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From: sumithra varadarajan (
Date: Tue Apr 16 2002 - 08:01:52 PDT

Sri parthasarathi thunai
Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha


In this postings let us see the other celebrations
during the brahmotsavam which 
are left over.

As  we have seen in the previous postings Garuda sevai
has it's special importance.  Kanchi Garuda sevai is
very famous and kanchi is famous for its
kodai(umbrella) also.  Now in thiruvallikeni also
garuda sevai is celebrated as a special day in the
brahmotsavam.  In all the houses people make sweet for
Garuda sevai and also on the day of thEr.  The
brahmotsavam is considered as a function at each home
in Thiruvallikeni.

So now we will see how parthasarathi gives darshan on
top of garuda.  Sri Parthasarathi today gets into the
vahanam inside the temple itself and he becomes ready
to give darshan to all his bhakthas waiting eagerly
near the temple main gate.As soon as emperuman
approaches the entrance the gate is opened and kalpura
arathi is done and the divine beauty of the lord is
highlighted.  Then the emperuman’s purappadu
starts.You know why he comes out on the streets?  It
is to give darshan to the sick and the old who are
unable to come to his doorsteps but very much want to
see him in the Garuda Sevai.  This shows the apara
kaarunyam of the emperuman.   Today  in One of the
mada streets (Thulasinga perumal street where the
narasimhar entrance is present) Aesal is performed. 
You may wonder what  Aesal is.  After finishing his
initial routine of going through the street collecting
all the offerings of the bhakthas and giving his
blessing to them Sri Parthasarathi goes back and froth
three times in the same street.   The first two times
he comes back only half the street the last time he
goes till the start of the street and then he walks
slowly  dancing from one end to other.  This is really
a great site to see.  It will look like Sri
Parthasarathi is full of joy, seeing all his bhakthas
enjoying his darshan ,and so he is dancing and jumping
to show his ecstacy.  And when he comes to the middle
of the street he will walk fast(almost like running)
thereby showing his bhakthas his various styles of
walking.  This is called Aesal.  The highlighting part
is the music,  the aesal beat to which Sri
Parthasarathi paces his walk.  

Then he rests for sometime in the gangai Kondan
mandapam(commonly called ganganamandapam by the
thiruvallikeni vasees). From there he starts and
finishes his visit to the rest of the streets and
returns back to the vahana mandapam.  We can have
Aesal sevai  3 times during the brahmotsavam.  In
Garuda vahanam(3rd day morning) and  Yanai vahanam(6th
day night) in T.P.Koil Street and Gudirai vahanam(9th
day night ) in Car street.  All 3 Aesals are similar
as mentioned above.

After the garuda vahanam purappadu there is a special
sevai called the EKANTHA SEVAI.  Sri parthasarathi
gets out of the garuda vahanam and he gets dressed
with a lot of jewels and with a single  beautiful
rose(light pink) garland.  I am sorry to say , though
I want to explain more about the dressing and beauty
of parthasarathi during the ekantha sevai iam really
unable to find any words.  So I simply stop by saying
it is a excellent site.  During the Ekantha sevai sri
Parthasarathi walks very slowly from the vahanana
mandapam to the Thiruvaimozhi mandapam.  Offerings are
made to him at almost every step he makes forward.  So
by the time he reaches the thiruvaimozhi mandapam it
will be noon.  The Ekantha sevai prolongs for 1 to 2
hours.  Then on approaching the mandapam parthasarathi
dances and he leaps forward and gets settled in the
mandapam for his routine thirumanjanam.  On these days
the archakas find hardly any gap since there are
proceedings one after the other.  The dedication of
the archakas should be brought to mind at these
points.  Their kainkaryam to make the various
alangarams to emperuman only gives fresh cool site to
all of us.  I would like to make a request to the
bhakthas who are reading these postings.  When you
visit a temple in India,  please put your offerings
(money) in the plates brought by archakas inside the
sannadhis.  Because when we put them in the Hundhis 
it goes partially to the Government and it is of no
use to the temple and emperuman if you put it in the
plates it goes atleast to the archakas who are doing
kainkaryam to the emperuman.   It also becomes a
bhagavata kainkaryam.


 On the sixth day morning before emperuman starts  for
the purappadu in punniya koti vimanam one ritual
called soornabhishekam is done.  In this emperuman is
decorated with a soornam(scented powder with turmeric
and other ingredients).  The soornam is prepared in
front of bhagavan with recitation of some mantras.  I
have heard that this celebration actually was supposed
to be like holi in north India where people sprinkle
color water on each other and enjoy.  But since in our
temples we reserve some principles the powder is given
to all during the purappadu as a prasadam from
emperuman.  This celebration recalls the first Krishna
Janmashtami utsavam in gokulam by the Aiypadi people. 
As periyazhvar in his pasuram(periyazhvar
thirumozhi1-1) says “ yennai chunnam aedir aedir
thoovida kannan mutram kalandu alarayitrae” . Same
celebration of the gopis with oil and turmeric powder
is also mentioned in the Bhagavata puram.  
There the people of Aiypadi were illiterate and didn’t
see any aachaaram or anushtanam so they played
spraying oil and powder on each other but we are
brahmanas and reserve some mannerism for us so in our
temples the powder is only given in our hands as
bhagavat prasadam.

There are more interesting things like Thotta
thirumanjanam,  Porvai kalayal,  Mattayadi utsavam etc
 We will see them in the next postings.

Adiyen Ramanuja dasyai
Sumithra varadarajan

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