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Festivals Celebrated in Sri Thendayuthapani Temple

ST Temple Timings:

From 8:00 am to 12:00 Noon and 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

a) Sri Meenakshi Amman Letcha Archanai:

The famous Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple located in Madurai district of Tamil Nadu State in India celebrates “Thirukalyana Urchavam” – celestial marriage for Lord Sundareswarar and Goddess Meenakshi Amman. This festival is celebrated every year on Uthiram star in the Tamil month of Chithirai (April). In coincidence with this, Sri Thendayuthapani Temple performs Letcharchanai to Goddess Meenakshi Amman.

Sri Meenakshi Amman Thendayuthapani Temple

Letcha means “Hundred Thousand” and Archanai means “Chanting of Mantra”. That is, chanting Hundred Thousand Mantra on Goddess Meenakshi Amman is performed during the Tamil month of Chithirai during the following days.

It begins on the day of Magam star, continues on Pooram star and concludes on Uthiram star.

12 Brahmin Sivacharyas recite the mantras every evening for three consecutive days. Every day each Sivacharya will recite 1008 Mantra 3 times. Chanting of mantras on these three days by 12 Sivacharyas constitutes the Hundred Thousand Mantra, known as Letcharchanai.

Letcharchanai is performed for world peace and to fulfill our divine promises. Praying to Meenakshi Amman by performing Lalitha Sahasranamam and reciting Letcharchanai enhances the power to the Goddess, who in turn blesses us.

b) Sri Durgai Amman Letcha Archanai:

Sri Durgai Amman Letcharchanai is celebrated in Sri Thendayuthapani temple every year, for three days in the Tamil month of Aadi (July), on Pooram star.

Letcha means “Hundred Thousand” and Archanai means “Chanting of Mantra”. That is, chanting Hundred Thousand Mantra on Goddess Durgai Amman is performed in the Tamil month of Aadi (July) during the following days.

It begins on the day of Aayilyam Star, continues on Magam Star, and concludes on Pooram Star.

12 Brahmin Sivacharyas recite the mantras every evening for three consecutive days. Every day each Sivacharya will recite 1008 Mantra three times. Chanting of mantras on these three days by 12 Sivacharyas constitutes the Hundred Thousand Mantra, known as Letcharchanai.

Letcharchanai is performed for world peace and to fulfill our divine promises. Praying Sri Durgai Amman by performing Lalitha Sahasranamam and reciting Letcharchanai enhance the power to the Goddess, who in turn blesses us.

c) Skantha Shashti Letcha Archanai:

In order to reinstate Knowledge and Dharma in this world, Lord Murugan demolished Asurans. In Hinduism, the term Asuran refers to Demon, who symbolizes evil and ignorance. There were innumerable Asurans during different periods. Lord Murugan fought against Asurans in the Tamil month of “Aipasi” from “Valarpirai Pridamai” to “Shashti” tithi. He defeated Asuran’s ignorance and transformed him into a Rooster and Peacock. Thus, Rooster and Peacock became the Vahanam (vehicle) for Lord Murugan.

The Shashti tithi in the Tamil month of “Aipasi” is considered auspicious. Lord Murugan, also known by the names Thendayuthapani, Kartikeya, Murugan, Subramanya, Kumaresa, Guha, Shanmukha and Velayudhan, is believed to have conquered the mythical Asuran “Taraka” on day 6, and hence the Day 6 ceremony is known as Soora Samharam, which means “Killing of Demon”.

To commemorate this event and to mark the death of Taraka Asuran, devotees observe fast for 6 days. Letcha-Archanai or chanting mantras 100,000 times is performed every day by the priests and devotees recite various names of Lord Murugan.

On Day 6, the Shashti day, special Skantha Homam is performed in Sri Thendayuthapani temple during early morning with special prayers. A Swamy procession is held in the evening within the temple premises.

Skantha Shashti marks the destruction of evil by the Almighty God, and is celebrated in all Shaivite and Murugan temples in South India.

Thiru Karthigai Thendayuthapani Temple

d) Thiru Karthigai:

Karthigai Deepam is celebrated by Tamil Hindus on the full moon day in the Tamil month Karthigai (November/December). It is a festival of lights celebrated in every home as well as in every Murugan temple. This festival occurs on the day when the moon is in concurrence with the constellation Karthigai and Purnima. The happening of Karthigai Nakshatram in the Karthigai month is celebrated as Thiru Karthigai.

This constellation can be seen as a group of six stars in the sky in the shape of a pendant from the ear. There are several legends and lyrics about this star. As per Indian mythology, these six stars are considered as six celestial fairies who raised six babies in the Saravana tank which were later joined together to form the six-faced Muruga. Hence, He is called Karthikeya, which means the one brought up by the Karthigai fairies. In the evening of the Karthigai festival day, rows of oil lamps (Deepam) are lit up in every house and street.

Thiru Karthigai is celebrated in Sri Thendayuthapani Temple with religious activities, giving importance to Maha deepam and God Procession within the temple premises in the evening. Starting from early morning till noon, milk pots and Kavadis are offered to god. At around 12.00 noon, Maheswara Poojai is performed, which is followed by Anna Dhanam to devotees.

e) Ramayanam:

Ramayanam and Mahabaratham are the two great epics of India.

Ramayanam describes the duties of relationship and illustrates the character of an ideal Father, Servant, Brother, Wife and King. The name Ramayana is a combination of two words “Rama” and “ayana” (“Rama” is the hero and “ayana” the journey).

Ramayanam comprises of 24,000 verses in six chapters (Kandas). It narrates the story of Rama, who is regarded as an incarnation of the Hindu preserver God Vishnu. Rama’s wife Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, the King of Sri Lanka.

Ramayanam demonstrates the importance of human values, the concept of dharma and narrates the journey of Virtue to overwhelm evil.

Kamba Ramayanam was written in Tamil by the famous Poet Kambar, which was based on the Sanskrit version of Ramayanam originally written by Sage Valmiki.

Six Kandas (Chapters) of Ramayanam as follows:

# Bala Kanda ( “Bala” means “Childhood “ )
# Ayodhya Kanda ( Ayodhya, the capital city of King Rama’s dynasty )
# Aranya Kanda (“Aranya” means “Forest” )
# Kishkindha Kanda ( The Empire of Holy Monkeys)
# Sundara Kanda (“Sundara” means “beautiful,”)
# Yuddha kanda ( “Yudha” means “ War”)

For many centuries Nagarathars have been conducting Ramayanam recital at their homes during the Tamil month of “Purattasi”.

In Singapore, for many decades in the past, Ramayanam recital was conducted in traditional Kittangis (warehouse) and now it is conducted in Sri Thendayuthapani Temple for the last few years. It is performed every day between 7.00 to 8.00 PM during the Tamil month of “Purattasi” (September/October).

The highlights of the episodes as follows:

# Rama Jananam – The birth of King Rama
# Seetha Kalyanam – Wedding of Rama and Seetha
# Kanayali Koduthal – Submission of Rama’s ring as a proof to Seetha by Hanuman (messenger of Rama)
# Choodamani Koduthal – Submission of Seetha’s forehead brooch as a proof to Rama by Hanuman
# Bharathwajar Virundhu – Victory dinner
# Ramar Pattabishegam – Crowning of Rama
# Piriyaa Vidai – Farewell to dignitaries by King Rama, after his Coronation

f) Pradosham:

Pradosham occurs twice a month; one is during the Growing Moon phase and the other during the Waning Moon phase.
Pradosham signifies the meeting of the Sun and the Moon in a Horizontal Line during the course of their movement on their Axis.

Pradosham is an auspicious day to worship Lord Siva, his consort Goddess Parvathi and Shiva’s vehicle Nandi.

Sri Thendayuthapani temple conducts Pradosham prayer with abhisegham and swamy procession every fortnight by around 4.00 PM.

Sri Durgai Amman Thendayuthapani Temple

g) Pournami:

Pournami refers to the full moon day. The moon, called as Chandran, which is one of the Nava Grahas (Nine Planets), is regarded as a deity who blesses with prosperity and good health. Pournami occurs once in every month, usually a fortnight after Amavasai.

The Pournami, which occurs in the Tamil month of Chithirai (May), is considered of special significance and celebrated as Chitra Pournami by South Indians.

h) Maha Shivaratri:

Shivaratri is a festival which marks special importance to Lord Siva. It occurs once in every month, and the date depends upon the position of the planets. Not many people perform any special prayers on this day.

But specifically, Maha Shivaratri, which occurs in the month of Maasi February/Mach), is of great importance and is celebrated with great splendor by the devotees.

i) Karthigai – Monthly

This day refers to the Karthigai Nakshatram that occurs every month as per the Tamil Calendar. At Sri Thendayuthapani Temple, special seva and pooja are performed on this day and free lunch is served to the devotees at the Kalyana Mandapam.

On the evening of Karthigai day, a Swamy Procession in Peacock Vahanam is conducted within Sri Thendayuthapani premises.

Karthigai Nakshatram is considered the birth star of Sri Murugan and hence it is of great importance to him. If it occurs on a Monday in the month of Karthigai, it is considered highly auspicious, and the devotees observe fasts and special prayers to seek the blessings of God.

j) Guru Poojai:

“Guru”, as per Hindu religion, refers to a person with teaching skills, who is considered powerful and next to the almighty. A Guru should be treated with high regard, respect and dignity. At times, God himself manifests as Guru and people worship the Guru, which is called Guru Bhakti. Although he appears in human form, he is different from us.

What defines the word Guru?

Guru refers to that person, who removes the darkness of ignorance and provides light of wisdom. Lord Shiva is the supreme god of Hindus, who has the power to offer “Mukthi” to fellow human beings. “Mukthi” or salvation in Hindu religion means to attain the Almighty’s foot after the human being had his last breath.

Guru Poojai is observed as the day on which the Guru merges with Lord Shiva and attains “Mukthi”. Similarly, Guru Poojai is also observed as the day on which the 63 “Nayanmargal” of the Shaiva sect achieved “Mukthi” along with Lord Shiva.

Sage Arunagiriyar sings as “Guruvai Varuvai Arulvai Gugane” to highlight the significance of Guru Poojai. Sage Thirumoolar sang as follows in “ThiruManthiram”.

“Thelivu Guruvin Thirumeni Kandal
Thelivu Gurvin Thirunamam Seppal
Thelivu Gurvin Thiruvarthai Kettal
Thelivu Guruvai Sinthithal Thane”

Ancient sages have performed and promoted the worship of Guru Poojai to seek the blessing of God and corresponding Gurus. In Sri Thendayuthapani temple, Guru Poojas of 6 Gurus are performed every year.

On the Guru Pooja day, the Guru Pooja tradition is maintained by reciting the history of the corresponding Nayanmargal. The recital begins at 11.00 AM and concludes at 12.30 in noon. After the recital and deeparathanai, free food is served to all devotees.

Tamil MonthStarGuru
ChithiraiSadhayamThirunavukkarasu Nayanar Guru Poojai
VaigasiPoosamSekkizhar Guru Poojai
VaigasiMoolamThirugnanasambandar Guru Poojai
AaniMagamManickavasagar Guru Poojai
AadiSwathiSundra Moorthy Nayanar Guru Poojai
PanguniUthiramAandavar Guru Poojai

Koviloor Aandavar Guru Poojai:

During the 18th century, Muthu Ramalinga Gyana Desigar, popularly known as Koviloor Aandavar, included Nagarathars in religious activities. He was born in 1791 and Porul Vaitha Cheri Uganthalinga Swamigal was his Guru.

