Adiyen bows again and again to Sree Rama who removes (all) obstacles and grants wealth and pleases all.
ArtAnAmArtihantAram bheetAnAm bheeti-nAshanam dvishatAm kAladanDam tam rAmchandram namAmyaham He who annihilates the pain of the distressed, He who destroys fear in the minds of the fearful, He who is like the Weapon of Death to his enemies, that Lord Raamachandra do I worship.
Srimathey Ramanujaya namah
Sri Dasarathaya Namah
Sri Kooresaya namah
Sri Mudaliandan Swamy Thiruvadigaley Saranam
Prostrating at the lotus feet of LORD SITA RAM , Adiyen wishes to share travelogue of our second phase of our Sri Rama Anu Yatra which was a blissful experience
In the first phase of our yatra, we visited
Bittoor(the place where the sacred epic SRIMAD RAMAYANA was written),
Ayodhya-the birthplace of Lord Sri Rama ,
Buxar-the place where Sri Rama killed Tataka the demoness
Siddhasramam– where Sri Rama protected Viswamithra’s yaaga
Ahori -where the padhuka prabhavam of Lord Rama was revealed to the world by redeeming Ahalya from the curse of the saint
Sitamarhi-the appearance place of Mother Sita,
Janakpur– near NEPAL where LOKA KALYANAM took place .
Nandigramam– in Ayodhya-Allahabad route from where Bharata ruled the kingdom as Lord Srirama’s representative for 14 years. Here, Bhaktha Hanuman saved Bharata’s life by informing him about Lord SriRama’s arrival. Also, the place where Srirama and HIS brothers laid down their attire which they wore for 14 years during HIS exile and dressed in royal robes.
Srungaberipuram-where Lord Rama spent for the first time in exile at Guha’s place
Triveni sangamam– where Sri Seetha Rama offered prayers to the holy Ganges
Chitrakoot-where Sri Ramar,Sita and Lakshmana lived during THEIR exile and where Sri Rama gave HIS padhukas to Bharata
Nasik – where Surpanaka was humbled by Lakshmana and Sri Rama defeated 14000 demons
Panchavati– Lakshmana built a beautiful hermitage for Lord SriRama to dwell and the place the demon Ravana committed the offence
Taket- the place where the valiant eagle,Jatayu fought against Ravana and lost his life for the service of the Lord. The place where Lord Rama performed last rites to the bird.
In the first phase, we visited the places mentioned in Uttara kandam, Bala kandam, Ayodhya kandam, Aranya kandam.
In the second phase, we planned to visit the remaining places mentioned in Kishkinda kandam, Sundara kandam(part), Yuddha kandam(part) in India and finish our Lord Sri Rama anu yatra at Srirangam and then proceed to Tirumala-the ultimate destination for thanking LORD for his abundant mercy in the divine journey .
The ever compassionate Lord who is eager to give HIS darshan to devotees made our journey comfortable and most memorable.
Circular journey details:- (9th oct-18th Oct 2010) Secunderabad-Hospet-Hubli-Mysore-Vanchimaniyachi-Tirunelveli-Rameswaram-Srirangam-Tirupati-Secunderabad
Eager to take up this divine piligrimage , Adiyongal undertook Sri Sundarakandam parayanam for successful completion of the yatra. With ( home ) aathu Perumal’s anugraham, adiyongal started our yatra on 9th Oct. We boarded Kacheguda-Yeswantpur Express at 2100 hours on 9th Oct and reached Hospet at about 0700 hours on 10thmorning.
