Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sri Periya Nambi

(Image is just an illusion)

Sri Periya Nambi, also known as Mahapurna, is well known for his contribution towards the development of Sri Vaishnavam. He was one of the prominent disciples of Sri Alavandar. He was born in year 997 and lived for a total of 105 years. He was also know as Parankusa Daasar.
Periya Nambi mastered several branches of learning at a very young age and became a disciple of Alavandar. Under the guidance of Alavandar, Periya Nambi mastered the texts of Vedanta and Divya Prabandam, a result of which he came to be known as Mahapurna. He became the primary AcArya for Sri Ramanuja.

During the same period, Alavandar's greatness was well known to other Sri Vaishnavas such as Thiruk kottiyur nambi, Thirukkacchi nambikal, Thirumaalai Andaan, Periya Thirumalai Nambikal. Alavandar, after receiving the blessing of Sri Ranganathar, paid a visit to Kanchi. When he entered Sri AruLaaLap perumaaL shrine, Thirukkacchi NambikaL, brought Ramanuja to his attention, saying "He is the one who naturally understands that The Lord Vishnu, who has the eyes that resemble a lotus, is the true meaning of Vedanta". Alavandar was very much impressed with Ramanuja. Periya Nambi was with Alavandar all this while.

After returning to Sri Rangam, Alavandar was restless to meet Ramanuja. As his health started to fail, Alavandar requested Periya Nambi to bring Ramanuja to Srirangam. Sir Periya Nambi reached Kanchi and extended Alavandar's invitation to Ramanuja. However, before he could reach Srirangam, Alavandar reached the devine feet of Sri Ranganathar at Vaikundam. Ramanuja returned to Kanchi after promising to satisfy the three requests from Alavandar:

The name of Parasara, should be commemorated on the earth by giving it to a person worthy to bear it.
Compose a commentary on Tiruvaymozhi of St. Nammaazhvaar.
Compose a commentary on Upanishads, Vedanta Sutras and Bhagavad Gita.

Periya Nambi, who became the AcArya after Alavandar, could not wait to meet Ramanuja. So he decided to meet him at Kanchi. Meanwhile, Ramanuja, was equally anxious to meet Periya Nambi, and decided to get to Sri Rangam. They both met at MadhurAnthakam.
Ramanuja requested Periya Nambi to be initiated in SriVaishnavam and started learning the

Prabandam from him. They both returned to Kanchi and got the blessings of Lord Varadha. Priya Nambi and his wife stayed with Ramanuja for a while. During this time, Ramanuja's wife and Periya Nambi's wife had an altercation while drawing water from a near by well. Nambi, who was witness to this, decided to return to Sri Rangam, as a prolonged stay at Ramanuja's home would result in more conflicts. When Ramanuja returned he was told of the altercation and subsequent Nambi's departure. Ramanuja, who was was outraged at his wife's behavior, sent her to her parents place, and decided to take up the ascetic order.

Later when one of Alavandar's disciples, Sri MaranEri Nambi passed away, Periya Nambi performed the last rites, inspite of the fact that MaranEri nambi was from a lower caste. When Ramanuja questioned him of his action, Nambi recalled that Sri Rama performed the last rites of Jataayu, and added he was neither bigger that Sri Rama nor was Maraneri nambi lower than Jataayu. Though Ramanuja was satisfied with his answer, the rest of vaishnavas in Srirangam were not. They decided to isolate periya nambi. Once when Ranganathar was taking a procession, the temple car came to a complete halt at the entrance of Periya nambi's house and refused to move. Only after Periya nambi was given the theertham and the aaraadhana, the car allowed itself to proceed. It took Sri Ranganathar to demonstrate the greatness of Periya nambi.

When the Chola King (Kulothungan) wanted to do harm to Ramanujar, Periya nambi and Koorathazhvan went to the king in place of Ramanuja. They both sacrificed their eye sight to save the Sri Vaishnava sampradhayam and Sri Ramanuja. On their return to Srirangam, due to his failing health, Periya Nmabi could not complete the journey and attained Vaikundam. It is believed that, though Periya nambi wanted to reach Srirangam and attain Vaikundam while being there, he decided to do otherwise fearing that it would generate a false impression and other Sri Vaishnavas would worry about passing away at places other than Sri Rangam, in order to attain moksham.

