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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

ஆனந்த நடனம் Dance of Bliss

The above painting is part of the 
British Museum Collection and was sketched in 1762.

Thai Poosam

Thai Poosam festival occurs in the Tamil month of Thai (Jan 14th to Feb 14th) on the day of star poosam around the full moon day and has many legends associated with it.  It was on this day, Lord Shiva and His consort Uma Devi blessed the sage Vyagrapadha and Patanjali with their blissful dance in Chidambaram.

King Hiranyavarman patronized the orthodox Brahmins of Chidambaram. He built magnificent mansions of seven tiers, golden stage and engaged Vedic Brahmins (Purohiths) to celebrate grand festivals in Chidambaram. Saint Arunagirinathar mentions it in his Thiruppugazh dedicated to Lord Muruga in Chidambaram starting "thAdhu mAmalar" தாது மாமலர். He says “Oh Lord Muruga! You are enshrined near the western gate of the mammoth temple tower which is like Mount Meru."

King Hiranyavarman abdicated his Gowda kingdom and crowned his brother to the throne to behold the blissful dance of Lord Shiva in Chidambaram. When sage Vyagrapadha came to know this he crowned Hiranyavarman as Chola king and gave him the royal flag with the emblem of a jumping tiger. Saint Arunagirinathar refers to this in his Thiruppugazh "avaguNa viraganai" அவகுண விரகனை. He praises him as an acclaimed just ruler.

Thus Hiranyavarman, the son of the fifth Manu of the solar race (descendants of the Sun God) was blessed to behold the Lord's blissful dance along with sage Vyagrapadha and Patanjali on Thai Poosam day. Arunagirinathar saw Lord Nataraja in Lord Muruga and Lord Muruga in Lord Nataraja without any distinction. 


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