Monday, February 15, 2010
Venkateshwara (Telugu: వెంకటేశ్వరుడు, వెంకన్న, वेंकटेश्वर) also known as Venkatachalapathy, Srinivasa and Balaji, is a form of the Hindu god Vishnu in India. Venkateshwara means the Lord who destroys the sins of the people. According the Hindu scriptures, Vishnu, out of love towards his devotees, incarnated as Venkateshwara and appeared for the salvation and upliftment of humanity in this Kali Yuga and is considered the supreme form of Vishnu in this age.
Etymology and other names
The name Venkateshwara can be split into multiple parts in Sanskrit: Ven (sins), kata (destroyer), and ishwara (Supreme Lord). Using this etymology, Venkateshwara refers to the Supreme Lord who destroys sins.
The ancient Vishnu kautuvam describes him as Souryarayan, the one who destroys the evil and who comforts us. He is fondly called as Venkanna in the folklore of Andhra Pradesh. He is also known as Srinivasa, Tirumalesa, Venkatachalapathi, Sripathi, ThiruMaal, Balaji (though this is a more recent name), Venkateshwer, Venkatesa, Venkatapathi, Venkatanatha, Sri Varu, Thiruvengadam Udaiyaan, Maal, Manivannan, Tiruvengadattaan Tirupati Thimmappa, and by many other names.
He is also worshipped with the name Tirupati Thimmappa all over Karnataka by traditionally Shiva-worshipping communities. The presence of seven hills in the area influenced alternate names for the deity: such as Edukondalavadu in Telugu and as Ezhumalaiyan in Tamil, both of which mean "Lord of the Seven Hills". Lord Venkateswara is also known as Maha Ketarie and Maha Parmasree.
Legend of Tirumala
According to the scripture Sthala Purana, the legend of Venkateshwara's Avatara (incarnation) is as follows:--
Once some rishis headed by Kasyapa began to perform a sacrifice on the banks of the Ganges. Sage Narada visited them and asked them why they were performing the sacrifice and who would be pleased by it. Not being able to answer the question, the rishis approached Sage Bhrugu, who according to Vedas is believed to have an extra eye in the sole of his foot. To reach a solution after a direct ascertainment of reality, Sage Bhrigu first went to Satyaloka, the abode of Lord Brahma. At Satyaloka, he found Lord Brahma, reciting the four Vedas in praise of Lord Narayana, with each of his four heads, and attended upon by Saraswati. Lord Brahma did not take notice of Bhrigu offering obeisance. Concluding that Lord Brahma was unfit for worship, Bhrigu left Satyaloka for Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva. At Kailasa, Bhrigu found Lord Siva spending his time pleasantly with Parvati and not noticing his presence. Parvati drew the attention of Shiva to the presence of the sage. Lord Shiva was furious at Bhrigu's intrusion and tried to destroy him. The sage cursed Lord Siva and left for Vaikunta, the abode of Lord Vishnu.
At Vaikunta, Lord Vishnu was reposing on Adisesha with Sri Mahalakshmi in service at His feet. Finding that Lord Vishnu also did not notice him, the sage was infuriated and kicked the Lord on His chest, the place where Mahalakshmi resides. Vishnu, in an attempt to pacify the sage, got hold of legs of the sage and started to press them gently in a way that was comforting to the sage. During this act, he squeezed the extra eye that was present in the sole of Bhrigu's foot. The extra eye is believed to represent the sage's egotism. The sage then realised his grave mistake and apologized to Vishnu. Thereupon, the sage concluded that Lord Vishnu was the most supreme of the trimurthis and told the rishis the same.
Sri Mahalakshmi was angered by the action of her Lord in apologising to Bhrigu who committed an offence. Out of anger and anguish she left Vaikuntha and resided in Karavirapur now known as Kolhapur. After the departure of Mahalakshmi, a forlorn Lord Vishnu left Vaikunta and took abode in an ant-hill under a tamarind tree, beside a pushkarini on the Venkata Hill, meditating for the return of Lakshmi, without food or sleep. This was the place where Lord took the form of Varaha to rescue Mother Earth form the deep ocean.
