'' Vaikunta Ekadasi and ''Srimuga pattayam ritual'' 'at Srirangam Ranganathar temple, TN

 Celebrating the grandest of all festivals, Vaikunta Ekadasi is much more significant  than others among the followers of Vaishnavism.  The Eleventh Day of Lunar Calendar of Tamil month Margazhi is considered as very auspicious when Lord Vishnu in every Vaishnavite temple comes out through the “Vaikunta Dwara” or “Door To Paradise”. This day generally falls during mid of December to January every year. Vaikunta Ekadasi 2023 festivities can be seen across India,b ut are more popular  in the southern states in particular  Tamil Nadu, Andhra and Karnataka..

Sri Ranganathar temple,Srirangam.flickr.com 

At Sri Ranganathar temple,  as part of an event on the Thirukarthigai day, Namperumal with Kathir alangaram is taken to the Karthigai Mantapam. After witnessing the Chokka Pani that is lit  at 8 pm near Karthigai mandapam the lord is taken to  Thayer (consort) shrine through Nandavanam Thoppu. After Thiruvanthi Kappu event (to get rid of evil eyes/spells), the lord will be taken to Santhanu Mantapa (also known as Azhagia Manavalan Thirumandapam  around 9.15 pm. It is close to Annukkan gate (vaasal). Paraman mandapam is also in the Santhanu mandapam, 

At 9.45 pm an important ritual associated with  ensuing Vaikunta Ekadashi  festival takes place. The ritual is called Srimuga pattayam -in which before Emperumal details of  arrangements regarding upcoming - Vaikunta  Ekadashi  Thiruvizha (22 long day festival here) will be read with certain norms. Following Thirukaithala Seva at 10.15 Namperumal will be taken back to Moolasthanam (Garbhagriha).

Srimuga pattayam  is an important ritual linked to the forthcoming Vaikunta Ekadashi. At Srirangam, the 22-day festival commences with ‘Thiru nedunthaan dagam’ on December 12. The long festival is divided into two parts: ‘Pagal Pathu’ and ‘Raa Pathu’. The ‘Pagal Pathu’ starts on December 13 and the ‘Raa Pathu’ on December 23. Araiyar Sevai is an interesting ritual associated with both Pagal pathu and Raa Pathu in which 4000 divya prabandham hymns will be recited by Ariyars  who hail from hereditary families.They focus on saint Nammazhwar pasurams.  It is a  distinctive blend of music, dance and devotion performed on the temple premise before the lord. There has been some complaints that HR & CE overlooks hereditary ariyars and appoint them according to their whim. How far it is true, it is not clear. One fact that emerges is HR & CE is off the long-keld temple tradition and the devotees are quite unhappy over it. The 10 day Raa pathu will begin on the day of Swarga vaasal Thirappu - December 23. 

On ‘Vaikunta Ekadasi’ day on December 23, the processional deity -utsavar Sri Namperumal adorned  in a ‘Ratnangi’ (gem-studded armour) is taken out in a holy procession to ‘Thirumamani’ Mandapam on the temple premises. The ‘Paramapadhavaasal’ would be opened from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. on ‘Vaikunta Ekadasi’. The preparatory works in connection with the festival is on  according to a press release from the temple 

The colorful grand festival concludes on 2nd january with ‘Nammazhwar Moksham’(salvation of the great saint). The DA had already begun the preparatory work to handle large crowds that visit the temple daily.