Thursday, March 24, 2016

Yoga Ramachandraswamy Temple, Padavedu

Yoga Ramachandraswamy Temple, Padavedu
This temple, constructed before 12th Century AD, is located 1 KM west of Arulmigu Renugambal Temple. This was also buried in sand and was dug out recently. In this temple Lord Rama is uniquely seated in Artha Padmasana with a “Chin Mudra” with Goddess Seetha and Lord Lakshman by his side and without his usual kothandam. Unusually Lord Hanuman is seated in front of Lord Rama reading Palm leaf manuscripts. Lord Hanuman can be seen only when you go very near at the sanctum sanctorum. The combination of the clean sanctum sanctorum, the illumination inside and the deities are really marvelous.

Yoga Ramachandraswamy:
Vedas are the basis for the existence and activity of the world.  Sri Anjaneya had a doubt what then was the seed of the Vedas.  Who was the author of the Vedas? What is the quintessence of Vedas?  Sri Anjaneya approached the Lord for enlightenment.  Lord kept his right hand on the chest showing the chinmudra silently saying that he is the Paramatma and that he dwells in the biological body of every creature of the world.  He told Sri Anjaneya that he was Veda and the meaning and purpose of Vedas. The temple represents this philosophy in depth.  The Lord also is revered as Yoga Ramachandra Murthy.

Destruction of Mahi Ravana:
After the destruction of Ravana, Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya and was crowned. Once, Lord Rama learned through a sacred voice from heaven about the atrocities of hundred headed Mahi Ravana, an Asura. The sacred voice requested Lord Rama to destroy this Mahi Ravana also.

On behalf of Lord Rama, his ardent devotee Hanuman with his monkey troops rose against Mahi Ravana. The intense battle witnessed the fall of his soldiers on the hands of the Asura. In spite of his best efforts, Hanuman could not locate Mahi Ravana.

At that time, Sita Devi informed Hanuman that Mahi Ravana was a staunch devotee of Goddess Renuka Devi and his life force was hidden in a lotus flower of a Pond at Kundalipuram and he had been protected by Goddess Renuka Devi.  Sita asked Hanuman to go to Kundalipuram and destroy Mahi Ravana.

On the arrival of Hanuman, goddess Renuka Devi made the lotus Pond to disappear to safeguard Mahi Ravana.  Hanuman got angry and fought against Goddess Renuka Devi. Knowing this, Lord Rama intervened and pacified both. Then Lord Rama and Hanuman prayed Goddess Renuka Devi to help them in destroying Mahi Ravana. 

Pleased by the prayers Goddess Renuka Devi granted the boon and Mahi Ravana was destroyed.  Later Rama too took abode in Kundalipuram along with his consort Sita, brother Lakshman and his devotee Hanuman at the place where the present temple is located.

Greatness of Temple
Lord Sri Ramachandra with his consort Mother Sita is seated on the Veerasana throne with his right hand on the chest showing the chinmudra. The idol of Sri Rama and Mother Sita is sculpted in a single stone with a Peeta-seating.  Sri Anjaneya is by the side of the Lord with palm leaves. As the Lord was also a teacher-Acharya to Anjaneya, he holds no weapons.  Sri Lakshmana alone standing nearby has a bow and arrows.

As Lord Sri Rama graces here as a Guru, the temple is more revered as a place of worship seeking academic benefits.  They pray for good education, freedom from forgetfulness and wisdom.  People also pray for a happy wedding, child boon and unity in family.

While Sri Rama is an outstanding example of a life with one wife (Ekapathni Vradha) and lived with Mother Sita alone, there is a shrine for Mother Shenbagavalli too.  As the Mother taught Sri Anjaneya that she was the Paramatma, she assumes the status of Perumal.  There is also a shrine for Mother Vishnu Durga.  

There is no shrine for Sri Andal.  Sage Valmiki’s first verse in Ramayana describes meditation qualities (Yoga practices) of Lord Sri Rama.  The temple is constructed translating this philosophy.  As the Lord appears teaching the eternal and ultimate reality, those seeking total salvation come to this temple for attaining this imperishable wealth. Hence there is no Sorgavasal here.  Only special pujas are performed on Vaikunda Ekadasi day. 

Special Abishekams are performed to Lord on Poornima and new moon days and on Punarvasu star day-the birth star of Lord.  Lord Rama with Mother Sita and Sri Lakshmana graces his devotees on Garuda his eagle vehicle (Garuda Seva) on the second Aavani Friday in August -September.

On Masi Magam in February-March, Lord visits Mahabalipuram for Theerthavari.  Sri Sitarama Wedding festival is celebrated on Panguni Uthiram after Sri Ramanavami utsavam.

It would be relevant to mention here that epic Ramayana itself is a Veda – Saranagathi Veda meaning total surrender at the feet of Lord.

Temple Speciality
Lord Rama is seated in Veerasana throne under the Pushpaka aircraft showing the Chinmudra (keeping the thumb and the first finger together while other three fingers are left separately) and keeping the right hand on the chest. This is a very design of Lord Vishnu’s appearance. There is no Sorgavasal (gates of Heaven) here as traditionally found in Vishnu temples. Only special pujas are performed on Vaikunda Ekadasi day falling in December-January.

The Temple
The temple was constructed before 12th Century AD.  The finely sculpted idols of this temple bear testimony to the strong influence of Vijayanagara Empire and Sambuvarayar chieftains. Inscriptions found in this temple indicate that the temple had been receiving support from Krishna Devaraya and his successors from Vijayanagara Empire.

Sri Anjaneya shrine is outside the temple.  There are shrines for Vishwaksenar, Nammalvar, Periyalwar, Alavandar, Sri Ramanuja and Vedanta Desika in the front mandapam.  In the corridor-prakara are shrines of Lord Venugopala, Parasurama and Sri Anjaneya.  There is a temple for Lord Venugopala in Kottai hills behind this temple. Famous Padavedu Renugambal temple is 3 km from this temple.

Significance of Idols:
In this temple Lord Rama is uniquely seated in Artha Padmasana with a "Yoga Mudra" with Goddess Sita and Lord Lakshman by his side. Unusually Lord Hanuman is seated in front of Lord Rama reading a Palm leaf Manuscript.

Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 7.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 3.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.
Garudasevai on Aavani Friday in August – September, Masi Magam in February-March, Sri Rama Navami in March-April, and new moon and full moon days are the festivals observed in the temple.
Devotees seek the blessings of the Lord for excellence in academic pursuit, cure from amnesia, for wisdom, wedding, child boon and family unity. They light ghee lamps and offer a pulse called pasipayaru and sweet Pongal-pudding as nivedhana to Lord.
Sri Yoga Ramachandraswamy Temple,
Padavedu – 605 905,
Thiruvannamalai district
Phone: +91 4181-248 224
Mobile: 94435 40660 
This Temple is located in Padavedu. Nearest town Santhavasal is located at a distance of 48 km (Santhavasal is 32 km from Vellore) from Thiruvannamalai. The devotee has to travel 7 km further to reach Padavedu. The temple is 1 km from the bus stop. Auto facility is available. Nearest railway Station is located at Kalambur and Aarani. Nearest Airport is located at Chennai.