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Thiru NaRaiyoor - thala puraaNam as naachchiyaar kOil - part 1

From: Sampath Rengarajan (
Date: Wed Mar 27 1996 - 13:16:08 PST

ambaramum perunilanum thisaika Lettum alaikadalum kulavariyum unda
kaNdan kombamarum vadamaraththin ilai mEl paLLi koodinaan thiruvadiyE
koodukiRpeer vambavizhum seNbagaththin vaasamuNdu malar mEl vaiku
sembiyan kOch chengaNaan sErntha kOil thiru naRaiyoor maNimaadam sErminkaLe

	In Periya thiru mozhi the sky, eight directions or thisais, alai
kadal ie the sea, malaikaL ie the hills, the entire puvi or earth; HE
swaalowed all these and was flaoting on the vada pathram or all ilai
the leaves of banyan tree. (The chOlan king kOchchengaN who constructed
70 temples for Lord Shivaa, came pleading to this Lord as he was
yielded by this LORD.) Aazwaar indicates us that go and join his lotus
feet in this thirunaRaiyoor that was sought once by the chOlan king

This temple is situated near KumbakOnam and is known as naachiyaar
kOil, about 4 miles from there and very close to Oppiliappn kOil and
thiruch chErai. One can travel here by cominmg to Kumbakonam by a train
or bus from Madras, Trichy and go to this kshethram by a town bus or
cab. A bus an hour will be the frequency.

BramhaaNada puraaNam describes this kshethram in a section known as
"sownaka samvaatham" in 12 chapters. PiLLai perumaal's nambi mega vidu
thoothu ie simlar to Hamsa sandEsam of swami desikan and mega sandEsam
of kaalidaasan, and Sri Narasimhaachaari's thirunaRaiyoor irattai maNi
maalai describes this kshethram besides thirumangai's paasurams. The
name thiru naRaiyoor also means that this is so sweet as a honey for
thiru magal ie Lukshmi.  In sanskrit this kshethram is referred by the
sanskrit word that means the above ie sukantha giri.  naRai in tamil is
honey and smell of fragrance. This is also known as suganth vanam as
many flowers with honey and plesant fragrance were present in this
vaNam. It is said that a muni or saint by name "mEthaavi" did penance
in this maNimuththaa river banks asking for a boon that mahaalakshmi
should become his daughter. Appreciating this thapas, MahaaLukshmi on a
friday , in panGuni month, on uththiram star, incarnated under the
vanJuLa tree on the banks of this river, (similar to aandaL who
appeared in Kaliyugam) Munivar realised using his thaba valimai
(gyaaNam) that SHE is the boon he was askng for and named HER vanjuLa
vaLLi and brought HER up. The Lord sent his carrier and most trusted
friend Pakshi Raajan (SRi Garudan) to look for mEdaavi maharishi and
the Lakshmi. Pakshi Raajan came looking for Sri and found her here in
saugantha giri and informed the Lord vasudEvaa in SrivaikuNdam. The
Lord came to this place and appeared as an old man and while pretending
to ask bikshai took her hand and asked for marriage in medhaavi's
ashram. As vanjuLa vaLLI was surprised the muni had also returned then
and before a scene could have been created, the Lord appeard with his
chaNgu and chakram. As requested by them the Lord granted that this
kshethram will be called after thaayaar and hence is known as
"naachiyaar kOil" even today. Thaayaar is present here with 8 NYaathis. In
this temple thaayaar gets all the first mariyaathais as per this
protocol. SInce Munivar asked the Lord to marry her in his form the
Lord chose to marry her in his five forms as vyuuka vaasudEvan.  vishnu
puraaNam explains the expansion of the universe as vishnu HIMslef and
he being in the center and expanded into primary and secondary levels
of planetary positions known as galaxies. Modern science depicts that
the current universe if viewed from outside looks like two ellipsoidal
galaxies with the centre as a huge dense magnetic field.  This equal
expansion on both side was in a way indicated in vishnu puraaNam as

