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Raagam # 2

Thaanam # 8

Pallavi # 20

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Amritha Varshini - Inside this Issue

Title
Index
Index
From Editors Desk
Pillaiyar Suzhi
Deivathin Kural - Talks of Mahaperiyava
Devotion
Sthothra Maalaa
Song of the God - Bhagavadh Geetha
Relief for Sorrow from bed of Arrow
Sri Lalita Trisati Stotram
Tatwa Bodham
Suno Bhai Sadho
Sacred - 63
Sri Sreedhara Ayyaval
Sangeeta Sudha
Aatma Bodham
Deivath Tamizh
Man's & God's Will
Yaksha Prashna - The Heritage Quiz
Ramanaarpanam
Sri Maha Bhakta Vijayam
Abhangaamrita
Bhattathiri and Arunagiri
Padum Paniye Paniyai Arulvai
Squirrel Service
Amritha Varshini

Topic / Author
General Index
Authors Articles
Editorial
Vatapi Ganapathi - Historical Details - Part # 4
Essence of the Upanishadic Teaching
A Poem by Smt Renuka Sury
Sri Meenakshi Pancharathnam
Chapter 8 : Verse 16 "a brahma bhuvanaal lokaa:"
Vishnu Sahasranama - Verse # 12
Part # 4 - Sri P.R. Kannan
Part # 12 - Sri P.K. Venkatachalam
Tulsi Das Song "Raghuvar Tumko Meri Laaj"
Thiru Navukkarsar Nayanar - Part # 1
- An epitome of Compassion - Sri O.N. Ravi
Annamacharya Kriti "Bhaavamulona"- Sri Dasu Damodara Rao
Part # 9 - Sri O.V. Srinivasan
Thirumurai & Prabandham
Article by Sri J.K. Sivan
Quiz on Slokas & Stotrams - Sri S.K. Ramanathan
Search of My Master - Paul Brunton - Part # 8
Sant Kabir Das - Smt Shantha Rajan
"Abee Gulaal Udhalitha Rang" - Abhang by Sant Chokamela
Article By Sri V.S. Krishnan
Thiruppugazh - "Kaaranamathaaga Vandhu Buvimeethe"
Kainkaryam from Amrithavarshini
Subscription Details

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18
21
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33
35
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45
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Page 2

Amritha Varshini - Authors Articles


Devotion - Poem by Smt Renuka Sury - Page 8

Sri Lalita Trisati Stotram - Translation by Sri P.R. Kannan - Page 14

Tatwa Bodham - Commentary by Sri P. K. Venkatachalam - Page 18

Sri Sreedhara Ayyaval - An epitome of Compassion - Article by Sri O.N. Ravi


Page - 25

Annamacharya Kriti Baavamulona- Translation by Sri Dasudamodara Rao


Page - 29
Aatma Bodham - Commentary by Sri O. V. Srinivasan - Page 30

Mans & Gods Will - Article by Sri J.K. Sivan - Page 33

Quiz on Slokas & Stotrams - Compiled by Sri S.K. Ramanathan - Page 35

Sri Maha Bhakta Vijayam - Retold by Smt Shanta Rajan - Page 40

Bhattathiri and Arunagiri - Article by Sri V.S. Krishnan - Page 45

Page 3

EDITORIAL

From Editors Desk

Swagatham to Amritha Varshini!


I am delighted to present the 20th Issue of Amritha Varshini on the auspicious occasion of Kaarthigai
Deepam. The festival is celebrated with fervor in South India, especially in Tamilnadu where devotees throng the sacred Arunachala / Thiruvannamalai. Readers know that we are we are covering
the excerpts from the book of Paul Brunton A Search in Secret India in the Ramanaarpanam section for the past seven months. It is a divine coincidence that in this months portion Paul Brunton
narrates about the Holy Arunachala and the legend of Kaarthigai Deepam. He narrates, According
to our sacred legends, the God Shiva once appeared as a flame of fire on the top of the sacred red
mountain. Therefore, the priests of the temple light the large beacon once a year in memory of this
event, which must have happened thousands of years ago. I suppose the temple was built to celebrate it, as Shiva still over shadows the mountain. I have also read that Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi was very curious about Deepam and used to watch the Deepam from Ramanasramam with the
help of binocular. You may wonder what is the need for Bhagavan to watch the Deepam but this depicts Bhagavans attachment to Thiruvannamalai and Arunachaleshwara. He once told a devotee
who offered the Sacred Ash which was given as a Prasada when Gods Arunachaleshwara and
Abeethakuchalamba were taken out in procession Appavukku Pillai Adakkam meaning he is the
Son of Lord Arunachaleshwara and Abeethakuchalamba. Thus He is the child representing Jnana
similar to Lord Muruga. Muruga also resides on hillock, Ramana remind in the hillock of Arunachala. Muruga stands on the hillock of Pazhani wearing the kaupeena, loin cloth, our Ramana also
wore only the loin cloth. Muruga protects his devotees those whoever surrenders to him, similar Ramana gave the Jnana to his devotees whoever visited him thus protected them from dangers of illusion.
Bhagavan in his verse explaining the significance of Deepa Darshana says
Iththanuve nana menumathiyai neethap
Puthiyitha yathe porunthiyaga nokka
Lathuvitha maamei yagachchudarkaan kaibhu
Mathiyenu manna malaichudarkaan meiye

(deepa darshana tatvam)

Meaning, removing the wrong perception from the mind which thinks that I am this material body,
by fixing the mind in the heart and turning the mind towards internally and seeing the real swarupa
of the internal light of the aatma is the real way of seeing the jyoti which becons on the holy hill of
Arunachala.
On this deepam festival let us all pray to Lord Arunachaleshwara to remove our ignorance and realize the true self ours through which the real jyoti is seen and realized, which shall help us to attain
the Lord. I believe all the articles in this issue will help us in achieving the above.
I shall be glad if you could share your feedback to us at
amrithavarshini2012@gmail.com
Happy Deepam!
Anand Vasudevan
Editor-Amritha Varshini
Gurgaon November 17, 2013

Page 4

Pillaiyaar Suzhi
Vatapi Ganapathi - Historical Details - (Part 4)

Invocation on Lord Ganesha


From Deivathin Kural

Paranjyoti (siruthondar)
Vatapi, which was the capital of west Deccan's Chalky kingdom, is the
same place where the demons Vatapi and Ilvala lived. There also was a
Ganapati in the form of a statue. As he was in Vatapi, he was also called
Vatapi Ganapati. When Narasimha Varma won over that town, and installed the victory message, the Commander in Chief of the army was
Paranjyoti. You would have heard about Kalingathuparani. It is the literature which tells about the victory of Kulottunga Chola over Kalinga
Kingdom. Though it says about Kulottungas victory, the man responsible
for that victory was his Commander in Chief Karunakara Thondaiman. In
the same way, Paranjyoti, the Commander in Chief was responsible for the
victory of Narasimha Varma over Vatapi. Paranjyoti belonged to Thiruchengattankudi where the temple Ganapaticharam is located. Hence he should have a ..PARANJYOTI
special attachment since birth to Pillaiyar. This is also god's play. After winning Vatapi UPON SEEING
and when he was going the victory procession along with wealth, elephants, horses VATAPI
which he gained saw Vatapi Ganapati. Upon seeing this Ganapati his devotion poured GANAPATI HIS
out and took that statue for himself. As it happened for Asoka, and like I narrated a DEVOTION
before for Chalukkya King Vikramaditya, in the life of Paranjyoti also a great change POURED OUT
AND TOOK
happened, after he returned to the Pallava Kingdom after this victory over Vatapi.
THAT STATUE

Amattiyar & Mamattirar

FOR HIMSELF...

Paranjyoti belongs to Maamattirar sect. Maamattirar or Mahamattirar are those who moved away
from the Brahmin caste, leaving the rituals to worldly jobs. The same has reference in Periyapuranam. Similar to Maamattirar there is another caste called Amattiyar. In Sanskrit Amathyan
means Minister. This Amathyan became Amaichar in Tamizh like the word maitthunan became machaan. Mantri being a Sanskrit word nowadays people substitute to Amaichar thinking it be a Tamizh word! Manicka Vachaka Swamigal was an Amaatya Brahmin. He was the minister
for the Pandya king and won the title "Thennavan Brahmarayan". The word Brahmarayan is derived
from Brahma and Rayan. Brahma is derived from Brahmana and Rayan means the prime minister
for the King. The Choza kings too have kept Brahmin officers and given them the Brahmaraya titles.
The Brahmins who have left their rituals and joined the civil administration of the kingdom to serve
on the executive side were classified as Amattiyar. The Brahmins who went one step further to join
the military service were called Maamattirar. This sect has also gone into the field of medicine.
Thus this caste interestingly, did both the task of saving and taking lives of the people! Paranjyoti
belongs to this caste of Maamattirar. Nowadays propaganda is made that he belongs to Velaala
community.
To be continued
Page 5

Anugraha Bhashanam

Talks of Sri Kanchi Mahaperiyava

Essence of the Upanishadic Teaching


What is the essence of the Upanishadic teaching? How do we realise
the ideal state mentioned in the Upanishads? The phenomenal universe, in the view of modern science, is embraced by the concepts of
time and space. The Upanishads declare that only by being freed from
time and space factors can we grasp the ultimate truth that is at the
source of the cosmos. I told you about the horizon - where we are
right there the horizon is. A recognition of this truth takes us beyond
space. In this way we must also try to transcend time. Is it possible?
To give us the confidence that it is, an example could be cited from
everyday life. To spend the time we lap up newspaper reports of the
fight going on in a distant country like, say, the Congo [now called
Zaire]. If a dispute or trouble erupts nearer home, in a country like
Pakistan (or at home in Kashmir), we forget the Congo and turn to
Pakistan or Kashmir. The newspapers themselves push reports of the
Congo trouble to some corner and highlight developments in Pakistan
or Kashmir. But when a quarrel breaks out even nearer, say, a quarrel
over Tiruttani between the Tamils and the Telugus, Pakistan and Kashmir are forgotten and the
boundary quarrel claims all our interest, Now, when we come to know of a street brawl in
..THE
our neighbourhood, we throw aside the newspaper to go out and see for ourselves what
CONFIDENCE
the trouble is all about. Again, when we are watching the street fight, a friend or relative
ARISES THAT WE
comes and tells us that a war is going on in our own home between the wife and the
CAN BE TOTALLY
mother. What do we do then? We forget the street brawl and rush home at once. On an
FREED FROM
international level the Congo dispute is perhaps of great importance. But we pass from
THESE TWO
that to quarrels of decreasing importance. Our interest in each, however is in inverse proFACTORS
OF TIME
portion to its real importance. Why? The Congo is far away in space. We are more concerned about what happens nearer us than about distant occurrences. It is all like coming AND SPACE IF WE
to the horizon, the spot where we are.
TURN INWARD...
Now let us turn our gaze inward. If we become aware of the battle going on within us, the
battle fought by the senses, all other quarrels will become distant affairs like the Congo dispute. Let
us try to resolve this inner conflict and try to remain tranquil. In this tranquility all will be banished
including place, space, and so on. When we are asleep we are not aware of either knowledge or space,
but the jnana (in the state of enlightenment of the inner truth) we will experience knowledge without
any consciousness of space. The time factor is similar. How inconsolably we wept when our father
died ten years ago. How is it that we do not feel the same intensity of grief when we think of his death
today? On the day a dear one passes we weep so much, but not so much on the following day. Why is
it so? Last year we earned a promotion, or won a prize in a lottery. We jumped for joy then, didnt
we? Why is it that we don't feel the same thrill of joy when we think about it today?
Just as nearness in space is a factor in determining how we are affected by an event, so too is nearness in time. Even when we are turned outward and remain conscious of time and space, they lose
their impact without any special effort on our part. So the confidence arises that we can be totally
freed from these two factors of time and space if we turn inward. When we are asleep we are oblivious of time and space without any effort on our part. But we do not then have the awareness of being
free from them. We must go to the state spoken of by Thayumanavar, the state in which we sleep
without sleeping and are full of jnana and are immersed in the bliss of freedom from time and space.

Page 6

Anugraha Bhashanam

Essence of the Upanishadic Teaching

Then nothing will affect us, not even a quarrel right in our presence, in our home. Even when we receive a stab wound we will not be affected by it - it would be like a happening in a remote land like
Congo. When someone very dear to us dies in our presence - husband, wife or child - it would be an
occurrence remote in time, like our father's passing ten years ago. Let us, for the time-being, forget
arguments about non-dualism and dualism. Let us think about our real need. What is it? Peace.
Tranquility. We are affected by good and bad things alike. We cry, we laugh. Both sorrow and joy
have their impact on us. Even excessive laughter causes pain in the stomach, enervates us. When we
are tickled we react angrily. "Stop it!" we cry. Even when we dance for joy we are fatigued. We like to
remain calm without being affected by anything, without giving way to any type of emotion. Such is
our need. Not dualism or non-dualism.
Let us consider what we must do for this goal. One point will become clear if we think about how the
impact produced by a happening or an emotion is wiped away. "When news about the Congo war
broke how we became engrossed in newspaper reports of the dispute. How did we lose interest in it
later? Why does it not have any impact on us now? If we think on these lines we will realise that the
impact of any event - or whatever - is progressively reduced as it is pushed further in space. If we also
consider why we are not as much affected now by our father's death as we were ten years
..WITHOUT
ago when he died, we will realise that with receding time we are less and less affected
BEING PART OF
by past events. So if we are to remain detached we must learn to think that what hapANYTHING OR
pens close by is happening in a remote place like the Congo.

