Festivals at Sri Thendayuthapani Temple

Sri Thendayuthapani Temple celebrates various festivals with pomp and splendour. More details as below.

Amavasai

This marks the new moon day. The moon, which is one of the Nava Grahas denoted as CHANDRAN, is considered as a deity who showers blessings of prosperity and good health. This occurs once every month, usually a fortnight after Pournami. The Amavasai, which occurs in the month of Puratasi, that is the end of September and the beginning of October, is considered of special importance and celebrated as Mahaliya Amavasai. 

Fasting during this day brings peace to the belated and ancestors. It is a ritual to give Annadhanam (food) to Brahmins on this day.


Aaruthra Darisanam

Out of the 27 stars (natchathiram), the star Thiruvathirai, famously called as “Thiru” is the star of Lord Shiva. According to myth, this star is supposed to be bigger, brighter and hotter than the Sun.

The 27 stars occur repeatedly every Tamil month. The Thiruvathirai star that occurs during the Tamil month of Margazhi on “Pournami Tithi” is worshipped as, “Aaruthra Darisanam”. On this day, Lord Shiva also known as Natarajar or Nataraja Peruman in the popular Tamil Nadu town of Chidambaram showcased his divine acts in front of the sages - Vyakirapaathar and Pathanjali. The same day is also celebrated as the divine birth of sages - Thirugnanasambandar and Manickavasagar.

The day before the Thiruvathirai star, Lord Shiva under the guise of a Saint visited Senthanar’s home. As a Tamil’s custom of feeding any visitor, Senthanar offered Lord Shiva “Pittu” and “Kalzhie” (a form of sweet and salted rice food). On the day of Thiruvathirai, as a blessing to Senthanar, Lord Shiva with his divine power spilled the dance hall with “Pittu” and “Kalzhie”. Also Lord Shiva with his divine power made the Thiruvathirai chariot not to function and blessed to move only after Senthanar’s visit at the Thiruvathirai chariot and sing the “thiru pallandu”.

On this auspicious Margazhi Thiruvathirai, Sri Thendayuthapani Temple conducts Abhishegam for Sri Natarajar, Sivakami Amman and Manickavasagar. There will be group procession of Sri Thendayuthapani Urchavar (in Peacock vehicle), Sri Natarajar, Sivakami Amman and Manickavasagar in the morning. To conclude the festival, Thiruvathirai “Kalzhie” is given as prasadam to all devotees.





Guru Poojai


“Guru” in Hindu religion depicts a human with teaching skills and considers him powerful, next to the almighty. A Guru is to be treated with high esteem, respect and dignity. Sometimes God himself incarnates as Guru and people worship the Guru. This is referred to as Guru Bhakti. Even though the appearance is in the form of human, he is different from us. 

What defines the word Guru? 

Guru stands for one who eliminates the darkness of ignorance and gives light of wisdom. Lord Shiva, the supreme god of Hindu religion is the one who is empowered to offer “Mukthi” to fellow human beings. “Mukthi” in Hindu religion is to achieve almighty’s foot after human being passes away his last breath.

The day on which the Guru merges with Lord Shiva and attains “Mukthi” is worshipped as Guru Poojai. On similar lines, the day on which the 63 “Nayanmargal” of the Shaiva sect attained “Mukthi” along with Lord Shiva is worshipped as Guru Poojai.

Sage Arunagiriyar sings as “Guruvai Varuvai Arulvai Gugane” to emphasize on Guru Poojai. Sage Thirumoolar sang as follows in “ThiruManthiram”.


“Thelivu Guruvin Thirumeni Kandal

Thelivu Gurvin Thirunamam Seppal

Thelivu Gurvin Thiruvarthai Kettal

Thelivu Guruvai Sinthithal Thane”


Sages have celebrated the worship of Guru Poojai and advocate the worship of same to get the blessing of God and respective Gurus. In Sri Thendayuthapani temple, Guru Poojas of 6 Gurus are celebrated every year. 

On the Guru Pooja day the Guru Poojas tradition is preserved by reciting the history of respective Nayanmargal. The recital starts around 11.00 AM approximately and will end around 12.30 in the noon. After the recital and deeparathanai, annathanam will be distributed to all devotees.


Month Star Guru
Chithirai
Sadhayam
Thirunavukkarasu Nayanar Guru Poojai
Vaigasi
Poosam
Sekkizhar Guru Poojai
Vaigasi
Moolam
Thirugnanasambandar Guru Poojai
Aani
Magam
Manickavasagar Guru Poojai
Aadi
Swathi
Sundra Moorthy Nayanar Guru Poojai
Panguni
Uthiram
Aandavar Guru Poojai


Koviloor Aandavar Guru Poojai

During 18th century, Muthu Ramalinga Gyana Desigar (also celebrated as Koviloor Aandavar) involved Nagarathars in religious activities. He was born in 1791 and his guru was Porul Vaitha Cheri Uganthalinga Swamigal. 

Muthu Ramalinga Gyana Desigar established the “Vedantha Madam” in Koviloor, 3 Kms away from Karaikudi, Chettinadu Area, Tamil Nadu State of India and preached vedantha lessons to ardent devotees of Shaiva sect. With the help of Nagarathars, he built the temple for “Lord KotraVaallegar and his consort Goddess Thiru Nellammai” in Koviloor. 

Participation in Koviloor temple construction activity by Nagarathars led them to do more charitable and temple related work subsequently. 

Koviloor Aandavar was able to predict his final days much earlier and gave the responsibility of maintaining the temple to Arunachala Gyana Desigar. Koviloor Aandavar died in 1848. By observing the “Koviloor Aandavar Guru Poojai” Nagarathars are still continuing the divine services to God, having established countless Temples, Charitable, endowment activities and various forms of social services.


Karthigai - Monthly

This day denotes the occurrence of the Karthigai Nakshatram every month, as per the Tamil Calendar. On this day a special seva and pooja takes place at Sri Thendayuthapani Temple and free lunch is offered to the devotees at the Kalyana Mandapam. 

On the Karthigai day, in the evening, there will be a Swamy Procession in Peacock Vahanam within Sri Thendayuthapani premises .

The Karthigai Nakshatram is of great importance to Sri Murugan, as it is considered as his birth star. When it falls on a Monday, and occurs during the month of Karthigai, it is considered especially sacred, and devotees undertake fasts and special prayers to seek the Lord’s blessings.



Maha Shivaratri

Shivaratri is of special importance to the Lord Siva. This also occurs once every month, the date depending upon the position of the grahas (planets). Not many people undertake any special prayers on this day. 

But specifically, Maha Shivaratri, which occurs during the month of Maasi, (last half of February and the first half of March) is celebrated with great pomp by devotees.


Navarathri

Once in a year during the month of October the temple organizes Navarathri festival with pomp and splendor. Navarathri and Vijayadasami are the festivals celebrated over a period of ten days. The first nine days constitute the Navarathri festival. Navarathri itself means nine nights (Nava means nine and rathri means night). The "Dassera" or "Vijayadasami" is the last and tenth day festival. The term "Dassera" is derived from the word for number ten i.e. Dasha (in Sanskrit). 

In Sri Thendayuthapani Temple, the festival is celebrated with Lord Thendayuthapani (also called Murugan) as the main Hero. On the tenth day, Vijayadasami is celebrated by placing God (Urchavar - the idol which is carried around) in a Silver Horse and going on a city procession. Before beginning the procession the chief priest sends arrows to all six directions around a banana tree from his bow, which symbolizes the Lord killing the demon (Devil). 

During the ten-day celebrations, the God is decorated beautifully and placed in the Alangara Mandapam (Function Hall) that is with in the temple premises. 

During the first nine days concerts are organized in which Indian music (Karnatic, Tamil, Hindustani, etc), dance and religious songs are played on the stage in front of the Alangara Mandapam. 

Everyday function is briefly described below.


Day 1 - Rajangam Raja means king and angam means parts. So Rajangam means king and his government. This scene depicts the Lord Murugan who wore a saint look to be seen as a King holding scepter in his hand. He safeguards the humankind with the six parts of his government viz Army, Citizen, Finance, Ministry, Friendship and Defence. 

Day 2 - VennaiThazhi This scene portrays the Lord as a person who steals butter and cheese from the house of a shepherd. Cheese (white color) symbolizes our clean, pure heart, which the God likes from us. 

Day 3 - Markandeyar This scene depicts Lord Murugan as Lord Siva, who kicks Yama (God of Death) to safeguard Markandeyar. This represents a story in which fate can be won by mind and devotion. The story is: Yama came in front of Markandeyar, when the later was performing Siva pooja (prayer). Seeing Yama, Markandeyar hugs the Siva Statue Lord Siva appeared in front of him and saved him. (The name of the holy place where this incident is stated to have happened is Thirukkadaiyur in Tamilnadu, India). It is believed that people who go to Thirukkadaiyur and worship Lord Siva get his blessings for longevity. 

Day 4 - Venuganam Lord Murugan is seen as Kannan who plays the flute. The flute is a musical instrument made up of thin bamboo stick. All living creatures (Men, women, cows, goats, birds and trees) are fascinated by the music played by Lord Murugan. 

Day 5 - Kannappa Nayanar A true devotee of Lord Siva, Thinnappan, a hunter of the forest near Sri Kalahasti, prayed to him by preparing pork, tasted it and offered to God (Siva Lingam). On the sixth day he saw the God bleeding and he removed his eyeballs and pasted on the Siva Lingam (God Statue). Hence Thinnappan was given the name Kannappan (Kann in tamil means an eye) by Lord Siva. This illustrates the man’s devotion to God. Here Lord Murugan represents Lord Siva (Murugan’s Father). 