    ----------------                             ------------------
   -                  -                        -                    -
 -      sankarshanan     -    para vaasudEvan  -  aniruththan          -
 -                      -                      -                     -
   -                  -                         -                   -
     ----------------  			           ----------------
            |                                           |
 prathyumnan|                                           |purushOthaman

When the Lord says "maam eKam saRaNam vraja", HE also meant that HE is
the entire universe where in we are all there and that "HE alone"
represented in HIS form with changu chakram and gathi, saarngam as
"one" in which everything and every demigod is contained. ie He is the
global set in mathematical terms that contain all the other sets in
itself. HE  appear the same as the physical universe. ie all his
weapons were expanded to primary and secondary universes and HE being
the neucleus this is the same as picturised by the modern science.
surrendering to HIM in this form is surrendering to the entire
UNIVERSE. If you replace sakarshanan, prathyumnan, aniruththan, and
purishOthaman by the four weapons they exactly represent the pictorial
view of the universe. The Lord appears on equal footing with all his
primary and secondary vyuukams and marry the thaayaar here.  This is a
very crowded sannithi as you will see all these Lords and thaayaar in
one place.  This is the only place where the Lord is present in his 5
vyuuka forms.  The Lord gave all the sakthi and prominance to the
naachiyaar and married her in his 5 forms.  The Lord is in KalyaaNa
kOlam and also he appears to come little forward as if he is offering
"pancha samaskaaram". (to thiru mangai). The nature of these moolavars
are so realistic that (as per aaka siRpa saastharam these moolavars are
perfectly real) thirumangai adored this Lord and delivered all the 110
paasurams single handed for this temple. No other aazhwaar visited this
Lord. The place known as "krishna aaraNyam" starts here.

Sri dEvi is known famous in Sri Rangam and Booma dEvi in srivilli puththur and
this kshethram is prominet due to niLaa dEvi. Sri villipuththoor is known as
naachiyaar thiru maaLigai and this kshethram known as naachiyaar kOil.

This kshethram is in the select list of 12 mukthi tharum srinivaasan
sthalam as "sri"nivaasam. Thiru mangai praises this temple as MaNi
maadak kOil in his paasuram.  When looked at the sannithi from the
entrance, the karuvaRai looks like a maadak kOil and also like a small
kunRu or hill. Aazhwaar says in periya thirumadal as "then na naRaiyoor
maNi maadak koIL maNaaLan". This temple has 16 gOpurams in various
sizes.  The vimaaNam on top of the moolavar is also in the shape of a
gOpuram and is unique only to this kshEthram except for thiruvaLLikENi.
kOchchengaN cholan was known as one of 63 naayanmaars and is named as
chOla naayanaar. He lost his kingdom and and was living in hiding. The
saints living in maNi muththaa river asked him to pray this lord nambi.
While he took bath in maNi muththaa river, he got the divine sowrd as
he was submerged in the water. He then went on to collect a rebellion
force and fought  a war and regained his kingdom. He became a
vaishnavaa then and constructed a golden vimaanam for this temple and
allotted lands for this temple so that nitya aaraadhanai can be
performed. Thirumangai mentions this in his paasuram as

sembiyan kOchchengaNaan sErntha kOil
thirunaRaiyoor maNi maadam sErminkaLE
theyva vaaL vaLannkoNda chozhan sErntha
thiru naRaiyoor maNimaadam sErmingaLE

Moolavar : Thiru NaRaiyoor nambi, SRinivaasan, vyuuka vaasudEvan,
sugantha vana naathan

thayaar : vanjuLa vaLLi, nambikkai naachchiyaar, in thirumaNak kOlam

Ursavar : Same name as moolavar

vimaanam : Srinivasa vimaanam, hEma vimaanam
virutchcham : vilva , vakuLa or makizha tree
theerththam :
maNImuththaa : chOla got his divine sword
sankarshana : Brahmaa's dhosham was cleared
Prathyumnaa : Baanuthaththa's curse was cured
aniruththan : iNidiraa's saabam was cured
saamba theerththam: saptha rishis did penance in this.

prathyaksham : Brahmaa, and saint mEthaavi

Sri VanjuLa vaLLI thaayaar samEthara Srinivaasan thiruvadikaLE saraNam
Sampath Rengarajan