Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Wind with Wisdom - I

Priya arangan adiyars,

A child can win the heart of a man. Not only an ordinary man but even the Supreme Man. Our history is abundant with children who have brought tears to Lord Narayana by the purity of their Bhakthi and force of their love.

The children who taught…

In Bhagawad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna that controlling of the mind is the solutions of all depressions in life. But Arjuna replies that controlling one’s mind is as difficult as stopping the wind. Then Krishna prescribes that our mind can be controlled and nurtured properly only through practice. That practice if started right from very young age bears fruits at a later date. Even the lives of Dhruvan and PrahalAdan reveal the same message. They were so used to Bhakthi at very young age that they turned out to be great Bhagavathas irrespective of their birth. We all celebrate Thiruppa:vai as a masterpiece which spells out  the essence of all Vedas. But a:nda:l was just five years when She sang Thiruppa:vai. It is our duty to enable our children to practice Bhakthi in their childhood itself.

As a humble effort in this regard, Srimaan trust has been conducting spiritual camps for school-age children during school vacation. During this Ma:rgazhi month (Dec25 to Jan1), Srimaan trust conducted spiritual camp centered on Thiruppa:vai.

A grand inauguration...

Srimaan Trust's 2012 Ma:rgazhi camp was a great experience not only for all the students but also for the volunteers and faculty. The entire week was dedicated purely for Thiruppa:vai and everyone was drenched in Thiruppa:vai that everyone was conversing with statements from Thiruppa:vai.

Founder acharya inspires with his address...

More Wind to blow....

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Reaper and His prodigious harvest...

Priya arangan adiyar,

Sri Vishnu Purana says "tasmāt bālyē vivēkātmā yatatē śrēyasē sadā" - Therefore, the intelligent soul expends his childhood in the interest of the good. It is usual to compare the heart of children to wet cement. Whatever is placed upon it makes a lasting impression. There are no distractions or burden of responsibilities in childhood. He, whose childhood is expended in the pursuit of spiritual matters is indeed wise.

The Lord is referred as "patthi uzhavan" by our Azhvars. He is the reaper who tends to the plants with care. Who are these plants? Why, we the souls! He takes delight when the plant blossoms with the flower of devotional love towards Him. Some flowers bloom early. Others take their time. The Divine Reaper is greatly patient and puts in all efforts to make His harvest.

One such early blossom is in our midst. "I do not mind of what I become of. I am not interested any manner of loftiness attained by me in material pursuits. To be in divine service is most important to me." These are words of young Sri Satajit Svami, who discoursed during this Margazhi.

May be, it comes of little surprise that Satajit Svami belongs to the lineage of legendary scholars such as Srisuktiratnakara Sri U.Ve. Satakopachariar Svami (His Great Grandfather) and Sri U.Ve. E.S. Bhuvarahachariar swami (His Grandfather). His father Sri U.Ve. Elayavilli Sriraman Svami himself is a reputed discourser on our tradition. He belongs to the place of Svami Nammazhvar - Azhvar Thirunagari and is named after Azhvar. (Satajit stands for "the victor over Sata", synonymous with Satakopa).

From his days of early blossom (now he is eight, so still tender), he listens with great and unwavering interest to the anecdotes from the pass-times of Lord, and the histories of Azhvars and Acharyas. He participates in learning the four thousand sacred hymns of the Azhvars with spontaneous enthusiasm. And as much, he likes to speak the glories of the Lord. In the Gita, Lord Krishna says, "maccittāḥ ... tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca" - those whose minds rest with Me always relish by listening of Me and by speaking of Me.

Once, Satajit Svami delivered a discourse near Sri Parthasarathy Temple in Thiruvallikkeni. A good audience had gathered for the occasion. After the conclusion of the discourses, an elderly woman came up to him and said, "Your discourse was wonderful! You shall be with auspiciousness." The next day, he spoke at Mylapore. And hundreds of people had turned up! After listening to his discourses, a school teacher said that she felt as if she were tied down by his lecture - so captivating his words!

The divine will of the Lord has sent into motion an exuberant devotion in His ward. The Reaper has tasted success on His harvest. May the fragrance of this flower spread farther and bloom many more flowers in the Lord's garden. Sri Satajit swamy is ever willing to deliver discourses in his inimitable style. He can be contacted at 09443695147, 04639273899 (Sri Elayavilli Sriram swamy's ph no.). The above numbers could be contacted and the child be appreciated as a token of encouragement.

This child prodigy has recently given a series of 3 minute short lectures which can be heard by dialing the following number. The dates are also given below :
Telephone number to be dialed : 044-66802913
Dates during which it can be heard : From January 22 to February 4th (any time)

A short clip of his Thiruppavai upanyasam held at thiruvallikkeni can be viewed here :

Do also read an article on Sri Satajit Svami published in Vikatan magazine at:

Also at:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Brightening the alley....

