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 Sthalapuranam of Athigiri

Patthi mudhalama vatril pathi ennaku koodamal
Etthisaiyum uzhadrodi elaithu vizhum kakampol
Muthitarum nagareazhil mukiyamam kachithanil
Athigiri arulalarku adaikalam naan pugunthanea
Swami Desikan - Adaikalappattu –1
 

 
The above mentioned the pasurams in the adaikalappattu reveals that this posting is about THIRUKACCHI - ATHTHIGIRI : Perun Devi thayar sametha Varadaraja perumal
 

 Attiyuraan pulaiyurvan, animaniyin
Tuthi ser nagathin mel thuyilvaan, muthi
Maraiyavaan makadal nanzhuandan tanakum
Eraiyavan engal piran

 Boodatazhwar – Irandam Thiruvandadi – 96


This kshetra is mentioned in padmapurana and kurmapurana. This is the avathara sthalam of Poigai Piran. This is once a very beautiful and very important trade centre of the past and this is one of the muktiu kshetra “ nagareshu Kanchi. “.This kshetra is very important to all the srivaishnavites and it is known as Perumal Kovil in the SrI vaishanavite parlance.

Location : About the Temple: Kanchipuram is one of the major city in in South India, where lots of Vaishnava temples are found. Kanchipuram is situated in Tamil Nadu. It is about 70 Kms away from Chennai. Lots of bus and lodging facilities are available.( Please refer map for further details )
 

The temple atop a small hill has five prakara viz Vaiyyamailikai, Senayarkon, Alavandhar, Azhwar Thiruvedhi and Madaveethi. The Garuda sevai during Vaikasi visakam  is very famous.

Specialties: Avathara Sthalam of Poigai Alwar. Like Srirangam Here also the Vaishnavism is flourishing.

Here there is Lord named
Athivaradhar. The Idol is made of Atthi Tree and It is lying in the Temple Tank and it is taken out for Bhakthas's Darisanam once in 40 years and that too this Lord gives darshan to Bhakthas's only for 40 days ( One mandalam) .

Then Lord Kanchi Vardharajars Vaikasi Garudha Sevai is Very famous.

It is said the Iyaravatha ( The celestial Elephant) has taken the form of a Mountain and our Emberuman is stationed on that ( There are 24 steps if you observe and it looks like our Devadhi Rajan is standing on a small Hill lock) Giri means mountain, Hence this place is known as Athi Giri ( Vedhagiri) .

Lord Brahma wanted to get the darshan of Sriman Narayanan in Chathur Bhujam (with four hands) and because of this, did penance. First the Perumal gave his seva in the form of Theertham, Which is now called as "PUSHKAR" situated in Rajasthan. Next he gave the seva in the form of Forest, which in now called as "NAIMASARANYAM" near Delhi . You know that no one is fully satisfied so was our Lord Brahma . At that time, he heard an Asarari (an celestial  voice ) which said that to get the darshan of Sri Varadaraja, he must do the great Ashwamedha yagam (Sathya Vrudam) for hundred times. Lord Brahma felt so depressed that did not have enough time nor the patience to perform 100 Ashwametha yagam. Finally Sriman Narayanan instructed him to perform a Ashwametha yagam at Hasthagiri which will be equal to doing 100 Ashwametha yagam. It is said that doing one Ashwametha yagam in Kanchipuram is equivalent to doing 100 times elsewhere.


Lord Chaturmukha Brahma started the yagam and from the yagna Kundam came our beloved Emberuman , he gave his darshan as desired by Lord Brahma . Emberuman was pleased with Brahma for performing a Ashwamedha Yagam in Athi Giri Kshetram and since he granted the Varam  to Lord Brahma Emberuman is called as Sri Vardharaaja . As per the sthala puranam Brahma performed Ashwamedha Yagna to have the darshan of Lord and the lord appeared from the Yagam Kundam and the
Face of the Lord displays signs of scorching from fire.

Pleased with the yagna Lord granted the boon, Hence the name Varadaraja. This place was worshipped in Krutayuja by Brahma, in Tretayuja by Gajendra, in Dwaparayuja by Brahaspati and in Kaliyuga by Adishesha

How the name Kanchi came to town is : Ka = Brahma & Anjitham = who was worshipped. Since, Brahma worshipped Emberuman as Vardharaaja, this sthalam is called "Kanchi". Since Our Emberuman was satisfied with Brahma Devan and granted him a boons he is called Varadarajan.
 

Asamanjan ( Son of King Sakarani of Ayodhya's ) and his wife as a result of curse, they became Lizards. Sage Ubamanyu as ked them to worship Lord Vardharaaja and due to this they regained their original form. Both these two lizards can be seen in this sthalam in a small Sannadhi. It is said on touching this lizards, all kinds of problems and diseases are cured. Still now all the bhaktas come far and near to worship these lizards to get their problems solved.
 

Azhagiyasingar - Nrusimha is found along with Arithra Devi Thayar and his Sannadhi Vimanam is (cave) Guhai Vimanam.

Mangalasasnam:
Thirumangai Alwar - 4 Pasurams ( Pasurams # 1541,2050,2060 & 2066)
Bhoodhathalwar- 2 Pasurams ( 2276 & 2277)
Pey Alwar - 1 Pasurams (2307)
Total of 7 Pasurams is sung on praise of Lord of this Kshetram.

Other Noble souls who did Mangalasasnam in Thirukachi are: Aalavanthaar, Thirukachinambi   This place is also dear to Swami Thirukacchi Nambigal who was one of the acharyas to Swami Bhasyakarar. It is Nambigal who used to talk with Lord dEva Rajan daily during Nambigal Alavatta Kainkaryam (Fan) It is said that during the last days of the Nambigal, Nambigal was not able to travel to Kanchipuram from ponnamalee. Hence the Lord Deva Rajan became Pratyaksham to Nambigal early morning in ponnamalee. We can also see that Lord dEva Rajan is giving darshan to people with surya mandalam in ponnamalee the avathara sthalam of Nambigal . A Mantapam know as Kacchi Mantapam there where lord Vardha comes and sits during Ustavam and this Mantapam is very near sacred sanctum) , Udayavaar, Koorathazhvaan, Nadathur  Ammal ( It is said that God gave him the title of Ammal because whenever he used to offer Hot milk as Neyvediyam he use to make it cool it and offer milk to God it used to appear as  loving mother cares for welfare of child . Vedantha Desikan (
There is a painting illustrating the  Kalashepam of Nadathur Ammal and this is the place where our swami Desikan was first spotted and blessed by Nadathur Ammal by following words "Pratishtapita Vedaantah Prati- Kshipta Bahir Mathaa  Bhooyaah Traividyaa Maanyas Tvam Bhoori Kalayana Bhaajanam"  Please see the picture in photo gallery.), Manavala Maamunigal etc.

Bhaktas can enter the temple through Punniyakodi Vimanam, which is 200 H x 800 W and fully surrounded by huge walls. After entering we can find Nootrukkal Mantapam (Mantapam with 100 pillars) which has extra ordinary sculptures on each pillars and a chain made up of stone can be seen. Behind this Mantapam, we can find the Pushkarini.

Ps: Swami Desikan blessed us with a Grantham titled Hasthagiri Mahatmiya in manipravala style. The Tamil pasurams of this Grantham are compiled as a Tamil prabandham and titled Meyvratha Mahatmiya. Aththigiri or Hasthagiri means Kanchipuram. As we can easily guess this prabandham provides the sthala puranam of Kanchipuram and the birth of PerArulalan.

Here is the story: Long ago Brahma wanted to worship Perumal in person and he could not succeed due to his karmas. He came to Bharatha Gantam and undertook severe penance. That time one divine voice or prophecy from the heavens told him that he should go to Sathyavratha Kshetram and perform Ashwamedha yagam constructing a Yagashala  at Hasthagiri. Brahma then ordered  Viswakarma the chief architect of devas to construct a Yagashala at Hasthagiri for which Viswakarma obliged. Brahma was getting ready to perform the Yagam as ordered by the Celestial voice

But at that time Brahma’s wife Saraswathi Devi was not with him due to some misunderstanding with him. Saraswathi separately went to the banks of river Saraswathi and performing penance. Since the religious functions can’t be performed alone and only with the Ardhagini,  Brahma sent his son Sage Vashishta to invite Saraswathi. Sage Vashishta went to his mother and invited her but she refused. Brahma continued the Yagam with his other wives like Savithri etc.

Asuras who never be happy with the welfare of devas went to Saraswathi and created further misunderstanding by telling her that Brahma is continuing his Yagam without Saraswathi thus ignoring her. This made Saraswathi furious and she took the form of a river and hurried to destroy the Yagashala. Sriman Narayana stopped her from destroying the Yagashala by lying down across her/river. Saraswathi realised her mistake and re joined Brahma. Brahma was happy at her return and proceeded with the Yagam.

Once the Havis was offered, from the Yagaya Kundam a Vimanam called Punyakoti Vimanam came out with great tejas. SrI PerArulalan was also appeared in the Vimanam ( If you closely observe the Uthsava moorthy you can find some (scars ) Thazumbhu in the face of the idol. Brahma was extremely happy and offered his prayers to Perumal. Sriman Narayana was also happy with the devotion of Brahma and ordered him to ask for any boons. Brahma immediately requested for Perumal to stay at Hasthagiri for which Perumal agreed to. Brahma thus successfully completed the Yagam and then went to sathyalokam and immersed in the bhagavath dhyanam.

Imaginary Picture depicting Brahma praying to Lord Vishnu & Brahma conducting a yagna

 

 

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