Thursday, September 30, 2010


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Ganesha Chaturthi was observed in Hindu temples to invoke the blessings of God Ganesha for the removal of all impediments..!!!


Ganesha Chaturthi:

Everlasting peace
Chelvatamby Maniccavasagar

The Ganesha Chaturthi was observed in Hindu temples to invoke the blessings of God Ganesha for the removal of all impediments, while devotedly singing and chanting His name.

Lord Ganesh

The worship of God Ganesha is widespread in Sri Lanka and is revered by Buddhists too and also known as Ganapathy, Vigneswara, Pillaiyar, Yanaimukan etc.

God Ganesha is the God of Wisdom and is the remover of all obstacles and is worshiped in all Hindu ceremonies both in temples and in homes. Even the celestial beings are said to have worshipped God Ganesha before embarking on any important function. God Ganesha holds a hatchet (Parasu) in one hand to symbolize the cutting away of vanity and false teachings.

He also holds Ankusa to cut through illusion, by the other hand holds a noose (Pasa) which represents the restraining of passions and desires. The fourth hand of God Ganesha holds a sweet (Modaka) with an external tasteless part of rice flow and an internal tasty parts of jaggery and coconut. They symbolize the universe where the outward worldliness has no worth, but within is the bliss.

As the son of Lord Shiva, Ganesha inherits his father’s attributes, ornaments (such as snakes) and the dancing posture. The adoration of God Ganesha in the Arts has been remarkably universal and has very often cut across religions. His dominant manifestation has been in warding off all evils.

He even creates obstacles that we have to pray him for the removal. God Ganesha has been a major deity in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Further the worship of God Ganesha seems to go back to almost five thousand years, with the spread of Buddhism. His worship spread as far as China, Japan, Tibet, Nepal, Afghanistan and South East Asia. In North India, God Ganesha is conceived as having Buddhi and Siddhi as His consorts. Ganesh’s elephant body is bulky representing Cosmos with its entirety and embodies cosmic intelligence. The sound symbol OM, the Pranavam is represented by the trunk.

As a remover of obstacles, God Ganesha is propitiated in Sri Lanka and India at the beginning of any activity such as performing marriages, building of houses, social ceremonies and various other religious activities. He even helped his younger brother God Muruka to get married to Valli and even Sage Vyasa for writing Mahabharatha.

God Ganesha had appeared in the form of ‘Nritya Ganapathy’ blowing the conch, dancing, swirling and whirling his movements beyond man’s comprehensions. Even God Ganesha gave the task of creation, preservation and destruction of the world to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

Indeed, God Ganesha is the Lord of the beginning, the very embodiment of the material universe and presides over the intellect.

Hence let us pray to God Ganesha to receive His Divine Blessings to remove all the obstacles, difficulties and sufferings to maintain tranquility, equanimity and serenity of the mind for everlasting peace, eternal prosperity and happiness.


Sri Vallipura Alvar Vishnu Temple:
Annual chariot festival
The chariot or ‘Ther festival’ of the ancient and historical Sri Vallipura Alvar Vishnu Temple will be held on 22.09.2010 and the water-cutting ceremonies at the Sea and Sacred Tank will take place on 23.09.2010 and 24.09.2010 respectively.

Sri Vallipura Alvar Temple and Lord Vishnu

In fact, there is another historical temple dedicated to Lord Krishna is situated at Dondra which is revered by Buddhists. Further, according to historians 3000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, Sri Krishna took a Divine Birth in the Indian City of Madurai. Scripture call Him “Purna Avatara”, that is the full manifestation of God. Lord Krishna was a teacher and a lover of mankind.

He is more accessible to the pure hearted who have cultivated true love for him. The simple, rustic cowherd boys and girls took liberties with Sri Krishna who enjoyed the sport in their company.

Sri Krishna is the greatest Karma Yogi of all times. He was the friend of the poor whom he protected from the oppressors. He was the embodiment of humility and His teachings of Karma Yoga, Bharata, and Gnana have no parallel in the religions literature.

The Bhagavata Purana, the Vishnu Purana and Mahabharatha proclaim that there was none to match Sri Krishna in beauty, in wisdom and perfection. His enchanting form with flute in one hand is worshiped by millions in Sri Lanka and India.

Sri Krishna was the towering genius of his age. He embodied in Himself all the great qualities of the head, heart and hand. Every word of his teachings and every act of his life was full of substance and meaning. In the Mahabharatha battle he was a Charioteer to Arjuna and when Arjuna saw his relations and cousins Duryodana in the battle ground he was reluctant to fight and absolutely paralysed by doubts. At that time Lord Krishna got rid of his doubts and taught him the immortal teachings of Bhagavad Geetha and enlightened him.

Further Lord Krishna considered to be the preservers of the universe, the embodiment of the qualities of mercy and Goodness. As the preservers of the Universe he is the object of devotions. He descended to earth as a great Hero to save mankind from the atrocities and dehumanising and emasculating fear from Asuras and to establish Dharma.

In fact, Divinity is like a brilliant Chess player making his moves on the giant chess board of life, unseen, and intangible and stimulating man to respond to all his moves. If we make a wrong move, he will not hesitate to contest it. Indeed, all his moves are only to make us as perfect as himself. Further, God may be cunning, but not malicious.

Hindu mythology talks about the progress to perfection in an allegorical way as shown by the ten incarnations of Lord Krishna – the Dasa Avataras. In the first Avatara, He was born as a Fish (Machcha Avatara), in the second he was born as Tortoise (Kurma Avatara), third as a Wild Boar (Varaha). Fourth in the form of a human body and Lion’s head (Narasimha), Fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu was like a short statued man (“Vamana”), in the sixth incarnation he was born “Parasurama”, in the seventh incarnation he was born as “Balaraman”, in the eighth incarnation he was born as “Rama” and in the ninth incarnation he was born as “Lord Krishna” to destroy the wicked Demons and to take a leading part in the great war fought in the battlefield of Kurushetra where he delivered his wonderful message of his “Bhagavad Geetha” and finally Lord Vishnu will take the form of “Lealrei” Avatara to establish Dharma.

Furthermore, during the Chariot Festival the statue of Lord Vishnu is decorated and illuminated and taken along the streets in a chariot followed by Poojas and Bhajans, when the chariot carved out of pure silver and laden with Gold Deities studded with diamonds, rubies and amethyst etc., more slowly from the temple, will symbolise peace, communal harmony and prosperity.

The chariot symbolises human body and the statue of Lord Vishnu is the soul. In front of the Chariot are the wooden horses depicted as galloping and the reins attached to their mouths are held on the hands of the image of Lord Vishnu.

These horses represent human and the reins symbolise the necessity of restraining and guiding these passions. The journey of the chariot throughout the streets symbolises the progress of life. This shows that throughout his life man must control and guide his passions. These passions are the motive powers, the driving force of life, but unstrained and unguided will wreck a man’s life. This is the symbolic meaning of the “Chariot” or “Ther” festival.



Kokkatti Cholai Easwaran Temple
Thilaka V Wijeyaratnam

Kokkatticholai got its name because storks (Kokku) come to roost and to rest on the branches of the Kokkatti trees. It is an aquatic small woody tree. Its botanical name is Aponogeton rigidifolius now the genere is seen deep in the jungles. The place is dry and dusty and the scorching sun showed no mercy on anyone or anything be it humans, birds or beasts not to mention the vegetation.

Kokatti Cholai Eswaran Temple, Rajagopuram belltry.

The great “Than Thonri Easwaran Kovil” is the pride of the lonely village with eleven wards and a sparse population. “ Than thonri” means appeared by itself not made or installed by anyone. According to legend, a royal sister and brother named Ulahanathan and Naachiyar came by boat from India and landed in Batticaloa.

There they met the king Merga Varnan and requested him for a piece of land for them to settle down. The king gave them the land that is known now as Kokkati cholai.

Ulahanathan employed wood cutters to clear the forest. When one wood cutter (A Veddah) cut the trunk of a tree blood spilled out. Frightened, he ran to Naachiyar and told her of the phenomenon. Naachiyar rushed to the spot and on cleaning the Sanguinary liquid, saw to her amazement a lingam – symbol of God Siva. She covered it with her shawl. She had a small hut built and kept the Sivalingam there. Later, a stone temple was built which is the “Than Thonni Easwaran Kovil.”

That was during the time of the Portuguese invasion of Ceylon. Like in many places of worship of the Hindus, the Portuguese focused their attention on this temple too.

They decided to attack this temple. A Portuguese General was sent to the temple. He spoke to the temple priest. “We want to destroy this temple” he told the priest. Then spotting the crouched bull Nandhi, he asked why the animal was there.

The priest told him that Hindus worship Nandhi as a divine being . “Can your bull eat grass?” asked the Portuguese General in derision. The priest said nothing but worshiped God Siva and Nandhi and beseeched them to come to his rescue.

The Nandhi sprang to life, ate the grass dropped cow dung and then took back its normal form. Astounded by this marvel the Portuguese General took to his heels. As in Vattapalai in Mullaitivu, the temples in Batticaloa too are shrouded in mystery and legends.

Kokkati cholai is about thirteen kilometers south of Batticaloa. Approach is by ferry. From the landing place, along a dusty narrow gravel road, about two kilo meters away in the famous temple, culverts and “the Mattakalappu Maaniyam” give historical details about this island village. History says Naachiyar and Ulahanathan came from Orissa. On clearing the jungles, they got down more families from Orissa and set up a settlement there.

This temple was built about 1400 years before.

The daily Poosais are conducted according to the vedic rites. The annual festival starts in August on the first day after new moon. From the culverts it is known that the then king of Mattakalappu Tharmasingan got down three chariots (Ther) from the Cholas and had the chariot festival done.

The temple itself is tall and stately. The innermost chamber is the Sanctum Sanctorum where in the lingam as it was first discovered. It is said the tree on which it was seen is also there, but covered by a curtain.

Even the priests cannot see the tree. In the next chamber is the crouching bull which frightened away the Portuguese General. The next chamber is where devotees gather on either side to worship. On the walls are the picture stories of the temple painted in bright colours.

Next to this is the hall which contains the flag post made of the canon ball tree about 60 feet tall with the customary statue of the Nandhi and the altar. All round the inner premises are little shrines of God Ganesha, Muruga with His two sakthis and the statues of the planets. The Nandhi in the outer hall is said to be similar to the one in the Polonnaruwa Sivan temple.

At the entrance is the towering Rajagopuram with an equally tall and towering bellfry, beside it.

Traditionally, it was the Vedhas who dwell there. Remnants of their clan seemed to be there. For the festival is conducted by the various clans ‘Kudis’ there. Out of the eight festivals one is set aside for the Vedha ‘Kudi’ as seen in the coloured poster announcing the annual ‘Utsava’ festival. There is another legend regarding the ‘Ther’ festival. One of the chariots were taken round. It seemed that on one such occasion, One ‘ther’ stopped suddenly and could not be moved. The people decided to draw it next day. On the next day when they came, there was no sign of the ‘Ther’.

They traced the marks of the wheel. It had broken the outer wall and had fallen into the Mattakalappu waterway.

The spot where it had fallen is to this day referred to as “ther Thanda Pallam”. The low ground where the ‘ther’ descended. Who could explain these mysteries? They are best left alone.

Produced by Lake House Copyright © 2010 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thieves had entered two Hindu kovils at Galaha Estate and removed sacred objects of the deities..!!!

Sacred objects removed from Hindu kovils
September 8, 2010, 10:31 pm

by Cyril Wimalasurendre

KANDY: Thieves had entered two Hindu kovils at Galaha Estate and removed sacred objects of the deities worth Rs. 50,000, Galaha police said.

The Hindu devotees of the estate were worried over the loss of the sacred objects from their temples, sources said yesterday (08).

IP Abeyratne Banda, OIC Galaha police station, on the directions of SSP Roshan Fernando of Gampola Division has launched a search operation to apprehend the culprits.