Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thyagaraja Temple, Thiruvarur – Processional Dance

Thyagaraja Temple, Thiruvarur – Processional Dance
The Thyagarajar Temple at Tiruvarur is famous for the Ajapa Thanam (dance without chanting), that is executed by the deity itself. According to legend, there are  seven temples which  are part of the same legend of Indra donating 7 lingams to Muchukunda Chakravarthy a Chola king who obtained a boon from Lord Indra and wished to receive the  Shivalinga gifted to Indra by Vishnu. Indra tested the king he had six other Maragatha Lingas made, and asked Muchukunda Chakravarthy to choose the right one the king chose the right Maragatha Lingam and installed it  at Tiruvarur.
The other six Siva Lingas were installed in Thirunallar, Thirukkuvalai, Nagapattinam, Tirukaravasal, Tiruvaimur, and Vedaranyam. All the seven places are villages situated along the river Cauvery. All seven Thyagaraja images are said to dance when taken in procession (it is the bearers of the processional deity who actually dance). All the seven places are villages situated in the river Cauvery delta.
Thyagaraja is associated with the Ajapaa Natanam (a special kind of dance which is enacted every time the deity is taken out in procession). Lord Thyagaraja is said to have risen from the navel of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu in his yoga stage breathes, and when Adisesha, the serpent bed of Vishnu, also breathes, the waves that are formed in the milky ocean of Vaikunta, (the abode of Lord Vishnu) rocks the universe.
So, Lord Thyagaraja is always visualized as performing a rhythmic dance, the Ajapa Natanam. This dance is performed whenever the deity moves from the Vasantha Mandapam to the chariot or to the Thousand Pillared Mandapam to give darshan to his devotees. The temples with dance styles are regarded as Saptha Vidangam(seven dance moves) and the related temples are as under:
Vidangar Temple
Dance pose
Tiruvarur Thyagarajar Temple
Dance without chanting, resembling the dance of Sri Thyagaraja resting on Lord Vishnu's chest
Dharbaranyeswarar Temple
Dance of an intoxicated person
Kayarohanaswamy Temple
Dancing like waves of sea
Kannayariamudayar Temple
Dancing like a cock
Brahmapureeswarar Temple
Dancing like a bee that hovers over a flower
Vaimoornaathar Temple
Dance like lotus that moves in a breeze
Vedaranyeswarar Temple
Dancing with the gait of a swan

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