Friday, February 25, 2011


From Editor’s Desk

Dear Readers/Seekers,

A popular Thiruk-Kural goes like this :

“Porul illarku ivvulagu illai
Arul illarku avvulagu illai”

Meaning it will be difficult to lead a worldly life without material wealth and equally difficult to lead a life beyond without spiritual wealth. Agreed, to survive in this material world we need wealth, but our prime objective should not be driven only by wealth and wealth alone. And our spiritual lore amply testifies that whenever a true devotee faces financial difficulties, the Supreme Being comes to his rescue in double quick time.

In this succinct episode, we will be seeing an incident involving a poor lady who overwhelmed by sheer love towards the young (Adi) Sankara received the extraordinary grace of Goddess Mahalakshmi. In fact it was the young Sankara, the beneficiary of her love, who had invoked the divine Mother to help the lady tide over her pitiable situation. Such was the kind heartedness of Sankara about which we shall see in greater detail.

The prayer of Sankara is aptly christened “Kanaka Dhara Stotram”. For, “Kanaka” means Gold and “Dhara” means uninterrupted shower and by the sheer devotion of Adisankara there was a Golden Shower in the poor lady’s house. A veritable display of the divine grace of the Holy Mother !

I recently heard the sayings of Kanchi Paramacharya that the golden shower had happened thrice in the history. Once by Goddess Kamakshi in the Thondai region, the next in the life of Srimad Vedanta Desikan who invoked Goddess Mahalakshmi for his devotee in the form of “Sri Stuthi”. However the golden shower in the life of Adisankara is quite known to many and a popular one.

To make the readers appreciate it better, the “Kanaka Dhara Stotram” is given both in Tamil and English with trans-literation and meaning. I hereby thank my better half Madhusri Gayathri in helping me in this effort of transliteration and meaning, which had taken considerable time in bringing this article mainly for the benefit of the readers. I hereby thank Sri Major Venkat Narayanan who had put double effort in making this article shine from converting raw gold to ornament.

As the stanzas progress, one can see how Adisankara requests Goddess Mahalakshmi to cast her divine, nay, prosperous glance at the poor devotees and grant them all prosperity.

I am sanguine that with a regular and whole hearted chanting of the devotional hymn, one can not only obtain copious material riches but also infinite spiritual knowledge which will confer us with immense benefits in both the worlds.

May we all get ready and chant “Kanaka Dhara Stotram” and receive the abundant mercy of Goddess Mahalakshmi.

I hope this article will be useful for everyone of us and please do share with all your near and dear who can also get benefitted by chanting of this divine hymn.

Please do share your valuable feedback.

Happy chanting!
Warm Regards,

A.V. Devan

Golden Gooseberries!

“Kalady” the divine Footprint

There was a devout issueless couple, Siva Guru and Aryamba in a small village called Kalady in Kerala. Piqued as they were, the couple performed an intense 48 day puja to Lord Shiva in the “Vadakkunathan” temple in Thrissur and prayed for an issue. Lord Shiva, who is known as ”Ashutoshi“ that is, one who gets moved very easily, was naturally melted by their devotion and blessed them with a boy. The child was named Sankara. The village Kalady is located east of Periyar River in the Ernakulam District of Kerala. There is an interesting anecdote regarding how Kalady got its name. Kalady means “Foot Print”. Legend has it that the frail and weak Aryamba once fainted after her three kilometer trek to the river Poorna or Periyar where she took her daily bath. Feeling helpless, the tender Sankara prayed to Lord Krishna, their Kuladeivam at Kalady. The tears of the innocent child moved Krishna who blessed him thus “the river will flow where you mark with your feet.” Thus the river Poorna alias Periyar took its new course via the place marked by the feet of the little Sankara. The village which was earlier known as “Sasalam” became “Kalady” and thus Krishna became “Thrikalady Appan”.

Birth of “Kanakadhara Stotram”

The word “Sam” means prosperity and “Kara” means the giver. So, Sankara means one who gives prosperity. To prove this there is an incident which took place in the primordial Acharya’s life. Sankara was given “Aksharabhyas” i.e. the initiation of learning to read and write at the age of three. At the age of five Upanayanam was performed to Sankara and by eight, he had already mastered the Vedas.

As per the practice prevalent at that time, a Brahmachari had to go from house to house seeking alms and submit the same to his Guru. Once on a Dwadasi Day (The day following Ekadasi) Sankara who was on his rounds, stood in front of a dilapidated house and said “Bhavati Biksham Dehi" meaning “May you please offer Biksha”. The house happened to be occupied by a poor family reeling in poverty. The husband was away and only the lady was there. When she saw the glowing face of five year old Sankara asking for alms, something moved inside her heart and she rushed inside to get something for the resplendent Brahmachari. She searched all the crevices inside the home but was dejected on not finding even a single grain of rice. After a deep search she somehow found a Gooseberry [Nellikaai in Tamil or Amla in Hindi] which she offered to Sankara in all humility. The Gooseberry it is said was kept by the poor Brahmin to break the ekadasi.

Sankara was deeply moved by the utterly pitiable condition of the lady but was equally touched by her devotion. As if to redeem her, he prayed to Goddess Mahalakshmi and to bless the poor woman by driving away her poverty and grant her riches. The pithy prayer of 21 mellifluous hymns is known as “Kanakadhara Stotram”. Legend says that on hearing Adisankara’s prayers, Goddess Mahalakshmi was mightily pleased and instantly showered a rain of Golden Amlas in front of the poor women’s dwelling. Even today the event is celebrated in grand manner at Kalady on the Akshaya Tritiya day through “Kanakadhara Yagnam” and the person from “Swarnathu Mana” the house where golden shower took place is the chief priest for the yagnam.
The divine hymn Kanakadhara Stotra is considered to be powerful and is specially efficacious to those who recite or even listen to it. Even today it is believed that poverty would be banished by singing this hymn with single minded devotion. The Kanakadhara Stotram is presented below with meaning both in Tamil and English so that we can read and reap both material and spiritual benefits.

கனகதாரா ஸ்தோத்ரம்

அங்கம் ஹரே : புலக பூஷண மாஸ்ரயந்தீ
ப்ருங்காங்கனேவ முகுலாபரணம் தமாலம்
அங்கீ க்ருதாகில விபூதி ரபாங்க லீலா
மாங்கள்ய தாஸ்து மம மங்கள தேவதாய (1)

சிலிர்த்துப் பறக்கும் எழில் பொன் வண்டுகளைப்போன்று
மலர்ந்து விரிந்தன தமால மலர் மொட்டுக்கள்
திருமாலின் மலர் மார்பினில் அமர்ந்த தேவி நின்
மலர் விழிப் பார்வை எனக்கு மங்களங்கள் சேர்க்கட்டும் (1)

முக்த்தா முஹூர் விததி வதனே முராரே
பிரேமத்ராப ஆப்ரணி ஹிதானி கதாகதாநி
மாலா த்ரிசோர் மது கரீவ மஹோத்பலேயா
ஸா மே ஸ்ரியம் திசது ஸாகர ஸம்பவாய (2)

நீலத் தாமரையில் வண்டு அமர்வதும் பறப்பதும் போல்
நீல விழி வண்டுகள் மாதவன் மலர் முகம் நோக்க
பாற்கடலில் உதித்த மந்தஹாச மலர் முகத்தாள் நின்
பார்வை எனக்கு செல்வச் செழிப்பினை அருளட்டும் (2)

ஆமீலி தாக்ஷ மதிகம்ய முதா முகுந்தம்
ஆனந்த கந்த மநிமேஷம நங்க தந்த்ரம்
ஆகே கரஸ் திதகநீ நிகபக்ஷம நேத்ரம்
பூத்யை பவேந்மம புஜங்க ஸயாங்க நாயா: (3)

அரவணையில் துயிலும் அரங்கனின் நாயகியே
முரன் அரக்கனை அழித்த முகுந்தன் மனம் நாடிட
நீலோற்பவ மலரின் விழி முகத்தாள் நின்
நீல விழி பார்வை எனக்கு சௌபாக்யத்தை அளிக்கட்டும் (3)

பாஹ்வந்தரே மதுஜித: ஸ்ரித கௌஸ்து பேயா
ஹாராவளீவ ஹரிநீலமயீ விபாதி
காமப்ரதா பகவதோபி கடாக்ஷமாலா
கல்யாணமா வஹது மே கமலாலயாயா (4)

எல்லையில்லா இன்பத்தில் கார்வண்ணன் இமைகள் மூட
எல்லையில்லா காதலினால் நின் இமைகள் மூட மறக்க
அளவில்லாக் கருணையே உருவாய் அமைந்த தேவி நின்
கோல விழி பார்வை எனக்கு கோடி செல்வம் அளிக்கட்டும் (4)

காலம்புதாளி லலிதோரஸி கைடபாரே:
தாராதரே ஸ்புரதி யா தடிதங்க நேவ
மாதுஸ் சமஸ்த ஜகதாம் மஹநீய மூர்த்தி
பத்ராணி மே திஸது பார்க்கவ நந்தநாயா: (5)

மது அரக்கனை அழித்த மாலவன் மருவும் தேவி
மாதவன் மார்பினில் ஒளிரும் கௌஸ்துப மணி நீயே
மான் விழி பார்வை மாலுக்கே வளம் சேர்க்கும் நின்
மகத்தான பார்வை எனக்கு மங்களத்தை அளிக்கட்டும் (5)

ப்ராப்தம் பதம் ப்ரதமத: கலு யத் ப்ரபாவாத்
மாங்கள்ய பாஜி மதுமாதிநி மந்மதேந
மய்யாப தேத்ததிஹ மந்தர மீக்ஷணார்த்தம்
மந்தாலஸம் ச மகராலய கந்யகாயா: (6)

கார்மேக வர்ணனின் கண்ணனின் பரந்த மார்பில்
ஒளிர் வீசிடும் மின்னல் கொடியென ஒளிரும் தேவி
பார்க்கவ மகரிஷியின் பார்காக்கும் திருமகளே
நின் பார்வை எனக்கு பல வளங்கள் சேர்க்கட்டும் (6)

விஸ்வா மரேந்த்ர பத விப்ரமதாந தக்ஷம்
ஆனந்த ஹேதுரதிகம் முர வித்வி ஷோபி
ஈஷந் நிஷீதது மயிஷண மீஷணார்த்தம்
இந்தீவ ரோதரஸ ஹோதர மிந்திராயா: (7)

பொங்கும் மங்களம் தங்க அரக்கனை சம்ஹரித்த
மகாவிஷ்ணு மார்பினில் மகிழ்வுடன் உறைபவளே
நின் காதற் பார்வை காமனுக்கு பெருமை சேர்க்க
நின் அருட் பார்வை எனக்கு அருளும் பொருளும் அருளட்டும் (7)

இஷ்டா விசிஷ்ட மதயோபி யயா தயார்த்ர
த்ருஷ்ட்யா த்ரிவிஷ்ட பபதம் சுலபம் லபந்தே
திருஷ்டி: ப்ரஹ் ருஷ்ட கமலோதர தீப்திரிஷ்டாம்
புஷ்டிம் க்ருஷீஷ்ட மம புஷ்கர விஷ்டராயா: (8)

வேள்வியோ கடும் தவமோ புரிய இயலாத என்னை
கேள்வியே கேளாமல் சுகமான வாழ்வைத் தந்து
தோல்விகள் இல்லாத வெற்றிகள் எனக்கருள்வாய் நின்
தளிர் பார்வை எனக்கு தாராளமாய் நிதி அருளட்டும் (8)

தத்யாத் தயாநு பவநோ த்ரவிணாம் புதாராம்
அஸ்மிந் நகிஞ்சந விஹங் கஸிசௌ விஷண்ணே
துஷ்கர்ம மகர்மம பநீய சிராய தூரம்
நாராயணப் பரணயிநீ நயநாம்பு வாஹ: (9)

கருணை மழைக்காக ஏங்கும் சாதகப் பறவை என்னை
வறுமை என்னும் வெப்பம் தாளாது துடிக்கும் முன்னே
பெருமை பொங்க உலகில் வாழவைப்பாயே நின்
குளிர் பார்வை எனக்கு குறையா செல்வம் பொழியட்டும் (9)

கீர்த்தேவதேதி கருடத்வஜ ஸுந்தரீதி
சாகம்பரீதி சசிசேகர வல்லபேதி
ஸ்ருஷ்டி ஸ்திதி பிரளய கேளிஷு சம்ஸ்திதாயை
தஸ்யை நமஸ் த்ரிபுவனைக குரோஸ் தருண்யை (10)

முத்தொழில் புரியும் முகுந்தனின் துணைவியே
காத்தலில் அலை மகள் நீ படைத்தலில் கலைமகள் நீ
அழித்தலில் மலைமகள் நீ எத்தொழில் புரிந்திடவும் நின்
எழில் பார்வை எனக்கு தொழில் மேன்மை அளிக்கட்டும் (10)

ஸ்ருத்யை நமோஸ்து சுப கர்ம பலப் ரஸுத்யை
ரத்யை நமோஸ்து ரமணீய குணார்ணவாயை
ஸக்த்யை நமோஸ்து சதபத்ர நிகேதநாயை
புஷ்ட்யை நமோஸ்து புருஷோத்தம வல்லபாயை (11)

வேத வடிவானவளே ஞானஒளி தந்தருள்வாய்
நாத வடிவானவளே நற்கல்வி தந்தருள்வாய்
வேத நாதம் அனைத்தும் அருளிடும் வேதவல்லியே நின்
கடைக்கண் பார்வை எனக்கு கலை மேன்மை அளிக்கட்டும் (11)

நமோஸ்து நாளீக நிபாநநாயை
நமோஸ்து துக்த்தோததி ஜன்மபூம்யை
நமோஸ்து சோமாம்ருத சோதராயை
நமோஸ்து நாராயண வல்லபாயை (12)

எழில் தாமரை ஒத்த முகமதியாளே வணக்கம்
திருப்பாற்கடல் உதித்த திருமகளே வணக்கம்
அமுதமும் அம்புலியும் உடன் பிறப்பானவளே நின்
அருட்பார்வை எனக்கு ஆயகலைகள் அருளட்டும் (12)

நமோஸ்து ஹேமாம்புஜ பீடிகாயை
நமோஸ்து பூமண்டல நாயிகாயை
நமோஸ்து தேவாதி தயாபராயை
நமோஸ்து ஸார்ங்காயுத வல்லபாயை (13)

பொற்றாமரை வீற்றிருக்கும் கொற்றவளே வணக்கம்
கற்றார் உளம் வீற்றிருக்கும் திருமகளே வணக்கம்
கமல மலரில் உறையும் லட்சுமி தேவியே வணக்கம்
கவலையெலாம் போக்கும் அலைமகளே வணக்கம் (13)

நமோஸ்து தேவ்யை ப்ருகு நந்தநாயை
நமோஸ்து விஷ்ணோருரஸி ஸ்திதாயை
நமோஸ்து லக்ஷ்ம்யை கமலாலயாயை
நமோஸ்து தாமோதர வல்லபாயை (14)

பெருமா மகரிஷியின் தவ செல்வியே வணக்கம்
திருமால் மார்பில் திகழும் தேவ தேவியே வணக்கம்
கமல மலரில் உறையும் லட்சுமி தேவியே வணக்கம்
கவலையெல்லாம் போக்கும் அலைமகளே வணக்கம் (14)

நமோஸ்து காந்த்யை கமலேக்ஷணாயை
நமோஸ்து பூத்யை புவன ப்ரசூத்யை
நமோஸ்து தேவாதி பிரர்ச்சிதாயை
நமோஸ்து நந்தாத்மஜ வல்லபாயை (15)

தாமரையில் கொலுவீற்றிருக்கும் ஒளிவடிவே வணக்கம்
மூவுலகும் தொழும் களஞ்கியமே வணக்கம்
தேவருலகம் வணங்கும் தெய்வ வடிவே வணக்கம்
நந்த கோபாலன் கோகுல நாயகியே வணக்கம் (15)

சம்பத்கராணி சகலேந்த்ரிய நந்தநாநி
சாம்ரஜ்யதான விபவானி சரோருஹாக்ஷி
தத்வந்தநாநி துரித ஹரணோத்யதாநி
மாமேவ மாதர நிஸம் கலயந்து மாந்யே (16)

கமல விழி மலரே காண்போர்க்கு அருள் விருந்தே
ஐம்புலன்களின் ஆனந்தமே ஐஸ்வர்யம் அளிப்பவளே
என்றும் தொழுவோர்க்கு ஏற்றங்கள் தரும் தேவி
என்றென்றும் எனக்கே செல்வ வளங்கள் தந்தருள்வாய் (16)

யத் கடாக்ஷ ஸமுபாஸ நாவிதி:
சேவகஸ்ய சகலார்த்த ஸம்பத:
ஸந்தநோதி வசநாங்க மாநசை:
த்வாம் முராரி ஹ்ருதயேஸ்வரீம் பஜே (17)

கண்ணாளன் திருமாலின் மலர் மார்பில் உறைபவளே
வெண்பட்டு சந்தனம் மலர் மாலை அணிபவளே
எண்ணற்ற செல்வம் எளியோர்ர்க்கு அருள்பவளே
கண் மலர்ந்து தேவி செல்வங்கள் நீ அருள்வாய் (17)

சரசிஜ நிலயே சரோஜ ஹஸ்தே
தவளதமாம் சுககந்த மால்ய சோபே
பகவதி ஹரிவல்லபே மநோஜ்ஞே
த்ரிபுவன பூதிகரி ப்ரஸீத மஹ்யம் (18)

கடைக்கண் பார்வை வேண்டி நிதம் தொழுவோர் கோடி
கடைக்கண் மட்டுமின்றி கமலவிழி பார்வையால்
கடையனாய் இருந்தோர்க்கு கணக்கற்ற செல்வம் தந்தாய்
கடயேனைக் காத்தருள் கனிந்துருகி வணங்குகின்றேன் (18)

திக்கஸ்திபி: கநககும்ப முகாவ ஸ்ருஷ்ட
ஸ்வர்வாஹிநீ விமல சாருஜலாப்லுதாங்கீம்
ப்ராதர் நமாமி ஜகதாம் ஜனனீ மசேஷ
லோகாதி நாதக்ருஹிணீ மம்ருதாப்தி புத்ரீம் (19)

அஷ்டதிக் கஜங்களால் கங்கை நீரால் அபிஷேகம்
அஷ்ட ஐஸ்வர்யம் வேண்டி தங்கக் குடத்தால் அபிஷேகம்
அஷ்ட லெக்ஷுமியே உன்னை வணங்குகிறோம் நாளும்
கஷ்டங்கள் களைந்து இஷ்ட செல்வங்கள் நீ அளிப்பாய் (19)

