Saturday, November 19, 2005

A special pre-face was presented by Prof. SIRPI BALASUBRAMANIAM.

The novel ‘Tirumalai Thirudan’ (Thief of Tirumala) was based on a thousand year old incident at Tirumala where Sri Ramanuja had successfully settled a conflict whether ‘Thiruvenkatavan’ (Lord Balaji) belong to Srivaishnavite sect or Saivite sect. And there was also an incident at that time that Lord’s Sanku & Chakra was stolen by some Chola Raja.

As per “Aaraayirappadi” of Sri Vaishnava Parambara of Srirangam, Ramanuja has re-installed Sanku & Chakra on the shoulder of Lord Venkateswara and christened Tirumala as “saviour of Sri Vaishavites” (Srivaishnava Raksha). At that time there were religion based clashes at Tirupati, Kanchi and Tirumala between Saivites and Vaishnavites. There were several proofs available for this incident. The early Alwars sang on Thiruvenkatava that the Lord having symbols of both Saiva and Vishnu and to be treated as same. But Nammaalwaar, Kulasekhara Alwar, Thirumangai Mannan and Aandaal sang Thiruvenkatava as Vishnu where as the saivite Nayanmars did not sing on Thiruvnkatava. Even the 2nd century Tamil classic literature ‘Silappathikaaram’ spoke about Tirumala that the Lord is standing at the hill top with Sanku & Chakra having on His shoulders, covered by sky in the top, surrounded by sun and moon. And several other Tamil sangham poems narrates about Venkatam.

At that time of this novel, there was a co-optation between Chola king and Chalukya king due to a well planned marital relationship, which was hitherto a distant possible. Generally the Chola kings were secular. But the regime of Chola & Chalukya at this time was pro-saivites and they condemn vaishnavites.

On Sanku-Chakra theory, there were several records of old telugu and tamil poems, where it was mentioned that the Lord Himself have denoted to one thondaman king/chola king for winning a local war. Aarayirappadi mention that Sri Ramanuja re-installed Sanku-chakra on the shoulders of Thiruvenkatavan. Another record says that the Sanku and Chakra was forcibly removed by a chola Raja to prove world that Lord was Saivite.

The novel was written after several careful researches through referring old records and visiting places concerned. The novel also dealt with atheism and how atheist utilizes the opportunities created by believers of God for their benefits. The author handles this theory carefully after thorough discussions with eminent personalities. The story goes like this..

Kaalingan, the cousin brother of Chola Emperor Athi Rajendran, when on his way to Vengi to deliver a message to another cousin Abhayan (Kulottunga), was made to divert his route to Tirupati by his Guru Akora Sivachari where, a Yagna was to be performed. The performers of the Yagna were the Chola Emperor and his new Brother-in-law, Vikkila, (Vikramaathithya-VI) the ruler of Chalukya Kingdom. They were guided by the Chalukya Guru Bilvana. The Yagna was being performed towards regaining health of ailing-father of Chola King, as was told by the performers. Actually the father was already dead at Kanchi and knowing the truth; this group wontedly hides the facts and performs a fake yagna for the sake of getting good name and fame among Chola’s eminent people. Actually, Athi Rajendra, the present Chola king has already lost the love of Chola’s people due to his unwanted friendship with long time enemies, the Chalukya.

The Guru and Kaalingan entered the yagnasala in the right time and successfully stopped that Yagna and revealed the actual fact; in return, Bilvana got angry and asked his able and beautiful assistant Kaathyayini to kill the Guru. But it was not possible as Kaalingan and his Guru escaped by kidnapping Kaathyaayini and took her to Vaishnavite colony where Sri Ramanuja arrived recently.

Bilvana got angry and hatched plans to destroy those who offended them. Bilvana also assured his Chalukya King that by creating troubles in Chola country, he will destroy the whole kingdom without waging war but using brain tactics. He took Kapaalika (extreme saivites) help to create division among people of Chola. With the help of weak-hearted Chola king Athi Rajendra, he clever fully created a rift among the followers of Siva and Viashnavism in the Tamil country. The arguments of who is bigger than whom, that is Shiva or Vishnu, gone in deep routes of society and even ended with destruction of lives and properties. This also spreads to Tirumala and Tirupati.

Since Thiruvenkatavan holds Sanku and Chakra, Vaishnavites treated Him as Vishnu and the Lord also has Mazhu (an axe type tool) and Snake symbols in His body, the Saivites treated Him as Shiva. So, Bilvana with the help of his disciple Kaathyayini stole the Sanku and Chakra and put the blame on Kaalingan who was happened to stay at Tirumala when the incident happens. The sensitive fire erupted by Bilvana at Tirumala spreads every where, so, also a scene was created that the Lord has thrown out His Sanku and Chakra to show outside world that He is Lord Shiva. Emotional arguments, terror and violence spreads every where The Guru Agora Sivacharya, who felt hurt by the happenings, sought the help of Sri Ramanuja to solve the emotional and sensitive problem.

Bilvana finally asked Ramanuja to show the identity of the God at Tirumala whether He is Shiva or Vishnu or a just a mere statue. He also challenged Ramanuja to prove the world whether God actually exists. Bilvana even told Ramanuja that by any mean, i.e. by way of Mantra or tantra, he can prove it, but, by showing material proof. If not proved, Ramanuja should accept atheism, Bilvana challenged

Ramanuja accepted the challenge and also he showed Bilvana with material proofs that God exists and Tiruvenkatavan actually a Vishnu.

The novel was published by NARMADA PUBLISHERS, 10, Nana Street, T’Nagar, Chennai – 600 017 and available with all big bookshops at Tamilnadu. For copies the author V. Dhivakar can also be contacted at 2nd floor, Medicherla Towers, Diamond Park , Dwarakanagar, Visakhapatnam 530 016, Andhra Pradesh. Email – vdhivakar@ or