LORD KRISHNA AND THE THIEF


A Brahman, whose profession was singing the glories of the Lord, was once reciting  Srimad Bhagavatham in the house of a patron. A thief broke into the house where the recital was going on and hid himself in the deep corner .

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Perforce, he had to listen to Srimad Bhagavatham. The singer was now  describing the ornaments worn by  little Krishna which was adorned by Yashoda . He described the various ornaments Yasodha  decorated  on  little  Krishna before sending Him out with the cows.

The thief  was  excited and thought that he should meet that lad  and rob all the ornaments at one stroke instead of struggling every day with petty stealing. He waited till the entire chapter of Srimadbhagavatam was recited and left the place. The thief wanted to know where this boy was. He, therefore, followed the Brahmin and waylaid him. The Brahmin was frightened and feared that he would lose even the small amount collected as dakshina and told the thief, “I do not have anything with me”.

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The thief  replied that he was not keen to have any of his belongings but wanted some  information about that lad he was claiming to have the best ornaments adorned  who used to go out for grazing the cows.  He checked him to take him to that place where the lad was grazing those cows . The Brahmin was in a fix now .  

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He replied  the thief, that all particulars of the the cute lad was in a book which is at his old house . He accompanied  the  the thief to his house, and looked in some book and told, “In Brindavana, on the banks of Yamuna, in a green meadow, two boys  come in the morning. One  is dark like the cloud with a flute, and the other fair clad in white silk. The dark one will have all the ornaments I had described.” The thief believed the brahmin  and set out to Brindavana immediately. He located the beautiful  place , climbed up a tree and waited for the boys to arrive.

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The sun rose. Faint melody of the flute wafted along the morning breeze. The enchanting music could then be heard closer and the thief spotted two boys coming. He got down from the tree and went near them. The moment he saw the most beautiful appearance of the little Krishna , he forgot himself for a moment, folded his hands and shed tears of joy. The tears were from his heart and it was chilling . He wondered which wretched mother had sent these radiant boys,  chiseled to perfection, loaded with ornaments to the riverbank. He couldnt take his eyes off from the divinity .The transformation started .Tears were rolling  . Since the thief had carefully listened to the story of Krishna as told by the Brahmin, he noticed that Krishna was not wearing one particular piece of ornament described by the Brahmin.  His love to the little  lad was so engulfing that he even wanted to adorn Krishna with that missing ornament, which he  was prepared to steal from any jeweller  and enjoy the sight to his heart’s content. Just as the clouds cover the bright sun, wicked thoughts developed in his mind again.

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He approached the boys …..shouting, “Stop,” he held Krishna’s hand. The moment he touched  Lord Krishna all his previous karma was wiped  like  a cotton getting burnt in a fire …. and  with all humility  he inquired lovingly, “Who are you?”

Krishna  looks at him, innocently and tells  I am frightened by your looks.Please leave my hands ..” The thief with remorse tells  Krishna, “It is my evil mind which is reflected in my face. If you are frightened I shall go away.”  Please dont say  I must leave you …

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The Natkat Krishna reminds the  thief,  the purpose  of his coming before he forgets .He cooly mocks at him .

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.Here, take my ornaments.” Confused the thief  replies , “Will not your mother scold you, if you gift away all your ornaments to me?” Krishna  with a smile  says , “Do not worry about that. I have plenty of them. I am a bigger thief than you. But there is a difference between you and me – however much I steal, the owners do not complain. I am lovingly called “Chitha Chora”. Though you are not aware of it, you have a previous ornament in your possession, the “Chitha”. I shall steal it now and take the same with Me.” So saying both the boys vanished.

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To  his surprise  the thief  found a bag full of ornaments on his shoulder. He brought it to the Brahmin’s house and told him what had  all happened. The Brahmin was  now frightened and took the thief inside and opened the bag. To his utter amazement he saw all the ornaments described by him  as being worn by Krishna in the Bhagavatha, in the thief’s bag. Shedding tears of joy, the Brahmin asked the thief to take him to the place where he saw the dark boy.

 

The thief obliged and both of them waited in the same place where the thief accosted the boy the previous day. Suddenly the thief exclaimed, “Look, here they come!” However, the Brahmin could not see any one. Stricken with remorse, he said, “Swami, when You  decided to give darasinam to  a thief, why not me?

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Lord Krishna out of abundant compassion reply was soothing … “You are reading  Srimad Bhagavatha just as another story  whereas  the thief on the other hand, believed what you had told him. I manifest only for those who surrender to Me.”

Glories to the thief who saw LORD ….

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Lets leave our chittha to Chittha chora .
Hare Krishna

Adapted from a discourse by  a Sant

MaNavALa MAmuniyae! Innum Oru NootrAndirum!………………


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

Anathya swaroopam
Anathya swaroopam

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

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 Adisesha, and instructed,

My dear Adishesha !  

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

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My world, so that they enjoy eternal bliss”.

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

Swamy Ramanuja followed LORDs directives by spreading the divine message of  Azhwars …..

and the true knowledge to seek Lord’s mercy  and disappeared at the age of 120.

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The Lord was not satisfied  with the developments and felt the mission was not complete .

Hence he once again advised  Swamy  Ramanuja  to complete the original assignment of remaining in this material world for complete  200 years and uplift the jivaatmaas .

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With implicit obedience, Adishesha  who appeared as Swamy Ramanuja once again appeared as Swami maNavALa mAmunikaL.

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AdisEsha, in his previous incarnation as Swamy Ramanuja, was very much attracted to Nammazhvars’s appearance and his divine outpouring (thiruvAimozhi), and hence, earned the appellation “mAran adipaNindhu Uynthavan”.

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In keeping with this overwhelming love for Nammazhvar, the second time around, AdisEsha selected Azhvar Thirunagari as the place most suited for his birth. He appeared   in the month of Aipassi and star Moola   falling on Nov 11th 2018 this year and was named “Azhakiya maNavALapperumAL nAyanAr .

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It should be noted that Swami MamunikaL excelled as the disciple of none other than the famous SriSailesha (Tiruvaimozhi pillai), SrisailEsha erected a temple at Azhvar-thirunagari for Swami Ramanuja and installed Sri Ramanuja’s idol, which had been presented to Sri Madhurakavi Azhvar and lay buried at the foot of the famous Tamarind tree.

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Sri Sailesha after clearing the wild vegetation at Azhvar-thirunagari  took all initiatives in bringing back the sacred deity which was lost during invasions .

Sri SailEsha also brought out the buried deities  of Swamy Ramanuja’s Bhavishyad Acharaya vigraha .

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Sri Ramanuja’s temple at Azhvar thirunagari was handed over to Swami Manavala Mamunikal in due course of time, and daily thiruArAdhanam (ritual worship) was performed by Swami mAmunikaL.SriSailEsha ordered his ardent disciple Swami Manavala Mamuni, who had learnt all sastras from him to study and propagate the divya prabandham ( azhvar’s 4000 hymns and their commentaries).

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He wished that living in Sri Rangam and propagating the true tenets of the Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya as given in the hoary aruLiccheyal (divya prabandham) was the need of the hour.

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The devoted disciple that he was, Swami Mamuni did act according to the commandments of his teacher. So Sri Rangam, the citizens of Srirangam & the Lord of Sri Rangam – all of them begot the good fortune of counting Swami Mamuni as one amongst themselves.

Swami Manavala Mamunikal came to Sri Rangam as a gruhastha (householder). Swami Manavala Mamuni accepted asceticism (sanyAsa Ashrama) later for a total involvement in the spreading of his Acharyars desire .

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Lord Ranganathar ( Peria Perumal ) had a desire which he wanted  Swami  Mamuni to accomplish in Srirangam.

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He seized the golden opportunity of Mamunikal’s arrival to the city of Sri Rangam & ordered him to give a public discourse on the Eedu (36000 padi), the super-commentary of Swami Nampillai on Thiruvaimozhi along with other commentaries, in  alluring style for having the good fortune of being trained by the esteemedAcharya Sri SailEsha (Thiruvaimozhip pillai).

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In order to accommodate unhindered conduct for the kAlakshEpam (discourse) all festivities of the temple  was kept in abeyance . History tells us that for a whole year, Namperumalhad enjoined cessation of all festivals  at Srirangam, world renowned by the name kOil, a temple that is considered to be the foremost amongst the 106-Divya desams.

The above-mentioned, spiritually uplifting event occurred on the final kalakshEpa (discourse)-day, the day adorned, interestingly, by the Ani thiru-moola star. So, SriVaishnava-world attaches equal importance to this Ani moola auspicious day also, in a manner akin to the day of Sri Mamunikal’s appearance, SriAippasi Thirumoola day. Swami mAmunikaL, with implicit obedience, accepted LORDS directives to perform service to the Lord.

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On the concluding day of Swami mAmunikaL’s wonderful lectures on thiruvAimozhi and Eedu,  Lord appeared amidst the august assembly of mAmunikaL and sri vaishnavas, in the guise of an archakar’s (priest) a small boy from getting proximate presence to Swami mAmunikaL’s seat, recited the following stanza in His inimitable, majestic voice resembling the thunder of a rumbling cloud,

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“SriSailEsha dayA pAthram dheeibhakthyAdi guNarnavam
Yetheendra pravaNam vandE ramyajA mAtharam munim”

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He kept a palm leaf containing the above sloka on a golden plate full of flowers, fruits, coconuts and other sacred components of guru dakshiNa (token of appreciation) and after offering it at the holy feet of Swami mAmunikaL, ran towards the sanctum sanctorum & disappeared.

To add to this magnificent miracle, Periya Perumal, the Lord Ranganatha Himself, immediately ordered through the archaka –‘let this slOka be recited at the beginning of all divya prabhanda recitations; just as a Vedic recital begins and ends with the sacred ‘Om’, so also all recitals of the tamil veda, the divya prabhandam, shall commence and end with ‘srI SailESa dayA pAtram’.

adiyArgaL vAzha arangka nagar vAzha
sadakOpan thaNdamizh nUl vAzha * – kadal sUzhndha
mannulagam vAzha * maNavALa mAmuniyE *
innum oru nURRANdirum *

These holy lines extols Swamys contributions to continued existence and prosperity of Sri Vaishnavaism, the followers, their holy temples, scriptures, traditions, and the well being of the whole world, and concludes with the prayer, that the great Manavalamaamuni live for another hundred years for that purpose.

The apparent conflict between 100 years and perpetuity is resolved, when one understands the key link of devoted Sri Vaishnava devotees, their ongoing practice of the prayer and traditions as a “Vaazhaydi Vaazhai”, for the perpetuation of the faith. So 100 and more years down the line there will be faithful chanting the same for the future.

At an advanced age Swamy  Mamunigal hearing the  Divya prabandam from his disciples   left his eternal body and became the Nitya Asuri.

He attained Thirunadu on Ruddothkari year (1444), Masi Month, Krishna Paksha Dwadeshi on Thiruvona Nakshtram, Saturday. His ardent  disciples carried the eternal body in Pushpa Pallaku  and keeping  in Padmasana posture and brought it a place in Cauvery River they did the Addakam on the banks of river Cauvery .The  place was known as Dwarasan Porpadukai.

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Swamy Manavala maamunigaley thiruadigaley  sharanam

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pictures credits : Advanced devotees  serving Lord

videos : At Sri MudaliAndaans swamy Thirumaligai

Holy Places related to Ramayana.”………….. Lord Sri Rama Anu Yatra- Sri Ramanin Padayil…….


                                           
 Sri Rama Anu Yatirai-

                                                          A curtain Raiser

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 Prostrating at the feet  of Asmath acharyar His Holiness Sri Sri MudaliAndaan swamigal  , adiyen wishes to briefly mention about the holy places connected with Lord Sri Rama who appeared as the eldest son of King Dasaratha and lived for 11000 years. 

Our poorvacharyas  reveal that Lord Rama chose to appear in Ishvaku dynasty of Surya vamsam because Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam who appeared from paarkadal answering Brahma’s prayers was presently being worshipped by Ishvaku dynasty . Lord who desired to taste the “nectar of worshipping” appeared in this Raghu vamsam and worshipped HIS own Narayana swaroopam.

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Nammazhwar aptly points out “Karpaar Ramapiraanai Matrum Karpaaro”, we need to know about  Lord Sri Rama and HIS qualities and follow HIS footsteps for our upliftment.  Lord Sri Rama purified   the holy Bharata bhoomi by placing HIS holy feet covering the length and breadth of our country.  Sri Rama set out on HIS journey twice. 

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In  HIS first yatra, Srirama covered the north and north-eastern  part of our country covering  Ayodhya, Buxar, Ahroli, Chapra, Hajipur, Sitamarhi, Janakpur. In HIS second yatra which was the longest and extended for 14 years, HE purified Srungaberipuram, Allahabad, Chitrakut, Satna, Nagpur, Nasik,Panchavati, Hampi,Mysore, Thirupullani (near Rameswaram) and now gives darsanam to us in Srirangam as Lord Ranganathar.

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Thirumazhisai  Azhwar questions Lord Aravamudhan at Thirukudandhai as to whether the Lord is resting because of the long trek undertaken as Rama ? ) “Nadandha kaal nondhanavo???”   Lakshmana accompanied Srirama in both the journeys.  Our poorvacharyars say that Lakshmana who was Adisesha amsam  didn’t live even for a second without Sri rama.  Lakshmana appeared in this world  2 days after Sri Rama’s appearance and disappeared from this mortal world before Sri Rama’s descent to Sri Vaikuntam. Lakshmana is known as “Kainkarya Lakshmi sampanna”-the one who is born for performing kainkaryam to Perumal. While conversing with Hanuman, Mother Sita glorifies Lakshmana as the one who is more dearer to Srirama than anyone in the world and regards him as Dasaratha because he used to take care of THEIR welfare like a father.t

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All the places connected to Sri Ramayanam are still existing  and  can be visited.  Adiyen is greatly indebted to my manasika guru,  Sri Velukudi Krishnan Swami for the extensive research in  identifying the places and enabling us to visit them.


Due to official  constraints, adiyen couldn’t join his yatra but later due to acharyar’s krupai,  undertook this journey of visiting the holy places in two phases with family so that the sparsham of these places would purify us and charge Rama bhakti  in us.  We continuously prayed to Hanumanji, the embodiment of Rama Bhakti all through this journey by reciting Sundara kandam daily.

WE also read the respective sargam connected to the respective places given by Sri Velukudi Krishnan swamy and sang “Naama Ramayanam”everywhere.  

 

 

 We had booked circular tickets with more of night journeys and day time to visit the holy places.
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We accommodated ourselves mostly in ISKCON guest houses and other ashrams wherever present .

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Adiyen is briefly mentioning the details of  places so that it would be useful to others who wish to undertake this yatra on own. Please forgive me for the shortcomings. 

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The detailed diary is penned in the below blogs .

click the links

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/piligrim-diary-to-sri-rama-holy-abodes/

and Part (2)

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/sri-rama-anu-yatirai-part-2/

Sage Valmiki at the behest of Brahma wrote the famous epic Sri Ramayanam at Bittoor located about 60 kms near Kanpur.  Places to be visited in Bittoor are:

Valmiki muni ashram:- about 2 kms from Brahmavrath theertham. In this temple complex, we find Lava,Kusha sannidhi with Sitadevi, their birth place , the valiant sons of Sri rAma and Sita, bandhey Hanuman sannidhi where he was bound.  

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In the same ashram, we find the tree where the Aswamedha horse was bound,  Sita rasoi, Sita paatal pravesh from where Sitadevi disappeared into the earth.

Lava Kusha jansmasthaan-Sita,Ramar,Lava,Kusha sannidhi at Valmiki ashram,Bittoor

Lava Kusha jansmasthaan-Sita,Ramar,Lava,Kusha sannidhi at Valmiki ashram,Bittoor

 

 

The sacrificial horse of Sri Rama's Aswamedham captured by Lava and Kusha

The sacrificial horse of Sri Rama’s Aswamedham captured by Lava and Kusha

Other places of interest:-

Brahmavrath Theertham:-Brahma placed his foot for the first time in bhoomi at this place.  Ganges here is known as Brahmavrath theertham.  There is a small temple in which Brahma’s foot is worshipped

Brahma's toe at Bittoor on the banks of Brahmavrath theertham
Brahma’s toe at Bittoor on the banks of Brahmavrath theertham,Bittoor

 

Dhruva Tila:- the place where the child devotee,Dhruva did meditation on the Lord by chanting Dwadasa mantram . This is in Bittoor.

 

ISKCON, Kanpur:- This is on the way to Bittoor

RAdha-Krishna dieties at ISKCON,Kanpur

Sri Ramacharitram written by Sage Valmiki  divided into 7 parts and the present location with the places to be visited is briefly given below:-

  • Bala Kaandam about Sri Rama’s life upto 12 years starting from HIS appearance upto the divine marriage with Mother Sita.

Places covered : Ayodhya, Buxar, Sidhasramam, Chapra, Hajipur, Ahroli, Madhuban,Sitamarhi, Janakpur and Dhanusha in Nepal

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Base:- Ayodhya

Temples to be visited in Ayodhya:- Time required :- 1 full day

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Ram Janma bhoomi-Sri Rama’s birth place

Magouda:- Putrakameshti yagam was performed here

 Dasaratha palace-. After marriage, Srirama along with Mother Sita first arrived here

 Kanak bhavan(Sita Rama’s palace ) –made of gold.   3 sets of Sita,Ramar are decked in gold and are placed in golden throne.  The utsava murthis are also of gold. We can have darsanam of Sri Rama padhukai-when Sita Ramar left for forest, Sri Rama climbed the chariot at this place. 

Hanuman gaddi- where  Hanuman used to rest-beautiful temple on a hillock

Raj Darbhar:- When Sita and Rama came to Ayodhya for the first time, as per the local authorities, Sitadevi honoured Kaikeyi,Sumitra,Kousalya and Dasaratha with food.  In return, Kaikeyi presented kanak bhavan, Sumitra with nethi chutti, Kousalya with haaram and Dasaratha blessed Sita that Sri Rama would attain fame only because of HER and would be addressed as “SitaRam”

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Sarayu river also known as Nethraja, Vasishti:- As she appeared from Perumal’s thirukangal(eyes), she is known as Nethraja, as she rested in  Brahma’s manasu (heart) as water , she is known as Sarayu and as she was brought down to earth by Sage Vasishtar, she is known as Vaasishti.-Go dhaanam(cow dhaanam) on the banks of Saruyu is very auspicious

Valmiki Bhavanam : where the entire Valmiki Ramayanam is inscribed on the walls. Valmiki maharishi along with Lava and Kushan gives darshanam,

 Ammaji mandir-a South Indian temple which is considered as the divyadesa Perumal temple built by Yogi Parthasarathy couple from Tiruvellikeni

Barat bhavan-where Bharata lived

Vasishta bhavan- where Sage Vasishta taught the royal princes. The level of water in the Vasishta kund here is the same as that of SArayu rivier

 

Outskirts of Ayodhya :-

Gupthar ghat and Lakshmana ghat:- about 15 kms from Ayodhya near Faizabad from where Sri Rama and Lakshmana  ascended to Vaikuntam respectively-Lakshmana was forced to be separated from Rama and had to leave him.  Lakshmana came to Sarayu river and walked into the river and disappeared to reach Vaikuntam.   Lakshmana, the Adisesha swaroopam left first so as to welcome Sri Ramar at Vaikuntam.   SriRama who couldn’t bear Lakshmana’s separation shed all the royal robes and ornaments and clad in a white dhoti holding darbha grass walked from HIS palace to the present Guptar ghat and taking everyone including innate things walked into the river and disappeared. very auspicious to bathe here

Hanumar sannidhi,Gupthar Ghat,Ayodhya
Hanumar sannidhi,Gupthar Ghat,Ayodhya

 

 Nandigramam :-about 35 kms on the outskirts of Ayodhya enroute to Allahabad where Bharata stayed and ruled the kingdom on Sri Rama’s behalf for14 years- the pond where Bharata used to bathe, Bharatha mandir in the ground floor, Lagey Hanumar sannidhi, Rama padhukas in both the floors, meeting of Bharath and Hanumar,Bharath Milap  mandir (old and new) , Sri Ramar temple near the pond where Sri Ramar and HIS brothers shed their mara-vuri and adorned royal dresses.(Ayodhya kaandam, Yuddha Kaandam)

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Bharat Milap Mandir,Nandigramam-Hanumar and Bharathan hugging each other

Srimurthis at Bharat Mandir,Nandigramam

Srimurthis at Bharat Mandir,Nandigramam

rama paduka at new Bharat temple,Nandigram
rama paduka at new Bharat temple,Nandigram

Tamasa river:- the residents of Ayodhya who followed Sri rAma’s chariot were misled here.  Srirama asked Sumantara to drive the empty chariot towards ayodhya so that the residents would think that the Lord returned to Ayodhya

 

FIRST JOURNEY:-

Lord Rama’s first journey towards north-east was at the age of 12 when HE along with Lakshmana accompanied Sage Viswamitra to protect the latter’s yaagam.  Places  covered :Srungi ashram, Kamasram, Sidhasram, Ahroli,Madhuban, Janakpur,Dhanusha, Punouda and return to Ayodhya

 

Srungi asramam near Sarayu river on the outskirts of Ayodhya- Sri Rama Lakshmana during THEIR first journey walked about 25 kms and spent HIS first night with Viswamitra rishi (this place was visited by Velukudi swami by bus, as we went by train , we missed this. Viswamitra taught Bala,Athibala mantras here

 

Base: Buxar- about 5 hours from Ayodhya via Azamgarh(south-east of Ayodhya)

 Time required : 1 full day

Places to be visited in Buxar :- Kamasramam, Sidhasramam, Tataka vanam,Vaikuntanathar kovil

 

KamasramamSri Rama,Lakshmana,Viswamitra stayed at this place where Manmathan was burnt to ashes by Shiva
KamasramamSri Rama,Lakshmana,Viswamitra stayed at this place where Manmathan was burnt to ashes by Shiva

Kamasramam-The trio reached this place on the second day.  Earlier this place was the sangamam of Sarayu and Ganges river. Now due to geographical dislocation, the confluence is at Chapra now. Here Manmathan was burnt to ashes- Sri Rama along with Viswamitra stayed here for a night. This was earlier known as Punyasramam. 26 kms from Buxar via Chitapada gaon in Balliya taluk. As Manamathan(Kamadevan) was burnt to ashes by Siva., the place came to be known as Kamasramam/Kameshwar Dhaam.  Thre tree which also got burnt by Shiva’s fury can be seen.  There is a temple for Shiva and a kulam on the left side. We can overcome Kaamam and krodham by clingling to Sri Rama’s holy feet.

pic of Rama Lakshmana serving Viswamitrar at Kamasramam
pic of Rama Lakshmana serving Viswamitrar at Kamasramam

Bhrigu rishi ashram- on the way to Kamasramam with a slight deviation-While going in search of Kamasramam, the driver took us to this place .  Happy to note from the local people that this place also was visited by Sriramar.

 

Tatakavanam:- Tataka the demonness who had the strength of 1000 elephants was killed by Rama- a huge figure of the demoness can be seen here. This is in present Buxar. The trio spent the third night here

Ram Rekha ghat –Sri Rama crossed Ganges here in Buxar- beautiful temples for Rama and Shiva on the banks of Ganges, evening aarthi performed to ganges daily. We can have darshan of Sri Rama charan padhuka here.  Akhand Ramayana parayanam goes on here.

Siddhasramam-where Viswamitra rishi performed yagam (this is in Buxar Central Jail premises), –Rama Lakshmanar guarded this place for 6 days (from 4th to 9th day) while Viswamitrar was performing yagam. Sri Ramar killed Subahu and drove away Marrechan. Killing Subahu is like Perumal absolving us from our past karmas and driving away of Mareechan is like driving away the sins which we would be committing in future. Also this is the  appearance place of Vamana murthi-the 5th avataram of Mahavishnu- we can find a small temple housing shiva lingam

Siddhasramam(Vamanasramam) located within Central Jail Premises,Buxar
Siddhasramam(Vamanasramam) located within Central Jail Premises,Buxar

Vaikintanathar temple-locally known as Navalakh mandir-  in south Indian style following Thenacharya sampradayam with separate sannidhis for Perumal, Thayar,Andal(Azhwars and Acharyars vigrahams are kept in Andal sannidhi)

 

Chapra(near Rewalgunj):- where Sarayu mingles with Ganges. While in Balliya , Rama hears a huge sound and asks Viswamitrar . Viswamitrar says that this is the confluence of Sarayu with Ganges.  But due to geographical changes, it is now presently  found near Chapra. This is on the way to Ahroli.

 

Ahroli- This is Goutama muni’s ashram . Local residents say that Ahalya who was cursed to turn into a stone was redeemed by Lord’s holy feet. We can have darshan of Sita-Ram,Lakshmanar in one sannidhi.  In another sannidhi, we can find Goutama muni with his wife Ahalya and son Sadananda rishi who was King Janaka’s kulaguru, Hanuman. Also, Rama padhukai beneath a tree and small vigraham of Ahalya being touched by Srirama’s holy feet can be worshipped.  Behind is the confluence of rivers .  As per Valmiki Ramayanam, Ahalya was redeemed from curse at Kamtaul near Mithalapuri.

Sronepur:-confluence of River Srona with Ganges near Dhorigunj. Gajendran was granted moksham here- beautiful temple of Gajendravaradar. While staying here on 11th night, Viswamitrar told about his story, Ganges story and Kumara urpathi(Subramanya swami’s birth)

Ram Chouda at Hajipur: about 12 kms from Patna. King Sumathi hosted the royal princes and the rishi here. The overwhelmed  king questions Sage  Viswamitra as to why the delicate princes had to walk all the way without taking a chariot.  Beautiful mandapam on a hillock where we can find Thiruvadi chuvadugal of SriRama.  Confluence of Ganges with gandaki. 

Madhuban:- Sri Rama and Sita saw each other in this beautiful garden.  (This is mentioned by Ramanand SAgar but as Velukudi swami didn’t mention about this, we skipped it

Sitamarhi:- the last town on India-Nepal border-the birth place of Mother Sita.  King Janaka who was childless intended to do a yagam and taking his acharyar’s permission, started to plough the yaaga bhumi when he heard a sound.  He found a beautiful baby in a casket whom he named Sita as she was found at the edge of the plough. The place where Mother Sita who was an ayonija appeared is Sita Kund which is now filled with water. 

Sita Kund,Sitamarhi-Mother Sita appeared at this place which is now filled with water
Sita Kund,Sitamarhi-Mother Sita appeared at this place which is now filled with water

 

Sita's birth place temple, Sitamarhi
Sita’s birth place temple, Sitamarhi

Old and new temples of Mother Sita along with Rama,Lakshmanar,Hanumar can be seen. Beautiful vigraham of Janaka ploughing and Mother Sita appearing from the earth.  The temple also displays a beautiful photograph of the divine wedding.

sita avataram
Mother Sita appearing from earth while ploughing

 

Janakpur:- where the divine wedding of Sita-Ramar along with the Urmila-Lakshmana, Mandavi-Bharata, Shrutakeerthi-Shatruguna took place- beautiful Janakpur palace turned temple and nearby  kalyana mandapam known as “Sheesh mahal”to be visited.  WE can find Sita,Ramar in Kalyana Thirukolam along with THEIR parents, Vasishtar,Sadanandar and others.  Around the mandapam , we can have darshan of all the four couples-Sita-Ramar.Urmila-Lakshmanan, Mandavi-Bharatan, Shrutakeerthi-Shatrugunan.

Janakpur temple
Janakpur temple-King Janaka’s palace where Mother Sita was brought up

 

Kanak mahal temple:- Sita’s jewellery were heaped like a mountain here. Very near to palace. There is another temple beside this where dieites are carved out of a single stone.

Dhanusha dham:-about 20 kms from Janakpur where a piece of the bow broken by Srirama can be seen. As per the pujari, when Sri Rama lifted the bow,it broke into three pieces-first piece fell at Dahnushkodi near Rameswaram, the second went into pathala in Janakpuri where we can now find a small kund, the centre piece fell at Dhanusha dhaam and this piece attached to a banyan tree is growing along with the roots by 2 inches every year.

Dhanushadham,Nepal- A piece of Sivadhanush broken by Srirama fell here which is about 30 kms from Janakpur
Dhanushadham,Nepal- A piece of Sivadhanush broken by Srirama fell here which is about 30 kms from Janakpu

Punouda:-after wedding, the retinue while returning to Ayodhya camped here- Parasurama was humbled by SitaRam here. The banyan tree under which the palanquin was kept is worshipped with reverence.  The local people believe that only truth has to be spoken here else it would be disastrous.  They assemble here for any dispute.

Pant Pakar-The place where the newly wed couple with their retinue rested for a night. Parasurama was humbled by Srirama at this place
Pant Pakar-The place where the newly wed couple with their retinue rested for a night. Parasurama was humbled by Srirama at this place

 From Punouda, the retinue reached Ayodhya and Sri Ramachandran spent 12 years happily in the company of Mother Sita serving all the elders .  Dasaratha with the consent of everyone including the citizens decides to crown Rama as the prince and arrangements are made.  Lord Rama prays to Lord Narayanan(Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam) to fulfill the purpose of HIS avataaram.

 

After wedding, Sita and Rama stayed at Kanak bhavan in Ayodhya
After wedding, Sita and Rama stayed at Kanak bhavan in Ayodhya

 

  • Ayodhya Kaandam – the pastimes at Ayodhya including HIS exile upto the age of 24.

Places covered:-Ayodhya, Nandigramam,Triveni Sangamam, Allahabad, Chitrakut

 

Ayodhya:- As mentioned earlier , places in Ayodhya and nandigramam can be visited in a day.

Allahabad and Chitrakut can be covered in one and a half days.

Srungaberipuram- about 30 kms from Allahabad where Guha helped Rama cross the Ganges. Lord Rama accepts Guha as HIS brother. Sri Rama and Lakshmana  applied thick gum from tree to his jadai mudai which was later followed by Barata and Shatruguna. Sumantara came upto this place and after waiting for 2 days returned to Ayodhya

 

 Ram Sayya: The place where  Sita-Ramar laid down to rest on the bare floor, Guha and Lakshmana stood guard the whole night.   This area is fenced and worshipped by the devotees.

Ram sayya,Srungaberipuram near Allahabad-Sita Ramar spent one night at guha's place
Ram sayya,Srungaberipuram near Allahabad-Sita Ramar spent one night at guha’s place

Guha temple, Rsihyasrunga temple on a small hillock. Guha Temple:- Sita,Ramar,Lakshmanr, Guhan and the boat rower seated on a boat.

 

The archeological survey has proved Rama’s visit to this place.Beautiful temple of Sita,Rama,Lakshmanar.

Archeological survey at Srungaberipuram
Archeological survey at Srungaberipuram

Rishyasrunga temple:- this rishi played vital role in performing putrakameshti yagam for Dasaratha.  The rishi along with Shanta devi, his consort gives darsanam.  Shanta devi happens to be Dasaratha’s daughter.

Ganges:- The trio with the help of Guha crossed Ganges here. Kavet  is a beautiful temple near the shore where we can find the trio with Guhan and the boatman on a boat.

 

Triveni Sangamam-Prayag-Sita,Rama,Lakshmana offered oblations to the holy rivers here while crossing .Hanuman temple and Ramar temple( need to take permission to visit this temple which is now used by military )

 Bharadwaja ashram, Allahabad: –Sri Rama visited this ashram twice – at the beginning and while returning to Ayodhya after exile

Bharadwaja Muni ashram, Allahabad
Bharadwaja Muni ashram, Allahabad

Akshaya Vat:- near Das Aswamedha ghat.  Sri Rama performed pinta pradhaanam for HIS departed father while returning to Ayodhya.  SriRama has done pinta pradhanam at Akshayavat, Varanasi and Gaya. It is customary to have bath in Triveni Sangamam, perform panda pradhanam at Akshaya vat. The two branches represent pithrus from mother’s and father’s side.

Veni Madhavan sannidhi:- the presiding diety of this city.  on the north of Sangamam,western side of Ganges

ISKCON, Allahabad
ISKCON, Allahabad

Yamuna river:-Sita Ramar,Lakshmana took a boat to cross Yamuna river.  Now this place can be reached by travelling over a bridge and reach via busy market place(We didn’t visit this place.  Sri Velukudi Swami visited this during his second trip in 2014) The place where the trio crossed Yamuna and Sitadevi offered prayers is known as “Prabhu ghat”.  Nearby there is Tulsidas temple-the house where Tulsidas was born.  Flight of steps leads us to this place.  Here the dieites worshipped by Tulsidas including Salagrama murthis, and the vigraham of Tulsidas which was found in nYamuna at Prabhu ghat after his demise are worshipped,his padhukas, original palmleaf manuscript of bala kandam.  (we didn’t visit this place but on the way to Chitrakut at Rajapur, there is another temple for Tulsidas which we visited)

Rajapur:- on the way to Chitrakut- birth place of Tulsidas- Here the original manuscript of Ramcharitra manas is preserved.

Valmiki ashram on the way to Chitrakut, Valmiki river can be seen

 

Chitrakut:- the place where Sita, Rama Lakshmana stayed for some time.  Bharata along with his retinue fell at Rama’s feet here and requested him to return to Ayodhya.  When Sri Rama declined, he persuaded Srirama to part with his padhukas  to rule over the kingdom .

 

Kamadgiri mountain:- Sita,Rama,Lakshmana stayed in a beautiful hermitage here as per Baradwaja muni’s advise. Devotees have bath in Mandagini Ganga and do parikrama around Kamadgiri mountain.  This mountain is considered sacred as Sri rAma stayed here. The incidents of  Lakshmana spotting  Bharata and his retinue by climbing a tree, Bharata surrendering to Rama , Sri Rama hugging Barata, giving padhukas to Baratha , the brothers performing oblations to their departed father ,Sri Rama offering roots and twigs to the departed soul, etc will bring tears to our eyes.  (Our hearts melt when the vendors sell the roots and twigs saying that this was Sri Rama’s food for 14 years)

Ram Ghat:- Sri Rama performed last rites for Dasaratha along with his brothers .Vanvaas Mandir where Rama Lakshmanar are adorned in mara vuri dress whereas Sita is dressed in silk as the local devotees treat Mother Sita as royal princess.

Brahma Theertham: Braham performed 108 yagas here

Parna Kutiram:-Sita Ramar stayed near Brahma theertham and purified the place.

Janaki kund-the place where Mother Sita used to bathe

Sita Rasoi:- the kitchen where Mother Sita used to cook the roots and figs to offer to Rama.

Hanuman Dhaara:- Beautiful and famous temple dedicated to  Hanuman on a hill where Hanuman is bathed continuously with water from a waterfall , the source of which is not known to cool him from the heat caused during Lanka dahanam.(this incident appears in Ramcharitramanas) .There are about 250-300 steps to reach the temple. Virat swaroopam Panch mukha Hanuman at Hanuman dhaara  is very powerful. Hanuman controls the nava gruhangal.  Oil to keep his body cool, sindhoora podi, flags (Because he is Vijaya anjaneyar).  Another temple on the top. 

Sita Rasoi:- 100 steps above Hanuman dhaara-Mother Sita used to cook food for Sri Rama here .She followed Sanatana dharma of feeding guests even in forests.  She has offered food to sages like Atri,Agasyar,Suteekshanar,Sarabhangar, Valmiki.  Their idols can be seen here.  Sitadevi in sitting posture while cooking ,Ram and Lakshmanan standing on either sides of HER.

Spatik shila:- While Sita and Rama were resting, Indra’s son, Kakasuran injured Mother Sita.  Sri Rama got infuriated and aimed Brahamstram at Kakasuran.  Kakasuran who couldn’t get asylum anywhere finally surrendered at Sita Rama’s holy feet and was rescued.  Sri Rama plucked only one eye of the crow. , Spatik shila-where Kakasuran who injured Mother Sita was granted asylum by the all compassionate Lord Rama are  other places of interest.

 Our poorvacharyars opine that if Mother Sita is beside Rama, even Kakasuran who physically injured was saved but RAvana who didn’t even touch Mother Sita was killed because he didn’t have Thayar’s kataksham.  On the rock , we can find Sri Rama’s holy feet and Kakasuran’s imprints.

Das Hanumar temple: on the way to Atri-Anasuya ashram-beautiful images of Hanuman and pictures of Swamy RTamanujar, Desikar and others can be seen.

Sati Anasuya Ashram- on the banks of  Mandagini river, few kilometers away from Chitrakut on the way to Sarabhanga ashram.  Sita,Ram,Lakshmana visited Athri muni ashram and spent few months there.  Mother Sita described in detail about THEIR divine wedding to Sati Anasuya who  gifted Sita with divine robes and ornaments which wouldn’t get spoilt. Anasuya is known for her chastity .  Trinity were born to her-Shiva as Durvasar, Brahma as Chandran and Vishnu as Dattatareyar.   Beautiful vigrahams of various gods can be seen here.  It is customary to offer bangles and bindhis to Anasuya and take her prasadam. We can also find beautiful pictures from Sri Ramayanam here.

Gupt Godavari:- River Godavari secretly worshipped Sri rAma here.  This is located in a cave.  WE cannot find any water body around the cave but only inside the cave we can find Godavari upto our knee level.  Godavari came secretely and prayed to Rama to bless her.  That’s why Sri Rama went to Nasik –the birth place of Godavari and spent few years there.   Beautiful vigrahams of Rama,Sita,Lakshmana, Godavari, few demigods, Dhanush kund, Sita kund etc can be seen here.

 

 

 

  • Aaranya kaandam:- the pastimes of the Lord in Dhandakaranyam for 13 long years upto the age of 38. This area is known as” Ashrama mandalam”. Even the rishis who have conquered everything and who were always meditating on the Supreme Lord were also mesmerized looking at Sri Ramachandran’s beauty.  These rishis were born as gopikas in Krishna avataram to relish the Supreme beauty.

Places covered Virata kundam, Sarabhanga ashram, Suteekshana ashram, Agastya ashram, Nasik, Panchavati, Taket,Kishkinda(Hampi) Sri Rama, Sita and Lakshmana traversed through Dandakaranya forest covering present day Uttar Pradesh border, Madhya Pradesh,Maharashtra,  part of Jharkhand, disfiguring Surpanaka at Nasik, giving moksham to Jatayu at Taket,

 

Viratha kundam:- on the way to SArabhanga ashram but deviation to be taken and we have to trek 10 kms in wild animals infested forest.  Very risky and hence not approachable.

Sarabhanga muni ashram:-17 kms from Anasuya ashram- located on the outskirts of Chitrakut on the way to Satna.  Sita,Ramar,Lakshmanar on the advise of Atri muni visited this place.  When the trio were approaching the ashram, Indra had come with a divine chariot and was conversing with Sarabhanga muni .  Indra disappeared from the spot.  Sarbhanga muni greeted the Lord and did all the upachaarams.  He requested the Lord to permit him to leave this mortal body and in the Lord’s presence, he lit a pyre and sacrificed his body.  The rishi immediately took Narayana swaroopam and with folded hands left for Vaikuntam.  This ashram can be approached only after 8 a.m. .In this ashram, we find Sarabhanga muni in Narayana swaroopam holding conch and disc along with the vigrahams of Sita,Rama Lakshmanar.  A branch of Mandagini river known as Sarabhangi river flows nearby.  This ashram is situated in the midst of a forest.  

Suteekshana muni ashram:- beyond Sarabhanga muni ashram.  These ashrams can be approached by road only and it is advisable to take a local guide with us as these are situated in remote places . Velukudi Swami ahs visited this place.  Amidst natural scenic beauty, the ashram is situated which now houses the vigrahas of Sita,Ram,Lakshmanar and Suteekshana muni near THEIR thiruvadi in sitting meditative posture. Suteekshana muni gave directions to various ashrams to SRiramar.

Agastya muni ashram:-  5 kms from Salega(near Satna)  is Patna Thamoli in Panna district.  To take a jeep/ track and travel for about 5 kms. U reach a river which has to be crossed by either walking or lay a bridge and then climb a small  hillock to reach Agastya muni ashram. Agastya muni presented  a divine bow and arrow to Sriramar.  Beautiful vigraham of Sri Ramar aiming an arrow. Here Sri Rama takes an oath to destroy the rakshasas who were causing trouble to the rishis in Dhandakaranyam. 

Pl. note:- Initially we planned to go to Sarabhanga muni and Suteekshana muni’s ashram after visiting the important temples in Chitrakut. But after knowing the importance of Kamadgiri parikrama, we decided to join the other devotees in doing parikrama and hence we didn’t have enough time to go the ashrams.  So we skipped it by offering our manaseeka prayers .

We need one full day to visit Sarabhanga muni and Suteekshana muni’s ashram for which there is no proper transport and the temples would be closed.  However, Velukudi Swami visited these places and infact has renovated Sarabhanga muni temple. 

 

Ramtek (Agastya muni ashram):- 60 kms from Nagpur known as” Ramtek”. As per the priest’s description, Agastya muni gave divine weapons to Sri Rama here and Srirama vowed to destroy the rakshasas .  Hence this place is known as “Ram-Tek”. But as per Valmiki Ramayanam and Sri.Velukudi Swamy, this incident occurred in Uttara kandam .Srirama killed Sambakasuran here.

 Enroute, there is a museum depicting entire Ramayanam which is a feast to the eyes. Separate sannidhis for Ramar, Lakshmanar, Mahalakshmi, Agastyar,Ram talab-a beautiful pond where Srirama had bath ,  nearby mandapam where Rama padhukas can be seen here.

 

Triyambakeswar- about 35 kms from Nasik- one of the 12 jyotirlingas and is also connected with Jnaneswar’s brother.

Godavari Udgam:-Godavari originates from Brahmagiri mountain- Ganges on Siva’s jadamudi appeared at this place to redeem Gowthama muni from Go-hathya dosham.  Hence, she is know as Godavari.  Sita requests Godavari to inform about HER abduction by Ravana to Srirama but fearing Ravana, Godavari didn’t oblige.  When Srirama enquired from the river, it remained silent.  Our poorvacharyars opine that Godavari out of fear for Ravana who was thousands of miles away from her did not do Rama kaikaryam whereas Yamuna who was flowing right in front of Kamsa’s palace in Mathura fearlessly participated in Krishna kainkaryam.  So drinking Yamuna water will bestow dhairyam in us. But Vedanta Desikar opines that despite not doing Rama kainkaryam, Godavari is still considered to be punya nadhi because she has name “Godha” meaning Andal in her.So all her mistakes are wiped off. Godavari appears in a small kund and nearby we can find Goutamar and Ahalya.

 

Nasik, Panchavati:- Nasik and Panchavati are on either sides of Godavari.

Ram ghat, Gore Ram mandir, Kaaley Ram mandir, Ram kundam where Srirama used to bathe,

Mother Sita was abducted by RAvana from this place.  The place from where Mother Sita was abducted by Ravana, the place where Sita was asked to Lakshmana disfigured Surpanaka and this place is known as Nasik.

Tapovan-Lakshmana was doing tapas of protecting Rama.  Hence, it is Tapovan.  Beautiful small vigraham of Lakshmana under adiseshan can be seen here. Lakshmana cut Surpanaka’s nose and threwl on the other side of Godavari which is presently known as Nasik. AS many rishis and munis did tapas in this serene place, it is known as Tapovan.

Brahma Kund, Vishnu kund, Shiva kund, Kapila theertham, Sita kund are all nearby.

 Panchavati:- Lakshmana constructed a hermitage for Sita,Rama to live amongst 5 banyan trees .  hence known as “ pancha vati”-Banyan tree grows from a small seed but gives shade to a vast area Pancha vati represents truth, patience, tolerance, speak sweetly, easy accessability. Then, we also become a banyan tree.  Krishna states in Bhagavad Gita that amongst trees,” I AM THE BANYAN”

Parnasalai:- The beautiful hut constructed by Lakshmana for Sri Rama’s dwelling. Srirama appreciates Lakshmana for his craftsmanship adding that he never misses DAsaratha because like a father , Lakshmana caters to all the needs of Srirama.

Sita gufa- in Panchavati- there are 2 versions.  While Rama was fighting with 14000 rakshasas headed by Kara,Dhooshana, Sitadevi was requested to be in a cave which was protected by Lakshmana from outside.  Another version is at the time of abduction, the devas requested Mother Sita to hide inside the cave and Ravana carried tha Maya Sita who was Vedavati with him to Lanka.  During Mother Sita’ agni pravesham , the original and maya Sita were flipped.  Mother Sita requests Rama to accept Vedavati but Perumal refuses that it is not possible in this avataaram and when HE appears as Lord Srinivasa, SHE would appear as Padmavathi and marry HIM. (this incident of Vedavati doesn’t appear in Valmiki Ramayanam but is mentioned in Ramcharitra manas , Thiruvengada varallaru)

WE can find beautiful lively images of Mother Sita’s abduction by Ravana ,Mareechan appearing as deer, Sita cooking, and other incidents in this beautiful place.

Sundara Narayana temple: -one of the oldest temples in Nasik. This is bit away from Panchavati.  Lord gives darshan to rishis as Narayanan along with Lakshmi devi and Tulasi devi.Beneath we find Garuda with folded hands.

Ram mandir:- about 32 kms -While chasing the maya maan(deer), Srirama felt thirsty and for drinking water, aimed an arrow on the ground, Ganga emerged from the ground

Baneswar:-     39 kms  from where Rama let loose arrow

Madhyeswar -41   39-seeing arrow mareechan started running

Mruga vaadhyeswar-the place where the arrow hit Mareechan. Mareechan fell near Aurangabad

 

Taket: 65 kms from Nasik on Nasik-Igatpuri Highway.Drive for about 35 kms on the highway,take left turn, reach Gothi and proceed to Taket. It was here that Jatayu, the aged eagle fought valiantly with Ravana while he was carrying away Sita and in the process laid its life for a divine cause.  Sri Rama who was searching for Sita everywhere learns about Mother Sita’s abduction from Jatayu. Srirama sent Jatayu to moksham and performed the last rites just like as a son would do to his father.  Even Dasaratha was deprived of this opportunity. Kooratazhwan wonders in Athimanushasthavam that the Lord who knew to send Jatayu to Vaikuntam pretended to search for Sita and was enquiring about her whereabouts from Godavari, trees, birds etc.

SArva theertham: Rama aimed an arrow at the ground for water with which HE performed last rites.

Ram Mandir:-Sita,Ram,Lakshmana mandir

Jatayu moksha mandir”-Lord Rama seen with Jatayu on HIS lap with Lakshmana beside.  An eagle made of cotton is hung on the roof.

 

 

Kishkindha kaandam- for about 10 months – redemption of Kabandhan, giving moksham to Sabari, the meeting of the Lord with Sugriva, vanara army setting out in search of Mother Sita.  Places covered: Hampi, Lakshmana theertham near Mysore, Mahendra giri parvatham , Swayamprabha cave

Hampi:- Kodandaramar temple, Yanthrothkari Hanuman temple, Malyavan parvatham, Rishyamukha parvatham, SAbari ashram, Anjanadri

Anjanadri: Birth place of Anjaneyar- Hanuman’s parents were Anjana and Kesari .  Anjana performed tapas for 7000 years. 

Pampa saras:- This is one of the four sarovars created by Brahma-the others being Manasa sarovaram, Bindu sarovaram, Narayana sarovaram .  We can find Rama Lakshmana foot prints near it and visit Sabari asramam by ascending few steps. Sabari, the devout disciple of Matanga muni was awaiting Srirama’s arrival as per her guru’s instructions and discharged her duty.  Srirama accepted fruits given by her and in HIS presence she ascended to higher lokam.

Lakshmi Temple: located near Sabari ashram

Madhuvan: After Hanuman returned from Lanka, the vanaras on their way to Kishkinda halted at this place and after taking permission from Angadan satisfied their hunger and destroyed the beautiful garden which was close to Sugriva’s heart.  Sugriva’s uncle Dhadhimugan went to Rishyamukha parvatham and complained about the vanaras atrocities to Sugriva who concluded that  the vanaras have returned victoriously by finding out Mother Sita’s whereabouts.  Beautiful tall vigraham of Hanuman about 9 feet smeared with sindhoor can be seen here.  This temple is situated in a beautiful garden.

Malyavan Hill:- Here Lord Rama stayed here for four months. Srirama used to lament uncontrollably thinking of Mother Sita and Lakshmana used to console HIM.  These incidents in Kishkinda kaandam will definitely bring tears to the readers.  Such was the inexplicable love for Mother Sita.  Hanuman used to wonder at the Lord’s behaviour .  Lord Rama who is Sarvantaryami  sensed Hanuman’s views  and chose Hanuman to accomplish the task by giving HIS finger ring to him. The Lord wanted Hanuman to know Mother Sita’s greatness . When Hanuman introduced himself to Mother Sita in Ashoka vanam, he said “Rama dhoothan” whereas when he returned to Malyavan parvatham to convey Mother Sita’s news, he used “Rama dhaasan”.  Such is the greatness of Sita, the Universal Mother who does Purushaakaram for our sake.

 There is a beautiful Raghunath mandir here.   The divine serpent, Adisesha has assumed the form of a single rock and the temple along with SriRama’s idol is carved out of this single rock.  In another sannidhi, we can have darshan of Sita,Rama,Lakshmana and Hanuman.  Here Lord Rama is in meditative posture holding japa maala without HIS kodhandam, Lakshmana is seen standing with folded hands, Mother Sita is beside Srirama and Hanuman is in kneeling posture offering the choodamani to Sriramar.  When Srirama came to know about Mother Sita’s welfare, with tear filled eyes full of gratitude, the Lord of the Universe hugged Hanuman, vanara for saving THEIR lives.  Such is the Lord’s compassion,gratitude and love for HIS bhaktas.  This beautiful incident which brings to tears to whoever reads Sundarakandam took place here. We can have darshan of 2 ponds from which Rama and Lakshmana drank water during THEIR stay at this place.  All around the temple, we can find huge boulders .  .WE can have darshan of Lakshmi devi sannidhi. Opposite to this hill, we can find Hanuman sculpted on a rock.  During Srirama’s stay in Malyavan parvatham, Hanuman used to stay here to have darshan of HIS Lord staying here.  Mother Sita with chathurbhujam gives darshan.

Chintamani:- Near Rishyamukha parvatham. Vali wanted to test Srirama’s prowess and asked him to shoot at a sala tree on the other side of Tungabhadra.  With a single row, Lord Ramachandran pierced not one but 7 saala trees in a single shot and instilled confidence in Vali.   It was from here that Lord Rama aimed arrow at Vali and killed him. The place where Vali and Sugriva fought can be seen only through binoculars from here.  We need to drive around to reach the place.   Rama padhukai at this spot  and a bow on a pillar can be seen . In the nearby cave, we can find a stone on which Lord Rama used to sit and converse with Vali.  They entered into friendship in presence of fire at this place.

The place where Vali and Sugriva fought is about 45 minutes trek.  From this side, we can see the fighting ground but this place is not visible f rom where they spot.  On the ground where Vali and Sugriva fought, we can have darsanam of Srirama’s paduka.  While Vali was dying, Srirama came in his presence, justified HIS act of killing by hiding and sent Vali to heavenly abode.  This place is worshipped even today.

Kodandaramar sannidhi:-Sita,Rama,Lakshmana,Hanuman ,Sugrivar are sculpted from a single rock –Srirama performed Sugriva pattabhishekam here

Yanthrothkari sannidhi- this sannidhi  is beside Kodandaramar temple . Here we find Hanumar and Sudarshana chakram on either sides of Yantram.  Vanaras honoured Hanuman after he returned from Lanka. 

Swayamprabha cave:- Krishnapuram near Kadayanallur (Rajapalayam)- vanaras who lost their way while going towards south were fed by Swamyamprabha and were transported to the sea shore.  There is a sannidhi for Hanumar and a small vigraham of Swayamprabha inside the cave along with the theertham can be seen.

 

 

  • Sundara kandam:- After hearing the whereabouts of Mother Sita from Sampaathi, the eagle , brother of Jatayu, Hanuman assumes a big form and leaps into the air towards Lanka crossing 100 yojanas of sea after winning over all the hurdles, converses and pacifies Mother Sita who was about to end her life, Ravana sambashanam, setting Lanka to flames and victoriously returning to Mahendragiri to convey the news to his friends, return to Kishkinda on the way destroying Madhuvan near Hampi and offering the choodamani given by Mother Sita to Sri Rama and thus saved the lives of Sita,Rama and the entire world.

Places covered:- Mahendragiri mountain(Podhigai hill), Indian ocean, Lanka,Madhuvan and Malyavan hill in Kishkinda

 Hanuman’s search in Lanka and return to Kishkinda to convey the news

Mahendra giri parvatham:- located in Thirukurungudi near Tirunelveli on the hill where the Divyadesa Perumal Malai Nambi  resides. Hanuman leapt from here to cross the vast ocean and reached Lanka.

 

  • Yuddha Kandam:-

Places covered:-

Lakshmana theertham, Thirupullani and Sethukarai near Rameswaram, Lanka

 Sri Rama sets out to Lanka to defeat Ravana and rescue Sita. Returns to Ayodhya via Hampi, stops at  Allahabad, meets HIS brothers, sheds THEIR maravuri and jadai (robes similar to that of rishi’s), adorns royal robes at Nandigramam and return to Ayodhya where Pattabhishekam is performed.

Lakshmana theertham :- 60 kms from Mysore –also known as Irruppu Falls- Lakshmana quenched Vanara’s thirst by aiming an arrow on the mountain from which water sprung.  This water has lots of medicinal properties. To visit Rameswara temple at the foot of the hillock.

 

Thirupullani:- Lord Rama did saranagathi to Samudrarajan for 3 days starving and lying on darbhai.  This is one of the 108 divya desams.  . Here Vibhishanan,  Samdura rajan with this wife are seen standing with folded hands in Perumal sanndihi . There is also sannidhi for Adi Jagannathar whom Dasaratha worshipped for progeny.

Sethukarai:- Vibhishana did saranagathi to Sriramar at this place.  SEthu snanam at any time is considered auspicious

Kodandaramar sannidhi:- near Sethukarai. Beautiful picture of Vibhishana saranagathi can be seen. Srirama orders Lakshmana to perform pattabhishekam to Vibhishanan. Srirama proclaims here that it is HIS dharma to protect whoever surrenders to HIM. On Aani maasam Sukla paksham dasami thithti , every year vibhishana pattabhishekam is performed here. Sita,Rama,Lakshmanr, Hanumarwith Vibhishanar gives darshan

Gandhamadhana mountain:-Srirama padhukai to be worshipped here.  It was from here that Srirama surveyed the entire area and it was here that all the vanaras assembled for taking further instructions.

Nepali Ramar temple: 200 years old temple constructed by Nepali king.   The vigraham is made of salagramams brought from Muktinath

Dhanushkodi:- Driving on the Pamban bridge, we reach this place which was badly affected by Tsunami.  There is a Ramar temple here. 

Villundi Theertham:- This well is surrounded by sea water. 

Srirama aimed an arrow at the ground to quench Mother Sita’s thirst.  The water in the well is sweet whereas the surrounding sea water is salty.  The priest hands over a small vessel for us to draw water from the well and drink it.

Navapaasham:- Srirama is believed to have done puja to navagruhas by installing them here before going to Lanka. Very famous for navagraha dosha parihaaram.

Rameswaram:- In almost all the temples, we find “Ram paththar”(boulders and big stones used by Vanara army for constructing the bridge) which float in water.

Sugriva temple:- where Sugriva stayed. A very small sannidhi for Sugriva beside a pond can be seen here.

 

 Incidents like Srirama quenching Mother Sita’s thirst at Villundi theertham, Srirama performing puja to Siva for victory ,Srirama performing navagruha puja etc are mentioned here as part of the sthala varalaaru even though it is not mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana .

 

  • Uttara kandam:- Sri Rama was crowned as Chakravarthi at the age of 38 and ruled over the earth till 11000 years. The Lord ascended to Srivaikuntam from Gupthar Ghat at Ayodhya taking even the innate things with him. Kulasekara Azhwar in Peria Thirumozhi beautifully describes the entire Ramayana and mentions about HIS ascent “ Andru Sarasarangal Vaikundhathukku yethi….)

Places covered:-Ramtek near Nagpur, Ayodhya, Valmiki rishi’s ashram in Bittoor

Ramtek:- Srirama killed Jambakasuran and rescued a  brahmin’s child.

Lava Kusha Janmasthaan:- Situated in Valmiki ashram at Bittoor.

Sita Paathal Pravesh:- Mother Sita who was an ayonija (not born to human- she appeared as a small baby at Sitamarhi while Janaka was ploughing the yaaga bhoomi) finished HER role in Bhoolokam and disappeared into the bowels of earth after entrusting Lava and Kusha to Sriramar.  This is located in Valmiki ashram at Bittoor.

Gupthar ghat and Lakshman ghat: Sri Rama and Lakshmana ascended to Srivaikuntam from this place.  This is situated about 15 kms away from Ayodhya near Faizabad.  There are separate temples for Ramar and Lakshmanar

 

JAI SITARAM

 

 
Continue reading “Holy Places related to Ramayana.”………….. Lord Sri Rama Anu Yatra- Sri Ramanin Padayil…….”

THE DEVOTEE WHO PLAYED DICE WITH LORD VENKATESHWARA


venkaTAdri samam sthAnam brahmANDe nAsti kincana;

venkateSa samo devo na bhUto na bhaviSyati

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This sloka  taken from the Puranas  claims  …………There is no place in the entire universe that equals Venkatadri, the place where the Lord resides and there is no God, neither in the past nor in the future who equals  Lord Venkateswara.

TIRUMALA, the abode of Lord Srinivasar stands unique as an embodiment of mans eternal quest for the divine and His infinite grace. A piligrimage to the sacred Hills is a soul-stirring experience cherished by every devotee.

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The puranas say that soon after Dwaparayugam ended and Kaliyugam started, Lord Krishna, decided to stay back to protect one and all and chose TIRUMALA. The appearance of the Lord would be mentioned in detail later as a piligrim’s diary . 

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Lord Thiruvengadamudaiyan is acknowledged as the most glorious and auspicious   avatar of Lord MahaVishnu in this Kali Yuga. Even atheists and rationalists admit a sense of humility and the presence of the Lord can be felt by one and all as soon as one approaches the sanctum sanctorum..

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May be , this made Kulasekhara Azhwar in his Perumal Thirumozhi to burst into the pasuram PADIYAAYI KIDANDHU UNN PAVAZHA VAAI KAANBENEY.

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The piligrims who seek his darshan enter the  serpentile queue  chanting the holy name and with deep devotion wait patiently to have the LORDs darshan .  And as one joins the queue along with  several devotees chanting LORDs names GOVINDA GOVINDA ..the feeling is  very special .

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Once we  understand we are reaching the temple  main door . we can  have darshan on our right side  Lord playing dice with a baba .(near the old Sreevari Sahsra Deepalankara seva stage) .

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This  huge models of LORD playing dice with a babaji makes one wonder what divine leela that would  this have been .  It may be noted , among several devotees , Few hundred years ago  Bahavaji   from  Northern India an advanced  devotee of Lord Sri Ram joined a group of sants in having darshanam of LORD VENKATESHWARA in Tirumala . Incidentally the day when Bhavaji  entered temple  for darshanam was   Puratasi Saturday ( the entire month of Purattasee                    ( September -October ) commemorating  LORDs Appearance month .

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Bhavajee  after having LORDs darshan was  in complete bliss  . The  divine place it was and the  HARI NAAM attracted him  a lot . He could experience inner peace multifold at this place .He decided that the search for  his LORDRAM has  ended and hence decided to remain there .He  was so fascinated by the majestic appearance of the Lord that he decided to  be there permanently  having darshan of the Lord all the time.
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With the devotees and  mahants support he constructed a small  Ashram (a place where the saints live near the temples) and settled  near the temple permanently .

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Bhavaji  paid his obeisances to LORD as often as possible  and  he was slowly dissolving LORD in himself  Few occasions , He used to  swoon and fall and sometimes with tears used to have darshanam of  the lord unmoved for a long time .

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This continued for a few weeks and months in the temple  .  The Temple authorities being ordinary onlookers could not understand the devotion of him . They   became suspicious about his  long waiting  and hence  reported the matter to the Temple  Chief .  

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With the instructions received  from the higher ups  , Bhavaji  was not allowed the next day . He was given a  strict warning  not to come to the vicinities of the temple . They demonstrated their anger  by pushing him out .  Our Bhavajee  pleaded the staff  not to separate him from his Lord Ram . But all this went to deaf ears .  A sad and dejected Bhavaji returned to his Ashram with tears .

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Bhavajee expressed his grief  to LORD  with tears praying for HIS mercy  in having HIS darshan .  Whenever he used to make an attempt to enter the temple he was mercilessly pushed out .  Bhavajee was not sure how to pass his time without having the Lord’s darshanam.

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He  took up a dice board and started playing the dice himself assuming that he was playing with the Lord on the other side. He  switched the roles of LORD and himself while throwing the dice  and suddenly dozed of to sleep unknowingly

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Bhavajee was in deep sleep . Suddenly  he heard a pleasant voice calling, Bhavaji!   Bhavajee ..   Please Wake up! It’s me, Your Rama!  Bhavaji opened his eyes and  was amazed  to have darisanam of  LORD  standing in front of him. He  just couldn’t believe his eyes.  He pinched himself to cross check was it a normal dream ??  Amazed   Bhavaji fell at LORDS feet  with tears . LORD lifted him and said HE was keen to play dice with him . Bhavajee  a bit shy ,  expressed joy like a small child . A  jubilant Bhavaji laid a mat on the floor and  offered an asanam to  LORD  . Was it  true ?? LORD playing dice with his devotee …. 

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It was something strange . The game begun…and  LORD lost the game by making HIS devotee win .The innocent Bhavajee was feeling so elated .
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LORD kept loosing many games and was feeling pleased with HIS devotees win . Our compassionate  Lord wanted to gift HIS devotee VICTORY always ….  and hence  asked Bhavaji to seek any boon   .

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Bhavaji politely said,   Lord ..!! I  am  the most fortunate person to have  YOUR  darisanam and also play with you  . My humble prayer to you ..Oh  LORD please grace me with an audience on daily basis as the temple staff  are  not allowing him inside . To this LORD just smiled expressing his love to Bhavaje.

hh Next day  our Bhavaji  was eagerly waiting for LORDs arrival .He was feeling a strange excitement . He literally prayed the sun to leave the horizon as  soon as possible . He was very excited  recollecting LORDs bewitching smile and the fatherly love soothing him  . Finally the wait was over.  The Temple staff closed the  huge  doors of the temple  Even our  Lord  also was keen to meet HIS devotee . Lord made his move by coming out of the  “Ananda Nilayam”  and  went to Bhavajees ashram .


Bhavajee profusely fell at LORDs feet and offered asanam   .

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It became a regular practice for the Lord to visit the Mutt and spend time playing dice with Bhavaji at night when the temple doors were closed. One day Lord was playing dice with Bhavaji. Bhavaji  heard some noise in the ashram .He  had to go  out to   check  what  could be that noise , but there was nothing  special .

It was a gentle breeze which disturbed the utensils to fall . When he returned to inform  the  same to Lord,  he  found that the Lord had already left the place .

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Disappointed he looked down   but was surprised  to see a diamond studded necklace of the Lord lying at the board. He picked up the necklace and kept it safe thinking that the Lord might have forgotten it and he would return when He comes back to play next time. The next morning  the Chief Priest attending LORD  noticed a missing necklace which he promptly reported to the Temple Authorities. The Temple Authority were worried about the theft of Lord’s necklace.  The search for the necklace began  All the employees were called up on and inquired about the missing necklace. The  Chief Priest  informed the management about  Bhavaji   and  raised suspicion over him. The Temple Authorities ordered to summon  Bhavaji for enquiry.

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Bhavaji  as usual was awaiting for Lord’s arrival to play the game of dice.  Sadly that day LORD did not join him . but he  could heard someone  calling his name . By the time he reached , the soldiers got in and started searching all over the place. Bhavaji was surprised to see them searching  the ashram all over.

He   understood from them about the missing necklace . Bhavaji immediately  got the missing  necklace he held it safely to return the Lord when he visits again.  He innocently  submitted  to the guards… Was  this the necklace you were looking for?

AALLAA

The soldiers  without any concession arrest Bhavaji for his theft . Bhavaji pleads  his innocence  to the security staff  , but it goes to deaf ears  Bhavajee expresses LORDS compassion and mercy over him .He tells them about the DICE game played with LORD daily and that particular day he saw LORD has forgotten the necklace and he was preparing to return the same the next time LORD comes .  This innocent  explanation  make all of them laugh and   fun of him .

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The next morning Bhavaji is reprimanded  in the courtyard of the Emperor Sri Krishnadevaraya . Sri Krishnadevaraya  listens  to  Bhavaji’s explanation and  feels  it would be unjust to punish him without sufficient proof and proper investigation. He therefore, decides  to put Bhavaji on test. Sri Krishnadevaraya  informs the devotee  Bhavaji that he will be given an opportunity to prove his innocence  provided  he succeeds in consuming the entire heaps of sugarcane kept in his jail cell  by the next day else he will be punished severely..

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Bhavaji  surrenders to the will of LORD .  Without any choice  he accepts  the Emperor’s decision.   In the prison cell , tons of sugarcane heaps   are dumped before him and the  cell doors are locked .

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 Bhavaje sits in a corner looking at the heaps of sugarcane .With tears he submits to LORD for his mercy .Our all compassionate LORD  never fails to rescue HIS devotee .

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A little later,  he finds a giant Elephant appearing from no where in the cell and by the wake of the dawn  all the heaps of sugarcane dumped there for Bhavaji  is  consumed by the divine elephant .   When  Bhavajee  saw the entire heaps of sugarcane being  finished, he realizes  that his  Lord Ram has arrived for his rescue and immediately  with tears  cries  …

Oh  Ram…! Oh Ram..! My Ram…!……..

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You have come up for my rescue. How lucky am I? The Elephant blesses  Bhavaji  and disappears   On hearing the Elephant’s  noise , the guards  are suprised to see both the sugarcane and the elephant have disappeared .

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The Emperor Sri Krishnadevaraya  understands the devotion of the saint after being briefed by his soldiers  and  relieves  him of all charges and appoints  Bhavaji as the Chief Priest of the temple of Tirumala.

