Azhwaarthirunagari yaatrai - travelogue

srimathe ramanujaya nama:
srimad varavaramunaye name:
srimad vaanaachala mahamunaye nama:

adiyen reached alwarthirungari on 27th april early morning for emperumaanaar saatrumurai.

We went to bhavishyadhaacharyan (emperumaanaar) sannidhi around 8am and took dharshan of jeeyar swamy there. (For the ones who dont know - emperumaanaar's sannidhi is located outside on the west side of the athinathar/azhwar temple with its own maada streets and sannidhi street. This temple hosts emperumaanaar's first thirumEni that was given by nammaazhwaar himself. Thiruvaimozhi pillai constructed this temple, established the streets and the kainkaryaparaas around the temple. Thiruvaimozhi pillai himself and subsequently azhagiya manavala perumal naayanaar (manavala mamunigal in his purvaasramam) did thiruvaaraadhanam in this temple.).

The day started nithyaanusandhaanam goshti. Many srivaishnavas participated in the goshti and podhu thaniangal, kanninun chirthambu, thiruppaallaandu, thiruppaalliyeluchi and thiruppaavai  were chanted (in the specified order - notice kanninun chitruthambu which stands for nama: padham in thirumantram is chanted first in this divyadEsam).

Here also two utsavams were happening at the same time, chithirai (perumal) utsavam and emperumaanaar avathaara utsavam.
Since perumal utsavam is happening at the same time, during perumal purappadu in the morning, empeumaanaar joins perumal in the veedhi purappadu and both reaches the temple.

Once in the temple, emperumaanaar goes to nammaazhwar sannidhi and both azhwaar and emperumaanar are seated in the azhwaar thirumanjana mandapam (azhwar at his asthaanam facing east and emperumaanar at one level below facing south). azhwar and emperumaanaar enjoys iraamaanusa nutranthaadhi goshti together. after that the srivaishnavas move on to polindhi nindra piraan sannidhi, where the chithirai utsavam 4th day sEvAkAlam happens - here periazhwar thirumozhi 150 pasurams (1st and 3rd lines) and thiruvaimozhi 100 pasurams (full) are chanted. Here also adiyen witnessed 30+ srivaishnavas in the goshti which is wonderful.

Then, We go back to azhwar sannidhi and a great event happens. During emperumaanaar thirunakshathram, there is thiruvadi thozhal for emperumaanaar at the lotus feet of azhwaar. Emperumaanaar is now taken in kaithalam (lifted by archakas in their hands) and placed at the lotus feet of azhwar facing him. Arayar swamy chants kanninun chiruthambu pasurangal with his thaalam. After that sAtrumurai for iraamaanusa nutranthadhi, upadesa rathina maalai pasurams of emperumaanaar, vaazhi thirunamangal are chanted. One unique aspect is -  the vaazhi thirunamam that was in use (athigiri arulAlar adi panindhon vaazhiyE, etc) before mamunigal wrote (sIrArum yathirasar...) is also chanted here - adiyen is not sure if this thaniyan is in use anywhere else right now. After this we go back to perumal sannidhi for periazhwar thirumozhi and thiruvaimozhi saatrumurai.

Once the goshtis are over, emperumaanaar takes leave from azhwaar. another unique event here. As part of the farewell, once emperumaanaar is ready to leave in his pallakku, nammazhwar is giving kaithala sEvai (in archakas hands from thirumanjana mandapam to aasthaanam (sannidhi)) specially for emperumaanaar - once swamy witnesses that he takes leave. On his way to his sannidhi, there are 2 mandagapadis - first at the manavala mamunigal sannidhi and then at koorathazhwan sannidhi. In mamunigal sannidhi, mamunigal is also joining emperumaanaar in the same pallakku to his sannidhi. Once emperumaanaar and mamunigal reaches emperumaanaar sannidhi, they have a thiruvaaraadhanam together. Finally there is grand thadhiaaraadhanam at the emperumaanaar jeeyar mutt (bhavishyadhacharyan sannidhi) at around 2pm.

adiyen left shortly afterwards. it seems in the evening during perumal utsava purappadu, emperumaanaar will have straight sEvai of perumaal from his sannidhi and karppoora aarathi will be done for both perumal and emperumaanaar. At the end of the day, after everything is over mamunigal will leave emperumaanaar sannidhi to his own.

highlights/unique events in azhwarthirungari divyadEsam:
* athinathar azhwar devasthaanam - equal importance for both perumal and azhwar (2 brahmotsavam for perumal and 2 similar utsavams for azhwar).
* arayar starts arulicheyal goshti - one of the few divyadesams where arayar swamy has relevance in day-to-day activities (other divyadesams with arayar swamys -  srirangam, srivilliputhur and thirunarayanapuram).
* avathaara sthalam  for azhwar (nammazhwar), emperumaanaar (bhavishyadhacharayan vigraham appeared before emperumaanaar here) and jeeyar (mamunigal) - when we say azhwar emperumaanaar jeeyar thiruvadigalE sharanam we should think about azhwarthirungari with gratitude.
* Only divyadEsam on hearing which we should perform anjali immediately per our purvacharya srisukthi (nayanaar in kanninun chiruthambu vyaakyaanam and acharya hrudhayam) - thats why during sEvAkAlam when we hear kurugur sadagopan, srivaishnavas do an anjali immediately.
* separate sannidhi for emperumaanaar established by thiruvaimozhi pillai, worshipped by manavala mamunigal
* arayar starts paasurams during sEvAkAlam with thAlam (music in cymbals).
* place where we still see many acharya purushas doing services at the various sannidhis (10+) which are managed by them and also in navathirupathi divyadEsams.
* one of very few divyadEsams where "ramyaa maatru yOgindhra..." thanian of ponnadikkaal jeeyar is chanted on a daily basis in a divyadEsam temple. ponnadikkaal jeeyar was the prime disciple of mamunigal and he joined mamunigal at his young age (when mamuniagal was a grihasthar, ponnadikkaal jeeyar was already a sannyasi) and stayed with mamunigal like paadha rEkha (lines in the bottom of the lotus feet).
* varavaramuni divyaaghyaa - it is said that all norms followed here are according to mamunigal's directions based on purvacharya srisukthi's ofcourse.
* nammazhwar thirumudhi thozhal utsavam (perumal coming to azhwar to keep his lotus feet on azhwar's thirumudi) and udayavar thiruvadi thozhal utsavam (emperumaanaar seated at the lotus feet on thiruvaadhirai thirunakshatra utsavam).

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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