Sunday, November 17, 2019

Nilathingal Thundam Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram – Religious Significance, Religious Practices & Festivals

Nilathingal Thundam Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram – Religious Significance, Religious Practices & Festivals
Religious Significance:
The temple is revered in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, the 7th–9th century Vaishnava canon, by Thirumangai Azhwar in one hymn. The temple is classified as a Divyadesam, one of the 108 Vishnu temples that are mentioned in the book. In a verse referring to Kachi Oorakam and Tiruvekkaa (both in Kanchipuram) Thirumangai Azhwar refers to NeeragamNilathingal ThundamKaaragam , Kaarvaanam and Kalvanur. Nilathingal Thundam is a shrine in the Kanchi Ekambareswarar Temple, Neeragam, Kaaragam and Kaarvaanam are shrines in the Ulagalantha Perumal Temple (Oorakam). Kalvanoor is the name of the shrine to Vishnu (Aadi Varaha Perumal) in the Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple.
Saivite Priests:
The temple is one of the two rare Divyadesams, with the other being Govindaraja Perumal Temple, that are housed in a Shiva temple. Only Saivite priests perform rituals in the temple.
Religious Practices:
The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. Being inside the premises of a Shiva temple, the priests belong to the Saivite community. The temple rituals are performed six times a day: Ushathkalam at 7 a.m., Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 12:00 p.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., Irandamkalam at 7:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 10:00 p.m. Each ritual has three steps: alangaram (decoration), naivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Nilathingal Thundam Perumal. During the last step of worship, Nadaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument) are played, 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. Lord bearing the light of moon, every Poornima day – full moon day is a festival day in the temple. Purattasi Saturdays of September-October and 10 days Vaikunda Ekadasi in December-January are other festivals observed in the temple.