KOORESA …THE DISCIPLE WHO GAVE HIS EYES FOR SWAMY RAMANUJA


Naaloran was still alive. Koorathazhwan folded his hands before the graceful Lord and told him in a shivering voice, “Naalooran, the minister should enjoy the same kind of bliss which I am enjoying now in your presence. I want no more than this, my Lord.”he said with tears..That was koorathazhwan a true vaishnava ..

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It was during Twelfth Century AD. Kulothunga Chozhan II was ruling over a major part of Tamilnadu. He had adopted Saivism as his religion. He also proclaimed as the religion of the State. Though not a big deal whatsoever religion the King followed became the religion of the state. But the King wanted to destroy Sree Vaishnavism. Love, whatever may be its form and manifestation, can never be divisive. The Chozha King had a diabolic minister by name Naalooran .

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The King first started a signature campaign against Vaishnavism. All the lords and land owners in the kingdom professed allegiance to the religion of the state out of fear of the King .  The King proudly displayed the signature scroll to his minister, Naalooran. The Minister let out a derisive smile. “Your Majesty, he said ..  you have got the signature of sheep and rabbits leaving out the real lions and…

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Swamy Uyyakondar and Swamy Engalazhwan of Thiruvellarai


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 .

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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…

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LORD KRISHNA’S BHOJAN THALI ( WHEN THE ROCK MELTED INTO A PLATE )


The Supreme Personality of Godhead , out of HIS causeless mercy appeared as Sri Krishna in Vraj bhoomi during Dwapara yugam to protect the good and destroy the evil.  Sri Krishnavataaram is considered as the poornavataram amongst the innumerable avatarams taken by Mahavishnu.

KRISHNA’S APPEARANCE

Lord Krishna appeared as the eighth son to Devaki and Vasudevar but as per HIS instructions, Vasudevar carried the just born little child across Yamuna river and exchanged HIM with a just born girl child who was Yogamaya.

VASUDEVAR CARRYING LITTLE KRISHNA TO GOKULAM

 Sri Krishna was very affectionately brought up by HIS foster parents-Nand Maharaja and Mother Yashodha in Gokulam for the first few years  and then later shifted to Vrindavan where the Lord lived with the gopis till the age of 10.  Gokulam is known as AAyarpaadi.

MOTHER YASODHA WITH KRISHNA

 Mother Yashoda is the most blessed devotee in the whole world as she had the opportunity to see all the pastimes of little Krishna.  Kulasekhara Azhwar who is known for Rama bhakti, has dedicated 10 pasurams to Sri Krishna avataram in his devotional  outpourings in  “Perumal Thirumozhi”. Assuming the role of Devaki, he has lamented that he missed all those sweet pastimes of Krishna saying that Mother Yasodha and Nand bhabha were really fortunate.

KULASEKARA AZHWAR-AUTHOR OF PERUMAL THIRUMOZHI AND MUKINDA MAALA

 Innumerable devotees like Vallabhacharyar, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, shat goswamis, Soordas, Pundalikan, Sakkubai, Namdev,Tukaram,Jayadev,Meerabai, Nammazhwar, Andal,Periazhwar,Kulasekhara azhwar , acharyars like Nathamuni, Nampillai, Prabhupad,Oothukudi — the list is endless-—  have experienced the sweet pastimes of little Krishna who is bound only by unconditional love.

SURDAS -THE GREAT KRISHNA DEVOTEE THOUGH BORN BLIND COULD SEE KRISHNA WHO WAS ALWAYS AROUND HIM

As mentioned earlier, Krishna lived in Gokulam,Nandgaon and Vrindavan upto HIS 10th age and later moved to Mathura and then to Dwaraka.  In Vrindavan, Krishna used to go out with HIS friends to gaze calves and return in the evening.  Azhwars and many devotees have beautifully described about these pastimes in their works.

KRISHNA BALARAM GAZING COWS ALONG WITH HIS FRIENDS

 Krishna playfully killed many demons sent by Kamsa like Putana , Sakatasuran, Dhenukasuran, Bakasuran, Agasuran,Vatasuran, Prahlambusuran, Vyomasuran etc.

Krishna chased Vyomasuran upto our present Rajasthan border  around 40 to 50 kms from Barsaana  near Vrindavan  and finally killed him there.  After killing Vyomasuran, Krishna and HIS friends were feeling were hungry and decided to have food packed by their mothers there itself.

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The small hillock on which Krishna sat, transformed a part of it into a hollow round shape so that it could be used as thaali( plate ) by Krishna for having food.   There are two such natural formations in the rock which were used by Krishna Balarama for partaking food.  A local lady shared with us an incident regarding this which is shared below.

BHOJAN THALI-A NATURAL FORMATION ON THE ROCK AT KAMYAVAN

At the end of Treta Yuga, a king named Koblaas(not very sure about the name) who ruled Ayodhya was blessed with a daughter named Krishnavati whom he got her married and continued to keep his son-in-law with him.  

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As he was greedy in expanding his kingdom, he along with son-inlaw attacked the neighbouring kingdom known as Bhadravati and finally in the war , both the king and the son-inlaw lost their lives.  Krishnavati started ruling the kingdom .

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She was very detached and had no interest in material pursuits and was always engaged in meditation and used to strictly observe Ekadasi vrutham.  On one such Ekadasi, when she was observing Ekadasi vratham on the banks of Sarayu, Lord Vishnu pleased with her prayers appeared before her and granted her a boon.  She remembered her ancestor, Srirama redeeming Ahalya from her curse.  Ahalya who was cursed to turn into a stone was redeemed by Sri Rama’s paada sparsham.

AHALYA WHO WAS CURSED TO TRANSFORM INTO A STONE BEING REDEEMED BY LORD RAMA

Krishnavati recollected this and opted to become a stone so that the same blessing would be conferred upon her by the Lord. Lord granted the boon but said that HE would fulfill it in HIS next avataram as Krishna. In this case, it was not a curse but a boon which she opted for.

Krishnavati appeared as Indrasena parvath, a small hillock in Kamyavan (presently in Rajasthan) and was waiting for the Lord . Inspired by Goverdhana giri’s fortune to have Krishna’s association, she continued to pray to the Lord to place HIS lotus feet on her and bless her.

Krishna, in order to answer her prayers, rested on this hillock after killing Vyomasuran.  Krishna’s friends noticed that though they had brought all the bhog, they didn’t have a plate to offer it to Krishna.

 A part of the stone transformed into two round hollow plates and Krishna partook the offerings made to HIM.  Thus, her desire was fulfilled.

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CLOSER VIEW OF BHOJAN THAALI

 It is a normal practice for devotees to donate plates(thaalis) at this place and it is mentioned on the wall that donating gold and silver at this place is equal to performing ashwamedha sacrifice.

LITTLE KRISHNA RELAXING WITH HIS FRIENDS

The lady pointed out to another stone mentioning another incident. AFter having food, Krishna and HIS friends played for a long time here.  There is a stone ridge nearby.  When a Kamadhenu(cow) wanted to serve Krishna with milk, Krishna left HIS friends and started sucking out milk from its udders.

KRISHNA SUCKING MILK FROM COW

When HIS friends came in search of HIM, Krishna had not swallowed the milk.  The friends punched both HIS cheeks and the milk fell over the place.  This is known as Ksheer sagar.  There may be other versions to this but this was mentioned by that Brajbasi.

The lady shared other pastimes like Brahma mohana leela and Indra’s fury on Brajvasis .how the Lord protected them etc.  adding that Krishna was very furious with Brahma than with Indra because Brahma attempted to separate Brajvasis from Krishna which Indra didn’t attempt to do.

 Because of Indra’s act, all the gopis,cows etc. were together in Krishna’s presence.

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The offerings which we had cooked were placed on the thalis and contemplating on the divine pastimes of  Lord Krishna, we partook the prasadam after distributing to the assembled devotees.

All glories to brajwasis

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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Pandharpur Yatra ..BHAJEY PANDURANGAM- A Piligrim’s diary …


Jai Jai Ramakrishna Hari!” was the mantra practiced by Bhaktha Tukaram. This mantra made him scale to the highest spiritual speaks ever reached by any .He is the only person to leave to Srivaikunta with this material body ..

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HARI VITTAL

Jai Jai Ramakrishna Hari

Jai Jai    Panduranga Hari

Jai Jai Ramakrishna Hari

Jai Jai Panduranga Hari

Sri Rakumaayi sametha Sri Panduranga parabrahmane namah

Srimathey Ramanujaya namah

Asmath acharyar Sri Mudaliaandaan Swamy Thiruvadigaley Saranam

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On the  auspicious appearance day of  our Acharyar  Sri Sri Annavillapan Swamy of Mudaliandaan lineage(the foremost acharyar after Sri Mudaliandan  )-“THIRU MAASI KETTAI”, adiyen prostrates to the lotus feet of asmath acharyar to grace me with the knowledge of sharing our recent  piligrimage  to the places connected to  Lord  Vittal  Pandurangan’s devotees.

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Adiyen is greatly indebted to  His Holiness  Sri Sri Muralidhar Swamy who personally visited  all the places and telecasted the same in Vijay T.V. as “Veedu Thedi Varuvan Vittalan”.  The craving to visit these holy places finally fructified after 2 years. Adiyen used to read “Maha Bhakta Vijayam” –a compilation of stories of various devotees ,especially  Lord Pandurangan devotees and…

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Kaisika Ekadesi and the most advanced devotee Nampaaduvaan……


A true seeker of LORD will always respect the devotees of Lord . He never distinguishes about their birth and caste in seeking their association

A devotees glory can be seen with that deep knowledge and practices which takes them nearer to LORD .
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It will be a boon serving such advanced devotees .

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The most advanced devotee Nampaaduvaan sang in praise of Lord Thirukkurungudi Nambi at Thirukkurungudi temple .

He submitted the fruit of the punya earned by him to a brahmin turned BrahmaRakshasa SomaSharma and thus converted him back into a Brahmin.

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The Uttana Ekadasi glorifies this divine pastime which happened few hundred years ago near a remote village Thirukurungudi which is briefed in the next few lines .

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Of the Ekadasi marking the annual calendar, the interval between the Sayana and the utthana ekadasi represents the span of yoga nidra (cosmic slumber) of Lord Sriman Narayana .

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This shukla paksha Ekadasi during the karthika month is celebrated as Uttana Ekadasi / kaisika ekadasi when Lord wakes up from his yoga nidra on this day after the chathurmasyam period .

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Kaisika Ekadesi is a very important day for all Sri Vaishnavites . As per Elders ,even Vaikunta Ekadesi festival stands next to this glorious day .

Kaisika Ekadesi is celebrated during the Tamil month of Karthigai ( December ) which precedes Vaikunta Ekadesi.

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The belief that those who undertake fast and recite / listen to the Kaisika Puraanam on the Kaisika Ekadesi day, are said to be fortunate devotees .

The word kaisikam means swaram .

This kaiSiki raga, is favorite to Lord as per the Srivaraha puranam. The divine message behind the auspicious day reverberates the fact that caste is not a hindrance in attaining LORD and true bhakthi alone is enough.

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Lord varaha Perumal explains to Mother Sri Bhumidevi the greatness of those devotees who glorify him unconditionally without possessing any knowledge but just devotion and love towards HIM .

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Lord assures that such a devotees even if they go to other planets , they would not think of the pleasures in such places and instead keep singing deeply moved in the mood of just glorifying HIM alone thus eventually they acquire HIM without any doubt.

 

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This divine pastime happened in the beautiful Sri vaishnava divyadesam of Thirukurungudi where Lord appeared as vaduganambi the close disciple of JagathAcharyar Swamy Ramanuja in a divine pastime appended below……

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/05/07/vaduga-nambi-the-dearest-disciple-of-swamy-ramanuja/

Once there lived a advanced devotee Nambaduvaan who was born in the fourth varna . ( Swamy Parasara bhattar aptly names this pious soul as nampaduvan since the purana does not speak about the devotees name .


May be Acharyar wanted an appropriate prefix to represent the great avatara purushas like Swamy
Nammazhwar , swamy Nampillai , Swamy Nam Jeeyar )

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He was a great devotee of Lord Kurungudi Nambi. Every night, he would walk several miles to the Thiru Kurungudi Nambi temple and with utmost devotion for hours together would stand before the Lord with his Veena and glorify the Lord with his ballads and before dawn, he would go back to his place, so no one noticed his presence at the temple.

 

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This was his daily routine This almost happened for about ten years

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Once during the month of Karthigai ( November- December ) month Nambaduvaan left to Lord Kurungudi nambi temple to observe his Ekadasi fast and glorify the LORD as done earlier.

As he was passing in the dark night through the village he was way laid by a Brahmarakshasa on the way to temple.

The Rakshasa was looking very fearful and demanded its share of food and threatened him .

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Nambaduvaan was shocked. He pleaded with Brahmarakshasu that, he would return back soon after his austerity is done with the last darshan of Lord ThiruKurungudi Nambi.

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The Rakshasa was not prepared to believe him . Nambaaduvan pleaded the Raakshasha to allow him to go to the temple for a night which may be his last , so he could sing praise of the Lord one last time and that he would come back in the morning for the Raakshasha to consume him.

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The Raakshasha laughed out stating no one in this world would be foolish enough to let go a handy prey. Wanting to meet the Lord one last time, Nambaaduvan requested the Raakshasha several times.

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Finally he submits with all humility that he will accrue the related sins mentioned below in case he ignores the promises .

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Nambaaduvan now clearly makes those 18 such promises that night and states that if he fails even in one of those 18 promises, he will be a party to committing of all these 17 deadly sins.

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The 18th promise of Nambaaduvan is the essence of the Kaisika Puraanam and the reason why Kaisika Ekadesi and Kaisika Puraanam are most important to a Sri Vaishnavite is revealed in this statement

Nambaaduvan says

“If one ever tries equating Lord Sriman Naarayana to anyone else in this world, I will be a party to that biggest sin And may I never get Moksham from this cycle of births”

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This promise reinforces the belief that ….

Lord Naarayana is the one and only supreme force and is incomparable. …….

This bold statement by Nampaduvan instills faith in the rakshasa about his sincerity . The Rakshasa says Oh ! Nampaduvana !!!

None would dare to say this .

Anyway , I believe on you, and shall wait till you return.

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Nambaduvaan glad that he was allowed , happily marches to Sri Kurungudi temple, observes his jAkratha vratham , glorifies LORD with his songs for the last time and thanks HIM for his mercy seva for almost 10 years .

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The next day Nambaduvaan walks back to submit himself to the Brahmarakshasa as promised . Lord ThiruKurungudi Nambi out of abundant compassion comes before him dressed as an old man (Nambi kizhavan ) .

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He asks him why is he was returning in such a hurry ? Nambaduvaan explains about the incident.wp-1508723426419-318475641.jpg

LORD advises Nambaduvaan to take another path to escape from the Brahmarakshasa . Nampaduvan tells him about the 18th promise and being a devotee of LORD he does not want to loose that identity in befooling the Rakshasa

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The old man replies “It’s usual in this world to save one’s own life from an enemy, one can promise on various things, but it’s not necessary to fulfill all those vows”.

Nambaduvaan replies that he would stand on Dharma being LORDs devotee and accepts whatsever comes on the way instead of this diminishing life .

Lord Thirukurugur Nambi is pleased with his devotion and blesses Nambaduvaan.

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Now as decided Nambaduvaan meets Brahmarakshasa as promised and submits himself to consume him.

The Brahmarakshasu is shocked with Nambaduvaan’s humility and requests Nambaduvaan to bestow the punya credited by his songs on LORD which he sang last evening .

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Nambaaduvaan states that his glorifying the LORD was not done with any motive. The Rakshasa pleads him to at least credit his punya he got from the songs he sung last night . Finally the Rakshasa falls at Nampaduvan’s feet pleading him . Later with further openness the Rakshasa reveals that previous birth he was a Brahmin vidwan Soma Sarma and used to conduct Yaagams ( Havans ) . Due to his arrogance of considering himself as the all knowing, he committed many sins including not completing a Yaagam.

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Hence, he had to take the ugly form in this birth.

Hearing the pleas of the Brahmarakshasa, Nambaduvan again says that he never glorified LORD with any motive . But , still he shall pray LORD Thirukurungudi Nambhi to releive him from all his sins. LORD gives the merit of the last song and relieves Brahma Rakshasa of its sins.

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This divine pastime strongly reiterates that true bhakthi is enough to attain Him and caste of a person is totally insignificant.

Kaisika Puranam, is a part of Sri Varaha Puraanam and comprises of several hundred slokas which glorify Lord Narayana as the ultimate supreme .

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Thiru Kurungkudi is said to be the home to the Sri Vaishnava tradition of ‘Kaisika Ekadesi’ and Kaisika Natakam (drama) worship of the Lord through dance, music and drama is a special event at the Thiru Kurungudi Nambi temple .

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On the Kaisika Ekadesi day an event that dates back several hundred years is enacted . There is a mandapam known as Kaisikga Mahatmyam mandapam where Perumal along with naachiyars, azhwars and acharyars give darshan.

 

Just ten days before this event , the temple servant who is all around in charge of the temple premises and another two persons belonging to devadasi vamsam take the blessings of Nambi perumal , undertake a (vow ) vratham, and are given coconut as prasadam. They stay in seclusion beside the sannidhi for 10 days, cook food offer it to Perumal and partake the prasadam for 10 days.

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On ekadasi night, they once again take Perumal’s blessings, take the brahmarakshas’s mask which is kept behind Perumal and the person acting as brahmarakshas is adorned with the mask . The drama is enacted amidst the august gathering all through the night till the early hours next day.

Later in the evening, Lord gives darshan on Garudan.

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At Srirangam , on this day Lord Namperumal is offered 365 new vastrams and later in the night, descendants of Sri Parasara bhattar read out kaisika puranam along with bhattars commentary. After this, purapadu of namperumal takes
place .

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Elders command that ” Even if one is born in a lower caste and still follows the Nine types of devotional service and surrenders to Lord unconditionally , He automatically gets liberated . He becomes a scholar by word and deed because of Lord’s mercy on him.0099

Consuming the devotees Sripada Theertham is a great blessing and serving him is most pleasing to LORD . Many incidents appended below reveal this important lesson for a devotee to progress in spiritual world.

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The great devotee Guha was accepted by Lord Rama as his own brother . Lord Krishna preferred to stay with Vidhura to anyother when He came as a messenger to meet the kauravas .Though he had many friends and Elders he preferred Vidhura . Hence status is no criteria to decide one’s BhagavadSambandham.

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Lord Rama left Ayodhya the land of the learned scholars to join with the innocent monkeys and embrace Hanumanji lovingly and accepted Sugriva and Vibhishana as His Brothers. The sacred funeral of Vidhurar was done by Dharma putra, Jatayu by Lord Rama and Maraneri nambi by Periya nambi .

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In the Rajasooya yaga the Agrapooja was done to a gopala by name – Krishna. At Thirupuliyur, the Priests performed Agrapooja to Thirumazhisai Aazhwar who was brought up by a woodcutter. Kurumbarutha Nambi was a great devotee at Thirumala(Pushpa Mandapam) was worshipped and reverred by a great king and Kshatriya Thondaiman Chakravarthy.

JagathAcharyar Swamy Ramanujacharya learnt from Sri Thiru Kachhi nambi who alone was able to talk to Lord Varadar at Kanchi. At Srirangam the temple priest Lokasaranga carried Thirupannazhwar on his shoulders into the temple sanctorum

During Thiruvaradhanam, Swamy Ramanujar used to hold the hands of Sripillai Urangavilli Dasar as Kayasuddhi. After Thiruvaradhanam, Sri Nampillai used to receive Prasadam from Pillai Eru Thiruvudaiya Dasar.

During Graha Pravesha, Sri Vadakku thiruveedi Pillai asked Sri Pillai Ramanuja Dasar to enter His house first

Our Poorvacharyars have written commentary on Vishnu Puranam and Kaisika Puranam only. Vishnu puranam by Engalzwan and Kaisika Puranam by Swamy Parasara bhattar.

Swamy Paraasara Bhattar had presented a wonderful commentary for the entire Kaisika Puraanam .

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This Divya Desam is located about 30 kms South East of Tirunelveli and near Nanguneri .


One can have darisanam of all the Five temples of Nambi Perumal.

All glories to the devotees who are attending the great festival at this Holy place on November 30th , 2017 .

 

 

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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Pics credits : Google images

video credits : Advanced devotees who attended this seva.

“tEvu maRRariyEn” …….. I do not know of any LORD other than my AchAryan, Swamy NammAzhwAr


Azhwar further says that For a true devotee of Lord Krishna …. all is Lord Krishna the Food – eaten to satisfy the appetite, water drunk to quench the thirst, the betel leaves consumed after the food, are all Lord Krishna . Chanting HIS holy name, speaking of HIS qualities, and thinking of HIM , HIS devotee will feel the hunger and the thirst and all other needs satisfied. They will not eat any other food since KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS is enough food for them and always remain in that bliss forever ……

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Madhurakavi Azhwar appeared at a holy place in Thirukolur, a small village near Alwarthirunagari, Tamilnadu . Once he undertook an pilgrimage  to Ayodhya. He was very moved by the beauty of deities of Lord  Rama, Sita Devi, Lakshmana &  Anjaneya  and decided to  stay in Ayodhya for sometime. During his stay, one night he saw a bright light  in the sky emitting from  the southern direction .

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He couldn’t comprehend if it was a bright star, a forest fire or anything else. Amazed with the strange happening , he decided to follow the light and see it for himself.  Unmindful walking long distances , he followed the light . After days of voyage, he finally reached Azhwarthirunagari and the light  suddenly disappeared . He was surprised at the phenomenon.

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He enquired  from the villagers about  anything strange happening in their village assuming the dazzling light could have some prophecy too  …

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TUNGAVIDYA SAKHI-RADHA-KRISHNA’S ASHTA SAKHI


TUNGAVIDYA SAKHI PLAYING VEENA

The Puranas states that out of many thousands of gopis, sixteen thousand are predominant and among them  108 gopis are very close , eight are still more prominent . Radharani and Candravalli are very  prominent  and  Srimathi Radharani is the most prominent. Because Radharani possesses all the charm and sweetness to attract Lord Krishna .

Introduction about the Ashta sakhis  is appended in the below linked post

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/lord-krishnas-ashta-sakhi-temples-near-barsaana-vrindavan-an-introduction/

The Eight Gopis who are the foremost, dearest and most beloved friends of Shri  Shri Radharani  are  glorified  as Asta-sakhis  Gopis . Their names are Lalita, Visakha, Chitralekha, Champakalata, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi and Sudevi.

TUNGAVIDYA SAKHI  TEMPLE ROUTE 

BARSANA—–  CHIKSOLI(2KMS)——  DABARA(2 KMS)——RAKOLI(4 KMS)

One of the prominent ashta sakhis of Radharani, Tungavidya devi appeared on Bhadrapad maas Triyodasi  thithi (after Radhastami) at Dabaara village about 4 kms from  Barsana. Barsana is about 70 kms from Mathura.   On that day, in this small village, Mattiphal mela takes place.  Amidst singing and dancing, the abhishekam for the gopi is performed grandly.  All the people from neighbouring villages assemble to take darshan of this gopika.

She was born to  Paushkara and Medha .  She was adept in all the branches of Vedic knowledge and was a celebrated musician .  She used to please Radha -Krishna with her music while playing veena.


In this temple, we can have darshan of her on the right side  of Lord Krishna holding veena. She was an expert in arranging Radha Krishna meetings.

As per the  temple priest, this place was earlier known as Naubhaari Chaubaari.  RAdharani along with the eight sakhis totalling to nine(nau in hindi)  used to play here. Hence,known as Naubhaari.  Opposite to the temple, there is a small hillock known as Shyam Shila.

 The temple priest, Shri.Gopidas (9760813132) informed that Little Krishna used to climb a  small hillock opposite to the temple  and play flute to call the gopis. A small temple for Ashtasakhi is constructed at this place as remembrance.  The gopis along with Krishna used to play with dolls.  Just in front of the sannidhi, we can find a room where the life size statues of  gopis playing are displayed.

Once when a devotee  was describing the beauty of Radharani (who is affectionately  addressed as “Shriji”), Krishna was moved hearing the description and tears started rolling out of our chinni Krishna’s eyes. The priest used the word “Dabba dabba” to describe this .  Hence, this place came to be known as Dabaara.

We performed kirtan for sometime  in the mood of the gopa sevaks and then proceeded to our next destination Chiksoli for darshan of Chitrasakhi. (Earlier , when we visited Chitrasakhi temple, the dieties decoration was going on and hence we could not have darshan.)

Pl.note:- It is advisable to carry fruits,flowers ,sweets and offerings to all the ashta sakhi temples from Barsana itself as there are no shops near the temple.

Also, please ensure to carry one rupee coins for distribution to the local children who will surround us .  they are not happy with big notes and are content with one rupee coin only.

Jai Sree Radhe shyaam

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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


Periya Perumal, Lord Ranganatha Himself, 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’.

kazhiyur varadan's blog

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

Anathya 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 live there for 200 years, and through your exhortations, empower the people with knowledge about their true nature and make them come to

My world, so that they enjoy eternal bliss”.

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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…

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Devagaanam verses Manushya gaanam


Few hundred years ago   Gangaikonda Chozhapuram a place  in Tamil Nadu ,  was ruled by the Cholas  who  were active patrons of the arts , poetry, drama, music and  dance .  The Chola kingdom grew  into an extensive and well-knit empire, efficiently organized and administered by the King .

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One fine day  two courtesans from other kingdom  came  to meet the King for his generosity in encouraging their talents . One of them  could sing according to a  pattern  called deva‐gana (celestial mode) and  the other  could sing in the normal method   manushya gana (human mode). Each thought their music was the best  and   excelled the other. Their objective of having an audience with  the King was to settle the dispute  between them  as the King was well versed in those forms of art .

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The king  summoned his  royal artists and ordered  the  council to meet, for them to  perform .  In the process ,  the council of royal artists agreed that the courtesan who sung with manushya gana was better than the deva gana  . Thus   the dispute was decided in favor of  the manushya gana .  Rich presents  was  bestowed on that performer with all the honours  while the other was considered to have failed.

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The lady of the deva‐gana thought thus  “My method of singing, cannot be appreciated by normal  humans and hence  I shall  submit  the same to the Devas (celestial beings)” in all the temples . So with  deep concern ,  she went to the temples  from one Holy Shrine to another  displaying her art to the deity and seeking their blessings

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 In due course  she reached Viranarayanapuram a place near to Kattumannar koil .  She went to the Shrine of  Lord Veeranarayana Perumal  and  sang her song  among  the  opulence audience of our great  Sage Nathamuni  the torch bearer of Srivaishnavam . Nathamuni  was pleased with her recitation  and as a mark of his appreciation  blessed  her   with the tirtha and prasada of  Perumal and encouraged her  with blessings .

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The lady thanked  Swami Nathamuni for his  patience and accepting her song  and blessing  on her . Overjoyed ,  she then went to king Chola and said    Oh Highness !! Atlast  “there is one soul, at least in your kingdom , who can understand the inner truth  of my devaganam .  Swamy Nathamuni,  who is the blessed devotee of Lord Mannanar at Viranarayanapuram is the reason for your country’s prosperity .

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The king was curious to know about the sage . He sent  his messengers to  Swamy Nathamuni, begging him to visit his  royal palace .  Swamy  Nathamuni ,  on receiving the invitation, thought  “We have set the blessed Divya  Prabhandhas to exquisite music. Let us visit the king’s court, and take this opportunity of making these holy hymns  known to the world. Thus he went to the king’s court taking it as Lord’s command .

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On his arrival, the king rose and welcomed  the Sage with every mark of honor,  and offered him a suitable seat. Whereon the Sage blessed the king, and inquired as to his object in inviting him. The king  submitted  “Holy sage can you distinguish between the  two patterns of ragas sung by these courtesans  ? Can we be enlightened about this inner secret ?

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Swamy Nathamuni  requested that the performance be given  once again before the audience .  When this was done, he addressed the king  and said  “You all have ears  to receive the flow of  the manushya‐gana only.  The other one can be understood by  the Devas  only .

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 “But”, the king respectfully asked, how can we be made to hear it? There upon  Swamy Nathamuni  directed that the 400 kinds of tala (rhythm) be marked, and explained to the king the rate of each. The king understood from this explanation the  harmonical progression and symphony  in which this  is composed  to the deva‐gana music, which produced in him a bliss never  experienced before  .

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 A small demonstration was also shown among the elated arts lovers .A  pair of cymbals was placed near a consecrated post while  the deva‐ gana was sung. Over a period of time , it was found that the post began to melt. The singing was stopped  , and when an attempt was made to lift the cymbals, they stuck to the post  and when the music was once again played they came off.  It is said that Nathamuni directed a number of bronze cymbals of different weights to be sounded together and forthwith described correctly their different weights from a perception of the acute differences in the pitches of the notes. The king went into raptures over this, and falling at the feet of the Sage proposed to reward him abundantly.

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But the Sage, to whom even the offer of Lordship over worlds was no temptation, politely declined the presents offered and blessing the king, returned to Viranarayanapuram. Thus with this incident the King  became a disciple of Swamy Nathamuni and spent his time at Kattumannar learning the esoteric truths regularly .

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Swamy  Nathamuni set the 4000  Divya prabhandam to tune and music and taught to his dear disciples  Melai agatthazhwAn and Keezhai agatthazhwAn (his nephews) and propagated the divine nectar  in various divya desams. Nathamuni re arranged 4000 into four parts and introduced the same as part of recitation in Divya Desams, as part of worship.  

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Once , the King  got down  along with his wives to Viranarayanapuram temple . Looking at the Royal couple  in such great ornaments, crown, and silk cloth,  Nathamuni for a moment lost himself and thought  Lord Krishna with His devis have come from Dwarakai. He fell at the feet of the king to prostrate. The king was shocked and immediately sprung to lift  Nathamuni . The King realised the deep devotion of the Sage and submitted himself .

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During  another occasion, the king had  just completed discussing with the Sage about Lordships and  took Acharya’s permission to leave. He started walking towards the chariot. When he was about to board, (as usual, the king used to call the chariot driver on whose shoulder he  used to set  his foot to jump into the chariot), the driver was there for the king to jump in. After he jumped in, he saw below and it was  Nathamuni’s shoulder. The king was shocked . He got down to apologize  for his grave offence . He felt ashamed and said ! Swamin ….  “What have I done! Stepped on your shoulders! I have committed  a great apacharam!”

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Nathamuni thought it  was Lord  Rama who had come by the chariot along with Sumanthrar. Hence, he offered his shoulders for Lord  to step into the chariot. That was  Nathamuni’s unalloyed devotion who was always in transcendental bliss always seeing LORDSHIPS everywhere .

