“Total surrender”…. ..” Pranaya Kalagam Uthsavam ( Panguni Uthiram vaibha


The month of  ( March – April )   in tamil (Panguni )  is sacred  as it is the appearance month of –  Lord Ranganatha  on Panguni Revathi and Goddess  Sri Ranganayaki Thayar on Panguni Uthiram both occur during this month.

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 .  This is the only day on which the Divya  Dampatis of Srirangam are seen together in Utsavam. The Utsavam  takes place at the royal court located at the western entrance of  the great Temple of Lord Ranganatha. Interestingly, this is the only  entrance which does not have a Rajagopuram. Incredibly Swamy Ramanuja  chose this blessed day for reciting the wonderful hymns  the Gadya  Trayam- Saranagathi gadyam,Sriranga gadyam and Vaikunta gadyam, unambiguously outlining the doctrine of  Surrender .(SharaNagati-which is  atma Vivaham) wedding of the jivAtma to the paramAtma.

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On this day Panguni Uttaram , Swamy  Ramanuja gathered his  disciples and  approached  the great Temple of Lord Ranganatha. Our Paramacharya was greatly moved by the majestic sight of the Divya Dampatis beautifully decorated in Utsavam at the Royal Court of Lord Ranganatha. As a result of this Anubhavam, Swamy  Ramanuja  poured out his heart in an extremely soulful, highly intimate, and deeply intense SharaNagati  ( TOTAL SURRENDER ) in the Sharanagati Gadyam and the Sri Ranganatha Gadyam.
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The most important and the oldest Brahmotsavam called as “Adi Brahmotsavam” is performed during this month for 10 days and culminates on the next day of Panguni Uthiram.  During this brahmotsavam, Lord Ranganatha marries Kamalavalli Nachiyar of Uraiyur  divyadesam.

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Many devotees make it a point to have darshanam of Lordships on this day specially to have kataksham by Divine Parents .

jaiii3 days before Panguni Uthram(when Asilesha star is in ascendant),  Lord Namperumal visits  Goddess Kamalavalli Nachiyar at Uraiyur and marries the princess..

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Only on this day, Perumal gives darshan with Kamalavalli at Uraiyur for one full day.    Incidentally this is the place where the great Thiruppan Azhwar appeared .

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On the 9th day of Brahmotsavam, the serthi (divine union) takes place at Srirangam.  On this day alone, Namperumal gives darshan along with Ranganayaki Thayar.  

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An  interesting event cherished as  ” Pranaya Kalagam Uthsavam ”  takes  place on Panguni Uthiram  day morning and in the night , Gadyathrayam(threee gadyams) are recited in front of the Lordships which is followed by Thirumanjanam (Holy abhishekam) to Namperumal and Ranganayaki Thayar .  Thirumanjanam is performed for 18 times reminding us of Swamy  Ramanujar’s visits to Thirugoshtiyur.  which  are sequel to this  sweet visit. Our Mother Sr Ranganayaki comes to know of  LORDs  visit to  Uraiyur  nachiyar and gets upset.

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The dramatic events on the Panguni Uthiram day unfold as Sri Ranganachiyar vents her Pranaya  Kobam  on Lord  Namperumal and how Lord  pacifies her and how in the end the divya dampathis join together to bless the devotees makes this festival a feast to the soul  .  In the morning hours  , Lord aware of Goddess mood goes around the four mada streets without any  musical instrument being played ( Nadaswaram )  to collect  kanikai ( gifts )  from devotees and  thus gives darsanam to everyone   .

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 The devotees are given an opportunity to serve Rajadhirajan(Lord of the Universe) with some money. He stops at every house asking His  devotees  to support Him when He faces the queen   Goddess Sri Ranga Nachiyar.

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With the temple elephant (Andal) leading the way followed by the vedic pundits reciting  dhivya prabhandha goshti  LORD  enters the temple and walks towards the  sanctorium (sannidhi)  of Goddess (Thayar)  after literally moving around  for  three hours  around the prakarams. When Sri Ranga Nachiyar sees Lord Ranganatha coming towards Her, the temple  doors  are  shut. For the next couple of hours, Pranaya Kalagam Uthsavam (household quarrel between the Lord and His consort) takes place that is wonderfully enacted by Arayar swamy.. The conversations  between Namperumal and Ranganayaki Thayar are  communicated through Arayar swami (for Namperumal) and through Pandari swami (for Ranganayaki Thayar) and they never face each other during this  kalagam Utsavam .  

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The Lord pleads innocence  and tries to appease  the goddess  in many ways but all his submission is outrightly rejected .   Few questions asked by Goddess  make this  utsavam very interesting …

Goddess questions  Lord  about  his scratch marks on His Thirukkazuthu (neck) and  reason for  His Thirukkangal (eyes) becoming  so red. She also asks why His Thiruman kappu  ( Tilak ) and His Thirukkuzal (hair) are all messed up. She also goes on to ask Him why His Thiruvadharam (lips) are white and  why He has kungumappoo (Saffron powder) all over his Thirumeni (body), His ThiruvadigaL (lotus feet) are red. Hence, She says that She was very unhappy because of HIS indifference to her .

The Lord  out of divine love  responds back to each question.

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Being   the protector of the universe (Jagadhrakshakan),   riding the horse  in the night   and fighting against all evil  forces to protect His devotees and  thus the  eyes were red.

Hair locks are messed up because of the fierce winds while galloping on the horse.

His Thiruman kappu had dissolved because of the harsh sun rays.

His lips were white because He had to fight against the asuras (demons) to protect the the devathas.

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His neck was all scratched by thorns while He was riding through thick forests to fight the Asuras.

He continues  further  , that His legs were red because He had to ride the horse with His feet in the stirrup and finally

He has kungumappoo all over His body because the Devathas praised Him after His victorious campaign by showering Him with flowers.

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Thus, He   submits that He was late because of all the battles He had to wage with the Asuras and due to this calamity   lost the ring in the river Kollidam while   returning.

He had to get a new ring and some flowers before he  meets  Her.

This caused Him to be late.

Goddess    is still not convinced and   refuses all His gifts and flowers and  commands  him to never come inside and return back to Uraiyur  where HE had been  a couple of days ago.

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Lord Namperumal with a very innocent look replies saying that He doesn’t know  the place called Uraiyur and has never been there. Ranganayaki Thayaar asks the Lord to prove His statements.

To prove his innocence  Lord offers to put His hands in a vessel full of snakes ,

cross any ocean  of Goddess choice ,

and offered to promise on His devotees that He has never seen Uraiyur.

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Sri Ranga Nachiyar rebukes HIS explanations.   He, the one who sleeps on a bed of Adhi Sesha  ( Serpent bed ) would never be harmed by any snakes. He, the one who lies in the great milk ocean (ThiruppArkadal) and for whom the river Yamuna parted to let Him through as baby Krishna will have no problem crossing any ocean. Also, HE, whose lotus feet are sought after by all His devotees would never be betrayed by them. Unmindful , she exhibits her  annoyance of Pranayakalpa by  throwing  milk, curd, butter and flowers on Him .

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Lord Ranganatha now pleads  innocently then says that He has come to meet Her after going through such difficulties and She is not letting Him in. He says He feels very depressed and embarrassed as She shut the door in His face. The Lord says – “andha avamanam umakku andri yamakku illai” meaning “this embarrassment is not for me but for you.”

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Seeing the Lord is feeling very sad,  our  great  Nammazwaar, acts as the mediator and approaches  mother Sri Ranganayaki and says that if the supreme Lord and Goddess  are upset against each other, then that would be the end of all known universe (Pralayam).

hariHe requests  Mother and  prays that  the Lord is for all and She has to understand that He is sought after by all and so She should be able to let Her Azhagiya MaNavalan go to His devotees too  as well for granting their prayers  and uplift them finally  So, He humbly requests that Sriranganachiyar forgive the Lord and allow Him to enter Her premises.

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Goddess Ranganayaki   understands Nammazwars reasoning and commands Her assistants to let Her Lord  enter inside.  Lord Ranganatha and Ranganayaki come together and exchange garlands, Kasturi Thilakam, turmeric and necklaces  making a benchmark of a  divine couple .
As soon as the door is opened, Lord  Azhagiya Manavalan is delighted and rushes  in to be with His consort. A beautiful scene transpires here.

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The Lord does not go immediately to our Sri Ranganayaki  sannidhi . But rather goes to the mudhal mandapam and stands there, as if to ascertain whether our Thayar has really accepted and forgiven him.  Lord sends his vastram  across to Thayar, which is accepted  by the Thayar. After this the Lord then directly heads towards and Thayar Sannidhi and then he seats directly across Sri Ranganayaki Thayar. Now our Aranganathan looks at our Lokamatha  Thayar’s eyes directly as if to ask “why did you make me go through this struggle” and Thayar in turn asks him “Why did you go away without telling me”.

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At this point of time other than the Sri Ranganayaki’s Archakas and our Sriranganathan’s Archakas, no one is allowed to be present. Thus sweet conversation takes place between our  Lord Aranganthan and Ranganyaki Thayar as it would take place between any husband and wife. After they have talked for a long time, our Azagiya manavalan asks Thayars permission to go and complete the Panguni uthram thirunal as several devotees are waiting.  Thayar replies that how can she let him without having performed any upacharam. She then gets delicious and sumptuous “Akkara adasil” ( Sweet pudding )   prepared for him, with copious amount of milk, rice, dhal ( lentils ) , jaggery and lots pure ghee.

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Both our  Lordships now grace  together and have the delicious “Akara adisil” ! The happiness of the Lord and   Thayar can be seen in the eyes of lord who cannot take his eyes away from the Thayar! After this beautiful sight, the lord then decides to head towards the beautifully renovated Panguni Uthram mandapam. As soon as our Azagiya manavalan reaches the mandapam in the afternoon, our Thayar immediately, but silently and surreptitiously enters the mandapam as if she doesnt want anybody to talk about or ask her about what  had happened .

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After this the Lord and Ranganayaki Thayar  give darsanam to several devotees who have thronged to see them. It has to be mentioned that here only the Thayar is adorned with a garland and not then Lord himself! Also, Namperumal doesn’t face the audience but looks uninterruptedly at Thayar.

The  recitation of the Gadhya Thrayam begins at about 11 P.M. . Those heavenly chants fill the air with beatitude and immense happiness. At this time the whole srirangam is very festive and people make sweets and savories as if there is a marriage in their own house.After all, it is a happy and beautiful unification between the Royal couple! The Gadhya Thrayam starts with the chant of “Vaikunta Gadhyam” and then proceeds with the “Sri RangaGadhyam” and at last ends with the beautiful chant of the “Sarangadhi gadhyam”!

Lord Namperumal (Sri Ranganathar) and Peria pirattlar (Sriranga nachiar) are seated together. Lord (naMperumAL) is standing majestically as usual and more beautiful and graceful today due to the compassionate looking pirAtti and is enjoying the beauty of Her Lord without taking Her eyes off Him even for a second This was the right opportunity for LokaAcharyar Swami Ramanuja to ask for favors from our DIVINE PARENTS.

