adhyayana uthsavam rAppaththu completion – thiruvadi thozhal

SrI:   SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:   SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:   SrImath varavaramunayE nama:   SrI vAnAchala mahAmunayE nama:

adhyayana uthsavam ( is the vaikuNtOthsavam (ascending to paramapadham) of nammAzhwAr. In general it is observed for 20 days – 10 days pagal paththu (10 days) ending on the day before vaikuNta EkAdhaSi and 10 days rAppaththu (10 nights) starting with vaikuNta EkAdhasi. This adhyayana uthsavam is also known as mArgazhi thirukkalyANa uthsavam (wedding uthsavam in mArgazhi month) [Philosophical Note: It is the divine union of perumAL and AzhwAr. perumAL is paramAthmA (masculine) and AzhwAr is jIvAthmA (feminine) and the process of SaraNAgathi is known as the official tying of the knot].

polindhu ninRa pirAn with srI bhU nILA dhEvis



In AzhwAr thirungari, the rAppaththu uthsavam continues on for two more days. Let us see the events that unfold during the last 3 days which are most enjoyable. These 3 days are also filled with many wonderful events which have deep philosophical meanings.

In SrIvaishNava temples, vaikuNta EkAdhaSi is the day when the paramapadha vAsal (vaikuNta dhvAram, representation of the entrance gate to SrI vaikuNtam) opening starts happening. Usually, from that day until the 10th day of rAppaththu uthsavam, every day, in the evening paramapadha vAsal would open. perumAL would be inside the gate and nammAzhwAr (along with emperumAnAr) would wait for perumAL‘s dharsan outside the gate. Once the door opens, Arathi would be performed for perumAL and AzhwAr. perumAL and AzhwAr would go around the prAkAram (area outside the gate) followed by thiruvArAdhanam to perumAL and AzhwAr. After that AzhwAr would return to rAppaththu maNdapam [Philosophical Note: After being granted parampadham by perumAL, every day AzhwAr is longing for perumAL to bring him to paramapadham. But perumAL wants to listen to thiruvAimozhi for the 10 days. So, AzhwAr leaves back to the rAppaththu maNdapam dejected].

perumAL would then listen to one prabandham (per day) from iyaRpA (3rd 1000) while returning to the maNdapam. He would stop outside the maNdapam and archakas would then carry him in their hands. This is called kaiththala sEvai. araiyar (ones who sing in front of perumAL/AzhwAr with cymbals) would recite perumAL’s glories and play his cymbals along while perumAL is carried towards AzhwAr. perumAL goes straight to AzhwAr and gets placed directly on AzhwAr’s head. This is called thirumudi sEvai and is a very unique event which happens only in AzhwAr thirunagari [Philosophical Note: Whenever AzhwAr feels dejected perumAL treats AzhwAr with something special and cheers him up. This placing of his lotus feet directly on AzhwAr’s head is one such wonderful act of perumAL]. perumAL then returns back to his seat (which is right opposite to AzhwAr’s seat facing AzhwAr). thiruvAimozhi recital by araiyar would continue and with sARRumuRai the day’s event would be concluded. perumAL along with nAchchiyArs would return to his sannidhi. AzhwAr along with emperumAnAr would also return to his sannidhi (AzhwAr and emperumAnAr stays together throughout these 22 days).

On to the final 3 days now:

10th day (praNaya kalaka uthsavam – love-fight between perumAL and thAyArs – AzhwAr mediating and pacifying both):

In the early hours of 10th day (around 2am), perumAL silently leaves to vAhana maNdapam and then in the morning goes around the town wandering quietly without any musical band, dhivya prabandham gOshti, etc. araiyar accompanies perumAL and softly plays his cymbals throughout the procession. This procession is called thiruvananthal. perumAL returns to the temple around noon time, but the temple doors are shut and perumAL is refused entry in the temple. He then returns to udaiyavar sannidhi (SrI rAmAnuja’s sannidhi – and rests there until evening.

In the evening, perumAL returns to the temple, the doors are opened and praNaya kalaka uthsavam begins. araiyar speaks on behalf of perumAL and thAyArs (who are facing each other) back and forth in a lengthy conversation. Finally nammAzhwAr arrives in pushpa pallakku (flower decorated palanquin) and mediates between perumAL and thAyArs. thAyArs agree to AzhwAr‘s recommendation and accept perumAL. perumAL turns around and gets seated near thAyArs and praNaya kalaka uthsavam completes.

In the night, uthsavam daily routines happen subsequently.

  • AzhwAr and emperumAnAr then go around in pushpa pallakku (individual ones) for a procession and return to the temple.
  • EkAntha thirumanjanam (secluded bathing) for AzhwAr and emperumAnAr
  • perumAL, AzhwAr and emperumAnAr arrival at rAppaththu maNdapam
  • thiruvAimozhi 9th centum recital by adhyApakas, 9th centum sARRumuRai (adhyApakas lag behind one day as – araiyar recites a centum and the same centum is recited by adhyApakas the next day).
  • paramapadha vAsal opening; AzhwAr returns to maNdpam; rAmanusa nURRanthAdhi recital during puRappAdu for perumAL; perumAL returns to maNdapam.
  • thirumudi sEvai
  • thiruvArAdhanam, thIrtham/prasAdham distribution.

11th day (thiruvadi thozhal – AzhwAr surrendering unto perumAL’s lotus feet)

In the early hours, thiruvadi thozhal uthsavam starts.

  • AzhwAr is wrapped in 24 layers of shawls/scarfs [Philosophical Note: These 24 layers indicate the 24 achith (insentient matter) thathvams].
  • perumAL enjoys thiruvArAdhanam in 3 levels (each level below one another and closer in proximity to AzhwAr) [Philosophical Note: perumAL wanting to give ultimate bliss to AzhwAr, is doing it step-by-step so that AzhwAr can bear all of that instead of becoming overwhelmed. This is explained in thiruvAimozhi 1.9 – padhigam (decad)]. sEnai mudhaliyAr is seated adjacent to perumAL. AzhwAr is seated in a maNdapam facing perumAL. Other AzhwArs and AchAryas stay in either side of AzhwAr.
  • During the first thiruvArAdhanam, araiyar starts reciting thiruvAimozhi 10th centum. First thALa thAmarai 10.10.1 pAsuram’s vyAkyAnam is recited. Subsequently, the remaining pAsurams are recited. Upto second thiruvArAdhanam is completed by the time thiruvAimozhi 10.10.9 is recited.
  • Before the third thiruvArAdhanam in the 3rd level for perumAL, AzhwAr is brought out from his maNdapam a few steps forward, closed to perumAL. Now, both perumAL and AzhwAr are separated by just about 50 feet. All AzhwArs and AchAryas are seated behind AzhwAr.
  • As the third thiruvArAdhanam starts, AzhwAr’s shawls/scarfs gets removed one by one [Philosophical Note: By giving up the material body which indicates the 24 insentient aspects of matter, AthmA (the 25th thathvam) reaches bhagavAn (the 26th thathvam)]. araiyar recites thiruvAimozhi 10.10 muniyE nAnmukanE padhigam (decad) at this time.
  • Once all the shawls are removed, a quick thirumudi sEvai is performed and perumAL returns to his seat [Philosophical Note: bhagavAn accepting jIvAthmA is called paragatha svIkAram – this is the core principle of our sampradhAyam. At all times, the importance of paragatha svIkAram is demonstrated by perumAL. Only after perumAL’s efforts, the jIvAthmA’s subsequent efforts fructify – independent efforts of jIvAthmA is never acknowledge as a valid principle].
  • Finally, AzhwAr, is carried by archakas and placed at the lotus feet of perumAL. He is covered by thuLasi leaves (all the stems are removed to keep them soft for AzhwAr). perumAL declares that he has given liberation to AzhwAr and accepted him in paramapadham. AzhwAr is then brought back to his seat.
  • navathiruppathi prasAdhams (garland, etc) except rettai thiruppathi (thiruth thulaivilli mangalam where adhyayana uthsavam is celebrated during mAsi visAgam when AzhwAr visits there) are presented to AzhwAr with their respective pAsuram recitals by araiyar.
  • There is a short break at this time.

In the morning,

  • thIrtham, prasAdham and thiruththuzhAy (thuLasi) are distributed to all.

In the night, the process of pleasing emperumAn to bring back AzhwAr begins.

  • 10th centum sEvAkAlam by adhyApakas
  • sARRumuRai, thIrtham, prasAdham distribution
  • Short break
  • archakar recites satakOpar anthAdhi (a prabandham that glorifies nammAzhwAr) which was written by poet kambar.
  • araiyar recites thiruppAvai 1st pAsuram vyAkyAnam  and all the other pAsurams (without vyAkyAnam). These two (satakOpar anthAdhi and thiruppAvai) are recited to please emperumAn to make him return AzhwAr to us in AzhwArthirunagari.
  • A family has specific kainkaryam of reading out a pattayam (thALa pathram – copper plate) which requests perumAL to return AzhwAr to us in AzhwArthirunagari. That pattayam is read in presence of jIyar swamy, araiyar, AchArya purushas, temple maNiyakkArar (supervisor), kainkaryaparas etc and perumAL agrees to that proposal through the archakas. The pattayam is then placed in the hands of nammAzhwAr which is held on by him.
  • Short break.

12th day (vIdu vidai – AzhwAr returning from paramapadham into AzhwArthirunagari)

vIdu means paramapadham. vidai means farewell. This is the uthsavam of AzhwAr bidding farewell to paramapadham  and returning to AzhwAr thirunagari.

In the early hours,

  • perumAL/nAchchiyArs, sEnai mudhaliyAr, nammAzhwAr and emperumAnAr arrive at the paramapadha vAsal (from inside the temple).
  • The door is opened and perumAL/nAchchiyArs, nammAzhwAr and emperumAnAr (is accompanied by thirukkachchi nambigaL from the same sannidhi in his palanquin) step out from inside to the outside [Philosophical Note: All are coming out of paramapadham into AzhwAr thirungari to leave AzhwAr here].
  • All AzhwArs/AchAryas arrive through the gate from inside to the outside.
  • perumAL orders sEnai mudhaliyAr to close the paramapadha vAsal and sEnai mudhaliyAr obliges and returns to his sannidhi.
  • AzhwArs and nAthamunigaL are honored by perumAL and they return to their sannidhis.
  • perumAL/nAchchiyArs bid farewell to AzhwAr and return to their sannidhi [Philosophical Note: AzhwAr lovingly watches them in their direction until he loses sight of them. It is purely for the upliftment of jIvAthmAs who are bound in this samsAram like us, he stays behind in this world even giving up the wonderful life in paramapadham].
  • AzhwAr arrives at the maNdapam in the prAkAram.
  • AchAryas (thirukkachchi nambi, emperumAnAr, kUraththAzhwAn, piLLai lOkAchAryar and vEdhAnthAchAryar) are honored by AzhwAr and they return to their sannidhis.
  • AzhwAr stays there getting ready for a special thirumanjanam (abishEk – sacred bathing). This thirumanjanam is called vIdu vidai thirumanjanam.

In the morning,


  • vIdu vidai thirumanjanam is performed for AzhwAr. AzhwAr wears a unique sauri (hair-lock) during this event. He also holds the pattayam (copper plate) that was given to him during this thirumanjanam. aNNaviyAr (descendant of madhurakavi AzhwAr) recites a beautiful kattiyam ( before the thirumanjanam. purusha sUktham etc.,  are recited by the adhyApakas during the thirumanjanam.

  • After the thirumanjanam, AzhwAr is placed in a beautifully decorated flower palanquin.


  • He then starts his journey towards his sannidhi.
  • Surrounded by many kainkaryaparas who have chathram (umbrella), chAmaram (wysk), sengOl (sceptre), sAmbrANi (fragrance) etc., and being thrown flower petals throughout the path, AzhwAr goes through  a very relaxed procession.
  • All along the path, a flower bed is prepared for AzhwAr’s procession.
  • Once he reaches the paramapadha vAsal, he stops there. All AchArya purushas, sthalaththArs, kainkaryaparas, visiting devotees et al., arrive there. araiyar and parichArakar recites the glories of AzhwAr ( and finally AzhwAr bids farewell to all visiting devotees requesting them to return for next year’s uthsavam.

  • AzhwAr finally reaches his sannidhi and the adhyayana uthsavam is thus completed.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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