STONE CHARIOT IN HAMPI (WORLD HERITAGE SITE)
Our KISHKINDA YATRAI started from this place . The holy place Kishkinda in Treta yugam is present day Hampi. The greenery the hillocks and the mountains , big boulders at various places give us the feel that this was truly the VANARA KINGDOM and aptly connected to the holy epic Srimad Ramayanam . Mother Sita was abducted by the demon Ravana at Panchavati as per a divine plan for LOKA SAMRAKSHAKA . Lord Sri Rama and Lakshmana after the unfortunate incident walked into these woods in search of Mother Sita and in due course arrived at Taket near present Nasik where they noticed the devotee bird Jatayu maharaj . The ultimate devotee Jatayu informed the whereabouts of Mother Sita and narrated the incident of the demon Ravana abducting mother and proceeding towards south direction and his efforts to stop him was futile and caused his injuries and leave this world . (The demon Ravana cut his wings and wounded him severely) . After informing Lord Rama about Mother Sita’s whereabouts, Jatayu breathed his last . Lord Rama performed his final rites and gave him Moksha . Based on Jatayu’s words, Lord Rama set their search operation towards south. Lord Rama and Lakshmana were caught by Kabandhan- a cursed huge demon who tried to swallow them. Lord Rama and Lakshmana defeated the demon who was redeemed by the touch of Sri Rama. Again by the divine will Kabandha informed that Lord Rama would be successful in HIS endeavour and suggested him to befriend Sugriva , a vanara who was in exile with whose help HE would be able to defeat the demon Ravana and rescue Mother Sita.
Enroute , Lord Rama visits Matanga muni’s ashram and graceds Sabari- a great old devotee who was waiting for Lord Sri Rama’s arrival as per her Guru’s instructions. Th devotee affectionately served Ramar with fruits and in his presence attained moksham. This place is in Hampi.
There is a beautiful pond ( saras ) full of white lotuses known as Pampa saras and a flight of steps leads us to a small temple which was Matanga muni’s ashram.
From here Lord Rama and Lakshmana set out on their journey go find out Sugriva’s whereabouts. Bhaktha Hanuman disguised as a Brahmin meets Lord Rama and Lakshmana to find out about their intentions . Satisfied that they were not sent by Vali, Hanuman carries Rama and Lakshmana on his shoulders to Sugriva’s hiding place at Rishyamukha parvatham. Sri Rama and Sugriva become friends and take an oath in agni’s presence to help each other. Sri Rama coronates Sugriva as Vanara King and Sugriva promises to help Rama in finding out Sita .
At the place where their friendship solemnized, we now have a beautiful Kodandaramar temple on the banks of River Tungabhadra. The place from where Lord Ramar killed Vaali, the place where Rama stayed for four months during monsoon, the place where Bhaktha Hanuman hands over the choodamani to Sri Ramar , the madhuvan where the vanaras satisfied their hunger and destroyed the beautiful garden are all located in and around Hampi. Added to this, we can have darshanam of the great devotee Swami Purandaradasar mandapam- the place where Swamy Purandaradasar stayed during his last days, the Vittal temple and other places of interest which should not be missed.
ON THE WAY TO HAMPI FROM HUBLI
Travelling past green lushy fields, we reached Hampi in about one hour. Purified ourselves in the holy Tungabhadra river near Kodandaramar temple.
The river is surrounded by Rishyamukha and Matanga parvathams on either sides.
RIVER TUNGABHADRA NEAR KODANDARAMAR TEMPLE, HAMPI
Sri Sita Lakshmana Hanuman Sugreeva sametha Sri Kodandaramar is carved out of a single boulder –
Lord Sri Ramar coronated Sugriva as King of Vanaras at this place even before killing Vali.
Lord Rama is seen in Chathurbhujam holding sankhu, chakram,bow and arrow. The priest narrated in detail all the incidents .Jai Jai Sree Rama
SRI KODANDA RAMAR TEMPLE ON THE BANKS OF TUNGABHADRA, HAMPI
Few yards from this temple, we have Yanthrothkari Hanuman temple. Usually we can have darshanam of Sri Sudarshana chakram and Narasimhar together. But here we have Sudarshana chakram and Hanumar together .
The diety here is very powerful and fulfills the wishes of the devotees. Our only wish was May LORD always give us satsangh and May we keep meeting LORD RAMAS devotees .We had darshanam of ( abhishekam ) Thirumanjanam for the yantram when we visited this temple. Vanaras honoured Hanuman with holy bath after his return from Srilanka.
YANTHROTHKARI HANUMAR TEMPLE, HAMPI
Hampi , the important place of Vijayanagaram Empire was the erstwhile capital of King Krishnadevarayar is famous for stone sculptures.
On the way to Malyavanta hill which is located on the other side of Tungabhadra, we visited Virupaksha temple.
Enroute we can have darshanam of Lakshmi Narasimhar statue about 6.7 mtrs carved out of a single rock , 3 feet Linga carved out of a single rock, Bhaktha Purandaradasa mantapam surrounded by water( The great devotee Purandaradasar spent his last days here) , Vittal temple where Lord Panduranga of Pandirpur was worshipped for sometime by King Ramarayya-the brother of Krishnadeva rayar.
SRI NARASIMHAR CARVED OUT OF A SINGLE ROCK, HAMPI
SRI PURANDARADASAR MANTAPAM IN HAMPI
Lord Sri Rama and Lakshmana stayed at Malyavanta parvatham for four months due to monsoon.
INSCRIPTION ABOUT MALYAVANTA RAGHUNATHA TEMPEL, HAMPI
Our Maryada Purushotama Lord Sri Rama used to lament thinking of Mother Sita and the troubles she would be undergoing like any human being and Lakshmana used to pacify the Lord.
Lord Rama used to swoon away recollecting the good days they spent together and the turmoils which Lokamatha was undergoing now.
Lord Srirama is seen in meditative posture. In the small cave, we can find a boulder on which Lord Rama rested. Recollecting the divine pastimes we had tears . A beautiful sculpture of Lord Sita Rama in sitting posture, Lakshmana serving the Lord standing,and bhaktha Hanuman in kneeling posture can be seen.
CLOSER VIEW OF HANUMAN WHO IS IN KNEALING POSTURE HANDING OVER CHOODAMANI TO SRIRAMAR,RAGHUNATHJI TEMPLE,HAMPI
Akhand Ramayana parayanam was being recited in a close by mantapam which had the reverbations of the HOLY DHAAM . The place bhaktha Hanuman offered “choodamani” to Lord Rama, has a beautiful temple for Sri Seeta,Ramar, Lakshmana and Hanumar. We can have darshanam of Bhaktha Hanuman kneeling before Lord Sri Rama submissively handing over the choodamani to Lord Sri Ramar. There are beautiful pictures from Srimad Ramayanam on the temple walls. The priest was kind to narrate the incident while showing mangala haarathi.
RAGHUNATHJI TEMPLE AT MALYAVAN PARVATH WHERE HANUMAN OFFERED CHOODAMANI GIVEN BY MOTHER SITA TO SRI RAMA
Later we proceeded to Madhuvan and had darshanam of the huge bhaktha Hanuman deity who was covered by sindhoor all over. While giving aarthi to Hanumar, the priest explained how the vanaras led by Hanuman and Angadhan entered Madhuvanam and after taking Angadha’s consent, they drank honey to their satisfaction and trampled the garden overjoy with the good news from Anjaneyar . Sugriva’s uncle who was the guardian , approached Sugriva and complained about the vanaras enthusiasm and their unusual behaviour expecting Sugriva to rebuke them
SRI ANJANEYAR TEMPLE IN MADHUVAN, HAMPI
But the wise Sugriva understood that the vanaras would have found Mother Sita and were thus celebrating their joy . He was also overjoyed with the news and instructed his uncle to send the vanaras immediately to Malyavan parvath where Lord Sri Rama and Lakshmana were eagerly waiting to hear about LOKA MATHA’S welfare. There is a beautiful pic of Panchamukha Anjaneyar in this temple.
MADHUVAN IN HAMPI
We proceeded to Chintamani- for having darisanam at the place from where Lord Sri Rama aimed arrow at the Vanara king Vali who was seen on the farther side .
Sugriva who was not aware of Sri Rama’s prowess showed the Lord the mortal remains of Dundhubi who was earlier killed by Vali . Lord Rama also demonstrated his power ( as if he was a normal king ) by kicking the body which flew and fell many miles away. To once again show HIS valour and instill faith in HIM, the Lord with a single arrow destroyed the seven sala trees ( A big pillar with bow and arrow marks the event. An interesting fact is from the place where Sri Rama stood and aimed arrow at Vali, we can see the place where Vali and Sugriva fought but the reverse is not true. It takes about one hour by road to reach the spot where Vali fought with Sugriva. Here, we can have darshan of Sri Rama padhuka as Sri Rama approached Vali while he was breathing his last and answered all his queries and justified HIS action of killing him from hiding.
