Tuesday, December 11, 2012

KRISHNA AND HIS CELIBACY

Many of us think that Lord Krishna was not perfect in childhood and youthful days since he displayed so many pranks during childhood and had  intense relationship with with so many 'gopikas' of Vrindavan in his youthful days.Many of us also think that he had 16108 wives also.These statements are  to an extent correct but sensibly  wrong.Krishna kept his celibacy strictly till his marriage and he did not have any kind of sexual relationship with the 'gopikas' was the truth.Krishna when became the ruler of Dwaraka he defeated Demon  Narakasura and freed 16100 girl captives which he had in his cellars.Krishna married all of them to provide them dignity to live in the society otherwise the society would have rejected them according to the social laws of that period.That marriage was for just name sake but he never lived with any of them.He had but eight other wives including Rugmini and Sathyabhama and had 10 children in each of them.
At Vrindavan in his childhood and youthful days 'Radha' who was the daughter of 'Vrishabhanu' was always his consort and she had deep intense love towards him and Krishna also loved her vibrantly.Their love reached a stage such that both could not be separated.Their romance is depicted in texts,poems,songs,paintings and sculptures which are all popular throughout India.Like Radha, so many other gopis which numbered more than thousand also were in deep love towards Krishna.They all desired to hug him, kiss him,
to have sweet confabulation with him and so on.The girls made a statue of Goddess Parvathy on the banks of river Yamuna  and prayed everyday to fulfil their desires.At last Krishna selected a full moon day to have them enjoy with him till dawn.Each and every gopika had the feeling that Krishna was with her for the whole night engaged in all kinds of love acts which  every one  of them  thought as real.It was but only a 'Maya' (illusion) created in their minds by Lord  Krishna.That night is known as 'Raas Leela' night.Later Krishna but allowed Radha to merge in him.Radha combined with Krishna and Krishna became 'Radha Krishna'.Radha's love towards Krishna was an interpretation of true devotion, the ambition to merge with the eternal truth-the almighty.That ambition was fulfilled by Lord Krishna.The love of gopikas could also be  categorized in the same manner.It was a form of deep devotion.
After some period Krishna wanted to disclose the truth to gopikas that he did not have any sexual relationship with them on 'Raas Leela' day but it was a mere illusion.He but knew that they would not believe his words because the feeling given to  the girls were  that much real.So he had some other plans.
One day Krishna said to the gopikas that Sage Durvasa was staying temporarily on the other bank of river Yamuna and asked them to go to meet him and get his blessings.The girls obeyed him and all of them carried with them either sweets or fruits to present to the sage.When the girls reached the bank of the river, there was no boat available to cross the river.Suddenly Krishna reached there and said to the girls to tell the  river Yamuna that 'if Krishna 
was a celibate till to that date kindly provide passage'.The girls said to the river as instructed by Lord Krishna.Suddenly a miracle happened.The river got separated by providing a passage.Water stood as high walls on both sides of the passage.The girls walked to the other bank safely through the passage and the river joined as previously and flowed as if nothing happened. 
The girls found the ashram nearby and met Sage Durvasa.They presented their gifts of sweets and fruits at his feet.The Sage became very happy.He ate all the fruits and sweets then and there to the girl's astonishment.He spoke to them nicely and blessed  them all.When the girls  bid farewell to him the sage also accompanied them to the river bank.This time also there was no boat available to cross the river.
Durvasa  sage told the girls to say the river that 'if Sage Durvasa eats only the juice of Bermuda grass kindly give pavement to cross the river'.The girls said as told to them and the river got separated like before and they walked to the other bank safely and reached Vrindavan.
The girls were but in utter confusion.They saw the sage eating large quantity of fruits and sweets in front of them.But the river agreed that he eats only the juice of Bermuda grass(Cynadon dactylon-also known as 'Durva grass','Arugampul'  or  'Karuka').Like that on 'Raas Leela' day Krishna had all kinds of physical  contacts with the girls which each one of the girls were very sure of.Even the thoughts about that night  turns them blushed.But the river agreed that Krishna was a celibate till to that day.How could these facts be true.They asked to Lord Krishna itself.
Lord Krisha clarified the truth.Sage Durvasa strictly followed ascetic way of life by avoiding all worldly pleasures.He utilized his power of penance such that what ever food he ate  would taste as 'Bermuda grass juice' only. When taking food received  as alms from others he might  comment the food as tasty to make them feel happy  but he was feeling  the bitter  and sour taste of grass always.
Krishna also revealed the truth that he was a celibate till to that date and  he did not have sexual contacts with any of the  gopikas. He said that the girls were given illusion of the mind on Raas Leela day but it was not real.






