THAMIRABARANI MAHA PUSHKARAM
2018 – Oct. 23, 2018)
The Pushkara festival is the festival which takes place
in the river associated to the Rasi, whenever Guru Bhagwan transits from one
Rasi to another, every year. This year
the Pushkaram that occurs in October 2018 is called Maha Pushkaram, as all the
zodiac signs are aligned which occurs once in 144 years.
Legend has it that Pushkara who resides in the kamandal of Brahma, who is the Lord of three and half crore rivers (holy rivers), enters the river associated to the Rasi for 12 days, during that time Guru Bhagwan transits from one Rasi to the next. It is believed that Guru Bhagwan transits from Thula Rasi (12-10-2018) to Vrichiga Rasi.
As Lord Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Devas and Rishis reside in the rivers during the holy period of Pushkara, bathing in the rivers is considered very auspicious and gives us the benefit of having taken bath in the three and half crore holy rivers and by performing various charities like feeding the cow, poor, donating clothes etc, paves way for our liberation.
Performing tarpana (offering of water and sesame) and rituals to the deceased forefathers after taking bath during this holy period of Pushkara, will remove curses, if any, of the forefathers and help in leading a happy life.
At the end of Kaliyuga, it is believed that Bhagwan Vishnu will take the avatar of Kalki. HE will be born to a brahmin Vishnu SS, on the banks of the river Thamirabarani.
STORY OF THAMIRABARANI:
King Daksha Prajapathi was a noble king. He had a daughter, Dakshyani. Once Dakshyani commits a sin and Lord Shiva gets very angry. To rectify, the King performs a yagam.
It is said that Dakshyani was reborn as Parvathi, as the daughter Himavan (mountain king). She prays to Goddess Parashakthi as she wants to marry Lord Shiva. Goddess Parashakthi is pleased with her devotion and blesses Parvathi that her wish will be fulfilled and also gives her a lotus garland and says, with this garland all auspicious things will happen to the world. All arrangements are being made for the marriage of Parvathi to Lord Shiva.
Sage Agasthyar with HIS consort Lopamudra arrive to the wedding. All the Devas, Sages and everyone assemble on the northern side to witness the celestial wedding. The earth could not hold the weight on the northern side and starts to tilt. The southern side moves up. Lord Shiva askes Sage Agasthyar and Lopamudra to go to the southern side and blesses them that they will be able to see the celestial marriage of Parvathi to Lord Shiva. The lotus garland given by Goddess Parashakthi to Parvathi was used in the garland exchange. Lord Shiva takes the lotus garland from HIS neck and hands it to Sage Agasthyar . The garland transforms into a beautiful girl and was named Thamirabarani because of her colour and lotus flower.
Lord Shiva blesses her that at an appropriate time she will change into river Thamirabarani and good things will happen and asked Sage Agasthyar to take her with him. Sage Agasthyar goes to Podigai mountain with Thamirabarani . She becomes a river, originating from Podigai mountain (Gupta Sriragam cave). She flows for a long distance with the names Poorva Vahini and Uthara Vahini until she reaches northern Thiruchendur (Jayanthipuram), where she divides into three and flows as three holy rivers in holy places, where there are many Shiva and Vishnu temples, particularly Nava Kailasam and Nava Thirupathi.
Special feature of Thamirabarani is that Namazhvar’s body came out of this river. It originates and joins the ocean in the same district.
It is recommended that people belonging to Kanya, Mithuna, Vrichigam, Mesha, Danusu and Meena Rasi’s must perform pariharams during this pushkaram. It is emphasized that one should take a dip in the river Thamirabarani and offer Dhanam (donate) as per one’s ability.
The Thamirabarani pushkaram will take place at Kurukuthurai in Tirunelveli district, where Goddess Gandhimadhi Amman samedha Lord Nellaippar resides along with Lord Muruga and Goddess Anandavalli Amman.
Importance of Pushkaram - Translation of the above article
In India, Pushkaram is being celebrated as a big festival. A Purana story is also narrated regarding this.
Guru Bhagavan, one of the Navagrahas (nine planets), undertook a hard penance towards Lord Brahma. Pleased by his penance, Brahma appeared before him. He asked Guru Bhagavan, “What do you want?” Replying His query, Guru Bhagavan answered, “I want only your Pushkaram”. As per his wish, Brahma agreed to offer His Pushkaram to Guru Bhagavan. But Pushkaram refused to part with Brahma and go to Guru Bhagavan. Feeling embarrassed by this, Brahma made a Truce of Peace between Pushakaram and Guru Bhagavan. According to it, Pushkaram, when in Mesha Rasi (in the river Ganga), in Rishabha Rasi (in the river Narmada), in Mithuna Rasi (in Saraswathi river), in Kataka Rasi (in the river Yamuna), in Simha Rasi (in Godavari), in Kanni Rasi ( in Krishna river), in Thula Rasi (in the river Cauvery), in Vrischiga Rasi (in Tamirabarani in the south and in Beema river in the north), during Dhanusu Rasi (in Sindhu river), In Makhara Rasi (in Thungabatra river), in Kumbha Rasi ( in Brahma river) and in Meena Rasi ( in Praneetha river) as and when Guru Bhagavan undertakes a Peyarchi (move) to a particular Rasi, the Pushkaram will also stay there during that time. An agreement was made that at this time, Muppathu Mukkodi Devas including Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Indra will come and reside in that particular river.
It is believed that to take a holy dip in the twelve rivers mentioned above during the time of Guru Bhagavan entering the particular Rasi is equivalent to taking bath in all the holy rivers of India.
As Guru Bhagavan is entering Vrischiga Rasi on the forthcoming October 12, 2018, Pushkaram is being celebrated in the River Tamirabarani in the south. Also, the Tamirabarani Pushkaram that is going to be celebrated this year is the Tamirabarani Maha Pushkaram which happens once in One hundred and forty four years.
This Tamirabarani Maha Pushkaram is being celebrated this year beginning from 2018 October 12, till 23 October 2018.