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Tirumala Tirupati

Welcome to Adiyen Sri Ramanuja Dasan !

" Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha !"

Religious, Cultural and Social Aspects of Sri Vaisnavism

Part 3

Dawn of Devotion - Margazhi/Dhanur Month (15 Dec - 15 Jan)

Vaikunda Ekadesi

The high point of the Margazhi month is the Vaikunda Ekadesi festival. Its a very holy day, spent in fasting, bhagavad kainkaryam (devotional service) and meditation of the Lord and His pastimes.

Vaikunta Ekadasi is a grand 21 days celebration in Srirangam. Where, the festivities in the first 10 days are conducted during the day. And the 10 days following Ekadasi, are conducted during the night.

Vaikunta Ekadasi, includes both day and night celebrations, and at pre-dawn all the assembled devotees in the temple pass through the symbolic Parama Pada Vaasal (gateway to the abode of Sriman Narayana).

This day, also has a special significance as the first Alvar of the Sampradayam, Namalvar attained parama padam (the Lord's Abode) on this day.

Religious, Cultural and Social Aspects of Sri Vaisnavism

Part 4

Dawn of Devotion - Celebartions in Srivilliputhur

In Srivilliputtur, Andal's birthplace, the margazhi celebrations are centred around Andal's Thirupavai, this include's a 8 day neeratu utsava with araiyar sevai and culminating in Andal's marriage.

Araiyar Sevai, is a ritualistic visual enactment of the Alvars devotional expressions. This is quite similar to the othuvar tradition of saivism; except that araiyars utilise hand / facial gestures (abhinaya) with forward and backward step movements. This ritual was first instituted by Tirumangai alvar, but later discontinued due to sanskritisation of Vaisnavism in Taminadu. Later in the 8th century, Nathamuni reinstated this ritual back in the temples.

Today, araiyar sevai is performed by the descendents of Natha muni in only 3 temples i.e Srivilliputtur, Azhwarthirunagari and Sri Rangam.

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