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Since this  Baba Bhavaji’s beloved Lord “Sri Ram” had personally come to  his rescue  in the form of a Hathi (an Elephant) he  is affectionately called as  Hathiram Baba.

As the Chief Priest  of the Temple, Bhavaji served the Lord for many years. He later entered into a Jeeva Samadhi.

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His  last years were spent near Sri  Venu Gopala Swamy Temple on the way to Papavinasam on the hills of Tirumala.

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A Samadhi of Hathiram Baba had been constructed there and daily pooja is being performed even today.

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People visiting  Sri Venu Gopala Swamy Temple pay their homage to this great devotee of Lord Venkateswara.

The Hathiram Baba Mutt had been built on the top of southern side of the temple in his remembrance. LORD announces to the world that HIS devotee is always special  and always gives him the place over his Thirumudi  .

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Even one archanai thirunaamam   and Govinda namam    has

Hathi Raamapriya Govinda ……..…………………..

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GOVINDAAAA

Pics : Courtesy :

Google videos courtesy : Thanks to devotees who uploaded them in You Tube and  Daily motion web sites

All glories to Hathiraam bhavaji …

Jai Jai Jai Sriman Narayana

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan……

Lord Parthasarathy darisanam at Aranmula in Kerala .


Among the 108 SriVaishnava Divya desam ,  Aranmula (Tiruvaaranvilai) is located in Kerala  state   (counted in  Malai nadu divyadesams near 6 kms from chenganoor ) Aranmula is a beautiful village located further inland from Chengannur, (9 km west) on the Ernakulam  Quilon railroad.

1234  The temple is located on the left bank of the Pampa river, it is from here that the sacred jewels of Ayyappan are taken in procession to Sabarimalai each year. Aranmula is also known for the watersports   festival  involving a spectacular procession of snake boats.

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Among the Lord Krishna temples in Kerala, the most important ones are at Guruvayur, Trichambaram, Tiruvarppu, Ambalappuzha and Aranmula.

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Aranmula is one of the  great five ancient shrines in the Chengannur area of Kerala, connected with the  epic Mahabharatam.

 

Legend has it that the Pandava princes, after crowning Pariksit left on a pilgrimage of India, and reached Kerala .

Each of the brothers installed Lord  Maha Vishnu deities  on the banks of the Pampa river and nearby places and offered worship.

Chengannur – Yuddhishtra,

Tiruppuliyur – Bheema,

Aranmula – Arjuna,

Tiruvamundur – Nakula and

Tirukkadittaanam – Sahadeva 

It is said that Arjuna built this  Aranmula temple at Nilackal near to Sabarimalai, and the deity was brought here in a raft made of six pieces of bamboo to this site, and hence the name Aranmula (six pieces of bamboo). Legend has it that Arjuna built this temple, to expiate for the sin of having killed Karna on the battlefield, against the dharma of killing an unarmed enemy. It is also believed that Lord Vishnu (here) revealed the knowledge of creation to Brahma, from whom the Madhu kaitapa demons stole the Vedas.

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There is yet another legend associated with Lord Parthasarathy here. On the ninth day of the battle of Kurukshetra, the Kauravas reigned supreme under the leadership of Bheeshma, when Lord Krishna motivated Arjuna to take initiative and vanquish his foe. Arjuna hesitated to do so and in the process was about to be defeated .

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Lord Krishna jumped down in rage and took up his sudarshana chakra ; seeing this sight Bhishma surrendered to him and Arjuna pleads LORD not to kill Bheeshma, as it would have been against Krishna’s vow to take up arms in his battle. It is believed that Lord Krishna gives darshinam , with a discus.

jai sree krishna

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 The Moolavar  in this temple is glorified as

THIRUKURULAPPAN/ PARTHASARATHI  and Thayar ( Goddess)  Sri Padmasini Nachiyar .

 

The pampa river is the holy theertham for this divya desam . Nammazhwar has sung 10 pasurams on LORD .During November maka Nakshatra for 10 days a great festival is celebrated for the LORD  .Kodietram on Hastham, Aaratu on Sravanam Meenam (mar-Apr) Onam  ..THIRU ONAM ..

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics courtesy : Google images

Video  credits :  amritatv , kapilgopalakrishnan

Swamy Uyyakondar and Swamy Engalazhwan of Thiruvellarai


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Uyakkondar was foremost disciple to  ” Swami Nathamuni ” . Uyyakkondar  was  called as  Pundareekaakshar by his parents . Swamy Uyyakondar   appeared  in Tiru vellarai the famous Srivaishnava Divya desam  .

This Divyadesam is located at about 20 km north of Trichirappalli, enroute to Thuraiyur  and situated in a  14 acre  site and resembles like an Old fort with strong compound walls  The temple  is older than Srirangam  and  built   ahead of LORD  Rama’s  avataram . Hence the name Aadhi Vellarai.  

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The sanctum sanctorum has two entrances namely Utharayana  Entrance  and the Dakshinayana Entrance  .

Utharayana Entrance  is opened   during  the Tamil month of Thai ,  January  upto  June Aadi (Cancer), i.e., from Jan 15 to June 15  approximately and from then on, the Dakshinayana   Entrance  is opened .  Apart from Utharayana and Dakshinayana Gates, the sanctum sanctorum has one more entrance called ‘Naazhi Ketta Vaayil’ where it is believed that the Lord was intercepted and questioned by  goddess , Mahalakshmi  upon his returning home later, after his sojourn.

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 During the festivals, after gracing the devotees  around the town , Perumal has to account for his time to his consort by informing the time he started, the places he visited etc., at this gate in order to gain entry into the temple. To seek LORDS darshan one has to climb 18 Steps at the entrance .

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At the very entrance of this temple  there  are  18 steps reminding us  of the 18 chapters of  Srimad Bhagvat Gita given to us by   LORD Pundareekakshan.

Proceeding further  we  come  across 4 steps that are  4 Vedas and later one reaches the Bali Peetam. It is believed that one’s wishes submitted to the Perumal at the Balipeetam with the turmeric kappu  are automatically taken care by Him. Abhishekam is done to the Bali Peetam only .   From here, we  enter  the Perumal sannidhi by ascending 5 steps  further  representing the PanchaBhoothams (Fire, Water, Space, Air and Earth) and  slowly crossing the Naazhi Kettaan Vasal. Now we see   2  entrances  Dakshinaayana Gate and Utharaayana Gate which are alternately opened for devotees  during the Dakshinayana/ Utharayana  six month periods. 

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As One climbs further 8 steps  we are reminded   of Ashtaakshara mantra   and  further   we move ahead  another  24 steps reminding  us  of Gayathri Mantram to arrive at the sanctum sanctorum,where  we have divya darishnam of our LORD  Senthaamarai Kannan (Pundareekaakshan)  along  with His consort Pankajacchelvi Naacchiyaar.

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It is believed that  Swamy Pundarikakshar  parents had migrated from Madhyapradesh, and settled at Tiru vellarai, performing  devotional services  to Lord  Sri Pundareekaaksha Perumal at this divyadesam.  Swamy Uyakkondar had five prominent  disciples , of whom Manarkal nambi (also known as Rama mishra) was the most popular and important to our  Srivaishnava  school .  Swamy Uyyakondar taught the  disciples  Azhwars’  Naalayiram Divya Prabandam’ .This rock is called as ‘Uyyakkondaan Malai’ where Swamy taught his disciples .

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  After the  demise of  Swamy Uyakkondar’s wife,  the humble disciple swami Ramamishra took charge of the household chores at  his  Acharyars Uyakkondar’s house. He also took care of Uyakkondar’s young daughters like a dutiful mother . One day, when the children  were returing from daily bath at a nearby pond, the girls had to walk past a muddy stream and were hesitating to cross it. Rama mishra seeing their  confusion fell across the stream and asked the girls to use his back as a bridge. Seeing the foot marks on his disciples back, after their return, Uyakkondar  understood the humility of his disciple . Pleased , Swamy  Uyakkondar titled him Manarkal Nambi and renamed his birth place as Manarkal.

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Swamy Nathamuni, while  collecting  the Nalayiram  Divya Prabhantham from  our Nammalvar after the recitation of Kanninum siruthambu pasuram , was also presented with  a deity  of  Swamy Ramanujar                    ( Bhavishya Acharyar ) instructing him to handover the deity  to  the arriving Acharya who will be appearing shortly.

When Nathamuni was about to depart ,  he passed on the deity  to Uyakkondar  for worship and  then  Uyyakondar handed over the deity to  Swamy Manarkal nambi which finally was handed over to  Sri Yamanucharya and worshipped .

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Once as per the directions of his Acharyar Swamy  Natha Muni,  Pundarikakshar  escorted  his  mother (Acharyars wife ) to her parent’s home.  The womenfolk known as Vangipurathu Aachis made him sit in an corridor  and  fed him  with  stale remnants of food left over. Pundarikakshar partook the same with relish as it was food offered to him by the Parijanas ( those dear to) of his Acharya.  On his return, on  he felt greatly elated and  narrated the incident to his Acharya. The Acharya was overwhelmed and exclaimed ” Nammai Uyyak Kondeero?”-Oh  You came to redeem me?”. From then on, he came to be known as Uyyak Kondaar.

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It is  believed that  all  of us must visit this temple at least once in  our lifetime in order to be eligible  for  Moksham .

Hence, there is  a  tradition at the temple to call ‘Thiruvellarai Kandeero- Thiruvellarai Kanden Aiyya’ (the devotees informing the Lord that they have seen Thiruvellarai Perumal  and that they are now ready/eligible for Moksham), a voice that is said to echo to the Lord up there. 

Swamy Ramanujar spent a few months  in this divyadesam   after the unfortunate incident  where some person wanted to poison him..

Another  most respected Acharyar  was Swamy   Vishnuchithar’s   who appeared in this divya desam  He  served Swamy Ramanuja at this place . A tank called Udayavar kulam  was dug for the use of  Jagathacharyar Swamy  Ramanuja during his stay .  Vishnuchithar’s was about  80 years younger than  Swami Ramanuja.  Swami Ramanuja  embarked upon the task of writing Sribhashya, a commentary on the Brahmasutras of Sage VedaVyasa. He engaged  Swami Kooratthazhwan to write down the commentary as he dictated. Unfortunately for him, Swami Koortthazhwan  services could not be extended by the divine will  Swamy was looking for a scholar who could help him finish the text. He decided Swami Vishnuchithar’s would be the apt person to write down sribashya .

He was very pleased with Vishnuchithar’s  deep knowledge and  compared  him with Swami Kooratthazhwan and embraced him calling him ‘Engal Azhwano!‘ (Your knowledge equals that of our Azhwan (Kooratthazhwan)..

 Vishnuchithar  was henceforth  called  as Engalazhwan. Swami Ramanuja made Swami Engalazhwan a disciple of Thirukkurukaippiran Pillan. Swami Engalazhwan was also called Ammal  Acharyar since he was the  Acharya of Nadathur Ammal .

Adiyen had the bhagyam of having darisanam of  the present His Holiness Engalazhwan at Thiruvellarai 

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

 

Kazhiyur Aadhikesava Perumal Chithirai Revathee vaibhavam


 

YATHIRAJAVALLI THAYAR TEMPLE
Kazhiyur temple

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

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TEMPLE ENTRANCE
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ADHIKESAVA PERUMAL UTSAVAR ” GLORIFIED AS VARADAR “

Almost  130 years ago  Sri vaishnavaite Aiyyangars  migrated from Mannargudi another holy place in Tanjavur and came to settle down in this village.

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TEMPLE ENTRANCE

It is said that a plague like epidemic made people leave Mannargudi  long long back .

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YATHIRAJAVALLI  THAYAR TEMPLE ENTRANCE

The  srivaishnavas were disciples of  His Holiness  Sri  Sri  Sri  Mudaliandaan swamigal who is the first and the dearest disciples of Swami Ramanuja.

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Kazhiyur  temple

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 .

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WAY TO TEMPLE KONERI ( TANK )

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

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TEMPLE ENTRANCE

The  Lordship gives darashanam  in Nindra Thirukolam ( standing posture).

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After their resettlement in Kazhiyur, the village became a cradle of Vedic scholars, purohits and astrologers.

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TEMPLE GARDEN

The  devoted  families lived in the Agraharam (first row of houses built around the temple and occupied by the temple priests)

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ROUTE TO TEMPLE

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ROUTE TO TEMPLE

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  have been uniformly well versed in astrology and are keepers of the most ancient astrological knowledge in the world.

Almost all of them have been treated like the religious leaders and the astrological guides from time immemorial.

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SREEMOORTHY IN TEMPLE

Many Kazhiyur  families have been practicing astrology for more than seven generations in an unbroken tradition since they first arrived in 1840.

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ENTERING KAZHIYUR VILLAGE

It is believed that in ancient times there was a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali near to the main temple  and hence the village is called ‘Kazhiyur’ the home of Goddess Kali.

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LORD ADHIKESAVA PERUMAL IN CHANDANA KAPPU

After moving to Kazhiyur the srivaishnavaites engaged  themselves in agriculture apart from performing the temple services .

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Due to this reason they are also called the Mannar Mudumbai families a direct connection to Lokacharyar  Swamy Pillai Lokacharyar’s legacy .

They were orthodox and are considered to be an authority on  Sri Vaishnavism.

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THE ROUTE TO TEMPLE AT SUNSET

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.

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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 .

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KAZHIYUR POND FROM WHERE WATER IS TAKEN TO TEMPLE AND HOUSES

The first Priest who served  even in the Temples at United states of America are from Kazhiyur .

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SRI YATHIRAJAVALLI THAYAR

Kazhiyur is also closely connected with the Sri Ramar Sannadhi and the temple of Shree Govindaraja at the foothills of the Tirupati temple.

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UTSAVAR VARADAR THIRUVADEE OF KAZHIYUR 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.

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The priests walked bare-footed all the way down the hill carrying the offerings on their head.
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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.

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Varthamaana  His holiness Sri Sri Sri Mudali Andaan swami

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).

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KALI AMMAN

 Today out of  few  houses in Kazhiyur Agraharaham , only six or seven houses are occupied and the remaining are kept locked.

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However, every year during the month of April, on the day of Chittirai Revathi, the birth star of Lord Adi Keshava ,

Kazhiyur  srivaishnavas  from all over the world gather in the village to celebrate the annual festival.

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ADIYENS GRUHAM AT SECUNDERABAD

Shri  Kodandan swamy  is the present temple priest who is serving the temple  past  two decades  leaving his lucrative job .

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Shri Kodandan swami the chief Priest and Kazhiyur varadan

Adiyen is blessed to be born in this glorious village and feel honored to be among st the  illustrious and glorious elders . 

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

“Neer Veesiner, Naan Pessinen”..Swamy Thirukachi nambhigal vaibhavam


Swamy Thirukachi nambhigal while continuing his fanning service to Lord Sri Varadaraja Perumal his aalavattam (fan) slipped and fell on Lord.

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Thirukachi Nambhigal immediately realized that the time for him to leave this materialistic world had come.

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Nambhigal requests Perumal to grant him Moksham. Lord Varadaraja Perumal says that granting Moksham to Thirukachi Nambhigal is not possible as he doesn’t yet have “Bhaagavatha Sambhandham”. Thirukachi Nambhigal then replies that he had been under the tutelage of Sri Alavandaar Himslef, to which Lord says that He was the one who had sent Nambhigal to Alavandar and that would not be counted as “Bagavatha Sambandam”. And interestingly Perumal adds “Neer Veesiner, Naan Pessinen”. This incident highlights the regard Perumal has for Bhagavathas and also shows how we should respect our fellow Bhagavathas.

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Thirukachi Nambhigal now decides to “earn” some Bhaagavatha Abhimaanam. He takes leave from Lord Varadaraja and then proceeds to the home of the great Acharya Thirukostiyur Nambhi. He was well aware that Thirukostiyur Nambhi (Swami Ramanuja’s acharya) would not accept as a domestic help someone whom Lord Varadaraja himself had conversed with. So Thirukachi Nambhigal under the guise of a common peasant introduces himself as Gajendra Dasan (his Birth name) and requests for some work from Thirukostiyur Nambhigal. Unaware that it was Thirukachi Nambhigal himself seeking work, Thirukostiyur Nambhigal asks him to take care of his cows and bullock cart.

jai-srikrishnaThirukachi Nambhigal too is relieved and happy that he has had an opportunity to serve a great acharya. One rainy day Thirukostiyur Nambhigal finds his cows missing and asks his  shishyas to find the cows. But the shishyas are reluctant to go in the heavy rains & winds. So Thirukostiyur Nambhi decides to look for the cows by himslef and calls for Thirukachi Nambhigal for help. Thirukachi Nambhigal instantly replies “Adiyen” and Thirukostiyur Nambhi looks in the direction of the voice.

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To his wonder, Thirukachi Nambhigal had bought the cows home and also covered them with his own cloths too. Nambhi is instantly pleased at Thirukachi nambhigal’s devotion and then instantly calls his wife and says “Give food to our man”. Since Nambhi had called him as Nam Mattukaran, which signifies a relationship and hence Bhagavatha Sambandham. The next day Nambhi changes to his original attire as when fanning The Lord Varadaraja Perumal and reveals his identity and narrates the sequence of incidents that led him to coming as Gajandra dasan to Thirukostiyur Nambhigal.

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Finally, after being blessed with Baagavatha Sambandham, Nambhigal returns to Lord Varadaraja Perumal’s sanctum sancatorium. Like an eager mother expecting her child back, Lord Varadaraja with open arms welcomes Nambhigal right at the steps and praises Thirukachi Nambhigal’s steadfast devotion and affection. At this moment Thirukachi Nambhigal sings the mesmerising “Devaraja Ashtakam”, glorifying the Lord’s boundless love for His Bakthas and the pains of this materialistic world!

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And then, Nambhigal attains moksham to serve Sriman Narayana in Sri Vaikuntam permanently .

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Photographs : Courtesy  .. Google

Thirukannapuram and Munayadarayan Pongal


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Many many years ago , a chieftain, Munayadarayan by name, was ruling this Nagapattinam region .

He used to honour  his food only after praying to Lord Sowri Raja Perumal of Thirukannapuram and  due to his devotion spent all his wealth in the service of the Lord . For defaulting tax payment to the king, he was arrested.

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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.

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Next day,

when the priest opened the temple, they  found the pudding on the lips of the Lord Sowri Raja Perumal. 

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The king also was surprised to see the Lord accepting the Pongal offered by the chieftain. Now, Pongal is offered to the Lord during the night puja and this is called Munayadarayan Pongal.  

 

The custom of offering  Pongal as done by the chieftan continues still.

                Thirukannapuram”  is the abode of Sri Sowri Raja Perumal.

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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.

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. 

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The Nithya pushkarini just in front of the Temple is so vast that it looks more like a large lake..

This is the temple where the Lord showed Vibheeshana, brother of Demon king Ravana, his walking beauty.

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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.

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics courtesy : Google images

Acharyar Varadaguru became Nadadoor Ammal . …


Acharyar Varadaguru   the  great  Acharya had the deepest bhakti to Lord Varadaraja. One night when he was serving  ” LORD”  in an ecstatic mood, the priest brought very hot milk to the Lord as offering .

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 Acharyar Varadaguru was deeply distressed that such hot milk would burn the tender tongue of the Lord! He stopped the priest from offering the hot milk and began cooling it down until it was warm enough to be offered .

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The Lord himself was moved by the Vatsalya bhava of Varadaguru  and called him ‘Amma’ – my mother! From then onwards Varadaguru became Nadadoor Ammal. After this episode, in a dream one night, Lord Varadaraja commanded Ammal to erect a Mantapam for His Vasantotsavam. Accordingly Ammal fulfilled the Lord’s desire, just as a mother would fulfill the wishes of her son in spite of difficulties.

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Another glorious pastime remains to be cherished .

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Once Ammal and his disciples undertook a pilgrimage to Tirumalai hills. The  graceful personality and humility  of Acharyar attracted the people there.. A Chieftain Kandavaran was the leader of that Lada  race . He was annoyed and irritated to see the crowd falling the the feet of Acharyar. 

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He decided to disturb them. With his mantric power he made the disciples unconscious. Ammal meditated and chanted the Sudarsana maha mantra

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and his own composition ‘Hetipungavastotram’ and broke the spell.

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The angry Kandavaran called Ammal for a debate and when defeated surrendered to the Acharya himself. The benevolent guru not only excused him but also made him a Srivaishnava by offering him Panchasamskaras.

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With the money offered by Kandavaran, Ammal established a beautiful village and named it ‘Ladagraharam’ and continued his journey. On the way, the Lord himself came as a young brahmachari and appeased the hunger of the pilgrims with curd and rice. At the same time, there was a big commotion in the temple as the silver vessel with the naivedyam had suddenly disappeared.

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Lord Venkateswara Himself announced to the temple authorities that He Himself fed his dear Ammal and his disciples and that they should receive Ammal with all temple honours who will be arriving shortly .  Swami Engalazhwan was  Acharya of Nadathur Ammal ,  who was the direct disciple  of Thirukkurukaippiran Pillan .

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Acharya Nadadoor Thiruvadigale sharanam
Srimathey Ramanujaya namah

Pics credits : Google images

LORD walks with his devotee as ordered ….


Peyazhwar  the senior most Azhwar was maintaining a garden and another devotee  Parama Siva Vakyar used to  walk that way. They both used to discuss about the religion they followed and wanted to establish about the religion followed was superior. One day Peyazhwar took a weak rope with knots and a pot with holes and drew water from the well and poured it to plants that he planted upside down. Siva Vakyar who came along saw this and laughed loudly. Peyazhwar asked him why he was laughing. He replied that he was behaving like a foolish person man as the plant , that was planted upside down and the pot that contained no water as it had holes , what purpose would it serve. In giving you the fruit ? Peyazhwar turned around and told him that he was the one who was being  misguided  .Peyazwar told him that the rope was the example for his Athma which is searching through different religions to find the Paramathma, but not succeeded in its search for the truth and still going on searching. He told him that our ancestors had explained in the following verse“ Thirumaal is like the root of the plant and the only ParamporuL. ( LORD )  From the root only leaves, branches, flowers and fruits appear . Similarly all the  deities took forms only from the root and so they might wither away at some time or other. Hence it is foolishness to think that the other parts of the plant are superior to the root, meaning without the root the plant cannot survive. Peyazwar’s explanation put Siva Vakyar in deep thought.

