On December 21st 2015, Vaikunta Ekadasi was celebrated in a grand manner at Sri Ranganathawamy Divya Desam, Srirangam. Namperumal adorned in the beautiful rathnangi vastram and the famous Srirangam special killi malai, in His usual Raja Nadai, had purappadu through the Paramapada vasal sharp at 4:30 am yesterday morning. Namperumal blessed thousands of devotees who gathered in Srirangam across the country to witness this utsavam.
In the morning, the Bhattar Swami is brought in with temple honours. The Aryabhatal vasal is banged shut and the Araiyar swami recites the first verse of Nammazhwar’s Thiruvaimozhi. Namperumal came out of the Sanctum down the karpura padi. The verses of Pillai Perumal Iyengar are recited. After turning right, Namperumal turns to the right again when water is offered for washing His feet. When Namperumal reaches the Nazhikettan Vasal the doors are opened and He moves towards Paramapadavasal. On the way He stops at Viraja Mandapam. Viraja is the river, a surrendered soul bathes in and obtains a brilliant Shuddha satva shariram before entering Sri Vaikuntam. Namperumal’s shawl is removed and He is adorned with new garlands. As He turns at Paramapadavasal there are two golden lizards on the ceiling. These were actually sages who became lizards as they prepared prasadam carelessly. They were redeemed by penance. As the Paramapada vasal opened to shouts of Ranga! Ranga! renting the air thousands of devotees waiting outside had Ranga darshan in Ratnangi and stood bewitched by His sheer beauty.Turning right He crosses Sri Kothanda Rama sannidhi mesmerising thousands of devotees and lingers in the Manalveli (the sandy region which is a kid’s paradise). However, huge the crowd He gives darshan and proceeds to the Thirumamani mandapam where devotees are blessed the whole day.
Namperumal is parama saulabhyan. He reaches out to everyone and adjusts to their convenience. Those who do not or cannot come in the early hours can follow the path He took the whole of today and this year the crowd management has been very effective. The police and volunteers have made proper barricades and guided devotees effectively. The Paramapada vasal trip was done in less than 20 minutes. Again at the 1000 pillared mandapam though the lines looked serpentine devotees were guided properly for darshan at the Thirumamani Mandapam. Our Perumal in His garment of gems, rubies, emeralds and diamonds and the Pandian crown was dazzling in all glory. We were left wondering if the Ratnangi which fitted Perumal so well added beauty to Rangaraja or was it vice versa?
Earlier on the evening of Vaikunta Ekadasi, Namperumal gave darsanam in Nachiyar Thirukolam. The purappadu for Namperumal in beautiful Mohini alankaram took place in a grand manner in the evening alongwith Nammazhwar, Thirumangai Azhwar and Swami Ramanujar. Namperumal had purappadu in this alankaram in the morning as well.
The following are the photos taken during the Utsavam: