Brahmotsavam Day 4 and 5 (Bhoopathy Utsavam), Thiruvarangam


Fourth day of Boopathy Thirunaal in Srirangam

Today is not just another day, when Surya bhagavan would shine with usual resplendance, for this day, even Surya bhagavan would hide in the splendour of our Namperumal sitting on the Surya Prabhai Vahanam to stroll through the Utthra streets of Srirangam during the brhma muhurtam ( Arunodhayam ). It would not even seem an exaggeration to say that the dawn came a little earlier this day

Indeed blessed are those eyes to have a chance to see the beauty of the lord sitting on the surya prabha vahanam with magnificence and brilliance of a thousand suns.

The Surya Prabha ( the sun dial ) indeed brings prosperity, brightness in our lives and clarity in our beliefs and thoughts. A point to be noted is that this time is the begining of Utharayanam punya kalam. It seems that the ever-benevolent lord has given a boon. The Ashta dikh palakas and the Navagraha devatha, the first and foremost of whom is Aditya, with his brilliance from the Surya Prabha ( sun dial ) shining in all directions.

Surya bhagavan, who raises in the direction that sri Ranganatha perumal has rested his leg, appears as if to prostrate before the king of kings, our Azhagiya manavalan and goes throughout the day singing his praise, and one would think that the brilliance of the Lord, is so bright that even Surya bhagavan bows down as he cannot see Namperuman directly and thus the heat is reduced in this of the year.

On the Fourth day morning the Lord Azagiyamanavalan is again taken out in procession with Moon as symbol of his vehicle. Purusha Sooktha describes Moon as “Chandrama Manaso Jaathaha” (Moon is born from the mind Lord Maha Vishnu). Moon is the commander of mind and is a symbol of cool and pleasantness. Both these rituals are symbolic significance that He is the cause for day and night

In the evening of the eventful fourth day at Thiruvarangam Namperumal strolls over the Garuda vahanam through the Utthara streets. We would feel the “kurai” of having only two eyes, as they are not enough to enjoy the beauty and brilliance of the lord. In this special occassion, it will be worthwhile to mention about Sri Garuda.

The Garuda Vahanam is especially very special, because Sri Garuda is regarded as the greatest among all the vahanams of the Lord and thus is most significant. Not only that, but he is also considered one of the greatest devotees of the Lotus-Eyed one.The same reason we call Sri Garuda as Sri Garuda Azhwar. Swami Desikan eulogized Sri Garuda as Veda Prurushan and Sri Garudar himself is Lord of Sama veda. Such is the greatness of Sri Garuda and it is said that whoever worships Sri Garuda gets the boon of Adhyatma Vidya or the Realization of Sriman Narayanan. Such is the greatness of the Garuda Vahanam upon which our Azhagiya manavalan is seated, that the mere sight brings purity to our souls and realization of the Lord.

On the Fourth day evening the Lord Sri Azagiyamanavalan is taken out in procession specially decorated, with his main devotee and chief vehicle Garuda (Garukmantha) the king of birds as his vehicle. It is a unique occasion when thousands gather together and would like to witness the procession. It is believed and said that it is highly meritorious and mukthi pradham to have darshan of the Lord seated on Garuda

Fifth day of the Boopathy Thirunaal festival at Thiruvarangam

Today, Ranganatha comes in the Shesha(Serpent) vaahanam through the streets of Srirangam blessing the people. Seshan has a special place in Namperumals entourage. Once Thirumazhisai Alwar and his brother Kanikannan were ordered out of Kanchi by the King whose praise these two refused to sing! Then Alwar told Perumal:-

kanikannan pogindran kamuru punkachi Manivanna Ni kidaka Vendi Thunivudaya
Chennapulaven naanum Poogindren Neeyum Undan Painaga payeyi Churuttikollâ

Meaning : Kanikannan is going out of kanchi. So Iam also going. You also roll your blanket (Adiseshan) and come behind us. Hearing this the lord also started to move behind alwar. They stayed at Orikai for
one night. The king went and pleaded the Alwar to come back. Alwar knew very well that Perumal is always accompanied by Adiseshan. So he told Perumal to come with Seshan!

Poikai Alwar correctly describes Seshan as :-

Senral kudaiyam irundal singasanamam,
ninral maravadiyam neel kadalul enrum
Punaiyam manivilakkam poombattam
pulkum anaiyam Thirumalkaravuâ

Whether Perumal is taking rest or sitting or standing or on the move, Seshan follows Him in the appropriate form. Again it was Udaiyavar(SriRamanujar) Adiseshan avtaram who resurrected not only Hinduism but also established Thiruvenkatamudaiyan as MahaVishnu by implanting himself on His forehead asSrichurnam.

Now to the proceedings–
While proceeding through the Utthra streets at the Arunodhayam (early morning before sunrise) our Namperumal has a conversation with Aadhiseshan. Lord Ranganatha tells Aadisheshan about the virtuousness of Garuda and Arunan, after which Adhiseshan is pleased about Arunan and revokes the Naga Dosham and in return, Aadiseshan gets blessings from Lord Ranganatha for revoking the Naaga dhosham.

In the evening at around 6:30 PM Namperumal leaves for Aasthana Mandapam in the Hanumantha vaahanam, proceeding through the Utthra streets.

At Srirangam when Lord Vishnu incarnates as Lord Ranganatha and Lakshman incarnates as Adhisheshan and Hanuman does his Kainkaryam (Service) as Siriya – Thiruvadi.

Written by Sri Narasimha Bhattar Swami

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