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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Deva Prasnam

Three types of terrain have been stated as suitable for construction of temples. 'Supadma', Bhadra' and 'Poorna'. A terrain with trees like Arayaal, Peral (Ficus Bengalensis and Ficus religiosa Sanskrit Aswatha, and Vada), Veppu, Maruthu (Jarul in Hindi, Pride of India), Elanji (bakul in Hindi), Ashokam, Chempaka (Champa), Jasmine etc situated on top of a hillock or in a valley with limited water sources is known as 'Poorna' and is considered suitable for construction of a temple
The terrain where Vadakkunathan temple stands conforms to this description completely. It is on top of a hillock and as water runs off from all sides after rains, there is limited water supply within the temple compound. The hole caused by Arjuna resting his bow on the earth for stringing it and where devotees are expected to wash their hands and feet holds but limited water. There was a huge Elangi tree inside the temple, near the Northern gopuram. The famed Elangithhara Melam used to take place under it. The tree fell some years ago and a new one was planted at the same site after observing all holy customs. It is just about ten feet tall now and the Melam now takes place adjascent to it. There is no dearth of Peraals with names like Manikandhan aal, Naduvil aal, Naickan aal etc. (V.K.N. adds Sonilal Harilal , jewellers). Manikandhan aal also collapsed almost a decade ago and the new one planted in its stead is flourishing. Banyan tree is much faster growing than Elanji. There is a medium sized sprawling Arayaal on the South side of the Northern gopuram.
The Kanikkonnas were in full bloom a month ago. Every morning a thousand golden nose rings used to be strewn underneath the trees. But they have now been stripped of all their bunches of flower which have been sold during Vishu for kani. The (Poo) Maruthu (Jarul) trees sway with their pink flowers. An odd Gulmohar puts the skyline on fire and a couple of Ashoka trees add further colour and fragrance. There are any number of jasmine vines and shrubs inside the temple. A couple of months ago the scores of Mango trees in the maidan had also flowered. The pond maintained by Catholic Syrian Bank used to contain a few white and blue lotuses (aambal). The pond is now totally neglected. But for this the stage is fully set for Kamadeva and if he brings along his bow of sugarcane stem with the string of bees all the arrows would have been readily available.

Aravindam f shokam cha
Chootham,* cha navamaalika
Neelotpalam cha panchathe
Panchabanasya sayaka.
(*Chootham= mango shoot)
Spring born out of a sigh of Brahma and which goads all creatures to undertake nesting activities (vasantham) is here. Her companion Malaya maaruthan has sadly been replaced by the exhaust fumes of countless vehicles rushing by. And the stentorian speeches of politicians at Vidyarthi corner and 'adipoli' Rahman songs have substituted the singing of koels . However, it should still be possible for Kama to carry out Mohanam (deluding), Shoshanam (withering) and Maranam (killing) with a little help from the politicians, Bevco and the Devaswam board. Only harshanam (delighting) and Rochanam(appealing) may be difficult.
Lord Shiva at the moment is quite vulnerable, surrounded as he is by Party ticket holders. And halahalam is no match for the stuff Bevco is peddling.

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