Montag, Januar 28, 2008
Next morning we attended the Mangala Arati in the Sri G. Narasimha Matha, were we stayed, and went back early morning with Madhava Maharaj, one of the first sannyas disciple of HH. Narasimha Maharaja, a very dedicated and humble person. He drove us back to Bangalore, were we stayed another day, before we left for Sri Rangam, to celebrate our marriage there.
We had His blessings (with a small present for my Narasimha puja, a ancient ring of Ganda Berunda) and a very super talk, after we left for a visit to the surroundings of Sri Rangapatnam. This nowadays looking small village, was once upon a time the capital of the famous Mogul King, Tippu Sultan. He fought the english army very strongly, and sometimes he is considered to be a very open ruler to all kind of Religions. He even donated different ornaments and paraphenalia to the Yoga Narasimha in Melkote but has rensacked the temple of Lord Rangantha in Tamil Nadu. Anyhow in 1799 he was finally defeated by the english, and killed outside of Srirangapatnam. The whole city got devastated, and only few temples and mosques were half spared. The rebuilding was not taken seriously, so a small village was relocated, and the ruins of the castle and walls are still visible.
We went to the tomb of Tippu sultan and not far from there is the Kaveri Sangam, where she rejoins (she flows around Srirangapatnam and creates a island). The main deity is Adi Ranganatha, same as Lord Ranganatha in Srirangam (Antya Ranga). There is another Lying Vishnu on the Bank of Kaveri in between in talakadu/sivanasamudra, and He is called there Madhya Ranganatha. So there are 3 main big sleeping* Vishnus on the bank of Kaveri, all very ancient and special in appearance!
In sri Rangapatnam we have the first of these 3, a very huge Deity (around 2,1/2 meters long), but taking pictures are not allowed. But see the drawing, old painting as well...
From Bangalore we went for one day trip with our friends from the Gauranga Narasimha Math to Srirangapatnam, to visit their ashram. It is situated in one of the best location near Mysore, in a very beautiful nature, next to the Kaveri River. That Ashram is very well organized, and has a very mystic atmosphere, with Lord Yoga Narasimha (see pic), Sri Patita Pavana Jagannath, Sri Radha Govinda and Srila Prabhupada having each their own temple.
On daytime we met with his holiness Narasimha Maharaj, the founder acarya of that Math, in that wonderful place. He him self is a direct disciple of Srila Prabhupada, and is living more then 30 years in india. His vision and strong will to serve Srila Prabhupada, with a healthy community to preach vedic philosophy and surrender to Lord Krishna is unique. He has open another Ashram near the west coast in Mulki (close to udupi) and in Bangalore, from where he is doing his preaching tours.
After we have spent 7 days in Mahabalipuram we went off to the capitol of Tamil Nadu, Chennai (Madras) and where shocked how chaotic the city is, when one of the greatest new year festival of the tamil calender is celebrated, Pongal! Shops, roads and hotels where filled with people to the top, and we tried to leave that hectic city as soon as possible towards Bangaluru (Bangalore). Finally we could get a Bus and came peacefully. Bangalore is cool by weather, and as so the people. We stayed with our friends the family of sri Vidyabhushana, and we relaxed from our trip. He has a wonderful temple shrine inside his house and we attended his daily morning ritual.
As the shops in chennai gave no hope for annapurna to buy a fanzy sari for the marriage, we went shopping in Bangalore with the wife of sri vidyabhushana, Rama. There we had more luck, and she got two nice ones.
The temple of Lord Varadaraja has super great detail carvings on the walls, pillars and ancient script everywhere displayed (see pics). Before entering the inner shrine of Lord Varadaraj, one can have darshan of a very nice Yoga Narasimha. Kanchipuram has another Yoga Narasimha temple inside the city, but we did have no time to go and visit Him. I have found a very unique carving of a two handed blessing Narasimha right next to the kalyana Mandapa of Lord Varadaraja (see pic!).
next day we went with one of our friend to Kanchipuram as it is famous for tousand different, ancient temples, what to speak of the history and great events in the past. It is said that Panini the great autor and famous compiler of sanskrit grammatic guidelines has stayed in 2. century BC here. Also Sri Ramanujacarya has spent his youth here, and studied under one mayavada-advaita guru the Vedas, who became later his own disciple, by name yadava prakash. Later when Yadava Prakash was allready the disciple of Sri Ramanujacarya, he wrote a famous book for rules and regulations to those who follow the Sannyasi ashram (renunicate) in sanskrit (for interested people; you can get a english version of that book in the internet).
The big stressy city of Kanchipuram is divided into two main places, called Shiva Kanchi were most Shiva and Devi Temple reside) and Vishnu Kanchi. In and around Kanchipuram are more then 18 Divya Desas (glorified by the ancient saints the Alwars of south india), and the most famous one is Lord Varadaraja (the King of giver of boons). This Lord appeared from a Yagna Lord Brahma performed, on the beginning of the Kali Yuga, to reduce the influence of that very bad time coming. Lord Vishnu appeared to Lord Brahma, and left behind a wooden 2 meter size Vishnu Deity, to bless the future generations with the darshan of His. Later one when the deity started to deteriate, the priests kept that wooden deity in one big silver box inside the Kalyani (watertank see pic) in front of the entrance of the Temple of Lord Varadraja, and replaced Him with a huge granite Deity for daily worship. Only every 80 years that tank will be emptied from the water and the Deity will come out, and worshipped only for few days. We heard it will be again coming around 2015, so ever will be around please see that very rare and powerful Lord! (actually we are not sure of the time mentioned to us, if any of you have the correct time, please inform us)!
In Tirukalikundram city downhill is that famous shiva temple with a unusual shaped gopuram over the famous Lingam (see pics). and inside is a very strange atmosphere.
Our knees were shaking from coming down the long way from top of the mountain, and i needed to do some rest while observing all the pilgrims doing their pujas,
namaskaras (obeisances) in front of the shrine. All in all a very impressive place again and again.
Also this year we decided to visit the mystic place of Tirukalikundram (see the history of this place march 2007 in our blog) with our friends, and show the the rich culture
of south. Radharani who was in her 5 month pregnancy made it even up to the Hill of the two birds walking! All indians were looking in amusement seeing
her with a big belly* coming up the 600 stays. She really did a miracle!
The temples where overcrowded as the Ayyappa* season (a special cult recently developed in south india worshipping, fasting and touring temples while dressing in black
as one sign of vrata* in grace of a Deity in Kerala for one month) was in his full swing and busses of tousands of these ayyappa worshippers blocking roads
and temple premisses. We went to go upstairs for seeing the shiva temple as well seeing the cave with the carved marks from the two eagles, but mostly we saw these
ayyappa worshippers... (see group pic)
By accident* i met the stapathy who is doing for Mayapur the samadhi of Suhotra swami here in Mahabalipuram, and i could see the proceeding work done. Looks it will be
very impressive small shrine with a real granite columns, carving elefants and lions on each sides etc. see pics.
We landed early morning into chennai and got a very fair taxidriver who has picked us up from the airport direct to the hotel. When we came out from the airport the first things we
where vaishnavas, so a very special welcome. We met with our friends (Janajanmadi, Radharani and Radharadhya) and celebrated New year eve on the beach with bhajans
up to the night. Few tourists and indians came together and all sang along or at least clapped the hands in joy.
Dear readers of the Malola Music Blog, the year 2008 has started with his full rush, we are sitting in south india again, and many new things coming up.
Right now im writing from srirangam, the base of our tour, where it is 35 celsius and i sit half dressed while expressing my self here.
New music projects we have something suprise to present in spring. I will not tell until it will be released but it will have some good sounds* for all of you. On 20.01.2008 we (annapurna and my self) got married in srirangam in a very grant sri vaishnava style, and it was truly a very blessed and sacred event for us (pics will be shown later). But now we will start with our tour in mahabalipuram, near chennai - next to the coast of bay of bengal, a grant ocean with huge waves, lot of good places around and very interesting temples, caves and ancient places of worship.