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From: Sampath Rengarajan (srengara_at_ford.com)
Date: Thu May 14 1998 - 10:00:08 PDT
There are popular festivals that are celebrated commonly among SriKrishna AraNyak kshEthrams. However, in this divya dEsam, a festival known as "thiru neeru aNi vizhA" ie., festival of wearing thiruneeru or "vibuthi" is celebrated. The specialty is such that the Lord wears thiruneer for 3 hours ie., 3.75 nAzhigai as per the request of King ubarisaravasu. This was promoted by many chola kings for Shaiva and Sri Vaishnava oRRumai or for harmony between shaivite and Srivaishnavite followers. PerumAL's acceptance of the prayers of the king ubarisaravasu was to demonstrate HIS neermai gunam. Neermai - an explanation: The tamil word neermai has no parallel in sanskrit as this one word replaces many kalyAna gunAs of the Lord that are addressed by many single words. i.e., Neermai is a composite in nature of many kalyAna gunAs of the Lord put together. Neermai means "neeraip pOnRa thaNmai". That is "the charecteristics of water". There are so many charecteristics that water has. Of which five important are adaptability to fill in any form or shape (the wearing of thiru neer here symbolize that), cooling nature (i.e., the mercy or compassion to ease the pains of the sufferings of the bhakthALs and make their life comfortable) easy availability everywhere, life saving, and life supporting, The unique feature of this festival is such that all bhakthALs of the Lord also wear thiru neeru on this day and come to the temple to have darshan of the Lord who displays His neermai exclusively during this time. This is very very uncommon and is something that is not seen elsewhere in anyother divya dEsam that has some type of similar festival. There are also other festivals that are celebrated to promote unity (*) in few other divya dEsams. One such other place among the divya dEsams which is also a SriKrishna aarAnyAk ksEthram is thiruk kaNNa puram. In this ashtAkshra mantra siddhi kshEthram, Lord appears as mumoorthy on the 7 th day of the brahmOrsavam festival during vaikaasi (approximately between May 15 - Jun 15) month. HE appears as Lord Sri Vishnu who protects the universe all day. During night, HE is dressed up with dharbam and appears in the middle of the Lotus flower as Lord Brahma. And the same day HE appears as Lord Shiva during early morning for 3 hours and 45 minutes. In thiru vaheenthi puram Lord Deva nAthan appears with the lotus in one hand and have his third eye that is popularly known as neRRik kaN for Lord Shiva and also have "sadai mudi" i.e. uncombed long hair as similar to Lord Shiva. This Lord is also addressed by Sri thirumangai Azhwar as "muthalaam thiru uruvam mooNrenbar". pEy AzwhAr pAsuram 63 of moonRAm thiru anthAthi, on lord thiru VEnkatan has drawn much attention from all faith. Each one derive their own conclusion from that. We as Srivaishnavas draw the conclusions from our poorvachAryAL Sri periya vaacchAn pillai whom we consider as incarnation of thiruk kaNNa mangai Lord HIMself. pAsuram: thaazh sadaiyum neeN mudiyum ON mazhuvum sakkaramum soozh aravum pon Naanum thONRumAl soozhum thiraNdu aruvi pAyum thiru malai mEl enthaikku irAndu uruvum ONRAy isainthu meaning:In the previous pasuram (ie 62) AzhwAr delivered that the Lord showed his most important kalyAna gunA ie., neermai or simplicity. ie., the Lord shrunk HIS thiru uruvam (HIS cosmic body) of thiru vikkarama avathAram to appear as Lord vAmanan, and is present in many thirup pathis such as Oppiliappan kOil, thiru vEnkatam, Thiru vahhA and thiru vELukkai. In the next pasursm ie., stated above as 63rd pasuram, AzhwAr delivers that the same Lord is showing his sowseelya gunam in thiruvEnkatam as simialr to how he exihibited during His sankara nArayana avatharam. There are more than 30 avathArams that take place during every kalpam. Among that the prominent are the 10 known as dasaavatharam. PV pillai vyaakyaanam: This was presented by adiyEn in a discussion with one of the member on annya dEvatha aaradhana. Please read them from the archives. If more clarifications are needed on that adiyEn will be pleased to deliver the same. Sri lOka nAyaki samEtha Sri lOka nAyakan thiru vadikaLE saraNam Sampath Rengarajan note: (*) In Srimushnam near chidambaram, perumAL goes to killai for kanu festival every year. During this 12 mile procession, perumAL halts near to a mosque situated enroute. Prayers are offered to perumAL from the mosque according to the customs of the mosque and the Lord accepts this. This festival is taking place for more than a century and lately under one of the previous regimes, it is believed that the Govt. adopted this festival as a govt. festival to promote some unity. In madurai the chithrai festival was also promoted for Shaiva Sri Vaishnava oRRumai (read from adiyEn's thala purAnam on thiru maal irum sOlai).