These are my own perceptions,as they occur in my mind and the insights,the interpretations and my understanding the subject matter, are there, for the public discussion..............

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

MY WONDER BOY ... Guruvayurappan..

Twam Adbudam Balakam Ambujekshanam

The only wonder, if any, of this Universe is that  Lord Vishnu, who is the God in Vaikuntam where He should live with all His Glories, now resides in this tiny town in Kerala called Guruvayur for the benefit of we, ordinary people and though we know He is the God, we treat Him as a WONDER BOY, though  He has four arms with  conch shell, club, disc and lotus (in those four hands) clearly identifying Himself. 
As Bhagavatam says                             "Tam adbhutaḿ bālakam ambujekṣaṇaḿ
pītāmbaraḿ sāndra-payoda-saubhagam

 Vasudeva then saw the newborn Wonderful  child, who had very wonderful lotus like eyes and who bore in His four hands the four weapons śańkhacakra, gadā and padma. On His chest was the mark of Śrīvatsa and on His neck the brilliant Kaustubha gem. Dressed in yellow, His body blackish like a dense cloud, His scattered hair fully grown, and His helmet and earrings sparkling uncommonly with the valuable gem Vaidūrya, the child, decorated with a brilliant belt, armlets, bangles and other ornaments, appeared very wonderful. This Avataram after the many other wonderful Avatarams  in the form of Matsya, Koorma, Varaha Narasimha etc. Oh my Guruvayurappa your Leelas are indeed, wonderful.

Our wonder boy once took birth as a FISH !!! Yes, Shuka Deva Rishi said in the Bhagavatam that Lord took birth in different forms to protect the Devotees, Bhahmanas, Devas, Vedas and the Dharmas. At the end of last Kalpa, while Bhahma was sleeping,  Pralaya occurred as a result of which the Earth and other Planets were drowned in the Pralaya waters. And when the VEDAS escaped from the sleeping Brahma's face, the Hayagreeva Asura captured the Vedas, and Lord Vishnu had to take the Avatara of a Fish to retrieve the Vedas from the Asura. Oh my Wonder Boy, Guruvayurappa, this reminds me of your Leelas in saving Yamuna River from the Poisonous effects of Kaliya the Sarpa. The Sarpa Kaliya lived in the Yamuna river and because of his poison, the whole atmosphere remained poisonous and many birds, animals and even the Gopijans were affected by this. Krishna could not remain a silent spectator of this and He wanted to get rid of Kaliya from this river. One day Krishna went to the Yamuna Banks and from the Kadamba Tree on the banks, He dived into the River where Kaliya was residing. All the Poisonous Snakes started attacking Krishna, but as He's the wonder boy, my Guruvayurappa, He just played with them swimming that poisonous water with all the ease. How can this poison affect my lord, when He's the creator of  all that is in this Universe. Then Kaliya came nearer to Krishna and started winding Him. Then while all His friends were looking at Him, Krishna, my wonder boy, started increasing the weight of His body and started climbing on  Kaliya and started His famous Dance on the Snake's heads. Kaliya could not withstand the pressure of Krishna's dance and  started vomiting the blood and was about to die. It did not take any  more time for Kaliya to realise that the person on his head was none other than the Paramatma. Kaliya's wife then started praying the Lord. The Naga Patnies made the famous stuti of the Bhagavan as they said that Lord you are equal to both the well doers as well as evil doers and hence your granting Saranam to Kaliya is just your nature, and your Nigraha is indeed Anugraha for us. We need no kingdom, no Parameshtyam, no Brahma's position, not even Moksham, all we want is your Pada Renu, the dust of your feet. And Kaliya did get your Feet, all in full. Oh my Wonder Boy, Guruvayurappa, is it not your Mahima that you even offer your Parama Padam for your enemies also ?

And when the Devas and Asuras together were churning the ocean, on your suggestion, to get and share the Nectar, they brought the Mandara mountain to churn the ocean. But as it's so huge and heavy it just fell down into the ocean water.  And then my Wonder boy, Guruvayurappa took the form of a Koorma (Tortoise) and took the whole of the mountain on it's back to enable the Devas and asuras to continue with their search for Nectar. Koorma Bhagavan was so wide and huge that the mountain was just a simple feather on His back. Oh my Wonder Boy, why did you take this Avatar  ?  And did this not remind me of your Govardhana Leela in the Gokula ? 

Sri Krishna said in the  Bhagavatam...
karmaṇaiva pralīyate

Is it not a wonderful saying? Krishna is specific in saying that all that is happening in this world is due to our own action, good or bad. We are only responsible for our Sukham, Dukham, Bhayam and Kshemam etc. And so Krishna said that the Rain is not Devendra's boon to mankind. It's the outcome of our Ecology Up-keeping and hence there was no need to do a Pooja for Devendra. And He proposed a pooja for the Govardhan Mountain, instead. The safeguarding  of the  mountains, forests and other natural resources , so kindly provided to us by the God, is the utmost need of the hour. And all the Vruja Vaasies followed Krishna with all their Pooja materials to Govardhan Mountain to offer their prayers. Why should Devendra treat this as  an insult to him and try to destroy the Gokulam with non-stop heavy thunder showers ?  The onus of saving the Gokulam rested, obviously, on Krishna and my wonder boy will not fail.  He raised the Govardhan Mountain on the tip of His little finger of the left hand. Is it not wonderful ? Koorma Bhagavan had all his hard back to raise the Mandara Mountain, but here my Guruvayurappa had lifted the Govardhana on that little finger !! Obviously Devendra was left waterless after seven days of raining, during all these days our Wonder Boy was lifting the Mountain to save the whole of Gokulam from the heavy showers. Devendra had exhausted all his waters and became dry and he had to coronate our wonder boy with the title of "Govinda" !! 

Then once our Wonder Boy took the Avataram of Varaha, of all the Animals.  This small Varaha , in fact, came out of the Nose of Brahma and started increasing  in size. This Avataram was to rescue the Earth from Hiranyaksha Rakshasa, who had taken the earth to the underworld, below the Water. Varaha Bhagavan fought with the Asura and brought the Earth from his grasps. In the Krishna's Avatara, my wonder boy had saved the Vruja Vaasies from many an Asuras like Aghasura, Bagasura, Gaghasura etc. 

Bhagavatam says the Narasihavatara is to....
                        sathyam vidhātuḿ nija-bhṛtya-bhāṣitaḿ
vyāptiḿ ca bhūteṣv akhileṣu cātmanaḥ
adṛśyatātyadbhuta-rūpam udvahan

prove what Bhaktha Prahlada said true, but to me it looked different, I think the Avatara was to prove that Vishnu is pervaded in all the materials and He is every where. Or He is the Sarva Vyapee. This is what Hiranyakasipu had wanted to know, in fact he had asked Prahlada to show whether He was there in that pillar and Lord appeared in the form of Narasimham from the pillar. Like Devendra, Brahma, leave alone the Vruja Vaasies, also was in doubts to whether little Krishna was, in fact the Paramatama, . May be that Brahma wanted to take part in the Leelas of Krishna. Anyway, Brahma took all the Gopa Balas, Cows and Calves and hid them in His Satya Loka. Krishna came to know about Brahmas ideas and made all Gopa Balas, Cows and Calves by Himself. Poor Brahma, after hiding the Vruja Balas in His Loka, came down to see what Krishna is doing and He was astonished to see that there was nothing missing in  Gokulam. Not only that He could see that all the being in there, was Krishna Himself. He could see Krishna everywhere. Does this not show that He is Vishnu and Sarva Vyapee, pervaded in all the materials  of this Universe ?   Brahma could not do anything, but praise  Lord Krishna in many a slokas, accepting who Krishna in fact was,
yan-mitraḿ paramānandaḿ

The Lord has declared Himself as the Bhaktha Vatsala and Bhaktha Paradeenaha in many Puranas and Shastras, which is very well evident in His Vamana Avataram. On the story lines it looked as though Lord Vamana had cheated the Bhaktha Bali and took all his wealth away from him, but what Bhagavan did was to take all of Bali's wealth and instead give Himself to him. And He has showed to the world how much He liked His Bhaktha Bali by placing His foot on Bali's head, whereby declaring to the world that His Bhaktha's head was more than equivalent to the whole of the Universe and the whole of the Swarga Loka as He had earlier measured the two with His two feet. Something  similar to this was when Lord Krishna went to the Rajasuya Yagna of Dharma Putra. In the Yagna Krishna allotted many activities to all the Pandavas and Kauravas and other Guests and He Himself took the service of washing every guest's feet in the Yagna. He felt enormously honored in serving and washing the feet of all the devotees coming for the Yagnam.

Parasurama is another Avataram of Lord Vishnu. Parasurama was born as the son of Jamadagni Maha Rishi and Renuka Devi. Once Renuka Devi went to Ganga to bring water for Jamadagni's services where she saw the Gandharva, named Chitra Radha, playing in the water with the Apsaras and was lost in Chitra Ratha for some time, before she knew that she was there for water. Later when she went with water , Jamadagni Rishi with Tapo Gnan knew what happened and asked his sons to kill their mother. When all of them  refused to obey, Parasurama was asked to kill all his brothers and mother by His father. Parasurama obeyed the orders of His father and Jamadagni was happy with Him and asked Him to ask for a Boon. Prasurama did not waist any time in asking Jamadagni that all his brothers and mother should be made alive. And Jamadagni rishi  gave Lives to them all. However, Renuka devi was fitted with another face, and since then she was remembered and worshipped as Mariamma. Oh, my Wonder boy, Guruvayurappa, when you were born as krishna to Devaki and Vasudeva in the prison of Kamsa  you ordered Vasudevaji to take you to Gakula and place you near  Yasodaji and bring the Girl of your  Maya  sleeping near devaki to this place in the Prison. Vasudeva soon did what was asked by your Lordship  and  when Kamsa came to the Prison and took the Maya girl and tried to kill her, like all other children before her, she flew away and said " you fool, Kamsa your killer Krishna has already taken birth and you prepare yourself for your end". And as promised by you, this Maya Devi was since then worshipped all over the world as Durga, Badrakali, Vijaya, Vaishnavi, Kumuda, Chandika, Krishna, Madhavi, Kannika, Maya, Narayani, Esana, Sharada and Ambika. What is the connection of this Avatara and that of Parasurama, oh, my Wonder Boy, please explain to me.

And the Avatarams of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna, by you, are famously known as the two Poorna Avatarams. How wonderful are these two Human-like appearances in this world by you, after the so many Avatarams ? Adarsha Purushottama, Rama was born to Dasaratha and Kausalya Devi in Ayodhya.  He along with brothers Bharatha, Lakshmana, and Shatrughna lived with all the Royal status and were in due course, got married . Rama was the Avatara of Lord Vishnu and this was to establish the General Dharmas. To keep the Satya ( Truth) of His father's words to his wife, Kaikeyi, Rama went to the forest for 14 long years along with wife Seetha and Lakshmana.  Rama showed the world that He lived to safeguard the  Shastras and Dharmas which anyone can follow.  In contrast Lord Krishna's Avataram was to show the Bhagavata Dharma to the World. Krishna did some wonderful Leelas which can not be played by the Jeevatmas. But the eternal Tatwa of His Leelas were wonderful and sweet as He Himself was.
             "Hare RAMA, Hare RAMA,
              RAMA RAMA Hare Hare, 

 The Ithihasam Sri Ramayanam and the Puranam Sreemad Bhagavatam describe in details about the Divine Leelas of Sri Ram and Sri Krishna and it is only with the blessings of these two Poorna Avatara Purushas, we are able to chant the Nama Sankirtanas of these Gods. Oh, my Wonder Boy, Guruvayurappa, your Karuna is limitless.

Adiseshan as  Lakshmana took the role of younger brother of Sri Rama and served Him through out the Ramayana and during Krishna's time, it was Krishna's turn to become the younger brother of Sri Balarama and serve him through out the Avatara Period. How wonderful it was to serve the Lordships in those roles and that of Hanuman, Seethaji, Arjuna, Uddhava and the Vanaras. These Avatarams were not just to kill Ravana, Kumbakarna, Kamsa, Sishupal and Dantavktra etc, but just to prove how Their Lordships serve their Devotees and how Bhaktha Paradeenas were they.  Oh, my, Wonder Boy, Guruvayurappa, You are the Best BhakthaVatsala, we have ever seen....

Bhagavatam says the tenth Avatara of Lord Vishnu will be in the form of KALKI and His Avataram is the most anticipated  by we devotees in this Kaliyuga. As Krishna declared in the Bhagavat Geetha,

" Paritranaya Sadhunam, Vinasaya Cha Dushkrutam,
  Dharna Sam Sthapanarthaya, Sambavami Yuge, Yuge"

Bhagavatam says
"athāsau yuga-sandhyāyāḿ
janitā viṣṇu-yaśaso
nāmnā kalkir jagat-patiḥ"
Kalki Bhagavan will come down to this earth when the Natural Dharmas are not maintained by the people of this planet, and at the rate at which we are damaging the Nature His appearance is not very far  from now. Bhagavatam also says that there are 24 Avatarams of the Lord. And we can go on and on and list Avatrams infinitely. .    avatārā hy asańkhyeyā
yathāvidāsinaḥ kulyāḥ
Like  the rivulets flowing from inexhaustible sources of water,  the incarnations of the Lord Krishna are indeed innumerable, and plenty. He exists in each and every, "live and inert" objects of this "Complete Universe". "Vishnum Sarva Mayam Jagat". Chetan and Achetan cells of all the objects in this world are pervaded by Him.  Oh, My Wonder Boy, Guruvayurappa, all these are your Avatarams. You are the Archa Vigrahams of all the Temples existing in this world, and as " Sarva Deva Namaskarams Keshavam Pratigachathi" all the Demi Gods worshipped are your Avatarams. 

And as "Isha Vasyam Idham Sarvam" says, all the living beings, including we Human Beings are your Avatarams, my Wonder Boy, Guruvayurappa, though, in an infinitesimal measure . All we Jeevatmas are part and Parcel of You Paramatama, and as all the "Parts" long to merge with the "Whole" to become the Fullness, "Poornam", we are also coming to your Abode in Guruvayur, and my Lord, nay, my Wonder Boy Gruvayurappa, please take us to your Pada Pankajam, Lotus Feet.

"Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya"

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Seetharama Swamy Navami Utsavam-2012
At Pushpagiri,Punkunnam,Thrissur
(A Pictorial Report)

Brahmotsavam, is when Lord Brahma celebrates the Festival, this is a celestial event. In Mrityu Loka we celebrate different Utsavams namely Nityotsavam, Pakshotsavam, Masotsavam and Samvatsarotsavam etc. and they are self explanatory as their names suggest. But what we call Mahotsavam is when all the above said utsavams are done by the Bhakthas of the Lord on the same occasion.  This annual mahotsavam of the Sree Ramaswamy and Seetha Devi along with all their Parivara Devatas, of the Ramar Koil at Pushpagiri Gramam in Thrissur, Kerala was this year celebrated from the 24th. March to 3rd. April, 2012. And I was one among the many lucky people fortunate enough to attend this grand festival. 

It all started with the Dwajarohanam on the 24th. evening. When the Veteran Alwar, Ithihasa shorkondal, Ramayana Pravachana Siromani, Elathur Sree Vasudeva Govindaraja Battachariar hoisted the Dwaja, amidst the Vedic Chants, the festive moods of the Grama Bhakthas rose to the skies....
And the next ten days there were regular pujas, Ganapathy Homam,Ashta Digpalaka Poojas, Bali poojas, Daily Devata Poojas and Homams, Seevelies, with a beautifully caparisoned elephant, Mahadeeparadhanas and annadanams by sponsors and in the evening there was Kazhcha Seevelies, when Lord Sreeram along with Seetha Devi, Lakshmana Swamy and Hanumanji went for the Grama Pradakshinam. And each evening Seetha Ram came to every door in the Gramam with special Alankarams, with the escort of a caparisoned elephant, and with the accompaniments of  Panchavadyams and Nadaswarams, to bless each and every one when the Gramavasies offered different types of Naivedyams and distributed the Prasadams among Bhakthas. This anandam of the people is difficult to describe in words, but given below are the different Alankarams of the Lord on each day, and how the Lord was received at their homes with the various decorations of the Rangolies and beautiful lighting's arches etc.

Alankara Priya Rama and Seetha Devi
on the First Day of Utsavam

                                                                                     On the Second Day

                   Third Day Alankaram

On the Fourth Day of Utsavam

On the fifth day, however, the Lord was decked up as Krishna. It was the crowd favourite Venna Krishnan,Navaneeta Choran.Why Rama was given Krishna's dress up? Both Rama and Krishna are the Avatarams of Lord Vishnu,they are the Poorna Avatarams of Him and hence both are same. More over the Lords of Ramayana and Bhagavatam have lot in common,even though their Guna Roopams were different in forms, at least as Devadutt Patnaik wrote(given below) Ramayana and Bhagavatam can not be read in isolation.

Vennai,butter is the symbol of Heart and Krishna steals the butter means He steals the Hearts of His Bhakthas. And when Venna Krishnan visited the homes of His Bhakthas, the Bhakthas offered Him the Butter,symbolizing their hearts. They simply surrendered to Him. And our beloved Ram for once, gave Darshan as Krishna.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Bhagavada cannot be studied in isolation, says Devdutt Pattanaik

The Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Bhagavada cannot be studied in isolation, says Devdutt Pattanaik.

In the Ramayana is the story of a bear called Jambavan who served Rama with devotion, helping him along with the army of monkeys to attack Lanka and defeat the demon-king Ravana. It is said that he is a form of Brahma who wanted to walk the earth along with Vishnu when the latter took the form of Rama. But during that time, he had a thought, "How I wish to fight with Rama! But I cannot as I am his great devotee and admirer."

Rama divined Jambavan's thoughts and said, "In my next life, when I descend as Krishna, you will get the opportunity to fight me." And so it came to pass that when Krishna was searching for the missing Syamantaka gem, he found it with a bear cub who turned out to be Jambavan's son. When Krishna tried to claim it, Jambavan challenged him to a fight. And so they wrestled, and as they wrestled, Jambavan realised that he was fighting the man who was once Rama. His wish had been granted.

Another celestial deity who accompanied Vishnu on earth was Adi Sesha, the serpent on whose coils sleeps Vishnu. When Vishnu was Rama, Adi Sesha was Lakshmana and when Vishnu was Krishna, Adi Sesha was Balarama. Once Lakshmana complained to Rama, "I am tired of agreeing with you because you are my elder brother." So Rama said, "In our next life, you will be the elder brother and I will be the younger brother. You will still agree with me because you will realise that you do so not because I am elder or older but because I always uphold dharma."

Stories linking the Indic epics, the Ramayana, the Bhagavada and the Mahabharata, are very common in mythology. Another story states that when Ravana kidnapped Sita, Rama was inconsolable in his grief. All the trees and the animals and the men and women of the forest tried to hug him. But he rejected their embrace. "Only Sita can touch me with such affection," he said. Then he saw the disappointed faces of everyone around who was reaching out to comfort him and said, "In my next life, when I am Krishna, all of you shall be gopis and we shall dance together in Madhuvan."

Perhaps the most interesting link is the story connecting Vishnu's relationship with the sun god Surya and the rain god Indra. In the Ramayana, Vishnu is Rama and he supports Sugriva, the son of Surya, in his fight against Vali, the son of Indra. To balance the relationship in the Mahabharata, Vishnu as Krishna supports Indra's son, Arjuna, in his fight against Surya's son, Karna. So what looks like unfairness in one life becomes fair when one considers the previous life.

Thus, the events of Mahabharata and Bhagavada cannot be explained without understanding events in the Ramayana. One is the consequence while the other is the cause. Why was this weaving of epics done, one wonders. This weaving turns every epic and every episode in the epic into pieces of a vast jigsaw puzzle. To understand the entire puzzle you have to interlock all the stories, characters and events.

Nothing stands in isolation. Everything is dependent on something else. Thus to know something about Indian mythology, you need to study all. And so it is in life. To understand your today, you have to understand yesterday. We are all products of the past. Today's Krishna was yesterday's Rama and today's Kansa was yesterday's Ravana.
The author is chief belief officer of Future Group.

On the Fifth Day as Vennai Krishnan

And on the sixth day the alankaram was that of the beautiful Anantha Sayanam.  The Lord seemingly on the deep sleep,but actually sustaining the whole Universe from His bed made by Anantha Seshan. The whole Gramam was on His Feet.

On the Sixth Day, the Anantha Sayanam

On the Seventh Evening

On the 8th. Day,the Gramam Road was full with the three Rathams. Sree Ram on the Hanuman Vahanam, Seetha Devi on the Hamsa Vahanam and all other Parivara Devatas, Lakshmana Swamy, Hanumanji, Ganapathy, Siva and Parvathy, and Valli Devayana samedha Sree Subramaniya Swamy, in the Mini Ratham. Needless to say that the whole Gramam was enjoying this Spectacular Divine processions.

on the Day Eight
Ramar on Hanuman Vahanam

8th Day Seetha Devi on the  Hamsa Vahanam

All other Parivara Devatas
on the 8th. Day on the Chariot
                                                            for Grama Pradakshinam. 

And when the Chaitra Masa Shukla Paksha NAVAMI arrives,this day is the most awaited "Sreerama Navami" and the festival fever comes to the peak. On Sunday the 1st. April,2012 the function started with the Ganapathy Homam. Then the Seeveli wih Panchari Melam by Kizhakkoot Aniyan Marar and party. Three well caparisoned elephants with Alavattam and Venchamaram, the sight was very divine. At 1030 am Sri Thrissur Ganesh and party enthralled the Bhakthas with melodious  Rama Bhajans.Then Shradhey Alwar explained what is the significance of Rama Avatar and did parayanam of Valmiki Ramayan, Rama Avatara Gattam.

"Tatho yagne samapte thu ritunam shad samatyayu:
Tathascha dwadase maase chaitre navamike thithau
Nakshatre adithidaivatye sochasamsteshu panchasu
Graheshu Karkade lagne vagpathavinduna saha
Prodhyamane  Jagannatham sarva loka namaskritham
Kausalyajanayath RAMAM sarva lakshana samyutham"
Kausalya, has given birth to the auspicious RAMA , the gem of his lineage,the partial incarnation of Vishnu,endowed with all qualities,on the ninth day of the increasing phase of the Moon in the month of Chaitra,in which the Moon is closer to the Pollux,while the Sun,Mars,Jupiter,Venus and Saturn are exalted and while the Jupiter and the Moon are shining in Cancer which is ascendant.  
  "Sreeram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram"

And then Sarvalankara Bhooshita Sreeram, Seetha Devi, Lakshmanji and Hanumanji were brought to the Mandapam and the Mahadeeparadhana was performed with Mantra Ghoshams and chants of Jai Seetha Ram and Ramachandra Raghuveera. Theertha Prasada distibution by the Alwar was followed by the installation of the deities in the decorated Ratham.And then Mahaprasadam (Annadanam) was given to the whole Grama Vasies and others.

 9th, Day morning
And in the afternoon,at 5 pm, Lord Ram with His Companions started His Grama Pradakshinam in the Big Decorated Ratham with Nadaswaram by Sri Kanchi Kamakodi Peetha Asthana Vidwan, Sri Lakshman and Party, of Banglore. Ratham was closely followed by three beautifully caparisoned elephants, accompanied with Panchavadyam by Sri Parakattu Thangappan Marar and Party. Each and every house hold in the Gramam received the Deities with Naivedyams and Deeparadhanas and distributed the Prasadams to the fellow beings. All the Devatas witnessed this festival from the Heaven and showered Pushpa Vrushties on Lord Ram.  The Navami Day Devata, Varuna Bhagavan was so happy with the Utsavam that He could not wait till the completion of the Festival to shower His Bhashpa Vrushties on the  Lord Ram.  And He did it with thunders and lot of fireworks.                    

