5th August 2008, 10:57 PM
Author - Virarajendra
The Significance of the Thiruvempaavai & Thiruppaavai Religious Festivals
The "Paavai Noanbu" Religious Festival of Ancient Tamils of Tamil Nadu
தமிழ் மங்கையர் தம் தொன்மை மிகு "பாவை நோன்புத் தெய்வழிபாடு"
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 was on the 'Mulu Nilavu' auspicious day (full moon day = Pournami) the ancient Tamils celebrated the 'Paavai Noanbu' Festival with worship of God in Temples of their respective faith the Saivaism, Vainavaism (Vaishnavaism) and the Jainism.
It has been a practice among the Saivites (Saiva Samayaththavar) of the ancient Tamil Nadu in the month of Maarkali - for ten days before the day of the Natchaththiram the Thiruvaathirai, for the young (unmarried girls) to get up early in the morning before sunrise, and purify themselves with a holy bath in the river and conduct religious rituals known as Paavai valipaadu on the banks of the river or tank, and with their minds with auspicious thoughts go in groups to worship God Siva at Temples.
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, honest and faithfull, providing much love and care to them throughout their life time under all circumstances.
".....கனைக்கும் அதிகுரல் கார் வானம் நீங்க,
பனிப் படு பைதல் விதலைப் பருவத்து,
ஞாயிறு காயா நளி மாரிப் பின் குளத்து,
மா இருந் திங்கள் மறு நிறை ஆதிரை......(Thiruvaathirai Natchaththiram with the great Moon again becoming fuller)
......அம்பா ஆடலின் ஆய் தொடிக் கன்னியர்,
முனித் துறை முதல்வியர் முறைமை காட்ட.....
தையல் மகளிர் ஈர் அணி புலர்த்தர,
வையை! நினக்கு மடை வாய்த்தன்று
மையாடல் ஆடல் மழ புலவர் மாறு எழுந்து,
பொய் ஆடல் ஆடும் புணர்ப்பின் அவர், அவர்
தீ எரிப் பாலும் செறி தவம் முன் பற்றியோ....."
Paripaadal - An ancient Tamil literary work of the period first century B.C
"போற்றியாம் மார்கழி நீர் ஆடேலோர் எம்பாவாய்
Thiruvachakam - by Tamil Saiva Saint Maanikkavaasakar of the period third century A.D.
The "Paavai Noanbu" festival among the Saivites ended with worship at all temple of God Siva of Tamil Nadu on the tenth and final day being the Maarkali Thiruvaathirai day. The great Tamil Saiva Saint Thirunaavukkaraser visted the "Thiruvaarur Siva temple" during the period of Maarkali Thiruvaathirai day worshiping "God Thiyagarajar" and proceeded to the temple.......where he met the other great Tamil Saiva Saint Thirugnanasampanthar. The latter inquired from Saint Thirunaavukkarasar on how the Thiruvaathirai festival was celebrated at Thiruvaarur who gave a graphic account of the proceedings at this temple on this auspicious day in his "Thiruvaarur Thiruvaathirai Thiruppathikam".
As the Paavai Noanbu was mainly a festival relating to worship of God by "young girls" to be blessed with good husbands, the scenes at Thiruvaarur temple as described by Saint Thirunaavukkarasar too are seen related to this significance which is as follows:
செந்துவர் வாயார் செல்வன் சேவடி சிந்திப்பார்
"மைந்தர்களோடு மங்கையர் கூடி மயங்குவார்".....(Mainthar=young boys & Mangaiyar=young girls)
......"மணியே பொன்னே" - "மைந்தா மணாளா" என்பார் கட்
கணியான் ஆரூர் ஆதிரை நாளால் அதுவண்ணம்
Fourth Thirumurai - by Tamil Saiva Saint Thirunaavukkarasar (of the period late sixth century and early seventh century A.D)
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.
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.
The complete set of Paadalkal of the "Tamil Thiruvenpaavai" by "Saivite Saint Maanikkavaasakar" - Courtesy YouTube :
The Full Text of the Tamil Saiva - Thiruvempaavai Paadalakal :
Thiruvaathirai Valipaadu (Aarudra Tharisanam)
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 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).
".....மார்கழித் திங்கள் மதி நிறைந்த நன்னாளால்
நீராடப் போதுவீர் போதுமினோ நேரிழையீர்
சீர் மல்கும் ஆய்ப்பாடிச் செல்வச் சிறுமீர்காள்......."
".....மாலே மணிவண்ணா. மார்கழி நீராடுவான்......"
"......மார்கழி நீராட மகிழ்ந்தேலோர் எம்பாவாய்......."
Naalaayira Thivya Pirapantham - Thiruppaavai by Tamil Vaishnavite(Vainava) Saint Aandaal
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; Today at 10:05 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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