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From: L&T-ECCG-Buildings & Factories (
Date: Wed Oct 13 1999 - 23:04:02 PDT

Dear Sri Vaishnava perunthagaiyeer

Sri Mani has rightly said, it is only pradhakshiNam and not pradhakshaNam.
The meaning of this word pradhakshiNam is "from left to right in the
southern direction". This word in samskrutham is a single word and not a
compound (meaning addition of two words) and is also indeclinable. There is
another word pradhakshiNakriyaa- meaning "turning the right side towards one
as a mark of respect". This is what we are doing in the temple, the
pradhakshiNakriyaa, the act of turning the right side towards the lord in

As such in the temple, if you want to do walking around the moolavar in
respect or do the pradhakshiNam, it automatically means you are turning your
right side towards the lord and in that posture you have to do your walking

Just for argument sake, if we accept pradhakshaNa, then the word is to be
split as pra + dhakshaNa or pradha + kshaNa. There is no word dhakshana
available in dictionary. If you consider pradha, this pradha is to be used
at the end of compounds and it gives a meaning "giving" [eg- abhaya pradha-
one who gives protection]. 

KshaNa if used as verb then it means "to hurt or break". If used as noun
then it means "an instant" "kshaNap pozhuthu".[ of course more meanings are
also available but not relevant to the present context]

So without any doubt it is pradhakshiNam only.

To add one more point in the customs to be followed related to the
worshipping inside the sanctum, while we come out, we must come out with the
anjali hastham (kai thozhuthu or kai kooppi) without showing our back to the
Lord. [To what extent we follow this we can ourselves think]. 

The present HH Sri Azhagiyasinger [45th pattam] in his Sri vaishnava
sadhaachaara nirNaya book pg 543 quotes "Sri Swami dEsikan in his
paancharaathra rakshai III chapter referring maharshi chaaNdilyar saying
"chakravadh BhraamayEnnaangam prushta Bhaagam na dharsayEth / paschaadh
bhaagEna nigachchan dhEvadhaa sannidhou sudhee://

So as a mark of respect, we should not show our back to the lord while
coming out. This has to be followed after we complete our aaraadhanam in the
house also.

Daasan vasudevan M.G.