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He realized that he was still searching for the true knowledge , but couldn’t find it. He requested Peyazhwar to accept him as his disciple. And slowly understanding the  greatness of the Vaishnava sampradaya  became Thirumazisaiyazwar and started following sri vaishnavism and serving Peyazhwar .

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Later he took leave of Peyazhwar and went on divya desa yathra. After visiting few divya desams he went to  Kancheepuram  and served LORD VARADARAJA  there.

KaNiKaNNan a devotee , requested Thirumazisaiyazwar to accept him as his disciple. Azhwar accepted him as his disciple. At  his ashram an old lady used to come and clean his place, and perform small service to him. One day she prayed him that being old she felt that she may not be able to serve him longer and regretted for joining this pious service after becoming old. Azhwar was touched with her devotion and sincerity and blessed her regain her youth .

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One day the king who ruled over Kanchi happened to see this lady who was so beautiful after Azhwars blessings , and instantly fell in love with her. He married her and took her to his palace. As years rolled by the king was becoming old, but his wife was as young as she was when he got her married. He asked her what was the secret and she told him what had happened with her after serving Azhwar .She suggested the King to ask KaNaikaNNan to request Azhwar to the palace and pray for the same. . The king sent for KaNIkaNNan and told him to bring Azhwar and compose a verse in his praise and to change him young. KaNikaNNan told him that Azhwar would not compose verse praising mortals, but only in praise of Thirumaal. The king told KaNikaNNan, in that case being a true devotee of the Azhwar, he should compose a verse . But KaNIkaNNan refused his request and the king got very angry with him. He ordered him to leave the city immediately. KaNikaNNan went and told Azhwar all that had happened, and also told him that he was leaving the city as for the king’s order. Azhwar got very upset and told that when his disciple was not allowed to stay, he also would leave the city. He prayed to the Lord and requested Him also to join along with them folding His AravaNai.                                                                                               ( THE FOLDING MAT WHERE HE WAS RECLINING )

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Lo presto! What a surprise! The Lord obeyed his true devotee’s order, He got up and followed his devotees out of the city, folding His snake-bed and sticking it under arm.
The next moment the whole city plunged into darkness and ill omens occurred. The king got frightened and called his ministers for quick remedy. They told him that he had committed a big blunder by expelling a true devotee of the Lord and so no other alternative, but to go and ask for his pardon and beseech him to come back. The king along with his courtiers reached the place where Azhwar and KaNikaNNan were staying for the night. He fell at their feet and begged them to return to the city. Azhwar again requested the Lord to return to his abode with His snake-bed and the Lord also was happy to return. From then onwards the Lord got the name Sonna VaNNAm Seytha Perumal and in Sanskrit Yathokthakari. The place they stayed for the night got the name Oriravu Irukkai and at present is known as Orikkai where a Mani Mandapam is erected.A special feature of Thirumazhisai Azhwar at the Jagannatha Perumal temple in Kancheepuram is that he is seen with a third eye. Thirumazhisai Azhwar’s contribution to the Nalayira Divya Prabhandham includes over 200 verses (Naanmugan Thiruvanthaathi and Thiruchandha Viruththam) of praise. Thirumazhisai Azhwar spent his final years at Thiru Kudanthai and attained moksham there.

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Azhwar Thiruvadigale sharanam
Sonna VaNNam Seytha PerumaL ThiruvadikaLe SaraNam!

Oh! My Lovely Lord! My Chella piLLaay! Please come and sit on my lap!”


During his short exile from Srirangam , Swamy Ramanujar was staying at Thondanur in Karnataka . Once , Swami Ramanuja found that there was no Thiruman ( Tilak)  to apply . He was sad and thus submitted his prayers to Lord to show him the place where he could get the white clay ( Thiruman ) .

The Lord who always comes to the aid of His true devotee, appeared in his dream. LORD told him to go to Yadhavadri where there was a tank called Kalyani Pushkarani where he could locate the ThirumaN.

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He also expressed that there was a Thulasi vanam nearby. Under the Thulasi plant he could find the Lordships  buried underneath. LORD advises Swamy Ramanuja to bring the deity and after all the purification rites , construct a temple for Him.  Swami Ramanuja was very happy and at once started  walking towarsd  the place to find LORD and Thiruman. With the able guidance and love for Swami Ramanuja , King Vishnuvardan sent his men to make a path for Swami Ramanuja as he had to travel through the forest. Swami Ramanuja reached Kalyani pushkarani.

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To his surprise , He found lot of white clay near Kalyani pushkaraNi. On further trekking , He found the Lord’s Moola Murthi in Thulasi vanam under the mole. Lord was carefully taken out  reciting  vedic chants .The King was excited and immediately ordered that a temple for LORD has to be built .

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Accordingly necessary consecration was conducted. The King and people were very happy and honored Swamy Ramanuja very much. Swami Ramanuja made all arrangements for Nithya puja according to agama sasthras. But being in a far location , the people had to come to the temple to have darshan of the Lord. But those who were old and sick could not have His darshan. This was a cause of concern as Utsavar deity of LORD was not there .

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Once again the Lord  appeared in his dream pleased with  Swamy Ramanuja for building a temple and installing him, and declared the Uthsava murthi Sri Ramapriyar was at the custody of Badasha devotee daughter at Delhi .

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Swami Ramanuja immediately left to Delhi with his disciples. He reached Delhi after nearly two months. He met the Delhi Badshah ( Emperor)  in his palace. The Badshah was very much impressed with Swami Ramanuja’s knowledge and his thejas.

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Swami informed him that he came to know that the king had the Idol of Sri Ramapriyar and he wanted to take him back to Yadavadri as per Lord’s command . The king  requested Swamy Ramanuja to be escorted  with his men to the museum where he had kept all his collections  of deities  and was free to take .

meeaSadly , Swami Ramanuja was not able to find Sri Ramapriyar diety in the museum . Swami was  disappointed and worried. He returned to the place where he was staying. Again that night Swami Ramanuja prayed and beseeched the Lord to show him the place where He was being worshipped .

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That night the Lord appeared in his dream and revealed that Badshah’s daughter was worshiping Him in her palace . The next morning Swami Ramanuja informed the king that his daughter was having the deity of Sri Ramapriyar.The king was surprised to hear this. He said,” Oh! Is the Idol my daughter dotes on is your Ramapriyar? She is very fond of the idol and I do not think she would agree to part with it.

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She does every thing with so much love to him .

 

But I am sure that she would vehemently oppose to part with it. But being a King , I do not want to go back on my words also. I’ll take you to the entrance of her room.

 

You call out your LORDs name and if he comes to you on His own then you can take Him.” They went to the Badsha’s daughter’s palace and the Badsha told his daughter about Swami Ramanuja’s wish. The princess was quite upset to hear it.

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Swami closed his eyes and prayed, “My beloved Lord! All along you only showed me the place where you were staying and brought me this far. I came here to take you to the place where you belong. You have to come back to your place to give darshan to your devotees ! Kindly grace me with this dictum given by the King . Now , Swami Ramanuja with folded hands and bent head lovingly calls , “Oh! My Lord! My Chella piLLaay! Please come and sit on my lap!”

And Lo! to everybody’s surprise ,

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The most spectacular scene was witnessed by people who were there………..

Lord got down from the Prince’s decorated bed and walked slowly while his anklets made sweet sound and his crown dazzled. He sat on Swami Ramanuja’s lap and with tears , Swami Ramanuja embraced and fondled the LORD as a father would dote on his child.

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Filled with emotion he called him, “You are my Chella Pillai! You are my treasure (Sampath)”…..

The Delhi Badsha was spell bound to see the scene. He cried, “Achcha! Achcha! You are really the great guru! Even the Lord loves you and I can understand He came and sat on your lap when you called Him! It shows your greatness! Now who am I to stop you to take Him to His abode?”.

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The King with great respect gave presents to the Lord and Sri Ramanuja . The King provided a palanquin to the Lord.

Swamy  Ramanuja was very happy and started his return journey.

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With the sudden developments , happening around the Kings daughter started crying and pleaded with him to go along with her lover Sriramapriyar . No amount of cajoling explaining that their religion is quite different and people would call her mad with her behaviour does appeal her . The princess remarks that she would die if she parted with her lover Ramapriyar. The King with no other option left makes arrangements to send her with escorts. Enroute , some robbers surround Swami Ramanuja and others and attempt to rob the gifts given by the King . But ,the local harijans give them a tough fight and send them away and escort Swami Ramanuja upto to Melkote. Swamy Ramanuja out of love to their devotion to LORD christened them as ‘Thirukulathar’ .

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They were allowed inside the temple to have darisanam of Lord . The kings daughter in pangs of separation , enters the temple and merges with the Lord, like Andal and ThirupaNazwar.

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Swami Ramanuja is stunned and impressed with her devotion he makes arrangement for an idol of the princess and installed it in the temple and she is affectionately called Bibi Nachiyar.

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Religion and caste is no bar for a true devotee. The Lord accepts a true devotee without any inhibition. There is a separate sannadi for Bibi Nachiar in the Srirangam temple also.

.facebook_1515986932193.jpg-1672166460.jpgLord Ramapriyar loved Swami Ramanuja, his true devotee and revealed the places where he was staying. When  Swamy Ramanuja called out to HIM , He came dancing and sat on his lap. He did not discard Bibi Nachiyar who also loved him dearly and followed as per his devotees choice .

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SwamyRamanujar ThiruvadikaLe SaraNam!

Sri Selva Pillai ThiruvadikaLe SaraNam!

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Picture Credits :  Google images

 

LORD VARADARAJA ARRIVES WITH AN UMBRELLA FOR HIS DEVOTEE SWAMI THIRUKACHINAMBI


Swami Thiru-kachchi Nambi occupies a very unique position, both as an Acharyar, and as an advanced  devotee of Lord Varadaraja . Swamy Nambi  is one of the very few devotees with whom the Lord Himself conversed regularly.

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Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi appeared  at a place called poo irunda valli (currently called poonamallee, near Chennai). He moved to kAnchIpuram, and started performing  devotional service to LORD Varadaraja at Kancheepuram temple.

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His service was to fan the Lord of Kanchi, Swami Varadaraja, everyday in the late morning-early afternoon, and in the night before Lord takes rest .

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While carrying out the service (called thiru-Ala-vatta Kainkaryam in tamil), Lord Varadaraja used to talk to Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi about the happenings of the world. The topics used to be anything from how the temple was being run, to the happenings in the city of Kanchipuram and esoteric topics about philosophy.

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The Lord considered swami thiru-k- kachchi nambi as His closest friend, and talked to him just like any friend would.

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All this was due to the great qualities of swami thiru-k- kachchi nambi – his supreme devotion to Lord Varadaraja, his being devoid of any ego, and his being a true servant of the Lord, wanting no other thing but service to the Lord.

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One incident in his life is used to show how much Lord cared for him.

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One morning, after the  rituals were completed in the temple ,   Swami thiru-k- kachchi nambi was   performing the usual Kainkaryam of fanning the Lord. They were immersed on some interesting topic, and time passed without both of them noticing.

Suddenly , It began to rain very heavily.

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The time for thiru-k- kachchi nambi to go home for his afternoon prasadam arrived, and the Lord seemed to be resting.

.facebook_1527413448189.jpg2045934928.jpgSwami thiru-k-kachchi nambi took leave from  the Lord, and went outside the covered Mantapam. It was raining very heavily, and hence he could not go.

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Nambi was  concerned that if he is delayed,   coming back to the temple for evening services would be a problem .He was restless as at no point the evening service can be delayed .

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Suddenly, an aged Sri Vaishnava person appeared with an umbrella, and told swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi that Lord Varadaraja had instructed him to accompany  to his home with the umbrella, and bring him back. for the evening service .

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Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi was very moved with his  kindness. He  thanked the Sri Vaishnava and the Lord for this trouble.

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Evening came, and swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi was delayed a little bit in starting for the temple.

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The Sri Vaishnava who accompanied him to his house was still there, waiting for him, so that he could accompany him back to the temple. Meanwhile, in the temple, the priests arrived  to start performing the evening rituals. When they entered the sanctum , they were shocked and taken aback.

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The Lord was not there in the temple! They looked everywhere, and the Lord was not there! They were very  much worried .  Awaiting for swami thiru-k- kachchi nambi  arrival  to ask him if he knew where the Lord went, or if the Lord was upset  with some mistake that might have happened.

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After sometime, Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi  accompanied by the SriVaishnava entered the temple .

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The priests immediately went to him, and explained the situation, and asked him with great concern if he knew anything. Swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi told them he had no idea about what might have happened, and immediately started sobbing .

 

After all, Lord Varadaraja was not just the Supreme Being to him but  was also his closest friend.

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After a few minutes, swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi wanted to go to the Lord’s usual place and see if he can get any clues from there.

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He went and lo and behold, the Lord was there as usual smiling and with a very satisfied look on His  lotus face! Immediately, swami thiru-k-kachci nambi ran to the priests and conveyed the happy news. Everyone wanted to celebrate, and looked for the Sri Vaishnava who had accompanied swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi so that they could invite him to join the celebrations too.

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They could not find him. He had vanished. When the priests went near the Lord to start performing the services ,they saw water droplets on Him!

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Everyone now realized what had happened. The Lord Himself, unable to bear the thought of swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi getting wet by the rain, had accompanied him to his home.

Not only that, He waited there so that He could accompany swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi back to the temple!

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Such is the greatness of swami thiru-k-kachchi nambi…

Thirukachi Nambee swamy Thiruvadigale sharanam

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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THE WRESTLER AND THE MOST BEAUTIFUL EYES


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

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

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Ponnachi’s beauty was at least as well known as Villi’dasan s prowess. Villidasan was a very good man and had never abused his strength or position. And yes, he was the most eligible, most sought after bachelor in his town. As it would happen in love stories, he heard of Ponnachi’s beauty and set out to see her, more out of curiousity than anything else. Once he saw her eyes, he could not think of anything else. As if possessed he sought her hand in marriage, something which Ponnachi was only too eager to give. Villidasan was virtually consumed by his love for the damsel.

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He stopped fighting and was thinking of nothing else other than his lady love. Villidasan and Ponnachi got married on an auspicious day. Their married life was most blissful  in karmic world , which never ended. They had been married for years. Still to Villidasan Ponnachi was the most beautiful woman in the world with the most beautiful eyes. It was spring time. Festival time at Capital town of Srivaishnavisim , Srirangam. Vasanthotsavam. Ponnachi wanted to see the festival.

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To Villidasan her slightest whim was a Royal Command. He made elaborate arrangements to ensure a comfortable travel for Ponnachi. She was borne in a palanquin till the main street of Srirengam where she had to get down and walk. Ponnachi got down from the palanquin. Villidasan who was standing nearby was stunned by her beauty. She was dressed up in an exquisite silk saree. What captivated his attention even after years of marriage was her eyes. Villidasan could not take his eyes away from hers. As she started to walk towards the temple, Villidasan did the unthinkable. He was walking backwards facing her, unable to see anything else but her large eyes. Those who saw this amusing sight giggled. Some even laughed out aloud. Villidasan gave a damn to what others thought. After all Ponnachi was his lawfully wedded wife and what was wrong in seeing her eyes? Ponnachi was half consumed by shyness and half by pride. She too loved her husband so much that she did not have the mind to object to his act, though she knew that it made people laugh behind their backs.

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This strange procession – Ponnachi walking forward, Villidasan walking backwards, and the palanquin bearers and the retinue following Ponnachi – was nearing the temple gate. On the other side of the street, a very great saint was walking away from the temple followed by 1000 of his disciples. The name of the great saint was Swamy Ramanujacharya. Swamy Ramanujacharya was amused by the strange sight..

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Ponnachi walking towards the temple followed by her retinue and Villidasan walking backwards unable to take off his eyes from those of his beautiful wife! The great saint was moved on seeing this wonderful sight. He inquired about the couple and then sent word to Villidasan asking him to come and meet him in his Ashram alone.Swamy Ramanuja had decided to do something about that. Now why should Swamy Ramanuja do something about Villi’dasans love? As a spiritual Master of people he instinctively knew that Villi’s love was quite unique.

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If only Swamy  Ramanujacharya could make people love something as intensely as Villidasan did, yes, he would have made a difference in their lives.At the same time if he showed Villi’s love as an example to be followed,then ignorant people might mistakenly think that they also should love Ponnachi. In other words at the present level Villidasan’s love is not a copyable, replicable model. So Sri Ramanuja wanted to first shift Villi’dasans love to something else and then make people understand the greatness of love. And in order to make so many people understand the meaning of love, there is no harm in shifting one person’s object of love. Ramanuja was a highly respected Acharya. So Villidasan was excited  came running to see him in his Ashram as soon as he got his call.It was late in the night. The Srirangam temple would be closed for the day in another half an hour. Swamy  Ramanuja wanted to accomplish his missionwithin that time.

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He asked Villidasan in a sarcastic tone,“Aren’t you ashamed , Villidasan , to be seeing your wife’s eyes, when God’sfestival is on?” Villidasans ’s reply was a correct blend of humility and the force of truth.“Is there anything more beautiful than my wife’s eyes?”Ramanujacharya was waiting for this question. “What will you do if I show something more beautiful than that?”Now Villi knew for sure that there was nothing like that and so hiswords came with confidence. “Then I will fall in love with those eyes. Ponnachi and I will be yourslaves for the rest of our lives.” “Deal. Come with me.” Swamy Ramanujar took Villidasan to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.

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The God of Love,Sri Ranganathar, Thiruvarangan, was sleeping in his comfortable snake-bed attended by his Devis. Then the great Acharyatook hold of Villidasan’s hands. The Acharya’s touch sent waves of electric shock in his body. Ramanujar closed his eyes and prayed to the Lord. “Oh, Lord, here’s is an example of perfect love. And thewhole world is steeped in misery unaware of this kind of love. I want the people to know that there is something like this love and that every one of us is capable of it. For that you need to give these two people to me. “I know that these two people are as precious to you as your Devis and are holier than the holiest scriptures ever written on you. I promise you my Lord, I’ll give them the reverence they deserve. Now please, LORD Ranganatha show the beauty of your eyes to this man of love.”

A selfless prayer!

Two loving souls standing before Him! Ranganathar was helpless!

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He had to grant the Acharya’s wish. And the great Lord, whose eyes are not to be seen even by the highest of Devas and the wisest of Rishis, whose Feet cannot even be touched by Vedas and all the knowledge in the world, opened his most beautiful eyes for Villidasan to see. Villidasan was awe-struck; no he was love-struck. The sight lasted for a fraction of a second. Villidasan instantly fell in love with those large, beautiful eyes, for which nothing in the world is even a pale comparison. Villi prostrated at Sri Ramanujar’s feet proclaiming his slavery to the saint. 

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Swamy Ramanuja lifted him as a loving father would lift his loving son.  Swamy Ramanujar’s eyes were so full with tears, his heart so full with love that for a few seconds he could not talk.

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Villidasan continued to be in a state of ecstasy. If God decides to show His eyes even for a nanosecond, the effect will last for centuries, extending into millions of life –times, for ever, for eternity and even thereafter. When he went back to Ponnachi that night and told about his experience, she was also transformed. She did not whine that her husband had found out another object of love.

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She was ecstatic because she was the loving wife of a man to whom even the Great God had shown His eyes. The next morning Pillai Uranga Villidasan gives away his possessions, erects a small hut near Swamy Ramanuja’s Ashram and starts living there along with Ponnachi serving Swamy Ramanuja the entire life ….

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Sri.Pillai Uranga Villidasar thiruvadigale sharanam.
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pictures : Courtesy: Google

Adapted from a divine post shared by an advanced devotee

LORD SRINIVASA AND SWAMY TIRUMALA NAMBI


Tirumala Temple is a famous Srivaishnava Temple of Lord Venkateswara located in the hill town Tirumala of Andhra Pradesh. The temple is built on the Venkatadri hill, one of the seven hills of Tirumala, and hence is also known as the Temple of Seven Hills   .

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The temple is the richest and the most visited place of worship in the world.The temple is visited by almost  50,000 to 100,000 pilgrims daily .

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The  Tirumala  temple   was not the salubrious and convenient place we know as   it is today. Tirumala was a  forest  laden ,rough and rocky terrain and the upkeep of the temple in those days must have been a terribly daunting and unwelcome task. During those hard days there lived a great devotee  Swami Tirumala Nambi in Tirumala Hills at Tirupathi .

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Swamy  Tirumala Nambi was a great religious scholar in his own right but out of own  choice decided to devote his entire  life to “theertha-kainkarya” ( service of bringing water from Papanasanam for worship of Lord of Seven Hills) at the Tirumala .

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He dedicated his entire life to the services of the Lord and in LORDS devotional service . His entire lifetime was spent living in a small hut on the hills and worked out of it while tending to, maintaining and administering the temple of his beloved  LORD ‘Tiruvengadamudaiyan’       ( Lord Venkateshwara ) .

 

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 Swami Tirumala Nambi used to bring water from Papanasam situated at a distance of about  8 kilometers from Tirumala for the daily puja. He was old but never allowed his age to interfere in his services .

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Lord out of his abundant compassion , wanted to grace his devotee for the great  service (kainkaryam ) taken up by him.

One day when Tirumalai Nambee was walking towards the temple sanctorium from Papanashanam  water falls with a pot of water ,Lord appeared before Tirumalai Nambi in the attire of a fowler  and addressed  Swami Tirumala Nambi as Thatha ( Grandpa) . Nambi  was surprised with the address by the  fowler.

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On turning he found an attractive and handsome fowler who demanded him for water to quench his thirst .

Nambee was taken aback and refused to give water intended for the Holy bath (Abhishekum) of the Lord and politely marched ahead .

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The mischievous fowler he was followed Tirumala Nambi , slowly pierced the pot with a stone , and drank the water which oozed out of the pot.  

Swami Tirumala Nambee was very sad that he could not fulfill the daily service to LORD .

He said to the fowler about his old age and hardship in once again bringing the water that would make HIS LORD wait and as such delay in the service .

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The fowler said …

Grandpa ,

Don’t worry !

I will show a place nearby for you to collect water for the services . 

Saying this ,he discharged an arrow at the hillock near by in the sky , and lo torrents of water came gushing from the place hit by the arrow..

The fowler commanded that the water for the Lord’s puja should thenceforth be brought from Akasaganga and disappeared. The new fountain is now called Akasaganga .

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 Thirumala Nambee  was convinced that the fowler was none other than Lord Srinivasa himself . Swamy Tirumala Nambee  performed various kainkaryams such as Akasaganga Theertha Kainkaryam, Thomalaseva, Mantrapushpa Kainkaryam, Saathumurai, Thirumanjanam and Vedaparayanam. Hence he was called as “Acharya Purusha” of Tirumala Temple.

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In honour of this humble but most noble ‘teertha-kainkaryam’ that Nambi institutionalized in his times, his heirs and progeny until this very day have been allowed to perform the same service in the temple as matter of hereditary right.

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The descendants of Swamy Tirumalai Nambi are known today as “Tirumala kumara-s” or “thOzhappachAri-s”.

 

There is a historical evidence that Tirumala Nambi lived in Tirumaaliga, South Mada Street, Tirumala.

 

The temple shrine of Sri Tirumala Nambi that stands today in the south-eastern corner just below the overhead pedestrian walkaway that leads from the Q-complex to the main temple.

 

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Now the descendents of Tirumala Nambi are managing the temple at this place where the Utsavar and Moolavar deities of Acharya Tirumala Nambi is housed.

 

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Tirumala Nambi, was one of the five  Acharyars of Swamy  Ramanuja. He was his maternal Uncle who taught the essence of Srimad Ramayanam.

Photos : Courtesy : Google Pics uploaded by several advanced devotees

Swamy ThirumalA Nambigal Thiruvadigale sharanam

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

‘Sri Alwarnath’ the ‘lord of the alwars’ temple at Puri


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It is said that Swamy Ramanujar visited the temple during his Orissa visit.  Swamy   was delighted to  have darshanam of chaturbhuja ( four armed) Lord  Sri Maha Vishnu, with conch, discus, mace and lotus flower. It is also believed  by the locals that he glorified  the deity  as ‘Sri Alwarnath’ or the ‘lord of the alwars’ giving the message of Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya. The place which housed Lord  Alwarnath hence also came to be known as Alwarpur. And today the words have been shortened with  passing time, the temple known as Sri ‘Alarnath’ or ‘Alalanath’ and the place called ‘Alarpur’ .Sri Ramanujar established the Embar Mutt at Puri.

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On reaching Puri, Swamy Ramanujar  began to interact with the local priests and scholars. His divya tejas attracted people and soon he found many devotees submitting to the legendary  sampradaya . Swamy  decided to establish a monastery to be headed by Sri Govinda . Govinda was also fondly called Embar ,  hence the mutt came to be known as ‘Embar mutt’.. This Embar mutt is located right outside the Puri Jagannath temple.

 

 

 

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Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu  used to stay  at Alarnath during anavasara period of Lord Jagannath.


Anavasara is the two weeks period when Lord Jagannatha take rest in isolation from the rest of the world ,  post the  annual bathing festival (Snana Yatra).( another divine leela ) .

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After Snana Poornima, ritualistic bathing of the idols of Jagannath, there is a popular belief that the deities get fever. For a period of 15 day the deities do not appear before public. The deities remain in the Anasar house and appear a day before Puri Rath Yatra ……
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day and post Snana Purnima in Jyeshta month (May – June), there is no darshan of Lord Jagannath and other deities at the Puri JagannathTemple for 15 days.

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This 15-day period of Anavasara (no darshan) at Puri JagannathTemple happens before the Rath Yatra.
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There is a popular belief that Lord Jagannath during this period manifests as Alarnath Dev at AlarnathTemple in Brahmagiri, which is about 23 km from Puri. During these 15 days, devotees visit the Alarnath temple at Brahmagiri in large numbers.

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Legend has it that Lord Jagannath manifests into the Alarnath Dev during the fortnight.


Sri Chaitanya maha prabhu visualised the appearance of Lord Jagannath in Alarnath and spent a long period in worshipping the lordships here.

 

 

 It is believed that those who cannot worship Lord Jagannath during his stay in the sick chamber can get the blessings of Lord Alarnathjee if they visit this temple. During this period the temple servitors offered holy rice porridge, known as ‘Kheer’ ( Akkaraadisil ) in local language, to the lord. During the present anavasara period of every year thousands of devotees visit this temple to get the blessings of Lord Alarnath and to taste the mahaprasad ( famous holy ‘Kheer’).

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Here one can have darshan of LORD with chaturbhuja .Lord holds chakra in his upper right hand, Lotus in his lower right hand, Conch in his upper left hand and club in his lower left hand. Garudazhwan , kneels at the feet of the deity with his hands folded in prayer position.

Lord Krishna’s queens Rukmini and Satyabhama also give darshan inside the temple. The Deity of Sri Chaitanya mahaprabhu also gives darshan to the devotees .

There is a stone slab before the LORD which bears impressions from Sri Chaitanya’s body.


When Sri Chaitanya mahaprabhu first lay in full respect in front of Lord Alarnath, the stone below Sri Chaitanya maha prabhu melted from His blissful touch.

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Photos : Courtesy : Google
Srimathey Ramanujaya namah
JAI JAI JAI JAGGANATHA

Please check the travel details of Jagganath Puri dhaam  in this link

 https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/jaya-jaya-jagannatha-sacira-nandan/

 

Continue reading “‘Sri Alwarnath’ the ‘lord of the alwars’ temple at Puri”

Kulasekhara Azhwar and Lord Venkateshwara


Kulasekhara Azhwar  the  ardent devotee of Lord Ranganatha  appeared  in  the royal family of the kingdom of Travancore  near a place called  thiruvanjiikalam‏ .

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 The Majesty was undoubtedly our LORD who was  worshipped by the King and the people   LORD  “Ananta-Padmanabha Swami “. All the royal family were servants 

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The Kings of Travancore would  offer obeisance’s   to the Lord  twice a day and   be there inside the temple of LORD serving HIM . The King would  present  his reports to the Lord on daily basis and communicate about the  daily administration .

wp-1488936391269.jpgHe was but  just a  trustee. (This tradition of the Maharaja of Travancore visiting Lord Ananta-Padmanabha Swami goes on to the present day.) Such was the pious and saintly quality of the ancient line of Vedic kings among whom Maharaja Kulasekhara appeared.

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  King Kulasekara ruled his kingdom in the most  vedic manner. It is said that his rule was so good , that people compared it to the rule of Lord Rama in Ayodhya. In due course,  King Kulasekara invited  learned people from all over the world.  Slowly by mercy of LORD   understood   Lord Sriman Narayana is   everything, and the highest purpose in life is to perform service to HIM  and HIS devotees. The Lord also blessed Kulasekara with the knowledge and mindset of being a true devotee.

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 Kulasekara visited many holy places, and spent his time listening to the great  opulence qualities of the Lord as told in the great epics SrimadRamayana, Mahabharatha and Srimad bhagavatham. He took special liking to Lord  Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, and the Lord of thiru-viththuva-k-kOdu (in present day Kerala).

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One day, when he was listening to a lecture on Ramayana by a  vedic pandit, he  became very  involved (it was his normal habit for the king  to be so moved by the Lord, as to worry about His well-being, just like another Azhvar like  Periyazhvar had done).

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The pandit was emotionally  narrating the part where the army of demons, on the command of the demoness  Surpanaka , assembled to fight  Lord Rama. There were 14000 demons of the biggest variety, and on the other  side there was just  Lord Rama and Lakshmana.

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On hearing this, King Kulasekara immediately got up, and commanded his commander in chief to get his army to help  Lord Rama in  fighting  the 14000 demons!

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On seeing the King so involved , the pundit  immediately said “the great Rama, single-handedly defeated the 14000 strong demon army and retired safely to the cottage where  mother sita was  composed and relaxed ”.

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This continuity  made  king Kulasekara calm.  This single incident was a lesson to all the pundits to speak always about the safety of Lord  . As he was learning and listening to these holy scriptures and concepts,  Kulasekara came to understand the special place that the holy town of SriRangam holds for devotees. He yearned to go there, live there, and perform service the Lord of Srirangam – Lord Ranganatha.

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It is said that every morning, Kulasekara would proceed to SriRangam, abandoning  all his duties as the king. On seeing this, his ministers, and prominent people in his kingdom would  bring some vaishnavas  enroute . On seeing them , the king would  pay obeisance’s and  invite them to his palace, and serve them all day .

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At his palace, all the  srivaishnavas  had free reign. They could go from any room, and could be present everywhere. On seeing such free reign , some of his ministers became jealous, and hatched a plot to change the  king’s  opinion on them .

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They decided to execute a plan on the appearance day of Lord Rama (Sri Rama Navami). The ministers stole a very valuable necklace  adorned to the deity of Lord Rama and pointed it was the devotees who were worshipping and they may be held responsible for the theft   .

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King Kulasekara asserted that there was no way that the devotees would do such a thing. To rebuke  that, he had his ministers bring him a pot containing a poisonous snake  and declared that he will put his hand into the pot to prove their innocence.  Miraculously, the serpent did not  harm  the king, and  thus everyone was convinced that the devotees had not stolen the necklace.

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On seeing the miracle , the ministers  apologized for their  mistake and returned the necklace to the king. Kulasekhar understood that his position came in  the way of his desire to serve the Lord and His devotees. 

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He  politely  handed over the kingdom to  his son  and left on a pilgrimage to holy places and  settled in  Srirangam.  Having the  LORD’S darshanam he composed a divine poem compilation called “ PerumaL thirumozhi ”. At Srirangam he built the corridor around the temple that to this day  called as  “kulasEkaran thiru-suRRu” (the Kulasekara passage).

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Kulashekara Azhwar  submits to  LORD  VENKATESHWARA   in his pasurams   regarding having association in some form at Tirumala .


He begins with Oh  Lord !!! may he become a bird near to the pond at Seven Hills ( TIRUMALAI ) for association … but realises being a FISH is better as the bird may fly away due to any disturbances .

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Proceeding his divine out pours he prays LORD  may be,   becoming that person who holds that golden vessel which is being used for LORDS service as the fish in the pond may swim away and miss that divine chance to come near to the LORD..

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Now ,  Azhwar realises holding the golden utensil may create ego in his mind and that may drive him out away from HIS service. With more  introspection , Azhwar prays May he become a flower on a tree that will be offered to HIS holy feet ,but understands that after the flower fades up , the same is thrown out  and so the tree too ..

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He goes to next state  and  pleads to become a river on thiruvekata hill so that it remains permanent . But doubts with the law of nature If the river dries up ??

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Now Azhwar submits unconditionally  Oh ..Lord ….may adiyen become that slab of stone where the stairs leading up to your sannidhi  since the river may dry up some day.The stepping stone in front of the sannidhi shall always remain watching uninterruptedly LORDS lotus feet ..

with sheer bliss as any other object has an end BUT being just a stepping stone before HIM will always ensure HIS cool grace always ( as a mark of Azhwars love the temple first  entry slab  is referred as kulasEkaran padi).

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chediyAyavalvinaigaLthIrkkumthirumAlE
NediyAnE vEnGkatavA! Nin kOyilin vAchal
adiyArum vAnavarum arambaiyarum kidaNthiyanGgum
padiyAyk kidaNthu un pavaLa vAyk kAnNbEnE

raam

Oh LORD SRI VENKATESHA! YOU are the  only one who can eradicate my  karmas. Adiyen  want to be like the stepping stone at the entrance of your sannidhi where your great devotees, dhevas , gandharvas and  humans long  to seek  your darshan.

Adiyen wish to  remain as your door step where devotees,celestials and heavenly dancers wait in order to see your coral lips constantly..

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   Kulasekara Azhwar  a ardent   devotee  of Lord  SriRama, sang   a  beautiful decade In Naalayira Divya Prabhandam  “ Perumal tirumozhi “ in Gopika bhaavam and Devaki bhaavam .   Azhwars  Mukundamaala has so much poignant cries surrendering at Krishna’s lotus  feet (KrishnO rakshatu jagat guruh!.). 

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Kulasekhara Azhwar  knotted  out the  priceless pearls of wisdom and strung them into a garland (mala) of poems  in  the Mukundamala, where he surrenders

 krsna tvadiya-pada-pankaja-panjarantam    

 adyaiva me visatu manasa-raja-hamsah

prana-prayana-samaye kapha-vata-pittaih      

kanthavarodhana-vidhau smaranam kutas te

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 “O Lord Krsna, at this moment let the royal swan of my mind enter the tangled stems of the lotus of Your feet. How will it be possible for me to remember You at the time of death, when my throat will be choked up with mucus bile and air?
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“Azhwar prays the Lord to keep him in the company of bhaktas, who relish the constant thought of the Lord’s lotus feet.

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Such devotees are characterised by palms folded in supplication, heads bowed in devotion, hair ends of the body standing upright in joy, tones shaky with emotion, and eyes filled with tears- all tell tale signs of their boundless bhakti brimming over.

Here is the beautiful sloka from Sri Mukunda MalA:

jai-srikrishna

“BaddhEna anjalinA natEna sirasA gAtraischa rOmOdgamai:
kaNttEna svara gadgadEna nayanEna utkeerNa bAshpAmbunA
nityam tvat charaNAravinda yugaLa dhyAnamrita AsvAdinAm
asmAkam SarasIruhAksha satatam sampadyatAm jeevitam”.

All glories to the great devotee king Kulashekhara Azhwar .

ALWAR


Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics credits : Google images ( Thanks to all the devotees )

Video credits : ammaskrishna

 

Who is a srivaishnava …Total unconditional surrender …


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

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

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Once Bhattar went to a  temple with his disciples to worship his beloved Lord Ranganatha . Unfortunately, the shrine was closed to the general public. In those times, the closing of the shrine to the public was usually expressed through a divine servant shouting out the words “netrapaani, netrapaani”.

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While this was happening, swami Bhattar was inside the enclosure created by the screen that separates namperumAL’s shrine and the outside. One of the close servants  in the temple , without knowing the divine closeness of Bhattar with  Lord Namperumal, shouted at Bhattar and uttered inappropriate words  much to the surprise of the crowd . Bhattar simply smiled at him.  but , the  disciples of Bhattar  couldnt accept and hence started to shout back at  the person .

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 Bhattar   looked at  his disciples and  politely asked them “Why are you taking revenge at me?”

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The disciples were  shocked and  taken aback,. They were confused on hearing these  unusual words from  their guru Bhattar. One of the disciples, with a bit of courage, asked Bhattar “Swami, we are not taking revenge at you, but only at the person who inappropriately,  misbehaved  at you”.

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 Bhattar explained to them “The person at whom you are shouting has done a great favour to me . And by shouting at him, you are showing ungratefulness and are becoming a nuisance to him by shouting at him”. All the disciples were stunned; Bhattar simply continued – “It is the duty of every Sri Vaishnava, while worshipping the Lord, to  speak out his own bad qualities  and the Lord’s kalyana guNas.

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Our Namperumal is very busy with so many utsavams and does not find enough time to listen to my  bad qualities  which are innumerable to be told completely. Given that this is the case, this swami  serving the LORD has indirectly  helped me and has taken up my task in his shoulder and put forth  the bad qualities   of me before the Lord and the Lord is also very pleased to hear. Why are you disturbing him from doing a favor to me?”

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  Swami Parasara bhattar,  simply smiled at that  person who committed the slip , took one valuable necklaces from his neck, and offered it to that swami and told him “Swami – Even though this will not equal the favor done by you for me, it is my humble offering to you”.Please keep it with you …

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 Once Swamy was proceeding to attend a festival in nearby temple away from Srirangam . He had to walk into deep bushes .En route   he met a hunter.  The hunter was spellbound looking at Bhattars composure and tejas . He immediately procastranated to Swamys lotus feet .  The hunter offered him a seat to Swamin . Srivaishnava acharyas have the unique trait of looking at everyone with the same eyes and hence Bhattar also made him sit along with him . 

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A srivaishnava is  a person who  never cast anyone as low or high by how he looks or where he lives. The instinctive prejudice that has diseased the society was never in their midst.

RABBITS

 Having taken his seat, Swamy, with his usual inquisitiveness, asked  the hunter of the daily routine in and  around the forest. The hunter  was excited to have the audience of  the distinguished seer and sharing dais with his holiness .He mentally rehersed what  he can  reveal and decided to tell a strange  incident that he came across . He  humbly  said “Swamy, a few days back, I did not get food throughout the day.  Due to pangs of hunger ,  I decided to find food at any cost and headed towards a rabbit habitat.  I  was overjoyed when I found a little baby rabbit . 

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Holding it by the ears, I  started walking home. Having walked a few steps, I sensed something nibbling at my feet. To my surprise, I found the mother of this rabbit  was at my feet. Its behavior was very strange. It kept nibbling at my toes and quickly ran around my feet and came back to the toes. This kept  on happening for some time and I couldn’t put a foot forward. 

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A strange feeling  entered  in my heart.  Feeling pity  at the behaviour of the Mother rabbit I suppose , my heart felt for the little one and her mother  My mind stubbornly directed me to make my supper with the rabbit  BUT  my heart  overruled  the mind and demanded the release of the little rabbit. I was  overcome with compassion and remorse that I put down the child rabbit. Both the rabbits went around me a couple of times and  merrily jumped may be  blessing me  for letting them go safely .And to my surprise, this feeling overpowered my hunger and I was feeling my stomach seemed full.

RabbitQ1MBJMThe Acharya listened to the entire narration with eyes wide open and exclaimed “Oh  Lord Ranga! How can we narrow down the concept of Surrender  to a certain set of rules?  This small incident  where  a  man devoid of any sastric learning melts down to the surrender of a rabbit and forgoes his hunger.

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A rabbit, absolutely devoid of any sort of tatva gnyanam instinctively surrenders at the feet of the hunter and seeks the release of its child! How can  unconditional surrender have stringent rules? It is a simple yet highly effective concept for mankind to surrender  from the rabbit seeking Lords Lotus Feet  unconditionally .

 Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics credits : Google images

…The foremost Srivaishnava Acharyar….


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

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

AAA

The above sloka …. reverberates in all srivaishnava temples and homes glorifying the rich sampradaya we have inherited from our poorvacharyas ….aa45 aa56 Swamy  Nathamunigal and Swamy  Alavandar, the two great acharyas  have been pillars to Srivaishnava sampradayam, took their avatara at  the holy place Kattumannar koil, which is 25 kms from Chidambaram in Cuddalore district of Tamil nadu, South India.

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

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Swamy Nathamunigal  was the  foremost Acharya  of Srivaishnava sampradaya .

aaaaaa Nathamuni mastered himself in Vedas at a  very young age,.He was devoted to Lord  Veera Narayana Perumal and spent most of his time performing daily ( aaradhanai) poojas for the Lord here.

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One day, during his pilgrimage to Thirukudanthai ( present day Kumbakonam ) Temple  he was attracted to the Archakas chanting the….. Aaravamuthey song….

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The  devotees ended  the song with the words… “ these 10 out of the 1000”.

“ Aaraavamudhe Adiyen Udalam,

Ninbaal Anbaaye

Neeraal Alainthu Karaiya Urukinra Nedumaale

Seeraar Sennel Cauvery Veesum,

SezhuNeerth ThiruKudanthai

EraarKolam Thigazhak Kidanthaai, Kanden Emmaane”

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Swami Nathamuni was drawn to these songs and  pleaded them to sing the rest of the 990 verses. However, they expressed ignorance and said they  knew only these 10 songs which they were reciting daily .

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Seeking to find  the remaining  of these  divine songs,  Swamy Nathamuni proceeded  from Kattu Mannar Koil and went to Kumbakonam, where Lord Aaravamudhan appeared before him and asked him to go to Thiru Kurugur for  more…

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. Unable to get his answers at  Thiru Kurugur,  Swamy proceeded to Thiru Kolur, where he got initiated with the great Acharyar  Madura Kavi Azhvaar’s verses of Kannin Siruthambinaal.

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He came back to Thiru Kurugur and sitting under the Tamarind tree, he recited these verses 12000 times.  

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On completion of which the all compassionate NammAzhvaar is said to have appeared before him and shared the entire 4000 songs the  “Divyaprabhandam” —Naalaayira Divya Prabandham which we are able to relish glorifying the LORDSHIPS .

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aa2 Lord Veera Narayana Perumal is then said to have called Swami Nathamuni back to Kattu Mannar Koil where the Vaishnavite Saint  chanted and shared the “Naalayira Divya Prabandham”.

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Thus, Nathamuni of Kattu Mannar Koil, was instrumental in bringing back to the world the 4000 verses of the Azhvaars.

He also initiated the Sri Vaishnava Sampradayam from here.

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

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In course of time, Kattum Mannan-Aanaar

became Kattu Mannar.

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Nathamuni’s grandson was named as ‘Yamunai Thuraivan’(Alavandar) as per his wishes. Born in Kattu Mannar Koil, Aalavanthan would travel to Srirangam often and spread the message of SriVaishnavism.

He is also said to have nominated Swamy Ramanuja as the ’to be’ acharya after his disappearance .

sriranga patnam

Alavandar’s  disciples include Periya Nambi, ThiruKoshtiyur Nambi, Thiru Kachi Nambi and Srirangam Araiyar.

A clip was taken during our in which Bhattar elaborately explains in tamil about the glorious Srivaishnava Sampradayam.

Swamy Natha Munigals appearance day is  being celebrated   on Aaani Anusham  in all Srivaishnava temples .

All glories to the devotees participating in all the temples 

Pics credits : All advanced devotees who uploaded the pics in social media

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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Swamy Kandadai Andaan service to JagathaAcharya Swami Ramanuja


Swami Mudaliandan was the foremost disciple of Swami  Ramanuja.   Mudaliandaan is considered as being an Avathara of the Lord  Rama Himself. Lord Rama was so pleased with Adiseshan’s service to him as Lakshmana that he wanted to serve him in future Avatharas. As a result, He bestowed the Avathara of Balarama to Adiseshan and himself as  Krishna. Adiseshan incarnated  as Swami Ramanuja ,  and LORD  Rama became his daasan. ( Daasarathe his original thirunamam) .

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  Once, while serving  Swami Ramanuja inside a temple Andaan  expressed his anxiety  about blessing him with  a progeny to continue services to Asmath Acharyar and his mission .  During the conversation , Swamy Ramanuja received maha prasadam from the temple which was covered with a garment (Kandadai – Gandam + aadai – a piece of cloth with fragrance) worn  by  Lord’s thirumeni (Lord’s archamurthy).

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Swami Ramanuja indicated to MudaliAndaan about the auspicious happening and told him he would be blessed with a progeny soon. In due course , a son was born to Andaan. Thus, Andaan vamsam (family) were called Kandadayar family. It is said that a whole street [north mADa street] in Srivilliputthur bears the name ‘kandadaiyar vithi’, to signify the importance of the illustrious  family.

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Kandadai Aandan  appeared during Kumba (Maasi) Punarpoosam day for rendering faultless service to bhaagavathaas. He appeared at Sri Rangam and under the care of Swami Ramanuja. His father  was his Shiksha guru who taught him Vedas, Sastras and Divya Prabhandam.

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Swami Kandadai Andan pleased his Acharyar  Swamy Ramanuja and sought his permission to install an idol replica of him at his appearance place (Sriperumbudur) for the benefit of all the future generation.

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Swamy Ramanujar granted his disciple request. At once Andan summoned a sculptor and advised him to make a replica of his Acharyar “Swamy Ramanujar” in his then advanced age. He invited Acharyar to grace the  thirumeni of Swamy Ramanujar . Swamy Ramanujar  was pleased with his  devotion and embraced  the deity . Placing all his grace and all the mercy in that idol, he told Andan to install it on the day of Guru Pushyam.

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With due respect, Andan carried the deity to Sriperumbudur with all the paraphernalia  and installed  on the day nominated by Swamy Ramanujar. While this was being done at Sriperumbudur at Sri Rangam , Swamy Ramanujar felt that his strength was draining out and wondered why was it happening . He then recollected and understood the reason .He  sent out a message to invite  Andan to report to him at Sri Rangam.

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On receipt of the communication Kandadai Andan reached Sri Rangam  and prostrated before Swamy Ramanujar. Swamy Ramanujar  advised  Kandadai Andan to peform his final rites and also to install his idol at the place where his body was laid to final rest.

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As ordered ,Swami Ramanujar’s utsavar thirumeni was installed by Kandadai Aandan at Sri Rangam. He also commanded “ Swamy Ramanujar Mahotsavam “ to be performed on  his appearance day “Thiruvadhirai day” forever, by succeeding generations.

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Swami Kandadai Andan was also  glorified  as Ramanuja Dasar.

vaadhoolaanvaya vaartheendhum shreemad dhaasharathe sutham |
vedhaan thadhvaya nishnaandham vandhe raamaanujam gurum ||

mesha Punarvasudhinae daasarathi hamsa sambhavam |
yatheendra paadhukaapikyam vandhe daasarathim gurum ||

Kumbhey Punarvasou jaadham Ramanuja gurum bhaje |
Agaroth yathiraajaarchaam Range boothapurae saya: ||

All glories to Kulashekara Azhwar

All glories to Swamy Kandadai Andan

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics credits :  google images

Long live ….Hundreds, thousands, and crores of years..my adorable LORD …


 Few hundred years ago , King Vallaba Deva the Pandyan king was going around his kingdom  in a  disguise   .  Somewhere near a temple  he  saw  an   old man sleeping on a pial (thinnai) in front of a house..

1The King  out of curiosity , woke him up and asked him who he was and why he was sleeping there in the open. The man answered that he was a temple priest and was supposed to leave in the early hours of the day to Sethu to complete his Thirtha yathra . Being new to the place , he took shelter near to the temple .

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Out of devotion the king requested him to chant a good sloka. The Priest chanted a sanskrit sloka  .  Delighted , the King  asked the priest to explain the meaning of the chants .

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The Priest  replied  ,  

1) a person  must save for the rainy season in summer,

2) should save for old age when he is young

and  

3) should save punya  for the next birth during the present birth itself .

The king  reflected on the verses .  He  assumed that he had  already accomplished saving for the first two  verses mentioned by the priest, but he never thought about the next birth.

Curious to know what the third verse inner meaning  really meant , he summoned  his Chief advisor Selvanambikal ,   a learned man  in religious and philosophical matters .

1133The King asked him to enlighten him on

what was the saving one has to do for the next birth ?? 

Selvanambikal submitted to  the King  that there were several paths that lead to salvation but   he was also not sure  about the exact path to be followed aqnd what needs to be saved for gaining it .

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He requested the King to allow him to call all the religious heads for a conference and  prove which path could show the jeevatama to attain salvation .

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  The King was glad that such an assembly will enlighten him with deeper knowledge on the subject  . The King also advised him to honour that Vedic priest who will  give them a convincing reply .

Accordingly , the minister  orders the assembly  to tie  a cloth bag that shall contain gold coins which is  hung   on to a pole .  It is also informed to the Priests that the most convincing answer  and the  belief  which shows the true path to salvation ,  would be  honored .

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The  Royal announcement was made  throughout the  kingdom . Heads of different religions tried to prove that their   faith was the one that could show the true path for salvation . However the outcome was incomplete . The King was keen to meet the great personality who would be able to show him the right  path for salvation .

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 Far away  in the same Kingdom  there was a great devotee of Lord who was offering Pushpa kainkaryam ( Flower garland services ) to the Lordships  . His name was Vishnuchittar ( Periazhwar) . His devotion to the LORD was  ultimate .

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The compassionate Lord Vadaperum Koil Udaiyan wanted the world to know about his  sincere devotee . Lord  appeared in  Periyazhwar’s dream and  advised  him to   participate in the mammoth  conference .  Periyazhwar was nervous and pleaded Lord that he was not capable to undertake such a difficult task amongst the Royal family . Lord  convinces  Azhwar to proceed  with confidence , as other things  would be taken care . Azhwar wakes up  the next day .

THIRUK

Praying LORD mentally ,   he proceeds  to Naanmadakudal obeying  Lordships   order. Looking at the   huge gathering ,Azhwar   decides this is the best place to glorify LORDSHIPS .  The Vedic pundits and vidwans  looking at  the simple looking  Azhwar ignore him .However   the minister Selvanambikal  observing  the radiance of our Azhwar request  him to go ahead and put forth his knowledge to test as he had already knew about Azhwar’s greatness.

Long Shot of Main Gopuram

Periyazwar  humbly takes the discussions to the inner truths and  presents  examples from Vedas, Granthas and Srimad Bhagavad Gita to prove that Lord Sriman Narayan is the Supreme Lord who created all the worlds and living beings and everything came from HIM and would merge with HIM only. He further takes Srimad Bhagavatam texts and quotes several truths  much to the astonishment of the gathering .  Azhwars lucid  answers make the pole containing the bag with gold coins   tied already  bends towards  him thus proving the Azhwars words of wisdom.

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King Vallaba Deva  along with the royal family are  surprised to see the  miracle happening  The king extremely pleased  with Azhwar  confirms  him the title “ Bhatter Piran” .  With respect , he orders   his men to bring  his  Royal  elephant . The King  requests  Azhwar to alight  on his elephant as he wanted the great devotee to be honored .  With much pomp and show and paraphernalia , the Elephant   takes  him in the  huge  procession.

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The all compassionate LORD  is  so pleased that He along with HIS consorts come to  give darshan to Azhwar on His Garuda Vahanam .  Periyazhwar is  overwhelmed to see the Lord in the sky.

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( It was Lord Koodal Azhagar Perumal , along with the Goddess Mahalakshmee . who had  arrived to witness their dear devotee   on Garuda Vahanam.)

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On having darshan of LORD ,

Periyazhwar worried that such a beautiful thirumeni  ( form ) of Lord may attract   ( evil eye ) Drushti , he immediately  takes the bell from the elephant’s neck as symbol and starts  his mangala shashanam to the Lord  instantly , by chanting the introductory verses of Divya Prabhandam

                                                               “Thirup PallaNdu” .

aaae Pallandu,pallandu pallayirath aandu*

Pala koti noor ayiram*Mallanda thin tholl manivanna*

Un sevadi seviithirukappu*

Adiyom odum ninodum*

Piru indri ayiram pallandu*

Vadivay nin vala marpinil *

vaghkindra mangayum Pallandu*

Vadivar sothi valtath urayum sudar azhiyum Pallandu*

Padai por pukku muzhangum ap panchasanniyamum Pallande.

Roughly translated in English

May for many hundreds, thousands and crores of years ,the Gem -Hued LORD with mighty wrestling shoulders, HIS bright red lotus feet be protected. This inseparable bond between us ,may it last many thousand years .To the GODDESS who ever adorns the Lord’s right chest many thousand years. To the fiery luminous sudharshan chakra on the right hand, many thousand years. To the Panchajanya ,the famous conch which stikes terror in the battle field ,many many thousand years………….

Periyazhwar composed hundreds of verses of praise including those that feature as the first 12 songs of the Divya Prabhandham called Thiru Pallaandu. As Garuda served Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam to  reach Srivilliputhur for the marriage festivities faster than was expected, he was accorded a special status here and is seen alongside Lord Rangamannar and Andal.

The Lord himself conferred on him the title “Periyazwar.” Azhwar returned to Srivillipuththur with the prize he got and surrendered it to the Lord at the temple. He continued the pushpa kaimkaryam to the Lord and becomes a guiding force and father to Andal .

Apart from “ThiruppallaNdu containing 12 pasurams Azhwar gave us Periyazwar Thirumozi containing 461 pasurams .

Azhwars pasurams on LORD KRISHNA in matrubhavam  is a must listen .

Azhwar has  glorified LORD KRISHNAs pastimes in detail and the same is recited in all vaishnava temples particularly during   Janmashtami

( Check the appended post below for more details)

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/periazhwar-as-yashodha-with-chinni-krishna/

PERIAAZHWAR

Peria azhwar  appeared  during the month of   June – July (Aaani Swathee)  .

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All srivaishnava temples celebrate the appearance day grandly .Lets pray Azhwar and LORD to give us unstinted devotion to HIS lotus feet .

Azhwar thiruadigale sharanam

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Pictures and videos : Courtesy : Google pics and You tube  ( Thanks to the devotees )

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

 

LOKACHARYA COMPASSION


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Our great vaihnava saint Lokacharyar Sri Pillai Lokachariar, about 118 years old then, saved our dharisanam by getting Namperumal safely out of Srirangam . This sad episode was because of Malik Kafur the tyrant who ransacked Srirangam during the year 1323. Lokacharyar along with many disciples went through the rough terrains, forests, and so on, carrying our LORD .

 

When they reached Jyothiskudi, near Madurai ,Sri Pillai Lokachariar realized that he cannot carry on any more, so he decided to stay in  Jyothishkudi itself.

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He directed his sishyas to reach out to one Thiruvoimozhi Pillai, and explain him various rahasyams of srivaishnavam.

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From Jyothishkudi, Swami Pillai Lokachariar reached sri vaikuntam.Without his noble sacrifice of life, we probably would not be having darshanam of Namperumal in Srirangam (peruman came back to Srirangam after more than 40 years.)

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This great acharyar’s thirunakshathiram ( Appearance day ) is celebrated  during    October ( Aippasi Thiruvonam,) very grandly in all the SRI VAISHNAVA DIVYA DESAMS 

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Sri Vaishnavam is replete with practical applications of the glorious precept of equality for all sentient-beings.
• Lord  Sri Rama performing funeral rites for Jatayu
•  Lord Sri Krishna preferring to dine with Sri Vidura even though he
had the option of dining with exalted elders such as Drona or Bheeshma.
• The episode of ThiruppAN azhvar and LOkasAranga Muni
• Our Sri Nammazhvar who belonged to the panchama jathi (fifth caste)
• Sri Periya Nambi and his attachment to Sri MaranEri Nambi
• Swami Ramanuja and his deep devotion to Sri Thirukachchi Nambi

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However, it  was  Swami Pillai Lokacharyar  who went to considerable lengths to explicitly
expand on this concept and establish its relevance within the Indian social and philosophical framework about the glorious sampradaya of Srivaishnavisim .

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Swamy Sri Manavala Mamunigal in his celebrated UpadEsarattinamalai, commemorates the lives and works of Azhvars and Acharyas. In this wondrous composition, he has singled out LOKACHARYAR more than any one else and devoted several pasurams.

Lokaacharyan was rightly glorified as ulagAriyan – ( teacher of the universe).

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Sri Lokacharyars vaibhavam, his contribution to  SriVaishnavism and efforts taken by Sri Velukudi Swamin, Chinna Jeeyar swami and other revered saints  in identifying this place and constructing a temple for lokaguru  is a blessing to all the srivaishnavas .

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While Swamy was about to leave this world and reach Achaaryan’s Lotus feet, he started touching the ants and other such insects near him with compassion (All such animals will get to reach Sri Vaikunta if they have get touched by a Sri Vaishnava). Such was Sri Pillai Lokacharya’s Karunya towards the living beings.

 

Lokaachaarya gurave krSHNapaadhasya soonave |
samsaarabhogi sandhaSHta jeeva jeevathave namaha ||

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

 


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THIRUNANGOOR 11 GARUDASEVAI ( MANJAL KULIYAL )


Sriman Narayana Charanau Saranam Prapathye

Srimathe Narayanaya namah

Sri Kumudavalli sametha Thirumangai Azhwar Saranam Prapathey

Srimathe Ramanujayah namah

Sri Dasarathaya namah

Sri Vara Vara Muniye namah

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Offering  repeated obeisances to Asmath Acharyar, Sri Sri  Mudaliandan Swamy, Adiyen wishes to share our  travel and darisanam experience at Thirunangoor done few years back . We had  attended this Utsavam twice and we wish to share the divine experiences to all the devotees . It will be a great fortune and mercy for the ones who will be attending this year on Thai Amavasai  which is being celebrated from 08-02-2016 to 10-02-2016.

 

 

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The remote  village of Thirunangoor near Sirkazhi reverberates with satsangh   every year Thai Amavasya and the succeeding 2  days are celebrated in a  very grand manner.

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On Thai Amavasya, Thirumangai Azhwar  the great saint in Vaishnava sampradaya is given Manjal Kuliyal(holy bath with turmeric water) which is being celebrated for more than 12 centuries .

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The next day, 11 Garuda Seva of LORD  is celebrated which is being done since past  100 years .The third day marks the return of Azhwar to Tiruvali-Thirunagari temple. Srivaishnavas make it a point to participate in these festivities.

. 788 MANJAL NEERATAM AND ELEVEN GARUDA SEVAS   HELD AT THIRUNANGOOR EVERY YEAR ON THAI AMAVASAI  AND PRADHAMAI DAY respectively. ??????????????????????????????? May the Supreme Lord bestow me the knowledge to describe about the Garuda Seva. Adiyen seeks the blessings of all the   devotees  , Acharyas and  Azhwars   for  describing the great event .

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Thirumangai Azhwar  affectionately  called as Kaliyan, was the valiant army chief of the then Chola King that the king gifted him with a small territory to rule over. Hence, he was known as Thirumangai Mannan .

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He was attracted to an apsara Kumudavalli , daughter of a physician and expressed his desire to marry her. Kumudavalli who appeared on this earth to transform this valiant king to a  devotee , laid the condition that he should  serve  1000 Srivaishnavas every day  by offering Prasadam for one year .

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Thirumangai Mannan fulfilled her condition and continued to do so even after his marriage as he got habituated in this wonderful kainkaryam of feeding  the srivaishnavas. In due course, his wealth diminished and as Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita, when HE decides to bless HIS devotee, HE takes away wealth and enacted a divya leela.

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Due to his love for vaishnavas , our Azhwar resorted to stealing and plundering wealth from the rich and the egoistic  but  used the wealth for feeding Vaishnavas and renovating temples.

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 One day ,  Tirumangai Mannan comes to know through his friends that a newly wedded couple bedecked with precious  jewellery  were  passing through a forest in a palanquin and if they could plunder their wealth, they could continue with their cause of serving Srivaishnavas forever.

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 Overjoyed , Thirumangai Mannan along with his four friends  rush to the  place in the midnight ,  galloping  fast on his horse, who he calls as Aadalmaa. He  waylays the divine couple who are resting  near a mandapam at “Thirumanankollai” and plunders their wealth. This precious booty is carefully put  over a cloth and ties it . Not being satisfied with the loot, he  advances towards them and tries to remove the Thirumetti of Thayar with all his might but  is unsuccessful.

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By coming in contact with Thayar’s thiruvadi, realisation dawns on him.  He is amazed .Something draws him towards them for a second look . However  he manages and when he tries to lift the loot, he is unable to do so. He  suspects  the bridegroom for having put some charm on the loot  .  He threatens Perumal who is disguised as the bridegroom with a sword to disclose the secret which is not allowing him to lift the loot .

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Perumal  smiles at him . He advises him to purify himself by having a dip at the  Kavery tributary  and return so that he can impart the secret to him.

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Thirumangai mannan  politely obeys the advise . He returns to  Perumal. Lord  gives him the most sacred mantram,Thirumantram . The moment Perumal whispers the sacred Ashtakshari Thirumantram , wisdom dawns on Kaliyan and he surrenders at the Lotus feet of the Divya Dampadhigal.

He repents for all his earlier deeds and outbursts his  divine pourings starting with  the wonderful pasuram

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“Vaadinene Vaadi….” and decides to glorify Perumal by visiting holy places in India..

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He is transformed as Thirumangai Azhwar and riding on his Aadalma horse glorified Perumal in about 86 divya desams.

OUR PILIGRIMAGE EXPERIENCES:

With the directions given by senior devotees we reached Thirunangoor in the evening and  discussing about the divine pastimes of Azhwars with elders .

Though we did not have a proper resting place all of us relaxed lying down at the temple entrance awaiting Azhwars arrival  as it was  almost midnight when we reached Thirunangoor. The  village of Thirunangoor  is fully crowded with many devotees . We all relaxed in front of a house near Thirunagari temple. Suddenly around 1.30 A.M. in the  early morning, we were awakened by sounds of  crackers and trumpets .

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The drums and Nadaswaram  were being played to welcome our Azhwar  .

On enquiry, we were told that Azhwar’s purapaadu ( procession )  was about to start and Azhwar was being dressed as the chief .

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 Adiyen was keen to join the procession amongst many many senior devotees and the excitement in following Azhwar . Un mindful adiyen took a shower near a bore well and quickly changed my clothes and applying  Urdhvapundram ran behind the crowd to be as close  to Azhwar and the devoted priests .  It was totally dark with  few  street lights  which were going ON and Off  and sad that  there were no proper roads. Unmindful of the thorns and stones, all the bhagavathas were  literally running behind the Azhwar as some one is waiting for us .

True ! The all compassionate LORD is so keen to meet the Azhwar for his upliftment . Adiyen  had the same feeling .As it was too difficult to carry children in the crowd  my family followed us by hiring a  motor car amongst other devotees .

This unique devotion  of the villagers and the devotees coming from far off places has to be seen in person to taste the bliss .  The  holy intention of the procession ( purapaadu)  is Azhwar personally goes to each  of the 11 temples, glorifies the respective Perumals while going for Manjal Neeratam and personally invites  the LORDSHIPS  to  grace them to come to Thirumanimaada kovil for the Garuda utsava darshanam  which will be held the next day.  The tradition of glorifying the LORD at the respective divyadesams  by the pasurams sung by Azhwar is done with all humility

. ??????????????????????????????? Let me attempt to narrate the happenings in the chilly night of Amavasai . Our Azhwar (Thirumangai Azhwar) was seated majestically  in a well-decorated palanquin and the procession  started from the temple  Azhwar proceeds  to Thirukuraiyalur, his birth place.

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The crowd braves the chilly weather to somehow occupy the temple corridor to  have the closest darshan of Azhwar and Perumal . It was 2.30 AM when we reached this temple .  We could see hundreds  of devotees following the procession . The Azhwar literally runs and the bhagavathas also run behind the azhwar. Adiyen participated in the procession and literally was in bliss being with advanced devotees . It was a memorable trek for spiritual quest .The zeal cannot be explained.

We are in THIRUKURAIYALUR, the appearance place of Thirumangai Alwar.

??????????????????????????????? The Temple Priest along with the senior devotees receive  Azhwar  with due temple honours and mangalasaasanams. The first pasuram  starting with “VAADINEN VAADI” was  recited .

It was as if Azhwar was almost there guiding us .The pasuram literally brought chilled tears in my eyes .  Adiyen was able to feel the soul literally craving for HIS grace and the nectar was directly being fed .

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Was able to meet  bhagavathaas who were carrying out  “PUSHPA KAINKARYAM FOR THE AZHWAR ON THESE TWO DAYS”.   Ahead of this recitation we were offered hot prasadam ( Kesaree) .This prasadam became a benchmark for me to offer it LORD later . After honouring the prasadam adiyen moved near to the temple premises where the devotees were thinning away .Offered humble obesiances to LORD NARASINGA PERUMAL and prayed LORD to bestow his abundant mercy in having satsangh always .

The special feature in this big festival is that without any discretion, all the residents of  the 11 villages participate in this function and the hospitality  extended by the local residents cannot be described in words.

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All the bhagavathas who attend this function are sumptuously fed . We can see the village residents  voluntarily offering us buttermilk,  hot milk and food etc enroute

They all consider it as their own family function. Now our  Azhwar proceeds  to THIRUMANGAIMAADAM , the birth place of Kumudavalli Thayar., who was solely responsible for transforming  our Azhwar into a Srivaishnavite.

It’s a  very old temple and  the darshan of Azhwar specifically at this place reveals his liking to this place and his consort . After recitation of the respective pasurams and mangalashashanams , we were offered  Chakrapongal prasadam  which was honoured . The sweet prasad , the sweet pasurams , the sweet crowd  and our SWEET AZHWAR was indeed most memorable night .

On looking at the watch , Adiyen was amazed ,It was  already  3.30 AM  and was looking as fresh . Never was Adiyen awake except for the Suprabatha seva at Tirumala Hills . We must have  around  4 Kms .

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From here we proceeded along with Azhwar to

THIRUKAVALAMPADI  THIRUMANIKOODAM  and  THIRUPAARTHANPALLI 

  scattered around  for about 10 kms and as done in the temples our Azhwar requests Perumal to grace the garuda Utsavam the nest day after reciting the prescribed pasurams of the Divya desams . Few temples the time taken is more as per the number of Pasurams .Adiyen was fortunate to be around the learned bhagavathas and advanced devotees who were literally up to date with the history of temple and Azhwars pastimes .

All these temples are scattered in a radius of 10 to 12 kms .Unmindful of the darkness , poor roads and route followed each of us were moving in a brisk pace to match the speed of the Procession .We must congratualate the palaquin bearers of Azhwar who are so energetic and infuse the spirit to just keep moving seeking his mercy .  The whole place is  charged with religious fervour and was eye- captivating. One must not miss to see bhagavatha’s bhakti for the Azhwar. Due to Azhwar’s sheer grace, Adiyen  was able to participate in the procession.

The procession was more or less like a running race. It shows the Azhwar’s anxiety to have darshan of Perumal at different divya desams . In each of the temples, we could see  the utsavar anxiety  to receive the Azhwar by  waiting outside the garbagriham to welcome our Azhwar. Adiyen was overwhelmed with joy and at the same time  was stunned to see an ocean of Srivaishnavas running behind the Azhwar. True ! If a bhaktha makes a small attempt to seek him

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…LORD moves few miles to reach him  .All through the way, Perumal’s naamasmaranam was done and Azhwar’s vaibhavam was recapitulated. Even the thorns and stones on the road  become flowers to the devotees now .Enjoying the company of a senior devotee adiyen suddenly noticed Azhwars procession moving inside a field lushy and so green . For a moment,  was totally confused . Adiyen didn’t know what was happening. The senior devotee explained  that it was Azhwar’s practice to go across fields, muddy lands and canals  during his times and as a mark of respect the procession goes in the similar fashion and that practice is followed even today. It was a very thrilling experience. Around 8-10  bhagavathas  were shouldering the palanquin and by seeing the speed in which the procession was taken, Adiyen thought they may  drop the palanquin. But  was corrected about my misconception by other bhagavathas that such incidents do not happen and Azhwar enjoys the procession to be taken in this way.  Adiyen decided to accompany the procession in the damp fields along with the  bhagavathas   though was bit apprehensive about slipping in the  green fields . Adiyen never ever felt that we were in the fields  . We along with  Azhwar cross the agricultural fields, (keni kattu), canals etc.  One young devotee was sharing his experience that the local people request the procession to be taken across their fields because they strongly believe that  Azhwars mercy on them will  have a good yield if the procession goes from their fields.

??????????????????????????????? It takes about half a day for our  Azhwar to cover these 5 temples. After  inviting the Perumals in these five divyadesams  it is almost the next day afternoon .

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Now our  Azhwar proceeds  to the banks of Manikarnikarai ( tributary of the river cauvery )

On the banks of the canal, Azhwar does mangalasaasanam to his  Acharyar , Sri Naraiyur Nambi Perumal (Naachiyar kovil, Kumbakonam) who personally  initiated him into Vaishnavism and mangalasaasanam to his favourite Perumal, Sri Ranganathar .  The Divyaprabhanda pasurams takes you literally to the divyadesam along with Azhwar .

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 An interesting happening takes place .The Priests along with bhgavathas  stood in knee deep water reciting  pasurams on LORD Thirunaraiyur Nambi and Sri Ranganathar. Our  Azhwar takes  a quick dip in the canal . Along with the Azhwar,  all the devotees also had a holy dip.

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One devotee informed that  Azhwar, when he  was the chief ,he  used to have bath in these waters for refreshing himself after he returned from his looting expedition. Hence, the  old practice of having holy dip in the Manikarnikai waters is still followed even today.  Azhwar is now honoured with garlands and peethambarams which were adorned by the two Perumals of the divya desams previously. These gifts are  specially brought from Kumbakonam and Srirangam with due temple honours. Now our Azhwar proceeds to  a nearby old mandapam well decorated  for Manjal Neeratam..

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..Thirumanjanam ( Abhiskekam)  was performed to  SINDANAIKU INIYAN ( one who is sweet for contemplating ) who accompanies Azhwar during the entire procession ( deities worshipped by Thirumangai Azhwar himself),

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Thirumangai Azhwar and Kumudavalli Thayar. It is very interesting to note that Azwar is never separated from Thayar except on one occasion i.e. during THIRUVEDUPURI UTSAVAM celebrated  during  Panguni Uthiram day every year in April. Only during this occasion, Azhwar leaves Kumudavalli Thayar alone for a span of 3-4 hours as he goes to rob  Perumal’s properties and eventually transforms to become HIS only property .

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We are now in the Mandapam premises . A sahsradhaara plate where the Azhwar deities are honoured with a holy bath . The beauty is during Abhishekam ( Thiurmanjanam)   to Lord Sindanaiku Iniyan the remnants holy water / milk/ honey /curd  flows through the Sahasradhaaram on Thirumangai Azhwar and Kumudavalli’s  who are underneath LORDS LOTUS FEET

. MVI_0094 Its a great bhagyam to have darisanam of Azhwar when the holy water of his deities is allowed to bathe the divine couple who have showed us the path of surrender to our only LORD SRIMAN NARAYANA.

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Adiyen was fully charged amongst the bhagavathas . Few  senior bhagavathas sang Azhwars Pasurams with some dancing to the tunes .

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Overall the festive atmosphere infused more and more bhakthi and adiyen found there was some special attraction in our Azhwars bewitching smile . MVI_0096 Reflecting on Azhwars pastimes adiyen reclined at the mandapam premises sometimes with tearful eyes thanking Azhwar and Asmath Acharyar for blessing me to be among this wonderful devotees who are in  the trance of HARINAAM all the while  .

???????????????????????????????At about 6 P.M., Azhwar reaches Thirumanimada kovil popularly known as Narayana Perumal kovil. It is here that 11 Garuda sevai is performed. The garuda vahanams of all Perumals are kept here in designated mandapams. Azhwar is greeted as usual and pasurams comprising of Thirupallandu, Kanninunsiruthambhu, respective pasuram from Peria Thirumozhi are recited followed by neivedyam, saatrumarai and vaazhi thirunaamam. Azhwar then visits Thiruvanpurushothaman kovil where professional musicians entertain Azhwar by exhibiting their talent in playing nadaswaram and mrudangam . 9o After mangalasaasanam, Azhwar visits Manavaala maamunigal sannidhi in the temple precincts. Azhwar was one of the favourites for Manavala mamunigal mamunigal organizes the 11 garuda seva on the following day. We were offered prasadam  , panchaamrutham, chakarai pongal etc  sumptously . The Manjal Neeratam is still fresh in our minds. May Azhwar bless us by giving us  many many more oppurtunities to be amongst his devotees  It was almost  3 P.M now . As per the plan , the procession  re started. Azhwar now marches to THIRUMANIMADAKOVIL , THIRUNAGARI  and glorifies the Perumals to grace the function the next day .

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Prasadam is offered at every Divyadesam to the devotees . Now our  Azhwar proceeds to  THIRUVANPURUSHOTHAM KOVIL , THIRUVAIKUNTAVINNAGRAM    THIRUSEM PON SEI KOVIL THIRUTHETRIAMBALAM THIRUARIMEYAVINNAGARAM and finally awaits for all Perumals to grace him at THIRUMANIMADA KOVIL  and following the same custom of reciting the divyaprabhanda pasurams  glorified by  Azhwar at the respective divya desams.

We were overjoyed to be among  a sea of devotees and managed to take rest in open area and  moved to the premises of  Srinivasa Perumal kovil more popularly known as “Annan Kovil “ and  passed the night at temple along with devotees .

The next day morning, all of us assembled at Thirumanimada kovil for participating in  the most awaited  11 GARUDA SEVA.

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Adiyen took this small oppurtunity to have darisanam of  Anann kovil,, Thirupaarthanpalli, Thiruvaali-Thirunagari before proceeding to attend the Eleven Garuda sevai  . Offering repeated obesiances to our Azhwar in  Thirunagari temple. The temple itself is very big. The  deity of Thirumangai Azhwar along with Kumudavalli Thayar is eye captivating. It makes one recollect   Acharyar Manavala mamuni’s thaniyan . Azhwar’s lips are slightly opened as if they are uttering THIRUMANTRAM. Azhwar is seen holding THIRUMADAL in one hand and has  a spear with him. Azhwar is seen wearing anklet. This anklet and Vel were given as gifts to the Azhwar when he won in a contest about Vaishnavism with a advanced saiva devotee Thirugyanasambandhar .

THE PREPARATION FOR ELEVEN GARUDA SEVAI BEGINS

??????????????????????????????? From 10 A.M. onwards we can have darhanam of  divya desa Perumals from each temple who accept the Invitation of Azhwar  We are able to observe  a  big pandal  erected for the Perumals. The Perumals  arrive  in their respective palanquins with mangalashanams . Now we race towards  Thirumanimadakovil at 14 hours.  We take darshanam of  almost  Seven Perumals who  had arrived . AnnanPerumal Vanpurushothaman Kudamadumkoothar MadhavaPerumal Narayanan Pallikondaperumal Almost by  4 P.M. all Perumals from 11 divya desams arrive and take the  gaurd of honour from our Azhwar  as our  Azhwar arrives to recieve our most reverred guest of the wonderful seva  from Thirumanimada kovil for receiving the Perumals.

Our  Azhwar  awaits  near the entrance of the temple.  Acharyar Manavala maamuni  awaits facing  our Azhwar.

, 7655 Swamy Manavalamaamuni was very fond of Thirumangai Azhwar and he , as a disciple supervises this grand Garuda  Utsavam . The place was over crowded but fortunately we could have a clear view of the proceedings and were able to have good darisanam . To enable the crowd to know about the proceedings, a big board was hung depicting the particular Perumal’s Thirunaamam, and Divya desam.

9900 Mangalasaasanam on the particular Perumal rendered by Thirumangai Alwar was recited and our  Azhwar does pradakshinam to Perumal.  Azhwar is  honoured  with parivattam and garlands previously worn by the Perumal as a blessing . Our  Azhwar humbly bows down to  accept the  gifts given by respective Perumals from the divyadesams . Azhwar wears the garland given by Perumal and  adorns the parivattam .  Fruits etc are offered as neivedyam to  Perumal and then to Azhwar and later to  Swamy Manavala Mamumuni followed by  karpoora aarthi

. 12345 Now the honoured Perumal  gets inside the Thirumani mada kovil. An interesting feature noted was there was a separate troop of musicians who played naadaswaram, mela and thalam for each Divyadesam  Perumal.

9876 Finally Karpoora  mangala  haarthi with Poorna  khumbham is given. The sequence in which the mangalasaasanam  done to the Perumal  is as follows

9000 1) THIRUNARAYANA PERUMAL OF THIRU MANIMADA KOVIL-   adorned  in white colour dress .

2) KUDAMAADU KOOTHAR PERUMAL OF THIRU ARIMEYA VINNAGARAM-  adorned in blue colour dress

3) SRI LAKSHMI RANGANATHAR OF SEM PON SEI KOVIL

4) SRI SRINIVASA PERUMAL OF ANNAN KOVIL (palanquin covered with blue and meron velvette cloth)

5) SRI PURUSHOTHAMAN OF THIRUVANPURUSHOTHAM (dressed in white and grey)- palanquin covered with green cloth (Note: All the palanquins were covered with cloth with sankhu, chakram and Thiruman embedded on it)

6) SRI VARADARAJA PERUMAL OF THIRUMANIKOODAM (silver crown, holding mace, dressed in blue and red –palanquin covered with white cloth)

7) SRI VAIKUNTANATHAR OF THIRUVAIKUNTAM ( Adiseshan seen as umbrella for Perumal, blue and red colour cloth covered over the palanquin) (The alankaranam for all the Perumals are  fantastic)

8) SRI MADHAVA PERUMAL OF THIRUDEVANARTHOGAI (meron colour kreetam-dressed in yellow and red )

9) SRI PARTHASARATHY PERUMAL OF THIRUPAARTHANPALLI (dressed in printed silk cloth-silver umbrella –Maragadham visible on Perumal’s Thirumaarbhu-red colour palanquin

10) SRI RAJAGOPALAN of THIRUKAVALAMPAADI (dressed in pink and blue coloured silk cloth-red coloured palanquin)

765 During circumbulation  to  LORD Sri Rajagopalan  Azhwar  majestically circumbalates   amidsts  the  enchanting Nadaswaram  ( Nagin music) . After all the Perumals take leave ,  Swami Manavala mamuni does pradakshinam to Azhwar amidst the background nadaswaram playing  style and the Azhwar along with  swami Manavala mamuni enter the temple. The reception  function takes place for about 2 hours. Around 5PM  inside the temple,  we can have darshanam of each Perumal  who have a separate  chamber  and  ( Abhishekam ) Thirumanjanam to all the Perumals and Azhwar is performed in Ekantam ( private) . After the Maha Abhisheskam ,  all the Perumals are adorned with wonderful ornaments and flowers .The Garuda vahanam is also adorned with flowers and other paranphalia . We had darishnam of all the Perumals and seeked their grace in  having satsangh always

. 345 Around  11 P.M. , the Garuda seva starts.  We quickly come out of the temple and eagerly await to have the Garuda seva darshanam of all the Perumals . We observe the moment the main door opens our  Acharyar Swamy  Manavala mamuni  followed by Thirumangai Azhwar and Kumudavalli Thayar seated on hamsa vahanam  arrive much to the joy of the devotees .    Swamy Manavaala mamunigal in his parangi naarkali vahanam  comes out first and receives Azhwar seated on Hamsa vahanam. One by one all the  Divya desam Perumals arrive in Garuda vaahanams. Mangalasaasanam sung by Azhwar is recited and after due honours, the Perumal goes round the 4 mada streets..

14 Its a divine feeling to be amongst  a sea of srivaishnavas assembeled reciting the  Divya Prabhandam pasurams . Few devotees were distributing the pasurams books for others to follow and recite .  Now the Perumals on Garuda vahanam grace  Azhwar and the devotees who are eagerly waiting for his  darshan . and All the divya desa Perumals follow them. The procession winds its way through the four mada streets of Thirumanikoodam. It takes about 3 hours for all the Perumals to complete the oorvalam. All the Perumals assemble in front of Thiurumanimaada kovil. Azhwar thanks all the Perumals for having blessed all the sinners like us with their Divine Grace.  Swamy Manavala mamuni’s saatrumarai takes place later and  all the Perumals enter into the temple.  On the way to Thirunagari, Azhwar  proceeds to Sri  Annan Kovil, Madhava Perumal kovil (Thirudevanarthogai), Thiruvaali and Thirunagari divya desams

. ??????????????????????????????? On the third day, after all the divyadesa Perumals leave to their respective divyadesams, Azhwar also leaves Manimada kovil.. On the way he visits Annan Kovil where he is received grandly as he is considered as their “Maapillai”(son-in-law”). Finally Azhwar reaches Thirunagari where Vayalaali Manavalan-the presiding diety of Thiruvali-Thirunagari temple waits near the entrance on Garuda Vaahanam to welcome Azhwar . Perumal and Azhwar then enter into the temple together. This marks the end of the three day festivities at Thirunangoor which is celebrated for more than 140 years. Adiyen with tears submit to the  divine will of  Azhwar and Almighty who graced us tohave the darishna bhagyam amongst several devotees .

What else does a soul needs except HIS cool benovalent grace always to be among Haribhaktaas………..

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Nadu nagaramum NAMO NARAYANA enru ..Thats the final prayer LORD ..Adiyen seeks his mercy to be HIS always … Please forgive adiyen for any slips in glorifying and describing the great festival .

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Kazhiyur Varadan

09849635903

For any more info contact adiyen

tirumaladasan@gmail.com

varadhan_k@yahoo.com

varadhan_k@hotmail.com

Azhwar who is glorified as the dust at the feet of devotees ” Thondar addi podi Azhwar ” appearance day 04-01-2019 …


The  foremost devotee of LORD RANGANATHAR of Srirangam was  Swamy Vipra Narayanan  who later called himself  Thondaradi podi Azhwar  ( dust of the devotees of Lord Ranganathar) .  He appeared in a holy dhaam  “Thirumandangudi” in Tamilnadu.

 

 

He cultivated a beautiful garden and offered the best variety of flowers to LORD RANGANATHA daily  .

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This service was well liked by him and  hence  he wanted to live in Brahmacharyam  ashram throughout his life and thus  always be in service of LORD by offering pushpa kainkaryams  .

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However ,a divine play was enacted .  

Vipranaryana was known for his sincere devotion ….

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In the same village a beautiful dancer lived  who  was very popular for her beauty .

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 One day she  came into the garden where Vipranaryana was  growing flowers that was to be offered to Lord daily.  (Nandavanam in tamil)  .

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While everyone around  was attracted by her beauty, Vipra Narayanan remained engrossed in  looking for the fresh and best flowers  that can be offered to the LORD , though she was standing next to him and passerby’s eagerly looking at her  beauty ..

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She was surprised to see a man  living in the same village  ,who would not even turn to look at a beautiful lady within his sight.

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Her friends informed her that he was  committed in his devotional  service and that she will not be able to attract him.

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Taking it as a challenge,  the beautiful lady Deva devi decided to be with him and help him in his service and later win the bet placed with her friends .

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One evening, the  area where  Vipranarayana lived  was struck by lightening and thunder and thus  heavy rains  followed .

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The lady  who was helping him daily with  some service decided this was the right opportunity to enslave the devotee .

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She innocently walked into the garden and  asked for permitting her  to stay in his place as it was unsafe to travel in the dark.

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 As a devotee , he felt sorry for her and allowed her to stay in his ashram  . That night, she wins over him  with her  innocent talk and looks. She feels delighted to have finally enslaved  him.

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Having won the challenge, she decides to leave him and claim her supremacy in attracting anyone including an ardent devotee  .

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As  time passes , Vipra Narayanan  is  unable to live without her  and offers his  karmic prayers to Lord Ranganatha to get her back.

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All compassionate  Lord Ranganatha goes to  Deva devis  place  (incognito) as a small boy  and hands over  Golden Vattil ( vessel)  and informs her that Vipra Narayanan asked him to hand it over to her.

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The next day,  in the temple the Priests  are worried about the missing vessel in the temple .

The news reaches the King through his temple attendants  . The search for the golden vessel inside the temple begins . A maid working at Deva Devi’s place informs the king that she saw the vessel (Vattil) in her place.

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Suspecting Vipra Narayanan’s role in this, the king locks him up in a Jail.

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It is here that Vipra Narayanan realises his folly of having fallen prey to the beauty of a woman.

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He regrets  the fact that he had lost thought of the Lord for a while and that what he is suffering now was the  result of this weakness and giving over importance to  his carnal temptations .  

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The divine play of LORD makes him realise the  material influences that  takes away from LORDs service  .  Later with Elders intervention  Vipranarayana is  released and  remains in thought of the Lord .

 

 

He  composes 2 of the best known Paasurams of the Divya Prabhandham – 45 verses of Thiru Maalai (872-916) as well as 10 verses of ThiruPalli Yezhuchi (917-926).

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Having gone through a traumatic experience with devadevi, he  decides to remain  a staunch bhakta serving LORD every breath .

 

 

He  calls  himself the dust at the feet of devotees  bhaktas

(ThoNdar  adi ppodi AzhwAr).

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Azhwar emotional outburst    laments in one pasuram

 

“OorilEn kANiyillai; uRavu maRRu oruvar illai;/

pAril nin pAtha moolam paRRilEn parama moorthee;/

kAroLi vaNNanE (en) kaNNanE! kadharuginREn;/

AruLar kaLaikaN ammA! arngamA nagaruLAnE!/”

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Meaning:

I have no place

no properties;

no relatives;

none other than you;

I know only your Lotus feet;

O  Supreme Lord of Blue hued sky colour!

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You only are my refuge.

Can you not hear my cries?

Is there any one else to save me except you?”……………………..

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04-01-2019 is the appearance day of  Azhwar

All Glories to our ThoNdar  adi podi AzhwAr

 

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics Credits : Google images uploaded by several advanced devotees in social media

video credits : Sriman MK Saravanan

Bhaktaraavi Perumal mercy to Thirukkanna mangai AndAn.


Thirukkannamangai  temple is  one amongst the   srivaishnava divya desam in Kumbakonam. This divine place is located in Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu. Around 8 kms  from Tiruvarur amidst  a huge tank  Darsha Pushkarini this   temple  is located  near  Western banks  .  Azhwar  keeps comparing the Lordships  here to  the sugarcane and also refers to the village as the place where blue lotuses bloom. While those flowers may not be so visible now, the sweetness of the shrine cannot be denied.

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About 25 miles from Kumbakonam, the temple is among the Pancha Krishnaraya kshetrams– the others being Therazhandur, Thirukannapuram, Thirukanankudi, Thirukannamangai and Thiru kapisthalam.

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This holy  place is also called as “Sapthamirtha Kshetram”.An unique darshanam for the devotees  at this temple is of Mahalakshmi thayar. This sannidhi where Abhishekavalli thayar is in a resident posture . ( Erundha thirukolam ).

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The sanctum  has an artha mandapam and maha mandapam too. In this artha mandapam, there are beehives in the rectangular windows on the south and north walls.

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The gopuram has four levels and the sub-shrines to the Goddess Abhisheka Valli and Andal have wagon-vaulted roofs to the pavilions fronting them.

Peria Thiruvadi ( Garudalvar )  gives darshanam  in standing posture and is considered to be a very powerful giver of boons.

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He is not clad in the standard red bordered white dhoti but in a multi-coloured silk sari! And on his neck is placed a sweetmeat offering that is unique to Tirukkannamangai. It goes by the name of Amrita Kalasam and resembles a laddu.  Maha Abishekams are performed for Garudalwar  every Sunday.

 It is believed that the four Vedas took the form of four pillars and the pavilion goes by the name of Veda Sagara.

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The Goddess is in a shrine to the left of the outer corridor. Abhisheka Valli derives her name from the legend that she was ceremonially bathed with the  holy waters of the tank before her marriage to  Maha Vishnu. A beehive is seen inside the temple  that waxes and wanes with the seasons .

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The bees shift home every six months, residing to the left of the Goddess during the Dakshinayanam (July to December) and to her right during Uttarayanam.( January to June).The 33 crore devas took on the form of these divine insects to witness the heavenly wedding of the Lord and  goddess  as per the legend.

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The same was sung in one of the hymns of Thirumangai Azhwar”Kalivandaraiyum pozhilsoozh Kannamangaiyal kandhu kondene”