Ulugh Khan’s Invasion Of Srirangam


Srirangam, one of the holiest and important religious seat in India. Little known is Srirangam is one of the politically important places in the annals of history.

Two major attacks rocked Srirangam was Malik Kafur’s(1311) hit and run attack and the second was Ulugh Khan(1323) invasion. However the later one had a permanent impact in Srirangam for a long time.

During the Panguni(March) Bramothsavam annual festival, Lord Azhagiyamanvala permual(Utsavar) will be taken to Panri Azhwaan sannidhi which is near present day Thavarasan Padhithurai in Kaveri river. This event is happening for many years on 8th day of the festival.

Ulugh Khan a.k.a Muhammad Bin Tughlak of Delhi sultanate invaded south India and established Madurai Sultanate.  As part of capturing Madurai, Srirangam was invaded by Tughlak. However, Madurai sultanate short lived for around 50 years and it met the end in the hands of Vijayanagara Empire.

In 1323, on Panguni (March) 8th day of the festival, Azhagiyamanavala Perumal(Utsavar deity) Of Lord Ranganatha, was taken to Poliyutu Mandapam, Panri Azhwaan sannidhi. Around 12,000 Srivaishnavas took part in the festival. Ulugh Khan invaded Srirangam during Panguni Bramotsavam festival.

srirangam4-729x550

Swami Pillailokacharya, an important Acharya was informed about the invading forces which where already close to Samayapuram. In order to protect the deity, they have decided move out the deity from Srirangam. A pallakku(wooden box) was prepared immediately and deities are placed in the pallakku.  At the same time, a strong wall constructed in front of the Moolavar deity in the temple to conceal it from the invaders and jewels are kept under a vilva tree in the temple. Only handful of people knew the plan. Many of them were not aware about the invading army. Reason why the deities were protected because apart from looting the jewels, invaders were notorious in damaging the temples.

Azhagiya manavalan deity was accompanied by Swami Pillailokacharya and few other attendants through thick forests and finally reached placed called Jyotishkudi, near Madurai. However because of the old age, Swami Pillailokacharya left earth at the age of 120. Sishyas of Swami decided proceed to Azhagar malai(outskirts of Madurai) with the deity.From there they went to Kozhikode(Kerala) and stayed there for a year. Again they moved to Thirukanambi. In 1343, Deities moved to Thirunayanapuram(Karnataka) and finally reached Thirupathi in 1360.

At the same time, Swami Vedantha Desika, another important Acharya fled to Sathyakalam(Karnataka) with Sruthaprakasika , work of Sri Sudarsana and latter’s two sons.

Event After Deity Moved away from Srirangam

After deity moved from Srirangam, invading army reached the panri azhwaan temple and mercilessly  beheaded all the 12,000 Srivaishnavas gathered for the festival. Temple was also damaged.

During these years, Vijayanagara kingdom was established by Harihara I and Bukka  I and became a strong force in south India. In 1371, Kumara Kampana,son of Bukka I decided to destroy Madurai sultanate.He launched an attack on them and defeated Sikkandar Shah, last sultan. With that defeat, Madurai Sultanate came to an end.

After the defeat, Azhagiyamanavala Perumal returned to Srirangam on 17th day of Vaikasi,1371. Just before the return, they stayed in a place called Azhagiyamanavalam. This village is even present today near Thirupanjali.

For 48 years, Azhagiyamanavalan was stayed outside the temple. Under Madurai Sultanates, Srirangam temple was almost defunct.

Chronological Order of Events

  • 1323 March -Srirangam
  • 1323 (April-July) -Jyotishkudi
  • 1323-25 – Azhagarmalai, Thirumalirumcholai
  • 1325-26 – Kozhikode
  • 1326-27 – Thirukannambi
  • 1327-28 – Thirunarayanapuram
  • 1328-43 – Melkottai
  • 1344-70 – Thirupathi
  • 1371- Returned to Srirangam

Kumara Kampana renovated the temple and restored the glory of Srirangam.

In the work Madhura vijayam, Ganga devi wife of Kumara Kampanna gives a view of how Madurai looked under Sultan rule

I very much lament for what has happened to the groves in Madhura. The coconut trees have all been cut and in their place are to be seen rows of iron spikes with human skulls dangling at the points.

In the highways which were once charming with the sounds of anklets of beautiful women, are now heard ear-piercing noises of Brahmins being dragged, bound in iron fetters.

…The waters of Tambraparni which were once white with sandal paste rubbed away from the breasts of charming girls are now flowing red with the blood of cows slaughtered by the miscreants

Places Damaged in Srirangam Temple

  1. Dhanvantri Sannidhi – It was served as hospital during those times. It was set ablaze to prevent treatment of patients
  2. Gold plated Dwajastabha – It was donated by Jatavarma Sundara Pandya I
  3. Dwarapakala Sculpture in Aryabhatal vaasal. (one of the entrances of the temple)
  4. Aryabhattal Gopuram
  5. Nazhyigai kettan vaasal
  6. Varahanayana deity in Pavitrosava mandapam
  7. Garuda which was build by Pandyas
  8. Chakarathazhwaar Sannidhi
  9. Yanai(Elephant) Mandapam

Kozhil olugu, book on history and temple administration of Srirangam narrates this invasion as Panniraayiravar mudi thiruthiya mettu kalagam which means story of 12000 people beheaded.

For the sake of readability, only key information is written. Although this happened a long time back, those places even exists today to narrate the story for generations to come.

References:

  • Koil olugu, published by Srivaishnavasri
  • Madhuravijayam by Gangadevi
Advertisements

Celebrating Festival Of Lights-Deepavali


Deepavali

Deepavali is around the corner.India is  gearing up to celebrate the biggest festival,the  festival of lights.How we celebrate it!People wear new clothes, send wishes to loved ones,exchange  sweets with friends and family,light a row of lamps in their home,fire crackers.Oh what a great day!By the way are we missing something here??!!.You ask many people that why we are celebrating deepavali.Their answer will be ‘I don’t know!’ or they give improper reasons.What is the point celeberating the festival without knowing its importance.

Deepavali (Sanskrit: दीपावली Dīpāvali), which translates into row of lamps (in Sanskrit). It involves the lighting of small clay lamps (diyas) (or Deep in Sanskrit: दीप) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. The primary reason behind celebrating deepavali is,  Lord Krishna killed narakassura,the evil demon and freed the people.Periyazhwar praising the killing of narakassura in his poem Periyazhwar thirumozhi.
கிழக்கில் குடிமன்னர் * கேடிலாதரை *
அழிப்பான் நினைந்திடு * அவ்வாழியதனால்*
விழிக்குமளவில்*வேரறுத்தானை*
(Periyazhwar thirumozhi 4-3-3)
Meaning:

Pragjothishapuram was a town on the eastern side, where Demon Naraka was ruling. Due to the boons obtained for their welfare and in the background of their own might, they were considered as free from danger.

Some people have different reasons for celebrating it.Let the reasons be alone with them.As a mark of victory and freedom, in ancient days people lit up the lights to show the darkness(narakassura) was gone. Nowadays we forgot the reason behind deepavali.What we know is deepavali is the day to fire the crackers.We succumbed to the materialistic life.Many of us don’t know how crackers came into the  context.Firing crackers is never been  part of the customary.In the name of festival we are spoiling our environment.The sacred books of Hindus never asked to fire crackers. One important activity those who celebrate deepavali must to do is,go to Lord Krishna’s temple,thank him for freeing the people from the  demons and pray him to continue to show his mercy.How many of us doing it?The lighting of lamps is a way of paying obeisance to God for attainment of health, wealth, knowledge, peace, valour and fame.The only reason to celebrate festivals in India is to rejoice and  relive the  glorious past.Teach descendants about orgin and history of deepavali,If you don’t teach them,after 25 years,they will say,we are celebrating  deepavali because US president Mr.Barack Hussein Obama Came India for the first time on 2010.(Note:He is coming to India during deepavali).

So folks,the fact of the matter is there is no reason to fire crackers in deepavali.Celebrate a cracker less deepavali.Have a great deepavali!Enjoy the festival!.

Dark side of Nithyanandha Exposed


Nithyaandhana

On 03-03-2010 sun news released video footage of so called spiritual teacher Nithyanandha having sexual affair with one of the well known Tamil actress R****(Still a suspect!).I am not going to narrate what was happened.I am going the analyze it in a  insight manner.Most of them shocked after seeing the footage but i’m not.I had a gut feeling that he is a fraud and its only the matter of time that his dark side will be exposed.I never believed his words or his appearance. At the same time i said to myself  Appearance’s are deceptive” .Today some people revealed his hidden stuff and i convey my thanks to those who exposed the truth.

At the same time i request the people  not to disbelieve whole Hinduism.Hinduism has lot of theories,ideas,principles.This religion is based on questions and answers.Before you believe the ideas ask questions,I am sure you will get concrete results.For example,don’t say my father or mother or friends going to temple thats why i am going to temple!.You must know why you are going to temple,if you dont know ask answer for question from a concerned person.You only get to know the religion if you ask more and more questions.

Now back to Nithyanandha subject,there are some principles to be followed by a person who wants to be a saint.For example,Only a married person can be a saint.Though there some exceptions.First know the background of the persons who call them as spiritual  teachers.Don’t believe all spiritual leaders came from heaven.There are also born like you and me.In this religion,women are not allowed to be a saint(Think about Amirthanandhamayi).

There is a misconception about yoga among the people.Yoga is good for health and for mind to some extent.But yoga is not an ultimate solution to all materialistic problems that we face everyday and yoga teachers like Sri Sri Ravisankar,Amirtanandhamayi,Bangaru adigalar,Jaggi vasudhev etc.., are not super humans.The only solution to overcome our sorrows is to know the fundamental idea of Hinduism.The idea is

 "Know your God,the only way to know him is he only."
Source:Bhagavad Gita

Spirituality,yoga,astrology may look same in some ideas but fundamentally they are different.Later two do not help spirituality.  If know we know what is Hinduism,we can prevent culprits like Nithyanandha  misusing the principles of Hinduism.There are lot more to know on this topic. Because of time and space constraints,i stop here.I believe this article is an eye-opener for all.