CHINTAMANI- THE PLACE FROM WHERE SRI RAMA AIMED ARROW AT VALI IN HAMPI
This temple is situated on a small hillock with Tungabhadra flowing on one side. A wonderful place full of greenery . We can have darshan of Lord Sri Rama padhuka at the place where HE stood and aimed arrow at vanara king Vali.
FOOTPRINTS OF SRI RAMA AT CHINTAMANI
A PILLAR ERECTED AT THE PLACE FROM WHERE SRIRAM SHOT AN ARROW AT VALI , CHINTAMANI
We then proceeded to Rishyamukha parvatham , the place where Lord Sri Rama and Sugriva met for the first time. This is the place where Sugriva shows the jewels dropped by Mother Sita enroute from the air. Bhaktha Hanuman had gathered the jewels from the hillock dropped by Mother Sita and gave it to Sugriva who preserved them. Lord Sri Rama identified the jewels and lamented uncontrollably for Sita’s loss and to see the jewels without Sita who added beauty to them. Our poorvacharyars say that to attain Lord’s mercy, Mother’s intervention is compulsory. Here Mother Sita graced the vanaras with HER benevolence in the form of jewels. On the Rishyamukha parvatham, there is a small cave with platforms on either sides on which Sri Rama and Sugriva sat.
THE PLATFORMS WHERE SRI RAMA AND SUGRIVA SAT WHEN THEY MET FOR THE FIRST TIME
There is also a small yaga kundam ( havan spot ) at the place where Lord Sri Rama and Sugriva solemnized their friendship and mutually agreed to help each other in the presence of Agni. (Agni saakshi).
SRI RAMA AND SUGRIVA SOLEMNIZED THEIR FRIENDSHIP
From Rishyamukha parvatham, we proceeded to Matanga muni ashram on the banks of Pampa saras (a small pond filled with white lotuses). A flight of steps led us to a small temple. Lord Sri Rama accepted the fruits offered by Sabari at this place. A serene place ..could feel the fragnance of the flowers and the bhakthi of the great devotee Sabhari.
PAMPA SARAS NEAR SABARI ASHRAM, HAMPI
Having visited the important places in Kishkinda, we proceeded from Hampi to Hubli which is about 3 hours drive to take the night train to our next destination, Mysore. ( We Paid Rs.2000 for the car) . We reached Hubli at about 7 p.m. and after having dinner boarded Dharwar-Mysore express at 2115 hours which reached Mysore at 7 a.m. on 11thOct.
On 11th Oct, we hired a cab for Rs.2000 to have darshanam of the Lakshmana Theertha which is about 120 kms from Mysore Near Nagarhole.
We drove past Rajiv Gandhi National Park where we spotted animals like deers,elephants, peacocks.
The road is excellent for a drive . Appreciating nature’s beauty accompanied by HARI NAAM kirtans, we reached Lakshmna Theertham after about 2 hrs drive from Mysore .
LAKSHMANA THEERTHAM, KOORG DIST.,
We reached Lakshmana Theertha locally called as Iruppu Falls. It was a wonderful site .
Just imagined the scene in RAMAYANA and had tears . A narrow stone laid pathway leads us to the top. The weather was chilly and pleasant.
As soon as Bhaktha Hanuman narrated the whereabouts of Mother Sita, LORD Srirama set off immediately with the vanara sainyam retinue to Sri lanka. Srirama instructed the vanaras not to pass through the villages and cause disturbance to the residents there . As per Lord Srirama’s instructions, Sugriva ordered that they take the forest route. Sri Hanuman carried Srirama and Lakshmana on his shoulders. While they were passing through Brahmagiri mountains, the vanaras felt thirsty and Srirama ordered Lakshmana to quench their thirst. Immediately Lakshmana aimed an arrow in the hill and water sprouted and thus the vanaras quenched their thirst.
