The word "Thirumanjanam" means Holy bath. Aani Thirumanjanam (Tamil month spanning June-July) is a special day (Uthram Nakshtram) when an Abhishekam is performed for Lord Nataraja. It is believed that Lord Nataraja gives darshan to his devotees in the months Aani and Margazhi. The Lord's form demonstrates his five-fold functions as creation, preservation, destruction, concealment and salvation.
The rattle (udukkai) in his right hand represents creation; his raised right arm with the open palm (abhaya hastam) protection; his left hand holding fire destruction; his firmly placed foot concealment; and his other, slightly lifted, leg salvation. Lord Nataraja is given six abhishekams in a year. Earth takes 365 days to complete one full circle around the sun.
That duration of Tamil months is divided into six
seasons - Marghazhi-Thai: early winter; Maasi-Panguni: late winter;
Chittirai-Vaikasi: early summer; Aani-Aadi: high summer; Avani-Purattasi:
autumn; Aippasi-Karthikai: rainy season. This six-season year of humans is said
to be one day for the immortals. These are when the six daily poojas (Kaala
Pooja) in temples are performed. During each of these six parts, an Abhishekam
has been ordained for Lord Nataraja. One of these is Ani Thirumanjanam, the
pradosha abhishekam on the evening of the day of Uthiram star in the Tamil
month of Aani (June-July).
What does the Nei thenga (Ghee filled Coconut) and the Nei Abhishekam Signifies? The concept of Nei Thenga has a very higher spiritual meaning. The coconut carried to the shrine is considered as the representation of Human body, which has to be kept clean internally and externally. As part of external cleaning it has to be cleaned thoroughly and the fiber and all small particles around should be rubbed off and should be kept clean and smooth. It symbolizes the purity of devotee’s body.
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