Utsava, the name itself indicates, joy, merriment, delight, pleasure and such emotions, and Brahmotsava at the Hindu temples is the pinnacle of that emotional experience.1 Ishvara Samhita explains that removal of “sava” (misery), destroyer of misery as Utsava. Throughout the year there are festivals at all the temples as per the agamic prescription applicable to individual temples. Each one of them is an anubhava, but Brahmotsava is like a 5-act play, that goes through the beginning, middle, a climax and an end. Who is the actor in this drama, the Paramatma himself, for everything is his leela.
“Utsuthe harshamithi”2 says Sriprasna Samhita. “The utsava is so called because it gives rise to delight and God is much delighted by it.”3 The performance of utsavas bring delight to the God and the worship, participation creates joy and delight to the devotees who rejoice in that celebration. The excitement to be a part of a great festival, the colours, the music, the drama, is a lived experience to this day. Amara Kosha gives synonyms, kshana, great moment, and uddharsha, excitement and mahah, auspicious occasion for Utsava.4
Among the Sri Vaishnava Divyadesas, Srirangam, Tirupati, and Kanchipuram hold a great significance. The Purattasi Brahmotsavam at Thirumalai, Adhyayanotsavam at Srirangam and the Vaikasi Brahmotsavam hold great significance, drawing large number of devotees. I have taken up the rasanubhava of Kanchipuram Varadaraja Perumal Brahmotsavam for discussion here. The KanchiBrahmotsavam is very special because of its sthala purana, and the adhbuta, a grand, royal celebration.
According to the sthalapurana Brahma chose the Satyavrata Kshetra (Kanchi) to do his yagna and in that yagna, Vishnu emerged as Varadaraja in a Punyakoti Vimana. On Brahma’s request Varadaraja stayed on the hill that is called Hastigiri or Attigiri to bless the devotees, and that is why Brahma himself is considered to be the one who flags off the annual Brahmotsavam. The name Hastigiri also denotes the legend of Gajendra moksham, and the small hillock on which the shrine of Varadaraja is situated and is considered to be the Gajendra who Vishnu rescued.5 That is why Brahmotsavam in general and some of the specific processions on say Garuda, elephant, horse mounts are all considered significant at Kanchi.
Athigiri arulala perumal vandaar
Aanaipari therinmel Azhagar vandaar
Kachithanil kan kodukkum perumal vandaar
Karudavaramtharum deiva perumal vandaar
Muthimazhai pozhiyum mugil vannar vandaar
Mooalmena volamida vallaar vandaar
Uthara vedikkulle udhithaar vandaar
Umbarthozhum kazhaludayaar vandaarthaame. 6
“He has come
Merciful Perumal of Elephant Hill
He has come
Beautiful king on the Elephant, the horse, the Chariot
He has come
To be seen before our very eyes in the city of Kanci
He has come
Who grants every wish
He has come
Dark monsoon cloud that pours down rains of liberation
He has come
Loyal master who heard the Elephant’s cry
“O root of all being”
He has come
Rising from the fire of the northern altar
He has come
His feet worshipped by the gods!”7
So sang the 13th century acharya Vedanta Desikan in ‘Meivirata Manmiyam’ a Tamil prabandham. The visualization of the arrival of the deity, a procession on the elephant, horse, and the chariot give it a context and a continuity for the devotees who throng to the town for the 10-day Vaikasi Brahmotsavam. Though earliest inscriptional evidence, recording the stipulated routes for the procession is from the 14th century, it is evident that the festival must have been prevalent for a long time before that.
Among the five principles of Para, Vyuha, Vibhava, Archa and Antaryami, celebration of Archavatara (worship in the form of consecrated image) has been the prominent practice among the Sri Vaishnavas and Bhagavatas. Temple construction, installation of the moola murthy or moola bhera and utsava murthys and the daily rituals and the festivals are conducted in accordance with the agamas. Some of the temples follow Vaikanasa Agama like Tirupati, and most follow the Pancharatra Agama like Kanchi and Srirangam. Without going into the discussion on the antiquity, origins of the Pancharatra Agama or the specific dimensions of it, would like to state that as far as the current paper goes it would be sufficient to say that the Nitya Pujas as well as the Naimittika Pujas have incorporated philosophical as well as aesthetic elements.
