Third in a series Faith

Songs of Sambandar

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This volume is a fund of information on the Saivite Saint as revealed by Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati to the author

It was three years ago that Thevara Dr. Subramaniam released the second volume of the extensive inputs that Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati, 68th pontiff of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Pitam, gave on Tirumurai. With his encyclopaedic knowledge, the sage could speak at length on any subject and Tirumurai was his favourite. Dr. Subramaniam, Tiruveezhimizhalai-based medical practitioner, spent several months literally at his guru’s feet drinking in his enlightening impressions on the devotional outpourings of Appar, Sambandar, Sundarar and Manickavachagar. “It is Guru’s grace that the book has seen the light of day, ahead of his 25th Aradhana on December 23,” says Dr. Subramaniam, who was given the sobriquet ‘Thevara’ by Mahaswami.

Dr. Subramaniam’s plan to release the third volume of Ponnar Meniyanudan Ponnana Naatkal, received a setback because of an accident that he met with. “It was Periyava’s grace which saved me,” says the doctor. “The car I was driving collided head on with another vehicle and my car did several somersaults before coming to a halt on its side. The onlookers did not expect me to be alive when they pulled me out of a completely smashed car. I escaped with broken bones and had to put on hold the book and several other activities. I finished the book, which mainly is on the songs of Tirugnanasambandar,” he explains. “Periyava always said that Sambandar was an incarnation of Subramanya. The baby was fed with the milk of Parvati and started composing songs from the age of three,” he adds.

The third volume, which was recently released in Chennai by Sri Omkarananda contains the pathigams (verses) and the sthalams (places) about which they were composed. Periyava narrates the life of Sambandar and how he is special. The sage’s inputs on the songs, the circumstances and their power make for gripping reading. Sambandar’s ‘Veyuru Tholibangan...’ was composed as an answer to Appar’s concern about the inauspiciousness of the time as the young saint sets out to meet the Pandya Queen. Both were at Vedaranyam. “What harm can the planets (Navagraha) cause a human being, in whose heart resides Siva with His consort Mother Uma? They will only do them good,” he consoles Appar and concludes each verse ‘...nalla nalla; avai nalla nalla... adiyaravarku migavae.’ Sambandar ends the song as ‘This is my order.’ A nugget of information is that ‘Kolaru Pathigam’ was sung when power was transferred from the British to India.

A special feature of the book is the Shodasa Namavali, which Periyava composed on Gnanasambandar. “Periyava wanted the verse to be recited at home daily. The book, therefore, comes with the Namavali and a picture of Sthothrapoornambika sameda Tirugnanasambandar,” informs Dr. Subramaniam, who can be reached at 9443908612.

Aradhana on Monday

The 25th Aradhana of Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati falls on Monday, December 23. The Madras Sanskrit College, the Samskrita Academy, The Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute, Savitri Ammal Oriental Higher Secondary School and Ramaratnam Nursery and Primary School are jointly hosting an event, 6 p.m. onwards, at the College premises (Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Hall). Mullaivasal R. Krishnamurthi Sastri will deliver a speech on the occasion followed by the concert of Sumitra.

Sri Matam Camp

Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswati, 70th head of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Pitam, is observing Dhanur Masya Vratam at Venus Colony, Alwarpet. The pujas are performed at 4 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. The Sankaracharya, who is on a Vijaya Yatra since April, returned to Chennai last month and moved to Alwarpet, where he is expected to stay till Sankaranti, mid-January.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 10:29:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/books-on-sambandars-songs/article30347432.ece

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