When the gopikas understood the truth their love towards Krishna did not minimize but boosted  up only and their minds were longing for another reunion with him.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

LORD KRISHNA, AS THE CHARIOTEER

The great furious war between 'Kauravas' and 'Pandavas' was just over by Pandavas becoming victorious.Due to the heavy losses on both sides there was not much reason for celebration to Pandavas since many of the eminent
people died in the war on Kaurava side were  relatives,teachers and friends to
them also.
But as a custom of that period there used to arrange a public function in an open ground after the war to glorify the winners.Such a 'triumphal Ceremony' 
was arranged at 'Kurukshetra' to honour the victorious warriors and large crowd of people gathered in allegiance to see  and express their love towards them.
The warriors arrived one by one and Arjuna also arrived in his chariot which was lead by Lord Krishna.Lord Krishna was brother of Arjuna's wife Subhadra and ruler of 'Dwaraka'.At that period itself he was respected by all people
and was a tremendous charismatic personality.
The custom followed in the triumphal ceremony was that the Charioteer would get down from the chariot, give a shake hand and then a helping hand to the warrior to get down.
Arjuna's ambition was the same to get honoured by Lord Krishna by this same way in the  presence of the gathered people.He sat in the chariot expecting Krishna to get down first and to extend a hand for him to get down.Krishna understood the
feeling of Arjuna but asked Arjuna to get down immediately.Arjuna obliged
to Krishna's order and got down suddenly.Krishna too got down very fast making sure Arjuna got down safely.At that moment the Chariot got blazed 
and Arjuna was shocked and stunned to see the rising flames from his chariot.The gathered
crowd were also looking at the scene with wonder.
In the war of Kurukshetra Krishna participated under an agreement that he would not directly involve in the war and not handle any weapon by  himself.
But the war was won by Pandavas by following the intellectual instructions from him during the course of the war.Lord Hanuman Swamiji's help was in the 
Kurukshetra war to Pandavas  by his immense 'power presence' on the flag of Arjuna's Chariot.Since Arjuna was the hero on Pandava side, he was the centre figure for all the enemies who all  tried to kill him on several occasions during the war.
The devilish powers sent by enemies to him and his Chariot by arrows  could not do any harm because of the protective powers of Hanuman Swami.
This fact was well known to Lord Krishna and he insisted Arjuna to get down from the Chariot prior to him.He knew that since the war was over, the powers
of Hanuman Swami would leave the Chariot at that moment and made a hurry to Arjuna to get down.When Lord Krishna also got down, suddenly the devilish
powers in ambush acted fast and the chariot turned to ashes in a few seconds.
Arjuna understood that Lord Krishna saved his life in that instance also and he 
apologized to Lord Krishna in anguish.

Krishna but praised Arjuna for his valour during the war and the gathered people greeted him with cheers and acclamation.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chengamanadu Mahadeva Temple and Munikkal Guhalayam

Chengamanadu is a beautiful place of Ernakulam District in Kerala which lies
30 km north of Kochi.
The present Cochin International Airport is situated in Chengamanadu Panchayat.This place is only 12 km from Aluva, and 7 km from Angamali. The most important pilgrimage centres here are 'Munikkal Guhalayam' which is a Lord Muruga temple and the Mahadeva Temple(Lord Shiva temple) which attracts devotees and tourists in large numbers.
Munikkal Guhalayam

Munikkal Guhalayam is a cave temple situated atop a 100 feet high rocky hill 
situated in a serene, beautiful forest like place filled with plenty of big trees.
It is believed that a Sage by name 'Jangaman' performed penance in this cave
2000 years ago.It is also believed that even the place name derived from the
Sage's name.Jangamanadu(place of 'Jangama') became Chengamanadu.
The temple name also suits well.'Munikkal' means rock of the sage.
'Guhan' is yet another name of 'Subramanya Swamy' and so the temple name 'Munikkal Guhalayam' suits well as the temple of 'Guhan' on the rock of Muni(Sage Jangama).In another sense 'Guha' is cave and the meaning of 'Guhalayam' is 'Cave temple'.
The rocks on the hill looks like the shape of an elephant holding its trunk upwards.On one of the rocks is situated Lord Ganesha Shrine and the idol is
'Swayanbhoo'(Self originated).
The main deity of this temple is 'Lord Muruga'(Lord Subramanya) and the idol was consecrated by 'Chattambi Swamikal' in the presence of 'Sree Narayana Guru' in the year 1898.later it was clarified that there exists the presence of
Lord Shiva also and therefore he was also consecrated in the same Sanctum.
Thus the speciality is that Lord Shiva's deity and Lord Subramanya's deity is
existing in the same Sanctum which is  seen very rare.
So many devotees come to this temple every month on 'Shashti' day for visiting Lord Muruga and performing 'Shashti observances'.The devotees has to reach the temple on the previous day and make arrangements for their observances for the 'Shashti Vrat'.It is well famous that the Lord Subramanya of this Cave Temple bless the devotees whose marriage is delayed because

of various reasons by performing 'Shashti Vrat' here.The marriage of such devotees will happen without any more delay.
By breaking coconut in front of the Ganapathi's deity and praying to him the  delay or obstacles concerning any matter will be removed.Any function can be performed smoothly by getting blessing from Lord Ganapathy.'Ottayappam' is another offering done for Ganapathi in this temple.The annual festival is in the month of 'Makaram'(Jan-Feb) for three days.
Mahadeva Temple
The Lord Shiva temple(Mahadeva Temple)  at Chengamanadu is an important
Shiva temple of Ernakulam District.
The deity Shiva of this temple is supposed as   'Kiratha Murthi' form and 
the Shrine is facing in the  eastern direction.
There is deity of Parvathy Devi facing in the  western direction and Lord Ganapathy facing south.
The annual festival is held in the month of 'Dhanu' (Dec-Jan) for ten days.
Flag hoisting is done on 'Chathayam star' day and Araattu will he held on
'Thiruvathira star' day. 'Ulsava Bali' is done by devotees as the main offering here during the festival period.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Sage Durvasa

