Saturday, 23rd June 2018
23 June 2018

Yathothkari Perumal Temple

Yathothkari Perumal Temple

This is in Kanchipuram in South India.  Kanchipuram is famous for two things one is a temple and the other is silk saree.  This temple is one among the ancient and beautiful temple situated here.The temple finds mention in Perumpaanatrupadai written by Patanjali. There is a mention about the temple in Silappatikaram (2nd-3rd century CE), Patanjali Mahabharatham and Tolkāppiyam (3rd century BCE). The temple is revered in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, the 7th–9th century Vaishnava canon, by Poigai Azhwar, Peyalvar, Bhoothathazhwar and Thirumazhisai Aazhwar. The Azhwars have sung praise on the different forms of Yathothkari Perumal. The temple is classified as a Divyadesam, one of the 108 Vishnu temples that are mentioned in the book. Many Acharyas have also written songs on the various forms of God in this Temple.

The Main Entrance

The temple is considered the birthplace of Poigai Azhwar, one of the first three Azhwar saints. He was found in a small pond (called Poigai in Tamil near temple. The temple and the pond are thus considered holy as it is the birthplace of the saint.

Architecture of the temple 

The Temple Backyard
This temple is not in the routine architecture.  Here the Lord is Perumal in sleeping posture. Usually, the Lord sleeps facing east that is his head is to our left but here the Lord is sleeping facing the west that is his head is to our right. The Lord is sleeping on his snake bed Adhiseshan. Goddess Saraswathi is in the form of river Vegavathi sitting in front of the Lord praying to him.  The urchavar idols are made of bronze and he stands with his consorts Seedhevi and Boodhevi. The Karudan sannadhi is in front of the Lord. Once outside the garpagraha if you go to your left is the Komalavalli Thayar temple. The Thayar idol is also huge and well dressed.  You come out of the Thayar temple there is a four pillar mandapam and the temple backyard.  The temple backyard is big and neat with a tree.  Ongoing to your left at the entrance is the Andal temple.  The Andal idol is also beautiful. On the left side is the Poigai Alwar mandapa. Next to this is another mandapa for the devotees.
Andal Temple
The temple is said to have been built by the Pallava kings in the beginning and later completed by the Chola and the Vijayanagar kings. The temple is considered one of three oldest Vishnu temples in Kanchipuram, the other two being Ulagalantha Perumal Temple and Pandava Thoothar Perumal Temple. The temple has 12 inscriptions from the Chola and Vijayanagar period. The temple is originally believed to be built during the period of Pallavas.

History of the temple

The Four Pillar Mandapam
Once Goddess Saraswathi and Goddess Lakshmi had a fight among themselves as to who is superior. They went to the Lord of heaven Indra and asked him to give his judgment he judged that goddess Lakshmi was superior. Angered more goddess Saraswathi went to her consort Lord Brahma and asked him who was superior he also told that goddess Lakshmi was superior. This made goddess Saraswathi angrier and she left Brahma. Later Brahma made an Ashwamedha yajna for Lord Vishnu. Usually, any yajna has to be done with wives but here Brahma did it without his wife so Goddess Saraswathi decided to stop the yajna. Lord Vishnu intercepted her along with his snake Adhisesha, Accepting her defeat she turned into a river called Vegavathi and sat down to pray to Lord Vishnu. This river later was called Vegavani then Vegannai and now Vekku
 Image result for brahma and saraswati

Once sage Bhargava had a son through Kanakangi, a celestial dancer. The boy was stillborn and was not fully developed during his birth. Kanakangi left his son under bushes and left to the celestial world. It is believed that the child was a divine incarnation of one of Vishnu’s weapons, the Chakra. By the grace of Vishnu and Lakshmi, the baby became alright and began to cry. A childless farmer couple who were passing by took up the child, named him Sivavakkiyar and started rearing him. Once the boy reached adulthood, he was skeptical about choosing between Saivism and Vaishnavism. He was defeated in arguments by Pey Azhwar. He became a devotee of Vaishnavism and the disciple of Pey Azhwar. Sivavakkiyar was also called Bhakthisarar and later as Thirumalisai Alvar.

Thirumalisai had a disciple by name Kanikkannan. He also had an old lady serving him – Thirumalisai prayed to the presiding deity of the temple and by the grace of Bhujangasayana Perumal, the old lady became a beautiful young lady. The Pallava king who was ruling the region at that time got attracted by the lady and married her. With time while the king was growing older, the lady remained young. He called up Kanikannan and ordered to sing the praise of him so that he also turned young. When he refused, the king ordered Kanikannan to be banished out of the country. Kanikannan explained this to his master Thirumalisai, who prayed to Bhujangasayana Perumal. When the king heard this, he ordered the three to be sent of the country, which they obliged. When the three left Kanchipuram, it was engulfed in darkness. Realizing his sin, the king worshiped Bhujangasayana Perumal to return along with his two devotees. Since the presiding deity obliged to his devotee’s wishes, he is called Yathothkari Perumal. Yathothka means as requested and kari denotes the person who accomplishes the task.One of the alwars, poet saints of the 7-10th century, Poigai Alvar was born at this temple.

Read about other temples

Sri Vaikunda Perumal Temple
Arulmigu Kari Krishna Perumal temple
Kurangani Sri Muthumalaiamman Temple

 

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