For Sale!!

So I’m clearing out… after a very long time. I realized I have many precious books, and other items that deserve more enthusiastic owners! I have listed these on eBay. Of note, I cannot ship internationally (United States only), and I only accept PayPal as a form of payment. I feel bad for making a sales pitch on this blog, but I couldn’t figure out a better way to get the word out!

http://shop.ebay.com/krishnarpanam/m.html

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Sri Kainkarya

DSC00799Sri Devanatha Perumal with Consorts, Thiruvaheendrapuram

I recently came across this website (http://www.srikainkarya.org/), and was quite inspired by its contents…

The website is run by a devotee by the name of Sri D. Soundararajan. Also known as Thiruvaheendrapuram Urupattur Chakravarthi Soundararajan is the founder and executor of Sri Kainkarya. He is the native of Thiruvaheendrapuram. His forefathers were doing services to Lord Devanatha and His Consorts and also to Acharya Swami Desikan by way of Veda parayanams etc. He was a state level Class I officer of Tamilnadu Government. He served as Managing Director, Coop Spinning Mills Dharapuram, District Revenue Officer and Additional District Magistrate, Ramanathapuram, Dy. Commissioner Civil Supplies, Madras, and Joint Director of Stationery & Printing, Madras. He headed the Tribunal for Disciplinary proceedings of Tamilnadu Govt Officers before his retirement.

He helped fundraise for the construction of steps, and the mahamandapam at Oushadagiri, the site of Sri Hayagriva’s temple in Thiruvaheendrapuram. From my understanding, he is still active in fund raising efforts for other devotional causes. Please take a look at his website, and contribute to a good cause…

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Its been a while…

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So it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on my blog. I apologize for the huge gap in posts. “Life happens” as they say… and so it did.

Out of curiosity, I took a look at the blog’s stats recently. Much to my surprize, there have been a steady stream of readers to the website. This encouraged me to not abandon the blog altogether. So, I will try to begin posting again, with some frequency in a month’s time.

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Hope all my readers had a wonderful Navarathri, Vijayadasami, and Swami Vedantha Desikan Thirunakshatram. Keep visiting this site, and you might be surprized by a new post soon!

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Sri Periazhwar…

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Today is Ani Swathi… the thiruavatara dinam of Sri Periazhwar. Of all the Azhwars, two are prominent simply by their names… Swami Nammazhwar (“Our Azhwar”) and Sri Periazhwar (“The Great Azhwar”).  Sri Mahalakshmi incarnated as the daughter of Sri Periazhwar, in Srivilliputhur in order to glorify this great devotee of the Lord. As Andal, She made mention of Her father as “Bhattarpiraan” and refered to Herself as the Kodhai of Bhattarpiraan (Thiruppaavai 30th paasuram “bhattarpiraan kodhai sonna sangathamizh maalai…” Let us remember Sri Periazhwar on this special day, and attain his blessings to have nitya kainkaryam to Sri Krishna and Thirukodhai…

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gurumukhamanadhItya prAha vedAnasheShaAn

narapatiparikluptam shulkamAdAtukAma:

svashuramamaravandyam ranganAthasya sAkshAt

dvijakulatilakam tam viShNuchittam namAmi

I salute that Periazhwar, who won the prize of a purse of gold coins established by King Vallabhadeva, without having formal training from an acharya, established the Supremacy of Sriman Narayana in the Vedas, who is worthy of worship by the devas, who is the direct father-in-law of Lord Ranganatha Himself, and who is the ornament of all Brahmanas! (Thaniyan by Srimath Nathamunigal)

Note: Photos courtesy of http://picasaweb.google.com/venkatachariar/SRIANDALSANNATHIDAILYEVENTS#

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Sri Sri Radha Gopivallabha…

So recently, I haven’t posted any pictures of Sri Sri Radha Gopivallabha, the beautiful presiding deities of Boston’s ISKCON temple. I recently went through my (huge) collection of pictures of Them, and created a Picasa gallery. If you’d like to take a look at some beautiful pictures of these very special deities, please click the link at the end of this post…

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http://picasaweb.google.com/krishna.akilesh/SriSriRadhaGopivallabha#

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Sri Vedanta Desikar Devasthanam…

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I recently came across a website for this beautiful temple – Sri Vedanta Desikar Devasthanam, in Mylapore. The temple is a few hundred years old, originally enshrining only Swami Desikan and Sri Lakshmi Hayagrivar’s archa vigrahas. In 1924, Sri Kasturi Iyengar built sannidhis for Sri Srinivasa Perumal and Padmavathi Thayar. The temple now also has sannidhis for Sri Ramar, Sri Lakshmi Nrusimhar, Sri Andal, Chakkrathazhwar, Sri Bhashyakarar, and Pey Alwar (Mylapore is his avatara sthalam)…

