Tuesday, July 21, 2009

SVS 362 [Tharana: - 338] (37.2)

338. OM TARANAYA NAMA: तारणाय नम:
Enables skipping dangerous spots.

Bairagi Mutt is over 400 years old and is in Sowcarpet in Chennai. There are many sannidhis like for Sri Rama, Sri Varadaraja, Sri Ranganatha, Sri Puri Jagannatha, etc. Tiruadipooram is being celebrated enthusiastically. All the Five Acharyas have sannidhis here. Sri Andal is praised as 'perumboothur mamunikku pinnanaal vazhiye [பெரும்பூதூர் மாமுனிக்கு பின்னானாள் வாழியே]' - meaning 'long live She, Who became younger to Swami Ramanuja'. Though, Sri Andal appeared Thousands of years before Swami Ramanuja, because like an elder brother he fulfilled the wish of Sri Andal. Tarana means helps in crossing samsaram. The Lord takes us to Vaikuntam. In SVS 309 [Divine name 289 Jagatassetu:], it was told that the Lord acts as a Grand bridge for us to cross this samsara sagaram! We can not approach the Lord directly but through an Acharya or Purushakara. That is the simple and correct way! Swami Ramanuja considered Tiruppavai as his breath!

Monday, July 20, 2009

SVS 361 [Ashokas - 337] (37.1)

337. OM ASHOKAYA NAMA: अशोकाय नम:
Removes sufferings.

Today's [20th July 2009] lecture is from Bairagi Mutt, in Chennai near Madras Central Railway station. We had seen this temple earlier [SVS 263 to SVS 266]. Here Sri Andal's festival is being celebrated. Ashoka vanam destroyed the sorrows of Sri Sita and Sri Rama. It is said that after Hanuman's visit its name got well established. When Sri Bhudevi asked the Lord as to what is the easy way to get redeemed as He redeemed Her, when abducted by Hiranyaksha. He said that if one chants His Divine name and meditates, when one's health was proper and all faculties of the body were functioning properly, then He is rescued even when in a death bed, one is lying like a log of wood. Sri Bhudevi, to spread this message descended on this earth as Sri Andal! This way we can wipe out all our sufferings! Tiru Adippooram is celebrated on 25th July 2009.

Friday, July 17, 2009

SVS 360

Q & A
In the last Q&A session, a question was raised regarding dress code to attend temples. Some are still raising doubts. It is difficult to satisfy all. Like other holy books of other religions, Vedas are the main reference for us, as told by Sri Krishna. In this also Vedas or Shastras have to be followed. It is said that Shastras are more considerate than Thousand mothers.

Q: What is Ekadasi and how it has to be followed?

A: Ekadasi is the Eleventh phase of the Moon, after Amavasya [New Moon] or Pournami [Full Moon]. We have to observe upavasa [fasting] on that day. In case full starvation is not possible, we have to avoid full rice that day. That is rice can be broken and cooked. Or, other tiffin items or fruits can be consumed.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

SVS 359 [Purandara: - 336] (36.9)

336. OM PURANDARAYA NAMA: पुरन्दराय नम:
Destroys the Cities of Asuras.

Today's lecture is from Panchavati, near Nasik.

See full size image

See full size image

Panchavati means Five banyan trees. There is a museum depicting incidents in Ramayana. Purandara means burning down 'puri' or towns. At this place Lord Sri Rama, without any assistance, destroyed 14,000 Rakshasas. Swami Desika says it was like a great elephant effortlessly destroying lotus pond! The Lord destroyed Tripura.

skandah skanda-dharO dhuryO varadO vAyuvAhanah | vAsudevO brhadbhAnur - Adidevah purandarah || (36)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

SVS 358 [Adideva: - 335] (36.8)

335. OM ADIDEVAYA NAMA: आदिदेवाय नम:
As the Creator of all Universe, happy over creation.

We are in Nasik today also. It is requested that sacred rivers of our country should be kept clean and pure! Here, Kapila river and Godavari join, but presents a very ugly picture, because of disuse and abuse! Here there is Sri Kala [black] Rama temple and nearby Ramakund and Sitakund. This temple is 1000 years old and the idols were recovered from Godavari.
See full size image

See full size image

Here Lord Sri Rama is keeping His right hand on His chest. It looks as though the Lord is telling Sri Sita, that He would rather sacrifice Sri Sita and Lakshmana, but would never let down the promise made to sages to protect them! He is Adideva, the Originator for all. He was praised by all characters in Ramayana!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

SVS 357 [Bruhadbhanu: - 334] (36.7)

334. OM BRUHADBHANAVE NAMA: ब्रुहद्भानवे नम:
Possesses great luminescence, always.

We are at Nasik. Sri Rama along with Sri Sita and Lakshmana lived here for long time and increased its sanctity. Godavari had a blemish of not informing Sri Rama, Ravana abducting Sri Sita, in spite of Her request and Sri Rama's prayer. This was removed when Godavari had Sri Goda's name! Nasika means nose in Sanskrit. When Soorpanaka, tried to misbehave with Sri Rama and Sri Sita, Lakshmana cut off her nose and ears and so this place is called Nasik. As usual, here also the river is not kept clean, making it unfit for bathing! Here there are Five banyan trees and so it is Panchavati!

Monday, July 13, 2009

SVS 356 [Vasudevo - 333] (36.6)

333. OM VASUDEVAYA NAMA: वासुदेवाय नम:
Sustains all, playfully.

We are in Nasik, in Maharashtra. River Godavari flows here. Ganga is famous because it originated fro the Divine feet of the Lord. But Godavari has its glory because it has Sri Andal, Goda's, name, says Swami Vedanta Desika!

See full size image

From now on next 12 Divine names, until Divine name 344, are in petal 17 of Bhagavad Guna Darpanam, by Swami Parashara Bhatta, and explain Vasudeva! Vasudeva means the Lord resides in all, always and supports them without any efforts! This Divine name refers to His Omni Presence. Vasudevan could also mean Son of Vasudeva [वसुदेव]. Those who realize He is Vasudeva, are relieved of the bonds in this world. We should do every activity dedicating to Sri Vasudeva. This is called satvika tyagam. Then both papa and punya would not stick to us! In Bhagavad Gita the Lord tells Arjuna, that it is rare for people to realize He is Sri Vasudeva!

Friday, July 10, 2009

SVS 355

We are in Vasantotsavam of Sri Namperumal in Srirangam. The procession of the Lord is a unforgettable incident! This festival is conducted for Seven days. Though these are auxiliary festivals, unlike Brahmotsavam, these are not to be missed.

Q: Are there dress restrictions in attending temple?
A: Just like we have dress code for attending offices, workshop or schools, we should follow prescribed dress while entering temples. We seem not to ask question when dress codes are prescribed for offices, dinner, etc. Then, are not we to follow certain ethics in going to temples?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

SVS 354 [Vayuvahana: - 332] (36.5)

332. OM VAYUVAHANAYA NAMA: वायुवाहनाय नम:
Administers air, the life support for the World.

Today's [9th July 2009] lecture is with description of Vasantotsavam of Sri Namperumal in Srirangam. Just like we go to hill resorts to avoid summer heat, the Lord also needs cool place to refresh! We have to regard the Lord in temples as real Persons and not as mere idols! A well designed garden is there between Chakkarattazhvar sannidhi and Sri Thayar sannidhi. The central mantapam is surrounded by water and artificial springs. With fragrance of flowers and greenery all around, the Lord and the devotees enjoy the ambiance! Vayu vahana means controller of air or breath. It is under His orders that the Nature behaves as we see. Our breath as also the life supporting air for the Universe, are at the command of the Lord. Hanuman served as messenger between Sri Rama and Sri Sita, and saved their lives! So here Hanuman is described as Pranatmaja or Vayu Putra!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

SVS 353 [Varado - 331] (36.4)

331. OM VARADAYA NAMA: ॐ वरदाय नम:

Grants power to gods in charge of various activities in managing the World.

We will now enjoy the beauty of the Lord in Srirangam. In Srirangam, almost all through the year, festivals are celebrated. In those, we will describe Poocchatti Utsavam. Beauty of Sri Namperumal and His festivals are beyond words. This festival is unique for Sri Namperumal. He arrives at the open space in front of Sri Kotanda Rama sannidhi. He is adorned with a garment made of flowers only. Though Varada is the name of Lord of Kanchi, the Lord at every temple is Varada. Varada means granting varams [boons]. He grants many. If we pray, we might pray only for limited benefits; but if He grants on His Own, He will grant unlimited boons. One devotee says that he did not want anything, but if the Lord decided to grant, then He should grant Himself! Swami Vedanta Desika in his Yadavabhyudayam, says that when Sri Krishna was born, just as we celebrate our children's birth day, demi gods and village gods granted boons to their devotees, to celebrate the Lord's avatar!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

SVS 352 [Dhuryo - 330] (36.3)

330. OM DHURYAYA NAMA: ॐ धुर्याय नम:
Supports the great burden of Universe.

Today's [7/7/2009] lecture is also from Injimedu. This agraharam was established by Shashta Parankusa Jeer, 6th Jeer of Sri Ahobila Mutt. Everyone is requested to visit at least once their native village and temple. The 42nd Jeer was very famous for his very noble qualities like calm and patience.

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His taniyan is:
SrI RangEsa yathIndhunA karuNayAasou syAdhithi prEkshitham khyAtha: SrINarasimhakArijamunID paadhAmbhujEndhindhiram dhAnthi KshAnthi dayAdhibhi: ubha guNai: bhAntham bhudhAgrEsaram Srimadh RangasaDAri yOgi nrupathim srEyOnidhim samsrayE

nd pattam SrImath azhagiyasingars

In SVS 122, the Divine name bhabru [117] also indicated He supports World. Bheeshma reiterates it here again and Swami Parashara Bhatta mentions it in Sri Koorma Avatara. He is adhara koormam [आधार कूर्मं ஆதார கூர்மம்].

Monday, July 6, 2009

SVS 351 [Skandadharo] (36.2)

329. OM SKANDADHARAYA NAMA: स्कन्दधराय नम:
As told in Gita [that the Lord is Skanda among Commanders], He sustains Skanda, Devas' commander.

In Kali Yug, though the followers of Sri Vishnu would dwindle, many great Acharyas would be born on the banks of sacred rivers in South India - says Srimad Bhagavatam. We are touring agraharams in Palaru and surroundings. In Tiruvannamalai District is Injimedu [இஞ்சிமேடு], mutilated name of Yagna medu [யக்ஞமேடு]. From this place the very famous 42nd Jeer of Sri Ahobila Mutt hailed. Sri Yagna Rama here is very famous, as also Anjaneya.

Sri Varadharaja Perumal

The Lord provides power for Skanda [or Kandan கந்தன் in Tamil].

Friday, July 3, 2009

SVS 350

Our country's tradition is to look after guests. In Sri Vaishnava sampradhayam, feeding guests is called Tadheeyaaradhanam. Tadheeya [तधीय] means devotees of the Lord. So worshiping His devotees and feeding them is considered as more sacred than worshiping the Lord!

Q & A :

Q: How are we to bathe in sacred waters? What benefits are obtained by bathing in sacred waters?

A: Our land is very sacred, because of presence of many sacred waters, like rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Kaveri, Krishna, etc; Ponds or pushkarinis in temples and Kshetrams, like Ananta saras, Swami Pushkarini, etc. Pilgrimage means visiting Kshetrams and bathing in such sacred waters. We have to know these waters from our elders or Acharyas. One should dip fully and bathe in such sacred waters [Sri Andal says kudaindu neeradi குடைந்து நீராடி]. We have to pray first and then enter the water. We should not bathe in forbidden times [this has to be verified from elders]. Before bathing sankalpam is necessary.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

SVS 349 [Skanda: - 328] (36.1)

328. OM SKANDAYA NAMA: स्कन्दाय नम:
Destroys Asuras and Rakshasas.

Ilankadu is a beautiful village at about 5 Miles from Vandavasi [Wandiwash]. Sri Bhu Nila sametha Sri Vaikuntavasa Perumal graces. The Seventh Jeer of Sri Ahobila Mutt, hailed from this place. King Raja Raja Chola's statue is here. He eliminates army of Asuras! Devas mean noble ones, who pray only the Lord for their protection. When Asuras grabbed Amrut kalash, the Lord took Sri Mohini Avatar and mesmerized all Asuras with 'Her' captivating appearance. Then 'She' distributed Amrut to Devas alone. With rejuvenated strength Devas could easily defeat Asuras.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

SXS 348 [Pratishthita: - 327] (35.9)

327. OM PRATISHTHITAYA NAMA: प्रतिष्ठिताय नम:
Without any external support, sustaining on His own eminence.

We are now in Ilankadu [இளங்காடு], another agraharam in Thondai Mandalam. Earlier we saw Mukkur, where Sri Rama was in the temple and this Sri Rama idol was installed in Ahobilam. We can recall that we worshiped Sri Rama in Lower Ahobilam. In Ilankadu, the Lord is Sri Vaikuntavasa Perumal [ஸ்ரீ வைகுண்ட வாச பெருமாள்]. The Lord once told Narada that He was not in Vaikuntam nor amidst Sun; but in the hearts of devotees, who faithfully followed shastras! The Lord is here for the past 3000 years. There are many stone inscriptions seen here. It is also told that when Tirumazhisai Alwar was a Shaiva devotee, he had come to this place to worship lord Shiva! Pratishta means well supported or established. In Sri Koorma Avatar, He supported Mnadira mountain. Then, who Supported Him? None, other than His own glory! While the Lord supports all, He supports Himself by His sankalpam and eminence.

achyuthah praTHithah prANah prANadO vAsavAnujah | apAmnidhir-adhiSHTAnam-apramaththah prathiSHTithah || (35)