Pancaratra Agama, and specifically the Jayakhya Samhita is the one that is followed at Varadaraja Perumal temple. Interestingly one of the interpretations given for the word “pancharatra” (again not going into various interpretations of the term pancharatra) in the Utsava Sangraha is that it indicates the five disciplines the agama covers:
Agamam bharatam silpam vaidya jyotishameva ca
Panca sastrani samyogat pancaratra miti smrtam
Agama, dance, iconography and temple architecture, medicine and astrology. Is there any wonder that bharatam and silpam are part of it for one of Vishnu’s names in the Vishnu Sahasranama Janardana indicates all art originated in Janardana.
Yogo jnanam tatha sankhyam vidyahs shilpaadi karma ca
Vedas shastraani vijnaanam etat sarvam janardanaat 8
What are the agamic prescriptions in terms of recitations, music and dance, or how does the Brahmotsavam in particular incorporate the performing arts:
“There should be provision for good music at that time. The flute, vina and other instruments will be played upon. There will also be dancers. All these are to provide attraction. The atmosphere must not be puritanic, severe and solemn. Even those who do not have much faith in God should be attracted to witness the procession. There may be people whose interest may he only in the appreciation of music and dance. Some may like only to see the paraphernalia and the show. By witnessing these they will have an occasion to have a look at God. This is enough for the spirit of the Agamas to provide for the conduct of the festivals.”9
This is how a Brahmotsavam brings all kinds of devotees together. The ones who are learned, those who come for their devotion to their favourite deity, those who come for the spectacle, for the dance, music, or even the food. The order of the procession and the participants themselves can be eclectic. For the Divya Prabhandha goshti (ghoshti means groups – Those who recite the Tamil verses of Alvars) lead the procession, followed by Nadaswaram, then the deity on the vahanam being carried by the regular Sripadam Thangigal (a community that comes to serve year after year). Dancers, with specific prescription of items and locations used to be part of the procession in the past. Along with Nadaswaram we have a western band with drums, saxophone, clarinet etc., playing classical and devotional songs. Following the deity are group reciting Vedas.
“The three Vedas, the Sattvata and other Samhitas are to be recited to the right of the Lord, and the Itihasas and Puranas to His left during processions. Others who are grammarians and logicians may also join the procession.”10 In the past the Vedaparayanam goshti used to be followed by learned men conducting “Brahma vichaaram” (Discussion on the Brahman), we hear from elders.
While non-temple going Hindus sometimes tend to look at the festivals as unnecessary rituals that does not fit into the philosophical framework of Vedanta, some scholars tend to dissect them from the historical and textual context. Both in a way sound sceptical of the tradition, continuity, participation and the result. Discussing an ancient festival and tracing its trajectory Paul Younger observes that despite the importance of festival in the religious life of many it has not received scholarly attention, one because of the Brahmin scholars and priests did not understand or value festival religion.11 It may be true that many observers among the Brahmin priests themselves may not be well versed with the textual and historical background. The fact is that most have followed hereditary path, and when things fell into a pattern, there have been no room for discussion or debates on the festival. Creating a moola bera and a separate utsava bera clearly indicates the systematization of the utsavas, and some of the Samhitas even if assigned a later date do give a detailed framework. We have a detailed chapter just to explain the conduct of Dwajarohanam in the Ishvara Samhita for instance. The Samhitas and also the oral knowledge and conduct of the festivals themselves make it clear that they were intended for a purpose, and thoughtfully designed with philosophy, aesthetics, economics – all in mind.
Younger says South Indian festivals are like a “carnival”, and if we take the Tamil word “Thiruvizha” to sort of reflect that then the description is not wrong. But, this Thiruvizha clearly has a stage, an actor and there are intended consequences in terms of their anubhava, the emotional experiences crucial for the devotee.
“The artistic experience is viewed from the point of the creator … as also the spectator and receiver. The artistic experience is acausal and whole, a state of beatitude and bliss in the mind of the experiencer, the creator.” 12 As we mentioned earlier, can we apply the word drama while expressing the procession and the festivity as acts and the devotees’ response as experiencer. There isn’t a single performance area that becomes the sacralized cosmic space here, but from the temple to Gangai Kondan Mantapam and the areas traversed through the course of 10 days by the deity, the whole town becomes a stage and Varadarajan the actor. Since agamas, especially one of them that this temple follows is ascribed a divine origin, we can take Him to be the one who scripted it, and also executing it. As the Mangala shloka of Sri Bashyam describes He is:
akhila bhuvana janma sthEma bhangAdi leele
vinata vividha bhUta vrAta rakshaika deekshe |
s`ruti s`irasi vidIpte brahmaNi srInivAse
bhavatu mama parasmin s`EmushI bhaktirUpA ||
Devaraja Perumal or Varadarajan Brahmotsavam is conducted in the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May-June). Dwajarohanam day is calculated keeping in mind that the 9th day Avabrata Snana has to fall on the star of Thiruvonam or Sravanam. “Not only through worship and daily service to the deities, but through the impressive celebrations of their annual festivals, when the images were taken out in processions, that this temple created religious fervour among the huge crowds of people drawn from far and near. The processions of Lord Vardaraja afford a grand spectacle of royal pageantry.”
