Divya Desam – Srirangam
There is a story in MahaBharatham – When Sri Dhronacharyar takes his brahmastram, Sri Krishna fears that he will destroy everybody standing in front of him, so he kills an elephant named Ashwatama and asks Dharma putrar to shout “Ashwatama is dead” , Ashwatama being Dhronacharyar’s son, Lord Sri Krishna knew he will be distracted and will drop the Brahmastram. But Dharma putrar refuses to do so, then Sri Krishna goes to Bheem and asks him to shout the same. Bheem being very devoted to Sri Krishna says, when Lord himself asks me to do something, I don’t care if it is truth, dharma etc. all outcomes belongs to lord and shouts what Lord Krishna asks him to do.
When the Paandavas die, Bheem directly goes to heaven, but Dharma putrar is taken to hell just to see how people are suffering there, before proceeding to the heaven. Even though he was visiting hell, he still went to hell first. And the reason is he didn’t have steadfast devotion to supreme god in that second.
If we practice true devotion then Swami Namalwar says the curse for this world will finally come to an end. Also in thirumaalai, alwar says to the world that even if we just say Thiruvarangam, the hell will finally have no population and dharamaraja will be jobless.
If people in this world leave all doubts and just holds tight to charanam of supreme god and remembers his form all the time (meaning of “Gopika jeevana smaranam”), then there is absolutely no need to fear if we will go to hell, if we will get Jeevan mukti etc.
So let us see what Thiruvarangam or Srirangam has in this blog post.
Srirangam has one of the eight self manifested deity or swayam vyvkta kshetram of Emperuman.
The Vimanam of Srirangam was given by Emperuman himself to Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma then gave the perumal to Ikshvaku vamsam or the surya dynasty which happened to be Lord Rama‘s dynasty. So Lord Rama himself worshipped emperuman as ” Periya Perumal”. After Vibheeshanan pattabishekam, Lord Rama gave the perumal to Vibeeshanan who wanted to take him back to Sri Lanka. On the journey back, when he was crossing the Kauveri river, he wanted to offer prayers to the God, so he put the vimanam down. But he could not lift it when his prayers were over. Then Emperuman said he is going to stay in Thiuvarangam, but he will always look in the southern direction (Sri Lanka’s direction).
You can also see Sri Guberan and Sri Lakshmi alongside of Emperuman in Srirangam. Srirangam is also called as Bhooloka Vaikundam.
More information about Emperuman ar temple in Srirangam
11 out of 12 Alwars (Except Madurakavi Alwar) have done Mangalasasanam in here (meaning they have written Pasurams about EMperuman).
One interesting fact about the temple itself is that even though the inner mandapam was built around 1060 AD, the Rajagopuram was left incomplete for many years and Srirangam was always mentioned to have Mottai gopuram
After lot of hurdles, Srimadh Azhaiyasinger Jeer Swamigal of Ahobila Mutt initiated the building of Raja Gopuram and the Maha Samproksham of this monumental Rajagopuram was celebrated on March 25th 1987.
In the above picture you can see Srimath Azhaiyasinger Jeer Swamigal (Left side) with Srimath Sri Thirugundathai Andavan Swamigal (right side)
When we mention Srirangam, the one acharyar who is considered as Adi shesan’s avataram comes to our mind and he is none other than our Ramanujacharyar.
Sri Ramanujar was a great devotee of Varadaraja perumal of kanchipuram, Emperuman of srirangam was so moved with his devotion that he wanted Ramanujacharyar to come to Srirangam and be with him, Ramanujar though didn’t want to leave Varadar perumal, still obliged to Emperuman’s wish and came to Srirangam and spent his life in Sri rangam, that we can see his physical body in his temple just opposite to Chakrathalwar sannidhi.
Interesting festival in Srirangam
Panguni uthram is one of the important festivals in Srirangam and is very interesting festival as well. The story behind the Panguni uthram’s Mattaiyadi and sethi utsavam goes like this.
One morning when Renganayaki thayar wakes up, she finds emperuman missing from her place and she sees gold ornaments all over the floor. She thinks emperuman usually runs when he hears any bhaktha calling him (he even rushed to answer Gajendra elephant’s distress call) and she would have heard him go, since he sneaked out when she was sleeping and since things are scattered all around her, she thinks he sneaked out with other intentions and gets unhappy. But if she says to others not to let emperuman inside, then it will reduce other’s respect for him, so indirectly says “people standing outside should remain outside and people inside should remain inside”.
She also asks Emperuman how he got all the scratch marks on His Thirukkazuthu (neck) and that why His Thirukkangal (eyes) are so red. She also asks why His
Thiruman kappu and His Thirukkuzal (hair) are all messed up. She also goes
on to ask Him why His Thiruvadharam (lips) are white, why He has
kungumappoo (Saffron powder) all over his Thirumeni (body), His
ThiruvadigaL (lotus feet) are red.
And it is said this was when Emperuman went to Uraiyur to meet his consort Uraiyur Nachiyar.
Namazhwar finally comes and mediates between Emperuman and Ranga Nachiyar and settles the fight. Emperuman says to Namazhwar that His hair locks are all messed up because of the fierce winds while riding His horse (kuthirai vaganam). His Thiruman kappu had dissolved because of the harsh sun rays. His lips were white because He had to fight against the asuras to protect the thevathas. His neck was all scratched by thorns while He was riding through thick forests to fight the asuras. He continues to say that His legs were red because He had to ride the horse with His feet in the stirrup
and finally He has kungumappoo all over His body because the devathas
praised Him after His victorious campaign by showering Him with flowers. Thus,
He says that He was late because of all the battles He had to wage with the
This entire story is enacted even today in Sri rangam and when Emperuman comes back from Uraiyur, he tries to go and Renga nachiyar, but she shuts the door and Renganatha perumal faces “Mattaiyadi” with bananas and jackfruit. After which we see the serthi utsavam in Srirangam.
Important Festival in Srirangam
The very important festival in Srirangam is obviously the vaikunta ekadesi, and above you can see the Sorga vasal which is used for this festival.
With this I am concluding this post about Srirangam, soon we will take a brief look at another divya desam from the north india.