Thiruvaiyaaru is the small town situated on the bank of five rivers flowing towards. The town comes under the jurisdiction of Thanjavur District which locates the Indian State Tamil Nadu. The rivers that flow in the delta of the township are Arisilaaru, vettaru, vennaaru, Kudamuruttiaaru, Kaveriaaru. It is the reason why the town is called Thiruvaiyaaru as five different rivers flow in the bank of the township.
Thiru= saint, respect
and the combination of the three parts gives what we call Thiruvaiyaaru. A very known and familiar music festival occurs every year in the town, particularly on the bed of the five rivers. The festival is attributed to praise the legendary work committed by the trinity of Karnatic music legends Muthu swami Dheekshithar, Syama Sashthri, and the Great Thyagaraja. The music festival is very popular among the music composers and an account of tribute is being offered to Thyagarajar, saint and greatest composer of Carnatic music.
Definition of ‘’Thyagaraja Aaradhana’’ simply refers to praising the legend, great Thyagarajar, for his noteworthy and remarkable service to the Music world. He was the one that created hundreds of Kritis, also known as ‘’keerthanai’’, in Telugu. Additionally, the term refers to glorifying the legendary composer, Thyagaraja Swamigal, not only for his renowned composing but also the formation of trinity Carnatic music along with his co-musicians. The event is observed every year on the Pushya Bahula Panchami day which is exactly the day that the saint attained Samadhi. ‘’Thyagarajar Aaradhana’’ is the music tribute given to the saint composer, Thyagarajar, by the millions of music legends in the particular place of Samadhi. On the bed of delta where five different rivers were flowing, the great carnival of music festival takes place. Praising tribute is being the ultimate attribute for the music festival however; the event creates an opportunity for the music fellow being get together in a particular place, once in a year.
No other places rather Thiruvaiyaaru is selected for event organization. This is because the place is where the music legend attained ‘’Samadhi’’. Additionally, the event is observed in the States of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and though not a religious-oriented festival, musicians of all religions are gathered at the river bank. The Musicians remit their salute or tribute by rendering the ‘’Pancharatna kritis’’ composed by the divine musician. The absolute meaning of the ‘’Pancharatna Kritis’’ is abbreviated as pancha= five, ratna=precious gem, kritis=music notes, and the definition is ‘music notes that are more precious as equal to the gemstones’ accordingly. Even today renowned Carnatic musicians praise Thyagarajar as their music deity as he composed the music notes particularly.
As told early Thyagaraja Aaradhana held every year, the following lines are paraphrase but more regarding the organizing authority of the event, same. Let’s begin with Sri Thyagabrahma Mahotsava Sabha, the organizing authority that holds entire responsibility in organizing and make the effort into an act. The Sabha put many strains to assemble the wholesome of musicians in the small village on the anniversary day in front of the Samadhi by aside river bank. Though many years are been passed away celebrating the festival, it is not more than a hundred years of old the act of festival began.
Sri Thyagabrahma Mahotsava Sabha is the academy that held in Thiruvaiyaaru takes the pride of assembling and coordinating the music festival. With the indent efforts, the academy pay tribute to the saint for more than half-century and on an auspicious day, the best composers of music come along with special attention and devotion remit their dedication to their music deity. On the big day, the kritis of thyaga brahmam alias Thyagarajar were sung by the notorious musicians. Usually, the fourth week of January or the first week of February is known to auspicious for a music festival.
The habit of assembling in the Precinct of Samadhi denotes the ethnicity of the devotees towards music. It was, initially, started by the very last disciples of Thyagarajar that are coming forward with the idea of visiting the Samadhi and re-call their ‘’Guru’’ by singing his Kritis on the anniversary day. Umayapuram Krishna Bhagavatar and the Sundara Bhagavatar are the last surviving couple of students that are indented to visit the memorial of their ‘’Guru’’ and commemorate the anniversary ceremony. They extended their wish by continuing their act of observing the anniversary along with others so by which a very good chance of converging at the memorial was get caught for them.
Though the above said students are the moving force to enact the practice of converging at Samadhi and observe the anniversary ceremony, the Thillaisthanam Narasimha Bhagavatar, and Thillaisthanam Panchu Bhagavatar were the sources of finance for organizing the event for the same. Thereby, in 1905, the event of Thyagaraja Aaradhana was started observed and held at the riverbank, Thanjavur. Today, much notorious music Sabha is functioning powerfully to proclaim a very good attitude of observing the music festival event, every year. Sri Thyaga Brahma Mahotsava Sabha is one among the number of music academies favor their support.
Music Festival in other Cities
Years and years go by, the event is getting furious and showed with great power of convergence among the music celebrities. But with an increase in the number of music devotees, the space for their accommodation and to remit their dedication seems congesting. To avoid the accumulation of vast numbers at the memorial, probably not possible, the music festival has started observing from other places outer Thiruvaiyaaru. Henceforth, the number of music academy started blossoming and coming forward inaugurating the ‘’Thyagaraja Aaradhana’’ music festival in other cities too. One among the clubs of a music festival, Thiruvaiyaaru festival at Chennai gathered more attention and fame.
The event to be held at Capital of Tamil Nadu ensures a credit and great publicity to the music stars and hence they do not miss the chance to participate in the event, every year. ‘’Lakshman Shruthi’’ is the music Sabha take the privilege of organizing the grand music festival in the name of ‘’Chennaiyil Thiruvaiyaaru’’ for the past fifteen years. The music academy favors the December third to the fourth week to be the best period for conducting the music festive. Solemnly, the organizers provide and offer a fabulous introduction and debut to the budding music stars along with the legendary hands. This sort of music festival stays as the best platform for which the budding and emerging music people looking for. Despite taking the honor to tribute, the budding stars make a strong foundation to enter the music world.
Iconic and unique corrigendum is followed every year conducting the music event and possibly the event is blossoming and glooming year by year. It is appreciable that ‘’Lakshman Shruthi’’ showing concern to shower the tribute as well as providing a new entry to the budding and intellectual music stars. Particularized online booking to perform via the music academy is arranged by the festive committee. Additionally, the online booking facility to watch the Mahotsava by the music lovers is made instantly. All over the world musicians arriving at the doorstep of Academy looking for opportunity and enter the world of music.
Thyagaraja Aaradhana across India
Though the famous saint, Thyagarajar, belongs to Andhra Pradesh and attained Samadhi in Tamil Nadu, he is renowned for his notorious and immortal ‘’Kritis’’ throughout the world. Emerging from the land of the memorial and flourishing at, the event starts blooming across the oceanic boundaries of India. This year, 2019, the ‘’Thyagaraja Aaradhana’’ is known to hold not only at the place of origin Thiruvaiyaaru and the capital City Chennai but also the event is expected to occur at Nigeria, Mauritius, United States and across. Individual and independent academy for musical development is created and being at function highlighting the occurrence of the event every year. This year, previous years and the fore coming years are prone to celebrate the Aaradhana event with all the grace and critics.
Nigerian based event
‘’Chinmaya Mission’’ takes the privilege of hosting and accompanying the event to be held at Nigeria, in Lagos. The function is recited by children that are trained by expert genre of Gurus and sing the ‘’Sampradhya keerthanai’’ composed by Thyagaraja. The event is held right from 2007 and this year is successful twelfths year for the Mission.
With the hundreds of musicians performing the noteworthy talents, the Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival occurs in the Cleveland, Ohio County of Michigan State. The United States showers the tribute full of grace and enthusiasm.
The small island is situated amidst of Indian Ocean is Mauritius and the island show interest in conducting the Thyagaraja Aaradhana singing the Kritis composed by the Thyagaraja Swamigal. The event expresses the talents of Mridangam, Morsing, Ghatam, and Violin in the event along with the vocal experts. With all the above instances, it is depicted clearly that the music festival is eventually taking place with all grace and fortunes across its emerging point, Tamil Nadu.
Descriptive summary of Thiruvaiyaaru Temple
Thiruvaiyaaru Temple is situated at the center point of the township. Main or presiding God is Lord Shiva is worshipped in the name of ‘’Panchanatheeswarar’’. The Tamil meaning of the Sanskrit name is ‘’Aiyaarappan’’. The name of God is derived from the five flowing rivers across the Township.
Pancha- Ai= five
Nathee- Aaru= river
Eeswarar- Appan= The Lord Shiva
The importance of the Lord being shrine at Specific Township is described in detail in the Bibliography of the Temple. ‘’Dharmasamvarthini’’ is the Goddess being presided along with the Aiyaarappar and ‘’Aram Vallarta nayaki’’ is the equivalent Tamil name of the Goddess. The Temple is incarnated and been divided into two divisions as ‘’Uttarakailasam’’ and ‘’Dakshinakailasam’’ and with five closed precincts made the temple widespread across 60,000 square meters. The ‘’Uttarakailasam’’ is believed to be built by the crown queen of Raja raja Chozhan who is bestowed to known by her positive endowments whereas the ‘’Dakshinakailasam’’ is believed built in the period of Rajendra Chozhan. Again the crown queen of Rajendra Chozhan earns the gratitude for her renowned service to Hinduism.
