View Full Version : Significance of the Panguni Uththiram-Siva Valipaadu

12th December 2007, 05:41 PM
Author - Virarajendra

Significance of the Panguni Uththiram Siva & Muruga Valipaadu

Among the many Siva Valipaaduhal coming in each month of a year and observed by the Tamil Saivites in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere, the one which falls in the Tamil month of Panguni (15th of March to 13th of April) is the "Panguni Uththaram" (also known as Panguni Uththiram) which is sacred to "God as Siva"

Uttaram is the twelfth natchaththiram (constellation), among the twenty seven natchaththirams in the Hindu astrological system. The Uththaram Natchaththiram which falls in the month of Panguni very often with the full moon day (Mulu Nilaa = Paurnami), is taken as the "Panguni Uththaram" Valipaadu day.

The "Panguni Uththaram" is essentially a Siva Valipaadu day celeberated in a big way in many Siva Temples in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere.

The mythical legend attached to the "Panguni Uththiram" is given by Katchiappa Sivaachariyar (early nineth century) of Kanchipuram – TamilNadu in his Kantha Puranam (in Tamil) which mentions that God Siva married Goddess Parvathi (Sakthi) on the Panguni Uththiram day in Himalayas.

Hence this day became a very holy day to the Saivaites, and the viratham held on this Panguni Uththiram day was also called as Kalyaanasunderer Viratham (or Kalyaana Viratham).

The Himavaan (Imagiri purakkum Mannan - king of Himalayas) met God Siva at Mount Kailash (Velli Ongalin – pani padarnththa ongiya Kailaya malai), and gave consent to give his daughter Parvathi in marriage to God Siva and invited him for the ceremony on that day being a very auspicious day of Panguni Uththaram, and returned to his abode.

The reference to same is as follows:

“Eengu ithu kaalai thannil Imagiri purakkum mannan
paangu uru amararhalodum parivodum sendru Velli Oangalin anthi uyppa uyirkku uyiraana Annal puung kalal vanangi" nintru aangu inaiyana pukalutran”

“Aathiyil ulakam ellam alithidum annai thannai
kaathalin vathuvai seiyya karuthinaikanitha noolor
othu Panguniyin thingal Uttaram intreyaakum
Ithu nan muhuuththam enthai Imayamel varuthi entraan”

“Al ural kanda enthai arasanai noakiyin pinne
ellaiyil kanangkal suula Imayam mel varuthu munnam
selluthi entralodum thiruvadi vanangi pottri
ellaiyin meendum poi than vala nagar irutkai pukkaan”

Kanthapuraanam – by Katchiappa Sivachariyaar, Varai punai padalam, verses 34, 35 & 36

Further reference to the significance of this marriage is also given in Kanthapuraanam as, “......the truth being evident that for the purpose of salvation of the World that God Siva was married Parvathi…..” which is indicated as follows:

“Ulakam uyinththida em piraan manam puri unmai pulan athalum avan arun muraiyinai pottri
maliyum vimitham pathimai perumitha mahilchchi palavum munthida Kayilai yai muniniye padarvaar”

Kanthapuraanam – by Katchiappa Sivachariyaar, Kanangal sel padalam, verse 3

For this reason Panguni Uthiram day is also known as Kalyanasunderar Viratham (or Kalyana Viratham).

The earliest known reference to this Valipaadu is found in the Tamil Thirumuraihal. The first reference is noted in a Thevara Pathikam of one of the four great Tamil Saiva Saints (Nayanmars) of Tamil Nadu, namely the Saint Thirugnanasambanthar of the mid seventh century around the period of the Pallava king Mahendravarman – 1 {A.D.615-A.D.630}.

Hence it is clear that this worship probably came down for many years, from a time long before this period.

The Saint Thirugnanasambanthar has sung a Thevara pathikam (pathikam - a collection of ten verses) in the name of God Siva at Kapaaleechcharam Temple at Myilaapur. In this pathikam a verse refers to the "Panguni Uttaram" Valipaadu which was conducted in a big way at this Temple during his time.

The verse under reference is as follows:

”Mali vilaa veethi madanallaar maaamyilai
kali vilaa kandaan Kapaaleechcharam amarththaan
pali vilaa paadal seiPanguni Utthiram naal
oli vilaa kaanaathe pothiyo poompaavai”

2nd Thirumurai – pathikam 47 – verse 7

The second reference to Panguni Uththiram is seen in a Thevara Pathikam of the Tamil Saiva Saint Thirunavukkarasar of the same period of Tamil Nadu.

He refers to Naminanthi Adigal Nayanar who lit lamps at temples with water, being one of the sixty three Tamil Saiva Saints of Tamil Nadu mentioned in the Periya Puraanam (In Tamil), by Seikkeelar of Kottravankudi – TamilNadu of the period of the Chola king Kulothungan – 2 {A.D.1133-A.D.1150}

The verse under reference is as follows:

“Aaraainthu adi thondar aanippon Aarur ahaththu adakki Paaruur pari patththam Panguni Uththiram part paduththaan Aarur narumalar Nathan adi thondan NambiNanthi Neeraal thiru vilakku ittamai nee nadariyummantre”

4th Thirumurai – pathikam 102 – verse 2

In the above verse Nami Nanthi Adigal is referred to as Nambi Nanthi.

This narration is confirmed by Periyapuraanam in the chapter Naminanthi Adigal Nayanaar Puraanam and there too is a reference to the Panguni Uththiram.

It states that in the village called Eamapperur near Thiruvaarur there lived a Saiva Sage by the name Naminanthi Adigal. He one day conducted poosaihal to Puttridam konda Punithar probably a Sivalinga near an anthill (puttru), and then moved to a temple closeby known by the name Araneri.

Here on that day he wished to prey to the deity at this temple by lighting as many lamps as possible. But as the daytime was waning and with the coming of the evening, he thought the night would fall by the time of his return from long distance fetching for ghee. So he went to the nearby house and asked for ghee for this purpose. But it happened to be a Jain’s house who refused same and insulted him, and asked to light the lamp with water.

He felt very sad, and returned to the Araneri Sivan temple, and intensely prayed placing himself in prostrate. Then a he heard a vaakku saying “you leave you sadness and go to the nearby pond and collect water and use it to light lamps continuously”.

Naminanthi Adigal greatly taken up with same went to the pond reciting the name of Siva brought water and lit all the lamps to the amazement of everyone.This he continued for many days and the news spread far and wide from Thiruvaaruur.

The then Chola king hearing of same and the Siva thondu of Naminanthi Adigal gave donations for him to develop the anthill shrine and as the chief to conduct reguler religious rituals as per Saiva Agamas. Naminanthi Adigal then requsted the king for assistance as he wished to conduct festivals connected with the God Siva's Thiruvilayadalhal (miracle) and also the Panguni Uthiram festival in a grand way at the temple of Thiruvaroor.

Like wise the Panguni Uththiram festival thereafter was conducted yearly in a elaborate way at the Thiruvaroor temple. Naminanthi Adigal too was latter proclaimed as one of the sixty three Tamil Saiva Saints of TamilNadu.

The verse under reference is as follows:

“Ventri Vidaiyaar Mathi Sadaiyaar Veethi Vidanga Perumaal thaam entrum Thiruvaarur aalum eyalpin muraimai thiruvilaiyatu ontrum seyalum Panguni UthThiram anth thirunaal uyar sirappum nintru vinnappam seitha padi seitharulum nilai petrar"

Periyapuraanam – Naminatnthiyadigal Naanar Puraanam verse 20

Also refer verses 19 & 21

In addition to the above there is a further reference to Panguni Uththiram found in the Seikkeelar’s Periyapuraanam. He in continuation of the history of the Tamil Saiva Saint Sundermoorthy Nayanar in the chapter Eayerkone Kalikkaamar Puraanam, mentions that Paravaiyar the wife of the Saint Sunderamoorthy Nayanaar when they were in Thiruvarur, with the nearing of the Panguni Uththiram day wished to participate in this festival by providing the Sivanadiyars all what they required to their heart’s content, and needed much gold for same.

To meet this need of his wife Paravaiyaar, the Saint Sunderamoorthy Nayanaar went to the shrine at Thiruppuhalur and worshipoed the presiding God Siva. Even after pleading by worship and not getting the gold, and on he feeling very sleepy without going to the nearby Thirumadams (pilgrims rest) wished to sleep in the temple frontage along with other pilgrims.

He obtained some burnt sand bricks which were kept outside for the renovation of the temple, and arranged them high over which he placed his white silk cloth and slept. When he later arose from sleep he was astonished to see that these brick stones have turned into bricks of gold.

He praised the God Siva at Thiruppuhalur with the Thevarap pathikam commencing as "Thammaiye pukalnththu" and thereafter with the gold bricks he visited Thiruppanaiyur where God Siva gave vision in his dancing form to Saint Sunderar. On seeing this vision Saint Suderer fell prostrate and worshipped and sang the pathikam “Arangaada valaar avare alagiyare”, and thereafter he with some pilgrims of Thiruppanaiyur carrying the gold bricks returned to Thiruvaroor. He sent the gold bricks to his wife Paravaiyar’s house, and went along with some Sivanadiyar straight to Thiruvaaroor temple.

The verse under reference is as follows:

“Seri pun Sadaiyaar Thiruvarur Thiru Panguni Uththira thirunaal kuruka varalum Paravaiyar kodaikku vilaavil kuraivarukka nirayum pon kondanaivathatku ninainththu Nambi Thirupukaloor Iraivar paatham paniya eluntharuli sendru angu eithinaar"

Periyapuraanam – Eayar kon Kaikkaamar puraanam – verse 46

The balance story of the above to be seen in the verses from 47 to 55

The traditions of celebrating the "Panguni Uththiram festival" in a big way at the Thiruvaaroor temple continued for many years thereafter from the time of "Naminanthi Adigal" of around fourh or fifth century. In many other Siva Temples too the Panguni Uttiram was celeberated in a very elaborate way every year.

An Inscription in the Thiruvottriyur Siva Temple records that in the nineth year (A.D.1172) of the Chola king Rajadhirajadeva – 2 (A.D. 1163-A.D.1178) the Panguni Uttiram festival was celeberated in the sub shrine of Padam Pakkadevar and the king Rajadhirajadeva was present on this occasion along with religious dignitaries namely Chathurana Pandithar and Vaagiswara Pandithar along with many others were hearing to the recitation of the Puraanam of Aludai Nambi, that is the chapter Naminanthi Adigal Puraanam of Periya Puraanam.

South Indian Shrines – by P.V.Jagadisa Ayyar, page 45

Another Inscription in the Thiruvottriyur Siva Temple records that in the twenty eigth year (A.D.1026) of the Chola Emperor Rajadhirajadevar – 1 (A.D.1018-A.D.1054) a gift of money for special offerings on the day following the festival of Panguni Uttiram.

South Indian Shrines – by P.V.Jagadisa Ayyar, page 52

In an Inscription at the Melaikoyil rock cut shrine at Kudumiyanmalai (suggested to be around 11th century), from which we note the Panguni Uttaram festival has been celebrated in this temple for seven days. Gold has been donated for burning lamp and feeding five Priests during this seven days.

South Indian Inscriptionss – Vol XVII, page 349

Another Inscription in this same temple states one lady named Pattam-Pidari donated Gold for feeding twenty Priests during this seven days festival of Panguni Uththiram.

South Indian Shrines – by P.V.Jagadisa Ayyar, page 163

The ten days "Panguni Uttaram Festival" is being celeberated at the "Kapaaleeswarer Temple, Chennai - TamilNadu", with the "Arupaththu Moovar - Thiruvilaa" celeberated with religious rituals and the Statues of the - 63 - "Tamil Saiva Saints" mainly of Tamil Nadu and few of Kerala (of the period A.D.250 to A.D.1100) being conducted around in a festival procession.

The annual temple Thiruvilaa at the "Kanchipuram Ekambareswarer Temple too takes place on these days.

Panguni Uththiram is also a holy day for Murugan worship and celeberated in a big way in the Murugan temples in Tamil Nadu especially Palani and in the "Arupadai Veedu Thalangal". In many Siva and Murugan temples annual Thiruvilaa is celeberated for 10 days ending on the Panguni Uththiram day.

A further study on this Siva Valipaadu day is to be made on a subsequent occasion.

18th December 2007, 10:13 PM

Can you please some information on ThiruVenpavai??

is it Not Festival dedicated to Maheshwar??


20th December 2007, 12:09 AM
Dear Raghu

A detailed Thread titled the Significance of Markali Thiruvathirai in line with the other two Threads of mine titled (1) Significance of Masi Maham and (2) Significance of Panguni Uththiram - presently appearing in this Web page will be posted two months later. A Thread titled the Significance of Thai Poosam too will appear very soon in this Web Site. Other titles in this series will appear couple of months later in this same website.

In the meantime I present below very briefly on the "Thiruvempaavai" (Markali Thiruvaathirai) as requested by you.
The month of Markali (from December 15th to January 15th) signifies the dawn of the Munpani Kaalam (early misty period), with the blowing of very cold breeze during the entire period.

It has been a practice in the ancient Tamil Nadu in the month of Markali - ten days before the day of the Natchatthiram the Thiruvaathirai, for the young (unmarried girls) to get up early in the morning before the sunrise and to purify - themselves with a bath in a river, and their minds free from impure thoughts, and go the temple of God Siva in groups, and offer their prayers of worship, requesting the God Siva to bless them with their future life partners - to be of kind hearted, good natured, understanding and providing love and care to them throughout their life time. This period of ten days worship ends with the tenth day falling on the Thiruvathirai Natchathiram day, mostly falling in conjunction with the full moon day which is said to be the very auspicious day to God Siva. The ten days of holy bath and intense worship to God Siva was known as the "Markali Neeradal" a practice which originated and was practiced in many regions in Tamil Nadu from the very early days.

Among the four foremost Tamil Saiva Saints of Tamil Nadu, the Saint Maanikkavaasagar during his time while on his way worshipping the holy temple Shrines of God Siva in Tamil Nadu came to the Thiruvannaamalai Temple Shrine during the month of Markali. There he saw many young girls getting up early morning and also waking up the other young girls in their neighbourhood, and going in groups to have the holy bath in the river, and to the worship of God Siva at the Thiruvannaamalai Temple.

For the Saint Manikkavaasagar who went shrine by shrine in Tamil Nadu worshipping God Siva singing holy verses of divine praise, this "Markali Neeradal" by young girls appeared as a new theme for his divine songs in praise of God Siva.

From the time these divine songs were sung by Saint Maanikkavaasagar which was titled as "Thiruvenpaavai Paadalkal", became the vogue thereafter to be sung in all Siva Temples and Religious Institutions during the ten days of worship in Markali prior to Thiruvaathirai Natchaththiram, and the name "Markali (river) Neeradal" gradually lost it's significance and it became to be known as the "Thiruvenpaavai Religious Festival" with Markali Neeradal in rivers, gradually turning into the Neeradal at their respective homes in the modern age.

The Vaishnavaite Thiruppaavai religious festival, also celerberated in the Month of Maarkali have the same significance, and the theme of the "Thiruppaavai Padalkal" sung by the Vaishnavite Tamil Saint Andal on God Vishnu too was based on the same theme of "Markali Neeradal" by young girls and the worship being done in the Vishnu Temples in Tamil Nadu.

18th March 2008, 08:57 PM
The ten days "Panguni Uttaram Festival" is being celeberated at the Kapaaleeswarer Temple, Chennai - TamilNadu, with the "Arupaththu Moovar - Thiruvilaa" being celeberted today (the 18th March) with religious rituals and the Statues of the 63 - "Tamil Saiva Saints" mainly of Tamil Nadu and few of Kerala (of the period A.D.250 to A.D.1100) being conducted around in a festival procession.

One among these 63 - Tamil Saiva Saints was the "Cheraman Perumal Nayanaar" who was the king of Kerala (A.D.820-844) - the former Chera country, with it's capital at "Mahothai (or Mahothayapuram) - the present Kodungallur" of Thiruchur Region of Kerala. (For more information on Cheraman Perumal Nayanaar - refer my other Thread in this same Forumhub titled "The Medieval Chola Empire and it's relations with Kerala"

10th April 2009, 08:46 AM
Brought forward in view of the Panguni Uththaram festival falling on the 8-4-2009

4th February 2010, 10:27 PM
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