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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Today is Vaikunda Ekadasi - Year 2015 starts so auspiciously

1st of Jan 2015 heralds the New Year and for Sri Vaishnavaites, a day of supreme significance as today is “Vaikunda Ekadasi” too.

At the Bhooloka Vaikundam of Srirangam Divyadesam, it begins from Suklapaksha Ekadasi and celebrated for 23 days whence Namperumal listens to the vedas and Nammazhvar's Thiruvaimozhi as rendered by the Araiyars. The festival is divided into two parts, ten days before Vaikunda Ekadasi known as Pagalpathu  and  10 days from today, known as Raapathu. The Vaikunta Ekadasi festival is an occasion when the Paramapada vaasal is opened for devotees.   Paramapada Vasal is also colloquially  known as Sorga vaasal [the Gateway to Heaven].
Paramapada vasal at Thiruvarangam

The divine Thirumamani mandapam is representative of the abode of Sriman Maha Vishnu, the “Sri Vaikuntam” itself.  For Sri Vaishanavaites, the ultimate in life is attainment of moksha [salvation] by reaching Vaikuntam, the ultimate destination, the abode of Lord Himself.  This is The place of no return and the human soul is free from the ills of the World and gets the supreme opportunity of nithya kainkaryam [daily service] to Lord.

At Thiruvallikkeni,  , the Presiding Deity Sri Parthasarathi Swami  enters  through the Paramapada vassal in the morning and in the evening in the subsequent nine days.   Similar would be celebrations in most divyadesams and Vishnu temples.  The   10 days starting from Vaikunda Ekadasi are  celebrated as “Iraapathu uthsavam” in which the hymns of Sri Nammazhwar (Thiruvoimozhi) are chanted. This religious system is believed to have been started by Thirumangai Azhwar.  Later Acharyan Nathamuni introduced festival of 10 days preceding the Vaikunda Ekadasi, known as Pagal pathu when Nalayira divyaprabandham (pasurams of Muthalayiram and Thirumangai mannanin Thirumozhi)  are recited.

Thousands of people thronged the temple to have darshan of Sri Venkata Krishnar in muthangi  and Sri Parthasarathi embellished with so many jewels. Devotees feel enlightened and blessed, when they  cross the entrance - Vaikunda door ~ the paramapada vasal.  This morning around 0430am Lord Sri Parthasarathi had purappadu inside the temple and with Sri Nammalwar welcoming from  the other side, entered the Paramapada vasal.  Here are some photos of the special occasion.

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan.
1st Jan 2015.
Perumal crosses Paramapada vasal (above)
as Swami Nammalwar waits for him  (below)

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