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The website (http://www.svdd.com/) is updated regularly, and has gorgeous pictures of the deities, various utsavams, and even video clips. Below is an intense video clip of the thottti thirumanjanam of Sri Srinivasa Perumal, and His consorts, Sri and Bhu devis (click the link)

http://www.svdd.com/gv.asp?flv=gallery/09/pb/o/8m-thotti.flv

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Thiruvarangam…

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Thiruvarangam is the Tamil name for Sri Rangam, the famous south Indian temple city dedicated to Lord Ranganatha. I recently came across a beautiful website run by an enterprising young devotee of Lord Ranganatha – Mr. N. Santhanakrishnan. The website is informative, and has a beautiful gallery with pictures of the various utsavams of at the “Kovil.” In addition to this, the website has an exciting feature (http://www.thiruvarangam.com/events.html) where one can see short video clips, and high resolution pictures of Sri Namperumal, and other deities related to this sacred kshetram (including the deities at Woraiyur, and Thiruvellarai).

Mr. Santhanakrishnan is currently seeking financial support for his website, especially for improving bandwidth, and download capacity. He also needs a new camera to take better pictures of the various utsavams featured regularly on his website.

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So now to my main point, please consider supporting this wonderful website! I confess that I’m not one for sales pitches (this is actually the first one on my blog!). For those who live abroad, a little foreign currency goes a long way in India. Please join me in supporting and encouraging a young devotee of Sri Ranganatha, a kainkaryam that would certainly please Him…

If you’ve been totally sold on this, my very first sales pitch, please visit http://www.thiruvarangam.com/donation.html or email Mr. Santhanakrishnan at n_santhanakrishnan(at)yahoo.co.in

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Sri Nammalwar appears…

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Swami Nammalwar at Azhwar Thirunagari

Nammalwar was born in a clan “Vellalar tribe” on the 43rd day of kali yuga on Friday, under the star “Vishakha”, during the sukla pakshi, chathur dashi, in kataka lagna, in the month of vrushabha (May-June), in vasantha ruthu, in the year of Pramadhi, in Thiru kurugoor (near Thirunelveli) in the Pandaya dynasty of Tamil Nadu, to kariyar and Udayanangayar. The child was extraordinary. For several days, it lived with eyes closed in perfect health, without food (neither breast fed milk nor any other). For days together, it never spoke. Distressed at this, the parents place the child at the shrine of Aadinathar, the deity of Kurugoor, surrendering into Him the entire burden of upbringing the child. As the child was totally different from the general human nature, he was named Maran. He was also called “Sadagopan” as, unlike other children, he did not allow earthly ignorance to envelope him. For sixteen long years, Maran sat motionless under the tamarind tree (Thirupuliazhvar) in Sri Adinathar’s temple without food or drink, eyes closed, in padmasanam (lotus posture), in utter silence. He appeared like the radiant sun itself had taken on a human form, with an aura encompassing the universe. He is believed to be the avatara of Vishwaksena, chief of the hosts of Sriman Narayana in Vaikuntam.

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Sri Adinathar, Azhwar Thirunagari

During that period, an elderly Brahmin scholar named Madhurakavi was on his pilgrimage to north Indian shrines. At Ayodhya, the pilgrim saw an extraordinary sweet glowing light as a star on the southern sky. Keen on knowing the source whence it emanated he traveled southward. Even when he reached Srirangam, (near Trichy in Tamil Nadu) the light was visible in far south. He continued his quest till he reached kurugoor, where the light merged with the person in Nammalwar, seated blissfully under the tamarind tree.

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Sri Madhura Kavi Alwar

With great difficulty, Madhura kavi succeeded in drawing out Nammalwar from his deep samadhi. He learnt from Nammalwar the secrets of all the shastras by becoming his disciple. Thenceforward, he remained at his lotus feet, recording the divine poem swelling out of the heart of Nammalwar in great ecstasy of Krishna Bhakti, sometimes rapidly and other times slowly, depending on the intensity of intuition and inspiration. At the very thought of the birth and beauty of Sri Krishna, the Alwar used to go into deep trance for months together.
Nammalwar is the seer of Dravidian Vedas. He sang four immortal poems as the Tamil version of the of the four Vedas – Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharvanda. Nammalwar stayed on earth in flesh and blood only for a brief thirty-five years. His return back to Vaikuntam through the Archaradhi gathi has also been sung by him in the penultimate portion of Thiruvaimozhi.

Madhurakavi composed “kanni-nun chiruthambu”— a short prabandha of just eleven poems, in praise of Nammalwar, which in tradition occupies a very central place. Madhurakavi spread the music of the poems of Nammalwar far and wide. During those days, it is said that everyone-be he an oarsman, or trader, a chieftain or a Brahmin, reached the transcendent state by merely singing these verses.

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Swami Nammalwar during the Nammalwar Moksham celebrations in Sri Rangam

The “Sataari” placed on the heads of all the devotees in Vishnu temples is supposed to be Nammalwar himself. All other Alwars are his limbs as brought out in the following invocatory verse:


Bhootam Saraschya, mahadaavya Bhattanatha
Sri Bhakti sara kulashekhara yogi vahaan
Bhakataangri- renu parakala yateendra mishran,
Srimath paraangusa munim pranatosmi Nityam

It was Sri Ranganatha, the Lord of Sri Rangam who fondly referred to “Sadagopan” as Nammalwar (which means “Our Alwar”). After this era, a gap of more than 600 years fell in the path of Vaishnava Bhakthi while religions like Jainism, Saivism etc seemed to grow.

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Swami Nammalwar giving the deity of Sri Bhavishyadhacharyan to Sri Nathamunigal

In the ninth century, when the Divya Prabhandam, composed by all the Alwars was lost to human memeory, through yogic contact with Nammazhwar, Sriman Nadhamunigal resuscitated all the paasurams(verses) and systematized their singing at the Vishnu Temples. The great Ramanuja fostered this practice universally. He wrote ‘Sri Bhashya’ keeping the Sri-Sukthis of Nammalwar in mind. Manavala maamunigal and Vedanta desikar, by their compositions and discourses, gave the pride of place Thiruvaimozhi occupies in Sri Vaishnavam.

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Swami Nammalwar, Kanchipuram

Nammalwar gave the Tamil version of the Vedas in the following works:—

1. THIRU-VIRUTTAM This constitutes the essence of Rig veda. Thiru means “Sri”. It is a poem of 100 stanzas each a quadrate. Viruttam is a style of poetry. Viruttam literally means an event. The event of ‘falling in love with the Supreme being’ is narrated poetically. ‘Bridal Mysticism’ is symbolized in a mellifluent way.

2. THIRU-ASIRIYAM This constitutes the essence of Yajur veda. It is a poem in seven sections or seven poems of unequal length. The breathless flow of the continuity of expression of the sun-lit beauty of the lord takes the reader to ethereal heights. In all, it has 71 lines.

3. PERIYA THIRUVANDADI This constitutes the essence of Atharvana veda. It is a poem of 87 lyrical stanzas. The style is at once simple and direct, moving and inspiring and transports one to see god face to face.

4. THIRUVAIMOZHI (literally means Divine words) This is the magnum opus of Nammalwar—the treasure of Vaishnavism. it consists of 1102 four lined verses or passurams. These appear in groups of eleven. One group, which is an exception has thirteen paasurams. Each group is known as a Thiruvaimozhi. Ten such groups is called a pathu (meaning ten in Tamil). Thiruvaimozhi therefore has 10 pathus that is 100 thiruvaimozhis and 1102 paasurams. The melody produces by chorus singing of these paasurams by devotees is a feast to the ears, and aptly so, as this work constitutes the essense of Sama veda.

To conclude this post, here is a beautiful video which begins singing by Srirama Bharathi…

Sri Nammalwar Thiruvadigale Saranam!

Excerpted and adapted from a 6/4/09 post by srivaishnavasri on the SriRangaSri yahoo group. Pictures from http://www.pbase.com/svami

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Pomona’s Sri Ranganatha…

Pomona Sri Ranganatha

There’s a beautiful temple located at the outskirts of New York City. The temple is run by Sri Ahobila Mutt, and was started under the auspices of the 44th and 45th Srimad Azhagiyasingar. If you’re ever in the area, the temple is worth a visit (or even a separate trip of its own). The following are some pictures of the beautiful deities over the past two years.

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The temple has many beautiful silver vahanams, and the brahmotsavam will be celebrated from June 26th through July 5th of this year. Last year’s festivities were wonderful, with live nadhaswaram accompaniment for the various utsavams. For details of this year’s brahmotsavam, as well as more pictures, please visit http://www.ranganatha.org/

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This year, the temple has a 6 ton new silver plated teak ratham (chariot) for a grand rathothsavam planned for July 4th!

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The temple has many beautiful sannidhis including Sri Ranganatha, Srinivasa Perumal, Sri Lakshmi Nrusimhar, Sri Venugopalan, Sri Chakravarthy Thirumagan, Sri Mahalakshmi, and Sri Godhadevi.

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The moolavar of Sri Mahalakshmi is very beautiful. The moolavars of this temple are all large, with impressive silver kavachams, and thiruvazhis.

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There are sannidhis for all 12 Azhwars, Sri Ramanujar, Sri Vedanta Desikan, Sri Adi Van Satakopan Jeeyar, and the 44th pattam Srimad Azhagiyasingar. There is even a consecrated deity of the present 45th pattam Srimad Azhagiyasingar in the garbhagraham of Sri Ranganatha Perumal…

Sri Ranganatha divyamani padhukaabhyam namah:

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Thirumanjanam in Thiruchanur…

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I apologize for not posting more frequently. Things have been quite busy, and will remain so for the next week or two. In the meantime, enjoy this video of Sri Padmavathi Thayaar’s thirumanjanam in Thiruchanoor, at the foothills of Tirumala. The video is accompanied by singing by the famous M.S. Subhalakshmi…

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