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Musings on this Thai SravaNam day : 2 Sakkari Pongal Items

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Mon Jan 18 1999 - 06:12:18 PST

>From: "T.V.Venkatesh" <>
>Subject: Sakkarai Pongal and Triplicane
>Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 10:12:08 +5:00

Today is the sacred day of Thai SravaNam ,
which is celebrated at ThiruviNNagar and 
Thirumalai .Today is also the birth day of 
a dear Bhagavathar of this list , who has adhyantha Bhakthi 
for Sri BhUmi Devi samEtha ThiruviNNagarappan .
We are celebrating ANDAL , who is Bhumi Devi's avathAram
( SaakshAth KshamA ) in kali Yugam . 
On behalf of all of us , I wish this dear BhakthA 
all mangaLams and greater and greater growth 
in Kaimkarya Sri in the coming year and thereafter.

I will now share the other thoughts of the day 
arising from our discussions on the sweet 
sunject of Sakkarai Pongal and Marghazhi Maasam .   

> SrimathE NArAyaNAya namahA

 ( Sri Venaktesh's input )

>With regards to Sri Mani's question on Sakkarai Pongal and 
>Triplicane, my two cents worth are as follows :-
>Regarding the Sakkarai Pongal on "KoodArai vellum" day, as pointed 
>out by Mani, "Paal sORu" is actually not Sakkarai Pongal. It is 
>called "ksheerAnnam" ( "ksheeram"-milk, "annam"- rice). Actually 
>still in Triplicane, on "KoodArai vellum" day, ksheerannam is made. 
>However, it is a costly affair. So only if any sponsorer is there, 
>then, "ksheeraannam" is made, otherwise, the less costly, Sakkarai 
>Pongal. My understanding may also be wrong. But the information that 
>I have given here is what I heard from our locals.

Two points related to Sri Venaktesh's observations :

1. KshIrAnnam is the special daily naivEdhyam for 
Thiruvanathapuram Sri Anantha PadnmanAbhan .
Sri Mutthuswamy Dikshithar refers to the local
custom of offering PayasAnnam to the Lord there by
the former MaharAjAs of Travancore , who ruled the land 
as representatives of Lord Anantha PadmanAbhan .
In his charanam , Dikshithar refers to PaayasAnna 
NaivEdhyam to Sri Anantha PadmanAbhan this way :

pAyasAnna priyakara ParasurAma KshEthra PrabhAkara 
Parama Bhaktha prahlAdhithi vinutha----
--DaamOdhara DayAkara Varadha kara 

This is the divya Desam , where AlavandhAr 
lost track of time admiring the beauty of 
the Lord there and did not return in time to the side of 
his grandfather's sishyar Si Kurahaikkavalappan
to be iniitated into Yoga Rahasyam . This rahasyam was 
taught by NammAzhwAr himself to AchArya Naatha Muni 
and latter in turn entrusted that yogic secret
to one of his prime disciples , Thirukkuruhaikkavalappan . .
AlavandhArlft abruptly  to Thiruvananthapuram, after 
hearing  an upanyAsam on NammAzhwAr's Thiruvantha Paasurams
( Thiruvaimozhi 10.2 decad )and was planning to return in time
before the following Thai month pushya nakshathram , 
Abhijin MuhUrtham ,a time selectd by Thirukkuruhaikkavalappan
to ascend to parama padham .On that Thai pushyam day ,
Alwandhaar was still at Thiruvananthapuram 
enjoying the beauty of the Lord that he failed 
to return home and the Yoga rahasyam disappeared 
from anushtAnam .AlavandhAr went on to become
one of the greatest AchAryA and sampradhAya pravarthakar
with the anugraham of the KarumANIkkap perumAL
( Sri VaradarAjan of Kanchi) ,who lent Sri RaamAnujA
to Sri RanganathA to grow the Sri sampradhAyam 
further along the lines established by 
Natha Muni and ALavandhAr . AchArya RaamAnujA is
that PayasAnnam for us .    

I will come back to the Yogic steps in another posting 
that lead to the enjoyment of Sriamn NaarAyaNan in one's 
sahasrAra Kamalm ( Bhagavath SaakshAthkAram ) , which are 
incorporated in the special steps ( Risbha gathi, Sarpa gathi ,
VyAgra gathi et al and the loosening of the Rudra
granthi , etc at the different chakrAs of the body )
as witnessed at Srirangam during the MokshOthsavam/
Sri Vaikunta EkAdasi celebrations .These steps seen
even today at Srirangm are references to the Yogic 
sadhAnA steps and the phalam .

(2) PayasAnnam at Thirumalai for Sri VenkatEsan :
At Thriuppathi , PayasAnnam is known as KalkaNDu 
(sakkarai )Pongal. Rice here is cooked in JeerA 
or KshIram along with abundant ghee ( mUDa ney
pozhinthu muzhankai vazhi vAra --) , Cashew ,
raisin , saffron  et al . It is not offered every day . 
When BhakthAs have a special request for SapthagirIsan 
and coordinate it with His MatapaLLi KaimkaryaparALs 
to offer this Thiruvamudhu , He welcomes it and enjoys it.

After attending SaatthumuRai at His sannidhi in
one morning with my respected father , we had the 
good fortune of presenting this naivEdhyam to
Thriumalaiappan . This prasAdham was the blessed 
one and the tastiest prasAdham that came our way 
as parama Bhaagyam .This memory has reinforced my
desire to have KalkaNdu Sakkarai Pongal to Yengal 
PerumAL at ThiruviNNagar on Panguni SravaNam day 
and Iyppasi SravaNam days , which are very important
days related to ThriuviNNagarappan's ThriukkalyANam
with Sri BhUmi Devi at TuLasi vanam described movingly 
by our Sri Sampath Rengaraajan in the sthala purANam
section of the home pages for Sri Oppiliappan .

Sri BhUmi Devi SamEtha Sri OppilAappan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam .