Thursday, December 31, 2009

Veda Narayana Perumal Kodikulam Madurai

Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam is believed to have stayed here for sometime during the Islamic Invasion


Located about 10kms East of Madurai and 3kms East of Yoga Narasimha temple is the Veda Narayana Perumal Koil in Kodikulam at the foot of Yaanamalai.

During the Muslim Invasion of Srirangam, Pillai Lokacharya (13th-14th Century AD), who lived for over a 100years, is believed to have brought Lord Ranganatha from Srirangam and kept him at the Veda Narayana Perumal Sannidhi here in Kodikulam.
He is said to have attained Moksham at this place.

Inscriptions at the Thiru Mogur Divya Desam refer to this place as Thungavan Kshetram on the banks of Brahmma Theertham.

In the 14th century AD, it is believed that this temple slid into ruins under the reign of Maravaraman Kulasekara Pandyan I and was later renovated by Sundara Pandyan, a Chieftain.

Pandavas, during their exile, are said to have come here and had the big rocks at this place as their sleep beds.

Temple Time: Opens at 8am… Priest can be contacted on the below number and he can open the Sannidhi for the devotees anytime during the day.
Priest : Veera Raghava Bhattar @ 94426 22181

How to reach:
Number of mini buses from Y. Othakadai to Kodikulam.
One can also visit the Yoga Narasimha temple at Narasingam and take an auto from there to this Sannidhi.

Yoga Narasimha Narasingam Madurai

A less known 5000 year old Narasimha temple at the foot of Yaanamalai Madurai
Thiru Mogur Kaalamegha Perumal makes his annual trip to this temple on Maasi Pournami to enact Gajendra Moksham episode

Located 8kms East of Madurai off the Melur Highway and 4kms North of the Thiru Mogur Kaalamegha Perumal Divya Desam at the foot of the huge Yaanaimalai (elephant hill) is the Yoga Narasimha temple in Narasingam (Y. Narasingam). This place is referred to as the Gaja Giri Kshetram and this temple is known as ‘Kodavarai Koil’ signifying the construction of the temple by breaking the huge piece of rock.

History
Going by the inscriptions seen inside the Moolavar Sannidhi, this temple may date back over 5000years.

The Story
One story goes that during the Madurai Thiruvalaiyadal Puranam, Indra sent his elephant here to Madurai. At the end of the event, it is believed that they found a huge elephant in a sleeping posture. This is said to be the elephant rock we see today off the Madurai-Melur highway near Y. Othakadai.

Another story relating to Yaanaimalai Narasimha is that Pulastiya Maharishi, the great grandfather of Lankan King Ravana is said to have undertaken penance at this place and had darshan of Lord Narasimha.

Romasa Maha Rishi’s Penance

A third story relates to Romasa Rishi.

Not having a child, Romasa Maha Rishi approached Sage Narada, who asked him to bathe in the Sakkara Theertha and undertake penance at Padma Thadagam, a place filled completely with flowers. He performed a Sathra Maha Yagna to invoke the blessings of Lord Narasimha , who pleased with his prayers appeared before in a Gigantic form in an Ugra Kolam.

Worried about the presence of Narasimha in this ‘hot’ form, the Devas went to Brahmma for solution. Brahmma transformed Shiva into a Saraba form. This Saraba Pakshi had Brahmma as the head, Surya and Chandra as the eyes and small boys as the legs. However, Narasimha refused to be cooled down, in fact his anger grew after seeing this form, leaving the Devas running for protection. They invited Prahalada to come to this place to try and cool down Lord Narasimha.

Finally the story goes that it was the presence of Goddess Lakshmi that cooled Narasimha down and the two of them are said to have blessed Romasi Rishi with a child.

Unique Utsava deity

Varada Narasimha, the Utsavar, is seen in a standing posture with a Lion shaped face and a mace in his left hand, not seen elsewhere.

Festivals

Swathi Thirumanjanam

Prathosham Thirumanjanam (not heard of in other Vishnu temples!!!!)

Once a year, on Maasi Pournami day, Kalamegha Perumal of Thiru Mogur Divya Desam makes a trip to the Yoga Narasimha temple here in Y.Narasingam. Gajendra Moksham episode is enacted here.

On this day, an oil Abhishekam is performed on Lord Narasimha.

Kodikulam Veda Narayana Perumal Koil

3kms East of this temple is the VedaNarayana temple in Kodikulam where Pilla Lokacharya is said to have brought and kept Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam in safety during the Muslim Invasion of Srirangam. Pillai Lokacharya is said to have attained moksham there. To recognize this special contribution, a separate temple dedicated to Pilla Lokacharya has been constructed at Kodikulam.


Quick Facts
Moolavar  : Yoga Narasimha in a Ugra Kolam
Goddess    : Narasinga Valli Thaayar(Separate Sannidhi)
Temple Time: 7am-12noon and 4pm-8npm
Contact      : V.K. Ramesh Bhattar @ 94864 68780 or 0452 2422750
                    P. Rajagopal Bhattar  @ 98654 88821 or 0452 2422158

How to reach
Mini buses every 10mts from Othakkadai
Auto from Matuthavani bus stand will cost Rs. 50-60/-
Auto from Madurai Railway Station will cost Rs. 150/-

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Aathi Varaha Perumal Kumbakonam

Prarthana Sthalam for the unmarried - Bhoodevi thaayar is said to provide relief from land related problems
Sarangapani Aaravamudhan and Chakrapani Perumal visit this temple on the 7th day of Chitrai every year


Located just behind the Chakrapani temple in Thiru Kudanthai is the ancient Aathi Varaha Perumal Koil, a temple that dates back to the Varaha Avatar.

The Story
Having not allowed the Rishis for a direct darshan of the Lord at his abode in Sri Vaikuntam, the security guards (Dwarapalakas)- Jayan and Vijayan- were cursed to serve tenures as asuras. Hence, they were born as Hiranya-Hiranyakashipu, Kumbakarna-Ravana and Dhandavatran-Sishupala.

During the first of their `Stints in this asura form, Hiranyaksha takes Goddess Earth to the Nether World. Lord Narayana took the Varaha Avatar to defeat the asura and bring Bhoo Devi back to the earth.

Having brought the earth back and as per the prayers of the rishis, Lord Varaha provided darshan here with Goddess Bhoo Devi on his lap.

The Name
As this temple dates back to a period before the other three well known temples of this temple town–Sarangapani, Ramaswamy and Chakrapani, the Lord here is referred to as Aathi Varaha Perumal.

