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

Saturday, August 16, 2014

ThiruvaNvaNdUr Divya dEsam (aka ThiruvamundUr)

ThiruvaNvaNdUr is yet another Divya dEsam that is located in the Chengannur area. It is one of the five divya dEsams in this area that is connected with the pAndavAs of mahAbhArathA fame.

Location and Access:

This Divya dEsam is located 6 km to the North of Chengannur along the Ernakulam-Trivandrum railway. There are no facilities for lodging here, hence it is best to stay at TiruvallA.

The Temple:

The temple is located on the banks of the pampA river. It is built in the typical kEraLA divya dEsam style with a circular vimAnam. The thAyAr here is Sri Kamalavalli nAchiyAr and the perumAL here is Sri pAmbaNai appan (pAmbaNai = snake bed; appan = father). Also, the name pAmbaNai appan is interpreted as “pampA nadi appan”, since the temple is located on the banks of the pampA nadhi (river). Sri perumAL here is also known as Sri kamalanAthan. Sages mArkandeyA and naradA are also seen in this temple. There is an idol of Sri Krishna dancing on the head of a five-headed snake in this temple.

Legends and History:

According to mythology, Sage NaradA worshipped Lord Sri Vishnu here. Sri Vishnu ordained that it would be Sage naradA’s vocation to disseminate true knowledge to the world. Also, Sage naradA composed the “naradeeya purAnam” here, establishing the primordial nature of Sri Vishnu and the protocol for worshipping Him.

According to legend, this temple was renovated by Nakula, the fourth of the pAndavA brothers in the mahabhArathA.

According to recent history, idols of Lord Sri Vishnu were found in this town while digging the earth. These were installed in the temple in new sannidhis.

AzhwAr mangaLAsAsanams:

nammAzhwAr: 3227-37

 [Note: The numbering convention for the pAsurams seems to differ in various Divya Prabandham books. In some Divya Prabandham books, the same pAsurams by srI nammAzhwAr are listed as verse numbers 2634-44.]

A sample pAsuram:

வேறுகொண்டு உம்மை யான் இரந்தேன்; வெறி வண்டினங்காள்
தேறு நீர்ப் பம்பை வடபாலைத் திருவண்வண்டூர்
மாறு இல் போர் அரக்கன் மதிள் நீறு எழச் செற்று உகந்த
ஏரு சேவகனார்க்கு என்னையும் உளன் என்மின்களே  

In this pAsuram, Sri nammAzhwAr appeals to honey bees to convey his longing for Sri PerumAL to Him. The Lord who reduced the demon-king rAvaNA’s capital to rubble resides in ThiruvaNvandUr, which is located on the northern bank of the river pampA.

SrI  kamalavaLLi thAyAr samEtha Sri pAmbaNai appan  thiruvadigaLE saranam

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Thiru vAran viLai Divya dEsam (Aranmula)

This is also one of the five malai nAdu divya dEsams associated with the five pAndavAs of mahAbhArathA fame. Also, this is one of the six divya dEsams that can be visited with the town of TiruvallA as the travel base.

Location and Access:

It is located 10 kilometres east of the town of ChengannUr and is on the banks of the PampA river. There are very limited facilities for boarding and lodging here. It is best to travel by road from ChengannUr or TiruvallA. Incidentally, the pampA river at the banks of this temple is the site of the famous Aranmula boat race that is held in the Onam season (August – September). Also, Aranmula is the provenance of the famous Aranmula kannAdi, which is a type of hand-crafted mirror made of metal alloy instead of glass. For more information on this, see this link: http://www.aranmula.net/AranmulaKannadi.aspx

The Temple:

The temple is fairly big. The thAyAr here is known as padmAsani nAchiyAr and the mUlavar here is ThirkkuraLappan who is in a standing posture. The mUlavar is also known as pArthasArathy (literally means, ArjunA’s charioteer). Also seen here are icons of BrahmA and sage vEda vyAsa. The theertham here is known as vEda vyAsa saras.

Legends and History:

According to legend, Arjuna, the third of the pAndavAs renovated this shrine. He worshipped the Divya Dampathi here to expiate for his sin of killing Karna when the latter was unarmed during the great mahAbhArathA war, and regained his peace. It is also believed that the vanni tree here has healing properties.

Also, once, a couple of demons named Madhu and KaitabhA stole the vEdAs from BrahmA, the creator. BrahmA, bereft of the vEdAs, prayed to the Divya dampathi for their restoration. The Divya Dampathi here restored the knowledge of the vEdAs to BrahmA.

AzhwAr mangaLAsAsanams:

nammAzhwAr: 3436-46

[Note: The numbering convention for the pAsurams seems to differ in various Divya Prabandham books. In some Divya Prabandham books, the same pAsurams by srI nammAzhwAr are listed as verse numbers 2843-53.]

A sample pAsuram:

இன்பம் பயக்க எழில் மலர் மாதரும் தானும், இவ் ஏழ் உலகை
இன்பம் பயக்க, இனிது உடன் வீற்றிருந்து ஆள்கின்ற எங்கள் பிரான்
அன்புற்று அமர்ந்து உறைகின்ற அணிபொழில் சூழ்  திருவாறண்விளை
அன்புற்று அமர்ந்து, வலஞ்செய்து கைதொழும் நாள்களும் ஆகும்கொலோ ?

In this pAsuram, Sri nammAzhwAr wonders when he will have the fortune of worshipping and circumambulating the Lord at ThiruvAran vilai. The Lord rules the world benevolently with His Consorts, spreading happiness.

SrI padmAsani thAyAr samEtha SrI ThirukkuraLappan thiruvadigaLE saranam