All Philosophies in the world promise happiness, either here or hereafter; in two ways they do it, through attainment of happiness or release from unhappiness (sukhaprapti or dukhanivrthi). All the sciences provide comforts with the same purpose, to provide happiness. While the sciences do not propose in which manner their discoveries are to be utilized for attaining happiness but only list the consequent results if their discoveries are used in different ways, the philosophies give rise to religions which enlists dos and don’ts (vidhi and nishedha) so that the here or hereafter be made happy. Human life is a sequence of experiences and response to them, the later experiences determined by the present responses in combination with remnants of the past. Vidhi and nishedha are commandments concerning the responses to various situations. How are these commandments arrived at ? Is there a logical way of arriving at the injunctions in a new situation?
He, who, having entered all the moving and non moving things, animate and inanimate, as the luminant inner Self, shines as the pure “Jnanaswaroopa” (knowledge incarnate ) He, who though depends on Maya (for creation, sustenance etc.), is not in the least tainted by it, to that Lord of the Universe, Sree Padmanabha, I offer my humble Namaskara.
The Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple is not only one of the most sacred shrines of India, but also a veritable treasure-house of art and architecture. Splendid stone sculptures and murals complement the majestic splendour of the temple architecture which is a fusion of Dravidian and indigenous styles. In spite of the temple’s architectural exuberance, there’s nothing flamboyant about the structural edifice, but it is one which invokes awe and humility in the beholder.
From times of yore, Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum has been very famous and has been referred to in ancient chronicles, scriptures and puranas. The very name Thiruvananthapuram has taken its origin from the Ananthasayi Sri Padmanabha who is the presiding deity here. The hallowed Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple has been the centre around which the city has come into being. And the milestones laid in this State of Kerala start with ‘0’ at the eastern footsteps of the Temple. In this Temple, the sanctum sanctorurn has three doors and inside, one can see the Ananthasayi Padmanabha in yoganidra posture on the Anantha serpent. As per Prakrit Sanskrit, the city was called ‘Syanandurapuri’ meaning ‘Sri Ananthapuri’. Maharaja Swati Tirunal had composed a composition on Thiruvananthapuram called ‘Syanandurapura Varnana Prabhandham’. Even today all Vaideek sankalpas are said as ‘Syanandurapurakhye Bhaskara kshetre Sribhuminelasametha Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy sannidhau’.
The Deity of the Travancore rulers – Sree Padmanabha became the endearing, all-pervading benediction and guardian of this 1000 year old city – Thiruvananthapurarn. Here, it is interesting to note that the city has taken the name of the protector of the Lord – the 1000 headed Divine serpent – “Ananta” – on whose coiled body, the Lord sleeps. Ananta’s hood with its 2000 eyes, while giving shade to the Lord’s head, keeps vigil while He rests.
Legends are not equated with recorded evidence by historians. A legend is accepted if there are enough corroborating evidences to support it. But recorded evidence is accepted much more directly than legends. So how should one consider the recorded evidence found in the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple? Among the thousands of palm leaf records in the temple archives, one leaf shows certain important informations regarding the antiquity of the temple. It shows that the king Kotha Marthandan constructed the “Ahisravana Mandapa ” in the temple just after the demise of king Pareekshith following a snake bite.