Monday, August 31, 2009

Viragu Vitra Leelai

The tenth day of Avani Moola Maha Utsavam is going to be held at Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple Old Thirukkalayana Mandapam at 4.30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 01, 2009. This is the one of the interesting Thiruvilayadal performed by Lord Sundareswarar in Madurai to preserve a famous vocalist in the Pandiyan Kingdom. The Leela is known as "Viragu Vitra Leelai" (Lord Sundareswarar Himself traded Firewoods in Madurai streets to save His devotee Baanapathiran).

Story of Viragu Vitra Leelai

During the Varaguna Pandiyan ruling period in Madurai, a singer named Hemanathan from north side visited Madurai and sung various songs and got prizes. Hemanathan said to King with bigheaded voice, is there any vocalists in this kingdom to beat me. Suddenly, Asthana Pandithar Paanabathirar striked to King's mind. King also accepted the Hemanathar's challenge, but Paanabathirar felt that he was not suitable to beat Hemanathan, so he surrendered Lord Shiva and requested to preserve him and Pandiya Kingdom. Lord Sundareswarar accepted his request and came to Madurai city streets as a Firewood trader humming songs. At night, Lord Sundareswarar (Firewood Trader) sung songs at Hemanathar staying place. Hemanathar forget himself on receiving Lord's songs. Then Hemanathar asked the Firewood Trader, from whom you learn the songs. Firewood Trader replied that the great vocalists "Asthana Pandithar Baanapathirar" taught me. Hemanathar shocked and immediately left that place and also written in a leaf that he and his abilities everything bestowed to Paanabathirar and Pandiyan Kingdom.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Puttukku Mann Sumandha Leelai

The nineth day of Avani Moola Festival is "Puttukku Man Sumandha Leelai" (Lord Shiva carried soil for earning puttu in order to help out a old lady) on Monday, August 31, 2009. Puttu is a delicious and soft food famous in South India. This Thiruvilayadal will be happened at Puttu Thoppu near Madurai and also the deities Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar will be taken out to there to perform this leelai. Lord Subramaniyan along with His wife Deivanai from Thiruparankundram temple will participate in this festival. To know more about the history of this leelai, check out the following link:

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nariyai Pariyaakiya Leelai

The eighth day of Meenakshi Amman Temple Avani Moola Festival is "Nariyai Pariyaakkiya Leelai" on Sunday, August 30, 2009. Nari -> Fox and Pari -> Horse. Lord Sundareswarar (Lord Shiva) always performed various Thiruvilayadal to save His devotees and saints from the critical problems and dangers. Likewise, He transformed the foxes into horses to save one of His devotee and major Nayanmar "Manickavasagar". During the period of Arimarthana Pandiyan ruling in Madurai, King gave gold to Manickavasagar and asked him to buy horses. Manickavasagar went to buy them, but on the way Lord Shiva came in the form of Lord Dakshinamoorthy and preached Upanishads and Vedas to him. Afterwards he spent his whole time in chanting Mantras and devotional songs about Lord and forgot to buy the horses. King was waiting for the horses, but nothing happened. So he asked his soldiers to contact Manickavasagar and asked him about the horses. Then only Manickavasagar remember about it, immediately he surrendered Lord Shiva. God never ignored His devotees. At that time, Madurai was a dense forest (also known as Kadambavanam) fully consists of wild animals and foxes. Finally, Lord Sundareswarar convert the foxes into horses and brought them to the King's palace and protect His devotee Manickavasagar.

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Book Trade Fair & Expo - Book Exhibition cum Sale at Madurai Tamukkam Ground

The 4th "Book Festival" starts from today (Saturday, August 29, 2009) at Madurai Tamukkam Ground. The south india book publishers and sellers jointly conducting this festival. There will be 227 book stalls and around 1 crore books available. All kinds of books which could help from childhood to senior citizens like science books, technical books, general books and everything will be available. This festival is both for the book exhibition and book sale. Offers 10% discount for the buyers.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Valaiyal Vitra Leelai and Lord Sundareswarar Pattabhisegam

The seventh day of Avani Moola Mahotsavam is "Valaiyal Vitra Leelai" which is to be held on Saturday, August 29, 2009. Another important function is Lord Sundareswarar's Pattabhisekam will be held on Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple tonight between 7.30 p.m and 7.50 p.m. As I have discussed earlier in my previous post, Meenakshi Amman rule Madurai from the tamil month of Chithirai to Avani and Lord Sundareswarar rule from Avani to Chithirai. So today onwards, Lord Sundareswarar starts to rule Madurai after the Meenakshi Amman ruling. The notable feature of this Thiruvilayadal is that Lord Sundareswarar himself sold bangles. This event will be happened at Madurai Valaiyalkara street at 10 a.m. After that, special pujas will be made to bangles and bring them to the Lord's shrine.

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Baananukku Angam Vettiya Leelai

The sixth day of Avani Moola Utsavam festival is "Baananukku Angam Vettiya Leelai" held on Friday, August 28, 2009. During the Kulothunga Pandiyan period in Madurai, there was a couple named Virudha Veeran who was very old teaching various fights to students and beautiful young-age Manicka Maalai. At that time, Siddhan alias Baanan joined there to learn fights. He wished to become a great coacher like his tutor. Guru's wife should be treated as mother, but he had a lust on his Guru's wife instead. So, he asked his Guru to battle with him. Due to his body conditions and aging, Virudhaveeran not able to battle with him. Hence the couple surrendered Lord Sundareswarar, God came in the form of old-age Virudhaveeran and fought against him and demolished Baanan's body parts individually. Hence this Thiruvilayadal is called as Baananukku Angam Vettiya Leelai.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ulavaa Kottai Aruliya Leelai

Thursday, August 27, 2009 - Today is the fifth day of Meenakshi Amman Temple's Avani Moola Festival. Lord Sundareswarar will be performed "Ulavaa Kottai Aruliya Leelai" on this occasion.

Story behind this Thiruvilayadal

Once upon a time a farmer and his wife named Dharmakeerthi and Dharmaseelai respectively lived in Kadambavanam which is now called as Madurai. "Service to Humanity is Service to God", as per the proverb, both of them offer food (Annadhanam) to Sivacharyas and Lord Shiva Saints as a divine service daily. Suddenly the famine and poverty surrounded them, but never disappointed. They sold their house, property and continued their service to Sivanadiyars. At last, they didn't have enough money to provide food for the Saints. So they decided to commit suicide. Immediately, Lord Sundareswarar appeared there and saved them. He said to them He performed Thiruvilayadal. Then, He presented "Paddy in Ulavaa Kottai" (similar to Amudha Surabhi) to them and asked them to continue their divine service through this paddy.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dharumikku Porkizli Alitha Leelai

The fourth day of Avani Utsavam is “Dharumikku Porkizli Alitha Leelai” will be going to happen at the Meenakshi Amman shrine on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 around 10 a.m. This is the one of the Thiruvilayadal of Lord Sundareswarar which is a very interesting story.

Story of Tharumikku Porkizhi Alitha Leelai

Madurai was ruled by the Pandiyan King long ago. A doubt has arisen in his mind regarding the fragrance of women's hair is natural or artifical. So he announced that 1000 gold coins given as prize for the people who clarifies his doubt. Tharumi was a poet in his kingdom, but he was very poor in his wealth. So, Tharumi approached Lord Shiva to make him get the prize. Lord Sundareswarar immediately appeared in the human form and gave a poem to Tharumi and asked him to take it to the King. When this poem read in the court, Poet Nakkeerar found fault with it and stopped the giving of the prize. Tharumi gets disappointed and looked for the person whom he get the poem. Again Lord Sundareswarar appeared before him as the human being and asked the situation. Thereupon, Lord Shiva himself came to the court and challenged Nakkeerar. But Nakkeerar could not accept that poem. Though the divine poet asked him if the hair of Ganapoongodai, the consort of Lord Kalathinathar, whom Nakkeerar worshipped did not have the natural scent, the undaunted Nakkeerar asserted that it was so. Suddenly the Lord Shiva opened his forehead ey which emitted fire and looked at Nakkeerar to show the poet who he was. Even then, Nakkeerar persisted in his statement. As he could not bear the scorching heat, emanating from the divine eye he jumped into the water of the Golden Lotus Tank (Potramarai Kulam). Then at the request of the Pandiyan King and other poets, the Lord took Nakkeerar out of the tank, forgave him and praise his duty consciousness.

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Manickam Vitra Leelai

The third day of the Avani Moola Maha Utsavam is the “Manickam Vitra Leelai” (Lord Sundareswarar sold Ruby Gemstone) on Tuesday, August 25, 2009. Madurai was ruled by the Pandiyan families. King Veerapandiyan was one among the Pandiyan Vamsa ruled the Madurai city long ago. The King had no child and he gave birth to a male child by the blessings of Lord Meenakshi Sundareswarar. Unfortunately he was attacked by a tiger when he went for hunting in the forest and he died. At last, Ministers in the Kingdom had planned to give the king’s place to his son. But the Dhasi’s sons stolen the King’s Ruby Stone crown. Without crown, cannot put the child to King position. So, Ministers prayed to Lord Sundareswarar to wipe out this problem. Immediately, Lord Sundareswarar comes in the form of Diamond and Gemstone Merchant and gave variety of precious diamonds & gemstones and asked them to make the crown using these stones and disappeared immediately. After that, the Ministers identified that the Gem stone merchant is Lord Shiva. As per Lord Shiva suggestion, they made the new crown with these stones. Finally, the Ministers put the crown to King Veerapandiyan son’s head and placed him as the King of Madurai.

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Naaraikku Mukthi Kodutha Leelai

The second day of Avani Moola Utsavam festival is the “Naaraikku Mukthi Kodutha Leelai” (Lord Sundareswarar grant Moksha to water bird Crane) on Monday, August 24, 2009. Due to its Bhakthi, God appears and offer Mukthi to it.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Avani Moola Festival: Karunkuruvikku Upadesam Seidha Leelai

Every day is the festival at Meenakshi Amman Temple. Avani Moola Festival is one among them which is celebrating every year in the Tamil month of Avani. This festival is also called as "Avani Moola Utsavam" is celebrated for 10 days and going to start on Sunday, August 23, 2009. Avani Festival is fully dedicated to Lord Sundareswarar as Chitra Festival to Meenakshi. In the Tamil month, Chithirai to Avani Goddess Meenakshi ruling Madurai and from the month Avani to Chithirai Lord Sundareswarar ruling Madurai. Hence the Avani Moola Festival is celebrated in a grand manner like Chitra festival.

The first day of this festival is "Lord Sundareswarar Preached Black Sparrow" (in Tamil: கருங்குருவிக்கு உபதேசம் செய்த லீலை). The story behind this leelai is that there was a luxurious person in the previous birth and he again took rebirth as "Black Sparrow" due to his Karma (sins) in the previous birth. The wild birds always annoying the sparrow, so considering safety and protect itself against from the wild birds it started to stay in the trees. On that time, the sparrow keenly watched some of the Sivacharyas under the tree were talking about the importance of the Potramaraikulam (Golden Lotus Tank) in Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple. Then it started to do the holy dip in the Potramaraikulam and perform pooja to Lord daily. Finally, Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar appeared before the sparrow and asked to attain “Moksha” (Sivaloga Pathavi) after this birth. Also Lord Sundareswarar preached “Maha Mrithyunjaya Mantra” to protect its life from the wild birds till the end of the birth.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Anil Ambani visited Madurai Meenakshi Temple today

One of the Indian billionaire and major shareholder in Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group Mr. Anil Ambani visited Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple today. The temple devasthanam board received him in a grand manner. Later, he made darshan to Goddess Meenakshi, Lord Sundareswarar and other major deities in the temple.

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Happy India's Independence Day 2009

Every year, August 15 is celebrated as India's Independence Day. The great Father of our Nation Mahatma Gandhi and other major freedom fighters had struggled against British Government and finally got independence on this day. So it's everyone duty to salute that Eminent Personalities and India on this day. This year Independence Day is observed on Saturday, August 15, 2009.
Happy Independence Day! Bharath Maa Tuje Salaam!
Proud to be an Indian.... Jai Hind!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Carrieall Car Service at Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple for Tourists

Madurai Corporation and Tamilnadu Tourism Department jointly introduced a new vehicle service called Carrieall Car Service for the tourist folks at Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple. It is a off-road Electric Vehicle (EV) and All Terrain Vehicle (ATV). This service would bring happy and joy for the tourists especially for the senior citizens where it traverse the four chithirai streets of Madurai in order to view the four temple towers. They charged Rs.10/- for the adults and Rs.5/- for the children. This service has started after the Maha Kumbabhishekam of Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple. Also the Devasthanam Board of Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple take care of doing various projects to make the temple more sumptuous and stunning. Thanks to the Madurai corporation and Tamilnadu Tourism Department for providing such a wonderful service.

