Tuesday, December 23, 2008

SRI HANUMAN........SRI MURUGAN........!!!


Sri Hanuman Jayanthi Vizha
The Colombo, Dehiwela Sri Anjaneyar Temple Chariot festival and Sri Hanuman Jayanthi Vizha will be held on Friday 26.12.2008 and Saturday 27.12.2008 respectively.

Sri Hanuman is the embodiment and personification of physical prowess, of mental and spiritual discipline, intellectual uprightness, emotional balance and moral splendour.

According to Sage Valmiki, Sri Hanuman is the best of all characters. To him Sri Hanuman represented the most cultured youth of his times. He expressed maturity, intelligence, alertness, calmness, smartness, nobility, humility, honesty, sincerity, valour, boldness, devotion, respect, courtesy - all bundled up together. Sage Valmiki never missed an occasion to show how Sri Hanuman promptly responded to the needs of Sugriva, his master as well as to every spoken and unspoken orders of his Lord, Sri Rama.

His command over the language fascinated Sri Rama when he first introduced himself to his beloved Lord. He also exhibited extraordinary tenacity and sustained enthusiasm during the apparent failures he faced while searching for Sita Devi in Lanka.

After a long search when he was about to give up, he said to himself: “Enthusiasm is the root of prosperity and it is the highest joy; it promotes all endeavours and fulfils the actions for all beings, with enthusiasm I should put forth more effort.”

Sri Hanuman was praised as the best of the servants by Sri Rama. While he handed over the Chudamani, Sri Rama held it close to his heart and extolled Sri Hanuman as Purushottama. He is the best among men, who did much more than the different task entrusted by his master.

He was not only a true servant of his beloved Lord, but also for everyone who sought his help. Even as a messenger of Sri Rama, Sri Hanuman was very competent in communicating with Sita in Asoka Forest and devised some means so that Sita may listen to his words without any fear.

He addressed her in gentle words praising the noble qualities of Sri Rama. Hearing these words from Sri Hanuman, Sita was extremely delighted at the news of Rama. To Sita the heroic Hanuman appeared like the Asoka flowers and she was deeply amazed and took Sri Hanuman to be a formidable being.

The Hanuman, the effulgent son of Wind God, humbly approached Sita, worshipped her and said that he had come as a messenger at Sri Rama’s command.

Hanuman fully realising Sita’s thoughts about Sri Rama, began to speak in words pleasant to the ear, causing immense delight to her. He said that ‘Great Rama is spirited like the Sun and beautiful like the Moon. Everyone is warmly devoted to him. He is prosperous like Kubera and heroic like Lord Vishnu.

Further, in order to create confidence in Sita’s mind, Sri Hanuman gave a ring with Rama’s name engraved on it. Hanuman said that Sri Rama has made it and he had brought it for her confidence. He comforted Sita by saying that her sorrow would soon be over. Undoubtedly, Sri Hanuman was an envoy par excellence.

Furthermore, tradition sings of Sri Hanuman’s birth as a child of Vayu, the Wind God. However, his tremendous strength was born out of humility and surrender to Sri Rama. Indeed, Sri Hanuman is one of perfection, a personification of erudition, culture, competency and efficiency.

Sri Anjaneyar Temple which is dedicated to Sri Hanuman is situated at (Vihara Lane, Wellawatte), Sri Bodhirukkarama Road, Kalubowila, Dehiwela is a miraculous temple and thousands of devotees both Buddhists and Hindus visit this temple.

Sri Chandrasekara Swamigal of this temple is rendering remarkable spiritual service to the devotees irrespective of caste, religion and creed. The people from all walks of life and from all corners of Sri Lanka visit this temple during the Chariot festival and Sri Hanuman Jayanthy Vizha and pray to Sri Anjaneyar to receive His Divine blessings.

Furthermore, during the Chariot or Ther festival the statue of Sri Anjaneyar is decorated and illuminated and taken along the streets in a Chariot followed by Poojas and Bhajans. In fact, the Chariot symbolises human body and the statue of Sri Anjaneyar is the soul. The journey of the Chariot through the streets symbolises the progress of life.

This shows that throughout his life a man must control and guide his passions. These passions are the motive powers, the driving force of life, but unstrained and unguided they will wreck a man’s life. This is the symbolic meaning of the Chariot festival.


Sri Anjaneyar temple programme
ARUNA PONNAMBALAM Kotagala group corr.

Chariot festival and Sri Hanuman Jayathy Vizha of Sri Anjaneyar Temple of Colombo, Dehiwela will be conducted on December 26 and 27.

Programmes will be as follows: Tuesday 16 at 8.30 a.m. Sri Maha Ganapathy Pooja; 17: Navagraha Pooja; 18: Lord Shiva Pooja; Friday, 19: Lord Murugan, Valli and Theivani Pooja; 20: Sri Nagapoosari Amman, Sri Vairav Sri Mahakaali Pooja; 21: Sri Thanavantha Pooja; 22: Sri Rama Sri Lakshmi, Sri Seetha and Sri Anjaneyar Pooja; 23: Sri Maha Vishnu Pooja; 24: Sri Durga, Sri Luxmi, Sri Saraswathy and Sri Kuberaw Pooja; 25: Sri Panchamuga Anjaneyar Pooja; 26: Chariot festival. The procession will facilitate devotees to get the Holy blessings.

After returning to temple a special Wasantha Mandaba Pooja will be continued to the respective deities. 27.12.2008 (Saturday): 5.30 a.m. - Jayanthy Vizha - Early morning Theerathar ceremony (sea bath), followed by Sangapirekar special Abisekan using Valampuri Sangh (108 conch shells) and special pooja. Evening (5.00 p.m.): Vaddaimalai offering to Sri Panchamuga Anjaneyar. Guru Patha Pooja and Thiru-Uoonjat Pooja.

30.12.2008 (Tuesday): 4.00 p.m. - Vyravar Madai - Early Boolaings Pooja. Appreciable details can obtain from temple office. Temple committee has taken necessary steps for the ceremony.


Enters God Murugan into the fold of God Siva
Thilaka V. Wijeyaratnam

Hindu Mythology speaks of the destruction of the evil called ago which makes one forget the good and forget God too. The characters who are embodiments of ego are the Asuras who do a lot of tapes and penance and receive so many boons from God Himself. Once they get what they want, they forget the benign God and become fanatical.

Drunk with all the powers bestowed on them by God and feeling there’s nobody to check them they start ill treating mortals and Devas alike. Unable to stand the wickedness the Devas and mortals appeal to God Siva or Lord Krishna to save them.

One such Asura was Surapathman, who went on a rampage inflicting untold misery on the Devas, Sages and Layman. His wickedness was unbearable and Indra thought of appealing to God Siva to save them. But at that time God Siva was in Dyana - meditation and no one, not even His consort Parvathy dared to disturb Him. Indra told the other Devas they should request God Siva to create a son who could destroy the evil doer.

But they were worried as to how they could bring God Siva out of His state of meditation. Finally Indra called for Manmathan - the cupid in Hindu Mythology to shoot the flower decked arrow and disturb Lord Siva. Manmathan shivered at the thought of facing the wrath of God Siva disturbed. He hesitated. Indra and the other Devas persuaded him and he finally agreed.

With trepidation he went to the abode of God Siva and aimed the arrow at His heart. It struck God Siva as expected. Disturbed from His deep meditation God Siva slightly opened His third eye and looked at Manmathan with ire.

Manmathan was reduced to ashes. At this, Rathi, wife of Manmathan fell at the feet of God Siva and pleaded with Him to bring back her husband to life. God Siva told her, He would do so, but only he would be visible to her and not to others. So it happened.

Now Goddess Parvathy had been born as the daughter of a king called Parvatharajan. She, from infancy prayed to God Siva to marry her and take her back to Kailas - their abode. Once God Siva’s meditation ended, He agreed to take Parvathy unto Him as His consort and a great and grand wedding was arranged.

After the marriage God Siva made consort Parvathy to be on the left side of His body. While it was so, the Devas led by Indra worshipping God Siva told Him for the atrocities committed against mortals, Sages and Devas by Surapathman and beseeched Him to produce a son who would vanquish the Asura. God Siva agreed to grant them their wish.

Then from His third eye arose six sparks and God Siva commanded Agni-Lord of Fire and Vayu-Lord of the Wind to take the six sparks and leave it in the river Ganges. “She will take these to the pond ‘Saravana Poihai’ in Madurai, in Thamil Nadu. So, Agni and Vayu bore these six sparks and placed them in the Ganges, who carried them down to Madurai where the said pond was and is today too. Each spark found a lotus flower to rest on.

