Karuppur, a village near Kumbakonam is famous for the Siva temple in which the presiding deity is Sri Sunderswarar and it is a ‘vaippu sthalam’. [‘Vaippu sthalam’ is a Siva Sthalam about which the quadrants have praised and referred in the poem of a ‘padal petra sthalam’.] The temple is also famous for the deity Sri Sundra Maha Kali Amman known popularly as ‘Petti Kali Amman’. The village presently known as Koranadu Karuppur is on the way to Tiruvisainallur while travelling from Kumbakonam. In the main road there is a temple for Sri Kalyana Venkatesa Swami under the administrative control of the Sri Sunderswarar temple. The temple which was in yore in the past is not that popular now and in fact is under renovation for the last five years. But the temple has a history in connection with the Marudhanallur Sri Satguru Swamigal which is very interesting.
This village has a great place in the Dakshina Bharatha sampradaya Nama Sankeerthanam for having been the home for two out of three great saints in Nama Sankeerthanam. Firstly Sri Sridhara Ayyaval an erudite smartha Brahmin, who had spurned the ministerial offer made to him by the then ruler of Mysore and had settled down in this village with his wife Sundari Ammal. Secondly Sri Satguru Swamigal of Marudhanallur who was born here and lived his early ages in this village.
The place Tiruvisainallur was then known as Shajirajapuram since it was gifted by Shaji II Raja of Thanjavur (1685 AD - 1712 AD) to 45 pundits well versed in the Vedas to ensure that vedas and shastras are preserved.
Sri Satguru Swamigal was born in the village Tiruvisainallur as Sri Venkata Raman to the orthodox Brahmin Sri Venkata Subramaniyam in Athreya Gothram. As was in practice with the family, “Venkata” was prefixed to the name Raman and the boy was named Sri Venkata Raman. The family being poor ‘vaidigi’ for their livelihood had to go for performing ceremonies and poojas being conducted in all the villages nearby. The joyous couple used to narrate the stories of Bhaktas like Duruva, Prakalatha, and Hanuman etc to the child. The child was looking bright and ‘thejasvi’, but to the worry of the father the boy was not able to speak till the age of three. The worried father used to take the child to learned pundits for blessing. All of them would advice the father not to worry, as the boy had the divine blessings. As predicted by the elders the boy started speaking with the utterance of “Rama” as his first word.
As a dutiful father he had performed the upanayanam to his child at the right time and the boy was taught vedas and vyakarnas by the pundits of the village. The boy was found to grasp things very fast and the father was very happy. His father was amused at the in-depth knowledge of Sri Venkata Raman about the Nama Sankeerthanam and the biography and philosophy of the great saints who had propagated the Nama Sankeerthanam and their kritis. Sri Venkata Raman as a practice use to sit on meditation for hours chanting the name of Sri Rama when not learning vedas. He will tell and preach the importance of Nama japam to the boys who were studying with him.
Sri Bodhendrar one of the trinity of Dakshina Bharatha sampradaya Nama Sangeerthanam had a firm belief that chanting of Sri Rama’s name itself can give salvation [moksha], therefore he propagated the glory of reciting the Nama Sangeerthanam. Sri Bodhendrar came to be known as “Bagavannama Bodhendrar”. Sri Venkata Raman adopted Sri Bodhendra Swamigal as his manaseega Guru and was practicing Rama Nama japam. The nectar of the Rama Nama japam caught with him, that he will forget the surroundings and keep on meditating for hours without food or water.
His father Venkata Subramaniyam was maintaining the family with the meagre income he got by performing ceremonies and poojas being conducted by the other Brahmins of the villages nearby. In one such occasion he had promised to conduct the ceremony in a nearby villageand he felt sick on that particular day. As the ceremony could not be postponed he asked his son Venkata Raman [who also knows the conduction of ceremonies] to go the village and conduct the ceremony on his behalf.
As a dutiful son Venkata Raman agreed to do so and set out for the said village. But he was yarning for doing Rama Nama japam which he could not resist. Even before he could know what he was doing he entered the Sri Kalyana Venkatesa Swami temple which is on his way. He went straight into the Sri Anjaneya Sannadhi sat behind Sri Anjaneya Swami and started his meditation of Rama Nama. He knew no time, and when he came out of meditation it was dusk and sunset was on. Once he came to the present world, he sensed that he had done the mistake of not going for conducting of ceremony at the nearby village, thereby bringing disrepute to his father and unpardonable sin to himself and the kartha of the ceremony. He did not know what to do at this stage. He rushed to his father to tell him the truth and take any punishment and prayachitam.
Venkata Raman came home and told his father what had happened. His father did not know what to do now, since the ceremony cannot be conducted after the dusk or on any other day. While he was narrating the events, an elder of the next village came with two dothis and some coins to them. He told them that he had come to return the dothis and coins Venkata Raman had forgotten to take which he had kept in the Sri Anjaneya sannadhi. Now all of them were confused. Venkata Subramaniyam took a bold step to go and meet the house hold in the next village and tell them about what has happened.
When the father reached the next village, the Brahmin welcomed him and told that his son Venkata Raman had conducted the ceremony to the full satisfaction and in fact better than the father himself. He was full of praise for the diction of Venkata Raman and told the father that he had given him twice the ‘dakshana’ than normal. The confusion of the father is now compounded. After a while the father understood as to what has happened.
From there Venkata Subramaniam went straight to Sri Kalyana Venkatesa Swami temple and fell flat in front of Sri Anjaneya Swami. He told Him he is blessed to have Sri Venkata Raman as his son. He was thankful to Sri Anjaneya Swami for making him understand the great purpose for which Sri Venkata Raman had born in this world. If the greatest Sri Rama Baktha (‘Sri Anjaneya Swami’) could go as a prohit to some house on behalf of Sri Venkata Raman, the greatness of the purpose for which he was born could be understood. From then on the father undertook all the steps to help Sri Venkata Raman perform his duty as planned by God.
Sri Venkata Raman who latter came to be known as Marudhanaullur Sri Satguru Swamigal is considered as one of the Guruthrayam, bhagavatha Trinity, along with Sri Bodhendra Swamigal and Sri Sridhara Venkatesa Ayyaval. He took the initiative to identify the Jeeva Samadhi of his Manaseka Guru Sri Bodhendrar known as “Bagavannama Bodhendrar”.
To identify the Jeeva Samadhi he kept his legs folded and tied so that his feet will not touch the ground. With his ears to the ground he kept on searching for days together and identified the place by the sound of Sri Rama Nama coming out at a particular place aloud. The spot was in the mid stream of River Kaveri. He requested his disciple and the king of Thanjavur Sri Saraboji to deploy manpower to divert the river so that the permanent memorial can be built for the Bagavannama Bodhendrar. Today Govindapuram where the Samadhi is located is the saranalayam for all Bagavathas.
At a latter stage he compiled many Bhagavannama kritis from all over India and set the syllabus for the Dakshina Bharatha sampradaya Nama Sangeerthanam. He then settled down in the village called Marudhanaullur near Kumbakonam and propagated Bagavannama and he setup a Mutt for this purpose. He then came to be known as Marudhanallar Satguru Swamigal.
Sri Anjaneya Swami who had gone as a prohit on behalf of a Sri Rama Baktha is located inside Sri Kalyana Venkatesa Swami Temple in Koranadu Karuppur near Tiruvisainallur. The author had visited the temple on 31st October 2007 when the temple was undertaken for repairs. Sri Anjaneya Swami Sannadhi was located adjacent to the eastern wall and facing south, it had a mandapam in front of the sannadhi of which only two pillars were remaining and no roof was there. The Deity Sri Anjaneya Swami was kept on the ground in a thatched shed nearby.
The author had revisited the temple on 25th July 2012 and found that the main temple of Sri Kalyana Venkatesa Swami is still under repair. A new sannadhi for Sri Anjaneya Swami had come up, but the sannadhi is facing north.
Presently He is seen walking westward with His right hand showing ‘abhaya mudra’. The Lord’s left hand is resting on his chest. The glowing face and the bright eyes attract the devotees like magnet. As the best ornament of a Brahmachari He has a tuft and this long hair is neatly tied up.
His long ears ever listening to Ramanama wears earrings in kuntala form. He wears a necklace which has a single pendant sculptured around His neck. His both arms are adorned with armlets known as keyuram, a bangle known as kankana in his wrist. In His lotus feet he wears what is known as thandai.
Come with Sri Ramanama in your heart and pray to the Lord of this punya kshetra and be sure to be guided to attain THE BEST as a baktha during this janma.
Ed [October 2012]
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SRI HANUMAN THINKS DIFFERENTLY, THINKS FAST, THINKS AHEAD AND ACTS FOR SURE.
Our salutations to this Hanuman who always brings subham - everything that is good - for His devotees and eliminates the bad and the evil. He removes even the traces of bad thoughts and deeds from His devotees. i.e He makes them pure in words, thought and deed.