Monday, February 16, 2009


Jnanappana and Poonthanam

Poonthanam Namboodiri is a legendary figure of Kerala

famous for his devotion to the Lord of Guruvayoor and also

for his literary works such as Bhasha Karnamritam,

Kumaraharanam or Santanagopalam Pana and


jnanappana or the Song of Divine Wisdom, a rare treasury

of transcendental knowledge and its relevance in day-to-day

life, is written in a simple, unassuming style. It is full of

comments of contemporary lifestyle in the perspective of

the short lived nature of life as well as its pleasures.

There are several legends of ‘Guruvayoor miracles’ in which

Poonthanam figures. Once while reciting

Vishnusahasranamam”, he pronounced “Padmanabho

Maraprabhu" and `Maraprabhu’ means `Lord of trees’ in

Malayalam. The famous Sanskrit scholars Melpathur

Bhattathiri made fun of this and corrected Poonthanam

saying that Padmanabha is not Maraprabhu (Lord of trees)

but Amaraprabhu (Lord of immortals). Then there came a

celestial voice ( asareeri )) from the inner shrine, “ I am

Amaraprabhu as well as Maraprabhu" . [This has motivated

the design of the statue in the Sreevalsam Guest house

compound fully made of clay, is the biggest idol made of

clay in Asia

1 comment:

  1. Amara-prabhu is lord of the immortals; and mara-prabhu is lord of the mortals. It has nothing to do with trees.