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Tirumalai traditions - 3

From: P.B. Anand (P.B.Anand_at_Bradford.ac.uk)
Date: Thu Sep 24 1998 - 11:40:00 PDT

Tirumalai 3 :
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Dear Brothers and Sisters

As mentioned in the earlier note on Tirumalai traditions, 
the Brahmotsavam of Malayappa should have commenced 
yesterday. Even as I write, thousands of blessed people 
in Tirumalai must be enjoying the grace of Malyappa with 
a Veena in hand, sitting gracefully and with a bit of 
nonchalance on Hamsa vahana, wearing a glittering nose 
jewel  (He wears nose jewel today as well as on the 5th 
day of the utsavam for the Mohini avatharam).... Well, 
sitting far away from where He is, we have to be 
contented by thinking about him.  We are after all not 
comparable to the great Swamy Doddachar (who being  
unable to travel to Kanchipuram for Varadarajar’s 
Garudotsava beckoned Him to grace him and the Lord 
complied with ... A tribute is paid to Doddachar even 
today in Kanchipuram during the Garudotsavam, when for a 
few moments,  at the main temple entrance the Lord is 
symbolically blocked from view .. .).

Also, in the earlier note a brief mention was made about 
the great Ananthalvan chasing the Lord and Piratti (who 
were loitering in disguise one evening in the garden that 
Ananthalavan had developed in order to bring flowers to 
the temple everyday).  I am told that this incident is 
remembered in the Brhamotsavams on the ninth day when the 
Lord’s palanquin (pallaku) is taken in a procession in
anti-clockwise direction(‘aprathakshana’) - popularly 
this is known as ‘Back savari’ (journey in the opposite 
direction). (Smt. Ramesh, a former IAS officer turned 
scholar of visishtadvaita mentioned several other such 
details during Ramanuja Jayanthi celebrations in Chennai 
in 1998). 

Adiyen, srivaishnava dasan
P.B. Anand