Tuesday, May 24, 2011

ENGULFED IN SPIRITUAL AROMA !

The upanyasakar, like the uninterrupted gushing of Ganges articulated thus “About 600 years ago, in the wilderness of the Seven Hilled Shrine of Thirumalai, lived a Maha vidwan doing theertha kainkaryam to the Lord of celestials and the earthlings. He had mastered all the sastras under the aegis of Sri Kumara Varadacharyiar, son of the illustrious Vedantacharyar and earned the title ‘ Prathivadhi Bhayankaram’( meaning ‘formidable to adversary’ or ‘Terror of countering debators’) from His preceptor on winning an intellectual duel with a person of Monotheistic faith. Developing revulsion for material things, P.B.Annan advanced to Thirumalai seeking Kainkaryam at the feet of Lord and was awarded the task of fetching water for the Holy Abulation of Lord. On a fine day, as this scion of the Srivatsa Gothram was returning from aakasha Gangai carrying on his shoulder the vessel containing the Theertham for the Thiruvabhishekam of Thiruvenkatamudayam, a group of Theertha vaasi Brahmins from the banks of Cauvery chanced to meet him. On exchange of mutual respects according to the Srivaishnava Dharma, Prathivadi Bhayankaram Annan eagerly enquired of any news from Thiruvarangam. The Srivaishnavas, while dispersing news on the developments in the Sampradaic front, jubilantly described the vaibhavam of an Ascetic by name ‘Sri Azhagiya Manavala Nayanar’ who had come from the land of Namazhwar to the land of Namperumal and further extolled the unfathomable ocean of Gnyaanam, Bhakthi ,Vairagyam in the possession of this Jeeyar. P.B.Annan, intrigued by this vaibhavam made further enquiries about him and thus slowly traced his steps to the sanctum sanctorum of Thiruvenkatamudayan listening to his vaibhavam. P.B.Annan submitted the vessel containing the water from Aakasha gangai to the Archakar and in a few minutes realized the grave mistake of not adding any Parimala dravyam ( a mixture of smashed cardoman,clove,nutmeg and other aromatic spices) to the water and thus commiting a great sin at the feet of Emperumaan. P.B.Annan was shocked at this delinquency of his and turned remorse with shame. The very instant, Lord Thiruvenkatamudayan, the speaking Lord, exclaimed thus “ Anna ! My bhaktha ! The water thy brought today carries so much of spiritual aroma and the parimalam hasth filled my nostrils . It has caused me so much of pleasure. Thou need not regret not adding the Theertha parimalam.” P.B.Anna rejoiced hearing these Words from the Pavala Thiruvai of Emperumaan and he understood that the Vaibhavam of Mamunigal had turned into Theertha Parimalam for Emperumaan.”

The young male children of Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham listening to this splendid Vaibhavam, were greatly impressed and steered their way to the Head of SBK and expressed their wish prepare Theertha parimalam for the Emperumans residing in the Thirumaligais of Acharya purushas of Srirangam and other divya desams. It is to remembered that their female counterparts ( girls of Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham) had been doing the kainkaryam of weaving flowers into garlands and submitting it at various thirumaligais at Srirangam. This had already kindled the kainkarya thirst among the boys and they were contemplating a grandeur kainkaryam. And now they had this Theerthapodi kainkaryam at hand.

The boys would gather raw Cardoman, Cloves, Nutmeg and Jadipatri, power them using the traditional equipments and add some Divya prabandham and vaibhavams of azhwars and acharyas to the mixture ! Yes, the children had very clearly grasped the essence of the upanyasam that the vaibhavam of His adiyars was far more likeable to Him than anything else offered to Him! The children would carry the Theerthapodi in appropriate vessels and go each thirumaligai and submit the same to the Swamy there.

Healthy competition is always welcome and a healthy competition in Kainkaryam is most welcome!

Profound in thinking , pragmatic in working , thats His Holiness !

‘Acharyah’ – The school for leaders, was inaugurated in the year 2009 by none other than Tridandi Chinna Jeeyar swamy. The gnyaanam, bhakthi and Vairagyam of swamy is unimaginably mammoth that it is beyond the ambit of human senses, to say the least. The way swamy has been steering the Sampradaya kainkaryams in and outside India is very evident from the scores of Veda adyaayees and Sishyas swamy has produced for Sampradayam. Aim high, aim for the good of the world, be selfless, be for the Supreme Being – These are the fundamental principles entrenched in swamy’s heart and undoubtedly these have fetched for him all his Spiritual aspirations. When it comes to Bhakthi swamy turns into Bharatha, his Vairagyam is like that of Embar, his Gnyaanam is a clear exhibition of his deep understanding of the Sampradaya tenets. The able administration and the leadership traits of swamy have to be witnessed in person to gauge its magnitude.The commitment shown by swamy towards Vaidika dharmam is like the commitment a mother possesses for her beloved 3 year old toddler.

The speech given by swamy on the day of inauguration of Acharyah school was wisdom drenched. Listening to his serene and clear speech gave the feeling of slowly relishing the Aravanai prasadam(a kind of sweet pongal) of Periya Perumal.

Though it was recorded then, to our great misfortune, the recorder was lost and we were very upset. To our great joy and relief, a great soul visited our Trust recently and told he too had recorded the speech of Swamy. We rejoiced and collected the file from him. The link to the speech is here . Do listen and gain get drenched in his wisdom :


http://www.filefactory.com/file/cb69659/n/Tridandi_jeeyar_swamy_-_acharyah_op..mp3

Novelty in approach !

On May 17, 2011, SRIMAAN TRUST has conducted a quiz competition. This encourages our students to learn more about the subject in an interesting way which also reaches them very well.

Senior students of SRIMAAN BHATTAR KUZHAM (SBK) sponsored a quiz competition with a variety of skill revealing methods. With no assistance completely, they prepared a series of questions on different heads. All required materials for quiz including audio and visual were prepared by themselves.

The participants (both Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham and Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam students) were divied into 7 groups named PARANKUSA NAYAKI, PARAKALA NAYAKI, ANDAL, KALIYAN, MARAN, BAKTHISARAN, VISHNUCHITHAN.

The first round was named as the main round where the questions were based on vaibhavams of Emberumanar, Mudaliandan, Engalazhwan. The main round was with 6 questions. Every group was given equal chance to win.

The second was an audio round - To identify the voice of the Pravachanakartha and answer related questions of the Pravachana - was perfomed.

Next to that a visual round - To identify the Divyadesa Emberman, Azhwars, Acharyas etc.


Quite unusually a Riddle was conducted - To identify from a thaniyan - to find the composer, his Acharya, works of both and the meaning of the Thaniyan. This round was more interesting as it called for more knowledge.

Finally came the Rapid Fire round - To answer like fireworks without hesitation. The questions were based on Ithihasas, Azhvar Acharyas Vibhavam, etc.


PARANKUSA NAYAKI team won the competition. Totally the quiz was very successful and educative to the spectators too. Even new students who have joined the summer special course also participated with much enthusiasm in the quiz.


SRIMAAN TRUST will be conducting more activities in the future to make things interesting for the younger generation and to always make people realize the worth of our religion.

The photo link to this event is here. View the photos are do bless these children :

https://picasaweb.google.com/srimaantrust/SampradhayaQuiz?authkey=Gv1sRgCL-57JLB7IOkWQ&feat=directlink

THE VIDEO CLIP OF THIS EVENT WITH KIDS ENTHUSIASTICALLY ANSWERING QUESTIONS SHOT AT THEM IS HERE :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFWrIRPmtCI

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Visiting the beginning !

The early morning streets of Srirangam , usually characterized by minimal human activity restricted to vaidikas bending their steps for a dip in the Holy Cauvery, turned abuzz with activity on 15th April when the students of Gurukulam commenced their trip to the ‘ Land of the Path shower’ – Kaattu mannar kudi ( sampradaically termed as Kattum Mannar Koil, for, without the grace of this Mannar, the history of Azhwars and the Nalayira Divya Prabandhams would have remained in dark for eternity).



“Start reciting chatushloki and Ramanuja chatushloki” echoed a voice with convincing conviction. “ Please carry the fresh fruits and the flowers of Namperumal to garland Sriman Nathamunigal and Sri Alavandar” cried another. “ Are all the children inside the bus” asked a voice with shades of authority and deep concern. “Start the vehicle!” exclaimed all the children and the blue mini bus kick started the Spirtual journey.



Sri Vasudevan ,a donor of Srimaan Trust, along with a few other adiyaars, had long back wished to bring the tradition of Arayar Sevai to the place of its root i.e Kattu Mannar Kudi. This wish turned into reality with the grace of Mannar with Srivilliputtur Arayar swamy and Azhwar Thirunagari Arayar swamy coming to the birth place of Nathamunigal and performing arayar sevai right before the presiding deity , the beautiful Kattu Mannar. What a baghyam it would be to drink this divine event through mortal eyes! Hence the gurukulam students decided to take part in this event.



After the morning anushtanam at the Muth where they stayed, the children chanting ‘aara amudhae adiyen udalam’ from Thiruvaimozhi, the verses which fetched us the whole of Nalayira divya prabandham, entered the temple of Mannar and paid obeisance to The Lord and His divine consorts. Then chanting ‘ Stotra Ratnam’, the divine outpouring of Alavandar, these children of Gurukulam with utmost humility prostrated before the blemishless Thirumeni of Sriman Nathamunigal and Shri Alavandar. The founder Acharya Shri Badrinarayan Bhattar swamy and all the volunteers prayed at the feet of Mannar and Nachiars for the well being of humanity and made special prayers for the betterment of the donors and other selfless kainkaryparas of the Trust.

Azhwar thirunagari arayar swamy stood before the Presiding deity Mannar with Shri Nathamunigal and Alavandar by His side and rendered Thiruppavai with all its vyakyanam.What more can Kannan(Mannar) ask for ? It seemed Mannnar was ready to set aside all his utsavams and completely immerse in anubhavam of Aandal’s Thiruppavai! Some abhinayams were also sprinkled in between the arayar sevai. While the arayar sevai was progressing, a few gurukulam and Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham students( we forgot to mention that these children were also part of the journey) turned restless and were loitering around the temple premises in search of something. They couldn't tolerate the arayar swamy sweating and hence were asking the temple people for a hand held fan. On obtaining one,they began Thiru aalavatta kainkaryam for Arayar swamy and continued till the end. The arayar sevai was followed by the sthala acharya purushas discoursing on the vaibhavam of Kattu Mannar Koil and Shri Badrinarayana Bhattar swamy describing the wonderful kainkarayams of the Poorvacharyas born there. Swamy also thanked all the Srivaishnavas who had taken pains to care take the gurukulam children.

This was followed by Vidwath sadas and Purappadu of Emperumaan around the thiruveedhis. The children completing the anushtaanam and dinner were about to leave when the youngest among them was upset. On asking the reason, he cutely replied he wanted to worship Lord Varaha at Srimushnam. Understanding the love of the child for the Lord, the return journey plan was altered to fit in Lord Varaha sevai also. Bidding adieu to Lord Mannar and the Acharyas, the children left Kattu Mannar Koil and via SriMushnam ( worshipping Gnyannap piraan there) reached Periya Koil early morning.

In all the journey enriched the children with the knowledge of two scions of the Srivaishnava guruparamparai and had also made them realize the need for devoted service at such temple-towns where there is scarcity of human resources for kainkaryams.

Now that you have all had the anubhavam of Kattu Mannar koil in writing, it is time the visual treat is also served. The wonderful empermaan, the Arayar sevai.... do watch them and kindle the thirst to visit Kattu Mannar Koil and do kainkaryam to the deity and acharyas there!

The link is here :

https://picasaweb.google.com/srimaantrust/VisitingTheBeginning?authkey=Gv1sRgCJHCpeXYq_eScA#