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From: sumithra varadarajan (
Date: Fri Apr 12 2002 - 19:22:09 PDT

Sri parthasarathi thunai
Srimathe ramanujaya namaha

       Now parthasarathi is ready for the veedhe
purappadu.The first dol is given.The dol is an
instrument which is banged before any purappadu. This
is to indicate that the purappadu is going to occur in
some more time.Then the second dol is heard and then
the screen in the vahana mandapam opens giving us the
beautiful site of sri parthasarathi on the
vahanam.Then the band starts and the sripadhathangigal
gets ready to lift the emperuman. Coming out of the
vahana mandapam the ayakKal(the stand on which
emperumans vahanam is placed during the purappadu is
tied and then the umbrella on both sides fixed and now
the emperuman is fully ready for the ola(visit).
    After this the Divya Prabhandha ghosti
starts.Anyone new to Thiruvallikeni will be astonished
to see so many people in the ghosti.When emperuman
goes on the thiruveedhi we will find half the veedhi
full of ghosti.I have heard elders say, in no divya
desam a person can see such a massive ghosti.One may
see in some places during special occasions big
ghostis but in those ghostis we will find people from
different places who have come there just for the
occasion but parthasarathi has such a big ghosti just
for himself and he does lend some of the ghosti
members to other perumals when required.
   The chief adyapaka (experienced ghosti members are
called adyapakas) of that day starts the ghosti
pasuram and the others follow him.The archaka takes
the sri sadagopan(sadari) from the feet of emperuman
and places it on the heads of the ghosti members .The
emperuman blesses the devotees for the kainkaryam
rendered by them.Then the purappadu starts with the
Iyal (prabhandha) ghosti in front and the Veda ghosti
at the back.Parthasarathi being the geethacharyan has
a big veda ghosti also to his credit. But here we have
to note one thing.The purappadu of emperuman itself
shows the highness of the alwars prabhadams.Emperuman
who is so impressed by the amudha mozhi(sweet
language) of the alwars follows at the back of the
prabhandha ghosti and the Vedam which is trying to
show the emperuman to the world is following him.
    The Band and other instruments are played in front
of the emperuman. I remember when I was young the
purapadu of parthasarathi.It will be like a raja
coming through the streets.A flag will be held first
across the streets.Then there will be a horse , an
elephant, a cow ,then the vehicle bearing the murasu
then the prabhandha ghosti,then perumal then the veda
ghosti and the whole street will be full.Though a lot
has changed now but still the purapadu of
parthasarathi even today gives us a divine experience.
    During these utsavams the archakas have a hecktic
time.They rarely have time to sleep or eat. One after
the another there is something to be done.The
dedicated archakas in thiruvallikeni has to be given a
great credit. The dedication they show while doing the
alankaram to the bhagavan is extraordinary.
    There one more important thing which will make
most of us cry during the purappadu of
parthasarathi.At the back of the veda ghosti we will
find so many small perumal purapadu.Which we call
kutti perumal there.The small kids in thiruvallikeni
decorate their perumals in various vahanams and bring
the perumals along with the original parthasarathi
purappadu.Really the dedication of the kids, what
shall I say about it.One can see 4 or 5 kutti perumals
all so nicely decorated. Sometimes ,we enjoy these
perumals more.Fortunately parthasarathi utsavam falls
in the summer holidays and thiruvallikeni kids spend
their time making kutti vahanams and decorating their
perumals.It is an excellent site to see. My father
used to say that this is a practice which is being
followed generation after generation.He says when we
were young we did the same and now the next generation
is doing.The whole world may change to a software
field,but there is one place which still maintains the
old traditions-Thiruvallikeni.The enthusiasm of the
kids have to be surely appreciated and with that the
support given to them by their parents should also be
appreciated.The parents are actually happy seeing
their kids involved in bhagavat kainkaryam more so the
grand parents who are really in a state of ecstacy to
see their grand children involved in kainkaryam.
     So now parthasarathi finishes his Thiruveedhee
purapadu through the main mada veedhees and returns
back to the vahana mandapam.The ghosti satrumarai is
done and perumal is taken out of the vahanam and goes
into the temple again and the days festival comes to
an end.
  Actually I planned to say about the various vahanams
also in this postings but since it has already become
a big posting I stop now and let us continue in the
next posting.

Adiyen ramanuja dasyai
Sumithra varadarajan

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