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The puRappAdu Experience!

From: Vijay Triplicane (
Date: Mon Nov 15 1999 - 13:28:37 PST

	I had a really great time at the 'Sri Manavaala MaamunigaL
thirunakshathram celebration' at Livermore temple, CA. First of all
I should thank Sri Venkatesh Elayavalli for his tireless efforts in
making this a very beautiful event. He was the one who initiated
this and got us all into it. 

	If I have to describe how I felt during the last two days in a
nutshell, I feel the jet lag! I felt like I was transported at the 
speed of light to thiruvallikkENi, where I spent about a month
taking part in the festive, colourful, most traditional, very
beautiful uthsavam for one of the best loved Sri VaishNava AchAryAs
and then brought back to this alien land far far away... (I have
every reason to feel the jet lag, right?)

	Given that the celebration was on a normal 2 day weekend and that
too falling right before the long weekend, we were slightly
concerned about the turnout. We were extremely blessed to have
bhAgavathAs from Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Atlanta and everywhere.
That was amazing. This is the first time I am seeing the
bhAgavathAs from Chicago area. In short, they are an amazing set of 
very devoted, sincere, 'prabhandham rich' people. My hats off to
them! During the uthsavams at kanchipuram, there will be a set of
people from thiruvallikkENi as a group. This Chicago group was much
like that (special!). 

	The prabhandha sEvAkAlam was most wonderful. The best part of the
celebration was the puRappAdu. It was like a perfect puRappAdu as
in a dhivya dhEsam. Our dear perumAL was seated on the garuda
vAhanam and it was about 6 PM, getting dark. It was a perfect setting
outside the temple. There was a big group of people chanting
Prabhandham sonorously led by our priest Sri Sridharan from
Thirupathi. PerumAL eagerly followed us behind! And there was a
group chanting veda headed by Sri Srinivasan Iyengar. (As our
AchAryAs say, perumAl was chasing the prabhandham recitation eager
to be with them and peacefully listen and the vEdAs were chasing
perumAL! )

	To my fullest personal satisfaction and my heart's content, the
puRappAdu was completely taken over by my dearest AzhvAr, none
other than thirumaN^gai mannan! We started off with the first 10
pAsurams from periya thirumozhi, "vAdinEn vAdi...". I can't believe 
that all these happenend right here in california. It was a true 
dhivya dhEsam experience to recite vAdinEn, so sloooowly and 
sonorously, with the entire group singing at the perfect pitch, 
together... It was a divine experience. Then we recited 
'kaNNin^uN ...". By this time the puRappAdu had completed
a full circle around the temple and perumAL was seated comfortably
and was ready to get immersed in the sol amudham and chan^dha
azhagu (nectar like words and rhyming poetry) of SiRiya thirumadal.
And He enjoyed it completely. 

	The puRappAdu is still right in front of my eyes. PerumAL seated 
on the garudan, with the late evening darkness setting in, the gas
lights and the dhIvattis providing the right amount of light 
illuminating the perumAL, adorned by two big kudais (umbrellas),
big groups of people reciting prabhandham and vEdham... One of the
bhAgavathAs told me later that she had too many excellent options
to choose from. There was this great vEda recitation at the back
which made her stay at the back. Then she rushed to the front to
have one another good look of perumAL's soundharyam and having come
to the front she was greatly attracted by the sonorous prabhandham
recitation. She had to run back and forth! Thats exactly how
perumAL would have felt. 

	Prior to this, there were interesting talks by Sri Mani, Sri
Varadhan, Sri Anbil, Smt. Radha Rangarajan and Sri Raghavan. After
all the talks there was a carnatic music concert. Somebody would
have already written about all these. I just wanted to share my
joyful great experience of the puRappAdu and the good sath sangam
of people from Chicago, Detroit, Denver, Atlanta...

AzhvAr emberumAnAr dEsikar jIyar thiruvadigaLE SaraNam,
(Vijay Triplicane)