Prarthana Sthalam
As the Lord came together again with Bhoo devi at this place and provided darshan in a Kalyana Kolam, this temple is said to be a prarthana Sthalam for unmarried people.

Also, Aathi Varaha Perumal and Ambuja Valli Thaayar are said to provide solutions to all land/ house related issues if one offers sincere prayers at this temple on Tuesdays.

Joint visits to this temple by couples and performing special archanai here is said to prevent separation and keep the couples together.

Festivals

10 day Brahmotsavam in Maasi
Pavitrotsavam in Aavani
10 day Navathri Utsavam

On the 7th day of Chitrai, the Lord from Sarangapani and Chakrapani temples come here on a procession.

Quick Facts
Moolavar: Aathi Varaha Perumal with Bhoo Devi on his lap
Goddess : Ambuja Valli Thaayar
Temple Time: 8am-11am and 5pm-830pm
Priest contact number : S. Krishna Kumar Bhattar @ 94422 26413

How to reach

An auto from Kumbakonam bus stand will cost Rs. 40/- and from Railway Station will cost Rs.50/-

Monday, December 28, 2009

Kudavasal Srinivasa Perumal

The only temple where Lord Srinivasa is seen facing North
Friday Thirumanjanam and Thursday Nethra Darshan are performed similar to Tirupathi temple


Located 15kms from Oppiliappan temple(Tirupathi Srinivasa's elder brother) on the Kumbakonam-Tiruvarur highway is the Srinivasa Perumal temple, in Kudavasal, considered to be the younger brother of Tirupathi Srinivasa.

The Story


Ahead of Pralayam, Brahmma approached Vishnu to help safeguard the Vedas. Mixing Nectar with sand, Vishnu made a sacred pot (Kudam) and asked him to place it Meru Hill in the North.

During the Pralayam, the pot slid down the hill, flowed along rivers and opened up and came to a halt here. The resultant river, which one can see 1km north of this temple is Kudamuruti. Brahmma opened the sacred pot and the first place created after the pralayam was ‘Kuda’ ‘Vayil’, which in passing of time became Kudavasal.

This place is referred to as Kadathvara Pura Kshetram by North Indians (sacred pot = Kada, opening of the sacred pot = Dwara)

Kubera’s Penance and Lord in Northern Direction


Kubera, God of Wealth and the ruler of the Northern direction, undertook penance and wanted Lord Srinivasa to provide darshan facing the North. Accepting his prayers, he is said to have appeared here. Hence, sincere prayers at this temple is said to bring prosperity and wealth.

During Krishnadeva Raya’s period and his visit to this region, several Vaishnavites who accompanied him are said to have stayed back. The idol of Srinivasa Perumal was found buried inside facing the Northern direction (belief is that this may have been buried in the aftermath of the Islamic invasion).

Lord appears as witness for his devotee

A story goes that Lord Srinivasa appeared at the Tiruvarur Court as a witness in favour of his devotee. During this time, the Sanctum door could not be opened even after it was unlocked. It is believed that the door opened automatically after the verdict in favour of the devotee.

Hence it is believed that Lord Srinivasa of Kudavasal answers the prayers of his devotees and fulfils their wishes.

Younger brother of Tirupathi Srinivasa

Kudavasal Srinivasa is said to be the younger brother of Tirupathi Lord Srinivasa. All pooja formalities are performed here similar to Tirupathi. Those who are unable to visit Tirupathi can visit this temple and undertake/fulfil their prarthana.

One can visit both Oppiliappan temple(elder brother) and Kudavasal Srinivasa Perumal(younger brother) temple on the same day.

Festivals:


Puratasi Brahmotsavam

Every Friday - Moolavar Thirumanjanam

Every Saturday - Fasting and performing archanai for Srinivasa Perumal is said to fulfil every wish of the devotees. Kubera, God of Wealth, is believed to bless the devotees and provide them with prosperity.

Every Thursday – Srinivasa Perumal adorns the Vadakalai Thiruman and provides Nethra Darshan to devotees. Having darshan on this day is said to eliminate drishti.

Every Month on Shravanam day, lighting Ghee lamp is a special event here


Quick Facts

Moolavar : Srinivasa Perumal North Facing Standing Posture

Time : 730am-12noon and 5pm-830pm

Contact : N. Srinivasa Gopalan Bhattar @ 94439 61467

How to reach


The temple is located within 200 yards of the Kudavasal bus stand.

Buses every 15minutes between Kumbakonam and Tiruvarur
Kudavasal can be reached in 45minutes, both from Kumbakonam and Tiruvarur

A car from Kumbakonam will cost Rs.250/-

Thirucherai Divya Desam is under 5kms North of the Kudavasal temple.

Chennai Mayavaram Railway line delayed further


Resumption of services unlikely before Summer 2010


I had written, in February this year (http://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2009/02/chennai-mayavaram-railway-route.html), about the delay in work. 10months on, there still isn’t a confirmation on the date for the resumption of services on the Chennai- Villupuram- Mayavaram railway route.

Typically laying down of the 100+kms track including the most difficult of bridges should not take over a year. This stretch between Villupuram and Mayavaram has taken over 3 years with the Kollidam Bridge cited as the hurdle.

Sources say that even given this difficult conditions, if the railways had the will, this could have been completed a lot earlier (even a couple of years ago). Sources say that Political forces combined with Private Bus operators have ensured a ‘Go Slow’ on the works in this route.

Unlikely next month

The latest update is that there is likely to be a further delay. While earlier reports indicated the possibility of the line being thrown open by Pongal/end January, sources indicate that given the current stage of completion, a resumption of services in January 2010 was unlikely.

The laying of the tracks had been completed a few months back leaving only the signal and platform work to be completed. But there seems to be not much progress on this front. And the security inspection of the tracks has also not yet been completed.

Auto Drivers upset

Several auto drivers I spoke to along the Mayavaram-Chidabaram route are upset at this undue delay. They have now waited for 3 years in the hope that the old services on the Chennai Egmore- Mayavaram line will resume. However, thus far, it has been a futile wait.

Not just auto drivers, business in the stalls too has seen a dramatic fall in the Mayavaram station with only a few trains being operated from this station in the last few years.

Recently, the Tiruchirapalli DRM seemed to be hastening this process and there were media reports of the section being ready for passenger traffic by mid January. And things at last seemed to be going in the right direction and speed. Sources said, no sooner had this announcement come, vested interests ensured that he would not be there to quicken this process and was transferred and that has once again put the whole process on the back burner.

Sirkazhi Station

The signalling at Sirkazhi seems to have been complete but the platform and reconstruction of the building is still some way off (as can be seen from the photograph).

However, as compared to the Mayavaram-Villupuram stretch, the Mayavaram-Thiruvarur stretch is seeing faster completion.

Exorbitant fares
Travellers on this route have been put to great hardship in the last few years. Private
buses charge exorbitant fares, especially during festival times (A non AC seater by bus from Chennai- Mayavaram could be anywhere in the Rs.250-400 range, depending on the type of bus, while a travel by II Sleeper would cost well under Rs.200/-).


Closure of bridge on Chennai Kumbakonam road


Also, the Anaikarai bridge on Chennai-Kumbakonam road route is under reconstruction. Hence, all road travellers(including all buses) from Kumbakonam have had to take the round about Mayavaram-Sirkazhi- Chidambaram- Sethia Thope route leading to delay in travel by at least 1 ½ to 2 hours. And this bridge is unlikely to see completion anytime in the near future.
(Kumbakonam Sethia Thope is 65kms via Anaikarai while Kumbakonam-Mayavaram-Chidambaram-Sethia Thope is about 105kms with the Kumbakonam-Chidambaram stretch going through small roads, with lot of curves)

Given the current speed at which work is being undertaken and the inclination(or the lack of it) to complete, it seems unlikely that we would see the resumption in Chennai Egmore- Mayavaram train services before the beginning of Summer2010, i.e we may be at least a quarter away, unless there is a dramatic turnaround in the next fortnight to a month. And that is unreasonable delay by any standards.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Veena Ekantham Srirangam Ranganatha temple

900 year old unique tradition performed on nearly 300days every year at the Srirangam Ranganatha temple

A one of its kind 900 year old tradition initiated by Ramanuja continues to be performed to this day at the Lord Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam. This is the only Divya Desam where the Lord is woken up and put to sleep by the sweet Veena Recital.

Yaazh Isai- Reference in Azhvaar Pasuram
Ramanuja, who returned to Srirangam after a 12 year exile to Melkote, laid down specific processes to be followed in each area of service at the temple. He also ensured that people from different walks of life participated in the temple routine. Ramanuja found reference to the Veena (Yaazh) in several pasurams of the Azhvaars.

In the Periya Thirumozhi, Thirumangai Azhvaar says

‘பண்ணின் இன் மொழி யாழ் நரம்பில் பெற்ற 

பாலை ஆகி, இங்கே புகுந்து, என் கண்ணும்


In the Thiruvoimozhi, NammAzhvaar sings
‘முன் நல் யாழ் பயில் நூல் நரம்பின் முதிர் சுவையே’

and

In his praise of Thiru Kudanthai Aaravamudhan, NammAzhvaar brings out the sweetness of Veena recital:

‘சூழ்கண்டாய் என் தொல்லை வினையை....

யாழின் இசையே அமுதே , அறிவின் பயனே , அரி ஏறே.’


In Thirupalli Yezhuchi, Thondaradipodi Azhvaar cites the Veena recital:

‘ஏதம் இல் தண்ணுமை ஏக்கம் மத்தளி 

யாழ் குழல் முழவமோடு இசை திசை கெழுமி
கீதங்கள் பாடினர் கின்னரர் கெருடர்கள் 
கெந்தருவர் அவர் கண்குலுள் எல்லாம்’


Given this background, Ramanuja wanted Veena recitalto form an integral part of the daily routine at the Srirangam temple. And he gave it the most sacred and satisfying role- that of both waking up the Lord as well as putting him to sleep.

Sathya Kootam and Yaazh Isai
Ramanuja assigned ‘Sathya Kootam’, a clan belonging to a village near Srirangam and well versed in this art form. Thus began the early morning and late evening Veena recital at the Ranganatha temple in Srirangam. This traditional Veena recital has also been included in the Limca books of records(1992 book, page number 138) for paternal service at temples and for its sheer longevity under the 'Music' Category (Veena G.Rangarajan is recorded as the 45th descendent of the Sathya Kootam clan performing this Veena Recital Kainkaryam at the Ranganatha temple).

Thirupalli Yezhuchi through the Veena
Every morning at around 515am, for about 30minutes, the descendents of the Sathya Kootam clan, now headed by 75 year old Veena G. Rangarajan, the retired Vice Principal of National College Trichy, present, through their Yaazh Isai, Thondaripodi Azhvaar’s 10 beautiful verses called Thirupalli Yezhuchi - to wake up Lord Ranganatha from his sleep. It is believed that all the Divya Desam Lords spend the night here at Srirangam and hence this veena recital is equivalent to waking up the Lords at all the Divya Desams. Belief is that the other Divya Desam Lords go back to their home town after listening to this beautiful piece of Veena Recital.

The Sathya Kootam descendents have broken up these 10 verses of Thondaradipodi into 5 different Ragams, one ragam for every two verses- Roopalam, Bilahari, Dhanyasi, Malaya Marutham and Saveri.




Ranganathar Sayanam with their Veena Recital

Similarly in the evening for about 20minutes beginning 10pm, they present Kulasekara Azhvaar’s Pasurams to put the Lord to sleep.

"மண்ணு புகழ்க் கௌசளைதன்
மணிவயிறு வாய்த்தவனே
தென் இலங்கைக் கொண்
முடிகள் சிந்துவித்தாய், செம்பொன்சேர் ....
என்னுடைய இன்னமுதே இராகவனே தாலேலோ"


"தேவரையும் அசுரரையும் திசைகளையும் படைத்தவனே
யாவரும் வந்து அடிவணங்க
அரங்கநகர்த் துயின்றவனே....
ஏவரி வெஞ்சிலை வளவா ராகவனே தலேலோ"


The evening presentation has been composed in 4 different Ragams starting with Neelambari, going on to Ananda Bairavi, Sahana, Revathi and ending again with Neelambari.

They are paid Rs.2 Paise 57 per month (Yes, only about Rs.30 annually) every month for their divine service but the greatness about this kind of service to Lord Ranganatha, just like the Araiyar Sevai, is that they are not doing this for financial benefits!!!

They present this daily Veena Recital for 262 days (non festival days) in the year. In addition to this daily service, they also present the Veena recital for another 29 days including during the Poochaatu Kodai Utsavam and Era Pathu Festival.

