Divya Desams, Where it all started

Om Namo Bhagavadhe Vasudevaya

Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Alwar thiruvadihgale Charanam, Yem perumanar thiruvadigale Charanam.

Sarvathra Govinda nama sankirtanam, Govinda Govinda

Charanam to Guru nathar SriSri Anna. All these posts are based on SriSri Anna’s pravochanam on 108 Divya Desam.

Before we begin, I would like to request forgiveness on any inaccuracy or misinterpretation of anything posted here.

What is a Divya Desam ?

Sarveshwaran Bagawan Naryanan always gives immense grace upon the living beings he has created. To get us out of the misery from the worldly lives, he has taken the greatest avatharam or worship able form called as Archa thirumeni and has made available for us to see him in various temples and each of these important temple is called a Divya Desam.

Divya Desam means that these are the places where Emperuman lives.

Our poorvacharyas has compared Emperuman to water. Water is considered to be the utmost important thing for formation of earth and the living beings on the earth. Water takes various forms, like underground water, Rivers, Clouds etc. Not all water is easily reachable similarly God can be found in various forms and not easily attainable in all forms.

Sriman Narayanan’s place is vaikuntam. Clearly for living beings, the most difficult place to reach is the vaikuntam. Bagawan’s form in Vaikuntam is called as “Param”, which is very clean, and very difficult for us to see (even for devas or demi gods and saints)

Bagawan realizes that  the vaikuntam is reachable only for those souls who attains jeevan mukti, so he wants to make himself attainable even by others, so the next stage he comes down is to soorya mandalam and sheerabdi where devas and saints can see him and attain him. He then realizes even this is tougher for living beings, so he made himself antaryami in all living beings. But only yogis attained emperuman this way. So the next stage he comes down is to take avatharams or vibavams. Rama avatharam, Krishna avatharam etc. are some of the examples. So even poothanai, maarichan, sishupalan and such people are able to see these avatharams.

Still, these avatharams are being enjoyed by the souls who co-existed during those times, so bagawan still thinks he needs to make it even easier for all living beings, so he comes down even one more step and makes himself available in temples. So even in this Kali he has taken the Archa avatharam and makes it easy for us to see Emperuman in temples in the form of Renganatha perumal, Varadaraja perumal etc.

Alwargal and Acharyargal have shown us the path to enjoy and easily attain Emperuman by visiting and enjoying him at these Divya Desams. And for this same reason, we don’t call these temples as Kshetrams, but call them as Divya Desams.

The very first Divya Desam is named as Sri Rangam. Emperuman who is here is no-other than the vaikunda nathan, but Renganathar has more grace and mercy as he can even make connections and conversations with a day to day living being.

It is said that if we catch hold on Renganatha perumal’s feet, we can reach vaikuntam and realize vaikunda perumal himself.

Divya Desam list starts from Sri Rangam and ends in Vaikuntam (as per Divya Prabandham by Alwargal)

With this small background, let us see more about Sri Ranga perumal and his holy abode in Sri Rangam in the next post