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History of Srirangam Sri Namperumal's Chithra Pournami Festival - Gajendra Mooksham

In the Sri Vaishnava samrudhayam, the 108 divyadesams are known as the important place where Alwars & Aacharyas developed the Santana dharma, One such main divyadesam is Srirangam Sri Ranganthaswamty temple located in Tamilnadu. From this blog, we will see the history & significance of the Chitra Pournami festival - Gajendra Mooksham.

At Srirangam, on Chitra Pournami (full moon day), Namperumal will go to the South Kauvery River and offer moksha to the elephant Gajendran in the river Cauvery. This festival is also known as the Thiruvural festival, every year on the day of Chithra pournami Namperumal leaves the shrine at 7 a.m. and gets up at Amma Mandapam on the bank of South Kauvery River at 10.30 a.m. and Namperumal will have Thirumanjanam (Holy Bath) served the devotees from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

i) Moksha will be granted to Elephant Gajendra! In the evening Namperumal leaves at 6 p.m. he gets up to the banks of the Cauvery and gives blessings to Andal Elephant, the elephant standing in the Cauvery river. On the head of the elephant, the priests will bless Sri Satagopam, the Thiruvadi of Namperumal. Sandalwood blessed by Perumal was placed on the elephant's forehead. After that, Namperumal will return to Amma Mandapam. After performing Mangala Aarti there, he leaves at 8.15 pm and will reach his Ashtana.

ii) Significance of Gajendra Mooksham A long time ago, When Gajendra plucked a lotus flower from the river to give to Thiruvadi of Perumal, the crocodile grabbed Gajendra's leg and tormented him. Devoted to the Lord Vishnu, we have five senses (eyes, mouth, nose, ear, body) enslaved through their weapons of sight, taste/sound, smell, sound, and spurs). When Elephant Gajendra shouted "Narayana! O! Mani Vanna!! Naganaiyai!! Vaarai! Enn aaridarai neekkai", Lord Vishnu came running to save us, so we also surrendered to Lord Vishnu's thiruvadis. If we chanted his name with devotion, he would come to us. He will free us from the clutches of those deadly senses.

Jai Srimannarayna !!!

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