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Archives by Month: February, 2009


Today we are treated to another special thanks to Satheesh. Its a very special sculpture depicting one of the Periapuranam legends.

kungiliya kalayanar 1

Its a very small sculpture, and causes some wrong interpretations as Markandeyar or kannapar.

kungiliya kalayanar 2

Kannapar ofcourse is depicted right next to this panel. So who is depicted here?

kannappar

Lets first analyse the sculpture in more detail.

kungiliya kalayanar

Do you notice the slight slant of the Linga. That is the clue. Its Kungiliya Kalaya Nayanar. Lets see his story in full.

(courtesy : http://www.nayanmar.com/nayanmar3.htm)

Kalayanar, a brahmin devotee of Shiva lived in Tirukadavur. He considered it, his sacred duty to spread the scented smoke of kungiliyam in the temple. Even when he became poor, he continued this service. Kalayanar would rather forego his meals for several days than stop his kungiliyam service even for a day.

A time came when he had literally nothing on hand to continue this self-chosen devotional duty. In the meantime, he and his family had gone without food for several days. Kalayanar was blessed with an understanding wife.

She could stand no more the hunger of her children and so gave her auspicious golden necklace ( thali) to him requesting him to buy rice . He was to sell it and buy some rice.

When Kalayanar was going through the street with the golden ornament in his hand , a vendor of kungiliyam came on his way. Quite excited by the availability of a bag of kungiliyam, Kalayanar exchanged the necklace for the incense. The next moment found him walking to the temple, totally forgetting the hunger stricken family of his own . Entering the sacred precincts he fell unconscious as he had been without food for several days. Shiva appeared in his dream and advised him to go home and drink some milk and rich food and return . Waking up, Kalayanar was flabbergasted that Shiva should ask him to partake of a rich meal when his home had not a grain in the granary. All the same, he did not dare to disobey the Lord. He got up and went home.

Wonder of wonders! His house had changed beyond recognition. It was endowed luxuriously and the granary overflowed with paddy. The house was full of gold. Even as his darling wife fed Kalayanar and the other devotees of Shiva to her heart’s content, it was clear that for his lifetime hence forth Kalayanar would have no dearth of wealth to render his favourite service to Shiva.

As Kalayanar happily continued his service at Kadavur, he heard that in the temple at Tiruppanandal, the Linga had tilted to one side. The king had set his army to pull it back to its original angle but in vain. Kalayanar hastened to Tiruppanandal. Finding the army tired out and in a swoon, he decided to join their ranks. He bound one end of a rope to the image of Shiva and tied the other end to his neck and pulled hard. Shiva, at the touch of his devotee straightened himself in a trice to the wonder of all those present. The very heavens showered scented blossoms to mark the miracle.

images courtesy: Satheesh and http://www.kumbakonam.info/kumbakonam/darsuam/index.htm

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Today thanks to some amazing captures by Satheesh, we are being treated to a spectacular miniature from Darasuram.

not many stop to see

We had earlier seen Vaali humbling Ravana in a previous post. He was famous for the boon that he had received, according to which anyone who came before him lost half his/her strength to him, thereby making Vali invulnerable to any frontal attack.

Vali had been known as a good and pious vanara-king, but once when he was challenged to a duel by a wicked demon Mayavi - the battle raged on for a long time inside a dark and ravenous cave. Vaali left instructions with his brother to wait for him at the entrance….when vaali did not come out for a long time,Sugreev spotted blood oosing out of the mouth of the cave, he also heard a shrill voice like that of his brother. Fearing that his brother may be dead, he blocked the entrance to cave with a huge boulder and returned to Kishkinda.

Vali emerged and found the cave mouth blocked, in a fit of rage he suspected his brother of plotting against him. HIs anger was multiplied when he came to his capital and noticed that Sugreev was ruling in his place.

Sugriva tried to explain the situation to Vali, but Vali would not listen. Vali banished Sugreev from the kingdom, and held the latter’s wife captive in his own palace. Sugreev fled into the forest, where he met and formed an alliance with Rama. He sought Rama’s help in return for his help in defeating Ravana and rescuing Sita.

The act of Rama killing Vaali, from an ambush attack ( attack from behind) is a subject of many debates. Here we are seeing a superb miniature of the scene just prior to the attack.

lets look for a simple sculpture

Cant see it, lets go closer

Now can you see vaali vadham
a little bit closer
ok, closer

Sadly the people don’t even notice the beautiful sculptures.

Vaali Vadham Darasuram
this is it

Check out this for a sense of size.

vaalivadham size

What happened next and what happened before this - some more interesting sculptures coming our way shortly.

Images courtesy : Satheesh and the last one from http://www.kumbakonam.info

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