Vilakkoli Perumal Temple (Tiruththanka or Thoopul), Kanchipuram - Legends
Vishnu as Deepa Prakasa Perumal:
As per Hindu legend, once there was an argument between Saraswathi, the consort of Brahma and Lakshmi on superiority. They went to Indra, the king of celestial deities. Indra judged Lakshmi as superior and not satisfied with his argument, Saraswathi went to her husband, Brahma. He also chose Lakshmi to be the superior one. Saraswathi was unhappy with the decision and decided to stay away from Brahma.
Brahma did a severe penance praying to Vishnu and did an Aswamedha Yagna. Saraswathi was still angry that the yagna, which usually is done along with consorts, was done alone by Brahma. She tried to disrupt the penance, but Vishnu interfered and her plans were spoiled by the stream of light from Vishnu. Since Vishnu appeared as light to overcome the darkness of the situation, he was termed Vilakkoli Perumal and Deepa Prakasa Perumal in Sanskrit. Perumal also helped a compromise and re-union between Brahmma and Saraswathi.
Saraswathi accepted her mistake in trying to repeatedly block the Yagam and came back to Brahmma. It is believed that Saraswathi herself appeared here as the ‘sacred water’, and a cold one at that, so as to cool the hot burning hand of Lord Vishnu, who had taken the fire in his hand to protect Brahmma.
Asura trying to destroy Brahma’s Yaagam:
Brahmma invited the Devas to attend the Yagam. Not to be left behind, the Asuras too decided to attend. However, Brahmma ignored them. Angered at Brahmma not taking notice of their presence, the Asuras went to Saraswathi and poisoned her thoughts once again. They decided to create a dangerous Asura to destroy the Yagam. The Asura, Maya Nalan, went to the Yagam in the form of a dangerous fire.
Once again coming to Brahmma’s rescue, Lord Vishnu took the fire in his hand and held it so served as a lighting lamp. He appeared in this form before Saraswathi, who had followed the Asura. Saraswathi accepted her mistake in trying to repeatedly block the Yagam and came back to Brahmma. It is believed that Saraswathi herself appeared here as the ‘sacred water’, and a cold one at that, so as to cool the hot burning hand of Lord Vishnu, who had taken the fire in his hand to protect Brahmma.
Vedanta Desikar (1268 - 1369 CE) was an ardent devotee of Deepa Prakasa Temple at Thoopul. Sri Vedanta Desikar had unparalleled devotion to Lord Varadaraja Perumal which was evidently visible in one of his compositions Varadaraja Panchasat, he sung praising the glories of Lord in sacred fifty verses. During Brahmotsavam of Lord Varadaraja, Lord pays visit to Thoopul and resides here for three days.
On Garuda Seva day, Lord Varadaraja presents his garlands to Desika Acharya and pays tribute to his fervent devotee. In this way Lord pays continuous visit and homage to his devotee during the Brahmotsavam. Lord Varadaraja pays periodic visits to Thoopul on the auspicious days of Chaitra Pournami and on the twelfth day after Vaikunda Ekadashi.
On the day of Anushtanukulam Lord Varadaraja with Ubayanachiyars taken for a procession to Sevilimedu and pays visits to Sri Ramanuja Acharya’s shrine who was a passionate devotee of Lord Varadaraja, great preceptor and scholar of Vaishnavism. On the way back from Sevilimedu, Lord Varadaraja and Ubayanachiyars pays visit to Sri Vedanta Desika in Thoopul.