Monday, March 1, 2010

Temple Visit - Thiruvidanthai

Hello readers,

I recently visited a special and unique temple at Thiruvudanthai near Chennai. Yes! Here the Wedding of the Lord is celebrated on all the 365 days of the year. The Lord here is Varaha Swami [Wild Boar] which is one of the Avatar of Lord Vishnu who redeemed Mother Earth from the clutches of demon Hiranyaksha. The Lord is aptly named as “Nithya Kalyana Perumal” i.e. Lord who is ever engaged in Marriage. Here the Lord got married the 360 daughters of Maharishi Kalava.

Attention bachelors and spinsters! If your marriage proposal getting delayed please visit this temple and make your offerings and the Lord will answer to your needs. One could able to see the steady stream of aspiring grooms and brides from all parts of India here to make and complete their vow. One of the 12 Azhwars or devotees of Lord Vishnu Thirumangai Azhwar has visited this temple and composed divine poem on the Lord. Hence this shrine is considered as one of the 108 Vaishnava Divya Shetras or Divine Temples.
Finds interesting?!! Please read on to get to know more about this temple.

Happy reading!
Warm Regards
A.V. Devan
Chennai – 28th Feb 2010

Thiruvidaventhai toThiruvidanthai

Thiruvidanthai a small but scenic village, is about 40 km from Chennai en route Mamallapuram on the ECR Road. This holy pilgrim centre is one of the 108 principal Vaishnavite kshetrams. Here is the Lord with the wild-boar (Varaha) face hailed as the Sri Lakshmi Adi Varahaswamy, who has his right foot, raised knee-high, resting on the many-hooded serpent Adi Sesha. This sacred shrine faces the sea on the east, and has, for its environs, tall trees and lush groves aplenty, giving the pilgrim sublime peace and equipoise. The centre earns its name due to the fact that the 9-foot-high Lord’s idol has his consort Bhoomi Devi (Mother Earth) seated on his left thigh (‘Thiru’ : Sacred Consort : Ida Venthai : left side). This place is also called Nithya Kalyana Puri, Sri Puri and Varaaha Puri. Soon after entering the archway, one finds the temple tank and in a few meters away is the temple. A beautiful 16 pillar mandapam stands before the temple entrance, exhibiting rare stone-panel relief figures carved on its pillars with deities and avatars of Lord Vishnu and some damsels and folk artists as well. Thiruvidaventhai soon got changed to Thiruvidanthai by which name it is presently known.

The temple history dates back to 8th Century A.D. The Epigraphical evidences found in the temple precincts advise us of the relative antiquity of this Thiruvidanthai Sri Akhilavalli Sametha AdiVarahaSwami - Nithya Kalyana Perumal Temple, from the 10th to 16th centuries A.D. Chola, Udaiyar, Rashtrakuta and Pandyan kings have worshipped the Lord at this temple and have bequeathed meaningful gifts as was the custom prevalent then. Raja Raja Chozha is said to have celebrated a 7day festival during the Tamil calendar month of Aavani and a 9day festival for Panguni Uthiram. He is also said to have fed a number of Brahmins here. Vijaya Rajendra Chozha is said to have donated this entire village to the Thiruvidanthai Lord.

Proper worship to the divine serpent holding the Lord’s divine feet is expected to relieve the devotee of Rahu-Kethu afflictions. Rahu and Kethu are symbolic snake representations. There is a separate shrine for Komalavalli Thayar. Holy dips in the Varaha Theertham sacred temple tank in the month of Masi (Feb-March), in the Kalyana Theertham in Chithirai (April-May) and in the Ranganathar Theertham in Margazhi (Dec–Jan) would ensure wish-fulfilment and ultimate redemption. A nine-time circumambulation of the temple precints in the enjoined manner assures pleasing and speedy wedlock.

Thirumangai Azhwar & Thiruvidanthai

The moolavar (immovable principal idol) is worshipped as Sri Akhilavalli Sametha Adi Varahapperumal or Jnaanappiran, the embodiment of all wisdom and knowledge. Thirumangai Alwar, the hierarchically juniormost Alwar, is the only Alwar to have sung on this Lord ten pasurams (Peria Thirumozhi - 2.7.1 to 10) glorifying his form and attributes. It is the firm belief of all devotees that a devout prayerful pilgrimage to this sacred shrine will ensure speedy marriage and lifelong prosperity. The utsavamurthy (the processional idol) Sri Nithya Kalyana Perumal has for his consort Sri Komalavalli Naachiyaar (Komalavalli - the Goddess typifies a delicate creeper : tendril). This place is believed to be a ‘Kalyana dosha nivarthi sthalam’ and is thronged by a large number of youngsters of both sex, every day, who pray with their parents to ward of the hurdles in their life for their marriage to take place smoothly. Later, on fulfillment of the marriage they visit once again with their spouse and go round the temple together wearing garlands around their necks. This is a common sight taking place in the temple daily which one can’t miss.

