Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal Temple, Thirumalai Vaiyaavoor – Legends
Story behind the lighting of Deepam during Thiruvonam Star Day:
Each month on the Thiruvonam Star day, Ona Dheepam is lighted in the temple. It is said that Emperor Mahabali was a rat in one of his previous births and lived in a Shiva temple. When a lamp in the temple was about to extinct, the rat incidentally fell on the lamp rekindling the wick of the lamp. The lamp continued to burn. This rewarded him with a royal birth as Emperor Mahabali. He was graced by Lord Vishnu on an Onam Star day.
Remembering the event, a big lamp (Aganda Dheepam) is lit in the temple on each Thiruvonam star day. Lord Srinivasa offers Darshan on the day in the front mandapam. Yajnas, Thirumanjanam and wedding pujas are performed here. The Aganda Dheepam is placed at the feet of the Lord. Those facing problems about marriage, concerned about children offer ghee to the lamp for relief.
Aadhisesan wish to serve Lord Vishnu as an Umbrella:
Aadhisesan prayed Srinivasa Perumal and told that he had a wish to serve as an umbrella to the Lord. Srinivasa Perumal agreed and told that his wish would come true at Dhakshina Garudagiri. In Thirumalai Vaiyaavoor Aadhisesan is seen above the deity Srinivasa Perumal’s head as an umbrella. Hence, this place came to be known as Dhakshina Seshagiri.
Lord Vishnu helped King Thondaiman in war:
There was an ancient king called Thondaiman who was an ardent devotee of Lord Venkateswara at Thirupathi. Once, Lord Venkateswara helped the king with His Conch (Sangu) and Chakra to defeat the enemies. The king after defeating his enemies built a beautiful temple for the Lord at Thirupathi. Lord Venkateswara gave him Dharshan here on a chariot with a Sengol (செங்கோல்), the symbolic weapon held by kings. The foot marks of the horse and the marks of the chariot wheel are seen on some rocks of the hill here.
Various Names of the Hill:
This hill has various names like Sri Vaikundagiri, Dhakshina Garudagiri, Dhakshina Venkatagiri, Dhakshina Seshagiri, Varaaha Kshetram and Ramanuja Yogagiri.
Story behind the name Thirumalai Vaiyaavoor:
During the battle between Rama and Ravana, Lakshmana fainted on the battle field. Rama sent Hanuman to bring the Sanjeevi hill to cure Lakshmana. Hanuman brought the Sanjeevi hill as told by Rama. It is said that Hanuman worshipped Varaaha Perumal and Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal on this hill, on the way back to Lanka, carrying the Sanjeevi hill. As Sanjeevi hill should not be placed on ground, it is said that Hanuman shifted the hill from his right hand to left hand to offer obeisance to the Gods here. As the holy Sanjeevi hill was not kept on ground here by Hanuman, this place came to be known as Thirumalai Vaiyaavoor (திருமலை வையாவூர்).
Story behind the name Dhakshina Garudagiri:
Once a demon king called Hiranyakshan took the earth and kept under his custody, hiding it deep inside the ocean. Lord Vishnu took Varaaha Avatar, killed the demon and brought back the earth to its position. After this Varaaha Perumal wished to take abode on a hill to bless the world. He directed Sri Garuda to bring a hill from Vaikuntam itself. Garuda Bhagavan brought a hill from Vaikuntam and placed it near the banks of Swarnamukhi River, which was called Garudagiri (present Thirupathi).
While Garuda carried the hill, a small part of it broke and fell near the banks of the river Palar and came to be known as Dhakshina Garudagiri (Thirumalai Vaiyaavoor). After placing the hill in the banks of river Swarnamukhi, Garuda prayed God to see his Viswaroopa Dharsanam. As wished by Garuda, Lord Vishnu gave him Viswaroopa Dharshan in the form of Sri Varaaha Perumal here at Dhakshina Garudagiri.
Brahma worshipped Vishnu by lighting Lamps:
Once, Brahma went to Thirupathi and worshipped Lord Venkateswara by lighting two lamps. He prayed the Lord that the lamps should glow nonstop till Kaliyugam exists. The Lord granted his wish and said that he would give Dharshan to devotees in the form of Jyothi on all Thiruvonam days at Thirumalai Vaiyaavoor and till that Jyothi Dharshan continues, the lights lit by Brahma would be alive. Lord Brahma then came here to this place and worshipped the Lord and got Dharshan in the form of Jyothi.
Rama worshipped Vishnu here:
It is also said that Sri Rama after the battle with Ravana came here, bathed in Varaaha Theertham and worshipped the Lord, on his way back to Ayodhya.
Ramanuja links with this place:
Sri Ramanuja had worshipped the Lord here and named the place ‘Vaikundagiri’. He also had stayed in this place and meditated the Lord. Hence this place is also called as Ramanuja Yogagiri.