கமலே கமலாக்ஷ வல்லபே த்வம்
கருணா பூரத ரங்கிதை ரபாங்கை:
அவலோகய மாமகிஞ்ச நாநாம்
ப்ரதமம் பாத்ரம க்ருத்ரிமம் தயாயா (20)

கமல மலர் உறைபவளே மலரிதழ் விழியாலே
மாதவன் துணையாக மார்பில் உறை ஓவியமே
ஏழைக்குள் முதல்வனாய் எளிமையுடன் வாழுகின்றோம்
ஏழையை காத்து என்றும் இனிய வாழ்வினை நீ அளிப்பாய் (20)

ஸ்துவந்தி யே ஸ்துதி பிரமீ பிரந்வஹம்
த்ரயீமயீம் த்ரிபுவன மாதரம் ரமாம்
குணாதிகா குருதர பாக்ய பாகிநோ
பவந்தி தே புவி புதபாவிதாஸயா: (21)

வேதஸ்வரூபினியை மூவுலகும் தொழும்
நாதஸ்வரூபினியை நாள்தோறும் வணங்கி
ஸ்வர்ணமாரி பொழியும் ஸ்ரீதேவி மந்த்ரமிதை
சொல்பவர்க்கு திருமகள் திருவருள் புரிந்திடுவாய் (21)

இதி ஸ்ரீ கனகதரா ஸ்தோத்ரம் சம்பூர்ணம்


Angam hare pulaka bhooshanamasrayanthi

Bhringanga neva mukulabharanam thamalam

Angikrithakhila vibhuthirapanga leela

Mangalyadasthu mama mangala devathaya 1

May the sidelong glance of Sri Lakshmi, the one who has in Her all affluence, attracted to Srihari like a honeybee to a Tamala tree in full bloom, give me auspiciousness.

Mugdha muhurvidhadhadathi vadhane Murare

Premathrapapranihithani gathagathaniMala

dhrishotmadhukareeva maheth pale

yaSa ne sriyam dhisathu sagarasambhavaya 2

Sri Mahalaksmi’s glance is the most pleasant. Like a female honeybee that goes again and again to the beloved lotus, Her glances shift again and again to Murari, Srimannaarayana’s face with love and coy shyness. They appear like a garland. May the glances of the virgin of the Ocean of Milk (Goddess Lakshmi) bless me with affluence!

Ameelithaksha madhigamya mudha MukundamAnandakandamanimeshamananga thanthramAkekara stiththa kaninika pashma nethram

Bhoothyai bhavenmama bhjangasayananganaya 3

May Her glance in which She has kept for ever the beautifully drooping eyes of Her lord, Sree Mahavishnu, the glance that makes Love God, Manmadha blossom without a wink, bless me with all riches and wealth.

Bahwanthare madhujitha srithakausthube

yaHaravaleeva nari neela mayi vibhathiKamapradha

bhagavatho api kadaksha

malaKalyanamavahathu me kamalalayaya 4

May those sidelong glances serving Srihari with utmost devotion shining effulgently like emerald garlands bless me with all kinds of auspiciousness and prosperity.

Kalambudhaalithorasi kaida bhareDharaadhare sphurathi yaa thadinganevaMathu samastha jagatham mahaneeya murthyBadrani me dhisathu bhargava nandanaya 5

Sri Mahavishunu’s bosom is extremely beautiful like a row of black clouds. Goddess Lakshmi on His bosom shines like a glorious lightning. May the glance of that Universal Mother, Bhrigu"s daughter, give me all joy and all prosperity.

Praptham padam pradhamatha khalu yat prabhavathMangalyabhaji madhu madhini manamathenaMayyapadetha mathara meekshanardhamManthalasam cha makaralaya kanyakaya 6

Manmadha owes his first position under Srihari to the kind glances of Sree Mahalakshmi on him. May Her glance from Her half open, soft and tired glance come to me.

Viswamarendra padhavee bramadhana dhakshamAnanda hethu radhikam madhu vishwoapiEshanna sheedhathu mayi kshanameekshanarthamIndhivarodhara sahodharamidhiraya 7

May the goddess Indira’s glance, comparable to the effulgence of the glorious black lotuses, that blesses all divine worlds and gives joy to Srihari, stay for a moment on me.

Ishta visishtamathayopi yaya dhayardhraDhrishtya thravishta papadam sulabham labhantheHrishtim prahrushta kamlodhara deepthirishtamPushtim krishishta mama pushkravishtaraya 8

May the glance that could enable devout and good men get high positions like that of Indra, the glance with the glory of the light in the lotus, give me the strength and fullness that I pray for.

Dhadyaddhayanupavanopi dravinambhudaraamAsminna kinchina vihanga sisou vishanneDhushkaramagarmmapaneeya chiraya dhooramNarayana pranayinee nayanambhuvaha 9

May the wind of Goddess Lakshmi’s glance, which dispels the cloud of the heat of evil deeds for long, as a favourable one, cause a cloud rain on this wretched little bird, Chataka, and rain prosperity.

Gheerdhevathethi garuda dwaja sundarithiSakambhareethi sasi shekara vallebhethiSrishti sthithi pralaya kelishu samsthitha yaThasyai namas thribhvanai ka guros tharunyai 10

To the Mother of all Learning, the consort of GaruDadhwaja, Vishnu, to Sakambhari, the consort of Shiva, who plays Her part in the play of Creation, Sustenance and Destruction, to the Supreme Preceptor of all the three worlds, to Mother, my devout salutations.

Sruthyai namosthu shubha karma phala prasoothyaiRathyai namosthu ramaneeya gunarnavayaiShakthyai namosthu satha pathra nikethanayaiPushtayi namosthu purushotthama vallabhayai 11

My salutations to the auspicious fruit yielding form of Sriti, Veda. My salutations to the form of the extremely pleasant and joyous Ratiroopa. Salutations to the form of Shakti on the hundred petalled lotus. Salutations to the form of PushTi, the consort of Purushottama, the best of Beings.

Namosthu naleekha nibhananaiNamosthu dhugdhogdhadhi janma bhoomayaiNamosthu somamrutha sodharayaiNamosthu narayana vallabhayai 12

Salutations to Sree Mahalaksmi, the lotus-faced, the milk-ocean born, the sister of Moon and Nectar and the consort of Sri Mahavishnu.

