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svAmi maNavALa mAmuni utsavam at various places
Date: Thu Oct 18 2001 - 11:02:09 PDT

srImathE saTakOpAya namah
srImathE rAmanujAya namah
srImathE anantArya mahAguravE namah
srImathE vara vara munayE namah

dear bhAgavathAs,

I would like to share with you all some information
about the grand scale with which our AchAryA's
thirunakshattiram is celebrated in various
divya dEsams.

In kAnchipuram, there is a 10 day festival, with
thirumanjanam performed every day to svAmi maNavALa
mAmuni, and about 400 pasurams of the nalayiram
recited. There is a large pandal (shamiana?) erected
in the sand just outside svAmi's sannadhi in the
AzvAr prakAram of Lord varadarAjA's temple. Every
evening, a small process happens in the pandal,
this is called "paththi ulaaththal" in tamizh -
svAmi maNavalA mAmuni is carried slowly, in small
steps in patterns in the pandal with the
accompaniment of nadasvaram music. On the 10th day,
i.e. on his thirunakshattiram, Lord varadaraja
comes to his sannadhi, gives His blessings and
mariyAdhai to the AchArya. Then, the Lord stays 
there, a grand celebration takes place, with 
the final century of thiruvaymozhi, thiruvaymozhi
noorrandhaadi and upadesa rattinamalai chanted.
the festival concludes with the naalayiram
sarrumurai and the vazhi thirunamam for svami.
It is a grand sight with hundreds of people, and
the celebration ending only around 2 AM.

In thiruvallikkENi, it is probably an even grander
festival. On all the 10 days, there is a procession
of svAmi maNavALa mAmuni on the streets of 
thiruvallikkENi with the 3rd thousand of the
naalayiram being recited. Everyday, in the afternoon,
thirumanjanam is performed for our acharya, and
about 100 pasurams each from the first thousand
and the second thousand are recited. after that,
svami is bedecked in regal splendour (after all,
he is the acharya of perumal Himself, and no
wonder perumAL wants to see His AchArya in full
splendour) and the procession takes place. The
procecssion starts with svAmi going in front
of emperumAnAr sannadhi, where svAmi gets the
blessings of udayavar in the form of a garland,
and mudaliyANdan and thirupparivattam etc. Then,
he visits parthasarathy perumal sannadhi, 
thAyAr sannadhi, varadarajar sannadhi and then
azhagiyasingar sannadhi where he performs
mangalasasanams and receives their anugrahas.
Then, the procession continues on the streets
of thiruvallikkENi accompanied by the recital
of verses from iyarpa. This procession is a
grand sight to be part of - Hundreds of srI
vaishNavas in the gOshtis, hundreds more 
accompanying the acharya, with the playing of
differnt musical instruments announcing the 
arrival of svami to the people. First, the
goshti goes, then the archaka with the paduka
of svAmi, then comes svAmi himeself, with full
splendour and a great smile after having done
mangalasasanams of perumal and ramanuja, under
two grand umbrellas. After that follows the vEda
gOshti. In the evening, thiruvaymozhi goshti
takes place with 100 pasurams recited everyday.
In years where one of the 10 days happens to
be a ekadasi, or a puratttasi saturday, it is
even grander. The procession on that day will
be either parthasarathy or azhagiyasingar
along with svami maNavALa mAmuni. Last
saturday was one of those, where it was Ekadasi,
purattasi saturday and the second day of
the acharya utsavam. It was indeed a wonderful

In the thirunAngur area, on the day of the
thirunakshattiram, svAmi maNavALa mAmuni
visits 7 temples in the area and performs
maNgaLasAsanams at each temple.

When one takes part in these festivals at various 
places for our acharya, we can see with our own eyes
why our elders gave us the "adiyaargaL vaazha aranga 
nagar vaazha" paasuram that we recite everyday. 

AzhvAr emperumAnAr jIyar thiruvadigaLE saraNam,
adiyEn madhurakavi dAsan,

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