Monday, April 30, 2012

Nayanmar 5 - Viranminda Nayanar


Viranminda Nayanar (விறன்மிண்ட நாயனார்) 

Birthplace  : Sengunrur (Chengannur)
Star           : Chithirai Thiruvathirai
 
Two Nayanmars opposed Sundaramurthy Nayanar and Viranminda Nayanar was one of them.


Born in an agricultural family in Sengunrur of Chera Naadu ( present day Chengannur, Kerala ) Viranminda Nayanar believed that it was more important to worship the devotees of Shiva than Lord Shiva Himself. He made it a habit to worship the Shiva devotees every day and enter the temple only after that.

During his visits to various temples, he had reached Thiruvaroor and was staying there for some time. Everyday he used to worship at the feet of the Shiva devotees gathered at the Devasiriya Mandapam of the Thiruvaroor temple before entering the temple.

The following incident reveals his bhakthi for the Shiva devotees:

One day Sundaramurthy Nayanar came to the temple and in his hurry to see the Lord, he did not stop at the Mandapam to greet the Shiva devotees. Angered by this, Viranmindar declared that “Sundarar who did not greet the devotees is not one of us anymore, Also, the Lord who accepted him as his friend is not one of us anymore”. Such was Viranminda Nayanar’s bhakthi for Shiva devotees!


When Sundaramurthy Nayanar heard this, he was very apologetic and composed “Thiru Thondar Thogai in praise of the Shiva devotees. This composition formed the basis of Periya Puranam by Sekkizhar at a later date.

Lord Shiva made Viranminda Nayanar head of his Ganas.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nayanmar 4 - Meipporul Nayanar

Meipporul Nayanar (மெய்ப்பொருள் நாயனார்)


Birth place: Thirukoviloor
Star: Karthigai Uthiram


Meipporul was the king of Thirukoviloor. Being a great devotee of Lord Shiva, he ruled over his kingdom justly taking care of his subjects well. He took good care of the temples of Lord Shiva and ensured that all pujas in these temples were taking place properly. He was also ready to help the devotees of Lord Shiva always.

Another king by name Muthinathan waged a war against Meipporul and was defeated by the latter. Knowing well that Meipporul will do anything for the devotees of the Lord, Muthinathan disguised himself like a devotee and went to his palace. Meipporul was resting and the gate keepers were guarding the entrance. Knowing that their king would not miss an opportunity to meet a Shiva devotee, one of the gate keepers, Dathan went to inform the queen who was also in the chamber. The queen woke the king up and the two went out to welcome the devotee. The vengeful Muthinathan announced that he had a message from one of the Shiva agamas which he could give only to the King in private. Unsuspecting, the queen went out leaving the two of them alone.

Meipporul made Muthinathan sit on a high chair and went down on his haunches humbly. Muthinathan took out a dagger and plunged it into the King. With sudden suspicion, Dathan entered the chamber and was shocked by this sight. He immediately took out his sword to kill Muthinathan. Meipporul stopped Dathan saying “Datha, he is ours, do not harm him. Ensure he goes out safely without any hindrance.”

Meipporul Nayanar held his breath till Dathan came back with the information that he had escorted the Shiva devotee out safely. He thanked Dathan for the great service he had done by saving the life of a Shiva devotee. He then meditated on Lord Shiva and Lord Shiva gave him darshan and mukti appreciating Meipporul Nayanar's great bhakthi that he refused to harm the enemy who tried to kill him because he had dressed like a Shiva bhaktha. 


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

VIJAY TV BHAKTHI THIRUVIZHA SEASON 12, DAY 3 – BHAKTHI MANDRAM


VIJAY TV BHAKTHI THIRUVIZHA SEASON 12, DAY 3 –BHAKTHI MANDRAM

Next was Bhakthi mandram similar to patti mandram but without the competition part. The Judge was my favourite Professor Dr. Selvaganapathy, who I have heard talk about the nayanmars on Doordarshan many times.

