Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam – Legends

Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam – Legends
Lord Rama worshipping Ranganathaswamy:
Sriranga Mahathmiyam is the compilation of religious accounts of the temple which detail the origins of its greatness. Lord Sri Ranganatha of the temple appeared from the Milk Ocean.  Lord Brahmma was worshipping him for a long time and appointed Sun to continue the pujas as per Vedic rules. According to Sriranga Mahathmiyam, Lord Rama, himself an Avatar of Vishnu, worshiped the idol for a long time, and when he returned victoriously from Sri Lanka after destroying Ravana, he gave it to King Vibhishana as a token of appreciation for the latter's support for Rama against his own brother, Ravana. 
When Vibhishana was going via Trichy en route to Sri Lanka, the deity wanted to stay in Srirangam. Ranganatha, captivated by the devotion of a King called Dharma Varma, who was doing penance to have Lord Ranganatha to permanently stay Srirangam, stayed put, promising to cast his benign glance eternally on Lanka. Hence it is that the deity (in a reclining posture) faces south. Darma Chola built the temple later. As this temple went into the sands in the years that followed, this temple was built by Killi Valavan of the Chola dynasty, according to history.
As per another account, he was carrying it all the way to his kingdom of Sri Lanka and midway, to rest; he placed the image on the banks of Cauvery. After performing his routine pooja, he tried to lift the Vimana, but it could not be lifted. Mahavishnu appeared to him and said that he desired to stay as Ranganatha in the place, which went on to become Srirangam. Vishnu also desired to watch the Brahmotsavam at Tirucherai. The festivals of the temple are thus considered sacred.
Lord Ranganathar casting graceful glances over Sri Lanka:
Meanwhile a king called Dharma Varma was doing penance to Lord Ranganathar to come and stay in Srirangam. When Vibhishana was leaving for Sri Lanka via Trichy, the deity somehow prevailed upon Vibhishana to leave the Idol at Srirangam. And further Lord promised Vibhishana that he would preside over Sri Lanka with his graceful glances. This is why Lord Ranganathar is seen in a reclining position on Adisesha and facing southwards, where Sri Lanka is located.
Cauvery penance to get higher position than Ganges:
Once on the base of Himalaya, River Ganga, Cauvery, Yamuna and Saraswathi are playing in the sky one Gandharvan (person who belong to Deva Logam) saw these rivers playing and worshipped them. Seeing this all the 4 river women started saying themselves that he worshipped them only. They started arguing on whom actually he worshipped. The argument continued but didn’t stop. Yamuna and Saraswathi stopped their quarrel. But to Ganga and Cauvery it continued. Finally, they both went to Sriman Narayanan.
River Ganga told to Narayanan since she was originated from the feet of Narayanan, she is bigger and mightier than Cauvery. Sriman Narayanan accepted it. But, Cauvery doesn’t accept it and she did tapas on Sriman Narayanan. Finally, Narayanan gave Seva to her and told him that he will sleep on the bank of Cauvery and at that time, river Cauvery will be the garland (Maalai) in his chest, which will the better position than Ganga, who is found in his feet.
Legend behind Parrot Mandapam:
As per interesting legend, it is said that Srirangam Gopuram and Sri Ranganathar got into the river and when Dharma Varman came along that side, a parrot came to him and told that the Gopuram is lost in the river and finally it is taken out from the sands. Since the parrot helped him to get out the temple, a mandapam for that parrot is build. 
Andal, Cherar Valli, Kamalavalli & Thulukka Nachiyar Love on Lord Ranganatha:
Srivilliputtur Pattarbiraan periyaalwar's daughter Sri Aandal, who sang Thiruppavai and called as "Soodi Kodutha Sudar Oli", Kulasekara Alwar's daughter Cherar Vali, Nandha Chozhan's daughter Kamalavalli and Delhi Badhusa's daughter Thulukka Naachiyar all loved Sri Aranganathar and finally they got in to Sri Aranganathan's Body.
Narasimmar appearing in support of Kambar:
In this sthalam, Mettu Azhagiya Singar (Narasimmar) Sannadhi is found and in front of it is found the 4 pillared mandapam (Nallu Kaal Mandapam). In this mandapam, Kambar explained for the first time, his great work "Kamba Ramayanam" and in that "Iranya Vadhai Padalam" is also included in that. (Iranyavadhan is the story about the killing of Iranyan by Lord Narasimha).
But on hearing the inclusion of it, all the people around the Mandapam protested against it. At that time, a voice that belongs to Lord Narasimha arised and it said there should be no Protestation on that and he accepted the inclusion of it. It is also one of the legends associated with this Temple.
Sri Ramanujar attaining Moksha here:
Sri Ramanujar says that Gnanam is Arangan and Gnana Teacher is Arangan and the follower is also Arangan and the person who follows it as also Arangan. And finally on the command given by Arangan, he left the earth and terminated into Aranganathar. Even though his soul was out from the world, his body was still found inside a Sannadhi. Inside it, he is sitting and his eyes are opened and he giving his blessings to the world.
The temple servers are applying a kind of Oil (thaylam) all along his body to protect it from not being destroyed. Like this same way, in Russia, Lenin's body and in Goa Saint Francis Saviours bodies are also protected by applying proper oils.
Sri Ramanujar is given some names such as Udayavar Ramanujar, Yathirajar, Emperumaanar, when he was in Melkottai, Karnataka district, his bhakthas and relatives kept a statue like him to remember him and because of his memory. Its name is "Thamar Ugandha Thirumeni".
And then, he himself wanted to make a statue and ordered for it. Finally after seeing it, he gave the approval for it and it’s called as "Thaan Ugandha Thirumeni" and it is kept in Sri Perumbhutoor (Thaney Aana Thirumeni).
All the devotees are said to wash their feet’s when going into the Sannadhi of Sri Ranganathar, because the artistic works on Sri Ramanujar are found in the floors here.