Thr Navami Chariot

Alankaram on the Navami Day

Seeveli on the 9th. Day
On the tenth day morning there was Arattu. Lord Ram with His companions went to the Theertha Kadavu for the Abavrutha Sthanam. And in the evening the Seetha Kalyana Mahotsavam was celebrated in a grand scale. All the devotees took part in these Divine functions.

Seetha Kalyanam on 10th. Day
On the Oonjal
On the 11th. Day Anjaneyotsavam celebrated with special abhishekams done for Hanumanji. Hanumanji was decorated with Pushpalankarams and brought to streets in the evening. And there were fire works at the end of the functions . All the Bhakthas participated in these 11 day programs of the Brahmotsavam, which had Veda Parayanams every day by Sree Sitarama Veda Padasala Trust, Thrissur  and Sundara Kandam Prayanam every day by Saundaryalahari Bhajan Mandali.

Anjaneyar Utsavam on the 11th. Day
Hanumanji decked up for
Grama Prasakshinam.


"Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare,
 Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare"


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Om Namaha Sivaya

                   Vadakkumnathan Temple, Thrissur

This post is dedicated to Shri Pushpagiri Ravi,  
who was a close friend of mine some 5decades
ago and who, strangely, remembers me even
today, though I did not leave any impression
 worthy to be remembered  of while leaving
Trichur but carried an indelible image  of him
in my heart. My salutes to his amazing personality
and if he so wishes, can take this post as a token 
of love from me.

Some where else in my Blogs  I had mentioned that
Trichur was a sleeping City during my childhood  days
but I admit,  I was wrong. The truth was that I was a
sleeping boy of that period for whom the whole
world was sleepy. Otherwise, how can the City be
sleepy which is looked after by the Lord 
Vadakkumnathan,the Lord of the North?
Lord Siva came down from His  Abode
in the Kailas,and through the banks
of Ganges where He established 
Himself as Kasi Vishwanath,came further
down  to the South and  settled here 
amongst the forest of Teak Wood Trees 
at the  centre of this City and  even gave
His name to the place. The ever agile people
of this city, cut through  the forest and made
a beautiful home for the Parameshwar who blesses
His bhakthas ever since.

Sastras and Vedas say, one can not see the God with
our naked eyes as the Brahmam according to them
is not perceivable by any wordily organs. One needs
Divya Chakshus to see  Him.Even Lord Krishna
had to give the Divya Chakshus to Arjuna before
he could   see His Virat Swaroopam. The Upanishad,
in search of Brahmam, negates every thing saying
"this is not that (Neti)", and then imagines  something
and says" "Tat Twam Asi"  with two variables, "Tat"
and "Twam". Experts are still  debating on the
Brahmam as the Form less, Nirguna  and 
Nirankar,when these people of Trichur heard
the sounds of " Aham Brahmasmi", "Aham Brahmasmi"
 ( I am the God),  from  within these very  Teak 
Wood Forest.  They paved the way and saw the
Param Brahmam , the Ultimate God   in this form
of a Siva Linga. Was it the Nada Brahmam which led to
the discovery of Vadakkumnathan  or was it
the Punya Karmas of the people of  this Cultural Capital
of Kerala which attracted the  Lord to this 
beautiful city, I for one, can not say.  But this is the
 Sakara Swaroopam of this  Nirguna Brahmam
 called the Parama Sivan. "OM NAMA SIVAYA"

If one needs any description of the Sakaratwam or
Sagunatwam of Lord Siva, one only needs to go
through the Vedas.  Lord Siva's "Sri Rudram" also
illustrates the Dwigunatwam  of Lord Siva in no
uncertain terms............

Namo bhavaya cha rudraya  
Namo vruddhaya cha samvrudhvane cha               
Namo agriyaya cha pradhamaya cha
Nama stotrothasyaya cha dweepyaya cha
Namo jyeshtayaa cha kanishtaya
Namo sravaya  cha prathisravaaya cha
Nama aasushenaaya cha asuradhaya
Nama sruthaya cha sruthasenaaya cha
Namo dunthubhyaya cha hananyaya
Nama nadhyaya cha  vaisanthaaya cha
Nama koopyaya cha  vatyaya
Namo vasthavyaya cha vaasthupaya cha
Nama somaaya cha rudhraaya
Nama shivaya cha shiva tharaaya cha
Namas theerthaaya cha koolyaya
Nama sikathyaya cha pravaahyaya cha
Nama ireenyaya cha prapadhyaya
Namo lopyaya cha  ulopyaya cha. 
Nama oorvyaya cha soormyaya
Namo aamivatkebhya.........
And perhaps, through out this Rudra Prasnam,
the same story goes on and on.
The same Nirakara &Nirguna tatwam is 
perpetuated here as the Sakara, Saguna
and even Dwiguna incarnation,called Shankara.
The Lord Siva  is here in this form of 
Vadakkumnathan,who is the Jyothir Lingam
of the 12 Sivasthalas we know, who is like the 
Prabha  of a Koti Suryas.  He resides here among 
the many many Nila Vilakkus and the
many many Prakara vilakkus, in this very 
hot Sri  Kovil, yet He feels very cold and
hence had wrapped Himself with the blanket of
Ghee, which otherwise  melting, but here
feels the ice cold  chillness of the   Lord, 
and hence  frozen'. He is Hot at the same 
time Cold, a dwiguna we  can see with
our own eyes.As we all know, He carries
the Chandra Kalas  on His head,
which must be giving the chillness. 

Yes, we said the same Param Porul, 
The Ultimate  Thing,is here for 
giving Darshan to the many
many Bhakthas who visit Him
every day.  One has  to take the
prescribed route to see Him and
His Co-dieties Shankaranarayana
and Lord Rama. I used to think,
when our goal is  to attain 
the Param Porul, why dont we take 
a direct route to His Abode.
The History and Legends about
Vadakkumnathan Temple is 
available from the internet
sources and they are briefly 
as follows: 
Vadakkumnathan Temple history
dates  back to over 1,000 years.
The history  of the temple is
connected  with the birth of
the great Kerala scholar, 
Guru Adi Shankaracharya.
Shankara was born to the
Shivaguru -Aryamba couple of Kalady,
in answer to their prayers to God 
Vadakkunnathan. According to 
legends, Lord Shiva appeared
to both husband and wife in 
their dream. He offered them a 
choice that they could have either 
an ordinary son  who would live a 
long life or an extraordinary
son who would die early. The
couple chose  the second option.
They named the  son Adi Shankara, 
in honour of Shiva. It is said that
Adi Shankara attained Videha Mukti,
Freedom  from embodiment, in 
Vadakkunnathan temple.
The statue of Lord Shiva is in the form of a huge lingam.
 However, the statue is not visible, as it is covered by a 
mount of ghee, formed by the  daily abhishekam
A remarkable feature is that the ghee does not melt 
even during tropical climate of summer  or due to the 
heat of numerous oil lamps burning nearby. 
The scrapings of the solidified ghee are given to devotees
 as ‘Prasada', which is believed to  have medicinal and
 curative  properties. The ghee even does not have 
any foul odour.  The Nalambalam of Vadakkumnathan
 Temple in Thrissur has a shrine dedicated to Lord 
Vettekkaran (Shiva in a hunter form). Located
 outside the nalambalam are the shrines of Lord Krishna,
 Vrishabha, Parasurama, Simhodara,
 Dharmasastha (Swamy Ayyappan) and Guru
 Adi Sankaracharya. On the verandah of the
 Nalambalam is a large white bullock Nandikeswara
 or Nandi bull. The two important  murals in the
 temple, Vasukisayana and Nrithanatha,
 are worshipped regularly.Inside the temple,
 the devotees can have darshan of
 Lord Shiva of Kasi and Lord  Chidambaranatha of
 Chidambaram, Lord Shiva of  Rameswaram, Sree Kali
 of Kodungallur, Urakam Ammathiruvadi,
 Lord Bharatha (Koodalmanickam) at Irinjalakuda,
 Sree Vyasa, Sree Hanuman and the serpent gods. 
The shrine of Lord Ganapathi, called as Venmadacoil,
 is seen facing the temple kitchen. Offering of Appam,
 sweetened rice cake fried in  ghee, is one of the most 
 important offerings at the temple.

In my school days, I used to walk on these Maidan
 areas,mainly to munch the  sand-roasted peanuts 
rather than visiting  Lord Siva....but as my Gurunathar,
Sri Sri Krishna Premi  Maharaj, the Paranur Mahatma,
used to tell us that  when you are in the premises of Lord
Siva,He showers  His blessings on you even if you are
not going for His Darshan. It is indeed, the Shiva Kripa,
unlimited in measures,that has brought us back to
this city of Three Sivas.  When we chant this Mantra 
of Maha Mrityunjaya, we may,actually not
win over Death, but we will get rid of the fear of it.    .

Om Tryambakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushti Vardhanam
Urvarukamiva Bandhanan
Mrityor Mukshiya Mamritat
And if one can chant this Siva Chalisa, as and when possible, 
he/she can sustain the Siva Kripa for the whole life.
Because He is the Ashutosh, the Shipra Prasadaka, 
who is an Abhisheka Priya,likes the Dhara continuously, gets it
from the Ganges which He carries on His Jada, but
if Ganga Water is not within our reach, a few drops of TEARS
for Him is all He wants to shower His Blessings.

 As the Bhagavatam says.....

" Yat Dwyaksharam naama gireritham nrunam,
Sakrut Prasangadaghamasu hanti  tat,
Pavitra Kirthim Tamalamgyasasanam,
Bhavanaho dweshti Sivam Sivetharaha."

Meaning the two letter word Siva,even if chanted 
unconsciously once ,will remove all the Sins
from the chanter and pave the way for Salvation.
And this is vouched by none other than Sati Devi Herself.

 Further clarified by the Vishnu Dhoothas in Bhagavatam.... 
"Sanketyam Parihasyam va sthobham helanameva va,
Vaikunta Naama Grahanam Aseshahakaram   Viduhu."
The famous story of the dying hunter,comes to my mind,
 handing over his  profession to his young son,
saying what he has to do,namely Aahara , Prahara,
 Samhara, and the Bolenath  thought,He is being 
called as Hara, Hara and Hara, and gives 
MUKTHI to the old Hunter. And hence why cant we chant....
                      "OM NAMAHA SIVAYA"

"Om Nama Parvathi Pataye, Hara Hara Hara Mahadeva."

 Shiva Chalisa Stotra

Jai Ganesh Girija Suvan,Mangal Mul Sujan,
Kahat Ayodhya Das,Tum Dey Abhaya Varadan
Jai Girija Pati Dinadayala,Sada Karat Santan Pratipala,
Bhala Chandrama Sohat Nike,Kanan Kundal Nagaphani Ke
Anga Gaur Shira Ganga Bahaye,Mundamala Tan Chhara Lagaye,
Vastra Khala Baghambar Sohain,Chhavi Ko Dekha Naga Muni Mohain
Maina Matu Ki Havai Dulari,Vama Anga Sohat Chhavi Nyari,
Kara Trishul Sohat Chhavi Bhari,Karat Sada Shatrun Chhayakari
Nandi Ganesh Sohain Tahan Kaise,Sagar Madhya Kamal Hain Jaise,
Kartik Shyam Aur Gana rauo,Ya Chhavi Ko Kahi Jata Na Kauo
Devan Jabahi Jaya Pukara,Tabahi Dukha Prabhu Apa Nivara,
Kiya Upadrav Tarak Bhari,Devan Sab Mili Tumahi Juhari
Turata Shadanana Apa Pathayau,Luv nimesh Mahi Mari Girayau,
Apa Jalandhara Asura Sanhara,Suyash Tumhara Vidit Sansara
Tripurasur Sana Yudha Machai,Sabhi Kripakar Lina Bachai,
Kiya Tapahin Bhagiratha Bhari,Purahi Pratigya Tasu Purari
Darpa chod Ganga thabb Aayee,Sevak Astuti Karat Sadahin,
Veda Nam Mahima Tav Gai,Akatha Anandi Bhed Nahin Pai
Pragati Udadhi Mantan te Jvala,Jarae Sura-Sur Bhaye bihala,
Mahadev thab Kari Sahayee, Nilakantha Tab Nam Kahai
Pujan Ramchandra Jab Kinha,Jiti Ke Lanka Vibhishan Dinhi,
Sahas Kamal Men Ho Rahe Dhari,Kinha Pariksha Tabahin Purari
Ek Kamal Prabhu Rakheu goyee,Kushal-Nain Pujan Chahain Soi,
Kathin Bhakti Dekhi Prabhu Shankar,Bhaye Prasanna Diye-Ichchhit Var
Jai Jai Jai Anant Avinashi,Karat Kripa Sabake Ghat Vasi,
Dushta Sakal Nit Mohin Satavai,Bhramat Rahe Man Chain Na Avai
Trahi-Trahi Main Nath Pukaro,Yahi Avasar Mohi Ana Ubaro,
Lai Trishul Shatrun Ko Maro,Sankat Se Mohin Ana Ubaro
Mata Pita Bhrata Sab Hoi,Sankat Men Puchhat Nahin Koi,
Swami Ek Hai Asha Tumhari,Ai Harahu Ab Sankat Bhari
Dhan Nirdhan Ko Deta Sadahin,Arat jan ko peer mitaee,
 Astuti Kehi Vidhi Karai Tumhari,Shambhunath ab tek tumhari
Dhana Nirdhana Ko Deta Sadaa Hii,Jo Koi Jaanche So Phala Paahiin,
Astuti Kehi Vidhi Karon Tumhaarii,Kshamahu Naatha Aba Chuuka Hamaarii

Shankar Ho Sankat Ke Nashan,Vighna Vinashan Mangal Karan,
Yogi Yati Muni Dhyan Lagavan,Sharad Narad Shisha Navavain
Namo Namo Jai Namah Shivaya,Sura Brahmadik Par Na Paya,
Jo Yah Patha Karai Man Lai,To kon Hota Hai Shambhu Sahai
Riniyan Jo Koi Ho Adhikari,Patha Karai So Pavan Hari,
Putra-hin Ichchha Kar Koi,Nischaya Shiva Prasad Tehin Hoi
Pandit Trayodashi Ko Lavai,Dhyan-Purvak Homa Karavai,
Trayodashi Vrat Kare Hamesha,Tan Nahin Take Rahe Kalesha
Dhuupa Diipa Naivedya Chadhaave,Shankara Sammukha
 Paatha Sunaave,Janma Janma Ke Paapa Nasaave,
Anta Dhaama Shivapura Men Paave

"Om Tat Sat"