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report on Sri Muth function

From: Ramesh Sarangapani (
Date: Sun Sep 27 1998 - 15:40:40 PDT

Dear Friends -

Today is the tirunakshatram of Adivan Satagopa
Yatindra Mahadesikan, the first Yati who estabilished
Sri Ahobila Mutt by the command of Singavelkunram
Empiran (Sri Lakshmi Narasimhan of Ahobilam). On
this auspicious day I would like to share with you
a report on the recently concluded 600th anniversary
celebration of Sri Muth in NJ/NY. This report was
written by Smt. Vimala Rajaji.

On the occation of the 600th anniversary Sri Ahobila
Muth Inc. has brought out a souvenir. If any one of
you is interested in a free copy, please let me know.

adiyEn, Azhagiya Singar dAsan
Ramesh Sarangapani

Srimathe Srilakshminrusimha Parabrahmane Namaha
Srimathe Vakulabhushana Mahagurave Namaha
Srimathe Ramanujaya Namha
Srimathe Nigamantha Gurave Namaha
Srimath Adivan Satakopa Yatheendra Maha Desikaya Namaha
Srimathe Sri LakshmiNrusimha Divya Paduka Sevaka Srivann 
Satakopa Sri Narayana Yatheendra Maha Desikaya Namaha

Celebration of the 600th Anniversary of Sri Ahobila Mutt in USA

With the Grace of Perumal, Piratti and Acharya the 600th 
anniversary of the founding of Sri Ahobila Mutt was celebrated
in grand style organized by Sri Ahobila Muth, Inc. on 
September 5th, 6th and 7th. The program took place in the 
Long Hill Township in New Jersey the first two days and then 
at the Sri Ranganatha Temple in West Nyaack, NY on the last 
day. Many devotees from many parts of the country came and 
took part in the celebrations. Srimukhams from His Holiness
Srimad Aazhagiyasingar, His Holiness Poundarikapuram Srimad 
Andavan Swami, His Holiness Vanamamalai Jeer Swami, Sri 
Seva Swami, Sri Purusai Nadadur Krishnamachariar and 
Sri Anantha Narasimhachariar were received wishing the 
function a success. Sri AR and Sri K. G. Krishnan of Madras 
were very helpful in obtianing these Srimukams on time and
sending them here.

On the morning of September 5th Sri Venkat Kanumalla along 
with other devotees brought the Utsava Vigrahas of Sri 
Ranganatha, Thaayaar. Ubhayanaachimaar. Andaal, and Venugopalan
into the hall to the chanting of the Vedas. In the entrance 
to the hall a Dwajasthambham was erected. On the walls were 
photos of Perumal, Thayar and Acharyas. Sri Nadadur Mathavan
had prepared a colored chart of Sri Vaishnava Guruparamparai
and also a brief life history of all the 45 Azhagiyasingars.
These charts were posted on one wall of the hall. Srimathi 
Padmaja had prepared a fantastic collection of color pictures
pasted on poster boards depicting the life of Lord Krishna, 
story of Andal, the Dasavatharam and other religious pictures.
These lined both sides of the hall giving the hall the look 
of a real temple. The Thirumanjanam to Perumal and Piratti 
started with chanting of the Acharya Thanians and then the 
Vedas and Prabhandams. Many devotees took part in the chanting
in a Goshti. It was mesmerizing to watch the Thirumanjanam 
and hearing the chanting, transporting one back to the holy 
halls of the temples in South India. The morning program 
concluded with Thiruvaradhanai, Archanai and Sarrumurai.

The afternoon program started with Sri Rajaji welcoming all 
the devotees and giving a brief history of the founding of 
the Sri Ahobila Mutt. He also discussed briefly about the
celebrations that was going to take place during October
21-25 at Ahobilam in India under the leadership of His 
Holiness the Jeer of Ahobila Mutt and listed all the projects
that are going to be undertaken to celebrate the 600th 
anniversary including the construction of many facilities 
for the visiting devotees to Ahobilam and the start of a 
school to train learned Sri Vaishnava scholars and priests.

