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Tirumala Traditions - 2

From: PB ANAND (
Date: Mon Sep 21 1998 - 13:43:28 PDT


Re. thomala sevai,  there is one exception on Thursdays. 
On Thursdays, the Lord gives us the great bhagyam of 
poolangi sevai - On Thursday evenings, before Thirumangai 
alwar’s Vadamarudidai,  I am told that his ‘Oonvada 
unnadhu’ is also recited. 

3. Sathumurai.

Historical accounts indicate that this practice was 
re-established by Bhagavad Ramanuja as part of 
administrative measures. During Sathumurai, the Periya 
Jeeyar hands over thulasi to the archaka. In the absence 
of Periya Jeeyar, Chinna Jeeyar (of Tirumalai - not to be 
confused with our Naryana Jeeyar swamy varu) and in the 
absence of both of them, the ekangi swamy performs this 
function. After sathumurai pasuram, thiruppallandu, the 
vazhi tirunamam of Manavala mamunigal are recited.  

After this, theertham and sadari is given in the 
following order : 	
	1- Pedda Jeeyar Swamy
	2- Chinna Jeeyar Swamy
	3- Ekangi Swamy
	4- Tholappachariar
	5- Representative of Ananthanpillai vamsham
	6- Rep. of Kandadai vamsham
	7- Rep. of Prathivadi Bhayankaram
	8- Rep. of Veeravalliyar vamsham
	9- Rep. of Dharmapuriyar vamsham
	10- Followers of Paravastu Pattar Piran Jeear. 

Many srivaishnavas consider it a great privilege to 
attend the morning sathumurai. These days, the number of 
people thronging to sathumurai is consistently very high 
and the attraction of the Lord is so powerful that 
inadvertently many a Srivaishnava  react in a way without 
realising what they are doing (e.g., pushing, blocking 
others). Some think that there is a need for discipline. 
However, an over-crowded sathumurai is a better bet for 
preserving the tradition than one where there are hardly 
any people.  That does not absolve us from behaving 
responsibly and with consideration to other srivaishnavas 
attending the sathumurai.  (After a few attempts, I have 
learnt ‘the’ trick - Do not be distracted by the 
behaviour of others but just focus on the Lord even if 
you are able to get just one glimpse and not the darshan 
of full tirumeni.). 

4. Purattasi Brahmotsavam..

There are various other matters to be presented. But as 
the Brahmotsavam is approaching, I thought this info. 
will be timely.  (I beg Sriman V. Sadagopan or Sriman 
Varadan or Sriman Anand Karlapakkam to correct me ).

This year the Brahmotsavam is scheduled to start on  
September 23 Wednesday.  Garudasevai should be on 
September 27; Rathotsavam on September 30 and 
Avabhruthasnanam/ Thherthavari on the Sravanam star i.e., 
October 1. 

Details of Vahanams and Divyaprabandham that will be 
recited on each day :

Day 1	:	
Morning -    Ankurarpanam/ Dhwajarohanam  -   			-----
Evening-     (Periya/Pedda) Sesha vahanam      -     
             Mudal Tiruvandadi  
             (Malayappa in Vaikunthanathar’s posture; 
             Sridevi and Bhoodevi accompany)

Day 2 :
Morning - Chinna Sesha Vahanam  
          Irandam Thiruvandadi 	
Evening - Hamsa vahanam - 				
          Irandam thiruvandadi 	    
          (Malayappa with veena )

Day 3 : 
Morning -  Simha vahanam
           Moondram Thiruvandadi

Evening -  Muthu (Pearl) Pallaku / Muthyala Pandiri  -  
           Moondram Thiruvandadi
          (Malyappa in the posture of Krishna during
           Bakasura vadha -- ‘pullin vai keendanai...’ ;  
           Sridevi and Bhoodevi accompany)

Day 4 : 
Morning - Kalpaka vriksham -	
          Nanmugan Thiruvandadi
	  (Sridevi and Bhoodevi accompany)

Evening - Sarvabhoopalam 
          Nanmugan Thiruvandadi
 	 (Malayappa in ‘Kaalinga Narthana’ posture;  
          Sridevi and Bhoodevi accompany)

Day 5 :
Morning - Nachiyar Thirukkolam (Mohini avatharam) 
         (On this day, while Malyappa is dressed as 
          nachiyar, he is accompanied in a separate  
          pallaku by Navaneetha Krishna Swamy i.e., 
          Krishna with a ball of butter in one          

Evening - Garudotsavam	
          (Needless to say, on this occasion alone, 
	   Malayappa wears  the Makara kanthi and  	  
           Sahasra nama malai and Chaturbhujalakshmi 
           haram which normally adore the Moolavirat and 
           brings them out in the open). 

Day 6 : 
Morning - Hanumantha Vahanam 
          Periya Thiruvandadi

Evening - Vasanthostsavam (No recitation)
          (For this, Malayappa is decorated with muthu 
           pandian kondai; Sridevi and Bhoodevi nachimars 

Night -   Gajavahanam	
          Periya Thiruvandadi

Day 7 :
Morning - Surya prabha
          Periya Thirumozhi

Evening - Chandra Prabha
          Periya Thirumozhi

Day 8 :
Morning - Rathotsavam
          Periya Thirumozhi

Evening - Ashwa vahanam
          Nachiyar Thirumozhi

Day 9 : 
Morning - Pallaku
          Perumal thirumozhi 
          (Though this is called Pallaku, I was surprised 
	   not to find any pallaku.  Malayappa 
           accompanied by Sridevi and Bhoodevi nachimars 
           is taken on procession to the Adi Varaha Swamy 
           temple mandapam).

Morning (cont.)	Churnabhishekam	-	
        Thiruchandaviruttam  and kanninun  		

Night -    Dhwaja avarohanam      		-	
           Ramanuja nootrandadi (?? not sure)

On each occasion on these 9 days (with the exception of 
8th and 9th days) Sathumurai and Vazhi thirunamam is held 
at the Ramanuja’s sannidhi.  On the 8th day, sathumurai 
is held at the base of the Ratha -  I am told that in 
addition to other hymns, Periya Thirumadal and Siriya 
Thirumadal is also recited.  On the nonth day morning, 
sathumurai takes place in the Varahaswamy temple itself. 
The (bonus) special event is on the evening of 9th day 
when Malayappa and Ubhaya Nachimar  will be in the 
fore-court (mandapa) in front of Dwara palakas and will 
be seated facing Bhagavad Ramanuja - as a token of  
gratitude to Ramanuja for conducting the Brhamotsavam. 

Since the matter came up, it is not clear where and how 
Dwadasa aradhana (on the tenth day) takes place. 

However, I can recommend a place the all srivaishnavas 
must (I repeat, must) visit to enjoy a superb Dwadasa 
Aradhana (after an equally wonderful brahmotsavam). It is 
the Vaikuntha Nathar Temple in Calcutta - founded under 
the guidance of H.H. Ahobila mutt Jeear Swamy (I learnt). 
This temple (though based in Calcutta) is run according 
to Divyadesa sampradyam and in fact a team of 16 veda 
pandits including the head priest for the temple are 
recruited from Kanchipuram, Mannargudi etc. 

Adiyen, srivaishnava dasan
PB Anand