Periazhwar as Yashodha with Chinni Krishna


Amongst the 12 Azhwars  ,  Vishnuchittar was  glorified  as ” Peria Azhwar” . Our poorvacharyars comment that though he  appeared   after  Mudal azhwar, Nammazhwar, Thirumazhisai Azhwar, he was honoured with the title “Peria Azhwar   because while all other azhwars  glorified  Lord as Supreme Personality,  Azhwar had “pongum parivu”( vatsalyabhava).

  Swamy  Manavala Mamunigal in  ” Upadesa Ratnamala ”  says “Pongum parivaale petraan Periazhwar ennum peyar”   meaning that because of the vatsalya bhaavam  like a mother towards the Lord, he was conferred with this title. Periyazhwar  was  overwhelmed to have darshanam of  the Lord after winning the debate  called by the  Pandyan King  at Madurai few hundred years back .  Having darshan of  Lord Koodal Azhagar Perumal , along with the Goddess who had come to witness  the  marathon procession honours done by the King to the Azhwar ,   on Garuda Vahanam ,  Periyazhwar  was worried that such a beautiful   form  of Lord may  attract evil eye . He innocently  takes the bell from the elephant’s neck   from where he was  riding  (as symbol  warding off the  evil  ) and starts   glorifying Lord  with his mangala shasanam  instantly , by chanting the introductory verses of Divya Prabhandam “Thirup PallaNdu”

 “pallaaNdu, pallaaNdu PallAyiratthAndu PalakOdi NoorAyiram”

(Long live for many years, Long live for many years for Hundreds of thousands of years! my Lord !!!!)  

  Out of the vatsalya bhaavam which he had for the Lord, he considered himself to be Mother Yasodha and experienced all the divine pastimes which the Lord displayed during HIS avataram.  Out of the 473 pasurams which he composed known as “Periazhwar Thirumozhi”, about  190 pasurams are about the divine pastimes of Lord Krishna …..

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 Periya Azhwar was  an incarnation of  Garuda (the divine  vehicle of Lord Maha Vishnu).

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 Azhwar was serving  Lord  Vatapatrasayi  perumal at Srivalliputhur . During  a recitation  event of Srimad Bhagavatam inside the temple , Azhwar was struck to one incident which inspired him to take up the  garland service to Lord .  This  sweet pastime of  Lord Krishna meeting a person at Mathura  moved him .   Lord Krishna meets a person who was carrying garlands to the demon king kamsa . Lord asks him to part with a flower garland much to the surprise of the villager.The innocent man he was ,  replied  Oh Lord !!!  ” several saints perform austerity and devotional service to seek your company  and I am humbled with your mercy on me . Please take this wonderful garland as a small gift ..  I surrender even If  Kamsa kills me ….

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The lord   was very pleased with his service and blessed him  . The  incident left a strong impression on  azhwar’s mind and he concluded that preparing and offering flower garlands to the Lord was the best kaimkaryam  to HIM  and thus  he  cultivated flower gardens all around the temple and used to prepare  a small flower garlands  with different varieties of flowers.  The list included   Tulasi, lotus,  lilly roses and other perfumed flowers  ( shengazhaneer, mallikai mullai ) which he offered  to Lord daily with deep love . He used to offer eight varieties of flowers which would blossom at different times in  a day . The divine couple competed amongs’t themselves to bless this devotee.  Bhoomi devi, the Lord’s eternal consort appeared as his daughter whom he named “Kodhai”/ Andal  His love for Lord Krishna was ultimate . Always in the mood of  serving LORD as little Krishna he used to swoon in bhakthi bhava of Yasodha .   After being conferred “Bhattar pirAn”, PeriaAzhwAr continued on his  garland service  while  singing  the pasurams on Lord Krishna  .The mood in which Azhwar sung  was as if he became His mother, yasOdhA. He bathed him, fed Him, dressed Him up  played with him and enjoyed  every part of his beauty . Azhwar   imagines  all  his childhood mischief  which yasOdhA had undergone. The Child’s  naughty  mischief, divine  leelAs, were all sung by periyAzhwAr at a stretch which is  a  prayer book of all vaishnavas .

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All  the  pAsurams of Azhwar  are to be  sung , re-sung  and enjoyed.

All were bhakti laden pAsurams and shall  taste like a ripe  grape fruit soaked in honey by the devotees .

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 Azhwar  ,   takes over the  scene from LORD’s appearance ,  wherein all  citizens  of Mathura  are  happy  on  the  appearance   of  Lord Krishna.  Here  he  considers   Thirukkottiyur  a place  near Madurai  as Mathura  and   paints   the  picture  of  people  going  ecstatic,  unable  to  contain  the unlimited joy  of LORD’s appearance  . His  choosing   of words  are  so  perfect  that it  can bring  the   divine scene  before  the   devotees eyes . He  reveals the ecstatic  joy encountered  by the  gopas  .  Azhwar immerses himself into the emotional outpourings  of  Yashoda maa  that  keeps the reciter to  visualize   the mood of a mother    giving   holy bath  to little Krishna   while  cleansing the  tiny  mouth of  the  Lord  in his pasurams .   The  verses  keep  the reciter  emotionally charged   with several divine pastimes of Lord Krishna in the  following  verses  .

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Azhwar observes   the  seven  worlds  or  universe  itself inside the little mouth !  Next,   he   enjoys   the  beauty  of  the   parts  of LORDs  body from  the  Holy Feet  to  the  lovely  Locks of hairs and  as a mother   he invites  other  gopis  to  partake  in  his  transcendental  bliss .

As  Lord  Krishna  was  hid  from  the demon  Kamsa notice   and  secretively  brought  up,  Azhvar  innocently says  that this   child    was  born  in   ascendant  star  that  is  tenth  from  Hastam star !  Counting  forward  tenth star  from  Hastam  is Thiruvonam  ( Sravana ) which  is  Lord Narayana’s  star  and  counting  backwards from  Hastam  is  Rohini,  Star  of Lord  Krishna.  This is he does to ensure the demon kamsa does not harm little Krishna  after knowing his whereabouts .  Azhwar   intelligently announces  this  for the safety of this child in his wonderful pasurams  .

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Azhvar  further proceeds  by singing a  Lullaby  for  Divine Child  and  lists out the  various  presents  made  by  different  celestials    Brahma, Rudra, Kubera,  Varuna, Indra,  Sri Mahalakshmi,  Bhumadevi and  Kali  .

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Azhwar    visualises  Yashodamma    along  with little krishna and shows him the moon.  She  invites  the  moon  to  come  near  as  child  is  eager  to  play  with  him. She pleads the moon to   come  quickly  as He  is  feeling  sleepy  after  His  food  and  if  He  sleeps  late  the  food  will  not  be  digested  properly !  She   also cautions  Moon  not  to  ignore  him  saying  He  is  no doubt  a  small  kid  and don’t take him lightly as one incident   (reminds  him  of  the  experience  of  Mahabali  with  this  small  one !)

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In the next few pasurams   Azhwar visualises as   mother  keeping   the  child  and  sways  him forward  and  back like a see saw   . The outpourings further   highlight   about the  dwarf   and the  faltering  steps.   Azhwar like any mother quotes  ………………

Acho Acho  …………for the child’s bravery  for his little steps…….

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While  feeding the Lord and the ear boring ceremonies  , he  visualizes and  sings   the  Twelve Holy  Names of  the  Lord  ,

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KESHAVA,   NARAYANA  ,MADHAVA,   GOVINDA,  VISHNU,    MADHUSUDANA   TRIVIKRAMA,   VAMANA,   SRIDHARA,   HRISHIKESHA,  PADMANABHA &  DAMODARA   and advises the ordinary  mortals to name their kids with the holy names of Lord to be attached to the supreme personality .

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Azhwar  now visualises   the holy oil  bath (  Neerattam )  of little krishna . Krishna is  not keen to join his mother for taking  a bath . Yasoda  pleads him with several quotes amusing the reciter .  Little Krishna refuses and runs away every attempt . She entreats him saying-  Kanna !! “Having besmeared your body with butter and mud, I will not let you soil your bed tonight. See! For how long I have been waiting with oil, scented soap-nut powder etc.  O! Lord! Narana! who is beyond anybody’s reach. Please do come and have your bath”.

Yashoda  having failed convincing ,  finally tricks  him into a sense of shame by saying “I might even like to leave you go with all the dirt on your beautiful body smeared by you, while playing in the cattle-shed but others ‘will not like it a bit   and  more  importantly, if your darling Nappinnai  ( Radha rani ) sees you in this state, she will laugh at you!.

Are you so shameless to let this happen to you? Come,Quickly finish your bath and get ready” –   This  hymn  is recited in all  the Srivaishnava temples   during  Abhishekam  Tirumanjanam (ceremonial bath) to the Lord.  Azhwar amuses  him by  calling  Kakkai (crow ) to  groom  the  hair, to  get  a  Stick  for  Him  to play.

Further  Azhwar visualises   decorating  the  Lord with  variety  of   eight flowers which is taken out immediately once it blooms .  Azhwar dresses him with finest  sandal perfume   and to ward of the evil eye  for his nectarian beauty he  keeps a   Rakshai  …

The Naughty  divine pastimes of   little Krishna and the casual  complaints  of  the neighbours  on   little Krishna is interesting .

The verses take the reciter to many moods of a mother . Affection , Emotion , Deep love concern etc …. (  why not !!!! And it has a message for  ordinary mortals  like us )  At one stage  , Yashodamaa  is  in  awe  of  child  is  refusing  to  feed  her  breast  but  only  solid food.

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She   feels   sorry that  she  had  to  send   child  to  tend  the  calves   for grazing ,  and worried about  his  safe return   . The Gopikas   getting  enamored  of  Lord  coming  behind  the  Cattle.   The verses conclude with some of the finest pictures of Krishna playing the flute in the forest.

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The incident of  Lord Krishna’s  lifting  Govardhana Hill  follows with glories to the Hill and the Lord who lifted saving the entire inhabitants  . He  gives  vivid  description  of  mountain  itself.  Azhwar visualises   Lord  Krishna’s  playing  Flute  mesmerizing   the Gopis, Cows,  the  birds   the  trees  and   the  celestial  in  heaven.  Periazhwar describes  Lord Krishna’s flute-playing in 10 mellifluous verses.

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Azhwars   often express their love  as  a  mother   OR of  a daughter OR a lover   meaning  their  own  Souls  longing  for  union  with  the   Supreme Lord.  Most of his 473 verses in Divya Prabandham, collectively known as “Periazhwar Tirumozhi” speak of the early years of Krishna. Azhwar became the father- in- law of Lord  Narayana  when his  daughter  Andal   marries the Lord. – – an honor none else  could claim.

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics  credits : Courtesy : Google images uploaded by devotees

video  credits: Shri Ananthanarayana for MS Amma’s clip

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GLORY OF NAIMISHARANYAM— ONE OF THE EIGHT SWAYAM VYAKTA KSHETRAMS


Srirangam Venkatadrischa   SrimushNam Totaparvatam

Salagramam Pushkaramcha NaranarayaNAshramam Naimisham

Cheti ME SthananyasoU  Mukthi PradhAnivai

YetusvashtAksharaIkAka:  VarNamUrthir VasAmyaham

TishtAmi KrishNa KshEtrE  puNya SapthakOgatha:

AshtAksharasya Mantrasya   SarvAkshara Maya SadA

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 The above  verse   points out that the eight Swayam Vyakta Kshetrams ,  Srirangam, Tirupathi, SrimushNam, Vanamamalai, Salagramam, Badri,  NaimisharaNyam and Pushkar grant liberation to those who visit the place and seek Lord’s grace . Elders say  the Lord as the Archa Murthy at each of these  holy Kshetrams signify  one Aksharam of  the  Ashtakshara Mantram .

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Naimisaaranyam is 120 kms away from Lucknow between Sitapur and Balmau in the state of Uttar Pradesh .Naimisaraanyam is 42 kms away from Shidoli .  Naimisharanya is situated on the left bank of the river Gomathi, which is a tributary of the river Ganges  .

At   ” NAIMISAARANYAM”  Lord ( Perumal )  is in Aaranya     ( Forest) swaroopam. This is a swayam vyaktha  kshethram. The Lord  here is glorified as Deivapiran and goddess Harilakshmi  as Pundarikavalli. Once, few sages went to BrahmA and asked him “In this vast world, which place is the best place for thapas (penance)?”. BrahmA took few thruNam (dharbhaippul- grass) and joined them to make a circle. BramhA rolled the circular (nEmi- circular) dharbhai on the ground and said “Wherever this nEmi stops, let that be the best place for performing thapas”. And it rolled .. rolled and rolled. & finally stopped at this place  of dense forest; and hence  called  as NaimisaaraNyam. The rishis followed the wheel and arrived here. To  purify  the place, Lord  Maha Vishnu sent his Sudarshana Chakra. The place where the Chakram landed became a deep pit and came to be known as Chakra Theertha . It is said to be the center of the universe  and the location of Chakra Tirtha has no bottom. Legend says , whoever has  a dip  in Chakra Theertham will be redeemed from  all their sins. Lord blessed the rishis ( saints )  that hereafter this place would be the best place for them  to do penance and attain the Lotus feet of the Lord. At the behest of the rishis,  Lord decided to s remain  there in Aaranya swaroopam. The rishis in due course got transformed into trees and are still doing penance.

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It is believed that Lord Sri Rama performed Aswamedha yaga at this place after the war . It is also said that this is the place where Goddess Sita Devi was accepted by Mother Earth.  Sant Tulasidas wrote Sri Rama Charitha Manas here.

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The  deities  of  Divyadesam  Perumal and Thayar as described in Divya Prabhandham is not to be seen here . It is believed that  around 60,000 sages are still  doing penance taking  the form of trees. Every leaf in this forest is considered very sacred.  We will be graced to enter a South Indian temple  Sri Balaji Temple  and have darshan of Lord Srinivasa Perumal.  On either sides of the Moolavar’s sannidhi, there are shrines for Padmavathi Thayar and Andal.

There is also a place called VyAsaghatti, where saint  Sukhabrahmam narrated Srimad Bhagawtham, Bharatham to King ParIkshith.

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It is in the banks of the river Gomathi and is reported to be the place where Veda vyAsa maharishi  also performed his thapas (penance) for very many years. There is  a temple in this place, called PurANa mandhir wherein Sukhar’s bronze  deity  with parrot nose is  worshipped  here and besides this temple, there is a Hanumangatti temple, where HUGE HanumAn shows himself in standing posture carrying Lord  Rama, Lakshmana on his shoulders.  Vyaas Gaddi also known as Puran Mandir. This is the place where Maharishi Vyasa divided the Vedas into four and wrote 18 puranas. It was here that the famous epic Mahabharatham was  composed

Dadichi Kund is 5 kms away from Mishrik. There is an interesting story connected with this place. The sage Dadichi,used to utter “NARAYANA KAVACHAM” here. The whole episode related to Sage Dhadhichi donating his back bone to the devas happened at at Naimisharanya. He donated his bones to the devas at this ashram to make weapons to defeat the demons (Vritrasura) and  the place where the rishi gave up his mortal coils and merged with the Lord by giving up his life for worlds prosperity .

 ThirumangaiAzhwAr sings on this Emperumaan as “thEnudaik kamalatth thiruvinukku arasE!” (the King of PiraaTTi, who is on honey dripping Lotus flower!) and performs sarangathy to Divya Dampatis, with PiraaTTi for Purushaakaaram (recommendation).

 An emotional outpour from  Thirumangai AzhwAr evokes tears to any devotee who reads this pasuram …..

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oonidaicchuvarvaitthu enbuthooNnNaatti urOmam vEynNdhonbadhuvaasal,

thaanudaikkurambaip piriyumbOdhu unRancharaNamEcharaNamenRirunNdhEn,

thEnudaikkamalatthiruvinukkarasE! thiraikoLmaanNdungkadaRkidanNdhaay!,

nNaanudaitthavatthaal thiruvadi adainNdhEn naimisaaraNiyatthuLenNdhaay!

Oh King of Periya PiraaTTi, the One who is on Honey dripping Lotus Flower! Oh Lord, who rests on the wavy, huge vast milk ocean! My  Lord ! My father! The Lord  of Naimisaaranyam!

Keeping the flesh and muscles as the walls in between this decaying body , having the bones as  pillars for support among this  flesh, covering these bones with  flesh that is  covered  with  hairs, provided by the  nine holes in this decaying  hut of this body Oh Lord ! My father  when my  jiva  leaves this body , at the time of death, Oh My Father !!  I need to meditate only on  Your Lotus Feet for my protection- this alone should be  my thought. I am blessed to  have realised this, due to Your enormous grace , and I have now come here surrendering to Your Lotus feet at Naimisharanyam

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

 Pics : Courtesy : Google images

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THE WRESTLER AND THE MOST BEAUTIFUL EYES


Kazhiyur Varadan:

Villidasan instantly fell in love with those large, beautiful eyes, for which nothing in the world is even a pale comparison. Villi prostrated at Sri Ramanujar’s feet proclaiming his slavery to the saint. …………………

Originally posted on kazhiyur varadan's web blog:

Pillai Uranga Villidasan was a powerful wrestler. Not just any ordinary wrestler but one of very high standing. Almost all the wrestlers in the Chola Kingdom used to pay him a ‘protection fee’.

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A Famous Wrestler was majestic in his looks and a terror to his rivals naturally .There was a beautiful lady in the village Ponnachi. (Pon in Tamil means gold.) Every one who saw her swore that she richly deserved her name. Her complexion, came closest to the yellow metal. She was slightly on the plumpy side. Her dance-like walk, her height and her dimpled cheeks made her the much-acclaimed beauty in her village. But the most prominent feature of her face was her eyes , very large, round and from which you cannot take your eyes off.

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Ponnachi’s beauty was at least as well known as Villi’dasan s prowess. Villidasan was a very good man and had…

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TRAVELOGUE TO MUKTHINATH —- (SALIGRAMAM) — ( NEPAL ) DIVYA DARSHANAM


Kazhiyur Varadan:

Soul stirring experiences at the cost of trimming the body ..and that is what is LIFE ….Realizations streaming ….This body ..mind and spirit in equilibrium is what is good quality of self realisation …The MIND understands and the body too ..as the soul is going to meet the supersoul ( PARAMATMAN)

Originally posted on kazhiyur varadan's web blog:

     Muktinath   Kshetram is located  in Nepal  and is an important pilgrimage site for  Sri Vaishnavites and Buddhists. It is one of the eight swayam vyakta kshetrams-out of this 4 are in southern India and 4 in Northern India. In Northern India,  LORD has manifested Himself in the form of forest at Naimisaranyam, as  divine water in Pushkar, as mountain in Badrinath  and as Fossils in Saalagramam kshetram whereas in rest of India, Perumal is in Archa form (Tirumala, Srirangam) ,The best season to visit  ( Mukthinaath) “saalagramam” is during March-April and during September to 1s week of October. May to August is rainy season and is not advisable as per locals . As a visit to this place bestows liberation, this kshetram is known as Mukthi kshetram and Perumal as MUKTHI NARAYANAN. This piligrimage was undertaken during 2006 and was posted in www.srivaishnavam.com . Was keen to share the…

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LORD VENKATESHWARA BECOMES DISCIPLE OF SWAMY ANATHAZHWAN


Kazhiyur Varadan:

I bow to Acharya Ananthazhvan, who is the repository of knowledge, mercy and wisdom, the one Acharyar who removes ignorance and is eminently eligible for surrender by disciples……

Originally posted on kazhiyur varadan's web blog:

It may be mentioned here that TIRUMALAi is Kaliyuga Vaikuntam and Sri Vaikuntanathan has manifested Himself as Lord Srinivasar. The sacred TIRUMALA Hills consisting of seven peaks is considered to be seven-hooded. Blessed are the devotees who are fortunate to have his darshan .There are countless devotees who have served the LORD since ages .

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One such great devotee was Swamy Ananthazhwan an ardent disciple of Swamy Ramanuja . As per Swamy Ramanuja’s directives he served the LORD few hundred years ago .There are several pastimes of Swamy Anathazhwan with Lord Srinivasa . One divine pastime is memorable as Lord himself accepts to become Swamy Anathazhwans disciple .

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Knowing about the initiatives taken by Swamy Anathazhwan in organising the temple rituals with religious fervor few devotees decided to trek the hills and have darshanam of Lord and seek the blessings of his dear devotee too . The  Srivaishnavites were walking from…

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SRI VISHNU LOKA MANI MANDAPA MARGADHYAYEE….. RAMANUJO VIJAYATE YATHIRAJA RAJA :


Kazhiyur Varadan:

Our moksham guaranteed ……..Only with the sambandham of acharya – Swamy Ramanuja

Originally posted on kazhiyur varadan's web blog:

It was Namperumal’s  divine plan  to make  Swamy Ramanujar leave Srirangam  for a short time , and purify other places by placing his holy feet in Melnadu  and retrieve Thirunarayanan who was worshipped by SriRamar and Sri Krishna during Tretha and Dwapara yugas  .

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Peria Perumal thus created a difficult situation by which   Swamy Ramanujar had to leave Srirangam after taking Peria Perumal’s consent and  thus  proceeded towards north accompanied by Sri Mudaliandan Swamy. After many days of travel and undergoing various hardships following the course of Kaveri, Swamy  Ramanuja finally arrived in Karnataka where the local tribals served them.  En route he  met his disciple kongu piratti  and graced her . Later he moved  near Srirangapatinam. The local people who were averse to Swamy Ramanujar conspired a plan to do away with him.  Swamy Ramanujar learning their evil intentions ordered Mudaliandan Swamy to place his feet in the drinking water…

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 NATHDWARAKA- WHERE LORD SHRINATHJI GIVES DARSHAN


Nathdwara, one of the Nava Dwarakas,  is a small town in Mavli-Udiapur route.

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As part of Sri Krishna anubhava yatra, after darshan of  the Lord at Mathura, Vrindavan and Goverdhan, we proceeded to have darshan of Nava Dwarakas scattered over in Gujarat, Saurashtra and Rajasthan.  WE had taken a train from Mathura to Udaipur to visit Nathdwara.  The co-passengers however advised us to get down at Mauvli as it is nearer to Nathdwara.  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.

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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  .

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STHALAPURANAM 

Here  LORD  gives darshan  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.  Lord Shrinathji is very special and attractive  diety. There is a diamond stone  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 affectionately called   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.

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 without leaving anything for others. (Our poorvacharyars point out that Lord Krishna consumed the entire offering which was given to Goverdhana giri because HE didn’t want HIS devotees to partake the offering made to demi gods.  We are supposed to consume only what is offered to Lord Krishna).    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”)  .

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LORD Krishna thus stood braving  for 7 days.  Indra thus humbled realized HIS folly and surrendered at  Lord  Krishna’s Lotus 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 pattabhishekam to   Krishna with Kamadhenu , the divine cow and left the place. The devotees of Lord Krishna recite this Govinda stuti while offering abhishekam to the Lord.  To mark this incident, King 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 subsequently, a temple was constructed in Goverdhanagiri .  When Aurangzeb  invaded Mathura and  Vrindavan, the  deity disappeared into the hill and could not be traced out.

One night, the all compassionate Lord appeared in Vallabhacharyar’s dream who was  a great devotee  and ordered him to take HIM  away from Goverdhan to Mewar.

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 When Sri Vallabacharyar reached Goverdhanagiri, the idol emerged out by itself  . (This reminds me the of the  incident connected to Melkote Selva Narayana Perumal.  Melkote is a small village near Mysore on the banks of Kalyani Pushkarini .  When Swamy  Ramanujar arrived here, there was no temple.  The Lord of the Universe chose to be hidden under sand dunes awaiting Swamy Ramanujar’s arrival.  Perumal appeared in his dream and informed HIS whereabouts .  With the help of the local king and devotees, Swamy Ramanujar dug the place and traced out Perumal.  The pathway to the hill which was filled with bushes and thorns 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 . The utsava murthi   appeared in Sri Ramanujar’s dream informing that HE was presently with Sultan of Delhi. At the ripe age , Swamy Ramanujar undertook the journey 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 heaped.  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” and also as “Yathiraja Sampath Kumaran (son of the king of ascetics).  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 )

VALLAB

 Vallabacharyar arranged a cart for Perumal and left for Mewar. Rana Raja Singh of Mewar helped Vallabhacharyar .  After 2 months, the cart reached the present Nathdwara enroute to Mewar in the 17th century.

cart

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 she 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 . Vallabhacharyar used to please the Lord with his kirtans which was later followed by his disciples.  (Similarly, the original Dwarkadeesh idol left Dwaraka out of HIS own free will  to stay at his devotee’s place in Dakore  near Ahmedabad -this incident would be mentioned while narrating about Dakore Dwaraka)

OUR EXPERIENCE

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.  .

nathdwaraka

There is a unique practice followed in this temple. Usually we find vendors selling coconuts,tulasi and flowers in front of the temple. But here vendors sell varieties of fruits,vegetables,milk etc which would be used for  Lords (Perumal’s) bhog (neivedyam-food offering).  Devotees can offer milk, varieties of fruits,vegetables 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 flag on  the Gopuram ( Temple top ) .

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The temple has 5  kainkaryapaars( serve the Lord)  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 .

As we were waiting near the entrance, an elderly person came forward and offered to guide us .  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”.

The pandit ushered us to a room where the cart in which the Lord arrived is kept.   This  event is commemorated  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.  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. 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 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. 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

To have the next darshan  at 11.30 A.M. , devotees had already gathered in large numbers in front of the big closed doors.  WE handed over the 11 varieties of fruits and 11 varieties of vegetables and 2 pots of milk which we had purchased earlier at the respective kitchens ( we  wished  we  could have bought some rice , cereals, sugar , jaggery, dry fruits  for the offering.)  and started reciting Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam while waiting outside. When we completed , the doors sprang open and the devotees thronged inside to have darshan of the  LORD .

 There is a separate queue for ladies and gents.  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 hall in front of the sannidhi is constructed in such a way so as to accommodate few hundreds of devotees at a time.  All the devotees can have darshan of the Lord during haarthi and the devotees themselves can offer prasadam- sweets/dry fruits to the Lord.  As they consider the “Lord of Universe” as a small “child”- the Lord is “NANDHA LAALA”- the darling of Nanda maharaja, the darshan is allowed only for fifteen minutes because the child has to take rest.  Again after an hour, the altar is opened for darshan.  EVerytime, neivedyam is offered to the Lord.  AFter darshan, the devotees who are immersed in  the beautiful form of the Lord leave the place half-heartedly continuously gazing  at the divya mangala swaroopam of the most enchanting CHILD of the Universe until they are gently ushered out. The  LORD  is dressed like a small cowherd  boy of 7 years . The haarthi 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.

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Amidst loudly uttering  “KANNAIYA LAL KI JAI” and singing of haarthi songs, we could experience the unalloyed vatsalya bhaavam of the devotees present.  Like the gopis of Vrindavan , the devotees were unaware of their surroundings with their whole concentration  on the LORD   alone.   The enchanting beautiful divya mangala swaroopam of the LORD  can only be described by sages ,pure devotees like azhwars and acharyars.  WE mortals can only satisfy ourselves that our eyesight has been put to correct use only now.  As Tiruppanzhwar says in Amalanadhipiran, “Unn Kangalai kanda kangal mattru ondraiyum kaanome “(The eyes which has seen the Lotus eyes of the Lord should not see anything else in this world!)  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 .  The devotees were competing with each other to have a very close darshan.  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.  A person  standing on a higher platform in the hall was touching the devotees head with a stick which is considered to be a blessing.