The speakers were Pulavar Ramalingam on Navukarasarin Bhakthi Nerigal (நாவுக்கரசரின்  பக்தி நெறிகள்) and Vijayasundari on Gnanasambandarin Bhakthi நெறிகள் (ஞானசம்பந்தரின் பக்தி நெறிகள்) .


The talks were very interesting but I felt that they sometimes went off their allocated topics when Pulavar Ramalingam started talking about Gnanasambandar and Vijayasundari about Navukarasar. 


But on the whole it was a new concept and very informative about both the Shiva devotees and made one emotional about their Bhakthi towards Lord Shiva!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Nayanmar 3 - Ilayankudi Mara Nayanar

Ilayankudi Mara Nayanar (இளையான்குடி மாற நாயனார்)

Birth place: Ilayankudi
Star: Aavani Magam



A rich farmer in Ilayankudi, Maran had the good habit of feeding the devotees of Shiva every day. Years rolled by, Maran lost all his property and became very poor. Even then he continued to feed at least one devotee every day. It came to a stage that one rainy day he and his wife did not have any food to eat the whole day and went to sleep starving.

Lord Shiva took the form of a devotee and knocked at Maran’s door. Maran opened the door and welcomed the devotee. It was obvious that the guest was hungry and there was not a single grain of rice at home. Maran requested the devotee to rest for some time until the food was prepared.


Maran went to the fields and collected the rice grains sown for cultivation which were floating in rain water. He also plucked some greens in the backyard and came back home. When he came to know that there was no firewood to light a fire for cooking, he removed the wood from the roof and asked his wife to use it as firewood. Maran’s good wife prepared food and Maran woke the devotee up requesting him to have the food. The devotee disappeared and Lord Shiva along with Goddess Parvathi gave darshan to the Maran couple and blessed them with mukti.

At the Ilayankudi Shiva temple, there is a sannidhi for Mara Nayanar and the street he used to live in Ilayankudi is called Maran Street even today.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

VIJAY TV BHAKTHI THIRUVIZHA SEASON 12, DAY 3 – NAMASANKEERTHANAM BY SRI SATTANATHA BHAGAVATHAR


VIJAY TV BHAKTHI THIRUVIZHA SEASON 12, DAY 3 – NAMASANKEERTHANAM BY SRI SATTANATHA BHAGAVATHAR


The third programme was Namasankeerthanam by Sri Sattanatha Bhagavathar associated with Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamigal.


Ms. Sumathi introduced them with an interesting narration that when she asked Sattanatha Bhagavathar from when he was involved in Namasangeerathanam, he said right from the age of 7 and has been rendering Namasangeerathanam for the past 25 years, but the person looks only about 30 years old! She went on to compare Sattanatha Bhagavathar with Thirugnanasambandar who was also from Seeragazhi and had the blessings of the Almighty at a very young age!

The Namasangeerthanam was a beautiful 30 minutes with total devotion. I loved the rendering of Muralidhara swamigal song “hare rama hare rama".The crowd got very much involved with clapping and repeating during the namasangeerathanam.



 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nayanmar 2 - Iyarpagai Nayanar


Iyarpagai Nayanar (இயற்பகை நாயனார்)


Birthplace: Kaviripoompatinam
Star: Margazhi Uthiram

Iyarpagai Nayanar – Iyar + pagai (opposed to nature) - this Nayanar’s name itself suggests his devotion to the Lord, that he did unnatural, abnormal things out of his devotion to the Lord.

Iyarpagai Nayanar lived with his wife in Kaviripoompatinam. He was well known for giving away anything the devotees of Lord Shiva asked for.

One day Lord Shiva took the form of a Brahmin and came to Iyarpagai Nayanar. Very happy to receive him, Iyarpagai wanted to know what the Brahmin wanted. The Brahmin asked Iyarpagai to give his wife. Without blinking an eye, Iyarpagai called his wife and asked her to go with the Brahmin. Though taken aback for a moment, Iyarpagai’s wife got ready to leave with the Brahmin.

The Brahmin was worried that Iyarpagai’s relatives may object to him taking the latter’s wife and asked Iyarpagai to escort them for some distance. Iyarpagai armed himself with some weapons and accompanied them. Many relatives gathered around, objecting to Iyarpagai’s wife being sent with the Brahmin. The Brahmin appeared to be frightened by this but Iyarpagai’s wife assured him saying that “Iyarpagai will take care of them”. A woman mentioning the names of her husband was unheard of in those days. Iyarpagai’s wife mentioned his name thereby proving that she belonged to the Brahmin and did not consider Iyarpagai her husband anymore.

photo courtesy : shaivam.org
When the relatives tried to attack the Brahmin, Iyarpagai killed the relatives without hesitation making way for the Brahmin and his wife to move forward. After some distance, the Brahmin asked Iyarpagai to go back and he did so promptly. As he turned around and walked back, he heard the Brahmin calling him “Iyarpagai, come back” He turned back again and saw that the Brahmin had vanished.

Lord Shiva along with Goddess Parvathi gave darshan to Iyarpagai Nayanar and his wife and blessed them with mukti. The relatives killed by Iyarpagai Nayanar were also given mukti.

The temple where Iyarpagai Nayanar, his wife and relatives attained mukti is Thiru Sayakkadu close to Kaviripoompatinam.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Recipe - Adaidosai


Adaidosai (அடைதோசை)


This is a simple dosai recipe I learnt from my mother in law. I think this tiffen item needs a proper christening as it is usually called jovially “neither adai nor dosai” as it is not as heavy as adai and not regular dosai either. Jokes apart, this is an easy-to-make breakfast and full of moong dal nutrition. It is quite similar to pesarat but lighter than that.

Ingredients

Yellow moong dal (பயத்தம்  பருப்பு/ பாசிப் பருப்பு)   - 1 glass
Raw rice  (பச்சரிசி)                                                        - a handful
Red chillies (காய்ந்த மிளகாய்)                                    - 4 or 5
Green chillies (பச்சை மிளகாய்)                                   - 1 (optional)
Curry leaves (கறிவேப்பிலை)                                      - 2 sprigs
Asafoetida  (பெருங்காயம்)                                          - 2 pinches
Salt  (உப்பு)                                                                    - to taste
Oil (எண்ணெய்)                                             

Method:

Soak the moong dal and raw rice together for about 30 – 40 minutes. Add this to the mixie, add the chillies, curry leaves, salt and grind after adding some water. Make sure the end product is not too smooth and a little grainy. Add asafoedita and add some more water to bring it to a dosai batter consistency. 
 




Pour a ladle full of the batter on a tawa, add little oil and make like a dosai. This does not need as much oil as an adai.

Yummy Adaidosai is ready to eat. Side dishes can be sambar/chutney/milagai podi/pickle/sugar or it can be had plain too! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Nayanmar 1 - Thiru Neelakanta Nayanar


Thiru Neelakanta Nayanar (திருநீலகண்ட நாயனார்)


photo courtesy : vikatan prasuram


Birth place: Chidambaram
Star: Thai Visakam

A very pious potter, who was fascinated by the episode of Lord Shiva drinking the Alahala visham (poison) which came out while the Devas and Asuras churned the Paarkadal, used to always chant “Thiruneelakantam, Thiruneelakantam” that his original name was forgotten and he came to be called Thiruneelakantar.

A staunch devotee of the Lord, he lived a peaceful life with his wife making pottery and giving away at least one clay bowl (thiruvodu திருவோடு) everyday to the devotees of Lord Shiva.

One day, due to his past life karma, he went to a prostitute and when he came back, his wife was furious and swore in the name of the Lord that Thiruneelakantar should not touch her anymore. Ashamed by his action, he accepted his wife’s condition and they stayed together not leading a life of man and wife but continued the service of giving away a clay bowl a day to the devotees.

This went on for many years and Lord Shiva wanted the world to know their devotion. He came in the form of a Shiva devotee and gave a bowl to Thiruneelakantar stating that the bowl is capable of purifying anything put in it and Thiruneelakantar is to keep it safe until the devotee came back. Thiruneelakantar kept it very safe in his house and when the devotee came many years later and asked for the bowl, it was not to be found anywhere.

