Author Topic: Makara (Thai) Month - New Moon Day - Abhirami Bhattar  (Read 717 times)

Subramanian.R

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Makara (Thai) Month - New Moon Day - Abhirami Bhattar
« on: January 30, 2014, 03:27:04 PM »
Today is the day of New Moon in the month of Thai (Makara).  On this day, a great thing happened in the life
of Abhirami Bhattar, who was a priest in Abhirami Amman Temple, in Tirukadavur.  He was a devout Sakta and
was ever in the bliss of experiencing Mother Abhirami in his Heart.  He used to smile, laugh and weep often
contemplating the beauty and grace of Mother Abhirami.  The other priests thought that he had gone mad.  He
used to sit near a pillar in the Temple and was ever in contemplation of Mother.  One day Raja Sarfoji (A Maharashtrian
King who was ruling Thanjavur and other near by districts in Tamizh Nadu) came to the temple after taking bath on
that New Moon Day, in the river Kaveri near Tirukkadadavur. As the king entered the temple, the priests welcomed him
with all respects.  When he came near Abhirami Bhattar, he asked the other priests why he was sitting near the pillar
ever in silence, without even seeing him and standing. The other priests who were jealous of Abhirami Bhattar told him
that he (Bhattar) never used to pray or respect anyone excepting the goddess.  And he was also mad.  The king came
near him and to test him asked: What day is today?  Bhattar replied, 'Today is Full Moon Day.'  Because he was ever
in the contemplation of Devi who is more brilliant than 1000 moons.  The king got angry and told him: If you do not
show me the Full Moon this evening, you have to suffer a serious punishment.  So he ordered his assistants to tie
him and mount him on a tall wooden pillar and then as the evening approached, the pillar should be cut in parts.
And finally he will fall into a huge fire kept on the ground underneath.

Bhattar was thus tied on the tall wooden pillar.  He was looking east and was praying to Abhirami.  One by one the
songs came in his lips.  The king and others were watching the pillar being cut part by part.  Thus the saint started
singing Abhirami in what is called Abhirami Andati, totally containing 100 verses.  As he sang the 84th song, Mother
appeared on the eastern sky and thew her thatangam - ear stud on the sky.  The ear stud blossomed into a Full
Moon!  Bhattar sang the remaining verses and completed the Andati, crying over the grace of Mother.
The king and others removed the fire, brought the saint to the ground and then all of them prostrated to him.

This composition is usually sung on all Makara New Moon Day, Makara Full Moon Day and Makara Fridays.               

I am giving one verse from this Andati, which describes the Mother as a crowd of lotuses.

58: அருணாம்புயத்தும், என் சித்தாம்புயத்தும் அமர்ந்திருக்கும்
தருணாம்புயமுலைத் தையல் நல்லாள், தகை சேர் நயனக்
கருணாம்புயமும், வதனாம்புயமும், கராம்புயமும்,
சரணாம்புயமும், அல்லால் கண்டிலேன், ஒரு தஞ்சமுமே

You are a lotus of the predawn sun. You sitting on the lotus in my Heart. O the great glorious lady!  Your breasts are like two
lotuses. Your graceful eyes are two lotuses.  Your two shoulders are twin lotuses.  Your face is a brilliant lotus. Your
hands are two lotuses. Your twin feet are two lotuses.  I have no refuge other than You!     


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Arunachala Siva.