“Aho Veeryam ….Aho Souryam AhoBahu parakramah…… Naarasimham Param Daivam Ahobilam Aho Balam


It was during this time the great King Prataapa Rudrudu was ruling Andhra pradesh. Once while returning from Srisailam after his worship to Paramasivan , Prataparudra stopped and camped at Ahobilam .

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 The most sacred shrine of Lord Narasimhar  at Ahobilam is located in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh in the hills of the eastern ghat. 

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The temple consists of nine shrines to Lord Narisimha located around a 5 KM circle. The shtala Purana states that  PakshiRajar Garuda prayed  for a vision of Lord Narisimha .  Garuda commended his penance near to Srisaila Kshetra .

After long years of penance  Lord manifested Himself in the cave of a mountain. 

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Few miles to the north east of the holy mountains where Garuda was performing penance  a vision of HIS manifestation was granted to Garuda………………..

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who  after obtaining as sign of  location of the mountain cave gladly traveled to the holy spot and was blessed to be graced by Satswaroopa , Mahapurusha , Lord Jwala Narasimhar not easy accessible to common people those days

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Garuda worshipped the Lord and glorified LORD as Ahobilam  is…

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


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.

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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.

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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 .

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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.

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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…

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Jai Jai Ramakrishna Hari “… The Lord’s Name is eternal ………………..rest all is ephemeral” Bhaktha Tukaram


When one thinks of  the holy place Pandharpur , mind races to have darshan of Lord Vittala and when the quest  to know about  his devotees begin  ,  the  biography of the great saint Santh Tukaram  brings tears .

Santh Tukaram appeared  during  the year 1608 A.D in   a  small village  Dehu in Poone  district which is about 41 kms from Ahobila Mutt, Pune .     and  seven miles from another important place  Alandi—the place honored by the Samadhi of  another  great saint Jnaneshwar.

Tukaram  from his childhood  worshiped  Lord Vittala  of Pandharpur.  

His  Elders  constructed a  small temple of their own  and dedicated it  to  Lord Vittala .  His  family members, since many generations, had  participated in  the ‘Wari’ of Pandharpur, i.e., the annual pilgrimages to Pandharpur on the eleventh day of the month of Ashadh (June-July) and again on the eleventh day of the month of Kartik (October-November).

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 When  Tukaram  was about seventeen years, he lost his parents and  about that time, his elder brother left the village and went to Varanasi seeking spiritual salvation.The  next few years,  were almost cyclonic in their effect for Tukaram. 

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Taking advantage of his state of mind, the debtors would not repay whatever was  due to him and the creditors began to trouble  him for the money due to them.

Tukaram tried his hand in several ventures of trade and came back either with empty hands or with a loss as he was a man of simplicity and humane to the core .

He was robbed of everything by confidence-tricksters who gave him gilt brass ornaments in exchange for all the money he had with him.

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He was a  simple person who could not see others unhappiness  people .One  occasion, returning home, he came across a poor man  along with his family starving. He could not see  their plight . He  just gave away the profit as well as the principal which his wife had borrowed for some petty business.

Seeing his  behaviour , Tukaram was not entrusted with anything valuable when he went far from home.

Tukaram’s  wife Jijabai helped him  again and again to set up a small shop in his own village, but she was always convinced by Tukaram that serving all  the beings , no matter it was fellow human beings , animals , insects etc  was his only goal . Tukaram used to sit in the shop doing  kirtan and being very kind and honest to his customers. As usual due to his  compassion  to his fellow humans , he became bankrupt very soon as he never thought of himself and family .

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 Sant  Tukaram saw  Lord Panduranga in all creatures. Once he was asked to guard a corn field. He liked this job as it did not hinder with his habit of Namakirtan on Lord Panduranga. The birds would see human presence and fly away without touching the corns. But as Tukaram got immersed in his abhangs, the birds started to feed on the corns. Seeing Panduranga in all the birds, he, instead of scaring the birds away, fed the birds with more corns from the field that he was supposed to guard, thus gaining the wrath of the owner.

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During  the years 1629 and 1630, the country was  facing  severe famine.   It was most difficult period  The promissory notes  dues for  the family became dead letters of credit as nothing could be realised  during the  famine.

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Tukaram   lost his people and cattle  .Very upset he  went into the Bhamnath forest nearby. For fifteen days he stayed there  meditating on the Supreme Lord   without  any basic needs .jai jai jai

 

 He realised the true knowledge with his penance . The revelation made  Tukaram  more aware of the purpose of his life .He slowly withdrew his  love for his household, wife and  relations.

He gathered all the promissory notes  and threw them into the Indrayani river, in spite of the protests of his relatives.

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He reconstructed the temple which had fallen into disrepair and began to spend his  entire time in  Naama Kirtan. His mind  was  now steady fast with total surrender  .

As a result of his whole-hearted devotion ,  Tukaram was rewarded with Guru Upadesh.

As elders say , SathGuru visited  Tukaram  in a dream. Tukaram describes this, as the greatest event of his life, thus

“The Sadguru came to me in a dream and was really very kind to me, though  I had done nothing to deserve it. He met me when I was going to the river for a bath and placed his hand on my head and blessed me  and advised me to do Japa …….of  Jai jai Ramakrishna Hari.   Tukaram’s joy knew no bounds.

Tukaram began to spend his life more and more in devotional practices, study of the  works of  great saints Jnanadev, Namdev and Ekanath thus getting inspired to pen Abhangs 

Whenever Tukaram began to perform  Kirtan, people began to flock in large numbers considering  him as a  realised saint and give  him all the  respect.

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This was  resented by a small number of people  who sent a report against Tukaram to Rameshwar Shastri  regarded as a learned Scholar during those  times . Due to his standing in society , he forced Tukaram to stop all those activities which will pull crowds due to his kirtans .He instructed him to stop  penning abhangs and,  that  he had already made,  should be drowned in the  nearby Indrayani river.

Tukaram held all  elders  in great reverence,. He was sad . He immediately brought out of his home all the  works , bound them together, tied a big stone round the bundle, and threw it into the river in presence of the village elders .

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Tukaram’s traducers, who were jealous of him, were greatly pleased. Tukaram did not mind their taunts. He thought , was it a big fault for  merely, singing the praise of Lord in his  abhangs as advised by Lord himself .

 Dejected , Tukaram  sat on the bank of the river Indrayani praying  to  Lord Panduranga to forgive him and show some way out as  Naama sanKirtan was his breath . For thirteen long  days he thus sat unmoved  without water, food or sleep seeking Lords guidance .

On the  fourteenth  day, one of Tukaram’s followers, in a dream, saw  Lord Panduranga advising him to fetch  the Abhangs composed by Sant Tukaram  floating on the surface  which was intact.” .

Tukaram was moved by the mercy of Lord and  thus in ecstasy he  delivered  Abhangs  blaming himself for doubting the word of Lord and  putting Him to so much trouble of having to preserve the poems in water for thirteen days.

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By this  divine incident, Tukaram’s name and fame spread far and wide. Materially he  remained poorer but spiritually richer . He was always  in  Naama sanKirtan and he earned nothing.Whatever LORD arranged was his meal and wherever he moved he comforted himself under trees , ashrams , temples no matter where he was . It was Naama sankirtan always .

The great Maharashtra King  Shivaji was a great admirer always supporting his devotional services .

Tukaram always advocated Saguna Bhakti in the form of repeating His Name and in the form of  singing LORD’s  praises. He said  Bhakti was the higher form of devotion and service  was even higher than Mukti.

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Many wonderful events  have occurred in  Sant Tukaram’s life. His fame spread throughout the land, but he himself remained unaffected by all that. He knew the exact time when he would depart from this world. He grew weary of living and thought his time was being wasted in attending to the wants of the body when it should have been better utilised in Kirtan, Bhajan and praise of Vithoba.

He prayed to the Lord that he might be taken away soon to His lotus feet where he could remain worshiping Him continuously for ever and anon.

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 Once  Tukaram’s  told his friends that he would be going away to meet Vittala  in a few days.  No one believed his words .Finally that day arrived . He called all the villagers for a Akhanda sankirtan . The night  was splendid . Many came to  hear his kirtans and the last kirtan before  was memorable in many respects as the  subject was Harikatha.

Tuakaram  continued ..my brothers and sisters …

“Harikatha is like the union of three holy rivers—Lord, the devotee and His holy  Name.

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By  participating in this kirtan   one’s sins are burnt  and one is purified.

And my children ….

Even the pebbles lying around here  become holy and fit to be worshiped. 

And…….

“Though you all bear the responsibilities of family life, never ever  forget our Lord Panduranga.

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Never forget to worship Him and sing  his  praises.

Pandharpur is very near you.

It is the Vaikuntha on this earth.

Please  Go and worship the Lord there. It is my experience that the Name of the Lord alone will save you at the time of death.

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All of you have protected and maintained me in your midst for such a long time. I can never repay you and I am very grateful to you.

I shall ever pray to Vithoba to bless you all and take you all to heaven after this life. This is my goodbye to you all and this is my advice to you.

I prostrate before you and beseech you with tears never to forget the Name of the Lord. Always do Kirtan and Bhajan of Lord Narayana.

 

Do not be anxious about your material welfare.

The Lord will look to it.

This is all ephemeral. The Lord’s Name is eternal.

Depend on it only, live and  sing the praises of the Lord.

Do Japa of Ramakrishna Hari and He will always save you.

This is my last request and advice to you.”

 The Lord’s Name is eternal rest all is ephemeral

Thus passed away one of the great saints of Maharashtra with Lord’s Name of his lips, singing praises of Him.

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Tukaram left this world  during  the year 1649the second day after  the Holi festival   . Every year  the  day  of his disappearance popularly known as Bheej is  remembered at the banks of the river  dehu .  Thousands  of devotees assemble near to this holy place

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   This place  is located inside  Military area. We were fortunate to be here unexpectedly during our Pandharpur yatra  few years back .

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The  vehicles had to be parked before one enters the military area .  From the parking area, the temple is about 3-4 kilometres.

Most of the devotees join  singing bhajans holding Tulasi pots on their hand, some  playing tambura , kartaal etc.  

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It is usual practice of the devotees to fast on that day and have prasadam only after taking Sant  Tukaram’s blessings.

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  Along with us, other devotees joined and within no time, the bus was jam packed.  The bus was however parked at a distance of about  one kilometer.  The entire place was charged up in devotional fervor.

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A devotee was singing Abhangs and was so glad to share the meanings and the  essence of the various  teachings of Santh Tukaram  which am reproducing ….

Tukaram Maharaj prays to  LORD  to grant him a boon of being small  as a small ant ……………gets a grain of sugar to eat.
A giant elephant is made to bear pricking of the weapon by its controller.
Tukaram Maharaj says, he who has a great ego undergoes great troubles.
He asks us to understand the benefit of not having an ego.
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There is no happiness greater than the peace of mind.
Everything else causes sorrow.
Therefore make your mind peaceful to see the inner light.
One with a mind agitated by anger and lust has to suffer ensuing restlessness.
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A peaceful mind is free from such sufferings.
One, who is able to control his sense-organs, is capable of forgiving others.
Such a person gains recognition and establishes his relation with Lord Vittala.
Even if a huge agricultural field has been inherited then that won’t give harvest unless it is cultivated.
Tukaram Maharaj says, one should understand this fact without burning one’s heart.
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Pandavas were sent to exile in the woods but they held Lord Vittala in their hearts. Pralhada was tortured by his father but still he meditated on Narayana in his mind. Sudama, a brahmin, was afflicted by poverty but he did not forget Narayana. Tukaram Maharaj says,

O Lord Vittala we should not forget you even at the time of being under the mountain of miseries…

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A donkey that is made to have bath in a sacred river does not become a horse. He, who does not have a pure mind, does not listen to any good advice.

Even if a sweet juice is fed to a snake, there won’t be any reduction in its poison.

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There are many who proclaim themselves as saints. How can we accept unless we see their behaviour.

There appears a stream of water only for a while after it rains.

Later not a drop of water is seen.

A particle of snow appears like a diamond as long as it does not meet a hammer.

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Dogs barking at an elephant develop pain in their mouths. The elephant is least affected by this. Monkeys mocking at tiger invite disaster for their lives. Tukaram Maharaj says, he who mocks at saints will lose his face.

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A monkey puts its hand in a vessel containing peanuts. After taking peanuts in its hand it cannot take out its hand as the mouth of the vessel is not big enough.

The monkey for the sake of handful of peanuts does not go away and is caught.

A parrot sits on a string laid by the hunter. The string inverts its position and so is the parrot. Due to high voltage fear the parrot firmly grasps the string and forgets that it has two feathers to fly away.

 

The parrot is caught ultimately. Tukaram Maharaj says that it is not surprising if creatures without brains behave like this. It is surprising to see human beings forgoing their greatest interest for a pittance.

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Earn money through an honest business.

Spend money for noble cause by maintaining equanimity of mind. Work for others’ welfare. Dont say harsh words for others. Consider others’ ladies like your mother and sisters.

Show kindness to all beings.

Rear cows and other cattle. Make possible arrangements for drinking water at remote places for quenching the thirst of people.

Dont harm others. He, who abides by the above teaching, spreads good name of his parents all around.

The virtue of renunciation that is required for realising Panduranga is also acquired through such actions..

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A creeper of nectar will bear fruits of nectar. This will also result in continuous rise in the seeds of nectar. Like this association with good people results in all round increase of happiness. From a seed originates a tree.

From a tree countless seeds originate.

Who would like to be crucified on a cross of sandalwood? Similarly none would like to remain tied in the chain of gold. Similarly whatever knowledge one gains is a burden if that raises one’s ego.

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A dead tiger filled with stuff appears like a tiger. Actually it is not a tiger. A coin with gold plating is not a coin of gold. This fact is clear if it is observed closely. A monkey dances as per the training of its master, it does not have any talents of its own.

Tukaram Maharaj says, he who keeps stock of absurd virtues has to suffer embarrassment.

The best worship of Lord Vittala can be performed by the mind. There is no need of instruments and implements for performing a puja.

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The purpose of worship is to understand the mind, to understand the truth.

The final benefit or loss will be caused by the mind.

Mind is the seed that gives birth to the tree of action.

He, who has merged his identity with the Lord Vittala,
cannot see others suffering. Tukaram Maharaj says, making the mind calm is the true worship.

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Tukaram Maharaj says, let us be equanimous in happiness and misery.

There is no discrimination for devotees in the eyes of the Almighty. He is waiting for those who have devotion in their minds.

He eats coarse grain offered by Vidura.

He protects Prahalada in the house of demons.

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He helps Rohidas to dye clothes.

He helps Kabir to weave cloth.

He helps Sajan Butcher selling meat.

He helps Sawata Mali in petty agricultural operations.

He helps Narhari in performing chores of a goldsmith.

He helps Chokhamela for grazing cattle.

He drives the chariot of Arjuna.

He eats with great love dry food offered by Sudama.

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In the homes of milkmen he does the task of maintaining cows

 He acts as a doorkeeper for King Bali. He repays loan of Yekoba.

He takes birth as a human being for the sake of Rishi Amba.

He drinks a glass of poison for Meerabai.

He becomes a low breed person to pay off loan of Damaji.

He carries earth for Gora Kumbhar.

He repays loan of Narsi Mehta.

He is still standing on a brick for Pundalik.

Parents of Pundalik are great to have such a great son.

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Thanking Supreme Lord for the wonderful company , we  joined the ocean of ecstasy relished by great devotees of Lord Vittala …

 Tukaram’s abhangs was  being played everywhere through the sound systems.  There is another arc with the beautiful words “ JNAN,BHAKTI,VAIRAGYA TUKARAM”.  The crowd reminded us of Brahmotsava celebrations in Tirumala.  

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Amidst  the sea of devotees more than  a lakh of devotees ready to witness that miracle which happens every year at noon.   A big cut-out of Lord Pandurangan from a distance attracted everyone’s attention.

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On the way, we could have sparsham of Tukaram’s padhukas which were placed in a palanquin.   Unmindful of the scorching heat and clasping each other’s hands we proceeded to Tukaram’s Samadhi mandir. On the left side, we have darshan of   Indrani river which was witness to the various incidents in Tukaram’s life flowing peacefully. 

Many pilgrims were purifying themselves in the water.  This  river which flows past Alandi, brings Jnanadev’s blessings too along with her to this place.  Pilgrims who have a holy dip are benefited with Jnanadev and Tukaram Maharaj’s grace.

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TUKARAM MAHARAJ TEMPLE IN PANDHARPUR

Sant Tukaram like Nammazhwar was the only person who left to SriVaikuntam with this mortal body.   Elders reveal Lord  arranged  Garuda vahanam and singing the praises of the Lord , while everyone was watching, Sant Tukaram embarked on the Garuda vahanam and ascended to Srivaikuntam. 

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He promised his followers that on every disappearance day which falls on the second day after Holi ,popularly known as Bheej, he would come from Vaikuntam exactly at noon in the form of a gentle breeze to this place and bless the devotees.  Because of the gentle breeze, the leaves of the tree which was a witness to the incident gently move and the leaves fall.

To enable the assembled devotees who stand far away from the tree, the temple authorities have tied a red flag as an indication.  When the breeze gently blows, the red flag moves which can be witnessed by everyone.  The assembled devotees continuously sing the abhangs and as noon approaches, the fervor and intensity of the bhajans increases.  Words cannot describe the sight. One has to personally witness this incident. We were there … to receive Our Bhaktha Tukaram’s blessings …What a journey it was ..

Sadhu Satsangh  ki Jai ..

Bhaktha Tukaram ki Jai

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics/ Videos  :

Credits to all Lord Vittala devotees who uploaded in social media /Google pics

 

 

Sant Namadeva and the dog .. ….Bhajey Pandurangam


The saints believed that God is within all living beings .An important spiritual practice followed by them was the chanting of Lord’s holy names . Remembering Lord and repeating his Holy Name was most important . Another ingredient for the spiritual life was kirtana or bhajans, the singing of hymns of praise of the Lord . All these spiritual practices helps in transforming the body, emotions, thoughts, and one’s very existence into expressions of the soul, our true identity and spiritual essence. This makes it easier to have enough peace of mind and enter the world of the supreme soul seeking bliss .

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The great  devotee of Lord Vittala , Namadeva  used  to go to a  nearby village Gopalapur  to pen  his  emotional filled   divine abhangs on Lord without any disturbance.  

One day ,  it was  getting delayed and he did not turn home for lunch.

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Namadev’s  wife who was concerned  for the delay ,  walked along with the  lunch to Gopalapur.  She requested her husband  Namadeva that he should have his lunch as it was getting late . But Namadevar was in a different mood completely .His thoughts were filled with Lord Vittala .

He advised her to leave the lunch in the basket and  carry on with her daily works

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Rajayi his wife   with respect   kept  Namadeva’s lunch in a bag near him and left the place .   A dog  quickly  got hold of the chapathis  in the lunch bag and ran away with…

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Azhwar Theertham at Tirupati


It is mentioned in Sri Venkatesa Suprabhatam, the range of 7 hills are celebrated as Seshalam, Garudachalam, Venkatadri, Narayanadri, Vrishabhadri, Anjanadri, Neeladri and represents the great serpent bed As per Upanishads , in brief the Jeevatma passes through five stages in its spiritual evolution , namely, Annamayya kosa , Pranamaya kosa , Manomaya kosa Vignanamaya and Anandamaya kosams.

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” TIRUMALA is most holy shrine and Lord Vaikuntanathan out of abundant mercy has appeared as Lord Venkateshwara in this yuga for our upliftment . The sacred TIRUMALA Hills consists of seven peaks considered to be seven-hooded Adhisesha

 . Before  seeking to  have  darsanam of LORD ,  the devotees  are  supposed to shed  the    inherent tamasic  qualities and approach with  sattva gunam for  HIS darshanam .

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 Elders advise us to  reach the foot of the  Tirumala Hills and have a holy dip at Azhwar Theertham presently called as Kapila Theertham  before ascending the Hills.

