In October, 1916, the festival of Navarathri was celebrated grandly in the Kumbakonam Shankara Matam premises. During each of the nine days, special prayer service with a lakh Archana to Devi was conducted. Lamps lit with ghee, a lakh in number as well as free food to one lakh Brahmins was also done as part of the celebration.
Famous Tamil Poet Shri C. Subramania Bharathiar has commented about this festival in his article and an excerpt follows:
“It is common around the land to celebrate the Goddess and Her splendor during the spring season when She showers Her blessings. It is a common and great practice to worship Her during these Nine days. There was flash news in a newspaper that special celebrations were to be conducted on this occasion at the Kumbakonam Sankara Matam."
"Even though it was a common practice, I was curious about Sankara Matam and started to read the news. More than half the article was about Shastras and it was amazing to see the Shastras in a commercial newspaper. But the Shastras were truthful and I was thrilled to read the story!”
In 1916 Shankara Matam was located in Kumbakonam and Kanchi Mahaperiyava was the Peetadhipathi that time.
The pictures above are of Kumbakonam Shankara Matam. Bala Periyava is seen in the room where Mahaperiyava used to stay. Pudhu Periyava is in the Brindavanam room contains the Adhistanams of the 62nd, 63rd and 64th Shankaracharayas of Kanchi. Source of the info about the Adhistanam is drlsravi.blogspot.com.
Mahakavi Subramania Bharthiar was an Extraordinary Poet, Writer, Journalist, Indian independence activist and social reformer from Tamil Nadu. He was born on December 11, 1882 at Ettayapuram in Tamil Nadu. At the early age of 38 he passed away on September 11, 1921. He is seen with his wife Smt Chellamal in the picture.