THE GLORY OF 18 VADHYAMA VILLAGES-Part 5

KONERIRAJAPURAM

General:

KONERIRAJAPURAM is a village surrounded by paddy fields on the Kumbakonam Kaaraikaal route, about 3 kilometers south of S.Pudur and about 24 kilometers from Kumbakonam. Town buses are available from Kumbakonam to Konerirajapuram.(22, 58) The bus terminus is Vadamattam and Konerirajapuram is one stop before Vadamattam. Konerirajapuram was originally in Thanjavur district but now comes under Nagapattinam district. The village has a sub-post office, pin code 612 201, serving several villages around. KONERIRAJAPURAM is called differently at different periods and writings; other names are Boomeeswaram, Prthiveeswaram and Thirunallam. It's source can be traced in Bhavishyothara Puranam and Skanda Purana. Also, there are historical facts which have been recorded from various documents and Kalvettu related to the temple. A reconstruction of its history is included elsewhere.

Population and other facts:

For administrative purposes, the village is split into Konerirajapuram 1 and Konerirajapuram 2.

Konerirajapuram 1 is small village located in Kuthalam Taluka of Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu with total 378 families residing. The Konerirajapuram I Bit village has population of 1521 of which 755 are males while 766 are females as per Population Census 2011. Population of children with age 0-6 is 149 which makes up 9.80 % of total population of village. Average Sex Ratio of this part of the village is 1015 which is higher than Tamil Nadu state average of 996. Child Sex Ratio for the Konerirajapuram I Bit as per census is 910, lower than Tamil Nadu average of 943.

Konerirajapuram 2 located in the same area with total 894 families residing. This part of the village has population of 3364 of which 1715 are males while 1649 are females as per Population Census 2011. In Konerirajapuram 2 village population of children with age 0-6 is 350 which makes up 10.40 % of total population of village. Average Sex Ratio of is 962 which is lower than Tamil Nadu state average of 996. Child Sex Ratio for the Konerirajapuram II Bit as per census is 1047, higher than Tamil Nadu average of 943.

Originally Agraharam had 7 streets, with approximately 150 houses. Currently, there are only 5 streets not fully consisting of old residents. One street has completely gone away. There are approximately 35 families from the original Agraharam reside here permanently or semi-permanently.

There was a higher elementary school in the western side that provided good education in the old days. Now the school is an elementary school and has been shifted to the eastern side of the village. In the old days, students had to go to Aduthurai, Kumbakonam, Vishnupuram or Mayavaram for High School education. However, that situation changed later with a Higher Secondary School in Vadamattam. Many from the generation next to mine, studied from this school. Currently, new generation schools have erupted around the village offering courses at a premium price. For higher education students used to go to Trichy, Chidambaram or Madras in those days. Those few families that reside here over a long period send their children to nearby towns for college education as commuting is cheap and available.

Source of the name Konerirajapuram:

Thiru Navukarasar (Appar) in his Devaram verse refers to the presence of the Agraharam here. In the last century, there were over 200 families in the Nadu Agraharam opposite the Perumal temple with row of houses on two sides.

The title 'Konerinmai-kondan' was first used by Kulottunga Chola III in 1194 and again in 1201 (Chingleput and Karur inscriptions). The title was next used by Sundara Pandya in 1227 (Kanchi inscription) and subsequently by Vikarama Pandya (1418: Thanjavur inscription) and later titular Pandya kings. The title is not known for Maravarman Vira Pandya". Coins from this period have been obtained by researchers.

Observe the connection between this information and the construction of the temple.

The Chola power declined gradually in the 13th century, most of the south of Tamilnadu went to Pandyas and the Arcot was partly under Hoysala influence and partly ruled under Perunjigas and their Pandya successors. The coins that circulated in the south Arcot district during this period are common though they all typically followed Chola prototype, the initial ones have had the character "Kho" meaning Royalty. The Perunjigas followed Pallava emblem of Bull on the obverse whereas the reverses were of Chola standing King formula. After 1278, South Arcot came under the rule of later Pandyas. The commoner of the coins is Konerirayan issue. Koneri Rayan literally means King Koneri and was the title used by Kolottunga III, Sundara Pandyan and by those of later Pandya.

According to Mitchiner:

"The Tamil inscription 'Koneri-rayan' means that the coins were issued by King Koneri, This coin inscription has long been linked with the title 'Konerinmai-kondan' observed on stone inscriptions of South Arcot district.

Obv: Humped bull standing left; Dagger in front; no crescent above.

Rev: Tamil - Ko / neri / rayan கோ – னேரி-ராயன். Also, there is another version that Konerirayan was a Vijayanagar feudatory who ruled an area from Kanchipuram to Tiruchirappalli between 1487 and 1512. Even though the first source that, there is connection between Chola Kings and Konerin-mai Kondan seems to be a possibility for the name of the village the second source is also acceptable based on information that this village had once Rayar population. Possibly there was some conflicts between the rulers resulting in The name 'KoneriRayan' taken by different rulers. Based on these facts from records, Konerirajapuram is a name derived from Koneri Rayan, (Koneri Rajan) and it may be due to either Kulothunga III or the Vijaya Nagar Feudatory. See the coins below.

Temples at Konerirajapuram:

We used to say that Kumbakonam is a Temple town. Similarly one can call Konerirajapuram as a Temple Village. I shall just give a small list and a detailed description, functions and practices in these temples will be uploaded over a period.

1.Main Temple of Devi Dehasundari Sametha Sri Umamaheswara Temple.

2.Sri Boodevi Sridevi sametha Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple.

3.Sri Kothandaramar.

4.Sri Mahamayi Temple.

5.Sri Durgai Amman Temple.

6.Pillayar temples.

7.Lord Aiyanar Temple.

8.Sri Peedapahari Temple ( This is a beautiful temple and has Saptha Matha).

Konerirajapuram in the Past-A narration:

Time is 4.30 AM, BrahmmaMuhurtham. Konerirajapuram used to wake up not with the usual calls and sounds one hear in other places like birds' chirping or 'cocoracko' but with a mellifluous chant of Sama Vedha by Cinnanna ( Chinna Anna). Immediately one could hear approaching sounds of sandals made out of wood and it's fading towards the temple tank; yes, Annamama goes to the tank to take his bath with a hurricane lantern in hand providing light for his movement. Then birds start chirping, workers start moving, elders move out for completing their morning cores the entire village is awake by the time Sun peeps in. By then Annamama is seen returning from the tank with new attire and walking towards his residence in the north street.

In contrast, if one is awake around 4.30 AM, hears a blistering horn by the first trip of Ayyappan Bus service now. There after one hears sound of one or two motorcycles. Otherwise it is too silent. Even the crows do not make any sound as there are no crows in the village now.

Konerirajapuram has a long history and its story is included in a section separately. However, under a situation before 60 years one would rate this village as a model village. Closed drainage, clean surroundings, law (local and general) abiding people, clean tank, systematic life style were all the characteristic features of the village. In spite of vector control measures mosquitoes used to be a problem. I think the brass sprayer used is still lying in some corner. Electricity was available in the village in 1930s itself and South Madras Electric Supply Corporation was the agency supplying electricity. It was a funny sight for youngsters to see a wireman by name 'Kadigaram' coming every day to check the lines in half pants, as half pants were used by children only in those days.

A description of every area in the life of a Konerian in those days, especially those in the Agraharam, is narrated through first hand anecdotes and stories.

Kisan Upsurge:

In those days, each house used to have cows, buffalloes and bulls. Our people in the village shared the work related to their upkeep, like milking the cows and buffalloes, providing food for them, cleaning them and the like. Moreover, during Kisan the important Vaisaka Uthsavam was also celebrated. All the Vahanams on all the ten days were taken in procession with the Panchamurthies within the temple by our people alone. This was the Konerirajapuram of those days. (I am heaving a big breathing...).

Nationalism:

The village dawned on 15 August, 1947 with the Tri-colour fluttering in a corner in the east street. On the previous night there was a flag hoisting ceremony at 12 midnight and the National Flag is still available. (I was woken up and carried by Sri. A. Sarangapani Mama and made me to salute the National Flag. Many other children and elders were present. Children were given one chocolate covered in a nice wrapper , which was a luxury then. I remember holding the chocolate for two days in my hand just for the excitement generated by that chocolate.). One day in 1948 Sri. Balu Sir, (Thethiyur Balu Sir; he was in KRP then) called all the children in the evening and asked to sit around a Kuthuvilakku lighted in all faces and garlanded with Kadhar Malai; started to sing 'Vaishnavajanatho'. We did not understand anything then, but later were told Mahathma Gandhi was shot. Many of the houses had Raattinam (spin wheel) and elders used to spin using them. That was the Nationalism seen in the village in those days.

Carnatic Music:

Konerirajapuram has the distinction of having Sri. Vaidhyanatha Aiyar, the doyen in Carnatic music. He was personally rewarded by Tiruvavaduthurai Aadheenam as Mahavidwan. Also, there were a lot of critics at the level of Late Sri Subbudu. Vaisaka Uthsavam, Procession of Nataraja on the eve of Thiruvathira, Marriages provided avenues for great musicians and Nadhaswara Vidwans to present their capability before a knowledgeable audience. Sri. PSR is claimed to be a great critic and connoisseur of Carnatic music. In fact, in certain instances people used to casually refer to Ragas to indicate some information. For instance, before Yagasalai Deeparathanai during Vaisakam it was a practice by Nadaswara Vidwan to play Begada before Sri Shanmuganathar sannadhi. Elders waiting for the deeparathanai used to ask if Begada was over. ( ப*யாகைட ஆ./tதா). Such was the association with music. Almost all the leading Musicians, Nadaswara Vidwans, Tavil Vidwans, Baghavathars (during Sri Rama Navami) had shown their might in Konerirajapuram at least for one time.

The Music Festival from Madras (இசை விழா) during December every year provided ample scope for Rasigas. In fact, there were two radios only in the village at that time, one at Sengalivaratharam in East Street and another at Puliyur Narayanaswamy Aiyar house in North Street. Both were of the same make, a big radio under trade name Ambassador. Radios came a little later only to other houses. During the Music Festival, All India Radio used to broadcast programs completely from the beginning to end, especially the night program at 9.00 PM. One program of Sri. A. K. C. Natarajan went on upto 2.40 AM next morning and the entire program was on the air. There were only three Organisatins, Music Academy, Indian Fine Arts and Tamil Isai Sangam. AIR used to broadcast in some chosen way among them. The radio in the East Street was made available for all Rasigas by providing a Speaker outside which was made by Sri. Magudi Mama using his own technology. (More about Mama later). That speaker is in working condition even now in Perumal Koil.

There used to be different groups sitting at different places during night before going to bed and spending time in some pastime, usually harmless gossips. During the music festival all these groups faced only thin attendance as many would got to East Street to hear the concert. There were wonderful talks regarding anectodes connected with musicians and other music concerts. Generally, there used to be an unwritten aversion towards concerts from Tamil Isai Sangam. Also, there used to be arguments about the Raga Alapana, especially whether it is Dubar or Nayaki and the like. The opinion by Sri. KN Krishnaswamy Aiyar (elder brother of Iyankutty Bhagavathar) used to be correct when the musician started the kruthi. Also, there used to be talks regarding the musicians from the previous generation. For example, I include one explicitly. It was told that there was a concert of Sri Vaidhyanatha Aiyar with Sri. Tirukkodikaval Krishna Aiyar on the violin. The vocalist started Ragam, Tanam, Pallavi. The Pallavi chosen was '.கான மயிலாட கோல மயில் மீதேறி விளையாடி வரும் முருகா ஷண்முகா குகா’

It seems Sri. Krishna Aiyar got wild and took his violin and left after commenting 'ஏன், கடப்பாறை, மம்மட்டி, கோடாலி எல்லாத்தயும் சேத்துக்கோயேன்’. (Personally, it provided lot of opportunity to know how to enjoy music. After some time, I started enjoying Sri Madurai Somu at that age while these Rasigas used to consider him at a different level. I remember distinctly " மாமா இது தோடிதானே" Sri. KNK reacts "அட படவா".)

Vanakkuyil:

In those days boys organised a hand written magazine "கையெழுத்து பத்திரிக்கை", under the leadership of Sri. K. N. Mali. Recently, he told that some of those pages are still with him. Nothing wrong in making known people behind it. Late Sri. K. Seetharaman (CRC) used to write all the articles as he had a beautiful handwriting. Also, he used to draw pictures. Another major contributor was Sri. Sethu of Nanalam, who excelled in painting later. All boys and girls of age less than 15 used to contribute articles varying in style and content.

Kalaivani Kalai Kazhagam:

Many youngsters may not know that there was an art club under the name included above was functioning for many years. The only activity used to be staging a drama every year durisummer vacation. When all students converged in the village, work relating to a drama would start. The club was mentored by Sri. SRS Pichu (Ramamurthy) and Sri. D. Swaminathan. Sri.V.Kalyanasundaram, (Kalli) who is now in Anandathandavapuram used to write the story line, dialogues and direct the drama. Some of the dramas were very much appreciated even before the days of professional drama troupes in Madras. Harishchandra, President Panchaksharam, Kalki's Parthiban Kanavu were some of the super hits. Music used to be scored by Mali and Mali (Naguvathu Mali and PSR Mali). They used popular cinema tune and introduce their own lines related to the situation. Music used to be delivered by Sri PSN, Sri K. Seetharaman and Sri DN Swamy. Professional singers were included only for female voice. It will need separate write up to narrate the related anectodes.

Regular Functions and Festivals:

When the Tamil New Year starts it used to start with Panchanga Patanam in the evening on the first day of the year. It used to have all the ingredients like Sundal, Panakam and others and each would be given a Hand Vichiri. At times, Sri Rama Navami may overlap in the New Year, however we consider it later in the last month of the year. The first month used to witness Kappu Katti Uthsavam for Sri Mahamayi, Sri Aiyanar and Sri Peedapahari. The interesting part of the function used to be the 'Thittani' prepared in the front of every house. It takes three or four days to get completed; the place before each house is filled with sand and clay to create a small raised structure. This was used to draw Kolams using rice powder grinded and used in liquid form. That is called as Ezhakolam. There used to be a competitive spirit among the ladies in drawing the Kolams. Temporary tents used to be erected for avoiding sunlight during the day when the Kolams used to be drawn. This will be the last day function when Sri Mahamayi used to come in procession which would be followed by Sri Aiyanar and Sri Peedapahari in the next two successive days. Also, in Chithirai month there used to be Chitraguptha Poojai and youngsters may not know that there used to be a particular Kolam for this purpose.

In the month of Vaikasi, the most important Festival of the village, Vaisakam would be celebrated. For ten days, both in the morning and night there used to be Panchamurthy Procession along the inner prakaram and the streets adjoining the temple. Great Nadaswara Vidwans used to take part and after Mallari and Yagsalai Deeparathanai the five deities in their respective Vahanams used to be stationed in the eastern side and the Nadaswara Vidwans used perform standing the entire time. At times, it used to go for one to two hours. The Carnatic Music enthusiasts used to sit in a jamakkalam for the entire concert. There used to be other forms of arts attracting the general crowd. In day five there used to be Chapparam, a kind of chariot adorned with structures made out of young coconut leaves. The preparations used to start on day one itself behind Amman sannadhi. Sixth day used to witness the Celestial Marriage. Mappilai Swamy used to go in procession along with Panchamurthies, to be seen to believe the kind of beauty of the wedded couples. Eighth day, Sri Tirupura Samhara Murthy used go in procession along with others; the size of the idol would suggest the kind of view one gets when our Gurukkal did the alankaram. The ninth day would witness the Chariot Festival in the evening. Thus for ten days the entire village used to be in an excited state,

In the month of Ani, there used to be only minimal activity in the village as people would get ready to receive Cauvery waters and start agricultural operations. The only function used to be 'Ani Tirumanjanam' for Sri Sivakami and Sri Nataraja.

Adi used to be a month of Devi. There would be 'Mahamayikku Padaithal', Durgai Amman Abhishekam from every household and a ten day festival called 'Adi Pooram'. The festival used to be celebrated with our Amman, Sri Dehasundari. On the last day, Ambal used to go to Keerthiman River in the village around noon for Theertha Vari on Silver Rishabha Vahanam. Pthinettam Perukku used to be an occasion for a carnival. Ladies and children used to go to the river in the evening with eatables and spend time. Children used to drag Chapparams singing 'Achumuchu Kaakka Vaiyapuri' and till today I do not know what it means.

Avani used to be a low key month for activities, except for Avani Avittam for the three Vedhas as everyone would be concentrating in Agriculture.

Purattasi used to be a great month in the village. Navarathri used to be celebrated with great enthusiasm both in houses and temple. Every day there used to be special Pooja in Ambal sannadhi, with Kolu Amman in the central hall of the Amman Koil. Our Gurukkal, Sri Sabesan, an expert in alankaram used to adorn Ambal with Chandana Kappu, not like what we see nowadays, but by actually making Sandal paste manually using the stone available in the this temple. Even now one could see them near Sri Nandhikeswaran. People used to flock the temple to have a view. Also, girls used to prepare a kind of harathy called 'Muthalathi' (Muthu Harathi). Some structure indicating a mythological personality or situation used to be drawn with a kind of natural paste in a brass plate and small rice balles made for that purpose would be fixed meticulously looking like the sketch in Tanjore Paintings. The figure so created would be filled with different colours and it would look like a Thanjavur painting.

There used to be at least 20 to 25 such plates every day. Imagine the kind of imagination that had to go into this activity by girls of this village. Usually, Sertharaman, Sethu mama (Nanalam) DN Samy used to help the children. On the day of Vijayadasami there used to be a symbolic fight between Devi and Asuras called, 'Ambu Viduthal'.

Next month, as usual would witness Deepavali. In the temple there would be Annabhishekam for Umamaheswara and other lingams. Also, the temple used to celebrate Skantha Shashti with pomp for five days. As in Sikkil, there used to be a function on the previous day to Skandha Shashti where, Sri Subhramanya Swamy would come before Amman Sannadhi and receive the celestial Vel. The next day used to be very interesting for young people as there was a function marking the Soorasamharam as in famous temples. For this purpose a special structure called Surapadman is available, with facilities to fix different heads, that is Simhamukham, Gajamukham and Soorapadman. There is a family which used to perform the Soorasamharam. That person used to follow austerities for five days during the Skanda Shashti festival. For children, the special dress the he used to wear at the time of Soorasamharam.

Karthigai used to witness Deepam festival. Every Monday there used to be Shankabhishekam performed in the Umamaheswarar temple with 108 Shankams. There were three Shankams in the temple and it seems they are still there. On the Karthigai Deepam day there is the usual Sokkapanai ( a structure with palmairah) would be lighted and one person from every house used to light a torch from the fire and new lamps would be lighted around 8PM again apart from the usual deepams in the evening. Another Sokkapanai would be lighted in Perumal Koil also. This event is still continued.

Margazhi is the month of Perumal. Every day there used to be Bajanai by males in the early morning. Followed by Pongal in Perumal Koil. There used to be Tirupakshi Poojai in almost all households apart from that performed in temples. It may be noted that every household used to have Panchayatana Pooja. (wondering what happened to all those poojas). Vaikunta Ekadasi would be celebrated with a Procession of Perumal along the streets. Vaikunta Vathil Tirappu is a new addition now. Also, the village would be witness to one of the major events associated with Sri Nataraja, Tiruvathirai. There used to be 10 days function in the temple, called Pavai Uthsavam where Tiruvembavai would be sung by Desigar everyday. There used to be Chandanabhishekam very early in the morning which would be followed by Alankaram and Deeparathanai around 8 AM. Sri Sivakami sametha Sri Chitsabesan would adorn the silver Kavacham with vettiver used to do hairdo. One may not get the feel by writing any number of lines on this .There used to be a procession of Natarja with the smaller idol and Sri Sivakami separately. Sri Ambal would return earlier to the temple and when Swamy reaches the temple later he would not be allowed in and He would stand in the entrance. Then there used to be a conciliation talk initiated by Sri Manickavachagar by going up and down between Swamy and Ambal. Desigar also used to go and sing appropriate Padhikams and finally Ambal becomes compassionate and both give Dharshan and a Deeparathanai would be done. That would be the end of the festival. Apart from the temple side, children were attracted towards festival shops that erupts from nowhere in the morning and one could get any play tool and other eatables. For the last 30 to 40 years there used to be combined Vishnu SAHASRANAMA Parayanam during all days in the month. Also, recently the ladies of the village started Morning Bajanai and perform Sri Radha Madhav Uthsavam (Radha Kalyanam) entirely by themselves. Also, they have a practice of singing Ashtapathy every Ekadasi day in the Perumal Koil. Perumal Koil has started celebrating the Koodarai Valli on the 27 th Day of Margazhi in a grand scale.

Next month, the last month of the year used to witness the Sri Ramanavami festival for 10 days at a stretch followed by Anjaneyar Uthsavam initiated from the day Sri Kothandarama came to Konerirajapuram at the initiative of Anguvam. Anguvathu Ramaier was very much attached to this temple. Great Baghavathars had come and participated in Samprathaya Bhajan followed by Divyanamam and Dolothsavam. This is continued with out any break for at least the last 125 years. On the Pavalimpu day Konangi was an attraction for the child. Everyone would like to get a beating from Konangi before going home at Sunrise, yes the function would go for the whole previous night then and now also.

Social and Religious life at Konerirajapuram in the past:

Perhaps many people may not know that Konerirajapuram had connection with all the Four Vedhas. Majority of residents of North Street belong to Rig Vedha. There were about 10 families with Yajur Vedha. Majority practiced Sama Vedha and among the pandits there was a special place for 'Konerirajapuram Samam'. Very surprisingly, as directed by Mahaperiyava Sri. Balasubramanian, son of Sri. Vaidhyanatha Deekshithar of Konerirajapuram spent considerable time in the North and learned (Adhyayanam) Atharvana Vedham. He is currently in Chennai imparting this Vedha to interested students. Mahaperiava had camped in this village more than one time and there used to be Adwaitha Sadas frequently.

  1. Also, great names in Sama Vedha like, Sri. Chinna Anna, Sri. Appudu Srouthigal, Sri. Mahalingam Srouthigal, Sri. Viswanatha Sastrigal were from this village. All the other two Vedhas also had specialists who were highly respected. Sri. Bhattar, Sri. Sankaran, Sri Ramia Vadhyar, Sri. Gopala Vadhyar, Sri. Krishnaswamy Vadhyar, Sri. Appasamy Sroudhigal and many other Vaidheegas enriched this village. Sri. Narayanaswamy Vadhyar provided selfless support to every family in the village. (I include this just to compare the state now without any comments. This is evolution).

2.Sri S.Vaidyanatha Iyer was a HR&CE board member. He held the Top post in Triplicane, Kanchi temples. He was appointed by Sri Mahaperiyaval to do the Gold Scaling of the Gopuram of Sri Kamakshi amman temple, Kanchipuram.

3.Grahasthas could be highly divisible with respect to the area of their activity. Sri. Anna mama, lived a secluded life at the same time showing high interest to teach Sanskrit for youngsters. Many had this benefit. A highly knowledgeable person who used to engage in reading and discussing various topics related to Ithihasa, Puranas and Vedantha on a regular basis. Another person of the same characteristics was Sri. K. S. Ramaswamy Aiyar, who used to deliver lectures extempore on matters related to our system of life in addition. Sri. Kuppuswamy Aiyar (Kuppa Mama) a versatile intellectual used to be an invitee for debates on topics related to Vedantha. Sri Aiyankutty Baghavathar was an exponent in Harikatha Pravachanam. Sri Viswanatha Mama, Single street was a versatile personality who took care of astrological needs of many of our villages. Sri. S. R. Krishnamurthy Aiyar had written all the 24000 slokas in Srimad Valmiki Ramayanam thrice in his lifetime.

4.Personalities like Sri. Anguvathu Swaminatha Aiyar, Sri. Srinivasa Aiyar, Sri. K. R. Subramanya Aiyar known as KRS need special mention. While some confined to giving advice and suggestions others were on the practical side moving Government for getting facilities, like PHC, Veterinary Hospital, many bridges and roads. Each one had supporting people to move with them in their activities chosen by a natural association with these personalities.

5.It needs a special mention about Sri. S. N. Rama Aiyar (SNR). He gave a prime land free of cost for constructing the PHC and Veterinary Hospital. Those who know the place can see the kind of service done by SNR.

6.Sri. R. Balakrishna Aiyar can be seen very active even now and is developing his skills in delivering small lectures in religious and social functions.

7.There were many agriculturists like Sri. KRS, Sri. K. N. Mahalinga Aiyar, Sri. R. Balakrishna Aiyar among others who were ready for new experiments in agriculture including new crop patterns.

8.There used to be discourses arranged by Mudradhikari Sri. K. S. Mahalinga Aiyar frequently.

9.The Bhagavadam discourse in the house of Sri. KRS needs special mention. One can hear the discourse even now due to efforts of Sri. A. Sarangapani Aiyar, Mudikondan. He bought a spool tape recorder and recorded all such events. Later, the Athishtanam of Sri. Anantharama Dheekshitar has brought out a CD from the recordings. ( I happened to be one in the team of persons recording for Sri. ASP in many such events).

10.The village provided avenue for the conduct of few Soma Yagams and they used to be scintillating experiences. Also, the village conducted Maharudram in two houses at different times, not as they do in one day now but for 10 days using high end Vaidheegas.

11.Hygiene in the village used to be at top level compared to what we see now. The temple tank used to be put under the control of a watchman and no one would be allowed to use the tank for washing, oil bath and other such activities that may contaminate the water. In fact, the Vaikasi Theerthavari used to be in the tank and everyone used to take bath without any worries. It is unbelievable if I say that ladies used to tank water for cooking. Moreover, the Vadumanga preparation used to be in tank water in Summer. Sri. A. Radhakrishna Aiyar is to be remembered

for keeping the village clean in many respects.

12.Also, there used to be periodic visits of Sanyasins to the village and some used to stay for months. The village people used to provide hospitality to them in turn. Now, it is very difficult to see the place where they stayed once.

13.In recent times, Sri. PSR Mali with his Bharathi Manram seal used to move unmovable government machinery in getting things done for the village welfare.

14.Sri Arju Mama used to be available in the village always. Wonder how he used to keep awake always.

15.The school had a wonderful team of teachers with Sri. Krishnaswamy Aiyar as HM. Sri. Mahalingam Sir, Sri Vaithu Sir, Sri Vayalur Venkatramana Sir, Sri Sivanaram Venkatramana Sir, Sri Visu Sir, Sri Mali Sir, postmaster Sri Ganesa Sir, Sri Natesan Sir were teachers for all of us in the village. Sometime later Sri Kasthuri Ranga Aiyangar Sir also joined this team of teachers. Whatever achieved by us is because of them. Though we could not see reason for some of their actions then, we (I) have understood now.

Article courtesy- Professor Sri Krishnamurthy Kalyanaraman,

Konerirajapuram.

Photo courtesy- Sri Mahalingam Swaminathan,

Konerirajapuram

Muthalathi by Smt Jayashree Arunachalam, Thirupunithura.

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