Saturday, August 31, 2013


Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

A recent acquaintance of the Trust shares his humorous yet insightful experience in this series. By his own admission, he is somewhat new to SathSampradayam though brought up in a family that nurtures Sampradaya. An English teacher at a school in Chennai and a writer, he has taken the pain to lucidly pen down his account.

I received a random invitation from a friend to visit Srirangam. He said it was the Jyesta abhishekam of the year for Namberumal and wanted me there. He told it was very auspicious to be in Srirangam on that day. I too was weary with the sameness of life at Chennai, the usual life, the usual morning chores, the humdrum office routine, the screeches, the shouts, the loud honking, the tense traffic, the ubiquitous garbage. I yearned for a day or two without much attention to the clock or my looks.

So I at once accepted the invitation and booked my tatkal ticket to Srirangam. The Mangalore Express was comfortable except for the weird time it had promised to drop me at Srirangam. I had no wakefulness complaints at night. The train huffed and puffed its way into the Srirangam station and I got down once it gave up its attempts to further trod. It was still dark and moon of the night was gearing up to handover its charge to the sun. An assemblage of auto-wallas was standing outside and each man clad in cream-coloured pant and shirt greeted me with the respect I ought to have received only if I were the Railway Minister. Dismissing each of their proposals to take me to my friends place at the end of South Chitra Street, I decided to walk my way in the clear atmosphere that was still untouched by the toxic elements released by vehicles. The vehicles were soberly resting outside the houses and once the sun rose, they would be patted out of sleep and an endeavor to disgorge the toxins for our lungs to breathe will begin.

Passing through the grimly lit streets, occasionally brightened by the orange street lamps, I slowly dragged my sleepy self through winding roads and hit the junction of East Chitra Street and South Chitra Street. From there I could see as far as the end of East Chitra Street as well as the South. My destination lay in abandoning the road to East Chitra and pursuing the South till I reached the end where my friend domiciliated.



Once, Lord Krishna, as a mischievous youngster, set out to explore the streets of Brindavan. He came across a girl selling some fruits. She was shouting“ Oh! Fruits! Banana! Magoes!...” He decided to charm her and started talking with her. The beauty of His lotus eyes and honeyed tongue drew her without notice. She forgot everything around her. And soon the Lord left her. But to her, He was still gleaming in her eyes. Bhakthi filled her. And carrying the load of fruits on her head, she started shouting again to sell her stock. But this time it was “Govinda! Damodara! Maadhave!” Her tongue could only chant His name. She sold Him.

If a single acquaintance with the Lord could prompt His name to linger in the mind, how about the residents of Srirangam who see the Neela-Megha-Shyamalan lying on the aadisesha and breathing butter day in and out?

Srimaan Trust decided to celebrate SriJayanthi involving children. Today, 31-08-2013, 1000 children from 30 schools will spend the whole day thinking of little Krishna. They will draw Him, sing His names, speak about Him and eat His prasadam. We wish your mental presence at this event.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The farmer's invocation...

Srimate ramanujaya nama:
Priya arangan adiyar,

The aadi month is generally the sowing season in Southern India. During this season, the monsoon would arrive and flow of water abundant in rivers and other water sources. The farmers plough their fields making them ready for cultivation .They procure fresh seeds to sow in their fields. Sometimes, the seeds are first sown in a more protected environment and are later transported to the rough unprotected fields. After preparing themselves with the entire inventory, they begin farming with a prayer. We celebrate this day as Aadi Padhinettam Perukku (18th day of Aadi). People offer their obeisance to major rivers on this day and pray to Emperuman for abundance and prosperity.

