Monday, August 24, 2009

VEnu gOpAla swAmi - pAlur

vEnugAna lOlu nigana vai ganulu kAvalanE- so sang saint TyAgaraja in his kEdaragowla rAga kriti, describing lord krishna who in the form of vEnugOpAla (with flute in his hands, surrounded by cows) as the protector (kAvalanE).

I heard this from someone that this song was composed by saint tyAgarajA at the residence of veenai kuppier (another contemprory composer). He should have written this song having pAlur vEnugOpAla swami in his mind.

pAlur is a small, quiet village near kudavasal in kumbakonam district. It is also called as mElapAlaiyur. Not many buses are there to access this village. One need to take a cab or go by walk from the main road that leads to kudavasal.

After moving through the green fields on the road side, we could see a sivan temple that marks the beginning of the agrahAram. There after for few meters one could move on a concrete road. That road takes us to the vEnugOpAla swami temple. Its a small temple dedicated to vishnu on the western side of the agrahAram.

Behind the temple there is a huge tank with some water that belongs to the temple. Surrounding the tank, there are large number of trees offering an awesome treat for our eyes.

The main deity here is Sri Lakshmi Narayana. Venugopala along with rukmini and sathyabama are the procession deities or utsava moorthi. The lord is adorned with expensive ornaments. Krishna by himself will shine brightly with the intensity of thousands of stars. His lusture, after being adorned with diamonds and other gems need no further explanation or description. Even if I try to give one, it will be definitely never upto the mark.

Coming to the tyAgaraja kriti, in the anupallavi, he describes the ornament worn by venugopala. It goes like this - vEnu lella dhrishti chutti vEyuchu brokuchu rAga - says the chutti (ornament worn on forehead) grabs one's attention first when he sees the deity.

He then describes about the lord's lotus like face, graceful eyes - vikasitha pankaja vadanulu vivitha kadulu nAtaka - okari kokaru karamula niti Orakannula jootaka - sukaravamulu kala tharunulu sogasugAnu pAtaka - sakalasurulu tyAgarAju sagunivEdaka vachchuchu.

Once if we see vEnugOpAla, standing in the sanctum sanctorum, welcoming his devotees, we can never get a feeling to move away from that place. During gOkulAshtami times, the village will have celebrations like uriyadi, adding to the fun index of the entertaining function.

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