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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…’.

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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

Perumale,

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!

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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…

*Wikipedia

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.

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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)! 🙂

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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.

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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.

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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

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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