Sri Vaishnava Universe -

қαvї - கவி

Sri Raghavendra

Early life as VenkatanathaACharyaru

Sri Thimmanna Bhatta was the grandson of Krishnabhatta, a Veena scholar, who had taught the Veena to King Krishnadevaraya. Initially, this couple had two children named Gururaja and Venkatamba. By the grace of Lord Venkateswara, a third child was born in 1595 A.D. at Bhuvanagiri in Tamil Nadu to Sri Thimanna Bhatta and Smt. Gopikamba. They named him Venkatanatha (some also say that he was called either Venkanna Bhatta or Venkatacharya).
Venkatanatha proved to be a very brilliant scholar at a very young age. Venkatanatha's brother Sri Gururaja Bhatta took care of his upbringing after their father's demise. The initial portion of his education was completed under his brother-in-law Lakshminarasimhacharya's guidance in
Madurai. After his return from Madurai, Venkatanatha married Smt.Saraswathi. After his marriage, Venkatanatha went to Kumbakonam. There he studied the Dwaita vedantha, grammar and literary works under his guru, Sri Sudheendra Theertha. He was very well versed in bhashyas and debated with various scholars and prevailed over them. He was also a skilled musician and played the veena, which he had learned in his childhood from his father, very well. He used to teach children Sanskrit and the ancient Vedic texts. He never demanded any money for his services and he had to endure a life of poverty. Many a times, he, his wife and child had to go without food several times a week. But this never deterred the faith he had in the Lord.
Venkatanatha was in the habit of chanting
stotras and mantras always in his mind. Once while he was touring Kumbakonam, Venkatanatha was invited to attend a function, with his wife and son. The hosts did not treat him well and wanted him to earn his food by running a chore. So they asked him to make some sandalwood paste, using a grinding slab. The paste was given to all the guests, who smeared it on their bodies. Immediately, the guests complained of a burning sensation all over their bodies on which they had rubbed the paste. Surprised by this, the hosts questioned Venkatanatha, who replied saying that he was chanting the Agni Suktam while grinding the sandalwood, which had resulted in the cool sandalwood create a burning sensation. Such, it is said, was the power of the mantra when chanted by Venkatanatha! Venkatanatha then recited the Varuna Mantra and succeeded in relieving the guests of their agony.[citation needed]

Ordination into Sanyasa as Guru Raghavendra

His gurugalu, Sri Sudheendra Theertharu, was looking for a successor to his math. Sri Sudheendra Theertha had a dream where he saw the Lord indicate that Venkatanatha was the right person to succeed him as the pontiff of the math. So Sri Sudheendra Theertha communicated his desire to Venkatanatha. Venkatanatha was devastated by the request of the guru as he could not take up this responsibility for he had a young wife and a son to care for.
But by divine intervention and after being blessed by the Goddess of Learning herself, Venkatanatha changed his mind. The sanyasa ordination was to take place on the second day of the bright half of Phalguna Masa in 1621 at
Tanjore. On the day Venkatanatha was to ascend the peetha, Saraswathi was required to stay at home. However, at the last minute she was seized by a desire to see her husband's face for the last time. She ran towards the matha throwing caution to the winds. Unfortunately, deeply engrossed in the desire to see her husband, she did not see an old and unused well on the way, and fell into it. She drowned and died. Since her death was an untimely one, she became a ghost. Even as a ghost, her only desire was to see her husband and so she went to the matha. By the time she arrived, the function was over Venkatanatha had become a Sannyasi under the name of Sri Raghavendra Theertha. Sri Raghavendra sensed his wife's presence immediately and sprinkled some holy water from His Kamandalu on her, granting her moksha or liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. This was her reward for a lifetime of dedicated and selfless service to Sri Raghavendra.

Raghavendra Swami - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

қαvї - கவி

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Kamal's Dasavatharam

Kamal Haasan featuring Dasavatharam in ten different roles is making waves and also getting mixed reviews around the world. (Check our comments section on dasavatharam review and here). One should understand the basic concept of the Dasavatharam storyline — Chaos theory, Butterfly Effect. Chaos theory or “Butterfly effect” has been shown in movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “The Jurassic Park” etc…

Some guys have claimed they haven’t understood chaos theory which plays such an important part in the film. As a physics student, I’ve decided to explain it a bit so that people can appreciate the brilliance of the film.

What is Chaos theory ?

Basically a chaotic system is one wherein long term predictions are impossible. Like for example, if I push a car, I know that it is going to move and it will continue to do so if I go on pushing it on and on. However, in a chaotic system, this situation cannot be predicted over a long period of time. Weather, for example, is a chaotic system. No matter how good your instruments are, you simply cannot predict the weather with 100 per cent accuracy over a long term basis and forecast it.

What is the Butterfly Effect?

It is the most important component of a chaotic system. Basically, small perturbations results in amplifications which completely destroys the original nature of the system and makes prediction impossible. If a butterfly flaps its wings in Africa, it could result ina cyclone in USA.(Mark the word COULD.) A highly dumbed down explanation of the butterfly effect is in the film Anniyan, where Vikram’s sister dies because a liquor shop owner sells liquor on a dry day.

OK, how does Dasavatharam incorporate it?

In essence, Dasavatharam talks about eight characters who are inconsequential as such, but are integrated in a larger picture. Without Bush, the plane would have been called back. Without Shinghen, Govind would be dead. Without the tsunami, the world would have been destroyed. Even Krishnaveni (the old woman) plays a very important role. If she had not put the vial in the idol, maybe Govind would have recovered it then and there and a powerful weapon would have been unleashed. The very fact that it went into the idol meant that it was being accelerated to its destiny. Without Kaifulllah Khan, Govind would have never escaped… the list simply goes on.
OK, so does the film talk about theism or atheism?
Neither. It talks about how humans drive the destiny of the world. The idol that is drowned in the sea along with Rangarajan in 12th century by Chozha king results in a fault being developed at the bottom of the ocean and creates tremors more than 800 years later. These tremors result in the Tsunami. This again is a classic case of Butterfly Effect wherein a seemingly inconsequential event (the drowning of the idol) saves Tamil Nadu from being wiped off the face of the earth.
Now tell me, does THIS movie lack a story?
This movie has the most beautiful story ever attempted in Indian cinema. Unfortunately, Indian viewers and critics are obsessed with the “boy meets girl” and “revenge” themes, so they fail to see the story in this master piece. - Chaos Theory

Chaos theory and Butterfly Effect - Message Board

қαvї - கவி

Monday, September 15, 2008

Some From The Actual Part

First Thought

(Image is just an illusion)

Kulothunga Chola II was a 12th century king of the Chola Dynasty, among the Tamil people in the region that now primarily in southern India. He succeeded his father Vikrama Chola to the Chola throne in 1135 C.E. Vikrama Chola made his heir apparent and coregent in 1133 C.E and so the inscriptions of Kulothunga II count his reign from 1133 C.E.

Kulothunga II reigned over a period of general peace and good governance. There is no record of any warfare except for the consolidation of the Chola control over the northern Vengi territories, which had been won by his father Vikrama Chola by routing the Western Chalukyas.

Kulothunga was a great devotee of the Siva shrine of Chidambaram. He celebrated his coronation in that city. Chidambaram is one of those five places where chola princes were invested with crown. He also financed the elaborate renovation of the Nataraja temple in Chidambaram. The poem Kulothunga Cholan Ula describes in detail the work carried out in Chidambaram. It is possible that this renovation work is the continuation of the work started by Vikrama Chola. He commissioned the work called "thiru thondar puranam", by his Noble Sekkilar, who composed it from Thillai(Chidambaram).

Kulothunga II had a comparatively peaceful reign. His intolerance or persecution of "Vaishnavas" is disputed. As explained in the 'Kulothunga Cholan Ula', during his time major development work at the Natarajar Temple at Thillai (Chidambaram) was carried out. Incidentally, this major Shaiva shrine also houses the (separate) temple of Lord Vishnu as Govindarajar, which is among the 108 Divya Desams (sacred temples of Lord Vishnu). Under Kulothunga II's orders, an attempt to persuade the patrons of the Vishnu shrine was made for temporarily removing the idol of Vishnu, ostensibly with the purpose of repairing and renovation, which was initially opposed by the Vaishnava community. Kulothunga-II probably got the idol forcibly shifted mainly so that the repair work is carried on smoothly and also with the intention of not causing any damage to the Vishnu shrine. This opposition of Vaishnavas to the (intended but not deliberate) removal and closure of Lord Vishnu's temple was interpreted in some quarters as persecution of Vaishnavites, because in Hinduism closure of a temple is opposed and at least a small lamp has to be lit in the temple, without which that temple is not considered fit for worship. It is also a well known fact that the great preceptor of the vaishnavites, Ramanuja was forced by his disciples who feared for his life, to leave Srirangam for Melkote where the hoysala king, though a jain, was secular. Kulothunga blinded all Vaishnavites who refused to accept that Siva was the supreme God and Ramanuja's aging preceptor Periya Nambi and his staunch disciple Kuresan were chief among those. Periya Nambi lost his life after that.

Kulothunga Chola II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

қαvї - கவி

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sri Adi Sankara


Chaos pervaded all through India in the matter of religion and philosophy. Sect after sect, such as Charvakas, Lokayathikas, Kapalikas, Shaktas, Sankhyas, Buddhas and Madhyamikas sprang up. The number of religions rose as high as seventy-two. There was fight amongst sects. There was no peace anywhere. Chaos and confusion reigned supreme. There was superstition and bigotry. Darkness prevailed over the once happy land of Rishis, sages and Yogins. The once glorious land of the Aryans was in a miserable state. Such was the state of the country at the time which just preceded the Avatara (incarnation) of Sankaracharya. The existence of Vedic Dharma in India today is due to Sankara. The forces opposed to Vedic religion were more numerous and powerful at the time of Sankara than they are today. Still, single-handed, within a very short time, Sankara overpowered them all and restored the Vedic Dharrna and Advaita Vedanta to its pristine purity in the land. The weapon he used was pure knowledge and spirituality. The previous Avataras, like Rama and Krishna, used physical forces because the obstacles to Dharma in those days arose from the physical obstructions and molestations of the Asuras (demons). The menace to Dharma in the Kali age (age of destruction) arose from obstacles that were more internal than external, more mental than physical. The seeds of Adharma (unrighteousness) were then working in the minds of almost everyone. Hence the evil had to be combated purely by the weapon of knowledge and self-purification. It was in order to forge this weapon and wield it with efficacy that Sankara took birth in the Brahmin Varna (caste) and entered the Sannyasa (renunciate) order early in life. The previous Avataras like Rama and Krishna took birth in the Kshatriya Varna (warrior caste), because in their days they had to wield military weapons in the restoration of Dharma. All are no doubt aware of the very important position assigned to Sankaracharya in the history of Indian philosophy. It can be affirmed, without any fear of contradiction, that Bharata Varsha would have ceased to be Bharata Varsha several centuries ago and would never have survived the murderous sword, the devastating fire and the religious intolerance of the successive invaders, if Sankara had not lived the life he lived and taught the lessons he taught. And those lessons are still pulsating in every cell and in every protoplasm of the true aspirant and the true Hindu.


Sankara was born in a very poor family in the year 788 A.D. in a village named Kaladi, six miles to the east of Alwaye, Kerala. Kaladi is a railway station, on the Kochi-Shoranur rail link. Sankara was a Nambudiri Brahmin. Rajasekhara, a Zamindar (a rich landlord), built a Siva temple in Kaladi and formed an Agrahara for Brahmins who were in the service of the temple. Vidyadhiraja was doing Puja (worship) in the temple. He had only a son named Sivaguru. Sivaguru studied the Shastras and married at the proper age. He had no child. He and his wife Aryamba prayed to Lord Siva to bless them with a son. A son was born to them in the Vasanta Ritu or the spring season at noon, in the auspicious Abhijit Muhurta and under the constellation Ardhra. This son was Sankara. Sivaguru died when Sankara was seven years old. Sankara had none to look after his education. His mother was an extraordinary woman. She took special care to educate her son in all the Shastras. Sankara's Upanayana or thread ceremony was performed in his seventh year, after the death of his father. Sankara exhibited extraordinary intelligence in his boyhood. When he was only sixteen, he became a master of all the philosophies and theologies. He began to write commentaries on the Gita, the Upanishads and the Brahma Sutras when he was only sixteen years old. What a great marvel! Sankara's mother was consulting astrologers about horoscopes of suitable girls for her son's marriage. But Sankara had a firm resolve to renounce the world and become a Sannyasin. Sankara's mother was very much grieved that there would be no one to perform her funeral rites after her death. Sankara gave full assurance to his mother that he would always be ready to serve her at the death-bed and perform the usual funeral rites. Even then his mother was not satisfied. One day, Sankara and his mother went to take bath in the river. Sankara plunged into the water and felt that a crocodile was dragging him by the foot. He shouted out to his mother at the top of his voice: "O dear mother! A crocodile is dragging me down. I am lost. Let me die peacefully as a Sannyasin. Let me have the satisfaction of dying as a Sannyasin. Give me your permission now. Let me take Apath-sannyasa”. The mother immediately allowed him to take Sannyasa. Sankara took Apath-sannyasa (the adoption of Sannyasa when death is near) at once. The crocodile let him go unharmed. Sankara came out of the water as a nominal Sannyasin. He again repeated his promise to his mother. He left her under the care of his relatives and gave away his little property to them. He then proceeded to find out a Guru with a view to get himself formally initiated into the sacred order of Sannyasa.

қαvї - கவி