Namosthu hemambhuja peetikayaiNamosthu bhoo mandala nayikayaiNamosthu devathi dhaya prayaiNamosthu Sarngayudha vallabhayai 13

Salutations again and again to the Mother whose dais and seat is the lotus, sovereign of the earth, the darling of Kodandapani, the Great Bow-bearer, Sri Mahavishnu.

Namosthu devyai bhrugu nandanayaiNamosthu vishnorurasi sthithayaiNamosthu lakshmyai kamalalayaiNamosthu dhamodhra vallabhayai 14

Salutations again and again to Bhrugu’s daughter, the Devi on Sri Mahavishnu’s bosom, the one having residence in the lotus and the consort of Damodara, Sri Mahavishnu.

Namosthu Kanthyai kamalekshanayaiNamosthu bhoothyai bhuvanaprasoothyaiNamosthu devadhibhir archithayaiNamosthu nandhathmaja vallabhayai 15

Salutations to the form of effulgence, the lotus-eyed, the form of all affluence, the Mother of the Universe worshipped by deities and the consort of Nandagopabala, Sri Krishna.

Sampath karaani sakalendriya nandananiSamrajya dhana vibhavani saroruhakshiTwad vandanani dhuritha haranodhythaniMamev matharanisam kalayanthu manye 16

Mother! Salutations to You who bestow affluence, make all senses joyous, give empires strength. They are ever ready to uproot all evil. May those salutations make me fulfilled day and night.

Yath Kadaksha samupasana vidhiSevakasya sakalartha sapadhaSanthanodhi vachananga manasaiTwaam murari hridayeswareem bhaje 17

I pray with all my heart and soul the Mother whose single glance could bless the devotee with all affluence and prosperity by a mere sidelong glance. Salutations to Her with my manas (hear-mind-intellect), body and action.

Sarasija nilaye saroja hasthe,Dhavalathamamsuka gandha maya shobhe,Bhagavathi hari vallabhe manogne,Tribhuvana bhoothikari praseeda mahye 18

Mother! Your eyes are like lotuses. The lotus in Your hand is splendid. You shine in white robes, sandal anointed, and garland decked. My heart knows You thus. Grace me with Your blessing!

Dhiggasthibhi kanaka kumbha mukha vasrushtaSarvahini vimala charu jalaapluthangimPrathar namami jagathaam janani maseshaLokadhinatha grahini mamrithabhi puthreem 19

Elephants of the eight directions (diks) shower the waters of the river Mandakini with golden vessels on the Mother. I worship the Mother of the worlds, the consort of the Lord of the Universe and the daughter of the Ocean of Milk.

Kamale Kamalaksha vallabhe twamKaruna poora tharingithaira pangaiAvalokaya mamakinchananamPrathamam pathamakrithrimam dhyaya 20

The beloved of Kamalaksha (Sri Mahavishnu)! O Kamalaadevi! Cast a sidelong glance with your moist, merciful eye at me, the topmost among the most impecunious, with your grace. Truly I deserve to be the object of your compassion.

Sthuvanthi ye sthuthibhirameeranwahamThrayeemayim thribhuvanamatharam ramamGunadhika guruthara bhagya bhaginaBhavanthi the bhuvi budha bhavithasayo 21

Those who with these praises sing the gory of the Goddess Lakshmi would acquire great qualities and get great prosperity and be blessed with noble hearts that would earn the praise of the wise and the good.


Sri Major V. Venkat Narayanan – For converting raw gold in to an Ornament.

Smt Gayathri Anand – For helping in preparing the tamil translation of “Sri Kanakadhara Stotram”.

Kanchi Mahaperiyava’s mellifluous discourse which inspired me to write this article.


Kanakadhara Yagnam – The Hindu Article
Adi Sankaracharya’s “Kanakadhara Stotra” – Sri P.R. Ramachander
Kanakadhara Stotra Meaning – Sri VVB Rama Rao
Kanakadhara Stotram - //
Kalady Temple -
Kalady -

Monday, February 14, 2011


Dear Readers/Seekers,

Am happy to present the Guru Samarpanam – Issue # 7.

The issue contains the excerpts from the biography, teachings, miracles and upadesa of Pujyashri Sri Sri Chandrasekarendhra Sarasvati Swamigal fondly revered as “Nadamadum Theivam” [Walking God], Mahaperiyva, Peramacharya etc.

Under the biography we can see our Paramacharya’s maiden visit to Tindivanam, the town which witnessed as a young boy now returning as “Jagadguru”. It also narrates the celebration that took place at Kumbakonam to commemorate the Acharya’s pontification as the Acharya of the Kamakoti Peetam.

In the section teachings of Mahaperiyava one can read Periyavaa’s lucid explanation of “Samsare Kim Saram?” i.e. what is the essence of this wordly life? In this Acharya explains the step by step towards achieving the Jnana. I hope this will be very very useful for a sadhaka.

Under the Mircales of Mahaperiyava we are going to see the experience of an Auditor from Salem which clearly tells how our Paramacharya was concerned about the old temples.

Finally the sayins of Periyava has been captured in the form of “Ten Commandments” for us to read and ponder.

I hope you will cherish reading this!

Please give your valuable feedback.

Happy reading!

Warm Regards,

A.V. Devan 9.2.2011 /Chennai

Excerpts from the Biography

Visit to Kumbakonam

In the eighteenth century, under the rule of Maharashtra Kings in Tanjore, the official site of the Kamakoti Peetam was moved temporarily from Kancheepuram to Tanjore owing to the conflicts in the country in that period. This event happened during the 62nd Acharya’s period. He was enroute to Kumbakonam from Kancheepuram, when he was requested by the Lord of Udayarpalayam to stay in their place for some time. He complied with the Lord’s request and stayed there for sometime as well as in Tanjore. Later, he moved to the mutt building established by then King of Tanjore in the banks of Kaveri. Since that time, Kumbakonam was the temporary place of administrative head quarters of the mutt.

Our Acharya left for Kumbakonam after being pontificated. On the way, he stayed for three days at Tindivanam, the place where his parents were residing. The townsfolk started preparations to receive him even a week before. Hordes of people kept coming to have darshan of Swamiji. They came to have the darshan of Acharya performing puja to the Mutt’s residing deities Sri Chandramouliswarar, Sri Tripundra Sundari Ambal.