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Lord Sri Krishna Jayanthi - Gokulashtami & Janmashtami Festival Celebration

Gokulashtami is the major festival celebrated by the Hindus across the globe on account of the birth of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is the human form and avatar of Lord Vishnu incarnated in the earth to demolish his maternal uncle Kamsa. His major objective of incarnation is to preserve "Dharma" and devastate "Adharma". He was born more than 5000 years ago in the Madhura City.
Birth History of Lord Krishna
A Rishi told Kamsa that his death happened by the eighth male child of Devaki and Vasudeva. So, Kamsa arrested both the Devaki & Vasudeva and put them in jail and started to kill every child. At last, Devaki gave birth to Lord Krishna as the eighth child at midnight in the Ashtami Thithi, on the eighth day in the month of Shravana on the Rohini Star. As per the Lord's instruction, Vasudeva put his child in a basket and leave the child in the Yasodha's House and bring Yasodha's female child back to its place. That child was the "Goddess Durga" who is called as "Maha Maye". Finally Kamsa began to kill that eighth child, despite he confused and surprised after seeing female child instead male one. While he throw that child, child flies away from him. Later, he made various attempts to kill Lord Krishna, but his efforts failed each time. After a long time, Kamsa was killed by Lord Krishna.
Sree Jayanthi Celebration
Sree Krishna Jayanti is generally celebrated in the month of August-September according to the Christian Calendar. Janmashtami is celebrated for over two days as “Rohini” nakshatra and Ashtami may not fall on the same day. The first day known as Krishnashtami as the birth of Bhagwan Krishna falls on the eighth day after Raksha Bandhan and the second day is known as Kalashtami. This year Sri Krishna Janmashtami festival is observed on Thursday, August 13, 2009. On this occasion, devotees will perform fasting, bhajans, pujas and many other rituals. Special Abhishekams and Aaradhanas will be performed to Lord Krishna by the priests at various temples.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Avani Avittam Festival - Raksha Bandhan - Poonal Kalyanam

Avani Avittam is the exclusive festival for the Brahmin Community. This is the famous South Indian festival associated with the Hindu Festival which comes in the month of Shravan (August-September) and in the tamil month of Avani on the full moon day. The importance of this festival is that on this auspicious day, Lord Vishnu incarnated as Lord Hayagriva who is called as the God of Knowledge. Hence this day is called as Shravan Purnima, Rakhi Poornima, etc. This Avani Avittam festival is mainly celebrated in the South Indian States like Tamilnadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and in some parts of Orissa. In 2009, the Avani Avittam festival is observed on Wednesday, August 05, 2009. Also Lunar Eclipse will take place on this day.
On this special day, Brahmin boys are bestowed with the Sacred Thread which denotes the beginning. They remove the old thread and wear new one which indicates that they take away their old sins. So they first take a holy dip and wear a new holy thread called Yajnopavitam or Janeyu and offer libations of water to the ancient Rishis and elders. This ritual is called as Yagnopaveetha Dhaarana, Thread wearing ceremony, Holy Thread ritual, Sacred Thread ceremony, Holy Thread Upanayanam, (in Tamil: Poonal Kalyanam), Upakarmam, etc. Special Puja and Homa will be conducted on this occasion. Gayathri Maha Mantra is chanting on the day after Avani Avittam.

The North Indian people is celebrating this Shravan Poornima as Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi festival which symbolizes the sacred relation of a brother and a sister. Every sister tie the Rakhi band to their brother's hand and also other's hand if she treat them as brother to notify their sis-bro relationship on this Raksha Bandhan day.

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Aadi 18 Perukku - Pathinettam Perukku Festival

Aadi Perukku is one of the important festival celebrated in the Tamil month of Aadi. This festival falls on the 18th day of tamil month of Aadi, hence it is called as Aadi 18 Perukku a.k.a. Aadi Pathinettam Perukku (Monday, August 03, 2009). This is a "Nature Worship" festival dedicated to Cauvery river and mainly celebrated by women. Perukku means rising which indicates the rising water in rivers. Due to south west monsoon, the South Indian rivers streaming on this month. Hence the people residing along the river banks offer prayers and pujas to the rivers just like saying thanksgiving to them. This festival is mainly celebrated by the people residing along the Cauvery River banks. Similarly, the Madurai people also celebrated this Aadi 18 Perukku festival at the river bank of Vaigai. On this occasion, women performed various pujas to the rivers in order to attain health, happiness and wealth in their life. On this day, Special Pujas and Aaradhanas are performed to Goddess Meenakshi at Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple.

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