Today is the 8th day of Virupan Thirunal festival in Sri Rangam: Our Azhagiya Manavalan goes around the chitra streets in the morning mounted on his Silver Horse Vahanam(Velli Kudurai Vahanam) and in the evening on Golden Horse vahanam (Thanga Kudurai Vahanam). Of note, in the morning as he takes his time and goes around at a slower pace, Azhagiya Manavaln will be adorned with a lot of jewels, in the evening he goes around rather rapidly, so he wears minmal jewels.
Sri Ranganatha is the savior of all creatures. He protects them as His duty. Since Sri Rangam is the abode of the Lord Himself, this is the ONLY place on earth which is worth being called as “Bhooloka Vaikuntham”.Blessed are those who are born in Sri Rangam, those who live in Sri Rangam and those who end their materialistic existence by leaving their body, in Sri Rangam. One must always consider it a goal in life to visit Sri Rangam at least once. But the best thing to do is – Be born, live and get Moksham in Sri Rangam.
As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, legend holds that Perumal and Thayar personally appear in Sri Rangam to take the departed souls to Vaikuntham. All the creatures on earth always crave to be a vahanam for Him. Simha Vahanam, Yali Vahanam, Hamsa Vahanam etc justify the fact. These are the cratures in Deva Lokha that represent other earthly creatures. The silver horse vahanam that carried the Lord this morning was evidently very happy as he got such a great chance to carry Perumal on his back. Similarly, the Golden Horse Vahanam in the evening is so ecstatic for obvious reasons. He moves gracefully with all the bhaktas around. He screams at the top of his voice, the lord’s name …”Ranga….” and takes Perumal around all the chitra streets on his back.
Once the shadow of our Azhagiya Manavalan’s feet falls on kith chitra street, the horse spots the heavenly charriot decorated by all the Muppattu Mukkodi Devathas waiting to carry the Lord. They very sight of the charriot makes the horse lose its senses. The very thought that Perumal would get off his back makes the horse go crazy. He loses his mind and even forgets that he is carrying the lord on his back and starts running criss cross and zig zag across the east chitra streetnear the charriot, termed Veyali. This is such a wonderful site and certainly holds so much meaning in it. It is for us, humans, to see the depth in the devotion of the horse and learn from this incident.
The lord then passifies and controls the horse and gets off his back on reaching the temple. Look at Azhagiya Manavalan’s face – You would see that He so serious, all this ornaments and clothes are drenched as he was sweating while controlling the horse. “Oh Ranganatha, though we have always tried to keep you from sun’s rays and rains, you have got drenched in your own sweat today”.
Having done all the rounds in Sri Rangam and contorlling the horse, our Azhagiya Manavalan moves to Kannadi Arai(palace of mirror) wherehe has a relaxing bath (Thirumanjanam) in warm water. He adornes a very delicate yet grand garland made of jasmine, vrukshi flower and pathiri flowers from Thondaradi podi azhwar’s gardens, Madhura Kavi ahwar’s garders. Afterwards, he is offered Aravanai (similar to chakkara pongal without moong dal, made of rice, jaggery, saffron, cardamom and ghee) and Milk with sugar and saffron. Then He goes to shayanam in the kannadi arai!!
Tomorrow, early in the morning, at 4:00 am Perumal would move out of Kannadi Arai and proceed towards Thiru theru (Chariot). He would reach the chariot at 4:30 AM, in Meena Laghnam. On His way, He enjoys Siriya Thirumadal and Periya Thirumadal, Veda Vinnappam goshti. At sunrise at around 6AM, the chariot would leave for procession. People from all over India will throng the streets of Sri Rangam during this time. It is thought that our Azhagiya Manavalan Himself invites people for this grand event thus producing devotees who flock to hold the ropes and pull by the THOUSANDS! They carry water in pails and pitchers and sprinkle it on the streets in order to leave the streets cooler. Devotees scream “Ranga…Ranga…Ranga..Ranga…” at the top of their voices and perform “Anga Pradakshanam” as other devotees continue to sprinkle water on the streets ahead of them. This is such a powerful sight and experience. The devotion of the villagers who come to the festival is so deep that it can be understood only by Perumal Himself. The depth of their devotion is unmatched.
The following are some of the photographs taken during Day 8…
Write-up Courtesy: Sri Narasimha Bhattar; Photo Courtesy: Sri Rengarajan Ravi, Sri V. Santhanam Gopalan, Sri Murali Bhattar and Sri Prasantha Rajagopal
For previous days’ utsavams, please visit http://anudinam.org/2013/05/01/thiruvarangam-viruppan-thirunaal-chitrai-brahmotsavam-days-12/
For detailed schedule of the utsavam, please visit http://anudinam.org/2013/05/01/thiruvarangam-viruppan-thirunaal-chitrai-brahmotsavam-commences/