Thiruvarangathil Thiruvaimozhi Thirunal
(Festival for Thiruvazhimozhi in Srirangam)
LORD Sriman NARAYANA made this world and the worldly living beings. To know about the world affairs and get rid of the same, HE inducted the Vedas. To know the inner meanings of Vedas HE made the Sastras which are the parts and parts of the Vedas.
All these were turned to be fruitless like the torch given to a blind man. LORD decided to get along with the worldly beings and personified himself into various avatars. Even by staging HIS various manifestations worldly beings were reluctant to understand and were not curios to know about the eternal bliss (‘Moksha’).
Like using a dear to capture a dear and using an elephant for capturing an elephant, HE embodied HIS armory (‘Divya Ayudas’) as Azhwars for spreading the curiosity of Moksha among us - the earthly beings. But even the Azhwars viz, Poigaiyar, Bothathaar, PeiAzhwar, Thirumazhisaiyar, NamAzhwar, Kulasekarar, PeriyaAzhwar, Thondaradipodi, Thirupanar and Thirumangai Mannan, were not able to achieve the purpose of spreading the wisdom among the community as they themselves were drawn in HIS divine nature and character (‘Kalyana Gunas) and spent their entire life time on singing Pasurams. Same with the case of Andal and MadurakaviAzhwar as they also attained Moksha by way of their Acharya Bakthi.
In such an era, once during a ThiruKarthigai Festival (Festival of Lights) in the Tamil month of Karthigai, our ThirumangaiAzhwar, the youngest among Azhwars, was chanting his ‘Thirunedunthandagam’ Pasurams (Phrases / Songs) to NAMPERUMAL and was making HIM delighted. As a mark of gift, Namperumal approved Thirumangai Azhwar to arrange 10 days festival for ‘Thiruvaimozhi’ (1000 Songs) having 10 set (‘Pathu’) each day, wherein 100 songs in a set, starting from the day of 11th day of Newmoon (Ekadesi) in the Tamil month of Margazhi.
NAMPERUMAL also ordered to convoy NamAzhwar from Azhwar Thirunagari and wished to have the festival in his presence. HE also made to write a letter (‘ThiruMugam / Volai’) to NamAzhwar seeking his presence and blessed HIS Prasadas to NamAzhwar.
This event in history is celebrated meticulously even today in the same manner and format at Srirangam on the day of ThiruKarthigai Festival. The Tamil Version of NAMPERUMAL’s Letter is given below:
Archagas in front of NAMPERUMAL:
“Yedath Therailogya Nirmaanathraana Samhara Kaarinam
Srimath Sriranganathasya Sasanam Sasvatham Param” ...
“Karthigaku Karthigai, Thirukarthigai Nalandru Naam Purapattrauli, Nam Azhagiya Manavalan ThiruMandapathil, CheraPandyan Simhasanathil, Sundara Pandyan Thirumuthupandalyn keizh, Harihara Rayan ThirupallikattilynMel Ezhunthurauli Nam Kaliyan Pattu KellaNirkaiyil, Kovanavar, Kodavar, Koduval Edupar, Aaduvaar, Paaduvar, Thazhaieduvar, mathumulla Nam Adiyargalellam, ‘Nam Sadagopanuku Mun Petra Perum Petrai Tharavenum’ ena Kella Nirkaiyil, Namum Nam Sathikalaintha Santhanamum, SudiKalaintha Suganthamum, Uduthikalaintha Oliyanum Nam Thazhiyiduvan Kaiyil Koduthu Anupinom” says as NAMPERUMAL.
(Meaning:- During the Festival of karthigai, in the month of karthigai, when I was in Azhagiya Manavalan Court, sitting in the throne gifted by the King CheraPandyan, under the Pearl ceiling gifted by the King SundaraPandyan, over the couch gifted by the King HariHara Raya and listening to the songs of our Kaliyan (ThirumangaiAzhwar), MY court caretakers, court dancers, court singers and other devotees pleaded as “Please bless us by demonstrating the form and way how NamAzhwar attained eternal bliss”. Hence, I am sending MY daily wearing Sandal paste, Garland and MY clothes (as signatory proof / digital signature) along with the bearer of this letter.)
ThirumangaiAzhwar went to Azhwar Thirunagari and convoyed Namzahwar to Srirangam and commemorated the ‘Thiruvaimozhi’ festival for 10 days as spelled and blessed by NAMPERUMAL.
On the last day of the festival, NAMPERUMAL demonstrated the form of making way-by and after form of eternal bliss by sharing NamAzhwar in the same Throne along with HIM, blessed him with HIS Garland, Kasturi Thilakam. Afterwards NamAzhwar was convoyed back to Azhwar Thirunagari by ThirumangaiAzhwar and returned to Srirangam. As a token of memento, NAMPERUMAL gifted ThirumangaiAzhwar with HIS Turmeric Bath festival (ManjalKuli Utsavam).
This festival of ManjalKuli was celebrated in Srirangam for Azhwar till his period by NAMPERUMAL. After the lifetime of ThirumangaiAzhwar, the same was celebrated for his idol in his birthplace ‘Thirukuraiyalur’ at ‘ThiruNangoor’ during each year on the Newmoon day of Tamil month of Thai.
Even today the Mandapam made for the above is called as ‘ManjalKuli Mandapam’