Day 6 - Oonjal Lord Murugan appears as Mother Goddess who swings in the heard of true devotees. This scene reflects Human beings who roam in between happiness and sorrow and obtain peace through prayer. 

Day 7 - Pittuku Mann Sumandal When the Vaigai river in Madurai was flooding the king ordered everyone to volunteer to bring sand (mann) to build a river bank to control the flood. Lord Siva became a coolie (manual worker) for an old woman called Vandhi who sells Pittu (sweet rice flour). Lord Siva got pittu as wage from the old woman for carrying out the orders from the king on behalf of the old woman. But, he slept after eating. The king saw him sleeping and gave him a canning punishment. Lord Siva gave a holistic appearance to the king. Here Lord Murugan represents Lord Siva. 

Day 8 - Kalinga Narthanam This scene illustrates Lord Kannan, who killed a devil kalinga, which was a five-headed snake on the Yamuna River and danced on it. Here Lord Murugan represents Lord Kannan. 

Day 9 - Saraswathi Poojai The scene depicts the Goddess of knowledge, Saraswathi who performs a prayer to Lord Siva. 

Day 10 - Vijayadasami Vijayadasami means a day of Victory. Lord Muruga is paraded in a silver horse, with bow and arrow. The Lord arrows a banana tree from his bow, which symbolizes killing the demon (Devil). To view the Navarathri information in Tamil, please Click Here For your viewing pleasure photographs of all the 10 days function is available in Multimedia Gallery under Navarathri Page. 

To download the Navarathri Alangara Vilakkam in Tamil Click here.


Pournami 

This marks the full moon day. The moon, which is one of the Nava Grahas denoted as CHANDRAN, is considered as a deity who showers blessings of prosperity and good health. This occurs once every month, usually a fortnight after Amavasai. 

The Pournami, which occurs during the month of Chithirai, that is the beginning of May is considered of special importance and celebrated as Chitra Pournami by South Indians.


Pradosham


Pradosham occurs twice a month - once during the Growing Moon period and the other during the Waning Moon period. 

This denotes the meeting of the Sun and the Moon in a Horizontal Line during the course of movement on their Axis.

Pradosham is a significant day to worship Lord Siva, his consort Goddess Parvathi and his Vahanam Nandi. 

Sri Thendayuthapani temple conducts Pradosham prayer with abhisegham and swamy procession every fortnight by around 4 PM. 



Ramayanam



Ramayanam and Mahabaratham are the two great epics of India.

Ramayanam depicts the duties of relationship and portrays the character of an ideal Father, Servant, Brother, Wife and King. The name Ramayana is a tatpurusha compound of “Rama” and “ayana” (“Rama” the hero and “ayana” the journey).

Ramayanam consists of 24,000 verses in six chapters (Kandas) that narrates the story of Rama (an Avatar of the Hindu preserver - God Vishnu), whose wife Sita was abducted by Ravana, the King of Sri Lanka. 

Ramayana explores human values, the concept of dharma and narrates the journey of Virtue to annihilate Vice.

Kamba Ramayanam was written by Poet Kambar in Tamil and was based on Sanskrit version of Ramayana (originally written by Sage Valmiki).

Six Kandas (Chapters) of Ramayanam as follows: 


  • Bala Kanda ( “Bala” means “Childhood “ )
  • Ayodhya Kanda ( Ayodhya, the capital city of King Rama’s dynasty )
  • Aranya Kanda (“Aranya” means “Forest” )
  • Kishkindha Kanda ( The Empire of Holy Monkeys)
  • Sundara Kanda (“Sundara” means "beautiful,")
  • Yuddha kanda ( “Yudha” means “ War”)

Nagarathars for many centuries have been conducting Ramayanam recital in their homes during the Tamil month of “Purattasi”.

In Singapore for the past many decades this was conducted in traditional Kittangis (warehouse) and now in Sri Thendayuthapani Temple for the past few years. The story is being recited every day between 7.00 to 8.00 PM (“Purattasi – Sep/Oct).

The highlights of episodes as follows:


  • Rama Jananam – The birth of King Rama
  • Seetha Kalyanam – Wedding of Rama and Seetha
  • Kanayali Koduthal – Submission of Rama's ring as a proof to Seetha by Hanuman (messenger of Rama)
  • Choodamani Koduthal – Submission of Seetha's forehead brooch as a proof to Rama by Hanuman
  • Bharathwajar Virundhu – Victory dinner
  • Ramar Pattabishegam – Crowning of Rama
  • Piriyaa Vidai – Farewell to dignitaries by King Rama, after his Coronation


Skantha Shashti LetchaArchanai

In order to restore the Knowledge and Dharma in this world, Lord Murugan destroyed Asurans. Asuran in Hinduism is Demon, a representation of evil and ignorance and there were many Asurans during various periods. Lord Murugan fought with Asurans during the Tamil month of “Aipasi” from “Valarpirai Pridamai” to “Shashti” tithi, defeats Asurans ignorance and transforms him into a Rooster and Peacock. Hence Rooster and Peacock becomes the Vahanam (vehicle) for Lord Murugan. 

The Shashti tithi that occurs during the Tamil month of “Aipasi” is considered auspicious. Lord Murugan also known as Thendayuthapani, Subramanya, Kartikeya, Kumaresa, Guha, Murugan, Shanmukha and Velayudhan, is believed to have annihilated the mythical Asuran “Taraka” on day 6. Day 6 function is called as Soora Samharam (Killing of Demon).


To commemorate this celebration and to mark the death of Taraka Asuran, devotees fast for a period of 6 days. Letcha-Archanai (chanting 100,000 times) will be performed every day by engaging priests and devotees will be reciting Lord Murugan’s various names. 

In Sri Thendayuthapani temple on the day 6, Shashti day - special Skantha Homam is performed during early morning with special prayers and with an Swamy procession in the evening within temple premises.

Celebrated in all Shaivite and Murugan temples in South India, Skantha Shashti commemorates the destruction of evil by the Almighty. 


Thiru Karthigai


Karthigai Deepam is a festival of lights celebrated by Tamil Hindus on the full moon day of Karthigai month (November/December), which is observed in every home and in every Murugan temple. This occurs on the day when the moon is in conjunction with the constellation Karthigai and Purnima. The occurrence of Karthigai Nakshatram in the month of Karthigai is celebrated as Thiru Karthigai. 

This constellation appears as a group of six stars in the sky as a shape of a pendant from the ear. Many legends and lyrical poetry have grown round this star. The six stars are considered in Indian mythology as the six celestial fairies who reared the six babies in the Saravana tank which later were joined together to form the six faced Muruga. He is therefore called Karthikeya, the one brought up by the Karthigai fairies. Houses and streets are lit up with rows of oil lamps (Deepam) in the evening of the festival day.

Sri Thendayuthapani Temple celebrates Thiru Karthigai with religious activities with a highlight of Maha deepam and God Procession within the temple premises in the evening. Starting from early morning, milk pots and Kavadi’s are offered to god until noon. Maheswara Poojai is done around 12.00 noon followed by Anna Thanam to devotees. 



Sri Durgai Amman LetchaArchanai

Sri Thendayuthapani temple celebrates Durgai Amman Letcharchanai every year, for three days during the tamil month of Aadi (July), on Pooram star.

Letcha stands for Hundred Thousand and Archanai stands for Chanting of Mantra. Chanting Hundred Thousand Mantra on Goddess Durgai Amman is done during the tamil month of Aadi (July) on the following days. 

It commences on the day of Aayilyam Star, followed by Magam Star, and concludes on Pooram Star.

Every evening 12 Brahmin Sivacharyas recite the mantras for three consecutive days. Every day each Sivacharya will recite 1008 Mantra three times. These three days of chanting by 12 Sivacharyas constitutes the Hundred Thousand Mantra, called Letcharchanai.

Purpose of Letcharchanai is for world peace and to fulfill our divine vows. Praying Meenakshi Amman by performing Lalitha Sahasraramam and reciting Letcharchanai add power to Amman, which in turn blesses us.



Sri Meenakshi Amman LetchaArchanai


The famous Meenakshi Amman temple, Madurai, Tamilnadu State, India celebrates “thirukalyana urchavam” – celestial marriage for Lord Sundareswarar and Goddess Meenakshi Amman - every year during the tamil month of Chithirai (April), on Uthiram star. In conjunction with this Sri Thendayuthapani Temple performs Letcharchanai to Goddess Meenakshi Amman. 

Letcha stands for Hundred Thousand and Archanai stands for Chanting of Mantra. Chanting Hundred Thousand Mantra on Goddess Meenakshi Amman is done during the tamil month of Chithirai (April) on the following days. 

It commences on the day of Magam star, followed by Pooram star and concludes on Uthiram star. 

Every evening 12 Brahmin Sivacharyas recite the mantras for three consecutive days. Every day each Sivacharya will recite 1008 Mantra 3 times. These three days of chanting by 12 Sivacharyas constitutes the Hundred Thousand Mantra, called Letcharchanai. 

Purpose of Letcharchanai is for world peace and to fulfill our divine vows. Praying Meenakshi Amman by performing Lalitha Sahasraramam and reciting Letcharchanai add power to Amman, which in turn blesses us.