Beyond the two divisions of the temple, there exists the Mukthi mandapam that is meant specially for carrying out the chanting of Panchaksara jepam. The five rivers flowing across the temples grab the certainty of River Ganges. Of Course! To take bath at River Cauvery is equally good as that of River Ganges. Pilgrims flock to the shrine throughout the year visiting the presiding deity ‘’Aiyaarappan’’. One who visits the temple in Tamil Nadu can see several inscriptions on the walls of the temple all over. Aiyaarappar temple is not an exceptional case to that and anyone can see very minute inscriptions being inscribed on the walls as monument proclaiming the temple been affiliated to a variety of Dynasty. For instance, Chozhas like Raja, Rajendra, Karikala Chozha, Pandya Dynasty includes Sundara Pandya and Krishna Devarayar, etc. With the inscription alone the current generation able to know the Historic tradition, importance and value of the temple and it’s surrounding.
As already told the temple is situated on the banks of River Cauvery, many other temples are situated along with the ‘’Aiyaarappar’’ temple. Almost six temples are known to exist in the Riverbanks of Cauvery and they are located in different places of City surrounding. Below lists down the temple:
- Aiyaarappar Koil Thiruvaiyaaru.
- Mahalingeshwarar Koil, Thiruvidaimarudhur.
- Myuranathaswamy Koil, Mayiladudurai.
- Chayavaneswarar Koil, Sayavanam.
- Swetharayneswarar Koil, Thiruvenkadu.
- Srivanchinadhaswamy Koil, Srivanchiyam.
The above list falls under the name South Kailasam Temples situated across the River Cauvery. These temples are prone to observe the festival along with each other. Hindu Mythology preaches various kinds of festivals and celebrations to be observed in the names of the presiding Gods and Goddesses. Hindus are taught visiting the Temples around their Locality within their lifetime.
Apart from the Six, South Kailasam Temples, the Aiyaarappar Temple is associated with other temples situated surrounding. These seven temples are prone to observe the festival sapthasthanam a thirteen-day festival been started with flag hoisting while chanting the Vedic texts by concerned people.
It is a very important festival that is observed in the Aiyaarappar temple by April every year. During the festival, Lord Aiyaarappar along with Aram Vallarta nayaki and Nandi are carried in the glass palanquin for crowd worship all over the City. The glass Palanquin of Aiyaarappar is associated with the other six temples and their palanquin with respect. The thirteen-day festival is carried away with all music blends and associated spiritual ceremonies, every year. Again it is the Aiyaarappar temple that is associated with the Thyagarajar and where the music festival been observed in the river bed every January of the calendar year.
The temple is known provided with five holy theertha mandapam and they are named as follows:
- Surya pushkarani
- Chandra pushkarani
- Nandi theertham
- Ganga theertham
It is the Surya pushkarani the major theertham of Temple treated equally to the Ganges. Great devout saint Thirunavukarasar once wishes to visit Lord Shiva at Mount Kailash but could not due to the hardships to come across the pathway. Hence, Lord Shiva insisted him to take bath at Manasarovar Lake. It was the place Thirunavukarasar awake was the Surya Pushkarani of Thiruvaiyaaru temple and from there he visited the holy shrine of Mount Kailash. Hence the theertham is praised as holy as the River Ganges.
Besides other stories related to spiritual miracles, the architectural ethnicity of the temple is something great. One who sounds loudly the name of Aiyaarappan in the particular place of outer precincts, he could hear the echoes several times that is wondered by the architectures in the Western Countries.
Simply the infrastructure and the architectural value of the temples in Tamil Nadu are wondering. There are different and individual worship mandapam is provided for Vinayaka, Muruga, Dakshina Moorthi and Nava graham, etc. The Dakshina Moorthi in the temple adores the special respect that he was worshipped by Lord Vishnu and the only place where Lord Vishnu praised Dakshina Moorthi as Guru. Inclusive of all other spiritual and historical values the temple is considered as the valuable tourism spot to carry out spiritual tour. Tamil Nadu is blessed with pilgrimage and a variety of temples and Thiruvaiyaaru is best among the Holy Pilgrimage. Many special features are highlighting the temple as the best tourist spot with an easy route map to visit the Holy place by land means of transport.
Along with the wedding festival that occurs every year, many festivals are observing in the temple with all gratitude and grace.
Together the tribunal festival for Music is the Thyagaraja Aaradhana that joining hands the other festivals at the time making the temple more popular all over the world. Even today, a well-groomed form of Thyagarajar Aaradhana is being observed by the musicians for which the credit goes to the Music academies that strain much to bring up the best outcome. Easy booking to take part in the festival is enhanced encouraging and increasing the list of viewers. Upcoming musicians are benefitted along with the viewers in the Thyagaraja Aaradhana festival. Despite other religious events are commonly occurring in Shiva temples but for in the case of Music festival alone, ‘’Thiruvaiyaaru’’ temple own unique quality.