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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Grand Deepavali Celebrations 2018 ~ purappadu at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam

Swami Manavala Mamunigal day 5 : Grand Deepavali purappadu 2018

Deepavali ‘the festival of lights’ is always enchanting – an occasion to wear new clothes, eat sweets, burst crackers, be with friends and relatives, visit and respect elders  – a festivity which brings enjoyment, pervades happiness all through …. – the festival was grandly celebrated all over the country – in our parts on 6th Nov 2018, a day later in some other places.   In the recent years, there has been some attempt to wean away people as some keep saying that ‘enthusiasm towards fireworks is going down; spiralling prices have forced people to buy less of firecrackers;  the pollution awareness is swaying public away from crackers and the like……….’.   this year the Apex Court judgment was the talking point !

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Harsil near the India-China border in Uttarakhand  and celebrated  Diwali with army and ITBP personnel on Wednesday. The northern Indian city of Ayodhya managed to break a Guinness World Record on 6.11.2018  by lighting 300,150 earthen lamps and keeping them burning for at least 45 minutes on the banks of the river Sarayu as part of the annual celebration of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. South Korean first lady Kim Jung-sook attended the record-breaking event  alongside Shri Yogi Adityanath, the CM of Uttar Pradesh.  Her presence was significant because of a Korean legend that a princess from Ayodhya traveled to Korea and married a king, becoming a Korean queen in the year 48 AD.

In today’s context, at some places, people get glued to the cinemas and other special programmes the multitudes of TV channels present….nothing to speak about reluctance to call it Hindu festival, still encashing by showing movies and cine-related programmes calling it ‘holiday – special’ ~ this year, it was Deepa Oli Thirunaal… !!!

Now I have to say I haven’t read all 24,000 verses in the epic poem about Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya. But I do know the story of his homecoming from the many Diwali celebrations I have attended in my own constituency over the years.  Values of good conduct – ‘dharma’ – taking the right path and ensuring that good triumphs over evil. Values of hope, optimism, of forgiveness – of the new beginnings and clean slates represented by the Hindu New Year as people wear new clothes and say prayers for the year ahead.Not any ordinary politician here ~ the words of a Prime Minister of a big nation that of UK PM Ms  Theresa May at  a reception to celebrate Diwali a couple of years ago. 

Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam -  the abode of Lord Venkata Krishnan is different – it boasts of the Temple sung by 3 Azhwars ~ innumerable days of festivals; crowds thronging to have darshan of Lord Parthasarathi inside the Temple, and more gathering to have His darshan during the ‘thiruveethi purappadus’.   Each year, Deepavali coincides with the 10 day uthsavam of Swami Manavalamamunigal, the Great Acharyar of Srivaishnavism; our beloved  Acharyar propogated Thennacharya Sampradhayam.  Generally it would be 4th or 5th day of the Uthsavam and this year it was today 6th Nov 2018 – day 5  of  Sri Manavala Mamunigal Uthsavam and hence it was Swami Nammalwar’s thiruvirutham during the purappadu that lasted over 3 hours.

             On this Deepavali day, Triplicanites eagerly look forward to the evening purappadu of Num Acharyar with Sri Parthasarathi.  In Chennai and in all parts of Tamil Nadu, it is not unusual to have rains during this season – this year there has been not much of rains, and it was dry on Deepavali day.  The   grand purappadu of Swami Manavalamunigal with  Sri Parthasarathi Swami beaming His resplendent splendour started around 17.00 hrs– it was unbridled enthusiasm displaying  the lighting provided by the fireworks of various hues.  There were ‘hundreds of  10000 wallahs, the sky lit with latest fireworks’  - with a few hundreds walking along having His darshan and enjoying the fireworks.  Here are some photos taken during the purappadu.  Blessed are we to be part of all these living in divyadesams.

Pattasu, crowds, everything else is surreal  - to us is always it is the supreme Sriman Narayana, worthy of worship who outshines all brightness.   Swami Nammazhwar starts Thiruvirutham divyaprabandham stating:

பொய் நின்ற ஞானமும்  பொல்லா ஒழுக்கும்  அழுக்குடம்பும்,
இந்நின்ற நீர்மை இனியாமுறாமை, உயிரளிப்பான்
எந்நின்றயோனியுமாய்ப் பிறந்தாயிமையோர் தலைவா
மெய்நின்று கேட்டருளாய்,அடி யேன்செய்யும் விண்ணப்பமே.

Though one bestowed with great knowledge and more importantly the chosen one by Emperuman, Nammalwar  expresses his humility stating that we possess knowledge which is of no good, we possess no discipline, we are born in womb and are dirty -  and for protecting souls like us, the greatest Lord of Celestials takes birth to guide us and lead us to salvation.  Azhwar prays to Lord seeking His attention and beseeching grant that one may not be born again in state of faulty knowledge, wicked actions and filth-ridden body.  The posterity knows that Azhwar was granted all wishes and was taken along by Perumal – for us the path is certain and easy – follow what Azhwar did and surrender to the Lotus feet of Emperuman.

Deepavali pervades happiness – every festival is intended to permeate happiness to mankind whose immense benefit rests in falling at the feet of Sriman Narayana. Triplicanites had another day of immaculate happiness enjoying the bountiful mercy of Sri Parthasarathi perumal and our Acaryar Manavala Mamunigal.

Azhwar Emperumanaar Thiruvadigale Saranam

adiyen Srinivasa dhasan

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