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One day  Nathamuni was in Samadhi Yoga. The  Chola  king  passed near Veeranarayanpura with his soldiers   after a hunting exercise.  The sage,  interrupted in his meditations by the attendant bustle, opened his eyes and, construing the party to be the divine Lord  Rama and his brother, on whom  his thoughts were wholly bent in meditation, followed the track of the party and walked with weary steps till the very gates of the Chola capital Gangaikondapuram  from Kattumannar Koil  and went searching ..

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Nathamuni  already in that bliss  imagined that Lord Rama with his brother Lakshmana and  Mother  Sita is have come to  grace him .

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He  fainted  at a place in a divine bliss  and  reached Lord’s abode  on an Ekadasi day.

More details about this great saint can be seen in the appended  linked post below

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/lakshmi-natha-samarambham-nathayamuna-madhyamam/

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All glories to Swamy Nathamunigal

 

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics : Google images

Taket ( Nasik ) and Thiruputkuzhi……….Jatayu Moksha kshetram


Though Thiruputkuzhi at Kancheepuram is considered as Jatayu Mokshaa kshetram , as per Srimad Valmeekee Ramayanam , Taket near Nasik is considered as the holy place where Lord Rama met the great devotee Jatayu .

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This  Holy Dhaam is about 65 kms from Nasik on Igatpuri Road in Mumbai Highway road . Igatpuri is  in Daudhra village, Maharashtra,  which is about 45 kms from Nashik .A slight diversion from the Highway has to be taken to reach this village. This is the place where the devotee vulture, Jatayu Maharaj fought valiantly with the  demon  Ravana with the intention of rescuing  Mother Sitadevi and  gave his  life at the lotus feet of  Lord Sri Rama.

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In this holy place , a replica of the vulture made from cotton is hung at the temple entrance . A priest recapitulated all the incidents – how  Maharaj Jatayu fought valiantly with  the demon Ravana, and left his body in the arms of  Lord Sri Rama informing the whereabouts of Loka Matha Sita .

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Lord Rama performed last rites of Jatayu here . He  brought sacred water required for performing rites by shooting an arrow in the earth  , all sacred rivers assembled in the kund in front of the temple except for Prayag who is separted at a distance from the pond. (It is said that he hit the arrow into the ground for water and the kund here is therefore called  Sarva tirtha kund.)

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The water level in Prayag pond always remains the same at all times., A tree under where Loka matha Sitadevi was observing the valiant fight between Jatayu and Ravana can be  seen. Lord Rama consoles Jatayu who informs  about Sitadevi’s abduction before breathing his last. Srirama blesses Jatayu by sending him to Paramapadam while Lakshmana looks on . Lord Rama performs  the last rites to the bird devotee for 13 days. Even Dasaratha did not get this  fortune  as  he  could perform only Jala tharpanam at Chitakoot.

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 There is another Divyadesam which is connected to Jatayu.  Thiruputkuzhi is located 12kms west of Kanchipuram . It is the most sought vaishnava divya desam of Sri Vijaya Raaghava Perumal temple as it relates to the episode of Jataayu Moksham in the Srimad Raamaayana.

Another importance of this place Swami Raamaanuja learnt the advaitha lessons from Yaadava Prakaasar . The mandapam where he learnt his lessons still exist here. wp-image--969801810A unique feature of this temple is Sri Vijaya Raaghava Perumal is seen in a sitting posture, having the bird (Jataayu) on his thigh. Not able to bear the  grief caused by the final rites of the cremation of Jaatayu, Sri Devi Thaayar is said to have moved to the other side .JJJJJJ

 Lord Rama had got ready to perform the final obsequies on the banks of a pond (now known as Jatayu Pushkarini) when he realized that the Vedic ceremony needed the presence of his wife. He felt sad that he was helpless in the matter.

IMG-20170324-WA0000Immediately there arose a golden lotus in the tank with Bhuma Devi      (Sita is considered to be a manifestation of Mother Earth) who helped fulfil Rama’s desire to complete the rituals. Hence we find Bhuma Devi in the sanctum. She is seated, with a lotus in hand.

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At this temple, the Goddess is seen to the left of the Lord Vijayaraghava with her head slightly turned in the Lord’s direction (in all Divya Desams, Sri Devi Thaayar is seen to the right of the Lord).
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Also, the Thaayar Sannidhi is to the left of the Lord. The  ( Ashwa )Kutharai Vahaanam is a special attraction at this temple .

On few festive occasions, Lord Vijaya Raaghavan goes on street processions mounted on his ‘Horse Vaahanam’ which looks like a real Horse, (with its jumping stride and movements). The devotee  created this horse specifically for Lord Vijaya Raaghava was asked to make another horse. He refused to recreate his magic for anyone other than the Lord .

.facebook_1495543825704As a mark of blessing during Ashwa  Vahaanam ( Horse )  Lord marches into  the street where this devotee lived .fawn
The Priest (Koil Bhattar)  was kind to explain the vaibhavam of the temple during our recent pilgrimage yatrai.

Few devotees also say that It was Pullambothangudi which  is five km from Swamimalai, in Thanjavur district was the place where Jatayu got Moksham.
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Both the holy places bring tears to the pilgrims for the great kainkaryam a Bird could do .Jai Jatayu Maharajki …..
Jai Jai   Jai SreeRam ..

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

 

CHAMPAKALATHA:RADHA-KRISHNA’S ASHTA SAKHI


The Puranas states that out of many thousands of gopis, sixteen thousand are predominant and among them  108 gopis are very close , eight are still more prominent . Radharani and Candravalli are very  prominent  and  Srimathi Radharani is the most prominent. Because Radharani possesses all the charm and sweetness to attract Lord Krishna .

Introduction about the Ashta sakhis  is appended in the below linked post

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/lord-krishnas-ashta-sakhi-temples-near-barsaana-vrindavan-an-introduction/

The Eight Gopis who are the foremost, dearest and most beloved friends of Shri  Shri Radharani  are  glorified  as Asta-sakhis  Gopis . Their names areLalita, Visakha, Chitralekha, Champakalata, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi and Sudevi.

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The Astha-sakhis display the zenith of spiritual love for Radha and Krishna. No one can equal or exceed the love they bear for the Divine Couple. To increase the transcendental ecstasy of Radha and Krishna, the Parama-preshta Gopis show partiality; sometimes they favour Krishna, sometimes Radha. These Eight Gopis are the leaders of all the other gopis. Although these Varishtha Gopis are the leaders of millions of other gopis, because they are very greedy to earn Radha’s love , they always prefer to serve under the command of Radha and try to please her in every way possible. These gopi friends decorate their own dear friend Srimati Radharani   and they take Radharani’s side whenever she has a lover’s quarrel with Lord Hari. 

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They please the Divine Couple by expertly singing, dancing and playing instrumental music. At the appropriate time they beg to be engaged in various appropriate services.

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They serve palatable meals to the Divine Couple and afterward relish tasting the remnants left by Them. Their minds are pure and they are very expert and intelligent, so they serve Radha and Krsna very appropriately.  Lalita-devi is the leader and controller of all these exalted and worshipable young gopis.

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To understand the deep devotion of the brajwasees  one has to really go and see this place for oneself .
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Radharani was always surrounded and served by her thousands of gopi-friends out of which eight of them are very prominent and are collectively known as Ashta sakhis.
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  They are Lalitha , Vishaka, Tungadevi, Rangadevi, Indulekha, Chitralekha, Sudevi and Champakalatha.  These sakhis appeared in different villages around Barsana.

How to reach:-

Barsana—–Anjanak(5 kms)——Kamai(3 kms)——Karela (4kms)

Karela village which is the appearance place of Champakalatha sakhi is about 12 kms from Barsana(Varsana)

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Champakalatha sakhi is the third among the varishta ashta sakhis.  She is one day elder to RAdharani  and her  appearance day falls on Sapthami thithi in  Bhadrapad maas (one day before Radhashtami).   Her parents were  Arama and Batika  who were  at Karela , a tiny village which is about 12 kms from Barsana and 3 kms from Kamai Vishakha sakhi’s temple.

Champakalatha was an  expert cook .


She used to  offer  sweet delicacies for little Krishna and Radharani.   Her service included  offering  jewels and garlands  , beautiful clay dolls to please the Lordships .

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As per the version of Brajvasis the divine sport  Rasakreeda started at this place-Karela.

The priest pointed towards a photograph  and shared an interesting incident .

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Lord conceded to the request of Jamanda deva who was meditating on the transcendental pastime of Rasa kreeda-the divine dance performed by chinni Krishna with the gopikas at Vrindavan on Sharath Poornima.

The Lord appeared in his dream and said that his wish would be fulfilled.  The Lord instructed him to assemble the  few children of Braj and enact the Rasakreeda and assured that HE and Radharani would manifest in the children and presented two crowns to him to be adorned to the children depicting as Radha and Krishna.

 As  announced , Lord out of abundant mercy  appeared in the villager’s dream and instructed them to send their children along with the sadhu.  Next day, Jamand dev approached the brahmins to send their children and they obliged to his request immediately .  Jamand dev brought the children to this temple and decorated them as Krishna, Radha and gopikas.  As per Lord’s instructions, he adorned the children acting as Radha and Krishna with the crown.

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closer view of the photograph of the crown being given to Lord to the devotee

 The moment they  were crowned , the children disappeared.The sage was perplexed and worried .  He started contemplating on the Lord and prayed to him fervently.  Lord appeared and  showed him the children who were already performing the Rasa kreeda grandly.
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The Sadhu was pleased and offered obesiances to LORD for the mercy .

The   Lord  commanded  the brahmins of the village to spread HIS pastimes in other places too  .

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The brahmins started executing the Lord’s orders.  In due course, they reached a place in Madhya Pradesh  wherein  the  king of that territory   asked them to perform Kalinga Narthanam on  a real  snake else they would be punished severely.

 The perplexed brahmins shared the king’s orders with the children.  The boy who was playing the role of Krishna advised  the brahmins to accept the request without any hesitation  . The entire episode of Kalinga Narthanam which took place during Krishnavataram was re-enacted  before the arrogant King.

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Lord  Krishna HIMSELF took on the boy’s role and started dancing on the hoods of the snake and suddenly disappeared into the waters and there was no trace of the boy for nearly three hours .

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The brahmins and the king  who believed that it was a divine will were worried about the boy’s welfare.  The king with fear submitted to LORD .He  was worried that he had committed brahma hathi dosha(sin by killing a brahmin boy) and sought forgiveness at the lotus feet of Krishna.  Krishna appeared on the banks of the river and everyone was glad to see the boy alive.

 The king, who by now was repenting for his foolishness presented a 5 kg makut (crown) to be adorned to Krishna.  This crown is kept in Mathura in safe custody.


It  is brought once in a year to this temple with paraphernalia and Lord Krishna adorns it on Bhadrapad Pournami day.  A big festival takes place and all the devotees ,especially sadhus are fed sumptously  reminding this divine leela .

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As a part of our Piligrimage yatra  recently , when we went to the temple, as part of the forthcoming celebrations, Srimad Bhagavata saptaham was  being recited .

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Jai Sri Radhey Shyaam

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

The immortal banyan tree at Kurukshetra


 Kurukshetra is 2 hour journey from New Delhi by Train and about 3½  hours by bus. Sridham Vrindavan to Kurukshetra is about 5-6 hour journey by train via Mathura-New Delhi route.  Kurukshetra is the  holy place where the great Mahabharata war took place.  It is believed one who leaves his mortal coils  at Kurukshetra,  attains salvation.  

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The area extends for  over 96 kms. In this place Kuru, the founder of Kuru  dynasty , performed  penance .  Pleased with his devotion  Lord blessed him with his desire  that whoever leaves his mortals coils   here in this place shall  get rid of the cycle of births and deaths and  attain moksham .  Lord Krishna selected this place for the grand finale the Mahabharata war.

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Kurukshetra is now a major centre of learning with many colleges and world famous Kurukshetra University. The whole yuddha bhoomi is now flooded with educational institutions.

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This is the exact spot where Lord Sri Krishna spoke Bhagavad-Gita. There is a Banyan tree in this place under which  Lord Krishna explained Bhagavad-Gita 5000 years back to Arjuna to  his greatest friend and devotee. There is a board placed on the tree in which is written as The immortal banyan tree witness of the celestial song Bhagavad-Gita.This place is named as the Gitopadesh sthal – place where the Bhagavad-Gita was spoken.

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 The tree is full of birds and squirrels which adds to the mystic aura of the holy place which  is eternally peaceful despite amidst coming and going of pilgrims throughout the day.The banyan tree under which Lord Krishna gave upadesam to Arjuna is still existing.  We were told by the priest that since that day, the tree has neither grown nor withered.  

It is remaining as it is. He said that they don’t even allow the leaves to fall down and hence the entire tree is covered with net

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Surya Kund  is one more historical place near Kurukshetra ,  not to be missed . A dip in Surya kund after an eclipse , especially solar eclipse is considered to be very sacred    This place was prominent even before the grand war.

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In Treta yugam,  Lord Sri Rama visited this  holy place . People perform Pithru Kaaryam at this place for its holy legacy .It was said that a dip in this tank after eclipses purified the soul. It was here that the great sage Parshurama had come to atone for killing the evil kings .

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Lord Krishna along with His parents , Nanda Maharaja  and Yasodha Devi  used to visit this place to have holy dip in Suryakund after an eclipse.   

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   Lord Krishna visited this place before Mahabharata war.   He brought his parents to this holy place to have sacred dip .

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During the solar eclipse , a  massive congregation had gathered at the field of Kurukshetra to bathe in the holy kund .

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 Lord Krishna was leading the Yadavas. Dhritarashtra of Hastinapur was there with his sons the Kauravas and nephews the Pandavas. So were many other kings. Little did they know that soon they would be engaged in a do or die battle on this very field some years later. 

na1Once during a total solar eclipse  the cowherd community of Vrindavan arrived . This was the time when Lord Krishna   met the gopis .  

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An incident that took place when Lord Krishna met Radharani for the last time  is discussed during discourses . A priest described the happenings here which is reproduced .

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 When Lord  Krishna’s parents, Vasudev and Devaki learnt of this they wanted to meet Nand Maharaj  and Yashoda. They had never met Krishna’s foster parents and wanted to thank them for taking care of their  darling son during the  formative years. The meeting was a very emotional one.

g8Lord Krishna came face to face with Radharani and  no words were said. No hands stretched to meet each other, no smile played upon lips and no eyes sparkled with delight.

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Only a million thoughts flashed through each mind and a deluge of tears flowed from each pair of eyes. They stood staring  at each other till all the thoughts were exhausted and the eyes were dry.

kuruThough Krishna and Radha had been physically separated, they had been inseparable spiritually . Without saying anything they said everything and went their separate ways. They never saw each other again. The Priest was very emotional while describing the glory of the place and this pastime.

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Ban Ganga is that place near Jyotishwar where  Arjuna quenched Bhishma’s thirst  –arrow pierced the ground and Ganges emerged

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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Pics Courtesy : Google images uploaded be several devotees

INDULEKHA SAKHI:RADHA-KRISHNA’S ASHTA SAKHI


The Skanda Purana states that out of many thousands of gopis, sixteen thousand are predominant and among them  108 gopis are very close , eight are still more prominent; o Radharani and Candravalli are very  prominent  and  Srimathi Radharani is the most prominent. Because Radharani possesses all the charm and sweetness to attract Lord Krishna .

The Eight Gopis who are the foremost, dearest and most beloved friends of Shri  Shri Radharani  are  glorified  as Asta-sakhis  Gopis . Their names areLalita, Visakha, Chitralekha, Champakalata, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi and Sudevi.

The Astha-sakhis display the zenith of spiritual love for Radha and Krishna. No one can equal or exceed the love they bear for the Divine Couple. To increase the transcendental ecstasy of Radha and Krishna, the Parama-preshta Gopis show partiality; sometimes they favour Krishna, sometimes Radha. These Eight Gopis are the leaders of all the other gopis. Although these Varishtha Gopis are the leaders of millions of other gopis, because they are very greedy to earn Radha’s love , they always prefer to serve under the command of Radha and try to please her in every way possible. These gopi friends decorate their own dear friend Srimati Radharani   and they take Radharani’s side whenever she has a lover’s quarrel with Lord Hari.

The introduction details can be read from this appended post linked below

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/lord-krishnas-ashta-sakhi-temples-near-barsaana-vrindavan-an-introduction

Indulekha is the sixth varishta gopi among the ashtasakhis who was always engaged in the transcendental services of Radha and Krishna. She appeared on dwadasi day after Radhastami to SAgara and Vela devi .  There is a separate temple dedicated to her at Anjanauk which is about 5 kms from Barsana.

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She was constantly engaged in the services of Srimati RAdharani and Sri Krishna, especially fanning the Lordships with chamaram. She belongs to the village of Anjnauk and her home is in Yavat.

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Kajal shila at Indulekha temple at Anjanak, Barsana

The temple priest explained about an interesting incident related to this place. The ashta sakhis were dressing up RAdharani  with the finest jewellery and flowers in an attractive way to please little Krishna but forgot to apply kajal  (collyrium)   for HER eyes.  Little Krishna came much before the anticipated time . The priest pointed out to Anjan shila , a small  black stone inside the temple saying that the shila offered to be of service to Radharani  and produced kajal which was applied to RAdharani’s eyes thus enhancing HER beauty.  Even today, when we rub our finger on the stone, we get kajal.

Jai Sree Radhey Shyaam

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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LALITHA SAKHI:RADHA-KRISHNA’S ASHTA SAKHI and ABHISHEKAM –


The  Puranas states that out of many thousands of gopis, sixteen thousand are predominant and among them  108 gopis are very close , eight are still more prominent Radharani and Candravalli are very  prominent  and  Srimathi Radharani is the most prominent. Because Radharani possesses all the charm and sweetness to attract Lord Krishna .

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The Eight Gopis who are the foremost, dearest and most beloved friends of Shri  Shri Radharani  are  glorified  as Asta-sakhis  Gopis . Their names are Lalita, Visakha, Chitralekha, Champakalata, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi and Sudevi.

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The Astha-sakhis display the zenith of spiritual love for Radha and Krishna. No one can equal or exceed the love they bear for the Divine Couple.

To increase the transcendental ecstasy of Radha and Krishna, the Parama-preshta Gopis show partiality; sometimes they favour Krishna, sometimes Radha. These Eight Gopis are the leaders of all the other gopis.

.facebook_1517186228056.jpg1969415897.jpgAlthough these Varishtha Gopis are the leaders of millions of other gopis, because they are very greedy to earn Radha’s love , they always prefer to serve under the command of Radha and try to please her in every way possible. These gopi friends decorate their own dear friend Srimati Radharani   and they take Radharani’s side whenever she has a lover’s quarrel with Lord Hari.

The introduction details can be read from this appended post linked below

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/lord-krishnas-ashta-sakhi-temples-near-barsaana-vrindavan-an-introduction/

In most of the temples, in Braj bhoomi, we  have darshan of  Radharani  and  Lord Krishna being flanked by two sakhis, Lalitha and Visakha.  Among them, Lalithasakhi  is the  leader and chief  of all the Ashta sakhis. She is the constant loyal companion and follower  of Radharani and always takes HER side. Her only desire is to serve RAdha and Krishna always , and Lord KRishna who is bound by bhakti alone, keeps her beside HIM.

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Lallitha sakhi temple, Ooncha gaon— preparations for abhishekam

She is  elder to Radharani. But as per the prevailing custom, her appearance day is celebrated as “Lalitha Sashti” which occurs two days before Radhashtami.  She appeared at a place called  Karhela to Visokha and Sarada devi . Her parents later shifted to Ooncha gaon where there is a big temple dedicated to her. Ooncha gaon is 2 kms from  Barsaana.

Route:-   Barsana——Ooncha gaon(2kms)——Sunera(3 kms)——- Barsana

But as it was the appearance day of Lalitha sakhi, we were told that abhishekam would start at noon and hence we drove straight to Sunera which is 3 kms beyond Oonchagaon to have darshan of Sudevi and then returned to Ooncha gaon.  Lalitha sakhi’s temple is situated on a small hillock. The big hall in front of the altar was already crowded with devotees who unmindful of the scorching heat were immersed in bhajans.

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To have the feel of the transcendental bliss , devotees  advise   we should first have the grace of Lalitha sakhi, then Giri Goverdhan and River Yamuna.  Lalitha sakhi is so merciful that she can read one’s mind longing for Krishna and voluntarily convince and compel Radharani and Krishna to grace the person  and ensures that the fallen souls attain Lords’ lotus feet.

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 The great saint  Srila Rupa Goswami, one of the shat-goswamis of Vrindavan sought refuge at Lalitha sakhi’s lotus feet to enjoy the Madhurya rasam of Radha and Krishna.  The followers of Rupa Goswami, known as Rupanugas, first pray to Lalitha sakhi for her grace.

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Lalitha sakhi is sharp witted and always immersed  in the pastimes of Radha and Krishna.

Lalitaji  appearance  in the village of Karhala where  Dadhi Daan (a ritual celebration of Sri Krishna’s appearance  involving the throwing of dahi mixed with turmeric) takes place every year. Karhala is considered the navel of Braj.

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Her appearance day is celebrated grandly.  In fact, the appearance days of Radharani and ashta sakhis starts with Lalithaji’s appearance day only .

Our god-brother , H.G Shri.Rajagopalan ( Mouni baba) was kind to accompany us  to all the intricate places in Braj bhoomi and  offered all the paraphernalia  required for Lalitha sakhi devi’s abhishekam . We had handed over all the abhishkeam articles in the morning itself…

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The temple premises was jam packed.  Despite the scorching heat, the assembled devotees were doing bhajan and few artistes were performing dance accompanied by songs in Braj language in front of the mandapam where the abhishekam ritual was to be held.

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Myself and Sri.Rajagopalan were ushered inside and were allotted a place to sit  on the dias and watch the abhishekam.  It is a usual practice for everyone to  observe fast by not even taking water and were so engrossed in Krishna bhakti and were chanting loudly “Radhey Radhey” .

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This made me realise and recollect  our poorvacharyars craving to be associated with  Braj bhoomi.  Parasara bhattar, the prominent Srivaishnava acharyar used to lament that he was not born in Braj bhoomi amidst these innocent gopis .  

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Bhoomidevi who appeared as Kodhai(Andal) in Srivilliputtur and was brought up by Periazhwar imagined HER to be one of the gopis of Vraj and did paavai nombu.  Such is the greatness of Braj mandal.

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 Every inch vibrates with Krishna bhakti.  One has to personally go there to have a feel of this.

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Unlike South Indian tradition, these pujaris have a different way of performing abhishekam. It is usual practice in South Indian temples to place the dieties on the abhishekam table, offer shodasa upacharams, pour sanctified water, milk,curd,honey etc through conch and adorn the dieties with various garlands.  We use sahasradhaara plate to gently give shower to the dieties amidst chanting of pancha sukhtam.  But here, the custom is different.

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At noon, Lalitha devi-the chief of ashta sakhis was  brought to the mandapam and a silver vessel was placed on a table .

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These pujaris who have herditary right assembled together and one of them held the diety above the vessel.  A holed mud pot was  held above Lalitha sakhi’s head and through it the remaining priests start pouring milk,curd, honey, juice, ghee, butter etc simultaneously.

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 All the people having hereditary rights were given a chance to pour these abhishekam items on her.  

 

This ritual took place for about 10 to 15 minutes after which the curtains are drawn and the deity was  taken inside for decoration.

 

 Later chappan bhog is offered to the diety and distributed amongst the devotees.

 Appended above are the video clips and pictures

 

Jai Jai Sree Radhey shyaam

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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


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

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

 

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

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Braj Bhoomi, is spread over a area of around 5,000 square kilometers   spanning Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, Bharatpur district in Rajasthan and Hodal Subdivision of Palwal Dist. of Haryana. On its northern fringe, Braj Bhoomi starts at a distance of around 115 KMs from the border of India’s capital New Delhi, along the National Highway 2.

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From New Delhi , Vrindavan and Mathura, the popular townships of Braj are thre to four hours drive (145 Kms) on the Delhi-Agra National Highway  .

Vrindavan and Mathura are at a distance of around 10 kilometers along the NH 2.

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Out of the  108 Vaishnava divya desams (sacred shrines glorified by the 12 Azhwar saints of South India),  Braj bhoomi comprises of 2 divya desams. They are Mathura (Vada Mathura in Tamil meaning Mathura of North) comprising of Mathura, Vrindavan and Goverdhan giri and Thiru aayarpaadi (Gokulam).

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Naalayira Divyaprabhandham known as Dravida vedam comprises of the devotional outpourings of 12 Azhwars   on the 108 divya desams.  Mathura, Gokulam, Goverdhanam, Vrindavanam have been glorified by Azhwars,especially Periazhwar and Andal.

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Among all the azhwars, Vishnu chittar(popularly known as Periazhwar) has experienced Krishna bhakti in Yashoda bhaavam(vatsalyam). Azhwar’s transcendental state and then the outporings is discussed in the below appended post linked below .

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/chinni-krishna-and-peria-azhwar/

 Periazhwar Thirumozhi composed by Periazhwar is full of the nectarian bliss that azhwar enjoyed as Mother Yasodha.

Anyone who reads these pasurams will be captiviated by Krishna bhakti.

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Kulasekhara Azhwar, Periazhwar have expressed beautifully  about the pastimes of  Lord Krishna with the gopikas and Andal has glorified him  as the one who simply roams about telling lies ( madhuryabhavam)  in Vrindavan.

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 Lord Krishna manifested his divine play in this land  it is this playful nature which endears and establishes his reign over the hearts of those devoted to him throughout time and it is this which endears this land to his devotees. Krishna performed his  “leelas” in 137 sacred forests and around 1000 Kunds (water bodies), on holy hills and on the banks of river Yamuna as per the legendary details .

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Brajbhaktivilas  mentions  that over 137 transcendental dense  forests  on both flanks of Yamuna existed   . More than 650 villages of Braj are associated with HIS  various leelas. All this makes the entire region of Braj sacred for millions of Vaishnavites all over the world. Braj has a 5000 year old cultural heritage of unbroken continuity.

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According to scholars every major forest in Braj corresponds to the various parts of Krishna’s body, hence the land is non-different from Krishna and walking about its sacred spaces is considered synonymous with being with Krishna. This is the feeling evinced throughout history by Krishna devotees and can and will be relished so long as these sites survive.

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Lord Sri Krishna lived in Vrindavan upto HIS 10th year and later moved to Mathura to annihilate the demon  Kamsa.  After this episode ,  Lord stayed in Mathura and later shifted to Dwarka.  Though Lord Krishna resided in Dwaraka by constructing a beautiful city in the sea and was served by 16,108 wives and innumerable assistants,

HIS HEART ALWAYS CRAVED FOR THE GOPIKAS AFFECTION IN VRINDAVAN.  The Lord was physically present in Dwaraka but always resided permanently in the hearts of the Gopis and Gopikas of Vrindavan.

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Of the 16,108 wives of Lord Krishna, eight are more prominent who are collectively known as Ashta mahishis.

 They are  Rukmini, Sathyabama, Jambhavati, Kalindhi, Mithravindha, Sathya, Badra and Lakshmana.

WE can have  darshan of all these mahishis in Dwaraka which is also a divyadesam.  In South India, Lord gives darshan as Srividya Rajagopalan along with Rukmini and Satyabhama at Mannargudi; with Rukmini at Thiruvellikeni; with Rukmini,Satyabhama,Jambavathi at Thiruthankaal which is also a divya desam.

 

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Lord Krishna with Rukmini,Satyabhama,Jambavathi at Thiruthankaal

Likewise, out of lakhs of gopis in Vrindavan, eight gopikas(Ashta sakhis) along with Radharani are very prominent.  One can have THEIR darshan at ISKCON, Mayapur, ISKCON Tirupati, and in Vrindavan.  RAdharani belongs to Barsana(Varsana) and the ashta sakhis serving the lordships appeared in the surrounding villages of Barsana. The villages and the distances are mentioned below .

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Divine pastimes where  Lord Krishna suffered  from severe headache for which Sage Narada said that” applying dust from feet of devotees was the only remedy “reminds us of the deep love LORD has for HIS devotees . The wives of Krishna   got perplexed and refrained from committing this  grave sin (apacharam )  whereas the gopis hearing this news started dusting their feet and collected the dust in carts and sent it to Dwaraka as they couldn’t digest the fact that their Lord was suffering.  Such was their bhakti.

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Once ,during Solar eclipse, Lord KRishna decided to have holy bath at Surya Theertham in Kurukshetra and along with HIS entire retinue from Dwaraka went to Kurukshetra. On hearing this news, the gopis of Vrindavan also reached Kurukshetra to meet their life-breath-Krishna.

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The wives of Krishna were very curious to know about the gopikas bhakti and approached Rohini, the step-mother of Krishna who was with Krishna during HIS childhood to share their pastimes. Rohini instructed Subhadra to stand guard at the entrance as Krishna would forget everything if HE remembered the sweet pastimes and shared everything with the wives of Krishna.

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 The  Ashtamahishis  of Lord Krishna  were very excited to see the gopis and their faces lit up in reverence. The gopika bhakti cannot be described in words.  All the queens were keen to know from them what was that trait which Lord Krishna was attracted to them.

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LORD KRISHNA WITH ASHTA SAKHI

 Draupadi, an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna was also extremely happy to see the Gopis. People who had gathered were all extolling the greatness of Lord Krishna. Draupadi on seeing the  queens eagerly enquired the reason for marrying Lord Krishna.

“Na vayam sadhvi samraajyam swaraajyam bhojam abyuthae”

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The Ashta Bharyas/ Mahishis   beautifully replied to Draupadi’s question that they married Lord Krishna for merely doing service to the Lord and not for acquiring any wealth or even liberation. They wanted to marry the Lord not to enjoy the status of being a spouse, but so that they may be treated like a broom (‘gruha maarjani’) so that there is a nimble chance that He may shower His grace by looking at them in the passing.

Their main purport in life was to do service to the Lord and they clearly mentioned that they learnt this purport only from the Gopis who are verily the personification of godliness.

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The Gopis are verily the gurus for the all the devotees who seek Lord Krishna . 

 

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The gopikas once visited Dwaraka to meet  Lord Krishna and while returning, being  unable to bear the pangs of separation from  Lord ,  jumped into a deep pit and gave up their material body and united with the Supreme  Lord.  The place where the gopis gave up their life is known as Gopi Talab near Dwaraka.

 Krishna blessed them that they would change into chandan which would be applied by all HIS devotees who crave for HIM.  This is known as “Gopi Chandan”.

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GOPI TALAB AT DWARAKA

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GOPI TALAB AT DWARAKA

The Supreme Personality of Godhead as Krishna used to dance in front of gopis just for taking some butter.  Lord Krishna was bound by gopis affection which cannot be described in words.  OUr poorvacharyars have lamented that they were unfortunate for not having taken birth in Braj bhoomi during Krishnavataram.

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Suka brahmam ensured that while narrating Srimad Bhagavatam to King Parikshit who was cursed to die very soon not to take the gopis names because he would get lost in their bhakti and pastimes and would not be able to complete the Bhagavata Saptaham (Completing Bhagavatam in seven days).   Such is the greatness of the gopika bhakti which cannot be extolled in mere words.

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 Puranas reveal that out of many thousands of gopis, sixteen thousand are predominant and among them  108 gopis are very close , eight are still more prominent . Radharani and Candravalli are very  prominent  and  Srimathi Radharani is the most prominent. Because Radharani possesses all the charm and sweetness to attract Lord Krishna .

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The Eight Gopis who are the foremost, dearest and most beloved friends of Shri  Shri Radharani  are  glorified  as Asta-sakhis  Gopis .

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Their names are Lalita, Visakha, Chitralekha, Champakalata, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi and Sudevi.

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The Astha-sakhis display the zenith of spiritual love for Radha and Krishna. No one can equal or exceed the love they bear for the Divine Couple.

To increase the transcendental ecstasy of Radha and Krishna, the Parama-preshta Gopis show partiality; sometimes they favour Krishna, sometimes Radha.

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These Eight Gopis are the leaders of all the other gopis. Although these Varishtha Gopis are the leaders of millions of other gopis, because they are very greedy to earn Radha’s love , they always prefer to serve under the command of Radha and try to please her in every way possible.

 

These gopi friends decorate their own dear friend Srimati Radharani   and they take Radharani’s side whenever she has a lover’s quarrel with Lord Hari.  They please the Divine Couple by expertly singing, dancing and playing instrumental music. At the appropriate time they beg to be engaged in various appropriate services.

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They serve palatable meals to the Divine Couple and afterward relish tasting the remnants left by Them.

Their minds are pure and they are very expert and intelligent, so they serve Radha and Krsna very appropriately.  Lalita-devi is the leader and controller of all these exalted and worshipable young gopis…

To understand the deep devotion of the brajwasees  one has to really go and see this place for oneself .

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The whole Brajbhoomi vibrates with the name “Radhey Radhey”. Radharani, the dearest gopi of Krishna is “personification of bhakti”. 

To attain Krishna’s lotus feet, one must pray to RAdharani for HER divine intervention and grace.  She alone is capable of uniting us with Lord Krishna.

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Srimati Radharani, the personification of bhakti and the foremost dearest gopi of Lord Krishna appeared on a lotus in a pond at a place presently known as  Rawal to Vrishabanu.

 She was affectionately brought up by King Vrishabanu and Kirti Devi at Barsana .   It may be recalled that in Kaliyugam,   our Kodhai nachiyar(Andal) also  appeared near a Tulasi plant and was brought up affectionately by Periazhwar.

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Like Radharani, Kodhai was also immersed in Krishna bhakti and was enthralled by Gopika bhakti that SHE chose to be one of the gopis in Vrindavan .

 Following the footsteps of the gopis who did Kaathyayeni nombu in Dhanur maasam, our Kodhai did Paavai nombu during Dhanur maasam(Dec-Jan) along with her friends for attaining Krishna.!! Finally, she was successful and the Lord married her. This happened in our present Kali yugam.

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When Mother Yasodha along with child Krishna visited Vrishnabanu’s palace, little Krishna went to Radharani and touched her. Due to SriKrishna’s sparsham, the little girl opened her eyes and saw Krishna.

From that moment, they became inseparable  . Radharani who was elder to Krishna used to be so caring and protective that even Mother Yashdha and Nand Maharaj wondered .

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EVeryday Krishna used to come from Nandgaon for grazing cows and  Radha other gopis used to come from Barsana to sell butter and milk.

 Both of them would meet in the junction which is now known as  Sanket.

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At the same time, Vrishnabanu’s brother was blessed with a girl named  Chandravalli at Rittora.  Chandravali attained Krishna by her own means .

The gopis of Vrindavan formed two groups- one whose leader was RAdharani and the other group led by Chandravalli.  Both the groups used to compete amongst themselves to be in Krishna’s association.

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Radharani was always surrounded and served by her thousands of gopi-friends out of which eight of them are very prominent and are collectively known as Ashta sakhis.  They are Lalitha , Vishaka, Tungadevi, Rangadevi, Indulekha, Chitralekha, Sudevi and Champakalatha.  These sakhis appeared in different villages around Barsana.

 

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Lalitha at Ucchagaon,

Visakha at Kamaai,

Champakalatha at Karela,

Tungavidya devi at Dabaara,

Rangadevi at Raakoli,

Sudevi at Sunera,

Chitradevi at Chiksoli,

Indulekha at Anjhanak.

These sakhis individually had many assistants under them for serving Radha Krishna. Few of them are elder to Radharani and others are younger to Radha. 

The appearance days of all these sakhis coincide with RAdhastami- Radharani’s appearance day which is celebrated after Sri Krishna Janmashtami. Starting from Sashti thithi upto Pournami, the appearance days of these ashta sakhis are celebrated  and Radharani’s appearance day celebrated on RAdhashtami.

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The  beautiful temple of  Srimathi Radharani is located on a small hill in Barsana .  There are four paths leading to the temple.  Devotees have darshan of Sri Krishna and Radharani all through the day.  On Radhashtami,  ( Abhishekham ) thirumanjanam ( Abhishekam )  is performed to  deity of Radharani  which  had appeared under a tree near the temple some 200 years ago .

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 Lord Krishna stayed in Vrindavan till HE attained  10 years of age .  The exchange of love between our chinni Krishna and gopikas is transcendental and great sages swoon  when they remember the rasa kreeda performed by Krishna with the gopis.

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  It may be noted that Krishnavataram took some 5200 years ago and due to passage of time, all the places related to the divine pastimes of Lord Krishna disappeared.

As per Gaudiya sampradaya ,it is told that just about 500 years ago, Krishna and Radha appeared as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Mayapur to revive the Madhurya bhakti .

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When Mahaprabhu arrived in Braj bhoomi, he went into ecstasy and by the will of Providence, discovered all the places related to Lord Krishna.   Before  proceeding  further, adiyen offers  humble obeisances to  Poojya Vedavyasar who composed  Srimad Bhagavatham,  Sri Sukarbrahman  who expounded it to Parikshit Maharaj, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who discovered the transcendental places, the six Goswamis of Vrindavan who revived all those places .

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Adiyen offers dandaavats  to all other devotees like Krishna Premi Swamigal, ISKCON Goswamis , Sri Vallabha sampradaya bhaktas , Sri Nimbarka sampradaya devotees and all the great devotees   for propagating the  importance of these places. All these  Ashtasakhi temples are around Barsana and can be covered within half a day or one day  by car if we start early.

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WE had hired a Tavera driven by Sri.Vishnu, a brajvasi who is familiar with all the places in Vrindavan.  He may be contacted on 89583 97684.  WE had engaged this vehicle 5 days picking up from Delhi airport and dropping us back at the airport after visiting the holy places in Barsana and Vrindavan.  We visited the temples in the following manner:

Barsana to Chiksoli Chitrasakhi temple          — 2 kms

Chiksoli to Dabara  Tungadevi sakhi temple  — 2 kms

Dabara to Rakoli RAngadevi sakhi temple     — about 4 kms  and return to Barsana.

Take another route from Barsana to visit Lalitha sakhi and Sudevi sakhi temples

Barsana to Oonchagaon Lalitha sakhi temple — 2 kms

Oonchagaon to Sunera Sudevi sakhi temple   — 3 kms

and return to Barsana to take Delhi route to visit Indulekha, Vishaka and Champakalatha temples

Barsana to Anjanauk Indulekha sakhi temple– 5 kms

Anjanauk to Kamai Vishaka sakhi temple         — 3kms

Kamai to Karela Champakalatha temple (Rajasthan route)– 4 kms  

and return to Barsana.

The services rendered by these ashta sakhis as per Gaudiya Sampradayam differs with Nimbarka and Vallabhacharya sampradayas.  We need to  just realise that these sakhis rendered service to the lotus feet of Radha and Krishna and attained eternal bliss.

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In all the  temples, we find Radha and Krishna gracing the devotees at the centre, the sakhis who appeared at that place are  seen on right side and another sakhi is on the left side.

Detailed travel experiences we had  recently  to all the Ashtasakhi temples are posted with separate headers for relishing the divine nectar….in the following url

Lalitha sakhi  

CHITRA SAKHI

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/lord-krishnas-ashta-sakhi-chitra-sakhi/

TUNGAVIDYA SAKHI

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/11/17/lord-krishnas-ashtasakhis-of-radharani-tungavidya-sakhi/

SUDEVI SAKHI

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/sudevi-radha-krishnas-ashta-sakhi/

LALITHA SAKHI

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/11/09/lord-krishnas-ashta-sakhi-lalitha-sakhi/

 Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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Pictures credits : Google images

video credits :  Saadaya..

THIRUNANGOOR 11 GARUDASEVAI ( MANJAL KULIYAL )


The three day festivities at Thirunangoor near Sirkazhi in Tamilnadu , is celebrated since 140 years during November -December every year … Adiyen with tears submit to the divine will of Azhwar and Almighty who graced us to have this darishna bhagyam amongst several devotees .What else does a soul needs except HIS cool benovalent grace always to be among Haribhaktaas………..

Nadu nagaramum NAMO NARAYANA enru ..

Thats the final prayer LORD ..Adiyen seeks his mercy to be HIS always

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Sriman Narayana Charanau Saranam Prapathye

Srimathe Narayanaya namah

Sri Kumudavalli sametha Thirumangai Azhwar Saranam Prapathye

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. We had  attended this Utsavam twice and we wish to share the divine experiences to all the devotees .

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

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CHITRA SAKHI-RADHA-KRISHNA’S ASHTA SAKHI-


The  Puranas states that out of many thousands of gopis, sixteen thousand are predominant and among them  108 gopis are very close , eight are still more prominent .

Radharani and Candravalli are very  prominent  and  Srimathi Radharani is the most prominent. Because Radharani possesses all the charm and sweetness to attract Lord Krishna .

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Introduction about the Ashta sakhis  is appended in the below linked post

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/lord-krishnas-ashta-sakhi-temples-near-barsaana-vrindavan-an-introduction/

The Eight Gopis who are the foremost, dearest and most beloved friends of Shri  Shri Radharani  are  glorified  as Asta-sakhis  Gopis . Their names areLalita, Visakha, Chitralekha, Champakalata, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi and Sudevi.

