Wednesday, August 29, 2012

An elevating meet (End)

Priya arangan adiyar,


Following the words of Ammangar,  Smt Padmashree spoke on ‘Academics and Spirituality’. She was eloquent in putting across her points. A repertoire of academic knowledge accumulated by studying systems across the globe, she asked the fundamental question “Why education at all?” The basic reason for education is to do good to humanity. And that is the motto of Acharyah. Today all the textbooks say man came from monkey. But even the proponent of this theory (Charles Darwin) admits the existence of a Supreme Progenitor. But still our textbooks screech that life came from matter.

Education needs to be deep. It should have no regulated stringent framework. It should be passion driven and not time and age driven. Most information in our textbooks are outdated. The British discovery of ancient India was laden with prejudice and self-interest. We had no knowledge of technology then nor were our voice heard outside. Hence what the British ‘wanted to be’ our history became our history. But look now. Various sciences have joined hands in re-writing the history of India. But all these latest details are available for people outside India. Our textbooks still carry the same old imaginative tale of India. And all our children read them like the Vedas.

At Acharyah, every single subject is deeply researched. A team of doctorates and post-doctorates are involved in the design of the syllabus. Since these people are research scholars, their knowledge are up to date and so is the syllabus of Acharyah. This also means the portions are never static and go through alteration frequently which is how education should be. When new discoveries and inventions are made at the every day, how can we keep reading the same old information? We shouldn’t make math and science part of the history book.

The school constantly makes efforts to keep the children in the thoughts of the Supreme Beings. Incorporating the spiritual aspects into the everyday portions makes this possible.
Smt Padmashree went on to explain the most important aspect of the session on how to handle the children. What to do and what not to do?
  • Children should never be ill- handled physically. As adults would we tolerate if someone abuses us (even for our good) physically? Would we not retaliate instantly? Whatever we need to convey them or make them do, it all has to be through influencing their thoughts. Only then will it stay in them. Getting things done by fear will not have any long term impact. But the worst effect of this is the loss of inquisitiveness and self analysis on the part of the child which harms him throughout life.
  • Never rush with the child. You make have thousand thoughts and plans flipping through your mind. Don’t thrust it on the child. Let him live and enjoy the ‘now’. Let him discover things himself. Allow him the luxury of time. If you are too occupied for the moment to move around with him, just stay away from him. If you wish to spend time with the child, let it be quality time.
  • Never make your child a spectator when you’re heatedly discussing family affairs in the house. Never let your anger, pressure and prejudices seep into that innocent heart. Let him judge people for himself. Let not your feelings decide his.
  • Let him be himself. You didn’t want a child so that you can constantly keep a vigil over his activities and make every act of his ‘perfect’. Stop being emotional perfectionists. If he is angry let him express it. If he is solemn, let him be. Let them pick up ideals; let him understand the harm of emotional outbursts. In a fit to stop his bad behavior, don’t show him yours. He’ll happily learn from you.
  • Understand that a parent -child relationship is like a partnership. Keep your mind focused on his strengths and virtues. Always endeavour to create an environment where those can be enhanced. Once your focus moves away from the negative aspect of the child to the positive, there would be remarkable transformation in him. If you cannot think he is virtuous, that he is excellent, how can he?
The speech ended with the discussion of the leadership training Acharyah plans to adopt for the children. Jefferson method and a few other methods were discussed in detail.The parents were very happy to have had a detailed interaction with the faculty of Acharyah.

Monday, August 27, 2012

An elevating meet -II

Priya arangan adiyar,

(The talk of Ammangar addressing the parents continues )

Morals from the sastras and from the life and words of the Poorvacharyas are the best for children and elders alike. The words of the Acharyas are such that they can be implemented at any age, any place and more importantly in any environment. We know corporate principles. They are of great applicability in the world of corporates. But outside that world we cannot apply them. If we do, it will work the opposite way and end up as a deterrent. Similarly many a spiritual or philosophical thought cannot be cut/ copied and pasted in a corporate environment. It may not work out well. But the Sastric thoughts and the thoughts of our Poorvacharyas are wisdom drenched that they have universal applicability. If you want to know how to implement them, you needn’t look elsewhere. Their life is there to show that to you. Hence the sastric and poorvacharya’s morals are eternal. What is satyam? “Satyam bhootahithaproksham” That which does good to beings is satyam. The definition is simple, yet subtle and clear. Suppose a good man seeks asylum at your house from hooligans. And the gang follows him and end up at your doors asking for him, u need to tell them u have never seen that man. Yes you have to speak satyam! Hiding the good man is best both for him as well as the bullies. By saving him you save a good soul and by misleading the others you restrict them from turning sinners. So subtle a concept and yet very practical. The sastric thought is always with “reference to the context”. Rarely will we find some thought too idealistic to the extent that it becomes hard to practice.

Spirituality is vital for children. When we mean spirituality it does not refer to by-hearting of shlokas or pasurams alone. Children should realize their relationship with the Supreme Being. When such a realization gets ingrained in their minds, it changes their perspective of thinking of their future. Equilibrium is maintained throughout their life. The walk on the path of dharma and never go astray. Their ability to discern between vital and non-vital tasks grows by leaps and bounds. The mindless stubbornness to do a work even if it involves adharma is forever erased from their minds. So the focus is more on the way things are done than the end we attain. We can see the past and the present history. A man howsoever large his growth, howsoever successful in career, fall at a time in life. And if he is spiritual he rises with resilience. If not, he may fall still lower.Hence spirituality is an essential ingredient in every school syllabus.

( ……to be continued)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

An elevating meet

Priya arangan adiyar,

“Why did you send your child here?” asked the Principal to a riveted gathering of parents. It was the Parents teachers meet at Acharyah and the little ones were comfortable sandwiched between the parents and rotating their round eyes with curiosity. It was a day their academic skill as well as notorious feats would be formally communicated to the parents. It was the day the parents would know what has become of their little chap who joined ‘Acharyah’.

Almost in a chorus, as though previously rehearsed, the parents answered :

“so that they know our tradition”

“so that they learn what spirituality is”

“So that they know what morals are”

One parent replied “I am the daughter-in-law of a family of Archakas but I have no idea of what Sampradayam is. By making my child a student of Acharyah I expect him as well as my own self to know and understand Sampradaya”.

Seated in the dice were Ammangar, Headmistress and Smt Padmasree Tadepalli. Addressing the parents ammangar explained that Acharyah was born out of the need to prepare children as LEADERS – Morally, Academically and Spiritually’. Around these three goals, every step of Acharyah would proceed. Quoting a lot of examples to show how moral stories taught at other institutions send wrong messages, she quoted a popular story. A mongoose drops its baby in the neighborhood of a family and dies. The family consists of husband, wife and their baby. Seeing the little mongoose, the family adopts it and raises it as one among them. The little mongoose grows very close to the baby and loves it. It never leaves the baby alone. One day, when the parents were out of the house, a snake enters the house and tries to harm the child. The mongoose wages a battle with the snake and with great effort tears it apart. With the snakes blood oozing through its mouth, the mongoose runs to communicate the happy message to its parents( husband and wife). But seeing the mongoose with blood in its mouth, the mother of the child is enraged that the mongoose killed her child! Taking a piece of rock in her hand, she smashes the head of the poor, kind-hearted and gratitude-filled mongoose. Moral of the story – ask children. The instinctive answer they give is “it is bad to be good”. Is their interpretation not correct? Only when we grow up will we understand the moral that before acting, gather the truth and based on the facts,act. But will a child, 6 or 7 years old understand the subtle moral. But this story will feature in every school book. Ammangar explained there are umpteen examples that can be quoted to display the fallacies of modern –morality building.

(to be continued ….)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Don't by homework !

Priya arangan adiyar,

The novel schooling technique adopted by Acharyah school has caught the attention of the press. In the midst of schools that pressurize on high grades beyond high morals, high recognition beyond good mental health, Acharyah seems to be a rose in an accumulation of thorns and hence, every time a persons drops in at Acharyah with a view to publish an article, he/she is greatly surprised and inspired. Recently, people from Kalki magazine visited our Acharyah school and grasped the ways of its functioning. In the issue dated 19.08.2012, in page number 12 a nd 13, an article on Acharyah has been published. We are translating (almost literal) the article into English for your benefit though the original one can be seen by clicking the link at the bottom.

Here is the article :

“Not much portion to bog down the heart. Not much homework to make the fingers beg for rest. Not much hunting for grades to send one into frenzy. Learn. Think creatively. Write what you think with your own words.” 

This is how, ‘Acharyah - the school for leaders’ is functioning in Srirangam. Languages like Tamizh, English, and Sanskrit are taught here. Started in the year 2009 with ten children, the strength of children till second standard is 46 now. 

“Children should grow naturally. Just like the blossoming of a bud into a flower, education should reach them. Today, all schools train children for a rat-like battle. To run a school in sheer contrast to these schools, we run Acharyah” says the Headmistress, Smt Geetha Krishnamoorthy. “For the parents wishing to send their lads to this school, these principles are clearly explained. They should not trouble themselves that their child didn’t score marks, did not secure rank like other children (of other schools), is it not?" asks the HeadMistress.