In the Holy Book Bhagavat Geetha, God says that the soul is eternal and when  we  die, nothing  harmful  happens to the soul  and  it takes rebirth.If there is birth there is death also.Every living thing has to die is the universal law.This law applies to incarnations of God also.Bhagwan Krishna revealed this truth by his life.
When Sree Krishna was ruling Dwaraka Kingdom, Sage Durvasa arrived at the Palace one day.He requested Lord Krishna that he need Lunch that day noon.He asked Krishna for the  arrangements for his meal and  said meanwhile he would come after taking bath in the nearby river.
Krishna was living happily with his eight wives at the magnificently beautiful Dwaraka Palace during  those days.When the Sage went for taking bath Krishna noticed fear on the faces of his wives since they knew very well the character of Sage Durvasa.
Sage Durvasa was the Son of 'Atri Maharshi' and Anasooya. He possessed several divine powers  which he secured from penance.Some believed that he was incarnation of Lord Shiva itself.The Sage could be propitiated easily and was short tempered also.He had the habit of  becoming  furious with anger very easily.If some thing went  wrong  against his will and liking he used to curse which obviously used to happen real for the victim 
as he wished.
Sage Durvasa and Shakuntala
Krishna's wives prepared the dishes very fast and Lord Krishna himself went to the Kitchen to watch  the preparations.He complimented his wives that from the appealing smell of the dishes itself  he was quite sure that the dishes would be very tasty and the Sage would be very happy.Krishna's wives became relieved of their anxiety and fear whether they would be able to please the Sage with the food.The fear  vanished from their minds by Krishna's compliment.
Sage arrived after his bath and prayers and Sree Krishna received him with respect, love and affection.He was offered seat on a Golden throne and feast was served by Krishna and his eight wives together.Krishna waved a hand-fan for his comfort  while he was having the feast.The sage enjoyed the tasty meal very much which was evident from his face expression.When he was just finished his meal Sage Durvasa  handed over a glass of 'Payasam'(Porridge) to Sree Krishna and asked him to apply it all over  his body then and there.Sree Krishna who knew the Past,present and future applied the 'Payasam' all over his body standing in front of the Sage but he purposely  omitted his feet which the sage did not notice.The Sage thought that Krishna applied it all over his body and felt impressed and happy.He said to Krishna that it would work as an invisible armour for him  and no weapon of any kind  would  be able to hurt him throughout his life .Sage Durvasa  went back  happily after blessing all of them.
After many years when Sree Krishna felt it was time for his death he went to the forest and sat under a tree meditating.A hunter by name 'Jara' when looked through the bushes mistook his foot as the neck of a deer and shot his arrow which pierced Krishna's foot.When the hunter arrived  near Krishna he was shocked to see what had  happened and with full of tears he fell at Krishna's feet.Krishna revealed the truth that in the previous birth the hunter was 'Vaali' and Krishna was Sree Rama.Sree Rama killed Vaali  with his arrow  which marked his death  and in this birth this action of 'Jara'  was unavoidable as well as inevitable.
After the Kurukshetra war when Sree Krishna met Gandhari to say his condolences  because all her 100 children were killed  in the battle, Gandhari cursed Krishna for not stopping the battle earlier.Krishna could not stop the war earlier  because his mission was to establish peace by eradicating evil.Krishna was sure that by  Gandhari's curse all the members of his dynasty would die at the time predicted by Gandhari.


Krishna  avoided his feet for applying Porridge as per Sage Durvasa's instruction because he was maintaining space for arrow of  'Jara' the hunter  for his death in due course and permitting the law of 'nature' in this Universe happen  for him also.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Purity of Life and Faith in God

Some people are leading  harmonious life luxuriously while many others are suffering.We may feel this as injustice from the part of God but according to Hindu belief this discrimination is because of the deeds we have performed in our previous birth/s.
Many fortunate people think that their wealthy possessions are all the result of their hard work but if they look around they could understand that many others who work harder and are  more intellectual  than them may be  living   in poverty.So those who are fortunate in all ways should thank God  and should stretch a helping hand to the less fortunate  instead of teasing them and  being pride and  selfish. They should try to help at least a few people who are struggling to make both ends meet.
By praying God the misfortunes can be changed to any extent and by God's will any  kind of transformations are possible to change our destiny.
We have to be hard working,be kind and helpful to others, and be thankful to God always for the favours we are enjoying.Praying and remembering God will bring in good rewards. God is very kind that  even if  we do not pray him but remember him unknowingly also ,   still he will bless us if our deeds are virtuous.
Once there lived a farmer by name 'Gopal'  in a village who worked hard from morning to evening in his small farm.He lead a life like an atheist since he never prayed to God but he had several  good habits.  Gopal was always  supportive to his family members,helped poor people  in his locality even though his earnings were  comparatively very  less than rich people , he respected  Priests and learned men  etc.
One day a Sanyasi(Monk) who was a traveller arrived at his residence  in the evening and requested   shelter for him to stay  during that  night.Gopal received  and talked to him with respect, allotted him a room in the house,provided him vegetarian good food for supper and next day for  breakfast also.When Sanyasi was about to leave next day morning  after  his breakfast, Gopal asked Sanyasi an advice for making his life more comfortable and  better.Sanyasi immediately answered to Pray God for his blessing but it was rejected by Gopal. He was not ready to pray God for any kind of wishes.Sanyasi closed his eyes and thought for a moment.He knew that Gopal was a humanitarian and  a hard working person except that he did not remember God and  never used to pray to him.
Sanyasi opened his eyes and asked Gopal to meet a firm devotee of God everyday before lunch as a custom from next day onwards which would be beneficial to him.
Gopal from next day onwards visited 'Ramu',    living nearby who was a potter by profession and a highly devoted person.Ramu   used to visit the "Village temple' in the morning and evening every day.He always wore sacred ash and sandalwood paste on his forehead.Gopal started  to go to Ramu's  house daily at noon while coming  back from his farm, and said Hello to Ramu.  Then only he  proceeded to his home for lunch.
Several days passed by in this regard.One day when Gopal reached Ramu's residence at noon  he was not there.On enquiry he was told that Ramu went to the clay field near the river to bring clay for making pots.Gopal had to search for a long time to find  Ramu since he was not knowing exactly  from which place  Ramu was excavating the clay.At last when he found him working  in a pit  on the clay field he exclaimed happily in a loud voice "Oh I have Seen".When Ramu heard these words he turned back and suddely his face turned pale.He did not utter any words.Gopal also said anything else but smiled at Ramu and hurried home since he was feeling very much hungry.





