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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thirumalai Ananthan Pillai Uthsavam at Thirumala 2013

திருமலையில் சிறப்பு வைபவம் 
திருமலை அனந்தான்பிள்ளை திருவவதார மகோத்சவம் :  
Thirumalai Ananthan Pillai Uthsavam at Thirumala 2013

Fortunate to attend the 959th Thiruvavathara Uthsvam of Thirumalai Ananthan Pillai held at Thirumala Tirupathi on 3rd March 2013.

Thirumalai Ananthalwan, a great Acharyar did great service for Thiruvengadamudayan, about 1000 years ago.  Sure you would have had darshan of Lord Venkateswarar – Tirupathi Balaji so many times – have you not noticed the ‘crowbar’ kept at the Main entrance to the temple and do you know its legend.  If not, do observe and bow obeisance the next time, you enter the Holy entrance at Thirumala.

Of the many divyadesams sung by Azhwaargal, Thirumala occupies a very prominent position.  Our Acharyan Emperumanaar (Udayavar, Ramanujar, Bashyakarar……….) did many service to the Lord here and Udayavar was instrumental in many of the religious practices being established in Thirumala.  One of his disciples is ‘Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan’ who was very attached to Ramanujar.  Ananthazhwaan was born in 1053 near Mysore in a village called ‘siruputhoor’.  When Udayavar was rendering kalakshepam on Thiruvaimozhi, (the verse – sindhu poo magizhum Thiruvengadathu – meaning the place replete with flowers), Udayavar asked whether anybody would do the pushpa kainkaryam at Thirumala.  Remember, Tirupathi was a very dense jungle ridden with wild animals with adverse weather.  Ananthazhwaan readily came forward and said that he would go, if Udayavar so desires.  Udayavar was so elated that he praised Ananthazhwaan as the real man and till date, his descendents have the name ‘Thirumalai Ananthanpillai’ meaning manly. 

Legend has it that Ananthazhwaan was organizing ‘a flower garden’ – he was constructing a lake for supply of water on the hills – an extremely arduous work.  Lord Balaji in one of His Thiruvilayadals, came to the place and tried helping him.  Wrongly assuming the person as hindering the work, Ananthazhwaan threw the crowbar at the Lord (without knowing Him); later realised his folly and got the Divine Blessings of Lord.  This is the crowbar now seen at the entrance of the Temple of Supreme Lord Thiruvengadam Uaiyaan.

Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan continued his floral and other services to Lord Srinivasar for many years. He was so devoted in his service ordained by Ramanujacharya that for him, it was service that was of primary importance, even when compared to God.     The Vigraham of Sri Ramanujar that we worship inside the Sri Vari Temple was installed by him. 

The garden created by Ananthazhwaan is now known as ‘Puraisaivari Thottam’.  It lies on the back side of the temple near Chinna Jeeyar Mutt and one can reach this place through the Thirumala Library also.    Now there is a beautiful brundavanam at this place maintained by the descendents of Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan.  The lake created by him now stands majestically as ‘Ramanuja lake” replete with water on the hill !!   Twice in a year,  Sri Malayappar visits this place and honours Ananthazhwaan now in the form of Magizha maram.  ‘Sri Venkatesa Ithihasa maala’ is considered the best amongst the many works of Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan

For the past few years, anniversary Uthsavam of Sri Ananthazhwaan is being celebrated at his place at Thirumala.   It is being organized by his descendents, well supported by Thirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam, through its ‘Alwar Divya Prabandha Project’.   Almost a decade back, when it was organized for the first time, the place wore not so great looks, but over the years has been improved and maintained so well that it is a fitting tribute to Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan who did yeoman service to Lord Srinivasar. 

This year it was 959th Birth day celebrations very well organized.  His Holiness Thirumalai Periya Kelviappan Sri Satakopa Ramanuja Periya Jeeyar Swami,  His Holiness Thirumalai Ilaiya Kelviappan Sri Govinda Ramanuja Chinna Jeeyar  Swami,  His Holiness Sriperumpudur Embaar Jeeyar Swami,  presided over the divyaprabandha goshti. There were hundreds of Kalakshepa Athigarigal,  Athyapakars from various divyadesams, Ubaya Vedantha periyavargal and many youngsters who participated in the ‘Thiruvaimozhi Goshti’. 

There were kalakshepams by renowned scholars starting with Dr MA Venkatakrishnan Swami,  Sri PB Rajahamsam Swami, Sri KB Devarajan Swami and many others.

Let us worship the feets of Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan who was renowned for his knowledge, devotion, steadfastness and more good qualities. Some photos taken during the celebrations are here  :

Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan. 

the magizha maram - Acharyar himself and his statue below

the story of Acharyar Ananthazhwan
Swami Udayavar Ananthazhwanai niyamithal
Ananthazhwar doing kainkaryam to Thiruvengadamudaiyan

Swami Emperumanar sannathi inside Thirumala Temple
Srinivasar purappadu to thiruvarasu of Ananthazhwar and mariyadhai

thiruvaimozhi goshti on the occasion

Sri Ramanujar pushkarini at purasaivari thottam

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