Muthu Ramalinga Gyana Desigar established the “Vedantha Madam” in Koviloor, which is located 3 Kms away from Karaikudi, the Chettinadu Area of Tamil Nadu in India. He preached Vedanta lessons to the passionate devotees of Shaiva sect. With the assistance of Nagarathars, he built a temple in Koviloor for “Lord Kotra Vaallegar and his consort Goddess Thiru Nellammai”.

Participation in the Koviloor temple construction activity encouraged Nagarathars to do more charitable activities and temple-related work.

Koviloor Aandavar could predict his final days much earlier and authorised Arunachala Gyana Desigar to maintain the temple. Koviloor Aandavar passed away in 1848. Nagarathars observe the “Koviloor Aandavar Guru Poojai” and they still continue divine services to God by establishing numerous temples, charitable and endowment activities and different forms of social services.

k) Amavasai:

Amavasai refers to the new moon day. The Moon, designated as Chandran, is one of the Nava Grahas (Nine Planets). It is regarded as a deity who showers blessings of prosperity and good health. Amavasai occurs once in every month, usually a fortnight after Pournami. The Amavasai known as Mahaliya Amavasai, celebrated in the Tamil month of Puratasi, is of special significance. It usually falls in September/October.

Fasting during Amavasai brings peace to the ancestors. It is considered auspicious to serve Annadhanam (free food) to Brahmins on this day.

m) Aaruthra Darisanam:

Lord Shiva was born on Thiruvathirai natchathiram (the star Thiruvathirai), popularly called as “Thiru”. It is believed that this star is larger, brighter and hotter than the Sun.

There are 27 stars that occur repeatedly every Tamil month. The Thiruvathirai star that occurs in the Tamil month of Margazhi and coincides with “Pournami Tithi” is worshipped as, “Aaruthra Darisanam”. On this day, Lord Shiva, who is also known as Natarajar or Nataraja Peruman, displayed his divine acts in the famous Tamil Nadu town of Chidambaram in front of the sages Vyakirapaathar and Pathanjali. This day is also celebrated as the divine birth of sages Thirugnanasambandar and Manickavasagar.

The day before the Thiruvathirai star, Lord Shiva visited Senthanar’s home in the guise of a Saint. Following the Tamil custom of feeding any guest, Senthanar offered Lord Shiva “Pittu” and “Kalzhie” (a kind of sweet and salted rice food). On the day of Thiruvathirai, Lord Shiva with his divine power blessed Senthanar, by the way of spilling the dance hall with “Pittu” and “Kalzhie”. Also, with his divine power, Lord Shiva damaged the Thiruvathirai chariot with a blessing that the chariot would move only after Senthanar’s visit and singing the “thiru pallandu”.

On this auspicious day of Margazhi Thiruvathirai, Sri Thendayuthapani Temple performs Abhishegam for Sri Natarajar, Sivakami Amman and Manickavasagar. A group procession of Sri Thendayuthapani Urchavar (in Peacock vehicle), Sri Natarajar, Sivakami Amman and Manickavasagar, is also conducted in the morning. To conclude the festivities, Thiruvathirai “Kalzhie” is distributed to all devotees as prasadam.

n) Navarathri:

In the month of October, the Navarathri festival is celebrated in the Temple with great passion and splendour. Navarathri and Vijayadasami festivals are celebrated over a period of ten days. Navarathri means nine nights and it is celebrated for the first nine days. The “Dassera” or “Vijayadasami” is on the tenth day of the festival. Dasha, in Sanskrit means ten.

In the celebration of the festival in Sri Thendayuthapani Temple, Lord Thendayuthapani (Murugan) is revered as the principal Deity. On the tenth day celebration of Vijayadasami, God Urchavar the idol, which is carried around, is placed on a Silver Horse and taken on a city procession. Before the procession begins, the chief priest sends arrows from his bow to all six directions around a banana tree, which symbolically represents the Lord killing the demon.

During the ten-day celebrations, God is beautifully adorned and placed in the Alangara Mandapam (Function Hall) that is situated within the temple premises.

Concerts are organized during the first nine days, which include Indian Carnatic music, Tamil music, Hindustani music, classical dance and religious songs performed on the stage in front of the Alangara Mandapam.

Brief Description of Everyday function:

Day 1:-

Rajangam: Raja literally means king and angam means parts. Hence Rajangam denotes king and his government. In this scene, Lord Murugan having a saintly look can be seen as a King holding scepter in his hand. He protects humankind with the six parts of his government viz., Army, Citizen, Finance, Ministry, Friendship and Defense.

Day 2:-

VennaiThazhi: This scene depicts the Lord as a human stealing butter and cheese from a shepherd’s house. Cheese denotes our clean and pure heart, which God desires from us.

Day 3 :-

Markandeyar: In this scene, Lord Murugan, like Lord Shiva, kicks Lord Yama (the God of Death) to protect Markandeyar. This is the representation of a story that shows that fate can be won by persistent mind and devotion. The story goes like this: When Markandeyar was performing Shiva pooja, Yama came in front of him. Seeing Yama, Markandeyar hugged the Shiva Linga and prayed Lord Shiva to protect him. Lord Shiva appeared before him and saved Markandeyar. It is believed that this incident took place at the holy place of Thirukkadaiyur in Tamil Nadu in India. People go to Thirukkadaiyur and worship Lord Shiva with a belief that they get his blessings for longevity.

Day 4:-

Venuganam: This scene shows Lord Murugan as Kannan, who plays the flute, which is a musical instrument made of a thin bamboo stick. All living beings including human, animals, birds and trees are seen spellbound by the music played by Lord Murugan.

Day 5:-

Kannappa Nayanar: Thinnappan was a hunter of the forest near Sri Kalahasti, and a true devotee of Lord Shiva. He prayed to Lord Shiva, prepared pork, tasted it and offered to God (Siva Lingam). On the sixth day, he saw bleeding on the Shiva Lingam. He removed his eyeballs and pasted on the Siva Lingam. Hence, Lord Shiva gave him the name Kannappan (Kann means eye). This demonstrates the devotion of a true devotee to God. Here Lord Murugan represents Lord Shiva.

Day 6:-

Oonjal: Lord Murugan appears as Mother Goddess who swings in the heart of true devotees. It reflects the situation of human beings who wander in between happiness and sorrow and find peace through prayer.

Day 7:-

Pittuku Mann Sumandal: When there was flood in the Vaigai River in Madurai, the king ordered every citizen to bring sand (mann) to construct a riverbank to control the flood. Lord Siva worked as a coolie (manual worker) for an old woman named Vandhi who sells Pittu (sweet rice flour). The old woman gave him pittu as wage for carrying out the king’s orders. However, he slept after eating. The king saw him sleeping and punished him by dismissing from work. Then, Lord Shiva gave a universal appearance to the king. Here Lord Murugan is represented as Lord Shiva.

Day 8:-

Kalinga Narthanam: Lord Kannan killed a devil Kalinga, a five-headed snake in the Yamuna River and danced on its hood. Here Lord Murugan represents Lord Kannan.

Day 9:-

Saraswathi Poojai: Saraswathi, the Goddess of knowledge, performs a prayer to Lord Siva.

Day 10:-

Vijayadasami: Vijayadasami denotes the day of Victory. Lord Muruga with bow and arrow is seen paraded on a silver horse. The Lord sends arrows to a banana tree from his bow, which represents killing the demon.

To view the Navarathri information in Tamil, please Click Here. Photographs of all the 10 days functions are available in Multimedia Gallery under Navarathri.

ST Temple Address:

Sri Thendayuthapani Temple,
15, Tank Road,
Singapore – 238065.
Phone Number: +65 – 6737 9393.

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