It was a wonderful sight, January 1st 2016, in Thoopul Divya Desam at Kanchipuram with Perumal in the centre and two acharyas – Swami Ramanuja and Swami Desikan on either side of Him. Lord VaradarAjan’s sevai as a hunter is splendid. With Bow in hand and native koNDai, Lord of Kanchipuram looks beautiful and purposeful. Lord VaradarAjan with His Devi appearing as a hunter to rescue young RamAnujA from the plot of Yadhava Prakasa and transporting him safely to Kanchi in a moment from the wilds of VindhyA Mountains is a great event in Guru Paramparai. The incident that happened at Salai KiNaRu in Sevelimedu, nearby Kanchipuram and the linked AnushtAna KuLa Uthsavam is celebrated every year to remind us of the powerful links of the Lord to our AchAryAs unto this day & forever.
Margazhi morning at Kanchipuram. Varadan seats himself in the Kannadi mantapam. Ramanujar in a prostrating posture seats beside him. Varadar could be seen wearing a velvet garment with the Thiruppavai pasuram for the day inscribed on it.
At around 11 in the morning the procession amidst a huge sea of Veda goshti and Prabandha goshti left the temple with Perumal inside a palanquin and Ramanujar following Him. The procession stopped at the entrance of Thoopul, where in maryaadai is offered to the Lord and Ramanujar. The goshti immediately proceeded further and reached the sAlai kiNaru in Sevelimedu. Meanwhile shARRumuRai was completed at Thuppul and Swami Desikan was ready decking himself for the occassion. The procession reached the mantapam next to sAlai KiNaru. Arrangements for Thirumanjanam were made. The representative of Thatha Deshikan brought in water from the Kinaru amidst a big Veda goshti. Detailed Thirumanjanam was performed amidst Kattiyam seviththal etc. Thirumanjanam was followed by Nivedanam, shaRRumuRai, teertha goshti and prasadam. Perumal was then decked with Bow and arrow signifying His manifestation as a hunter and huntress in escorting Ramanuja from the forests to Kanchipuram. Perumal then lead the way and Ramanujar followed behind him, signifying as to how the Hunter escorted Ramanuja. As soon as the procession crossed the thoopul agraharam bend, Swami Desikan came out of his sannidhi and waited anxiously at the entrance. Swami Desikan adored in the finest of garments and ornaments, weared a crown of velvet with konDai enmeshed with pearls. Vadyams double and the goshti almost tripled at this stage.
As soon as the procession arrived at the entrance of Thoopul, Swami Desikan first did maryadai to Varadaja Perumal with pattu-vastrams etc and then to Swami Ramanuja. Swami Desikan then received maalai from Perumal and Ramanujar and traced his steps back in an act of welcoming his guests. He stood at the mukha dvaram of the temple and allowed Perumal and Ramanujar to move into the temple and then gently follows them. Varadan was then seated on a simhasanam. To His left Swami Ramanuja was seated on an acharya peetam. To Varadan’s right Swami Desikan seats himself on the floor! (This shows the peak of his acharya bhakti). The confluence is bewitching.
Swami Desikan then performed Thiruvaradhanam to Varadan. TaLigai was then offered by Swami Desikan to his royal guests. Soon after this Varadan blessed Ramanujar with his shatari and malai, which is in turn conveyed by Ramanuja to Swami Desikan. This was followed by teertha goshti and prasadam. Soon after this Varadan and Ramanujar decied to take leave of Swami Desikan and Swami Desikan moved first in an act of escorting them and stood at the entrance to see his guests off. He then followed them for a few more yards and stayed there for a minute or two. Delighted beyond limits he retires to his asthanam after this.
This is one of the yearly Utsavam Astikaas should never be missing. Some of the photos taken during this utsavam can be viewed below
Courtesy: Sri Elangadu Ranganatha Chakravarthy