THIRUNANGOOR 11 GARUDASEVAI ( MANJAL KULIYAL )


Sriman Narayana Charanau Saranam Prapathye

Srimathe Narayanaya namah

Sri Kumudavalli sametha Thirumangai Azhwar Saranam Prapathey

Srimathe Ramanujayah namah

Sri Dasarathaya namah

Sri Vara Vara Muniye namah

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Offering  repeated obeisances to Asmath Acharyar, Sri Sri  Mudaliandan Swamy, Adiyen wishes to share our  travel and darisanam experience at Thirunangoor done few years back . We had  attended this Utsavam twice and we wish to share the divine experiences to all the devotees . It will be a great fortune and mercy for the ones who will be attending this year on Thai Amavasai  which is being celebrated from 08-02-2016 to 10-02-2016.

 

 

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The remote  village of Thirunangoor near Sirkazhi reverberates with satsangh   every year Thai Amavasya and the succeeding 2  days are celebrated in a  very grand manner.

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On Thai Amavasya, Thirumangai Azhwar  the great saint in Vaishnava sampradaya is given Manjal Kuliyal(holy bath with turmeric water) which is being celebrated for more than 12 centuries .

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The next day, 11 Garuda Seva of LORD  is celebrated which is being done since past  100 years .The third day marks the return of Azhwar to Tiruvali-Thirunagari temple. Srivaishnavas make it a point to participate in these festivities.

. 788 MANJAL NEERATAM AND ELEVEN GARUDA SEVAS   HELD AT THIRUNANGOOR EVERY YEAR ON THAI AMAVASAI  AND PRADHAMAI DAY respectively. ??????????????????????????????? May the Supreme Lord bestow me the knowledge to describe about the Garuda Seva. Adiyen seeks the blessings of all the   devotees  , Acharyas and  Azhwars   for  describing the great event .

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Thirumangai Azhwar  affectionately  called as Kaliyan, was the valiant army chief of the then Chola King that the king gifted him with a small territory to rule over. Hence, he was known as Thirumangai Mannan .

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He was attracted to an apsara Kumudavalli , daughter of a physician and expressed his desire to marry her. Kumudavalli who appeared on this earth to transform this valiant king to a  devotee , laid the condition that he should  serve  1000 Srivaishnavas every day  by offering Prasadam for one year .

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Thirumangai Mannan fulfilled her condition and continued to do so even after his marriage as he got habituated in this wonderful kainkaryam of feeding  the srivaishnavas. In due course, his wealth diminished and as Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita, when HE decides to bless HIS devotee, HE takes away wealth and enacted a divya leela.

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Due to his love for vaishnavas , our Azhwar resorted to stealing and plundering wealth from the rich and the egoistic  but  used the wealth for feeding Vaishnavas and renovating temples.

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 One day ,  Tirumangai Mannan comes to know through his friends that a newly wedded couple bedecked with precious  jewellery  were  passing through a forest in a palanquin and if they could plunder their wealth, they could continue with their cause of serving Srivaishnavas forever.

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 Overjoyed , Thirumangai Mannan along with his four friends  rush to the  place in the midnight ,  galloping  fast on his horse, who he calls as Aadalmaa. He  waylays the divine couple who are resting  near a mandapam at “Thirumanankollai” and plunders their wealth. This precious booty is carefully put  over a cloth and ties it . Not being satisfied with the loot, he  advances towards them and tries to remove the Thirumetti of Thayar with all his might but  is unsuccessful.

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By coming in contact with Thayar’s thiruvadi, realisation dawns on him.  He is amazed .Something draws him towards them for a second look . However  he manages and when he tries to lift the loot, he is unable to do so. He  suspects  the bridegroom for having put some charm on the loot  .  He threatens Perumal who is disguised as the bridegroom with a sword to disclose the secret which is not allowing him to lift the loot .

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Perumal  smiles at him . He advises him to purify himself by having a dip at the  Kavery tributary  and return so that he can impart the secret to him.

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Thirumangai mannan  politely obeys the advise . He returns to  Perumal. Lord  gives him the most sacred mantram,Thirumantram . The moment Perumal whispers the sacred Ashtakshari Thirumantram , wisdom dawns on Kaliyan and he surrenders at the Lotus feet of the Divya Dampadhigal.

He repents for all his earlier deeds and outbursts his  divine pourings starting with  the wonderful pasuram

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“Vaadinene Vaadi….” and decides to glorify Perumal by visiting holy places in India..

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He is transformed as Thirumangai Azhwar and riding on his Aadalma horse glorified Perumal in about 86 divya desams.

OUR PILIGRIMAGE EXPERIENCES:

With the directions given by senior devotees we reached Thirunangoor in the evening and  discussing about the divine pastimes of Azhwars with elders .

Though we did not have a proper resting place all of us relaxed lying down at the temple entrance awaiting Azhwars arrival  as it was  almost midnight when we reached Thirunangoor. The  village of Thirunangoor  is fully crowded with many devotees . We all relaxed in front of a house near Thirunagari temple. Suddenly around 1.30 A.M. in the  early morning, we were awakened by sounds of  crackers and trumpets .

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The drums and Nadaswaram  were being played to welcome our Azhwar  .

On enquiry, we were told that Azhwar’s purapaadu ( procession )  was about to start and Azhwar was being dressed as the chief .

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 Adiyen was keen to join the procession amongst many many senior devotees and the excitement in following Azhwar . Un mindful adiyen took a shower near a bore well and quickly changed my clothes and applying  Urdhvapundram ran behind the crowd to be as close  to Azhwar and the devoted priests .  It was totally dark with  few  street lights  which were going ON and Off  and sad that  there were no proper roads. Unmindful of the thorns and stones, all the bhagavathas were  literally running behind the Azhwar as some one is waiting for us .

True ! The all compassionate LORD is so keen to meet the Azhwar for his upliftment . Adiyen  had the same feeling .As it was too difficult to carry children in the crowd  my family followed us by hiring a  motor car amongst other devotees .

This unique devotion  of the villagers and the devotees coming from far off places has to be seen in person to taste the bliss .  The  holy intention of the procession ( purapaadu)  is Azhwar personally goes to each  of the 11 temples, glorifies the respective Perumals while going for Manjal Neeratam and personally invites  the LORDSHIPS  to  grace them to come to Thirumanimaada kovil for the Garuda utsava darshanam  which will be held the next day.  The tradition of glorifying the LORD at the respective divyadesams  by the pasurams sung by Azhwar is done with all humility

. ??????????????????????????????? Let me attempt to narrate the happenings in the chilly night of Amavasai . Our Azhwar (Thirumangai Azhwar) was seated majestically  in a well-decorated palanquin and the procession  started from the temple  Azhwar proceeds  to Thirukuraiyalur, his birth place.

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The crowd braves the chilly weather to somehow occupy the temple corridor to  have the closest darshan of Azhwar and Perumal . It was 2.30 AM when we reached this temple .  We could see hundreds  of devotees following the procession . The Azhwar literally runs and the bhagavathas also run behind the azhwar. Adiyen participated in the procession and literally was in bliss being with advanced devotees . It was a memorable trek for spiritual quest .The zeal cannot be explained.

We are in THIRUKURAIYALUR, the appearance place of Thirumangai Alwar.

??????????????????????????????? The Temple Priest along with the senior devotees receive  Azhwar  with due temple honours and mangalasaasanams. The first pasuram  starting with “VAADINEN VAADI” was  recited .

It was as if Azhwar was almost there guiding us .The pasuram literally brought chilled tears in my eyes .  Adiyen was able to feel the soul literally craving for HIS grace and the nectar was directly being fed .

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Was able to meet  bhagavathaas who were carrying out  “PUSHPA KAINKARYAM FOR THE AZHWAR ON THESE TWO DAYS”.   Ahead of this recitation we were offered hot prasadam ( Kesaree) .This prasadam became a benchmark for me to offer it LORD later . After honouring the prasadam adiyen moved near to the temple premises where the devotees were thinning away .Offered humble obesiances to LORD NARASINGA PERUMAL and prayed LORD to bestow his abundant mercy in having satsangh always .

The special feature in this big festival is that without any discretion, all the residents of  the 11 villages participate in this function and the hospitality  extended by the local residents cannot be described in words.

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All the bhagavathas who attend this function are sumptuously fed . We can see the village residents  voluntarily offering us buttermilk,  hot milk and food etc enroute

They all consider it as their own family function. Now our  Azhwar proceeds  to THIRUMANGAIMAADAM , the birth place of Kumudavalli Thayar., who was solely responsible for transforming  our Azhwar into a Srivaishnavite.

It’s a  very old temple and  the darshan of Azhwar specifically at this place reveals his liking to this place and his consort . After recitation of the respective pasurams and mangalashashanams , we were offered  Chakrapongal prasadam  which was honoured . The sweet prasad , the sweet pasurams , the sweet crowd  and our SWEET AZHWAR was indeed most memorable night .

On looking at the watch , Adiyen was amazed ,It was  already  3.30 AM  and was looking as fresh . Never was Adiyen awake except for the Suprabatha seva at Tirumala Hills . We must have  around  4 Kms .

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From here we proceeded along with Azhwar to

THIRUKAVALAMPADI  THIRUMANIKOODAM  and  THIRUPAARTHANPALLI 

  scattered around  for about 10 kms and as done in the temples our Azhwar requests Perumal to grace the garuda Utsavam the nest day after reciting the prescribed pasurams of the Divya desams . Few temples the time taken is more as per the number of Pasurams .Adiyen was fortunate to be around the learned bhagavathas and advanced devotees who were literally up to date with the history of temple and Azhwars pastimes .

All these temples are scattered in a radius of 10 to 12 kms .Unmindful of the darkness , poor roads and route followed each of us were moving in a brisk pace to match the speed of the Procession .We must congratualate the palaquin bearers of Azhwar who are so energetic and infuse the spirit to just keep moving seeking his mercy .  The whole place is  charged with religious fervour and was eye- captivating. One must not miss to see bhagavatha’s bhakti for the Azhwar. Due to Azhwar’s sheer grace, Adiyen  was able to participate in the procession.

The procession was more or less like a running race. It shows the Azhwar’s anxiety to have darshan of Perumal at different divya desams . In each of the temples, we could see  the utsavar anxiety  to receive the Azhwar by  waiting outside the garbagriham to welcome our Azhwar. Adiyen was overwhelmed with joy and at the same time  was stunned to see an ocean of Srivaishnavas running behind the Azhwar. True ! If a bhaktha makes a small attempt to seek him

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…LORD moves few miles to reach him  .All through the way, Perumal’s naamasmaranam was done and Azhwar’s vaibhavam was recapitulated. Even the thorns and stones on the road  become flowers to the devotees now .Enjoying the company of a senior devotee adiyen suddenly noticed Azhwars procession moving inside a field lushy and so green . For a moment,  was totally confused . Adiyen didn’t know what was happening. The senior devotee explained  that it was Azhwar’s practice to go across fields, muddy lands and canals  during his times and as a mark of respect the procession goes in the similar fashion and that practice is followed even today. It was a very thrilling experience. Around 8-10  bhagavathas  were shouldering the palanquin and by seeing the speed in which the procession was taken, Adiyen thought they may  drop the palanquin. But  was corrected about my misconception by other bhagavathas that such incidents do not happen and Azhwar enjoys the procession to be taken in this way.  Adiyen decided to accompany the procession in the damp fields along with the  bhagavathas   though was bit apprehensive about slipping in the  green fields . Adiyen never ever felt that we were in the fields  . We along with  Azhwar cross the agricultural fields, (keni kattu), canals etc.  One young devotee was sharing his experience that the local people request the procession to be taken across their fields because they strongly believe that  Azhwars mercy on them will  have a good yield if the procession goes from their fields.

??????????????????????????????? It takes about half a day for our  Azhwar to cover these 5 temples. After  inviting the Perumals in these five divyadesams  it is almost the next day afternoon .

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Now our  Azhwar proceeds  to the banks of Manikarnikarai ( tributary of the river cauvery )

On the banks of the canal, Azhwar does mangalasaasanam to his  Acharyar , Sri Naraiyur Nambi Perumal (Naachiyar kovil, Kumbakonam) who personally  initiated him into Vaishnavism and mangalasaasanam to his favourite Perumal, Sri Ranganathar .  The Divyaprabhanda pasurams takes you literally to the divyadesam along with Azhwar .

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 An interesting happening takes place .The Priests along with bhgavathas  stood in knee deep water reciting  pasurams on LORD Thirunaraiyur Nambi and Sri Ranganathar. Our  Azhwar takes  a quick dip in the canal . Along with the Azhwar,  all the devotees also had a holy dip.

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One devotee informed that  Azhwar, when he  was the chief ,he  used to have bath in these waters for refreshing himself after he returned from his looting expedition. Hence, the  old practice of having holy dip in the Manikarnikai waters is still followed even today.  Azhwar is now honoured with garlands and peethambarams which were adorned by the two Perumals of the divya desams previously. These gifts are  specially brought from Kumbakonam and Srirangam with due temple honours. Now our Azhwar proceeds to  a nearby old mandapam well decorated  for Manjal Neeratam..

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..Thirumanjanam ( Abhiskekam)  was performed to  SINDANAIKU INIYAN ( one who is sweet for contemplating ) who accompanies Azhwar during the entire procession ( deities worshipped by Thirumangai Azhwar himself),

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Thirumangai Azhwar and Kumudavalli Thayar. It is very interesting to note that Azwar is never separated from Thayar except on one occasion i.e. during THIRUVEDUPURI UTSAVAM celebrated  during  Panguni Uthiram day every year in April. Only during this occasion, Azhwar leaves Kumudavalli Thayar alone for a span of 3-4 hours as he goes to rob  Perumal’s properties and eventually transforms to become HIS only property .

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We are now in the Mandapam premises . A sahsradhaara plate where the Azhwar deities are honoured with a holy bath . The beauty is during Abhishekam ( Thiurmanjanam)   to Lord Sindanaiku Iniyan the remnants holy water / milk/ honey /curd  flows through the Sahasradhaaram on Thirumangai Azhwar and Kumudavalli’s  who are underneath LORDS LOTUS FEET

. MVI_0094 Its a great bhagyam to have darisanam of Azhwar when the holy water of his deities is allowed to bathe the divine couple who have showed us the path of surrender to our only LORD SRIMAN NARAYANA.

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Adiyen was fully charged amongst the bhagavathas . Few  senior bhagavathas sang Azhwars Pasurams with some dancing to the tunes .

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Overall the festive atmosphere infused more and more bhakthi and adiyen found there was some special attraction in our Azhwars bewitching smile . MVI_0096 Reflecting on Azhwars pastimes adiyen reclined at the mandapam premises sometimes with tearful eyes thanking Azhwar and Asmath Acharyar for blessing me to be among this wonderful devotees who are in  the trance of HARINAAM all the while  .

???????????????????????????????At about 6 P.M., Azhwar reaches Thirumanimada kovil popularly known as Narayana Perumal kovil. It is here that 11 Garuda sevai is performed. The garuda vahanams of all Perumals are kept here in designated mandapams. Azhwar is greeted as usual and pasurams comprising of Thirupallandu, Kanninunsiruthambhu, respective pasuram from Peria Thirumozhi are recited followed by neivedyam, saatrumarai and vaazhi thirunaamam. Azhwar then visits Thiruvanpurushothaman kovil where professional musicians entertain Azhwar by exhibiting their talent in playing nadaswaram and mrudangam . 9o After mangalasaasanam, Azhwar visits Manavaala maamunigal sannidhi in the temple precincts. Azhwar was one of the favourites for Manavala mamunigal mamunigal organizes the 11 garuda seva on the following day. We were offered prasadam  , panchaamrutham, chakarai pongal etc  sumptously . The Manjal Neeratam is still fresh in our minds. May Azhwar bless us by giving us  many many more oppurtunities to be amongst his devotees  It was almost  3 P.M now . As per the plan , the procession  re started. Azhwar now marches to THIRUMANIMADAKOVIL , THIRUNAGARI  and glorifies the Perumals to grace the function the next day .

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Prasadam is offered at every Divyadesam to the devotees . Now our  Azhwar proceeds to  THIRUVANPURUSHOTHAM KOVIL , THIRUVAIKUNTAVINNAGRAM    THIRUSEM PON SEI KOVIL THIRUTHETRIAMBALAM THIRUARIMEYAVINNAGARAM and finally awaits for all Perumals to grace him at THIRUMANIMADA KOVIL  and following the same custom of reciting the divyaprabhanda pasurams  glorified by  Azhwar at the respective divya desams.

We were overjoyed to be among  a sea of devotees and managed to take rest in open area and  moved to the premises of  Srinivasa Perumal kovil more popularly known as “Annan Kovil “ and  passed the night at temple along with devotees .

