Thiruppugazh is a Maha Mantra, said Seshadri Swamigal. “Oh Arunagiri! Who else can compose a word of truth as beautifully as you” said Saint Thayumanavar. “Oh Thiru Porur Kumara, as your enchanting body is adorned with garlands composed by Arunagiri, I feel the fabulous fragrance from you.” said Chidambara Swamigal. Arunachala Reddiar said the songs of Thiruppugazh are so powerful that they would reverberate all over the world.
Matchless in its appeal, Thiruppugazh is an excellent work of devotion, a set of high moral and spiritual values and the gate-way to reach the Lotus Feet of Lord Muruga. The songs not only delight the heart, they enlighten the intellect, heal the disease, help us to overcome the mind and realize our true Self, paving the way for liberation from the illusions of the world. One line in Kandar Anubhuti very appropriately sums up the transformation it brings into our lives: “Oh Lord, you have swallowed the individuality in me and brought me the awareness of my unique natural Self: (Yaanakiya Enai Vizhungi Verum Thanai Nilai Ninrathu Tharparame)
Though Thiruppugazh was composed by Saint Arunagirinathar sometime around 15th century, for some unknown reasons, the songs of Thiruppugazh were lying scattered in some dark remote corner, unrecognized. Though some Thiruppugazh songs were rendered by Othuvars (temple singers) at different temples in Tamil Nadu, most of the songs were lying in manuscript form and palm leaves, unsung and unheard. While some of the songs like ‘Nada Vindhukaladhi Namo Nama’ could see the light of the day, the fact remained that for centuries, most of Thiruppugazh songs were lying in some remote shelves, probably yearning for someone to pick them up and bring to light.
But an emerald or diamond would shine wherever it is lying. Wherever it is, an emerald or Safire would be recognized one day or other. Thiruppugazh, composed by the blessings of Muruga for highlighting the glory of Muruga was not destined to remain under the shadow. Some years later, a great personality came to regain the pristine glory of Thiruppugazh. Another devotee came to retrieve the songs from their different locations, compile them and present them in an easy format. Another luminary came to give the songs the beauty of Carnatic Raga.
Though the Eternal Reality is one, in his song, (‘Or Uruvakiya’) Arunagirinathar said that the Brahman appears as three (Moovvathayinai), meaning thereby the manifestation as Brahma, the Creator, Vishnu, the Protector and Siva, the Destroyer. We find triads (Trimurthis), Sri Thyagaraja Bhagawathar, Shyama Saastrigal and Muthuswamy Deekshithar in the field of Carnatic music. We find triad of Sri Bhodendra Saraswathi Swamigal, Sridhara Ayyaval, Marudhanallur Sri Sadguru Swamigal in the field of Nama Sangeerthanam. Similarly, we find Trimurties in the field of Thiruppugazh also. They are Sri Sachidananda Swamigal, Sri Chengalvaraya Pillai and Guruji Sri A.S. Raghavan. We can find the life history of these three great men (Maha Purush) in the following pages.
During the Karthigai festival, the main lamp inside the Puja room is lit. Then another small lamp is also lit from the main lamp. This small lamp is carried outside and innumerable small lamps kept in front of the house are also lit and the whole area gets illuminated. Similarly, having learned from Guruji, one Anbar passes on the light of knowledge, talent, and skill to other students. Other students pick it up, become teachers themselves and pass on the Thiruppugazh culture to the whole community. New Delhi, the national capital of India also remained as Thiruppugazh capital. Delhi remained witness to many major Thiruppugazh events. The Uttara Swami Malai temple was the venue for many Thiruppugazh bhajans headed by Guruji. In the year 1975, 6th birth centenary celebrations of Arunagirinathar was held where a commemorative stamp of Arunagirinathar was released. In the year 2001, Arunagirinathar Aanmeega Peruvizha was held here. Recently, Thiruppugazh Anbargal, Delhi has organised the Golden Jubilee Year Celebration of Saint Arunagirinathar Ninaivu Vizha at Sri Swaminatha Swamy Temple at R.K. Puram. Major events were taking place outside Delhi too. In the year 2004, Valli Kalyanam was solemnised in the temple town of Palani in a spectacular manner. Devotees from all over India came down to participate in the event. It was a rejuvenating experience taking part in the Valli Kalyanam conducted by Guruji.
The Thiruppugazh culture gradually spread to different parts of the country and abroad. The Golden Jubilee celebration of Thirujppugazh was held at Bangalore on 19th July 2008 (see picture above). Perhaps, never before so many Anbargal congregated under one roof to witness such a grand spectacle. Perhaps, never before a Thiruppugazh event, as magnificent as this, was held before. While Sri K.N. Krishnamurthy welcomed the guests, Sri Senthil Thurvai rendered his special address. Guruji Sri Raghavan addressed the gathering and said that this is indeed a momentous and proud event for all Muruga devotees. “Let us follow the path shown by Sri Arunagirinatha Swamigal” he exhorted the audience. Sri R. Nagesh rendered the vote of thanks. Thiruppugazh Anbargal Mumbai has been rendering great service to highlight the glory of Thiruppugazh. Sri Bala Subramaniam, popularly known as Thiruppugazh Balu, has dedicated himself to the propagation of Thiruppuygazh in Mumbai. A disciple of Guruji Sri Raghavan, Sri Bala Subramaniam has been leading the Thiruppugazh movement with great enthusiasm. Known for his zeal and devotion, honours and awards were coming in search of him. Classes and recitals are held at Coimbatore regularly under the leadership of Sri N.V. Vaidyanathan.S R Subrahmanyan Ayyar and S Subbalakshmi have been spreading the message of ‘Thiruppugazh’ from Thiruvananthapuram. Dr Balu Iyer is doing great service b y conducting classes, maintaining websites that give meaning and explanation to Thiruppugazh songs. Similarly, the torch of Thiruppugazh is held high at many places like Kolkata, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Palakkad etc.
Thiruppugazh and Muruga worship go hand in hand. It is believed that Muruga worship is never complete without a Thiruppugazh rendering. When a description is given about a Muruga temple, quite often the temple is referred as one visited by saint Arunagirinthar. Muruga devotees and Thiruppugazh have become synonymous and the two are inseparable.
The history of Thiruppugazh dates back to several centuries. It came through different generations and would march through many generations here after. From the day Lord Muruga graced Arunagirinathar to sing, the Lord has been gracing many. The Lord has been lending voice to many. We pay our homage and obeisance to all those luminaries who highlighted the glory of Muruga and Thiruppugazh with great fervour and enthusiasm. In fact, it was the legacy built by them that we are able to cherish and pursue the way shown by Arunagirinathar. Saint Pamban Swamigal, Vaidyanatha Desikar, Poet Veera Raghava Mudaliar, Poet Sahaya Devar, Chidambara Munivar, Kandappa Desikar, Sri T.M. Krishnaswamy Iyer, Calcutta Thiruppugazh Mani Iyer, Sri Murugadas, Sri Krupananda Variyar etc. have propounded the doctrine of Thiruppugazh through various means like recitals, discourses, works etc. There were many others, who were no less devoted, no less enlightened, no less dedicated in championing the cause of Thiruppugazh. This page records the gratitude and reverence of all Muruga devotees to these saints and stalwarts. May the voice of Thiruppugazh be heard all over. May the Thiruppugazh culture spread the devotion to Muruga all over.
Visit the website: thiruppugazhanbargalmumbai.blogspot.com