Friday, June 29, 2012

Karur Sri Ramayana Prize Distribution Function

Priya arangan adiyars,

Emperumaan has blessed us with the Vedas which serve as the only means to attain Him and enjoy Him forever. But considering the vastness and complexity of the Vedas, he also has given us Ithihasas and Puranas through the works of great sages like Valmiki, Parasara, Veda Vyasa etc which preach the essential values to be practiced by humans. Out of Ithihasas and Puranas, the former is considered greater because Emperumaan Himself incarnates as a human and shows us the path to live by being a trend-setter. Sri Ramayanam is one such an epic.

The term Ramayana (Ramasya ayana) literally means ‘The journey of Rama’. Even though this superficially refers to the Sri Rama’s travel across the span of Bharatha Desam, figuratively it also seems to describe the path revealed by Sri Rama for us to follow. A story of such great significance has been passed down generations after generations even beyond the frontiers of country, language, religion, creed etc. It is indeed a pride that Ramayana is celebrated not only in India but also in South-east Asian countries like Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand and Sri Rama has been a great hero even in the eyes of Buddhists and Jains!

As a tribute to this great epic and as an initiative to create awareness about its greatness among children, Srimaan trust has been conducting Sri Ramayanam contest every year across various cities in Tamil Nadu. There were around 5000 participants this year. The children were given the study material for a written test on Sri Ramayana. This written test serves as the first round of the contest and those who performed well in this round were selected for the next round. The selected children were asked to recite slokas from Valmiki Ramyanam, Samkshepa Ramayanam and Pasurapadi Ramayanam during the next round.

The prize distribution ceremony for the contestants from Karur had taken place recently. The chief guest for the programme, Kapisthalam Sri U.Ve Srinivasachariar Swamy handed over prizes for winners and mementos for other participants. It is a pleasure that Srimaan trust is instrumental in preaching the story of Sri Rama to the young children by the way of Sri Ramayana contest. We only thank Namperumal, Ranganachiyar and our Acharyas for giving us this opportunity.

For photos kindly click the following link:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Salem Sriramayana Contest Prize distribution function

Priya arangan adiyars,

Sanathana Dharmam is a tradition based on the values defined by Vedas. Vedas are regarded as the breath of Emperumaan Himself. Emperumaan and Vedas are that much inseparable. So, even during Tretha Yugam, when Emperumaan takes avathaaram as Sri Rama, the Vedas also incarnate as Sri Ramayanam. Hence the greatness and importance of Sri Ramayanam is equivalent to that of Vedas. It’s even important because Emperumaan Himself has taken the form of a human and showed us the way of life. It is indeed true that Sri Ramayanam is a great gift for mankind and as said by our elders, its message will spread in all the worlds until the mountains stand and rivers flow in this world.

As an effort to highlight the importance of this great epic, Srimaan trust has been conducting Sri Ramayanam contest every year at around ten cities in TamilNadu. In this year, around 5000 children took part in the contest throughout the state. The contest consists of two rounds in which the first one is a written test about the story of Ramayanam. The children are provided with the study material for the contest. Those who perform appreciably well qualify to the next round where they have to prepare and recite verses from Valmiki Ramayanam, Samkshepa Ramayanam, Pasurapadi Ramayanam. Those who have performed well in this round receive prizes and others receive mementos for their participation.

Recently, the prize distribution function for the participants of Salem had taken place. The function was preceded by a number of divine hearted merchants like Srimaan AVR Santhagopalan (M/S Kumbakonam Silver Shop), Srimaan ANS Sriram (M/S ANS jewellery), Srimaan Vasu iyengar (M/S Rukmani Textiles), Srimaan Hemanathan (M/S MSR sons) .

      Our Salem Kainkaryasri team made a wonderful preparation for this function.The winners of the contest were rewarded with gold and silver coins as a token of appreciation of their excellence in learning the verses of Sri Ramayanam. This contest serves as an opportunity to promote the ideals shown by Sri Ramayanam in the hearts of young children who will carry forward the values of Sanathana Dharmam to the generations of the future.

kindly see the photos link below:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Dip in Divinity - VI (end)

Priya arangan adiyar,

(....trip to SriAnantazhwan's thirumaligai )