Mixing the wheat flour together, making it into small round pieces and brining it “Is it correct? Is the mix enough teacher?” asks the seven year old Anand. Six year old Kavitha binds the match-sticks together and making it into a piece of art, shows it. What is happening here? Curiosity overtakes.

Some water in a cup. And into it the little girl drops some objects. From this she learns what all object float in water and what all submerge. “Learning through speech and action is the way teaching happens in our school” say the teachers. The children are taught Puranas, Ithihasas through lectures.

One day, the lessons are about flowers. The very next day, “Flowers are beautiful. They carry lot of fragrance” writes the little girl in her own hand and shows it. When asked to arrange words with the end letter of one as the starting of another, the very second, Raman poetically puts “Pattasu, Sulukku, Kuthambai, Paisa, Saavi, Vilakku, Kuduvai, Vaiyatthu, Thuppakki, Krishnan!”.

On a piece of sheet, all the heavenly-bodies around Earth are embossed in their own shapes. Moon, Mars, Saturn, Sun and other such bodies are mentioned in English too. Having come to school the previous morning, the first standard student Varshini asks “Madam, Curiosity has landed in Mars. Madam, when are we going there?”. “She has seen the news in television. The next day morning, when she came and asked me the question, I was simply amazed” says Gomathi Venkat, a teacher.

“Giving education mixed with Good habits, our culture and morals is our aim. That is why we have named it ‘Acharyah – school for leaders’. Having come up to second grade in three years, the school will slowly have more grades and adopt C.B.S.E INTERNATIONAL system of education. In future, the school will start teaching the languages of other Indian States. The children who study and pass out of this school will never tread the path of Adharma. To that effect, we are inducing in them, the thoughts of Good Morality” says the Founder of the School, Shri Parasara Badrinarayan Bhattar.

For the actual tamizh article, please click the link below :

Saturday, August 18, 2012

1 + 1 = 3

Priya arangan adiyar,

A Trust is a unique and profound concept. All of us derive benefit from others. A single man, if left all alone, can achieve nothing. The conspiracy of the cosmos is an essential ingredient in the victory of man. How do we reciprocate for this invisible yet explicit help from the society? Many people conclude ‘by paying taxes’. But is tax a means of helping the society? Maybe, a part of it. But in a sense tax is a self-help measure. We need street lights for our safety, we need good roads so that our spine doesn’t hurt. We need rails to travel to the destination we prefer. We are the beneficiary of what we give to the government (atleast a major chunk. We don’t want to comment on the siphoning off of our tax funds by people in the government since we know little of it to comment). So taxes are not purely a means of giving back to the society what it has done to us. Hence, the concept of Trust. Through a Trust, we extend the principle of giving back to the society what we have received from it . But that is not all. A Trust is a symbol of something more than ‘give and take policy’. It is a sign of unconditional giving, giving without expecting anything in return. Thus , it is a sign of divinity that resides in us. Everything that we have is unconditionally bestowed by the Supreme persona, without expecting anything from us. Some people may ask ‘does the Supreme not want us to serve Him? Does the Supreme not want us to reach His abode? Does He not want us to Serve His bhakthas? It that not His expectation then?’ Our mother/wife want us to eat food on time. They want us to sleep well. Is that not their expectation? Yes it is but it doesn’t garner anything for them. It is for our well-being that they expect us to do so. Such is the expectation of the Supreme. Being of service to Him and His Bhakthas is something that will immensely benefit us. He has no stake in it other than turning happy at our wisdom and self-realization. A Trust simply tries to impersonate the Supreme Being’s qualities.

Srimaan Trust has grown under the feet of Lord Ranganatha. And it is under His supervision that all the activities are flourishing. The working of the Trust is synergetic. Support comes from various quarters but the end product (kainkaryam) turns even bigger. We hope all its activities and efforts end up leading the people unto His Feet and thus secure permanent happiness for them.

Help, assistance, encouragement at the right time and to the right person is the ultimate goal of a Trust. Our Trust had got such an opportunity recently. Sri Vanamamalai Jeeyar swamy is undertaking Chaturmasya sankalpam here at Srirangam this year. With Him, all acolytes and assistants too have arrived here. On a fine morning, a volunteer brought a person looking after the Thirumadapalli (Kitchen) of SriVanamamalai Muth. Though he got opportunities to work elsewhere, the person preferred working at His acharyan’s muth. His wife is also employed in a service at the Muth. They have a daughter who is very good at academics. Having scored 1127/1200 in 12th Grade and stood first in her school at Nanguneri, the child dreamt of pursing a career in Engineering. The impediment was of course, finance.

Having heard the story of the dedicated Srivaishnavar and the current financial crisis, the volunteer brought this person to the Trust’s premise and introduced him to the founder acharya. And the Trust has helped the girl pursue her dream. The Manager of State Bank of India, Srirangam, was asked to give the cheque to the father of the girl on behalf of the Trust. Having heard her story, the Manager was greatly moved and has promised help from his quarter for the whole duration of the course.

It is indeed very heartening to extend our a helping hand to such deserving people. We only wish to state that it is not our hand but your hand that has helped the girl. Having souls like you on our side, the Supreme Being would direct such deserving people to the doors of the Trust and fulfill its life’s objective.

For the photos of this kainkaryam, please click the link below :

The above link has photos of a couple of children from SBK receiving scholarship. This time, the other children were asked to give it.
The kainkaryam at SriKooratazhwan sannidhi is progressing at a very rapid pace. Srivaishnavas, who came to Srirangam recently, have made an excellent monetary donation for the Kainkaryam. A drop of the target projection has been collected now.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Against the tide.

Priya arangan adiyar,

“Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind” is an oft quoted saying. Very true, in the sea of umpteen opportunities and variety of distractions, we are often mislead. When young we wish to study something, when grown up we study something else and land up in an altogether different arena in work. Considering the wave of options that splash over us, getting swept is not a surprise. Yet, there are some, who rise against the tide or go on to suppress it and swim successfully. Their clarity of purpose and deep conviction carries them through.

One such personality is Shri Thenthiruperai U.Ve.Aravindalochanan swamy. Hailing from one of the nava thirupathi divya desams, he was academic and competed his engineering in Electronic and Communication. Wishing to make it big in the corporate world, he followed his dream and landed in Chennai. Taking up a job in Bayer Medical Instruments he climbed the ladder in a breeze. That was when he encountered a few persons in Sampradayam which led to listening to discourses. Slowly the thoughts and practices of our poorvacharyas seeped into his heart. And a subtle transformation took place. His inclination for Sampradayam grew in geometric progression. Somehow, he juggled work and worship. He learnt the intricacies of Sampradayam from eminent personalities in .And slowly he started discoursing on the tenets of Sampradayam. Marriage happened and the couple begot two bright girls. And now the thoughts of Sampradaya began to consume him. The corporate world seemed too material for his sensibilities. And the need to make people realize Sampradaya and its practices grew in him. Carrying the responsibility of a householder and further two daughters weighed high in his mind. But he was a man of purpose and a man of aim. With a very understanding wife beside him, He quit the world of loukeekam and plunged into Sampradayam.

Aravindalochana swamy has been giving discourses on a variety of topics. He was recently at Srirangam and we took the opportunity to felicitate him under the monthly scheme of ‘Vidwath vandanam’ at Gurukulam. On entry into the Gurukulam, he immediately asked two pasurams on Srirangam from Periya Thirumozhi to two children. And they immediately recited the pasurams flawlessly. He was extremely impressed and discoursed on those two pasurams to the children. He explained the duties and the greatness of being a student at a Gurukulam. He explained the twin tales from SriKrishnavatharam, one about the acharya-bhakthi Lord Krishna had and the charitram of the ‘lost children of a brahmin’ whom Lord Krishna rescued (which were the content of the pasurams recited by the children.)

The children were exceedingly happy to have him and listen to the droplets of wisdom that dripped from his lips. And he was honoured by the children.

It is a very striking example of a person, who, just like us had normal goals but converted them into loftier ones. Let us all draw inspiration from him.

The CDs/DVDs of Aravindalochanan swamy are available at many places. We are giving his phone number and email address so that you buy his work and relish them. Needless to say, it would also help someone who has quit a corporate job for Sampradayam.

His phone no : 09445250507
His email address :

The photos of the vidwath  vandanam are here :

Monday, August 13, 2012

On your march, get set and don't go!

Priya arangan adiyar,

A big hoarding at the entrance a corporate welcomed us with a wide message. We, volunteers had been to seek help from a known person in the Company to support the activities of the Trust. With costs sky rocketing, we need to seek help for the children of the Trust from every quarter. But the hoarding struck our mind like a bolt from the blue. The message read

“Every morning in Africa, a deer wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest of the lion or it will be killed.

Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest deer or it will starve to death.

It doesn’t matter if you are a lion or a deer. When the sun comes up, you’d better be running”

What is in store for a man seeking a corporate career had been categorically put as a warning signal (or a motivational signal?) just before entry into the jungle. And the man falls prey to the jungle epidemic, the epidemic of eternal mindless running. Well, for the men who triggered the industrial revolution and the software revolution, the saying may sound normal, acceptable and a matter of daily routine. But for us , people of Bharatham, who have a far more philosophical and spiritual legacy bequeathed to us, does it not sound wired? For people who are destined to have a higher quest in life, does it not sound animalistic? And yet, we too are running, following either the paws or the hooves into the dense woods, not knowing what is in store, but aimlessly meandering…with meandering as the sole aim. If we can’t ramble, we feel death has laid its claws on us. If we stand still for a moment, having a cursory glance at the ponds, the beautiful flora, the exquisite sunrise, the flutter of a bird and feasting the beauty of Emperuman’s creation, anxiety spreads through our veins. No time for sleep. No time for siesta. No time for contemplation. And no time for introspection. Athma gnyanam is not for our race. It is for the animals. We are humans in the jungle carefully designed and laid by our fellow humans. Knowledge of Emperuman is not in our kitty. It is for some other species, a species either extinct or yet to form. Help to fellow beings is not our piece of cane. Preserving our tradition is not our duty. Lets others see to it. Where are we heading? A society, once known for its tranquility, a society once known for its Vedic wisdom, a society once known for its intellectual clarity is a society now running behind nothing. Intellectuals across the world once praised our land as the land of every origin. Voltaire, a French thinker claimed “I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganga (Ganges), - astronomy, astrology, metempsychosis, etc." When the world of intellectuals looks upon our heritage for their inspiration, we are simply performing the roles of maids in their kitchen. We only need to stop running , look around, take a deep breath and 'think'.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Descending, for our own sake.

Priya Arangan Adiyar,

In Upadesa Rathina malai, Swami Mamunigal says "emakkAga vanRO ingANdAL avatharitthAL". Swami Pillailokam Jeeyar's commentary runs, "prajai kiNatRilE vizhundhAl okkak  kudhiththu edukkum thaayaip pOlE samsAramagnarAna nammai edukkaikkAga vanRO!".

Swami Mamunigal says that Andal incarnated for our own sake.  Pillailokam Jeeyar elaborates the meaning through his comment that Andal descended for our sake to rescue us from samsaram, like a mother jumping into the well to save her child.

Thiruvadippooram, the day of descent of Andal, marks the day the eternal consort of the Lord of Srivaikuntam, incarnated in our midst to uplift us to the eternal world and rescue us from the difficulties of our material existence. 

Out of gratitude, recognition and regard, the students of Srimaan Gurukulam celebrated a festival of great detail       on the occasion of Her thirunakshatram. The  festival started  with the installation of Garuda by rites and the hoisting of   the Garuda flag, a process famously recognized as Dwajarohanam. 

Thereafter, each day until the 23rd of July was celebrated with Thirumanjanam in the mornings and processions in the Chitra veethi in the evenings - Tholukkiniyaan Purappadu, Sesha Vahanam and Kudhirai Vahanam.  On the 23rd, the thirunakshathram of Andal, the students conducted Serthy purappadu of the Lord and Andal in togetherness. A spectacular theerthavari at Kollidam and Dvaja-avarohanam on the 24th concluded the festival.

For the divine photos of the event, please click the link below :

Friday, August 10, 2012

Actions that add value to life.

Priya arangan adiyar,

The life of a person becomes meaningful only when that person realizes the purpose of this life. There is a saying in Tamil that it’s a rare opportunity and a privilege to be born a human. It is indeed true because only as humans we possess intellect and are capable of performing meaningful actions. With the help of our intellect we should realize that any activity we perform should make the Emperumaan feel good about us and accordingly we should indulge in appropriate actions. This is only termed as Kainkaryam. So as we can see, Emperumaan is satisfied with us when we perform Kainkaryam. But Kainkaryam itself has different variety in itself. A classic example is the Kainkaryam performed by Lakshmana, Bharatha and Shathrugna. Lakshmana and Bharatha performed Bhagavath Kainkaryam (the former following Him physically, the latter following His order meticulously). On the other hand, Sathrugna was always keen on performing Kainkaryam to Bharatha who was Bhaagavatha. Among these three, Emperumaan loved Sathrugna the most since he followed the highest principle of doing Bhaagavatha kainkaryam. There are several other accounts which reveal the greatness of Bhaagavatha Kainkaryam. And a wrong doing (even a thought) against a Bhaagavatha is considered an unpardonable sin by Emperuman. Never should we feel hatred or develop prejudice towards Bhaagavathas.

Recently ,a group of 30 Sri Vaishnavas from Azhagiya Manavalamamunigal Kainkarya Sabha, headed by Srimushnam Sri U.Ve. Sreedharan Swamy visited SriRangam . Through the Sabha, Sri Sreedharan swamy has been doing wonderful kainkaryams. Organising yatras, organising discources throughout the year ,supporting unattended divya desams and many such noble deeds are being done by him. An employee of the Railways, he is a very excellent example of a person in loukeekam performing Herculean tasks for sampradayam. Though in Railways, his attire is exceedingly sampradayic. He sports the shikhai (Kudumi) and travels to office with thirumankappu. He is also the sishya of Sholingapuram Dhoddachar swamy and has done lot of kainkaryams to His Thirumaligai.

The purpose of their visit to Srirangam was to have a glimpse of the children of our Gurukulam and those of Bhattarpiran Veda Patasalai and spend time with them. When each one of us is entangled in our daily affairs, who is there to visit srirangam and spend time with the children who are working for the cause of the Supreme Being? With such a noble thought, these people visited Srirangam. They brought new garments (Veshti & Uthereeyam) for the students of the Patasalai and Gurukulam and handed them to all the students.

The SBG students later involved themselves in the Kainkaryam of performing a Thadheeyaradhanam for the Sri Vaishnavas and were so very interested in their care that the Srivaishnavas were extremely moved by their hospitality. They kept narrating the care shown by the children to the volunteers.  Later, the group wanted to visit the divya desams around Srirangam. Volunteers from Srimaan trust also got the opportunity to accompany them to those divya desams and assured them good seva/darshan at the temples.

Being Vaidikas, it is each of our responsibility to encourage Vedic studies and support the families of Vedic scholars. Needless to say, there is urging need to patronize all Veda Paatasaalai which are all centres of spiritual learning. It is very pleasing to see such noble deeds from the people which safeguard the Vaishnavite tradition. Our Sampradayam is in need of more such patrons whose Kainkaryams will match the statement “Srimanna Sriranga Sriyamanubhadravaam anudinam samvardhayaa” (Let the eternal glory of Srirangam multiply everyday).

For the website of Azhagiya Manavala Mamunigal Kainkarya Sabha, please click the link below :

For the excellent photos of the vasthra pradhanam, please see the link below :

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

At the blink of an eye - II (End)

Priya arangan adiyar,

( ....continued)

Building the city :
Hearing the words of Lord, Vishwakarma thought for a few seconds. He was pleased seeing the site for the city. The ocean showed high respect for Govinda and moved apart to accommodate the whole of Yadavas. Then Vishvakarma spoke to Krishna “From today itself, let all occupy the residences. O lord! I have already made this great city conceptually with my mind without any delay of time. The best walls of the fort shined with sculptured doors along with trenches, door frames and archways with beautiful women, men and merchants along with varieties of commodities, endowed with an assembly of best houses, large number of pathways, this city was beautified on earth by the ocean. An auspicious place even for the gods, the city of Dwaraka sparkled like the sky shining with stars. Lord Krishna, along will all the yadavas, resided in that city, making it sparkle like the moon sparkling in the sky. Vishvakarma made the city as the yadavas were simply watching. It was like a dream for the Yadavas as well as for Janardhana. It seemed as though the splendid city was meticulously planned for many years before being constructed.

Wish of the Supreme :
When the Supreme Being wishes, why can’t such a miracle happen? When Emperumaan is able to perform the act of Srishti (merging the achit and chit) with effortless ease, like our making the inanimate clock work by thrusting a small battery into its spine, why cant He build a town at the wink of the eyelid? Anything can happen if His sankalpam is there. All our Ithihasas and Puranas keep repeating this fact through umpteen examples.

Epitome of Physical Kainkaryam :

So, when 70 Srivaishnava Bhagavathas came to Srirangam from Salem, participated in the construction work of Sri Koorathazhwan sannidhi and modified the look of the sannidhi in a day's time, we were reminded of the work of Vishwakarma.

SriAzhwan's glory :

Sri Kooratazhwan, who’s fame is known to everyone can be defined in toto as  ‘the Srivaishnava lexicon’. Every good quality existing in all the lokas took refuge in this Personality. It is not a hyperbole if we tell pious traits emanated from Him and spread across the world. To Ramanuja, He was a treasure ever waiting to lend itself for use to its owner, to His family, He was the very summit of goodness, to the world, he was the idol of ideal living and austerity and to Emperuman, He was a surprise. Never could have Emperuman dreamt His mind could conceptualize a Personality as SriAzhwan. Sri Azhwan was His best handiwork yet a heartening surprise to Him. Is not Kooratazhwan sathveekam in its human form? Or is not Azhwan intelligence in skin and flesh? Is He not Positive Attitude in animation? Is He not purity of thought in Person? Is He not a Staunch Believer in Bone and Being? He is that and Beyond. At times, we feel that we can never feel Him. Never fathom Him. Never penetrate thorough the fog that envelopes us from Him. Yes ,the fog of Agnyanam, the fog of Ahankaram, the fog of Mamakaram that keeps us away from realizing the towering personality that set foot on earth and in the annals of History.

Participation in the divine kainkaryam of SriAzhwan :

To go a step further towards His Grace, can’t we at least participate in a Kainkaryam to renovate His sannidhi at Srirangam? He is extolled as having given His Darshanam for Srivaishnava Darshanam. That is undoubtedly a credit to Him. But to us, normal Beings rowing through life, what has He given? Way to live. Way to talk. Way to walk. Way to think. Way to see. Way to be. Every step we need to take in the mushy wood of life has been carved by Emperuman through SriKooratazhwan. He stood for values, values we need to imbibe. If we go through His life, a strong feeling surface that His Jathakam was written very well. But we feel He re-wrote it with His own hands for the benefit of Sampradayam and ultimately, us. Incidentally, it gave His body unspeakable pain, gave His heart immeasurable pang in the form of separation from Acharyan. But He did it all, for us. Only for us. thinking of Him, our eyes get moist, legs turn weak...but yes, a feeling of purpose creeps into our hearts. Only His grace can let it stay there forever.

What can it not do?
Participation in some way in the renovation work of His sannidhi is a way to purify our Hearts. A way to cleanse it of its negativity, to sweep the conceit it brews everyday, to harmoniously integrate heart,mind and body. A long step towards being more human and thinking human. No need to mention the Punyam it will bestow upon us.

Those who feel kainkaryam to SriKooratazhwan as a further act in establishing our nexus to the Supreme Being, please do contribute, whatever you can .

Setting tone for divine contribution :

Smt. Varalakshmi amma, a sishya of Sri Parasara Ranganatha Bhattar swamy expressed her wish to contribute to the sannidhi kainkaryam and handed over Rs.40,000 for the kainkaryam. Her contribution was handed over by the children of SBK to Sri Parasara Thiruvenkata Bhattar swamy, photo link is here :

The details of the ongoing kainkaryam is here below:
  • Flooring for the sannidhi of SriKooratazhwan - 1000 black bricks used
  • Complete renovation of the Thirumadappalli (Kitchen) so that the thadheeyaradhanai kainkaryam  can happen more extensively. The Tirumadappalli is in a dilapidated condition now.
  • Complete flooring for the whole praakaram and the inside area where gosthi is held.
  • Painting of the whole area.

Cost estimate :
The total cost estimate of the kainkaryam is Rs.6,00,000.

For contribution, the contact details are below. Srimaan Trust could be contacted for clarification of any doubt regarding the kainkaryam.

Address:  Azhwars and Acharyas Trust, No.228, South Uthra Street, Srirangam, Trichy -6

Contact Person: Sri Parasara Sudarsana Bhattar. Cell :09244633398
Savings Account Details: 023001000696999, City Union Bank, Trichy Branch (Main)
IFSC Code: CIUB0000023

For the wonderful photos of a part of the Physical Kainkaryam of salem bhagavathas, please click the link below:


For the videos of the ongoing kainkaryam, please click the link below :

Monday, August 6, 2012

At the blink of an eye - I

Priya arangan adiyar,

Keeping their weapons aside, Lord Krishna and Balarama, both the valiant, moved freely in their house. After performing the daily rituals, they took rest and talked to each other. Meanwhile, a great event occurred suddenly. The sky was covered with clouds and mountains on the earth shook. All the yadavas trembled and fell down on earth. Seeing them falling down, Balarama and Krishna remained still. They knew the best of birds (Garuda) by the great waving of his wings. They saw Garuda who had come near. Then Lord Krishna spoke ” Oh the best among birds! Let us go to the great inner quarters of the Bhoja king, sitting there comfortably, we can discuss as we like.” The great Lord Baladeva  and Madhava went there along with Garuda and discussed among themselves in private.