ELSE DEPENDENT

ON ANYTHING
Similarly, we must also learn to think that all the happy and unhappy incidents of the
WE
MUST REMAIN
moment occurred ten years ago. We must assiduously train ourselves to take such an
IN ABSOLUTE
attitude. No joy or sorrow is everlasting. They are all relative [that is they do not have
their own integral or independent force but rely on other factors]. So without being
STATE OF BEING
part of anything or else dependent on anything, we must remain in the absolute state of
OURSELVES...
being ourselves. Then alone will be free from all influences and experience eternal peace.
This is how Einstein's Theory of Relativity is applied to the science of the Self
(Atmavidya). The essence of Upanishadic message is the burning desire to be from time and space.
It would be in proportion to the extent to which we burn within in our endeavour to be free from the
spatio-temporal factor that we will be rewarded with the grace of Isvara and be led towards the fulfillment of the great ideal.

There is no need to go to the mountains or to the forest for instruction. Space and time teach us how
to remain unaffected by events. All that we need to do is to pray to the Lord and make an effort to develop the will and capacity to put happenings of the moment back in time and distant in space. In the
first of the ten major Upanishads, Isavasya Upanishad, says: "It is in motion and yet it is still. It is afar and yet near. It is indeed within". This statement refers to space and time and creates the urge in us to be freed from
both. The next mantra asks us to see time and space and all creatures in
our Self itself. Then there will be no cause for hatred, delusion or sorrow,
that is nothing will affect us. Another mantra of the same Upanishad declares that the Self is all - pervading, going beyond space, and distributing
things through the endless years according to their natures. On the whole,
the Upanishads speak of the same basic truth of space and time that modern science teaches. But there is this difference. For science this truth is a
mere postulate. For the Upanisads it is a truth to be realised within as an
experience. This is a conclusion of the Upanishads which themselves are
the concluding part of the Vedas.

Page 7

DEVOTION

Poem by Smt Renuka Sury

Come! Come! Dissolve Yourself


In the Ocean of Consciousness!
Oh!

Salt

Doll !

Drop yourself in the ocean to


Be one with the whole
One homogenous whole
Fear not.
You lose yourself only to gain the ultimate,
To be one with the totality
From where you came from;
Where there is no end no beginning
No time, No space
No separation, No sorrow
Only unconditional love.
Wouldnt you want it?
So hesitate not, worry not
Transcend all obstacles
Take the pathless path The right path to the goal.
In the lap of totality
Is there any death?
It is only a shift
Transform yourself to be superior,
Infinite, imperishable.
Come on! Surrender your ego,
See ocean alone everywhere
Nothing else exists.
Thats right!
Now the ocean surrounds you
Drown in it to Be That
Be Ananda forever!
Forever!
You may reach author thru renuka_sury@yahoo.co.in

Page 8

STHOTHRA MAALA

Sri Meenakshi Pancharathnam

Slokas/Sthothras for Prayers


Sri Adishankaracharya

Udyadh bhaanu sahasra koti sadrushaam keyura haarojjvalaam


Bimboshtheem smitha danta pankthi ruchiraam peetaambara alankruthaam
Vishhnu brahma surendra sevita padaam tatva swarupaam shivaam
Meenaaksheem pranathosmi santhatham aham kaarunya vaaraam nidhim ||1||
I remain ever bowing to that Goddess Meenakshi, an ocean of compassion, who is radiant like the
multitudes of rising Suns, and is resplendent with the bracelet and necklace and is having reddish
lips like the bimba fruit, with shining rows of smiling teeth, and decorated with silk garments, and is
having the feet worshipped by the gods Vishnu, Brahma and Indra and is of the form of the reality
and is auspicious.
Muktaahaara lasath kireeta ruchiraam poornendu vaktra prabhaam
Shinjan noopura kinkinee manidharaam padma prabhaa bhaasuraam
Sarva abheeshta phala pradhaam giri suthaam vaanee ramaa sevithaam
Meenaaksheem pranathosmi santhatham aham kaarunya vaaraam nidhim ||2||
I remain ever bowing to that Goddess Meenakshi, shining with the crown radiant with the garland of
pearls, with a shining face similar to the full-moon, and wearing the tinkling anklets and gemstudded bells and is shining with the splendour of the lotus, and who bestows on us of all the objects
of our desire, and who is worshipped by the goddess of speech, Vani and the goddess of wealth,
Ramaa.
Shree vidyaam shiva vaama bhaaga nilayaam hreenkaara mantrojjvalaam
Shree chakra ankita bindu madhya vasatim shreemat sabhaa naayakeem
Shreemat shhanmukha vighnaraaja jananeem shreemaj jaganmohineem
Meenaaksheem pranathosmi santhatham aham kaarunya vaaraam nidhim ||3||
I remain ever bowing to that Goddess Meenakshi, a manifestation of the sacred knowledge (Shree
Vidya) who always remains on the left-side of the Lord Shiva, and is shining in the sacred syllable of
Hreem, residing in the small circle in the middle of the sacred circle (Sri Chakra), that queen gracing
the court of the Lord (Sundaresa) and is also the mother of the six-faced one (Shanmukha) and the
master of obstacles (Vignaraaja) and also who enchants the world.

Page 9

STHOTHRA MAALA

Sri Meenakshi Pancharathnam

Shreemat sundara naayakeem bhaya haraam gnaanapradaam nirmalaam


Shyaamaabhaam kamalaasana architha padaam naaraayanasya anujaam
Veenaa venu mridanga vaadya rasikaam naanaavidhaam ambikaam
Meenaaksheem pranathosmi santhatham aham kaarunya vaaraam nidhim ||4||

I remain ever bowing to that Goddess Meenakshi, the consort of lord Sundaresa, who is the remover of the fears (of the devotees), the bestower of knowledge and free from impurities, having
a dark-blue colour with her feet being worshipped by the god Brahma, seated on the lotus, that
sister of lord Narayana, fond of enjoying the music from the instruments - the Veena, Venu (flute)
and Mridanga, who is the mother of different aspects.
Naanaayogi muneendra hrunni vasatheem naanaartha siddhi pradhaam
Naanaa pushhpa viraajita anghri yugalaam naaraayanena architaam
Naadha brahmamayeem paraath paratharaam naanaartha tathvaathmikaam
Meenaaksheem pranathosmi santhatham aham kaarunya vaaraam nidhim ||5||
I remain ever bowing that Goddess Meenakshi, who is dwelling in the hearts of multitudes of ascetics (Yogis) and great sages, and bestows many desired objects, her feet shining with the radiance of
different kinds of flowers, being worshipped by god Narayana, being the form of the sound and
higher than the high and is the underlying force in all the objects.

Please see below the Youtube link to hear Sri Meenakshi Pancharathnam
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRBVZd78s1g

Page 10

Song of the God

Verses from Srimadh Bhagavadh Geethaa

Chapter 8 : Verse 16

Akshara Brahma Yoga

aa brahma bhuvanaal lokaa:


punar aavarthino arjuna
maam upethya thu kaunteya
punar janma na vidhyathe
aa brahma bhuvanaat upto Brahma loka ; lokaa: worlds ; punah: again ;
aavarthina: returning ; arjuna O Arjuna; maam: Me ; upethya having attained ; thu but ; kaunteya O Son of Kunti ; punar janma rebirth ; na
never ; vidhyathe takes place

..BUT THOSE WHO


ATTAINS THE
LORD HIMSELF TO
THEM THERE IS
NO BIRTH

Meaning of the Sloka

AGAIN.

O Arjuna! all the worlds upto Brahma Loka are subject to rebirth, O Arjuna but one who
attains Me, O Son of Kunti, for him there is no rebirth.
Explanation
The transitory nature of the worlds in the Universe is explained in this verse. From the lowest to
highest planet nothing is permanent. Brahma who emerged from the lotus navel of Lord Vishnu
brings forth the entire Universe. He is known as Prajaapathi. The heavenly region where he has his abode
and which forms the uppermost limit of this material
universe is known as the Brahmaloka.
All the worlds from the lower region upto Brahmaloka
are by their very nature liable to disappear with the dissolution of the universe and to appear again at the beginning of every creation. But those who attains the
Lord himself to them there is no birth again. Hence
our objective must be to attain the Lord. How to attain
the Lord? The answer is simple which is nothing but
through devotion. God can be easily attained through
devotion which should be unalloyed or unconditional.
By pure bhakthi alone one can attain the Lord. Thus
let us make our efforts in developing the pure prema
towards the Lord, so that by attaining Him there is
nothing to worry and one can attain the peace and
tranquility, as all others are temporary.

Page 11

Relief for Sorrow from bed of Arrow

Vishnu Sahasranaama Sthothram

Verse # 12
vasur vasumanaa: sathya: samaathma-asammitha: sama:
amogha: pundareekaaksho vrushakarmaa vrushaakruthi
Nama # 104 vasu:
One who resides in everything.
The Lord resides in everything and in whom everything resides. Thus
the Lord is the very support of all elements and the One who Himself is
the very essence of all the elements. The Self indwells all and all dwell
in the Self.
Nama # 105 vasumanaa:
One whose mind is Supremely pure.
One whose mind is pristine pure bereft of the afflictions of desire or
aversion. The mind has none of the sins of passions and pains, none of
the storms of desires and jealousies and none of the quakes of likes
and dislikes.
Nama # 106 sathya:
One who is the absolute truth.
The Taittireeya Upanishad thunders Sathyam Jnaanam Anantham Brahma i.e. the Brahman is
nothing but Truth, Knowledge and Bliss. The Lord is the absolute truth. That which remains the
same in all the three periods of time viz., before the creation, during the existence and even after the
dissolution is the infinite truth Sathya:.
Nama # 107 samaathmaa
One who is present equally in all.
The Supreme soul of equanimity. The Kaushitaki Upanishad says It should be understood that the
Aatman is the same one in every being. In the Bhagavad Gita (13.3) the Lord says, I am the Seer in
all the fields of experience everywhere. The name also means that sees all beings in the same way
without any discrimination.
Nama # 108 asammitha:
One who is limitless.
He who is measured by things is mitha and assamitha: means one who is not measurable and is
unlimited. Same take the view of this word as sammitha: that is one is measurable by his devotees.

Page 12

Relief for Sorrow from bed of Arrow

Vishnu Sahasranaama Sthothram

Nama # 109 sama: One who is unbiased.


One who is the same at all times and not changing. The Lord is of equal disposition to everyone. In the Bhagavad Gita (9.29) the Lord says,
samoham sarva bhuteshu name dhveshyo asthi na priya:
ye bhajanthi thu maam bhkthya mayi they theshu chapyaham
meaning, I am equal to all, no one is hatred or dear to Me. But those who worship Me with devotion they are in Me and I am indeed in them. The Lord is
so merciful and does not differentiate anyone. All one has to do is to express
their devotion to the Lord. One can feel the divine grace by simply expressing
our devotion to the Lord as the Supreme Lord himself as declared I am in
them and they are in Me. What more statement is required?
Nama # 110 amogha: One whose worship never goes in vain.
Mogah means a disappointing power. Amogah is the opposite of it meaning ever useful. Thus the Lord
grants the desire of his devotee who worships him, praises him or remembers him. The devotees efforts
never go in vain. Thus the resolution never become fruitless. The Ramayana (Yuddhakanda) says, O Rama,
the sight of thee is never futile. Those who are devoted to you will be crowned with success.
Nama # 111 pundareekaaksha: One who is enshrined and experienced in the heart.
The Lord pervades the heart which is like the lotus and can be realized or seen in it. The Narayana Upanishad
(10) says, In the core of the body, in the heart space, dwells the Supreme. In the heart the meditator can experience the reality more readily and very clearly and so the all pervading reality is described as dwelling in
the heart cave. The nama pundareekaaksha also means one who has lotus like eyes. The Sandhya prayer
goes like this
Shanka Chakra Gadhaa Paane Dwarakaa Nilayaachyutha
Govindha Pundraeekaaksha Rakshamaam Sharanaagatham
Oh Govinda with lotus like eyes, holding the conch, the wheel and the club in your hands, oh imperishable
lord dwelling in dwaraka, protect me, who have taken refuge in You.
Nama # 112 vrushakarmaa: One of righteous action.
Vrusha means dharma Karma means action. Thus Vrusha Karma means one whose actions are in the form of
righteousness.
Nama # 113 vrushaakrithi: One who is the embodiment of dharma.
The Lord descends to establish dharma. In Bhagavad Gita (4.8) the Lord Says,
Paritranaya sadhunam vinashaya cha dushkrutham
dharma samsthapanaarthaaya sambhavami yuge yuge
For the protection of the virtuous, for the destruction of the wicked and for the establishment of dharma, I am
born from age to age. Thus not only the actions are righteous but the Lord himself is righteousness, the embodiment of dharma.

Page 13

Sri Lalita Trisati Stotram


.

Part-4

Translation & Notes By Sri P.R. Kannan

Inducer of Isvara (in matters of world) (54); Witness of Isvaras Tandava (55).
See Lalita Sahasranamam:

(232)- Witness of Mahesvaras Great

Tandava dance during Mahakalpa (after Mahapralaya).


One who is seated in the lap of Isvara (56);
Destroyer of troubles due to unexpected calamities (57).
Itis are usually said to be six: excessive rain, drought, locusts, rats, parrots and foreign invasions.

One without desire (58); Sakti (power) of Isvara (59).


Isvara is powerless even to move in the absence of Sakti (Soundaryalahari-1).
One with smiling face (60).
The third set of twenty names starting with Ee have been covered so far.
Lalita Devi of the form of the letter La (the fourth of the 15 letters of the Panchadasakshari mantra) (61).
La refers to expansion of the power of intellect.
Lalita (62). Mother who rears children sportingly.
One who is served by Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) and Vani (Goddess of Gnana) (63).

Lakini (who is the Devata in Manipuraka Chakra) (64); Devi in the forms of women (65).
In Devi Mahatmyam Devas say in their prayer to Devi:

All vidyas are but your forms; all women in the world are also your forms in entirety (11:6).
Of the colour of blossomed pomegranate and trumpet flower (red) (66); With forehead shining with hanging
ornament (67); Worshipped by Siva, who has the third eye in the forehead (68).

Page 14

Sri Lalita Trisati Stotram


.

Translation & Notes By Sri P.R. Kannan

With divine limbs shining with all beautiful characteristics (69); Ruler of lakhs and crores of Brahmandas
(universes) (70); Substance of the goal (71); Unattainable through indications (72); One who has
accomplished all her desires (73); Having creeper-like (soft and beautiful) form (74).

With forehead shining with mark (of musk) (75); Shining with long pearl necklaces (76); Mother of Ganapati
(Lambodara, the fat-bellied) (77); One to be attained (78); Rich with bashfulness (79); Free from
destruction (80).
The fourth set of twenty names starting with La have been covered so far.

Lalita Devi of the form of the letter Hrim (the fifth of the 15 letters of the Panchadasakshari
mantra) (81). Hrim is called Mayabijam or Chintamanibijam, the seed-letter, capable of granting all
wishes just by mere thought. Hrim is the cornerstone of Srividya, just as Om is for Brahmavidya.
Here this Hrim is the last letter of Vagbhavakuta. Residing in Hrim (82); In love of the syllable
Hrim (83); Having Hrim as seed (84); Having Hrim as mantra (85); Having Hrim as indicator (86).

Very pleased with chant of Hrinkara (87); Ever with Hrinkara (88); Wearing the ornament of Hrim (89);
Having the qualities of Hrim (90);
The qualities of Hrim here refer to the qualities of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva.
Worshipped with Hrim (91); Carrying Hrim in her womb (92);
This means that Devi carries Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra in her womb.
Known by the name of Hrim (93).

Page 15

Sri Lalita Trisati Stotram


.

Translation & Notes By Sri P.R. Kannan

Substance of Hrimkara (94); Worshipped with Hrimkara (95); Base of Hrimkara (96); Self-experienced
through Hrimkara (learnt from Guru) (97); To be meditated upon with Hrimkara (98); Hrim being herself
(99). All creation and all powers are superimposed upon Devi. The removal of this superimposition is
nothing but Liberation. The term Hrim derives from the root Hru, which means removal. Having the body
as Hrim (100).
The fifth set of twenty names starting with Hrim have been covered so far.

Lalita Devi of the form of the letter Ha (the sixth of the 15 letters of the Panchadasakshari mantra) (101).
Ha stands for the power of destroying enemies like desire, anger etc. Ha derives from the root Han,
meaning destroy. Worshipped by Balarama, the holder of plough (102); Doe-eyed (103); Love of Siva
(104); Worshipped by Siva (105); Worshipped by Hari, Brahma and Indra (106).

One whose feet are adored by Asvarudha (107). Asvarudha is the Devi who is at the head of the army of
horses and who was by Lalita Devis side during the war with Bhandasura. Asvarudha stands for the
motive power of sense-organs, which are often likened to horses in Vedanta.

Worshipped through

Asvamedha yagna (108); One whose mount is lion (Durga) (109); One whose mount is swan (Saraswati)
(110). If Hamsa is interpreted as Surya or Prana, this name refers to the power Chit (Knowledge,
Awareness) riding on the mount of Surya or Prana. Destroyer of Asuras (111).

Remover of sins like murder (112); Worshipped by Indra, whose mount is green-coloured horse and other
Dikpalakas (113); Having raised breasts like the frontal globe on the forehead of elephant (114); Loving
consort of Siva, who wears elephant-skin (115).

Page 16

Sri Lalita Trisati Stotram


.

Translation & Notes By Sri P.R. Kannan


-

Devi whose body is smeared with turmeric and kumkum (116); Worshipped by Devas like Indra (117);
Consort (friend) of Siva, whose hair is golden (118); Of the form of Hadi Vidya (119). Hadi Vidya is
credited to Lopamudra, the wife of sage Agastya. In this Vidya, the Pancha-dasakshari mantra starts with
Ha and hence the name of Hadi Vidya (as opposed to Kadi Vidya, where the mantra starts with Ka as
in this Trisati itself). This version of Panchadasakshari mantra is as under:

---

Ha Sa Ka La Hrim (5 bijaksharas- seed letters)

--- Ha Sa Ka Ha La Hrim (6 bijaksharas- seed letters)


---

Sa Ka La Hrim (4 bijaksharas- seed letters)

One who is intoxicated with consumption of wine obtained from the Milk Ocean (120).
The fifth set of twenty names starting with Ha have been covered so far.

Lalita Devi of the form of the letter Sa (the seventh of the 15 letters of the Panchadasakshari mantra)
(121). Sa stands for the power of enjoyment. Omnicient (122); Ruler of all (123); Bestower of
auspiciousness on all (124); Doer of everything - Creator of all (125); Protector of all (126); Destroyer of all
(127); The Eternal One (128).

To be continued...
You may reach author thru prkannanvashi@yahoo.com
Page 17

Tatwa Bodham

Part - 12

Sri P.K. Venkatachalam

10. KARMAM
Ignorance has no beginning. Therefore, the Jeeva,
which has shot up from Ignorance, also has no beginning. After taking various births in innumerable forms in the lower species, the Jeeva takes this
human form when he performs good and bad activities. Whether an activity is good or bad is determined not by the act itself but with what objective
it is performed. There is a reason for each activity
and every action produces a reaction, depending on
the objective with which that action was performed and this reaction comes in due course. Actions
performed with good objective bring beneficial (Punyam) results and those done with adverse objectives bring negative (Paapam) reactions.
KarmaaNi KathiviDhaani Santheethi Cheth
Aagaami Sanjith PraarabhDha Bhedhena ThriviDhaani Santhi
How many types of Karmas are there? There are three types of Karmas - Aagaamyam,
Sanjeetham, PraarapDham.
..THERE ARE

Gnaanothpathyanantharam Gnaani Deha Krutham


PuNya Paapa Roopam Karma
Yadhasthi ThadhaagaameethyaBhiDheeyathe.

THREE TYPES OF
KARMAS AAGAAMYAM,
SANJEETHAM,
PRAARAPDHAM

Aagaamya Karma: When a Gnaani - who has attained Brahma Saakshaath.


kkaaram and stays in Brahmagnaanam performs good or bad activities, the results
of which are called Aagaami Karma. When the Jeeva, while undergoing the Praarabha
Karma Phalaas, enters into good or bad activities with the ownership of "I am the doer". These are
called Aagaami Karma. After his death, these Aagaami Karmas are becoming Sanjeetha
Karmas. Aagaami karmas are giving results only when we are in human body. The animals etc. do
not perform action with the ownership "I am the doer", "I am the enjoyer" etc. Aagaami Karmas will
give result only when the actions are done with these ownership feelings, which is done only by human beings.
All the actions done in the past lives in innumerable births and deaths in various forms have their
reactions in their rudimentary form, all of which are collected and kept without giving the results
then. These are called Sanjeetha Karmaas.

Page 18

Tatwa Bodham

Sri P.K. Venkatachalam

AnanthakOti Janmanaam BheejaBhootham Sath Yath Karma Jaatham


Poorvaarjitham Thishtanthi Thath Sanjeetham Gneyam
The deposited good and bad actions of the past are capable of giving result in due course. Jeeva collects innumerable good and bad karma in earlier lives, which have not given result then but it is capable of taking more and more janmaas. Such are called Sanjeetha Karma. They are like the fixed
deposit in the banks. Their results will come back at the appropriate time in the appropriate life.
Idham SareeramuthpaaDhya Iha Loke Evam
SukhaDhu:khaadhi Pradham Yath Karma Thath Prarabhdham
Bhogena Nashtam Bhavathi Praarabhdha KarmaNaam
Bhogaadheva Kshaya Ithi
After taking this birth, whatever was done in last janma will guide our actions in this janma. Unless
we enjoy the past karma results, this karma will not end. The karmaas which
give result to the Jeeva after taking this birth are called Prarabhdha
karma. This is equivalent to the return of capital after the duration of the ...SANJITHA KARMA WILL
Fixed Deposit. This Prarabhdha karma decides about the type of body to be GET DESTROYED WITH THE
DAWN OF AHAM
borne in and the nature of the surroundings for this birth so that these stored
BRAHMA ASMI
results can be enjoyed by this Jeeva. Depending on the stored results
KNOWLEDGE...
(Prarabhdha karma phala), each janma comes - whether in human form, animal form, bird form, tree or other objects etc.- so that the appropriate karma
phala in balance can be gone through by the Jeeva. Jeeva gets human form due
to the good deeds in the past. Jeeva goes through various good or bad experiences in this life according to the nature of karma phala stored from past life. After these prarabhdha karma ends, the Jeeva
ends his life.
Sanjitham Karma Brahmaivaahamithi
Nischayaathmaka Gnaanena Nasyathi
Sanjitha karma will get destroyed with the dawn of "Aham Brahma Asmi" knowledge.
Aagaami Karma Api Ghaanena Nasyathi kincha KarmaNaam
Nalineedhalagatha Jalavath Gnaaninaam SamBhanDho Naasthi
Aagaami Karma also gets destroyed at the dawn of Knowledge. Further, a Gnaani has no connection
with the Aagaami Karma just like the water drops on the rose petals in a tank.
Kincha Ye Gnaaninam Sthuvanthi Bhajanthi Archayanthi
Thaanprathi Gnaanikrutham Aagaami PuNyam Gacchathi
Further, those who nourish, praise and worship Gnaanis, to such persons, the Aagaami Karma Phala
of that Gnaani will come.

Page 19

Tatwa Bodham

Sri P.K. Venkatachalam

Ye Gnaaninam Nindhanthi Dvishanthi Dhukha:Pradhaanam Kurvanthi


Thaanprathi Gnaanikrutham Sarvamaagaami KriyamaaNam
Yadhavaachyam Karma Paapaathmakam Thadh Gacchathi
Those, who abuse and harass the Gnaanis, to them all the Paapaas of the actions of the Gnaani will
come.
ThaThaa Chaathmavith SamSaaram Theerthwaa Brahmaanandham Ihaiva Praapnothi
The one who has realised the Aatma, overcomes all the sorrows and enjoys Brahmaanandham in this
janma itself.
Tharathi Shokam Aatmavith Ithi Sruthe:
...ONE WHO REALIZED

The Sruti declares that the one who has realised the Aatma, crosses all sorrows THE AATMA CROSSES
ALL SORROWS (TRIALS
(trials and tribulations).
AND TRIBULATIONS)...

Thanum Thyajath Vaa Kaasyaam svapacha Sya Gruhe AThavaa


Gnaana Sampraapthi Samaye Muktho Asow Vigathaasaya:
Whether this body is discarded in Kaasi or in the house of the one who eats dogs, the one who has
discarded the desires becomes Mukthan once he gets this Gnaanam (Knowledge). Those who have
performed unpolluted good karmaas goes to Swarga Loka and enjoys all the amenities there. On the
contrary, those who have performed sinful activities are taken to Naraka Loka for suffering the results of their deeds. Jeeva gets human life as a result of more Punya karmaas than Paapa Karmaas
and if the results of Paapa Karmaas are more than the Punya Karmaas, he takes the body of animals.
These three types of karmas and rules of karmas are wide spread in the life of Jeevaas and in the Nature too. These are the variety of diversities. In the world, Some are happy and some are not. Even
in other Charaachara objects we can see such differentiation. The reason for this is the type of Karmaas done and the appearance of the results of such karmaas.

To be continued...
You may reach author thru achalam38@gmail.com

Page 20

Suno Bhai Sadho!

