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Dear Perumal!

How are You? Been long since I had a conversation with You, well at least on the cyber waves!

People in this Bhuloka are excited by simple events. They seek happiness out of simple things, by making them big. Like wedding anniversaries for example. Hello! They say over the phone… congrats on this special day! So what did you do? Out for dinner, movie…anything else? And this goes on for decades of anniversaries. :))

How about the day being spent in thanking God for being blessed with a loving spouse, perhaps a visit to the temple… or just few moments thinking about God who has blessed us with a loving family?

Anyway this post is not about any human anniversary!🙂

Happy wedding anniversary, dear Andal!🙂🙂🙂

Your relationship with Perumal, dear mother Andal, cannot be compared to that of any human. I mean, truly out of the world. Truly heartfelt, completely involved, selfless.

Bhogi_2016_blur

Srimathe Ramanujaaya Namah l

Srimathe Narayanaya Namah l

Dear Perumal,

I’ve often wanted to spend some time in some kind of artwork depicting your various forms. Finally got the opportunity to make a small contribution. Here is adiyen’s amateur Madhubani painting of Krishna having a wonderful time with Rukmini. The original painting this is based on I’m sure referred to Radha, but to my mind this is Rukmini!🙂

Rukmini-Krishna (outline sketch)

Rukmini-Krishna (outline sketch)

Rukmini-Krishna Madhubani (completed)

Rukmini-Krishna Madhubani (completed)

Srimathe Ramanujaaya Namahl

Srimathe Naarayanaaya Namahl

Jai Shri Ram !

The very utterance of the name of Sri Rama brings forth within me feelings of honour, purity, a clear conscience – almost all qualities that one would associate with a person who is more than an ideal gentleman.

Jai Sri Ram!

Jai Shri Ram!

He is the ultimate being, flawless in His capacity to follow the path of duty and righteousness, even in trying circumstances… even when He had to send His beloved wife, a Goddess, away from the kingdom.

Adiyen’s complete salutations and surrender, dear Rama, on this day marking your birth. Your story has lived on for thousands of years, and so shall Your glory for thousands more!

Srimathe Narayanaya Namah l

Srimathe Ramanujaaya Namah l

Flower garland

Dear Perumal,

Today adiyen had the rare opportunity of stringing together a bunch of loose jasmine flowers to place them on Your picture.

I am by no means an expert in stringing flowers, and almost devised my own method! But as I sat there for a while in thought, and wondered about the amount of patience this process requires, especially for large garlands… it felt as though the process was more pleasurable when the end purpose, that the flowers are going to go to the almighty, seemed meaningful.

Stringed jasmine flowers

That led me to thoughts of none other than Sri Periyazhwar and his untiring duty of day in and day out, threading the most beautiful garlands for Perumal. He took this work pretty seriously. No wonder then, that one fine day, Azhwar got the shock of his life when he noticed hair strands on the garland. Of course the fact that the hair strands belonged to his divine child Kothai is yet another matter.

Andal tries on a garland as Sri Periyazhwar watches in shock

Andal tries on a garland as her father, Sri Periyazhwar, watches in shock!

Selfless service to God and fellow human beings, indeed, brings more happiness than tiredness!

Srimathe Narayanaya Namah l

Srimather Ramanujaya Namah l

Dear Perumal,

Adiyen, like a good number of devoted citizens, have visited temples on various occasions. Temples big and small, old and new. One day I got thinking whether I stop and view everything there is to see, especially all the sculptures on ancient temples. Once I started observing more, I realised one can spend a really long time at the temple, totally immersed in each detail. There is so much one doesn’t notice when hurrying to the temple for a quick darshan.

The last time I visited The Sri Adi Kesava Perumal temple at Mylapore, Chennai, I decided to stop and look at some of the carvings on the gopuram, and was surprised I hadn’t noticed many things over so many times I had been there.

Sri Adi Kesava Temple Mylapore

Sri Adi Kesava Temple Mylapore

Sri Adi Kesava Temple Mylapore - Gopuram

Sri Adi Kesava Temple Mylapore – Gopuram

AdiKesavaMylapore3

Managed to spot Chakrathazhwar, Sri Garuda, Dwara Palakas

Lo and behold! Sri Nammazhwar sitting under the tamarind tree, with Madhura Kavi Azhwar

Lo and behold! Sri Nammazhwar sitting under the tamarind tree, with Madhura Kavi Azhwar

Sri Adi Kesava temple - Gopuram front

Sri Adi Kesava temple – Gopuram front

And then the Mudhal Azhwars! Sitting comfortably in their lotus seats.

And then the Mudhal Azhwars! Sitting comfortably in their lotus seats.

This is just a sample. There was so much more to observe inside the temple as well, but photography wasn’t allowed. Anyway how can my mere phone camera capture what our eyes can see.

Another day I tried observing everything about the Sri Parthasarathy temple at Triplicane, and Sri Adi Kesava temple at Sriperumbudur. It took so much more time than a quick family trip would permit!🙂

But nevertheless, adiyen has discovered great pleasure in feeling the essence, the living breathing, religious as well as historical significance of ancient temples which no other experience can match!

Srimathe Narayanaya Namah l

Srimathe Ramanujaya Namah l

 

 

Who was Nappinnai?