We might be aware that Emperuman manifests Himself in five forms namely Para, Vyuha, Vibhava, Antaryami and Archa. Even though Emperuman manifests Himself in different forms, is He not the same omnipotent entity? If so, what could be the differences between all these forms? Is it the same  Emperuman seated in Sri Vaikuntam with His divine consorts and the pantheon of Nityasuris who is also residing as Vyuha Vasudeva in the midst of Thirupparkadal (milky ocean)? How different are they? Interestingly, a farmer might be able to appreciate the difference quite easily. When we sow a seed in a pot, the seed sprouts and a sapling manifests from that seed. After some days, we might transfer the sapling to a garden by transplanting. Once the sapling is transplanted, it has  to be watered, nourished and finally harvested from the garden. Similarly, the most inherent manifestation of Emperuman is in Sri Vaikuntam similar to a sap sprouting from a seed. Emperuman descends from Sri Vaikuntam to Thirupparkadal in the form of Vyuha Vasudeva just the plant which is transplanted to a garden from a pot. And when Emperuman takes Vibhava avatharams, He descends from Thirupparkadal and is born among us. He also pervades all space in the form of Antaryami. In spite of all these forms,He manifests in Archa Thirumeni so that we can interact with Him. In all these forms, His divine qualities are unchanged like how the features of plant are same whether it is grown in a pot or grown in a garden. Emperuman takes these different forms without diminishing any of His attributes and at the same time, He also makes Himself available for us.

The children at Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam would have had this on their mind while designing a theme for Aadi Perukku utsavam for their Emperuman at Gurukulam. They performed a purappadu for Emperuman in different vahanams. The commander in chief for Emperuman Sri Selvar adorned Indra Vimanam. It is said that Emperuman descends from Sri Vaikuntam in Indra Vimanam. The children also performed Garuda sevai for Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal and it is to be noted that Emperuman descends from Thirupparkadal in Garuda Vahanam. When Emperuman appeared on this earth as Sri Rama, it was Tiruvadi(Hanuman) who performed various feats for Sri Rama like how Periya Thiruvadi(Garudan) serves Srimannarayanan. To commemorate this fact, Sri Kasthuri Rangan, the main deity at the Gurukulam campus, perched Himself on Hanumantha vahanam and Andal adorned the yanai vahanam. The children also conducted Serthi Thirumanjanam for Emperuman and Thayar and performed Thiruvaradhanam later, in the evening.

The farmer has to wait a long while to reap the harvest. On aadi perukku day at the Gurukulam, the seed of love for the Lord was sown;it grew into the tree of different kainkaryams and the fruit of bhagavat anugraham was reaped by all from the dawn to the dusk of the same day.

Please click the following link to reap the bountiful harvest of Gurukulam children.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The enchanting melody - Final

Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya aranan adiyar,


Words wouldn’t suffice to describe the love and devotion Embar had for SriRamanuja. They seldom spoke in words. Their conversation was heart-to-heart. The Govinda who was going astray into erroneous streams was reclaimed by SriRamanuja with great effort. Govinda always remembered this and often shivered at the thought of SriRamanuja not being there to reclaim him. This act of saving him made his love for SriRamanuja even more vigorous and reached gargantuan proportions.

Once, the divine dancers of the temple were enacting some verses on the Lord. SriEmbar enjoyed their dance. But he felt it would be splendid if they danced to lyrics extolling the beauty of his acharyan. He spoke his heart to them. They were enthusiastic but complained they never had any verse on SriRamanuja. At that very instant, SriEmbar gave them the lyrics for their dance. They parted ways.

In a few days, SriEmbar was treading towards the river for his daily morning bath. The dwelling houses of the divine dancers were on the way and he had to pass them to reach the river. As he was swiftly walking past them, his ears captured a beautiful tune and a fantastic rendition of the lyrics he gave the dancers. He lifted his head and looked for the house from where they emanated. Finding the house, he peeped in through the window. The dancers were moving their steps like angels. A few sung the verses, a few added background scores and others danced. The beauty of the verse was brought forth in the best possible manner. SriEmbar, clad in saffron and holding the staff and other features characteristic of a sanyasi, stood there peeping into the window, absolutely mesmerised. What a rendition! He felt His acharyan stood there. The excellent dancers had magically brought SriRamanuja’s beauty in front of him. The awe subsided and SriEmbar continued to his destination recounting the beauty of His acharyan. His own lyrics stunned him.

