Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tale of a Temple

Srimate Ramanujaya nama:

​arangan adiyar,

"In times of distress, we use to chant/recall the holy names of Srimannarayana in order that the problems facing us get dislodged and even cease to exist. But what if distress surrounds that Emperuman Himself? In that scenario, an Acharyan saves the Lord from that threat. Shri Vedanthachariar praises the glory of SriRamanuja in Yathiraja Sapthathi saying that He saved Emperuman who was about to caught in the slurry of Buddhism, entangled in the web of Jainism and the booby traps and deluding  words of the misinterpreters of the Vedas. Thus SriRamanuja had saved the abstract form of Emperuman, along with His divine attributes (kalyana gunas) and His wealth of both material and spiritual realms (ubhaya vibhuthi) from the miscreants mentioned above.

Few centuries later, Pillailokachariyar, an illustrious Acharya in the Srivaishnava Guruparamparai who is also an avatharam of Kanchi Lord Varadaraja, wrote many Rahasya Granthams and elaborated on the Visishtadvaita philosophy. In his later years, there was a threat for Emperuman at Srirangam due to a series of invasions and the utsava deity Azhagiya Manavalan (later called Namperumal) was protected by him. He was 120 years old at that time. He had set out of Srirangam along with Namperumal and a group of Srivaishnavas and went in search of safer places to safeguard the deity. Namperumal travelled southward to Jyothishkudi (near Thirumalirumsolai and Thirumoghur) where Pillailokachariyar attained Paramapadham. Thereafter Namperumal along with the disciples of Pillailokachariyar proceeded to Kozhikkode in Kerala, then to Thirunarayanapuram, and eventually to Thirumalai. At the same time,the children of the illustrious Shruthaprakashika Bhattar (descendent of SriParasara Bhattar) and his magnum opus commentary were saved by Acharya Shri Vedantacharya from the hands of the invaders by risking his own life.

During one of these invasions, it is said that Namperumal stayed for a few years at a hamlet called Azhagiyamanavalam. There was a Sundararaja Perumal temple at Azhagiyamanavalam village (near Manachanallur) where people were able to stay along with the deity without trouble from invaders. It is also said that people also used to visit Srirangam swimming across Kollidam (Coleroon) river and offer their prayers. When all the invaders had withered away and Srirangam was awaiting its King and that’s when a blind washerman identified Azhagiya Manavalan and exclaimed “Namperumal” with excitement. “The Sundararaja Perumal temple at Azhagiyamanavalam was in a dilapidated condition until recent times, in spite of its historical significance. In the year 2005, the temple was renovated with the support from few devotees and Samprokshanam was done
recounts Archakar Sri U Ve Sundararajan Swamy who is a disciple of Thiruvellarai (Melathirumaligai) Sri U Ve SowmyaNarayana Swamy.

Under the banner of “Sannidhi Vandhanam“ of our Trust, the Archakar Swamy of this temple was honoured recently. He had visited the Gurukulam campus and had also shared his experiences with the Gurukulam children. He was very much impressed by the dedication of Gurukulam children. Moreover, Bramhotsavam was round the corner at Gurukulam and the enthusiastic students showed him all their
arrangements. The children were also inspired by such a kainkaryaparar
who is dedicated for service to Emperuman. “The next time you visit Srirangam, we request you to allocate some time to visit this historical Emperuman at Azhagiya manavalam" requested the Swamy.


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