He submits to the LOTUS FEET through his divine outpourings Gadyatrayam. Swamy Ramanuja worshipping them, submits his deep fear of samsara (association with the body in a cycle of births) and begs the Lord to save him. Swamy Ramanuja surrendered his all to the Lord and begged Him to be his sole savior. In the Three Gadyaas, Swamy Ramanuja’s prayed swamies innermost feelings of deep devotion to the Lord break all restrictions and flow freely towards the Lord and His consort.

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These are prima facie a spontaneous outburst of devotional experience and not coldly labored compositions. The inner voice of the devotee addresses Sri and the Lord and they do reply clearly through the same inner voice. In the Saranagati gadya, Swamy Ramanuja first addresses Sri as the mother of the Universe, as his own mother, and as the loving consort of his Lord, and seeks her intercession on his behalf. This is itself a saranagati addressed to the mother.

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Happy at being addressed this, Sri replies ‘So be it’; “let your prapathi bear the proper fruit of being accepted as a devoted servant” The commentators have it that this assurance is not only for the Acharya but for all his spiritual progeny. The boon that Lord granted to Swamy Ramanuja applies to his spiritual heirs. It is worth noting that once he gets the assurance from Sri of her sure mediation, he addresses himself directly to the Lord seeking Him as the sole savior. The LokAcharya then addresses the Lord speaking of His incomparable glory, “His immense wealth, His power, His retinue, His divine weapons, His beautiful ornaments, His loving consorts, of His infinite compassion and other admirable qualities words which are a rhapsody of devout fervor which can come only from the very depth of a realized soul. Swamy Ramanuja holds out prapathi as the highest message he had for his followers.

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The Sriranga gadyam is a shorter piece and is essentially the same as the Saranagati gadyam. It is addressed directly to Sriranganatha. ” Sriranganatha! mama natha! namostu te” are the words of the acharya. To the seeker of salvation who has taken to the path of Prapathi, it is essential that he should spend his time in devoted service of the lord; in serving his devotees; by meditating on Him and singing His praise; by repeatedly uttering the Dvaya mantra (this is an enjoyable and sweet pastime).

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The acharya gives expression to all these, briefly, in confidence to the lord at Srirangam. His intention is that this short text may be repeated easily in the presence of the Lord by devotees intent on the fruit prayed for.    Immensely pleased , Lord assures Swamy Ramanuja that  He and all his disciples will be surely uplifted for attaining the paramaporul Moksha for sure . Later, Thirumanjanam to Namperumal and Thayar are performed for 18 times.  This signifies Sri Ramanujar’s visit to Thirugoshtiyur to learn the dwayam mantra artham.  All the upacharams are performed for 18 times.

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 Later, saatrumarai goshti is done at Udayavar (Ramanujar’s )sannidhi in the early hours.  At about 7 A.M. the next day, Perumal reluctantly leaves thayar and goes back on Goratham.

After all this, the Lord then requests Thayar’s permission to go and complete the remaining procession. At this request, our Ranganayaki thayar’s face drops and looks downcast, which indicates her reluctance to part with  the Lord at this point of time. But ,  thayar then mentions that First she will leave and return back to her Moolasthanam after which the Lord can start.

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This shows the patience, forbearance and the humility of our beloved Thayar. The Lord then starts to leave towards the “Goratham (Chariot), before which  he peeps into Sri Ranganyaki Thayrs sannidhi, as if to take a glimpse of his beloved wife and say “Bye” before proceeding . After this the Lord starts for the procession.  Anywhere in the world a woman has to undergo lot of troubles and hardships and still put  up a smile to make everyone in her family happy.

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 On Panguni Uthiram day, only Thayar sannidhi is kept open and it is not possible to have Sri Ranganathar(moolavar) darsanam on that day.

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All adiyars know that the Lord and Thayar are above all such domestic quarrels taking place in our lives all the time. We also know that He is the fountainhead of all things in the universe and there is nothing like He  should  be going after several  women  etc. when He himself is paramporul ( The ultimate )  . Secondly  the big question  will Thayar ever quarrel with the Lord? So what is the significance ??

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Elders clarify that  the significance of all this drama is that Namperumal and Thayar are doing a play act to demonstrate to ordinary mortals like us how to run the household with harmony in the face of upsets. They also show the deep love ,  mercy  and  compassion  true ladies have and why we have to give the ladies great respect and exalted position in our society. Azhwar describes Srirangam as the abode of the supreme Lord who had sixteen thousand devi’s (as he married all of them in His Krishnavataram by their  deep devotion and request ). When he has already taken sixteen thousand consorts which Sri Rukmini Devi whole heartedly accepted, where is the question of getting upset about one Kamalavalli nachiyar? of Uraiyur . Our   Perumal is Paramatma and the jivatmas represented by Thayar are all wedded to Paramatma with Thayar doing the purushakaaram(bridge between Perumal and the fallen souls)

Andal nachiyar explains:-
“Peyyu ma mukil pol vanna, un pechum seikaium engalai
Maiyal erri mayakka un mukam maya mandiram than kolo”

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Hey, dark skinned Lord, your words, acts and your innocent looking face are all designed to cast a spell over us. The Lord will always cast his spell over His devotees to protect them. And Maya Jagan Mohini Thayar always  assists Him in his spell!

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When the Lord knows that Nachityar is upset with him, He is planning to pacify her indicating thereby that all of us should try earnestly to take care of the ladies’ concerns.

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In this entire drama, what stands out is the “Paraspara Anyonyam” of the Divya Dampathis. When Thayar is angry Lord understands and adopts a seemingly submissive posture. And Thayar relents when overlooking the fact that it is the only day in a year she is with Him and He has been to another nachiyar. She sets an example of kindness and  forgiveness  for all the womenfolk.

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When Thayar allows Lord  to enter Her Sannadhi, He at first stops at first mantapam and sends His Vastram to her. He does not rush in all the way. Thayar also understands His intention and accepts the vastram. She knows He will be hungry and gets a sumptuous Akkara Adisil  ( sweet pudding) prepared for Him. In these days of hurried life when both the partners sometime go to work, can you imagine such understandings  . Later She silently follows Him so that the devotees do not smell any difference between them! It is truly amazing that Divya Dhampathis had set examples which are relevant even today………

Arangan Vazhga,     Arangamaanagar Vazhga

Let Lord Ranganatha protect us    Let Shri Ranganachiyar bless us always …

Sri Ranga MangaLa nidhim karuna nivAsam
Sri Venkatadhri SikharAlaya KaaLamegham
Sri Hastigiri Siksrojvala Paarijatham
Sreesam namAmi Sirasa yadhusaila dheepam
Seeking the Lotus feet of Narayana

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ENN AMUDHINAI KANDA KANGAL MATRU ONDRAIYUM KAANAVEY

Kaveri Viraja Seyam Vaikuntam Rangamandiram,
Sri Vasudevo Rangesaha, Prathyaksham paramam patham
Vimanam Pranavakaram, Vedasrungam mahadbhutham
SriRangasayi bhagavan pranavaartha prakasakaha!

May the Lord and Thayar bless all devotees with such anyonyam. Let the  eyes which have seen the Supreme Lord who ate plenty of butter and who has conquered my heart view nothing else.

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Adiyen must have committed apacharas in expressing this wonderful utsavam which is due to adiyens mandha budhee and seeks forgivance to all the bhagavathas who are reading this ..

Vachaka Dhosham Kashamikkavaum………….

Adapted from Sriman Narasimha bhattar article ..
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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At Tirumala …. Lord Venkateshwara Abhisheka vaibhavam …….. VenkaTAdri samam sthAnam brahmANDe nAsti kinchana …venkateSa samo devo …. na bhUto na bhaviSyati……..

This gallery contains 16 photos.


Originally posted on kazhiyur varadan's web blog:
 The Lord of the seven hills is the Lord of the universe. The special significance of Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala lies in the fact that it is the oldest religious institutions…

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The Lord who obeyed his dear devotee Tirumazhisai Azhwar request .. …..”Sonna VaNNAm Seyytha Perumal”.


Thirumazhisai is a holy place located equidistant to Kancheepuram , Mahabalipuram and Mylapur in the present  chengelpet district ( Tamilnadu) . This place is very famous for  Lord Jagganatha Perumal temple .  The holy place  has  cool streams  fruit and flower grooves yielding abundant fruits.  The  blossoming flowers all through makes it  a  perfect place for a  nature  lover .

Long Shot of Main Gopuram

Several seers , sages , nomadic saints , bhikshukas relax and perform penance at  this place for eternal peace .

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In such an wonderful place , Thirumazhisai Azhwar appeared  much earlier than the advent of Kaliyuga .( The appearance day being today ( Maasi Magam ) 

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 It is believed , Azhwar lived for almost 300 years glorifying the Lordships .

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Thirumazhisai Azhwar was a junior contemporary of the foremost Azhwars Pogai , Pey and Bhudath Azhwar  who laid a solid foundation for vishistadvaita long long ago .

 

Azhwar was brought up by his foster parents at Thirumazhisai . It is believed Azhwar left them at a very young age  and practiced Ashtanga Yoga .

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With the main aim of seeking absolute truth  he performed severe austerities and penances . He studied and practiced  all religious ideas  existed during those days  Jainism , Buddhism , Carvaka etc one by one until he got disillusioned with each of them . Slowly he came into the fold of saivism through a siddar and  started practicing their faith .  He was given a name Sivavakyar . However his search to the absolute truth was not finished . It so happened  by divine will he happened to see the effulgence of  Pey Azhwar  at Kanchipuram.

Thirumazhisai Azhvar Utsavar

Peyazhwar was maintaining a garden and  Siva Vakyar used to pass that way. Keen to know the secrets of the divine knowledge , both used to discuss about the faith they followed and wanted to conclude  about the ultimate truth . Peyazhwar decided to practically demonstrate the absolute truth to his friend .

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One day Peyazhwar took a weak rope with knots and a pot with holes .He drew water from the well through this pot  and poured it to the  plants that he planted upside down.

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Siva Vakyar  saw this  strange act and was surprised to see PeyAzhwar’s behaviour  . Peyazhwar asked him why  was he disturbed  . Thirumazhisai  replied   Holy Sire ! I am surprised with your strange act!  being so learned  ,  How will the purpose of watering the plants serve in this method , as the plant is planted upside down and the pot that contained  holes will water the plants?

 Peyazhwar  was glad  that he had started pondering over the truth   .Peyazwar told him that the rope was the example for his Atma which is searching through different faiths  to find the Absolute truth ,  but  has not succeeded in its search for the truth and still going on searching wasting precious time .

  Peyazhwar further explained , My dear young man , Our ancestors had explained in the following verse“ Thirumaal is like the root of the plant and is  the only ParamporuL.

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From the root only , the  leaves, branches, flowers and fruits appear . Similarly all the demigods  took forms only from the root and so they might wither away at some time or other.

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Hence it is poor understanding  to think that the other parts of the plant are superior to the root, meaning without the root the plant cannot survive.  “Persons engaged in the worship of demigods are not  clear , although such worship is indirectly offered to Me.” For example, when water is poured  on the leaves and branches of a tree instead  on the root, he does so without sufficient knowledge or without observing regulative principles. The process of watering a tree is to pour water on the root. Similarly, the process of rendering service to different parts of the body is to supply food to the stomach. The demigods are, so to speak, different directors in the government of the Supreme Lord. One has to follow the laws made by the government only , not by the others . Similarly, everyone is to offer his worship to the Supreme Lord only. That will automatically satisfy the different  demigods who are working under the  the Lord.

Peyazwar’s explanation put Siva Vakyar in deep thought. He realized that he was still searching for the true knowledge , but couldn’t find it. He requested Peyazhwar to accept him as his disciple.  Peyazhwar  named  him Bhaktisaara . He started following vaishnavism and serving Peyazhwar  for more lessons  .

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Later he took leave of Peyazhwar and went on divya desa yathra. After visiting few divya desams he went  back to Thiruvekka ( Kancheepuram) and stayed there. Kanikannan  a devotee , requested  Bhaktisarar  to accept him as his disciple. Azhwar accepted him as his disciple.

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 It so happened  at Thiruvekka in his ashram an old lady used to come and clean his place, and perform small service to him. One day she prayed him that being old she felt that she may not be able to serve him longer and regretted for joining this pious service after becoming old.

Azhwar was touched with her devotion and sincerity and blessed her regain her youth .

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One day the king of  Kanchi happened to see this lady who was so beautiful after Azhwars blessings. He instantly fell in love with her. He married her and took her to his palace.

As years rolled by the king was becoming old, but his wife was as young as she was when he got her married. He asked her what was the secret and she  revealed about Azhwar’s blessings.

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.She suggested the King to ask  the disciple KaNaikaNNan to request Azhwar  to be invited to the palace. . The king sent for KaNIkaNNan and told him to summon  Azhwar and compose a verse in his praise and to restore his youth.

KaNikaNNan  replied .. Oh  King …. Azhwar would never  compose verses praising mortals. Azhwar will only glorify the   Lordships and no one else ..and cannot  accept his request ..

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 The King  orders both of   them  to leave the kingdom immediately. KaNikaNNan informs  Azhwar all that had happened.  Azhwar decides to leave the kingdom with his disciple . He submits to   Lord  to join along with them . He prays with the verse ….

kanikannan pogindran kamuru punkachi
Manivanna Ni kidaka Vendi Thunivudaya
Chennapulaven naanum Poogindren Neeyum
Undan Pinaga payeyi Churuttikoll…..

meaning … Kanikannan is going out of Kanchi O! Manivanna, You don’t have to lie here anymore. Since, as the fluent poet that I am also leaving with him, you also roll your serpent bed and follow me” And, accordingly all of them left Kanchipuram and  stayed at Orikai for one night.

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Lo presto! What a surprise! The Lord obeyed his true devotee’s order, He got up and followed his devotees out of the city, folding His snake-bed and sticking it under arm.

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The next moment the whole city  is plunged into darkness .. The king is  frightened  with the calamities about to happen . He quickly summons  his ministers for immediate remedy. The ministers explain his blunder in committing a grave offence on an advanced  devotee  and said  it was a grave sin expelling the saint .  They advised there  was no other alternative, but to go and ask for his pardon and beseech him to come back.

The king along with his courtiers reached the place Orikai  where Azhwar and KaNikaNNan were staying for the night.  The King  fell at their feet and begged them to return to the city.

Azhwar forgiving the king accepts to return back . He once  again requests  the Lord to return….

Kannikannan pokoindan kamaru punkachi
Manivanna Ni kidaka Vendi Thunivudaya
Chennapulavan Nanuum pokoindan Neeyum
Undan Pinaga Payeyi Virithu Koll…..

Meaning …. ” Kanikannan has changed his mind and rescind his decision to leave Kanchi. Since, as the fluent poet that I am also returning with him, You may also return and lie down on your serpent bed as before”

All of them return accordingly and Kanchipuram regains its lost glory.

Since the Lord obeyed  as he was told by the Azhwar, he  is glorified as  ‘Yatotkari’ and ‘Sonna vannam Seitha Perumal’-meaning ‘the Lord who acted as told’

 From then onwards the Lord got the name Sonna VaNNAm Seytha Perumal and in Sanskrit Yathokthakari.  This divine incident had been glorified by Arunagirinatar and Kumaragurupanar both devotees of Paramasivan and Skandar in their works  .

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The place they stayed for the night got the name…(Orikkai ) Oriravu Irukkai and at present is known as Orikkai where a Mani Mandapam is erected. 

Poigai Azhwar, Peyazhwar,Thirumzhisai Azhwar, Nammazhwar and Thirumangai Azhwar have sung in praise of the Lord here. KOMALAVALLI thayar is the consort. Sri Vedantha Desikar had composed his VEHHA SETHU STOTRAM glorified the Lord here.

 It is said , Swami Manavala Mamunigal gave discourses on Sri Bhashyam in this beautiful  temple for one  year.  Swamy  in  preaching posture graces the devotees .

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 A special feature of Thirumazhisai Azhwar at the Jagannatha Perumal temple in Kancheepuram is that he is seen with a third eye. Thirumazhisai Azhwar  later  moved to Thiru Kudanthai ( Kumbakonam ) and glorified the Lord there .

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 Thirumazhisai Azhwar’s contribution to the Nalayira Divya Prabhandham includes over 200 verses (Naanmugan Thiruvanthaathi and Thiruchandha Viruththam) of praise.  It is construed , Azhwar expresses after thoroughly convincing himself about the futility of all the other faiths of his first hand experience and affirms LORD  SRIMAN NARAYANA is the supreme and absolute reality .

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The second composition “Thiruchandha Viruththam” has 120 pasurams which is included in the first thousand of the DivyaPrabhandam . The composition is so charming that the chanter is tempted to swoon himself to the lilting chants coming out naturally in the divine composition . The rhythm goes like  tana tana tana tana tana tana Tanana…

 

Makhayam makare mase     Chakramsam bhargavodbhavam

Mahisara puradhisam     bhakthisara maham bhaje

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Azhwar Thiru adigale sharanam
Sonna VaNNam Seytha PerumaL ThiruvadikaLe SaraNam!

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics : Credits Google images

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Thiru Adhyayana Utsavam Vaibhavam..The recitation of the “4000 Divya Prabhandams” ..


Thiru Adhyayana Utsavam  is  an enlightening  festival  for all  vaishnavas   and is  an assembly of devotees   reciting of Vedic Verses.  This  divine incident is celebrated as the  Thiru Adhyayana Utsavam in all the  Sri Vaishnava temples  starting on Margazhi Amavasai  ( Dec-Jan ) with the Divya Prabhandam pasurams of  Thirunedunthandakam (10 days before Vaikunta Ekadashi).

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The 4000 Divya Prabandham  are the out pouring of the Azhwars who appeared in various divyadesams   few  thousand  year ago as per the divine command  of Lord Sriman Narayana  and composed the divine pasurams which all srivaishnavas make it a law  to recite .

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The  Divya Prabhandham has 4000 divine verses (Pasurams) and is  the Dravida Vedam   popularly glorified  as “Nalaayiram Divya Prabhandam “  in Tamil.  It is also  glorified as  Dravida Tamil Veda.

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 Once at Srirangam the capital of Srivaishnavas , the last of twelve    Azhwars ,  Thirumangai Azhwar sang one of his divine prabhanda       (Thiru-Nedun-Thaandakam ) glorifying Lord Ranganathar .

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 Lord  was pleased by  Azhwar’s recitation and thus  granted two boons to Thirumangai Azhwar.

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The Azhwar  overjoyed ,  prayed Lord Ranganatha for his  grace  in giving equal status  to the 4000 Divya Prabhandams in terms of authority as Vedas.  He also pleaded audience in listening to the divine pasurams of   Swami NammAzhwar  which was granted .

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 Azhwar  overjoyed  with Lord Ranganathar’s command proceeded to Azhwar Thirunagari from Srirangam with his followers  on Thirukarthigai in Karthika month(Nov-Dec) to Azhwar Thirunagari    to invite Swamy Nammazhwar to srirangam.  It was almost 350 kms travelling from Azhwar Thirunagari (which is in Tirunelveli) to Srirangam  .

The day  when Thirumangai Azhwar along with Swami Nammazhwar arrived  at Sri Rangam was  Vaikunta Ekadasi.

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 Swamy Nammazhwar was received with due honors   and  was  adorned with Muthangi seva and  Namperumal with Rathnangi.  Thus this divine festival was conducted with pomp and show  singing  Lord’s kalyana gunas . Starting from  Vaikunta Ekadasi  succeeding   next nine days, Azhwar along with the devotees  recited Swami Nammazhwar’s  Thiruvamozhi  in  the royal presence  of  Lord Ranganathar. This was followed for several years…

However after Thirumangai Azhwar disappearance , the practice was slowly  overlooked  .

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It was  JagathAcharyar Swami Ramanujar, who started the practice  once again.  And as the practice of welcoming  Swami Nammazhwar’s Thirumeni from Azhwar Thirunagari was cumbersome ,

Swamy Nammazhwar Thirumeni  ( deity ) was installed  with all the purificatory rites  at Srirangam itself  .

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Swamy Ramanujar  further   advised  to glorify Lord’s Kalyana gunas by reciting the entire Naalayirum Divya Prabhandam  and hence added ten days before the Ira Paththu and called them Pagal Paththu.    These ten days, the divya sukthees  of other Azhwars  are  recited.

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As a mark of recognition to Thirumangai Azhwar’s divine service , the day before the Pagal Paththu Uthsavam first day, Namperumal listens to Thirumangai Azhwar’s  ThiruNedunthandagam pasurams .

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 It is also said that  Swamy Parasara Bhattar in the process of  bringing  the great Vedanti Madhavacharyar  in  srivaishnava fold won a debate and  thus convinced him  joining  our sampradaya by   the  esoteric truths contained in the thirty verses of Azhvar’s “thirunedundhaaNdhakam”.

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Upon Bhattar’ triumphant return to Srirangam, Lord Ranganatha asked Bhattar how he was able to defeat the great  scholar . Bhattar explained that it was through the Thirunedundhaandakam.  It happened to be one day before the pagal patthu arambham,  and hence  in Srirangam, there is a special recitation of the Thirunedundhaandakam before the regular Adhyayana utsavam begins, because of Bhattar’s great service in  bringing  “Nanjeeyar” to our sampradaya . The great festival started as ten days festival by Azhwar and was later  celebrated  as Twenty one day festival  (+one day for ThiruNedunthandagam) by  Swami Ramanuja.

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Unlike other Divyadesams Thiru Adhyayana Utsavam is celebrated for  23 days in Tirumala. This is  usually held from the night of AmAvAsya preceding Vaikunta Ekadasi in Dhanurmasa.  In the absence of  Swamy Nammalwar’s deity  at Tirumala, the vigraha of Nammalwar’s Acharya Sri Senapathi Alwar  along with Swamy Ramanuja conduct this festival . 

Lord  Venkateshwara  exclusively listens to Ramanuja Nootrandhadhi on the last day as a mark of respect to the great acharyar who offered Thiru sankhu chakram to the Lord of the Universe and thus re-established  sri vaishnavism. The Lord thus fulfilled Anantazhwan’s, (the dearest disciple of Swamy Ramanuja) desire to have sannidhi for Ramanujar and honour our JagathAcharyar .

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To  equate the Divya Prabhandams with the Vedas Adhyayana and Anadhyayana kalams are issued as in the Vedas and   during a specific period (during a year) they are not chanted  and this period is  called Anadhyayana kalam .

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Also another reason cited by elders is that during  Swami Nammazhwar  journey from Azhwar Thirunagari to Sri Rangam most of the devotees were in the process of welcoming  Nammazhwar and the troupe carrying the Lordships and the euphoria was focussed at one place . The devotees of  Azhwar Thirunagari  waited for Swamy Nammazhwar to  return from Srirangam before they resumed the chanting of  the divya prabhandam  which happened to take some time and when they arrived it was almost  one month Thai Hasta Nakshatra  the appearance day of the most advanced srivaishnava Acharya Sri Koorathazhwan.

The Anadhyayana kaalam (period of non-recital of prabhandham) is observed from Karthigaiyil Karthikai(from Karthika Pournami) to Thai Hastam(which happens to be Sri Kooratazhwan’s appearance day).  This is observed   in houses of  all Sri vaishnavas . During the 21 days around Vaikunta Ekadasi, prabhandham is recited in temples only.  During this time, srivaishnavas at home glorify acharyars works like Naalayira Thanians, Desikar prabhandam , upadesarathinamalai , thiruvamozhi nootrandadi, Aarthi prabhandham etc.

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Photos  credits : Sri Vakulabharan ,  Sri kesava bhasyam and other advanced devotees

video  credits :   with humble  obeisances to sri kesavabhashyam

 

 

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Salvation is won not by bargain but by grace alone .. a divine pastime …


To reaffirm the faith of HIS devotees,  LORD conversed with  HIS devotees  time to time . There are three incidents which our Elders keep saying about the compassion of the LORD in temples .

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At  Tirumala – Tirupathi,  Lord Venkateshwara  used to converse with the King Thondaman Chakravarthy .  In Kancheepuram, Lord Vardarajar used to converse with his  dear devotee  Swamy Tirukachi Nambigal who used to fan him daily . Similarly at Srirangam  Lord Ranganathar used to converse with  “Tiruvilakku pichan”the temple servant who used to light the lamps in the temple . It is a general practice all the devotees surrender to LORD and express their gratitude pain and love for the LORD in this material world.   Few devotees develop extremely intimate relationship with the Lord conversing   freely  and interact almost daily  treating him as a  human friend.

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Few decades ago , in the holy shrine of Tirumala there lived a devotee by the Chinnaya .He was a favorite devotee of Lord Srinivasa .He  used to enter the temple sanctum and sing  songs  with devotional fervor which was liked by Lord . He wished LORD would dance to his tunes as done in Krishna avatara  and the  songs had that depth to invite LORD to dance . His prayers were sincere .He wished to have darshan of Lord Krishna dancing .

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Lord out of abundant compassion appeared and granted him his desire .HE  danced to the tunes of the singer . Chinnaya was overwhelmed with Lord’s  kindness .He continued to  sing hymns and enjoy the divine time with Lord  .

Swamy Ramanuja came to know about this ardent devotee through his disciples  .Once it so happened ,he  met him  near the temple .He inquired about his welfare and  asked  Chinnaya  to kindly ascertain from the Lord whether he ( Swamy Ramanuja) may hope for Moksha ( Liberation ) .

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Channaya agreed .

The next day Chinnaya  walked inside the temple and sang  a wonderful composition ..and Lord arrived , and  reverently  submitted  Swamy Ramanuja’s petition.

Lord  answered

Certainly !! he shall be saved …

There was a another question …

And I …Lord ?asked Chinnaya …….with more confidence ……..

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NO!………………… My child replied the LORD

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But ..Lord !!! Have I not sung to Thee all these days ?

Lord smiled and replied ……………………………………

True !! and so I danced to the tunes too ..as often as you sang ..

Lord ! Then I am undone … Pray …Show me the way of salvation …

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By no means I can imagine to miss salvation ..

The Lord answered ..

My child …

Go to the Acharya who made you ask  me this question ..

Our Ramanuja and seek HIS holy feet for your salvation …………………….

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He is the  Acharyar who can grant you salvation .

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Chinnaya rushed to the Ashram and seeked  Swamy  Ramanuja’s lotus feet …

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This incident illustrates that Salvation is won not by bargain but by grace alone ..

Our daily chant is ” RamanujArya divyAgya vardhatAm abhi vardhatAm. ” It is only HE who can command and all our acharyas and we follow his command .

Swamy Ramanuja is the only acharya who is referred with utmost  respect  and followed by  all other schools in vaishnavism like chaitanya, vallabhacharya, Swamy narayan as the margadayee .

 Uyya Ore Vazhi Udayavar Thiurvadi!

(only way for spiritual upliftment is to take refuge in Yathiraja Padhuka

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics : Courtesy Google images

videos : Sriman Uday kiran 

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Malainadu Divyadesam.. (at Kerala) “Thirumoozhikalam”.Sri Lakshmana Perumal temple …..


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Out Of the 108 Divya desams, 13 divya desams are categorised as Malai Naatu divyadesams. (Kerala Divya desams), even though 2 of those 13 divyadesams are in Tamil Nadu today.

Malai nadu divya desams are  classified due to its location   mostly located in Kerala that  are scattered from North to South Kerala.

Introduction to the Kerala Divya desams are appended in the below post 

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/an-introduction-to-kerala-divyadesams-malai-nadu-divyadesams/

A brief note about the nearest town /city from where these  holy temples can be accessed is given below

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North Kerala: Thiruvithuvakodu near  Pattambi  and Thirunaavai   near Kuttipuram can be accessed along with Guruvayur. 

1) Thiruvithuvacode:– popularly known as “Anjhu murthy kovil” on Shoranur-Kallikatai rail route. Bus from Pattambi to Kootupatha ( app one hour bus drive) and from there to take an auto to go to temple.

2) Thirunaavai :– Shoranur -Kuttipuram bus route.  Bus from Guruvayoor to Kuttipuram and from there another bus to Thirunaavai  (app. travel time 2.5 hours by bus)

The travel time from Thiruvithuvakodu to Thirunaavai is about one hour by car. Guruvayur is about 40 minutes drive from Thirunaavai and as the temple closes at 1 P.M., we can  visit this temple a bit late

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Central Kerala:– Thirumoozhikalam,Thirukatkarai near Ernakulam; Aranmula, Thiruvanvandoor, Thirukodithanam, Thirupuliyur, Thiruchenkundroor (popularly known as Pancha Pandava prathista temples) and Thiruvallavaazh can be accessed from Chenganoor. 

These temples are located in different directions from Chenganoor and can be covered within 7 hours(to start very early)

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3) Thirumoozhikalam:– In Alwaye-Ernakulam bus route- 7 kms from Kaladi road and 12 kms from Alwaye. Take bus from Ernakulam to Alwaye-Change bus to Edapally at Alwaye .  From Edapally take an auto to go to the temple. Total travel time app. 1.5 hours

4) Thirukaatkarai:- Take bus from Alwaye-Thirukatkarai and from there auto to go to temple which is about 3 kms away.(travel time app 1 hour)

Ernakulam-Chenganoor travel time is app. 2.5 hours.  Six divya desams can be accessed from Chenganoor

5) Thiruchitraaru(Dharman temple)- 2 kms from Chenganoor station

6) Thirupuliyur (Bhiman temple)- 6 kms west of Chenganoor/ 16 kms from Aaranmula

7) Thiruvaranvilai/Aaranmula(Arjunan temple)-10 kms from Chenganoor

8) Thiruvanvandoor (Nakulan temple) -4 kms north of Chenganoor

9) Thirukodithanam(Sahadevan temple) – 2 miles east of Chenganachery  on Thiruvalla-Kottayam road

10) Thiruvallavaazh- one hour by bus from Chenganoor

 South Kerala:- Thiruvananthapuram and the 2 malai nadu temples in Tamilandu namely, Thiruvataaru and Thiruvanparisaaram can be visited together.

11) Thiruvananthapuram:– 1 km from Trivandrum railway station

12) Thiruvaataru:- Trivandrum to Nagercoil bus , change at Thakalai / by car 40 kms short cut

13) Thiruvanparisaaram– 4 kms from Nagercoil/ 40 kms from Thirukurungudi

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The Lord who graced  Sri sooktham (Thiru mozhi) to  Sri Haritha maharishi and who is fondly addressed as “Appan” by  Swamy Nammazhwar and as “lord of devas” by Tirumangai Azhwar gives darshan on the banks of Bharatapuzha river as Sri Sookthinathar/ Thirumoozhikalathan in this Kerala divya desam which is 12 kms from Alwaye in Ernakulam-Thrissur route.

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This divya desam is located about 12 kms from Aluvai/Alwaye  near Ernakulam(40 kms)  and can be reached either by bus or by car.  This place can also be accessed from Karikutti railway station which is about 5 kms and also from Angamaali.  We visited this temple on 15th December morning after having darshan at Thirukaatkarai. (It may take about 4-5 days to cover Kerala divya desams if  travelling by public mode of transport and about 2 days by car. )

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Lord Srisuktinathar (also glorified  as Thirumozhikalathaan) gives darshan in standing posture facing east under Soundarya vimanam.  Lord  holds sankhu in HIS upper  left hand and Prayoga chakram in upper  right hand, HIS lower left hand placed on HIS hip and holds gada with HIS lower right hand.  The Lord  adorned with a silver kavacham, attracts all of us with HIS smiling face and benevolent glance .

The Goddess   Maduraveni Thayar adorns Perumal’s thirumaarbhu(chest).There is no separate sanctum   for Thayar .  The theertham is known as Sankhu theertham named after  Bharata who is an amsam of Shankhu and also as Perunkulam as Lakshmana who is considered as Adiseshan had bath and as Chitraaru as it is a small stream.

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This temple was constructed by Lakshmana swamy  to atone for the sin of suspecting his brother Bharatha . As  he committed this unknowingly under a saints advise he constructed this temple  and hence the temple is more popularly known as “Lakshmana Swamy temple”.

Likewise, the divyadesams around Chenganoor are popularly known by the names of Pandavas as they were instrumental  for constructing them.

 For ex., Imayavarappan temple at Thiruchenkundroor is known as “Dharmar/Yudhistira temple,

Mayappiran temple at Kuttanadu Tirupuliyur is known as “Bhiman temple”,

Parthasarathy temple at Aaranmula as Arjunan temple,

Pambanaippan temple at Tiruvanvandoor as Nakulan temple,

Athputha Narayanan temple at  Thirukodithanam as Sahadeva temple..

On the left side of the sanctum while circumbulating, we see a small door with no  deities inside it. It is believed that  Lord SitaRamar are being worshiped  there by Lakshmana Swamy  for whom  Lord SitaRamar was everything.   For Lakshmanaswamy  , Lord Srirama was “Unnum sorum, parugu neerum, thinnum vetrilaiy “.

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The priest  accepted our plate of offerings and carefully adorned the Lord with the vastram and performed archana to the Lordships along with our yatra deities- Guruvayurappan, Sri Sitaramar and Swamy ramanujar.  While distributing chandanam and tulasi prasadam, the priest informed that during Karkataka maasam (Aadi in Tamil-July-Aug), utsavam is performed in a grand scale.  Makara masam utsavam is also performed in a grand scale.

 img_20161215_063139541_hdrThe deities  of Lord  Srirama, Lakshmana,Bharata and Shatruguna which were worshipped by Lord Krishna during Dwapara yuga got lost during deluge after Lord  Srikrishna’s descent to Vaikuntam.  These idols were later found by fishermen who approached the Namboodris for advise.  As per the astrological calculations, these idols were installed at the above four places- Srirrama at Thriprayar, Bharatan at Inranjalakudi, Lakshmana at Thirumoozhikalam and Shatruguna at Payammal.

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It is usual practice for devotees to recite entire  Srimad Ramayanam during Karkataka maasam and do “Naalambalam”(circumbulation of four temples) – most  prevalent practice in Kerala where parikrama around all the four temples dedicated to  Lord Sriramar at Thriprayar, Bharatan at Iranjalakudi (Koodalmanikyam temple)  Lakshmanar at Thirumoozhikalam (Sri sukitnathar), and Shatruguna at Payyammal in a single day starting from Thriprayar  Ramar temple is done.

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As per the sthalapuranam, Haritha maharishi(Sage Viswamitra’s son) contemplated on the Lord  at this place and Lord HIMSELF taught him the sri sookthis(thiru mozhi in tamil).  Hence, the Lord is known as Srisookthinathar /Thirumozhikalathan which later got corrupted as Thirumoozhikalathan

Lakshmana swamy   as per the instructions of Lord Rama , while travelling in incognito to find out the welfare of the citizens  reached this place and met  the great Haritha maharishi. The rishi reminded him of suspecting Bharata’s motives while he was serving Sita-Ramar in Chitrakoot.

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He advised Lakshmana to continue to stay in this place and offer worship to the Lord for atoning his sins. Thus ,  Lakshmana constructed the temple and made all arrangements for worship of the Lord.  Meanwhile, Bharata who had also set out for the same purpose of knowing the citizen’s opinion reached this place.  The repentant Lakshmana sought forgiveness from his elder brother,Bharata.  Bharata who is an embodiment of all virtues embraced Lakshmanaswamy  saying that he had the good fortune to serve their elder brother,Sri Ramar in exile.

As there was sweet exchange of words between brothers, the place came to be known as “Thiru mozhi kalam”.

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 Nammazhwar has composed 10 pasurams on this Lord in Thiruvaimozhi 9-7. 

He  takes the role of   Parankusa nayaki(the female mood of a devotee) and exhibits his  suffering from pangs of separation and sends clouds/ cuckoos, swans, storks, herons as messengers . Parankusa nayaki sends bees as messengers and requests the bee to utter her name in Perumal’s ears who always wears  Tulasi garland and remind HIM of her while HE is enjoying with HIS consorts at Thirumoozhikalam.

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 Nammazhwar emphasises acharyar sambandham (messengers in this case) who recommends us to Perumal in Thayar’s presence. By referring to Tulasi, azhwar emphasises bhagavatha(Devotees) sambandham too. In other words, to attain Perumal, we need devotees’ association, acharyar’s intervention and Thayar’s anugraham.  Nammazhwar opines that acharyars are non-different from Perumal. Perumal exhibited HIS quality of menmai, soulabhyam(one who is very soft and compassionate to the devotees)/ by making azhwar recollect of the happy days they had together. Nammazhwar states that all jivatmas are part of Emperuman’s thirumeni whereas my atma is antharangam for this Perumal who has resolved to stay at Thirumoozhikalam to take  the atmas back to Godhead.

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Tirumangai Azhwar has glorified  Lord in Peria Thirumozhi, Siriya Thirumadal and Thirunedunthandakam.  He addresses the Lord as the one who is as sweet as a nectar and a ripened fruit/ who is as beautiful as a coral necklace and who is ever ready to confer grace on HIS devotees. He addresses the Lord as the” light of Thirumoozhikalam “ in Peria Thirumozhi and Siriya Thirumadal. He compares the Lord to a light which dispels darkness.  Similarly, this Lord dispels the darkness of ignorance . He refers to this Lord along with the Lord at Thirupiridhi(Joshirmutt) and his acharyar,Thirunaraiyur nambi.  Another interesting fact is Tirumangai Azhwar has taken this Lord’s name while addressing his acharyar,Thirunaraiyur Srinivasa Perumal thus endorsing Nammazhwar’s view of Acharyar sambandham.

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In Thirunedundhandakam, ( pasuram no. 2061 -10th pasuram)  Tirumangai Azhwar  addresses the Lord as the protector of the Universe , devas and mortals like us, the Lord who saved the Universe from destruction and as the Lord who protects us like a mighty elephant from all four sides in the form of Srinivasar at Tirumala in the north, as Azhagar in the South, as Aramaudhan in the east and as Ranganathar in the west.

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In Siriya Thirumadal, pasuram 129, Tirumangai Azhwar declares   he will fall at the feet of the Lord who is the head of devas and who is the light of Thirumoozhikalam.

Divyakavi Pillai Iyengar who has composed one song on each of the 108 divyadesams in his work”108 Tirupati Andadi” glorifies this Lord as the Creator of the entire Universe, Sun,Moon, Shiva, Brahma, Indra and other devas.

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There is a small shrine for Paramasivan  and while circumambulating  the temple, we come across a very small shrine for little Krishna .  Kannan wears  a small peacock feather on HIS head and is seen holding flute in right hand.

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Important festivals are (1)   Nalambalam darsanam and Ramayana parayanam in Karkataka maasam (Aadi masam in Tamil) -July16th -Aug 15th)

(2) Prathistai festival  in Makara maasam(14th Jan-14th Feb) on Anusham star(Anuradha star) (Tamil month Thai -Anusham

(3) 10 day festival during April-May starting on Hastam star and culminating on Thiruvonam day..

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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“Thiru moozhi kkulam”.. The Temple glorified by Lakshmana swamy ( Lord Rama’s brother ) ……………. As there was sweet exchange of words between the two brothers, at this holy place, the place came to be known as “Thiru mozhi kalam” at Kerala . (A Srivaishnava Divya desam)


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Out Of the 108 Divya desams, 13 divya desams are categorised as Malai Naatu divyadesams. (Kerala Divya desams), even though 2 of those 13 divyadesams are in Tamil Nadu today.

Malai nadu divya desams are  classified due to its location   mostly located in Kerala that  are scattered from North to South Kerala.

Introduction to the Kerala Divya desams are appended in the below post 

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/an-introduction-to-kerala-divyadesams-malai-nadu-divyadesams/

A brief note about the nearest town /city from where these  holy temples can be accessed is given below

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North Kerala: Thiruvithuvakodu near  Pattambi  and Thirunaavai   near Kuttipuram can be accessed along with Guruvayur. 

1) Thiruvithuvacode:– popularly known as “Anjhu murthy kovil” on Shoranur-Kallikatai rail route. Bus from Pattambi to Kootupatha ( app one hour bus drive) and from there to take an auto to go to temple.

2) Thirunaavai :– Shoranur -Kuttipuram bus route.  Bus from Guruvayoor to Kuttipuram and from there another bus to Thirunaavai  (app. travel time 2.5 hours by bus)

The travel time from Thiruvithuvakodu to Thirunaavai is about one hour by car. Guruvayur is about 40 minutes drive from Thirunaavai and as the temple closes at 1 P.M., we can  visit this temple a bit late

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Central Kerala:– Thirumoozhikalam,Thirukatkarai near Ernakulam; Aranmula, Thiruvanvandoor, Thirukodithanam, Thirupuliyur, Thiruchenkundroor (popularly known as Pancha Pandava prathista temples) and Thiruvallavaazh can be accessed from Chenganoor. 

These temples are located in different directions from Chenganoor and can be covered within 7 hours(to start very early)

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3) Thirumoozhikalam:– In Alwaye-Ernakulam bus route- 7 kms from Kaladi road and 12 kms from Alwaye. Take bus from Ernakulam to Alwaye-Change bus to Edapally at Alwaye .  From Edapally take an auto to go to the temple. Total travel time app. 1.5 hours

4) Thirukaatkarai:- Take bus from Alwaye-Thirukatkarai and from there auto to go to temple which is about 3 kms away.(travel time app 1 hour)

Ernakulam-Chenganoor travel time is app. 2.5 hours.  Six divya desams can be accessed from Chenganoor

5) Thiruchitraaru(Dharman temple)- 2 kms from Chenganoor station

6) Thirupuliyur (Bhiman temple)- 6 kms west of Chenganoor/ 16 kms from Aaranmula

7) Thiruvaranvilai/Aaranmula(Arjunan temple)-10 kms from Chenganoor

8) Thiruvanvandoor (Nakulan temple) -4 kms north of Chenganoor

9) Thirukodithanam(Sahadevan temple) – 2 miles east of Chenganachery  on Thiruvalla-Kottayam road

10) Thiruvallavaazh- one hour by bus from Chenganoor

 South Kerala:- Thiruvananthapuram and the 2 malai nadu temples in Tamilandu namely, Thiruvataaru and Thiruvanparisaaram can be visited together.

11) Thiruvananthapuram:– 1 km from Trivandrum railway station

12) Thiruvaataru:- Trivandrum to Nagercoil bus , change at Thakalai / by car 40 kms short cut

13) Thiruvanparisaaram– 4 kms from Nagercoil/ 40 kms from Thirukurungudi

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The Lord who graced  Sri sooktham (Thiru mozhi) to  Sri Haritha maharishi and who is fondly addressed as “Appan” by  Swamy Nammazhwar and as “lord of devas” by Tirumangai Azhwar gives darshan on the banks of Bharatapuzha river as Sri Sookthinathar/ Thirumoozhikalathan in this Kerala divya desam which is 12 kms from Alwaye in Ernakulam-Thrissur route.

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This divya desam is located about 12 kms from Aluvai/Alwaye  near Ernakulam(40 kms)  and can be reached either by bus or by car.  This place can also be accessed from Karikutti railway station which is about 5 kms and also from Angamaali.  We visited this temple on 15th December morning after having darshan at Thirukaatkarai. (It may take about 4-5 days to cover Kerala divya desams if  travelling by public mode of transport and about 2 days by car. )

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Lord Srisuktinathar (also glorified  as Thirumozhikalathaan) gives darshan in standing posture facing east under Soundarya vimanam.  Lord  holds sankhu in HIS upper  left hand and Prayoga chakram in upper  right hand, HIS lower left hand placed on HIS hip and holds gada with HIS lower right hand.  The Lord  adorned with a silver kavacham, attracts all of us with HIS smiling face and benevolent glance .

