Srimate ramanujaya nama:
Priya arangan adiyar,
Glory of Srirangam :
“Kaveri Viraja Seyam, Vaikuntam Ranga Mandiram,
Sa Vasudeva: Rangesa: Pratyaksham Paramam Padam
Vimaanam Pranavaakaram vedashringam mahathbhutam
Srirengashayee Bhagavaan Pranavaartha Prakashaka:”
The above lines emphasize the visible importance of Srirangam in particular. Srirangam Divya Desam stands first in the list of 108 Vaishnava Divya Desams.The Lord first appeared to Brahma in the beautiful sparkling Sriranga Vimanam. Brahma prayed the Lord to appear just as He offered appearance at SriVaikuntam.The Moolavar, utsavar, His consorts and even the archakas were present in the Vimanam that appeared before Brahma and sent him dancing in joy. The vimanam was called Sriranga Vimanam and the kshetra "Srirangam" derived its name due to the presence of Sriranga vimanam there.
Living in Srirangam Divya Desam itself gives us a feel of living in SriVaikuntam. The scriptures say the experience that a soul would eventually experience in Srivaikuntam, the same can be felt while living in Srirangam. That is one reason why Srirangam is hailed as the Bhuloka Vaikuntam. This Divya Desam exists on the Bhulokam but exists with the feel of Srivaikuntam. Be it while going for Thirunaal sevai or while participating in the Utsavams, the feel of Srivaikuntam is visible and the experience of that feeling is heavenly. Kaveri thaayar in the form of Kaveri river embraces the Srirangam Divya Desam like a garland. Sri Rangnathar rests here in Sayana thirukkolam (posture) along with Sri Ranga Nachia.
Amongst the most celebrated utsavams in Srirangam Divya Desam - Panguni Utsavam, Chitthirai Utsavam, Maasi Thirunaal and Thai Thirunaal, Vasanthothsavam, Poochathi Utsavam, Unjal Utsavam, Pavithrothutsavam , Vaikunta Ekadasi stands apart and is most celebrated here.
One special day...
But one special day that does not feature above is the Kaisika ekadashi day. Long ago lived the great saint-like Nampaaduvan at Thirukkurungudi. He sang the praise of the Lord Nambi with utmost devotion and love. Once, on the day of Kaisika ekadashi, he walked his way to the temple. He encountered a Brahma rakshas on the way. The Raakshas intended to eat him. Nampaduvan, being a gnyani never worried about death. But he had an important task on hand, the kainkaryam to Lord Nambi. He beseeched the Raakshas to spare him some time so that he could complete the “ Pan isai” at the feet of Lord and return back to become the meal of the demon. The Raakshas dissented. Nampaduvan began enlisting the paapams he would suffer if he failed to come back to the demon. The demon was reluctant at first. But when Nampaduvan aired the last of paapams, the demon was struck dumb and assented to let go the saint. The last paapam borne by Nampaduvan in his own words is “If I don’t come back as promised, let me go to the narakam that would befall one who thinks Lord Srimannarayana and other devathas as equal”
On this day, SriVaraha Puranam is recited at all temples at the sannidhi of Perumal. SriParasara Bhattar had extreme liking for the Puranam and would recite it at the sanctum sanctorum of Periya Perumal. He has also written a commentary on Varaha Puranam. It was on one such auspicious Kaishika Ekadashi day that Periya Perumal, seeing the exhibition of Bhattar’s extreme devotion and love, granted him His Supreme Abode.
Srimaan Trust, in continuation to their efforts to live and promote the heritage of our azhwars conducted two events – Koil Pradakshanam and Anuyagam on the recently ended Kaishika Ekadashi.
Celebrating the day...
On every ekadashi, the children learning Divya Prabandhams and stotrams at SBK of Srimaan Trust make Tiruveedhi pradakshinam of Srirangam temple. The children are aged typically between 4-15yrs. It was celebrated in a very grand fashion on Kaisika ekadashi day.
All the stotra paadams on SriRamanuja were recited followed by anuyagam i.e two poor Srivaishnava women were given provisions for a month. The childen themselves listened to the difficulties of these families, prayed at the feet of Periya Perumal for their well being and handed over the provisions to the two women.
Need for traits...
We often find that many people lack empathy and sympathy. When such traits are not inborn, it is for the family and friends to cultivate such important traits. Srimaan Trust considers these children its family. When at such a tender age, these children lend their ears to the difficulties of others, their contribution to sweep away such difficulties from the lives of others in the years to come need not be speculated. It will be a clean sweep…!