Very upset with this, Thiruneelakantar offered to make a new bowl for the devotee, but the devotee insisted that he wanted his own bowl back. He said he did not believe that the bowl was missing and accused Thiruneelakantar of cheating him. When Thiruneelakantar pleaded with him that he is saying the truth, the devotee asked Thiruneelakantar to prove that he is not lying by taking a dip in the temple pond nearby holding his son’s hand.

When Thiruneelakantar said that he did not have a son, the devotee asked him to hold his wife’s hand and take a dip. Baffled by this, (as he had not touched his wife after the promise) he kept quiet. The devotee insisted that the case be heard by the village head and Thiruneelakantar agreed to take a dip with his wife with both of them holding either end a bamboo stick. The devotee did not accept this either and Thiruneelakantar was forced to admit in front of the village about his life with his wife.

The village head gave judgement that Thiruneelakantar has to take a dip in the pond holding his wife’s hand and he had no other choice. After a dip, the two of them came up. Lo and behold, both Thiruneelakantar and wife had become young!

Lord Shiva gave darshan along with Goddess Parvathi and explained that He wanted the world to know the devotion of Thiruneelakanta Nayanar!

photo courtesy : shaivam.org
The temple where this happened is Thiruppuliswarar Temple (திருப்புலிச்வரர் கோயில்) aka Ilamai Thirumbinar Koil (இளமை திரும்பினார் கோயில்), very close to Chidambaram.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Recipe - Tepla


Tepla


This is one of the North Indian recipes I learnt from my sister Sundari during my six months stay in Bombay. I love making this often as it is a hot favourite at home.

Here is the recipe

Ingredients

Wheat flour                      - 1 cup
Channa dal flour               - 1 tbsp
Rice flour                         - 1 tbsp
Methi leaves                     - 1 cup (washed and chopped fine)
Sesame seeds                   - ½ tsp
Ajwain                             - ½ tsp
Chilli powder                    - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder              - ½ tsp
Asafoetida                        - ½ tsp
Salt                                  - to taste
Equal mixture of oil & ghee- ¼ cup

Add all items except the last to a wide bowl, mix well and add a tsp of the oil/ghee mixture. Add water little by little and make this into the consistency of roti dough. Keep it aside for about 15-20 minutes. 





Take small balls of the dough and roll into rotis (not very thin). Place the rolled roti on a heated tawa and turn it when brown spots appear on one side. Once the other side also has some brown spots, add a little oil/ghee mixture and turn it like you do a roti.


Delicious, healthy methi tepla is ready to eat.



The advantages of tepla are

-         no special side dish is needed as it can be eaten plain or with pickles/raita/curd/etc
-         tepla can be stored for 4-5 days




Friday, April 13, 2012

Chithirai (சித்திரை)



Chithirai (சித்திரை)

Chithirai the first month of the Tamizh year marking the beginning of a new Tamizh year, is usually from April 14 - May 14. This Tamizh year is called the Nandana varusham (நந்தன வருஷம்). This year the New Year has begun on April 13, today.



Chithirai is one of the hottest month in India. The beginning of the new year is celebrated with reading the almanac (panchangam), making the maangai pachadi (மாங்காய் பச்சடி) and veppampoo pachadi,(வேப்பம்பூ பச்சடி)  signifying that life is full of different tastes like inippu  (இனிப்பு), pulippu (புளிப்பு), kaaram (காரம்), karippu (கரிப்பு), thuvarppu (துவர்ப்பு) and kasappu (கசப்பு). Of course people do make other sweets like payasam today but the most important dishes are the maangai pachadi/veppampoo pachadi as it is mango season and one can see the neem tree full of fresh flowers. Neem tree is as good as the banana or coconut tree where all parts are useful only thing is we do not use the neem tree products for everyday cooking but the leaves and flowers are of great medicinal values.

 
Mango is part and parcel of summer and it is very difficult to find somebody who does not like mangoes, raw or ripe!
photo courtesy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
File:Vishu_kani.jpg
Vishu, (விஷு) celebrated as new year by the  Keralites also usually falls on the same day as the Tamizh New year, but these two vary by a day some times. This year is one of those, Vishu being celebrated tomorrow and Tamizh New Year today. The Vishukkani  (விஷுக்கனி) is very important in Kerala and this ritual is also followed in many Tamizh households including ours. Fruits, vegetables, flowers, rice, dal, is kept in a tray along with betel leaves, betel nuts and turmeric pieces. Also some gold jewels and rupee coins are kept along with this. The whole tray is kept in front of a mirror decorated with flowers and early morning as soon as one gets up, he has to look in the mirror, see himself and all the positive things displayed there. This mainly signifies the auspiciousness and usually the children are given the coins as gifts called Vishukkaineetam (விஷு கைநீட்டம்). For Keralites the yellow flower is also an integral part of the Vishukkani 


One of the most important festivals of Chithirai is the Akshaya Thrithya (அக்ஷய திரிதியை), the third day after the Amavasya (new moon) Traditionally in many parts of India it is celebrated as birthday of Lord Parasurama. It is also said to be the day river Ganga flowed into the Earth. It is a very good day to begin any venture, but last 20 - 25 years, jewellers have named this day the best for buying gold and there is a great rush for the gold on this day. From what I have heard, it is considered to be good to gift gold on this day, but can anyone imagine giving gold free to anybody now?
This year Akshaya Thrithya is on 24 April

The hottest period of the year called Agni Nakshathram (அக்னி நக்ஷத்திரம்) or kathiri veyyil (கத்திரி வெய்யில்)  begins in this month and ends in the Tamizh month of Vaikasi. This year Agni Nakshathram begins on 4th May and ends on 28th May. During this period abhishekams with water and cooling things like ilaneer are performed for the deities in the temples.

 The full moon day of the month of Chithirai is called the Chitra Pouranami (சித்ரா பௌர்ணமி). This is celebrated as the birthday of Chitragupta who accounts all our good and bad deeds and reports to Yama, the God of death. Hence special prayers to Chitragupta on this day. This year Chitra pournami falls on 5th May.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Nayanmars (நாயன்மார்கள்)– an introduction


Nayanmars (நாயன்மார்கள்)– an introduction



 
To start with Nayanmars are very different from Azhwars. Azhwars, devotees of Lord Vishnu, sang his praise. The compositions of all the Azhwars are well recorded.

Nayanmars, a huge number compared to Azhwars, were from all walks of life and their simple devotion to Lord Shiva gained them this status. Only some of them were well versed in singing on the Lord. The collection of hymns by many devotees is called Panniru Thirumuraigal.(பன்னிரு திருமுறைகள்) 

These Thirumurais were composed over a number of years by devotees who lived during different periods and there was no information about any palm scriptures of the same. Many hymns were sung in temples regularly and on hearing one, Raja Raja Chozhan was in ecstasy.

He wanted to find out more about such compositions and also if any written records were available. He requested Nambi Andar Nambi (நம்பியாண்டார் நம்பி) to help him find these who in turn requested the Polla Pillayar of Thirunaraiyur to let them know the location of these scriptures. (More details about Nambi Andar Nambi in another blog).
 
On hearing from Lord Ganapathi that the original palm scripts of the hymns were kept locked in a chamber in the Chidambaram temple, The King and Nambi Andar Nambi proceeded to Chidambaram. On opening the chamber, they were shocked to see that most of the palm leaves were eaten away by white ants and they could recover only some of it.

When they were saddened about losing such a treasure, they heard a divine voice saying that the hymns they recovered were enough for the present world. The 13680 verses of the Thirumurais 1 – 11 found intact is only a small part of the total compositions by the devotees.  Nambi Andar Nambi compiled and documented the recovered hymns as Thirumurai 1 to 11 adding his own compositions to the lot.

-         Thirumurais 1, 2 and 3 are the verses sung by Thirugnana Sambandar (திருஞான சம்பந்தர்) called Thevaram.(தேவாரம்)  It is also called Thirkkadai kaapu (திருக்கடைக் காப்பு) 

-         Thirumurais 4, 5 and 6 are the hymns sung by Thirunavakarasar (திருநாவுக்கரசர்)  (Appar) called Thevaram

-         Thirumurai 7 is by Sundaramurthy Nayanar (சுந்தரமுர்த்தி நாயனார்) also called Thevaram. It is also called Thiruppaatu.(திருப்பாட்டு)

-          Thirumurai 8 is the Thiruvasagam (திருவாசகம்) and Thirukkovaiyar (திருக்கோவையார்) by Manickavasagar (மாணிக்கவாசகர்) 

-         Thirumurai 9 consists of the verses of Thiru Maligai Thevar (திருமாளிகைத் தேவர்) and eight others (Senthanar (சேந்தனார்), Karuvur Thevar (கருவூர் தேவர்) ,   Poonthuruthi Kaadanambi (பூந்துருத்தி காடநம்பி), Kandaraathithar  (கண்டராதித்தர்),   Venaatuadigal  (வேணாட்டடிகள்), Thiruvaaliamudhanaar  (திருவாலியமுதனார்), Purutothama Nambi  (புருடோத்தம நம்பி), Sethirayar  (சேதிராயர்) ) and it is called Thirvisaippa (திருவிசைப்பா) and Thiruppallaandu (திருப்பல்லாண்டு) 

-         Thirumurai 10 is the Thirumandiram (திருமந்திரம்) by Thirumoolar  (திருமூலர்)  

-         Thirumurai 11  by Lord Thiru aalavai udayar (திரு ஆலவாயுடையார்) (Lord Shiva) himself and eleven others (Karaikal Ammaiyar (காரைக்கால் அம்மையார்), Iyadigal Kadavarkon (ஐயடிகள் காடவர்கோன்), Seraman Perumal  (சேரமான் பெருமாள்), Nakeerar (நக்கீரர்), Kalladar (கல்லாடர்), Kabilar (கபிலர்), Baranar (பரணர்) ,  Ilamperuman Adigal (இளம்பெருமான் அடிகள்) , Athiraavadigal (அதிராவடிகள்) , Patinathu adigal (பட்டினத்தடிகள்). This Thirumurai also includes the hymns sung by Nambi Andar Nambi who compiled all above. This is also called Prabhandam(பிரபந்தம்) 
 
-         Thirumurai 12 is the Periya Puranam (பெரிய புராணம்) by Sekkizhar  (சேக்கிழார்) . This was written very much later compared to the compilation of the first eleven Thirumurais and documents the devotion of the 63 Nayanmars to their Lord.  This was initially called Thiruthondar Puranam (திருத்தொண்டர் புராணம்) and later came to be called as Periya Puranam and considered as the twelfth Thirumurai.

Though Sekkizhar has accounted details of 63 Nayanmars only in his Thiruthondar Puranam, the Thirumurais  9 and 11 include compositions of other devotees too.

Kindly wait for Thiru Neelakanta Nayanar Puranam  (திருநீலகண்ட நாயனார் புராணம் ) until 16th April!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Arupathimoovar (அறுபத்திமூவர்)


Arupathimoovar (அறுபத்திமூவர்)


I have been meaning to write a series on Arupathimoovar after the series of Azhwars, but never got around doing same till now.

The first time I tried, I wanted to begin with the Arupathimoovar festival in Mylapore, but since I could not combine with it, I dropped the idea.

Now right after this year’s Arupathimoovar festival, I hope to start with a blog on one Nayanmar on every Monday and Thursday.

To begin with, Arupathimoovar festival is something I have only heard of all these years. Despite being a Chennaite, I have never had the opportunity to see the festival.

This year, I wanted to go at least on one day and as usual thanks to my sister Jayashree’s persuasion with a bit of pressure on me, I visited on the day of Arupathimoovar urchavam.

I have to say that I was zapped by the sight of the whole area. First of all, vehicles were stopped at the junction of Luz Church Road and only pedestrians were allowed beyond this point. I was stunned to see the ever empty Thirumayilai MRTS station full of people.