Taking pity on Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Maheshwara decided to assume the forms of a cow and its calf to serve Him. Surya, the Sun God informed Mahalakshmi of this and requested her to assume the form of a cow herdess and sell the cow and calf to the king of the Chola country. The king of the Chola country bought the cow and its calf and sent them to graze on the Venkata Hill along with his herd of cattle. Discovering Lord Vishnu on the ant-hill, the cow provided its milk, and thus fed the Lord. Meanwhile, at the palace, the cow was not yielding any milk, for which the Chola Queen chastised the cowherd severely. To find out the cause of lack of milk, the cowherd followed the cow, hid himself behind a bush and discovered the cow emptying her udder over the ant-hill. Incensed over the conduct of the cow, the cowherd aimed a blow with his axe on the head of the cow. However, Lord Vishnu rose from the ant-hill to receive the blow and save the cow. When the cowherd saw the Lord bleed at the blow of his axe, he fell down and died of shock.
The cow returned to the Chola King, bellowing in fright and with blood stains all over her body. To find out the cause of the cow's terror, the King followed her to the scene of the incident.
The King found the cowherd lying dead on the ground near the ant-hill. While he stood wondering how it had happened, Lord Vishnu rose from the ant-hill and cursed the King saying that he would become an Asura because of the fault of his servant. The King pleaded innocence, and the Lord blessed him by saying that he will be reborn as Akasa Raja and that the curse would end when the Lord will be adorned with a crown presented by Akasa Raja at the time of His marriage with Padmavati. With these words Lord turned into stone form.
Thereafter, Lord Vishnu in the name of Srinivasa, decided to stay in Varaha Kshetra and requested Sri Varahaswami to grant Him a site for His stay. His request being readily granted, Srinivasa ordained that a pilgrimage to His shrine would not be complete unless it is preceded by a bath in the Pushkarini and darshan of Sri Varahaswami and that puja and naivedyam should be offered to Sri Varaha swami first. Vishnu built a hermitage and lived there, attended to by Vakuladevi who looked after him like a mother.
Sometime later, a King named Akasa Raja who belonged to the Lunar race was ruling over Thondamandalam. Akasa Raja had no heirs, and therefore, he wanted to perform a sacrifice. As part of the sacrifice, he was ploughing the fields when his plough turned up a lotus in the ground. On examining the lotus, the King found a female child in it. The king was happy to find a child even before he performed a sacrifice and carried it to his place and gave it to his Queen to tend to it. At that time he heard an aerial voice which said "O King, tend it as your child and fortune will befall you". As she was found in a lotus, the king named her Padmavati. Princess Padmavati grew up into a beautiful maiden and was attended by a host of maids.
One day, Lord Srinivasa, who was hunting, chased a wild elephant in the forests surrounding the hills. In the elephant's pursuit, the Lord was led into a garden, where Princess Padmavati and her maids were picking flowers. The sight of the elephant frightened the Princess and her maids. But the elephant immediately turned around, saluted the Lord and disappeared into the forest. Lord Srinivasa, who was following on horse back, and saw the frightened maidens. However, He was repulsed with stones thrown at Him by the maids. He returned to the hills in haste, leaving His horse behind. Vakuladevi found him lying on his bed, not interested in anything. The Lord informed her that unless he married Princess Padmavati he would not be calmed.
The Lord then narrated the story of Padmavati’s previous birth and his promise to marry her. After listening to Srinivasa's story of how he had promised to marry Vedavati in her next birth as Padmavati, Vakuladevi realised that Srinivasa would not be happy unless he married Padmavati. She offered to go to Akasa Raja and his Queen and arrange for the marriage. On the way she met the maids of Padmavati returning from a Shiva Temple. She learnt from them that Padmavati was also pining for Srinivasa. Vakuladevi went along with the maid servants to the Queen.
Meanwhile, Akasa Raja and his Queen Dharanidevi were anxious about the health of their daughter, Padmavati. They learnt about Padmavathi's love for Srinivasa of Venkata Hill. Akasa Raja consulted Brihaspati about the marriage and was informed that the marriage was in the best interest of both the parties. Kubera lent money to Lord Srinivasa to meet the expenses of the marriage. Lord Srinivasa, along with Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva started the journey to the residence of Akasa Raja on his vahana Garuda. At the palace entrance, Lord Srinivasa was received by Akasa Raja with full honours and taken in procession on a mounted elephant to the palace for the marriage. In the presence of all the Devas, Lord Srinivasa married Princess Padmavati, thus blessing Akasa Raja.
Together, they lived for all eternity while Goddess Lakshmi, understanding the commitments of Lord Vishnu, chose to live in his heart forever.
Venkateshwara's temple, today is located at the top of the Seven hills in Tirumala. It stands as a special place, commemorating the marriage between the two. Everyday, a kalyana utsavam celebrates the divine union in a celebration that stretches to eternity. Even today, during the Brahmotsavam at the temple, turmeric, kumkum and a sari are sent from the temple to Tiruchanur, the abode of Padmavati. In fact Tirupati is rarely visited without paying a visit to Tiruchanur.
In the light of this background, it has become the favored destination of many newly wed couples who pray for a happy wedding - a wedding like that of Srinivasa and Padmavati.
A tale associated with the temple goes thus: A helper boy called Bala was once falsely accused of being a thief. When people started chasing him he had to run for his life. He was hit on the head by the mob and his head started bleeding profusely. He ran to the Tirupati Temple of Lord Vishnu and ran to the main door of the temple. When the people entered the temple, they couldn't find the boy but saw the head of God's idol bleeding. It was considered that the boy was sheltered and protected by Vishnu himself, and the priests put cloth on the idol's head to control the bleeding.
Location of main shrine
Venkateshwara's abode is in the Venkatam hills (the hills are more often referred to as ThiruVenkatam) near Tirupathi. Thus, the main temple of Venkateshwara is the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple. The Tirumala temple is believed to be the richest of all the temples in the world. The temple is located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, a state in Southern India. It is around 150 km away from Chennai and 250 km away from Bangalore.
Many saints have visited the shrine and worshipped Venkateswara. Notable among them is the foremost Jagadguru Adi Sankaracharya, who came to Tirumala and placed the Sri Chakra at the feet of Venkateshwara and sang the song "Sri Vishnu Paadadi Keshanta Sloka", in which the Jagadguru describes the beauty of the Lord from the crown to the toes. It is also believed that when the Jagadguru reached Tirupati hills, he found that it looked like Saligrama and so decided against climbing the hills on foot as by doing that he would be disrespecting the Supreme. Noting this the Lord sent down his mount Garuda to bring the acharya and his disciples atop the mountain to have the Lord's darshanam. Ramanujacharya installed chakra and conch on the deity after a dispute.
The Venkateswara Suprabhatam, being the morning recital of prayers and songs of awakening, is believed to have been written and sung by one of Ramanujacharya's disciples who visited the temple with his Guru. Sri Vadirajatirtha, most prominent
 among the Madhva saints, is believed to have climbed the Tirumala hill on his knees, and is said to have given a garland of shaligram to the Lord.
When the famous Smartha saint Appayya Dikshitar(Appayya Dikshita) visited the holy temple, he was refused Darshnam by the main priests of the Lord as he was a Smartha. The next morning when the doors of the sanctum were opened, the Lord had taken the form of Lord Shiva. Realising their mistake, the priests welcomed Appayya Dikshitar for darshanam and begged for forgiveness. After this the Lord reverted to his original form.
There is also a Govindaraya(Vishnu) temple in the Tirupati town down below the hills that has Vishnu in Yoga Nidra with Sri devi and Bhudevi next to him. Traditionally, Kurubas is said to have built the temples on top of the mountains for the worship of Vishnu
It is said that the largest donation ever made was 1100 crore rupees (US$240 million approx) which was secretly dropped in 50 gold bricks in front of Tirupati Balaji Temple. The gold came in at night in a airplane which landed near the UP airport. The person was unknown but it was said to have been an American Indian businessman named Vijay Chopra who was in Fortune magazine for gaining $15 billion in 60 Days and saying that he would like to give back to God. When he was asked he said that "Its between him and his balaji". Tirupati is the largest religious place to maintain a neutral status on its donors.
