Saturday, November 7, 2015

Paripatal Maliruncholai Balarama

Balarama as a Deity was prominent at Thiru Maliruncholai in the Sangam Age
Nalayira Divya Prabhandham ( which followed Paripatal) offers similar description of the animals, flowers and trees around the Divya Desam
The 6th Paripatal on Tirumaal by Ilam Peruvalootiyar of the Pandya Clan is in a sweet rhythm. Typical of a resident of the Pandya Kingdom, the poet has shown great devotion to the Lord of Thiru Maliruncholai and praised the greatness of the Lord there ( similar verses of praise on Maliruncholai have later been presented by Periyazhvar and his daughter Andal in the Nalayira Divya Prabhandham).

The entire theme of this poem is the Lord of Thiru Maliruncholai (referred to as Malirun Kunram) and the greatness of the hill.

While there are very many great mountains in the world the poet says that the Solai Hills is the holiest among them.

Praising Balarama and his ornaments
Silver cascade of flowers that flow down the hill looks like white Katampu Garlands adorning Balarama’s mighty chest. It is a rare reference to Balarama’s chest ornaments. He also praises Balarama as having a beautiful single ear pendent. Balarama is referred as Lord’s elder brother and of white complexion.

Images of two gods of Thiru Maliruncholai - Krishna and Balarama - are mentioned. They were believed to have divine powers and devotees prayed to them for relief from cycle of birth and death. The poem brings out the worship of Balarama at Thiru Malirunkuram. Clearly this is yet another indication of the then prevalence of workship of Balarama in the Pandya region in that period. Surprisingly, one rarely finds a Sannidhi for Balarama in any of the temples these days.

The poet compares Tirumaal to a dark mountain bathed in the gentle morning sun.

Animals at Malirun Kunram
The poet find excited female monkeys leaping from rock to rock with their young ones clutching their bosom ( similar reference is found in Periyazhvar Thirumozhi in the decad relating to Krishna holding the Govardhana Mountain).

Beautiful peacocks call each other from everywhere. The Kuyils are seen making sweet noises all around.

Wide range of Flowers
The poet praise the jasmine vines as being covered with blossom buds that he describes as ‘bright and chaste’ as wives!!!! The Kurukkati trees are seen shedding their leaves on the ground.

The devotees who throng the roads to the hill are advised to worship the hill itself as it is seen as the seat of the God who removes all worries and destroys the sins of devotees.

From this poem dating back to the Sangam Period, one gets a real feel of the scene around the Thiru Maliruncholai temple. The most fascinating description though is of Balarama and the extent of worship dedicated to him at Thiru Maliruncholai. One wonders as to how that worship got dispensed with at the temple. 

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