Vaikunda Ekadasi, is a day of supreme significance for all Sri Vaishnavaites. Today 8th Jan 2017 is the day....
At the Bhooloka Vaikundam : Thiruvarangam Divyadesam, the festivities begin 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 is the Gateway to Heaven.
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 divyadesam sung by 3 Alwars (as also in most divyadesams), Uthsavar enters through the Paramapada vassal in the morning and in the evening in the subsequent nine days. 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 was started by Thirumangai Azhwar. Later Acharyan Nathamuni introduced festival of 10 days preceding the Vaikunda Ekadasi, known as Pagal pathu when the rest of Nalayira divyaprabandham (pasurams of Muthalayiram and Thirumangai mannanin Thirumozhi) are recited.
Thousands of people throng the temple to have darshan of Sri Venkata Krishnar and Sri Parthasarathi. 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 divine occasion.