The visit to Tindivanam in 1907 by our Swamigal had special implications. The town people who had since seen Swaminathan as a baby, a young boy of twelve years old were now seeing him as Acharya who is a teacher for the whole world. Men, women, children, old people, youngsters all gathered with pride that Swamigal is from Tindivanam and paid their respect to him. The teachers and students from Arcot Americal Mission School eagerly wanted to see our Swamigal. He spoke to each teacher individually, gave them gifts and made them very happy. He gave darshan to all the students and gave them gifts.

Even though the ascetics, who are sitting on the Acharya Peetam are Sanyyasis, it is the culture in our country to treat them like emperors as they have taken the vow to protect the world. In those days, there were elephants, horses, camels, palanquin, gold staff, silver staff, instruments like beri and sangam were in the mutt. Devottees of the mutt residing in Kumbakonam wished to celebrate the pontification of Sri Swamigal in a grand manner in Kumbakonam. The grand celebration was held in the mutt’s auspices on the 27th day of the month of Chittirai in the year Pilavangam (9-5-1907). Innumerable people from different parts of the country participated in the celebration. The last king of Tanjore Shivaji Maharaja sent both his queens on his behalf to pay princely respects to Swamigal. Speical puja services were held around all the temples. Swamigal went to all the temples that day and had darshan. Annadanam was given to thousands of devotees who visited the mutt on that day. Artists and learned scholars were honored with gifts on that day.

During appointed auspicious time, our Swamigal had abishekam done with the waters of Ganges, after which he was seated on a throne. At that time, all devotees paid their respects and gifts to Swamigal. The picture of Swamigal being taken around in a grand procession on the mutt’s elephant that night was memorable and etched in the minds of devotees gathered there.
This is how our Swamigal took upon the title of ‘Jagadguru’ at the young age of thirteen and started his reign at that moment.

Teachings of Mahaperiyava

SAMSARE KIM SARAM? – [What is the essence of worldly life?]

Our Acharya (Adi Sankara), in his “Prasnotra Ratna Malika” raises the question, “Kim Samsare Saram?” (What is the saram in this wordly life?) He provides the reply too. ‘Dear man, you have asked the question, is it not? You go on asking this question always. ‘That is the saram of samsaram’. That is, we have to constantly think,’what is the purpose of our having been born? What for are we born?’. We have to think whether we will achieve that purpose. ‘Why are we incurring sin? Why do we get angry? Why do we get desires? Why should all these come? Can we not be always happy and blissful? – these thoughts occur. We do not understand what the reply to these are.

Everything is for our good only. In a tree the fruit comes from the flower only. When it is a flower it is appealing to the nose and when it is fruit it is tasty to the tongue. The fruit is very sweet. What was the taste before this sweetness? The flower is bitter, the tender unripe fruit is astringent, the unripe one is sour and then the sweetness. When sweetness arrives all attachments go away. In the case of a fruit when it is fully ripe with sweetness it falls down. In the same manner, if the heart is filled all over with sweetness (peace) all attachments will go away of their own. So long as it is sour, there will be attachment. If the unripe fruit is plucked, water will ooze at the stalk. Water will ooze from the unripe fruit also. That means neither the tree wants to leave the unripe fruit nor the unripe fruit wants to detach itself from the tree. But if it becomes fully sweet, the attachment will go. The ripe fruit will fall on its own. The tree leaves the fruit and then fruit also leaves the tree. Both will part with each other without water oozing, that is happily, without crying. One who has evolved step by step and whose heart is filled with sweetness (madhuram) will happily detach himself from tree of samsara. Just as before the fruit ripens, sourness and astringency are required, in the beginning stages, it appears that desires, anger and impatience are necessary!

We cannot get released completely from these things at the early stage when we are victims of these. Even then, we should at least constantly think why these are coming. ‘We now had this feeling, this desire, anger, fame, falsehood! Is there any use by all these? Does this feeling come as something necessary or something ‘not necessary?’ ‘We should think on these lines. If we do not think like this, they will deceive us. We will get cheated.

When it is time for sourness, it must be sour. When it is time for astringency, it must be astringent. Yet just as the tender fruit does not stop with the early stages but keeps on going towards ripeness, we should go on thinking of the love and peace which is sweet. If we go on doing this way, we need not go in search of Moksha. If we are how we should be at different stages, the sweet state of Moksha will come on its own. Instead of that if we attempt at the wrong time, it will be like the tender fruit ripening without reaching the next stage. It will be spoiled. It will not be sweet. Just as Ramalingam sang, ‘will it get spoiled and fall off’ there is no use our making premature attempts to get Moksha and falling off on the way.

It is wrong to remain satisfied with the condition in which we are. But, at the same time when we still carry a heavy load of the past ‘karmas’ it is wrong to be in haste to gain the supreme jnana immediately. We need not desire for the supreme jnana here and now and go in search of it. We will go on performing our duties with the thought that, if it does not materialize in this birth (janma) let it come after several births. We shall follow the Dharma as enjoined by our vedhas. If we do so supreme jnana has to come on its own. Now we are able to see only external activities and appearances. Therefore, let us start with religious rituals which are external activities and the religious symbols that we wear which are also external. We will ripen through stages, from the tender to the unripe and then the ripened fruit and reach the truth that is internal.

Mahaperiyava Miracles

Experience of a devotee - Auditor

Once an Auditor from Salem visited Kanchipuram. He was an affluent person. He was a staunch devotee of Kanchi Mahaperiyava. He does many good things after getting the blessings from the Acharya. He makes a visit to Tirupathi, the abode of seven hills every year to get the blessings of Lord Venkateshwara. He also makes huge savings and deposit the same in the Tirupathi Hundi.

Once he was on his way to Tirupathi. He thought of visiting Mahaperiyava in Kancheepuram get his blessings and then decided to proceed to Tirupathi. He then along with his family reached Kancheepuram and proceeded to Kamakoti Peetam, the Sankara Mutt to have the darshan of our Walking God Kanchi Maha Periyava. The first question our Acharya asked him upon seeing him was “have you started to Tirupathi?”.

He was rather surprised to hear the same from Acharya as he did not even told him that he is on his way to Tirupathi. When he told Paramacharya that he is in fact on his way to Tirupathi. “Are you going to put all the money in the Hundi”? another query from acharya with some hidden agenda. The auditor replied in affirmative.

After a brief pause Paramacharya told him, “That Tirupathi person is already a wealthy person. Hence it will not affect HIM even if you don’t give it to him. In fact there are so many people are there to give him. Please do one thing there is village called “Vaiyur” near Vedanthangal there is a Perumal temple is there currently the temple does not even have enough money even to lit a lamp and perform the daily pujas to the deity, hence the money which you have decided to put in the Tirupathi Hundi donate it to this temple which is in dire need of the funds.

The auditor then started towards Vedanthangal and reached the temple. The temple was in mere shambles and he was literally crying to see the pitiable condition of the temple. He then donated the amount to the temple. Later slowly the temple was resurrected to its original glory and the temple is now known as “Thiru Vaiyavur Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal Temple”.

The auditor visit to Kanchi Mutt before going to Tirupathi was not a planned one. Similarly the Periyava’s instruction to divert the donation to this small temple instead of Tirupathi was a surprise. It is by the divine will all these have happened.

Ten Commandments of Mahaperiyava

1. All the natural elements like Sun, Moon, Sky, etc., all are the divine manifestation of the God.
2. The object which is visible and the object which sees the visible both are nothing but the
Supreme Soul.
3. The Supreme Soul merges with the divine manifestation and shines.
4. One who knows the bliss which pervades everywhere experiences the bliss.
5. Instead of taking Coffee in the morning one can have Wheat porridge or butter milk.
6. The Vaidya Shastra says “Butter milk” is equivalent to ambrosia/nectar.
7. Parents of the bride groom should avoid taking “Vara Dakshina”.
8. One who takes bath and perform “Sandhya Vandhanam” before Sunrise will not meet with

untimely death.
9. The person who knows only the Shastras he is only a Vidwan. One who experiences the

Shastras is a Jnani. One who preaches the Shastras is only a “Pracharak”.
10. One who knows the Shastras well, guides the people to follow them and also practices himself

is known as “Acharya”.


Sri Ramesh Subramanian, Coimbatore – For reminding me to write about Sri Mahaperiyava.


Pujyasri Mahaswamy Divya Charitram – Sri Sambamoorthi Sastrigal, Sri Kuppuswamy Iyer, Sollin Selvan “P.N. Parasuraman”
Kanchimahanin Karunai Nizhalil – Ananda Vikadan Publications
Voice of God – Volume – 1 – Kanchi Mahaswami Peetarohana Shatabdi Trust
Mahaperiyava Manimozhigal – By Sri Swami – Alliance Publications

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

SANT - SENA NHAVI [The Blessed Barber]

From Editor’s Desk

Dear Seekers,

Those who are engaged in the devotional service of God have little or no interest in the mundane material life. They do not get attracted to the material activities as they always think about God and God only. Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita “Sarva Dharmaan Parithyajya Maam Ekam Saranam Vraja - Aham Tvaa Sarva Papebhyo Mokshaisyami Ma Sucha” (Chapter 18 Verse 66) i.e. To those who surrender unto Him, He eradicates all the sins committed by them and gives moksha or deliverance and gives the devotees an assurance not to worry. Who else can give a guarantee like this except Sriman Narayana ? But to get that guarantee card the Lord says there is a conditions apply* clause (I think all the marketing people would have read this Sloka in Bhagavad Gita??!!!). Krishna the great marketing guru stresses the word “ekam”.
The word ‘ekam ’ means only and unto Him only i.e. He asks for an unconditional surrender (conditional clause with an unconditional commitment??!!!) to him. What a fine marketing strategy!

Krishna also says in Bhagavad Gita “Svalpam Apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat” [Chap 2.40] i.e. even if one takes few steps in this direction they are protected from the dangerous fear. Since we are in an unending cycle of life and death (Punarapi Jananam, Punarapi Maranam i.e. repeated birth and death as said in Bhaja Govindam ) we don’t have to worry whether we will complete this process in this life itself. There are many evidences that the Lord takes care of His devotees who have surrendered to Him totally. We know Krishna became a Charioteer for the sake of Pandavas but many ofus may not know that He also became a Barber to protect His devotee. The Maha Bhakta Vijayam contains the life history of many such devotees who have experienced the divine blessings of Vittala or Vittobha. In this article we will be seeing the life and times of Sant Sena Nhavi.

Whenever I read Maha Bhaktha Vijayam, I used to interrogate myself whether it is possible in reality to experience such miracles. It then dawned on me that given the level of intensity with which such devotees immerse themselves, IT IS possible to experience miracles like the one which we are going to read and much more. After reading this Bhakta Charitram even if our level of bhakti increases by 0.0001% we can call it is a successful attempt.

Let us all attempt to see the glory of Bhakta Charitram than the gory of Raktha Charitram!

Happy reading & Warm Regards,

A.V. Devan / 9.2.2011 /Chennai


One of the Sants belonging to the Varkari Sampradaya or the movement of Varkari is Sant Sena Nhavi. Before we go any further, we should know what Varkari movement is. ‘Varkari’ in Marathi literally means ‘a Pilgrim’, a Yathri. Varkari Sampradaya is a Vaishnava religious movement geographically associated with the Indian states of Maharashtra and Northern Karnataka. Varkaris worship Vittobha or Vittal, the presiding deity of Pandharpur, regarded as a form of Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu. Leading the pack of the great Sants of the Varkari movement are Sant Jnaneshwar, Namdev, Ekanath and Tukaram, among the lengthy list of devotees.

As per the Varkari movement, a duty based approach towards life is enjoined on the Varkaris. The emphasis is on moral behavior, strict avoidance of alcohol and tobacco, a vegetarian diet, fasting on Ekadasi day, brahmacharya (celibacy) during bachelorhood, equality and humanity for all, eschewing discrimination based on caste or wealth, daily reading of holy books and Haripath (of Sant Jnanesheshwar) by all varkaris and performing regular Bhajan and Kirtan. Every year Varkaris walk hundreds of miles to the holy town of Pandharpur gathering there on the Aashada Ekadasi Day. Varkaris making the pilgrimage to Pandharpur carry the Palkhis or Palanquins of the Sants from the places of their Samadhi. According to historians Vittal devotees have been embarking on pilgrimages much prior to 13th Century.

Jnaneshwar is the first of a long line of divinely ordained writers and poets whose works are central to the doctrine and practice of the Varkari cult and he is often described as its founder. Namdev (circa. 1270-1350) helped the spread of bhakti movement in the Punjab, where he lived for twenty years.

Some of his poems have found a place in Sikh texts too and he is considered a Sant, a holy man, by Sikhs and Sufis. Eknath (1533-99) spent his life in Paithan, contemplating on Lord Vittala. Besides writing hymns he was the first to translate the Ramayana into Marathi and edited a reliable version of Jnaneshwar's commentary on the Bhagavad Gita. Sant Tukaram (1608-50) hailed from what is considered as a lowest caste, from Dehu village. He lived there much of his life and though was married and had a family, led a pure ascetic life. He spread the Vitthala bhakti faith through the villages and became the most revered and popular of the Marathi bhakti poets.


Sena Nhavi was a barber by profession who was in the royal services of a Mohamedan King. Very pious and God loving, he was obsessed with Lord Vittala, fondly revered as Panduranga or Vittoba. He used to get up early in the morning, perform his ablutions and only after doing pooja to Lord Vittala would commence his daily occupation and other chores. Sena used to visit the palace and perform his duty whenever called upon by the King. Sena Nhavi was a disciple of Swami Ramananda. He completely engaged himself in the devotional service of Vittala without much attachment to his family.

Once seeing a group of Varkaris on their way to Pandharpur, Sena Nhavi invited them to his house. The Varkaris trooped in him and started performing Bhajan and Kirtan in his house. Sena also joined them merrily and started dancing with great frenzy. He was so immersed in the divine act that he totally forgot to go to the King’s Palace to perform his daily duty. Some of the courtiers who were jealous of Sena complained to the King that Sena has not turned up for his duty at the Palace engaged as he is, in devotion to Krishna. The King on hearing this got furious and ordered his guards to arrest Sena Nhavi and bring him to the Court immediately.

At the same time, Vittala, the all pervading, omnipotent and omnipresent God, took the form of Sena Nhavi and reached the King’s Palace, simply overcome by sheer mercy to protect His devotee,. Upon seeing (Vittala, in the guise of) Sena Nhavi, the King became sober and ordered him to carry on with his daily duty. Vittala in the form of Sena Nhavi promptly performed all the services required of a Barber, to the King. The King somehow felt something pleasantly inexplicable, mesmerized as he was by the services of Sena Nhavi. While the King was lost in a trance and continued to feel thrilled as if he was in heaven, Vittala miraculously disappeared from the scene. But the King had still not come out completely from the blissful feeling thanks to the miraculous touch of Vittala. Enjoying the feeling, the King reached his court.

Almost at the same time the guards brought the hand cuffed Sena Nhavi and produced him before the King. Seeing Sena Nhavi - who had only moments ago given him the greatest experience - in fetters, the King immediately ordered the guards to release him. He was still under the impact of Vittala and embraced Sena Nhavi and expressed his deep gratitude to him. But Sena, oblivious to the divine leela of Vitala, promptly requested for pardon as he could not come on time for his duty. The King wondered why at all was there a need to pardon him as he had came to the palace and performed his duty in an exemplary manner. He even declared that the day’s service was much better than any of the earlier days ! Sena Nhavi then realized that it was none other than Lord Vittala Himself who had come to protect him in the garb of a barber. He promptly confessed that he could not make it to the palace that morning as he was immersed in the devotion of Vittala forgetting his imperial duty and informed the King that it was Lord Vittala who had come.

The King repented for ordering his guards to hand cuff Sena and realizing the true Bhakti of Sena Nahavi, fell at his feet and asked him for pardon. Sena Nhavi then told that the King was more blessed than him since he was physically touched and stroked by the Lord. And he was overwhelmed with emotion as it was he who had made Vittala take the form of a Barber.

Later the enraptured Sena Nhavi left the palace, shifted to Phandarpur with his family and did the job of a Barber to all the Varkaris.

The Lord says, in Srimad Bhagavatham :

“Naa aham vasami vaikunte, Naa yogi hridaye, Ravau,
Madh Baktha Yathra Gayanthi Thathra thishtami Narada”

meaning “I don’t reside in Vaikuntam, neither stay in a Yogi’s heart nor in the Surya mandala,, but I dwell with my devotees who sing my names and glories.”
Since Sena Nhavi was always immersed in Prema Bhakti, the God came took his form and came down to help him.

Let us all for a moment, delve upon the sublime Prema Bhakthi of Sena Nhavi and mull over the divine episode. We shall certainly develop Prema Bhakthi towards Lord Vittala !

Jai Jai Vittala!
Jai Hari Vittala !

Haripath - Sant Gnyaneshwar
नित्य सत्यामित हरिपाठ ज्यासी । कळिकाळी त्यासी न पाहे दृष्टी ॥ १ ॥
रामकृष्ण उच्चार अनंतराशी तप । पापाचे कळप पळती पुढे ॥ २ ॥
हरि हरि हरि मंत्र हा शिवाचा । म्हणती जे वाचा तया मोक्ष ॥ ३ ॥
ज्ञानदेवा पाठ नारायण नाम । पाविजे उत्तम निजस्थान ॥ ४ ॥


nitya satya mita haripaaTha jyaasii . kaLikaaLa tyaasii na paahe dR^ishhTii 1
raamakRishhNa uchaara anantaraashii tapa . paapaache kaLapa paLatii puDe 2
hari hari hari mantra haa shivaachaa . mhaNatii je vaachaa tayaa moksha 3
GYaanadevaa paaTha naaraayaNa naama . paavije uttama nija sthaana 4


The evils of the present age (Kali kala) will not even glance at you, if you chant fervently and unceasingly the name of Hari .
The chanting of His name is the highest penance; all your sins will fly away.
Lord Shiva also chants the mantra, "Hari , Hari , Hari!" and whoever chants it will attain liberation.
Jnanadev says: I am always chanting The name of the Lord; and that is how I have realized my Self, the only real place of supreme inner peace.


Major Sri V. Venkata Narayanan for making necessary corrections, adding valuable inputs and making this article embellish.

Master A. Vijay Krishna who gave the idea to write this article about “Sant Sena Nhavi”.


Vaishnava Samhita – Sri Sri Krishna Premi (Anna)
Varkari – Wikipedia