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Vaikunta Ekaadasi- at Srirangam!

From: Madhavakkannan V (
Date: Fri Jan 08 1999 - 23:43:09 PST


Dearest Sisters and Brothers,

I was blessed to be present at Sriranga Divya kshEthram on Srivaikunta 
Ekadasi, and would like to write about what I had enjoyed  
The Vaikunta Ekadasi uthsavam starts on the first day of iraapaatthu- 
ThiruvaaymozhitthirunaaL. It goes on for ten days from Ekadasi. The Most 
beautifully decorated 1000 pillar maNdapam is where Emperumaan - 
NampermaaL Sri Ranaganathan shows Himself so gracefully and beautifully. 
I don't think we will get such opportunities even at Srivaikuntam to 
enjoy Him at such close circles. Since it is line with ThirumaamaNi 
maNdapam of Paramapadham, it is called the same at Srirangam too.

NammAzhwAr's 10.9- soozhvisumpaNimugil… is enacted here in these ten 
days' festival of iraappatthu.  (wherein AzhwAr explains and describes 
about the Jeevaathma's  archiraadhi maargham to Paramapadham )

That day (on Vaikunta Ekadasi), NamperumaaL Himself acts as a mumukshu 
and enacts the role to go thorugh archiraadhi maargam, comes to 
Paramapadha vaasal. The way NamperumaaL comes out of the Sanctum 
Sanctorum, in Simha gathi, (at 3.30 a.m, at Santhanu maNdapam, with so 
many VIPs, - with so much of Bhagawathaas, all trying to catch a glimpse 
of NamperumaaLs), it is just divine bliss to hear in your ears, 
"Rangaa!" sabhdham reverberating everywhere, from Bhagawthas, - to see 
the "mandhahaasa" smiling face (Thirumukham) of NamperumaaL, with Rathna 
anghi, there is one person (called utthamanambhI) who is signalled to 
come near by the Sthaanikar (director- executioner?). A small silk 
(pattu) cloth is torn from NamperumaaL's dress, and is tied on 
utthanambhi's head (to signify that he takes the role of NamperumaaL's 
enactment to start the archiraadhi maargham, as a soothradhaari.

1. The Jivan thus is called and starts his way towards Paramapadham. The 
about eight people also are blessed with the same who keep reciting the 
Ranganathan paasurams (sung by PiLLaiperumaal Iyengar?- I could not 
hear- someone told me) upto "uLkOdai MaNdapam. 

2. Then after PerumAL, goes for four- five steps, Saatthaadha 
VaishNavas, holding the golden sticks, come in the front to enact 
"ezhumin enRu irumarungu isaitthanar munivargaL vazhiyizhu vaikundhaRku 
enRE" and act as AdhivaahigargaL. Then after yaagha saalai, PerumAl goes 
towards the east and is offered "theertham" by kainkaryaparars, to 
denote that the celestial people offering seat and cleaning the feet of 
mukhthars with waters. (padhiyinil paanghinil paadhangaL kazhuvinar)

3. Thereafter, when PerumAL comes near Paramapadha vaasal, the doors are 
opened, by His order. I was told that here "rugra granthi"  (the six 
statements from Aj~njA chakram) is mentioned here. (?). There is vrajaa 
nadhi (depicted by a well). Once perumaaL reaches here, it is assumed 
that He taks bath and the "anghi" pOrvai is removed and is offered fresh 
garlands. Here it is considered to be mukhthan being offered such 
flowers and appraakridha Suddhasatva sarIram (after getting rid of his 
old sarIram and praakritha sarIram). (oLikkoNda jOthiyaay udan 

4. When PerumAL goes thorugh the gate (Paramapadha vaasal), opposite 
come NammAzhwAr, Thirumangai mannan and Udayar, along with the recitaion 
of Sri Rangaraajasthava Goshti, to welcome the mukhthan. The great sound 
and noise reverberate everywhere, with terrific ecstasy on everyone's 
face. ("kaaLangal valambhuri kalandhu engum isaitthanar"; " ethiredhi 
imaiyavar iruppidam vagutthanar") The tri welcoming mukhthan is equal to 
"kudiadiyaar ivar Govndhan thanakkenRu mudiyudai vaanavar muRai muRai 

5. At 1000 pillar maNdapam, it is told the mukhthan is shown the details 
of Paramapadham, and is shown AzhwArs to pay His obeisance and 
maryaadhai. "kadhiravar avaravar kainnirai kaattinar".

6. The patthi ulaatthal is excellent and is so nice and blissful. When 
PerumaaL is seated at ThirumaamaNi maNdapam along with AzhwArs, it is 
the exquisite pErinbham of mukhtan being seated with the group of 
AzhwArs (maamaNi mandapatthu andhamil pErinbhatthu adiyarOdu irundhamai)

7. Araiyar starts with uyarvaRa uyarnalam with abhinayam (1st pAsuram of 
Thiruvaaymozhi and continues for ten days all pAsurams and on the tenth 
day NammAzhwAr mOksham is performed)

I could not  continue to stand further since the crowd was literally 
squeezing me and I should give equal opportunity to others too for 
divine enjoyment.

8. On the 7th day of uthsavam, NammAzhwAr sings emotionally, the 
"kangulum pagalum" and thus is offered the "kaitthala sEvai" of PerumAL. 

9. On the 8th day, VedupaRi: Thirumangaimannan and his group, try to rob 
the Divya Damaptis, and the AzhwAr gets the most glorious  manthra 
upadEsam from the Lord Himself. AzhwAr bursts out with vaddinEn vaadi.. 

10. On the last day…. NammAzhwAr attains mOksham… with NammAzhwAr in 
mukhthan vesham, with no silk, no peethaambharam… only 12 ThirumaN,, 
thuLasi maalai, white dress like a mukhthan. NammAzhwAr vigraham is kept 
at the Feet of the Lord and is fully covered with thuLasi leaves… to 
depict the Saayujya bhogham, (nEsanjeydhu unnOdu ennai uyir vERinRi 
onRaagavE koosam seyyaadhu koNdaay… )

Many times before, I have witnessed this uthsavam. This year, I enjoyed 
much more intensively and happily because of my e- involvement with 
Great Bhagawathas like you all and reading such lovely informative 
posts. It is Divya dampatis' mercy that They have blessed me to be 
associated with this group. 

I prayed to the Srirangam Divya Damaptis to shower Their blessings and 
grace on each one of you and your family for more peaceful and 
prosperous years with the assurance of final destination at Their Lotus 
Feet at Paramapadham.

NamO narayana


Narayana dAsan Madhavakkannan

P.S On one of the days, when I was in Sri Ramaujar sannidhi, trying to 
get the maximum from the darshan of Yathiraajar's thaanaan ThirumEni, 
there was dheepam offering and one old man behind me was shouting loudly 
the ashtaaksharam, Dwayam and CharamaslOkam. When I turned back to see 
him, his eyes were closed and the cheeks were filled with tears , and 
palms glued to each other were shivering. Then after everyone left, I 
went to him and felt like talking to this Bhagawatha. He burst out 
again, when I started the topic on Ramanujar. He narrated in both Tamil 
and English  emotionally "AchAryannaa, ivar AchAryan… enna dayai… enna 
karuNai… what a compassion! We would have been terribly deprived of the 
Greatest manthraas, and SaraNagathy tatvam- if only He had chosen to 
follow ThirukkOttoyoor Nambhi's words…. A few individuals would have 
been still enjoying the Prapatthi and mOksham…. No doubt it is 
blasphemous to utter such Great manthras, loudly, but I could not resist 
to feel thrilled to sharing the same feelings….. and with the smile and 
sense of gratitude to Yathiraajar, I left the place.  ( I did not bother 
to ask him who his AchAryan is and why you shouted those manthras, etc…- 
His involvement and excitement was cute!) 

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