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Saturday, May 4, 2024

Sapthavaranam - Sri Parthasarathi Vettiver ther 2024

Heard of ‘Chrysopogonzizanioides’ and wonder what is has to do with a Temple related post, especially one on the last day of Brahmothsavam at Thiruvallikkeni - the  10th day – Sapthavaranam and siriyathiruther of Sri Parthasarathi Perumal Chithirai brahmothsavam at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam on 2.5.2024.   The  brahmothsavam is a grand 10 day affair with Emperuman having purappadu in many vahanams including Sesha, Simha, Garuda, Hamsa, Hanumantha, Yaanai, Kuthirai and more .. thiruther (juggernaut) captures the eye of everyone. . ..  the uthsavam concludes with siriya thiruther known as Vettiver ther as this coolant is fixed on all sides of the ther.  Chariots have important mention in history as also in Ithihasa puranas.

For ancient Romans, nothing was more sensational than chariot racing. Grand arenas, located in major imperial cities, were places of lavish spectacles, organized by the emperors to boost their popularity and prestige among the people. Chariot drivers would mesmerize the spectators with displays of daring courage, skillful horsemanship, and tactical ingenuity as they strove for victory through a combination of speed, strength, and risk. The lucky winner could turn into a superstar, gaining fame and a good deal of fortune. But grandiose racetracks were more than sporting arenas.

The Circus Maximus (Latin for "largest circus"; Italian: Circo Massimo) is an ancient Roman chariot-racing stadium and mass entertainment venue in Rome, Italy. In the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire. It measured 621 m (2,037 ft) in length and 118 m (387 ft) in width and could accommodate over 150,000 spectators.

A quadriga is a car or chariot drawn by four horses abreast and favoured for chariot racing in classical antiquity and the Roman Empire. The word derives from the Latin quadrigae, a contraction of quadriiugae, from quadri-: four, and iugum: yoke. In Latin the word quadrigae is almost always used in the plural and usually refers to the team of four horses rather than the chariot they pull. In Greek, a four-horse chariot was known as τέθριππον téthrippon. The four-horse abreast arrangement in a quadriga is distinct from the more common four-in-hand array of two horses in the front plus two horses behind those.

Quadrigae were raced in the Ancient Olympic Games and other contests. They are represented in profile pulling the chariot of gods and heroes on Greek vases and in bas-relief. During the festival of the Halieia, the ancient Rhodians would sacrifice a quadriga-chariot by throwing it into the sea ! The quadriga was adopted in ancient Roman chariot racing.  Quadrigas were emblems of triumph; Victory or Fame often are depicted as the triumphant woman driving it. In classical mythology, the quadriga is the chariot of the gods; the god of the Sun Helios (often identified with Apollo, the god of light) was depicted driving his quadriga across the heavens, delivering daylight and dispersing the night.

Getting back to vettiver thiruther, it  is all about keeping the place cool .. .. both industrial refrigeration and air-conditioning are based on the same mechanism: a fluid, generally water or air, is cooled by evaporation of another fluid, called the refrigerant. The refrigerant circuit, comprising the compressor, evaporator, condenser and expansion device, is an integral part.  Air-conditioning is that process used to create and maintain certain temperature, relative humidity and air purity conditions in indoor spaces.  An air-conditioning system must be effective regardless of outside climatic conditions and involves control over four fundamental variables: air temperature, humidity, movement and quality.

Vettiver is a great coolant as also spreading fragrance.   ‘Vettiver Chapparam’… is embellished with mats of vettiver. The scientific name of  vettiver is  - ‘Chrysopogonzizanioides’, a type of grass of Poaceae family, native to India.  Also known as ‘khus’ Vettiver can grow up to 1.5 metres high and form clumps as wide. This Ther is known as ‘VettiverChapparam’ – for there used to be so many sheets made of this grass placed on the temple car.  One could feel the divine fragrance from a distance itself.   

Here are some photos of Sri Parthasarathi Emperuman sapthavarana thiruther.

~ adiyen Srinivasadhasan
Mamandur Veeravalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar


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