A Cultural Commerce Start-up Named after the Lord in Thirukovalur
Cultural Commerce plays a seminal role in increasing the wealth of the nations. Festivals and occasions led to a spurt in joy. This led to fellowship and consumption. Rulers of the past understood the significance of this kind of commerce. Festivals and celebrations were connected with the climate, geography, availability of natural resources and cultural exchanges. These festivals had been adopted and assimilated voluntarily. People did not have to be brainwashed in order to create an event. The Kite Festival at Gujarat is a good standpoint. Prof. P. Kanagasabapathi worked along with his friends in Gujarat during the reign of Chief Minister Narendra Modi. They studied the Kite Festival and made a presentation to the Chief Minister. The visionary administrator called for a conference and ensured that each aspect connected with the Kite Festival got addressed. Members of the minority community benefited enormously in the process. Kite Commerce went to reach hundreds of crores of rupees. Intelligent and centrist observers took the clue and moved forward.
Every festival and occasion become important for businesspeople. People come to shop, and this adds ripples of prosperity. Sudarshan and Charan Raj (Selvanarayanan) of Thirukovalur are cultural entrepreneurs. Their Start-up, Dehalish Store, is doing the rounds today. The 26-year-old, Sudarshan has done his B.Com. from Guru Nanak College in Chennai. He was into event management activity. The pandemic put a full stop to his business and forced him to return to his native, Thirukovalur. The temple town is the home to one of the 108 Vaishnavaite Divya Desams. Lord Vamana is present here as Trivikrama Narayana. The Thirukovalur Jeeyar Mutt in this town follows the Grishasta (family) tradition and His Holiness Srinivasa Ramanujachariar is heading the institution.
Charan Raj (Selvanarayanan) was a student at the Patashala in Thirukovalur and he came up with an interesting idea along with Sudarshan. They felt that traditional Vaishnavaite items were not available under a single roof. The demand for services had also not been fully covered. Therefore, the 24-year-old, Charan Raj, and Sudarshan decided to take a plunge. They founded the ‘Dehalish Store’ on 1/1/2021 at the shrine of the Lord Trivikrama Narayana. The store has been named after the Utsava Murthy (Idol of the deity taken for processions) of the centuries old temple.
Dehalish Store can be browsed through Facebook and is in the process of setting up a website. The store sells traditional Dhotis, Pooja items, tiny bronze icons which are used for worship, Namam material and dry food items like podis used along with food. All the food items are Satvik, and they do not contain onions or garlic. Podis like Paruppu podi, Sambar podi and Rasa podi are made in vegetarian Vaishnavaite homes under strict supervision. Every item is sourced from the right person. The founders have curated the entire list of items. They are also offering Poojas and religious events. Priests for festivals, cooks for making Naivedyam (Offering(s) made to God), lectures etc., are organised by them. They have videos too, in YouTube and have been uploaded by Sudarshan and Charan Raj. These videos contain lectures and events. Catering for religious events and Homam-s are also being offered. Important items like the Poonul (Sacred thread), Thirumangalya Saradu (The turmeric dipped sacred thread used for holding the Thirumangalyam. It is tied by the husband at the time of marriage and the wife wears it every day).
The founders decided to do Rama Pattabishekham-s in at least 100 homes before the establishment of the new Rama Temple at Ayodhya. Each Pattabishekham would take about 9 days. The team would come to the home of the devotee and do the Pattabishekham dutifully.
Sudarshan spoke about the goals of this venture, “We want to create awareness about the Ramanuja Sampradayam (tradition). All our products and services are affordable for we are reasonable. The wish is to reach the right people at the right time. Lord Dehalisa is our guide. Will reach as many people as possible and want to set an example. People should witness the growth of cultural entrepreneurship and we want to lead the way.” Rangarajan and Vijayalakshmi are the lucky parents of this cultural entrepreneur. He is blessed with two elder sisters.
Charan Raj, the other founder is a trained Vaishnavaite. His parents are Yoga Narasimha Iyengar and Cauvery. They live at Bengaluru. Selvanarayanan (Charan Raj) is serving at the Vaikunta Narayanaswamy Temple at Raja Rajeswari Nagar in Bengaluru. “I have done Pancharatra Agamam, Arulicheyal (Divya Prabandahmam). I was awarded a Gold Medal too. We wish to offer online classes for people around the world. Lord Dehalish will surely shower his blessings on our store, and it will one day become the Flipkart or Amazon of Sri Vaishnavism,” stated Charan Raj amidst his busy schedule at the temple. Bengaluru has today been blessed with not just good temples but priests like Charan Raj who are committed to serving the Lord enshrined in the temple remain in the hearts of people.
Thirukovalur is an interesting place. It is known for practicing spiritual equality. The Jeeyar at this holy town grants initiation to people belonging to the socially depressed classes. He offers a meal for them year on year at his residence. His Holiness has been propagating equality and is emulating Saint Ramanujacharya. The founders of Dehalish Store wish to be of service to all the Sri Vaishnavaites.
Sudarshan and Charan Raj have thought out of the box. The response has been encouraging and sales have been brisk. The positive thinking of these youngsters has given many people an opportunity to flourish along with them. Their products are being sent to countries like the U. S. A.
Sudarshan - +91 95666 97133
Mr. Rajesh Govindarajulu is one of the founding members of the Verandah Club Pvt. Ltd. He is a leading columnist, historian, jeweler, entrepreneur, and a heritage enthusiast who is earnestly working to revive the past in the light of the present. Experiential learning about the history of Coimbatore is his main course of interest and he is also a panel member of many colleges in the city.
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