SPECIAL HONOR FOR LORD SRI KRISHNA AND GODDESS LOK MATA SRI PARVATI AT NALLUR SRI KANDASWAMY KOVIL (SRI SKANDA TEMPLE): HOLY JANMASHTAMI CELEBRATIONS
DR.P.RAGHAVAN (CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA) & DR.GAYATRI.PATHMANATHAN (CHANDIGARH, INDIA)
After 3 decades of isolation, I, (Raghavan) was lucky to have the darshan of the entire annual Grand Festival (Maha -Brahmotsavam) in August, 2010. It was an unexpected journey and I was very lucky to soak myself into the sea of pleasant spiritualism at Nallur. I left Jaffna way back in August, 1978 during the early part of the annual festival of my beloved Nallur Sri Karthikeya. After so many years of isolation I met my Lord at Nallur during his annual grand festival. There are many changes in the architectural front, particularly, the interior giant corridors, many sketches of Shiva and Skanda Puranas that had come up in the art galleries of the east, west and the north directions of the grand walls. During my childhood, there was no Vel Vimanam, Sri Gajavalli –Maha valli or Sri Chandan Gopal Utsavs. Similarly, those days we were eager to look at the “Thiruthongal “flower frame decorations which were specially made on special occasions.
When I came to know that there are two special festivals cum processions are devoted to Sri Lord Krishna (Chandan Gopal Utsav) and Sri Lok Mata Parvati utsav (Sri Gajavalli – Maha Valli utsav). They are held at 7.00 am during the 20th and 21st days respectively. Incidentally, I rang up my sister at Chandigarh and confirmed that these days are well coordinated with very widely celebrated Sri Janmashtami festivities in North India and Gujrat. The Janmashtami (Lord Sri Krishna’s Birthday) celebrations are very popular among the Vaishnava Hindus all over the world. Even those who worship the Lok Mata Shakti / Ambal/ Amba also celebrate this function as one of the avatar of Lok Mata, Sri Kali was born a day after Lord Sri Krishna’s birth. Lord Sri Krishna’s maternal Demon uncle, King Hans (King Humsa) jailed Sri Krishna’s parents (Devki and Vasudev) and started killing their infants as soon as they were born as he was told that he would be killed by his nephew who would be born to this couple. Lord Sri Krisha was born in jail, in Mathura, in the month of Sravana (rainy season) during a heavy thunderous rainy night. To save Him, in the darkness of the night, His father, Vasudeva, took the Blessed Infant on his head with Adishasha ( the Blessed five headed snake on whom Lord Maha Vishnu rests) as an umbrella to foster Mother Yasoda – belonged to Yadav (Cattle keepers) community. Miraculously the jail guards on duty were fast asleep and the jail doors started opening automatically. The Holy Child was exchanged with a female Child of mother Yasoda. This girl child was Sri Maha Kali – an avatar of Lok Mata Parvati.
According to Puranas, Shri Krishna was born, around July 19th 3227 BC in a prison cell in Mathura city to Vasudev and Devki. Another version is on Friday at 11:40 pm in 3112 B.C. When the Demon King Hans lifted the female child to bang against the wall to kill her, she slipped from his hand and darted skywards as Veer Mata Kali. She hollered at King Hans that the person who was going to kill him had already taken birth and Han’s violent death was certain and could not be prevented by any one. Even though Sri Kali Mata could have killed King Hans but spared him at that moment to enable her elder brother Sri Krishna – an Avatar of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu to act.
- celebrations go on for a few days – for the entire duration of the important stars of Navami and Dashami. This year the Janmashtami falls on 10th of August here in North India but it varies place to place due to the longitude and latitude. Chandan Gopal Utsav of this year falls on Dashami day of Northern India – it will be on 12th of August (Sunday) at 7.00am We can see that the ever smiling, playful Lord Krishna would be coming on his famous Golden Panch Nag / Shesh Nath (AdiShesha). The well bedecked Sri Krishna would get overwhelming applause among Lord Skanda’s devotees. According to Hindu Vedic records Lord Karthikeya / Sri Murga is often referred as the most affectionate nephew of Srimal (Lord Sri Maha Vishnu). Lord Krishna would wear his famous Blue color costume and decorated with Vishnu Thulsi leaves. One can keep on looking at Lord Krishna forever, particularly the devotees are captured by his innocent, playful smile which acts as balm to all sorrows and failures. Lord Krishna is the driving force as well as the heart of confidence to the humanity. However, most of the devotees in Jaffna are not aware that the Chandan Gopal Utsav coordinates with celebrations.
“The Frustration caused by the failure to gain worldly pleasure shatters a character. It leads to inaction and unhappiness. A frustrated person is a dead man living. But when this frustration makes one search his soul for consolation it can cause spiritual renaissance “- Lord Sri Krishna in Srimad Bhagavad Gita
Gayatri Mantra in Devnagari
ॐ भूर्भुवः॒ स्वः । dEV
तत्स॑वितुर्वरे॑ण्यं । भ॒र्गो॑ दे॒वस्य॑ धीमहि। ।
धियो॒ यो नः॑ प्रचो॒दया॑त्॥ ।
Oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
tát savitúr váreṇ(i)yaṃ
bhárgo devásya dhīmahi
dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt
The next important festival at Nallur after Sri Krishna’s festival is Sri Gaja Valli – Maha Valli utsav. It always falls on the next day of Sri Chandan Gopal Utsav. The Temple administration has rightfully reserved this Lok Mata’s function on the next day. It is imperative to note that Mother Goddess Parvati had presented the Holy weapon of Vel to her son Sri Karthikeya – the Warrior God. The birth star of Lord Karthikeya is Vishaka while Vel was born on Kritika.
We could see Maha Amba/ Ambal of our Nallur temple has a firm but kind face. In fact it is a festival that symbols the avatar of Sri Durga or Sri Kali. She rides on her favorite King of the Forest – the Lion. She grants confidence and tremendous courage to her devotees. We could feel the electrified energy gets into our bodies and prepares us to face and any physical /mental challenges. We have a special affection and place in our hearts for Lok Mata. She has rescued us from many crucial problems.
OM SARVAMANGAL MANGALYE,
SHIVE SARVARTHASADHIKE I
SHARANYE TRYAMBKE GOURI,
( Sri Durga Devi Worship Mantra)