The annual series of discourses focussed on three of Ramanuja’s disciples.Suganthy Krishnamachari
The trees in the Triplicane Peyazhwar temple garden sway to the evening sea breeze, which is comforting after a humid day.
Ancient pillars dot the temple garden. The ‘kanakambaram’ bush (Crossandra infundibuliformis) bears a profusion of bright yellow flowers, which are conspicuous as the Sun fades away.
The ambience is perfect for contemplation, and one is coaxed into a mood of mellowness and receptivity to the discourse that is to follow.
The Peyazhwar temple was renovated and opened up for worship recently. But this is the first time since its opening, that discourses have been held in the temple.
Udayavar Kainkarya Sabha has been organising discourses every year during the Udayavar utsavam in Triplicane, and this year the Peyazhwar sannidhi was the venue.
This writer attended two of the discourses.
Spotlight on bhakti
“In the past, discourses were on Ramanujacharya’s preceptors, and later on his prominent disciples. As part of the continuing annual series, this year the focus is on three of Ramanuja’s disciples - Vaduga Nambi, Anantazhvan and Kidambi Achan,” said C. Rangarajan, President of the Kainkarya Sabha.
Rajahamsam, who spoke on the first day, elaborated on Vaduga Nambi’s Acharya bhakti, which prompted Ramanuja to compare him to Madura Kavi Azhwar, whose bhakti for Nammazhwar was legendary. To Nambi, even the Astakshara mantra was less significant than the name of his Acharya Ramanuja.
Dr. M.A. Venkatakrishnan’s discourse was packed with information and his simple style of presentation made even the difficult appear easy. He made a point by point comparison of Anantazhvan with Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrugna. He said that he chose to speak on Anantazhvan, because this year happened to be Anantazhvan’s 960th birth anniversary. The discourse was so absorbing, that after a while, one put down one’s pen, so as to be able to take in as much as possible of what was being said.
The Udayavar Kainkarya Sabha had chosen an ideal venue for the discourses. One hopes that this is only the beginning, and that more discourses are organised at the Peyazhvar sannidhi.