“Thai Amavasai Day” is greatly celebrated to honour the devotion of Abirami Pattar. The story of Abirami Pattar is truly a miracle instance that teaches us that Mother Goddess will always bless and protect us, so long as we show faith and devotion towards her.
Abirami Pattar, originally known as Subramaniya Iyer was born in the village of Tirukkadayur to Amirthalinga Iyer. During his childhood, he grew extremely devoted to Goddess Abirami and would sit and pray to her religiously and sing songs of her praises.
His ardent devotion for the Goddess made him see every woman as the Devi herself and he often worshipped all women around him and prostrated to them. Such was his deep admiration and reverence for Goddess Abirami.
Once when Raja Serfoji, the Maratha Raja of Thanjavur visited the temple to pay his respect to Lord Shiva. He noticed Subramaniya Iyer in deep prayers and one of the members at the temple remarked that he was a madman while another explained his immense devotion to the Goddess. Curious, Serfoji approached him, while Subramaniya was in a trance in deep prayer. The Raja then questioned him as to what day of the month it was i.e. whether it was a full-moon day or a new-moon day. Subramaniya Iyer who was in a meditative state, could see nothing else but the shining glorious form of the Goddess, replied that it was a full-moon day while it was in fact a new-moon day.
The king was completely angered and outraged by his disrespect and lack of attention and rode off informing the former that he would have his head cut off if the moon did not appear on the sky by six in the night.
On realising his mistake in answering the King, Subramaniya Iyer was completely distraught that he had angered the Raja. He decided that only prayers could help him and lit a massive fire and erected a platform over it supported by a hundred ropes.
Sitting on the erected platform, he started chanting pleading with Goddess Abhirami to save him. He cut off one rope after another in succession on completion of each verse of his prayer. These prayers were powerful hymns form the Abhirami Anthadhi. On completion of the 79th hymn, it is believed that the Goddess Abhirami manifested herself before him and threw her earring over the sky such that it shone with bright light upon the horizon.
Subramaniya Iyer was ecstatic and filled with joy and a sense of reinstalled belief. He composed 22 more verses in praise of the Goddess to show his deepest respect.
On seeing this miracle, the king was shocked and mesmerised. He repented his mistake and immediately called off his guards and instead awarded Subramaniya Iyer. He also bestowed upon the latter the title of “Abirami Pattar” or “priest of Goddess Abhirami” and supposedly awarded his successors the privilege of using the title “Pattar”.
Earlier in the history, Sri Ratnaketa Srinivasa Dikshidhar who lived some 400 years ago during the time of Achuta Raya and Cevvappa, Surappa and Raghunatha, the Nayak Kings (who highly respected Dikshidhars scholarship) performed similar miracle. Through his abundant devotion to Sri Parasakti, Sri Dikshidhar was able to show a Full Moon on the Amavasya day to King Chandrasekara. For this, he was granted the entire village of Kotlambakkam near Panruti, Villupuram District in Tamil Nadu, extending to some 800 acres of land.
With the largesse from the king, Sri Dikshidhar renovated the Sri Sivakamasundhari Sametha Sri Chidambareswarar temple at Kotlambakkam and distributed land and house sites to various vedic scholars in his time. He also provided free food and succour to the poor and ailing. Sri Dikshidhar’s daughter Mangalam was married to Sri Appaya Dikshidhar.
Powerful verse from Abhirami Andhathi (Tamil):
“Dhanam Tharum Kalvi Tharum Orunaalum Thalarvu Ariya
Manam Tharum Deyva Vadivum Tharum Nenjil Vanjamila
Enam Tharum Nallana Ellam Tharum Anbar Enbavarkae
Manam Tharum Poonkuzhalal Abhirami Kadai Kanngalae!”
With the grace of Mother Abhirami who exhibits thick locks of hair resembling dark clouds, shall get the following by the mere grace of the corners of Her eyes: Riches, education, tireless mind, divine form, relatives without malevolence and everything good.
Jai Abhirami Jaya Jaya Abhirami !
Listen to Sri Abhirami Andhathi: