Thirukannapuram Divyadesam Sowriraja Perumal Temple is located 30 KM from Kumbakonam on the way to Thiruvarur, Tanjore District, Tamilnadu which is one among the Five Krishraranya Kshetrams.
The Main Deity is glorified as Thiru Neelamega perumal along with Sridevi and Bhoodevi Thayar . The Processional deity is worshipped as Lord Sowriraja perumal. Lord Sowriraja perumal is seen with prayoga chakkra in his hands. The place is considered as Bhoolokha vaikundam. This Vaishnava Divya desam temple is located on the Kumbakonam / Mayavaram-Nannilam-Nagapattinam route.
One has to get down at Thiru Pugalur and take auto (2kms). The temple can also be reached directly from Thiruvarur.
The temple has a 7-tier rajagopuram and a vast temple complex.
The Nithya pushkarini just in front of the Temple is so vast that it looks more like a large lake
As we go around the main sanctum we can have darshanam of Thirumangai Azhwar, Vibishanan, and Lord Sri Raman sanctum. sanctorium
There is a separate sanctum for Swamy Ramanujar to north side of Pushkarani.
There is an interesting pastime related to this wonderful Srivaishnava divyadesam related to the ‘savuri’ ( hair grown to the deity ).
It so happened , once the temple priest presented a garland that was offered to the Lordships to a women who had come there to have darshan of Lord .
( This was a regular practice of the temple ). The Chola king who was passing by unexpectedly visited the temple. The Priest was worried and somehow managed to get the garland given to the women for presenting the same to the King .
The king who received the garland , to his surprise noticed a strand of hair in the garland and became furious. To escape from his anger and further wrath, the priest humbly submitted to the king that the Lord had a tuft of hair and that strand of hair was from the tuft.
The King forced the priest to prove his innocence .
Terrified with the Kings roar , the priest rushed into the sanctum and prayed LORD to rescue him from the Kings temper and save his life .
To save the priest, the Lord out of abundant mercy , gave darshan with a black ‘savuri’ in to the king. From that day on, He has been known as ‘Sowriraja Perumal’.
As Tirupati is famous for ‘laddu’ prasad , Srirangam for ‘payasam’, Thirukannapuram is famous for ‘muniyodharan pongal’.
The origin of this prasad is also interesting which has the name Munayadarayan .
There was a chieftain, Munayadarayan by name, who was ruling this Nagapattinam region .
He used to honor his food only after praying to Lord Sowri Raja Perumal of Thirukannapuram and due to his devotion he spent all his wealth in the service of the Lord .
For defaulting tax payment to the king, he was arrested. The Lord appeared in the dream of the king and ordered him to release Munayadarayan immediately.
When the chieftain returned from the custody at night, his wife served him Pongal . As usual he offered it to the Lord at the temple .But the temple doors were closed .He became sad and so he offered the prasadam through his manasika pooja and then honored the prasadam.
Next day, when the priest opened the temple, they found to their surprise the pudding was seen on the lips of the Lord Sowri Raja Perumal. . The king also was surprised to see the Lord accepting the Pongal offered by the chieftain.
Since then , Pongal is offered to the Lord during the night puja and this is called Munayadarayan Pongal.
Once a year, on the occasion of Maasi Magam, the Lord is taken on a procession to the sea shore near Karaikal, about 20 kms from here.
This is the temple where the Lord graced Vibheeshana, brother of demon king Ravana, his walking beauty.
After seeing the sleeping beauty of Vishnu as Lord Ranganatha at Srirangam, Vibheeshna wanted to see the walking beauty of the Lord, upon which he was directed by the Lord to his “Keezh(akku) Veedu’ (Eastern Gateway of the Lord).
It is believed that Lord Vishnu displayed his ‘walking beauty’ to Vibheeshana here on the new moon day.
To mark this event, on every Amavasya day at 12noon, Lord SowriRajan is carried out of the Sanctum and walks to the Vibheeshna Sannidhi.
There is no ‘Swarga Vasal’ for this temple as they say that one can reach ‘Vaikunta’ if they just step on this soil and worship the LORD here .
It is believed that there is a ‘pulling power’ in the sanctum of this temple and even to this day, one can feel and experience this effect
One more legend speaks about the greatness of this holy dhaam. Once , Garuda was returning from the milky ocean carrying the nectar for his mother as promised With pride ,he flew with the nectar that was not available to all.
While flying over this place , he lost his power and fell in the nearby ocean. Realizing that he had committed a sin, he performed penance here and begged pardon of the Lord.
The Lord out of compassion graced him and took him as his vehicle. As the reminder of this event , every Feb- March ( tamil month ) Masi Magam, the lord goes to the seashore and blesses all his devotees there.
Hence the devotees greet the Lord calling him as Mappillai – son-in-law.
On the 7th day of ( April- May ) Vaikasi, Lord gives darshan in (TriMoorthy Swaroopam)- Maha Vishnu in the day, Brahmaa in the night at around 11pm and Lord Shiva early next morning..
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Photos : Google images
Videos : Thanks to Sri Muniswamy , Sri Rangapadmanabhan & Sri Ranganathan
The holy place where LORD NARSINGHA BHAGAVAN incarnated for Prahlada Maharaj ..
Please read the vaibhavams of the Nava Narasingh bhagavan .
The holy place is situated 25 Km from Arlagadda in Kurnool district can also be approached via Cuddapah district, Andhra Pradesh ,India.
The most sacred shrine of Lord Narasimhar at Ahobilam is located in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh in the hills of the eastern ghat.
The temple consists of nine shrines to Lord Narisimha located around a 5 KM circle.
The shtala Purana states that PakshiRajar Garuda prayed for a vision of Lord Narisimha . Garuda commended his penance near to Srisaila Kshetra .
MORE ABOUT NAVA NARASIMHA KSHETRAM ————————————————————————– There are 9 shrines dedicated to nine forms of Narasimhar
Out of this Prahalada varada Narasimhar is in Lower Ahobilam, Ugra Narasimhar, who is a swayambhu and is treated as the divya desa Perumal is seen in Upper Ahobilam. The other shrines are scattered all over the hills.
Apart from the nava Narasimha shrines, “Prahalada padi” where Prahalada studied and “Ugra Sthambam” from where Perumal emerged are usually visited by pilgrims.
There are number of Theerthas in this shrine.
A few like Lanjekonneru near Bhargava Narasimhar , Ramatheertha near Lower Ahobilam and Raktha Kundam near Jwala Narasimhar , Bhavanaasini near Ugra Narasimhar which flows through both the mountains are a few to name.
PRAHALADA VARADA NARASIMHA SWAMY
Situated at the foot of the hills known as Lower Ahobilam, this temple can be visited by one and all. Usually all homams and yagams are performed here.
Here Perumal is seen along with Thayar blessing Prahalada.
Hence, Perumal is known as “Prahalada Varadar”.The utsava vigrahams of all the Narasimhars except Malola Narasimhar areoffered nitya thiruvaadhanai here.
To the left of Perumal, utsava vigraham of Pavana Narasimhar can be seen majestically .
In front of the Lord, the utsava idols of Prahalada varada Narasimhar along with Sridevi and Bhoodevi grace us .
The processional deity of Jwala Narasimhar along with His consorts is also seen in the garbagriham . The deity is superbly carved and on request , the archakar removes the alankaranam and performs Aaarathi to the idol.
Lord has 10 arms and Hiranya vadham (killing) is beautifully depicted.
There is also a small deity of the first Ahobila Mutt Jeeyar facing south.
The temple is a huge one and many monkeys can be seen here.
The walls of the temple depict sthalasthala puranam briefly.
There is a Thayar Sannidhi to the right of the temple.
2) BHARGAVA NARASIMHA SWAMi:
This temple is situated two kilometres from Lower Ahobilam on a small hillock and can be approached by foot. As Bhargava(Parasurama) did penance here, the Lord is thus known. It is easily approachable.
3) YOGANANDA NARASIMHA SWAMI:
Situated at a distance of 3 kilometres from Lower Ahobilam, this can be approached by foot. It was here that Prahalada mastered the art of yoga from Perumal Himself.
The divya mangalaswaroopam of the Lord is eye captivating. Perumal is seen alone in Yogaasanam.
4) CHATRAVATA NARASIMHA SWAMI
This is situated at a distance of nearly 3kms from Ahobilam on a different route also reachable on foot . As Perumal is seated alone under a peepul tree which protects Perumal like an umbrella, He is known as Chatravata Narasimhar.
This Perumal is fond of music played by Gandharvas. It looks as if the Lord is deeply engrossed in music by clasping His hands. We were told that He is fond of Adi Thalam. Reptiles keep moving in this place but they don’t harm the devotees. One has to take care of these.
5) UGRA NARASIMHAR SANNIDHI:-
This is in Upper Ahobilam. There is a narrow bus route and it takes about 40 minutes to reach this place from Lower Ahobilam.
This is considered as the divya desa temple. Usually, pilgrims have bath in Bhavanaasini or Paavanaasini (a spring which flows from the top of the hill) and then have Perumal’s darsanam.
A dip in Paavanaasini absolves all the sins committed.
Though there are no proper bathing ghats, still we can see hundreds of devotees having holy dip unmindful of their surroundings. The sannidhi is located inside a cave .
Perumal along with Thayar is seen in Veetruirundha Thirukkolam .
Opposite to Perumal, there is an idol of Prahalada. There is a dark room on the other side of the cave which is believed to be the place where Chenchulakshmi resides .
Recently, under the supervision of Jeer, a bridge across Paavanasini river has been constructed which facilitates the pilgrims to go to Varahanarasimhar temple (Krodha Narasimhar)
One kilometer further from Upppper Ahobilam leads to the shrine of Krodha Narasimhar. He is also known as Varaha Narasimhar as His Thirumukam resembles a varaham (a boar).
Any japam done here elevates one spirtually. Especially, Narayana Sadakshara Japam from Varaha Kanda bestows manifold benefits as told by Archakar Swamin..
KARANJA NARASIMHAR SHRINE :
This temple is situated between Upper Ahobilam and Lower Ahobilam..
As the divya mangala moorthi is installed under Karanja vruksham, the deity has been named so. Perumal is seen in Veetruirundha Kolam and is holding Sarngam (bow), dhanus (arrow) and chakram .
Adisesha acts as “Kudai”(refer Irundhal Kudaiyam…) and is protecting. The theertham here is known as Bhairava kundam. Hanumar who visited this place was a staunch Rama bhakta .
Lord Narasimhar appeared to Hanumar, who was a staunch Ramabhakta, with bow and arrow thus showing that He is Lord Rama Himself. This Lord is in Padmasaanam pose. One can have darshan of Hanumar also. We are reminded of Sholangur .
6) MALOLA NARASIMHAR:
This shrine is situated two kilometres away from Upper Ahobilam. Perumal came in search of Mahalakshmi Thayar who was doing penance here and placed Her on His lap. Hence, Perumal seen along with Thayar has a somya (graceful) form. Due to Thayar’s presence, Perumal graces even the worst sinner .
Azhwar refers to this Perumal in pasuram no. 1016 (Peria Thirumozhi) when he says that bhaktas are always protected by Perumal and only the wicked have to fear .
This Lord gives abhayam to His devotees and Thayar bestows Asthaaiswaryam and grants the wishes of the devotees.
There is a vigraham of Thirumangai Azhwar in the sanctum . Outside the temple, there is a small pillar with murthis. Those who are not able to go to Ugra sthambam can prostrate this pillar.
7) JWALA NARASIMHAR:-
This temple is located at a higher altitude may be around 2800 feet. And can be approached from Malola Narasimhar shrine.
It takes about 2 hours to reach this temple from Upper Ahobilam. The path is slippery and as mentioned care has to be taken.
It was here that Perumal killed Hiranyakasipu by tearing his stomach with his spear like nails.
The idol with 10 hands which is approximately 3 feet high and is scaring to look at. Beside this shrine, there is a small pond known as “Raktha Kundam” where the Lord is believed to have washed His blood-stained hands .
The water is reddish in colour and this was the explanation given by the guide to us. Recently, a temple has been constructed for this Lord and a archakar is appointed to perform Nitya Thiruvaaradhanai.
8) PAVANA NARASIMHAR:
It is situated six kilometres away from Upper Ahobilam towards north east on the banks of River Pavana. It is difficult to approach this temple as wild animals keep roaming. If one wishes to visit this temple, he must do so during daytime with the help of a guide. The path is too narrow, the trek amidst cluster of rocks is strenuous .
It takes about 45 minutes for trekking. One can view Malola Narasimhar shrine and few water falls on the way on the other side of the mountain.
Forest fire is very common in this place and this helps in one way to ward off wild animals. It is believed that devas offer worship to this Lord. The Lord is seen along with Thayar .
The local tribals usually observe fast on Saturdays and offer flowers, honey, fruits, rice, jaggery etc. to the Lord.
The general notion that “bali” (sacrifice) is done here was rebuked by the priest. He said that the sacrifice would be done elsewhere in the jungles .
He also added that wild animals do not roam near the temple and only during severe summer, they come to the river bank to quench their thirst.
They usually do not hurt any one. Besides the above shrines, other place of interest are Prahalada Padi or Prahalada Mettu (Mettu in Telugu and Padi in Tamil means “step”) and Ukku sthambam.
is the place where Prahalada had his vidyabhyaasam from Sukracharya’s sons. The way to Prahalada padi though tough is breathtakingly beautiful with river flowing on one side and with various water falls amidst a huge valley.
This reminds me of the route to Badrinath. The temple is in a small cave and one has to crawl to enter inside the cave. Only 4 persons can be accommodated inside at a time.
Mountain lizards and bats move freely here.
It was here that the child started propogating Lord’s qualities. Prahalada used to resort to this place for meditating upon the Lord. There is a vigraham of Narasimhar in centre . to its right, there is an idol of Chakaratazhwar and to the left , there is a vigraham of Lord Vishnu.
which is situated at a distance of 8 kms from Upper Ahobilam is the pillar from which the Lord emerged . The pillar which is situated at the edge the cliff is split into two as a proof that Lord appeared from this pillar.
Pilgrim usually give their offerings here. It is very difficult to reach this place which is at a highest altitude .Doing pradakshinam around this pillar is even more difficult as it is in the cliff. Near the ukku sthambham (iron pillar) as the Telugus call, there is Perumal’s Thiruvadi.
The climb is very difficult . Only with His grace can one visit this place. One has to have a sharp vision and a flexible body to bend, crawl etc.
This can be approached from Prahalada padi on the way to Jwala Narasimhar shrine. While describing this pillar, Sri Mukkur Swamy says that the entire world is still pregnant with Narasimhar inside except this because Perumal has come out of it.
The symbols of Vishnu, namely, Sankhu, Chakram, Naamam are carved on the face of the hill. One can have a bird’s eyeview of the entire Ahobilam from this place.
The atmosphere is calm and serene . Various waterfalls all around looking like thin streams makes us wonder and appreciate the nature and Lord’s creation.
It’s a best place to meditate the cliff is split into two as a proof that Lord appeared from this pillar. Lets glorify our LORD singing HIS praises…..
The most sacred shrine of Lord Narasimhar at Ahobilam is located in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh in the hills of the eastern ghat.
The temple consists of nine shrines to Lord Narisimha located around a 5 KM circle. The shtala Purana states that PakshiRajar Garuda prayed for a vision of Lord Narisimha . Garuda commended his penance near to Srisaila Kshetra .
After long years of penance Lord manifested Himself in the cave of a mountain.
Few miles to the north east of the holy mountains where Garuda was performing penance a vision of HIS manifestation was granted to Garuda………………..
who after obtaining as sign of location of the mountain cave gladly traveled to the holy spot and was blessed to be graced by Satswaroopa , Mahapurusha , Lord Jwala Narasimhar not easy accessible to common people those days
Garuda worshipped the Lord and glorified LORD as Ahobilam is Mahabhalam .
The Lord was worshiped with glorious verses by Garuda …..
The mountain on which Garuda performed tapas became famous as Garudachala . In the days of yore when truth and dharma prevailed , great heat was observable near the mountain cave of Ahobilam , according to legend when green grass was put in the cave , it would catch fire and smoke would be emitted .
There are nine Narasimha Kshetras ..
Paavana Nava Moorthayaha
The uniqueness of Narasimhaavatara has been extolled by many a devotee .
LORD appeared out of a Pillar neither man nor beast and yet both man and lion..
His very appearance bespeaks HIS supremacy and transcendence .
Among the distinguished disciples of Swamy Vedanta Desikar was brahmatantra Swantantra Jeeyar Swamy who had a illustrious disciple Ghatikastam Ammal .
He was grandson of the great Acharyar Swamy Nadaadooor Ammal the chief disciple and successor of Engal Azhwar . Sreenivasacharyar was his disciple and was studying under his holiness .
He was well versed in the ancient lore and was very knowledgeable in Swamy Ramanuja sampradaya right from his boyhood.
One day the Supreme Lord Narasimha dev appeared in his dream and beckoned him to Ahobilam located in the Nallamallai Hills .
Could this vision be true ? he kept asking himself again and again ..
He hurried to meet his Acharyar and told him about his dream .
The old Acharyar was pleased with the direction of Lord .He asked him to obey the mandate.
Sreenivasacharya proceeded to Ahobilam as per Lord’s command .
He had to climb the hills amidst dense forests. Recollecting the divine dream he passed on the deep jungles with ease …
He had a dip in the Bhavanasini river , and took up abode in that wilderness .
As LORD always takes care of HIS devotee , Mukundaraya, the local chieftain also reached the holy place to receive our Acharyar as per divine command.
On proceeding further he could see the tribals worshipping Lord Narasimha .
They believed LORD had married their foster daughter of a Chenchu Chief .
And since they became His votaries .
They called him Obelessuddu …
They used to celebrate Annual festival by presenting clothes , honey fruits and all the beautiful things .
Srinivasacharya along with few locals entered the forest . After he finished his many chores , a yati beckoned him and administered the Preshamantra after ordaining him into the ascetic order .
Lord addressed him as Sri Satakopa Yati and then revealed his real form of LORD NARASIMHA
He directed the yati to be the Chief Aaaradhaka thus going to villages ministering to the spiritual well being of all his disciples .
Be their Acharya …..
purify them …
with the emblems of Conch and Discuss instruct them into the mysteries of the creed…….
He was the first Jeeyar who received the charter from LORD himself.
This happened on the fifth lunar day of of bright fortnight in the year 1320 the appearance day of Lord srinivas ( Purattasi sravanam )
As Lord disappeared the deity of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha had landed into his hands .
Our dear Lord Malola Murthy wears a paduka indicating he is ever ready to proceed to shower HIS mercy on devotees.
A palanquin and other paraphernalia was offered to the Supreme LORD…..
And thus LORD has graced to accompany the Ahobilam Jeeyars past 700 years .
It was during this time the great King Prataapa Rudrudu was ruling Andhra pradesh. Once while returning from Srisailam after his worship to Paramasivan , Prataparudra stopped and camped at Ahobilam .
He used to worship Paramasiva daily . Everyday he used to mould a linga roopa in gold and worship .He used to offer the worshiped Linga to a brahmin before he partook food .It was a daily routine.
The next morning he was eagerly waiting for his goldsmith to bring the molded linga for worship. It was getting delayed and hence he himself approached the tent where the gold smith was molding the linga . To his surprise he could see the molded gold was taking shape of Lakshmi Narasimha instead of Linga roopa .
Suddenly he heard vedic mantras .
He looked around and was attracted to divine chants near by . He asked his ministers to find out the details . He approached the vaishnavas who were radiating with opulence and requested them to introduce themselves .
The King was led into the Ashram where our First Jeeyar Sri Sri Sri Adivan Satakopan was worshiping the great LORD .
The King was overjoyed to see the holy abode of Lord Narasimha .
He liked the pious atmosphere around with greenery everywhere .
His holiness Sri Adivan Satakopa Yatheendra Mahadesikar was radiating with divinity . The King fell at the lotus feet of the Jeeyar and offered repeated obeisances . He explained the miracle of the molded gold turning into Lord Lakshmi Narasimhar deity instead of Linga roopa .
The Jeeyar was pleased and blessed him .
The King offered the Suvarna Lakshmee Narasimhar to Jeeyar and asked for his benediction .He directed his ministers to provide all financial and labor support for Jeeyar in propagating the path the Supreme Lord had desired .
The King got converted to srivaishnavism and played a role in the Jeeyars journey of propagating the sampradaya.
Thus one would be very fortunate to have darshan of Jeeyar and the Lordships who accompany the Ahobilam Jeeyars .
The divine world Jeeyar accompanies all compassionate our Lord Maalola Narasimhar , Suvarna Narasimhar Mangalagiri Panaka Narasimhar who arrived and joined 42nd Jeeyar Lord Krishna who enjoys Dolotsavam . Lord Ranganathar reclining on Adhishesha with Goddess Mahalakshmi ,Lord Athagiri Varadar worshipped by the great Acharyar Nadathur Ammal . Lord Sreenivasar with Alamelumanga thaayar Sampath kumaran with Yadhugiri Nachiyar Parimalarangan with Goddess Sridevi and Bhudevi , Lakshmi varahan, Bhuvarahan , Adhikesavar with goddesses , Sudarshana Azhwar, Sri Seetha Rama , Lakshmana perumal Lord Aaravamudham , Hayagreevar Sri Andal ,Lord Rangamannar and Saaligrama Moorthies .
The divine world showers divinity all around .Great Acharyars Vishwaksenar Swamy Nammazhwar , Thirumangai Azhwar shower opulence on the lucky ones who have darshan …
Jai Jai Lakshmee Narasimha
All glories to His holiness Sri Sri Sri Adivan Satakopa Yatheendra Mahadesikar
All glories to Lord Narasinga devotees
All glories to Ahobilam Kshetra
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pics Credits : Google images and various social media shared by several advanced devotees
Swami Alavandar is universally considered to be the Acharyar of Sri Ramanujacharya, though he had never spoken once to Swami Ramanuja till he lived. Whatever he taught Ramanuja he did it only through his disciples. Alavandar’s disciples were priceless gems. Perianambi, Thirukoshtiyur Nambi, Thirumaalaiyaandan and Peria Thirumalai Nambi were the chief disciples.
Of these Perianambi personally taught swami Ramanuja and it was Thirukoshtiyur Nambi who made swamy Ramanuja walk to his place 18 times to learn the meaning of LORD’S name.
Alavandar had another disciple by name Maraneri Nambi. The other disciples were all high-caste Brahmans whereas Maraneri Nambi belonged to a caste which was in the lowest rung of the social ladder during those period.Alavandar did not discriminate between his disciples and he loved Maraneri Nambi more than the other disciples.
Peria Nambi and Maraneri Nambi were of the same age. They became close friends. They would discuss their teacher’s words and each friend would contribute to the other’s learning. Once Alavandar was suffering from a painful disease called the carbuncle. Carbuncle, known as the King of Boils, Rajapilavai, in Tamil, is caused due to inflammation of tissues in the back and neck.
The shooting pain emanating from the fast-spreading boil would be unbearable. Antibiotics and painkillers were unknown in those days and it is difficult for us even to imagine the kind of pain the disease inflicted on its victims.
Swamy Alavandar was suffering silently. He did not even let his disciples know about the disease lest they should be worried. Perianambi and Thirukoshtiyur Nambi alone knew.
One day Maraneri Nambi went to Alavandar’s house. He insisted that he should see his Guru. Alavandar was hesitant. But Maraneri was adamant. So he was let in. Alavandar tried to cover his pain and welcomed him with a smile.
He thought that Maraneri had come there to clear his doubts in his lessons. The best way out was to dispose Maraneri as early as possible without letting him find out his disease. Maraneri came into the room and prostrated at his Acharya’s feet.
“May you be blessed, Maraneri Nambi.
Please get up. You see I have a lot of things to do today.
Please tell me your doubts fast. We don’t have much time.” “Gurudeva, I have been your disciple for decades. Have I asked anything from you?”
“No.” “Today I have come to you with a desire. I have set my mind on that object.
And I can’t live without that. You have that with you. Can you give that to me?”
“It’s yours Maraneri. Whatever it is.”
Maraneri ran out to fetch a silver vessel containing the holy water.
Alavandar was puzzled.
“Please Gurudeva show me your hands.”
“What for, Maraneri?”
“When you gift a piece of land you need to solemnize the gift with the holy water, right?”
“Yes, you are right. You want the mutt’s land near the river kaveri .Well, it’s yours.
“Please repeat whatever I am going to say..
“I, Yamunaithuraivar alias Alavandar, do hereby gift to my disciple Maraneri Nambi, the Rajapilavai disease which I have now, along with the pain, the suffering and all the after-effects.”
“What the hell you are doing Nambee ? This is not a game.
This water is holy. And if I repeat whatever you said, then you will have the disease, you moron. Don’t ever say the words again.
“You are one of the greatest Acharyas, the world has ever seen.
You have promised to give whatever I want…….
How can you go back on your word, Gurudeva?”
“But that’s ridiculous, Nambi.”“What is ridiculous, Acharya?
You are our Guru. You have a hundred disciples.
A thousand people come to you every day to listen to your words.
Even the Lord who sleeps forever in the temple is looking forward to see you every day.“How can you afford to be confined to your bed? And by your kind, wise words you are removing our pains. Pains which have been following us for millions of births. How can you suffer in pain, Acharya?
“I am a low-born worm, Gurudeva. By accepting me as your disciple you made a gift to me which is worth more than the whole universe.
“Now, Gurudeva, please.. I beg of you.. please allow me to do my part.
If you refuse to give your disease then I will have no option than to die at your feet. It’s your call.” Alavandar melted. He poured the water on his hand and chanted the appropriate mantra.
“Please bear with me, Gurudeva. I have one more request.”
Alavandar looked at his disciple through a screen of tears.
“Let this transaction be not known to anybody else in the world.”
Alavandar was happy and sad at the same time.
Happy that he had such a loving disciple and sad because he was forced to give so much of pain and suffering to such a nice man.
Maraneri Nambi went out as a happy man.
Peria Nambi met him outside the room.
“Why are you so happy, my friend?”
“After many decades of discipleship it was only today that our Guru was kind enough to give me a precious prasadam.
And that too only after I compelled him to do so.”
Perianambi did not understand a word of what his friend said. Alavandar’s recovery was quite dramatic after that day.
A week later Maraneri Nambi was down with carbuncle. It is said that he suffered for three months from shooting pain. Whenever he was in pain he would only chant the name of his Gurudeva.
Because his Guru’s blessings were fully on him and because the Lord was moved by his selfless love Maraneri Nambi recovered from the disease sooner than the usual time.
Swamy Alavandar was more than a hundred years old.
One day he passed away.
Maraneri Nambi and Perianambi, who were in their eighties, cried a lot over the death of their loving Guru.
Swamy Ramanujacharya then came to Srirangam and took over the reins of the Ashram. Maraneri Nambi was now in his death bed.
He called his friend Perianambi one day and insisted that he should be left alone with his dear friend.
“Perianambi, my dear friend, I have a fear.
When I leave this body they would give this body to my relatives.
I have quite a lot of them, no doubt.
But most of them are drunkards and cheats.
They would drink arrack, dance around my dead body and utter all profanities.
“I am Swamy Alavandar’s disciple and I have been thinking only of my Guru and God all these years.
“Giving my body to my relatives would be like giving the sacred ghee offered in the yagas to a street dog.
My body in which my Guru and my Lord reside should not be humiliated by those crooks.
”Perianambi held his friend’s hands and assured him.
“I will take care of that. Our Lord, our Guru and the new head, the loving Swamy Ramanuja will never let that happen.
Believe me, Maraneri. “
Maraneri Nambi was relieved.
He died peacefully in his sleep that very night.
When Perianambi heard of his friend’s death he came running to the Ashram. He supervised all the funeral arrangements himself.
And then he did the unthinkable.
Perianambi who was born in the highest caste of Brahmans did the last rites himself and lit the funeral pyre.
It was nothing short of a revolution in those days.
How could somebody born in the highest of castes, somebody like Perianambi, do the last rites for someone born in the lowest of castes?
It created a great furore.Many disciples of the mutt opposed Perianambi’s action.
Perianambi was banned from the temple. He was not allowed to mingle with the people.And somebody took up the matter with Swamy Ramanuja.
Now Perianambi was Ramanuja’s teacher.
Ramanuja knew all about Perianambi’s love. He also knew about Maraneri Nambi’s devotion.
After all Ramanuja was the man who stood on the top of the temple wall and revealed the most sacred secret to those born in the lowest of castes, in spite of his Guru’s warnings.
Yet he wanted the other disciples to know about Peria Nambi and Maraneri Nambi.
He summoned Perianambi to his presence and held a court martial.
“Oh Worshipful Acharya, you have been charged with a very grave offense.
That you did the last rites for a man born in the lowest of castes. You are a learned Brahman.
“You know it is forbidden by the sasthras. And the punishment prescribed for such an act is total ex-communication.
That is you can’t enter the temple, this mutt or any other Brahman’s house.
What’s your answer, Acharya?”
Perianambi knew his disciple like the palm of his hand.
He knew that the show was only for the gallery.
He saw the disciples jeering at him.
Normally a soft-spoken person that eighty year old man now roared like a lion, no like the lion-faced Lord Narasimha.
“Ramanuja, I have not done anything wrong.
Do I have to remind you that in the great epic Ramayana our Lord Rama did the last rites for a bird, Jadayu?
“Neither am I superior to Rama nor my dear friend Maraneri Nambi inferior to that bird.”
Not a single word wasted.
The arrow hit the bull’s eye.
The lion-faced Lord had killed the demon called bigotry.
Or at least that was what he thought……
Ramanuja clapped his hands like a child.
He then turned to the other disciples.
“Are you clear now?
Do you have any counter arguments?”
But very few understood.
Well, they exactly did not have an argument against Perianambi’s powerful example.
At the same time they were not large-hearted enough to condone Perianambi’s excesses. They started avoiding Perianambi.
If he went to the temple the priests would leave the place.
If any Brahman saw him on the road he would turn his face the other side and walk away…..
Swamy Ramanuja came to know of the ill-treatment meted out to Perianambi.
He was very sad.
After teaching love for years and years, these people still acted like fanatics.
‘What’s the big deal? Why should I waste my life teaching these bigots?’
Ramanuja ran to the temple. It was late in the night.
They were about to close the doors.
They were waiting for the Acharya to finish his darshan.
Ramanuja was sobbing before the sleeping Lord.
“I tried my best to make them understand Perianambi’s love.
I have failed in my mission.
Please, Lord, you will have to do something about it.
“Please don’t let Perianambi suffer for his greatest act of love.
Please my, Lord. Please…
”The Lord who is nothing but Love, the Lord who even while sleeping on the banks of Cauvery is constantly thinking about his devotees, the Lord who cannot tolerate any kind of bigotry, just smiled.
He had already made up his mind to teach a lesson to those fanatics.
It was festival time in Srirangam. The very next day was the famous car festival.
The huge Ther (car) of Srirangam was to pass through the house of Perianambi.
When the Lord’s Ther came into the street Perianambi was sitting in his pooja room with all the sadness in his face.
He had never missed the car festival in the past. Because he was a well-learned Brahman and one of Alavandar’s disciples, the car would stop at the gate of his house so that he could have dharshan.
But this time it was different. He was not allowed in the temple.
And nobody talked to him. He also knew that the Lord’s car would not stop in front of his house, this time.
His eyes were shedding tears of love…..
“My Lord, do you also think that what I did was wrong?
Maraneri Nambi is a much better person than I. And I am really proud that I had the blessing to light his funeral pyre.
“If you have also decided to let me down, Oh My, dear, dear Lord, so be it. If you let me down, I don’t want anybody else to save me.
Do whatever you wish, my Lord.” The Car had just approached the house of Perianambi.
When Azhagia Manavala Perumal seated in the car was right in front of Perianambi’s house-entrance the huge car suddenly came to a grinding halt.Actually the administrators had cunningly planned to make the car run at double the usual speed when they were crossing Perianambi’s house.
But those petty minds were but small pieces of cotton in that large fire of love whose name was AzhagiaManavala Perumal. He had his say.
And He always had his way.The gigantic Ther stopped before Perianambi’s house. It looked as if their roles had been reversed. For years and years Perianambi used to wait outside his house for the Lord.
Today the Lord was waiting for him. The administrators thought it was a mechanical problem and could be corrected only if they applied more oil on the axis. Pots of oil were poured on the humongous axis.
Yet the car would not move.They sent word to the nearby villages. Hundreds of people came to pull the car. The Lord did not even move a milli-metre.They sent word to the stable and six elephants were brought to pull the car. The Lord was adamant. They then went in search of mantrikas and astrologers.The Lord was waiting patiently at the gate of Perianambi’s house.
Four hours had passed. Perianambi was crying in the pooja room. Nothing moved.The best of mantrikas was summoned. He came there, closed his eyes and went into a state of trance.
After thirty minutes he woke up. “Idiots, you have hurt a good man, a noble soul. Unless you give Lord’s prasadam to him with due respects the Lord will not move an inch from this place. And fools, do remember this.
If he thinks ill of you even for a second you’ll all be burnt to ashes in no time. You can even play with this God. He won’t mind. But never try to play with his devotees.
You will be annihilated.Emboldened by their silence the mantrika delivered his punchline with aplomb.“You fools, if you have any sense still left in you, fall at Perianambi’s feet and beg his pardon.
Unless he forgives you even this loving Lord will not forgive you. Mind it.”He refused to accept any fees from them.
“I have a strong policy not to accept anything from sinners like you.” He ran away from the place. Then and only then they realized their mistake.
The Chief Priest went into Perianambi’s house and fell at his feet. “Perianambi, our Lord, Azhakia Manavalar is waiting to see you.
At your gate. Looks like He won’t move any further unless you come out and see him. ‘Please come with me and accept the Lord’s prasadam. And please forgive all of us. We are all petty-minded people.
“We now know for sure that you are on our Lord’s side. No, no, our Lord is on your side. Please come, Peria Nambi. The Lord has been waiting for you for the past four hours.” Perianambi ran out of the house.
It was a sight to see almost the entire town falling at his feet.He ignored them all and fell before the huge car.
The Chief Priest lifted him up and honoured him with the Lord’s cloth and his sadari. A garland was taken from the Lord and was placed on Perianambi’s neck.
Azhagia Manavala Perumal was affectionately smiling at his devotee. Perianambi was respected like a King amongst his peers.
For did not the Lord Himself stop at his place? Seeing the bewitching smile on Azhakia Manavalar’s most beautiful face Peria Nambi folded his hands.
He did not even attempt to control his sobs. “Any day your love is a million times better than mine, my Lord. Give me a billion births to be born as a worm to be crushed by the feet of your loving devotees. I can’t even repay a small fraction of your love.
Oh My Lord, you stopped at my place! You stopped at the house of this worm! You waited for me! My Lord! My Lord!”
The Chief Priest came near Perianambi and gently reminded him.“Please let the Lord go, Perianambi. It’s getting late, you see. Please..”
Perianambi moved away.
The Lord took leave of his devotee and resumed his onward journey. The huge car now moved as if its wheels were on air.
The gigantic Chariot started moving when less than fifty people gently pulled its ropes.
Credits : HG Shri Varalotti Rengasamy
All glories to Peria nambee All glories to Alavandar Srimathey Ramanujaya namah:
Pics : Thanks to Google images /and other websites shared by advance devotees
It was Namperumal’s divine plan to make Swamy Ramanujar leave Srirangam for a short time , and purify other places by placing his holy feet in Melnadu and retrieve Thirunarayanan who was worshipped by Sri Ramar and Sri Krishna during Tretha and Dwapara yugas .
Peria Perumal thus created a difficult situation by which Swamy Ramanujar had to leave Srirangam after taking Peria Perumal’s consent and thus proceeded towards north accompanied by Sri Mudaliandan Swamy.
The local people who were averse to Swamy Ramanujar conspired a plan to do away with him.
Swamy Ramanujar learning their evil intentions ordered Mudaliandan Swamy to place his feet in the drinking water pond in that area now called saligrama near Thondanur , which he politely obeyed.
At salagrama ,by partaking this Sripada theertham, the minds of the evildoers changed miraculously and they fell at Swamy Ramanujar lotus feet seeking forgiveness. Such was the greatness of Swamy Mudaliandan .
Ramanujar named this place as “Saligramam” which is near to Melkote.
Even today this pond is maintained by the archakar family .
There is a small temple opposite to this pond in which Swamy Ramanujar’s lotus feet are worshiped.
Swamy Ramanuja had a large number of disciples at Melnadu .
Vangipurathu Achi , Vangipurathu Nambi , Thondanur Nambi , Marudhur Nambi, Malur Nambi , Anathazhwan were some of them in the large group of disciples he had at Melnadu.
Thondanur Nambi was a great bhagavatha , a saint and most respected scholar as he was close to the Royal family .
Thondanur Nambi , during his pilgrimage to Srirangam was attracted to Swamy Ramanuja .
He loved his approach and the simple teachings which leads to self realisation that takes one to godhead. He was one among the 74 Simhadhipathees .
Thondanur was the summer capital of the Hoyasala kingdom ruled by King Vittala deva who was a staunch follower of Jainism .
It was a wonderful opportunity to grace the King and his people and induct them in the great srivaishnava sampradayam .
Swamy Ramanuja and Thondanur Nambi look for an auspicious time and leave to Thondanur to the Royal palace .
The Royal couple have the divya darshan of JagathAcharyar Swamy Ramanuja .
Both of them fall like uprooted trees looking at Swamy Ramanujas divine aura .
They welcome Swamy to their Royal chambers .
The whole Royal family pay their obeisance’s to Swamy Ramanuja .
The mad princess who was irritating the members few minutes back suddenly leaves into another room when Swamy enters the chambers . With some cajoling the princess who is shabbily dressed is brought before Swamy Ramanuja .
Looking at the pitiable state of the princess , Swamy gives the holy water that was offered to his Lordships and applies the holy turmeric paste offered to Lord on her forehead .
The moment she sips the holy water and makes an eye contact with the great Acharya the evil spirit vanishes and she almost faints before him .
The princess is slowly brought back to senses by sprinkling some water on her .
To everybody’s surprise she gets up , looks at herself feels shy and runs away to her chambers . She dresses herself elegantly and offers obeisances to Swamy Ramanuja amongst all the people .
The Royal couple are amazed with the sudden happenings . They accept that the great seer who is with them is a very pious soul who has incarnated to uplift them . Instantly they surrender to his lotus feet and beg to be taken into his fold .
Swamy Ramanuja asks them to offer prayers at Nambi Narayana Temple and meet him there .
At Swamy Nambi Narayana temple , Swamy Ramanuja conducts a discourse attended by many people . The King along with his Royal family too attend the discourse which speaks about the ultimate purpose of life as a srivaisnava .
. Attracted to his simple teachings the entire crowd adopt srivaishnavism . Amongst the citizens the King , Queen and all his family members are given Panchasamskara initiation .
The King is given a name a Vishnu vardhana after due initiation by Swamy Ramanuja himself . The celebration among st the citizens is multi fold .
All the citizens hail Swamy Ramanujas discourse and accept him as their Jagath Acharya .
Somewhere down the lane the Jain monks are upset with the happenings .
All of them march to the Royal Palace and argue with the king for taking such a foolish step
They convince the King that their proposed debate with Swamy Ramanuja will prove Jainism superiority and he must agree to their command .
The King knew very well that such thing can never happen .
However he along with the Jain monks in huge numbers walk up to the Yoga narasimhar temple located on a hillock as Swamy Ramanuja was staying there .
The Jain monks along with the King meet Swamy Ramanuja and invite him to a debate on the esoteric truths . All the Jain monks assemble and start posing questions .
The euphoria around makes Swamy Ramanuja to command his disciples to surround him with a curtain . Almost 1000 jain monks shoot questions on him without any break .
It is was ONE vs ONE THOUSAND
The divine incident of Swamy Ramanuja taking over one thousand Jain monks was relished by the disciples . Inside , Swamy Ramanujar was covered by a curtain and with his original form as Adisesha with 1000 hoods, he answers every question of the monk with patience and clarity .
Thus he defeats all the 1000 Jains at a time. One monk was inquisitive to find out why the curtain was put .He slowly managed to peep inside the curtain .
To his shock he could see JagathAcharyar’s viswaroopam and fainted . The Jain monks had no reply and were forced to accept defeat and adopt to srivaishnavism .This incident happened at Lord Narasimha swamy temple in Bhakta nagari (presently known as Thondanur).
Swamy MudaliAndaan who gave us the nectarian sloka DHAATI PANCHAKA in praise of Swamy Ramanujar at this place. This place is on the way to Melkote(about 16 kms) from Srirangapatinam.
The wonderful opportunity given by Swamy Ramanuja to Mudaliandaan is remembered even today . “Dhati Panchakam” speaks of the victory of Swamy Ramanuja over other philosophies – both those that accept Vedas and those that don’t – and his establishing the Visishtadvaita philosohpy that was built by Azhvars and Purvacharyas.
As the name suggests, it comprises of five slokas The word “DHATI” means “attacking” – as this work shows the attack that Ramanuja carried over the other philosophies that were widespread at that time, it is an appropriate name for it.
Kazhiyur village is located near Cheyyar in North Arcot district about 81 km towards east of Thiruvannamalai and about 103 KM from Chennai .
Almost 130 years ago Sri vaishnavaite Aiyyangars migrated from Mannargudi another holy place in Tanjavur and came to settle down in this village.
It is said that a plague like epidemic made people leave Mannargudi long long back .
The srivaishnavas were disciples of His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Mudaliandaan swamigal who is the first and the dearest disciples of Swami Ramanuja.
It is believed that the srivaishnavas , carried the deity of Lord Adhi Keshava Perumal all the way from Mannargudi on their head to Kazhiyur the present place and worshipped the LORD by constructing a temple with the locals support . Elders believe that the deity was sculpted from a meteorite that had fallen from the divine abode .
It is not a practice to abandon Perumal even in adverse circumstances.
The Lordship gives darashanam in Nindra Thirukolam ( standing posture).
After their resettlement in Kazhiyur, the village became a cradle of Vedic scholars, purohits and astrologers.
The devoted families lived in the Agraharam (first row of houses built around the temple and occupied by the temple priests)
The Agraharam is located around the temple of ‘Sri Adhi Keshava Perumal Swamy’, which was also built and maintained with financial support from the local Mudaliars and many devotees . Kazhiyur has been a great centre of Vedic Astrology.
They were orthodox and are considered to be an authority on Sri Vaishnavism.
Unlike other South Indians who carry the name of village and the name of the father as their initials the Kazhiyur srivaishnavas use the initials
K. M. meaning Kazhiyur Mannar.
It was an attempt to retain the Mannargudi identity.
The priests from Kazhiyur have been serving in some seva or other in almost all the 106 Sri Vaishnavite temples and the majority of them at Tirumala , Sholingur , and southern side vaishnava divya desams .
Kazhiyur is also closely connected with the Sri Ramar Sannadhi and the temple of Shree Govindaraja at the foothills of the Tirupati temple.
Srivaishnavas from Kazhiyur were also chosen to carry the offerings from the Lord of Seven Hills at Tirumalai to the temple of Govindaraja at foothills.
The priests walked bare-footed all the way down the hill carrying the offerings on their head.
Kazhiyur has been very closely linked to Kancheepuram from the very inception. Every year during the month of January, July and December, the utsavar ( processional deity ) of Lord Adi Keshava Perumal , shri Varadar is taken in a procession to the Iyengar Kulam, a lake at the outskirts of Kancheepuram.
About forty people start the procession and many more join them en-route to Kancheepuram. The procession travels on foot for the entire stretch of 18 km. After arriving at Iyengar Kolam, the Lord is given a ceremonial bath in the kolam and then taken back to Kazhiyur with pomp and show .
This custom has been inspired from the grand festival ( Lord Varadharaja going to ‘Padai Seevaram’ on the day of Chithirai Poornima at Tirupati) . This ritual is also known as ‘Parvettam’ (forest hunting).
Today out of few houses in Kazhiyur Agraharaham , only few houses are occupied and the remaining are kept locked.
However, every year during the month of April, on the day of Chittirai Revathi, the birth star of Lord Adi Keshava which is tomorrow April 29 , 2022 ….
The revered Azhwars and Acharyars take up upon themselves the burden of saving men who LORD gives up hopelessly for the reluctance in seeking HIM .
Do Acharyars really possess these virtue ?
An example is quoted from scriptures
By a Rishi’s curse a saint was consigned to the nether region , the hellish planets . The saint he was continued to follow his devotional practices with all sincerity .
The demons noting that the person could be a faction from devas , harassed him with their weapons . But as he was a devotee of LORD Sriman Narayana he proved invulnerable to them .
The worried demons approached their guru Shukra for a suggestion to wound the arrived devotee .
Shukra suggested ,
My dears !!
Begin by abstracting his love for Sri Hari and rest is assured for him to be in your grip …
The demons put on the disguise of devotees and making friendship with the saint practically explained that Sri Hari had neglected him so far even down to his confinement in the nether regions and hellish planets , and thus could certainly not be worthy of worship .
They spoke ill about Sri Hari relating to his deep misfortune .
All the efforts to rob his love to Sri Hari proved futile , but parallel y the saint exhibited a great compassion in his heart for the demons at sight of the profundity of their sinfulness.
The saint supplicated LORD to exhibit his abundant mercy on these sinful men for their offenses . The saints prayers had instant effect .
The demons turned into friends and were anon taken to Lord’s abode of bliss .
Thus the power of salvation vested in LORD manifests itself with redoubled vigor in the members of HIS holy abode …
Kulasekshara Azhwar wonders at the propensity of people to live lives steeped in sin, when there is any number of the Lord’s names, which one could chant and think about, capable of instantly cleansing of them of all sins.
Why could one not say
“Madhava” and several holy names ……
which are incredibly sweet on the tongue and also act as purifiers, wonders Azhwar in the verses of ” Mukunda mala”
In a glowing tribute to the glory of the Lord’s holy names, Sri Tondarappodi Azhwar recounts the episode of a conversation between Mudgala and Yamadharma raja. Mudgala was a wicked person, guilty of several sins.
On one occasion, unknowingly , he gifted a cow to a brahmin , accompanying it with the words,
“Let this be for Krishna” (“KrishNAya nama:”) as he heard this verse many times from others .
When he left his mortal coils , and reached YamalOka, Yamadharmaraja received him with all respects and honour .
Mudgala was surprised and sought the reason for the unusual reception given to him . Yamadharmaraja replied , the single word “Krishna” uttered by you during the “GodAnam” , had got rid him of all the evil.
The beneficial effects of the single utterance of the Krishna nAma did not stop with Mudgala.
Those residing in the hell who listened to the conversation between Yama and Mudgala, and heard Krishna nAmA, were instantly absolved of their sins. What is more, the entire hell was immediately transformed into heaven, lock, stock and barrel.
Such indeed is the efficacy of the holy name of the Lord, which is capable of benefiting even those who utter or listen to it, by sheer accident, without any instinct of devotion or adulation.
For those who are unable even to utter the short and sweet names of the Lord, Azhwar has another prescription for saving them from the fires of hell.
A mere mention of the hallowed abodes of Emperuman would, by itself, ensure that none goes to Hell , indeed, if everyone were to just say the name of a divyadesam once, it would render the hellish worlds uninhabited and desolate, says Azhwar in the following pasuram—
….Sri Vishnusahsranama ..………a divine gift from Bhishmacharya ………………..After the great Mahabharata war, as per destiny , Bhismacharya was lying on the bed of arrows . He was letting the world know that he was waiting for the auspicious time [punya kala] for the sun orienting its direction northwards [Uttarayan] for leaving his mortal body. Deep inside his heart he was praying Lord Krishna to bless him with his darshan during his last moments of his life . byBhismacharya was patiently bearing the pain and being a nice devotee had the firmness not to ask the lord for relief and instead waited for the Lord to grace him .The lord also acted in the same way as his devotee. Since Bhismacharya did not directly call upon Lord , the Lord also decided that he will not use that as a direct reason for giving him his darshan. It is also revealed , before the onset of the war, Arjuna was perplexed and hence Lord Sri Krishna gave the Holy epic Srimad Bhagavat Gita to clarify all the doubts of Arjuna and indirectly to the humankind. Meanwhile after the war , the whole of Dwaraka was eagerly waiting for the Lord’s arrival Lord Krishna was getting ready to depart to Dwaraka. Yudishtira somehow wanted to delay the lord’s departure for some reason. He submits to Lord humbly and pleads , Oh Lord Krishna! I cannot sit on the throne which is stained by the blood of all my relatives and all my grandsir’s.I am not sure about the righteous path and am confused over the path of dharma.” Please help me ..Lord thought that probably he had to bestow Yudhistira with another sermon of Bhagavat Gita but decided not to do so. He thought of a better option. He told Yudistira that the best person to seek knowledge on dharma was none other than Bhismacharya . The lord said “When Arjuna was confused; I thought that my discourse would make his mind light and devoid of any doubts. But I later realized that he was all the more confused and worried.” He advised , Yudishtira that he was going to lead him to a satsang which was a divine communion with a great devotee Bhismacharya. So the entire retinue now proceeded towards Bhismacharya in the war field .Bhishma was lying on a bed of arrows with no food, water and was sustaining his life only by uttering the Lords holy names silently and living with sheer divine grace. The moment Bhisma looks at Lord Krishna along with Yudhistira, his face brightens up with a smile. He is overjoyed with Lord Krishna darshan. Lord walks near him and with a bewitching smile requests Bhisma to clarify Yudhishtira’s doubt’s . Lord thus created a situation and used this as a pretext to grace Bhisma.(He wanted to show the greatness of Bhisma). Lord looks at Yudishtira and says , Yudhishtra !!! when people are about to depart this world, they would disclose the supreme of all secrets which they have been guarding all their lives. This is akin to the father giving all his wealth to his son only during his last moments. The lord advises him to clarify all his questions related to the highest dharma from Bhisma who was considered the man for his strength, honesty , values and benevolence . All the Pandavas and Draupathi arrive at the Kurukshetra battle field where Bhisma was lying on the bed of arrows. Bhisma looks at the them and becomes very emotional.. Bhisma recollects all the misfortune that happened one by one. He concludes with tears even for wise people some things are apprehensive ..“Sarvam kala krutham manyae” It is all the play of time [kala] and none other than Lord Krishna can comprehend this.Time is no different from Krishna as the lord appears as time outside. Yudishtira moves close to Bhishma to voice his concerns on dharma and requests to expound on Dharma. Hearing his question, Bhisma replies ..My child listen ….Dharma can be classified as follows Raja dharma – The dharma for politicsMoksha dharma – The dharma for different stages of one’s life as a student, as a house-holderVarma Dharma – The dharma that one needs to adhere by someone who is ready for renunciationAshrama dharma – The dharma for a renunciantBhisma elucidates on the prayachitha dharma [pavana dharma ) set of guidelines that one needs to follow if one commits a mistake. After patiently listening to the discourse on dharma , Yudishtira pleads Bhisma to expound on the supreme of all dharmas. Bhishma smiles and says My child !!! Can any one compare between dharmas. Every dharma is unique in its own way. However ..listen the supreme of all dharmas is verily chanting the divine names of Lord Vishnu.<!– /wp:paragraph –> It is superior to any other dharma. It is indeed greatest of all dharma, jnana and bhakti yogas. The chanting of divine names of the lord exists independently of other dharmas.Bhishma blessed us all by revealing Sri Vishnu Sahasranama which has the powers to cure any disease in samsara and liberate us from this prison of samsara and ensure we are united with Lord Sriman Narayana.All the great commentators of Bhagavad Gita and Vishnu Sahasarnama gracefully point out the fact that chanting the divine names of the lord is indeed the greatest of all dharmas in the age of Kali.Human mind thinks that if a path has lot of intricacies then it is a supreme. Human mind also thinks that if a path is rare then it is great. TVThe same mind also thinks that a simple path cannot be a great path. The great Azhwars , Acharyas and advanced devotees from all the vaishnava schools justifiy why the path of nama sankirtan is indeed supreme. There are six reasons to substantiate the greatness of this path. Firstly there is no violence involved. It is easy to perform, for it has no expectations on six fronts – himsa [violence], purushantara [irrespective of caste/creed], desha [place], kala [time], dravyantara [no material cost], niyama [no rules]. There are absolutely no rules.Namasankirtan will unite everybody. It will unite countries, people, cultures and races. People will unite and come together irrespective of their religion, tradition and philosophies they follow and everyone will be united by the bond of love which will be further strengthened by the chanting of the divine names of the lord.The battle of Kurukshertra took only twenty years before the start of the Kali Yuga which is about 5200 years ago.So Bhismacharya gave a fitting dharma which logically, philosophically fulfills the principles of Bhagavad Gita. Srimad Bhagavatam fulfills Bhagavad Gita and it explains Gita with lot of relish by quoting examples and anecdotes.
At the end of Mahabharatha war, Yudhistira was bestowed with the thousand names of the lord, the Vishnu Sahasarnama.Sree Vishnu sahasranama Sthothra, is a garland of the thousand divine names of Lord Vishnu, strung into a beautiful sthothra by the legendary Rishi “Veda Vyasa” , acknowledged as one of the greatest exponents of the Vedic wisdom. The first 13 stanzas are the dialog between Yudhisthira and Bhishmacharya . The next three stanzas are the customary Dhyana verses…. It is said that in Veda Vyasa’s 149th chapter Anushasanika Parvam of the Great Epic Mahabharatha, the Vishnu Sahasranama Stotra, the 1000 names of the Lord Vishnu are written..The person who requested for it is the Dharma Putra and the person who gave it is Dharma Swaroopa, the very embodiment of dharma, Bhismacharya. The witness to this wonderful episode was none other than the end of all dharma, Lord Sri Krishna.It was in such a beautiful way that the chanting of the divine names of the lord was introduced to the world in such an auspicious setting and amidst a holy group. After hearing this, Yudhistira was completely satiated and relieved.It is saids by Elders , that One who learns these holy names by mind, heart and soul meets with nothing undesirable. He is free from the conditioning of the worlds, mundane and spiritual. One who wants wisdom, will know all the philosophy. The ruler meets with success, and the businessman finds the culmination and significance of his wealth. The labourer attains happiness. The seeker of Law realises what is Law. He who is desirous of wealth will attain the real wealth. He who wants accomplishment will be accomplished. One who wants a child realises what a child is. One who chants these thousand names without any desire, becomes prominent in society and is known as inevitable. His Wealth lies in stability and his prosperity lies in his virtue. Ability and brilliance keep him fearless. His divine aura keeps him in strength, beauty and virtue and protects him from any indisposition. The unhealthy one finds himself healthy, the imprisoned realises freedom. The frightened one is freed from fear and the one who is in peril, will be out of peril.Everyone stands above and beyond his own hurdles by chanting the prayer of the Supreme Person.
One lives beyond these fears, by chanting the thousand names of the Lord with devotion. This is because a devotee of the Lord bears no malice, no anger, no hatred and no coveted expectation of anything. Remember that the vault of heavens decorated with the sun, moon and the sparkling myriads is kept in poise by the Lord of all Lords, who lives in everyone of them. Since He pervades all, you remember that the whole creation which includes the gods and demons and the beings astral, etheric, etherial and meteorological, exists in obedience to Him. Why? Look here, your own mind, senses, will, discrimination, ability, brilliance, valour, courage, your own abode and the dweller of the above are all pervaded by the living Lord.
Synthesis, wisdom, understanding, learning, formulating and executing of the various activities of the creation are included in the one wisdom which comes out as the breath of the Supreme Lord.Sage Veda Vyasa very joyfully included the divine name chanting in Mahabharatha.Satsang brings in the aura of peace, ushers into clarity and keeps our intellect intact so that we can enjoy happiness and love of the lord. HARI NAAM SANKIRTAN KI JAI…By Asmath Acharyar’s and Elders blessings we were able to conduct 108 times recitation ofSRI VISHNU SAHASRANAMAM recitation in our temple that takes almost 30 hours non stop attended by a large group of devotees . Today 23 rd Feb 2021 is Bhishma Ekadasee and this is the fifth year and Adiyen seeks readers good wishes and blessings for continuous gathering . Adiyen Ramanuja dasanPics Credits : Google images
The above solka by our Poorvacharyas, brings out how our Acharyar Swamy Ramanujar appearance leads us to Sri vaikuntam, and he is called “Vishu Loka Mani Mandapa Marga Dhayee” (one who shows way to Sri Vainkuntum) in Dhaati Panchakam and he was the first revolutionist who called Harijan as “Thiru kulatthar”
When he discovered that certain categories of people were barred from entering the temple, he bunched them all together as Thirukulathar and admitted them into the folds of the temple for serving the supreme LORD …He charted the work flow of a temple’s administration in a holistic manner. From the priest to the man who plays the mridangam, to the flower seller, everyone’s role in the running of the temple was factored in. To this day, the Vaishnavite temples adhere to his vision.
The gem of a work presented to us by Jagath Acharyar Swamy Ramanujar is ” SRI BHASHYA”.
The illustrious Sri Vaishnava preceptor Swamy Alavandar wanted Swamy Ramanujacharya to take over spiritual leadership of the Sri Vaishnava community.
Swamy Ramanuja set off to meet Alavandar as per the instructions , but before the meeting could materialize, Swamy Alavandar departed from this world. Swamy Ramanuja was sad for the sudden turn of events .
He noticed that three of Swamy Alavandar’s fingers remained folded. Swamy Ramanuja asked the Elders assembled there why was it so. They replied that Swamy Alavandar had three unfulfilled wishes. On inquiring further it was revealed that the great Acharyar Alavandar wanted to write a commentary for Brahmasutra, but he could not get round to doing it because of his busy occupations .
Hence the first folded finger indicated this unfulfilled desire. Secondly, he wanted to do something to honor the contributions of the revered sages Vyasa and Parasara and thirdly, he wanted to write a commentary on Nammazhvar’s Thiruvaimozhi.
Swamy Ramanuja instantaneously promised to carry out all the three wishes unfulfilled by Swamy Alavandar. Miraculously , all the fingers restored its normal course .
Swamy Ramanuja’s Brahmasutras is glorified as Sri Bhashyam. Ramanuja named his disciple Kooratazhvan’s sons Parasara Bhattar and Vedavyasa Bhattar, thus the second wish of Alavandar was fulfilled. Upon the command of Swamy Ramanuja, his disciple Sri Kurukesa (Pillan) wrote a commentary for Thiruvaimozhi. Thus Swamy Ramanuja ensured that all of Acharyar Alavandar’s three wishes were fulfilled.
The efforts made by Swamy Ramanuja to take up the important task of his Acharyar must be cherished by every vaishnava . The comprehensive commentary of this outstanding work was given the name Srutha Prakashika.
The legendary Acharyas after our Jagath Acharyar who explained this beautiful commentary were Kurukeshwaran disciple of Swamy Ramanuja , Vishnuchittar disciple of Swamy Kurukeshwaran , Varadacharyar disciple of Vishnuchittar and Sudarshana bhattar disciple of Varadacharyar ( Nadaadhoor Ammal)
The great devotee of Lord Varadarajar of Kancheepuram ” Swamy Nadaadhoor Ammal wrote a book with all the understandings gained from the Elders in the form of arguments answers and counter arguments about the great work Sri Bhashya.
This work was called as PRAMEYAMALA .
He continued his writing with monumental works like Tatwa sara and Prapanna Parijata. Swamy was respected as the most authoritative commentator on Sri Bhashya and several disciples used to approach him for learning the esoteric truths .
A great devotee and an obedient disciple Sudarshana suri was keen to meet the Acharyar for the same . He traveled to Kancheepuram after taking permission from his aged mother . Always attentive and serving his Acharyar Ammal he was learning the rich truths from the commentaries daily. He was always there to attend the class , no matter even If he had already attended the same .That was his interest . He was always in the mood of being near to his Acharyar serving him .
One day it so happened all the disciples were awaiting for the class to begun . Acharyar also had come . But he was waiting for Sudarshana arrival . The disciples were upset for the special care given to Sudarshana The disciples expressed their unhappiness for the special care given to Sudarshana as they found him to be a dull witted person attending the same classes repeatedly without any knowledge.
The next day Ammal conducted the class as usual . He paused at a verse … and looked at Sudarshana and said ……..
My Child ! Please repeat what was explained about this verse . Sudarshana bhattar obediently got up and with folded hands replied ..
Acharya … Please command me !!! Which adhikarna ? This verse was given wonderful explanations in every discourse .Please tell me which explanation are you seeking ? The first class OR the last class ?
The disciples were dumb folded . Ammal continued . My child ! Please tell me both of them ..
Sudarshana explanations was a continuous flawless flow of words that mesmerized all the disciples .He was simply excellent in reproducing the content as explained by his Master ..
Acharyar praised him for his comprehension diction and dedication . All the disciples rushed towards Sudarshana and requested him to elucidate all the meanings .
Sudarshana attempted to codify all the texts and bring together the various commentaries of Elders as the gem Sri Bhashya.. The disciples all together edited the various commentaries of the Acharyas and hence the name …
SHRUTA PRAKASHIKA ….…
THAT WHICH IS HEARD HE MOST AUTHORITATIVE
This treasure is considered as a full mail of diamonds for Sri Bhashya like a kavacham ( shield ) This great commentary has provided answers to various onslaughts made on it in the form of questions and the doubts raised by people with limited vision .Because of this lovely work Sri Bhashya withstood firmly the many arguments and counter arguments of mayavadis .
Once this wonderful work was completed Sudarshana seeking blessings of Acharyar returned to Srirangam . He was shocked to see the tyranny of Ulugh Khan the Moslem rulers . There was chaos everywhere .
The tyrants were pulling down the towers of the mandapams .The people were living in deep fear .The palm leaf manuscripts stored in the houses of advanced srivaishnavas were being burnt .
Many elders lost their lives saving the treasures of commentaries . Sudarshana was sad . He carried the manuscripts to his aged mother and pleaded her to save this jewel which was his life breath . He approached the elders to contribute his services in protecting the LORD ..
The young Swamy Desikar , Swamy Sudarshana and other Acharyas assembled , and met Swamy Pillai Lokacharyar inside the Srirangam temple .They all concluded it was Ulugh Khan the army commander sent by Tuglak who was creating this tyranny to loot the temple . They had to take a quick decision .
All of them informed the temple priests for staying beside the deities at all cost , and gave some important tasks to be completed without any delay .
.Swamy Lokacharyar called the Chieftain and the Elders of the temple and advised them what could be the steps that may have to take facing the invader inside the temple .The objective was not to confront the enemy but to focus their efforts to ensure that the moola virat was not desecrated.
All of them decided that they shall form three groups . One group shall be headed by the eldest Swamy Pillai Lokachariya, who shall carry the deities of Lord Ranganatha and His concerts in a covered palanquin and proceed southward with few disciples .
Sudarshana who had just arrived took up the task of erecting a stone wall in front of the main sanctorum to misguide the invaders . Thus a stone wall was constructed with support of many disciples in a short time .
The third team was to provide cover for the team lead by Swamy Pillai Lokachariya [the team with the deities of our lord and his consorts so that swami had enough time to maintain safe distance from the enemy.
Swami Desika who was the youngest among the Acharyas was requested by Shri Sudarsana to go with the third party and somehow save himself so that he at least might be left to propound Sri Vaishnavism and the teachings of Jagatha Acharya Shri Ramanuja.
There was not much time left . Sudharsana entrusted his two young sons and manuscript “Sruta prakaasikA” to Swami Desika asking him to save this treasure for future generations Swami Desika earnestly prayed LORD that this great work must at any cost be saved . Swami as instructed immediately took up the directions from Sudharsana Suri and was about to leave towards northward with the little boys .
At the temple town , all of them decided in one voice that they will not oppose the army , but behave as if nothing is so serious .. There was a regular update about the Invaders who were approaching . The people were in two moods whether they should remain in town or flee.
Who was to decide and advise them? The people were utterly confused .They decided to take counsel from Lord Ranganatha himself then decided to appeal to the LORD Himself . They all dropped chits (Tiru Ulla seettu) expressing their opinion and with devotion they drew up one chit which said that all could remain at Srirangam itself.
They decided in was the Lord’s order and remained facing the situation bravely.The same evening, the invaders marched inside the Srirangam town from Samayavaram . Thousands of the town’s citizens were harassed and injured .The terror in which the enemy looted the prosperous town speaks about the bravery of the srivaishnavas there .
It was a very sad plight and the bloodbath that followed who resisted will make one cry for our great forefathers who sacrificed their lives . This had been recorded in the History of Srirangam Temple known as Koil-Ozhugu . The sad bloodshed of 12,000 Sri Vaishnavas at Sri Varahaswamy Sannidhi makes it the worst day in the temple town .
Inside the Hall , Swamy Desikar saw heaps of corpses lying around . He somehow braved the boys to lie down unnoticed to give an impression that no one survived . The little boys stretched underneath along with some of them and our dear Swami also lay down next to them along with the holy book.
Swamy Desikar thus concealed the two boys and himself amidst a heap of corpses and passed the night with caution . The enemy troops assumed that they were corpses and did not bother to probe. Observing the enemy troops moving away , Swamy Desikar slowly took the frightened boys before dawn unnoticed in North-Westerly direction .
He suddenly saw some gaurds chasing them. He managed to hide near the mud rocks at the banks of river kaveri. With caution , hiding the young boys beneath the mud rocks he dug one yard deep pit in the sands of the river and buried the great work giving mother kaveri a rare tribute .
He somehow managed to lay down covering himself with the kaveri sand escaping any detection . When the gaurds moved he regained his position and quickly moved away to Satyamangala with the treasure book and the small kids . He made few copies of the manuscripts and taught the contents to all his disciples .
Our Poorvacharyas have struggled to give us this treasure and hence It is the bounden duty of every vaishnava to proudly say…..
Once , Thirumisai Azhwar came to have a darsanam of Lord Aaraamudha perumal near Kumbakonam at Tamilnadu. Azhwar was very much impressed by Lord’s beauty .
He instantaneously recited ..
Nadanda kalgal nondhavo nadunga gnala menamai
Idanthamei kulungavo vilangumaal varaichuram
Kadanda kaal parandha kavirikarai kudanthaiul
Kidanthava yezhundirundu pesu vazhi kesane
Meaning O lord ! your lotus feet must be feeling the pain walking the worlds covered with mountains, thorns etc .
Your lotus feet are very soft that even Mother Lakshmee feels her service may hurt LORD if she touches them.
AzhwAr then realizes that as LORD went to the pAtALa lOka to rescue Mother during varAha avatAra, perhaps due to this LORD should be relaxing in this pose .
While Azhwar was enquiring , Lord casually lifted up His head to get up and reply to AzhwAr as he said said ‘pESu’ in his divine verse ( speak my LORD ) ..
Azhwar did not want to disturb his yoganidra and hence prayed LORD to remain in the same posture so as to bless each devotee coming to HIM praying .
The Azhwar thus requested LORD to remain in the reclining position as this posture of LORD looked very attractive .
The divine pose of LORD Aara Amudhan is called as Uthra Sayanam and he is thus called as Uthanasai.
Lord Aramudhan like Sonnavanam saitha Perumaal of Thiruvekha Divya Desam at Kancheepuram has also received credit for obeying His dear devotee Thirumisai Azhwar.
Due to the above reason LORD is glorified as Aramudha Azhwan and the Azhwar as Thirumahizai Piran.
The word Piran means Lord.
As Thirumahizai Azhwar asked Perumaal to get up from His serpent bed, Azhwar was given the title of “Piran” by LORD .
Aramudhan took the title “Azhwan” to show us HIS love towards Azhwar. Lord’s sparkling darshanam of his cheeks (so chubby ) pulls our soul to just be there for ever .
Lord’s coral lips invites HIS devotee which has a half-smile (“Punmuruval”) indicating HIS mercy and pleasure seeing us. Lord’s broad forehead is adorned by a sparkling green gem, triangular in shape .
Lord’s long thighs and then legs, resembles the trunk of a magnificent tusker, encased in soft and supple silk, while the broad and beautiful chest sports several strands of gold and pearl necklaces , with goddess Mahalakshmi.
Mother Sri Devi and Bhoodevi grace us on either side of the Lord, in postures of devotion. As noticed in Thiruvellarai Divyadesam , similar feature of this beautiful temple is that the sanctum sanctorum has two entrances, each with nine steps-one used during Dakshinaayanam and the other during Uttaraaayanam.
None of the devotees will exclaim “I have had enough of this Lord”, the desire to see Him and be with Him increases with every darshan .
Among the Azhwars seven out of twelve have immersed there divine thoughts and glorified the boundless beauty of Lord Aaraavamudan and devoted around 51 nectarine verses in the DivyaPrabhandam .
This nectarine Lord is sweet not only to our external senses like the eye, ear and the nose, but provides an incomparably pleasurable sensation all over, inside and out and in the soul too-
“Aaraavamudaai adiyen aavi agame tittippaai”.
When we relish something very sweet we become sick eating the same recipe repeatedly . This is true for all material and worldly enjoyment all through in our lifestyle. But once we engage our senses towards the omnipotent LORD we find that we can relish HIM continuously without any hindrances and not getting bored.
Once we follow the Nava Vidhi Bhakthi as advised by Elders viz: Shravanam , Kirtanam Smaranam , Pada sevanam , Archanam , Vandanam Dasyam , Sakhyam and finally Atma Nivedhanam the purpose of our Life is realised . The more we start enjoying the nectar that is LORD HIMSELF , the more we want to continue enjoying this nectar as our desire for this nectar becomes insatiable .
Aaramudhan means “the pure nectar which can never produce satiety”. NammAzhwar glorifies LORD as “Ara Amude” and expresses Oh Lord !! ,
‘When I have your divine darshan ! my body melts in the love and the separation from your divineself means am washed out with a torrent force of a flood away .
Oh Lord! such overflowing emotions…….. grace me because of your abundant mercy you have for me.
Lord Aramuda Perumaal compassion on HIS devotees is unlimited .
When all of us celebrate Diwali in our houses , LORD performed last rites for one of His ardent devotees.
The divine pastime goes like this .
There lived a devotee named ” Lakshmi Narayana ” in this holy place . Narayana spent his entire life doing services to Lord Aramudhan. He was the one who built the Rajagopuram which is app 44-m tall, 11-tiered tower by collecting small small donations from devotees and strived hard to finish the task .
He had surrendered all his wealth and everything in the noble service .Narayana swamy who became old ,passed away, on a Deepavali Amavasya day .
The devotees were worried about performing his last rites as he had no progeny and neither he adopted any one . His entire life was serving the LORDSHIPS with total surrender .
When the Priest entered the sanctum of Lord Aramudhan he noticed that Lord was wearing the yagnopavithram in the direction worn while performing last rites. The Priest thought that he had made a mistake while decorating LORD on the previous day.
Therefore he corrected the direction of the yagnopavithram but to his utter amazement found that the yagnopavithram switched direction again. The Priest realized that it was Lord’s way of saying that He was going to perform the last rite for his devotee Narayana .
And ever mindful of His duties, He continues to perform the annual shraaddham for this sincere devotee , to this day. Narayana’s sculpture with folded hands adorns one of the pillars in the pradikshina marga .
Lord performed the last rite for Jatayu during Rama Avataram and as Lord Aaramudhan performed the rites for his devotee Narayanaswamy.
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pics : Credits Google images ( Thanks to all the devotees who uploaded them )
When I have your divine darshan ! my body melts in the love and the separation from your divine self means am washed out with a torrent force of a flood far far away .
Swamy Nampillai appeared in Krithikai Month on Krithikai Nakshatra which happens to be today .
Swamy Nampillai was a disciple of Swamy Nanjeeyar who in turn was the disciple of Parasarar bhattar , son of Koorathazhwar. Swamy wrote commentaries for the great works Kanninunsirutthambu, Thiruviruttam, and Thiruvoimozhi, all belonged to and included in the collection of works “Nalayira Divya Prabandam”. His commentary on Thiruvoimozhi is glorified known as Edu.
Swamy Nampillai discoursed the lectures of Parasara Bhattar to his disciples Periyavachaan Pillai and Vadakku Thiruveedi Pillai who in turn employed them in their respective commentaries..
An interesting incident happened when Swamy Nampillai should have been 25 years old and his teacher, Nanjeeyar should have been in his early fifties.
One sunny day Pillaiathan approached Swamy Nanjeeyar . He was about forty years old. He prostrated at the lotus feet of Swamy Nanjeeyar and requested him to teach any one padhikam (a set of eleven songs) of Thiruvaimozhi. The Sacred hymns “Thiruvaimozhi “written by a great Azwar Sri Nammazhwar which consists of 100 padhikams.
Swamy Nanjeeyar was busy in some service to the Supreme Lord He told Pillaiathan, “I am a little busy now. The best person to teach you Thiruvaimozhi is my disciple Swamy Nampillai. Please go to him.” I will advise him to teach you . Pillaithan was not interested as he was elder to Nampillai .. He said … “But Swami, there is a delicate problem in that.” “What’s the problem?”
“Our sasthras dictate that a student should prostrate at the feet of his master. You see I am a forty year old man. I can fall at your feet because you are a sanyasi and you are older than me. But Nampillai is much younger to me. And he is a householder. How do you expect somebody of my stature to fall at his feet?
Swamy ”Nanjeeyar now knew where exactly the problem was .Oh !!
“That’s not an issue.
Our sasthras allow us to waive that condition in exceptional cases.
Any way Your case appears to be quite exceptional. I will advise Nampillai not to expect the usual formality of the disciple falling at his Guru’s feet.
You may start the classes from tomorrow.
”Pillaiathan went back happily.
Nanjeeyar called Nampillai and reported the conversation verbatim. “My dear boy, Nampillai, we have a moral responsibility for the long-term welfare of our disciples. I have told you what is there in his mind. It is up to you to make him realize what is right and what is wrong. I am sure you will teach him the lessons in his expectations
Swamy Nampillai replied “As you wish, Acharya.” Next day Pillaiathan went to Nampillai’s house.
Nampillai had already made the seating arrangements for the classes.
A seat was placed two steps above the ground level. Another seat was placed at the ground level.
Pillaiathan now knew the trick. He thought: ‘This boy is offended because I won’t prostrate before him. That’s why he has made a high seat for himself.
What a pride! I should make it a point to tell this to Nanjeeyar.’
Mean time , to his surprise , Nampillai came near Pillaiathan, took his hand in his and led him to the high seat over his . He made Pillaiathan sit there and he sat at the ground level. That was probably the only one-to-one class in the whole world where the teacher sat at a lower level than his student.
‘What a nice boy! He has given me the proper seat respecting my age, erudition and my position in the society.’ A teacher’s role is not just to fan the ego of his student.
Nampillai remembered his Guru’s words. I have told you what is there in his mind. It is up to you to make him realize what is right and what is wrong. I am sure you will teach him without hurting him.”
The lessons started. Nampillai had cleverly chosen the 27th prose in which Nammazhwar talks about his love for the devotees of the Supreme Lord. In the third verse in that paasuram , Nammazhwar melts; The heaven and the earth always sing praises about the Supreme Lord, Sriman Narayana, the one who loves Tulsi leaves. The Lord has a shining golden disc about him and he is more than a father to me. Many fall at the feet of that kind Lord. Even greater are those who fall at the feet of those who worship that Great Lord.
And I am a slave to those who worship the devotees of our Lord.
I am a slave to them not only in this birth, but all my births to follow. As Nampillai was quoting from the scriptures, from Ramayana, from many religious texts and emphasizing the importance of selfless love and the total absence of pride, Pillaiathan was transported to a different world.
He now realized his mistake of refusing to prostrate at the feet of this great man. He started crying for what he had done. He could not sit in the high chair any longer looking down on one of the greatest teachers of his time, of all times.
He stood up from his place. Nampillai misunderstood the meaning of that gesture. “I know Pillaiathan, that you are a true devotee of God.
Now come and stand here facing East.
Let me fall at your feet and get your blessings.” As Nampillai prepared to prostrate at his feet, Pillaiathan prevented it with all his might. “Swami, you are my Acharya.
You have made me realize the dangers of pride.
I had never known about this padhikam of Namazhwar. By deciding to teach me this, you have reformed me. Now please stand there. Let me fall at your feet. Please forgive me, Swami.” Now it was Nampillai’s turn to block his move. “Pillaiathan, my Acharyar , Nanjeeyar has clearly told me that you will not prostrate at my feet. I am a householder and I am younger to you.” “Oh, Swami, please do not kill me with my own words.” “No, Pillaiathan I wont let you worship me. It’s against the orders of my Acharyar
.” “Ok, Swami. Then grant me a favour. Please come with me.” Pillaiathan did not even wait for Nampillai’s answer.
He grabbed him by his hand and walked out of the house.
He virtually dragged Nampillai to Nanjeeyar’s place. Nanjeeyar was taking classes at that time.
There were more than fifty students in the class.
Pillaiathan begged Nanjeeyar to stop teaching for a while.
He then told him what had happened.He fell at Nanjeeyar’s feet. He stood up and amidst tears begged him, “Swami, please instruct your disciple Nampillai to accept me as his disciple.
Please tell him that I am going to fall at his feet in your presence and that he should accept and bless me.” Nanjeeyar was very happy with his disciple.
He then nodded to Nampillai.
Pillaiathan then fell at Nampillai’s feet in the presence of Nanjeeyar and all the students in his class.
Nampillai lifted him up and hugged him.
Thereafter Pillaiathan learned the entire Thiruvaimozhi from Nampillai.
At the beginning and at the end of every class he would fall at his young teacher’s feet.
All glories to our Swamy Nampillai
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pictures/Videos : Courtesy Google images and uploaded by many devotees in social media
All Merciful “Lord Sriman Narayana” appears in five different forms as para, vyuha, vibhava, archai and antaryAmi . To uplift the fallen souls Lord advises the Nityasurees to incarnate in the mortal world and spread the message of divine love and true knowledge for a common man to come back to God head .
Thus Azhwars were the incarnations of of Lord Sriman Narayana’s divine weapons and ornaments (“Azhwar” in Tamil means ‘one who is immersed’). Since the advanced saints were always immersed in the Lord and His qualities, they were glorified as 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 Eight Azhwars appeared during Kali yuga.
Poigai Azhwar – Panchajanya ( Lord Krishna’s conch)
Bhootha Azhwar – Kaumodakee (Lord Maha Vishnu’s Mace/Club)
Pey Azhwar – Nandaka ( Lord Maha Vishnu’s sword)
Tirumazhisai Azhwar – Sudarshanam ( Lord Maha Vishnu’s discus)
Nammazhwar – Vishvaksena ( Lord Maha Vishnu’s commander)
Madhurakavi Azhwar – Vainatheya ( Lord Maha Vishnu’s , Garuda)
Kulasekara Azhwar – Kaustubha ( Lord MahaVishnu’s necklace)
PeriyaAzhwar – Garuda ( Lord Maha Vishnu’s eagle
Andal – Bhoodevi
Thondaradippodi Azhwar – Vanamaalai ( Lord Maha Vishnu’s garland)
Tiruppaan Azhwar- Srivatsa (An auspicious mark on Lord Maha Vishnu’s chest)
TirumangaiAzhwar – Sharanga ( Lord Rama’s bow)
The Srivaishnava Divyadesams are the temples glorified by 12 azhwars. 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.The 106 temples are classified into six divisions –
Chozha 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.
The 4000 Divya Prabandham(Naalayira Divyaprabhandham) also known as “Dravida Vedas” are the out pouring of the Azhwars who appeared in Southern India few thousand year ago as per the divine commands of Lord Sriman Narayana to uplift the humankind and thus composed the divine pasurams which all the vaishnavas make it a law to recite . In Srimad Bhagavatam, Lord declares that HIS devotees would be born in Kaliyuga around the banks of Tambaraparani ,Cauvery rivers. As the recitation of vedas is restricted tto only few (women and low caste are not allowed to recite them), the compassionate Lord made azhwars appear on the earth for the upliftment of one and all and compose the pasurams in nectarian Tamil so that it could be relished by all.
Thirumangai Azhwar, the last among all the Azhwars was the only Azhwar who has glorified the maximum number of temples -86 divya desams and he alone has the credit of glorifying 47 divya desams exclusively.
Azhwar appeared on the 397th year after the advent of Kaliyuga as per “Guru Parampara prabhavam” composed by Sri.Pinbhagzhagiya Perumal Jeeyar a disciple of Swamy Nampillai,,,
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Neelan as he was called appeared on a bright Thursday in Nala varushey(year name), Karthigai maasey (karthigai month as per tamil calender[Nov-Dec])on Krithikai star on Pournami in Kallar kulam at Thirukuraiyalur – a small village near Thirunangoor about one hour drive from Sirkazhi
His parents –Aaliaaduudaiyaar(father) and Vallithiru (mother) named him as “Neelan” as he was Neelavarnan . He had various other names which he himself mentions in the last verse of his works (pasuram) dedicated to Sirkazhi Perumal as “Aali naadan”, “Arulmaari”, “Aratamukki”, “mangai vendhan”, “parakaalan”, “kaliyan”,”thirumangai mannan”, “Naalukavi Perumal). Lord (Perumal) addressed him as “kaliyano??” .
As he was like kaalan for people who refuted “paran”(perumal), he came to be known as “Parakaalan”. He was an expert in composing different types of poems in different meters as per Tamil grammar which earned him the name “Naalu Kavi Perumal”.
In thanian ( Introductory verses ) for Peria Thirumozhi, Swamy Embaar says “Engal gathiye Ramanusa muniye…..mangaiyar kon eendha marai aayiram anaithum thangumanam enaku thaa” which means Swamy Embaar submits to Swamy Ramanuja grace for remembering the 1000 pasurams sung by the famous Thirumangai Azhwar and hence the Sattaree is “Ramanuja Padhuka” who in turn is considered as “Thirumangai Azhwar’s padhuka” at Tirunagari divya desam
Swamy Manavala Maamunigal in the ninth verse (pasuram) of the great work Upadesaratnamalai glorifies the appearance day of Thirumangai Azhwar as “VEERUDAYA KARTHIGAIYIL KAARTHIGAI NAAL”as this azhwar exhibited his veeram (valour) in getting Perumal’s anugraham.
Its a great day as Azhwar , Acharyar Nampillai and Asmath acharyar-Sri Kumara Venkatacharyar( descendant of Swamy MudaliAndaan ) also appeared on the same dayThree important festivities are celebrated grandly in this village.(1) Thai Amavaasai for 3 days (Jan-Feb)(2)Thiruvedupari utsavam on Panguni-Pooram (March-April)(3)Thiru avataara utsavam-10 day utsavam during Karthigai month culminating on Karthigaiyil Karthigai
Neelan was very valiant and brave which earned him a position as army chief in Chola kingdom . He was later elevated to the position of a king for a small territory named “Aalinaadu” . Thus we have “Thirumangai mannan” who had that power , fame , position which took him to material pleasures like any human . The possessions and power engulfed him . Blinded by daring heroism, Neelan was indulged in sensual pleasures
(Azhwar himself admits in his pasurams that he was behind dove-eyed beautiful women).
By Perumal’s nirukethu sankalpam, he happened to meet Kumudavalli daughter of a physician in Thiruvellakulam who played a vital role in transforming Neelan into Azhwar. Her appearance also was a divine plan to correct Neelan in the right path …
Kumudhavalli a damsel (apsaras) who was named Thirumaamagal/Sumangalai along with her friends descended on Himalayan forests mocked at a siddhar who was being imparted knowledge by Kapila maharishi. The infuriated rishi cursed her to descend to earth and get married to a human being .
When she repented for her mistake and asked for a means to go back to the heavenly planet, the sage advised her to transform Neelan(an amsam of Saarangam) and make him a great devotee and get married to him.
After accomplishing her mission, he blessed her that she would be able to get back to her heavenly abode. Thus , she appeared as a small girl on the banks of Swetha Pushkarini(Thiru vella kulam) in front of Srinivasar Kovil in Thirunangoor.
A physician who happened to pass by was attracted to the small kid. He learnt from her about the cause of her appearance and adopted her as his daughter. As he was childless for a long time, he considered to be Lord Srinivasar’s blessings .As she was seen holding Kumudha flower, he named her as Kumudavalli.
Once Neelan , the ruler of the province around Thirunangoor happened to come to Thiruvellakulam. He was mesmerized by Kumudavalli’s beauty and expressed his ardent desire to marry her. He approached her parents and expressed hos desire .
The Parents were overjoyed as the King was at their doorstep . However , Kumudavalli expressed her desire “to marry only to a person who sported Thiruman kaapu ( Tilak ) on his forehead and got pancha samskaaram ( initiation ) done”.
Immediately Neelan set out in search of an Acharya to get initiated (pancha samskaaram in srivaishnava sampradaya) done.
No one dared to initiate him considering his qualities.
The ever compassionate Lord Srinivasar of Thirunaraiyur appeared before him as a Priest and did panchasamskaaram to Neelan. Later, Thirukannapuram Lord Sowriraja Perumal imparted the intricate meanings of Ashtakshari to him. Hence, these two Lordships are considered as “Acharyar” for Azhwar.
Having fulfilled her condition, Neelan approached Kumudavalli . She replied
Oh Prince ! Am glad with your desire in entering a relationship with me .But please understand as your better half I have another condition . I wish you undertake to carry out the bhaagavatha dhadhiaaradanam to 1000 people for one year which gives me immense satisfaction.
Neelan accepts the condition with a smile as she would be his queen soon .
Now , the couple did dhadhiyaaradhanam for one year and continued with the kainkaryam later. The place where he did dhadhiyaaradhanai kainkaryam is known as “Mangai maadam”.
It was a grand feast every day . A vast area was covered with pandals .for devotees thronging daily . It became a sacred shrine with hundred of devotees gathering daily with vaishnava tilaks and glorifying Lordships with songs . Few were discussing the greatness of Neelan and kumudha .Filled with bhagavathas , the place became more vibrant with devotion.
Neelan loved the new role. He never questioned the spending even the coffers of Thirumangai was coming to a stock out position . The Ministers whispered about the coffers getting emptied , but he continued the services selling his jewellary and other precious things .
The news reached the chozha king. He summoned Neelan to return the entire money or face repercussion. As Neelan didn’t oblige, the king had to send an army . Neelan defeated the army with ease . Shocked , the king came in person to wage a war.
Knowing Neelan’s might, the king with the help of his minister, conspired a plan to trick Neelan and arrested him.
Neelan was locked up in a temple for 3 days without food and water.(very similar to bhakta Ramadasar). The ever compassionate Lord Varadarajar of Kanchipuram appeared in Neelan’s dream informing that he could use the wealth lying on the banks of Vegavati river in Kanchipuram to clear the king’s dues.
The next day , Neelan informed the king that he would return the entire money given a chance . The King sent Neelan along with his soldiers to the banks of Vegavati river.
The search could not find any wealth . The Soldiers were instructed to harm Neelan If the search was untrue.
Lord appeared in Neelan’s dream again and informed him the exact location of the wealth. Neelan , overjoyed once again marched to the river and thus found the wealth. He cleared the king’s dues and kept the balance with him for continuing the bhagavatha kainkaryam which he got infected to.
The greedy king along with few others who realized that Neelan had wealth , claimed that their dues were not fully settled and asked for more wealth.
Neelan prayed to Lordships to help him out . The Compassionate Lord asked him to measure the sand on the banks of Vegavati river using “marakkal”( a measure) and settle the dues.
Obediently , Neelan accordingly collected the sand and handed over the same in gunny bags. This infuriated the king that Neelan was giving them sand instead of wealth.
But as the soldier who was trying to put the same in treasury , it turned into gold dust. The king realized that Neelan was not an ordinary person. He begged forgivance and after rewarding him sumptuously , released him forever,
It was a home coming . Neelan resigned from the king’s service and dedicated his full time for bhaagavatha kainkaryam. To continue the kainkaryam, Neelan resorted to looting wealth from the rich peasants who were egoistic selfish and greedy .
He did that by waylaying with the help of his four friends -Neermel nadappan(one who could walk across water), nizhalil odhunguvaan(one who was an expert in following a person’s shadow), thaaaludhuvaan (one who could open any lock without key), tholavazhakkan(one who could not be defeated in any argument).
As the looting expedition was also getting a bad name to Neelan who was doing a great kainkaryam ( service ) Lordships of Thiruvaali divyadesam along with Thaayar had to intervene.
The Lordships appeared as a newly wed couple fully bedecked with costly jewels and set out on a closed palanquin to Thiruvaali .
Neelan’s friends who came to know of this, informed Neelan that if the bridal party is looted, they would have enough wealth to support lifelong bhagavatha kainkaryam. Neelan was very pleased . He immediately galloped on his horse(Aadalmaa) followed by his thief-friends and reached the place which is presently known as “Thirumanan kollai”.
On reaching the place, Neelan threatened the couple to part with their entire jewellery. Accordingly , the couple surrendered all their jewellery except the toe ring on the bride as it could not be removed.
Though Neelan had the entire loot , Lord veiled a maya on him which made him to lure for the toe ring too which was very attractive. Neelan himself bent down to remove the ring but as his efforts were futile, he tried to remove the ring with the help of his teeth by his mouth.
Unknowingly, he surrendered to Thayar’s lotus feet for the material wealth .But , by coming into contact with Goddess (Thayar’s) lotus feet, wisdom dawned on him. He was mesmerized and choked with no words . He attempted to move quickly and thus bundled the entire loot in a big cloth. Looking at the divine couple , he tried to lift the baggage but for its weight .
Shocked that the small booty could not be lifted , Neelan thought that the bridegroom must have cast a spell on the bundle . He wanted to frighten the bridegroom now . He threatened them with a dagger to reveal the secret which made that booty so heavy that he couldnt lift it .
The mischievous bridegroom smiled and agreed to share the secret with him . He advised him to purify himself in the nearby stream and wait under the banyan tree (arasa maram).
Neelan did as advised and the bride groom uttered the sacred Ashtakshari mantram on Neelan’s right ear.
Wisdom dawned on Neelan and there was an instant flash …. he repented for all his deeds. He understood his real purpose of his birth . The divine couple appeared as Lord Lakshmi-Narayanan on Garuda vahanam and blessed their child .
Lord addressed him as Thirumangai mannan as he had the blessing of Thiru (Thayar first).
Now the jeevatma “Thirumangai mannan” in ecstasy repenting for all his misdeeds outpours torrential verses instantaneously in presence of Divyadampathigal starting with the most beautiful verse ….
“vaadinen vaadi varundhinene manathaal……”
concluding each phrase glorifying “Narayana” naamam…..
The name N A R A Y A Y A N A itself can give stature and wealth. The name destroys miseries .This Holy name gives a seat in heaven a seat in Paramapadam .It will give you strength It will give you everything .This lovely name will give more that what a loving mother can give …And thus Azhwar reveals saying ..
.I have found such a good word in HIS holy name….
This wonderful incident is recapitulated every year in the holy place and is celebrated grandly as “Thiru vedupari utsavam” on the night preceding Panguni Uthiram in the month of March-April . As part of 10 day brahmotsava celebrations at Thiruvaali, on the sixth day, Lord (Perumal ) arrives to wed Goddess ( Thayar ) and set out on a “moodu pallaku”. The divine wedding (thirukalyanam) takes place in the afternoon and saatrumarai goshti gets over by 9 p.m .
Later the divine couple set out on a palanquin slowly and head toward Thirumangai maadam and rest in a mandapam. Azhwar sets out from Thirunagari temple at midnight and swiftly reaches the mantapam and goes round the couple thrice.
A screen is drawn and it is presumed that all the ornaments are removed. Lord gets ready to give darshan on Garuda vahanam along with Thayar. Meanwhile Thirumangai mannan is taken to a nearby mandapam where thousands of devotees throng to have the beautiful sight of Azhwar riding on the horse for about an hour.
Later Azhwar is taken towards Perumal who imparts the Eight syllable mantra “Ashtakshari. The bhog is offered to the Lordship. Azhwar circumblates around Lordships with benevolence.
Lord blesses Thirumangai Azhwar with prasadam, maalai, parivattam. The assembled goshti start reciting “Vaadinen vaadi….” slowly and after completing of the first 10 pasurams, mangalaaarthi is given to both Perumal and Azhwar.
This incident happens around early hours 2-3 a.m. The entire group return to Thiruvaali temple and on the way , the entire Peria Thirumozhi ( the compositions of Thirumangai Azhwar ) is recited by the goshti.
One devotee relished his experience that when the azhwar sets out from the temple to loot the Lord, his valour ,pride ,strength ,determination can be seen on Azhwar’s thirumugam and when he returns after having Perumal’s darsanam, Azhwar’s speed is reduced as he becomes submissive having shed away his pride and takes about 4 hours to reach the temple as the procession moves slowly.
Coming back to the divine incident , Neelan who becomes transformed to Thirumangai Azhwar decides to visit all the holy shrines and glorify the Lordships .
Lord captivated his attention by giving HIM beautiful darshan in all the temples. In his divine pasurams, he vividly describes the Lord, location of the holy place , surroundings and the opulence .
Azhwar , personally visits the divya desams beginning with the Northern side temples starting at Thirupiridhi ( JoshirMutt ) and submits his glorifications to the Lord . Every verse he puts before LORD moves the person with tears reciting them .
The struggle of a jiva in this material world seeking true knowledge with stiff opposition of maya draws comparision with all of us .
Thirumangai Azhwar composed six prabhandhams which are treasures .He stands second to Swamy Nammazhwar in the contributions to Divya Prabhandam.
Thirumangai Azhwar’s six prabhandhams are the six angams for Maaran’s four works (Nammazhwar’s four prabhandhams-
Azhwar’s compositions are:
Peria Thirumozhi comprising of 1084 pasurams
Thirukurunthandakam comprising of 20 pasurams
Thirunedunthandakam comprising of 30 pasurams
Thiruvezhukootruirukai comprising of 1 pasuram
Siriya Thirumadal consisting of 155 lines considered as 1 pasuram
Peria Thirumadal consisting of 297 lines considered as 1 pasuram
Details of 86 temples glorified by Azhwar starting from Srirangam with PRABHANDHAM reference are given below:
CHOLA NADU DIVYA DESAMS (Trichy,Kumbakonam,Thanjavur,Mayavaram ,Sirkazhi)
Srirangam – 73 (PT, TKD, TND, STM, PTM)
Thirukozhi(Uraiyur) -Uraiyur near Trichy – 01 (PT)
Thirukarambanur(Uttamar kovil) – 01 (PT)
Thiruvellarai -13 (PT,STM, PTM)
Thirupernagar -19 (PT,TKD,TND, STM,PTM)
Thirukandiyur – 01 (TKD)
Thirukoodalur -10 (PT)
Thirupullamboothangudi -10 (PT)
Thiruaadhanoor -01 (PTM)
Thirukudandhai -25 (PT,TKD,TND,STM, PTM, TVKT)-only Perumal who was referred to in all the 6 prabhandams
Thiruvinnagar -34 (PT,TND,STM,PTM)
Thirunaraiyur -110 (PT, TND,STM, PTM)
Thirucherai -13 (PT,STM, PTM)
Thirukannamangai -14 (PT,STM,PTM)
Thirukannapuram -104 (PT, TND, STM,PTM)
Thirukannangudi -10 (PT)
Tirunaagai – 10 (PT)
Thiruthanjhaimaamanikovil – 03 (PT)
Thirunandipuravinnagaram – 10 (PT)
Thiruvelliangudi – 10 (PT)
Thiruvazhundur -45 (PT, TND,STM,PTM)
Thirusirupuliyur – 10 (PT)
Thiruthalaisanganaanmadiyam – 02 (PT)
Thiruindhalur -11 (PT,PTM)
Thirukaavalampaadi – 10 (PT)
Thirukaazhiseerama vinagaram – 10(PT)
Thiruarimeya vinnagaram – 10 (PT)
Thiruvanpurudothamam – 10 (PT)
Thirusemponseikovil -10 (PT)
Thirumanimadakovil -12 (PT,PTM)
Thiruvaikuntavinnagaram – 10 (PT)
Thiruvaali Tirunagari – 41 (PT, TND,STM,PTM)
Thirudevanaar thogai -10 (PT)
Thiruthetriambalam -10 (PT)
Thirumanikoodam -10 (PT)
Thiruvellakulam -10 (PT)
Thirupaarthanpalli – 10 (PT)
Thiruchitrakoodam – 21(PT,PTM)
NADU NADU DIVYA DESAMS(near Cuddalore,Vizhupuram)
Thiruvahindrapuram – 10(PT)
Thirukovalur – 18 (PT, TND, STM,PTM)
THONDAI NADU DIVYA DESAMS(in and around Kanchi, Arakonam,Chennai)
Thirukachi athigiri – 04 (PT,TKD, TND)
Thiruashtabuyakaram – 11(PT, PTM)
Thiruthankaa -02 (PT,TND)
Thiruvellukai – 01 (PTM)
Thiruneeragam – 01 (TND)
Thirupaadagam -02 (PT, PTM)
Thirunilathingalthundam – 01 (TND)
Thiruooragam – 04 (TND, STM, PTM)
Thiruvekka – 06 (PT,TND,STM,PTM)
Thirukaaragam – 01 (TND)
Thirukaarvaanam – 01 (TND)
Thirukalvanoor – 01 (TND)
Thirupavazhavannam – 01 (TND)
Thiruparameswara vinnagaram -10 (PT)
Thiruputkuzhi – 02 (PT, PTM)
Thirunindravoor -02 (PT)
Thiruevvul – 11 (PT, PTM)
Thiruallikeni -10 (PT)
Thiruneermalai -19 (PT, TND,STM,PTM)
Thiruidavendhai -13 (PT,STM,PTM)
Thirukadalmallai -26 (PT,TKD,STM,PTM)
Thirukadigai -03 (PT,STM)
VADA NADU DIVYA DESAMS(Andhra,Gujarat,Uttar Pradesh,Uttaranchal,Nepal)
Thiruayodhi – 01(PT)
Thirunaimisaranyam -10 (PT)
Thirupiridhi -10 (PT)
Thiruvadhariasramam -21 (PT, STM)
Thirusalagraamam -10 (PT)
Thiruvadamadurai -04 (PT, STM)
Thiruvaayarpaadi -07 (PT, STM)
Thirudwaarakai -02 (PT)
Thirusingavelkundram -10 (PT)
Thiruvenkatam -61 (PT, TKD,TND,STM,PTM)
MALAI NADU DIVYA DESAMS(Kerala)
Thirunaavai – 02(PT)
Thirumoozhikalam – 03(PT,TND,PTM)
Thiruvallavaazh -11 (PT,PTM)
Thirupuliyur -01 (STM)
PANDYA NADU DIVYA DESAMS(near Madurai,Tirunelveli,Sivakasi,Ramnad,Trichy)
Thirukurungudi -25 (PT,TND, PTM)
Thiruthankaal -04 (PT,TND, STM, PTM)
Thirukoodal – 01 (PT)
Thirumaliruncholai – 33(PT, TKD,STM,PTM)
Thirumoghur -01 (STM)
Thirugoshtiyur – 13 (PT,PTM)
Thirupullani – 21 (PT, PTM)
Thirumeyyam – 09 (PT, TKD,PTM)
DIVYA DESAMS NOT IN THIS WORLD
Thirupaarkadal – 11 (PT, TND)
Thiruparamapadam – 01 (TKD)
As per the great compositions of “Peria Thirumozhi” Azhwar started from north, has sung ranging from minimum 10 pasurams to 100 pasurams . Azhwar’s pasurams details the geographical locations . Peria Thirumozhi is divided into 10 hundreds and in each of the 10 pasurams, Ahwar glorifies only that particular divya desa Perumal. ONly in the 10th hundred pasurams, azhwar has sung pasurams on multiple divyadesams. IN Peria Thirumozhi, azhwar eloborates about 50 divya desams and the remaining 36 divya desams(out of 86 glorified by him) have been referred to in other prabhandhams.
While one recites them, the ambience feeling and the quench to have darshan of the Divya dampathees draws us closer and gives the soul to rejoice in bliss knowing its identity in seeking our loving Lord….
Divya desams as per Peria Thirumozhi are given below:-
VADA NADU DIVYA DESAMS
Thirupiridhi (10) – Joshirmutt in Uttaranchal
Thiruvadhiri (20) — Badrikasramam in Uttaranchal
Thirusaalagramam (10) — Muktinath in Nepal
Naimisaaranyam (10) — near Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh
Singavelkundram (10) — Ahobilam in Andhra Pradesh
Thiruvengadam (61) — Tirumala Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh
THONDAI NADU DIVYA DESAMS
Thiruevvul (11) — Thiruvallur near Arakonam in Tamil nadu
Thiruvellikeni (10) — Triplicane in Chennai
Thiruneermalai (19) –Pallavaram in Chennai
Thirukadalmallai (26) –Mahabalipuram near Chennai
Thiruvidandhai (13) — near Mahabalipuram
Thiruvattabuyakaran (11) — Ashtabhuja perumal in Kanchipuram
Thiruparameswara vinnagaram (10) — In Kanchipuram
NADU NADU DIVYA DESAMS
Thirukovalur (18) – in Vizhupuram-Thiruvannamalai route
Thirukoodalur (10) -Kumbakonam –tanjavur route near thiruvaiyaaru
Thiruvellarai (13) -20 kms from Trichy near Thuraiyur
Thiruvarangam (73) -Srirangam -12 kms from Trichy
Thirunandhipuravinnagaram ( 10) – Nathan kovil-4 kms south of Kumbakonam
Thiruvinnagar (34) -Oppiliappan kovil -7 kms from Kumbakonam
Thirunaraiyur (110) – 9 kms from Kumbakonam enroute to Thiruvaarur
Thirucherai (13) – 24 kms in Kumbakonam-Thiruvaarur route
Therazhundhur (45) -21 kms from mayavaram enroute to Komal
Sirupuliyur (10) -3 kms from Kollumangudi station-
in Mayavaram-thirvarur route
Thirukannamangai (14) – 7 kms from Thiruvaarur
Thirukannapuram (104) – 2 kms from Thirupugalur on Nagapatinam-
Thirukannangudi (10) – 1 km from Aazhiyur on Nagapatinam route
Thirunaagai (10) – Nagapatinam
PANDYA NADU DIVYA DESAMS
Thirupullani (21) -near Ramnathapuram
Thirukurungudi (25) -12 kms from Nanguneri near Tirunelveli
Tirumaliruncholai (33) -20 kms from Madurai
Thirugoshtiyur (13) – near Karaikudi
MALAI NADU DIVYA DESAMS
Thiruvallavaazh (11) -Tiruvalla on Ernakulam-Kollam route
In most of the pasurams , Azhwar repents starting with “vaadinen vaadi….” and claims that he has got everything now with the great Narayana thirunaamam.
He confesses to Lord Srinivasar at Tirumala for all his misdeeds and praises his mind for having resorted to the Lord’s holy feet.He says that he was under the illusion that his parents,wife etc are everything -did many mistakes when he was in youth,later he strived hard for serving his family and now with repentance approached the Lord like a dog and prays to Lord to accept him. (Azhwar who is an amsam of Lord couldn’t have been so but just to uplift us, he demeans himself)
In pasurams dedicated to Lord Narasimhar of Ahobilam, the place is only accessible to devas.
IN the pasurams dedicated to Naimisaranyam, he surrenders to the Lord Devarajan for upliftment. He addresses the Lord as “mother-Naimisaaranyathul enthaai…” .
He addresses all the five forms of the Lord at Thiruvellikeni-Parthasarathy, Thelliya singam, Gajendra Varadar,Ramar,Ranganathar.
During his course of enlightened journey the Divya dampathees ( Lordships in the temples ) were eager to meet their child which can be authenticated by citing a divine incident. During his journey Azhwar by oversight skipped Thirunindravoor near chennai and after doing mangalasaasanam at Thiru-evvul, he directly proceeds to Thiruvellikeni and in due course reached Mahabalipuram.
Goddess Sudhavalli Thayar-the divine consort of Lord Bhaktavatsalan persuades Lord to invite Azhwar as he had missed them by oversight. . Lord appeared at his next destination Thirukadalmallai and while glorifying the Lordships at Thirukadalmallai, Lord Bhaktavatsalan gave a vision to azhwar which made him take HIS name.
In the course of his travel, Azhwar glorified (mangalasaasanam) at 86 divya desams and finally reached Srirangam and undertook various construction and renovation activities.
However, Lord commanded to continue his services as HE wanted to relish the nectarine outpourings of Azhwar. (Very similar to Annamacharyar’s life)
Later he composed Thirukurunthandakam comprising of 20 pasurams where he begs Lord (Perumal) expressing his craving to have HIS darshan (as Perumal wanted him to reach the highest transcendental bliss)
Thirunedunthandakam comprising of 30 pasurams(in the first set of 10 pasurams, Azhwar sings with his own identity , in the 2nd set of 10 pasurams, azhwar assumes the role of a mother expressing her daughter’s plight and in the last set of 10 pasurams , donning the role of a girl expresses her desire to attain Perumal to her friend ) .
Our most revered Acharyar Swamy Parasara bhattar used to always contemplate on this prabhandham and thus invited Nanjeeyar into Srivaishnavism by a debate based on this lovely prabhandham. During Adhyayana utsavam , this is recited on the first day and the goshti is honoured with medicated oil to be smeared on the vaishnavas neck who would recite as a honrarium.
Thiruezhukootruirukkai comprising of one pasuram glorifies Lord Aaravamudhan of Thirukudandhai.
In Siriya Thirumadal Azhwar assumes the role of a lovelorn lady who suffers pangs of separation from her lover-. She holds his picture in her hand, longing for her lover’s association. She contemplates on how to defame the various archa murthis but faith prevails upon her which makes her restrain from doing so. She waits patiently and with confidence that her Lord would come to take her. The emotional outpourings takes us to transcendental heights.He composed both the madals at Thirunaraiyur as the Lord of Thirunariayur is considered as the acharyar for him.
In Peria thirumadal, Azhwar becomes restless for poor response from the Lordships. He starts lamenting how the Lord who had taken various forms and resides in various divyadesams didn’t concede her request even after repeated pleading . Realising that the Lord cannot be confronted in commanding , he decides by just surrendering to HIM he would be pleased and respond.
Thirumangai Azhwar personally visited all the above holy shrines on his courageous horse “aadalma”.
He has done mangalasaasanam (glorified) to 86 divyadesams and has the special honor of glorifying the Lord exclusively in 47 divya desams. The 47 divyadesams which was glorified by Thirumangai Azhwar alone are as follows ….
He was more inclined to have darshan of Archa Moorthy at the holy shrines on the earth rather than the Lord in Paramapadam. Azhwar’s pasurams serve as a guide for visiting various divya desams.
Azhwar continued with his divine services in various divya desams especially at Srirangam.
His ardent desire to construct vimanam, mandapam, big walls around Srirangam, gopuram, kitchen etc. for Srirangam temple needed financial support .
Azhwar priorities was service to Perumal and HIS children for which he went to any extent of getting wealth by looting, robbery etc. Coming to know about the golden Buddha vigraham at Nagapatinam from a passerby , he decided to try his skills to possess it . He was informed that the vigraham was being protected by a revolving wheel.
He managed to pick the golden Buddha idol from Nagapatinam to construct the compound walls of Srirangam temple . On follow ups from them, he issued a promissory note to the Buddhists saying he would return even the little finger unscathed and after one year, he just gave them the little finger and won them by argument.
After the completion of the projects , he did not have sufficient money to pay them . Still he assured all of them that they would be paid for their divine deed . The laborers who were travelling by a boat got drowned due to some imbalance in the middle of the river.
Unknowingly , the kith and kin of the laborers approached the Azhwar. Azhwar cooly replied everything that has happened was with Lord’s will .To reveal their state he advised them to come the next day.
Lord Ranganathar with abundant mercy appeared in Azhwar’s dream and advised him to ask the relatives of the deceased to enter into Srirangam temple after taking a dip in Kaveri. On reaching the temple, Lord Ranganathar made them have a vision of not only their deceased ones but also their great ancestors.
The muktas applauded Azhwar’s contributions and felt fortunate to be associated with him. They advised their kith and kin that they would attain the highest position by serving Azhwar who was performing devotional service which would assure them salvation.
Extremely pleased with Azhwar’s services one day Lord Ranganathar called Azhwar and asked him to choose a boon.
Azhwar expressed his deep desire to have darshan of the dasa avataarams of Lord. Lord Ranganathar fulfilled his desire immediately .
Thanking Lord , Azhwar requested Lordships to honour Swamy Nammazhwar’s Thiruvaimozhi for 10 days starting from Vaikunta Ekadasi which was immediately accepted . The grand “Thiruvadhyayana utsavam” at Srirangam was started by Thirumangai Azhwar. Azhwar arranged to get Nammazhwar’s idol from Azhwar Thirunagari and in the presence of Namperumal in the newly constructed mandapam, Azhwar arranged for recitation of Nammazhwar’s Thiruvaimozhi for 10 days. Initially, Adhyayana utsavam was celebrated for 10 days during azhwar’s time. Later Nathamunigal arranged for 21 day festival by including recitation of the entire divyaprabhandam by dividing it as “Pagal pathu” and “Raa pathu ” utsavams.
As per Lord’s instructions, Thirumangai Azhwar constructed a mandapam for Namperumal to listen to Nammazhwar’s nectarian Thiruvaimozhi.
Lord also blessed Azhwar that whoever reads the six prabhandams composed by Tirumangai Azhwar considered as the six angams for Swamy Nammazhwar’s works will be blessed with salvation.
As a mark of confirmation ,Lord commands Azhwar to throw his Vel ( spear) assuring that the entire place where the spear falls, if a person’s last rites are performed , he would be liberated .
This special place is on the northern banks of Kaveri. ( “Paadiya vaalan Padithurai” where last rites are performed for the departed even today).
As days passed one day Azhwar requested Lord to liberate him from this samsara . Lord out of abundant compassion advised Azhwar to go to Thirukurungudi a holy divya desam which is known as “Siriya Veedu”to serve MalaiNambee perumal .
Azhwar overjoyed leaves Srirangam. Like a newly wedded girl who before leaving for her inlaws place bids goodbye to her relatives, Azhwar recollects Lordships at various divya desams .
Thirumangai Azhwar reaches Thirukurungudi and continues his services at this temple On a Vaikunta Ekadasi day with Lord’s mercy he attained salvation . Even today we can have darshan of this holy place which is about 3 kms from Thirukurungudi temple
Azhwar doesn’t have a spear and is seen with folded hands along with Kumudavalli Naachiyar.
After few years , Swamy Manavala maamunigal visited Thirunagari to have darsanam of Azhwar. He was in ecstasy and composed “Vadivazhagu Choornikai “-a beautiful poem vividly describing the beauty of Azhwar.
This deity of Azhwar was installed by Tirumangai Azhwar’s brother in law as per Lord Ranganathar’s instructions in Thirunagari temple at Tirunangoor – a small village near Sirkazhi and is being worshipped since time immemorial.
Freely translated, Swamy describes Azhwar’s beauty as the one who is holding spear(vel), with folded hands, wearing thiruman, lips slightly opened in such a way as if he is uttering “Omkaram”, having a sharp nose, cool face, broad eyes, curly hair, ears slightly bent as if to listen to Ashtakshari ( Eight word syllable )being imparted by Lordships , long ear rings, body bent at 3 places (thribangam) near neck, hip and feet , standing benevolently to obtain Lord’s grace.
He glorifies further about Thirumannankollai-the place where Perumal ( Lord) imparted ashtakshari –how he threatened Lakshmi’s husband with a knife forcing him to reveal the spell and how Lord gave the precious mantra extolled by the vedas to him and having received the mantra how realisation dawned on him and he got transformed into a devotee and humbly stood in front of the Lord with folded hands .
Swamy concludes that his eyes are blessed to see the broad chest holding the spear, one who utters the eight lettered mantra , the beautiful face and the holy feet.
Garudalwar has been affectionately glorified as Peria Thiruvadi , Pakshiraja, Vainateya, Suparna, Garuthman, Vinatasuta, Vishnuvahana, Nagantaka and Kashyapeya by devotees Garudalwar is always engaged in eternal service to Lord Sriman Narayana .
As a result, of his SharaNagati to Lord Sriman Narayana (Narayana Sayujyam). Garudalwar enjoys the benefit of Sameepyam (constantly being beside the Lord), SarUpyam (Shuddha Satvam) and SalOkyam (residence in Vishnu Lokam).
Garudalwar serves as the eternal chariot of Lord Vishnu. Consequently, Garuda received the name Periya Tiruvadi as against the divine role played by Hanumanjee as the Vahana for Lord Rama. Hence, Hanumanjee received the title Siriya Tiruvadi.
Those who have had the mercy of the darsanam of the 11 Garuda seva at ThirunAngUr dhivya desams at ThirunAngUr are truly blessed . Their fortune is comparable to those who had witnessed the Garuda Sevai at Kanchi ( VaikAsi and Aadi ThiruvONam ), SrIrangam ( Thai , Maasi, Panguni and Chitthirai) , NaacchiyAr Koil , AzhwAr Thirunagari and the famous Nava Garuda seva ( “Nine Garuda Sevais”) at Thirukurungoor with Swamy NammAzhwAr vaibhavam enacted .
Garudaalwar is worshipped as Veda Moorthy . His appearance star is SvAthi , which is the same as for Lord Narasimhar. Garudalwar incarnated as PeriyAzhwAr at SrI VilliputthUr and became the Father-in-Law of Lord RanganAthan and had the privilege of having his daughter and son-in-law live at his home in SrI VilliputthUr, which is known today as NaacchiyAr ThirumALigai.
At TheruzhunDUr dhivya desam , Garudalwar stands next to Aaamuruviyappan (GhOsakhan) awaiting His Lord’s command . At AhObilam, Garudalwar performed penance for the darsanam of Lord Narasimhan as He appeared before PrahlAdhan and the Lord responded to his tapas by giving darsanam to Garudalwart as “JwAlA Narasimhar”. Hence one of the names for AhObilam is GarudAdhri.
At Vadanadu Divya desam , Badarikashramam , Garudalwar is blessing the devotees with his darsanam in the assembly of of Nara-NaarAyana.
At ThiruveLLiyangudi dhivya dEsam , Garudalwar graces in PerumAL Sannidhi with Sankham and Chakram as a Nithya Soori. At ThiruvallikkENi Garudalwar gives the darsanam with Lord GajEndra Varadhan , in a separate Sannidhi.
Nachiyar Koil is a srivaishnava Divya desam is located in Tirunaraiyur en-route to Tanjavur from Kumbakonam. Since importance is given to Nachiyaar in this temple, it is called Nachiyaar Koyil.
The moola virat Lord Tirunaraiyur Nambi worshipped as Vasudevar graces us in the Kalyana kolam with Vanchulavalli Thayar in the sanctum sanctorium . The Theertham is Manimuktha pushkarini and the Vimanam Srinivasa Hema Vimanam. Legend has it that Lakshmi appeared as Vanchulavalli and MahaVishnu manifested himself in the Pancha Vyuha forms and married Vanchulavalli.
In the sanctum one finds the sculptures of the deities Sankarshana in the east, Pradyumna in the south, Anirudha in the west, Purushottaman in the north and Vasudeva in the center. There is no separate shrine for Thayar. There are shrines for Yoga Narasimhar, Ramar, Hanuman and Chakrapani.
Kal garudan is of special significance at this temple. The Garudalwar gives darshan with nine serpents and is believed to have the powers to remove the Navagraha dhosham.
It is understood from elders that a sculptor was making this deity of Garuda with utmost devotion . On completion, he suddenly found the deity flying after he had made Garuda’s wings.
Excited and simultaneously confused at this sudden action, the sculptor prayed Garudalwar for his mercy .
Garudalwar pleased with his dedication and prayers decided to settle here at this place and bless the devotees. ( Kal in tamil means stone ).
A huge and well built Garudalwar gives darshan to all the devotees coming to this Srivaishnava Divya desam . During the Tamil month of Aadi, the temple Lordships Thiru Naraiyur Nambi makes a visit to this Garuda’alwars Sannidhi.
A magical event happens during Garuda Sevai . Garudalwar increases his weight manifold . Science has not been able to explain the mystery underlying the fact that when the Salagrama deity of Garudalwan is taken out for procession, he is so light that he is carried by just 4 persons.
As the palanquin bearers (Srimaan taangigaL) , cross the outer enclosures one by one, Garudalwar becomes progressively heavier and needs 8, 16 and 32 men to carry the palanquin after each enclosure. Finally, when the Lord is taken outside the temple, Garudalwar increases in weight so much that 128 devotees assemble to carry the Lordships .
Similarly, after the outing procession (PurappaaDu), when Garudalwan enters the sanctum, he keeps loosing weight so that it need progressively lesser number of men to hold it from 32 to 16 to 8 and finally just 4 and in that order.
Another unique feature of this grand festival is that one can see Garudalwar sweating profusely as he makes his way out for the procession.
Thirumangai Azhwar, Periya Azhwar, Poigai Azhwar etc have done their Mangalasasanams to Garudalwar.
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan..
Photos credits : google images
video credits : ramyagiri , mighty garuda and advanced devotees
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 OUR Supreme LORD in temples .Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Kovil and Tirumala
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.
At Srirangam , there lived a man who was serving at temple . His job was to light all the lamps at the huge temple of Srirangam .
He used to keep the lamps topped with oil and ensure they were maintained in perfect condition . Under constant vigilance he had to ensure the lamps are lighted effectively without any flaws.
He had free access to enter the temple and light all the temple lamps being the temple servant . He had a peculiar habit of addressing the LORD daily about how his day was and was he treated well .
It was almost routine especially during festivals when LORD had to be amongst HIS devotees . For his behaviour he earned a title Pichan ( mad person ) . Unmindful of whatever people spoke of him he continued to greet the LORD and converse with utmost sincerity and faith .
Lord Ranganathar also got used to HIS devotee’s greeting . Days became months .Months turned to years .Lord out of abundant mercy wanted to reply to HIS dear devotee .
It so happened one day Lord spoke from his Archa thirumeni ,and this also happened regularly .Lord was answering his dear devotees queries .It was more of vatsalya bhavam inquiring the well being of each other . There was no barrier in the divine exchange of speech .A lowly employee of the temple speaking to the LORD who was replying too .To the devotees who were witnessing this man standing before the LORD and apparently talking to himself appeared to be a mad person conversing with himself and they called him “Picchan” ( a mad man). Combining his job title and popularity of remaining , he came to be known as “ThiruviLakku Picchan”.
One day, while carrying out his daily chores , Picchan conversed with the Lord about the great people and the huge crowd attending the festival in the temple .
There is another pastime which installs absolute surrender to LORD in Archathirumeni . The great Acharyar Swamy Nampillai was delivering a lecture in the mandapam inside the temple and as usual our Thiruvilakku Picchan was standing in front of the sanctorum with a lamp in his hand. Lord was so impressed hearing Swamy Nampillai’s divine discourse which made him get up and wished to be among the august gathering hearing the divine discourse
Suddenly , Thiruvilakku Picchan saw a huge personality near him and realizing that it was LORD himself , he requested LORD to relax and not do this and remain in his original Archa Swaroopam . LORD politely obeyed his devotees concern……………
All glories to this great devotee who had the fortune to enjoy such intimate relationship with the Lord himself who listened to Him .
Thiruaadipooram is the most important festival celebrated in Srivilliputtur lasting for 10 days. After several years , She left Her sanctum (Garbha graham ) and rushed to welcome Jagath Acharyar Swamy Ramanuja as Her elder brother for fulfilling Her pledge to offer 1000 vessels of akkAra-adisil to Lord SundararAjan of ThirumAlirum ChOlai. After that reception to AchArya RaamunjA , the ThiruppAvai Jeeyar , She never went inside Her sanctum and stays even today at the ardha manTapam . and later for Swami Desikan times She engineered to arrive in front of the house outside Her Thiru MaaLikai Veedhi , where Her parama bhakthan was staying during his visit to Her city. Moved by that extraordinary display of Vaathsalyam and daya of Mother ANDAL , the LOka MaathA , our Kavi Simham poured forth in rapture his eulogy of Her anantha KalyANa guNams .Thus originated the GodhA sthuthi and its 29 slOkams .
Millions of devotees all over the world gather at Pandharpur on the eleventh day of the waxing moon in June -July ( Aashaada Suddha Ekadasi) and in October -November ( Karthik Suddha Ekadasi ) . The lovely devotees mostly are Varkaris . Kari means one who undertakes .. Vari means periodical piligrimage ..
Varkaris are advance devotees of Lord Vittala . The devotees form society ( mandalies) for spreading the love of Lord among the people by story telling , singing devotional songs and preaching Holy name . Walking in groups accompany the palanquin in which are placed the silver paadukaas of the liberated saints on their Annual piligrimage . Trekking on foot for almost 41 days helping each other , singing together , Singing Kirtans and dancing together repeating ………………………….. Vithobaaa.. Rakhumai .. Jai Jai Rama Krishna Hari …. making the place Golokaa…
Fortunate souls get this oppurtunity to serve the Lordships amongst the advanced devotees .
The annual Pandharpur yatra to the famous Vithoba temple at Pandharpur in Maharashtra culminates on this auspicious Aashada Ekadasi day ( Apperance day of Lord Vittala) on July 20 , 2021 . A vast sea of humanity seeking the Supreme Lord is seen at this holy place . The saints have shown their merciful favor. Several devotees and several saints have given us a path for devotion and surrender which takes us out of the material world which is temporary .
Santh Gynandeva laid the foundation and erected the temple of devotion . Santh Namadeva built the wall surrounding . Santh Ekanath erected the pillar in the form of commentary on Srimad Bhagavatha Purana . Santh Tukaram became its pinnacle . Now the worship in this temple should be our goal .
Few hundred years back , there lived a devotee Kurmadas in a village called Paithan . about 450 kms away from Pandharpur . He desired to have darsanam of the Lord on HIS appearance day-Aashada Ekadasi.
As he had tiny limbs, he couldn’t walk . But the strong desire to have darshan was making him anxious . Whoever he met , he used to ask the form and beauty of Lord Vittala . He wished to join few devotees to have darshan . But was feeling shy to ask them as his trekking along with them would delay their yatra .His prayers was sincere . Repeatedly thinking of the beautiful form of the Supreme Lord the desire to have darshan became more and more serious . He decided he would make it If Lord wishes . He took leave of family and undertook his pilgrimage by literally crawling .
Many villagers discouraged him and mocked at him for this tedious task. But he was firm in his devotion, he started off thinking of the Supreme Lord . Every day, he could crawl for few kms and take rest.
Every step was filled with the chant Jai Jai Ramakrishna Hari ….filled with unconditional love to Lord . Many watching him crawl laughed at his movements .
Lord appeared before him in the guise of a business man and asked, ‘
My dear friend , where are you going?
Isn’t it difficult for you to crawl thus without feet?’
When he heard about his mission, the business man said, ‘Oh! That’s fine. I too am proceeding to Pandharpur.
I am a business man there. My name is Vitobha. We make good company.’
Kurmadas laughed and said Sir How can we make good company?
You can walk very fast, while I cannot even walk.
Vitobha assured him, ‘Don’t you worry. I’ll take care of you.
So saying he provided him food, clothing and shelter for the night. Next morning Vitobha asked Kurmadas to proceed slowly. He said he would wait for him in the next village with food and shelter.’ I serve the poor pilgrims on their way to Pandharpur. That is my duty he added.
Kurmadas with great difficulty reached nearby village by evening.
Vitobha used to eagerly wait like a affectionate mother for her child . He used to make delicious food and served him food . Later he would make a nice bed for him sleep to comfortably for the night there. This practice continued for nearly four months. His food and accommodation was taken care of all throughout the journey. If there was no village en route by the evening Lord created one for him to make his stay comfortable.
Kurmadasa crawled like a lizard on the road continuously for four months … Finally , he reached a village called Laul which is 5 kms from a town kuruduwadi . By then, his body was totally scratched with blood oozing out everywhere. He couldn’t move an inch any more. Totally exhausted and understanding he cannot make it any more to Pandharpur , he mentally offered his prayers with tears saying he could not make it for Aashadaa Ekadasee.
He stayed back at the village Laul . He called few varkaris and sent a word to Lord Panduranga Vittala about his pitiable condition . They were touched by his pathetic story and offered to convey his message specially . Will Lord be unmindful of such staunch devotees?
When his devotee could not reach him, Lord reached him.
He went personally to Laul accompanied by three more devotees Jnanadev, Namadev and Savithamali.
Lord appeared in the same form he was meditating . Lord’s eyes were long like petals of a blooming lotus, and His charming lotus-like face made all the more charming by His extremely beautiful and sweet, nectarous smiles. His profuse curling hairs , the golden flute in his hand, and his blue-colored skin glowing with innumerable moons around ….
Can words describe the joy of Kurmadas on seeing his Lord Vittala with his close devotees, come down to personally bless him?
Tears gushed from his eyes like torrent ….
Oh My Lord !!!!! my life purpose is fulfilled. Your divine darsan liberates me from the cycle of life and death.
Oh Lord …Sorry for this trouble …Kurmadas was crying like a small child for disturbing the Lord Of Lords ..
Oh Lord !!! Instead of me reaching your lotus feet …You have walked down to see this sinner
He was uncontrollable .
Lord Vittala was moved by the Ananya Bhakti of his devotee. He embraced his devotee like a mother and behold the child regained his arms and limbs
Lord looked at him with bewitching smile and wanted to grace him further .. He asks him , my child I want to give you anything you wish …..
‘Oh My saviour ..Vittala..Vittala
! Why do you divert my attention? Why do you want to tempt me with desires?
You have imbibed in me that desires lead to sorrow.
Desires arise out of ignorance Do you want me to fall a prey to them once again ?
Oh My Lord , I do not seek any thing ,,anything
My mind has become blank. My senses have come to a stand still. My eyes which are blessed with the sight of your celestial divine beauty will not be compromised for any lesser beauty. My ears which were blessed with the nectar like sounds emanated from you are deaf to any other sound, however interesting it may be.
A honeybee, if it is dropped into a big vessel of honey, enjoys the honey to its maximum and remains there itself. Presently, I am like that. I am dead for the rest of the world. I have a new birth into your Kingdom my Supreme Lord . I don’t have any more desire! My life’s purpose is completed.
All the same, I can’t deny your grant of wish. It is not fair on my part to refuse a boon offered by you in the presence of my manasika gurus . Let me seek a small favor from you. There may be many more crippled and handicapped people like me who may not be able to have darshan of Pandharapur where you reside . Kindly stay back here in this village for many many souls to have your darshan
. As per his wish, Lord Vittala turned out to be an deity there and disappeared with his three saints .
Even today, this holy place where LORD personally visited is treated on par with Pandharpur. The devotees who go to Pandharpur in Ashad and Kartik months go for darshan at this place after the special festival at Pandharpur .
Jai Jai Bhaktha Kurmadasa
All glories to the great saints and the devotees
Your servant offers countless dandaavats pranaams to the mahasants who were able to please the LORD to remain here in the wonderful dhaam .and
All glories to the devotees who are in Pandharpur dhaam serving the Supreme Lord
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pics & Videos : Courtesy from afvance devotees who have uploaded in social web sites
Few years ago , Meera was living a very happy married life with her family which included her husband, four sons, their wives and children. She had served the family with full devotion. Her husband was a wealthy jewel merchant and the sons had also joined the family business.
Everyone in the family was very respectful to their parents. It so happened one day Meera saw a small boil on her foot . She applied some turmeric to heal and continued with her daily house chores . However the boil eventually turned out into real shape. She had developed the germs of leprosy. There was no cure and she had to accept the reality .There was a sudden change of attitude among all the members of the family towards her. Everyone including her husband who loved her dearly tried to avoid sitting next to her. She was thus isolated and spent her days in a secluded room. Her utensils were kept separately which she washed herself.
She could understand that for the welfare of her family this was to be carried out . But one day she got a rude shock when all her sons came with their wives and wanted to say something to her. The eldest son on behalf of others came with the proposal and said
Amma ………You should go and stay in some place of pilgrimage away from all of us .
We will send money for your daily needs Amma please understand ..
.After all this is an infectious disease and even you will not like it if any of your grand child gets infected. We care for you Amma .Please accept our proposal .The choice of Old age home OR pilgrimage spot is yours .
Each son had a different proposal . Meera kept on listening and just nodded.
The sons went away leaving her to wonder if they were the same sons who would not eat before amma started eating her meal.
That night Meera skipped her dinner which, the maid servant had left for her in the room.
The whole night she was tossing and turning and could not have even a wink of sleep. She went on thinking what to do.
Should I jump in a well?
Should I leave home?
All types of thoughts came to her mind. At last in the early hours of morning she quietly packed a few clothes and took what ever meager money she had and left home without telling any one.
She had no one to share her plight.
One poor lady used to come to her previously and she used to give her many things in charity to help her. She knew her house . She landed at her doorstep and woke her up. On opening the door she saw a old slightly torn photograph of Lord Krishna hanging on the wall .
The poor lady was shocked to see her . She invited her , but she politely ignored her invitation . She expressed her inability to enter her house and shared her plight . Looking at the photograph she enquired which temple deity he was .The poor lady replied the pic is of Lord Bankey Bihaari and he is at Vrindavan.
She advised her to go to vrindavan where she could get help from one of her relative who had gone there and had become a Meera serving the Lord
The lady offered to go with her and leave her there with her relative and soon they reached vrindavan. For a few days the relative of that lady shared the food she used to get from temples as prasad . She was old and died in few months . Now Meera was again left alone to fight for her survival. She felt embarrassed to go to temples and ask for prasad in the beginning but soon got used to it. Vrindavan became her home . She started naming every temple in Vrindavan as her Uncles home , Aunts home and Parents , grand parents house . She made every temple deity as her family member and shared her daily experiences going close to them .
Immersed in Satsangh true to her name got Meera bhakthi .
One day Meera went to bathe in the yamuna river along with few devotees . It was a special day as Sri Sri Bankey biharee had arrived . Amongst the crowd , looking at the merciful eyes of the Supreme Lord , suddenly , her foot slipped and she fell in the river and was on the verge of drowning.
Suddenly , something strange happened .. The crowd gathered around She was in an unconscious state and all she could remember was that a very attractive blue eyed boy had dived into the river to save her. When she became conscious she was surrounded by some brajvasee . She looked every where to find the charming diver but he was no where to be seen. The people around her told her that she had a very lucky escape. She looked at her foot and was astonished. She found that there was not a single wound, her leprosy had disappeared.
One person from the crowd advised her to go to Sri Sri Bankey Bihariji’s temple and thank the Lordships for saving her life. She had never been here before so now that she was no longer infected by leprosy, she wanted to thank Lordships , she entered the temple and was looking at Lord Bihariji spell bound because it was this charming boy only who has dived in the Yamuna river and saved her life. With tears in her eyes and a shiver of excitement going through her entire body she vowed that she will depend only on Sri Sri Bankey Bihariji who had brought her to vrindavan. Leprosy was just a temporary excuse to detach her from her family. Now she does sewa of the Supreme Lord Bihariji in her small way by helping many devotees who are in need near the temple
Swami sri haridas ji says in one of his padas roughly translated in English …
Oh My dear brother!If you want to love, then love only Bihariji or love his bhaktas who are always engrossed in Bihariji’s bhajans only.The worldly love is temporary made out of faded colours of flowers which is finished the moment you are of no use to your so called loved ones, but Bihariji’s love is permanent which is made out of the scent of flowers. It is Lord alone who will by your side when you are in pain or trouble, your relatives and friends will run away the moment they see approaching for help. Bihariji will wash away all your sins and take you in his arms. Such is the love of our Sri Sri Bankey bihariji.
Shri Shri Banke Bihari Mandir is located at Vrindavan. The Lordship presented themselves for the ardent devotion of Sri Haridas
Elders believe Swami Haridas was the reincarnation of Lalita ‘sakhi’ , of the close companion of Lord Krishna. Haridas left his village for Vrindavan, which was a dense forest at that time and choose a secluded spot, which is now known as Nidhivan, to practice his service to Supreme Lord with music and to enjoy eternal bliss . He constantly and continuously meditated on Nitya Ras and Nitya Bihar of Lord at Nitya Vrindavan. His way of Saadhna was to compose and sing songs in the praise of Lord. While on earth, living in a mortal state, he facilitated his regular unobstructed entry in the Nitya Bihar and always enjoyed the pleasure of closeness of Lord always in the ocean of eternal bliss.
His disciples were curious about this place and one day with permission of Swamiji, they all entered the kunj. But instead of seeing anything they were almost blinded by bright, intense light, which seemed to fill the whole place. On knowing of their plight Swamiji himself went there, and then after his requests, lord appeared in person with his divine consort, pleasantly smiling and in a playful mood and casting a spell of charm on every living being present there. Those who witnessed this, were so spell bounded by the beauty of the Lord and his consort, that they couldn’t even blink their eyes, it seemed that all of them had turned into stone statues.
The legend as handed down to the generations of Goswamis, says that the beauty of the divine couple was such that no one wanted to loose the sight and proximity of divinity, but then what kind of divinity is it, which cannot make a mere mortal swoon and charmed enough to forget and give up the world and its luxuries? The beauty of the divine couple was so much that lesser mortal would not be able to bear such a heavenly beauty. Sensing this Swami Haridas ji prayed the Lordships both of them to take a single form, as the world won’t be able to bear their image. He submitted to them to take a single form like Ghan (cloud) and Damini(lightning) thus giving a perfect metaphor to the combined beauty of dark Lord and his fair consort, Radhaji. Also he wanted his beloved lord to be in front of his eyes always. Granting him his both wishes, the couple turned itself into one single black charming deity , the same one can have darshan in the temple today. The charm and beauty of Shri Banke Bihariji is the only reason why the ‘darshan’ in the temple is never continuous but is broken by the curtain drawn on him regularly. It is also said that if one stares long enough into the merciful eyes of Shri Banke Bihariji, the person would lose his self consciousness. Thus came into existence the physical form of Lord Banke Bihari, popularly know as Bihariji.
The sewa of the Bihariji is unique in its own way. Three parts of Seva is done every day ie Shringar, Rajbhog and Shayan. While shringar (which includes bath, dressing and adornment with jewellery like crown and necklaces) and Rajbhog(feast) is offered in the forenoon, Shayan Sewa (shayan means sleep) is offered in the evening. The temple doesn’t have a tradition of Mangala (early morning) sewa. Swami Haridas did not favour Mangla Sewa as he wanted his child like Lord to take complete rest and did not want to disturb him out of deep slumber so early in the morning.
So, the temple today stands with its full glory, inside which the Lord himself resides. It is thronged by thousands of visitors everyday.
This real incident was shared by a Goswamee in the temple
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pic & Videos : Courtesy ..Uploaded in social media by several advanced devotees