Melukote & Thondanoor visit

Update : The name of the place is Thondanur actually, not Tondalur as said earlier. Kindly forgive adiyean.

Once again Sriman Narayana blessed adiyean with an opportunity to visit some wonderful temples – the well known Melkote and the not so well known Thondalur in Mandya District, Karnataka (Please use the interactive Google Maps at the end of the post for directions).

Melkote

Melkote Sri Cheluva Narayanswamy temple

Melkote is also known as Thirunarayanapuram. Though not amongst the 108 Divyadesams, Melukote is an  important Abhimana Sthalam revered by Sri Vaishnavas. Swami Ramanuja stayed at Melukote for about 12 years after he left Sri Rangam due to atrocities of the Chola King Kirimikanda Cholan. Also the temple by itself is an very ancient one and Swami Ramanuja was responsible for renovating the temple to the present state. Infact it was Swami Ramanuja who retrieved both the Moolavar (Thirunarayana Perumal) & Utsavar (Shelva Pillai). And also, Melkote is also the place where the magnificent Vaira Mudi Utsavam takes place.

The story of Swami Ramanuja retrieving the Utsavar Perumal is an very beautiful story. Before the arrival of Swami Ramanuja, Melkote had been raided by the Muslim emperors. Along with many treasures, Utsava Perumal was also taken to Delhi by the emperor. Swami Ramanuja met the emperor and requested for the Deity. The emperor showed him a room full of deities looted from many temples and asked him to identify Shelva Pillai perumal. Swami Ramanuja lovingly called out “Shelva Pillai”, and the Deity instantly walked out to Swami Ramanuja, who is filled with boundless joy named Perumal as “Sampath Kumara“. This is another instant where Sriman Narayana listens like an innocent child to His devotees. The emperor’s daughter who had become very attached to the Shelva Pillai perumal, followed Swami Ramanuja to Melukote and came to be known as Bibi Nachiyar. Continue reading

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Swami Ramanujar Story in Tamil – Weekly Series in Dinamalar

For those who wished to read the story of Swami Ramanujar in Tamil, leading daily DinaMalar has started a Story series on Swami Ramanuja in Tamil. The first part was published in Aanmeega Malar (a free supplement on every Saturday) last week. The story is written in a simple & engaging manner. The first part can be read in the link below. The series is published every Saturday in Aanmeega Malar, Dina Malar.

Swami Ramanujar Story in Tamil, Part 1.

Links for remaining parts will be posted in the Twitter Feed.

Life of Swami Ramanuja in Pictures…

I always longed for something like this, Vaishnava stories in pictures. Sriman Narayana had just given that; story of Swamy Ramanuja in pictures. The people at antaryami.net have put up these wonderful images in Picassa Web Albums. The albums can be seen by anybody and Sign in is not require to view the album. Here is the link to the album –

http://picasaweb.google.se/antaryami.net/LifeOfSwamiRamanuja#

More Sri Vaishnava photos can be found in other Albums of Antaryami.net – http://picasaweb.google.se/antaryami.net

1000th Thirunakshitram of Swami Koorathazhwan

Swami Koorathazhwan Thaniyan

This is a momentous day that Sriman Narayana has blessed us to be in, the 1000th Thirunakshatram of Swami Koorathazhvan. Even lucky are those, who are taking part in the grand utsavam taking place at Kooram. (Live coverage of 1000th year celebrations are available from 2 pm IST at www.vedics.org (Requires FREE Registration). The rest of us can at least spend some few minutes reading, thinking & talking about the great Acharya and the foremost disciple of Sri Ramanuja.

All  Acharyas  were of one voice in declaring that Koorathazhwan even  excelled  the  most excellent of all Acharyas – Sri Ramanuja –  in  qualities of  head and  heart. Koorathazhwan has no equal  in  qualities like  compassion  towards all  jivas. Acharya  Bhakti,  Vairagya,  Jnana,  Annushtana. All atma-gunas fund their hall-mark of perfection in the being called Koorathazhvaan. Here are some incidents that show Azhwan’s greatness.

Continue reading

Sri Ramanujar Thirunakshatram

Today is the Thirunakshatram of Sri Ramanuja, one of the foremost Sri Vaishnava Acharyas. I felt that instead of writing few incidents from the great Acharyas life, it would be more ideal to have the entire life history on his Thirunakshatram. Here is a wonderful book on Life of Sri Ramanuja from Scribd.

Koorathalwar Thirunakshatram

Today is the Thirunakshatram of Swami Koorathalwar, a disciple who gave his very eyes for his Acharya Sri Ramanuja. This year marks the 999th year of Swami Koorathalwar. The next year, 2010 marks the 1000th year of Swami and there are many plans to celebrate it very grandly in various Sri Vaishnava temples and more importantly in Kooram, Swami’s birth place. We will soon have a post on the celebrations planned so you can participate and help in whatever way you can.

Swami Koorathalwar

Swami Koorathalwar was born as Kuresan in the small town of Kooram {near Kaanchipuram}. He hailed from a well-off family, but lead a life of simplicity & charity. Kuresan had a gem of a person in his wife, Sri Andalamma. Eveyday he fed the poor & needy in his home. During this time Kuresan became a disciple of Swami Ramanuja in Kanchipuram. They developed a very close relationship and had great regard for each other. But soon Sri Ramanuja decided that he has to move to Sri Rangam to further spread Sri Vaishnavam and left Kanchipuram.

Koorathalwar & his wife continued their daily life of charity and feeding the poor. One such day, as they closed the doors of their home after the daily alms, the sound was so loud that it was heard in by Lord Vardaraja & his divine consort Perundevi Thayar in Kanchipuram. Thayar queried the Lord as to the cause of the gong reverberating through the night air. The Lord turned to his chief priest, Kanchipurna or Thirukachi Nambhi who answered that it was Sri Koorathalwar closing his doors after the daily alms. The Lord and Perundevi-piratti, very pleased to know of Kuresa and his piety and charity, commanded that Kuresan be brought to their Presence. Swami Thirukachi Nambhi hastened to Kura to bring Koorathalwar.

At Kura, when Koorathalwar came to know from Thirukachi Nambhigal the purpose of his visit, he became extremely indignant with himself. “What?! Did the clanging of my doorway disturb the Lord and His Consort in Kanchi?! What a conceited wretch am I that I should let my charity be announced thus to the whole world! What a vain sinner am I!”. The very instant Koorathalwar decided that he had to renounce all his wealth and surrender to his Acharya, Sri Ramanuja at Sri Rangam. Koorathalwar left for Sri Rangam with his wife Andalamma and became a disciple of Sri Ramanuja.

UPDATE – Swami Koorathazhvan 1000th Thirunkashatra Celebrations – Click to Read about Swami’s Thirunakshatra Celebrations and about the Committee organising the Utsavams to donate & help.

More about Swami Koorathawar’s life can be read here – www.saranagathi.org/acharyas/kuresar/life.htm

Thirukostiyur Nambhi Thirunakshatram

Today is the Thirunakshatram of Thirukostiyur Nambhi, one of the Acharyas of Sri Ramanuja. Thirukostiyur Nambhi lived in Thirukostiyur, 25kms North of present day Sivagangai. Thirukostiyur Nambi knew the meaning of the sacred ThiruMantram. Periya Nambhi, another acharya of Sri Ramanuja asked Ramanuja to know the meaning of the sacred Mantra from Thirukostiyur Nambhi. Here goes the interesting incident about how Sri Ramanuja got the meaning from Thirukostiyur Nambhi.

Ramanujar comes to ThiruKoshtiyur to meet Nambi and learn the ThiruMantram. On reaching here, he says “ I have come to meet you…” But Thirukostiyur Nambhi turns him back 17 times. On the 18th occasion, Ramanuja starts with “ Adiyen Daasan {your disciple} Ramanuja has come…” This time Nambi welcomes him saying “Your arrogance is gone. Now we can talk”.

Then Ramanuja requests him to tell the meaning of ThiruMantram. Thirukostiyur Nambhi accepts to teach it, but on one condition. As per the condition, Ramanuja should not tell this to anyone as this mantra will take a person who listens to it directly to Vaikuntam and if it is told out to others Ramanuja will go to hell. Ramanuja with great excitement and anxiety got the mantra and started going back to SriRangam. While he was walking thinking of what he heard, all of a sudden he had a feeling and wanted this mantra to be known to one and all in the world so that everyone can reach Vaikundam. So Ramanuja climbs to the vimanam of the Thirukostiyur temple, and called whomsoever is interested to learn the divine mantra. He then said the meaning of the ThiruMantram to all those who were interested, regardless of caste or creed. This incident clearly shows that caste & creed are nothing before the love of God. Anyone is eligible to love God and reach Him. 

Thirukottiyur Nambi came to know of this and became very angry. He rushed to Ramanuja and enquired why he told this against the promise he had given. Ramanuja replied that by telling this Divine Manthra only he will go to hell but the entire humanity will reach Vaikuntam. This is what he needed and he did not mind going to hell alone. Impressed with Ramanuja’s reply, Nambi tells him ‘ Nee Emperumaal Aanar’(you have become my Lord). Hence Ramanuja is called ‘Emberumaanar’. Thirukottiyur Nambi also made his son Sowmyanarayan as Ramanuja’s disciple.

Written with reference from http://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2007/05/108-divya-desam-thiru-koshtiyur.html & http://alwarsandacharyas.blogspot.com/2007/02/peria-nambi_02.html