Durmukhi Vaikasi Avittam(May 28th 2016) was day-10 of Vaikasi Brahmotsavam at Kanchi Varadaraja perumal koil. At about 1.30 p.m. there was Tirumanjanam to Varadan and His Consorts at ‘kanadi-arai’ mandapam. After Theertham and Srisathari were distributed to those present, the screen was drawn. The place was filled with parayanakara swamis belonging to the Veda parayana and Arulicheyal goshtis. At about 2.30 p.m. the ‘Dwadasaradhana’ started. This takes place behind the screen. The Veda parayana goshti started their rendering of the ‘sukthams’. The Divya prabhandam chanting was excellent. It was loud and the tone was beautiful.
Dwadasa means twelve and aradhana means worship. So Perumal was worshipped twelve times. The sounding of the ‘Tiruchinnam’ and the ‘ghanta naadam’ (the ringing of the puja bell) marked the conclusion of each round. Devotees kept a count of this. This is done for atonement of omissions during the conduction of nityaradhana for Perumal during utsavam when purappadu takes place at odd times like 2.30 a.m. Mantra lopam, kriya lopam etc happen due to human failings and this ceremony is a kind of prayaschitham. After the conclusion of the 12 aradhanas Veda sattrumurai and prabhanda satrumurai took place. After this the huge crowd was given Theertham and Srisathari, a stupendous task considering the size of the gathering. This was followed by prasada distribution.
Day-10 Evening Vettiver Chapparam
The evening of 28th there was a heavy downpour in Kanchipuram. Hailing from Srirangam we were wondering how Varadan’s purappadu would take place that evening. When the rain had lessened we went with umbrellas to the temple and were surprised to see activities going on as usual. We saw Deva Perumal along with Ubhaya nachimars emerge in purappadu from ‘kanadi-arai’ mandapam and making the first stop at swami Desikan Sannidhi. Then They were all wrapped in a thin waterproof vastram called ‘mezhughu vastram’ (the wax cloth.). This waterproof cloth is made by dipping fine silk cloth in hot melted wax and stretching it while still hot. This vastram is used when it rains so that Perumal does not get wet.
Thus wrapped up Perumal was taken to the waiting ‘vetiver chapparam’. Vetiver is a fragrant root which is called khus in the north. It is a coolant and used as curtains and even as a juice. It was this vetiver that was used to cover the chapparam of Varadan. As Perumal with Ubhaya nachimars ascended the ‘vetiver chapparam’ the arulicheyal goshti chanted the first verse of ‘Ramanuja Nutranthathi’ and moved behind the lantern holders, the musicians and the two elephants. Then came Perumal. The Veda parayana goshti followed with their vedic benedictions. There was no electricity at that point of time and it was raining yet Varadan’s parivaram moved along to bless the carpenters outside their houses on Hasthigiri street. After returning to the temple’ Dwajhavarohanam’ ceremony took place. The temple ‘maniyar’ climbed up the dwajhasthambam and brought the ‘Garuda flag’ down and placed it at the Feet of ‘Deva-Perumal.’
Next the gods, punya theerthams etc who were invited for the utsavam are thanked and given a send off. Perarulalan is then taken to vahana mandapam where His garlands and ornaments are removed. He emerges in new vastram and minimum jewellery, goes in pradakshinam of madapalli prakaram and ascends Atthigiri where the visarjanam of the rakshai of the priest who has had raksha bandanam takes place at Moolasthanam. This bhattar swami is presented with Perumal’s silk vastram and garland. He is then escorted to his house to the accompaniment of the band, umbrella and other parapheranalia. It was 1.30 a.m. when this happened. With this the 10 day festival is technically over but there are three more days for completion – two days of ‘vidayatri’ followed by ‘pushpa pallaku’.
The following are the photos taken during the Utsavam:
Photos: Sri Krishna Durai, Sri Tirumundi Krishnan, Write – up: Smt Vyjayanthi Rajan