Adikesava Perumal Temple, Sriperumpudur – Legends
Chella Pillai Utsavam:
Once, a king from Delhi took the idol of Narayanapuram to please his daughter. Ramanuja went to Delhi to recover the idol and the idol is believed to have fallen on his lap as a child by divine powers as a child. The Chella Pillai Utsavam is held every year commemorating the event.
Story behind the name Boodhapuri:
The place is known as Aranyaranam and Boodhapuri. In the Kailasha Lord Shiva once dancing and Lord Shiva was deeply involved in dancing and he was doing Avesha Narthanam and suddenly his robes fell down, seeing this all the Bhootha ganas laughed. Then Shiva becomes very angry on his Bhootha Ganas and curses them that they should go to Bhoo Loka and do Nithya vasam. Then Bhootha ganas realize their mistakes , they repent and pray to Shiva for his mercy , Shiva tells once I have given the shapa (Curse) I cannot take it back, so please go to Brahma ask for Pariharam.
Then Brahma tells that please go to the Punya Bhoomi of Great Bharatha Varusham, Go to a place known as Arunaranyam Kshetram which is situated in between Thiruvenkatam Hills and Sathayavratha Kshetram (Kanchi) and pray to Lord Maha Vishnu for Saapa Vimochanam. As instructed by the Brahma comes to Arunaranyam Kshetram and then Lord Narayana is pleased with Bhootha ganas. Then he calls the Shiva and tells him to take back the Bhootha ganas back in Kailasha. Then he instructed Ananthaalwan (Adhi Seshan) to create a Sarasu, and then instructs the Bhootha Ganas to take bath in the Sarasu and get relieved of the curse.
Then they Request the Lord also to stay in this Kshetram and bless the world. Then they do Pradhakshinam to Lord Adhi Kesavan (Lord Maha Vishnu). Then they build a Temple, small town and they did Usthavam to Lord Adhi Kesavan and they got rid of the shapa (curse). In those days it was known as Bhoodhapuri and later on it became Sriperambhoothur and now it is Sriperumpudur.
Avathara Sthalam of Ramanuja:
Once there lived a great King named Hareetha Maharaja, he was the grandson of King Ambarisha and he is the decedent of Ramar. He was passing by a dense forest, then he hears a shrill moaning of a cow, he goes in the direction where the voice was coming, he sees that a Tiger has caught the cow and was about to kill the Cow, and the Kohathi Dosham is going to take place and since he is Kshatriya and a King he thinks that it is his duty to protect the weakling, and there is no sin in killing the tiger, He aims at Tiger, meanwhile tiger thinks i should do something that King also suffers with that he kills the Cow, and King Hareetha kills the tiger. Since he has seen the Kohathi taking place, the Dosham comes to him, he is worried, then suddenly he hears Asareeri (Divine Voice) and asks him to proceed to Sathayavratha Kshetram and take bath in Anantha Sarasu and worship Lord Adhi Kesava, your sins will vanish.
Then he goes back to Ayodhya and Consults Vashista Maharishi and, he tells about the Sriperumpudur's Mahatmiyam and narrates how Bhootha Ganas got rid of the Saapa and also the route. King Hareetha makes alternative arrangement to run the Kingdom and proceeds to Sriperumpudur. Then he takes bath in Anantha Sarasu and prays to Lord Adhi Kesavan. Then finally Lord Vishnu appears before Hareetha Maharaja and instructs him all the Mantras which will help in getting rid of the Dosham, He also tells all these years you were Kshatriya and due to my blessings now you will become Brahmin and henceforth your descendants also will become Brahmin (even today his decedents are from his Gothra and they are known as Hareetha Gothra), He also gives the Upadesha of all Mantras.
Then Hareetha Maharaja rebuilds the Adhi Kesava temple and does consecration of the temple on an auspicious day, then he hears the Divine voice (Asareeri) that in near future great soul will be born in your Vamsa (Descendant) who will lead the world to greater height of Gyana and Bhakti, and that Great Soul is none other than Ramanuja. Then in year CE 1017 On a Thursday, in the Tamil Month of Chitrai, Sukla Paksha Panchami, in the constellation of Aridra (Thiruvadirai) Asuri Keshavacharya and Kanthimathi were blessed with the Child and were named as Ramanuja. He was later given the title of Bashyakara, Emperumanar, Elayai Alwan, Yathirajar, Udayavar etc.
There is a mandapam in front of the temple where Sri Ramanuja was born. During the 10 day Chithirai festival during April-May, Acharya graces from this mandapam. On his birth star day, he is placed in a cradle as a child and fed with milk in a conch. During this festival, the Parivattam turban linen – is brought from 36 Vaishnava shrines-Divya Desas – as a courtesy to the Acharya.
Than Uganda Thirumeni:
He toured the length and breadth of Bharatha Desha to preach the Vishistadvaita. Then Just few days before leaving the mortal coil and going to Vaikunta, His disciple Mudhaliandan’s Son Kanthadai Annan got a Archa Vigraham of Ramanuja and presented before him, then Swami hugged the Moorthy and transferred all his power to it, then Udayavar instructed to the Prathistai of this Vigraham on Tamil Month Thai on Constellation of Pushya Star at Sriperumpudur, This Vigraham is what we see in Sriperumpudur and it is known as Than Uganda Thirumeni. Ramanujar’s Vigraha, Divine archa-vigraha made of 5 metals including gold, silver, bronze, copper and iron.
Story behind Ramanuja gracing in White Robes during Chithirai Festival:
Ramanuja (1017–1137 CE) was a Hindu theologian, philosopher, and scriptural exegete, born in a Tamil family at Sriperumpudur. Vaishnavites, see him one of the most important acharya (teacher) of their tradition and as the leading expounder of Vishishtadvaita, one of the classical interpretations of the Vedic philosophy. Ramanuja grew up under the tutelage of Tirumalai Nambi, who was working in Tirumala Venkateswara Temple.
A king wanted to take vengeance on Sri Ramanuja and planned to punish him. Knowing the king’s plans, a disciple, Koorathalwar, wearing the saffron went to the king. Sri Ramanuja escaped in white robes. The king blinded Koorathalwar for failing his plans. With a view to respect the disciple who lost his eyes for him, Sri Ramanuja graces in white robes on one day during the Chithirai festival.
There is a lizard sculpture behind Sri Ramanuja’s shrine. People worship this lizard for relief from sins.
Ramanuja rebirth as Manavala Mamunigal:
Acharya Sri Ramanuja lived a full circle of life spanning 120 years. (A full life means that a person should undergo the prescribed period of all the planets in his life that covers 120 years, not a day less.) Sri Ramanuja, in next his birth was born as Manavala Mamunigal who taught the meaning of commentaries on scriptures. His idol is seen on a pillar in the temple. There is also a separate temple for Acharya Sri Manavala Mamunigal outside the temple.
Belief of Temple Prasadam curing illness:
The Specialty of this Temple and Vigraham is Eravadai Theertham. Here they do Thirumanjanam to Lord Ramanuja daily then after the Thirumanjanam the cloth which Lord is wearing is squeezed and collected in Vatil and given as Prasadam to Bhakthas, it is said it capable of curing Skin diseases, Beget progeny for Issueless couples, and also cures many other ailments like cancer etc. If you take bath in Anantha Sarasu you will get rid of Rahu Kethu Dosham, Also you can light Ghee lamp. Every Thiruvadirai Star people come in large number and witness the Milk Thirumanjanam get the blessings of Udayavar.
The temple doesn’t have a Swarga vasal since it is believed that praying to Swami Ramanuja is the way to Vaikuntam.