Day one of the Brahmotsavam begins with the descent of Varadaraja Swamy with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhu Devi from Hastigiri accompanied by Nadaswaram, chants, creating an atmosphere of expectation and exuberance. The moments that are solemn are ones before the Dwajarohanam when the pujas take place. As soon as the Garuda flag is raised atop the Dwajasthamba fireworks go up, and devotees erupt in excitement. The first procession begins in a Golden chapram (a canopy). He is Rajan, king of kings, so the festival is befitting in scale and pomp worthy of a king. The gait, the majesty evoking vira rasa is the hallmark of the first procession. As is usual in temple processions the playing of Mallari by the Nadaswaram vidwans (scale of Raga Gambira Nattai) creates that appropriate mood. Devotees would not miss a chance to say how as in a king’s darbar Varadan utsvam is punctual, proper and perfect.
The procession route in general is from the temple at Chinna Kanchipuram or Vishnu Kanchi to the Gangai Kondan Mantapam at Periya Kanchipuram or Shiva Kanchi a distance of around 3.5 km. Learned devotees we have heard invoke the Alvar poetry, Valmiki’s lines to express their anubhava of the first utsavam. One looks at the kridam, the gem and diamond studded ones to think of Nammalvar’s “mudichodiyaai un mugachodi malarndhaduvo” and Valmiki’s “parvatitva nishkramya simho giriguhaasaya”.13 The effervescence, the majesty is not missed on even those who may not know any of the verses.
If Brahmotsavam is a drama, then Beritadanam could be the sutradhar’s introduction. Tradition has it that in some of the temples it was not just the beating of the drum but 32 kinds of nrittas have to be performed and set in different ragas and talas for Devatas to come. Beritandanam performed on the afternoon of day one is an elaborate invitation to all the Devatas to come and participate in the Brahmotsavam. It is considered that all the upacharas devotees perform through the festival is only as the representatives of the Devatas. The incorporation of Agama and Natyashastra together in the festival is well established in this. However, with the old system of musicians attached to particular temples gone, dancing prohibited, and lack of knowledge among the priests about them, the ragas, the dance, and that particular system of music is lost.
The first day it began and also ended with the vira rasa as the first vahana in the evening is Simha (lion) Vahanam. “Maarimalai Muzhanjil mannikkidandurangam, seeriya singam arivutru theevizhithu … moori nimirndhu muzhangi purappattu”,14 the lines of Andal’s Tiruppavai would inevitably come to everyone’s mind.
The predominant emotions are the ones we would look at are karuna, vira, adhbuta, sringara, and in some there is hasya rasa too.
Second day the beautiful and a bright Hamsa Vahanam and Surya Prabhai processions take place. Since the third day’s Garuda Sevai takes the centre stage, we have to dwell at length on that. Festival atmosphere reaches its zenith in the hours leading up to Garuda Sevai. Kanchi Garudotsavam is grandest of the temple festivals one can witness. The Hastigiri, Gajendra connection we saw in the sthala puranam. The Garuda Sevai is inevitably linked to the rescue of Gajendra by Vishnu. Who would not know about the shriek of the elephant “adimoolame” and Vishnu rushing on his favourite mount, Garuda, pressing him to fly fast, to rescue the elephant. That is what Desikan mentions in the verse quoted above- “Mooalmena volamida vallaar vandaar”. Garuda Sevai invokes the merciful nature of Varada, his karunya. Who is the one who would ultimately rescue those who are stuck in the samsara, and there in His mercy, He comes on top of Garuda to the rescue of the devotees. Saulabhya, the ease of approach is one of the important aspects of the God in the Sri Vaishnava sampradaya, and Garuda Sevai exemplifies it. Thousands would have gathered inside the temple complex much before the start of the Vahanam at 4 am. Fireworks, music, and the typical crackers to announce the start of procession would alert everyone.Crowds would have surged filling up every inch of space on the Sannidhi Street. What are they all waiting for? Garuda Vahanam is going to travel miles, and extra miles before reaching Gangai Kondan Mantapam and the darshan can be had anywhere on the route.
