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

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

From: Raja Krishnasamy (
Date: Sat Jul 19 1997 - 20:48:21 PDT

Regarding this purAnic origin of perumAl's Urdhvapundr
avantham, may be this was also the 
origin of "thathiArAdhanam" for "thath" we know means
The Lord (from "thath thvam asi"), 
and thathiyA would therefore mean the people who
serve the Lordin this case, the 
archakAs,and hence the word "thathiArAdhanA" 

Om namO nArAyaNAya namahA 


Raja Krishnasamy 

Raja Krishnasamy wrote: 


  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
yagnObhavItham 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