The Legend

Once a Rishi named Kuni Muni performed severe penance to reach heaven along with his daughter. By the blessings of the supreme, Kuni Muni ascended to the heavenly kingdom, however his daughter could not achieve the same fortune. Sage Narada took pity on the distraught girl and came down to talk to her. “Child, didn’t your father tell you, that the riches of the kingdom of heaven can be achieved only by married men and women? Don’t worry over this. Marry a suitable man, enjoy the bliss of a grahastha, and then you too would ascend to heaven.” Narada consoled her. The girl immediately took Narada’s advice and went around the holy place of Varaha Kshetra, asking the eligible rishis to marry her. When she knocked the door of Kalava Maharishi with the same plea, the rishi took pity on her and married her. As destiny would have it, the blessed couple parented 360 children, females all! The celestial maiden left for her heavenly abode. The sage, burdened with 360 fast-growing female children, was counseled to worship Lord Varahaswami at Thiruvidaventhai and get suitable bridegrooms for them all in due course. It is said the Lord himself came down before the sage in the form of a young and charming bachelor and in pursuance of the sage Kalva’s earnest prayers, agreed to marry all his 360 beautiful daughters. So, in the next 360 days, the celestial bachelor, Lord of Lords, married all these maidens, one by one for one whole year. Hence, he earned the appellation ‘Nithya (daily) Kalyana (marriage) Perumal (the Lord of Lords)’, meaning ‘the Lord who gets married every day’. But, lo! All the 360 brides got transformed into one single bride. As the first maiden’s name was Komalavalli, the combined form of all these maidens into one came to be worshipped as Akhilavalli Naachiar (Akhilam signifying ‘many’ : Akhilam also means the ‘world’ and, therefore, Mother Earth, Bhoomi Devi). The Nithya Kalyana Perumal utsavamurthy is invariably dressed and decked as a bridegroom and marriages are celebrated everyday. Even the ‘drishtippottu’ - the dot placed on the left cheek of every bridegroom, to ward off evil spirits - is placed on the Perumal’s cheek on all days as he is the daily bridegroom, the ever bridegroom!

Bali's penance and Aadhi Vaarahan providing Darshan

Asuras wanted to take on the Devas and sought the help of Bali, son of Asura Meganathan. Bali, known for his fairness, asked them not to fight the Devas without a cause and refused to support the Asuras. Without Bali’s participation, the Asuras were soundly defeated. The Asuras surrendered to Bali and once again requested him to fight for them. Pushed by the Asuras, Bali agreed and under his leadership the Asuras won. Bali is said to have undertaken penance here at Thiruvidanthai to atone the sin of fighting the Devas without a just cause. Pleased with his prayers, Lord Aadhi Varaahan is believed to have appeared before him and given him Moksham at this place.

Vaishnavite lore has it that all of us are females and the Lord Narayana is the only male - Purushothama. For ultimate salvation we have to seek eternal union with him. It is only in this context that Thirumangai Alwar offers 10 hymnal endearments (pasurams) to the Lord yearning for merger in him. The ‘Nayika’ (bride) seeks merger in the ‘Nayaka’ (bridegroom). This is, in essence, bridal mysticism. It is against this background that Thiruvidanthai assumes special significance when we pray to the Lord for marriage - wish fulfillment in an earthly way but with a sublime connotation. We must understand and appreciate the spirit and significance behind a reverential pilgrimage to this temple.

How to Reach

The temple at Thiruvidanthai is in Chengalpattu circle, Kanchipuram district, about 40 km from Chennai Located on the Chennai – Mahabalipuram ECR Road, about 2 Km from Kovalam. Regular buses are available to this sacred centre at frequent intervals.

Quick Facts

Deity : Aadhi Varaaha Perumal East Facing standing posture Goddess : Agila Valli NaachiyarUtsavar : Nithya Kalyana PerumalAzhvaar :ThiruMangai Azhvaar - 13 Paasurams ( 1108- 1117, 1021,2707,2774)Temple Timing : 6am –12noon and 3pm-8pmContact : Sriram Bhattar @ 044 27472522 or 98409 36927Address : 1/55, U-1 Mada Street Thiruvidanthai PO, Kovalam Via, Kanchipuram Dist 603112Location: 40 kms South of Madras along the East Coast RoadBus : Buses from Chennai (bus nos. 117,118,188V,188K,188A)

Reference :

“My crooked deeds are chasing me relentlessly like a shadow and I am truly shaken. I, therefore, ran and sought refuge at the divine feet of the Lord at Thiruvidaventhai and, lo, these evil forces are fleeing away from me realising that the Lord there is my saviour, support and dear to me." Divyakavi Pillai Perumal Iyengar - 108 Tirupati Andaathi - ‘Thiruvidaventhai’.


devan said...

devan goodarticle

EVERJOY said...

excellent. thanks for nice sharing

Anonymous said...

Very usefull info. Thanks for blogging...

Srinivasan said...

Good sweet description on the importance of the Lord Himself and the temple too- Mr. Devan - Kudos!!! to you. Success to sincere and ardent devotees is guaranteed when one worships here with true love and ultimate surrender to the lord's feet.

Sree said...

Sir- Many thanks for this article.. I am visiting this temple next week. You said "Buses from Chennai (bus nos. 117,118,188V,188K,188A)" From where can I board one of these buses.. Do they start from Parrys ?

I am GOD said...

Hi. Excellent Post. Recently I visited this temple and it was a really good experience. The temple is so peaceful and relaxing. For the help of other viewers, if you cannot get a direct bus to Thiruvedanthai, get a bus to Kelambakkam. From kelambakkam you can get an auto for Rs 50 or you get a frequent bus going from kelambakkam through kovalam to the temple