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The Astha-sakhis display the zenith of spiritual love for Radha and Krishna. No one can equal or exceed the love they bear for the Divine Couple. To increase the transcendental ecstasy of Radha and Krishna, the Parama-preshta Gopis show partiality; sometimes they favour Krishna, sometimes Radha.

 

These Eight Gopis are the leaders of all the other gopis. Although these Varishtha Gopis are the leaders of millions of other gopis, because they are very greedy to earn Radha’s love , they always prefer to serve under the command of Radha and try to please her in every way possible. These gopi friends decorate their own dear friend Srimati Radharani   and they take Radharani’s side whenever she has a lover’s quarrel with Lord Hari.

  They please the Divine Couple by expertly singing, dancing and playing instrumental music. At the appropriate time they beg to be engaged in various appropriate services. They serve palatable meals to the Divine Couple and afterward relish tasting the remnants left by Them. Their minds are pure and they are very expert and intelligent, so they serve Radha and Krsna very appropriately.  Lalita-devi is the leader and controller of all these exalted and worshipable young gopis.

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To understand the deep devotion of the brajwasees  one has to really go and see this place for oneself .Radharani was always surrounded and served by her thousands of gopi-friends out of which eight of them are very prominent and are collectively known as Ashta sakhis. 

They are Lalitha , Vishaka, Tungadevi, Rangadevi, Indulekha, Chitralekha, Sudevi and Champakalatha.  These sakhis appeared in different villages around Barsana.

Chitra sakhi-one of the prominent varishta ashtasakhis appeared on  Bhadrapad maas shukla Dasami thithi- 2nd day from Radhashtami to Catura and CArvika(parents). She stayed at Chaksauli which is about 2 kms  from Barsana RAdharani temple.

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Chitra sakhi temple

She was an expert cook and used to make delicious drinks for the pleasure of little Krishna and Radharani. She was expert in gardening .  She used to pluck choicest flowers and make garland and hand it over to RAdharani for garlanding little Krishna. She was fond of peacocks and the peacocks used to move freely in her presence.

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Chitra sakhi temple altar- Chaksauli,Barsana

In the temple, we find RAdha-Krishna in the centre, on the right is Chitra sakhi and on the left side, we find Champakalatha sakhi.

The temple priest who belongs to Nimbarka sampradaya informed us that all the sakhis perform all types of sevas to please the Lordships .

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 There is a slight variation of the sevas in different sampradayas like Gaudiya,Nimbarka, Vallabh sampradaya.  He said that as per Nimbark sampradaya , Chitrasakhi does jal-paan seva (Serving drinks) and Champakalatha who is seen on the left side of Radha Krishna does bhojan(food)seva.

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Ashtasakhi-Chitra sakhi temple,Chauksauli

Beautiful arrangements for the forthcoming appearance day on Dasami thithi was   BEING done by the priest.  

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WE had the opportunity to offer sweets offered to Radharani at Barsana on Dasami day as part of Chappan Bhog to Chitra sakhi.  OUr god brother ,Sri.Rajagopalan had arranged all articles for abhishekam (milk,curd,honey, ghee, flowers, dress etc.)

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

 

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Pics :  Google images

Video : chinavilly

Narayana ..Narayana ..Narayana …. “Narayaneeyam Day”


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Chinni  Krishna is  worshipped  at  Guruvayur temple in  Kerala  for ages.

HE  is the same    LORD  whom  Vasudeva worshipped as per  the puranas  at  Mathura. The holy town of Mathura has the presence of Lord Sri Hari always.

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Chinni Krishna who  graces us  in Guruvayur was originally   at Adikeshava temple before arriving to Guruvayur.

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It is verily the  Aradhanai performed to  Chinni  Krishna that Lord  appeared  to Vasudeva and Devaki. In other words, the Guruvayur  Chinni Krishna bestowed us with Lord Sri Krishna ,  Srimad Bhagavatam and Narayaneeyam . 

 Vasudeva continued  worshipping  this LORD  in Adikeshava temple along with chinni krishna .   It was during Jarasandha adventure , the denizens of Mathura along with  Lord Krishna vacated Mathura and settled in Dwaraka .

 g10Vasudeva couldn’t part with  Lord Adikeshava  .  Hence he took the Lordships  along with him  to Dwaraka and established a temple for his worship . When Lord Sri Krishna was about to depart from his earthly sojourn, he  advised   his dear friend Uddhava that Dwaraka would be submerged in the sea soon after his departure and instructed him to  worship  Lord  Adikeshava ( Krishna). As per Krishna’s ordinance, Uddhava was worshipping the Lordships . That is verily the reason why the Lord in Guruvayur is a connoisseur of Srimad Bhagavatam.

 

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 Uddhava  proceeded  to Bhadrikashrama   as Dwaraka was getting submerged in the  sea waters . Guru and Vayu  on a divine  command  carried   the  Lordships to Narayana Saras where ParamaShivan was  residing  and meditating  in a temple. On seeing  the Lordships , it is said that  ParamaShivan moved out of the temple and shifted to a place called Mammiyoor. So  ParamaShivan  gave his own place to Lord Krishna and that is verily where Guru and Vayu consecrated Krishna.  Lord  has  bestowed HIS grace to several devotees  and their life stories inspire us to seek HIS mercy to swim out from this mundane life .  

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 Narayaneeyam, considered to be a magnum opus of  the great devotee  Sri Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri,  is a masterly summary of  Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit.

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 The great devotee  Sri Narayana Bhattadri  appeared  in a Namboodri family in a place near Shoranoor  four hundred years ago  .

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His Guru  Achyuta Pisharodi  was suffering from severe arthritis.  The obedient disciple he was , could not see his Acharyar with the pain .

With  humility , Narayana Bhattadri took upon himself the disease of his Guru as Guru Dakshina. 

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Bhattadri could not bear the  chronic pain . He approached Ramanuja Ezhuthachhan another blessed devotee  for a remedy .

 Ezhuthachhan advised him to go to Guruvayoor and  submit to the LORDSHIPS  and glorify HIS divyaleelas .

Bhattadri who was in early thirties   shifted to Guruvayoor and started his  divine work  and aptly named  the epic Narayaneeyam.

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 Recollecting the divine leelas from the Srimad Bhagavatha Purana  he composed the  nectarine  work .  

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With the chronic arthritis pain he used to walk up to the temple and in a day he would  compose  10 verses .  

The grand epic  took  the ardent devotee quiet some time   .

As per the legend , the work  was started  during  1584 and  almost took three years .

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Bhattadri had an understanding with Lord  Guruvayoorappan that unless and until HE nodded in ascent about his composed work  recited, he would not go to the next verse.

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Thus this work is what LORD  himself has approved and that is why the greatness of the work. 

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The nectar “Narayaneeyam”  comprises of 1034 verses in Sanskrit.

It is Bhagavata Saram.

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 Vishnu Sahasranamam was recited in presence of Lord  Krishna by Bhishma lying on the bed of arrows  and  Narayaneeyam got  LORD’s sanction .

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 The Holy epic  ” Narayaneeyam”   has detailed the descent of the Lord from Hamsa Avatar, Marichi, Brahma, Devas, Rishis Kapila, Koorma,  Parasuramar along with  the Poorna Avatarams  Sri Rama and Sri Krishna.

The work can be read as poetry or recited as slokas or can be set to music.

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 It is believed that the Lord gave darshan to Bhattadri as  Lord Narasimhan and   Lord Venugopalan.

The Bala Leela of Sri Krishna infatuated him and his verse starting with “Kesha Pasha” is the most enticing sloka.

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While describing  Lord  Narasimha avatar, he was so much in awe and wonder that after stating “Sthambe Kottayathi” he could not proceed further on this  wonderful avatar. He proceeded to sing in praise of Lord Guruvayoorappan.

During the Vamana avatar, when Brahma, Sooryadeva , Kubera and others had gifted many things necessary for a Brahmachari mother Aditi not knowing what to give, finally gave him a Koupikam  ( piece of cloth made of red cloth to HIM).

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During the nirmalya seva even today  Lord  Guruvayoorappan gives darshan to HIS devotees in this piece of red cloth bereft of all HIS accessories. ( This  divine pastime shall shared  in  a separate  post soon  ) 

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While  he was contemplating on   Lord  Krishna avatar, Bhattadri asks Guruvayoorappan  Oh Lord !! “ Did you appear  with Shanku, Chakram and Mahalakshmi on your Vakshasthala on a rainy day at midnight with your neelamegha shyamala  complexion?” Oh Lord !!!  When you gave darshan to Vasudevan and Devaki with your Sarva alankara was not the jail lighted because of the bright complexion of Mahalakshmi? …

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The mood of  Bhattadree takes us into the deep insights of a craving soul to have his divine company

  It  is confirmed that after he completed Narayaneeyam, he got cured of his chronic  arthritis.

Another contemporary of Bhattadri was one Poonthanam (author of Gnana Paana) in Manipravalam (Malayalam). He also hailed from Shoranoor. Poonthanam used to visit Guruvayoor on every Ekadasi and he watched Bhattadri writing about Guruvayoorappan.

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He had also heard about the greatness of this great disciple . On one such occasion, Poonthanam with all humility approached Bhattadri with his work Gnana Paana to go through the same and offer his comments.

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Bhattadri in his arrogance would not touch the work of Poonthanam as it was in Malayalam and not in Sanskrit.  

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Poonthanam dejected went back to Shoranoor. Next day when Bhattadri sat down to continue his Narayaneeyam, to his surprise he realized he could not do so.

He asked Guruvayoorappan the reason for the same.

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The Lord replied “You have insulted my devotee yesterday and unless you go ask Poonthanam for his pardon and read his work, you will not be able to continue your work!”

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Lord continued “Language is no barrier to Bhakti”.  Bhattadri went to Poonthanam’s house and apologized  for the  offense . 

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In Kerala it is a practice to recite Narayaneeyam at a stretch in one day and  the  devotees get dressed as per the avatar that was being recited .

The Priest  informed that the  28th Vrichikam is that glorious day  when  the nectarian  “Narayaneeyam” was completed few hundred years ago and  is celebrated at  Guruvayoor Temple   as “Narayaneeyam Day”.  Discourses on Narayaneeyam  is  given by eminent scholars .

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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Pics credits : Google images and advanced devotees

video credits :  Om shantih ,zeereddy

 Adiyen Ramanuja dasan