Sunday, October 28, 2007

Kanchipuram Ashtabhujam

The only divya desam where Lord Vishnu is seen with 8 hands
Lord with 8 hands and Thirumangai’s curiosity
Located 2 kms South West of Varadaraja Perumal temple and ½ km South of ThiruVekka is the Ashtabhujam Gajendra Varadan temple in Kanchipuram. 

The story of this temple too revolves around Saraswathi’s attempt to stop Brahmma’s Ashwamedha Yaagam.Continuing her quest to stop Brahmma’s Ashwamedha Yaagam, Saraswathi sends a dangerous looking Kaali along with an asura. Lord Vishnu appeared with 8 hands with a weapon in each hand to kill the asura and to subdue Kaali. In memory of this event, there is a Kaali temple next to this Divya Desam.

Thirumangai Azhvaar had praised Lord Vishnu in different forms and sizes but he had not seen one with 8 hands. Looking at this Lord, he could not understand who the one with 8 hands was and how one could be in this form.He tires to recount all the different forms of Lords Vishnu that he had praised but could not relate to this one. Hence, in each of his Paasurams directed at the Lord here, he, with a lot of curiosity, constantly asks the question 'who are you- the one with 8 hands.'

மேவி  அப்பாலும் விண்ணோர் வணங்க 

வேதம் உரைப்பார்  முனீர் மதந்தை தேவி 
அப்பால் அதிர் சங்கம் இப்பால் சக்ரம் மற்று இவர் வண்ணம் என்னில் 

காவி ஒப்பார் கடலேயும் ஒப்பார் கண்ணும் வடிவும் நெடியார் ஆய் 
என் ஆவி ஒப்பார் இவர் யார்கொல் என்ன 
அஷ்ட  புயகரம் என்றாரே ”- Thirumangai Azhvaar in Periya Thirumozhi

Gajendra Moksham
An elephant which came to the temple tank to pick up flowers for the Lord was caught in the clutches of a crocodile. Lord Vishnu is said to have hurled his disc at the crocodile to save the elephant. Lord here is said to have provided a ‘replayed version’ of Gajendra Moksham to PeyAzhvaar.

This is the only Divya Desam in Kanchipuram that has a Swarga Vaasal ( Gateway to Heaven).

10 day Brahmotsavam in Chitrai
Gajendra Moksham in Aadi
Pavitrotsavam in Avani
Margazhi Festival

Quick Facts

Moolavar: Gajendra Varadan  Standing West facing Posture
Goddess : Alarmel Mangai
Utsavar   : Aathi Kesavan
Azhvaar : Thirumangai, PeyAzhvaar- 12 Paasurams
Timing  : 730am-12noon, 430pm-8pm
Contact : Arunachalam, EO @ 044 2722 5242 or Murali @ 98656 98666
Address : Ashtabhuja Sannidhi St, Chinna Kanchi

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