 27 stars, 12 rashis, 9 Navagrahas and the 4 main directions-north, south, east, west. The flag is stitched in a specific  design. As part of their offering , devotees usually undertake  a vow to change the flag when their wish is fulfilled.The  holy flag is changed thrice daily.  Morning between 8 A.M. and 11 A.M., second time between 11A.M. AND 12.30 P.M. and in the evening between 5 P.M. and 6.30 P.M.  Booking for this has to be done atleast 3 months in advance. The flag would be taken round the temple streets ceremoniously before offering in the temple. Only authorized persons can go to the top of the temple and change the flag.This is hereditary.  Being on the sea shore, heavy winds keep blowing but these persons do not wear any safety belt.  Lord  Dwarkadeesh saves them for this unbelievable feat .From the cloth used as a flag, the priests and other service providers of the temple stitch shirts. A must have darshan .

 Lord  Dwarkadeesh gives darshan  holding Sankhu, Chakram, Gadam and Padmam with an enchanting bewitching  smile.  The temple priest informed that Lord  wears wresting belt , has a black snake round HIS waist, Bhakti and Mukti are at HIS feet,  wears Kaustabham and Vanamaala.  The  Lord holds a stick and a flute . The Lord is dressed in various forms-like a child, like a ruler  as per the legendry customs etc.During summer, in the nights, the  LORD  is dressed with jasmine flowers (like Pulangi seva in Tirumala.  Usually in South Indian temples, the Lord  is adorned with various types of flower maalas(strung with the thread) and placed round Lord’s shoulder.  But here, the dress itself is stitched with flowers artistically.  It is difficult to make out that it is a floral dress.  It  resembles like dress made of pearls.  The Chappan bhog (56 items of varieties of food) are offered as Raj Bhog  to the Lord  daily .  Every day 6 aarthis are performed to the Lord  .  On Sri  Krishna Janmashtami, the Lord is given special aarthi at the stroke of 12 in midnight.  Thousands of devotees throng to the temple to have HIS darshan.  Inside the garbagriham, we find the utsava murthis of Rukmini and Krishna, Radha and  Krishna.  The colours of clothes adorned by the Lord  are  also pre-determined as per the days.  On Sunday, the  Lord wears Red colour, Monday-Pink, Tuesday-Yellow,Wednesday-Green, Thursday-orange, Frinday-white and Saturday-Blue.  All the temple kainkarya kaarars(service providers) including the priests wear the same colour dress. We can have a advance notice of LORD attire observing  the service devotees  Exactly opposite to the shrine of Dwarkadeesh is Devaki’s shrine.  Near the entrance on the right side, we find a small shrine for  Lord Balaraman.   Lord Balaraman is in the form of Adiseshan.  There are separate shrines for the Ashta mahishis  of   Lord Krishna, Radha- Krishna, Satyanarayana Swamy, Madhavji  .. 25 years ago, it was in front of Madhavji temple, Prana prathistha for the deities  of Radha-Dwarkadeesh at ISKCON was conducted . and Srila Prabhupada officiated for 5 days. The  deities were earlier taken around Dwarka temple before this ritual. The deities  were later shifted to ISKCON Dwarka.   On the seventh day after the departure of the Lord  to His heavenly abode, Dwarka was submerged into the sea.  In the Srimad Bhagavatam it is stated that  Sri  Krishna propounded Udhava Gita and ordered Uddhava to take the elderly, children and women from Dwarka to Hastinapur as the city would be submerged into the sea.  The idol form of  Narayana which was worshipped by   Krishna Himself was carried by Guru and Vayu and placed at present Guruvayur in Kerala.  Archeological Department of India have found out that few thousands of precious metals lie submerged in the sea. Even today the remains of the palaces can be found in the adjoining Gomti river known as “Gomti Chakram”. This is considered as Lakshmi swaroopam and is treated at par with our Saalagrama shilas.We can also find vendors selling different types of stones (nava rathinams) here.

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The temple was first constructed by   Krishna’s grandson and later by other kings.   Devotees were lined up in a queue to have darshan of the Lord. Perumal   was beautifully dressed up like a typical cowherd boy holding Sankhu, Chakram, Gadam,Lotus. A small stick used for grazing cows and a flute are also placed.   The idol is beautifully carved as it was done by GOD HIMSELF. Opposite to Perumal’s sannidhi, is the sannidhi of Devaki, mother of   Krishna.  The sannidhis for the 8 chief consorts of the Lord  , sannidhi for Radha- Krishna, Satyanarayana Swamy , Balaram sannidhi are in the outer precincts of the garbagriham.    Pilgrims were singing some Gujarati songs .The devotees were exhibiting their unalloyed bhakti in many ways – by singing, by raising slogans”Ranchor Raya Ki jai” etc.  as for our turn, we were reciting  few divya prabhandha pasurams which we knew by heart and singing the bhajans “GOVINDA MADHAVA GOPALA KESAVA,…, GOVINDA HARI HARI GOPALA HARI HARI RADHA RAMANA HARI HARI….., we had seva to our heart’s content.  Resolved to visit the temple in the evening along with children and participate in night aarthi too. After doing a pradakshinam, we left the temple and reached ISKCON.  On the way back to our guest house, we passed by Gomti river which was already crowded with devotees for having bath and passed by Prema bhikshu Prahbu’s  bhajan kutir where 24 hours non-stop kirtan of the holy mantra ” SRI RAM JAI RAM JAI JAI RAM ” is being sung continously  for the past 40 years. We recollected having seen this ashram at Verval near Gita Mandir.   We proceeded  to Rukmini Dwarka which is about 7-10 kms from the main temple.

                                                                 RUKMINI DWARKA

Rukumani Dwaraka

 This happens to be the place where   Krishna wedded Rukmini .  Rukmini, the chief of 16,108 consorts of  Krishna was very devoted to the Lord. Born as a Vidarbha  princess , she used to listen to various pastimes of Krishna and developed an intense love for Krishna and decided to marry HIM or else end her life.Though her parents were interested in getting her married to Krishna, her brother, Rukmi was against it and wanted her to marry Sisupalan, Krishna’s cousin and made all arrangements for the same.  She communicated Her desire thru a Brahmin to be conveyed to the Lord  and requested to be kidnapped from her palace and also mentioned that she would be visiting ambal’s temple before marriage ceremony and it would be easy for Krishna to kidnap her from that place. Krishna also expressed HIS desire to the Brahmin and left for Vidarbha immediately and reached the next morning. When the Brahmin informed Rukmini about Lord’s arrival, she thanked the Brahmin and prostrated at his feet as SHE , the Lokamatha thought that prostration was the only befitting gift to the Brahmin.   When Rukmini was returning from Ambal temple, Krishnaappeared like a lightning and effortlessly kidnapped Rukmini Devi like a lion which snatches its food amonst wolves.  When the assembled kings including Jarasandhan and Sisupalan fought with Krishna, Krishna and Balarama defeated the entire army.  Rukmi was humbled by Krishna but was saved due to Balaraman’s intervention.  The celestial wedding of Krishna and Rukmini took place grandly at Dwarka.   She was very dedicated and derived immense pleasure in performing all types of services to the Lord like massaging His Holy feet and personally offering various kainkaryams to the Lord .  She demonstrated how a devotee irrespective of his/her position should serve the Lord.   Gradually, She nurtured  a feeling that She was more dearer to the  Lord than other consorts.   Whenever a devotee entertains the thought that he is dearer to the Lord and becomes possessive, Perumal  immediately enacts some drama and make them realize their folly. (In Vrindavan during Rasakreedai, when the Gopis including Radha Rani, thought that they were dearer to  Krishna as He was dancing with them, the  immediately disappeared.  The gopikas were crying piteously and their outpour for the union with the  is the famous “Gopika Geetham”. They were so captivated with the form of Krishna that even when  Krishna appeared as Narayana with 4 arms, they were not content.  They only wanted their form of  Krishna.   Krishna appeared and pacified them that they were very dear to them and He disappeared only to increase their Bhakti )  does this out of pure compassion towards the devotee.   In this case, Lord wanted to correct Rukmini and hence created an opportunity to enact His Leela.   Krishna accompanied by Rukmini went to sage Durvasar’s hermitage and invited him for lunch.  A chariot was brought forth for the sage to be seated.  However the sage said that he could not sit in a chariot driven by horses and if it was driven by them ,he was prepared to visit them.   The Lord  of the Universe unhesitatingly agreed for the same.  The Lord  along with Rukmini Thayar drove the chariot.  Due to the scorching heat and tiresomeness, Rukmini felt thirsty  and expressed the desire to quench Her thirst.   Krishna pressed HIS toe on the ground and water sprouted out.   As she was desperately thirsty, Rukmini forgot the decorum to take the rishi’s permission for quenching HER thirst and drank the water.  This infuriated the rishi who cursed Her to live separately from HER Lord Krishna as  the pride that She was more dearer to  Krishna made her behave in this way.  He also cursed that the entire area would be bereft of drinking water.  Rukmini realized HER mistake and fell prostrate at the sage’s feet and asked for forgiveness.  The rishi said that She has to live separately for 12 years and then join the Lord.  (Mother Sita had to live in Rama’s separation for 12 months and Rukmini Devi had to live alone for 12 years).  Thus Rukmini’s pride was subdued . However,   Krishna assured her that He would visit her daily. As She stayed here for 12 years, this place came to be known as “Rukmini Dwaraka”. (Some say that Rukmini got married to Krishna at this place.) One gets only half the punyam if he visits only Gomti (Main) Dwaraka.   Dwaraka yaatrai is deemed to be  complete only after visiting Rukmini Dwaraka .  Even today , there is no drinkable water around this area and the residents have to get water from far off places .  Hence, in this place “jhala dhaanam” (water dhanam) done gives 1000 times  benefit.  When we reached the temple, curtains were drawn as bhog(neivedyam) was being offered to the Lordship .  The assembled devotees were asked to sit in front of the garbagriham and a panda narrated the above incident. Pointing to a big picture on the right side, the panda started narrating the above incident that it gives 1000 times benefit. We then proceeded to  BHET DWARAKA

                                                                           BHET DWARKA  

  This holy dhaam is located  15-20 KMS from  main Dwarka  temple  and situated near Okha Port- the last tip of the west coast    The presiding deity Lord Dwarakadeesh  gives darshan here . There are  separate sannidhis for His consorts and mother Devaki.  There are separate sannidhis for Perumal,HIS mother Devaki, His 8 chief consorts, Purushotham, Lakshmi Narayan, Dhauji(Balaraman),Radha_ Krishna, Satyanarayana Swamy ,Madhava Perumal, Garuda.

On the way to Bhet Dwaraka

   “Bhet” in Gujarati means island.  As this is situated in  an island, it is named so.  This was the pleasure spot for the Lord with HIS consorts.  Legend says that   Lord Krishna used to spend time with HIS consorts in this place.  There is a temple situated on top of a hillock.  This is considered as one of the 9 Dwarakas.

As per the locas devotees, this place was part of  Krishna’s palace and when the original Dwarka was submerged into the sea, this holy  place remained intact.  Thus they claim this to be the original Dwarka.

dwarka1

 From Rukmini Dwaraka, we proceeded to Bhet Dwarka which is situated on an island.  Reached Okha port  and after parking our vehicle in a nearby place, we proceeded to take a boat.

Bhet Dwaraka

The boat in which we travelled was over crowded as it was 11 .A.M. and probably the last trip to the temple for morning darshan.  It took nearly 15 minutes for us to reach the other shore.  Alighted from the boat and took the narrow path towards the temple.  Chanting Mahamantra, we had good darshan of Dwarkadeesh. Opposite to Perumal’s sannidhi is Mother Devaki’s sannidhi. In Perumal temples, opposite to  the garbagriham, we usually find Peria Thiruvadi(Garudan)’s sannidhi but in Dwaraka, we find Devaki’s sannidhi.   After offering neivedyam and circumbulating the temple , we left the temple at 12 noon to take the return boat to the mainland. Offering dakshina in Dwarka is very important.  Donated some money for”Go Samrakshana” protection of cows.  From this point, we can clearly see Pakistan border across the sea and the Pakistani navy posted there.   Kaka was referring to the recent 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks adding that from the Pakistan border, the terrorists took a boat to Porbandhar which is also a sea coast and then shifted to an Indian ship.  He also pointed out to some wrecks stating that it was due to the earthquake which occurred in 2001(Khuj earthquake).  We recollected having seen the structures  before the quake in 2000.  Luckily, we got place to sit in the boat  in our return journey.  From Bhet Dwarka, we went to Gopi Talab, a very sacred place to  Krishna’s devotees.

gopi taalab

GOPI TALAB , a holy tank and an adjacent temple  was  the sacred well from where Gopi Chandan is   collected (used by ISKCON, Gaudiya and madhava Sampradhaya Vaishnavas), and a small temple dedicated to  Radha- Krishna temple

gopi talab 1

There are 2 incidents which may be recollected in connection with Gopis.   This refers to one of the pastimes of the Lord when He wanted to prove that the gopika bhakti was superior to that of His consorts.  The consorts of Lord  Krishna developed superiority complex  that they were very dear to the Lord   and the best devotees  of the Lord . In order to check their ego, Lord enacted a drama.  He pretended as HE was suffering from severe headache. The best of physicians were called and best treatment was given to the  but the headache would not subside.

gomati river at Dakore Dwaraka

 Sage Narada arrived in Dwarka to have Perumal’s darshan.  The perplexed mahishis (wives) of the  Lord  informed  the rishi about  Lord’s illness.  Narada who understood Perumal’s play suggested that if some dust from devotee’s feet is rubbed on Perumal’s forehead , the headache would subside.  The shocked wives backed out because they felt that it was not proper to place their dust on Perumal’s forehead.  The news spread about everywhere.  When the gopis of Vrindavan heard this, they immediately rushed to see the Lord  and filled up carts full of their paadha dhooli (dust from their feet) to be applied on ’s forehead.  They did not even think that they would be committing a serious offence by this petty act. They were only concerned about their  Krishna’s well being and so were prepared to even go to hell for the sin they were committing.  The moment the paadah dhooli of the gopikas were applied on HIS head, the Lord was relieved from the pain..  Thus the Lord showed that the gopis unalloyed prema bhakti was the best among all. After spending few days with Krishna , the gopis had to leave for Vrindavan.   Unable to bear the pangs of separation from Krishna ,  on the way, they jumped into a well at this place to end up their lives.  They were turned into chandan by  Krishna’s grace.   Krishna pleased with their devotion declared that the place has become very sacred and  Himself would smear the chandan from that place.  Hence, this place is considered to be very sacred and whoever visits this place would  be bestowed with unalloyed bhakti towards the Lord . Even after thousands of years, we are able to get chandan from this inexhaustible well. While ascending to Sree Vaikuntam,   Lord Krishna ordered Arjuna to take care of all the women folk and children and leave them at Hastinapur.  On the way, unable to bear the pangs of separation from Sri  Krishna, the gopis jumped into this well and ended their lives.   The fact that the gopis out of separation jumped into this well and thinking of the  Lord  attained the Highest Bliss –moksham in this place is common in both the incidents.  Gopi chandan collected from this place is considered to be very sacred.    We decided to have samudra snaanam the next day .  We recollected Sowmyanarayanan mama’s words that the sea at Dwarka is known as “Arasethu “ and bath can be had at any time here which is an exception. Usually, samudra snanam has to be done only on specific days but samudra snanam at Sethukarai- Thirupullani(Rameswaram) and Dwarka can be had at any time.  So, we had bath in the sea and also  at the confluence of the Gomti river  with the sea .

ADIYEN AT tRIVENI sANGAMAM AT sOMNATH

                                                                               DAKORE DWARAKA

DAKORE DWARAKA

 is located near  Ahmedabad  .The archa-vigraha as described in Naalayira Divya prabhandam is not to be found. There is an interesting story about the present  Lordships . There lived a Brahmin near Ahmedabad who was a staunch devotee of Lord Sri Krishna. Every year , he used to visit Dwaraka and it used to take 6 months for him to reach Dwaraka. He would plant a small Tulasi plant and water it daily and used to carry the same along with other offerings in his bullock cart. Lord was very much impressed with the sincere devotion of the Brahmin. As the Brahmin was getting old, it was becoming very difficult for him to go the Dwaraka. Once when the Brahmin reached Dwaraka and offered neivedyam to the Lord, the Lord ordered the Brahmin to take Him to his house saying that as there was no sincere bhakta, He did not wish to stay there. Due to God’s will, the temple doors opened in the midnight and the Lord got Himself placed in the bullock cart and drove the cart. Within a span of 3 to 4 hours, the Lord along with the Brahmin reached the present DAKORE DWARAKA.(As already mentioned, it used to take 6 months to reach the place but due to Perumal’s sankalpam, the Brahmin reached his town within 3 hours. The people at Dwaraka were shocked to see the archa-vigraha missing. They suspected the poor Brahmin whom they had heard speaking to the archa-vigraha previously. Accordingly, all of them went in search of the old man and it took months for them to reach the place. They turned violent when they saw their archa-vigraha with the old Brahmin. They did not pay heed to the words of the Brahmin and started abusing the Brahmin. At that time, an aseeriri was heard by everyone which clearly said that whoever offers gold equal to the weight of the Lord, could take the vigraham. The residents of Dwaraka accumulated all their wealth and placed it in the thulabhaaram but the weight was not equal. At that time, the Brahmin and his wife offered prayers to Perumal and the lady placed her “nose ring” and the balance was equal. As Perumal was not interested to stay where there was no sincere bhakti, Perumal had moved to this place out of His own will.. This place came to be known as Dakore Dwaraka as the archa-vigraha was brought by the old man whom they considered to be a Daaku (thief). [ In Gujarat, Perumal is lovingly called as RANCHOR RAYA ( Even today we can see the TULABHARAM inside the temple premises.

TULABAARAM at Dakore Dwaraka

The people of Dwaraka repented for their folly and pleaded with Perumal to forgive their mistake. Perumal ordered them to make another archa-vigraha and said that they should not open the room in which the archa-vigraha was kept for 6 months. The people made an archa-vigraha and kept in a room and locked it . But out of curiosity, even before the specified time was over, they opened the doors of the room. They found to their dismay that the eyes of the Lord were closed. An asareeri was once again heard which said that as they did not obey Lord’s command, the eyes were closed. The people realized their blunder and apologized for their unpardonable mistake. Hence, the present archa-vigraha in Dwaraka is seen with closed eyes. Unless we are told about this, we cannot make out as the vigraham is well decorated. Lord Dwarakadeesan is seen holding Sankhu, Chakram, Padmam. He is dressed 4 times daily. Every day, like in Guruvayoor, Perumal is dressed lika a child, boy, youth, old man We were told that during winter, Perumal would be dressed in woolen clothes and in summer, He is dressed in light clothes. Every day, aarthi is given 4 times.and bhogam is offered 17 times. Different eatables like Misri Bhog, chakarai pongal, milk, curd, fruits etc are continuously offered to Perumal.

SUDAMA DWARAKA 

The story of Sudama , also known as Kuchelan is well known even to children .Elders narrate this bedtime story to children and inculcate the habit of offering to  Lord right from childhood.  Kuchelan (Sudama) and Sri  Krishna were childhood friends and studied under the same guru, Sandipani.

Sudhama dwaraka entranceOnce when   Krishna and Sudama went into the forest for collecting wood, it started raining and they had to take shelter under a tree.  At that time , both of them were hungry.  Sudama , without offering to  Krishna munched puffed rice (Avul in tamil)  without sharing with   Krishna and when  Krishna asked him he denied.  When  Krishna punched his stomach, he spit the avul.  This was a childish prank played at that time. After completion of their studies, both of them parted their ways.  Since Sudama did not offer to , in due course, he became poor and having married, was overburdened with 27 children.  There was no food to eat.

Sudhama KundBeing  a Brahmin he did not even know any other profession and did not make any effort to earn his livelihood.  Being a matured devotee, he was only seeking salvation and was not interested in material pursuits.  He was constantly thinking of the   and was nurturing the desire to see   Krishna .  His wife, Susheela suggested that he should meet his friend,  Krishna who was now the king of Dwarka for financial help as she could no longer see their children starving.  Sudama was delighted at the proposal because he could meet his friend after many years but was not interested in asking for material benefits.  As stated in scriptures that something has to be offered while meeting a king/elderly/sick person, he wanted to take something with him to be offered to the .

Susheela borrowed some puffed rice from the neighbours, tied it in a worn out cloth and gave it to Sudama.  It took 2 months for Sudama to reach Dwarka from Porbandhar and 4 months to locate Sri  Krishna’s palace.  Sudama informed the dwarapalakas that he was  Krishna’s friend and wanted to meet him.  The dwarapalakas did not believe him and asked him to move out of the place.  At that time,  Sri Krishna came running and affectionately hugged Sudama and took him to His palace. Sri Krishna along with His eight principal consorts served Sudama with the best of everything.

Painting at Sudhama Dwaraka

The  of the Universe along with Thayar Rukmini did paada puja(pooja to his feet)  to Sudama while the other  consorts were helping in offering  shodasa upacharams to the great bhakta.  After sumptuously feeding Sudama with varieties of food, Krishna asked what he brought for HIM..  Sudama was feeling very shy to offer the avul and was trying to hide the bundle but  Sri  Krishna snatched it from him and put a fistful of it in His mouth with great relish.  When the  Lord was trying to take it for the second time, Rukmini Devi refrained Him saying that one fistful was more than sufficient.  Sudama did not understand this and returned home.  All the way, he was constantly thinking about his friend and contemplating on HIM .  When he reached his village, he could not locate his thatched hut and in that place, he found a palatial building.  While he was worrying about the whereabouts of his family, a lady bedecked with jewellery and dressed like a queen appeared before him and fell prostrate at his feet.  Sudama could not recognize his wife.  Susheela narrated how overnight the hut turned into a palace and about the wealth bestowed on them due to Sri  Krishna’s grace.  He could not recognize his own children who were looking like royal princes.  Sudama understood that   Krishna showered HIS mercy by eating a handful of puffed rice and bestowed all the riches on him.  This incident only enhanced Sudama’s bhakti and with detachment and pure devotion , he attained the Lotus feet of the Lord..

Near to Porbhandar , the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi , this holy place is located . SUDAMAPURI” written on an arc in the entrance welcomed us  .  With trees and plants abundantly planted, it was more like a garden.  On the way to the temple, Kaka  our sarathy ( car driver ) who accompanied us , showed us a small  stone layout with narrow paths and many twisting lanes saying that the way to Dwarka was similar to this  .   He said that when Sudama set out for Dwarka to meet  Sri  Krishna, he wandered thru the streets and took 4 months to meet Sri  Krishna.  He was searching for the entrance and asked DWAAR KAHAN .. which now got corrupted as DWARAKA .An old  devotee who was sitting there was doing some kirtan and suggested  to pass through the layout.  It is customary for visitors to go thru the layout and if they successfully come out , they would achieve their goal of meeting the  and their bhakti would be enhanced.  Only one foot can be placed in the narrow pathway .  Holding the prashad (Dry fruits) above our head and amidst chanting of Hare Krishna Maha mantra (kaka was encouraging us ), all four of us successfully completed the task and came out.  The devotee was pleased when we gave some dakshinai to him.  He  blessed and advised  us never ever ignore your Parents and Elders . We then went inside the temple. In the sannidhi, there are small vigrahams of  Krishna, Rukmini, Sudama and Susheela.

SUDHAMA DWARAKA THE STONE PATH

                                                                                 MUKTI DWARAKA

SOMNATH TEMPLE .LONG VIEW

is located at Main Dwaraka itself .  It may be recalled that when Lord Sri Krishna decided to complete His incarnation, He relaxed under a tree.

PRABHASA THEERTHA AT VERAVAL

 Lord Sri Krishna after satisfying Himself that He had annihilated most of the demons in human form after Mahabharata war, decided to ascend to His eternal abode, Sri Vaikuntam.  Due to His presence, the Yadus (people belonging to His clan) became proud and arrogant.  Sri  Krishna who wanted to reduce the burden of Mother Earth decided to put an end to the Yadavas too and masterminded a plan .   As it was Lord’s will, he made Gandhari and the sapta rishis utter the curse of annihilation of Yadavas.    It so happened that   Krishna’s son was dressed up like a pregnant woman and along with his friends approached some rishis to find out the gender of the child which would be born to the pregnant woman.  The infuriated rishis cursed that the disguised lady would give an iron pestel which would destroy the entire Yadava race which came true. The shocked Yadus ran to Balarama for a solution.  Balarama ordered them to powder it into pieces and throw them away in the sea at Dwarka . The yadus acted accordingly and returned to their palace. A big iron piece which could not be powdered was thrown away into the sea which was swallowed by a fish.  When this fish was caught and cut open by hunter, Jara, he found a big iron piece which he fixed to his arrow with which he hit   Krishna later.   Over a period of time, the powder got deposited near the shore of the sea at Prabhasa Theertha and sharp blade type grass grew there. When the Yadus who were fully intoxicated came to this place arguing with each other, they totally lost their mental balance and started hitting each other with the  grass and got themselves killed.  Balarama , noticing that it was Lord ’s will decided to leave this earthly residence, assumed his original form as Adisesha and walked into the sea and disappeared.  The place where he disappeared can be seen even today. Over a period of time, this place has turned into  mass of land due to reduction in the water level.    LORD Sri  Krishna was resting under a banyan tree with right leg placed on left lap.

Lord krishna resting under the tree

A hunter named Jara (who was Vaali in his previous birth when   Krishna incarnated as  SriRama) , mistook Perumal’s thiruvadi to be a deer and shot an arrow from a distance of 1 kilometre.  The hunter who came in search of his prey was shocked to see the  Lord and begged for forgiveness.  The Lord  convinced that it was as per His plan and narrated his past birth as Vaali when Perumal hit him from behind and thus fulfilled Vali’s desire for revenge.  He bestowed moksham to the hunter.  This shows Lord’s compassion to persons who try to kill him.  In this avatar, he first killed Putana who had come to kill him and gave her moksham and at the end of the incarnation, he blessed Jara by giving him moksham.

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Prabhasa Goloka Dhaam

At that time, a hunter , Jara, who was Vali in his previous birth, hit the Lord with an arrow. The repentant hunter apologized for his folly and at that time Lord enlightened him about his previous birth.

Lords Disapperance at Veravel

At that time, Lord Brahma, Shiva and other Devas came to offer prayers to the Lord . Lord Sri Krishna exhibited His divine form with 4 hands and Thayar seated on His right breast. At that time, Lord Brahma and others addressed the Lord as the one bearing the bow, indicating Sri Ramaavataaram.

The Divine spirit ascended to the Heavens piercing the Solar Orb. Then the spirit appeared to Brahma and the others as a stone image and simultaneously a voice from the Heavens proclaimed that He would appear on earth in that shape , which while appearing to be stony and lifeless would possess considerable spiritual power, that He would remain on earth thereafter till the end of Kaliyugam and that Brahma and the Devas should continue their worship there.

Lords close view at Veravel

This incident happened at the end of Dwapara Yuga. ( This story is depicted in Chapter V of Mausala Parva of Sri Mahabharatha ) In the beginning of Kaliyuga, Lord manifested Himself at Thiruvengadam ..

-Lord-Sri-Venkateswara

This Lord is our Thiruvengadamudayan and our Tirumala is Kaliyuga Vaikuntam. Even today, all the devas headed by Lord Brahma come to Thiruvengadam and offer worship to the Lord. Hence, every night after EKANTA SEVA, the archakars in the Tirumalai temple fill all the pancha paatrams with water for the devas to perform pooja and leave the place. This  sripadatheertham is offered to devotees who participate in the next day “SUPRABHATA SEVA”.

Jai Jai Dwarakadeesh

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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WHO IS A SRIVAISHNAVA ?


Swamy Parasara Bhattar  had a new disciple  .

BHATTAR

The disciple wanted to know  how  to  identify a srivaishnava  ? Swamy sent his  new  disciple from Srirangam to Tirumala to ascertain from  the great devotee Ananthazhwan as what was  the quality of a srivaishnava . The disciple though bit amused with his Gurus instructions proceeded to Tirumala which took him  almost  a  week to reach the holy place .

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Being too hungry he reached the ashram of Sri Anatazhwan  and expected some good hospitality from the intimates there .   The Ashram was full of bhagavathas who were having the prasadam ( Thadiaaradhanai ) . He did not have a proper place to sit along with the guests in honouring the prasadam. He had to wait until everyone finished their prasad which almost took a long time as there were a good number of piligrims who had come to honour the prasadam.

 After some time , Ananthazhwan noticed the new person standing far away . On enquiring from his disciples , he understood he did not have prasad . He  felt sorry that he had not partaken the prasad though he was coming from a very long distance .Ananthazhwan went  near  him  and  enquired about his coming from Srirangam . The disciple promptly replied that his Acharyar had sent him to ascertain the qualities of a srivaishnava from his holiness and he was waiting for his audience . Ananthazhwan briefly replied that asrivaishnava must be likea crane , like a hen , like salt and finally like a disciple like him . 

( Kokkaippol iruppaan, Kozhiyaippol iruppan, Uppaippol iruppaan, Ummaippol iruppaan”.)

The disciple honoured the prasad and politely went into the chambers of Swamys Ashram . He pleaded to know the inner meanings of the statement

 

Swamy Ananthazhwan out of  compassion answers the following .

CRANE

A crane lives on the aquatic creatures  near a  lake  . Though the river has  plenty of aquatic creatures  , the crane picks up only that  which fits its mouth and leaves that which doesn’t suit her . Similarly a srivaishnava must behave in the same manner  . There can be several truths in our  great works that are intended for our deliverance  . A srivaishnava will concentrate only on those truths which belongs to his faith and those which can be adopted  and followed by him .

 HEN

The Hen while moving around heaps of food  will pick up the food which is needed , which is the essence and rejects the ones which is not worth .Similarly a srivaishnava  will pick up that is essential truths that takes him to Atmagynam  and upliftment from this samsara.

 SALT

Salt retains the same taste both externally and internally . Similarly a srivaishnava  is connected with the LORD both internally and externally .  Hence must have qualities of a  pure devotee .The external signs  alone  for a vaishnava that decieves the people are dangerous to ones own upliftment  and unfit to be srivaishnava . Tilak , kantmala and attire may project a person as a  srivaishnava but if  it lacks devotion it will doom him . A true Vaishnava would be self effacing while imparting flavor to the lives of others.

The  last quality was like  the disciple himself  , which means the vaishnava who had come from Srirangam did not show any disrespect to the bhagavathaas or publizise his personnel closeness to Bhattar  and demanded  his authority etc .Instead he was patiently waiting for his turn for prasad  and exhibited humility .This is a special quality a srivaishnava  that keeps his ego out of reach.

VAISHNAVA

The entire incident reveals that one must reflect on philosophical truths followed by our revered Acharyas and always remain devoted to the LORD.

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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Glory of Girigovardhan at Vrindavan


Kazhiyur Varadan:

Glory of Girigovardhan at Vrindavan

Originally posted on kazhiyur varadan's web blog:

Deepavalee has special significance for all vaishnavas . On the fourth day of the five day Diwali festival Sri Goverdhana Puja and Annakoot Utsavam is celebrated in Vrindavan  amidst chanting of “Giriraj Dharan ki Jai” (Glory to the lord who lifted Goverdhan on his  little  finger) reverberates .

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As per Srimad Bhagwatam Lord was lifting the huge Sri Goverdhan Parvat for seven days  continously prior to Diwali,  and rested him back  on earth & asked the citizens to worship the  holy mountain.

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Lord Krishna , then appeared in two forms. One as Sri Goverdhan hillock itself, i.e., deity to be worshiped and second as resident to offer food to  GIRIRAJ . Thus on this day, the devotees offer their gratitude to Lord Krishna for his blessings in making their lives complete. This holy hill Goverdhanagiri , more popularly addressed as “GIRIRAJ GOVERDHAN” is located in the middle of the town Goverdhan…

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Glory of Girigovardhan at Vrindavan


Deepavalee has special significance for all vaishnavas . On the fourth day of the five day Diwali festival Sri Goverdhana Puja and Annakoot Utsavam is celebrated in Vrindavan  amidst chanting of “Giriraj Dharan ki Jai” (Glory to the lord who lifted Goverdhan on his  little  finger) reverberates .

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 There is very interesting pastime of Shri Giri govardhan raj connected with  bhaktha hanumanjee.  When Lord Rama along with the vanaras were  building the bridge to Lanka in the Ram lila, Hanuman  made an attempt to pick up Govardhan to use him in the noble service .  Govardhan was so happy to be engaged in the service of the Lord but just as he was about to lift him, a voice from the sky said “the bridge is finished”.  Therefore Hanuman did not lift Govardhan. Govardhan was sad.  When Lord Ram was returning from Lanka with  Mother Sita he stopped here and spoke to Govardhan saying “do not worry, the next time I appear, I will personally pick you up and personally engage you that happened in the Krishna avatar.

As per Srimad Bhagwatam Lord was lifting the huge Sri Goverdhan Parvat for seven days  continously prior to Diwali,  and rested him back  on earth & asked the citizens to worship the  holy mountain.

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Lord Krishna , then appeared in two forms. One as Sri Goverdhan hillock itself, i.e., deity to be worshiped and second as resident to offer food to  GIRIRAJ . Thus on this day, the devotees offer their gratitude to Lord Krishna for his blessings in making their lives complete. This holy hill Goverdhanagiri , more popularly addressed as “GIRIRAJ GOVERDHAN” is located in the middle of the town Goverdhan which is 24 kms from Vrindavan and approximately 26 kms west of Mathura. The routes to Vrindavan and Goverdhan from Mathura are different . Many buses and share autos ply to Goverdhanagiri from Mathura and Vrindavan round the clock. Radha Kund, Shyam Kund and Manasi Ganga are in the precints of the hill. This  HOLY DHAAM  is considered as the most sacred place in  Vrindavan.

DESCRIPTION OF THE HOLY GOVERDHAN :

Goverdhana hill is formed in the shape of a peacock. Radha Kund and Shyam Kund are the eyes. Dan Ghati is its long neck. Mukharavinda is the mouth and punchari is its back and tail feathers. As the hill is very sacred , pilgrims are prohibited from climbing  the hill. There is a fencing all around the Goverdhana hill . Goverdhana giri is the most blessed devotee as it had  Lord Sri Krishna sambandham everyday during Krishnaavataaram which even Himalayas did not have. Krishna Himself chose Goverdhana giri for HIS various pastimes. Of all the devotees , Goverdhana Hill is the best because it supplies Krishna and Balarama with all types of necessities.

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In Srimad Bhagavatham, Lord mentions that HE and Goverdhanagiri are identical. As per the scriptures, Krishna used to go to Goverdhanagiri from Vrindavan for gazing cows and would visit the nearby forests with HIS friends. (I  am wonderstuck  how Lord Krishna at such an young age , walked 50 kms to and fro everyday from Vrindavan to Goverdhan without footwear . This makes me recollect Periazhwar’s pasurams in Yasodha bhaavam “Naalai thottu kandrin pin pogale kolam seiyudhu enge iru….” ., Peria azhwar’s feelings when he expresses mother’s anguish to see her child returning from forest without slippers and umbrella.) . It was customary for the gopas headed by Nanda Maharaja to perform yaagam to please Indra, the king of devas and give their offerings as they felt that Indra was responsible for rains. Krishna ,who was just 7 years old convinced elders that Indra was only doing duties assigned to him and there was no necessity to worship demigods. The Lord added that Goverdhanagiri was providing with their daily requirements including enough grass to the cows which in turn yielded good milk resulting in their prosperity. The Supreme suggested that instead of Indra, Brahmins, cows and Goverdhanagiri have to be worshipped to which the elders agreed. On the day of pooja, all the gopas and gopikas performed GOW-pooja (pooja for cows), offered dakshinai to Brahmins, circumbulated the hill and offered huge quantities of various food items to the hill.

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On  Lord Krishna’s order, everyone closed their eyes while food was being offered. Lord Krishna assumed a great transcendental form like that of the mountain, declaring that HE was Goverdhana Hill and accepted all their offerings while little Krishna stood with his relatives and offered prayers to the mountain which was HIMSELF . HE announced that Goverdhana Hill is non-different from HIM. Later when the gopas were asked to open their eyes, they were surprised to see the palates empty and were convinced by Krishna that the mountain had accepted their offerings.

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The gopas returned happily. The identity of Sri Krishna with Goverdhana Hill is still honoured and devotees take goverdhana shila (-small  impressions  from Goverdhana Hill and place it in the altar and worship. (In order to preserve the hill, devotees are now restrained from taking them) .

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As  Lord Krishna Himself did parikrama to the hill and as He mentioned that both are identical, devotees in huge numbers perform parikrama ( pradikshana ) to this sacred hill with sincerity and devotion even today . To commemorate the above incident, Krishna’s great grandson Vajranabha constructed a temple for the Lord. . The residents of Vrindavan, Goverdhan and the devotees of the Lord do parikrama around Goverdhana hill and offer huge quantities of 56 varieties food preparations (chappan bhog) . All the devotees are sumptuously fed with the mahaprasad offered to the Lord and Giriaj. ) As the Lord protected the cows and the people in Goverdhan, He got the name “GOVINDA” .


Adiyen had the bhagyam to circumbulate Govardhan few years back .A detailed write up  on Sri Krishna Anubhavam will be shared soon with devotees blessings

Jai Jai Girigovardhan ki ………………..Jai .Jai

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Photos : Courtesy ..Google

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THE DEVOTEE WHO PLAYED DICE WITH LORD VENKATESHWARA


Kazhiyur Varadan:

THE DEVOTEE WHO PLAYED DICE WITH LORD VENKATESHWARA

Originally posted on kazhiyur varadan's web blog:

LORD SRINIVASA PLAYS DICE WITH HIS DEVOTEE AT TIRUMALA .

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venkaTAdri samam sthAnam brahmANDe nAsti kincana; 

venkateSa samo devo na bhUto na bhaviSyati

There is no place in the entire universe that equals Venkatadri, the place where the Lord resides and there is no God, neither in the past nor in the future who equals  Lord Venkateswara. 

TIRUMALA, the abode of Lord Srinivasar stands unique as an embodiment of mans eternal quest for the divine and His infinite grace. A piligrimage to the sacred Hills is a soul-stirring experience cherished by every devotee. The puranas say that soon after Dwaparayugam ended and Kaliyugam started, Lord Krishna, decided to stay back to protect one and all and chose TIRUMALA. The appearance of the Lord would be mentioned in detail later. Lord Thiruvengadamudaiyan is acknowledged as the most glorious and auspicious form of Lord Vishnu in this Kali Yuga. Even atheists and rationalists admit a sense of humility and…

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YADAVAPRAKASHA – SWAMY RAMANUJA’S GURU BECOMES DISCIPLE OF SWAMY RAMANUJA


Yadavaprakasha  one of the great vedantee  of  Kancheepuram was  childhood   Guru  for Swami Ramanuja .

