Tuesday, March 27, 2012



The fourth programme was Rama avatharam by Desa Mangayarkarasi.

When I saw the programme list I felt it was quite unusual for Desa Mangayarkarasi to speak on Rama avatharam instead of her usual authoritative speeches on Lord Muruga,
But she was knowledgeable on this too with quotes on Rama by Arunagiriyar.

She started with the description of the kingdom of Ayodhya by Kambar where he says that the conch is dozing in water, buffalo in the fields, bee in the flower garland and Mahalakshmi on lotus.

The conch is dozing because it is not disturbed by the buffalo that is lazing in the fields instead of the usual way of sitting in the water to cool itself. The bee is sleeping in the flower garland as he is full with nectar from one flower and did not find the need to go in search of many flowers. The most fertile land had such huge flowers that the nectar from a single flower was enough for the bee. People were happy and contented and were not behind Mahalakshmi with their requests. Hence Mahalakshmi was resting on her lotus with not much work to do! So prosperous was the kingdom of Ayodhya!

Dasaratha was the king who ruled Ayodhya. Dasa + ratha = the man who overcame all the ten evils that a man could have! He was no ordinary man, he was so great and hence the name Dasaratha. Dasaratha was worried that his great Ishvaku vamsam will end with him and went in search of his Guru Vashishtar for advice. Vashishtar asked him to get in touch with Kalaikotu munivar to perform the Putrakameshti yagam which will give Darasatha a son. Kalikotu munivar was Dasaratha’s son-in-law in a way as he was married to Saanthai a daughter of Dasaratha who was adopted by Romapathar.

Kalaikotu munivar performed the Putrakameshti yagam and in the end, a Deva came out of the yagna with a pot of payasam. Dasaratha gave Kaushalya and Kaikeyi half each and they in turn gave half of their share to Sumitra. All of them conceived and after 12 months, under the star of Punarvasu Lord Rama was born. Bharatha was born under the star Poosam to Kaikeyi, Lakshmana under the star Ayilyam and Shatrughna under the star Makam to Sumitra.

Kaushalya was a great woman – the moment Dasaratha married Kaikeyi, she gave him up to Kaikeyi. The moment Rama was born, she gave her son to Kaikeyi. Rama was brought up with great and love and affection especially by Kaikeyi!

Here Desa Mangayarkarasi brought in Arunagirinathar’s description of the bringing up of Rama:

Kaikeyi is feeding Rama, she adoringly calls him “maindha va, en magane va”. She went on to explain the various terms we use in Tamizh to describe a son.

Balakan (பாலகன்) – a boy who is innocent and ignorant irrespective of age
Magan (மகன் )  – a boy who takes responsibility of his family totally
Pillai (பிள்ளை) – a boy who is irresponsible and selfish
Maindhan  (மைந்தன்)- a boy who takes care not only his own parents but also his extended family – uncles and aunts

She went on to describe how Kambar narrated Viswamitra’s request to Dasaratha to send Rama with him. Rama is about twelve years old and Viswamitra comes to Dasaratha’s court. Dasaratha runs to the door to welcome him. A pleased Viswamitra right away appreciates Vashishta for being a good Guru to Ayodhya. He goes on to appreciate Dasaratha’s ruling of Ayodhya and slowly brings out his request. The moment Viswamitra says that he needs an able man to take care of the disturbances to his Yagnam, Dasaratha offers to send a soldier, his commander-in-chief and even offers to go himself. Viswamitra rejects all and says there is still a more able man and says he wants only Rama. With great reluctance Dasaratha agrees to send Rama with him and Lakshmana who follows Rama like a shadow joins him. Viswamitra promises to bring Rama back safe and takes leave of Dasaratha.

Here is the you tube link of this programme:


Saturday, March 24, 2012



The third programme was songs by Shravan. Ms. Sumathi introduced him by saying Shravan who was Airtel Super Singer is about to sing on the Supreme now! 

Shravan sang about 6 songs on the Lord and his rendering was lovely on the ears. I liked the singing of Thiruppavai best!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012



The second programme was Karadiyum Kurangum by Sri Karunakarachariar who is well known for the sprinkling of humour in his discourses.

Ms. Sumathi introduced Sri Karunakarachariyar stating that the topic Karadiyum Kurangum usually is about Jambavan and Hanuman, but with Karunakarachariyar one can never be sure. It could be something totally different too.

It was different though the moment we saw the programme list my sister, Jayashree and I knew for sure it was the story of Srimathi Parinayam which we have heard from our Thatha many times!

Ms. Sumathi went on to explain why Sangeetha Vidwans were called Jambavans. Once Narada went to Jambavan’s place and at the entrance, he could hear lovely music. He did not want to disturb Jambavan and waited for him to complete. After sometime, to Narada’s surprise Jambavan came from outside. Narada asked him about what was happening inside and Jambavan simply stated that in the morning, the saptaswaras cleaned up all his musical instruments and ensured perfect condition! Such was Jambavan’s authority on music!

Karadiyum Kurangum story goes like this

Ambarish was a king from Ishvaku Vamsam (ancestors of Lord Rama). His mother had prayed that her son should not ask anybody other than Narayana for anything. A great king, Ambarish was ruling well. One day, pleased with his prayers, Lord Indra appeared before him and asked him what he wanted. Ambarish said he had everything he wanted. Lord Indra insisted that he ask for some thing and Ambarish explained how his mother had prayed that Ambarish did not ask anything from anybody except Narayana. An angry Indra threatens to attack Ambarish with his vajrayudha. That’s when Lord Narayana gives Ambarish his Chakrayudha to protect himself. Such was the king’s devotion for Narayana.

Years rolled by and Ambarish had a daughter named Srimathi. The very beautiful Srimathi was devoted to Lord Narayana and wanted to get married to him.

One fine day, Narada came to Ambarish’s court along with his nephew Parvathar. Ambarish welcomed them and asked them to bless his daughter for a good bridegroom. Smitten  by Srimathi’s beauty, Narada calls the king aside and suggests that Ambarish gets Srimathi married to him. Taken aback, the king requests for some time. Parvathar takes the king aside and makes a similar request that Ambarish gets Srimathi married to him. Again, not knowing what to do, Ambarish requests for some time to think it over.

Finally, Ambarish comes back saying that as both the Rishis like her, he will have a swayamvaram conducted for his daughter and whoever she chooses can get married to her.

The swayamvaram was to take place a week later and meantime, Narada goes to Vaikundam. When Mahavishnu asks him about his visit, he requests for a boon that the moment Srimathi looks up at Parvathar his face should be like a monkey. Mahavishnu grants the boon.

Later Parvathar goes to Vaikuntam and asks Mahavishnu to make Narada look like a bear the moment Srimathi looks at him and gets the boon granted.

On the day of swayamvaram, the beautiful Srimathi holds a garland and walks forward. The moment she goes near them she screams “kurangu” and “karadi” and faints.

Though Narada and Parvathar know the reason for the other appearing like an animal, they join hands and try to blame the king. The king wakes his daughter up and makes one more attempt. Again she screams “karadi” and “kurangu” but smiles at the place between the two Rishis and garlands the handsome man with bow and arrow standing in the middle. The next moment, Srimathi vanishes.

Now really angry with the king, the Rishis curse him that he is caught by the darkness called “thamas”. The chakrayudha again comes to the rescue of Ambarish and scared by the chakrayudha, thamas turns back and follows Narada and Parvathar. Not knowing what to do, they run to Lord Narayana. The ever smiling Lord, welcomes them.

Finally waking up to the fact that Srimathi was devoted to the Lord and she vanished after garlanding somebody, the Rishis conclude that it was Lord Narayana who Srimathi garlanded.

They curse Lord Narayana that he takes the thamas on Himself and when He is in trouble, He will have to take the help of karadi and kurangu.

The Almighty accepted the curse and says He will use it in one of his avatars – Rama Avatar. Thus in Rama avatar, He was caught by thamas that he forgot that he was God and lived like a human being and was helped by Hanuman and Jambavan in Ravana samharam!

Sri Karunakarachariyar listed out the morals in the story as below

  1. A mother should pray for a child like Ambarish’s mother
  2. Don’t ask anybody other than God for anything
  3. God helps such men who pray to Him
  4. Even Maharishis can slip
  5. Be careful while making a wish – never ask anything negative, be positive
  6. Sincere prayers are always granted
  7. A bhakta is always saved
  8. Even the Almighty accepts Maharishi’s curse
  9. Mind is a monkey and its hold is like a bear’s!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012



Balameera Alamelu continued the discourse with the description of Krishna stealing butter in Ayarpadi.

Krishna goes and sits on Nandagopan’s lap and asks him to suggest a good day. The surprised Nandagopan asks Krishna what is it for and the mischievous Krishna replies “to begin stealing butter”.

Krishna is a thief alright, but his relatives are also thieves. Krishna’s brother-in-law Shiva was called a thief by a five-year-old boy (Thirugnanasambandar sang on Shiva “enn ullam kavar kalvan" என் உள்ளம் கவர் கள்வன்). His nephew Murugan was called a thief by Arunagirinathar (ammaan magalai thirudum thirudan - அம்மான் மகளைத் திருடும் திருடன் ). His nephew Ganapathi also stole the butter kept for Krishna in Sikkal

One fine day, Krishna starts his butter stealing leela and enters a house. There is nobody in the front yard. He walks through and finds the lady of the house in the kitchen. The lady is busy cooking in a golden pot and holding a golden ladle in her hand. Krishna enters from behind and makes a noise with his armlets. Getting no reaction, he creates noise with his anklets and still no reaction. He dances a few steps with still no reaction. Krishna decides that nothing is available in this house and turns back. The lady runs to the kitchen entrance and blocks the way. She had been watching the reflection of Krishna’s antics on the golden ladle and had been fascinated by them.

She pleads with Krishna to dance. Krishna asks her what she will give him and she lists out the number of snacks she has at home. The moment she finishes Krishna gets ready to leave saying “what’s the use, you don’t seem to have butter in your house”. The lady runs inside and brings a handful of butter. Krishna eats the butter and dances. The 30-year-old lady is captivated by the 3 ½-year-old’s dance. Krishna abruptly stops dancing.

Wondering why he stopped, the lady asks him and he promptly says, “I can dance only this much for the amount of butter you gave.” The lady runs inside again to bring another handful of butter. Krishna drops some butter down and eats the rest. As he dances, he mixes the sand on the mud floor with the butter and throws it on the lady’s eyes. The lady is unable to open her eyes as it was just not sand, but butter mixed with sand and so difficult to wash away. She finally opens her eyes to see the kitchen utensils talking to each other. The utensils were wondering how Krishna opened them, wore the murukku as a bangle, jilebi as an anklet etc. and went away. Zapped by this, the lady goes to the neighbour and the moment she starts the story, the neighbour describes all the happenings and finally says Krishna did a similar leela in her house the earlier day and threw all the utensils into the well!

The above has come out like a story but the narration by Needamangalam Alamelu and Sri Subburaman was beautiful with many songs in between.

Watch out for the telecast of this on Vijay TV soon!

This programme is being telecast this week on Vijay TV at 6.45 am

Here is the you tube link of the complete programme


Friday, March 16, 2012



Kanji (porridge) from Vidhuran

Krishna came to Hastinapuram on behalf of Pandavas as their messenger. As soon as he entered, he went in search of Vidhuran’s house to have food. When he entered, Vidhuran was not there and his wife invited him inside and said she will cook and serve food soon. Krishna was too hungry and wanted something to eat right away. She went to the backyard and plucked a full bunch of bananas not even checking properly if the bananas were ripe or not. Understanding that they are going to be eaten by Krishna, the raw bananas ripened by the time she came inside to offer them to Krishna. These bananas were green outside and ripe inside – the green bananas we get now (pachai pazham)
With great love and devotion, she started peeling the bananas and offered one by one to Krishna, enquiring about the Pandavas and Draupadi. In her enthusiasm, she threw the bananas aside and offered the peels to Krishna. Seeing her devotion, Krishna also ate the banana peels.

Vidhuran entered his home and was shocked to see this. He scolded his wife and brought a huge banana leaf to serve Krishna. Vidhuran lived as an ascetic during the period that his nephews, the Pandavas, were suffering in the forest. Vidhuran also lived in a hut and drank only kanji. The food supposed to be prepared for Krishna never got ready. Vidhuran poured his kanji on the leaf for Krishna. The semi liquid kanji ran to one end of the leaf and Krishna held that corner of the leaf with his left hand so that it did not run out. The kanji started flowing down the other side and Krishna used his right hand to hold this side. It started flowing to the third direction and He sprouted another hand to hold it back. This went on and Krishna had to use 10 hands to hold the kanji in the leaf. Krishna appreciated Vidhuran’s devotion that even to kill demons he had used only eight hands maximum while for Vidhuran he had to use 10 hands!

Food from Perunchotru Cheralathan

Perunchotru Cheralathan was a Chera king who served food for the armies in Kurukshetra. Everyday, Cheralathan used to supervise the cooking and the moment the food was ready, he signalled and both the armies used to come and eat their fill. Krishna and Arjuna were surprised to note that despite so many warriors dying in the battle every day, Cheralathan used to lay the exact number of leaves for serving and not even once there was a leaf more of less. Curious about this, one day when Cheralathan served payasam, Krishna asked him about this. Cheralathan went on to explain that everyday he served Krishna payasam counting the number of a particular lentil in it. After Krishna eats, Cheralathan only cleared the place and checked for the number of lentils left around the leaf. The number of lentils eaten by Krishna is equal to the number of people died in the battle that day – meaning every life goes into Him and the number of lentils left out is equal to the number of people alive. This is how he could serve the exact number of leaves everyday. This lentil was Cashew-nut!