These sparks turned into babies. There were six nymphs called “Karthigai Penkal” who nursed these babies. God Siva told His consort Parvathi about the manifestation of the six babies. Goddess Parvathi hurried down to earth to see them. They were such cherubic babies that she hugged them all together. Lo and behold - the six babies merged into one with six faces and twelve hands. Goddess Parvathy and God Siva took this child with them to Kailas.

Now the Devas who were still suffering by the onslaught of the Asura went to Kailas and pleaded with God Siva to save them. God Siva smiled benignly at the young son Murugan and giving Him a spear (Vel), blessed Him and sent Him to fight Surapathman.

Surapathman was born to Sage Kasipar and Maya. His mother Maya advised him to perform a Yagam. Surapathman met the Guru of the Asuras - Suckirachari who blessed him and warned him that when he does Tapas to gain God Siva’s favour, the devas would try to obstruct him. He told him a mantra and told him to chant it while meditating on God Siva. God Siva would be pleased and surely grant Suran all the boons he asked for.

So Suran went northwards and choosing a suitable place settled down to perform Yagam. Though he did Yagam and then tapas for a number of years God Siva didn’t appear. He then decided to end his life. He jumped onto the sharp spear his mother has placed in the Yagam cavity and ended his life.

Seeing him dead, his brothers too decided to end their lives likewise. At this God Siva felt compassion for the breed. He took the form of a feeble old man and walked down staggering to their place and asked Surapathman’s brothers what was happening.

They narrated all that happened and said they had also decided to end their lives. At this the old man told them not to do so and promised to bring back Surapathman to life. Then he spread his hair. River Ganges gushed out and filled the Yagam cavity and Surapathman got up as though from deep sleep. God Siva revealed Himself-seated on the bull with His consort Parvathy Devi beside him.

Pleased with the penance, God Siva asked him what he wanted. Surapathman worshipped and praised Lord Siva and asked for him to be ruler of the three worlds and give him a strong body that cannot be destroyed ever.

He asked for immortality too. Of course in God Siva’s words there’s loophole which Suran and his brothers failed to notice. “You shall have all you wanted and you cannot be destroyed by anyone other than one of our powers.” Satisfied the Asuras worshipped God Siva and praised Him in so many flattering words.

Thus Murugan, manifested for a purpose to destroy egoistic Asura and save the Devas, sages and mortals, had to fight a most formidable enemy whose armour was the words of assurance by God Siva.

Intoxicated by the powers given to him Surapathman and the other Asuras of his clan went rampant committing every form of atrocity against the devas, sages and mortals. He subdued Indra and the devas and made them his slaves. He imprisoned Indra’s son Jeyanthan and tortured the devas.

Sri Murugan set out to conquer Surapathman. When the latter heard that the boy God was coming to fight with him, he laughed. He has got the boon of immortality and what could a young boy do? However when they encountered each other and engaged in the war Asura learnt that it was no small boy up against him.

He therefore tried to win by magic means. He took various forms like one with elephant face and finally he took the form of a mango tree. Lord Murugan with the spear split the tree into two halves. Humbled Surapathman accepted defeat.

One half of the mango tree changed into a peacock and the other half of the tree was transformed into a cock. Lord Murugan took the peacock as his vehicle and commanded the cock to be his standard. So ended the life of Surapathman.

In Murugan temples, six days following Deepavali, are observed as Kanthasashti - that is six days of fasting for Lord Murugan. The day after fasting ends, this fight between Lord Murugan and the Asura is enacted in the temple premises. This mythological story takes place annually in all Murugan temples. Both children and adults flock around to watch the drama, called, “Suran Por” - war on Suran.

Lord Murugan has many epithets.

Murugu means beautiful. Murugan means the beautiful one.

As the six sparks were carried by the river Gangadevi, He is called Kankeyan. As He was nursed by the nymphs “Karthigai Penkal” He is called Karthigeyan.

As He has six faces - Arumugam or Shanmuka.

As Devi Parvathy brought all six babies together He became Kanthaswamy.

Sivakumaran - the son of God Siva

As he has the Spear (Vel) as his weapon He is Velan, Velayuthan.

As He radiates rays of light He is Kathirgamar.

Kathir - rays

Mayura - peacock

Mayuran - one who rides the peacock

So is Mylvaganan.

Devotees of Lord Muruga choose such epithets to name their male children.

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