The midday sun was merciful enough. The bus drove smoothly, occasionally squirming against the bumpy roads. The children, though expected to have lost energy, looked just the opposite. The ShreePaadatheertham of SriAandan furthered their love for Sampradayam. Discussing the athma- gunas of the Acharyas, the logical topic to follow was the vaibhavam of SriAnantazhwan. A lot was spoken on the unshakable Acharya Bhakthi that possessed Anantarya. His vairagyam, chastity of thought and intense speed of execution of Acharya aagnya were shared by all. The trip of SriParasara Bhattar to Thirunarayanapuram to fulfill Ethirajar’s wish of claiming Vedanti to the True Faith and his prior halt at SriAnantazhwan’s thirumaligai were discussed when the bus reached Siruputtur. Anantazhwan, who was almost four times the age of SriParasara Bhattar, prostrated before Bhattar when He visited Anantazhwan. Such was the Bhakthi and forethought Anantazhwan had. Anantazhwan knew the pulse of His Acharyan and foresaw the Anointment of SriParasara Bhattar as the next apostle of the Srivaishnava Faith after SriRamanuja.
The speaker pointed at the pond in front of SriAnantazhwan’s sinnidhi and explained that the water was sanctified by the Holy feet of SriParasara Bhattar. Having paid Homage to the divya-mangala vigraham of SriAnantazhwan and the Swamy of His thiruvamsam looking after the sannidhi, the children sat for a repeat session of the pattimandram. The difference was the presence a better and formidable supporter for the “Kaayika Kainkaryam” team. Shri Anantazhwan Himself! The children came out of the sannidhi and were about to get into the pond and sanctify themselves, when, a student halted and requested the founder Acharya to get into the pond first. After Swamy walked out of the pond, the children got into the pond and sprinkled the water on their head. They now had the SriPaadatheertham of SriParasara Bhattar and the present day Swamy of His Thiruvamsam too! Such was their Bhaava shuddhi.

The anxious bus driver beckoned. And time was running out. The sun was losing sheen. Taking leave of SriAnantazhwan, the children made their way back to Thirunarayanapuram. A final visit to the temple was part of the trip and the children took leave of the deities and the Jagadacharya. The Srivaishnavas there poured their love on the children and inundated them with the native savories.

The children were very happy and deeply saddened, both at the same moment. Such anubhavam was once a lifetime. They knew not if such cosmic positioning of events would ever occur again. This land was a land of fantasy. Holy fantasy. The sound of the vehicle brought them back to senses. Srirangam awaited them. Parents expected them. Routine spread its hands to welcome them back in its quagmire. Packing the bags, the children ascended the bus which had faithfully accompanied them all along. Now it too had to depart from Thirunarayanapuram. They could at least leave it back in memory of the trip. Could they not? No, they couldn’t. Train tickets weren’t booked. The bus had to be ceremoniously handed back to the owner just as they would be handed back to their parents. If the pangs of separation from Thirunarayanapuram could blow their hearts away, the hearts that knew this place only 48 hours, how would Emperumanar have felt; having built the town? Having planted its trees, having fed its cows, having laid its streets, having pruned its shrubs, having constructed the temple walls, having designed the ponds, having looked after the Emperuman like a mother fondling the just found long-lost child, having bathed Selvappillai for 12 years, having Him dressed, having hosts of Srivaishnavas ready to do anything for Him…the pain now felt was miniscule. Waving the hands to the Bhagavathas surrounding the bus and showing them anjali hastham, uttering the names of Swamy Ramanuja, the children retraced the steps back to Srirangam, dipping their hearts in the ocean of divinity, called Thirunarayanapuram.             

(An account of the trip of SBK children to Thirunarayanapuram on the 12th and 13th of May, 2012 ends.)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Dip in Divinity - V

Priya arangan adiyar,

( ...the fascination of Yaadavadri continues)
13th May: In the land of Ramanuja diwakarar, the rising and setting of the physical sun is insignificant. The children rose before dawn and prepared themselves for the travel filled day ahead.

With the aromatic spices showered baalabhogam( breakfast), the children and volunteers were set for the day. Squeezing themselves into the mid-sized bus, they began the recitation of stotras on Emperumanar by various acharyas. Each child narrated the specialty of Thirunarayanapuram in his perspective. The bus slowly rode to Salagramam, a place bespeaking the glory of ShriMudaliaandan and His Invincible Master.

One of the SBK students narrated the history that beckoned us at Salagraman. Fearing prosecution at the hands of the father of Vikrama Chozhan, Swamy Ramanuja was made to flee Srirangam and seek refuge in the hilly North (places in the vicinity of Mysore). On the way, Swamy and His disciples faced the wrath of people of other Faiths. Salagramam was one such place. There was none of the True Faith, but plenty of people with enmity and avaidika thoughts. Having met with scant courtesy at this place, the keen senses of Swamy suggested the solution. From amongst the sishyas, Swamy called SriAandan and explained “Seat yourself for some time at the place where people come to draw water with your feet immersed in it.” Aandan obeyed and the inhabitants of the region unconsciously partook of the water purified by the holy feet of Shri Mudaliaandan. Very soon the disdain melted away and they felt themselves strangely attracted towards Swamy Emperumanar. And the shame of treating the Jagadacharya with indifference bit them like bug and they came entreating Swamy to embrace them into the True Faith. The paadukai (Holy feet = Mudaliaandan) of Emperumanar had achieved what the Master Himself could not achieve through heated debates. This place was earlier called Jaalagraman and Emperumanar renamed it Salagraman in memory of the purification of the inhabitants by the water that had the feet of Aandan – the name suggesting itself to him from the Vaishnavas partaking of the water that had washed the Salagrama( Holy stone) that forms an object of daily worship.

This Salagraman had given Sampradayam another ornament in the form of Andhra Poorna (Vatuka Nambi). The very image of Acharya- Bhakthi and Vishvasam at the Acharyan’s thiruvadi, Sri Vatuka Nambi is said to hail from this region and an image of Him has been fixed at the place for worship.

The children were immersed in the history that unraveled before them and by the time it was all explained, the historical scene presented itself. They and the volunteers sprinkled the SriPaada theertham of Sri Mudaliaandan on their heads and carried some in the vessel they carried. Halting there for some time, the children gulped a few fruits and set for the next holy destination, Siruputtur, avathara sthalam of SriAnantazhwan.


( ...to be continued)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Dip in Divinity - IV

Priya arangan adiyar,

(... the sampradaya drama at SriMudaliandan thirumaligai continues - 12th May 2012)
 

The screens go down. And in a few minutes, they’re up again. Once more, we witness  a woman in deep conversation with a Sanyasi. But this time it is the woman from Thiruvallikkeni and the Sanyasi, Manavala Mamunigal.

The woman travels from Thiruvallikkeni to Srirangam and strides quickly to the Muth of Manavala Mamunigal. Swamy asks her whereabouts and she gives details of her nativity. With utmost surprise swamy asks “When the Emperuman of Koil, Thirumalai and Perumal Koil jointly reside in thiruvallikkeni, when the seed of Emperumanar’s avatharam is thiruvallikkeni, when the best of Srivaishnava women reside at Thiruvallikkeni, how come you’ve deserted that holy land and proceeded therefrom? The woman gives a series of answers. One such answer was “Vellatti aaneno Aandanai poale?” (Did I become a handmaiden like Aandan?).

The scene changes immediately. A gathering is seen. Atthuzhai, dauther of SriPeriyanambigal runs into Periyanambi’s thirumaligai(house) with tears forcefully trickling down her cheeks. She cries “Oh father! My mother-in-law every now and then pricks me with arrow-like words and actions. The fact that we are not well to do has not gone well with her. Today, I wanted to bathe in the Holy Cauvery and asked if she could accompany me. And oh! She scowled at me asking me to take the non-existing handmaiden who was sent with me during my marriage. I am at my wits end… Please show me a way. Periyanambigal, with amusement in His eyes retorts “ I know nothing of these issues. Go to your Jeeyar and ask him your way.” The child runs to the Muth of the busiest sanyasi to seek a solution to her domestic problem. Swamy stalls all conversation with the people in the Muth, with the temple authorities and asks Attuzhai to explain her tears. She animatedly narrates the happening. Swamy smiles and assures her everything would be fine. He calls for the still busier Kainkaryaparar, Shri Mudaliaandan and orders Him “Aandane! You go to Attuzhai’s home and perform the domestic chores as ordered by her in-laws”. Aandan, with humility, leaves the Muth to accompany Attuzhai. In a few days, the in-laws identify that the man washing the used vessels, the man sweeping their foot-dirtied floor, the man washing their sweat dribbling dresses was none other than the man ordering hundreds of workers to sweep the floor of Srirangam temple, the man ordering hundreds of workers to wash the vessels of Lord Ranganathan, the man ordering people to wash the vasthrams of Lord Ranganatha. They shiver at the prospect of amassing unmitigable paapam and ask Him why He came as a servant. Shri Mudaliaandan gives a straightforward reply “ My Acharyan sent me. I came. And till He calls me back, I won’t leave.” They run to the house of Periyanabigal and curse Him for the revenge he had taken on them by sending such an accomplished Sashtra gnyani as a servant to their house. As usual Shri Periyanambigal points His fingers towards the Muth of Jeeyar and they gallop towards the Muth. Swamy takes control of the situation and calls back Aandan and says “If He can’t stay there and do the work of a servant, let him stay here and do it.” And the in-laws realize the cheapness of their mentality. This performance was greatly applauded. For a few minutes everyone plunged into the Gunasaagaram that ShriAandan was. And the children of SBK were extremely happy to have performed the charitram of Shri Aandan in front of the present day Mudaliaandan swamy.

Following this, Sathyapriya, a student of SBK kept the audience spell- bound with the rendition of Sriramayanam in the tamil vowel series. A small demo of “Srimaan Card Game” was given and all the games on hand got sold on the spot. Many Srivaishnvas wished to have a game for home. And with that, the day’s events came to close. Seeking the blessing of Shri Mudaliaandan swamy again, the children traced their steps back to the place of accommodation. Our Founder acharya and Shri Mudaliaandan swamy discussed vital things regarding the development of Sampradayam among the youth.

Sri Koil Kandhadai Vadoola Kumara Srishaileshachariar swamy   ( Vaikuntavasi Centenarian) was a Sampradaya veteran, to say the least. Swamy was a master of Nalayira Divya Prabandham and never missed Aruliccheyal Gosthi. Whether the health supported Him or not, swamy involved in the Kainkaryams with utmost passion. During Swamy’s time, a large number of people sought asylum under His divine feet. It is a great feat of  Mudaliaandan thirumaligai that many of the Sishyas of the Thirumaligai have become Vidwans in the sampradayam and are spreading its tenets through magazines and upanyasams.

A few photos shot during the drama  are here :


( ....to be continued)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Dip in Divinity - III

Priya arangan adiyar,

(...12th May anubhavam continues)

With the forenoon drawing to a close, we traced out steps for the thadeerayadhanam(feast) held by Shri Mudaliaandan thirumaaligai. The varthamana Swamy was overwhelmed to see the students and poured his aashirvadam on them. The thadeeyaradhanam was excellent and the children rejoiced that Emperuman had accepted the pradadams with utmost bhoogam.

Back to our staying place, the morning exertion seemed to show on the children. An hour of rest brought them back to high energy levels. The function at Shri Mudaliaandan thirumaligai was to begin at 5: 30 p.m and the children started preparing themselves. Shri Mudaliaandan thirumaligai is located along the sides of one of the temple walls (thirumadhil). It is a thiruveedhi where Emperumanar and Selvapillai place Their footsteps during utsavams.

The first programme by the children was a debate captioned “edhu sirandha kainkaryam”( which is the best form of Kainkaryam?). Whether it was kainkaryam by the thought of mind/heart (maanasikam), by word of mouth(vaak), monetarily (dhanam) or physical kainkaryams (kaayikam)? The debate caught up with a lot of heat and as the conclusion was about to surface, Emperuman Selvappillai made a sudden appearance in the Thiruveedhi. Recording His charismatic smile in their hearts, the children returned. Coming to the debate, a unanimous conclusion was drawn crowning ‘ kaayika kainkaryam’ as the best among the contenders. A few reasons were very witty… A child said “Today morning all of us have had a wonderful sevai of Thirunaranan. If Emperumanar had not physically come here and unearthed Him and spent several hours fixing the kainkaryams at the temple, would we get to see the Magnificent Perumal today?” Another gesticulated with his hands “Your honours, what kainkaryams did the Lord of Kanchi and the Lord of Thiruvarangam give Udayavar? Hasthigirinathan gave Him the physical Theertha kainkaryam amongst all others. The Lord of Srirangam gave Him the physical kainkaryam managing the affairs of His temple. What kainkaryams did Udayavar himself give  Anantazhwan. It was purely physical kainkaryams. So our case is strong. We have a supreme precedent to decide the issue in our favour. Other Kainkaryams can be performed by being physically absent. Money can be sent from one corner of the world to perform kainkaryam at a divya-desam. But physical kainkaryam calls for more. It needs the person’s time, his physical presence, and his mental presence. He can think of nothing during the period of kainkaryam. So it is Physical kainkaryam that is the best. The other teams participating in the debate could do the least to confront the ‘Kaayika kainkaryam’ team though they did point out the greatness of each of the kainkaryams.

Next was a wonderful dance performance by a group of Srivaishnavas on the charitram of SriKooratazhwan and SriMudaliaandan. It was an enchanting view and the volunteers and SBK children thoroughly enjoyed the graceful movements of the dancers.

Finally at 7 p.m, the much awaited drama of the SBK students began. Shri Mudaliaandan swamy was a close observer of all the above mentioned events and it was a privilege to see Him encourage the participants.

The screens went up and a lady and a Sanyasi were engaged in a conversation. The sanyasi, Emperumanar makes His way into Thirukoaloor and is encountered by this woman making her way out of the divya-desam. Swamy, with His usual inquisitiveness, asks her why she is leaving the land that should only be entered into. The woman gives a series of reasons for her unfitness to stay in so holy a land. And one such reason was “Irumidar Pidittheno Selvappillaiyai pole ?” (Did I embrace the shoulders (throat) like Selvappillai?).

The instant the reply was given, the scene changed and SriRamanujachariar, adorned in white vasthram and a bare forehead paces his way into Melakkottai. Swamy is worried. He sleeps without drinking a drop of water or having any food. And Thirunaranan appears in His dreams and indicates His whereabouts and the place where Thirumankappu can be found. Swamy is overjoyed and with the help of the King, unearths Emperuman and builds a temple for Him. The town is named Thirunarayanapuram. But still, swamy is worried that the utsavar needed to celebrate all the utsavams is absent. Again Emperuman appears in the sleep of Swamy and orders Him to make a trip to the north and reclaim the utsavar from the Harem of the Mughal princess. Swamy hastens. The Mughal Emperor is awestruck at the serenity and composure of Swamy. But it is beyond his comprehension that a Hindu deity could be found place in the Harem of his daughter. He calls for the daughter and seeks explanation. The child, fearing separation from the Lord, claims to have many idols (deities) in her Harem. The Mughal king, with sarcasm, asks Emperumanar to call for His Lord and if the Lord happened to come, take Him along. Emperumanar, in the midst of a host of people, exclaims in a voice, the voice of a Father ‘ Thodar sangiligal salar pilar ennat…….saarnghapaani thalarnadai nadavano! And ‘Vaarayo NamSelvappillai’ and to the very astonishment of one and all present there, the beautiful deity slowly moves and having embraced Emperumanar, settles down on His lap. An intelligent girl of SBK devised a means to move Selvappillai automatically from the Harem to the lap of the child impersonating Emperumanar. The whole gathering was thrilled and drops of tears fell from the eyes of one and all. Even today, most of the time a purappadu happens for Selvappillai, Emperumanar would accompany Him as a sign of protection. When the child takes a stroll, the father accompanies.

(....to be continued)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Dip in Divinity - II

Priya arangan adiyar,

(...continued)

The plan was to spend time in and around Thirunarayanapuram for two days, the 12th and 13th May.

12th May: The morning was spent drinking the beauty of Thirunarayanapuram with all the senses. A holy dip in the pushkarni followed by a visit to Thirunaranan’s abode. The children were simply thrilled at the prospect of having the sevai of Emperumaan. And when it happened, the anubhavam seemed far bigger than the imagination. The thiruvaradhanam at this sthalam is a wonder in itself. A combination of mantras, mudras, nrithyam(dance) and gaanam(singing),it is said all the 64 upacharas were once offered to Emperumaan here. We could hear the very pleasant voice of the Swamy there chanting the Aagama shlokas following it up with the beautiful rendition of stotraratna set to celestial tunes. In the light of the lamp (vilakku) on either sides of the sanctum sanctorum, with the soothing voice of the swamy there, the Emperuman unearthed by Ethirajar glittered. It was fascinating to watch the way the blue vashtram blended with streaks of orange that spread like Chinese-fan on both sides of the impregnated cloud -coloured Lord. We had glimpses of saakshat paramapadam in the midst of Thirunaranan and Selvapillai. The Thiruvaradhanam was followed by Goshti and excellent prasadams. We were ushered in to have a better sevai of Emperuman. A glance at the Thirukkangal of Thirunaranan settled the unsettling feeling of insecurity burning in our hearts. Here He was there, standing in front of us, for us and will ever be.

The children seemed more moved that us volunteers. They whispered the pasurams of Namazhwar dedicated (by Ethirajar) to this Emperuman. The words of Azhwar seemed to fit exactly to this Emperuman. Following the direction of the native swamy who accompanied us, we got down the side steps and took a pradakshinam. On the way, we entered the thayar sannidhi and prayed for the well- being of all the Kainkaryaparas of Thirunarayanapuram. Taking Her leave, our legs urged us to pace up towards the direction of Udayavar’s sannidhi. There was the Acharya, the foremost krupamatra prasannacharya, in His characteristic Anjali Hastam and Saffron robes. The SBK children ran to Him and paid their obeisance. The Vadivazhagu- varnanai (descriptive poem of beauty) on Swamy by Embar was recited. It is the habit of SBK children and other children under the tutelage of Srimaan Trust to open up their minds to Emperumanar, just as we share our thought with our parents. An acharyan is not merely to impart abstract knowledge. He should help the sishya face life and its everyday challenges with the right frame of mind. He is a counselor, a friend, a mentor. For all of us, it is Swamy Ramanuja. The panacea of all ills seemed to flow from the smile sported by the King of the Ascetics. The Srivaishnavas there chanted ‘ Prarthana Panchakam ’ composed by Engal Azhwan (one of the Acharyas appointed as Head for spreading SriBashyam and Vedantam by Emperumanar) on Emperumanar. We were informed it was in Nithya anusandhanam at this temple and only at this temple.

Having quenched the thirst of having Emperumanar’s sevai, we moved to SriPillailokachariar’s sannidhi. The magnificent thirumeni stayed in our hearts all along. The swamy looking after Emperumanar sannidhi (a descendent of Sri Vangeepuratthu Nambi, sishya of Udayavar), graciously handed us prasadams in plenty, which, the children enjoyed will utmost happiness.