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 in two plates 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. Like in Jagannath Puri, many varieties of prasadam are offered to the Lord and are distributed to all the pandas.  So it is better to purchase prasadam through two or three pandas because we would be able to partake the various prasadams.

After honouring prasadam and praying to Perumal for giving us another darshan, we left for Kankroli Dwaraka

 

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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…..“Amara Prabhuhu to Mara Prabhuhu


Kazhiyur Varadan:

Bhattathiri rushed to his house and prostrated unto Poonthanam and that “Amara Prabhuhu” and “Mara Prabhuhu” are indeed correct

Originally posted on kazhiyur varadan's web blog:

LordKrishna  in Guruvayoor stands out and has enticed everyone the most.  The beautiful stature of Lord Guruvayoor attracts the devotees to come in large numbers  and imagine to  hug the Lord. Guruvayoor is located in Trichur district in Southern India. Sri Narayana Bhattatri composed the beautiful Narayaneeyam, containing thousand slokas which is sung in most of the houses in India .

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Guru and Vayu  adorned  the  deity  of Lord  Krishna to Narayana Saras and  ParamaShivan  was residing in a temple. On seeing  Lord  Krishna, it is said that  Shiva moved out of the temple and shifted to a place called Mammiyoor. So Lord Shiva gave his own place to Lord Krishna and that is verily where Guru and Vayu consecrated Krishna. The little Krishna stands there as “Guruvayurappa” even today. Lord Shiva’s temple in Mammiyoor is about a kilometer away from the Guruvayur temple. It is believed that Lord Shiva…

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Thiru aadi poorathu jagathudithaal vazhiye


Kazhiyur Varadan:

The only divya desams where Perumal, Azhwar and Naachiyar had done thiru avatharam is the holy shrine Srivilliputhur near Madurai

Originally posted on kazhiyur varadan's web blog:

 Thiruvaadi poorathu jagathudithaal vazhiye

andaal

The only divya desams where Perumal, Azhwar and Naachiyar had done thiru avatharam is the holy shrine Srivilliputhur near Madurai. Also our mother Andal came from Moolasthanam to garbagruham to welcome Swami Ramanuja and addresses  our JagathAcharyar as   Anna and hence during margazhi utsavams,  Swamy Ramanujar is welcomed  as ” aruLapAdu Koil Annan” . Srivilliputhur has been given to Sri Andal as ‘Sri dhanam’ by Lord Varaha Perumal (Adhipathi of the kshetram), Sri Vada Perunkoviludayan (referred to as ‘Kannan’ by Sri Andal) & ‘oru magal thannai udayavarana’ Sri Periazhwar  and hence this is the reason  all the houses in Srivilliputhur are glorified  as ‘Nachiar Thirumaaligai’ and  the Sannidhi is also be called as ‘Nachiar Devasthanam’,

And importantly not like other Nachimaars, for whom birth place is different from the husband’s place,  Andal has both these places  as the same place. This is another…

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Who is a srivaishnava ( Swamy Nampillai and Kandadai Thozhappar divine pastime )


Kazhiyur Varadan:

Swamy Nam pillai became Lokacharyar because he did not loose his temper with even the ones who abused him , instead showed the qualities of patience and mercy of sri vaishnava which converted others too.

Originally posted on kazhiyur varadan's web blog:

Those were the days  when  Swami Nampillai  the distinguished  Acharyar  was  delivering religious discourses at Srirangam temple attended by many devotees  . As Swamys discourses were absolutely soul stirring due its sweetness  in delivery devotees used to throng in thousands inside the temple . Many occasions there was a confusion about the crowds pouring inside the temple  whether some festival was going on there ,  as the numbers used to match with the number of devotees in Utsavams .

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His reputation was increasing and consequently the reputation of other Acharyas was  being overlooked.

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A contempory of Swamy Nampillai was Sri Kandadai Thozappar , grandson of Swamy Mudali Andaan  the  foremost  disciple of Swamy Ramanuja  . Swamy Thozhappar was very knowledgeable . Somehow he  became increasingly jealous about the fame and reputation of Swamy Nampillai which was going up day by day.

One evening  while he was returning from the temple shrine ,  by divine…

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