This water contains medicinal properties and is capable of washing away the accumulated sins. We were delighted to have a dip at the altitude where the water was gushing like hari ki paudi ( similar to ganges falling in Haridwaar) After having bath in the fresh waters, we approached Rameswara temple for darshanam.
RAMESWARA TEMPLE AT LAKSHMANA THEERTHAM
AFter reciting the related sarga from Srimad Ramayanam, we proceeded back to Mysore to board Tirunelveli Express at 1745 hours and reached Vanchimaniachi at about 1030 hours on 12th Oct.
From Vanchimaniaachi, we hired a cab to reach Mahendragiri parvatham ( the holy hill from where Bhaktha Hanuman leapt to Srilanka ) near Tirukurungudi via Nanguneri and drop at Tirunelveli station.
Enroute, we bathed in Tambaraparani river, the river from where Swamy Nammazhwar’s vigraham appeared. After purifying ourselves, we went to Vanamamalai temple and had darshan of Lord Sri Deivanayaga Perumal and Thayar. When we went to Vanamamali mutt, saatrumarai was going on and we were fortunate to get theertha prasadam.It looked that all was arranged by HIS abundant mercy .
VAANAMAMALAI TEMPLE GOPURAM
No one could guide us to Swamayamprabha cave which is mentioned in Ramayanam. (As per Sri Velukudi Swamin’s second trip, this is situated in Ramapuram near Kadiyanallur .There is a beautiful Hanuman vigraham inside the cave along with the image of Swayamprabha.) We just offered our dandaavats to the holy place and proceeded to Tirukurungudi At this wonderful place , we took a jeep to go to malai nambi temple. Mahendra giri parvatham from where Hanuman leapt in search of Sita is located here. Here,Malai nambi Perumal-one of the five nambis of Thirukurungudi gives darshan.
Driving up the hill on unleveled roads was really challenging. This drive was similar to the drive for visiting the nava Narasimha kshetrams in Ahobilam. Chanting Sriman Narayana Kirtans we thanked LORD for his mercy . The driver pointed us to other jeeps which were numbered saying that all the jeeps were used for Sri Velukudi Swamin’s trip. Sprinkled the holy water from Nambi aaru.
NAMBI AARU AT MAHENDRA GIRI PARVATHAM, THIRUKURUNGUDI MALAI NAMBI TEMPLE
VIEW OF MAHENDRA GIRI PARVATHAM FROM MALAI NAMBI PERUMAL TEMPLE, TIRUKURUNGUDI
CLOSER VIEW OF MAHENDRA GIRI PARVATHAM
The vanaras were spotted everywhere reminding us about bhaktha hanumans journey to Sri lanka . Yes ! SUNDARAKANDAM entry … With all humilty offered pranaams to all the living , non living things in this holy dhaam . To our surprise the main temple was open The archakar was kind to explain the glory of the place .He performed archanai to Malai nambi Perumal and shared with us about Nampaduvan’s charitram which is mentioned in Varaha puranam Kaisika Mahatmayam adding that this Perumal is fond of music. Adiyongal sang few devotional songs.
MALAI NAMBI PERUMAL TEMPLE
We returned to Tirukurungudi temple by 5 p.m.
TIRUKURUNGUDI TEMPLE GOPURAM
We had darsanam of Lord Vaishnava Nambi Perumal, the asanam on which Swamy Ramanujar relaxed and gave upadesam to Perumal which is adjacent to the garbagriham . ( Dakshina Bhadri)
We also had darisanam of Tiruparkadal Perumal and reached Tirunelveli station to board Rameswaram express
SWAMY RAMANUJAR SANNIDHI IN THIRUPAARKADAL NAMBI TEMPLE
The archakar took us to our favourite Azhwar’s Tirumangai Azhwar Thiruvarasu which is about 2 kms away from the main temple. The youngest among 12 Azhwars reached Lord’s holy feet at this place. Here Azhwar is seen in Anjali mudra and is not holding spear as he is usually seen in other places.
TIRUMANGAI AZHWAR’S THIRUVARASU IN THIRUKURUNGUDI
From Rameswaram station, we engaged a car to visit Navapaasham, Sethu samudram, Thirupullani temple,Dhanushkodi for Rs.2000/- Navapaasham is the holy place where all the Navagrahas together offer obesainces to LORD to protect them from the demon king Ravana .As per locals it was told that all the Navagrahas had offered prayers from the sea for LORDS appearance .
NAVAGRAHAS PRAYING TO PERUMAL TO SAVE THEM FROM RAVANA’S ATROCITIES AT NAVAPAASHAM
From Navapaasham, we went to Sethukarai . after having samudra snanam at Sethukarai, we visited Lord Sita,Ramar temple. It was here Vibhishana saranagathi took place. (Vibhishana along with his two rakshasa friends approached Lord Srirama seeking asylum from the Lord. Sugriva and others argued that he should not be given shelter because the person who left his brother during crisis was not trust worthy. However, Hanuman vouched for Vibhishana as he was a dharmatma. Lord Srirama declared to the world that HE would grant asylum even to Ravana,the gravest offender on the earth and it was HIS DHARMA to protect the person who has done saranagathi to HIS lotus feet.Sri Rama granted saranagathi to Vibhishana and did Pattabhishekam to Vibhishana then and there. This charama slokam is imparted by our acharyars to us at the time of initiation and everyday we recite recollecting the assurance given by the LORD. A beautiful picture of Vibhishana saranagathi along with the charama slokam attracted our attention.
VIBISHANA SARANGATHI AT SETHUKARAI RAMAR TEMPLE,RAMESWARAM
Our poorvacharyas comment that the saranagathi done by Vibhishana was successful because he left everything including his family and took shelter at Lord Sri Rama’s lotus feet. He was personification of dharma who chastised his brother Ravana for his demonic act and advised him to return Mother Sita to Sri Rama. He restrained Ravana from killing Hanuman by citing rajadharam that a messenger should not be killed and thus protected Hanuman. As Ravana didn’t heed to his repeated advise, he decided to leave his brother and continue to tread in the path of Dharma and sought shelter at Sri Rama’s lotus feet with total submissiveness. (It is stated that when a devotee does total surrender to the Lord with utmost faith, the Lord gives HIMSELF to the devotee. This has been proved in Vibhishana’s case. Vibhishana did total surrender to Srirama and the Lord not only coronated him but also gave HIMSELF to him in the form of Lord Ranganatha.)
THIRUPULLANI DARBASAYANA RAMAR TEMPLE, RAMESWARAM
WE proceeded to Thirupullani temple to have darsanam of Lord Dharbasayana Ramar which also happens to be one of the 108 divya desams and as per the sthalavaralaaru,King Dasaratha worshipped the presiding diety Sri Adi Jagannathar for progeny. The Lord graced us by giving darshan in Ekantham, even the priest had gone to prepare prasadam. So we were left to ourselves to dissolve in the beauty of the Lord in sayana thirukkolam(sleeping posture) and sang few BHAKTA RAMADASU kirtans and 108 Rama naamvalee before the Lordships. The Priest informed that installing naagams sculpted on stones) will fulfill the desire of progeny. WE can find many such naaga prathishtai in the inner courtyard. There is a separate sannidhi for Adi Jagannathar.
SRI DARBA SAYANA RAMAR SANNIDHI, THIRUPULLANI
The priest performed archanai to the Lordships and narrated as to why LORD Srirama is seen in this unique asanam and posture. Usually, we have darsanam of Sriramar in Nindra Thirukolam(standing posture) holding Kodandam whereas here , LORD gives darshan in “dharbasayanam thirukkolam”(lying posture on darbha grass.). WE can find Samudra rajan accompanied by his wife praying to Sri Darba sayana Ramar inside the garbagriham on one side and Vibishana Azhwar standing with folded hands on the other side of Perumal.
The vanara army had reached Thirupullani but didn’t know how to cross the ocean and approached Lord Srirama for guidance. Lord Srirama prayed Samudrarajan (the ocean) to pave route for them for the mission taken up . Lord Rama fasted for 3 days to invoke the Samudra king to respond and rested on darbham ( kusa grass ) . (Our poorvacharyars opine that the saranagathi done by Srirama to the ocean did not fructify because the person who surrenders must be totally incapable and in this case , the Supreme Lord who is the creator, protector and sustainer of the Universe, did not comply with this requirement. Also, the refuge from whom it is being sought must be capable to give refuge. Only the Lord can give refuge to everyone and hence the saranagathi done by Srirama was not effective. When the ocean didn’t reciprocate, LORD was upset and was about to destroy the ocean by aiming HIS powerful arrow. Immediately out of fear , Samudrarajan appeared before the Lord seeking forgiveness and requested the Lord to purify him by constructing a bridge over the ocean. Samudrarajan suggested that the bridge could be built by throwing boulders and rocks under Nala’s supervision and he would hold them. When Srirama said that the arrow already taken out cannot go waste, Samudrarajan humbly requested the Lord to aim the arrow at his demonic enemies who were on the north western side of the ocean.(near present day Dwaraka) Srirama fulfilled the kings wish by killing the demons.This place is the famous Thar desert now . Sri Kooratazhwan wonders in Athimanushasthavam about Lord Sri Rama’s valour. He concludes that how much ever the Lord tries to conceal HIS true identity, it is difficult for him to do so. Srirama had the capability to vanquish Ravana even without physically going to Srilanka but the Lord took the help of vanaras, bears and squirrels to construct a bridge and go all the way to Srilanka to kill Ravana and rescue Mother Sita whereas HE destroyed the demons who were thousands of miles away from Sethukarai just by aiming a single arrow at them. Our poorvacharyars glorify the Lord that HE enacted this only to place HIS holy feet on the land which was to be ruled by his dear devotee, Vibhishana.
Offering repeated obesiances , we moved to go as close to Dhanushkodi which has been destroyed by recent Tsunami. There is a stretch of bridge connecting the land with the sea. It takes about 20 minutes driving. On the way, we could see clearly the stones floating on the water. This was the bridge constructed by the vanaras for crossing the sea. WE reached Lord Ramar temple on the shores. We were keen to have darshanam of the place where Lord Srirama sighted the ocean for the first time . SriRama along with the vanaras travelled from Hampi via Lakshmana theertham and landed at this place. The Lord spotted the ocean from here and then decided the future course of action-praying to Samudrarajan, deciding to construct a bridge, giving saranagathi ( shelter ) to Vibhishana .
The priest narrated all the incidents. Nearby , there is a small well surrounded by sea water. This is known as “Villundi Theertham”(the water which appeared as a result of Lord Srirama’s bow), The priest narrated that after defeating the demon Ravana, Sri Rama along with Mother Sita and other vanaras were returning .To quench Mother Sita’s thirst, Sri Rama aimed at the ground and Ganga sprang up to quench Jaganmatha’s thirst. The water from the well is sweet .There is a small pathway to the well.
VILLUNDI THEERTHAM, RAMESWARAM
The priest gave us a vessel to draw water from the well and taste it. It was potable. (This incident does not appear in Valmiki Ramayanam. As per Valmiki Ramayanam, Lord Rama along with Sitadevi,Lakshmana, Vibhishana, Sugriva and other vanaras mounted on Pushpaka vimanam from Srilanka and stopped enroute at Hampi so that the vanara wives could join them to go to Ayodhya. Srirama stopped at Hampi and at Bharadwaja muni’s ashram in Allahabad before meeting Bharata at Nandigramam.) As mentioned earlier, there are many such incidents linked to Ramayanam though not mentioned in the Adi kavyam. While returning to Rameswaram, we stopped at a small temple dedicated to Sugriva. Sugriva is supposed to have refreshed at this place. There is a small pond beside the temple and a local caretaker gave aarthi and narrated this. After paying our respects at Rameswaram temple, we reached station to board Srirangam train .
Our second phase of Sri Rama Anu Yathirai culminated at Srirangam in SriKodandaramar sannidhi.