The dutiful citizens, who seldom spare anyone from their scrutiny, did not spare SriEmbar too. They noticed him standing for a long time in front of women’s domiciliary and peering into the window. This sacrilegious act of a sanyasi was instantly reported to SriRamanuja. Summons was sent to SriEmbar and he appeared. In a crowded gathering, SriRamanuja questioned SriEmbar of his doings. Embar recounted the entire episode from his meeting the dancers and giving the lyrics and the enactment of the verse. He said “My Lord! I could not put a foot forward when the words extolling your divine beauty fell in my ears. It drew me to their place. I simply lost count of time and was revelling in your beauty conveyed through the dance and singing.” Thus saying he fell at the feet of his acharyan. SriRamanuja overwhelmed by the Embar’s Acharya bhakthi, lifted him and held him to his bosom.     

Though they didn’t dance, a group of Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham students, as a part of a music program named “Sriranga raajam bhaje” in the Karuthurai mandapam of Srirangam temple sang the above verse composed by Embar on SriRamanuja with utmost Bhakthi and made others dance. The rendition was such that the listeners felt the presence of SriRamanuja amidst them.

Though SriRamayana is a large epic detailing the lives of SriRama, Nama Ramayanam is a beautiful short version of the entire SriRamayana. The children sang Naama Ramayana in a captivating tune. A song from Silappadhikaram which describes the pastimes of Emperuman and regards the senses of those who do not think of Emperuman as useless was also sung. The students of SBK expressed their ecstasy of Bhagavath anubhavam to all the devotees through their melodious notes.

The photos of the function are here:

and the video:


Thursday, August 22, 2013

The enchanting melody.... - I

Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

Sri Embar was an Acharya par excellence in the galaxy of Srivaishnava Acharyas. He was originally SriGovinda, later assigned the name Embar. His Acharya SriEmperumanar (Ramanujar) took so much liking for him that he wished to grant him his own name. Considering the stiff opposition from Govinda, he used the first few and the last few letters of his name (Emperumanar) and thus renamed him “Empar”.

Govinda was married to a good woman by his family. But he was so much filled with the anubhava of the Lord and the kainkaryams that he neglected the must-dos for a householder. This ailed his mother. She wished him to be a normal man. He was ever basking in the glory of the Lord.

As expected, solution was sought from the solver of everyone’s problems; Perumal’s problems and pauper’s problems, SriRamanuja. Ramanuja listened patiently to the mother’s ravings. Govinda stood there with utmost respect. After listening to her version, SriRamanuja turned to Govinda and told him softly, “Dear Govinda! 
Anashrami na santhishteth is the verse of the sastra. A person is to always remain in one or the other ashrama (Brahmachrya…sanyasa). You are a householder. Perform the functions that befit that”. Govinda shook his head with reverence. The entire day was spent in Bhagavath and bhaagavatha kainkaryam and at night too he made his wife sit before him and began a series of discourses on the kalyana-gunas of the Lord. The entire night was spent discussing the greatness of the dispeller of darkness, SriKrishna. The mother was unhappy. She went to the Muth of SriRamanuja and complained. He summoned Govinda and asked if he began performing the tasks of the householder. Govinda, with utmost respect, told “My Lord! In thee I realize God, ever present. God in your form ever fills my outer eye as well as my mental vision. Hence, solitude seldom separates me from the Lord. It is only in solitude that the mind turns to think of things other than the Supreme. The constant spiritual illumination received from your holy self has completely filled every cell of adiyen. It finds it extremely hard and impossible to draw myself away from his thoughts and engage in the acts of a householder. Hence, adiyen has not been able to live the life of a householder eve
n for a day”. Hearing this, the King of Ascetics embraced him for his deep devotedness and impregnable detachment to material life. He was made a sanyasi and offered the name “Empar”.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

The zenith of zest..

Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

Just as a Powerful King sees to that all the precious gems in his vicinity become his possession, the Lord of Srirangam, Ranganatha, made all efforts to secure SriRamanujar from Kanchipuram. His emissaries made repeated efforts to coax the Lord of Kanchi and finally, one talented Acharya triumphed.

The gem called Ramanujacharya was delicately brought before Rangarajan who made him His crest-jewel. From thence began a revolution that saw many weeds wither and good flowers bloom in the spiritual garden of Srirangam. SriRamanuja heralded the revolution. True Bhakthi was honoured. Pomp was dispensed with. Prejudices were examined and extinguished. Different strata of the society found their way into Bhagavath Kainkaryam.

Udayavar, as SriRamanuja was fondly crowned by LordRangaraja, diverted his attention on people of all ages. Young or old, his mind penetrated their hearts . If true passion for the Lord’s service was found therein, he held them in high regard. Once, Udayavar was pacing his steps in the direction of Tiruveedhis . As he was walking, he witnessed a queer sight. A group of kids were enacting the daily happenings of Srirangam temple. From the Lord of the temple to the smallest of temple-apparatus, they painfully made them all with the mud. Udayavar had to cross them to proceed with his task. The children had completed most of the rituals and it was time for the disbursement of the prasadam. The practice in the temple was to first honour udayavar with prasadam. In the tone of the temple authorities, these children jointly yelled at the top of their voices “Emperumaanar, have the prasadam!”. The prasadam held in their hand was again, a conglomerate of mud and gravel. Swamy, who was standing there, deeply engrossed in their acts, came back to self, and immediately put his feet forward, prostrated before the Lord made of Mud and almost crouching to meet the hands of the small children, accepted the prasadam with such courtesy as was reserved for Lord Ranganatha alone. The children didn’t seem to catch the glory of the moment. For them, it was as planned. They had to give SriRamanuja his due of prasadam and he accidentally walked in. They did not want to administer excess respect for his stature. And he loved that in them. Their raw love touched him. And he knew this purity was mostly the property of children alone.

The children of our Gurukulam are a mixed lot. They are pure in their love for the Lord, love not assailed by complex requests; love, not expecting anything in return; love, not often dwindling and developing as a repercussion to the doings of karma; love, for its sake. But the children are not ignorant of the ways of Sastra. They have toiled these years to learn the Aagamas. They have progressed very well in the aagama vidya. Some are in the threshold of mastery. But learning has not diluted their Bhakthi in any manner. On the contrary, it has aided them understand Bhakthi better.

In this land mass between the Twin Rivers, where Paancharatra aagama rules supreme and children considered reverentially, the children of the Gurukulam will begin the annual SriJayanthi Brahmotsavam of their deity Kasturi Rangan.

Begins on….19/08/2013
Ends on…..31/08/2013

All the aagama practices will be incorporated in the utsavam.Preparations for the utsavam are going at cyclonic speed. The children see to that no volunteer rests. Even passers-by are handed some tasks. The Gurukulam is being washed and cleaned, vaahanams are given a face-lift. The children are engaging one and all in the kainkaryam. They have to manage both the utsavam and their daily study routine. They have done it with dexterity in the earlier years and will, with the Grace of Namperumal & Nachiar and loving souls like you, handle them well this year too.

Last year, many of the kainkaryaparas of the temple did the honour of participating in the utsavam. The retinue of SriVanamamalai Jeeyar swamy too were retained here by the beauty of Kasturi Rangan and the children. They loved the utsavam and blessed the children.

Hope this year too, many people come to Srirangam, participate in the utsavam, seek the Grace of Lord Kasturi Ranga and encourage the children. You too are invited to spend your time with the Lord and the children. Your divine contribution for this Brahmotsava celebrations, either by your presence or otherwise is welcome.

The detailed invitation is here in the link :

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Giving our children a balanced diet

Srimathe Ramanujaya Nama:
Priya arangan adiyar,

In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says that He incarnates to protect the good and end the wicked - paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṃ, vināśāya duṣkṛtām.  To an average reader, this may appear to be a statement in redundancy.  When the wicked are destroyed, aren’t the good saved at once?  Why should the two be stated separately?  Why should sadhu paritranam be stated before dushkrta vinasanam?  Won’t the latter guarantee the former?

Svami Ramanuja explains this apparent redundancy of reasons beautifully.  The destruction of the wicked, as put above, is rightly the secondary reason for His incarnations.  It is not to kill the demoniac that He manifests Himself.  It is only a side effect.

The main reason is to display His numerous auspicious attributes - thirukkalyana gunams - to the people and captivate them, thereby redeeming them into devotees.  

While the normal human being would rely on food and drink to nourish his body, what better than the Kalyana gunams of the Lord can nourish the soul?  As much as it is important to feed nutritious food
 to children in order that they have healthy physique, it is also important to feed them, right from an early age, the auspicious qualities of the Lord.  Only then can one claim to have provided a truly balanced diet.  Then the children would be able to put their faculties to righteous use.

Sage Valmiki asked Sage Narada, “Who is the One with auspicious attributes?”, to which the latter narrated the Sri Ramayanam recounting the numerous auspicious qualities of Lord Rama.  In order to take Rama to the young ones and feed them with nectar of His kalyana gunams, Srimaan Trust has been engaged in conducting Sri Ramayanam Contests in several places.  

This year, the children who had scored more than sixty marks in the first phase of the contest were invited to take part in the second phase.  They were given slokams from Sankshepa Ramayanam, important slokams from Valmiki Ramayanam and Pasurappadi Ramayanam.  The children, cutting across all walks of the society, participated in this phase of the contest with great interest showcasing in word and spirit the message of the Ramayana, the universal appeal of His glory.  

Here are some of the pictures taken during the second phase of the contest in Madurai and Trichy​.

​Let the divine couple shower their divine blessing on you and all forever.​

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Roar of a Cub ...


Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

Sri Namazhwar, the leader of the clan of Prapannas is also called Shatakopan. When the invisible "shatam" made its dutiful visit to embrace Azhwar and plunge him into ignorance, Azhwar raised his puny eyebrows and instilled utmost fear in it. The koapam (rage) of Azhwar drove shatam away from him, thus making him Shatakopan. From the land of Azhwar, the land that is considered the a turning point in the tradition of Srivaishnavism, there has risen a young boy with Azhwar's name and his mission to reach Sampradayam to the masses. He is Chi. Elayavilli Satajith.

What makes this child special is his uncanny ability to juggle loukeeka education and sampradaya discourses with eaze. He is here to stay and contribute his might to Srivaishnava sampradayam. Beyond attracting the patrons of Srivaishnava Sampradayam, he has captivated persons other than Srivaishnavas too.

 A proof of this is the function scheduled to happen on the 14th of this month. The "All India Aadi Shivachariar Seva Sangam" had requested the child to deliver a discourse and he decided the topic " Aandalum Aranganum" (Andal & Ranganatha). He is also being conferred the award ''SATH SAMPRADAYA BAALA BHASKARAN'' on that day by the Mayor of Chennai. Here are the details :
Date : 14/08/2013

Place : Gandhimathi Kalyana Mantapam, North Bhog Road, T.Nagar,Chennai

Time : 6.30p.m to 7.30p.m

Topic : Andalum aranganum

Award to be conferred on him by Chennai Mayor : SathSampradaya BaalaBhaskaran

Sri Satajith is willing to come to any place and speak on our tradition and sampradaya. For organizing his upanyasams in your whereabouts, please contact :
Cell : 09443695147
Landline : 04639-273899

Each of you is requested to attend the function and bless the child. The invitation is hereunder in the link :

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Congregation of divine tones...

Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

It all began when we received a mail from a Septuagenarian on the threshold of turning an Octogenarian.

A resident abroad, Shri Rangarajan swamy is a very devout Srivaishnavite. He shares the thirunakshtram of SriPeriazhwar. And the recently concluded aani swathi was special to him since it marked his 80th thirunakshtram. SriRangarajan swamy is settled in a foreign land and has relatives spread across Bhaaratam. He wanted to celebrate his 80th in style. Not by cutting a cake or buying costly gifts to family members; nor by merely holding a get together inviting his relatives and acquaintances in his vicinity.  He wanted to celebrate it by honouring the people who dedicate their lives for the Supreme’s kainkaryam. He wanted to make his 80th an instrument in showing his love for his sampradaya. He wanted to make his 80th a memorable event not to the onlookers and the photographer but to the Divine Couple. He wanted to celebrate it in Periya koil, under the shade of Periya Perumal, Periya Pirattiyar, Thiruppavai Jeeyar, Parasara Bhattar-the foster child of the Divine Couple, and Periya Jeeyar.