This divine place is located enroute to Tirumala .  Out of the   1008 theerthams  located in and around  TIRUMALA  HILLS , Azhwar  Theertham ( Kapila Theertham)   is the only  natural spring  located  at the foot of the Hills.  

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On the shores of Alwar theertham is  enshrined Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal gracing the devotees . Lord  is gracing…

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“Pundalika Varadaa”……… Panduranga Hari Vitthala!


AT the behest of Pundalikan, Lord resides here and gives darshan to millions of devotees . As Lord stands on Vittu(brick) , HE is glorified as as Vittalan.

The place where the Lord stands is the present temple.

The Saints like Namdeo, Dnyaneshwar to Tukaram wove their life around Vitthala and saw in Vitthala their brother, father, friend and a compassionate Lord who could bless them with ultimate salvation.

“Vittala ” is our Compassionate Lord who mingled with all the devotees by taking various roles like a cobbler, barber, servant, potter, gardener thus assisting his devotees in household chores and helping them in their own spiritual up liftment and seek salvation

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Jai Jai Ramakrishna Hari

Pilgrimage to Pandharpur near   Sholapur in Maharashtra  and  having  darshan of Lord Vittal  is incomplete without mentioning  the great devotee Pundalikan. 

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Pundalaikan who hailed from southern part of  India  undertook a pilgrimage to kasi along with his parents and family .  As his old  parents couldn’t withstand the long journey they camped  on the banks of Bhima river in the present Pandharpur.

   As there was no improvement in their fitness and due to their old  age , they decided to  stay there forever serving LORD and his devotees .

.facebook_1521301414833.jpg549459542.jpg Pundalikan  was  a caring and obedient son .

Always in the service of his parents chanting the holy name he continued to start a fresh life being at this new place. 

The Divine Name of ‘ Jai Jai Ramakrishna Hari Jai Jai  Vasudeva Hari’  ever reverberating in this holy town made him swoon into transcendental…

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Lord Aaraamudha perumal ….. Elixir which can never ever produce satiety”


There lived a devotee named ” Lakshmi Narayana ” in this holy place . Narayana spent his entire life doing services to Lord Aramudhan. He was the one who built the Rajagopuram which is app 44-m tall, 11-tiered tower by collecting small small donations from devotees and strived hard to finish the task .

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Once  , the  great  Thirumisai Azhwar came to have a darsanam  of Lord  Aaraamudha perumal   near Kumbakonam at Tamilnadu.    Azhwar  was very much impressed by  Lord’s  beauty .

He instantaneously recited ..

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Nadanda kalgal nondhavo nadunga gnala menamai

Idanthamei kulungavo vilangumaal varaichuram

Kadanda kaal parandha kavirikarai kudanthaiul

Kidanthava yezhundirundu pesu vazhi kesane

Meaning O lord !  your lotus  feet must be  feeling the pain walking  the worlds  covered  with  mountains,   thorns etc  .

Your lotus feet are very soft that even Mother Lakshmee  feels her  service may hurt  LORD if she touches them. 

AzhwAr then realizes that  as LORD  went to the pAtALa lOka to rescue Mother during varAha avatAra, perhaps  due to this   LORD  should be relaxing in this pose .

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While Azhwar was enquiring ,  Lord casually  lifted up His head to get up and reply to  AzhwAr  as he said said ‘pESu’ in…

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NAVA DWARAKA DARSHAN .. A Piligrims diary


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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           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.   

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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 .  

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Our poorvacharyars point out that Lord…

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Jai Jai Jagannath sacīra nandan tribhūvana kore jār caraṇa vandan.


“ Jagannatha? Who Jaggantha …..

Who is He?

Where is He?

What can He do for us?
Can He kill the whale with a weapon ?
Can He save the ship?” retorted the captain.
A trace of a smile came over the old man’s face. He appeared so calm and composed at that moment of crisis.
“ Lord Jagannatha is my only resort.
Any danger is dispelled if one prays to Him,” the old man said passionately.
“He makes a human response.
His mystery is inscrutable, even to the demigods, what to speak of mere human beings. Yet when we call to Him, He comes and helps us instantly .”

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A French sailor  was coming to  Pondichery   from Calcutta by his ship  through the  eastern coast of India  and was bringing a big bell from a port of France to the church of Pondicherry  .

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The ship was moving parallel from the shore of the Bay of Bengal and proceeding through the parts of Chandipur, Paradip in Odisha .

People belonging to France and England were in that ship.

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   His assistant suddenly  saw  a  giant whale  big enough to swallow the whole ship.  He was scared and could not speak  . 

His voice was choked as he  saw that the ship was heading directly towards the creature.

jai jai jai jai

He dared and shrieked  Captain! All alert!”

The  sailor  was taking a reading of the ship’s course from the chart in the control room.

Hearing the call, he rushed out, a little perplexed.

What is…

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LORD KRISHNA’S ASHTA SAKHI TEMPLES NEAR BARSAANA VRINDAVAN.. An Introduction


Puranas reveal that out of many thousands of gopis, sixteen thousand are predominant and among them 108 gopis are very close , eight are still more prominent . Radharani and Candravalli are very prominent and Srimathi Radharani is the most prominent. Because Radharani possesses all the charm and sweetness to attract Lord Krishna .The Eight Gopis who are the foremost, dearest and most beloved friends of Shri Shri Radharani are glorified as Asta-sakhis Gopis .Their names are Lalita, Visakha, Chitralekha, Champakalata, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi and Sudevi. check the appended blog post for more details

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Braj Bhumi  is the most sacred dham spread over  168 miles-  42 miles on each direction with  Mathura as the center.  The holy place  comprises of Mathura,  Goverdhan, Gokulam Barsana ,Vrindavan and the  surrounding  12 forests.  The Supreme Lord manifested Himself as Lord Krishna along with HIS attendants and enacted various pastimes 5000 years ago in Dwapara yugam which attracts millions of devotees to have darshan of this holy dhaam repeatedly .

 Lord Krishnavataaram is the POORNA AVATARAM of  Lord Maha Vishnu. Every inch in this place is  sacred because of its association with  Lord Krishna’s  lotus  feet (as He walked over all these places).  

Anyone who visits this sacred place is bestowed with   divine love . This is one  of the seven mukthi tharum kshetrams , the rest being Ayodhya,  Avatnti, Kasi,Kanchi, Puri, Dwarka.  Also, Mathura is very dear to Lord Vishnu as it has Lord’s association in all the…

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Swamy Ramanuja’s Eighteen glorious visits to Thirukoshtiyur


Swamy Ramanuja felt to himself that as Lord Krishna preached eighteen chapters to Arjuna before revealing the final word , in order to test Arjuna’s mind the eighteen trips imposed upon me by Acharyar was to condition my spirit in seeking the nectar of instructions .

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  Swamy Ramanuja  went to meet  Acharyar  Peria Nambi    .

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With all humility he prostrated himself  and apologized for  any  offense he had  committed in falling short of having the darshan of  “His Holiness  Acharyar Swamy Yamunacharyar”.

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 Swamy Ramanuja expressed his misfortune in not being able to serve the legendary Acharyar Swamy Yamunacharyar and missing his elderly counsel in a whisper  .

AALLAA

Gurudeva !  said Ramanuja  I need that knowledge  !!

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With great delight  the  Acharyar replied

  My child ,

The essence of  our Holy faith is embedded in the Dwayam  Mantra  !!

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The  power and the purifying meritorious  essence is  absolute healing ..

My dear child !  Remember  !! 

There is but One God  and He is All merciful  and is therefore   is our only  way  .

He is all knowing and All mighty and is there for our sake   .

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The souls destination  and aim is…

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THE DIVINE CROWBAR AT THE ENTRANCE OF TIRUMALA TEMPLE


The Lord answered his prayers and told him,”My dear Ananthalvan, I wanted to partake of the service you were doing for me and for the devotees.

You would not allow me to join you in the service. You were after me in rage and threw the crowbar at me which hit me on the chin.

How can you forget it so soon?”Ananthalvan was awe-struck and in fear begged of the Lord for forgiveness for what he did.
He applied herbs and stopped the flow of blood.

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Millions of devotees throng the Tirumala Hills practically round the clock throughout the year for having darshanam of Lord Venkateshwara .

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It is always the darshan what he gives us than what we seek .

                                   Many will share their experiences having darshanam with moist eyes . However , Very few are aware that when we walk inside the temple , to the right side of the Main entrance we can see a crowbar tied to the wall which has a glorious past .

ANANTHALWARS_CROWBAR

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As we move towards the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Venkateswara , how many will remember that there was a time , just a thousand years back, when the Hills were deserted with not much of human habitation in sight .Swamy Ramanuja had visited the Hills thrice. His maternal uncle , Peria Thirumalai Nambi gave him discourses on Srimad Ramayana for several months at the Hills.

The…

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At TIRUMALA… “ Its not the darshan you get . It is the darshan ” LORD” bestows”.


Its only the fortunate ones who develop faith in God and blessed are those who surrender to our LORD VENKATESHWARA ….

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 The ardent desire of any devotee is to seek an everlasting darshan of Lord Venkateshwara at Tirumala  and…  If this darshan is without any  physical disturbance or interference by the volunteers ,  the soul dances in ecstasy.

There is no dearth of pilgrims who wouldn’t stop gushing about their opportune darshan lasting for even a  fraction of second or so with our  beloved LORD  while there are so many others who  excitedly wait  for  Lord’s  darshan patiently  even for days  .

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Tradition has it, that hands of man did not work for the dhruva bera  ( Main deity )of Lord Venkateswara .

TTYU

The Supreme Lord with abundant mercy manifested himself in the present form that could easily be worshiped by mortals. It is described in Mousala Parvam  of Sri Mahabharatam  that when  Supreme Lord Krishna decided to complete His incarnation, a divine play was enacted.   After the  fall of Yadu dynasty , Lord Krishna was…

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..  The divine incident when Lord accepts the Shankhu and Chakra from his dear devotee Swamy Ramanuja ………… Thirumalai-Appanukku Sanku-Aazhi alhiththa Acharya-perumaan Emberumaanaar Jaya Vijayee bhava.”