When Gopal just finished his meal, he was astonished to find Potter Ramu waiting  at his lawn and was anxious to know why he came there urgently.Potter Ramu invited Gopal outside to the lawn and said secretly. " Dear friend, I knew that you have seen everything. Actually nobody else knew about this.Please do not reveal this to anybody.While digging  out clay I got two big jars containing Gold.You came to the spot while I was examining the jars.I think this is a blessing of God.I am financially very  poor and you are also not rich.If the authorities come to know about this treasure  we will have to hand over the jars to them.So kindly keep this as a secret.I will give you one full  jar of Gold.Please come to my house and I will give it now itself."
Gopal was delighted to hear these words.Actually he did not notice what Ramu was doing  in the clay field or  the jars of Gold.When he met Ramu in side the pit after a long search, in a relief he just exclaimed " Oh I Have seen" but Ramu thought he saw him excavating two jars which contained Gold.Gopal felt very happy and received the full jar of Gold from Ramu.
Thus Gopal became rich and lived in luxury from there on.He was not knowing that his destiny was changed by God for unknowingly remembering him everyday.He was blessed fast to lead a prosperous life because he was not selfish, he was not pride, he was not arrogant or aggressive, he was hard working,he respected Priests and learned people, he supported his family and other poor people in the locality.
After becoming rich also Gopal did not deviate from his virtuous path of life
but did not pray to God.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Thrikkakkara Mahavishnu Temple

Thrikkakara 'Vamana Moorthy' Temple is near Ernakulam in Kerala and it is one of the 108 Abodes of Lord Vishnu, all of  which are  also known as 'Divya Desams ' and 'Vaishnava Thirupathis'.Out of the 11 Temples of this category in Kerala Thrikkakara Maha Vishnu Temple is having a history of 4,500 years.
From the evidences received it is calculated that the deity of this temple was consecrated  2500 years before Christ.
The legend is that 'Mahabali' who was the son of 'Prahlada' conquered the three worlds with the power he acquired through 'Tapas'.Thus King of Devas Devendra also lost his crown and his mother 'Aditi Devi' wanted to help  him to get back his throne.So she  performed Vrat to propitiate Mahavishnu with guidance by her husband "kasyapa Prajapathi'.After several months of vigorous Vrat Mahavishnu appeared before her and agreed to take birth as her son to help Devendra..Thus Mahavishnu took incarnation as 
Lord Vamana.Vamana was blessed by Sun God,Moon God,Bhoomi Devi, Brihaspathi Guru,Parvathi Devi,Saraswathi Devi,Kubera, etc .A little while after the birth Vamana  changed himself to boyhood form as a Monk  and moved to Mahabali's place.The belief is that Mahabali was stationed at 'Thirikkakara' at that time and so Vamana reached there and met Mahabali.
Vamana begged three feet of land to  Emperor Mahabali for performing 'Tapas'(sitting alone at a place concentrating only about God and chanting his names) which the King was only happy to give but Guru Sukracharya told the truth about Vamana which he understood by his mind power  to the King.Mahabali but did not change his words and agreed to measure three feet land by Vamana himself.Vamana grew up to the sky and measured all the worlds with two steps.He demanded where to put his foot to measure the third feet of land for which Mahabali bowed to him and showed his head.Vamana put his foot on his head and send him to another world.Mahabali requested Mahavishnu (Lord Vamana) to have his presence always at that place and also to allow him to visit that place every year.The place name 'Thrikkakara' was derived because Mahavishnu came and stood at  that place(Thri+Kal+Kara=The place where God's feet touched).As per the request of Mahabali a self originated idol of Mahavishnu  emerged at that place and the temple was constructed there in due course.Thus Trikkakara temple was originated.
Earlier this temple was a gigantic structure and the festivals were celebrated in an elaborate manner.At the time of popular 'Chera King' 'Cheraman Perumal' 
the annual festival was held for twenty eight days from Karkadakom Month "Thiruvonam day" to Chingam Month "Thiruvonam day".Kerala was divided in to 64 Gramam(villages) at that time and to represent them 64 elephants and 1 elephant in the name of 'Cheraman Perumal' participated in the festival.Everyday feast was given  for the devotees during those festival  days.Those who could not attend the festival were asked by  the King to make flower arrangement  'Pookkalam' in front of every house and place idol of 'Thrikkakara Appan' and worship.He requested to make feast and sweets at home and offer to God also.Some people believe that Onam festival was started in this manner in Kerala.




After the reign of 'Cheraman Perulal' the importance of this temple declined.The vast Chera Kingdom also was sub divided in to separate provinces.
The temple festival days was rearranged and confined to  10 days from 'Atham star day' to 'Thiruvonam star day'.But people continued to make  'Pookkalam' in front of their houses , placed clay idol of 'Thrikkakara Appan' and worshipped during those festival days till 'Thiru Onam Day'.
According to Divya Desam texts the deity Mahavishnu of this temple is also called as 'Katkara Swamy Perumal' and residing here with Lakshmi Devi who has the name here as 'Vathsalyavalli'.
The temple had to face attacks from Portuguese and Tipu Sultan.They made lot of ruins and for several years the temple remained in that pathetic  situation  till the reign of 'Sree Moolam Thirunal Maharajah of Travancore'.He renovated it to the condition as we see it now.The lost previous glory was not regained
as it possessed centuries back.During those days there were twenty eight separate Sanctums in this temple complex with Golden Flag staff in front of each of them.The temple is in a progressive state at present.In this temple there is another separate shrine for Lord Shiva.The sub deities of Shiva temple are Parvathi Devi,Durga Devi,Bhagawathi,Ganapathi and Subramnaya.The sub-deities of Vamana Moorthy temple  are Bhagawathi,Sastha,Gopalakrishnan,Naga,Rakshassu etc.
The Onam Days are annual main festival days in this temple (In the month of 'Chingam' from 'Atham star day'(Flag hoisting- Kodiyettu) to 'Thiru Onam star day(Aarattu)'.On the festival days 'Pookkalam'(flower arrangement in circular shape) is done at the Mandapa of this temple also.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

RAMADAN AND EID- UL- FITR

Ramadan is the ninth month and  it is the most important holy month of Islamic Calendar.Muslims believe that Allah revealed the first verses of Holy Qur'an to
Prophet Muhammad during this month.
More than One Billion Muslims across the Globe performs observances in this month by avoiding food and drinks during day time for whole month of 30 days.From dawn to dusk all Muslims except sick,aged,children below 12 years,travellers,etc should perform this fasting since it is considered as one of the 'five pillars' of Islam.Since it is obligatory every Muslim performs it with devotion and dedication.This sacrifice helps them to understand the hunger of the poor people and  a voluntary mind to help the poor and needy people arouses.
Charity is also an obligation according to Islam and they performs it throughout the year but more of the charity(Zakkat) is distributed in this month when the rewards for one's good deeds will be more in Ramadan.
Just  performing fasting by  all Muslims are not enough but they are  expected to refrain from any kind of bad deeds and they should keep the mind and body pure.The recitation of Holy Qur'an 
is performed in Mosques and many people listen to it.Many people will read the holy text themselves at least once during the one month period.The love of God,the love of humanity,the helping mind for the poor,the good habit of patience,brotherly hood to others,the inspiration to perform good deeds,self discipline,self control etc are good results of Ramadan Month observances.
The 27th night in the month of Ramadan is  very much sacred and most of the Muslims spent that night reading Holy Qur'an.




The first three days of the next month 'Shawaal' is celebrated as 'Eid Ul Fitr by all Muslims across the world.It is a time of celebration and joy.After the 30 days of fasting again returning  back to the normal life is celebrated after morning prayers in Mosques.
Since Islamic Calendar is calculated according to lunar cycle there can be slight variations of the  starting  day of celebration.In Kerala 'Eid Ul Fitr' is termed as 'Cheriya Perunnal' and 'Bakrid' is termed as 'Valia Perunnal'.Malayali people celebrates all festivals with brotherly hood without any religious barrier.So Onam,Eid,Easter etc are celebrated by all people happily with unity.
All over the world these days are celebrated with unity,love and enthusiasm.
Meeting friends,relatives and exchanging gifts and sweets are highlighted during those days.Happy celebration mood lingers everywhere and everybody 
prays the almighty to keep on that contented feeling of festivity, peace and love  throughout 
the year.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Alathiyur Hanuman Temple

Alathiyur Hanuman Swamy Temple is situated in a serene place with beautiful paddy fields and coconut groves.The temple is  not big and the idol of Hanuman Swamy is also small.But the popularity of this temple is enormous which has  spread all over Kerala and to other places.The power of Hanuman Swamy is well known and devotees in large numbers visit this temple to get his blessing and to get their wishes fulfilled. 
This temple is situated at 'Alathiyoor' which is 9km from Tirur Railway Station.Tirur is in Malappuram District of Kerala.
When Smt.Jayalaltha became Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu she visited Guruvayoor Sreekrishna Temple and Alathiyoor Hanuman Temple  for worship.
She also visited Raja Rajeswari of Thalaparambu Temple on that trip.

From Kuttippuram and Tirur  frequent bus service are available to Alathiyur.
Even though the name of this temple is 'Perumthrikkovil'  people call it as 'Hanuman Kavu'.
The main deity is Sree Rama and to its right is the Sanctum of Sree Hanuman existed facing south.He is holding a mace in his hand.
When Sithadevi was abducted by Ravana to Lanka Sree Rama and Lakshmana
were in search of her and they made a treaty with Monkey King Sugreeva.As according to that treaty Sugreeva sent his militants to all places in  search of  Sitha Devi.Hanuman was in the group that proceeded to the southern  direction.From the giant bird 'Jatayu' Sree Rama was knowing that Ravana abducted her and she would be at Lanka.Sree Rama was sure that his faithful devotee Hanuman would be successful in that mission to cross the sea, reach Lanka and pass on the message of Sri Rama to Sitha.Since he was fully confident in his abilities Sri Rama told the cue words for Sitha  to Hanuman only and gave the signet ring to him in confide.
The concept of the consecration of Sri Rama and Hanuman Swamy in this temple is that Sri Rama tells the cue word to Hanuman Swamy and he listen keenly his words.The idol of Hanuman Swamy is leaning to left for hearing Sri Rama's words.The sanctum of  Lakshamana in this temple is outside the Nalambalam periphery and its concept is that he kept away himself for not 
hearing Sri Rama's cue words to Sitha.He was giving privacy to his brother.
All the celestial beings and Gods bestowed their blessings on this occasion to Hanuman Swamy and hence he was able to cross the sea very easily and victoriously completed his mission.


In this temple there are sub deities such as Ganapathy,Maha Vishnu,Bhagavathy and Ayyappan also.
It is believed that Sage Vasishta established this temple about 3000 years ago.The temple was governed by Brahmin Namputhiris of that  Village and later it was governed by Vettathu Raja.Later it came  under the administration of Zamorin Of Calicut.
If we worship Alathiyur Hanuman Swamy  our wishes will be  fulfilled by him since he is very powerful here because of the blessings from all Gods.
Children if see horror dreams or bad dreams pray Alathiyur Hanuman Swamy before going to bed at night.'Alathiyur Hanuman Swamy kindly keep away bad dreams from me.If bad dreams are haunted please wake me up by gently tapping with your tail' is the prayer.
There is a granite plat form and a long stone piece placed near the temple.People jump across it in commemoration of the leap of Hanuman  to Lanka.By performing  this leaping Hanuman will be pleased and  gives good health and long life is the belief.
Thunchathu Ezhuthachan who wrote  the Malayalam Ramayana and other texts was a firm devotee of Alathiyur Hanuman Swamy.
The main offering of this temple are wet beaten rice and 'Kadali' plantain.
Relief from physical and mental problems,poverty, problems created by enemies,obstacles for advancement etc are all removed by worshipping Hanuman Swamy of Alathiyur temple is firmly believed by devotees.By worshipping Hanuman Swamy one can get relieved from tension and can achieve mental peace.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hanuman Swamy and Garuda Bird

Everybody thinks that their assumptions and actions are apt and correct until they experience certain setbacks and  unexpected failures.Many of us may blame God for giving us bad experiences, but the wise people will understand that they were not on the right path and try to rectify their faults.God always
loves his devotees and some of his activities are designed  to remove or lessen our arrogance which stands as an obstacle for our success and achievements in life.
Once Lord Sree krishna was seen sitting gloomy by 'Garuda Bird'(who was his
'Vahana' or Vehicle according to Hindu mythology) and inquired about his sorrow.Krishna replied that he was thinking about his old devout- acquaintance 
'Hanuman' and wished  to meet  him.Garuda was in those days had a feeling that he was the fastest in all the worlds and Krishna wanted to reduce his bloated feeling.
Sreekrishna told Garuda to go to 'Kadalivanam' forest where he could find Hanuman meditating and tell him to come to Dwaraka Palace.Garuda flew very  fast and reached  the forest 'Kadalivanam' and found 'Hanuman Swamy'.He said to Hanuman that Sree Krishna wanted to see him urgently.But Hanuman said that he did not feel like to visit Sree Krishna.He also added that some of the activities Krishna did  in childhood days were  not at all impressive.He used to steal milk,curd and butter from the neighbours, he climbed on a tree with
the clothes of young girls while they were taking bath in river Yamuna.More over Hanuman was not  happy about the ways  he helped Pandavas to win the battle of Kurukshetra.Hanuman added that he felt Lord Sree Rama only adorable always since he  was   very much truthful,humble,lovable and a great warrior.After saying these words Hanuman Swamy again started meditation ignoring Garuda Bird who was standing in front of him.
Garuda wanted to tell Hanuman Swamy that whatever deeds done by Sree Krishna were  all meant for the betterment  of his friends and devotees.But when Hanuman Swamy started meditation again he went back and told Sree Krishna what had happened.
Sree Krishna then suddenly pleaded guilty to Garuda bird that he forgot to tell him previously that the message to Hanuman Swamy was to come to Dwaraka
Palace to meet Lord Sree Rama and not Sree Krishna.He requested Garuda to go again and tell Hanuman to come and meet Sree Rama at Dwaraka Palace.
Garuda did as he was told.Hanuman this time was very happy but he asked whether Bharatha,Shatrugna,Lakshmana and 'Seethadevi mother' were also present there at Dwaraka.Garuda was puzzled and was not knowing what to tell but he answered that he saw only Sree Rama there.Hanuman Swamy said that he wanted to see  Sree Rama along with 'Seethadevi mother' only and hence he was not interested to come.He started meditating again.
Garuda went  back to Sreekrishna and narrated the happenings.Sreekrisha requested  Garuda to go to 'Kadalivanam' forest once more and say that Sree Rama with 'Seethadevi mother' wanted to see him at Dwaraka Palace.Garuda again flew to Kadalivanam forest with the new message.
Meanwhile Sreekrishna transformed himself as Sree Rama and requested his wives Rugmini and Sathyabhama that one of them to come and sit beside him as
Seetha Devi.Those days Rugmini Devi had a feeling that she was more beautiful and attractive than Sathyabhama and Krishna wanted to reduce her






arrogance.
When Rugmini Devi prepared to sit on the throne as Seethadevi, Krishna said his opinion such that  Sathyabhama was  most suited  for  Sitha's role.Rugmini felt sad  but
Sathyabha considered it as an appreciation and was   happy to transform herself  as Sithadevi, who in her life  earned praise from everyone  for her elegance, simplicity,  chastity etc.
Garuda when invited Hanuman to Dwaraka to meet Sree Rama and Seetadevi  he was extremely happy this time  and was ready to go.Hanuman but did not prefer  to sit on Garuda's back and  promised that he would come his own to Dwaraka at the earliest.( Hanuman, being the son of Vayu; the 'God of Air' has the ability to fly at a stunning speed). Garuda so went back alone but happily this time because his mission was a success.
Garuda  reached Dwaraka and said to Sree Krishna that Hanuman would be coming very soon.But Sree Krishna said that Hanuman had already arrived  there, met them as Sree Rama and Seethadevi.Sree Krishna also said to Garuda  that Hanuman Swamy  returned happily after prostrating at the feet of Sree Rama and Seethadevi  and getting bliss and blessing from them.
Garuda felt ashamed because while coming back to Dwaraka  he took rest for a few minutes on the way since he was tired after the three consecutive trips to Kadalivanam and back to Dwaraka  but never thought that Hanuman Swamy would reach Dwaraka in such a lightning speed.The arrogance about his speed melted away from Garuda's mind.
By a simple action God Sree Krishna removed arrogance of Garuda and Rugmini.He revealed the truth once again that God loves his devotees very much and always bless them.God may give vision to firm devotees in the form they wanted to see him.In Bhagawad Gita God has revealed that one can worship him in any form and call him  by any names (but lovingly only).In whatever forms and whatever names we call him humbly with devout,  he will answer to them  happily-with Love. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Uravappara

The hillock Uravappara and surrounding areas of 'Olamattom' of Thodupuzha
in Idukki District,Kerala State  is an enchanting serene place where tourists in large numbers visit every year.
On the Uravappara hill top there exists an ancient Subramanya Temple in which childhood form of Subramanya(Bala Subramanya) is enshrined.It is believed that the idol of this temple is 'Swayambhoo'(Self Originated).
Devotees in large number visits this temple which has a connection to the Pandavas of Mahabharatha.
Pandavas during their exile period stayed in this temple compound is a belief.
There can be seen three big stones in the compound which the devotees believe as the 'Hearth' of Pandavas made in their Kitchen.
There is a pond nearby to this in the shape of a human foot and the story is that when there was no water for the Pooja purposes in the temple Bheema
of Pandavas forcefully stamped on the rock with his foot so that there formed a pit in the shape of his foot.Water from mineral spring filled that pit to form
a pond which will not dry up in summer also.The hillock is 500 ft above sea level and steps on the rock are made to climb up.




The 'Aduppu'(Stone hearth) of Pandavas and the foot shaped pond also attracts tourists to this place.
The scenery from the hillock is very beautiful which enthrals our hearts.
The annual festival of Uravappara Temple is in the Malayalam month of Makaram(Jan-Feb) for three days  which starts on Thiruvathira star day  and ends on Pooyam star day.Salt and pepper are submitted  in this temple by the devotees as an offering.
Gold and silver forms of human beings are offered to cure aliments.
The 'abhisheka theertham(Water used for unction of the deity) flows to the bottom of the rock and that is the reason this place is called as 'Uravappara'
is a belief.But most people believes that the pond in the shape of a foot  on the top of the rock  which will have water round the year because the natural mineral spring in it will not dries up and so the name derived as 'Uravappara'.
To 'Olamattom'  bus services are available from Thodupuzha and Moovattupuzha.Kottayam is the nearest Railway station and Cochin is the nearest Airport.

Friday, July 20, 2012

KUMBHALGARH

Kumbhalgarh is a tourist spot of 'Rajasthan State' in India.The main attractions of Kumbhalgarh are the 'Kumbhalgarh Fort'  and 'The wild life Sanctuary' existing there.
The Kumbhalgarh Fort is a 15th century Fort constructed by Maharana Kumbha
which covers an area of 12 square kilometers.The fort is encircled by  thirteen elevated mountain peaks of the Aravali ranges. It is made on the top most ridges about 1100 meters above sea level.The whole place situated away from
the city crowds and busy traffic in a serene beautiful locality will be liked by tourists.
Kumbhalgarh Fort is located approximately 105 kilometers  northwest of Udaipur  City and the Udaipur Airport is 85 km away.
It is situated in Rajsamand District.The dominion of Maharana Kumbha  extended up to Gwalior and Ranthambore.He constructed  this Fort where there existed a Citadel dating back to the second centuary A.D. built by a Jain descendant of  Mauryan Empire.
The fort is massive and it is second to the eminent Chittaurgarh Fort.The walls of the fort is 36 km long and it is 7 meter wide.This fort remained unconquered till to date  because of its unique location and solid construction.It but fell once to the combined forces of Mughal and  Amber  because of scarcity of water.
The 19th Centuary Maharana,  Fateh Singh renovated it.Now this fort encloses
another fort in its complex which is known as 'Kartargarh Fort' and comprises
of a Palace built by Maharana Fateh Singh.This Palace was built by him after demolishing a palace existed there  which was built by Rana Kumbha.In the Kumbhalgarh 
Fort there are 365 temples which  belongs to Jains as well as Hindus.
The fort complex has many palaces and the magnificent one is 'Badal Palace'(Palace of Clouds) which is situated in a high altitude and seems to be
situated among the clouds.A bird's eye view from there is a splendid sight.
Apart from Palaces,temples etc the complex have fields,water resources etc
which were sufficient to withstand  all type of emergencies.
The Fort served the rulers of Mewar  as a refuge in times of strife.It served
as a refuge for baby King 'Uday' of Mewar.Another historical fact is that  'Badal Palace' was the birth 
place of Maharana Pratap.
The fort has seven massive gates and several watch towers.The wall which 
circumvents for 36 km is world's third longest one which is 7 meters wide.
After entering the main gate the scenery on the way which winds up to the pinnacle in a 




comparatively quiet atmosphere is  but enriched with greenery and gardens.The view of the surroundings is breathtaking  and enchanting.
The wild life sanctuary at Kumbhalgarh is stretched to  578 square kilometers.
Animals such as leopards,Sloth Bears,Wolves,Jackals,Deer etc can be spotted  
here.Jungle treks and Safaris are arranged by the authorities for the tourists.
There are comfortable hotels available for a night stay at Kumbhalgarh.
Udaipur City is 105 km away,Jaipur City is 318 km away and Jodhpur is 171 km away.Udaipur is well connected to all major cities by road and rail.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Sankaracharya and Govindacharya

The prime disciple of 'Aadi Sankaracharya' was 'Padma Pader' whose original name was 'Govinda' and after becoming a monk and philosophy teacher he was known as either Padma Pader' or 'Govindacharya'.
In an article about 'Aadi Sankaracharya' dated 10 Sept 2011 in 'Sorting Diamonds and Pearls' I have described in detail how Govindacharya got the name 'Padma Pader'.
Before becoming the disciple of Sankaracharya,  'Govinda'  who was a firm believer of God wished for a glance of 'God' and he was in search to fulfill this ambition.He was not knowing what he should do to see the God and  asked about this to several sages.One of them gave him a mantra and
instructed to recite it millions of times by concentrating the image of 'Narasimha Moorthy' in mind since the mantra was in his favor. Narasimha is
the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu who is having half the part above the waist as of a Lion and half the part below the waist is of human.
Govinda was told that when he chant the mantra millions of times  he would
get the vision of Narasimha.So Govinda set about in search of a lonely serene place away from any disturbances and hence he selected a beautiful place inside the forest area and started to chant the mantra.
In that part of the forest some tribal people were living and their main occupation was hunting wild animals.
One day a young hunter while wandering in the forest for a suitable pray saw
Govinda sitting inside a cave and meditating.The hunter was not knowing what that man was doing in the forest and he was anxious to know about it.
So he made some sounds and hearing  it Govinda opened his eyes and saw the hunter before him.The hunter asked in curiosity why he was sitting lonely 
there and what was his aim.Govinda replied that he wanted to see Narasimha
Moorthy and he was sitting to fulfill that ambition.The hunter was not knowing
who was Narasimha  but asked Govinda whether it was any human or animal.
Govinda replied that it was half part human and half part Lion.
The hunter was puzzled because he was quite sure that there was no beast
in that forest in such a shape.But Govinda said it was there for sure.The hunter in this instance challenged to Govinda that he would catch that animal by next day evening and bring before 
him.By saying this oath he went in search for half human and half Lion creature.He wandered all nook and corner of the forest in search of this special animal day and night and in this plight he forgot to take food and water.Each and every second he was thinking about Narasimha and in his mind he thought the image of Narasimha, Half human and half Lion.
He could not find Narasimha the next day also.He determined to die because
he failed in this task of finding an animal of the forest.What was the use of living as a hunter who could not find a certain  animal of the forest   was the feeling in his mind.He tied himself to a tree and
determined to lie there till his death without food and water.
Suddenly 'Lord Narasimha' appeared before  him and spoke to him kindly
and disclosed that he was Narasimha whom he was in search for.The hunter
felt happy and he suspected whether that animal would run away and so he
tied him firmly and dragged all the way to the cave where Govinda was performing his penance.


The hunter told Govinda that he had succeeded to bring the animal 'Narasimha'
as per the details given to him.Govinda but was not able to see Narasimha but he could
hear his sound.He felt very sad that after chanting Narasimha mantra million
times also he was unable to see him but without chanting any mantras within
two days the hunter got his vision.He wept in sorrow and deep agony thinking  about
this.
At that moment Lord Narasimha told Govinda that most of the people including monks also could not chant mantras with full concentration and would be very difficult to perform it 
avoiding food and water.Their mind would wander thinking about other things .But the hunter was concentrating continuously about the thought of  Narasimha only without
any other deviation  for one 'day and night' and next  'day  time' also without
food and water.Hence he got Narasimha's vision since he was pleased in him.
Govinda was told by Narasimha that he was also lucky at least  to hear his sound and it was  because  of his prayers and blessed him.
Govinda later  became the disciple of 'Aadi Sankaracharya' and attained the title 'Padma Pader. He also became  a famous sage.He was  a scholar who wrote several religious and philosophical  books.