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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Mahodaya Punyakalam மஹோதய புண்யகாலம்

Thiru Maraikadu (Vedaranyam) Temple, TN.

Regarding Ardhodaya Punyakalam and Mahodaya Punyakalam, it is stated as follows in the compendium of Dharma Sastra 'Smriti Muktaphalam' in 'Sradha Kandam-Uttara bhaga':

महाभारते श्रवणाश्विधनिष्ठार्द्रानागदैवतमापतेत्। 
रविवारयुतामायां व्यतीपातः स उच्यते॥ 
व्यतीपाताख्ययोगोऽयं शतार्कग्रहसन्निभः॥

If on a Sunday, Amavasya and one of the stars – Sravanam, Asvini, Avittam, Thiruvadirai or Ayilyam, occurs, then it is called 'Vyatipatam'. This Vyatipata yogam is equal to a hundred Surya grahanas in merit.

अमार्कपातश्रवणैर्युक्ता चेत् पुष्यमाघयो: । 
अर्धोदय: स विज्ञेयः कोटिसूर्यग्रहैस्समः ॥ 

If in Pousha or Magha month, Amavasya, Sunday, Vyatipata yogam and Sravana star occur, then it is called 'Ardhodaya'. It is equal in merit to a crore of Surya grahanas. 

सौम्यवारेण योगोऽयं महोदय इति स्मृतः । 

If the above combination occurs on a Monday, it is called 'Mahodaya'.

The 27 Yogas are given in the following verse:

विश्वकुम्भः प्रीतिरायुष्मान्सौभाग्यः शोभनस्तथा ।
अतिकण्ठस्सुकर्मा च धृतिः शूलस्तथैव च ॥ 
गण्डो वृद्दिर्धुवश्चैव व्याघातो हर्षणस्तथा । 
वज्रसिद्धिर्व्यतीपात वरीयान्परिघ: शिवः ॥ 
सिद्धस्साध्यः शुभः शुभ्रो भ्राम्यो माहेन्द्रश्च वैधृतिः ॥

The Yogas are:
  1. Visvakumbha 
  2. Priti 
  3. Ayushman 
  4. Soubhagyam 
  5. Sobhanam
  6. Atikantham 
  7. Sukarmam 
  8. Dhruti 
  9. Sulam 
  10. Gandam 
  11. Vriddhi 
  12. Dhruvam
  13. Vyaaghaatam 
  14. Harshanam 
  15. Vajram 
  16. Siddhi 
  17. Vyatipatam 
  18. Variyan
  19. Parigham 
  20. Sivam 
  21. Siddham 
  22. Saadhyam 
  23. Subham 
  24. Subhram 
  25. Bhraamyam
  26. Maahendram 
  27. Vaidhruti
While doing Sankalpam, these names of Yogas should only be mentioned and not Siddhayoga, Amritayoga etc. It is stated in the book 'Kala Prakasika' that the nine Yogas, viz. Vyaaghaatam, Parigham, Vajram, Vyatipatam, Vaidhruti, Gandam, Atikantham, Sulam and Visvakumbham are to be avoided for auspicious rituals.

These 27 Yogas occur owing to the union of 'Sphutas' of Surya and Chandra. The sum of these is calculated and Yogas like Visvakumbham, Priti etc. are assigned for every 131/3 degree, like Nakshatras. Tarpanam is to be performed on days on which Yogas Vyatipatam and Vaidhruti occur.

Shannavathi and Parvakala Tarpanam

Sacred scripts prescribe several modes of Pithru Yagna like Shraddha; Tarpanam; Paksha Shraddha; Tirtha/Kshethra Shraddha. While all are prescribed to be performed, Pithru tarpanam is the easiest one that can be performed without the requirement of a Purohit, if only one has the zeal, sincerity and devotion to learn its procedure. Apart from performing daily Pithru tarpanam (Jala tarpanam) as a part of Brahma Yajna; scripts have prescribed Pithru Tarpanam (Thila tarpanam) on 96 specific days in a year called Shannavathi which is considered as nithya karma. Shannavathi is a Sanskrit word meaning ninety six. These 96 specific days are as follows.

  • 14 Manvanthara (Manvaadi)
  • 04 Yugaadi days (Krutha/Thretha/Dwapara/Kali Yuga)
  • 12 Sankramana (Sun’s transit days)
  • 12 Amaavaasya days (Darsha)
  • 15 Mahalaya Paksha (Bhadrapada Masam)
  • 12 Vyatheepatha Yoga days
  • 12 Vaidruthi Yoga days
  • 05 Poorvedyu days
  • 05 Ashtaka days
  • 05 Anvashtaka days

On all the above days one who is eligible to perform Pithru tarpanam should offer Thila Tarpanam with proper sankalpa to his forefathers with black sesame seeds and water except during Mahalaya Paksha when, one is required to perform a regular Shraddha also along with Thila Tharapna as per the laid down procedure.

Apart from the above, one should also offer Thila Tarpanam to forefathers during Parvakala viz. on Eclipse (Grahana) days (Surya and Chandra Grahana); on the days of Uttaraayana and Dakshinaayana; on the days of Ardhodaya and Mahodaya.

If any of the above mentioned Shannavathi (96) days are coinciding with the days of Parvakala, before offering the regular Amavasya tarpanam on this day, people have to offer special Mahodaya Punyakala tarpanam. According to another practice, tarpanam need not be given twice as the later one (Parvakala) supersedes the former in the ascending order of Amavaasya, Uttarayana/Dakshinayana, Eclipse (Grahana), Ardhodaya/Mahodaya in order of importance.

Vyatipata Yoga during Dhanurmasam is said to be equivalent to 1000 Ardhodaya in terms of merits. If any of the above mentioned 96 days excluding Amavasya; Poorvedyu; Ashtaka; Anvashtaka falls on Ekadasi day, tarpanam should not be performed.

After many years, Mahodaya Punyakalam occurs this Thai Amavasya on 08.02.2016. It is believed that this day has more merits than the Mahamagam.

Sri Adi Shankaracharya's guidelines -  Charity - What is Appropriate? (To Whom, Where and When).

Thiru Maraikadu (Vedaranyam)

Lord Shiva is a swayambumurthi in the temple. Two time puja is dedicated to Maragatha Linga in Thyagesar shrine installed by Indra. The Navagrahas-nine planets are with the same face individually in a line facing Lord and Ambica to see their wedding darshan. It is the staunch faith of the people that hardships of any nature caused due to sins committed, adverse serpent aspects, evil spells would vanish if the devotee surrenders to Lord in the temple. A bath in the Manikarnika Tirtham blesses with the benefit of bathing in holy rivers as Ganga, Yamuna, Narmada, Sindhu and Cauvery. Even sins of high severity as Brahmahathi caused by murder will disappear. The worship also brings them the benefit of doing charity, performing yoga and penance for a long period.

Manikarnika Tirtham 

The sea at the eastern side of the temple is known as Aadhi Sethu. Bathing in this sea once is considered equal to 100 baths in the sea in Rameswaram. Thousands bathe in the Kodiakarai Aadhi Sethu and Vedaranyam sea on Thai New Moon day in January-February, Aadi New Moon day in July-August, Mahalaya New Moon day in September-October and finally at Mani Karnika and worship Lord and Mother in their wedding form seeking child boon, education and wisdom, prosperity and healthy life.

On their journey to various Shiva temples spread over the state, celebrated Saivite Saints Tirugnana Sambandar and Tirunavukkarasar (Appar) came to Thiru Maraikadu Temple. They sung pathigams-set of 10 verses- at each temple in praise of Lord Shiva. They were shocked to see that the main entrance of this temple was closed. They also saw devotees entering the temple through a side entrance. They enquired with the priests how this happened. They were told that the Vedas worshipped Lord Shiva here and returned after closing the door. Hearing that Vedas, the holy scriptures of land themselves worshipped the Lord here, Gnasambandar requested Tirunavukkarasar – Appar to sing a hymn on Lord to open the doors. Appar, tears flowing from his eyes sang ten verses beginning with line “Pannin Ner Moshiyal” and begged Lord to open the doors of the temple. Excited by the graceful response of the Lord, both entered the temple through the main entrance and worshipped Lord. While coming out, Appar wished Gnanasambandar to sing a hymn so that doors could be opened and closed for the worship of the devotees as in all temples. Child saint Sambandar sang a Pathigam – 10 verses – beginning with the line “Chathuram Marai” closing the door. Since then, main doors of temple began to function in usual manner as in other temples. 

Mother Goddess is praised as Veda Nayaki, Yazhai Pazhitha Mozhiyal meaning that her voice defeats the sweetness of Veena in Tamil and Veena Vadha Vidhooshini in Sanskrit. This glory of Mother Ambica is praised by Acharya Sankara in the 66th verse of his celebrated Soundarya Lahari suggesting for gaining excellence in Music. 

The temple is the second in the rank of Saptha Vidanga Sthalas of Lord Shiva. The Thiagaraja idol in the temple was earlier gifted to emperor Mushukunda Chakravarthi by Indra. The dance of Lord here is praised as Hamsa Natana. This is a very ancient Shivasthala in the state. Of the 64 Shakti Peetas of Ambica glory, the peeta in the temple is praised as Sundari Peeta

Presiding deity is also known as Marai Kadu Urayum Manalar – Lord having His home in Maraikadu. Saraswathi in the temple has no Veena in her hand. All the 63 Nayanmars and 10 Thogayara Nayanars – total 73 – are in idol form in the temple. Four Vedas - Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva had worshipped Lord Shiva in the temple. This is the temple where Lord granted sage Agasthya His wedding darshan. Great emperors Manu, Mandadha, Dasaratha, Lord Rama, Pandavas, Mahabali were blessed by Lord.

Of the 16 Sabhas-Durbars of Lord Shiva, the temple ranks 12, praised as Deva Bhakta Sabha. The Kolaru Pathigam of Gnana Sambandar used by many devotees in their daily prayers for relief from the adverse effects of planets was sung from this temple. Lord Mela Kumara-Muruga is praised in the Tirupugazh hymns of saint Arunagirinathar. Sage Paranjothi Munivar, author of Tiruvilayadal Puranam speaking Lord Shiva’s plays for the benefit of His devotees, was born here.


Circumambulation (Girivalam) of Arunachalam 

One shall attain innumerable benefits by circumambulating Sonagiri on equinoctial days, days on which the Sun takes another transit, the transit from one Zodiac to another, on Vyatipata days and other Parvan days [Skanda Purana (U), Chapter 24, Verse 51].

அர்த்தோதய புண்யகாலம் மற்றும் மஹோதய புண்யகாலம்

நமது ஸனாதன தர்மத்தில் விசேஷ புண்ய கர்மாக்கள் பல உள்ளன. அதில் மிக முக்கியமானதும், எல்லோராலும் அனுஷ்டிக்கப்படவேண்டிய காலம் இந்த 'அர்த்தோதய' மற்றும் 'மஹோதய' புண்யகாலமாகும். 

ஞாயிற்றுக்கிழமையின் உதயகாலத்தில் அமாவாசையுடன், ஸ்ரவணம், அஸ்வினி, அவிட்டம், திருவாதிரை அல்லது ஆயில்யம் நக்ஷத்திரங்கள் சேர்ந்தால் அது 'வியதீபாத' யோகம் ஆகும்.

புஷ்ய (தை) மற்றும் மாக (மாசி) மாதத்தில் வரக்கூடிய ஞாயிற்றுக்கிழமையின் உதயகாலத்தில் வியதீபாத யோகத்தின் 4 -வது பாதம், அமாவாசையின் முதல் பாதம், ஸ்ரவண (திருவோண) நக்ஷத்திரத்தின் மத்யம பாதம் இவை சேர்ந்தால் அது அர்த்தோதய புண்யகாலம் ஆகும். இதுவே திங்கட்கிழமையில் வந்தால் மஹோதய புண்யகாலமாகும்.

இந்த புண்யகாலங்களில் புண்ய க்ஷேத்திரங்களில் தீர்த்த ஸ்நானம் செய்து, முறைப்படி தானங்கள் செய்வதால் மிகவும் புண்ணியம் கிடைக்கும். அதிலும் பாரதத்தில் உள்ள ஏதாவது ஒரு சமுத்திரத்தில் சென்று நீராடி தான தர்மங்கள் செய்வது மிகவும் உத்தமம். வேதாரண்யம் மறைக்காட்டு நாதர் கோயிலில் பித்ரு கர்மங்கள் செய்வது மிகவும் சிறப்பானது ஆகும்.

இந்த அர்த்தோதய மற்றும் மஹோதய புண்ய காலங்கள் பல்லாண்டுகளுக்கு ஒருமுறைதான் வரும். ஆகையால் இந்நிகழ்வு மிக முக்கியமான காலம். அந்த புண்ணியகாலம் இந்த ஆண்டு 08.02.2016, தை அமாவாசையன்று வருகின்றது. இது இந்த ஆண்டு வரும் மஹாமகத்தை விட பன்மடங்கு விசேஷமாகும். இந்த புண்யகாலத்தில் செய்யப்படும் தானங்களின் பலன் கோடி ஸூர்ய கிரஹணங்களில் எவ்வளவு புண்யம் கொடுக்குமோ அதே அளவு புண்ணியம் இந்த ஒரே நாளில் கிடைக்கும் என்று சொல்லப்படுகின்றது.

Also read:
தை அமாவாசை
அபிராமி அந்தாதியும் தை அமாவாசையும் - பாடல் - 79 
(Abhirama Bhattar sang Abhirami Andhadhi on this day)

Collated from: Balabodha Sangraham, Bhargavasarma, Arunachalagrace, Dinamalar