Thirukarthigai Festival in Srirangam is celebrated in a well defined passion packed with social culture and sign up for next festival. Among all the festivals celebrated by/to Namperumal, ThiruKarthigai scores much attention. Why so? Explore….
Two Sthalathar BrahmaRathams on the same day/occasion
Commencement by Uthamanambi as in-laws family of Namperumal.
Namperumal sign-up the Invitation to Namazhwar for Thiruvaimozhi Thirunaal.
Senkazuhuneer TiruVasi Sevai*
SokkapAnai Kandaruliya Sevai
Namperumal Kaithala Sevai
NamAzhwar Kaithala Sevai
Namperumal wait begins for Namazhwar‟s arrival
Karthigai events from Koilluzhugu:
This festival as said earlier is packed with a train of events in a short schedule. Let us see how Namperumal serialize them with various entities.
1. Morning Purappadu (Procession): Same like Kaisika Ekadesi, Namperumal celebrates to have a Thirumanjanam (bath) in Saanthanu Mandapam and returns back. After which “Agni PraDhishtai”, Ignition of Agni is made at Tirumadaipalli (Kitchen)
2. Uthamanambi ThiruVilakku Kainkaryam – BrahmaRatham: A convoy from the temple is sent to Uthamanambi‟s TiruMaligai (house) to invite him* for commencing the ThiruKArthigai in the temple. Maniyakarar (Temple Keeper) takes him to Tirumadaipalli.
There he will be handed over with the lighted Silver lamp and 8 other Agal Vilakku (mud-pot lamps). He along with family heirs of Veda Vysya Battar, Rengachar (Vadula Desikar), Amudanar and Azhagiya Manavalan Sabhyar will take them to Namperumal‟s Sanctum Sanctorum.
Archakar will show those lighted lamps to Namperumal‟s view and the eight Agal Vilakkus will be placed on a paddy matt facing four directions with two for each direction.
Uthamanambi will be offered with BrahmaRatham* way back to his house. (* Uthamanambi alone enjoys the privilege of getting Koil’s convoy for to and fro to the temple) Since Uthamanambi hails from PeriyAzhwar‟s clan, he is treated as equal to a brother-inlaw to Namperumal due to Andal‟s relationship. Hence Namperumal smartly uses this opportunity socialize this festival through Uthamanambi
3.SenkaZhuneer TiruvAsi Sevai and SokkapAnai: Namperumal now gets ready for the second PurappAdu in SenkaZhuneer TiruvAsi, which is a one time event in a year. Namperumal reaches Chakkarathzhwar Sannathi and stop a while facing SokkapAnai. (A structure built out of palm leaves to a height of a coconut tree in the open space before the Karthigai Tower).
Due offerings will be made from Namperumal to Tirusutrukaaran (Guy who is used to lit the SokkapAnai) and instructed to lit the SokkapAnai. He claims inside the structure and set the SokkapAnai to flames from the top. SokkapAnai sets to flames which reach to greater heights. A scene comparable to Ullaganatha Perumal‟s manifestation.
4. Kaliyan Pattu and Kaithala Sevai: Namperumal enters and rests at Saanthanu Mandapam after completing the Tiruvanthikaappu at Thayar Sannathi. Arayar will recite the „VAdinen VAdi…‟ pasuram as Kaliyan Pattu. After that when Sthaneegar calls the Kannaku Pillai (Temple Accountant) and informs Namperumal. Now the Archakar recites the words of Namperumal as:
“Yedath Therailogya Nirmaanathraana Samhara Kaarinam
Srimath Sriranganathasya Sasanam Sasvatham Param” …
“Karthigaku Karthigai, Thirukarthigai Nalandru Naam Purapattrauli, Nam Azhagiya
Manavalan ThiruMandapathil, CheraPandyan Simhasanathil, Sundara Pandyan
Thirumuthupandalyn keizh, Harihara Rayan ThirupallikattilynMel Ezhunthurauli Nam
Kaliyan Pattu KellaNirkaiyil, Kovanavar, Kodavar, Koduval Edupar, Aaduvaar,
Paaduvar, Thazhaieduvar, matramulla Nam Adiyargalellam, „Nam Sadagopanuku
Mun Petra Perum Petrai Tharavenum‟ ena Kella Nirkaiyil, Namum Nam
Sathikalaintha Santhanamum, SudiKalaintha Suganthamum, Uduthikalaintha
Oliyanum Nam Thazhiyiduvan Kaiyil Koduthu Anupinom” says as NAMPERUMAL.
(Meaning:- During the Festival of karthigai, in the month of karthigai, when I was in Azhagiya Manavalan Court, sitting in the throne gifted by the King CheraPandyan, under the Pearl ceiling gifted by the King SundaraPandyan, over the couch gifted by the King HariHara Raya and listening to the songs of our Kaliyan (ThirumangaiAzhwar), MY court caretakers, court dancers, court singers and other devotees pleaded as “Please bless us by demonstrating the form and way how Namazhwar attained eternal bliss”. Hence, I am sending MY daily wearing Sandal paste, Garland and MY clothes (as signatory proof /digital signature) along with the bearer of this letter.)
Namperumal then enters Sanctum Sanctorum by Kaithala Sevai by Three Archakar in the midst of devotees around him.
VAdula Desikar Kainkaryam – BrahmaRatham: After this, Koil attendees will invite Vadula Desikar to the Temple. He is offered with Namperumal‟s MariyAthai and then he visits SEnnai Muthaliyar Sannathi.
By the time, Vadula Desikar‟s disciples are ready with the letter dictated by Namperumal erstwhile ago through Archakar at Saanthanu Mandapam. Namperumal‟s letter is handed over to Vadula Desikar along with HIS Malai (garland) and Clothes. He takes the same to NamAzhwar Sannathi. NamAzhwar will be taken by Kaithala Sevai and the letter is handed over to him. Vadula Desikar is offered with Brahma Ratham for his Kainkaryam.
Namperumal‟s Karthigai Celebration gets completed by this BrahmaRatham and his wait for NamAzhwar‟s arrival to ThiruVaimozhi Thirunaal starts….
One need nearly 6 hours on Karthigai to be part of this wonderful wired train of events.
There is one local Phrase …
KArthigaikku KArthigai .. Namperumal..,
“Nadanthathu – Senkauzuhuneer Tiruvasiyul **
Valaranthathu – Vamananai Sokkapanaiyul**
Amarnthathu – Sundarapandya MuthuPandalul**
Ezhunthathu – Archakar Kaithalathul**
Paduthathu – Namazhwan Nenaipiley**
Information extracted from: Narasimhabhattar’s write-up