Saturday, March 19, 2016

Uppiliappan Temple, Thirunageshwaram - Literary Mention

Uppiliappan Temple, Thirunageshwaram - Literary Mention
Uppiliappan is considered the elder brother of the presiding deity of Tirupathi Venkateshwara Temple. The temple is revered in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, the 7th – 9th century Vaishnava canon, by Periazhwar, Thirumangai Azhwar and Nammazhwar.
The temple is classified as a divyadesam, the 108 Vishnu temples that are revered in the Vaishnava canon. The temple is counted as the fourteenth in the list of divyadesams in Chola Nadu and 83rd in the overall list. The Azhwars address the presiding deity by various names like Uppiliappan, Vinnagarappan and Venkatachalapathi and his consort Bhoomidevi as Bhoomidevi Nachiar and Dharanadevi. 
Periazhwar refers Uppiliappan as Thiru Vinnagar Mevvane in his verses in Periyathirumozhi while Nammazhwar called him "Thannoppaarillappan", that is he who has no comparison, meaning there is neither an equivalent nor superior to Vishnu. He mentions that "the Lord who by his powers affords solace for pining hearts, and renders them fit for service". The temple is one of the most visited temples in the district.
Thirumangai Azhvaar, Poigai, Pey Azhvaar and Nammazhwar have sung praise of the Lord in 47 paasurams
Nammazhwar sees Oppiliappan as his father:
என் அப்பன் எனக்கு  ஆய் இருள் ஆய்
என்னைப் பெற்றவன் ஆய்

பொன் அப்பன் மணி அப்பன் முத்து அப்பன்
என் அப்பனும் ஆய்
மின்னப் பொன் மதில் சூழ்
திருவிண்ணகர் சேர்ந்த அப்பன்
தன்  ஒப்பார் இல் அப்பன்
தந்தனன் தன தாள் நிழலே - Thiruvaimozhi 6-3-9
Nammazhwar praised the Lord as “Oppaar il Appan” – No one is equal to this Lord. Nammazhwar saw the Lord of Thiru Vinnagar in 5 different forms - Ponn Appan, Mani Appan, Muthu Appan, Enn Appan and Vinnagar Appan as seen in the praise above.
The Name:
As the Lord agreed to eat food without salt, he came to be called Uppiliappan (Lord without the salt). This is the only Divya Desam where food is served to the Lord without salt.
Thirumangai Azhvaar in his praise says:

வேறு கூறுவது உண்டு, அடியேன் விரித்து உரைக்கும்
ஆரே நீ பணியாது ஆடை நின் திருமனது கூறேன்
நெஞ்சு தன்னால் குணம் கொண்டு
மற்று ஓர் தெய்வம் தேர்ந் உன்னை அல்லல்
திரு வின்னகரானே - Periya Thiru Mozhi

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