Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam – Greatness of Temple

Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam – Greatness of Temple
Lord Ranganatha graces in a reclining form as he did on the Milk Ocean. Lord Brahmma is not in the naval chord.  It is believed that Lord Brahmma worships the Lord just before sunrise each day.  Chandra Theertham that cleanses the devotees of his/her sins is within the temple.  Lord grants the Muthangi Sevai darshan to devotees for six days after the Vaikunda Ekadasi festival.  This is a very famous event in the temple.  A priest of the temple threw a stone on Tirupanazhwar (one of the 12 Vaishnavite saints) Perumal had it on his bleeding forehead and granted salvation to Azhwar in this temple.
Daughter of a king of Delhi was too devoted to the Lord.  To remember her, Lord is dressed with Lungi the Muslim dhoti and Roti is offered as nivedhana on Ekadasi and new moon days. Brahmotsavam is celebrated thrice a year during January-February, February-March and April-May.  The temple is believed to have come into being from the milk ocean.  This is one of the Swayambu Kshetrams with Lord facing south.  The vimana of the Lord is covered with gold.
Except Madhura Kavi Azhwar, all Vaishnavite saints had sung the glory of the Lord of the temple.  Of the 108 Divya desas, Sri Rangam the first and Tiruchirupuliyur the 11th are the only ones facing south. Vaishnava Acharya Sri Ramanuja stayed here rendering his services to the Lord and also attained salvation here.  His disciples interned the Acharya in a sitting form.  After some time, Acharya came alive resurrected in the same form. Thirumanjanam is not performed.  There is a separate shrine for Sri Ramanuja. On the Arudra star day in Chithirai month (April-May), a blend of kumkum and other items are applied on the Acharya.
On the Kaisika Ekadasi falling on the full moon fortnight in the month of Karthikai (November-December) an event of covering the Lord with 365 blankets is celebrated throughout the night. This is said to make up for the errors committed in the day-to-day clothing of the Lord during the other days of the year. As November-December happens to be winter, it is also said that the event is followed as a token of the love of devotees to comfort the Lord from the cold weather.
Aani Jeshtabishek is performed to Lord (abishek with perfumed oil) with Sandal water.  Same day, abishek is performed to Namperumal the procession deity after removing the gold coverings.  Abishek to Namperumal is performed with 22 pots of Cauvery water.  It is said Mother Cauvery herself performs the abishek to Lord Namperumal.  Abishek on other days are performed without removing the golden coverings.
Aadi Perukku Utsav is celebrated on the 48th day of the Jeshtabishek to Lord on the Aani Jeshta star day.  This is celebrated on Aadi 18 or 28 in some years.  Lord graces from the Amma Mandap and offers gifts to Mother Cauvery with silk sari, bangles, betels etc.  This is taken on an elephant and dropped in the flowing river.
While staging the Kamba Ramayana in the temple, some objected to the mention of Lord Sri Narasimha in the Ramavatara story.  Kambar said that he would withdraw this part of the epic, if Lord himself so demanded.  Lord Sri Narasimha emerged from a pillar and approved Kambar’s writing as true.  Lord Narasimha in the temple graces from a separate shrine in the name of Mettazhagia Singar near the Mother’s shrine. The mandapa where Ramayana Arangettram took place is opposite the Mother’s shrine.  Lord Narasimha is holding only the conch with no discus.
Three Brahmotsavam is celebrated in the temple during Chithirai (April-May), Thai (January-February) and Panguni (March-April).  Lord Brahmma celebrated the Brahmotsavam for Lord Ranganatha in Panguni in His Sathyaloka which is called the Aadhi (first or original) Brahmotsavam. Uthiram star falls during this festival when the Lord graces darshan with Mother Ranganayaki.  The Thai Brahmotsavam relates to the one celebrated by Lord Sri Rama in Ayodhya. As Rama is considered Lord of Earth, this festival is also called Bhoopathi Festival. It is considered that Lord Rama himself is still celebrating this festival.