The great devotee of Lord Venkateshwara sage Annamaya in a kirtan reveals .
.Lord …( I pray to You, Oh Lord! Please be beside me! )
If YOU are the Lord incarnated on the Venkatadri mount, YOU are bound to be by my side!
It is You, Oh Lord, who have made me to become Your devotee;
It is You, Oh Lord, who have knocked my doors ~ only to grant me the Protective asylum under Your Lotus Feet;
You are the ONE who enlightened me;
This is the eternal bliss for me!
This is the Para-Tattvam for me!
This is my moksha-marga (and salvation)!

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govindaa

 

“Srivaikunta Virakthaaya Swami Pushkarini Thatey

Ramaya Rama maanaya Venkatesaya mangalam”

THIRUK

The above famous Mangala sloka  recited in every  temple and household glorifies the Lord of Seven Hills (Tirumala)  Lord Venkateshwara  as “ the  Lord   who out of deep love for his devotees vacated  Sri Vaikuntam along with Goddess  and  choose to  reside on the banks of Swami Pushkarini  in Tirumala ” the sacred hills which is also glorified  as Adivaraha kshetram.. (cluster of seven Hills )

TIRUMALAA

Various puranas describe  about the appearance of the Lord in the Seven Hills. Adiseshan with seven hoods is believed to have assumed the form of the Nallamalai hills for Lord’s ascent .

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Tirumala is considered to be the head of Adhisesha while Ahobilam is considered as the middle part and Srisailam as the tail of the adiseshan. An aerial view of the hills authenticate the shape of the hills in the…

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‘The Acharyar who was glorified by LORD himself at Srirangam ……….. SWAMI MANAVALA MAMUNI VAIBHAVAM


The Meaning of the above verse ………….

“Oh my dear devotees who desire for Moksha seeking Swamy Mamunigal’s lotus Feet listen ….

taking refugee at the Lotus feet of Swamy Mamunigal will definitely lead us to the blessings of “Amanavan” who allows us at the entrance into Sri Vaikuntam” as we are Swamy Manavala mamuni’s disciples …

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Lord Sriman Narayana  incarnated in  different  avatharas in this world, for spreading the message of the liberation for the jeevatma  from this material bondage .

Anathya swaroopamAnathya swaroopam

Unsatisfied ,  LORD summoned His serpent couch, the nitya-soori (eternally free soul) .

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 Adisesha, and instructed,

My dear Adishesha !  

“Go down to the mortal world and live there for 200 years, and through your exhortations, empower the people with knowledge about their true nature and make them come to..

My world, so that they enjoy “eternal bliss” forever …….

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Accordingly,  Adishesha appeared as “Swamy Ramanuja” in the age of Kali, where Adharma  was in the forefront due to the karmic vasanas .

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Swamy Ramanuja followed LORD;s directives by spreading the divine message of  Azhwars  and the true knowledge to seek Lord’s mercy  and disappeared at the age of 120.

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 The Lord was not satisfied  with the developments and felt the…

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Lord’s presence is our strength and HIS absence our weakness


Bhattar used to feel low during the darshan of the processional deities after Abhishekam ( Thirumanjanam ) wearing wet clothes and used to contemplate …..

Oh Supreme Lord !! when your Highness are not able to convince obstinate people like me with your abundant compassion for our final upliftment are you………………….

My LORD……………….

.My savior ……………………………………………………………..

adorning yourself with the wet clothes so as to take an oath and convince us ??

Lord’s presence is our strength and HIS absence our weakness …………

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Once a new  disciple  approached   Acharyar Bhattar  and asked him………..

thiruppulanee v

… Swamin ..

Please  clear my  doubt . What qualifications are needed to recite the Lord’s names ?

Bhattar smiled and replied ,

My dear child  ,

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When you stumble on the road  OR  unknowingly face a danger .., what do you say instantly ..the disciple said I will scream AMMA …. …

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Now tell me what qualifications  were needed to call AMMA ….

The disciple did not have any answer ….

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My child !!  continued Bhattar ….

One who goes to bathe in the Holy ganges indeed need not cleanse himself beforehand by dipping in a  salt water pool  .

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When we wish to be saved what more qualifications do we need than simply to desire it and forthwith fly to our savior LORD who saves us and also make us fit for salvation too .

When we go…

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…. A lotus which is not in the water , will not be allowed to blossom by the sun .. Not only that It will fade away soon …….


For realisation of the self, my association with Swamy Ramanuja is essential . No prayer pleases Lord without Acharyar’s mercy. Kooresan politely refuses to accept the gaurd’s honor and walks back to his house . This pastime establishes the supremacy of Acharya sambandham with our poorvacharyas …

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Swamy Nampillai just finished his daily worship and was about to conduct a discourse .

His ardent disciple  Pinbalagaram Perumal Jeeyar  had a doubt to be clarified. 

He approached Swamy Nampillai and submitted his question

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.. Acharya !!  

Please tell me , whenever a person is in difficulty  we approach our Acharya and seek his blessings to ward off the problems .

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Acharyar also blesses by abundant compassion ” shubena manasa dhyaatam ”  adding Thathasthu …and the problem is solved .

Such incidents have happened several times in the past and continue to happen .

Adiyen wants to know whether this is because of Acharya or the Lord ?

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Swamy Nampillai  in a   composed  mood , clarifies his disciple that all the good that was happening was because of Lord himself .

.facebook_1529169540623.jpg835004505.jpg Pinbalagam Jeeyar   again  once again submits  ,  Acharya !!  in that case   can we approach LORD directly…

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GLORY OF NAIMISHARANYAM— ONE OF THE EIGHT SWAYAM VYAKTA KSHETRAMS


Oh Lord ! My father ……………..
when this jiva leaves this body , at the time of death,
Oh My Father !! I need to meditate only on Your Lotus Feet
I am blessed to have realized this, due to Your enormous grace , and…..

I have now come here surrendering to Your Lotus feet at Naimisharanyam

for my protection-

this alone should be my thought. …………………

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Srirangam Venkatadrischa   SrimushNam Totaparvatam

Salagramam Pushkaramcha NaranarayaNAshramamNaimisham

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 . 

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Naimisharanya is situated on the left bank of the river Gomathi, which is a tributary of the river Ganges  .

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At   ” NAIMISAARANYAM”  Lord ( Perumal )  is in Aaranya     ( Forest) swaroopam. This is a swayam vyaktha  kshethram…

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Ugram veeram maha-vishnum jvalantam sarvatho mukham …. nrisimham bheeshanam bhhadram mrityur mrityum namam y aham


namas te narasiḿhāya
prahlādāhlāda-dāyine
hiraṇyakaśipor vakṣaḥ-
śilā-ṭańka-nakhālaye
ito nṛsiḿhaḥ parato nṛsiḿho
yato yato yāmi tato nṛsiḿhaḥ
bahir nṛsiḿho hṛdaye nṛsiḿho
nṛsiḿham ādiḿ śaraṇaḿ prapadye
tava kara-kamala-vare nakham adbhuta-śṛńgaḿ
dalita-hiraṇyakaśipu-tanu-bhṛńgam
keśava dhṛta-narahari-rūpa jaya jagadīśa hare…
Check the travel diary in the appended blog post

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TRAVEL DIARY IS IN THE BELOW MENTIONED BLOG :

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2014/12/07/ahobilam-travel-diary/

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AHOBILAM 

The holy place where LORD NARSINGHA BHAGAVAN incarnated for Prahlada Maharaj …

Please read the vaibhavams of the Nava Narasingh bhagavan .The place is situated 25 Km from Arlagadda in Kurnool district can also be approached via Cuddapah district, Andhra Pradesh ,India.

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MORE ABOUT NAVA NARASIMHA KSHETRAM
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There are 9 shrines dedicated to nine forms of Narasimhar.

Out of this Prahalada varada Narasimhar is in Lower Ahobilam, Ugra Narasimhar, who is a swayambhu and is treated as the divya desa Perumal is seen in Upper Ahobilam. The other shrines are scattered all over the hills.

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Apart from the nava Narasimha shrines, “Prahalada padi” where Prahalada studied and “Ugra Sthambam” from where Perumal emerged are usually visited by pilgrims.

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There are number of Theerthas in this shrine. A few like Lanjekonneru near Bhargava Narasimhar , Ramatheertha near Lower Ahobilam…

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As Lord Narayana came here as ‘Mannan’ to wed Mahalakshmi and asked Swamy Nathamuni to share the Divya Prabandham and the Vaishnava Sampradayam to the world at large, he is glorified as ‘ Kattum’ ‘Mannan- Aanaar …which in course of time, Kattum Mannan-Aanaar became Kattu Mannar.


As Lord Narayana came here as ‘Mannan’ to wed Mahalakshmi and asked Nathamuni to share the Divya Prabandham and the Vaishnava Sampradayam to the world at large, he was referred to as ‘ Kattum’ ‘Mannan- Aanaar’ (the Lord who came aa kings and later presented the entire prabandham through Nathamuni).

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AAA

srIshailEsha dayApAtram dhIbhaktyAdi guNArNavam |
yatIndra pravaNam vandE ramya jAmAtaram munim ||

lakshmI nAtha samArambhAm nAthayAmuna madhyamAm |
asmadAchArya paryantAm vandE guru paramparAm ||

The above sloka …. reverberates in all srivaishnava temples and homes glorifying the rich sampradaya we have inherited from our poorvacharyas ….aa45aa56Swamy  Nathamunigal and Swamy  Alavandar, the two great acharyas  have been pillars to Srivaishnava sampradayam, took their avatara at  the holy place Kattumannar koil, which is 25 kms from Chidambaram in Cuddalore district of Tamil nadu, South India.

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Kattumannarkoil (situated on the banks of the vast Veeranam Lake) hallowed by the birth of these Acharyas is the only place with magnificent temples dedicated to Swamy Nathamunigal and Swamy  Alavandar.

Swamy Nathamunigal  was the  foremost Acharya  of Srivaishnava sampradaya .

aaaaaaNathamuni mastered himself in Vedas at a  very young age.

He was devoted to Lord  Veera Narayana Perumal and spent most of his time performing…

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