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Posts Tagged ‘Darasuram’


Friends, we are going to see a very interesting Periapuranam panel today. Though they occupy the niches of many temples, not many know the history of the 63 shaivite saints - the nayanmars. Today we are going to see one such unique Nayanar. The Naynaar one who played the flute ! a la Krishna. This post itself arises out of an interesting comment by Dr Kannan, for the previous post on Dancing Balakrishna vs Sambandar - he set me to search for this sculpture. Thankfully ( call it coincidence) Sri Arvind Venkatraman was visiting Darasuram and he clicked this sculpture. So we introduce you to Anaya Nayanar from Darasuram

To read his life history pl visit http://www.shaivam.org/naaanaay.html

On a blessed day, with his head ornamented with flowers of fragrance, forehead full of holy ash that frightens the death, the ash smeared body beautified by a garland, with the flute and the staff took the cows for grazing. It was the season of arrival of monsoon greeted by the dance of the peacock, the song of the creepers swaying in the breeze. He reached the beautiful garden of konRai flowers. The sight of the very konRai flower reminded him of the merciful Lord who wears that flower. He could see only Shiva there. Wherever he saw all the flowers appeared as the form of the Almighty. His mind could do nothing but meditating at that appearance. His thinking could do nothing but surfacing the his great love for God. He could do nothing but showing his unexplainable feelings through his flute. His feelings could do nothing but making the sound of the holy five letter in his flute.

Lets see the sculpture now. You could easily mistake it for Krishna.

anaya nayanaar

Now for the verse - what a delightful verse, ( i did try and learn the flute for sometime) but the comparison of the fingers playing on the holes of the flute to that of a bee over a flower - wow, simply superb.

http://www.thevaaram.org/thirumurai_1/songview.php?thiru=12&Song_idField=1214&padhi=72&startLimit=22&limitPerPage=1&sortBy=&sortOrder=DESC

He took the musical vangkiyam in which the interspace
Between the mudra and the first of the eight holes
Measures seven fingers’ breadth;
Like bees that buzz over flowers to gather pollen,
His flute hummed, rose accelerando and stood
Still or caesural; to the pure magna cavum the great one,
– May he flourish for ever –, applied his beauteous lips.

Then what happened read on,its sheer poetry

http://www.thevaaram.org/thirumurai_1/songview.php?thiru=12&Song_idField=1214&padhi=72&startLimit=30&limitPerPage=1&sortBy=&sortOrder=DESC


Dancing peacocks ceased their dance and came
Near unto him; they stood still, enthralled;
As the wafting melody streamed through the ears
And filled their bosoms, the feathered race
Flew to him and stood lost in rapturous music;
The strong neatherds who were working nearby
Abandoned their chores and stood in mute wonder.

http://www.thevaaram.org/thirumurai_1/songview.php?thiru=12&Song_idField=1214&padhi=72&startLimit=37&limitPerPage=1&sortBy=&sortOrder=DESC

It pleased the Lord to hearken to the music
Of Anayar’s flute; with His Consort — a liana of tapas –,
Whose heart is grace and compassion divine,
The brow-eyed Lord — the Cause and Source of Music –,
Through heaven’s highway, with His matted hair
Bright with the crescent, thither appeared.

http://www.thevaaram.org/thirumurai_1/songview.php?thiru=12&Song_idField=1214&padhi=72&startLimit=39&limitPerPage=1&sortBy=&sortOrder=DESC

The First One that on His Young Bull appeared before him
Desiring to hear for ever the flute’s melody
Of the great one of righteous and pious mind,
Spake thus: “May you abide with Us even as you are now here.”
Thus, even thus, was he translated to the Lord’s divine presence.

Translation: T.N. Ramachandran ( as from the site)

Now you see, such an interesting piece of poetry and an intriguing tale. Now you know!!!

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Hello readers, Today we return to Darasuram once more to study another Periapuranam sculpture. We have already seen the panel on the left - Marar of Ilayankudi. Today we are going to see a simply stunning sculpture fittingly sculpted to suit a fantastic storyline, which showcases the matchless chivalry and valor of a King, who even at the face of death through the hands of a conniving assassin, a dreaded foe who slays him by treachery, displays his noble birth and devotion to the Shiva, by forgiving him. But why did he do that ? Read on ( am going to use the thevaram hymns translations since they are almost like a running commentary /first person account of the events as they unfold)

Lets view the location of this amazing panel.

meiporul nayanar

We are talking of Meiporul Nayanar, a pious king.who ruled over the hill tribes of Sethi and born into the noble clan of Malayamans. The brave king was unconquered in battles and a just ruler.

http://www.thevaaram.org/thirumurai_1/songview.php?thiru=12&Song_idField=12050&padhi=72&button=%E0%AE%9A%E0%AF%86%E0%AE%B2%E0%AF%8D%E0%AE%95

His capital was Tiru-k-Kovalur in goodly Sethi realm;
He hailed from Malayaman dynasty which served
Ammai-Appar from generation to generation;
He, the Prince was poised in the noble way true, of the Vedas
And served the Lord’s servitors divining their true wish.

The rich land was the target of a wicked enemy from his neighbouring country. King Muthanathan, many times he tried matching his large Army, with strutting elephants and hordes of soldiers, yet he could not find a way past the forces of Meiporular. He was repeatedly defeated.

http://www.thevaaram.org/thirumurai_1/songview.php?thiru=12&Song_idField=1205&padhi=72&startLimit=5&limitPerPage=1&sortBy=&sortOrder=DESC

Whilst thus he flourished, a hostile king
Fired by a desire to vanquish him,
Waged wars against him many a time, only to lose
His elephantry and cavalry and infantry,
Thus repeatedly defeated he was sunk in shame.

http://www.thevaaram.org/thirumurai_1/songview.php?thiru=12&Song_idField=1205&padhi=72&startLimit=6&limitPerPage=1&sortBy=&sortOrder=DESC

The worsted king who could not think of victory
In the field of battle, coming to know
Of the religious piety of Mei-p-Porul, desired
To ape his great habit of wearing the holy ash
And thus win by deception; his mind
Nurtured such unspeakable evil, and he
Prepared for his infiltration into Tiru-k-Kovalur.

http://www.thevaaram.org/thirumurai_1/songview.php?thiru=12&Song_idField=1205&padhi=72&startLimit=7&limitPerPage=1&sortBy=&sortOrder=DESC

He smeared all over his person the holy ash;
He had his hair matted and tied it into a crown;
He held a mega biblion which concealed a dagger;
Like a lamp thick with black at the wick, his mind
Harboured deception; thus in his false habit of tapas
Mutthanathan barged in.

http://www.thevaaram.org/thirumurai_1/songview.php?thiru=12&Song_idField=1205&padhi=72&startLimit=9&limitPerPage=1&sortBy=&sortOrder=DESC

The guards of the palace adored him with folded hands,
And said: “The Lord Himself is come! Be pleased to step in!”
He crossed many a threshold and arrived at the last one;
Thither stood Thatthan who beseeched him thus:
“Be pleased to regard the hour; the King slumbers.”

http://www.thevaaram.org/thirumurai_1/songview.php?thiru=12&Song_idField=1205&padhi=72&startLimit=14&limitPerPage=1&sortBy=&sortOrder=DESC

He commanded in love his consort, Lakshmi-like,
To hasten to the gynaeceum, and then had him,
– The one robed in the weeds of a tapaswi –,
Installed on a seat, while he himself sat on the ground.
Then he said: “Be pleased to grace me.”

Watch the words above. we will see its importance shortly!

http://www.thevaaram.org/thirumurai_1/songview.php?thiru=12&Song_idField=1205&padhi=72&startLimit=15&limitPerPage=1&sortBy=&sortOrder=DESC

He placed on his lap the treacherous scroll
And pretended to unwind the rope binding it.
When the king bowed low reverentially, he drew out
The dagger and did what he intended to do;
The king exclaimed, still adoring:
“The true habit of askesis is indeed the truth supreme.”
(Surely it is) the king
(who) triumphed!

Now, we come back to the sculpture, closeup of the whole panel first first

meyporular

Now, lets study the panel from left to right. Act 1.

the false sage about to assassinate the king

Do you notice the false sage seated on a seat and the king seated on the floor. Do you notice the left hand of the assassin holding a bag like contraption. In his right hand he is holding a dagger and about to decapitate the King. Such indepth knowledge of the storyline of the sculptor to go into such detailing is amazing.

http://www.thevaaram.org/thirumurai_1/songview.php?thiru=12&Song_idField=1205&padhi=72&startLimit=16&limitPerPage=1&sortBy=&sortOrder=DESC

Thatthan who kept surveillance over him,
Even when he who concealing himself in the garb
Of a tapaswi broke into the king’s chamber,
Now darted into the room, and was about to smite him

With his sword; the king who was to fall down
As blood profusely gushed forth from him,
Stretched out his long arm, prevented his deed
And exclaimed: “Thattha, he is our own.” Then he fell down.

Again we return to the sculpture. Act 2.

the body guard thatta

We see the body guard flying into action, his garments flayed, sword raised to protect his Lord. But at the moment the King stops him with his stretched out Long arm. All brilliantly captured in stone in such a miniature form.

http://www.thevaaram.org/thirumurai_1/songview.php?thiru=12&Song_idField=1205&padhi=72&startLimit=17&limitPerPage=1&sortBy=&sortOrder=DESC

Thatthan the servitor who was thus restrained
By the prince who suffered pain and fell down,
Bowed low, and said: “What should I do?”
The prince replied him thus: “Let none obstruct
The devotee of our Lord on his way back.
You go with him and see to his safe passage.”

http://www.thevaaram.org/thirumurai_1/songview.php?thiru=12&Song_idField=1205&padhi=72&startLimit=20&limitPerPage=1&sortBy=&sortOrder=DESC


With effort great, the prince still bore his ebbing life
Only to hear the news that the one of deceptious habit
Had been conveyed safe, unmolested by opposing hordes;
Before him came he who carried out the royal mandate.

Oh, what emotion and melodrama.

http://www.thevaaram.org/thirumurai_1/songview.php?thiru=12&Song_idField=1205&padhi=72&startLimit=23&limitPerPage=1&sortBy=&sortOrder=DESC

To the devotee-prince, the Lord of Himavan’s daughter
Granted darshan in the form in which
He contemplated Him for many a day.
The Lord graced him to attain the shade
Of His ankleted feet inaccessible to the celestials,
And also blessed him with the beatitude
To adore Him for ever.

Thus the sculpture ends his story as well with the final Act.

Shiva n parvathi - final act

Truly masterclass.

credits: the verses are from the amazing site www.thevaaram.org
Eng Translation also from same ref: T.N. Ramachandran

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