It was a great sight to see refreshments being distributed free of cost at a number of thannir pandals (தண்ணீர் பந்தல்) (these are still called thannir pandals though they offered right from biryani, sambar rice, biscuits, chocolates and what not!). As far as I could see these thannir pandals were not just around the temple but in the whole area all the way to Alwarpet.

The path was already full with roadside vendors selling a variety of stuff right from coconut/banana/camphor to be offered to the Lord to toys for the kids. 



One eyesore were the paper plates and cups strewn on the same path as well as in the median. Some had even thrown leftover eatables. Of course this was the first time I was there during the festival so I am not sure whether this happens every year or it was messier this year!










The crowd was so much that people were really pushing each other to move forward. I managed to reach the junction before the theppa kulam and there was some breathing space. I could hear the police announcing names of people from different parts of the city who had missed their kith and kin and was in search of them which made me feel a bit bad about not making an attempt to attend this festival even once despite having lived in Chennai all my life!

In front of theppa kulam was a long line of Gods and I saw Kolavizhi Amman first followed by Draupathi Amman, Periyanayaki sametha Vaaliswarar and Ganapathy. 

Kolavizhi Amman (கோலவிழி அம்மன்)
Draupadi Amman (திரௌபதி அம்மன்)

 
After these Gods were the great Arupathimoovars preceded by Poompavai and Sivanesar!



I could read the name placards of some of the deities only as it was a procession of four nayanmars on each palanquin.



As I was slowly taking photos of the first few rows, suddenly the procession started moving at a good speed and I managed to catch a small movie of same.

video

All this while, my sister Jayashree was somewhere in the crowd and we were communicating only on the mobile. Jayashree, who is more familiar with the rituals of the day as she had visited last year, said that what I saw was only the tip of the iceberg and processions of many Gods and Goddesses led by Kapaleeswarar and Karpagambal were elsewhere. As I did not have much time and was a bit keen to catch the CSK match and had a long way to go home, I called it a day.

Kindly wait for the blog on Nayanmars on Thursday, 12 April 2012!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

VIJAY TV BHAKTHI THIRUVIZHA SEASON 12, DAY 3 – DHARMAME VELLUM BY PROFESSOR ILLAMPIRAI MANIMARAN – Part 3


VIJAY TV BHAKTHI THIRUVIZHA SEASON 12, DAY 3 – DHARMAME VELLUM BY PROFESSOR ILLAMPIRAI MANIMARAN – Part 3




Another episode narrated during the discourse was about a happening during the Agnyathavaasam of the Pandavas. After 13 years of vanavasam, the Pandavas were spending a year in Agnyathavasam in hiding. The Pandavas had chosen Virada Desam for staying hidden. Yudhishtra had joined as the king’s advisor naming himself Gangubattar. Bheema became the royal cook, Arjuna, a eunuch while Nakula and Sahadeva took care of the horse stables. Draupadi took up the job as the queen’s companion.

When the queen’s brother Keechakan tried to misbehave with Draupadi, Bheema killed him. Hearing of Keechakan’s death, Duryodhana guessed that the Pandavas should be in Virada Desam as only a great warrior could defeat Keechakan. The Kauravas attacked Virada Desam and the prince went to the battlefield with Brigannalai (Arjuna, the eunuch) as his sarathi.

The Virada King was in his court playing the dice with Gangubattar. As they were wondering what could have happened in the battlefield, Gangubattar said that Brigannalai would have defeated the Kauravas.

Angry that Gangubattar suggested that Brigannalai could have defeated the opponents and not the prince, the king threw the dice at Gangubattar. Blood started flowing from the wound and Draupadi ran to stop the blood ensuring that not even a drop fell on the ground. This is because Yudhishtra is such a great person that if a drop of blood from his body fell on the ground, there will be no rain in that area for a number of years and the Pandavas did not want such a thing to happen to a country who helped them spend their Agnyathavasam period comfortably!

The Professor also narrated the episode of “Ashwathama hathaha kunjaraha”   he only place where one could say Dharmaputra’s dharma slipped a little, but that too was because of Krishna leelai.

It is the 15th day of the Kurukshetra battle and the only way to defeat Drona was to tell him Ashwathama had been killed. Drona would not believe the news unless it was uttered by a Dharmavan such as Yudhishtra. Krishna suggests that Yudhishtra says it but the latter refuses to lie.

Krishna asks Yudhishtra to announce that an elephant name Ashwathama had been killed and when Yudhishtra announces “Ashwathama hathaha kunjaraha”, Krishna blows his conch just as Yudhishtra says “kunjaraha”. Drona believes his son Ashwathama is dead and drops all his weapons. In that weak moment, Dhristadhyumna kills Drona!

The moment Yudhishtra announces “Ashwhathama hathaha kunjaraha”, his chariot which was always a few inches above the ground declaring his Dharma, touched the ground.

Here is the you tube link

 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Ramayana on TV on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanthi



 
Ramayana on TV on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanthi

The first story was by Sri Velukkudi Krishnan in Sriramanin Arulamudham in Podhigai TV.

This series on Ramayana has just begun after the completion of Bhagavatham and is in introduction stages. Sri Velukkudi Krishnan explained today how we have to proceed from Krishna to Rama with the help of Hanuman, who was present in the times of both the Avatars.

He began with the mention of a Hanuman sannidhi next to the sannidhi of Parthasarathy in the Ananthapadmanabhaswamy Temple in Trivandrum. (I have not had the opportunity to visit this temple so far).

During his extensive travel, Arjuna reached the southernmost part of the country. When he saw the ocean, he wondered why Rama strived to make a bridge with stones and not just with his arrows across the ocean to reach Lanka. There was a small monkey around and the monkey said it was not practical to make a bridge with arrows as it would not have taken the weight of the vanara sainyam (monkey army). Arjuna did not accept this and said he will make a bridge with his arrows. He made a bridge in a jiffy and the lone monkey tried to walk across and the bridge gave away. He tried not once but thrice and the same thing happened. Krishna could not see his dear friend Arjuna failing and came there in the form a young boy. The boy asked Arjuna to try building a bridge again and this time when the monkey walked, the bridge was intact. Both Arjuna and the monkey looked at the boy and Arjuna said “Hey Krishna” and the monkey, which was actually Hanuman said “Hey Rama”. God showed himself as both Rama and Krishna to his respective devotees.


Here is the link to the above programme



The next story is part of Vijay TV Bhakthi Thiruvizha - “Vibeeshana Saranagathi” by Sri Thamal Ramakrishnan. Today was the last part of this discourse.

Vibeeshana has just reached Rama’s camp and requests the vanaras to recommend his case to Rama. He tries to convince them by narrating different stories. One such story was very cute and I would like to share here.

Chased by a tiger, a man climbs a tree in the forest. He thinks he can sit on the tree till the tiger goes away. By the time he settles down, he sees an old monkey atop the tree. The monkey bares its teeth and the man is frightened. He straightaway takes hold of the monkey’s feet and requests the monkey to save him. Since he said saranagathi, the monkey ensures that the man is saved and takes care of him over the next few hours by plucking fruits from the tree for the man when he is hungry and even allowing him to sleep on its lap when he is tired. The tiger from below the tree suggests that the monkey pushes the man when he is fast asleep. The monkey does not accept this. By afternoon, the man wakes up and the monkey asks the man if it can sleep on his lap as the monkey is very tired now. As soon as the monkey goes to sleep, the tiger tells the man that all it needs is meat whether it is human or monkey, so push the monkey down. The ungrateful human tries to push the monkey down. Waking up, monkey catches hold of the lower branch and climbs up again. The shameless man again catches hold of the monkey’s feet and the benevolent monkey still promises to save him. Vibheeshana narrates the above story to the vanaras highlighting the greatness of monkeys over man and beseeches with them to take his saranagathi message to Rama!

Here is the you tube link


I heard that Hanumath Jayanthi is being celebrated in some parts of India today, hence the title!