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Devotees jostle to break pot up slippery path

G.Srinivasan
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human pyramid: Devotees participating in the Uriyadi festival at Varahur near Thanjavur on Monday. —Photo: M.Srinath.
human pyramid: Devotees participating in the Uriyadi festival at Varahur near Thanjavur on Monday. —Photo: M.Srinath.

Hundreds of devotees took part in the Uriyadi Utsavam held at Sri Venkatesa Perumal Temple at Varahur 20 km from here in the early hours of Tuesday. The night-long celebration ended with the devotees climbing up the "Vazhukku Maram", and snatching the pot containing eatables.

Every year people gather near Venkatesa Perumal Temple during Krishna Jayanthi to celebrate the festival in a grand manner. On Monday night, Lord Krishna was taken to Garuda Mandapam. From there the Lord was taken in a procession to near the place where "Vazhukku Maram” had been erected in front of the temple. Devotees performed anga pradakshanam behind the Lord as he was taken to the temple from Garuda Mandapam. Devotees in the garb of cowherds led the procession. Later, they participated in Uriyadi, (snatching the pot containing eatables) from the slippery pole. Even as they tried to climb up the pole, water was poured on them by the onlookers. Finally, the devotees snatched the pot containing eatables.

"Uriyadi symbolises the attainment of eternal happiness (peranandham) by a person, crossing various hurdles like anger, lust, desire and jealousy. He has to take to various religious practices to attain eternal happiness and he has to take the guidance of Guru in this endeavour. Finally the God's grace is important which is attained by spiritual sadhana," said a devotee.

Legend has it that Sri Narayana Theerthar, born in Andhra Pradesh visited Tirupathi. There he was affected by severe stomach pain. With the pain he came to Thiruvaiyaru, where he got a direction from the Lord in his dream that he should follow a white boar which would be visible when he woke up. On waking up, Narayana Theerthar followed the white boar which took him to Varahur and disappeared. Narayana Theerthar stayed at Varahur and worshipped Sri Venkatesa Perumal. The place was called Varahapurai as a white boar took him there (Varaham-boar). Later it became Varahur. Narayana Theerthar sang Krishna Leela Tharangini in praise of Lord Venkatesa Perumal of Varahur. It is said that Lord Krishna danced to the tunes of Krishna Leela Tharangini as he sang the Tharangams. It was Narayana Theerthar who introduced the Uriyadi Utsavam at Varahur.

Uriyadi festival started on August 14 and would end on August 24. Various alankarams were done to Lord Venkatesa Perumal during the festival Sri Rukmini Kalyana Utsavam was held on Tuesday.

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