Saturday, November 13, 2010

Arunaacala Kavi

Arunaacala Kavi (1712-1779 ?) was born in Tillaiyaadi in erstwhile Thanjavur district to shaivite parents Nallatambi Pillai and ValliammAL. He was sent to Dharmapuram Adheenam to study Thamizh and Sanskrit. While the head of the Adheenam encouraged AK to take up asceticism, AK would have none of it. He really wanted to experience family life. He married, set up a jeweller’s shop and in his spare time wrote literary works in Thamizh. He settled in the town SIrkAzhi.

It appears two musicians (Venkatarama Iyer and Kodandarama Iyer) wanted AK to give them an exposition of KambarAmAyaNam. That is the time AK composed the opera, Ramanatakam, which was then set to music by the two musicians. The debut of the opera was in Srirangam after some persuasion by AK who sang 'En paLLI koNDIrayyA', after which it seems Lord Ranganathar appeared in the dreams of the temple priest and AK, sanctioning the debut of the opera in Srirangam temple.

The enactment of Ramanatakam boosted the popularity of AK bringing royal patronage with it and the support of wealthy nobles, which brought pecuniary benefits. The opera includes verses sung in about 40 rAgams. Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar sang some of the songs from the opera in his concerts thereby adding clout for inclusion of AK's songs in mainstream concert music.

While Ramanatakam was the crown jewel of AK'’s literary works, he also wrote SIrkAzhi stala purANam, SIrkAzhik kOvai, anumAr piLLait thamizh, and ajamukhi nAtakam, in addition to other songs.

ArunAcala Kavi, Muttut tANDavar and MArimuttA piLLai together are hailed as the Thamizh Trinity for their immortal contributions to Thamizh music, along the lines of Carnatic music trinity (Syama Sastry, Tyagaraja, and Muttuswami Dikshitar).

Some of Arunaacala Kavi’s compositions that are very popular in textual form and music concerts are: En paLLi koNDIrayyA, and rAmanaik kaNNArak kaNDAnE (mOhanam), ramanukku mannan muDi (handloom), annai jAnaki vandALE (sankarAbharaNam), enakkun iru padam ninaikka* (rAgamAlikA), srirAmacandranukku (madyamAvati), kaNDEn kaNDEn (bAgEshri or vasantA) and caraNam caraNam enRAnE (saurAshtram).

Stamps India-Kumaraguruparar Swamigal-By India Post

Stamps India-Kumaraguruparar Swamigal-By India Post

Kumaragurupara Swamigal :-was born in 1625 at Srivaikunatam near Tiruchendur.Another classic of the 17th century in praise of the of Tiruchendur is Kandar Kalivenba by Kumaraguruparaswamigal, a disciple of Srilasri Masilamani desigar of the fourth head of the Dharmapuram Adheenam and was the founder of Thiruppananthal Adheenam which is also known as Kasi Mutt. The author was horn in 1625 A.D. of a Saiva Vellala family at Srivaikuntam on the northern hank of the Tambaraparani, nineteen miles from Tiruchendur. His parents Shanmukha Sikhamani Kavirayar and Sivakami Ammaiyar were blessed with this child after a long penance to Muruga of Tiruchendur. The boy grew of age and until his fifth year showed no signs of speech. The parents were pained at this and resorted to Tiruchendur penance again. Tired of waiting for months and seeing signs of approaching speech, the parents determined to drown themselves in the sea along with the child if he would not speak by a particular day.Kumaraguruparar pleaded to Desikar that it would take long time for him to complete the pilgrimage to Kasi (given the lack of facilities at that point of time). So Desikar waived off Kasi for the time being and asked him instead to stay at Thillai for period of one Mandalam (48 days). Happily Kumaraguruparar agreed to that and proceeded to Thillai Chitrambalam. On the way divinity called him to Vaithishvaran koil. There he sang Muthukkumaraswami Pillai Tamil. It is said that during the early days of Kumaraguruparar, he was invited to adorn the chair of Court poet by Thirumalai Nayakar (1623-1659 AD) and he did good service to Tamil by writing ‘Neethi Neri Vilakkam’. When he was inaugurating his devotional prabhandam ‘Meenakshi Pillai Tamil’ in praise of Goddess Meenakshi at the royal court, Goddess Herself as a young maiden appeared and seated on the lap of Thirumalai Nayakar, taking out a pearl necklace and put it on the neck of the poet and dissappeared.Kumaraguruparar renovated the abode of Kedhareshvarar which was earlier ruined due to the religious intolerants. In the Kumaraswamy Mutt that he built, he guided the people in the glory of Saivite philosophy. His inspiring teachings paved way for the restoration of the highly adored Lord Viswanatha temple. The devotees offered lots of valuables to the saint. He took them to his guru at Dharmapuram. But Desikar denied to accept them and directed him to spend those for the spiritual development of the people of Kasi. As per that Kumaraguruparar spent the materials in spreading the message of Saivism. He visited Dharmapuram four times to pay respect to his guru. In Tamilnadu he paved the way to build another Kasi Mutt at Thirupanandhal in Kumbakonam District. Later this mutt was enlarged by Kasivasi Thillainayaga Swamigal. 6th head in the line after Saint Kumaraguruparar swamigal, Srilasri Muthukkumaraswami Tambiram Swamigal now presides over Kasi Mutts both in Kasi and Thirupanandhal. Kumaraguruparar while in Kasi also had sung ‘Kasi Thundi Vinayagar Patigam’ and Kasi Kalambakam. It is said that Kumaraguruaparar also gave discourses on Kamba Ramayanam and among those who got inspired by that were the famous Hindi poet Tulasi Das, who wrote Ram Charita Manas. Kumaraguruparar stayed in Kasi for thirty years from 1658 to 1688 spreading the glory of Shaivism giving the vital support to the Hinduism that needed support during those troubled periods. He attained samadhi at Kasi on the third day after full moon day in May 1688. His vital services for the sustenance of the Hinduism will be remembered along with his beautiful compositions by the generations of devotees.

Date Of Issue:-27.06.2010