You tube link of the programme

Monday, March 12, 2012



Sollinselvar V Subburaman began the discourse with comparison/contrast of Rama and Krishna, the two poorna avatars of Maha Vishnu.

Born in Palace
Born in Jail

Born amidst four people – Dasaratha, Kaushalya, Kaikeyi, Sumitra
Born amidst four people – Vasudevar, Devaki, Nandagopan, Yashoda
Born at 12 noon
Born at 12 midnight

Born in summer
Born in rainy season
Crossed Ganga to go to forest
Crossed Yamuna to go to Gokulam
Kothandam Kaisumantha Kotravan 
(கோதண்டம் கைசுமந்தக் கொற்றவன் 
For Rama it is clear that he is the King who had the bow - Kothandam
Kothandam Kaisumantha Kotravan
This is applicable to Krishna too
Ko+thandam Ko- cow Thandam – stick
Krishna herded the cows with a stick
Gobiaathavan gunathuk kotravan
(கோபியாதவன் குணத்துக் கொற்றவன்)  
Very soft spoken, great king

Gobiaathavan gunathuk kotravan
King of Gopikas and Yadavas

Bala leelai went on like this – Yashoda went to Nandagopan’s brother Upanandan’s house requesting him to check on Krishna’s health as he was not eating well.

“Who? Krishna is not eating well? He is the one who ate
-         Aval (beaten rice) from Kuchelar
-         Butter from Gopikas
-         Snacks from Yadavas
-         Keerai (greens) from Draupadi
-         Poison from Boothana
-         Kanji (porridge) from Vidhuran
-         Food from Perunchotru Cheralathan”

Most of these are familiar stories to all. Sri Suburaman expanded on the last two stories. Check the next blog for the same.

Here is the youtube link of this complete programme

Sunday, March 11, 2012



The dais looked beautiful with Venkatachalapathy on one side and Natarajar on the other side. There was a very sweet looking Krishna in standing posture with one hand on his hip. He was standing on a lotus and there were a few other lotuses around him. On both his sides were tall wooden doors with bells. The twinkling colour lights around Krishna were lovely!

Ms.Sumathi introduced the Harikatha exponent as the descendant of Oothukkadu Venkatasubbayier and went on to explain Venkatasubbaiyer’s greatness. Oothukkadu Venkatasubbayier used to sit in a corner and sing on Lord Krishna. He ensured that his singing never disturbed anybody. Such was his concern for others! A nadaswara vidwan heard him singing and tried to catch the song in his instrument. He used to hear the song in full, come back home and try to practice it. The problem was that the moment he heard the anupallavi, he forgot the pallavi and the moment he heard the saranam he forgot the anupallavi! Venkatasubbayier’s songs were so mesmerizing!  How many ever times he tried, he could catch only a part of the song. Seeing his difficulty, a child in his family suggested that he hear only the pallavi one day, come back and practice. After practicing it well, go learn the anupallavi and so on.  The nadaswara vidwan did this and finally got the songs right. He played Venkatasubbayier’s songs in temples and this is how the songs became public. 

Friday, March 9, 2012



The moment I heard about Vijay TV Bhakthi Thiruvizha Season 12 happening in Chennai, I could not stop checking for details. I desperately searched on the internet for Vijay TV, Bhakthi Thiruvizha, Narada Gana Sabha, etc. etc., but with no results. Finally, I called up Vijay TV and came to know that free entry tickets for 1000 people were available in their office on first come first serve basis. With not much hope of getting the tickets as it was already 3.30 pm, I still sent my office boy and he came back saying that there were no tickets available. Lastly, thanks to my cousin Kartik, I managed to get some passes.

I could not make it to the inaugural function as it was on Friday. Came Saturday and I was thinking of nothing but this programme. I reached the venue at 4.30 pm (the show begins at 5pm) and was pleasantly surprised to be directed towards the first few rows as it was an invitation that I was holding. Kartik, special thanks to you for that! I managed to get a prime seat right at the centre of the fifth row. The hall seemed to be half empty but by 4.50 pm it was packed to the hilt. First thing I appreciated was that the programme began sharp at 5pm.

As I have noticed in the earlier seasons of Bhakthi Thiruvizha, Ms. Sumathi introduced the artistes. Each day had four different programmes. The second day, that is, the Saturday that I attended the show, had:
1.      Bala Leelai - Harikatha by Kokilavani Balameera Selvi Needamangalam Alamelu & Sollinselvar V Suburaman at 5 pm
2.      Discourse on the topic Karadiyum Kurangum by Sri Karunakarachariyar at 6 pm
3.      Bhakthi Padalgal by Shravan at 7 pm
4.      Rama Avatharam by Desa Mangayarkarasi at 7.30 pm