The Lord spoke “Jarasandha can not be killed by us. The enemy's army is great even though we caused great weakness to the army along with the kings. The army is expanding so that even with hundred years it is not possible to kill. We will not be able to destroy his army. Hence son of vinata! I am telling you my opinion. Living in mathura will not be good for us.” Paying obeisance to the lord of devas (Krishna), Garuda said “I left your side and went to kushasthali to check whether the place is suitable for you to live. I saw a city with all auspicious signs. The city is located on the sea, cooled by eastern winds. Surrounded by the sea all around, it cannot be conquered even by devas. O Lord Krishna, please go there and establish your residence. Named as the city of doors(  dwar=dwarika), this city will be, famous in the three worlds and beautiful as the city of amaravathi for Indra. 

Lord Krishna also discussed this acceptable opinion with His brother and expressed the desire to go ahead with the plan of occupying the gem-like city of Dwaraka. The Lord ordered for the purification ceremony. 

In a short period, in an early morning, devoid of impurities, as the sun was rising, the Devata of devas performed the morning rituals and sat in the interior forest. Then he roamed in the area to seek a suitable place for the fortress.. On the best auspicious day, under the asterism of Rohini, with the auspicious words pronounced by the best of Dwijas, the activities for the construction of the fort started with a grand purification ceremony. Then Puroshottama, with eyes beautiful as the leaves of lotus flower, spoke to His people. Krishna said “Look at this land selected by me. It is like heaven. I have also assigned a name for the city by which it will be famous. This city made by me on the earth, named dvAravati (city with gates) will be marvellous like the city, Amaravati of Indra. Take household items, make three cross junctions, measure the royal paths and the paths for buildings. Send for expert builders suited for construction of houses. Send men to places for getting workers. As the Yadavas having great souls were engaged in the construction, Keshava thought about quick construction of the city. Then a divine idea leading to quick construction occurred to him. The city, likely to fulfill all the Yadava wishes and leading to their progress, shall be made by the best architect of devas ,lord Vishvakarma, out of his mind.

At that moment itself, the preceptor of architects, visvakarma, having great intellect, stood before Krishna. He said “Oh Vishnu! One who is firmly resolute! Quickly sent by Indra, I have come here as your servant. Tell me what I should do.” Hearing the humble words of vishvakarma, Krishna said “You are knowledgeable about the meaning of secret of devas. We plan to live here. It is essentially your duty to construct a house for me here. Construct a city for me, suitable to my splendour, along with houses showing your skill. Your work is to construct this city as the best on earth.”

( be continued)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The answer is : Holistic - IV (end)

Priya arangan adiyar,


At the end of the session, a few children decided to exhibit their learning to the dental doctor. Asking her to take a seat among his colleagues, a child explained the whole life of a tooth, from its birth, through the sunny days of unassailable strength followed by the downfall in the form of bacterial encroachment, sudden, unheeded help from a dentist, intense surgery, a long period of recuperation and back to the shining self. The child was like an artist in his explanation of the life of the tooth. Question on dental caries were very in-genuine, considering the age of the children.

The dentist was so inspired by the response of the children and their proactive behaviour that she wanted to teach the gurukulam children also. The very same day, a visit was made to the gurukulam children. They too were very interested in knowing the functioning of the tooth. The questions from the gurukulam children were more on cavity and solutions ( since some of them would have succumbed to it). 

The overall experience was quite enriching, for the children, the dentist and us, the onlooking volunteers. And as the doctor bid adieu to the Acharyah children, they did flaunt the shining, strong and valorous white teeth, thus proving the whole effort on the part of Acharyah a definite success. 

If any of you have doubts on tooth and its care, please don’t ask us. We are mere volunteers. We shall be obliged to ask you to seek professional help. For the wonderful photos of the dental care session, please click the link below:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The answer is : Holistic - III

Priya arangan adiyar,


Many important areas of dental care were discussed, which are listed here :

How to massage the gums?

What kind of brush to use?

It was pointed out by the doctor that the amount of paste used should not exceed the size of a normal peanut. She preferred herbal toothpastes over others.

A child asked if hand can be used to brush teeth. The reply was an emphatic NO.

Brush to be changed every month. This will be a shock to most of us who treat brushes as pieces of live relics.

The ritual of brushing teeth (sans toothpaste) after eating anything sticky is a must to avoid inroads of organisms.

Following it up with water gargling goes without saying.

Gargling with water is to be done after eating anything.

The functioning of the tooth and the gums was beautifully explained. How a tooth falls prey to notorious organisms leading to decay and the means to restore it back to its good self were explained. The look on the children’s face was such that they were game to wage a war with the organisms with whatever equipment they held in their hands.

The dentist was extremely pleased with the response of the children. She was in for a surprise when a child asked to explain how a root canal treatment is done. Each child had his own doubts of tooth and its care. And the dentist was inundated with rapid questions. And a few children decided to exhibit their learning to the doctor.