Day 8 - Did you know...

.....that “Mankalya thaaranam” is not mentioned in Andal’s “Vaaranam ayiram” of Nachiar thirumozhi ?
Andal dreams of her marriage with Srimann Narayana and narrates that beautifully to her friend in “Vaaranam ayiram” (10 pasurams) of Nachiar thirumozhi. She narrates the marriage customs right from Srimann Narayana, the bridegroom entering the mandapam majestically with 1000 elephants till they (Andal and Narayana) together sitting on an elephant , go for a Wedding procession around the decorated streets.

As per the Vedas, “agni valam” (Bridegroom holding the hand of the bride, goes around the fire for 3 times) and “sapthapathi” (seven steps to the mortar stone) signify the marriage. Vedas do not talk about “Mankalya thaaranam”.The mantharam we recite “Mankalyam thanthunane” is not in Vedas. They came later as a social custom. Every girl would enjoy her wedding as Gotha did, if they recite knowing the meaning of “Vaaranam aayiram”.

Below is the brief note of customs mentioned by Andal in the pasurams, which are being followed by Sri Vaishnavites :
NoPasuramWedding customs
1Vaaranam aayiramNarayanan comes majestically on a procession with 1000 elephants and is welcomed to Marriage hall with the whole street decorated with flowers and lights.
Maappillai azhaippu.
2naalai vathuvaiGovindhan walks like a lion and enters the wedding stage which is adorned with flowers.
3Indhiran ullittaEngagement happens, wherein Andal is made to wear “Koora pudavai” bestowed with Vedha manthras. Her sister-in-law adorns Andal with the garland.
4Narthisai theerthamThe bride and groom are sprinkled with holy water and their hands are bonded together and the “Kaappu” (holy thread to protect from evil) is tied on their hands. Kaappu kattal
5kathiroli theepamBeautiful young girls with lamps glowing as bright as the Sun and golden kalasam in their hands, welcome Kannan, who enters like a thunder.
6mathalamWith the drums beating and the conch blowing, Madhusudan comes under the stage decorated with pearl garlands and holds the hand of Andal.
7vai nallarAs the learned scholars recite the Vedas, the fire is started with “dharbai” (straws) and Kannan goes around the fire with Andal by His hand. This is the most significant part of the wedding.
8immaikkumNarayanan, with His reddish hand, holds Her toe and walks Her to the mortar stone in seven steps.
sapthapathi & ammi mithithal



In front of the sacred fire, Balaraman offers puffed rice to Andal's hands, which are placed on Achuthan's (Kannan) hands. Then together, They offer the puffed rice to the Fire.
pori iduthal

Then, the Divine couple go around on a procession on an elephant and on Their return, the wedding is completed with Mangala Aarthi.

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