Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Follow the Footsteps

Most of us think that involvement towards religious activities is possible only after retirement from service. Few people are fortunate to enter into Divine service right from their early age. They are passionate to leave a memorable service to the society during their stay in the World. It is difficult to explain how they derive the passion and sustain it throughout their life. Their acts stand as inspiration for others to follow. We come across many roll models during our interaction with others.

Valayapettai Sri Krishnan deserves praise for his commendable work on tracing those temples sung by Saint Arunagirinathar which were considered to be untraceable. Thiruppugazh Hymns that are available now cover 206 places. Gnanamalai is one among them and its exact location was not traceable for many years. Sri Sengalvaraya Pillai, who was an authority on Thiruppugazh , also expressed doubt about the location. Sri Krishnan took pains to locate the place by carefully going through the Thiruppugazh Hymns sung on this place. Since the Saint has referred about the Dharshan of The Holy feet of Subramanyahe had in this place, Sri Krishnan was on the look out for an evidence pertaining to the verses. He was also looking for inscriptions to determine the place as the one referred in Thiruppugazh. He came across a newspaper report on the findings from an inscription belonged to Sambuvarayar ( 1322-1340) found at this place indicating that one Kalingarayan , son of Sambuvarayar had installed steps on the Hill . On seeing the inscription, Sri Krishnan could confirm the Hill at Govinda chery, off Kaveripakkam , some 120 KM from Chennai as Gnanamalai.

Sri Krishnan was also delighted to find the traces of The Holy Feet of Lord Gnanaskanda on top of the Hill. The Legend says that the Lord after marrying Valli was on His way to Thiruthani . He stayed with Valli here and left the marks of His Feet on a rock. This helped Sri Krishnan to link Thiruppugazh verses and conclude the location as Gnanamalai.

The Hill is spread over 25 acres ,surrounded by a Lake on one side and agriculturural fields on the other side. Herbs of many species are grown all over the Hill.A small Shiva Shrine is seen on top of the Hill. Lord Muruga's shrine is also small in size but the deity is beautiful. The temple is beieved to belong to the period of Pallavas. The Lord is in the form of Bramha Sastha with Japamala and Kamandalam in His hands as against the usual Vajram and Shakthi. Peacock, Balipeetam and flagpost are installed in front of the Sanctum. Sri Vallimalai Swamigal is said to have visited this temple many times.

Sri Krishnan is well supported in this cause by philanthropists who have come forward to lay steps to reach the Hill and built a guest house at the foot of the Hill. Saplings have been planted around the Hill with the help of the Forest department. Social services are rendered for the benefit of the locals. A new panchaloka idol of "Kuramagal Thazhuviya Kumaran"- (Subramanya sitting on Peacock with Valli on His lap.)was made in 2007 and installed in the Temple. A Dhyana Mandapam has been built close to the rock on which the "Divine feet" are seen. The tirelessly working Krishnan is still looking for the development of the Temple and the Village. At the same time he wants to draw attention of devotees towards his discovery of an "Unknown" Thiruppugazh sthalam of Thriyambakapuram near Sengalipuram where a new temple needs to be built.

Let us follow the footsteps of People like Krishnan who trace the Footsteps of the Lord.