In Srimad Bhagavatha Mahapurana as part of a discussion between King Nimi and sage Karabhajana the advent of the Srivaishnava Azhwars appearance in the Kali age is revealed .
” In the Kali age men devoted to Lord Sriman Narayana will be born in large numbers near the Dravida territory where in the rivers Tamaraparni, Vaigai , Paalaar the most sacred Kaaveri flows .” True to the epic , both Swamy Namaazhwar and Madhurakavi Azhwar appeared on the banks of Tambaraparni river .
It is said that just after 40 years of the disappearance of Lord Krishna , Nammazhwar appeared . Periyazhwar and Sri Andal appeared in a place close to river Vaigai , the Mudal Azhwars and Thirumazhisai Azhwar appeared near Paalaar and Thodaradippodi Azhwar, Thiruppaanaazhwar and Thirumangai Azhwar appeared near river Kaaveri.
The most holy place Thirukurugur “Alwar Tirunagari” is about 30kms east of Tirunelveli on the Tirunelveli-Tiruchendur highway off the Southern banks of Tamaraparani .Check this post for more details :https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/06/14/the-glory-of-thirukkolur/Thirukurugur Vaishnava divyadesam is located on the banks of the river Tamaraparani and is one of the 108 divya desams in Pandiya Nadu. This was later known as Alwar thirunagari after the great Nammazhwar’s appearance . Legends reveal there lived a pious devotee Kaariyaar an advanced bhaktha who was serving the devotees from his agriculture earnings .
Udaiya Nankaiyar from Thiruvanparisaram was his wife who was equally pious and served the devotees with all dedication . They had no progeny for a long time .
Their prayers were answered by the mercy of Lord of Thirukurungudi . Udaiya Nankai gave birth to a male child on Vaikasi month in Visakam star( who is considered to be the incarnation of Senai Mudaliyar the commander in chief of Lord Sriman Narayana) .
His parents named him Maran ( being different from others ) and he also had other names Parankusa and Satakopan .
The boy was not an ordinary kid nor did he have an ordinary life .
He displayed none of the usual characteristics of a baby, neither would he cry nor attempt to drink milk.
Looking at the strange behaviour of the divine child, the parents went to the temple for divine interference. All of a sudden the child crawled and went under a tamarind tree inside the temple where he remained almost for sixteen years in yogic trance under the trunk . The divine incident became the talk of the town.
After many years one day a elder Vaishnava who was on a pilgrimage to Ayodhya observed a shining light emanating from a far off place .He followed the light and reached Thurukurugoor. As he enquired around the place , he was directed into the temple . He was surprised looking at the divine aura being emitted from the young boy and attempted to go near him .
More details of Madhurakavi Azhwar can be read in this appended linked post
He approached the divine boy who was meditating deeply with his legs crossed and hands in chin mudrai pose. Madhurakavi thought that the boy could be deaf and dumb. To draw his attention ,he took a small stone and threw it in the lotus pond nearby.
Lo presto !
the boy opened his eyes and Madhurakavi could see the divinity in his eyes with golden hue.
Madhurakavi wanted to test the boy further whether he could reply.
The temple at Thirukkurugoor was under the direct administration of our revered Acharyar Swamy Manavala Mamunigal.
Adiyen is recollecting the wonderful darshan we had few years back at Azhwar Thirunagari
The most important day for Srivaishnavas is Swami Nammazhwars Thirunakshatram ( Apperance day ) which happens to be on Saturday 21 ,2016 this year .
Nava Tirupathi is a cluster of Nine temples of Lord Sriman Narayana.
Nava Tirupathi is part of the 108 Divya Desam temples .
Located around the banks of the River Thamarap arani, the 9 temples of Nava Tirupathi are Thiruvaikundam,
North & South temples of Thirutholaivillimangalam,
This otherwise a calm village is overcrowded with devotees for the 10 day grand festival.
Almost all the chathirams, Ramanujar koodams and houses were packed with devotees who come to witness the Nava garuda sevai from long distances .
A big mandapam in front of the main temple known as ‘PANDAL MANDAPAM” is decorated for the grand festival to happen .
This pandal was built by an ardent devotee Sri Pandala Ramaswamy Nayaakar during 1807 .
He took initiative in starting this wonderful Nava garuda Sevai utsavam and made arrangements for the mandapam and other paraphernalia .
In honour of his devotional service the mandapam is named Pandal Mandapam.
All the Perumals ( Lordships ) of the Nava Tirupatis come to
Thirunagari to grace our most beloved Nammazhwar .
Swamy Nammazhwar had darshanam of all the 108 Divya
desam perumal staying in Azhwar Thirunagari itself .
In the pandal “ Abhishekam for Azhwar is done with due honours by the recitation of vedic hymns being watched by a large groups of devotees .
Meanwhile ,there was an alert by the bhagavathas that the Nava Tirupathigal Perumal have already started from their temples “ Thirukolams “and after crossing the beautiful Tambaraparani River are arriving at Pandal Mandapam.
We rejoiced to see Perumals coming from different directions with a troupe of Nadaswaram goshti and the recitation of pasurams by Elders.
All Perumal started arriving to Pandal Mandapam. Every Divyadesam Perumal arrive in a well decorated palanquin with full temple honours.
Here Azhwar receives the Perumal and does Pradakshinam to Perumal thrice. Azhwar is then blessed with satari, peedambaram and prasadam which were offered to the Perumal.
After this, managala haarathi is given to Perumal and Azhwar and Perumal enter the main temple.
This procedure is followed for all the Perumals. This function takes place for about 2 to 3 hours.
All the Perumals alight inside a huge mandapam inside the temple. Parallel arrangements like decorating Peria Thiruvadi ( Garudazhwan ) for the evening function is done for the Garuda sevai.
The villagers share a wonderful hospitality inquiring about the details of stay, food etc of all the visitors . Most of the Thirumalagais are eager to serve the devotees with Prasadam.
The same evening around 5 P.M., Thirumanjanam ( Abhishekam ) would start for all the Perumals. Several groups of devotees coming from far off places assemble and chant azhwar pasurams with music. At 5 P.M the Vedic Pundits carrying silver kudams filled with holy water arrive . The water for Neeratam is brought from the river Thamparaparani with full honours (an umbrella, Nadaswaram)
The holy abhishekam “ Thirumanjanam” for all the Perumals are performed at the same time. Thirumanjanam is performed for all the Perumals inside the mandapam. It takes about 2 to 3 hours for the alankaranam to get completed.
Around 8 P.M. the much awaited garuda sevai starts
In the Nava Garuda Sevai, the lordships ( Perumals ) are seated on Garuda vaahanam. Azhwar is seated on a Hamsa vaahanam and his dearest devotee, Madurakavi Azhwar is seated on Pirangi Naarkaali (a chair)
Azhwar waits just outside the Maha dwaaram of the temple to receive the Perumals from all the Nine Divya desams .
The temple doors are closed and Azhwar along with his favourite devotee Madurakavi Alwar wait for the Garudaseva Utsavam to happen.The Mahadwaram doors are opened amidst the mangala Nadaswarams .
Azhwar is the first to have darsanam of Perumal. Perumal is given Mangala karpoora aarthi and managalasaasanam done to the particular Perumal by the Azhwar . The recitation of the Mangalaasanams with the divyadesam pasurams by Elders drives one to spiritual ecstasy. Similar to Srirangam, Araiyar sevai is followed tradition here
The sevai is a special treat to the eyes and fill LORDs grace unlimited . And being among-st our Azhwars and the advanced srivaishnavas its sheer bliss
The order in which the Perumals appear in Garuda vaahanam along with the paasuram number is mentioned for devotees sung by Azhwar is given below:
PERUMAL PASURAM NOS.
1) Sri Adinatha Perumal of Thirukurugoor 3106,3116 2) Sri Vaikuntanatha Perumal of Srivaikuntam 3571,3575 3) Sri Vijayasanar Perumal of Natham (varagunamangai) 3571 4) Sri Kaichinavendan of Thirupulingudi 3473,3568-78 5) Sri Mayakoothan of Perungulam(Thiuukulandhai) 3561 6) Sri Devapiran of Irattai Tirupati } 7) Sri Aravinda Lochanan of Irattai Tirupati } 3271-3281 8) Sri Bhoomipalar of Then Thirupperai 3359-3369 9) Sri Vaithamanidhi of Thirukolur along with Madurakavi Azhwar 3293-3303,3473
After this, neivedyam is offered to Perumal, Azhwar and Madurakavi Azhwar and Perumal leaves the place . All the Perumals assemble at East Mada street and from here all the Nava tirupathi Perumal are taken in procession in the 4 mada streets of Thirunagari with the Nadaswaram troups for each perumal , Veda goshti .
The devotees burst crackers and lit the roads with dazzling light. The local residents receive Perumal by sweeping the roads and decorating the roads with kollams etc.The zeal in their offering fruits and karpooram at the time of Perumal’s oorvalam is a great blessing. Almost the entire village are well versed with Perumals arrival. This procedure of waiting near the entrance, offering karpoora aarthi and rendering mangalasaasanam on that particular Perumal is followed for all the Perumals.
By the time the ninth Perumal Sri Vaithamanidhi of Thirukolur leaves the place, Adinatha Perumal of Thirukurugoor who left first comes back to the temple. After all the nine Perumals assemble, Azhwar pays his deep respects to all the Perumals and all the Perumals get inside the mandapam. Madurakavi Azhwar who has organized this function, payshis respects to Nammazwar who is pleased with his disciple.
The function concludes around 4 A.M. The next day morning, all the Perumals leave to their respective temples gracing all the devotees and Nammazwar accompanies them till the entrance of the temple as a Royal guest . Nammazwar ‘s hamsa vaahanam is placed in such a manner that he looks at the proceedings until Perumal leaves the temple street
Distance from SriVaikuntam
Aravinason Chenthamarai Kannan
Maharenedun Kuzhaikaathar Niharilmukil vannan
Kuzhaikaathu valli Thiruperal Nachiyar
Kumuthavalli Kollor Valli
The Perumals leave the Mandapam around 7.00 –7.30 AM . Only after the sight of Perumal completely disappears, Nammazhwar leaves inside a bit sad due to the departure of the perumals to their respective divyadesams.
All glories to the devotees who are at Thirukurogoor seeking the grace of Azhwar and Perumal ….
Prostrating vaishnavas ,Azhwar and Lordships for their abundant grace adiyen …..
silently walk behind Azhwars Palanquin asking for forgiveness and his grace in attending many more Satsangs…
Adiyen Ramanuja dasanPics courtesy : Google images , web site ; heritagetown .orgVideos : Thanks to Sri Govindarajan
Swami Srisailesar appeared in a illustrious village kunthinagaram near Madurai. His parents named him as “Thirumalai azhwaar”.
A very intelligent and highly talented young lad who assimilated all types of knowledge including administration with dedication was loved by one and all . He had samashrayanam (initiation ) done from his Acharyar Swamy Pillai Lokacharyar and was given a name as Satagopa dasar.
Those were the times when the illustrious Pandyan Kings were ruling Madurai. King Kulasekhara Pandyan had two sons Sundara Pandyan and Veera Pandyan.
Contrary to tradition, the king proclaimed that his younger son would succeed him. Sundara Pandyan was agitated and by a coup occupied the throne .
The local chieftains swore allegiance to younger brother Veera Pandian and thus a civil war broke out .
Sundara Pandyan was defeated and was forced out of the country. He sought help from Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji who entrusted the task to General Malik Kafur to handle the problem .
With Sundara Pandyan’s assistance, the army entered Madurai and looted the city for their benefit . They plundered the wealth from all the temples .
The citizens were in fear and the threat of being killed by these ruthless invaders .
To their worst nightmare Sundhara Paandyan passed away . It was chaos all around the whole city of Madurai as the invaders looted the nearby areas and the people had to suffer in the enemy’s hands .
Sundhara Pandyan legal heir “Paraakrama Pandya” who was very young occupied the throne . It was a tough task managing the kingdom in such a deep crisis . As the prince was too young to take up the responsibilities , the queen requested the learned Swami Srisailesar to take care of the administration of the kingdom .
Swami Srisailesar understood it was need of the hour to protect the Kingdom. He took over the responsibilities as defacto King and as an able administrator was managing the show with long sighted acumen thus protecting the prince and the kingdom.
Years passed , Thirumalai azhwar was missing his favorite service of attending to the revered saints and Acharyas association in learning true knowledge . He developed deep interest in sampradayam and quenched his thirst by knowing several esoteric truths from scholars regularly by inviting them to the royal chambers .
Day by the day the thoughts to resign from the assignment given to him became stronger and love to the Lordships increased manifold. Over a period of time as things settled down , he decided to quit the job and seek Acharyar’s lotus feet once for all .
In the other part of the kingdom , Swamy Pillai lokacharyar instructed his chief disciple, Sri Koorakulothamadasar to enlighten Srisailesar by teaching our sampradayam who would be succeeding him in Acharya parampara.
(Similar to how Manakal nambi based on Nathamunigal’s instructions personally interacted with Yamunacharyar who was a king and taught him about our sampradaya and made him a prominent Vaishnava acharyar) .
Due to his advanced age, Sri Pillai Lokacharyar attained Acharyar’s lotus feet ( leaving his mortal coils at Jyotishkudi near Madurai .
( The divine pastime is appended in the blog post url ..
During the plundering expedition of Malik Kafur, one of the worst period in Srirangam, Sri Pillailokacharyar’s disciples took our adorable Lord Azhagiya Manavalan ( Namperumal ) to Thenaikidambai, a village near Kozhikode, Kerala from Jyotishkudi after Swamy PillaiLokacharyar’s heavenly sojourn.
In other part of the Kingdom , due to the invaders torture ,parallel y to protect saint Nammazhwar’s deity , few devotees from Azhwar Thirunagari carried the Lordships and reached this place carrying swamy Nammazhwar…
May be It was Lord’s arrangement !!!
Lord Namperumal and Swamy Nammazhwar met at this very holy place .What else can be the divine plan when both the Lord and his dearest devotee move out from their respective abodes and purify the nearby places by giving opportunities to his dearest disciples to carry them .
Nammazhwar was duly honored with Lord’s (Perumal’s parivatam) royal clothes , (kavacham made of pearls) . Both the teams discussed about the future plans in protecting the Lordships . They had to part ways for further safety .
From this holy place the disciples carried Lord Namperumal towards Melkote and later to Tirumala…..
Lord Ranganathar enjoyed the company of Lord Venkateshwara for almost 40 years .
We can have the darshan of the divine abode Of that mandapa where Lord Ranganathar stayed at Tirumala .
The devotees led by Swamy Thozhappar carried Swamy Nammazhwar diety and proceeded towards Kerala and halted at a place ” Munthirupu” .
The revered Acharyar Thozhappar was carrying out the divine service for months traveling avoiding eye contact with the ruthless invaders carefully avoiding the army who were looting the temples and the Priests .
As it was too hectic and difficult to face the invaders they carefully had Azhwar’s diety put inside a well covered box hid the same in a valley.
In the tough task being carried out by the team , Thozhapar attained Acharyar’s lotus feet .
With no other option left out , the disciples slowly proceeded towards Madurai to seek Srisailesar’s help in safeguarding the deity .
At Madhurai , Srisailesar by Azhwar’s grace, was now detached from the royal affairs Srisailer who had resigned from the ministerial post approached his Sri Koorakulothamadasa for receiving the instructions from Acharyar ….
As per Acharyar Swamy Pillailokacharyar’s orders and Koorakulothamadasar’s instructions, Srisailer approached Swamy Pillailokacharyar disciples.
As similar how Swamy Ramanujar approached five Acharyas , Srisailesar also approached .
Swamy Vilaancholai Pillai taught him the intricate meanings of Srivachana bhooshanam the magnum opus work by Swamy Pillai Lokacharyar at Thiruvananthapuram.
Swamy Thirukannangudi Pillai taught him the divine pasurams of Thiruvaimozhi .
Swamy Nalloor Pillai taught him the intricate meanings of 3000 vyakhyanam
Swamy Thiruputkuzhi Jeeyar taught him the intricate meanings Thiruvaimozhi
Nallooraachan pillai-the illustrious son of Nalloor pillai continued to teach him the meanings Eedu 36000 .
Thus another versatile Acharyar was guiding the sampradayam .
Thozhappar’s disciples reached Madurai and approached Srisailer .
The mission was divine . Srisailer was eager to have darshan of Azhwar .He along with the disciples proceeded to Munthirupu and located the valley .
With Azhwars grace , they were able to locate the deity .With all honors, the deity was safely kept at Thirukannambi.
Time passed quickly , and one fine day, Lord appeared in Srisailer’s dreams and advised ,
My dear Thirumalai aazhwar , the temple near Thirukurugoor is in a dilapidated condition which needs to be attended immediately .
He immediately started towards Thirukurugoor along with few disciples .Praying Lord for his mercy he started searching the village .
Somewhere far , he felt there could be Perumal sannidhi and Nammazhwar sannidhi.
But was not sure if he was at the right place. A barren and waste land nearby made him go closer . He was confused thoroughly because he did not even expect the place to be in such a poor condition.
He met the villagers and requested them to guide him in locating the temple of Azhwar and Perumal . The villagers were also in poor memory .They informed that due to the Moslem invasion in the Pandyan kingdom all of them were scattered and they were also cognizant of the poor state of azhwar and Perumal sannidhi.
They feared that due to invasion, the whole area became like a waste and barren land . One old villager came running and offering obesiances said ,
Revered swamin …….
From childhood I have been going to Azhwars temple for serving the Acharyas . I remember during the looting expedition by the invaders , the brahmins keeping the security of Swami Nammazhwar in mind, carried Lordships and Swamy Nammazhwar deity to a place in Kerala that was engulfed by forests.
I was told by my elders that they had kept azhwar’s vigraham in a cave in that forest. Srisailer was overjoyed . Thanking Swamy Nammazhwar for his mercy he proceeded to Thiruvananthapuram (capital city of Kerala) and approached the king there.
The King was kind to receive the saint . He ordered his minister to extend all the help to Srisailer . Using their help, he located the place where Swami Nammazhwar resided The place was called “Thirukanaambi”.
The entire group was overjoyed having darshan of Swamy Nammazhwar who was safely residing in a small box inside a valley . Glorifying the Lordships and Azhwar the group lead by Swamy Srisailer proceeded towards Thirukurugoor.
Now the task as allotted by Lord himself was taken up enthusiastically . All the villagers started to clear off the engulfed forest like area. One day ,while Srisailer was passing on pitch dark night, with a small lamp in his hand, he saw the ( Tamarind ) “Urangaapuli” tree and also the surrounding vimanam around it .
He was overjoyed . Realizing the importance of the holy place recollecting those divine pastimes of Swamy Nammazhwar and dear disciple Swamy Madhurakavi Azhwar, he called the villagers and explained the glory of the holy place . The mission was to make the divine place just like place it was during the heydays of Swamy Madhurakavi azhwar.
With the abundant grace of Ahzwar’s and Lord Polindha nindra piraan’s anugraham, the mission of renovating the temple was accomplished in grand scale .
Glad with the service of Srisailer’s services and his recitation along with nectarine explanation of Thiruvaaimozhi, Swami Nammazhwar himself christened the name of “Thiruvaaimozhi pillai”.
Now , Thiruvaaimozhi pillai started to revive all the lost and hidden traditions of the great place called “Thirukurugoor” ( “Aazhwar Thirunagari”). He took interest in educating the villagers.
With their active cooperation he got the forest area cleared and constructed a temple for Swamy Ramanujar who is worshipped as “Bhavishyad Acharyar” which is know glorified as Chaturvedi mangalam (called “Raamanuja chaturvedhi mangalam” ).
Thiruvaaimozhi Pillai used to contemplate on the divine pasurams of Thiruvaimozhi explanations always given in Eedu .
His attachment to Thiruvaimozhi was so much that he instructed his prominent disciple, Sri Manavala Mamunigal to always contemplate on Thiruvaimozhi .
Sri Azhagiya Manavala Perumal (Manavala mamunigal) belonged to Azhwar thirunagari and was direct disciple .He got his initiation from Srisailesar. Sri Azhagiya Manavala Perumal was Srisailesar’s favourite student who later on took sanyasam and came to be known as Swamy “Manavala Maamunigal” who rendered EEdu vyakhyanam in the presence of the processional deities in Srirangam (Azhagiya Manavalan/Namperuamal) for one full year .
The famous invocatory sloka rendered Supreme Lord Sriman Narayana residing as Sri Ranganathar in Srirangam which every Srivaishnava recites daily at the beginning and end of Thiruvaraadhanam starts with the words
SriSailesa Daya patram DhiBhakti Adi Gunarnavam
Yatindra pravanam Vande Ramyaja Mataram Munim
This invocatory verse was given to Swami Manavala maamunigal by Lord Ranganathar himself .
The Lord addresses Acharyar Mamunigal as “Srisailesa Dayaa paathram”-one who is the recipient of Srisailesa’s mercy.
Among-st the august gathering ,the Lord disguised as a boy came forward and gave the glorification verse (thanian.) ….through the Archaka .
He accepted Swamy Manavala Mamunigal as HIS acharyar. The Lord also gave HIS serpent bed, Adiseshan to Swamy Manavala Mamunigal as aasanam.
The kalakshepa mandapam in Manavala Mamunigal’s Thirumaligai at Srirangam is called as “Thiruvaimozhi Pillai mandapam”
Swamy Manavala Mamunigal in his wonderful work “Upadesa Ratnamala” starts the invocation verse ( thanian) as
“Yendhai Thiruvaimozhi Pillai Inn arulaal……”
He attributes everything to the lotus feet of his acharyar.
Upadesarathinamalai,’ has 74 verses.
As the name indicates it is a jewel of noble precept – gems, a treasure house of essential knowledge for Srivaishnavas. These verses are chanted by the congregation (goshti) in temples and all vaishnava homes .
Swamy Mamunigal states in the very first verse that these essential precepts were received by the grace of Thiruvoimozhi Pillai, his preceptor-Acharya.
After explaining an authoritative chronology of the appearance of revered Azhwars into this world with their appearance day details and places of birth, the hymn introduces the greatest of our acharyas, Swamy Ramanujar..
Elucidating further the commentaries by our acharyas on the hymns of the Azhwars, the importance of Nammazhwar’s Thiruvoimozhi is brought out by an enumeration of the five commentaries, of different lengths, that have appeared for these eleven hundred verses and how the ‘Eedu’ (36,000) commentary came to be written and propagated.More emphasis on the precious jewel, ‘Srivachana Bhushanam’ and the greatness of this ‘secret’ document is glorified .
The conclusion of this great treatise is that the grace of the preceptor-Acharya is the surest-gateway to salvation .
The sacred verses concludes that a reverent study of ‘Upadesarathinamalai’ is certain to beget the generous grace of Swamy Ramanuja.
The final (74) verse was an addition by Erumbiappa disciple of Swamy Mamuni that the fortunates heads who seek the holy feet (Sandals) of Sri Manavala Mamunigal are certain to be touched by Amanava at Srivaikuntam .
This contact would cleanse the emancipated soul of the last traces of karma and render it pure to enter the land of Bliss.
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Inspired from a discourse rendered by a revered Acharyar
Pictures : Courtesy Google images and the all the great devotees who had uploaded in various social media sites
The holy place Alwar Thirunagari is located in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu…..
. Those were the days when our most respected Azhwar , Swami Nammazhwar was meditating near the southern banks of the holy Tambaraparani river .
There was a yogi who was staying near the northern bank of the same river along with his dog . The dog used to daily leave the northern bank of the river and reach southern bank .
It would eat the remnants of the food honored by the srivaishnavas near the temple . It would return daily by sun set back to wait near the tree along with the Yogi .This became a routine for the dog .
One day as usual the dog left in the morning but did not return as per the expected time . There was a change in weather and the weather was too cloudy for a heavy downpour . The yogi was feeling lonely without his company .
He went in search of his companion in the pouring rain .
He could see the dog which was swimming against the current and somehow he was not able to succeed .
In the struggle the dog had to leave his body .
The Yogi was amazed to see another event . The head burst out from the dog and a shining light emanated that was going upwards to the heavens .
This made the Yogi wonder about the holy place .
He observed that when a dog who just took the remnants of the pious sri vaishnavas could get salvation what can be told about this holy place where our Nammazhwar had graced this place with his divine darshan .
The great Sri Kamban azhwan had quoted this incident of the dog attaining moksha in his works Satagopar Anthadhee..
This incident of the dog attaining moksha is also sculpted in a stone on the banks of Tambaraparani river near Azhwar Theerthavari mandapam …
Blessed are those devotees who will be attending Swami Nammazhwars Apperance day at Thirukurugoor very soon .
Sri Kumudavalli sametha Thirumangai Azhwar Thiruvadigaley saranam
Sri Aravindavalli Nayika sametha Sri Badri Narayanaya namah :
—————————————————————— Saptha BAdri are a a group of seven temples dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu which are located in the Garhwal Himalayas. (Some consider ARdha Badri as one of the Sapta Badri and omit Narsing Badri) . However , the entire Garhwal Himalayas are BhadriNarayana Kshetram. The area spreading from Satopanth 24 kms above Badrinath to Nand Prayag is known as Badri Kshetram as this area was once Badri vanam and as these temples of Lord Maha Vishnu are in this area, they are popularly known as Sapta Badri Kshetram.
The Seven temples are listed as below •
Badri Vishal- the main temple which is located at 3133 mtrs.-23 kms from Yogdhyan Badri
• Yogdhyan Badri – enroute from Joshirmutt to Badri Vishal at Pandukeshwar at an atltitude of 1920 mtrs.
• Narasing Badri- also known as Thirupiridhi vaishnava divya desam.
Some consider this as one of the Sapta Badri kshetrams
. • Vridha Badri- located at Animath village between JOshirmutt and Helang. About 7 kms from Joshirmutt on the way to Urgam
• Dhyan Badri-located 1 km from Urgam village.
• Bhavishya Badri- 20 kms from Joshirmutt near Tapovan by vehicle and from there 6 kms trek up the hill at an altitude of 2744 mtrs. THE FUTURE BHADRINATH temple will be at this place . •
Adi Badri is located 17 kms from Karna Prayag. The cluster of 16 temples constructed by Adi Sankaracharyar. Dhyan Badri and Narasing Badri(Joshirmutt) are not included in Pancha Badri kshetrams. Yogdhyan Badri,Vridha Badri,Dhayan Badri, Bhavishya Badri can be accessed from Joshirmutt as base.
Badrikshetram also has Theertha mahimai as the Pancha Prayags –confluence of holy rivers are located in this area. An important information is except for the main temple, Badri Vishal the other temples scattered in remote villages remain open all through the year because they are at a lesser altitude.
Badrinath is one of the eight swayam vyakta kshetrams located in Garhwal Himalyas , referred as Gandha Madhana Parvatham in our scriptures like Srimad Bhagavatam.
It is also one of the 108 vaishnava divya desams glorified by Thirumangai Azhwar in his 20 pasurams .
In one of the pasuram , Azhwar advises us to seek and have a darshan of Lord Bhadri Vishaal in our youth itself , as
later the KALA (TIME) swallows our age invisibly
thus it will be too late for an old person to visit the holy bhadri
associated knee pain , joint pains and the body does not cooperate making a mockery of ones self for wasting ones precious life .
Here Lord incarnated as Narayanan and graced the sacred ashtakshara mantram upadesam to Naran. Naran and Narayanan are believed to be meditating at this place for the welfare of the world.
The temple is situated on Urvashi peetam between Nara and Narayanan mountains on the banks of River Alakananda.
The temple is open during April-October (starting from Akshaya thrithiyai and closed during Deepavali) and is closed during peak winter. Ganesh Gufa, Vyas Gufa, Mata murthi temple, Vasudhaara Falls, Satopanth,Bhim pool, origin of River Saraswathi are near Badrinath.
There are jeeps and cars plying from Badrinath temple to visit the above places which are situated in Mana village-the last village on Indo-China Border. It takes 3 hours to and fro to visit Mana village. There is a Mata Murthi temple is on the way to Mana village.
As per legend, Dharma and Murthi were the parents of Naran and Narayanan (who were the incarnations of Lord Vishnu).
They transformed themselves into mountains to avoid distraction. To fulfill the desire of HIS mother Mata Murthi, once in a year, the Lord visits this temple. Uddhavar who is considered as the utsava murthi in the temple is brought to this place with paraphernalia.
The famous Vyas Gufa is the place where Sage Vyasar compiled the four Vedas, recited Mahabharatam while Yaanai Mugathaan(Lord Ganesha) penned the same while the former dictated. Ganesh Gufa is beside Vyas Gufa. Nearby, we can find the origin of River Saraswathi who flows as Antharvahini till she reaches Triveni Sangamam. River Saraswathi darshanam can be had here only .
There is a small temple dedicated to the River Goddess. The flow with which she appears on this earth in inexplicable.
Near to Badrinath temple , Bheem Phool and Satopanth are places associated with Pandavas . Pandukeshwar,also known as Yogdhyan Badri is on the way to Badrinath is the birth place of Pandavas. Vyas Gufa and Ganesh Gufa are related to Mahabharatam. Pandavas along with Draupadi on their way to Swargam (satopanth) reached this place and when Draupadi could not cross River Saraswathi, Bheem is belived to have thrown a boulder across the river to enable her to cross over.
This is Bheem pool. This is located on the way to Satopanth- Draupadi,Sahadeva,Nakula, Arjuna, Bheema left their bodies on the way whereas Dharmaraja Yudhistira was able to go to Swargam from Satopanth. VAsudhaara Falls is about 3-4 kms from Mana village on a higher altitude. Villagers believe that if a drop of water falls on us, we get redeemed from all our sins. It will take about 4-5 hours to go to Vasudhaara Falls and return to Mana village due to the altitude and climatic conditions.
To visit Vasudhaara Falls, we must allocate one full day.WE planned to visit Vasudhaara Falls from Badri but due to time constraint,we couldn’t visit. But the ever merciful compassionate Perumal blessed us by giving HIS darshan in the evening and to watch (Abhisheka seva) Thirumanjana seva.
Our pilgrimage lasted for about five days
First day :- Entire day driving from Haridwar to Joshirmutt-Night stay at Joshirmutt
Second day :- Entire day at BAdrinath
Third day – Visited Badri Vishal, Yogadhyan Badri, Vridha Badri,Dhyan Badri, Narasing Badri, Vishnu Prayag-Temples
Fourth day :- Visited Bhavishya Badri, Karna Prayag Temples-night stay at Karna Prayag
Fifth day – Visited Adi Badri, Nand Prayag, Dev Prayag temples and reached Haridwar –
We had darshan of Sri Bhadri Narayana Perumal during 2003 but were not conversant with the other temples . The travel details was done in pdf format for piligrims convenience and is available in the below link
We boarded the evening flight to New Delhi and reached Delhi at 10 P.M. The flight was delayed by half an hour. From airport, we took a Metro to New Delhi railway station to board Dehradun AC train at 2355 hours. Reached Haridwar at 4 .M. Our cab driver , Narendra was waiting to pick us up at Haridwar station.
We had already booked a cab and fixed the tour plan. We drove to ISKCON, Haridwar where we had actually planned to check in and then go to Hari Ki Pauri for purification . Being a small ashram and as there was no response from ISKCON, we straightaway drove to Hari KI Pauri which was already crowded.. After purification and cow_puja, we drove to Rishikesh as we wanted to have darshan of Lord Venkateswara Swamy before proceeding further.
Wayback in 2003, only after praying to Lord Srinivasar, we could get bus tickets to go to Badrinath and on our return, we stayed at Andhra Bhavan for 2 days and participated in all the sevas. So, this time also we wanted to take the Lord’s darshan. Reached the temple at about 9 A.M., performed archanai and paid for the next day’s abhishekam to the Lord. On the way, we stopped at Lakshman Jhoola to take printouts of our accommodation and for recharging Airtel mobile as BSNL network connectivity was poor.
Hari Naam sankirtan was continuously played in the car all through our journey. Chanting the holy names of the Lord and contemplating on the Lord while admiring the nature’s beauty-the tall peaks covered with thick trees trying to touch the sky and the gentle flowing Alakananda on the other side as if guiding us to her place of origin…. I wish I were a poet to describe the scenic beauty.
WE were happy to note the developments in this lORD’s holy land –construction of Hydel Power projects, dams etc….We learnt from our driver that only experienced and specially qualified persons to drive in the ghat region would be permitted to drive and they are strictly supposed to wear uniform and carry their permit with them always.
After driving for about 2 hours , we reached Dev Prayag about 70 kms away from Rishikesh located at an altitude of 618 m at mid-noon. As the temple would be closed, we proceeded to Rudra Prayag which is about 2 hours drive from Dev Prayag, stopping for a while at Srinagar to fuel our car. GHMVNL has guest houses at all important places.
We had to turn on the AC becoz we couldn’t withstand the sweltering heat . We thought the drive would be pleasant as we were in Himalayas but it turned out to be otherwise. Added to this, construction work was going on all through the way and so there was pollution. Enroute we halted for a while at Rudra Prayag to have lunch and then proceeded with our journey. Reached Joshirmutt and checked in at GMVNL Guest House located in Main Bazaar at about 6.30 p.m..From Rishikesh upto Rudra Prayag , the route to chardham is the same .
The route to Badrinath diverges at Rudra Prayag. Joshirmutt always has floating population of pilgrims and mostly pilgrims halt at this place. So, we can find innumerable lodges in this congested area . As we had prior booking, we checked into this guest house where we were allotted a compact deluxe room which had no ventilation and fan.
WE wanted to have a bigger and better room but as the rooms were not available, we had no option and retired for the night. Joshirmutt is basically a cold place and the rooms are constructed in such a way out of wood with limited or no ventilation so that the room is kept warm. There is no provision for ceiling fans as there is no requirement. The room rates are high during the peak season depending upon the demand. The minimum rent is about Rs.1000/-per day. We can find the room tariffs displayed in the reception mentioning the room rents during various seasons. We practically experienced the impact of global warming. We didn’t have any choice other than having dinner in the restaurant itself. On 15th June, we started our journey to Badrinath at 7 A.M . Had to wait for sometime for the gates to open . Reached Badrinath via Pandukeshwar , Deva Darshani. The snow clad mountains were shining when the sun rays touched them which is a feast to the eyes. We went to Chinna Jeeyar Swami Mutt which is near Ambani’s guest house where we were allotted 2 rooms for Rs.450/- each.
We met Sridhar Swami who was referred by our friend and expressed our desire to go to Vasudhaara Falls after having darshan of Lord Badrinath. Sridhar Swami informed that it would take minimum 2 hours to have darshan in the temple due to heavy crowd and it would not be possible for us to go to Vasudhaara Falls which is 4 kms beyond Mana Village as the weather there was unpredictable and it would get dark by 5 P.M.
He said that it would take one full day to go to Vasudhaara Falls and return. So, we dropped the idea of going to Vasudhaara Falls with a heavy heart thinking that he was trying to demotivate us.
With a set of clothes for changeover, we left the Mutt at about 11 A.M. and went to Tapta KUnd in our vehicle to have bath. It is customary to purify ourselves in the hot springs of Tapta Kund before getting inside the temple for darshan. There are separate bathing places for ladies and gents and separate rooms but the entire place was over crowded. Seeing the crowd, we felt as if we were in Tirumala during Brahmotsavam!. We were shocked to see serpentine queue for darshan. While adiyen went to buy some seva ticket, my daughters joined the queue. WE learnt from the authorities that during day time, there is no special ticket and darshan is common for everyone and that the temple would close by 12.30 and everyone would get a chance to take darshan of the Lord. We joined the queue and finally had darshan of Lord Badrinarayanan for few minutes who was beautifully decorated with flowers. One of the pujaris looking at the tilak on adiyen’s daughter’s forehead, allowed her inside for darshan. How fortunate!!!
While we were reciting Sahasranamam, a saintly person whose dressing resembled that of Jada Bharathan(he had jadai and was wearing soiled clothes but his face was glowing ) approached us and advised us to have the Maha Prashadam which would be distributed shortly. WE purchased 2 paper plates for Rs.2/-each and joined the queue . We realized the Lord’s ever compassionate quality when we ,the most fallen souls, were given the mahaprasadam comprising of rice, dal , curry.
With tear filled eyes, all five of us partook the prasadam. Adiyen approached the nearby counter where tickets were being issued for special sevas. Tickets for Gita Paat and Nirmalaya darshan were already sold out but only one ticket for Abhishekam for next day morning was available. We booked abhishekam ticket for next day morning seva in which 2 persons are allowed and Sahasranama Archanai Seva for children in the evening. Went back to Chinna Jeeyar Mutt at 2 p.m. and had prasadam. The reporting time for Sahasranama archanai seva was 5 p.m. and hence we didn’t visit Mana Village Instead , we Went to the temple at 5 P.M. for darshan.
There were long queues for various sevas to be conducted in the evening. While our children joined the queue, aidyongal sat in front of the utsavar sannidhi and took a sankalpam to recite Vishnu Sahasranamam atleast 11 times. The utsava murthi who is a replica of the moolavar is made of silver with chatur bhujam. The temple management has recently constructed a separate sannidhi for the utsava murthi within the temple precincts . The new clothes given by devotees to the diety as part of their offering are hung in the sannidhi. Hardly we completed 6 rounds, a group of ISKCON devotees from Delhi entered the temple singing Hare Krishna Maha Mantra. The electrifying kirtan went on for about one hour while everyone present was dancing and chanting in ecstasy the holy names of the Lord . We profusely thanked Perumal for this association to chant the holy names at the holiest place on the holiest day,Ekadasi. After making few purchases, we retired for the night.
On 16th June, at 2 A.M. adiyongal went to Tapta Kund and entered the temple for participating in Thirumanjana seva . The reporting time for the seva is 4 a.m. and we joined the organized queue.
As per the ticket number printed, the incharge allowed us to enter into the temple. The darsana mantapam was jam packed with devotees and we didn’t even get place to sit. After the devotees settled down, adiyen somehow managed to squeeze through and got place to sit right in the centre while my wife was comfortable standing and having darshan of the Lordships. WE felt blessed to be in one of the eight swayam vyakta kshetrams (where the Lord’s image is not sculpted by anyone but Lord out of HIS free WILL manifested in this place) Perumal appeared in this place in Padmasanam posture with chatur bhujam- the two lower hands resting on HIS lap and the remaining 2 hands holding sankhu and chakram. And as he was in meditation, the ever inseparable Thayar (Agalagillene Irayium Endru…) appeared as a badri vruksham to protect Perumal from the harsh weather. Hence, Perumal is known as Badri Narayanan.
Lord descended from Sri Vaikuntam to the bhooloka to give mantropadesam to naran(human) at this place. Shiva who was meditating at this place moved to Kedarnath. Lord bestowed a boon upon him that a devotee visiting this place must first have darshan of Siva and then take HIS darshan. Hence , we find a small Siva lingam in front of the temple. This idol of Badri Narayanan was recovered by Adi Sankaracharyar in 8th century from Tapta Kund and was duly installed by him. Also, there is a sannidhi for Adi Sankaracharyar as he retrieved the vigraham.
Before entering the temple, we visited these shrines . Vaikuntanathan resolved to preach the sacred Ashtakshari Thirumantiram to the mortals (Naran) and appeared as Naran and Narayanan- the sons of Dharma Devathai(Yaman) and his wife (Murthi). As they didn’t want to get disturbed and distracted by anyone , they assumed the form of 2 mountains and meditated on the banks of River Alakananda. Indra tried to disturb the penance and sent apsaras from Devalokam little realizing that Perumal is beyond all such illusion. Out of Perumal’s will, a beautiful lady emerged from HIS thigh who surpassed everyone’s beauty and presented her to Indra. As the damsel appeared from Perumal’s thigh, she was known as Urvashi and the place where Perumal meditated is known as “Urvashi Peetam” on which the present day temple is existing .
AS Lord Krishna mentioned in Bhagavad Gita, Lord Narayanan imparted the sacred Tirumantram to Naran at this place. Hence this place is renowned as Ashtakshari kshetram and chanting of the mantram give thousand fold benefit. Contemplating on the Lord and reciting Tirumantram, we waited in the queue until we were ushered in by the authorities. There are about 15 deities inside the garbagriham. All through the day, the beauty of the Lord is hidden as HE is fully bedecked with jewellery and flowers . Only during Nirmalya darsanam and during Thirumanjanam , the Lord’s pristine beauty can be enjoyed. During Nirmalaya darsanam which is the last seva in the night, jewellery is removed and Lord is adorned with fresh chandan and flowers. During thirumanjanam, even those are removed and the dhivya mangala swaroopam of Perumal can be enjoyed. Devotees throng to have these darshans.
At the Centre we can have darshan of Lord Badri Narayanan in meditative posture. As HE is a tapasvi, Thayar is not physically present but is present as Badri Vruksham which cannot be perceived by mortal eyes On HIS right, we have darshan of Garudar- Kuberan on HIS right – the demigod incharge of wealth. Kubera’s capital is Alakapuri which is beyond Badrinath. The materialists usually place few coins in front of Kubera and bring them back for worship. He is predominant amongst others as he is decorated in silver.ON the left side in the front, we can have darisanam of Uddhavar who is treated as Utsava murthi in this temple.
He is taken in palanquin to Maata Murthi temple once in a year as Perumal’s representative. In Srimad Bhagavatam, it is mentioned that Lord Krishna instructs Uddhavar to go to Gandhana madhana parvatam (the present Badri Kshetram) and do penance.On the left side, behind Uddhavar , we have Deva rishi Naradar ‘sidol who appeared in the nearby Narada Kund. It is believed that Sage Naradar eternally lives in this place always contemplating on the Lord.Nara- Narayanan –becoz of whom this place became sacred. Lord Narayanan gives darshan with naachiyars- Sridevi, Bhudevi,Niladevi, The deva loka damsel Urvashi who appeared from Lord Narayanan’s thigh is beside Niladevi.
Rewal, the celibate Keralite Namboodri head priest is the only person who is allowed inside the garbagriham. (He is like Ekaangi in Tirumala , the bachelor who alone is allowed to touch the divine Thirumeni of Perumal). The Rewal draped in a dhoti and black long thick Kurta and with his mouth covered with a cloth is the only eligible person to touch the divine idol of the Lord.
He removed carefully the flowers from the Lord’s thirumeni and carefully removed the chandana kaapu from the Lord’s thirumeni and gave it to his assistant. We were fortunate to get some chandan from him. Thirumanjanam to the swayambhu Perumal and HIS associates started amidst chanting of Pancha Suktham by the pundits who were sitting on either sides near the entrance on an elevated seat .
The Rewal , ( priest) who was now playing the role of an affectionate mother Yasodha, gently anointed Til oil to the divya Thirumeni of Perumal and others. Later holy water was poured through sankhu followed by milk ,curd, honey . The dhivya mangala swaroopam of Perumal can be clearly seen doing milk thirumanjanam. Adiyongal recited softly Neeratam pasurams after the priests completed Pancha Suktam recitation .The REwal gently pressed a silk cloth to wipe the Lordships. During alankaram, the priests recited Vishnu Sahasranamam while the Rewal applied sandal oil to the Tirumeni of the Lord and dressed them in new silk clothes. Within no time, the Lord was beautifully bedecked with fine jewellery. The Lord was smeared with chandana kaapu and decorated with flowers. All this is done in the devotees presence .
The holy water was later distributed to the assembled devotees and a small prasadam pack comprising of few sweets, tulasi , chandan etc were given to the participants. The entire process takes about 60-90 minutes. While doing pradakshinam, we purchased a small bottle of holy water for Rs.20/- which is being sold inside the temple . We Came back to Chinna Jeeyar Mutt and after honouring prashadam, left the holy abode with an intense desire to revisit the dhaam in the near future. Sridhar Swamy was very kind to pack lunch for us. Left Badri Vishal at about 8A.M. and drove to Pandukeshwar which is 20 kms away from Badrinath on the way to Joshirmutt. Yogadhyan Badri –one of the Sapta Badri Kshetrams is located in Pandukeshwar at an altitude of 1829 mtrs. .
To reach the temple, we need to get down off the main road , and climb down the steps to reach the temple. This is the place where King Pandu along with his wives,Kunti and Madri did penance and is the birthplace of Pandavas. Pandu who was cursed attained salvation here and after Mahabharata war, the Pandavas after handing over their kingdom to Parishit ,did penance at this place to atone for their sins. This temple was constructed by Pandavas. In the sanctum sanctorum, Lord Lakshmi Narayanan is in the centre with Sridevi towards HIS right and Bhudevi on the left. To the left of Bhudevi is Madri’s idol. We were told that there is a Shiva linga worshipped by Pandu beneath inside the garbagriham.
From there, we visited Vishnu Prayag- the confluence of Alakananda and Dhauli Ganga.
This is on Badrinath-Joshirmutt route in Chamoli district at an altitude of 1372 mtrs. As per legend, Sage Narada did penance and Lord appeared at this place. After having darshan of Lord Vishnu, Goddess Mahalakshmi and Kubera who is on the left side of Perumal , we went down few steep steps to the actual place of confluence to collect the holy water but in vain as the force was more.
Driving past Joshirmutt, on the Joshirmutt –Rishikesh Road, between Joshirmutt and Helang near Pipalkote , we reached Animath village which is about 7 kms from Joshirmutt to visit Vridha Badri at an altitude of 1380 mtrs.. This is on the way to Urgam, our next destination. We had to trek down few steep steps and occasionally climb and get down to reach Vridha Badri.
It takes about 15-20 minutes to walk down from the main road. This temple is neatly maintained surrounded by beautiful garden tended with great care by the priest family. We could see a wide range of beautiful flowers which are used for worshipping the Lord. Lord Vishnu appeared to Sage Narada as an old man and hence this place is known as Vridha Badri. We offered dry fruits to the Lord and the pujari honoured us with tulasi leaves . The serenity induces everyone to meditate on the Lord calmly without any distraction. Here Lord Badrinarayanan is alone in standing posture holding Sankhu, Chakra,Gada Padmam .
We proceeded to Helang and from there drove to Urgam village at an altitude of 2135 mtrs. The roads on the regular route from Rishikesh to Badrinath via Dev Prayag, Srinagar,Chamoli, Joshirmutt are broad, well maintained and secure but the roads on the other parts are not yet developed to that extent. This can be seen while going to Dhyan Badri. One needs to take a diversion from Joshirmutt-Rishikesh road to visit Dhyan Badri.
Here the muddy ghat roads pose threat and driving is challenging due to unleveled roads and obstructions caused due to landslides like boulders on the sides. There are no “taar roads” and a strong wind is enough to engulf the glass with dust and thus obstruct our view fully. The roads get blocked due to the debris caused by landslides which are not immediately attended to by BSFs as there is not much traffic. Occasionally, jeeps and local buses ply from this village to Joshirmutt and nearby villages .Like in Nepal, these buses are over packed with people literally sitting on the bus.
The bus tilts towards one side unable to bear the weight. From Urgam , we can visit Dhyan Badri , ARdha Badri which is about 2 kms from Dhyan Badri and beyond 5 kms is Kalpeshwar-one of the Pancha Kedar temples. The drive was really challenging . Our hearts nearly skipped a beat when our driver had to put a sudden break while turning. A chill ran through my spine when the driver pointed to a six seater white car which had a fatal end just recently claiming lives of 5 people. The Lord’s holy names were constantly on our lips which eased out our tension .
We reached Urgam at about 1 P.M. We relaxed in a nearby tea stall . The inmates made some hot rotis for us to have along with puihora prasadam given by Sridhar Swamy, At about 2 P.M., started walking down amidst green fields for about 15 to 20 minutes to reach Dhyan Badri temple which is about 1-1.5 kms from Urgam. The stony path is well laid though it is narrow.
Watching the green fields surrounded by peaked mountains, we reached the temple which was closed. There is a very small pond inside the temple compound which reminded us of the holy Saligramam pond near Melkote which was sanctified by our Acharyar.
A teenage boy who happens to be the pujari’s son opened the temple doors to enable us to have darshanam.
The garbagriham houses the main diety of Lord Narayanan in sitting posture in the centre. There are also vigrahams of Lakshmi Narayanan, Kubera and Siva lingam. Beneath we can find small idols of Lord Ranganatha with Sridevi and Bhudevi. Perumal appeared to Shiva who was meditating at this place. Perumal also did penance (dhyan) at this place before manifesting HIMSELF at Badri Vishal. Hence, this place is known as Dhyan Badri.
On enquiry, we learnt that Ardha Badri is a small temple which would be closed for darshan now and hence we returned to Urgam. As we were tired, we didn’t visit Kalpeshwar. WE came back to Urgam and drove back to Joshirmutt and reached the temple at 5 P.M. Joshirmutt is considered as one of the 108 divya desams , known as” Thirupiridhi”. Some count this as one of the sapta badri Kshetrams instead of Ardha Badri where there is only half figure ). Whatever it is , we wanted to have Lord Narasimhar’s darsanam .
Fortunately, the temple was open and the priest offered our dry fruits to Perumal. Here, Lord Narasimhar is in sitting posture and it is believed that when HIS left wrist wanes , the Badri temple would be permanently closed for darshan and Lord would manifest HIMSELF at Bhavishya Badri near Joshirmutt in near future. There are various idols in the sanctum.
From right, we can find Chamundi,Kubera,Udhavar, Badri Narayanana, Narasimhar in the centre, on the left is Garudar, Lakshmana, Rama , Sita . Lakshmana and Goddess Sita are in white whereas the thirumeni of Lord Rama is in black(shyamaa sundaran). The utsava murthi is Narasimhar Hanumar. During winter, when the main shrine at Badri Vishal remains closed for 6 months, the utsava murthi is brought down to this temple. This temple remains open all through the year. We then visited Vasudevar sannidhi who is believed to be the divya desa Perumal. Lord Vasudevar is in Nindra Thirukolam (Standing posture) holding Lotus and Gadam in HIS upper right and left hands and sankhu and chakram in HIS lower hands. There are also sannidhis for Sankarshana, Shiva, asthabhuja Ganesh, Kali and Bharivan around the temple. We were happy to note that one of the pasurams from naalayira divya prabhandham about this divya desam is written in Tamil and hung at the temple entrance. While we were coming out, we happened to have darshan of one of the Shankaracharyars appointed by Adi Sankaracharyar to take care of these temples. WE checked into GMVNL guest house at Main Bazar and fortunately this time we were provided a better accommodation. Thanking Perumal for allowing us to have HIS darshan at 5 places in Badri kshetram, we retired for the night. ON 17th we checked out by 7 .A.M. and drove to Saldhar which is about 19 kms from Joshirmutt. The weather was pleasant and chilly and we were reminded of Tirumala ghat road.. We saw an arc mentioned as Tapovan. This is a serene place for meditation. Driving ahead, we reached the starting point of our trekking. Bhavishya Badri is located in Subhain village and one has to trek the hill for 6 kms in a lonely path . We just found a small arch mentioning Bhavishya Badri.
We five of us were in a lonely place. Initially there were few steep steps laid as a pathway for about a kilometer. Singing Annamacharyar keerthanas and chanting the Tirumantram, we prayed God for HIS darshan in this lonely place and started trekking. There are no sign boards, no indication about the route . The Lord seated as Antharyaami was guiding us..
We didn’t even know whether the route taken by us was right or not. We were enthralled to see a villager from whom we enquired about the route. Felt happy to note that we were on the correct path and as per his directions, we continued our way. Beyond the first settlement, there is no pathway at all. There was greenery everywhere and the different varieties of wild flowers which had blossomed were so colourful and pleasing to our eyes impelling the children to burst into some song. WE could see chameleons, colourful butterflies, squirrels , forest ants and humming sound of bees from far. However, we realized that the forest shrubs and plants which were growing on either sides of this so called tiny footpath was hostile. The leaves were sharp and accidentally if our hands touched the leaves, that part in our hand which came in contact with the leaf would get swollen immediately. WE had to be cautious while trodding the path so as to avoid stamping on some forest snail/snake/ant etc. The path is slippery and my daughter who made a wrong choice of wearing heels had to remove her slippers and walk bare footed all through the way. Of course all these didn’t matter because we were focused on our destination. Once in a while, when we came across some passerby , we used to take directions from him and proceed on our adventurous trip. As we are not used to altitudes, we treaded slowly taking occasional rests . Somehow we were all energetic singing the glories of the Lord and enjoying nature’s beauty. In lighter moments, cracking jokes on each other once in a while to ease out the stress, we kept on ascending the hill. While trekking so, we suddenly got confused as the so called footpath was leading to two ways and we didn’t know which one to take. My niece found a Lays wrapper and suggested that the path would be inhabited. Children were enjoying the adventure guessing the route,pulling each other….It was a real holiday for them. We were imagining as to how Thirumangai Azhwar would have reached Badri Vishal which would have been unexplored like this at that time. There was no one to enquire and we were getting nervous as to whether the path taken by us was right or not. After walking for about half an hour, we met a lady who said that the route taken by us was wrong and she volunterred to take us to the correct path. We felt that it was God in disguise who appeared to help us out. We were once again left to ourselves and continued with our journey. After trekking for about 2 hours, we were exhausted and were searching for a place to relax. Luckily, we found a shop on the way . As we wished to remain light while trekking, we didn’t have breakfast and now the children badly needed something to re-energise themselves. The shop provided all sorts of snacks, cool drinks , medicines, water etc.
After replenishing ourselves, we continued onwards our 2 kms trek journey. This particular settlement was much better compared to other isolated places. We continued trekking and once again left with no one around. WE could not locate any path way and didn’t know which side to take-left or right!! WE took the wrong path and after some time, we saw a person down the hill and screamed for help. He informed that he is the temple priest and he was also going to Bhavishya Badri. Our joy knew no bounds. He accompanied us for some time, and as we couldn’t cope up with his lightning speed, he gave us directions and left. He said that the temple was only one km away . WE were now on a bigger plain surface. Surrounded by snow clad high mountain peaks on all sides, sun rays falling through the tall eucalyptus trees and gentle breeze full of medicinal properties accompanied by Dhauli Ganga flowing as a small stream , green vegetation in the surrounding places and the sound of cuckoos as if welcoming us , we were in ecstasy looking at the marvelous creation of the Lord. We have seen this in movies but now we are here experiencing them with our own eyes but for deers and peacocks.
Even after trekking for hours, we were still energetic and bubbling with joy as we were near to our destination. Two local women farmers were passing by us suggested us to taste the crystal clear cold water from the Dhauli Ganga stream. Pure unadultered tasty water was like nectar. They accompanied us to the temple. We reached the temple past noon.
AS the pujari met us on the way, he was waiting for us.
All of us had very good darshan of the Lord. The pujari explained to us that 10 years ago, there was only a sketch mark on the rock but now we can see the Lord’s figure emerging out of the cave.
The Lord is in the form of Narasimha bhagavan. The pujari pointed us to the various features in the half emerged idol attributing its form to that of Lord Narasimha. How fortunate and blessed we are to have Lord Narasimhar as Bhavishya Badri Narayanan. In the present Badri Vishal, the Lord is in the form of Narayanan whereas here HE is going to assume the form of Bhakthavatsalan, Lord Narasimhar whose avataram is for the sake of devotee. JAI NARASING DEV!! WE offered our dry fruits to the deities and did kirtan for about half an hour.
ADIYEN& FAMILY PERFORMING KIRTAN AT BHAVISHYA BHADRI TEMPLE
A mahamantra sticker is at the entrance which was pasted by ISKCON PAADAYATRA troup who visited this temple some time ago. WE were imagining that when Thirumangai Azhwar visited Badri Vishal few thousands of years ago, that place would have been similar to this one now.
After spending about an hour, we started our return journey which as per the locals would take half the time, but for us it took almost 3 hours to return. WE came down at about 5 P.M. and proceeded to Karna Prayag which is about 3 hours from Saldhar at an elevation of 1450 mtrs.. Checked into GMVNL guest house located near the confluence itself and retired for the night. Excellent room . This was the best guest house where we stayed in our trip. On 18th morning, after witnessing the confluence of River Alakananda with Pindar river , proceeded to Adi Badri which is about 19 kms from Karna Prayag and takes about one hour drive. Adi Badri is not on Rishikesh-Badri route , one needs to visit Adi Badri via Karna Prayag. Adi Badri is the oldest temple comprising of 16 temples . While Adi Sankaracharyar was residing in Himalayas ,somewhere near Karna Prayag, the Lord appeared in his dream and told him about HIS whereabouts and ordered him to construct a temple for him. The place where the Lord appeared to Adi Sankaracharyar is presently known as Adi Badri and is considered as one of the Sapta Badri Kshetrams.
Adi Sankaracharyar spread Hinduism from this place and built a temple. Out of the cluster of 16 temples, many were built under the guidance of Sankaracharyar and about 5 temple were built later during Gupta era. In the olden days, when approach to Badri Vishal was tough, people worshipped Lord Vishnu here. It is believed that in future when Badri Vishal becomes inaccessible and Lord manifests in Bhavishya Badri, Bhavishya Badri would be known as Badri, Badri Vishal would be known as Adi Badri and the present Adi Badri would be known as Yog Badri. The temple is on the main road itself and it is easily approachable. All the temples look similar.
From there, we drove to Dev Prayag and reached the place at about 5 P.M.
We visited Raghunathji temple at Dev Prayag which is one of the 108 divya desams. While ascending the 100+ steps, we recollected our earlier visit to this kshetram along with my father and shared the Lord’s pastimes. Had darshanam of the mantapam where the utsava murthis are placed for public darshan, the banyan tree which is considered to be the one not affected by Pralayam and after thanking Perumal for enabling us to visit Saptha Badri kshetrams , especially Bhavishya Badri , we left the place. The confluence of Alakananda with Bhagirathi at Dev Prayag is eye captivating.
Reached Haridwar at 10 P.M., and after settling the accounts with the car driver, we had our dinner in a nearby Jain hotel and were waiting for our train recollecting our trip to the holy abodes. It was like a dream come true. Boarded Dehradun-New Delhi AC train in the wee hours 0040 hours which was supposed to reach New Delhi at 5 A.M. and take the onward flight to Srinagar at 9 A.M. and return back to Delhi by 3P.M. flight and take the connecting flight to Hyderabad at 7 p.m. Due to technical snag in the train, it was delayed by almost 3.5 hours. WE landed in New Delhi railway station at 08.30 a.m. and rushed to the nearby Metro station to take the train to airport. Reached airport at 9 a.m. and by the time the formalities were completed, we missed the flight . As we availed LTC, it was mandatory to produce Delhi-Srinagar-Delhi boarding passes and hence we had to be in Srinagar at any cost. WE were left with no other option than cancelling this ticket and book in the next flight. The scheduled departure of AI flight was at 11 hours and it takes about 2 hours to reach Srinagar. As we had a breather of an extra hour, we booked the tickets. To add to our dismay, this flight got delayed by 2 hours and now we were really perplexed because if we miss the Delhi bound Srinagar flight at 1500 hours which was the last one, we would miss our connecting flight to Hyderabad!!. Tickets were not available for the next 4-5 days as it was end of LTC season..!!The authorities were surprised to note that we wished to return on the same day without visiting Srinagar. Had to inform that we had visited Kashmir earlier and as there was an emergency, we were constrained to leave on the same day. They informed that it would not be possible for us to take the 3p.m. flight as the formalities would not get completed. I literally pleaded with the top most authority to help me out . He was kind enough to issue a Delhi Boarding pass (which would be issued at Srinagar) from Delhi itself which is against rules using his power. Thanked him for his gesture. Reached Srinagar at 3 p.m. . The scheduled departure of the 3’o clock flight was delayed by half and hour because the same flight returns.
Within this 30 minutes, we had to compulsorily go through all the formalities (especially in Srinagar, there is strict security norms which cannot be skipped)-we had to come out and again get into the airport. We were stopped at the entrance because the time was up and were informed that the time for taking boarding pass was over. When we produced the Boarding Pass, the authorities were surprised and doubted us. Meanwhile,we could hear our names being announced to board the flight as it was about to depart… We were quickly frisked by the authorities and our luggages were put in a hand driven trolley . An official took me aside to enquire as to who issued the boarding pass which was against the rules and I had to request him that due to an emergency , I had to rush back while my perplexed wife was eagerly waiting to join me. The flight didn’t take off for 20 minutes until we boarded it. We safely reached Delhi by 5.30 p.m. and boarded the Hyderabad bound flight at 7 p.m. without any hurdles. Reached our home Thiruvengadam at midnight and the first thing what we did was to open the altar and fall at Divya Dampadhigal and Acharyars’feet for making this possible.
JAI JAI SHRI BADRI VISHAL
Please check all the clips for a clear darshanam of the holy dhaam
Today 06.05.2020 is the most auspicious day as is the
Appearance day of Madhurakavi Azhwar …………………..
Swamy Ananthazhwan …………………
and Acharyar Nadadoor Ammal
Let us recollect their devotion to Acharyar and the great Lordships on this wonderful day .
Acharyar Varadaguru the great Acharya had the deepest bhakti to Lord Varadaraja of Kanchipuram One night when he was serving ” LORD” in an ecstatic mood, the priest brought very hot milk to the Lord as offering .
Acharyar Varadaguru was deeply distressed that such hot milk would burn the tender tongue of the Lord! He stopped the priest from offering the hot milk and began cooling it down until it was warms enough to be offered.
The Lord himself was moved by the Vatsalya bhava of Varadaguru and called him ‘Amma’ – my mother!
From then onwards Varadaguru became Nadadoor Ammal.
After this episode, in a dream one night, Lord Varadaraja commanded Ammal to erect a Mantapam for His Vasantotsavam.
Accordingly Ammal fulfilled the Lord’s desire, just as a mother would fulfill the wishes of her son in spite of difficulties.
Another glorious pastime remains to be cherished .
Once Ammal and his disciples undertook a pilgrimage to Tirumalai hills.
The graceful personality and humility of Acharyar attracted the people there..
A Chieftain Kandavaran was the leader of that Lada race .
He was annoyed and irritated to see the crowd falling the the feet of Acharyar.
He decided to disturb them.
With his mantric power he made the disciples unconscious.
Ammal meditated and chanted the Sudarsana maha mantra and his own composition ‘Hetipungavastotram’ and broke the spell.
The angry Kandavaran called Ammal for a debate and when defeated surrendered to the Acharya himself.
The benevolent guru not only excused him but also made him a Srivaishnava by offering him Panchasamskaras.
With the money offered by Kandavaran, Ammal established a beautiful village and named it ‘Ladagraharam’ and continued his journey.
On the way, the Lord himself came as a young brahmachari and appeased the hunger of the pilgrims with curd and rice.
At the same time, there was a big commotion in the temple as the silver vessel with the naivedyam had suddenly disappeared.
Lord Venkateswara Himself announced to the temple authorities that He Himself fed his dear Ammal and his disciples and that they should receive Ammal with all temple honours who will be arriving shortly .
Swami Engalazhwan was Acharya of Nadathur Ammal , who was the direct disciple of Thirukkurukaippiran Pillan . All glories to our Acharyar
Acharya Nadadoor Thiruvadigale sharanam
Let us cherish the great devotee and most revered disciple of Swamy Ramanuja ………………….
Ananthazhwan vaibhavam now
The sacred TIRUMALA Hills consisting of seven peaks is considered to be seven-hooded. Blessed are the devotees who are fortunate to have his darshan .
There are countless devotees who have served the LORD since ages .
One such great devotee was Swamy Ananthazhwan an ardent disciple of Swamy Ramanuja .
As per Swamy Ramanuja’s directives he served the LORD few hundred years ago .There are several pastimes of Swamy Anathazhwan with Lord Srinivasa .
One divine pastime is memorable as Lord himself accepts to become Swamy Anathazhwans disciple .
Knowing about the initiatives taken by Swamy Anathazhwan in organising the temple rituals with religious fervor few devotees decided to trek the hills and have darshanam of Lord and seek the blessings of his dear devotee too .
The Srivaishnavites were walking from Srirangam and it was a very long journey .While ascending the Hills, coming from they were feeling tired and had to take some rest .
Completely exhausted they were perplexed how could they complete their pilgrimage. All of a sudden a young lad appeared before them .
The boy was appearing with divine tejas .
With srivaishna Urdhva pundram he was almost looking like vamana avatara brahmachari .
He offered his humble obeisances and said .
Oh swamins !
Adiyen has brought some temple prasada for all of you .Kindly honor the same and please feel comfortable .
The srivaishnavites being orthodox were initially impressed with the divine boy However one Elder person among the group wanted him to introduce his lineage and his Acharyar whom he was initiated .
The divine lad he was , smiled at the simple question .
He proudly replied that his name was Madhurakavidasa and his Acharyar was Swamy Anathazhwan who is serving Lord in all ways .
It was his Acharyars instructions , he had walked down the sacred hills to handover the prasada coming to know about their visit .
He further expressed that the Prasada was coming directly from the temple which was handed over to him by Swamy Anathazhwan to be given to them .
A bit surprised , the elders said ..
Oh swamin ……
Its nice to know about your association to Swamy Anathazhwan .
But we wish to hear from you about his glories .
Can we hear your swamys Thanian ? as this a custom for the srivaishnavas to recite their Acharyars glories in the form of Thanians .
The divine boy majestically recited the thanian about Swamy Anathazhwan in the seven hills which vibrated
Asritanam susaranam vande Anantharyadesikam”
(I bow to Acharya Ananthazhvan, who is the repository of knowledge, mercy and wisdom, the one Acharyar who removes ignorance and is eminently eligible for surrender by disciples)
They liked the divine lads confident answer .
However the Srivaishnavas then questioned the youngster how his taniyan made no reference to Ananthazhvan’s relation to Swamy Ramanuja.
The divine boy smiled and replied Swamins !
Actually there are two Thaniyans in praise of adiyens Acharyar Swamy Ananthazhvan, one referring to the glory of his divine personality and another referring to his connection with Swamy Ramanuja.
And please listen to the second verse of the Thanian
‘Srimath Ramanujacharya Sripadamboruhadvayam
Sathutha manga sandaryam Anantharyamaham Bhaje..
( I prostrate before adiyens Acharyar Swamy Ananthalvan who is the lotus feet of Swamy Ramanuja and who is worshipped by Srivaishnavas all over the earth )
The Srivaishnavas were convinced that the divine boy was a true disciple of Swamy Ananthalvan . They honoured the prasada with relish .
They thanked the boy for his affection and love and blessed him .
The divine boy took leave of them and ascended the Hills welcoming them to join him . Slowly, the Srivaishnavas ascended the Hills and walked into Swamy Anathazhwans ashram .
Swamy Anathazhwan was overjoyed to receive the guests from Srirangam .
They offered their obeisances and thanked him for the kind courtesy in sending the maha prasada down to the Hills They appreciated the young boy for his kindness and hospitality .
They praised the boys intellect and kindness and expressed their gratefulness to Swamy Ananthazhvan for having sent prasada through one of his bright young disciples.
Swamy Ananthalvan was bewildered. Amazed to note the divine leela , he was in total dark .
He realised that it was his LORD who took the pains to walk down with the mahaprasada to his devotees .
With tears , he wished to know about the divine lad .The Srivaishnavas explained about the divine glow the boy exhibited .
His majestic recitation of the Thanians was memorable ..
The boy was so down to earth serving the prasada They informed that the boy introduced himself as Madhurakavidasa and had recited two slokas in his praise and as they were just trekking behind him up to the hills safely .
They said that the boy went inside the temple citing some pending works.Swamy Anathazhwan pleaded them to recite the verses the boy had sung ..
They recited the two verses before Swamy Ananthazhvan.
The entire assembly was wonder struck. Swamy Anathazhwan was in tears .
They realised that the Lord had declared himself as Ananthalvan’s disciple and had chosen the name Madhurakavidasa
.Even though there were so many other Acharyas the second verse showed that it was Ananthazhvan who could be fittingly considered equal to the Lotus feet of Swamy Ramanuja.
Since then the paduka (sathari) at the shrine of Swamy Ramanuja sanctorium up the Hills came to be known as Ananthazhvan since then the two verses became famous as the Thaniyans in praise of Swamy Ananthazhvan….
Swamy Ananthazhvan thiruadigale sharanam
Our next great Acharyar is Madhurakavi (meaning in sanskrit the sweet poet ) who appeared at a holy place in Thirukolur, Tamilnadu
Once Madhurakavi Azhwar 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 .
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 a remote village and the light suddenly disappeared .
He was surprised at the phenomenon.
He enquired from the villagers about anything strange happening in their village assuming the dazzling light could have some prophecy too .
The villagers replied in negative, but expressed that a boy has been meditating under a Tamarind tree for past 16 years without even opening his eyes.
He had crawled to the tree as a baby 16 years back and remained in the tree thereafter.
