Monday, June 27, 2005

If only I could turn back time....

If I could turn back time, i.e., travel back in time. I would like to meet at least the following 3 persons from the past

1. Thirumoolar
2. Thirumangai Azhwar
3. King RajaRaja Cholan

Why I chose these three people was because of their masterpieces that they have created or in fact have bestowed for us and the generations to come!!!

Thirumoolar - famous for his exemplary masterpiece, The Thirumandhiram - stands out of the crowd because I am surprised at how he visualised and found great things that scientists of this modern era have found out after years of research. For e.g. he mentions the size of a human cell, with that of a cows hair, being divided into 1,00,001 parts is the size of the cell. However, I have not actually compared his measurement with the actual human cell's size. In spite, I am amazed at the way he says the proportion he mentions. In addition, he mentions that the pituitary gland is the control centre of the human body and he even infers it as the third eye of the human and compares it to Lord Shiva who is said to have 3 eyes. In fact, the reason, why Hindu women apply kumkum or stick the bindi and the men apply the holy ash on their forehead is to stimulate the pituitary gland that maintains the hormone levels intact and this helps prevent children attaining physical maturity at an early age. There are many interesting things to explore in his exemplary work. Nevertheless, the reason why I want to meet him is that I want to know, where he learnt all these great information from and who is his Guru? How long did he take to understand and get the knowledge of the things he mentions? Is it possible for us humans to attain such knowledge in our lifetime? More about him in the next blogs...

Thirumangai Azhwar - The most well known of the 12 Azhwars, the devotees of Lord Vishnu venerated as saints. His original name being Kaliyan, he was an army chief of the Chola king and then he was crowned as a king for a small land called Thirumangai. And hence the name, Thirumangai Mannan (means King - in Tamil). He has sung so many songs in praise of Lord Vishnu. I am really astonished how a normal man who plundered, had weakness for women and what not.., was able to be exalt himself to a position of an Azhwar. I have read a few of his pasurams and it really stands out of the crowd. The reason why I would like to meet him is because his attitude to accept all the mistakes and crime plainly without any justification to his act is simply the most divine aspect of a human. Most of us usually try to justify our mistakes but no one accepts them plainly that they have done a mistake/crime. One example of his pasuram is

Kondraen palluyirai kurikol ondrillamayinal....

meaning, "I have killed lots of lives, without any reason......"

Maanay kann madavar mayakirrpattu maanilathu naanay naanavidha naragam pugum pavam seidhaen...

meaning, "For the love of women, I committed sins that would take me to all the four types hell.."

The absolute surrender to GOD accepting all his mistakes and crimes without any justification has exalted him to an Azhwar. I really admire him for his devotion to GOD and his pasurams are really out of this world. You need to read them, understand them, feel them to realise the ethereal and blissful connection with GOD, and hence the name Dhivya Prabandham, for all the pasurams by all the Azhwars.

King RajaRaja Cholan - I really admire this great Chola king for many things esp, the magnificient masterpieces that he has left for the his next generations and the generations to come. What really make me think that i need meet him are
  • His passion to construct the stupendous masterpiece of all times, The Brahadeeshwara Temple at Thanjavur (Tanjore) - The Granary India.
  • The engineering behind the great temple and the massive efforts
  • The administrative skills becoz without it, it is almost impossible to build such a massive architecture within 6 years, yes I mean SIX years.

It is simply awe-inspiring to just even imagine these details. Some thought provoking questions arise viz.,
  1. How was he able to have such great engineers, called Sthabadhees, at that time?
  2. What tools did they use to decide the plan, select the land, transport such heavy granites?

    For splitting apart massive pieces of granite, the technology is from Avaiyar's song

    "Methenavai Vettenavai Vellavam Vezhathil
    Patturuvum Kol Panjil Paayaathu
    Nettirupaaraikku Nekku Vida Paarai
    Pasumaraththu Verukku Nekku Vidum"

    meaning, "Hard and Aggressive things will never win over Soft and Humble things. The spear that pierces through an elephant will never pierce through cotton. Likewise, a hard rock that never gives way to strong iron crowbar gives way to the slender root of a green tree". Amazed!!!!. Still to come, but how did this song help him!!!, The thing is that the rock was cut with such a precision, where the rock was selected and lots of small shaft like holes were made in the rock across a stretch and then in those holes, tree roots were driven and water was poured into it. As water, soaks the root, the root starts to expand and that would slowly break the rock apart. And those large rocks were transported the temple spot using elephants. More about this in the next blogs...

  3. Where did he learn the technology from?
    I guess it should be anscetral, as there is a literature and rules on how to build temples called Aagama Vidhis

  4. Who was behind him to build such a massive piece of architecture?
    I found that the person behind him was his sister
    Kundavai Naachiar and his grandmother Chembian Maadevi
  5. How was he able to handle such a great kingdom and then administer the temple building activites?
For some of the questions, that I have provided the answers by probing into Tamil Literature and many other books to find answers to those questions, but for the rest that are unanswered, I have to meet him...

More to come in my next blogs, until then....


Anonymous said...

Awesome...When I started reading your blog, I thought it was just another blog. But till now, I have not stopped reading your old stuffs too. It's interesting and hats off to your effort. I am also interested in Tamil literature.

A Small Correction...

