Shiva Krupa

Temples of India signify the very root of Hinduism and its culture. To be worth of the trust reposed by our ancestors, it becomes our primary responsibility to sustain our heritage for generations to come.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Then and Now

Pilgrimage is not just confined to visiting holy places.The aim should be extended beyond getting away from the sins and sorrows. In fact it is an ideal opportunity to look at the present state of the place and also to interact with those connected with it and explore the possibility of uplifting the existing status. It goes without saying that a huge amount of help may not be possible to be rendered by ordinary persons. Yet one can think of joining with others to mobilise support for the project to take off. Once the momentum is gained,it gets accelerated.

When I was briefed over telephone in january about a dilapidated temple at Killikudi,a place sung in Thevaram hymn that dates back to the 8th century, I visited the place to assess the situation over there. Since the temple had to be reconstructed from the scratch, the villagers who were predominantly farmers/land owners decided to rebuild the temple on their own without seeking external help. They erected a make shift shrine for the few deities that remained after the damage, a Shiva lingam,Nandi and Chandikeswara of Chola period.
The construction of sanctum for all deities had cost them Rs 20 Lakhs and they were unable to proceed further. It was at this stage I visited the site and offered to mobilize paint worth Rs 12000. The same was arranged soon after my return from the trip.The rituals for the Kumbhabishekam were carried out for the grand finale on sunday,22 nd March. The shrine before and after renovation had no comparison as the villagers had started doing it from scratch. They deserve all credit for re-establishing a totally forgotten/neglected temple of the past.
At the end of the function I could see happiness glowing on the faces of locals.

Monday, March 23, 2009

After a long wait

When things get extended beyond a reasonable period of time, people become disappointed and frustration starts at that point.Possibly this applies with all walks of life.Yet there are people who never give up and work harder than ever before.This logic may be applicable when we find someone who would like to take a fresh step regardless of the failures that occured earlier.This concept sounds well for me when the villagers tell me in frustrating tone that all their efforts to restore the past glory of the temple in their place are nothing but fruitless.In my effort to convince them I used to present the issue in such a way that the solution seemed to be quite easy.Finally they used to put a question to me"how was it made possible". The secret of success ,when revealed,seemed to create a remarkable change in their minds. My answer to them was never think too big of you however big you are in the eyes of the people.Remember you are just a tool so as to accomplish a given task. Thank Heaven for getting such an opportunity.Things will start move on the moment you realise the truth.Apply this thought when things are not in your desired way. I had to recall this theory during my recent visit to Kollumangudi ,some 15 km south of Mayiladuthurai. Sri Mahakalanatha temple of this place is in dilapidated condition.Although the temple has plenty of lands,the contractors neither give paddy nor cash due for the temple.The priest's condition is also pathetic as he finds difficult to pull on with very poor income with which he struggles to run his family. The 4 ft image of Sri Dakshinamurthi attracts few locals on Thursdays but the temple is not benefitted. Hence I have suggested to call for a meeting of locals,executive officer of the temple and like minded people and form a committee that can authorise people to take over certain jobs of their choice and also to mobilise support from outside.I wanted the feed back to be made available within a week so that the date for the meeting could be fixed and the renovation work can start without further delay.The last Kumbabishekam was conducted several decades ago but the outer wall has crumbled at many places. Trees are seen deeprooted into the massive stone structures.Perhaps this is the right time to remove them;or else,the entire structure may have to be rebuilt which will be too costly.Let us hope that the work starts after a very long wait.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kanchi visit

I used to visit Kanchipuram for at least six times in a year during the eighties and nineties. The desire became too high when Kanchi Sankaracharya returned from his north tour and decided to stay in the mutt. It was at that time he directed the late "Dunlop"Krishna Iyer to go to Thiruvalangadu during Navarathri along with me and another friend to recite the entire Thevaram during that period. It was indeed an unique experience to have bath in "Mukthi Theertham"and dharsan of Sri Rathnasababathy early in the mornings. We went to Kanchi Mutt after completing the recitation on Vijayadhasami day. The Acharya narrated the story of Karaikkal Ammaiyar who attained Mukthi in that place. Later He went to Sri Kamakshi Temple by walk. He entered into Kumara Kottam on the way and had dharshan of Sri Subramanya and asked someone to open the rear gate through which it was easy to reach Sri Kamakshi Devi's temple.But the unused prakaram was full of thorns.We had to remove the thorns from our feet and proceed very slowly.Amazingly we did not find any thorn sticking to his feet.He went well ahead of us and reached Kamakshi Temple. We saw Him giving dharshan to the disciples at the entrance itself. I recalled the incident when a saw the gate at Kumara Kottam during my visit to Kanchi yesterday.But there was no sign of thorns in the outer prakara.The temple has received a facelift during the recent renovation work.
As Kamakshi Temple was closed due to the passing away of a resident near its premises,we had dharshan at Adhi Kamakshi Temple. Sri Kausikeshwara Temple near this place belongs to the Pallava period and "maintained" by Archeological Dept. The temple was locked and the barbed fence prevented us from seeing the outer prakara.