The next day morning, all of us assembled at Thirumanimada kovil for participating in  the most awaited  11 GARUDA SEVA.

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Adiyen took this small oppurtunity to have darisanam of  Anann kovil,, Thirupaarthanpalli, Thiruvaali-Thirunagari before proceeding to attend the Eleven Garuda sevai  . Offering repeated obesiances to our Azhwar in  Thirunagari temple. The temple itself is very big. The  deity of Thirumangai Azhwar along with Kumudavalli Thayar is eye captivating. It makes one recollect   Acharyar Manavala mamuni’s thaniyan . Azhwar’s lips are slightly opened as if they are uttering THIRUMANTRAM. Azhwar is seen holding THIRUMADAL in one hand and has  a spear with him. Azhwar is seen wearing anklet. This anklet and Vel were given as gifts to the Azhwar when he won in a contest about Vaishnavism with a advanced saiva devotee Thirugyanasambandhar .

THE PREPARATION FOR ELEVEN GARUDA SEVAI BEGINS

??????????????????????????????? From 10 A.M. onwards we can have darhanam of  divya desa Perumals from each temple who accept the Invitation of Azhwar  We are able to observe  a  big pandal  erected for the Perumals. The Perumals  arrive  in their respective palanquins with mangalashanams . Now we race towards  Thirumanimadakovil at 14 hours.  We take darshanam of  almost  Seven Perumals who  had arrived . AnnanPerumal Vanpurushothaman Kudamadumkoothar MadhavaPerumal Narayanan Pallikondaperumal Almost by  4 P.M. all Perumals from 11 divya desams arrive and take the  gaurd of honour from our Azhwar  as our  Azhwar arrives to recieve our most reverred guest of the wonderful seva  from Thirumanimada kovil for receiving the Perumals.

Our  Azhwar  awaits  near the entrance of the temple.  Acharyar Manavala maamuni  awaits facing  our Azhwar.

, 7655 Swamy Manavalamaamuni was very fond of Thirumangai Azhwar and he , as a disciple supervises this grand Garuda  Utsavam . The place was over crowded but fortunately we could have a clear view of the proceedings and were able to have good darisanam . To enable the crowd to know about the proceedings, a big board was hung depicting the particular Perumal’s Thirunaamam, and Divya desam.

9900 Mangalasaasanam on the particular Perumal rendered by Thirumangai Alwar was recited and our  Azhwar does pradakshinam to Perumal.  Azhwar is  honoured  with parivattam and garlands previously worn by the Perumal as a blessing . Our  Azhwar humbly bows down to  accept the  gifts given by respective Perumals from the divyadesams . Azhwar wears the garland given by Perumal and  adorns the parivattam .  Fruits etc are offered as neivedyam to  Perumal and then to Azhwar and later to  Swamy Manavala Mamumuni followed by  karpoora aarthi

. 12345 Now the honoured Perumal  gets inside the Thirumani mada kovil. An interesting feature noted was there was a separate troop of musicians who played naadaswaram, mela and thalam for each Divyadesam  Perumal.

9876 Finally Karpoora  mangala  haarthi with Poorna  khumbham is given. The sequence in which the mangalasaasanam  done to the Perumal  is as follows

9000 1) THIRUNARAYANA PERUMAL OF THIRU MANIMADA KOVIL-   adorned  in white colour dress .

2) KUDAMAADU KOOTHAR PERUMAL OF THIRU ARIMEYA VINNAGARAM-  adorned in blue colour dress

3) SRI LAKSHMI RANGANATHAR OF SEM PON SEI KOVIL

4) SRI SRINIVASA PERUMAL OF ANNAN KOVIL (palanquin covered with blue and meron velvette cloth)

5) SRI PURUSHOTHAMAN OF THIRUVANPURUSHOTHAM (dressed in white and grey)- palanquin covered with green cloth (Note: All the palanquins were covered with cloth with sankhu, chakram and Thiruman embedded on it)

6) SRI VARADARAJA PERUMAL OF THIRUMANIKOODAM (silver crown, holding mace, dressed in blue and red –palanquin covered with white cloth)

7) SRI VAIKUNTANATHAR OF THIRUVAIKUNTAM ( Adiseshan seen as umbrella for Perumal, blue and red colour cloth covered over the palanquin) (The alankaranam for all the Perumals are  fantastic)

