Kudaravalli in Konerirajapuram village

Koodaravalli

Baghavan Sri Krishna tells Arjuna that HE is 'Markazhi' among months in Srimad BaghavadhGeetha. Irrespective of the philosophies, both Saivites and Vashnavites celebrate the month of Markazhi (Dec - Jan) every year by observing certain routines according to their conventional practices.

Usually, every household in erstwhile Thanjavur District, which performs'Panchayathana' Pooja regularly, elders use to do the Pooja before sunrise, called 'ThiruPakshi Pooja'. This is done according to 'Vaideeka Methods'( using procedures involving Vedhic chants and associated anushtanams). This is done apart from the usual Pooja done everyday after sunrise.

In variation to this, another form of conventional practice is to go round the village singing the glory of Baghavan using specific compositions in Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi, Marathi languages. This is called the Margazhi Bajanai. There is a well organised form of Bajan called Sampradhaya Bajanai. However, this Margazhi Bajanai, in general contains easily repeatable lines set according to Carnatic and Hindustani Ragas called Namavali. The lead singer sings first and followed by the group repeating the same, the group goes around the village. In case the group has trained musicians, there will be Carnatic songs, delivered accordingly. Usually, this Gramapradhakshinam, (circum ambulance of the village) ends at the village Perumal temple. The group gets served with snacks, called 'Pongal'.

But the most interesting part of the Margazhi anushtanams is related to young girls. The whole concept seems to have been developed from Sri Andal, the Devine composer, who is said to have composed 30 Pasurams ( A number of lines in Tamil according to a defined meter). The 30 Pasurams, called 'Tiruppavai' try to expose the devine attachment of Sri Andal to Baghavan Ranganatha ( Krishna). Young girls observe what is known as Pavai Nombu, where these girls are expected to go to the nearby river in the early morning before sunrise, take bath and pray to Lord using a hand made symbolic representation of Bhagwan using sand from the river, called Pavai. For prayers, they use the Tiruppavai. However, there are situarions where these girls sing Sri Jayadeva Ashtapathy, one each day and celebrate'Radha Kalyanam' in a traditional way.

In the case of Pavai Nombu, it is supposed to start on the second day of Marghazhi and end on the 27 th day, with the singing and playing various forms of exhibition of devine experience, like Kummy, Kolattam and other forms of group dances. In Perumal temple ( Vishnu Temple) of the village, Devi with the attrire of Sri Andal is taken ceremoniously to Baghavan signifying the fulfillment of Sri Andal's desire to unite with Narayana, the personification of Parabrahma. The 27th Pasuram starts as ' Koodarai Vellum Seer Govinda'. Thus the name Koodaraivalli comes to describe the function.

This form of worship extending for 30 days was accelerated by the efforts of Mahaperiva, both with the vaishnavites and saivites , where saivites use Tiruvembavai and Tiruppalliezhuchi.

The Children were trained by Smt.Lakshmi Mami with the support of Smt.Lalitha Mami of Konerirajapuram.

Courtesy- Professor Sri.Krishnamurthy Kalyanaraman, Konerirajapuram

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