Madhurakavi Azhwar was amazed with the villagers expression .He decided to see the child for himself.
Azhwar goes close as near to the tree and finds the divine child with tejas .
Eyes closed and meditating the boy was glowing with radiance which was what he saw at Ayodhya .
The place was filled with divine aura and true the boy was looking too divine as much as Lordships themselves .. Azhwar attempts to question the divine boy about what is True knowledge and gets convinced with his instant replies .
He immediately accepts the divine boy who is none other than our great Swamy Nammazhwar as his ACHARYAN Sri Madurakavi AzhwAr becomes an ardent disciple of NammAzhwAr and serves him with utmost devotion .
With all humility he submits the 11 verses of the grand KaNNinunchiRuthAmbhu glorifying his Acharyan Swamy NammAzhwAr / Sri SaTakOpar with all humility equating to Lordships . A devotee can dwell and enjoy these verses for ages on the divine works of Madhura kavi AzhwAr’s grand …..
Azhwar declared in this Prabhandham
( I do not know of any God other than my AchAryan, Swamy NammAzhwAr).
After NammAzhwAr departed from this earthly world to srivaikuntam , MadhurakaviAzhwAr was worshipping deity of Swamy NammAzhwAr with deep devotion which he consecrated and performed ThiruvarAdhanA and uthsavams in his honour.
Impressed by Swamy NammAzhwAr’s works he wanted to stage NammAzhwAr’s works in front of other scholars .
Azhwar used to contemplate on the divine knowledge shared by Acharyar .
Vaikaasi visaakam the appearance day of Swamy NammAzhwar was celebrated in a grand manner .
One particular year, when Swami Madhurakavi azhwar was taking azhwar’s deity in a procession during the celebrations, few poets from Madurai Thamizh Sangam objected to Swami Madhurakavi azhwar and said .
You are worshiping Nammazhwar who is a just a ordinary devotee not Perumal and reciting verses glorifying him
..Are those verses “sangam” certified? and authenticated by the great Madurai Tamil Sangam as “ the original and of the highest quality”? …
and is he really qualified enough to translate the Vedas into tamil ”?
Azhwar was completely disappointed hearing these critics .
He politely went to Azhwar’s sannidhi and pleaded “Azhweer!!
These people are objecting to adiyen’s only kainkaryam which is my only purpose of life ..Please do something that will not come in the way of my service to you .
Nammazhwar pleased with his devotion appeared before Swami Madhurakavi azhwar in a disguised form.
Dressed like an old man he asked Swami Madhurakavi azhwar about his reason for his grief.
Swami repeated the story to the old man.
The old man replied please do not worry about these trivial issues.
Submit this pAsuram of “kaNNan kazhaliNai…” and see the miracle “saying this he disappeared.
“Kannan Kazhalinai” will support you always”.
Madhurakavi obeyed as instructed and proceeded to Madurai to meet the so called great sangam poets .
All of them were debating in a boat discussing the authenticity of the literature . Madhurakavi offered the holy verse to the poets .
(Madhurakavi azhwar had offered the divine verses in a small leaf which was used during olden times and the divine verse “Kannam Kazhalinai…” from Thiruvaaimozhi was ever glowing )
The poets read those verses and laughed at Swami Madhurakavi azhwar for his childishness and threw it aside .
Suddenly the whole boat top sided all the poets much to their surprise .
They swam hard and with great difficulty reached the shore. To their astonishment, they found that the boat retained only that palm leaf .
The poets read it patiently and were of opinion that Swamy Nammazhwar was not any ordinary saint and apologized for their foolishness .
Thus their ego was shattered 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 …..
It is also Appearance day of our Paramacharyar “Sri. Sreesailachariar ” of Mudaliandan Thirumaligai – the paramacharyar of the present acharyar, Sri Kandhadai Kumara Venkatacharyar(Ramanujar) . Swamy is the 22nd descendant in Mudaliyandan’s (Swamy Ramanujar’s nephew) lineage.
Mudaliandan also known as Dasarathi-who is considered as reincarnation of Lord Rama was ordained to remain in Gruhastashrama (family life) by Swamy Ramanuja . He was the premier disciple of the 74 simhadipatis who were nominated by Ramanuja to continue Srivaishnava sampradaya, of them, few were sanyasis, others were gruhastas.
Srisailacharyar’s father ,Sri Mudaliandan (the 21st descendant in the lineage) gave his son his father’s name to the child who was born on the auspicious day of Chitra Pournami in Chithra star.
Glories to the acharyar who surrendered at the feet of Manavalamamunigal,Sri Dasarathi, the acharyar who stayed at Singaperumal kovil, Kanchipuram, Yadhugiri(Melkote), the one who attained Madhurakavigal’s position due to his acharyar bhakti.
It was a practice of Swamy Ramanuja as a Yati to visit seven houses daily and collect biksha for the day’s offering and consume it as prasada . This act is enjoined on the divine principle that the ascetic has nothing to call or ought to own any worldly goods as belongings to him as such owning begets a series of attachments necessarily and weds him again to worldly interests .
Swamy Ramanuja’s main en devour was to establish the UNITY OF GODHEAD in the world .
It is said once when Swamy Ramanujar was so engaged in the throughfares of srirangam a few boys form mere frolic waylaid him and pointing to a figure which by their toes they drew on the dust. They said innocently !
Swamy Look Here is our Perumal . Swamy Ramanuja was delighted to hear the little boys sermon to him .He immediately prostrated himself before the figure and blessing the boys proceeded on his way.
Swamy Ramanuja’s stewardship in the temple necessarily gave rise to bickering on the part of the local priests . They were jealous of his large number of disciples and the growing power . The administration of the Srirangam temple was done by sthanikar a local group .
They decided …
Why not eliminate him !!
to continue our own dictum’s .
To one of the seven houses where Swamy Ramanuja used to frequently approach for biksha , they reached and traced a greedy person . They gave him some money and command him to offer poisoned bikshai when Ramanuja comes .
The person’s wife being a religious lady out rightly refuses to carry out the atrocious deed . The husband somehow forces her to obey his order for their own survival .
The pious lady is confused . She devises a plan to overcome their arrangements . Sincerely praying Lord , slightly altering her general practice of offering directly into the bowl she keeps the biksha near a corner at the entrance .
When Swamy Ramanuja arrives , she with somewhat trembling hands and tears , prostrates at his lotus feet and moves away . Her mannerisms was peculiar . Swamy Ramanuja understands the reason for her tears . He moves way politely without seeking the bikshai and fasts the whole day .
Soon the news reaches his Acharyar Nambi at Thirukoshtiyur .
Upset ,the Acharyar rushes to Srirangam .
It was mid afternoon and a hot day .
The banks of cauvery was too hot to walk .
Swamy Ramanuja knowing about Acharyar’s coming rushes to welcome him at the banks of cauvery with his disciples at the dry river bed .
Due to the scorching heat the sand was very hot .
Swamy Ramanuja looking at his Acharyar just falls at his lotus feet like an uprooted tree unmindful even in the burning sand .
The Acharyar does not respond asking him to raise up The scene is watched by all his disciples
Suddenly , a disciple takes courage and comes before Acharyar Nambi .
Finding the suspense in supportable and provoked by impatience he raises his voice and submits !
Acharya Is this the way to treat a disciple ?
Won’t your holiness ask him to get up ?
Are these exactions of civilians between teachers and disciples ?
Is this a code of submission without any humanity I will not care for this absurd regulations ,
He swiftly raises his guru Swamy Ramanuja and hugs him to his body to take away the heat from the body which was lying in the burning sand .
The disciple was none other than Kidaambee Acchaan (Pranatharthiharan)
Kidambi Achan who appeared in the village “Kidambi” located between Kooram and Thiruputkuzhi near Kanchipuram in the year 1057 A.D.in the tamil month of Chithirai on Hasta Nakshatara day which happens to be today 05-05-2020 …
As Hastam is considered to be the star of Varadaraja Perumal, his parents named him “PRANATHARTHIHARAM”- as glorified by Thirukachi nambigal in the first sloka of Devaraja Ashtakam.
He was the nephew of Tirumala Nambi’s wife (Swamy Ramanujar’s maternal uncle’s wife) and was thus related to Swamy Ramanujar like Mudaliyandan Swamy who had both atma sambhandham and deha sambandham with Swamy Ramanujar.
He was one of the prominent disciples of Swamy Ramanujar who felt that acharyar kainkaryam was of utmost importance.
Like Kooratazhwan and Mudaliandan, Achan also was a simple, devoted, highly knowledgeable person and was well versed with Thiruvaimozhi and Visishtadvaita granthas and was conferred the title “Vedantha Udhayana Acharyar” by Swamy rAmanujar. Like Vaduga Nambi, he considered serving his acharyar as the most important privilege
Coming back to the divine pastime ….
Looking at the Tejas and the Acharyar bhakthi , Acharyar T Nambi feels glad that the sheer moment of the most painful anxiety and suspense to look for a confidant had arrived .
He looks at the deep devotion of the disciple to Swamy Ramanuja and replies ,
My child !!
I was searching for such a person who would look after Ramanuja with this dedication .
Looking now at KidaambiAcchaan !
With eyes beaming with approbation , Nambi declares …
My son !!
Now I appoint you as Swamy Ramanuja’s body gaurd and no one but yourself shall cook for Swamy Ramanuja and serve him all times .
.Nambi blesses Ramanuja and advises him not to go for bikshai from that day.
Kidaambhi Acchaan, thenceforth was called Madappalli Acchaan and learnt all the esoteric truths along with the thaligai preparations for Swamy Ramanuja and his disciples.
Kidaambhi Acchaan used to get many of his queries answered due to his close association . Swamy Ramanuja blesses KidaambiAcchaan with the rahasya meanings and initiates him with Hayagreeva upasana.
Later , knowing the series of events , the shocked sthanikar rushes to Swamy Ramanuja’s ashram .
He understands the greatness of Acharyar and feels ashamed for his cruel act.
He falls at his feet and asked for pardon. Swamy Ramanuja , magnanimous in his heart forgives him .
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
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