Thursday, 12 June, 2008

ri Panaka Narasimha Swamy: Mangalagiri

Om Namo Narayanaya namah

Ohm Vajranakaya Vidmahe
Dikshna Dha
mshtraya Dhemahi|
Thanno Narasimha Prasodayadh||

Kshetram: Mangalagiri

Abode of: Sri Panaka Narasimhar

Important Festivals:
Nrusimha jayanthi , Brahmotsa
vam (Feb-March) 15th). Srirama Navami, Hanumajayanthi, Vaikunta Ekadasi, Mahasivarathri. On Mahasivarathri, Lord will go on procession on a small chariot.

Mangalagiri means 'The Auspicious Hill'. This place is one of the 8 important Mahakshetrams (sacred places) in India. The eight places where Lord Vishnu manifested himself are (1) Sri Rangam (2) Srimushnam (3) Naimisam (4) Pushkaram (5) Salagamadri (6) Thothadri (7) Narayanasramam (8) Venkatadri. Thotadri is the present Mangalagiri. Lakshmi Devi has done tapas on this hill.

Sthala Puranam:
The Lord that has esta
blished himself on the hill is in the form of Narasimha (man-lion) which Lord Vishnu assumed to kill Hiranyakasipu, a rakshasa father of Prahlada, a great devotee. He is also called as Sudarsana Narasimhaswamy. The legend says that Namuchi, a Rakshasa after great penance obtained a boon from Brahma that he would not be killed by anything that is either wet or dry. He began to harass Indra and the Devathas. Encouraged and supported by Lord Vishnu, Indra commenced destroying the army of Rakshasa Namuchi, who did in a cave in Sukshmakaram (small size) giving up his sthulakaram (Physical manifestation). Indra dipped Sudarsanam, the disc of Lord Vishnu in the foam of the ocean and sent it into the cave. Lord Vishnu manifesting himself at the centre of the disc destroyed the Pranavayuvu (life breath) of the Rakshasa with the fire of his exhalation. He thus got the name of Sudarsana Narasimha. The blood that flowed from the body of the Rakshasa seemed to have formed into a pool at the foot of the hill which is known hill. The Devathas themselves were unable to withstand the fire of the anger of the Lord and they prayed for appeasement. The Lord took amrutam (nectar) and cooled down. It was in Krithayugam. The Lord said that he would be satisfied with ghee in Threthayugam, with milk in Dwaparayugam and with panakam(Jaggery water) in Kaliyugam. Hence the Lord is called in Kaliyugam as Panakala Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy.

Nearby Cities/Towns

Vijayawada: 8 miles
Guntur: 13 miles

How to get there

Air: Vijay Wada

Rail: Vijay Wada. From Vijay Wada by road to Mangalagiri. Buses/Cabs available.

Friday, 4 April, 2008

Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy - Pazhaiya Seevaram

Om Namo Narayanaya namah

Prathyadishta purathana praharana grama kshanam panijai,
AAvyath threeni jaganthya kunta mahima vaikunta kanteerava,
Yad pradur bhuvana davanthya jatarayadruchikkath vedasam,
Ya kachith sahasa maha sura grahsdhoonapithamayabotth

Kshetram: Pazhaiya Seevaram
Abode of: Lakshmi Narasimhar

Important Festivals:
Nrusimha jayanthi , Sankaranthi

Pazhaiya Seevaram (or Sripuram), a lovely little village with a temple for Lord Narasimha atop a small hillock, is about 15 km east of Kanchipuram on the Chengalpat road.

Once, Vishnu Chitthar, a great muni in Naimisaranyam asked to the other Rishis to say which is the best and great sthalam where he can get the seva of Sriman Narayanan in Archai (one among the 5 Nilayas (or) forms of Sriman Narayanan) roopam, where he can get the complete credit of his tapas.
On hearing this, Mareecha muni, one among the muni in that group answered that there exists an sthalam, where the Perumal has already given full palan (credit) for the tapas and is gifted with nature's beauty. He also added that the muni, who got the seva of the Perumal, is Atthiri Muni and he the wish of seeing the Perumal in Archai roopam and performed severe tapas in the place "Padmagiri". And as a result of the tapas, the Perumal came in front of him in the form of Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar. Atthiri muni wished that the Perumal should stay in that place and the entire Bhaktas of Human community.

About the temple:

The place is also marked by the confluence of three rivers — Palar, Cheyyar and Vegavathi — which can be seen merging together at the place from the temple on the hillock. Known as Dakshina Prayag, it is a much holier place than the Triveni Sangamam or Prayag in the north. This is because, while at Prayag all the three rivers are not visible to the naked eye (river Saraswathi is Antharvahini, running under ground) in Pazhaiya Seevaram the three rivers can be seen at the place of confluence.
In the midst of greenery everywhere with the river Palar running to its south, the hillock was known as Padmagiri in times of yore. It was here that Lord Narasimha was pacified by Goddess Mahalakshmi and hence it came to be known after Her as Sripuram, and later became Seevaram. How it acquired the title of old or pazhaiya is a mystery.

Apart from its holiness due to the confluence of the three rivers, the hill temple is visited by Lord Varadaraja of Kanchipuram on the day following Sankranthi, for what is known as ``Pazhaiya Seevaram Paarivettai''. Paarivettai is observed to mark the destruction of evil forces by the Lord and is celebrated in almost all Vishnu temples.

It is said the present Moolavar idol of Lord Varadaraja at Kanchipuram was sculpted out of a rock here after the original wooden idol of Atthi Varadar got damaged hundreds of years ago. It is said to mark this, Lord Varadaraja is taken to Pazhaiya Seevaram on the day following Sankranthi every year, when thousands of devotees gather here for vana bhojanam and aradhana.

Lord Varadaraja, who leaves His abode at 10 p.m. on Sankranthi day, accompanied by devotees including those reciting Azhwars' Paasurams and Vedas, is carried all the way to a distance of 15 km and goes around Pazhaiya Seevaram village at the foot of the hillock.

He reaches the Narasimha temple, which is in the middle of the hillock, at noon and then He is taken to the Varadaraja Mandapam atop the hill, by climbing the 140 steps. He stays in the mandapam there till 4 p.m. when thirumanjanam (sacred bath) and Aradhana are performed.

Later the Lord reaches the Narasimha Temple and both the Gods are taken to a temple at Thirumukkoodal, on the other side of Palar where a temple for Lord Srinivasa, known as Appan, exists. There the three Gods, along with the Lords of two other temples, give darshan.

Later Lord Varadaraja returns to Pazhaiya Seevaram along with Narasimhar and then starts His trek back to Kanchipuram late in the night and reaches there nextmorning.

The idol of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha in the Pazhaiya Seevaram Temple with the Goddess sitting on His left lap is full of grace. Unlike in many temples where He is worshipped as Ugra Narasimha, He is Santha Swaroopi here, full of charming beauty.
According to Brahmanda Puranam, the Lord came to Padmagiri to grant bliss to sages Athri, Markandeya and Bhrigu, who were doing penance here, as directed by other sages at Naimisaranyam. There is a separate shrine for the Goddess where She is worshipped as Ahobalavalli Thayar as at Ahobilam, in Andhra Pradesh.

The Moolavar's image is gigantic, rising to a height of over six feet and He is adorned with a five yards by three yards (pathaaru) dhoti and angavastra. The Goddess is adorned with the traditional nine yards sari. The Lord faces west looking towards Kanchipuram. There are separate shrines for Andal, the Azhwars and Desikar, besides the one for Goddess Ahobilavalli. The temple must have had been in existence long before the Chola rule as inscriptions belonging to the 11th century are found here.

How to get there
Nearest Airport:
Nearest Station: Kanchipuram. Suburban Trains available from Chennai
Road: Buses to Kanchipuram from Chennai & Tamabram.. 15kms from Kanchipuram on Chengelput road.

Tuesday, 9 October, 2007

Yoga Narasimhaswamy - Vedasreni

Om Namo Narayanaya namah

Prathyadishta purathana praharana grama kshanam panijai,
AAvyath threeni jaganthya kunta mahima vaikunta kanteerava,
Yad pradur bhuvana davanthya jatarayadruchikkath vedasam,
Ya kachith sahasa maha sura grahsdhoonapithamayabotth

Kshetram: Vedasreni now known as Velachery
Abode of: Yoga Narasimhar

Important Festivals:
Nrusimha jayanthi

Vedasreni Yoga Narasimha swami Temple is an ancient temple located at Velachery enroute to Tambaram, Chennai. Though it is not sanctified by the Azhwars' hymns, the seventh decade of the Periya Thirumozhi beginning with the poem, `Anganngnalamanja Angoer Aalariyaai', sung in praise of the Lord at Ahobilam, is dedicated to the Lord here, who, according to the temple legend, is worshipped as he gave darshan to Prahlada.

About the temple:
He is seen here as `Yoga Narasimha', with four hands and in a sitting posture facing the western direction, which is rare. The Goddess Amirthbalavalli (the same name with which she is worshipped at Ahobilam) is housed in a separate shrine in the main prakaram (precinct). The utsavar (processional deity) is Bhaktavatsala Perumal flanked by Sridevi and Bhoodevi. But the place gets its name from Lord Vedanarayana Perumal, who is enshrined in the manimandapam of the temple. He is seen standing, facing west with the `Prayoga Chakra' (the holy disc) ready to leave his hand to slay the evil-doer. This is also a rare position. Lord Devanatha in Chettypunnyam at Singaperumalkoil, near Chengalpattu is also in a similar position.

Velachery was also known as Vedanarayanapuram in Tamil and Vedasreni in Sanskrit after this Lord. Another explanation is that sages stayed here and conducted yagnas (rituals) regularly and hence the place was called Vellvicheri (Vellvi in Tamil means yagna), which later became Velacheri. Apart from the presiding deities and Sri Vedanarayana Perumal, Kothandaramar, Andal, Hanumar, Azhwars, Ramanuja and Manavala Mamunigal are also worshipped in the temple.

Located in Chennai

How to get there
Air: 5 kms from Chennai Airport
Rail: 2 kms from Guindy Station
Road: Buses to Tamabram via Velachery from Saidapet

Thursday, 13 September, 2007

Sri Ugra Narasimha Swamy - Singaperumal Koil

Om Namo Narayanaya namah

Deva karya sidhyartham,
sabha sthambha samudbhavam,
Sri nrusimham mahaveeram
namami runa mukthaye.

Kshetram: Singaperumal Koil
Abode of: Ugra Narasimhar

Important Festivals: Brahmotsavam (from June 2),
Nrusimha jayanthi,

Singaperumal Koil, is a small town about 45 km to the south of Chennai. It is the abode of Ugra Narasimhaswamy, situated on top of a small hillock.

The Lord's image has been carved out on the hillock itself and hence one who wants to go in circumambulation of the Lord has to do so by going round the hillock itself. The Lord in sitting posture has three eyes, and wears the Salagrama and Sahasranama garlands. The Goddess here is known as Ahobilavalli.

Sthala Puranam:
According to "Brahmanda Puranam" the temple was surrounded by a big forest where Sage Jabali was doing penance praying to the Lord to appear before him. It was the time of Narasimha incarnation and He appeared before the sage as "Ugra Narasimha" after slaying the demon, Hiranyakasipu. The Goddess here, as in Ahobilam, is known as Ahobilavalli and there are separate shrines for the Goddess, Andal, Azhwars and Acharyas. ``Periya Thirumozhi" hymns, starting with "Anganngnalamanja," in praise of the Lord in Ahobilam are recited here also.

The name Singaperumal translates to Lion-god. The idol of Pataladri Narasimha is about 8 ft tall.

The idol is a part of a large boulder (almost a hillock). Hence if one desires to circumbulate the idol (pradakshina), one needs to go round the boulder. This is called Giri-valam in Tamil. Giri is hill/mountain and Valam is going round.

The performance of Arathi is unique here. The priests remove the "Namam" of Narasimhaswamy to reveal a third eye.

Padaladri means Red faced - here Narasimha is an Ugra roopa. Legend has it that he manisfested here at the request of Sage Jabali, after the destruction of Hiranyakashyapu. Since Narasimha here is in a position to destroy evil, it is believed that if one sees the third eye of this god, all misery of life is removed.

One can go around the hillock thice, seven times, nine times or twelve times. On the Prakara are idols of Venkateshwara and Lakshmi-Narasimha swami. There is also a wish-fulfilling tree, the Mandapa and the Bali peetha

Nearby Cities/Towns
Chennai: 45 Kms

How to get there

Rail: One can reach Singaperumal Koil from Chennai which is well connected by rail.
Road: There are regular buses connecting Singaperumal with Chennai and Chengulput.

Thursday, 23 August, 2007

Sri Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy - Parikkal

Om Namo Narayanaya namah

Deva karya sidhyartham,
sabha sthambha samudbhavam,
Sri nrusimham mahaveeram
namami runa mukthaye..

Kshetram: Parikkal

Abode of: Lakshmi Narasimhar

Sthala Vriksham: Magizham

Important Festivals:
Nrusimha jayanthi , Brahmotsavam month of Chithirai)

Parikkal Narasimha Temple is an ancient temple located at
Parikkal village, 23 km from Viluppuram. The place is situated between two rivers, Thenpennai and Garuda. The Lord is also found with His left hand around the Goddess.

Sthala Puranam: According to a legend,
Lord Vishnu destroyed a demon known as Parakalasuran here to save his devotees and hence the place came to be known as Parikkal. It is also said that in order to appease the Lord Narasimha, Goddess Lakshmi embraced him and thus Parikkal gained its name. His devotees and hence the place came to be known as Parikkal.
The Lord here was said to have appeared before Vasantharajan, a local ruler.

About the Temple:
Unlike in most of the Narasimha temples, the Utsavar idol here is also that of Narasimha in standing posture with Sridevi and Bhoodevi on either side. There is also a small idol of Lakshminarasimha in the sanctum sanctorum besides that of Sudarsana.
There is a separate shrine for the Goddess, Kanagavalli Thayar, on the right side of the temple, and Her Utsava idol is inside the main sanctum sanctorum. To the northwest is the shrine of Anjaneya, where two idols of Bhakta Anjaneya and Veera Anjaneya are worshipped. A pilgrim can offer obeisance to Anjaneya at the entrance while the idols of Vinayaka and the Nagars are found in the main Prakaram. Afterpraying at the shrine of Garuda, he can worship the presiding deity, Lakshmi Narasimha with His Consort, seated on His left lap. Said to be a Swayambu Murthi, the idol, according to some scholars, was installed by Vyasaraja.

The Anjaneya idol, found inside the sanctum sanctorum, was also installed by him and it is one of the 732 idols installed by the saint all over the south. The other, of course, is the idol in the Nallattoor Temple, near Tiruttani.

The shrine is thronged by those who are afflicted by Navagraha Dosha and they light ghee and oil lamps. They spread before the idols the nine kinds of grains (Navadanyam) and write their pleas on them seeking relief and His blessings. In the northern Prakaram there is a shrine for Lord Varadaraja of Kancheepuram.

There is an ancient "Deepasthampam" in front of the temple, which faces east. Festivals are held almost every month with the Brahmotsavam taking place in Chithirai, when the float festival is also celebrated. The Lord visits Thenpennai and Garuda rivers for "Theerthavari" in the months of Thai, Masi and Panguni.

Nearby Cities/Towns
Villupuram: 20 Kms
Pondicherry: 32 kms
Cudallore: 15 kms

How to get there
Parikkal Railway Station is on the Virudhachalam-Viluppuram line.
Road: Buses from Panruti, Ulundurpet and Viluppuram pass through Parikkal.