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Thiruvaiyaru Thyagaraja Aradhana Festival

Saint Tyagaraja was born on May4,1767. his upanayanam was performed on 1774. Tyagaraja was the greatest among the music composers of South India and one of the musical prodigies of all time.  He was the father of modern Karnataka music and his works are of delicate spirituality, full of melodic beauty and in the highest sense artistic.  As a child he as already remarkable for his predilection for music and a gift for composing and wrote his first song when he was hardly 13.  Soon he reached the loftiest pinnacle of musical fames and composed the grandest songs ever written and two music plays of uneqalled beauty. Sri Tyagaraja attained mukti in the year 1847. The mortal remains of this great soul were interred on the banks of the Kaveri and a Brindavana was erected over the spot.The Umayalpuram brothers, Krishna Bhagavatar and Sundara Bhagaavatar and othes used to go to the Samadhi every year on the Pushya Bahula panchami day, do puja and then return home and perform the aradhana proper. From the year 1907 onwards, the Samadhi Utsava entered a new phase. Tillisthanam Narasimha Bhagavatar and Panju Bhagavatar, along with Tiruch Govindasami Pillai, the great violinist, began to celebrate the festival on a grand scale.

Thyagaraja is the most popular of the musical Trinity, all born in Thiruvarur, the sacred town which has been placed on the same pedestal with Kasi(Benaras), as having the unique distinction of giving salvation or mukthi to the person born in the former and shuffling of his mortal coils in the latter.Grand son of Giriraja Kavi and son of the Ramabrahmam, a scholar learned in Vedas and Shashtras, he had his first music lesson from Sonti Venkataramanayya, the Palace Vidwan of Thanjavur. At the age of 16, he was initiated into the tharaka mantra of Sri Rama by a sage from Kanchi. He spent most of his time doing pooja and singing to the idols  of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita, and thus his compositions were inspired and infused with Rama bhakthi. His music as extensive, yet direct and instantaneous. His compositions in vogue may be about 600 to 700, as his journey far and wide in the realms of his imagination createdmelodic patterns in various varjya and vakra ragas. At Tirupathi, he is said to have miraculously raised the drawn curtain with his song, “Theradiyzka RAdha” and breathed life into a person who had drowned in a temple well with his kriti, “Najeevadara”, Another incident is related of how Rama and Lakshmana armed with bows and arrows guarded his palanquin when it was attacked by robbers. Aware of his approaching end, he took Sanyasa. On the 10th day of his Sanyasa, he merged with eternity

Tyagaraja Aradhana seva held every year at tiruvaiyaru attracts musicians and devotees from all over the world. The Sri Thyagabrahma Mahotsava Sabha has unfailingly made arrangements for the annual festival year after year. Preparations begin three months before the Aradhana festival and the selection of artistes for singing during the Aradhana is an important task. Artistes of the All India Radio are given priority on the basis of their grade. Young and upcoming artistes too are given opportunities.

When a great person achieves distinction in two fields of human endeavour which are related, it is difficult of assess the value of his eminence in any one of them separately. Tyagaraja was a great saint as well as a great musician. In his mind, music played a subordinate a part and devotion to his chosen deity played the dominating part. He used music as an appropriate vehicle for the journey towards salvation. Posterity, however, remembers him primarily as a great composer and the association of religion, with his music is very often taken as part of the musical tradition of India of which he was a leading light. This difference in approach between the composer himself and the inheritors of his contribution has led to estimations of his contribution has led to estimations of his music based on spiritual sympathy and panegyrics of is sainthood based on musical appreciation.

Pancharatna Keerthanas

About 165 years ago,saint composer, Sadguru Tyagaraja attained Samadhi on the banks of  the Cauvery river in Tiruvaiyaru on Pushya Bahula Panchami.The fifth day from full moon of the month of pausham under the Chaandramanam system is celebrated as Tyagaraja Aradhana day at his Samadhi. Abhishekam is performed to his idol in the morning as vedic scholars chant verses from the Vedas. Simultaneously, vidwans and vidushis and violin,veena and flute artistes render the Ghana raga Pancharatnam with mridangam, ghatam and kanjira vidwans accompanying them. This is preceded by a performance of select kritis of the saint by a large group of nagaswarm-tavil vidwans. In 1941, Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar selected five songs or the Ghana raga Pancharatna Keerthanas to be rendered by musicians who gathered at the Samadhi. Since then, the system has been in vogue. The Aradhana is still attended by vidwans and vidushis in large numbers.

The five Kritis  (Pancharatna Keerthanas)

  1. Jagadanandakaraka – Nattai – Adi
  2. Dudukugala – Gowla – Adi
  3. Sadhinchene – Arabhi – Adi
  4. Kana kana ruchira – Valai – Adi
  5. Endaro Mahanubhavalu – Sri – Adi

Thiruvaiyaru aiyarappar Koil or Panchanadheesvarar Temple
Appar Kailasha dharshan at Thiruvaiyaru Temple

Main Daity aiyarappar  or  Panchanadheesvarar  and the consort is Dharmasamvardhini, or  Thiiripurasundari  Thiruvaiyaru is a small  town. The Vadavar, Vettar, Vennar,  Kudamurutti and Cauvery, the five rivers from which Thiruvaiyaru gets its name (thiru = sacred; ai = five; aaru = river). The presiding deity of the Shiva temple here,  Panchanatheesvarar. Panchanadeeswarar temple at Thiruvaiyaru is Vadakailasam (north kailasam) or Lokamahadevisvaram, as it is known in the inscriptions Appar got kailahsa katchi in this temple tank which is in the car street. Appar had the kailasha dharshan at this abode. So it is also called daxiNa kailAsham. This is the special and unique fesgival in Thiruvaiyaru. On this Adi Amavasri, the theerthavari festival celebrated in this apper tank (both is in the Thiruvaiyaru.

Saptha Sthanam Temples and Pallakku Utsavam Thiruvaiyaru

Thiruvaiyaru  has an old Shiva temple dedicated to Panchanatheeswar. Thiruvaiyaru is more renowned for its association with Saint Thyagaraja. Thiruvaiyaru means Five Rivers across the town namely  Arisilaaru, Vennaaru, Vettaaru, Kudamuruttiyaaru and Cavery.  The seven Temple around the town is very famous for the Saptha Sthanam Temples and Pallakku Festival. The seven villages are

1 Thiruvaiyaru
2 Thirupazhanam
3 Thiruchotrudurai
4 Thiruvedhikudi
5 Thirukandiyur
(Thiru kandiyur)
6 Thirupanthuruthi
7 Thiruneithanam
(Thillaisthanam)

The Pallakku starts from Thiruvaiyaru and goes around the villages and come back to the Thiruvaiyaru aiyarappar or Panchanadheesvarar Temple with in two days with seven pallakku. This is the Grand festival of this town.

Thiruvaiyaru Asoka Halwa
Thiruvaiyaru Asoka Halwa is a traditional sweet which contains special taste and colour and available only in the Andavar Halwa Sweet Shop, Thiruvaiyaru.  It is based on flour-based Halwa and is available through out the year . All sort of people and tourist like the taste of this Asoka Halwa.

Thiruvaiyaru Govt Music College
Thiruvaiyaru Rajah Music Collge is located in the middle of the town and it is is over 100 years old.  The other department like Sanskrit , Tamil is also important of this college

Journey Tips

Distance Between Kumbakonam to Thiruvaiyaru is 31 Kms Thanjavur to Thiruvaiyaru is 11 Kms Thiruvarur to Thiruvaiyaru is 51 Kms

 

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