Friday, December 8, 2017

Aadhikesava Perumal Temple, Mylapore – Worship Practices & Festivals

Aadhikesava Perumal Temple, Mylapore – Worship Practices & Festivals
The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. As at other Vishnu temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to the Vaishnavite community. The temple rituals are performed four times a day: Ushathkalam at 8 a.m., Kalasanthi at 10:00 a.m., Sayarakshai at 5:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 7:00 p.m. Each ritual has three steps: alangaram (decoration), neivedhyam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Sri Aadi Kesava Perumal and his consort Sri Mayuravalli Thayar. During the worship, religious instructions in the Vedas (sacred text) are recited by priests, and worshippers prostrate themselves in front of the temple mast. There are weekly, monthly and fortnightly rituals performed in the temple.
The temple procession takes place during the Ekadasi day, Tiruvonam, Full Moon (Pournami) / New Moon (Ammavasai) days, when the festival images (Utsavar) of Adi Kesava, Sridevi and Bhudevi are taken in a procession. There are different processions taken by Mayuravalli Thaayar on Fridays and Uthiram star, Andal on the Pooram star, Rama on Punarpoosam, and the Azhwars, on their birthdays. The major festivals celebrated at the Adi Kesava Perumal temple are the Brahmotsavam, in honour of the presiding deity during Panguni (March-April), the Navarathri festival in honour of Mayuravalli Thayar (Lakshmi) celebrated within the precincts of the temple and a 10-day festival for Peyazhwar during Aippasi masam (October-November). On the third day of Aippasi the three important Azhwars are worshipped and Kesava Perumal, who adorns the Garuda Vahanam, is accompanied by the three Azhwars.
The birthday of the Aalvaar is celebrated on the Sadayam star day of the Aippasi month. On that day, offerings from Parthasarathy Perumal temple such as garland, Tulsi, Parivattam, sandal and the food offered to the Lord are brought and offered to Peyalvar. On the third day of the festival, the Aalvaar goes to his birth-place and enjoys Thirukkovilur celebration.  At Thirukkovilur the Lord makes the Mutalaalvaars – Poigai, Putam and Peyalvar – meet and himself reveals to them. This celebration is conducted based on this remarkable episode. During the festival, the Lord on his Garuda carrier appears before them, as they are placed in close proximity.  On the ninth day, Peyalvar goes in chariot procession.  
During the Float festival in the month of Thai, the spiritual teaching festivity of Thirumalisai Aalvaar receiving lessons from Peyalvar as Guru, is conducted in a grand manner. In the month of Purattasi, Peyalvar goes for a day to Tiruvallikeni (Triplicane).  The Aalvaar is welcomed and honoured with the Lord’s ‘cataari’.  Then, the Aalvaar would enter the Lord’s sanctum and perform Mangalasasanam (holy benediction).  Along with Parthasarathy Perumal he goes in procession and then returns to his sanctum.
On the Ekadasi day, Tiruvonam, Full Moon / New Moon days, and on the first day of the Tamil months Lord Aadi Kesava with his spouses, Sridevi and Bhudevi takes procession. A significant feature is that different processions are taken by Thaayar on Fridays and Uthiram star day, Andal on the Pooram star, Sri Rama on Punarpoosam and the Aalvaar, on their star birthdays. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

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