Friday, December 23, 2005

Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2005 11:42:18 +0000 (GMT)
From: "kausalya puthri" Add to Address Book
Yahoo! DomainKeys has confirmed that this message was sent by Learn more
Subject: The enchanting Thirumalai thirudan!
To: "venkataraman dhivakar"


Dear Sri Dhivakar,
My humble pranams to you

Let me first apologise to you for having taken a long time to respond to your book. First reason is that the book is exceedingly well written, and I am a nobody to pass comments on it and second, whatever doubts I have about it are about the facts, historical and other wise.

There is a good flow in the story, particularly the last 100 pages are gripping. The kathaa-yukthi at the end of each chapter shows the writer’s mastery in story telling. But what struck me most was the humane touch which I relished particularly at 2 places, one when the hero cautions Avanthika about woman’s rights and wrongs against them and Avanthika’s dialogue with Kaathyayaini in her attempt to bring her around. This part was beautifully done, skillfully dialogued as not to impose views on Kaathyayini by Avanthika, yet at the same time without mincing words. The author’s hold over psychological analysis of characters and the way they will behave accordingly have been brought out succinctly in these areas.

Now other doubts / issues that strike me.
I think in page 241, the author’s own opinion on whether Vekatavan is Shivan or thirumal is given, am I right?
If so, can you be a little more elaborate, just for knowing.
Again at the end, no specific idea about the Lord is given (the empty vibhoothi sambudam and thulasai maalai on His meni). Is this historically given as such or author’s judgement?
In page 182, a mention on the name derivation of venkata malai comes. It shows the place was once ‘paalai’. That means kaali or kottravai must have been the presiding deity. The lion image on the wall of the temple signifies this? The location at the hill top (kurunji) and the forest area (mullai) all blended seems to add to the mystery of this perumaL. Comments please.
Another doubt about the season, which looks rainy in Margazhi. In the present times, rains must have stopped by then. But from the early few pasurams of Thiruppavai I used to wonder whether it used to rain in maargazhi too in those days. Or is it because the location was hill top that frequent rains were possible due to cloud movement?
It appears that Kaalingan is a real character. But why then he could not ascend to throne which is more in tune with practice as belonging to direct lineage (as eldest son of the king who also happens to be the eldest)? Any historical evidence exists for his not ascending?
AdhiRajendran had ruled for a year or so. And it is said that Ramanuja left during his reign and returned after the change of king. But Ramanuja’s exile was for nearly 11 years in Melkote. How to accommodate this part in the complicity of AdiRajendran’s one year rule?
From the story, it appears that rather than by Ramanuja’s efforts, it is by natural turn of events (which I understand the author has used imaginatively to fit in his story of Kaathyayaini’s role), the Lord’s sthithi had been established. Since I am not aware of any historic accounts on this issue, I am asking this. Is this about the available facts or anything more exists and if so, can I get to know them.
Finally, my repeated pranams to the author who has given the exact meaning of who a vaishnavite is, which not many staunch vaishnavites of today are not in the know of. This is enough proof for your having assimilated the basics of Vaishnavism, Sir. My pranams to your knowledge!!

Jayasree saranathan