Pandava Thoothar Perumal Temple (Thirupadagam), Kanchipuram – Legends
Krishna’s Viswaroopa Form:
The Sthala Puranam of this temple is associated with an interesting episode found in the Mahabharata. When Krishna went as an emissary (Dhoodha) of the Pandavas to the court of the Karuvaras at Hastinapuram to request Dhuryodhana to follow the path of peace and avert war, Dhuryodhana hatched a plot to capture and imprison Krishna. Dhuryodhana digs a pit and tops it with bamboo sticks.
On this bamboo topped pit, he puts up a grand stage, thus setting up Krishna for a mega fall. However, the Lord at that time assumed his Viswaroopa form and the crowd at Duryodana’s court began to worship him. With Krishna’s grace, the blind Dhritarashra was able to have the vision of the Lord’s Viswaroopa.
Years after this episode, Arjuna’s Grandson Janamejaya, who listened to the Mahabharata story from Vaisampaayana wanted to revive the moment (that of Lord Krishna displaying his Viswaroopam) and undertook penance at this place. Krishna is believed to have provided Darshan to Janamejaya, as ‘Pandava Dhoodha’, in the same way he had in the Mahabharata episode. The awe-inspiring, gigantic image of Lord Krishna at Paadagam is believed to be this Viswaroopa form, which he revealed to Janamejaya, acceding to the wish of this king who performed severe penance.
Rohini marrying Chandra:
Another legend has it that Rohini Nakshatra, daughter of Daksha, worshipped Sri Krishna here to get Chandra, or moon god, as husband.
Ramanujar debate with Arulalap Perumal Emperumaanar:
Arulalap Perumal Emperumaanar known earlier as Yagna Murthi, he was a great scholar who defeated many people with his ‘tarkha vatham’ i.e., Tarkham (logic). It is a great study involving analytics and more. Those who were defeated in the defeat had to embrace the Advaitha philosophy. Yagya Murthy was travelling far and wide, defeating many noted scholars and the wins were getting on to his head making him haughty. He had to be defeated and be convinced of the greatness of Lord Sriman Narayana and Vishishtadvaita principles.
It reportedly was a very grand debate between Yagna Murthi and Sri Ramanujar – the battle of words raged for days together and appeared as if it would never end. On a particular day, when Sri Ramanujacharya could not conclusively respond on a particular point and had to retire for the day, Swami prayed to his "Aaradhana Perumal – Sri Perarulalar [Kachi Varadarajan aka Devathirajar] with the divine blessings of the Lord Himself, Udayavar referred to the excerpts from Swami Alavandar's Sidhithrayam. Yagna Murthi was defeated and he bowed before Udayavar who was shining in resplendent splendour wearing 12 urdhva pundrams. He was to become an ardent disciple of Ramanujar from then on.
The disciple of Udayavar was now known as Arulala Perumal Emperumaanar – as Swami Udayavar conjoined his name with that of Sri Per Arulalar. During the time of Sri Ramanujar a separate mutt for Arulala Perumal Emberumanar was also established.