Sunday, April 20, 2014

Rama Navami Eri Katha Rama Madurantakam

Rama provides darshan in four different attires on Rama Navami
Presentation of Desigar's Raghuveera Gadyam praising Rama's Qualities

Rama Navami was celebrated in a grand manner at the Chozha Period Eri Kaatha Rama temple in Madurantakam ( Wednesday (9 April). On the occasion, Lord Rama, one of the two Utsava deities at the temple, provided darshan in four different attires.

Sankshepa Ramayana Parayanam
The day long celebrations began with Lord Rama providing Vishwaroopa Darshan at 730am in a special Thiru Kolam - ‘Lord with a Plait’. For the next couple of hours, Lord Rama listened to the sweet rendition of 218 verses of Sankshepa Ramayana and Paduka Pattabhishekam led by TE Madhavan, the hereditary Theerthakar at the temple (Interestingly, Madhavan is currently working on his P. HD in Metallurgy at IIT Madras but does not miss the Rama Navami, Brahmotsavam and Adhyayana Utsavam Celebrations).

Following the Ekantha Sevai at 11am, the team of priests led by Seshadri Bhattar performed a special Thirumanjana for over 2hours in front of several hundred devotees who had gathered at the temple on this festive occasion. Lord Rama was smeared with sandalwood paste, honey, and special turmeric powder, among other things. One could see the pleased Lord smiling at his devotees at the end of the holy bath.

Madhavan was back at the end of the Thirumanjana to present Vedantha Desigar’s Gadyam that provide insights into description of the handsome features of the Lord from ‘Head to Toe’. 

Vaira Mudi Sevai
After a couple of hours of rest on the hot Panguni day, Lord Rama was back at 4pm displaying his third attire of the day – Thiru Aabharana Alankara combined with the Vaira Mudi Sevai as part of the Avathara Aradhana. This time, for an hour Lord Rama enjoyed the beautiful Perumal Thirumozhi Divya Prabhandham verses of Kulasekara Azhwar. Following this, Madhavan along with Dharanidharan Bhattar presented in a rapid fast paced style ‘Raghuveera Gadyam’, where Vedanta Desigar praises the ‘Veera’ qualities of Lord Rama.(

The celebrations culminated with the much awaited ‘Muthu Kondai’ display. Seated on the Pushpaka Vimana, just after 8pm, Lord Rama, along with Sita and Lakshmana, provided darshan in this fourth and most handsome looking attire during his 3hour procession around the Mada streets and it was 230am when the Lord was finally put to sleep - Sayanam. This is one of the only two occasions in the year that Lord Rama comes out on Street Procession (the other being on the 7th day of Brahmotsavam). It is the other Utsava deity Karunakara Perumal who is the processional idol on all other festive occasions.

Legend has it that Rama landed here with Sita on the Pushpaka Vimana after killing Ravana to fulfil the promise that he had earlier made to Vibandaka Rishi.

The story goes that Vibandaka Rishi’s son Rishya Singar helped King Dasharatha conduct the Putra Kameshti Yaagam which resulted in the birth of Rama. In his search for Sita, Rama and Lakshmana reached Vibandaka Rishi’s ashram here in Madurantakam. The Rishi gave Rama the confidence that he would be able to locate Sita and wanted him to visit this place on his return trip and provide Darshan along with Sita. Hence Rama is seen in a Kalyana Kolam at this temple with him holding the hand of Sita.

On the 3rd day of Thai, Karunakara Perumal goes on a procession to Nyana Giri Parvatham, the hill where Rama is believed to have descended on his Pushpaka Vimana.

No Hanuman inside the temple
A unique feature at this temple is the absence of Hanuman inside the temple. As Rama had sent Hanuman as a messenger to inform Bharata that he was on his way and did not come along with Rama in the Pushpaka Vimana, Hanuman is not seen inside the temple.

Having presented the idol of Lord Ranganatha to the new Lankan king Vibheeshana, Lord Rama is said to have invoked the blessings of Karunakara Perumal who was his aradhana idol.

The meeting of Ramanuja with Periya Nambi 

It was here that Ramanuja met with his Acharya Periya Nambi and was initiated with the Pancha Samskaram. In memory of this special event, one finds a separate Sannidhi for Ramanuja and Periya Nambi. 

Quick Facts
Moolavar         : Kothanda Rama in a Kalyana Kolam
Goddess           : Janaka Valli Thaayar (Separate Sannidhi)
Utsavar           : 1. Karunakara Perumal
                          2. Rama
Temple Time    : 730am-12noon and 430pm-830pm
Contact            :  Seshadri Bhattar @97868 66800

No comments: