Violin concert by students of Smt.Anusha Sreeram as part of Sri Rama navami celebrations

Smt.Uma Ganesh and Sri Ganesh were generous enough to offer their premises for a violin concert by students of Smt.Anusha Sreeram as part of Sri Rama navami celebrations on the evening of 13th April 2019. Chi.Pradyuth, their son, is a student of Smt.Anusha Sreeram and he was also part of the performing team.

Guru and her disciples

Please find below an account of the event. The YouTube link is shared below the write up.

The following students of Sree Ramanuja Vidyalaya performed in the concert.

  • Shrivats Gopal
  • Shreyaas Sanjeev
  • Sivasubramanian S
  • Nithyashree S
  • Srinidhi Pennathur
  • Hiranmayee Sreeram
  • Pradyut G and
  • Priyanka Haresh

The programme began with the vasantha varnam – ‘Ninnukori’ composed by Sri Thachur Singrarachari in Aadhi Thaalam. This was followed by an invocation in Hamsathvani Ragam – ‘Vinayaka Ninnu’ composed by E.V.Ramakrishna Bhagavadhar in Aadhi Thaalam.

The next one was ‘Teleserama’ in Poorna chandrika Ragam – In this keertana Sri Sadguru Thyagaraja commands the Manas to chant the divine Rama Nama which is the only way to get rid of pains and vains.

a happy Guru

A Thematic Presentation ”EKAIKA RAGA KRITIS FOR OUR EKA PATNI VRATAN” followed next. on some of the ekaika raga kritis composed by Thyagaraja on Rama.

First was the song Meluko Vaiyya , Bowli Raga where in, Rama is woken up by Tyagaraja to protect his creation.

Second was ‘Manasa etulorthune’ in Malayamarutham Raga in which Tyagaraja  advises the Manas to chant the Taraka Nama to escape from the Dwigunas (Rajas, Tamas)

a cross section of the audience

Third was ‘Manavyalakincharadhate’ in Nalinakanthi in which Thyagaraja emphasises that rather than drowning in the sorrow of Karma, he yet again commands his Manas to concentrate on the Divine Human Form, the Ramaavatara.

Fourth is the one in which, being fed up with the manas which is still naive, Thyagaraja in ‘Aada Modi GAlade’ in Charukesi raga expresses his displeasure as Rama doesn’t respond to his calls as he is no where near Hanuman, the true Rama Bhaktha

a cross section of performers

In the next song, ‘Bantu Reethi Golu’, in Hamsanaadham raga, Thyagaraja pleads Rama to accept him as his Sevaka.

‘MARUGELARA’ in Jayantha Sri Ragam, Deshadhi Thalam was the next. In this Thyagaraja pleads with Rama to come out of his hidden form. He stresses that he will never worship any other divine form other than Raghava.

The concert was concluded with mangalam in Sourashtra Ragam.

The primary aim of organising this concert is to let the students have a feel of performing before an audience. There are definitely many areas of improvement in the way these budding artistes have run their fingers and bows on one of the most challenging instruments of music. We welcome any kind of constructive feedback.

after the concert

regards

Sreeram

Vidvan Aashukavi Sriman U.Ve.Meyyur Narasimhachari – an interview by Dr.Sreeram Jaganathan

Sriman U.Ve. Meyyur Narasimhachari

The karma of some of us is linked and that is why we are attracted to some people without a reason even. Otherwise how, myself, a reserved face to strangers would have been attracted to the 86 years old Sriman Meyyur Narasimhachari, the elderly Srivaishnava who goes about his daily visit to the Sri Vedanta Desika Devasthanam, Mylapore in a very quiet manner? The attraction was mutual, I should say. Once my Guru and mentor Dr.S.Padmanabhan introduced us to each other. From then on the hoarse or gravelly voiced would stop and enquire ‘Enna Sreeraman! Sowkyama irukkera?’. He would often handout a piece of paper that would contain some verses in Tamil neatly handwritten and photocopied. The verses would be on Lord Srinivasa or Swami Vedanta Desikan or other acharyas. I would wonder how many would even read them in full, forget about appreciating it. Ofcourse I would run through it quickly and pass on my acknowledgement and appreciation to the blessed poet – He began writing only after retirement with the grace of Lord Hayagreeva – in his own words.

The blessed dampati

The dampati, should have been married for atleast 65 years) are an excellent example of how a married couple should live, especially to the younger couples of modern times who find it a challenge to get along even quite early. Listen to the words of Smt. Vijayalakshmi at the end of the audio file (given at the end of this article) wherein she speaks proudly about her understanding husband! (Her voice is a bit feeble though)

When I was waiting in the hall of the typical agrahara house with a mittham etc the attention of my eyes was grabbed by this picture of Padmavathi Thayar. I assumed it was a photograph and moved on to the next object. Only when the Swami said that it was his painting that was done some 50 years ago I was amazed! Narayana! can this be a painting? I assumed it was a photograph! What a talent! He has painted Swami Desikan also! (see below)

Sometimes when Emberuman chooses to bestow his grace on someone he does not limit it at all. Please see the art work that he has done in soap pieces that we would use to only take bath! As typical of him he has gifted them all but these three – matsya, kurma and a bhanjika. He is so unassuming and casual about his talents! Once in his office days his piece of ingenuity won him the first place in an art exhibition! Alas! those were the days sans technology! Else we could have saved so many things for posterity!

Swami Desikan reincarnated in archa form with the wonderful fingers of this Swami, keeps blessing him daily!

This Swami has composed about 300 poems in Sanskrit in different vrttas, around 3500 verses in Tamil, about 120 songs in Tamil that can be set to music (some of them have been set to music and performed in the past). He has completed the grantha-chatushtaya kalakshepam (all after retirement).

Swami seeing me off after the interview














Having so many compositions in his forte he is a gifted sishya who has been extolled by his Acharya, who is no ordinary scholar, but mahamahopadhyaya, mahavidvan Perukaranai Chakravarti Swami in his forewords to Swami’s books ‘Thirumayilaith Thirumal Shathakam’ (100 pasurams) and ‘Thiruvinnagar Pamalai’ (273 pasurams).

H.H.Poundareekapuram Anadavan has also rendered his srimukham to the latter book. He has published his carnatic compositions in two parts under the title ‘Gaanasudharnavam’. He has composed 3000 pasurams about various divyadesa perumals. He recited some of his pasurams with his childlike enthusiasm for the delight of the listeners.

‘khyatilaabhapoojaasu vimukho vaishnava janah’ – It would not be an exaggeration to praise this bhagavatottama with the above words! He has been writing so much without an eye on any recognition! He continues to write still, photocopy it and shares it with like minded bhagavatas! Adiyen could only express a wish that adiyen would arrange through someone to have all his compositions typed atleast to present them through a blog or website!! I wish someone takes up this contemporary poet’s compositions for some research work!

Swami is being honoured before the interview

The link to the audio file of the interview is https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ZwCUW-Z6EYKQTX_pPLJPuTCId4PJg2L

It is really high time this Swami gets recognised for his contribution to Tamil and Sanskrit poetry.

Dasan

Sreeram.

Srimad Bhagavad Gita lecture 50 by Dr.Sreeram Jaganathan Setlur

The audio link to the 50th part of the lecture by Adiyen on Sri Ramanuja’s bhashya on the Bhagavad Gita is as below – The meanings of the verses from 21st until the end of the 13th chapter are covered in this lecture. The next lecture will happen on the first Tuesday of June 2019.

The link is as below:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YdQOxIvNJZrE-6DridFpKKCzeQwNj7DM/view?usp=drivesdk

DAsan

Sreeram.

Vilakshana Vaishnavan – Sriman Parthasarathy, Thirukoshtiyur

Sometimes, in life, only in hindsight, do we realise how something good happened to us by a mere stroke of chance or luck. In our Sampradaya we say such things happen due to krupa of Acharyan and SriyaHpati. That is how we met Sriman Parthasarathy, a kainkarya Sriman, archaka of Swami Desikan Sannidhi of Sri Ahobila mutt, Thirukoshtiyur. We had been to Thirukoshtiyur to have a darshan of Sowmya Narayana Perumal and to fulfil a couple of prarthanas. We had an excellent darshan and someone said to us to visit Swami Desikan and Hayagreeva Perumal sannidhi situated outside the temple premises. It was already late and we were in a hurry to go back to Srirangam. ‘We will see next time’ – we said to ourselves and reached the Gopuram. Right inside the gopuram, an elderly Srivaishnava approached me and began to bless my young son, with pasurams from the Nalayira Divya Prabandham and Desika Srisooktis in his chaste Tamil with a nice tune. He was visibly very excited and happy to see us. I thought he was another Sevarthi and thanked him and came out.

Vilakshana Vaishnavan – Sriman Parthasarthy

Outside the temple, when we met the archaka swami who facilitated our darshan and told him that we were leaving and would visit the Desikan Sannidhi next time, he told us that the Desikan Sannidhi archaka was just entering the temple. My father, realising that the Srivaishnava whom we met was indeed the archaka, went in search of him to offer a sambhavana. After a hide and seek my father finally found him. Sriman Parthasarathy asked my father to come to the Sannidhi and offer it there and so we had to visit the Sannidhi.


Lakshmi Hayagreevan – Swami Desikan Sannidhi

            We took Parthasarathy Swamin with us in our Vehicle and throughout the way he was in an ecstatic mood singing verses from the Divya Prabandham, lost in his anubhava. He was a very systematic person. He brought the keys from his house and meticulously went about his role as an archaka. He showed harathi and blessed the entire family with pasurams from the Divya Prabandha and Desika stotras. Through him we learnt the following – The Sannidhi is 300 years old. Some of the sthalathars had constructed a sannidhi for Swami Desika and installed an idol of Hayagreeva. But in due course of time continuous worship was affected due to some difficulties and in the previous century the Sannidhi was handed over to H.H.Devanarvilagam Azhagiyasingar of Sri Ahobila mutt for a better governance. H.H. 43rd Jeer arranged to install an archa murti of H.H.Adivan Sathakopa Yateendra Mahadesikan. With the anugraham of H.H.Villivalam Azhagiyasingar and the kainkaryam of Bhagavatottamas like Thirukoshtiyur Tiruppernagar Ramanujacharya Swami, the madaipalli and mandapam were constructed. The well has been renovated and since then facilities have been provided for the stay of Sevarthis. The Tirumaligai of Swami Desikan that stands opposite this sannidhi is a testimony of the arrival and stay of the great Acharya in this divyadesam.

Swami Desikan Tirumaligai

It has been renovated with the support of many noble donors and the general public. Special Tirumanjanam, Sevalaka Satrumarai is being carried out every Tiruvonam in this Sannidhi. After nearly 50 years, the avatara utsava of Lakshmi Hayagreevar (Avani Shravanam), Swami Desika (Purattasi Tiruvonam) and H.H.Adivan Sathakopa Yateendra Mahadesikan (Purattasi Kettai) are all being conducted through the income generated from Trust created for this purpose. Contributions are welcome vide a cheque or a demand draft in the name of ‘Thirukhoshtiyur Shri Desighan Sannithi NAKS’ and sent to Sri Parthasarathy Bhattachar, Shri Desigan Sannithi, West Car Street, Thirukhoshtiyur 630210, Sivaganga District. His mobile number is 9941158635.

The interesting part about Sriman Parthasarathy follows from now on. A native of Thirukoshtiyur, he had to leave the place at the age of five due to poverty and lack of support from his father. After doing his primary education in Tirunelveli he underwent dharma upanayanam and was sent to Madurantakam Patashala where he completed OSLC (XI) in the year 1975 because free education was provided. He learnt the Divya Prabandham, Desika stotra and Paduka Sahasram during this period. Due to financial constraints he took a job in a transportation company in Amritsar. It was the sheer play of destiny that took him so far. He started from being a porter but could move up the ladder as he knew typing and shorthand. He moved in to sales roles with other transport companies. His sincerity and straightforwardness were rewarded with frequent transfers, threats from co-employees. He was even beaten black and blue once in a revenge for terminating some sales men who cheated upon their reports. His faith in dharma and bhakti in SriyaHpati saved him from all such difficulties. Finally, he took retirement and came to Chennai. During his frequent visits to Srirangam Srimad Andavan Ashram he got familiar with H.H.Srimushnam Andavan who directed him to take up an archaka role in some sannidhi in Srirangam. He was chosen for his svarupa and dedication. He just carried out the orders of the Acharya. After getting trained in the basics of agama the grace of Swami Desikan brought him back to his own native place, Thirukoshtiyur, only to serve his beloved acharyan – Swami Desikan. He teaches Divya Prbandham, Paduka Sahasram and Desika Stotras through Whatsapp to many people from different parts of the country. His only aim is to carry on his kainkaryam in an uninterrupted manner. He is working with utmost dedication and takes active role in fund generation towards upkeeping of Desikan Sannidhi and Desikan Tirumaligai. Though having travelled nearly the entire length and breath of the country (he has worked in Assam even) now he has chosen to live in Thirukoshtiyur for the service of Swami Desikan! He lives in a house nearby the Sannidhi with his wife and is very enthusiastically involved in the development and maintenance of the Sannidhi.

Inner view of Swami Desikan Sannidhi

Sri Mahaveera Vaibhavam – meaning with emphasis on Sanskrit and citations from Srimad Ramayana

Sri Raman with Sita Piratti, Ilayaperumal and Siriya thiruvadi at Thiruvendipuram

Sri Mahaveera Vaibhavam or Sri Raghuveera Gadyam is a prose-stuti or gadyakavya of Sri Nigamantha Mahadesikan. Sampradaya says this stuti was composed by Sri Desika on the archa murti of Sri Rama of the divya kshetra Thiruvendipuram. Consisting of 94 churnikas the stuti begins with the words ‘jaya jaya mahavira’. Swami Desikan has himself named this stuti as Mahaveera vaibhavam vide the line ‘pathata mahaveera vaibhavam sudhiyah’ in the concluding verse of the work.

Adiyen, with whatever meagre knowledge in Sanskrit that has been acquired, has attempted to narrate the meanings of this wonderful piece of prose-poetry with special emphasis on the basics of Sanskrit.

The recordings are done in parts. The link to the audio file of the first part that contains the introduction and meanings of the first 19 churnikas is as below

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Mkvn83oOMquFMYsVta7Vjpg-hMy0FjkB

The link to the audio file of the second part that contains the meanings of the choornikas from 20th to 36th is as below

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1hiERohtssihfHjwr_Fi_XiczgKICynLH

The link to the audio file of the third part that contains the meanings of the choornikas from 37th to 54th is as below

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D_jycYrxdBLzLxqFAgEXvlBlsZjodMKo/view?usp=drivesdk

The link to the audio file of the fourth part that contains the meanings of the choornikas from 55th to 76th is as below

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KYMseJInj4hU9EpdWhw685Cat_Bf4byW

The link to the audio file of the final part that contains the meanings of the choornikas from 77th to 94th (the last) and the two slokas thereafter is as below

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1HotynXxoDuhUz4M8lVBfb9zCcFb10T6F

Please find below the YouTube link to adiyen’s recitation of Sri Mahavira Vaibhavam

Adiyen’s recitation of Sri Mahaveera Vaibhavam

DAsan

Sreeram.

