Monday, March 19, 2018

Koodal Azhagar Temple – Religious Significance

Koodal Azhagar Temple – Religious Significance
Periazhwar obtained the name as he is believed to be an ardent worshipper of Vishnu. While coming out of Madurai, he was taken out in procession to Srivilliputhur and he got the divine vision of Vishnu at the instance. He started reciting his composition, Periya Thirumozhi, which was compiled in Nalayira Divya Prabhandham by Manavala Mamunigal. Manavala decreed that the verses of Periazhwar starting with Tiruppallaandu should be the first and last verse while reciting Prabhandham in any sacred occasion in Vishnu temples. Ramanuja, a proponent during the 10th century, believes that Tiruppallaandu originated at Madurai. Thus, Koodal Azhagar temple finds an indomitable position in Vaishnavite belief.
During Maha Pralaya, the great disaster, the devotees sought the abode of Vishnu in Madurai. It is believed that Vishnu stood as a bulwark against the impending disaster, giving him the name of the city as Naanmadakoodal or Koodal Nagar ('Koodal' in Tamil is bulwark). The place is mentioned to be significant during four ages namely, Satya YugaTretha YugaDwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga. The temple has Navagrahas, the nine planetary deities, which are otherwise found only in Shiva temples. It indicates the co-existence of Shaivite and Vaishnavite cultures during the medieval period.
Koodal Azhagar temple one among the 108 Vaishnavite shrines, is unique as Alwars had performed Mangalasasanam for this temple. Also, Periyalwar had praised this temple in his literary work “Tiruppallaandu”. Ashtanga Vimana considered the foremost among the 94 vimanas is found over the sanctum sanctorum of this temple. It is rare to see Ashtanga vimana in temples, which adds to the uniqueness of Sri Koodal Azhagar temple. It is believed that by coming around the Ashtanga vimana, 12 times for continuous 45 days, one’s wish will be satisfied.

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