Friday, April 22, 2016

Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam – Periyalwar Shrine

Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam – Periyalwar Shrine
There is a shrine dedicated to the Periyalvar in Ranganathaswamy temple. Periyalwar or Periazhwar (3055 BC, a mythology estimate) is one of the twelve azhwar saints of South India, who are known for their affiliation to Vaishnava tradition of HinduismVishnucitta (Periyalwar) was incarnated on this earth in the 47th year after the beginning of the Kali Era (3102 BC). 
The verses of azhwars are compiled as Nalayira Divya Prabandham and the 108 temples revered are classified as Divya Desam. According to some accounts, Periyazhwar is considered the first in the line of the twelve azhwars, while other accounts place him as the eighth. His original name is Vishnuchittar and he since he is considered the oldest among azhwars, he is called Periazhwar.
Related to his birth, the traditional scriptures mention that Goda Devi or Andal, the daughter of Vishnuchittar incarnated on this earth in the 98th year after the beginning of the Kali Era (3102 BC). As per Hindu legend, Periyazhwar was the foster father of Andal, the only female azhwars. The works of Periyazhwar contributed to the philosophical and theological ideas of Vaishnavism. His contributions are Tirupallandu and Periya Azhwar Tirumozhi among the 4000 stanzas in the Nalayira Divya Prabandam.
In South-Indian Vishnu temples, Periyazhwar has images and festivals associated with him. The verses of Periyazhwar and other azhwars are recited as a part of daily prayers and during festive occasions in most Vishnu temples in South India.
Periyalwar was fascinated by the childhood exploits of Lord Krishna and developed devotion and love for God, incarnated as Krishna. And he sang of Krishna, the Child Deity, with maternal love. He was more concerned about the welfare of child Krishna than his own. Because of his love and devotion, he was named Periyalwar or great azhwar. Apart from his native Srivilliputhur, he visited ThirukoshtiyurSri Ranganathaswamy Temple, SrirangamTiruvellarai and Azhagar Kovil.