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Reflections of the Ninth day about MelukOte sampradhAyam established by AchArya RaamAnujA in His niyamanppadi during his stay at Melukote: Part IV.1

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Sat Mar 11 2000 - 15:28:05 PST

Dear BhakthAs : with Three more postings , adiyEn plans to
wrap up the series on the most recent trip to India that
followed some what  the footsteps of AchArya RaamAnujA .
The titles of these three postings would be :

1. Dhivya prabhnadham tradition at ThirunArAyaNapuram
   during the Uthsavams

2. The Magnificient Kaimkaryam of the Academy of
   Sanskrit Research to preserve and protect our
   ancient heritage 

3. Avabrutha SnAnam ( the ritual snaanam after performing
   the Yaagam of SaraNAgathi at the Sacred feet of adiyEn's
   revered AchAryan , HH Sri Narayana YathIndhra MahA Desikan )
   following the trail of Ashta TheerthOthsavam at MelukOte.

The source for these postings continues to be the scholarly
articles of contributors of the "Melukote Through the Ages"
monograph presented to me by Dr.Lakshmi TatachAr Swamy ,
the Director of the Sanskrit Research Academy . My thanks
are to him for helping us  access to this treasure trove. 

In today's posting , adiyEn will cover the unique traditions
of Dhivya prabhandham recitation established by AchArya 
RaamAnujA some 900 years ago for the many uthsavams 
for ThirunArAyaNan , AzhwArs and AchAryAs at MelukOte.
Prior to that , adiyEn will provide an introduction
to the Aagamic traditions in support of the Uthsavams .

The Uthsavams for the Lord of AshtAksharam

Sri Narasaraja Bhattar derives the etymologic
origin of the word Uthsavam this way :

The word is derived from the root "Su "  
and the prefix "uth" . " SutE iti savah:"
and therfore Uthsava . " Sava " refers to 
the sorrows of the world . "uth" is to drive
away those " Sava:", the sorrows of the world .
UthsavAs are then considered as the necessary
rites to drive away the sorrows of the world 
thru celebration of the Lord by the Mumukshus  ,
who wish to attain liberation from the cycles
of births and deaths (Moksham ). Such a Mumkushu
is expected to perform these uthsavams for the Lord 
and/or particpate in them . 

AagamAs and Uthsavam 
" The AagamAs are the source texts for the worship of God 
in His infinite form . Although these AagamA texts owe their 
allegiance to the VedAs , the mode of worship they recommend 
is based on the exigencies of the practical aspects of worship.
However AagamAs are not directly tracable to the VedAs. "
There are distinct differences between the Vedic and Aagamic
methods.It is sufficient to say that the Aagamic form of worship 
supplements the Vedic tradition and does not contradict 
the Vedic mode. 

Sri VaishNava AagamAs:
According to Sri VaishNava AagamAs , there are three 
kinds of Uthsavams : NithyOthsavam , Naimitthikam
and Kaamyam.Nithyam covers the daily rituals involved
with Bhagavath AarAdhanam carried out at the temples .
Naimmithikam is for a nimitthA or specific purpose
other than those covered by Kaamyothsavams; latter
uthsavams are performed for acquiring the first three
of the four purushArthams : Dharma , artha , Kaamam 
(i-e) for acquiring merit or wealth or objects of
sensual gratification . While most of these uthsavams
are conducted in public , there are a few , which are
conducted privately by the chief priest of the temple.
The Uthsavams provide for the fulfilment of a devotee's
desire and longings in a way the VedAs have not 
provided for. Thus Aagama form of worship supplements
the Vedic traditions .

PaancharAthra Aagamam & worship at MelukOte 

The PaancharAthra Aagamam is in vogue in MelukOte
temple . The mahAthmya portions of the PaancharAthra
aagamam housed in Isvara SamhithA , ParamEsvara SamhithA 
and JayAkhya samhithA refer to the four most important 
temples for Sri VishNavAs . MelukOte is one of these four.
Thirupathi is among the four also , although the worship
is by vaikAnasa aagamam . As an aside , there are six
claasical samhithAs in PaancharAthra aagamam : The first 
triad dating to 300 to 500 A.D is constituted by 
Saathvata , Paushkara and JayAkhya samhithAs. The other 
three smahithAs serving as commentaries for the first triad 
date from 600 to 800 A.D. These are : Isavara, 
ParamEswara and Paadhma SamhithAs. The Isvara samhithA , 
which is  a commentary text on Saathva samhithA has a
full chapter on YaadhavAchala (MelukOte) mahAthmyam. 
The Sanskrit Academy of MelukOte has brought out a critical
edition of Isvara SamhithA . It has been suggested
that correlation between ParamEswara SamhithA and
Srirangam along with correlation between Paadma 
SamhithA and VishNu Kaanchi would be very fruitful. 

NithyOthsavams at MelukOte
These are :

** SaathumuRai and Sahasra naamam recital 
   both in the Morning and Evening 

** ThiruvandhikkAppu followed by DhIpAraadhanam 
   in the evenings 

** During SahasranAma archanai ,KulasEkarA's 
   Mukundha Maalai and AaLavandhAr's  sthOthra rathnam 
   are recited ( This is unique to MelukOte).

** Hastha Nakshathram is " the birth star " of
   ThirunArAyaNan just as Revathi is the one for 
   Lord RanganAthA . On  Hastha nakshathram days and 
   the evening of EkAdasi days , ThirunArAyaNan
   adorns pacchai kaRpUram and is dressed as 
   ThiruvEnkatamudayAn .

** During SankaramaNam , AmAvasyai, DhvAdasi ,
   ChithrA nakshathram  days , the dhivya dampathis 
   are taken around the raaja Veedhis . Every Friday
   evening , the PerumAL (uthsavar) visits ThAyAr Sannidhi .

The other uthsavams at MelukOte 
BrahmOthsavam ( Vairamudi sEvai) , AnnakOti 
uthsavam , PallavOthsavam , ThiruvAdip Pooram ,
SikyOthsavam , PavithrOthsavam , NavarAthri and
Vijaya dasami uthsavams ,KrittikA dhIpOthsavam ,
Maargazhi ThiruppAvai and MokshOthsavams ,
Ratha sapthami , AngamaNi uthsavam, aLLum taLLUm
Uthsavam, Punarvasu uthsavam , TeppOthsavam and
AchArya RaamAnujA's Thirunakshathra Uthsavam are
some of the uthsavams spaced around the year .
These uthsavams instill in the devotees a sense
of spiritual involvement and help to address 
their spiritual aspirations . 

AchArya RaamAnujA led the way in the conductance
of these uthsavams according to Aagamic injunctions 
and the rules laid out by AchArya RaamAnujA hold sway
even today. In the next posting , we will cover
the dhivya prabhandham recitation tradition at these

Azhagiya Singar ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam.
Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan       


                  - SrImate raamaanujaaya namaH -
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