Monday, August 23, 2010

Palamaram Ashram and Cave, on Aruanchala by karthigainathan


Exploring Arunachala, Carol and I came across another cave, one under a rock that has a shrine and ashram built around it. We were told by the Arunachala Mountain Guide, Saran, who grew up near this spot, that this is called Palamaram Ashram and is ‘generations’ old and has been run by one family for these generations. Palamaram is the Tamil word for ‘jackfruit’ (but we did not see a jackfruit tree). The guru who was most recently active here, per Saran, was Palamaram Swamy, who was here for 40 years and for the last 15 years has been in the Himalayas. He said the Ashram is presently handled by Srinivasam.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Manikkavasagar Life and works (16th century AD).

Manikkavacakar is said to have been born in Vadhavoor, seven miles from Madurai on the banks of river Vaigai. According to legend the king entrusted him with a large amount of money to purchase horses. On his way he met an ascetic devotee of Siva, who in fact was Siva himself. Manikkavacakar was given enlightenment, realised material things are transitory and built the temple of Siva in Tirupperunturai with the money.Thereafter Manikkavacakar moved from one place to other, singing and composing devotional songs. Finally, he settled in Chidambaram. His Tiruvacakam is placed near the image of Shiva there.

Manikkavacakar's work has several parts. The Tiruvembavai, a collection of twenty hymns om which he has imagined himself as a woman following the Paavai Nonbu and praising Shiva. The twenty songs of Tiruvembavai and ten songs of Tiruppalliezhuchi on the Tirupperunturai Lord are sung all over Tamil Nadu in the holy month of Margazhi ( The 9th month of the Tamil calendar, December and January).His feast is celebrated in the Tamil month of Aani. Manikkavacakar's hagiography is found in the Tiruvilaiyatar Puranam (16th century AD).

Tirupperunturai Manikkavacakar

Tirupperunturai , known as Avudayar Koil, is a Shiva temple situated near Aranthangi in the pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu.