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Famous Churches in Kerala, India You Must Visit Vijay English & Tam il M onthly M agazine Volum e 05 • Issue 12 July 2022 Indian Culture Indian Art Indian Lifestyle Indian Religion Price Rs 65/-

A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 2 Submit your artwork, articles & essays to the e.mail id: [email protected]

A TO Z INDIA magazine covers the Indian through his art, culture, lifestyle, religion, etc. This magazine gives an insight into the life of Indians from an angle uncovered by others. Turn to find out what it is about and to immerse yourself into an entirely different culture. Publication Team: EDITOR: Indira Srivatsa ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Dwarak, Srivatsa EDITORIAL CONSULTANTS: Santha, Bhavani, Srinivasan REPORTING: Raghavan PHOTOGRAPHY: Adithyan GRAPHICS ENGINEER: Chandra Editorial Office: E002, Premier Grihalakshmi Apartments, Elango Nagar South, Virugambakkam, Chennai - 600092, Tamil Nadu, India. Communication Details: MOBILE: +91-7550160116 e.mail id: [email protected] Disclaimer: A TO Z INDIA Magazine has made a constant care to make sure that content is accurate on the date of publication. The views expressed in the articles reflect the author(s) opinions. 04 FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK: “FESTIVAL OF SACRIFICE” OR BAKRI EID In India, Bakri Eid will be celebrated on July 10th. This Eid falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, which is the pilgrimage month for Muslims across the world. The day marks the end of the annual Hajj Pilgrimage, which is also called Eid Qurban. Eid al-Adha or Bakri Eid is the second most important festival in Islam. It is also called Festival of Sacrifice. Happy Bakra Eid 2022!!! 34 THE CULT OF THE DASNAMI NAGA SANYASIS The Dashnami Sampradaya is perhaps the most powerful monastic order, which has played a great part in the history of India. A TO Z INDIA: Editorial Address inside FROM THE EDITOR A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 3

Significance: Eid al-Adha or Bakri Eid is the second most important festival in Islam. It is also called Festival of Sacrifice. The first most important festival is Eid-al-Fitr which is popularly called “Meethi Eid” in which Muslims celebrate the day by preparing mouth-watering sweet dishes after fasting for a month. Editor | A TO Z INDIA [email protected] +91-7550160116 History of Bakri Eid or Eid-ul-Adha: The story behind this festival Bakri Eid is celebrated to honor the greatest test that God took of Ibrahim. According to legend, Ibrahim experienced nightmares in which he saw himself slaughtering his son Ishmael for God. When Ibrahim told about God’s will to his son, the latter at once agreed to get slaughtered. However, the “Shaitaan” coaxed Ibrahim to not obey God’s will. But, Ibrahim could manage to resist the temptation of Shaitaan. He hurled pebbles at the Shaitaan. That’s the reason people throw stones at the symbolic pillar during the Hajj rites. This ritual is called “Stoning of the Devil.” It marks the people’s rejection of Satan. Eventually, God was happy to see the willingness of Ibrahim and his son Ishmael for the sacrifice. God noted that Ibrahim was ready to sacrifice what was most beloved for him – his son. Impressed by this, Angel Gabriel gave Prophet Ibrahim a lamb from heaven and asked him to sacrifice this lamb instead of his son. This is how the “Festival of Sacrifice” or Bakri Eid came to be celebrated. Muslims all over the world honor Ibrahim’s commitment to obey God’s orders and Ishmael’s survival. Muslims sacrifice “bakri” or goats to mark this day. From the Editor's Desk: “Festival of Sacrifice” or Bakri Eid The editorial talks about the Festival of Sacrifice, its history and significance. In dira Sriva tsa A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 4 In India, Bakri Eid will be celebrated on July 10th. This Eid falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, which is the pilgrimage month for Muslims across the world. This is the 12th month of the Lunar or Islamic calendar Eid-al-Adha. The day marks the end of the annual Hajj Pilgrimage, which is also called Qurban Bayarami or Eid Qurban. Happy Bakra Eid! Enjoy reading and keep smiling!!!

God’s own country, Kerala has many surprises that will lure you to visit this state. From ancient holy sites to rich flora and fauna, everything you see here will be a treat to your eyes. Among all those places to see, you must visit the beautiful churches in Kerala. Not only do they hold immense religious value, but these churches are also symbols of architectural brilliance! So, the next time you’re m aking a list of the best places to visit in Kerala, make sure to add the popular churches. Don’t know which ones to add? Then, go through the list below and get to know some of the famous churches in Kerala that you must visit! St. Mary’s Church: Your tour can start with a visit to St. Mary’s Church in Cheriapally, as it is one of the most revered and oldest churches of Kerala. To reach here, fly to Kochi International airport and then take a cab from there. When you’re here, the first thing that will capture your attention is its intriguing architecture. You will get to see a flawless collaboration of Keralian and Persian a rchitectural styles in this cathedral. Enter the church and gaze at the beautifully adorned interiors. Not to forget, the calm and tranquil vibe of the place will calm you down immediately. A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 5 Vijay Famous Churches in Kerala, India You Must Visit God’s own country, Kerala:

A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 6 St. Francis Church: Another church in Kochi that you must consider adding to your itinerary is St. Francis! Although this church was built way back in the 15th century, you will still find it standing tall and beautiful. The old architectural style will simply sweep you off your feet with its beauty. Come here between 7 am and 6.30 pm to pray to Jesus and unwind in a peaceful environment. Wondering how t o get here? Hop on a flight to reach the Kochi International airport and then take a cab. Nadamel Marth Mariam Church: Considered the most famous church in Kerala by many, this cathedral is surely worth your visit. When you visit this church, the positive vibe and the divine aura around it will enchant you in no time. If history is your interest zone, you will be glad to know that this church has some interesting historical stories associated with it. Ask your tour guide and he can satiate your curiosity with such stories. We have one for you now! Locals say that whenever a new heir of the royal family was crowned, he would make a special offering here and meet all the religious persons associated with the church to seek their blessings. If you’re planning to visit here to listen and to know all the interesting stories, a flight to Kochi followed by a cab ride will get you there in no time! Vijay Famous Churches in Kerala, India You Must Visit God’s own country, Kerala:

Do you know that many ideas for the present-day plastic surgery, such as the transplanting of sensible skin flaps came from ancient Indians? The following article shows the progress achieved by ancient Indians in the field of surgery 2000-3000 years ago. 'Shalya' or Surgery is, as noted in the earlier part of the work, one of the eight departments of Ayurveda. In the work of Sushruta, it occupies the first place. Medicine and Surgery, though parts of the same science, are treated as distinct branches. Charaka, Atreya, Hartia, Agnivesha, and others, are accepted as guides more in medicine than in surgery; while Dhanvantari, Sushruta, Aupadhenava, Aurabhra, Paushkalavata, and others, were rather surgeons than physicians, having written elaborate works on the art of healing by mechanical and instrume ntal means. In a case requiring surgical operations, the physician says to his patient, "Atra Dhanvantarinam adhikaras kriyavidhau", meaning, "It is for the surgeon to take in hand this case." It is true the ancient surgery did not reach that perfection to which the modern science has attained. The successes of modern surgery are admitted on all hands to be prodigious, but that should not detract fro m the credit due to the ancients. The stock of surgical instruments and appliances used by the ancients was no doubt very small and meager as compared with the armamentarium of a surgeon of the nineteenth century. The reason assigned for this fact is that the instruments they used were enough for their requirements, and that their acquaintance with the properties and virtues of drugs was so very great that most of the diseases and injuries now dealt with by the surgeon were then cured medicinally. An abscess, for instance, was either made to subside by certain kinds of plaster, or the swelling was assisted to mature by means of poultices, and when ripe was opened, not always with the knife, but by the application of a mixture of Danti, Chitrak, Eranda, and some other drugs. Cases of urinary calculi were treated with anti-lithics, and diuretics were administered so as to act as solvents for the stone, and thus the necessity of cutting was, if the patient so desired, obviated. It was only in rare cases, and for effecting a speedy recovery or affording immediate relief, that they had recourse to surgical operations. And yet their earliest works mention no less than one hundred and twenty-five su rgical instruments for ophthalmic, obstetric, and other operations. They were experts in forming new ears and noses. This operation has been practiced for ages in India, where cutting off the nose and ears was a common punishment, and "our modern surgeons have been able to borrow from them (Hindus) the operation of rhinoplasty". On this subject Dr Hirschberg of Berlin says, "The whole plastic surgery i n Europe had taken its new flight when these cunning devices of Indian workmen became known to us. The transplanting of sensible skin flaps is also an entirely Indian method." The same writer also gives credit to the Indians for discovering the art of cataract-couching, "which was entirely unknown to the Greeks, the Egyptians, or any other nation." The cataract operations are, it is said, performed by I ndian practitioners with great success even to this day. The Hindus were also experts in performing amputations and abdominal section. They could set fractures and dislocations in men and beasts, reduce hernia, cure piles and fistula in-ano, and extract foreign bodies. Inoculation for small-pox seems to have been known to them from a very early age. Long before Edward Jenner was born, certain classes i n India, especially cow-herds, shepherds, Charanas, and Santha A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 7 Surgery In Ancient India Ancient Indian surgical practices:

the like, had been in the habit of collecting and preserving the dry scabs of the pustules. A little of this they used to place on the forearm, and puncture the skin with a needle. In consequence of this inoculation, the classes are supposed to have enjoyed a certain amount of immunity from small-pox. Dr Huillet, of Pondicherry, assures us that "Vaccination was known to a physician, Dhanvantari, who fl ourished before Hippocrates." The ancient Hindus used to practice the dissection of the human body, and taught it to their disciples. They knew human anatomy and something of physiology. "The Hindu philosophers," says Dr Wise, "undoubtedly deserve the credit of having, though opposed by strong prejudice, entertained sound and philosophical views respecting uses of the dead to the living; and were the first scientific and successful cultivators of the most important and essential of all the departments of medical knowledge — practical anatomy." It may as well be added that they were perfectly acquainted with the anatomy of the goat, sheep, horse, and other animals used in their sacrifices. Early warfare was conducted with such weapons as bow and arrow, sword, mace, etc. Thus, in every war the servi ces of bold and skillful surgeons were always in requisition for extracting arrows, amputating limbs, arresting hemorrhage, and dressing wounds. Sushruta gives very minute directions to be observed in the performance of surgical operations, and describes the method of opening abscesses, treating inflammations, boils, tumors, ulcers and fistulas, and of applying blisters, cautery, etc. The constant wars and internecine strife afforded ample opportunities to the surgeons to distinguish themselves in their profession and acquire considerable dexterity in their work. A glance at the Vedic or the Epic period will bear testimony to this fact. The chirurgeons of yore are recorded to have performed incredible feats in surgical operations, just as modern surgery is able to do many things which ordinary folks will hardly believe to be possible. In its onward progress, modern surgery may yet be able to succeed in doing what the ancients claim to have performed. Sushruta classifies surgical operations into Aharya, extracting solid bodies; Bhedya, excising; Chhedya, incising; Eshya, probing; Lekhya, scarifying; Sivya, suturing; Vedhya, puncturing; and Visravaniya, evacuating fluids. The surgeon, before comme ncing an operation, is enjoined to equip himself with all the requisites, such as the instruments, salts, bandages, honey, oil, water, etc. He should have practical experience of his art, and should have seen many surgical operations performed by others. He should be intelligent, steady, skillful, and should execute his work with a light hand. He should have by his side steady and strong attendants t o assist him. The patient should be allowed to take light food before any operation is performed upon him. Abdominal operations, however, and operations in the mouth, or about the anus, should be performed when the patient is fasting. The operation should be performed with the utmost care; and after it is over, a sesamum poultice should be applied to the wound, and a cloth bandage should be tied round it. A certain incense should be kept burning In the operation room. The surgeon should not leave his patient without offering a prayer to the Almighty for his speedy recovery. Particular attention is to be paid to the regimen of the patient. The wound must be dressed at regular intervals until it is all healed up. Should the wound cause intense pain, a cloth soaked in tepid ghee (clarified butter) mi xed with liquor-ice may be applied to it. A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 8 Santha Surgery In Ancient India Ancient Indian surgical practices:

The surgical operations are performed on what are considered auspicious days. The patient is made to sit or stand with his face to the east, the surgeon before him with his face to the west. The surgeon should be cautious that no vital part, artery, vein, joint, or bone is carelessly injured in the course of the operation, and that the instrument does not go deeper than the requirements of the case ac tually demand. In serious surgical operations, and in diseases of a painful nature, the patient was made insensible by the administration of anesthetics. In cases of children, or of patients having a dread of the knife, or where the proper instruments cannot be procured, bamboo, crystal, glass, Kurvinda (a kind of stone), leeches, fire, caustics, nail, Kareera (Capparis aphylla), Shefali (Vitex Negundo ), hair and finger may be made use of. They are called Anushastras or substitutes. Sharp pieces of bamboo bark or pointed crystal, glass, or Kurvinda may be employed as incisive instruments. The nail may be used in extracting a solid body, leeches in extracting blood, and hair, finger or vegetable sprout for probing. Caustics are used in opening abscesses, and fire (live charcoal) is applied to snake-b ites and to wounds that are intensely painful. Thus, there are three modes adopted by the Hindus for treating surgical cases — by cutting instruments, by caustics, and by actual cautery. In the opinion of Sushruta, caustic is better than the knife, and cautery better than either. In order to acquire dexterity in surgery, the preceptors made their pupils practice different operations on various subst ances. The art of Surgery gradually declined in India owing to a variety of causes, the chief among them being the aversion of the Brahmanas, who had the monopoly of teaching the various sciences, to animal food and to the sacrificial offerings which were too common in the pre-Buddhist period. This aversion made them shrink from touching the carcasses necessary for anatomical demonstrations. They also shrank from coming in contact with blood, pus, and other matter, which cannot be avoided in performing surgical operations. Surgery being neglected by the priestly caste, passed into the hands of the lower classes, whose practice was purely empirical. Even these people, for want of encouragement, allowed it to decline, until, as Mr Elphinstone rightly remarks, bleeding was left to the barber, bone- se tting to the herdsman, and the application of blisters to every man. A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 9 Santha Surgery In Ancient India Ancient Indian surgical practices:

Dinesh A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 10 14, Saint Gilles Street, Pondicherry, 605001, India French town of Pondicherry, India: Image of the Month: House called Grace Your steps through its Door: 14, Saint Gilles Street, Pondicherry, 605001, India Title: Chatting on Doorsteps Description: Private house called Grace, this house belongs to Sri Aurobindo Society and it’s located in heart of the French town of Pondicherry. Note: The purpose of this page is to create awareness among the people about the architecture & culture of Pondicherry. A TO Z INDIA, Pondicherry has captured the heritage of Pondicherry through its lens and dedicates this visual treat to the entire world. We take this opportunity to thank all the house owners & business people of Pondicherry for their Co-operation.

This temple is one among the ‘Pancha Bhoota Sthalam’ - refers to as the five temples dedicated to Shiva, each representing a manifestation of the five prime elements of nature - earth, water, fire, air and aether. Though this grand temple occupies approximately 18 acres with a massive fourth precinct measuring 2436 feet by 1493 feet, the entrance to the sanctorum of Jambukeswara (Shiva worshipped here in the form of Varuna Lingam, Consort Akilandeswari Amman) is just 4 foot high and 2.5 foot wide. In the views of James Fergusson (British Architectural Historian, 1808-1886), Thiruvanaikoil temple excels the Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple in many architectural aspects. The temple has five “Praharams” (enclosures), each wall's height ranging from 20-30 feet and 2 to 5 feet thickness. The 2nd and 3rd pra harams were built in early 13th century CE and the 4th Praharam was constructed in the late 13th century CE. The impressive outer wall covering the 5th precinct stretches over a kilometer and is two feet thick and over 25 feet high was constructed by 'Thiruneetru Sundara Pandiyan'. The Temple is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams. Thirunavukkarasar on worshipping the Shiva at Thiruvanaikkaval wrote: "ஒ �DŽ மாடத ் �ள ் ஒன ் ப� வாய ் த�ங ் க�க ரிப ் பதன ் �ன ் னங ் கழலNJ ெதா�� ைகக ளா ற் �ˣமலர ் �ˣ விநின ் ற�ம வர ் க் கன் பன ் ஆைன க் கா அண ் ணே ல". Place: Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval, 10kms away from Trichirapalli, Tamilnadu. Period: Temple’s earliest existence dates back to 1st-2nd century CE by Chola King “Ko Chengot Cholan” (ேகா ச் ெசங ் கட ் ேசாழ நாயனார ் also called as Chenkannan - Red eyed king). He had built 70 other Shiva temples and is one among the 63 “Nayannmars” (Holy Saivite saints). Various Kings of Chola, Pandiya, Hoysala and Vijayanagar Nayakar dynasties have contributed for the upkeep of this temple and perform ed various renovations and constructions. There are 156 inscriptions from various Chola kings from 10th - 12th century indicating grants to the temple - earliest one from Paranthaka Chola (907-950 CE). The temple was widely expanded by Hoysala king Someswara, a strong devotee of Shiva in the later 13th Century CE. Many later additions were made in the 19th century by Nagarathar. Raghavan Tiruvanaikovil Arulmigu Jambukeswarar Akhilandeswari Temple Site History: A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 11

A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 12 Raghavan Tiruvanaikovil Arulmigu Jambukeswarar Akhilandeswari Temple Site History:

"Why is Lord Kedarnath called 'Jagrut Mahadev'? This two minute story will give you goosebumps" Once a Shiva devotee left his village on a journey to Kedarnath Dham. Long ago, during that period there were no facilities for transportation, so he travelled on foot. Whoever he met on the way, he would ask the path for Kedarnath. He used to meditate Lord Shiva in his mind. He passed months walking. Final ly one day, he reached Kedar Dham. In Kedarnath temple, doors will open only for 6 months and will remain closed for the next 6 months. He arrived at the time when the temple doors were closing. He told Pandit ji that he has come from a long distance after traveling for months. He prayed to Pandit ji, "Please open the doors and let me see the Lord." But there is a rule, once closed, the doors will not be re-opened for the next 6months. Rules are rules. So, he cried a lot. He remembered Lord Shiva again and again, he payed to the God to just give him darshan once. He was praying for a long time and loudly but nobody listened to his prayers. Later, Pandit ji came and told him to come there only after 6 months, and that only after 6 months the doors would open. 6 months of snow and cold was yet to co me. And everyone left the place. He kept crying over and over. That night, he continued crying and it became dark all around. But he had faith on his Shiva, that he would definitely bless him. He was very hungry and thirsty too. He heard someone coming. He saw a 'monk baba' coming towards him. The 'sanyasi baba' came to him and sat beside him. He asked him, "Where did you come from Son?". He told him about the whole situation and said, his coming there was in vain to the Baba ji. Baba ji explained to him the entire rules and also gave him food. And then Baba kept talking to him for a long time. Baba ji felt pity on him. He said, "Son, I think the temple will open in the morning. You will definitely have a darshan of Lord Shiva." Nobody knew when this devotee fell asleep while talking to the Baba j i. When the devotee's eyes opened, he saw the light of the sun. He searched for the Baba here and there, but he was nowhere. Before he could understand anything, he saw Pandit ji was coming back along with his whole group. He bowed down to the priest and said, "Yesterday you had said that the temple will open only after 6 months? And in the meantime no one would come here, but you came this morning". Pandit ji looked at him carefully, tried to identify him and asked, "Are you the one who came when the door of the temple was closed? The one who came here 6 months ago!". The man was surprised and said, "No, I didn't go anywhere. You met me yesterday, I slept here the whole night. I haven't gone anywhere". Pandit ji wasn't surprised. Mithun A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 13 Cultural India: "Why is Lord Kedarnath called 'Jagrut Mahadev'?"

Mithun The man added, "They say I had went home 6 months ago after the temple was closed and only today I had come back after 6 months. But how could one live here for six months?" Pandit ji and the whole group were surprised. How could a single person survive for six months in that cold. Then that devotee told him about his meeting with the Sanyasi Baba and all the things he had talked with him... That a mon k came, he was tall, large, with a trishul in one hand and a drum in the other hand, wearing an antelope. Pandit ji and everyone else fell at the man's feet. Pandit ji explained to the man that he spent his entire life but could not get the darshan of God, but he was the true devotee of Lord Shiva. "You have visited Lord Shiva in reality. Lord Shiva had turned your 6 months into one night with his yog a-maya. Shiva had shortened the entire period. It all happened because of your pure holy mind and true faith. Salute to your devotion". Hail Lord Shiva..... A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 14 Cultural India: "Why is Lord Kedarnath called 'Jagrut Mahadev'?"

Bhavani A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 15 Fortress in Tringalwadi, Maharashtra: Tringalwadi Fort Walkthrough the clouds, jump in natural pools, feel peace and faith at Hanuman temple, play with the winds, explore beautiful views, enjoy wild waterfalls, and breathe in the monsoon's freshness, on your trip to Tringalwadi Fort, experience being alive.

தமிழினியன ் அைன வ�க ் �ம ் அன ் பˢட ன் இனிய கா ைல வண க் கம ்... !!! பா லன ் றன ��வாய ் ஏழ ்ல�ண ் �, ஆலிைலயின ் ேமலன ் � ந ீவளர ் ந் த ெமய ் ெயன ் பர ் ,- ஆலன ் � ேவைலந ீ �ள ் ளேதா விண ் ணேதா மண் ணேதா?, ேசா ைல�ழ ் �ன ் ெற�த ் தாய ் ெசா ல் �... !!! ெபா �ள ் : உலகப ் பிர ளயம ் உண் டா ன கா லத் தில ் , உலகி�ள ் ள ஏழ ் உலகங ் கைளயˢம ் உண் �, சி��ழந ் ைதயா கத ் தி�வ�வˢ ேமற ் ெகா ண் �, ஆலந ் தளிரின ் ம ீ � தி�க ் கண் வளர ் ந் த�ளிய� உண் ைம என் � உணர ் ந் � ைவத ் தி�க ் கின ் ற ஆன் ேறார ் எ�த ் �ைர த் �ள ் ளளனர ் . A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 16 இவ ் வˢல கம ் ��வ�ம ் அந ் த உலகப ் பிர ளயம ் உண் டா ன கா லத் தில ் உன் தி�வயிற ் றில ் அடங ் கியி�க ் �ம ்ேபா �, அந ் த ஆலந ் தளிர ் மட ் �ம ் தி�ப ் பா ற் கட லில ் எவ் வா� இ�ந ் த�! அல ் ல� அந ் த ஆலந ் தளிர ் ஆகாயத ் தில ் தனியா க இ�ந ் தேதா! அல ் ல� கைரந ் �ேபா ன இப ் �மியில ் தனியா கக ் கா ணப ் பட ் டேதா! இஃ� எவ் வா�? இஃ� அதிசயமா க இ�க ் கின ் றேத! ேசா ைல கள் �ழ ்ந் தி�க ் கின ் ற ேகா வர ் த் தனம ் என் �ம ் மைலையக ் �ைடயா கப ் பி�த ் � ப�க ் �ட ் டங ் கைளப ் பா �கா த் த�ளிய எம ்ெப�மா ன் ஸ் ரீ கண் ணபிராே ன! நீ இைவபற ் றி அ�ேய�க ் �க ் �றிய��மா� ே வண ் �கிேறன ் . ஸ் ரீ கண் ணபிராே ன ேபா ற் றி... ஆன் ம ீ கம ்:

Padmanabhan Famous Temples of India : Puri Jagannath Temple Kitchen A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 17 Sri Jagannath is the Lord of the Universe. His kitchen is considered as the largest and the biggest kitchen in the world. It is situated south-east direction of the outer compound of Srimandir. The length of the kitchen is 150 feet, breadth is 100 feet and height is about 20 feet. It consists of 32 rooms with 250 earthen ovens within these. Around 600 cooks (Suaras) and 400 assistants serve here everyday for preparing Lord's food. There are three types of hearths in the kitchen of Srimandir such as Anna Chuli, Ahia Chuli and Pitha Chuli. The dimension of hearths where rice is prepared are 4' x 2.5' x 2'. The rectangular space created between two rice hearths is called Ahia. All types of Dal and Curry items are cooked in Ahia Chuli. There are only ten numbers of Pitha Chuli in the temple kitchen wh ich are made of cement. The fire of this kitchen is known as Vaishnava Agni, because it is the fire in the kitchen of Lord Jagannath and used to serve Vishnu Himself. It is never put out. The fire of this kitchen is known as Vaishnava Agni, because it is the fire in the kitchen of Lord Jagannath and used to serve Vishnu Himself. It is never put out. Puri Jagannath Temple Kitchen feeds 100,000 people ever y day and is the world's largest open air kitchen. You will be shocked to see the scale of operations there. There are certain people in each action. Some men pull water from a well, some are in charge of cutting vegetables, some are in-charge of cutting wood and some in charge of cooking. Food is prepared using only pottery; 15,000 pottery utensils are used daily and none of them are recycled. Food is pr epared using a unique technique. Seven pottery

have no zeal to cook and so the food is tasteless. It is also said that if mother Laxmi is displeased with the preparations by the cooks, a dog will appear mysteriously on the temple grounds. If the dog is seen, all the food must be buried and prepared again. As no dog is allowed to enter the temple, this dog is said to be Kutama Chandi, a tantric goddess in charge of purification of food. Four types of c ooking are prepared in the kitchen of Srimandir. Those are Bhimapaka, Nalapaka, Souripaka and Gouripaka. The food in the temple kitchen is prepared in such a pure way and with deep devotion; great spiritual impact is felt, both by those who cook and those who eat. The temple kitchen of Lord Jagannath is considered to be the biggest hotel in the world, serving all without reservation or previous notice. Padmanabhan Famous Temples of India : Puri Jagannath Temple Kitchen A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 18 are arranged on top of each other, protected by jute ropes, and then the whole setup is placed on burning wood. Every time, things on the top are cooked first and the order remains the same till the bottom of the pot. Every day, 56 items are cooked and offered to Lord Jagannath as prasad, after which it becomes Mahaprasad (blessed food). Then, around 2-3 pm, visitors and devotees get to buy Mahapr asad at a place called Anand Bazar inside the campus. Mahaprasad is spectacular and a single piece of it is never wasted. It is believed that Mahalaxmi cooks in the kitchen Herself; all are felt to be Her servants. As she is not attentive to the cooking on the days when Lord Jagannath is said to be sick before Rath Yatra, the food is less tasty. During Ratha Yatra when Lord Jagannath is in Sri Gundic ha Temple, She is said to

A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 19 Sri Ganesh Glass & Plywoods Entire range of Plywoods, Glasses, Doors & all branded laminates. #2/1, Kambar Salai, Mugappair West, Chennai - 600 037. Mobile: 9380337886, 9566118008 e.mail: [email protected] Ph: 044 26244992.