Divine Songs of Devotees

RAGHUVAR TUMKO MERI LAAJ

Sant Tulsi Das

Raghuvar tumko meri laaj


Sada sada main sharan tihari , tum ho garibnivaz
Patit udharan virad tiharo sravanan suni awaaz
Hou to patit puratan kahiye paar utaro jahaz
Agh khandan dukh bhanjan jan ke , yahi tiharo kaaj
Tulsidas par kirpa kije bhakti daan dehu aaj

Lord Rama You are my refuge


Eternally I seek your protection,
the one is the deliverer of poor
That sinners be uplifted is your vow,
my ears have heard this being said
I am indeed a sinner, purify me Lord and
get to other side of this boat
Destroying sorrow & sufferings of all people,
this is your work
Towards Tulsidas be merciful and
grant me to be your devotee

Here is the link to an excellent rendition by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keYtUjqubc8
Page 21

Sacred Sixty Three

Divine life history of 63 Naayanmaars

Naayanaar # 20 Thiru Navukkarasar Nayanar - Part 1


In the Tamizh land there was a Kingdom called
Thirumunaippaadi, where the river Then Pennai
flows making the land fertile. In this region was
born two Saiva Samaya Acharyas Thirunavukkarasar and Sundharar. In that Kingdom there
situated the town Thiruvamur where the couple
Pugazhanar and Madhiniyar lived. They belonged to the community whose profession was
agriculture. The couple were blessed with a
daughter Thilakavathiyar. After few years they
begot a son and named Marul Neekiyar.
When Tilakavathiyar reached her twelfth year she
was betrothed to Kalipagayar, a military commander in the Pallava army. Before the wedding,
however, he was sent by the king to fight a battle against the Kings of North. Meanwhile Pugazhanar
fell sick and reached heaven. Madhiniyar followed him unable to bear the shock. While
Thilakavathiyar and Marul Neekiyar were getting consoled by the relatives they got
..SHE SMEARED
the message that the valiant Kalipagayar died in the battle field. Thilakavathiyar since
THE HOLY ASHES
betrothal had regarded him as husband and decided to end her life. But MarulneekiON HIS
yar pleaded with her that even she dies he will be left with no one. Thilagavathiyar
FOREHEAD AND
changed her mind for the sake of her brother. She then led the life of an ascetic. She
was highly devoted to Lord Shiva. Her glorious ascetic life has been sung by Sekizhar.
REPEATED THE
PANCHAKSHARA

Marulneekiyar, even while young, had realised the unreality of the world. He engaged
MANTRA...
himself in all kinds of charitable works. He was eager to find out the best religion and
to follow it. He had heard much about Jainism and its wonderful practice of Ahimsa. He
believed that Jainism would give him emancipation and so became a convert. He even went to Thirupathiripuliyur, the southern Pataliputra and joined the Jain school. He attained mastery over all
their scriptures. He won the Buddhists in debates on philosophy. The entire Jain groups were
happy to have such a superior leader and gave him the title Dharma Senar.
Tilakavathiar was heart-broken over this change in her brother. She abandoned her native place and
settled in Tiruvadigai Virattanam, in a Mutt she built there. She prayed fervently to Lord Virattaneswarar to save her brother and shower His grace upon him. The Lord appeared in her dream one day
and said: My child, your brother has already done severe Tapas in order to attain Me. I will surely
turn his mind, by making him suffer from Sulai (a terrible stomach pain) and then take him to My
fold.
Marulneekiar fell a victim to severe stomach pain. He could not bear the pain. The Jains tried their
best but could not relieve the pain. He felt intuitively that it was an eye-opening experience. He lost
faith in Jainism. He thought of his sister. He threw away the Jain garb and without informing anybody, returned to his sister. He fell at her feet and prayed to her to protect him. She understood it
was His Lila, and said that by the grace of Lord Siva, he would be all right. She smeared the holy
ashes on his forehead and repeated the Panchakshara Mantra. His ignorance vanished. She took
him to the temple of Virattanesvarar.

Page 22

Sacred Sixty Three

Thiru Navukkarasar Nayanar

He worshipped the Lord and sang a thevaram hymn Kutrayinavaaru


Vilakkaleer Oh Lord, I have insulted You and Your religion. I have
committed many evil acts. Once on the bank of Godavari, I argued
with the saints and established the superiority of Jainism. For all this
evil, Lord Yama himself has come to me in the form of this excruciating pain. Oh Lord, You are my sole prop and refuge. Save me. I will
ever keep Your Lotus Feet in my heart. When he concluded the song,
the pain disappeared. A celestial voice said: From now on you will be
known as Thiru Navukkarasar, Lord of Speech. Your glory will
spread everywhere. Thus Lord Sivas grace restored his faith in Saivism. Tilakavathiar was immensely happy, too. Tirunavukkarasar became a staunch devotee of Lord Siva and lived in Him repeating the
Panchakshara Mantra.
The Jains at Pataliputra were afraid that, if the king
..THIRUNAVUKKA
came to know that because of their inability to treat
RASARS LOVING
Tirunavukkarasar (to whom they had given the
LOOK
name Dharmasenar) he had left them and gone back
TRANSFORMED THE
to Saivism, he would take them to task. So they conELEPHANTS
cocted a new story and showed Tirunavukkarasar as
NATURE AND IT
a traitor against the king and the royal religion, viz.,
Jainism. The king ordered his ministers to produce Tirunavukkarasar before him. WENT AROUND HIM
AND PROSTRATED
They went to Tiruvathikai, with an army. When Tirunavukkarasar heard of the
HIM.
charge against him, he said: Oh Ministers! I am no longer your kings subject. I am
the subject of Lord Siva, the protector of all beings, the destroyer of all sins, the Lord
of all gods, the bestower of immortality and eternal bliss. Disobedience to the king may amount to
treason in the case of other people, not mine, because I am under His protection. Fear cannot approach me, because I am under the protection of one who once kicked Lord Yama, to save His
(Sivas) Bhakta. The Ministers recognised his greatness: but were afraid to return without him. They,
therefore, begged of him to come with them out of his supreme compassion, and to establish the
glory of Saivism. Tirunavukkarasar went with them.
The very sight of Tirunavukkarasar enraged the king who asked the Jain heads to decide upon the
proper punishment to be meted out to him. They suggested that he be thrown into a burning lime
kiln. Accordingly, he was shut up in a kiln for seven days. He remained there, fixing his mind on the
Lord and repeating His Name. By His grace, the heat of the kiln was transformed into a cool breeze.
At the end of seven days, the Jains, to their surprise, found Tirunavukkarasar alive, and absorbed in
deep meditation. They attributed this to the power acquired by him when he was a Jain: and advised
the king to poison him. Again, by the grace of Lord Siva the poison was transformed into nectar.
Again, the Jains attributed this to the efficacy of the Jain Mantras which Tirunavukkarasar had
learnt from them, and advised the king to have him trampled by the elephant. Tirunavukkarasar,
boldly facing the elephant sang a hymn in praise of the Lord. Tirunavukkarasars loving look transformed the elephants nature and it went round him and prostrated to him. The Mahouts goaded it:
but it got wild and attacked the Mahouts and the Jains and killed some of them. Those who escaped
ran to the king and fell at his feet. This was a great disgrace.

Page 23

Sacred Sixty Three

Thiru Navukkarasar Nayanar


The king was greatly worried. The Jains
finally advised the king to have Tirunavukkarasar tied to a stone and thrown into the
sea. In accordance with the kings orders,
this was done. Tirunavukkarasar fixed his
mind on Lord Siva and was continually repeating the Panchakshara. He sang hymns
in praise of the Panchakshara
Sottrunai Vethiyan Sothi Vaanavan
Potrunai thirunthadi porunthak kaithozha
Katrunaip pootiyor kadalil paaichinum
Natrunaiyavathu namachivayave

As soon as he finished the song the stone began to float. Tirunavukkarasar sat on the stone and was
happily borne on the waves and safely taken to the shores of Tiruppathirup-puliyur. Thus did the
Lord save His Bhakta.
At Tiruppapuliyur, there was a huge congregation of Siva Bhaktas to welcome him. He
worshipped the Lord and sang hymns in praise of the Lord. Oh Lord, the unseen
Protector: You are my guide and saviour. You are my father, mother, sister and everything. Oh Lord of Mercy, You saved me from all dangers. Due to Your grace and love
alone I am alive. Addressing the mind, he says: Oh mind, when you have totally surrendered yourself to Him, why do you fear any danger? None can harm you. Fear not.
Again, turning to the Lord, he says: Oh Lord of Mercy, I want no more birth. If I take
birth at all, owing to past Karma, let me remember Your Name always. Even if I take
birth as a worm, let me not forget Your Name. Let me find delight in uttering Your Name.

..AS SOON AS
HE
FINISHED
THE SONG
THE STONE
BEGAN
TO FLOAT.

Then Tirunavakkarasar returned to Tiruvathikai, after visiting many holy places on the way. When
Pallava king who persecuted him came to know this, and when he recalled the many miracles he had
witnessed, he was convinced of the superiority of Saivism. He went to Tiruvathikai, fell at Tirunavukkarasars feet, and begged his pardon. Tirunavukkarasar embraced the king with all love and affection, and the king embraced Saivism and built the magnificient temple of Siva called
Gunabharaveechuram at Tiruvathikai.
Tirunavukkarasar then spent his days in worshipping and serving the Lord in various ways, to set an
example even to saints that they should not relax their eternal spiritual vigilance, lest they should fall
a prey to Maya and to exhort them to lead the ideal life of a humble devotee for the guidance of others. He also visited many sacred shrines, thus emphasising the glory of pilgrimage.
The thought that he had lived for some time with the Jains, eating their food and mixing with them
made Tirunavukkarasar feel that his body was still impure, for the worship of Lord Siva. He prayed
to Lord Siva: I do not want to live any more in this impure body. Let me have the stamp of Your Trident and Nandi on my body, and then I shall regard it as fit for Your worship. At once a divine servant of Lord Siva approached Tirunavukkarasar and put the stamp of the Trident and Nandi (one of
the Saivite rituals of initiation, according to the Agamas) on Tirunavakkarasars shoulders. He experienced supreme bliss immediately.
To be continued..
Page 24

Sri O.N. Ravi


SRI SREEDHARA VENKATESA AYYAVAL - An epitome of compassion
Providence endows the human beings with virtues depending
upon their respective Karmas. However, when such virtues
flow from some beings without any reason, one cannot but be
struck with awe and reverence of those personages. One such
Great Soul was Sri Venkatesa Sridhara Iyaval, of Thiruvisanallur of Kumbakonam district in Tamil Nadu. What was so
great about Sri Ayaval, as he was affectionately called.? He was
the very epitome of compassion. Though considered as an avatar of Lord Shiva, even as a normal human being, he exhibited
matchless compassion for the fellow human beings. Sri Iyaval
lived in the 17th century.
Hailing from a Kannada Brahmin family, he
was living in the State of Mysore , as a Divan
..ONE DAY, HE
to the King of Mysore, inheriting an abundance
DECIDED TO QUIT
of wealth from his father, who also served as a
Divan of Mysore. Sri Ayyaval was a very great
HIS ROYAL POST
devotee of Lord Shiva and was found ever imAND GAVE UP HIS
mersed in the thoughts of the Lord even when
ENTIRE WEALTH IN
discharging his royal responsibilities. He was living like water drops on the Lotus
CHARITY TO THE
leaves, not attached to the position that he occupied and had an uncommon humility.
NEEDY...
One day, he decided to quit his royal post and gave up his entire wealth in charity to
the needy, much to the consternation of the King and walked off with his wife and
mother towards Tamil Nadu. The loving supplication of the people of Mysore and King
could not succeed, to make him stay back, as his love for propagation of Lords message, for which he was born, overpowered him. His first sojourn was to the city of Tiruchirapalli
(Tiruchi) in Tamil Nadu. At that time, Tiruchi was ruled by a Nayaka King, a staunch devotee of
Lord Vishnu. In those days, there was a constant tug of war between Shaivites (Devotees of Shiva)
and Vaishnavites (Devotees of Vishnu) in establishing the Supremacy of their respective faiths. This
internecine religious discord at times led the Kingdoms to be used as puppets in the hands of the fanatics who glorified their school of thought and downgraded all other faiths. This not only confused
people who meandered in the dark alleys of ignorance for want of proper guidance but also blinded
some Rulers who were in vice-like grip of such fanatics, into the meaningless pursuit of dogmatic
religious activities.
Against this backdrop, Sri Ayyaval, came to the city of Tiruchi and was leading a very pious life devoting his time glorifying the Greatness of Lord Shiva. As a true Saint, he had no differences between
various cults and beheld the Supreme Lord in all forms of worship, as one and the same. Some of the
jealous Vaishnavites of the city misled the King into the belief that Sri Ayyaval had pronounced bias
against Lord Vishnu. They impelled him to test Sri Ayyavals real devotion by arranging for a procession of Lord Shivas statue of the Temple of Mathrubhutheswar in Tiruchi dressed up in the attire
of Lord Krishna. When the procession came in front of his house, the Saint, beholding the sight of
Lord Shiva as Krishna, spontaneously burst out with a poetic composition on the glory of Lord
Krishna, called Krishna Dwadasa Manjari. His detractors hung down their heads in shame and fell
at his feet. The King apologised to him realising Sri Ayyavals greatness and asked him to permanently settle in Tiruchi. But not to get coiled up in any such trap which led only to attachment, Shri
Ayyaval left the city that night itself towards the city of Thanjavur. Tanjore or Thanjavur at that
time was ruled by a Marahtta ruler, Shahaji. After spending some time in Tanjore, guiding the King
in the affairs of the State, Shri Ayyaval, settled in a village called Tiruvisanallur, near Kumbakonam.
Page 25

Sri O.N. Ravi


SRI SREEDHARA VENKATESA AYYAVAL - An epitome of compassion
Thereafter, he devoted his entire time only in worship of the Lord. Around this time, he composed a
number of texts extolling the greatness and virtues of Lord Shiva, such as Aarti Hara Stotram,
Daya Satakam, Aakya Shashti etc. His greatness as devotee was tested on number of occasions.
Once on a Janmashtami Day, Lord Krishnas painting was taken around the village with pomp and
splendour to the accompaniment of bhajans. When the procession neared his residence, the priests
who were jealous of him, did not allow him to give floral offerings to the Lord, on the pretext that he
was a staunch saivaite and proceeded further. Insulted thus, Shri Ayyaval was content with mental
offering to Lord Krishna and went inside his house. Even when the procession was on, the priests
suddenly noticed that, to their utter shock and disbelief, the painting of the Lord was missing from
the decorated floral palanquin. Immediately, they realised their folly as well as the greatness of the
Saint and rushed to his house only to witness the devout spectacle of Shri Ayyaval offering with loving care various sweetmeats to the missing painting of the Lord. Thereafter the entire village joined
him in ceaseless singing of His glory throughout that night. During this time, he composed a beautiful work called Krishna Dola Navaratna Maalika.
There was one more incident highlighting his matchless devotion to
Lord Shiva. Lord Mathyagarjuna or Mahalinga of Thiruvadai Maruthur, a famous Siva temple was located on the opposite side of River Cauvery to the village where he lived.
It was a regular practice of Shri Ayyaval to visit the
temple by crossing the river. It was also his custom to
have his meal only after the daily worship of the Lord.
..SHRI AYYAVAL
One day, there was an unusual flood in the River acREALIZED THAT
companied by a torrential down pour. He tried his
LORD HIMSELF
best to locate a boatman to take him to the other
shore. No one came forward. Not able to proceed fur- HAD COME TO SEE
ther due to the turgidity of the river and turbulent
HIM LAST NIGHT...
weather, he returned home with heavy heart, totally
sunk in spirit and mood.
He skipped his dinner and went to sleep. There was
knock at the door. At the doorstep was the main priest of the temple beaming with a benign smile. The priest spoke to him sweet words of comfort on hearing his agony of not having seen
his Lord. The priest told him that since he knew that Shri Ayyaval would not eat even a morsel of
food without taking Lords Holy Ashes, he came straight from the Temple to give the Prasadam. On
hearing this and getting the blessed Holy Ash from the priest, his joy knew no bound. Transported to
a realm of happiness, Shri Ayyaval glorified the greatness of the Lord and profusely thanked the
priest for his thoughtful gesture.
Next day when he met the same priest in the temple, he once again thanked him for the pain he had
taken on his behalf last night to hand over the Prasad. Totally confused, the priest replied that how
any one could have crossed the river which was in great deluge last night and come to his place. He
maintained that he did not come to meet Shri Ayyaval, that night. Only then Shri Ayyaval realised
that Lord Himself had come to see him last night and Lord alone can make even impossible feats
into possible events. Tears rolling down his cheek, he was overwhelmed by the waves of ecstasy.

Page 26

Sri O.N. Ravi


SRI SREEDHARA VENKATESA AYYAVAL - An epitome of compassion
Shri Ayyaval, was embodiment of compassion. In his work, Daya
Satakam, he appeals to the compassion of the Supreme Lord to bestow his Grace on him. Further, he glorifies the greatness of being
compassionate to all living beings. An incident which took place during his stay in Tiruvisanallur illustrates his compassion towards humanity without any distinction of caste or creed. Once, his fathers
Sraadh came for which the food was prepared with great care for the
purpose of feeding the priests who were to officiate in the ceremony.
Shri Ayyaval , as usual, went for the morning ablution in the River
Cauvery. While returning, he beheld a pitiable sight of low-caste man
lying on the side path totally enervated on account of starvation for
days together. Not able to bear the condition of the man, he brought
him home and fed sumptuously with the food prepared for the ceremony. In those days of rigidity and uncompromising conservatism,
the bastion of upper class was steeped in dogmatic principles and
rules. Any deviation from the set rules would be looked down with
disapproval and shock. Surely, this kind of infraction from the rigid rule was certain to
be viewed as heretical even qualifying the committer of the act to ostracism. In the in..NOT ABLE TO
stant case also, it almost came to that. After the poor man was fed, Shri Ayyaval, inBEAR THE
structed fresh food to be prepared for the ceremony.
Thereafter, he went to invite the priests for the purpose of conduct of the ceremony.
By that time, the news reached the priests, who were emitting molten lava on the
turn of events, were waiting to pounce on the saint. When beseeched by Shri Ayyaval, they refused to come for the ceremony stating that the food prepared for the
Sradha had become polluted on account of his having fed a low caste man. Shri Ayyaval implored to their good sense and tried to make them understand that what he
had done was as per Sastras. He explained that it was the bounden duty of the follower of Sanadana Dharma to feed a dying man and that outweighed all other rules.

CONDITION OF
THE MAN HE
BROUGHT HIM
HOME AND FED
SUMPTUOUSLY
WITH THE FOOD
PREPARED FOR
THE CEREMONY.

But all his exposition on finer points of dharma fell on deaf ears. The ego of the swelling moralists was not to be appeased by any such talk. They were adamantine and refused to officiate at the ceremony. He also pleaded with them to complete the ceremony upon which he would do
any act of Penitence prescribed by them to undo the effect of his act. They were unrelenting from
their stance. Left with no other option, Shri Ayyaval, surrendered to the Lord, as no priest was ready
to come forward to conduct the ceremony. It is said that Trinity, Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva,
themselves, came in the form of priests to complete the ceremony for the sake of their ardent devotee.

Page 27

Sri O.N. Ravi


SRI SREEDHARA VENKATESA AYYAVAL - An epitome of compassion
Later on , Shri Ayyaval, approached the priests on the
course of action to be adopted by him which would satisfy them. They asked him to take bath in the holy
River Ganges which alone could rid him of the impurity of having fed the low-caste man. He pleaded with
them on the impracticality of the suggested action as
the River was very far off and it would not be physically
possible for him to complete a trip to the far off land
and return. In those days, a trip to the city of Kasi was
considered as a rare feat as the people had to cover the
entire distance only by walk.
However, the priests were adamant in their demand. He told them that, instead, he would bring
Ganga, herself in the well of his house and take bath in it. The priests ridiculed him
stating that it was preposterous suggestion and an impossible feat to achieve. Shri Ayyaval, went near the well in his house and composed beautiful eight verses on God..UPON
dess Ganga, called Gangashtakam. Upon completion, the River Ganga surged out
COMPLETION THE
of the well and started flooding the streets of the village. The overflowing water conRIVER GANGA
tained bangles, flowers, turmeric and all other auspicious articles that are normally
SURGED OUT OF
given as offering into the River by the people. Shocked and totally shaken, the priests
fell at the feet of Shri Ayyaval, and pleaded guilty of having tested a great man.
THE WELL AND
They begged him to make the River recede to its source, lest it should inundate the
entire village. Shri Ayyaval, compassion incarnate, pleaded with the River Goddess
to subside who obeyed to his request. This happened in the month of Kartik on a
New Moon day. Even to this day, this incident is celebrated at Tiruvisanallur Ayyaval on Kartik Amavasya, where people assemble in large number to take bath in
that well said to be equivalent to taking bath in Ganges.

STARTED
FLOODING THE
STREETS OF THE
VILLAGE.

Thereupon, Shri Ayyaval, visited various places and propagated the cult of bhakti. It is also said that
he was contemporary to the other great Saints namely, Sadasiva Brahmendral and Bhodendral
Swamigal, Sankaracharya of Kanchi Mutt. Shri Bhodentral and Shri Ayyaval were said to have
propagated the cult of nama sankirtan in south by travelling together.
It is said that Shri Ayyaval, during his last days, spent time totally immersed in the thoughts of the
Lord and one day when he was praying to the Lord in the Temple, he suddenly ran towards the sanctum and sanctorum towards the Mahalinga, even brushing aside the priest who tried to stop him,
and vanished into the Siva Linga, thus proving the point that He was Lord Himself.
He was one of the few saints who merged into the Almighty with the physical body, others being Sri
Ramalinga of Vadalur, Tamil Nadu, Sri Gnana Sambandar, one of the famed 63 Saivaites,
Shri Andal and Saint Kabir.,
Salutations to the feet of Shri Sridhara Venkatesa Ayyaval.

You may reach author thru onravi12@gmail.com

Page 28

Sangeeta Sudha
Composer - Sri Annamacharya

Sri Dasu Damodara Rao


Raagam Suddha Dhanyasi

Pallavi
bhAvamulOna bAhyamunandunu
gOvinda gOvinda yani koluvavO manasa ||
In thought and action chant "Govinda," oh my heart.
Charanam 1
hari yavatAramulE akhila dEvatalu
hari lOnivE brahmAnDambulu
hari nAmamulE anni mantramulu
hari hari anavO manasA||
All gods are the incarnations of Hari. All the universe is in Hari. All
the mantras (incantations) are in the names of Hari. Chant "Hari,
Hari, Hari," oh my heart.
Charanam 2
vishNu ni mahimalE vihita karmamulu
vishNuni pogaDeDi vEdambulu
vishNu DokkaDE viswAntarAtmuDu
vishNuvu vishnNuvani vedaka vO manasA ||
All the happenings are miracles of Vishnu. All the Vedas praise
Vishnu. Vishnu alone is the soul of the universe. Search for Vishnu
everywhere, oh my heart.
Charanam 3
atchyutuDitadE Adiyu nantyamu
atchyutuDE asurAntakuDu
atchyutuDu Sree vEnkatAdri meeda nid
atchyuta atchyuta SaraNanavO manasa ||
He is Achyuta, the detached. He is the primeval and He is the ultimate. He is the destroyer of demons. Achyuta resides on Sree
Venkatadri. Surrender to Achyuta, oh my heart.

Here is the link to hear the song - melodious singing by M.S. Amma
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4tKfvd7Ajs
You may reach author thru damodaradasu@yahoo.com
Page 29

Aathma Bodham

Part # 9

Commentary - Sri O.V. Srinivasan

Let us listen to a story this month. Once upon a time there was a good,
pious and satisfied king. Asanthushto dwijo nashta: says Srimad Bhagavatam. This means a brahmin who is greedy and not happy with what he
has, is lost. If he hankers for more and more, he gets distracted from the
path he is to travel. He strays and finally he gets lost in the material universe and his janma goal becomes impossible to be reached. But this is not
to be followed by kings. Generally, they try and increase their land area
and wage wars with his neighbours. This happened to this king and he was
killed in the battle. His son was not grown up to join the battle. As he was a
small boy, he was carried away by the staff loyal to the king and he was
being, educated and trained in a forest, by a hunter, unseen by the enemies. In course of time, he grew up to be a man, but he had totally forgotten that he is prince.
In the meanwhile, the enemy king also died and there was no king in that
land. As was the custom in those days, an elephant was given a garland and allowed to
roam freely and the person garlanded by the elephant is accepted as the king. Elephant
had that power! The boy of our story was garlanded, and he was brought to the kingdom and crowned the king! Some of the loyal ministers noticed that the boy had some
..ATMAN DOES
similarities with their king and were wondering if he was actually the prince they had
NOT HAVE ANY
left in the forest! Later they understood that he was indeed the prince who was left in
ATTACHMENT TO
the forest and he is now grown up. In due course the boy understood who he is and
ALL THAT IS
started behaving and functioning as the king, not as a King!
HAPPENING

This is case with us too. Our sastras call us Amrutasya putrah meaning children of
the imperishable, meaning Brahman! We are also princes in our own right. We have
forgotten who we are and hence we do not realise that we are the Brahman itself and
we need not be in misery and keep struggling to remain happy. Once we realise we are
free and are also happy!

AROUND IT..

Let us look at something closer home! Let us say that our Anand Vasudevan apart from publishing
E-magazines, does acting in his free time, in a company making television serials. In one serial he is
cast as a doctor and in another one, he is a manager, and in still another one he is cast as an idiot
who is made fun of, by many people. The people who see the serials admire the skills of AV and even
think he is may indeed be a doctor in real life. They at times wonder if he is really such an idiot and
take pity on him. When AV is acting he forgets himself and becomes the part or character that he
plays and that explains how he sincerely portrays the character. If you actually see him in his office,
you will not believe he was that doctor or that idiot! He is a diligent engineer with an electronic back
ground and is handling a project of vital importance to his company! Or whatever!!
Has AV forgotten that he is an engineer when he was playing that actor! Certainly NOT. What will
happen to him, if he were to forget his background and refuse to accept reality and insists that he is
really the ignoramus, a part he played with so much acclaim!
We are in that sorry plight now. Somehow we have forgotten what we are and we insist that we are
the ignoramuses. That is ignorance for us. Once that ignorance is removed or drops off and we realise who we are, we will never ever again function as idiots. This is the same with self realisation.
Once the falsehood drops and truth dawns, there is understanding that this world is in reality a
myth and the Atman is satyam or truth and it shines without any effort.
Page 30

Aathma Bodham

Commentary - Sri O.V. Srinivasan

DeelcevesJe DeefKeueb Meb eefJeueeHe efOeee megOeer~


YeeJeesoskeb Deelceeveb efvece&ueekeeMeJeled meoe ~~ 39
aatmanyeva akhilam drusyam pravilaapya dhiyaa sudhee:
bhaavayet ekam aatmaanam nirmala aakaasavat sadaa

||39||

Translation:
The wise man should merge the entire expanse of this material world in Atman and consider the self
like the pure uncontaminated sky.
Explanation:
Once the dreamer wakes up, the entire dream world, has merged away with the mind.
The dreamer rediscovers himself to be the waker. The atman which was illumining the
world for us, similarly, turns towards itself and there is no duality. As there is no duality, there is no question of thinking of the past, planning for the present or worry about
the future. The Atman alone shines, in all splendour. What else other than unalloyed
happiness be present then!

..ONCE THE
DREAMER WAKES
UP THE ENTIRE
DREAM WORLD
HAS MERGED
AWAY WITH THE
MIND...

He JeCee&efokeb meJe efJenee HejceeLe&efJeled ~


HeefjHetCe& efeoevevo mJeHesCe DeJeefleles ~~ 40
roopa varnaadikam sarvam vihaaya paramaarthavit
paripoorna chidaananda svaroopena avatishtate

||40||

Translation: The one who mediates on the supreme discarding all names and forms, there remains just infinite consciousness. Such an atma gnani experiences bliss. In fact, he becomes ananda
personified.
Explanation: Once the dreamer wakes up, the dream world with all its limitations ends. He becomes the waker and experiences a much larger canvas. Much the same way, the world of duality
ends once and there is just there unalloyed consciousness and there is no way that can be contaminated. Bliss is all then, left. Any object has to have a roopam and a namam. Let us say animals and
say cows in particular. It is common practice to name the cows and the beauty is that
they respond to those names as well. Now, if we say that we remove all names. then
what is left is nor Lakshmi, Gowri, Durga or Kamakshi, all names of the cows. Next let
us say remove all roopams, then what are we left with. Nothing at all. We call Sri
Lalitha Parameswari name roopa vivarjita. What is SHE, nothing but unalloyed bliss!
When names and forms are removed, it is unalloyed consciousness, without attributes
and that is bliss.
You may reach author thru ovs1945@gmail.com

Page 31

Dheivath Tamizh

THIRUMURAI & PRABHANDHAM

Kaaraikaal Ammaiyaar

Sankaranaith thaazntha sadaiyaanai achchadai mel


Pongavaram vaithukantha punniyanai angorunaal
Aavendru azhaamaik kaappaanai eppozhuthum
Ovaathu nenje urai

Oh heart, kindly worship without interruption, the Lord Sankara the one who has
matted locks, which is adorned with serpents, one who perform good deeds, and who
protects from sufferings at the time of death.

Thondaradippodi Azhwar

Mottrumor theivamundo
Utrapothandri neengal
Atramel ondru ariyeer
Katrinam meitha enthai

Mathiyilaa maanidangaal
Oruvanendru unara maateer
Avanallal deivamillai
Kazhalinai panimin neere

Oh mankind, Is there any God Superior to Lord Krishna, People remember him only
whenever trouble haunts and forget him at the rest of the time. Please realize that he
is the ultimate lord and none is above him and kindly worship his divine lotus feet, the
one who was tending the cows at Vrindavan.
Page 32

MAN'S & GOD'S WILL

Sri J.K. SIVAN

Would it not interest you, to know something


about Mans free will and Gods will ?
God does not want to interfere with man's free will. He
adopts an attitude of Udaasina (indifference). God is an
Eye witness, (SAKSHI) but a silent observer of our own
battles of life. He is a witness to all the happenings in the
world in which He does not get involved. It is only we who
create the causes for all that we do, think, tell and feel, and
consequently adequately rewarded as ''effects'' on merit.
When you sincerely seek to follow the moral codes of conduct laid down in the Sastras, of course, God is there readily to provide encouragement and incentives for you to progress on spiritual lines ("Prerita" inducement). God invests in us, a free will instructing us, to make best use of it, to conduct ourselves
as fit human beings. Only when Adharma (evil) increases beyond limits, He himself intervenes as He
deems fit, to set things right and put back humans on the right track.
God dispenses his blessings on us, based on our merits. If we are deeply sincere, absolute, unconditional and unflinching, He knows what is ultimately good for us. He answers our prayers. You should
feel that you cannot live without loving God. The scriptures teach us "With the development of the
notion of Karma, the attainment of the individual Loka was seen to depend on individual moral responsibility.
Thus, however complex the system of Lokas may appear to be in Indian cosmology, the
conclusion seems to be that man makes his own Loka - either a heaven or hell. Everyone is wholly responsible for his present condition. He creates his own future and gets exactly what he deserves. Souls leave their present bodies and enter the next, selected for it according
to its karma phalam, in the process of evolution.
"Every act, every thought is weighed in the invisible but universal balance scales of justice, but here
and now and none can escape it. Divine laws cannot be evaded. Sin is not a defiance of God as a denial of soul, not a violation of law as a betrayal of self. We carry with us the whole of our past. It is
our indelible record which time cannot blur nor death erase.
God / Supreme power is ALWAYS WITHIN the individual, NEVER WITHOUT, and dispenses justice whereby virtue is made to bring its own rewards and vice its own retribution. Justice is here on
earth, if only you had the eyes to see!
Page 33

MAN'S & GOD'S WILL

Sri J.K. SIVAN

The interrelationship of "Gods will" and "man's free will" is


summed up :

I may do what I like; but whether I can do at all depends on God's


will.

I may live as I choose ; but whether I live at all depends on God's


will.

I may breath any air pure or polluted; but whether I breath at all
is decided by God's will

I may see hear, smell, feel or taste as I like; but whether I am enabled to see, hear, smell , feel or taste is beyond my control. It is
in God's control.

The 'may' is within my power and free will 'whether I can at all' is in the power and will of God.

The differences in the creatures are due to their past actions precisely as the seeds in the case of
plants. Our actions depend on our 'Vasanas' (result of prior karmas inherited over countless
lives).

God dispenses the seeds precisely as per our Karma. God is indifferent to the fruits of Karma
while we are concerned and affected!!!

Here are some beautiful quotes on God which may be impressive


I asked God, " How do I get the best out of life?' God said,
Face your past without regrets. Handle your present with confidence. And prepare
for the future without fear!
Without God, our week is: Mournday, Tearsday, Wasteday, Thirstday, Fightday, Shatterday and
Sinday. So, allow Him to be with you every day!"
If GOD brings you to it he will bring you through it.
God teaches you : Live without pretending. Love without depending. Listen without defending and
Speak without offending.
God tests you with Two things to define you: Your patience when you have nothing & Your attitude
when you have everything.
Finally, one humble suggestion; If you come across such motivating powerful words, copy them and
keep before you for frequent reading. Every time you read them it will enhance your power of
thinking. I do it.

You may reach author - jksivan@gmail.com

Page 34

YAKSHA PRASHNA

The Heritage Quiz

Quiz on Slokas & Stotrams Quiz # 20


1. Who composed Margabandhu Stotram? On which deity the stotram is composed and When we should recite this?
2. What is the Sloka composed by Sri Adi Sankara advising a person not
to waste his time on grammar at his old age but to turn his mind to God
in worship and adoration?
3. Garbha Rakshambika Stotram is composed in praise of which
God and who had composed it?
4. What is Saptha Sloki Gita?
5. Which Ashtakam starts with the line Tridalam Trigunakaaram
Trinethram Cha Triyayusham..?
6. Who is the composer of Hanuman Chalisa?
7. In the Madhurashtakam composed by Sri Adi Sankara how many
times the word Madhuram is used in the Sloka?
8. Who has composed Mukunda Mala Stotram and who he was?
9. Sri Stuti Stotram is composed by whom?
10. Who composed Kanda Shasti Kavacham?
11. Shanmuga Kavacham is composed by whom?

Answers to Quiz on Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Quiz # 19

1.
2.
3.
4.

18 February 1836, in the village of Kamarpukur (west Bengal).


Sri Kshudiram Chattopadhyaya and Smt Chandramani Devi.
Gadadhar.
He married Saradamani, a girl from the neighbouring village
of Jayrambati
5. In 1865, Ramakrishna was initiated into sannyasa by Tota Puri,
a monk
6. An ascetic woman, called Bhairavi Brahmani skilled in Tantra and
Vaishnava bhakti.
7. Mahatma Gandhi.
8. Kamini-kanchan literally translates to "woman and gold."
9. His teachings were imparted in rustic Bengali, using stories and
parables for easy understanding.
10. Swami Vivekananda
11. Uttering the name of the Divine Mother, he passed into Eternity on
16th Aug 1886.

Winners of Quiz # 19
1. Sri Sundareswaran A.P.
Quiz Compiled by Sri Ramanathan SK (skramanathan@yahoo.com)

Page 35

Ramanaarpanam
Search of My Master - Part # 8

Humble offerings to Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Excerpts from A search in Secret India by Paul Brunton


HILL OF THE HOLY BEACON

I have sent someone to the township with orders to fetch a conveyance, for I wish to inspect the temple. I request him to find a
horsed carriage, if there is one in the place,
for a bullock cart is picturesque to look at,
but hardly as rapid and comfortable as one
could wish. I find a two-wheeled pony carriage
waiting for me as I enter the courtyard. It
possesses no seat, but such an
item no longer troubles me. The ..GOD SHIVA ONCE
driver is a fierce-looking fellow APPEARED AS A
with a soiled red turban on his FLAME OF FIRE ON
head. His only other garment is a long piece of unbleached cloth made into a THE TOP OF THE
waistband, with one end passing between his thighs and then tucking into his SACRED RED
waist. A long, dusty ride and then at last the entrance to the great temple, with its MOUNTAIN.
THEREFORE THE
rising storeys of carved reliefs, greets us.
PRIESETS OF THE
TEMPLE LIGHT THE

I leave the carriage and begin a cursory exploration. "I cannot say how old is the LARGE BEACON ONCE
temple of Arunachala," remarks my companion in response to a question," b u t A YEAR IN MEMORY
as you can see its age must extend back hundreds of years." Around the gates and OF THIS EVENT.
in the approaches to the temple are a few little shops and gaudy booths, set up under overhanging palms. Beside them sit
humbly dressed vendors of holy pictures and
sellers of little brass images of Shiva and other gods. I am struck by the preponderance of representations of the former deity, for in other places Krishna and Rama seem to hold first place.
My guide offers an explanation. "According to our sacred legends, the god Shiva once appeared as a flame of fire on the top of the sacred red mountain. Therefore the priests of the temple
light the large beacon once a year in memory of this event, which must have happened
thousands of years ago. I suppose the temple was built to celebrate it, as Shiva still overshadows the mountain." (We Westerners may regard these deities as fantastic personifications
of religious ideas, but the Hindus themselves do not doubt they really exist as real beings.)
A few pilgrims are idly examining the stalls, where one can buy, not only these little brass
deities, but also gaudy chromo lithographs picturing some event from the sacred stories, books of
a religious character, blotchily printed in Tamil and Telugu languages, and coloured paints
wherewith to mark on one's forehead the fitting caste or sect symbol. A leprous beggar comes
hesitatingly towards me. The flesh of his limbs is crumbling away.
He is apparently not
certain whether I shall have him driven off, poor fellow, or whether he will be able to touch my
pity. His face is rigid with his terrible disease. I feel ashamed as I place some alms on the
ground, but I fear to touch him. The gateway, which is shaped into a pyramid of carven
figures, next engages my attention.

Page 36

Ramanaarpanam

Search of My Master

This great towered portico looks like some pyramid


out of Egypt with its pointed top chopped off. Together with its three fellows, it dominates the countryside. One sees them miles away long before one
approaches them. The face of the pagoda is lined
with profuse carvings and quaint little statues. T h e
subjects have been drawn from sacred myth and legend. They represent a queer jumble. One perceives
the solitary forms of Hindu divinities entranced into
devout meditation, or observes their intertwined
shapes engaged in amorous embraces, and one wonders. It reminds one that there is something in Hinduism for all tastes, such is the all- inclusive nature
of this creed. I enter the precincts of the temple, to
find myself in part of an enormous quadrangle. The vast structure encloses a labyrinth of colonnades,
cloisters, galleries, shrines, rooms, corridors, covered and uncovered spaces.
Here is no stone building whose columned beauty stays one's emotions in a few minutes
of silent wonder, as do those courts of the deities near Athens, but rather a gloomy
sanctuary of dark mysteries.
The vast recesses awe me with their chill air of aloofness. The place is a maze, but my companion walks with confident feet. Outside, the
pagodas have looked attractive with their reddish stone colouring, but inside the
stonework is ashen grey. We pass through a long cloister with solid walls and flat,
quaintly carved pillars supporting the roofs.

..IT REMINDS
ONE THAT THERE
IS SOMETHING IN
HINDUISM FOR
ALL TASTES,
SUCH IS THE ALL
INCLUSIVE
NATURE OF THIS

We move into dim corridors and dark chambers and eventually arrive at a vast portico
CREED.
which stands in the outer court of this ancient fane. " T h e Hall of a Thousand
Pillars!" announces my guide as I gaze at the time-greyed structure. A serried row of
flat, carved, gigantic stone columns stretches before me. The place is lonely and deserted;
its monstrous pillars loom mysteriously out of the semi-gloom. I approach them more closely to study the
old carvings which line many of their faces. Each pillar is composed of a single block of stone, and even
the roof which it supports is composed of large pieces of flat stone. Once again I see gods and goddesses
disporting themselves with the help of the sculptor's art ; once again the carved faces of animals familiar and unfamiliar stare at me.
We wander on across the flagstones of these pillared galleries, pass through dark passages lit here and
there by small bowl- lamps, whose wicks are sunk in castor oil, and thus arrive near a central enclosure. It
is pleasant to emerge once again in the bright sunshine as we cross over to the enclosure. One can now
observe the five shorter pagodas which dot the interior of the temple. They are formed precisely like
the pyramidal towers which mark the entrance gateways in the high-walled quadrangle. I examine the one
which stands near us and arrive at the conclusion that it is built of brick, and that its decorated surface is
not really stone-carved, but modelled out of baked clay or some durable plaster. Some of the figures have
evidently been picked out with paint, but the colours have now faded. We enter the enclosure and after
wandering through some more long, dark passages in this stupendous temple, my guide warns me that
we are approaching the central shrine, where European feet may not walk.
But though the holy of
holies is forbidden to the infidel, yet the latter is allowed to catch a glimpse from a dark corridor which
leads to the threshold. As if to confirm his warning I hear the beating of drums, the banging of
gongs and the droning incantations of priests mingling into a monotonous rhythm that sounds rather
eerie in the darkness of the old sanctuary.

Page 37

Ramanaarpanam

Search of My Master

I take my glimpse, expectantly. Out of the gloom there rises a golden flame set
before an idol, two or three dim altar lights, and the sight of a few worshippers
engaged in some ritual. I cannot distinguish the forms of the priestly musicians, but
now I hear the conch horn and the cymbal add their harsh, weird notes to the music.
My companion whispers that it would be better for me not to stay any longer, as my
presence will be decidedly unwelcome to the priests. Thereupon we withdraw into
the somnolent sanctity of the outer parts of the temple. My exploration is at an
end. When we reach the gateway once more, I have to step aside because an elderly
Brahmin sits on the ground in the middle of the path with a little brass water-jug
beside him. He paints a gaudy caste mark on his forehead, holding a broken bit
of mirror in his left hand. The red-and-white trident which presently appears
upon his brow - sign of an orthodox Hindu of the South - gives him, in Western
eyes, the grotesque appearance of a clown.
A shrivelled old man, who sits in a booth by the temple gates and sells little images
of holy Shiva, raises his eyes to meet mine and I pause to buy something at his unuttered request.
Some
where in the far end of the township I espy the gleaming whiteness of a marble minaret, so I leave the temple
and drive to the local mosque. Something inside me always thrills to the graceful arches of a
mosque and to the delicate beauty of cupolas. Once again I remove my shoes and enter the ..I AM NOW
charming white building. How well it has been planned, for its vaulted height inevitably eleEAGER TO GET
vates one's mood! There are a few worshippers present; they sit, kneel or prostrate themBACK TO
selves upon their small, colourful prayer rugs.
There are no mysterious shrines here, no gaudy images, for the Prophet has written that
nothing shall come between a man and God - not even a priest! All worshippers are equal
before the face of Allah. There is neither priest nor pundit, no hierarchy of superior beings to interpose themselves in a man's thoughts when he turns towards Mecca. As we
return through the main street I note the money changers' booths, the sweetmeat stalls,
the cloth merchant's shop and the sellers of grain and rice - all existing for the benefit of pilgrims to the ancient sanctuary which has called the place into being. I am now eager to get
back to the Maharishee, and the driver urges his pony to cover the distance which lies before
us at a rapid pace. I turn my head and take a final glimpse of the temple of Arunachala.

MAHARISHEE
AND THE DRIVER
URGES HIS PONY
TO COVER THE
DISTANCE WHICH
LIES BEFORE US
AT A RAPID
PACE.

The nine sculptured towers rise like pylons into the air. They speak to me of the patient toil
in the name of God which has gone into the making of the old temple, for it has undoubtedly taken more
than a man's lifetime to construct. And again that queer reminiscence of Egypt penetrates my
mind. Even the domestic architecture of the streets possesses an Egyptian character in the low houses
and thick walls. Shall a day ever come when these temples will be abandoned and left, silent and deserted,
to crumble slowly into the red and grey dust whence they have emerged? Or will man find new gods and
build new fanes wherein to worship them? While our pony gallops along the road towards the hermitage
which lies on one of the slopes of yonder rock-strewn hill, I realize with a catch in my breath that Nature is unrolling an entire pageant of beauty before our eyes.
How often have I waited for this hour in the East, when the sun, with much splendour, goes to rest
upon its bed of night! An Oriental sunset holds the heart with its lovely play of vivid colours. And yet
the whole event is over so quickly, an affair of less than half an hour. Those lingering autumnal evenings
of Europe are almost unknown here. Out in the west a great flaming ball of fire begins its visible
descent into the jungle. It assumes the most striking orange hue as a prelude to its rapid disappearance
from the vault of heaven. The sky around it takes on all the colours. of the spectrum, providing our eyes
with an artistic feast which no painter could ever provide. The fields and groves around us have entered
into an entranced stillness. No more can the chirruping of little birds be heard. The chatter of wild monkeys has come to an end. The giant circle of red fire is quickly fading into some other dimension.
Evening's curtain falls thicker yet and soon the whole panorama of thrusting tongues of flame and outspread colours sinks away into darkness. The calmness sinks into my thoughts, the loveliness of it all
touches my heart. How can one forget these benign minutes which the fates have portioned us, when
they make us play with the thought that, under the cruel face of life, a benevolent and beautiful Power
may yet be hiding? These minutes put our commonplace hours to shame. Out of the dark void they
come like meteors, to light a transient trail of hope and then to pass away from our ken.

Page 38

Ramanaarpanam

Search of My Master

How often have I waited for this hour in the East, when the sun, with much splendour,
goes to rest upon its bed of night! An Oriental sunset holds the heart with its lovely play of
vivid colours. And yet the whole event is over so quickly, an affair of less than half an hour. Those
lingering autumnal evenings of Europe are almost unknown here. Out in the west a great
flaming ball of fire begins its visible descent into the jungle.
It assumes the most striking
orange hue as a prelude to its rapid disappearance from the vault of heaven.
The sky around it takes on all the colours. of the spectrum, providing our eyes with an artistic
feast which no painter could ever provide. The fields and groves around us have entered into
an entranced stillness. No more can the chirruping of little birds be heard. The chatter of wild
monkeys has come to an end. The giant circle of red fire is quickly fading into some other
dimension. Evening's curtain falls thicker yet and soon the whole panorama of thrusting
tongues of flame and outspread colours sinks away into darkness.
The calmness sinks into my thoughts, the loveliness of it all touches my heart How can one
forget these benign minutes which the fates have portioned us, when they make us play with
the thought that, under the cruel face of life, a benevolent and beautiful Power may yet be hiding? These minutes put our commonplace hours to shame. Out of the dark void they come like
meteors, to light a transient trail of hope and then to pass away from our ken.

To be continued..
Page 39

Sri Maha Bhaktha Vijayam

Part # 8

Smt Shantha Rajan

Sant Kabir Das


The poet and the saint
As mentioned in the chapter on Namdev, sage
Shukha took the form of Kabir, that too in a
Mohameddan family in order to uplift the ordinary lives of the ordinary people. Having been
assured that he would not undergo the normal
procedure of birth, sage Shuka descended on the
earth in a lotus in the form of a baby on the river
Bhagirathi and sailed through to Kashi. He was
found by a weaver belonging to the Muslim community. The child uttered the Taraka mantra all
the time and the community people found it astounding for an infant to chant and that too a
name belonging to another religion. The childs parents named him Kabir meaning Mahan or the
Great. In the later days, the child, who grew to be a saint, teacher, poet, a mystique, a Hindu, a Muslim, a humanist and a pure advaitin all rolled into one single personality, lived true to
the meaning of his name. Mahipati describes his life more or less in the same way as he
did with Sant Namdev. Mahipati describes many legendary stories attached to the
..HIS HEART
saint. As a pious and noble soul Kabir was not interested in the material life though
LONGED FOR
he carried on his family profession of weaving. Mahipati narrates some incidents THE DARSHAN
where in, the Lord tests his sincerity and also his devotion, ultimately recognising OF LORD RAM
Kabirs love and devotion.
AND HINDU

Historicity of Kabirs birth, his period and life.

PHILOSOPHY
WAS RUNNING
IN HIS VEINS.

There has been difference of opinion in birth year and the parenthood of Kabir.
Historians put the period between 1398A.D. and 1518A.D. Some say ,with the proof
of Indian ruler at that time, that he was born in 1440 A.D. Though ardent devotees do
agree with the view that he was the incarnation of Shuka Deva and that he was not born naturally,
contemporary historians may not agree with the same. There are many versions about his birth. One
view is that, when a Muslim named Nema was accompanying his newly wed wife Neeru to his home
from her place, they saw a baby crying, having been bundled in a silk cloth. They accepted the baby
as the gift of Allah and started the new family with the child and named him Kabir.
Another version is that a Brahmin girl who bore the child out of wedlock, placed the child on the
bank of the river Ganges and a Muslim weaver named Nema started upbringing the child as his own.
Although Kabir was brought up in true Islamic tradition, there is no doubt that his heart longed for
the Darshan of Lord Ram and Hindu philosophy was running in his veins. He did not reject the
world totally, but lived a saintly life. He was married and fathered a son and a daughter. Historians
prove that his son Kamaal was also a learned pandit who went on a pilgrimage at a very early age.

Page 40

Sri Maha Bhaktha Vijayam

Sant Kabir Das

Smt Shantha Rajan

Kabir spent most part of his life in Banares and both the communities proclaimed Kabir to be one of
its own. In fact Muslim legends say that as a Muslim child he was initiated by Sufi Pir Takki of Jhansi
into mysticism of Sufi sect. It is also true that some Brahmins and some Muslims who were jealous of
Kabirs sainthood hated him. However, there is ample internal evidence in his poems that his Guru
was indeed Shri Ramanand. There is famous incidence as to how Kabir became the disciple of
Shri Ramanand.
Kabir was very much in search of a Guru who would initiate him into the Nama Japa ..KABIR TOOK
process. He had heard about Swami Ramananda who was a renowned scholar and a THESE WORDS
great teacher. Kabir knew in the heart of hearts Shri Ramananda was destined to be his TO HIS MANTRA
Guru. But he knew not how to approach the teacher. The reason was that he was a Mus- AND THE ONE
lim and the Brahmins in Varanasi would never allow a Muslim to be initiated by a Guru.
WHO UTTERED TO
Neither the Muslims, his own kin, would let him to go to a Hindu teacher. Ramanand,
BE HIS GURU...
by himself, was above all these things. He considered the Almighty as the One omnipotent Sachchidananda and the differences in the humanity on the basis of caste, creed
and religion would not disturb him nor would he have been averse to accept Kabir as his disciple.
Kabir struck with an idea of getting the mantra from his Guru though not by the usual means.
He knew that Shri Ramananda used to come to take bath in the river Ganga everyday early in the
morning. Kabir laid himself on one of the steps. With the result that the master, coming down to
the water, trod upon his body unexpectedly, (in the twilight of early morning he could not see someone lying on the steps) and exclaimed in his repentance, "Ram! Ram!". Kabir, all of 13 years old,
took these words to his Mantra and the one who uttered to be his teacher and the Guru. He prostrated before his Guru and profusely thanked him.
Mahipati very passionately describes this scene in full length, but suffice to say that Shri Ramananda
accepted Kabir as his disciple immediately. Despite the protests from various quarters of orthodox
Brahmins and Muslims who were annoyed by this contempt of theological landmarks, the Guru and
the disciple embraced each other. Kabir went on to disown the external differences in the humanity
on the basis of caste and religion. For him humanity was religion and humanism was the religious
principle to be adhered to.
Kabirs stature in the society grew as he grew older and started preaching the humanity through his
couplets and short, simple poems. Kabir had the full blessing of his Guru when he wanted to
reconcile the intense and personal Mohammedan mysticism with the traditional theology of
Brahmanism. He always used to say that he was at once a child of Ram and Allah. He came from the
community of weavers and hence deftly managed to use both the ideologies as the warps and wefts in
order to weave a harmonious and beautiful fabric of humanity.

Page 41

Sri Maha Bhaktha Vijayam

Sant Kabir Das

Smt Shantha Rajan

The logic and the conviction with which he elucidated his noble and spiritual thoughts with practical examples attracted the simpletons from all
walks of life and various religions. His knowledge with Sufi theology
made him a great poet of his own kind and soon there were many followers behind him singing his Dohe (couplets) and shabads (songs). In order to convey his rich thoughts he used the medium of poetry. But it was
not laden with heavy interpretations and difficult words. His couplets
were spontaneous expressions of his heart and not the mind. The words
were simple, vernacular, dialectic but emotive. They were expressions of
his vision, universal love and homely metaphors drawn from Hindu and
Islamic beliefs.
To this day his poems stand testimony to his philosophy of universality of
religions and social unity. He signed of each doha with his name, thus
immortalising his appeal to each heart even today. His other poems are
called saloka (colloquial name for shloka), sakhi (the truth), shabad (song) etc. He taught the path of
simple spiritual union with God. He said it was not necessary to practice austerity in the Himalayan
caves. One could practice it at home by controlling his mind and senses. His love for all living beings
made him advocate vegetarianism even for the Muslims. He would chid them that in the
mornings they observe fast and in the night they observe the sight of blood oozing out of
cows. He would equally chid the Hindus for they kept fasts on Ekadashis for their stom- ..HE PREACHED
achs but their minds would not fast by keeping away from bad thoughts. In his words,
THE PEOPLE WITH
SIMPLE, REALISTIC
EXAMPLES...

,
,

Along with his own conviction, Kabir Das (by now he was respectfully called Kabir Das or Sant
Kabir) got insight into the Hindu spiritual concept like reincarnation, karma, Brahman, Atman,
Advaita and others through his Guru Sri Ramananda. He preached that love between and among
the living beings including humans was the only path to seek God. It is also called Sahaja maarga or
natural path to seek God. Containing a Universal Brahman into a small statue and calling him a deity
was not acceptable to him. Neither did he advocate idol worship. He abhorred the idea of castes
especially the priesthood who declared themselves as the representatives of God and stood in
between true Bhaktas and their Bhagwan. Although he knew the significance of the Vedas and
Upanishads, he preached the simple people with simple, realistic examples. They could connect
themselves to what he said.
We will go through some of his Dohe or couplets with their meanings, so that we can understand his
philosophy while enjoying his poetry.

Page 42

Sri Maha Bhaktha Vijayam

Sant Kabir Das

Smt Shantha Rajan

On the significance of Guru


For Kabir Guru was the beginning and the end of life. He placed the highest reverence at the feet of
Guru. For him neither divine knowledge nor God was attainable without the Guru. In his opinion,
even if you make such a big paper out of this earth, all the trees joined to make a pen and all the water of the oceans made to be ink and start writing laurels of ones Guru they will not be enough to
write the greatness of my Guru. My body is made of poison while his is made of nectar. Giving my
head as a price for a learned Guru will be too less to be of any significance. In one of his songs he reflects this idea
,
,
,
,

..HE PREACHED
THE PEOPLE WITH

We will see some more songs invocating the Guru

SIMPLE, REALISTIC
EXAMPLES...

guru ko kije bandagi, koti koti paranam;


kit na jane bhring ko, guru karle ap saman.
Offer salutations and obeisances to the Guru millions of times.
Just as a wasp takes a worm into its nest and another wasp
emerges, just so Guru makes the ordinary disciple as himself.
guru dhobi sis kapada, sabun sirjanhar;
surati sila par dhoiye, nikase jyoti apar.
Guru is like a washer man and the disciple is like cloth; God Himself is the soap.
O Guru! Please wash my thought waves on the stone of meditation, then the unlimited light
will appear.
When the Guru gives the gift of God's name to the disciple and the disciple recites it, his heart
is cleansed. Thus, with the help and guidance of the Guru, the disciple reaches the destination
that is God realization.

To be continued..
You may reach author thru rajan.shantha@gmail.com

Page 43

ABHANGAAMRITHA

The Bhakti Rasa of Sanths

Abhang by Sant Chokhamela


Abeer Gulaal
Natha Ghari Naache

Udhalitha Rang
Maajha Sakha Pandurang

Amidst the fragrant colourful powder strewed in the air, Panduranga


who is my master as well as my friend is dancing in his abode.
Umbartyaasi Kaise Shivu
Roop Tujhe Kaise Paahu
Paayarishi Hovu Dang

Aamhi Jaati Heen


Tyaat Aamhi Dheen
Gaavuni Abhang

How can I even dare think of touching you even from a threshold? As
belong to a very low caste. If I want to look at you, how can I dare to
do it? As I am a downtrodden and lowly person. I shall at the best
stand by your doorstep transfixed singing abhangs.
Vaalvanti Jaavu Aamhi
Chandrabhagecha Paanyaane
Vithalache Naam Ghevu

Vaalvanti Nachu
Anga Anga Nhaavu
Hovuni Nissang

Lets go to the banks of Chandrabhaga and sing and dance there.


Lets bath wholly in the waters of Chandrabhaga. Lets chant the
name of Vithala and dissociate ourselves from everything.
Aashaadi Kaarthiki
Pandharichya Vaalvanti
Chokha Mhane Naam Ghethaa

Bhakta Jana Yethi


Sant Gola Hothi
Bhaktha Hothi Dhang

The devotees throng Pandharpur for the festival of Kaarthiki in the


month of Aashaada. All the saints will gather in the riverbanks of
Chandrabhaga at Pandharpur. Chokha says all the devotees are in a
trance while singing the name of the lord.

Here is the link to hear the Abhang - A melodious singing by Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMvC0fQBG-Q
Page 44

Bhattathiri and Arunagiri

Sri V.S. Krishnan

While Sri Narayana Bhattathiri was born in Shornur on the south west region, Arunagirinathar was born in the holy town of Tiruvannamalai on the
south east region. While Bhattathiri composed his verses in the Vedic language of Sanskrit, Arunagiri composed his songs in beautiful Tamil. While
Bhattathiri composed 'Narayaneeyam' extolling the great qualities of Narayana, Arunagirinathar composed Thiruppugazh, hailing the glory of Lord
Muruga, Shiva, Vishnu and other deities. While Bhattathiri's compositions
were made in the form of hymns, Arunagiri's compositions were made in
musical verses. 'Narayaneeyam' confined itself to the glory of Maha Vishnu
who has manifested as Guruvayoorappa and is considered as the essence
of Srimad Bhagavatam. Thiruppugazh is more elaborate where one can
find traces of Vedas and Upanishads, the glimpses from Bhagawad Gita
and Bhagavatam, references to Ramayana and Mahabarata and doctrines
like Saiva Sidhanta. While Bhattathiri confined himself in Guruvayoor all
his life, Arunagirinathar went on an extensive pilgrimage, visited temples
in different parts of the country and composed songs on the
..BOTH
glory of each temple. These are only apparent differences. As we study the life and
BHATTATHIRI
AND
works of these two sages, we find that things which united them were more than
ARUNAGIRI WERE
things which differentiated them.
OVERWHELMED IN
DEVOTION, WERE

Both Sri Narayana Bhattathiri and Sri Arunagirinathar were overwhelmed in devotion.
MASTER
Both were master craftsmen of letters. Both were poets par excellence, unequalled in
CRAFTSMEN OF
their erudition, brilliance and genius. Both their works were found to be of great spiriLETTERS, THEIR
tual and literary value. Strangely in both the cases, it was a disease that made them to
WORKS WERE OF
turn their attention towards God. In case of Bhattathiri, Lord Guruvayoorappa ap- GREAT SPIRITUAL &
peared before Bhattathiri at every stage of his composition and gave vision to his
LITERARY VALUE...
devotee. Whenever Bhattathiri paused, Lord Guruvayoorappa recreated every event
that occurred during His ten manifestations so that his devotee could describe the splendour and
glory of the Lord realistically. In case of Arunagirinathar, Lord Muruga appeared before him and
blessed him with the knowledge, power and skill and erudition so that Arunagiri could compose the
majesty, magnificence and glory of the God truthfully. Appearing before Arunagiri, Lord Muruga
prompted his devotee by reciting the first few lines of 'Muthai Tharu', Himself.
Sri Narayana Bhattathiri was born at Melpathur in Kerala in the year 1559. Even from his younger
days he evinced keen interest in spiritual studies. He studied Vedas, Tharka Sasthra, Meemamsa
and Vedanta very elaborately. It is said that Bhattathiri could not bear to see the sufferings of his
Guru, Pisharody who was reeling in pain due to rheumatism. As a mark of gratitude to his Guru, by
virtue of his devotional power, he even 'took over' the disease from his master. As the master was
cured of his illness, his disciple, Bhattathiri was afflicted by the disease. Bhattathiri then sought the
grace of Lord Guruvayoorappa and composed his immortal verses known as 'Narayaneeyam". He
could not concentrate because of his pain and he cried out to Guruvayoorappa and poured out his
devotion from heart. Soon, he experienced the presence of Guruvayoorappa and emerged as an
enlightened personality. He then recited the opening lines of his composition thus "Oh Guruvayoorappa, blessed indeed is mankind, for in the temple of Guruvayoor there shines in all its effulgence the Supreme Brahman itself who shines through scriptures and manifests as the embodiment
of bliss and knowledge" (Sandra Nandava)

Page 45

Bhattathiri and Arunagiri

Sri V.S. Krishnan

It took more than a year for Bhattathiri to complete 1034 hymns of Narayaneeyam. By the time Narayaneeyam was completed, its author was
not only cured of his illness but also became very prominent for scripting the most brilliant devotional work. He dedicated his entire work at
the Lotus Feet of Guruvayoorappa. No work of such magnitude has
ever been dedicated and addressed to a single deity of any other temple
in India. It is said that the eternal God has planted and cultivated four
trees known as Vedas and these trees have grown up enormously and
yielded a rich fruit called Srimad Bhagavatam. Bhattathiri has procured
this fruit and has given us the essence of this fruit in the form of Narayaneeyam.
Devotees settled in different parts of the country and
abroad make it a practice to perform Sapthaham by reciting
'Narayaneeyam' with great discipline, order and dedication. There is
no doubt that those who recite Narayaneeyam would derive the benefits of Dhyana Yoga and attain the state of Samadhi.
Arunagirinathar was born at Tiruvannamalai, sometime in 15th century. Though he did ..DEVOTEES WHO
RECITES THE
not go through a formal course of study, he acquired knowledge through different
HYMNS OF
sources. While the knowledge he acquired directed him to his spiritual goal, his mind
distracted him from pursuing his goal. Arunagirinathar could experience that his NARAYANEEYAM
mind was working at cross purpose. He wanted to overcome the mind, push it backAND SONGS OF
ward and march ahead but could not. The mind had taken full control of him. ApparTHIRUPUGAZH
ently a struggle went on between the wiser counsel of wisdom and the pressure exerWOULD BE
cised by the mind. Unable to conquer the mind and unwilling to accept defeat,
GUIDED TO THE
Arunagirinathar decided to take away his life and jumped from the tower of TiruvanPATH OF
namalai temple. But surprisingly, he did not fall to the hard surface of the ground. He
TRUTH.
fell into the soft, lotus petal hands of a divine personality. Having realized that he has
been rescued by none other than Muruga, he asked the Lord: "Why did you save me? What useful
purpose can I serve by being in this body and mind?" The Lord replied: "You are not born to die.
You are born to sing. You are not born to fall. You are born to make others rise up. Sing songs
about Me, about my qualities, about my lance (weapon), about my peacock (transport), about my
rooster (ensign) and about my various abodes. Having received the blessings of Muruga in abundant
measure, Arunagirinathar composed his first epoch making song "Muthai Tharu". He never looked
back thereafter. He marched ahead to various temples in India and highlighted the glories of Muruga, His various abodes, about the infinite qualities of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara. He composed over 60,000 songs in beautiful verses called 'Thiruppugazh" which are considered as the essence of Vedas and Upanishad. Never before, a saint composed as many songs hailing the glory of
God in such beautiful verses that underlined the importance of knowledge and devotion.
Both Narayaneeyam and Thiruppugazh are immortal works of devotion. There is no doubt that the
devotee who recites the hymns of Narayaneeyam and the songs of Thiruppugazh would be guided to
the path of truth. Though there are different names and forms, all are manifestations of one eternal reality, the Brahman. Though we worship Guruvayoorappa and
Muruga and sing songs about their glory, ultimately we experience the presence of
Lord Guruvayoorappa or Muruga right within our heart, shining as the Self (Atman).

You may reach author thru vsk1940@gmail.com

Page 46

Paadum Paniye Paniyaai Arulvaai

Thirupugazh of Saint Arunagirinathar

Sthalam - Pazhamuthir Solai

Kaaranam adhaaga vandhu


Kaalan anugaadh-isaindhu
Naarananum vedhan munbu
Jnaana nadame purindhu
Aaramudha maana thandhi
Aarumugam aarirandu
Surar kilai maala vendra
Solaimalai mevi nindra

Buvimeedhe
Gathi kaana
Theriyaadha
Varuvaaye
Manavaala
Vizhiyone
Kadhirvelaa
Perumaale

I was born in this earth due to my karmas. I must reach salvation so that
Yaman (God of Death) does not come near me.
You must come to me performing that cosmic dance, which Vishnu and
Brahma could never fathom.
You are the consort of Devayani, who is pure nectar personified. You have
six holy faces and twelve eyes.
You possess the bright and mighty spear that conquered the entire dynasties of Suran. You chose Pazhamuthircholai as Your abode, Oh Great
One!

http://www.kaumaram.com/audio_k/grtp1309.html
Page 47

Squirrel Service - Kainkaryam


Dear Readers
By the grace of Guru and God, we have successfully
completed One year with the support from you, the
Readers of Amritha Varshini.
Like the Squirrel which served Lord Rama, while
constructing the Bridge to Lanka, we have done our
might in the last one year.
As informed, the Amritha Varshini subscription amounts
are being utilized for various noble purposes by the
guiding light of Kanchi Mahaperiyava.
I take this opportunity to thank all readers who have
subscribed and supported our cause. I hope you will
extend your continued support in the years to come.
Kindly pass on the message to all your friends, family
and groups.
Humble Pranams
Anand Vasudevan
Editor - Amritha Varshini

Month
2012
2013
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Nov-13

Squirrel Service
During Jan - Dec 2012
Veda Patashala, CCVV Trust, Coimbatore
Bala Veda Pata Shala, Achirupakkam
Annadhanam for Sampoora Veda Parayanam,
Naimisaranyam, Sri Sarma Sastrigal
Sri Sadashiva Brahmendral Aradhana, Nerur
Gifts to Writers
Dharma Prabodhana Trust - Uttarakhand Flood Relief
Mahaperiyava Tapovanam, Govindhapuram
Veda Patashala, CCVV Trust, Coimbatore
Gangavatharana Utsavam, Sri Sreedhara Ayyaval Mutt
Total

Amt-Rs
28,012
8,000
1,001
1,001
1,001
2,500
5,000
5,001
1,000
1,001
53,517

Page 48

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