This was followed by a talk on Sri Vaishnava Guruparamparai
by Sri Nadadur Mathavan. He discussed the importance of an 
Acharya in our tradition and made the point that one can 
attain Moksha only through the blessings of an Acharya. He 
then went on to trace the Acharya lineage all the way from 
Sriman Narayana to Ramanuja to the many different branches 
of the Sri Vaishnava school including all the different 
Mutts. This was followed by a speech from Sri Srinivas 
Tanikalla who discussed the life history of the founder 
of Sri Ahobila Mutt, Sri Aadivan Satakopa Yaatheendra 
Maha Desikan. He touched on the important accomplishments
of the first Jeer, one of which included the retrieving of the 
idol of Nammazhvar from the bottom of the lake and installing
it at the original temple in Alwartirunagari. Following this,
Sri Kannan Iyengar
discussed the life histories and the important accomplishments
of all the Jeers starting from the 2nd and ending with the 
42nd Azhagiyasingar.

The next speaker was Sri Venkat Kanumalla, who gave the life 
history of Srimad Mukkur Azhagiyasingar, the 44th Jeer of 
Sri Ahobila Mutt. He gave an outstanding description of the 
personality and character of His Holiness. He brought tears 
to the eyes of everyone present with his recounting of many 
anecdotes that showed the greatness of His Holiness and his
commitment to finish all the projects that he had started. 

Following this, Sri Anbil Ramaswamy took the floor to talk 
of the current Azhagiyasingar, the 45th Jeer of Sri 
Ahobila Mutt. He said, the Jeer was the model Acharya 
as prescribed by Sri Vedanta Desikar in Nyaasa Vimsathi.
Vimsathi. He said, "The Jeer treats his shishyas with the same 
love that a mother shows to her child. He has a memory 
similar to that of a computer and he never forgets any 
of his shishyas. Even though he is very learned and 
knowledgeable he has the unique ability to explain 
things in a simple and extertaining fashion so that even
the least knowledgeable person can understand him." In fact
Sri Mukkur Azhagiyasingar (44th Jeer) said that his greatest
achievement was not the construction of the Raja Gopuram at
Srirangam but the appointment of the 45th Jeer to his position.
This shows the greatness of our current Azhagiyasingar.

This was followed by a talk on Nrusimha Vaibhavam by Sri 
Ramarajan. He made the point that not only does the Nrusimha 
idol worshipped at the Mutt have the power of God but also 
the Acharyas who perform the daily Aradhanai to Nrusimha. 
That is why they are called Azhagiyasingars. He also 
explained very nicely that one can reach the feet of Perumal
only through the grace of Piratti by quoting the beautiful 
verse starting with 'Akalakillen".

After a break for performing the evening anushtanams, 
the program continued with group recital of Sri Vishnu 
Sahasranamam, Sri Sthuthi, Dashavathara Sthothram, 
Kamasikashtakam, Nyasadashakam, Srisukthies of Mukkur
Azhagiya singer and Desika Mangalam led by Sri Vijayaraghavan. 
The reciting of Vishnu Ganam by Sri Murali Rangaswamy was 
a fitting finish for the first day's celebration.

The next day Sri Venkat Kanumalla and other devotees 
brought the Utsava vigrahas of Lord Srinivasa along 
with Ubhayanaachimaar, Sri Ramanuja and Sri Vedanta 
Desikar from Sri Ranganatha Temple The hall was decorated 
with flowers and other decorations fitting the occasion 
of Srinivasa Kalyanam. A mantapam had been erected on the 
stage to make it look like a kalyana mantapam by Smt. Malini
Chandrashekar. With the 
reciting of Acharya Thanians Sri Venkat Kanumalla and the 
Sri Pabhanabha Bhattar started the Srinivasa Kalyanam function. 
Many families had sponsored the function and they were 
all called one by one to the front to do sankalpam. As 
the kalyanam was taking place on the stage, a group of 
devotees recited many pasurams from the Divya Prabhandam. 
Many ladies sang wedding songs for Perumal and Piratti 
and took arathi. The kalyana utsavam concluded with 
sarrumurai and honoring of the sponsors.

A special mention here has to be made of the selfless 
service of Srinivas Thanikalla and his family, especially 
his mother, who prepared all the prasadams for the Lord 
on all the days. They were helped in the kitchen by 
Srimathi Malathy Dileepan, Srimathi Madhuri Sagar and 
other ladies. Srimathi Thanikalla had prepared 600 laddus 
in honor of the 600th anniversary of Sri Ahobila Mutt. 
Srimathi Bhuma had prepared paniyaram and thirattipal. 

After lunch, Sri Dileepan gave a slide presentation of 
the 108 Divyadesams, including color pictures of the 
temples and utsava vigrahas. He showed slides of the 
Nava Narasimhars at Ahobilam, Kanakavalli and Veeraraghavan
at Thiruvallur, and the temples at Thiruvali, Thirunagari,
Thirunangkur, Therazhundur, Thiruvinnagar, Anbil, 
Thirumalirunjcholai, Azhvar Thirunagari, Tholaivilli 
Mangalam, Thirikkurungkuti, Thirupullani and other 
Divyadesams. All the devotees in their mind felt as if 
they were traveling and visiting the real temples themselves. 

Following this Sri Satakopan talked of Sri LakshmiNrusimha 
Vaibhavam in an emotional and touching manner. He called 
on Sri Sampath Rengarajan to recite Nammazhvar's Ennappan 
Enakkayikulai pasuram and then Sri Murali Rangaswamy to 
recite Sri Nrusimha Gadyam and Sri Mandrarajapatha 
sthothram. This was followed by a recital by Sri Mani 
Vardarajan, Sri Varadan, Sri Anand and Sri Sampath 
Rengarajan of pasurams of Thirumangai Azhvar on Sri 
Nrusimha. After this Sri Satakopan explained very nicely 
with many examples why there is no greater God than Sri 
Lakshmi Nrusimhar, no greater Acharya than Srimad 
Azhagiyasingar and nothing more important than prapatti.
He then called on Sri Mani Varadarajan to sing a 
mangalam song. This concluded the afternoon's activities.

That evening's program began with Sri Madurai Sundar's 
concert starting with Navaragamalika Varnam. He sang many 
songs on Sri Nrusimhar, Guruvayurappan, Ranganathar and 
Mahalakshmi and Thirumangai Azhvar's pasurams. This was 
a very fitting conclusion of Perumal and Thayar's 
kalyanam. Sri Rajaji concluded the day's function with a 
vote of thanks.

The third day's function was held at the Sri Ranganatha 
Temple in West Nyaack. The day's function started with 
Perumal Aradhanai in the morning performed by Sri Venkat 
Kanumalla and the temple Bhattar. Later Sri Sampath Rengarajan
talked of the life history of the 43rd Jeer. This was followed
by a talk by Sri Ramarajan from Kamba Ramayanam on the 
destruction of Hiranya by Lord Lakshmi Nrusimhar. Then Sri 
Anbil Ramaswamy answered questions from the audience. Sri 
Venkat Kanumalla concluded the function with a vote of thanks.

Special thanks are owed to the following people for
their support: Sri Keshav Prasad (for video support),
Srimans Murali Kidambi, S. Raghavan, Srinivas Thanikalla
Krishna Kanumalla and Sri Sai for the local support.
The Board Members of Sri Ahobila Mutt, Inc. would like
to thank all the speaker and participants who made
the celebration a grand success.

We pray to Sri Lakshmi Narasimhan and Srimad Azhagiya
Singer to bless us all in our endeavor to serve the
divya dampathies and His devotees.

Azhgiya Singer dasi
Smt. Vimala Rajaji