Veenai Ekantham- Special Recital during Thiruvoi Mozhi Thirunaal


During the 10 day Era Pathu festival, they present Yaazh Isai for about an hour to one and half hours. Interestingly, while the daily morning and evening recitals are solo performances presented in a sitting posture, Veenai Ekantham during the Era Pathu Thiruvoimozhi festival is presented in a group (currently 5 members) in a standing posture with the Veena tied to their shoulder. In all, they present around 250 pasurams during this Tamil Prabandham festival. During this Veena Ekantham, there is pin drop silence in an otherwise noisy Srirangam temple, such is the regard for the presentation of these Veena Vidwans.

During the Era Pathu Ekantha Seva, the Veena Vidwans also present kritis composed by Thyagarajar, Dikshitar, Arunachala Kavirayar, Aadi Shankara, Purandaradasa and Venkatathri Swamigal in languages such as Telugu,Kannada and Sanskrit, in addition to their presentation of the Prabhandham in Tamil. Their presentation in other languages has captured the imagination of devotees from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and other North Indian states and as a result they have been able to appreciate,better,the Veena Ekantham.

Elegant Tunes
The tunes composed by them are elegant and simple in its presentation thus enabling devotees to easily grasp and understand. Also, a good part of their presentation is in a conversational style. However, while the final presentation seems simplistic, perfecting this art form takes a great deal of effort and time- For a beginner, it may take at least 10 years to acquire the knowledge and confidence to present this traditional art form.

For the first 2-3 years, one has to perfect the vocal music. For the next few years, they would have to learn the Instrument and then follow it up with learning the art of presenting the pasurams through the Veena.




Presentation outside Srirangam

Of late, as a recognition to their pleasing presentation to the Lord, several temples have invited the sathya kootam Veena Vidwans to present Veena Ekantham, the evening before the Sambrokshanam of the temple as a tradition to put the Lord to sleep on the previous night (before the Sambrokshanam).

Veenai G. Rangarajan has been presenting the Veena Recital at the Srirangam temple for the last 65years having begun his presentation in 1945, before India attained independence!!!!To ensure this centuries old tradition is passed on to the next generation, he has trained his sons and grandsons on this special composition.

Currently, Veena Rangarajan's sons, Srinivasan, Ramanujan,Govindan and Gopala Krishnan,as well as his Grandsons are involved in this unique and sacred Yaazh Isai presentation at the Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple.

Veena G. Rangarajan's sons can be reached on 0431 2430706


PS: Veena Rangarajan passed away in 2014

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dasavatharam Temple in Srirangam

Matsya and Koorma Moolavar deities are a special feature at this temple as is the Kalki Avataram on the horse



Located on the banks of Coloroon half a kilometer North West of Lord Ranganatha temple is the ancient over 1000 years old Dasavatharam Sannidhi in Srirangam. It was here that the last of the Azhvaars, Thirumangai Azhvaar, stayed to build the huge walls of the Ranganatha temple.

Display of Dasavatharam
The story goes that Lord Ranganatha was pleased with Thirumangai’s efforts in constructing the huge walls and is said to have granted his wish of displaying the 10 Avataarams all at one place. Accordingly, the Lord displayed all his 10 prominent Avatars including the Kalki Avataar.



Matysa, Koorma, Varaha and Narasimha Moolavar deities are seen with conch and chakra at this temple. Thirumangai had two other wishes - Lord to provide darshan to all the people who had helped him build the huge walls of Srirangam and for Lord Namperumal to come on special street processions via the Southern banks of Coloroon. Hence, this route is called Azhvaar Padi Thirai. All those who walk through this route are believed to be in line to attain Moksham.

Thirumangai Azhvaar’s favourite idol Lakshmi Narayana is the Utsava deity at this temple.Another special feature at this temple is the presence of multiple (10 of them here) Moolavar deities and just the one Utsava deity.

Historical reference
A reference to Lakshmi Narayanan can be in Mantra Mahodadhy slogam:

சகஸ்ர சந்திர ப்ரதிமா தயாள:
லக்ஷ்மீ முகா லோகன லோல நேத்ர:
தசவதாரைர் பரித பரீத:
ந்ருகேசரி மங்கள மாதளேது


Lakshmi Narayana is seen with his left hand around Thaayar. On the pedestal of the Utsava deity is Garuda who is surrounded by 8 different statues. Lord Krishna is seen as Navaneetha Natya Kannan holding butter in one hand. One of his legs is seen grounded while the other is up in a dance posture.

The walls of the Dasavatharam Sannidhi, the Prakarams and the structure of the tower are an indication of the history of this temple. The rectangular shaped Vimanam at the Dasavatharam temple is special. Also, there are 10 Kalasam for the 10 Dasavatharam Idols, another unique feature at this temple.

In the 2nd tier below the Vimanam, there is a sculpture of Lakshmi Narasimha as well as an Oonjal Chain- an indication that there may have been an Oonjal Utsavam at this temple.
Thirumangai’s Paasurams
While Thirumangai has sung 50 verses in praise of the Srirangam Lord, he has not let go the Dasavatharam lords and has praised them with a verse each in his Periya Thirmozhi(1408-17).

Festival

Beginning Kaisika Ekadasi, there are five festive days in the Karthigai month. On the Thiru Karthigai day, the Lord is taken on a procession around the 8 streets- 4 Chitra streets and 4 Uthara streets.

While the temple is East Facing, the adjacent Thirumangai Azhvaar’s Sannidhi is South Facing so he could have darshan of the Dasavatharam Lords as well as Lord Ranganatha. Thirumangai Azhvaar (Moolavar) himself is seen with his hands folded in a Saranagathi (Surrender) posture while the Utsava deity is seen in a King (Thirumangai Mannan) like majestic posture with Knife, Sword, Shield and Sickle. The Utsava idol of Thirumangai is said to have been created by Thirumangai himself.

Prarthana and Parikara Sthalam

The Vishnu Avatars are the incarnations of planets
Matsya-Kethu, Koorma- Saturn (Sani), Varaha- Rahu, Narasimha- Mars(Sevvai), Vamana-Jupiter (Guru), Parasurama- Venus (Sukra), Rama- Sun (Surya), Krishna- Moon (Chandra), Kalki- Budhan(Mercury).

Performing a relevant Avataram Archanai and an equivalent pooja at this temple is said to liberate one from the respective dosham and instantly activate positive energy in the devotees.

Dasavatharam Sannidhi is administered by the ahobila Mutt.

Thirumangai Azhvaar’s residence still exists at 26 North Chitra Street.

Quick Facts
Moolavar : Dasavatharam Deities in East Facing Standing Posture
Utsavar : lakshmi Narayana
Time : 7am-10am and 6pm-8pm
Contact : Lakshmi Narasimha(Kannan) Bhattar @ 0431 2435905
Kannan Bhattar, who has been performing service at this temple for over 2 decades, will also open this temple at short notice for outstation devotees.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Varadaraja Perumal at Keezha Thiruvenkatanathapuram

Dhana Regai Perumal


Located half a kilometre North of Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram is the 14th Century AD Varadaraja Perumal Koil in Keezha Thiruvenkatanathapuram. Brigu Rishi is said to have undertaken penance in this forest area of Saali Vaadi Puram.

Varadaraja Perumal as the Priest

The story goes that a king from Tirunelveli visited this place. As the priest was unwell and could not help with the darshan, it is believed that Varadaraja Perumal himself came here disguised as the priest and performed pooja. Hence, the Lord here is referred to as ‘Vaala Vaikum’ Varadaraja Perumal.

As the Dhana Regai (prosperity line) runs on the right hand of Varadaraja Perumal, the belief is that if a devotee places a coin in the hand of the Lord, it will multiply. Hence, the Lord is called Dhana Regai Perumal.

The temple which had been in dilapidated condition for almost half a century was recently renovated.

Very near to this temple is the Kotha Parameswarar temple, also known as Then Kalahasthi.

Festivals


Puratasi Shravanam- Garuda Sevai

Margazhi Utsavam

Thai Dolotsavam

Quick Facts

Moolavar : Varadaraja Perumal, Sridevi, Bhoodevi

Time : 7am-11am and 5pm-7pm
Saturday 6am-1pm and 5pm-8pm
Sunday 6am-12noon and 5pm-730pm

Priest : Ramakrishna Bhattar @ 97891 32401

How to reach:

10kms from Tirunelveli Junction and ½ km North of Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram.

When in Tirunelveli, one can visit Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram, Keezha Thiruvenkatanapuram and Then Kalahasthi.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Kariya Manikkam Perumal Tirunelveli

A Prarthana Sthalam to regain eyesight
This Surya and Sani temple is believed to provide liberation from all kinds of Doshams


Located near the Tirunelveli Town railway station is the Kariya Manikkam Perumal temple, where the Lord is seen in three different postures- Neela Mani Nathar in East Facing Standing Posture, Lakshmi Narayana in South Facing Kalyana Thirukolam and Anantha Padmanabha in an Uthara Sayana Kolam.

Historical reference

The Padmanabha Theertham of this temple finds a mention in the second Adhyayam of the Tamaraibarani Mahatmiyam. Hence, this temple's idol and Theertham are said to be atleast 5000 years old, while the construction of the temple complex is believed to have been completed atleast 1500years ago. Later, Pandya Kings are said to have made contributions in the renovation of the temple.

Lord’s Name

Being a temple that has the name of both Saturn and the Sun God- Kari (Sani- Saturn) and Manikkam (Aditya- Sun God) - it is believed that this temple is a Prarthana Sthalam for liberation from all curses/doshams. Belief is also that the Lord answers the prayers of devotees who have problems with eye sight/vision.

Azhvaar Pasuram

NamAzhvaar in his Pasuram refers to Kariya Manikkam Perumal

ஒண் சுடரோடு இருளுமாய் நின்று ஆறும்
உண்மையோடு இன்மையை வந்து
என் கண் கொளாவகை நீ கரந்து
என்னைச் செய்கின்றன

என் கொள் சிந்தையுள் நைகின்றேன்
என் கரிய மாணிக்கமே என் கண்கட்குத்
தின் கொள்ள ஒரு நாள் அருளாய், உன் திரு உருவே

North Facing Anjaneya

A speciality at this temple is the North Facing Anjaneya, normally not seen in any other perumal temple.

Festivals

11 day Brahmotsavam
Puratasi Saturday is special at this temple

Quick Facts

Moolavar : Sri Neela Mani Nathar, Sridevi, Bhoodevi, Lakshimi Narayana, Anantha Padmanabhan
Utsavar : Kariya Manikka Perumal
Time : 7am-11am, 530pm-830pm
Priest : A. Vijayaraghava Bhattar @ 92457 77727 or 0462 2320020

How to reach

An auto from Tirunelveli Junction will cost Rs.40
The temple is under 1/2km South West of Nellaiappar temple

Veera Raghava Perumal Madurai

The Lord of South Maasi Street receives special honours on the occasion of KalAzhagar’s procession to the Vaigai during the Chitrai Festival


Located half a kilometer East of Koodal Azhagar Divya Desam in Madurai is the Veera Raghava Perumal Koil in South Maasi Street.

Priest saves KalAzhagar at Shozhavandan

Centuries ago, Lord KalAzhagar of Thiru Maliruncholai (Azhagar Koil) used to reside at Thenoor Mandapam in Shozhavandan Village during the Chitrai Festival.

With the makeshift construction comprising of leaves, the mandapam caught fire. Despite the best efforts of the villagers, the fire could not be put off. It was then that the priest of Veera Raghava Perumal Koil of Maasi Street displayed his love and devotion for Lord KalAzhagar.

He jumped into the raging fire, caught hold of KalAzhagar, hugged him tight and brought him out of the mandapam.

Priest’s final wish

Thirumalai Nayakar, who ruled Madurai in the 17th Century AD and was responsible for making the Chitrai Festival the biggest festival of the city, sent out the villagers in search of Lord Kallazhagar. Finally, he managed to locate the priest of Veera Raghava Perumal fighting for his life on the banks of the Vaigai.

The priest revealed that KalAzhagar was safe and that he had buried him on the banks of the river. Delighted that a priest had achieved what his entire team could not, Thirumalai Nayakar decided to relinquish his first honours reserved for him during the Chitrai Festival and offered it to the priest.

However, the priest suggested that he was a simple Brahmin and did not possess the profile for such an important respect from Lord KalAzhagar. On further insistence from the King, the Bhattar enquired if his favourite pooja idol, Lord Veera Raghava Perumal of South Maasi Street, could get the first honour from KalAzhagar himself.

Thirumalai Nayakar agreed to this and to this day one sees South Maasi Street Veera Raghava Perumal entering the Vaigai before KalAzhagar.

Having arrived first on his silver horse Vahanam, Veera Raghava Perumal then welcomes KalAzhagar, on a Golden Horse Vahanam, into the Vaigai and performs a special Vaiyali going around KalAzhagar thrice in happiness of receiving him.

KalAzhagar then offers his Garland and Parivattam to Veera Raghava Perumal and first theertham (sacred water) is given to the priest of Veera Raghava Perumal temple.

Temple inside the Theppakulam

In decades gone by, this temple was surrounded by Theppakulam. In fact, Lord Veera Raghava Perumal was originally in the Theppakulam. However, with the current development, one is now witness to the residential and commercial building in this location.

Another interesting fact was that this entire area comprised of Brahmins, so much so that the street adjacent to this temple was called Paapa Kanaru Street.

Festivals

In Chitrai, Veera Raghava Perumal goes on a procession on his Silver Horse Vahanam to Vaigai to receive KalAzhagar

During the entire month of Puratasi, there is a special Pushpa Alangara Sevai.

On the full moon day in Puratasi, 2 of the Lords from Veera Raghava Perumal Koil take part in the 5 Garuda Sevai.

Panguni Thiru Kalyana Utsavam

Sukra Horai

Every Friday between 8pm and 9pm, there is a ‘Sukra Horai’ (Horai= Hour= 2 ½ Nazhigai) for Sayana Kolam Ranganatha. White Lotus flower archanai is special on this occasion.

Quick Facts

Moolavar          : 3 Postures - Veera Raghava Perumal East Facing standing posture
                            Yoga Narasimha East Facing Sitting Posture
                            Ranganatha South Facing Sleeping Posture

Goddess            : Kanakavalli Thayar

Time                  : 6am-1030am and 4pm-830pm
Contact              : 0452 338542

Address              : South Maasi Street (opposite Allahabad Bank) Madurai 2

How to reach:

Auto from Madurai Junction will cost Rs.30

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thiru Venkatanathapuram near Tirunelveli

Swayam Vyaktha Kshetram
Then Tirupathi- A Prarthana Sthalam with powers equivalent to Tirupathi Lord

Located 11kms South West of Tirunelveli Junction atop the Swetha Varaha hill is the Venkatachalapathy temple in Mela ThiruVenkatanathapuram, an Abhimana Sthalam. Varadaraja Perumal temple at Keezha Thiru Venkatanathapuram is about half a kilometer North of this temple.

Reference to this place can be found in Veda Vyasa’s Tamaraibarani Mahatmiyam under the topic ‘Saal Vaadi Puram’(the historical name of this place, where the great Rishi talks about darshan of the Lord in an invisible form.

The Story

The story goes that Pylar Rishi, the leading disciple of Veda Vyasa Rishi, visited this place as part of his religious trip. While bathing at the Srinivasa Theertham in Tamaraibarani(1 km from the current temple location), he too heard an invisible voice and could only visualize Venkatachalapathy and not have a direct darshan of him.

Not happy to only hear an invisible voice, Pylar performed pooja using different rare variety of flowers and asked the Lord to display his original form at this place. Pleased with his prayer, Lord asked Pylar Rishi to create the idol from the huge piece of rock in this hill. Hence, this place is referred to as ‘Swayam Vyaktha’ Kshetram.

The story also goes that Pylar found three special stones flowing against the tide of the river and created the idol of Lord Venkatachalapathy, Sri and Bhoo Devi with these stones.

Period of the temple

While the Moolavar idol dates back 5000 years as can be seen from the reference in Tamaraibarani Mahatmiyam, the temple itself was constructed by Venkatappa Nayakar about 700 years ago. The childless king prayed for progeny. While bathing in the river, he heard an invisible voice that asked him to promise Pal Payasam to 1000 children.

A son was born to him who he named Srinivasan after this Lord. Delighted at the Lord granting his wishes, Venkatappa Nayakar built this temple and created a new village which he called Thiru Venkatanathapuram.

Equivalent to Tirupathi

The ThiruVenkatanathapuram temple has powers equivalent of visiting Tirupathi. Hence, this is also referred to as ‘Then Tirupathi’. Ear piercing, Anga Prathakshinam, Tonsure and Tulabaram are undertaken at this temple.

Prarthana Sthalam

Belief is that Lord Venkatachalapathy will bless childless couples if they perform pal payasam pooja on the Shravanam day.

This is a prarthana sthalam for a healthy life, prosperity, liberation from curse and for unmarried people.

Festivals


Chitrai Brahmotsavam
Annual Abhishekam in Aani

Dolotsavam every Friday in Thai

Puratasi Garuda Sevai

The biggest Utsavam is the Garuda Sevai in Puratasi when about a lakh devotees visit this temple.

Quick Facts

Moolavar : Venkatachalapathy with Sridevi and Bhoodevi

Utsavar : Srinivasa Perumal with Alarmel Mangai Thaayar, Sri and Bhoo Devi

Temple Time : 7am-11am and 5pm-8pm
Saturday 6am -1pm and 5pm- 830pm
Sunday 6am- 12noon, 5pm-8pm

Contact : P. Narayana bhattar @ 99766 10768/ 0462 2341292
V. Murali Srinivasan bhattar @ 97918 66946/0462 2340075

How to reach

Bus No. 6A from Tirunelveli Junction
Nallamani Mini bus from Tirunelveli town
Krishnaveni(private)bus from town

Auto from Junction and back will cost Rs.200-220

Saturday, December 12, 2009

KoorathAzhvaan 1000th Anniversary

Disciple Secures Moksham for his Acharya!!


Born in Kooram Village near Kanchipuram, KoorathAzhvaan ruled the place, while at the same time devoting a lot of his time in the service of Bhagavathas and other Vishnu devotees.

A little distance away, at Kanchipuram, Thiru Kachi Nambi was engaged in a direct one to one conversation with Varadaraja Perumal every night.

One night, while they were involved in one such long conversation, they heard a huge bell sound. Lord Varadar enquired if this was the closing bell of the temple and as to why it was so late.

Nambi narrated to him the story of KoorathAzhvaan and his dedicated service. Having served all the Bhagavathas till late in the night with Thathikarathanai (serving food to guests), it was the noise of the closing of the door at KoorathAzhvaan’s house signalling the end of the service for the day.

An inquisitive Varadar asked if KoorathAzhvaan was a wealthy person and rich enough to serve so many people.


The next day Nambi met KoorathAzhvaan and shared the details of his previous night’s conversation, leaving KoorathAzhvaan disappointed. After all his service, did the Lord only see him as a rich and wealthy person and not his dedicated service?

But quickly he realized the real intention of Lord Varadar and gave away his wealth that very minute.

Renounces Wealth

Time had come for him to be with his Acharya Ramanuja and he along with his wife took the long route from Kooram to Srirangam. On the way through the forest, he found his wife showing signs of anxiety. On enquiry, he found his wife to be carrying a golden vattil (sacred bowl). Angered at her holding back a bit of his wealth, he immediately threw it away. Such was his commitment to renunciation.

At Srirangam, he dedicated his entire life to service assigned by his Acharya. During this period, KoorathAzhvaan displayed immeasurable instances of unstinting service.

On one occasion, he found a frog under the clutches of a big snake and immediately shouted if someone could save the small frog. Such was his tenderness. On another occasion, a pregnant woman was struggling to fill water on the Cauvery river banks and KoorathAzhvaan immediately ran into help.

Once, he was assigned the task of cutting the plantain. A little later not finding him, Ramanuja searched out for him only to find his disciple in a fainted condition. On enquiry, he informed that he was shocked to see juice coming out of the plantain (when he pressed with a knife) and hence the reason for his fainting. Such was his softness!!!!

Knowledge unequalled

Ramanuja was to write the Sri Bashyam composition, the reference material for which was available only in Kashmir. Ramanuja and koorathazhvaan collected the material but before they could start their journey back to srirangam, they found the material had been stolen(while at Kashmir itself).

While Ramanuja was completely shocked, KoorathAzhvaan seemed less worried for he had gone through the material once through the night and had the special ability to absorb all that he had read.

Such was his absorption power and knowledge, that a single read was enough for him to grasp the entire content of such an extensive document.

Highest form of Service
On another occasion, angered by some action, Ramanuja asked KoorathAzhvaan to leave the house. Obedient disciple that he was, KoorathAzhvaan stayed outside the house leading to embarrassing questions from onlookers. Unmindful of the comments, KoorathAzhvaan continue his service.

KoorathAzhvaan’s simple answer was he was a Sishya of Ramanuja and his duty was to follow everything as directed by his Acharya and hence there was no embarrassment in being outside.

Stunned by this response, Ramanuja called him back. This was another instance of his outstanding commitment to service.

KoorathAzhvaan plucks out his eyes

Once a chozha king, who was a Saivite devotee, directed his people to sign a document that Lord Siva was the greatest. A Vaishnavite devotee refused to sign and asked the king to get Ramanuja to sign, if he really believed that Siva was the greatest. Accordingly, the king ordered for Ramanuja to be brought to his court.

Anxious at the anger of the king and worried as to what could happen to his Acharya, KoorathAzhvaan disguised as Ramanuja and entered the court of the Chozha King. As expected he refused to sign.

Angered at his refusal to sign and having found out his disguised form, the king ordered the plucking of his eyes. Not wanting the king’s messenger to touch him, KoorathAzhvaan did the unthinkable- he removed both his eyes with his own hands using his long sharp nails.

Sishya gets Moksham for his Acharya


Varadaraja Perumal

For a long time, he was without vision and away from his Acharya, who had left for Melkote. Later, Ramanuja came back and took KoorathAzhvaan to Lord Varadan to help him regain his vision. When asked what he wanted, KoorathAzhvaan asked for Moksham for Naaluran, the person who was the cause for his lost vision. Such was his greatness that he would not think ill even to those who did wrong to him.

When pressed again, he said he would like to see his Acharya, another indication of his supreme service to his Acharya!

Periya Perumal of Srirangam gave the final Moksham- ‘To you and to your related/connected people I give moksham’. KoorathAzhvaan had thus indirectly secured Moksham for his Acharya as well- A very unique occurance indeed- that of an Acharya getting Moksham through his sishya.

When asked the reason for asking moksham before his Acharya, KoorathAzhvaan revealed that he wanted to go and get ready the sacred water so he could serve the feet of his Acharya when he arrived there later. Even after Moksham, KoorathAzhvaan wanted to serve his Acharya Ramanuja!

KoorathAzhvaan was the ultimate symbol of Perfection – The Perfect disciple with the Perfect knowledge.

He lived for 110years, spending his final days in Srirangam before attaining Moksham.

Badri Bhattar, a descendent of the KoorathAzhvaan/Parasara Bhattar clan, resides in Srirangam and runs a Vedic School there through his Srimaan Trust. He can be reached on: 91504 03472 or badribhattar@gmail.com

Friday, December 4, 2009

Kaisika Puranam in Thirukurungudi

Kaisika Natakam and Araiyar Sevai mark Kaisika Ekadesi Celebrations at Azhagiya Nambi Divya Desam

Belief is that those who undertake fast, and listen to the Kaisika Puranam, on Kaisika Ekadesi will attain Vaikunta Moksham. It was Kaisika Ekadesi day and the most important Utsavam of the year at the Azhagiya Nambi temple in the Vamana Kshetram of Thiru Kurungudi (a Divya Desam 40kms South West of Tirunelveli).

Parasara Bhattar’s Contribution
Kaisika Puranam, which is a part of Varaha Puraanam, showcases Lord Narayana as the ultimate supreme force. Parasara Bhattar, son of KoorathAzhvaan, took the story of a complex Kaisika Puranam (in Sanskrit) and created the vyakyaanam, in Tamil, in a simple, easily understandable language that was hitherto non existent.

Kaisika Puranam Story

Kaisika Puranam revolves around Nambaduvan, a low caste person belonging to the Baanar family, his unflinching faith in Lord Nambi and how he was instrumental in liberating a Rakshasha from a curse and helping him attaining Vaikunta Moksham. The Kaisika Puranam is also a perfect case study on the values of life and how it is important to keep up one’s promise at the cost of anything, including one’s own life.

Being a low caste person, Nambaduvan was embarrassed to enter the temple during the day (similar is the story of ThirupaanAzhvaar who, born in a ‘lower’ caste, would not enter the Srirangam Ranganatha temple and would sing praise of the Lord from the banks of the Cauvery). Every night, he would walk several miles to the Thiru Kurungudi Nambi temple, and for hours together would stand in front of the temple with a Veena in his hand and sing praise of Lord Nambi. And before dawn, he would leave the temple.

One night, as he was making his way to the temple, a Brahmma Rakshasha stopped him and wanted him for dinner. Undaunted by this sudden turn of events, Nambaduvan, who had the purest of devotion for Lord Nambi, requested the Rakshasha to allow him to go to the temple for a night, so he could keep up his Kaisika Ekadesi Vratha, with the assurance to come back the next morning after singing praise of Lord Nambi, one last time.

18 promises of Nambaduvan

Unable to convince the Rakshasha, Nambaduvan talks about Sathya Sankalpam: “The world was created through ‘Promises’ and continues to exist as a result of trust in each other.”

Nambaduvan made 18 promises that night to the Rakshasha. Through these promises, narrated beautifully in the Kaisika Puranam as part of this lengthy discussion between Nambaduvan and Brahmma Rakshasha, one comes to know of the different sins we commit every day in our lives as a result of not adhering to some of the basic values in life.

17promises later and not having got the nod from the Rakshasha, Nambaduvan requests the Rakshasha to let him go to the Nambi temple with this 18th promise:


ச்வர்வ சுவாமியும் மோக்ஷ பிரதான
ஸ்ரீமன் நாராயணனையும், தேவதை களையும்
சமமாக பாவிக்கிறேன் யாவரோருவன்
அவனை போலே நித்ய சம்சாரி ஆவேன்


“If I do not return, I would have committed the biggest sin that exists – that of comparing and equating Lord Narayana with others. And I will become a sinner who will never get Moksham from this cycle of births.”

This extraordinary promise moved the Rakshasha and he let him go. After having spent the entire night (possibly for the last time) in front of Kurungkudi Nambi, he made his way back to the Rakshasha as promised.

Nambaduvan showcases the way to live
On his way back, Lord Nambi, disguised as an old Brahmin, sought the reason for his rushing back much in contrast to his usually slow and thoughtful walk, and on hearing him out condemned Nambaduvan as a fool and offered protection from the Rakshasha.

Nambaduvan rejected this offer, as fulfilling the promise was more important to him than his own life. “I will even give up my life but I will never go back on my word. I have given him a promise and I have to fulfil it. Hence, I will have to go back to the Rakshasha and if he has to take me as his prey, so be it.”

On seeing Nambaduvan, the Rakshasha wondered as to how he could come back, despite being under the threat of being consumed. Even more to his surprise, Nambaduvan came close to the Rakshasha and offered himself as his prey.

Brahmma Rakshasha attains Moksham
By now, the Rakshasha had changed his mind. He did not want Nambaduvan’s body anymore. He rather directed Nambaduvan to share the fruits of the entire songs that he had thus far sung in praise of Lord Nambi. After several exchanges, where Nambaduvan repeatedly offered himself as the prey and Rakshasha continued asking for the fruits of the songs, the Rakshasha explained the reason for his current Rakshasha status – He was a Brahmin by name Soma Sharma in his previous birth. His arrogance, as the all knowing, led him to miss a mantra in a Yagna and he was cursed to this current Rakshasha form by the Devas. And that only the purest of the Nambi devotees had the power to relieve him from his curse - and why he wanted to listen to Nambaduvan’s praise of Lord Nambi.
Nambaduvan shared with him the ‘Kaisika’ verses, which he had sung that very night in front of Lord Nambi. Just listening to these verses helped the Rakshasha attain Vaikunta Moksham.

Back to its glory days
Over the last decade, the Kaisika Natakam in Thiru Kurungudi has seen a revival back to its old glory thanks to the efforts of Anita Ratnam (TVS Group), the trustee of Arangam Trust, who orchestrated and brought together the Bavupillai Bharatanatyam troupe (led by Kalaimamani B. Herambanathan) all the way from Thanjavur to present this dance drama every year on the Kaisika Ekadesi night.

Gopi, an amateur artiste working as a Junior Assistant at Sastra University in Thanjavur, played the powerful role of the Brahmma Rakshasha with ease. While the entire portrayal of the Brahmma Rakshasha was exemplary, it was the last scene- where he pleads with Nambaduvan to relieve him from the curse of his previous birth and to help attain moksham- that brought tears to the eyes of the devotees and received non stop applause and appreciation, one that continued long after the Kaisika Natakam ended (Gopi has now specialized in the role of Brahmma Rakshasha with this being the 10th year of his performance at the Thiru Kurungudi temple. Interestingly, Gopi has also been playing the role of ‘Hiranyakashipu’ for the past 5years at the annual Bhagavatha Mela in Melattur Village near Thanjavur).

Equally commendable was the performance of Dr. Sumathi Sundar, who played the role of Nambaduvan. She matched Gopi scene for scene and was especially impressive in the portrayal of the Sathya Sankalpam- the 18promises of Nambaduvan, where she captured the imagination of the audience with a pleasing display.

M.A. Arunodhaya too impressed in the role of Lord Nambi disguised as a Brahmin.

Araiyar Sevai
Clock had ticked to 230am, but it was not time to leave yet. The devotees stayed back after the Kaisika Natakam to watch an outstanding ‘Araiyar Sevai’ performance by Araiyar Bala Mukundan of Srivilliputhur. His Abhinayam of the Periya Thiru Mozhi Paasuram:



அக்கும் புலியின் அதளும் உடையார்
அவர் ஒருவர் பக்கம் நிற்க, நின்ற பண்பர் ஊர்போலும்
தக்க மரத்தின் தாழ் சினை ஏறி, தாய் வாயில்
கொக்கின் பிள்ளை வெள் இறவு
உண்ணும் குறுங்குடியே

showcasing Thirukurungudi’s greatness drew great appreciation from the devotees who watched his sterling performance in absolute silence. Also, the Araiyar, through this Abhinayam, brought out an important historical information relating to the Thiru Kurungudi temple - that of Lord Shiva being alongside Kurungudi Nambi.

He followed it up with the Abhinayam of the Thiruvoi Mozhi Paasuram:


எங்கனயோ, அன்னைமீர்காள் என்னை முனிவது நீர்
நங்கள் கோலத் திருக்குறுங்குடி நம்பியை நான் கண்டபின்
சங்கிநோடும் நேமியோடும் தாமரைக் கண்களோடும்
செங்கனி வாய் ஒன்றினோடும் செல்கின்றது என் நெஞ்சமே


As he performed this Abhinayam, one could visualize the beautiful Thirumeni of Lord Nambi, part by part. Araiyar Sevai was followed by the recital of the Kaisika Puranam.

Conclusion
While Thiru Kurungudi temple is home to Kaisika Puranam and this traditional Kaisika Natakam has been revived to its past glory, it would be a worthwhile exercise for Anita Ratnam to consider taking the Kaisika Natakam to more Divya Desams in Tamil Nadu. For the story of Kaisika Puranam and Nambaduvan’s righteous way of life holds great relevance in this fast paced modern day money making world where trust and ‘holding on to promises’ seem to have taken a back seat.

Presenting the Kaisika Natakam in a lot more temples could go a long way in re-instilling, in us, the sense of values that Nambaduvan showcased to the world several centuries ago.


How to reach Thiru Kurungudi


Take a train to Valliyur (on the Tirunelveli - Nagercoil route) - Kanniyakumari Express, Ananthapuri Express from Chennai. One can reach the Nambi temple in 30minutes by bus from Valliyur