Celebrating the Azhwars and the Divya Desams of Lord Sriman Narayana!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thiru thaNkA Divya Desam (thUppul)

Popularly known as Thooppul, Thiru thanka is one of the 15 Divya Desams in and around Kanchipuram. This Divya Desam was the hallowed birthplace of the great Sri Vaishnava AchArya, Swami Vedantha Desikar (1268-1369 AD).

[Click here for a video clip from this Divya Desam]

The first picture above shows Swami Desikan at thUppul and the second shows the utsavar at this Divya Desam.

[Photos & video courtesy of Sri Periyamarai Setlur Srikanth]

Location and Access:

Thoopul is located in the temple town of Kanchipuram, which is approximately 70 kilometres from the South Indian metropolis of Chennai. Kanchipuram is a bustling town with plenty of options for stay and food. Covering all 15 Divya Desams in Kanchipuram can take between 1-3 days.

The Temple:

The temple campus is not very big, and all sannidhis can be covered easily in about 30 minutes. Immediately near the temple is a separate sannidhi for Swami Desikan. Also, this sannidhi houses the idol of Sri Lakshmi HayagrIvar that was worshipped by Swami Desikan himself in his lifetime.

The mUlavar in this temple has a very unique and auspicious name – Sri Deepa PrakAsar [viLakkoLi perumAL in Tamil]. The mUlavar is in a standing posture facing west. The thAyAr here is Sri MaragathavaLLi. There are also sannidhis for Lakshmi HayagrIva, ANDAL, and the AzhwArs. The walls of the temple have paintings describing events in the life of Swami Desikan.

Legends and History:

According to legend, asurAs (dark forces) tried to render the world dark in order to hinder a yagna conducted by Lord Brahma. To facilitate the conduct of the yagna, Lord Sri Vishnu himself manifested as bright light. This explains the name Deepa PrakAsar.

AzhwAr mangaLAsAsanams:

Tirumangai AzhwAr 1849, 2065
(pAsuram numbers as found in any standard Divya prabandham book)

A sample pAsuram:

பொன்னை, மாமணியை அணி ஆர்ந்தது ஓர்
மின்னை வேங்கடத்து உச்சியில் கன்டு போய்
என்னை ஆளுடை ஈசனை, எம் பிரான்
தன்னை யாம் சென்று காண்டும் தண்காவிலே

This pAsuram is part of a decad in which Tirumangai AzhwAr references many Divya Desams.

AzhwAr describes perumAL as his gold, his precious gem, his lovely streak of lightning, his Lord and Master. AzhwAr says – we have had the darshan of the Lord at the summit of TirumalA. Now let’s go and behold him at ThankA.

Sri MaragathavaLLi thAyAr samEtha Sri viLakkoLi perumAL thiruvadigaLAe saraNam
Sri vEdAntha dEsikar thiruvadigaLAe saraNam

No comments: