In Paandya-desham, there was a Nagaram by name Shri Valli Puttuur. It had very tall Bhavanams which touch the skies, all people used to follow their Sva-dharmam. There were many Pushkarinis and Udyaana-vanams (huge parks). The Sarovaras were filled with big Padmams and had many Hamsas. All the Nagara-maargams (roads) were wide and straight. Words are not enough to describe the Soundaryam of the Nagaram.
After Jala-kreeda in Sarovaram, the women used to take Shuddha-jalam in pots for Shri Hari Abhishekam. The also used to take Kamalam and other Pushpas for Vishnu puuja. Later they used to do adhyayanam of Bhaagavata-aadi Puraanas.
Ducks sleep with their heads covered in their feathers. Seeing them, some used to think they are the Vastrams (white clothes) of the Vipras who did snaanam in the Nadi before Suryodayam and enter the water to return them back to the Vipras. The ducks, disturbed from sleep, used to then go away from them. Instead of praising them for their honesty, the Baalikas who saw all this used to laugh at them.
The main Devaalayam of the Nagaram was that of Mannaaru Krishna Svaami. It is on the Northern side of the Nagaram. There were two huge Rathams for Krishna Svaami which resembled Meru and Mandara Parvatams.
The Gruhasthas in the Nagaram, on seeing an Atithi, used to do Saashtaanga-namaskaaram. Then they used to take them to their Gruham, wash their feet, always remembering that “Abhyaagatah Svayam Vishnuh”. After the Atithi took some rest, they used make him sit on a mat made of Naarikera-patrams (coconut leaves) and put aahaaram in a Vishaala Kadalii-patram (plantain leaf). They used to serve rice (Odanah) made from best quality grains (tandulaah), Daal, Go-ghrutam (Cow ghee), many varieties of Vyanjanams (curries), Go-ksheeram (Cow milk) and Go-dadhi (curds). After the Bhojanam, they used to give the Atithi Taambuulam and do their Paada-seva. As soon as the Atithi says “ok, I must go”, they used to do satkaaram to the Atithi according to their Sampada, go along with him for some distance and come back sad to have got only that much chance of doing Atithi-seva.
In such Shri Valli Puttur Nagaram, in the 46th samvatsaram after the start of Kaliyugam (that is around 5000 years ago, see this too), Svaatii-nakshatram, was born the great Bhaagavatottama Bhattanaatha (Bhaṭṭanātha), with the amsha of Shri Garuda Bhagavaan.
For him, Kashtam and Sukham were both same. Before doing Vidyaabhyaasam also, he had Gnyaanam and Vairaagyam. He was a parama-Vishnu-bhakta. Impressed with his Bhakti, Mahaavishnu started to make Bhattanaatha’s hrudayam as His nivaasam! Hence everyone used to call Bhattanaatha as “Vishnuchitta”.
(Sashesham … to be continued)
Morals in the Story:
- The Atithi-seva tattvam of Bhaarateeyas is well shown in the story. They consider Atithi as Vishnu.
- The unnata-samaajam of Bhaarata-desham is well shown in the story. They were always near to the Nature, followed their Sva-dharamam and always did Daiva-chintanam.
Message to the present society:
If we read Amuktamaalyada, from which this series of stories will be taken from, or ShrimadRaamaayanam, or Raghuvamsham, we will find descriptions of how well the cities of those days were developed. Once we contrast with the present “modern” city we will really come to know whether we have really made “progress, development” by leaving our Bhaarateeya Smaskruti and Saampradaayam and copying the West?
Search Terms: Periyalvar, Periyaalvaar, Bhattanatha