Incredible India: Images of India through Paintwork Chandra A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 20

Incredible India: Images of India through Paintwork A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 21 Chandra

A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 22 " என் ைனப ் பற ் றி என் ன ?" என் � ஆைம அ�த� , அ� வ�ந ் திய� , " என் னா ல் பறக ் க ��யா � !" அன ் னங ் கள் ேசா கமைடந ் தன . அப ் ேபா � , ஒ� அன ் னப ் பறைவ ஒ� �ச ்சிையக ் கண் ட� . " இ� நமக ் � உதவˢம ் " என் � அ� �றி , �ச ்சிைய எ�த ் � வந ் த� . ஒ� ேகா ைடயில ் , ெவப ் பம ் மிக வˢம ் �டா க இ�ந ் த� . ஏரி வறண ் � ேபா க ஆரம ்பித ் த� . “ நாம ் இங ் � வாழ ��யா � ” எ ன் ற� அன ் னங ் கள் . " ே வ� ஏரிக ் � பறக ் கலாம ் " எ ன் றன . அன ் னப் பறைவக�ம ் ஆைமயˢம ் ஜதகா க ைதக ள் : ஒ� ஏரியில ் பல கா லத் திற ் க் � �ன ் பˢ , ஒ� ஆைமயˢம ் இர ண் � அன ் னங ் க�ம ் வாழ ்ந் தன . அவர ் கள் மிக வˢம ் ெந�ங ் கிய நண் பர ் களா க இ�ந ் தனர ் . அரட ்ைட அ�த ் � , சாப ் பிட ் � மகிழ ்ச்சியா க நாட ் கைள கழித ் � வந ் தனர ் . ஆதித ் தியன ்

" இந ் த �ச ்சிைய உன் வாயில ் பி� , நாங ் கள் அந ் த �ச ்சிைய அதன் ஒவ் ெவா � �ைன ையயˢம ் பி�த ் �க ் ெகா ண் � பறப ் ேபாம ் ", என் ற� அந ் த அன ் னப ் பறைவ . ஆ ைம ஒப ் பˢக ் ெகா ண் ட� . A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 23 சிறி� ேநர த் தில ் நண் பர ் கள் �வ�ம ் பˢறப ் பட ் டனர ் . அவர ் கைளப ் பார ் த் த சில ெபா �மக ் கள் , " ஆ ைம பறக ் கிற� ! அற ் பˢதம ் !", எ ன் றனர ் . ஆ ைம மகிழ ்ச்சி அைடந ் த� . " மக ் கள் என் ைனப ் பாராட ் �கிறார ் கள் ," என் � ஆைம ெப�மிதமைடந ் த� . மகிழ ்ச்சியில ் , தா ன் பற ் களில ் �ச ்சிையப ் பி�த ் தி�ப ் பைத மறந ் � , மக ் க�க ் � நன் றி ெசா ல் ல வா ையத ் திறந ் த� . அங ் ேகேய ... க ீேழ ஆ ைம வ ீ ழ்ந் த� ! “ ஓ ! ஏன் வா ையத ் திறந ் தாய ் ?" என் � அன ் னப ் பறைவக ள் �வின . ஆனா ல் அ� மிக வˢம ் தாம தமா ன� . �ட ் டா ள் தனமா ன நண் பனா ன ஆைம பள ் ளத் தா க் கில ் வி�ந ் � அதன் உயிைர இழப ் பைத மட ் �ேம அவர ் களா ல் பார ் க் க ��ந ் த� . அன ் னப் பறைவக�ம ் ஆைமயˢம ் ஜதகா க ைதக ள் : ஆதித ் தியன ்

The structural temple constructed in the time of Rajaraja Chola : Srinivasan A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 24 Sthala puranam and temple information : In recent times, Udaiyalur has gained prominence as possibly the final resting place of the great Chola king Rajaraja Chola. Flanking the very-well-maintained Agraharam of Udaiyalur village are two temples – a Perumal temple, and this temple for Siva as Kailasanathar. There are also two other temples for Palkulathi Amman and Selvi Makali Amman, both of which are regarded as grama-devatas – guardian deitie s protecting the village. In addition, there is a separate Siva Lingam amidst the fields, which is said to be the final resting place of Rajaraja Chola. Some people, however, regard this Kailasanathar temple as the mausoleum of Rajaraja Chola. In earlier times, this place had the name Sri Kangeyapuram. Udaiyalur gets is name from Ulagamuzhuthudayal, one of Rajaraja Chola’s queens, to whom he gifted the tem ple. As a result, the place came to be called Ulagamuzhuthudayal-ur (town of Ulagamuzhuthudayal), and later, simply Udaiyalur. Once in Kailasam, Siva was imparting Brahma Tatvam to Parvati in private. Murugan, then a child, happened to barge into their chambers, and had to be punished for his offence. So, Siva asked Murugan to Sri Kangeyapuram and worship Him. While Murugan was engaged in penance, he heard a celestial voice Lord Murugan was punished for having intruded on a private conversation between Shiva and Parvati, and performed penance here. Later, a king affected by leprosy bathed in the tank created by Murugan, and after it was filled with milk by Kamadhenu, his disease was cured. But the most interesting aspects of this place are almost entirely attributable to Rajaraja Chola, who also built t his temple. What are these fascinating aspects, including a heavily disputed theory about the great king’s end? Read here: Kailasanathar Temple, Udaiyalur, Thanjavur telling him to use his spear to dig a temple tank, which was promptly done (and is hence called Kumara Teertham). Murugan took a bath in the tank and was relieved of his curse. Later, Ajamaharaja who was ruling this region, was affected by le prosy. He approached Sage Vasishtha for a cure, and the latter told the king to take a bath in the temple’s tank created by Murugan, and then worship Kailasanathar here. As he was doing so, the king heard a celestial voice, asking him to worship Kamadhenu. He did so, and Kamadhenu materialised immediately, and began filling up the tank with her milk (and ever since then, this pond has also been called Paal- Kulam, meaning pond of milk). The king bathed in the milk, and then worshipped Kailasanathar, which relieved him of his disease. The structural temple was constructed in the time of Rajaraja Chola, dating back to the late 10th or early 11th century. Ulagamuzhuthudayal provided grants of her own, for the upkeep of the temple and to ensure regular pujas. There seem to have been some later improvements underta ken during the Nayak period. In Chola times, this place was called Arumozhideva Valanattu Sivapadasekara Mangalam, and the deity here was called Sivapadasekara Easwaramudaiyar. Given the many connections with Rajaraja Chola, his birth star – Sadayam – is celebrated with

The structural temple constructed in the time of Rajaraja Chola : Srinivasan A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 25 Lord Murugan was punished for having intruded on a private conversation between Shiva and Parvati, and performed penance here. Later, a king affected by leprosy bathed in the tank created by Murugan, and after it was filled with milk by Kamadhenu, his disease was cured. But the most interesting aspects of this place are almost entirely attributable to Rajaraja Chola, who also built this templ e. What are these fascinating aspects, including a heavily disputed theory about the great king’s end? Read here: Rajaraja Chola and his queen. Then, in the mandapam in the front of the temple (leading up to the Amman shrine) is a sculpture depicting a Lingam being worshipped by a person. This is known as the Sivapadasekara Anugraha Murti, created exclusively to depict Rajaraja Chola’s devotion to Siva. Th e temple also has several inscriptions, including several specifically mentioning Rajaraja Chola. Other inscriptions also refer to patronage by Kulothunga Chola I, Vikrama Chola , Rajaraja Chola II, Kulothunga Chola II , Rajaraja Chola III and Sadayavarman Sundarapandiyan. Other Information for your visit: The Paalkulathi Amman temple mentioned above, is so named because Her temple is located on the banks of the Paal Kulam (the one filled with milk by Kamadhenu). This temple is significant, and of interest to those keen on Chola history. This Amman temple’s doorjamb – made of granite – carries the inscription announcing the demise of Rajaraja Chola. Kailasanathar Temple, Udai yalur, Thanjavur great pomp at this temple. While the temple faces east, the main entrance is through a Mottai-Gopuram to the south. There is no Raja Gopuram here. The architecture here is classic early Chola, evident by the fact that the koshta murtis all clearly seem to be later additions. Amman’s south-facing shrine is, unusually, not part of the maha-mandapam, but separately to the east of the temple (a nd hence there is no eastern entrance). In the north-west corner of the temple are Lingams which were worshipped by the five elements – pancha boothas. There is also a separate shrine for the Pancha Bhairavars. Elsewhere in various places within the premises, are old or damaged murtis, which are strewn around the temple. One could say that the temple’s architecture almost entirely revolves around Rajaraja Ch ola and his devotion to Siva, depicted by some very interesting and engaging elements of iconography and architecture at this temple. First, at the feet of the dwarapalakas in the garbhagriham, are two devotees – one male, and one female – with a tuft on their heads. Given that Sivapadasekaran is one of the titles of Rajaraja Chola, the two devotees should be depictions of Rajaraja Chola and his queen Ulag amuzhuthudayal. Next, adjancent to these are two sculptures of a king and queen worshipping Siva – these would also be

Srinivasan A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 26 This temple is located at Malleswaram in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. In Dhakshinamukha Nandeeswaea temple, water flows continuously from the mouth of Nandi and falls directly on the Shivaling below. In the pond below, number of turtles could be seen. A rare delight. There is another temple just opposite to this one, which is dedicated to Gangamma Devi. Both are maintained neat and clean. Sri Dakshinamukha Nandi Tirtha Kalyaani Kshetra 7,000 year old Hindu temple in Bengaluru, Karnataka: Malleswaram boasts of many temples, but none is so shrouded in controversy and mystery as this one is. The ancient Nandeeshwara temple at Malleswaram, 17th cross was discovered only twenty-one years ago, but it has stood for 7,000 years on that spot. Being buried over the years hasn't diminished its aura at all. It still draws huge crowds all day. A ccording to residents living nearby, the temple was completely buried and the land above it was a flat stretch. "Twenty-one years ago, a politician tried to sell this plot. But people objected on the grounds that the land should first be dug through to see if they could find something," says the priest, Ravi Shankar Bhatt. And so when they started digging up the land, they found buried underneath, th is temple. It was in perfect condition, preserved by the thick layers of soil. This underground temple was enclosed within a stone cut courtyard supported by ancient stone pillars. At the far end of the courtyard, a Nandi was carved out of a black stone with eyes painted in gold. From its mouth a clear stream of water flowed directly on to a Shivalinga made out of the same black stone at a lower level. There were steps that led to a small pool in the centre of the courtyard where the water flowed and collected. The pool's centre had a 15 feet deep whirlpool.

Srinivasan A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 27 Everything remains the same today. Nobody knows where the water comes from and how it passes from the mouth of the Nandi idol on to the Shivalinga. Nobody knows how the whirlpool came into being. The source of water, the sculptor, even the time when it was built remains a mystery. "There has been no scientific explanation for the source of water till date," says resident Shivalingaiah. "Some sa y it was built by Shivaji Maharaj. Some say it's older. But of one thing we were sure, the temple has remained untouched over the years. We found it exactly as it might have been before it was covered by soil," he adds. On Shivaratri day, overwhelming crowds gather at this temple. Some perform the `Milk Puja'. Others just come to marvel at a temple no one has any explanation for. The water source has b een estimated by some to be the Sankey tank. This, because it happens to be directly in the line of, and at a higher level from the Nandeeshwara temple. But this hypothesis hasn't been proved yet. This Malleswaram temple falls under the constituency of former M.L.A Sitaram. Speaking of the controversy surrounding this temple, he says, "There was a court case initially. But since it was an ancient templ e of great heritage and religious value, it was preserved and taken over by the state government." Sitaram says improvements have been made to the structure. "Since it was so ancient, the walls had some kind of leakage and started rotting after a while. The leaks were filled up and the walls were whitewashed. But no one has really tampered with the original structure," he adds. A Malleswaram committee has been specifically created to look after the temple. Committee president C Chandrashekhar functions along with a 11-member committee. "We are slowly introducing improvements in the temple to keep it in good shape. A lot of people come even from other parts of Bangalore," he says. The committee's next step is to build a Gopuram in the temple premises. "But funds are a problem," adds Sitaram. "Every year the cost of maintaining the temple increases. I just wish the government would do something about this." Sri Dakshinamukha Nandi Tirtha Kalyaani Kshetra 7,000 year old Hindu temple in Bengaluru, Karnataka:

Srinivasan A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 28 Secrets of Lost Temples of India, Chidambaram temple Hindu Temples: After 8 years of R&D, Western scientists have proved that at Lord Nataraja's big toe is the Centre Point of World's Magnetic Equator. Our ancient Tamil Scholar Thirumoolar has proved this Five thousand years ago! His treatise Thirumandiram is a wonderful Scientific guide for the whole world. To understand his studies, it may need a 100 years for us. 1) This temple is located at the Center Point of w orld 's Magnetic Equator. 2) Of the ""Pancha bootha"" i.e. 5 temples, Chidambaram denotes the Skies. Kalahasthi denotes Wind. Kanchi Ekambareswar denotes land. All these 3 temples are located in a straight line at 79 degrees 41 minutes Longitude. This can be verified using Google. An amazing fact & astronomical miracle! 3) Chidambaram temple is based on the Human Body having 9 Entrances denoting 9 Entrances or Openi ngs of the body. 4) Temple roof is made of 21600 gold sheets which denotes the 21600 breaths taken by a human being every day (15 x 60 x 24 = 21600)

Srinivasan A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 29 Secrets of Lost Temples of India, Chidambaram temple Hindu Temples: 5) These 21600 gold sheets are fixed on the Gopuram using 72000 gold nails which denote the total no. of Nadis (Nerves) in the human body. These transfer energy to certain body parts that are invisible. 6) Thirumoolar states that man represents the shape of Shivalingam, which represents Chidambaram which represents Sadashivam which represents HIS dance! 7) ""Ponnambalam"" is placed slightly tilted to wards the left. This represents our Heart. To reach this, we need to climb 5 steps called ""Panchatshara padi"" ""Si, Va, Ya, Na, Ma"" are the 5 Panchatshara mantras. There are 4 pillars holding the Kanagasabha representing the 4 Vedas. Ponnambalam has 28 pillars denoting the 28 ""Ahamas""as well as the 28 methods to worship Lord Shiva. These 28 pillars support 64 +64 Roof Beams which denote the 64 Arts. The cross beams represent the Blood Vessels running across the Human body. 9) 9 Kalasas on the Golden Roof represent the 9 types of Sakthi or Energies. The 6 pillars at the Artha Mantapa represent the 6 types of Sashtras. The 18 pillars in the adjacant Mantapa represents 18 Puranams.

A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 30 "The Greatest sin is to think yourself weak" - Swami Vivekananda

மஹா ெபரியவா_�றிய�: நில க் கிழார ் ஒ�வர ் ெசா த் � தகரா றினா ல் மன அைமதி இழந ் � தவித ் த ேநர த் தில ் கா ஞ் சி மஹா ெபரியவைர தரிசித ் தார ் . அவ�ைடய அகே வதைன கைள உணர ் ந் த ெபரியவர ் அவரிடம ் "ேதர ் இ�த ் தி�க ் கிற ீ ர் களா?" என வின வ, இல ் ைல என் றார ் நில க் கிழார ் . ஒ� �ைற ேதர ் வடம ் இ�த ் �விட ் � பிற� உங ் கள் பணிையத ் ெதாட �ங ் கள் எல் லாம ் நன் றா க ��ய�ம ் என ஆச ீர் வதித ் தார ் மஹா ெபரியவர ் . �ன ் � மா தங் க�க ் �ப ் பிற� ப�ன ் னைகய�ட ன் ெபரியவைர சந ் தித ் த நில க் கிழார ் தீர் ப் ப� எனக் � சா தகமா க வந ் த� தர ் மம ் ேதா ற் பதில ் ைல என் ற நம ்பிக ் ைக வந ் �விட ் ட� என் றார ் . “ேதர ் இ�த ் தாேயா ....” என ெபரியவர ் வின வ ஆம ் அதன் பின ் தா ன் எல் லாம ் நன் றா க நடந ் த�. என் றார ் நில க் கிழார ் . ேதர ் என் ப� நடமா�ம ் ேகாயில ் . �தியவர ் கள் , ேநாயா ளிக ள் , மா ற் �த ் திறனா ளிக ள் , ஆலயத ் �க ் �ச ் ெச ன் � இைறவைன தரிசிக ் க ��யா தவர ் கள் ேதர ் த் தி�விழா அன ் � இைறவைன க் கண் ணார க் கண் �க ளிக ் க ��ய�ம ். ேகாயிலில ் ெதய ் வசக ் தி எப ் ேபா �ம ் ெவளிப ் பட ் �க ் ெகா ண் ��க ் கிற�. ேதர ் த் தி�விழா அன ் ேறா ெதய ் வ சக ் தி ஊர ் ��வ�ம ் ெவள ீ ப் ப�ம ் ஊ�க ் �ள ் இ�க ் �ம ் தீய சக ் திக ள் அைன த் �ம ் அப ் ேபா � பரந ் ேதா� வி�ம ். ேதர ் இ�ப ் பவர ் களில ் ேபதங ் கள் கிைடயா �. எல் லா வற ் றி�ம ் ேபதங ் கள் பார ் க் கா த மனிதர ் களாே லேய தம ் பக ் கம ் A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 31 இந ் திரா ேதர ் இ�ப ் பதினா ல் இவ ் வள வ� நன ் ைமக ளா!! கலா ச்சாரம ்:

இ�க ் க ��ய�ம ் என் பேத ேதேராட ் டம ் உணர ் த் �ம ் உண் ைம. ேதர ் தி�விழா வில ் கலந ் � ெகா ள் வதற ் �ம ், ேதர ் இ�ப ் பதற ் �ம ், ேதேராட ் ட தி�விழா வ�க ் � உதவி ெசய ் வதற ் �ம ் ெகா�த ் � ைவத ் தி�க ் கே வண ் �ம ். �ர ் வ ெஜன ் ம ப�ண் ணியம ் இ�ந ் தா ல் தா ன் நம ்மா ல் ேதர ் த் தி�விழா வில ் கலந ் � ெகா ள் ள ��ய�ம ். ேதர ் வடத ் ைதத ் ெதாட ் �க ் ெகா ண் � ஆயிர க் கணக் கா ன ேபர ் நிற ் �ம ்ேபா � அங ் ேக அபரிமிதமா ன மனித சக ் தி ெபாங ் கத ் ெதாடங ் �கிற�. அத் தைன மனிதர ் க�ம ் கட வ�ளின ் அ�ைள ேவண ் � ��யி�க ் �ம ்ே பா � அங ் ேக பிரார ் த் தைனயின ் சக ் தி மகத ் தா னதா க மா�கின ் ற�. பக ் திய�ட ன் ெதய ் வத ் ைத இ�க ் �ம ் சக ் தி தங் க�க ் � இ�ப ் பதா க மக ் கள் க��வ�ம ் பக ் தர ் களின ் பக ் திப ் ெப�க ் ைகக ் கண் � ெதய ் வம ் ஓ� வ�வ�ம ் ேதர ் த் தி�விழா வின ் மகத ் �வம ் ஆ�ம ். அந ் த இடத ் தில ் ெதய ் வத ் தின ் சாந ் நித ் யம ் அதிகரித ் �ள ் ள இடத ் தில ் இ�ப ் பதற ் ேக ஒ�வரின ் ஜா தகம ் சரியா க அைமய ேவண ் �ம ். நில க் கிழாரின ் கர ் மவிைன அவைர த் ேதர ் த் தி�விழா வில ் பங ் ெக�க ் க ��யாமல ் ெசய ் தி�ந ் த�. ஆனா ல் ஒ� மஹா ைன தரிசித ் த மா த் திர த் தில ் அவர � பாப விைன கள் நீங் கிய�ட ன் ேதர ் த் தி�விழா வி�ம ் கலந ் �ெகா ள் ளச் ெசய ் த�. அதனா ல் கட வ�ளின ் அ�ள ் பலம ் ேசர வழக ் �ம ் அவ�க ் � சா தகமா ன�. ேதர ் த் தி�விழா வில ் கலந ் � ெகா ள் வதா ல் உண் டா �ம ் நன ் ைமக ள் . 1. கட வ�ளின ் அ�ள ் பலம ் கிைடக ் �ம ். 2. ெவற ் றி உ ண் டா �ம ். A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 32 ேதர ் இ�ப ் பதினா ல் இவ ் வள வ� நன ் ைமக ளா!! கலா ச்சாரம ்: இந ் திரா

3. ேநாய ் கள் தீ�ம ். 4. பாபவிைன கள் தீ�ம ். 5. வழக ் � சம ்பந ் தமா ன பிர ச்சைன கள் அக�ம ். 6. மன க் �ழப ் பங ் கள் நீங் கி, நிம ்மதி கிைடக ் �ம ். 7. சக ல ெச ௗபா க் கியங ் க�ம ் கிைடக ் �ம ். இத ் தைன நன் ைமக ைள த் தர க் ��ய ேதர ் த் தி�விழா வில ் கலந ் � ெகா ள் வ�ம ், உற ் சவம ் நைட ெபற உதவி ெசய ் வ�ம ், ெதா ண் �க ள் ப�ரிவ�ம ் நிைறந ் த ப�ண் ணியத ் ைதத ் த�ம ். இப ் ேபா � ெதரிகிறதா ெபரிய விஐபி எல் லாம ் ஏன் ேதர ் வடம ் பி�த ் � ெதாடங ் கி ைவக ் கிறார ் கள் என் �... A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 33 ேதர ் இ�ப ் பதினா ல் இவ ் வள வ� நன ் ைமக ளா!! கலா ச்சாரம ்: இந ் திரா

Chandra The Dashnami Sampradaya is perhaps the most powerful monastic order, which has played a great part in the history of India. The cult of the Nagas, naked ascetics, has a pretero-historic ancestry. It must have been founded when Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were no more than swamps. The famous Mohen-jo-daro seal depicts Pashupati sitting naked and being worshipped by animals. The Vedas refer to the long-hair ed ascetics, Lord Shiva sitting on Mount Kailash, almost naked and besmeared with ashes, is their appropriate guardian deity. Monastic orders of such ascetics existed in India long before the dawn of history. The Greeks, when they came with Alexander, met the naked philosophers, the Gymnosophists. Buddha and Mahavir were in fact leaders of two Orders, of monks who later spread their doctrines. The Digamb ars, the Nagas of the Jain persuasion, are still found in many parts of India. Most of the Nagas go without ceremonial occasions. Some of them, however, adhere to their vows of keeping no possessions. Most of the Nagas belong to the, Dashnami Sampradaya organised by Shankaracharya the oldest, the biggest and the most effective of our monastic Orders. On initiation, the Dashnami, as the very name indic ates, is given a name combined with one of the ten words: Giri Puri, Bharati, Van, Aranya, Parvat, Sagar, Tirth, Ashram or Saraswati. The initiate has to make strict vows not to indulge in more then one meal a day; not to beg for food from more than seven houses; not to sleep anywhere but upon the ground; not to salute, not to praise, nor speak ill of anyone; not to bow to anyone but a sanyasi of a high er order; not to cover himself with a cloth, unless it were a bhagwa brownish-red colour. The cult of the Dasnami Naga Sanyasis Hinduism: A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 34

Chandra Like other Orders, it has its learned sanyasis , who enjoy spiritual leadership, its Yogis, who specialise in Yogic practises; its mahants, who look after the temples, monasteries and Akharas well and its ordinary sadhus and lay members, called Gharbari Gosais, who marry and do normal avocations in various parts of the country, but are pledged to the glory of their Order. The Dashnamis are divided int o two sections: the shastradharis, who specialise in sacred lore, and the astradharis, who specialise in arms. The sanyasis, are ranged in four ranks. Kutichak, Bahudak, Hansa and Paramahansa - the last being the highest. The fighting wing is organised into akharas, and, in the past, played a historic role. The cult of the Dasnami Naga Sanyasis Hinduism: A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 35 Image: Tasvir-e naga sepahi, Picture of a Naga sadhu. Watercolour on paper, with identifying inscriptions in Persian in nasta'liq script. A fascinating group of paintings, both in the occupations depicted, but also in the striking manner in which the works reproduce the style of the Fraser Album (circa 1815-19), and in some cases recognisable characters who appear in the Album. The group demonstrates that the tradition of painting - both in terms of style and subject-matter - which is seen so vibrantly in the Fraser and Skinner Albums continued and was not an isolated phenomenon.

Mahima In the mid-1940s, when Bhagavan began to find it difficult to walk, Arumugam and I leveled and cleared the path on which Bhagavan usually took his daily walk. The path ran through the ashram to Palakottu and then back to the ashram via the lower slopes of the hill. To make a smooth surface we put mud on the path and covered it with soft sand. We also installed a tail stone at a place where there was a break in the slope so that Bhagavan could hold on to it while he was climbing. The path needed occasional maintenance because the herds of goats that roamed around the lower slopes of the hill frequently kicked thorny twigs onto it. One day, as I was walking along this path, I noticed several new thorns. I took a branch from a nearby tree and swept the path clean. That night, when I went to the ashra m for darshan, Bhagavan asked me, 'Who cleared that path?' I told him that I had decided to clean it because I had noticed some thorns while I was out for a walk. Bhagavan then asked me rather sharply, 'Why are you reflecting on this act which you have done?' I immediately understood that Bhagavan was trying to tell me that I should not have the idea, 'I have done this service for Bhagavan'. I was n ot aware that I was dwelling on this thought but Bhagavan must have seen it in my mind. 'You can see my mind. I was not aware that I was thinking, "I have done this". I just cleared the path because I didn't want Bhagavan to tread on any thorns. Bhagavan responded by saying, 'If you do not look back at the acts that you have done, a lot of benefits will accrue to you.' Bhagavan still seemed to be s uggesting that I was consciously dwelling on the act so I told him again, 'Bhagavan knows that I was not consciously thinking, "I did this job"'. Then I quoted a verse by Tayumanuvar: '0 God, you know my mind, you know my actions. If in spite of this, you chase me away from you, I shall have many troubles.' Bhagavan smiled at my quote and didn't pursue the matter any further. A TO Z INDIA JULY 2022 PAGE 36 Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi Palakottu, Annamalai Swami remembered:


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