The Goddess   Maduraveni Thayar adorns Perumal’s thirumaarbhu(chest).There is no separate sanctum   for Thayar .  The theertham is known as Sankhu theertham named after  Bharata who is an amsam of Shankhu and also as Perunkulam as Lakshmana who is considered as Adiseshan had bath and as Chitraaru as it is a small stream.

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This temple was constructed by Lakshmana swamy  to atone for the sin of suspecting his brother Bharatha . As  he committed this unknowingly under a saints advise he constructed this temple  and hence the temple is more popularly known as “Lakshmana Swamy temple”.

Likewise, the divyadesams around Chenganoor are popularly known by the names of Pandavas as they were instrumental  for constructing them.

 For ex., Imayavarappan temple at Thiruchenkundroor is known as “Dharmar/Yudhistira temple,

Mayappiran temple at Kuttanadu Tirupuliyur is known as “Bhiman temple”,

Parthasarathy temple at Aaranmula as Arjunan temple,

Pambanaippan temple at Tiruvanvandoor as Nakulan temple,

Athputha Narayanan temple at  Thirukodithanam as Sahadeva temple..

On the left side of the sanctum while circumbulating, we see a small door with no  deities inside it. It is believed that  Lord SitaRamar are being worshiped  there by Lakshmana Swamy  for whom  Lord SitaRamar was everything.   For Lakshmanaswamy  , Lord Srirama was “Unnum sorum, parugu neerum, thinnum vetrilaiy “.

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The priest  accepted our plate of offerings and carefully adorned the Lord with the vastram and performed archana to the Lordships along with our yatra deities- Guruvayurappan, Sri Sitaramar and Swamy ramanujar.  While distributing chandanam and tulasi prasadam, the priest informed that during Karkataka maasam (Aadi in Tamil-July-Aug), utsavam is performed in a grand scale.  Makara masam utsavam is also performed in a grand scale.

 img_20161215_063139541_hdrThe deities  of Lord  Srirama, Lakshmana,Bharata and Shatruguna which were worshipped by Lord Krishna during Dwapara yuga got lost during deluge after Lord  Srikrishna’s descent to Vaikuntam.  These idols were later found by fishermen who approached the Namboodris for advise.  As per the astrological calculations, these idols were installed at the above four places- Srirrama at Thriprayar, Bharatan at Inranjalakudi, Lakshmana at Thirumoozhikalam and Shatruguna at Payammal.

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It is usual practice for devotees to recite entire  Srimad Ramayanam during Karkataka maasam and do “Naalambalam”(circumbulation of four temples) – most  prevalent practice in Kerala where parikrama around all the four temples dedicated to  Lord Sriramar at Thriprayar, Bharatan at Iranjalakudi (Koodalmanikyam temple)  Lakshmanar at Thirumoozhikalam (Sri sukitnathar), and Shatruguna at Payyammal in a single day starting from Thriprayar  Ramar temple is done.

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As per the sthalapuranam, Haritha maharishi(Sage Viswamitra’s son) contemplated on the Lord  at this place and Lord HIMSELF taught him the sri sookthis(thiru mozhi in tamil).  Hence, the Lord is known as Srisookthinathar /Thirumozhikalathan which later got corrupted as Thirumoozhikalathan

Lakshmana swamy   as per the instructions of Lord Rama , while travelling in incognito to find out the welfare of the citizens  reached this place and met  the great Haritha maharishi. The rishi reminded him of suspecting Bharata’s motives while he was serving Sita-Ramar in Chitrakoot.

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He advised Lakshmana to continue to stay in this place and offer worship to the Lord for atoning his sins. Thus ,  Lakshmana constructed the temple and made all arrangements for worship of the Lord.  Meanwhile, Bharata who had also set out for the same purpose of knowing the citizen’s opinion reached this place.  The repentant Lakshmana sought forgiveness from his elder brother,Bharata.  Bharata who is an embodiment of all virtues embraced Lakshmanaswamy  saying that he had the good fortune to serve their elder brother,Sri Ramar in exile.

As there was sweet exchange of words between brothers, the place came to be known as “Thiru mozhi kalam”.

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 Nammazhwar has composed 10 pasurams on this Lord in Thiruvaimozhi 9-7. 

He  takes the role of   Parankusa nayaki(the female mood of a devotee) and exhibits his  suffering from pangs of separation and sends clouds/ cuckoos, swans, storks, herons as messengers . Parankusa nayaki sends bees as messengers and requests the bee to utter her name in Perumal’s ears who always wears  Tulasi garland and remind HIM of her while HE is enjoying with HIS consorts at Thirumoozhikalam.

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 Nammazhwar emphasises acharyar sambandham (messengers in this case) who recommends us to Perumal in Thayar’s presence. By referring to Tulasi, azhwar emphasises bhagavatha(Devotees) sambandham too. In other words, to attain Perumal, we need devotees’ association, acharyar’s intervention and Thayar’s anugraham.  Nammazhwar opines that acharyars are non-different from Perumal. Perumal exhibited HIS quality of menmai, soulabhyam(one who is very soft and compassionate to the devotees)/ by making azhwar recollect of the happy days they had together. Nammazhwar states that all jivatmas are part of Emperuman’s thirumeni whereas my atma is antharangam for this Perumal who has resolved to stay at Thirumoozhikalam to take  the atmas back to Godhead.

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Tirumangai Azhwar has glorified  Lord in Peria Thirumozhi, Siriya Thirumadal and Thirunedunthandakam.  He addresses the Lord as the one who is as sweet as a nectar and a ripened fruit/ who is as beautiful as a coral necklace and who is ever ready to confer grace on HIS devotees. He addresses the Lord as the” light of Thirumoozhikalam “ in Peria Thirumozhi and Siriya Thirumadal. He compares the Lord to a light which dispels darkness.  Similarly, this Lord dispels the darkness of ignorance . He refers to this Lord along with the Lord at Thirupiridhi(Joshirmutt) and his acharyar,Thirunaraiyur nambi.  Another interesting fact is Tirumangai Azhwar has taken this Lord’s name while addressing his acharyar,Thirunaraiyur Srinivasa Perumal thus endorsing Nammazhwar’s view of Acharyar sambandham.

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In Thirunedundhandakam, ( pasuram no. 2061 -10th pasuram)  Tirumangai Azhwar  addresses the Lord as the protector of the Universe , devas and mortals like us, the Lord who saved the Universe from destruction and as the Lord who protects us like a mighty elephant from all four sides in the form of Srinivasar at Tirumala in the north, as Azhagar in the South, as Aramaudhan in the east and as Ranganathar in the west.

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In Siriya Thirumadal, pasuram 129, Tirumangai Azhwar declares   he will fall at the feet of the Lord who is the head of devas and who is the light of Thirumoozhikalam.

Divyakavi Pillai Iyengar who has composed one song on each of the 108 divyadesams in his work”108 Tirupati Andadi” glorifies this Lord as the Creator of the entire Universe, Sun,Moon, Shiva, Brahma, Indra and other devas.

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There is a small shrine for Paramasivan  and while circumambulating  the temple, we come across a very small shrine for little Krishna .  Kannan wears  a small peacock feather on HIS head and is seen holding flute in right hand.

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Important festivals are (1)   Nalambalam darsanam and Ramayana parayanam in Karkataka maasam (Aadi masam in Tamil) -July16th -Aug 15th)

(2) Prathistai festival  in Makara maasam(14th Jan-14th Feb) on Anusham star(Anuradha star) (Tamil month Thai -Anusham

(3) 10 day festival during April-May starting on Hastam star and culminating on Thiruvonam day..

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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An Introduction to Kerala Divyadesams. (Malai Nadu Divyadesams)


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Swami Nammazhvar  the most celebrated   amongst all the Azhwars  quotes in one of  his  paasuram  6.9.5 ( 3435)

“vinmeediruppAi, malaimElnirppAi, kadal sErppAi

manmeeduyalvAi evattrul engum maraindhuraivAi

enmeedhiyandra puravandaththAi enadAvi

vunmeedhAdi vurukkAttAdhE olippAyO?”

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The above  pasuram reveals that LORD existence at paravatam .. vin meediruppAi .. (staying in the sky/heavens).. malaimEl nirppAi ….to archai (staying in divya desams like Tirumala , thirumAlirunchOlai , Sholinghur , Bhadri , Saalagramam … (Standing on hills/mountains) kadal sErppAi refers to vyuha moorthi, (Residing in sea) …..man meedhuyalvAi ….refers to vibhavams (HE …came down  due to causeless mercy as Lord  Rama and Krishna) (Walking  on earth)…. evattrul engum maraindhu vuraivAi ……refers to antaryami who stays inside each one of us , being invisible to all ,  beyond comprehension and beyond one’s understanding and  stay in the entire vast universe and protect  us.

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Merciful “Lord Sriman Narayana” appears in  five different forms  as para, vyuha, vibhava,  archai and antaryAmi Lord Sriman Narayanan appears in the above five forms. 

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 LORD  in response to the ardent prayers of revered saints and  various advanced  devotees appeared to them and conceded  their request of continuing to grace with  darshan in the same form for the benefit of the future generations .  The deities  were duly consecrated with various hymns and temples were constructed by various generous kings.

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Archai Murthies are the Lordships who grace us inside the  temples and the temples  which have been glorified by revered   Azhwars  through their emotional out pours  are called Divya Prabhanda pasurams.

 Azhwars   were  the incarnations of  of Lord Sriman Narayana’s divine weapons .(“Azhwar” in Tamil means ‘one who is immersed’. Since these advanced  saints were always immersed in the Lord and His qualities, they were called Azhwars )  And the places which was glorified by Azhwars  are earmarked as Divya desams .   Out of the  12 azhwars, 4 Azhwars appeared towards the end of Dwapara yuga and  

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Eight Azhwars appeared during  Kali yuga.

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The Srivaishnava  Divyadesams are a group of 108  SriVaishnava  Temples. Among the  108 Divyadesams, 105 temples are located in India and one  in Nepal. The remaining  two temples are in the celestial world glorified as  Sri Vaikuntam  and ThiruParamapadham.

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These temples  are very old and have been  renovated by pious kings and advanced  devotees  periodically .

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These 106 temples are classified into six  zones-

  • Chola Nadu divya desam –  40 temples  situated in Central Tamilnadu around Trichy,Kumbakonam,Mayavaram, Srikazhi,Nagapatinam
  • Pandya Nadu divya desams 18 temples situated in southern part of Tamilnadu around Madurai,Tirunelveli, Ramnathapuram, Sivakasi
  • Nadu nadu divya desams – 2 temples in the northern part of Tamilnadu located near Virudhunagar and Cuddalore
  • Thondai nadu divya desams -22 temples in the northern part of Tamilnadu located in and around  Chennai(4),Kanchipuram (15), Arakonam(3)
  • Malai nadu divya desams 13 temples out of which 2 are in Southern tip of tamilnadu and the rest 11 temples are in Kerala scattered around Trivandrum,Chenganoor, Ernakulam, Thrissur
  • Vada nadu divya desams – 11 temples out of which 2 are in Andhra Pradesh, 1 in Gujarat, 4 in Uttar Pradesh, 3 in Uttaranchal and 1 in Muktinath.

MALAI NADU DIVYA DESAMS

Malai nadu divya desams are  classified due to its location   mostly located in Kerala that  are scattered from Central ,  North to South Kerala. 

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Devotees keen to have darshan can start  from Thrissur which is in the North Kerala , come downwards to visit Chenganoor, Ernakulam  and go further south to visit Thiruvananthapuram, Thiruvataaru,Thiruvanparisaram else  start from South  and complete the yatra  in the reverse direction.

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Kerala as we  believe is God’s own country aptly deserves the name.  The pristine nature with plenty of water resources with  lush greenery and calm surroundings add beauty to the divya desams in this serene location .

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Kerala experiences tropical climate and as nature is still preserved, it enjoys beautiful weather  with frequent rains.  

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Hence, the houses and temples are constructed in such a way that the conical roofs do not retain the rain water. Another interesting feature  of the temples are the beautiful murals made of teak wood . 

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A brief note about the nearest town /city from where these temples can be accessed is given below:-

North Kerala:– Thiruvithuvakodu near  Pattambi  and Thirunaavai   near Kuttipuram can be accessed along with Guruvayur. 

1) Thiruvithuvacode:– popularly known as “Anjhu murthy kovil” on Shoranur-Kallikatai rail route. Bus from Pattambi to Kootupatha ( app one hour bus drive) and from there to take an auto to go to temple.

2) Thirunaavai :– Shoranur -Kuttipuram bus route.  Bus from Guruvayoor to Kuttipuram and from there another bus to Thirunaavai  (app. travel time 2.5 hours by bus)

The travel time from Thiruvithuvakodu to Thirunaavai is about one hour by car. Guruvayur is about 40 minutes drive from Thirunaavai and as the temple closes at 1 P.M., we can  visit this temple a bit late

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Central Kerala:– Thirumoozhikalam,Thirukatkarai near Ernakulam; Aranmula, Thiruvanvandoor, Thirukodithanam, Thirupuliyur, Thiruchenkundroor (popularly known as Pancha Pandava prathista temples) and Thiruvallavaazh can be accessed from Chenganoor. 

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These temples are located in different directions from Chenganoor and can be covered within 7 hours(to start very early)

3) Thirumoozhikalam:– In Alwaye-Ernakulam bus route- 7 kms from Kaladi road and 12 kms from Alwaye. Take bus from Ernakulam to Alwaye-Change bus to Edapally at Alwaye .  From Edapally take an auto to go to the temple. Total travel time app. 1.5 hours

4) Thirukaatkarai:- Take bus from Alwaye-Thirukatkarai and from there auto to go to temple which is about 3 kms away.(travel time app 1 hour)

Ernakulam-Chenganoor travel time is app. 2.5 hours.  Six divya desams can be accessed from Chenganoor

5) Thiruchitraaru(Dharman temple)- 2 kms from Chenganoor station

6) Thirupuliyur (Bhiman temple)- 6 kms west of Chenganoor/ 16 kms from Aaranmula

7) Thiruvaranvilai/Aaranmula(Arjunan temple)-10 kms from Chenganoor

8) Thiruvanvandoor (Nakulan temple) -4 kms north of Chenganoor

9) Thirukodithanam(Sahadevan temple) – 2 miles east of Chenganachery  on Thiruvalla-Kottayam road

10) Thiruvallavaazh- one hour by bus from Chenganoor

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 South Kerala:- Thiruvananthapuram and the 2 malai nadu temples in Tamilandu namely, Thiruvataaru and Thiruvanparisaaram can be visited together.

11) Thiruvananthapuram:– 1 km from Trivandrum railway station

12) Thiruvaataru:- Trivandrum to Nagercoil bus , change at Thakalai / by car 40 kms short cut

13) Thiruvanparisaaram– 4 kms from Nagercoil/ 40 kms from Thirukurungudi

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Most of the Kerala divyadesam temples have  divine connection with the two great epics-

Srimad Ramayanam and Mahabharatam .

The divyadesams around Chenganoor are popularly known by the  great heroes  of Pandavas as they were responsible for constructing them.

 For example  ..

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Imayavarappan temple at Thiruchenkundroor is known as “Dharmar/Yudhistira temple, Mayappiran temple at Kuttanadu Tirupuliyur is known as “Bhiman temple”,

Parthasarathy temple at Aaranmula as Arjunan temple,

Pambanaippan temple at Tiruvanvandoor as Nakulan temple,

Athputha Narayanan temple at tThirukodithanam as Sahadeva temple

Likewise, there are temples related to Ramayanam too.

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(There may be a slight  variation in the distances as mentioned in the write up which was shared by the  locals .)

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The four temples around Ernakulam popularly known as “Nalambalam” meaning Naalu(four) ambalam(temples) are known by the name of Srirama at Thriprayar,, Lakshmana at Thirumoozhikalam, Bharata at Iranjalkudi and Shatruguna at Payammal.

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 It is usual practice in kerala  for devotees to recite entire Srimad Ramayanam during Karkataka maasam and do “Naalambalam”(circumbulation of four temples) – most  prevalent practice in Kerala where parikrama around all the four temples dedicated to  Lord Sriramar at Thriprayar, Bharatan at Iranjalakudi (Koodalmanikyam temple)  Lakshmanar at Thirumoozhikalam (Sri sukitnathar), and Shatruguna at Payyammal in a single day starting from Thriprayar  LordRamar temple is accessed .

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The temple at Thiruvaataru is glorified as the place associated with Brahma Samhita. As told by a devotee inside the temple ,  the Acharyar of Gaudiya sampradaya His holiness Sri Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is believed to have  accessed one part of this Brahma Samhita which forms the basis of Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

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Utsavam  ( Festivals) is performed in almost all the temples for about 10 days and  during that time, Srimad Bhagavatam would be recited .  

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The inaugural day is known as “Kodi Etram” and the final day is known as “Aaratu”Only during sevali (Sri veli) which is performed after bhog is offered to Lord, when the processional diety goes around the temple to supervise the food offerings to the guarding deities, musical instruments are played except in one divya desam .

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In Thiruvananthapuram, Thirukatkarai excellent stay facilities are available.  In Tirupuliyur, pilgrims amenities are provided taking into consideration the influx of pilgrims.  

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 All the temples in Kerala open by 4 A.M. and close by 11 A.M. and in the evenings, the temples are opened for a shorter duration from about 4.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.  The timings are strictly followed without any deviation.  Also, out of the 13 temples, in 11 temples Lord gives darshan as as  Sri Vishnu murthy adorning  Sankhu, Chakram, Gada,Padmam in standing posture.  Only in Thiruvananthapuram and Thiruvaataru,  Lord gives darshan in reclining posture.  Another common feature is there is no separate sannidhi for Thayar in all these temples except Thirunaavai.  

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Kerala is located on a hilly location and hence the travel time taken is more compared to the plains.  Also, there are state run buses available which are quite cheap but the only drawback is the name boards will be in   Malayalam and we may not be able to understand !!!!

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In our first trip during 2001 we travelled from North to South and covered these divya desams in five days as we commuted through public transport.

A recap of the journey done is reproduced in the below url..

http://www.srivaishnavam.com/divyadesam108/malai_trip.htm

However, in   our recent trip ,  our merciful Lord  blessed with  a very comfortable trip.  We could cover temples starting from South towards north from

Thiruvanparisaaram-Thiruvaataru-Thiruvananthapuram-Chenganoor divya desams-Thirukodithanam-Thirukatkarai-Thirumoozhikalam-Thiruvithuvadoe-Thirunaavai-Guruvayoor…

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  By Acharyar’s blessings we decided to club  Pandya nadu and  Malai nadu  divya desams darshan hiring a vehicle  from Srirangam..  

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A distance of about 900 kms to and from Srirangam covering around  32 temples within a span of 4.5 days  could be possible  by sheer mercy of  Acharyar  and the Divyadesam Perumals ..

 Prostrating at the lotus feet of asmath acharyar,H.G.Sri Sri  Mudaliandan Swami and JagathaAcharyar   Swamy Ramanujar, adiyen wishes to share the recent travel details of the  18 Pandya nadu divya desams, 13 Malai nadu divya desams,Guruvayur(abhimana sthalam) commemorating the Sahasrabhdhi celebrations of Swamy Ramanujar  within a span of five days(4.5 days precisely) .

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We commenced our yatra on the auspicious  Kaisika Ekadasi with blessings of our Acharyar and Elders -10 th Dec 2016 with prayers to our Thirumaligai  Perumal.  

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After obtaining Asmatha acharyar’s anugraham at Mylapore, we proceeded to srirangam  by car . We reached midnight and were fortunate to have darshan of Lord Namperumal adorned with 365 silk clothes .( Kaisika Ekadashi special)  Namperumal blessed us with theertha,prasadam . We carried our  yatra deities (Sri Sita ,Lakshmana, Hanumath sametha Sri Ramachandran, Swamy Ramanujar )along  with Lord Guruvayurappan-the aradhana deity of our advanced  devotee friend to all the temples and puja was performed to them along with the divyadesam Perumals.

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Our yatra commenced from Srirangam at 5 A.M on Dwadasi day immediately  . . We were joined by a devotee couple Sri Thiruvengada ramanuja dasan who resides  in Srirangam serving  Acharyar, His holiness Sri Sri Rangaramanuja Jeeyar.

THE DIVINE  JOURNEY BEGINS …..

The approximate distance from Srirangam to visit Pandya nadu and Malai nadu divya desams and drop at Srirangam is about 900 kms.   We opted to visit these divya desams by   engaging a nice devotee   cab driver  sri .Ramu-(a devotee  from Kumbakonam who is very familiar with the location of the temples).  He can be contacted on 94866 56052.

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Our route details ……………

(1) Srirangam      -Thirumeyyam ( 85 kms via Pudukkottai);(2)  Thirumeyyam-Thirugoshtiyur    – (40 kms); (3)Thirugoshtiyur-Thirupullani ( 130 kms via Manamadurai, Paramakudi,Ramnad); (4) Thirupullani-Thirumoghur ( 165 kms via Ramnad, Madurai); (5) Thirumoghur-azhagar kovil tirumaliruncholai(15 kms); (6)Thirumaliruncholai- Thirukoodal  (15 kms); (7)Thirukoodal-Thiruthankaal(75 kms via Virudhunagar); (8) Thiruthankaal-Srivilliputtur(25 kms via Sivakasi), (9) Srivilliputtur-Varaguna-mangai (Alwar Tirunagari) (140 kms via Tirunelveli),(10) nava tirupati divya desams in and around Azhwar Tirunagari(total 35 kms); (11)srivaikuntam(nava tirupati)-Vaanamamalai (70 kms via Tirunelveli/Palayankotai); (12) Vaanamamalai-Tirukurunkudi (18 kms);(13) Tirukurunkudi-Thiruvanparisaaram(40 kms short route); (14) Tiruvanparisaaram-Thiruvaataru(60 kms via Padmanabhapuram);(15) Thiruvaataru-Thiruvananthapuram(40 kms via Maarthandam); (16) Thiruvananthapuram-Chenganoor (150 kms via Athur/Kottarkadai)(17) six divya desams in and around Chenganoor upto Chenganachery (60 kms); (18) Chenganachery Thirukodithanam-Thirukaatkarai(70 kms); (19) Thirukaatkarai-Thirumoozhikalam(25 kms); (20)Thirumoozhikalam-Thiruvithuvacodu(150 kms via Angamaali/Thrissur) ; (21) Thiruvithuvacodu-Thirunaavai(30 kms short route); (22)Thirunaavai-Guruvayoor(55 kms); (23) Guruvayoor-Coimbatore domestic  airport(150 kms).

Day Morning Evening Night halt
 Darshanam at    ( number of temples ) 
 01 Srirangam,

Thirumeyyam

Thirugoshtiyur

Thirupullani

Thirumoghur

Thirumaliruncholai

Thirukoodal

 

Madurai         7
02 Thiruthankaal

Srivilliputtur

Varagunamangai

Thirupulingudi

Iratti Tirupati

Then Thiruperai

Alwar Tirunagari

Thirukolur

 

Srivaikuntam           9
03 Perungulam

Srivaikuntam

Nanguneri

Thirukurungudi

 

Thirukurungudi Malai nambi (afternoon)

Thiruvanparisaram

Thiruvataaru

 

Trivandrum            6
04 Thiruvananthapuram

Thiruvaranvila(aramula)

Thiruchenkundroor

Thiruvanvandoor

Thiruvalla

Thirupuliyur

Thirukodithanam

ERnakulam           7
05 Thirukatkarai

Thirumoozhikalam

Thiruvithuvacode

Thirunaavai

Guruvayur

   Yatra  ends …..

 

             5

Total 34 temples

Malai nadu      13

Pandya nadu   18

Srirangam

Guruvayur

The complete  details of  all the  13 temples  would be shared in the upcoming posts soon .

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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The Srivaishnava Acharyar “Swamy Nam pillAi .. who was glorified as “LokaA chAryar”


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.

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One evening  while he was returning from the temple shrine ,  by divine will  he noticed  Swamy Nampillai proceeding into the shrine  with few hundreds  of disciples . Because of the unbearable envy Thozhappar instantly  abused Swamy Nampillai in strong words inside the shrine itself  amongst the disciples  .

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Swamy Nampillai was calm and polite accepting the pungent words . Inspite of the humiliating abuses  heaped on him  , Swamy Nampillai  unshaken approached LORD and offered his worship seeking forgivance wondering whether inadvertently he had committed any transgression  to the  great devotee  Thozhappar . Upset , he reached home and was seeking pardon repeatedly mentally to the great Acharya .

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Swamy Kandadai Thozhappar  reached home relaxed ,  after insulting the great seer . Thozappars wife was an advanced devotee with  deep insight and  divine knowledge .  She was through her fathers side disciple  of Swamy Nampillai .

jjjjk She came to know about the misconduct of her husband  which pained her deeply. True to her Acharya bhakthi , she abandoned all the household work as she was convinced  that because of the  arrogant behavior of her husband both would be doomed  for the  bhagavatha apachara.

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She was grief stricken and ignored her husband. Thozhappar who was casual wondered with her sudden change in behaviour . He was used to see  his wife welcoming him with affection and attended on him with love and praise  .  Amazed  , He was forced to question her unusual way of behavior  especially for the very first time he experienced  with her conduct . With uncontrollable grief  she replied  , Swamin .. Do you know what type of bhagavtha apachara you have committed ?

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Swamy Nampillai  is reincarnation of Swamy Nammazhwar.  You have dared to abuse a noble soul who is enlightening many many bhagavathas day in and out by his lucid divine commenteries on Lords vaibhavam. And you dared to insult him in the shrine itself without any remorse.  What privilege do you think you will have when one abuses his own Acharya.  You have committed  a great sin and you are also aware of it . 

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Since I am your wife , you may have right over my body  and  can punish me but remember I am alive because of my Acharya , who is Swamy Nampillai. I cannot forgive any one  who abuses  the devotees of the LORD  .You are also aware of the aphorisms  . The sin you have committed  is grave and you  pretend to be ignorant . Hence forth there can not be any connection between us  . And I do not wish to continue to live with you and never wish to destroy myself ( soul ) .Let me seek my path of life which takes me to Acharyans Lotus feet .

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Thozhapar was shaken with the turn of events . He deeply introspected himself  and belonging to a  distunguised  srivaishnava family was disturbed with his behaviour. He understood that this rude behaviour was because of his envy and jealousy.  He appreciated his wife for revealing the truth and enlightening him . He found solace in her words  and seeked a solution to bridge his unruly behaviour by seeking forgivance and amend the same.  His wife said  if anything is lost in river , we must seek the same in river and not in a pond  .  Similarly , she said , Swamy Nampillai is a great Acharya with a kind heart . You need to just fall at his feet and plead forgivance . If he forgives , you will be saved  and seeking  forgivance from the LORD also will not save you .

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Thozhappar politely replied , that he was too harsh on Swamy  and was afraid to face him. Insulting the revered Acharyar in the temple amongst many people makes him shiver in meeting him. Ashamed with this conduct , my feet tremble to meet the seer . With humility he requests his wife to accompany him  so that Swamy will be appeased and being his disciple he may pardon  for  her  association . As it was  too late in the night , both of them agree that the first thing they will do the next morning was to seek Acharyars forgivance .

At the other end , Swamy Nampillai was greatly upset . He sent all his disciples away . He gave up his food  for the night and was questioning his own flaws that could disturb Thozhappar which resulted in his outbursts. He felt strongly that he must have somehow misbehaved with the distinguished vaishnava . He decided that he will seek his forgivance as the sin accredited  in misbehaving with a vaishnava  shall be severe .  His mind was wavering . He decided he will not waste time till the next day . He immediately left to Thozhappars residence covering himself with a white blanket  . As the doors were closed , he did not wanted to disturb them . He decided he will rest near the pial at the entrance of the house the whole night and the next day when Thozhappar opens the door he will fall at his feet to seek pardon .The next day , in the early hours , both Thozhappar opens  the door

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 To the  surprise they find some person with a white blanket covered  standing .  As the lighting  was poor they enquire  about him . Swamy Nampillai  replies  ..Swami !!!  I am a great sinner .  Thozhappar  was shocked ..  Unexpected  of his approach He asked him , What was the need to rest on the pial before  his house  the same night  . Have you come to quarrel with me  early in this day for the abuses hurled by me yesterday ??

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Nampillai  with all humility submitted to Thozhappar . Swamin !!! Please forgive me !! Adiyen had just come here to ascertain that any misconduct of mine should not disturb your peace of mind . Having born in a distinguished family of Swamy MudaliAndaan  , adiyen requests your kindness  to please let me know the misconduct to earn abuse by a revered Acharyar like you .Please forgive me for any misconduct either in words or deeds . Swamin !! If not you , who will be kind enough to forgive me ..

Thozhappar was astounded at the humble appeal of Swamy Nampillai. He was at loss of words  and at the unexpected turn of events  , especially when he himself was proceeding to seek forgiveness from Nampillai  . With tears he pleaded  Swamin ” True to my wife’s words  what a big heart you possess . It is very difficult to see people with such humility . I was under an illusion that you are Acharyar for a few disciples . I know realise that you are a teacher ( Acharyar )  of the whole world. Henceforth I shall propagate devareer as Lokacharyar . Thozhappar  welcomed  Nampillai  and washed his feet and accepted him as his Acharyar .

Swamy Manavalamaamuni mentions this incident one of  his pasuram in the great work Upadesarathinaimala  saying..

Thunnu pukazh KanthAdai ThOzappar tamm uhappAl Yenna UlahAriyanO yenRu uraikka —

pinnai UlahAriyan yenum pEr NampiLLaikku      Ongi vilahAmal ninRathu yenrum mEl..                           verse .(51)

Translated in English ..

ThOzhappar of wide fame belonging to the KanthAdai vamsam with joyful respect asked o  NampiLLai  once ” Are You THE teacher of the Universe  (LOkAchAryan)? ” out of respect for his extraordinary  scholarship and humility . From that day onwards ,  that name of LokAcchAryan stayed with NampiLLai  as a mark of his  srivaishnava guNa visEsham .Later, NampiLLai’s sishyar, Vadakku- Thiruveedhi PiLLai gave the name of LokaachAryan to his son out of his own deep reverence for his AchAryan . This son – who became a very famous AchAryan later – came to be revered as PiLLai Lokam Jeeyar .

  Later , Thozhappar  had to leave to Kancheepuram and serve the Lordships there .He  conducted the Thirukalyana utsavam for Kanchi Devaperumal with Andal Naachiyaar. In turn, Varadar  as a measure of showing his  love  towards Thozhappar,  arrived  in  Thozhappar’s thirumaaligai. He revealed  in Thozhappar’s dream  that  the deity being worshipped  was the Shatberam  in Thozhappar’s thirumaaligai.  Thozhappar, on seeing the grace of the Lord became very happy and named him ‘Aahuya Rakshaka Hari’ (Azhaithu Vaazhvitha Perumal). This deity darshan can be had in MudaliAndaans Thirumaligai ( Ashram )

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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.

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pictures : Courtesy Google pics uploaded by devotees

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The Acharyar who authored Suprabhatam to Lord Sreenivasa ( TIRUMALA ) 600 years ago….Bhayankaran for PrativAdIs (opponents). Servant of servants to Srivaishnavas


The holy verses of awakening the Supreme LORD at TIRUMALA has four aspects . Glorified as “Suprabhatam” is the actual awaking of Lordships Sree and Vishnu. This early morning song suprabhatham slokas comprising of (29 verses , stotram 11 verses , prapatti 16 verses and mangalam 14 verses) which is essentially a glorifications and the last Prapatti through Sree and the beautiful Mangalam to Lordships which serves as a comolete unconditional surrender

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 Swamy  Mudumbai Nambee Ananthacharya  was one amongst the 74 Simhadipathees  nominated by Jagathacharyar  Swamy Ramanuja .

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Swamy Ananthacharyar  belonged to the illustrious family    of  the great srivaishnava stalwarts  Swamy Pillai Lokacharyar and Vadakku Thiruvidhi pillai . .

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   During 1360 , Swamy Ananthacharyar was blessed with a son who was named as Hasthagiri Ananthar Anna being ardent devotees of Lord Varadaraja . ( Lord Varadaraja has been giving darshan to the devotees at this holy place called “Hastha giri”.  ‘Hastham’ means elephant and “giri “ means hill) .        The young  boy  was very attractive  and  devotional right from his childhood  .The boy was admitted in to the school of  Swamy Nayana varadacharyar  ,  the direct descendent of Swamy  Vedanta Desikar . He received the Vedic inputs from his Acharya and progressed in leaps and bounds by his sheer devotion .

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During this  period  , a staunch Advaitin Narasimha Mishra had come to Kancheepuram .  He…

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