Sunday, June 12, 2016

Yathothkari Perumal Temple (Tiruvekkaa), Kanchipuram – Legends

Yathothkari Perumal Temple (Tiruvekkaa), Kanchipuram – Legends
Saraswathi disturbing Brahma Aswamedha Yaga:
Five temples in Chinna Kanchipuram have stories relating to Brahma’s Aswamedha Yagam and Goddess Sarswathi’s anger at being ignored by her husband who was busy with the fire ritual. Brahma needed Saraswathi, his wife, to be by his side to perform the ritual. So, he sent his son Vashistan to make Saraswathi return to Brahma. Saraswathi refused and Brahma started the Yagam by keeping Savithri and his other wives next to him.
The Asuraas (demons) wanted to stop this fire-ritual and so went to Saraswathi and carried tales that made her angry. Saraswathi took the form of Vegavathi River and began to flow in a southerly direction and across the area where the Yagam was being performed so as to destroy it. Sriman Narayanan decided to stop Vegavathi River to protect the Yagam. So, he stopped the river’s flow by lying across the river on his serpent Adiseshan.
This is why this Perumal is also called Vega Sethu. This became Vegavanai, then Vekkanai and finally became Vekka—Thiruvekka. Legend also says that when on Brahma’s request Lord Vishnu came in a tearing hurry to block River Vega Vathi (Saraswathi), Perumal on his return to the sanctum is said to have slept in the opposite direction.
Poigai Alwar Avathara Sthalam:
This is 49th Divya Desam for Lord Perumal and located in Kanchipuram and the place is called as Thiruvekka (in olden times). The first of the 12 Alwars "Poigai Alwar" was born in this temple Theertham. The first 3 Alwars were collectively called as Muthalazwargal who are not known to be born from any human being and Poigai aalwar was first among the Muthalazwargal. The exact birth year of Poigai Alwar was not correctly determined. Traditional conviction indicates that he belong to Dwapara Yuga while modern analysis on his devotional songs suggest he belongs to 7 - 9th century AD.  
It is also said that Nammalvar was the first Alwar of the Kaliyuga which means all the Muthalazwargal should be of Dwapara Yuga. This gives better understanding of the temple history which goes back to Dwapara Yuga. The Theertham were Poigai Alwar was discovered in the lotus flower is still available and it is called as Poigai Pushkarani. Poigai Alwar is considered to be an Avataram of conch of Lord Perumal. This is one of the very oldest temples which might have been there since Dwapara Yuga.
Manavala Maamunigal explaining his Sri Bhashyam:
Manavala Maamunigal explained his ‘Sri Bhashyam’ to the world in this temple.
Thirumazhisai Azhvaar and the Lord Leaving this Place:
Once Thirumazhisai Azhvaar’s disciple Kani Kannan was heard singing praise of the Lord. Pleased with his voice, the king ordered that Kani Kannan sing praise of him too. Kani Kannan refused stating that he would sing praise only of the Lord and not of others. An upset king banished him from the kingdom. Kanni Kannan narrated the happening to his preceptor Thirumazhisai Azhvaar who decided to accompany him out of the kingdom.
Thirumazhisai Azhvaar went up to the Lord and requested him too to join them on their journey. 
கனி கண்ணன்  போகின்றான் காமருப்பூண்
கச்சி மணி வண்ணா நீ கிடக்க வேண்டாம்
துணிவுடைய சென்னா புலவனும் போகின்றேன்
நீயும் உன்ருன் பை நாகப்பாய் சுருட்டிகொள் - திருமழிசை ஆழ்வார்
And the three left the place- This action plunged the entire kingdom into darkness.
Realizing his mistake, the king reached out to Thirumazhisai Azhvaar and requested that the three of them come back to the kingdom. Thirumazhisai Azhvaar asked the Lord to return to his residing place. The Lord is said to have followed this instruction immediately and in this hurried return is said to have slept in the opposite direction.
In memory of the event marking Thirumazhisai Azhvaar leaving the place, the Lord along with the idol of Thirumazhisai Azhvaar is taken in a procession to the nearby river Vegavathi, every year during the Tamil Calendar month of ‘Thai’ (Jan-Feb).
Other Reasons for Maaru Sayanam:
Two other reasons are also stated for Lord’s opposite sleeping posture. Since he left his residing place and later returned, he is said to have slept in the opposite direction as proof that he had left the place once.
Legend also has it that, as Lord Vishnu came in a tearing hurry, on Brahmma’s request, to block River Vegavathi (Saraswathi), he is said to have slept in the opposite direction.
Sonna Vannam Seitha Perumal:
As the Lord listened, in strict obedience, to the instructions of Thirumazhisai Azhvaar and did as the Azhvaar wanted, he is called ‘Sonna Vannam Seitha Perumal’.

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