Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Shabari Ashramam...A new beginning.

Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,


If the Supreme Being is to be described in a word, we can call Him a Magician. If the world visible to our eyes is not enough to prove his touch of magic, then His descendance to our land and the acts of pure amazement staged by Him will convince us of the inexhaustible reserve of magic in His possession.


In all his avathars, SrimanNarayana exhibited His magic Himself or it happened under the supervision of His lotus eyes. When Bhaktha Prahlada was asked if the Lord existed, he said the Lord existed everywhere, from an atom to a pillar. This reminded his father of the Pillar he had built with his own hands taking all the measures himself. Even if by some magic Vishnu found a spot in other pillars, Hiranyakashipu knew He would not exist in the pillar built with his own hands. Picking up the Mace, he assaulted the pillar with all his strength; and holding the attacking end of the Mace in His hands emerged the Lord as Nrisimha. How can one describe or even understand this magic of the Lord?


Kushela (Sudhama), the close chum of Lord SriKrishna lived in utter poverty. Nothing to feed the children, no proper dress to wear. But his bhakthi at the feet of SriKrishan was intact. An inexplicable wish to meet the Lord arose in his heart and he carried with him the “ Aval” which was a favourite of the Lord during his studenthood days. The gatekeepers of Dwarakanath stopped him and sent a message to the Lord that a person named Kushela has arrived at the gate and is keen on meeting Him. The mere mention of the name sent the Lord into raptures. With his unkempt hair, without any alankara, without wearing the Paadukai, the Lord came rushing down and across the lanes to the gate and received the impoverished non-entity called Kushela. And after the meeting ,when kushela returned back home, a grand posh bungalow awaited him. All his children were handsomely dressed. His wife never looked so beautiful. Food was abundant. A true story of rags to riches. That is what happens when the Supreme Lord turns His vision on someone. A beautiful house (hut) arose in no time in the midst of the forest when Lord Raama asked SriLakshmana for a dwelling place.

Anything and everything can happen when we place ourselves in the hands of the Lord.Periya Perumal (Lord Krishna) and Namperumal (Lord Raama) have always had their beautiful lotus like eyes on our Trust. Many a structures have risen by the sheer magic of their Will. Many institutions and activities began at most unexpected times, all because of Them.


Similar is the story of “Shabari Ashramam” which was inaugurated recently. Seeing some very elderly people struggle without receiving any attention and living  an unimaginably difficult life, a spark arose in the mind of the Founder Acharya. Why not start a place for such people bereft of anyone to help them? And as the thought came, there appeared a person wishing to lend his house to accommodate elders without a family. And immediately began the working of “ Shabari Ashramam”. Even dreams take their own time to take off and end. But with the Grace of the Lord, Shabari Ashramam appeared just like how Dwaraka appeared by the Sankalpa of Lord. Shabari was the elderly woman who awaited Lord Rama and Lakshmana with hands full of fruits. She was the woman who fed the Lord. This Shabari ashraman wishes to feed elderly Bhaagavathas. Within a couple of days of inauguration, ten elders have joined the ashramam.The ashramam is in Lakshminarayana Nagar, Melur Road, Srirangam.


The person who has given his house needs the mangalasasanam of all. What a heart Shri Rajan and his wife have ! In a world where the elders of our own are thrown out, here are a couple giving their house (and kitchen utensils) for strangers. We pray the Lord to bless them with great prosperity and kainkaryam..


A doubt would arise in the minds of many readers. Why should the Trust venture to start old age homes? Is it not setting a wrong example to families? Will it not make it comfortable for a family to abandon its elders? One should put oneself in the shoes of the elders before harbouring such thoughts and feelings. An abandoned elder is suffering “Now”. He/she needs care “ Now”. When the family cannot or will not care, what will happen to the elder? What about elders who have no relatives alive? There is a case of an elderly woman who lost her son, grandson and the entire family in a single accident. What to do of her?And there are also elderly celibates and spinsters who need care.

Can we curb a disease simply by not starting a hospital? 

The son who is abandoning his parents today has not received the values imparted by our culture. That is the disease. What advice can alter the mindset of such persons? Ductility and malleability are features of children. Rigidity is that of elders. Can we watch the sufferings of the old and disclaim the social responsibility by simply attributing it to their family?  


The first entrant into the ashramam is Sri Krishnan. He worked at TVS, Bangalore. During his worktime, he learned under many scholars and has ever been a true practitioner of the principles of Srivaishnavism. His was disclaimed by his closest circle. So he came to Srirangam thinking his other relatives would aid him. That was not to be. And age kept mounting. He lost his wife before some years. He kept performing kainkaryam at Shri Periya Nambi thirumaligai till he could without expecting a single favour in return.But the weak limbs gave way one day and he slipped from stairs and was bed ridden. He was operated with a rod insertion and now can move with a stand (he is 73 now). When everyone abandons a true bhaktha, the Supreme Emperuman takes it on Himself to look after him. That has happened to this swamy.


The Gurukulam, Acharyah and Bhattar Kuzham are working at imparting value system in children. The children of the above institutions will never let an elder wither under their eyes. But that is a future event. We are witnessing the spoils of the past now!  


Lord Krishna is called “Anaatha sakha”, “anaatha naatha”. Srimaan Trust is a mere tool in the hands of Him and will not be a spectator to suffering elders. Hence this initiative.

The photos of the ashram and a few of its inmates are hereunder :


Monday, January 20, 2014

Sending Brahma into raptures.....

Srimate ramanujaya nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

Glory of Srirangam :

“Kaveri Viraja Seyam, Vaikuntam Ranga Mandiram,
Sa Vasudeva: Rangesa: Pratyaksham Paramam Padam
Vimaanam Pranavaakaram vedashringam mahathbhutam
Srirengashayee Bhagavaan Pranavaartha Prakashaka:”

The above lines emphasize the visible importance of Srirangam in particular. Srirangam Divya Desam stands first in the list of 108 Vaishnava Divya Desams.The Lord first appeared to Brahma in the beautiful sparkling Sriranga Vimanam. Brahma prayed the Lord to appear just as He offered appearance at SriVaikuntam.The Moolavar, utsavar, His consorts and even the archakas were present in the Vimanam that appeared before Brahma and sent him dancing in joy. The vimanam was called Sriranga Vimanam and the kshetra "Srirangam" derived its name due to the presence of Sriranga vimanam there.

Living in Srirangam Divya Desam itself gives us a feel of living in SriVaikuntam. The scriptures say the experience that a soul would eventually experience in Srivaikuntam, the same can be felt while living in Srirangam. That is one reason why Srirangam is hailed as the Bhuloka Vaikuntam. This Divya Desam exists on the Bhulokam but exists with the feel of Srivaikuntam. Be it while going for Thirunaal sevai or while participating in the Utsavams, the feel of Srivaikuntam is visible and the experience of that feeling is heavenly. Kaveri thaayar in the form of Kaveri river embraces the Srirangam Divya Desam like a garland. Sri Rangnathar rests here in Sayana thirukkolam (posture) along with Sri Ranga Nachia.

The utsavams...

Amongst the most celebrated utsavams in Srirangam Divya Desam -  Panguni Utsavam, Chitthirai Utsavam, Maasi Thirunaal and Thai Thirunaal, Vasanthothsavam, Poochathi Utsavam, Unjal Utsavam, Pavithrothutsavam , Vaikunta Ekadasi stands apart and is most celebrated here.

One special day...

But one special day that does not feature above is the Kaisika ekadashi day. Long ago lived the great saint-like Nampaaduvan at Thirukkurungudi. He sang the praise of the Lord Nambi with utmost devotion and love. Once, on the day of Kaisika ekadashi, he walked his way to the temple. He encountered a Brahma rakshas on the way. The Raakshas intended to eat him. Nampaduvan, being a gnyani never worried about death. But he had an important task on hand, the kainkaryam to Lord Nambi. He beseeched the Raakshas to spare him some time so that he could complete the “ Pan isai” at the feet of Lord and return back to become the meal of the demon. The Raakshas dissented. Nampaduvan began enlisting the paapams he would suffer if he failed to come back to the demon. The demon was reluctant at first. But when Nampaduvan aired the last of paapams, the demon was struck dumb and assented to let go the saint. The last paapam borne by Nampaduvan in his own words is “If I don’t come back as promised, let me go to the narakam that would befall one who thinks Lord Srimannarayana and other devathas as equal”

On this day, SriVaraha Puranam is recited at all temples at the sannidhi of Perumal. SriParasara Bhattar had extreme liking for the Puranam and would recite it at the sanctum sanctorum of Periya Perumal. He has also written a commentary on Varaha Puranam. It was on one such auspicious Kaishika Ekadashi day that Periya Perumal, seeing the exhibition of Bhattar’s extreme devotion and love, granted him His Supreme Abode.
Srimaan Trust, in continuation to their efforts to live and promote the heritage of our azhwars conducted two events – Koil Pradakshanam and Anuyagam on the recently ended Kaishika Ekadashi.

Celebrating the day...

On every ekadashi, the children learning Divya Prabandhams and stotrams at SBK of Srimaan Trust make  Tiruveedhi pradakshinam of Srirangam temple. The children are aged typically between 4-15yrs. It was celebrated in a very grand fashion on Kaisika ekadashi day.

All the  stotra paadams on SriRamanuja were recited  followed by anuyagam i.e two poor Srivaishnava women were given provisions for a month. The childen themselves listened to the difficulties of these families, prayed at the feet of Periya Perumal for their well being and handed over the provisions to the two women.

Need for traits...

We often find that many people lack empathy and sympathy. When such traits are not inborn, it is for the family and friends to cultivate such important traits. Srimaan Trust considers these children its family. When at such a tender age, these children lend their ears to the difficulties of others, their contribution to sweep away such difficulties from the lives of others in the years to come need not be speculated. It will be a clean sweep…!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Executive - Spiritual Diary 2014 - Buy now!

Srimathe Ramanujaya Nama:
Priya arangan adiyar,
This year, our Trust has come out with the novel concept of Executive-Spiritual Diary.

This Diary contains all the usual details available in normal Executive Diaries. In addition to this, the diary contains the following treasure of spiritual knowledge :
  • Every page consists of quotes from the Dharma Sastras. Dharma Sastras give direction to live life fully and purposefully. Each page of the Diary gives a new value addition to life.
  • Names from SriVishnu Sahasranamam, Divine names of SriMahalakshmi, SriNamazhwar and SriRamanuja are enlisted with their meanings. This is to aid naming children.
  • There are 12 azhwars and 12 months. Each month carries a unique message from each azhwar which is depicted in a beautiful art.
  • Srirangam is the land of perennial joy and celebration. The monthly utsavams are enlisted in the respective monthly Planner.
The Diary is priced at Rs.200/-. 
Instead of purchasing a normal Executive Diary, you can buy the Executive-Spiritual Diary and give them to your customers, clients, suppliers, friends and relatives. The purchase proceeds would help us meet a percentage of Gurukulam expenses. You would receive the good wishes of your clients as well as reap the punyam of aiding 23 gurukulam children.
We hope you shall obtain the twin benefits by purchasing the diary. The wrapper of the Diary is here in the link for your view :