There are many who have sung Varadarja Garuda Sevai, almost all the notable vaggeyakaras in the Carnatic music tradition have composed a song on Varadan Brahmotsavam – Tyagaraja Swami and Muthuswami Dikshitar in particular about the Garuda Sevai. Dikshitar in “Narasimha aagacha” hints at an incident related to this Garuda Sevai. There was a devotee named Doddacharyar in 16th century who for some reason could not be present at Kanchipuram on Garuda Sevai. He was in nearby Narasimha kshetram Cholasimmapuram or Sholingur. He pined for the sevai and Varadarjan could see his devotee crying for darshan. That particular day the procession halted just as it emerged out of the Gopuram. For Varadan rushed to Sholingur to give darshan to his devotee. In memory of that, even today the procession halts at the entrance and an arati performed. The euphoric crowd would chant Varada, Varada. Doddacharyar himself describes the scene in the first verse of his Varadaraja Panchakam:
prathyUshE Varadha: prasanna vadhana: prApthAbhimukhyAn JanAn
aabhaddhAnjali masthakAn avimalAn aabhAlam aanandhayan
mandhODDAyitha chaamara: MaNI Maya: svEthAtha patthara: sanai:
anthar gOpuram aavirAsa Bhagavan AarooDa PakshIsvara:
Just a few feet away as the Vahanam emerges out of the pandal erected for the sake of the festival and outside the 16-pillared mantapam the smaller umbrella with which Vahanam emerged would be exchanged for two giant umbrellas. “Kanchipuram kudai azhagu” is the saying. The beauty of the umbrella, they say is special at Kanchipuram. The wait outside 16-pillared hall is to witness the marvellous sight of raising the umbrella. Servitors standing on the floor would throw the umbrellas in air, and that would go and plonk perfectly atop the vahanam. Then in happiness they would be a jumping, and with a great fervour the procession would start.
Kanchipuram Brahmotsavam in itself is such a splendour. “The deity is given all the traditional royal paraphernalia like huge umbrellas, chamaras (fly whisks) as he is considered to be the king of kings. Two huge umbrellas, fly-whisks or chamaras flank the deity. The priests or archakas sit in front. The processional deity is stopped at various places so that the devotees can go near to offer worship.”15Nowhere else for 9-days does the God go on procession in such a fashion travelling several kilometers with the kind of paraphernalia, music, Vedic, Prabandham recitation etc., For those who have witnessed it and those who have heard about it, it is an experience unmatched. The emotions that wonderment comes through in several of the verses left behind by great composers who were witness. To quote Desikan’s verse from Varadaraja Panchasat.
turaga vihagaraja syandana andolika adishu
adhikam adhikam anyam atma sobham dadhanam
anavadhika vibhutim hastisailesvaram tvam
anudinam animeshaih locanaih nirviseyam
Tyagaraja’s compositionin a rare raga Swara Bhooshani:
Varadaraja ninnu kori vachithi mrokke raa
Surulu, munulu bhoosurulu chutti chutti sevince
Vara giri vaikuntamata varnimba tharamu katdhada
Nirjarulu thara kalalo chandrudai
Merayuthu vata vara thyaga
Raja nutha garuda seva chooda
His disciple Walajapet Venkatramana Bhagavatar so aptly in a Dhanyasi raga composition with 8 charanams or stanzas gives a long description of the darshan “kannulAra kaNtinipuDu kAnci varaduni nE”. He specifically describes the scene at Gangai Kondan Mantapam where the bhagavatas with tambura in hand, anklets in their legs singing Hari, Hari. This is a unique scene on Garuda Sevai when many bhajan mandalis from various villages would gather singing and dancing following the procession. The atmosphere gets charged with devotion.
We talked about the sacralized cosmic space, does this not show every street becomes the sacred space, and devotees experiencing varied emotion, soaking in the divine. This space gets beautifully captured yet again in a verse by Desikan in his Hamsasandesam. He tells the messenger Hamsa that Kanchi was created by Vishwakarma, and he should bow as he enters the city – “yatveedhinam karigirpater vaahavegavadhootan dhanyaan renoon tridhasapatayo dhaarayanth yuthamaangai”.16The dust arising out of the procession of Varadan is precious for the devotees.
In all this adulation, hasya isn’t lost. A 15th century Asukavi Kalamegam penned a ninda stuti looking at the Gardua sevai: “a good perumal, and a good utsvam, alas since he couldn’t stay put, see him being carried away by an eagle”.
perumALum nalla perumAL avartam
tiru nALum nalla tirunAL perumAL
irundiDattil chummA irAmaiyAl, aiyO
parundeDuttup pOkiRatE pAr
After the Garuda Vahanam followed by Hanumantha Vahanam on the third day, fourth day morning, the procession is on Sesha Vahanam. Seated on the seven headed serpent along with the Devis, it shows the aspect of Parathva (transcendent) of the God. “Can we have a sakhya bhava because he showed his saulabhyam the previous day. He is sulabhan, but can’t take his saulabhya for granted. We have to do saranagati. He is not an ordinary person, but the Para Vasudeva in Sri Vaikuntam. It is not to create a fear that he is the Paramatma, but generating devotion,” says a Pancharatra aradhaka describing the Paramapada Nathan thirukolam.17
There are two utsvams, one on the fifth and another on the sixth day that brings out the essence of sringara. Fifth day the God proceeds on a covered palanquin, dressed as a dainty lady, with a parrot in one hand, adorning precious jewels, hair done up like a lady, sporting a full sleeved velvet jacket in blue and a coloured zari border white saree making devotees fall for the feminine charm – what a transformation in the Nachiyar Thirukolam, Did He not take Mohini Avatara, that enticing woman – “vaanavari pennagi amudhoottum perumaanar”, as Thirumangai Alvar celebrated. Perumal who assumed the feminine form to fetch the nectar for Devas.
If He as Mohini charmed the men, Nachiyar Thirukolam keeps the lady devotees rivetted. “Look at the nose rings, look at the bangles, the ear rings, he is adorning all thayar’s (mother, as Laksmi is addressed) jewels today”, they would comment. They worship Perundevi Thayar everyday, and indeed would know that.
Krishna leela has been an intrinsic part of celebration in Vaishnava sampradayas all across. Sixth day morning there is a “Choornabisheka”. That splash of turmeric powder across taking one back to Krishnavatara as Periyalvar would celebrate in “vanna madangal soozh Thikoshtiyur”, birth of Krishna Gopis celebrated with spraying of colours. That day Varadarajan takes on the image of Venugoplan, Krishna playing the flute, with beautifully decked hair, peacock feather, the cow and calf at his feet. Krishnavatara anubhavam, that sringara of ras leela is recreated through the oonjal sevai (the swing), that leisurely procession to the accompaniment of sweet music on Nadaswaram. Nadaswaram players would choose the sweetest of Oothukkadu Venkasubbaiyar’s songs like “kuazhaloodhi manamellaam kollai konda pinnum kurayedhum enakkedhadi”. There is yet another utsavam where the Krishna leela sringara is imagined. The day after rathotsavam a ritual bath “thirumanjanam” where only Perumal’s feet is immersed in the waters kept in a large drum. That would take one to the jalakreeda of the bhagawan in his vibhavatara.
Veera, adbutha, hasya all three get evoked as one watches the two rides, the elephant, and the horse and the chariot festival in between. The elephant once again is a reminder of the Gajendra, and the adhbuta is that the vahana at Kanchi doesn’t have legs. In front of the Ekamreshvara Temple there is the run called “esal”. Crackers, music, and a celebration that participants wouldn’t want to miss. A simple, folkish kummi (dandiya) song which is composed in a language and style like any other folk song:
Mazhaye illadha kaaichal
Onrum theriyaadha koochal
Aaraam thirunaal esal
Aaru ettu esal; aanai kudhirai esal 18
Kanchipuram has this run, on elephant vahanam as well horse as the last line of that song says. It is like a chicken and egg situation. One wonders if this beautiful way of celebrating archavatara takes devotees closer or the devotees’ attachment to archa makes the celebration so joyous. How attached are the devotees to archa! Looking at how the archakas would do “drishti” that is removing the evil eye after the elephant vahanam “esal” one would wonder how emotionally the devotees are involved with the God. Periyalvar sang “paallaandu’ for the Perumal wishing him long, long years. Devotees here show concern that His utsavam and His vahanam shouldn’t face any obstacle from the “evil eyes”. The pancharatra Sri Vaishnava concept of para, vibhava, archa, antaryami all get reflected through many of the utsavas, and the anubhavas of each is different, uplifting, and assuring. Chariot is another festival that majesty of a king is reflected in the way Perumal would take a speedy stride to reach the ratha stationed a distance away from the temple. His attire is appropriate for someone who is taking that chariot ride. Gnanis would immerse in the thought “rathastham keshavam drushtvaa punarjanma na vidyate” and the ladies would celebrate it as “saubhagya”. The auspiciousness of rathotsavam is celebrated with buying turmeric sold all across the town that day – ladies greet neighbours, relatives distributing “haldi-kumkum”. Cooking payasam (kheer) for the festival, celebrating it with haldi-kumkum – that is kind the involvement each household would have with the temple and their God. Immersed in the anubhava of the divine.
The final act is a highpoint of rasanubhavam. Hasya rasam. On the 9th day Perumal leaves early morning all alone, secretly covering himself in layers of shawls. The story would be he went gallivanting the previous night and lost a ring. Quietly he set out in search of the ring before the Devis come to know of it. Philosophers would say see he is going in disguise looking for the devotees who might not have come forth to see His “parathva”. The disguise helps Him to find them and reveal Himself. In front of the Gangai Kondan Mantapam the act of removing the shawls one by one would be enacted. Then He would proceed to the temple. The climax is that return and the refusal of the Devis to let him inside. Every householder would rejoice this “oodal”, that misunderstanding which takes the couple closer finally. “What happens in our house is happening to Perumal also”, householders would comment. They shut door on him to sort of admonish him for his promiscuity. Attempts to enter would be prevented as the Devis would shut the door again and again. Finally, the door would be opened and a “mattayadi” (to hit with a bat literally – various temples would use various “weapons” and at Kanchi it is the bunch of flower rolls). There would be a dialogue and reconciliation. Householders would rejoice in the hasya, sringara, and the philosophers would discuss the Vaishnava theology. Soon after the reconciliation the Perumal with his Devis would enter the 100-pillared hall overlooking the Amritasaras Pushkarini to witness the finale – Avabrata Snana. Prantartihara Varadan, the snanabera would come and devotees would rush over each other to take a dip when the snanbera entered the waters. The joy of having completed the Brahmotsavais akin to the completion of the yajna when the Avabrata snana is undertaken. For devotees the moment of catharsis.
Bhuyo bhuyah pulaka nicitaih angakaih edhamanah
Sthula sthulan nayana mukulaih bibhrato bashpa bindun
Dhanyah kecid varada bhavatah samsadam bhushyantah
Svantaih anatah vinaya nibhrtaih svadayante padam te19
Eyes shed tears of joy, goosebumps at the blissful experience of the God. From acharyas of yore to the lay devotees now, immersed in the beauty of Varadarajan, the rasanubhava is real. The Brahmotsavam brings that out in various ways, making it an important experience in the life of the devotees.
1. The Student’s Sanskrit-English Dictionary: Containing Appendices on Sanskrit … Vaman Shivaram Apte
2. Sriprasna Samhita
3. Agamas and South Indian Vaishnavism 381 – V. Varadachari
5. Sri Varadarajaperumal Temple – Kanchi K.V.Raman p 9
6. Meyviratamanmiyam Verse 17 – Vedanta Desikan
7. Singing the Body of God p 100 – Steven Paul Hopkins
8. Vishnu Sahasranamam Phalashruti 19
9. Agamas and South Indian Vaishnavism 381 – V. Varadachari
11. Playing Host to Deity – Paul Younger
12. Bharata, The Natyasastra – Kapila Vatsyayan
13. Nandanotsavam – D.Ramaswamy Iyengar
14. Tiruppavai – Andal verse 23
15. Sri Varadarajaperumal Temple – Kanchi K.V.Raman p 101
16. Hamsasandesam verse 27 – Vedanta Desikan
17. Interview with Bhargavan Swami, Aradhaka at Thiruvallur Veeraraghaswamy temple
18. Varadar Sobanam – Private tradition unpublished
19.Varadaraja Panchasat Verse 45 – Vedanta Desikan
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Rasa Performing the Divine in India – Susan L. Shwartz , Motilal Banarasidas Publishers
Singing the Body of God – Steven Paul Hopkins, Oxford University Press
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Playing Host to Deity – Paul Younger, Oxford University Press
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