Travelogue: Seevilimedu Salai Kinaru

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About 7 kms from Varadaraja temple is Seevilimedu the place where one can see the holy saalai kinaru. Salai kinaru was from where Bhaghavadh Ramanuja used to bring water for Varadarja Perumal daily. When there are so many wells around the place what is so special about this place? Ramanujacharya as a vidhyarthi (student) studied under Yadava Prakasa. He was disturbed once by his guru’s interpretation of “Kaapyasam Pundarikaksham” and gave the right meaning for the metaphor. On another occasion when his guru was asked to drive away a brahmarakshas who had possessed the local princess the brahmarakshas wanted Ramanuja’s feet to touch the head of the girl. The guru got worried that his shishya would surpass him and hatched a plot to do away with him. A Kasi yatra was planned and the ruse was to kill Ramanuja on the way. Govinda, Ramanuja’s cousin came to know of this and warned Ramanuja to escape while he proceeded with the group to avoid suspicion.

Poor Ramanuja thus was left alone in the dense forests of The Vindhyas. Perplexed he was wondering what to do when he spied a hunter couple. He asked them for help and he followed them when they walked and slept when they rested. They lit a fire to keep warm and fed him with berries and fruits. They asked Ramanuja to tell them the story of SriRama and Seetha and the travel weariness was reduced. While going to sleep one night he heard the hunter woman ask her husband for water as she was thirsty. Being pitch dark Ramanuja waited for daybreak to bring water for the couple who helped him. He took along with him the pot used for doing anushtanam (sandhya vandanam) and looked around for a source of water. He found a well and hurriedly drew water and carried it to the spot where the couple were resting. But there were no signs of them at all. He came back to the well and asked people around in which place he was. They showed him the punyakoti vimanam at a distance and tears rolled down his eyes when he understood the hunter couple who brought him to safety was none other than Perundevi Thayar and Varadaraja Perumal Saddened by his missed opportunity of offering them theertham he made it a point tocarry water from this well to the temple every day.

This then was the well we were seeing. It has been cordoned off safely and isprobably opened every year when Anushtana kula utsavam takes place. This happens the day after iyarpaa in the month of Margazhi. January 1st 2016 is the date when it will take place next. Devotees visiting Varadaraja Perumal can engage an auto to visit this place. There is a temple to Bhaghavadh Ramanuja close by and we can have darsan through an open window. Since the aradhakar swami goes to work puja and offerings are made by 7.30 a.m. As per the announcement on the notice board there are special pujas on Tiruvadhirai the star under which Ramanuja took avatharam. We went round in pradakshinam and found the temple swept clean with kolams painted all around. We sat infront of Ramanuja and chanted ‘Srimathe Ramanujaya Namah:’ several times before returning home to Kanchipuram .

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Courtesy: Smt Vyjayanthi Rajan

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