In iconographic depictions, Lord Venkateswara's eyes are covered, because it is said, that his gaze is so intense, it would scorch the universe.its also belived that the idol is not man made.in fact its made of a kind of rock that can be only found in space not on earth.somesort of like a meteor.it is said to have heat in it naturally and the craftmanship is so like like that its hard to say its a idol.he is more of a real person.sri venkateshwara's idol according to sirpa sastra is not matching to the requirements of a vishnu idol.its more of a blend of siva,vishnu and AMMBAL!! yes, astonishing but true.he has a jada magudam and naagabharanam like shiva,his hasthas and posture matches more for an ammbal idol.most importantly, the actual idol does not have sandu or chakra being held.he is actually a niraayutha paani.there are also ornaments that only ladies wear adorning his feet like thandai kolusu and metti.the likable truth is he is a union of shiva shakthi and vishnu. the eswara pattam is only bestowed to shiva roopas. in this case he is reveared as venkateshwara.also known as balaji, the name bala refers to ammbal. bala thiripurasundari who is also known as jaganmatha, raja rajeshwari,parashakthi n so on.why is he called balaji if shakthi isnt within him? some say that the thriu naamam is adorned on his forehead to hide his third eye which is belived to be naturally present in the idol.till tody he is worshipped with viva leaves on mondays (somavaara) and is bathed with tumeric paste on fridays followed by being dressed in a 21 yards long kaanchipura sarree...sri venkateshwara shahasranaama is belived to be a combination of shiva,shakthi and vishnu naamas.but the real question mark is, all vishnu temples have sanctum for his nachiars (sri devi,bhoo devi, neela devi etc)
and likewise all shiva temples will have a sanctum for shakthi.male deitys are never worshipped without their shakthis.female deitys are as the can be independent( durgai,lakshmi,saraswathy,mariamman,kaliamman,lalitha,meenakshi,kamakshi..etc) but here in thirupathy, lord venkateshwara stands alone with no shakthi with him. it is belived that his shakthi lives within his heart but its against the sastras to build a temple without santums for his nachiars. but thats how he has been for ages.there is a temple only at thiruchaanur for alamelu manga and its belived that the lord visits her every night after egantha sevaa and returns back to yezhumala before dawn.
maybe there are no nachiyars up at thirupathy because its not just lord vishnu being present there,but shiva and shakthi as well. it wouldnt be appropriate to have vishnus shakthis flanking him when shiva is also within him.more of such surprising facts are given in the tamil book called " thiruvegatamudaiyaan aann deivamaa penn deivamaa?" with solid evidence.
Notable Venkateswara temples outside of India
There are many famous temples dedicated primarily to Lord Venkateswara that are outside of India. These include those in:
Dar es Salaam
Sydney, New South Wales (Helensburgh)
Melbourne, Victoria (Carrum Downs)
Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, Singapore
Penn Hills, Pennsylvania
Malibu Hindu Temple, Calabasas, California
Bridgewater, New Jersey
Livermore, California (Shiva-Vishnu Temple)
Lanham, Maryland (Shiva-Vishnu Temple)
Sri Venkateswara Temple of North Carolina, Cary, North Carolina
( above,rare photographs of sri venkateshwara taken in thirumala thirupathy in the 60s)
yezhu malayaane, venkataramanaa, govidha govindhaa!
I wonder how many people who visit the gigantic temple at Thiruvarangam, the first of the 108 Divyadesas and the very heart of the ShriVaishnava cult, know that the lord of the temple, Sri Aranganathan, got married to a muslim princess out of her love for him. And still fewer do actually know the tide of events that lead to this divine union and the series of interesting events that followed it. Here I lay forward the story of this strange marriage, a story that spans over sixty years, a story that transcends all religions to prove once again that God is indeed one.
It was a time when the atrocities of the Muslim inveders were reaching new heights. Their hatred for idol worship made the hindus tremble, not in fear for their lives, but in fear of the possible damages that the holy idols in their hallowed temples would suffer. Drastic measures were made to save the idols from disrespect. The ruthless Muslims, used to destroy the idols and if that was not possible, deface them. The smaller utsavar idols made of the expensive Panchaloha were carried off in large heaps to Delhi, to be melted into new ornaments. The priests did their very best to cover the sanctum with bricks and send the smaller idols for safekeeping with trusted families. The Muslim forces however, kept driving further south in conquest.
Headed by Malik Kafur, the crushing army came to the banks of the Kaveri. On an island between the Kaveri and Kollidam stood a magnificent temple, gleaming with riches. Sri Rangam, the holy abode of Lord Ranganatha. Malik Kafur was astonished by the grandeur of the temple and by its sheer size. But his instincts immediately kicked in. “Charge”, he thundered and his army broke into the largest functioning temple complex in the world.
So huge was Sri Rangam that Malik Kafur took days going around the Prakarams, plundering the people. The inner temple,was fiercely protected by the staunch vaishnavas, who refused to let the muslims defile their holiest shrine. They held out the army for three days, time sufficient enough to build a wall in front of the main sannidhi and to hide out the reclining god. The priests even managed to bury the utsavar of Ranganayaki under a neem tree, but alas, before they could save the utsavar of Ranganathar, the army broke in. They killed every one in sight, took the utsavar and marched back to Delhi.