Srimad Bhagavad Gita lecture 47 by Dr.Sreeram Jaganathan Setlur

The audio link to the 47th part of the lecture by Adiyen on Sri Ramanuja’s bhashya on the Bhagavad Gita is as below – The meaning of the 2nd verse of the 13th chapter is covered in this lecture. Since the commentary of Sri Ramanuja is quite big to this verse, just more than half  of the commentary was covered in this lecture and the remaning would be covered in the next lecture.

The link is as below:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1HJ2_CXfHKByY06YwtT-q7uB1vvZe4CSU

DAsan

Sreeram.

Srimad Bhagavad Gita lecture 46 by Dr.Sreeram Jaganathan Setlur

The audio link to the 46th part of the lecture by Adiyen on Sri Ramanuja’s bhashya on the Bhagavad Gita is as below – The meanings of the verses from the 12th to the end of the 12th chapter and introduction and meanings of the first verse of the 13th chapter are covered in this lecture. Gurukrupa, two thirds of the Gitabhashya are covered with this lecture. Praying that the rest too gets completed in a similar fashion.

The link is as below:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1NepYRYGdYXoNfz8PR2IDT4VKj1gNwf0W

DAsan

Sreeram.

Vidvan Sri.T.E.S.Raghavan – an interview by Dr.Sreeram Jaganathan

Vidvan Sri,T.E.S.Raghavan

The Editor paying his respect to Sri Raghavan Swami

Ever since adiyen took up the role of The Editor for the English Spiritual magazine Vainavan Kural, there was a desire to interview some of the Srivaishnavites who are rendering or have rendered service in the fields of Temple Kainkarya, Sampradaya, Academics etc.  Today (11-03-19) I had the opportunity to  visit Vidvan Sri.T.E.S.Raghavan, 89 years old, living at No.1, Hanumanta rayar koil Street, Triplicane, Chennai -5. His brother Sri.Narasihman and his daughter-in-law were present during the interview and they were kind enough to share some anecdotes and information about the author.

It was a very interesting experience to have met this nonagenarian (well almost) and I was amazed at his scholarship and energy.

Fecilitated by H.E.Sri Rosiah, ex-Governor of Tamilnadu

Sri Raghavan Swami with his brother Sri Narasimhan

The feeling about the absence of recognition and money in the careers of those who pursue literary aspirations was very much evident in the voice of the elderly Srivaishnavite. Art forms are hardly recognised and appreciated, and  literary art is the least appreciated and recognised form of all arts. As a writer myself, I can empathise with the elderly author.

Sri.Narasimhan, the author’s brother shared some interesting information about their ancestors and spoke very encouragingly about his elder brother. The audios of the interview, sharing of anecdotes are all shared below. The author needs to be recognised for his contribution to the Hindi Sahitya especially for his translation of the entire Thirukkural in to Hindi.

H.E.Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam’s letter of appreciation

He has written a doha each for all the 1330 Thirukkurals besides rendering their meanings in Hindi. H.E.Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam, ex-President of India has appreciated the author’s effort with his kind hand written words.

Sri Raghavan, who has translated some of the stotras of Sri Vedanta Desika in to Hindi (these have been published in the past by TTD in their journals), has also attempted to write some dohas on the Mahabharata and Srimad Bhagavatam but due to his age, he has left them incomplete. Those who are interested to buy his book on Thirukkural can do so by contacting his daugter-in-law at 044-28442126.

recording of Interview with the author is as below

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1f0MszMZGaUh7FCOPV8BbIv641QbW-yQb

The author happily rendered a subhashita before the author left and its recording is

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1PalMeH4nuJFSlgO4vhmIGQN5ZS4762Sp

recording of Sri Narasimhan talking about his brother

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1huvdLRu-0CI7G66FmvFF5x7LA6FUPT7I

recording of Sri Narasimhan talking about his grandfather

https://drive.google.com/open?id=18Kz1Q0RleIbGzbp_e_xB-17M-9K1AC3Y

The excerpts from this interview will be published in the March edition of Vainavan kural – English version.

Dasan,

Sreeram.