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A question of faith

Thirumangai Azhwar spoke for people like me when he said,

Vaadinen, vaadi varundhinen manaththaal
Perunthuyar idumbaiyil pirandhu

I do feel overwhelmed with a deep sense of pain, discomfort, at having been born in this body…and perhaps era too, where one gets dragged deeper and deeper into the attachments of the world. Along with that comes questions on the existence of God.

Do you really believe in God and all these stories? I am asked. Okay, maybe they are all just stories, so what? They are stories involving humans and their emotions. Humans and their faith, and love for something bigger than themselves. These are stories of humans on a quest to find something bigger than our small little myopic worlds. And this quest made them better human beings, and continues to inspire generations after them. Faith in a higher power gives hope to the average human who has nothing that inspires him/her to live another day.

Yes, dear Narayana. You may just be a concept. Yes, to some, You do not even exist. But I still love You dearly. Not a day goes by when I do not think about You.


Today morning I was busy with some work and it felt as if I was forgetting something important. It started raining, there was a sudden downpour. And then I remembered! At once adiyen said ‘Poigai piraan thiruvadigale sharanam!’. It is Sri Poigai Azhwar’s birthday today. I stared at the rains and felt like smiling… wasn’t it another rainy moment like this when the first three Azhwars met (the Mudhal Azhwars). Sri Poigai Azhwar composed his first verses for Perumal, with these very rains witnessing the same.


Sri Poigai Azhwar – Mudhal Thiruvandhadhi

Srimathe Narayanaaya Namah l

Srimather Ramanujaaya Namah l

Adiyen has put together a small pictorial depiction of the birth place of Sri Peyazhwar. The Azhwar was found in a well – in what is today know as Arundale street, Mylapore. Though this birth place requires better maintenance, it still is quite captivating.

Hope the very sight of this place brings blessings to all.

Srimathe Ramanujaya Namah l

Srimathe Narayanaya Namah l

Adiyen Ramanuja Dasyai

Sometimes in life (or even often) there seems to be a dearth of time or energy to do anything apart from the usual. There are so many day-to-day obligations. But just once adiyen decided to take some time out to do a small little task for my dear lord.

In celebration of Andal’s birthday (Thiruvadipooram falling this year on 26th July, 2017), Sri Adi Kesava Perumal temple (Mylapore) has had a 10 day festival marking the same.


Today (25th July) was Thiruther – a holy chariot procession. On the ther was seated Sri Adi Kesava Perumal and Sri Andal, to bless everyone as they took a divine ride. Adiyen had not been able to go to the temple in a long time, so immediately jumped to the occasion! The last time I had such a blessing was during the birth celebrations of my dearest Emperumanar.


Sri Adi Kesava Perumal – Sri Andal thiruther (Sri Adi Kesava Perumal temple, Mylapore) 


Sri Adi Kesava Perumal – Sri Andal seated to bless one and all


The adorably awesome Andal with the kind and charismatic Kesava Perumal! (Pic Courtesy: Thamizhthalaivan Adiyar Whatsapp group) 

Adiyen would usually feel extremely exhausted just within 5 minutes of stepping into the sweltering heat and high humidity. But don’t know why, when it is something for Perumal-Thaayar and devotees, any task in bad weather just feels like ultimate joy! Blessed are these hands to have pulled the chariot of Sri Andal and Her Krishna…Kesava!

If adiyen were given a choice of a typical Sri Vaishnava name, I think I would love to be called – ‘Therizhuthaan’ (the one who pulled the ther)! 🙂 If only… if only dear Perumal, I could be reborn as a person who does just that, carries your vehicles on his shoulders, it would be a privilege! Well, this is just in case adiyen has to be born again without reaching your lotus feet in this birth itself. 😦


Thought I would mention a word about the Sri Paadam thangigal (palanquin bearers of the lord). They have both an enviable and unenviable task. The enviable part – the sheer honour of carrying the lord on various vahanams, pulling the chariots of the lord! What a blessing to be so near the lord and so often.

But there’s an unenviable part – bearing with the heavy weight of the chariots/palanquins even in uncomfortable weather, making sure the road is clear of vehicles and people in the path of the lord. This part is tricky too, with some last minute tough decisions to be taken… for example, today there were few cable wires getting in the way of the top part of the ther’s umbrella. Some wires were lifted up by the bearers, but some were simply cut and snapped! :O Fair warning to people who live near temples: make sure your cable wires are fixed at a higher level! Do not make the lord wait on the road. 🙂

Meanwhile adiyen needs to learn much more about Sri Andal. I do not know enough. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time to personally witness the life of the Azhwars as it would have unravelled. In the absence of that, adiyen can only read about/listen to talks about them and experience it all with my emotions.

Srimathe Ramanujaya Namah l

Srimathe Narayanaya Namah l

Adiyen Ramanuja Dasyai

Dear Perumal,

Do I love You more or adiyen’s favourite being – Sri Ramanujacharya?

Are You more beautiful in Your purappadu (procession), with the two graceful Goddesses, my mothers… or is Swami Ramanujar sitting solo in his purappadu more beautiful, and so eternally charming?

For once adiyen thinks I shall be partial to Udayavar. I mean, it is his 1000th birthday!!!!

What a supremely blessed life that adiyen has, that I:

(a) Know who Ramanujar is!

(b) Am alive on his 1000th birthday! (I cannot emphasise on this more!)

Sri Ramanujacharya 1000.png

Sri Ramanujacharya – 1000th birth anniversary – May 1, 2017

Dear Ramanuja,

Blessed are my eyes to see your archa avatara. Blessed are my eyes to read about your life and your works. Blessed are my ears to hear about you. Blessed is my mouth to speak about you, and my hands to type about you! Blessed is my mind to think about you. Blessed is my soul to have any association with you! Blessed is my heart, my emotions, to feel such overwhelming love for a supreme being such as you!!!!!!!!!!!

I am alive on Sri Ramanujar’s 1000th nakshatram! Yipppeee! Do I dance? Sing? Cry? Am I mad? With whom shall I share this madness? 🙂

Adiyen had the opportunity to visit Sriperumbudur few days back, on the 7th day of celebrations at Sri Adi Kesava temple. It was packed with devotees from various states. Just managed to catch a glimpse of the thirumanjanam of Udayavar. As the holy bath started, and the Sri Vaishnava scholars began chanting the slokas, adiyen burst into tears. It was too overwhelming. What had I ever done to witness Thaan Ugandha Thirumeni of Sri Ramanujar, that too on his 1000th birth nakshatra celebrations? Adiyen’s heart just exploded. I felt, for that moment, just that moment of emotions – it was all worth it.

Due to the heavy crowds, adiyen wasn’t able to receive the Mudaliandan/Satari after the thirumanjanam… but decided that I will return, on another Thiruvadirai day, when there shall be another holy bath! Why not go there again, and again, and again!

Today, on April 30 2017, just a day before Sri Ramanujacharya’s 1000th birthday, adiyen was blessed enough to be able to pull the ther (chariot) of Sri Ramanujar at Sri Adi Kesava Perumal temple at Mylapore. Adiyen’s hands were blessed to touch and pull Ethirajar’s ther from start to end with other devotees…!!!! What mad happiness!!! It has been the most joyful moment of my life!!!

As I held the rope I thought that this also signifies my ties with the Acharya, which I shall never, ever let go of. Ever. Adiyen shall forever be attached to you, my father, Udayavare!

Srimathe Ramanujaya Namah l

Jai jai Ramanuja!

Vaazhi Ethirasan! Vaazhi Ethirasan! Vaazhi Ethirasan!

In the auspicious month of Margazhi, a month blessed by Sri Andal, adiyen is happy to present a new video about Andal’s father… Sri Periyazhwar… the Azhwar who composed the ever-famous, the one and only, Thiruppallandu! The incessant flow of care, affection, motherly love for Perumal expressed by Periyazhwar opens ones eyes to true devotion, of a type that is unconditional. Often we forget to stop asking Perumal for boons to be granted. We even forget about showing him any kind of affection! And Sri Periyazhwar’s pasurams show us the way.

The story of Sri Periyazhwar was long overdue, simply because of lack of time as adiyen got tied up in responsibilities of this samsaara!

Adiyen prefers to create ad-free videos as this is not being done for any monetary purposes. It took a while to choose copyright-free music, but somehow managed to put it together. Due credit to all the artists has been given, mentioned in the video description.

One slide I wasn’t able to include in the video is the following, about a temple in the hometown of Sri Selva Nambi – a scholar mentioned in the Thiruppallandu pasuram ‘Alvazhakkonnum illaa anikottiyar kon, abhimaana thungan Selvanaip pola…’.


This Varadaraja Perumal temple at Perunkarunai was lying in ruins until recent times. I’m sure it is still in need of funds, so any contribution should be welcome.

Srimathe Narayanaya Namah l

Srimather Ramanujaaya Namah l


You did it again. Just as I was wondering why I had not seen Your archa avathara anywhere properly of late, why I had the misfortune of not having seen you in long… you did it again.

Adiyen was invited, out of the blue, for a temple visit by distant relatives. I had the darshan of Perumal and Thayaars up close, right in front of the sannidhi. I was placed right in front of Him, the moolavar. I mean, even if I had looked left or right, I would have only seen Him and Thayaars! I was dazed… staring in disbelief! Saturday being more auspicious (though all days are auspicious for our lord), there was Venkataramana Swamy Perumal decked in a dazzling crown, sparkling shangu-chakkaram, and jewellery. Thayaars Bhu and Neela Devi matched him in beauty.

Bhu-Neela sametha Sri Venkataramanaswamy                   (Source: Facebook)

I should have melted in happiness and worshipped Him in utter joy. Yet, I was just in a state of shock… what was happening, why was I standing right in front of a moolavar, so close? I could not understand!!!! I was suddenly asked to give family names for archanai, my  mind went blank… I gave my usual reply – ‘Perumalukke pannungo’!  – as in, do the archana in the name of Perumal, for Perumal’s benefit…à la Periyazhwar maybe ;). No, I’m nowhere close to any other devotee. Not even close to the dust of their feet. But what have mortals like me done to ask an Archakar to do archanai in adiyen’s name?

Well, maybe I am an over-emotional person. Over reacting all the time.

But I don’t need anything ‘from’ You, dear Perumal. I only need You! Perhaps though I could ask you for a job at the temple, so that I could near You at the temple the whoooole day.

Ah! Perhaps in my next birth I could be born as a kovil Bhattar or Archakar, or maybe the temple cleaners, or the people carrying the utsavars down the street in a procession…. well, if by the end of this life, I do something to deserve it!

Narayana Krishna Vasudeva! Jagad rakshaka!

Srimathe Ramanujaya Namah l

Adiyen seeks your blessings, Sri Manavala Mamunigal…

also known as

Azhagiya Manavala Perumal Nayanar!

Image result

Sri Manavala Manunigal – Azhwar Thirunagiri (Avathara Sthalam)

Q. How many of us are going to be praised by God Himself with a verse?

A. None.

However lord Sri Ranganatha did so for His beloved devotee. He arrived as a little boy and personally chanted a sloka, impressed with Manavala Mamunigal’s discourse on Nammazhwar’s Thiruvaimozhi at Sri Rangam. The verse is as follows:

Srisailesa dhaya pathram dheebhakthyadhi gunarnavam

Yatheendra pravanam vandhe

Ramyajamataram munim

*Meaning: I offer my respects to Sri Manavalamamuni, the receptacle of Srisailesa’s (Tiruvaimozhipillai’s) grace. He is the abode of jnana, bhakti and all other good qualities, and is forever lost in meditation on Sri Ramanuja

Wish I could sing like this blessed person…


Dear Perumal,

Just when adiyen thought there had been no opportunity to visit any new temple of late…

Adiyen came across a hilltop temple at Yercaud called the Servarayan (anglicised to Shevaroy) temple.



A small cave temple with a low ceiling inside, one has to go bowing down all the way to see Perumal and Thaayar vigrahams (idols)! 🙂


There definitely was a distinct sensation when standing inside the cave, in front of Perumal. Servaraya Perumal, along with Kaveri Thaayar, are considered the protectors of 65 villages near the hill.


Servarayan Perumal Temple (front view) – There is a cave inside!

I don’t think it’s specifically a traditional Sri Vaishnavite temple per se, but it is a Vishnu temple nevertheless, with Perumal’s insignia – shangu, chakkaram, thiruman, pictures of Hanuman and 108 Divya Desams.

Srimathe Ramanujaya Namah l

Srimathe Narayana Namah l



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.


Srimathe Ramanujaaya Namah l

Srimathe Narayanaya Namah l