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ninRaan, irundhaan, kidandhaan, nadandhaan

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (MFPD_at_UTCVM.UTC.EDU)
Date: Fri Aug 25 1995 - 19:33:25 PDT

The presence of the reigning CM of Tamilnadu is hard to
ignore in TN these days.  Jumbo size "cut-outs" and
ridiculous titles like "sOdhanaigaL pala venRu perum
saathanaigaL padaiththidum dhiraavidath thaay,"
"ulagath thamizhargaLin iNaiyillaath thalaivi," etc. are
downright hilarious.  For all her antics, charges of
corruption, and the high handedness of her "udanpiRavaa
sagOdhari" Sasikala, the unchallenged leader of ADMK,
the party owing direct allegiance to such great
"rationalist" leaders as C.N.Annadurai and
E.V.Ramasamy Naiker, J. Jayalalitha is the best thing
that has happened to temples in Tamilnadu in a long
while.  Many of the temples I visited are undergoing
major repairs and reconstruction.  One such temple is
Thirun^eermalai near Pallaavaram in Madras.

My brother-in-law was kind enough to take me along
one morning at about 8:00 a.m. on his way to work from
Shenoynagar to his factory about 8 KM off the highway
near Guduvancheri in Chengalpet district.  Shenoynagar
to Pallavaram must be no more than 15 KM, but it took
almost an hour of adventurous driving to get to
Pallavaram.  To drive in Madras you must have the car
horn and headlight in good working condition.  It is your
responsibility to announce your transit through a busy
section by honking continuously.  Otherwise, you may
be accused of not knowing even the basics of good
driving if, God forbid, an accident occurs. You need the
headlight to warn the oncoming traffic that you are about
to pass the vehicle in front of you and that they have to
break and get out of the way.  Regardless of who is able
to safely pass, it is the person who hits the headlight first
that gets the right of way.  Your driving expertise is a
function of how fast you can switch your headlight on.
Another accessory that you need while driving around in
Madras is a face mask to protect yourself from the
noxious fumes coming out the millions of lorries driven
by carefree maniacs.  Fortunately for me, the day I went
to Thirun^eermalai, the driver was bearing the brunt of
the driving adventure and the air-conditioning in the car
protected us from the lorry fumes.

Less than 4 KM from the bustle of Mount Road near
Pallaavaram is the serene hillock that once was
surrounded by water due to continuous rain.
Thirumangai aazhvaar had to wait in a nearby village for
6 months before he was able to get to the temple.  Thus
the hill got its name "neermalai" and the town where the
aazhvaar waited for the water to recede, "Thirumangai
aazhvaar puram."

This is a unique temple where the Lord presents Himself
in four forms, ninRaan (standing), irundhaan (sitting),
kidandhaan (resting), and nadandhaan (walking).  The
Lord is in ninRa thirukkOlam at the foot of the hill.  At
the top of the hill of about 150 steps are the other three
thirukkOlams.  Let me present you with one of
Thirumangai aazhvaar's paasurams that celebrates these
four postures found in thirun^eermalai.

anRaayarku lakkodi yOdaNimaa
 malarmangaiyo danbaLa vi,avuNark
kenRaanu mirakkami laadhavanukku
 uRaiyumida maavadhu,irumpozhilsoozh
nanRaayapu naln^aRai yoorthiruvaa
 likudandhai thadandhigazh kOvaln^agar,
ninRaanirun^ dhaan_kidan^ dhaann^adandhaaR
 kidammaamalai yaavadhu neermalaiyE.

                             --  periya thirumozhi   2.4.1

anRu                       :  During Krishnavadhaaram
aayar kulakkodi yOdu       :  Nappinnai and
aNimaa malar mangaiyodu    :  periya piraatti
anbaLavi                   :  were united in love with Him;
avuNarku                   :  but, for the demons
enRaanum irakkamilaadha    :  He always shows no pity.

avanukku uRaiyumidam       :   Suitable abodes for Him are,

nanRaayapunal n^aRaiyoor   :  Thiru naraiyoor, Thiruvaali,
thiruvaali kudandhai                 Thirukkudandhai, and
thadanthigazh kOval n^agar :  Thirukkovaloor

ninRaan                    :  in standing posture at Thirunaraiyoo
irun^ dhaan                :  in sitting posture at Thiruvaali,
kidandhaan                 :  in resting posture at Thirukkudandhai,
nadandhaaR                 :  in walking posture at Thirukkovaloor;

One sees all the four postures at the:
idam maamalai yaavadhu     : famed hill called
neermalaiyE.               : Thiru neer malai.

Both the temples at the bottom and the top of the hill
are undergoing reconstruction with samprOkashaNam
scheduled for later this year.  Therefore, we were able
to see only the uthsava moorthis and paintings of the

The top of the hill offers an excellent view of the
surrounding fields and the Mount road at a distance.  It is
from this hill that one realizes that the madness of city
life and the misadventures of city commuting are
confined to a small band along the highway.  The
serenity of a small village temple is just a few kilometers

My brother-in-law dropped me off at Chrompet station
and I took the electric train back.  I was back home by
10:30 a.m.

-- Dileepan