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After the unfortunate incident  that took place on the way to kashi           ( Yadava Prakasa made a plot to kill Swamy Ramanuja on a pilgrimage tour and Sri Ramanuja escaped by slipping out into the forest as per his cousin  sri Embaars  advise  ) ,   LORD  VARADAR rescued  Swamy Ramanuja in reaching Kancheepuram safely .

( Refer to the  below linked post about this divine pastime  )

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/lord-arrives-in-the-guise-of-hunter-couple-to-save-his-ardent-devotee-swamy-ramanuja/

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 Swamy Ramanuja serving the Lordships attracted many disciples for his philosophical thoughts  and   beliefs    Swamy Ramanujas objective  was to reconcile the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Gita with the Tamil  Divya Prabandha. This new school of thought attracted many of them .

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Yadavaprakasha was upset with the  turn of events . Once it so happened   Yadava Prakasa’s mother came to have darshan of Lord Varadaraja. She saw Swamy Ramanuja coming  along his disciples inside the huge temple . Impressed with his divine  thejas she offered obeisance’s instantly .  She  strongly wanted her son to  take shelter of Swami Ramanuja  and be of some use to the great personality .Praying Lord profusely she marched home to advise her son . She told her frank opinion of  Swamy Ramanuja’s greatness and that she wanted him to become his disciple for his own upliftment .

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Yadava Prakasa  bluntly  refused  and told his mother that it was not possible for him to become disciple of his very own disciple who was much younger to him in all ways . He felt it was below his dignity to accept him as  is guru as swamy Ramanuja himself was his disciple for a long time. Though he refused his mother’s suggestion initially ,  Yadava Prakasa  became restless  .He was forced to recollect the incidents  how Ramanuja used to contradict him when his definitions were wrong to some of the scriptures. ( Many occasions arose when the  he used to  clash  with Swamy  Ramanuja on vedantic statements. Swamy  Ramanuja  used to fearlessly point  out the errors  and corrected him.  The  ego in him was slowly shying away  .He also remembered that only  Swamy Ramanuja was successful in curing the princess and driving away the evil spirit.  His heart  agreed to his mothers advise . But the mind was rigid .  He was in a dilemma and was not sure what to do. He  rushed to meet the great devotee Swamy Thirukachi Nambikal and solicited his advice. Thirukachi Nambikal  advised him to  to accept  Swamy Ramanuja as his guru for he would  progress spiritually to higher levels very soon  .  The tussel between his mind and heart went on . Yet Yadava Prakasa was not convinced. That night he had a dream in which a saint appeared and told him to follow the advice of Thirukachi Nambikal for his own good. Next morning Yadava Prakasa decided to  listen to his heart . He  went to the mutt where  Swamy  Ramanuja was staying.  Swamy  was very much pleased to see his guru and offered him a seat with great reverence. Observing the  kashaya robes ,   the Urdhvapundram  on  his forehead , the shanku charka mudras on his shoulders swamy Ramanuja  was glowing with divine thejas . Yadava Prakasa’s ego got shattered and he looked at Ramanuja with  total surrender and  admiration. Yet his mind  wanted to clarify some of his doubts.

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He asked Swamy Ramanuja whether there was any convincing evidence in sastras for wearing  the Urdhvapundram  and for initiating the insignia of sanku chakram at the shoulders. Swamy Ramanuja turned to Kurathazhvar  one of his disciple and  advised  him to answer Yadava Prakasa’s question. Kurathazhvar  replied to  Yadava Prakasa, “ Sama veda is supposed to be the best of the Chatur Vedas. Even Lord Krishna announces  that among Vedas he is Samaveda! It is depicted in Sama Veda that Brahmins should initiate Thirushanku and Thiruchakram on the shoulders other than wearing sacred thread. They would attain Brahma lok through the blessings of Brahma. In  Urdhvapundram (Thiruman kappu)  the thiruman symbolize the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu and the red Srisurnam symbolizes Goddess  Laksmi. Lord Sriman Narayan showers His Blessings on those who surrender to him and He is the one who could give moksha to all who surrender to Him.”  Swamy further elucidates the importance of the scriptures  in the subject  Kurathazhvar  explanations makes Yadava Prakasa  spell bound. Instantly he  submits to the revered saint apologising for his foolish acts . He falls  at the  lotus feet of  Swamy Ramanuja and pleads him to forgive him for all the sins he had committed.

He  pleads him  to accept him as his disciple and  uplift  him the right path.

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Swamy Ramanuja with abundant compassion gives a warm  hug  and  with affection initiates him to Sanyasa ashram after performing the Pancha samskaras .  He rechristens his  name  as Govinda Jeeyar . Swamy Ramanuja advises him to  write a book on the  subject , “The duty of sanyasis.” Becoming his disciple  and following the guidelines of Swamy Ramanuja Govinda Jeeyar at  the age of eighty Yadava submitted a  book “ Yathi Dharma Samuchayam,” and dedicated it at the feet of  Swamy Ramanuja.

It was really a cherish able event as a Guru became a disciple ..

All glories to Jagath Acharyar Swamy Ramanuja
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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Kazhiyur Adikesava Perumal Vaibhavam


Originally posted on kazhiyur varadan's web blog:

 Kazhiyur village is located near Cheyyar in North Arcot district  about 81 km  towards east of Thiruvannamalai and about 103 KM from Chennai .

1 ADHI KESAVAR DARSINAM MOOLAVAR : ADI KESAVAR UTSAVAR VARADAN

Almost  130 years ago  Srivaishnavaite Aiyyangars  migrated from Mannargudi another holy place in Tanjavur and came to settle down in this village. It is said that a plague like epidemic made people leave Mannargudi  long long back .The  srivaishnavas were disciples of Sri  Sri  Sri  Mudaliandaan swamigal who is the first and the dearest disciples of Swami Ramanuja.

It is believed that the  srivaishnavas  , carried the deity  of  Lord Adhi Keshava Perumal  all the way from Mannargudi on their head to Kazhiyur  the present place and  worshipped the LORD by constructing a temple with the  locals  support .  

It is not a practice to abandon Perumal  even in adverse circumstances.

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The  Lordship gives darashanam  in Nindra Thirukolam…

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LORD ARRIVES IN THE GUISE OF HUNTER COUPLE TO SAVE HIS ARDENT DEVOTEE SWAMY RAMANUJA


Swami Ramanujacharya’s very first Guru was his own father swami Somayaji. The lessons started from a very young age. Unfortunately as his father passed away when he was just sixteen the lessons came to an abrupt end.

a00 By that time Ramanuja had been married and the family along with his widowed mother had moved over to Kancheepuram. Ramanuja was in search of a good teacher. The only person available was Yadavaprakasa who was originally a part of the Advaita movement . Later he broke away from the group and started teaching on his own.  He openly declared that he was not happy with the Great Shankara’s commentary on Brahmasutra and was attempting to write his own commentary. Yadavaprakasa could not tolerate any criticism. He was egotistic, eccentric and positively cantankerous. But he was well versed in Vedas and Shastras. He was an authority on magic, spells and evil spirits. There was no other teacher at that time around Kancheepuram. Naturally a number of students flocked to Yadavaprakasa.

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Ramanuja was one of them. The Guru and the disciple were polar opposites. Yadavaprakasa was particularly notorious for his distorted explanation of the Vedic texts. One day when the Master was explaining the words ‘satyam, gnanam anantham brahma’ Ramanuja stood up in his place. “Why, Ramanuja? Do you have any doubts in my interpretation?” Young Ramanuja was as fearless as he was humble. “I don’t have any doubts, Acharya, that your explanation is wrong.”

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“Come on. You explain.” Ramanuja explained the words. Yadavaprakasa wanted to find fault with Ramanuja’s interpretation. He tried hard but he could not. He just grunted and dismissed the class. One of the senior students took Ramanuja aside and told him to be careful with the old man. When Ramanuja repeatedly asked that student whether his explanation was in any way wrong the latter could not answer. The Senior explained that their Guru was offended. If Ramanuja did that again he was sure to be hurt one way or the other. After all the Master was well-versed in magic spells and evil spirits. From that day onwards the Yadavaprakasa was hell-bent on victimizing Ramanuja. He would ask Ramanuja to explain something and then make sarcastic comments on his words. Ramanuja respected his Guru as if he were a living God. While he was fearless in the class he was humble and submissive when it came to serving his Guru. He would willingly do all the chores in the Guru’s house.

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And then came that defining moment. It was a Saturday. Yadavaprakasa had decided to take his weekly oil bath late in the morning. Ramanuja was applying oil on his Master’s head and massaging it gently. Another student was massaging the master’s back while yet another was applying oil on his legs. The wicked Guru started explaining a verse from Chandokya Upanishad. The exact words which he took up for a detailed explanation was ‘kapyaasam pundarikaksham’ The words refer to the beautiful eyes of the Lord. The problem came with the use of the metaphor. Yadavaprakasa did not have any reference books with him and he just blurted out, “This upanishadic verse says that the Lord has eyes as beautiful as a monkey’s buttocks.” Ramanuja was shocked. Oh My God! How can this man use that expression to describe the world’s most beautiful thing, the lotus eyes of the Lord? If this is not blasphemy what else is? Ramanuja would have shrieked. But then the senior student signalled him to be quiet. Ramanuja was not afraid. But at the same time he did not want to confront his guru or offend the senior student. He took Herculean efforts to keep his mouth closed. His mouth obeyed his mind; but not his eyes. Ramanuja was a natural devotee. His love for God was so great that he could not bear to hear the insults heaped upon the Loving Being.

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His eyes became red and tears started flowing down. Ramanuja was bending his face and was massaging his Master’s head. His tears fell on his master’s thighs.
“What happened Ramanuja? Why are you crying?”
“I’m sorry, Acharya. I heard your explanation. I could not control my tears.”
“Oh, so you are our Lord’s Lawyer, right? Come, come in front of me.” Ramanuja obeyed.
Hot Tears were now flowing with greater force. Ramanuja had to take enormous efforts to muffle his sobs. “But you idiot, this is the only way the words could be interpreted. When the scripture says kapyaasam.. it means kapi + aasam. Kapi means a monkey and aasam means its buttocks. Haven’t you seen a monkey’s back-side? It will be really beautiful..”

“STOP IT  ACHARYA.”

“Oh, the scholar has become angry. Come on tell me Most Revered Sir, what is your interpretation for that line?” The sarcasm in Yadavaprakasa’s words was intolerable. Ramanuja’s answer was firm yet humble. “Please forgive me, Gurudeva. The Upanishad is to be read with the heart of a devotee and the eyes of a poet. You are reading it like a legal document.” “How can you read a different meaning into those words, you fool?” “Gurudeva, kapi refers to the sun.” “How do you say that?”
“kam means darkness. The sun drinks the darkness.

Kam pipathi ithi kapihi is the rule of grammar. The next word aasam means that which has been made to blossom. So

kapyaasam pundarikaksham means

that the Lords eyes are like the lotus flower which has been made to blossom by the Sun.”

The students engaged in various chores around them involuntarily clapped their hands. Whatever interpretation that Ramanuja gave to those words at a young age of 16 stands even today. The Guru stood up with anger. “So you are wiser than your Master. You are more learned than your Guru. Right? Get the hell out of here, you arrogant fool. A student who does not know how to respect his teacher would never prosper in life. Life will teach this bitter lesson to you. Now get out of my sight before my anger gets the better of me.” Ramanuja walked away from the Gurukulam with a heavy heart. He ran to the Kanchi temple and stood crying before the Perarulala Perumal. “My Dear Lord, have I committed a sin? Probably. I have offended my Guru who is to be respected like God. Put me in hell ,my Lord, for what I have done. But I beg of you, please don’t make me hear such nasty things once again. Being roasted in hell fire is a far better option than hearing such words.”

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The Lord’s smile was as mischievous as ever. Ramanuja could not sleep that night. Nor could Yadavaprakasa. He had now found out that any day Ramanuja was a better teacher than him. One day Ramanuja was going to teach a number of disciples and even lead a great movement. And that he would eclipse the fame of Yadavaprakasa. If Ramanuja grew in stature then Yadavaprakasa’s dream of founding a philosophy in competition with Shankara would be shattered. Something should be done. A week later Yadavaprakasa had hatched a perfect plan to eliminate Ramanuja from the scene. He convened a meeting of a few of his trusted disciples. “I am not concerned about me. I am concerned about our movement. Ramanuja’s growth will be a hindrance to us. In the name of God, in the name of religion and in the name of our movement, we should do something to finish off Ramanuja.”
“Do you mean to say, we should kill him Gurudeva?” “Never use that vulgar word.” “Then..”
“You should all go to Ramanuja. Tell him that I have gone from bad to worse and ask him to re-join the Gurukulam.”
“Then…”
“We will all go to Varanasi as a group.”
“Then..” “Suppose Ramanuja is “accidentally” drowned in the mighty Ganges place ..our reputation will be intact, Ramanuja will go to heaven. We are actually doing a service to him.” Yadavaprakasa talked for the whole day and brainwashed his students.
Ramanuja listened to the affectionate pleas from his fellow students and came back to the Gurukulam. Yadavaprakasa sought an apology from Ramanuja. Ramanuja fell at his Guru’s feet and thanked him profusely for his large heartedness.
Three weeks later. “My dear students, now that we have finished one round of learning why don’t we all go to place Varanasi I don’t want anybody to be left out. All of you should come. We’ll leave on the New Moon day which is the day after tomorrow.” Ramanuja took leave of his wife and mother. The group started on the appointed day. The conspiracy to kill Ramanuja was perfect but for one major flaw.

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Ramanuja’s cousin – his mother’s sister’s son – Govindan was a student in the same Gurukulam. One of the students had leaked out the plan to him. He was now looking for an opportunity to caution Ramanuja. The conspirators realized their mistake and spared no pains to ensure that Ramanuja and Govinda were never left alone. The group walked continuously for fifteen days and was camping in a thick forest in Vindya Hills. They rested in a clearing in the middle of the forest. As they had been walking all day they soon fell asleep. All except one person – Ramanuja’s cousin Govindan who was anxious to alert the unsuspecting victim.

Around 1 AM he woke up without making any noise and went in search of Ramanuja. They had made Ramanuja sleep far away from his cousin so that there could be no communication between them. Govinda woke up Ramanuja. He signalled to him not to say anything there but to follow him. He led Ramanuja away from the group and then told him in a trembling voice.
“Anna, they are planning to kill you. I heard that they will make you drown in . So please run away from here. Don’t ever come back.” Ramanuja looked puzzled. If Govindan were to go with him at least they could find a way out of the forest together. How could he manage to go all by himself? Govinda read his thoughts. “Anna, if they find both of us missing, then the entire group will come looking for us. Sooner or later they’d find us out. Now that we know their plans they are sure to kill us both.
“You go away. I’ll somehow manage those people. Please, Anna. You need to do this for your mother and your wife. Please.”
Ramanuja hesitantly walked away from his cousin. Govinda went to his place and slept as if nothing had happened. When Yadavaprakasa woke up and found that Ramanuja was missing he suspected Govinda. “What happened to Ramanuja?”
Govinda knew that his life as well as that of Ramanuja depended on his answer. “I don’t know, Gurudeva. But I saw a wild boar going near the place where he was sleeping. I heard someone running fast and the boar chasing him. I was too afraid to wake up.”
Yadavaprakasa and his disciples were quite relieved. After all whatever they had planned to do in Varanasi had happened in the forest itself. Now no one would suspect them. Yadavaprakasa made a big fuss of searching for Ramanuja here and there. Their mission having been accomplished midway the group started walking happily towards Varanasi. Ramanuja was left all alone in the midst of a wild jungle. He could hear the noises made by all kinds of wild animals. He continued to walk in the narrow path. The darkness was total. He could not see the stones lying in the way. They hurt his feet. He was bleeding, tired, hungry, exhausted, afraid and helpless. He was constantly chanting the Lord’s name. After a while when he felt he could not walk any further he sat down beneath a large tree. “Oh My Lord, I have been such a fool all along! Why should I fear? Why should I grieve? When I was in my mother’s womb absolutely helpless did you not feed me? Did you not take care of me and my mother?
“Did you not convert the food my mother ate into my nutrition? At that time I did not even know who you are and how to ask for anything from you. When you are so loving and so caring, what’s the point in my being afraid or sad? “And if you decide that my body should be made food for the animals of this forest, so be it, Narayana. It’s your body. It’s your forest. It’s your animals. It’s your life. I don’t own anything, my Lord. Give me rest in your golden feet, my Lord.” Ramanuja almost fainted.
Of course the Loving Presence was taking extraordinary care to see that Ramanuja was not harmed in any way. And now the same Presence decided that its existence be made known to the young man whose heart was full of love.
When Ramanuja woke up a little later he could see a hunter and his wife coming at a distance. Near the tree there was a large clearing.

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Ramanuja could see the forms clearly in the bright moonlight. He was relieved to have some human company. Little did he know about the identity of the nocturnal visitors. The hunter-couple came near Ramanuja. Ramanuja’s eyes suddenly started shedding tears. First he saw the hunter. The hunter was unusually tall, unusually dark and unusually handsome. He was clad in some animal skin. There was an unmistakable majesty in his bearing. When Ramanuja saw his eyes… Oh My God! … he felt like sobbing in love. Then he turned to see the hunter’s wife. Unlike her husband she was of golden colour. The love in her face… she could not be the mother of just one or two children. She should be the mother for the whole world. The Jaganmatha Herself. When the couple came near him suddenly Ramanuja felt refreshed. His hunger, thirst and fatigue had all vanished without a trace. They sat under the tree on the either side of Ramanuja. When the hunter spoke Ramanuja felt that his words gently held him in a warm hug. Ramanuja’s eyes had not stopped shedding tears. “Boy, looks like you are caught alone in the forest.”
“Not anymore.” Ramanuja blurted trying hard to muffle a sob. “Smart answer.” The hunter’s wife told these words and looked at her husband with pride as if to say, ‘See my son. How intelligent he is!’
Ramanuja then asked the hunter in a trembling voice, “Where are you nice men from?”
“We are from a place called Siddhasramam. We are on a pilgrimage to Sathya Vratha Kshetram which is just outside this forest.”
Ramanuja stood up and folded his hands towards the couple. “I don’t know who you are. But seeing you two my heart is overflowing with love. And my eyes won’t stop crying. Will you please grant me a favour?”
“What do you want?” The hunter asked. “Whatever it is, consider it done.” His wife snapped.
The hunter looked at his wife with an understanding smile. Any day he cannot compete with her in the matter of loving her devotees. “I am sort of lost in this forest. Will you please let me walk with you till the end of the forest?” “You are most welcome, my child.” The hunter’s wife answered hurriedly before the hunter could say anything. “My son, this forest is a dangerous place. But I know this place like the palm of my hand. I will hold my wife’s hand and walk before you. You follow us.”
“As you wish, Sir.” A young Brahman like Ramanuja need not address a hunter as ‘Sir’ but he could not think of any other way. In fact he wanted to call him ‘My Lord.’ The threesome procession started. The hunter and his wife walked a few feet ahead of Ramanuja. Ramanuja did not have any difficulty in following them. For there was a kind of luminous glow on the way the hunter-couple walked. The sun rose in the east and the forest was filled with the light of the sun.

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Every now and then the hunter or his wife would turn back to see whether Ramanuja was following them. Ramanuja’s eyes would meet with their eyes. They would smile. Ramanuja would feel as if he was melting and running away like water. This time no stone or thorn dared to hurt Ramanuja. He did not feel hungry or tired. When the sun set for the day they had reached a large banyan tree. The hunter decided that they should rest there for the night and resume their journey from the next morning. The hunter’s wife told her husband that she was very thirsty. The hunter told her that she had to wait till next day as he knew for sure that there was a well nearby. “Can I go and see if I can find some water nearby?”“No need, my son. We’ll think about it tomorrow.” Early next morning the hunter woke up Ramanuja. “Can you please do me a favour, my son? My wife is very thirsty. So am I. You see over there.. yes, that’s a big town. And there is a large well. Its water used to be very sweet. I know that. I have stayed in this town. Can you please some bring water for us?” Bringing water for them.. If they had asked for his life Ramanuja would have given it happily. “I would love to do it my Lord, sorry, Sir. But you see I don’t have any vessel with me. Nor can I find anything to hold water. So..” “So what, my son? Why don’t you bring it with your own hands?” The hunter who was forever residing in the midst of the ocean of milk, the hunter who could have created a million oceans all full with the sweetest of nectars in a millionth of a second, was longing to drink water directly from the hands of his most loving devotee. The Holy Mother also seconded her dear husband’s proposal. Ramanuja ran like a mad man towards the well.
He filled up his hands with water and started running towards the hunter couple all the while chanting the name of the Lord.
Sriman Naryana charanau sharanam prapathye. Srimathe Naraayanaaya Namaha. …Sriman Naryana charanau sharanam prapathye. Srimathe Naraayanaaya Namaha. The hunter and his most beautiful wife were waiting for Ramanuja.

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They drank the water from Ramanuja’s hand as if it were the sweetest life-giving elixir. They could not have enough of Ramanuja’s love. They sent him again for water. Ramanuja brought water for them three times. On the third time after they had drunk the water the couple sprinkled the remaining water in their hands on Ramanuja. They did it together. When the cold water touched Ramanuja’s body it shivered in uncontainable happiness. “Please don’t be angry with us, my son. But we do need some more water.” Ramanuja ran for the fourth time with even more devotion and love than he had during the first time. When he returned they were not there. Only then could the young Ramanuja knew clearly the identities of his fellow travellers. “Oh My God, do you have to come yourself to save me? And you came with the Holy Mother too! When you have a billion angels to do your command you took the trouble yourself! Whatever I do will not even be equal to a millionth of what you have done to me! “I don’t want anything from you except that love. Make me love you. Make me love my fellow beings. Make me discover a religion of love!” Ramanuja was sobbing still holding the water in his hands. Did he see the images of the hunter-couple in the crystal clear water? He was not sure.


Sriman Naryana charanau sharanam prapathye. Srimathe Naraayanaaya Namaha.

He chanted the mantra again and then drank the water with all the love in the world. The water was really blessed and it was that water which ensured that Ramanuja lived till he was 120 years old and gave him enough spiritual strength to found a religion based on nothing but love. After a long time Ramanuja composed himself and went into that town. He approached the first man he saw and asked him softly, “Sir, I am kind of lost. I don’t know the name of this place. I belong to Kancheepuram. Can you please tell me which path should I take to reach my place?” The man laughed as if he had heard a big joke. “Look up, young man. What do you see? Yes, it’s the Gopuram. Of Sri Varadaraja Perumal. Yes, you are right in the centre of Kancheepuram.” The man could not understand for his life why the nice looking young guy should cry like a mad man on hearing his humorous words.
“My dear Lord! I know that it is your favourite well.

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From now on the water for your abishekam will come from that well. And I will myself carry that water.” Ramanuja was doing that service till he left Kanchipuram to take over the mutt in Srirangam.
Ramanujasya charanau sharanam prapathye”
“Ramanujasya charanau sharanam prapathye”
“Ramanujasya charanau sharanam prapathye”
Srimathey Ramanujaya namah :
“I seek refuge in the feet of Sri Ramanuja.”

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan ..

Adiyen offers humble obeisances to all the great bhagavathas for taking time to read this wonderful pastime of JagathAcharyar Swami Ramanuja …

Photos and videos : courtesy great devotees of LORD who uploaded in google pics and you tube . 

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