Sriman Manavala Mamuni's Thiruvadhyayanam (Theertham)

Original article in Tamil written by Sri U.Ve. Sathabishekam Govinda Narasimahacharya Swamy, Srirangam.

The Notice was issued by Sri Varavaramuni Daasa Jana Sabha, Thiruvallikeni.

The day on which an acharya leaves the samsara (sorrow filled material world) and reaches paramapadam (spiritual world of Sriman Narayana which contains unlimited happiness) is celebrated every year as Thiruvadhyayanam or Theertham.

Generally when some one leaves their body (at the time of death), the day of such incident is remembered in vedic terms as Thithi or Thivasam or Srardham. But same incident when happens to a SriVaishnava is considered to be Thiruvadhyayanam or Theertham. The reason for these terms for this day is because on this day:

  • Thiruvaimozhi is chanted so Thiruadhyayanam - adhyayanam means practicing/chanting of vedas and

  • Sripadha Theertham of the departed Srivaishnava is accepted by all so Theertham

Sons and direct disciples of the departed Srivaishnava must observe the above mentioned activities on the rememberance day of the departure.

Especially a disciple, every year, must celebrate the day on which his/her acharya attained the divine abode of Sriman Narayana. The appearance day of the acharya is mentioned as Thirnakshthra paripalanam and the disappearance day is mentioned as Thiruvadhyayana Thirtha paripalanam.

The night before the actual of day of departure, first two decades of Thiruvaimozhi must be chanted. For the assembled Srivaishnavas Dosai, Vadai and Sundal prasadams must be distributed. On the actual day of departure, the whole Thiruvaimozhi is chanted together with the assembled Srivaishnvas in the morning. After that Satrumurai must be done finishing with accepting the acharya's sri padha Theertham.

The above procedure is equally applicable for a Srivaishnava towards his departed father. And because of these two important activities of Thiruvaimozhi chanting and accepting of sri padha Theertham this event is called Thiruvadhyayanam and Theertham.

Our Srivaishnava Sampradaya Guru paramparai starts with Nammazhwar, has Emberumanar (Ramanujar) in the middle and Sri Manavala Mamunigal as the last acharya in the acharya rathna haaram. Because except for Manavala Mamunigal no other acharya in our guru paramparai has a surviving disciple today, we celebrate only the Thirunakshatram (appearance day) and not the Theertham (disappearance day).

Since then, Sri Ranganathan sends special offerings on the appearance day from his sannithi and the appearance day is celebrated under the leadership of Sri Ranganathan himself. Same way, since the Sri Manavala Mamuni attained parama padham, every year, on Masi Krishna paksha Dvadasi day, many special offerings come from Sri Ranganathan (Periya perumal) sannithi and the day is celebrated in a grand manner.

When Sri Manavala Mamuni reached parama padham, Sri Ranganathan ordered to conduct both Thirunakshatram and Theertham celebrations under his leadership with offerings sent from his own sannithi. And because Sri Ranganathan, a direct disciple of Sri Manavala Mamuni is present today, in Sri Rangam alone, the Theertham is celebrated in a grand manner.

Exact procedure of Thiruvadhyayanam celebration in Sri Rangam

  • The night before the day of Theertham around 7pm first 2 decades of Thiruvaimozhi chanted and Theertham, Vadai, Sundal, etc prasadhams distributed.
  • On the morning of the day of Theertham, starting around 10am Thiruvaimozhi is chanted fully.
  • From Sri Ranganathan sannithi, Thirupariyattam (Clothes), ThiruMalai (Garland) worn by Emberuman are brought by Kainkaryaparas and they are offered to Sri Manavala Mamuni.
  • Archakar from Periya perumal's sannithi comes and offers prasadhan for Sri Manavala Mamuni
  • Theertham and prasadham are distributed to the assembled Srivaishnavas.
  • After that, Thirvaimozhi satrumurai is done.
  • Ponnadiyam sengamalam (Lotus feet of Sri Manavala Mamuni) is given to the goshti on their forehead.
  • After this, Srivaishnvas assemble in Thirumalai Azhwar (Behind ManavalaMamuni Sannithi, the mandapam in which Sri Manavala Mamuni was giving lectures regularly and he attained paramapadham from this mandapam which was named after his acharaya).
  • Here, adhyapakhas chant koil Thiruvaimozhi, Ramanuja nutranthathi, upadesa rathina malai, and Thiruvaimozhi nutranthathi.
  • The Adhyapakhas (Srivaishnavas who chant) return to Sri Manavala Mamuni sannithi, perform Satrumurai.
  • Theertham, Ponnadiyan sengamalam and Thoti prasadham (Curd rice) are given to the assembled srivaishnavas.
  • Thus ends Thiruvadhyayanam - Theertham utsavam of Sri Manavala Mamuni.