Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Manavala Mamuni temple Kothankulam

Manavala Mamuni spent his early days in Sikkil Kadaram
The house of Tiruvoimozhi Pillai is in a dilapidated condition, while the Thiruvarasu of Koora Kulothuma Dasa is being reconstructed North of the temple
Sikkil Kadaram (now Kothan Kulam) is a small and quiet village located 39kms from Ramanathapuram on the Tuticorin highway. The legend relating to Kotravan Kulam ( Pandya Kings were referred to as Kotravan) dates back to the 13th and 14th Century AD. Tiruvoimozhi Pillai ruled this region for a short period before being initiated into Vaishnavism by Koora Kulothuma Dasa.

It was that Koora Kulothuma Dasa, who on instructions from Pillai Lokacharya, brought Tiruvoimozhi Pillai to Sikkil Kadaram for initiating the latter into Vaishnavism. 

It is also the place where renowned Vaishnavite Saint Manavala Mamuni spent his early childhood days before moving to Azhvaar Tirunagari. Kothan Kulam is the home town of Manavala Mamuni’s mother, who hailed from here. 

The house of  the great Vaishnavite acharya Tiruvoimozhi Pillai, who learnt the 4000sacred verses here at Sikkil Kadaram, still exists here but is now in a dilapidated state and requires immediate attention.

At Sikkil Kadaram, just off the state highway is the over 700years old Sundararaja Perumal temple where Manavala Mamuni is seen in a South facing Sannidhi.

During the Muslim Invasion of Srirangam, Pillai Lokacharya, Koora Kulothuma Dasa and Thiru Kannamangai Aandan are believed to have saved the processional utsava idol of Lord Ranganathaswamy temple from the 8th day Horse Vahana Utsavam near the Panri Azhvaan Varaha Perumal Temple on the banks of Coloroon. They took the idol to several places including Thiru Koshtiyur, Azhagar Koil and Yaanaimalai (http://prtraveller.blogspot.in/2009/12/veda-narayana-perumal-kodikulam-madurai.html).

Deciding to relinquish his kingdom, the then Pandya King in Madurai handed over the rule to Tiruvoimozhi Pillai, a Brahmin. He also requested him to take care of his wife and son.

Pillai Lokacharya knew the greatness that Tiruvoimozhi Pillai was destined for and directed Koora Kulothuma Dasa to initiate him into Vaishnavism.

However, those were early days yet for Tiruvoimozhi Pillai who was lost in the charms of the kingdom. One day, while he was on a procession on the elephant going around the streets of Madurai, Koora Kulothuma Dasa chanted loudly the Thiruvirutham verses of Nam Azhvaar.

Turning Point in Tiruvoimozhi Pillai's life
Stunned by these beautiful Thiruvirutham verses, he got down from the elephant, called on Koora Kulothuma Dasa and asked him to provide more insights into these songs. It was then that Koora Kulothuma Dasa tried to initiate him with the Nalayira Divya Prabhandham verses.

Though he showed interest initially, Tiruvoimozhi Pillai’s mind was distracted as it went back and forth to the thoughts of his kingdom for he had just then begun to enjoy the power of ruling Madurai. This angered Koora Kulothuma Dasa and he threatened to walk out on the initiation of these sacred verses.

This happened to be the turning point in the life of Tiruvoimozhi Pillai as he decided to hand back the reigns to the son of the original king and surrendered to Koora Kulothuma Dasa requesting him to continue with the initiation of the Nalayira Divya Prabhandham.

As per the direction of Pillai Lokacharya, Koora Kulothuma Dasa brought Tiruvoimozhi Pillai to Sikkil Kadaram (now Kothan Kulam) to initiate him into Vaishnavism and spread the messages of Vaishnavism.

It was also Tiruvoimozhi Pillai who went to Azhvaar Tirunagari and renovated the place from the forest that it was at that time. The descendents of Tiruvoimozhi Pillai continue to live in Azhvaar Tirunagari. Sridhar Tiruvoimozhi Pillai, one such descendent, recently presented the Gajendra Moksham puranam at Thiru Mogur Divya Desam (http://prtraveller.blogspot.in/2014/03/thiru-mogur-gajendra-moksham-utsavam_23.html).

The Samadhi of Koora Kulothama Dasa who was responsible for bringing Tiruvoimozhi Pillai to Kotravan Kulam (the place of the Pandya King) is here just next to the Sundararaja Perumal Temple.

Manavala Mamuni, who spent his early days here at Sikkil Kadaram later went back to Azhvaar Tirunagari and then to Srirangam, where for a year Lord Ranganatha listened to his Bhagavad Vishaya Kalakshepa explaining the meaning of and providing insights into the Tiruvoimozhi verses.

As Guru Dakshina to Manavala Mamuni, the lord presented the Dhaniyan ‘Srisailesa Dayapatram…’ which to this day is recited at prominent Divya Desams such as Tirumala, Srirangam and Thiruvallikeni.

The Thiruvarasu of Koora Kulothuma Dasa, the house of Manavala Mamuni’s Acharya Tiruvoimozhi Pillai and the house where Manavala Mamuni lived his early years are all in dilapidated condition at Sikkil Kadaram.

Kuro Kulothuma Dasa's Thiruvarasu at Sikkil Kadaram

Given their great contribution to Vaishnavite tradition, initiatives should be taken to make these as historical monuments and should be safeguarded for posterity. Also, the Thiruvarasu of Manavala Mamuni at Srirangam is now in a state of dispute.With the current CM belonging to that constituency, it is hoped that she will immediately direct the authorities to hand over the ancient land/property for the sacred Thiruvarasu to become a guarded monument.

Currently, only the 3day Pavitrotsavam in Aipasi is celebrated.

Quick Facts
Moolavar         : Sundararaja Perumal East Facing Standing Posture
Separate Sannidhi: Manavala Mamuni South Facing Standing Posture
Time                : 7am-12noon and 5pm-7pm
Contact            : 94433 41163
How to reach
From Ramnad, take Tuticorin bound express bus to get down in front of the temple at Kothankulam.
Buses ply every 15minutes on this route. It will take about 45minutes to reach the temple from Ramnad.

Car from Ramnad and back will cost Rs.750.


Melasevel group said...

I will join anyone or people who are willing to renovate the house. I may be contacted on the following address:

S V Krishnan
3B Hyacinth 128 L B Road
Thiruvanmiyur Chennai 600041
044 24486660 9940095670 7200844998

PRabhu S said...

Thank You Sir for your kind gesture.