Over 2,000 years ago, a humble weaver lived on India's southeastern coast with a gentle wife whose very name conjures up ideals of love, purity and renunciation. Valluvar, husband of Vasuki, taught of good conduct, practical wisdom and love. His words became scripture to all Tamil Saivite Hindus, collected in a sacred book called "Tirukkural," or Holy Kural. For centuries his verses have guided and inspired hundreds of millions seeking to live a pure, religious intelligent life. Written in the sweet Tamil language, the Holy Kural may be likened to the enormously popular prophet by Kahil Gibran Weaving wisdom into his world, Valluvar wrote:
To utter harsh words
when sweet ones would serve
Is like eating unripe fruit
when ripe ones are at hand. Verse 100
At the Kasi Viswanatha Swami Temple of Orathanad, 15 miles south of Thanjavur, recent scriptural stone carving of devotional hymns has honored the temple premises with the Sivapurana, Vinayakar Ahaval, Kandar Anubuti and more. On April 1, the Tiruvalluvar Manram undertook to carve the entire 1,300 verses of Saint Tiruvalluar's Holy Kural on the Southern wall of the temple's inner hall, or prakara. By August 31, at a cost of U.S. $500, that entire scriptural work stood handsomely engraved in black marble, the labor or eminent and devoted artist Sri P. Radhakrishnan.
On August 31, a special function was arranged to declare open the Thirukkural Mandapa. His Holiness Sri Kathaiya Swamigal of Valamankottai presided over the function. Thirumuruga Kripananda Variar Swamigal declared open the Tirukkural carving amidst a crowd of 2,000 people.
Situated at an extent of 4 acres, Orathanad Kasi Temple is noted for its fine brick architecture and sculpture. The temple has two prakaras and beautiful mandapas and shrines for Ganesha, Muruga, Durga, Lakshmi, Nataraja, Nayanmars and Navagrahas.
The Rajagopuram renovation is to be undertaken soon. All Saivite devotees are requested to come forward with liberal donations to complete the renovation work and get an entry in the divine book of Lord Siva. Those interesting in helping with this worthy cause may write to Prof. R. Ramaseshan, Govt. College of Education, Orathanand, 61625, Thanjavur District, India.
Article copyright Himalayan Academy.