Out of the temple, we headed to a number Sannidhis outside the temple and further acquainted ourselves with the ponds in Thirunarayanapuram. The children always seem to like water bodies and here, it was no exception. The akka-thangai kulam (elder-younger sister ponds) and a few others were a visual treat. But the most captivating feature was the presence of Srivaishnavas in complete vaidika swaroopam at every turn of the streets. Multi tasking is in their blood. Head to the sannidhi, they’ll be performing Thiruvaradhanam, tip-toe to the Thirumadappalli, you’ll find them preparing ksheerannam (milk and rice delicacy), creep into the gosthi, you’ll find them in the first rows reciting the pasurams flawlessly. Tired at such sudden bouts of energy, settle down to have your meal, and there ! you’ll find them serving you. They are an inspiration to do kainkaryam relentlessly. They are no different from us physically but it is the strong determination to serve the cause of Srivaishnavam that propels them to work tirelessly. The children of SBK were explained about these Srivaishnavas and advised to draw inspiration from them.


(...to be continued)

A Dip in Divinity - I

Priya arangan adiyar,

The clouds seemed gravely serene. Only that they were on the brink of opening up and emptying their reserves with magnanimity. As we stood atop the hill of SriNrisimhan and glanced down at the scene that sprawled before our eyes, our breath stood still for a moment. The Pushkarni below looked like emeralds spread across an acre of land or was it an ornament (adukku padhakkam) that bedecked the pristine land below? We wondered. The trees below with wavy texture seemed to have risen from the seeds the very previous night. Such was their freshness. And in the midst of every possible shade of green, stood the towering structure, like pearls heaped conically in the midst of stones, the wonderful gopuram of Emperumaan.

Descending down the hill and into the town, the view was more appealing. As we walked fixing our gaze at the distant gopuram, we were faced by a group of Srivaishnavites. It was as though some divine dexterous sculpturer had chiseled their structure then and there. Their thejas, the long curls of pitch dark hair flowing down the sides of their tonsured forehead, the bright Thirumankappu with the splendid Srichoornam, the milk like white vasthram adorning their thirumeni, their sathvik demeanour, their dark eyes encasing immeasurable love for Jagadacharya made us realize where we were. They were carrying water from the pushkarni for the Thiruvaradhanam of Emperuman. Their lips were uttering the nectareous Stotraratnam of SriAlavandar in a mellifluous voice. The breeze wafting around our nostrils whispered the name of Jagadacharya. We were at Thirunarayanapuram, the land that knows nothing but Jagadacharya Ramanuja.

The occasion was as special as the land we were at. It was for the centenary celebration of the paternal uncle of the present day Shri Mudaliaandan swamy, the veteran Sri Koil Kandhadai Vadoola Kumara Srishaileshachariar swamy (Vaikuntavasi).The varthamana Mudaliaandan swamy (present day swamy) invited the students of Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham (SBK) to perform at the function held at Thirunarayanapuram and the children were overjoyed at the opportunity swamy had given them. With the group of SBK students and volunteers (with the founder acharya and Ammangar), the trip to ‘the enchanting Dakshin Badri’ was undertaken after seeking the permission of the Aadisesha pampered Lord of Srirangam. It was the 12th of May and the plan was to stay there till the . A rare spiritual experience was awaiting to unfold before us.

( to be continued)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Srimaan Info Diary - Nandana - 2012-13


Priya arangan adiyars,

The annual Info diary of Srimaan Trust has got released. The diary was released in a Vidwath Sadhas in Srirangam before vidwans like Sri Parasara LakshmiNarasimha Bhattar, Sri Venkatachariar Swami (Narsapur), Sri Karunakarachariar Swami, Srivaishanvasri Krishnamachariar Swami with our founder swami on auspicious Vaikasi Visagam day. Each year the diary carries new features to aid the temple lovers seek their temple destinations easily (the utsava details inside and outside Thiruvarangam in diary) with some Question and Answers on Sri Pancharathra Agamam practiced in Thiruvarangam.

Today Vaikasi Revathi, Namperumal who have No Purappadu or Thirumanjanam after his Vasanthotsavam until his first Purappadu on 18am Perukku, Purappadu to Cauvery Thayar. His sankalpam to reach his children in the form of this email on Srimaan Info Diary 2012-13 with his Nachiar.

Thiruvaragam which has unique interesting characteristics on all aspects in nature when comparing with other divyadesams. Nature which has personality of born self can be seen from Thiruvarangam as Swayam Vyaktha Kshetram. There are 8 DivyaDesams which are not installed by any Devas, Manusyas, Rishis, Kings, etc. A Sloka says on Swayam Vyaktha Kshetrams:

Srirangam Venkatadrischa SrimushNam Totaparvatam
Salagramam Pushkaramcha NaranarayaNAshramam
Naimisham Cheti ME SthananyasoU Mukthi PradhAnivai
YetusvashtAksharaIkAka: VarNamUrthir VasAmyaham
TishtAmi KrishNa KshEtrE puNya SapthakOgatha:
AshtAksharasya Mantrasya SarvAkshara Maya SadA

In this verse Lord Narayana points out that the eight Swayam Vyakta Kshetrams of Srirangam, Tirupathi, SrimushNam, Vanamamalai, Salagramam, Badri, NaimisharaNyam, and Pushkar grant liberation to those who visit the place. The Lord as the Archa Murthy at each of these Kshetrams signifies one Aksharam of his Ashtakshara Mantram.

From this 8 Sriragam is the First and in which emberuman uniquely is in sayana thirukkolam from others in the list. Sitting posture in 3 Kshetrams, Standing in 2 Kshetram and in the form of Nature in Kshetram.

Also Srirangam is Famous for Kalakshepams from our Purvacharyas period where it was came through Oran Vazhi and later spread through by Swami Ramanujar. Another uniqueness in Srirangam, where aranga nayagam who is one in oran vazhi acharyas himself had kalakshepam from Varavaramuni, which cannot be seen or heard from other divya desams. Vaikundavasi Koil Vidwan Narasimhachariar who is one of the couple of Kalakshepa Adhikari in recent days who done Kalakshepam on various grandhams for various current day vidwans. Like Periya Koil he is Periya Vidwan in Koil.
The founder acharya has instructed us to give the a Video CD (thanks to Emberumanar Dharsana Kainkarya Sabha, Srirgangam) with the diary since his sole aim is to reach the Sampradaya knowledge with the vidwans lived/worked in that to one and all. The diary costs Rs.50 (plus the courier charges) which includes Rs.20 for Koil Vidwan Swami's family. We request each one of you to buy a diary for yourself and many for your relatives and friends. For Donors, we request to send us Minimum of Rs. 20 for Koil Vidwan Swamy through any of the mode. As all of you would be aware that the cost of printing has gone very high and even on sale of all the diaries we wouldn’t be able to break even. But this doesn’t bother us provided all of you reap the benefit of the service of the Trust. The Trust shall thrive only when its services are used by patrons like you.

The link of the pictures of diary and the cd is here with diary release function. Get a glimpse of them before buying :


Monday, June 11, 2012

Everlasting taste...

Priya arangan adiyar,

"Kruthalakshana" - An interesting name of Lord Sriman Narayana referred to in the Vishnu Sahasranama means, one who is the owner of auspicious signs. Parasara Bhattar, in his commentary, also had said that the name referred to one who has the "Bhagavatas" as His followers. The Lord easily identifies His true followers and to qualify for this, one should be friendly towards all and help them whenever they needed it and when they don’t need it too – at all times.

Emphasizing this and following this basic principle is one of our bhaktha, a donor from Chennai, who donated well packed baskets of jackfruit and mango in large volumes to our trust as his token of kainkaryam to our trust. Sharing sparks the sense of oneness with those we share with. Spreading this important message, these baskets were then distributed in and around our temple area by our trust members to the following persons :
  • To the kainkaryaparas of Sri Ranganathar temple Thirumadappalli.
  • The Students of the neighbouring patashalas of Srirangam. They enjoyed the fruits especially the sweet jackfruit.
  • To students of our own Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham.
  •  And the kainkarysree members of our Trust too.
  • The children of Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham (SBK) went to each of the Acharyapurusha’s thirmaligai and humbly handed them the basket of mangoes and jackfruit.

Such a magnanimous act of a true Bhagavatha( the donor of fruits) highlights and assures the  importance of kainkaryams in all forms and at all times in our lives. The true sense of ‘Sesha Bhavam’, as discussed by our preceptors  explains this need and importance too - That the foremost duty of all people, especially SriVaishnavites, is not to entertain any difference between human beings as each one represents God and if one wanted to get eternal bliss, he should serve others in this life itself.

The photos capturing the distribution is here for your taste :

https://picasaweb.google.com/srimaantrust/1June2012?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMKr76i5qtCXKQ&feat=directlink

Thursday, June 7, 2012

CONTINUING RELATIONSHIP OF SRI.MUDALIYANDAN AND SRI KOORATHAZWAN SWAMIS

Priya arangan adiyars,
 
During the April and May months we got the boon to honour and prostrate some rare veterans of Srirangam as well as neighbouring Divyadesams.  We would like to share the joy and kripa with you in this and forthcoming emails.

Sri.Mudaliyandan Swamy, one of the two main disciples of Sri Ramanuja is well appreciated for his administrative skills and humility which were much appreciated by Udaiyavar himself.  The same quality is glittering in the hereditary of Sri Mudhaliyandan  Sri U.Ve. K.K.V.A. Kumara Ramanujachar swamy (Varthamana mudaliyandan swami)

swamy is a perfect specimen of the Mudaliyandan Vamsa.  Being very humble and simple, the swami is doing Bhagawath kainkaryam for a very long time.  He is very devoted to Emberuanar Dharsanam and performs atyadbuda kainkaryam  for many decades at Singaperumal koil.  This swamy has got large number of sisyas spread all over our Barata Desam. Not only that, this Swamy is fond of many divyadesa archa emberumans and feel very happy in doing kainkaryams there including Sri Kooram, avatharasthalam of Sri Koorathalwan.

Sri Mudaliyandan swamy was very close with Koorathazhwan swamy, every vaishnavite is aware of it.  The same relationship is maintained now between the swamis of Sri Mudaliyandan and Sri Parasara Bhattar, son of Koorathazhwan.  The swami is much related with SRIMAAN TRUST and has acted as a key role in our spiritual exhibition that was conducted 4 years before at srirangam.

  The Sri U.Ve. K.K.V.A. Kumara Ramanujacharswamy (Varthamana mudaliyandan swami) Swami visited our Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam and was very pleased to find the students activities.  He was much impressed upon the students’ performance of Nithya Thiruvaradhana.  He was very happy to note the students performing poojas and festivals just like done for Sriranganatha.  Immediately he promised the children that he would arrange some Vahanas for the use during the festivals.

Sri Swamy also placed his divine feet in our "Sri Ramanusan ponnadi" ,  the newly built gurukulam premises and showered his divine blessings.

    Let we have the bagyam of seeing mudaliyandan swamy:

https://picasaweb.google.com/srimaantrust/AcharyaVandhanamMudhaliyandanSwamy?authkey=Gv1sRgCI63h5f40LScZQ

Friday, June 1, 2012

Spiritual Camp- Anubavam-Part III (Final Part)

Priya arangan adiyars,

      (Anubavam thodargiradu...)

All the children were taught Kanninunsiruthambu during this camp. It is sweet to hear childish language (mazhalai) and it is sweeter to hear Kanninunsiruthambu. If both of them combine, the experience is something which cannot be described by words. Indeed, their chant was so nice that we need to learn the proper way to chant Kanninunsiruthambu from them. It had the clarity, coherence and the right pace which we generally lack while chanting.
     On the last day of the camp, May 10th was the most hair rising and spiritually charging event – Veedi Pradakshinam. The campers all in traditional attire – boys in veshti and girls in pavadai arrived at 7.30am at Sri Parasara Bhattar Thirumaligai – the headquarters of Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham. At about 8 am, with mela thaalam and banners that shouted out phrases from Azhwars’ arulicheyal the children organized themselves in files – first boys and then girls. They left the Thirumaligai chanting “Sri sailesa” and then chanted Kanninun Siruthambu repeatedly until they did a pradakshina of Kovil in the four chithirai veedis.  The children then went straight to Nammazhwar sannidhi to receive blessings theertham and Madurakavi. All around the chithirai veedi, the residents came out of their homes and Thirumaligais. Their happiness and appreciation was apparent on their faces and some even verbally expressed their appreciation to Ammangar.
        After a spiritually charging and physically exhausting 10 day camp, the 11th day was the Valedictory function where scholars and Acharya Purushas were invited to bless the campers. The project work done by the youth in Azhwan group was put up for display.  The displays included  thiruvarangan ula,Sri Ramanuyathra, Thiruvallikkeni Penpillai Rahasyam, Kaisika Puranam,Vishnu Puranam, Nava Vidha Sambandam and more. The visitors were asked to vote for one team based on how well they liked the display and explanation. The little ones in Bhattar group had rehearsed for the Sampradayic 1 – 10 and enacted very beautifully and confidently. Lord Srimannarayana appeared for numeral 1 and emphatically assured us “Aham eva para thathvam”, for the numeral 2 – Perumal and Thayar appeared together , Mudal azhwargal spoke about themselves for number 3, Rama Lakshmana Bharata and Sathrughna described samanya, visesha, visesha taram and visesha tama dharmas for number 4 and so on until 10. The chief guests blessed the gathering and especially the children and srimaan trust for conducting such an inspiring camp. From each group, one child was awarded the Best Camper award for best behavior, prizes were awarded to project displays based on votes by parents/visitors. The little ones who participated in the Sampradayic 1-10 were also presented with participation certificate and prize. Everyone left the hall with full hearts and immense happiness - the happiness that stems from a spiritually uplifting experience and that is long lasting.
        The camp was conducted due to the tireless efforts of a few volunteers who are also the very early students of SBK. They have worked day and night to plan the schedule for each day and execute it accordingly. This serves as an opportunity to thank their selfless efforts. Eventually, we also express our gratitude to our Namperumal and SriRanganachiyar , our poorvacharyas and  divine donors like you all for making this camp possible.

Excellent photos taken during Veedi pradakshanam and Project Day:

      https://picasaweb.google.com/srimaantrust/SpiritualPersonalityDevelopmentCamp3?authkey=Gv1sRgCILRjvrK2p_dxwE

Let we joyfully wait for write up on cherishing kainkaryams being undertaken....