Inspiration behind Raja Raja Cholan building this great Brahadeeswara Temple is neither "Chembian Maadevi" - Raja raja cholan's Aunt nor "Kundavai Naachiaar" - Raja raja cholan's Sister. Raja Raja cholan got inspired after he saw Budhist Stupas in Lanka when he was young and was sent for fight over there by his father(Sundara Cholar). And one more lady called "Singala Naachiar" who saved him several times also was considered to be one of the inspirations for this monument to arise. Heard that a seperate temple was buil in memory of Singala Nachiaar near Tanjore. Not sure of these. Kalki's ponniyin selvan and some other Meikirthi statements are there, I hope.

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks for your support! By the way, though RajaRaja's inspiration could have been from the the great Buddhist Stupa's, but I read it in some literature that the support and the motivation was given by his sister (Kundavai Naachiar) and his aunt (Chembian Maadevi). Of course, I have mentioned it incorrectly that Chembian Maadevi as his sister. Well getting back, his sister and aunt supported him a lot so that he built many temples, one famous temple is at Pazhayaarai near Kumbakonam which still exists but badly needs maintenance. Many of such temples built by RajaRaja need maintenance. Yes there are meikirthi's too that specify about RajaRaja, Anirutha Bramharayar and so on. You can see one such collection at

Once again thanks for your support and comments!

Anonymous said...

I really didn't expect such a fast reply. Hats off again in maintaining this blog.

Sorry, Chembian Maadevi is Raja Raja cholan's grandma and not aunt.

Chembian Maadevi and Kundavai Naachiar were great ladies who showed special interest in politics when no one before their period showed such interest. According to kalki's ponniyin selvan, Chembian Maadevi's husband - Kandaraadhitha Devar raised 108 siva temples across Kaveri river basins. And his son, Madhuraanthaga Devar,again a great patron of siva, also did promote saivist in Chola kingdom. Later when Raja Raja cholan(I would like to call him as "Arulmozhivarman" as Kalki had written)took the lead and the great monument was built. Kundavai Naachiar was famous for her political skills and was having very knowledged spies - "ottrargal" in Tamizh. Even "Aniruthaa Brahmaraayar" - Chief minister of cholas during Sundara Cholar and Raja Raja Cholar periods, had wondered on the capabilities of Kundavai Naachiar.

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks once again!

And I too am sorry for mentioning Chembian Maadevi as RajaRaja's aunt, what you have said is right, she is his grandma.

As regards the "Raja Thandhiram", each one was exceptional in their own way. All in the top helm had knowledged and trustworthy spies. If you had seen the movie RajaRaja Cholan, you could see that even women were spies during RajaRaja's period. Though Kalki's characters are real and some of the facts and incidents are true to a great extent, Kalki has used his imagination so well that it seamlessly integrates into the story.

Well, getting back to Kundavai Naachiar, she is an able administrator and a king maker, that itself proves his diplomacy and tactfulness, however she was the supporting factor for getting the Devarams and Thiruvaasagams from Chidambaram. She really pushed RajaRaja Cholan to recover those great works when Nambi Aandar Nambi informed that the works of the Samaya Kuravaragal is locked up in a small room in Chidambaram

Not only did she encourage RajaRaja to build such massive architectures, she also brought up Rajendra Cholan - son of RajaRaja - and encouraged him to build similar massive pieces or architecture. Kundhavai Naachiar not only supported building of temples alone, but also free medical facilities (aadhura saalai) all along the country too.

I am very happy to exchange good thoughts with persons like you, however it would be great if you would identify who you are! please email me at rprabhu.mca at gmail dot com, if you dont mind

~ Suresh said...


This is Suresh from Kanchipuram. Thanks for your compliments.

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks Suresh and you are most welcome and its my pleasure!

Anonymous said...

Hi prabhu,

Great Blog .... I heard thirumoolar lived for 3000+ years ... each year he used to sing a particular stanza of thirumandiram and goes back into deep meditation.

Hope this information helps.

Good work !!!!

R.Prabhu said...

Hi Sriram,

Thanks for the comments, and indeed you are right!


venkat said...

Dear Mr Prabhu,

I am one of your fans....feel not
exaggerating you.

As far as I know, no youngster does a fruitful job as you are doing. The Nayanmars, Alwars and yet other great stalwarts of Hinduism, why our own KANNADASAN have done a lot for us. If we read (a Hindu) atleast one time a paragraph of `Sivapuranam' or Thirumandiram, per day I hope he has done a great help for the world peace besides saving his own kith and kin.

I pray GOD to give you more and more knowlege and life to make light of our SATVIC LIVES atop of Himalayas to the world.

Thanks & Regards

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks Venkat for your wishes! Am happy that you enjoyed my blog, thanks for the support!

vijay said...

Thanks for your wonderful post. everyone have to know about their history,their culture language. I always visit the big temple Peria kovil every year I visit the temple
every corner inspires me the way it has been constructed but I am very late to comment you but accidentally I saw your blog today every article has been well researched because I also visit lot of temples. photos are so good it is just like we are visiting the temple we need the good work of yours as it improves our knowledge keep going

R. Prabhu said...

Thanks Vijay

Dexter Rodrigues said...

Could you please share detailed information on RajaRajas first child Moondram Kundavai who was Rajdndra Cholas elder sister and wife of Chalukyan King Vimaliditya

R. Prabhu said...

Hi Dexter,

I will definitely do, but before that, I will have to gather some historical references about her. Will post them when I have done that. Thank you for reading my blog!