But how could he, living thousands of miles away from Srirangam attain his wish? A few days of intense thinking reminded him of our Trust. But in this world where our own children time their conversation with us owing to their hectic schedule, how could he expect a group of people whom he had never met to organize his 80th thirunakshtram? Yet, he was positive and immediately expressed his wish to us. A celebration of this magnitude would require the deployment of lot of time and physical effort on the part of the volunteers. The volunteers live to serve. It is for persons with noble intention that the Trust works day and night. The volunteers accepted the request with inexplicable happiness. And the entire event was planned to the T. 

The following were included in the spiritual menu that was to be enjoyed in a span of 5 days :
  • Yajur and Saama Veda Parayanam
  • 4000 Divya Prabandha Parayana
  • SriRamayana parayanam
  • Puraana patanam 
  • SriBashya parayanam
  •  Rahasya grantha parayanam
  • SriSudarshana stotra parayanam
  •  Upanyasams by vidwans
  • Sri Sudarshana homam for abhivriddhi of kainkaryams
  • Dharma upanayanam for a boy
  • Prasadams for 5 days to all Bhakthas
The volunteers set out to find persons for each of the above kainkaryams. Ones for the Divya Prabandham were available with little effort. But for the others, they travelled to various places and sought such persons as would perform the parayanams with great shraddha.

And so, 5 days prior to aani swathi, all the veterans arrived at the Gurukulam where the function was to be held. The children of the Gurukulam were the hosts and they were good hosts indeed. They looked after the scholars with great care. The congregation included scholars from Srirangam, Mannarkudi, Thiruvallikkeni, Seerkazhi, Tiruvellarai and a few other divya desams.

The ground floor where the deity of the Gurukulam resides was filled with the divya prabahdha adyakapas and the first day began with their energetic rendition of the pasurams of Periazhwar. The other rooms were occupied by scholars doing Sudarshana stotra parayanam. The first floor’s occupants were the Vedic scholars who filled the air with hymns from the Yajur and Saama Veda .The first floor was also occupied by dedicated scholars who recited kaandam after kaandam from Sriramayana and Chapters from the Puranas. The rooms at the end were honoured by the presence of persons reciting SriBashya and the 18 Rahasya granthams of SriPillailokacharya.

Thus, the 5 days were nothing short of an incessant shower in nectar. The children of the gurukulam participated in the each of the activity and played the role of hosts with aplomb. They even contributed to the cooking at the kitchen of the Gurukulam where prasadams were made on a large scale for the Bhakthas. They were the keen listeners to the upanyasams and offered the sambhavanai to the Vidwans who performed the upanyasams.

The last day saw the satrumarai of all the parayanams that had happened in the last 4 days. Sudarshana homam was held for the general well being of all kainkaryaparas. And a wonderful feast was arranged for all.  All the scholars where honoured and the send off was given to them with utmost respect. The scholars were extremely pleased for creating a platform to express their knowledge. 

The person who triggered the event was stationed in outside India. Yet his heart was here in Srirangam. Photos and videos of the event were sent him. And we could feel his feeling when he looked at the pictures and the videos. In each activity, the volunteers remembered him and his wish. And they wanted to leave no stones unturned to make this function memorable. And it did leave an indelible impression in the minds of all. Nothing but the Grace of the Divine Couple, Azhwars and Acharyas could have made it happen.

The act of SriRangarajan swamy should be an example for all of us to follow. Our birthdays should be used to help people in need, people who have dedicated themselves to the protection of the Vedas, people who remained faithful to the Azhwars and people who are in the service of the Divine. With long years of effort, the Trust has excellent selfless volunteers in its possession. With such volunteers, none need fear celebrating a function with a noble objective. We are all here for you. An act of selflessness gives us immense happiness and this joy can never be achieved by a selfish act. 

SriRangarajan sent us his words complementing the kainkaryam of the volunteers. The same is reproduced as per his wish :

“I am truly grateful to the Trust and its band of volunteers for agreeing to carry out this epic Kainkaryam in connection with my Satabhshekam. Sitting on my own land India, I could never have achieved this on my own. Living on a foreign land, this would have been even inconceivable. All this became a reality only through the Grace of Namperumal and Nachiar.....for planting this concept in the minds of the Trust and motivating me to participate in this Grand Kainkaryam. I am eternally grateful to the Trust and will continue to cherish this in the years to come "

For the photos of the event, please check below:

For the first two days, the pics are here :