Published:04 Nov 2019 7 PMUpdated:04 Nov 2019 7 PM Sakti Vikatan
சக்தி கொடு! - 15 Give Sakthi - 15
சக்தி விகடன் டீம் Sakthi Vikatan Team
ஐப்பசி நீராடல்! Aippaci River Bathing!
வி.ஆர்.சுந்தரி Authoress: V. R. Sundari
1. Tirukkural, verse 20. -Nīr iṉṛi amaiyāthu ulaku- says and means that the world will not survive without water. Spiritual texts do not forego mention of the absolute need for water. ‘Water, without which the world will not function:’ Valluvar impresses on us the importance of water. Tirukkuraḷ Verse298 as below.
 2. Before you bath in the river or the lake, remove three handfuls of mud, cast it on the bank, and then only should take a bath, said the injunctions in the sacred texts. I have seen people in the past generation do this. If that good deed continued, there is no need to hire laborers to dredge a river, a lake, or a well.
3. Alright! We know now about our ancestors taking ritual immersion and bathing in the sacred rivers. We now investigate the meritorious era they took ritual baths in the rivers. ‘The merit received by a devotee for one instance of bathing in Kāviri river in the Thulā month, according to the saying of the Ṛṣis, is equal to what he will earn by daily bathing in the Ganges river for 60,000 years.
Note: Thulā month = Aippaci = mid-October to mid-November
4. Alright! We saw how our ancestors took a bath. Now let us look at their meritorious era.
‘The merit received by a devotee for one instance of bathing in Kāviri river in the Thulā month, according to the saying of the Ṛṣis, is equal to what he will earn by daily bathing in the Ganges river for 60,000 years.
Note: Thulā month = Aippaci = mid-October to mid-November
5. Thulā month is Aippaci. There is no need to have a precise time, day, date, and year for bathing in the Kāviri river. The spiritual texts say Thulā Śnāṉam (bathing in the Kāviri river in Aippaci month) is superior. Reason: Such great merit goes with Thulā month of Aippaci.
6. Though you may not bath in the Kāviri river for 29 days, you must bath in the river at least on the last day of the month. A great merit, you will accrue.
7. ‘Thulā Śnāṉam’: Why did it acquire such importance?
8. Kaṇva Muṉi with a desire to bath in the Ganges river, was on his way. On his path, he saw the blackest of black girls were walking ahead of him.
9. Seeing the girls, the Muṉi enquired with sympathy, “Who are you? Why this guise?” The girls gave their answer.
10. The girls spoke. “O Great Ṛṣi! We are the river goddesses like Ganges, Yamuna, and Sarasvati. We are a huge contingent. A multitude of people bath in us to remove their sins. We turned into these cruel-looking beings because of accretion of sins of others. We scrub and clean the souls of others and free them of their sins. We have not done the same to our souls and bodies, laden with other people's sins, and so we are on the way to the Ganges river to cleanse ourselves.”
11. Yes! All the sacred rivers, including River Gaṅgā, take the sins of the bathers and dispose of them in Kāviri in the month of Thulā.
12. Not just them alone. Devas, Muṉis, the seven virgins, and others go to Kāviri in the month of Thulā and do the bathing. Bathing in the Kāviri river in Thulā-Aippaci (= Mid-October to Mid-November) brings a mother lode of merits. Those unable to bath all 30 days in the month must at least do the bathing on the last day.
13. Thulā Śnāṉam is ritual bathing of two kinds, spoken of as the celebratory baths. Kaṭai-muḻukku is bathing in the Kāviri river the day after the last day of Aippaci. Let us look at muṭavaṉ-muḻukku now. 
கடைமுழுக்கு = Kaṭai-muḻukku = Bathing in the Kāviri at Mayavaram, on the day after the last day of Aippaci.   கடை (Kaṭai)  +   முழுக்கு  (muḻukku) = End  +  Bathing.
( முடவன்முழுக்கு = Bath in the river Kāviri on the first day of Kārttikai), is meritorious as a bath on kaṭai-mukam day.   முடவன்முழுக்கு = முடவன் +  முழுக்கு = Disabled person  +  Bathing ( the literal meaning.)
14. There is an extraordinary tidbit about Kaṭai-muḻukku preceding the muṭavaṉ-muḻukku. A disabled person had a penchant for doing the Māyūram Thulā ritual bathing, having heard of its greatness. Immediately he left on his journey. He could not walk fast.
15. The disabled person began his pilgrimage at the birth of the month. He walked ever so slow that when he reached Māyūram, it was the end of Aippaci month. Yes, he took 30 days to walk the distance, and the first day of the month of Kārttikai was upon him. He thought all was lost.
16. The disabled person grieved and moped. Saying, “OMG! What kind of holy drama is this? It took me, your servitor, the whole Thulā month before I came here. Because I came here one day late, I could not dispose of my heavy bag of sins.
17. Tirumurai says, “O God, you know what all I need. O God, you are capable of giving what all I want.” Yes, that saying came true there. Śivaperumāṉ answered that servitor’s lamentation.
18. Śivaperumāṉ: “Bakthā! Don’t worry. Immersion and bathing in the Kāviri river on the first day of Kārttikai bring benefits.” God loosened the rule of fate for pure servitor.
19. That servitor, thinking of Śivaperumāṉ’s mercy, sang with the melting of his soul and took the immersion in the river.
20. The first day of the month of Kārttikai has a special mention as muṭavaṉ-muḻukku.
21. Among us, many have no physical handicaps, though hardships and the resulting sorrows cause distress to the mind. Those sorrows will not leave us without the grace of God, said the elders.
22. With supplication to God, we go to Māyūram, do the ritual Thulā bathing, and remove all our sorrows. God grants us his grace.
23. Our ancestors have instructed us in multiple ways the pride of place for the water, the greatness of large bodies of water, their maintenance, the godliness, and the sanctity of water.
24. Let us realize, endeavor, and attain spiritual heights.
- Will grow and thrive.
Suprapadam even for Oppiliyappaṉ!
1. Śrī Oppiliyappaṉ sacred temple’s location is at Tiruviṇṇakaram 7 km. south of Kumbakonam in Tañjai district.
2. Of 108 Tirupati’s (Tivviya-tēcam, Viṇṇakaram or viṣṇu-gṛha), Viṇṇakarams are six. Oppiliyappaṉ temple is one of them. The others are Śīrāma Viṇṇakaram (Śīrāma Viṣṇugraha), Arimēya Viṇṇakaram, Vaikunta Viṇṇakaram, Nantipuram Viṇṇakaram, and Paramēccura Viṇṇakaram.
Notes: விண்ணகரம். viṇṇakaram =  viṣṇu-gṛha. 1. Temple of Viṣṇu. 2. Oppili-y-appaṉkoil, a place sacred to Viṣṇu, in the Tanjore district; tivviya-tēcam = Viṣṇu shrines sung by Āḻvārs. tivviya-tēcam = Divya Desam. 
Śrī Oppiliyappaṉ
3. Purāṇas state that Emperumāṉ (Śrī Oppiliyappaṉ) gave Darsan or live appearance of himself to Garuda, Kāviri, Dharma Devathai, Mārkkaṇḍēyar, and others. It is well-known to all that here only salt-free (No addedd salt) food is offered to Śrī Oppiliyappaṉ. (No, Oppiliyappaṉ does not suffer from high blood pressure. It is not a restricted diet!) This temple has unique features.
4. As for Tirupati Śrī Vēṅkatāchalapathy, Oppiliyappaṉ has his own special Suprapātham. The author was Śrīrāmadesikācchārya Swāmigaḷ. The devotees, who worship Emperumāṉ with Tulsi (Sacred Basil Leaf), obtain the same benefits with performing Aśvamēdha Yāgam (Horse sacrifice). The tradition states that every step to the temple taken by the perambulating devotees earns merit.
By K. Kirtana, Muciri

If you like this article, please applaud the writer.
GMS15ThulaSnanam                                                        RGB: 204-204-255