Thursday, December 19, 2019

Mudikondan Jawahar Bhattar

Pancharatra Agama Archakar Kannan Srinivasan Bhattar joins the historical Kothandarama Temple in Mudikondan as the Lead Priest
He has always been a 'stickler' for tradition in performing aradhana 
One finds Lord Rama in a Unique three bend posture at this temple whose legend dates back to his return trip after defeating Lankan King Ravana

56 year old Kannan Srinivasan Bhattar (Jawahar Bhattar), a Pancharatra Agama Archakar who once served in Divya Desams such as Thenthiruperai, Srivaikuntam and Koviladi Appakudathan has joined the over 1000 years old Kothandarama Temple in Mudikondan, near Sirupuliyur Divya Desam as the Lead Priest. He will also double up as the ‘Cook’ at the Madapalli. He has also been given a traditional accommodation in the Agraharam in the West Street of Mudikondan by an original inhabitant Shri Sundararajan, who also is in charge of the activities at the temple.

The temple had been without a full time priest for a while. It was through the efforts of the well networked and much liked Vasan Bhattar of Therazhundur Divya Desam (http://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2016/10/therazhundur-divya-desam.html) that Kannan Srinivasan Bhattar has been roped in as the full time Bhattar just ahead of the Karthigai Festival.
                     Vasan Bhattar, Therazhundur

With Jawahar Bhattar at the helm, it is hoped that some of the historical festivals at the temple including the Pagal Pathu Utsavam in Margazhi and the 10 day Rama Navami Festival will be revived to its historical past at the temple.

Jawahar Bhattar, who belongs to the Varam Tharum Periya Perumal Bhattar clan that performed service at the Kanchipuram Varadaraja Perumal Temple, began his temple association as a young boy in the 1980s at the Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Veeravanallur near Athalanallur (http://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2016/03/athalanallur-gajendra-varadaraja-perumal.html) supporting his grand father at the temple.

It was during that period that the young Jawahar Bhattar was initiated into Pancharatra Agama by the revered Mahara Bhooshana Bhattar at Veeravanallur (http://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2016/03/veeravanallur-sundararaja-perumal-temple.html). recognised across the Pancharatra temples as one of the  best scholars in Shri Pancharatra Agama, one who was the Archakar at Thenthiruperai as well as at Srinivasa Temple in Kilakkulam, Veeravanallur.

Decades later, he further strengthened his knowledge in Pancharatra Agama by tutoring under Periya Thiruvadi Bhattar, the heredity Archakar of both Kallarpiran temple, Srivaikuntam  (http://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2008/05/srivaikuntam-vaikunta-nathan-divya.html) and Adhi Nathar Temple, Azhvaar Thirunagari and another great Pancharatra Scholar, who was conferred the title of 'Pancharatra Agama Rathnagaram'.
                  The Sannidhi Agraharam at Mudikondan

Divya Desams Archaka Experience
In the late 1990s, he performed archaka service at Makara Nedun Kuzhai Kathan temple at Thenthiruperai (http://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2016/09/thenthiruperai-divya-desam.html) and at the Kallarpiran Temple at Sri Vaikuntam Divya Desam. It was a period when Venu Srinivasan had just begun restoring the then dilapidated Nava Tirupathi temples (http://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2017/02/erettai-tirupathi-transformation.html).

He has always been a stickler for the traditional way of performing aradhana at the temple, not for him the hurry. This lack of 'adjustment' to the devotees' hurried needs at temples has made him incur the wrath of devotees and authorities alike, for these days one is expected to 'toe' the current trend. Jawahar Bhattar is not one such.

In the early part of the last decade, he had moved on to the Appakudathan Divya Desam in Koviladi. His years there were a devotional treat for the devotees who visited the temple in that period. His devotional rendering of the verses relating to Thiruper Nagar, his explanation of the temple legend and of course the 'appam' every evening kept one devotionally connected to that Divya Desam (http://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2016/11/thirupper-nagar-koviladi-divya-desam.html).

He then performed service at the Rama Temple in Thenthiruperai and subsequently at the popular Lodhi Road Rama Temple in Delhi, where he was also involved in the installation of an idol of Kulasekara Azhvaar.

A rare 3 Bend Posture at Mudikondan
At Mudikondan, Lord Rama is seen in a rare posture with three bends in his body- the face is seen in one direction, the hip in another and the leg in a third bend. This posture is referred to as ‘Uthama Lakshana’.
Mudikondan - Tale from the Ramayana
The legend of Mudikondan is said to date back to the return trip of Lord Rama after defeating the Lankan King Ravana. Earlier while on his search for Sita, Bharadwaja Rishi had requested Rama to stay with him and have food at his Ashram at Mudikondan.  However, eager to pursue his search, Rama could not accede to the request but promised to return along with Sita. 

Having defeated the Lankan King Ravana, Rama landed here as promised in his Pushpak Vimana. Excited to play host to Rama, Bharadwaja Rishi requested Rama to provide darshan with his crown (Mudi). As Rama displayed his crown here, this place came to be called Mudikondan (the one with the crown).

With this stopover at Mudikondan, Rama asked Hanuman to make a quick trip to Nandigram to inform brother Bharatha that he would soon be back in Ayodhya. However, by the time Hanuman returned, Rama had adorned the crown and finished his meals. Saddened by the fact that his Lord did not wait for his return and did not leave a plantain leaf for him, Hanuman decided to stand outside. Hence, at Mudikondan, one finds the Hanuman Sannidhi outside the temple complex. Historically, the belief has been that Plantain does not grow here in Mudikondan.
Removing the shrubs on the Vimanam
While Samprokshanam was done earlier this decade in 2013, there is a thick growth of shrubs on the Moolavar Vimanam that could lead to damaging the structure. It is hoped that the authorities will remove these at the earliest to prevent damage.

The temple is open from 8am-12noon and 4pm-7pm. Contact Jawahar Bhattar @ 96006 38095.

How to Reach
Mudikondan is located about 10kms South of Sirupuliyur Divya Desam (http://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2019/08/sirupuliyur-divya-desam.html) and 10kms West of Thiru Kannapuram (http://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2016/11/thiru-kannapuram-divya-desam.html).  Therazhundur Divya Desam is about 20kms North West from Mudikondan.

Buses ply every half - hour from Mayiladuthurai and Tiruvarur and stop right front opposite the temple. By Train, one can take the Chennai- Karaikal night express and get down at Peralam Railway Station. Mudikondan is just over 5kms from Peralam. Passenger Trains stop at Nannilam Railway Station from where Mudikondan is a couple of kms West. Auto costs Rs. 100.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting to read how dedicated are people.