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From: L&T-ECCG-Buildings & Factories (BAF-ECC_at_eccm.co.in)
Date: Wed Oct 13 1999 - 23:04:02 PDT
Dear Sri Vaishnava perunthagaiyeer Sri Mani has rightly said, it is only pradhakshiNam and not pradhakshaNam. The meaning of this word pradhakshiNam is "from left to right in the southern direction". This word in samskrutham is a single word and not a compound (meaning addition of two words) and is also indeclinable. There is another word pradhakshiNakriyaa- meaning "turning the right side towards one as a mark of respect". This is what we are doing in the temple, the pradhakshiNakriyaa, the act of turning the right side towards the lord in respect. As such in the temple, if you want to do walking around the moolavar in respect or do the pradhakshiNam, it automatically means you are turning your right side towards the lord and in that posture you have to do your walking always. Just for argument sake, if we accept pradhakshaNa, then the word is to be split as pra + dhakshaNa or pradha + kshaNa. There is no word dhakshana available in dictionary. If you consider pradha, this pradha is to be used at the end of compounds and it gives a meaning "giving" [eg- abhaya pradha- one who gives protection]. KshaNa if used as verb then it means "to hurt or break". If used as noun then it means "an instant" "kshaNap pozhuthu".[ of course more meanings are also available but not relevant to the present context] So without any doubt it is pradhakshiNam only. To add one more point in the customs to be followed related to the worshipping inside the sanctum, while we come out, we must come out with the anjali hastham (kai thozhuthu or kai kooppi) without showing our back to the Lord. [To what extent we follow this we can ourselves think]. The present HH Sri Azhagiyasinger [45th pattam] in his Sri vaishnava sadhaachaara nirNaya book pg 543 quotes "Sri Swami dEsikan in his paancharaathra rakshai III chapter referring maharshi chaaNdilyar saying "chakravadh BhraamayEnnaangam prushta Bhaagam na dharsayEth / paschaadh bhaagEna nigachchan dhEvadhaa sannidhou sudhee:// So as a mark of respect, we should not show our back to the lord while coming out. This has to be followed after we complete our aaraadhanam in the house also. Daasan vasudevan M.G.