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From: Sampath Rengarajan (srengara_at_ford.com)
Date: Wed Apr 15 1998 - 13:57:24 PDT
thiruk kaNNan kudi - dAmO udharan - the one who got tied up My namaskArams to the thirup pAtha kamalangaL of the baktha kOdi bAgawathALs. thAmam - means kayiRu or rope or that which ties one or boNdage utharam - means - hip or lower hip. The one who relieved everyone from their bondage gets tied up around HIS hip by a rope that yashOdhA tied around HIM. Hence HE is also known as "dAmOdharan". Sri Vasishtar was very special in terms of HIS Sri Krishna bhakti. It is even cited often as "Sri Krishna prEmi VasishtAya nAmA" by learned scholars in literatures. Sri Vasishta used to mould the thiru uruvam or (statue) of Sri Krishna in "butter" and due to his bhakti kavacham he will keep it solidified and will not let it melt down. He used to consider such, as his divya mangaLa vigraham and worship Lord Sri Krishna in his dyAnam. He was doing such intense worshipping for a very long time. Lord Sri Krishna had HIS thiru uLLam to bless his worshipping. One day Lord assumed the form of Sri nanda gOpalan, a small boy and visited Sri VasishtA's place. While Sri VashistA was in his dyAnam, Lord grabbed the divya mangaLa vigraham (made in butter) and swallowed it. Sri Vasishta realised through his "thabO valimai" that the boy is none other and Sri Krishna HIMself. However Lord Sri Krishna in the form of the boy, started to run after seeing Sri VasishtA's realisation. It is said in purAnam that Sri VashistA started to chase him and run after HIM. While this is going on, in a nearby place known as Sri Krishna AraNyam (Sri KrishnA's jungle), many Rishis were doing penance under the maghizam tree seeking the blessings of Lord Sri Vishnu. On seeing the chase through their nyAna drishti, (divine vision) the rishis realised that it is Lord Sri Krishna who is coming running towards their place. It is said in the purAnam that they all focussed their bakthi and made it as a "pAsak kayiRu", ie. "a rope made of love" and tied HIM up right there in that place. Is this agianst all the norms of the sAshthram ? It is only HIS "nirhEthuka kadAksham" that the Lord will bestow HIS "thiru aruL" to HIS seekers. ('mAm "eKam" saraNam vrajA'). It is reminded here of Sri nammAzhwAr's verses "piditthEn koL sikkanavE" (I got you entangled with my grip of bhakti and pAsam and I pray to keep as such or "koL"). It is Lord who made HIMself bonded by yasOdhA's love, in Sri Krishna avathAram due to HIS nirhEthuka kripA and it is Lord who got HIMself tied up by HIS own. Lord explained to the RISHIS that HE is being chased by Sri VasishtA and hurried them to ask and get whaever boon they want atonce. In an unanimous voice all the rishis prayed to the Lord that HE stay in that place and give darshan to everyone as similar to how they were blessed with HIS darshan. Lord consented to their prayers and stood there and then. Sri Vasishta arrived at the place rapidly and saw the Lord standing there in 'kattunda kOlam' (as dAmodharan ie as one who got tied up) and immediately fell at HIS holy feet and grabbed them firmly. Within that moment of Sri VasishtA's saranAgathi here, the raja gOpurams and vimAnams were created. Lord BrahmA and dEvas rushed to this place to see the param poruL being tied up in this place as daModharan. On HIS command they did brahmOrsavam and other festivites to this kshEthram. Since Sri Kannan (Sri Krishnan) was tied up and had to stay here for ever, this place earned the name "kaNNan kudi" (kudi has many meanings but here it means the place the Lord HIMself took refuge into the boNdage made by the rishis). This is a very sacred kshEthram as this is where Sri VasishtA did saranAgathi at the holy feet of Lord Sri dAmOdharan. Sri Sri lOkanAyaki samEtha Sri dAmOdharan thiruvadikaLE saraNam Sampath Rengarajan note: The flow of these series is laid out such that the thala purAnam will be covered initially. The reference to thirumangai AzwAr and his pAsurams on this kshEthram are dealt at the end with a continuation to his thOndu through the episode of HIS thiru avathAram thirup paNI in this kshEthram that were related to Sri Rangam temple construction. adiyEn will also deal in some detail about the thirup paNi of thiru mangai in thiru arangam at the end of these series.