Ranganathar in Rathna Angi
The whole city of SriRangam wore a forlorn look. People mourned the deaths of their near and dear. More so, they mourned the loss of the utsavar from their temple. A few brave, bright men came forward and vowed to bring back the idol from Delhi. “We will not return without Arangan”, they said and over the next few days, they hatched their master plan. A couple of days later, the group set out to Delhi, disguised as an entertainment troop.
Meanwhile at the palace of Malik Kafur in Delhi, strange things were afoot. When the soldiers brought in the idol, the daughter of Malik Kafur, Princess Surathani, was overwhelmed by the charming face of Arangan. “Baapa”, she called out to her father, “Can I have this sweet idol as my doll? I like him a lot. Please do not melt him too.”, she begged. Malik Kafur allowed her to play with the idol and Surathani imediately carried him to her room. Over the next few weeks, Surathani never used to be away from Arangan. She bathed the idol, dressed it, offered food and even slept with the idol. Pleased with her acts of love, Ranganathar used to appear before her every night and offer her darshan in various forms and avatharas. Without actually realising it, Surathani fell in love with Rangar.
Ranganathar offering Darshan to Surathani, a quick sketch
The entertainment troop from Srirangam finally reached Delhi and asked for permission to perform before the sultan. When the permission was granted, on a sacred Ekadashi day, they performed before Malik Kafur’s court. They put up their best dance and song skills and ultimately won the sultan’s liking. Malik Kafur was so overjoyed by the performance, that in return he gave them what they expected. “You have been excellent, just excellent. For your talent I offer you anything within the confines of this palace. You are free to take anything”, he offered. “Shahenshah”, said the lead man, bowing deeply, “we would like to have the statue of Arangan back. That is all that we need.” “You got it”, granted Malik Kafur and walked away. The troop however knew that the princess was deeply involved with the idol and that she would make a fuss if they took it away. So they waited for night to come upon, and when the princess was deep in sleep, they retrieved the idol and started out of the city.
They ran as fast as their carts could take them, lest the sultan sent his army behind. But to their bad luck, Surathani was so distressed to find her idol gone, that she immediately jumped on to her horse and followed the entertainment troop. Malik Kafur followed with his humungous army. Frightened by the army, the troop split into various smaller groups and decided to meet back in Sri Rangam. The man carrying the idol, his father and his son, ran into a dense forest and totally lost their way. The grandfather soon succumbed to the shock of the past few days and attained the lotus feet of Vishnu. The child too tripped and fell into a deep ravine, and ultimately reached Vaikuntha. Now, this was too much for the man carrying the idol. He lost his senses and became mad. Totally lacking any interest in life he wandered around the forest. He wandered and wandered…
Back at Srirangam however, Surathani searched all over for the idol. Not finding it, she gave up her life before the very doors of the sanctum. Seeing this, Malik Kafur was so enraged that he ordered every Vaishnava to be killed. A bloody war followed in which close to 13000 Vaishnavas lost their life. The beautiful Devadasis of the temple, finally,managed to seduce the army generals and sent them back home.
The temple somehow survived the catastrophe. But a lot of things were not in order. The utsavar was not with them and the temple festivities had to go on. The head priests, then secretly ordered for another identical utsavar to be made and installed it, saying that this indeed was the original one.
Ranganathar also appeared in the head bhattar’s dreams and pronounced that he had now taken Surathani to be his wife. She too had to be given all the respects that were given to the other Naachiyaars. The Bhattar then conveyed this dream to the temple head. A shrine was built for the muslim wife of Lord Ranganaatha. Since Islam shuns idol worship, she was worshipped in the form of a painting, richly decorated with gems and gold and is still worshipped today.
Sixty long years passed by. One fine day, a group of traders found themselves to be lost in the same dense jungle we had talked about. And wonder of wonders, they came across a totally unkempt man, with hair so long that it trailed behind him. His eyes lacked any hint of sanity. In absolute silence they followed this man. In the very depths of the forest they found the man, pouring water crudely over a statue of Vishnu. “That looks like the utsavar of Srirangam”, shouted the eldest among them. “But what is it doing here?” Puzzled, they confront the bear-man for an explanation. The moment they took the idol in their hands, the man dropped down. His soul fled from his body to the higher reaches of Vishnuloka. Now totally perplexed, the traders brought the idol back to Srirangam and placed it before the Bhattar. It had been sixty long years and the people who had witnessed the disaster were long since gone. Confusion reigned at the temple.
It was then that the old, blind temple washerman came to their rescue. “Bhattarperuman,” he told, meekly “If permitted I can find out which of the two statues is the original one. Days earlier, when I was but a small boy, my father used to give us theertham squeezed from the clothes of the utsavar. I have been used to the taste of the theertham. Therefore by drinking the Thirumanjana Theertham of the utsavars, I could possible point out the original one.” he offered. The bhattar too agreed. Thirumanjanam was performed to both the idols and the theertham was given to the washerman. The washerman identified the original statue to be the one that was brought in from the forest. Everyone rejoiced at the recovery of the ancient statue. The original utsavar was reinstalled in the temple. However, the other utsavar could not be left alone, for it too had been worshipped for sixty years. The bhattar, therefore, placed it near Rangan’s feet and continued to offer poojas to it. To add on to this interesting series of events, Ranganayaki appeared in a boy’s dream and asked him to lead the Bhattar to a particular neem tree and dig under it. The boy too dutifully did the same and out came the long buried statue of Ranganayaki. It is indeed a surprise that she revealed herself only when the original utsavar was back in the temple. The mysterious ways of our gods!!!
So even today, in SriRangam, at the sannidhanam, we can see two utsavars receiving worship. Also, the shrine to Surathani is found near the Arjuna Mandapa, next to the main sanctum and she is lovingly called Thulukka Naachiyaar. Once a year, the Kalyana utsavam of Thulukka Naachiyaar with Arangan is celebrated with great pomp and show. In testimony to her unflinching love, to this day, Arangan’s breakfast naivedhyam consists of Butter Roti’s and Sugar, cooked Mughalai style. They are first offered to the Naachiyaar and then only offered to Rangan.And so, the temple continues to exist, with all its grandeur refurbished and shining bright, the Naachiyar shrine, a standing example of what true devotion and love is actually supposed to be.
And so, the temple continues to exist, with all its grandeur refurbished and shining bright, the Naachiyar shrine, a standing example of what true devotion and love is actually supposed to be...
~ Courtesy by deepaksaagar ..( a blogger i sincerely follow)
similarly there is also a Bibi Naachiyaar worshipped in Melkotte as well with a similar story (with some embellishments) as to how Ramanujar got the utsava murthy of Cheluva Narayana back from a king in Delhi after winning over his scholars in a debate on Sri Vaishnavism! Legend has it during a fight between the princess and Sri Ramanuja over ownership of the idol Ramanuja called out to the idol saying it was time to go back…and Cheluva Narayana came to him.
another version tells that the Utsavar of Ranganatha was not taken to Delhi. Instead, it was taken to Tirupati and was placed there for 60 years. . Led by Pillai Lokacharya, the seniormost acharya at the time, a group of Sri Vaishnavas hurriedly left Srirangam with Namperumaal, the Ranganatha utsava-mUrti, and headed to Jyotishkudi. There, an exhausted Pillai Lokacharya breathed his last, unable to take the stress of the invasion and journey. Meanwhile, the mUla-vigraham of Ranganayaki Thaayaar was buried in the courtyard in front of Her sannidhi, and Desika is said to have supervised the building of a wall in front of the Ranganatha’s sannidhi to hide the mUlavar. The aged Sudarsana Suri was also among those who died during the invasion. Before his death, he entrusted his two young sons and the only manuscript of the Sruta-prakASikA to Desika’s care. Desika, the boys, and others hid themselves among the dead bodies to escape slaughter.With the invasion of the temple came the need for Desika himself to leave Srirangam, so he took his family and the sons of Sudarsana Suri and headed northwest, settling down first in Satyamangalam, in present day Karnataka. Please read Abiti Stava of Swami Desika for more details.
many versions of the story exist. The one wrote by the author was what was heard through word of mouth.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
சிவபெருமானின் திருக்கோலங் களில் பைரவர் திருக்கோலமும் ஒன்று.
பைரவர், எட்டு மற்றும் அறுபத்து நான்கு என்ற வகையில் அருள் புரிகிறார்.
ஒவ்வொரு மாதமும் வரும் தேய்பிறை அஷ்டமி திதி பைரவ ருக்கு உகந்த நாள். அந்த வகையில் ஒவ்வொரு அஷ்டமி திதிக்கும் ஒரு பெயர் உண்டு. இதில் கார்த்திகை மாத தேய்பிறை அஷ்டமி ருத்ராஷ் டமி என்றும் காலபைரவாஷ்டமி என்றும் சொல்லப்படுகிறது.
ஒவ்வொரு சிவன் கோவிலிலும் வடகிழக்குப் பகுதியில் தனிச்சந்நிதி யில் காலபைரவர் எழுந்தருளி இருப்பார். சில கோவில்களில் சூரியன், பைரவர், சனி பகவான் என்ற வரிசை யில் காட்சி தருவதும் உண்டு.
சிவபெருமான் வீரச்செயல் களைச் செய்யும் காலங்களில் ஏற்கும் திருவுருவங்களை பைரவர் திருக் கோலம் என்று புராணம் சொல்லும்.
காலமே உருவான பைரவரின் திருவுருவத்தில் பன்னிரண்டு ராசிகளும் அடக்கமாகியுள்ளன. தலையில் மேஷ ராசியும், வாய்ப் பகுதியில் ரிஷப ராசியும், கைகளில் மிதுனமும், மார்பில் கடகமும், வயிற்றுப் பகுதியில் சிம்மமும், இடையில் கன்னியும், புட்டத்தில் துலாமும், லிங்கத்தில் மகரமும், தொடையில் தனுசும், முழந்தாளில் மகரமும், காலின் கீழ்ப்பகுதியில் கும்பமும், அடித்தளங்களில் மீன ராசியும் அமைந்துள்ளதாக ஜாதக நூல்கள் விவரிக்கின்றன.
காலபைரவர் பாம்பைப் பூணுலாகக் கொண்டு, சந்திரனை சிரசில் வைத்து, சூலம், மழு, பாசம், தண்டம் ஏந்தி காட்சி தருவார்.
காசி மாநகரில் காவல் தெய்வமாகவும் காக்கும் கடவுளாக வும் காலபைரவர் திகழ்கிறார். காசியில் பைரவருக்கு வழி பாடுகள் முடிந்த பிறகுதான் காசி விஸ்வநாதருக்கு வழிபாடு கள் நடைபெறும் வழக்கம் உள்ளது. காசி யாத்திரை செல்பவர்கள் கங்கையில் நீராடி வழிபட்டு இறுதியாக காலபைரவரையும் வழிபட்டால்தான் காசி யாத்திரை செய்ததன் முழுப் பலனும் கிட்டும் என்பது விதியாகும்.
காலபைரவருக்கு இரண்டு பெயர்கள் உண்டு. "தான்' என்ற கர்வத்தால் பாவம் செய்தவர்களுக்கும் அக்கிர மக்காரர்களுக்கும் தண்டனை வழங்குவதால் "அமர்தகர்' என்றும்; பக்தர்கள் அறியாமையால் செய்யும் பாவங்களைப் போக்கி அருள்வதால் "பாப பக்ஷணர்' என்றும் அழைக்கப் படுகிறார். காலபைரவருக்கு ராகு காலத்தில் பூஜை செய்வது சிறப்பிக்கப்படுகிறது. ஞாயிற்றுக்கிழமை ராகு காலத்தில் பைரவருக்கு ருத்ராபிஷேகம் செய்தபின், புனுகு சாற்றி, எலுமிச்சம் பழ மாலை அணிவித்து, எள் கலந்த சாதமும் இனிப்புப் பண்டங்களும் சமர்ப்பித்து முன்னோர்களை நினைத்து பிதுர் பூஜைக்காக மந்திரங்களைச் சொல்லி அர்ச் சித்து வழிபட்டால் பிதுர் தோஷம் நீங்கும். அன்று அன்னதானம் சிறப்பிக்கப்படுகிறது.
திருமணத்தடை நீங்க ஞாயிற்றுக்கிழமை ராகு காலத்தில் விபூதி அபிஷேகம் அல்லது ருத்ராபிஷேகம் செய்து வடைமாலை சாற்றி வழிபட வேண்டும். மேலும் அன்று ஒன்பது முறை அர்ச்சித்து, தயிர் அன்னம், தேங்காய், தேன் சமர்ப்பித்து வழிபட்டால் வியாபாரம் செழித்து வளரும்; வழக்கில் வெற்றி கிட்டும்.
திங்கட்கிழமை ராகு காலத்தில் பைரவருக்கு அல்லிமலர் மாலை சூட்டி, புனுகு சாற்றி, பாகற்காய் கலந்த சாதம் படைத்து அர்ச்சனை செய்தால் கண்டச் சனியின் துன்பம் நீங்கும்.
செவ்வாய்க்கிழமை ராகு காலத்தில் பைரவ ருக்கு செவ்வரளி மலர் மாலை அணிவித்து, துவரம்பருப்பு சாதம் படைத்து, செம்மாதுளம் கனிகளை நிவேதித்து அர்ச்சித்து வழிபட்டால் குடும்பத்தில் உடன்பிறந்தவர்களிடையே ஒற்றுமை வலுப்படும்.
புதன்கிழமை ராகு காலத்தில் மரிக்கொழுந்து மாலை அணிவித்து, பயத்தம் பருப்பு சாதம் படைத்து அர்ச்சனை செய்ய, மாணவர்கள் கல்வியில் சிறந்து விளங்கலாம்; தடையின்றி விரும்பிய கல்வியைக் கற்று முதலிடம் பெறலாம்.
தேய்பிறை அஷ்டமி அன்று அல்லது வியாழக்கிழமையில் பைரவருக்கு சந்தனக்காப்பு அணிவித்து, மஞ்சள் நிற மலர்களால் மாலை சூட்டி, பால் பாயசம், சுண்டல், நெல்லிக்கனி, ஆரஞ்சு, புளிசாதம் படைத்து அர்ச்சனை செய்தால் செல்வச் செழிப்பு ஏற்படும்.
வெள்ளிக்கிழமை ராகு காலத்தில் சந்தனக் காப்பு அணிவித்து, புனுகு பூசி, தாமரை மலர் சூட்டி, அவல், கேசரி, பானகம், சர்க்கரைப் பொங்கல் படைத்து அர்ச்சனை செய்து வந்தால் திருமணத் தடைகள் நீங்கி நல்ல இடத்தில் திருமணம் நடைபெறும்.
சனிக்கிழமை அன்று ராகு காலத்தில் பைரவருக்கு நாகலிங்கப்பூ மாலையைச் சாற்றி, எள் கலந்த அன்னம், பால் பாயசம், கருப்பு திராட்சை நிவேதனம் செய்து அர்ச்சித்தால் சனி பகவானின் அனைத்து தோஷங்களும் நீங்கும்.
பைரவரை வழிபட்டால் பிரம்மஹத்தி தோஷம் நீங்கும். சனி பகவானின் ஆசிரியர் பைரவர் என்று சொல்லப்படுவதால் சனியின் தொந்தரவு இருக்காது. எதிரிகள் அழிவர். பில்லி, சூன்யம், திருஷ்டி அகலும். அக்கம் பக்கத்தவர்களின் தொந்தரவு இருக்காது. யமபயம், யமவாதனை தவிர்க்கப்படும். பொதுவாக சிவாலயங்களில் காணப்படும் கால பைரவரை எந்த நேரத்தில் வழிபட்டாலும் அவர் அருள் நிச்சயம் கிட்டும். சிறப்புப் பூஜைகள் செய்வதால் தோஷ நிவர்த்திகளுக்கு நல்ல பலன்கள் கிட்டும் என்று சாஸ்திரங்கள் சொல்கின்றன.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Kali ...karunaa...karunaamayi...the compassionate one. she is compassion herself..
but why is she in such a furious form?
Kali's fierce form is strewed with awesome symbols. Her dark
complexion symbolizes her all-embracing and transcendental nature. Says the Mahanirvana Tantra: "Just as all colors disappear in black, so all names and forms disappear in her". Her nudity is primeval, fundamental, and transparent like Nature — the earth, sea, and sky. Kali is free from the illusory covering, for she is beyond the all maya or "false consciousness." Kali's garland of fifty human heads that stands for the fifty letters in the Sanskrit alphabet, symbolizes infinite knowledge.
Her girdle of severed human hands signifies work and liberation from the cycle of karma. Her white teeth show her inner purity, and her red lolling tongue indicates her omnivorous nature — "her indiscriminate enjoyment of all the world's 'flavors'." Her sword is the destroyer of false consciousness and the eight bonds that bind us.
Her three eyes represent past, present, and future, — the three modes of time — an attribute that lies in the very name Kali ('Kala' in Sanskrit means time). The eminent translator of Tantrik texts, Sir John Woodroffe in Garland of Letters, writes, "Kali is so called because She devours Kala (Time) and then resumes Her own dark formlessness."
Kali's proximity to cremation grounds where the five elements or "Pancha Mahabhuta" come together, and all worldly attachments are absolved, again point to the cycle of birth and death. The reclined Shiva lying prostrate under the feet of Kali suggests that without the power of Kali (Shakti), Shiva is inert.
"My child, you need not know much in order to please Me.
Only Love Me dearly.
Speak to me, as you would talk to your mother,
if she had taken you in her arms
shree mathre namaha