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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

No VIP passes for Vaikunda Ekadasi this year ~ at Thiruvallikkeni

Vaikunda Ekadasi, the most holy day is a day of supreme significance for all Sri Vaishnavaites.  In the year 2012, we have two Vaikunda Ekadasis ~ last year it was on 5th Jan 2012 and now it is on 24th Dec 2012.

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 also known as Sorga vaasal is the Gateway to Heaven. 
At Thiruvallikkeni, as also in most divyadesams, the Presiding Deity would enter 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 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 throng the temple to have darshan of Sri Venkada Krishnar and Sri Parthasarathi.  Devotees feel enlightened and blessed, when the cross the entrance -  Vaikunda door ~ the paramapada vasal ` the sorga vasal’.  Triplicane being in the heart of the city, it becomes VIP darshan as so many ‘important persons !’ get passes and precede those waiting for hours together to have darshan.  When the door opens, you can find so many politicians and others standing before others; thus the common man, the baktha, the devotee who comes daily and who fasts and is prepared to stand hours together to have darshan is denied or delayed darshan.  Also only those with ‘special pass’ / ‘VIP ticket’ get entry at the time of opening of the door.

All the could become a thing of past, if this report in ‘The Hindu’ is truly implemented.  There are also reports that this time, around 1000 devotees from general Queue would be allowed inside in time to have darshan of Lord Parthasarathi coming through the Vaikunda vasal at the time of Nammazhwar welcoming him.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

 The Hindu dt 18/12/12 has a report titled
 ‘No VIP passes for Vaikunta Ekadasi too’

According to the report, The Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department has done away with the system of issuing special passes for temple festivals in the State. Apart from free darshan, tickets would be made available. “For the Vaikunta Ekadasi festival that is to be held on Monday, major Vaishnavite temples throughout the State including the Sri Ranganathar Temple in Srirangam will only issue passes to designated persons. There will not be any passes designated for VIPs or VVIPs,” HR & CE Minister M.S.M. Anandan said at a press conference here on Monday.

The system has already been tried out in temples including the Annamalai Temple in Tiruvannamalai and the Subramaniaswami Temple in Tiruchendur during the Karthikai deepam and Skandasashti festivals.

“We want to concentrate on providing excellent facilities to devotees coming for the free darshan during festivals,” he said, adding that around 4 lakh devotees are expected to visit Sri Parthasarathy Temple in Triplicane for the Vaikunta Ekadasi festival and most of them would be those opting for free darshan.

“Last year, the festival witnessed around three lakh devotees and every year, there has been an increase of about 40 per cent. We will ensure that clean drinking water and toilet facilities are provided. Additional security would be provided and fire tenders and ambulances would be available in case of emergencies,” Mr. Anandan explained.

Tickets priced Rs. 300 and Rs. 100 would be made available from Friday at the temple counters. All devotees would be given a laddu, tulasi and kumkumam on that day. 

PS :  The second part of the post entirely reproduced from 'The Hindu"

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