Thula Snanam – Mudavan Muzhukku
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What is Thula snanam?
The tula snanam is the bathing ritual observed in Tamil Nadu. People take a holy dip in the River Cauvery.
When is Thula Snanam?
Thula snanam is observed in the Tamil month of Aipassi (oct-Nov), it is also known as the Tula month.
Thula Snanam ends (Kadai Muzhukku ) on 16-Nov-2017
Mudavan Muzhukku (1st day of Karthigai month) 17-Nov-2017
Kartik snaan also observed during this time.
It is believed that a holy dip in the River Cauvery during the month of Tula relieves the doer of all sins. It is equal to take bath in river Ganges and other holy rivers.
Special abhishekam with River Cavery thirtham will be held in Srirangam (https://www.ishtadevata.com/temple/sri-ranganathar-temple-srirangam-tiruchirappalli/), Mayiladuthurai (https://www.ishtadevata.com/temple/mayuranathar-temple-mayiladuthurai-nagapattinam/) (Maayuram) and other temples located along with the banks of River Kaveri. In Srirangam, Cauvery thirtham will be carried in Golden Kalasam at the top of elephant for Sriranganathar Abhishekam. Taking dip on Amavasya (new moon day) day that comes in the thula snanam period is considered more sacred.
According to Agni Puraanam,
“Shatshashti koti theerthani dvisaptha bhuvaneshu cha.
Keshavasya aajnayaa yanti thulaamaase marudvridham”
As per the orders of Lord Keseva sixty six crore holy waters from the 14 worlds come to reside in River Cauvery. It is said that a bath in Cauvery during Tula month, a bath in Prayaag during Magha month, and a dip in Sethu during ardhodhayaa period can be possible only as a fruit of penance done in ten million lives. These Holy Baths have the power to remove pancha paatakaas (five major sins that can drag the Soul down in its ascent towards Divine Realization), and can cause liberation to the entire line of ancestors. (The scripture actually says “crores of pitrus!”) Tula Mahaatmyam equates such ardhodhaya period bath in Sethu with Tula Cauvery Snanam! Those who can afford a trip to a kshetra along the Cauvery should do so and take a bath in the Holy River at least once during this month due to the obvious spiritual benefits that accrue out of that.
Mayilaaduthurai (Maayavaram) is an especially recommended kshetra for Tula Snanam; other powerful kshetras include Srirangam, Thiruveengoimalai (near Tiruchi), Thiruvidaimaruthur, Thiruvisainalloor, Kumbakonam. During the month of Thulam, even if one takes a dip without a proper sankalpam, it would earn him/her all the material and spiritual gifts that one can aspire for. It is better to follow the guidance given by the family gurus for the prayers for such snanams. However, it is generally felt that the following would do.
“Om Kaaveryai namah”
“Om Lobhaamudraayai namah”
“Om Agasthya Patnyai namah”
“Om sarvapaavanyai namah”
“Om Mahaa Punyaayai namah”
“Om snaana maatra sarva paapa prasamanyai namah”
“Om Mokshadaatryai namah”
- It is said that Lord Shiva blessed Nandhi by destroying its pride. This Nandi is in the midst of Cauvery. Hence the bath is important for destroying our pride.
- Mudavan Muzhukku – A lame man who wanted to have dip in the Holy River Cauvery during Tula month took a strenous journey – but he could not make it to Mayilaaduthurai before the end of the month – he was one day late (i.e. the Tula month ended the day before). Nadha Sharma and his wife Anavidyambikai came to this place for the Cauvery bath-Thula Snanam. Before they arrive at the place, the 30 days time (Aipasi month-October-November) expired. They sadly stayed at the night worshipping Lord Shiva. Lord appeared in their dream and advised them to have the bath before sunrise the next day and assured that they would have full benefit of the Thula Snanam bath. Based on this, the practice of this bath continues even now on the first day of Karthikai month. As Lord Shiva froze the bath time for His devotee couple, this bath is called Mudavan Muzhukku. Mudakku in Tamil means freezing, Muzhukku bath.
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