8) SRI MADHAVA PERUMAL OF THIRUDEVANARTHOGAI (meron colour kreetam-dressed in yellow and red )

9) SRI PARTHASARATHY PERUMAL OF THIRUPAARTHANPALLI (dressed in printed silk cloth-silver umbrella –Maragadham visible on Perumal’s Thirumaarbhu-red colour palanquin

10) SRI RAJAGOPALAN of THIRUKAVALAMPAADI (dressed in pink and blue coloured silk cloth-red coloured palanquin)

765 During circumbulation  to  LORD Sri Rajagopalan  Azhwar  majestically circumbalates   amidsts  the  enchanting Nadaswaram  ( Nagin music) . After all the Perumals take leave ,  Swami Manavala mamuni does pradakshinam to Azhwar amidst the background nadaswaram playing  style and the Azhwar along with  swami Manavala mamuni enter the temple. The reception  function takes place for about 2 hours. Around 5PM  inside the temple,  we can have darshanam of each Perumal  who have a separate  chamber  and  ( Abhishekam ) Thirumanjanam to all the Perumals and Azhwar is performed in Ekantam ( private) . After the Maha Abhisheskam ,  all the Perumals are adorned with wonderful ornaments and flowers .The Garuda vahanam is also adorned with flowers and other paranphalia . We had darishnam of all the Perumals and seeked their grace in  having satsangh always

. 345 Around  11 P.M. , the Garuda seva starts.  We quickly come out of the temple and eagerly await to have the Garuda seva darshanam of all the Perumals . We observe the moment the main door opens our  Acharyar Swamy  Manavala mamuni  followed by Thirumangai Azhwar and Kumudavalli Thayar seated on hamsa vahanam  arrive much to the joy of the devotees .    Swamy Manavaala mamunigal in his parangi naarkali vahanam  comes out first and receives Azhwar seated on Hamsa vahanam. One by one all the  Divya desam Perumals arrive in Garuda vaahanams. Mangalasaasanam sung by Azhwar is recited and after due honours, the Perumal goes round the 4 mada streets..

14 Its a divine feeling to be amongst  a sea of srivaishnavas assembeled reciting the  Divya Prabhandam pasurams . Few devotees were distributing the pasurams books for others to follow and recite .  Now the Perumals on Garuda vahanam grace  Azhwar and the devotees who are eagerly waiting for his  darshan . and All the divya desa Perumals follow them. The procession winds its way through the four mada streets of Thirumanikoodam. It takes about 3 hours for all the Perumals to complete the oorvalam. All the Perumals assemble in front of Thiurumanimaada kovil. Azhwar thanks all the Perumals for having blessed all the sinners like us with their Divine Grace.  Swamy Manavala mamuni’s saatrumarai takes place later and  all the Perumals enter into the temple.  On the way to Thirunagari, Azhwar  proceeds to Sri  Annan Kovil, Madhava Perumal kovil (Thirudevanarthogai), Thiruvaali and Thirunagari divya desams

. ??????????????????????????????? On the third day, after all the divyadesa Perumals leave to their respective divyadesams, Azhwar also leaves Manimada kovil.. On the way he visits Annan Kovil where he is received grandly as he is considered as their “Maapillai”(son-in-law”). Finally Azhwar reaches Thirunagari where Vayalaali Manavalan-the presiding diety of Thiruvali-Thirunagari temple waits near the entrance on Garuda Vaahanam to welcome Azhwar . Perumal and Azhwar then enter into the temple together. This marks the end of the three day festivities at Thirunangoor which is celebrated for more than 140 years. Adiyen with tears submit to the  divine will of  Azhwar and Almighty who graced us tohave the darishna bhagyam amongst several devotees .

What else does a soul needs except HIS cool benovalent grace always to be among Haribhaktaas………..

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Nadu nagaramum NAMO NARAYANA enru ..Thats the final prayer LORD ..Adiyen seeks his mercy to be HIS always … Please forgive adiyen for any slips in glorifying and describing the great festival .

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Kazhiyur Varadan

09849635903

For any more info contact adiyen

tirumaladasan@gmail.com

varadhan_k@yahoo.com

varadhan_k@hotmail.com

Azhwar who is glorified as the dust at the feet of devotees ” Thondar addi podi Azhwar ” appearance day 04-01-2019 …


The  foremost devotee of LORD RANGANATHAR of Srirangam was  Swamy Vipra Narayanan  who later called himself  Thondaradi podi Azhwar  ( dust of the devotees of Lord Ranganathar) .  He appeared in a holy dhaam  “Thirumandangudi” in Tamilnadu.

 

 

He cultivated a beautiful garden and offered the best variety of flowers to LORD RANGANATHA daily  .

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This service was well liked by him and  hence  he wanted to live in Brahmacharyam  ashram throughout his life and thus  always be in service of LORD by offering pushpa kainkaryams  .

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However ,a divine play was enacted .  

Vipranaryana was known for his sincere devotion ….

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In the same village a beautiful dancer lived  who  was very popular for her beauty .

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 One day she  came into the garden where Vipranaryana was  growing flowers that was to be offered to Lord daily.  (Nandavanam in tamil)  .

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While everyone around  was attracted by her beauty, Vipra Narayanan remained engrossed in  looking for the fresh and best flowers  that can be offered to the LORD , though she was standing next to him and passerby’s eagerly looking at her  beauty ..

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She was surprised to see a man  living in the same village  ,who would not even turn to look at a beautiful lady within his sight.

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Her friends informed her that he was  committed in his devotional  service and that she will not be able to attract him.

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Taking it as a challenge,  the beautiful lady Deva devi decided to be with him and help him in his service and later win the bet placed with her friends .

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One evening, the  area where  Vipranarayana lived  was struck by lightening and thunder and thus  heavy rains  followed .

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The lady  who was helping him daily with  some service decided this was the right opportunity to enslave the devotee .

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She innocently walked into the garden and  asked for permitting her  to stay in his place as it was unsafe to travel in the dark.

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 As a devotee , he felt sorry for her and allowed her to stay in his ashram  . That night, she wins over him  with her  innocent talk and looks. She feels delighted to have finally enslaved  him.

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Having won the challenge, she decides to leave him and claim her supremacy in attracting anyone including an ardent devotee  .

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As  time passes , Vipra Narayanan  is  unable to live without her  and offers his  karmic prayers to Lord Ranganatha to get her back.

Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Kovil

All compassionate  Lord Ranganatha goes to  Deva devis  place  (incognito) as a small boy  and hands over  Golden Vattil ( vessel)  and informs her that Vipra Narayanan asked him to hand it over to her.

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The next day,  in the temple the Priests  are worried about the missing vessel in the temple .

The news reaches the King through his temple attendants  . The search for the golden vessel inside the temple begins . A maid working at Deva Devi’s place informs the king that she saw the vessel (Vattil) in her place.

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Suspecting Vipra Narayanan’s role in this, the king locks him up in a Jail.

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It is here that Vipra Narayanan realises his folly of having fallen prey to the beauty of a woman.

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He regrets  the fact that he had lost thought of the Lord for a while and that what he is suffering now was the  result of this weakness and giving over importance to  his carnal temptations .  

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The divine play of LORD makes him realise the  material influences that  takes away from LORDs service  .  Later with Elders intervention  Vipranarayana is  released and  remains in thought of the Lord .

 

 

He  composes 2 of the best known Paasurams of the Divya Prabhandham – 45 verses of Thiru Maalai (872-916) as well as 10 verses of ThiruPalli Yezhuchi (917-926).

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Having gone through a traumatic experience with devadevi, he  decides to remain  a staunch bhakta serving LORD every breath .

 

 

He  calls  himself the dust at the feet of devotees  bhaktas

(ThoNdar  adi ppodi AzhwAr).

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Azhwar emotional outburst    laments in one pasuram

 

“OorilEn kANiyillai; uRavu maRRu oruvar illai;/

pAril nin pAtha moolam paRRilEn parama moorthee;/

kAroLi vaNNanE (en) kaNNanE! kadharuginREn;/

AruLar kaLaikaN ammA! arngamA nagaruLAnE!/”

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Meaning:

I have no place

no properties;

no relatives;

none other than you;

I know only your Lotus feet;

O  Supreme Lord of Blue hued sky colour!

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You only are my refuge.

Can you not hear my cries?

Is there any one else to save me except you?”……………………..

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04-01-2019 is the appearance day of  Azhwar

All Glories to our ThoNdar  adi podi AzhwAr

 

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics Credits : Google images uploaded by several advanced devotees in social media

video credits : Sriman MK Saravanan