Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Last month, on March 27th, a warm early-summer day, the students of Veenavadhini and their families, led by Sri Jeyaraaj and Smt Jaysri, gathered at 7am in the temple of Sri Parthasarathi Swamy, in Tiruvallikeni(which has become Triplicane in the British rule) , Chennai. Our intent was to sing the Kriti on this lord composed by Sri Muthuswamy Dikshitar, at the shrine, continuing the Dikshitar Yatra.

Sri Parthasarathi Swamy, also known as Sri VenkataKrishnan, is unique in many ways. He is surrounded by a huge family and not only the goddess Sri Rukmini but his son Pradyumna, his grandson Aniruddha and brothers Balarama and Satyaki share the Sanctum with him. In effect, the shrine is rather packed. He is unique in two other ways too – sporting a moustache in keeping with his role in the Mahabharata war as charioteer(Sarathy) to Arjuna(Partha). For the same reason, he holds only a conch and no Chakram – he had vowed to not use any weapon during the war. Near the
main shrine are the ones of Sri Rama and Sri Ranganatha.

This lord has been glorified in the Suddha Dhanyasi kriti of Dikshitar “Sri Paarthasaarathinaa paalitosmyaham” and this is the piece we had the privilege of singing in the main Sannidhi . Since this temple is an important one on the tourist circuit, it is generally very crowded. Despite reaching there early in the morning, there was a waiting time for the Darshan and we had only standing room during our musical offering. Yet, it was a gratifying experience.

The name of the goddess (Thayar) is Sri Vedavalli and she was born in lily flower in the lily pond (alli-keni) near the temple. At her Sannidhi we sat down and sang “Hariyuvati” in Hemavathi. Upon the request of the Bhattar, who was evidently enjoying the music, we also sang “Hiranmayim” in Lalita. After this, we visited all the shrines in the temple – Varadaraja, Narasimha, Andal and concluded our Yatra. Like all other previous times that we have been on Veenavaadhini‘s Pilgrimage with Dikshitar, this too felt like a blessing, and it was a privilege to sing in the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Parthasarathy.

Report by Rajani Arjun Shankar.

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