Vaikunta Vasa Perumal Temple, Nemili – Legends
Sage Bhrigu and others performed a penance in Puri in Orissa to have a vision of Lord Narayana. He appeared but not the way they wanted him in full form with Chakra, Shanka and Gadayutham. The Lord directed them to go to Kanchipuram and perform penance there, assuring them that he would appear before them. The sages found too many holy places in Kanchipuram and wanted to know which was the holiest among them.
They sought the help of Brahma, who in turn prayed to the Lord and he appeared in sitting posture before him in Nemili. He said when the merit of Nemili was weighed against the merit of all other places the needle would tilt in Nemili's favour by the weight of a grain of paddy. Hence the place came to be known as Nelmeli or Nemili.
Lord's posture of holding a grain between his fingers:
According to another legend a farmer in the village vowed before the Lord to give a major share of the yield from his land, and he got a bumper yield that year. Paddy obtained from the land was heaped like a hill in the threshing floor, but the farmer changed his mind on seeing the big yield and tried to take it home.
And the entire paddy stock on the threshing floor turned into stone pebbles and it became a hill. The farmer, who realized his mistake, fell at the feet of the Lord, who took a single paddy grain in his two fingers as his share and gave back the entire stock to the farmer. That explains the Lord's posture of holding a grain between his fingers.
Eri Kaatha Vaikunta Vasa Perumal:
The Lord's sitting posture has another interesting story behind it. Once there were unprecedented heavy rains in the area and the irrigation tank in the village got filled up and was overflowing. The villagers, who feared that it might breach any time appealed to the Lord who prevented the embankment from breaching, with his back. It is remarkable that the Moolavar idol even today sweats profusely and his garments, which become wet, have to be changed frequently. Hence, the Moolavar Lord is also referred to as Eri Kaatha Vaikunta Vasa Perumal.
Ramanuja visit to this temple:
It is believed that Ramanuja visited this temple and stayed here on his way from Sriperumbudur to Tirupathi. Hence, this is also said to be an Abhimana Sthalam.
The temple, which fell on bad times, was rediscovered by a devotee, in whose dreams the Anjaneyar of Nallattur was said to have appeared and asked him to restore the temple. A committee of devotees was formed which accomplished the task with the help of the philanthropic minded public. The Mahasamprokshanam was performed on June 2, 2002.
Reason for Lord Sitting Posture here:
Sage Narada was feeling sorry that Swami Venkatachalapathy had been in standing position for yugas, and requested him to be seated for a while. So, the Lord gracefully considered Narada’s request and hence the sitting posture.