Dear Perumal,

Today is the day when the wonderful 18th pasuram of Sri Andal was chanted in the auspicious month of Margazhi. In this pasuram, Goda Devi (Andal) introduces us to Krishna’s wife, Nappinnai. Adiyen has often pondered about the life history of this queen. All that I do know through various upanyasams is that she was the daughter of Yashoda’s brother (Kumbha). Krishna majestically tamed 7 bulls to marry her. And of course, Nappinnai is also known as a Goddess and avatar of Neela Devi. Nappinnai is supposed be depicted holding a ball on one hand (pandar virali) while the other hand rests on Krishna’s shoulders, symbolic of the victory by (her) love over the lord of the universe.

Adiyen was keen to have further information on our ‘pandar virali’🙂. On further reading up through various online sources, I have come to understood that Nappinnai was one of the Ashtabharyas (8 principal wives) of lord Krishna – more popularly known in Sanskrit Puranas as Nagnajiti, the daughter of the king of Kosala, Nagnajit. According to some commentaries, she was known by the name Satya at birth. She is also supposed to have had many children with Krishna.

Krishna and Nappinnai

Krishna weds Nappinnai

However, these versions do not mention whether king Nagnajit is the same as Yashoda’s brother, Kumbha. This might require some clarification!

What we can conclude is that Nappinnai is the Southern/Dravidian name given to the princess Nagnajiti.

Request apologies for any error in my post, I am not any expert by any standards!

Nila Devi thiruvadigale sharanam l

Srimathe Ramanujaya Namah l

Srimathe Narayanaya Namah l

Dear Perumale,

This Aippasi month, on the auspicious day of Thiruvonam(Your very own star!) was born the first of the Mudhal Azhwars – Sri Poigai Piraan. His first pasuram “Vaiyyam thagaliyaa…” heralded the beginning of Vaishnava Bhakthi movement.

Sri Poigai Azhwar (Golu bommai/doll)

Sri Poigai Azhwar (Golu bommai/doll)

The azhwar – an amsam of Perumal’s Panchajanyam / holy conch – was the conch itself. No call for attention was necessary as his words spoke volumes of his devotion. Adiyen is quite impressed by the andhadis of the Mudhal Thiruvandhadi where there are a series of questions, such as these:

– When was the ocean churned? For which world did you receive water? I do not know a thing about this. The ocean that a bridge was built on, and then destroyed, and where you sleep on!

– Is it not this Earth, which you created, lifted, swallowed and remade?

– They say it is true that you swallowed the Earth, the mountains, the oceans, the winds and space. Come to think of it, was your mouth as big as the Earth?

The series of questions are actually sung in praise. And also contain deep answers in spirituality, like this one:

– Without contemplating the lord’s names with love, if one were to chant evening prayers, how will it serve any purpose?

Poigai Azhwar Thiruvadigale Sharanam l

Srimathe Ramanujaaya Namah l

Srimathe Narayanaya Namah l

Sources:

Nalayira Divya Prabandham – Srirama Bharati

Mudhal Thiruvandhadi Vyakhyanam – Madhurakavi Dasan TCA Venkatesan

A moment in passing…

Dear Perumale,

Walking down the city roads today, adiyen spotted an apartment by the name ‘Melukote’, with an image slab of Yoga Narasimhar above the name.

melukote apartments

It did bring a smile to my face. If only this was Your real house… if I’d walked inside, I would find the charming Sampath Kumara sitting there, waiting for me with a smile on His face.🙂

But then everything here is Your abode my dearest lord!

Srimathe Ramanujaaya Namah l

Srimather Naryanaya Namah l

Dear Perumal,

Today, November 2nd – 2013, devotees following South Indian and Sri Vaishnava traditions observe Deepavali. (Deepa – meaning light/lamp, aavali – meaning row).

The 14th day of the month of Aippasi (Ashvin) is recognised as Naraka Chathurdasi, the period when Sri Krishna returns with Satyabama after killing the powerful and evil asura – Naraka. In the process Krishna also frees 16, 100 women captured by the asura.

Krishna Satyabhama NarakasuraWhat would this signify for a straw-like devotee such as me, Perumale? Apart from the fact that the entire episode is worth celebrating in great pomp, it signifies that once you let the lord enter your being (though in fact He is always present), all malevolent forces are destroyed at once!

Yes, Krishna is the effulgent light, destroying all darkness within.

The Chathurdasi day is also observed in some parts as Hanuman Jayanthi, while others mention that it was on this day that Hanuman returns to Ayodhya, bringing information on the return of lord Rama and Sita, to everyone’s joy!

hanuman ram prays

Adiyen pays respect to the beloved lord Narayana on this auspicious day.

Srimathe Ramanujaaya Namah l

Srimathe Narayanaaya Namah l

Dear Perumal,

Adiyen’s favourite idols this Navaratri-Golu festival was this set, Sri Krishna and Andal. I do not know whether the divine radiance is due to the work of the artist who created them and the ones who painted them, or, the very fact that it is the radiant Krishna and Andal!🙂

Sri Andal - Golu doll

Sri Andal – Golu doll

Krishna

Sri Krishna – Golu Doll

Srimathe Ramanujaaya Namah l

Srimathe Naryanaya Namah l

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