Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Monday, August 23, 2010

Vegetarian diet: A factor in human development...!!!

Vegetarian diet: A factor in human development
Late Swami Sivananda

Self-evident truths do not need to be emphatically scouted or substantiated by long argumentation.

It is futile to get into hot disputes over this question of vegetarianism or to bring/statistics in support of non – vegetarianism diet.

It is not within the reach of all to understand the finer points in connection with vegetarianism.

The most important reason for which the vegetarian diet is recommended and non-vegetarian diet condemned is because of their respective effects upon the ethical and the spiritual development of the human being.

The considerations is not so much of merely physical and mental or intellectual development of the man.

Man is more than just body and mind. He is essentially an ever-perfect, ever pure and ever free Spirit in his true inner nature.

Human birth is given as an opportunity and a means to attain this sublime knowledge of his inner spiritual nature and to regain his Divinity.

In this process, all grossness and animalistic tendencies have to be totally eliminated from the human personality.

Non-vegetarian diet, which is gross and animal by its very nature, is a great hindrance to this process. Pure Sattvic diet is a great help to the refinement of the human nature. Vegetarian diet is a great factor in this.

Ethical idealism and spiritual aspiration find place and flourish more easily in a pure Sattvic and refined nature. Hence the vital importance of eschewing gross animal diet and adopting a pure vegetarian diet.

This is indispensable in the true interests of the nobler inner culture of the man’s being.

Ignorant people thoughtlessly wax eloquent in their advocacy of animal diet. They do not know about the important fact that man’s nature is influenced by that he takes.

All foods are divided by our ancient men of wisdom into Sattvic, Rajasic or Tamasic.

Animal diet belongs to the Rajasic and mostly to the Tamasic category. Animal diet is not Sattvic.

Sattvic diet is essential in the process of the ethical and spiritual culture of man. Vegetarian diet is mostly Sattvic. The subtle part of the food material goes to make up the mind of man.

Tamasic diet produces Tamasic tendencies in man. Onion and garlic care extremely Tamasic. They are as bad as meat.

Therefore, they are totally forbidden to those who wish for moral and spiritual growth. No doubt animal diet may produce a strong Sandow or a dauntless soldier or a keen brainy scientist. But, in the Hindu view of life, the real value is placed upon the moral and spiritual worth of the man. Moreover, flesh eating involves the exercises of cruelty, which is not an elevating virtue. It is a bestial quality. It degrades man. Cruelty is condemned by all great men.

Thus the cruel slaughter of animals and taking of innocent lives which flesh eating entails makes it abhorrent to all right thinking men and women all over the world.

People who are slaves to flesh easting habit cannot give up animal deit, because they have become confirmed and inveterate meat eaters and hence they try to justify their habit by various arguments and statistics.

Beloved Atman! Be wise. Do not enter into hot disputes. You cannot expect to change the ways of the world by disputation and argumentation. Ultimately, it is only the force of human example that has a strong effect upon the people around you.

Of course, if earnest people with sincere desire to know the right approach you for enlightenment, you may by all means, explain to them the true facts about the matter and urge them to follow the right course.

But self-conceited and dogmatic people only learn through their own hard and bitter experiences in life.

Pray for them and ask the Lord to shower His Grace upon such souls and bless them by bringing them upon the right path.

The above article was published in the ‘Hindu Organ’ newspaper (in Jaffna) on December 23, 1955) when he was alive.


A Creed of the Saivite Hindu Religion
Siva’s followers all BELIEVE that: Lord Siva is God, whose Absolute Being, Parasiva, transcends time, form and space. The yogi silently exclaims, “It is not this. It is not that.” Yea, such an inscrutable God is God Siva. Aum.

Lord Siva is God, whose immanent nature of love, Parashakti, is the substratum, primal substance or pure consciousness flowing through all form as energy, existence, knowledge and bliss. Aum.

Lord Siva

Lord Siva is God, whose immanent nature is the Primal Soul, Supreme Mahadeva, Parameshvara, author of Vedas and Agamas, the creator, preserver and destroyer of all that exists. Aum.

In the Mahadeva Lord Ganesha, son of Siva-Shakti, to whom they must first supplicate before beginning any worship or task. His rule is compassionate. His law is just. Justice is His mind. Aum.

In the Mahadeva Karttikeya, son of Siva-Shakti, whose vel of grace dissolves the bondages of ignorance. The yogi, locked in lotus, venerates Murugan. Thus restrained, his mind becomes calm. Aum.

That each soul is created by Lord Siva and is identical to Him, and that this identity will be fully realized by all souls when the bondage of anava, karma and maya is removed by His grace. Aum.

In three worlds: the gross plane (Bhuloka), where souls take on physical bodies; the subtle plane (Antarloka), where souls take on astral bodies; and the causal plane (Sivaloka), where souls exist in their self-effulgent form. Aum.

In the law of karma - that one must reap the effects of all actions he has caused - and that each soul continues to reincarnate until all karmas are resolved and moksha, liberation, is attained. Aum.

That the performance of charya, virtuous living, kriya, temple worship, and yoga, leading to Parasiva through grace of the living satguru, is absolutely necessary to bring forth jnana, wisdom. Aum.

There is no intrinsic evil. Evil has no source, unless the source of evil’s seeming be ignorance itself. Saivite Hindus are truly compassionate, knowing that ultimately there is no good or bad. All is Siva’s will. Aum.

That religion is the harmonious working together of the three worlds and that this harmony can be created through temple worship, wherein the beings of all three worlds can communicate. Aum.

In the Panchakshara Mantra, the five sacred syllables “Namasivaya,” as Saivism’s foremost and essential mantra. The secret of Namasivaya is to hear it from the right lips at the right time. Aum.

Affirmation of Faith:
God Siva is Immanent Love and Transcendent Reality.
Anbe Sivamayam, Satyame Parasivam (Affirmation in Tamil).
Excerpted from the Internet


Snake planets:

Their influence on humans
Thilaka V. Wijeyaratnem

Brahaspathi the Guru of the Devas and Sukirachariyar the guru of the Asuras suggested that the Devas and Asuras should churn the milkey ocean to get Amudam (manna) which will make them immortal.

Planet Jupiter

They used a mountain called Manthamalai to churn the ocean with the snake vasugri as the rope.

The Devas held one end of the rope and the Asuras held on to the other end. While the two parties pulled the snake alternatively, the pain was such that varusi spat out the venom called Aalakala poison.

The frightened Devas ran and surrendered to God Siva. To protect them God Siva consumed the poison – worried that it would harm him, his consort, parvathi, held His neck and the venom got struck there.

Mythology says that blue mark on Siva’s throat indicates where the venom was stopped.

Hence His epithet Neelakandan Neela-blue-Kandam-throat.

The Devas and Asuras continued with the cheering and at last Amudam came out hard Vishnu decreed that Devas should get it.

Two of the Asuras disguised as Devas get the Amudam from Lord Vishnu.

The Devas called Sooriyan (Sun) and Chandran (Moon) pointed them out to Lord Vishnu who got angry with them and decapitated them with his weapon – the disc.

As the two took part of the Amudam, they could not be killed.

Instead Rogu got a human face and snake’s body, and kethu got snake’s face and human body.

They did penance and worshipped Lord Vishnu.

So they were included in the planet world. Their Tapas was such that they were enabled with the power to make a King of a begger, and reduce a King to a beggar.

Ragu is dark in complexion, Lording over South West Corner. He has a very strong influence on humans. Durga Devi the Goddess and Kali are his chosen Goddesses.

Kethu on the other hand is reddish in complexion and overlooks the North West. He seems to like multi coloured garments.

I seemed Kethu worshiped God Siva in a Siva temple in the North West of Sri Lanka. That shrine is known as Thiruketheeswaram in Mannar.

Since Sooriya Deva and Chandha Deva exposed them, Ragu and Kethu take revenge on them by swallowing them and releasing them.

So this is the cause for the solar and lunar eclipse says mythology.

A book called Sitparathinam says this of Ragu. He is pitch black, he prefers, black clothes, his flag is also black.

He has the lion as his vehicle. His divine or celestial guardian is the cow. He likes black gram. The flower of his choise is Banhinia sp (Manthara malar).

The blue green grass cyoanodon sp, is used in pooja to him. Though his face is that of a Deva, his body is covered with scales like that of a snake.

There is a proverb in Tamil “Raagu Pol Koduppavanum illai”. There is none who could give as bounteously as Raagu nor deprive you as Raagu. So praying to Raagu will help to overcome difficulties in life is the belief.

Kethu too does the same. If he is in a favourable position in your horoscope then you are a lucky person. Otherwise misfortunes will follow you wherever you go.

Kethu’s celestial guardian is Brahma. It is in his nature to flare up at the slightest provocation. The eyes are for ever red. His favourite flower is red Alli – a water plant. His vehicle is the eagle. He has many names - Thoomakethu, Loka Kethu, Mahakethu Sarva Kethu are all his names.

Like Raagu he also has a strong influence on humans. The position of Keltin on one’s horoscopes determines his fate.


Durga Devi: Embodiment of compassion
Chelvatamby Manichavasagar

Durga Devi temple at Tellipalai is a miraculous kovil where a large number of people gather. The annual festival commenced last Thursday (12) and the chariot festival was held yesterday (22).

Durga matha

Durga is another face of Shakthi or Parvathi or Uma. All names refer to Siva’s consort. K’aali Amman is another form.

Durga means valour the deity depicts elimination of ignorance and deliverance from illusion.

At this temple thousands of devotees congregate daily. Although this temple has become prominent in recent years, it has an old history.

It is said that about 400 years ago Kathirkamar a devotee had gone on pilgrimage to India and worshiped at several Hindu holy places like Benares, Mathurai, Rameswaram etc. He arrived at Kankasanturai and walked a few miles. When he felt tired rested by the wayside.

Durga desired that to be her location. So he installed the “Sakthi” “Yantar” which he had carefully brought from Benares, there under an Illupai tree.

Thus commenced worship, which is to become an outstanding Devi Temple. The first “Kumbabishekam” was performed in 1829. Poojas were performed by priests from Kanchipuram and the temple was under the management of one “Kathir Rasarpillai”.

In 1953, the temple trustee board constructed this temple according to Agamic principle.

In fact, when “Selvi Thangammah Appakutty” became the Trustee of this Temple, the poojar were performed daily and meticulously. She was responsible for the construction of “Sithira Ther” and “Raja Gopuram” in 1978. Kumbabhisekam was performed in 1981.

As President and Trustee of this temple she rendered tremendous religious service to Hindu religion in Sri Lanka and abroad. She was conferred with the title of “Chen Chot Chemmani” by the “Madurai Atheenam” in 1965 and “Sivathmil Selvi” at “Karainagar Elathu Sithamparam” temple.

It is very often said that divinity manifests from age to age in the human forms in order to re-establish Dharma (Righteousness) and to guide all humankind on the right path. The manifestations in the form of mother over the age has been recovered in scriptures.

The Mother is the universal embodiment of compassion. The compassion of the Divine Mother Durga Devi gives us the benevolence of life elements such as water, earth, fire, wind and space to enable us to lead an excellent life.

In fact, the “Varana Purana” explains Sakthi in the form of Durga as symbolizing the bounds of passion, love, hatred, greed, vanity, illusion, contempt, joy and jealousy. Furthermore, the creator of the Universe Brahma resides in the Naval of Lord Vishnu. Similarly in the hearts of men reside the creative urge and faith. This is clearly evident from the manner the people of Jaffna pray to “Goddess Durga Devi Amman” at Tellipalai.

During the chariot festival the statue of Goodess Durgai is decorated and illuminated and taken along the streets in chariot followed by poojas, Bhajans, Archanai offered by the devotees.

In the traditions of the Hindu literature the chariot is the replica of the human body. The deity in the sanctum or on the chariot reminds us of the truth that the God is ‘seated in the hearts of each individual. This is the symbolic meaning of the chariot festival.

Undoubted, to a world lost in error and weighed down by forces of darkness, ignorance and arrogance, conflicts and contradiction, trials and tribulations let us all worship. Tellipalai Durga Devi Amman and utter her pure name and contemplate and surrender ourselves at Her Lotus Feet for the progress and success of our lives and also for the everlasting peace, eternal prosperity and racial harmony and happiness.

The Annual Chariot Festival of the Sri Sivasubramania Swamy Kovil, Jeyanthi Nagar, Ginthupitiya, Colombo 13 was held. The colourfully decorated chariot is in procession from the kovil premises around the streets of Colombo city. Picture A. Maduraveeran

The Manikkavasagar Guru Pooja organised by the Colombo Vivekananda Sabai took place at their premises, Vivekananda Hill Kotahena Colombo 13. Pupil Selvi Vinthiya delivers a religious lecture. Pic A. Maduraveeran

The Sai Trustee K. Balanyagam unveils the memorial plaque to open the “Anna Poorna Sai Nilayam” at the Sai Shrine New Chetty Street Kotahena, Colombo 13. The event was organised by the Sri Sathiya Sai Baba C olombo Centre President Sai Centre, S. N. Udayanayahan. J. M. Swaminathan and the member’s participated. Pic A. Maduraveeran


Monday, August 16, 2010

A glorious religious observance... Nallur Kanthaswamy Kovil..!!!





A glorious religious observance
Nallur Kanthaswamy Kovil:

Sinnathamby Rasiah

The annual festival of historic Nallur Kanthaswamy temple commenced yesterday (August 15) and will continue for twenty five days, with all its splendour.

Since then, the attention of the people is focused on this event and the whole village participate in the preparation for the festivities. Residents of the area decorate their homes and streets with mango leaves, coconut strips, flowers and plantain trees.

Crowds thronged at the Nallur Kovil on the opening day of the festival on August 15, 2010. Picture Courtesy The Hindu, Chennai

Kolam designs associated with the deity of God Skanda are artificially sketched in front of the house. Mostly kumbams are kept outside the homes. In the neighborhood of the temple, pandals are erected to accommodate devotees who come from far off places. As normalcy is prevailing in the country more expatriates are expected to participate in the festival. What God Kataragama is for the southerners, Nallur Kanthaswamy Kovil is for the northerners.

Nallur and Kataragama are two of the few temples in the country, where people participate irrespective of their faith. Besides, Nallur temple is famous for the meticulous manner in which poojas are performed at the stipulated times.

Inauguration of Festival
The annual festival of Nallur of Lord Skanda commenced with the auspicious flag hoisting ceremony yesterday at 10 a.m. Amid ringing bells, Confetti of flowers and mantras recited by Brahmin priests clad in red. Among the twenty five festivals that take place, the most spectacular ones are the 10th festival called Manjam cart festival, 20th one is called Kailayavahanam. The three deities namely Lord Skanda escorted by two consorts Theivayanai and Valli ascent the Kailayavahanam which depicts the ten headed Ravana lifting mount Kailash.

The other important festival is Sapparam on the 23d day.

The festival reaches its climax with the Ther or chariot on which the majestic Lord Skanda along with his elegant consorts, draped in vibrant green ascends and it is drawn by devotees round the outer countryard of the temple. Many devotees carry, kavadi, which is beautifully arch shaped and studded with peacock feathers and the devotees dance to the rhythum of the music. The kavadi, carries two small milk pots to be offered in the worship.

Mayuri Amman in Havelock Town where the festival is now on.

The Paravai kavadi which is fitted to carrier and very ardent devotees piers their back with small spears and hooks and horizontally hangs on it, as the carrier moves forward. It is an act of penance and also a way of fulfilling their vows.

Historical Account
In fact the history of Nallur Kandaswamy temple is intertwined with the history of (yaalpaanam) Jaffna.

It is no exaggeration to say that the rise and fall of the temple was subject to the change of rulers. Shanmuga priya, in her book in Nallur Kandaswamy – a spiritual experience says as follows,” historians assert that there is historical evidence to assume that the temple was built in A.D. 1248 in Kurukkal Valavu in Nallur. The present temple is situated in the same location. They further state that the temple must have been built by Buvanekabahu, the minister to king Arya Chakravarthi.”

With the passage of time Parakramabahu VI who ruled the souh from Kotte had an eye on the Jaffna kingdom.

He dispatched a huge army under his adopted son and general Sempakapperumal Kumaraya who captured Jaffna and in the course of the invasion Nallur Kandaswamy temple was razed to the ground.

Selva Sannithy Temple in the North. The festival in now on.

Later on he tried to appease the offended people and built the second Kandaswamy temple around 1467 in an adjacent place.

Meanwhile in the book - Hindu temples of Sri Lanka, Prof S. Pathmanathan states that the temple built by Buvanekabahu continued to flourish even after he had lost authority over Jaffna and the Tamil kings who were restored to power by this time extended royal support to the temple.

Henceforth the glory of the temple began to wane with the arrival of foreign powers – first the Portuguese, then the Dutch and the British. In 1620, the Portuguese invaded Jaffna and the Nallur temple was completely destroyed.

Thereafter according to C. S. Navaratnam in a Short History of Hinduism in Ceylon, for nearly 170 years there was no temple for the Tamils to worship in that locality. In 1658 the Dutch captured Jaffna from the Portuguese.

Unlike the Portuguese the Dutch became liberal in later years. The Hindus around Nallur made use of this opportunity and constructed a small Madalaya style in the same location as the second Nallur temple without a Gopuram. A vale was consecrated and worshiped.

In 1734 Ragunatha Mappana Mudaliyar was able to get the permission from the Dutch rulers and built the Nallur Kandaswamy temple in its original place in Kurukkal Valavu - Since then the temple was developed and today it outshines it past glory.


Nallur in festive mood
Chelvatamby Maniccavasagar

With the hoisting of the flag yesterday (Aug 15) the much anticipated annual festival of the Nallur Kanthasamy temple has begun. Until September 07, a religious and festive mood will reign in the North of Lanka.

The temple in Nallur is ancient and is of historical importance. The Chariot festival will be held on the last day of the 23-day festival.

In view of the large crowd of devotees at the festival the management of the temple, the government agent and the mayor have made elaborate arrangements to facilitate the convenience of devotees.

Devotees from all over Sri Lanka are participating at the festival to receive the Divine Blessings of Lord Murukan.

In fact, the people of Jaffna are extremely happy particularly after the end of war which prevailed for the last three decades and the maintenance of peace which everyone was looking for.

Further, the people are enjoying normal life after a lapse of several years.

The people move about freely and attend to their household affairs. The people in the surrounding areas of the temple have erected temporary sheds in view of this festival.

Even the Mayor of Jaffna Municipal Council has laid down certain rules and regulating how the devotees should conduct themselves during the temple festival and also how the devotees should enter the temple precincts wearing nesty avoiding trousers and shirts.

All are expected to maintain Hindu traditions and agamic principles which are of paramount importance.

Nallur was the celebrated capital city of Ancient Jaffna. The chronicle of Jaffna history the “Yalpana Vaibava Malai describes in detail how the city of Nallur was founded. It mentions how “Singai Ariyan” arrived at the request of “Pandi Maluvam” accompanied by priests and advisers and assumed the kingship of Jaffna. He built a city for his residence and named it Nallur.

Thus was founded the celebrated city of Nallur by Singai Ariyan, also referred to as “Kulankai”, who commenced his reign as the first Ariya Chakravarty King of Jaffna.

The Singai Ariya dynasty continued to rule as Ariya Chakaravarty kings of Jaffna, assuming alternately the state titles of Pararajasekaram and Sagarajasekaram. They safeguarded the Hindu temples building more in the kingdom and maintaining those already erected. They up held the Hindu tradition.

The Jaffna chronicle also records that during the reign of Singai Ariyan, Minister Bhuvaneka Bahu completed the erection of the outside walls of the city and the Kandaswamy kovil. That a Kandaswamy temple got erected within the city of Nallur, during the reign of Singai Ariyan thus explicitly recorded and the credit for this Thiruppany” work goes to the king’s Minister Bhuvenaka Bahu. The time would have been soon after the year 1284 A.D.

Furthermore, the Portuguese who invaded Jaffna with their forces demolished this temple to the ground level in the year 1621. Subsequently the Dutch who found a Catholic Church there, demolished it and erected a church of their faith which is the Nallur Church in close proximity to the “Yamuneri Theertham”.

After the rule of dutch in the year B.C. 1658, this temple came under the management to the Hindus. In 1734, this temple was rebuilt.

The present Nallur Kandaswamy temple was originated in the year 1749 by “Ragunatha Mappana Mudaliyar.

The origin of Murukan and the story of his veneration are of very ancient interest. The story is fundamental in the history of development of Tamil Culture. He become identified as Kumaran: Even the pre-Aryan pre-historic eras are known to have revered a rudimentary form of Murukan, a youth of valorous deeds who was victorious in war.

The Devas, when they proceeded to Moun Kailas to complain to Lord Siva of their persecution by the Asuras, found him in deep meditation. On being awakened, a Divine spark emanated from his frontal third eye. This was received in Lake “Saravanai Poika”. There it was nurtured by six “Karthikai” young girls and they became six infants and were embraced by Divine mother Goddess Parvathy.

Lord Muruka as a valorous youth is said to have performed several brave deeds including the imprisonment of Brahma and imparting the meaning of the sacred word Aum to Lord Shiva.

Further, when the Devar were imprisoned by Asuras Lord Muruka sent his Army Commander “Virapahu” and when Surapadman refused to lay down his arms and release the Devas, Lord Muruka fought with Surapadman and defeated him, but was not slain but accepted to serve Lord Muruka as his stud in the form of a peacock and also given a place in his banner as a rooster cock. The Devas were released and they celebrated the victory.

Indira the king of the Devas and Indrani his Queen rewarded Murukan by giving him their daughter “Deiva Yanai” or “Deivanai” in marriage.

The grand nuptial celebrations are claimed to have taken place at “Thiru Perum Kanram” situated in Madurai, Muruka’s second consort is Valli, the Veddah maid from the Vallimalai hills.

Furthermore, the vale in his hand denotes knowledge. According to this a man’s knowledge should be sharp, it should not only be sharp, but it should be evidenced and be deep.

In a philosophical interpretation the two consorts of Lord Muruka are considered to represent “Kiriya” Sakthi and “Ichcha”. Sakthi and Muruka represents “Gnana” Sakthi.

During the Nallur Ther or Chariot festival the statue of God Kandaswamy is decorated and illuminated and paraded along the streets in a chariot followed by poojas, Bhajan and Archana offered by devotees.

The large and heavy chariot is pulled by a rope by thousands of devotees where the rich and the poor grand shoulder to shoulder in pulling the body politics of the Divine State, giving the Lord a chance to witness the peaceful progress that the community has made, Clustering around the temple where the God resides.

Even Sri Lanka Sri Arumuga Navalar, who started the Saivism Revival movement launched it from Nallur temple.

Further, Kadaiyit Swamigal Chellappaswamigal and Yogar Swamigal attained enlightenment at the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple.

In fact, to a society lost in error and beset by illusions of time and weighed down by perplexities trials and tribulations, conflicts and contradictions, the Divine power of God Muruka will protect us from all evil tendencies and make us to lead a peaceful and harmonious life.

A special Hindu religious program titled ‘Pithur Dharpanam’ took place under the patronage of Sivashri Bala Ravishanuarak Kurukkal at the Modera estuary Colombo on August 9, 2010. The event was organized by the Hindu Mantram, Crow Island, Mattakkuliya. A large number of devotees participated. Picture: A. Maduraveeran

The annual festival of the Iyyappa Swamy Kovil, Aluthmawatte, Modera, Colombo 15, was held on July 1, 2010. Here the Swamigal is being taken in procession by the devotees around the streets. Pic: A. Maduraveeran

Nawalapitiya Kathiresan temple festival


GAYATRI MANTRA & Its Scientific Meaning..!!!

Fra: karthigesu ganesh (ganeshwarra@hotmail.com)
Sendt: 16. august 2010 01:13:20

Yet another Scientific explanation of Gayatri Mantra….

GAYATRI MANTRA & Its Scientific Meaning

Gayatri mantra has been bestowed the greatest importance in Vedic dharma. This mantra has also been termed as Savitri and Ved-Mata, the mother of the Vedas.
Om bhur bhuvah swah

Tat savitur varenyam

Bhargo devasya dheemahi

Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat

The literal meaning of the mantra is:

O God! You are Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Almighty, You are all Light. You are all Knowledge and Bliss. You are Destroyer of fear, You are Creator of this Universe, You are the Greatest of all. We bow and meditate upon Your light. You guide our intellect in the right direction.

The mantra, however, has a great scientific importance too, which somehow got lost in the literary tradition. The modern astrophysics and astronomy tell us that our Galaxy called Milky Way or Akash-Ganga contains approximately 100,000 million of stars. Each star is like our sun having its own planet system. We know that the moon moves round the earth and the earth moves round the sun along with the moon. All planets round the sun. Each of the above bodies revolves round at its own axis as well. Our sun along with its family takes one round of the galactic center in 22.5 crore years. All galaxies including ours are moving away at a terrific velocity of 20,000 mile s per second.

And now the alternative scientific meaning of the mantra step by step:
Bhur the earth, bhuvah the planets (solar family), swah the Galaxy. We observe that when an ordinary fan with a speed of 900 RPM (rotations Per minute) moves, it makes noise. Then, one can imagine, what great noise would be created when the galaxies move with a speed of 20,000 miles per second. This is what this portion of the mantra explains that the sound produced due to the fast-moving earth, planets and galaxies is Om. The sound was heard during meditation by Rishi Vishvamitra, who mentioned it to other colleagues. All of them, then unanimously decided to call this sound Om the name of God, because this sound is available in all the three periods of time, hence it is set (permanent). Therefore, it was the first ever revolutionary idea to identify formless God with a specific title (form) called upadhi. Until that time, everybody recognized God as formless and nobody was prepared to accept this new idea. In the Gita also, it is said, "Omiti ekaksharam brahma", meaning that the name of the Supreme is Om , which contains only one syllable (8/12). This sound Om heard during samadhi was called by all the seers nada-brahma a very great noise), but not a noise that is normally heard beyond a specific amplitude and limits of decibels suited to human hearing. Hence the rishis called this sound Udgith musical sound of the above, i.e., heaven. They also noticed that the infinite mass of galaxies moving with a velocity of 20,000 miles/second was generating a kinetic energy = 1/2 MV2 and this was balancing the total energy consumption of the cosmos. Hence they named it Pranavah, which means the body (vapu) or store house of energy



Tat that (God), savitur the sun (star), varenyam worthy of bowing or respect. Once the form of a person along with the name is known to us, we may locate the specific person.Hence the two titles (upadhi) provide the solid ground to identify the formless God, Vishvamitra suggested. He told us that we could know (realize) the unknowable formless God through the known factors, viz., sound Om and light of suns (stars). A mathematician can solve an equation x2+y2=4; if x=2; then y can be known and so on. An engineer can measure the width of a river even by standing at the riverbank just by drawing a triangle. So was the scientific method suggested by Vishvamitra in the mantra in the next portion as under:-


Bhargo the light, devasya of the deity, dheemahi we should meditate. The rishi instructs us to meditate upon the available form (light of suns) to discover the formless Creator (God). Also he wants us to do japa of the word Om (this is understood in the Mantra). This is how the sage wants us to proceed, but there is a great problem to realize it, as the human mind is so shaky and restless that without the grace of the Supreme (Brahma) it cannot be controlled. Hence Vishvamitra suggests the way to pray Him as under:


Dhiyo (intellect), yo (who), nah (we all), prachodayat (guide to right Direction). O God! Deploy our intellect on the right path. Full scientific interpretation of the Mantra: The earth (bhur), the planets (bhuvah), and the galaxies (swah) are moving at a very great velocity, the sound produced is Om , (the name of formless God.) That God (tat), who manifests Himself in the form of light of suns (savitur) is worthy of bowing/respect (varenyam). We all, therefore, should meditate (dheemahi) upon the light (bhargo) of that deity (devasya) and also do chanting of Om. May He (yo) guide in right direction (prachodayat) our(nah) intellect dhiyo.

So we notice that the important points hinted in the mantra are:-

1) The total kinetic energy generated by the movement of galaxies acts as an umbrella and balances the total energy consumption of the cosmos. Hence it was named as the Pranavah (body of energy). This is equal to 1/2 mv2 (Mass of galaxies x velocity.

2) Realizing the great importance of the syllable OM , the other later date religions adopted this word with a slight change in accent, viz., Amen and Ameen.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hinduism: Navarathri (Nine nights)...!!!

Navarathri (Nine nights)
Navarathri (nine nights) is one of the greatest festivals of India. This festival is celebrated for nine days in which God is worshipped in the form of Mother. This is a period of introspection and purification. Navarathri is traditionally an auspicious time for starting new ventures. During this period, Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are worshipped as three different manifestations of Shakti or Cosmic energy.

Like the other festivals of India, Navarathri is rich in meaning. At one level, Navarathri signifies the progress of a spiritual aspirant. During this spiritual journey, the aspirant has to pass three stages personified by Durga, Lakshmi and saraswati. Then, he or she enters into the realm of the infinite, wherein one realises one's Self. Navarathri, which literally means 'nine nights,' dedicates three days each to worshipping the Divine in the forms of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. The tenth day though, is the most important; it is known as Vijayadashami, the 'tenth day of victory.'

Inner Meaning of Navarathri Worship
The reason behind the worshipping of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati lies rooted in the philosophy that the attributeless absolute can only be known through the world of attributes - the journey is from the known to the unknown. Hence it is said that Shiva, who symbolises pure consciousness can only be known through Shakti, who represents divine energy. That is why people worship Shakti, also known as Devi, in Her various manifestations.

The different stages of spiritual progress are reflected in the sequence of celebrations during Navarathri. During the first three days, Durga is worshipped. She personifies that aspect of Shakti which destroys our negative tendencies. The process of trying to control our senses is akin to a war for the mind which resists all attempts at control. So the stories in the Puranas symbolically depict Devi in the form of Durga as waging war and destroying the Asuras.

However, getting temporary relief from the clutches of vasanas does not guarantee permanent liberation from them. The seeds of the vasanas will remain within in latent form. Therefore, we should supplant them with positive qualities. The Bhagavad Gita refers to these qualities as daivi-sampat, literally "Divine wealth." Correspondingly, we worship Lakshmi during the next three days. Lakshmi is not just the giver of gross wealth or prosperity; She is the Mother who gives according to the needs of Her children.

Only one endowed with daivi-sampat is fit to receive the knowledge of the Supreme. Accordingly, the last three days of Navarathri are dedicated to worshipping Saraswati, the embodiment of Knowledge. She is depicted as wearing a pure-white sari, which symbolises the illumination of the Supreme Truth.

Significance of Navarathri for Householders
However, Navarathri is not only significant for spiritual aspirants; it has a message for those who lead a worldly life as well. They should invoke Durga's help to surmount obstacles, pray to Lakshmi to bestow peace and prosperity and contemplate upon Saraswati in order to gain knowledge. These three ingredients are just as necessary for a full and complete worldly life. In reality, when we pray like this, we are invoking the Shakti that is within ourselves. Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are not different entities, but different facets of the singular Divinity.

Some of the spiritual practices associated with Navarathri include fruit and milk fasts, japa (mantra chanting), changing of hymns dedicated to Devi in Her different forms, prayer, meditation and recitation of sacred texts including the Devi Mahatmya, Sri Lalita Sahasranama and the Durga Saptashati.

Ayudha Puja
The ninth day is also the day of the Ayudha Puja. The Ayudha Puja is a worship of whatever implements one may use in one's livelihood. On the preceding evening, it is traditional to place these implements on an altar to the Divine.

If one can make a conscious effort to see the divine in the tools and objects one uses each day, it will help one to see one's work as an offering to God.

Saraswati Puja and Vidyarambham
It will also help one to maintain constant remembrance of the divine. (In India it is customary for one to prostrate before the tools one will use before starting one's work each day; this is an expression of gratitude to God for helping one to fulfil one's duties.)

Children traditionally place their study books and writing implements on the altar. On this day, no work or study is done, that one might spend the day in contemplation of the Divine.

The tenth day is called Vijaya Dashami. Devotees perform a Saraswati Puja (ceremonial worship) to invoke the blessings of Saraswati.

Some devotees also perform pujas dedicated to Durga to mark Her victory over the demon, Mahishasura.

At another level, Navarathri also highlights the principles elucidated by the Ramayana. This is hinted at in the other name by which Vijayadashami is known in India, Dussehra. Some devotees also perform pujas dedicated to Durga to mark Her victory over the demon, Mahishasura.

After the pujas a rite known as Vidyarambham is performed by young and old alike.

The ceremony involves tracing each letter of the alphabet in a plate of rice or even in sand on the ground.

Traditionally, the writing was alternately done on the tongue with a gold dipped in honey. Vidyarambham literally means to begin the acquisition of knowledge and for the very young, it is just that: an initiation into learning.

For those who have already begun to acquire knowledge, it is a reminder that only one who can maintain a beginner's mind will be able to learn. If one thinks that one knows already, one will not be open to new ideas. Whereas one who has the attitude of a beginner will always have an open and receptive mind. With this attitude one can learn a lot. At another level, Navarathri also highlights the principles elucidated by the Ramayana. This is hinted at in the other name by which Vijayadashami is known in India, Dussehra.Courtesy: ANCL Jaladeepam


Nanthy as Emblem of Hindu Flag
S Ratnarajah

Why? There should be a Flag for Hindu festivals and ceremonies is a food for thought. The flag raising ceremony is as important activity in the world. When every school, nation, religions, political parties have a flag of their own. Hindus do not raise a flag. As such it is a must to show the world the philosophy of Hindus to realize the purpose of life by raising a flag. Now "Nanthy Kodi" is issued by Saiva Munnetra Sangam Colombo.

It is also essential to know about Nanthy and its philosophy to be used on the flag as an emblem. Why? "Nanthy", the figure of a Bull a statue in temples and "Lord Siva" with as "Idapam" is worshiped as "Idapa Roopar". This must be understood by every one.

We will see why the saints of yore selected "nanthy" as a visible concrete known to realise the concrete unknown, as omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent supreme. So now, the "nanthy Kodi" is being raised to explain this, Lord Siva the supreme conscious waves are not visible and cannot be seen or described by any one with ones body, mind and senses intellect, only the discriminative knowledge can make one to detach from changing and attach to the changeless substratum of every thing.

The Lord Siva waves of unmanifested energy. But this changing manifested nature is dynamic energy. This is named as "Nanthy" for the people to understand this dynamic energy which changes everything; a Bull was selected by saints by their wisdom achieved and realised for the people to understand this dynamic motion of the supreme.

It is hard for the people to realise that the ground supreme is the same in its kionetic form (Maya). This changing phenomena is "Nanthy" and the static ground of every thing, the cosmic now-menon is Lord "Siva" "Nanthy Kodi" indicate this.

So Lord 'Siva' is 'Nanthy', A Bull in the visible form is a vehicle'. A 'Vehicle' means movement. So the Bull as a vehicle for 'Siva' means the supreme forces motion in the cosmos.

'Idapa rooper' deity clearly indicates this Supreme Motion of cosmic nature. So the flag of "Nanthy' when it flies on temples, will indicate this.

A "Bull' sacrifices itself and helps man in ploughing fields, drawing carts etc. It eats the unwanted hey, poonac and drinks the water of boiled rice or washed rice willingly, whereas others are served with best rice and corns. Its dung is used as manure.

Due to its in born unselfish nature for the betterment of others, the Bull was selected to represent the invisible and partly visible dynamic nature for the people to understand in the visible state.

In the temples the statue of "Nanthy" is there to show the casual region of the cosmos and the casual body they will not allow us to proceed to the higher spiritual regions unless we are free of our immoral and moral activities. Courtesy: Jaladeepam


Selvasanithi Temple festival
Chelvatamby Maniccavasagar

Selvasannithi Temple dedicated to Lord Muruka is situated at Thondaimanaru in Vadamarachchy in the district of Jaffna and the hoisting of the flag ceremony will commence tomorrow (August 10).

The Hindu temples are intended to instruct people in the art of removing the veil of attachment that covers their hearts and minds. Thus, the renowned poet Thiagarajah cried in the temple of Thiruppathi "O! Remove the veil within me, the veil of pride and hate.

In fact, the worship of Selvasannithi Murukan Temple is unique. Further, this temple conducts regular poojas and the priests perform poojas covering this mouths with clothes.

The origin of God Muruga and the story of his veneration are of great interest, Muruga as a valourous youth is said to have performed several brave deeds including the imprisonment of Brahma. God Muruka fought with Asura Leader Surapadman and defeated him. Though Surapadman assumed several monstrous forms and shape he finally sought refuse in the form of a mango tree. Surapadman was ultimately defeated, not slaim, but was commanded to serve God Muruka in the form of a Peacock and was also given a place in his banner as a Rooster Cock. Thereafter the Devas were released and they celebrated the victory.

In fact, the leaf shaped spear VEL is God Muruka's weapon for overcoming evil. Further, Lord Muruka is Gnanasakthi, his consorts Theivaynai is Kiriyasakthi and Valli is Ishasakthi. God Muruka's "VALE" in his hand also signifies that a man's knowledge should be sharp like that of VALE and it should not only be sharp, it should also be broad and deep. This shows that a man may be intellectually superior, but he should be very humble.

It is very often said that the creator of the universe Bramah resides in the Navel of Lord Vishnu. Similarly in the hearts of men reside the creative urge and faith. This is clearly evident from the manner the people of Jaffna pray to God Muruka at Selvasannithi Temple at Thondamanaru.

Muruka means beauty and knowledge and is often represented as the type of a perennial youth, sometimes as a Divine Child and also as Aarumugam. The great scholar and patriot Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam describes that Muruka would thus appear to be a deity who was rich with many legends and tradition, many aspects of religion and modes of worship priorities and advanced. Unlike any other temples in the Jaffna Peninsula, one can see several Madams at this temple where Sanyasis reside and meditate. Even Hinduism considers giving "Anna Danam" also as pooja which is known as Maheswara Pooja.

Divine power in the form of Murukan conquers everyone and He is worshiped as the God of wisdom by those who seek spiritual enlightenment. Further, the spiritual atmosphere at Selvasanmithi Temple heals physical and mental ailments of His devotees. During the festival statue of Lord Muruka is decorated and illuminated and paraded along the streets in a chariot followed by poojas, bhajans and archani offered by devotees.

The journey of the chariot along the streets is an emblem of progress of life and the lesson is that throughout one's life man should control and guide the passions with the help of the soul. These passions are the driving force of life, but if unguided will lead to wreck a man's life. This is the symbolic meaning of the chariot festival.


Swami Shanthanand - a seeker of truth
Chelvatamby Maniccavasagar

The death anniversary of Swami Shantanand fell on July 27, 2010. He was one of the foremost spiritual leaders, besides being a poet, saint, philosopher and social and moral organizer.

Swami Shanthanand

Swami Shantanand belongs to a band of Yogis and seeks - a Brahmin by birth and underwent his spiritual discipleship both in the North and South of India, having come in his early years under the influence of spiritual giants like Sri Gnanandagiri, the 168-year-old sage of South India, Sri Ramana Maha Rishi of Tiruvannamalai and Swami Shivananda of Rishikesh. It was however Swami Shivananda who had the greater influence on young Shantanand in moulding his life.

Swami Shantanand had no fixed abode, the entire world being his domain. He responded to invitations from every part of the world, captivating the hearts of his listeners by his enchanting songs and kirtars, the brilliance of his thinking, the charm of his personality and his penetrating spiritual insight.

In fact, he had visited Sri Lanka several times at the generous invitations of many leading personalities like Mr V Kailasapillai and Mrs Abirami Kailasapillai. Mr & Mrs Kailasapillai arranged numerous dance performances and religious lectures and discourses at BMICH and entertained all the artistes who came from Coimbotar, Kuala Lumpur, Madras, Singapore and several other parts of the world. Indeed Mr & Mrs Kailasapillai and Mr Kandiah Neelakandan should be highly commended for having made elaborate arrangements in regard to the accommodation for all the artistes and hall arrangements for performing their dance programs to the greater success. In this instance I should mention about Mrs Abirami Kailasapillai since she is an exceptional human being with exemplary character. Whenever Swami Shantanand visited Sri Lanka she never failed to invite me to brief all the details about Swami Shantanand and the accompanying artistes to enable me to give wide publicity in the media.

Further, Mr & Mrs Kailasapillai hospitality, generosity and magnanimity are of high nature combined with noble thoughts.

Indeed, Swami Shantanand's message was universal transcending creeds and dogmatic religions and barriers of geographical frontiers.

The core of his teachings lies in these statements:- "God is one though the paths leading to Him are many. Follow any path that appeals to you with steadfast faith and try to experience Him. Religion is living and religion is behaviour and not merely a belief."

Swami Shantanand established the "Temple of Fine Arts" in the early part of 70's when he visited Malaysia with the view to enhance his devotees the understanding of love and religion, philosophy and culture Joyous artistic forms of music and dance.

The Temple of Arts has now grown majestically and conduct numerous musical recitals and dance dramas showcasing their talents and capabilities of students. Alongside this performing Arts Institution Swami Shantanand provided medical attention and aid to the poor.

As a producer of drama and dance he was infinitely sensitive to every phenomenon and for whom every phenomenon is a stimulous capable of providing an infinite series of thoughts. Besides, he always moved with the young and old to action. Further, his ideas are nurtured by the simple, universal truths respected endlessly in all cultures - SERVE, LOVE, GIVE, SELFLESSLY.

After 30 years the Vel Festival of Panadura Kataragama Kovil was held on July 30, 2010 in the presence of a large crowd. Kurukal performing the religious rites is shown in the picture. Panadura group correspondent – Kapila Somaratne

July 22, 2010 – Paalkudam Bavani (Holy Milk procession of Arulmigu Sri Gnana Bhairavar Muniandi Kovil at Galpotta, Colombo 13 took place. The picture shows women carrying milk pots to the Kovil from Paradise Place Maha Kaali Amman temple. Picture by A Maduraiveeran

G Sivaraj Trustee of Wattegama Sri Muththumariamman Hindu Temple, Chief Kurukkal of Puthukkadu – Elkaduwa in Pathadumbara and members of trustees of the Kovil pose after opening a newly built Puthukadu temple recenlty. Picture by H A Shakoor – Pathadumbara special correspondent

The Manikkwasaga Swamigal Thiruvadi Valipadu Ceremony, organized by the Eelattu Thirumurai Tamil Mandram took place at Saraswathi hall Bambalapitiya Colombo – 4. The Secretary Tamil Mantram Sivaguru Ganeshan conducting the pooja with devotees singing hymns. Picture : A. Maduraveeran


Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Hindu Goddess Kali is termed the 'divine mother' because of her unique link with humans..!!!

Kali: The dark mother

Mother is the name of God in the lips and heart of children. The Hindu Goddess Kali is termed the 'divine mother' because of her unique link with humans. Though ferociously portrayed with a demon head, dark complexion and four arms, with a sword in one hand and the head of a demon in another, devotees harness a very loving and intimate bond with the goddess much like a bond between a mother and her children.

Dakshineshwar Kali temple in Calcutta

Kali's birth is recorded in the Devi Mahatmya, a text of the 5th - 6th century AD. She was depicted as being born from the brow of Goddess Durga during one of her battles with evil. The story relates that Kali was so involved with the killing that she lost control and began destroying everything in sight.

Finally Lord Shiva had to throw himself under her feet to put an end to her actions.

This action is captured in most of the images which shows a shocked Kali, her tongue stuck out and one leg poised over Shiva's chest.

Though Kali is represented with fierce features two of her hands which do not hold grotesque symbols bless her worshippers. She has two dead heads for earrings, a string of skulls for a necklace and a girdle comprising human hands as her garment. Her eyes are red and blood is splattered all over her body.

Kali's complexion signifies her all-embracing and transcendental nature. Her garland of 50 skulls stands for the letters in the Sanskrit alphabet while her girdle implies work and liberation from the cycle of karma.

Her white teeth show her inner purity and her tongue indicates her omnivorous nature. Her sword destroys false consciousness and the eight bonds that bind us.

Her three eyes symbolize the past, present and future, an aspect which is denoted by her name. Known as the goddess for time and change Kali takes many forms and names: Shyama, Adya Ma, Chamundi, Tara Ma and Dakshina Kalika. Bhadra Kali is known for her gentle nature while Shyamashana Kali lives only in the cremation ground.


Sunday, August 1, 2010



God Murukan:

Sivasubramaniya Swamy Kovil
Kandiah Neelakandan

'To reject the necessity of temples is to reject the necessity of God, religion and earthly existence"

(Mahatma Gandhi.)

Everyday we feel the necessity of Temples for all of us. One such temple is Arulmihu Sivasubramaniya Swamy Kovil, a sacred institution of worship with a long history going back to 1822.

The colourful chariot

This shrine was established by Periyathamby and others on a land. It was owned by . Periyathamby at Dam Street, Colombo. Sri Ranajee Maha Raajee officiated as the Priest.

Manickam Pandaram was helping him by conducting religious classes for children. This Shrine was known as a Pilgrims' Temple because devotees who congregated at the Temple to worship were largely travelers, including those proceeding to Kataragama from the North and the other parts of the Island.

According to records it was also a place of worship for many Service Officers and men who travelled through Colombo from India to Africa for combat in the Boer War.

It will be pertinent to mention that the pilgrimage to Kataragama from various parts of the Island through Colombo City paved the way for establishment of a number of Shrines for Skanda in Colombo which also served as Hindu pilgrims' rests.

The late Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam, a statesman and writer has written extensively on Hinduism and particularly on Kataragama. And the worship of Skanda or Murugan or Subramanian as the Lord was addressed by devotees. Interested readers are requested to read him in his articles and books.

A relevant paragraph from Arunachalam:

"It was already held in high esteem in the third century before Christ, and is one of the sixteen places said to have been sanctified by Gautama Buddha sitting in each in meditation.

The Mahavamsa (XIX. 54), in enumerating those who welcomed the arrival at Anuradhapura of the Sacred Bodhi-tree from Buddha-Gaya in charge of Sanghamitta, the saintly daughter of the Indian Emperor Asoka, gives the first place after the King of Ceylon to the nobles of Kajaragama, as Kataragama was then called.

It was privileged to receive a sapling of which an alleged descendant still stands in the temple court.

About a third of a mile off is the Buddhist shrine of Kiri Vihare, said to have been founded by King Mahnaga of Mahagama, cir. 300 B.C."

God Muruga
He has also written on the worship of Skanda or Murukan... I quote:

"More often the Tamils call him by the pure Tamil name Murukan, 'the tender child'. He is represented in legend, statuary and painting as a beautiful child or youth. The priests worship him with elaborate rites and ceremonies; the rustic with meal and blood offerings, the aboriginal Vedda invokes him also with dances in the primitive manner of the woods. The philosopher meditates on him in silence, adoring him as the Supreme God, Subramanya - the all pervading spirit of the universe, the Essence from which all things are evolved, by which they are sustained and into which they are involved - who in gracious pity for humanity takes form sometimes as the youthful God of Wisdom, God of war when wicked Titans (Asuras) have to be destroyed, sometimes as the holy child Muruka, type of perennial tender beauty, always and everywhere at the service of his devotees."

Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam was an ardent devotee of Lord Muruga has rendered in English some of the ancient verses. Due to exigencies of space I am leaving out those passages.

Front view of the Kovil

The Scholar also recalls the memory of 'Pada Yathra' (pilgrimage by foot) in the following manner:-

"It is possible now to travel from Colombo comfortably by train to Matara and by motor to Hambantota and Tissamaharama. The last stage of about 11 miles beyond Tissamaharama is over a difficult forest-tract and an unbridged river, the Menik Ganga, which in flood time has to be swum across there being no boats. In the thirties of last century, when good roads wee scarce even in Colombo, my grandmother walked barefoot the whole way to Kataragama and back in fulfillment of a vow for the recovery from illness of her child, the future Sir Muttu Coomara Swamy. The hardships then endured are such as are yearly borne with cheerfulness by thousands traveling on foot along the jungle tracts of the Northern, Eastern and Uva provinces and from India. Nearly all are convinced of the god's ever present grace and protection and have spiritual experiences to tell or other notable boons, recoveries from illness, help under trials and dangers, warding off of calamities. I once asked an elderly woman who had journeyed alone through the forest for days and nights if she had no fear of wild elephants and bears. She said she saw many, but none molested her. "How could they? The Lord was at my side."

"He is regarded as in his essence formless and beyond speech and thought, but assuming forms to suit the needs of his votaries and accepting their worship in

Whatever form, if only heartfelt. This is indeed the normal Hindu attitude in religious matters and accounts for its infinite tolerance. All regions are ways, short or long, to god. "The nameless, formless one we will call and worship by a thousand names in chant and dance," the Psalmist Manikkavacakar cries. God, under whatever name or form sought, comes forward to meet the seeker and help his progress onwards through forms suitable to his development.

"They who worship other gods with faith and devotion, they also worship me," it is declared in the Bhagavad Gita (IX, 21).

The merit claimed for the Hindu religious system is that it provides spiritual food and help for the soul in every stage of its development; hence it is significantly called the Ladder Way (Sopana Marga)."

"Muruka would thus appear to be a deity in whom were amalgamated many legends and traditions, many aspects of religion and modes of worship, primitive and advanced, and to embody the Hindu ideal of God immanent in all things and manifesting himself wherever sought with love.

"Muruka means tender age and beauty and is often represented as the type of perennial youth, sometimes as quite a child."

Thirupuhal describes the part played by each of the Almighty's six faces and each of His twelve arms, showing that this form was a personification of various divine aspects and powers. Please read what Sir Arunachalam has said from his writings.

The following account of Shri Yogaswami's pilgrimage to Kataragama remains typical even today:

"Subsequently about the middle of 1910, Swami left on a solitary sojourn by foot along the Island's coastal belt eastward, and met many ascetics on the way.

He moved freely with certain Muslim Sufi saints, Buddhist monks, and Veddah chiefs. He communed with Murugan in Kathirkamam, the Holy of Holies skirted by the Manica Ganga .....from 1910, he had taken solitary long distance pilgrimages to Tiruketheswaram, and on to Wattapalai and Koneswaram at Trincomalee, and skirting the east coast by the foot path, he had spent his recluse days at Sittankudi, Batticaloa and Tirukkovil. Many a time, he had related incidents when he trekked the Vedda tracts of Moneragala and Bibile to reach the abode of Murugan at Kathirkamam, skirted by the Manica Ganga and the seven hills of Kathiramalai."

The Government acquired the property on which the Kovil stood. and made a sum of Stg. £ 500.00 available to Shri Arunasalam Ponnambalam Mudaliyar who was the father of Sir Pon Arunachalm in or about 1867 to construct a new temple for Shri Sivasubramaniya Swami at another site in Colombo. Thus this Temple came to be constructed at Kew Road, Slave Island in 1870 by Shri Arunasalam Ponnambalam Mudaliyar and it was dedicated as 'Kathiresan Kovil', Slave Island.

1902 Sir Pon Ramanathan (Sir Arunachalam's brother) remodeled, enlarged and reconstructed the Temple and named it Shri Sivasubramaniya Swamy Kovil. This Temple was also under the same management as that of Shri Ponnambaleswara Temple in Kochchikade.

In 1942 a Board of Trustees was constituted to manage this Temple and M .S. Thiruvilangam was the Managing Trustee and Chairman of the Board.

Although a proposal was made in 1962 to renovate the temple the actual work commenced later under the Board of Trustees chaired by V. N. Kanagasabai... K Thiyagarajah functioned as the Secretary.

With the reconstruction 'parivara moorthy shirines' including Shri vinayagar Shri Nadarajaprruman with Shri Sivagami Amman Shri Mahavishnu, Shri Vairavar Navaragraham Saneeswarar have also been consecrated, and poojahs take place according to Saivaite Agamas Conventions and rituals. Having completed the renovation with a grand structure (except for the Raja Gopuram), a Maha Kumbabishekam (consecration) was held on March 31, 1975.

In 1995, an 82 feet tall Rajagopuram (with two manigopurams) were constructed giving a magnificent structural appearance for this sacred Kovil which is a haven of solace for thousands of devotees of Lord Murugan.

Thirukkopura Thiruppani Sabhai headed by Sinnathurai Dhanabalaa with the hardworking Secretary, K Balasubramaniam is always commended for this noble service.

The ACHC (All Ceylon Hindu Congress) Headquarters is near this Kovil. We completed the other structures of this Kovil. Its location in the heart of the City attracts almost all the tourists to this Kovil.

The observance of Skanthasashdi annually for 6 days is another important feature of this Kovil's annual calendar.

Annual Festival
The Annual Festival is held regularly in this Kovil, commencing with the 'Kodi Ettam' and concluding with the 'Theertham'. The THER Festival takes place on the day before Theertham and this year it takes place on Wednesday August 04, 2010.

'Kodi Ettam' (Flag hoisting) represents the soul's attempt to ascend to 'moksham'. The 'Ther' (Chariot) is a symbol of universe and the 4 wheels mean 'INQUIRE, INVESTIGATE, ANALYSE and STUDY'.

"As in South India, Murukan has been and still continues to be the favourite deity of the Tamils living in Ilankai. The ideas, beliefs and practices associated with the worship of Murukan constitute an integral part of the Hindu religious tradition in the island. The shrines dedicated for the worship of Murukan are numerous and one could hardly come across a village or town inhabited by Saivite Tamils where temples dedicated for his worship are not to be found."

The 'Thangathther' (Golden Chariot) of this Kovil was constructed and floated on August 09, !998 and a committee chaired by Thirukumar Nadesan would be blessed by Lord Murugan for having this 21 feet tall (with a golden umbrella) Ther, adding a holy significance and veneration of this 188 years old Kovil.

A number of dedicated 'Thondars' led by K. Balasubramaniam stood by Nadesan and made use of his talents and resources to accomplish this.

Nadesan still continues to ensure the Golden Chariot Festival takes place in a grand scale as a real devotee of Lord Murugan for which he has the blessings of His Almighty, Skanda.

He believes, "Engum Murugan Ellam Murugan Yathum Murugan" (meaning 'He resides everywhere - He is in everything - He is everything').

This is the ardent belief of every worshipper of this Kovil. When these devotees recite 'Arohara Arohara' at the time the Golden Chariot starts rolling on the street, everyone could know (not merely knowingly - could really feel) their faith in Lord Murugan who with His six faces and two consorts appear on the chariot to bless His devotees.

Note: I have extensively quoted Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam for the reason that I find his rendering in English of the concept explaining Lord Murugan are elucidating.

The writer is the General Secretary, All Ceylon Hindu Congress -Interim Managers of the Kovil


Panadura Hindu Kovil Resurrected
T V Perera

Picture by Manjula Gamaariya

The Maha Kumbabhishekam festival of the Aralmigu Sri Skandasamy kovil of Panadura commenced on July 12 and concluded on July 31, 2010 in grand style, with the poojas held daily at 6.00 a m and 6.00 p m and observed meticulously, for the first time in 30 years.

The kovil which is situated on a one-acre block of land in the centre of the Panadura town, which is a predominently Buddhist area, had suffered damages in the 1983 racial riots but under the concept of the Mahinda Chinthanaya, former Minister P. Radhakrishnan directed the Board of Hindu Cultural Affairs to effect restoration, for which a sum of Rs 40 lakhs was allocated by the Government.

Shrines have been constructed for Gods Ganesh, Sri Kandasamy, Maha Vishnu and Siva, Godesses Pathini and Kali Amma and also for Sanishwara and Bahiwara. The sculpturing and painting of the entire kovil was performed by a team of six artists who were especially got down from India.

Picture by Manjula Gamaariya

On the invitation of the Minister of Hindu Cultural Affairs, Sivasri Mohan Sivachariya, Joint President of the Inter-Religious Organization for National Peace took over as the Chief Priest of the kovil and is assisted by several Sivachariyas, while Sivasamy Ganeshan has been appointed as manager, by the Board of Hindu Cultural Affairs and Bandu Bandaranayake.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Panadura, Sumith Edirisinghe donated the valuable statue of God Ganesh which adorns the right hand side of the entrance to the kovil and Chandra Silva, a businessman of Panadura, donated the entire requirement of the floor tiles for the kovil.

A crowd of about 5000 devotees flocked to the kovil throughout the first day of the Kumbhabishekam festivity at which Dharmaratne Herath, Secretary of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Anura Titus, Secretary to Minister Vinayagamoorthy were the Chief Guests. Sivasri Mohan Sivachariya stated that the devotees were provided with dana and that there was no shortage of food whatsoever, as the Sinhala Buddhists of the Panadura area co-operated unstinctedly by way of food-provisions, cash contributions and undertaking of the daily poojas.

In respect of the Kodharishanam pooja which was held on the July 12, the Chief Incumbent of the Galgoda Buddhist temple donated an ox while Chief Incumbents of the surrounding temples too have supported the festivities, which will end with the statue of God Sri Kandasamy being taken around the kovil. A Vel festival has been planned for next year.