Friday, January 31, 2014

Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Senthalai

Lord of Thiru Ananthapuram Divya Desam and Thaayar of Badrinath Divya Desam provide darshan here

Located on the Southern banks of Kudamurutti (a tributary of Cauvery) is an ancient Anantha Padmanabhaswamy temple in Senthalai, a temple where one finds an interesting combination of two Divya Desam deities.

கெடும் இடர் ஆய் எல்லாம், கேசவா, என்ன நாளும்
 கொடுவினை செய்யும் கூற்றின்
 தமர்களும் குறுககில்லார்விடம் உடை அரவில்
பள்ளி விரும்பினான் சுரும்பு அலற்றும், தடம் உடை வயல்
 அனந்தபுரநகர் புகுத்தும் இன்றே - Tiruvoimozhi verse on Lord Anantha Padmanabhan

The lord of Thiru Ananthapuram Divya Desam, Anantha Padmanabha Swamy, who is seen in a Sleeping Posture there, provides darshan here to devotees in a grand Sitting Posture without Adisesha. The 9 feet tall moolavar Lord is seen with a conch and chakra, a saligrama on his lap and with Sri and Bhoo Devi alongside him. The Thaayar of Badrinath Divya Desam Parimala Valli Thaayar is seen here in a separate Sannidhi.

Both the idols date back several centuries and are exemplary works of art immediately, creating a devotional feeling in those who visit the temple here. 8th Century AD inscriptions suggest that Senthalai was a prosperous village with the presence of a Shiva temple.

The Story
Once Lord Anantha Padmanabhan felt thirsty and requested Adisesha to get water. He went around and finally scratched the surface to have water pouring out in full force. A delighted Adisesha ran back to offer water to quench the thirst of his Lord only to find him already providing darshan in a Padmasana posture. Hence, one finds the Lord here without Adisesha atop him.  In memory of this event, the sacred water here is named after Adisesha as ‘Ananthan Theertham’.

People in the village say that there have been several instances in the last 40-50years, when they have found (real) snakes staying atop Lord Ananthapadmanabha swamy for a whole day here at this temple.

Bala Anjaneya- Ramayana Episode
A feature at this temple is the Bala Anjaneya idol – just 1 ½ feet high- seen in the Maha Mandapa. In the Ramayana, Anjaneya’s strength and commitment to Lord Rama was put to test while he went air borne in search of Sita. Half way through his journey, he was stopped by the Naga maiden Surasa who wanted to consume him for lunch. She asked Anjaneya to enter her mouth.

Anjaneya who was in great hurry to reach Lanka took a huge form and grew in great size with the lady too widening her mouth equalling his size. And all of a sudden, the son of Vayu contracted his body and shrunk in size and before she realised what was happening, he entered the asura’s mouth and came out again and resumed his normal shape and form. Hanuman told her that he had fulfilled her wish of entering her mouth and that he now wanted her blessings to be able to find Goddess Sita in Lanka.

It is believed that in memory of this episode in Ramayana, Lord Hanuman is seen here in a tiny standing posture in a separate Sannidhi. Hanuman Jayanthi is celebrated in a grand manner at this temple.

Separate Sannidhi for Naga
There is a separate Sannidhi for Nagas. Belief is that those who offer their sincere prayers here will be liberated from Naga Dosham.

Procession during Navarathri and Aadi Pooram
Puratasi Saturdays – Thirumanjanam for Thaayar
Hanuman Jayanthi
Vaikunta Ekadesi including Paramapada Vaasal opening
Thirumanjanam for Thaayar on Thai Fridays

Quick Facts
Moolavar: Anantha Padmanabhaswamy in a Padmasana East Facing Sitting Posture
Goddess   : Parimala Valli Thaayar (Separate Sannidhi)
Time         : 8am-11am and 4pm-7pm
Contact    : R Srinivasan Bhattar @ 98432 94472 /04362 287288/ 94422 93006

How to reach
Senthalai is about 20kms North West of Thanjavur on the Kandiyur- Thirukattupalli-Kallanai Highway. Buses ply every 30minutes from Thanjavur old bus stand. One can also get down at Budalur Railway Station (on the Thanjavur- Tiruchirapalli route) and take an auto (around Rs. 150) to reach the temple (just over 10kms)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Thiru Chengunroor Tiruvoimozhi NamAzhvaar

NamAzhvaar praises the location, the sacred river and Lord Imayavarappan

எங்கள் செல்சார்வு யாமுடை அமுதம்
இமயவரப்பன்  என் அப்பன்
பொங்கு மூவுலகும் படைத்து அளித்து அழிக்கும்
பொருந்து மூவுருவன்  எம் அருவன்

செங்கயல் உகளும்  தேம் பணை  புடை  சூழ்
திருசெங்குன்றுர்த் திருசிற்றாறு அங்கு  அமர்கின்ற 
ஆதியான்  அல்லால்
யாவர்  மற்று  என்  அமர் துணையே - Tiruvoimozhi - 8-4-2
Some times Azhvaars make only a passing mention of the temple, some times they praise the Lord in greater detail.

In this Tiruvoimozhi verse, Nam Azhvaar refers to the location of the temple, the river surrounding the temple location and the name of the deity and his greatness.

He describes the water in the sacred Thiruchittaru river as being sweet as nectar where the fishes enjoy themselves dancing away to glory.

He terms Thiru Chenganroor as a sweet destination. Praising Lord Imayavarappan, Nam Azhvaar refers to him as both his Lord and Father in the same breath. 

He praises the Lord of Thiru Chenganroor as one who plays the role of both the creator as well as the destroyer of things for the sake of protection of this world.

He ends saying that those who visit this sweet destination of Thiru Chenganroor and offer their sincere prayers to Lord Imayavarappan will be provided refuge. And that they need not worry any longer.