Friday, 18 March 2011

Panguni Uthiram and Its Mahima

Swami Haridoss Giri Maharaj, the direct disciple of His Holiness Sri Sri Srila Gnanananda Giri Maharaj, had mentioned in one of His discourses that all days that are auspicious for the worship of Lord Shanmukha are equally important for Lord Shiva. One such day is Panguni Uthiram.

Panguni Uthiram is a highly auspicious and spiritually significant day. In the 12th month of the Tamil solar calendar, i.e., Panguni (March-April), on the day when the moon transits in the Uthiram (in Sanskrit "Uttara-phalguni") nakshatra, it is called Panguni Uthiram. It is also a full moon day.

It is a day that is important for all Hindu sects: Smarthas, Saivites, Vaishnavites, etc.

Hindu Scriptures on Panguni Uthiram

Hindu scriptures like the puranas, Ithihaas, Thevaara Pathikam and Periyapuraanam have made various references to the importance of this day.


It is on this auspicious day that Sundara Moorthi Nayanar's wife, Paravayaar, was accustomed to distribute   money, wealth and riches in charity. (Paravayar who was none other than Kamalini, the attendant of Parvathi in Kailasa. Daily she would go to the temple and worship the Lord with faith and devotion and sing).

Sudara Moorthi Nayanar wanted to celebrate this same day with his wife by providing the Sivanadiyars all that that they wished, for---In this regard, Nayanar needed much money.

To meet this desire of his wife, the saint went to the shrine at Thiruppuhaloor and worshiped the presiding deity Lord Shiva. ELord Shiva, however, did not oblige him. The saint felt sad and sleepy. He did not want to spend the night at the near by thirumadam (pilgrims rest), hence, decided to sleep under the temple gopuram. He found some burnt clay bricks, which were  meant for the temple renovation, and used them as headrest and slept.

When he awoke in the morning, he was astonished to find the clay bricks had turned tino gold bricks! He praised the God Shiva of Thiruppuhaloor’s mercy, with a Thevara pathigam.

Gnana Sambanthar
The day is a great significance in the life of saint Gnana Sambanthar. In the village of Mylapoor lived a Chettiar named Sivnesar. He had a lovely daughter Poompavai. Hearing the greatness of the young Saint Sambanthar ,she fell in love with him, and wanted to marry him. But fate intervened when she had to be bitten by a poisonous when she was picking flowers for pooja. She died as a result. On Panguni Uthiram day,  saint Sambanthar resurrected Poompavai by offering the wonderful Thevaram Poompavai. 

The Chola king, who was Nami Nandi Adigal's contemporary, celebrated every Panguni Uttaram festival on a grand scale.

Celestial Marriages
It was on Panguni Uthiram day that the celestial marriages of Parvati (in the form of Gowri) and Parameswara, Murugan and Deivanai, Aandaal and Rangamannar, Narayana and Kamalavalli Naachiyaar had taken place. According to Srimad Valmiki Ramayana, it is on this holy day too that Sita's marriage with Rama was celebrated. And Lord Ayyappa incarnated on this very day. Mother  Mahalakshmi incarnated on earth from milk ocean (in the wake of the ocean having been churned by the Devas and the asuras) on Panguni Uthiram---Her appearance day is celebrated as Mahalakshmi Jayanti.

Brahmaanda Purana says that on Panguni Uthiram every holy water joins Thumburu teertha, which is one of seven sacred tanks in Tirupati Tirumala.

This day underscores the preeminence, distinction and splendor of grahasta dharma (married life). On Panguni Uthiram, in all places where Lord Subrahmanya has a temple, his devotees celebrate the day with grand devotion and Muruga Bhava.

2011's Panguni Uthiram coincides with Holi festival: In North India, it is celebrated to glorify Sri Krsna who vanquished Holika or Putana, and in the South, it is remembered for Lord Shiva's burning Kama, the Hindu cupid.  

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