Sunday, March 25, 2018

Veera Raghava Swami Temple (Thiruevvul), Thiruvallur – Worship Practices & Festivals

Veera Raghava Swami Temple (Thiruevvul), Thiruvallur – Worship Practices & Festivals
The temple follows the traditions of the Vadakalai sect of Vaishnavite tradition and follows Pancharathram Aagama. 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, a Brahmin sub-caste. The temple rituals are performed four times a day: Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 12:00 p.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., and Ardha Jamam at 8:30 p.m. Each ritual has three steps: alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Veera Raghava Perumal and Vasumathi Thayar.
During the last step of worship, nagaswaram(pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument) are played, religious instructions in the Vedas (sacred text) and Nalayira Divya Prabhandham 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 witnesses a huge devotee crowd in thousands during the two Brahmotsavams, the first of 10 days in Chithirai (April-May) and the second 10 days in Thai covering January-February. The crowd is equally big for the Pavithra Utsav lasting seven days. Two Theppotsavam, (float-festivals), each for three days- one in Ani (mid-June to mid-July) and another in Masi (mid-February to mid-March), both starting from new moon day.
During Chittirai, Brahmotsavam, the festival deity is taken in procession around the streets of the temple in different mounts each day and the float festival is celebrated on the last day. Pancha Parva festivals (Occurring on Ekadesies, Pournami, first day of each Tamil month and Amavasya), Birth stars of Lord Veeraraghava and Swami Desikan viz Chithirai and Shravanam (Thiruvonam), Friday festivals for Thayar Thirumanjanam(Abishekam) and Purappadu of Perumal are conducted on Pancha Parva and Chithira Star, Thayar on Fridays and Swami Desikan on Shravanam(Thiruvonam).
It is believed that people get relief from their illness or other personal problems if they pray here on Amavasya day. Having darshan and offering Kaanikkai on 3 or 6 consecutive Amavasya days is believed to be even more desirable. Hence thousands of people come to this temple on that day. Long hours of darshan is arranged by the temple authorities to facilitate the devotees. It is considered auspicious to visit this temple on new moon days. Fridays are marked by a procession of the processional image of Thaayar to the Vellikkizhamai mandapam.
The other festivals associated with Vishnu temples like Krishna Jayanthi, Saturdays of Tamil month Puratasi, NavratriVaikunta Ekadasi and Vijayadasami are celebrated during the respective days. Puliyodharai (Tamarind Rice), Dhadhyannam (Curd Rice), Pongal, Chakkarai Pongal, Vada, Adhirasam, Murukku are offered to Lord as Prasadam.