5th August 2008, 10:57 PM
Author - Virarajendra
Briefly on the Significance of Thiruvempaavai & Thiruppaavai Religious Festivals
The month of Maarkali (usually around 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 among the Saivites (Saiva Samayaththavar) of the ancient Tamil Nadu in the month of Markali - for 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 purify themselves with a holy bath in the river, and with their minds with auspicious thoughts, to go to Siva Temples in groups.
There they offer their Prayers of worship, to God Siva requesting him to bless them with good - "future life partners" who are 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 Thiruvaathirai 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 by young girls to God Siva was known as the Maarkali Neeraadal also referred to as Paavai Noanbu - a religious practice that existed in Tamil Nadu from the early Sangam periods.
(Note): The practice of "Maarkali Neeraadal" in Tamil Nadu from the very earliest times, will be dicussed in detail in my forthcoming new Thread titled "The significance of Maarkali Thiruvaathirai Siva Valipaadu" in this same Website
The Tamil Saiva Saint Maanikkavaasakar (A.D.285-317) among the four foremost Tamil Saiva Saints of Tamil Nadu - (during his time) while on his way worshipping the holy temple Shrines of God Siva in Tamil Nadu, came to the Thiruvannaamalai Temple during the month of Maarkali. 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 for worship of God Siva at the Thiruvannaamalai Temple.
For Saint Manikkavaasagar who went shrine by shrine in Tamil Nadu worshipping God Siva singing holy verses of divine praise in Tamil, this "Maarkali Neeraadal" by the Tamil Saivite young girls at Thiruvannamalai appeared as a "new theme" for his divine songs in praise of God Siva which he composed, and was known as the "Thiruvempaavai Paadalkal"
The devotion of Tamil Saiva Saint Maanikkavaasakar towards Thiruvannamalai is reflected in the following Video - CourtesyTube
From the time these divine songs were sung on God Siva by Saint Maanikkavaasagar became the vogue thereafter and was sung in all Siva Temples and Religious Institutions during the ten days of worship in Maarkali prior to Thiruvaathirai Natchaththiram.
However the name "Maarkali (river) Neeradal" gradually lost it's significance and it became to be known as the Thiruvempaavai Valipaadu with Maarkali Neeraadal in rivers gradually turning into the Thiruvempaavai Neeraadal at their respective homes in the modern age - in the cities, while the bath in the rivers being still in vogue in the villages.
The complete set of Paadalkal of the "Tamil Thiruvenpaavai" by "Saivite Saint Maanikkavaasakar" - Courtesy YouTube :
The Full Text of the Tamil Saiva - Thiruvempaavai Paadalakal :
The Vaishnavites (Vainava Samayaththavar) of the ancient Tamil Nadu also celebrated in the month of Maarkali the Maarkali Neeraadal also known as Paavai Noanbu having the same significance as Thiruvembaavai. The Tamil Vaishnavite Saint Aandaal (nineth century A,D.) of Tamil Nadu inspired by the Maarkali Neeraadal (Paavai Noanbu) performed by the Tamil Vaishnavite young girls at the Sri Villippuththuur Temple of Tamil Nadu of her time, sang the "Thiruppaavai Paadalkal" on God Vishnu based on this same theme of "Markali Neeraadal" (Paavai Noanbu).
However the name "Maarkali (river) Neeraadal" gradually lost it's significance and it became to be known as the Thiruppaavai Valipaadu with Maarkali Neeraadal in rivers gradually turning into the Thiruppaavai Neeraadal at their respective homes in the modern age - in the cities, while the bath in the rivers being still in vogue in the villages.
The complete set of Paadalkal of the "Tamil Thiruppaavai" by "Vaishnavite(Vainava) Saint Aandaal" - Courtesy YouTube :
Part - 1
Part - 2
The Full Text of the Tamil Vainava Thiruppaavai Paadalkal :
The Vaishnava Temple at Sri Villippuththuur where Saint Aandaal sang the "Thiruppaavai" Paadallkal
- Courtesy Arun Kanth / You Tube
The Jains (Samana Samayaththavar) of early Tamil Nadu too celeberated this "Paavai Noanbu" festival having the same significance, and the "Samanar - Thiruvempaavai Paadalkal" in Tamil composed by Tamil Jain Saint Athivirothinathar (tenth century A.D.) on the Jain Theerththangkarar (different to what was composed by the Tamil Saiva Saint Maanikkavaasakar) also based on the same theme of "Maarkali Neeraadal" (Paavai Noanbu) performed by the Tamil Jain young Girls of his period.
However the name "Maarkali (river) Neeraadal" gradually lost it's significance and it became to be known as the Samanar - Thiruvempaavai Valipaadu with Maarkali Neeraadal in rivers gradually turning into the Thiruvempaavai Neeraadal at their respective homes in the modern age - in the cities, while the bath in the rivers being still in vogue in the villages.
A Paadalhal from Jain Thiruvempaavai :
The Full Text of the Tamil Samana - Thiruvempaavai Paadalakal : [url]
The Maarkali Neeraadal (Paavai Noanbu) has thus been a common "Tamil Practice" that existed among the Saivite & Vaishnavite religious groups of Tamil Nadu from the second Sangam period, and among the Samanar (Jains) from the late third Sangam period .
Last edited by virarajendra; 17th December 2013 at 07:53 PM.
5th August 2008 10:57 PM
6th September 2008, 09:40 PM
The Jains also did the paavai nonbu..this paavai nonbus happened since the sangam era itself..dunno when it started..but in the bhagavatam, the gopis who yearned for Krishna did a prayer similar to this paavai nonbu, for Goddess Durga..
~~I can please only one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow isn't looking good either.~~
7th September 2008, 02:11 AM
Re-Edited - Mr Janar trust same is of interest to you
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