SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImadh varavaramunayE nama:
“sEthur yagyE sakala jagathAm Eka sEthu: sa dhEva ||”
Grandeur of peerlessly famous thoNdai Region (region around Chennai/kAnchIpuram)…
brahmANdA purAna reveals the eminence of pEraruLALan (varadhan) and the reputation of the lofty thiru hasthi Mountain.
In that purana, under hasthigiri mAhAthmyam, there appears a dialogue between nAradha and brugu munis.
nAradha narrated to brugu muni at the latter’s appeal, sathya vratha kshEthra mAhAthmyam. nAradha had gained this knowledge from brahmA.
The region known by the name “thuNdIra maNdalam” or “thoNdai maNdalam” is more renowned and distinguished than rest of the places on the earth. !
It is here that sathya vratha kshEthram is situated. And that is the reason aSarIrI asked brahmA to rush to this region. All good deeds (vratham) we wish to execute will be successfully completed without any obstacle if initiated here. Hence it is celebrated as sathya vratha kshEthram.
This city has the distinction of having the appearance of “ottiyANam” ( an ornament worn around waist ) of Mother Earth (bhUmip pirAtti). So only this land is lauded as kAnchi (kAnchi is the name of the ornament in Sanskrit). Poets describing a woman, by and large sing in praise of her waist. Likewise, beauty of Earth is because of her waist and the ornament thereon kAnchi.
Even a layman would understand the greatness of this city from the popular saying that “We attain Liberation (mukthi), if we attain birth in kAnchi or death in kASi”.
Cities granting liberation are listed as ayOdhyA, mathurA (in the north), haridhwAr, kASi, kAnchi, ujjain and dhwarakA. kAnchi is the only city from the south.
Appearing in the list. We must treasure in mind this praiseworthy status of kAnchi.
The unique greatness of kAnchi is that it is the only mukthi giving KshEtram / holy city likened to the waist ornament of earth.
Also, It is one of the swayam vyaktha kshEthram. It is another honour to kAnchi. About swayam vyakthA kshEthram, dhayA sathakam reveals “swayamudhayina..” , i.e., God descends on this place on his own sweet will, with no prayer prompting him.
For the holy penance to bear fruit, aSarIrI commanded brahmA, who arrived at bhAratha dhESam, to proceed to “sathya vratha kshEthram”. He too instantly started his journey. kamalOthpalan (the one born in lotus i.e., brahmA) turned ecstatic and blissful as though he had completed the yAgam and viewed God at that very moment.
vEdhAntha dhESikan has composed a marvel “hamsa sandhESam”. In this amazing narrative is described how rAma, suffering from the disunion of sithA sends a swan (annam) as the emissary to her. He gave detailed directions to the swan about the routes and as to whatever sites it has to visit. And behold. He urges the swan not to miss visiting thoNdai maNdalam on the way.
“thundEIr Akhyam thadhanu mahitham maNdalam vIkshamANa: kshEtnram yAyA:
kshapitha dhuritham thathra sathya vrathAkyam!!”
– that this holy land sathya vratha kshEthram would expedite dismissal of our sins.
hamsa sandhESam further lauds and glorifies this city and says kAnchi is the only place which has continually enjoyed the kind and benevolent grace of God.
In his own inimitable unique style “kavithArkika simham” dhESikan delivers another interesting piece. Swan has to travel a long distance in its search of sithA and hence may get tired. Due to sweat and other discomforts may add to its sufferings. But the swan has no need to fear. The breeze from kAnchi will effortlessly erase its weariness.
“mandhAdhUthAth thadhanu mahithO nissruthach chUthashaNdAth
pArSvE thasyA” paSupathiSirach chandhra nIhAra vAhi|
dhUrAth prAptham priyasakamiva thvAm upaishyathi avaSyam
kampApAdha: kamala vanikA kAmukho gandhavAha:||”
O Swan, there are quite a few mango groves in kAnchi. Blowing winds will cause the trees vibrate. The sweet fragrance from the trees (due to fruit, leaf and flowers) will be carried by the wind. It will blow towards the city and make people pleased and delighted.
Not only that, wind would adopt a ploy to enrich its coolness. On its way to the city from garden of mangoes it will grace through the head of Siva (ekAmbaran) who has His abode in the temple there.
It is but natural that we get a doubt… How come caressing the Head if Siva by the wind will make it cooler?
The moon adorns the head of Siva. chandhra (moon) and coolness are synonymous. So, caressing the moon, wind will get cooler still.
Added to this it will carry the fragrance of lotus as the outcome of embracing a forest of lotus flowers on the way. So, the wind from kAnchi will feast you like a dear friend (as a friend entertains you).
So, be rid of fear. Thus said rAma to swan as detailed by dhESikan.
Presently (at the time of writing the series) sever summer is daunting. As we expect varuNan’s (rain God) grace this varuNanai (description in thamizh) is consoling.
(andha varuNanai vEndumbOthu indha varuNanai ARuthal alikkum – pun can be appreciated if familiar with Tamil)
Thus Almighty rAma himself has lauded and glorified this city in many ways. Then, will brahmA have any hesitation to rush towards the place happily?
Joyful at heart, brahmA reached with alacrity the city of kAnchi which shines as an ornament to Earth.
ayan (brahmA) had the vision of aththigiri, which had God’s grace even before God adorned the city as varadhan.
brahmA wondered if God’s chakrAyudha (one of the Five Divine weapons of Lord) got transformed as aththigiri. chakram will cause demolition of enemy. Likewise, this mount (aththigiri) will annihilate all our sins leaving no remnant.
The mount was close to His (vAsudhEvan’s) heart. So, nAbhIjanman (the naval born, i.e., brahmA) started worshipping the mount with his mind completely focussed on God.
He wanted to prepare himself and the city for the yagya instantly. Hurriedly, his mouth uttered a name – viSwakarmA, it was.
Along with brahmA, we too would await his arrival.
It is common knowledge that the fire flies lured by the lamp meet with death in the flame. But will anybody blame the lamp? In real life too there are many dunces who can be likened to the insects drawn by the lamp, destined to meet with death.
Coming in next few episodes..
adiyen thOthAdri thirumalai rAmAnuja dAsan