History of ‘Harivarasanam’

28/10/2011 Temple History

Harivarasanam’ was written by Kumbakudi Kulathur Iyer. In 1955, Swami Vimochananad recited this Ashtakam for the first time at Sabarimala. Sannidhanam, in early 1940s, 50s and 60s , was just wild jungle which few pilgrims visited. It is understood that a VR Gopala Menon of Alapuzha used to stay on at Sannidhanam even when the temple was closed. He built a shack and stayed there even when no human being was anywhere nearwhere nearby during those days when the temple was closed. It was said that the wild animals never troubled him and that he used to feed the wildest of animals. Some years later, when Devaswom Board was formed, it seems ,he was asked to move out. He died as an orphan of the world at a tea estate at Vandiperiyar. He was the only companion to Thirumeni Eashwaran Nampoothiri (an old Mel Santhi of Sannidhanam) in those wild old days of solitude and dedication. Revered Menon used to recite `Harivarasanam’ with all devotion. It was with immense grief that Thirumeni Eashwaran Nampoothiri heard about the demise of Revered Menon. At that end of the pooja that day, when he was about to close the doors of the Sanctum Sanctorum, he remembered Revered Menon and recited ‘Harivarasanam’ starting a nostalgic tradition that remains unbroken to this day.

Harivarasanam is recited just prior to closing of the temple doors at night. As the final verses are being sung, all the assistant Santhis leave the Sanctum Sanctorum one by one. As the song ends, only the Mel Santhi is inside the Sreekoil. He extinguishes the lamps one by one and closes the doors for the night after the last lamp is extinguished.”

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