Sri Subrahmanya Swami Devasthanam, Tiruchendur, South India

Temple Tiruppanis (Part Three)

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Vasanta Mandapa
Vasanta Mandapa today

As the second Gopuram was completed the Swami broke his silence. His vow was now fulfilled. His daily single meal, he begged from door to door, not desiring to spend out of the Tiruppani collections. The temple authorities, in consideration of his austerities provided him with prasadams from the temple. This he shared with other sannyasins. The third task was the renovation of the great western Gopuram, and this was taken up in 1877.

By an unfortunate accident just at this time the three temple cars were burnt down to ashes. The Swami promptly set to work to replace them by a new set. He approached the Maharaja of Travancore, it is said with great success. The required timber he got for the mere asking and, along with them, two great poles for the two temple dwajastambhas. The three wooden temple cars were duly completed, and the two dwajastambhas erected. Their consecration was performed on February 20th, 1880.

Kasi Swami was now most busy with these several undertakings. He had also secured about 15 acres of Poramboke lands in the neighbourhood of the temple and planted it with Iluppai and other trees, which is now known as the iluppaittôppu.

The construction of Vasanta Mandapa in front of the western Gopurarn was then taken up in 1882. Side by side with it he also planted a tope of iluppai round about this construction. This is now a centre of attraction for its shade and beauty.

After the work had progressed for two years, Kasi Swami was suddenly taken away to the Feet of the Lord in 1884. He was interred in samadhi, in his own tope and the spot is consecrated to his memory. He had spent twelve years of his active life in this great service. His puja room is even now to be seen as a small prayer house under the Mela Gopuram gateway.

The austerity of the Swami is highly praised. He is said to have once approached a rich Nadar of Kayamozhi to help the Gopuram Tiruppani with a few palmyrah trees for scaffolding purposes and that, his request ,was refused. And a heavy gale that night brought down a few hundreds of his trees, that the Nadar realised the great purpose and he offered them to the Swami.

Mauna Swami now continued his labours single-handed. The Vasanta Mandapa was completed, and he instituted the annual celebration of the Vasanta festiVal, the expenses of which are to be met out of the Tiruppani funds.

With the completion of the Vasanta Mandapa in 1897, Mauna Swami turned next his attention to the Shanmukha Vilasa. This mandapa, originally built of white stone, began to show actual traces of weakness due to its age. Voluntary offer of funds by devotees strengthened his resolve to take up the reconstruction of this great mantapa.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6