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Some more on Sri Rangam (Sri Vaikundam)

From: Sampath Rengarajan (
Date: Tue Feb 20 1996 - 09:11:14 PST

Arangan ThiruvadikaLE saraNam

> *********** Forwarded Message**************
> Dear Srini,
> I was delighted to read about Tiruvarangam temple. However, there are
> some points I want to mention :
> (1) The 1000 pillar temple known as Seshraya mandapam is not the one in
> which Arayar Sevai takes place (if I am not wrong). Arayar sevai takes
> place in 5th circle in Kili mandapandam. There is a Tulak nachiyar
> sannidhi at the end of kili mandapam.

 When I mentioned that araiyar sEvai takes place here, it was not meant to be
1000 pillar hall but in that cicuit. However, the relevance to mentioning this
statement just after 1000 pillar hall is such that, the araiyar sEvai takes
place in front of the 1000 pillar hall during vaikuNda eKadEsi. PerumaL will
get into the 1000 pillar mandapam immediately after this sEvai. The sEvai and
the mandapam are in the same circuit. The reason that I have not mentioned the
exact places of each festivites (in fact there are so many festivities
associated with each deity there including the thulukachchi naachiyaar, even
Uraiyoor naachiyaar etc) is such that it needs to be written elaborately and
one can publish several books on these. The reason araiyar sEvai was mentioned
here is becuase it was significant in the light of the fact that Sri
Raamaanujaa emphasised the vazhipaadu niyamanam through it. Much more to say
that the entire post had some hidden "places and phrases" that each reader
according to their "stages" will conceive it. For example note that a small
circuit closest to Arangan known as saaligraama suRRu is not discussed in this.
This is not open to public now. When I was a young boy I had had chances to go
through this inner most circuit with my Grand Father. Certain things cannot be
revealed in public domain. They are to be realised individually only.

> (2) Sirirya tiruvadi i.e there are 2 temples for anjaneyar because in the
> place where siriya tiruvadi is there, there is a place for keeping
> Thirumanjan kudam. Of course every day theertham is brought from Cauvery
> with all Raja maryadai i.e., on elephant with umbrellas and nadaswaram etc.

 There are two aanchanEyar sannithis in Srirangam. But the most "significant"
one is the one that was mentioned here. For a derailed account of the daily
rituals you may want to wait until 108 CD is released ,'cos we will present
them in the thala puraaNam such details. The focus for this post is ...

> (3) I do not remember if the note mentioned about Nammalwar sannidhi
> which is also in the same circle as siriya tiruvadi. From the entrance,
> when we are facing the direction of sanctum sanctorum, to our right is
> siriya tiruvadi; to our left is nammalwar's sannidhi.

I didnot write about nammaazhwaar specifically, because of the fact that I had
mentioned about "sEnai mudali" in two "relevant" places.

> (4) It was not mentioned that the moolavar in Ramanujar sannidhi is
> Ramanja's physical remains themselves. It is called "Thaan aana tirumeni"

 Since there are few accounts of details that are elaboate on this Sri
Raamaanujar's sannidhi, i didnot mention it, in this post.

> (5) Mettu narasimhar is called mettu azhagiya singar.

According to some, HE was also the refree when the RaamyaaNam was delivered.
It is also beleived that HE acknowledged the contents od Kambar's presentation
with a thundering laugh.

> (6) Just a few yards from Mettu azhagiya singar and Kambar's Arangetra
> mandapam, is Vedanta Desikar's sannidhi. 3 years ago some people were
> chanting some of the works of desikar every day. Then, over a period of
> time, they noticed that the footprints of Arangar started appearing on
> the wall of desikar sannidhi.
> Of course there is so much to know about Srirangam. But this is some info
> I have come to know when I visited, and thought would share with you.
> Regards,
> Anand
>-- End of excerpt from SRINIVAS

 While thanking everyone for their interest in this posting, I would like to
that any "major" ommission is not due to lack of info on major aspects. I had
mentioned in my introduction that I will only "attempt" to present some
details. Though I had not presented 85 % of the details, someone may know many
more details. When adisEshan couldnot possibly tell the leela vibuthis of the
Lord with the 1000 heads, A small person with some limitations can tell only to
some extent. However I still feel that there will be several accounts of
Sriranmgam present with so many people. While most of them are connected to
thala puraaNam, some of it are not there, Partly becuse they can not be
presented in public domain as they are personal and its divine nature.

 I was born in the southern banks of the kuaveri which is presently known as
thiruchi, derived from thiru cheernagap paLLi of arangan. I never lived there
continuously except for my vacations from the school days of childhood. But I
have had several "intimate" occassion of being with Arangan as my Grand Father
is one of the "TEN" upayak kaaraaLs during the iraap paththu festival after Sri
vaikuNda eKaadEsi. In response to kanaka's song (the thaalaattu song) posted
yesterday I am sure everyone will have their own tales to tell. I want to write
a little bit on some personal encounter in our family similar to kanaka's
experiences . The song mentioned is a thaalaattu song. I have had the unique
opportunity to attend the veeNai vazhipaadu few times during "Ekaantha sErvai",
prior to "aRavaNai". The important gift to our family was that the songs played
on our "ubayam". They are "aaraavamuthE..", "meenaayp pirappinum
thrivEnadachunaiyinuLLE..", and the classic "En paLLI koNdeer aiyaa ?"
 I had to little bit narrate some background from my family here. It is said
that the veenai vaadthyam was so great that perumal HIMSELF came out to enjoy
this lullable music that was designed to end the day's celebrations and put HIM
to sleep. The lamp or thiruviLakku (some may call deevatti) bearer, had noticed
the LORD behind the pillar hiding and listening to this. On seeing the Lord, he
was about to shout in great joy, and it seems that the Lord stopped him saying
"pEsaathE" ie "donot speak", just to keep the music uninteruppted. As a mark of
keeping this tradition, even today, the lamp or thiruviLakku bearer, will shout
"pEsaathE" in the middle of this Ekaantha sErvai vaibavam.

  Coming to some personal encounters, I hope it may be useful for those who may
want to know about what all Arangan will do for a true bakthaa.

	It was a stormy night with thunders and rain pouring heavily. My Grand
woke up as he heard some one calling him by his name. He went out to see and
found no one. After he went to bed again, he had a divine dream. In his dream,
he was told that he must construct an aanchnEyar temple. Mysteriuosly, the next
morning, he found a larger than usual monkey lying dead in his back yard. He
buried it there and strangely some one gave him the aanchnEyaa idol and so on.
He built an aanchnEyar temple in the backyard of our own house in Trichy, which
is still there and maintained by our family. He used to visit Arangam everyday,
and we were many grand children to accompnay. There will be a race for it and
luckily my Grand Father will choose me every day to accompany him as I held a
special place in his heart. (it was not only becuse i was named as Rengarajan
by him, but also that since I was born as a heir to our family, after several
years of prayers and finally after sravana vratham. Strangely the trend
continues as, I and my wife do sravana vratham for some years now, and we are
lucky to have our son named "Sravan" and that he is blessed to have born in
"panguni uththiram", the holiest day for Arangan and thayaar).

	A few months back, he visited me in my dreams and asked me to pray
amuthan with
some specific paasurams in "thiruch chantha viruththam". I did the same the
next morning. Strangely to my surprise, Lord SaarangapaaNi appeared in my dream
the following night. My visits to arangam with my Grand Father is green in my
memory and eyes. Every thing there is "registered" so much into me that I can
close my eyes and If I may want I can present myself mentally (maanaseekamaaka)
in front of HIM, anytime. I have myself had some more pleasant and in some way
divine encounters which I donot want to discuss here. I had spent several times
in the past and also I spent some of my vaction last year in Sri vaikuNda
eKadEsi and iraap paththu festivals as our family is still one of the
upayakaaraas. When it takes an hour or two for many (it took little longer than
half hour for my uncle that day, who is one of the present upayak kaaraa) to
have HIS darshan, for me and my wife and son (I carried him) it took "only 8
minutes" to reach HIM from eastern entrance on 5th circuit, and complete the
darshan and enter Swarga vaasal, last year on Sri VaikuNda eKaadEsi! Everyone
in our family was surprised on hearing that. Even if you are a upayak kaaraa,
on vaikunda eKaadEsi day, no one can enjoy any special privileages. As we
entered the eastern entrance and someone approached us and said he will try to
help us have the darshan. We simply followed him and we walked right into the
karuvarai very rapidly as he walked ahead of us and guided us through. He is a
normal man only, but he was himself not sure how it was so quick. Perumal comes
to our (my uncle's) house in adaiya valainthaan, for paNguni festival. I will
write about it later. Keep the faith on Arangan !

engu suRRiyum ranganaiyE vanthu sEr

(meaning, which ever part of the world you would live or travel, finally,
destine to reach rangan only)

Arangan thiruvadkaLE saraNam
Sampath Rengarajan