You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : July 1997

srInivAsa perumAl's Urdhva pundravantham ...Another version of the purANam ...

From: Raja Krishnasamy (
Date: Tue Jul 15 1997 - 15:14:57 PDT

Here is another version of the reason as to why the
thirunAmam on the 
Lord of thiruvEnkadam is what it is.  I will try to
do my best. 
Long ago, the archakAs of the temple at thirumalai
had a great influence 
and power as to the way the Temple and its resources
were controlled. 
Consequently, some people overextended/abused this
power.  During one 
such occasion, the chief archakar at the temple
ordered that his son be 
brought on parade using the Temple's elephants
immediately following his 
yagnObhavItham ceremony. 
The King of the region, a staunch devotee of the
Lord, and a great 
patron of the Temple was infuriated by this action,
and ordered all the 
archakAs and their families to be beheaded, so such
abusive traits may 
not be passed on.  Several people were killed.  One
pregnant lady, a 
wife of one of the archakAs, went and hid in the
Temple's well in the 
madapaLLi (kitchen).  (You will notice that most old
temples have a well 
for the madapaLLi's water supply, and that these have
a spiral staircase 
along the wall leading all the way to the bottom of
the well). 
She waited there for the furor to end, surviving on
whatever she managed 
to carry with her.  Once the chaos subsided, she came
out and mingled 
with the service class, so that she would not be
recognized and that her 
child be spared. 
In the meantime, Lord srInivAsA, was apalled at the
King's attitude, and 
closed His doors to the public.  He spelled a curse
that His sannidhi 
would be accessible to no one, and He will not
provide a darshan to any 
more devotees.  No amount of effort would force the
doors of the 
"bangAra vAsal" to open.  He also cursed that the
King would see the end 
of his Kingdom.  Devotees still poured in, and unable
to capture a 
glimpse of theLord, would offer "thayir sAtham" or
curd rice at the 
doors of the "bangAra vAsal", a tradition that is
followed even today. 
Finally, His anger relented, and He said to the
people, that only the 
surviving archakA child would be able to open the
door.  The people 
searched till they found the child.  Fearing for
their life, the mother 
denied acceptance of their true identity, but
finally, the people of the 
kingdom requested her to let the child go, as he is
the only one who is 
capable of appeasing the Lord's anger. 
The 11 year orld srInivAsa dIkshithar was brought on
procession to the 
temple.  Whence some people expressed sentiments such
as  - "He is not 
even a Brahmin, and even if he was, he did not have
his yagnObhavItham 
ceremony yet !" 
The child unable to comprehend the situation, asked
his mother - "Amma - 
enna amma paNNaNum ?" (What should I do).  Not
knowing what to reply, 
the mother asked the child to bath in the "pushkariNi"
 and then go and 
take some thayir sAtham for the Lord to eat.  The
child took a dip, and 
when he came out of the water - he had a yagnObhavItha
m across his body 
He then went into the temple with the temple guard
and laid his hands on 
the doors, when the doors swung open.  The Guard to
the temple went in 
and lit the lights (Even today, the guard is the
first person to see the 
Lord's face at day break).  The child asked him what
he should do?  The 
person said - "perumAlukku nethikku idanum".  The
child did not know 
what it meant, as he was always surrounded by shUdrAs
all his life, and 
at the description of the guard, he took a hand full
of "pachchai 
kalpUram" and laid it on the Lord's forehead.  It
came out wide and 
large.  Hence the current practice.  Later on, when
he presented the 
curd rice to the Lord, nothing happened.  He then
requested perumAl to 
come and partake in the offering, for if He did not,
then the public 
would condemn the child.  At which, the Lord came
down and took a 
handful.  He then offered the very next handful to
the child and said 
that from now on His archakAs would get the first
offering of the 
prasAdam after it is offered to the Lord, a practice
followed till date 
at Tirupathi. 
Om namO srIman nArAyanAya namaha. 
Raja Krishnasamy