Offering obesiances to Lord Sri Ranganathar, the kula-dhanam of Sri Ramar, we recited pattabhishekam sargam at Sri Kodandaramar sannidhi on the banks of Chandra Pushkarini in the temple premises. The gigantic divya mangala swaroopam of Lord Sri Sita,Lakshmana, Hanumath sametha Sri Kodandaramar , especially the Lord’s lotus eyes, kodhandam etc is still vivid in adiyen’s memory. The entire Srimad Ramayanam in the form of Thanjavur paintings beautifully decorate the walls of the temple and it was like a quick recap for us reviving our entire tour in the sannidhi. WE then had darshanam of Sita Ramar in Pattabhisheka Thirukkolam in the nearby Pattabhiraman sannidhi.
SRI SITA RAMA PATTABHISHEKAM
Seeking forgiveness for all our shortcomings and requesting the Lord to shower HIS benevolent grace on us and thanking zillion times the vaishanava reformer of the present era , Shri Sri.Velukudi Swamin for his initiative which imbibed the desire in us to visit the various holy places, we retired for the day. Next day, we reached the holy Tirumala Hills to have darshanam of Lord Venkateswara along with our siblings. While having Moolavar’s darsanam, Sri Sita ,Lakshmana sametha Sri Kodandaramar who appeared to Swami Ramanujar once again poured THEIR benevolent glance on us and graced us during Oonjal seva .
SRI KODANDARAMAR IN TIRUMALA
After reaching Hyderabad, we offered vada malai to Bhaktha Hanumar in Kushaiguda temple. The entire trip was possible only due to the abundant grace of Sri Rama bhakth Hanuman who saved and guided us all through the journey. Swamy Hanuman is considered as “paramaguru” in Ramayanam as he plays a vital role in joining the Jivatma with Paramatma. Our poorvacharyars compare Lanka with our body, 10 headed Ravana as our 10 senses, Jivatma is Sitadevi , Srirama is Paramatma. Paramacharyar Hanuman destroys the body and the evil senses which induce us to do evil acts, uplifts our atma and offers it to Paramatma.
Likewise, Asmath acharyar ,Sri Mudaliandan Swamy graced our kudil in November performed Dhaati Panchakam homam invoking Jagadacharyar-Swami Ramanujar, initiated adiyen’s daughter, gave mantropodesam to us and allowed us to perform his Thirunakshitram at our kudil.
ASMATH ACHARYAR SRI MUDALIANDAN SWAMIGAL PERFORMING DHAATI PANCHAKAM HOMAM AT OUR RESIDENCE
Holy water which we had collected from all the sacred rivers-Sarayu,Ganga,Yamuna,Saraswati,Godavari,Tungabhadra, Kaveri, Samudram, Swami Pushkarini theertham were all used for performing Sahasradhaara abhishkem to our acharyar amidst chanting of Vedic hymns and playing of musical instruments. That was the benedictory fruit given to the Lord for our attempt. The benevolence of our Acharyar cannot be described in words.
Adiyen just can’t describe in words to share the experiences which we had in this trip. May the Lord bestow HIS cool and benevolent grace on all the jivatmas and always protect his children . May Lord Hanuman bestow us with the opportunity of visiting Sri Lanka . Though some refrain from visiting this place which caused suffering to Mother Sita, adiyen recollects the incident where Srirama after HIS victory asks Sita to cast HER benevolent glance on that land which was to be ruled by HIS dear devotee,Vibhishana. Also, this is the place where Lord Srirama placed HIS foot and killed the demonic king,Ravana. Likewise, may Lord Rama kill the demonic qualities in us and make us a better devotee and live in our hearts forever.
SRI MUDALIANDAN THIRUMALIGAI PERUMALS GIVING DARSHAN AT OUR RESIDENCE
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Adiyen humbly thanks Srirama bhaktaas for being kind to read this travelogue . Please forgive me for any errors and mistakes which was due to adiyens poor understanding .
Please accept adiyens pranaams for kind words and may all the auspiciousness be with all. I end this travelogue with mangala slokam recited by Sri Manavala Mamunigal.
May there be well being to the people; May the kings rule the earth along the right path; May the cattle and the Brahmins have well being forever; May all the beings in all the worlds become happy; Peace, peace and peace be everywhere!