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Thiru Adhyayana uthsavam

From: Kannan AMR (
Date: Wed Dec 01 1999 - 11:04:30 PST

Dear Bhagavadhothamas....
the Thiru Adhyayana Uthsavam  was actually started by none other than Sri Thirumangai Azhwar himself. It was said that, Sri Thirumangai Azhwar use to go from Sri Rangam to Azhwar Thirunagari and bring Swami Nammazhwar Thirumeni to Sri Rangam. The day Swami Nammazhwar arrives  at Sri Rangam was always the Sukla Paksha Ekadasi (Sri Vaikunta Ekadasi). On this auspicious day, Swami Nammazhwar was adorned with Muthangi and Namperumal with Rathnangi. Starting from Ekadasi, next nine days, Sri Thirumangai Azhwar arranged to recite Swami Nammazhwar's prabhandhams in front of Namperumal.  After the days of Sri Thirumangai Azhwar, the practice was slowly stopped. It was Swami Ramanujar, who started the practice again. (Some may dispute with another story that Sri Nathamunigal actually restarted this again.) Anyway, it was felt that bringing Swami Nammazhwar's Thirumeni from Azhwar Thirunagari was difficult and hence was decided to install a Thirumeni of Swami Nammazhwar at the Sri Ranga!
m temple. And Sri Ramanujar added ten days before the Ira Paththu and called them Pagal Paththu, and arranged that during these ten days  prabhandhams of other Azhwars should be recited. Because, Sri Thirumangai Azhwar started it, the day before the Pagal Paththu Uthsavam first day, Namperumal listens to ThiruNedunthandagam of Sri Thirumangai Azhwar. So, originally started as ten days festival by Sri Thirumangai Azhwar and was later modified as Twenty one day (+one day for ThiruNedunthandagam) by Swami Emberumanar. 
Now come to the question, why we are not reciting Pranbhandhams  during these days?
One of the reasons was during this time, Swami Nammazhwar was on transit from Azhwar Thirunagari to Sri Rangam. Therefore, our Poorvacharyas might thought, it was not appropriate for us to recite, as the entire 4000 Pranbhandhams was considered as the Pranbhandhams of Swami Nammazhwar (Nathnakku Nalayiramum uraithan vazhiye).
Second thing, Nalayiram is considered as The Dravida Vedam. For the Vedas, there is a specific period (during a year) called Adhyayana kalam and there is a time when you should not recite Vedas (Anadhyayana kalam). To give that samyam (equality), our Acharyas might have decided to have this Adhyayana and Anadhyayana kalams. 
   For adiyen, there is another reason. That is to learn and listen to Swami Desikan's and Swami Manavala Mamunigal's Divya Srisukthis. This story I heard long back in one of the Kalakshepams at Sri Parthasarathy sannadhi, Triplicane.

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