Priya arangan adiyar,

As evening fell, grandma lit up a lamp in her room.  Her son wanted to go to the field and lit his lantern from grandma’s light.  On the way to the field, he met an inn-keeper who lit his lantern from that of the former.   The inn-keeper reached his home and lit his lights from the lantern. People who stopped by his inn lit their lights in turn.  And so did the light go about lighting several lamps - the light that was lit in the lamp of grandma.

Light is a very common need for all of us as it dispels the darkness.  Our acharyas knew of another light, the light of knowledge that dispels the darkness of ignorance.  The light of knowledge has been carried over several generations undiminished and illuminating the lives of several devotees.
A near parallel to this was witnessed at Uraiyur where the lamps from Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham and Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam lit other lamps during the month of Margazhi.   To an eager audience, chi.Sriram of Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham provided an introduction to the "Maarimalai muzhanjil" while chi.Raghavan explained the word meanings, first hand. Sriram is one among the foremost students of Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham and has been learning from the age of 5. Now, while pursing his undergraduation, he still learns the tenets of Sampradayam from SBK and is also volunteering for many of the kainkaryams. The knowledge that went through his ears has got deposited in his heart and he is now putting the knowledge to practice by physically involving in the kainkaryams. Raghavan, pursuing his Chartered Accountancy is a dedicated volunteer who has taken upon himself the kainkaryam of planning and supervising the Gurukulam students (along with Sriram). Chi.Aniruddhan delivered a discourse explaining the meanings in detail. Aniruddhan too, is a dear child of the Trust. Now he has grown into a man, but still remains a child to all of us at the Trust. As a child learning divya prabandham and stotra paadam, he showed great dedication. He also had the spark to give lectures from a very young age and SBK created a platform for him to express his gnyanam. Today, Aniruddhan still learns and implements the teachings of the Acharyas by dedicating a fixed time daily for the physical kainkaryams of the Trust. Chi.Balaji and Chi. Mani Balaji of Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam spoke on "Anru ivvulagam" with eloquence. Their learning of divya-prabandhams and their love filled anubhavam of their own Gurukulam deity made frequent impact in their upanyasams. It was not their memory that came to play but their hearts.

There is a saying that the tree must be bent when young.  There is no better time to receive spiritual education than when one is still young.  The students of Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham and Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam expend their youthful energies for this purpose. The effort of the students in understanding and explaining the meanings of Thiruppavai was well appreciated by the audience.

Our acharyas have graced commentaries to explain the beautiful meanings of Thiruppavai.  Learning this meaning from elders, the students of Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham and Gurukulam shared their education with others - an act of disseminating the light received and bringing more light.

You can find below the link for the photos:

Monday, January 21, 2013

Marriage made in earth...

Priya arangan adiyar,

Even as a young girl, Andal had the determination to hold Periya Perumal’s hand in marriage with Him. With all Her desire to get Emperumaan She sang Thiruppavai and followed an austerity in Margazhi month which was earlier observed by the cowherd women of Vrindavan. When Emperumaan did not come even after singing Thiruppavai, Andal sings Nachiyar Thirumozhi describing Her plight being separated from Him. She sends various messengers to convey Her state to Emperumaan and She requests various persons in various ways to unite Her with Emperumaan. In one of those verses, She describes to Her friend about Her dream of seeing Her marriage with Emperumaan. This decad starting with “Varanamayiram” is chanted even in an ordinary marriage in our houses. But why should we chant them? Andal was getting married to Emperumaan Himself so singing Varanamayiram is apt over there. But all other marriages, Emperumaan is not the bridegroom. Still we chant them to recall how Andal has described Emperumaan and to inculcate such Bhakthi in us.

In Sri Ramayanam, Valmiki Rishi describes the beauty of Rama as equivalent to Manmathan (Anangadevan). Maybe mortals like might consider Manmatha to be handsome but how can we even compare his handsomeness with Rama? It is later said that Valmiki makes this comparison to diminish the beauty of Rama so that other people will not be jealous of His beauty. This act of sage Valmiki is indeed considered similar to the practice smearing kohl/coal on a bridegroom’s face to diminish his beauty. So next time we see a drushti pottu on a bridegroom’s face, we will recall Rama’s beauty. In this way, all our customs contain a deep message in them and have loads and loads of Bhagavath anubhavam in them. So any ceremony in our house, in fact, gets fulfilled only when these customs are followed and the underling Bhagavath anubhavam is unleashed.

Recently, an acquaintance of our Trust performed marriage for his daughter. In that marriage SBK students performed Upanyasams and dance programmes. Children of age 6 years or so performed Upanyasam on various Kalyanams of Perumal and Pirattiyar. The word Kalyanam itself means auspicious. Only if Emperumaan and Pirattiyar are together it is auspicious for us because it is Pirattiyar who does Purushakaram (recommendation) and unites us with Emperumaan. There were eight children who spoke about the Kalyana utsavam of Emperumaan in their sweet childish language. The following children made Upanyasam on the mentioned titles. Lakshmi Kalyanam was told by Vishnupriya, Sita Kalyanam by Poornan, Rukmini Kalyanam by Balaji, Subadhra Kalyanam by Krishna, Serakulavalli Kalyanam by Sriranganidhi, Andal Kalyanam by Aniket, Kamalavalli Nachiyar Kalyanam by Kodhai and Srivaramangai Kalyanam by Sripathi.

The dance programme was a treat to the eyes as opposed to the Upanyasams which were a feast for the ears and the intellect. Andal Thirukalyana Vaibhavam was enacted as a dance drama by SBK students. The role of Periyazhwar was done by Moulikrupa, Andal role by Srinidhi, Andal’s Thozhi role by Athuzhai, Perumal role by sridevi. Srinivasan, a student of Gurukulam has been just learning the basics of Mrudangam. But he practiced to play for the dance and even performed on stage excellently.

The students on the whole, have exhibited their talent during this marriage. Not just their talents in these arts, but their talent in singing the glory of Emperumaan and making us think about His glory. The marriage is just a reason to describe the attributes of Emperumaan. During any festival/function, it is customary to have turmeric/vermilion since it is a symbol of auspiciousness. In Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam, Yudishtra asks Bheeshma as to who associated turmeric or vermilion with being auspicious. Bheemsha clarifies that it is Emperumaan who made turmeric and vermilion as auspicious items. So more than turmeric or vermilion, we need to chant and sing praises of Emperumaan and His devotees whenever there is an auspicious occasion in our home. The children of SBK have also divulged this deep meaning through their activities.

Taking cue from them, even we should also get inspired to hold such Satsangs/bhajans as a part of any ceremony or celebration in our home.

The beautiful photos are here :

Friday, January 4, 2013

Connecting the divine dots

Priya arangan adiyar,

When we perform some tasks, we enjoy it if we do it for the welfare of someone whom we like. In that case, our commitment to the task becomes very profound. Even if the task performed is very tough, we will like to involve ourselves in it. Servitude to our boss is painful but the same servitude towards our Husband/ Wife is joyful. The difference between the two is our level of our love towards the recipient. How much ever it might pain, a mother never complains about pregnancy. This can be observed even in animals! That is the value of relationship. Even in times of distress, our relations comfort us. If this worldly relationship spanning a few decades itself is so strong, then what is to say about our relation with the Supreme Being and His beloved followers?

Even while engaging ourselves in Bhagavath-Bhaagavatha kainkaryam, the experience is good if it is done as a group of people than doing it alone. Once at Thirukkovalur, at sage Mrugandu’s ashrama, when Poigai Azhwar stood all alone, Emperumaan didn’t show up. When Boodathazhwar joined, Emperumaan was still not satisfied. Only when Peyazhwar came, Emperumaan came amidst them and graced them. Even Kulasekara Azhwar has cherished the vision of crowds of Bhagavathas. Andal also says in Thiruppavai that we should enjoy Emperumaan’s bliss being together with adiyars.

Srimaan trust recently got introduced to a donor through an existing donor named Madhusudhanan. This person had readily accepted to sponsor for buying emergency lamps for students at Gurukulam and for volunteers. At another occasion, when a cycle was required at the Gurukulam, he generously funded to buy a cycle. His dedication levels were such that he wanted his son and daughter also to be involved in Kainkaryam (service). But since it didn’t materialize presently, he has named that cycle with his son’s and daughter’s name so that in that way at least he can involve his son and daughter in Kainkaryam. Such a great well-wisher (Bandhu) for the trust got introduced to our trust due to his Baandhavyam (relation) with an existing volunteer of the trust. Such is the strength of Athma bandhus like you. If you simply introduce one soul to the Trust, it would go on to garner great strength for the activities and sath-kainkaryams undertaken by the Trust. Many of us are in business and know the value of contacts. If one person introduces a prospective client, we rejoice at the event. If one person is introduced by you to the Trust, Namperumal & Srirenganachiar and hundreds of children and volunteers would rejoice. Above all you will rejoice seeing all these souls rejoice.  

Hence it is most humbly prayed that you give the contact details (e-mail address atleast) of the people you know. It is not necessary that they need to have an inclination towards our activities. Many a times, the pictures and mails sent have kindled interest in people. When Namperumal wishes to  bring them into kainkaryam, it would happen. Hence as patrons of our activities, you simply provide the e-mail addresses of persons in your contact list.

Please find below a link to register your known bhandhus with us:

Let this divine act of yours bring in many like-minded people for the Kainkaryam. The Photo of the bicycle donated is here :