Friday, March 23, 2018

Thiruneermalai Dhivya Desam – Legends

Thiruneermalai Dhivya Desam – Legends
Ranganatha appearing as Lord Rama due to Sage Valmiki penance:
As per Hindu legend, sage Valmiki, after composing the epic Ramayana, worshipped Ranganatha at the top of the hill. When he came downhills, Valmiki is said to have missed the presence of Lord Raama at foot hills and is said to have undertaken penance thinking of Lord Raama. Due to his penance, Ranganatha appeared as Lord Rama, Lakshmi appeared as SitaAdi Sesha appeared as Lakshmana, Vishnu's shankha as Bharatha, Sudarshana chakra as Shatrugna, Garuda in the form of Hanuman and Vishwakarma as Sugreeva.
Thirumangai Azhwar 6 month wait:
Thiru Mangai Azhvaar came here to sing praise of the Lord but heavy rains flooded the place and he could not reach this temple. Having come this far, he decided to wait till the rains stopped. It proved to be a long wait of 6 months before Thiru Mangai could meet his Lord. The hill on which he stayed during these 6 months still exists and is called Thiru Mangai Azhvaar Puram. This is the only Divya Desam where Thiru Mangai waited this long to meet the Lord.
One has seen in the stories relating to a few of the other Divya Desams where Thiru Mangai has left/threatened to leave without waiting for the Lord. Pleased with his devotee, Perumal granted four darshans to Azhwar – Neer Vanna Perumal standing, Narasimha sitting, Ranganatha reclining and Ulagalandha Perumal in walking postures.  The devotee can enjoy these darshans in the temple.  Lord Neervanna Perumal is at the foot of the hills while Ranganatha, Narasimha and Ulagalandha Perumal are at the hill temple.

Utsavar goes up the hill only thrice a year:
The Utsavar deity of Ranganatha is seen at the Neer Vannan temple at the foot of the hill. Only thrice a year - on the first and last day of Brahmotsavam festival and on the Panguni Uthiram day - is he taken up the hill to be alongside the Moolavar Lord Ranganatha.
Madhya Rangam:
This place is called Madhya Rangam and Lord Ranganatha is seen in Bhoga Sayanam. 
Oldest Hill Divya Desams:
During Dwapara Yugam, there were only two Divya Desams that were on hills. One was Ahobilam and the other was Thiruneermalai.
Lord Narasimha darshan to Arjuna:
It is believed that Lord Narasimha gave darshan to Arjuna after he performed the Ashwamedha Yaagam here at this place.
Prarthana Sthalam:
This is a Prarthana Sthalam and the Lord is said to answer prayers relating to different issues, especially marriage.
Ashta Swayamvektha Kshetrams:
Eight Vishnu temples in India are considered very important as Lord Vishnu manifested himself and these places are praised as Swayam Vyaktha Kshetras of which this Thiruneermalai temple is one.  Others are Srirangam in Trichy District, Srimushnam in Cuddalore District, Tirupathi in Andhra Pradesh and Salagramam, Naimisaranyam, Pushkaram and Narayanapuram in north.
Only Dhivya Desam where Lord Narasimha in Cool Posture:
Only Divya Desams where Lord Narasimha is seen in a cool posture – called ‘Shanta Narasimhar’. Though Lord Narasimha is known for his furious appearance, He is smiling and cool here. After killing Hiranya to save his devout son Prahladha from his tortures, He was still furious.  Boy Prahladha was very much afraid of Lord’s fury. To make his devotee happy, Lord Narasimha shed his fury and appeared before Prahladha as a smiling boy himself. He thus became Bala Narasimha. There is a shrine for him in the hill temple. Behind Bala Narasimha is Ugra (furious) Narasimha with two hands. We can worship Narasimha in two forms Bala and Ugra.
Girivalam:
As this is a hill temple, Giri Valam is observed on Poornima-new moon days.
Boga Ranganatha darshan to sages Markandeya & Brugu:
After the darshan of Lord in Srirangam in reclining posture, sages Markandeya and Brugu were returning to their places.  The darshan at Srirangam was afresh in their minds.  They prayed to Lord to grant them darshan again at this place. Lord granted the darshan as Boga Ranganatha in reclining posture in this place and continues to bless from the hill top His devotees.  Abishek is not offered to Him except a Thaila Kappu – applying cosmetic oil on the idol- once in a year in Karthikai month-November-December.
Etymology:
This Thiruneermalai Kshetram is also called as "Thoyagiri Kshetram" and also as "Thothadri". Thoya means "Water" and Adhiri means "Mountain" (malai). Since the mountain is surrounded by water, this Sthalam is named as "Thiru Neer Malai" in Tamil. Brahmanda Purana refers this place Thodatri, meaning a mountain surrounded by water. 

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