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SRIRANGA's Sri-vatsa-Lakshmi.

From: Tirumanjanam Sundara Rajan (surangam_at_tr.dot.net.in)
Date: Thu Mar 08 2001 - 08:04:26 PST

This is a DISTRESS MESSAGE addressed to the devotees of Periya Perumal,
Lord Sriranganatha, Srirangam.

Sent ***herewith in attachment*** is my detailed write-up on the
campaign going on in Srirangam for the last fifteen days, for the
forthwith restoration of the ICONIC image of Sri-vatsa-Lakshmi on the
Sacred Image of Periya Perumal, well in time for the
'mahA-samprOkshaNam' scheduled for March 15.

Following are the extracts of the 'attachment'

It will strengthen the sacred cause if the devotees could send urgent 
telegrams to Dr M. Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of Tamil
Nadu,Chennai-600009 (India), 
for "immediate restoration of the iconic image
of Sri-vatsa-Lakshmi on the chest of Srirangam Periya Perumal".

SRI RANGANATHO JAYATU 
SRIRANGA-SRI-scha VARDHATAAM !

*** aDiyEn rAmAnuja-dAsan
T.S. Sundara Rajan 
@ SRIRANGAM.

===================================================

The Srirangam  Great Temple ('periya-kOyil') is receiving a massive (and
rather distressingly rapid) 'renovation', and the consecration
(mahaa-samprokshanam)  is scheduled for March 15 2001.

Of all the knowingly and unknowingly committed lapses noticed in the
ongoing restoration in the Great Temple, 
the most sacrilegious and emotionally hurtful action is the move to mark
the chest of the sacred person of 'moola-moorti' of Lord Sriranga (known
as Periya Perumal) 
with the tantric triangle symbol after reportedly scraping off the
embossed image of Sri-vatsa-Lakshmi (also referred to as
Yoga-Lakshmi).   The
worshipping public of Srirangam and its immediate neighbourhood feel, 
as would the innumerable devotees all over India and the world would
feel,
that the Sacred Image of Lord Sriranga (manifest as  Ananta-Saayee
Vishnu) is getting vandalised.

The HR&CE Commissioner, Thiru. S. Savarkar, IAS, received a group led by
Thiru.A. Krishnamachari, Secretary of the Srirangam Temple Heritage
Protection Committee, on the evening of March 5 2001 in the Office of
the Temple Devasthanam, 
for considering the issue of restoring the
venerated image of Sri-vatsa-Lakshmi on the chest of the majestic and
Sacred Image of the reclining Lord Sriranga. Others present were,
Chairman of Renovation Committee Thiru Venkataraman, Thiru Ganapati
Sthapati, Singaperumal Uttamanambi Svami, Lakshmi-narasimha Paraasara
Bhattar Svami, Koyil Kandaadai Annan Srinivasacharya's son Singan Svami,
and Sri T.S. Sundara Rajan.   Midcourse of the meeting, the senior
serving archaka, Sri Srinivasarangan, was called over for consultation.

A comprehensive compilation of classical references to the Sacred Image
of Periya Perumal (the reclining Lord Sriranga) and specific description
of the iconic Sri-vatsa-Lakshmi on the Lord's chest was submitted to the
Commissioner.   

Every one of these references was explained in context
by the visiting Group, but all of it was unfortunately rejected by the
Chairman who was constantly being briefed to the contrary by Thiru
Ganapati Sthapati 
whose extent of knowledge of the national literary, cultural and
religious history, as well as virulent sectarian bias, were betrayed in
his remark (during the meeting) that Srivaishnava religion was
established as late as  the Eighth century A.D.!

There have been some identifiable improvements and gains for this
ancient and massive temple complex, which is one of six or seven such in
the world.    

The debit side includes the irrepairable damages caused (by mindless
sandblasting) to precious historic lithic inscriptions, as well as the
gallery of lofty pillar-sculptures of Azhvar mystics in the
Gadya-Trayam (or, Panguni Uttaram) manDapam in the Sriranga Devi
shrine.   

Elsewhere, in an administration more sensitive to religious values,
history and art-treasures, this instance would be  identified as
philistine and  outrageous  vandalism.

FLASH NEWS

1.  It is reported that the HRE Commissioner will visit Srirangam by 9
a.m. on Friday March 9 2001 to settle this issue.
2.  The application of 'taila-k-kaappu' (distillation of special oil
extracts) on the re-dressed Sacred Image of Periya Perumal Lord Sri
Ranganatha is scheduled for March 10.
3.  On oral instructions of the Commissioner, the evidence of two senior
archaka-svamis, Sri Srinivasa Bhattar and Sri Gopu Bhattar, was taped on
March 7, and they categorically declared that Sri-vatsa-Lakshmi was very
much manifest on Periya Perumal's chest after the maha-samprokshanam of
July 12 1959.
4.  This positive evidence of the two venerated archakas is further
corroborated by the same degree of positive evidence given to the
Dinamani newspaper correspondence on March 7 (not yet published) by Sri
Tiruvenkatam of Tanjavur (now a practising homeopath) who had been a
helper for Sri Rajan Sthapati who effected the dressings for the Sacred
Image of Periya Perumal following the Sanctum fire in 1959.   Sri
Tiruvenkatam had watched as the Sthapati restored the ICONIC IMAGE of
Sri-vatsa-Lakshmi, with thumb-thick embossing and  three inches across
in size.

Relief sought

In conformity with the photographic and other Shastra evidences, and
evidences available on the other images of the Temple,  the iconic image
of Sri-vatsa-Lakshmi should forthwith be restored on the chest of the
Sacred Image of Lord Sri Ranga (Periya Perumal), WELL BEFORE the
samprokshanam scheduled for 15 March 2001.

The vast numbers of the Vaishnava world look to the Honourable Chief
Minister of Tamil Nadu, Dr M. Karunanidhi,  for IMMEDIATE and positive
intervention in this matter.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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